Although Japanese boxing fans have already had 3 cards this week it's fair to say they all pale in significance compared to the fourth show of the week as we get the final of the "Strongest Korakuen" with 4 genuinely interesting contests, despite the fact we were, originally meant to have 5 bouts.
The show will begin in the Light Flyweight division, one of the most interesting divisions in Japan. The bout at 108lbs will see Toshimasa Ouchi (16-6-3, 4) in action against the more experienced Kenichi Horikawa (24-12-1, 4) in an excellent match up. Not only have both men made their way to the final of the tournament but both are highly ranked in both Japan and the OPBF with Ouchi being #2 Japanese and #8 OPBF whilst Horikawa is #3 Japanese and #11 OPBF. Genuienly fantastic opening bout.
After the brilliant opening bout we get a very interesting second bout as the once highly touted Yohei Tobe (6-1-1, 3) fights Yoshihito Ishizaki (8-5-1, 4). Although Ishizaki's record is less than impressive he has mixed in good company pushing both Yota Sato and Ryo Akaho very close in losing efforts and he may may well spring a surprise here. Saying that however this is the #1 and #5 in Japan meeting, so no result really is a surprise despite the vastly differing records.
In the third bout we get the 2-time title challenger, and former interim Super Bantamweight champion Mikihito Seto (34-10-2, 18) taking on recent title challenger Takafumi Nakajima (21-6-1, 8) a man many feel should be holding the title right now. Both men have come extremely close to being crowned the Japanese Super Bantamweight champion and the winner here will feel confident in claiming the title.
The fourth and final bout on the show takes place at Super Featherweight as the unbeaten Rikki Naito (7-0, 4) fights Keiichi Izumi (13-5, 4). For Izumi, the #2 ranked Japanese and #6 ranked OPBF fighter this is a chance to finally get a title fight, for the fast rising Naito however this is just the next step as he looks forward to bigger and better fights.
Unfortunately, as mentioned above, there was supposed to be a fifth contest on this show. This was supposed to be between Sanosuke Sasaki (11-3, 5) and Yoshihisa Tonimura (16-8-4, 4) though it's now off. Instead Tonimura will get a second fight Tadashi Yuba in November, following a controversial victory for Yuba in February.
Outside of the Japanese card there is a card in the Philippines as Jaro Promotion International put on an 11 fight show in Ynares Plaza Gymnasium.
This Jaro card is expected to kick off with 5 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds. These will included 3 all debutant contests as Dino Bulahan (0-0) takes on Lorence Rosas (0-0), Rodney Ramirez (0-0) fights Michael Bravo (0-0) and Joel Tamano (0-0) battles Edward Toreon (0-0). The three all debutant contests are joined by two other 4 round contests as Niero Saldon (0-0) takes on novice Ernie Mino Jr (0-1) and Rolando Sadsad (0-1-1) fights Valeriano Gabriel (1-3). Unfortunately it's hard to get excited about any of these 5 contests.
As well as the 4 round bouts there is a couple of 6 rounders with Regan Delos Santos (2-1, 2) fighting fellow once beaten fight Menard Abila (3-1-1, 1) in one of the contests whilst journeymen collide in the other with Marvin DelaCruz (8-12-2, 5) fighting "career loser" Mabert Paulino (2-15).
In the sole 8 round bout Benjie Suganob (6-1-1, 2) looks for his fifth straight victory as he battled the some what fragile Marco Niones (3-9, 1) who has himself been stopped 7 times. This will be followed by a 10 rounder between Boy Dondee Pumar (9-5-3, 3) and Dino Lelis (10-10-2, 5).
The remaining bouts on the Filipino card are both regional title bouts as Lionel Legada (10-5-1, 5) faces Lionel Mark Duran (10-8-2, 4) in a battle for the vacant WBC Asia Council Continental Flyweight title. This will see LEgada looking for his second victory in five contests whilst Duran will be looking for his second win in seven bouts. The other title bout sees Jomar Fajardo (12-4-1, 5) looking to claim the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Flyweight title as he fights Robel Villegas (9-7, 3), a man who was stopped last time out.
We get a third Asian card as we have action in Moskovsky, Russia with a 7 bout card.
This Russian card is mostly a card full of novices with only a single bout scheduled for more than 6 rounds.
In 4 round action we have 4 bouts, these include a sole female bout as debutants collide with Viktoriya Aleksandrova (0-0) fighting Nadezhda Khaenok (0-0) this is one of two all debutant bouts with Georgy Abramyan (0-0) fighting the fanastically named Ivan Ivanov (0-0).
