To kick off a new week in Japanese boxing we have two excellent cards with one taking place at the Korakuen Hall, Tokyo whilst the other takes place the Sumiyoshi Ward Center in Osaka city.
Unlike most days where we have 2 shows both of these are genuinely great shows and it's hard to say which we prefer the look of so we'll start with the one in "The Hall". A show which is promoted by Reason and is the latest in the Dangan series of shows dubbed "Dangan 84".
In the first of main events of the Korakuen Hall show sees OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Shingo Wake (14-4-2, 7) defending his belt for the second time as he takes on Filipino challenger Jhunriel Ramonal (13-5-4, 7). Wake is a fighter who we do think has the potential to become a world title holder and in all honesty he should over come Ramonal here, though the Filipino challenger did push Hiromasa Ohashi in his only previous bout in Japan.
The second main event sees former world champion Ryol Li Lee (20-3-2, 10) defending his OPBF Featherweight title for the first time. Lee will be facing fellow Japanese fighter Hisashi Amagasa (24-4-2, 16), himself a Japanese national champion. This will be the second meeting between these two men with Lee having beaten Amagasa back in 2010, it'd be a bit of a shock if we didn't have a repeat of that here.
As well as the title double header we have 4 other bouts on the show. These begin with Kazuki Sanpei (1-1) battling the 35 year old Takahisa Nagata (2-1), who makes his return to the ring after more than a year out. This bout will be the sole 4 rounder on the show.
The first of a trio of 8 round bouts on the show sees Ryutaro Taira (7-3-1, 3) fighting Mikiya Ishikawa (8-4, 1) in a solid looking match up in the Flyweight division, this will be followed by a contest at Welterweight former Japanese Light Welterweight as Yuji Wauke (16-4-1, 8) fights Yuichi Ideta (13-8-1. 7), a man with 1 win in his last 10 contests.
In the chief undercard bout Ryo Takenaka (8-2-1, 5) fights Filipino visitor Vergel Nebran (11-5-1, 7) in what looks, at least on paper, like a solid contest between two men with genuine potential. Although Nebran has 5 losses on his ledger they have all been close and he should perhaps have the confidence of an unbeaten fighter. Takenaka on the other hand has only lost to solid fighters, including Li who stopped him in the fifth round.
The second card, which takes in Osaka, is promoted by Mushima and is dubbed "You will be the Champion II" due to the potential of several fighters on the show who are tipped to become champions.
Like the Korakuen Hall card this one is a double header with the main fight being one between Japanese KO sensation Masao Nakamura (16-1, 16) and Thai veteran Fahsai Sakkreerin (40-4-1, 22). Whilst Sakkreerin did lose earlier this year to Rances Barthelemy he will be the biggest test for Nakamura since the Japanese fighter was stopped by Ronald Pontillas.
The co-feature here sees Takayuki Hosokawa (23-10-3, 8), a former Japanese title challenger, fighting Thailand's Patomsuk Pathompothong (25-1-1, 16). Although Pathompothong is ranked #5 by the IBF at Light Welterweight he will be going up to Welterweight for this contest.
As well as the two 10 round main events we will also have two bouts over the 8 round distance. The most notable of these contests will see Japanese based Filipino Jerope Mercado (25-4-3, 9) facing Kojiro Takada (11-6-3, 8). This will be Jerope's first bout since losing to Kohei Oba in a Japanese Bantamweight title fight back in March. Saying that however Mercado has lost 3 of his last 4 whilst Takada is on a 3 fight winning run and may feel he has a chance to record a major victory.
The other 8 round contest will see Tetsuya Nishinaga (10-7-1) attempting to end a 2 fight losing run as he takes on Hirokazu Okajima (8-2-2, 4) in what looks like a genuinely intriguing bout. We do favour Okajima here though do admit that it's not going to be easy for either man.
As well as those 4 interesting contests we have 3 other bouts on the card. These start with a contest between Yosuke Taniguchi (1-1) and unbeaten teenager Noboru Osato (1-0-2, 1) before Kaminoko Okamura Kentokid (1-0-1) fights Abo Nakamura (3-5), who looks to end a 4 fight losing streak.
