After a pretty busy weekend of fights things get turned down a bit this coming week. Despite that we do begin the week with a show from the Korakuen Hall featuring pretty good looking main event, and a bout featuring a personal favourite of the Asian boxing team.
The main event of the card will see former Japanese Bantamweight title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (26-6-5, 19) battle against former world title challenger Jetro Pabustan (28-4-6, 9) for the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title. Of the two men Pabustan is probably the better known, following his 2016 bout with Pungluang Sor Singyu, in what was Pungluang's only successful defense of the WBO Bantamweight title. Despite that high profile loss there is little else of note on Pabustan's record, barring a huge amount of technical decisions. Likewise Takahashi is best known for a loss, losing to Kentaro Masuda in 2014 in a thriller of a 10 round war. We're not expecting this bout to get huge attention, but we can't help but to expect a fun war between two wild and limited warriors.
Talking about limited we'll rarely talk about anyone as limited as the charismatic Takuya Yamaguchi (3-7-2, 2) however we have been won over by his and his showmanship, which makes him great value every time he's in the ring. Yamaguchi has half a chance of picking up a rare win here as he takes on fellow limited fighter Sosuke Sakata (4-3-1, 2) in what could be a really enjoyable contest, even if the combined skill level of the two fighters is low.
Attention turns to Australia this coming Sunday as Top Rank host a major card, headlined by one Filipino star, and acting as a potential show case for the another.
The main bout will see the iconic Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38) defending the WBO Welterweight title against unbeaten Australian challenger Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11). Although Pacquiao is coming to the end of his great career he is expected to still have too much for Horn, who is stepping up massively to face the “Pacman”. Although the bout does see Pacquiao defending his title the contest has lacked the big fight feel of most Pacquiao bouts and it certainly hasn't caught the attention of international fans, but is set to do big numbers in Australia where demand for the tickets has been high.
A second world title fight on this card will see talented Filipino fighter Jerwin Ancajas (26-1-1,17) defending his IBF Super Flyweight title against Japanese challenger Teiru Kinoshita (25-1-1, 8), who enters the bout as the mandatory challenger. Coming into this Ancajas will be seeking his second defense of the title that he won last year, when he upset McJoe Arroyo, and he will be hoping that an impressive win here opens the door to major bouts in the red hot Super Flyweight division. For Kinoshita the bout will see him making his international debut, and getting his second world title fight, following a loss to Zolani Tete. The bout is potentially a huge opportunity for the winner to move into divisional super fights but it a bout where the champion will be strongly favoured.
Also on this card is Filipino youngster Jonel Dapidran (8-1, 4), who will be making his international debut. The Filipino youngster will be looking to score his second successive win here as he takes on Australian local Brent Dames (5-3), who was beaten last time in a 10 rounder. This is a tough ask for Dapidran, but he has shown plenty of promise and will be coming in to this one with the hope of scoring a huge win on a card headlined by his older cousin Manny Pacquiao.
As well as the action in Australia there will also be a small card in China. The most notable bout on the card will see rising local puncher Pui Yu Lim (3-0, 3) battling against Indonesian foe Skak Max (8-14, 7). Although Lim is relatively unknown he has impressed so far, and last time out the confident Chinese fighter stopped Chaloemporn Singwancha in Thailand and will now be looking to continue his rise here. Max has never won outside of Indonesia and it's hard to see him winning here.
This coming weekend might be a big one due to a massive show on Sunday but the truth is that Saturday is a limp one for Asian fight fans with only a single show, and even that's not big enough to be televised live.
Although the show isn't going to be televised live it does actually feature a Japanese Super Featherweight title fight as Kenichi Ogawa (21-1, 16) defends his title against Hirotsugu Yamamoto (20-13-3, 4). The talented Ogawa has started to struggle in recent bouts to impress but he is certainly a talented fighter, with spiteful power. That power should be too much for Yamamoto, who has been a number of times already, but the challenger will know there's nothing to lose and everything to gain by just going out there and going for the win from the off.
In the under-card we get 3 bouts with an international vibe. Two of those will see local talent facing off with Thai's, as heavy handed Yuichi Yokoyama (16-4, 14) takes on one fighter from the Land of Smiles and Kenshin Oshima (1-1, 1) also faces a Thai.
