To kick off a new week Ohashi Gym give us a very promising looking card with severa notable names including 2 exciting prospects and a former world title challenger. The "46th Phoenix Battle", will be held at the Korakuen Hall and promises a lot.
The show opens up with the debuting Jackie Okuda (0-0) battling the winless Katsuaki Kinoshita (0-3). The opening contest is one of two bouts with a debutant in action with the show's second bout featuring two men beginning their professional career with Takehiro Yamamoto (0-0) fighting Ryo Hino (0-0).
It's with bout 3 that we have our first notable contest as Seiichi Okada (16-4, 9), the #11 ranked Japanese Super Featherweight, faces Indonesian Juniston Simbolon (7-10-1, 3), who is ranked #7 at Lightweight in Indonesia. We favour Okada going in to this contest though he has been stopped in his last 3 contests and looks like a fighter who's punch resistance is going fast.
The second major bout on the show sees Go Onaga (20-2-2, 14), ranked
#13 by the IBF at Super Flyweight, taking on the tough Takuya Miyamori (15-5-1, 2). Although Miyamori does enter this bout on 2 successive losses he did go the distance in both of them losing decisions to Konosuke Tomiyama and Ryo Matsumoto.
Talking about Ryo Matsumoto (8-0, 7), the #9 ranked Super Featherweight in Japan, he is in action himself as he goes up against Indonesian novice Arega Yunian (2-2). To us this bout looks a bit "pointless" but it should keep Matsumoto busy and hopefully helps him get some rounds under his belt. We're hoping that Yunian lasts longer than the last Indonesian that Matsumoto fought, John Bajawa, who lasted just 123 seconds.
In the show's chief support bout two-time world title challenger Satoshi Hosono (23-2-1, 17) will return to the ring for the first time since his technical draw with Chris John. Hosono, like Matsumoto, appears to be in little more than a stay busy fight as he takes on Yuta Matsuda (9-8-2, 4). Matsuda may technically be bigger than Hosono but it'll be unlikely that "Bazooka" doesn't take out his over-matched opponent within the first few rounds.
The main event sees the unbeaten Ryuji Hara (15-0, 10) defending his Japanese Minimumweight title for the third time. Hara will be facing the #7 ranked Japanese title challenger Takashi Kunishige (25-9-2, 2). Although aged 37 Kunishige is a very serious test for Hara and unexpectedly pushed Denver Cuello close back in April. Hara hasn't looked in his last 2 contests and will likely be in for another tough one here.
For the 2nd successive day this week Japan hosts some notable bouts, this time at the Korakuen Hall courtesy of Ohashi Promotions.
The main event sees WBA female Atomweight champion Ayaka Miyao (14-5-1, 1) attempt to defend her belt for the second time. Miyao will be facing former rival Mari Ando (10-4, 5). This rematch between the two women sees Miyao facing the fighter she took the title from back in September 2012.
As well as the very exciting female world title bout we appeard to have an excellent undercard.
The most notable bout from the undercard sees young puncher Ryo Matsumoto (7-0, 7) taking a step up as he goes up against Takuya Miyamori (14-5-1, 2). Although Miyamori has been beaten several times he is durable and has only been stopped once, in his debut back in 2004 by the hard hitting Takeshi Hagiwara.
The experienced Toru Suzuki (23-3, 7) looks to rebuild his career after 2 losses in his last 3 fights. Suzuki will be facing Daisuke Furuhashi (13-5, 4) who has only won 3 of his last 7 bouts.
Hard hitting Lightweight Junpei Hara (11-5-2, 7) will be hoping to get his career back on the right tracks after going 2-3-1 in his last 6. Hara will be fighting the 22 year old Filipino "Bad Boy" Desson Cag-ong (13-8, 7) who is 0-2 in Japan (having been stopped by Takashi Miura in his most notable bout to date). This could be a pretty competitive match up in all honesty.
Also on the card is an 8 round female bout between recent world title challengers Yuko Kuroki (9-3, 5) and Saemi Hanagata (7-4-1, 3). Hanagata comes in to the bout winless in 3 bouts though they included a draw with Masae Akitaya and a loss to Momo Kosecki whilst Kuroki comes in following a lob sided decision loss to Etsuko Tada. This could well be the show stealer and act as a bit of a title eliminator.
With only a single card today the interest in Asian boxing will be clearly pointing at the Ohashi promoted show being held at the ever popular Korakuen Hall, Tokyo in what promises to be a show case card for a number of highly regarded prospects.
The least interesting bout on paper sees the highly regarded Yohei Tobe (4-1-1, 2) attempt to get his career back on track with what appears to be an easy match up against Thailand's Chatchai Or Benjamad (1-6). With Tobe winless in over a year (going 0-1-1 in his last 2 bouts) he needs a confidence building win and this should do the job.
Although on paper the Super Flyweight clash between Yuta Saito (7-3-1, 6) and Shuji Hamada (10-5-3, 2) looks unlikely to be anything special, those who have followed Saito over the last year will know what a class fighter he's developing in to. The 25 year old Saito started his career 2-3 but is now on a 5-0-1 streak including a KO of the year contender over Masashi Sato from last year. If Saito, ranked #12 by the JBC, can continue his excellent run he may well get a shot at the national title sooner rather than later.
Teenage KO artist Ryo Matsumoto (6-0, 6) looks to continue his streak as he faces veteran Yoshinori Koto (6-7-2, 1). With Koto having been stopped 5 times in his 7 defeats including his last 4 losses. Going in to this bout Koto is 2-4-2 in his last 8 (dating back over 4 years) and it'd be hard to imagine him upsetting Matsumoto.
In the main event of the card we see arguably the hottest prospect in world boxing Naoya Inoue (2-0, 2) fighting in his most notable bout to date as he faces JBC #1 ranked Light Flyweight Yuki Sano (17-2-4, 12) in a major test. Inoue is tipped by many inside Japan as a future world champion and the 20 year old has serious pressure on his shoulders. Although he has cruised past both of his opponents so far Sano is a whole different proposition.
Aged 31 Sano is a fighter who knows a loss here could spell the end of his career. He's spent more than a year out from the ring and has only a solitary victory in the last 2 years (going 1-1-1 in that time) though with only a solitary loss against his name in the last 5 years Sano will feel that he's the favourite here and that he could burst the hype of Inoue.
Whilst Inoue has been impressive the youngster has just 5 rounds of professional experience under his belt, a number dwarfed by the 117 rounds of Sano who knows what it's like to go 6, 8 or even 10 rounds and with this bout being scheduled for 10 this may be the decider. It's fair to say that this is by far the most intriguing bout of the day.