EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
This coming Sunday is a busy day for Japanese fight fans with 3 shows taking place across the country. For us the most interesting of the 3 comes in Osaka City, and is being promoted by Green Tsuda, with a genuinely excellent prospect headlining the card.
The prospect headlining this card is the slippery and awkward Toshiki Shimomachi (13-1-2, 9), who hasn't made a lot of nose but is quietly putting together a solid record, and developing his reputation as one of the most skilled hopefuls in Japan. The talented Shimomachi has stopped his last 4 opponents, including Kenta Nomura and Hiroki Hanabusa, and will be desperate to show what he can do here, after more than a year out of the ring. The man looking to stop Shimomachi's run is Filipino Jerry Castroverde (10-7, 5), who has lost his last 3, but been matched hard and certainly has some higher level experience to call upon in an attempt at slowing Shimomachi's momentum
In the chief support we'll see the out of form Ryosuke Nasu (12-8-3, 2) take on Hiroki Yajima (9-10-3, 4), with Nasu looking to turn things around and end a 3 fight losing run. Sadly for Nasu things really have gone down hill for him following a solid 8-2-3 (2) start to his career as a professional fighter. Aged 26 Nasu is still young enough to turn things around, but he does need to start finding his groove sooner rather than later. As for Yajima it does seem like his career is going nowhere and he is 1-5 in his last 6, dating back to 2017, and at 31 his role in the sport seems to be less about moving his own career forward and more about giving talented prospects and hopefuls some rounds. We should see Nasu take a win here, and fingers crossed he gets to boost his confidence and move onwards and upwards in the coming years.
Sangyo Shinko Center, Sakai, Osaka, Japan
Staying in Osaka prefecture, though travelling to Sakai City, we get another card, and this one could be a bit more interesting despite only one of the fighters on the card being particularly notable.
The most notable bout on this card will be a clash between two 24 year olds, as Daiki Tomita (16-2, 5) takes on Yoshiki Yamashita (8-3-1). The talented Tomita is now two bouts removed from a TKO loss to Kenichi Horikawa, and has got the tools to be a fixture on and around the domestic and regional title scene. Although talented Tomita is still a work in progress, and we can't help but feel he's not yet grown into his man strength, or his body, and it could be a year or two before we see the best of him. Yamashita on the other hand doesn't seem like a fighter going places, but he should be game and he should do enough to test Tomita, without being a real threat.
In an interesting and well matched supporting bout we'll see the hard hitting Toshiya Yokogawa (12-12-2, 10) take on Daichi Matsuura (7-6-2, 3). Yokogawa is limited as a boxer, but in the ring he's dangerous and with his power he does have a genuine chance against better fighters, as we've seen in recent wins against Takashi Igarashi and Glenn Medura, but he also has a questionable chin, having been stopped in 4 of his 12 losses. Matsuuura on the other hand has lost 3 of his last 4, though did show his toughness in 2019, when he went 12 with the hard hitting Chainoi Worawut. Yokogawa should be favoured, but this one could be tough, rough and if Matsuura can take hi power for a few rounds it could be a very competitive bout.
Kokura Kita Gym, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan
Over in Fukuoka we'll see former amateur standout Kiyotaka Horita (0-0) make his professional debut, as he takes on the hard hitting Ukyo Yoshigai (6-4, 5) in a scheduled 6 rounder. As an amateur Horita had 58 bouts and game 5th in the All Japan Championships and at 29 we suspect he'll be looking to moved quickly and aggressively. Yoshigai on the other hand won the All Japan Rookie of the Year back in 2016, but has gone 1-4 in his last 5 and hasn't fought since 2019. Yoshigai has power, but we wonder about his confidence and hunger coming in to this one.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Attention in Japan returns to Korakuen Hall this weekend as we get the next show in the Dynamic Glove series of shows. The card isn't one of the strongest, though interestingly when we say that they are the shows that do tend to massively over-deliver. The main event is a Japanese title fight, whilst the support-card features a former world title challenger and a once touted prospect.
