For the second time inside a week we see the Japanese boxing world turn it's attention to the A class tournament as we get "Dangan 87" an 8 fight show with 3 bouts from various tournaments.
As far as we are aware the sole A class tournament bout will see Yosuke Fujihara (14-1, 4) fighting against Yuta Nakagawa (10-4-1, 6) in the Bantamweight division. For Fujihara this is a chance to build on a victory over Kenji Kubo though for Nakagawa, who has won just 1 of his last 4, he'll know he needs a result to stay relevant. This is one of those oddly wonderful match ups where a loss for either man really will hurt their career, at least for the foreseeable future.
There was originally a second A class tournament bout as Katsunori Nagamine (9-0, 6) was set to fight Yota Hori (9-2-2, 6) in a Flyweight bout. Unfortunately this bout has since been cancelled.
As well as the remaining A class tournament bout we have two other bouts scheduled for 6. One of those will see Ryoichi Tamura (0-1) taking on Keigo Soma (5-8-1, 2) as Tamura searches for his first victory, whilst the the other will see Takuya Fujii (5-4, 1) fighting Kazuki Kobayashi (4-5) in a bout between two men with very similar records.
As well as the three bouts scheduled for 6 rounds we also have a quintet of bouts scheduled for just 4 rounds.
These bouts, and the show it's self, kicks off with an all debutant contest between Takehiro Kojima (0-0) and Nunotani Masashi (0-0). These two men are the only debutants on the card.
Following the all debutant contest we then get two more non-tournament bouts. These will see Kotaro Sasa (1-2) fighting Yuya Nagayoshi (2-5, 1) and Yudai Hata (1-1) fighting Ryota Harukawa (1-1). Neither of these bouts look great on paper but both should be competitive.
As well as the A class tournament there are also two bouts from a C class tournament. The first of these, to take place at Super Flyweight will see Kazuto Nakane (1-0, 1) fighting Kazuma Ishikura (1-1), this will be followed immediately by the second C class tournament bout which will be at Super Featherweight. In the Super Featherweight clash Tateo Saito (2-0) will fight Yutaka Ekawa (1-2-1) in what will be the final 4 round bout before we move on to the 6 round contests.
As well the show in Japan there is also a show in Yemen. It may come as no surprise at all that the headline fight here will be unbeaten KO machine Ali Raymi (18-0, 18) who seeks his 19th straight opening round stoppage. Raymi, seeking to tie a world record, will face the unbeaten Ali Salem (10-0, 2). If Raymi stops Salem inside a round he will tie the 19 opening round stoppages recorded by Tyrone Brunson between 2005 and 2008.
Alongside the Raymi/Salem bout will be a Cruiserweight contest between Faisal Fittini (3-0, 3) and Khaled Abdusalam (1-0). We expect this to last a bit longer than the Raymi fight, though maybe not get the headlines of the main event.
To kick off a new month we have some genuinely exciting looking match ups. Not only do we have a second successive day with a PABA title fight in Thailand but we also have a brilliant show in Japan courtesy of Reason promotions.
We'll start by talking about the Thai contest. Like yesteday's bout we believe this will be televised on Thai Channel 7 as Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat (49-2, 32) defends his PABA Bantamweight title for the fifth time this year. The busy Tabtimdeang will be facing limited Filipino Edison Berwela (12-26-6, 3) a man who comes in to the bout with just a sole win in his last 10 contests.
Whilst Tabtimdeang was given a scare last time, out as he narrowly defeated Alvin Bais, we'd be shocked if he was given any sort of a test by Berwela here.
Over in Japan we have "Dangan 86" part of the "A Class Tournament" an excellent looking 9 fight card.
This Japanese card card begins with a trio of bouts scheduled for 4 rounds. The first of those will see the winless Kosuke Miura (0-5-1) fighting the debuting Oshita Koichi (0-0). The Koichi/Miura bout will be followed by an all debutant contest as Akihiro Shimogaki (0-0) battles Kimihiro Nakagawa (0-0).
In the third and final bout scheduled for 4 rounds we get a C class tournament contest as the unbeaten 23 year old Ken Kodama (1-0, 1) takes on fellow unbeaten novice Ippei Azuma (2-0, 1).
