A week after the East Japan Rookie of the Year final we get the West Japan Rookie of the Year final, and as with the East Japan version we again get some fantastic looking bouts. Obviously we won't go through the whole card but have selected 4 bouts that intrigue us
We see unbeaten fighters clash in the Minimumweight bout as 24 year old Sho Hatsuda (2-0) takes on 21 year old puncher Takumi Chono (4-0, 3). Hatsuda made his debut last December, and then spent 9 months away from the ring before earning his place here in September, with a narrow win over Hyogo Kimura. Chono on the other hand struggled to a majority decision win in Vietnam last December, against Van Thanh Nguyen, but has blown away his other 3 opponents. We have boxer against puncher, and this could be a lot of fun.
Another battle between unbeaten men comes at Flyweight where 19 year olds Yasuhiro Kanzaki (3-0, 1) and Atsuki Nakamura (3-0-1, 3) clash. Kanzaki only debuted in April this year but has had a year to remember, earning his place in the West Japan Rookie of the Year final. Interesting Nakamura has been a professional for a year longer than his foe, but he hasn't had significantly more activity, and both of his last 2 bouts were wins over the win-less Daichi Kosaka. On paper this is another boxer Vs puncher bout, and is a very even looking one.
On paper the most explosive is the Featherweight bout, which will pit 23 year old banger Jinki Maeda (2-0, 2), who has stopped both of his bouts so far inside the opening round, against 20 year Hikaru Fukunaga (4-0, 4), who has scored 3 opening round T/KO's. We're not expecting this one to go long and we're certainly not expecting a boxing classic, but this could end up being a very, very explosive and exciting clash between two guys who look to go for the win, and go for it early.
One final bout worthy of some attention is the Welterweight bout, where Homare Yasui (3-1-2, 3) will face the unbeaten Hiroya Nojima (3-0, 2). Strangely Nojima debuted after Yasui's most recent bout, and Yasui is more than 18 months removed from his last win. We suspect Nojima will be the favourite, but both guys can punch and this, like the Featherweight bout, could be very explosive.
We also get a Filipino card thanks to Brico Santig and his Highland Boxing Team.
Overall this card isn't great but we do like the main event, which will be the third meeting between Alie Laurel (16-4-1, 10) and Ernesto Saulong (22-5-2, 9), with the two men trading blows for the WBO Oriental Super Bantamweight title. The two fighter have had two hotly contested bouts already, with Saulong winning both at Bantamweight, but this is a good chance for Laurel to get revenge and build on his momentum. Coming in to this Saulong has gone 1-3-1 in his last 5, including a huge upset loss to Waldo Sabu, whilst Laurel has gone 6-1-1 in his last 8 and has all the momentum behind him.
In Fuzhou, China we get a small card that has 3 bouts of note on it, including one of the most anticipated debuts in recent years. The card certainly isn't a big one, but it's one that does do enough to deserve real attention.
On paper the main event looks to be an all Chinese bout, with the best bout on the show set to be a contest between unbeaten puncher Jianzheng Wang (9-0, 7) and the once beaten Zhaoxin Zhang (7-1-1, 3). The 32 year old Wang has won various regional minor titles and although his competition hasn't been great he does seem to have the power to step up a level, to the more significant regional titles. Zhang on the other hand appears to be abandoning the Light Heavyweight division to make his mark at Cruiserweight and he has proven to be a tough, but flawed, fighter. This could be a very entertaining clash.
Another unbeaten Chinese fighter on this show is Yeerlan Nuerlanbieke (3-0, 1), who will be up against the more experienced Yangcheng Jin (9-5-2, 5). The unbeaten Nuerlanbieke isn't the most active but is seemingly going with the "quality, not quantity" argument here and will be stepping up from 6 rounders to 10 rounds. He's looked decent but this is a big step up. Jin on the other hand has lost 3 of his last 5, but shouldn't be written off, with wins over Ukyo Yoshigai and Antonio Siesmundo in his last 3. This is a lot better than it looks on paper.
