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.
It's fair to say that after a busy weekend we've had a really, really quiet week this week. The relative silence comes to a crashing end on a very busy Friday with Asian fighters battle across the Eastern hemisphere.
The most notable card is likely to be the Thai card held in Choburi where Wanheng Menayothin (29-0, 10) will attempt to defend his WBC International Minimumweight title for the 9th time as he takes on Japanese challenger Yuma Iwahashi (10-5-1, 1),
On paper the match is a mismatch but Iwahashi has been very competitive in 4 of his 5 losses, including a loss to Ryuji Hara in a Japanese national title bout, and his sole stoppage defeat was to the hands of Atsushi Kakutani who challenges for a world title tomorrow. So we wouldn't be too shocked it this was toughed for Menayothin than it looks on paper.
The day's title action isn't just limited to Thailand as we get a title double header in Lucena City Convention Center. In fact we appear to be gett the full card that we expected there on August 24th as Jerwin Ancajas (16-1-1, 8) faces Armando Casa (11-10-5, 3) for the vacant Philippines Luzon Professional Boxing Association (LuzProBA) Bantamweight title and Lolito Sonsona (16-1-3, 6) looks to claim the Philippines Luzon Professional Boxing Association (LuzProBA) Super Flyweight title as he fights the experienced Albert Alcoy (14-16-5, 4).
The card it's self appears pretty unchanged to the one we had listed for the 24th with the chief support bout still being Aston Palicte (10-1, 8) against Jerald Cortes (3-7-4, 2) in what looks likely to be a mismatch.
In fact the major changes to the card have been in the lower card bouts. We still have Daryl Gamboa (0-0) against Rodney Ramirez (0-0) and Jordan Estrada (0-0) against Jerwin Dela Rosa (0-2), though the the other 4 round bout now appears to be Jhon Jhon Faminiano (1-8-1) against Jiro Saonoy (0-3).
This card also seems to have acquired 2 new 6 round bouts as the unbeaten Richard Claveras (3-0-2, 3) battles Lowell Saguisa (7-12, 3) and the once beaten Orlan Vasquez (8-1, 1) takes on the hard hitting Mark Anthony Florida (8-3, 7).
As well as the shows in Thailand and the Philippines there is also a show in Japan at the Korakuen Hall as promotional company Dangan put on "Dangan 81".
The main event here sees Ryuichi Funai (18-6, 12) up against a Thai opponent who we believe boasts an 8-6-1 (2) record. This bout, expected to be an 8 rounder, is supported be a co-main event between Dai Iwai (11-3-1, 5) and Yasuyuki Masuda (7-4, 1).
It's not just Funai's opponent that we've been unable to name but both Hiroshi Ishii (6-7-3) and Genji Ishida (1-0) are facing yet to be identified opponents in two of the nine bouts scheduled for 4 rounds
The rest of the bouts, all scheduled for 4 rounds will kick off with Yuki Uchida (1-1) against Shinnosuke Okada (1-3-2, 1), this will be followed by the unbeaten Hiroyasu Shiga (1-0, 1) facing Masakazu Sakamoto (1-1-1, 1) and Koji Okubo (1-1) against Junki Abe (1-2).
After the above trio of bouts we will see debutants in action as Kazuma Yoshihara (0-0) takes on Takahiro Yamanishi (0-1) and in an all debutant match Aihara Shinta (0-0) battles Hosokawa Wataru (0-0).
The sole female bout on the show sees former kickboxer Shoko Hayashida (1-2, 1) looking to level up her record as shetakes on Yunoka Furukawa (1-1-1, 1).
The final of the 4 round bouts sees Ryosuke Goku Tsuboi (2-1, 1) fighting the unbeaten Haruka Itakura (1-0).
We also have a card in Russia with 7 bouts. The main event in this show sees the unbeaten Aik Shakhnazaryan (7-0, 2) taking on Shavkat Madaminov (9-7, 3) in a 10 round bout. This is support chiefly by a very interesting Welterweight bout between David Avanesyan (14-1-1, 7) and Fariz Kazimov (13-4-1, 4) over the 8 round schedule.