Following the 4 round contests we then move in to the Class A tournament bouts. The first of those will take place at Super Featherweight where the hard hitting Nakano Kazuya (5-2, 5) fights Ribo Takahata (9-3-1, 2). Whilst Takahata brings a 3-3 record from his last 6 in to this contests his losses have come to talented fighters and he should give Kazuya a very tough contest.
The Kazuya/Takahata fight is immediately followed by a second Super Featherweight contest. In this bout the highly experienced Akihiko Nago (31-7-2, 15), a former two-time world title challenger, faces the twice beaten Takaomi Abe (14-2-2, 1). Nago, who was a Japanese champion way back in 1998, is now 37 and really in the twilight of a long career though will be hoping that a tournament win here could revitalise his career and give him another chance to claim a Japanese title.
Following the successive Super Featherweight contests we get the first A Class tournament bout in the Super Flyweight division. In this bout the once beaten Shohei Kikuzato (9-1, 4) takes on the more experienced Kohei Kubo (15-4-1, 10), a man with as many stoppages as Kikuzato has total bouts. Coming in to this bout with a notable win last time out over Yoichi Ide it's hard not to back Kikuzato, despite the experience edge being with Kubo.
In a Bantamweight contest the once beaten Hiroaki Teshigawara (7-1-1, 4) looks to score his most notable victory to date as he fights Kota Sato (9-4-1, 4). Sato has lost 2 of his last 5 though could well know too many tricks for Teshigawara who has been fighting at a lower level than Sato so far.
The show's penultimate contest is a Flyweight contest which sees the unbeaten Yuta Matsuo (5-0, 3) taking his first real test. The unbeaten Matsuo takes on the more experienced Musashi Suzuki (9-1, 4), a man who's only loss came to Kohei Kubo almost 2 years ago. Matsuo will be tested, though the big question is whether not not he can pass the test.
In the card's final contest the hard hitting Hayato Kimura (19-5, 14),the fomer Korean Super Flyweight champion, takes on Junichiro Sugita (16-8, 7). Although Kimura isn't in great form losing 3 of his last 6 and 4 of his last 8 he's in significantly better form than Sugita who has lost his last 5 and 7 of his last 9.
As well as the great show in Japan and the title fight in Thailand we continue to have action thanks to several international fights and a card in Yemen.
The Yemen card is headlined by Ali Raymi (17-0, 17) who looks to continue his run of opening round victories as he takes on Mustafa Humaidi (6-0, 2). If Raymi managed to take Humaidi out in the opening round he'd then just be 1 fight away from tying the record of most straight opening round stoppages.
As well as Raymi/Humaidi we expect two other bouts on the show. The most interesting of those will see Ali Salem (9-0, 1) fight Prince Maz (2-0, 2) with the winner likely getting a shot at Raymi next time out. The other contest that we expect to be on the show is a bout between Akram Jafwi (3-0, 1) and Esayas Dagim (2-2, 1).
The international action is spread across Latin America and the UK. In Mexico the Filipino-America Ana Julaton (12-4-1, 2) battles Perla Hernandez (10-6-3, 2) in what promises to be an interesting female contest. In the UK journeyman Youssef Al Hamidi (12-60-3, 1) faces another probable loss as he fights the light punching Chris Goodwin (16-2-1) in what is almost certainly going to be a distance contest.
Fighting returns to Yemen to kick off the new week with a promising looking 6 fight card.
As with many shows in Yemen this year it's headlined by KO machine Ali Raymi (14-0, 14). Raymi, fighting for the 11th time this year, will be facing his 15th straight unbeaten opponent as he goes in to the ring against Abdu Rafik (3-0). Like Raymi, Rafik is "older" for a minimumweight, in fact aged 47 we believe Rafik will be the first opponent older than Raymi, though the expected resut is of course a first round T/KO.
Abdu Rafik is one of 3 "Rafik's" on the card. Their is also a bout for the unbeaten 16 year old Hamza Rafik (1-0, 1) who faces Ali Salem (6-0, 1) and 14 year old Ali Rafik (1-0, 1) who faces Sharaf Montaser (3-0, 3).
The rest of the card fills out with unbeaten novices as Zid Givri (1-0) fights Ahmad Jumaai (1-0, 1), Muhamad Fikri (1-0, 1) faces Muhana Hajaji (1-0) and Ali Mahakri (1-0) battles American Felix Arno (1-0).