The main talking point for this show, at least when the show was announced, was the debut of 2016 Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov (0-0) from Uzbekistan. The talented Uzbek has has seen a lot of attention given his way with rumours since 2016 about his professional debut, and some notable upset losses in major amateur competitions since Rio. He's expected to be fast tracked through the ranks, but will need to get past Chinese local De Bin Zhou (3-1-1, 2) in an 8 rounder before eyeing up those bigger bouts. It should be noted however that this bout has now been removed from Boxrec, so there is a feeling this contest may now have been cancelled, which would be massively unfortunate.
A second Chinese card will come from Qingdao and the most notable bout pencilled in here is a contest between Chenghao Luo (2-0-1, 2) and the debuting Iranian Yaser Yaser (0-0).
We also have a show in Thailand, which is low key but still interesting.
The most interesting bout on the show will see the unbeaten pairing of Murodjon Yokubov (5-0, 4) and Abhilash Raut (3-0, 3) face off. The 26 year old Yokubov is a Thai based Uzbek hopeful, who has stopped his last 4, including 3 opening round stoppages. He looks promising, but his competition so far has been very limited. On the other hand Raut, from India, turned pro this January and has also been crushing cans, with 3 stoppages in a combined 5 rounds. Expect this one to be explosive from the off.
A second bout of interest will be a Thai Light Welterweight title fight as Musheg Adoian (2-1, 2) takes on Padyod Keartjareunsiri (2-0). The 24 year old Adoian is an Armenian born Russian who is now fighting out Thailand and has scored a couple of early wins after a loss on debut in June. Incidentally Adoian's loss on debut came to Padyod, who was also debuting, meaning this bout has a little bit of history, as well as the title, going for it.
Another low key card comes from Indonesia, where we'll see a card headlined by Jason Butar Butar (30-27-1, 19), who was last seen losing to Hiroshige Osawa, taking on Selsius Rumlus (5-12, 3).
This card will also feature the once touted Patrick Liukhoto (9-2-1, 7) battle against Louis Loemoli (4-18-1, 2), with Liukhoto looking to bounce back from successive losses.
The biggest card this coming Saturday is from Tokyo, and is the latest Dynamic Glove card set to be shown on tape delay. The card features a nice mixture of title fights and novices in what could be one a card of real interest.
The main event of the show is a rematch between Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0-1, 10) and Shuji Kato (10-1-2, 6). These two fought earlier in the year, battling to a draw in a brilliant bout where the heavy handed Takesako had to dig deep to earn a draw against a determined and smart challenger. Kato will probably have felt like he let the win slip between his fingers in their first bout whilst Takesako may have over-looked his man and we should be assured another cracking bout here between men who are very well matched but have very contrasting styles. A full preview of this bout is available here Takesako and Kato go again for Japanese Middleweight crown!
The chief support bout sees former world title challenger Takeshi Inoue (13-1-1, 7) back in the ring following his loss to Jaime Munguia in January. The tough and exciting Inoue proved he could go to war against Munguia and will be expected to easily over-come Thai visitor Patomsuk Pathompothong (38-10-1 24) on a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Middleweight title. Inoue actually held this title back in late 2017 and will be looking to become a 2-time champion. On the other hand the 35 year old Thai has been stopped in his last 2 bouts in Japan, both at 140lbs, and it's hard to see him putting up any sort of a fight against the rough and ready Japanese warrior. We've previewed this bout here Inoue returns to Japan to battle for regional title!
An interesting support bout will see the once beaten Kenshin Oshima (5-1-1, 3) take on Filipino Wilbert Berondo (14-3-2, 6). Oshima didn't look great last time out, taking a win over youngster Ikuro Sadatsune in a very good bout in January, and will be hoping to shine here against Berondo. The Filipino on the other hand will be returning to Japan for the first time since he was stopped by Hinata Maruta back in 2016 in a WBC Youth title fight.
