We all that boxing has some very important days and today is one of them due to several reasons. In one country we have a man attempting to set a world record, in another we have a world title fight and one of the biggest debuts of the year. Yes, Sunday November 10th 2013 is a key to mark down on your boxing calendar.
The most notable of the cards we have is in Tokyo at the gigantic Kokugikan. This show, promoted by promotional power house Teiken promotions and shown on WOWOW is headlined by a WBC Bantamweight world title bout though features 3 former world champions as well as a sole world champion.
That world champion, as you may have guessed, is Shinsuke Yamanaka (19-0-2, 14) who will be trying to defend his Bantamweight title for the fifth time. The hard hitting Yamanaka will be facing former world title challenger Alberto Guevara (18-1, 6) a man who saw out the 12 round distance with Mexican-American Leo Santa Cruz. Although some are expecting Yamanaka to stop Guevara early we'll admit we'd be very impressed if the Mexican is stopped.
As well as the major world title bout on the show the same card will also feature 3 former world champions. In one of those contests Jorge Linares (34-3, 22) will take on Francisco Contreras (21-3, 16). Originally Linares was scheduled to take part in a second world title fight on the show, facing WBA Lightweight champion Richar Abril but unfortunately Abril was injured leaving us with this lesser bout.
In the two remaining major bouts on the card Roman Gonzalez (36-0, 30) will fight recent world title challenger Oscar Blanquet (32-6-1, 21) and Takahiro Ao (24-3-1, 11) will fight Edgar Alejandro Lomeli (14-3-2, 8). Of these two bouts it's the Gonzalez/Blanquet bout which is the most interesting considering the fact Blanquet recently fought Akira Yaegashi in a WBC world title fight.
As well as the 4 major contests on the Teiken card the show also contains 4 other bouts, including the opening contest which will see Daisuke Sudo (0-1) fighting fellow win-less fight Takashi Shinmyozu (0-2).
The remaining 3 contests, all regarded as "floating" contests, are scheduled for 4 rounds. These will see Hisashi Owada (3-8) fighting Yutaka Motoyoshi (3-6, 3) in a Super Bantamweight contest, Masaki Mori (0-1-1) fighting Kazuhiro Baba (0-0-1) and an all debutant contest between Hiroki Imamura (0-0) and Yamato Sasaki (0-0).
Whilst the Yamanaka fight is the most notable on the world stage there is actually a second notable Japanese card courtesy of Hatakana. Soul Fighting #47, an 8 fight card at the International Conference Hall in Nagoya.
This card begins with Taichi Sugimori (1-1) fighting the debuting Tomoya Yamaguchi (debut), a man not to be confused with a fighter who poses an identical name but a 4-1 (4) record. This will be followed by another bout featuring a debutant as Abe Seimei (0-0) faces Naoki Masukawa (1-0, 1) and then an all debutant contest between Kamiyasu Hideaki (0-0) and Yosuke Kato (0-0).
In the final of the 4 round contests Shintaro Tsutsumi (1-1, 1) is in action against who we believe is going to be Masatoshi Tomita (5-6-1).
The first, of two, 6 round contests looks a solid under-card contest as Yusuke Nakagawa (4-3-1, 3) fights Hajime Kawase (4-6-2) in a competitive looking contest. This will be immediately followed by an 8 round contest as the well regarded Shota Hayashi (20-5-1, 12) fights Ryosei Arai (12-3-1, 3) in what is a very well matched contest.
Although Hayashi/Arai is a great contest on paper it's fair to say that the entire show is based around the debut of Kosei Tanaka (0-0) who begins his career by facing WBO #6 ranked Minimumweight Oscar Raknafa (12-3, 5) of Indonesia. This is genuinely a major test and whilst Raknafa isn't a well known name he's a very strong and tough looking fighter who could give Tanaka some genuine questions in a tough introduction to professional boxing for the talented former amateur standout.
Following the debut of Kosei Tanaka is the main even which will see Yushi Tanaka (10-0-3, 6) fighting Norasing Patanakan Gym (1-1, 1). This will be a defence of the WBC Youth World Bantamweight title by Tanaka and whilst it would be a huge shock for Norasing to win, it's worth noting that his sole loss has come to Nobuo Nashiro, a genuine world level fighter.
Amazingly a third Japanese card will also take place on Sunday, though admittedly at a much, much lower level. This third card, promoted by Fujita, features just 6 contests and begins with a rematch as Jump Ikeo (0-1-1) meets Hiromichi Kurokawa (2-1-1) for a second time. The two first met in March with the result being a majority draw so both will be looking to make a statement thi time out.
Following the opening contest on the Fujita show we expect Fever Maki (2-1, 2) to face Ryo Hirai (1-1-1) in a second 4 rounder. This will be the second of three bouts scheduled for 4 rounds with the final of those being the debut of Fain Arai (0-0) who takes on a Thai opponent that we've failed to identify.
In a bout we believe is scheduled for 8 rounds Koichi Ito (8-1-2, 7) will fight Katsuhiko Kanno (8-6-7, 3). We have to favour Ito, thogh Kanno can make life very difficult for fighters when he's on form and if he can take Ito's power this could be very, very interesting.
