July 5th-Shibata battles Nishida in unified title defence whilst Taguchi, Taconing and Rufino are all in lesser bouts
This coming weekend is one of the quietest in boxing this year. Despite the relative lack of activity we do have some interesting contests on Saturday that thankfully do help keep some interest in the sport for the day.
The biggest show of the day for us is in Japan with a Watanabe Gym promoted card at the Korakuen Hall. The show, "The 526th Dynamic Glove, will have just 7 bouts but they are almost all worthy of attention.
The most interest bout is the main event which will see OPBF and Japanese Middleweight champion Akio Shibata (22-8-1, 9) defending his unified crown against the under-rated Hikaru Nishida (10-6-1, 3). On paper you'd be right to assume this would be a mismatch but Nishida is in tremendous form having won 6 of his last 7, including victories over Kazuhiko Hidaka and Makoto Fuchigami and has genuinely earned this opportunity on merit.
The penultimate bout on the show will be a contest between Japanese ranked Light Welterweight Hayato Hokazono (17-4-1, 10) and the light hitting Osamu Hashimoto (9-6,1). Going in to this bout we can't see anything but a win for Hokazanko and we're unsure why this has got the "chief support" billing on the card..
Although the Hokazano/Hashimoto bout is technically the chief support bout the most interesting of the under-card contests is a Light Flyweight contest between former Japanese champion Ryoichi Taguchi (19-2-1, 8) and former IBF Minimumweight champion Florante Condes (27-8-1, 23). Taguchi is the only man to have seen the final bell against Naoya Inoue whilst Condes is a big punching Filipino who on't have travelled to Japan to just lose. With that in mind we're really excited about this bout.
Another Japan Vs Philippines bout on this show will see the Japanese ranked Yuji Wauke (17-4-1, 8) fighting against Jonel Gadapan (8-6-1, 4). Whilst we're excited about the Taguchi/Condes fight this one sadly looks like a mismatch with Wauke the clear favourite to win against a limited visitor who has been beaten by almost every notable opponent he has faced in his career.
Metro Manila, Philippines
As well as the solid looking show in Japan we also have a card in the Philippines, unfortunately it's a card that appears to have some interesting fighters on it but no interesting bouts with them all pretty much looking like mismatches on paper.
The most notable of the bouts will see recent OPBF Featherweight title challenger Vinvin Rufino (34-16-3, 16) taking on Cristian Abila (11-12-3, 3) in a defence of Rufino's GAB Featherweight title. Although Rufino was no match for Hisashi Amagasa earlier this year we can't see him coming unstuck against the very average Abila who is, at best, a domestic Filipino journeyman. Rufino's "level" probably is at the top end of the Filipino domestic scene and there is nothing wrong with that, we just wish he'd be in with someone a little bit better than Abila.
Rufino may have failed in his attempt to become an OPBF champion earlier this year but the same could not be said of the hard hitting Jonathan Taconing (18-2-1, 15) who claimed the OPBF Light Flyweight title back in March by winning a thriller with compatriot Vergilio Silvano. Sadly Taconing won't be defending his belt here and instead he'll be fighting in a non-title bout at Flyweight as he takes on Thai visitor Nimithra Sithsaithong (4-5, 3) in what is little more than a mismatch. We love Taconing and feel he could be a potential world champion but it'd be nice to see him fighting a much higher level than this.
From what we understand there are 5 other bouts on this card with the most interesting of those being a contest between Glenn Suminguit (12-2, 7), ending a 2 year break from the ring, and the unbeaten Junar Adante (5-0-1, 2). It's not a bout that features a big name but it should prove to be a very good bout and the winner will deserve serious credit.
The most interesting bout outside of Asia, though involving an Asian, is in Mexico where Thai female star Samson Tor Buamas (33-3, 15) takes on the talented Arely Mucino (19-2-2, 10) in a WBC female Flyweight eliminator. The winner of this contest would be set to take on Shindo Go and although we'd have to think Mucino goes in as the favourite Samson has the experience and skills to make life difficult for the Mexican.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia fans will get the chance to see Australian based Filipino Joel Dela Cruz (17-21-2, 7) taking on relative novice Michael Mlacic (8-2-1, 2). Although Dela Cruz is the more experienced of the two men he is without a win since December 2011 and will be going in to this bout trying to avoid a 10th straight loss.