Another promising youngster on this card is the hard hitting Takuma Takahashi (3-0, 3), who battles against Sitthidet Banti (11-4, 5). With just 5 rounds to his name Takahashi is still very much a professional novice, but it's clear he can bang, even if his technique needs some work before he starts to hunt titles. Takahashi was a successful amateur but still needs to polish his style in the next year or two and this should be a good chance for him to do some polishing against a tough Thai foe. Banti, also known as Denchana Sakkreerin, is no world beater but he's yet to be stopped and comes in to this bout on the back of 2 wins, including a victory over Saddam Kietyongyuth. Our "Introducing" feature on Takahashi from earlier in the year can be read here Introducing... Takuma Takahashi
Also on this card will be the debut of Celes Kobayashi's latest signing Issei Ochiai (0-0). The talented youngster will be debuting against Thai foe Lerdchai Chaiyawed (1-2), who holds a notable 2018 win over Wittawas Basapean though was beaten last time out, in Japan, by Seita Ogido. There are big hopes for Ochiai and we expect to see whether those hopes are well founded or not here. Our "Introducing" feature on Ochiai can be read here Introducing... Issei Ochiai
Metro Manila, Philippines
The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex in Paranaque City is set to host a title double header which features some really interesting match ups, mixing domestic talent with some international talent.
The best of the all-Filipino fights on this card will see Allan Vallespin (12-4, 9) take on Glenn Enterina (14-5-1, 9) in an excellent match up for the GAB Super Featherweight title. The under-rated Vallespin is coming in to this on the back of just 1 win in his last 3, though he has been matched hard against the likes of Denys Brinchyk, Musashi Mori and Yoshimitsu Kimura, but is 12-0 in his homeland. Similarly Enterina has suffered all of his losses on the road, and is 14-1-1 (9) at home, showing just how good he is on the domestic scene. Given how these men have fared on the Filipino scene this should be a very competitive contest.
The second title fight will see Filipino puncher Alvin Medura (8-4, 7) take on Japanese visitor Mugicha Nakagawa (24-6-2, 14) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Bantamweight title. Medura has suffered his last 3 loses to Japanese foes, all on the road, but will feel confident that his power, which has netted him 5 wins int he first 2 rounds, will play a major factor against Nakagawa. Nakagawa on the other hand will be trying to put a few bad months behind him. He lost in a Japanese title fight back in January, to Ryoichi Tamura, and then fought to a draw last time out with Jin Miura. At his best Nakagawa is a tough, hard working fighter, but we do question his confidence coming into this one. If Nakagawa is half the fighter he was 12 months ago he takes a clear win here.
One other Filipino Vs Japan bout will see Crison Omayao (24-19-5, 8) face Daisuke Sugita (4-1, 3), in what looks like an abhorrent mis-match. The 26 year old Omayao has fought much of his career as a Minimumweight, and was actually the debut of opponent of Naoya Inoue back in 2012, so we really need to query why he's fighting at Super Bantamweight here against the technically limited but hard hitting Daisuke Sugita. For Sugita this looks like a really straight forward way to get back to winning ways following a very clear loss back in January to Reiya Abe. We'd be very shocked if this one went more than a few rounds and didn't end up with Omayao suffering his 10th stoppage loss
Metro Manila, Philippines
A second card from the Philippines is a much smaller one, but will feature two more title bouts.
One of those title bouts will feature the limited but hard hitting Prabhjot Singh (7-4-1, 7) taking on Edsil Jungco (3-12-7), with the two fighters battling for the PBF Middleweight title. Singh has lost his last 4, dating back over 2 years, and it's really hard to know what he has left to offer. Jungco on the other hand, the expect of the draw with 7 of them from 22 bouts, has notched 2 wins in his last 4 and will have some confidence coming into this bout after 1 win in his first 18.