The main event will see veteran Makoto Kawasaki (12-8-1, 2) clash with the once touted Koki Koshikawa (9-3, 6) in a bout for the Japanese Light Middleweight title, which was recently vacated by Hironobu Matsunaga. Coming into this it's fair to say that both men have been shown to be under legitimate domestic title level, but both men will see this as a chance to claim a career defining win. Aged 37 it's hard to imagine Kawasaki getting another chance if he loses here, and sadly for him it's also hard to imagine him fighting his usual busy style with much success, over 10 rounds at his age. On the other hand Koshikawa has never really managed to develop into the professional fighter many expected him to become and now aged 31 it appears his career is winding down, and he's now almost 3 years removed from his last win. We don't expect this to be the highest quality bout, but the styles should make it entertaining and the hunger of both men to win a win a title should make it very watchable. A full preview of this bout can be read here Kawasaki and Koshikawa battle for vacant Japanese title!
In the chief support bout former world title challenger Ryo Akaho (37-2-2, 25) will be up against the exciting Mugicha Nakagawa (24-7-2, 14), in what should be a very exciting match up. Now aged 35 Akaho's dreams of winning a world title seem pretty much over, after losing twice in world title bouts, but his hunger for the sport is still alive and he's looking for a 12th straight win here. Although not world class he's strong, heavy handed and does make for fun fights. Nakagawa on the other hand is 33 and has failed to win his last 3 fights, but will know that if he can get a result here he could find himself back in the domestic title picture, and jump start his career. It is however a big ask for Nakagawa, who hasn't fought since 2019 and hasn't won since 2018.
On paper one of the most well matched bouts will see the in form Taison Mukaiyama (7-2, 4) battle against Ken Koibuchi (7-5-1, 6), in a nice matched bout. Coming in to this Mukaiyama is really in good form, winning his last 4 including two wins over Ryugo Ushijima and an impressive TKO win over Toru Kiyota last time out. He's got his career back on track after a 3-2 (3) start and appears to be developing into a genuine hopeful. Koibuchi on the other hand is 1-1-1 in his last 3, but has been fighting a good mix of fighters, and has been proving his chin recently, following a 2019 loss to Katsunari Endo. Mukaiyama should be the favourite, but he'll have to work for a win here.
Also on this card is a bout between the once touted Shigetoshi Kotari (2-1-1, 1) and the limited, but hard hitting, Kazuaki Miyamoto (7-7, 6). Kotari turned professional with a lot of expectation on his shoulders, and was thought to be one of the future stars for Japanese boxing, and the MT Gym. Sadly for him he suffered his first loss last year, a close and competitive one to Junya Shimada, and then suffered a technical decision 5 months later, leaving him now really needing a win to get his career back on track. The 28 year old Miyamoto has proven to be dangerous at the lower levels of the Japanese scene, but with all 7 of his losses coming inside the distance he has a reputation for being a glass cannon, and we suspect Kotari's clean, effective shots will be too much for him here.
The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex, Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Title action isn't limited to Japan today and over in Metro Manila we'll see a new OPBF Super Bantamweight champion being crowned, as the hard hitting Jhunriel Ramonal (17-9-6, 10) takes on the highly skilled Pete Apolinar (15-2, 9). The title became vacant when Hiraoka Teshigawara vacated it, and it's left us with a really nice looking match up between one of the most dangerous and over-looked fighters in the sport, and one of the most gifted Filipino fighters. Ramonal is well known to fans in Asia, in part thanks to his journeyman mentality, and also his ability to score brutal upset wins, as we saw in 2019 against Yusaku Kuga and Shingo Wake. Apolinar on the other hand has shownb to be a really nice to watch boxer, who sits in the pocket and has lovely defense, but a lack of man strength at 126lbs has seen him come down a weight here. This could be a very interesting bout of power and aggression vs skills and defense. Our preview of this bout can be read here Ramonal and Apolinar clash for OPBF honours!
Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines
A second Filipino show is pencilled in for Zamboanga City, sadly though the details for this show are few and far between.
