There isn't much action this coming Friday but there's enough to be a little bit excited about as we see boxing go to Hirataka city in Osaka.
The main event of the show will see former OPBF Bantamweight champion Yu Kawaguchi (26-8, 13) taking on Hideo Sakamoto (17-4-3, 5) in what looks like an excellent must win contest for both. Kawaguchi hasn't got a win of note since April 2015, when he won the OPBF title, but has since gone 3-2 losing the title to Takahiro Yamamoto in his first defense and losing a Japanese title fight last year. Sakamoto on the other hand has gone 1-3-1 in his last 5, after having had an 8 fight winning run with victories over Hiroki Shiino and Ryoichi Tamura. This could be a very good bout, or a sign that one, or both, men are faded forces.
In a supporting bout we'll see the heavy handed Ryota Yada (13-4, 11) take on a Thai foe as he looks to shake some rust before an October bout against Moon Hyun Yun (18-4-3, 3), in a Japanese title challenger decision bout.
A good looking support bout will see Genki Maeda (5-2, 2) take on Shogo Yamaguchi (10-3-1, 5). Whilst neither man has a big name or an impressive record they are actually well matched and have styles that should provide good action at this level, and this could be the bout of the night.
One other bout of note will see female prospect Fuka Komura (4-0, 2) look to continue her rise towards a Japanese female title fight, as she takes on Sarasa Ichimura (3-5-1). This will be Komura's third bout of the year though more notable is the fact it will be her first 6 rounder and could see her being forced to prove her stamina.
The action in Japan this week really picks up, and we have a third title fight in the space of just a few days, on a reason card that really does look like it's going to be fun.
The aforementioned title bout will see Japanese Bantamweight champion Kentaro Masuda (24-7, 13) face off against old adversary Yu Kawaguchi (27-5, 12), in what will be a second bout between the two men. In their first bout, back in 2014, Masuda won a 10 round technical decision over Kawaguchi to claim the Japanese Bantamweight title for the first time. Since that win Masuda has been in some wars with his contest against Tatsuya Takahashi being a pulsating 10 round battle and his bout with Shohei Omori being a beat down for Masuda. Kawaguchi has also been in wars recently, with two action bouts against Takahiro Yamamoto almost certainly taking their toll on him. Despite the damage the two men have had recently, this should still be a genuine exciting war between two men with history and a point to prove.
In the chief support bout former OPBF title challenger Dai Iwai (17-4-1, 6) will face Chikashi Hayashizaki (7-5-1, 3) in what looks like a mismatch on paper, but will be Iwai's first bout since he was stopped by Masayuki Ito back in August 2015. The long lay off, and other issues, do sort of excuse Iwai for having an easy one here.
A really good under-card bout will see the unbeaten Daishi Nagata (6-0-1, 3) battle against Kazuki Matsuyama (13-6, 7) in what should be a fantastic test for the unbeaten 26 year old. Nagata has been matched hard through his career but will know that a win here would seriously push him to a Japanese title fight later in the year. For Matsuyama the bout will be a chance to get a second successive victory following a loss last year to Shuhei Tsuchiya.
The most notable from 4 Japanese cards takes place in Osaka where Green Tsuda put on a notable show with several “name” fighters.
The most notable of those fighters is former world champion Denkaosan Kaovichit (63-6-1, 26) who returns to a Japanese ring, for the first time since his stoppage loss to Ryo Matsumoto, to face Kazuki Tanaka (4-0, 3). This should be another step forward for the 23 year old who will be looking to get himself a title fight before the year is over.
The Kaovichit Vs Tanaka bout is one of 4 notable Japan Vs Thailand bouts. Another, at the top of the card, will see Takayuki Okumoto (16-6-2, 6) battle world ranked Thai Eaktawan Mor Krungthepthonburi (17-3, 12). Eaktawan is 0-3 outside of Thailand, having lost to Albert Pagara, Sho Ishida and Froilan Saludar, but has looked like a promising fighter in recent times, winning his last 10 bouts. Okumoto has won his last, following a loss in 2013 to Rusalee Samor, and will see this as an opportunity to climb into the fringes of the world rankings. A really good match up on paper and hopefully one that will deliver in the ring.
