To kick off a new week in Japanese boxing we have two excellent cards with one taking place at the Korakuen Hall, Tokyo whilst the other takes place the Sumiyoshi Ward Center in Osaka city.
Unlike most days where we have 2 shows both of these are genuinely great shows and it's hard to say which we prefer the look of so we'll start with the one in "The Hall". A show which is promoted by Reason and is the latest in the Dangan series of shows dubbed "Dangan 84".
In the first of main events of the Korakuen Hall show sees OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Shingo Wake (14-4-2, 7) defending his belt for the second time as he takes on Filipino challenger Jhunriel Ramonal (13-5-4, 7). Wake is a fighter who we do think has the potential to become a world title holder and in all honesty he should over come Ramonal here, though the Filipino challenger did push Hiromasa Ohashi in his only previous bout in Japan.
The second main event sees former world champion Ryol Li Lee (20-3-2, 10) defending his OPBF Featherweight title for the first time. Lee will be facing fellow Japanese fighter Hisashi Amagasa (24-4-2, 16), himself a Japanese national champion. This will be the second meeting between these two men with Lee having beaten Amagasa back in 2010, it'd be a bit of a shock if we didn't have a repeat of that here.
As well as the title double header we have 4 other bouts on the show. These begin with Kazuki Sanpei (1-1) battling the 35 year old Takahisa Nagata (2-1), who makes his return to the ring after more than a year out. This bout will be the sole 4 rounder on the show.
The first of a trio of 8 round bouts on the show sees Ryutaro Taira (7-3-1, 3) fighting Mikiya Ishikawa (8-4, 1) in a solid looking match up in the Flyweight division, this will be followed by a contest at Welterweight former Japanese Light Welterweight as Yuji Wauke (16-4-1, 8) fights Yuichi Ideta (13-8-1. 7), a man with 1 win in his last 10 contests.
In the chief undercard bout Ryo Takenaka (8-2-1, 5) fights Filipino visitor Vergel Nebran (11-5-1, 7) in what looks, at least on paper, like a solid contest between two men with genuine potential. Although Nebran has 5 losses on his ledger they have all been close and he should perhaps have the confidence of an unbeaten fighter. Takenaka on the other hand has only lost to solid fighters, including Li who stopped him in the fifth round.
The second card, which takes in Osaka, is promoted by Mushima and is dubbed "You will be the Champion II" due to the potential of several fighters on the show who are tipped to become champions.
Like the Korakuen Hall card this one is a double header with the main fight being one between Japanese KO sensation Masao Nakamura (16-1, 16) and Thai veteran Fahsai Sakkreerin (40-4-1, 22). Whilst Sakkreerin did lose earlier this year to Rances Barthelemy he will be the biggest test for Nakamura since the Japanese fighter was stopped by Ronald Pontillas.
The co-feature here sees Takayuki Hosokawa (23-10-3, 8), a former Japanese title challenger, fighting Thailand's Patomsuk Pathompothong (25-1-1, 16). Although Pathompothong is ranked #5 by the IBF at Light Welterweight he will be going up to Welterweight for this contest.
As well as the two 10 round main events we will also have two bouts over the 8 round distance. The most notable of these contests will see Japanese based Filipino Jerope Mercado (25-4-3, 9) facing Kojiro Takada (11-6-3, 8). This will be Jerope's first bout since losing to Kohei Oba in a Japanese Bantamweight title fight back in March. Saying that however Mercado has lost 3 of his last 4 whilst Takada is on a 3 fight winning run and may feel he has a chance to record a major victory.
The other 8 round contest will see Tetsuya Nishinaga (10-7-1) attempting to end a 2 fight losing run as he takes on Hirokazu Okajima (8-2-2, 4) in what looks like a genuinely intriguing bout. We do favour Okajima here though do admit that it's not going to be easy for either man.
As well as those 4 interesting contests we have 3 other bouts on the card. These start with a contest between Yosuke Taniguchi (1-1) and unbeaten teenager Noboru Osato (1-0-2, 1) before Kaminoko Okamura Kentokid (1-0-1) fights Abo Nakamura (3-5), who looks to end a 4 fight losing streak.
The remaining contest on the Korakuen Hall show will see Satoru Sugita (6-2-1, 4) fighting a Thai. Unfortunately we've not been able to track down the Thai opponent though we will say that Sugita probably needs a win after losing 2 of his last 4 contests.
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).