The only bout listed for this show at the time of writing will see former world champion Milan Melindo (37-5, 13) take on Crison Omayao (24-23-5, 8) in what looks like a ridiculous mismatch. But could turn out to be a genuine banana skin for the talented Melindo. The 34 year old Melindo hasn't been since in a ring since being stopped in 6 rounds by Junto Nakatani, back in 2019, and hasn't scored a win since a very close and somewhat controversial decision over Hekkie Budler back in September 2017. We do wonder what he has left in the tank and what he has to offer at Super Flyweight, which is the weigh he'll be at here. As for Omayao he hasn't scored a win since June 2018, when he stopped the dread Rogen Flores, and is unlikely to put up anything resembling a test for Budler
Others pencilled in for this show are the debuting Joshua Borleo (0-0) and the hard hitting Anthony Marcial (24-4-1, 22), though at the time of writing neither man has had their opponent for the show announced.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
The action for the month kicks off in Japan with a show from former world champion Hideki Todaka. The show is certainly not a huge one, but it does have two very interesting 8 rounders at the top of the card.
The first of those bouts will see JBC ranked Featherweight Shinnosuke Hasegawa (13-3-1, 9) take on former All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Tsubasa Narai (7-1, 6), in what should be a very explosive clash. For Narai this will be his first bout since suffering a KO loss to Kyonosuke Kameda in a Japanese Youth title fight last year, and he'll be wanting to bounce back with a win, especially given that loss, but there will be question marks over his chin. As for Hasegawa, he'll be risking his JBC ranking, and comes into the bout on the back of a split decision loss to Kanehiro Nakagawa, who was himself rewarded for that win with a Japanese title fight later this month. Hasegawa will, rightfully, be the favourite, but this is certainly not a gimme for him.
The main event will see the explosive but flawed Jin Minamide (5-2, 4) take on the under-rated Takeshi Takehara (7-1, 2). Minamide is the more well known fighter, and has shared the ring with the likes of Kazuki Nakajima and Toshiya Ishii, but he's also shown himself to be something of a glass cannon, and his chin has let him down in both of his losses. Takehara on the other hand is well schooled fighter, who is naturally bigger than Minamide, and has shown good progress, with his 2012 win over Shohei Kawashima being the best of his career, by far. Notably both fighters are ranked by the JBC, though Minamide is ranked much higher and will be the clear favourite coming in to the bout. If Takehara can take his power though, this could get very, very for Minamide.
Jordal Idrettspark, Oslo, Norway
As well as the action in Japan there will also be a fight in Norway of some Asian interest. This bout will see Swedish based Azeri fighter Samo Jangirov (7-3-1, 1) battle against the unbeaten Simen Nysaether (10-0, 3), in a second bout between the men. Jangirov has fought his full career in Europe, with fights in Sweden, Finland, Norway and the UK, and is a former Swedish Cruiserweight champion. Notably all 3 of his losses have come when he's fought outside of Sweden. Nysaether on the other hand is a former Norwegian amateur who was slowly building a record for himself before the pandemic slowed his rise. Notably one of his 10 wins came in 2019, when he beat Jangirov in a 6 rounder. Jangirov will be seeking revenge here, whilst Nysaether will be looking to get his career going again with his first fight in more than 2 years.
City Hall Ground, Nakhon Sawan, Thailand
This coming Tuesday our attention turns to Thailand, for a notable show, headlined by a rematch that is now on it's third date this and also features a major step up for a prospect taking on a former world champion.
The main event of the card will see WBC Minimumweight champion Panya Pradabsri (37-1, 23) taking on former champion Wanheng Menayothin (55-1, 19), in a much anticipated rematch between the two men who fought back in 2020. In their first bout we saw a great performance from both men, with the judges narrowly giving the win to Panya, to end Wanheng's notable, and lengthy, unbeaten run. It was assumed that would be the end for Wanheng, who has instead bounced back with a single win and will now be determined to avenge his sole loss. As for the champion this is a great chance to solidify his reign, and prove he didn't need a little bit of luck from the judges when the two men first met. Notably this bout has been pencilled in for January and February, and is now on its third date this year, fingers crossed it won't be postponed again. Our in depth preview of this bout, which was written ahead of the original January date for the bout, can be read here Panya and Wanheng clash again for WBC crown!
