On October 7th WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14) [井上 尚弥] will begin his WBSS campaign as he takes on American based Dominican fighter Juan Carlos Payano (20-1, 9). The bout, part of an excellent triple header, will give both men a great opportunity to impress fans, and the winner will advance to the semi-final of the WBSS Bantamweight division.
Sadly whilst it looks excellent on paper the bookies see the contest as a complete mismatch, with Inoue opening as a 1/25 betting favourite. And by 1/25 we mean that's the best odds available on the Japanese sensation, with some bookies pricing him at 1/50 or even 1/100!
Payano on the other hand has been priced at 12/1 with most British bookies, with others pricing him at 10/1. For someone who is a former world champion, having dethroned the fantastic Anselmo Moreno back in September 2014, the odds on Payano are ridiculous, but clearly shows just how highly the bookies regard Inoue.
The draw is currently available at 33/1.
Sadly the only market available at the moment is the to-win market. The same market has also been opened for the other WBSS bout on the card, between WBA Light Welterweight champion Kiryl Relikh (22-2, 19) and Eduard Troyanovsky (27-1, 24). The odds on that bout are much more compelling, with Relikh priced as the favourite at 8/13 whilst Troyanovsky is 13/8 as the under-dog. The draw for this bout is 22/1.
Sadly there is no odds currently available for the WBC Light Flyweight title bout between Ken Shiro (13-0, 7) [拳 四朗] and former IBF champion Milan Melindo (37-3, 13), in what certainly looks like the best bout from what is a very attractive triple header!
Earlier today we were informed that fast rising prospect Ryuto Owan (5-0, 3) [大湾硫斗] would be returning to the ring on October 11th to take on Tetsu Araki (11-1-1, 2) [荒木哲] in a bout for the Japanese Youth Bantamweight title, as part of an upcoming Diamond Glove card.
The 20 year old Owan, from the Shirai Gushiken Sports gym, has impressed ever since making his debut, in May 2017, and has already scored notable wins over the likes of Alvin Medura and Jun Blazo, both from the Philippines, and Japan's very own Takuma Matsushita. Although still a novice big things are expected of Owan, who had trained alongside Daigo Higa and is managed by Japanese legend Yoko Gushiken.
Araki, who has previously fought as Takahiro Araki, is a 23 year old who debuted back in July 2014 when he fought to a draw with Koichi Uryu. Since then he has lost just once, a narrow defeat to Tenta Kiyose, and since then he has reeled off 7 straight wins, including a good victory last time out against Yuto Nakamura. That win saw Araki secure himself JBC and OPBF rankings and take a big step foward.
On paper this looks like a really good fight, and should see both men having a chance to shine. The winner wouldn't just score their best career win, but also claim, their first title
The only other bout announced for this card, so far is an OPBF Light Welterweight title bout, which will seed champion Rikki Naito (20-2, 7) [内藤 律樹] defending his belt against Daishi Nagata (11-1-1, 5) [永田 大士].
(Image courtesy of sgs-13.com)
On August 20th we saw Miyo Yoshida (10-1) [吉田 実代] become a double champion, as she unified the Japanese female Bantamweight title with the OPBF female title. Despite that bout only taking place a few days ago Yoshida's first OPBF defense is already set, and will take place on September 30th in her birth place of Kagoshima.
Although boxrec doesn't list her opponent for the bout, which will take place on Kagoshima Soul Box Vol 8, we've been informed that it will Thai fighter Phannaluk Kongsang (4-6-1, 2).
The Thai is 0-2 in Japan, having lost to Yuko Henzan and Tamao Ozawa, and will clearly be seen as a safe opponent for Yoshida, which may explain why she has had such a quick turn around following her title win. Notably this will be the Thai's third shot at a world title, having twice fought Henzan for the OPBF Bantamweight title fighting to a loss and a draw.
