Kiatkririn Fitness & Martial Art, Bang Phli, Thailand
The most notable bout of the day takes place in Thailand, and features former world title challenger Aran Dipaen (13-3, 12) taking on Filipino fighter Cris Alfante (18-9-1, 10) in a bout for the IBF Pan Pacific Super Flyweight title. The hard hitting Dipaen is best known for his December 2021 bout with Japanese Bantamweight star Naoya Inoue, lasting 8 rounds with the "Monster. Since that loss he has picked up a low key win back in Thailand, but will be stepping up from that win here. As for Alfante the Filipino he showed some promise early in his career, going 10-1, but since then has gone 8-8-1 whilst facing some notable names, such as Florante Condes, Knockout CP Freshmart, Andrew Moloney and more recently KJ Cataraja. Sadly for Alfante he is the smaller man here, and he has been stopped 4 times already, a worry against someone who hits as hard as Dipaen.
Shinjuku FACE, Tokyo, Japan
For a second day running we get East Japan Rookie of the Year at the Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, with 6 bouts.
On paper one bout on this card stands out and that's a Welterweight bout between Kenji Sato (3-7, 3) and Yuji Shinohara (1-0, 1). Sato is, by far, the most experienced man on this card, but also has the ugliest looking record of any of the men on the card. Notably he is a glass cannon, and his 10 bouts have averaged 2.4 rounds, with only a single bout going the distance, and that came back in 2017. Given how those bouts have gone we're expecting him to come out swinging here. As for Shinohara he debuted in May with a 4th round win, and we suspect he will feel he has the power to give Sato his 7th stoppage loss.
Another bout we don't expect to see going the distance will be the Light Flyweight clash between Ryoga Hattori (2-0, 2) and Komi Kato (2-1, 2), who have yet to see the final bell between them. In a total of 5 bouts, neither man has been beyond the second round, and 3 of the combined 4 wins have come in the first round. Expect this to be a shoot out from the opening moments.
Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan
The main action in a surprisingly busy Tuesday, comes from the Kokugikan in Tokyo as we get a world title double header, and in fact the last world title bouts to take place in Japan this year following numerous post-Christmas bouts being cancelled.
The first world title bout from the double header will see WBO Minmumweight champion Wilfredo Mendez (16-1, 6) defending his title against mandatory challenger Masataka Taniguchi (14-3, 9), in what could be a very interesting bout. This will be Mendez's third defense of the title, which he took from Vic Saludar in 2019, but he comes into the bout after almost 2 years of inactivity, and for his first bout in Asia. "Bimbito" is certainly a talented fighter, but he style may not have the success on the road as it has at home, and he can look very negative at times. Taniguchi has come up short at world level before, but he does seem incredibly focused on this bout, and has bounced back well from his last loss, to Vic Saludar, to score 3 notable domestic wins. His style could end up working against him at times, as Mendez is the much quicker man, but his physicality and power could be a major difference maker, especially with Mendez's recent inactivity. Our preview for this world title fight can be read here Taniguchi gets second WBO title shot as he takes on Mendez
The other title bout on this show, and the main event of the day, will see Japanese star Naoya Inoue (21-0, 18) return to a Japanese ring for the first time in over 2 years to defend his WBA and IBF Bantamweight titles against hard hitting Thai challenger Aran Dipaen (12-2, 11). Inoue and his team have made it clear they wanted a bigger name than Dipaen for this bout, but were turned down by a number of more well known names, and that can be dangerous if they are over looking the Thai and looking towards unification bouts in the new year. Dipaen isn't so much a threat to Inoue here, but Inoue could be a threat to himself if he's over-looking the challenger. As for Dipaen no one is giving him a chance, but he will know he has nothing to lose and he will be in there looking to put in the performance his career. We don't see this one lasting long, but it could be a genuine test of Inoue's focus given such a frustrating end to the year. Our preview of this bour can be read here The monster returns to Japan to defend against Dipaen!
