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.
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).