The first big Japanese show of the month takes place this coming Sunday in Kanagawa and looks set to be a significant one for a number of fighters as well as fans who can tune in on Fuji TV.
The main event of the show sees WBO Super Flyweight champion Naoya Inoue (10-0, 8) defending his title, for the third time, against Thai Petchbarngborn Kokikietgym (38-7-1, 18). For the challenger this will be his most notable fighter to date, and sees him return to Japan for his 6th bout in the country, it will however be his most difficult, and probably most painful. For Inoue the bout is a chance to get back to his most destructive against an opponent who really isn't in his league.
Naoya's little brother Takuma Inoue (7-0, 2) is taking on another serious test as he faces fringe level Filipino fighter Froilan Saludar (23-1-1, 14). Saludar was, once, tipped to be one of the big stars of Filipino boxing but appears to have fallen well short of that mark. A win here for the Filipino would however reignite his career and put him back in the title mix. Inoue is the favourite and will be viewing this bout as a test before a potential world title fight, with the Japanese youngster said to be targeting a Bantamweight title later in the year.
A third Inoue on this card is cousin Koki Inoue (4-0, 3) who looks to continue his impressive start as he takes on Indonesian veteran Heri Andriyanto (22-22-2,10). Inoue will be stepping into his first 8 round bout but we don't expect to see Andriyanto lasting the distance against the aggressive and heavy handed Japanese fighter.
Whilst much of the attention will be on the Inoue family there is however a lot of buzz around the debuting Satoshi Shimizu (0-0), who will be facing off against Korean visitor In Kyoo Lee (3-2, 1). Shimizu won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics. Aged 30 Shimizu's time to progress is relatively short but he's likely to be fast tracked and we could see him facing notable names as early as his next fight
A second Japanese card will be taking place in Osaka, with boxingraise.com showing this one on a 1 day tape delay.
In the main event fans will see the promising Takuya Uehara (9-0, 6) face off against the much more experienced Katsuhiko Kanno (9-9-7, 4). This Kanno has won just 1 of his last 9 bouts, but he has faced stiff competition and held several fighters to a draw, in fact with 7 draws from his 25 fights we can call him a draw expected. Aged 20 Uehara is a really promising fighter but this is a step up in class.
In a supporting bout former Japanese title challenger Masato Morisaki (11-4-1, 6) will be up against Takahiro Murai (13-6-2, 4) in what looks like a relatively even match up between two men each in need of a big win to build towards 2017 on.
Another notable match up here sees 23 year old prospect Kazuaki Miyamoto (1-0, 1) facing off against an Indonesian foe. Not much is known about the “opponent” but Miyamoto is tipped to be a special fighter and a win here will likely result in him moving into 8 round bouts and then building towards a title opportunity in 2017
The most notable bout of the day, at least in Asian circles, sees once beaten Filipino fighter Jerwin Ancajas (24-1-1, 16) getting his long await world title shot against the unbeaten IBF Super Flyweight champion McJoe Arroyo (17-0, 8). Arroyo won the title in 2015, taking a debatable decision over Filipino Arthur Villanueva in a very forgettable bout, but has been inactive since with hand issues. For Ancajas, who has been waiting for his shot, this has been a long wait and he'll be raring to go at the man who has pretty much froze his career for 6 months.
Metro Manila, Philippines
As well as the Ancajas/Arroyo bout we have more action in the Philippines with a showcase card in Metro Manila.
One of the being show cased is the unbeaten, third generation fighter, Dave Penalosa (11-0, 8) who puts his unbeaten record on the line against the limited Edison Berwela (13-34-8, 3) in what should be a straight forward win for the grandson of Carl Penalosa, and the son of Dodie Boy Penalosa.
Staying with the Penalosa dynasty we'll also see Carlo Caesar Penalosa (5-0, 1) put his unbeaten record on the line against the limited and light hitting Ernie Mino Jr (4-6-2). Like the bout with Dave Penalosa we're next expecting any surprises here.
Thankfully the card does have some interesting match ups as well as the show cases. One of those will see once beaten puncher Jeric Potaso (2-1, 2) battle the unbeaten KJ Natuplag (2-0, 2) in a bout that shouldn't be expected to go the distance. Another sees the unbeaten pairing of Claudevan Sese (3-0-2, 1) and John Lawrence Ordonio (4-0-1, 3) face off in arguably the best matched bout of the card.
