Dimiao, Bohol, Philippines
The main card this coming Friday is from Bohol in the Philippines, where we get several interesting looking match ups.
The most notable bout on the card will see 25 year old Filipino Virgel Vitor (18-2, 11) trade blows with once touted Thai hopeful Arnon Yupang (9-2, 3). in a bout for the WBA Asia Super Featherweight title. Given he's got home advantage Vitor will be the favourite, and he certainly has the power to make a mark at this level. Yupang on the other hand was tipped quite highly, but a recent loss to Wanchana Menayothin leaves him not fighting for his career, and he will also be the smaller man here.
On paper an even better bout will see unbeaten Filipino Regie Suganob (11-0, 4) battle against unbeaten Indonesian Andika D'Golden Boy (19-0-1, 10), in what is a huge fight for both men. Suganob has quietly been building a solid record on the domestic scene, but lacks any for of notable international name on his record and this is a chance for that to change. As for Andika, he was pencilled in for a world title fight in 2020 but that fell through due to the pandemic and it's hard to know what his hunger is like, especially given an unexpected draw last time out against Wandi Priman Hulu. We expect to see a lot of skills on show here, and whilst we don't imagine we'll get a Fight of the Year contender, we do expect a very, very interesting interesting bout.
In an all Filipino affair Jake Amparo (9-3-1, 2) will battle against Ariston Aton (9-4, 5), in what looks like a toss of a bout on paper. Amparo has won 3 in a row since a 2021 loss to Suganob. and looks to be moving his career forward rather well, but this is a tougher bout than his recent wins. Aton has lost his last 3, and has little momentum, but will be hungry to turn things around, and is in with an easier opponent than his recent bouts, whuch have seen him clash with Simipiwe Konkco and Tsubasa Koura. This one could steal the show.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
As well as the action in the Philippines we also have a small card in Tokyo, under the Genkotsu banner.
The main event will see 30 year old hopeful Kosuke Ando (10-3, 5) look to record a third straight stoppage win as he takes on the light punching Daisuke Sudo (7-9-3). At his best Ando is the sort of fighter who can, and will, earn a domestic title fight, but will need to get lucky to win a title, and is more likely to spend, much of the remainder of his career bouncing around the domestic rankings. As for Sudo he has lost his last 3, but has been matched hard with bouts against the likes of Kento Hatanaka and Ryuya Yamanka. This bout is a step down from those ones, but still one that he'll be expected to lose.
Also on this card is a potentially fan friendly bout between Kensuke Suzuki (4-1, 1) and Taiga Ito (4-3), who clash at 154lbs. The 26 year old Ito is no world beater but is regularly involved in very entertaining and fan friendly wars, which see him depend on his work rate and size rather than his power. Suzuki, 23, is also the sort of fighter who relies on letting punches fly, and is looking to bounce back from his first loss. Expect this one to be a very, very fun to watch 6 rounder.
L-Theatre, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
This coming Sunday is a busy one for Japanese fight fans with 3 shows in the country. Sadly none of the shows are major or have huge bouts, but there is some interesting action all the same.
The most notable single bout takes place at the L-Theatre in Osaka, on a show being promoted by Taiho promotions. The bout in question will see JBC number 2 ranked Super Featherweight Ken Osato (17-4-1, 5) take on Yuna Hara (11-2-1, 6) in a very good 8 rounder match up. The talented comes into the bout 2-2 in his last 4, but they did include a razor thin loss in a Japanese title bout against Masaru Sueyoshi in 2019. As for Hara he comes into this with momentum, having won his last 5, with 4 stoppages. Osato should be the favourite, but Hara is very much a live under-dog here.
Sadly that bout aside this is a weak card, with 4 supporting bouts, all of which are 4 rounders.
L-Theatre, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
After the Taiho card fans at the L-Theatre will also get the chance to see a West Japan Rookie of the Year show, with a scheduled 6 bouts set for it. The show will serve as the semi-finals for the West Japan Rookie of the Year tournament.
One of the bouts on this card will see Taito Nakamura (1-0) take on Gakuto Yamaguchi (6-0, 4) in a Featherweight bout. On paper this is a bit of a mismatch, given the clear experience edge for Yamaguchi, though it is worth noting he's only 20 years old and has had a very stop start career since debuting in Thailand in 2017, aged 15 and only made his Japanese debut last July, going 3-0 (1) in his homeland. As for Nakamura, who's 19 himself, he made his debut this past April and will come into this with plenty of belief himself.
The only debutant on this card is Super Flyweight hopeful Kohei Konishi (0-0), who takes on Ken Watanabe (2-0). The 23 year old Konishi is, like many debutants at this level, a total unknown whilst Watanabe debuted late last year and has struggled in both of his bouts so far, only narrowly defeating Genki Kakiuchi in April.
At Super Bantamweight Kirei Yasumura (1-0, 1) takes on 19 year old southpaw Seia Oshiro (3-0, 1). Yasumura, who's 22, debuted in November with an opening round KO win over Shinya Saito but sadly with that bout lasting just over 2 minutes it's hard to read much into it. As for Oshiro he debuted in August and has looked better with every fight so far, making this one a great match up to see what both men may have in the locker.
Arena Tachikawa Tachihi , Tachikawa, Tokyo, Japan
Outside of Osaka there is also a show in Tokyo which will feature a couple of good 8 rounders.