In Germany we have an all-Asian bout as Uzbekistan's Jonny Ibramov (8-5-2, 2) battles against Azerbaijan's Bakhtiyar Iskenderzade (9-4, 2) in a 6 round Light Welterweight bout. We've got to admit this isn't a hugely interesting bout but it's still a bout that does leave us curious about both men despite the potential of both men being pretty limited.
(Image courtesy of Boxmob.jp)
This weekend is a somewhat quiet one in boxing though Friday does feature a number of prospects in action and it's probably those fighters that deserve our attention for the day
Phichit province, Thailand
The most notable bout of the week in Asia is in Thailand where PABA Welterweight champion Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (25-0, 19) defends his title against Kazakhstan's limited Kanat Kartenbayev (10-7-2, 4). Teerachai is one of the most interesting prospects in Thailand though unfortunately a lack of suitable opponents has seen him stuck fighting opponents like this rather than really progressing his career as we'd have hoped. Interestingly we believe this was a bout that was originally scheduled to take place just prior to the military coup.
Teerachai might be part of the new wave of Thai's emerging on the scene but there are still plenty of the old guard still active in Thai boxing, including former world champion Denkaosan Kaovichit (62-4-1, 26) who will be facing the poor Gaspar Ampolo (2-22-2, 1) from Indonesia. This will be Kaovichit's first bout since losing, by stoppage, to Kohei Kono back in March.
A third bout on this Thai show will feature Stamp Kiatniwat (7-0, 3) fighting against the limited Johan Wahyudi (9-28, 5). Stamp is viewed as a very promising fighter but so far his opposition has awful, including the wonderfully named Auto Golf Snooker, we kid you not. It's seems hard to believe that Stamp is under any kind of threat from Wahyudi who holds a 0-17 record in Thailand.
For those wanting to watch this action the card will be televised on Thai Channel 7.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
As well as the Thai show there is also some real interest in a Filipino show that is headlined by the very highly regarded John Vincent Moralde (9-0, 5) who battles against Renz Llagas (6-6-1, 4) in a contest for the PBF Super Bantamweight title. Moralde is rightfully regarded as a promising prospect and should be far too good for Llagas
Although Moraldo is unbeaten and in a title fight he's not actually the biggest name or most well known unbeaten fight on the show, instead that is Harmonito Dela Torre (13-0, 8) who faces the limited Junny Salogaol (4-7-4, 4) in an 8 rounder on the same card. From what we understand this is a case of keeping Dela Torre busy following a previously scheduled bout, in Australia, falling through.
Another prospect on this card that we're excited about is Daryl Basadre (11-1-1, 8) who will be fighting against the somewhat poor Saddam Barambangan (3-5-1, 2). Basadre has bounced well following his loss, last year, to Suriyan Sor Rungvisai and will be hoping to record a third straight.
As well as the bouts actually in Asia we also get to see some Asian's fighting in Australia. One of these bouts will be between two Asian's as Australian based Filipino Jack Asis (30-18-5, 15) takes on Indonesian journeyman Rivo Rengkung (32-19-5, 12) in what appears to be a competitive bout on paper between two lesser skilled fighters. Although neither Asis or Rengkung are great fighters we've got to admit that this does appear to be a compelling contest.
In the other bout involving an Asian fans will get to see Eddy Comaro (27-20-5, 11), best known for his loss earlier this year to Michael Katsidis, taking on the British born Darren Askew (10-6-1, 2). Askew, who we believe now lives in Australia, should have far more than enough to beat Comaro who is exciting but very limited.
(Image, of Harmonito Dela Torre, courtesy of boxrec.com)
It's not often that we get Wednesday night fights coming from the US but this coming week sees us given just that courtesy of a special ESPN card promoted by rap music mogul 50 Cent.