Another bout will see former OPBF Bantamweight champion Yu Kawaguchi (24-7, 11) battle a Thai, though we haven't been given the name of the Thai, just that he's a Mor Krungthepthonburi fighter. Likewise Masataka Taniguchi (0-0), will be making his debut in a 6 rounder against a Thai foe.
Another card in Japan comes from Chiba with this one featuring several bouts of note.
One of those bouts sees the once touted Kenta Onjo (5-2, 3) fight for his career as he battle Akihiko Katagiri (17-8-2, 8). Early in his career Onjo looked like one to watch but having lost 2 of his last 3, by stoppage, this is a real must win for him. Katagiri is a win-some-lose-some but has been in good form, with a 5-1-1 (4) record in his last 7 and will be expected to continue that run here.
Another of the notable bouts will see the Japanese ranked Yuta Saito (9-7-2, 7) battle against Corrales Kawashimo (7-6-1, 2). Saito's record isn't great but he's a dangerous fighter and is better than his record suggests. Incidentally Kawashimo was stopped last time out by Katagiri, who was in the previously mentioned bout.
A third bout of note, and in fact the main event of the card, will see Atsuki Hayashi (6-2-1, 2) battle against Naoya Nishimura (4-8-1, 3). Local man Hayashi will be fighting for the first time since he lost a competitive bout with Naoto Uebayashi back in May 2013 and there seems to be some genuine hope that his return will be a successful one.
There's low profile show in Fukuoka. The main event on the card will see Yoshihiko Matsuo (18-7-6, 3) battle against the limited Yuta Sasaki (7-7-1, 1). This Super Bantamweight bout, scheduled for 8 rounds, is unlikely to move the winner to a title fight but it could kick start their career after both men have faltered recently. Coming in to this one Sasaki is 1-4-1 in his last 6 whilst Matsuo is 1-2-1 in his last 4.
In a supporting bout Areji Kato (7-1, 2) will be facing a Thai opponent in a 6 rounder.
Another low profile show is set to take place in Okayama. The main event here will see the JBC ranked Light Flyweight Seigo Yuri Akui (6-0-1, 2) take on Hideaki Yamaji (5-10, 2). This looks like a mismatch though Akui, the 2015 Rookie of the Year at Light Flyweight, will be facing his most experienced man so far.
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.
This coming Sunday is a busy day for Japanese fight fans who have 3 separate cards, all with something of note on them. As well as the Japanese action we also see a veteran for the Philippines fighting in the US.
The most significant bout of the day will see Yu Kawaguchi (23-6, 10) defending the OPBF Bantamweight title against the heavy handed Takahiro Yamamoto (15-4, 12). These two men met earlier this year, with Kawaguchi winning a split decision against Yamamoto it one of the closest bouts of the year so far. For Yamamoto this is a chance at redemption whilst Kawaguchi is looking to prove he is better than his foe.
On the same card we'll see the very promising Kazuki Tanaka (2-0, 2) battle against win-less Thai visitor Kamraiyok Orwandavee (0-2). This is a clear mismatch but it could be one that tells us something about Tanaka, given that it took Takahiro Yamamoto 3 rounds to stop Kamraiyok last December, a 1uicker win really could back up the idea that Tanaka is a potential champion.
One other bout of note will see Japanese ranked fighter Takayuki Okumoto (14-6-2, 6) risk his ranking against the limited Yasuhiro Sakurai (7-19). This shouldn't be a tough ask for the 23 year old Okumoto but he'll know that another loss at this stage of his career really will but a hit on his hopes to climb through the ranks
Notable this show will also feature an exhibition between Nobuhiro Ishida and Crazy Kim. This exhibition will be part of Ishida's retirement ceremony. The two men fought twice as pros and have become really good friends since those bouts with Ishida having trained with Kim prior to Ishida's retirement earlier this year.
A second show in Osaka looks to be almost as interesting with several notable names in action.
