This coming Wednesday Japanese fans have a day to look forward to, with a world title fight in Kyoto and an interesting, though much smaller, card in Tokyo. Both shows have very interesting main events but are a bit weak below the top bout.
Kyoto City Gym, Kyoto, Japan
Of the two cards it's the one in Kyoto which will get more attention, with a world title bout, a Japanese Youth title bout and a former world title challenger all in action.
That world title bout will see WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (18-0, 10) making his 9th defense of the title as he takes on fellow Japanese fighter Masamichi Yabuki (12-3, 11) in a mouth watering all Japanese clash. This will pit the skills, timing and boxing brain of the champion against the power, physicality and size of the challenger, and these sorts of bouts can make for very interesting contests. There is no doubting Kenshiro is the better boxer, and he's proven it with notable wins against the likes of Ganigan Lopez, Pedro Guevara, Milan Melindo and Randy Petalcorin and Tetsuya Hisada, but he has yet to beat a true puncher, and has been battling out of the ring with Covid19. As for Yabuki it is a step up in class for him, though he's coming in good form and has learned form his losses, including an early career defeat to Junto Nakatani and a loss to Cuban standout Daniel Matellon. Coming in to this the challenger has stopped 4 of his last 5 and has proven he can go rounds when he needs to, taking a decision over former Kenshiro foe Toshimasa Ouchi. Our in depth preview of this one can be read here Kenshiro takes on Yabuki in defense #9!
In a Japanese Youth title bout at Flyweight we'll see Aoba Mori (7-2-1, 1) clash with Yuga Inoue (11-2-1, 2), in an interesting contest between two men who don't get much attention. The 21 year old Aoba is the younger man, and despite some set backs in recent bouts there is plenty of promise with him, as shown in his TKO win over Keisuke Iwasaki back in April. Although Mori has shown promise we suspect he will go in as the under-dog against Inoue, who is more well known and more established, having won Rookie of the Year and shared the ring with several notable domestic foes, including Kai Ishizawa. Neither man is a puncher, but both picked up stoppage wins last time out and will likely come in to this feeling they can hurt the other man. Our full preview of this bout can be read here Japanese Youth Flyweight title bout see Aoba Mori and Yuga Inoue clash!
In a stay busy fight former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa (36-5-4, 21) will be up against Yoshiyuki Takabayashi (9-11-1, 4), in what really is a tick over bout for Osawa, who has sadly been inactive since beating Jason Butar Butar almost 2 years ago, and is certainly someone who's career has been negatively affected by the rise of Covid19. Osawa was on the verge of a world title fight going into last year, but it appearsthe chance of him getting a second shot are now dead in the water.
Sadly this show is essentially hidden away, despite how good it is, on what is essentially a Japanese PPV, costing 2,200Yen (around £15 or $20), a price that seems to be a sign of the times in Japanese boxing during the Pandemic era.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Over in Tokyo we get a Dangan card that has a stellar domestic main event, and a very interesting supporting bout.
The main will see former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-7-1, 13) trying to get his career back on track as he takes on the under-rated Shingo Kusano (13-9-1, 5). Minamoto, who won the Japanese title in 2018, has failed to pick up a win in over 3 years now and desperately needs a big result if he's to keep open hopes of getting another title opportunity. Kusano on the other hand performed brilliant in a tournament in 2019 and 2020, losing in the final in a barn burner. This might not have much in terms of star power, but it could end up being a brutal war over 8 fascinating rounds.
In the main support bout former world champion Ayaka Miyao (23-9-2, 6) will be up against Kaori Nagai (6-2-3, 2). On paper this is a total mismatch in favour of Miayo, however he is now 38, she's had numerous injuries including a nasty one in 2016 against Nao Ikeyama, has failed to win her last 3, and was brutally knocked out last time out. Nagai on the other hand is riding a 5 winning streak and at 31 will feel she has youth, energy and health on her side. A real must win for Miyao and a huge opportunity for Nagai.
176BOX, Toyonaka, Osaka, Japan
This coming Saturday we'll see one of Japan's most popular current fighters returns to the ring after almost 2 years of inactivity. Not only that but it's also the start of a new venture from a well known former Japanese fighter.
