Just a day after the all-Japanese female mega-fight between Naoko Yamaguchi and Naoko Fujioka the women again take centre stage. This time however Japanese fans are going to be treat to a double header of female title action.
The show, “Earnest Efforts”, is promoted by Celes and will be held at the Korakuen Hall and will feature just six bouts, though with two of those being world title bouts it's hard to complain about the show.
The opening bout will see debutants colliding with Niwa Shohei (0-0) fighting Akao Bunya (0-0) in a Light Flyweight 4 rounder. This is one of several bouts in the 108lbs division which also includes the shows second bout which will see Toshihiro Kurihara (4-6-1, 3) fighting Dragon Jun (4-10, 2). Kunihara comes in to the bout looking to end a 3 fight losing streak whilst Jun looks to bounce back from back-to-back losses.
In the first of two contests scheduled for 8 rounds Ryuji Yokoyama (9-1, 3) will take on Yasuhiro Sakurai (6-15) at a contracted 50.5KG. This contest will see Sakurai trying to end a 9 fight losing streak that dates back well over 3 years whilst Yokoyama will be seeking his 8th successive victory. This contest will be followed by one between Daisuke Yokoyama (14-5, 6) and Kazunari Fujisawa (9-10-4, 2). On the face of it Yokoyama should get past Fujisawa with out too many problems, especially considering Fujisawa is win-less in 8.
The first of the two world title fights on the show will see Naoko Shibata (10-3, 3) attempt to claim the vacant IBF Light Flyweight title as she battles Mexican Alondra Garcia (8-0, 1). For Shibata this is a third world title fight and one that she should be a big favourite to win considering the fact she has been competitive in her previous two. For Garcia however this is a huge step up and one that may have come too soon for the Mexican.
In the second world title fight of the day the WBC Atomweight champion Momo Koseki (16-2-1, 4) will attempt to make the 12th defence of her title as she battles Mexico's Nora Cardoza (8-4-2, 4). This on paper is just as uncompetitive as the other world title fight in all honesty, though should allow Koseki some action after almost 6 months out of the ring.
As well as the action in Japan we also expect to see a number of fights with an Asian interest in the US.
In a Light Heavyweight contest we're expecting to see Russian Medzhid Bektemirov (12-0, 9) in action whilst his compatriot Konstantin Ponomarev (21-0, 10) will make his US debut. Both of these bouts are in the US though on totally different cards.
After an oddly quiet week in the boxing world the action really kicks off on Friday with action around the world and across pretty much every level.
In Thailand the action kicks off with Terdsak Kokietgym (49-4-1, 32) defending the PABA Super Featherweight interim title against Filipino Rodynie Rafol (10-4-2, 4). On paper this is a bit of a mismatch but Rafol did almost upset Bualuang OnesongchaiGym in April in his last fight in Thailand so he may shock us and give Terdsak a tough one.
There is also the return to the ring of Thai world champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (19-3-1, 18) though we're very unsure on his opponent. As far as we are aware this will be a none title fight for the WBC Super Flyweight champion who is expected to defend his title before the end of the year.
Whilst the PABA action may be in Thailand that doesn't mean Japanese fans aren't in for a day to remember as well with two stacked cards of their own.
For us the most interesting of the two Japanese cards takes place at the Central Gym in Kobe. The main attraction here sees Kohei Oba (33-2-1, 12) defending his Japanese Bantamweight title against Satoshi Niwa (15-15-3, 2). The bout is a clear mismatch on paper but with so many of the top Japanese fighters at 118lbs currently mixing in and around world level Oba is actually struggling to find domestic opponents. Saying that Niwa is the #1 ranked challenger in Japan and does enter the bout on a 5 fight winning streak.
Staying at Bantamweight the once beaten Ryotaro Kawabata (8-1, 3) takes on the durable Marjohn Yap (18-9, 10). Yap returns to Japan after giving Ryosuke Iwasa a solid contest back in March so this bout is likely to be a case of directly comparing Kawabata to Iwasa, a man many feel is ready for a world title bout.
At Super Featherweight Yuta Matsuda (9-7-2, 4) faces Tokiya Nishioka (5-3-2, 2). Matsuda looks to build on his victory over Seiichi Okada from earlier this year. The other bout on the card sees Yuma Iwahashi (9-5-1, 1) taking on Atsushi Aburada (7-4, 4) in what looks like a competitive lower level match up.
The other Japanese card takes place at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
At the "Hall" the title attraction sees Naoko Shibata (9-3-0, 3) defending her OPBF female Light Flyweight title for the 3rd time. Shibata will be taking on Mika Oda (5-6-1, 1) for the second time following a decision victory over her in November 2011.
As well as Shibata/Oda II there is a promising bout at Middleweight between Kazuhiko Hidaka (31-6, 22) and Hikaru Nishida (7-6-1, 2). Hidaka, ranked #6 at Light Middleweight by the JBC will be moving up a division to take on the #8 ranked Japanese Middleweight. Hidaka has to be the favourite though he has been stopped and moving up in weight may work against him here.
The rest of the card is made up of lower level bouts with Kazutaka Takakuwa (8-6, 2) facing Osamu Hashimoto (8-4, 1) in an 8 round contest. The remaining contest are all scheduled for 6 rounds as Ryuji Yokoyama (8-1, 3) takes on Takushige Sato (4-3-1, 1); Ryo Nakamura (6-2, 2) faces the hard hitting Taro Mochizuki (4-5, 4) and Ryu Kenshiro (4-5-1, 2) fights Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi (1-3).
In terms of international action the highlight is in the US as Filipino power puncher Drian Francisco (24-1-1, 19) looks to make his mark stateside. Francisco takes on the once highly touted Chris Avalos (21-2, 16) in the main event of the up coming "Friday Night Fights" and a victory could well see him becoming a regular on US TV due to his style and power.