Arguably the most significantly bout on the card features world ranked Light Middleweight Takayuki Hosokawa (26-10-4, 9) who puts his IBF ranking on the line against South Korean fighter Jung Hoon Yang (9-6, 2), who 1-4 on the road. Hang was last seen in Japan in 2014 being stopped in 4 rounds by Yoshihiro Kamegai and it would be little shock to see him suffer a very clear loss to Hosokawa, who is expected to move towards a rematch with Yuki Nonaka either at the end of 2015 or very early in 2016.
Another notable bout will see Japanese Middleweight hopeful Koki Tyson Maebara (8-1-1, 8) battle against Thailand's Kungsuk Sor Sompong (0-1). The bout is a mismatch but the general view is that this could be Maebara's last fight before he gets a title fight of some kind. The talented puncher is thought to be eyeing up the winner of the up coming bout between Akio Shibata and Yasuyuki Akiyama.
Another bout where the favourite is looking towards a future bout will be a contest between Jonathan Baat (29-6-3, 14) and Dado Cabin Toy (15-4-2, 8). It was announced last week that Baat has been lined up as the next opponent for the touted Hikaru Marugame however he'll need a win here or that bout will likely be off. This however shouldn't be a tough ask for the Japanese based Filipino veteran.
A third Japanese show is from Aichi and it's easily the “weakest” with only the main event really capturing our attention.
That headline bout will see Kazuya Maruki (18-3, 12) take on Indonesian visitor Heri Andriyanto (21-18-2, 10) in what looks to be a straight forward win for Maruki. The Indonesian veteran is 0-3 in Japan and 0-10 on his travels and it's unlikely that run will change here against a fighter who is well ranked by the JBC.
Although much of this card is set to be fought at a low level we must admit we have some interest in teenage hopeful Kevin Mendoza (1-0) who will be facing Naoki Masukawa (3-2). Mendoza is an 18 year old Japanese based Peruvian who debuted back in May and this could well be a great test for the southpaw.
We also get some a action in the US as Filipino veteran Dennis Laurente (49-5, 30) takes on the heavy handed John Jackson (19-2, 15) as part of a 4 man WBC Light Middleweight tournament. Laurente is seen as a huge outsider coming into this bout but will know that this is a huge opportunity. Laurente enters as the OPBF champion at 154lbs though his title won't be on the line.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Although the month has started in exciting fashion with the shows the past few days, things really move up another gear on Sunday with a lot of interesting match ups, a number of notable names and a lot of action.
The best of the action comes from Osaka, in fact 2 of the 3 Japanese shows come from the Bodymaker Colosseum in Osaka, whilst another is from the Sumiyoshi Ward Center in Osaka.
One of those two cards is promoted by Shinsei is seen as a bit of stepping stone card in many ways.
The main event on this card will see OPBF Lightweight champion Masayoshi Nakatani (9-0, 5) defending title against the horribly over-matched Accel Sumiyoshi (4-3-1, 1) in what appears to be a horrible mismatch. We like Nakatani, a lot, but can't really see the point in this bout for the champion who has already defended the title against better opponents than Sumiyoshi. For the challenger it's an opportunity to claim a title, but it's one we can't see him winning.
Also on this card will be two world class female fighters in the form Shindo Go (14-3, 9) and Etsuko Tada (13-2-2, 3). These two will both be fighting over-matched Thai foes in what look stay busy bouts before they try to get themselves back to world level fights.
The other Body maker Colosseum card is promoted by Green Tsuda and will also feature an OPBF title fight figh, as well as several other interesting bouts.
The main event here will see the heavy handed Takahiro Yamamoto (15-3, 12) trading blows with Yu Kawaguchi (22-6, 10) in an OPBF Bantamweight title bout. On paper this looks really interesting and whilst we don't view either as being genuine “OPBF champion quality” they should make for a sensational fight and the winner will certainly be involved in at least one other big bout, especially when you consider how exciting the division is in Asia.
