Hansraj College, Delhi University, New Delhi, India
For a second day in a row we see action pencilled in for India. It's not a big show, but it is a potentially interesting card for those who want to follow the Indian scene as it continues to grow.
One of the bouts of note here is a female 8 rounder between 31 year old Suman Kumari (4-3-1, 1) and the promising 25 year old puncher Urvashi Singh (6-2, 5). Whilst neither of these ladies are expected to make a mark at the top of the sport it's a very nicely pointed bout, with Boxrec ranking them #47 and #48 at the time of writing. Of the two Singh should be favoured, but she will have to work for a victory here.
Another bout of note on this show will see the unbeaten Sachin Dekwal (8-0, 6) take on Amey Nitin (4-2, 2) in an 8 round bout at Lightweight. The unbeaten Dekwal is one of the very, very few Indian fighters of note and has stopped his last 5 in a row. Nitin on the other other hand has never been stopped and will be in the ring looking for a career best win. This could be a decent test to see what Dekwal has to offer.
This coming Saturday is a hectic day of action, despite the fact the bout most of us wanted to see was cancelled when Sergey Kobalev failed a drug test ahead of his scheduled bout with fast rising Uzbek Bektemir Melikuziev. Even with that bout off, there is a lot taking place.
Oxigeno Human playground, Heredia, Costa Rica
The most notable bout for us is an IBF female Minimumweight title bout in Costa Rica, where Yokasta Valle (20-2, 9) will be defending her title against Japanese challenger Sana Hazuki (8-4-1, 2). This bout was only announced earlier this month, though it appears both fighters are hungry and both are out to make a statement. For Valle the stakes are high, and she will likely get a shot at vengeance, with a rematch against WBC champion Tina Rupprecht, if she wins here. As for Hazuki she enters as the clear under-dog, but will get a chance to etch her name in to the history books if she can somehow over-come the talented champion. Our preview of this bout can be read here Hazuki takes on IBF champion Valle in Costa Rica!
Manual Artime Community Center Theater, Miami, Florida, USA
We also have Asian in action in Florida on the latest show from M&R Boxing Promotions.
Arguably the most notable of the Asian fighters on this show is Filipino slugger James Bacon (25-4, 17) who takes on Argentinian journeyman Ramon De La Cruz Sena (23-27-3, 13). This should be little more than a showcase for the 30 year old Bacon who scored two wins last year, including a KO of the year contender against Roque Agustin Junco in November. The 34 year old Argentinian is a veteran but has been racking up losses in recent years. Despite picking up a lot of losses Sena has only been stopped 5 times and should provide some resistance to the power of Bacon.
As well as Bacon there will be 3 Central Asian prospects on the card. One of those is Tajik fighter Mekhrubon Sanginov (8-0-1, 6), who risks his unbeaten record against 27 year old American Quincy LaVallais (10-0-1, 5). Coming into this both men are riding high with Sanginov taking a big TKO win in November against Cleotis Pendarvis, in his best win to date, whilst LaVallais is looking to build on a December 2020 win over Clay Collard. This 10 round match really is a very interesting match up and should tell us where both men are going with their careers.
Another of the prospects here is Uzbek Kozimbek Mardonov (0-0), who looks to build on a successful amateur campaign with a bout against experienced Argentinian Marcelo Ruben Molina (23-18-1-1, 19). The talented Mardonov has turned professional with high expectations on his shoulders, and he really was a very, very solid amateur and it's going to be great to follow his journey as a professional. As for Molina the 27 year old last scored a win back in 2016 and since then has been knocked out 4 times, leaving him with 15 stoppage losses from 18 defeats.
Daejeon, South Korea
There's a trio of shows in Asia, the most notable which will be a KBA show in Daejeon. The card is set to feature 6 bouts in total, though it's really only the main event that needs any sort of real attention.
That main event will be a Korean Heavyweight title bout, as 37 year old Sang Ho Kim (7-3-1, 1) takes on 42 year old Sung Jin Kwak (6-1, 5). We love Korean boxing, and even bouts like this, that don't look the best on paper, manage to deliver thrilling action and interesting back and forth. With that in mind we expect to see a real fun one here, even if it is at a very, very low level.
Macao Boxing House, Macao, Macao S.A.R., China
In Macao we're set for a card featuring novices. The show, for the most part, will be 4 rounders only, though the main event will be over 6 rounds, at Super Featherweight.