One of those 8 rounders will see the hard hitting Hayato Ono (8-4-2, 8) take on under-rated 34 year old Fumisuke Kimura (9-9-1, 6), in a rematch of a clash the men had in early 2019. Ono is heavy handed, but looks to be a bit of a faded force, having gone 0-2-2 in his last 4, with the first result from that win-less run being an opening round loss to Kimura. As for Kimura the veteran isn't a future title contender, but he is an upset minded fighter, who beat Ono and Giraffe Kirin Kanda in back to back fights, but is now win-less in his last 6, going 0-5-1. This really is a bout where both men will feel they need a win to keep their relevant career's alive.
The other 8 rounder is the main event of the show and will see JBC ranked Lightweight Shinnosuke Saito (9-4, 2) take on Ikemen Atsushi (7-8-2, 2). The talented Saito won the All Japan Rookie of the Year in 2019 and has gone 3-1 since then, with his most recent win coming in December against Mirai Naito. Although not yet ready for a title fight he is slowly edging his way there and we suspect the 26 year old is maybe 4 or 5 fights from a domestic title fight. At for Atsushi he's lost his last 4 and really hasn't been competitive. This focus here seems to be on getting Saito some ring time after a few months out, with bigger and better fights coming for him later in the year.
Holywings Club, Gatot Subroto, Jakarta, Indonesia
As well as all the action in Japan, we also get a small but very notable, card in Indonesia. The card features one of the brightest hopes in Indonesian boxing, a once touted Indonesian hopeful and a Croatian-Australian Heavyweight.
The rising star of Indonesian boxing, Andika D'Golden Boy (18-0, 8), will be seeking his 19th win as he takes on professional novice Wandi Priman Hulu (1-0). Andika was once linked to a fight with Hiroto Kyoguchi, before the pandemic ended those hopes, and in many ways the 26 year old hopefully has probably been saved from a loss, and given time to match, develop and prepare better for a high level bout like that. Sadly though we're not sure what he'll get from beating a Hulu, who struggled in his only recorded bout, last October.
In a more even looking bout we'll see the once touted Defry Palulu (24-2-1, 14) takes on Indian visitor Asad Asif Khan (11-2-1-1, 3). At one point Palulu was tipped as the big hope for Indonesia, but now aged 31 his career looks like it will never reach the heights once expected of him. Despite that he is still one of the countries best fighters and should be too good for the 28 year old Khan, who will be facing his most notable opponent to date. Khan has gone unbeaten since losing his first 2, but he has been matched very softly so far and this is a legitimate step up in class for him.
The most bizarre bout on the show will see former David Haye opponent Mark De Mori (39-2-2, 35) face off with Indonesian fighter Satria Antasena (5-19, 3) in a real "WTF?" bout. The 40 year old De Mori is no world beater, as we saw when Haye stopped him in just over 2 minutes, but he is riding a 9 fight winning streak, all by KO, and will likely extend that here. Antasena is a well travelled Indonesian fighter, but also someone who tends to pick up very early losses and has been stopped 15 times in his 19 losses, with 6 losses in the opening round. We expect another early blow out for him here
The main card of interest this coming Sunday comes from Osaka, where we get a small but notable show.
The main event of this show sees 21 year old Japanese hopeful Daiki Tomita (12-1, 4) take on former world title challenger Jeffrey Galero (17-6, 8). Interestingly both me these men have lost to Tsubasa Koura, with Koura blitzing Galero being going 12 rounds with Tomita, and it feels very much like Tomita is the man with the potential to go on to big things, whilst Galero is on a downward slide towards becoming a journeyman, with 3 losses in his last 4.
A pretty solid bout on this card will see Yu Konomura (9-8-2, 3) take on Daisuke Watanabe (7-4-1, 4). On paper it's very easy to overlook this contest, but in reality it should be really entertaining. Konomura has struggled to not wins recently, winning just twice in his last 8, but can be a banana skin whilst Watanabe has one of the sports truly deceiving records, and he is much, much better than those numbers suggest.
Also on this card is former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa (34-5-4, 20), who looks to score a stay busy win against Indonesian visitor Ahmad Lahizab (4-7-1, 1). This is a big step down in class for Osawa, but appears to be a real tick over before something bigger later in the year.
As well as the action in Japan there will also be a show in Indonesia featuring a pair of unbeaten local prospects, each looking to extend their unbeaten records and claim a title.
The main event will be a 12 round bout, which will see the talented Andika D'Golden Boy (15-0, 8) take on Filipino foe Romshane Sarguilla (7-2-2, 4) in a bout for the WBA Asia Light Flyweight title. The unbeaten local fighter is 23 years old and looking to build on a relatively poor 2018, which saw him fighting just twice. On the other hand Sarguilla will be fighting for the second time this year, looking to bounce back from a February loss to Dave Apolinario, a loss that was aired on ESPN5. Although the bout won't get much attention internationally, it will be a pretty interesting and potentially very competitive bout.
The other title bout on this show will see the unbeaten and heavy handed Ari Agustian (7-0, 7) take on Thai visitor Suntorn Panhom (3-3, 2) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Youth Lightweight title. We were really impressed by Agustian in 2018, when he travelled to China and blasted out Baolin Kang, but he's been inactive since and not build on a really notable win. Panhom on the other hand is a 19 year old Thai who has lost 3 of his last 4, and he's yet to score a win over someone with a recorded bout.