This coming Sunday isn't a big day in Asian boxing but there are a number of bouts of note, with two Japanese eliminators in Fukuoka and a pretty interesting card in South Korea with Koreans, and Korean based fighters, taking on Japanese visitors.
The card in Fukuoka really is lacking in terms of depth, with just 6 total bouts on the card, but the top two bouts are mouth watering Japanese title eliminators, featuring local fighters taking on opponents from Tokyo for the right to compete at the 2019 Champion Carnival.
One of those two eliminators takes place down at 105lbs and will see the once touted Takumi Sakae (19-2-1, 13) take on recent OPBF title challenger Norihito Tanaka (16-7, 9). The 25 year old Tanaka debuted in 2011 and looked on the route to success when he claimed the Rookie of the Year crown in 2013. Sadly since that early success he has faltered, losing in a Japanese title fight in 2016 to Tatsuya Fukuhara, drawing with Lito Dante and losing to Ryoki Hirai. Sakae has won his last 5, but those wins have come against some very limited foes. The 33 year old Tanaka ran up a 14-5 (7) record before walking away from the sport in 2011. He returned to the ring in 2017 and has had mixed success, with a loss last time out to OPBF champion Tsubasa Koura. Given the need for both men to win, and look good, this could be very entertaining. A preview of this bout is available here Sakae and Tanaka face off in Japanese eliminator!
The other title eliminator bout bout will see heavy handed Yuki Beppu (18-0-1, 18) clash with Teiken hopeful Yuki Nagano (14-2, 11) in a Welterweight eliminator. Beppu, like Sakae, is a Rookie of the Year winner but at 27 years old it certainly feels like time for his to step up his competition, following 4 wins over terrible foes. The one time he really stepped, since his Rookie triumph, saw him fight to a draw with Charles Bellamy, and he seemed to bide his time whilst waiting for an opportunity like this. At 29 years old Nagano is slight older but also more tested. He comes into this bout on a 12 fight winning run, including a Rookie of the Year triumph in 2015 and a recent win over Riku Nagahama. Notably this will be Nagano's first bout outside of the Korakuen Hall, and that may be a problem with the crowd behind Beppu, but he'll be confident of continuing his good form. This has the potential to be very explosive. Our preview of this bout can be read here - Heavy handed Beppu and Nagano clash in eliminator!
There will be a second Japanese card, albeit a significantly less significant one.
The main event here will see Ryosei Hamaguchi (6-3, 2) taking on Chiharu Takasuka (5-4-1, 3), in what is a pretty low key bout if we're being honest, especially given the action in Fukuoka.
Daejeon, South Korea
In South Korea fans get a very interesting card, featuring several good looking international bouts and two BoxingM title bouts.
One of those Korean title bouts will see Doo Hyup Kim (10-6-1, 5) take on Gun Woo Gang (4-2-2, 1) for the Korean Light Middleweight title. This will be Kim's first defense of the title, and despite having been stopped in 2 of his previous 3 he will be the man with the champions mentality. On the other hand the 21 year old Gang will be having his third title fight, having come up short in two previous Korean title bouts.
The second title fight will be at 140lbs and will see Jin Soo Kim (3-1, 1) face off with Min Ho Jung (7-1-1, 1) for the vacant title. At 22 years old Kim is the younger, less experienced man but is a promising southpaw, who made an impact on his 2015 debut by scoring a brilliant KO of Andrew Silva. Jung will enter the bout as the older man, but will be the naturally smaller fighter. This could be an entertaining match up, but this will be the first title bout for either man.
On paper the most evenly matched of the international bouts will see unbeaten fighters collide as local Min Jang (6-0-2, 2) takes on Japan's Fumiya Fuse (6-0, 1). The 18 year old Jang debuted last year and has already racked up 8 fights, but this is a big step up for him. At 20 years old Fuse is tipped as one to watch on the Japanese scene, and was the 2017 Rookie of the Year, but this will be his first bout outside of Japan. With neither man being a puncher we are expecting a distance bout, but a very interesting one.
A potentially more explosive match up will see 26 year old Korean Dong Kwan Lee (8-2-2, 4) take on heavy handed Japanese fighter Arashi Iimi (6-1, 6). Coming into this Lee's record doesn't look too interesting, but his short term for has seen him going 4-1 (4) and he hasn't seen the final bell in any of his last 5 bouts. Iimi, the runner up for the 2017 Japanese Rookie of the Year has never seen the final bell, and has scored two wins already this year. Given their recent shows we're expecting to see both men go for the KO and to go for it early!