The main support bout for the show will see novice Peerapol Boonchauy (1-0) take on former world champion Suriyan Satorn (61-13, 41), also known as Kompayak Porpramook, in a huge step up in class. Aged 22 Peerapol debuted last November, beating Chaiwat Buatkrathok, and is now stepping up to face someone who once held the WBC Light Flyweight title. Whilst this is a huge step up, it should be noted that Peerapol is a naturally bigger, much younger fighter, and at 39 Suriyan is now little more than a trial horse for Thai prospects, than a real threat. Even with that in mind however, Peerapol will have to answer some genuine questions posed by the veteran here.
March 28th-Riku and Kasuya Clash!
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
The Asian action this coming Monday is limit, but it does feature and interesting small card at Korakuen Hall thanks to Flash Akabane promotions.
The main event of the show is a genuinely interesting match up as the hard hitting Jirolian Riku (13-3, 12) takes on the once touted, and very skilled, Yuichiro Kasuya (14-4-2, 4). The explosive Riku is currently ranked in the top 10 by both the JBC and the WBO Asia Pacific, and will likely be looking to land the first fight of his career later in 2022. He would be the under-dog against the best regional and domestic fighters, but with his power he will be given a puncher's chance against the likes of Shuichiro Yoshino and Shu Utsuki. Whilst Riku is on the verge of a title fight Kasuya is in a place where by he now needs a win to keep his career alive, after going 1-2-1 in his last 4. Although out of form Kasuya is a talented fighter, who won the All Japan Rookie of the Year in 2014, and has shown some real skills, but seemingly lacks the fight changing power and physicality he needs to reach the higher levels of the sport.
Whilst the main event is a decent match up, the under-card is weak. To say the least. The one bout of some interest will see the once beaten Tomonori Nagao (4-1-1, 1) take on Kodai Gushiken (4-8, 3) in a scheduled 6 rounder at Super Flyweight. The 27 year old Nagao has won his last 2, but is stepping into 6 rounders for the first time, and there some question marks about whether he can comfortably do the slightly longer distance. As for Gushiken he has lost his last 3, but has experience over 6 rounds, and will feel comfortable in his stamina over the distance. Nagao should be the favourite, but we expect to see him getting a genuine test here.
Tomigusuki Civic Gymnasium, Okinawa, Japan
The most notable of two Japanese cards this coming Sunday comes form Okinawa, where we see one of the hottest prospects in world boxing look to pick up his second professional title, and we also see several interesting, albeit lower level, under-card bouts.
The main event of the card will be that aforementioned title bout, as the much touted Ginjiro Shigeoka (6-0, 5) takes on Tatsuro Nakashima (11-2-1, 7) for the vacant Japanese Minimumweight title. The hard hitting and explosive Shigeoka has seen his rapid career ascent slow, significantly, since the start of the pandemic, but a win here against Nakashima will open some significant doors for him, and his focus will be on winning here and then begin to move towards a world title fight later in the year. He will however have to make sure to not over-look Nakashima, a capable domestic level fighter who's having his second shot at the Japanese title, after having previously fallen short to current world champion Masataka Taniguchi. This should be a show case for the unbeaten man, but he will have to show Nakashima some respect in there. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Shigeoka goes for domestic gold as he faces Nakashima
In rare Japanese Welterweight bout we'll see professional novice Seeser Minagawa (1-0) take on the under-sized New Thunder Teruya (7-9-1, 4). Minagawa made his debut last year at Super Middleweight, and will be dropping down to Welterweight for the bout, whilst Teruya's last fight was at Super Featherweight and he'll be skipping up the weights. Sadly for Teruya he has been stopped in his last two bouts, and will be expected to take a bit of a pounding here in a very odd one, that should be little more than a brief work out for Minagawa, who was a very solid amateur, going 70-17 (36) in the unpaid ranks. Interestingly Teruya has changed his ring name a little bit for this fight, adding "New" to it, sadly for him, it's hard to imagine even a "New" Teruya having any chance at all here.