One of the televised fights is particularly of interest to us as hard nose Filipino warrior Michael Farenas (38-4-4, 30) takes on unbeaten American Mark Davis (18-0, 5) in a contest that is great on paper. Davis is a slick, speed and skilled fighter whilst Farenas is a limited but exciting monster who combines crude boxing with teak toughness and heavy hands. It's a true boxer Vs slugger contest that we tend to love watching.
Whilst we love the Farenas/Davis fight on paper it needs to be noted that the bout is also an IBF Super Featherweight title eliminator with the winner set to face the winner of the upcoming IBF title fight between Argenis Mendez and Rances Barthelemy.
On the same card, though on the untelevised portion of the card, there is also a bout scheduled for the win-less Azamat Umarzoda (0-3-1) from Tajikistan. Umarzoda will be facing the unbeaten Junior Younan (4-0, 4) in what looks to be a total mismatch in favour of the unbeaten American prospect.
(Image courtesy of SMS Boxing)
The month of June comes to an end on Tuesday we kick off what is, potentially, an amazing July for Asian boxing and it's fighters.
A new month kicks off with action in Tokyo as we get the latest in the "Dangan" series of shows. This time what we get is a show that is being promoted based on the series of B Class tournament final bouts though is actually headlined by a relative uninteresting looking 8 rounder.
We'll start with that 8 round main event which will see the #2 Japanese Welterweight Nobuyuki Shindo (15-2, 5) taking on the limited Hisashi Kato (7-6-2, 4) in a bout that really does look likely to be a 1-sided show case for Shindo. Shindo, a 6'1" southpaw, is likely to get a title fight either later this year or early next year if he wins here, though that chance would be due to his good recent form as opposed to a win in this particular bout.
Prior to the main event they'll have been a Light Flyweight Rookie of the year qualifying bout in the Light Flyweight division between Sho Kimura (4-1) and Yuma Kudo (3-0-1). This is the only Rookie of the Year bout but the card also features 6 B class tournament semi-finals.
The first of those B class bouts will see Tomoyuki Kaneko (7-2, 4) battle against Masahiro Ouchi (5-7) in what appears to be a relative one sided bout on paper in the Light Flyweight division. The second of the B class bouts is a more competitive on on paper as Masajiro Honda (5-4, 4) battles against Kenji Fujiyama (4-3, 3) in a genuinely exciting contest.
The next two bouts are also B class tournament bouts and both in the Bantamweight division. They will see Kazuhiro Kamimura (4-9-1, 2) battling against Yuto Sasamori (7-4, 3) and Takuya Mori (4-2, 3) battling against Akira Ono (4-3, 2). Of the two bouts the second contest looks the much better one with the men poised with identical records going in to the bout.
The final two B class bouts are in the Super Bantamweight division and will see Shun Shimazaki (5-5, 1) taking on Yutaka Kamioka (6-3-2, 4) in the first of the contests. The second of the Super Bantamweight bouts is an excellent contest between Gaku Aikawa (5-1-1, 1) and Minoru Matsuo (6-2, 3) in what we are really looking forward too.
(Image courtesy of http://danganboxing.com/)
The weekends with only a single card from Japan that will interest very few international fans. It's a somewhat disappointing end to the week but it's still nice to have action
The show in question will be a 7 fight show with none of the bouts scheduled for more than 6 rounds. Unfortunately whilst it sounds bad on paper we actually expect it to be worse than it sounds and the main event even looks to be a disappointing one as JBC ranked Light Flyweight Aiki Koto (6-1-1, 4) fights Takeshi Sone (5-2-1, 1).
We won't want to complain too much but it does seem that if you're going to have a ranked fighter in action they really should be in a bout scheduled for at least 8 rounds. What makes it even worse is this is the final Japanese card for the month of June and it seems like the month is going out with a real whimper rather than a bang.
(Image courtesy of boxmob)
Having had some very good days so far this week it's fair to say that we aren't going to be let down on Saturday with yet more interesting looking fights spread across the globe.
