After two days of major female action we get back to manly action with a number of top Asian men in action across several major cards.
The biggest sole fight of the day takes place in Thailand where WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (22-3-1, 20) looks to make the first defence of his world title as he takes on Japan's Hirofumi Mukai (9-2-1, 1). Mukai, competing in his second world title fight is widely viewed as the under-dog though will know the pressure isn't on his shoulders in the slightest.
In Japan we have two shows.
Arguably the “lesser” of the two is at the Body manufacturer Colosseum where Harada put on a 9 fight show. This show kicks off with Reiya Konishi (1-0) fighting Tatsuya Sakamoto (3-3, 1) in one of five bouts scheduled for 4 rounds which also include the debut of Junya Shuchiku (0-0) and a contest featuring Kaito Hoshino (3-3), unfortunately we're unsure who either of those two men are fighting. In the remaining 4 rounders on this show Kyohei Tonomoto (1-1, 1) will fight Akira Takasuka (3-5) and the unbeaten teenager Yuki Takahashi (1-0) will fight Tetsuya Morisada (1-1, 1).
Following the 4 round bouts we will have a 6 rounder, though unfortunately we've failed to identify either of the men involved in this contest.
This show then finishes with a trio of 8 round bouts. The first of which will see Yuki Takemoto (13-18-2, 6) fight Yoshihiro Kinjo (7-17-2, 2) in what looks like two journeymen colliding. Unfortunately with neither man looking like they go on to much in their career it's actually hard to care too much about this contest.
The second of the 8 rounders, which sees Tetsuya Hisada (20-8, 10) up against Shunji Nagata (7-10-2, 3) is unfortunately the best looking contest on the bout. Hisada should win though we hope he'll be pushed hard. In the final contest Kota Tokunaga (10-2, 7) will look to score his third win in a row as he fights Takashi Fujiki (6-7-2, 6) who has lost his last 4.
The other Japanese show takes place at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. This show has 7 contests and starts with a fight between the debuting Ryusuke Arai (0-0) and the win-less Toshiki Maruyama (0-4). Arai is one of two debutants on the show with Shinya Ito (0-0) also fighting a win-less opponent as he fights Akihito Mitsumura (0-1).
It's not just the debutants in 4 round contests as Shunsuke Fukushima (1-1-1, 1) also fights in a bout scheduled for 4, unfortunately however we're unsure who he will be fighting.
Following the three short bouts there are four bouts scheduled for 8 rounds. The first of these 4 bouts will see Ryo Nakamura (7-2, 3) fighting Ryuta Wakamatsu (8-8, 5) in what should be a victory for Nakamura unless Wakamatsu can connect with his heavier artillery. This bout will be followed by a contest between Japanese based Filipino Johnreil Maligro (8-0, 6) AKA-Jun Sakura, and Thailand's Kosol Sor Vorapin (17-17-1, 11). This will be a huge shock if Kosol wins, despite his clear edge in experience.
Kosol isn't the only Thai that we expect to see beaten on this show as Eakkreenkrai Mor Krungthepthonburi (0-2) battles Kuninobu Shimamura (15-3, 10). It is worth noting however that Shimamura was unexpectedly beaten last time out by RJ Ano-os.
The final bout on this show Kazuhiko Hidaka (31-7, 22) fighting in what looks like a total mismatch against Shiro Saito (6-3-1, 2). The experience edge for Hidaka is huge here and he was a former OPBF Light Middleweight champion, however at 35 years old he is significantly older than Saito who has just turned 26.
Staying in Asia we expect to see the fast rising “Prince” Albert Pagara (17-0, 12) in action in the Philippines. Pagara is listed to fight against Indonesian Ruben Manakane (12-11, 8) though there is a few question marks surrounding this contest due to the issues currently in the Philippines.
We also have action in Russia where we get an eight fight card including two title fights.
This show kicks off with debutant action as Yury Kashinsky (0-0) battles Yerbol Zholdybayev (0-0) in an all debutant contest and then Alexander Gomon (0-0) takes on Denis Kenzhegaliev (0-2). These two contests are the only 4 rounders on the show and will hopefully make a solid start to the night of action.
In the sole 6 round contest of the show the unbeaten Artem Merzlikin (2-0-1, 2) fights Ruslan Sirazhev (1-1) in an interesting looking Middleweight contest.
