For a third day in a row we get OPBF title action in Asia as we get a bout for the OPBF Middleweight title. That bout headlines a card that features a couple of other notable names.
That OPBF Middleweight title bout will be a rematch between Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (11-4-1, 10) and Koki Tyson (14-3-3, 12), who fought to a draw earlier this year. We were genuinely surprised to see the two go the distance when they first fought, though it should be noted that Tyson took the bout on relatively short notice when Yuki Nonaka vacated the belt. This time around Tyson has had a full training camp, and may well find himself fighting a more aggressive bout than last time around. Both men are former holders of this belt, both can bang, and both are exciting fighters. We would be surprised if they go the distance again here, though it's still a very hard bout to call, and could go either way. A full preview of this bout can be read here Tyson and Hosokawa set to go again for OPBF crown!
Another rematch on this show will see former world title challenger Shingo Wake (26-5-2, 18) take on Jhunriel Ramonal (15-8-6, 8), in what is expected to be Wake's final bout before getting a second world title bout. These two clashed back in 2013, when Wake was the OPBF Super Bantamweight champion, and Ramonal was stopped in 3 rounds by the sharp shooting Japanese fighter. Since the Ramonal has gone 2-2-2. Wake on the other hand has gone 11-1, fought for a world title and claimed the Japanese title. Give the difference in form and the result of their first bout it's hard to imagine anything but another early win here for Wake.
Also on this card is former Japanese Minimumweight Shin Ono (23-10-3, 6), who will be looking to bounce back from January's loss to Norihito Tanaka. The 36 year old Ono, who made his debut in 2001, will be up against fellow veteran Akira Kokubo (8-8-3, 2), who is 35 years. On paper Ono has the experience edge, and is a multi-time world title challenger, but he will be moving up in weight for this, was stopped last time out and has little Momentum. Kokubo on the other hand has momentum coming in to this, with 4 straight wins including a good one last time out over Taiyo Inoue. This bout, being fought at a contracted limited around 110.25lbs, should be a lot more interesting than it looks on paper.
We get the next Diamond Glove show this coming Thursday from the Korakuen Hall, which features a couple of title bouts.
The main event of the card will see Japanese Lightweight champion Shuichiro Yoshino (10-0, 8) take on Filipino foe Harmonito Dela Torre (20-2, 12) in a bout for both the OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight titles. The unbeaten Japanese fighter has looked fantastic in recent bouts, stopping his last 6 foes and running up 4 defenses of the Japanese title. Although this is his first bout above domestic level the view is that he will be strongly favoured and is expected to become a triple champion, before moving on wards and upwards to potential world title fights down the line. Dela Torre was once a hotly tipped young Filipino prospect, but with 2 losses in his last 3 and only 1 win in the last 2 year his rise has hit a brick wall. Dela Torre has got skills but this looks like too much of a step from his last win, which was a decision over domestic journeyman Richard Betos last December, to be competitive with Yoshino here. Our full preview of this bout can be read here - Yoshino and Dela Torre battle for regional domination
A second title fight on this show will see Kenichi Horikawa (40-15-1, 13) defending his Japanese Light Flyweight title against Yuto Takahashi (10-4, 5). This is a really interesting match up between two flawed, yet determined fighters at very different stages of their career's. The 39 year old Horikawa is in the Indian summer of his career and has reeled off 8 wins since losing in 2017 to Tetsuya Hisada. Coming in to this Horikawa has already made 1 defenses this year and will know another win will guarantee him a fight at the Champion Carnival next year. On the other hand Takahashi is 26, just reaching his physical prime and comes into the bout on the back of solid performance against Tatsuya Fukuhara, Ryoki Hirai and Yuta Nakayama. Takahashi could well be getting to Horikawa at the perfect time. Our full preview of this bout can be read here Horikawa defends Japanese title against Takahashi in a battle of circumstance
Also on this card is the second bout of novice professional Kazuhiro Imamura (1-0, 1), who takes on the frustratingly fragile Kiyohei Endo (3-2, 3). Originally Endo was tipped as one to watch, following a 42-18 amateur career. Sadly however he was stopped by a journeyman on debut and has never managed to really get going, and a loss in his third bout to Toshiki Shimomachi didn't help. On the other hand Imamura debuted back in March following a 32-20 amateur career, and he'll be hoping to build on his debut win. This is an interesting fight, given given that neither can really afford a loss. Saying that however we don't think Endo will have toughened up, and if Imamura puts it on him we see Endo being stopped again here.