One other bout of interest will see Korean based Mongolian Batzorig Batjargal (3-0, 2) take on Japan's Hironori Shigeta (5-1, 3). We've been impressed by Batjargal since his debut and he's looked really exciting so far, but this is a notable step up in class for him. Shigeta hasn't fought since December, but was crowned the Japanese Rookie of the Year last year at Welterweight, and he has a very good win over Rikuto Adachi. We can't help but think this could be the best bout on the card.
Attention returns to the Korakuen Hall this coming Friday where fans will get the chance to see a big punching Welterweight in the main event, and a pretty solid chief supporting bout.
The hard hitting Welterweight is the unbeaten Yuki Beppu (17-0-1, 17), who is highly ranked by the JBC and OPBF, and he will be looking to continue his destructive tear as he faces off with Thai visitor Phongsathon Sompol (8-3, 5). Last year we saw Beppu suffer the only mark on his record, an 8 round draw against Charles Bellamy, and since then he has been matched very light against Thai visitors whilst waiting to get a title fight. Sadly this bout, like Beppu's last 3, appears to be a straight forward stay busy bout against an over-matched visitor. The Thai has been stopped twice, and lacks a win of any note, so this looks a bit like a foregone conclusion.
In a supporting bout fans will get the chance to see Masayuki Ichikawa (7-5-1, 2) battle against Desierto Nagaike (10-3-2, 2) in what should be a genuinely compelling match up between two men who have faced off. Ichikawa has struggled recently, gone 2-5-1 in his last 8, but has faced the likes of Norihito Tanaka and lost a razor thin decision to Nagaike in late 2015. Since beating Ichikawa we've seen Nagaike show some good form, going 5-1-1, with his only loss coming to the excellent Daiki Tomita. This really could be one of the hidden gems of the month for fans in Tokyo.
In Tokyo fans will get the chance to see a number of notable fighters in action, though in fairness it's not like those notable fighters are really likely to bes tested given the level of competition theyt are facing.
The most notable of the bouts on the card will see the limited but teak tough Tatsuya Takahashi (27-7-5, 20) take on countryman Keita Nakano (14-12-6, 4). The bout has the potential to be a very fun contest, but Takahashi has an unwelcome ability to make his life harder than it needs to be and this bout will likely be another case of him getting into a bit of an unnecessary war. Nakano's lack of power won't help him in that war, but he could be surprisingly competitive here in what could be a very fun match up at the fringes of the Japanese title scene.
Another notable fighter on this show is the heavy handed Yuki Beppu (16-0-1, 16), who will be looking to keep his unbeaten record alive as he takes on a Thai opponent in the show's final bout. Little is known about the Thai but Beppu has feasted on a series of limited opponents since claiming the Japanese Rookie of the Year back in 2014, with the one exception being the drawn fight against Charles Bellamy. It's unfortunately time that Beppu started facing more notable opponents and really began to do more than run up KO's against over-matched foes.
A third fighter of note on this card is 2014 Super Featherweight Rookie of the Year Yuichiro Kasuya (9-2-1, 1). Like Beppu we'll see him in with a Thai foe, though this is more understandable given that Kasuya is almost 2 years removed from his last win, and has gone 0-2-1 in his last 3, albeit in very competitive bouts. The 21 year old does look like a fighter who needs to build belief in his power and an easy blow out against an over-matched Thai foe may be the perfect way to build that confidence.
New York, USA
In the US fight fans wil get the chance to see two exciting American based fighters from central Asia.
One of those fighters is Uzbek destroyer Shohjahon Ergashev (10-0, 10), who takes a huge step up in class to face fellow unbeaten fighter Sonny Fredrickson (18-0, 12). The hard hitting Uzbek went 4-0 (4) in 2017 fighting just 5 combined rounds, and has only gone beyond 2 rounds once, showing just what power he has early on. If he can take out Fredrickson then he'll be on his way to making a real statement in 2018. The 23 year old Fredrickson was a former amateur standout and will be looking to extend a 3 fight stoppage run, as he takes on his second successive unbeaten foe.
The other fighter of note on this card for us is Kazakh puncher Bakhtiyar Eyubov (13-0, 11), who looks to put a less than great 2017 behind him as he takes on Maurice Chalmers (14-13-1, 8). The bout looks like a mismatch on paper, but with Eyubov fighting just 7 rounds last year we can understand why he's being given a relatively easy one here, against a man who is almost 2 years removed from his last bout.
