The japanese action returns to the Korakuen Hall for the second time in three days as Watanabe put on an 8 fight show including 3 notable bouts that share a triple header billing.
The opening bout on this show sees Shoma Sekine (0-1-2) taking on Shingo Okada (1-0) as he looks to score his first professional victory. Following the opener we expect to see Yuito Yamaguchi (3-2, 1) fighting Yuki Matsudo (2-1, 1).
In the show's third contest Tetsuya Seshimo (1-2, 1) fights against the unbeaten Kei Iwahara (1-0, 1) before Tsubasa Matsudo (4-7-4, 1) battles Hiroki Okubo (4-4, 4), a man who has either stopped his opponent or been stopped in every bout so far in his career.
In the final of the undercard bouts Ken Achiwa (8-10-2, 2) battles Kenta Nakagawa (5-2, 3) who is on a great run of 3 straight stoppage victories heading in to this bout. Although Nakagawa will feel confident in his power it's worth noting that Achiwa has never been stopped and has proven to be very tough having recently taken Yohei Tobe the distance just a few weeks ago.
The first of the three main events sees Takuya Watanabe (18-4-1, 6), the #5 ranked Japanese Featherweight, fights the 36 year old Hiroshi Kashihara (7-13-2, 3) who enters with 1 win in his last 7 contests. It'll be a shock if Watanabe doesn't score a victory though we dare say we favour him to record a rare stoppage here with Kashihara being less than solid.
In the second of the three bigger fights we see former Japanese Welterweight champion Takejiro Kato (27-12-4, 13) fighting for the first time time year. Kato makes his return to the ring as he takes on Toru Chiba (14-8-1, 11) who looks to end a 6 fight losing streak.
The final bout of the show sees Shin Ono (15-5-2, 2), a fighter ranked by all 4 of the major title awarding bodies, taking on Kazuaki Moriya (11-4, 1). With Ono putting his world rankings at risk here he'll know he has a lot to lose and little to win however Moriya has never beaten anyone close to Ono's level and in all honesty this should be litle more than a clear decision for the highly regarded Ono.
Although Friday's schedule was a bit thin it appears that things are a bit better on Saturday with a solid (though unspectacular) card at the Korakuen Hall as well as a deep card in Metro Manila, Philippines and numerous fighters fighting internationally.
The card in Japan features 7 bouts though it's only really the main event that has any sort of a "name" draw as former world title contender Ryo Akaho (19-1-2, 12) fights for the first time since losing to Yota Sato in December. Akaho is veing given what appears to be a confidence builder as he takes on Filipino journeyman Elmar Francisco (16-18-2, 4) who is without a victory in 5 bouts.
As well as Akaho, the card features former 2-time Japanese national champion Daisuke Nakagawa (20-3-2, 15) who faces Indonesian Elvin Marbun (14-10-2, 6). Like Akaho, it appears that Nakagawa is being given an easy bout to build his confidence as he looks for another notable fight.
The Nakagawa bout is one of 5 bouts on the card scheduled for 8 rounds with Junki Sasaki (11-1, 5) facing Ryosei Arai (11-3-1, 3) in probably the most well matched bout of the show. The 21 year old Sasaki is tipped. by some to be a future champion though will need to come through a tough test here.
The reaming 3 bouts for the 8 round distance lack any real drawing factor with Toru Shiba (14-7-1, 11) facing Yuto Shimizu (6-2-2, 1), Kenichi Ogata (5-4, 3) fighting Shunsuke Sato (7-14-2, 4) and Musashi Suzuki (8-1, 3) facing Tatsuya Fukuhara (12-2-3, 3).
In a solitary 4 round bout Kazuya Seki (3-3, 1) takes on the unbeaten teenager Gaku Aikawa (1-0). It's a well matched bout though with Aikawa having been out of the ring for around 11 months it's hard to really know what the 19 year old wants from the sport.
In the Philippines a stacked 12 bout card is scheduled. The headline bout sees Juan Purisima (10-3-1, 3) facing Renren Tesorio (11-2-3, 3) in a battle over the Philippines Boxing Federation (PBF) Flyweight title. This is a bout that is likely to go the distance and yet it's also likely to have drama with both men being well matched on paper.
It's fair to say that the main event is by far the best bout on the card, though with several unbeaten prospects also on the show the card does have plenty to be excited about. Of those prospects it's hard not to be excited about Menard Avial (2-0), Daryl Basadre (9-0-1, 6) and Renerio Arizala (5-0, 3) though all 3 are being matched against limited opponents here.
Sadly much of the card does appear, at least on paper to be mismatches with bouts like Michael Dasmarinas (11-1, 7) against Rolando Niones (4-12-1, 2), Andrian Camique (4-0-1, 2) against Sherwin McDo Lungay (7-22-2) and Jerry Nardo (16-2, 7) against Jonel Borbon (1-8-1, 1).
Despite the apparent mismatches on the card there are several well matched 4 rounders with Jay-Ar Diama (0-0-2) fighting Rodel Garde (0-4), Fidel Cuyno (0-1) facing Juanito Hundante (0-1), Rowel Rosia (2-2, 1) taking on Honesto Luha (0-1) and Roderick Naduma (0-1) taking on debutant Miko Sacro (0-0).
In international action Filipino youngster Gabriel Altarejos (12-1-1, 4) tries to score the biggest win of his career as he travels to Mexico to face former multi-weight world champion Hugo Fidel Cazares (38-7-2, 26). With the WBC International Silver Super Bantamweight title on the line a win would help put Altarejos on to the world stage, but he will be going in as a big under-dog against an excellent fighter.
Also in Mexico is Thai Rusalee Samor (20-4-2, 9) who faces David Sanchez (20-2-2, 15) in a bout for the interim WBC Silver Super Flyweight title. This looks to be an excellent contender on paper and could go either way, though Sanchez has to be the slight favour.
In the US Sri Lankan Nuwan Jayakody (1-0, 1) looks to score his second professional victory as he takes on Anthony Burgin (3-0, 1). This is awell matched bout and a win for Jayakody could help him put Sri Lanka on the boxing map.