In Tokyo we get a low key card that really doesn't have too much to talk about.
The main event will see Takuya Kihashi (5-7-2, 2) take on recent Japanese Light Flyweight title challenger Satoru Todaka (9-3-4, 3). Coming in the limited Kihashi has won just once in his last 7 bouts and has really struggled to make any sort of impact at all. Todaka on the other hand is looking to bounce back from an 8th round loss in a Japanese title bout against Kenichi Horikawa, and it's hard to imagine anything but a win for Todaka here.
In the main supporting bout we'll see Yuta Nakayama (7-3-1, 4) take on Yuki Uchida (7-6, 1) in an 8 rounder. Nakayama has been stopped in 2 of his last 3, but win or lose he has tended to make for exciting fights and none of his last 4 bouts have seen the final bell. Uchida on the other hand has proven to be tough but light hitting. This will be a really interesting match, albeit at a very low level.
On paper the bout on this card that has our attention will see Celes Kobayashi promoted youngster Issei Ochiai (1-0) take on Kazunori Takai (6-5-3, 3). The 20 year old Ochiai is tipped to be a big star in Japan with Kobayashi guiding his career, and this is a good test for the youngster against a man he should beat, but could be asked questions by.
There was also plans for a Japanese female Minimumweight title bout on this card between Mizuki Chimoto (2-0, 1) and Yumi Narita (3-4-3, 1). Sadly however this bout got cancelled in the build up to the show.
Whilst there is a card in Japan the better card is actually in Singapore, of all places.
The main event on this card will see the unbeaten local Hamzah Farouk (9-0, 6) take on Indonesian teenager Reynold Kundimang (8-1-3, 2) in a bout for the OPBF silver Super Featherweight title. The unbeaten Farouk has impressed at times, and the 31 year old is likely to have missed his window for success. Despite his age Farouk will have the home advantage and the edge in power. The 18 year old Kundimang is a talented youngster, but is probably getting this fight a bit too early. Rather oddly we are having a post peak fighter take on a pre-peak fighter, and it's going to be interesting to see who wins, and who enters 2020 as the OPBF silver champion.
Also on this card is Muhamad Ridhwan (14-2, 10), another local hopeful, who takes on Filipino journeyman Junny Salogaol (14-17-5, 13). Ridhwan suffered back to back losses at the end of 2018 and start of 2019, but has reeled off 3 wins since then. He should have too much for Salogaol here.
December 2nd - Koki Inoue and Jheritz Chavez battle for title, Kuwahara and Matsumoto in supporting bouts
This coming Monday Ohashi will be putting on their next show, and whilst it's not a massive one it is a good one with 4 bouts of real not on it, including a Japanese champion, a former world title challenger and two unbeaten prospects.
The Japanese champion Koki Inoue (14-0, 11), the cousin of Naoya Inoue and Takuma Inoue, and despite being the Japanese champion he won't be defending his title here. Instead he goes up against hard hitting Filipino foe Jheritz Chavez (9-3-2, 7) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Welterweight title, with Inoue looking to become a double champion and Chavez looking to take a career best win. Inoue has looked hit and miss at times, though is an incredibly talented fighter with a lot of potential and a win here should open up some big doors for him going forward. As for Chavez he was unlucky in 2018 when he challenged OPBF champion Rikki Naito and had him almost out of there late on. This should be a very exciting fight, with both men expected to try and make a statement as we close out 2019. Our preview of this bout can be read here Koki Inoue takes on Jhertiz Chavez for regional title!
The chief support bout will see the fast rising Taku Kuwahara (6-0, 4) hunt his 4th win of the year. "Ioka II", as he's been dubbed in Japan, is looking to build on a career best win over Jonathan Refugio as he takes on Ricardo Sueno (10-3-4, 3). Sadly this looks like a massive step backwards for Kuwahara, and one he only really gets away with thanks to his activity, with this actually being his 5th bout in the space of 365 days. Sueno was stopped in a round by Thanongsak Simsri the last time he fought in Japan, and whilst we expect him to last longer here, we suspect he'll suffer another stoppage loss here.
