After the busy action on Friday it's perhaps only fair that Saturday is somewhat less busy, in terms of both major fights and fights in total. That's not to say there are not fights of interest, just fewer of them then Friday's ridiculously busy scheduled.
The most noteworthy of the cards, at least in regards to Asian action, is at the Korakuen Hall where Teiken put on “The 520th Dynamic Glove” 6 fight show. The reason this show is so notable is because it sees the return of former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Yoshihiro Kamegai (22-1-1, 19). Kamegai, who suffered the sole loss of his career last time out against Johan Perez, the current WBA interim Light Welterweight champion, will be hoping to claim the OPBF Welterweight title as he battles Australian Tim Hunt (16-3, 6) in what looks like a fantastic match up.
As well as the OPBF title fight there are 5 other bouts on the card. Unfortunately these are all somewhat lacking with the chief support contest being one between Hayato Hokazono (16-4-1, 9) and Yuya Okazaki (8-6-1, 2). When you consider this is the best of the other contests on offer you can see the clear drop off.
Although the quality of the bouts drops off, one of the other support bouts does feature the very interesting Hiroyuki Otsuka (6-1, 5) who will be looking to show off his power as he fights the much lighter punching Hayato Yamaguchi (10-4-1, 1). Otsuka looks like a wrecking ball at 108lbs and he could well become a domestic star just due to his power. If he can develop skills to match his power there is no doubt he could end up competing on the world stage somewhere down the line.
This show begins with the debut of Ryo Matsubara (0-0) who takes on Shinichi Hoshino (1-1). Aged 22 there seems to be some hope that Matsubara will become a notable name though with a 17-7 amateur record we'll reserve our expectation of him.
The two remaining contests will see Tsubasa Matsuo (7-2, 3) fighting against Masajiro Honda (4-3, 3) and the unbeaten Masaya Tamayama (1-0, 1) taking on Kensuke Sakamoto (3-4, 1) in what appear to be typical undercard bouts.
As well as the Tokyo card this is a second Japanese card, with this one taking place in Hyogo.
This show, put on by Shinsei promotions will see several Japanese fighters taking on Thai opponents.
The main event sees Yuhei Suzuki (13-3, 10) taking one such Thai foe. We're unsure, as we are with the 4 Thai's on this show, who he actually is but Suzuki should be favoured we'd expect, in fact we're expecting Suzuki to be matched very easily. The same also applied to the promising Takahiro Shigee (9-0-1, 7) and Yuki Yonaha (2-0, 2) who also face Thai opponents that we're expecting will be stopped.
The one bout where a Thai opponent may give the Japanese fighter some problems is the fight involving Tokiya Nishioka (6-3-2, 2). Nishioka looks to be a much lesser fighter fighter than Suzuki, Shigee and Yonaha.
As well as the 4 bouts pitting Japanese fighters against Thai's there are also two all-Japanese bouts. In these we expect to see Eita Kikuchi (14-3-4, 6) fighting against Taiki Minamoto (7-3, 6) and the debut of Makihito Fuji (0-0) who will be facing Makoto Mizoshita (0-1).
Outside of Asia we expect 4 bouts featuring an Asian interest. Of those 4 bouts the most interesting, by far, is that of Olympic gold medal winner Egor Mekhontsev (0-0) of Russia. Mekhontsev, a very, very talented amateur begins his professional by fighting against PJ Cajagas (0-2-1) in the USA. We expect this fight to be streamed live on Top Rank TV alongside another bout featuring a Russian.
This second bout in the US will see the unbeaten Matt Korobov (21-0, 12) fighting against Derek Edwards (26-2-1, 13). Korobov is a fighter who really needs an impressive performance, unfortunately we can't see him having it here. If he continues to merely “go through the motions” then his career will never reach the heady heights he was expected to reach, in fact Korobov will never even come close to them. We're hoping that Korobov's failure to develop on his potential will not be followed by Mekhontsev.
