A day after Japanese fans get to see a national Super Flyweight title fight they get treat to a rare occurrence, a Japanese Heavyweight title fight.
This show, put on by Kadoebi and dubbed “Japan's Strongest I”, is one of those rare cards that is genuinely interesting on paper with several bouts worth taking note of and not just the main event. In fact the show features not just a title fight but also has on several very promising Japanese prospects.
The much anticipated main event sees Kyotaro Fujimoto (7-1, 5) defending his Japanese Heavyweight title for the first time as he battles #1 challenger Kotatsu Takehara (9-8-3, 4). Although on paper this looks like a mis-match it's fair to say that Takehara is a deserving challenger having defeated Rio Hidaka for this opportunity to fight for the title. Takehara, despite not having a winning record, has won his last two bouts and it's been more than a decade since he was last beaten by a Japanese opponent.
As mentioned in the introduction, the card features several notable prospects. The most interesting of those prospects is the destructive Light Welterweight Hiroki Okada (6-0, 6) who fights in the chief support bout against Filipino Jaypee Ignacio (9-16-2, 2). Although Boxrec.com list Okada as fighting Dan Nazareno Jr it's fair to say that Nazareno won't be on this show due to the fact he's in Macau on Saturday as part of “The Clash in Cotai” card.
Prior to Okada's bout will be a contest involving the promising Kenji Kubo (2-2, 1). Despite his less than stellar record Kubo is seen as a fighter with the potential to move up the rankings quickly. Having been matched far too hard so far Kubo is given an easy assignment as he faces Taro Mochizuki (4-6, 4) in what should be an easy victory for Kubo. Sadly however a loss for Kubo here would almost certainly spell the end to the idea that he is ever going to be a title holder.
In the fourth of the seven contests Yuya Sugizaki (17-9-1, 6), a ranked contender for the Japanese Super Featherweight title, will be in action against Keisuke Arima (8-8-1, 1). This should be a mismatch but Sugizaki has lost a number of recent bouts by stoppage and may well be a fighter on the slide.
The shows third contest is at Lightweight as the unbeaten Gosuke Seki (13-0-2, 2) battles Hiroyuki Sagehashi (7-5-2, 1). On paper this looks like a mismatch but Sagehashi has won his last four contest and is unbeaten since 2009 meaning that he may well have become a better fighter than the one who lost 5 of 7 contests earlier in his career. The Seki/Sagehashi bout will follow on from a Middleweight contest between Ryota Itoyama (10-4, 5) and the hard hitting Yasuyuki Akiyama (7-4-1, 1).
Prior to those six contests is the shows opener which sees Masahito Oki (1-0, 1) in action. Although we're not certain we believe that Oki will be fighting Jun Ogawa (1-0) in the shows only 4 rounder.
Although there is notable cards in Japan pretty much every day this week the one that stands out as being the most interesting one is with out a doubt Thursday's card at the Korakuen Hall.
The show, dubbed "Kamikaze 2" is headlined by an historic bout between Kyotaro Fujimoto (6-1, 4) and Okello Peter (21-6, 19) as the two men battle out for the Japanese Heavyweight title. This promises to be an explosive contest and whilst Kyotaro will be the favourite he'll need to be wary of Peters power. This will be the first time the Japanese Heavyweight title has been fought for since 1957.
The Kyotaro/Peter bout is one of two Heavyweight contests on the show. The other sees the promising Rio Hidaka (10-1, 8) looking to bounce back from his sole loss as he takes on Masataka Takehara (7-8-3, 3). Hidaka was hugely disappointing last time out, losing to Gregory Tony, but he can be fun to watch so this bout, like the main event could end up being very explosive.
It's not only the Heavyweight action that promises explosions but also a contest at Lightweight that sees Masayoshi Nakatani (5-0, 4) sharing a ring with Shuhei Tsuchiya (14-1, 12). This is a big step up Nakatani who has looked very good so far and with Tsuchiya coming in to the bout on the back of his sole loss he'll likely be looking to get back to winning ways in what promises to be a very special contest.
We believe there are 3 other bouts on the card though only have details on two of them. In those bouts we're expecting to see Yusuke Sakashita (8-4-2, 5) taking on Ryu Onigashima (12-6, 7) and the hard matched Kenji Kubo (2-1) facing off with Yosuke Fujihara (13-1, 4). We'd be shocked if those bouts didn't help complete one of the best "lower level cards" in a very long time.
