One thing the Japanese do so well is stack up title fights and on the wonderfully named "TOKUHON Aero Dash 96th edition THE FINAL" we again see the Japanese shows having multiple title fights.
The first of those title fights is for the OPBF female Minimumweight title as the unbeaten Satomi Nishimura fights former world title challenger Saemi Hanagata in a genuinely great match up. The bout lets us find out if Nishimura is as good as her unbeaten record suggests whilst it also allows Hanagata a chance to move towards a second world title bout. Fantastic match up!
Following the female title bout we then move on to a clash for the OPBF Light Middleweight title as Koji Numata battles Takehiro Shimokawara. This bout may not have a big name in it but it is another excellent match and both men will be looking to score a career defining victory.
Sadly, considering the quality of the two major match ups, the poster it's self is pretty poor and looks like it's been done by some using photo shop. It's a genuine shame that the poster couldn't match the quality of the fights on it.
(Picture courtesy of Boxmob)
March sees the return of ALA Promotions highly popular "Pinoy Pride" as we get "Pinoy Pride XXIV".
Originally the show was supposed to be a double header with two genuinely good looking fights, as shown in the banner below. Unfortunately however one of the fights was changed after one fighter, Juan Hernandez, was hurt in an automobile accident causing his contest with Arthur Villanueva to be cancelled. Thankfully however the other bout goes ahead and we still get to see Genesis Servania fighting Alexander Munoz in a really interesting contest.
Interestingly it seems that the promoters, or at least someone selling tickets for for the show, has acted quickly and taken Hernandez off the poster, as seen above. A clever move though we've got to admit we were bigger fans of the original poster/banner as seen below.
Despite the change it does look like a "Pinoy Pride" show and the brand recognition is clearly something ALA are trying to get going with their Pinoy Pride cards. We feel that they are going in the right direction with these style of of posters and they should continue even if they don't look outstanding on their own.
Cards with female title fights on seem to be coming thick and fast in March with "G Legend 6" on March 3rd featuring 3 title bouts then, less than a week later, "Fighting Bee Vol 7" features another female title bout.
The full show for "Fight Bee Vol 7" features 6 bouts in total though for us the obvious highlight is the title fight which pits Japan's former world champion Tenkai Tsunami against Japanese-based-Filipino puncher Honey Katsumata for the vacant OPBF female Bantamweight title. For Katsumata a win will supplant her on the world stage whilst a win for Tsunami could prove to be the next step for her to get another world title bout. We've got to say it's a great match up and the winner will hopefully get another big fight later this year.
As for the poster, it shows not only the fighters involved in the Tsunami/Katsumata fight but also fighters from 3 of the other bouts on the show. It's nice enough and shows the head to head of several of the bouts but it's certainly not a poster that will really catch the attention if you walk past it. The poster does however have a notable spelling mistake on it, spelling the name of the venue as the "Korakuen Hole"...oops!
The first of 3 Dangan shows scheduled for March is "Dangan 95" scheduled for March 4th. The show is a fantastic one on paper and features 7 bouts in total, 2 of which are title bouts.
The first, and "lesser" of the title fights is a Japanese Light Welterweight title bout between the big punching Hiroki Okada and the more experienced Masayoshi Kotake. The title, which is currently vacant, wouldn't crown the best Japanese fighter at 140lbs though would act as a clear launch pad for the winner with the previous champion Keita Obara having used it to move on to an OPBF title.
Following the Light Welterweight title bout we then move on to the much anticipated rematch between the legendary Tadashi Yuba and Takayuki Hosokawa. Yuba, the first, and only, Japanese fighter to win national titles in 5 divisions, will be trying to make the second defense of his Japanese Light Middleweight title he will however know that Hosokawa really wants revenge for losing a close one to him back in 2011.
In regards to the poster it's a pretty decent one. Yuba is obviously the star of the show and takes up much of the poster whilst other fighters from the card are around him and the bouts are all listed at the bottom. It's simple but it works and looks fine with out being outstanding.
If we're being completely honest January and February have been incredibly poor for us boxing fans who have had relatively little too watch or even be all that excited by. Sure the odd fight and occasional knock out were worth catching but on the whole it has been disappointing. Thankfully however that is set to be part of history as March quickly approaches with a number of busy days in the boxing world.
The first of those busy days is on March 1st courtesy of Watanabe Gym's 7 bout card dubbed "The 522th Dynamic Glove".
The show's main event is easily the stand out bout as we get a much anticipated domestic rematch between Daisuke Nakagawa and Akio Shibata. The rematch is exciting by it's self but when you consider that this is an OPBF/Japanese Middleweight title unification bout things become even more enticing and it's going to be very hard to ignore this one and it's significance.
Amazingly we actually get 2 Middleweight bouts on this card with former world title challenger Makoto Fuchigami fighting Hikaru Nishida in the show's chief support bout. Fuchigami, who once fought Gennady Golovkin for the WBA Middleweight title, will know that a win would jump him up the cue to fight the winner of Nakagawa/Shibata II.
Also on the card is the world ranked Shin Ono who fights for the second time since needing to vacate the OPBF Light Flyweight title with an injury.
In regards to the actual poster it's sharp, it shows the 5 main fighters on the show, has plenty of details about the show and we rather like it. It's not exceptional but it is pretty decent.
