Amakusa Park Gym, Asakuchi, Okayama, Japan
This coming Sunday isn't set to be a big day in Asian boxing, but it should be an interesting day for fight fans in Okayama thanks to Kurashiki Moriyasu who puts on a show featuring a Japanese champion and interesting looking main support bout.
The champion in question is Japanese Flyweight champion Seigo Yuri Akui (15-2-1, 10) who will be taking part in an 8 round non-title bout, as he takes on Yuto Nakamura (11-6-1, 8) in a Super Flyweight bout. The hard hitting Akui won the Japanese title in 2019 and recorded his first defense last year. Sadly Covid19 restrictions have made it difficult for him to secure a second title defense, and rather than face an over matched challenger he's dipping his toes in a new weight classes, and potentially leaving the door open to becoming a 2-weight Japanese champion in the future.
Whilst the focus here will be on Akui it is worth noting that Nakamura is no push over. In fact the 24 year old from Mie Prefecture is a former Japanese Youth Super Flyweight who has lost just one of his last 5 bouts, and that was a frankly ridiculous match up against Super Bantamweight Ryo Akaho. Nakamura will know that if he wins here he will open the door to a potential title fight of his own at 115lbs and will come into this hungry to make a statement. He will, however, have to be wary about the explosive power of Akui. If he can avoid getting blown out early he might have the size and strength to test the naturally smaller man.
In a solid looking supporting bout we'll see Kenya Okada (5-2-1, 3) take on Sho Omote (8-2, 3) in a 6 rounder. The 25 year old Okada has struggled for momentum, and is 2-2-1 in his last 5, after winning his first 3 bouts. Sadly for him his record is rather padded and he's yet to beat a fighter with a winning record. Omote on the other hand has shown some real promise, and won Rookie of the Year in 2019, beating the then 7-1 Kosuke Ando in the All Japan final. Despite his Rookie of the Year triumph Omote did lose last time out, in a notable upset against Shota Asami in November. On paper it's fair to feel that Omote should be the big favourite, however Okada is the naturally bigger man, and he will be looking to use that advantage here against the talented, but small, Omote.
Alcantara, Cebu, Philippines
As well as the action in Japan we are also looking forward to a show from the Philippines promoted by ARQ promotions, set up by Jason and Eva Mari Arquisola. The show was originally planned for March but delayed due to the ongoing situation.
The full line up hasn't been confirmed at the time of writing, though the main event is known to feature highly skilled Filipino youngster April Jay Abne (5-0, 2) risking his unbeaten record against Royder Lloyd Borbon (6-9-1, 6). On paper this shouldn't be too much of a test for Abne, however having been out for well over a year we're just glad to see Abne back in the ring and restart his journey to through the sport. He really is one of the most talented Filipino fighters out there, and a true joy to watch.
Others on this card will include Ian Abne (1-0, 1), Christopher Caburog (1-0), and Maurino Agum (2-0, 1) in what looks likely to be a showcase of young novices.