Less than a week after the controversial Kameda card on Wednesday world title action returns to Japan for a genuinely excellent card held at the massive Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo. The card, a joint venture between Teiken and Misako with Ohashi also having something to do with it looks like potentially being one of the best cards of the year.
The main event is likely to be a FOTY candidate as WBC Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi (18-3, 9) defends his belt for the second time. Yaegashi will be fighting former WBC Light Flyweight champion Edgar Sosa (49-7, 29) who is the mandatory challenger and likely to be one of the toughest fights in Yaegashi's career. For us this fight not only has FOTY (Fight of the Year) possibilities but could also help Sosa, if he wins, become the 2013 Fighter of the Year. Genuine major bout and one that should get every boxing fan excited.
Although the Yaegashi/Sosa bout is the headlined contest it's fair to say that the biggest draw on the card will be Olympic champion Ryota Murata (1-0, 1) who returns to the ring for his second professional bout. The Japanese fighter will be facing once beaten American Dave Peterson (13-1, 8) in an 8 rounder as the chief support contest. We're expecting Murata to be given a better test here than he had against Akio Shibata on his debut though we've got to admit we don't know that much about Peterson.
Amazingly Murata's bout comes after two OPBF title fights. The first of these will see the hard hitting Hiroki Shiino (10-2, 9) attempting to defend his Bantamweight title against the highly talented Ryosuke Iwasa (15-1, 9). Iwasa, who's only loss has come to Shinsuke Yamanaka, will know all about Shiino's power though he will also know that Shiino himself can be hurt. With that in mind we expect a cautious fight from Iwasa and an aggressive one from Shiino. The only thing w don't expect is for this to go the scheduled 12 rounds.
The second of the OPBF title fights will see Japanese super-prospect Naoya Inoue (4-0, 3) attempting to claim the vacant Light Flyweight as he fights Filipino visitor Jerson Mancio (18-3-3, 9). Inoue is expected to beat Mancio who came up short in his 2 previous visits to Japan, losing to Ryo Miyazaki and Junichi Ebisuoka, but we do think this will be a challenge for the Japanese wonder-kid.
Talking about Japanese wonder-kids Naoya's younger brother Takuma Inoue (0-0) will be making his debut on this card as he takes on Tatsuya Fukuhara (12-3-3, 3). Fukuhara, ranked by the JBC in the Minimumweight division should be a good test for Takuma Inoue, though the younger of the two Inoue brothers is expected by many to be every bit as good as Naoya and should come through this test with a victory.
As well as the 5 major bouts mentioned about we're also aware the show will feature 2 “preliminary” contests. Unfortunately we're not 100% certain who will be in those bouts.
This card, at least parts of it, will be shown in Mexico by Azteca on December 7th and will be shown in Japan by Fuji TV on December 6th.
As well as the Japanese card there is a second world title fight involving an Asian, albeit in Australia. This contest, put on by Dragon Fire Promotions, will see Indonesian great Chris John (48-0-3, 22) defending his WBA Featherweight “super” title against South Africa's very talented Simpiwe Vetyeka (25-2, 15). This bout promises to be a very tough one for John who's reign as champion is serious threat from a man who has already beaten a top Indonesian this year a stoppage of Daud Cino Yordan.
Talking about Daud Cino Yordan (31-3-0-1, 23) he himself will be on the show as he attempts to defend his IBO Lightweight title. Yordan will be looking to make the first defense of his title as he takes on South Africa's Sipho Taliwe (24-3-1, 14). Taliwe isn't nearly as good as Vetyeka though he is naturally bigger and could give Yordan a really hard contest here. Yordan will be favoured though if you ask us this is another very competitive contest between a South African and an Indonesian.
The card features a third title as Filipino Ryan Sermona (15-4, 8) fights Matt Garlett (11-1, 6) for the WBC International Super Featherweight title. Sermona was beaten in his last “International” title fight, being stopped by Viorel Simion, but Garlett is at a much lower talent level than Simion and this could prove to be very interesting.
The rest of the Asian interest on this card will see Indonesia's Rasmanudin (17-4-2, 9) fighting Filipino Roberto Lerio (16-17-1, 6) in what looks like a 1-sided contest.
This card, or at least parts of it, will be streamed live on RCTI (Official and legal stream here RCTI).