That Super Featherweight bout will see Yi You (2-1-1, 1) take on Jiaming Li (4-2, 2), in a second bout between the two men. These two clashed in a very competitive bout in 2019, with Li taking a majority decision, and we expect another close and competitive one here. Saying that however this is a very, very low level bout, on a very low level show.
Infiniti Mall, Malad West, Mumbai, India
We get another novice card in India, though this one does feature a number of 6 round bouts.
The most interesting match up here will see the unbeaten Lalrinsanga Tlau (3-0, 1) take on the wonderfully named Prince Mojesh Shrivastava (0-0), in a battle of 21 year olds. If we're being honest it's clear that Tlau should be the favourite, given his edge in experience. Saying that however this is still an interesting match up, and it'll be interesting to see who comes out on top here, as the Indian scene continues to try and develop and build out of almost nothing.
Fightclub, Wuppertal, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
We'll also have a bout of interest in Germany as 26 year old German based Uzbek born Cruiserweight Muhammadjon Hayotov (1-0, 1) looks for his second professional win, as he takes on Cornel Paul Cristea (0-1), from Romania. Hard to say too much about this one, but Hayatov was successful in his 2019 debut whilst Cristea was stopped in his debut, a few weeks later.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
The final Japanese show of a relatively quiet January is this coming Friday as Yokohama Hikari put on a very small show at Korakuen Hall. This really is a tiny show, with just 5 bouts announced for it, including 3 over the 4 round distance. Despite its short nature the show should, however, be a pretty interesting one for fans who can make their way to Korakuen Hall.
The most interesting of the 3 rounds will see Joker Ryo (1-0) look to build on his entertaining debut as he takes on the somewhat chinny Tsuyoshi Kato (1-2). Despite not being the most skilled Ryo appeared to be an aggressive, fun, crude slugger on his debut in October and he looks like someone who could make for fun fights. Kato on the other hand has been stopped in both of his losses, including a 2018 loss to Jin Sasaki, but should have a real size advantage over the much smaller Ryo. Despite being an easy to overlook novice bout this could, genuinely, be a very fun one to watch.
In the first of the two 8 rounders on this show Kosuke Ando (8-2, 3) will take on the JBC ranked Shuri Hasebe (8-5, 2). Ando is best known for his 2019 campaign, which saw him reach the All Japan Rookie of the Year final, before losing a majority decision to Sho Omote. Since that loss he has fought just once, taking a decision last October against Hidetoshi Takane. For this bout he will be competing in his first 8 rounder. As for Hasebe he earned his Japanese ranking in 2019, with an upset win over Desierto Nagaike and is unbeaten in his last 2, however he didn't at all in 2020 and we do wonder how ring rust may affect him after 21 months out of the ring.
The main event of the card will see JBC ranked Super Bantamweight Naoto Mizutani (7-6-2, 2) look to build on a 3 fight unbeaten run, including wins over Joe Tanooka and Naoya Okamoto, as he takes on 22 year old puncher Seigo Hanamori (6-3, 4). The 31 year old Mizutani is in some of the best form of his career, but without a fight in 2020 the momentum he had been building has been lost and it's hard to know whether he can keep up the good results he was having in 2019. As for Hanamori he has won his last 3, and 4 of his last 5, by stoppage and shown solid power in recent performances. Despite his wins Hanamori has been fighting at a low level and this is very much a step up in class for him.
Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico
Over in Mexico we'll see the excellent Eye of the Tiger Management put on their next card.
For us the most notable bout on this card will see outstanding Kazakh prospect Sadriddin Akhmedov (11-0, 10) take on Dutchman Stephen Danyo (17-3-3, 6) in a bout for 4 titles, including the NABF, WBA Continental and WBC Francophone titles. The talented Akhmedov has been highly impressive since making his professional debut in 2018, though did spend the entire of 2020 out of the ring. Danyo on the other hand is no world beater, but has proven himself to be a tough fighter and will be expected to take Akhmedov 10 rounds here in what should be a great chance for the Kazakh to shake some ring rust before tougher bouts later in the year.
Notably this will be Akhmedov's second professional bout outside of Canada, with the other being a 10 round decision in his native Kazakhstan in 2019. As for Danyo he is well travelled, but has lost his last 3 bouts outside of his homeland and that run is expected to continue here.
USC Soviet Wings, Moscow, Russia
There will be more Central Asian prospects in action over in Russia on a Patriot Boxing show.
