This coming Sunday is a busy day for Japanese fight fans who have 3 separate cards, all with something of note on them. As well as the Japanese action we also see a veteran for the Philippines fighting in the US.
The most significant bout of the day will see Yu Kawaguchi (23-6, 10) defending the OPBF Bantamweight title against the heavy handed Takahiro Yamamoto (15-4, 12). These two men met earlier this year, with Kawaguchi winning a split decision against Yamamoto it one of the closest bouts of the year so far. For Yamamoto this is a chance at redemption whilst Kawaguchi is looking to prove he is better than his foe.
On the same card we'll see the very promising Kazuki Tanaka (2-0, 2) battle against win-less Thai visitor Kamraiyok Orwandavee (0-2). This is a clear mismatch but it could be one that tells us something about Tanaka, given that it took Takahiro Yamamoto 3 rounds to stop Kamraiyok last December, a 1uicker win really could back up the idea that Tanaka is a potential champion.
One other bout of note will see Japanese ranked fighter Takayuki Okumoto (14-6-2, 6) risk his ranking against the limited Yasuhiro Sakurai (7-19). This shouldn't be a tough ask for the 23 year old Okumoto but he'll know that another loss at this stage of his career really will but a hit on his hopes to climb through the ranks
Notable this show will also feature an exhibition between Nobuhiro Ishida and Crazy Kim. This exhibition will be part of Ishida's retirement ceremony. The two men fought twice as pros and have become really good friends since those bouts with Ishida having trained with Kim prior to Ishida's retirement earlier this year.
A second show in Osaka looks to be almost as interesting with several notable names in action.
Arguably the most significantly bout on the card features world ranked Light Middleweight Takayuki Hosokawa (26-10-4, 9) who puts his IBF ranking on the line against South Korean fighter Jung Hoon Yang (9-6, 2), who 1-4 on the road. Hang was last seen in Japan in 2014 being stopped in 4 rounds by Yoshihiro Kamegai and it would be little shock to see him suffer a very clear loss to Hosokawa, who is expected to move towards a rematch with Yuki Nonaka either at the end of 2015 or very early in 2016.
Another notable bout will see Japanese Middleweight hopeful Koki Tyson Maebara (8-1-1, 8) battle against Thailand's Kungsuk Sor Sompong (0-1). The bout is a mismatch but the general view is that this could be Maebara's last fight before he gets a title fight of some kind. The talented puncher is thought to be eyeing up the winner of the up coming bout between Akio Shibata and Yasuyuki Akiyama.
Another bout where the favourite is looking towards a future bout will be a contest between Jonathan Baat (29-6-3, 14) and Dado Cabin Toy (15-4-2, 8). It was announced last week that Baat has been lined up as the next opponent for the touted Hikaru Marugame however he'll need a win here or that bout will likely be off. This however shouldn't be a tough ask for the Japanese based Filipino veteran.
A third Japanese show is from Aichi and it's easily the “weakest” with only the main event really capturing our attention.
That headline bout will see Kazuya Maruki (18-3, 12) take on Indonesian visitor Heri Andriyanto (21-18-2, 10) in what looks to be a straight forward win for Maruki. The Indonesian veteran is 0-3 in Japan and 0-10 on his travels and it's unlikely that run will change here against a fighter who is well ranked by the JBC.
Although much of this card is set to be fought at a low level we must admit we have some interest in teenage hopeful Kevin Mendoza (1-0) who will be facing Naoki Masukawa (3-2). Mendoza is an 18 year old Japanese based Peruvian who debuted back in May and this could well be a great test for the southpaw.
We also get some a action in the US as Filipino veteran Dennis Laurente (49-5, 30) takes on the heavy handed John Jackson (19-2, 15) as part of a 4 man WBC Light Middleweight tournament. Laurente is seen as a huge outsider coming into this bout but will know that this is a huge opportunity. Laurente enters as the OPBF champion at 154lbs though his title won't be on the line.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
August 1st-Yu Kimura moves towards world title shot, Park defends title, Hashimoto looks for huge upset
August begins this weekend and there is a wealth of action scheduled for the coming weeks.
The first Japanese show of the month is a Teiken promoted card from the Korakeun Hall.
The most notable bout on the show sees former Japanese Light Flyweight champion Yu Kimura (16-2-1, 3) battle against Mexican visitor Jesus Faro (14-9, 9) ahead of a possible world title bout. Kimura, who vacated his national title earlier this year, has said he is focused on fighting for a major title sooner rather than later and this could, potentially, be a prelude to a bout with Ryoichi Taguchi or Donnie Nietes, both of which could be made towards the end of 2016.
A notable under-card bout sees Yosuke Kirima (21-4-2, 14), a former Japanese title challenger at 154lbs, battling against Yuto Shimizu (9-2-2, 3) in what should be a much better bout that it appears on paper. Coming in Shimizu is on a 6 fight winning streak including wins against Hikaru Nishida, Toru Chiba and Takehiro Shimokawara.
