A busy Sunday is the norm in Japan for boxing and with 3 cards today this week is no exception.
The most notable of the 3 Japanese cards takes place at the FujisanMesse in Fuji.
The main event of the Fuji card sees the unbeaten Ryuji Hara (14-0, 10) making the second defense of his Japanese Minimumweight title as he takes on Shuhei Ito (12-2-1, 3). This match not only has the title on the line but also revenge for Ito who suffered his first career defeat at the hands of Hara back in 2010. It's likely the winner of this bout will move into an OPBF title bout with in 2 or 3 fights and then look towards a world title bout in the coming years.
As well as “Hara v Ito II” the card also features Go Odaira (7-3-3, 1) against Kazuma Kitahara (8-2-1, 4) in a very well matched up bout. Whilst Odaira has suffered 3 losses one of those came to Hara so there is no shame there. In a lesser bout Yuki Tsuge (12-2, 6) takes on Yuji Hasegawa (6-2, 1) and Kazuya Nakano (4-2, 4) takes on a yet to be named opponent.
In the Convention Center, Ginowan a 3 bout card is scheduled (though we'd imagine more bouts will be added by fight night). The most notable of those bouts sees Koseki Nakama (15-4, 6) who's is 1-3 in his last 4 fights, taking on Filipino Jose Ocampo (17-5-1, 12) an opponent best known for his links to Ricky Burns.
As fans will know Ocampo was strongly linked to a fight for the WBO Super Featherweight world title around the turn of the year though the bout was eventually called off after Ocampo's trainer unfortunately passed away.
As well as the Nakama against Ocampo fight there is also a very interesting bout between Go Onaga (19-2-2, 14) and Ryan Rey Ponteras (12-9-1, 6). Although on paper this appears like a mismatch Ponteras does take a 4 fight winning streak in to the ring whilst Onaga is 2-1-1 in his last 4.
The final bout that we have details about on the card is a total mismatch as Masatoshi Kotani (11-2, 9) faces Payanoi Jittygym (0-1). Whilst Kotani was stopped 2 fights ago by Cirilo Espino he should still cruise to a victory here.
The final card is also the most scarce in terms of information with only 1 bout currently listed. The one bout we have details for at the City Sogo Gym is Masaki Saito (8-9-3, 1) against Kazunari Fujisawa (9-9-4, 2). We've got to admit that this is a bout that doesn't set the pulses racing and we'd assume that the undercard will mostly be novice professionals.
Although Friday's schedule was a bit thin it appears that things are a bit better on Saturday with a solid (though unspectacular) card at the Korakuen Hall as well as a deep card in Metro Manila, Philippines and numerous fighters fighting internationally.
The card in Japan features 7 bouts though it's only really the main event that has any sort of a "name" draw as former world title contender Ryo Akaho (19-1-2, 12) fights for the first time since losing to Yota Sato in December. Akaho is veing given what appears to be a confidence builder as he takes on Filipino journeyman Elmar Francisco (16-18-2, 4) who is without a victory in 5 bouts.
As well as Akaho, the card features former 2-time Japanese national champion Daisuke Nakagawa (20-3-2, 15) who faces Indonesian Elvin Marbun (14-10-2, 6). Like Akaho, it appears that Nakagawa is being given an easy bout to build his confidence as he looks for another notable fight.
The Nakagawa bout is one of 5 bouts on the card scheduled for 8 rounds with Junki Sasaki (11-1, 5) facing Ryosei Arai (11-3-1, 3) in probably the most well matched bout of the show. The 21 year old Sasaki is tipped. by some to be a future champion though will need to come through a tough test here.
The reaming 3 bouts for the 8 round distance lack any real drawing factor with Toru Shiba (14-7-1, 11) facing Yuto Shimizu (6-2-2, 1), Kenichi Ogata (5-4, 3) fighting Shunsuke Sato (7-14-2, 4) and Musashi Suzuki (8-1, 3) facing Tatsuya Fukuhara (12-2-3, 3).
In a solitary 4 round bout Kazuya Seki (3-3, 1) takes on the unbeaten teenager Gaku Aikawa (1-0). It's a well matched bout though with Aikawa having been out of the ring for around 11 months it's hard to really know what the 19 year old wants from the sport.
In the Philippines a stacked 12 bout card is scheduled. The headline bout sees Juan Purisima (10-3-1, 3) facing Renren Tesorio (11-2-3, 3) in a battle over the Philippines Boxing Federation (PBF) Flyweight title. This is a bout that is likely to go the distance and yet it's also likely to have drama with both men being well matched on paper.
