In February we see action suddenly picking up with notable shows taking place all over the place, and we really do have some excellent shows coming up filled with a mix of top fighters, contenders and prospects. One prospect who is in action in the coming days is Kenshi Noda (1-0, 1), who actually makes his TV debut on February 1st as part of a Teiken card being televised on G+. Although not a big name, yet, big things are expected of Noda.
Noda first made his name as an amateur fighter where he ran up a 45-16 record. His full bout by bout record isn't something we have access to, but we do know that he was in the final stages of several notable national competitions. These included the 2012 Japanese Junior Selection Tournament, losing in the final to Yuki Nakajima and the 2013 Japanese Interschool Athletic Meet, where he lost to the brilliant Taku Kuwahara in the semi final.
Sadly for Noda his hopes of becoming a professional fighter took a huge hit as a youngster when he suffered a really serious injury to his left elbow. Noda had surgery for the injury but it didn't heal as expected, and rather than turning professional after he graduated from university he had to spend additional time rehabilitating his injury.
Thankfully the injury healed enough for him to begin his professional journey in 2019, moving to Tokyo and beginning to train at Teiken early in the year. Within just a few months of being at Teiken he had caught back up to speed with his boxing and took part in his pro-test in May, passing the tests despite admitting to being intensely nervous.
Noda made his long awaited professional debut last September, fighting as a Light Flyweight, and stopped Thai foe Somphon Banyaem in just 65 seconds. That was quicker than anyone had ever stopped the Thai, including former amateur foe Yuki Nakajima. Although the bout wasn't available to watch on TV or a streaming service, fans at the event were impressed by Noda, who was said to have been sharp from the opening bell and looked powerful and quick through out.
Noda's opponent for his February bout has been named as Indonesian Thomas Tope Hurek (2-4-1, 1). It's not a great opponent for Noda but does give the 24 year old Japanese fighter a chance to share the ring with someone who lasted 6 rounds with Satanmuanglek CP Freshmart in 2018.
At the age of 24 we expect to see Teiken move Noda quickly this coming year and potentially get him in to the Japanese rankings by the end of 2020.
It feels like January has been an incredibly bitty month for fight fans, with stretches without bouts, and a real lack of consistency through the month. We've had some notable bouts, of course we have, but for the most part it's concentrated on only a few days and hasn't been spread through much of the month. Thankfully that is set to change in February when we have a lot more to look forward to.
Nuevo León, Mexico
Pedro Taduran (14-2, 11) Vs Daniel Valladares (22-1, 13)
The most significant bout at the start of February sees IBF Minmumweight champion Pedro Taduran travel off to Mexico to defend his title, for the first time. The exciting champion, who won the belt in September when he stopped Samuel Salva in a short but thrilling bout, will be up against talented Mexican Daniel Valladares in what should be a really good bout. Taduran isn't the most polished, but sets a high work rate and lets power shots go, as if the judges are people he doesn't want to see. Valladares is more polished but will be moving down in weight for this bout. Expect this to be a genuinely brilliant fight!
Tokyo, Japan [G+ - Live]
Yuki Nagano (17-2, 13) Vs Keita Obara (22-4-1, 20)
The 2020 Champion Carnival kicks off with a brilliant looking Japanese Welterweight title fight, pitting in form champion Yuki Nagano against mandatory challenger Keita Obara. A win here for Nagano will push him on to the fringes of the world rankings, though he'll be a clear under-dog against the hard hitting Obara. For Obara a win here would see him becoming a 2-weight Japanese national champion and claim his third win since losing in a world title eliminator last March, as he looks to build some career momentum.
Ryusei Ishii (8-5-1, 5) Vs Yamato Hata (9-1, 9)
In a JBC Youth Super Featherweight title fight fight the limited Ryusei Ishii takes on the heavy handed Yamato Hata, with both men looking to move their career forward and claim their biggest win to date. Hata will be the favourite but Ishii has competed at a higher level and is no push over.
Kenshi Noda (1-0, 1) Vs Thomas Tope Hurek (2-4-1, 1)
Former amateur standout Kenshi Noda looks to continue his professional journey as he takes on Indonesian foe Tomas Tope Hurek. This should be little more than a showcase for the talented Noda.
Hiroto Yashiro (1-0, 1) Vs Abdul Rauf (1-2)
Another prospect in action here is Hiroto Yashiro, who is also expected to pick up a very easy win as he takes on Indonesia's Abdul Rauf. Given this is early in his career we can't complain too much about an easy fight for Yashiro, but don't be surprised if this one is over quickly.
Jasurbek Latipov (0-0) Vs TBA
Talented former amateur stand out Jasurbek Latipov makes his professional debut at the start of February. At the moment we've not been informed who Latipov will be facing, but the bout is being described as a chance for the excellent Uzbek to try and catch the eye of promoters, and we suspect he is going to look sensational here. He is certainly one to watch and this debut is one that should be of interest to fans who want to get in on the ground level for someone who will be looking to get fast tracked.
Rustam Tulaganov (2-0, 1) v Norbert Dabrowski (23-8-2, 10)
Touted Uzbek fighter Rustam Tulaganov takes a huge step up in class as he takes on Norbert Dabrowski. The talented Tulaganov was tipped for big things when he debuted in 2017 but hasn't been active enough to get to where he should be now. Thankfully he, and his team, are willing to take risks and a win here will help him make up for lost time.
Pennsylvania, USA [Showtime - Live]
Gary Russell Jr (30-1, 18) Vs Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-0, 9) -
In a bout we're really looking forward too we'll see WBC Featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr defending his belt against mandatory challenger Tugstogt Nyambayar. This is a mouth watering bout and a great chance to see whether or not the unbeaten Mongolian is for real. The American champion, who has gained a reputation for not liking the sport, and not by anywhere active enough, is talented but incredibly frustrating and has wasted his prime years. Nyambayar on the other hand is getting his shot at the big time, at last, and will know a win here will be huge for his career. In fact a win here for Nyambayar will see him becoming only the second Mongolian world champion. A really important and significant bout.
Kento Hatanaka (10-0, 9) Vs Roland Jay Biendima (15-5-1, 8) -
In Kariya we'll see WBC Youth Flyweight champion Kento Hatanaka make his next defense of the title as he takes on Filipino foe Roland Jay Biendima. On paper this looks like a mismatch but in reality this should be another great test for Hatanaka, who struggled last time out against Jaysever Abcede. Although talented and exciting Hatanaka does need time to mature and develop and this type of bout is perfect for that. Biendima isn't a world beater but should serve as an excellent test for Hatanaka at this point in time.
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces