Arguably the most intriguing bout of the day comes from Korea and features world ranked Korea Ye Joon Kim (14-1-2, 7) as he looks to defend his minor IBF title against Japanese visitor Yuki Strong Kobayashi (10-5, 5). Kim is regarded as one of the best Korean born prospects but this is a good test against a former OPBF title challenger. If Kim, who is enigmatic to say the least, is at his best he could make this look easy but Kobayashi is an upset minded fighter and showed that last year when he defeated Hikaru Matsuoka, and the year before when he beat Bunta Mitaka.
In a supporting bout we'll see the unbeaten In Duck Seo (6-0, 3) battle against Jae Sun Kim (4-2-2, 2) in a bout scheduled for 8 rounds. The 22 year old Seo will be looking for his second win this year and has, impressively, beaten 4 unbeaten opponents in a row.. Kim hasn't won a bout in his last 3, but is a step up in class for Seo.
There will also be a single show in China.
In the main event we'll see the exciting Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (9-0-1, 4) take on Filipino visitor Stephen Gelawa (6-2-1, 4). The Chinese fighter has impressed in the past, and has won his last 8 bouts including victories over Tackie Annan, to claim the WBC Youth title at 140lbs, and Nelson Tinampay. Gelawa has been stopped in his last 2 bouts, including a defeat to Charles Bellamy, but is a decent test for Baishanbo at this point.
In another main bout we'll see Chinese based Russian Andrey Kalyuzhnyy (12-2, 10) take on Yang Liu (4-3-1) in what looks like a mismatch of a 10 rounder. Although not an evenly matched bout the Russian is rebuilding following a loss earlier this year.
A more perplexing match up will see the once beaten A Fu Bai (7-1, 4) take on novice Yuan Yao (1-0). This will be Bai's first bout since he suffered his sole defeat, a 6 round decision loss to Viktor Kotochigov. Yao only debuted back in July, but did so against an experienced foe and impressed, so he may be be more competitive than the numbers suggest.
Of course much of the day's action, again, comes from Japan where there will be 3 cards, the most notable of which will be the Rookie of the West finals, and feature a total of 12 bouts from Minimumweight to Middleweight
One of the best bouts on the card is at Super Bantamweight where we see unbeaten fighters face off. In one corner will be Ioka gym's Bunta Okamoto (4-0, 2) whilst in the other corner will be Gifu Yokozeki's Ruito Saeki (4-0). With Super Bantamweight being one of the best division's in Japan this is a really significant and could see another youngster pushed towards making a mark on the division next year.
Another intriguing match up comes at Bantamweight where Hibiki Jogo (3-0, 3), another Ioka prospect, takes on fellow puncher Yuto Nakamura (6-2, 5), a 19 year old banger from the Ichino gym. This should be an explosive contest with neither man being known for going the distance.
At Super Flyweight we see another bout between unbeaten men as Kota Fujimoto (5-0, 1) takes on Katsuya Murakami (4-0-1, 1) in what looks likely to be a distance between between two men who are skilled but a bit feather fisted. A technical bout should be likely, but should be a really intriguing one with both fights looking to keep their unbeaten records.
Another show takes place in Aichi.
In the main event of the show we'll see Japanese ranked Light Welterweight Yuya Okazaki (11-9-2, 4) face off with veteran Daiki Koide (22-8-2, 9). Okazaki is without a win in almost 2 years, going 0-2-1 in his last 3, but has mixed with stiff competition in the likes of Keita Obara, Noriaki Sato and Motoki Sasaki. As for Koide he is 3-3 in his last 6 but is 2 years removed from his last win and was last seen being stopped by Korean Woo Min Won, so there are a lot of questions about what he has left in the tank. Interestingly this will be the second bout between these two who fought in July 2014, when Okazaki took a razor thin victory over Koide.
In the chief supporting bout we'll see recent Japanese title challenger Ryosuke Maruki (12-4-1, 7) battle against Elfelos Vega (6-4, 4). This will be Maruki's first bout since July's loss to Yuki Nonaka and give his performance there it's hard to see anything but a win here, with Vega having lost his last 3. Despite Vega being the under-dog he is a live under-dog who is tough and has the power to perhaps hurt Maruki, if he can land clean. Both of these men have a Japanese ranking coming into this bout so the winner could, potentially, get a title fight in 2017.
