This week is a huge one for those following the "Rookie of the Year" competition in Japan. Thursday sees the first of two semi-final shows for "East Rookie of the Year" with Friday having the second of the semi-finals (with the winners meeting later in the year).
The opening bout, as with pretty much all of the "Rookie" shows, is at Minimumweight as we get a battle of unbeatens with Naoyuki Tsukada (3-0-1, 2) fighting Kenichi Miyazaki (4-0-1, 1) in a really promising match up. Although unlikely to be explosive this looks like an excellent match up and something the "Rookie" tournament should be applauded for giving us.
In the Light Flyweight division Tomoyuki Kaneko (5-1, 2) appears to have an easy route to the final taking on Yuta Sakai (2-4) who has never beaten a fighter with a winning record. Thankfully we get back to competitive looking action at Flyweight as Kenta Yamada (5-2) fights Yuji Okinori (5-0, 1) in what, like the opener, looks to be an excellent match up.
At Super Flyweight we expect to see Takahiro Kinoshita (3-2-1, 2) fighting the unbeaten Jo Tanooka (5-0-3) before the Bantamweight clash between Yuki Arai (3-1, 1) and Kazuki Yokoyama (4-1, 3). Interestingly Tanooka is the sole man to defeat Arai and a rematch between the two, somewhere down the line, would certainly be worthy of merit if both manage to claim the "Rookie" title at their respective weights.
Super Bantamweight action sees Ryuta Nakajima (5-1-1, 4) fighting Naoto Fujimoto (4-2-1, 2) before Featherweights collide in a bout between Yudai Tamagawa (5-3, 2) and Shinya Nemoto (3-3, 1). Incidentally the bout between Tamagawa and Nemoto is a rematch of a bout from last year that saw Tamagawa stopping Nemoto in the second round.
Up at Super Featherweight Takahiro Araki (3-1, 2) fights the unbeaten 18 year old Kazuma Sanpei (6-0, 2) before Lightweight action sees Yuzo Mitani (5-1, 2) fighting the hard hitting Reo Komiyama (5-1-2, 5).
The penultimate bout on the show sees Light Welterweights in action as Motoyoshi Honma (1-1-1) battles Shingo Yabu (2-2-1) in what looks to be the weakest bout on the show before we get the finale at Middleweight in a fight between Wataru Seino (2-1, 2) and Kenyu Ojima (5-1, 3).
Note-There was a Welterweight bout originally scheduled for the show, though this has since been cancelled.
As well as the Japanese show we also expect a Russian show in Ekaterinburg though at the moment details are scarce with only Ruslan Sirazhev (0-1) and Alexey Tukhtarov (3-1-1, 3) being listed as fighting on it.
There are "busy days" in boxing and then there are "BUSY DAYS" in boxing and this Sunday is one of the busier ones with over 20 bouts taking place in Japan across 3 shows.
The first of those shows, as listed on the JBC website, is promoted by Himeji Kinoshita and features 9 bouts, so we'll start with that one.
This show opens up with a bout between the debuting Ikeda Shinya (0-0) and "professional loser" Tetsuya Kawabata (1-7, 1). Shinya is one of two debutants on the card with the shows second bout pitting the show's second debutant, Yuta Tabuchi (0-0), in a tougher assignment against Wataru Sako (2-1).
Following the two bouts with debutants we then get a female bout as the unbeaten teenager Tomoko Hayashi (1-0, 1) takes on Misaki Hirooka (1-2). This is the only female bout of the day as far as we are aware and action swiftly returns to the men as Yasuyuki Otagaki (1-1) battles Kento Kobayashi (0-2) and Tenmei Serizawa (1-1, 1) fights Yu Konomura (0-0-1) in two of the less interesting undercard bouts.
The most interesing of the undercard stuff sees Ryuya Yamanaka (5-1, 2) fighting Junya Nishikawa (6-3-2, 2) in what could be an excellent match up and the unbeaten Daisuke Hasui (5-0, 2) taking on Iwasaki Takeshi Sora (4-5-1) in what should prove to be a good test for Hasui.
In the co-main feature Kota Fukuoka (13-3-2, 10) the #8 ranked OPBF Featherweight competes against a Thai, who's name sadly we haven't been able to trace down, before Yuki Murai (21-17-4, 7) the #8 ranked Japanese Bantamweight takes on Kota Fukuoka (13-3-2, 10) in what looks like the shows stand out bout.
Running at the same time as the above show is a promotion from "True Promotion" which features 10 bouts, 9 of which are part of the "Rookie of the West".
The "Rookie of West" action kicks off in the Minimumweight division as Kenta Shimizu (5-3-1, 2) fights Kenta Yokoe (2-5-1, 1), this will be immediately followed by an intriguing contest between Yukiya Hanabusa (3-1-1) and Junpei Omori (3-2, 3). Whilst the Hanabusa/Omori bout looks good things just get better of the following bouts which see Tatsuya Ikemizu (5-0, 2) clashing with Hikaru Ando (5-3-1, 3) and unbeatens colliding in a fight between Masami Moriizumi (5-0-1, 4) v Bunta Mitaka (3-0-2).
