After one of the busiest weeks in Asia boxing one would have assumed that things were going to slow down, amazingly however things seem to still be looking busy with yet another card as the holy ground of Japanese combat sports, the Korakuen Hall.
The new week kicks off with a 9 bout show headlined by a bout between the #10 ranked Japanese Lightweight Tsukasa Saito (16-2, 11) and veteran Yoshinori Kanzaki (10-6-1, 5) who has been a professionla since 2006. The bout will be Kanzaki's first this year and whilst he is expected to be fodder it's worth noting that Saito enters the bout on the back of his first stopage loss.
The co-feature on the show sees Kazuya Soma (5-3-2, 4) taking on Takahisa Nayuki (9-9, 1). Soma enters this bout on a run of 5 bouts without a loss whilst Nayuki has lost 4 of his last 5, albeit at a higher level than Soma has been fighting at.
Also on the card is the debut of Hikaru Marugame (0-0) who will be in a 6 round contest as he takes on Kato Makoto (7-6, 2). Whilst the debut isn't as impressive as Ryota Murata's upcoming on it's still a solid debut for a former world level amateur fighter.
Sadly we're unsure who is on the cards other 6 round contest.
The show features 5 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds though against details on the actual fighters is unfortunately somewhat sketchy.
Following on from Monday's excellent card in the Korakuen Hall, Tokyo again hosts the biggest card of the day and one of two in Japan.
At the Tokyo Big Sight the WBA Bantamweight world champion Koki Kameda (30-1, 17) makes the 7th defense of his title as takes on Filipino challenger John Mark Apolinario (17-2-3, 4). As with every fight Koki is involved in, this will get attention and although we veiw it as a bit of a mismatch (read our preview here) it will almost certainly leave us with something to talk about
The co-feature sees Japanese female fighter Etsuko Tada (12-0-2, 2) defending her WBA female Minimumweight title against the very highly regarded Anabel Ortiz (11-3, 2). We like this bout a lot on paper though ufortunately we have question marks about Ortiz who is coming in after a lay off around 11 monhts. At her best Ortiz would have been a handful of Tada but after the lay off we're not too sure.
As far as we are aware the show will feature 4 other bouts though unfortunately we only have details on two of them as Kuninobu Shimamura (15-2, 10) takes on Filipino RJ Ano-os (7-4-1, 2) and Junta Sekimoto (12-11-3, 5) faces Daisuke Morita (7-4-1, 2).
With Shimamura taking an impressive 8 fight winning streak into this bout it'd be a shock to see him suffering a defeat to a man who has lost his last 2, including a decision loss to Takashi Miura.
The other bout, Sekimoto/Morita actually looks oddly compelling. Sekimoto has won just 1 from his last 12 contests whilst Morita has won 5 of his last 9, albeit 3 of those victories were highly controversial. It's unlikely either man will ever be a name to remember though we wouldn't be shocked if this turned out to be a memorable contest.
The other Japanese card also takes place in Tokyo and although that actually is at the Korakuen Hall it's fair to say it's certainly the "B" show.
The card, put on by Katsumata Promotions is dubbed "Oriental Boxing Night" and features fighters from around the Orient. In fact the show only has one all-Japanese fight as Takahisa Nayuki (9-9, 1) takes on Kengo Ito (9-10, 6). Lets be honest, it's not a highly attractive match up, especially when you consider neither fighter is actually from Tokyo.
Of the 6 remaining bouts that we have details of they all some international flavour with 4 Thai's and 4 Filipino's as well as 4 Japanese fighters.
In female action Filipino Honey Mae Bermoy (3-2, 3) takes on Thailand's Phokaew Tor Chalermchai (0-1). This is one of two bouts that feature a Filipino taking on a Thai with Ryan Bito (21-11-3, 7) facing Keattisak Tor Chalermchai (2-2). From these two bouts it's hard to see anything but wins for both Filipino's.
Unfortunately, despite the international feel of the card it's hard to see Thailand picking up any wins as their other two fighters won't be favoured. In posibly the biggest mismatch Anuntachai Sor Por Lor Krungthep (5-3, 3) takes on Yuta Nagai (26-8-4, 17). Nagai is 1-1-4 in his last 6 though will be expected to do a real number on Anuntachai.
The one chance that Thailand does have of getting a result is that Suthep Sor Por Lor Krungthep (2-2) can upset Ryuta Wakamatsu (7-8, 5). This certainly isn't out of the question, especially when we consider that Wakamatsu has been stopped in 3 of his last 4 contests.
The remaining 2 contests both see Japanese fighters pitted against Filipino's and are arguably the most evenly matched bouts. At Bantamweight we get Yuki Nakai (6-3-2, 2) facing Jovylito Aligarbes (7-2, 2) and down at Flyweight Yuki Nasu (23-7, 16) takes on Rene Dacquel (9-1, 2).
Going in to the Dacquel/Nasu fight we do need to favour Nasu but Dacquel is unbeaten in 8 contests and Nasu has been stopped in 4 of his 7 losses. The Nakai/Aligarbes bout is very evenly matched on paper, though we de feal that Nakai might be the naturally bigger guy and will use this to his advantage.
If you're in Tokyo you can certainly get to see some fights today!