The card will be a family affair for the Maruki family as Ryosuke's brother Kazuya Maruki (19-4, 12) takes on Dai Taoka (8-3, 5). Kazuya will be looking to bounce back from a shock defeat to Chan Hee Park in May and although he has an impressive looking record he is 2-2 in his last 4 and certainly a beatable fighter. Despite Maruki being beatable Taoka has gone 1-3 in his last 4 and has lost his last 2. This should be competitive and both fighters know they can't afford another loss at the moment.
There will also be a low level card in Tokyo, headlined by an interesting looking, and well matched, 10 rounder. The bout in question will see Ryuto Araya (10-4-1, 3) face off with Yosuke Kawano (10-5-2, 4) in what is a really solid looking domestic Featherweight bout. Coming in to this Araya will be risking a 10 top Japanese ranking but should be good enough to over-come Kawano,
The main Japanese card of the day is in Osaka where Osaka Teiken put on a card that has a number of notable fighters in action.
The main event of the card will see the JBC and OPBF ranked Sho Nakazawa (8-0, 4) faced Japanese based Korean Teiru Atsumi (6-1, 2), who will be fighting in Japan for the second time. The highly touted Nakazawa should be heavily favoured here with his team then likely to move him towards a title fight in the summer. At the moment Nakazawa is one of the most promising Japanese fighters but would be viewed as the under-dog in either an OPBF or JBC title bout. For Atsumi there is little to lose and a lot to gain from a good performance here.
The co-feature here will see unbeaten teenager Juiki Tatsuyoshi (3-0, 2) battle against Kazuki Sanpei (3-3, 1). Tatsuyoshi, the son of the great Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, looked less than stellar last time out but on paper he is stepping down slightly in class here against a man who has been stopped in 2 of his last 3.
A third bout of note on this card, and in all honesty the most well matched, will see Tatsuya Ikemizu (13-1, 9) battle the under-rated Jonas Sultan (9-3, 5), of the Philippines. On paper Ikemizu would be the favourite however this is one of the toughest opponents he has faced and Sultan really is much better than his record suggests,in fact he gave the world ranked Go Onaga all he could handle last year. Ikemizu is the naturally bigger fighter but he's in with a very live opponent with Sultan and this could be a banana skin for the touted Japanese youngster.
A second Japanese show comes from Aichi, where fans only really get one bout of note.
That one bout will see the Japanese ranked Satoshi Ozawa (11-6-1, 2) battle against Kazuki Fukakura (9-9-2, 3) in what looks like a easy match up for Ozawa. Ranked by the JBC at Bantamweight Ozawa will be coming in to this one following back-to-back wins over Yoshihiko Matsuo however prior to those wins he was stopped twice and does have question marks over his toughness. Ozawa should win, but he is beatable.
All the other bouts on this card are 4 rounders.
Gwangmyeong, South Korea
We also get several Korean cards with the most “significant” being the KBA sanctioned show from Gwangmyeong.
The headline bout here sees Korean defector Hyun Mi Choi (11-0-1, 4) defending her WBA female Super Featherweight title against Colombian veteran Diana Ayala (19-11-4, 13). Ayala is in her 10th world title bout, an impressive achievement, however for Choi, who won the WBA female Featherweight on her debut, this will be her 12th. The champion should be favoured, but Ayala has power and could well be the first fighter in a long time to really take the fight to the Pyongyang born Seoul based fighter.
Seoul, South Korea
As well as the KBA card we actually have two KBF shows, both in Seoul.
One of those cards is a Rookie of the Year card, with 6 bouts on it, whilst the other is an genuinely intriguing card with a couple of title bouts and an international under-card bout.
The most notable of the bouts will see Ye Joon Kim (13-1-2, 7) face off against Thailand's Patomsith Pathompothong (15-4, 5) in a bout for an IBF regional title at 126lbs. Kim is viewed by many as the most promising Korean currently plying his trade at home, and the 23 year old is regarded as the face of the KBF. This is however a tricky bout for the young Korean who is facing a man who is limited but tough and could well be a banana skin for the Korean, who will be moving up a weight for this bout.
On the under-card we'll get a KBF Featherweight title bout as defending champion Sa Myung Noh (9-2, 2) defends his belt against Min Suk Choi (3-2-1, 2). This will be Noh's first defense of the title that he won last year and he should be favoured here, though very little is known about Choi, other than the details provided by the KBF.
