This coming week kicks off with a pair of Japanese domestic cards at varying levels. One is a very interesting show with several bouts of note whilst the other has a trio of interesting, though much lower level, contests.
The more significant of the two Japanese cards comes from Tokyo as we get the next Dangan show.
This one is headlined by a very interesting Japanese Featherweight title bout as the defending champion, the unbeaten Rikki Naito (10-0, 5), attempts to over-come Shingo Eto (14-2-1, 9) and record his second defense of the belt. Naito, the young son of former Japanese and OPBF champion Cassius Naito, has looked like a quickly improving fighter however Eto cannot be written, especially considering the heart his brothers Taiki and Koki Eto have shown. This bout may not be a world class bout but it's an excellent domestic title bout and one that certainly will help the winner advance to a higher level. Strangely however the winner will only be regarded as the #4 guy at Super Featherweight in Japan, well behing world champions Takashi Uchiyama, the WBA champion, and WBC champion Takashi Miura as well as the exceptional Daiki Kaneko.
A second notable bout on this card will see former OPBF Bantamweight champion Hiroki Shiino (11-3, 10) battling against the upset minded Hideo Sakamoto (14-1-2, 4). Shiino, who currently holds a world ranking with the WBC, will be looking to record his second win since losing his OPBF title to Ryosuke Iwasa late last year however Sakamoto comes into this bout on a 4 fight winning streak and he is certainly not a bad fighter himself and will know there is a lot to gain from a win here.
The third bout of note here, and possibly the most exciting of the bunch, comes at Middleweight where former amateur star Takaaki Kamikawa (0-0) takes on the heavy handed and nationally ranked Shoma Fukumoto (4-1, 4). Fukumoto may be inexperienced as a professional but he's very heavy handed and this is a baptism of fire for Kamikawa who knows a win could fast track him towards a title fight. Excellent match even if it is a very tough assignment for the debutant.
The other Japanese card is from the Sangyo Shinko Center in Osaka where we get a much lesser card but one which still has a few interesting bouts.
The main event will see former OPBF female Light Flyweight champion Nana Yoshikawa (3-0, 1) attempt to continue her climb through the rankings she takes on Thai visitor Kledpetch KKP (6-3, 1), who is best known for losing to Shingo Go in a WBC female Flyweight title fight earlier this year. If Yoshikawa can score a very impressive victory here it's likely she'll be moved towards a world title fight in 2015, she's not ready yet but she may be by the end of next year.
In the chief support bout former OPBF title challenger Eita Kikuchi (14-4-4, 6) will battle against the heavy handed Toshiya Yokogawa (6-6-1, 5). Kikuchi is best known for being stopped by current OPBF champion Shingo Wake and since then he has suffered another stoppage loss. With Yokogawa's power we know that the "under-dog" could score a stoppage but he is pretty limited himself and has lost 2 of his last 3 at a lower level to what Kikuchi has been fighting at.
A third 8 rounder on this show will see the experienced Shota Kawaguchi (17-5-1, 7) battle against the light hitting Kosuke Isono (7-2-1, 1). Neither of these two have fought a notable opponent but they'll be hoping that a win could set them up for a run on the domestic rankings. If they can get into the top 15 then there is a chance they will get a notable bout in the near future.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
A new week kicks off in style on Monday with two Japanese title fights. We'll admit last week was a bit rubbish in terms of fights but with this week kicking off like this we can only expect a great week from start to end.
The show, which features 7 bouts in total, begins with a trio of low level match ups before we move on to a series of very good fights.
In the first of those top match ups will see the #1 ranked OPBF Bantamweight challenger Monico Laurente (24-10, 5) attempting to defend his ranking against Japan's hard hitting Yuta Nakagawa (12-4-1, 8). Although Laurente has lost 3 of his last 5, including defeats to Shun Kubo and Tomoki Kameda, he is still a worthy fighter to be highly ranked and Nakagawa will under-stand that he's in with a tough and determined foe. Unranked himself Nakagawa has a lot to gain here and not much to lose so we expect him to give a great effort.
Following the Laurente/Nakagawa bout we then get another interesting bout around the Bantamweight division as former OPBF champion Hiroki Shiino (10-3, 9) takes on Filipino journeyman Rodel Tejares (20-28-9, 5). On paper this may not look like much of a fight but Tejares is tough and Shiino is trying to come back from a stoppage loss to Ryosuke Iwasa last December. Shiino has the power to be fun but we do wonder whether he has much of a long term future in the sport.
The first of the two main events will see Japanese Minimumweight champion Go Odaira (9-3-3, 1) defending his belt for the first time as he fights Yuma Iwahashi (11-6-1, 1). We tend to feel that Odaira has everything he needs to see off Iwahashi who has never really impressed us. Odaira looked great in his title win earlier this year as he showed off great movement and fantastic speed and we expect to see the same here.
After the Minimumweight title fight we then move through the weights as Japanese Super Featherweight champion Rikki Naito (9-0, 5) makes the first defence of his title. Naito, one of the most promising prospects in Japan right now, will be tackling the experienced Kyohei Tamakoshi (32-8-6, 12) who will likely know that anything but a win could end his career. Tamakoshi will need to find the form that saw him defeating Dante Jardon back in 2011 though we're unsure if he will ever secure another win as meaningful as that one.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp and Dangan Boxing)