As we head towards the end of the year we also head towards the All Japan Rookie of the Year. Before we get there we still have two other Rookie shows, the first of which takes place this coming Sunday from the Korakuen Hall and will be the East Japan Rookie of the Year final. In total there are 13 bouts scheduled for the show but we'll just look at a few of them here.
One of the best bouts here will be at Bantamweight, as hard hitting teenager Haruki Ishikawa (5-0, 5) takes on 30 year old Beverly Tsukada (3-1-2, 2). The unbeaten teenager debuted in May 2017 and has left his opponents broken, but done so whilst picking up rounds with only his debut failing to go at least a round. Footage of Ishikawa show a defensively responsible youngster with genuinely brutal power in his right hand. Tsukada has a messy record, but he has only lost once, and that was a razor thin loss in 2016. Amazingly Tsukada debuted back in November 2015 but he hasn't been able to remain busy through his career, and didn't fight at all in 2017. He is however 1-1 since his loss, back in June 2016.
Another unbeaten fighter is Featherweight hopeful Hikaru Mineta (4-0, 2), who will be up against the hard hitting Yoshiki Nakamura (4-1, 3). The unbeaten Mineta is a 22 year old who has scored two opening round stoppage round stoppages, but if he's not taken his foes out quickly he has gone the distance. On the other hand Nakamura has scored 3 wins in the first 2 rounds, with his only loss coming in September 2017 to Ren Sasaki, who would go on to win the 2017 Rookie of the Year.
At Middleweight we'll see Tomohiro Ishida (1-0-2) take on Nath Nwachukwu (2-0-1, 1) in what is actually a rematch between the two men who fought to a draw in Feb. Given their draw earlier this year we are expecting this to be a very competitive contest. Surprisingly this is the only all-unbeaten match up on this card.