Talking about how exciting the Bantamweight division is we need to note that a very special Bantamweight prospect will be on this card. That will be Kazuki Tanaka (1-0, 1) who battles the much more experienced Kaname Tabei (10-8-2, 7) in a 6 round bout. Tanaka is said to be one of the best prospects in Japan and although he's not one that many are raving about we have been told that this kid is a very special fighter.
As well as the Bantamweight action this card will also feature two domestically ranked fighters. One of those is Satoshi Niwa (16-18-3, 2) who looks to remain relevant as he battles Ryo Kosaka (8-3-1, 4) in a really interesting match up. Despite his record Niwa is a very capable fighter who has upset a number of good fighters in his career, as for Kosaka he'll know that a win here will get him a ranking.
The other ranked fighter is Super Flyweight Takayuki Okumoto (13-6-2, 6) who battle Yuta Saito (7-5-2, 6) in what looks to be a relatively safe match up, though Saito can punch.
The remaining Japanese card in Osaka is another really interesting one, though it doesn't feature any title action.
The main event here sees Middleweight hopeful Koki Tyson Maebara (7-1-1, 7) battle former Japanese Middleweight champion Sanosuke Sasaki (11-3, 5) in a big step up bout for the emerging Maebara. The once beaten youngster has looked like an imposing figure in the ring and should manage to beat Sasaki, though Sasaki has only been stopped once in his career, and that took monster puncher Tomohiro Ebisu 6 rounds to do.
In the chief support bout fans will see heavy handed Lightweight contender Masao Nakamura (18-3, 18) battle against Thailand's Patomsak Sithsaithong (2-0) in what looks to be a “light touch” fight for Nakamura. The Japanese fighter has been beaten in his last 2 bouts and needs a win so we won't complain too much about this “gimme”, though if he does get upset that's probably going to be the end for the former OPBF Super Featherweight champion.
A third notable bout will see Cyborg Nawatedani (8-2-2, 3) take on Hiroki Taniguchi (6-5-1, 2) with Nawatedani risking his Japanese Flyweight ranking. This should be an easy win for the ranked fighter, who has won his last 5, but we don't really know how good he's going to end up being.
One more fight worth noting comes at Bantamweight where Hikaru Matsuoka (8-1-3, 1) risks his OPBF ranking against Yuki Strong Kobayashi (8-4, 4). If Matsuoka gets through this with out any problems the plan is to have him headline a show in June, though if he's over looking Kobayashi it may end up biting him here.
Another notable part of this show is that the promoters will begin a ring card girl competition at the event.
The sole Japanese card from outside of Osaka is a small one in Fukuoka that really only has one bout of note on it.
That bout is a rematch between Japanese and OPBF ranked Bantamweight Yoshihiko Matsuo (17-5-6, 3) and Tatsuya Miyamoto (11-12-1, 7) who fought to a draw last July. Their first bout was a very competitive 6 rounder that seemed to show that Matsuo's record was padded. This time around the two men will be trading blows over the 8 round distance and we're expecting those two additional rounds will help us find a winner.
Davao del Norte, Philippines
It's not just in Japan where fans will get action as Filipino fans also get a small but notable card.
The main event here see the unbeaten Jayar Inson (7-0, 4) in a decent looking match up against Elmer Legaria (13-8, 4). We won't say this is a sensational bout but it is a step up in class for the unbeaten “Hitman”. Unfortunate Legaria has becoming a bit of a body donor recent bouts and has lost his last 6 contests, including 5 successive stoppage losses. We could see Inson having questions asked of him or we could see Legaria looking like a horribly shot fighter.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This Sunday isn't the biggest day but it's one of the most active between now and the end of the year with 4 Japanese cards all on the same day. Unfortunately however those bouts aren't particularly big with very little really standing out.
For us the most interesting for the 4 Japanese shows is the Green Tsuda promoted card from the IMP Hall in Osaka. The card isn't one that will have fans weak at the knees but there is a number of things that genuinely interest us about the show.
