After a few quiet days in Japanese boxing the action returns to the Korakuen Hall for a Yokohama Hikari show featuring a former world title challenger and several interesting match ups.
The main event sees that former world title challenger, Ryo Akaho (26-2-2, 18) facing former foe Toyoto Shiraishi (25-9-3, 12) in a long awaited rematch. These two originally fought in 2009, with Akaho scoring a 9th round TKO win, and were supposed to fight last year but Akaho failed to make weight for that bout. Coming in to this one both men will know it's a must win, with both men having lost last time out, and neither can afford another slip up.
In a very good looking supporting bout the once beaten Hironobu Matsunaga (9-1, 4) will be up against former Japanese Middleweight champion Sanosuke Sasaki (11-4, 5) in what is a really attractive looking bout. Sasaki has lost his last 3 but has the experience to give Matsunaga a real test in what looks like a very even bout.
A potentially explosive bout at Super Flyweight will see Masashi Odaira (6-5-2, 2) face off against the limited but gutsy Mako Matsuyama (7-10-2, 3). This might not get a lot of attention going in but it will surely be a real war.
Arguably the best bout on the card is a 6 rounder between Takahiko Suzuki (6-1, 4) and Ryota Ishida (5-1, 3). Both of these men are 20 years old and both and both will know that a win here has the potential to be a launch pad towards a major bout with a well known domestic foe. A brilliant match up and one where the two youngsters both deserve a lot of credit.
As well as the action in Japan there is also a regional title fight in Thailand, as Nawaphon Por Chokchai (33-0, 26) defends his WBC Asian Boxing Council Flyweight title against Filipino Macrea Gandionco (11-2-2, 7). This should be a straight forward win for Nawaphon, who is looking to secure a world title fight later in the year.
Japanese fans get a real treat this week with a solid looking card at the Korakuen Hall.
In the main event fight fans will see IBF #1 ranked Super Bantamweight contender Shingo Wake (19-4-2, 11) battle against Indonesian visitor Waldo Sabu (7-2, 2) in what is regarded as a tune up bout for Wake, ahead of a world title fight later in the year. The IBF have ordered the winner of the upcoming Scott Quigg Vs Carl Frampton fight to face Wake in a mandatory title fight and this bout is just to keep the juices flowing for Wake ahead of such a bout later in the year. Sabu does have a huge opportunity to make a name for himself but the reality is that he'll be lucky to see out the distance against the under-rated Wake.
Whilst the main event is a mismatch the under-card does have some interesting supporting bouts. One of those will see Wake's stablemate Kenya Yamashita (8-1, 5) battle the returning Katsunori Nagamine (10-1, 6), who is fighting for the first time since a loss last year to Ken Shiro. On paper this is a great bout, and one where an argument could be made for either man, but the reality is that Yamashita should be the favourite given that Nagamine has recently under-gone serious eye surgery following a detached retina, suffered in the Ken Shiro bout.
Another brilliant supporting bout will see former Japanese Super Flyweight title challengers collide as Toyoto Shiraishi (25-8-3, 12) takes on Hayato Kimura (24-8, 16). This is a really well matched contest and the two men will be fighting with the hope of securing another title fight down the line, however both will know that current champion Sho Ishida is out of their league and they will likely have to wait until he vacates before going for the belt
In the US fan will see Kazakh hopeful Dauren Yeleussinov (4-0, 3) continue his development in a 6 rounder. Sadly at the time of writing his opponent hasn't been named.
The first really notable day of the month for Japanese fans comes on December 5th, a really busy day with name fighters in action across Asia.
In one of the most intriguing bouts fans will get the chance to see former OPBF Bantamweight champion Yu Kawaguchi (23-7, 10) battle against Keisuke Tabuchi (9-3-2, 7), in what is essentially a must win for Kawaguchi. The 28 year old former champion was stopped last time out against Takahiro Yamamoto, in a genuinely enthralling 7 round brawl, and will know that any except for a stellar performance here would leave his career in tatters. As for Tabuchi he's lost 2 of his last 3, though they have come in the 2014 Rookie of the Year and a 8 round loss to former world title challenger Hiroyuki Hisataka. Hard to see Kawaguchi losing, but if he does he will have to consider his future.
Whilst Kawaguchi is fighting for his career it's fair to say that Kazuki Tanaka (3-0, 3) is merely fighting for recognition. The talented youngster, a former amateur stand out, takes a huge step up in class as he takes on GAB Bantamweight champion Monico Laurente (27-12, 6). Those in the know have suggested that Tanaka, 22, could be another of Japan's huge list of future stars however the youngster has been relatively untested so far. In Laurente we'll see Tanaka face a man with experience, grit, determination and skills, and we'd be very impressed if the youngster can really dominate here in what is a great step up in class.