The final Japanese show of August is a big one from Tokyo as we see two world title bouts, both of which have the potential to be FOTY contenders.
The first of those world title fighters will be a WBA Super Flyweight title bout between defending champion Kohei Kono (32-8-1, 13) and exciting Panamanian Luis Concepcion (34-4, 24), who enters as the interim champion. For Kono the bout will be his 4th title defense and sees him looking to build on last year's memorable win over Koki Kameda, after which we saw Kameda head into retirement. For Concepcion it's a chance to finally win a “full” world title after having been an interim champion twice.
The other title bout, and the main event of the show, will see WBA Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi (24-2-1, 11) defending his title against former WBA Minimumweight champion Ryo Miyazaki (24-1-3, 15). For Taguchi this is the 4th of the title that he won at the end of 2014 and sees him facing his first Japanese opponent in 3 years, following his 2013 loss to Naoya Inoue. For the champion this is a step back up in class. For the challenger this is a huge step up from the opponents he has been fighting recently, usually imported fighters there to be fodder. Although he hasn't been mixing at a high level he has been hungry for a shot at a Light Flyweight title since late 2013, and were it not for a shock loss to Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr in December 2013 he would likely have already had a shot at a belt at 108lbs.
On the under-card we get two interesting but over-looked bouts. One of those will see Japanese ranked Super Bantamweight Daisuke Watanabe (3-2, 2) take on Thai visitor San Saknarong (4-6, 2), who looks to end a 0-6 run in Japan. In the other under-card contest of interest we'll see the heavy handed Renji Ichimura (6-3, 5) face off against Jump Ikeo (5-3-2, 3).
The Olympic break is over and we see action resuming now with regular shows picking up Asia. This Sunday attention turns to Hiroshima where Shinsei put on their next show.
In the main event Japanese ranked Bantamweight Ryo Kosaka (12-3-1, 6) will be up against Corrales Kawashimo (7-7-1, 2). The 23 year old Kosaka is on a 5 fight winning streak, including notable wins over Satoshi Niwa and Dado Cabintoy and will be expecting to extend that streak here against a man who has lost his last 2 and is 3-3 in his last 6.
In a supporting bout the OPBF ranked Shun Kosaka (12-2, 3) will be up against Tatsuya Kaneko (7-12-3, 1). Kosaka was the Flyweight runner up at the 2014 Rookie of the Year and although he was stopped by the experienced Tetsuya Hisada in 2015 there is genuine promise with the youngster, who at 21 is still a long way from his peak. For Kaneko the focus has to be on a good performance with the 29 year old going 3-10-3 in his last 16!
Another really good looking supporting bout will see unbeaten teenager Retsu Kosaka (7-0, 2) battle against once beaten Japanese ranked Ken Osato (8-1-1, 3) in what looks like a genuinely mouth watering match up. The 18 year old Kosaka debuted in April 2015 and has quickly made a name for himself a genuinely promising younger Aged 22 Osato isn't much older than his foe but has fought at a much higher level, and fought to a draw with Kento Matsushita last year. This is the best bout on the card and is a clear step up for Kosaka and a great test for Osato, just the sort of match up we love.
There's no action in Asia this coming Friday but there are still some interest bouts taking place.
One of the most interesting bouts of the day comes from Ghana where once beaten Filipino Neil John Tabanao (13-1, 9) takes on the unbeaten Isaac Dogboe (14-0, 9), himself a 2012 Olympian. Tabanao's sole loss came back in July 2015, when he suffered a narrow loss to Randy Braga and here we'll see him given a really good match up against Dogboe, who is a;sp young man who has shown a lot of promise already. This bout will see the winner walk away with the WBC Youth, WBO Africa and WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight titles, as well as a possible top 15 world ranking.
Western Australia, Australia
In Australia fans will see Indonesian veteran Aswin Cabuy (18-58-4, 7), fighting for the 71st time, take on Andrew Green (11-1-1, 6) in what is likely to be Cabuy's 59th defeat. Green was stopped in a round last time out, and is 1-1-1 in his last 3, but should be far too good for the 41 year old Indonesian.