The main event will feature the highly ranked Yu Kawaguchi (21-6, 9), a man looking for his second win following a technical decision loss to Kentaro Masuda in April for the Japanese Bantamweight title. Kawaguchi should manage to get the win relatively easily as he battles against Yuta Sasaki (6-5, 1) though it seems the idea here is for the talented Kawaguchi to rebuild his confidence ahead of another title fight sometime next year.
The chief support contest looks like another relative mismatch as the Japanese ranked Takayuki Okumoto (12-6, 5) battles against Yusaku Suzuki (8-12-2, 5). The 23 year old Okumoto was stopped just a few fights ago by Rusalee Samor and will, like Kawaguchi, be trying to rebuild his confidence however Suzuki isn't as limited as his record indicates and we suspect he will give Okumoto a genuinely good fight, even if he does come up short.
The thing that excites us about this card however the young debutant Kazuki Tanaka (0-0) who we have been told is another of Japan's insanely talented youngsters set to make a real mark on the sport. Unlike many of these touted youngsters from Japan Tanaka is a slightly bigger guy and will be fighting at Super Bantamweight, a division that could see him in notable bouts in Europe, Mexico or the US. If what we hear about this kid is true then he could well be on the fast track to the top. Sadly we're unsure who Tanaka will be fighting though we have been informed that it will be a Thai visitor.
As well as the 3 bouts mentioned this card will feature a further 6 contests.
Prior to the Green Tsuda card there will actually be another show in the IMP Hall with Taiho promotions putting this one on.
The main event on this card is much better than the main event on the other IMP Hall card as the OPBF and Japanese ranked Ryota Kajiki (23-9, 15) takes on the heavy handed Kota Fukuoka (15-5-2, 12). Coming in to this bout Fukuoka has lost his last 2 bouts but does tend to hurt opponents when he connects on them and Kajiki certainly isn't the most elusive fighter out there. Whilst Fukuoka isn't in great form neither is Kajiki who has gone 3-3 in his last 6, including a stoppage loss to Daiki Kaneko in a Japanese title fight just over 2 years ago. This is a really good domestic level bout.
In the chief support bout Ippo Nishiwaki (6-3-1, 4) will be battling against Yasuyuki Otagaki (5-2-3, 1) in an interesting 8 rounder between two men just looking to move their career one. The chief bout however is over-shadowed by the next bout down the card which will see the promising and unbeaten Takuma Hayashi (4-0, 3) battle against Akira Takasuka (4-6). The 18 year hold Hayashi is stepping up to the 6 round distance for the first time and questions are expected to be asked for him, hopefully he'll be able to answer those questions and continue to build on his promising career.
As well as the 3 bouts mentioned this card will feature a further 5 bouts.
A third Japanese card will be headlined by a pair of Japan Vs Philippines bouts.
The main event will see Accel Sumiyoshi (4-3, 1) continue to take on tough opponent as he battled the OPBF ranked Filipino visitor Leonardo Doronio (14-9-2, 9). Sumiyoshi is much better than his record indicates though has been matched insanely hard since his debut in May 2012 and we do wonder why his team doesn't let him have a “gimme”. This is possibly the second easiest bout of his career so far and that's because he has been thrown to the wolves unfortunately. The reward for a win by Sumiyoshi would likely be an OPBF ranking though Doronio has won 4 of his last 5 and is no push over.
The co-feature will see Burning Ishii (5-2-1, 2), incidentally a victim of Leonardo Donorio, battle against Filipino veteran Edgar Gabejan (26-30-6, 8). Gabejan has a horrible record on paper though he's actually a brilliant test with many of his losses being close decisions or defeats at the hands of very good fighters like Adones Aguelo and Michael Farenas. This could be a bout where Ishii is trying to bite off more than he can chew unfortunately.
As well as the two bouts mentioned this show is set to feature a further 6 bouts to give the fans plenty of action.
The longest card is a 10 fight show from Aichi. Sadly despite being the longest it's also the one with the fewest bouts of interest.
The most notable bout will see the heavy handed Daisuke Hayakawa (8-2, 7) facing off against Filipino visitor Roque Lauro (11-16-4, 2) in what looks to be a good test for Hayakawa, especially give the fact Lauro is generally a tough fighter capable of going rounds with guys like Hayakawa.
