This coming Tuesday fight fans at the Korakuen Hall get a Japanese Rookie of the East show. The card is scheduled to feature 13 bouts and covers a number of divisions, from Minimumweight to Lightweight.
On paper one of the most interesting looking bouts will see Kohei Namai (2-0, 2) take on George Tachibana (3-3). These two are both youngsters and have very different looking records, but should make for an interesting bout, with Namai's power being tested against someone who have never been stopped.
At Minimumweight we like the look of the bout between Yuni Takada (4-2-1, 2) and Ryo Shintomi (4-2) who look amazingly well matched on paper. Both men are young, both have very similar looking records and they should make for a very competitive bout and interesting bout.
The first Japanese show of June takes place at the Korakuen Hall and features a number of notable fighters, including a couple of touted debutants and a Japanese champion.
The main event will see hard hitting Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (8-0, 8) defending his title against a Thai foe. Originally Takesako was supposed to battle Filipino journeyman Joel Dela Cruz (20-26-3, 8), though Dela Cruz has been replaced just days before the fight. The destructive Takesako won his Japanese title in 92 seconds back on March 3rd, destroying Hikaru Nishida, and was unable to find a suitable challenger in time for this date so will instead be staying busy with this bout. Whilst it doesn't make a lot to fight a mismatch just to stay busy Takesako has fought just 3 minutes and 2 seconds in the last 12 months and returning to the ring as soon as he could was probably in his best interest.
One of the debutants here is Jin Minamide (0-0), who takes on Indonesian Anthony Holt (5-3-1, 3) in what should be a show case for Minamide. The other debutant is Takuma Takahashi (0-0), who will be facing a Thai in another bout that is expected to be a show case. These two Japanese debutants are both B class fighters and both former amateur standouts who are expected to go on to have success going forward, so are well worth making a note of their names.
In a supporting bout Japanese ranked Flyweight Spicy Matsushita (17-10-1, 2) will go up against Ryusie Ishii (7-4, 4). Matsushita fought for the Japanese title last October, losing in 7 rounds to Shuichiro Yoshino and this will be his first bout since that defeat. The 21 year old Ishii has lost 3 of his last 5, but will feel like this is a great opportunity to claim a big over a Japanese ranked foe, who just turned 35 and is thought to be past his best.
The chief support bout from this card will see JBC and OPBF ranked Featherweight Junki Sasaki (19-3, 7) going up against the very hard matched Ryo Sagawa (3-1, 2). Coming in to this Sasaki is riding a 6 fight winning streak, since losing in April 2015 to Ryo Takenaka. On paper that sounds good, but the reality is that his competition haven't been great and it's hard to know just his good he really is. On paper Sagawa looks to be a big under-dog but he has been matched hard and this is certainly the sort of bout and his team will feel their man can win, and will know that if he does he will automatically find himself in the title mix. High risk and high reward from Sagawa's team here.
In Azerbaijan we get a rescheduled show that was originally supposed to take place on April 27th.
The main event will see South African Cruiserweight Kevin Lerena (20-1, 9) battle against German based Ukrainian Roman Golovashchenko (19-1-0-1, 17) for the IBO Cruiserweight title. Larena is riding a 9 fight winning streak coming into this bout with notable victories over Micki Nielsen, Youri Kayembre Kalenga and Dmytro Kucher, as well as avenging his sole loss to Johnny Muller. Golovashchenko on the other hand is unbeaten in 16, including a no-contest against Yakup Saglam, but hasn't yet beaten anyone of real note, and this should be a straight forward win for Lerena.
There isn't much Asian action this coming Friday but there is a bout of note in Australia, as Australian based Taiwanese fighter Yao Yi Ma (15-3-1, 10) battles against Joel Camilleri (14-4-1, 7) in Victoria. The 33 year old Ma hasn't scored any many wins, but is a decent enough fighter at this level to be competitive, and should give Camnilleri a decent bout over 8 rounds, as he did last year when the two men fought to a draw. The 27 year old Camilleri is unbeaten in his last 6, going 5-0-1 (2), but the fact he couldn't defeat Ma last time out does perhaps show his limitations. This could be a really, really competitive and compelling match up, and we can never complain about those especially when two fighters have fought to a draw already, as these two have.
For a second day running attention turns to the Korakuen Hall where Japanese fight fans get a pretty decent show, though not as good as the one on Wednesday.
The main event of the card will see Japanese ranked Featherweight Tatsuya Otsubo (11-8-1, 3) take on Indonesian visitor Musa Andy Letding (12-8-4, 6). The Japanese fighter is best known for challenging for the Japanese Featherweight title back in 2015, when he lose to Satoshi Hosono. Since then he has gone 3-1 and has been on a good run, winning his last 3 bouts. As for Letding he has lost 4 of his last 5 and we can't imagine him winning here, though he has managed to take decent fighters, having gone 10 rounds with Juan Martin Elorde and Brandon Ogilvie in recent years.