It's fair to say that the main event is by far the best bout on the card, though with several unbeaten prospects also on the show the card does have plenty to be excited about. Of those prospects it's hard not to be excited about Menard Avial (2-0), Daryl Basadre (9-0-1, 6) and Renerio Arizala (5-0, 3) though all 3 are being matched against limited opponents here.
Sadly much of the card does appear, at least on paper to be mismatches with bouts like Michael Dasmarinas (11-1, 7) against Rolando Niones (4-12-1, 2), Andrian Camique (4-0-1, 2) against Sherwin McDo Lungay (7-22-2) and Jerry Nardo (16-2, 7) against Jonel Borbon (1-8-1, 1).
Despite the apparent mismatches on the card there are several well matched 4 rounders with Jay-Ar Diama (0-0-2) fighting Rodel Garde (0-4), Fidel Cuyno (0-1) facing Juanito Hundante (0-1), Rowel Rosia (2-2, 1) taking on Honesto Luha (0-1) and Roderick Naduma (0-1) taking on debutant Miko Sacro (0-0).
In international action Filipino youngster Gabriel Altarejos (12-1-1, 4) tries to score the biggest win of his career as he travels to Mexico to face former multi-weight world champion Hugo Fidel Cazares (38-7-2, 26). With the WBC International Silver Super Bantamweight title on the line a win would help put Altarejos on to the world stage, but he will be going in as a big under-dog against an excellent fighter.
Also in Mexico is Thai Rusalee Samor (20-4-2, 9) who faces David Sanchez (20-2-2, 15) in a bout for the interim WBC Silver Super Flyweight title. This looks to be an excellent contender on paper and could go either way, though Sanchez has to be the slight favour.
In the US Sri Lankan Nuwan Jayakody (1-0, 1) looks to score his second professional victory as he takes on Anthony Burgin (3-0, 1). This is awell matched bout and a win for Jayakody could help him put Sri Lanka on the boxing map.
In a weekend dominated by female fights through the America's, Asia action seems to be quite quiet with only one card currently listed as scheduled on Friday (though Asians are fighting in both Australia and Nigeria to give the day an international feel).
The currently listed Japanese card appears to be incomplete featuring just a solitary bout Ryosuke Kinoshita (8-8-1, 2) looks to extend a 3 fight winning streak. In his way stands Yusuke Usui (12-11-2, 5) who himself takes in to the ring a 5 fight unbeaten streak.
Although the bout isn't one that will set pulses racing internationally it should actually be a very evenly matched bout and could end up being a solid bout.
In Australia we get the usual mismatches that are becoming common down there. Featured in those bouts in Australia are an appearance by Yakub Ton (4-8, 2) who takes on Ozan Craddock (3-0, 3) and Ton's compatriot Rivo Rengkung (30-14-5, 10) who faces Brett William Smith (15-2-1, 7). Although Rengkung has an impressive looking record he has been unable to score a single win outside of Indonesia in 11 attempts.
It's not just the Indonesian pair that will be in action in Australia but also Thai Dennapa Bigshotcamp (12-25-3, 4) who faces Jason Kanofski (17-7-3, 3). Bigshotcamp has been stopped in his last 2 fights, both in Australia and it would be far from a shock to see that become a trio of stoppage defeats.
Arguably the most bizarre bout of the day is the professional debut of Shahin Adygezalov (0-0). Born in Calilabad, Azerbaijan though based in Russia, Adygezalov will make his debut in Abuja, Nigeria.
Today we appear to have a single card in Asia with one other having an Asian interest.
The card in Asia, well Thailand to be precise, is televised thanks to Thailand TV 9 (AKA "Modernine") and features at least 4 bouts.
The main event of the Thai card sees Tiger Tor Buamas (13-0, 11) defending his interim WBC Asian Boxing Council bantamweight title for the 3rd time as he takes on Richard Garcia (24-15-1, 6). The 27 year old Thai is a genuine talent but will need to be at his best to beat Garcia who is much better than his record indicates.
As well as Tiger Tor Buamas the card also features 3 of his stable mates including talented female Samson Tor Buamas (28-3, 14) who, despite being the WIBA Minimumweight champion is fighting in a none title bout against Saosukhothai Sorkor Peera (0-0).
The other two bouts, both scheduled for 6 rounds see unbeaten pair Pharanpetch Tor Buamas (10-0, 8) and Saengthong Tor Buamas (3-0, 3) both hoping to add another win to their records. Saengthong will be facing Thepyothin Sithdabnid (0-1) whilst Pharanpetch will be going up against Suor Carryboy (8-7-1, 4).
