Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Thursday we get world title action at Korakuen Hall on a show that features not only a world title bout, but also the long awaited debut of a man with a real point to prove, and rather unique back story, at least for Japanese boxing.
The world title bout will see IBF Atomweight champion Saemi Hanagata (16-7-4, 7) make her second defense, as she takes on the unbeaten, and fast tracked, Eri Matsuda (4-0, 1). The experienced Hanagata won the title in 2018, winning a world title in her 5th world title bout, and made her sole defense of the belt in September 2019, when she narrowly over-came Nao Ikeyema, ending their trilogy that had previously consisted of two draws. Matsuda on the other hand turned professional in 2018 and has moved incredibly quickly through the ranks, unifying Japanese and OPBF female titles in her first 3 bouts. In the ring this will be Hanagata's work rate and come forward pressure going up up against the movement and technical boxing skills of Matsuda, and it should make for an excellent match up in terms of styles and skills. Our preview of this bout can be read here IBF Queen Hanagata takes on unbeaten challenger Matsuda
In the chief support bout we'll see the long awaited debut of Narumi Yukawa (0-0), who was a talented amateur before being caught in possession of marijuana, which resulted in him getting a suspended sentence and putting his boxing career on hold. He's now served his time and will be debuting against Yuya Azuma (5-4-1, 1) in what should be a decent debut match up for the youngster. Interestingly Azuma was used as the debut opponent for Yukawa's stablemate Rentaro Kimura last year, and it's fair to saw that Yukawa will be looking to do better than the very highly touted Kimura.
Just to add, Yukawa has set him self a lofty goal for the sport, with Boxmob reporting his goal for boxing is to "defeat Naoya Inoue", maybe a rivalry for the future?
One other under-card bout on this show worthy of some attention is a match up between Ryu Oba (5-5, 3) and Mizuki Akima (5-3-1, 3). On paper this isn't anything special, though we were impressed by Oba last year, in his close decision loss to former Japanese champion Ryoichi Tamura, and there is clearly plenty to like about the 25 year old. The 29 year old Akima on the other hand won last time out and will feel confident of picking up another win here. This could end up being a bit of a sleeper hit given the toughness and styles of the men and the fact both will feel confident that they can pick up a win here in a well matched 6 rounder.
Tynyshpayev Academy of Transport and Communications, Almaty, Kazakhstan
As well as the Japanese show there is also set to be a low key card in Kazakhstan thanks to Tukeshov promotions. Sadly this card is a pretty poor one, though one with a lot of fights on it. In fact the card is set to feature 20 bouts in total, featuring 20 debutants, and not a single fighter with double digit pro bouts to their name.
The only notable name on this card is 19 year old Kazakh hopeful Dastan Saduuly (5-1, 5), who is looking to secure his third win of the year. The once beaten Saduuly, who was destroyed last year by Vildan Minasov, will be up against the debut Aibek Zholdasbekov (0-0) in a scheduled 8 rounder. Whilst this is Saduuly's third bout of 2021 it's not a step up at all and it's a second straight bout against a debutant. Fingers crossed he steps up and gets bouts that are based around developing his skills rather than just padding his record.
Tynyshpayev Academy of Transport and Communications, Almaty, Kazakhstan
We return to Kazakh action this coming Monday thanks to a show inn Almaty promoted by Tukeshov. It's not a big show in terms of names on the event but there will be a lot of bouts on the card, with 13 bouts listed. From those 13 bouts we're expecting 14 debuts and not a single fighter on the card has more than 5 bouts to their name.
Despite the inexperience of the men on the show the card does have some interesting potential action on it, most notably the main event. That will be a scheduled 8 rounder between teenage hopeful Dastan Saduuly (4-1, 4) and the debuting Yernar Kiyatov (0-0). We know pretty much nothing about Kiyatov, though we're always interested when a fighter debuts in an 8 round bout, and he may be a hidden gem of sorts. As for Saduuly his competition so far has been incredibly poor, except for Vildan Minasov, who battered him last September. This could be an easy one for Saduuly, or another lesson for the youngster.
One other potentially interesting bout on paper will be the second bout for Artem Pchelyakov (1-0, 1) who faces the debuting Shynarbek Batinuly (0-0) in a 6 rounder, with Batinuly the only other debutant scheduled for more than 4 rounds. Pchelyakov debuted in January in an opening round win and is looking or his second win in less than a month. Sadly so little is known about Batinuly, though we do know he competed in international amateur competition, and was involved in the 2018 Kazakh national championships as an amateur.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
On Tuesday the often overlooked Yamaguchi Tsuchiura promotions put on a show at Korakuen Hall. It’s not a big one, by any stretch of the imagination, but it is still a worthwhile one with a potential sleeper on the show.
