In the main event we see exciting Middleweight Hikaru Nishida (13-7-1, 5) take on Thai visitor Ratchasi Sithsaithong (4-1, 3). Although his record doesn't suggest it Nishida is a genuinely good fighter who has really turned his career around after a 4-5 (1) start and is now probably the #3 Middleweight in Japan, behind Ryota Murata and Akio Shibata. Tough, strong, defensively sound and aggressively exciting Nishida really is one to watch and we suspect he'll show that here against the Thai visitor.
Another notable name in action is Akihiko Katagiri (16-8-2, 7) who fights in an intriguing match up against Corrales Kawashimo (7-5-1, 2). Although neither of these two are ranked it shouldn't take away from what should be a very good 8 round contest between two fighters looking to prove themselves, and possibly claim a ranking down the line.
A third bout scheduled for 8 rounds will be a female bout between the world ranked Kimika Miyoshi (10-8-1, 5) and the always gutsy Kai Johnson (5-8-3, 2). On paper it's hard to back against Miyoshi who is a former OPBF champion and world title challenger, however Johnson may be driven by revenge, following a loss to Miyoshi just over 4 years ago. It may not be the headline bout but this really could be a very competitive match up between two women each looking to prove a point.
The only Asian card this Sunday is in the Philippines where fans can expect some mixed action.
In the main event we get an international match up as Japanese banger Tosho Makoto Aoki (20-12-2, 17) takes on Filipino veteran Chaiyong Sithsaithong (38-14-4, 27) in a bout that is likely to be an explosive one. The two men, who both have very respectable power at this level, Will be fighting for the WBC Asian Boxing Council lightweight title, which Aoki will be hoping to defend for the first time since he claimed it, also in the Philippines. We're not expecting this to be a FOTY contender, but with both having genuine it could be an explosive and brief affair.
A second title bout here will see Jessebelle Pagaduan (7-1-1, 4) battling against Christine Latube (1-7-2) for the GAB female Minimumweight title. Latube has gone 0-6-2 in her last 8 bouts and it's hard to see her beating the more proven Pagaduan, who has twice fought for a world title and is a former GAB champion.
Another notable bout here will see former WBO Minimumweight champion Merlito Sabillo (24-2-1, 12) battle against Jack Amisa (21-37-2, 14) in a 6 round confidence builder. Sabillo has gone 1-2-1 in his last 4 bouts and does need to rebuild, so it's hard to hold this one against him even though Amisa has won just once in the last 4 years, during which he has gone 1-23.
The biggest card of the day is a special card courtesy of WOWOW who will be showing the card as part of a free day for the channel. The card featured a couple of big main events in what could potentially feature one of the most exciting bouts of the year.
In one of the main events fans will see WBC Super Flyweight champion Carlos Cuadras (3-0-1, 26) battle against all-action warrior Koki Eto (17-3-1, 13) in a bout that could potentially be a FOTY contender. Eto, who is as fun to watch as any other fighter out there, is going to be the under-dog against the unbeaten champion but he's naturally the taller man and has shown his ability to make a fight of any bout. Cuadras will go into this one as the favourite but will have to expect the unexpected from the challenger in what could be an all-out war.
The other co-main bout will see Yu Kimura (17-2-1, 3) attempt to claim an unlikely world title as he faces WBC Light Flyweight champion Pedro Guevara (26-1-1, 17) in a very tough bout for the challenger. Kimura is a former Japanese champion looking to climb the proverbial global summit but it's hard to see how he beats the talented Guevara, who actually returns to Japan for the first time since winning his title there, last December.
Sadly apart from the two main bouts, this show is relatively slim on the under-card.
A second Japanese card comes from Kagoshima where fans will get the chance to see Naoya Haruguchi (7-6, 2) face off against Takayuki Teraji (6-8-1, 3) in a Light Flyweight bout. The fight, scheduled for 8 rounds, is the highlight of another wise forgettable card featuring 7 undercard bouts, all set for 4 rounds.
The most exciting of several Filipino shows is a card from ALA which will feature several very notable names, including some world class fighters and one of the most promising prospects that the country has seen in recent years.