The bulk of this card is made up by 10 round contests of which we have 4 of. The least interesting of these is Karen Avetisyan (7-6-1, 3) against Bekzod Yunusov (6-2, 3). This contest looks like it's got “distance” written all over it with neither man being a big puncher and also neither man is really highly skilled or going to go particularly far in their career.
In other male 10 round bouts Eduard Troyanovsky (15-0, 12) will fight Michael Odhiambo (11-4, 9) in what looks like a very explosive contest, though one that Troyanovsky should win with out too many issues, and the promising Fedor Chudinov (7-0, 6) taking on Jimmy Colas (32-9, 13) in what looks like a good test for Chudinov.
We expect the first title fight will be a female bout as blonde bombshell Svetlana Kulakova (8-0, 1) attempts to defend her interim WBA Light Welterweight title. Kulakova will be facing the teak tough Kenyan Florence Muthoni (8-2-1, 3) who was unfortunate not to claim the IBO Welterweight title in her last fight. Whilst we strongly favour the talented Kulakova she could be forced to work for all 10 rounds to retain her belt.
In the biggest fight of the show the once beaten Pavel Mamontov (7-1-1, 1) will face Kanat Kartenbayev (10-6-1, 4) in a bout for the interim PABA Light Middleweight title. For a few days the winner of this contest will be the sole PABA Light Middleweight champion as we await the result from the up coming bout between Akinori Watanabe and Kyung-Suk Kwak to decide the true title holder.
As well as the bouts in Asia we also get a bout in Australia as Indonesian fighter Rasmanudin (17-4-2, 9) fights Filipino Roberto Lerio (16-17-1, 6) in what is a pretty easy looking fight for Rasmanudin on paper though should be genuinely tough in reality.
This week is a huge one for those following the "Rookie of the Year" competition in Japan. Thursday sees the first of two semi-final shows for "East Rookie of the Year" with Friday having the second of the semi-finals (with the winners meeting later in the year).
The opening bout, as with pretty much all of the "Rookie" shows, is at Minimumweight as we get a battle of unbeatens with Naoyuki Tsukada (3-0-1, 2) fighting Kenichi Miyazaki (4-0-1, 1) in a really promising match up. Although unlikely to be explosive this looks like an excellent match up and something the "Rookie" tournament should be applauded for giving us.
In the Light Flyweight division Tomoyuki Kaneko (5-1, 2) appears to have an easy route to the final taking on Yuta Sakai (2-4) who has never beaten a fighter with a winning record. Thankfully we get back to competitive looking action at Flyweight as Kenta Yamada (5-2) fights Yuji Okinori (5-0, 1) in what, like the opener, looks to be an excellent match up.
At Super Flyweight we expect to see Takahiro Kinoshita (3-2-1, 2) fighting the unbeaten Jo Tanooka (5-0-3) before the Bantamweight clash between Yuki Arai (3-1, 1) and Kazuki Yokoyama (4-1, 3). Interestingly Tanooka is the sole man to defeat Arai and a rematch between the two, somewhere down the line, would certainly be worthy of merit if both manage to claim the "Rookie" title at their respective weights.
Super Bantamweight action sees Ryuta Nakajima (5-1-1, 4) fighting Naoto Fujimoto (4-2-1, 2) before Featherweights collide in a bout between Yudai Tamagawa (5-3, 2) and Shinya Nemoto (3-3, 1). Incidentally the bout between Tamagawa and Nemoto is a rematch of a bout from last year that saw Tamagawa stopping Nemoto in the second round.
Up at Super Featherweight Takahiro Araki (3-1, 2) fights the unbeaten 18 year old Kazuma Sanpei (6-0, 2) before Lightweight action sees Yuzo Mitani (5-1, 2) fighting the hard hitting Reo Komiyama (5-1-2, 5).
The penultimate bout on the show sees Light Welterweights in action as Motoyoshi Honma (1-1-1) battles Shingo Yabu (2-2-1) in what looks to be the weakest bout on the show before we get the finale at Middleweight in a fight between Wataru Seino (2-1, 2) and Kenyu Ojima (5-1, 3).
Note-There was a Welterweight bout originally scheduled for the show, though this has since been cancelled.
As well as the Japanese show we also expect a Russian show in Ekaterinburg though at the moment details are scarce with only Ruslan Sirazhev (0-1) and Alexey Tukhtarov (3-1-1, 3) being listed as fighting on it.