The most interesting of those bouts takes place in Nebraska as the very highly regarded Russian Matt Korobov (23-0, 14) takes on fellow unbeaten fighter Jose Uzcategui (22-0, 18) in what could potentially be the fight of the night. The two, who are 45-0 (32) between them, will be fighting for the WBO Inter-Continental title and, in all likeliness, the winner will become the WBO mandatory challenger for reigning champion Peter Quillin.
On the same card fans will also get to see the very promising Konstantin Ponomarev (23-0, 11), also from Russia, who will be fighting against Hector Munoz (23-13-1, 15). Munoz is probably best known to some as the man Yoshihiro Kamegai made his US debut against way back in October 2011, on that occasion Kamegai stopped Munoz in 6 rounds in what is still his only win on US soil. Ponomarez won't be expected to by quite as impressive against Munoz but will be expected to score a win here and live up to his nickname of "Talant".
Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic
Staying on the Russian theme for a moment longer fans in the Dominican Republic will get the chance to see the very promising Fedor Chudinov (10-0, 8) in action. Fedor is the younger brother of current WBA interim Middleweight champion Dmitry Chudinov and will be seeking his 11th straight win as he takes on Emiliano Cayetano (22-7, 13). On paper this is a step up for Chudinov but we view him as a better fighter than his brother and expect him to easily see off his more experienced foe.
Davao del Sur, Philippines
Whilst the three Russian's fighting will likely grab the attention of many fans there is also a lot of action in the Philippines with 3 separate shows. For us the most interesting of those is in Davao del Sur where Aljoe O Jaro will be putting on a show that, just a few weeks ago, seemed on the verge of falling apart.
The main event isn't great as former WBC Flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro (36-13-5, 26) battles against Ichal Tobida (10-11, 8) in a bout that looks, for all intents and purposes, like a mismatch. Jaro, best known for his shock win over Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, has lost 3 of his last 5 including a major upset loss to Gerpaul Valero. With those recent results Tobida may find himself having a chance, albeit only a slim one.
In the co-main event the unbeaten Adones Cabalquinto (15-0, 8) will be defending his GAB Light Welterweight title against the limited Giovani Rota (7-6, 4). When you consider Cabalquinto was lined up to fight Keita Obara earlier this year in an OPBF this bout does look like a waste of time though hopefully it will be the final bout at this level for Cabalquinto before he does move beyond domestic level and throw his name out there to fight Obara, Min Wook Kim or Shinya Iwabuchi. We'd be shocked if Rota makes it to the second half of this fight.
Whilst the two main events look like forgone conclusions in relatively uninteresting bouts we've got to admit we're exciting about the contest between Lorenzo Villanueva (25-1-0-1, 22) and Hendrik Barongsay (26-16-3, 15). We expect the obvious winner here and will be hoping that Villanueva gets the win though he's always been a favourite of ours since we saw his fight with Daud Cino Yordan in 2012. That bout was one of the most insanely entertaining bouts in recent years and we'd recommend you all watch the video of the fight here. Barongsay has only been stopped 5 times in his 45 fight career and the most recent of those was way back in 2009 so there is every chance he could give Villanueva some resistance here.
One other man pencilled in for this show is Roksie Cristobal (7-0, 7), the freakishly tall Lightweight prospect that some in the Philippines have become very excited about. Although he's still young we do want to see Cristobal step up a little bit in coming fights, sadly he's down to face a "TBA" at the time of writing.
As well as those bouts mentioned we expect to see several other bouts, albeit at a lower level.
Lanao del Norte, Philippines
Although we do like the the previously mentioned Filipino show we need to admit that the best single Filipino fight is in Lanao del Norte as Marlon Tapales (25-2, 9) attempts to defend his WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title for the first time. Tapales ,a very talented young fighter, will be battling against Tanzania's 20 year old Fadhili Majiha (15-3-4, 7) in a bout that looks very interesting on paper. Tapales will start as the clear favourite but Majiha is 1-0 in Asia having beaten Heri Amol in Amol's native Indonesia. Interestingly Majiha's only stoppage loss came when he was a 16 year old to Vusi Malinga suggesting he may well be a very tough cookie to Tapales to crack.