Sadly we've not had the full bout sheet for this card, though it seems like AJ Banal (33-2-1, 22) will be facing Emilio Norfat (25-6, 19) in one of the main bouts. This should be an easy win for “Bazooka” but the Tanzanian visitor will be looking to score an upset and won't travel with the intention of just making up the numbers.
Others scheduled for this card include Kevin Jake “KJ” Cataraja (1-0, 1) who is expected to be in a 6 rounder as well as former world title challengers Rocky Fuentes (35-8-2, 20), Arthur Villanueva (27-1, 14) and Milan Melindo (32-2, 12). Sadly we've not been given the opponents for any of those 4 men.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
Another Filipino show will see former OPBF title contender Mark Anthony Geraldo (31-6-3, 14) attempt to end a 2 fight losing streak as he takes on the unbeaten Jelbirt Gomera (10-0, 6) in an interesting 10 round bout. For Geraldo this is the first bout since he lost a clear decision to Takuma Inoue, for the OPBF Super Flyweight title, whilst the relatively unproven Gomera will be stepping up massively. It's a good match in many ways but one that seems designed to get Geraldo back on the winning track.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Another notable Filipino fighter in action is the talented, and under-rated Randy Braga (16-1-1, 3) who will be up against yet another “yet to be named” opponent.
Another show in the Philippines will be headlined by the promising Arnel Baconaje (3-0, 3) who will face another of the un-named opponents that seem to be scheduled for action this coming weekend.
In South Africa fans will be able to see under-rated Filipino Renz Rosia (12-3, 6) battle against former IBF world champion Moruti Mthalane (31-2, 20) in a bout for the IBO Flyweight title. The bout is a very tough ask for Rosia though he did show his ability earlier this year when he pushed Makazole Tete all the way in a controversial loss, and with a recent win over Renan Trongco there is a great chance that Rosia could score a career defining upset against the talented but inactive Mthalane.
The most interesting of two Thai shows features two men of note.
The main event of the show sees former WBA interim Flyweight champion Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (36-3, 22) fight against Indonesian fighter Iwan Key (10-13-3, 1) for the PABA Flyweight title in what is a massive mismatch. Key, who was once lined up to fight Akira Yaegashi, was last seen being stopped in 3 rounds by Samartlek Kokietgym and it's hard to see anything more than a stoppage loss here. For Yodmongkol however it's a confidence builder before another possible foray towards world class in 2016.
The other bout of note on this card will see Kongfah CP Freshmart (14-1, 8) taking on a man we've been told is Chokanan por Pakdee (who appears to be a debutant). For Kongfah this is his first bout since he was stopped, in a thriller, by Daigo Higa for the WBC Youth title and it's an understandable confidence building fight for a man who wimple broken down last time out.
This card will be aired on Channel 7 for those interested.
Another Thai card will be from Bangkok, and will be shown on Channel 3.
This card features a pair of title fights with both of those coming at Super Flyweight. One of those bouts will see PABA champion Chatpetch Sithmorseng (12-3-2, 6) defending his title against Indonesian Bayu Palue (2-0, 2), who likely has a very incomplete record.
The other will see Inthanon Sithchamuang (27-7-1, 16) defending the WBA Asia Super Flyweight title against Ichal Tobida (12-17, 8). It's hard to see anything but a win for the champion, but it's also hard to care too much for this bout given the limitations of Inthanon, who was notably stopped in 2 rounds in Macau by Jerwin Ancajas last year.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
To close out the week Filipino fans get a show that sees prospects facing “professional losers”.
On paper the biggest mismatch sees unbeaten Bantamweight hopeful Raymart Gaballo (10-0, 8) put his unbeaten record on the line against Roldan Malinao (11-35-1, 2). The 19 year old Gaballo has only fought at a low level, and this is technically a step up, however Malinao hasn't won a bout in almost 8 years.
Another mismatch featuring an unbeaten fighter comes at 122lbs where the 18 year old Michael Angelo Plania (7-0, 4) battles Ronerex Dalut (9-17-2, 2). The 26 year old Dalut is a relatively tough fighter, having been stopped only 6 times in his 17 losses, but has only won once in the last 3 years and won't be expected to really test Plania.
