This coming Sunday is a relatively quiet day, despite a show in Japan and one in the Philippines.
In Japan the action comes from Hiroshima where we see two bouts of some note.
The more notable of those bouts sees two men fighting for the opportunity to challenge for the Japanese Light Flyweight title in 2018. The bout will see the talented Koki Ono (12-3, 5) take on Koji Itagaki (17-11-3, 7) in what looks likely to be a really solid fight, despite the men having very differing records. Coming in to this Ono has won his last 5, though his best wins have been over the likes of Ryoya Ikema and Aiki Koto. On the other hand Itagaki has been suffered losses in 5 of his last 11, though he has been fighting at a much higher level and come up short against the likes of Rey Loreto and Kenichi Horikawa. This could be a very good bout between a rising contender, and a true grizzled veteran.
The other bout of note on this show will see the once touted Takumi Sakae (16-2-1,11) continue his career rebuild as he takes on domestic foe Kenta Yokoe (6-12-2, 2). Sakae was once 13-0 and tipped as one to watch, but a 3-2-1 run has left his career in a bit of a mess and he is desperately seeking to right the ship. A win here would push him in the right direction, though much more will need to be done for him to really resurrect his career and get on with earning a second title fight.
Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines
In the Philippines the show is a small one, though the main event has the potential to be a really enticing contest as Jestoni Autida (9-7, 4) takes on Donny Mabao (22-32-3, 4). On paper that might not look even worthy of consideration but both are far better than their records indicate with Autida beating the likes of a then unbeaten Jeffrey Francisco, Xinghua Wang and Ratchasak Kokietgym and Mabao holding wins over Michael Enriquez, Mateo Handig and Florante Condes. We're not expecting a fight of the year contender, but a very competitive bout should be seen between two men seeking a win, and each believing they could get it here.
The best show of the week, and one of the best of the month, comes on Wednesday when Morioka and Mutoh co-promote a great show with 5 title bouts in Osaka.
The “main event” of the show will see OPBF Light Middleweight champion Takayuki Hosokawa (28-10-5, 9) look for his second defense of the title as he takes on fellow Japanese fighter Yutaka Oishi (13-5, 7). The bout will see Hosokawa looking for a much better performance than his last one, a hard fought struggle for a draw with Koshinmaru Saito, however there are some suggesting he is at the very end of his career with injuries and accumulated damage adding up. For Oishi this is a great opportunity to claim a major title, but he will be the big under-dog here.
The most exciting fighter on the card is 19 year old hopeful Hinata Maruta (3-0, 2), who looks to make his first defense of the WBC Youth Bantamweight. The talented Japanese youngster will be up against Filipino southpaw Joe Tejones (6-1, 2) in what should be a chance to Maruta to get rounds against a southpaw. From what we under-stand a win here will see Maruta progress towards either a Japanese, an OPBF or a WBO Asia Pacific title fight in 2017 with his team actively chasing tougher assignments. For Tejones the bout is a big step up and it's hard to see what he'll have to test Maruta.
The other OPBF title fight will see Middleweight champion Dwight Ritchie (14-0-0-4, 1) make the first defense of his title as he takes on the limited but heavy handed Japanese slugger Koki Tyson (10-2-2, 10). Ritchie won the title earlier this year in Japan, where he defeated Hikaru Nishida, and will be hoping for more success here. He is however up against a very different type of fighter here with Nishida being a basic pressure fighter whilst Tyson is a boxer-puncher, sadly for Tyson he is rather limited and comes into this on the back of a very poor performance against Joon Yong Lee.
In a WBO Super Flyweight Asia Pacific title bout we'll see former world title challengers face off as Japan's Hirofumi Mukai (12-4-3, 2) battles Thailand's Inthanon Sithchamuang (30-8-1, 18). Mukai has twice fought for world titles in Thailand, having a technical draw with Pongsaklek Wonjongkam and suffering a stoppage loss to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, and has struggled against other notable opponents like Shohei Omori and Mark Anthony Geraldo. Inthanon on the other hand is best known for losing to Kohei Kono earlier this year, and has suffered other losses in Japan, where he is yet to score a win.
At Flyweight we'll see the unbeaten, and genuinely promising, Masahiro Sakamoto (8-0, 4) take on the once beaten Sho Kimura (12-1-2, 6) for the WBO Asia Pacific title. Sakamoto has been unbeaten since his debut back in December 2014, and has won the 2015 Rookie of the Year and holds wins over Atsushi Aburada and Il Che. As for Kimura he was beaten in his debut but has gone 14 fights unbeaten since fighting 3 of those bouts in Thailand. This is the first title bout for both men and should tell us a lot about both fighters.