The remaining 4 round bouts see Gor Arutyunyan (0-0), another debutant, battling Oleg Korobko (2-1-1) and the unbeaten Alexander Kubich (3-0, 1) fighting the winless Andrey Ishmukhametov (0-1).
As well as the 4 round contests we have a pair of 6 rounders with the unbeaten Igor Ivanov (6-0, 1) taking on the debuting Sherzod Abdurakhimov (0-0) in a Welterweight contest and novice Murad Dalkhaev (3-0, 2) fighting Ruslan Semenov (3-25-1, 2) in what appears to be the toughest test so far for Dalkhaev.
In the show's main event the unbeaten Arif Magomedov (6-0, 4) will take on the experienced Marat Khuzeev (20-6-1, 8) in a battle for the Russian Middleweight title. Although unbeaten Magomedov is unlikely to go much further than a Russian title however a victory here may help him move up to the next level.
Ourside of Asia we get two very interesting contests. In Germany, the Lebanese born Syrian Manuel Charr (24-1, 14), who is now based in Germany, battles Kazakhstan born Russian Denis Bakhtov (36-8, 24) in a bout with numerous title one the line.
The other international contest is the biggest contest in world boxing this weekend as Ruslan Provodnikov (25-2, 15), the "Siberian Rocky", looks to claim the interim WBO Light Welterweight as he takes on American Mike Alvarado (34-1, 23). This fight promises to be something very special with a FOTY type of bout being widely expected and we'd be very shocked by anything but a war in the ring.
Although the week so far has been relatively quiet it appears that we actually end the week with quite a busy day or two.
The most notable card in Asia today is held at the The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex in Metro Manila and features a staggerin 12 bouts.
The most notable of the bouts on the Metro Manila card sees Jerson Mancio (16-3-3, 7) making the second defense of his Philippines Games & Amusement Board (GAB) Light Flyweight title s he takes on Robel Villegas (9-6, 3). This looks, at least on paper, like an easy enough defense for Mancio.
The other more notable bouts on the card see Cris Alfante (7-1, 1) taking on Ricky Oyan (4-16-2, 2) and Ronelle Ferreras (11-5-1, 4) taking on Roque Lauro (7-13-3, 2) both in 10 rounders. It'd be a shock to see Alfante losing and Ferreras, in all honesty should manage to secure his 12th victory.
In 8 round bouts we get Ricardo Roa (10-7-2, 2) against Samuel Apuya (7-14-1, 4), the unbeaten Andrian Camique (4-0-1, 2) against Sherwin McDo Lungay (7-22-2, 10) and Lionel Mark Duran (9-7-2, 3) against Junjie Lauza (4-7. 1). Of the 6 men here it's fair to say that Camique has the most interest to us, though we do sort of feel that there isn't a super star brewing amongst them.
Of the remaining bouts on the card, including Bryan Macamay (6-1-2, 5) against Menard Zaragosa (5-11, 3); Zoran Pama (2-7-3) against Roy Lagrada (2-4-1, 2); Ariel Arevalo (1-1, 1) against Gebby Manago (0-0); Vergel Rivera (1-0-1) against Jerwin Dela Rosa (0-1); Just Bornilla (3-1) against Reymond Yalung (0-0) and Jessebelle Pagaduan (4-0, 3) against Lady Love Sampiton (0-1) we're more interested in the final than the others mainly due to wonderful name of "Lady Love".
In Australia there is plenty of action as Filipino trio Michael Correa (3-3-3, 1), Jayson Mac Gura (1-14-2, 1) and Romeo Jakosalem (14-8-1, 7) all look to upset Australian based fighters. It certainly appears that Jakosalem has the toughest bout of the 3 men taking on Samoan banger Leti Leti (8-1, 8), though with the other two Filipino's facing debuting pair George Kambosos Jr and Nathan Wright they haven't easy nights work either.
As well as the Filipino's in action in Australia there is also action for South Korean Jeong Jin Park (1-3) who looks to claim the Australia New South Wales State Light Middleweight title whilst battling Joshua Diab (4-0, 2).
There are also fights in Russia including a bout for Zhandos Zhetpisbayev (5-5, 2) of Kazakhstan and Marat Khasanov (0-3) who was born in Uzbekistan. Zhetpisbayev faces the unbeaten Sahib Usarov (18-0, 6) whilst Khasnov goes into the ring with debutant Steven Lee (0-0)