Also on this card will be the debut of Brian Capampangan (0-0) who kicks off his career with a 6 rounder against Michael Acevido (2-5-1, 1). We'll admit we don't know much about Capampangan but the fact he's beginning his career with a 6 rounder intrigues us.
As with the other show there will be other bouts on this show.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In Metro Manilla we get another very interesting looking headline bout as Renan Trongco (14-4, 8) defends his WBC International Flyweight title against fellow Filipino Weljan Ugbaniel (12-2-1, 3). Ranked #11 by the WBC at Flyweight Trongco has a lot to lose but we do favour him as he has more proven experience and has been in there with both Sammy Gutierrez and Hekkie Budler, saying that however Ugbaniel will see this as his big chance and we expect to see him fighting better than he has before.
Sadly the chief support bout is a total mismatch as former world title challenger Silvester Lopez (21-7-2, 15) takes on Arjet Caballes (6-30-5, 3). In a normal situation we'd describe this as a disgusting mismatch but in fairness to Lopez there is serious question marks about how much he has left after suffering 3 losses, including 2 stoppages, in his last 4 bouts. Evenif Lopez has something left he genuinely does need a confidence builder and that's exactly what this bout should be for him.
On paper the most competitive bout on this show will see Junjie Lauza (4-10-1, 1) facing against Zoren Pama (5-10-3, 2) which is a bit of a shame. We'd expect this bout to be very competitive. Sadly the same cannot be said about the bout between Dennis Tubieron (17-3-1, 8) and Rey Ramos (6-5-2, 3) or the Cris Paulino (13-1, 3) bout, which will see him facing Lowell Saguisa (7-15, 3) both of which are very bad mismatches we're afraid.
Again there are more than just the bouts we've mentioned.
(Image, courtesy of boxrec.com, is of Adones Cabalquinto)
The week ends with a slight disappointment though we still get interesting action with bouts in both Thailand and Australian.
Ayutthaya Province, Thailand
The most notable action for us is on Channel 7 in Thailand as we get several notable Asian fighters in action on a card well worth tuning in for.
The main event will see the unbeaten Petch Sor Chitpattana (20-0, 16) defending his WBC silver Youth Bantamweight title against hard hitting Filipino challenger Jimmy Aducal (7-3-2, 6). For Aducal this is a step up in class but he is a former Philippines Boxing Federation Super Flyweight champion and is heavy handed suggesting that if he connects cleanly he could give Petch some issues.
One of the support bouts will feature the very highly ranked Wanheng Menayothin (34-0, 11) biding his time by fighting against Indonesia's limited Sammy Tehuayo (17-22-2, 3). Wanheng, who has been the WBC #1 Minimumweight contender for a while now, seems to be a fighter who is getting overlooked an awful lot and would be hoping that a title fight can come sooner rather than later.
Another of the support bouts, and a rare bout where we need to favour a visitor over a Thai, will see South Korea's Myung-Goo Yuh (17-4-1, 12) taking on Morakote Patanakan Gym (8-3, 4). Yuh isn't one of the few Korean's that we are mega excited about but he is a talented and capable fighter who has a surprisingly solid record in Thailand of 4 wins and just 1 loss.
One other bout on this show will see former Muay Thai fighter Kongphutorn CP Freshmart (1-0, 1) fighting against Lomnaw Sakberlin (0-0-1). These guys aren't currently on the boxrec database but Kongphutorn debuted last week with a 3rd round victory and is very highly touted by our Thai sources who seem to feel that he has the ability to go far in boxing if he he continues in "western" boxing. Sakberlin also debuted recently and fought to a disputable draw with Petchsamui Kiatniwat, the son of Denkaosan Kaovichit, despite the result against Petchsamui we really cannot see him living with Kongphutorn here.
In Australia we had expected to see two very promising Filipino's in the form of the highly ranked Randy Petalcorin (21-1-1, 16) and Harmonito Dela Tore (13-0, 8). It now seems that these two men have been taken off the show at the last minute, likely due to issues getting suitable opponents at late notice. We don't mean to criticise the shows promoter, Peter Maniatis, but it would have been nice to have had this issue settled before the week of the fight.