Former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto (22-3, 20) continues to rebuild following back to back losses in 2018, to Daniel Roman and Ryo Sagawa. The once very highly touted Matsumoto is understandably rebuilding his confidence and will be up against fellow Japanese fighter Jinya Ito (8-5-1, 3) here. Although 2018 was a nightmare year for Matsumoto it's hard to deny his talent, and at just 25 years old he does have plenty of time to rebuild and challenge again for a world title. The truth here is that Ito should provide very little in terms of a challenge for Matsumoto, unless Matsumoto is mentally done with the sport, and we don't believe he is!
Another prospect on this card is unbeaten 27 year old Ohashi gym hopeful Katsuya Yasuda (5-0, 3), who takes on Indonesian journeyman Rengga Rengga (8-4, 2). The talented Yasuda has failed to kick on with his career as we'd hoped, and 2018 was almost a write off for him, but this is his 3rd bout in a little over 5 months, and hopefully he'll use that activity as a launchpad in the new year. Renga has lost his last 2 by stoppage, and is 0-4 outside of Indonesia, with all all 4 losses coming in the first 2 rounds. We can't see this being anything other than a blow out win for Yasuda.
This coming Saturday is a crazy one for fight fans following Asian fighters with bouts all over the globe!
West Midlands, United Kingdom
The highest profile bout takes place in the UK as South African Zolani Tete (28-3, 21) takes on Filipino fighter John Riel Casimero (28-4, 19) to unify the WBA and WBO interim Bantamweight titles. For Tete the bout will see him back in action for the first time since a messy bout in October 2018 with Mikhail Aloyan whilst Casimero will be looking to score a 5th straight T/KO. Both men have a point to prove and both will know that a win here helps take them one step closer to a divisional super fight with WBA/IBF champion Naoya Inoue. A full preview of this bout is available to read here Casimero takes on Tete for WBO title!
Monte Carlo, Monaco
We get a bit of a strange one in Monaco, where unbeaten Chinese southpaw Zhilei Zhang (20-0, 16) takes on Ukraine's Andriy Rudenko (32-4, 20) in a clash of Heavyweight hopefuls. For Zhang this will be his first bout in over a year, as he looks to make up for lost time, and to try and get things back on track after previous issues with a visa. As for Rudenko, he has taken this bout as a late replacement for Sergey Kuzmin, and it's unclear how prepared he will be for this. This is a must win for both men, who are now both in their 30's, and it will be very, very hard to see the loser making any sort of a mark on the sport going forward.
In the US fans will be able to see unbeaten Japanese hopeful Andy Hiraoka (14-0, 9) make his American debut, as he takes on American foe Rogelio Casarez (13-8, 5). The talented Hiraoka, who has trained in the US in the past, will be going into this with a lot of confidence following a career best win over Akihiro Kondo in July but Casarez is a tough guy and will be expecting to take Hiraoka the scheduled 8 rounds here.
Top Rank continue their toe-dipping in China with another show alongside SECA, and this one features quite a lot of notable Chinese prospects.
One of those Chinese prospects will be Lei Wang (4-0, 2), who takes on Filipino foe Marlon Paniamogan (10-1-1, 5) in a bout for the WBO Great China Light Welterweight title. For Wang this will be his third bout this year, and he'll be looking to build momentum as we head into the new year. For Paniamogan this will be his second bout since losing to Kuntae Lee in July. On paper this is a really interesting match up and one we're looking forward to.
Another interesting match up on this show will see the unbeaten Yongqiang Yang (12-0, 9) take on JR Magboo (18-3-2, 9). The 27 year old Yang is one of Chinese boxing brightest hopes, and wins over Takuya Watanabe, Harmonito Dea Torre and Ernie Sanchez have really shown he can hang with good fighters. Sadly he spent more than a year away from action, which slowed his rise, but he is certainly someone who deserves some real attention. At his best Magboo was an decent hopeful, but with 3 losses in his last 5 bouts it's hard to see him putting up much of a test for Yang, who has the tools to go a very long way.
There will also be a show in Taiwan, featuring a pair of notable Japanese fighters.
In one of the main bouts former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Ryoichi Tamura (12-5-1, 6) will be up against Indonesian foe Moensaku Yor (6-5-1, 4). The hard hitting Tamura has had a very mixed year, with a career defining win in January over Mugicha Nakagawa being followed by back to back losses to Yusaku Kuga and Gakuya Furuhashi. Despite the losses Tamura will be strongly favoured here against Yor, who has been stopped in 3 of his last 4 bouts.