Cheonan, South Korea
The main card this coming Wednesday comes from South Korea, not something that we can say often enough.
The main event will see OPBF Light Welterweight champion Rikki Naito (21-2, 7) defending his title against Korean challenger Gyu Beom Jeon (9-3-1, 4). This is a bout that has been rescheduled numerous times this year, causing a loss of momentum for both men, especially Naito. The champion, who is looking for his third defense here, but has been out of the for almost a year, following his close win over Daishi Nagata. That sort of ring rust will not do Naito any favours here. Jeon is relative unknown outside of Korea, but he does have some momentum coming in to this with 5 straight wins, and 7 wins in his last 8. The challenger is the under-dog but he has been active whilst the champion has been horribly inactive recently. A full preview of this bout can be read here Rikki Naito heads to Korea for third OPBF title defense
In a decent looking support bout we'll see Sang Hun Oh (5-1, 3) take on Filipino veteran Michael Landero (19-14-4, 8). On paper this might not look great but is a really good step up for the 19 year old Oh, who is looking to bounce back from a recent loss to Kyung Min Kwon, back in May. Landero is a proper veteran, who has been out of the ring for around 30 months, and in his prime was the OPBF Minimumweight champion, stopping Kenichi Horikawa. It's hard to know what Landero has left at the age of 33, but if he's half the fighter he was he could be a banana skin for Oh here.
Sadly we're not expecting any real competition when South Korean Super Flyweight champion Ki Chang Go (7-3, 3) takes on awful Thai visitor Yutthichai Wannawong (9-9, 7). Go is no puncher, though did blow out Joo Ho Lee in June in his first title defense, and is actually best known for his only stoppage loss, to Masahiro Sakamoto in what was Sakamoto's final bout before facing Moruti Mthalane on New Year's Eve. Sadly Yutthichai is known for losing, and losing quickly with 8 stoppages losses, a JBC ban, and a loss last time out inside a round, to Carl Jammes Martin. This shouldn't be anything more than a stay busy fight for Go.
Another notable bout on this card will see hard hitting Korean Middleweight hopeful Sung Jae Jo (9-0, 7). He was originally scheduled to face Chinese visitor Wulamu Tulake (8-2-1, 4), though we have now been told he will be facing a Thai foe instead, in an 8 round bout, though the opponent hasn't been named. Like wise Heuk San Lee (10-1-2, 5) is scheduled for a 10 rounder, and his opponent hasn't been confirmed at the time of writing.
As well as the show in Korea, there will also be one in Thailand. The details for this are lacking, but Tassana Paladsrichuay (4-4, 1) will be up against Japanese visitor Umi Ishikawa (7-3, 5), who was stopped in 3 rounds by Kanyarat Yoohanngoh last time she fought in Thailand. This bout will be for the WBC's International female Minimumweight title, and whilst not a big bout is it significant for both fighters.
Osaka Teiken put on their next show this coming Sunday, and whilst it's not a big one it is one with a couple of bouts that have caught our attention.
One of those bouts will see Japanese ranked Featherweight Yuri Takemoto (7-1-1, 4) taking on Yoshiyuki Takabayashi (9-10-1, 4) in an 8 round bout. The talented Takemoto lost early in his career,m in his second bout, but has since gone 6-0-1 and won the All Japan Rooki of the Year last year, when he beat Hikari Mineta in the final. He's tipped as one to watch and should have the tools to shine here. Takabayashi on the other hand is a 30 year old veteran who has 20 bouts behind him, and has mixed with good company, including the likes of Shota Hayashi, Ye Joon Kim, Yuta Saito and Gakuya Furuhashi. Sadly for Takabayashi he has come up short against his most notable opponents and this is likely to continue here.
Unbeaten youngster Sora Fukunaga (3-0) is also worth making a note of here, and he to repeat his June win over Yuto Nonoguchi (3-4, 1). Although not very well known the 21 year old Fukunaga is a talented youngster who debuted just a year ago and is still really trying to find his footing. In June he did take a very clear win over Nonoguchi, but will be looking for an even clearer win this time out.
