Just a day after the all-Japanese female mega-fight between Naoko Yamaguchi and Naoko Fujioka the women again take centre stage. This time however Japanese fans are going to be treat to a double header of female title action.
The show, “Earnest Efforts”, is promoted by Celes and will be held at the Korakuen Hall and will feature just six bouts, though with two of those being world title bouts it's hard to complain about the show.
The opening bout will see debutants colliding with Niwa Shohei (0-0) fighting Akao Bunya (0-0) in a Light Flyweight 4 rounder. This is one of several bouts in the 108lbs division which also includes the shows second bout which will see Toshihiro Kurihara (4-6-1, 3) fighting Dragon Jun (4-10, 2). Kunihara comes in to the bout looking to end a 3 fight losing streak whilst Jun looks to bounce back from back-to-back losses.
In the first of two contests scheduled for 8 rounds Ryuji Yokoyama (9-1, 3) will take on Yasuhiro Sakurai (6-15) at a contracted 50.5KG. This contest will see Sakurai trying to end a 9 fight losing streak that dates back well over 3 years whilst Yokoyama will be seeking his 8th successive victory. This contest will be followed by one between Daisuke Yokoyama (14-5, 6) and Kazunari Fujisawa (9-10-4, 2). On the face of it Yokoyama should get past Fujisawa with out too many problems, especially considering Fujisawa is win-less in 8.
The first of the two world title fights on the show will see Naoko Shibata (10-3, 3) attempt to claim the vacant IBF Light Flyweight title as she battles Mexican Alondra Garcia (8-0, 1). For Shibata this is a third world title fight and one that she should be a big favourite to win considering the fact she has been competitive in her previous two. For Garcia however this is a huge step up and one that may have come too soon for the Mexican.
In the second world title fight of the day the WBC Atomweight champion Momo Koseki (16-2-1, 4) will attempt to make the 12th defence of her title as she battles Mexico's Nora Cardoza (8-4-2, 4). This on paper is just as uncompetitive as the other world title fight in all honesty, though should allow Koseki some action after almost 6 months out of the ring.
As well as the action in Japan we also expect to see a number of fights with an Asian interest in the US.
In a Light Heavyweight contest we're expecting to see Russian Medzhid Bektemirov (12-0, 9) in action whilst his compatriot Konstantin Ponomarev (21-0, 10) will make his US debut. Both of these bouts are in the US though on totally different cards.
A busy Sunday is the norm in Japan for boxing and with 3 cards today this week is no exception.
The most notable of the 3 Japanese cards takes place at the FujisanMesse in Fuji.
The main event of the Fuji card sees the unbeaten Ryuji Hara (14-0, 10) making the second defense of his Japanese Minimumweight title as he takes on Shuhei Ito (12-2-1, 3). This match not only has the title on the line but also revenge for Ito who suffered his first career defeat at the hands of Hara back in 2010. It's likely the winner of this bout will move into an OPBF title bout with in 2 or 3 fights and then look towards a world title bout in the coming years.
As well as “Hara v Ito II” the card also features Go Odaira (7-3-3, 1) against Kazuma Kitahara (8-2-1, 4) in a very well matched up bout. Whilst Odaira has suffered 3 losses one of those came to Hara so there is no shame there. In a lesser bout Yuki Tsuge (12-2, 6) takes on Yuji Hasegawa (6-2, 1) and Kazuya Nakano (4-2, 4) takes on a yet to be named opponent.
In the Convention Center, Ginowan a 3 bout card is scheduled (though we'd imagine more bouts will be added by fight night). The most notable of those bouts sees Koseki Nakama (15-4, 6) who's is 1-3 in his last 4 fights, taking on Filipino Jose Ocampo (17-5-1, 12) an opponent best known for his links to Ricky Burns.
As fans will know Ocampo was strongly linked to a fight for the WBO Super Featherweight world title around the turn of the year though the bout was eventually called off after Ocampo's trainer unfortunately passed away.
As well as the Nakama against Ocampo fight there is also a very interesting bout between Go Onaga (19-2-2, 14) and Ryan Rey Ponteras (12-9-1, 6). Although on paper this appears like a mismatch Ponteras does take a 4 fight winning streak in to the ring whilst Onaga is 2-1-1 in his last 4.
The final bout that we have details about on the card is a total mismatch as Masatoshi Kotani (11-2, 9) faces Payanoi Jittygym (0-1). Whilst Kotani was stopped 2 fights ago by Cirilo Espino he should still cruise to a victory here.
The final card is also the most scarce in terms of information with only 1 bout currently listed. The one bout we have details for at the City Sogo Gym is Masaki Saito (8-9-3, 1) against Kazunari Fujisawa (9-9-4, 2). We've got to admit that this is a bout that doesn't set the pulses racing and we'd assume that the undercard will mostly be novice professionals.