The most notable bout for Asian fight fans this Saturday is in Texas where we'll see a Filipino icon in action as Nonito Donaire (37-4, 24) returns to the ring for the first time since losing the WBO Super Bantamweight title to Jessie Magdaleno last November. The “Filipino Flash” has been training in Japan for his return, which sees him moving back up to Featherweight to face Ruben Garcia Hernandez (22-2-1, 9) in a contest for the WBC Silver title. Although he has been inactive, and is 34, Donaire should have far too much for Hernandez.
In California there is another notable Filipino in action, as the heavy handed Romero Duno (14-1, 13) returns to the States for the first time since his break out win over Christian Gonzalez. The hard hitting Pinoy puncher will be up against Mexican veteran Juan Pablo Sanchez (30-13, 14). Duno should have too much fire power for his Mexican foe, who has been stopped 8 times, but Sanchez does appear to be than his record suggests and his last couple of losses, have been in competitive decisions against Rene Alvarado and Antonio Moran, both solid punchers.
More Asian fighters are in action in the US as a number of fighters from Central Asia fight on a card in Louisiana.
In the main event we'll see 21 year old Tajik hopeful Mekhrubon Sanginov (4-0, 3) take on American Cameron Burroughs (4-1-0-1, 3) for the WBC Youth Middleweight title. Sanginov has been a professional for just under a year but has impressed with 3 quick wins and a bizarre split decision in Poland where one judge appears to have been watching a different fight to everyone else. This should be a really interesting and looks to be very well matched, though neither man has has got many rounds under their belt, which could make this contest sloppy if it gets to the later rounds.
Also on this card are Balaussa Muzdiman (0-0), Iskander Kharsan (1-0, 1) and Ali Baloyev (1-0, 1) who will all be facing limited looking opposition as they look to take their next step in their professional journey.
Fight fans in Japan are set for a bit of a strange card with a trio of notable names, all taking on very weak opposition.
In the main event the always fun to watch Tatsuya Takahashi (26-7-5, 19) will be up against limited Thai visitor Chatphet Saithonggym (0-2) in what should be an easy win for Takahashi, following a technical decision loss to Jetro Pabustan earlier this year. Although Takahashi is a very fun to watch fighter it's unlikely this will be too exciting, with the bout likely designed to give Takahashi an easy win.
Another mismatch will see big punching Japanese Welterweight Yuki Beppu (15-0-1, 15) take on an unnamed Thai foe. This will be Beppu's second bout since drawing with Charles Bellamy back in January and we're expecting another early finish for the 26 year old banger.
Arguably the most interesting bout on this card will see novice Tetsuya Watanabe (1-0), who is touted as once to watch, take on the always entertaining and charming Takuya Yamaguchi (3-8-2, 2). It's hard to imagine Yamaguchi winning, but he will throw leather with bad intentions and could well test Watanabe's resolve and chin in a potentially interesting contest.
Johore Bahru, Malaysia
We get yet another Asian show with action in Malaysia, as we see FH Promotions give several fighters a chance to shine.
One of those looking to impress here is Azizbek Abdugofurov (7-0, 4), who was originally scheduled to face Ibrahim Tamba (21-8-1, 14) but is now listed as facing a TBA, presumably a late replacement for Tamba who appears to be out of the bout. Abdugofurov is regarded as one of the top Uzbek prospects and has quickly climbed into the top 25 on boxrec due to notable wins over the likes of Chaloemporn Singwancha, Sirimongkol Singwancha and Martin Fidel Rios. It's likely his bout here will just be a stay busy, but he really is one to watch.
Another unbeaten man looking to extend his record is local favourite Muhamad Farkhan (4-0, 4), who will want to shine in front of his loyal fans as he takes on Thai visitor Khundon Chaiyonggym (8-3, 8). It's fair to say that Farkhan will have all the fans behind him and should win, but this is a small step up for the local hero.
On paper one bout that does have promise will see Filipino fighters collide as Jeson Umbal (15-5, 10) takes on Jon Jon Estrada (10-3-1,9). For Umbal this bout will be his 4th in Malaysia, where he is 3-0 (1) and will see him look to continue his 7 fight winning run. As for Estrada this bout will be his first outside of the Philippines. Given his power Estrada is a real threat to the rise of Umbal and this could be a very exciting and hard hitting bout, which should thrill the fans.
Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines there will be two shows, but the most notable is in Metro Manila.
In the main event of this card we'll see the talented pairing of Glenn Suminguit (19-3, 10) and Renoel Pael (21-6-1, 11) battle for the GAB Bantamweight title, with Suminguit looking for his firs defense of the title. Suminguit won the title a year ago, stopping Alvin Bais in 3 rounds for the vacant title, but has only fought once since then, losing in Super Bantamweight bout, and could well have some ring rust coming in to this one. As for Pael the bout will see is confidence being checked, with the once touted Leyte man being 2-5 in his last 7, and really struggling for form.
In supporting bouts we'll see the Elorde brothers take on two over-matched Indonesians. Juan Miguel Elorde (23-1, 12) will be up against Afrizal Tamboresi (11-6, 6), who has lost his last 4 and been stopped in his last 3 and Juan Martin Elorde (22-1-1, 9) will be up against veteran Arief Blader (23-24-2, 8), who has won 1 of his last 5. It's hard to imagine of the Elorde's losing here in what are really mismatches.
What could turn out to be an interesting contest is set to see Wilbert Berondo (10-2-1, 4) take on the tough and under-rated Jayar Diama (7-11-7, 3). Although it looks one sided on paper it needs to be noted that Diama is much better than the numbers suggest and he could be a real handful for Berondo, who is best known for suffering a stoppage loss to the exceptional Hinata Maruta.
In a second Filipino show we'll see a card headlined by a bout between Roilo Golez (16-18-1, 7) and Diarh Gabutan (19-6-3,10). Coming in to this one Golez is totally out of form, losing 7 of his last 8 bouts by stoppage. Whilst Golez has mixed with some good company he's also suffered lossesto limited foes, like Geboi Mansalayao and it's fair hard to say that Gabutan should pick up the win here. Saying that however Golez' only win in his last 8 bouts, was actually a 5th round KO against Gabutan, who knows he cannot afford another loss, especially not to Golez.
Also in Asia there is a show in Singapore, featuring a number of fighters from across Asia.
In a high profile female bout local star Nurshahidah Roslie (6-1, 4) will take on Thai visitor Sriphrae Nongkipahuyuth (12-4-2, 5) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Female and OPBF Female Featherweight titles. This will give both fighters something to fight for, and we do expect them to have a proper fight here, but it's hard to imagine the visitor having the power needed to really test Roslie.
Another local in action is unbeaten Super Middleweight hopeful Rafi Majid (5-0, 5), who takes on Indonesian visitor Maxi Nahak (7-13-3, 3) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Super Middleweight title. Majid has blitzed his first 5 opponents, in a combined 7 rounds, and will likely do the same here, against a naturally smaller man who has been stopped 9 times already n 23 fights.
Another fight where we'd expected to see someone beat an Indonesian is a contest that will feature Filipino fighter Jun Tapale (22-9-1, 8) battling Indon Rusmin Kie Raha (15-13-3, 3). Although Tapale isn's a huge puncher Raha has been stopped in 8 of his 13 losses and we could see a 9th here. Raha's best hope is to see out the final bell, but it's hard to imagine him really testing the Filipino.
In Japan this coming Sunday we'll see two rather low key cards.
On paper the more significant of them will come from Wakayama where we get two Japanese ranked fighters in action.
In the main event of the show Seizo Kono (18-8-1, 11) will take on Takuya Taniguchi (6-10-2, 1), with Kono looking to move towards a potential title fight. Although Kono has got a number of losses on his record he has mixed at a good level, battling the likes of Rey Vargas and Yu Kawaguchi. The reality here is that this should be an easy win for Kono, but he has slipped up against limited foes in the past
The other ranked fighter on this card is former OPBF title challenger Eita Kikuchi (20-4-4, 8), who will be battling against Takuya Fujioka (7-6-1, 1). Coming in to this bout Kikuchi has won his last 6, albeit against limited foes, and moved up the Japanese rankings as he's began a genuine run towards a Japanese title fight. Fujioka is better than his record suggests, but shouldn't be much of a test for Kikuchi, who is heavier handed, more experienced and generally more talented.
The other Japanese card is from Fukuoka, and will be headlined by unbeaten puncher Yuki Beppu (14-0-1, 14), who takes on Taengthong Sithsaithong (0-2). The Thai has fought twice before in Japan, and suffered stoppages both times with this likely to be a third stoppage loss for the Thai in the Land of the Rising Sun.
