Compostela Valley, Philippines
The most notable card this coming Friday is in the Philippines where we get a small but interesting card with several notable domestic clashes taking place on the show.
The main event will see PBF Flyweight title bout between Arnold Garde (10-7-3, 4) and Renz Rosia (14-8-1, 7), in what is easily the best bout of the show. Garde was last seen going 8 rounds with Hayate Kaji in Japan, and show he was tough and a little awkward. Despite that showing it needs to be noted that he has only scored 1 win in his lat 5 and it's hard to know what ambition he really has. Rosia, of course, is no world beater himself but another loss for him really could be the end of any hopes he has of landing another big fight, and would leave him win-less in 5. For both guys this is essentially a must win bout.
In a supporting bout we'll see talented Light Flyweight Rene Mark Cuarto (16-2-1, 9) look to bounce back from a recent loss to the world ranked Samuel Salva. The talented Cuarto will be expected to get a relatively straight forward win here, as he takes on the limited Mike Kinaadman (6-9-2, 4), who has lost his last 7 in a row.
One other fighter on this card worthy of a note is Aries Buenavidez (13-3, 7), who will be expecting to pick up his 14th win as he takes on limited domestic foe Kim Lindog (5-6-1, 4).
As well as the Filipino card there is also a small card in Toyko thanks to Flash Akabane. Sadly the most interesting fighter scheduled for this card, Zirolian Riku (8-0, 3), has had his bout cancelled and won't be on the card despite being announced for the show to begin with.
The main event of this card will see Akihiro Yamanaka (7-7-2, 3) battle against Yuki Uchida (6-6, 1), in an 8 round bout. Given the records of the two men it's clear neither is a world beater. However both are well matched and this should be a very competitive and well contested bout between two men with very similar records, and two men who will be coming into this with the belief they can pick up a win.
The co-feature will see Ken Achiwa (11-15-5, 4) take on Hikaru Ota (9-9, 5), in another bout that should be competitive, but not an incredibly high quality bout. Achiwa may have the worse looking record on paper but he has been matched incredibly hard and run guys like Suguru Muranaka and Yuki Nasu and Yuku Fukimoto close, and he could have had a very, very different record with a little bit of luck through his career.
One other card, that we got late notice of, was a show in Thailand, set to be headlined by OPBF Flyweight "silver" champion Panya Pradabsri (25-1, 14), who will be looking to get past tough Filipino Robert Onggocan (12-5, 8) before beginning a run for a Light Flyweight world title later in the year. His team had planned to petition the WBO for a shot at Angel Acosta before Acosta's recent loss, and will likely still push forward with their desire for a world title fight at 108lbs.
In the US we'll see Uzbek fighter Sanjarbek Rakhmanov (11-2-1, 5) look to rebuild his confidence after losses in 2 of his last 3. Having started his career 10-0-1 Rakhmanov has really faltered in recent fights, losing to Marquis Taylor and Keith Hunter in the last 12 months. He's not a bad fighter, but we don't expect him to be one of the stars of Uzbek boxing in the future.
This coming Monday action returns to the Korakun Hall for the next Flash Akabane card.
The main event sums up how low key the card is, as Akihiro Yamanaka (7-6-2, 3) takes on Ryo Narizuka (8-8-1) in what doesn't look amazing, but at least should be competitive and give the fans a solid an entertaining 8 round contest. Both men need clearly need a win, with Yamanaka's last victory coming in September 2017 whilst Narizuka has only a single win since the start of 2015. Despite the poor run it is worth noting that Narizuka has fought two men who went on to win world titles, losing to both Sho Kimura and Ryuya Yamanaka.
Another well matched bout will see Joji Tsuchiya (7-5-2, 5) face off with Yasuki Katagiri (7-2-2, 1). Tsuchiya hits decently at the lower level of the domestic scene, but has been stopped in 4 of his 5 losses and hasn't fought in over a year. Katagiri has little in terms of power, but has gone unbeaten in his last 5 bouts, and will bring momentum into this contest. Interestingly these two fought to a draw in April 2016 over 6 rounds.
The best bout on paper will see the hard hitting Zirolian Riku (8-2, 8), who came runner up in the 2017 Rookie of the Year, take on Ryuki Ishii (8-3, 5), who was himself a Rookie of the Year finalist in 2016. This is actually a mouth watering contest between two fighters who can punch and both will be hungry heading into what could be a huge new year for the winner. We're really excited about this contest.