Another notable under-card contest will see the very promising Shuya Masaki (1-0, 1) battle against the more experienced Shintaro Nakamura (5-4-1, 2). This is a solid step up for Masaki who only needed 134 seconds to despatch of Phanthong Por Panya back in April. Nakamura has lost his last 2 bouts but will give Masaki experience against the southpaw stance.
As well as the 3 bouts mentioned there is set to be 4 others on this card.
In South Ji Hyun Park (21-2, 6) will be defending her IFBA and WIBA titles at 102lbs against Filipino visitor Gretchen Abaniel (15-7, 6). This bout will see Park going for a 16th straight win though she's certainly not faced the stiffest of competition with some frankly terrible title fights in recent times. This is actually step up in class for the Korean though one she should pass against a fighter who has lost 3 of her last 5.
Michoacán de Ocampo, Mexico
In possibly the biggest mismatch of the weekend fans will see Japanese fighter Kazuki Hashimoto (11-4, 7) battle former 3-weight world champion Jhonny Gonzalez (57-9, 48). The idea of this bout is for Gonzalez to introduce himself to the Super Featherweight division before a possible bout with Takashi Miura towards either the end of this year or early in 2016.
In Australia we see former world title challenger Nouldy Manakane (29-17-2, 18) battle against the unbeaten Luke Jackson (8-0, 3). Whilst we are only 3 years removed from Manakane's world title shot at the then WBA Bantamweight champion Koki Kameda he hasn't had the best of time going 5-6-1 and we expect to see him lose again here.
In the US Filipino Rey Perez (20-6, 5) will be battling against former world title challenger Chris Avalos (25-3, 19) in what looks to be a very tough ask for the Filipino. Avalos, fighting for the first time since being stopped by Carl Frampton in an IBF Super Bantamweight title fight, will be looking to make a statement against Perez, is 0-4 outside of his homeland including a 2011 loss to Nobuo Nashiro.
(Image courtesy of www.boxmob.jp)
This coming Friday features some interesting action from across Asia.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The best Asian show of the day appears to come from the Philippines where fans get a trio of title bouts as well as a trio of other interesting match ups.
The main event of the show will see former world title challenger Bernabe Concepcion (33-6-2, 19) take on Tanzanian visitor Juma Fundi (27-12-3, 11) in a bout for the WBO Oriental Super Bantamweight title. It's hard to see anything but an easy win for Concepcion who has only come up short against very good fighters over the last decade. We must admit we're unsure how Fundi has qualified for an “Oriental” title considering he's from Africa but that's the magic of the WBO we guess!
A GAB Light Flyweight title bout will see Renren Tesorio (14-6-3, 4) defending his belt against the little known Bonjun Loperez (9-3-1, 5). This will be Tesorio's first defense of the title following his majority decision win over Benezer Alolod back in March. Despite the scratchy record Tesorio is a solid fighter and we can't see him coming up short here against a man who has been stopped in 2 of his last 3.
The other title fight will see the once beaten Recky Dulay (8-1-0-1, 5) taking on Warren Mambuanag (7-5-2, 3) in a bout for the PBF Featherweight title. On paper it's hard to see Dulay losing here, however he has been matched light and this may not as straight forward as it looks on paper. Mambuanag has certainly been in tougher than Dulay and could be a banana skin in this one.
In none title action we have got to admit we like the look several bouts on this card. Arguably the best of those is a contest between Renerio Arizala (12-2-1, 5) and Romnick Magos (11-4, 7), in what looks like a genuinely well matched bout between two men wanting a really good domestic level win.
A similarly well matched bout will see the once touted Rogelio Jun Doliguez (19-3-2, 14) taking on Jerry Nardo (21-6, 11) in what really could be a show stealing bout. Doliguez comes in to the bout on 3 losses in his last 4 though is a man who did show a lot of promise early in his career. Nardo on the other hand is a fighter who has won some-lost some in recent times, though has rarely been stopped and could well stand up to Nardo's power and give it back.
The remaining bout of interest is an 8 rounder between a promising pair of fighters. In one corner is the once beaten Philip Luis Cuerdo (7-1-1, 4) whilst in the other is the unbeaten Toto Landero (5-0-1, 2). Both of these guys at 19 and both will be putting it on the line. Interestingly these two fought in May, fighting to an 8 round draw, and we'd not be shocked to see them in another very competitive contest here.
In Japan we have the next round of the East Rookie of the Year tournament. In total this card will feature 12 bouts, all 4 rounders, between Minimumweight and Light Middleweight.