In a notable non-title bout on the card we'll see exciting prospect Naoto Iwai (2-0, 1) take on Filipino veteran Donny Mabao (22-27-3, 4) in a 6 rounder. The bout is a good step up for Iwai, who was last seen beating Juan Purisima in the Philippines, and a win here is likely to see Iwai move into 8 rounders in 2017, with the teenager already showing glimpses of real talent like stablemate Maruta
Metro Manila, Philippines
The only Asian show this Wednesday comes from the Philippines and features a trio of title fighters, as well as a man looking to get back to winning ways.
The best looking of the title fights, at least on paper, will see Jeffrey Arienza (14-4-1, 8) battle against Indonesian Wellem Reyk (18-13-4, 5) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Welterweight title. Although more experiended Reyk isn't the best fighter out there and has been stopped in 7 of his 13 losses, and it would be no surprise to see another stoppage loss here for the travelling fighter.
In another title bout fans will see former world title challenger Silvester Lopez (26-11-2, 18) take on fellow Filipino Danilo Pena (27-24-4, 11) in a contest for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Featherweight title. Silvester made his name originally at Super Flyweight but has out grown the division. This will however be his 6th bout as a Featherweight, where he is currently 4-1 and should advance his record here over a domestic journeyman.
Talking about “journeymen” records shouldn't be what we judge fighters on, and few have proven that was much as Donny Mabao (22-15-3, 4), who will be making the first defense of the GAB Flyweight title as he takes on Felipe Cagubcob Jr (5-2-5, 1).in what could, potentially, be a very interesting match up.
Last year we were impressed by Rolly Sumalpong (9-2-1, 4), who dropped Ken Shiro en route to a decision loss. Since then he has suffered another loss, to Toto Landero. Here we see him in search of a confidence building win as he takes on Ruben Traza (4-9-4, 1) in what should be a straight forward win for the 22 year old.
The ridiculousness of Japanese boxing is on full show this coming Sunday with a staggering 5 shows, 3 of which are in Osaka alone, with two of those actually sharing a venue!
The busy venue is the EDION Arena which is doubling up this Sunday. The first of the two shows is set to begin at 12:30 local time and is a relatively low profile Kazama promoted card.
The main event of the Kazama show sees Japanese 154lb champion Yuki Nonaka (28-8-3, 9) defending his title against the under-rated Yuto Shimizu (11-2-2, 4) in a mandatory defense. On paper it's easy to favour the champion, who is very experienced at title level and is a genuine joy to watch. Shimizu however is the much younger man and is on an 8-0 run with wins against the likes of Hikaru Nishida, the current JBC/OPBF Middleweight champion, Takehiro Shimokawara and Yosuke Kirima. This could be a very good bout.
In a notable under-card bout fans will see Japanese based Colombian Pablo Carrillo (18-4-1, 11) face off against Filipino veteran Donny Mabao (22-24-3, 4) in what looks like a mismatch, but could prove to be a good test for Carrillo, who is now managed by Hiroki Ioka. Whilst Mabao's record is “sketchy” at best he does come in to this one on a 3-fight unbeaten run, including a victory over Michael Enriquez and will be pretty confident coming into this bout.
The second show at the EDION Arena in Osaka is a much more notable card with several bouts of interest, even if they are likely to be pretty uncompetitive.
The nominal main event of the card will see the unbeaten OPBF Lightweight champion Masayoshi Nakatani (11-0, 6) defending his title against the limited, but very heavy handed, Tosho Makoto Aoki (20-13-2, 17). On paper this is a mismatch, there is no way of denying it, however Aoki has got a puncher's chance and will know that with his power his only chance is to take the fight to Nakatani. If the champion can take the power of the challenger then this will be a drama-less win for Nakatani, however Aoki's power may be enough to unsettle Nakatani's, or at least ask questions of the champion.
A second title bout on this card will see Japanese Super Flyweight champion Sho Ishida (21-0, 11) take on mandatory challenger Ryuichi Funai (24-6, 16). This will be Ishida's 5th defense of the title and if he's successful his team will almost certainly do what they can to get him a world title fight later in the year. For Funai the bout will be his second shot at a title, and he'll be hoping for a better outcome than his last title fight, a 9th round TKO loss to Rolly Lunas. Notably the challenger is 7-0 (6) since that loss and will be riding a high coming into this one.
A third bout of note here sees Kei Takenaka (10-0, 3) battle against Daoruang Saknarong (0-0) in a world title “prelude”. If Takenaka gets through this, she should, she will be matched with IBF female Light Flyweight champion Naoko Shibata in late Summer.