New York, USA
The biggest show this coming weekend comes from New York and features a trio of Central Asian fighters in notable bouts.
The biggest of those bouts will see Kazakh legend Gennady Golovkin (39-1-1, 35) battle against Ukrainian foe Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10) for the vacant IBF Middleweight title. The hard hitting Golovkin is seen as being past his best, but is still favoured to pick up the win here against the technically well schooled Derevyanchenko. The title, which was vacated when Saul Alvarez's team failed to reach a deal with Derevyanchenko, will give the winner a bargaining chip for a unification bout next year, but will leave the loser in a really awful position. Our full preview of this fight can be read here Golovkin and Derevyanchenko clash for IBF crown!
The fast rising Israil Madrimov (3-0, 3), from Ukraine, will be fighting in his 4th professional bout as he takes on Alejandro Barrera (29-5,18). On paper this is another solid match up for Madrimov, but in reality it's a notable step backwards for the Uzbek who should be expected to score a very clear win. Barrera's record looks good on paper but he has lost 3 of his last 4, was stopped by Errol Spence in 2015 and only has 1 win in the last 3 years, he has also been fighting at Welterweight. The one thing Barrera does, perhaps, have going for him is that he's only been stopped once but inactivity, natural size disadvantage and poor form doesn't bode well against a fighter like Madrimov.
Kazakh Super Middleweight Ali Akhmedov (15-0, 11) is also on this card, where he will be taking on 33 year old American Andrew Hernandez (20-7-2-1, 9). The experienced Hernandez has mixed in good company, but losses to the likes of Caleb Plant, Jesse Hart and Ahmed Elbiali do show his limitations. Saying that Hernandez has been a banana skin through his career for prospects and will be a really good test for Akhmedov. The 24 year old Kazakh is climbing through the rankings well and this is a brilliant bit of match making for him. We expect Akhmedov to win, but we expect to see him needing to earn the victory.
Whilst New York has a big card there is also a really interesting one in Japan, where Tokyo plays host to the next Dynamic Glove show, though sadly it won't be aired live on G+ and is instead set for a tape delay broadcast.
The main event here sees Japanese youngster Junto Nakatani (19-0, 14) take a huge step up in class as he takes on former world champion Milan Melindo (37-4, 13) in a really interesting 10 round contest. Nakatani has looked brilliant coming through the ranks, but has, for the most part, faced smaller opponents and limited opposition. Here we still see him up against a smaller foe, but an experience and skilled opponent with world class experience. Melindo will be going up in weight for this, and will feel he has the experience to deal with Nakatani. This is a really major bout on the regional scene, and we suspect that the winner here will end up fighting for a world title in 2020. A full preview of this fight can be read here Nakatani takes on former world title challenger Melindo!
On paper the chief support bout looks like a massive mismatch, with Korean visitor Kyung Min Kwon (7-5, 3) taking on 2-time world title challenger Ryo Akaho (34-2-2, 22). On paper this should be an easy win for Akaho, who has the clear edge in power and experience however Kwon is the naturally bigger fighter and the younger man and will be in the ring looking to score an upset. Kwon enters the bout as the interim Korean champion and managed to last 8 rounds last year with Satoshi Shimizu in an OPBF Featherweight title fight. Kwon is tough and could well frustrate Akaho, though we do expect Akaho to pick up the win.
A really good looking support bout will see Filipino Robin Langres (10-3, 4) take on under-rated Japanese local Ikuro Sadatsune (9-4-3, 3) in what has the potential to be a thriller. The 23 year old Langres is making his international debut here, and comes into the bout on the back of his second win against Jomar Fajardo, but he was beaten last year by Jason Buenaobra. Sadatsune has lost twice already this year, though both of those bouts were razor thin and against against well regarded fighters Kenshin Oshima and Sho Ishida. This could be a very hotly contest and exciting back and forth battle. For those interested in learning more about Sadatsune he was recently covered in a recent "Introducing" article Introducing... Ikuro Sadatsune
Also on this card is the debuting, but very highly touted, Shigetoshi Kotari (0-0) who kicks off his professional career against Lasben Sinaba (3-2, 3), from Indonesia. As an amateur Kotari fought over 70 professional bouts and has already impressed in sparring since turning professional. He's expected to show case his skills here, but Sinaba has been stopped in both of his losses and we see him being taken out again here and it may only be a short showcase for the Japanese debutant.
