To kick off a new week in Japanese boxing we have two excellent cards with one taking place at the Korakuen Hall, Tokyo whilst the other takes place the Sumiyoshi Ward Center in Osaka city.
Unlike most days where we have 2 shows both of these are genuinely great shows and it's hard to say which we prefer the look of so we'll start with the one in "The Hall". A show which is promoted by Reason and is the latest in the Dangan series of shows dubbed "Dangan 84".
In the first of main events of the Korakuen Hall show sees OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Shingo Wake (14-4-2, 7) defending his belt for the second time as he takes on Filipino challenger Jhunriel Ramonal (13-5-4, 7). Wake is a fighter who we do think has the potential to become a world title holder and in all honesty he should over come Ramonal here, though the Filipino challenger did push Hiromasa Ohashi in his only previous bout in Japan.
The second main event sees former world champion Ryol Li Lee (20-3-2, 10) defending his OPBF Featherweight title for the first time. Lee will be facing fellow Japanese fighter Hisashi Amagasa (24-4-2, 16), himself a Japanese national champion. This will be the second meeting between these two men with Lee having beaten Amagasa back in 2010, it'd be a bit of a shock if we didn't have a repeat of that here.
As well as the title double header we have 4 other bouts on the show. These begin with Kazuki Sanpei (1-1) battling the 35 year old Takahisa Nagata (2-1), who makes his return to the ring after more than a year out. This bout will be the sole 4 rounder on the show.
The first of a trio of 8 round bouts on the show sees Ryutaro Taira (7-3-1, 3) fighting Mikiya Ishikawa (8-4, 1) in a solid looking match up in the Flyweight division, this will be followed by a contest at Welterweight former Japanese Light Welterweight as Yuji Wauke (16-4-1, 8) fights Yuichi Ideta (13-8-1. 7), a man with 1 win in his last 10 contests.
In the chief undercard bout Ryo Takenaka (8-2-1, 5) fights Filipino visitor Vergel Nebran (11-5-1, 7) in what looks, at least on paper, like a solid contest between two men with genuine potential. Although Nebran has 5 losses on his ledger they have all been close and he should perhaps have the confidence of an unbeaten fighter. Takenaka on the other hand has only lost to solid fighters, including Li who stopped him in the fifth round.
The second card, which takes in Osaka, is promoted by Mushima and is dubbed "You will be the Champion II" due to the potential of several fighters on the show who are tipped to become champions.
Like the Korakuen Hall card this one is a double header with the main fight being one between Japanese KO sensation Masao Nakamura (16-1, 16) and Thai veteran Fahsai Sakkreerin (40-4-1, 22). Whilst Sakkreerin did lose earlier this year to Rances Barthelemy he will be the biggest test for Nakamura since the Japanese fighter was stopped by Ronald Pontillas.
The co-feature here sees Takayuki Hosokawa (23-10-3, 8), a former Japanese title challenger, fighting Thailand's Patomsuk Pathompothong (25-1-1, 16). Although Pathompothong is ranked #5 by the IBF at Light Welterweight he will be going up to Welterweight for this contest.
As well as the two 10 round main events we will also have two bouts over the 8 round distance. The most notable of these contests will see Japanese based Filipino Jerope Mercado (25-4-3, 9) facing Kojiro Takada (11-6-3, 8). This will be Jerope's first bout since losing to Kohei Oba in a Japanese Bantamweight title fight back in March. Saying that however Mercado has lost 3 of his last 4 whilst Takada is on a 3 fight winning run and may feel he has a chance to record a major victory.
The other 8 round contest will see Tetsuya Nishinaga (10-7-1) attempting to end a 2 fight losing run as he takes on Hirokazu Okajima (8-2-2, 4) in what looks like a genuinely intriguing bout. We do favour Okajima here though do admit that it's not going to be easy for either man.
As well as those 4 interesting contests we have 3 other bouts on the card. These start with a contest between Yosuke Taniguchi (1-1) and unbeaten teenager Noboru Osato (1-0-2, 1) before Kaminoko Okamura Kentokid (1-0-1) fights Abo Nakamura (3-5), who looks to end a 4 fight losing streak.
The remaining contest on the Korakuen Hall show will see Satoru Sugita (6-2-1, 4) fighting a Thai. Unfortunately we've not been able to track down the Thai opponent though we will say that Sugita probably needs a win after losing 2 of his last 4 contests.
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.