EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The most interesting show this coming Saturday comes from Osaka, where we see a very solid looking regional title bout, a former world title challenger in the chief support bout and the debut of a touted Japanese youngster.
The main event will see world ranked youngster Riku Kano (19-4-1, 10) face off with fellow youngster Yuga Inoue (13-2-1, 2) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title. The bout will serve as Kano's first test since moving up to Flyweight earlier this year, and should see him being asked questions as he looks to move towards a second world title fight. As for Inoue the bout is a huge opportunity for him, and a win would put him in the mix for a world title fight, though he will ned a career best performance here against the most notable opponent of his career so far. Our preview of this bout can be read here Riku Kano and Yuga Inoue battle for regional honours
In the chief support bout we'll see former world title challenger Sho Ishida (30-3, 16) take on Filipino fighter Alvin Medura (10-6, 7), who appears to be a late replacement for Ronnie Baldonado. On paper this one looks like a mismatch, and it's hard to imagine Medura being any kind of a test for Ishida, especially given the fact Medura has lost 4 of his last 6, with all 4 of those losses coming on the road including a 2018 loss to the then 1-0 Yuki Yamauchi.
A third bout of note will see 19 year old hopeful Yuga Ozaki (0-0) make his professional debut, as he takes on Narathip Sungsut (5-8, 2). As an amateur Ozaki went 32-8 and is tipped for big things for the future. The Thai visitor has been stopped 7 times in total, with 6 of those stoppages happening in bouts in Japan, and we expect to see him being taken out early again here.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
As well as the show in Osaka, there is also a notable one in Tokyo, as part of the Dynamic Glove series. Sadly this show lacks any sort of stand out matches, but does have two bouts that are worth being aware of.
The main event will see former world title challenger Ryo Akaho (38-2-2, 25) take on Filipino fighter Edrin Dapudong (35-7-1, 21). On paper this looks a pretty even match up, and had both men been in their primes it could have been a very interesting bout, but now a days both guys are well beyond their primes and it's hard to imagine this being anything other than a bit of a mess, especially having seen Akaho's recent bouts on NTV G+. Akaho is clumsy, awkward but is still heavy handed and can do damage. Dapudong, now 36, is best known for his 2013 win over Gideon Buthelezi but has gone 5-1-1 since then. Sounds good on paper, but that dates back 9 years and he's only fought once since 2018. This has a loser retires feel to it.
The other notable bout on the show sees the hard hitting and unbeaten Kazuto Takesako (13-0-1, 12) take on Thai visitor Niwat Kongkan (11-8-0-1, 8). Takesako is one of the few Japanese Middleweights worthy of attention, with his power and exciting style. Sadly however he's only fought twice since the start of 2020 and has lost much of the momentum his career once had. This bout appears to be about getting some momentum back and getting a quick win over a former OPBF Light Middleweight champion. Kongkan is unbeaten in his last 4, but that says more about the level he's been fighting at, and he's lost in his last 4 bouts outside of Thailand.
Spaceplus Bangkok RCA, Bangkok, Thailand
As well as the action in Japan there is also a pretty notable card in Thailand, headlined by one of the hottest teenage hopefuls in world boxing, and also featuring a former world title challenger.
The aforementioned teenager is the really promising Phoobadin Yoohanngoh (14-0, 9), who will be defending his WBA Asia Light Welterweight title, as he takes on Filipino Rimar Metuda (15-6-1, 9). The 18 year old Phoobadin has held the title since July 2000 and will be seeking his 5th defense here, in what is a minor step up in class for him. Metuda is no world beater but he is a very solid fighter, who fought to a draw with Nihito Arakawa in 2018. Sadly since that draw he has gone 3-3 and we suspect he will come up short again here as he takes on a truly fantastic young prospect.
