It appears to us that Japanese fans are getting a lot of early Christmas presents. Over the past few days they've had title fights involving Naoya Inoue, Akira Yaegashi, Ryosuke Iwasa and Keita Obara. Today sees that title action continuing with a title triple header courtesy of the weirdly named "Overheat Boxers Night Vol.66".
This show, put on by Katsumata, will be headlined by recent WBO Super Middleweight title challenger Yuzo Kiyota (23-4-1, 21) who looks to reclaim the OPBF title he gave up for his world title challenge. In the opposite corner to the monstrously hard hitting Kiyota we will have Shintaro Matsumoto (10-3, 8), who Kiyota actually defended the title against in his first reign.
As well as the OPBF title fight in the main event we get a Japanese title fight in the main support bout as former WBC Flyweight title challenger Takuya Kogawa (22-2, 13) defends his Japanese Flyweight for the 4th time. Kogawa will be facing top Japanese contender and world ranked opponent Suguru Muranaka (18-2-1, 5). It's fair to say that who ever wins here will be eying up a potential world title fight in 2014. Kogawa brings world rankings with all 4 Organisations (WBO #5, WBA #9, IBF#9 and WBA #15) whilst Muranaka is ranked by the WBA (#8). Although this is the support bout it's arguably the most important contest of the day.
The secondary support bout is also a title fight as Filipino Angelito Merin (7-2-2, 1) meets countryman Jovylito Aligarbes (9-2, 3) in a defense of Merin's WBC Youth World Super Flyweight title. This bout is admittedly a big step down from the other two title fights but with a Filipino rivalry coming in to the contest it could prove to be something rather memorable.
Alongside the 3 title fights we get 4 other contests. The most intriguing of those is an 8 round bout between Filipino Rene Dacquel (10-2, 3) and the hard hitting but limited Hideyuki Watanabe (6-5-2, 5).
To start the show we get the other 3 bouts, all scheduled for 4 rounds. These are to feature a debutant in the first fight before Fujioka Hyuma (3-2-1) takes on Keisuke Fujii (3-3, 2) and Fumio Ujihara (1-1, 1) fights Yosuke Sato (2-6, 2).
To end the wonderful month of September (a month in which our team has all been struck down with the flu!) there are two cards. One is a domestic show in the Philippines whilst the second is a much more interest card in Japan full of international action, including Filipinos.
With the Japanese card, dubbed "Fil-Japan Vol. III", it seems an obvious starting point for the day.
We expect the Japanese card to kick off with the debut of Middleweight Jermaine Adrian Pritchett (0-0) who faces southpaw Yuichi Sakuta (1-1), this bout is followed by Naoaki Kumagai (0-1) facing the card's second debutant Kenta Hirata (0-0). For those wondering Kumagai isn't the the woman made famous in the movie "Jackass", that's Naoko Kumagai, who we will admit we were confused by originally.
Talking about female fighters the third fight on the show is the first of 2 bouts featuring females as Japanese based Filipino Honey Mae Bermoy AKA Honey Katsumata (4-2, 4) battles Japan's unbeaten Saki Yamada (6-0-1, 2) in a fight that sees Yamada risking her high OPBF ranking agains a serious puncher.
The show's fourth bout sees another Japanese based Filipino in action as Jovylito Aligarbes, AKA Jovy Katsumata (8-2, 3) battles against the more experienced Monico Laurente (23-8, 5), who himself is from the Philippines. Of the two men involved here it's fair to say that Laurente has been in with the tougher competition including Tomoki Kameda, Pungluang Sor Singyu, Malcolm Tunacao and Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat though with Katsumata being the promoters fighter we may see an upset here.
In the show's fifth bout we get a really interesting contest as Yuki Chinen (13-1, 6), a recent Japanese national title challenger, battles Filipino veteran Ryan Bito (22-11-3, 8). Unfortunately with Bito losing 3 of his last 4, including a decision to the then unbeaten Yohei Tobe, this bout has lost some of it's shine though should still be a good test for Chinen who will be wanting to get back on to the winning trail.
The second female bout on the card sees the hugely popular Tomomi Takano (2-0, 1), a former model-turn-boxer, in action against a Filipino debutant. Although we're no certain we are lead to believe that Takano will be fighting a woman called Jiperin Derima (0-0). The Takano bout is seen as the chief support due to her immense popularity, which we've got to admit is an amazing accomplishment for such a novice, though her looks do admittedly get her a lot of attention.
The main event on this card is a simply excellen match up that pits the unbeaten Masayuki Ito (11-0-1, 3) with once beaten Filipino Jeffrey Arienza (9-1-1, 4) in a battle over the WBC Youth Lightweight title. Although Arienza was unexpectedly stopped last time out by Leonardo Doronio it's fair to say Ito probably doesn't have the same power as Doronio.
The Filipino card, held at the Siquijor Capital Square is expected to feature 6 bouts beginning with action kicking off with a 6 round affair between Bryan Samson (3-3, 1) and Darius Elorde (1-1, 1).
