Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
The big Asian card this weekend is from Tokyo, and will be aired as part of the Dynamic Glove series on G+. It's not a massive card, but it's a very good Dynamic Glove one, with a triple crown bout in the main event and a brilliant chief support bout which should be nothing short of a brutal war.
The title fight will see Super Flyweight triple crown champion Ryoji Fukunaga (14-4, 14) defending his WBO Asia Pacific, OPBF and Japanese titles against the unbeaten, and once very highly touted, Hayate Kaji (15-0, 9). The hard hitting Fukunaga has looked fantastic in recent bouts, winning his last 4, all by stoppage, including big wins against Froilan Saludar and Kenta Nakagawa to unify the triple crown. He does however have time against him and at 35 another loss ends any hope of him getting a world title fight. On the other hand a win here sees him continuing to knock on the door and he is currently ranked by the IBF and WBO. Kaji on the other hand sent excitement through the Japanese scene as a teenager, winning the All Japan Rookie of the Year aged 18. Sadly though he has failed to develop like many had hoped, and he's looked less than great in a number of recent bouts. Hopefully, with this being a huge opportunity for him, we'll see the best of Kaji, and if we do we are going to be in for something very special here. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Fukunaga looks to defend triple crown against unbeaten Kaji!
Talking about very special the chief support bout will be the third meeting between Ryoichi Tamura (14-5-1, 7) and Yusaku Kuga (19-5-1, 13), which will serve as a Japanese title eliminator at Super Bantamweight. Kuga is winning the series 2-0, having won two brutal decisions against Tamura, but he's lost his last 2 by stoppage, and his career is perhaps coming to an end. He's taken a lot of punishment in recent years, being stopped 3 times in his last 6, and it's hard to imagine him having much left in the tank. Saying that however Tamura has also been in a lot of punishing wars himself, including the two with Tamura and as well as ones against Mugicha Nakagawa, Yusuke Suzuki and Gakuya Furuhashi. Tamura has never been stopped, but the accumulation of punishment through his career will be taking a toll on him. We expect this one to be a complete and utter war and we wouldn't be surprised by Kuga being stopped for the 4th time in his career.
Capio, Tsukuba, Ibaragi, Japan
As well as the show in Tokyo we also have a small Japanese card in Ibaragi. This is a small show but one that does promise some exciting action of it's own, with a really nice match up that should both be very fan friendly.
In the main event the always fun to watch, but very flawed, Tatsuya Takahashi (32-10-6, 21) will be up against the equally fun but flawed Shota Ogasawara (6-3-1, 3), who clash in an 8 rounder at 122lbs. Of the two men Takahashi is the much more well established and proven fighter, but the 32 year old hasn't looked good in recent bouts, and is 2-2-1 in his last 5, including a decision loss to Ryotaro Kawabata last time out. He will be the home town favourite, and this is his 15th bout at the Tsukuba Capio venue, but he's showing his age and signs that his career is coming to an end. Aged 26 Ogasawara is coming into his prime, though has struggled recently and know he can't afford another set back if he's to get into the title mix any time soon. Given the styles of the two men, we expect this to be a really good fight, and a genuine tear up, even if the skill level of both is rather limited.
Workpoint Studio, Bang Phun, Thailand
As well as the action in Japan we also get a card in Thailand as boxing finally returns to Work point, 6 months after their last show. The action in Thailand has been minimal this year due to the effects of Covid in the country, but it's great to see WP Boxing boxing, even if it does appear their relationship with DAZN is on the rocks once again. RAZN, really paying right!
In the main event the unbeaten Apichet Petchmanee (10-0, 2) will be seeking his 11th straight win as he takes on 21 year old Thai foe Phutthiphong Rakoon (8-4, 6), who is incredibly limited, and hasn't hasn't had a recorded bout in over 3 years. We'll be honest, we don't rate Apichet as a man going places, in fact the 31 year old seems to have rapidly regressed during his career, but he should still be far, far, far too good for Phuttiphong here.
A more well matched bout will see local puncher Suradech Ruhasiri (6-4, 5) take on Filipino fighter Adrian Lerasan (9-4, 2), in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Flyweight title. This will be Lerasan's first bout since his big 2020 upset over touted Thai Tanes Ongjunta, and whilst he will be expected to show some ring rust he should still be favoured. Suradech has lost his last 4, and been stopped twice in that run, but he is fighting at home and is lively, so will be in the ring looking for a win, even if he is the under-dog.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
For a second day running we get East Japan Rookie of the Year action in Tokyo, with another round of quarter final bouts. In total there are 9 bouts scheduled for this event, after 2 of the originally planned bouts were cancelled. The bouts on this card will take place at Light Flyweight, Flyweight, Super Flyweight, Bantamweight and Super Featherweight .