The chief support bout will see ranked fighters collide, as JBC ranked Hikaru Ota (9-7, 5) takes on Seiya Fujikita (11-3, 4), who will be risking both his JBC and OPBF rankings. The bout probably won't decide the next title challenger for the Japanese Flyweight title, but will certainly see the winner become a leading contender. Ota has lost 4 of his last 7, but stoppages in his last 3 wins shows he is a dangerous fighter at this level. It's not just Ota who can punch though and Fujikita comes into this bout on the back of 3 straight stoppage wins.
A bout with an international feel will see Japan's Hizuki Saso (8-5-1, 3) take on former world title challenger Jeffrey Galero (16-4, 8). For Galero this bout will be his 4th in Japan, though he is win-less in the Land of the Rising Sun and suffered a stoppage in late 2016 to Tsubasa Koura. Despite being 0-3 in Japan Galero will be confident of picking up a win here. The reason for that is that Saso is stepping up massively, and this is probably his toughest fight since losing in a 2015 Rookie of the Year bout to the aforementioned Koura.
The card will also have two really competitive looking bouts. One of those will see Hayato Ono (6-2, 6) battle against Noriaki Sato (5-3-1), in what should be a really compelling bout. Sato can't afford another loss, after losing his last 2, but Ono will not be in the ring to roll over, and he has serious power at this level. The other will see Tatsuya Matsumoto (9-3, 2) take on Jin Miura (9-3, 1) in what looks like a genuine 50-50 bout, and both men have got almost identical records going into their bout.
This coming Wednesday attention turns to the Korakuen Hall for the next Dynamic Glove show, headlined by a Japanese title fight with a number of notable fighters through the under-card.
The main event of the card will see Japanese Super Featherweight champion Masaru Sueyoshi (17-1, 11) defending his title against veteran Tsuyoshi Tojo (14-15-5, 3), in what will be the champion's second defense. The talented, yet frustrating, Sueyoshi made his first defense earlier this year, when he over-came Ken Osato, but had to pull himself off the canvas to record that win and looked pretty beatable at times, before finding his rhythm in the second half of the fight and stopping Osato. As for Tojo he is a pretty limited fighter at this level, but when he clicks he can be a frustrating night for decent fighters, having run Satoru Sugita close in 2016, and given stiff tests to the likes of Koji Umetsu and Hisashi Amagasa.
The main support bout will see the once beaten Shuya Masaki (9-1, 5) look to bounce back from a recent loss to Hironori Mishiro as he takes on Korean visitor Hyun Je Shin (8-7, 2). Masaki has shown touches of genius but has also flattered to decieve, and it's hard to really know how good he is. He might get in the ring be the fighter who looked poor against Vergil Puton or he might be the man who dominated Shingo Eto. At his best Masaki is very good, but we're not sure how well he can put a performance together going forward. Saying that however we doubt Masaki will need to be at his best here, as Shin is unlikely to have
In a Welterweight bout we'll see Japanese ranked fighters face. In one corner is JBC ranked Welterweight Yuki Nagano (13-2, 10) whilst the other will have JBC ranked Light Middlesbrough Riku Nagahama (8-1-1, 4). The hard hitting Nagano comes into this bout in great form, having won his last 11 in a row after a 2-2 (2) start to his career, but does lack wins of note during that running and really doesn't look ready for a title fight, yet. Whilst not ready to fight for a title Nagano will know that a win here against Nagahama will help prepare him for a shot. As for Nagahama he won the 2015 Rookie of the year and was unbeaten until last August, when he lost in a Japanese title fight to Takeshi Inoue. Since the loss to Inoue we've seen Nagahama fight just once, scoring a straight forward confidence boosting win over a a very poor Thai foe.
Also on this card is exciting Super Flyweight prospect Hayate Kaji (9-0, 7), who takes on Indonesian visitor Kichang Kim (8-5-1, 2). The explosive Kaji failed to shine last time out, when he narrowly over-came Jun Blazo in what was a poor performance from the 20 year old Teiken man. It's fair to say his team will not have been happy with that outing and and he really will have to show more here than he did there if he expects his team to push him towards a title fight. As for Kim, he has been stopped in 3 of his last 5, and should be the perfect foil for Kaji to look good against. The Indonesian is 0-4 outside of his homeland and we'd be genuinely shocked to see him claim a win here.
To kick off a new week Japanese fight fans get a Dangan card at the Korakuen Hall featuring only 4 rounders. The card, set to have 10 bouts in total, doesn't feature a single fighter of any note but should be a pretty interesting card with well matched bouts between novices.