The co-feature here will see Burning Ishii (4-1, 1) fighting the unbeaten Genki Horiuchi (5-0-1, 3). This is a solid contest for both men, and whilst Ishii does come in to the bout following a loss to Shohei Okuda he could very well feel like an unbeaten man due to the closeness of that contest which very easily could have gone the other way.
In the main event unbeaten Filipino Nelson Gulpe (8-0, 3) will face Accel Sumiyoshi (3-2, 1) over 8 rounds. We favour Gulpe here though an upset wouldn't be as drastic as the records would suggest.
Outside of Japan the key action is in Yemen where Ali Raymi (19-0, 19) looks to set a world record. If Raymi can stop Akram Jafwi (5-0, 1) inside a round the 39 year old Raymi will be the first man in history to stop his first 20 opponents in the first round and as a result will mark his place in the Guinness book of world records.
Raymi isn't the only man attempting to continue a KO streak as Cruiserweight Faisal Fittini (4-0, 4) also looks to continue his run. Fittini will battle the unbeaten Abdu Achille (2-0) in what looks like a interesting enough under-card bout for the show.
The two remaining contests on the show will see Prince Maz (4-0, 3) taking on Moxamad Abdu (4-4, 2) and Othman Qasim (5-1, 2) fighting Alwan Hawshabi (3-6, 1). Both of these are interesting enough, though it'd be a shoch if Maz or Qasim lost.
Although Friday's schedule was a bit thin it appears that things are a bit better on Saturday with a solid (though unspectacular) card at the Korakuen Hall as well as a deep card in Metro Manila, Philippines and numerous fighters fighting internationally.
The card in Japan features 7 bouts though it's only really the main event that has any sort of a "name" draw as former world title contender Ryo Akaho (19-1-2, 12) fights for the first time since losing to Yota Sato in December. Akaho is veing given what appears to be a confidence builder as he takes on Filipino journeyman Elmar Francisco (16-18-2, 4) who is without a victory in 5 bouts.
As well as Akaho, the card features former 2-time Japanese national champion Daisuke Nakagawa (20-3-2, 15) who faces Indonesian Elvin Marbun (14-10-2, 6). Like Akaho, it appears that Nakagawa is being given an easy bout to build his confidence as he looks for another notable fight.
The Nakagawa bout is one of 5 bouts on the card scheduled for 8 rounds with Junki Sasaki (11-1, 5) facing Ryosei Arai (11-3-1, 3) in probably the most well matched bout of the show. The 21 year old Sasaki is tipped. by some to be a future champion though will need to come through a tough test here.
The reaming 3 bouts for the 8 round distance lack any real drawing factor with Toru Shiba (14-7-1, 11) facing Yuto Shimizu (6-2-2, 1), Kenichi Ogata (5-4, 3) fighting Shunsuke Sato (7-14-2, 4) and Musashi Suzuki (8-1, 3) facing Tatsuya Fukuhara (12-2-3, 3).
In a solitary 4 round bout Kazuya Seki (3-3, 1) takes on the unbeaten teenager Gaku Aikawa (1-0). It's a well matched bout though with Aikawa having been out of the ring for around 11 months it's hard to really know what the 19 year old wants from the sport.
In the Philippines a stacked 12 bout card is scheduled. The headline bout sees Juan Purisima (10-3-1, 3) facing Renren Tesorio (11-2-3, 3) in a battle over the Philippines Boxing Federation (PBF) Flyweight title. This is a bout that is likely to go the distance and yet it's also likely to have drama with both men being well matched on paper.
It's fair to say that the main event is by far the best bout on the card, though with several unbeaten prospects also on the show the card does have plenty to be excited about. Of those prospects it's hard not to be excited about Menard Avial (2-0), Daryl Basadre (9-0-1, 6) and Renerio Arizala (5-0, 3) though all 3 are being matched against limited opponents here.
Sadly much of the card does appear, at least on paper to be mismatches with bouts like Michael Dasmarinas (11-1, 7) against Rolando Niones (4-12-1, 2), Andrian Camique (4-0-1, 2) against Sherwin McDo Lungay (7-22-2) and Jerry Nardo (16-2, 7) against Jonel Borbon (1-8-1, 1).
Despite the apparent mismatches on the card there are several well matched 4 rounders with Jay-Ar Diama (0-0-2) fighting Rodel Garde (0-4), Fidel Cuyno (0-1) facing Juanito Hundante (0-1), Rowel Rosia (2-2, 1) taking on Honesto Luha (0-1) and Roderick Naduma (0-1) taking on debutant Miko Sacro (0-0).
In international action Filipino youngster Gabriel Altarejos (12-1-1, 4) tries to score the biggest win of his career as he travels to Mexico to face former multi-weight world champion Hugo Fidel Cazares (38-7-2, 26). With the WBC International Silver Super Bantamweight title on the line a win would help put Altarejos on to the world stage, but he will be going in as a big under-dog against an excellent fighter.
Also in Mexico is Thai Rusalee Samor (20-4-2, 9) who faces David Sanchez (20-2-2, 15) in a bout for the interim WBC Silver Super Flyweight title. This looks to be an excellent contender on paper and could go either way, though Sanchez has to be the slight favour.
In the US Sri Lankan Nuwan Jayakody (1-0, 1) looks to score his second professional victory as he takes on Anthony Burgin (3-0, 1). This is awell matched bout and a win for Jayakody could help him put Sri Lanka on the boxing map.