On paper the most interesting bout on the show is a Flyweight bout between Yuki Sato (2-0, 2) and Rei Atsuchi (1-0, 1). The 21 year old Atsuchi debuted in July, , stopping Yuki Kajitani in 4 rounds, and showed plenty of promise in that win. Sato on the other hand is a 33 year old who debuted last year and has needed 3 rounds to stop his first 2 foes. We love seeing unbeaten fighters face off in Rookie of the Year, and given neither of these two have heard the final bell we are expecting some fireworks in this one.
At Super Flyweight we're looking forward to seeing KC Prachanda (5-2-1, 3) take on unbeaten 22 year old Sota Akazawa (2-0, 1). On paper this might not look too great, but Prachanda has really turned his career around, going 5-0-1 in his last 6 and getting his career under-way. He debuted in 2016, got stopped in his first 2 bouts, and has done well to get some momentum going. Akazawa on the other hand debuted this year and will feel confident, as an unbeaten fighter, of moving to 3-0.
Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines
The more notable of the two Asian cards taking place this coming Monday is a Filipino one featuring two promising unbeaten brothers, who look to tick over before before bigger tests in the future.
The more promising of the two brothers is 24 year old Regie Suganob (7-0, 3), who looks to build on good low level domestic wins over Paolo Sy and MJ Bo, as he takes on Jake Amparo (6-2-1, 1), who was last seen upsetting Jakeson Saludar in late 2019. Suganob should be far, far too good, and too big for Amparo, but it's a good third bout of the year for the youngster who looks to be one of the hidden gems of Filipino boxing right now.
The otherSuganob on the card is Rodel Suganob (3-0-1) who takes on professional loser Anthony Galigao (9-15, 4). This will be Suganob's third fight of the year and he will be looking to build on a win over Mark Jequinto in July, following a draw with Luis Borje in March. Rodel isn't nearly the talent of his brother, but he still has plenty of promise, and should take home the victory here. Galigao does pick up the odd win here and there, but knows his role is to lose, and put up an effort and we suspect that's what we'll see from him here.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
As well as the Filipino action there is also an East Japan Rookie of the Year show in Tokyo, with 7 bouts taking place there, having seen 4 scheduled bouts being cancelled already. The show features bouts at Minimumweight, Bantamweight, Super Bantamweight and Featherweight.
Sadly there really isn't a bout that caught the eye here too much, especially as the scheduled bout between Shunpei Maruyama (4-3-1, 2) and Shori Umezu (4-0, 4) was one of the bouts that ended up being cancelled. Though we are interested to see the Featherweight clash between 18 year old Kai Watanabe (3-0, 1) and 23 year old Yuya Hirose (3-1-1, 2), in what is probably the bout that stands out. We love seeing youngsters face off in Rookie of the Year bouts, and with Watanabe being unbeaten at this point he won't be wanting to give up his 0, whilst Hirose will be hoping to avoid back to back defeats.
L-Theatre, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
This coming Sunday attention turns to Osaka for a very small show at the L-Theratre. The show was supposed to feature Ken and Noboru Osato in action, however the fight featuring Noburo Osato has been cancelled, leaving us with just 4 bouts in total, and Ken Osato's bout, the main event of the show, is now the only contest scheduled for more than 4 rounds. As a result this is a very, very weak show.
As mentioned the main event for this card will see Ken Osato (16-4-1, 4) in action. Sadly he will not be facing a particularly testing opponent, and will instead go up against the limited Mikado Konishi (6-4, 4). Although not a title holder in the making Osato has twice challenged for the Japanese Super Featherweight title, losing via 8th round TKO and Majority Decision in bouts against Masaru Sueyoshi. He has shown the level he belongs at, and it is far, a beyond Konishi's level. Sadly Konishi has lost his last 2 bouts, including an opening round low out to Kaiki Yuba.
It's good to see Osato in action, but this show really isn't one to get too excited about.
Balai Sarbini Convention Hall, Jakarta, Indonesia
This coming Saturday we're hoping to see boxing return to Jakarta for a small, yet notable show in Indonesia.