On paper the pick of the bouts is a Super Bantamweight contest between Yasuaki Miura (3-0, 1) and Ryuya Kaji (3-1, 2). The 19 year old Kaji appears to be a solid puncher, though was beaten by the more experienced Yuki Matsudo in his most recent bout, back in July 2014. The 21 year old Miura has been more active, with all 3 of his bouts coming in the last 12 months, though this is, by far, the toughest test he'll have faced.
A very even looking bout is set to take place at Featherweight as Shogo Sakai (4-2-1, 3) takes on Kei Iwahara (4-2, 2). We won't pretend this is a mouth watering match up but it is well matched and could prove to be the show stealing contest on the card
This coming Thursday in Japan sees an interesting but low level domestic card at the Korakuen Hall. The show features a promising prospect, a heavy handed former title holder and one other intriguing domestic contest.
The main bout of the show will see former OPBF/PABA/JBC title holder Akinori Watanabe (32-4, 27) takes on the limited Kittisak Sithsaithong (0-2), from Thailand. This shouldn't be any more than a stay busy fight for Watanabe, who also has a bout set for November 2nd with Toshio Arikawa, though he'll be making sure not to take any sort of silly risks in the ring. It's hard to see anything but a stoppage from Watanabe but he'll be hoping to shake off some ring rust before the Arikawa bout.
Another bout on this card is a really intriguing Light Middleweight bout which will see the unbeaten, and hotly tipped, Takeshi Inoue (3-0-1, 2) battle against Hisao Narita (9-2, 4). Coming in to this bout both fighters are JBC ranked and the winner will almost certainly move in to the discussion for a title fight in 2016. Of the two men we have been the more impressed with Inoue but this is a step up for him.
The third notable bout will see Japanese and OPBF ranked Kazunori Takayama (21-8-4, 4) battling against domestic foe Ryuto Araya (7-3-1, 1). This is an 8 round bout that will see Takayama seek a third successive victory since he was stopped by the heavy handed Satoshi Hosono in a Japanese title fight.
As well as the 3 bouts that have been mentioned the card will feature a further 4 bouts.
(Image courtesy of boxmopb.jp)
The only action this coming Wednesday appears to be from Thailand where the unbeaten Stamp Kiatniwat (13-0, 6) will be looking to become one of the youngest “world champions” in history. The Thai teenager will be battling against Dominican puncher Gregorio Lebron (13-2, 11) in a bout for the WBA “interim” Flyweight title.
We're sure other bouts will be on this card, which is set to be televised on Thai Channel 3, though this is clearly the stand out bout on the show.
(Image courtesy of thairec.com)
The only Japanese show today is the next Dangan card, Dangan 135. The show is a 13 bout card featuring only 4 round contests with novices. The show isn't a major one but it does give novice fighters a chance to face fellow inexperienced fighters on a card at the Japanese holy ground of boxing, the Korakuen Hall.
Rather than going through all 13 bouts we've picked just picked the two that caught our eye.
The first of those two is at Bantamweight and will see Koji Ida (4-0) facing off against fellow unbeaten Wataru Takeda (4-0-1, 1). Interestingly both men come in to the bout on a 4 fight winning streak and although neither has power we do expect this to be very competitive, and as we know no fighter likes to lose their unbeaten record.
The other bout is the show's finale and will come at Super Featherweight as Genki Ishikawa (4-0, 2) battles against the heavy handed Kosuke Arioka (3-1, 3). Although Arioka does have a loss against his name he has won his last 3 by KO, in a combined 4 rounds and looking very dangerous coming into this bout. Ishikawa is unbeaten, and has been matched relatively well so far, but this is a really interesting match up.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
There isn't much action this Sunday however there is a 9 fight card in Aichi. Sadly many of those 8 bouts are relatively poor with just a single really notable match up.
That notable match up will see Ryosuke Maruki (9-3-1, 7) defending his WBC Youth Light Middleweight title against Indonesian visitor John Ruba (3-1, 1). On paper this should be a straight forward defense for the much taller Japanese fighter however he was, surprisingly, beaten last year by Petchsuriya Singwncha and Jaypee Ignacio and could be upset again here if he's over-looking Ruba.
Note-Interestingly it seems that the WBC Youth title was stripped from Maruki due to his age and won by Englishman Jimmy Kilrain Kelly, so how Maruki gets to the defend the belt here is a mystery. Contact with the WBC over the past few days have left us non-the-wiser on the issue either.
This coming Monday isn't a busy day in Asian boxing but there is some interesting action in Japan.
Although this past weekend had less than inspiring action we are looking forward to the start of a new week with several good looking bouts all set to take place on a show at the Korakuen Hall.
The most notable of the bouts sees former Japanese Lightweight champion Akihiro Kondo (21-6-1, 10) battle against experienced Thai Patomsuk Pathompothong (30-3-1, 19) in a very attractive looking 8 rounder. The 30 year old Kondo took more than a year out of the ring back in 2013-2014 though will now be fighting for the 6th time in just 53 busy weeks. As for the 31 year old Thai he'll be seeking one of his biggest wins to date as he looks to put his 6th round TKO loss to Ik Yang well behind him. We're expecting this to be really exciting.
