After the busy action on Friday it's perhaps only fair that Saturday is somewhat less busy, in terms of both major fights and fights in total. That's not to say there are not fights of interest, just fewer of them then Friday's ridiculously busy scheduled.
The most noteworthy of the cards, at least in regards to Asian action, is at the Korakuen Hall where Teiken put on “The 520th Dynamic Glove” 6 fight show. The reason this show is so notable is because it sees the return of former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Yoshihiro Kamegai (22-1-1, 19). Kamegai, who suffered the sole loss of his career last time out against Johan Perez, the current WBA interim Light Welterweight champion, will be hoping to claim the OPBF Welterweight title as he battles Australian Tim Hunt (16-3, 6) in what looks like a fantastic match up.
As well as the OPBF title fight there are 5 other bouts on the card. Unfortunately these are all somewhat lacking with the chief support contest being one between Hayato Hokazono (16-4-1, 9) and Yuya Okazaki (8-6-1, 2). When you consider this is the best of the other contests on offer you can see the clear drop off.
Although the quality of the bouts drops off, one of the other support bouts does feature the very interesting Hiroyuki Otsuka (6-1, 5) who will be looking to show off his power as he fights the much lighter punching Hayato Yamaguchi (10-4-1, 1). Otsuka looks like a wrecking ball at 108lbs and he could well become a domestic star just due to his power. If he can develop skills to match his power there is no doubt he could end up competing on the world stage somewhere down the line.
This show begins with the debut of Ryo Matsubara (0-0) who takes on Shinichi Hoshino (1-1). Aged 22 there seems to be some hope that Matsubara will become a notable name though with a 17-7 amateur record we'll reserve our expectation of him.
The two remaining contests will see Tsubasa Matsuo (7-2, 3) fighting against Masajiro Honda (4-3, 3) and the unbeaten Masaya Tamayama (1-0, 1) taking on Kensuke Sakamoto (3-4, 1) in what appear to be typical undercard bouts.
As well as the Tokyo card this is a second Japanese card, with this one taking place in Hyogo.
This show, put on by Shinsei promotions will see several Japanese fighters taking on Thai opponents.
The main event sees Yuhei Suzuki (13-3, 10) taking one such Thai foe. We're unsure, as we are with the 4 Thai's on this show, who he actually is but Suzuki should be favoured we'd expect, in fact we're expecting Suzuki to be matched very easily. The same also applied to the promising Takahiro Shigee (9-0-1, 7) and Yuki Yonaha (2-0, 2) who also face Thai opponents that we're expecting will be stopped.
The one bout where a Thai opponent may give the Japanese fighter some problems is the fight involving Tokiya Nishioka (6-3-2, 2). Nishioka looks to be a much lesser fighter fighter than Suzuki, Shigee and Yonaha.
As well as the 4 bouts pitting Japanese fighters against Thai's there are also two all-Japanese bouts. In these we expect to see Eita Kikuchi (14-3-4, 6) fighting against Taiki Minamoto (7-3, 6) and the debut of Makihito Fuji (0-0) who will be facing Makoto Mizoshita (0-1).
Outside of Asia we expect 4 bouts featuring an Asian interest. Of those 4 bouts the most interesting, by far, is that of Olympic gold medal winner Egor Mekhontsev (0-0) of Russia. Mekhontsev, a very, very talented amateur begins his professional by fighting against PJ Cajagas (0-2-1) in the USA. We expect this fight to be streamed live on Top Rank TV alongside another bout featuring a Russian.
This second bout in the US will see the unbeaten Matt Korobov (21-0, 12) fighting against Derek Edwards (26-2-1, 13). Korobov is a fighter who really needs an impressive performance, unfortunately we can't see him having it here. If he continues to merely “go through the motions” then his career will never reach the heady heights he was expected to reach, in fact Korobov will never even come close to them. We're hoping that Korobov's failure to develop on his potential will not be followed by Mekhontsev.
As well as the bouts in the USA there will also be two contests in Australia. One of these will see Yodsaenkeng Kietmangmee (12-6, 8) taking on Luke Jackson (2-0, 1) whilst the other will see Amnart Pakdee Gym (1-1, 1) fighting against Nathaniel May (3-0, 2). It'd be a shock if either of the Thai's win here despite only taking on novices themselves.
A new week kicks off with an excellent "B level" show in Korakuen Hall that would actually put a lot of other domestic shows (especially those in the west) to shame. In all honesty with 2 title fights and a former 4-weight Japanese national champion on the card it really does look a bit special.
The cards weakest bout sees Hirotsugu Yamamoto (15-7-2, 2) taking on Dai Iwai (10-3-1, 5). Whilst it's not a great bout it's a very even looking contest on paper and is a the sort of bout that the sport needs more of rather than the all too common "prospect v no hoper" fights that we see in the west.
Former Japanese Lightweight, Light Welterweight, Welterweight and Middleweight champion Tadashi Yuba (42-8-2, 31) looks to continue his legendary career as he faces Kengo Nagashima (12-9-2, 11). Whilst Yuba, now 36, is a fighter coming to the end of the line he has already stamped his place on Japanese boxing history by being the first ever 4-weight national champion and a loss to Nagashima won't really his legacy.
The first of the title bouts is at Bantamweight as Hiroki Shiino (9-2, 8) takes on Filipino Dennis Tubieron (15-1-1, 6) in a bout for the vacant OPBF Bantamweight title. Not only is the title on the line but also a sense of revenge for Shiino who was stopped in 8 rounds by Tubieron last September.
Going in their first bout together Shiino was the WBC #12 ranked fighter and seemed likely to fast tracked to a world title bout. Tubieron however hadn't read the script however and dropped Shiino 4 times en route to the stoppage, and claimed the WBC International Bantamweight title as a result. Expect this to be a very special bout.
The main fight, at least for us, sees the OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Shingo Wake (13-4-2, 6) making the first defense of his belt. Wake, who defeated the highly ranked Yukinori Oguni for the title back in March faces Eita Kikuchi (14-2-4, 6) in an all-Japanese bout.
Wake's victory over Oguni was a genuine shock and helped force Wake into the world rankings (he's currently ranked WBC #11 and WBA #13) though with Kikuchi ranked #5 WBA there is alot on the line here.