The other notable name on this show is boxing-policeman Daisuke Sugita (5-1, 3), who looks to defend his WBA Asia Super Bantamweight title against Filipino journeyman Edison Berwela (18-42-8, 6). This will be Sugita's first defense of the title he won in August when he beat Crison Omayao, and he'll be strongly favoured here against Berwela. Despite being the big under-dog Berwela will be expected to take Sugita rounds, and the Filipino has only been stopped in 7 of his 42 losses with the most recent stoppage coming more than 3 years ago against Michael Dasmarinas.
Ulsan, South Korea
Another Asian show will be taking place in South Korea. Like many Korean cards this is a pretty low key show, but the main event deserves some attention as unbeaten local Sung Jae Jo (10-0, 8) takes on Indian visitor Deepak Tanwar (4-0, 2). This will be Jo's 4th bout of the year, and he's moving forward with his career. Tanwar however has been inactive for almost 3 years and it's hard to imagine him putting up much of a fight here.
We also have a bout of interest in Australia as the rugged but limited John Ruba (19-6-1, 10), from Indonesia, takes on unbeaten Australian Ben Mahoney (8-0, 4) for the IBO Asian Pacific title at Light Middleweight. Ruba is no world beater but he has gone the distance with Sadriddin Akhmedov and Mahoney will be expected to earn his win here.
We get the most notable bout with an Asian fighter in Tanzania of all places, as upset minded Filipino Arnel Tinampay (26-24-1, 12) takes on local foe Hassan Mwakinyo (15-2, 11). The 25 year Tanzanian is riding a 5 fight winning run into this bout including a big win in the UK over Sam Eggington. The 35 year old Tinampay isn't a big name in the sport but he has proven to be an excellent journeyman, who scores more than his share of upsets. Although no world beater Tinampay has scored regular upsets and will be looking to add another one here!
Auckland, New Zealand
As well as the bout in Tanzania there will also be a number of bouts in Auckland featuring Asian fighters.
One of those bouts will see Indian fighter Siddharth Ravindra Varma (5-3-1-2, 2) take on unbeaten Russian born Kiwi Andrei Mikhailovich (11-0, 6). We don't expect Varma will have much of a chance here, but it'll be good to see what the 21 year old Mikhailovich can do as he looks to build on wins over the likes of Chase Haley and Gunnar Jackson already this year.
In a potentially politically charged bout we'll see Pakistan's Nadir Baloch (8-0, 7) take on Indian foe Inderjeet Singh (2-0), with both men risking their unbeaten records. Given the political issues between the two countries this is a bigger bout that it should be. Baloch was a notable amateur who has already been fighting in 10 round bouts. Singh has only fought 7 career rounds and should be seen as the clear under-dog here.
Another Pakistan Vs India bout will see the unbeaten pairing of Muhammad Bilal (6-0-1, 5) and Suresh Kumar (3-0-2, 2) face off. Bilal is a 24 year old from Karachi who is looking to bounce back from a technical draw against Geisler AP. Kumar on the other hand is fighting for the 6th time in just over 7 months, but this will only be the second time he has faced someone who isn't making their debut.
In Benguet this coming Thursday Filipino fight fans will have a relatively small card, made up of 4 rounders between novices. As with similar cards from other parts of Asia these shows aren't going to attract attention to a wider audience but should be fun due to the competitive match making and the fact both men fight to win. Something that other promoters should be thinking about with their match making.
One bout on this card will see American born Filipino based Bengar Garcia (2-4, 2) take on Ronniel Tabayag (3-1-1, 2) in what should be a relatively explosive contest. Both men last time out and both have belief in their power. Neither is likely to make it far in this sport, but a match up like this tends to be more enjoyable to watch than a squash match between a prospect and a journeyman.
A similar match up will see novices Carl Jeffrey Basil (1-0, 1) and Leslie Manalo (0-1) face off. Again neither man is expected to go far, but Manalo will be there looking for a win over Basil, whilst Basil will be looking to build on his debut win over John Michael Pablador.