Whilst Kawaguchi is a former OPBF champion we actually have a former world champion in action too as Shindo Go (15-3, 10), a former WBC female Flyweight champion, faces Suda Saknarong (0-0) in a stay busy bout. We're expect to see Go fight for a major title in 2016 however she's fighting this bout to shake off any ring rust after a frustrating year of inactivity, in fact she's only fought 3 rounds all year.
Technically the main event here will see Japan's Takayuki Okumoto (15-6-2, 6) take on unbeaten Filipino teenager Romel Oliveros (6-0-1, 1). The bout certainly isn't the most exciting on paper but it seems likely that Okumoto could get a Japanese title fight next year if he comes through this one unscathed. The home fighter has won his last 5, since suffering a stoppage loss more than 2 years ago to Rusalee Samor, whilst the visitor will, perhaps tellingly, be facing his first opponent with a winning record.
On a second Japanese card fans will again get a lot of good action, in fact the card is headlined by a 2-time world title challenger.
That aforementioned world title challenger is Ryo Akaho (26-2-2, 18), who was last seen in the ring being stopped, for the first time, by Pungluang Sor Singyu in a bout for the WBO Bantamweight title. The former OPBF champion will be looking to score his second win over Toyoto Shiraishi (25-8-3, 12), who he stopped in their first meeting around 4 years ago. Since their first bout Akaho has had both of his world title tilts whilst Shiraishi has come up short in a pair of title fights, most notably a Japanese title fight against Teiru Kinoshita. This is likely to be another win for Akaho, though if it's not he will have to consider his future.
In supporting bouts on this card we have a trio of Japanese ranked fighters. The highest ranked of those is Light Middleweight contender Yuto Shimizu (10-2-2, 3) who has been in great form recently, scoring wins over Toru Chiba, Takehiro Shimokawara and Yosuke Kirima. Shimizu looks to continue his current 7 fight winning run as he takes on the limited Maxi Nahak (4-10-2, 1), from Indonesia. It's really hard to see anything but a Shimizu win here, and hopefully he'll get a title shot in 2016.
On paper the most attractive match up involving a ranked fighter, other than the main event where Shiraishi enters as a ranked fighter, comes at Super Flyweight where the JBC ranked Yuta Matsuo (8-2-1, 5) takes on southpaw Yota Hori (12-4-2, 7) in a really solid match up. Coming into this Matsuo is 3-2-1 in his last 6, though held his own in a split decision loss to Ardin Diale in one of those defeats.
The other ranked fighter is Hironobu Matsunaga (7-1, 3), who us ranked at 147lbs. Matsunaga will be risking his ranking against Shiro Saito (7-5-2, 2). Matsunaga's most notable bout to date is his loss, which came in last year's Rookie of the Year final against Yuki Beppu, and whilst that was a blow out he's cetainly proven himself since with a very good win over Hisao Narita. Saito on the other hand has gone 2-3-1 in his last 6, and was last seen being stopped in 3 rounds by Moon Hyun Yun in a loss that may play on his mind coming into this one.
In Thailand fans will have a chance to see Korean based Pakistani fighter Muhammad Waseem (1-0, 1) who will be up against Indonesian fighter Suparyanto Doglo (7-2-1, 4). Waseem, who won the Korean Super Flyweight title on his debut, will be looking to continue his perfect start to life as a professional and it seems likely that if he wins again here he could be moved into regional title fights in 2016, with the PABA title a very real target for 2016.
We're unsure but we think the same card will feature two televised bout as well as the Waseem bout. One of those, set to be shown on Channel 7, will see Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym (33-1-2, 18) defending his WBO Oriental Flyweight title against Julias Kisarawe (21-2, 11) in what looks to be a brilliant match up on paper, something we can't say often enough about Thailand. Sadly whilst the bout does “look” good it's likely to be a mismatch with Kisarawe's opposition so far being relatively appalling, in fact it sort of resembles a Thai record with very little experience share between his opponents.
The other bout will see former world title challenger Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (57-2, 38) battle against Nattapol Sithsaithong (0-2) in what appears to be little more than a stay busy fight for Chonlatarn, who won't be given a test here.
To end the day our attention will turn to Mexico where Japan's Hurricane Futa (20-5-1, 11) faces off against former multi-weight world champion Jhonny Gonzalez (58-10, 49). This is a really tough ask for Futa though we'll be honest and say that Gonzalez did look really bad last time out, losing a decision to Jonathan Oquendo, and this may be the perfect time to face him.
We've had a real lull in action recently but these next few days sees that lull ending in style with fights across the Orient.
The most well matched show of the day is in Tokyo as we get the next Dangan card. The show isn't the most meaningful or significant but it certainly does have some good looking and interesting contests on it.