The co-feature will see Japanese ranked Super Flyweight Yuji Shimizu (16-8-1, 1) fighting against the limited and light hitting Tatsuya Kaneko (7-10-1, 1) in a bout expected to go the scheduled 8 rounds. Another Japanese ranked fighter on this card is Middleweight Marcos Sogabe (5-9-1, 4) who will be up against the limited, light hitting and very stoppable Tetsuya Muraki (8-11, 1) in what looks to be a very weak bout given it's status on the card.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Whilst fans in the west will be talking about the action from the rematch between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana there will actually be some pretty interesting and notable bouts taking place out East with two Japanese shows.
The most interesting of the two Japanese cards is at the Bodymaker Colosseum and features a trio of Japanese fighters all looking to put a recent loss behind them and move towards bouts of redemption.
The most well known of those 3 fighters is Light Middleweight-come-Heavyweight Nobuhiro Ishida (25-10-2, 10) who continues his Heavyweight campaign with a bout against Frenchman David Radeff (5-7-2, 2). For Ishida this will be his first bout since his controversial loss to Japanese Heavyweight champion Kyotaro Fujimoto earlier this year. When Ishida first announced plans of campaigning at Heavyweight many thought he was crazy though it seems that he has the intentions of winning the national title come hell or high water. A win here will set him up for a title bout likely to be on New Years Eve.
Whilst Ishida's loss was controversial and competitive the same cannot be said of the loss suffered last time out by former Japanese Bantamweight champion Kohei Oba (35-3-1, 14), who was dominated and then stopped by American-Nicaraguan Randy Caballero in an IBF Bantamweight title eliminator. Oba's return to the ring will see him matched easily as he takes on domestic foe Keigo Soma (6-10-1, 3) in what appears to be a confidence building bout following the stoppage loss to Caballero. As for Soma he has lost 4 of his last 5 and this is likely to be little more than another clear defeat on his record.
The third man returning to the ring following a loss is Yu Kawaguchi (20-6, 9) who suffered his loss in a technical decision defeat to Kentaro Masuda for the then vacant Japanese Bantamweight title. Although Kawaguchi was a clear loser on the cards his team haven't wrapped him in cotton wool here and instead of taking on a no hoper he'll be up against Seizo Kono (14-6-1, 9). Kono is no world beater though he's certainly a capable fighter on the domestic scene and could give Kawaguchi a solid work out here.
The rest of this card will feature 5 other bouts, all scheduled for 4 rounds.
A second Osaka show will feature the Rookie of the Year West finals. This show was scheduled to see 12 bouts though we've seen 2 of the contests, bouts at Super Featherweight and Lightweight both aborted.
From the 10 bouts left on the show 4 of them have been scheduled for 5 rounds whilst the other 6 will be 4 rounders. The winners will be expected to make a name for themselves and compete, at some point, for a Japanese or OPBF title.
Whilst the bouts in Osaka are the most interesting we also have a meaningful bout in Hyogo as former world title challenger Atsushi Kakutani (14-4-1, 7) battles Thailand's Dawut Manopkanchang (0-1) in what is thought to be a warm up bout before an OPBF title challenge. On paper the bout is a mismatch though the only recorded bout for Dawut saw him battling against Kohei Kono on last New Years Eve, he lost that one by TKO in 3 but Kono is a much more imposing fighter than Kakutani and shouldn't be beaten that easily. Kakutani, best known for his fight with Adrian Hernandez, should over-come Dawut with out too many problems though he'll know that a bout with OPBF Light Flyweight champion Jonathan Taconing won't be an easy one and this may not be the best warm up for that bout.
This show will feature a further 5 bouts, the most notable of which will be an 8 rounder between Yuichi Arai (8-8-1, 2) and Thai visitor Saensak Sithvarunee (0-1). On paper this looks like a stay busy fight for Arai though it's hard to be certain and with a lot of these Thai's it's hard to really know just how correct their records are. What we do know about Saensak is that he's fought in Japan before, losing a wide decision to Ken Achiwa and probably should lose here given that result.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Although this weekend's "big fight allure" was all about Saturday it's unfair to suggest that Sunday isn't actually the busier day with a staggering 5 shows across Japan. Unlikely last weekend however isn't a super show to rival "Ring of Diamonds" instead we merely get domestic shows with the highest profile of those featuring a Japanese title fight.