The biggest of the two Japanese cards this coming Sunday takes place in Aichi and features a couple of interesting looking bouts.
One of those will see Japanese ranked Minimumweight Yuga Inoue (8-1-1, 1) take on Japanese ranked Flyweight Katsuya Murakami (8-1-1, 2) in a bout that looks really good on paper. The very skilled Inoue, who was stopped just over a year ago by Kai Ishizawa, is looking to build on his August win over Daiki Kameyama and will enter this bout as the slight favourite, despite being the naturally smaller man. Murakami is a lot less well known, and although he's on a 4 fight winning run since a 2016 loss to Kota Fujimoto, a win here would be the most notable of his career so far. We don't see this being a war, but it should be an excellent, competitive and technical match up.
The chief support bout will see Japanese based Filipino Jayar Estremos (11-16-1, 4) take on Shin Tomita (10-7-2), who has actually twice lost to Katsuya Murakami. Although Estremos has won only 1 bout since 2015 he is better than his record suggests, and he has regularly been matched very hard against much bigger men. The light punching Tomita has had some decent form in recent years, going 4-2 over the last 3 years, but this is a genuine step up in class, and we suspect Estremos's experience will be too much for Tomita.
As well as the event in Aichi there will also be a very low key card in Fukuoka, where we get a full show of 4 rounders, with 8 bouts scheduled for the card all of which will feature novices.
The main event on this card will be at Middleweight where Shuhei Hisatomi (2-1-1, 2) will take on Kanta Tokuzawa (0-0-1). The 23 year old Hisatomi debuted back in 2017 but has had a stop start career and this is his first bout in well over a year, whilst Tokuzawa will be returning to the ring after a technical draw on debut this past September. Although obvious a low level bout between novices, we do like seeing Japanese Middleweights, as their limitations tend to make for fun fights.
In a rather peculiar contest Majisuka Kosaka (3-2-1, 2) will face the win-less Keisuke Imabuchi (0-8-2). Kosaka debuted back in 2017 and has had mixed success whilst the 33 year old Imabuchi has failed to pick up a single victory since his April 2015 debut. This isn't a big bout, but it is certainly an interesting one and a chance for Imabuchi to finally get off the mark.
As well as the Japanese shows there will also be an Indian show. This card is mostly made up of novices, though it does also feature Sanjay Thapa (5-0, 2), who faces Pankaj Malik (0-1) in a clash of 21 year olds, and Akashdeep Singh (4-0), who takes on the debuting Hemant Gothwal (0-0).
This coming Saturday isn't one of the busiest days of the year so far, but it's certainly an a day worthy of making a note of, even if it is for just one bout in the US.
That US bout will take place in California and will see WBA Featherweight champion Can Xu (17-2, 3) make his second defense, as he goes up against unbeaten challenger Manny Robles III (18-0, 8), in what should be a very fun fight. Xu is all aggression, as we've seen in the past, and whilst he's technically a rough around the edges fighter he has amazing stamina, will to win and work rate. His pressure is incessant and although his punches aren't hard on a punch by punch basis their is simply so many of them. He's also amazingly tough and is a very hard man to back up. Robles is a much more technically sound fighter, he's the cuter guy, the more skilled and smart man. However Robles is also the type to get dragged into a war, and if he can't quell those urges here, then he'll end up in the wrong type of fight. This is a test of Robles' mentality in the ring, as much as anything, and we're expecting his machismo to kick in. A full preview of this bout can be read here Xu returns to US to face unbeaten challenger Robles!
Davao del Norte, Philippines
In the Philippines we get a small show, headlined by the often fun to watch Jess Rhey Waminal (13-3-1, 8) taking on the unbeaten Sunil Siwach (5-0-1, 2). The under-rated Waminal is better than his record suggests, and he's perhaps unlucky to have suffered his most recent losses which were both very close decisions. Siwach on the other hand is an Indian fighter making his international debut, and stepping up massively. We really can't see anything but a win for the Filipino here.
