We all that boxing has some very important days and today is one of them due to several reasons. In one country we have a man attempting to set a world record, in another we have a world title fight and one of the biggest debuts of the year. Yes, Sunday November 10th 2013 is a key to mark down on your boxing calendar.
The most notable of the cards we have is in Tokyo at the gigantic Kokugikan. This show, promoted by promotional power house Teiken promotions and shown on WOWOW is headlined by a WBC Bantamweight world title bout though features 3 former world champions as well as a sole world champion.
That world champion, as you may have guessed, is Shinsuke Yamanaka (19-0-2, 14) who will be trying to defend his Bantamweight title for the fifth time. The hard hitting Yamanaka will be facing former world title challenger Alberto Guevara (18-1, 6) a man who saw out the 12 round distance with Mexican-American Leo Santa Cruz. Although some are expecting Yamanaka to stop Guevara early we'll admit we'd be very impressed if the Mexican is stopped.
As well as the major world title bout on the show the same card will also feature 3 former world champions. In one of those contests Jorge Linares (34-3, 22) will take on Francisco Contreras (21-3, 16). Originally Linares was scheduled to take part in a second world title fight on the show, facing WBA Lightweight champion Richar Abril but unfortunately Abril was injured leaving us with this lesser bout.
In the two remaining major bouts on the card Roman Gonzalez (36-0, 30) will fight recent world title challenger Oscar Blanquet (32-6-1, 21) and Takahiro Ao (24-3-1, 11) will fight Edgar Alejandro Lomeli (14-3-2, 8). Of these two bouts it's the Gonzalez/Blanquet bout which is the most interesting considering the fact Blanquet recently fought Akira Yaegashi in a WBC world title fight.
As well as the 4 major contests on the Teiken card the show also contains 4 other bouts, including the opening contest which will see Daisuke Sudo (0-1) fighting fellow win-less fight Takashi Shinmyozu (0-2).
The remaining 3 contests, all regarded as "floating" contests, are scheduled for 4 rounds. These will see Hisashi Owada (3-8) fighting Yutaka Motoyoshi (3-6, 3) in a Super Bantamweight contest, Masaki Mori (0-1-1) fighting Kazuhiro Baba (0-0-1) and an all debutant contest between Hiroki Imamura (0-0) and Yamato Sasaki (0-0).
Whilst the Yamanaka fight is the most notable on the world stage there is actually a second notable Japanese card courtesy of Hatakana. Soul Fighting #47, an 8 fight card at the International Conference Hall in Nagoya.
This card begins with Taichi Sugimori (1-1) fighting the debuting Tomoya Yamaguchi (debut), a man not to be confused with a fighter who poses an identical name but a 4-1 (4) record. This will be followed by another bout featuring a debutant as Abe Seimei (0-0) faces Naoki Masukawa (1-0, 1) and then an all debutant contest between Kamiyasu Hideaki (0-0) and Yosuke Kato (0-0).
In the final of the 4 round contests Shintaro Tsutsumi (1-1, 1) is in action against who we believe is going to be Masatoshi Tomita (5-6-1).
The first, of two, 6 round contests looks a solid under-card contest as Yusuke Nakagawa (4-3-1, 3) fights Hajime Kawase (4-6-2) in a competitive looking contest. This will be immediately followed by an 8 round contest as the well regarded Shota Hayashi (20-5-1, 12) fights Ryosei Arai (12-3-1, 3) in what is a very well matched contest.
Although Hayashi/Arai is a great contest on paper it's fair to say that the entire show is based around the debut of Kosei Tanaka (0-0) who begins his career by facing WBO #6 ranked Minimumweight Oscar Raknafa (12-3, 5) of Indonesia. This is genuinely a major test and whilst Raknafa isn't a well known name he's a very strong and tough looking fighter who could give Tanaka some genuine questions in a tough introduction to professional boxing for the talented former amateur standout.
Following the debut of Kosei Tanaka is the main even which will see Yushi Tanaka (10-0-3, 6) fighting Norasing Patanakan Gym (1-1, 1). This will be a defence of the WBC Youth World Bantamweight title by Tanaka and whilst it would be a huge shock for Norasing to win, it's worth noting that his sole loss has come to Nobuo Nashiro, a genuine world level fighter.