As well as the bouts in the USA there will also be two contests in Australia. One of these will see Yodsaenkeng Kietmangmee (12-6, 8) taking on Luke Jackson (2-0, 1) whilst the other will see Amnart Pakdee Gym (1-1, 1) fighting against Nathaniel May (3-0, 2). It'd be a shock if either of the Thai's win here despite only taking on novices themselves.
With yesterday being an incredibly busy day for fighters from Asia it may have fooled some in to thinking that today would be less busy, surprisingly however Sunday in incredibly busy in Japan with 3 cards, including two very notable ones.
We'll start with the card in Tokyo which is arguably the biggest show, at least in terms of international interest.
The show is expected to kick off with an all-debutant bout between Daisuke Sudo (0-0) and Ichitaka Matsunishi (0-0). Whilst both men are making their debuts it's fair to say they won't be expected to do anything too special against each other and the best we can really hope for is a competitive match up to kick off the show. This will be followd up by a bout between 19 year old Takuya Mori (4-1, 3) and fellow youngster Jun Koseki (6-2, 3) in what looks to be a genuinely interesting bout on paper.
The third scheduled bout on the show is thought to be between the unbeaten Japanese youngster Takahiro Shigee (8-0-1, 7) and Filipino visitor Diarh Gabutan (18-2-3, 9). We've got to say this is a huge step up for Shigee and it wouldn't be a shock at all if Gabutan managed to derail the Japanese fighter's unbeaten run.
In the show's fourth bout we expect the only title of the card as Keita Obara (8-1, 7) defends his Japanese Light Welterweight title for the first time as he takes on the more experienced So Takenaka (18-6-2, 8). Although this looks like a fantastic match up on paper it's hard not to side with Obara as the likely winner.
Oddly the title fight, mentioned above, isn't the main event, in fact there are two more notable bouts after it. The first of those sees Jorge Linares (33-3, 21) in action as he returns to a Japanese ring for the first time in almost 3 years. Linares will be looking for his 3rd straight as he takes on Berman Sanchez (26-5-3, 18) in what we believe to be an 8 round bout.
Amazingly Linares, a former 2-weight world champion isn't the main event either instead that honour is left to 2012 Olympic Gold medal winner Ryota Murata (0-0) who makes his professional debut against OPBF Middleweight champion Akio Shibata (21-7-1, 9). The bout, scheduled for 6 rounds is to be televised on Fuji TV as Murata gets a chance to fight without the head gear for the first time. A lot is expected of Murata and anything but an impressive victory here would be a huge disappointment.
The card in Tokyo also has 3 "reserve bouts" though it's unlikely that they will be needed. If they are needed we would expect to see all debut match ups between Yoshiwara Tomohiro (0-0) and Kawano Taku (0-0) or Hiroki Ashizawa (0-0) and Yamagishi Taku (0-0). There is one other reserve bout though we're not certain who's actually in it.
Murata's debut isn't the only fight expected to be televised on Fuji TV with the channel also hosting the main event from the card at the Sky Arena in Zama where Naoya Inoue (3-0, 3) faces Ryoichi Taguchi (18-1-1, 8) for the Japanese Light Flyweight title. This is the biggest test of Inoue's career so far though a victory would open the door for a world title fight in just his fifth professional contest.
We are expecting the show in Zama to kick off with Yuya Watanabe (0-0) making his debut against Ryo Irie (0-2) in the first of two bouts scheduled for four rounds. The other four round bout sees the debuting Aoki Rassha (0-0) in action against Asahi Hatsumi (0-1).
The first of the six round bouts on the Zama show sees Yasuyuki Hoshino (5-4-1, 4) facing Irisawa Kazuaki (6-4, 5) in what should be an explosive contest. This will be followed by a bout between Akihiko Katagiri (12-7-1, 4) and Goto Toshimitsu (11-9-1, 4), again we expect this to be a genuinely competitive bout.
In the only bout scheduled for eight rounds Yuta Saito (7-4-1, 6) is expected to battle Yoshinori Koto (6-8-2, 1) before we get a four round between Ryu Koike (0-2) and Kazutaka Hasegawa (0-1) a bout that is likely being held to prevent the main event, the Inoue/Taguchi bout, from taking place too early.
