Action's back in the Korakuen Hall this coming Thursday for an interesting card featuring a former national champion and two touted Japanese prospects.
One of those prospects isJapanese based Afghan born fighter Kudura Kaneko (8-0, 5), who takes a massive step up in class to face off with former Japanese Welterweight champion Toshio Arikawa (15-5, 13). For the 20 year old Kaneko this is a massive step up in class, though he has already impressed by winning the Japanese Youth title earlier this year, and looks to be one of the few really promising Japanese Welterweights. His back story is a fantastic one of hope and determination, have left Afghanistan with his parents for a better life and he's made it known that if he can have real success he wants to fund a school back in Afghanistan. Arikawa on the other hand is a bit a glass cannon, who really can bang, and at the age of 33 can ill afford another set back. Arikawa won the Japanese title in 2016, when he stopped Nobuyuki Shindo at the Champion Carnival, and defended it twice, avenging two losses in the process, but was dethroned earlier this year by Ryota Yada. With 4 of his 5 losses coming by stoppage Arikawa can clearly be hurt, but with 13 wins by stoppage, he can also bang, hard.
The other prospect is touted 24 year old Ryusei Kawaura (4-0, 3), who looks to follow up a good win over Filipino Marjun Pantilgan earlier this year. The talented Kawaura will be up against his first domestic opponent, as he takes on Yuki Yoshimura (8-3-4, 2), who hasn't fought in over a year. We are excited to see what Kawaura can do in his career, but so far he's lacked activity and it feels like he's perhaps not chasing glory in the way he should be, though hopefully that's something that we will see from him in 2019. Yoshimura should prove to be a should prove to be a solid enough test, but has been another fighter who's inactivity has cost him any real chance of making a name for himself, with only 2 fights in the last 8 years. It's worth noting that Yoshimura's only stoppage came to Hiroki Shiino so a win in the distance would be notable for Kawaura.
This coming Monday fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will get the newest Kawashima show, headlined by their Japanese champion defending his title and supported by one of their top prospects looking to move his career forward.
The champion headlining the card is Welterweight king Toshio Arikawa (15-4, 13), who seeks his third defense as he takes on mandatory challenger Ryota Yada (15-4, 12). On paper this has the potential to be a really exciting encounter, as two punchers face off in a really interesting match up. Between the two men they have been stopped 4 times, with Arikawa actually being stopped in the first round in 3 difference fights, but the champion has been on a roll in recent times. Coming in to this Arikawa is riding a 7 fight winning run, with 6 stoppages, and looks to be in the form of his life. Yada has bounced back well from a 2016 stoppage loss to Jayar Inson, with 3 straight wins, but that bout showed he could be hurt, and with Arikawa's power there is a good chance Yada will suffer his second stoppage loss.
In the main support bout the promising Ryusei Kawaura (3-0, 3) will be taking a huge step up in class to take on Filipino foe Marjun Pantilgan (18-5, 14). The talented and exciting Kawaura has looked brilliant so far, but has been matched ultra soft, against 3 limited Thai foes. Despite the level of competition he's faced so far Kawaura has passed the eye test in very impressive fashion. The 23 year old Pantilgan has lost to his most notable foes, including Sonny Boy Jaro and Robert Onggocan, but has a solid record, a lot to fight for here and is 13-2 in his last 15 bouts. This should be a very legitimate test for Kawaura, who is expected to go on to have a glittering career.
This coming Tuesday sees a low key card at the Korakuen Hall with a really notable rematch as the main event.
That main event sees the Japanese Welterweight title being unified as the big punching champion Toshio Arikawa (14-4, 12) returns from injury to battle interim champion Daisuke Sakamoto (14-8-3, 8). These two were supposed to fight earlier this year, as part of the Champion Carnival, but the bout was cancelled on short notice due to Arikawa suffering a training injury. The injury to Arikawa lead to Sakamoto fighting Makoto Kawasaki for the interim title, and taking a decision win. It should be noted that these two have history, and Sakamoto stopped Arikawa back in 2014, inside a round, and will be looking to do the same here. Although neither man has a great record both are in good form, with Sakamoto going 7-0-2 (5), including the win over Arikawa, and Arikawa going 6-0 (5), since the loss to Sakamoto.
In a noteworthy under-card bout we'll be able to see the exciting Ryusei Kawaura (2-0, 2) take on Nadtakorn Sithjacknoi (0-2). Aged 23 there is a lot of promise in Kawaura, though there has been a relative lack of activity and this will be his second fight this year, following a 92 second blow out win over another Thai novice. Hopefully this will be Kawaura's final bout against a limited Thai foe before moving onto domestic bouts, which would likely serve as a much better test than Thai's like Nadtakorn.
This coming Monday isn't the busiest day in Asian boxing this month, but still features two title bouts and a notable debut.
The most interesting of the action comes from the ever popular Korakuen Hall where we get the interesting debut and a Japanese Welterweight title fight.
That title fight will see the big punching Toshio Arikawa (13-4, 11) battle against veteran Yasuhiro Okawa (14-12-3, 5). On paper this looks like a mismatch but for Arikawa, who has really come into his own in recent bouts, the contest serves as both his first defense and a chance to avenge a prior loss to Okawa. On paper Okawa will be the clear under-dog but with a win over Arikawa he'll be confident of doing the same here, and he will also be hoping it's second time lucky after losing a really competitive decision to Nobuyuki Shindo for the vacant title earlier this year. This really could be a very fun bout and one that will be a treat for the fans in attendance.
The debut of interest on the card will be that of Ryusei Kawaura (0-0), who begins his career in a 6 rounder against Thailand's Thepyothin Sithdabnid (0-3).This should be an easy introductory win for Kawaura, a new member of the Kawashima gym.
The other title bout comes form the Philippines and will see Jayson Rotoni (14-16-1, 8) battle Geboi Mansalayao (10-23-5, 4) for the interim Philippines Boxing Federation (PBF) Flyweight title. We'll admit this isn't a great match up, and both men have gone 1-5 in their last, but at least it looks winnable for both men and as a result we could end up with a fun contest here, and the belt might drive both on to give that little bit more.
The action in Japan this week was highlighted on Wednesday, but on Thursday we get more title action.
In the main event of the card fans will see lanky Japanese Welterweight champion Nobuyuki Shindo (17-3-1, 6) make the first defense of his title, as he goes up against the destructively heavy handed Toshio Arikawa (12-4, 10), in a mandatory defense. Shindo won the belt in January, when he beat Yasuhiro Okawa, in what was his third title bout whilst Arikawa has got his shot at the title following a shock 6th round TKO win over Akinori Watanabe.
In a notable under-card bout the once beaten Ryosuke Takami (8-1, 7) will face Japanese-Brazilian Cristiano Aoqui (10-4-2, 6) in what we suspect will be a very good encounter. The 22 year old Takami has won his last 4 all by stoppage and ia very dangerous fighter whilst Aoqui is better than his record suggests.
Another notable under-card bout will see Motoki Osanai (0-0) make his debut in a 6 rounder. This youngster from the Watanabe gym will be facing a Thai opponent and the pressure will be on the 23 year old to live up to the expectation that Watanabe have on him.
The second day of the month of November is genuinely one of the most interesting with 4 really notable bouts all taking place on same show, a show dubbed the “Strongest Korakuen Million Yen Fight”. The show is a return to the Strongest Korakuen tournament, which helps to decide the mandatory challengers for various Japanese titles. As well as the eliminator status of the bouts their will be additional bonuses, with a ¥1,000,000 up for grabs for the MVP of the event.
At Flyweight we'll see former world title challenger Masayuki Kuroda (23-6-3, 14) battle against Yusuke Sakashita (13-5-2, 8) for a shot at the domestic Flyweight title next year. Both have been beaten by former champion Suguru Muranaka but should make for an excellent match up together. Both have a lot to prove and both have styles that should make for a lot of action.
At Bantamweight we see former Japanese champion Kentaro Masuda (22-7, 11) battle against the under-rated Hideo Sakamoto (16-1-3, 5). Masuda is the more proven of the two fighters however Sakamoto has long been under-the-radar and could well see this bout as his potential coming out party. Notably Masuda's last bout of note saw him being blown away by Shohei Omori and it's hard to know how much he has left after a long and hard career whilst Sakamoto hasn't had the wars that Masuda has had.
At Lightweight we see the teak tough Nihito Arakawa (25-6-1, 16) battle against recent title challenger Yuya Sugizaki (20-10-1, 6). Of the two men Arakawa is the more well known and the more proven however his recent form has been disappointing with a 2-5 run in his last 7. Saying that however he has been mixing at a higher level to Sugizaki who was last seen being stopped by Kota Tokunaga. A win for Sugizaki would a career best whilst a win for Arakawa is pretty expected here.
The highest weight covered by the Strongest Korakuen show here is Welterweight where punchers collide as Akinori Watanabe (33-4, 28) take on the little known Toshio Arikawa (11-4, 9). Of the two men Watanabe is the more established, having held various titles, but has shown frailties when he's been hit back. Arikawa is scarcely known but with his power he is a danger man and a 3rd round TKO win over Shusaku Fuinaka is clear proof of that. We really don't expect to see this one go the distance and it really could be a very explosive and short lived encounter.
The only Asian show this coming Monday appears to be from Tokyo as the Korakuen Hall plays host to yet another card. Albeit a rather weak one over all.
The supposed main event of the card will see Japanese Welterweight hopeful Toshio Arikawa (10-4, 8) fight in a stay busy contest before a showdown with Akinori Watanabe on November 2nd. In his bout here Arikawa will be up against the amazingly named Petchmahalert Eminent Air (0-0) from Thailand. From what we understand this will be “Eminent Air's” debut though as with many Thai's it's hard to be too sure.
Another Welterweight bout on this card will see Tomoyuki Omura (8-7, 4) attempt to over-come the Japanese ranked Shusaku Fujinaka (11-5-2, 7) and score the biggest win of his career. It's fair to say that whilst this is the most notable support bout on the card it's certainly not a mouth watering match up.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)