As with last week we have 2 shows at the IMP Hall in Osaka. The first of those is an 8 fight card promoted by Dapeng. The main event on this first show will see the JBC and OPBF ranked Ryota Kajiki (22-8, 14) battle against fellow Japanese fighter Satoru Sugita (7-2-1, 5) in what should be a good test for Kajiki who we do favour.
Also on the first IMP Hall card we expect to see Japanese ranked Light Welterweight So Takenaka (19-7-2, 8) who is scheduled to face a Thai opponent, though no name has yet been released to us.
The second IMP Hall card, the one we've used the poster from, features the bout of the day as Yu Kawaguchi (20-5, 9) battles Kentaro Masuda (18-6, 10) for the vacant Japanese Bantamweight title. This is a pretty even match up in our eyes and we're struggling to favour either man with out team actually split on the winner. The only thing we do expect is that this will be competitive.
Also on the second IMP Hall card is another bout that caught our eye. This bout sees Takayuki Okumoto (10-6-2, 5) face off against the unbeaten Yuki Yonaha (3-0, 3). On paper it would be to favour Yonaha but so far he is untested with his opponents having a combined record of 0-10. Hard to back Yonaha having seen his opponents but he may well be the real deal.
Although the Kawaguchi/Masuda bout is the biggest bout of the day it's not the only title bout as Akihiro Matsumoto (12-4-1, 6) fights against against South Korea's Ye-Joon Kim (7-1-2, 2) for the WBC Youth Super Bantamweight title. This is an interesting fight for both men and whilst we do favour Matsumoto we also need to admit that Kim could be a potential banana skin opponent.
On the same card in Ishikawa, promoted by Kashimi Promotions, we get a pair of bouts involving notable Filipino's. The first of these bouts will see Marlon Tapales (24-2, 9) fight against Japan's very own Hayato Kimura (21-5, 15) in an interesting contest that sees Tapales putting his OPBF ranking on the line. The second will see Mark Gil Melligen (17-4-1, 8) fight against unbeaten Thai Bualuang OnesongchaiGym (12-0, 4) in what could be a really tough contest between two men who know what a win on this show would really mean.
In Hiroshima we get a a long 10 bout show with only 2 bouts really worth noting. The first of those "notable bouts" will see the experienced Daigo Nakahiro (23-4-2, 9) fight against win-less Thai Phetsaifar Lukmaelamperigym (0-2) in an 8 round affair.
Thankfully after the mismatch with Nakahiro we do get a genuinely interesting looking contest between Koji Itagaki (12-8-2, 5) and the Japanese ranked Takashi Omae (11-3-5, 1). This Light Flyweight contest, also scheduled for 8 rounds, should be a lot more competitive than the other "notable" bout on the show.
The final show we're interested in, though far from the least interesting, is in the Gifu Hall as Gifu Yokozeki put on a 6 fight show.
The main event here will see the OPBF ranked Light contender Futoshi Usami (11-1-1, 8) attempt to bounce back from his sole defeat. Usami will be fighting against the tough Akira Shono (7-5-2, 4), who is limited and can be beaten but has never been stopped. Usami should be naturally bigger and stronger though we'd not be surprised if this turned out to be a tough 8 round battle for Usami.
Although the Usami bout is down as the main event the more interesting bout is the debut of former amateur stand out Genki Hanai (0-0) who will be fighting in a 6 round battle with a Thai opponent. The 23 year old Hanai is regarded as one of the "next" great prospects from Japan and we've been told to keep a very close eye on and his exploits in the Light Flyweight or even Flyweight division. It maybe too early to know for sure but many are tipping him as a future world title challenger.
(Poster courtesy of http://green-tsuda.com)