The Japanese show to take place at the “Holy Ground” of the Korakuen Hall takes place on January 13th and although it's not a blockbuster card it does feature two very notable bouts.
The first of those will see the very experienced former OPBF and JBC title holder Charles Bellamy (26-3-1, 17) take on the rising and big punching Yuki Beppu (14-0, 14) in a massively significant 8 rounder. The experienced Bellamy will be looking to move towards a title fight in 2017 but at 35 some have questioned just what he has left, and he fought just 8 rounds in 2016 and only 6 in 2015. Beppu, a destructive puncher, has failed to really impress since winning the 2014 Rookie of the Year and this is set to be his biggest test, by far.
In a Bantamweight clash we'll see JBC #1 ranked contender Yuta Saito (10-7-2, 7) battle against former title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (25-6-4, 18) in a bout that will likely decide a 2017 domestic title challenger. Saito has won just 3 of his last 8 bouts but is looking to get a title fight in the near future, and has been competitive in many of his losses. Takahashi impressed us massively when he took on Kentaro Masuda in 2014 and he's pursuing a rematch with Masuda, knowing that a win here will assure him of that bout later in the year. Potentially this could be a really exciting war.
Da Lian, China
There will also be a low key show in China.
In the main even of the card fans will see Chinese local Xing Xin Yang (11-5-3, 8) take on once beaten Thai Romnakit Technopoly Bangkok (8-1, 5). The Chinese 24 year old has won one of his last 4, a stoppage win against Takamori Akita, though will be coming into this bout on the back of a loss to the then debuting Nursultan Zhanabayev. Ronnakitsuffered his first loss last year, when he travelled to China and lost to American Rogelio Casarez. This could be an interesting bout, but we suspect the naturally bigger local fighter will come out on top.
The most notable of two Japanese shows this coming Sunday comes from Fukuoka, and features two notable hopefuls.
In the main event we'll see Japanese Welterweight puncher Yuki Beppu (13-0, 13) hunt a 14th straight stoppage as he takes on a Thai foe. A win here for Beppu will almost certainly be his final step before moving into a title bout next year. Sadly unless the Thai visitor is better than most “unnamed” Thai's fighting in Japan this really isn't going to serve as any type of preparation for a title fight.
Also on this card will be Takumi Sakae (13-1-1, 8),who will look to put a bad year behind him. Sakae will be up against a Thai foe, like Beppu, but he needs a win here to stop 2016 being a total write off. He lost his unbeaten record in March, losing to Tatsuya Fukuhara in a Japanese title fight, and subsequently had a technical draw with Lito Dante in July.
A second Japanese show comes from Okayama and will features only one bout of real interest at the Japanese domestic level.
That bouts will see the unbeaten Seigo Yuri Akui (7-0-1, 3) take on Yamato Uchinono (6-6-5, 4) in an interesting match up. Akui, the 2015 Rookie of the Year at Flyweight, is stepping up to his first 8 round. Uchinono has lost 4 of his last 5 but has mixed at a better level than the unbeaten youngster and could genuinely be a good test for a man moving up in class.
In Tokyo fans get another card at the Korakuen Hall with this one featuring two notable names.
In the main event fight fans will see Yuki Beppu (12-0, 12) attempt to continue his stoppage run as he takes on Thai visitor Wajana Kiewon (0-1). Welterweight puncher Beppu won the Rookie of the Year back in 2014 and added 3 KO's last year, with this bout being his second of 2016. Whilst not a big name the Japanese fighter is chasing the Japanese KO run of Tsuyoshi Hamada, who ran up 15 straight KO's. Kiewon will be hoping to end Beppu's run, which has already seen the local stop 2 other Thai's.
In a supporting bout fight fans will see former Japanese Bantamweight title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (23-6-4, 16) face a Thai foe. We have loved following Takahashi since he lost to Kentaro Masuda in a thrilling title fight and since then he has gone unbeaten, with a run of 5-0-1. Unfortunately we know nothing in regards to Takahashi's opponent for the bout.
As well as the action in Japan there also seems to be a card in Thailand, with the focus on Kazakh fighters.
One of those Kazakh's is Alexandr Zhuravskiy (11-2, 9) who faces Indonesian journeyman Stevie Ongen Ferdinandus (20-11-1-1, 9) in a bout for the PABA Welterweight title. Zhuravskiy will be fighting in Thailand for the 4th time, and will be looking to record his third win in the country whilst Ferdinandus will be looking for his first win in country, on what will be his fifth visit.