Another under-card bout will see 34 year old puncher Taiki Henzan (5-1, 4) take on Ryan Joshua Yamamoto (4-3, 1) in the other Welterweight bout. Coming in to this Henzan has a JBC ranking, but at his age their potential for him to be a domestic contender is slim. Despite that he is dangerous at this low level, and will be looking to make his power count. Yamamoto on the other hand is a natural Lightweight moving up in weight, on the back of 3 straight wins. He's the naturally smaller man, but at 28 he's also coming into his physical prime and will feel confident he has the youth needed to inflict Henzan's second professional loss.
Aioi Hall, Kariya, Aichi, Japan
A second Japanese card comes from Aichi, and although this is less notable than the one in Okinawa, it's still a pretty solid one, with three bouts worthy of some attention.
The main event will see youngsters clash as former Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight Champion Tom Mizokoshi (8-3-1, 4) takes on Ryuya Nihei (6-2-1, 1) in a really solid looking bout between two men in their early 20's. The 22 year old Mizokoshi is an exciting talent, with a lot of flair, but his chin has let him down and he's been stopped in 2 of his last 3, including his last bout. With a tweak to his style, and a more defensive mindset, he could go on to win national honours in the future, but he has taken a lot of punishment already in his career. Nihei on the other hand has lost 2 of his last 3, but the 23 year old is a talented fighter, and a real handful from a technical perspective. It's worth nothing that Mizokoshi's team have matched him with someone who is a genuine non-puncher here, but Nihei should provide a good test of Mizokoshi's boxing skills.
Another fighter looking to bounce back from a TKO loss, like Mizokoshi, is the big punching Mammoth Kazunori (6-5-1, 6), as he takes on Takuto Mino (4-1, 1). Kazunori is very much a flawed puncher, and he's lost his last 3, but he's incredibly dangerous and the sort of fighter who can knock people out cold with a single shot, as we saw against Lerdchai Chaiyawed. Sadly he appears limited, and can be out boxed, but with his power he's always going to be a threat. Mino on the other hand is a non-puncher, looking to bounce back from a 2021 loss to Daichi Hirai, and will feel his movement, skills, timing and size advantage will be the difference maker here. Interestingly Mizokoshi will be the much smaller man in the ring, but we suspect his power will still be dangerous at this level, even at Bantamweight.
In another good supporting bout we'll see Takatora Suzuki (4-1-2) take on Hyogo Kimura (6-3-1, 1), in a decent looking 6 rounder. Of the two men Kimura is the more well known, coming runner up in the All Japan Rookie of the Year 13 months ago, and whilst he's without a win in 3 bouts he shouldn't be written off here, given what we've seen of him so far in his young career. Suzuki on the other hand is a local fighter who has never lost in Aichi, and will be looking to make the most of home advantage here.
IPI Compound, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
There isn't much action this coming Saturday, but we do have a few fights scattered around, including a SANMAN promotions card in Mandaue City. The show isn't the most interesting, but does have a few fighters to be aware of.
The main event of the card will see the unbeaten Mark Vicelles (15-0-1, 8) take on former world title challenger Richard Claveras (19-8-2, 16), in a what should be a good step forward for Vicelles, and a chance for him to answer questions about his chin. The unbeaten 26 year old has scored noteworthy wins over Toto Landero and Jesse Espinas in recent years and is moving towards a world title fight in the next year or two. As for Claveras, who is likely best known for his 2015 fight with Pedro Guevara, he is 1-5 in the last few years, though has mixed at a very high level and will look to make the most of his experience to upset Vicelles in what is a pretty solid match up
In a battle of 25 year old's we'll see the once beaten Franco Serafica (7-1, 4) take on Rimon Rama (6-4-1, 4), in what could be an explosive lower level fight. Serafica's only loss came in 2019, when he lost a split decision to Jimboy Rosales. As for Rama he's lost his last 4, after a nice unbeaten run to start his career, and will likely be entering this bout with the view that he can get a win and get his career back on track.