Going back to the US we'll see Kazakh heavyweight Izim Izbaki (2-0, 1) take on the win-less Troy Albring (0-2). The 24 year old Izbaki is worth making a note of, as he rises through the ranks, but this is little more than a fight to help him adapt to professional boxing. Albring has been blown in the opening round of both his previous fights and we're expecting the same to happen again here.
Also in the US will be Chinese Light heavyweight Fanlong Meng (15-0, 9), who faces Gilberto Rubio (9-8, 6), in a stay busy fight whilst he awaits his shot at the IBF Light Heavyweight title.
Strangely Thailand plays host to two highly regarded Japanese prospects, as they look to make a mark early in their careers.
One of those is the 23 year old Yusuke Mine (1-0), who looks to build on his July debut win over Jessel Guardario. Sadly, given Mine's debut came against a decent opponent, this bout looks to be little more than a tick over as he takes on Thai local Kamon Singram (0-28). On one hand it feels like a waste of a bout for Mine, who has the ability to be fast tracked into the Japanese rankings, however we understand that his team are wanting to keep him busy and are looking to get him some experience of fighting outside of his homeland.
The other Japanese fighter on this card is the debuting Ryosuke Nishida (0-0), who took part in his B license test in September. The talented Nishida is tipped as a major one to watch from those at the Mutoh gym and apparently they struggled to get him a suitable domestic opponent, hence him travelling for this bout. Sadly, though as with Mine, he's facing a very limited opponent in the form of Sakol Ketkul (0-5-1), who has been stopped in his last 3 bouts.
Camarines Norte, Philippines
As well as the Thai card there is also a low profile one in the Philippines, and this really is no better than the Thai card.
One of the bouts here will see the limited Jerome Clavite (8-4-2, 4) take on Pit Anacaya (9-28-2, 2). Given that Anacaya has lost his last 4, and last scored a win in November 2014, it would seems obvious he is there to pad Clavite's record, but Clavite himself has been out of the ring for over 2 years.
In another match up the 21 year old Remon Basas (4-4, 3), who lost 3 of his last 4, will be taking on Jerry Mae Villagracia (6-8, 2). Whilst Basas hasn't had great form it is better than that of Villagracia, who has been stopped in his last 7.
Attention turns to Osaka this coming Tuesday for the first notable show of October, which features a world title fight, a bout featuring a #1 contender and a fight with a promising prospect.
The world title bout is an all-Japanese contest that pits Hiroto Kyoguchi (13-0, 9) against Tetsuya Hisada (34-9-2, 20). The bout will see Kyoguchi looking to make his second defense of the WBA "super" and Ring Magazine Light Flyweight titles as he takes on the very experienced Hisada, who's biggest success has been at the Japanese domestic level. The talented and aggressive Kyoguchi is strongly favoured here, and is expected to move on to world title unification bouts in the near future. At 34, and soon to be 35, it's now or never for Hisada and this is likely to be his only shot at a world title. Interestingly this bout is an all Osakan affair, with both men being from Osaka Prefecture. A full preview of this bout can be read here Kyoguchi takes on Hisada in Osakan showdown!
In the chief support bout the WBA #1 ranked Featherweight Hiroshige Osawa (35-5-4, 21) will fight in a stay busy bout against Indonesian Jason Butar Butar (30-26-1, 19). The Japanese fighter is hoping to land a second world title fight, potentially against Can Xu in 2020, so can ill afford a slip up here and can't look past Butar Butar. Saying that however the Indonesian has lost both of his previous fights in Japan and isn't regarded as much of a threat given his struggles against weak domestic opponents so far.