Despite the Filipino's being taken off the card there is still plenty of interest for ourselves with two Thai's fighting on the show.
One of those is Komgrit Nanakorn (17-21, 7) who will be a clear under-dog as he takes on American Pierre Karam (18-4-1, 6). The other will be Yodmongkol Singmanasak (12-13-1, 7) who may well be able to pick up a win in his scheduled bout with Martin Toma (0-1) who will be fighting as a boxer for the first time in over 5 years. On his debut Toma was stopped and Yodmongkol may well be able to score his first win on Australian soil and end a 5 fight losing streak in Australia.
(Courtesy of http://petermaniatis.com)
The only Japanese action this Thursday is at a low level with novices and rookies galore as fans at the Korakuen Hall get treat to a 13 fight show with Rookie of the Year qualifiers, C Class Tournament fights and other 4 rounders in what will be a long and likely interesting day of action.
The show will open with a Minimumweight bout between two men with 0-1 records. Whilst neither will be expected to go on too far in the sport both men are young, though we do currently lack their names.
The first really notable bout on the show is the 10th bout on the show which is a C Class tournament final in the Bantamweight division. This bout will see the unbeaten Satohiko Haga (1-0) taking on the once beaten Wataru Hosokawa (1-1, 1) in a contest that will mean a lot to both men even if the wider boxing public has little interest in the bout.
Following the C class final we then get 3 Rookie of the Year qualifying bouts. Unfortunately we've struggled to find those fighters in boxrec though all 3 of the bouts do look very interesting on paper and are very evenly made contests.
(Image courtesy of http://danganboxing.com)
The big action this week continues with a PABA title bout as well as a string of other contests.
The "Asian bout of the day", despite it being in Australia, will see world ranked Filipino Czar Amonsot (26-3-3, 16) defending his PABA Light Welterweight title against Thailand's Decha Kokietgym (34-11-3, 18). Czar, best known for his loss to Michael Katsidis, has really forged an excellent little run in Australia in the past few years with a 7 fight unbeaten run. Although a long way from ever being a world champion Amonsot is strong, tough and fights hard when he needs to. As for the Thai challenger this will be his 3rd bout in Australia and he'll be hoping it's third time lucky. We'll be honest we don't see anything but a successful defence for Amonsot, though the fight should be fun as long as it lasts.
The title bout isn't the only Asian fight on this card as Thailand's Thongthai Rajanondh (16-18, 4) battles against the unbeaten Ibrahim Balla (4-0, 3) in a bout for the Victoria State Super Bantamweight title. Although from Thailand Thongthai has been fighting out of Australia for the last few years, albeit with no success at all. From his 9 fights in Australia so far Thongthai has won none and we'd not be surprised with that 9 becoming 10 after this fight.
For a third successive day Japan fans get action at the Korakuen Hall, albeit at a lower level than the past couple of days. In fact it's a huge step down from the Japanese title fight on Monday and the OPBF bout on Wednesday with the main event instead being a very straight forward 8 round mismatch.
The aforementioned mismatch will see the limited but hard hitting Tatsuya Takahashi (16-5-3, 11) taking on the win-less Thai body donor Pramod Sor Vorapin (0-4) who has been stopped in all 4 of his recorded bouts. Whilst Pramod's record on Boxrec.com might not be full we still can't see him giving Takahashi much of a test.
In the co-feature of this show Dai Iwai (14-3-1, 5) will taking on domestic journeyman Keita Ito (8-17-2, 4) in a completely meaningless bout. Iwai comes in to the bout on a 5 fight winning streak, all against fighters with more wins than losses, which has helped him to earn Japanese and OPBF rankings. Ito on the other hand has lost his last 5 and won just 1 of his last 11 making him little more than fodder for Iwai who doesn't need these record padding wins at this point in his career.
With 10 bouts in total there is every chance one of the under-card bouts will deliver something memorable but we've got to admit the two main bouts from the card aren't particularly appealing to us.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines there will be more action with a triple header taking place in Metro Manilla.