The other title bout on this card is between Alie Laurel (15-4-1,10) and Lloyd Jardeliza (8-9-4, 6), who battle for the LuzProBA Featherweight title. The 27 year old Laurel is very much an under-rated fighter, but sadly had his career put on ice for almost 3 years following a draw with Joe Noynay in 2016, a draw that now looks incredibly good. This will be his second bout since that bout with Noynay. JArdeliza on the other hand is best known for being stopped in 5 rounds by Shun Kubo in an OPBF title bout, back in 2015, and since then he has struggled to make any impact in the sport, going 1-6-1 since then. Jardeliza needs a win here, but is very unlikely to get it against the talented Laurel.
Once beaten former world title challenger Jessebelle Pagaduan (11-1-1, 5) will be seeking her 5th straight win as she takes on limited domestic foe Charimae Salvador (4-2, 1). The talented Pagaduan has suffered both of her career set backs in Japan in world title bouts but will be looking to secure a third world title bout in the coming years. Interesting both of Salvador's set backs have also come in Japan but at a much lower level, including a loss to novice teenager Eruka Hiromoto last November. There's a gulf in class between these two, and it's hard to imagine anything but a clear win for Pagaduan.
Staying in Asia there will also be a card that will be headlined by Campee Phayom (16-4-1, 10) taking on China's Lunjun Zhao (6-1) in a contest for a WBO Youth title at Super Featherweight. This is the least significant of the Asian cards for the day, but is still a chance to see two youngsters in action for a minor title.
As well as all the action in Asia we'll also see Japanese veteran Hirotsugu Yamamoto (20-14-3, 4) make his US debut, as he takes on the unbeaten Michael Norato (7-0, 2). The Japanese fighter, who will be fighting in his 38th pro bout, will be fighting for the first time in a little over 2 years, with his last bout being a TKO2 loss Kenichi Ogawa. Although now aged 35 Yamamoto is looking to continue his career Stateside, though will be a big under-dog against the 26 year old Norato. The unbeaten American is technically set for his toughest fight, but this merely looks like a natural step up for him, and Norato should pick up a straight forward win.
The most notable action to involve Asian fighters this Thursday takes place in the US where two fantastic prospects will be in action.
The most promising of the prospects is the fantastic Dmitry Bivol (5-0, 5) who looks to continue his meteoric rise through the Light Heavyweight ranks as he faces Brazilian Cleiton Conceicao (22-8-2, 18). Bivol, from Kyrgyzstan, is possibly the most exciting prospect on the planet and looks to be a man set to fight in world level bouts in the next 12-18. This is likely to just be the next step on his road to the top.
The other prospect is unbeaten Kazakh Bekman Soylybayev (7-0, 3) who moves in to title bouts as he takes on the experienced Moises Delgadillo (15-13-2, 8) for the WBA-NABA USA Super Featherweight title. This should be a straight forward win for Soylybayev, who was a former stand out amateur and WSB champion, though it's actually the manner of his performance that will be important here.
Metro Manila, Philippines
As well as the notable action in the US fight fans also get an Asian interest in the Philippines where fans get several title bouts in what looks likely to be a very intriguing card in Metro Manila.
The main event of the card will see the unbeaten Joe Noynay (10-0, 3), also known as Joe Misako, battle against the criminally under-rated Alie Laurel (14-4, 9) in a bout for the WBC International Super Bantamweight title. The unbeaten 20 year old will be the favourite given his unbeaten record but this will be a dangerous bout for him. Noynay is the naturally bigger fighter but Laurel is a very dangerous fighter, as seen in wins over Tiger Tor Buamas and Nobuhisa Coronita Doi.
Another unbeaten fighter looking to claim a title on this show is Kyota Otsuka (5-0-1, 3) who faces Eranio Semillano (11-7-1, 3) for the WBC EPBC Super Flyweight title. On paper this looks like a logical step up for Otsuka but the 21 year old is stepping up massively for his first 12 rounder and this is a potential upset. Semillano is 1-2-1 in his last 4 but shouldn't be over-looked as he has been mixing at a much higher level than Otsuka, and actually fought current WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu in 2014.
