With so much title action to end the year there is a lot of attention on the December 30th and 31th cards. Before then there is also a small but notable card on December 29th with a Japanese title bout headling the card.
In the main event we'll see Japanese Light Middleweight champion Yuki Nonaka (30-8-3, 9) face off with veteran Yosuke Kirima (26-3-2, 16), in what will be Nonaka's 6th defense of the title. The talented champion was relatively fortunate last time out, when he struggled past Ryosuke Maruki. For Kirima this will be a third shot at the title and a win could see him move into the world rankings.
In the chief support bout we see Japanese based Colombian Pablo Carrillo (19-4-1, 11) battle against Thai KO artist Jakaphan Tor Buamas (5-1, 5). The Thai has racked up 5 quick wins in his homeland but lost last time out, in Japan, to Masayoshi Hashizume back in July and we would suspect Carrillo will also be too good and too strong for the visitor.
Another bout that sees a Japanese fighter take on a Thai will see the unbeaten Hayate Ikuta (6-0, 2) face off with the win-less Jakarachlek Sor Wankaew (0-6). It's hard to see anything but a win for Ikuta, especially given that the the Thai has been stopped in 3 of his last 4 and is 0-4 in Japan, but this could give us a chance to compare Ikuta to some of his fellow Japanese hopefuls.
It's fair to say this Sunday doesn't look the best day for fight fans, saying that however there are two shows in Japan
One of those comes from Fukuoka where we will see pair of notable Japanese fighters in action, as they both look to build towards title fights.
In the main event fight fans will see former Japanese title challenger Takumi Sakae (13-1, 8) battle against Filipino foe Lito Dante (11-6-3, 6). For Sakae this will be his first bout since being out pointed by Tatsuya Fukuhara in March, in what was a competitive but clear win for the defending champion. This bout will be a great chance to see how Sakae bounced back from that defeat, but Dante shouldn't be over looked and he is incredibly tough and very under-rated. This should be a real test for Sakae.
Also on this card is former multi-time Japanese title challenger Yosuke Kirima (22-6-2, 15), who faces a Thai foe in a 6 rounder. For Kirima it may well be last chance saloon and another loss is likely to end his dreams of ever becoming a champion, especially given he has lost 2 of his last 3, however the 31 year old will perhaps know that stringing together a few wins now could, potentially, land him a title fight in the next 12-18 months.
The other card is a low quality show from Aichi.
In the main event of this card the heavy handed Takuya Mizuno (8-1-1, 8) will be up against the hard matched Shota Okuda (7-3, 2). Whilst Mizuno has got the undeniable edge in power, given his 80% KO rate, it should be noted that Okuda has shared the ring with Ryota Kajiki and Shinji Takayama, both of whom are better than anyone Mizuno has faced. This should be a really goof test for both but Mizuno should take the win, if he's as good as some suspect.
In the co-feature Daiki Ichikawa (6-2, 4) will be facing off against Petchmahalert Eminent Air (0-2), with both men trying to bounce back from successive losses. Ichikawa started his career 6-0 and looked promising but losses in his last two bouts have killed his momentum and it's clear this easy match up has been made to get him back on the winning road.
It's been busy in Asia recently and that's the case again on April 22nd when we get cards across Asia, and we get fighters on the road.
In Japan fans get two shows, with the most notable being held at the Korakuen Hall, and although it lacks a “big fight” it does look like a very intriguing card with three bouts of note.
The main event of the card sees the promising Takeshi Inoue (5-0-1, 2) battle against Elfelos Vega (6-2, 4) in a contest that could well decide the next Japanese title challenger at 154lbs. Of the two men Inoue is the one who has impressed more, though this will be his toughest test to date and comes against a man who does have the power to be a real threat to Inoue's unbeaten record.
Interestingly Vega's last loss came to a man on the under-card of this show, Kazuto Takesako (2-0, 2). The very promising Takesako will be up against a Thai foe who isn't expected to pose any threat to the unbeaten novice, though hopefully we will see Takesako let off the leash later in the year as he has the potential to go very far in the sport, though did look somewhat wild against Vega.
The third bout of note from this card will see Kazuaki Moriya (13-7, 2) battle against Ryuto Oho (8-2-1, 2), in what is essentially the co-feature bout. The records may not be great, and given the power of both men we do suspect this will go the scheduled 8 rounds, but we'd be amazed if it wasn't an action packed and exciting Flyweight encounter.
The other Japanese show comes from Osaka and sadly is lacking in terms of bouts, with the only notable contest being a bout between Tetsuya Hisada (24-9-2, 14) and poor Indonesian import Ardi Tefa (6-6-1, 4), who is unlikely to pose any threat to the JBC ranked Light Flyweight contender. This should be an easy contest for Hisada before a potential Japanese title fight later in the year.
Tefa isn't to be the only Indonesian in action this weekend and in fact Indonesian fans get a show all of their own, and in fact they get two title fights.
On paper the more significant of those two title fights comes in an international bout as former world title challenger Roy Mukhlis (28-5-3, 21), who once faced Takashi Uchiyama for the WBA Super Featherweight title, faces former OPBF Super Featherweight champion Allan Tanada (13-4-3, 5) for the lightly regarded World Boxing Foundation Asia Pacific Lightweight title. Coming in to this one Mukhlis has gone 2-2-1, in his last 5, including a 1-1-1 series with Hero Tito. Interestingly Tanada is also 2-2-1 in his last 5, though has lost his last 2 bouts.
