A day after Japanese fans get to see a national Super Flyweight title fight they get treat to a rare occurrence, a Japanese Heavyweight title fight.
This show, put on by Kadoebi and dubbed “Japan's Strongest I”, is one of those rare cards that is genuinely interesting on paper with several bouts worth taking note of and not just the main event. In fact the show features not just a title fight but also has on several very promising Japanese prospects.
The much anticipated main event sees Kyotaro Fujimoto (7-1, 5) defending his Japanese Heavyweight title for the first time as he battles #1 challenger Kotatsu Takehara (9-8-3, 4). Although on paper this looks like a mis-match it's fair to say that Takehara is a deserving challenger having defeated Rio Hidaka for this opportunity to fight for the title. Takehara, despite not having a winning record, has won his last two bouts and it's been more than a decade since he was last beaten by a Japanese opponent.
As mentioned in the introduction, the card features several notable prospects. The most interesting of those prospects is the destructive Light Welterweight Hiroki Okada (6-0, 6) who fights in the chief support bout against Filipino Jaypee Ignacio (9-16-2, 2). Although Boxrec.com list Okada as fighting Dan Nazareno Jr it's fair to say that Nazareno won't be on this show due to the fact he's in Macau on Saturday as part of “The Clash in Cotai” card.
Prior to Okada's bout will be a contest involving the promising Kenji Kubo (2-2, 1). Despite his less than stellar record Kubo is seen as a fighter with the potential to move up the rankings quickly. Having been matched far too hard so far Kubo is given an easy assignment as he faces Taro Mochizuki (4-6, 4) in what should be an easy victory for Kubo. Sadly however a loss for Kubo here would almost certainly spell the end to the idea that he is ever going to be a title holder.
In the fourth of the seven contests Yuya Sugizaki (17-9-1, 6), a ranked contender for the Japanese Super Featherweight title, will be in action against Keisuke Arima (8-8-1, 1). This should be a mismatch but Sugizaki has lost a number of recent bouts by stoppage and may well be a fighter on the slide.
The shows third contest is at Lightweight as the unbeaten Gosuke Seki (13-0-2, 2) battles Hiroyuki Sagehashi (7-5-2, 1). On paper this looks like a mismatch but Sagehashi has won his last four contest and is unbeaten since 2009 meaning that he may well have become a better fighter than the one who lost 5 of 7 contests earlier in his career. The Seki/Sagehashi bout will follow on from a Middleweight contest between Ryota Itoyama (10-4, 5) and the hard hitting Yasuyuki Akiyama (7-4-1, 1).
Prior to those six contests is the shows opener which sees Masahito Oki (1-0, 1) in action. Although we're not certain we believe that Oki will be fighting Jun Ogawa (1-0) in the shows only 4 rounder.