Notably the bout between Yoshida and Phannaluk will only be the card's chief support bout, with the main event being a 10 round non-title contest, between Naoya Haruguchi (15-9, 6) [春口直也] and Filipino Lito Dante (14-10-4, 7). This will be Haruguchi's first bout since he lost a 10 round decision in July against Tatsuya Fukuhara, though he did notably defeat Filipino Jeffrey Galero back in March, in his only bout against a Filipino.
Dante on the other hand will be fighting in Japan for the second time, having previously had a technical draw with Takumi Sakae. Although his record doesn't look amazing he has mixed with very good company, including the likes of Vic Saludar, twice, Simphiwe Khonco, Tibo Monabesa and Jesse Espinas.
One other bout on this card that's worth noting is an all Japanese bout between between Wolf Nakano (4-7-4) [中野玄悠] and Mako Matsuyama (8-13-2, 3) [松山真], in what should be a fun contest between exciting but limited fighters.
In mid-August WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14) [井上 尚弥] announced that his bout with Juan Carlos Payano (20-1, 9), in first round of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS), would be taking place at at the Yokohama Arena on October 7th.
In the days before that announcement there had also been comments made to the Russian media that WBA Light Welterweight champion Kiryl Relikh (22-2, 19) would begin his own WBSS campaign in a bout against Eduard Troyanovsky (27-1, 24). That news on that bout went quite for a bit whilst we had another bout for the card announced, a contest between WBC Light Flyweight champion Ken Shiro (13-0, 7) [拳 四朗] and former IBF champion Milan Melindo (37-3, 13).
Now it's been confirmed that the card will be a triple header, with the Relikh Vs Troyanovsky bout being confirmed by the WBSS, who also announced that all the quarter finals would be held in successive weeks as double header events!
At the moment it's unclear how Japanese television plans to broadcast the event, though we have been told that Fuji would be showing both the Inoue and Ken Shiro bouts live, so they may end up showing all 3 world title bouts live on what will really be a huge event for them. It's also unclear whether the rights for the other WBSS bouts have been picked up by any Japanese television channel, or streaming service, but it's clear that with Inoue involved there will be huge interest in the tournaments from Japanese fans.
(Image courtesy of the WBSS)
Earlier this month saw news break that feared Nicaraguan puncher Felix Alvarado (33-2, 29) would be facing off with Filipino Randy Petalcorin (29-2-1, 22) in an IBF Light Flyweight title bout in Melbourne, Australia in October. Now plans have changed, slightly, with the bout now being staged in the Philippines, with Manila expected to be hosting the bout.
The contest was set up after Hekkie Budler (32-3, 10) vacated the belt, rather than face Alvarado in a mandatory title bout with a very low purse bid. For Budler the focus seems to be on retaining the WBA "super" title which he is expected to defend on New Year's Eve in Japan against Hiroto Kyoguchi (10-0, 7) [京口 紘人].
As a result of the vacancy Alvarado and Petalcorin were ordered to negotiate with the bout originally planned for Australia, where Petalcorin has fought a number of his recent bouts. That however has been changed after a better financial offer has been made to host the fight in the Philippines, giving Petalcorin a fully fledged home advantage for the bout, which is set for October 31st.
For the Filipino this will be his first world title bout, though he is a former WBA "interim" Light Flyweight champion and sees him take on his most dangerous opponent so far. As for Alvarado the bout will be his third shot at a world title, with his only losses coming in world title bouts to Kazuto Ioka and Juan Carlos Reveco which have interestingly both both occurred on his opponents home turf, Japan and Argentina respectively.
Although the title is vacant at the moment, few will argue with the quality of the future champion. Both Petalcorin and Alvarado are highly regarded in arguably the deepest division in the sport. Petalcorin has long been viewed as one of the best Filipino hopes in the sport whilst Alvarado is a noted and feared threat in the division, who earned his shot at the gold with a scary KO win over Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr in an eliminator last year.
We're not going to lie, we're incredibly excited about this one and can't wait for October 21st!
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