Amazingly a third Japanese card will also take place on Sunday, though admittedly at a much, much lower level. This third card, promoted by Fujita, features just 6 contests and begins with a rematch as Jump Ikeo (0-1-1) meets Hiromichi Kurokawa (2-1-1) for a second time. The two first met in March with the result being a majority draw so both will be looking to make a statement thi time out.
Following the opening contest on the Fujita show we expect Fever Maki (2-1, 2) to face Ryo Hirai (1-1-1) in a second 4 rounder. This will be the second of three bouts scheduled for 4 rounds with the final of those being the debut of Fain Arai (0-0) who takes on a Thai opponent that we've failed to identify.
In a bout we believe is scheduled for 8 rounds Koichi Ito (8-1-2, 7) will fight Katsuhiko Kanno (8-6-7, 3). We have to favour Ito, thogh Kanno can make life very difficult for fighters when he's on form and if he can take Ito's power this could be very, very interesting.
The co-feature here will see Burning Ishii (4-1, 1) fighting the unbeaten Genki Horiuchi (5-0-1, 3). This is a solid contest for both men, and whilst Ishii does come in to the bout following a loss to Shohei Okuda he could very well feel like an unbeaten man due to the closeness of that contest which very easily could have gone the other way.
In the main event unbeaten Filipino Nelson Gulpe (8-0, 3) will face Accel Sumiyoshi (3-2, 1) over 8 rounds. We favour Gulpe here though an upset wouldn't be as drastic as the records would suggest.
Outside of Japan the key action is in Yemen where Ali Raymi (19-0, 19) looks to set a world record. If Raymi can stop Akram Jafwi (5-0, 1) inside a round the 39 year old Raymi will be the first man in history to stop his first 20 opponents in the first round and as a result will mark his place in the Guinness book of world records.
Raymi isn't the only man attempting to continue a KO streak as Cruiserweight Faisal Fittini (4-0, 4) also looks to continue his run. Fittini will battle the unbeaten Abdu Achille (2-0) in what looks like a interesting enough under-card bout for the show.
The two remaining contests on the show will see Prince Maz (4-0, 3) taking on Moxamad Abdu (4-4, 2) and Othman Qasim (5-1, 2) fighting Alwan Hawshabi (3-6, 1). Both of these are interesting enough, though it'd be a shoch if Maz or Qasim lost.
Unfortunately the schedule for today is rather sketchy in terms of verified details, thankfully Thai Channel 7 appear to be televising a card from Thailand.
Sadly we're not great at Thai and the only thing we've managed to get from the show is that former Thai amateur great Amnat Ruenroeng (10-0, 4) will be defending his IBF Asia Flyweight title.
Ruenroeng a former Olympian and former World Championship bronze medal winner appears to have been matched pretty toughly for someone who is only a 13 month professional so we'd be hoping that he'll be in a decent contest here.
Unfortunately we're not aware of who Ruenroeng will be fighting or any details of the undercard.
We're also expecting a show from Yemen with 8 contests.
The Yemen show is expected to open up with debutants in action as Fuad Aidrus (0-0) faces fellow debutant Fahmi Roeni (0-0). This will be in one of 6 bouts scheduled for the 4 distance with Hamdan Jaber (0-1) taking on Halim Dolbhante in (0-1) the second.
The other bouts scheduled for 4 rounds see Bahr Slyman (1-2) facing Abdu Akhfash (0-1), debutant Saber Wareeth (0-0) battling Hamed Al Bukhaiti (0-1), Othman Qasim (4-1, 1) fighting Sameer Raymi and Abdu Sameer (4-1) looking for a victory over Salem Khamees (0-1).
The two 10 round bouts see Saeed Asam (1-2, 1) in action against Khaled Sulaym (1-1, 1) and Alwan Hawshabi (3-1, 1) battling Moxamad Abdu (3-1, 2). It's obvious that the Hawshabi/Abdu bout is the shows highlight fight though we'd not be shocked if at least 1 other bout saw something unexpected.
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.
Action in Japan continues on Wednesday with a genuinely interesting card at the Korakuen Hall.
The show is the B Class Grand Prix final and features 8 bouts in the tournament as well as 3 contests from the "East Rookie of the Year". The contests in the B Class tournament hold the real interest with 2 notable bouts in particular.