The other bout with an international feel will see the heavy handed Ryo Matsubara (6-1, 6) take on Korean visitor Chan Young Yook (5-2, 4). This should be a really fun bout between two hard hitters, but one where the local will be expected to come out on top given his home advantage and his slightly higher level of competition, however he will have to prove his toughness here against the aggressive Yook.
To end the month of June Kadoebi put on a pretty interesting looking card, with a number of notable names featuring on the card and a significant main event.
That main event will see two top Japanese domestic Welterweights clash as Daisuke Sakamoto (13-8-3, 8) takes on Makoto Kawasaki (9-4-1, 2) for the interim Japanese title. Originally Sakamoto was supposed to face Japanese champion Toshio Arikawa earlier this year, but an injury to Arikawa forced that bout to be cancelled and instead Sakamoto got this bout, with the winner to face Arikawa when he returns to the ring.
The under-card here features a trio of former Japanese champions. The most notable of those is former 140lb champion Hiroki Okada (15-0, 11), who faces once beaten Filipino Jheritz Chavez (7-1-2, 5). Okada, once tipped as a genuine one to watch at 140lbs, hasn't impressed in recent bouts, however there is a feeling that he has mentally turned off, and gone stale against opponents he has been strongly favoured to beat. A win here would see him open the door to potential OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific title fights. For Chavez the bout is his second outside of the Philippines, following a decision loss in Russia last year, since that loss he has scored two solid stoppages at domestic level and he comes into this one as a real threat.
Another of the former champions in action is former Lightweight champion Shuhei Tsuchiya (22-5, 18), who will be returning to the ring for the first time since losing his title to Kazuhiro Nishitani in March. In the opposite corner to the heavy handed Tushciya will be feather fisted Shota Suito (11-6-1, 1),who is a very light puncher but a durable fighter who has gone the rounds with a number of notable domestic foes including Masaru Sueyoshi.
A third former domestic champion in action is former Welterweight king Nobuyuki Shindo (18-4-1, 7), who lost the title last year to the aforementioned Arikawa. The lanky Shindo will be up against the out of form Ryota Itoyama (10-8-1, 5), who has gone 0-4-1 in his last 5 and is more than 4 years removed from his last win! This should be a straight forward win for Shindo, but his confidence won't be great and he does need an easy one.
Also on this card is the professional debut of the touted Ryota Yamauchi (0-0). As an amateur he went 38-15 (14) and is tipped as a genuine prospect from the Kadoebi gym. Yamauchi will be up against a Thai foe here in what should be a mismatch
Metro Manila, Philippines
The final Filipino show of the month is a card put on by United and although it's not the best card it does feature a number of notable names, both established fighters and rising novices.
The most established fighter on the card is former world title challenger Ardin Diale (32-11-4, 15), who looks to make the most of his experience as he faces southpaw foe Wiljan Ugbaniel (13-4-1, 4). It's hard to see Diale losing here, but he has had a long and hard career and recent bouts against the likes of Daigo Higa, Ryan Lumacad and Andrew Selby will have taken their toll on his body.
Another notable name on this show is once touted Joebert Alvarez (16-2-1, 7), who looked like a champion in the making against Juan Francisco Estrada. Alvarez will be up against domestic veteran Roque Lauro (13-21-5, 3), in what should be a mismatch in favour of the 27 year old Alvarez.
A third domestic show down will see Ivan Soriano (15-1-1, 7) take on Bimbo Nacionales (14-13-1, 3), in what will likely be a quick show case for Soriano. In his 28 fight career Nacionales has been stopped 12 times, and it's likely another stoppage loss will follow here.
As for newer faces we'll see Japanese 23 year old Masataka Taniguchi (6-1, 4) take on Benjie Bartolome (2-9-2) in what should should be a very straight forward win for the Watanabe gym fighter. Taniguchi was beaten last time out, narrowly losing to Reiya Konishi in a Japanese title fight, and will likely be in the Philippines with a statement to make. Taniguchi's stable mate Hironori Mishiro (1-0, 1) will also be on this card, with the 22 year old taking on Pablito Canada (6-11-3, 1) in what should be a straight forward win for the really exciting Mishiro, who looked great on debut back in March.