The other notable fighter on this card is former world title challenger Yutthana Kaensa (22-4, 9) aka Stamp Kiatniwat, who will be expected to pick up a very easy win as he takes on Adisak Ketpiam (8-4, 7). Stamp, who seems to have been around for years, is still only 24 but sadly already looks to be on the slide and has lost 3 of his last 5, including a shock loss in July to F. Zoramchhana. He'll be looking to bounce back with a win here, and should be strongly favoured to over-come Adisak, who has been stopped twice already this year.
In Thailand fans will be able to see Japanese puncher Yuya Nakamura (7-1, 5) continue his rather unorthodox career as he continues to build his record in Bangkok. The once beaten Japanese fighter will be up against Yutthichai Wannawong (8-6, 6) in a bout for a regional title. The Japanese fighter lost on his debut in China, back in 2012, and since then has fought twice in the Philippines, once more in China before building his reputation in Thailand, where he is 4-0 (1). The actual Thai born fighter won't be expected to slow down Nakamura's run, and with 5 stoppages losses against his name already, he's not even expected to last long.
Negros Occidental, Philippines
Another title fight will take place in the Philippines, as the unbeaten John Michael Zulueta (7-0-2, 3) battles against the once beaten Cris Ganoza (15-1, 8) in a bout for the Asian Boxing Federation Minimumweight title. Coming into this bout Zulueta is riding a 7 fight winning run, following back to back draws to begin his career, and has picked up the a low level title already in his short career, though he is stepping up in class massively here. Ganoza's only defeat came to Edward Heno, of which there is no shame at all, and since then he has scored 3 straight wins and will have rebuilt his confidence coming in to this bout. This could be a very competitive and close bout.
A second Filipino show will take place in Benguet where fans will get the chance to see a number of notable domestic fighters in action.
One of those notable fighters is experienced 28 year old Ryan Rey Ponteras (21-13-1, 10), who will be up against the limited Silem Serang (11-17-1, 1). Although Ponteras doesn't have an amazing looking record, he is pretty good and has had a number of very questionable defeats. Serang on the other hand is a professional loser of sorts and has been stopped 11 times and rarely heard the final bell when fighting outside of Indonesia, with only a single win outside of his homeland.
A much better looking bout will see Edrin Dapudong (33-6-1, 20) end an 18 month break from the ring to take on Jomar Fajardo (14-11-2, 7) in what should be an excellent match up. In his pomp Dapudong was a was an IBO champion and a fringe contender, with notable wins against the likes of Gideon Buthelezi and Bert Batawang, though it's unclear what he has left given his length break from the ring. Fajardo is best known for his two fights against Francisco Rodriguez Jr, though since then he has taken a lot of punishment, and it's hard to know what he has left to offer.
Another notable fighter on this card is former OPBF Flyweight title challenger Cris Paulino (17-3, 7), who will be expected to take a very easy win over the light punching Junjie Lauza (6-21-2, 1).
We've had a real lull in action recently but these next few days sees that lull ending in style with fights across the Orient.
The most well matched show of the day is in Tokyo as we get the next Dangan card. The show isn't the most meaningful or significant but it certainly does have some good looking and interesting contests on it.
One of those bouts is the main event which pits ranked fighters against each other in a potentially significant cross roads bout on the Japanese domestic scene. The bout will pit the experienced Toyoto Shiraishi (25-8-2, 12), who is ranked by both the JBC and the OPBF, against the heavy handed Kenta Nakagawa (9-2, 7). Although in experienced Nakagawa made his debut in 2004 and appears to be looking to make up for lost time with this bout. Shiraishi however may have too much know how for his hard hitting foe.
Another showdown between ranked fighters comes in the chief support bout as Lightweight contenders face off in what could be something a little bit special. In one corner here we will have Kazuhiro Nishitani (14-2-1, 7) whilst in the other corner we have the the inform Yusuke Tsukada (7-4, 3). These two are ranked #8 and #9 by the JBC and although their rankings are very similar it's hard to see what Tsukada really brings to the table here, despite solid back-to-back wins coming in to this bout.
