As we continue into new year we've had a big look at the current scene and come up with "20 fights we'd like to see in 2020", yeah another series ahead of the new decade!
As is always the case with what we do, these articles will have an Asian flavour, and every bout we mention in the series will have at least 1 fighter from Asia involved. So for those of you expecting us to talk about Deontay Wilder Vs Anthony Joshua, that won't be listed.
What we'll be looking at is well matched contests with either some form of back story, a great stylistic clash or bouts with some form of significant meaning. If they tick all the boxes then that is even better! Each fight will be given it's own article and each of these will come with an introduction to the fighters, and why the bout is being featured in the list.
Yuki Beppu (21-1-1, 20) Vs Kudura Kaneko (11-0, 8)
The Welterweight scene in Jappan doesn't get much attention, but last year it gave us a legitimate Fight of the Year contender, and whilst the talent isn't the best it does have a nice mix of fighters who all appear to be pretty evenly matched. It's this competitiveness that has made the division interesting to follow, without having a star to really create attention there. Today's bout looks an interesting match up that could take place in the coming year for a regional title and would promise to be a very interesting contest.
The hard hitting Yuki Beppu has had a really interesting career. He debuted in 2012 and won the Rookie of the Year in 2014, scoring his his 8th straight early win in the All Japan final against Hironobu Matsunaga. His KO run extended until he was 14-0, and then fought to a draw with Charles Bellamy, proving that he could box as well as punch despite only managing a draw. A loss to Yuki Nagano in a Japanese title eliminator in 2018 slowed his ascent but just 14 months later he won the WBO Asia Pacific title, winning a sensational bout with Ryota Yada. That Yada bout was truly amazing, with Beppu pulling himself off the canvas 5 times before stopping a swollen and tired Yada, in a remarkable come from behind win.
Japanese based Afghan born Welterweight Kudura Kaneko is relatively unknown, unless you follow the Japanese scene in depth, but has been quietly impressing over the last few years with wins against domestic foes like Masaharu Kaito, Change Hamashima, Toshio Arikawa, Rikuto Adachi and Moon Hyon Yun. The next step for him seems to be a title bout of some kind. The 21 year old Kaneko has really impressed and seems well on his way to winning major silverware, and a shot at the WBO Asia Pacific title seems like a logical choice. He is less experienced than Beppu, but like Beppu he's a strong boxer-puncher and given his recent form, his record isn't actually much behind that of Beppu, in terms of quality at least.
This would be two talented boxer-punchers against each other. Beppu is probably the more explosive, but Kaneko cannot be over-looked and he is a big, strong, powerful kid who is probably the more polished boxer of the two men. Beppu would find himself up against a guy who can box well, and throws everything with natural power, whilst Kaneko would be up against someone who could hurt him, something we've yet to see any opponent do so far.
This would be a very, very interesting, explosive and exciting match up, which genuinely could see Beppu build on his huge win over Yada or help Kaneko announce himself as a legitimate one to watch.
(Images courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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