One of those bouts is the main event which pits ranked fighters against each other in a potentially significant cross roads bout on the Japanese domestic scene. The bout will pit the experienced Toyoto Shiraishi (25-8-2, 12), who is ranked by both the JBC and the OPBF, against the heavy handed Kenta Nakagawa (9-2, 7). Although in experienced Nakagawa made his debut in 2004 and appears to be looking to make up for lost time with this bout. Shiraishi however may have too much know how for his hard hitting foe.
Another showdown between ranked fighters comes in the chief support bout as Lightweight contenders face off in what could be something a little bit special. In one corner here we will have Kazuhiro Nishitani (14-2-1, 7) whilst in the other corner we have the the inform Yusuke Tsukada (7-4, 3). These two are ranked #8 and #9 by the JBC and although their rankings are very similar it's hard to see what Tsukada really brings to the table here, despite solid back-to-back wins coming in to this bout.
Another bout to feature a ranked fighter comes at Welterweight where Moon Hyun Yun (15-4-2, 2) takes on Shiro Saito (7-4-2, 2). Yun is looking for a second title fight and may well see a win here as his door to rematch with Japanese Welterweight champion Suyon Takayama, he does however enter 1-2-1 in his last 4. For Saito this is a great opportunity but it would require a career best performance for him to to claim a win.
In another 8 round we'll see a bout between experienced but flawed fighters as Ryuichi Funai (23-6, 16) takes on Japanese based Filipino Ryan Bito (22-14-3, 8). Funai is in great form with 6 wins, 5 inside the distance, since his last loss, to Rolly Lunas in an OPBF Bantamweight title clash and is on the verge of a shot at either the OPBF or the Japanese title. As for Bito the experienced Pinoy is looking to score just his second win since the start of 2012. It's fair to say Funai is the big favourite but we're hoping to see a good performance from Bito who really is indeed of a good one considering his recent form.
The final bout of note will see the 2014 All Japan Rookie of the Year at Featherweight, Yuichiro Kasuya (6-0, 1) fight for the first time this year as he takes on the limited, and fellow light hitting, Takashi Sakamoto (6-4, 1) in what appears to be a good step in the right direction for Kasuya who does look very promising. Aged just 18 we suspect we'll see a lot of Kasuya over the coming years.
Davao del Sur, Philippines
In the Philippines fans will get the chance to see a Sonshine card which features several notable names all in action, including one of the most interesting Filipino prospects.
The top of the card features 4 bouts all scheduled for 10 rounds. Sadly these all appear to be a mismatches including a bout between fringe contender Edrin Dapudong (30-6, 18) and domestic journeyman Richard Garcia (25-21-1, 7). This should be an easy win for “The Sting” who is better than his record indicates, and has sadly suffered a number of very close losses in recent times.
Another mismatch at the top of the card will see the heavy handed Lorenzo Villanueva (28-1-0-1, 24) battle against the tough but limited Rey Laspinas (19-11-5, 11). Villanueva, who did look amazingly exciting early in his career, comes into this bout looking for his 7th straight win since losing a 2012 FOTY contender to Daud Yordan in Singapore. Laspinas has proven his toughness, with just 3 stoppage losses, but all 3 stoppages have come in his last 8 bouts and this is likely to be another stoppage loss.
Former world title challenger Rommel Asenjo (26-4, 20) will be fighting for the first time since his disappointing performance against Juan Francisco Estrada. Asenjo has been matched very easily here as he takes on Allan Doronilla (9-14-1, 3) in what should prove to be little more thean a confidence rebuilding win for the hard hitting “Little Assassin”.
The remaining 10 rounder will see Rolando Magbanua (25-2, 17) take on Jimmy Aducal (8-5-2, 6). Coming in to this bout Aducala has been stopped in back-to-back fights and is 2-4 in his last 6. Magbanua on the other hand has won his last 6 and is in good form whilst also, clearly, the big favourite for this one.
As for the interesting prospect, that's the unbeaten Roskie Cristobal (10-0, 8). The 5'10” fighter, dubbed “The Gentle Giant” will be seeking his 11th straight win when he takes on the tough JR Mendoza (10-18, 4). Mendoza is a potential banana skin for domestic foes but shouldn't cause Cristobal to slip up, the interest here is whether or not Cristobal will be able to give Mendoza his 4th stoppage loss.
New York, USA
In the US fans will get the chance to see rising Kazakh puncher Bakhtiyar Eyubov (5-0, 5) continue his career as he takes on the limited Jason Thompson (5-10-4, 4), who is winless in the last 72 months. The heavy handed Kazakh, 28, has now been a pro for more than 3 years and it seems like it's now time that he was moved up in terns of his match making, sadly however it doesn't seem like his handlers are willing to really back him.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)