The month of September has been a bit of a strange one for Asian boxing. We have had a lot of activity, but we've seen it in bursts, with this past weekend being one of those bursts. The big names, for the most part, weren't in action and a lot of what we did get was Rookie of the Year in Japan and low level tick over bouts in Thailand, with novices looking to kick off their careers in Kazakhstan and more low level stuff in China. As a result a lot of our awards this month are heading to relative unknowns.
Fighter of the Month
John Riel Casimero
The Fight of the Month was one of the easiest awards for the month, with WBO Bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero being the stand out fighter for the month. He was the only Asian world champion to defend a world title during the month, and he did so in spectacular fashion, battering Duke Micah in 3 rounds. Casimero has continued to build on the win by calling out Naoya Inoue pretty much continually since the bout, and has certainly made fans sit up, take note, listen and remember his name.
Fight of the Month
Tsubasa Narai Vs Tomohiro Igarashi
We had some real fun fights this past month, though the most fun was the thrilling shout out between Tsubasa Narai and Tomohiro Igarashi. This wasn't the most violent bout, but was the most dramatic, most exciting a thrilling back and forth war. Both men showed solid skills, both men were dropped and both men had the bout going against them at some point. The bout was action packed through out and ended in spectacular fashion. A real must watch
Koichi Aso Vs Shogo Yamaguchi
John Riel Casimero Vs Duke Micah
Arman Rysbek vs Mikhail Dauhaliavets
KO of the Month
Aito Abe TKO1 Kentaro Omori
We didn't get too many brutal KO's in September but the one that left the biggest impression on us came in the East Japan Rookie of the Year qualifying bout between Aito Abe and Kentaro Omori. The entire bout didn't last long and ended in spectacular fashion, with Abe landed a dynamite right hand that sent Omori crashing to the canvas. A single, huge, right hand. Absolutely brutal shot and one that fans, with Boxing Raise, should go and check out...now!
Prospect of the Month
Rentaro Kimura (2-0, 2)
There was some very impressive performances by prospects in September, though none were as impressive as Rentaro Kimura's performance. His opponent wasn't the most testing, or skilled, but that didn't prevent Kimura from genuinely impressing. The Japanese "Super Prospect" showed sensation shot selection, an amazing use of angles, and not only show cased his offense against an over matched opponent but also his defense in a performance that was incredibly impressive. This was the type of performance that should make people sit and take notice and we suspect we'll see a lot of fans getting behind Kimura very, very quickly following a showing like he had here.
Upset of the Month
Pungluang Sor Singyu KO7 Campee Phayom
After losing the WBO Bantamweight title in 2016 Pungluang Sor Singyu struggled to get his career back on track, losing 4 of his following 5 bouts. Surprisingly however he managed to get his career back in track in early September when he scored a come from behind stoppage win over Campee Phayom. Pungluang wasn't expected to pick up the win here, he was expected to be too old, too small, too shot, but managed to use his experience to grind down Campee and take the KO victory over the much younger man. Thanks to this win, Pungluang's second win in 4 and a half years, the Thai veteran has given his career a major shot in the arm.
Round of the Month
Arman Rysbek vs Mikhail Dauhaliavets (Rd3)
We love rounds where fighters trade shots, and set a high tempo. We had a lot of these this month. Rounds of action up close and personal are typically our favourite rounds and there was was a lot of those. In terms of quality there were very few that matched the incredible quality of the 3rd round between Arman Rysbek and Mikhail Dauhaliavets. This was high quality boxing, at close range, at a high pace, with clean shots landed by both. If fans missed this fight we suggest you give it a watch, especially round 3. Genuinely fantastic.
John Riel Casimero Vs Duke Micah (Rd1)
Ryo Yoshida Vs Ricky Hasegawa (Rd 1)
Over the last few months we've not had much boxing to talk about, but thankfully that's all set to change in July with the sport returning to various countries after they have managed to get on top of the on going situation. With that in mind we have some fights to look forward this month!
Korakuen Hall, Japan
Satoshi Shimizu (8-1, 8) Vs Kyohei Tonomoto (9-2-1, 4)
OPBF Featherweight champion Satoshi Shimizu returns to the ring after a brutal loss to Joe Noynay last August as he defends his title against the unheralded Kyohei Tonomoto. The hard hitting Shimizu has a lot of questions to answer following his loss and will know that a loss here ends any hope he has of fighting for a world title. As for Tonomoto this is a huge opportunity to make a mark at Oriental level.
Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) Vs Daishi Nagata (14-2-1, 5)
Unbeaten Japanese Light Welterweight (140lbs) champion Koki Inoue will make his next defense as he takes on mandatory challenger Daishi Nagata. Originally this bout was scheduled for March, before Inoue was injured, then delayed due to the ongoing situation. For Inoue this could be his last bout at domestic level and he could well be looking to make a mark at a higher level in the very near future. As for Nagata this is his second shot at a title, after losing in an OPBF title bout against Rikki Naito. This could well be a very, very exciting bout.
Kazakhstan (IFL TV, ESPN+)
Dauren Yeleussinov (8-0-1, 7) Vs Arman Rysbek (7-0, 6)
In a very good looking all-Kazakh bout we'll see Dauren Yeleussinov, the brother of Olympic champion Daniyar Yeleussinov, take on Arman Rysbek. This is the sort of bout we're always excited about, two unbeaten, talented punchers facing off with everything to gain. At 34 Yeleussinov needs a big win, and this should be seen as a must win for him. Rysbek on the other hand is a bit younger, at 29, but can still ill afford a loss. Expect this one to be an excellent bout with two men looking to prove a point
Tursynbay Kulakhmet (0-0) Vs Sagadat Rakhmankulov (6-1, 4)
We love seeing top amateurs matched hard in a their debuts and that's what we have here with Tursynbay Kulakhmet, the 2019 amateur champion at Middleweight and World Championship bronze medal winner, taking on the once beaten Sagadat Rakhmankulov. It's expected that Kulakhmet will be fast tracked and with a debut like this the intention is clear, he is being eyed as a super talent and will be raced to the top. As for Rakhmankulov this will actually be his domestic debut, after entirely in the West so far. This is a big test, and hugely interesting debut.
Talgat Shaiken (0-0) Vs Berikbay Nurymbetov (5-0, 1)
Another notable debut is that of Talgat Shaiken, another Kazakh who is tipped for big things. Shaiken is only a youngster, but is a very strong and powerful kid who if being matched tough here for such a youngster, as he takes on Berikbay Nurymbetov. This is a tough debut, but should be a win for the former Youth Olympic silver medal winner.
Korakuen Hall, Japan (Fuji TV)
Kenta Nakagawa (18-3-1, 12) Vs Yuta Matsuo (15-4-2, 8) - Japanese Super Flyweight title fight
In the second Japanese title fight for the month we'll see Japanese Super Flyweight champion Kenta Nakagawa defending his title, in a mandatory, against Yuta Matsuo. Given the styles of the two men this should be a very good bout, with Matsuo known for his pressure and Nakagawa being known for his solid punching. A very nice bout and one that should be a very competitive one.
Rentaro Kimura (0-0) Vs Yuya Azuma (5-3-1, 1)
Yet another debutant of note for the month is Rentaro Kimura, who will take on Yuya Azuma. Those in Japan are raving about Kimura, who has stated that he wants to fight for a world title in his first 10 bouts. His debut comes against the relatively unknown Yuya Azuma, in what should be a rather straight forward debut for the youngster.
Kobe Central Gymnasium, Japan
Kenichi Horikawa (40-16-1, 13) Vs Daiki Tomita (14-1, 5) - OPBF Light Flyweight title fight
The second OPBF title bout for the month will see veteran Kenichi Horikawa take on Daiki Tomita for the vacant OPBF Light Flyweight title. This bout was supposed to take place in March, though was postponed when boxing was put on an hiatus in Japan. The title, which was vacated by Edward Heno, is often regarded as a stepping stone for world champions, and the title has been held by numerous fighters who have gone on to bigger and better things. For Horikawa a loss will almost certainly be the end of his great career, though a win would see him complete a domestic and regional grandslam. As for Tomita this is his second chance at a title, and a win here would be a huge boost to his fledgling career.
Aioi Hall, Japan
Masamichi Yabuki (10-3, 10) Vs Tsuyoshi Sato (10-1-1, 5) - Japanese Light Flyweight title fight
The final Japanese title fight for the month will take place on July 25th and will see fans attending the event as Masamichi Yabuki and Tsuyoshi Sato battle for the vacant Japanese Light Flyweight title. The title here became vacant when Yuto Takahashi announced his retirement from the sport following issues with motivation and training. Yabuki will be favoured here, given his brutal power, but Sato has been impressive with his pressure, high out put and under-rated power. For one of the first bouts with fans this should be a genuine highlight for the month, and the styles of the men should gell brilliantly.
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