To end the wonderful month of September (a month in which our team has all been struck down with the flu!) there are two cards. One is a domestic show in the Philippines whilst the second is a much more interest card in Japan full of international action, including Filipinos.
With the Japanese card, dubbed "Fil-Japan Vol. III", it seems an obvious starting point for the day.
We expect the Japanese card to kick off with the debut of Middleweight Jermaine Adrian Pritchett (0-0) who faces southpaw Yuichi Sakuta (1-1), this bout is followed by Naoaki Kumagai (0-1) facing the card's second debutant Kenta Hirata (0-0). For those wondering Kumagai isn't the the woman made famous in the movie "Jackass", that's Naoko Kumagai, who we will admit we were confused by originally.
Talking about female fighters the third fight on the show is the first of 2 bouts featuring females as Japanese based Filipino Honey Mae Bermoy AKA Honey Katsumata (4-2, 4) battles Japan's unbeaten Saki Yamada (6-0-1, 2) in a fight that sees Yamada risking her high OPBF ranking agains a serious puncher.
The show's fourth bout sees another Japanese based Filipino in action as Jovylito Aligarbes, AKA Jovy Katsumata (8-2, 3) battles against the more experienced Monico Laurente (23-8, 5), who himself is from the Philippines. Of the two men involved here it's fair to say that Laurente has been in with the tougher competition including Tomoki Kameda, Pungluang Sor Singyu, Malcolm Tunacao and Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat though with Katsumata being the promoters fighter we may see an upset here.
In the show's fifth bout we get a really interesting contest as Yuki Chinen (13-1, 6), a recent Japanese national title challenger, battles Filipino veteran Ryan Bito (22-11-3, 8). Unfortunately with Bito losing 3 of his last 4, including a decision to the then unbeaten Yohei Tobe, this bout has lost some of it's shine though should still be a good test for Chinen who will be wanting to get back on to the winning trail.
The second female bout on the card sees the hugely popular Tomomi Takano (2-0, 1), a former model-turn-boxer, in action against a Filipino debutant. Although we're no certain we are lead to believe that Takano will be fighting a woman called Jiperin Derima (0-0). The Takano bout is seen as the chief support due to her immense popularity, which we've got to admit is an amazing accomplishment for such a novice, though her looks do admittedly get her a lot of attention.
The main event on this card is a simply excellen match up that pits the unbeaten Masayuki Ito (11-0-1, 3) with once beaten Filipino Jeffrey Arienza (9-1-1, 4) in a battle over the WBC Youth Lightweight title. Although Arienza was unexpectedly stopped last time out by Leonardo Doronio it's fair to say Ito probably doesn't have the same power as Doronio.
The Filipino card, held at the Siquijor Capital Square is expected to feature 6 bouts beginning with action kicking off with a 6 round affair between Bryan Samson (3-3, 1) and Darius Elorde (1-1, 1).
Following the opener we expect a trio of bouts scheduled for 8. The most notable of these 8 rounders sees the the promising Neil John Tabanao (4-0, 3) battling the much more experienced Elmar Francisco (16-19-2, 4) in a bout that really could test the 19 year Tabanao who has never been beyond 6. Tabanao is one of two prospects in these 8 round contests with 20 year old Joey Canoy (3-0, 2) fighting Jherald Tuyor (2-14, 1) in the other.
The only 8 rounder not featuring a prospect sees modern day "Cinderella Man" Gerpaul Valero (15-14-3, 10) looking for his 15th victory in 16 bouts as he takes on Jomar Ministerio (5-5-1, 2). This is, in all honesty, an easier fight than Valero's previous bout which saw him upsetting Sonny Boy Jaro back in August.
In co-main events, both scheduled for 10 rounds, we get more prospects in action as the unbeaten Ardie Boyosi (7-0-1, 4) battles Jessie Tuyor (6-11-4, 3) and Rajah Renoel Pael (11-0-1, 4) fights Raul Pusta Jr (8-2-2, 2). The Boyosi/Tuyor looks a relatively one sided one on paper theough the Pael/Pusta bout could well be the most competitive bout of the day.
A new weekend kicks off with the regular boxing from Thailand as well as a wonderful show from Japan that has up licking our lips.
As we know it's televised we'll start with the Thai card which is from the King Ramesuan Provincal Stadium in Lop Buri and will be televised live on Thai Channel 7.
The card is expected to feature 3 or 4 bouts, though unfortunately we only have details on 2 of them. The main event sees Nawaphon Por Chokchai (15-0, 11) defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Flyweight title for the 5th time as he takes on Filipino Roque Lauro (9-14-4, 2). Lauro is unlikely to score the upset but we wouldn't put it beyond him to make life difficult for Nawaphon.
With Nawaphon in the main event it's interesting to see current world champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (19-3-1, 18) in the chief support bout. Srisaket, fighting in a stay busy fight returns to the ring for the first time since stopping Yota sato for the WBC Super Flyweight title back in May. Srisaket will be facing Joan Imperial (9-2-5, 4) in what really should be little more than a pubic sparring session for the destructive Srisaket.
In Tokyo we have a 10 bout show with 7 bouts being part of the "Rookie of the Year" tournament and 3 being very well matched bouts with unbeaten fighters.
Of those 3 bouts two take place at Super Featherweight as Masayuki Ito (10-0-1, 3) faces Taiki Minamoto (7-2, 6) and Tatsuya Yanagi (8-0, 3) takes on Keisuke Arima (8-7-1, 1).
Of those two bouts it's certainly the Ito/Minamoto bout that serves the most interest. Both fighters are 22 and whilst Minimoto has the lesser record and has been stopped twice he has seriously hurtful power and seems to be a bit of a "stop me or I'll stop you" fighter. If Ito boxes to his best he should be able to claim a decision, if he gets tagged we may end up with an excellent bout.
In the other Super Featherweight it's very hard to see a way in which Arima defeats Yanagi. It looks likely to be a clear 8 round decision in favour of Yanagi.
The other "non-Rookie" bout sees Super Flyweight prospect Katsunori Nagamine (8-0, 5) taking on the power punching Akira Tsurumi (10-4, 10). We do like Nagamine but need to admit we are worried for him here if he gets caught by Tsurumi who is 35 but can still bang.
From the "Rookie" section of the card we think (please note we may be slightly wrong on these) that Kazuyuki Wakamatsu (3-0, 3) will be facing Akio Tomiyama (4-3, 3) in a very interesting Lightweight bout. In the same division Kenji Ishii (3-1, 3) will be up against 19 year old Ryosuke Takami (1-0, 1).
Sadly we've no idea on the other 5 bouts from the "Rookie of the Year" tournament, though we believe that the bouts will consist of1 Light Welterweight bout, 1 Super Featherweight contest, 2 Featherweight contests and a Bantamweight bout.