The middle part of April promises a lot, despite having had some bouts fall through. We'll see prospects, title fights and must win cross road bouts over the coming week or so.
Earlier this month we looked at some of the most notable bouts of September to feature an Asian fighter. Here will be the second, and final, part covering the notable bouts which are set to take place from September 22nd too September 30th and there really is some great fights set to take place over the last week or so of the month.
Jonathan Taconing (27-3-1, 22) Vs Vince Paras (13-1, 11) – Philippines
Hard hitting Filipino fighters collide as former 2-time world title challenger Jonathan Taconing defends his WBC International Light Flyweight title against youngster Vince Paras. Both of these men have fought at world level, have exciting styles and a lot of power, so we're expecting serious fire works here!
Sho Kimura (17-1-2, 10) Vs Kosei Tanaka (11-0, 7) – Japan
WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura seeks his third defense as he takes on the unbeaten Kosei Tanaka, who is looking to become a 3-weight world champion in just 12 bouts! This is set to pit will against skills and we're expecting both men to have their moments in nail biting all-Japanese world title bout.
Hiroto Kyoguchi (10-0, 7) Vs Tibo Monabesa (18-0-2, 8) – Japan
Former IBF Minimumweight champion Hiroto Kyoguchi begins his Light Flyweight campaign as he takes on unbeaten Indonesian Tibo Monabesa. This is a tough first bout at a new one for Kyoguchi whilst Monabesa will know that a win here would almost certainly open the door to a world title fight for him. A really significant contest.
Kyotaro Fujimoto (19-1, 11) vs Suthat Kalalek (12-9, 11)- Japan
If we did this list based sole on how competitive they were this bout wouldn't be here, but with the WBO Asia Pacific and OPBF Heavyweight titles on the line the bout between Kyotaro Fujimoto and Suthat Kalalek needs to be mentioned. The contest is a significant one, even if we do strongly favour the champion.
Yasuyuki Akiyama (12-7-1, 9) Vs Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (10-3, 9) – Japan
Another WBO Asia Pacific and OPBF title bout will see Yasyuki Akiyama defending the titles against hard hitting challenger Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa. Akiyama won the titles last year, in somewhat controversial fashion, but this will be his first defense and comes against a man he narrowly beat 18 months ago
Wulan Tuolehazi (8-3-1, 4) v Jayr Raquinel (10-0-1, 7) – China
In form Chinese hopeful Wulan Tuolehazi takes a big step up in class to face OPBF Flyweight champion Jayr Raquinel for the WBC Silver Flyweight strap. Raquinel has impressed this year, twice scoring stoppage wins in Japan to win and then defend the OPBF title but will be taking on a man in the form of his career.
Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-1, 20) Vs Alejandro Santiago Barrios (16-2-4, 7) – USA
IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas continues to to face less than stellar competition as he defends his belt against little known challenger Alejandro Santiago Barrios. Ancajas is one of the best fighters at 115lbs and this will be his 6th defense of the belt, but it does feel like Top Rank are matching him far too softly with bouts like this.
Janibek Alimkhanuly (2-0, 1) Vs TBA – USA
On the same card as Ancajas' bout with Barrios we'll see the US debut of former Kazakh amateur standout Janibek Alimkhanuly. Sadly his opponent for the contest isn't yet known, though we do have a feeling that fans will be very excited about the Egis Klimas managed boxer-puncher.
Tsubasa Koura (13-0, 9) Vs Daiki Tomita (12-0, 4) – Japan
OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura looks to record his third defense as he takes on fellow unbeaten youngster Daiki Tomita. This has the potential to be one of the best bouts of the month and could, potentially, lead to a world title fight for the winner. The edge in power and competition is with Koura but Tomita cannot be over-looked here!
Yuko Kuroki (18-5-1, 8) Vs Saemi Hanagata (14-7-4, 7) III- Japan
On the same card in Japan fans will get an IBF Atomweight title fight with Yuko Kuroki battling against Saemi Hanagata, in what will be their 3rd bout. So far Hanagata is leading the series, winning the first bout before the two fought to a draw. Since then both have proven to be world class fighters and this should be action packed from the first bell to the last.
Muhamad Ridhwan (11-0, 8) Vs Paulus Ambunda (26-2, 11) – Singapore
In Singapore local fans will get the chance to see their best prospect Muhamad Ridhwan take a massive step up in class as he faces former world champion Paulus Ambunda in a bout for the IBO Super Bantamweight title. Ridhwan is a talent, and should be favoured over the shopworn Ambunda, but at 30 he really does need to kick on if he wins here.
Takuya Watanabe (34-8-1, 19) Vs Paiboon Lorkham (19-10, 8) – Taiwan
In Taiwan we see the biggest show in the countries history, headlined by a contest between the teak tough Japanese fighter Takuya Watanabe and Thailand's Paiboon Lorkham. The bout, for the OPBF Silver Super Featherweight title, is expected to be a straight forward win for Watanabe but is still a massive deal for boxing in Taiwan.
In the UFC right now there seems to be one major draw and that's unbeaten female fighter Ronda Rousey, the UFC Women's Bantamweight champion who has managed to combine beauty and skill to become a genuine star in an typically male oriented testosterone based environment.
The combination of beauty and fighting skills isn't something that is unique to "Rowdy" Ronda and in fact through time there has been notable female fighter who have been able to both kick ass and look great doing it. Previous examples include Russian-Kazakh Natascha Ragosina and Regina Halmich who both helped to popularise female boxing in parts of Europe.
In Japan their is, of course, the rise of Tomomi Takano (5-0, 4), a fighter who is having her career managed very well so far and a fighter who manages to get more media attention than many of her male counter parts. The reason Takano has had her popularity is certainly more due to her looks than her skills, though both the fighter and her team are working hard to improve her in ring ability so that she really can break through into becoming a real star.
For Takano the first big test of her boxing ability will come on June 24th when she battles Kai Johnson (4-5-3, 1) in what is a very well matched bout. Win or lose Takano is still years away from having a chance of winning a world title. She has the physical attributes to go a long way, with her rangy and tall body being perfect for an outside fighter, but technically she isn't nearly ready to fight anyone close to world level.
Although Takano isn't ready for a world title fight there is one female fighter in Japan who has not only the looks of a fashion model but also the skills of a world champion, in fact she is already a world champion. That fighter is current WBC female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (11-4-1, 6) who lacks the unbeaten record of Takano but has the much coveted green and gold belt of the WBC.
At 23 years old Kuroki is a boxing baby yet is already a world champion and with her looks a potential major cross over star who is just as capable of beating world class fighters as she is strutting her stuff on the catwalk. Better yet she seems to realise the potential that her image has and is confident enough to play on it. She has shown her awareness of this part of her life more than once, though the most notable example was at the weigh in prior to her world title winning effort against Mari Ando back in May. For that weigh in she looked stylish, fashionable and, we dare say, hot.
Whilst the others at the weigh in came in wearing typical casual street clothes such as jeans or jogging bottoms Yuko appeared on a short skirt and high heels. It was as if she wasn't just thinking about the fight that was coming up but also the potential long potential of her image. It was almost like she was using the weigh in as an advertisement of herself to any and all fashion labels in Japan.
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