Another bout to feature a ranked fighter comes at Welterweight where Moon Hyun Yun (15-4-2, 2) takes on Shiro Saito (7-4-2, 2). Yun is looking for a second title fight and may well see a win here as his door to rematch with Japanese Welterweight champion Suyon Takayama, he does however enter 1-2-1 in his last 4. For Saito this is a great opportunity but it would require a career best performance for him to to claim a win.
In another 8 round we'll see a bout between experienced but flawed fighters as Ryuichi Funai (23-6, 16) takes on Japanese based Filipino Ryan Bito (22-14-3, 8). Funai is in great form with 6 wins, 5 inside the distance, since his last loss, to Rolly Lunas in an OPBF Bantamweight title clash and is on the verge of a shot at either the OPBF or the Japanese title. As for Bito the experienced Pinoy is looking to score just his second win since the start of 2012. It's fair to say Funai is the big favourite but we're hoping to see a good performance from Bito who really is indeed of a good one considering his recent form.
The final bout of note will see the 2014 All Japan Rookie of the Year at Featherweight, Yuichiro Kasuya (6-0, 1) fight for the first time this year as he takes on the limited, and fellow light hitting, Takashi Sakamoto (6-4, 1) in what appears to be a good step in the right direction for Kasuya who does look very promising. Aged just 18 we suspect we'll see a lot of Kasuya over the coming years.
Davao del Sur, Philippines
In the Philippines fans will get the chance to see a Sonshine card which features several notable names all in action, including one of the most interesting Filipino prospects.
The top of the card features 4 bouts all scheduled for 10 rounds. Sadly these all appear to be a mismatches including a bout between fringe contender Edrin Dapudong (30-6, 18) and domestic journeyman Richard Garcia (25-21-1, 7). This should be an easy win for “The Sting” who is better than his record indicates, and has sadly suffered a number of very close losses in recent times.
Another mismatch at the top of the card will see the heavy handed Lorenzo Villanueva (28-1-0-1, 24) battle against the tough but limited Rey Laspinas (19-11-5, 11). Villanueva, who did look amazingly exciting early in his career, comes into this bout looking for his 7th straight win since losing a 2012 FOTY contender to Daud Yordan in Singapore. Laspinas has proven his toughness, with just 3 stoppage losses, but all 3 stoppages have come in his last 8 bouts and this is likely to be another stoppage loss.
Former world title challenger Rommel Asenjo (26-4, 20) will be fighting for the first time since his disappointing performance against Juan Francisco Estrada. Asenjo has been matched very easily here as he takes on Allan Doronilla (9-14-1, 3) in what should prove to be little more thean a confidence rebuilding win for the hard hitting “Little Assassin”.
The remaining 10 rounder will see Rolando Magbanua (25-2, 17) take on Jimmy Aducal (8-5-2, 6). Coming in to this bout Aducala has been stopped in back-to-back fights and is 2-4 in his last 6. Magbanua on the other hand has won his last 6 and is in good form whilst also, clearly, the big favourite for this one.
As for the interesting prospect, that's the unbeaten Roskie Cristobal (10-0, 8). The 5'10” fighter, dubbed “The Gentle Giant” will be seeking his 11th straight win when he takes on the tough JR Mendoza (10-18, 4). Mendoza is a potential banana skin for domestic foes but shouldn't cause Cristobal to slip up, the interest here is whether or not Cristobal will be able to give Mendoza his 4th stoppage loss.
New York, USA
In the US fans will get the chance to see rising Kazakh puncher Bakhtiyar Eyubov (5-0, 5) continue his career as he takes on the limited Jason Thompson (5-10-4, 4), who is winless in the last 72 months. The heavy handed Kazakh, 28, has now been a pro for more than 3 years and it seems like it's now time that he was moved up in terns of his match making, sadly however it doesn't seem like his handlers are willing to really back him.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Although Asian action today comes from the Philippines with a single interesting looking show from Davao del Sur.
Davao del Sur, Philippines
The show that been put together to show off three of the biggest punching Filipino fighters all of whom will be expected to score wins and move on to bigger and better fights later in the year.