The show is set to feature 3 title bouts in total, including two UBO title bouts. One of those will see the once touted Patrick Liukhoto (12-2-2, 8) take on George Lumoly (15-8-1, 11) for the UBO Bantamweight World title. Liukhoto won his first 9, before going through a rough patch, failing to win 4 of his last 7 bouts. This is a good chance for him to give his career a much needed shot in the arm, and whilst the UBO title is lowly regarded it would still mean an incredible amount to him. Lumoly is a very limited fighter, who has been stopped in 2 of his last 3, and it wouldn't be a surprise at all to see him being stopped again here.
The other UBO title fight on this show will see the unbeaten Adli Hafidz (8-0, 4) battle against Robert Kopa (14-9-3, 4) in a bout for the UBO Inter Continental Middleweight title. The 32 year old Hafidz, from Malaysia, is going to be away from home here, but he should be too big, too strong, too powerful, too young and too good for Kopa, who was fought much of his career at Featherweight.
Another title bout on this show will see the once beaten Flasidus Nuno (4-1-1, 2) take on Nicky Jordan Nainggolan (7-7-1, 4) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Bantamweight title. Nuno was beaten in his debut, back in 2017, but since then has gone 5 fights unbeaten, though he has only been fighting at a very low level. Nainggolan is a very limited fighter, but is a step up for Nuno due to how poor Nuno's foes have been. Sadly this bout really does show just how weak some of the WBC regional title bouts are. Neither of these men have much potential, and the WBC putting a trinket on the line for it really is pathetic.
One other fight on this card we want to mention is a bout between Stinky Mario Bunda (1-0, 1) and Wandi Priman Hulu (0-0). We really just want to mention this one as we love the name "Stinky Mario Bunda", and want to wish him well going forward, as we hope to see a lot more of Stinky Mario over the coming years.
Manual Artime Community Center Theater, Miami, Florida, USA
This coming Friday attention turns to Miami for a couple of hard hitting Asian fighters.
One of those Asian fighters is unbeaten Kazakh puncher Serik Musadilov (10-0, 9) , who looks for his 11th win as he takes on Shawn Miller (18-6-1-1, 7). The hard hitting Musadilov has picked up two wins already this year, including a decision win over Lamont Capers, but he has done little to convince anyone that's not just bottom feeding against incredibly limited opponents. The 39 year old Miller is, on paper, a step up in class for the Kazakh "Panda", but Miller has been stopped in his last 2 bouts and is without an official win since August 2018. Miller's record looks better than the typical opponents for Musadilov, but this really shouldn't be much of a test given Miller's recent performances.
The other Asian on this card is hard hitting Filipino Romero Duno (23-2, 18), who is looking for his third win since losing to Ryan Garcia in 2019. In the opposite corner to Duno is the very limited, though highly experienced, Jonathan Perez (38-27, 30), from Colombia. The 34 year old Perez has lost his last 4, and is 2-14 in his last 16 dating back more than 5 years, and really is just fodder for a fighter of Duno's abilities.
Sangyo Shinko Center, Sakai, Osaka, Japan
The only Asian action this coming Thursday takes play at the Sangyo Shinko Center in Sakai City and it's certainly not a big show, but it should be an entertaining one with two pretty interesting 8 rounders scheduled for the show.
The first of the two outs of note will see the limited but big hitting Toshiya Yokogawa (11-12-2, 10) take on the highly experienced Shun Ishibashi (10-24-1, 4). The 36 year old Yokogawa has proven to be a limited fighter, even on the domestic stage, but he's a very dangerous fighter and 8 of his 11 wins have come in the first 3 rounds. As well as being heavy handed, Yokogawa is also a fighter easy to tag and he's been stopped in 4 of his 12 losses. Ishibashi on the other hand is a 33 year old veteran who has struggle a lot in recent years, losing his last 8. Despite that he can be a banana skin, and with Yokogawa's limitations this could be a strangely compelling and competitive bout.
In the main event we'll have a battle of Kanta's as Kanta Fukui (7-4-1, 5) takes on Kanta Takenaka (7-6-1, 2). On paper this looks like a relatively poor match up, however both men has misleading records. Fukui has really showed his class in the last few years, running Shuma Naakzato and Go Hosaka close and earning a draw against the heavy handed Yoji Saito. Takenaka on the other hand has been stopped in 4 of his last 4, but can pick up upsets at this level, and a number of his wins, so far, have been mild surprises. This should be a lot more exciting than the records of the two men suggest.
This coming Wednesday Japanese fans have a day to look forward to, with a world title fight in Kyoto and an interesting, though much smaller, card in Tokyo. Both shows have very interesting main events but are a bit weak below the top bout.
Kyoto City Gym, Kyoto, Japan
Of the two cards it's the one in Kyoto which will get more attention, with a world title bout, a Japanese Youth title bout and a former world title challenger all in action.