One other bout of note on this card will see unbeaten 21 year old Benny Canete (4-0, 3) take on John Kenan Villaflor (8-8-4, 2). The promising Canete debuted in late 2020, and picked up 3 wins last year. On paper he will be favoured, but this is a very credible step up in class and should see him being asked questions by a solid regional level journeyman, who has faced a number of promising fighters over the last few years.
Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
As well as the show in Mandaue City, there is set to be an event in Cebu City, sadly however details of this show are few and far between, with the only confirmed fighter on it, at the time of writing, being Ciso Morales (19-9-1 12), who hasn't had his opponent for the show named. Despite being the only man listed for the show, the 29 fight veteran hasn't fought in around 3 years and is 1-6 in his last 7 bouts, suggesting that his career is winding down, rapidly.
Caribe Royale Orlando, Orlando, Florida, USA
As well as the action in the Philippines, we also have some action in the US, and actually have a really good looking bout as Armenian born Russian fighter Andranik Grigorian (14-0, 3) takes on American based Uzbekistani Otabek Kholmatov (9-0, 9), in a mouth watering match up. Grigorian has fought in Russia or Canada, and this will be his US debut. Despite that he has won, and defended the NABA title, and despite not fighting in front of a major audience does have a solid looking resume, and appears to be a very solid fighter moving his career forward at a steady rate. Kholmatov on the other hand has been a professional for just 7 months, but has been incredibly active with bouts in the US and Colombia, albeit at a very low level and this is a very notable step up in class for him.
March 25th-Kanaya and Oku step up
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
On Friday we don't get much action, but there some interesting bouts taking place, several of which are in Japan on a show at Korakuen Hall.
On paper the most interesting match up is a 6 rounder between Yuri Kanaya (1-0) and Masatora Okada (6-3-1, 2), with Kanaya looking to continue what we suspect will be a rapid rise through the ranks. Kanaya made his debut last year, with a very solid debut win over Sora Takeda, and should be favoured here, but will certainly have to work hard for the win. Okada is a very solid opponent at this lower domestic level, and come into the bout with two wins following a very competitive loss in 2018. He'll be game, but we do expect the class of Kanaya to be too much.
Another promising fighter seeking their second professional win on this show is Yuya Oku (1-0-1, 1), who is taking on Daiki Imanari (6-3, 3) in a good looking bout. It's hard to say how good Oku is, especially given his draw last time out against Yuya Azuma, but the 25 year old has got some potential and we suspect that draw will help him improve and develop. Imanari on the other hand has won just one of his last 3 bouts, but may well be looking at this as a chance to build on his 2021 win over Shogo Sakai. Not a stellar bout, by any stretch, but one that should be very competitive.
Rather notably the main event of this card is an 8 rounder, that really doesn't capture the attention. The main event will see Kenta Taguchi (6-9-1, 1) battle Kazunori Yorimasa (5-7-4, 2), and although not a great match up, it is one that should be action packed, hotly contested and expected to go the distance, with neither man being much of a puncher. Aged 35 Taguchi can ill afford another loss, and notable he had won his last 3, whilst Yorimasa is 29, and is 1-1-1 in his last 3, and will be looking to build some momentum for his career here. We suspect it will be fan friendly, but not the most dramatic or explosive of bouts.
Manual Artime Community Center Theater, Miami, Florida, USA
As well as the action in Japan we also get some action in the US, with two shows in the US. The most notable of the two is in Miami, where we see three Asian fighters scheduled for action. Sadly at the time of writing, two of those fighters haven't had their opponent named, and there's a good chance at least one of the fighters will see their bout being pulled.
