The only Japanese card this Saturday comes from Osaka
The main event of the card will see world ranked Light Middleweight Yutaka Oishi (14-5, 7) make his first defense of the OPBF title as he takes on Thai visitor Ratchasi Sithsaithong (7-3, 5). Although a real unknown in the eyes of many Oishi is ranked by the IBF and comes into this bout on the back of a career defining win over Takayuki Hosokawa last year, for the OPBF title which he'll be defending here. The visiting Thai will be looking to add the OPBF title to his collection, which also includes the WBC ABC title, which he won last December when he defeated Cobra Suwa. The bout won't do much for the OPBF title but should be a fun fight all the same.
In a supporting title bout we'll see the once beaten Terumi Nuki (8-1, 5) battle against Thai veteran Nongbua Lookpraiaree (10-13-1, 2) in a bout for the OPBF female Super Flyweight title. For Nuki this will be a second title fight, following a razor thin loss in a 2015 title bout against Tamao Ozawa. Although relatively unknown the Thai is 0-3 in Japan, and suffered a loss herself in an OPBF title fight recently, losing to Tomomi Takano in 2015.
On the under-card of this show we will see the always fun to watch Hiroyuki Hisataka (24-16-1, 10), who will be facing a low key Thai opponent. The multi-time world title challenger has lost his last 3 bouts and it's clear that he's being matched easier here to try and get him a win, following losses to Mark John Yap and Suguru Muranaka in recent bouts, though another loss will probably end his long, fun and memorable career.
Interestingly Yuki Nonaka (31-8-3, 10) was also scheduled for this card when it was announced, but he's since been removed from the show, with many rumours linking him to a notable fight in the west.
There will also be a low key card in China.
In the main event of this card we'll see Wulan Tuolehazi (3-3) battle against the once beaten YinHuan Su (5-1-2, 1). This 10 rounder is unlikely to be a great bout but should be a competitive and one that will see both men fighting to win. On paper it's easy to favour Su but Tuolehazi is no push over and should make for a real test here.
On an under-card bout we'll see Hai Ma (1-1) face off with Zhen Yang Cai (4-2-1, 2) in what could be a hotly contested 6 rounder.
The best show of the week, and one of the best of the month, comes on Wednesday when Morioka and Mutoh co-promote a great show with 5 title bouts in Osaka.
The “main event” of the show will see OPBF Light Middleweight champion Takayuki Hosokawa (28-10-5, 9) look for his second defense of the title as he takes on fellow Japanese fighter Yutaka Oishi (13-5, 7). The bout will see Hosokawa looking for a much better performance than his last one, a hard fought struggle for a draw with Koshinmaru Saito, however there are some suggesting he is at the very end of his career with injuries and accumulated damage adding up. For Oishi this is a great opportunity to claim a major title, but he will be the big under-dog here.
The most exciting fighter on the card is 19 year old hopeful Hinata Maruta (3-0, 2), who looks to make his first defense of the WBC Youth Bantamweight. The talented Japanese youngster will be up against Filipino southpaw Joe Tejones (6-1, 2) in what should be a chance to Maruta to get rounds against a southpaw. From what we under-stand a win here will see Maruta progress towards either a Japanese, an OPBF or a WBO Asia Pacific title fight in 2017 with his team actively chasing tougher assignments. For Tejones the bout is a big step up and it's hard to see what he'll have to test Maruta.
The other OPBF title fight will see Middleweight champion Dwight Ritchie (14-0-0-4, 1) make the first defense of his title as he takes on the limited but heavy handed Japanese slugger Koki Tyson (10-2-2, 10). Ritchie won the title earlier this year in Japan, where he defeated Hikaru Nishida, and will be hoping for more success here. He is however up against a very different type of fighter here with Nishida being a basic pressure fighter whilst Tyson is a boxer-puncher, sadly for Tyson he is rather limited and comes into this on the back of a very poor performance against Joon Yong Lee.
In a WBO Super Flyweight Asia Pacific title bout we'll see former world title challengers face off as Japan's Hirofumi Mukai (12-4-3, 2) battles Thailand's Inthanon Sithchamuang (30-8-1, 18). Mukai has twice fought for world titles in Thailand, having a technical draw with Pongsaklek Wonjongkam and suffering a stoppage loss to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, and has struggled against other notable opponents like Shohei Omori and Mark Anthony Geraldo. Inthanon on the other hand is best known for losing to Kohei Kono earlier this year, and has suffered other losses in Japan, where he is yet to score a win.
At Flyweight we'll see the unbeaten, and genuinely promising, Masahiro Sakamoto (8-0, 4) take on the once beaten Sho Kimura (12-1-2, 6) for the WBO Asia Pacific title. Sakamoto has been unbeaten since his debut back in December 2014, and has won the 2015 Rookie of the Year and holds wins over Atsushi Aburada and Il Che. As for Kimura he was beaten in his debut but has gone 14 fights unbeaten since fighting 3 of those bouts in Thailand. This is the first title bout for both men and should tell us a lot about both fighters.
In a notable non-title bout on the card we'll see exciting prospect Naoto Iwai (2-0, 1) take on Filipino veteran Donny Mabao (22-27-3, 4) in a 6 rounder. The bout is a good step up for Iwai, who was last seen beating Juan Purisima in the Philippines, and a win here is likely to see Iwai move into 8 rounders in 2017, with the teenager already showing glimpses of real talent like stablemate Maruta