That world title bout will see WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (18-0, 10) making his 9th defense of the title as he takes on fellow Japanese fighter Masamichi Yabuki (12-3, 11) in a mouth watering all Japanese clash. This will pit the skills, timing and boxing brain of the champion against the power, physicality and size of the challenger, and these sorts of bouts can make for very interesting contests. There is no doubting Kenshiro is the better boxer, and he's proven it with notable wins against the likes of Ganigan Lopez, Pedro Guevara, Milan Melindo and Randy Petalcorin and Tetsuya Hisada, but he has yet to beat a true puncher, and has been battling out of the ring with Covid19. As for Yabuki it is a step up in class for him, though he's coming in good form and has learned form his losses, including an early career defeat to Junto Nakatani and a loss to Cuban standout Daniel Matellon. Coming in to this the challenger has stopped 4 of his last 5 and has proven he can go rounds when he needs to, taking a decision over former Kenshiro foe Toshimasa Ouchi. Our in depth preview of this one can be read here Kenshiro takes on Yabuki in defense #9!
In a Japanese Youth title bout at Flyweight we'll see Aoba Mori (7-2-1, 1) clash with Yuga Inoue (11-2-1, 2), in an interesting contest between two men who don't get much attention. The 21 year old Aoba is the younger man, and despite some set backs in recent bouts there is plenty of promise with him, as shown in his TKO win over Keisuke Iwasaki back in April. Although Mori has shown promise we suspect he will go in as the under-dog against Inoue, who is more well known and more established, having won Rookie of the Year and shared the ring with several notable domestic foes, including Kai Ishizawa. Neither man is a puncher, but both picked up stoppage wins last time out and will likely come in to this feeling they can hurt the other man. Our full preview of this bout can be read here Japanese Youth Flyweight title bout see Aoba Mori and Yuga Inoue clash!
In a stay busy fight former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa (36-5-4, 21) will be up against Yoshiyuki Takabayashi (9-11-1, 4), in what really is a tick over bout for Osawa, who has sadly been inactive since beating Jason Butar Butar almost 2 years ago, and is certainly someone who's career has been negatively affected by the rise of Covid19. Osawa was on the verge of a world title fight going into last year, but it appearsthe chance of him getting a second shot are now dead in the water.
Sadly this show is essentially hidden away, despite how good it is, on what is essentially a Japanese PPV, costing 2,200Yen (around £15 or $20), a price that seems to be a sign of the times in Japanese boxing during the Pandemic era.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Over in Tokyo we get a Dangan card that has a stellar domestic main event, and a very interesting supporting bout.
The main will see former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-7-1, 13) trying to get his career back on track as he takes on the under-rated Shingo Kusano (13-9-1, 5). Minamoto, who won the Japanese title in 2018, has failed to pick up a win in over 3 years now and desperately needs a big result if he's to keep open hopes of getting another title opportunity. Kusano on the other hand performed brilliant in a tournament in 2019 and 2020, losing in the final in a barn burner. This might not have much in terms of star power, but it could end up being a brutal war over 8 fascinating rounds.
In the main support bout former world champion Ayaka Miyao (23-9-2, 6) will be up against Kaori Nagai (6-2-3, 2). On paper this is a total mismatch in favour of Miayo, however he is now 38, she's had numerous injuries including a nasty one in 2016 against Nao Ikeyama, has failed to win her last 3, and was brutally knocked out last time out. Nagai on the other hand is riding a 5 winning streak and at 31 will feel she has youth, energy and health on her side. A real must win for Miyao and a huge opportunity for Nagai.
This coming Sunday isn't a huge day for boxing, but if you're in Osaka, you may be in for a treat as the EDION Arena Osaka hosts 3 different shows, including the finals of the West Japan Rookie of the Year, which is split over 2 shows, and an unrelated show. As well as the West Japan Rookie of the Year events there is also set to be another Rookie of the Year event in Aichi as the Western and Central Japan Rookie of the Year winners clash.
EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The first of the West Japan Rookie of the Year events is set to feature 5 bouts in total.
One of the most interesting bouts on this first show is the Light Flyweight bout which pits two real novices against each other, with Kohei Hosoda (1-0) battling against Takuma Kamigaki (1-0). Both of these men are in their early 20's, both have just 4 rounds to their names and neither is particularly well known, but they are only two wins away from fighting at All Japan Rookie of the Year final in February.