The show's sole 6 round contest sees the hard hitting Felix Amoev (5-1, 4) battling Fedor Mushtranov (4-4, 2) before we get the 4 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds. These bouts will see a trio of debutants in action with Heavyweight Ruslan Faifer (0-0) taking on Roman Mirzoev (2-6, 1) in possibly the most interesting of those bouts. The other debutants are Lightweight Aliyor Nuraliev (0-0) who faces a yet to be announced opponent and Light Welterweight Egor Bakulin (0-0) who fights Parviz Muraliev (0-1). The only all-none debutant bout over 4 rounds sees Bahruz Kazimov (3-1, 2) battling Sevak Bagdasaryan (0-1).
There is also Asian action in Australia with 4 bouts involving an Asian interest.
In Hurstville, New South Wales there will be action for Thai duo EakKhunphol Mor Krungthepthonburi (8-4, 4) and Eakkreenkrai Mor Krungthep Thonburi (0-1). Unfortunately both men will be facing unbeaten fighters with Eakkreenkrai fighting Dylan Emery (5-0, 1) whilst EakKhunphol will be facing Tony Bates (7-0-1, 5).
Not too far from Hurtsville in Homebush f (6-0, 4) will be facing Krishna Mudaliar (4-2-1, 2). This will be Dulay's first bout outside of his native Philippines though their does seem to be real expectation on his shoulders.
The remaining Asian bout "down under" features Indonesian Aswin Cabuy (14-41-3, 7) fighting novice Luke Bunder (1-0) in a 4 round contest.
A somewhat quiet weeks comes to a crashing halt on Sunday as the Asian boxing fans get a major day of action both at home and around the globe.
We'll start by looking at the sole world title bout featuring an An Asian fighter as Japanese fighter Hiroyuki Hisataka (22-10-1, 10) travels to Argentina to take on WBO Super Flyweight champion Omar Andres Narvaez (39-1-2, 20).
In recent world title fights on international soil Japanese fighters have been impressive, winning or losing. Hisataka will have to be just as impressive as the likes of Takashi Miura and Koki Eto if he's to defeat Narvaez in a fight where he is a clear under-dog. We think Hisataka may come up short but will really give it a fantastic effort as he has done in almost all of his losses to date.
Although Hisataka in action away from his homeland there is also action in Japan at the Bodymaker Colosseum, Osaka.
The card in Osaka opens with debutants in action as Konishi Rei (0-0) faces Murakami Hirohide (0-0). This will be followed by another debutant as Susumu Nakazawa (0-0) takes on a Thai opponent.
The third bout on the Osaka show sees the unbeaten Ryuto Kyoguchi (10-0, 7) in action though we're not sure who he will be fighting. Boxrec.com have him listed down to fight Adones Aguelo (20-8-1, 12) though the Japanese Boxing Commission (JBC) don't have anyone listed as being Kyoguchi's opponent.
In the show's fourth bout Naoki Matsumoto (8-6-2, 2) faces Masashi Uranishi (7-5-12, 1). This appears to be "the weak" link of the show because the two main events are fantastic bouts and either of them could have headlined with any sort of complaint.
The first of the two main events sees Myung Ho Lee (16-3, 5) taking on hard hitting and highly ranked Filipino visitor Rey Megrino (19-20-3, 17). Although Migreno's record is poor the guy is much better than the numbers show and he's currently on a 4 fight winning streak including stoppages over Kenji Kubo and Pongsaklek Wonjongkam.
In the other main fight female OPBF Super Flyweight champion Tomoko Kawanishi (7-1, 3) defends her title for the first time as she takes on the unbeaten Tamao Ozawa (5-0, 2) in what looks like a genuinely interesting contest.
As well as the show in Japan there are two shows int he Philippines. The most noteworthy of those is the ALA show at the Escalante City Coliseum, a show that features 8 bouts and is the part of ALA's "Idol" series.
The ALA show begins with several all novice bouts including Raul Yu (1-0, 1) against Ritchel Rosales (0-2), debutant JoyJoy Boiles (0-0) against Kazuma Ejiri (0-3), the debuting Geo Santisima (0-0) against Roniel Parcon (1-0) and Alvin Sibugan (1-0) against Kim Galon (1-0-1, 1) all in 4 round bouts. It would seem likely that ALA are hoping that one of these 8 men shows something a bit special though we're doubting it at this point.