Another bout on this card, and one which will infact split the title contests, will see OPBF ranked Flyweight contender Shun Kosaka (11-2, 2) face off against Kenta Yamada (8-5-1, 1). This is a relatively rare, at least for Japan, 10 round non-title bout and should help prepare Kosaka for a potential title fight in the coming years.
The third Osaka card comes from the Sumiyoshi Ward Center and is a Muto promoted card that features some of the best matchmaking for the day, yet another title fight, and some potentially action.
The main event is a rematch as the heavy handed Koki Tyson (9-2-1, 9), previously known as Koki Tyson Maebara, battles Petchsuriya Singwancha (15-11, 8) for the WBC Youth Middleweight title. Tyson made light work of the Thai in 2014, stopping him in 4 rounds, though was last seen suffering a 7th round TKO loss to Akio Shibata, in a bout that saw him being outboxed before being stopped. Since the first bout Petchsuriya has gone 2-1 though was notably beaten last time out by Kerry Hope, with the bout being given to Hope after the fight was reviewed by the WBC judges.
The best bout on the card is another rematch as former multi-time title challenger Hiroyuki Hisataka (24-14-1, 10) faces off against under-rated Filipino Mark John Yap (23-12, 10). These two men met last year with Yap winning an 8 round decision, this rematch however will be over 10 rounds and could well see the winner getting a Japanese or OPBF title fight later in the year. Although the records may not show it, this really could be something very special.
The main event isn't the only probably blow out, with the chief support bout being a contest between the explosive Masao Nakamura (21-3, 20) and the tough but limited San Saknarong (3-5, 1). The last time we saw the Thai he was stopped in 6 by Hidenori Otake, and it's hard to see him living with Nakamura, who will see a win a chance to move towards a well deserved title shot, potentially with Kenichi Ogawa in what would be a very fun shoot out.
In a 4th bout of note Japanese ranked fighters collide as Masahiro Sakamoto (6-0, 4) faces off against Atsushi Aburada (10-9, 6) in a bout that could potentially decide a future Japanese title challenger. On paper Sakamoto is the favourite but Aburada is the more proven fighter and this could be a very tough bout for both, who know there is a lot to lose coming in to this one.
One of the small Japanese shows comes from Kobe where fans will see a former world title contender and a former OPBF title challenger in action.
The former world title contender is Teiru Kinoshita (23-1-1, 6) who will be looking to continue to rebuild his career following his loss to the excellent Zolani Tete in an IBF Super Flyweight title bout back in 2014. The Japanese fighter should be very heavily favoured here as he takes on little known Korean fighter Min Wook Lee (2-3), who is best known for losing to the then debuting Muhammad Waseem late last year.
The former OPBF title challenger is Kazuya Murata (11-5, 5) who faces Tatsuya Yoneo (8-5, 1) in what will be Murata's first bout following a 5th round loss to Masayoshi Nakatani last August. Murata should win here, but it could be interesting to see if the loss to Nakatani did take something out of him.
The smallest of the Japanese shows comes from Fukuoka where fans get a very small card with novices. All the bouts here are 4 rounders with the most notable being a Lightweight contender between Tsuyoshi Matsuda (4-0, 2) and teenager Seiya Matsunaga (2-1, 1), which shows the level of this card.
Metro Manila, Philippines
As well as the action in Japan there is also a show in the Philippines.
The most notable bout here features former world title challenger Silvester Lopez (25-11-2, 18), who faces the limited and light hitting Prell Tupaz (8-30-5, 1) in what should be a walk in the park for Lopez. Sadly however Lopez has been inconsistent in recent years going 6-8-1 in his last 15 bouts.
In a notable under-card contest 21 year old puncher Allan Vallespin (5-0, 5) will risk his perfect record against Jomar Borbon (4-23-2, 2). Vallespin has looked devastating so far and will be looking to continue that run against the experienced Borbon.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
In wonderful Brazil fight fans will be able to see India's Neeraj Goyat (7-2-2, 2) battle against Brazilian local Guilherme Castagnazzi Ribeiro (3-1, 3). Ribeiro has won his last 3 bouts in a combined 4 rounds, but this is a step up in class for the local and Goyat, although the naturally smaller man, comes into this one on a 7-0 run.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The notable action this coming Saturday comes from he Philippines where this is a great show featuring a number of title bouts.
The most well matched bout on this card comes at 108lbs where former world title challenger Richard Claveras (14-1-2, 12) defends his WBC International title against Jonathan Refugio (14-4-4, 3). Whilst Claveras was taken out inside a round in his world title shot this is a bout he should win and probably the sort of bout that he needed before getting a world title fight. Refugio has mixed with good company, including Knockout CP Freshmart and Wanheng Menayothin, but has lost in his most notable bouts and we suspect that will happen again here.