We won't go into too much detail about the bouts but one of them is an all unbeaten contest between Natsumi Shimauma (1-0, 1) and Aira Midorikawa (1-0), which we are expecting to be a very well fought bout at a contracted 55KG. Both men might be novices but both will feel they can notch up a win and continue their unbeaten records, and it's always good when we see two well matched novices with something to prove.
For fans who are looking for a recognisable names the most known fighter on the card will be Shota Irie (4-5, 2), who will be up against 20 year old Hiroto Hoshi (1-1-1, 1). Although not a great fighter Irie should be confident of holding his own here, and this should be a pretty solid fight, despite quite a clear difference in experience between the two men.
For subscribers of the boxingraise service this show will be available on some form of delay.
This coming Sunday is a pretty quiet day in Asian boxing, but there ate two shows of some note in Japan, with one of those being headlines by an OPBF title bout.
The more notable of the two shows comes from the Big Wave in Wakayama, thanks to Wakayama Kuratoki Promotions.
The main event here will see OPBF Flyweight champion Jayr Raquinel (9-0-1, 6) defending his title against Shun Kosaka (15-3, 4). The champion, from the Philippines, claimed the title back in March when he stopped Reisuke Nakayama in 9 rounds. In his title win the Filipino puncher looked like a a really exciting hopeful, and at just 21 he is still years away from hitting his physical peak. Despite his lack of years Raquinel showed no fear of going to Japan to win the title and won't be scared of defending it in Japan either. Kosaka has proven to be a credible fighter on the Japanese scene, only losing to good fighters like Tetsuya Hisada, Kenya Yamashita and Akinori Hoshino, but he's not yet scored a win at this type of level and it would take a career best performance to defeat Raquinel and claim the OPBF title here.
In a supporting bout Hyuma Fujioka (9-6-1, 1) will go up against the talented Shohei Kawashima (15-2-2, 3). Coming in to this Fujioka had lost 3 of his last 5, losing decisions to Yuta Horiike and Naoya Okamoto as well as a suffering a stoppage loss to Gaku Aikawa. He's clearly out of form but will know that a win here will give his career a huge boost. As for Kawashima the pressure is on his shoulders to perform here, despite the fact he has lost 2 of his last 3 including a stoppage loss to the aforementioned Gaku Aikawa last year. Kawashima had looked a talented fighter earlier in his career, and had even given Cristian Mijares a real test in 2016, and will be hoping to show those skills here as he attempts to get his career back on track.
The second show is a much lesser card from Hiroshima
On paper the best bout from this card will see Taiyo Inoue (7-3-2, 5) take on Isao Aoyama (10-6-1, 2) in what should be a very competitive bout. Neither of these men are near title level, but rather than fighting in mismatches, either unwinnable ones or ones against novice visitors, they will almost certainly make for a good match up here against each other. It's not quite 50-50, but it's not far off and should be a compelling contest.
A supporting bout on this card will see Hironori Miyake (8-6-1, 1) look to bounce back from a February loss to Kuosuke Sawada as he takes on Wolf Nakano (4-6-4, 1). As for Nakano he is pretty limited and has lost 4 of his last 6, but should be able to test Miyake over the scheduled 8 round decision.
After a huge Friday for Japanese fight fans we get an interesting card on Saturday with interest for fans across Asia.
The most notable bout of the day is a huge one for Filipino fight fans, as IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (29-1-1, 20) defends his title against mandatory challenger Jonas Sultan (14-3, 0). This all-Filipino bout will the first all-Filipino world title bout in over 90 years and will see the winner really get a chance to become a big name back home, as well as solidifying themselves as one of the top Super Flyweights on the planet. Unfortunately it would seem likely that both are likely to miss out on the HBO “Superfly” series of shows, but if the winner can unify with WBA champion Kal Yafai that may not be too much of a problem in the short term.
For Mongolian fans attention should be shifted to Mississippi as unbeaten prospect Tugstsogt Nyambayar (9-0, 8) takes a huge step up to face off with former interim world champion Oscar Escandon (25-3, 17). The Mongolian hopeful was taken the distance for the first time in his last bout, and was dropped in that bout by Harmonito Dela Torre, but has looked capable of going all the way and this upcoming bout should be the sort of bout he needs to get himself in to the title mix. Escandon is just 15 months removed from an excellent KO win over Robinson Castellanos, but has lost his only bout since then, being stopped by Gary Russel Jr, and should really be 1-3 in his last 4, dating back over 3 years. This is a decent step up, but one that Nyambayar should manage without too many issues.
In Canada fans will be able to see hard hitting Kazakh hopeful Batyrzhan Jukembayev (12-0-0-2, 10) battle against Argentinian Jonathan Jose Eniz (20-9-1-1, 7) for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Light Welterweight title. The talented Kazakh does look like a very promising fighter but does need a genuine test after having had his way in many of his bouts so far. Given that Enil has been stopped only once, way back in 2015 by German Argentino Benitez, we're expecting him to be a real test for the Kazakh who may well need to show his skills as well as his power.