The potential sleeper on this show will be an 8 rounder between Yosuke Kawano (14-9-2, 8) and Daisuke Watanabe (11-4-2, 6), who are both ranked by the JBC at Featherweight. Coming into this Watanabe is in great form, going unbeaten in his last 7 and winning the Hajime No Ippo 30th Anniversary Featherweight tournament last year, where he beat Shingo Kusano in the final. He will be full of confidence coming into this and has really turned his career around after a 6-4 (3) start. The 32 year old Kowano has been inconsistent in terms of results but has certainly been very competitive in a number of his losses, and just a single round swing in many bouts could have seen him walking away with the W. Kawano will be the under-dog here, but should be regarded as a very live under. We suspect this will be competitive, with both men needing to take some huge shots, though we edge Watanabe in a potential thriller.
In a 6 rounder at a contracted 68KG's we'll see Yuya Nemoto (6-9-3, 1) take on Tetsuya Kondo (5-2, 3) in what should be a really exciting little war itself. Neither of these men are going to become world title contenders, but both can make for fan friendly bouts and we suspect together they should make for a very entertaining contest. Nemoto certainly has the edge in size, being a natural at 154lbs, but pulling him down around 4lbs may neutralise that edge, whilst Kondo is the more skilled, but much smaller man.
We were supposed to see Tatsuya Takahashi (32-9-6, 21) take on Ryotaro Kawabata (12-4-2, 6) in the main event of this show, but that bout has now been called off, and has been removed from every Japanese schedule for the show. Interestingly Kawabata wasn't the original opponent for Kawabata, that was Jin Miura (11-3-4, 2), so we really do wonder what has happened here to see not only the original bout change, but for the replacement fight to also be called off.
Tynyshpayev Academy of Transport and Communications, Almaty, Kazakhstan
As well as the Japanese action there is also set to be a long card in Kazakhstan thanks to Tukeshov Promotions. Sadly the card is lacking in notable names, with many of the fighters on the card being novices, though there is certainly a main event worthy of attention.
That main event will see 22 year old hopeful Ray Seitzhanov (5-0, 2), who has been looking pretty good in recent fights, taking on 20 year old Nurbol Berdimuratov (2-0). It's always good to to see unbeaten youngsters risking their "0" in fights like this, though we'll admit that neither man has done much since turning professional, with both of Berdimuratov's wins coming against debutants.
One other noteworthy fighter on this card was once touted teenager Dastan Saduuly (3-1, 3), who turned professional very young and was talked about as one to watch. Despite being touted Saduuly was batterd last September, suffering is first loss, and it now getting a confidence building bout as he takes on the win-less Assylbek Tastulek (0-2).
FujisanMesse, Fuji, Shizuoka, Japan
For a second day running we get live streamed action from Japan, with the Suruga Boys Channel streaming a show from Shizuoka. The card isn't a huge one, but it is one we're really interested in, given it features a really fun to watch fighter, a prospect looking to bounce back from a brutal KO loss and one of the hottest young prospects in Japan
The most established name on the card I former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koichi Aso (23-9-1, 15). The 34 year old Aso is certainly coming to the end of his career, and has lost 2 of his last 4, but will be looking to get another win on the slate here. In the opposite corner to Aso is the flawed Shogo Yamaguchi (12-5-3, 7), who has scored 1 win in his last 4, but that was a career best win over Shuhei Tsuchiya earlier this year. Given the styles of the fighters involved this could be a lot of fun!
The actual main event of the card will see Tsubasa Murachi (4-1, 3) looking to bounce back from a loss to Froilan Saludar, as he takes on domestic foe Ryotaro Kawabata (12-3-2, 6). The talented Murachi had won his firs 4 bouts with no real issues but was put in with Saludar way too early. He did have some success against the experienced Filipino, but was brutally knocked out in round 8 and it's now going to be interesting to see how he bounces back. Kawabata on the other hand isn't a gimme opponent and has shown what he can do with results like a draw against Rene Dacquel and a close loss to Mark John Yap. This is a genuine test for Murachi and could be a really, really tough out for the youngster.