Also on the under-card is a bout between Je Ni Ma (7-1-3, 6) and the very experienced Indonesian Michael Speed Sigarlaki (16-18-2, 14). Ma, born Evgeny Samarin, is a Korean-Russian who lost his debut but has since gone 10 fights unbeaten and should be favoured against Sigarlaki. The Indonesian has been around the block, and faced the better fighters, but has always come up short against the good fighters he's faced and we're expecting to see that happen again here.
Jeju, South Korea
There is a lot of Asian action this coming Saturday though the most interesting, at least on paper, comes from Jeju, in South Korea where fans get a show with a real international flavour.
The undercard features fighters form Japan, China and Korea however it's really the main event that's worthy of attention as Ye Joon Kim (12-1-2, 6) defends his IBF Asia Super Bantamweight title against former world title challenger Angky Angkotta (32-11-1, 18). The talented Kim is the KBF's “face” of boxing and the KBF really need him to succeed if they are are to grow into a relevant group on the fractured Korean scene.
In Japan we have a low level show with only two bouts that are really worth talking about.
One of those bouts will see the once beaten Ken Osato (6-1-1, 3) battle against the more experienced Yushi Fujita (7-6-4, 1). Osato has fought just once in the last 12 months, but that once bout saw him scoring a draw with former Japanese title challenger Kento Matsushita, and it's fair to say that he comes into this bout trying to build on that result. Fujita has certainly got a scrappy record but has gone 6 fights, unbeaten coming into this bout and will be looking to extend that run.
The other bout sees the experienced Ryota Kajiki (26-9, 17), who is a former Japanese title challenger, take on Shota Okuda (7-2, 2). Both men are on small winning runs coming in to this one but neither should considered close to a title shot, though that really says more about how strong the Super Featherweight division is in Japan right now. Despite being away from title level this could well be a very well matched bout, but one that Kajiki should come out on top in.
New South Wales, Australia
The only 12 round bout on the card sees the upset minded Joebert Delos Reyes (15-5-1, 10) take on the unbeaten George Kambosos Jnr (8-0, 4) in a bout for the interim PABA Lightweight title. Kambosos won the title back in July and this will be his first defense, which on paper looks easy but Delos Reyes has shown that he is a threat and wins over Charlie Sugiura, Andrew Wallace, Valentine Borg and Darragh Foley show that he has no fear of facing an unbeaten opponent.
In another title bout on this show fans will see former OPBF Flyweight title challenger Cris Paulino (14-2, 4) take on 39 year old former world champion Vic Darchinyan (41-8-1, 20). Up for grabs is the WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Bantamweight title however it a really tough ask for Paulino given that he's naturally a much smaller, less experienced fighter. Whilst Paulino is the clear under-dog he may well feel that Darchinyan is there for the taking, and the Aussie based Armenian is less than a month form his 40th birthday.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The most notable of two Filipino show comes from Metro Manila and is courtesy of Johnny Elorde Promotions, who will be showcasing several hopefuls.
The most exciting of the bouts on offer will see the unbeaten Giemel Magramo (14-0, 11) take on the dangerous Jenny Boy Boca (10-2, 10). These fighters are both 21 years old and will both know that a victory here would be a statement win. The two are fighting for the WBC International Flyweight title, and a world ranking, and likely to put on a genuinely enthralling bout that sees both putting it on the line. Given that both men have solid power this may not go the distance, but it will be a lot of fun.
On the under-card will be Juan Miguel Elorde (19-1, 10) up against notable Indonesian Rasmanudin (19-12-4, 10). A few years ago this would have been an intriguing test however recently Rasmanudin has looked like a shot fighter and won just once in his last 10 bouts, whilst being stopped in his last 3. We suspect a 4th successive stoppage loss is on the cards for the “Lost Boy”
Juan Miguel's older brother Juan Martin Elorde (18-1-1, 8) will also be in action as he faces Indonesian visitor Master Suro (3-3-2, 1), who is thought to have an incomplete record. If Suro's record is accurate this bout is a bit of a farce, though even if it's not accurate we can't see Elorde really being tested by the
Another Filipino show comes from Bulacan and features a few notable names, though overall is over-shadowed by the Elorde show.