The busy Yemen boxing scene is again at the forefront this weeks action with one of the first Asian shows of the new week. As with almost every show in Yemen it will be held in the countries capital city of Sanaa.
The 8 bout show is expected to start with debutants in action as Amad Rohani (0-0) takes on Saeed Shuaibi (0-0). This bout, made around the Super Featherweight limit is one of 5 bouts scheduled to be fought over the 4 round distance.
We expect the second of the 4 round bouts to feature two men looking for their first victories as Sameeh Arasi (0-1) fights Sami Umasi (0-1). This is the show's only bout featuring two fighters with losing records though on paper it appears to be a perfectly matched bout.
At Light Flyweight we expect the unbeaten Husam Shargabi (2-0, 1) to take on Abdu Mansur (0-1) in one of the other 4 round bouts and then at Bantamweight Omar Moxamad (2-0, 1) will take on Sabin Juma (0-1). With both Shargabi and Moxamad looking for their third successive victories it's hard to imagine either of them losing here.
It's expected that the final 4 round contest will see Wesam Maqrami (4-1, 2) in action as he tries to bounce back from his sole loss, a decision loss to Omar Awdan, as he takes on Hamdan Khulani (0-1). Maqrami is a very promising 16 year old and we'd be very shocked if he doesn't claim his fifth professional victory here.
It's thought that the first of the 10 round contests will see Luke Hasan (3-0, 1) taking on Luway Jaber (2-2, 2). This will be Hasan's second bout scheduled for 10 rounds but the third for Jaber who is 1-1 in bouts scheduled for 10 rounds.
Arguably the most interesting 10 round bouton the card sees Ali Salem (5-0, 1) facing Esayas Dagim (2-0, 1) in a battle of unbeatens. This looks like a genuinely great contest on paper between Salem, of Somalia, and Dagim an Ethiopian who will be fighting for the third time in Yemen.
Despite the fact that Salem/Dagim looks really interest it appears that the main event will see the unbeaten Yasin Abdulkhalik (6-0, 3) in action against the once beaten Moxamad Abdu (4-1, 2). This is a rematch between two men who fought just weeks ago with Abdulkhalik taking a very clear decision so we really don't see much point in the bout despite both men being well regarded domstically in Yemen.
Another weekend and another extremely busy day the world of Asian boxing.
In Japan we have 3 cards on the same day, including 2 at the Azalea Taisho Hall. Despite trying hard we've been unable to name all the fighters on these cards, but we've made not of the most notable bouts.
The one show in Japan not held at the Azalea Taisho Hall is being held at the Ota Sports Park Civic Gymnasium and features 6 contests, with it being held at a different venue to the other 2 we'll start our look at the bouts here.
We think, though aren't 100% certain, that the opening bout will see Daisuke Nakajima (2-11, 1) in action though we can't hunt down his opponent unfortunately.
The second bout on the show will see Keisuke Fujii (2-3, 2) taking on Shota Inoue (1-3, 1) who will be looking for his first victory since his victory back in December 2012. Unfortunately we're unsure again on the show's third bout as both men are fighters making their debuts in a 4 round contest.
The final bout scheduled for 4 rounds sees Shibayama Kota (1-1-1, 1) facing off against who think will be Kenji Motegi (2-1-1). We're not certain about it being Motegi though we have a feeling it will be.
The two bouts we are totally certain over are the main event and the chief support. The chief support bout sees Ryuta Otsuka (12-5-2, 3), the #6 Super Flyweight in Japan, fighting Mako Matsuyama (6-6-1, 3). This really is little more than a stay busy fight for the talented Otsuka.
In the main event Hisashi Amagasa (23-4-2, 15), the Japanese Featherweight champion. fights in a stay busy contest against the unranked Zuri Kannan (15-4-2, 4). Although it's the main event it looks like a one sided one.
The first of the two cards at the Azalea Taisho Hall takes place at 13:00 local time and features 6 contests.
We believe the first contest on the show will see Seita Mochizuki (1-4) in action against a debutant who we believe will be Ryoji Fukunaga (0-0). Following this Takaichi Tsujimoto (0-2) will be in action though, again he's against a fighter we're struggling to name.
We're under the belief that the third bout on the card will be female action with Emi Kitawaki (2-3-1, 1) battling novice Terumi Nuki (1-0). This is one of 3 females bouts on the card with the second seeing Maho Tamamori (3-2-1, 1) in action against who we believe will be Asako Tonarii (3-1-1, 2). The final female contest sees Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (2-1-1) fighting Mika Iwakawa (3-1, 1).
