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.
The Orient today has 2 notable cards. In Japan, at the Korakuen Hall there is a very interesting card with several promising youngsters, but before we talk about that we'll have a look at the slightly more exciting show in Davao City in the Philippines.
The main fight in Davao City sees Jether Oliva (18-1-1, 10) fighting Lester John Pronco (9-4, 6) apparently for the vacant Philippines Boxing Federation (PBF) Light Flyweight title. Oliva is fighting for just the second time since losing to Ulises Solis in IBF Light Flyweight title bout back in August 2011, but he is still widely regarded as a very promising fighter with world title potential and should take care of Pronco.
Up at Lightweight the very promising, and very young, Harmonito Dela Torre (8-0, 5) takes on Bonnie Makiling (4-3, 2) in what will be Dela Torre's first scheduled 10 round bout. Interestingly Makiling did go in to the 10th round in his most recent bout, a stoppage loss to Mark Andrew Acub back in March. This will be a great chance to see how Dela Torre stacks up against Acub.
The cards remaining two bouts are both around the Super Flyweight division with the experienced Fernando Lumacad (28-6-3, 12) taking on Renante Suacasa (5-7, 1) and the unbeaten Daryl Basadre (9-0-1, 6) fighting Ronerex Dalut (8-11-1, 2). The clever money says that Lumacad and Basadre both come out with victories.
Now on the to Korakuen Hall show which features 7 bouts with every man on the card ranked inside the Japanese top 10. (all rankings mentioned below are from the Japanese Boxing Commission)
The most noteworthy fighter on the show is the highly promising Rikki Naito (6-0, 4) (#7 ranked Super Featherweight) who some are talking up as a nailed on future world champion. The 21 year old southpaw takes on the much more experienced Tomohisa Tagawa (10-9-3, 3) who has won his last 3 and is currently ranked #3.
As well as Naito there is another fast rising prospect on the card in the form of Light Flyweight Hiroyuki Otsuka (6-0, 5) who will be looking for his biggest win as he takes on former national title contender Toshimasa Ouchi (15-6-3, 4). This is a huge match up domestically pitching the #3 (Ouchi) ranked fight in Japan against the #7 (Otsuka).
Amazingly the Otsuka/Ouchi bout might only be the second best fight in the division as Tetsuya Hisada (20-7, 10) takes on Kenichi Horikawa (23-12-1, 4). Hisada is ranked #4 in the division whilst Horikawa is ranked #8 though oddly Horikawa does hold a win over Okada from back in November 2011. A lot is riding on this bout and don't be shocked if the winner here faces the winner of the Otsuka/Ouchi bout.
In the Super Flyweight division Masamichi Nozaki (16-3-1, 6), ranked #4 by the JCB takes on the #10 ranked Yoshihito Ishizaki (7-5-1, 4). Although on paper Nozaki looks a clear favourite Ishizaki has faced more recognisable names in Yota Sato and Ryo Akaho and he pushed both of them very close. This could be one of those very tough fights for both men.
It's not just the Naito/Tagawa bout at Super Featherweight but also a bout between Keiichi Izumi (12-5, 4) and Ryota Kajiki (21-7, 14). Izumi is impressively ranked #2 thanks to a run of 3 victories whilst Kajiki,a former Japanese Super Featherweight title challenger, is ranked #4.
The final division that is being fought at is the Super Bantamweight division which features 2 bouts. The most notable of those sees the #2 ranked veteran Mikihito Seto (33-10-2, 17) facing the #9 Koji Aoki (14-6-2, 5). It's hard not to go with Seto here who has only been beaten in national titles bouts in the last 4 years. The other bout pits the #7 ranked Takafumi Nakajima (20-6-1, 8) against the #10 Hirofumi Maenosono (16-4-2, 6). With Nakajima having pushed Hidenori Otake incedibly close in a national title bout last year he will go with a lot of confidence against a man who has lost 2 of his last 3 and is 2 years removed from his most noteworthy victory (which came over Yuta Nagai).