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.
There are "busy days" in boxing and then there are "BUSY DAYS" in boxing and this Sunday is one of the busier ones with over 20 bouts taking place in Japan across 3 shows.
The first of those shows, as listed on the JBC website, is promoted by Himeji Kinoshita and features 9 bouts, so we'll start with that one.
This show opens up with a bout between the debuting Ikeda Shinya (0-0) and "professional loser" Tetsuya Kawabata (1-7, 1). Shinya is one of two debutants on the card with the shows second bout pitting the show's second debutant, Yuta Tabuchi (0-0), in a tougher assignment against Wataru Sako (2-1).
Following the two bouts with debutants we then get a female bout as the unbeaten teenager Tomoko Hayashi (1-0, 1) takes on Misaki Hirooka (1-2). This is the only female bout of the day as far as we are aware and action swiftly returns to the men as Yasuyuki Otagaki (1-1) battles Kento Kobayashi (0-2) and Tenmei Serizawa (1-1, 1) fights Yu Konomura (0-0-1) in two of the less interesting undercard bouts.
The most interesing of the undercard stuff sees Ryuya Yamanaka (5-1, 2) fighting Junya Nishikawa (6-3-2, 2) in what could be an excellent match up and the unbeaten Daisuke Hasui (5-0, 2) taking on Iwasaki Takeshi Sora (4-5-1) in what should prove to be a good test for Hasui.
In the co-main feature Kota Fukuoka (13-3-2, 10) the #8 ranked OPBF Featherweight competes against a Thai, who's name sadly we haven't been able to trace down, before Yuki Murai (21-17-4, 7) the #8 ranked Japanese Bantamweight takes on Kota Fukuoka (13-3-2, 10) in what looks like the shows stand out bout.
Running at the same time as the above show is a promotion from "True Promotion" which features 10 bouts, 9 of which are part of the "Rookie of the West".
The "Rookie of West" action kicks off in the Minimumweight division as Kenta Shimizu (5-3-1, 2) fights Kenta Yokoe (2-5-1, 1), this will be immediately followed by an intriguing contest between Yukiya Hanabusa (3-1-1) and Junpei Omori (3-2, 3). Whilst the Hanabusa/Omori bout looks good things just get better of the following bouts which see Tatsuya Ikemizu (5-0, 2) clashing with Hikaru Ando (5-3-1, 3) and unbeatens colliding in a fight between Masami Moriizumi (5-0-1, 4) v Bunta Mitaka (3-0-2).
Following the unbeaten clash theres an excellent bout between Shingo Kawamura (5-1, 2), who is on a 5-fight winning streak, and Kosuke Mizuno (5-3-1, 2). Possiby the pick of the match ups sees the hard hitting Len Osato (4-0, 3), all 3 KO's coming in the opening rounds, fighting Shohei Fujimoto (6-2-3, 6) what should be a very explosive contest with both men having very solid digs.
Brazilian born-Japanese based Cristiano Aoqui (6-2-1, 3) looks to enhnace his reputation as he takes on Takafumi Yamada (4-2, 1) before the unbeaten Tatsuo Kurebayashi (4-0, 2) fights the amazingly named Jumbo Oda Nobunaga Shoten Petagine (5-1, 4) and then, in the final rookie bout Hideo Mikan (5-4-1, 1), who is on an excellent 3 fight winning streak, takes on the unbeaten Dai Taoka (5-0, 3).
In the only "non-Rookie" contest on the show Seizo Kono (13-5-1, 8) fights Yasufumi Asaoka (8-6, 6) in a bout that we don't actually think is as good as several of the "Rookie" bouts.
The final card of the day, courtesy of "Green" is a 6 fight show including a very notable main event.
This show opens with unbeaten fighters colliding as Masaru Urata (2-0, 1) fights Masato Oike (2-0-2) before Masahiro Hayakawa (0-2-1) is in action. Unfortunately we've not been able to work out who Hayakawa is up again though we'd hope it'll be a competitive match up like the opener promises to be.
Sadly the show's third bout seems like the weakest on the card as Naonori Fukaya (0-2) looks for his first win facing fellow win-less fighter Tetsuya Morisada (0-1). This will be followed by Shun Kosaka (3-0) fighting Hiroshi Tanase (2-2).
In the card's penultimate match up Yuichi Kubota (4-7, 3) fights Naoki Minami (5-5). Mimami, returning from more than 2 years out, has suffered 4success lossses and the bout appears to be a chance for Kubota to claim an "easy" victory.
The main even sees a highly promising Heavyweight clash between Korean Cruiserweight champion Jong-Suk Lee (6-3) and Japan's #1 ranked Heavyweight Kotatsu Takehara (8-8-3, 3) in a rematch of a bout they had last year. With Takehara having a Japanese Heavyweight title lined up for November he'llbe hoping to come through this unscathed, though in all honesty it'd be a shock if he didn't.