To kick off a new week in Japanese boxing we have two excellent cards with one taking place at the Korakuen Hall, Tokyo whilst the other takes place the Sumiyoshi Ward Center in Osaka city.
Unlike most days where we have 2 shows both of these are genuinely great shows and it's hard to say which we prefer the look of so we'll start with the one in "The Hall". A show which is promoted by Reason and is the latest in the Dangan series of shows dubbed "Dangan 84".
In the first of main events of the Korakuen Hall show sees OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Shingo Wake (14-4-2, 7) defending his belt for the second time as he takes on Filipino challenger Jhunriel Ramonal (13-5-4, 7). Wake is a fighter who we do think has the potential to become a world title holder and in all honesty he should over come Ramonal here, though the Filipino challenger did push Hiromasa Ohashi in his only previous bout in Japan.
The second main event sees former world champion Ryol Li Lee (20-3-2, 10) defending his OPBF Featherweight title for the first time. Lee will be facing fellow Japanese fighter Hisashi Amagasa (24-4-2, 16), himself a Japanese national champion. This will be the second meeting between these two men with Lee having beaten Amagasa back in 2010, it'd be a bit of a shock if we didn't have a repeat of that here.
As well as the title double header we have 4 other bouts on the show. These begin with Kazuki Sanpei (1-1) battling the 35 year old Takahisa Nagata (2-1), who makes his return to the ring after more than a year out. This bout will be the sole 4 rounder on the show.
The first of a trio of 8 round bouts on the show sees Ryutaro Taira (7-3-1, 3) fighting Mikiya Ishikawa (8-4, 1) in a solid looking match up in the Flyweight division, this will be followed by a contest at Welterweight former Japanese Light Welterweight as Yuji Wauke (16-4-1, 8) fights Yuichi Ideta (13-8-1. 7), a man with 1 win in his last 10 contests.
In the chief undercard bout Ryo Takenaka (8-2-1, 5) fights Filipino visitor Vergel Nebran (11-5-1, 7) in what looks, at least on paper, like a solid contest between two men with genuine potential. Although Nebran has 5 losses on his ledger they have all been close and he should perhaps have the confidence of an unbeaten fighter. Takenaka on the other hand has only lost to solid fighters, including Li who stopped him in the fifth round.
The second card, which takes in Osaka, is promoted by Mushima and is dubbed "You will be the Champion II" due to the potential of several fighters on the show who are tipped to become champions.
Like the Korakuen Hall card this one is a double header with the main fight being one between Japanese KO sensation Masao Nakamura (16-1, 16) and Thai veteran Fahsai Sakkreerin (40-4-1, 22). Whilst Sakkreerin did lose earlier this year to Rances Barthelemy he will be the biggest test for Nakamura since the Japanese fighter was stopped by Ronald Pontillas.
The co-feature here sees Takayuki Hosokawa (23-10-3, 8), a former Japanese title challenger, fighting Thailand's Patomsuk Pathompothong (25-1-1, 16). Although Pathompothong is ranked #5 by the IBF at Light Welterweight he will be going up to Welterweight for this contest.
As well as the two 10 round main events we will also have two bouts over the 8 round distance. The most notable of these contests will see Japanese based Filipino Jerope Mercado (25-4-3, 9) facing Kojiro Takada (11-6-3, 8). This will be Jerope's first bout since losing to Kohei Oba in a Japanese Bantamweight title fight back in March. Saying that however Mercado has lost 3 of his last 4 whilst Takada is on a 3 fight winning run and may feel he has a chance to record a major victory.
The other 8 round contest will see Tetsuya Nishinaga (10-7-1) attempting to end a 2 fight losing run as he takes on Hirokazu Okajima (8-2-2, 4) in what looks like a genuinely intriguing bout. We do favour Okajima here though do admit that it's not going to be easy for either man.
As well as those 4 interesting contests we have 3 other bouts on the card. These start with a contest between Yosuke Taniguchi (1-1) and unbeaten teenager Noboru Osato (1-0-2, 1) before Kaminoko Okamura Kentokid (1-0-1) fights Abo Nakamura (3-5), who looks to end a 4 fight losing streak.
The remaining contest on the Korakuen Hall show will see Satoru Sugita (6-2-1, 4) fighting a Thai. Unfortunately we've not been able to track down the Thai opponent though we will say that Sugita probably needs a win after losing 2 of his last 4 contests.
To start a wonderful weekend of action we have 2 major cards in Asia as well as Asian action internationally as we wind down on an amazing week of action for Asian fighters in the Orient.
In Japan the Korakuen Hall plays host to an interesting card that whilst not packed with big names does have the potential to be a pretty solid card. The main event of the card sees Japan's Taisho Ozawa (21-7-2, 13) against Filipino Rey Labao (23-4, 15) in what could well be an explosive contest and one that the visitor has a genuine chance in.
On the same card we also get a Middleweight clash between Fukutaro Ujiie (17-11-1, 11) and Kyoichiro Shoji (10-4-4, 4) in what could be a bit of an eliminator to facing Ryoto Murata later this year, though admittedly Murata would likely be able to deal with them both on the same night.
Lower down the card there is a very evenly matched bout between Ryutaro Taira (7-2-1, 3) and Ganbare Shota (9-3-1, 2) which sees both men trying to forget about a stoppage defeat last time out. This has the potential to be very even and we wouldn't be that surprised at a draw.
In fact it's only the Featherweight bout between Yosuke Kawano (6-2-1, 3) and Wataru Ikenouchi (6-8-1, 1) that appears to be a forgone conclusion as we get a very rare card of 50-50 style bouts.
In Thailand we get another card though on paper it's not as even as the Japanese card. The main event sees unbeaten Flyweight Amnat Ruenroeng (8-0, 3), a former amateur standout, takes on the experienced Filipino Julius Alcos (20-10, 3). This is a big step up for Ruenroeng but one he is expected to make with out to many difficulties against the light punching Filipino.
This card also sees Rusalee Samor (19-4-2, 8) in action against Indonesian Sammy Haggler (15-14-2, 3) whilst Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (17-2, 12) takes on a yet to be announced opponent and Patomsith Pathompothong (1-0) takes on debutant Saifah Sithsaithong.
In international action Australian based Taiwanese born Yao Yi Ma (11-1, 7) looks to score his first victory in almost a year as he takes on Aussie based Filipino Joel Dela Cruz (17-16-2, 7). Although this is a none title bout Yao has claimed the IBF Pan Pacific Light Middleweight belt in the past. On the same card Thai journeyman Kosol Sor Vorapin (17-16-1, 11) looks to end a 4 fight skid as he takes on Terry TJ Doheny (4-0, 4).
We also get notable action in the US as Timur Shailezov (16-6-1, 3) from Kyrgyzstan takes on the unbeaten American Luis Yanez (6-0-1). Although Shailezov comes in on the back of 4 losses an upset here isn't actually out of the question for the 33 year old Southpaw from Bishkek.