The most notable of the Asian hopefuls here will be Rustam Tulaganov (3-0, 1), who will be looking to records his fourth professional win. Tulaganov will be up against 33 year old Colombian puncher Beibi Berrocal (17-7, 16), who looks like a threat on paper, but has been beaten in his last 4, including by the debuting Arthir Kyshenko. The talented Uzbek Light Heavyweight has had a stop start career since making his professional debut in 2017 though we really hope that 2021 is the year where he begins really build momentum in his career.
The other is Uzbek debutant Lazizbek Mullajonov (0-0), who was a standout amateur and will likely be one to watch over the next decade or so. He will be debuting in a Heavyweight 6 rounder, but his original opponent, Igor Vilchitsky (4-2, 1), appears to have been pulled from the show. Mullajonov was very highly regarded in the unpaid ranks and has signed with Patriot boxing who have the power to move him quickly, though may appreciate that he is a very young fighter and there is no need to rush him. Either way he is certainly going to be one to keep a very, very close eye on.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida, USA
We finish what "should" be the most meaningful bout of the day, but it's also one we wouldn't be surprised to see fall into the ether and not take place. That is a WBA "regular" Cruiserweight world title bout between defending champion Beibut Shumenov (18-2, 12) and the completely undeserving Raphael Murphy (14-1, 11). If this bout takes places it should be regarded as one of the least notable "world" title bouts in history, though with it being set for a Don King card it really wouldn't be a surprise if the bout didn't take place. Our preview of this one can be read here Shumenov, Murphy and the WBA cover "world title" in shame
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Wednesday we get the latest in the Dangan 4 round shows, which sees every bout on the card being a 4 round bout. The show is certainly not a big one, but typically these 4 round shows do bring a lot of action, in a very digestible format and gives novices a chance to get in the ring, putting on a show.
From the 12 men involved on the show we'll be getting 8 debuts, with only one bout featuring no debuting fighters. That bout will see the stop or be stopped pairing of Kanta Honma (2-2, 2) and Narimichi Miura (1-2, 1) clash at a contracted 113.5lbs. In the 7 combined fights that the two men have featured in none have gone to the final bell, in fact none have even gone into round 4, with only 1 of their 7 combined bouts last more than 2 rounds. For fans of shoot outs this should be a really fun, if short, bout.
In regards to debuts we'll see Sota Akazawa (0-0) take on Narihito Kato (0-2), in a bout that was arranged for last year before needing to be cancelled. Originally this was scheduled for October 22nd, before Akazawa had to pull out of the bout, so it's nice to see this one being rescheduled. Interestingly this will be the nominal main event, and will top the bill.
One other bout of note for this show will see Ryosuke Maruta (1-0, 1) take on the debuting Toto Esaki (0-0), who went 5-7 in the amateurs. Although not a big fight we did enjoy Maruta's debut last February on a similar 4 round show and despite his limitations he does look like he's going to make for some very fan friendly bouts.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
On Tuesday the often overlooked Yamaguchi Tsuchiura promotions put on a show at Korakuen Hall. It’s not a big one, by any stretch of the imagination, but it is still a worthwhile one with a potential sleeper on the show.
The potential sleeper on this show will be an 8 rounder between Yosuke Kawano (14-9-2, 8) and Daisuke Watanabe (11-4-2, 6), who are both ranked by the JBC at Featherweight. Coming into this Watanabe is in great form, going unbeaten in his last 7 and winning the Hajime No Ippo 30th Anniversary Featherweight tournament last year, where he beat Shingo Kusano in the final. He will be full of confidence coming into this and has really turned his career around after a 6-4 (3) start. The 32 year old Kowano has been inconsistent in terms of results but has certainly been very competitive in a number of his losses, and just a single round swing in many bouts could have seen him walking away with the W. Kawano will be the under-dog here, but should be regarded as a very live under. We suspect this will be competitive, with both men needing to take some huge shots, though we edge Watanabe in a potential thriller.
In a 6 rounder at a contracted 68KG's we'll see Yuya Nemoto (6-9-3, 1) take on Tetsuya Kondo (5-2, 3) in what should be a really exciting little war itself. Neither of these men are going to become world title contenders, but both can make for fan friendly bouts and we suspect together they should make for a very entertaining contest. Nemoto certainly has the edge in size, being a natural at 154lbs, but pulling him down around 4lbs may neutralise that edge, whilst Kondo is the more skilled, but much smaller man.
