Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
The most noteworthy action this coming Saturday is a Japanese national title fight at Korakuen Hall, which will headline this month's Dynamic Glove.
That title bout is the rescheduled bout between Rikito Shiba (5-1, 3) and Shokichi Iwata (6-0, 4), for the Japanese Light Flyweight title. This was supposed to take place back in September, before Iwata tested positive for Covid at the weigh in forcing the bout to be scrapped at the 11th hour. Given how we've seen Covid effecting fighters this could be a case of Iwata rushing back to soon, given his illness. Ignoring the Covid situation the bout is a mouth watering one, between two young fighters each looking to boost their careers and really move on to the next level. Our in depth preview of this one can be read here Iwata and Shiba clash for Japanese title!
In a really good supporting bout we'll see novice professional Goki Kobayashi (1-0, 1) take on Hayato Aoki (4-1, 3), in what could be a really interesting match up. Kobayashi was a solid amateur, and looked very good in his debut in June, but we suspect that Aoki will look to drag him into a fire fight here, and we could get something a big explosive if Aoki can start fast.
Workpoint Studio, Bang Phun, Thailand
Over in thailand we get the next show under the WP Boxing series of shows, and it's headlined by one of Thailand best young prospects, taking on someone who has long been a gatekeeper to the regional scene.
The prospect in question is Thattana Luangphon (14-0-1, 12), aka Chainoi Worawut, who will be looking to defend his WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Bantamweight title. In the opposite corner to the unbeaten puncher will be Sukpraserd Ponpitak (27-12, 19), , who also fights as Sukkasem Kietyongyuth. Chainoi is regarded as one of the best prospects in Thailand, with nasty power, good skills, and a developing boxing brain, which could see him landing regional level fights in 2022, when Covid restrictions are finally lifted. Sukkasem on the other hand is known for once being a decent fighter, but is now a tune for many in Asia, including future Naoya Inoue opponent Aran Dipaen and current OPBF champion Keita Kurihara among others.
Halyk arena sport complex, Aktau, Kazakhstan
In Aktau we'll see a number of Kazakh hopefuls in action, though sadly the opponents really aren't the most testing and the match ups seem rather predictable, though it's better to see the hopefuls fighter rather than sat, twiddling their thumbs and waiting for interesting opponents to be available.
One of the prospects is Light Heavyweight Bekzad Nurdauletov (2-0, 1), an amateur standout tipped for really big things. He'll be up against Russian based Uzbekistani fighter Farrukh Juraev (6-4-1, 2). Notably Juraev has has never been stopped, and should take Nurdaletov the scheduled 8 rounds, but he is a natural Middleweight and he hasn't really shown much in terms of a being a threat against novices so far, and that includes novices without the amateur pedigree of the Kazakh.
Another notable unbeaten on this card is Meiirim Nursultanov (14-0, 8), who has been in an around the fringes of a world rankings for a whilst. The unbeaten Nursultanov is a 28 year old who looked set to break out after a very strong 2019, but has lost a lot of momentum here. Thankfully for him he shouldn't be tested too much here as he takes on the very limited Dzmitry Atrokhau (16-11, 7), from Belarus. Atrokhau is a 33 year old Southpaw who has been a professional since 2013 and despite picking up a lot of loses he is very much a survival expert, with his sole stoppage loss coming when his team threw in the towel against Andrii Velikovskyi. This should be a great chance for Nursultanov to get some ring time and shake some ring rust, but it would be a huge shock if the bout was at all competitive.
TMMA San-Chong Gym, Taipei, Taiwan
We also get a small card in Taiwan, with a few local fighters facing off. The most notable of which will see the unbeaten Ching Hsin Wang (2-0-1) face off with Chian Huei Chin (0-1-1), in a second bout between the two ladies. These two fought to a draw in 2019, and Wang hasn't fought since then, so will be coming in with more than 2 years of inactivity. Chin has fought since that draw, but has been inactive since November 2019, and has almost 2 years of inactivity herself.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Thursday the Korakuen Hall plays host to the next show in the Diamond Glove series of events televised, on tape delay, by Fuji TV. Although not a massive card it does have a Japanese title bout, along with some very interesting supporting bouts, with some of the stars of the latest Rookie of the Year looking to shine.
The main event of the card will see Japanese Light Welterweight champion Daishi Nagata (15-2-2, 6) look to make his second defense of the title, which he took from Koki Inoue in 2020, as he takes on the unbeaten Masahiro Suzuki (5-0, 3). The tough and rugged Nagata will come in to this as a huge favourite and will try to use his physicality and pressure to break down the smaller, less experienced Suzuki, however that might not be as easy to do as Nagata might think. Suzuki, although inexperienced as a professional was a very good amateur and has impressed since kicking off his professional career with an excellent win against Antonio Siesmundo. This will be pressure against movement, and those bouts do tend to make for some very good stylistic clashes. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Nagata defends against unbeaten Suzuki!
In a really, really good looking chief support bout we'll see the very highly regarded Rentaro Kimura (3-0, 3) take on the once beaten Hikaru Fukunaga (8-1, 5) in a very solid 6 rounder. Kimura has looked fantastic since making his professional debut, late last year, and clearly has his eyes on getting title fights later this year. To do that he needs to keep winning and can't afford a slip up here against Fukunaga. As for Fukunaga he reached the All Japan Rookie of the Year final, but sadly tested posted for Covid19 before the bout and was unable to compete in his scheduled bout. With that disappointment we expect to see Fukunaga come in to this bout full of hunger and desire, and he could be a real test for Kimura in this mouth watering contest.
Another excellent match up on the under-card will see All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Ryota Karimata (6-0, 3) take on Hayato Aoki (4-0, 3) in a brilliant match up. The 25 year old Karimata is one of the potential stars from the belated Rookie of the Year tournament, and he looked solid through the tournament, despite some struggles in the final against Hyogo Kimura. He's aggressive, heavy handed, and a fun to watch fighter who lets his hands go. Aoki on the other hand is a 36 old who knows he can't afford any more set backs if he's ever going to secure a title fight. Expect to see a hot tempo set early on and bombs to be thrown by both men in this one.
Another notable standout from the latest Rookie of the Year tournament was Akira Hoshuyama (5-0, 2), who won a Flyweight. He will be looking to build on his Rookie success with a bout against former amateur standout Shisui Kawabata (2-2, 2), who has struggled since moving over to the professional ranks. Hoshuyama's Rookie of the Year final, against Yasuhiro Kanzaki, was one of the more controversial, and exciting, finals and he'll be looking to put to bed some question marks that hang over his head from that bout. Kawabata on the other hand desperately needs a win after back to back losses to Rikito Shiba and Yuki Nakajima. Kawabata might have two losses in 4, but he can fight, and if he clicks here he could end rebuilding rapidly, and becoming the fighter many expected him to become when he made his debut in early 2018.
The remaining bout on this carer will see the crude but fun to watch Shota Ogasawara (6-3, 3) take on Rookie of the Year runner up Naito Oikawa (3-1, 1) in a 6 rounder. This isn't a great bout, but it should be regarded as a must win for both men, following some disappointing performances in recent contests.