The remaining title bout is probably the best match up on the card and sees the unbeaten Toto Landero (7-0-2, 2) battle against the once beaten Rolly Sumalpong (9-1-1, 4) for the WBC EPBC title at Minimumweight. This is the first defense by Sumalpong, who won the title last June, and will be his first bout since losing to fast rising Japanese star Ken Shiro last October. For Landero this is a step up to 10 round action and a great chance for him to score a big win. This really is a fantastic match up and very mouth watering.
The most notable action featuring Asian fighters this coming Sunday comes from Texas where we get two former world champions in action as they both look bounce back from losses in world title action.
Of the two men the most notable is former WBO Bantamweight champion Tomoki Kameda (31-1, 19) who faces Englishman Jamie McDonnell (26-2-1, 12), in an attempt to avenge his first career defeat and claim the WBA Bantamweight title. These two faced each other earlier this year in a brilliantly compelling bout that saw McDonnell climb off the canvas to take a narrow decision win over the youngster of the 3 Kameda brothers. Kameda, who had a rematch clause, will be looking to become a 2-time world champion but will need to show much more than he did in the first meetign with McDonnell, especially down the stretch.
The other is Tomoki's older brother Daiki Kameda (29-4, 18). Daiki, a former Flyweight and Super Flyweight world champion, willl be facing Mexican slugger Victor Ruiz (19-5, 14) in what looks like a good match up on paper. Kameda hasn't fought since late 2013, when he lost a Super Flyweight unification bout to Liborio Solis, and will likely be rusty here though should over-come Ruiz who has a very padded looking record.
Whilst the Kameda's will be the biggest name Japanese fighters in action they will certainly not be the only Japanese fighters in action with a show in Toyama.
Notably this show will be headlined by two non-Japanese fighters as Venezuelan Juan Jose Landaeta (26-8-1, 20) battles against Panama's Walter Tello (21-8, 8). Landaeta is now based in Japan and will be hoping show some of the form that once lead him to holding the WBA interim Minimumweight title. As for Tello this will be his second bout since he was stopped by Randy Petalcorin in June 2014, and we'd expect him to come up short again here.
In another feature bout on this card fans will see the once beaten Aiko Yamagishi (4-1-1, 2) battle former world title challenger Saemi Hanagata (9-6-2, 4) in a 6 round female bout. Hanagata has come up short in her last two bouts but did run Naoko Shibata very close back in February and we expect her to show her ability here. Notably Yamagishi was stopped last time out and this is a big step up in class for her.
The most attractive of three Filipino shows comes from Benguet where we get two bouts that have really caught our eye.
The most notable of those bouts will see the once beaten Ben Mananquil (10-1-2, 2) battle against former world ranked fighter Mateo Handig (13-9, 7) in an intriguing Super Flyweight bout. We are fans of Mananquil, who at 23 years old is genuine one to keep an eye on. Handig, who holds a major win over Katsunari Takayama has lost his last 4 and will know that another defeat will spell the end of any dreams he has to make a real name for himself.
The other bout will see former world ranked slugger Alie Laurel (13-4, 9) take on Gerry Patenio (4-8-2, 2). Although this is a mismatch we always enjoy watching Laurel in action and he certainly knows a thing or two about upsets, holding wins over Nobuhisa Coronita Doi and Tiger Tor Buamas. We're looking forward to seeing more of Laurel down the line, but this is an easy win following a loss to Ernesto Saulong back in May.
As well as the bouts mentioned there will be a number of bouts featuring Indian fighters.
Another notable show comes from Wastern Samar.
The most interesting bout on this card will see the once beaten Neil John Tabanao (11-1,7) attempt to bounce back from his recent loss to Randy Braga. The talented and young Tabano will be up against the limited Alvin Makiling (10-12-3, 3) in what should be a one-sided bout with the 21 year old Tabano coming out on top.
In an 8 round support bout the unbeaten Rambo Lagos (4-0-2, 2) will be up against the limited JR Salvador (5-23-3). This should again be a win for the unbeaten man though this could be an interesting test for Lagos.