Although not the main event it's hard not to feel that Rentaro Kimura (1-0, 1) is the star of the show. The talented youngster has been tipped as a future world champion, he looked great on his debut, scored a KO of the year contender and was a very accomplished amateur. Sadly his original opponent had to pull out and has been replaced by Takafumi Iwaya (4-3), who is unlikely to pose many questions to Kimura who will be looking to shin and make a statement. Given how impressed Kimura looked on debut we can't imagine anything but a destructive stoppage here, before his team strap a rocket on him and race him to a title.
As well as the Japanese action there is also set to be a card in Russia featuring a couple of Kazakh hopefuls.
One of the hopefuls on this show is teenager Dastan Saduuly (3-0, 3) who takes on Vildan Minasov (3-0, 2) in an 8 round contest at 135lbs. So far neither of these two men have faced any sort of a test, so this is a step up for both men. The press in Kazakhstan are excited about the 18 year old Saduuly, and have tipped him since he made his debut, aged just 16, but this is his first real test. As for Minasov the 23 year old Russian has got more rounds to his name, but his competition has been horrifically bad and it's hard to say how he'll fair against someone who hits him back.
In a much more interesting match up we'll see the unbeaten Bobirzhan Mominov (11-0, 8) battle against Vaghinak Tamrazyan (17-7, 5) in a contender for the IBF Inter-Continental Welterweight title. For the 28 year old Mominov the bout will be a chance to build on a win over Cameron Krael back in June, as part of the Top Rank Summer Series, and will also be his first bout in Russia. Aged 34, and heading to his 35th birthday, Tamrazyan has won just 1 of his last 4, but has been matched hard and should prove to be a good test for the bullishly strong Mominov. Although maybe not the highest level bout we'll be getting this Sunday this could end up being a very good contest between two real tough guys, both vying for some silverware.
Attention turns to Kazakhstan this coming Friday for a Qazaq Promotions card from Almaty. The card isn't a massive one, but it is a notable one, with the ring return of a popular unbeaten Kazakh contender, who has had his career ruined by injury, a Kazakh Heavyweight hopeful against a former world title challenger and several rising hopefuls.
The main event of the show will see the unbeaten Kanat Islam (25-0, 20) return to the ring, for the first time since September 2017, to take on Dominican puncher Julio De Jesus (27-1, 24).Islam was on the verge of a world title fight when he beat Brandon Cook in his last bout, but repeated injuries have kept him out of the ring since then really destroying his chances of a world title fight. De Jesus, on paper, looks like a good test though is the naturally smaller man and we do wonder how his power holds up here against a solid fighter like Islam.
In one of the main supporting bouts we'll see unbeaten Kazakh Heavyweight hopeful Ruslan Myrsatayev (5-0, 5) take on English Heavyweight veteran Danny Williams (53-26-0-1, 40). The unbeaten Kazakh is talented and heavy handed, but at 34 years old time is running out if he's really after a big fight he needs to make his move this year. Williams, best known for beating Mike Tyson and being dominated by Vitali Klitschko in a WBC world title bout, is now 45 and needs to really consider walking away from the sport before getting seriously injured.
Another bout will see Madiyar Ashkeyev (12-0, 6), fresh off throwing water over a journalist, take on Estonian journeyman Pavel Semjonov (24-11-2, 9). This should be a straight forward win for Ashkeyev, but Semjonov tends to be a tough foe so we're expecting a decision win for the unbeaten Kazakh here.
Also on this card will be unbeaten teenager Dastan Saduuly (3-0, 3) and Ablaikhan Khussainov (9-0, 6), though it's unclear who these two will be up against at the time of writing.
The biggest bout involving an Asian fighter this coming Sunday comes from Maryland, as former world champions collide! The bout will see Lamont Peterson (35-4-1, 17) take on Kazakh-Russian Sergey Lipinets (14-1, 10), in what should be a tremendous bout. Both of these men need a win if they are to remain in the world title mix, and both will be looking to bounce back from a recent loss, with Lipinets losing to Mikey Garcia and Peterson losing to Errol Spence Jr. Their styles should make for a fun fight and this is a really good quality match up between world class fighters.
Staying in the US there's also a couple of unbeaten Kazakh prospects in action in California.
One of those is Ali Akhmedov (13-0, 10), who will be dropping down to Super Middleweight to face off with Mike Guy (9-3-1, 5). The unbeaten Akhmedov wasn't as active as we'd have hoped in 2018 but with his first bout of 2019 taking place this early he could end up having a really big year this year. Guy is a solid enough opponent, who has done 8 rounds with Tyron Zeuge and came close to doing the same with Sergiy Derevyanchenko, show he's durable. This might be a very tough test for Akhmedov but is also a chance for him to make a statement.