In another supporting bout we'll see second generation fighter Kaiki Yuba (5-0-2, 3), the son of former 5-weight Japanese national champion Tadashi Yuba, take on 22 year old Mikado Konishi (6-2, 4). Yuba has had some misfortune recently, resulting in 2 of his last 4 bouts ending in technical decisions. The unbeaten southpaw will be doing all he can to avoid that here. Konishi is less proven, and touted, than Yuba, but he is a threat here with his power and toughness and could be a genuine test for Yuba in this 6 rounder.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
The biggest bout for the day, at least for us, this coming Sunday will see Tajik born boxer-puncher Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (14-0, 11) take on unbeaten South African Azinga Fuzile (14-0, 8) in an IBF world title eliminator. The Tajik, fighting outside of Russia for the first time, is seen as the under-dog but is riding a run of good wins against the likes of Emanuel Lopez, Malcolm Klassen and Robinson Castellnos. Fuzile has looked the part but this appears to be a step up for him against a dangerous and hungry fighter, who will be in the ring looking to cut the ring off and break him down. This has the potential to be an excellent, if low-key, bout between talented fighters each looking to stamp themselves on the division and secure a world title fight. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Tajik born Rakhimov and unbeaten South African Fuzile face off in eliminator!
In Osaka we have a small but notable Green Tsuda card featuring a female bout in the headliner and two notable supporting bouts.
The main event will see the talented Shione Ogata (11-6, 3) fighting in a non-title bout against Filipino foe Gretel De Paz (5-5-1, 2). The talented Ogata, has unified the OPBF, WBO Asia Pacific and WBA Asia female Light Flyweight titles in her last 3 bouts and is quickly approaching a world title fight. Paz is here to make up the numbers and give Ogata a tune up before a bigger bout down the line. Paz has gone 1-4-1 in her last 6, but has proven to be tough and should take Ogata the scheduled 8 rounds here.
The all action Aso Ishiwaki (6-2-1, 4) features in one of the support bouts worth talking about. Ishiwaki is no world beater, but is a very exciting, hard hitting fighter and is well worth making a mental note of, especially given he is only 20 years old. Ishiwaki's opponent is 26 year old glass cannon Takuya Matsusaka (8-8, 7), who has only heard the final bell twice in 16 fights. Through his career so far Matsusaka has seen 12 of his bouts end in the first 2 rounds, so expect this one to be very explosive very early.
The other bout of note on this card will see the touted Rei Nakajima (1-0) fight in his second pro bout. Sadly Nakajima's opponent hasn't been announced at the time of writing, suggesting a late and limited foreign import, but Nakajima himself is regarded highly in Japan and is tipped to achieve notable success in the professional ranks, Nakajima debuted back in July and looked dominant, so we would certainly suggest fans make a mental note of him here, even if his opponents isn't likely to be much of a test.
In Tashkent we're expecting an Uzbek card stacked with notable names, though at the time of writing only half of the card is actually listed.
With no opponents currently listed for the show it's unlikely the card isn't going to be full of competitive match ups, however the card does have a host of notable Uzbek prospects listed for it. These include Olympic 2016 gold medal winner Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (7-1, 4), big punching Middleweight hopeful Ulugbek Khakberdiev (6-0, 4), novice professional Sanjar Tursunov (1-0, 1) and recent World Amateur Championship winner Bakhodir Jalolov (6-0, 6).
Samut Prakan, Thailand
In Thailand there's set to be a show-case of novices, in low profile bouts from the Blue Arena in Samut Prakan.
One of the bouts will be a battle between unbeaten fighters for a national title, as Boonrueang Phayom (2-0, 2) and Tongthep Taeyawong (3-0-1, 3) battle for the vacant Thai Bantamweight title. Little is known about these two fighters, but at 20 years old Boonrueang is the older man, whilst Thongthep is just 16. Notably both of these men have fought twice in recent months, and we do have to wonder, again, what the Thai commission's actually do to try and prevent youngsters from getting injured.
Another fighter who is fighting for the second time without much of a break is Nattapong Jankaew (1-0, 1), who debuted back in September 8th. Nattpong will be up against Kittipong Jareonroy (3-3, 1) in a bout for the Interim Thai Super Flyweight title. It's hard to get too excited here, especially given that Kittipong was stopped inside a round by Ryoji Fukunaga back in May.
A third title bout will see the unbeaten Pattawee Phansawat (3-0, 3) take on the wonderfully named Mega Daophommachan (0-0), from Laos, in a bout for the Professional Boxing Association of Thailand (PAT) International Light Flyweight title.