The most interesting of the 3 bouts will be a meeting of unbeaten fighters as the hard hitting Rex Wao (9-0, 7) takes on the much lighter hitting Virden Rivera (7-0-1, 2) in what looks to be a show stealing contest at Bantamweight. From what we understand this isn't just a great bout on paper but is also a notable bout in terms of what's at stake with the WBC International Bantamweight title up for grabs for the winner.
In the co-feature for the show Rey Perez (19-4, 4) will be battling against Carlo Magali (17-7-2, 9) in a battle for the ABF Featherweight title. Perez has to be favoured here with his higher level of experience, having shared the ring with Hugo Fidel Cazares and Nobuo Nashiro, though Magali will know that a win could resurect his career, despite losing 3 of his last 6.
The first of the 3 title bouts will see Ernie Sanchez (14-5, 5) taking on Randy Megrino (15-17-2, 8) in a contest for the WBC Yourh Super Featherweight title. On paper Sanchez goes in as the clear favourite but this is a bout that could easily see an upset with Megrino being much better than his record suggests.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
For a second successive day Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall get a great domestic card. On Monday it was Ohashi Gym's "49th Phoenix Battle" a day later the action is courtesy of Kyoei Promotions who put on a very solid 7 fight show.
The show, the "369th Guts Fighting" card, is headlined by an OPBF Featherweight title fight between the very talented Hisashi Amagasa (26-4-2, 17), defending his belt for the second time, and the little known Thai Maxsaisai Sithsaithong (14-4, 3). For us this is a mismatch and Amagasa, who has world rankings with all 4 major organisations, should easily come out on top against a very limited Thai opponent, though of course upsets happen and Maxsaisai could surprise us all, though that would go down as one of the biggest upsets of the year so far.
Although the main event is the only title fight on the show the card does have a strong supporting cast with the chief support bout being a contest between the Japanese ranked Super Bantamweight Mikihito Seto (24-11-2, 18) and unranked domestic rival Takenori Ohashi (11-3, 7). Seto is a former interim Japanese Super Bantamweight champion but has lost 3 of his last 6 bouts.
Another support bout sees Japanese ranked Super Flyweight Toyoto Shiraishi (24-8-1, 11) battle against the limited but extremely hard working and brave Mako Matsuyama (7-8-1, 3). Matsuyama, who was last seen in the ring being stopped in an all-action fight with Rex Tso, is up against it again here but will put it all on the line in an attempt to to upset his more established and more experienced foe. Shiraishi has lost 3 of his last 6 but they have been at a very highly level and shouldn't be held against him too much.
Another Japanese ranked fighter in action on this show is Kazuma Sanpei (10-0, 4) who puts his Japanese Super Featherweight ranking on the line against Jun Hamana (9-1, 3) in a genuinely compelling contest. Hamana is unranked and has got a solitary loss but is a very good promising 23 year old prospect whilst Sanpei is a very highly touted 19 year old prospect that some are describing as a future world champion at Super Featherweight. The winner of this will still be quite a distance from being competitive with Rikki Naito but the winner will be expected to become a domestic contender in the next year or two.
One more ranked fighter on this show is Kai Johnson (4-5-3, 1) who will be hoping to end the unbeaten run of the much talked about Tomomi Takano (5-0, 4). Johnson will be risking her OPBF female ranking against Takano who will be hoping that a win helps move her into a title fight. Although the records of the two fighters are very different and Takano is the favourite this is a clear step up in class for the unbeaten fighter who will be expecting a stiffer test here than she has so far in her career.
The shows second bout, will see yet another unbeaten fighter in action as the touted Ryuto Maekawa (8-0, 5) battles against Takushige Sato (5-4-1, 2) in a 6 rounder. Maekawa is just 18 and yet very highly touted with international experience, courtesy of fights in Thailand and the Philippines, and a fun to watch style. Sato will be expected to test the teenager but we don't think he'll be able to match him.
Sadly we're unsure who will be opening the show but we've been informed that it will be a 4 rounder between two novice professionals
(Image courtesy of http://www.kadoebi.com)