To kick off a new month we have some genuinely exciting looking match ups. Not only do we have a second successive day with a PABA title fight in Thailand but we also have a brilliant show in Japan courtesy of Reason promotions.
We'll start by talking about the Thai contest. Like yesteday's bout we believe this will be televised on Thai Channel 7 as Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat (49-2, 32) defends his PABA Bantamweight title for the fifth time this year. The busy Tabtimdeang will be facing limited Filipino Edison Berwela (12-26-6, 3) a man who comes in to the bout with just a sole win in his last 10 contests.
Whilst Tabtimdeang was given a scare last time, out as he narrowly defeated Alvin Bais, we'd be shocked if he was given any sort of a test by Berwela here.
Over in Japan we have "Dangan 86" part of the "A Class Tournament" an excellent looking 9 fight card.
This Japanese card card begins with a trio of bouts scheduled for 4 rounds. The first of those will see the winless Kosuke Miura (0-5-1) fighting the debuting Oshita Koichi (0-0). The Koichi/Miura bout will be followed by an all debutant contest as Akihiro Shimogaki (0-0) battles Kimihiro Nakagawa (0-0).
In the third and final bout scheduled for 4 rounds we get a C class tournament contest as the unbeaten 23 year old Ken Kodama (1-0, 1) takes on fellow unbeaten novice Ippei Azuma (2-0, 1).
Following the 4 round contests we then move in to the Class A tournament bouts. The first of those will take place at Super Featherweight where the hard hitting Nakano Kazuya (5-2, 5) fights Ribo Takahata (9-3-1, 2). Whilst Takahata brings a 3-3 record from his last 6 in to this contests his losses have come to talented fighters and he should give Kazuya a very tough contest.
The Kazuya/Takahata fight is immediately followed by a second Super Featherweight contest. In this bout the highly experienced Akihiko Nago (31-7-2, 15), a former two-time world title challenger, faces the twice beaten Takaomi Abe (14-2-2, 1). Nago, who was a Japanese champion way back in 1998, is now 37 and really in the twilight of a long career though will be hoping that a tournament win here could revitalise his career and give him another chance to claim a Japanese title.
Following the successive Super Featherweight contests we get the first A Class tournament bout in the Super Flyweight division. In this bout the once beaten Shohei Kikuzato (9-1, 4) takes on the more experienced Kohei Kubo (15-4-1, 10), a man with as many stoppages as Kikuzato has total bouts. Coming in to this bout with a notable win last time out over Yoichi Ide it's hard not to back Kikuzato, despite the experience edge being with Kubo.
In a Bantamweight contest the once beaten Hiroaki Teshigawara (7-1-1, 4) looks to score his most notable victory to date as he fights Kota Sato (9-4-1, 4). Sato has lost 2 of his last 5 though could well know too many tricks for Teshigawara who has been fighting at a lower level than Sato so far.
The show's penultimate contest is a Flyweight contest which sees the unbeaten Yuta Matsuo (5-0, 3) taking his first real test. The unbeaten Matsuo takes on the more experienced Musashi Suzuki (9-1, 4), a man who's only loss came to Kohei Kubo almost 2 years ago. Matsuo will be tested, though the big question is whether not not he can pass the test.
In the card's final contest the hard hitting Hayato Kimura (19-5, 14),the fomer Korean Super Flyweight champion, takes on Junichiro Sugita (16-8, 7). Although Kimura isn't in great form losing 3 of his last 6 and 4 of his last 8 he's in significantly better form than Sugita who has lost his last 5 and 7 of his last 9.
As well as the great show in Japan and the title fight in Thailand we continue to have action thanks to several international fights and a card in Yemen.
The Yemen card is headlined by Ali Raymi (17-0, 17) who looks to continue his run of opening round victories as he takes on Mustafa Humaidi (6-0, 2). If Raymi managed to take Humaidi out in the opening round he'd then just be 1 fight away from tying the record of most straight opening round stoppages.
As well as Raymi/Humaidi we expect two other bouts on the show. The most interesting of those will see Ali Salem (9-0, 1) fight Prince Maz (2-0, 2) with the winner likely getting a shot at Raymi next time out. The other contest that we expect to be on the show is a bout between Akram Jafwi (3-0, 1) and Esayas Dagim (2-2, 1).
The international action is spread across Latin America and the UK. In Mexico the Filipino-America Ana Julaton (12-4-1, 2) battles Perla Hernandez (10-6-3, 2) in what promises to be an interesting female contest. In the UK journeyman Youssef Al Hamidi (12-60-3, 1) faces another probable loss as he fights the light punching Chris Goodwin (16-2-1) in what is almost certainly going to be a distance contest.