As well as the two main bouts this card has several notable prospects on it, with youngster Keisuke Matsumoto (3-0, 3) taking on the much very experienced Takahiro Araki (12-10, 4), former Kickboxer Yoshiki Takei (2-0, 2) taking on Kazuhiro Imamura (2-0-1, 1), in what looks set to be his toughest bout to date, and the very exciting Toshiya Ishii (4-1, 3) taking on Takuya Fujioka (10-10-1, 1), in what looks to be a stay busy fight before bigger things in 2022.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
The show at the Kokugikan isn't the only one in Tokyo, with Koakuen Hall playing host to an OPBF title double header. The bouts here aren't huge, but both the title bouts do promise a lot of exciting action, and there is also a solid under-card match up as well.
One of those OPBF title bouts will see Light Welterweight champion Rikki Naito (23-2, 8) take on Japanese veteran Koichi Aso (24-9-1, 15). Naito has looked like something of a suspect champion since winning the title a few years ago, and was pushed hard in a number of defense, but there's no doubting his skills and ability with the main questions being about his power and stamina. As for Aso, the veteran is a former Japanese national champion, but is very much a fighter coming to the end of his career, and he no longer has the energy and aggression he did in his prime. This should be straight forward win for Naito on the cards, but Aso will make him for it. Our preview of this regional title bout can be read here OPBF champion Naito takes on Aso at Korakuen Hall
The other title fight promises violence as the hard hitting Kosuke Saka (21-5, 18) takes on the under-rated Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-2-1, 7) in a bout for the vacant OPBF Super Featherweight title. Saka has looked a brute in recent bouts, smashing up both Masaru Sueyoshi and Takuya Watanabe, in two very impressive back to back performances, though it's fair to say that he can be beaten and there are always question marks about his chin and his mental application in the ring. As for Kimura this will be his second shot at the title, having previously coming up just short against Hironori Mishiro, and he really has shown he belongs at this level. He will go in as the man with no momentum, but he has the skills and tools to spring the upset, in what should be a genuinely spectacular bout for those at Korakuen Hall. Expect a lot of heavy leather here, and some thrilling exchanges. Our preview of this bout can be read here Saka and Kimura battle for OPBF Super Featherweight title!
In one under-card bout worthy of some attention, we'll see boxing police officer Daisuke Sugita (6-2, 3) look to bounce back from a June loss to Ryo Akaho as he takes on youngster Ryuto Owan (7-1, 5). Sugita is a fun guy to watch, but he has been matched rather hand and losses to Akaho and Reiya Abe were both very one sided and showed he didn't belong in that company. Despite that he's a solid fighter and he has the tools to be a solid competitor on the Japanese domestic scene, albeit below domestic title level. Owan on the other hand is a promising and talented young fighter who seemed destined for big things until a loss in 2018 slowed his momentum, and a 2 year break from the ring followed. Since returning to action in October 2020 he has looked really impressive and he'll be looking to shine again here and move towards a potential title fight in 2022.
Outside of Japan there is also a very notable card in Thailand, headlined by WBA Minmumweight "Super" champion Knockout CP Freshmart (22-0, 8), who will be up against once beaten Filipino challenger Robert Paradero (18-1, 12). The talented Knockout is seeking his second defense of the year, after a long break from the ring following his 2020 win over Norihito Tanaka, and he'll be looking to end the year with an impressive performance here before moving onto a potential unification bout in 2022. As for Paradero he's looking to bounce back from his sole professional loss, which came earlier this year to Vic Saludar. The challenger showed plenty to like in that loss, but a lack of experience was an issue, and he'll be wanting to prove he has learned from that set back. It's always hard to bet against a Thai in Thailand, but it is worth noting that Filipino do historically have more success as challengers in the Land of Smiles than almost any other country and Paradero will not be there to make up the numbers. Or in deoth preview of this bout can be read here WBA champion Knockout takes on Filipino Challenger Paradero
This coming Friday in Tokyo we get a low key card with a few notable bouts on it.