The show, which is promoted by Shinsei Promotions, will feature several fighters from the 3150 Gym, the newly founded gym from former world champion Koki Kameda who is looking to reinject excitement into boxing in West Japan.
As part of putting excitement back into boxing in Osaka we'll see this show being promoted by former Bantamweight champion Tomoki Kameda (36-3, 20), as he takes on the underwhelming Hironori Miyake (9-10-2, 1). The talented Kameda hasn't been seen in the ring since July 2019, when he lost to Rey Vargas, and had plans that needed cancelling last year due to the on going pandemic. At his best Kameda is a fantastic fighter, one of the most eye pleasing in Japan, but fighting at Super Bantamweight or Featherweight his lack of power is a massive issue, at least at the higher levels. Thankfully for Kameda his lack of power is unlikely to be an issue here as Miyake has lost his last 4, and was stopped last time out by the debuting Keisuke Matsumoto.
Also on this card is former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa (36-5-4, 21), who take on Chiharu Takasuka (7-7-1, 4). The now 35 year old Osawa is highly ranked by the WBA but was out of the ring for the entire of 2019, due to the pandemic, and has lost all the moment he had been rebuilding since his 2016 loss to Oscar Valdez. With that in mind it's hard to complain about him having an easy bout here. Takasuka, also aged 35, has been stopped in 3 of his last 4 and is 2-6 in his 8, against much more limited fighters than Osawa. This really is just a case of Osawa shaking some ring rust, nothing more and nothing less.
Whilst we won't go into the under-card there are 3 other 3150 Gym fighters on the card, along with Tomoki Kameda, as the gym starts to get it's self off the ground and as the Kameda's continue their long relationship with the Abema streaming service.
Booysens Hall, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
For a second day in a row we get action over in South Africa featuring local fighters against Filipino fighters, in bouts where the locals will be favoured of their visiting foes.
The most notable of the fighters in action is popular South African warrior Hekkie Budler (32-4, 10) who battles Filipino youngster Jonathan Almacen (7-3-2, 2) in a bout for the WBC Silver Light Flyweight title, and a potential crack at Kenshiro Teraji. The talented Budler, a 2-weight and former unified champion at Light Flyweight, hasn't fought since losing to Hiroto Kyoguchi at the end of 2018 and it's hard to know what such a long break from the ring will will do for him. At his best he would easily beat Almacen but at 33 years old and with so much inactivity this bout is more interesting than it would once have been. As for Almacen this is a massive step up in class and is, by far and away, his toughest bout to date.
The other bout will see local fans cheering on Simpiwe Konkco (19-6-0-1, 7) as he takes on Pinoy visitor Ariston Aton (9-3, 5). The talented Konkco was last seen in the ring in October 2019, when he lost to the then defending WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin, in what was a clear win for the Thai great. Sadly with a long lay off, it's now almost 3 years since Konkco last scored a win. As for Aton he's lost his last two, being out pointed in 2019 by Tatsuro Nakashima and being stopped last year by Tsuabasa Koura. Despite the 21 year old Aton being the more active recently, it would be a huge shock if he picked up the win against the often under-rated Konkco.
Attention turns to Osaka this coming Tuesday for the first notable show of October, which features a world title fight, a bout featuring a #1 contender and a fight with a promising prospect.
The world title bout is an all-Japanese contest that pits Hiroto Kyoguchi (13-0, 9) against Tetsuya Hisada (34-9-2, 20). The bout will see Kyoguchi looking to make his second defense of the WBA "super" and Ring Magazine Light Flyweight titles as he takes on the very experienced Hisada, who's biggest success has been at the Japanese domestic level. The talented and aggressive Kyoguchi is strongly favoured here, and is expected to move on to world title unification bouts in the near future. At 34, and soon to be 35, it's now or never for Hisada and this is likely to be his only shot at a world title. Interestingly this bout is an all Osakan affair, with both men being from Osaka Prefecture. A full preview of this bout can be read here Kyoguchi takes on Hisada in Osakan showdown!
In the chief support bout the WBA #1 ranked Featherweight Hiroshige Osawa (35-5-4, 21) will fight in a stay busy bout against Indonesian Jason Butar Butar (30-26-1, 19). The Japanese fighter is hoping to land a second world title fight, potentially against Can Xu in 2020, so can ill afford a slip up here and can't look past Butar Butar. Saying that however the Indonesian has lost both of his previous fights in Japan and isn't regarded as much of a threat given his struggles against weak domestic opponents so far.
