A busy weekend in Asian boxing continues through out Saturday as well as Sunday.
Whilst Friday gave us "Dangan 66" in Japan, Saturday will give us the "#519 Dynamic Glove" show. A show that features 8 contests. As well as the Japan show we are expecting action in Russia and a trio of international bouts in the US.
We'll of course start with the domestic action in the Korakuen Hall. The holy land of Japanese boxing.
The Japanese show kicks off with the debuting Flyweight Naoki Mochizuki (0-0) facing off against the winless Ryohei Takahashi (0-1-1). Muchizuki is one of three debutants on this card and, on paper, has the easiest assignment, though Takahashi will be out to score his first professional victory.
Following Mochizuki's debut we then get to see the second debutant on the show as Kainuma Teppei (0-0) takes on Nobuya Sugimoto (1-2-1). This bout, contracted at a 58KG limited, is hard to say much about, though it serves as the second of 4 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds. The remaining 4 round contests see Yu Kinjo (3-2, 3) fight Takaki Sakurai (3-4-1, 1) in a Lightweight contests and Tatsuya Matsumoto (2-2) taking on Kenta Taguchi (1-5-1) in a Super Flyweight bout.
The third, and final, debutant on the show is the former amateur stand out Kensuke Sasaki (0-0), a man who won 43 of 52 amateur contests. Sasaki's potential seems to be really exciting and Teiken have him going in hard here as he takes on the once beaten Kenta Okumura (10-1-1, 2) in a 6 round contest. Aged just 21 we're very excited about the debut of Sasaki and the brave matchmaking here shows that we're not the only ones excited about him.
The Sasaki/Okumura bout is the only contest on the show scheduled for 6 rounds. Immediately following it will be an 8 rounder featuring two hard hitting fighters as Kenichi Ogawa (9-1, 7) battles Yuki Miyoshi (11-3-2, 9). We doubt the Ogawa/Miyoshi bout will go the distance and with the power of the two men we're hoping for an explosive shoot out.
Whilst we certainly don't expect Ogawa/Miyoshi to go the distance we'd be shocked if the second 8 round bout didn't go the scheduled as Shuji Hamada (12-5-3, 2) fights Tetsuma Hayashi (22-2-1, 7). With just 9 stoppages between them from 45 fights it'd be a real shock to see either fighter stopping the other here.
In the show's main event recent world title challenger Ryo Akaho (20-1-2, 13) takes in Filipino visitor Jecker Buhawe (14-9-1, 9). Interestingly Buhawe is 1-1 in Japan and he could possibly be a banana skin for Akaho who we think is going up to Bantamweight for this bout. Akaho should certainly be expected to win, but this is far from a gimme.
We're expecting a 6 bout card in Russia. The main event is expected to see Gennady Martirosyan (22-3, 11) in action, unfortunately however he has yet to have his opponent named.
The rest of the Russian card sees all debutant action through out. We expect to see Vasily Tyan (0-0) taking on Vitaly Aleshin (0-0), Evgeny Tsukanov (0-0) fighting Vagif Mekhraliev (0-0), Sergey Arbuzov (0-0) battling Sergey Goryainov (0-0), Sergey Martirosyan (0-0) up against Nikolay Efimov (0-0) and Suleyman Yaraliev (0-0) in action against Nikita Sergeev (0-0). Unfortunately we've no real details about any of the fighters involved in theses bouts.
Whilst the show in Japan is certainly notable we're more excited about "Monsters Collide", a world title show in the US.
Headlining "Monsters Collide" is Kazakhstan's Middleweight sensation Gennady Golovkin (27-0, 14). Golovkin, the WBA Middleweight champion, will be defending his crown against American hopeful Curtis Stevens (25-3, 18) in what could potentially be a shoot out between two big hitters. In terms skills Golovkin is the more complete fighter but Stevens will know this is his big shot and he'll believe he has the power to hurt the champion. This really could be the fight of the weekend and have the potential for the round of the year.
It's not just the Middleweight title bout that promises big excitement but also one of the major support bouts. In a very exciting Heavyweight class Russian destroyer Magomed Abdusalamov (18-0, 18) will face Cuban Mike Perez (19-0, 12). With the record's of the two men it would be a shock if this one even went 6 rounds though both will be wanting to reamin unbeaten and pick up the WBC United States (USNBC) Heavyweight title meaning we may see both play it safe for a round or two.
In the final bout of interest in the US Isa Akberbayev (10-0-0-1, 7) will takes on Brian Clookey (4-0-2, 2). This will be Akberbayev's first bout since being knocked out cold by Anthony Ferrante in Janiuary, a bout later over-turned to a No Contest following Ferrante failing a drugs test. The big question here is how will Akberbayev return from that contest
The weekend is of course the busiest time for boxing in both Europe and the US. Unfortunately neither Europe or the US have any genuinely massive fights this weekend and in fact you'd be hard pushed to find a better card than the one at the Korakuen Hall this Saturday.
The show, a Japanese title double header sees 6 bouts in total on the card.
The opening bout, scheduled for 4 rounds sees Suzuki Kenta (0-0) facing Yushan Masaya (0-0) in an all debutant match up in the Welterweight divsion. It appears that the card was supposed to open with a bout between Takahiko Suzuki (1-0, 1) and the debuting Yokoyama Wataru (0-0) though that now looks to have been cancelled and Kenta/Masaya has replaced it in regards to being the shows opener.