We were supposed to see Tatsuya Takahashi (32-9-6, 21) take on Ryotaro Kawabata (12-4-2, 6) in the main event of this show, but that bout has now been called off, and has been removed from every Japanese schedule for the show. Interestingly Kawabata wasn't the original opponent for Kawabata, that was Jin Miura (11-3-4, 2), so we really do wonder what has happened here to see not only the original bout change, but for the replacement fight to also be called off.
Tynyshpayev Academy of Transport and Communications, Almaty, Kazakhstan
As well as the Japanese action there is also set to be a long card in Kazakhstan thanks to Tukeshov Promotions. Sadly the card is lacking in notable names, with many of the fighters on the card being novices, though there is certainly a main event worthy of attention.
That main event will see 22 year old hopeful Ray Seitzhanov (5-0, 2), who has been looking pretty good in recent fights, taking on 20 year old Nurbol Berdimuratov (2-0). It's always good to to see unbeaten youngsters risking their "0" in fights like this, though we'll admit that neither man has done much since turning professional, with both of Berdimuratov's wins coming against debutants.
One other noteworthy fighter on this card was once touted teenager Dastan Saduuly (3-1, 3), who turned professional very young and was talked about as one to watch. Despite being touted Saduuly was batterd last September, suffering is first loss, and it now getting a confidence building bout as he takes on the win-less Assylbek Tastulek (0-2).
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
For hardcore of the Japanese scene we get a live card from Boxing Raise and Dangan Aoki this coming Friday, and it’s the one card that genuinely standsout for the month of January. It’s a small card, with just 4 bouts on it, but all 4 of those bouts are meaningful ones, including two brilliant looking Japanese title fights, and it’s a show that looks like it will be worth watching every second of.
The show will begin with a B Class Tournament final at Super Bantamweight as the once beaten Koki Mioya (8-1-2, 2) takes on the unbeaten Tentaro Kimura (5-0-2), the cousin of the highly regarded Rentaro Kimura. The 23 year old Mioya has gone unbeaten in 7 bouts, including a draw in the 2018 All Japan Rookie of the Year final, and has looked like an improving fighter in recent years, but is still very much a work in progress. Kimura, who will be overshadowed by his brother, is a relatively crude fighter, but a fun one to watch and his September battle with Wataru Yokoyama was certainly a treat from Suruga Boys. We don’t expect highly quality boxing here, but we do expect a really fun 5 round war here between two men with a will to win, and relatively little power.
In another 5 rounder we’ll see an A-Class tournament final as heavy handed Lightweight hopeful Shu Utsuki (7-0, 6) takes on the experienced Masashi Wakita (10-10-2, 5). Since turning professional Utsuki has been highly impressive, showcasing solid boxing skills, very heavy hands, and a fun aggressive style. He’s still a work in progress but the 26 year old is looking like a future star for the Watanabe gym. In the other corner is Wakita, a 24 year old who is very much a “win some, lose some” fighter, but generally makes for fun battles, and he could, if he can see out the first round or two, make for a fun war with Utsuki. Sadly however there’s a very real chance that Utsuki could make this look very, very easy.
The first of two title fights will see the heavy handed Kosuke Saka (20-5, 17) defending the Japanese Super Featherweight title against the teak tough Takuya Watanabe (37-9-1, 21), in what may well be an early contender for FOTY. Saka is a crude but aggressive and heavy handed fighter who, on his day, can be a nightmare for anyone on the regional and domestic scene. He looked fantastic in his title, though it should be noted he’s not fought since December 2019 and he has been inconsistent in his biggest bouts. Watanabe on the other hand is a true warrior, who appears to be made out of something they should be using to make tanks. His bouts are almost always action packed bouts and despite often relying on his toughness he is a solid boxer-fighter. He earned this show with his November 2019 win over Taiki Minamoto and despite being inactive for a year the break may well have done him a favour after a lot of very tough and punishing fights. Our in depth preview of this one can be found here Brutality awaits Saka and Watanabe in overdue Japanese title fight!
The other title fight on this show will see JBC Super Bantamweight champion Yusaku Kuga (19-4-1, 13) defending his belt against Gakuya Furuhashi (26-8-1, 14). Kuga, as with Saka, is a crude fighter but a monstrous puncher who can box a bit and bang a lot. Sadly for Kuga he will enter this bout after a lengthy break from the ring, and was last seen suffering a KO1 loss to Jhunriel Ramonal in December 2019. That loss will still be on his mind given he wasn’t able to get a confidence building win in 2020. Furuhashi will be getting his third shot at a Japanese title, having previously come up short against Yukinori Oguni and Yasutaka Ishimoto. At 33 years old Furuhashi is very much a veteran and he will know this could be his final shot at a Japanese title. As with the other title bout this could end up being a legitimately thrilling war, with Furuhashi setting a high tempo and Kuga looking to land bombs. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Warriors Kuga and Furuhashi battle for Japanese throne!