Outside of Japan we also believe that the very promising Roman Zhailauov (8-0, 6) of Kazakhstan will be in action. We've yet to learn of the name of his opponent but the 19 year old does look like he's starting a very promising career.
There will also be action for Australian based Thai Singphayak Kokietgym (5-2, 4), AKA John Ford. The Thai will be looking to claim the Victoria State Light Welterweight title as he fights Qamil Balla (4-0-1, 3).
We're sorry for the past week or so of no updates, we've been having issues that have been keeping us from updating the site recently. Thankfully those issues have been sorted and normal service will be resumed this week, starting with a preview of Tuesday's upcoming action.
Tuesday's action is shared across Hong Kong and Japan with two noteworthy cards that are sure to grab the attention of boxing fans.
In the Korakuen Hall there is a 6 bout card that features several promising young Japanese fighters. Arguably the biggest name on the card is Kenji Kubo (1-1) who is looking to bounce back from his stunning loss to Rey Megrino back in January. Kubo will be matched a little softer than he has been so far as he takes on Galih Susanto (6-2, 1) from Indonesia. Although this is supposedly an easier bout Susanto did give Denkaosan Kaovichit a tough bout earflier this year and is better than his record indicates.
If Kubo is the biggest name (due to his experience in other fields) then Hiroki Okada (5-0, 5) is the most promising. The unbeaten Okada is to take on the experienced Indonesian Heri Andriyanto (19-15-2, 10). Whilst on paper this is a mismatch Andriyanto did end the stoppage streak of Shuhei Tsuchiya just over a year ago. Aged 23 Okada is one of Japan's most exciting prospects but will need to pass this tough test before we can say too much more.
Other than Okada there is only 1 other unbeaten fighter on the card, Gosuke Seki (12-0-2, 2) who faces Kenta Takahashi (10-5-2, 3). This is a rematch of a bout from last year which saw next to nothing seperating the two men and the judges ruling it a draw.
The other 3 bouts on the card include Ryota Itoyama (9-4, 5) taking on Yuichi Ideta (13-7-1, 7) with Ideta trying to end a 5 fight winless streak, the very evenly matched Tonko Nakagawa (11-5, 4) and Yoshihiro Utsumi (10-4-1, 5) fighting in a Super Bantamweight bout and Masahito Igawa (10-7-1, 3) looking to return after over 2 years out as he takes on Masatoshi Nakamura (6-6, 3).
In Hong Kong local star Rex Tso (8-0, 5) fights his toughest bout to date as he takes on former world champion Wandee Singwancha (67-16-1, 18). Tso will be hoping to make the second defense of his WBC Asia Council Continental Super Flyweight title. Despite the huge gulf in experience he should have enough size advantage and youth to defeat his Thai opponent.
The Tso bout is just 1 of 3 titles bouts on the Hong Kong card with Thai Ekapol Yothinpanawet (13-1, 9) looking to claim the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Welterweight title as he takes on Filipino Mike Tumbaga (12-18-2, 6) in the only bout for a vacant title.
Arguably the most significant title bout on the card is the WBC Atomweight title fight between the Japanese champion Momo Koseki (15-2-1, 3) and Eun-Young Huh (6-1-1). Kosecki is on a 13 fight unbeaten streak including 10 defenses of her title and will be looking to once again back up her claim of being the best Atomweight on the planet.
The card's only 6 round bout sees Japanese based Ugandan Festus Omondi (8-4, 6) taking on the experienced Edgar Gabejan (23-29-6, 7). This is a bit of a toss up though we would favour Gabejan due to his experience.
The remaining 3 bouts, all scheduled for 4 rounds sees 6 novices in action with just a solitary bout between them. The one man with a fight to his name is Chan Sin Man (1-0) who will be facing Alvin Cooney (0-0), the other two, all debutant bouts are Nibesh Ghale v Kuok Kun Ng and Oliver Prevost v Keng Fai Lam. The second of those bouts is the most interesting pitting the Hong Kong based Frenchman Prevost against Macao's Keng Fai Lam in a Heavyweight bout in a bout that has plenty of intrigue though can it deliver?