The first of 3 bouts scheduled for 8 rounds sees Yuji Hasegawa (7-2, 1) taking on veteran Dosanko Fighter Hayasaka (7-9-2, 1). Unfortunately Hayasaka comes in to the bout on the back of 5 losses and is winless in over 4 years whilst Hasegawa is on a 3 fight winning streak.
The second of the cards 8 round contests sees Yota Hori (9-1-2, 6), a fighter who held Koki Eto to a 6 round draw, taking on Filipono Ardin Diale (20-8-3, 7). Diale, a former world title challenger, looks to be the toughest challenger that Hori has faced so far and is capable of scoring the upset if he's on his game.
The final 8 round contest sees Shuji Hamada (12-5-3, 2), the #12 ranked Japanese Super Flyweight, fighting Masafumi Otake (14-10-3, 7). Hamada has had a good year with 2 straight victories following a trio of setbacks in 2011-2012 and shouldn't struggle too much with Otake despite the fact Otake is unbeaten in 4 bouts.
The first of the two Japanese title fights sees the hard hitting Tomohiro Ebisu (11-2, 11) defending his Japanese Middleweight title. Ebisu will be making the first defense of his title as he takes on former Welterweight and Light Middleweight champion Daisuke Nakagawa (21-3-2, 16), who is currently the #1 ranked contender. Although both of Ebisu's losses have come by stoppage he does hit hard and often comes out on top in a shoot out, as he did last time against the then champion Sanosuke Sasaki.
The final bout on the show sees Japanese Super Featherweight champion Daiki Kaneko (18-2-3, 11) defending his belt for the fourth time. Kaneko will be facing #11 ranked Mitsuya Omura (16-7-1, 12). This will be Omura's second attempt to claim a Japanese national title after being stopped in in a Lightweight title tilt by Nihito Arakawa.
Both of the champions will be expected to claim victory here though there is a chance that they could both be upset in what promises to be a great card from start to end.
The day's "secondary" card takes place at the Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex in Paranaque City Gabriel Elorde and the Elorde promotional outfit put on a 6 bout show. Unfortunately none of these bouts hold too much interest.
The main event, scheduled for 10 rounds, sees Cris Alfante (8-1, 2) taking on journeyman Roy Albaera (2-19-4). This is as much of a mismatch as it appears on paper with Albaera having been stopped 14 times in his 25 contests to date.
Unfortunately the shows other bouts look equally as uninteresting with Zoren Pama (3-7-3, 1) taking on Rolando Niones (4-13-2, 2); Rolden Aldea (2-1-1, 1) facing Marco Niones (3-8, 1) and Joathan Ligas (4-5-1) taking on Elbert Guardario (8-21-1, 2) in the shows 3 contests scheduled for 8 rounds.
Arguably the most competitive bout on the show is the sole 6 round contest which sees Vergel Rivera (2-0-1) fighting Raymond Empic (2-1, 1). The remaining contest on the show is a 4 round bout as Arnold Garcia (0-1) takes on debutant Ken Heart Paliprin (0-0)
With only a single card today the interest in Asian boxing will be clearly pointing at the Ohashi promoted show being held at the ever popular Korakuen Hall, Tokyo in what promises to be a show case card for a number of highly regarded prospects.
The least interesting bout on paper sees the highly regarded Yohei Tobe (4-1-1, 2) attempt to get his career back on track with what appears to be an easy match up against Thailand's Chatchai Or Benjamad (1-6). With Tobe winless in over a year (going 0-1-1 in his last 2 bouts) he needs a confidence building win and this should do the job.
Although on paper the Super Flyweight clash between Yuta Saito (7-3-1, 6) and Shuji Hamada (10-5-3, 2) looks unlikely to be anything special, those who have followed Saito over the last year will know what a class fighter he's developing in to. The 25 year old Saito started his career 2-3 but is now on a 5-0-1 streak including a KO of the year contender over Masashi Sato from last year. If Saito, ranked #12 by the JBC, can continue his excellent run he may well get a shot at the national title sooner rather than later.
Teenage KO artist Ryo Matsumoto (6-0, 6) looks to continue his streak as he faces veteran Yoshinori Koto (6-7-2, 1). With Koto having been stopped 5 times in his 7 defeats including his last 4 losses. Going in to this bout Koto is 2-4-2 in his last 8 (dating back over 4 years) and it'd be hard to imagine him upsetting Matsumoto.
In the main event of the card we see arguably the hottest prospect in world boxing Naoya Inoue (2-0, 2) fighting in his most notable bout to date as he faces JBC #1 ranked Light Flyweight Yuki Sano (17-2-4, 12) in a major test. Inoue is tipped by many inside Japan as a future world champion and the 20 year old has serious pressure on his shoulders. Although he has cruised past both of his opponents so far Sano is a whole different proposition.
Aged 31 Sano is a fighter who knows a loss here could spell the end of his career. He's spent more than a year out from the ring and has only a solitary victory in the last 2 years (going 1-1-1 in that time) though with only a solitary loss against his name in the last 5 years Sano will feel that he's the favourite here and that he could burst the hype of Inoue.
Whilst Inoue has been impressive the youngster has just 5 rounds of professional experience under his belt, a number dwarfed by the 117 rounds of Sano who knows what it's like to go 6, 8 or even 10 rounds and with this bout being scheduled for 10 this may be the decider. It's fair to say that this is by far the most intriguing bout of the day.