The show opens up with those "East Rookie of the Year" contests. With the opening bout being Seigo Takeuchi (1-0-1) against Hikaru Akutsu (1-0) at Super Featherweight.
Following the Super Featherweight contest we expect to see Taichi Kimura (0-1) facing a debutant, who we believe will be Akira Mimura Hitoshi (0-0), and the final bout "East Rookie of the Year" contest will see Ryuta Nakajima (4-1-1, 4) battling Shun Shimazaki (5-3, 1).
All 3 of the contests from the "East Rookie of the Year" are scheduled for 3 rounds, the remaining 8 contests are all scheduled for 5 rounds, these are listed in below in terms of expected running order.
The first of the B class fights ist in the Bantamweight division as Kota Sato (8-4-1, 4) faces Wataru Miyasaka (7-1-1, 2). The two men fought each other in March of this year with Miyasaka taking a razor thin decision and now Sato gets a chance for revenge.
At Super Featherweight we believe, though may be wrong, in thinking that Ribo Takahata (8-3-1, 2) will face Nozomu Kikuchi (6-3). We're not certain on this one though we think that we're right on the two men.
In the minimumweight division Kazuhiro Nakamura (7-4, 2) will face Shinya Matsukawa (7-7-1, 1) in what looks like a tough but yet compelling contest.
Up at Featherwieght we will see Kosuke Saka (7-1, 5) will take on Katsuya Sato (5-5, 1) in what looks like a some-what one sided contest.
The hard hitting Lightweight Tatsuya Miyazaki (8-4-1, 8) will be looking for his second victory of the year as he takes on Kazuhiro Miura (7-2) in what looks to be a brilliant match up at 135lbs.
In the Super Flyweight division the very promising and highly regarded Yoichi Ide (1-0, 1) will look to continue his rise as he takes on Shohei Kikuzato (8-1, 3). It looks tough step up for Ide but if he's as good as they say, he should pass this test with flying colours.
Just a division lower at Flyweight Taro Oikawa (2-1, 2) looks for his 3rd successive victory as he battles the unbeaten Yuta Matsuo (4-0, 3). This looks like an explosive contest on paper and could be a show stealer with both men having power and liking to use it despite the fact both are relative novices.
The final bout on the card will see Yasaku Kuga (6-1, 4) facing the mega highly regarded Naoto Uebayashi (3-0, 2). Uebayashi is viewed by some as being amongst the top 10 prospects in Japan but this will be a seriously tough contest for the 26 year old former amateur stand out.
The winners of the Grade B touranment bouts will all be expected to go on to become notable fighters over the next few years so are well worth looking out for. We are very excited about bout Ide and Uebayashi though with their inexperience their is no certainty that either man will come out victorious.
It's not just in Japan that we have action as Yemen continues to grow one of the busiest boxing scenes out there.
The 8 bout show in Yemen, kicks off with 5 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds. These will see Moxamad Abdu (2-1, 1) attempt to bounce back from his recent loss as he takes on Saad Lukman (0-1) in a Lightweight contest. The Abdu/Lukman contest is one of two fights expected to take place in Lightweight division with the other seeing debutant Ahmed Qahali (0-0) looking for a winning start to his career. Qahali will face Alwan Hawshabi (1-1).
In other 4 round bouts Khaled Maweri (0-1) will take on Rashad Horun (0-1), Munir Abdulqadir (1-0) will attempt to record his second win facing Ramzi Ahmed (0-1) and Othman Qasim (3-1) will attempt to bounce back from his recent loss as he battles the debuting Saleh Sufyan (0-0).
In the least interesting of the 10 round contests Luway Jaber (1-1, 1) faces Esam Aunfi (1-1, 1). It's great that the men have perfectly matched records but it's fair to say that neither guy is really that interesting. The secondary bout in the longer distance sees the promising Sharaf Montaser (2-0, 2) looking for his 3rd victory of the year. Montaser will be fighting Ibrahim Azzani (0-1) in what could be a tougher fight for Montaser than his previous 2.
Although the card has 3 bouts scheduled for 10 rounds there is only one bout that can be considered the main event and that's the bout between the unbeaten pair of Yaser Ali (3-0, 3) and Abdu Sameer (3-0). This bout really could be something worth watching and should have the crowd interested from the opening bell.