For the second time inside a week we see the Japanese boxing world turn it's attention to the A class tournament as we get "Dangan 87" an 8 fight show with 3 bouts from various tournaments.
As far as we are aware the sole A class tournament bout will see Yosuke Fujihara (14-1, 4) fighting against Yuta Nakagawa (10-4-1, 6) in the Bantamweight division. For Fujihara this is a chance to build on a victory over Kenji Kubo though for Nakagawa, who has won just 1 of his last 4, he'll know he needs a result to stay relevant. This is one of those oddly wonderful match ups where a loss for either man really will hurt their career, at least for the foreseeable future.
There was originally a second A class tournament bout as Katsunori Nagamine (9-0, 6) was set to fight Yota Hori (9-2-2, 6) in a Flyweight bout. Unfortunately this bout has since been cancelled.
As well as the remaining A class tournament bout we have two other bouts scheduled for 6. One of those will see Ryoichi Tamura (0-1) taking on Keigo Soma (5-8-1, 2) as Tamura searches for his first victory, whilst the the other will see Takuya Fujii (5-4, 1) fighting Kazuki Kobayashi (4-5) in a bout between two men with very similar records.
As well as the three bouts scheduled for 6 rounds we also have a quintet of bouts scheduled for just 4 rounds.
These bouts, and the show it's self, kicks off with an all debutant contest between Takehiro Kojima (0-0) and Nunotani Masashi (0-0). These two men are the only debutants on the card.
Following the all debutant contest we then get two more non-tournament bouts. These will see Kotaro Sasa (1-2) fighting Yuya Nagayoshi (2-5, 1) and Yudai Hata (1-1) fighting Ryota Harukawa (1-1). Neither of these bouts look great on paper but both should be competitive.
As well as the A class tournament there are also two bouts from a C class tournament. The first of these, to take place at Super Flyweight will see Kazuto Nakane (1-0, 1) fighting Kazuma Ishikura (1-1), this will be followed immediately by the second C class tournament bout which will be at Super Featherweight. In the Super Featherweight clash Tateo Saito (2-0) will fight Yutaka Ekawa (1-2-1) in what will be the final 4 round bout before we move on to the 6 round contests.
As well the show in Japan there is also a show in Yemen. It may come as no surprise at all that the headline fight here will be unbeaten KO machine Ali Raymi (18-0, 18) who seeks his 19th straight opening round stoppage. Raymi, seeking to tie a world record, will face the unbeaten Ali Salem (10-0, 2). If Raymi stops Salem inside a round he will tie the 19 opening round stoppages recorded by Tyrone Brunson between 2005 and 2008.
Alongside the Raymi/Salem bout will be a Cruiserweight contest between Faisal Fittini (3-0, 3) and Khaled Abdusalam (1-0). We expect this to last a bit longer than the Raymi fight, though maybe not get the headlines of the main event.
A new weekend kicks off with the regular boxing from Thailand as well as a wonderful show from Japan that has up licking our lips.
As we know it's televised we'll start with the Thai card which is from the King Ramesuan Provincal Stadium in Lop Buri and will be televised live on Thai Channel 7.
The card is expected to feature 3 or 4 bouts, though unfortunately we only have details on 2 of them. The main event sees Nawaphon Por Chokchai (15-0, 11) defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Flyweight title for the 5th time as he takes on Filipino Roque Lauro (9-14-4, 2). Lauro is unlikely to score the upset but we wouldn't put it beyond him to make life difficult for Nawaphon.
With Nawaphon in the main event it's interesting to see current world champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (19-3-1, 18) in the chief support bout. Srisaket, fighting in a stay busy fight returns to the ring for the first time since stopping Yota sato for the WBC Super Flyweight title back in May. Srisaket will be facing Joan Imperial (9-2-5, 4) in what really should be little more than a pubic sparring session for the destructive Srisaket.
In Tokyo we have a 10 bout show with 7 bouts being part of the "Rookie of the Year" tournament and 3 being very well matched bouts with unbeaten fighters.
Of those 3 bouts two take place at Super Featherweight as Masayuki Ito (10-0-1, 3) faces Taiki Minamoto (7-2, 6) and Tatsuya Yanagi (8-0, 3) takes on Keisuke Arima (8-7-1, 1).
Of those two bouts it's certainly the Ito/Minamoto bout that serves the most interest. Both fighters are 22 and whilst Minimoto has the lesser record and has been stopped twice he has seriously hurtful power and seems to be a bit of a "stop me or I'll stop you" fighter. If Ito boxes to his best he should be able to claim a decision, if he gets tagged we may end up with an excellent bout.
In the other Super Featherweight it's very hard to see a way in which Arima defeats Yanagi. It looks likely to be a clear 8 round decision in favour of Yanagi.
The other "non-Rookie" bout sees Super Flyweight prospect Katsunori Nagamine (8-0, 5) taking on the power punching Akira Tsurumi (10-4, 10). We do like Nagamine but need to admit we are worried for him here if he gets caught by Tsurumi who is 35 but can still bang.
From the "Rookie" section of the card we think (please note we may be slightly wrong on these) that Kazuyuki Wakamatsu (3-0, 3) will be facing Akio Tomiyama (4-3, 3) in a very interesting Lightweight bout. In the same division Kenji Ishii (3-1, 3) will be up against 19 year old Ryosuke Takami (1-0, 1).
Sadly we've no idea on the other 5 bouts from the "Rookie of the Year" tournament, though we believe that the bouts will consist of1 Light Welterweight bout, 1 Super Featherweight contest, 2 Featherweight contests and a Bantamweight bout.