One other bout of note here will see 20 year old Margarito Moya (7-1, 2) in action. Moya was originally reported to be up against Renan Portes (4-2, 1), though it now looks like Moya is out of the bout.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
On another Filipino show fans will get the chance to see promising 21 year old Genesis Libranza (7-0, 5) battle against the very experienced Michael Rodriguez (13-41-1, 3) in a bout set for 10. It's hard to go against the unbeaten man though he does have a lot of questions to be asked before he's stepped up too much.
In the co-feature of this show fans will see the return to the ring of Drian Francisco (27-3-1, 21) who faces Jilo Merlin (13-23-2, 2). This will be Francisco's first bout since he was beaten in a round by Jason Canoy, who was recently announced as the opponent for Hianata Maruta's upcoming debut, and this is as a safe a comeback fight as Francisco could possibly have with Melin having lost his last 8.
This coming Friday isn't a day that many fight fans will have marked on their calendars but there really is a lot of action.
In Thailand fans get a spectacular card combining boxing and Muay Thai. As we don't cover MT we've only really got 3 bouts to make note of.
In the main event, at least in terms of the boxing, fans will see the promising Saenganan Sithsaithong (10-0, 6) take on Filipino visitor Danilo Gabisay (6-3, 4). Gabisay really needs a win of note here having gone 2-3 in his last 5, though he did score a TKO over Angelito Merin last time out. Saenganan is listed as a 15 year old on boxrec and whilst we're unsure on his age he does seem to be a really promising young fighter with genuine potential. That potential should be on show here.
Another bout between a Thai and a Filipino will see the experienced Thai Chaiyong Sithsaithong (36-14-4, 26) battle against limited Filipino foe Nathan Bolcio (12-7-2, 4). Bolcio has been stopped in his last 4 bouts out side of the Philippines and we suspect he could be stopped again here, though he did notably go 10 rounds with Tomoki Kameda back in 2011. Chaiyong has however lost his last 2 bouts and now needs a win.
A third bout will see China's Jen Yu Jia (1-8-2) fight a local Thai foe, though one who's name we're unsure about having been given the name “Sant Sithsaithong”, who we can't find on boxrec.com. Jia isn't great but he is tough enough to test some prospects and if “Sant” isn't up to much he could be slipping on the banana skin here.
Although the show in Thailand is interesting we're actually more interesting in a show from China which bouts 4 title bouts and features several fighters that we have a genuine interest in.
The main event will be an all Filipino affair as Alie Laurel (13-3, 9) battles against once beaten Ernesto Saulong (17-1-1, 7) in a bout for the WBC International Bantamweight title. This will be a rematch of Laurel's third loss, a split decision to Saulong, and will allow Laurel to continue his fine form which has seen him stop his last 3 foes, including Tiger Tor Buamas and Nobuhisa Coronita Doi. Saulong has also won his last 3 bouts though was stopped, in 3 rounds, by Rey Megrino last May. This is really interesting as a match up and one of the ones we're really excited about.
Another bout we're really excited about will see the world ranked Xiang Jing (8-3-2, 1) battle against Macrea Gandionco (10-2-2, 6) in a bout for the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council and WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight titles. Coming into this bout Gandionco is 0-2-1 in his last 3, having been stopped in both of those defeats. Jing on the other hand is 1-0-2 having claimed a controversial win last time out against the very talented Ben Mananquil. This could be a good test of the Chinese fighter, though we suspect he'll come out on top.
A Featherweight title bout will see Xian Wei Qian (7-4-1, 1) battle against the unbeaten Junar Adante (5-0-1, 2) on a bout for a pair of WBC regional titles. A potential fringe world ranking could be up for grabs for the winner here , despite how unproven the two men are, and so we'd expect them to put it all on the line in an attempt to claim the two titles.
Yet another notable title fight will see Cai Zongju (4-1, 1) battle against Angor Onesongchaigym (7-2, 4) for a pair of WBC female titles. Fair to say most western fans won't be interested in this one but the winner could find themselves in the running for a potential shot at a WBC female world title later in the year.