The main event here is a mismatch as Roberto Gonzalez (25-2, 16) takes on RJ Anoos (8-7-1, 2) in a stay busy fight. The 25 year old Gonalez is riding a 5 fight winning streak coming into this one and it should be extended here against Anoos, who has won just once in his last 6 bouts, though that win was a surprising one against Kuninobu Shimamura in Japan. Anoos is better than is record suggests, but shouldn't get a win here.
Sadly much of this card isn't worth noting however we are excited by Arnel Baconaje (3-0, 3) stepping up to the 8 round distance to take on Robin Dingcong (1-3-2, 1). This shouldn't be much of a test for Baconaje, though hopefully the fact his team are confident enough to put him in an 8 rounder means that he will be tested sooner rather than later.
For a second day running fans in Yunnan get some low level Chinese action. The fighters in action aren't particularly notable however A Fu Bai (6-0, 3) does seem like he has some promise and will b risking his unbeaten record against Cai Zheng Yang (3-1-1, 2). Also on this card is the experienced Xinghua Wang (11-13-1), who faces the limited Jian Hai Fei.
Those two bouts are both scheduled for 6 rounds.
Auckland, New Zealand
In New Zealand fans will get the chance to see Indonesian veteran Aswin Cabuy (16-54-4, 7) in action as he takes on the unbeaten Nikolas Charalampous (9-0, 5). This is likely to be Cabuy's 55th professional loss though he has typically been game and may well “give it a go”.
This coming Monday is a busy day in Asian boxing with a number of notable and important bouts.
The biggest show of the day comes form Osaka where we get numerous bouts of note, each being significant for the fighters involved with neither man, in some cases, being able to afford a loss.
The main event is a 10 round bout which will put highly regarded Japanese prospect Sho Nakazawa (6-0, 4) up against former world title challenger Silvester Lopez (24-10-2, 18). For Nakawazawa this is a massive step up in class and a really significant test against a big puncher who is considered to be on the slide. For Lopez however it's a chance to move towards another major fight, possibly and OPBF title fight, later in the year. Both men have a lot to gain with a win and we suspect we'll learn a lot about both fighters and where they are heading with their careers.
Another notable bout will see the tough Myung Ho Lee (18-4-1, 6) battle against the promising Akiyoshi Kanazawa (12-3-4, 6). On paper it's hard to go against the 32 year old Lee, who is ranked by both the JBC and the OPBF, however at just 23 years old Kanazawa has youth on his side and is genuinely a fighter who has flown under the radar whilst improving markedly. It's a tough ask for the youngster but it's also a huge opportunity.
A high profile 4-rounder will see Juiki Tatsuyoshi (1-0, 1), the son of the great Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, battle against the limited Naoki Okamura (1-3). This should be a straight forward win for the 18 year old Tatsuyoshi, though he'll have a lot of pressure on his shoulders, just for being his father's son, and will know that Okamura will be gunning for him here.
The remaining bout of note, and one with direct implications on the Japanese title scene, will see JBC ranked Light Flyweight Kenichi Horikawa (28-13-1, 5) battle Il Che (7-8-5, 1). On paper this is a mismatch and Horikawa knows that. He also knows that if he loses here he will lose a shot at the vacant Japanese Light Flyweight title against Shin Ono. Che doesn't have the opportunity up for grabs if he wins but he will be given a notable ranking if he can upset his experienced foe.
As well as the 4 bouts mentioned, this card will feature a further 5 bouts,
The “secondary” card in Japan comes from Fukuoka where fans get an 8 bout card. Although there's 8 bouts in total most of them come at a low level with only 2 really standing out for us.
The most notable of those is the main event of the show, which will see Yoshihiko Matsuo (18-5-6, 3) battle against Satoshi Ozawa (9-6-1, 2). On paper this should be an easy win for Matsuo, especially considering the fact Ozawa has been stopped in 3 of his last 5. Matsuo however will be risking his #9 JBC ranking and that may draw the best from Ozawa who knows that a win will kick start his fledgling career.
The other bout of note will see Koki Ono (7-3, 4) battle Aiki Koto (8-2-1, 4) in a really mouth watering match up between fighters looking to to bounce back from losses. Ono's loss actually came last November, via majority decision, to Koto and he'll be looking for revenger here. As for Koto his loss was a stoppage in March, and he'll be looking to return with a win. Very good match up.