A third unbeaten fighter on here is Featherweight 21 year old Rimar Metuda (8-0, 4) who fights the very experienced Jamie Barcelona (38-58-1, 10). Barelona is a true veteran, and a tough one at that, but he has recently been a professional loser and won just once in the last 6 years. Metuda should get a test of his stamina but little else given that Barcelona seems to lack the desire to try and win fights in recent times.
November 24th-Wanheng defends title against Korean banger, Igarashi, Iwasa and Ota in action in Japan
The attention of the boxing world turns to Thailand today where we see WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (39-0, 14) defending his title for the 3rd time. The unbeaten Thai, who will have to face a mandatory challenger in 2016, will be up against Korean slugger Young Kil Bae (26-4-1, 21) who looks to claim Korea's first world title in the better part of a decade. Wanheng appears to be a huge favourite given his record, ability and style however Bae certainly comes in to this bout in good form with 17 straight T/KO wins and will be hoping to extend that run in what will be a career defining bout.
On the same day we also get the chance to see the first of two Teiken shows to close the month. This one features a number of notable names, including a former world champion and two former Japanese and OPBF champions.
That world champion is former WBC Flyweight kingpin Toshiyuki Igarashi (21-2-1, 11) who looks to continue his ascent to a Super Flyweight title shot as he takes on Jonathan Francisco (8-3, 2). The bout is a mismatch in favour of Igarashi though it's clear his team are hoping to get him a title fight in 2016 and want to just keep him ticking over rather than really put him through an actual test.
One of the former OPBF/JBC champions is Ryosuke Iwasa (19-2, 12) who faces Marlon Arcilla (8-2, 1) in what will be Iwasa's first bout since his TKO loss, in an IBF interim title bout, to Lee Haskins in the UK. Iwasa was made to look very basic by Haskins and will likely have had his confidence hit by the loss so this is nothing more than a confidence builder for Iwasa who will likely face tougher foes in 2016 as he looks to climb back up the rankings.
The other former OPBF/JBC champion in action is Charlie Ota (24-3-1, 16) who fights for the first time since a close loss to Yuki Nonaka last December. The popular “Charlie” will be facing unbeaten Filipino Stephen Gelawa (6-0-1, 4) in what looks to be an easy win for Ota, who has lost his last two. This is a drop down in “level” for Ota but given his inactivity we don't begrudge him an easy comeback fight.
The best of 5 Japanese shows this Sunday is from Osaka where we get arguably the toughest debut in recent years as well as an OPBF title fight and a bout that looks to be a tune up bout for a title fight in 2016.
That debut bout is the long awaited debut of teenager Hinata Maruta (0-0). The very highly touted youngster goes up against the world ranked Jason Canoy (24-5-2, 18), who is heavy handed and has never been stopped. Maruta is dubbed “The #1 Hope” and has received a lot of attention in Japan but there is a good chance that he has bit off more than he can chew here against Canoy, who is best known for stopping Drian Francisco in just 132 seconds. This is a baptism of fire but if Maruta wins then he'll have immediately made a statement of the highest order.
Whilst the Maruta/Canoy bout is the most exciting it's not actually the main event. That's an OPBF Light Middleweight title fight between the tough Dennis Laurente (49-6-5, 30), the defending champion, and former Japanese champion Takayuki Hosokawa (27-10-4, 9). This is a really intriguing bout even though the champion is 38 and best known for suffering a shut out loss to John Jackson on a PBC show. Laurente will be hoping to record the first defense of his title whilst Hosokoawa will likely be looking to close his career on a high, with rumours swirling that he'll retire win or lose here, due to issues with his eye.
The tune up bout sees former OPBF Super Featherweight champion Masao Nakamura (20-3, 19) battle against Thailand's Daorung Sithsoei (0-6), who's record is believed to be very incomplete. Nakamura has made it known that he wants a Japanese title fight and could well be looking at the winner of the upcoming Rikkie Naito/Kenichi Ogawa fight as his target for 2016. Coming into this one Nakamura is looking to build on his sensational win against Daiki Kaneko, in what is still a front runner for the Japanese FOTY.