Uzbek Olim Nazarov (10-1, 7) returns to the Ukraine, the country where he picked up his sole defeat, to face the unbeaten Oleg Malynovskyy (7-0, 2). On paper this looks like an excellent match up and the winner should be expected to go on to the next level.
Nazarov is joined on his travels the Ukraine by compatriots Bahrom Payozov (21-2, 15) and Hokim Karimov (3-1, 2). Payozov, who fights in the main event, faces the world ranked Victor Postol (22-0, 0) in what looks to be a pretty competitive bout on paper. Sadly for Payozov his most recent loss, a stoppage at the hands of Dejan Zlaticanin, doesn't bode well for this bout.
Karimov on the other hand seems to have half a chance at picking up a victory as he takes on Ilya Prymak (4-0, 4) who has a solid looking record but has yet to face any sort of an opponent (his 4 opponents went in with a combined record of 0-1).
We're sorry for the past week or so of no updates, we've been having issues that have been keeping us from updating the site recently. Thankfully those issues have been sorted and normal service will be resumed this week, starting with a preview of Tuesday's upcoming action.
Tuesday's action is shared across Hong Kong and Japan with two noteworthy cards that are sure to grab the attention of boxing fans.
In the Korakuen Hall there is a 6 bout card that features several promising young Japanese fighters. Arguably the biggest name on the card is Kenji Kubo (1-1) who is looking to bounce back from his stunning loss to Rey Megrino back in January. Kubo will be matched a little softer than he has been so far as he takes on Galih Susanto (6-2, 1) from Indonesia. Although this is supposedly an easier bout Susanto did give Denkaosan Kaovichit a tough bout earflier this year and is better than his record indicates.
If Kubo is the biggest name (due to his experience in other fields) then Hiroki Okada (5-0, 5) is the most promising. The unbeaten Okada is to take on the experienced Indonesian Heri Andriyanto (19-15-2, 10). Whilst on paper this is a mismatch Andriyanto did end the stoppage streak of Shuhei Tsuchiya just over a year ago. Aged 23 Okada is one of Japan's most exciting prospects but will need to pass this tough test before we can say too much more.
Other than Okada there is only 1 other unbeaten fighter on the card, Gosuke Seki (12-0-2, 2) who faces Kenta Takahashi (10-5-2, 3). This is a rematch of a bout from last year which saw next to nothing seperating the two men and the judges ruling it a draw.
The other 3 bouts on the card include Ryota Itoyama (9-4, 5) taking on Yuichi Ideta (13-7-1, 7) with Ideta trying to end a 5 fight winless streak, the very evenly matched Tonko Nakagawa (11-5, 4) and Yoshihiro Utsumi (10-4-1, 5) fighting in a Super Bantamweight bout and Masahito Igawa (10-7-1, 3) looking to return after over 2 years out as he takes on Masatoshi Nakamura (6-6, 3).
In Hong Kong local star Rex Tso (8-0, 5) fights his toughest bout to date as he takes on former world champion Wandee Singwancha (67-16-1, 18). Tso will be hoping to make the second defense of his WBC Asia Council Continental Super Flyweight title. Despite the huge gulf in experience he should have enough size advantage and youth to defeat his Thai opponent.
The Tso bout is just 1 of 3 titles bouts on the Hong Kong card with Thai Ekapol Yothinpanawet (13-1, 9) looking to claim the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Welterweight title as he takes on Filipino Mike Tumbaga (12-18-2, 6) in the only bout for a vacant title.
Arguably the most significant title bout on the card is the WBC Atomweight title fight between the Japanese champion Momo Koseki (15-2-1, 3) and Eun-Young Huh (6-1-1). Kosecki is on a 13 fight unbeaten streak including 10 defenses of her title and will be looking to once again back up her claim of being the best Atomweight on the planet.
The card's only 6 round bout sees Japanese based Ugandan Festus Omondi (8-4, 6) taking on the experienced Edgar Gabejan (23-29-6, 7). This is a bit of a toss up though we would favour Gabejan due to his experience.
The remaining 3 bouts, all scheduled for 4 rounds sees 6 novices in action with just a solitary bout between them. The one man with a fight to his name is Chan Sin Man (1-0) who will be facing Alvin Cooney (0-0), the other two, all debutant bouts are Nibesh Ghale v Kuok Kun Ng and Oliver Prevost v Keng Fai Lam. The second of those bouts is the most interesting pitting the Hong Kong based Frenchman Prevost against Macao's Keng Fai Lam in a Heavyweight bout in a bout that has plenty of intrigue though can it deliver?