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Japanese shows during January tend to not be too big, and this coming Thursday is an example of just that, as Ichiriki put on a 8 bout show with each of the bouts being 4 rounders under the “Fresh Boy” banner.
As is probably expected, given the nature of the show, there aren't any big names on this card, with pretty much every fighter on the card being a novice. Despite the nature of the show there is one bout that stands out as being a little bit to the others on the show.
That one bout that feels a bit different will be a 4 rounder between Japanese ranked female fighters. In one corner will be JBC ranked Flyweight Nanae Yamaka (3-0, 1), who will be moving up in weight slightly, to take on fellow unbeaten Ai Sugimoto (2-0, 1), who is ranked at Bantamweight. Given the fact the two women fight at different weights this will be fought at a catchweight around 115.75lbs.
One other other fight that could be pretty interesting, mostly due to the fact we don’t see many Middleweight bouts in Japan, is a bout between 35 year old Mao Tameda (2-10-2) and 22 year old Naoya Mitsuhashi (1-1, 1). This doesn’t look great, but we always love seeing Japanese Middleweight fights as they tend to be very entertaining, even at the lowest levels, like this one.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
We get the first live televised Japanese card of the year this coming Saturday, though it's a relatively small show from Kadoebi with the focus more on debutants than established names, with one very clear exception.
The one exception on the card will see OPBF Welterweight champion Riku Nagahama (12-2-1, 4) make his first defense of the title he won back in February 2020, as he takes on Ryota Toyoshima (12-2-1, 8) in a very interesting looking match up. The talented Nagahama has bounced back well from stoppage losses to Takeshi Inoue and Yuki Nagano, and is currently riding a 4 fight winning streak, including his title winning bout against Kudura Kaneko last year. Despite that run he still has question marks over his toughness and his chin. Toyoshima on the other hand is unbeaten since a 2017 loss to Masaharu Kaito, who also gave him his first loss way back in 2015. The challenger has won his last 5 and certainly enters the bout as the puncher, but a win here would be his most meaningful by far. Our preview of this bout can be read here Potential thriller as OPBF champion Nagahama takes on Toyoshima!
In the middle of the card is another bout between two men with some experience as Japanese ranked Super Flyweights Chikato Sumida (9-3, 1) and Ken Achiwa (12-15-5, 4) clash in an 8 rounder at Bantamweight. Coming into this the 27 year old Shumida has won 5 of his last 6, and will know another win will continue to move him towards a title bout. On the other hand the 34 year old Achiwa has only scored a single win in his last 6, though he is much better than his record suggests and should give Sumida a bit of a test here.
Most of the card here is based around introducing some Kadoebi promoted novices, who will make their debuts. One of those is Flyweight hopeful Jukiya Iimura (0-0), who went an excellent 68-13 in the amateurs. He’s being matched in a 6 rounder against 36 year old Daisuke Yamada (6-5, 1), who reached the East Japan Rookie of the Year final, back in 2016 when he was then blasted out in a round by Junto Nakatani. We suspect Iimura will have too much for Yamada, though it’s nice to see him making his debut in a 6 rounder.
Another of the debutants, this time at Super Bantamweight, will be Jun Ikegawa (0-0) who takes on Kakeru Yoshikawa (4-1-2) in a tough looking debut. As an amateur Ikegawa went 51-15 and was a very solid amateur in the Kansai League, where he made his name as a talented southpaw. The 23 year old Yoshikawa has gone unbeaten in his last 4, and is unbeaten since July 2017. Notably he enters this bout following back to back draws in 6 rounders, and may well have the stamina and experience to ask real questions of Ikegawa.
Another of the debutants is 21 year old Yugo Kon (0-0), who notched a 23-11 amateur record during his relatively short career in the unpaid ranks. He’s been matched with Koji Tsurumi (4-3-1, 1) in a 6 round bout at a contracted 54.5KG’s (just over 120lbs). Kon wasn’t the deeply experienced amateur that some of the others on this card were, but he seems to be incredibly hungry to prove a point and we suspect he could end up being moved relatively quickly over the next few years. Although his record might not show it, Tsurumi is going to be in a confident mood here, having taken the unbeaten record of Shion Yokoyama 2 bouts ago, and scoring a draw with the aforementioned Kakeru Yoshikawa.