Another notable title fight will see OPBF Flyweight champion Ardin Diale (30-9-3, 15) defending his title, for the first time, against clear under-dog Jonathan Francisco (8-4-1, 2). We're unsure how Francisco has earned this shot, and we can't see him winning, though in many ways Diale deserves an easy fight to record his first defense of the title he won in December.
A third title fight, and another that looks likely to be one-sided, sees the under-rated Michael Enriquez (11-4-1, 7) facing veteran Donny Mabao (21-24-3, 4) for the GAB Flyweight title. The under-rated Enriquez has lost 2 of his last 3 but one of those was a razor thin loss to Rex Tso, in Macau. Mabao on the other hand is with out a win since a 2012 upset over former world champion Florante Condes, he has since gone 0-4-2. Mabao was better than his record, but is looking like a fighter who is done, despite only being 27 years old.
There are two other title fights on this card however we prefer to ignore those and instead mention a much more intriguing match up as Rene Dacquel (15-6-1, 5) battles Mateo Handig (13-10, 7) in a really solid looking bout. Of the two men Dacquel seems to be the one with more to give but recent loses to Takuma Inoue and Jonas Sultan have killed the momentum he had from a win last April over Melvin Gumban. Whilst Dacquel's ecent form hasn't been great Handig has lost his last 5, including 3 by stoppage, since a 2012 win over Katsunari Takayama.
In Mexico we'll see two Filipino's facing off against Mexican brothers on a card from Sinaloa.
The most notable of the bouts will see former world title challenger Jether Oliva (23-4-2, 11) battle against former WBC Light Flyweight champion Pedro Guevara (26-2-1, 17). For Guevara this is his first bout since losing the world title to Yu Kimura last November and he will be favoured to return to winning ways, however Oliva is no push over and will be returning to Mexico with revenge in mind following a loss last year to Luis Nery, where Nery's team messed Oliva about in regards to weight.
The other bout will see Edward Mansito (13-3-2, 7) face former world title challenger Alberto Guevara (23-2, 9). Coming in to this one Guevara is on a 5 fight winning run, including a victory over Oscar Blanquet, since losing in 2013 to Shinsuke Yamanaka.
We'll be honest August hasn't been the greatest of months though it comes to an end this Saturday and sort of whimpers out. Thankfully however there is a lot to look forward to in September!
The final card in Japan this August is an 8 bout show at the Yodogawa Ward Center. The show, promoted by Apollo Promotions, isn't a great one by any stretch of the imagination but it should give us some compelling low level match ups.
The main event will be an 8 rounder that sees the Japanese ranked Super Flyweight Tomohiro Nagakari (6-1, 1) taking on Masato Morisaki (8-3-1, 5). Nagakiri, ranked #14 by the JBC, is 31 and will have to be fast tracked if he expects to get a title fight. Saying that however there is no guarantee that he'll win here against Morisaki, also 31, who has a notable edge in experience. This isn't a fight that will interest many international fans but it's a very good domestic clash that means a lot to both men.
Although the main event is an all-Japanese clash, the more interesting bout is between Thailand's world ranked Patomsuk Pathompothong (28-2-1, 18) and Japan's limited Tatsunori Fukunaga (4-4, 1). Fukunaga has won just 1 of his last 5 bouts and in fact has won just once in 10 years! We understand that Fukunaga is the home fighter but it does seem like a meaningless mismatch with the Thai a sure fire winner going into this contest. With the bout set for 6 rounds there is a chance Patomsuk could slip up but we really can't see it.
Another 6 rounder here will see the light punching Takeshi Sone (5-3-1, 1) battle against the inactive Il Che (6-8-3, 1). For Che this bout will be his first contest in more than 5 years and he's without a win since late 2007. For the 19 year old Sone this will be his first bout since losing a 6 round decision to Aiki Koto in June.
Lanao del Norte, Philippines
In the Philippines we get another relatively lacklustre show with 4 bouts of note though little of major international interest.
the most interesting of those bouts will see the unbeaten Jeffrey Galero (10-0, 5) fight against the much more experienced Donny Mabao (21-21-1, 4). For Mabao this will be his first bout since losing to Ryuji Hara in an OPBF title bout, unfortunately for that bout Mabao was way over weight. Galero is promising but this is a huge step up for the unbeaten man.