The biggest bout featuring an Asian fighter here will see the hard hitting Uzbek born Batyr Akhmedov (7-0, 6) take on Mario Barrios (24-0, 16) for the vacant WBA "regular" Light Welterweight title. On paper this is a great match up between two unbeaten fighters who clearly feel they can hurt each other, and has a world title up for grabs, albeit the WBA's second title whilst the main belt is held by Regis Prograis. Akhmedov has looked really impressive since turning professional in 2017 whilst Barrios has had a slow burn career so far, but has looked excellent in recent bouts with 8 straight stoppages. We expect this to be very explosive and very exciting. A full preview of this bout can be read here Akhmedov and Barrios face off for WBA secondary belt!
As well as the "world" title bout in the US there will also be a small card in Singapore featuring a couple of local hopefuls in their own title bouts.
The main event will see Singapore's very own Nurshahidah Roslie (14-2, 11) face off with unbeaten Chinese foe Fan Yin (8-0, 2) in a bout for the WBC silver Female Super Bantamweight title. Roslie has got local appeal, and it's great to see Singaporean boxing having a fighter to get behind, but she's also proven to be very limited losing to her most notable opponents and stringing together wins against poor opposition. On the other hand Yin is a relative unknown, but did score a notable win last year over Yuko Henzan in Japan, and that win alone shows she's a very capable fight. On paper a win for Roslie would be the best of her career, though she will likely get the favours from the judges if this is close.
The co-feature sees Singaporean based Filipino born fighter Rey Caitom (8-0-1, 3) battle against limited Indonesian foe Frans Damur Palue (15-22-3, 10) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Minimumweight title. Caitom is no world beater but he's got some promise and should easily pick up a win here. Palue on the other hand is a 36 year old who has been racking up losses in recent years, including one last year to Akira Yaegashi. We suspect that Palue is there to make Caitom look good, and little else.
For a second day running we get East Japan Rookie of the Year action, as the tournament moves closer to the finals. As is usually the case with Rookie of the Year cards, the show isn't stacked with notable names, but this show certainly has the potential to be very explosive.
On paper the pick of the bouts is the Super Bantamweight contest between Takeshi Takehara (4-0) and Tsubasa Narai (3-0, 2). It's always good to see all unbeaten match ups in the Rookie of the Year and this is one such bout. The 24 year old Takehara made his last October and although he's shown a lack of power he has shown good skills, losing just 4 of his 16 professional rounds. Narai on the other hand is a hard hitting teenager who could be one to watch for the years to come.
At Bantamweight we see the hard hitting Azusa Takeda (5-0, 5) face off with Shota Ogasawara (4-2, 3), in a bout that has the hall marks of a very exciting and action packed contest. The 22 year old Takeda has looked like a beast stopping his 5 foes in a combined 10 rounds since his debut in August 2018. Ogasawara on the other hand has looked less invincible, but a truly thrilling fighter, and his February bout with Ryugo Ushijima was fantastic. This could be a very explosive bout and Ogasawara has got power of his own, so could punish Takeda if the unbeaten man isn't careful.
One other bout of intrigue is another bout between unbeaten men, as Super Flyweights Kazuki Terasaki (2-0-1, 2) and Seiya Meguro (3-0, 2) face off. The 22 year old Terasaki scored stoppages in his first 2 bouts but has been inactive since a 4 round draw this past January, stopping any momentum he had. The 19 year old Meguro on the other hand has got a bit of momentum, following a win in July, but saw his own stoppage run come to an end with that win.
New South Wales, Australia
As well as the Rookie of the Year card there is also a reason to pay attention to action in Australia. It'll be in Australia that Indian fighter Kirti (6-2, 2) will be battling against Lauryn Eagle (21-4-1, 12). The 21 year old Kirti has lost in both of her bouts outside of India, but has certainly not embarrassed herself. Sadly however this is a massive step up from those bouts and we wouldn't be surprised to see Eagle take her out in the later stages.
Another Indian on this card is Arun Antil (6-1-1, 5), who will enter into his bout as an even bigger under-dog as he goes up against Dylan Emery (21-1, 14). Emery's only loss came in last 2016, and since then he has reeled off 4 stoppages, with another expected here against the very over-matched Antil.