The final Japanese show of the month is "Dangan 85" at the Korakuen Hall and is promoted by reason. The show, whilst not a must watch is an interesting show and has a solid line up with a combination of solid fighters, well made matches and promising youngsters.
The 8 fight show opens with a very competitive looking contest as the unbeaten Takeshi Yamagata (1-0-1) battles the win-less Shintaro Hirohama (0-1-1). Whilst it's not often that we can use "win-less", "unbeaten" and "competitive" in the same sentance we feel that it's actually perfect for this contest.
In the show's second contest we again get competitive action as Naoya Ota (0-1-1) fights the 18 year old Tatsuya Tsuge (1-2, 1). We don't expect anything great here but it should certainly be competitive.
The third contest on the card is part of the "A license" tournament. This bout will see the promising Yusaku Kuga (6-1-1, 4), fresh of the back of his "Rookie of the East" title, taking on the more experienced Taishi Torimoto (10-4-3, 1). Torimoto, despite his experience, does come in to this bout on the back of 2 losses in his last 4 contests however he did beat the previously unbeaten Yuki Ozawa last time out.
The first of three 8 round bouts sees the unbeaten Tatsuya Yanagi (9-0, 3) fighting the twice beaten Kazuhiro Miura (7-2). Aged 23 Yanagi is a genuinely promising talent though Miura will be looking to score his most notable victory so far. Although neither man is currently ranked by the JBC it wouldn't be a shock for the winner of this contest to enter the rankings sooner rather than later.
Following the first 8 round bout we go back to the 6 round distance as the Japanese ranked Hiroki Sato (6-4, 4) looks to end a 2 fight losing streak. Sato will face the limited Yuzuru Koizumi (8-6, 2) who has been stopped inside a round in 2 of his last 3 contests. With Sato being a genuine puncher we'd not be shocked at him stopping Koizumi here.
In the second of the 8 rounds the highly ranked Japanese Bantamweight Masahiro Ishida (12-5-2, 6) takes on the win-some-lose some Ryosuke Kinoshita (9-8-1, 3). Ishida enters the this contest with 2 losses in his last 3 whilst Kinoshita actualy enters on a run of 4 straight victories, albeit against a lower level of opponent than that of which Ishida has been fighting.
The main event here sees former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Shinya Iwabuchi (21-4, 17) taking on Koichi Ogawa (9-3-1, 4). This will be Iwabuchi's first bout since being beaten by Korean Min-Wook Kim back in April in an OPBF title bout though in all honesty Ogawa should give him no real challenge and this should be over inside the distance.
We're hoping that Iwabuchi will get back into the title mix following this bout and infact we're hoping that if he wins here he will challenge for the Japanese title that he had previously held. A bout between Iwabuchi and Keita Obara, for example, would certainly be interesting somewhere down the line
The start of another weekend sees Asia once again the boxing limelight with fighters fighting around the world, and for the second Friday running, in a world title bout.
We'll start our look to Friday by looking at that aforementioned world title fight as China's Xiong Zhao Zhong (20-4-1, 11) makes the first defense of his WBC Minimumweight title. Zhong's opponent, the highly regarded Denver Cuello (33-4-6, 21) has finally his chance and this bout, in Dubai, should be an absolute cracker. We've previewed the bout in full here.
Also on the Dubai card is the unbeaten Iranian Mohammadali Bayat Farid (3-0, 3) who is facing a yet to be named opponent.
Of course the Zhong/Cuello fight isn't the only major fight of the day, in fact in Japan we have another title bout as former world champion Ryol Li Lee (19-3-2, 10) attempts to claim the OPBF Featherweigth title. Lee will be facing the little known Shogo Ishikawa (10-3, 1) who looks to be an undeserving fighter for the title. Interestingly this is the second time Lee has tried to claim the OPBF title in as many bouts after having been held to a draw last time out by Cirilo Espino (who Ishikawa actually beat).
The card in Japan features several other bouts with Masahiro Ishida (12-4-2, 6) taking on Yuki Iwasaki (10-3, 6) in a solid looking match up; Yoshihisa Hirayama (10-8-1, 4) facing Yuya Sugizaki (16-9-1, 6) and recent Japanese title challenger Michiya Sato (9-4-4, 6) fighting Hitoshi Ichiba (7-4-1, 3).
Staying in Asia, though going down to Thailand there will be a card televised on "Channel 7". We've got to admit that we're unsure on who will be fighting though we believe that Pharanpetch Tor Buamas (11-0, 8) will be defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Featherweight title on the show against Amor Tino (14-13-3, 4). We also believe (though lack confirmation) that Morakot CP Freshmart (3-0, 2) will be on the card defending his WBC youth world Flyweight title.
Staying on the Thai theme, though to going to Australia, jouenyamn Superjames Singmanasak (3-12, 2) faces recent Commonwealth title challenger Corey McConnell (11-1-1). This will be McConnell's first bout since being beaten by Lee Selby in England earlier this year.
In the final bout of interest Kazakhstan's Zhanat Zhakiyanov (19-1, 12) fights for the first time since linking up with former 2-weight world champion Ricky Hatton. Zhakiyanov, who has already fought in Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Switzerland, England, Belarus and Hong Kong will fight in Northern Ireland as he takes on Michael Escobar (7-8, 3).