One of the Asian fighters set for this card is Filipino Mike Plania (26-1, 13), who really has failed to build on his 2020 win over Joshua Greer, a win that should have propelled him to the verges of a world title fight. The talented Plania has proven what he's capable of, but has only picked up 2 low key wins since that victory and is very much treading water, especially here against a fighter who will be taking the bout on short notice. Fingers crossed he lands a big fighter later this year, rather that wastes more time going no where.
The second to have not had their opponent named is Kazakh Cruiserweight hopeful Serik Musadilov (11-0, 9), who picked up 3 wins last year, but tread water with those bouts and appears to be set for more water treading here. He's exciting, aggressive and comes to fight, but recent bouts aren't moving his career forward, or developing his experience and skillset. A real waste of time for a man who needs to be tested sooner rather later.
Another Asian pencilled in for action on this show is Kazakh fighter Mussa Tursyngaliyev (10-0, 6), who thankfully does seem to have his opponent for the show names, as he takes on the highly experienced Michael Isaac Carrero (13-67-6, 6). We never said he was taking on a good opponent. Carrero fought 7 times last year, losing all 7 bouts, and is without a win since 2015 whilst going 0-28-2 since then. This is little more than record padding for the Kazakh.
2300 Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
In the Philadelphia fight fans will see US based Kazakhstan born fighter Temirlan Raimkulov (4-1-2) take on Isiah Seldon (14-4-1, 5), the son of former Heavyweight world champion Bruce Seldon. For Raimkulov this will be his third bout in the US, and he'll be looking to record a third straight win, after scoring two victories last year. And a win for him would be the biggest of his career so far. As for Seldon his record looks pretty, but he has been stopped, in the opening round, in 3 of his last 6 and he's only had 3 wins since the start of 2018.
This coming monday we'll be getting two Japanese cards, though neither is taking place in a region that is particularly well known for it's boxing. In fact both shows are low key events in areas of relative boxing obscurity.
Yurix, Munakata, Fukuoka, Japan
One of the two cards takes place in Fukuoka, which really hasn't had any sort of boxing scene to talk about since Tatsuya Fukuhara retired.
The main event of this show will be a 6 rounder at Lightweight as the limited, but hard hitting, Fumiaki Sueyoshi (5-5, 4) takes on Takahiro Hamazaki (3-8-2, 1). On paper this one looks like a bit of a mismatch, in favour of Sueyoshi however he has lost his last 4 bouts, and is 1-5 in his last 6 dating back to 2017, including a loss to then then debuting Kazuhiro Imamura. He's also a naturally smaller man. Hamazaki is nothing special himself, but is in somewhat better form, scoring his last win last year and going 1-3-2 in his last 6. It should also be noted that he is the bigger man and will be looking to make that count for something here.
In a supporting bout we'll see two young women in action, as 20 year old Ayumi Tanaka (0-1) faces 19 year old Aori Matsuo (1-0). Whilst it's hard to really know what these two have in their arsenal it's interesting to see two young women face off, as we continue to see the new wave of female boxing continue to come through. Female boxing in Japan is still reliant on the old guard, such as Naoko Fujioka and Ayaka Miyao, but with youngsters beginning their careers, we are looking forward to seeing the scene develop in the coming years.
Wohlfahrt Toyama, Toyama, Toyama, Japan
As well as the action in Fukuoka there is also set to be a show in Toyama, headlined by a 6 rounder between Kazuki Hase (5-3-1, 3) and Yuya Azuma (5-6-2, 1), also at Lightweight. It's fair to say that neither of these men are particularly well known, though if they are it's due to their losses rather than their wins. Hase was last seen losing to the touted Narumi Yukawa last June, whilst Azuma has suffered losses to Rentaro Kimura, Narumi Yukawa and Jinki Maeda. Despite those losses, the bout between the two should be hotly contested and genuinely interesting with both men desperate to pick up their 6th career win.
March 20th-Sonsona, Rementizo and Abcede in action in the Philippines, action in Aichi!
Misamis Oriental, Philippines
For us the main show this coming Sunday comes from the Philippines, where we see several notable names in action, giving us a show that has some "name power", though sadly doesn't really have an interesting match up on it.