Also on this card will be Korean hopeful Tae Il Kim (5-0, 1). Kim, who will be fighting under the name Teiru Atsumi, will be making his Japanese debut against Songkramchai Ektinakorn (0-1) and be fighting for the first time in 21 months, despite the lay off he is expected to shine in what is hoped to be a very promising career.
The second most notable show in Japan comes from Kumamoto where we get a weak card with a notable main event.
That main event is a Japanese Minimumweight title fight between Tatsuya Fukuhara (15-4-5, 6) and Hiroya Yamamoto (9-3, 3). The two men are fighting for a title that was recently vacated by Go Odaira and although neither are big names both men have faced solid fighters, with Fukuhara having mixed with Takuma Inoue and Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr whilst Yamamoto has faced Odaira and Xiong Zhao Zhong. It's fair to say neither man is expected to move on to being a true world champion but we suspect the winner will compete in a world title fight somewhere down the line.
The first of two shows at the Shinjuku FACE is a small card put on reason and will be headlined by a couple of 8 round bouts.
One of those 8 rounders will see Japanese and OPBF ranked Featherweight hopeful Ryuto Araya (8-3-1, 1) battle Takuya Yamaguchi (9-9, 7). Although not the best fighter Araya is ranked due to his most recent bout, a win over Kazunori Takayama, and he has shown issues in other bouts, including a 2nd round TKO loss to Daisuke Watanabe. Yamaguchi on the other hand is fighting for the second after a long lay off, which began when he went 1-4 including a loss to Shingo Wake. On paper this is a mismatch though we suspect it could actually be very competitive.
The other will see Japanese ranked Keita Nakano (13-10, 4) put his Bantamweight ranking on the line against Keigo Soma (7-11-1, 4). On paper this looks a more competitive match up than the other bout and could well be the show stealing bout, despite the less than stellar records of the men involved.
The second show at the Shinjuku FACE features just one a single 8 rounder as Minoru Matsuo (6-4, 3) battles Chikashi Hayashizaki (6-5-1, 2) in what looks like a competitive lower level bout.
Whilst the main event is an 8 rounder we're more interested in a 6 rounder which will see veteran Keita Manabe (26-6-1, 22) battle against novice Yuya Shimakura (5-1-1, 2). Manabe, a former Japanese title challenger, will be fighting for the first time in more than 6 years and although on paper he should be favoured he has scored a win since 2007! Shimakura on the other hand has shown potential and the 20 year old could become someone to keep an eye on.
Another minor show comes from Aichi and features a pair of headlining 8 rounders.
The most notable of those sees Japanese ranked 140lb'der Shinichi Tsukahara (10-7-3, 5) battling against Yuta Maruoka (9-3, 4). Coming into this one Tsukahara has won his last two bouts but has been stopped in 4 of his losses and at 31 it's a time where any loss could cost him a potential title shot. Maruoka however should be a safe opponent, and he's winless in almost 4 years.
The other 8 rounder will see Minimumweight hopeful Jun Takigawa (7-1, 4) take on Takeshi Sone (5-3-3, 1). Takigawa should be heavily favoured here and he did have an excellent 2014, which saw him narrowly lose in the All Rookie final to Reiya Konishi. Sone's recent form has seen him go 0-1-2 though he has faced decent competition.
This weekend is a big one for fight fans, and it's fair to say Saturday is a huge day with some huge fights.
Potentially the fight of the year takes place in the US, and yet the bout is only a supporting bout as the all-action Takashi Miura (29-2-2, 22) defends his WBC Super Featherweight title against Francisco Vargas (22-0-1, 16) on the under-card of the Miguel Cotto/Saul Alvarez card. Miura, who is an all southpaw with a vicious left hand whilst Vargas is a more refined pressure fighter. When the two get in the ring we are guaranteed action, excitement and a war. For fans who haven't see Miura he's a treat to watch, for those who have we don't need to build this fight up, it really does have all the ingredients to be a very special contest.