The final card of the day is from the "West Rookie of the Year" tournament and features twelve bouts.
The first bout is at Minimumweight as Kenta Shimizu (4-3-1, 2) takes on Takeshi Sone (3-1-1) in what, at least on paper looks a good fight. Sone of course should be favoured but an upset is not out of the question at all. This Minimumweight bout will be followed by an interesting light Flyweight contest between Tatsuya Sakamoto (3-2, 1) and Tomoya Itosu (2-1, 1) and an intriguing Flyweight contest between Junpei Omori (2-2, 2) and Hisashi Kawanishi (3-4).
In the Super Flyweight division we get an interesting bout as Japanese based Mexican Johnny Abarca (6-0, 1) takes on 10 fight veteran Kenta Sugimoto (5-4-1) in what should a very compelling bout. This is actually one of two bouts scheduled for five rounds with the other being at Bantamweight as the unbeaten Tatsuya Ikemizu (4-0, 2) takes on Monkey Shuhei (4-2-1, 1)..
At Super Bantamweight we get a meeting of unbeatens as Shohei Kawashima (4-0, 1) faces Bunta Mitaka (3-0-1) in one of the genuine stand out bouts on paper. Oddly we also get a good one at Featherweight as Shingo Kawamura (4-1, 1) fights Takuya Hashimoto (3-1).
It's at Super Featherweight that we get what looks to be a msimatch as Ken Osato (3-0, 2) fights the experienced Kenji Suehiro (4-6, 1) who has the worst record on the show. If this is the "mismatch" of the card then the weakest match is problabe the Lightweight contest as Fukumoto Shoji (3-3, 1) fights Takafumi Yamada (3-2, 1).
At Light Welterweight we get Kazuma Fukuyama (2-1-1) against the fantastically name Jumbo Oda Nobunaga Shoten Petagine (4-1, 3), in the Welterweight division the unbeaten Shota Yamamoto (3-0, 2) looks for his fourth straight win fighting Hideo Mikan (4-4-1, 1). In the final bout, at Middleweight, Koki Tyson Maebara (2-1-1, 2) takes on the winless Katayama Osamu (0-1).
After last weeks busy week in Japan it seems likely to take until Friday (today!) for the first card in in the country this week.
Held at the Kobe Central Gym, the card looks a bit barren at the moment (we are expecting more action to take place than we currently know about) though does look interesting.
The bouts that we do know are taking place see unbeaten pair of Shohei Okuda (7-0, 4) facing Burning Ishii (4-0, 1) in a very well made match and Yuhei Suzuki (11-3, 8) battling Accel Sumiyoshi (3-1, 1). Whilst we love the look of the unbeaten clash the other bout doesn't look as good on paper but we imagine that it will be less of a mismatch than the records indicate with 23 year old Suzuki looking to rebuild after losing 3 of his last 7.
A 3rd bout is listed though only Takahiro Shigee (7-0-1, 6) is listed as being part of it. We're really interested in Shigee who some in Japan are tipping as an exciting up and comer, though of course it could be a while before he makes any sort of a real splash.
We also get action in Thailand as PABA Welterweight title holder Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (19-0, 14) defends his belt against Behzod Nabiev (21-4-1, 15). This is a bit of a step up for Teerachai, though not one he should struggle with in all honesty.
As well as the action in Thailand and Japan there is also notable action in Russia thanks to 2 world title fights. WBA Heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin (25-0, 17) looks to make the 4th defense of his title as he takes on unbeaten Pol Andrzej Wawrzyk (27-0, 13). We've previewed this fight in full here. The other title fight sees WBA Cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev (25-1, 19) taking on former champion Guillermo Jones (38-3-2, 20) (a full preview of that fight is here).
And finally in Britain where Muheeb Fazeldin (1-0) returns to the ring for his second professional bout. The Yemen born youngster is only at the start of his promising career but many in Britain are tipping him as one to watch already.
It'd be an upset if either champion lost their title here.