With yesterday being an incredibly busy day for fighters from Asia it may have fooled some in to thinking that today would be less busy, surprisingly however Sunday in incredibly busy in Japan with 3 cards, including two very notable ones.
We'll start with the card in Tokyo which is arguably the biggest show, at least in terms of international interest.
The show is expected to kick off with an all-debutant bout between Daisuke Sudo (0-0) and Ichitaka Matsunishi (0-0). Whilst both men are making their debuts it's fair to say they won't be expected to do anything too special against each other and the best we can really hope for is a competitive match up to kick off the show. This will be followd up by a bout between 19 year old Takuya Mori (4-1, 3) and fellow youngster Jun Koseki (6-2, 3) in what looks to be a genuinely interesting bout on paper.
The third scheduled bout on the show is thought to be between the unbeaten Japanese youngster Takahiro Shigee (8-0-1, 7) and Filipino visitor Diarh Gabutan (18-2-3, 9). We've got to say this is a huge step up for Shigee and it wouldn't be a shock at all if Gabutan managed to derail the Japanese fighter's unbeaten run.
In the show's fourth bout we expect the only title of the card as Keita Obara (8-1, 7) defends his Japanese Light Welterweight title for the first time as he takes on the more experienced So Takenaka (18-6-2, 8). Although this looks like a fantastic match up on paper it's hard not to side with Obara as the likely winner.
Oddly the title fight, mentioned above, isn't the main event, in fact there are two more notable bouts after it. The first of those sees Jorge Linares (33-3, 21) in action as he returns to a Japanese ring for the first time in almost 3 years. Linares will be looking for his 3rd straight as he takes on Berman Sanchez (26-5-3, 18) in what we believe to be an 8 round bout.
Amazingly Linares, a former 2-weight world champion isn't the main event either instead that honour is left to 2012 Olympic Gold medal winner Ryota Murata (0-0) who makes his professional debut against OPBF Middleweight champion Akio Shibata (21-7-1, 9). The bout, scheduled for 6 rounds is to be televised on Fuji TV as Murata gets a chance to fight without the head gear for the first time. A lot is expected of Murata and anything but an impressive victory here would be a huge disappointment.
The card in Tokyo also has 3 "reserve bouts" though it's unlikely that they will be needed. If they are needed we would expect to see all debut match ups between Yoshiwara Tomohiro (0-0) and Kawano Taku (0-0) or Hiroki Ashizawa (0-0) and Yamagishi Taku (0-0). There is one other reserve bout though we're not certain who's actually in it.
Murata's debut isn't the only fight expected to be televised on Fuji TV with the channel also hosting the main event from the card at the Sky Arena in Zama where Naoya Inoue (3-0, 3) faces Ryoichi Taguchi (18-1-1, 8) for the Japanese Light Flyweight title. This is the biggest test of Inoue's career so far though a victory would open the door for a world title fight in just his fifth professional contest.
We are expecting the show in Zama to kick off with Yuya Watanabe (0-0) making his debut against Ryo Irie (0-2) in the first of two bouts scheduled for four rounds. The other four round bout sees the debuting Aoki Rassha (0-0) in action against Asahi Hatsumi (0-1).
The first of the six round bouts on the Zama show sees Yasuyuki Hoshino (5-4-1, 4) facing Irisawa Kazuaki (6-4, 5) in what should be an explosive contest. This will be followed by a bout between Akihiko Katagiri (12-7-1, 4) and Goto Toshimitsu (11-9-1, 4), again we expect this to be a genuinely competitive bout.
In the only bout scheduled for eight rounds Yuta Saito (7-4-1, 6) is expected to battle Yoshinori Koto (6-8-2, 1) before we get a four round between Ryu Koike (0-2) and Kazutaka Hasegawa (0-1) a bout that is likely being held to prevent the main event, the Inoue/Taguchi bout, from taking place too early.
The final card of the day is from the "West Rookie of the Year" tournament and features twelve bouts.
The first bout is at Minimumweight as Kenta Shimizu (4-3-1, 2) takes on Takeshi Sone (3-1-1) in what, at least on paper looks a good fight. Sone of course should be favoured but an upset is not out of the question at all. This Minimumweight bout will be followed by an interesting light Flyweight contest between Tatsuya Sakamoto (3-2, 1) and Tomoya Itosu (2-1, 1) and an intriguing Flyweight contest between Junpei Omori (2-2, 2) and Hisashi Kawanishi (3-4).
In the Super Flyweight division we get an interesting bout as Japanese based Mexican Johnny Abarca (6-0, 1) takes on 10 fight veteran Kenta Sugimoto (5-4-1) in what should a very compelling bout. This is actually one of two bouts scheduled for five rounds with the other being at Bantamweight as the unbeaten Tatsuya Ikemizu (4-0, 2) takes on Monkey Shuhei (4-2-1, 1)..
At Super Bantamweight we get a meeting of unbeatens as Shohei Kawashima (4-0, 1) faces Bunta Mitaka (3-0-1) in one of the genuine stand out bouts on paper. Oddly we also get a good one at Featherweight as Shingo Kawamura (4-1, 1) fights Takuya Hashimoto (3-1).
It's at Super Featherweight that we get what looks to be a msimatch as Ken Osato (3-0, 2) fights the experienced Kenji Suehiro (4-6, 1) who has the worst record on the show. If this is the "mismatch" of the card then the weakest match is problabe the Lightweight contest as Fukumoto Shoji (3-3, 1) fights Takafumi Yamada (3-2, 1).
At Light Welterweight we get Kazuma Fukuyama (2-1-1) against the fantastically name Jumbo Oda Nobunaga Shoten Petagine (4-1, 3), in the Welterweight division the unbeaten Shota Yamamoto (3-0, 2) looks for his fourth straight win fighting Hideo Mikan (4-4-1, 1). In the final bout, at Middleweight, Koki Tyson Maebara (2-1-1, 2) takes on the winless Katayama Osamu (0-1).