On the same card we will see two other Asian fighters in action. One of those is Drian Francisco (28-3-1, 22) who is in his highest profile bout to date, as he takes on Cuban sensation Guillermo Rigondeaux (15-0, 10). This will be Rigondeaux's first bout since his New Year's Eve battle with Hisashi Amagasa in Japan and since then he has lost his titles and sat on the shelf. For Francisco this is his second bout since being shocked, in a round, by Jason Canoy, who fights on Sunday against the debuting Hinata Maruta.
The other Asian is Chinese Heavyweight hopeful Zhang Zhilei (5-0, 3) who faces the once beaten Donnie Palmer (6-1-1, 6). This is a step up for Zhilei though unfortunately at 32 years old he really will need to step much quicker if he's going to have any notable success in the pro ranks.
In France our attention turns to Thailand's Ploynapa Sakrungrueng (13-6-1, 1) who faces France's very own Anne Sophie Da Costa (19-2, 8) in a bout for the WBF female Light Flyweight title. It's a really tough ask for Ploynapa, who was recently seen being stopped in 3 rounds by Eun Hye Lee in a bout for the WBO female Light Flyweight title. Da Costa won her first 18 bouts but has gone 1-2 in her last 3 fights, including a shock loss to Sandy Coget last time suggesting that she is, at 33, coming to the end of her career.
Thai fans get action on Channel 3 as the highly ranked Paipharob Kokietgym (31-0, 24) defends the PABA Light Flyweight title against Indonesian fighter Oskar Raknafa (12-11, 5). The Indonesian was 12-4 when he faced a then debuting Kosei Tanaka just 24 months ago but has since lost and lost as his record has crumbled. We suspect that run of losses will continue here against the Thai who will be hoping to get a long awaited world title shot in 2016.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia fans will get the chance to see Indonesian visitor Roy Tua Manihuruk (18-13-2, 14) battle against Australia's very own Valentine Borg (10-2, 7). On paper this is a big mismatch in favour of the hope fighter however Borg has been stopped twice, including last time out against Darragh Foley, and Manihuruk can certainly punch even if he's not a great fighter.
Low level action continues this week with another show at the Korakuen Hall, this time however it's likely to be competitive action at the lowest level as Dangan host a show of 4 round bouts. In total there are 11 bouts set for the show with the most intriguing, on paper at least, being a bout between Masayoshi Yamasaki (2-2-1, 1) and Shunta Terai (2-1-1, 2). The bout is the only one that doesn't feature a debutat or a fighter with a losing record.
Having mentioned debutant's this card will feature 12 of them!
The Korakuen Hall plays host to another card this coming Wednesday and on this one fans will get the chance to see a former world title challenger, sadly however the card is less than excellent with the main event being a mismatch and the under-card being less than great.
The main event sees the teak tough Hidenori Otake (23-2-3, 10) take on Thai visitor San Saknarong (2-4) in an 8 round bout at Featherweight. We suspect that Otake is wanting to try out the Featherweight division before mounting a challenge towards the Japanese or OPBF title. This bout won't prepare him for a title contest however it will help him see how he copes with the weight.
In the chief support bout Flyweights collide as Takahiro Fujii (7-4-1, 2) battles the visiting Jaipetch Chaiyonggym (5-3, 1). It's not a great fight but it is a competitive looking one, especially when compared to the main event. Coming in to this Fujii has lost 2 of his last 3 whilst Jaipetch has won 2 of his last 3 and has mixed with good company, including Jonathan Taconing, Denver Cuello and Takumi Sakae, meaning he's probably better than the numbers suggest.
Arguably the most intriguing match up on this car is a 6 round supporting bout which will see Japanese Heavyweights colliding. One of the men will be 23 year old Ryu Ueda (4-0, 2), an unbeaten Southpaw who is fighting at Heavyweight for the first time whilst the other man is 30 year old Yamato Fujinaka (6-3, 2), who has won hs last 5 bouts after a 1-3 start to his professional career. This could be the bout that helps keep alive the Japanese Heavyweight scene which appears to look like it needs an injection of new fighters and Ueda may be that fighter to follow the likes of Kyotaro Fujimoto.