In a a really intriguing supporting bout we'll see the touted Hikaru Marugame (4-0, 2) battle against Thailand's Non Sithsaithong (12-8, 8). Marugame was forced to work hard to win his last bout, a decision win over Wataru Miyasaka, and will be looking to show improvements from that bout. As for Non, he's not the most talented but he may hit hard enough to trouble Marugame who is still ust a prospect.
The third bout of note sees former Japanese Super Bantamweight title challenger Takafumi Nakajima (22-7-1, 9) battle Thai novice Sinpalangchai Chaiyonggym (0-0). This is a must win for Nakajima, who will obviously be favoured going in to the bout however every so often one of these Thai's ends up being tougher than expected and we may see that here, especially considering that Nakajima has fought just 14 rounds in the last 24 months.
As well as the bouts which have been mentioned this show will feature 4 other bouts.
As well as the bouts in Japan there will also be action in Thailand.
Sadly we've not got a full bout list from this show however we do know that Kalae McShane (4-0, 2) will be facing Payak Twins Gym (1-1) in what should be the 5th straight win for the touted McShane, from Hawaii.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
There isn't much action this coming Saturday, but there is enough get the juices flowing.
The most notable bout of the night, for us at least, is the farcical WBA “interim” Cruiserweight title fight between Kazakh slugger Beibut Shumenov (15-2, 10) and American fighter-come-analyst BJ Flores (31-1-1, 20). The bout is a insult to the other top Cruiserweights and really shouldn't be a title fight, especially given how little the two men have really done at the weight. Sadly however it is the most significant bout of the night for Asian fight fans
Another bout of note, taking places in the US, sees American-Filipino Brian Viloria (35-4-0-2, 21) battling against the limited but experienced Omar Soto (23-11-2, 15). This should be little more than a formality for Viloria who should be fighting in a big bout by the end of the year. The talented and exciting former world champion is still in the mix at world level and a win here should see him rewarded with a really big match up.
The only actual card in Asia is in Thailand where the main event will see Japan's Cobra Suwa (15-11-2, 7) battle Indonesian Elly Pangaribuan (4-5-2, 1) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council silver Super Welterweight title. On paper it's a mismatch and it should, really, be an easy win for Suwa who is significantly better than his record suggests, however the 35 year old Japanese fighter knows that a loss really could be the end for him.
New South Wales, Australia
In New South we have two bouts of note.
For us the most interesting will see Australian based Filipino Joebert Delos Reyes (14-5-1, 10) battles against Arnon Yuchaereon (0-9-1), an Australian based Thai. It's hard to see anything but a win for Reyes, and an easy one at that.
The other bout will see Pramool Boonpok (1-16-1) battle against Tommy Brown (28-6-1, 11) in a farcical mismatch. Whilst we won't pretend the other bout will be competitive this is just an ugly mismatch and one that leaves Spikes Boxing looking bad.
More action in Australia comes in Queensland as Apichat Koedchatturat (0-0)* battle against Australian foe Ben Kite (2-2-1, 1). It's hard to know what to expect here but at least it's not a huie mismatch, on paper at least.
Apichat Koedchatturat was originally listed as being Apichat Yuchareon.
This coming Friday isn't a busy day in Asian boxing but is an interesting one with 3 bouts of real note.
Every week we see bouts in Thailand which are mismatches and bouts that we have very little real interesting in. This coming Friday however is an exception as we get a genuinely mouth watering WBC Youth Flyweight title fight between two young and unbeaten fighters who have been tipped for real success. Those fighters are Kongfah CP Freshmart (14-0, 8) and Daigo Higa (6-0, 6). We have a real interest in both men and suspect the winner will race to become a contender in one of the sports most packed divisions. As for the loser, they will almost certainly come back and rebuild what could be a very successful career of their own. Brilliant match up
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia we see Filipino tough guy Arnel Tinampay (22-18-1, 8) continue his interesting career as he takes on the unbeaten Sam Ah See (12-0-1, 6). Although on a mismatch Tinampay has often found himself travelling and scoring the occasional upset, as he also most did to see just a few fights back, when see won a controversial majority decision. We know Tinampay isn't world class but the 31 year old is tough, hits harder than his record suggests and is a real banana skin, as he'll be hoping to prove once again here.
Also in action will be Japanese “export” Shoki Sakai (18-5, 12) who continues his his career in Mexico. We're unsure who he will be fighting but he's one of many fighters who is better than his record indicates and could well continue his run of good performances. Although he has lost 2 of his last 3 bouts Sakai has mixed at a good level and will know that he has a chance at scoring another win.