Another promising fighter in action is Marbon Bodiongan (10-1-2, 8) who will be fighting the very light hitting Donriel Marcos (10-22-1, 1). Aged 20 there is some real promise with Bodiongan and we're happy to write off his sole loss which came 2 years ago at 115lbs, following that loss he moved up several weights accepting that his body was growing significantly. We expect Bodiongan to win but this may be tougher than it looks on paper.
A third bout that looks mismatched on paper will see Fernando Lumacad (29-9-3, 12) battle against Marjun Tabamo (8-4-1, 2). Lumacad might not be a world beater but he's certainly not a bad fighter and he should see off the domestic level Tabamo.
Strangely the most competitive of the bouts, on paper, will be a bout between two limited fighters. One of those is Ricardo Roa (11-9-2, 3) and the other is Jherom Tuyor (6-18-2, 3). Very limited fighters but is looks like it could be a competitive bout between two fighters unlikely to go far in their careers.
(Image courtesy of boxingmob.jp)
This coming Sunday sees the end of the busiest week in Asian boxing this year and amazing it's the busiest day of the year so far with 5, yes count them 5, different cards, 3 title fights and around 40 fights. It really is a bumper Sunday for fans of the sport across Asia.
We're lead to believe the first show to start will be at the Aioi Hall in Aichi. This show is expected to start at mid-day local time and will be headlined by Japanese #10 ranked Featherweight Shinji Takayama (20-3, 11) who will be fighting against the light hitting Kohei Maruoka (7-5-1, 1) in what really should be little more than a light work out for the talented Takayama.
In total this card is expected to feature 11 bouts but other than the main event very little is worth noting on a Matsuda show that is packed though not hugely interesting.
Although the first card of the day is the Aichi one we think the most notable is at the FujisanMesse in Fuji, Shizuoka. The reason this card is more notable than the others is that the main event is a genuinely promising looking fight as the unbeaten Ryuji Hara (16-0, 10) battles Filipino veteran Donny Mabao (21-20-1, 4) for the vacant OPBF Minimumweight title. Although this looks like a complete mismatch on paper we do imagine it will turn out to be a very tough battle for Hara who has looked less than great in his recent contests.
As well as the OPBF title bout this card will include a further 10 contests, including an interesting bout between James Murashige (7-3-1, 4) and Brazilian Cristiano Aoqui (7-3-1, 4). Both men here have almost identical records, the only difference is that Aoqui has 2 stoppage losses whilst Murashige doesn't have any. It's those stoppage losses that may find Murashige favoured slightly but it is an excellent match up.
At the same time as the Shizuoka show we see the start of a show at the Matsushita IMP Hall, a show that is effectively split in to two separate parts.
The first part of this show, will feature 7 bouts in total with the headliner being an OPBF female Super Flyweight title bout between reigning champion Tomoko Kawanishi (8-1, 4) and Thai challenger Jubjang Lookmakarmwan (3-6). For this bout we're really favouring the champion, especially when you consider the bad run the challenger has been on recently with 6 straight losses.
As well as the female title fight the show will also feature the unbeaten, and very promising, Ryuto Kyoguchi (10-0-1, 7) who will be fighting against Yasunori Kishigami (8-1-1, 5) in what will be an excellent match up between two pretty good domestic fighters. We do favour Kyoguchi but the upset certainly cannot be ruled out.
In total their is 8 bouts on the first part of this show before a small break.
On the second part of the show things really heat up with some brilliant match ups including an absolutely fantastic Flyweight bout between former 2-time world title challenger Hirofumi Mukai (9-3-1, 1) and former OPBF title challenger Myung Ho Lee (16-4, 5). This bout really is a great bout even though neither man is likely to become a world champion and it's this sort of bout that makes for a great main event.
Another bout on the second part of this card will see the unbeaten and very highly touted Shohei Omori (10-0, 6) fighting against southpaw Yubon Kim (10-3, 3). We're going with Omori to win this but we expect to see him struggling a little, at least compared to his last 3 contests which lasted just a combined 4 rounders. We have very high hopes for Omori though we do expect Kim to give him a good work out here.
Hae Nam City, South Korea
Outside of Japan we also get a show in South Korea with yet another title on the line. This time it's the turn of the lightly regarded IFBA Minimumweight title as the reigning champion Ji-Hyun Park (19-2, 5) fights Mexican Anahi Torres (12-11, 2). On paper this looks like a total gimme for Park but Torres is one of those fighters with a misleading record and after starting her career 5-10 she has won 7 of her last 8, including notable wins over Nancy Franco and Jasseth Noriega.
We expect Park to defend her title though wouldn't be surprised if she is given a seriously difficult test by her criminally over-looked Mexican opponent.
(Poster courtesy of Boxmob.jp and is for the second part of the Osaka Teiken show)