Kazakh fighter Ruslan Madiev (7-0, 3) returns to the ring for his first bout of the year as he faces an un-named opponent in a 4 rounder. The unbeaten 23 year old is expected to fight again in September so we don't think he'll be in with anyone too testing here. Notably he has been inactive since December and may well have a lot of ring rust coming in to this bout.
Action returns to Kyoto this coming Wednesday with an interesting card being put on by Woz boxing.
In the main event the very talented, and still very promising, Shohei Omori (16-1, 11) will be taking on world ranked Mexican Edgar Jimenez (22-11-2, 16) in a must win bout for the Japanese southpaw. Omori won last time out but failed in his last step up bout, being stopped in 2 rounds by current world champion Marlon Tapales, and will be looking to avoid a similar fate here. Whilst Jimenez doesn't have an amazing record on paper but he holds wins over Eric Ortiz, Juanito Rubillar, Ivan Morales and recently blew out Jovylito Aligarbes. This could be a tougher assignment for Omori than the records of the fighters may suggest.
In the chief supporting bout fans will see the world ranked, and unbeaten, Reiya Konishi (11-0, 4) battle against an unknown Thai foe, in what looks likely to be to be a straight forward win for Konishi who will likely turn his attention to title bouts in the very near future. Despite only being 23 Konishi is a Rookie of the Year winner, in 2014, and holds several good domestic wins over the likes of Jun Takigawa and Shogo Hayashi.
Also on the under will be two female bouts. One of those will see Tamao Ozawa (10-3, 3) battle against Suda Saknarong (0-1) in what should be a straight forward win for the 31 year old Japanese fighter, whilst the other will see Mari Ando (12-9, 5) face an un-named Thai.
The only Asian in action this coming Tuesday sees Kyrgyzstan's Khurshid Abdullaev (7-1-1, 3) battle against the heavy handed Junior Castillo (10-1, 9). Dominican fighter Castillo was beaten last time out, when he was widely out pointed and dropped twice by Justin DeLoach, and this will be his 5th bout in the US. Abdullaev will be fighting in the US for the 4th time, but he is 1-1-1 in the country, including a disappointing draw against Yusmani Abreu.
The action seemed to go quiet for a while but picks up suddenly this weekend. Saturday was big but in many ways Sunday is busier with 3 Japanese shows and a Singaporean show, featuring a streamed card, courtesy of asign, and an OPBF title bout.
The OPBF title bout from an intriguing card in Okinawa where we get several bouts between Japanese locals and Filipino visitors.
The most notable of those international bouts will see OPBF Super Flyweight champion Rene Dacquel (17-6-1, 6) take on veteran challenger Go Onaga (27-2-2, 18) in a bout that both men will see as a must win bout. For the 36 year old Onaga a loss here will likely thwart any dreams of fighting for a world title, his one major dream. A loss for Dacquel however would probably see his own dreams shattered, and many would likely suggest that he won't ever progress beyond continental level.
A really interesting supporting bout will see Japan's Seita Ogido (10-2-1, 3) battle former world title challenger Jeffrey Galero (14-1, 7), who managed to ask some questions of Wanheng Menayothin last year. Since suffering his sole loss Galero has picked up 3 wins and will be looking to continue that winning run here. Ogido is stepping up in a huge way however he will be looking to be buoyed on by the local fans with Ogido being a local fighter to Okinawa.
On paper the biggest mismatch between the Japanese and Filipino fighters will see Masatoshi Kotani (18-2, 13) battle against journeyman Jovill Marayan (9-22-3, 4). Kotani is on an 8 fight winning run, albeit against limited opposition and should extend that here against a man who has gone 1-10 in his last 11 bouts.
The asign show, which will be streamed on a PPV basis, is a Yokohama Hikari card and although it's not the best card of the weekend all the bouts will be streams and several of those are worth noting.
The biggest bout on the card is the main event which will see former world title challenger Daiki Kaneko (23-5-3, 15) continue to try and rebuild his career after losses to Jomthong Chuwatanab and Masao Nakamura. The former Japanese champion will be up against Japanese ranked fighter Yusuke Nakagawa (10-4-1, 6) in what looks to be an easy win for the experienced man, at least on paper. Nakagawa however is an under-rated fighter and will be a stiffer tests than his record suggests.