The remaining contest on the Korakuen Hall show will see Satoru Sugita (6-2-1, 4) fighting a Thai. Unfortunately we've not been able to track down the Thai opponent though we will say that Sugita probably needs a win after losing 2 of his last 4 contests.
We're sorry for the past week or so of no updates, we've been having issues that have been keeping us from updating the site recently. Thankfully those issues have been sorted and normal service will be resumed this week, starting with a preview of Tuesday's upcoming action.
Tuesday's action is shared across Hong Kong and Japan with two noteworthy cards that are sure to grab the attention of boxing fans.
In the Korakuen Hall there is a 6 bout card that features several promising young Japanese fighters. Arguably the biggest name on the card is Kenji Kubo (1-1) who is looking to bounce back from his stunning loss to Rey Megrino back in January. Kubo will be matched a little softer than he has been so far as he takes on Galih Susanto (6-2, 1) from Indonesia. Although this is supposedly an easier bout Susanto did give Denkaosan Kaovichit a tough bout earflier this year and is better than his record indicates.
If Kubo is the biggest name (due to his experience in other fields) then Hiroki Okada (5-0, 5) is the most promising. The unbeaten Okada is to take on the experienced Indonesian Heri Andriyanto (19-15-2, 10). Whilst on paper this is a mismatch Andriyanto did end the stoppage streak of Shuhei Tsuchiya just over a year ago. Aged 23 Okada is one of Japan's most exciting prospects but will need to pass this tough test before we can say too much more.
Other than Okada there is only 1 other unbeaten fighter on the card, Gosuke Seki (12-0-2, 2) who faces Kenta Takahashi (10-5-2, 3). This is a rematch of a bout from last year which saw next to nothing seperating the two men and the judges ruling it a draw.
The other 3 bouts on the card include Ryota Itoyama (9-4, 5) taking on Yuichi Ideta (13-7-1, 7) with Ideta trying to end a 5 fight winless streak, the very evenly matched Tonko Nakagawa (11-5, 4) and Yoshihiro Utsumi (10-4-1, 5) fighting in a Super Bantamweight bout and Masahito Igawa (10-7-1, 3) looking to return after over 2 years out as he takes on Masatoshi Nakamura (6-6, 3).
In Hong Kong local star Rex Tso (8-0, 5) fights his toughest bout to date as he takes on former world champion Wandee Singwancha (67-16-1, 18). Tso will be hoping to make the second defense of his WBC Asia Council Continental Super Flyweight title. Despite the huge gulf in experience he should have enough size advantage and youth to defeat his Thai opponent.
The Tso bout is just 1 of 3 titles bouts on the Hong Kong card with Thai Ekapol Yothinpanawet (13-1, 9) looking to claim the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Welterweight title as he takes on Filipino Mike Tumbaga (12-18-2, 6) in the only bout for a vacant title.
Arguably the most significant title bout on the card is the WBC Atomweight title fight between the Japanese champion Momo Koseki (15-2-1, 3) and Eun-Young Huh (6-1-1). Kosecki is on a 13 fight unbeaten streak including 10 defenses of her title and will be looking to once again back up her claim of being the best Atomweight on the planet.
The card's only 6 round bout sees Japanese based Ugandan Festus Omondi (8-4, 6) taking on the experienced Edgar Gabejan (23-29-6, 7). This is a bit of a toss up though we would favour Gabejan due to his experience.
The remaining 3 bouts, all scheduled for 4 rounds sees 6 novices in action with just a solitary bout between them. The one man with a fight to his name is Chan Sin Man (1-0) who will be facing Alvin Cooney (0-0), the other two, all debutant bouts are Nibesh Ghale v Kuok Kun Ng and Oliver Prevost v Keng Fai Lam. The second of those bouts is the most interesting pitting the Hong Kong based Frenchman Prevost against Macao's Keng Fai Lam in a Heavyweight bout in a bout that has plenty of intrigue though can it deliver?