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).
For the second successive day this week the Korakuen Hall is the host to a notable card in Tokyo. Despite only 2 bouts being known about on boxrec it's expected that several more bouts will be shown though in all honesty those two bouts alone would make the show worthy of catching.
In an 8 round Heavyweight bout former K1 champion Kyotaro Fujimoto (5-1, 3) attempts to bounce back from his loss last time out to Solomon Haumono as he faces Frenchman Fabrice Aurieng (7-4, 2). Although Fujimoto lost to Haumono in an OPBF Heavyweight title bout there is still quite a lot of hope on the 26 year old who has solid boxing fundementals but didn't have the experience for a hard hitting fighter like Haumono, especially not when the crowd appeared to turn on him.
With Aurieng now the French Heavyweight champion this international bout could well help put Fujimoto back on the boxing map and would genuinely be a solid win for Japanese Heavyweight.
In the other notable bout Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Hidenori Otake (19-1-3, 9) attempts to make the second defense of the title he won in December as he takes on Coronita Doi (26-13-8, 9). This will be Doi's second attempt at the title after losing a prior shot back in 2001 against Junichi Watanabe.
Having been stopped 8 times in his 13 bouts it's almost impossible to see a way that the 34 (soon to be 35) year old Doi could upset the champion who takes a 14 fight unbeaten streak in to this bout ncluding very notable bouts in his last 2 bouts.