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.
With the week starting on a high with the action on Tuesday it feels a bit strange to need to wait until Friday for any sort of action, though that's what we've had to do this week. Thankfully after a couple of quiet days the action really does get immediately back under swing with decent cards in both Thailand and the Philippines.
We'll start by looking at the Thai card which will be televised by Thai Channel 7.
The main event in Thailand sees former world champion Suriyan Sor Rungvisai (28-5-1, 11) defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Bantamweight title against Filipino journeyman Edison Berwela (11-26-6, 2). This looks like a mismatch but Berwela does have the potential to give Suriyan a genuinely tough contest.
Although their is a former world title holder in the main event there is also a current world champion on the card with Suriyan's stablemate Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (20-3-1, 19), the current WBC Super Flyweight champion, fighting in a none title bout. Srisaket will, like Suriyan, be fighting a tough Filipino journeyman in the form of Roque Lauro (9-15-4, 2), a fighter who has been stopped just twice.
As was as Suriyan's sablemate being on the card, so to is his brother Nawaphon Por Chokchai (16-0, 11). Nawaphon will be facing the very limited Phalangchai Sithsaithong (0-1) in what appears to be little more than a record padding bout for the very promising Nawaphon.
The remaining bouts on the show see Yodchanchai Nakornloung Promotion (22-3, 17) taking on Phissanuthep Chaiyonggym (3-10-1, 2) and the unbeaten Kongfah Nakornluang (5-0, 2) taking on the debuting Manachai Sor Ratidech (0-0).
Over in the Philippines ARCI Boxing Promotion appear to put on an excellently deep card.
The show is expected to kick off with the debuting Jim Claude Manangquil (0-0) taking on Romnick Dejano (2-6, 1) and fellow debutant Daffy Dempo (0-0) battling Valeriano Gabriel (1-3) in the two bouts scheduled for 4 rounds.
The sole 6 round bout on the show sees Menard Abila (3-1, 1) takes on Mabert Paulino (2-15) before a series of 3 bouts scheduled over the 8 round distance,. These 8 round bouts will see Zoren Pama (4-7-3, 2) facing Raymond Empic (2-2, 1), JC Francisco (3-6-1) battling Sherwin McDo Lungay (7-23-2) and Renerio Arizala (6-0-1, 3) fighting Rey Morano (8-36-1, 1).
The reamining 6 bouts on the show are all scheduled for 10 rounds.
These first of the 10 rounders will see Renren Tesorio (11-3-3, 3) battling Ricky Oyan (4-17-2, 2), Rennel Flechero (9-4-1, 5) fighting Jeson Berwela (4-14, 2) and Felipe Cagubcob Jr (1-0-3) fighting Rowel Rosia (4-2, 2).
In a much more interesting contest former world title challenger Jether Oliva (18-1-2, 10) takes on Rissan Muelas (6-5, 4). This looks like a mismatch but Oliva did suffer an unexpected draw last time out to Lester John Pronco and will know that a lot is riding on this contest.
On paper the second most noteworthy contest sees the unbeaten Renren Pasignahin (5-0-1, 1) taking on the experienced Richard Garcia (24-16-1, 6). This is far from an easy assignment for Pasignahin though he'll be aware that a win will see him really moving up the domestic rankings and possibly moving into a national title fight.
Talking about national title fights the main event is actually one such fight as the very promising Harmonito Dela Torre (9-0, 5) fights for the vacant Philippines Boxing Federation (PBF) Super Featherweight title. Dela Torre, a fighter who does appear to be one of those hidden Filipino gems will be facing off against the much more experienced Richard Olisa (23-21-2, 12).
Although Olisa is 1-10 in his last 11 bouts those losses have generally come to solid fighters such as Roberto Gonzales, Bernabe Concepcion, Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo and Marlon Tapales, so he's certainly not a shot fighter just a very hard matched on.
This coming Sunday looks like one of the busiest days of the year, at least in Japan with 3 cards. As well as the trio of shows in Japan there is also a solid looking show in the Phillippines and a card in Yemen.
First lets start with at the most notable card of the day. Which will be held at the IMP Hall in Osaka.
The shows main event sees Japanese Middleweight contender Nobuhiro Ishida (24-9-2, 9) returning to Japan for the first time since 2009. Ishida will be facing Indonesian novice Elly Pangaribuan (3-2, 1) in what appears to be little more than an easy fight after a ridiculously difficult run for Ishida at the world level. Having lost his last 3 contest few can begrudge Ishida an easy night.
As well as Ishida the card also features 5 other bouts. The show kicks off with Yuki Nagashima (1-0) taking on the 18 year old Kei Fujita (3-0, 1). Fujita, also known as Kaoru Fujita, will be hunting his 4th win in a little over 14 months whilst Nagashima will be hoping to build on his successful debut from 4 months ago.
In a Light Middleweight class Ryo Okayama (7-1, 4) looks for his first win of the year as he takes on Indonesian Rocky Irawan Sikumbang (1-0, 1). In all honesty it'd be a shock if Okayama lost here.
We think the 3rd bout on the show will see Takayuki Okumoto (9-5-2, 5) taking on Haruki Toyama (8-2-1, 3) at a catchweight just below 117lbs. This will, if we're right of course, see Okumoto jumping up almost 2 division from his last contest though he has campaigned at Super Flyweight in the past.
Also on the card will be an evenly matched bout between Takaya Kakutani (6-2, 5) against Kazuya Murata (6-4, 2) at the Lightweight limit. Whilst the chief support will see Yu Kawaguchi (19-5, 9) taking on the relatively limited Ryoji Okahata (8-8-5, 1). This should be little more than public sparring session for the #3 ranked Japanese Bantamweight.