Over in Russia we expect a small card. The bouts listed here here Konstantin Piternov (14-4, 5) against Sergey Beloshapkin (10-8-1, 3) in an under-card contest before the unbeaten Igor Ivanov (7-0, 2) fights Alexey Tukhtarov (3-1-2, 3) in a contest for the Russian Lightweight title.
Staying on the theme of Russian's, we're also expecting to see action from Rustam Nugaev (25-6-1, 15) who will battle Ira Terry (26-11, 16). With 4 stoppages already this year Nugaev will like be in a destructive mode again here and Terry has already been stopped 7 times. Don't be shocked if this one doesn't go the scheduled 10 rounds.
As well those bouts we are also expecting a fight in Thailand. The Thai show, which will be shown on Thai Channel 7, is one of which we're totally unsure about in regards to who will be fighting, sadly, though we do assume it will feature a PABA title of some sort.
We did think that Friday (yesterday) was somewhat quiet but looking at today we understand why with action featuring top fighters from Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines.
Firstly lets start in Tokyo, Japan where we get to see one of the top Bantamweights on the planet in action aswell as several highly ranked Japanese domestic fighters.
In the most high profile bout, the once beaten Bantamweight Ryosuke Iwasa (14-1, 9) takes on Filipino Jecker Buhawe (14-8-1, 9) in what is likely to be little more than a stay busy fight for Iwasa. Ranked #2 by the WBC, #3 by the WBO and #15 by the IBF it's only a matter of time before Iwasa gets a world title fight though it could be that he's trying to avoid facing WBC champion Shinsuke Yamanaka, the only man to currently hold a victory over Iwasa.
On the same card as the Iwasa bout are 4 other contests. They notably include the #2 ranked Japanese ranked Light Flyweight Yu Kimura (11-2-1, 2) taking on Tatsuya Fukuhara (12-2-3, 3) the #9 ranked Minumumweight in what is certain to be a highly compelling 8 round contest.
Their will also be action for the #1 ranked Flyweight Tetsuma Hayashi (21-2-1, 7) who will continue his pursuit of the second Japanese title fight as he faces Marzon Cabilla (9-8-1, 4) of the Philippines.
Also in action will be #7 ranked Japanese Flyweight Kohei Kubo (15-3-1, 10) who also faces a Filipino. Kubo's opponent will be Romnick Magos (8-2, 4) best known for his stunning upset of the then 10-0 Aston Palicte in December 2012. This should be a victory for Kubo but Magos will be looking for his second big upset in successive bouts.
The remaning fight on the card sees Jun Hamana (7-1, 2) taking on Spice Matsushita (12-7, 2) who is 2-2 in his last 4 contests dating back over 2 years.
Down in Australia we get a big of an Asian invasion with 3 seperate Oriental fighters on the card.
The first of those in action is Arnel Tinampay (20-15-1, 6) of the Philippines who takes on the unbeaten prospect Rocky Jerkic (5-0, 3). Although Tinampay is the under-dog he is on a 2-fight winning streak away from home and Jerkic is entering after more than a year out of the ring.
Things look slightly easier for Indonesian Rasmanudin (17-3-2, 9) who takes on Jason Cooper (6-1-1, 3) in a bout for the IBO Asia Pacific Super Bantamweight title. Whilst Cooper is at home in Australia it's fair to say that Rasmanudin is experienced on the road having fought in Japan and the Philippines, albeit losing all 3 including a bout to Ryosuke Iwasa.
Former world title challenger Daud Cino Yordan (30-3, 23) completes the attempted Asian take over of Australia as he attempts to claim the IBO Lightweight title. Yordan, stopped last time out by South African Simpiwe Vetyeka has skipped Super Featherweight for this bout but appears to have taken a notable step down in terms of his opponent as he takes on Argentinian Daniel Eduardo Brizuela (25-1-2-11, 8). The relatively unknown Brizuela has an attractive paper record but it's come at a very low level compared to the opponents that Yordan has faced and it's this gulf in class that make us heavily favour the popular Indonesian.
In South Africa the former world title challenger Silvester Lopez (20-5-2, 15) also looks to add an IBO title to his collection. Lopez, who lost in a world title tilt last year to Yota Sato, will be facing Thabo Sonjica (17-2, 12) for the Super Bantamweight IBO belt. Sonjica is genuinely a top fighter at 122lbs and will likely be the bigger man in the ring and the favourite heading in though "Stallone" has the power needed to score the upset. This could very easily be the fight of the weekend.