The Ohashi gym is one of the hottest in Japan right now and this coming Sunday they are hosting probably the most notable Asian card of the weekend, even if it's top matches are unlikely to be even slightly competitive.
The main event will see Ohashi fighter Koki Inoue (7-0, 6) take on a Thai foe in what is supposed to be a Japanese title prelude for Inoue. It's thought that Koki, the cousin of world champion Naoya Inoue and world level contender Takuma Inoue, will face Koichi Aso before the end of for the Japanese Light Welterweight title fight but will have to make sure he doesn't over-look his foe here in what is expected to be a mismatch.
In the chief supporting bout former Japanese Flyweight title challenger Yusuke Sakashita (14-8-2, 9) will be facing a Thai foe, in what should be a straight forward win for Sakashita, who has lost his last 2 and 4 of his last 6. Sakashita was once 12-4-2 but with losses piling up his career really cannot afford another setback.
Although Inoue and Sakashita are both well know the most interesting fight on this card may well be the debut of Kazuki Nakajima (0-0), a former amateur standout who will look to make an impact against a Thai opponent. The plans for Nakajima do seem to be about putting him on the fast track, and he is pencilled in to fight again in August, and he may well be fighting for a title in his first 5 or 6 fights. Little is known about his Thai foe, but the reality is that this is about Nakajima introducing himself to professional boxing.
In Fukuoka we'll see former Japanese Minimumweight title challenger Takumi Sakae (15-2-1, 10) continue to try to rebuild his career. The talented Japanese fighter looked like a man on his way to the top until he ran into Tatsuya Fukuhara, and since then he has gone 2-2-1. Sakae needs a win here and is likely to get it, as he takes on a limited Thai foe. It'd be a shock to see Sakae lose, but he really can't afford any more easy bouts after this one, given his last two wins have also been against limited Thai's.
A third Japanese card comes from Hokkaido, and features a very international card with the top three bouts all featuring a visitor against a local.
The main event of the card sees Japanese ranked Featherweight Junki Sasaki (17-3, 6) take on Korean visitor Sang Hoo Gil (6-5-2, 3). On paper this should be an easy win for Sasaki, who has won 6 of his last 7, but it's fair to say all Korean fighters will be travelling to Japan with their minds set on an upset following the recent shock win for Sa Myung Noh.
Also on this card will be Masaya Tamayama (8-1, 4), who will also be taking on a Korean foe, and Kyosuke Sawada (6-2-1, 3), who will battle a Thai visitor. Sadly the names of these two visitors haven't been as easy to get as Gil in the main event.
Lanao del Norte, Philippines
The biggest name in action is actually in the Philippines, and that's 2-weight world champion Johnriel Casimero (23-3, 15), who takes on former world title challenger Richie Mepranum (31-6-1, 8). The talented Casimero will be moving up to Super Flyweight, as he hunts a third divisional world title, and will be looking to do so against a notable yet safe foe. Casimero has lacked activity in recent years, with just 4 fights in 3 years and non since last September. Saying that however Mepranum has lost his last two bouts, and hasn't scored a win since November 2015.
This coming Saturday Shinsei gym put on a small but notable card in Hyogo.
The main event of the card will see Japanese and OPBF ranked Bantamweight contender Ryo Kosaka (14-3-1, 7) risk a potential title fight as he takes on Akira Ono (7-4-1, 6) in what could be a tough test for the fancied Kosaka. Coming in to the bout Kosaka is on a 7 fight winning streak, with a notable win over Morihisa Iju last time out but Ono is better than his record suggests and he could be a genuine banana skin here if Kosaka is looking past him already.
In the chief support bout Shun Kosaka (13-3, 3) will be facing off against Shogo Sumitomo (6-9-1, 5). Coming in to this bout Kosaka will be looking to bounce back form a loss to the under-rated Akinori Hoshino, who took a split decision over him in February. With 3 losses to his name Kosaka may not look like a notable fighter, but those losses have come to good fighters and the 22 year old has got potential. Sumitomo has been stopped 7 times, and we expect to see him struggle to last the distance here.
