It appears to us that Japanese fans are getting a lot of early Christmas presents. Over the past few days they've had title fights involving Naoya Inoue, Akira Yaegashi, Ryosuke Iwasa and Keita Obara. Today sees that title action continuing with a title triple header courtesy of the weirdly named "Overheat Boxers Night Vol.66".
This show, put on by Katsumata, will be headlined by recent WBO Super Middleweight title challenger Yuzo Kiyota (23-4-1, 21) who looks to reclaim the OPBF title he gave up for his world title challenge. In the opposite corner to the monstrously hard hitting Kiyota we will have Shintaro Matsumoto (10-3, 8), who Kiyota actually defended the title against in his first reign.
As well as the OPBF title fight in the main event we get a Japanese title fight in the main support bout as former WBC Flyweight title challenger Takuya Kogawa (22-2, 13) defends his Japanese Flyweight for the 4th time. Kogawa will be facing top Japanese contender and world ranked opponent Suguru Muranaka (18-2-1, 5). It's fair to say that who ever wins here will be eying up a potential world title fight in 2014. Kogawa brings world rankings with all 4 Organisations (WBO #5, WBA #9, IBF#9 and WBA #15) whilst Muranaka is ranked by the WBA (#8). Although this is the support bout it's arguably the most important contest of the day.
The secondary support bout is also a title fight as Filipino Angelito Merin (7-2-2, 1) meets countryman Jovylito Aligarbes (9-2, 3) in a defense of Merin's WBC Youth World Super Flyweight title. This bout is admittedly a big step down from the other two title fights but with a Filipino rivalry coming in to the contest it could prove to be something rather memorable.
Alongside the 3 title fights we get 4 other contests. The most intriguing of those is an 8 round bout between Filipino Rene Dacquel (10-2, 3) and the hard hitting but limited Hideyuki Watanabe (6-5-2, 5).
To start the show we get the other 3 bouts, all scheduled for 4 rounds. These are to feature a debutant in the first fight before Fujioka Hyuma (3-2-1) takes on Keisuke Fujii (3-3, 2) and Fumio Ujihara (1-1, 1) fights Yosuke Sato (2-6, 2).
It's not too often that we get to see Asian's competiting in 3 seperate would title bouts but that's exactly what this Saturday brings with 3 world title bouts spread across 3 countries. As well as the world title bouts there are also some other notable bouts taking place around the world.
The first fight involving an Asian is expected in Australia as Filipino Allan Tanada (11-2-3, 5) takes on fellow Filipino Michael Correa (3-5-3, 1). Although Correa is based in Australia and will be the "home" fighter here it's hard to see him defeating the very talented Tanada.
We expect the next show to take place will be in the Philippines as we get to the only major card held in Asia.
The main attraction here is the first defense of the WBO Minimumweight title by the unbeaten Merlito Sabillo (22-0, 11) who takes on Jorle Estrada (17-6, 6). This will be Sabillo's second successive bout against against a Colombian following his 8th round stoppage of Luis De la Rosa in March. We've previewed this bout in full here.
The card starts off with the two very promising youngsters. Firstly the debut of Vic Saludar (0-0) the former amateur standout and brother of the highly touted Froilan Saludar. Saludar will begin his professional campaign by taking on Juanito Hundante (1-1). Don't be surprised if Saludar makes a very impressive deubt.
The second of the promising yougster's is Albert Pagara (16-0, 11) who faces Thailand's hard hitter Phupha Por Nobnom (10-8-1, 9). This will be the second meeting between these two fighters with the first seeing Pagara easily despatching the Thai last year. This seems more about keeping Pagara busy than anything else.
The undercard also features the former world title challenger AJ Banal (28-2-1, 20) returns to the ring for the first time since last October, when he was stopped by Pungluang Sor Singyu in a bout for the WBO Bantamweight title. The 24 year old Banal will be facing the naturally bigger Mexican Abraham Gomez (18-7-1, 9) in a bout that could spell the end of Banal's career if he doesn't come out with a victory.
In the chief support bout the very highly regarded Arthur Villanueva (22-0, 12) takes on Mexican banger Arturo Badillo (21-4, 19). The 24 year old Villanueva will be hoping to add the WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title to his ever growing collection of belts and knows that a victory here could move him to within a fight or two or a world title bout.
In Europe we have two Asian fighters in title fight action.
In Monaco the unbeaten Russian, Khabib Allakhverdiev (18-0, 8) looks to make the first defense of WBA Light Welterweight title as he takes on the experienced Frenchman Souleymane M'baye (40-4-1, 22). Although M'baye is close to home it's hard to imagine him beating Allakhverdiev who looks like one of the most over-looked fighters at 140lbs. We've previewed this fight in full here.
The other European based world title fight sees Japanese Super Middleweight Yuzo Kiyota (23-3-1, 21) attempt to claim the WBO Super Middleweight title from Robert Stieglitz (44-3, 25). A victory for Kiyota has been ruled out by most though if he can upset Stieglitz he would become Japan's first ever champion above Middleweight and their first ever WBO champion. As with the other world titles bouts we've previewed this contest in full here.
In Mexico the hard hitting Riyo Togo (10-4-1, 9) looks to repeat history as she takes on Mariana Juarez (36-7-3, 16) for the second time. When the women first met in April, Togo shocked "Barbie" Juarez by stopping her in 118 seconds to claim the WBC International female Super Flyweight title and this will be the first defense of that title by Togo. It's fair to say that if Togo wins again here she'll be in line for a world title fight.
Togo and Kiyota aren't the only Japanese fighters fighting on the road with former WBC Super Featherweight champion Takahiro Ao (23-3-1, 10) also fighting away from home.
Ao makes his US debut as he takes on the US based Chilean Hardy Paredes (16-11, 10). A loss here for Ao would really dent his hopes of returning to the top of the sport though with Paredes being little more than a journeyman there really shouldn't be an upset against the often over-looked Ao.