One of the men in action will be IBO Light Flyweight champion Rey Loreto (18-13, 10) who will be fighting for the first time since he iced Nkosinathi Joyi way back in February. Loereto, who has beaten former world champions in his last two bouts, will be fighting the tough but limited Heri Amol (34-19-4, 14) in what should be a good fight to shake the ring rust for Loreto more than anything else. For Amol this will be his 7th bout of the year, and his second since being dominated by Japanese debutant Ken Shiro and we suspect this will be his 6th straight loss.
Another man in action will be former IBO Super Flyweight champion Edrin Dapudong (29-6, 17) who should make light work of Thailand's limited Wisanlek Sithsaithong (11-5, 6). For Dapudong this is a stay busy fight before a probable rematch with South African Lwandile Sityatha, who beat Dapudong earlier this year. Although Wisanlek comes into this bout with an 11 fight winning streak his opponents have been dire, to say the least, and he cannot been seen as a real threat to the Filipino fighter known as "The Sting".
The third bout of note will see the return to the ring of the usually fun to watch Denver Cuello (33-5-6, 21) who has been inactive since losing a WBC world title fight against Xiong Zhao Zhong. Cuello will be taking on Thai novice Jaipetch Chaiyonggym (3-1, 2) in what looks like a pointless contest though it's really a test for Cuello's body after having had serious issues with one of his arms in his last 3 contests, including the Zhong fight and his narrow win over Takashi Kunishige. If Zhong is the fighter he once was then we feel he has the ability to become a world champion, however if his injury continues to be a problem then there is no saying he could even beat a journeyman, unfortunately.
On the under card we know of two other bouts which both feature an interesting fighter.
The most notable of those fighters is former world title challenger Rommel Asenjo (25-3, 20) who will be battling against fellow Filipino Richard Rosales (8-2-2, 3). Asenjo comes in to this bout on the back of a 5 fight winning streak following a 3rd round loss to Raul Garcia back in 2011. As for Rosales he has won his last 2 bouts but shouldn't be much of a challenge for the talented Asenjo.
Another interesting fighter on the under-card is the unbeaten and heavy handed Lightweight prospect Roskie Cristobal (8-0, 7) who will be fighting against the much smaller Rolly Llino (5-12-1, 2). Cristobal is a very heavy handed fighter with real promise and sadly he's being matched in bouts that aren't helping him at all, such as this one against a man who is several divisions smaller. A real waste of time for such a promising prospect.
From what we understand there rest of the undercard is very stacked with fighters like Lorenzo Villanueva (26-1-0-1, 23) and Rolando Magbanua (23-2, 15) both being in action as Sonshine Sports show how interested they are in the sport.
(Image, and video below, courtesy of Sonshine Sports)
July 18th-Teiru Kinoshita headlines a busy day of action which also features the debut of a huge Chinese Heavyweight!
Something's in boxing are rare. One of those is an IBF title fight that takes place in Japan and another is a Chinese Heavyweight. Amazingly this Friday we get the chance to see both of those in a day that is genuinely littered with fights featuring Asians in contests that we wouldn't typically have expected.
The most important card of the day anywhere in the world on Friday is in the amazing Portopia Hotel in Kobe, Hyogo, as we get the day's only world title fight. The bout in question is the aforementioned IBF title fight which will see the unbeaten Teiru Kinoshita (19-0-1, 3) taking on South African puncher Zolani Tete (18-3, 16) in a battle for the vacant IBF Super Flyweight title. The bout, the first title fight in Kinoshita's career, is a hugely important one for not only the fighters but also the venue which is hosting it's first ever fights and also the IBF who has still viewed negatively in Japan.
Whilst the Kinoshita/Tete bout is the headline contest it's just 1 of the 6 bouts on the card. Sadly the most notable support bouts are both pretty poor with one of them being between Shinichiro Morikawa (15-4-1, 10) and Ryota Kihara (6-8-4, 5) and the other being a bout between Yubon Kim (10-4, 3) and Yuta Matsuda (9-10-2, 4). Despite these bouts it's clear the fans at the venue will all be there to see the main event and not the support.