Following the unbeaten clash theres an excellent bout between Shingo Kawamura (5-1, 2), who is on a 5-fight winning streak, and Kosuke Mizuno (5-3-1, 2). Possiby the pick of the match ups sees the hard hitting Len Osato (4-0, 3), all 3 KO's coming in the opening rounds, fighting Shohei Fujimoto (6-2-3, 6) what should be a very explosive contest with both men having very solid digs.
Brazilian born-Japanese based Cristiano Aoqui (6-2-1, 3) looks to enhnace his reputation as he takes on Takafumi Yamada (4-2, 1) before the unbeaten Tatsuo Kurebayashi (4-0, 2) fights the amazingly named Jumbo Oda Nobunaga Shoten Petagine (5-1, 4) and then, in the final rookie bout Hideo Mikan (5-4-1, 1), who is on an excellent 3 fight winning streak, takes on the unbeaten Dai Taoka (5-0, 3).
In the only "non-Rookie" contest on the show Seizo Kono (13-5-1, 8) fights Yasufumi Asaoka (8-6, 6) in a bout that we don't actually think is as good as several of the "Rookie" bouts.
The final card of the day, courtesy of "Green" is a 6 fight show including a very notable main event.
This show opens with unbeaten fighters colliding as Masaru Urata (2-0, 1) fights Masato Oike (2-0-2) before Masahiro Hayakawa (0-2-1) is in action. Unfortunately we've not been able to work out who Hayakawa is up again though we'd hope it'll be a competitive match up like the opener promises to be.
Sadly the show's third bout seems like the weakest on the card as Naonori Fukaya (0-2) looks for his first win facing fellow win-less fighter Tetsuya Morisada (0-1). This will be followed by Shun Kosaka (3-0) fighting Hiroshi Tanase (2-2).
In the card's penultimate match up Yuichi Kubota (4-7, 3) fights Naoki Minami (5-5). Mimami, returning from more than 2 years out, has suffered 4success lossses and the bout appears to be a chance for Kubota to claim an "easy" victory.
The main even sees a highly promising Heavyweight clash between Korean Cruiserweight champion Jong-Suk Lee (6-3) and Japan's #1 ranked Heavyweight Kotatsu Takehara (8-8-3, 3) in a rematch of a bout they had last year. With Takehara having a Japanese Heavyweight title lined up for November he'llbe hoping to come through this unscathed, though in all honesty it'd be a shock if he didn't.
The month ends on yet another busy day with action in Japan, Thailand and Yemen.
The most notable single bout seems likelt to occur in Thailand as WIBA Light Flyweight champion Samson Tor Buamas (29-3, 14) is expected to defend her title. Her opponent is yet to be named though it's always a joy to see Samson in action.
Whilst the key bout is in Thailand it's fair to say the biggest card is in Japan as the Korakuen Hall hosts 10 bouts from the "East Rookie of the Year" tournament.
The show in Japan kicks off with a minimumweight bout between Masaaki Okubo (3-1, 1) and Tsukada Naoyuki (3-0, 2). This looks like a very promising match up between two men wanting to make a name for themselves and claiming the "East Rookie of the Year" would be a good way to do that.
In the Light Flyweight division we have 3 contests as Tomoyuki Kaneko (4-1, 2) takes on Ohta Teru (unfortunately we are struggling to track down his record), Yuta Sakai (1-4) faces an opponent that we've got to admit we're unsure about and we think Mao Hoshino (3-8-1) fights Rei Ochiai (1-1-2).
In the sole Flyweight bout Katsunori Shimooki (2-2-1) battles Naoto Takanashi (3-6-1, 2). Interestingly Takanashi is winless in 4 bouts dating back over a year whilst Shimooki is on a 3 fight lose-less streak.
The only Super Flyweight bout appears to be Uko Nonami (2-0-1, 1) against the unbeaten Jo Tanooka (4-0-3). Tanooka appears unable to make a fight easy for himself.
The show also has 2 Bantamweight bouts on the card with the 19 year old Yamato Nakagawa (4-2, 2) taking on the 20 year old Yuki Arai (2-1) and Yukichi Hara (3-2, 1) faces Ryosuke Hayase (3-0).
At Super Bantamweight Takahiro Shibata (4-1-1, 1) will fight Naoto Fujimoto (3-2-1, 1). The final bout on the show will see Light Welterweight Yuki Nagano (1-1, 1) taking on Minoru Iizuka (2-0, 2).
All of those Japanese bouts will take place over the 4 round distance.
The card in Yemen, which we actually epect to take place first, has 7 bouts on it as the Yemeni domestic scene continues to be an oddly busy one.
The most notable bout on the Yemen card sees Yasin Abdulkhalik (4-0, 3) fighting Moxamad Abdu (2-0, 1) in a Super Bantamweight contest. This is one of two 10 round contests on the card with the other seeing Ali Sanabani (2-1, 1) fighting Asam Dolbhante (2-0).
The remaining 5 bouts on the card are all scheduled for 4 rounds as Abdelsamid Sameer (1-0) takes on Mohammad Saleh (2-0) in a Light Welterweight contest, Ali Salem (2-0, 1) facing Esam Aunfi (1-0, 1) in bout at Bantamweight, Othman Qasim (2-0) taking on Khaled Sulaym (1-0, 1), Yaser Ali (1-0, 1) taking on Khaled Munasar (0-1), who is incidentally the only man in 4 round contests with a loss, and Yasir Shadhili (1-0) taking on Khaldun Salami (1-0) in a Super Middleweight contest.