In Australia there are a trio of bouts worth noting, including a particularly interesting female bout with a potential Atomweight world title challenger.
That female bout will see Filipino fighter Jujeath Nagaowa (12-14-1, 8) attempt to slow down the fast rise of talented Australian Louisa Hawton (4-0, 2). Hawton's team have made it clear that they are chasing world title bouts later in the year and this is an excellent step up for her, though Nagaowa isn't a push over.
Another bout here will see Thai veteran Sapapetch Sor Sakaorat (31-17, 20) battle against Australian fighter Steven Wills (17-2-2, 9) whilst Filipino fighter Lloyd Jardeliza (6-1-3, 5) takes on Nathaniel May (10-1, 5), in what appears to be a very tough ask for the Pinoy puncher.
For the second day running we get action from the Korakuen Hall with an under-rated yet interesting show which features a number of ranked fighters and several genuinely meaningful bouts.
The opening bout on the show is a 6 rounder which will see the 2014 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner at Featherweight, Reiya Abe (8-1, 4) battle for the first time since he claimed the Rookie title. Abe will be, on paper, in his toughest bout to date as he battles against Shingo Kusano (8-4-1, 4) who will be entering the bout in search of his biggest win, since he won the East Japan Rookie of the Year crown, also at Featherweight, in November 2013. Interestingly coming into this fight Abe is ranked #15 by the JBC at 126lbs.
In a contracted 80KG bout fans will see Thai debutant Kompayak Sithacharnkom (0-0) battle against former OPBF Super Middleweight title challenger Shintaro Matsumoto (10-4, 8). Matsumoto has lost his last two bouts by stoppage, including a 4th round TKO loss to Yuzo Kiyota last time out, though we know next to nothing about his Thai opponent, other than the fact he shares a “first name” with a former Minimumweight world champion.
An interesting Featherweight bout will see the hard hitting Tsuyoshi Tameda (10-1-2, 8) battle against Takenori Ohashi (11-3-1, 7) in a genuine well matched bout. We need to favour Tameda here though only just and Ohashi's draw against Mikihito Seto last June was an impressive result that he may build on here.
A second Japan Vs Thailand bout comes at Super Featherweight where IBF Asia champion Takuya Watanabe (23-5-1, 11) fights a hastily arranged bout with a Thai foe Sam Saknarong (1-1). Although this bout was relatively short notice Watanabe had been training for a bout on March 1st and should be in great shape for this non-title bout.
The show's co-feature will be one of the most significant bouts of the week as Quaye Peter (6-5-2, 3), an OPBF and JBC ranked fighter, battles against JBC ranked foe Ryoji Tanaka (8-2-1, 2). Outside of rankings this may not mean much, especially for fight fans outside of Japan, though it could well see the winner move on to a national title fight and that is significant. Peter, a Ghanaian born fighter who has fought solely in Japan, scored his biggest win last time out, taking a clear decision over Kazuya Maruki in a major upset. That win was Peter's first in more than 2 years and saw him ending a 5 fight win-less streak. On the other hand Tanaka enters this bout on a 5 fight winning streak including a notable win over Dai Taoka in the 2013 Rookie of the Year final at Welterweight.
Possibly the pick of the bouts will see Filipino visitor Alie Laurel (12-3, 8) battle against the heavily experienced Nobuhisa Coronita Doi (29-14-8, 11). Doi has come up short in a couple of Japanese title fights, including a 2013 clash with Hidenori Otake, and knows another loss could be the end of his career. As for Laurel he made a name for himself last year when he shocked the then unbeaten Tiger Tor Buamas in 5 rounds to claim the WBO Oriental Bantamweight title. Although Lurael has got defeats on his record his is a brilliant and dangerous little fighter who has been unlucky in all 3 defeats. We suspect Laurel could well end Doi's career here in a very, very interesting match up.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)