One of the names on this card to be excited about is the debuting Ayato Hiromoto (0-0), the older brother of promising female fighter Eruka Hiromoto. The talented Ayato is expected to go on to big things, and will get a chance to show what he can do here against Thai opponent Suriyo Chonlathan (1-0, 1). Little is known about the Thai, though from what we under-stand he made his debut 11 months ago, with a win against another debut.
In a potentially explosive bout we'll see the hard hitting Zirolian Riku (8-3, 8) take on fellow Japanese foe Ken Matsuzawa (5-5, 3). Between the two men they've had a combined 11 KO wins, from 13 combined wins, and 5 of their 8 combined losses have also been by stoppage. We do not expect this one to see the final bell!
Interestingly the actual main event of this card is a low key match up between Joji Tsuchiya (8-5-3, 5) and Kazuki Kobayashi (7-10, 2), in what is a really weak main event bout. It's hard to get excited about this main event, but it should be a pretty competitive 8 rounder and make for some really fun low level action.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Despite the action in Japan we'd actually say the day's highlight is in the Philippines, where we see a former world title challenger, a top young prospect and a once touted contender all in action.
One of two title bouts will see the talented Mark Anthony Geraldo (37-9-3, 18) take on the limited Lorence Rosas (9-4-2, 3), with Geraldo looking to defend the GAB Super Bantamweight title. The talented Geraldo will be looking to make his first defense here, and score his 4th straight win following a 2017 loss to Nordine Oubaali. Rosas on the other hand is looking to avoid a 4th straight loss, but it's now 18 months since he last picked up a win.
A second title bout on this card will see the unbeaten Carl Jammes Martin (13-0, 12) go for gold as he takes on the experienced Benezer Alolod (19-12-5, 7) in a bout for the PBF Bantamweight title. On paper this isn't really a step up for Martin, but in reality we;re expecting this to be his toughest bout to date, as Alolod, despite his record is no push over and he'll be in there to win, and to upset the fast rising youngster. Given Martin's energy, power and aggression he'll be favoured, but we expect to see him need to work for this one
Also on this card will be former world title challenger Vince Paras (14-2, 10), who has been matched incredibly softly as he goes up against domestic journeyman Vincent Bautista (5-15-4, 1). After taking two hard fought losses in 2018, to Hiroto Kyoguchi and Jonathan Taconing, we can excuse a couple of confidence building wins for Paras, who also picked up an easy win in April against Reymark Taday. At one point Bautista was a solid journeyman but with 9 losses in a row and 3 stoppages losses in his last 7 there is a feeling he's very becoming damaged goods.
Staying in Asia we also get a small card in Thailand.
One of the bouts of note here will see Kongfah CP Freshmart (28-1, 15) taking on Hyuma Fujioka (10-9-1, 2), in a bout for a regional WBC Super Bantamweight title. On paper this looks like a mismatch in favour of Kongfah, who is currently riding a 14 fight winning. Despite being a clear under-dog Fujioka is a live dog here, and ran Ryo Akaho close earlier in the year. Kongfah should be favoured, but we wouldn't be surprised if he really needs to work for the win.
Yorkshire, United Kingdom
We also see some Asian attention in the UK as once beaten Thai fighter Aran Dipaen (6-1, 5) takes on unbeaten Brit Tommy Frank (11-0, 3) in a bout for the WBC international silver Super Flyweight title. For Dipean this will be his third bout outside of Thailand, following a loss in Russia to Zafar Parpiev and a win earlier this year in Japan against Ryohei Arakawa. The under-dog the Thai is a very live fighter coming into this. Frank has been matched tougher than the Thai and until recently had shown little in terms of power, but with 3 stoppages in his last last 4 he is certainly developing belief in his power. This could be a very, very interesting match up.
Originally Downua Ruawaiking (16-0, 13) was pencilled into for this card, but he now appears to have had his bout on the show cancelled.