The final Japanese show of the month is "Dangan 85" at the Korakuen Hall and is promoted by reason. The show, whilst not a must watch is an interesting show and has a solid line up with a combination of solid fighters, well made matches and promising youngsters.
The 8 fight show opens with a very competitive looking contest as the unbeaten Takeshi Yamagata (1-0-1) battles the win-less Shintaro Hirohama (0-1-1). Whilst it's not often that we can use "win-less", "unbeaten" and "competitive" in the same sentance we feel that it's actually perfect for this contest.
In the show's second contest we again get competitive action as Naoya Ota (0-1-1) fights the 18 year old Tatsuya Tsuge (1-2, 1). We don't expect anything great here but it should certainly be competitive.
The third contest on the card is part of the "A license" tournament. This bout will see the promising Yusaku Kuga (6-1-1, 4), fresh of the back of his "Rookie of the East" title, taking on the more experienced Taishi Torimoto (10-4-3, 1). Torimoto, despite his experience, does come in to this bout on the back of 2 losses in his last 4 contests however he did beat the previously unbeaten Yuki Ozawa last time out.
The first of three 8 round bouts sees the unbeaten Tatsuya Yanagi (9-0, 3) fighting the twice beaten Kazuhiro Miura (7-2). Aged 23 Yanagi is a genuinely promising talent though Miura will be looking to score his most notable victory so far. Although neither man is currently ranked by the JBC it wouldn't be a shock for the winner of this contest to enter the rankings sooner rather than later.
Following the first 8 round bout we go back to the 6 round distance as the Japanese ranked Hiroki Sato (6-4, 4) looks to end a 2 fight losing streak. Sato will face the limited Yuzuru Koizumi (8-6, 2) who has been stopped inside a round in 2 of his last 3 contests. With Sato being a genuine puncher we'd not be shocked at him stopping Koizumi here.
In the second of the 8 rounds the highly ranked Japanese Bantamweight Masahiro Ishida (12-5-2, 6) takes on the win-some-lose some Ryosuke Kinoshita (9-8-1, 3). Ishida enters the this contest with 2 losses in his last 3 whilst Kinoshita actualy enters on a run of 4 straight victories, albeit against a lower level of opponent than that of which Ishida has been fighting.
The main event here sees former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Shinya Iwabuchi (21-4, 17) taking on Koichi Ogawa (9-3-1, 4). This will be Iwabuchi's first bout since being beaten by Korean Min-Wook Kim back in April in an OPBF title bout though in all honesty Ogawa should give him no real challenge and this should be over inside the distance.
We're hoping that Iwabuchi will get back into the title mix following this bout and infact we're hoping that if he wins here he will challenge for the Japanese title that he had previously held. A bout between Iwabuchi and Keita Obara, for example, would certainly be interesting somewhere down the line
Action in Japan continues on Wednesday with a genuinely interesting card at the Korakuen Hall.
The show is the B Class Grand Prix final and features 8 bouts in the tournament as well as 3 contests from the "East Rookie of the Year". The contests in the B Class tournament hold the real interest with 2 notable bouts in particular.
The show opens up with those "East Rookie of the Year" contests. With the opening bout being Seigo Takeuchi (1-0-1) against Hikaru Akutsu (1-0) at Super Featherweight.
Following the Super Featherweight contest we expect to see Taichi Kimura (0-1) facing a debutant, who we believe will be Akira Mimura Hitoshi (0-0), and the final bout "East Rookie of the Year" contest will see Ryuta Nakajima (4-1-1, 4) battling Shun Shimazaki (5-3, 1).
All 3 of the contests from the "East Rookie of the Year" are scheduled for 3 rounds, the remaining 8 contests are all scheduled for 5 rounds, these are listed in below in terms of expected running order.
The first of the B class fights ist in the Bantamweight division as Kota Sato (8-4-1, 4) faces Wataru Miyasaka (7-1-1, 2). The two men fought each other in March of this year with Miyasaka taking a razor thin decision and now Sato gets a chance for revenge.
At Super Featherweight we believe, though may be wrong, in thinking that Ribo Takahata (8-3-1, 2) will face Nozomu Kikuchi (6-3). We're not certain on this one though we think that we're right on the two men.
In the minimumweight division Kazuhiro Nakamura (7-4, 2) will face Shinya Matsukawa (7-7-1, 1) in what looks like a tough but yet compelling contest.
Up at Featherwieght we will see Kosuke Saka (7-1, 5) will take on Katsuya Sato (5-5, 1) in what looks like a some-what one sided contest.
The hard hitting Lightweight Tatsuya Miyazaki (8-4-1, 8) will be looking for his second victory of the year as he takes on Kazuhiro Miura (7-2) in what looks to be a brilliant match up at 135lbs.
In the Super Flyweight division the very promising and highly regarded Yoichi Ide (1-0, 1) will look to continue his rise as he takes on Shohei Kikuzato (8-1, 3). It looks tough step up for Ide but if he's as good as they say, he should pass this test with flying colours.
Just a division lower at Flyweight Taro Oikawa (2-1, 2) looks for his 3rd successive victory as he battles the unbeaten Yuta Matsuo (4-0, 3). This looks like an explosive contest on paper and could be a show stealer with both men having power and liking to use it despite the fact both are relative novices.
The final bout on the card will see Yasaku Kuga (6-1, 4) facing the mega highly regarded Naoto Uebayashi (3-0, 2). Uebayashi is viewed by some as being amongst the top 10 prospects in Japan but this will be a seriously tough contest for the 26 year old former amateur stand out.
The winners of the Grade B touranment bouts will all be expected to go on to become notable fighters over the next few years so are well worth looking out for. We are very excited about bout Ide and Uebayashi though with their inexperience their is no certainty that either man will come out victorious.
It's not just in Japan that we have action as Yemen continues to grow one of the busiest boxing scenes out there.
The 8 bout show in Yemen, kicks off with 5 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds. These will see Moxamad Abdu (2-1, 1) attempt to bounce back from his recent loss as he takes on Saad Lukman (0-1) in a Lightweight contest. The Abdu/Lukman contest is one of two fights expected to take place in Lightweight division with the other seeing debutant Ahmed Qahali (0-0) looking for a winning start to his career. Qahali will face Alwan Hawshabi (1-1).
In other 4 round bouts Khaled Maweri (0-1) will take on Rashad Horun (0-1), Munir Abdulqadir (1-0) will attempt to record his second win facing Ramzi Ahmed (0-1) and Othman Qasim (3-1) will attempt to bounce back from his recent loss as he battles the debuting Saleh Sufyan (0-0).
In the least interesting of the 10 round contests Luway Jaber (1-1, 1) faces Esam Aunfi (1-1, 1). It's great that the men have perfectly matched records but it's fair to say that neither guy is really that interesting. The secondary bout in the longer distance sees the promising Sharaf Montaser (2-0, 2) looking for his 3rd victory of the year. Montaser will be fighting Ibrahim Azzani (0-1) in what could be a tougher fight for Montaser than his previous 2.
Although the card has 3 bouts scheduled for 10 rounds there is only one bout that can be considered the main event and that's the bout between the unbeaten pair of Yaser Ali (3-0, 3) and Abdu Sameer (3-0). This bout really could be something worth watching and should have the crowd interested from the opening bell.