As for Japanese fans they can look a little bit closer to home thanks to a low key card in Osaka. The card is a pretty weak one but is headlined by former Japanese Light Flyweight champion Kenichi Horikawa (35-15-1, 9), who takes on a Thai we believe will be Mongkol Kamsommat (6-3, 5). This should be an easy win for Horikawa who fights in bis 52nd professional bout, which would see him become the outright number one for the most fights of any currently active Japanese fighter.
This coming Friday is a big day for Asian boxing, as we get a couple of world title fight a couple of prospects and a hotly tipped debutant.
The main bout of the card will see Englishman Jamie McDonnell (29-2-1, 13) defending his WBA Bantamweight title against 2-weight world champion Naoya Inoue (15-0, 13), who looks to become a 3-weight champion in just 16 bouts. The defending champion will boast significant size advantage over Inoue, but has been struggling to make 118lbs over the last few years and Inoue's trademark body attack may well take advantage of that issue. As for McDonnell he is unbeaten in over a decade and holds several notable wins, including a couple against Tomoki Kameda, one against Julio Ceja and one against Liborio Solis. The challenger is one of the biggest names in Japanese boxing and will know that another win here will help increase his profile around the boxing world, and move him towards becoming a global star.
Interesting Inoue and McDonnell may not only be fighting for the WBA Bantamweight title but also, potentially, a place in the upcoming World Boxing Super Series at Bantamweight.
The other title bout on this card will see WBC Light Flyweight Ken Shiro (12-0, 6) defending his belt against Ganigan Lopez (34-7, 19), the man he beat for the title last year. Since winning the belt Ken Shiro has made two defenses and gone from being a fighter only the hardcore fans know about to being a man who has featured on Japanese main stream TV and has really built his profile magnificently. Lopez will be looking to avenge his 2017 loss to the Japanese fighter, but at the age of 36 it could be that Lopez's career is naturally coming to an end, and this bout will bee the one that makes him realise he's not the fighter he once was.
The leading support bout will see Naoya's younger brother Takuma Inoue (10-0, 2) take on Indonesian visitor Waldo Sabu (12-11, 2). This bout really should be little more than a show case bout for the talented Inoue, who should be getting a world title fight this year, but on the other hand it's good to see him tick over. Despite only being 22 it does feel like Inoue, who debuted in December 2013, should be up against better opposition and has been ready for a world title fight for a while, so hopefully this will be his final tune up bout. As for Sabu Sabu is yet to win a bout outside of Indonesia, having suffered notable losses to Shingo Wake in Japan as well as Nop Kratingdaenggym, Norasing Kokietgym and Petchbarngborn Kokietgym in Thailand.
The hard hitting Tsuyoshi Tameda (16-3-2, 14) looks for his 4th straight win, following a 2016 loss to Reiya Abe, as he takes on Indonesian veteran Rivo Rengkung (36-24-6, 14). Although still a bit unknown outside of Japan Tameda is one of the countries more unheralded prospects. The hard hitting Tameda suffered a couple of losses in 2016, to Simpiwe Vetyeka and Reiya Abe, but has bounced back well with 3 stoppage wins, including one for the Japanese Youth Featherweight title, and is now being stepped up slight take on the Indonesian visitor here. Rengkung is a pretty limited fighter but should be able to take Tameda a few rounds here, before being stopped..
Also on this card will be touted debutant Taku Kuwabara (0-0), who makes his debut against Indonesian foe Mochamad Sholimin (3-6, 3). The Japanese fighter was a notable on the Japanese scene and looks likely to be yet another top fighter at the Ohashi Gym. He will clearly be looking to make a statement here, but may struggle to really wow the fans in Tokyo as he takes on a man who took Daiki Tomita 8 rounds last August. We suspect Kuwabara will win without many problems, but if he can stop Sholimin that will be a solid statement from the debutant.
New South Wales, Australia
This comign Friday is a huge day in Asian boxing, sadly however Thursday is much less interesting with only one bout of note featuring an Asian fighter, and even he is a man up against it.
The Asian in question is Indonesian veteran Larry Siwu (27-10, 23), who travels to Australia to face off with second generation hopeful Tim Tszyu (8-0, 6), the son of Kostya Tszyu, in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Welterweight title, which Tszyu will be defending for the first time. The unbeaten Australian hopeful hasn't shown the magic that his legendary father had, but at 23 isn't needing to rush and can certainly hone his skills before being pushed into bigger and better bouts. On paper Siwu looks like a step up in class for the youngster but the reality is that the 35 year old Indonesian has never won a bout outside of his homeland and will not be expected to change that here. Despite Siwu being expected to lose he will likely give the youngster a test, and this could be the most interesting bout of Tszyu's career so far.