"Dangan 94" isn't the only card being held on February 28th as Shinsei Gym, in association with Akashi boxing club put on a show at the Kobe Central Gym.
This show, "Real Spirits Vol 35 / Raising Fist" is scheduled to have 7 contests in total though, as with the Danagan show, only one of them really stands out and that's the battle between Kota Fukuoka and Akihiko Katagiri.
Fukuoka is highly is highly ranked by the OPBF at Featherweight whilst Katagiri is highly ranked by the JBC in the same division. That would mean that the winner would likely have two notable rankings to their name and an opportunity to move towards a title fight by the end of the year.
Unfortunately that bout aside there is little of real interest on the card as far as we're aware, though the poster does seem to suggest that their may be guest appearances from other more notable fighters from the Shinsei gym.
As for the poster it's decent enough for a low level show. The main event is given plenty of space in the foreground but over all it does look like a second rate poster for a second rate show.
February 28th sees the "Dangan" series of shows returning once again with "Dangan 94", unfortunately it is one of poorer "Dangan" shows that we remember seeing the match ups for.
Although we actually view this show as one of the weaker Dangan shows we do need to admit that the main event is a brilliant international match up pitting Japan's very own Shinya Iwabuchi against Filipino veteran Jimrex Jaca. On paper it's a solid test for Iwabuchi, a former Japanese Light Welterweight champion, especially when you realise Jaca has been on an impressive 11 fight winning streak.
As well as the main event, which is oddly scheduled for just 8 rounds, the card also features 7 other contests.
As for the poster it looks overly busy in the back ground and overly empty in the foreground. Whilst we understand the idea of putting the attention on Iwabuchi it does seem to have lead us with a pretty forgettable poster over-all.
Cards which are based solely on female bouts are never done in the west though only in a blue moon Japanese fans get such a show. The next "all female" fight card is on March 3rd as we get "G Legend 6".
The show, done in celebration of "Hina Matsuri", or "Doll's Day", is as close to female super-card as we're likely to get and it features 3 female world title fights and 3 other none title bouts.
The first of the world title bouts will see Naoko Shibata defending her IBF Light Flyweight title against Guadalupe Martinez. This will the fourth bout on the card and will also be the first defense for Shibata. The second world title fight will see Momo Koseki attempting to record her 13th defense of the WBC Atomweight title as she battles the unbeaten Angor Onesongchaigym, a victory here would see Koseki tie a national record of 13 defenses made by Yoko Gushiken so it's a genuinely major bout for her legacy.
The final bout on the show is between Ayaka Miyao and Buangern OnesongchaiGym as Miyao attempts to defend her WBA Atomweight title in what looks like a genuine fun to watch battle.
All of the title bouts on this show will be televised courtesy of sky-A sports+.
We are well aware that Top Rank's "Macau cards" split opinion like almost no other cards done by a major American promoter. Whilst some view them as a distraction to the usual US TV schedule we love them and we love the fact that Boxnation tend to carry them allowing British fans a chance to see some of the lesser known names from Asia.
The latest addition to the the Macau shows "Ring of Gold" a show that features not only Chinese Olympic gold medal winner Zou Shiming but also Japanese champion Ryota Murata and Russian Egor Mekhontsev as well as 3 title bouts.
The Olympians are the big selling point here.
Whilst Shiming may be much derided by boxing fans he could well act as the man to awaken Chinese boxing and lets be honest, if that happens then the talent and money in the sport could grow at a never before seen rate. For Mekhontsev the talented is clear and the guy has the ability to be rushed to a world title. The most interesting however is Murata who some already view as a superstar in the making and he may well have the potential to ignite cross-continental promoting like no other fighter.
Whilst we cant help but be excited about the 3 Olympic champions we've also got to say that the IBF Lightweight title fight between Miguel Vazquez and Denis Shafikov looks like a great clash of styles with pure boxer fighting against strong pressure fighter and the co-feature between Akifumi Shimoda and Marvin Sonsona is a brilliant match up.
The shows may not be hugely popular but this card just looks brilliant. As for the the poster however it's rather simple at first glance but actually rather deep. It features the 3 Olympic champions in the forefront which is clear but in the background are the national flags of several fighters involved on the show, a cleaver touch and something that is likely to be missed by some at first glance
As well as the traditional poster Toprank have also released this banner which adds the poster to an extra segment showing some of the other fighters on the card. A nice little bonus to the poster even if it does take away from the 3 Olympic champions.
March 30th might be a long time away but we felt we had to get this brilliant poster up as soon as we saw it. The poster, for "Desafio 3", which oddly translates from Spanish as "Challenge 3", if for the show which features the unbeaten Ryuji Hara fighting against Donny Mabao for the vacant OPBF Minimumweight title.
Whilst the poster doesn't feature Mabao's image at all and it does force you to focus on Hara it's still an amazing poster with the face in the background giving the poster a chilling feel that really looks fantastic.
Unfortunately the writing at the bottom is lost on us with out limited Japanese though that is our only complaint about the poster which caught out eye earlier today. Well done Ohashi gym for this one!
Every major fight needs good promotional posters. This part of AsianBoxing will try and feature some of those posters.