Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
We get more Rookie of the Year action this coming Monday as Korakuen Hall plays host to a 4 bout East Japan Rookie of the Year card. As is expected with these Rookie of the Year cards the entire show is only Rookies.
On paper the most intriguing match up is at Bantamweight, where Izuki Kodaka (1-0, 1) and Koichi Aoki (1-0, 1) clash in an all southpaw bout. Although the two only debuted last year, with Kodaka making his debut in October and Aoki in July, we do love seeing unbeaten fighters clashing in bouts like this. Kodaka has just recently turned and actually debuted on the under-card of Junto Nakatani's bout with Milan Melindo. Aoki on the other hand is 22 and will be looking to build on his debut win over Kazunari Kosaka.
The most experienced fighter on the show is 8 fight "veteran" Shunta Terai (2-5-1 2), who will be up against the unbeaten Shota Tanaka (2-0, 1) in a Super Bantamweight bout. The 26 year old Terai debuted way back in 2013, and has had a stop start career that has really struggled to get going. Coming in to this he has lost his last 3. Tanaka made his debut last Just and squeaked a win in his second pro bout, against Tomoyuki Okada. On paper this looks a mismatch though we wouldn't be surprised if it was a very close one.
One other bout worthy of some interest going on is a match up between Yuto Sekiguchi (1-1, 1) and Soshi Nakazato (1-0, 1), who also face off at Super Bantamweight. The 31 year old Skiguchi debuted in 2017, winning his debut, before vanishing from the ring for over a year. He returned last year and lost, but will now know that he needs to perform. At 21 years old Nakazato is the much younger man, and a southpaw, and could be one of the ones to keep a close eye on in the tournament.
Originally this show had 7 bouts set for it, including one with friend of the site Caliente Koyasu (3-2, 1), though three of those bouts have now been cancelled including that of Koyasu.