Another Japanese card will be held at the Korakuen Hall as Kaneko Promotions put on a show that did promise a lot until recently.
Originally the main event for this show was to feature Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Hidenori Otake (22-1-3, 9) defending his belt against Daisuke Furuhashi (16-5, 6). Sadly a rib injury has forced Otake out of the bout and as a result the card does look a bit disappointing. As a result of Otake's injury the main event will now be the contest between Ryuto Oho (6-1, 2) and Shuji Hamada (12-6-3, 2). It's an acceptable contest but sadly it's not a great main event, especially considering that the main event was originally supposed to be a very interesting title bout.
From the other 7 bouts on the card we need to admit that we are a little bit excited by the contest between Toshimitsu Goto (12-10-1, 5) and Spice Matsushita (11-8, 2). The records of neither man is great but they are about the same and both will be coming to win, also both men are better than their records indicate and will be looking to prove it in a really solid 50-50 bout.
A third Japanese card takes place in Osaka at the Bodymaker Colosseum. This card is by far the smallest profile show in Japan for the day and will feature a total of 7 bouts, the most notable of which is arguably the 8 round contest between the experienced Tetsuya Hisada (21-8-1, 11) and the limited Takahiro Murai (9-5-1, 3). We imagine Hisada will win but it's a bout that is competitive and could go either way though neither guy is likely to even win a national title as they campaign in some of the deepest divisions on the Japanese domestic scene.
Pathum Thani, Thailand
The action in Thailand will feature the very promising Nawaphon Por Chokchai (21-0, 15) who will be defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Flyweight title against Filipino visitor Jay-ar Estremos (10-7, 4). Nawaphon, the younger brother of former world champion Suriyan Sor Rungvisai, is widely touted as a future world champion and shouldn't really struggle with Estremos here though the Filipino is much better than his record indicates and he should really have a victory over Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym from earlier this year.
In the California we have two intriguing contests.
One of those, the main event on a Fox Sports 1 card, will see former world title challenger Mercito Gesta (27-1-1, 15) taking on the experienced Luis Arceo (28-12-4, 18). Although the bout looks like a mismatch it is always fun to see "No Mercy" in the ring and hopefully he'll be at his most explosive against an opponent who is there to be taken out.
On the same card fans will get the chance to see Chinese Heavyweight giant Taishan Dong (0-0) make his debut against the limited Alex Rozman (2-6, 1). Stood at 6'11" Dong really is a giant of a man and their seems to be real excitement about him though we really haven't seen much of him action other than one or two kick boxing contests, including a knockout win over Bob Sapp. If however he has skills as well as size he could be a genuine force in the division and it would be great to see him having success in the boxing ranks.
New York, USA
We have another US bout that takes place in New York. This bout will see Mongolia's
San Luis Potosí, Mexico
Staying in North America we also have a fight of interest in Mexico. This contest will see the promising Mexican based Japanese fighter Shoky Sakai (17-3, 11) battle against Abraham Cordero (8-2, 5). Although not a world beater Sakai is certainly developing into a capable fighter and his clear win over the previously unbeaten Omar Barajas back in May suggests that he may have the potential to become a possible contender in the future. For those interested in the titles this bout will be fought for the vacant WBC Youth Silver Lightweight title and of course the Youth titles are often a stepping stone to bigger and better things.
Another bout outside of Asia will see IBO Super Flyweight champion Edrin Dapudong (29-5, 17) defending his belt against Lwandile Sityatha (16-3-1, 7). Dapudong, who won the belt by stopping Gideon Buthelezi inside a round last year, will be hoping to become the first Filipino to win back-to-back fights in South Africa though he will be coming into this fight after 13 months out of the ring and he may have some ring rust going into this bout.
(Image courtesy of Senrima Kobe Promotions)