Between the second and third female bout is a contest between Kosuke Isono (5-1-1, 1) and Yuichi Arai (6-7-1, 2).
The second card at the Azalea Taisho Hall is expected to have 10 bouts, 9 of which are expected to take place over the 4 round distance.
The show opens with Tomoshige Ashitano (0-4-1) in action against Yuki Abe (1-2), this will be followed by Shione Ogata (1-3) taking on Mikiko Muto (1-0).
Unfortunately, as if often the case with low level bouts in Japan, we've been struggling with the names of the fighters throughout this card though what we are do know is that Shohei Kanemoto (7-6-1, 3) is on the card. We believe Kanemoto will be facing Satoshi Momota (9-8, 4) though unfortunately we are't 100% sure.
On the subject of Filipino's there is also an excellent card in Metro Manila thanks to Johnny Elorde Promotions.
The main event in the Filipino show sees the very experienced Dennis Laurente (44-5-5, 25) taking on Thai Manopnoi Singmanasak (10-15, 6) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Middleweight title. The 36 year old Laurente, a former OPBF Lightweight and current Filipino (GAB) Welterweight champion will be expected to fight at a career high here though he'll be unlikely to be the smaller man. Surprisingly Manopoi last fought in the Philippines, back in 2011, as a Super Bantamweight!
Arguably the second most important contest on the card will be at Flyweight as former world title challenger Jonathan Taconing (15-2-1, 12) takes on Thai Rambo Sithsaithong (8-3, 4). This will be the Taconing's fourth successive fight against a Thai opponent and incidentally the second bout in a row against a Filipino for Rambo.
Also on the show are Elorde boxing brothers Juan Martin Elorde (14-1, 6) and Juan Miguel Elorde (12-1, 4). Juan Miguel, the younger of the two fighters, has yet to have his opponent names though we believe that Juan Martin will be fighting against Rajakru Sor Rungwatana (0-2).
In the card's only 6 round contest the unbeaten Jeffrey Francisco (6-0-1) takes on Gerald Garcia (3-5-3) in what looks like an easy contest, though as we all know upsets regularly happen in the Philippines. Another unbeaten fighter hoping to avoid a notable upset is Fritz Marvin Bolinguet (3-0) who takes on the winless Charlie Gabriel (0-2).
The show's remaining 2 contests feature 3 debutants as Jerome Montalban (0-0) takes on novice Gebby Manago (0-1) and debutants collide as Christopher Estrera (0-0) fights Ernie Mino Jr. (0-0).
Amazingly there is yet another card in the Asian boxing world as Yemen manage yet another show.
As per usual the show comes from Sanaa, the Yemeni capital and features 8 contests with many fighters holding unbeaten records.
The Yemen show opens with 5 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds. These include a duo of Light Flyweight contests as Ali Sanabani (2-2, 1) takes on Sultan Awdi (0-1) and Ali Al Ahdal (3-3, 2) faces Ali Yunus (0-1). Whilst they are a long way from headline fights they should both be competitive which is never a bad thing.
Up just a single division we expect to see debutant Suhayl Hamzi (0-0) taking on the unbeaten Husam Al Shargabi (1-0). Hamzi will be the only debutant on the show though hopefully he'll make a good account of himself.
The remaining bouts over the short distance see Luke Hasan (2-0) facing Ali Rajeh (0-1) and Jaber Arashi (1-0) battling Faisal Rifaly (0-1). Between the two bouts it seems likely that Arashi/Rifaly will be a better contest and that Hasan will just be far too skilled for Rajeh.
As well as the 4 contests the show has 3 bouts scheduled for the 10 round limit. These start with matches between Ali Salem (4-0, 1) and Saeed Asam (1-1, 1) as well as a but between Abdu Sameer (4-0) and Alwan Hawshabi (2-1, 1) which both look interesting but pale in insignificance compared to the very good looking main event.
The main event sees unbeaten fighters colliding as Omar Awdan (5-0, 2) takes on Wesam Maqrami (4-0, 2). This bout is probably between the two best Minumimweight's in Yemen not named "Ali Raymi". Aged just 16 Maqrami will know that a win here could well help make him one to watch, whilst a win for Awdan would help him push for a bout with Raymi.