A new week kicks off with what could well be one of the best days in Japanese boxing this year. We have two separate cards in Tokyo with one at the Korakuen Hall and one in the Ota City Central Gym and both promise to provide plenty of action for fight fans.
Of the two shows it' obvious that the attention will be on the Ota City Gym card which features 5 fights for certain, including the two world title bouts, so we'll start there.
The first of the two world title fights sees the always fun to watch Akira Yaegashi (17-3, 9) in action as he looks for the first defence of his WBC Flyweight title. Yaegashi will be facing challenger Oscar Blanquet (32-5-1, 23) of Mexico in a bout we tend to see as a bit of a gimme for the talented and fun to watch Japanese action fighter. As is always the case Yaegashi will make sure to put on a show for the fans even if the bout does look like it's one sided.
The other world title fight, and the bout seen as the main even of the show, sees Shinsuke Yamanaka (18-0-2, 13), a man widely regarded as one of the premier Bantamweight on the planet, defending hs WBC Bantamweight title against Puerto Rican Jose Nieves (22-2-3, 11). We have this one down as a more competitive bout than the Flyweight title bout but it's very hard to bet against Yamanaka who really is a class fighter.
The chief support bout sees former 2-weight world champion Hozumi Hasegawa (32-4, 14) in action against experienced Mexican Genaro Camargo (42-15, 34). Hasegawa is still looking to rebuild his career after stoppage losses to Fernando Montiel and Jhonny Gonzalez though in recent fights he has looked gun-shy and it's possible that another loss could see the former Bantamweight great hanging them up. Worryingly for Hasegawa he has been stopped by two of the last three Mexican fighters he has fought.
The opening contest on the show will see the unbeaten Masayoshi Abe (1-0) facing the win less Yuichi Kitagawa (0-1-1) with this being followed by a contest between Masafumi Ando (1-2, 1) and Daiki Mori (0-4).
If time can be made we also expect to see the debut of Takekawa Hisashi (0-0) who is likely to fight Susumu Nakata (1-3-2, 1) if the card has a few early finishes. This bout is marked down as a reserve bout so we've got out fingers crossed.
Of course not all the title action is at the Ota Gym with a Japanese title fight headlining the 6 bout Korakuen Hall show.
In the main event the Japanese Light Middleweight title is up for grabs as the experienced Tadashi Yuba (43-8-2, 31) faces Yosuke Kirima (17-3-2, 12). For Kirima this is his second shot at the Light Middleweight title after losing to current Japanese Middleweight champion Daisuke Nakagawa 18 months ago. For Yuba however this bout has a chance to further enhance his legendary career which has already seen him claiming Japanese national titles in 4 divisions from Lightweight to Middleweight. A victory in this bout would see Yuba becoming the first 5-weight Japanese national champion.
As well as the main event there will be 3 very promising support bouts scheduled for 8 rounds. The first of which sees unbeaten Japanese Middleweight Shoma Fukumoto (2-0, 2) facing experienced Filipino Arnel Tinampay (20-15-1, 6). Tinampay is likely to be under-sized and under-powered here against one of Japan's better kept secrets, but Fukumoto should be given a few rounds against a man who has yet to be stopped in a 36 bout career.
The second of the 8 round contests sees the unbeaten Hiroya Yamamoto (7-0, 3), ranked #7 at Minimumweight, move up from the 6 round distance to take on former Japanese Light Flyweight title challenger Hayato Yamaguchi (9-4-1), raked #8 at Light Flyweight. This is by far the toughest test for Yamamoto and should be a genuinely great fight. Well done to Yamamoto's team for putting him in such a risky contest.
Unfortunately the other support bout looks a little bit one sided as Shoji Kawase (30-5-5, 18) takes on Kazumasa Kobayashi (8-2-1, 5). Kawase, a former Japanese and OPBF title challenger has proven to be below title level but is still a very good fighter, as we found out earlier this year when he stopped Shuhei Tsuchiya and he should have more than enough for Kobayashi here.
In the cards only 6 round bout Hiroaki Teshigawara (6-1-1, 3) will face Kyosuke Sawada (0-1). This should be a better match up in the ring than it looks on paper though it's hard to pick against Teshigawara. This bout follows the shows opening bout which we expect will be a meeting of debutants between Ibuki Kitade (0-0) and Fumi Ijima (0-0).