Rather confusingly there are two cards on the same day at the IMP Hall. The one mentioned above is promoted by Gurintsuda. The card above is actually the second card of the day at the venue with Dapeng putting on their own show earlier in the day.
The Dapeng card is an 8 bout show that is headlined by the always fun to watch Masao Nakamura (15-1, 15). Nakamura will be facing Filipino Ryan Sermona (15-4, 8) in what could be a very explosive encounter for as long as it lasts.
The chief support bout sees the Japanese #11 ranked Flyweight Akiyoshi Kanazawa (9-2-3, 4) taking on Koji Itagaki (12-7-2, 5). Itagaki comes in to the bout with just 1 win in his last 7 and really shouldn't be able to defeat Kanazawa at this stage in his career.
The remaining 6 bouts on the card are all scheduled for 4 rounds. They open up with Takahiro Morishita (0-1-1) taking on Kaminoko Okamura Kentkid (0-0-1) in a rematch of both men's debut earlier this year. This will be followed by Takuya Fujioka (2-2, 1) facing Noboru Osato (1-0-1, 1).
We think the third bout on the card will see two debutants in action and the fourth bout will be Kazumasa Harunaga (1-1), returning from 2 year break, to take on Kotaro Shinya (2-5-1, 2).
The remaining bouts on the show will be Kyohei Okutani (2-0, 2) against Fumiya Imafuji (1-0-1) and Yosuke Goto (0-2) fighting Takuma Hayashi (1-0, 1).
The third card in Japan takes place at the Kariya Aioi Hall and is the "Rookie of the Year" final. The show is scheduled to have 9 contests taking place between Flyweight and Welterweight.
At Flyweight we will see Yukiya Hanabusa (2-0-1) taking on a fighter whom we believe will be Hiroshi Tanase (2-1). At Super Flyweight Kenta Hashimoto (4-4-1, 2) faces Atsushi Komatsu (3-7-1, 2).
In the Bantamweight division Masato Oike (2-0-1) will face Hikaru Ando (5-3, 3) in what looks to be a competitive match up. At Super Bantamweight Masami Moriizumi (4-0-1, 4), the man who held Masato Oike to a draw, will be in action against, who we assume will be Tokunori Hoshiyama (4-1-1).
At Featherweight Kosuke Mizuno (4-3-1, 2) will fight Keisuke Odorise (3-4-1) in what again looks like a competitive match up and up 4lbs at Super Featherweight Yusuke Nakagawa (4-2-1, 3) will face the hard hitting Shohei Fujimoto (5-2-3, 5) oddly enough in a rematch of a bout from last year.
The Lightweight bout sees Ryo Shirakawa (5-4-2, 2) in action though unfortunately we're struggling to hunt his opponent down.
At Light Weltwerweight we believe Tetsuya Yamaguchi (1-0, 1) will be facing Tatsuo Kurebayashi (3-0, 2) in a very promising match up. There will also be a contest at Welterweight though we're unsure on who will be competing in it.
The card in the Philippines kicks off with Minimumweight action as Miko Sacro (1-0) takes on the debuting Rolly Sumalpong (0-0) and Renerio Arizala (5-0-1, 3) faces Ranel Del Castillo (4-4-2, 2). Both of these bouts are scheduled for 4 rounds.
In a 6 round contest Menard Abila (3-0, 1) faces the unbeaten Felipe Cagubcob Jr. (0-0-3).
As well as the undercard the show has a staggering 5 bouts scheduled for 10 rounds.
These bouts see the promising Michael Dasmarinas (12-1, 8) taking on Pit Anacaya (8-20-2, 1) in Super Flyweight bout that is heavily in favour of Dasmarinas.
The unbeaten JR Magboo (11-0-2, 5) is also in action as he takes on Bryan Macamay (7-1-2, 5) in a very promising match up. The prospects on the card also include Oliver Gregorio (8-1-1, 5) who takes on Ruther del Castillo (9-19-8, 2), and Jetro Pabustan (20-1-5, 6) who faces Boy Dondee Pumar (9-4-3, 3).
The main even on the card sees Roberto Gonzalez (21-2, 12) taking on the experienced Roselito Campana (18-16-3, 5) in what we imagine will be nothing more than an easy victory for Gonzalez.
Yemen card in Yemen, taking place at the Yemen Boxing Federation Gym is expected to have 7 bouts on the show, all of which are scheduled for 10 rounds.
At Middleweight unbeaten's collide as Khaldun Salami (2-0, 1) takes on Yaser Ali (2-0, 2). This is one of two all-unbeaten contests witht eh other seeing Othman Qasim (3-0) meeting Ali Salem (3-0, 1), in what is probably the bout of the card.
The remaining 5 bouts feature one unbeaten fighter against a fighter with at least one loss.
At Minimumweight Asam Dolbhante (3-0) looks for his third victory inside a month as he takes on Omar Al Khatib (0-1). Interestingly this is one of 3 bouts at the 105lb division with Mustafa Humaidi (5-0, 2), looking for his fourth victory of the month, takes on Ali Al Ahdal (3-2, 2) and Wesam Maqrami (3-0, 2) battles Mawj Abdulrezak (2-3).
In the Super Flyweight division Luke Hasan (1-0) looks for his second victory inside a month as he faces Bahr Slyman (1-1). The reamining bout takes place at Light Welterweight with Abdu Sameer (2-0) taking on Mohammad Saleh (2-1).