In the show's sole 6 round bout Richard Barrios (4-0, 2) battles Ryan Canillas (2-1-3, 1). We've got to admit that whilst the 6 round contest doesn't do much to excite us the two bouts scheduled for 8 rounds. In the first of these unbeaten prospects collide as Jessel Magsayo (2-0, 2) faces John Rey Melligen (2-0, 1). We're fans of both men and would consider that who ever loses could well still go on to have a great career.
The second of the 8 round bouts sees the unbeaten Mark Vincent Bernaldez (10-0, 6) taking on Marangin Marbun (21-10-1, 9) in what appears to be a very good step up for the unbeaten Bernaldez. If Bernaldez wins as expected it really won't be too much longer before he's given a really notable bout on a bigger stage than this.
In the main event, a 10 round contest, the unbeaten Melvin Gumban (14-0, 6) takes on Indonesia's John Bajawa (11-4, 6) who has lost his last 2, including an opening round stoppage to Ryo Matsumoto.
The other show in the Philippines is held at the Lucena City Convention Center and features 6 bouts including 2 title bouts.
This card opens with 3 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds as debutants collide in bouts between Roberto Sta. Ana (0-0) and Joel Trinidad Tamayo (0-0) as well as well as Daryl Gamboa (0-0) against Rodney Ramirez (0-0. These 4 men are also joined at the start of their professional journey by another debutant, Jordan Estrada (0-2) who faces Jerwin Dela Rosa (0-2).
The chief support bout on the card sees Aston Palicte (10-1, 8) facing Jerald Cortes (3-7-4, 2) in what should be a mismatch really for Palicte.
In the co-main event Jerwin Ancajas (16-1-1, 8) will face Armando Casa (11-10-5, 3) for the vacant Philippines Luzon Professional Boxing Association (LuzProBA) Bantamweight title whilst in the other title fight Lolito Sonsona (16-1-3, 6) looks to claim the Philippines Luzon Professional Boxing Association (LuzProBA) Super Flyweight title as he takes on Albert Alcoy (14-16-5, 4). It'd be a shock to us if either Ancajas or Sonsona lost here.
It's not just at home that Filipino's are in action with Filipino fighters appearing on shows in both Ukraine and Mexico.
In Mexico Rolio Golez (14-10-1, 5) attempts to claim the NABF Flyweight title as he battles reigning chamion Armando Santos (11-3, 7) and on the same show Mateo Handig (13-5, 7) looks to claim the vacant WBC International Silver Minimumweight title as he faces Ganigan Lopez (22-5, 15), a man who has only evenr been stopped once, by Denver Cuello.
In Ukraine Juan Purisima (11-3-1, 4) will attempt to claim the WBA International Flyweight title as he battles the unbeaten champion Artem Dalakian (7-0, 5) in a very tough bout. The other Filipino fighter on the card is Jason Canoy (16-3-2, 11) who fights Oleksandr Hryshchuk (12-0, 5) for the WBA Inter-Continental Flyweight title. Both of these fights, and the two in Mexico, are very tough bouts for the Filipino's but we wish them the best of luck.
The remaining fights involving Asian fighters are in Germany as several fighters with an Asian connection are in action.
The most notable fighters on the German show are Kazakhstan born trio Ina Menzer (30-1, 11), Vitali Tajbert (23-2, 6) and Dimitri Sartison (30-2, 18).
Menzer, a former WBC, WBO, WIBF female Featherweight champion looks to claim the WBF and WIBA as she faces the unbeaten Goda Dailydaite (8-0, 2). For Tajbert, a former WBC Super Featherweight champion who lost the title to Takahiro Ao, his assignment looks easy on paper as he takes on Mikheil Avakyan (18-10-3, 7).
Saritson, the former WBA Super Middleweight champion, the task does look somewhat more tricky, though still far from difficult, as he takes on Baker Barakat (38-14-4, 26) of Syria.
The final bout on the card with an Asian interest see's the Russian born Timur Dugazaev (1-0) in action against George Kandelaki (9-3-1, 2), also on the card in Germany.
In Canada the Canadian Filipino Marc Pagcaliwangan (5-0, 5) faces his biggest test to date as he fights David Kanalas (13-7, 7) in a contest scheduled for six rounds.