Ulsan, South Korea
There isn't much action today but what there is is a really interesting bout from Ulsan on South Korea for the IBF Youth Super Bantamweight title. The bout will see Ye Joon Kim (10-1, 4), one of the very few Korean fighters worth making a note of, take on Japan's Yoshihiro Utsumi (12-6, 7) in a well matched test.
On paper it's perhaps viewed as a straight forward win for Kim, though he was pushed all the way last time out by Vergil Puton in what was a surprisingly tough bout. Utsumi did lose last time out, though was up against Yasutaka Ishimoto, and did run Ishimoto very close.
Another bout on this card will see Sa-Myung Noh (7-2, 1) battle Filipino fighter Jaymart Toyco (15-7, 11) in the co-feature bout.
Sadly with this being a KBF show the rest of the details from the card are scarce to find and are unlikely to ever be put on boxrec.com.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Although South Korean boxing has been quiet it does seem like something exciting is bubbling up under the surface. We're not 100% sure what but something is certainly happening at the moment.
What we do know is that Ye Joon Kim (10-1-2, 5)* is one of the more exciting Korean fighters and this week we see him kick off 2014 as he battles Filipino visitor Virgil Puton (14-5, 7) in a contest for the currently vacant IBF Asia Super Bantamweight title. We're big fans of the unique Kim who looks to be one of the most interesting fighters left plying his trade in Korea and he'll know he needs a win here if he's to remain the face of the Korean Boxing Federation.
In a second international bout on this cards fans will get the chance to see Sa Ya Lee** (6-2, 3) fight in an 8 rounder against Jonel Alibio (18-18-5, 10). in what appears to be a stay busy contest for the under-rated Lee, himself the KBF Lightweight champion.
The most notable of two Japanese shows comes from Aichi where fans will get a Youth world title fight as well as a competitive, but low tier, under-card.
The main event on the show will see WBC Youth Light Middleweight champion Petchsuriya Singwancha (13-9, 7) return to Japan for his 6th bout in the country and his second against Ryosuke Maruki (8-3-1, 6). These two met last July with Petchsuriya defending his title with a majority decision. Since their first bout the champion has fought 3 times, including a painful stoppage loss to the monstrously hard hitting Koki Tyson Maebara. Maruki on the other hand has fought just once since their first bout, stopping Anwar Solihin in 3 rounds, though will feel confident of claiming the title at the second chance of asking.
The most notable under-card bout here is an 8 rounder between Kazuki Fukakura (7-8-2, 3) and Ginzo Hanaki (6-11-1, 4). It's not a high level match up but it's certainly a solid bout between two guys who will really go for a win in the hopes of changing their fortunes.
In terms of 6 rounders fans will get the chance to see a couple of 2014 West Japan Rookie of the Year runner ups in action. One of those will be Super Bantamweight Takashi Igarashi (5-1, 1), who battles the presumably over-matched Reiko Sugiyama (4-4-3, 2), whilst the other is Minimumweight Jun Takigawa (5-1, 3), who takes on the light hitting Tatsuya Sakamoto (4-6, 1). Both of these should be straight forward wins for the prospects but it's also a bit of a mystery as to how fighters do after their first loss.
Sadly one bout that was scheduled for this card that has been cancelled now was set to feature the unbeaten Shogo Yamaguchi (6-0-1, 3) battle against Yuji Iwata (6-5-2, 2). That looked to be the best of the under-card bouts on paper prior to it's cancellation.
The other Japanese card comes from Hyogo and sadly looks less than exciting.
The main event will see Ryuji Miyazaki (13-7-3, 4) battle against Riichi Kawase (6-6-2, 1) in a less than thrilling looking contest. On paper Miyazaki should win against his light hitting foe with out too many problems.
In the co-feature we have an equally forgettable match up as non-punchers collide with Yushi Fujita (6-6-4, 1) battling against Kohei Maruoka (7-8-1, 1). In some ways this is a much better match up than the main event, given the two guys have similar records, though it's still nothing to write home about.
(Image courtesy of http://www.koreaboxing.or.kr)
*Boxrec don't count Kim's win over Susu Sithjadaeng from last year
**Boxrec don't count Lee's win over Sung Ta Kim from last year