In an all debutant bout Kadoebi fighter Yudai Murakami (0-0) will be taking on Naoki Shimizu (0-0) from the MT Gym, in a 4 rounder at Lightweight. Murakami went 29-6 in the amateurs, and does have some hype behind him as he begins his career. Reportedly Shimizu went 14-7 in the amateurs, and will be regarded as the under-dog here in what will be the opening bout of the show.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
The first Japanese show of 2021 comes to us this coming Thursday thanks to Hideyuki Ohashi who puts on the next show under the Phoenix Battle series. This is a card that has a brilliant main event, but really the key part of the card are the bouts below it, which are all intriguing bouts for touted prospects.
We'll start with the main event, which will see OPBF Bantamweight champion Keita Kurihara (15-5, 13) defending his belt against former WBC "interim" Bantamweight champion Takuma Inoue (13-1, 3), in what is a puncher Vs Boxer bout. For the heavy handed Kurihara this will serve as his second defense, following his title win in late 2018 against Yuki Strong Kobayashi and a win here would likely see him taking huge strides towards a world title fight. As for Inoue this will be his first bout since losing to Nordine Oubaali in 2019. For Inoue a loss would be very hard to come back from, and he'll be incredibly focused here making for what should be an excellent match up. Our full, in depth, preview of this one can be read here Keita Kurihara Vs Takuma Inoue - The first big Japanese fight of 2021!
In an excellent looking 8 rounder we'll see the fast rising Katsuki Mori (7-0, 1) take on Sora Takeda (6-1, 1) in a battle between two Rookie of the Year winners. In 2018 Takeda won Rookie of the Year at 105lbs and since then has added two more wins to record, giving him a 6 fight winning streak since a loss on his 2017 debut. Mori won the Rookie of the Year in 2019, and has only fought once since then. Of the two men Mori seems to be the more promising man, who has shown more so far in his career, but this is certainly not a gimme either way.
One of two highly regarded novice prospects on this card is former Japanese amateur stand out Ryutaro Nakagaki (1-0, 1), who takes a huge step up in class from his debut to take on fellow southpaw Yuji Okinori (10-5-2, 3). The 21 year old Nakagaki is tipped as a future champion and was a stellar amateur on the Japanese scene before making his professional debut last year. When he turned professional the worry was about his power, but he showed he had plenty of pop on his debut. In Okinori we have we have a 27 year old who asks questions, and comes in with a bit of momentum following back to back TKO wins. We strongly favour Nakagaki, but this is a legitimate test.
The other highly regarded professional novice is Keisuke Matsumoto (1-0, 1), the son of former world title challenger Koji Matusmoto, who looks for his second win as he takes on Bejita Ishikawa (3-12-2, 1). Matsumoto was given a test on debut, and had to pull himself off the canvas to secure victory, though showed great composure and the mentality that should take him far in the sport. Ishikawa on the other hand is well known for his gimmick, of dressing up like Dragon Ball Z character Vegeta, hence his ring name of Bejita. Ishikawa is unlikely to provide much of a test, but it's going to be good to see Matsumoto back in the ring, as he is tipped as something special, despite the issues on his debut.
We've not really have much action to kick off the year but it will be picking up over the next few days. Before we see shows in Japan we do actually get one in India of all places as "Project Solutions" promote a show in Gurgaon. Sadly this isn't a particularly big show, but there is some stuff to discuss from it.
The most notable fighter on the show is 25 year old Shiva (11-3-1, 5) who will be looking to extend a 6 fight unbeaten run as he takes on Manish Harode (1-3-1). This 8 rounder is certainly not a big fight, but it could end up being a lot more competitive than it looks on paper. Shiva might be experienced, but he's not yet proven what he can do, as he continues fighting at a low level, and was held to a draw last time out.
Another 8 rounder on this card will see unbeaten 140lb hopeful Sachin Rohila (3-0, 1) look to build on his promising start to professional boxing as he takes on Sahil Sahil (1-1), who notched a win back in November. It's We're not 100% on why these two are scheduled for an 8 rounder, though it's always interesting to see novices fighting longer bouts and seeing them needing to dig deep in the tank.
Sadly, Shiva aside, there is no one this show with more than a handful of fights, though credit to the promoters for trying to basically build the Indian scene from nothing.