New South Wales, Australia
In New South Wales we get a trio of low level bouts featuring Thai journeyman and unbeaten fighters. One of those bouts will see unbeaten Chilean hopeful Andres Campos (6-0, 2) take on professional loser Worawatchai Boonjan (14-24-2,13), another will see unbeaten local Josh Humberdross (2-0) take on Gerttipong Kumsahwat (3-4, 3), who was stopped a round by Ginjiro Shigeoka, and the debuting Elli-Bliss Reynolds (0-0) will be up against the win-less Ratsadaporn Khiaosopa (0-13). Not a great card, but one with some, albeit very minor, Thai interest
Japanese fans will be focused on the Korakuen Hall this coming Friday for a small, yet interesting, card. The main event here will feature a former Japanese champion whilst supporting bouts will include 2 JBC ranked fighters in 8 round action.
The main event of this card will see former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Valentine Hosokawa (24-7-3, 11) take on Kosuke Arioka (9-4-1, 8), in what will be Hosokawa's first bout since losing the Japanese title to Koki Inoue. The 38 year old Hosokawa is still in the JBC, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific rankings and will know that a win here could open up another title fight in 2020. As for Arioka he'll be looking to bounce back from an August KO loss to Masahiro Suzuki, and a win here would be massive for his career.
In the main supporting bout Japanese ranked fighter Desierto Nagaike (11-5-2, 2) will take on JBC ranked Minimumweight Hizuki Saso (11-6-1, 4), in what will be the second bout between these two men. These two fought back in October 2018, with Saso taking a split decision over Nagaike, but since then he Saso has gone 1-1 and was stopped in 2 rounds by Rikito Shiba. Sadly for Nagaike he has lost his only bout since the first clash with Saso and is 1-3-1 in his last 5.
The other JBC ranked fighter on this show is Yuki Kumazoe (13-6, 4), who faces off with Thai visitor Weerapon Kingsantea (5-6, 2). The local is ranked #20 by the JBC, so he's out of the title mix, and is 3-6 in his last 9. Despite the poor form he is capable of scoring upsets and is better than his recent form suggests. On the other hand the Thai has been stopped in 3 previous visits to Japan, including a 2013 clash with Hozumi Hasegawa, and will not be fancied here.
As well as the action in Tokyo we'll also get a card in Haikou, China, with a couple of bouts of international note, as locals take on Filipino foes.
The most interesting of the bouts on this card will see unbeaten Chinese Super Flyweight ZongLi He (6-0, 1) take the criminally under-rated Alphoe Dagayloan (14-3-5, 5) from the Philippines. He has the unbeaten record and a run of of notable victories over foreigners, but this is a big step up and Dagayloan is no easy out for anyone. We wouldn't be surprised at all if He has bit off more than he can chew here.
A second bout will see Chinese puncher Abulimiti Tuersunniyazi (8-3-1, 6) seek his 5th straight win as he takes on Filipino Rodel Wenceslao (14-18-2, 6). Whilst Tuersunniyazi is no world beater he is in the best form of his career, and is unbeaten since May 2018. The 26 year old Wencelsao is a very hit and miss fighter, when he's on point he can spring upsets, but has lost 2 of his last 3 and we wonder what ambition he has for this bout. If Wencelsao is hungry he could end up picking up another surprise win here, though it's a big "if."
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
MTK go to Dubai a pretty notable card featuring a host of Asian fighters, from all over the continent.
The biggest Asian name on this show is Indian Super Middleweight Vijender Singh (11-0, 8), who looks to score his second win of the year. The 34 year old Singh will be up against veteran Charles Adamu (33-14, 26). Singh had long been tipped for big things, and there is a chance he will get a world title fight before his career is over, but he's unlikely to reach the heights expected of him. The 42 year old Adamu on the other hand is a genuine tough guy from Ghana, who has been stopped twice in his 47 bouts, and both of those stoppages have come to men who have held world titles. Expect this to be a long night at the office for Singh.
Singh isn't the only fighter from the sub-continent to be in action, with Pakistani Flyweight Muhammad Waseem (9-1, 7) also in action. The once beaten Waseem will be taking on former world champion Ganigan Lopez (36-10, 19), who has looked very much like a shot fighter since being stopped by Kenshiro in May 2018. We're expecting an early win here for the very talented Waseem.
Another notable Asian fighter on this card will be OPBF Flyweight champion Jayr Raquinel (11-1-1, 8), who fights in a non-title 8 round bout against Indonesian journeyman Jack Amisa (21-46-2, 14). Given the level that Raquinel has been fighting at recently this seems like a really disappointing match up, and takes away from an opportunity to really build on his recent KO win against Takuya Kogawa. A really odd bout of match making, the previously rumoured match between Raquinel and Waseem would have been far more meaningful for both men
Dubai based Afghan Hasibullah Ahmadi (7-0, 1) will look to extend his unbeaten record as he takes on Thai foe Detnarong Omkrathok (3-10, 1) in a 6 rounder. This will be Ahmadi's 5th bout of the year and the 19 year old has been active since making his debut last December. Notably Detnarong will be fighting for the first time since being stopped in August by former world title contender Denver Cuello.
This coming Wednesday we'll see action from Japan with one of the top prospects in action.
The card will take place at the Korakuen Hall and will be promoted by former world champion Hiroshi Kawashima.
The main event here will see the unbeaten Ryusei Kawaura (6-0, 4) take on Filipino foe Joy Joy Formentera (11-3, 7) in a really mouth watering clash. The talented Kawaura hasn't yet managed to make a big mark on the sport, but is rising rapidly though the ranks thanks to wins against the likes of Marjun Pantilgan and Renoel Pael. He's expected to move into regional title bouts sooner rather than later. The 25 year old Formentera has bounced back from back to back losses, and he's stopped his last 3 foes, giving him some momentum coming into this one.
In a very interesting support bout we'll see Thai youngster Kanyarat Yoohanngoh (7-3, 4) take on talented Japanese fighter Nanae Suzuki (9-3-1, 1). Whilst neither of these are stand out fighters they should make for a very exciting bout against each other. Kanyarat is the more aggressive of the two fighters, whilst Suzuki is more technically sound, and it's going to be very interesting to see how the styles of the two fighters mesh here.
The main focus this coming Tuesday is on the Korakuen Hall the much anticipated Hajime No Ippo 30th anniversary tournament quarter-finals. The card features the 3 quarter-final bouts and we are expecting serious fireworks in some of these.
The standout bout among the quarter finals will see the unbeaten Koshin Takeshima (4-0, 3) take on the criminally under-rated Daisuke Watanabe (9-4-1, 6). The talented Takeshima will be looking to build on solid wins already this year over Jian Wang and Jon Jon Estrada, but this will be his first bout against a fellow Japanese fighter. Watanabe on the other hand is unbeaten in his last 4, including a KO win last time out against Dai Iwai, and is unbeaten since a 2018 loss to Reiya Abe. This is by far and away the most interesting of the 3 quarters and should be a very hard one to call.
In a bout with an international flavour we'll see China's Qiang Ma (5-1-2, 3) take on the out of form Shingo Kusano (11-8-1, 4). Although this is Ma's international debut he does appear to have all the momentum coming into this and is unbeaten in 7 bouts, including a win last time out for a minor, regional, WBO belt. The 30 year old Kusano has lost his last 4 bouts, and is win-less since a February 2016 victory over Apisak Puttawong, who has gone 0-6 since losing to Kusano.
Whilst we would be shocked by a Kusano win over Ma that's not the quarter final we see as the biggest mismatch. Instead that mismatch is the quarter-final pitting the huge punching Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-4-2, 19) against Korean Jae Woo Lee (6-2, 5). Coming in Tameda should be regarded as one of the clear favourites for the tournament and he's looking for his 4th win of the year, and his 9th win in 10 bouts. Lee, a former Korean Featherweight champion, has a punchers chance, but he's been out of the ring since March 2018 due to injuries and should be regarded as a very, very clear under-dog. If Lee comes out swinging this could be very fun, but we see Tameda's power and experience being too much for the visitor.
Also on this card is the highly touted Masahiro Suzuki (3-0, 2), who looks to continue his ascent to big fights as he takes on fellow Japanese fighter Hokuto Matsumoto (5-2, 1). this will be Suzuki's second bout against a Japanese foe, as he looks to build on August's win over Kosuke Arioka, and net his third victory of the year. We regard Suzuki very highly, but this isn't a gimme. The light punching Matsumoto was stopped last time out, by Kenta Endo, but is a tough and talented fighter and he will be looking for an upset win here.