Seoul, South Korea
We also get a small show in Korea, headlined by a WIBA Flyweight title fight as Eun Hye Lee (9-1, 4) defends her title against Filipino foe Norj Guro (7-7-1, 4). The talented Lee, who's sole loss was a controversial one in Japan last year, should be far too good for the Filipino, who has lost her last 4 and really poses nothing to test the Korean 34 year old.
This coming Friday isn't the busy of days, but it is a pretty notable day with a handful of name fighters in action.
The better of the Asian shows is from Laguna and features a former world champion, a youth champion and several other fighters of note.
The bigger name on the card is 37 year old former IBF Flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng (17-1, 5), who ends his professional retirement to take on Dado Cabintoy (15-7-2, 8) in a bit of a peculiar bout. Amnat had hung up his gloves last year, following his unsuccessful campaign at the Rio Olympics but appears to be making a comeback here. Cabintoy looks like a safe opponent for Amnat, especially with the Filipino having lost his last 3, but it's hard to imagine the comeback being a good one from the Thai.
Another notable bout near the top of this card will see former OPBF champion Al Rivera (17-3, 15) battle against Indonesian visitor Rusmin Kie Raha (15-12-3, 3). Rivera was controversially beaten last time out in Russia, and sadly for Raha we suspect he's going to be on to a hiding here against a massively heavy handed monster.
In an IBF Youth Flyweight title fight we'll see Robert Onggocan (8-1, 4), who won the title with an upset win over Iwan Zoda in Indonesia, defending his belt against the heavy handed Marjun Pantilgan (14-4, 11). This is a really tough first defense,on paper at least, for Onggocan and a successful defense would solid, a stoppage would be hugely impressive for the champion.
Other fighters on this card include Ernesto Saulong (20-2-1, 8), Venson Delopere (5-1-3, 2) and Alvin Lagumbay (7-1, 6) who should all pick up straight forward wins against over-matched foes.
As well as the show in Laguna there will also be a card in Tokyo, albeit a less interesting one that the Filipino one.
The main event will see Takashi Inagaki (18-15-2, 8) face off with a Thai foe in an 8 round whilst the chief support bout will see Japanese ranked Welterweight Cobra Suwa (18-12-2, 10) face a Thai. Sadly with the top two bouts both being decent Japanese fighters taking on Thai imports that card won't excite fans outside of Japan and it's a show that will struggle to get any wider attention.
For a second day running fans in Thailand will get the chance to see a domestic title fight, and it suddenly seems like the Thai title scene is picking up after years of being sat dormant. This tiem it's at the Featherweight division where we'll see the winner become the new Thai Featherweight champion. The bout will see the well travelled Chatpayak Sithkopon (10-16, 8) take on compatriot Kanit Phudbuadong (0-3), who has fought under several different names during his career, with his record thought to be incomplete. Whilst the “winless” fighter will be the under-dog it's worth noting he made his debut back in 2008. Chatpayak has fought throughout Asia and although he has a losing record he has managed to have success on the domestic scene and will be looking to continue that here.
This coming Wednesday our attention turns to Thailand where there will be some pretty low ket action, seemingly spread over 2 cards.
The most notable fighter in action is Yodsingdaeng Jor Chaijinda (16-4, 10), who is much better than his record suggests. Although no world beater he's a decent talent and currently holds an interim PABA title. At home he is 16-0 (10) and we expect him to continue that perfect home record, though he has travelled horribly losing 4 times in Japan and it's clear his team won't be in a rush to get his passport some use.
Also in Thailand will be a Thai Super Bantamweight title bout, as veteran journeyman Yodpichai Sithsaithong (13-17, 7) takes on Jaipetch Chaiyonggym (6-7, 2). Of the two men Yodpichai is the more notable, but that's due to the fact he has picked up constant losses to notable fighters, like Suriyan Sor Rungvisai, Jonathan Taconing, Reymart Gaballo and Takuya Watanabe. As for Jaipetch he could be a bit of a dark horse here and has mixed with good company himself, including Taconing, Denver Cuello and Takumi Sakae. At first glance this bout looks pathetic as a title bout, but the reality is that it could be a rather interesting contest between two men who are looking at this bout as one they could both win.