Although Japanese boxing fans have already had 3 cards this week it's fair to say they all pale in significance compared to the fourth show of the week as we get the final of the "Strongest Korakuen" with 4 genuinely interesting contests, despite the fact we were, originally meant to have 5 bouts.
The show will begin in the Light Flyweight division, one of the most interesting divisions in Japan. The bout at 108lbs will see Toshimasa Ouchi (16-6-3, 4) in action against the more experienced Kenichi Horikawa (24-12-1, 4) in an excellent match up. Not only have both men made their way to the final of the tournament but both are highly ranked in both Japan and the OPBF with Ouchi being #2 Japanese and #8 OPBF whilst Horikawa is #3 Japanese and #11 OPBF. Genuienly fantastic opening bout.
After the brilliant opening bout we get a very interesting second bout as the once highly touted Yohei Tobe (6-1-1, 3) fights Yoshihito Ishizaki (8-5-1, 4). Although Ishizaki's record is less than impressive he has mixed in good company pushing both Yota Sato and Ryo Akaho very close in losing efforts and he may may well spring a surprise here. Saying that however this is the #1 and #5 in Japan meeting, so no result really is a surprise despite the vastly differing records.
In the third bout we get the 2-time title challenger, and former interim Super Bantamweight champion Mikihito Seto (34-10-2, 18) taking on recent title challenger Takafumi Nakajima (21-6-1, 8) a man many feel should be holding the title right now. Both men have come extremely close to being crowned the Japanese Super Bantamweight champion and the winner here will feel confident in claiming the title.
The fourth and final bout on the show takes place at Super Featherweight as the unbeaten Rikki Naito (7-0, 4) fights Keiichi Izumi (13-5, 4). For Izumi, the #2 ranked Japanese and #6 ranked OPBF fighter this is a chance to finally get a title fight, for the fast rising Naito however this is just the next step as he looks forward to bigger and better fights.
Unfortunately, as mentioned above, there was supposed to be a fifth contest on this show. This was supposed to be between Sanosuke Sasaki (11-3, 5) and Yoshihisa Tonimura (16-8-4, 4) though it's now off. Instead Tonimura will get a second fight Tadashi Yuba in November, following a controversial victory for Yuba in February.
Outside of the Japanese card there is a card in the Philippines as Jaro Promotion International put on an 11 fight show in Ynares Plaza Gymnasium.
This Jaro card is expected to kick off with 5 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds. These will included 3 all debutant contests as Dino Bulahan (0-0) takes on Lorence Rosas (0-0), Rodney Ramirez (0-0) fights Michael Bravo (0-0) and Joel Tamano (0-0) battles Edward Toreon (0-0). The three all debutant contests are joined by two other 4 round contests as Niero Saldon (0-0) takes on novice Ernie Mino Jr (0-1) and Rolando Sadsad (0-1-1) fights Valeriano Gabriel (1-3). Unfortunately it's hard to get excited about any of these 5 contests.
As well as the 4 round bouts there is a couple of 6 rounders with Regan Delos Santos (2-1, 2) fighting fellow once beaten fight Menard Abila (3-1-1, 1) in one of the contests whilst journeymen collide in the other with Marvin DelaCruz (8-12-2, 5) fighting "career loser" Mabert Paulino (2-15).
In the sole 8 round bout Benjie Suganob (6-1-1, 2) looks for his fifth straight victory as he battled the some what fragile Marco Niones (3-9, 1) who has himself been stopped 7 times. This will be followed by a 10 rounder between Boy Dondee Pumar (9-5-3, 3) and Dino Lelis (10-10-2, 5).
The remaining bouts on the Filipino card are both regional title bouts as Lionel Legada (10-5-1, 5) faces Lionel Mark Duran (10-8-2, 4) in a battle for the vacant WBC Asia Council Continental Flyweight title. This will see LEgada looking for his second victory in five contests whilst Duran will be looking for his second win in seven bouts. The other title bout sees Jomar Fajardo (12-4-1, 5) looking to claim the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Flyweight title as he fights Robel Villegas (9-7, 3), a man who was stopped last time out.
We get a third Asian card as we have action in Moskovsky, Russia with a 7 bout card.
This Russian card is mostly a card full of novices with only a single bout scheduled for more than 6 rounds.
In 4 round action we have 4 bouts, these include a sole female bout as debutants collide with Viktoriya Aleksandrova (0-0) fighting Nadezhda Khaenok (0-0) this is one of two all debutant bouts with Georgy Abramyan (0-0) fighting the fanastically named Ivan Ivanov (0-0).
The remaining 4 round bouts see Gor Arutyunyan (0-0), another debutant, battling Oleg Korobko (2-1-1) and the unbeaten Alexander Kubich (3-0, 1) fighting the winless Andrey Ishmukhametov (0-1).
As well as the 4 round contests we have a pair of 6 rounders with the unbeaten Igor Ivanov (6-0, 1) taking on the debuting Sherzod Abdurakhimov (0-0) in a Welterweight contest and novice Murad Dalkhaev (3-0, 2) fighting Ruslan Semenov (3-25-1, 2) in what appears to be the toughest test so far for Dalkhaev.
In the show's main event the unbeaten Arif Magomedov (6-0, 4) will take on the experienced Marat Khuzeev (20-6-1, 8) in a battle for the Russian Middleweight title. Although unbeaten Magomedov is unlikely to go much further than a Russian title however a victory here may help him move up to the next level.
Ourside of Asia we get two very interesting contests. In Germany, the Lebanese born Syrian Manuel Charr (24-1, 14), who is now based in Germany, battles Kazakhstan born Russian Denis Bakhtov (36-8, 24) in a bout with numerous title one the line.
The other international contest is the biggest contest in world boxing this weekend as Ruslan Provodnikov (25-2, 15), the "Siberian Rocky", looks to claim the interim WBO Light Welterweight as he takes on American Mike Alvarado (34-1, 23). This fight promises to be something very special with a FOTY type of bout being widely expected and we'd be very shocked by anything but a war in the ring.
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.