Another interesting match up will see Ren Nishimura (4-2, 2), who competed in the West Japan Rookie of the Year last year, taking on the hard hitting Shodai Morita (4-1, 3). This is one that promises to be explosive, with both men capable of hurting the other. This should be a very, very solid Super Bantamweight bout between two men with plenty of promise.
EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
On the second West Japan Rookie of the Year show we'll see another 5 bouts.
One of the bouts on this card is a Welterweight clash between Mitsuyoshi Oshima (3-1, 1) and Yusa Toyonaka (2-2-1, 1). Welterweight bouts at Rookie of the Year tend to be very entertaining, as it's usually two big guys, at least for Japanese boxing, with some serious flaws, unloading on each other and that's exactly what we expect to see here.
On paper the bout on this card that promises the most is the Super Featherweight bout between Ryuichi Sakamoto (2-0, 2) and Takehiro Ogawa (1-0-1). Both of these men are 21 years old, unbeaten and will bring a lot of ambition into this one. Sakamoto has needed just over 3 minutes to score his first two wins, and he will be coming out guns blazing here, whilst Ogawa will be happy to go rounds, given his first two bouts have both gone the scheduled 4 round distance.
EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The third show from the EDION Arena Osaka is a card from Green Tsuda and will feature 7 bouts in total. The show isn't the deepest but does have some interesting match ups on it.
One of those interesting match ups is a female contest between Terumi Nuki (11-4, 8) and Marina Sayama (4-2-1, 2). Of the two fighters Nuki is the better known, having fought in several female world title bouts, including two against the legendary Mariana Juarez Sadly however she has lost 3 of her last 5 and is fighting for the first time in well over 2 years. Sadly Sayama hasn't been seen in the ring since the very end of 2019, when she lost in a Japanese title fight to Yume Hirayama and it's hard to know what ambition she has coming in to this given her lengthy inactivity. Whilst this is certainly not a mouth watering bout, it is certainly an interesting one and one we expect will provide great entertainment.
The most interesting bout on this card will see touted former amateur stand out Ran Tomomatsu (1-1) battle against Rookie of the Year king Katsuhiro Nakata (6-0, 4), in a potentially thrilling Middleweight bout. Tomomatsu was tipped for pretty big things on the domestic scene when he turned professional, in 2019. Tomomatsu lost his second bout, to Mikio Sakai, who has proven his quality since that bout. Nakata on the other hand showed what he could do in 2020, Reaching the All Japan final which he won in February this year in a great bout against Eiki Kani. Given the styles of the two men, with Tomomatsu being an aggressive boxer-fighter and Nakata being a tall boxer, this could end up being a genuinely brilliant little war.
Aioi Hall, Kariya, Aichi, Japan
In Aichi we'll see the Central Japan and Western Japan Rookie of the Year winners clash, and they will actually go on to face the West Japan winners later in the year.
One of the most interesting bouts on this card is the Lightweight bout, which will pit 24 year old puncher Ren Yamabe (2-0, 2) against 20 year old Kuhiro Arimitsu (0-0). Both men debuted earlier this year, with Yamabe making his debut in May and Arimitsu in June, and both are showing some real promise. Yamabe, as a southpaw, has the trickier style, but Arimitsu has the edge in height and reach and this could be a a very tough one to predict.
Another interesting bout on this event will see will be at Flyweight, where teenagers Yuki Morikawa (1-0-2) takes on Kento Seki (1-0, 1). It's rare for two 18 year olds to clash in Rookie of the Year, but for them to face off just 2 wins from a place in the All Japan Final is even rare. Of the two Morikawa is the more experienced, and is also the taller man and a southpaw, but he lacks power and has gone the distance in all 3 of his bouts. Seki on the other hand showed good power and aggression in his debut, back in June, and looks to be the man with some pop coming into this one.
Tacoma, Washington, USA
This coming Friday is a day that really doesn't have much of an Asian interest, however there is one Asian scheduled to fight, and that is unbeaten Uzbekistani fighter Ravshan Makhamadjonov (12-0, 8). Sadly at the time of writing Makhamadjonov doesn't have an opponent for the show listed, and this is really a shame as the unbeaten youngster has already seen several bouts fall through this year. Although unbeaten the 22 year old Makhamadjonov is pretty untested with his toughest bout to date being a razor close 2020 win over Volodymyr Hordiienko in Russia. Since then he was supposed to make his US debut, several times over, but has repeatedly seen cancellations. Whilst certainly not an Uzbek amateur standout Makhamadjonov is talented, he's young and he's exciting and it is a massive shame his career really hasn't kicked on this year and that no opponent has been secured for this bout at the time of writing.