Another bout of some interest here will see recent OPBF title challenger Futoshi Usami (13-2-1, 10) face off with the heavy handed Tatsuya Miyazaki (8-8-1, 8). Usami challenged Masayoshi Nakatani for the OPBF title in 2014 but has only fought 6 rounds since then and Miyazaki might see this as his chance to take advantage of his opponents inactivity and end a 4-fight losing streak.
A third Japanese show will come from Hyogo, sadly however the card is less than great despite featuring a former world title contender.
That former world title contender is the light hitting Teiru Kinoshita (24-1-1, 7) who will be facing a Thai visitor as Kinoshita looks for a 6th successive win. Kinoshita, who lost to Zolani Tete in an IBF title fight, has stated in the past that he would like another world title bout, will need to start facing better opponents that Thai novices if he's to be full prepared for a world level bout.
Another local taking on a Thai foe will be Kazuhiro Nishitani (15-4-1, 7), and as with the Kinoshita bout we're unsure on the name of the Thai. Nishitani has gone 1-2-1 in his last 4, including a loss in a Japanese title fight to Kota Tokunaga, but should come away with a win here.
In an all Japanse bout Kazuya Murata (12-5, 5) will face Makoto Kawasaki (7-4-1, 1). Coming in to this Murata holds a #2 ranking with the JBC at Lightweight and know that he could move towards securing a Japanese title fight with a win here. For Kawasaki, who is 3-3 in his last 6, this is a great opportunity to move towards a ranking place.
Another man looking to secure a ranking place with an upset will be Satoshi Momota (10-11-1, 4) who faces ranked Light Welterweight Kazuyasu Okamoto (11-4, 3). Despite being the “promoter's boy” Momota will be the clear under-dog coming into this one.
Fight fans in Singapore will also get some action, albeit low level action.
In the main event former amateur stand out Muhamad Ridhwan (3-0, 2) will be up against Filipino Jonel Borbon (2-19-2, 2). Ridhwan was given some attention on debut following his amateur success but appears unlikely to become a star that Singaporean fight fans would have been hoping for.
Staying with local talent Nurshahidah Roslie (3-0, 1) will be up against the debuting Krisna Limbaga (0-0). Roslie claimed the UBO Inter-Continental title last time out but will not be defending her title here.
We've had a bit of a break from major fighters recently but thankfully that break ends this weekend when we get a major show in Hyogo, a major that will sadly only be featured on TV in Osaka and not Tokyo.
A lot of the attention, rightfully, will be on the brilliant main event which pits 18 year old sensation Riku Kano (10-1-1, 5) up against veteran Katsunari Takayama (30-8-0-1, 12) in a wonderful match up for the vacant WBO Minimumweight title. Takayama, a multi-time champion, will be looking to show there is still life in the old dog here and will be looking to become a world champion one more time. For Kano the bout is about history and if he wins he will be come the youngster ever Japanese world champion. This bout really could be something very special.
In another world title bout we'll see the unbeaten Kei Takenaka (11-0, 3) battle Australian Louisa Hawton (6-0, 3) in a contest for the vacant WBO female Light Flyweight title, a title last held by Eun Hye Lee of South Korea. Originally Hawton was signed to face Lee for the title but Lee has since given up the title and we'll instead see these two fight in what looks like a really interesting match up between two fighters looking to make the most of their first big chance.
A third title bout on this card will see Mika Iwakawa (5-4-1, 1) face off against Nonggig Sithjaanart (0-0) for the vacant OPBF female Light Flyweight title. It's hard to say anything at all about the Thai however Iwakawa is nothing special, despite winning 2 of her last 3, both at Minimumweight.
Another notable “Japan Vs Thailand” bout on this card will see Futa Akizuki (6-0, 5) make his Japanese debut, as he faces Saijuea Tosandet (0-3). Akizuki has fought his 6 previous bouts in Thailand, where he has claimed the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Bantamweight title. At just 18 years old he will be looking to make an immediate impact as he gets his first chance to impress Japanese fans and he'll soon be looking to follow stablemate Kano into world level.
In Mexico fight fan will be able to see Filipino Lightweight Rosekie Cristobal (12-0, 9) battle against Marcos Villasana Jr (19-6, 11) for the WBC Latino Lightweight title. There was real hope for Cristobal to become a real prospect but this is a real gut check of the youngster, who is stepping up in class in a big way here.