Another Kazakh in action is Yernar Yeshenov (2-0, 1),who fights in a third country in as many fights. The unbeaten 21 year old will be up against Thai local Natthawut Arunsuk (8-6, 4), aka Chingchai Kiatpracha, who is 2-5 in his last 7 bouts.
Action continues to get going in Japan this coming Monday with an interesting show featuring 3 bouts of note.
In the main event we'll see former Japanese Bantamweight title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (21-6-4, 16) battle against Tonko Nakagawa (13-7-2, 5), in what will almost certainly be an action packed encounter. Of the two men the most notable is the teak tough Takahashi, who came to our attention in a 2014 FOTY contender against Kentaro Masuda, who later dubbed him a "Zombie", however Nakagawa has never been stopped and will likely meet Takahashi in the middle of the ring for a firefight. Don't be surprised if this ends up being one of the best fights of the month.
A second bout of note, and the chief support bout, sees promising Welterweight Yuki Beppu (11-0, 11) look to continue his impressive run as he faces Lekker Bangkok 2007 (0-1). Beppu, who won the Rookie of the Year in 2014, is making his way to a title fight, which may come later this year, and this bout with against the Thai visitor is little more than a stay busy contest.
Another fighter of note is this highly regarded Yuki Konami (1-0, 1) who looked to score his second professional win as he battles Thai visitor Petchmahalert Eminent Air (0-1). The Thai's only recorded bout came last August, when he was stopped in 134 seconds by the fearsome Toshio Arikawa, who is now in line for a shot at the Japanese Welterweight title, and it's fair to say that the 21 year old Konami will be looking to make quicker work of the Thai. Incidentally Konami's only professional bout lasted just 26 seconds, as he quickly blitzed Rian Cobra last October.
In one of a trio of main events on this card fight fans will see promising Light Middleweight Ryosuke Maruki (10-3-1, 7) battle against South Korean visitor Jung Hoon Yang (9-7, 2). Coming in to this one Maruki will be looking to record a 4th straight win and move towards a potential Japanese title fight in the near future.
In another “Japan Vs Korea” bout we'll see the big punching Yuki Beppu (10-0, 10) take on Jin Soo Kim (6-5, 3) in what should be Beppu's 11th straight stoppage win. Coming in to this one Beppu's form is brilliant, and has seen him claim the Rookie of the Year crown last year, Kim however has lost his last 3 and has won just twice in his last 6 bouts.
Another of the feature bouts will see 2014 All Japan Rookie of the year, at Super Bantamweight, Shohei Kawashima (11-0-2, 3) risk his unbeaten record against Kosuke Mizuno (7-5-2, 2). On paper this should be an easy bout for Kawashima however Mizuno is better than his record suggests and he really could be a great test for the unbeaten youngster.
As well as the 3 noted bouts there will be 4 other contests on this show.
Another Japanese show takes place in Okinawa and features a really good looking main event.
That main event will see the world ranked Go Onaga (25-2-2, 18) take on the criminally under-rated Jonas Sultan (9-2, 5) of the Philippines. We know the 35 year old Onaga will be strongly favoured here however Sultan has the ability to be a genuine banana skin and has never “cleanly” lost a bout so far. Whilst Onaga will be expected to win we'd not be surprised at all by a Sultan win, especially given his form and confidence on the back of a 5 fight winning streak.
Sadly the resat of this card is relatively uninteresting.
In Osaka we get the West Japan Rookie of the Year tournament with 12 bouts to decide the West representative for the All Japan final, which is to take place in December.
Of the 12 bouts the most notable on paper seems to be at Lightweight where 21 year old Tomoaki Matsumura (5-0, 3) battles against 20 year old Daiki Ichikawa (6-0, 4) in a really good looking all-unbeaten fight. The contest certainly won't “create a star” but it really is a fantastic fight and one of those brilliant match ups that the Rookie of the Year helps to generate.
A similarly attractive match up comes at Featherweight where Yuto Nagano (5-0, 2) battles Shuma Nakazato (4-0, 3). Again both fighters are unbeaten and young and looking to make a name for themselves. Interestingly Nakazato is probably the more well known of the two men considering that his father is a well regarded gym chairman, who helps handle the career of Katsunari Takayama.
This show promises a lot of action and we're really hoping that it lives up to the hopes we have for it.