On the same card will be Meiirim Nursultanov (10-0, 8), who will be fighting his second bout of the year and looks likely to have a huge year. He fought 4 times in 2018 and although his competition hasn't been the best he is making noise as one to watch. At 25 years old he has time to really build his record and reputation before moving onto big fights. He will be up against Puerto Rican fighter Luis Hernandez (16-7, 9).
Staying with Kazakh's there is also set to be a show in Almaty featuring a couple more notable Kazakh fighters.
In one of the main bouts Aidos Yerbossynuly (10-0, 8) will take on tough Namibian Lukas Ndafoluma (15-1, 6) in a bout for minor titles from the WBO, WBA and WBC. This could end up being one of the low key bouts of the weekend and is a very real threat to Yerbossynuly's unbeaten record. The Kazakh has shown promise but has been down in a couple of his fights whilst Ndafoluma has managed to show toughness and skills on the road, upsetting British fighter Craig Cunningham in the UK in 2017. This is a potential banana skin for the unbeaten Kazakh.
On the same card Nursultan Zhangabayev (6-0, 4) is scheduled to make his first defense of the WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Middleweight title. His opponent will be 25 year old Venezuelan fighter Ivan Matute (28-1, 23), who has a really good looking record, but there is no real quality on there. The unbeaten Zhangabayev won the belt last December, when he took a decision over tough Filipino Arnel Tinampay, and was given a real test, so we're hoping for another test here.
Also on this show will be 21 year old Kazakh prospect Sadriddin Akhmedov (7-0, 7) who will be fighting for a WBC Asia title. The talented Kazakh will be up against John Ruba (17-5-1, 9), who shouldn't really be much of a match for Akhmedov, who will be expected to move to 8-0 (8) without too many problems.
The under-card is also set to feature a number of prospects, including Dastan Saduuly (2-0, 2), Iskander Kharsan (5-0, 4) and Ulugbek Khakberdiev (5-0, 3).
As well as all the Kazakh's in action there is actually set to be a couple of Japanese shows on the same day. The more notable of those takes place in Hyogo and is a Shinsei promoted card.
The main event of this card will see Japanese ranked fighters clashing, as Shun Kosaka (15-5, 4) takes on Shunji Nagata (12-17-2, 4) in an 8 round bout at a contracted 51.5KG's. The winner of this could end up finding themselves in a Japanese title bout later this year. Coming in Kosaka has lost his last 2, being stopped in an OPBF title fight by Jayr Raquinel and being out pointed by Junto Nakatani, but remains #2 ranked by the JBC at Flyweight. Nagata on the other hand has struggled for consistent results, with 6 losses in his last 8, but has shown the ability score an upset on his day and is better than his record suggests.
World ranked Lightweight Kazuhiro Nishitani (19-4-1, 11) will be taking on Filipino visitor Glenn Medura (10-4-1, 6), in what looks like a straight forward bout for Nishitani. Medura has lost 3 of his last 5, losing all 3 of them in Japan by stoppage. Although Nishitani isn't anything special he has won his last 4 by stoppage and is a former Japanese national champion, so should have little problem picking up the win here.
Talented and highly touted prospect Yuki Yamauchi (2-0, 1) will seek his third win as he takes on unbeaten Filipino Claudevan Sese (7-0-3, 1). This looks like a good step forward for Yamauchi, who will be in his first 8 rounder just 8 months after his debut. For Sese this will be his international debut, and a big step up in class, though he has never tasted defeat and has gone 8 rounds twice during his career.
One other bout of note on this card will see Yuri Takemoto (5-1-1, 3) take on Reymond Empic (6-2, 2), in what looks like a pretty even match up. Takemoto left his mark last year, when he took the All Japan Rookie of the Year crown at Featherweight, and he looked to hit much harder than his record indicates in his final win over Hikari Mineta. Empic should prove to be an interesting assignment for Takemoto, but one that Takemoto will be confident of passing.
It's also worth noting that this show will feature the retirement ceremony of Eita Kikuchi (21-6-4, 8), who challenged for both the OPBF Super Bantamweight and Japanese Bantamweight title during his 31 fight career that began back in 2005.
As well as the Shinsei card there will also be a Western Japan Rookie of the Year card in Fukuoka. Among the bouts on this card is an interesting bout between Ryusuke Ushihara (4-1-1, 1) and Yutaka Asakura (3-1-1, 2), which looks really competitive on paper.