Following the opener we expect a trio of bouts scheduled for 8. The most notable of these 8 rounders sees the the promising Neil John Tabanao (4-0, 3) battling the much more experienced Elmar Francisco (16-19-2, 4) in a bout that really could test the 19 year Tabanao who has never been beyond 6. Tabanao is one of two prospects in these 8 round contests with 20 year old Joey Canoy (3-0, 2) fighting Jherald Tuyor (2-14, 1) in the other.
The only 8 rounder not featuring a prospect sees modern day "Cinderella Man" Gerpaul Valero (15-14-3, 10) looking for his 15th victory in 16 bouts as he takes on Jomar Ministerio (5-5-1, 2). This is, in all honesty, an easier fight than Valero's previous bout which saw him upsetting Sonny Boy Jaro back in August.
In co-main events, both scheduled for 10 rounds, we get more prospects in action as the unbeaten Ardie Boyosi (7-0-1, 4) battles Jessie Tuyor (6-11-4, 3) and Rajah Renoel Pael (11-0-1, 4) fights Raul Pusta Jr (8-2-2, 2). The Boyosi/Tuyor looks a relatively one sided one on paper theough the Pael/Pusta bout could well be the most competitive bout of the day.
Following on from Monday's excellent card in the Korakuen Hall, Tokyo again hosts the biggest card of the day and one of two in Japan.
At the Tokyo Big Sight the WBA Bantamweight world champion Koki Kameda (30-1, 17) makes the 7th defense of his title as takes on Filipino challenger John Mark Apolinario (17-2-3, 4). As with every fight Koki is involved in, this will get attention and although we veiw it as a bit of a mismatch (read our preview here) it will almost certainly leave us with something to talk about
The co-feature sees Japanese female fighter Etsuko Tada (12-0-2, 2) defending her WBA female Minimumweight title against the very highly regarded Anabel Ortiz (11-3, 2). We like this bout a lot on paper though ufortunately we have question marks about Ortiz who is coming in after a lay off around 11 monhts. At her best Ortiz would have been a handful of Tada but after the lay off we're not too sure.
As far as we are aware the show will feature 4 other bouts though unfortunately we only have details on two of them as Kuninobu Shimamura (15-2, 10) takes on Filipino RJ Ano-os (7-4-1, 2) and Junta Sekimoto (12-11-3, 5) faces Daisuke Morita (7-4-1, 2).
With Shimamura taking an impressive 8 fight winning streak into this bout it'd be a shock to see him suffering a defeat to a man who has lost his last 2, including a decision loss to Takashi Miura.
The other bout, Sekimoto/Morita actually looks oddly compelling. Sekimoto has won just 1 from his last 12 contests whilst Morita has won 5 of his last 9, albeit 3 of those victories were highly controversial. It's unlikely either man will ever be a name to remember though we wouldn't be shocked if this turned out to be a memorable contest.
The other Japanese card also takes place in Tokyo and although that actually is at the Korakuen Hall it's fair to say it's certainly the "B" show.
The card, put on by Katsumata Promotions is dubbed "Oriental Boxing Night" and features fighters from around the Orient. In fact the show only has one all-Japanese fight as Takahisa Nayuki (9-9, 1) takes on Kengo Ito (9-10, 6). Lets be honest, it's not a highly attractive match up, especially when you consider neither fighter is actually from Tokyo.
Of the 6 remaining bouts that we have details of they all some international flavour with 4 Thai's and 4 Filipino's as well as 4 Japanese fighters.
In female action Filipino Honey Mae Bermoy (3-2, 3) takes on Thailand's Phokaew Tor Chalermchai (0-1). This is one of two bouts that feature a Filipino taking on a Thai with Ryan Bito (21-11-3, 7) facing Keattisak Tor Chalermchai (2-2). From these two bouts it's hard to see anything but wins for both Filipino's.
Unfortunately, despite the international feel of the card it's hard to see Thailand picking up any wins as their other two fighters won't be favoured. In posibly the biggest mismatch Anuntachai Sor Por Lor Krungthep (5-3, 3) takes on Yuta Nagai (26-8-4, 17). Nagai is 1-1-4 in his last 6 though will be expected to do a real number on Anuntachai.
The one chance that Thailand does have of getting a result is that Suthep Sor Por Lor Krungthep (2-2) can upset Ryuta Wakamatsu (7-8, 5). This certainly isn't out of the question, especially when we consider that Wakamatsu has been stopped in 3 of his last 4 contests.
The remaining 2 contests both see Japanese fighters pitted against Filipino's and are arguably the most evenly matched bouts. At Bantamweight we get Yuki Nakai (6-3-2, 2) facing Jovylito Aligarbes (7-2, 2) and down at Flyweight Yuki Nasu (23-7, 16) takes on Rene Dacquel (9-1, 2).
Going in to the Dacquel/Nasu fight we do need to favour Nasu but Dacquel is unbeaten in 8 contests and Nasu has been stopped in 4 of his 7 losses. The Nakai/Aligarbes bout is very evenly matched on paper, though we de feal that Nakai might be the naturally bigger guy and will use this to his advantage.
If you're in Tokyo you can certainly get to see some fights today!