After a busy Friday of Asian action it's great that we have an even busier Saturday. Whilst much of the Friday action was focused in Asia it's fair to say that Saturday's is much more global with action involving Asian's happening on at least 3 different continents.
In Japan we have a staggering 13 bout card with 12 of the contests being part of the Rookie of the West military tournament.
The first of these 13 contests sees unbeaten Minimumweight Takumi Sakae (5-0, 3) fighting against Kenta Shimizu (6-3-1, 3). Interestingly both of these men enter with 3 stoppages victories in their last 4 contests. This bout will be immediately followed by a Light Flyweight bout. Unfortunately we've struggled to track down the people involved in the Light Flyweigth contest.
At Flyweight Daisuke Uchiyama (2-3-1) will fight Yukiya Hanabusa (4-1-1), this will be followed by a Super Flyweight contest between Kenta Sugimoto (6-4-1) and Tomohiro Nagakari (3-1). We'll admit that we favour Hanabusa and Sugimoto in these two contests, though upsets in either fight wouldn't be a major shock.
In the Bantamweight division the unbeaten Masamichi Yoshida (5-0, 4) takes on fellow unbeaten Tatsuya Ikemizu (6-0, 2) in what is, on paper, one of the the genuine stand out contests. Following the Bantamweight contest we move up to the Super Bantamweight division where another unbeaten fighter, Bunta Mitaka (4-0-2), takes on Yosuke Higuchi (4-4, 2) (we believe).
We believe that at Featherweight Shinichi Taniguchi (3-2, 1) will be fighting the once beaten Shingo Kawamura (6-1, 2) whilst at Super Featherweight the hard hitting Shohei Fujimoto (7-2-3, 7) will be in action against an opponent that we can't currently identify.
At Lightweight Ryuji Ikeda (4-1-1, 1) will be fighting Japanese based Brazilian Cristiano Aoqui (7-2-1, 4) in what appears to be a genuinely excellent match up. The Lightweight contest will be followed by a Light Welterweight contest between the unbeaten Mitsuyoshi Fujita (2-0) and the hard hitting Jumbo Oda Nobunaga Shoten Petagine (6-1, 5).
In the Welterweight division Shota Aikawa (4-2-1, 1) will be fighting the unbeaten Dai Taoka (6-0, 3) in an interesting contest before we get a Middleweight contest, unfortunately we can't recognise either of the Middleweight fighters.
The Japanese show finishes with a Lightweight between a Japanese fighter and a Thai opponent. Unfortunately we've struggled again to identify either man.
As well as the bumper Japanese card there is also some great internation action featuring Asian fighters.
In the US, as part of an excellent Top Rank card dubbed the "Triple Header", Filipino Nonito Donaire (31-2, 20) finally rematches Armenian puncher Vic Darchinyan (39-5-1, 28). This bout, which comes some 6 years after Donaire stopped Darchinyan in the Ring Magazine 2007 Upset of the year, may not have a title on the line but promises to be something very special, especially when you consider that both men have a point to prove. Donaire wants to prove that his loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux was just a bad night at the office whilst Darchinyan wants to prove his loss to Donaire was a fluke. We'll admit this is, for us, the highlight of the night.
Donaire isn't the only Asian in action in the US with Urmat Ryskeldiev (6-3, 5) of Kyrgyzstan fighting the unbeaten Patrick Day (5-0, 2) and former Japanese Light Middleweight champion Charlie Ota (23-1-1, 16) facing Mike Ruiz (17-7, 9). For Ota, who is originally from the US, this will just be his second contest stateside.
As well as the US action the international theme continues in the Ukraine as Uzbekistan's Ravshan Djabbarov (11-4-1, 5) fights Russian Umar Salamov (7-0, 6) in a contest for the vacant IBO Youth Light Heavyweight title.