This coming Sunday sees the end of the busiest week in Asian boxing this year and amazing it's the busiest day of the year so far with 5, yes count them 5, different cards, 3 title fights and around 40 fights. It really is a bumper Sunday for fans of the sport across Asia.
We're lead to believe the first show to start will be at the Aioi Hall in Aichi. This show is expected to start at mid-day local time and will be headlined by Japanese #10 ranked Featherweight Shinji Takayama (20-3, 11) who will be fighting against the light hitting Kohei Maruoka (7-5-1, 1) in what really should be little more than a light work out for the talented Takayama.
In total this card is expected to feature 11 bouts but other than the main event very little is worth noting on a Matsuda show that is packed though not hugely interesting.
Although the first card of the day is the Aichi one we think the most notable is at the FujisanMesse in Fuji, Shizuoka. The reason this card is more notable than the others is that the main event is a genuinely promising looking fight as the unbeaten Ryuji Hara (16-0, 10) battles Filipino veteran Donny Mabao (21-20-1, 4) for the vacant OPBF Minimumweight title. Although this looks like a complete mismatch on paper we do imagine it will turn out to be a very tough battle for Hara who has looked less than great in his recent contests.
As well as the OPBF title bout this card will include a further 10 contests, including an interesting bout between James Murashige (7-3-1, 4) and Brazilian Cristiano Aoqui (7-3-1, 4). Both men here have almost identical records, the only difference is that Aoqui has 2 stoppage losses whilst Murashige doesn't have any. It's those stoppage losses that may find Murashige favoured slightly but it is an excellent match up.
At the same time as the Shizuoka show we see the start of a show at the Matsushita IMP Hall, a show that is effectively split in to two separate parts.
The first part of this show, will feature 7 bouts in total with the headliner being an OPBF female Super Flyweight title bout between reigning champion Tomoko Kawanishi (8-1, 4) and Thai challenger Jubjang Lookmakarmwan (3-6). For this bout we're really favouring the champion, especially when you consider the bad run the challenger has been on recently with 6 straight losses.
As well as the female title fight the show will also feature the unbeaten, and very promising, Ryuto Kyoguchi (10-0-1, 7) who will be fighting against Yasunori Kishigami (8-1-1, 5) in what will be an excellent match up between two pretty good domestic fighters. We do favour Kyoguchi but the upset certainly cannot be ruled out.
In total their is 8 bouts on the first part of this show before a small break.
On the second part of the show things really heat up with some brilliant match ups including an absolutely fantastic Flyweight bout between former 2-time world title challenger Hirofumi Mukai (9-3-1, 1) and former OPBF title challenger Myung Ho Lee (16-4, 5). This bout really is a great bout even though neither man is likely to become a world champion and it's this sort of bout that makes for a great main event.
Another bout on the second part of this card will see the unbeaten and very highly touted Shohei Omori (10-0, 6) fighting against southpaw Yubon Kim (10-3, 3). We're going with Omori to win this but we expect to see him struggling a little, at least compared to his last 3 contests which lasted just a combined 4 rounders. We have very high hopes for Omori though we do expect Kim to give him a good work out here.
Hae Nam City, South Korea
Outside of Japan we also get a show in South Korea with yet another title on the line. This time it's the turn of the lightly regarded IFBA Minimumweight title as the reigning champion Ji-Hyun Park (19-2, 5) fights Mexican Anahi Torres (12-11, 2). On paper this looks like a total gimme for Park but Torres is one of those fighters with a misleading record and after starting her career 5-10 she has won 7 of her last 8, including notable wins over Nancy Franco and Jasseth Noriega.
We expect Park to defend her title though wouldn't be surprised if she is given a seriously difficult test by her criminally over-looked Mexican opponent.
(Poster courtesy of Boxmob.jp and is for the second part of the Osaka Teiken show)