The other title bout will see veteran Rasmanudin (19-14-3, 10) battle against Hanif Yogya (3-2-1, 2) for the IBC Super Bantamweight title. If we're being honest Rasmanudin has looked horrible show in recent fights, and has gone 3-11-1 in his last 15. On paper Yogya shouldn't pose much of a threat however he has won his last 3 and may simply have more left than his rival.
Metro Manila, Philippines
We get yet more title action in the Philippines with a bout between Warren Mambuanag (9-5-2, 3) and the hard hitting Arnel Baconaje (5-0, 5), who will be trading blows for the Interim GAB Super Featherweight title. The winner of this will be set to face veteran Edgar Gabejan for the full title later in the year, though Gabejan hasn't actually defended the belt in over a year.
Sadly aside from the main event there is little to really note about this show, though there is an interesting 6 rounder between Carlo Caesar Penalosa (3-0, 1) and fellow novice Alvin Defeo (1-0).
Another card in the Philippines, which is actually worse than the one above, is set to take place in Tarlac.
On paper the most notable bout is a 6 round mismatch as former OPBF champion Romeo Jakosalem (16-12-1, 8) faces the horribly over-matched Edsil Jungco (1-9-5). Jakosalem has lost his last 3, and 8 of his last 12, but should be far too good for Jungco here in what we suspect will be an easy win for “Jako”.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
Fans get two really interesting bouts in South Africa as Japanese fighters get their passports out to face a pair of locals.
The most notable of the bouts on offer sees Japan's very promising Tsuyoshi Tameda (13-1-2, 11) take on former world champion Simpiwe Vetyeka (28-3,17). Although relatively unknown outside of Asia Tameda is a genuinely promising fighter who has notable stoppage wins over Takenori Ohashi and Mark Bernaldez, with the Bernaldez win being his best to date. As for Vetyeka he's a man known to Japanese fans for his bout with Hozumi Hasegawa, almost 9 years ago, whilst international fan will recognise his win over Chris John and his loss to Nonito Donaire. On paper it's easy to favour Vetyeka, a former WBA champion, however he is now 35 and has fought just 4 rounds in the last 16 months.
The other bout sees former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Yohei Tobe (9-2-1, 5) face off against Luzuko Siyo (15-3, 12) in a bout for the WBA Inter-Continental Super Flyweight title. Again the local is the favourite but Tobe is better than his record indicates and does seem to be the naturally bigger man here, with Siyo having fought as low as Minimumweight. This could be a really good bout, even if it does end up being over-shadowed by the other contest on the card.
Staying with Japanese fighters on the road, fans in Australia will be able to see Japanese veteran Yosuke Kirima (22-5-2, 15) take on Australia's very own Michael Zerafa (18-2, 10) for the IBF Pan Pacific Middleweight crown. Although experienced Kirima has been known as a fighter who loses in his most notable contests, losing in two Japanese title fights, and hasn't yet managed to score a “big win”, even domestically. As for Zerafa he too has lost his biggest bouts, though one of those was a bout with former world champion Peter Quuillin, whilst the other was against fast rising Russian Arif Magomedov, both of whom are much better than Kirima if we're being honest.
In Russia we get a low profile match up as Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (1-0, 1), originally from Tajikistan, faces Kazakh Amir Saltayev (1-0) in a bout between unbeaten novices.
This coming Sunday is certainly not a day to remember for Asian fans, despite shows across the continent.
On paper the best show, by far, is in Thailand where we see a Japan Vs Thailand card that features a number of notable names.
The main event will see Japan's Cobra Suwa (16-11-2, 8) travel to face Khompetch Sithsaithong (5-6, 5) in a bout for the PABA Light Middleweight title. On paper neither fighter looks like much, however Suwa is a talented fighter who has fought for the OPBF and JBC titles, however claiming the PABA title would be his biggest achievement to date, and see him claiming a second professional title.
Another notable name on this card is the very tough Takuya Watanabe (26-6-1, 12), who fights for the first time since losing a Japanese Featherweight title fight against Satoshi Hosono. The under-rated Watanabe will be expected to pick up a win here as he takes on Singnuor Lookchaomaesaithong (0-0) in an 8 round bout.
Another 8 rounder will see former Japanese title challenger Yosuke Kirima (21-5-2, 14) take on Thailand's Tiendaen Chaiyonggym (0-0), in what should be an easy for Kirima who was beaten last time out by Yuto Shimizu.
A final bout of note is a female title bout that will see Satomi Nishimura (8-2, 1) battle against Namphaya Sakpracha (5-2, 4) for the PABA female Light Flyweight title.
The second most notable of the shows comes from Japan's second city and is a low level show with just a single bout of note.
That bout is the main event and sees the promising Takuya Uehara (7-0, 4) putting his unbeaten record on the line against the more experienced Hiroki Yoshimura (7-12, 4). On paper this looks like a huge mismatch, the unbeaten hopeful against the experienced loser. In all honesty however it's Uehara who stepping up, in a big way, to take on a fighter who has mixed with fighters like Shota Hayashi and Kento Masushita. It is worth noting that Yoshimura has lost his last 7, but he is still a big step up from the novices that Uehara has been beating so far.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines fans get the chance to see a number of bouts, though only one, again, seems notable. That is the main event, a 12 round bout between Eranio Semillano (10-7-1, 3) and the highly experienced Edison Berwela (13-32-8, 3). The bout isn't great on paper, but the winner will get a shot at the lightly regarded EPBC Bantamweight title, with this being an eliminator for that bout.
In China fans get a third successive day of action in Yunnan, though as with the previous two days the action certainly isn't particularly notable.