The weekend is of course the busiest time for boxing in both Europe and the US. Unfortunately neither Europe or the US have any genuinely massive fights this weekend and in fact you'd be hard pushed to find a better card than the one at the Korakuen Hall this Saturday.
The show, a Japanese title double header sees 6 bouts in total on the card.
The opening bout, scheduled for 4 rounds sees Suzuki Kenta (0-0) facing Yushan Masaya (0-0) in an all debutant match up in the Welterweight divsion. It appears that the card was supposed to open with a bout between Takahiko Suzuki (1-0, 1) and the debuting Yokoyama Wataru (0-0) though that now looks to have been cancelled and Kenta/Masaya has replaced it in regards to being the shows opener.
The first of 3 bouts scheduled for 8 rounds sees Yuji Hasegawa (7-2, 1) taking on veteran Dosanko Fighter Hayasaka (7-9-2, 1). Unfortunately Hayasaka comes in to the bout on the back of 5 losses and is winless in over 4 years whilst Hasegawa is on a 3 fight winning streak.
The second of the cards 8 round contests sees Yota Hori (9-1-2, 6), a fighter who held Koki Eto to a 6 round draw, taking on Filipono Ardin Diale (20-8-3, 7). Diale, a former world title challenger, looks to be the toughest challenger that Hori has faced so far and is capable of scoring the upset if he's on his game.
The final 8 round contest sees Shuji Hamada (12-5-3, 2), the #12 ranked Japanese Super Flyweight, fighting Masafumi Otake (14-10-3, 7). Hamada has had a good year with 2 straight victories following a trio of setbacks in 2011-2012 and shouldn't struggle too much with Otake despite the fact Otake is unbeaten in 4 bouts.
The first of the two Japanese title fights sees the hard hitting Tomohiro Ebisu (11-2, 11) defending his Japanese Middleweight title. Ebisu will be making the first defense of his title as he takes on former Welterweight and Light Middleweight champion Daisuke Nakagawa (21-3-2, 16), who is currently the #1 ranked contender. Although both of Ebisu's losses have come by stoppage he does hit hard and often comes out on top in a shoot out, as he did last time against the then champion Sanosuke Sasaki.
The final bout on the show sees Japanese Super Featherweight champion Daiki Kaneko (18-2-3, 11) defending his belt for the fourth time. Kaneko will be facing #11 ranked Mitsuya Omura (16-7-1, 12). This will be Omura's second attempt to claim a Japanese national title after being stopped in in a Lightweight title tilt by Nihito Arakawa.
Both of the champions will be expected to claim victory here though there is a chance that they could both be upset in what promises to be a great card from start to end.
The day's "secondary" card takes place at the Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex in Paranaque City Gabriel Elorde and the Elorde promotional outfit put on a 6 bout show. Unfortunately none of these bouts hold too much interest.
The main event, scheduled for 10 rounds, sees Cris Alfante (8-1, 2) taking on journeyman Roy Albaera (2-19-4). This is as much of a mismatch as it appears on paper with Albaera having been stopped 14 times in his 25 contests to date.
Unfortunately the shows other bouts look equally as uninteresting with Zoren Pama (3-7-3, 1) taking on Rolando Niones (4-13-2, 2); Rolden Aldea (2-1-1, 1) facing Marco Niones (3-8, 1) and Joathan Ligas (4-5-1) taking on Elbert Guardario (8-21-1, 2) in the shows 3 contests scheduled for 8 rounds.
Arguably the most competitive bout on the show is the sole 6 round contest which sees Vergel Rivera (2-0-1) fighting Raymond Empic (2-1, 1). The remaining contest on the show is a 4 round bout as Arnold Garcia (0-1) takes on debutant Ken Heart Paliprin (0-0)
Today sees 2 notable cards in Asia. One in Japan at the always popular Korakuen Hall which sees an OPBF title bout and one in the Philippines which features a WBC Youth Silver title meaning that both cards do hold some international importance.
In Japan the OPBF title bout we mentioned is the Light Welterweight belt currently held by South Korean Min-Wook Kim (9-1, 7). Kim will be hoping to make the 3rd defense of a title he won just less than a year ago as he takes on former Japanese champion Shinya Iwabuchi (21-3, 17). This bout, pitting two hard hitting fighters against each isn't really expected to see the final bell but it should promise fire works.
Although there is only one bout publicly listed at the Korakuen Hall, the bout does look genuinely fantastic and we do expect more than just the single one to actually be fought.
The Filipino card held at the "Muntinlupa Sports Complex" in Muntinlupa City is a much deeper card on paper even if the bouts aren't as meaningful. The main event here sees Filipino national champion (PBF) Richard Pumicpic (11-5-2, 4) making the first defense of his WBC Youth Silver Bantamweight title as he takes on Indonesian challenger Junior Bajawa (14-1, 7). Although on paper Bajawa's record is impressive we've got to favour the very under-rated Filipino who looks like he could be a dark horse for a world title down the line. Trust ue he's much better than his record indicates.
Amongst the more notable names on the Filipino card is former world title challenger Bernabe Concepcion (31-6-1, 17) who takes on journeyman Boido Simanjuntak (16-17-1, 5) ad Concepcion tries to work himself back into contention. Bernabe's younger brother Bobby Concepcion (10-3-1, 4) is also on the card as he faces Elbert Guardario (7-20-1, 2).
The Concepcion brothers make up 2 of the 4 bouts scheduled for 10 rounds on the card and they are joined by Daniel Ferreras (11-5-1, 4) who faces the experienced Marvin Tampus (27-17-2, 18) and Jeffrey Cerna (12-7, 5) who takes on Rogen Flores (12-19-4, 5).
Lower down the card is a chance for prospects Bebong Manalo (5-0, 3) and Nino Valenzuela (7-0, 2). Manalo will be facing Warren Mambuanag (5-2-2, 2) whilst Valenzuela goes up against the unbeaten Lester Abutan (2-0, 1).
The card also features the debut of Jon Jon Estrada and Juanito Hundante both in bouts that they have a good chance of winning. Estrada faces Mark Postrano (0-1) whilst Hundante goes up against JC Francisco (1-6) who won his last bout after losing his first 6. Despite Francisco's record he is much better than he raw numbers and could well have been 4-3 going in to this bout.
The only other bout on the card sees the perfect matching records of Jommel Mungkal and JR Florendo (both are 1-1) taking each other on. Florendo has twice faced JC Francisco (see above) and going in to this bout we genuinely have to say it's a 50-50 bout.