A new week kicks off with an excellent "B level" show in Korakuen Hall that would actually put a lot of other domestic shows (especially those in the west) to shame. In all honesty with 2 title fights and a former 4-weight Japanese national champion on the card it really does look a bit special.
The cards weakest bout sees Hirotsugu Yamamoto (15-7-2, 2) taking on Dai Iwai (10-3-1, 5). Whilst it's not a great bout it's a very even looking contest on paper and is a the sort of bout that the sport needs more of rather than the all too common "prospect v no hoper" fights that we see in the west.
Former Japanese Lightweight, Light Welterweight, Welterweight and Middleweight champion Tadashi Yuba (42-8-2, 31) looks to continue his legendary career as he faces Kengo Nagashima (12-9-2, 11). Whilst Yuba, now 36, is a fighter coming to the end of the line he has already stamped his place on Japanese boxing history by being the first ever 4-weight national champion and a loss to Nagashima won't really his legacy.
The first of the title bouts is at Bantamweight as Hiroki Shiino (9-2, 8) takes on Filipino Dennis Tubieron (15-1-1, 6) in a bout for the vacant OPBF Bantamweight title. Not only is the title on the line but also a sense of revenge for Shiino who was stopped in 8 rounds by Tubieron last September.
Going in their first bout together Shiino was the WBC #12 ranked fighter and seemed likely to fast tracked to a world title bout. Tubieron however hadn't read the script however and dropped Shiino 4 times en route to the stoppage, and claimed the WBC International Bantamweight title as a result. Expect this to be a very special bout.
The main fight, at least for us, sees the OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Shingo Wake (13-4-2, 6) making the first defense of his belt. Wake, who defeated the highly ranked Yukinori Oguni for the title back in March faces Eita Kikuchi (14-2-4, 6) in an all-Japanese bout.
Wake's victory over Oguni was a genuine shock and helped force Wake into the world rankings (he's currently ranked WBC #11 and WBA #13) though with Kikuchi ranked #5 WBA there is alot on the line here.