The most well known name on this show is former Super Flyweight world champion Marvin Sonsona (21-1-1, 15), who is some how set to get yet another chance to show the boxing world what a wasted talent he is. The once sensational Sonsona is scheduled to face the very limited Boyce Sultan (10-13-1, 5) in a bout at Welterweight, some 31lbs above the weight that Sonsona won the WBO title at. Given last time out, for a bout scheduled at 141lbs, Sonsona came in at 147lbs we really do need to wonder whether he'll even make weight here.
Another notable name, albeit an often over-looked one, on this card is Jaysever Abcede (20-10, 12), who takes on Jay R Tulinan (4-4, 2), in what looks like a rare bout where Abcede will start as a very, very clear favourite. Although not a world beater Abcede is very much an upset minded fighter, who has beaten the likes of Stamp Kiatniwat and Seigo Yuri Akui on his travels, and should have no issues picking up a victory against the very limited Tulinan.
Yet another potential mismatch on this card will see the unbeaten Roslan Eco (6-0, 4) battle against Jason Mopon (7-14, 1). Eco is a genuinely promising prospect, and will. be looking to build on a win, in January, over Michael Camelion. He should have far, far too much for Mopon, who has been stopped 9 times including being stopped by the aforementioned Camelion last time out, a little over 2 years ago.
On paper the best match up on the show will see the very under-rated Marco John Rementizo (12-3, 9) take on former world title challenger Jerry Tomogdan (29-11-4, 15). The promising Rementizo is an upset minded fighter who can be a real handful, as he showed in 2018 against Satanmuanglek CP Freshmart and Pongsakleg Sithdabnij. He's not a world by any stretch, but he can certainly mix at Oriental level if, or when, his team want to pushing him up a level. Tomogdan on the other hand has struggled to build any momentum with his career since a 2015 loss to Wanheng Menayothin, barring a huge upset win over Riku Kano in 2017. This should be the best bout on the card but a straight forward win for Rementizo should be expected.
Aioi Hall, Kariya, Aichi, Japan
As well as the show in the Philippines, which to be fair is the best looking show in Asia this Sunday, there is also a card Aichi, Japan featuring one decent looking bout, and one bout featuring something of a potential future domestic contender.
The really interesting bout on this card will see 2021 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Hiroya Nojima (8-1, 4) take on Masateru Hatagami (6-3-1, 2), in a good looking 8 rounder. The 26 year old Nojima is currently riding a 5 fight winning streak, following a 2019 loss to Homare Yasui, and has looked pretty good, albeit against fellow novices, as he's began to build up his record. Hatagami on the other hand is an aggressive fighter, who's looking to bounce back from his 2021 loss to Ryosuke Maruki, and whilst no world beater he does make for fun fights, so for fans in Aichi this one could certainly be a rather exciting tear up.
The other bout of note here sees the talented Fuya Tomita (7-3, 2), himself a 2021 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner, continue his rise through the ranks whilst taking on Ren Anzai (5-4-1, 2). The 23 year old Tomita doesn't have a great record, or much power, but he's something of a freak, standing at 5'11" whilst fighting at Bantamweight, and certainly has some tools in his skillset to make a mark on the sport, though is very much a work in progress. Anzai on the other hand is a relatively limited 21 year old, but should be able to do enough to make Tomita work for a win here, and we should see a pretty interesting fight, though one that maybe lacks in terms of drama.
Over in Pakistan we'll see a low profile show, which so far only has a single bout listed on Boxrec, and that's a 6 round clash between Osama Ali (1-1-1) and Amin Ul Haq (6-4, 4). The 20 year old Ali made his debut in 2019, and has fought once a year so far, with mixed results, as his record suggests, against fellow novices, leaving it almost impossible to know what his skill set is like. As for His for, Ul Haq, he's a 27 year old Pakistan based Afghan fighter, who failed to see the final bell in his first 7 bouts, but has picked up a couple of decisions recently, most recently beating Haroon Khan last year. Ul Haq's power and extra experience could well be the difference here