In another supporting bout we'll see second generation fighter Kaiki Yuba (5-0-2, 3), the son of former 5-weight Japanese national champion Tadashi Yuba, take on 22 year old Mikado Konishi (6-2, 4). Yuba has had some misfortune recently, resulting in 2 of his last 4 bouts ending in technical decisions. The unbeaten southpaw will be doing all he can to avoid that here. Konishi is less proven, and touted, than Yuba, but he is a threat here with his power and toughness and could be a genuine test for Yuba in this 6 rounder.
The main card of interest this coming Sunday comes from Osaka, where we get a small but notable show.
The main event of this show sees 21 year old Japanese hopeful Daiki Tomita (12-1, 4) take on former world title challenger Jeffrey Galero (17-6, 8). Interestingly both me these men have lost to Tsubasa Koura, with Koura blitzing Galero being going 12 rounds with Tomita, and it feels very much like Tomita is the man with the potential to go on to big things, whilst Galero is on a downward slide towards becoming a journeyman, with 3 losses in his last 4.
A pretty solid bout on this card will see Yu Konomura (9-8-2, 3) take on Daisuke Watanabe (7-4-1, 4). On paper it's very easy to overlook this contest, but in reality it should be really entertaining. Konomura has struggled to not wins recently, winning just twice in his last 8, but can be a banana skin whilst Watanabe has one of the sports truly deceiving records, and he is much, much better than those numbers suggest.
Also on this card is former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa (34-5-4, 20), who looks to score a stay busy win against Indonesian visitor Ahmad Lahizab (4-7-1, 1). This is a big step down in class for Osawa, but appears to be a real tick over before something bigger later in the year.
As well as the action in Japan there will also be a show in Indonesia featuring a pair of unbeaten local prospects, each looking to extend their unbeaten records and claim a title.
The main event will be a 12 round bout, which will see the talented Andika D'Golden Boy (15-0, 8) take on Filipino foe Romshane Sarguilla (7-2-2, 4) in a bout for the WBA Asia Light Flyweight title. The unbeaten local fighter is 23 years old and looking to build on a relatively poor 2018, which saw him fighting just twice. On the other hand Sarguilla will be fighting for the second time this year, looking to bounce back from a February loss to Dave Apolinario, a loss that was aired on ESPN5. Although the bout won't get much attention internationally, it will be a pretty interesting and potentially very competitive bout.
The other title bout on this show will see the unbeaten and heavy handed Ari Agustian (7-0, 7) take on Thai visitor Suntorn Panhom (3-3, 2) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Youth Lightweight title. We were really impressed by Agustian in 2018, when he travelled to China and blasted out Baolin Kang, but he's been inactive since and not build on a really notable win. Panhom on the other hand is a 19 year old Thai who has lost 3 of his last 4, and he's yet to score a win over someone with a recorded bout.
Action returns to Osaka this coming Saturday for what is a pretty notable card at the EDION Arena. The card features a second generation fight and a former world title challenger.
The second generation fighter is Juiki Tatsuyoshi (9-0, 6), the boxing son of the enigmatic Joichiro Tatsuyoshi. The unbeaten Tatsuyoshi will be taking a notable step up in class as he goes up against 35 year old veteran Yuki Hirashima (9-2-1, 3), in what looks like a solid test for the youngster. Tatsuyoshi turned professional under the shadow of his father but has slowly started to make his own mark and has now shown the ability to go 8 rounds, as he did against Shun Ishibashi. Hirashima lacks a notable win, but he comes into this bout as someone who knows a good performance could secure him a lot of attention in the new year, whilst a third career defeat may well end his career.
The former world title challenger on this card is Japanese veteran Hiroshige Osawa (33-5-4, 19), who is likely aware that can't afford another loss if he wants a second world title fight. Osawa is best known for losing to Oscar Valdez in a show for the WBO Featherweight title, and since then he is 3-1, losing last time out to former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo. In the opposite corner to Osawa will be world ranked Colombian Belmar Preciado (18-1-1, 11), who is fighting in Asia for the first time in his career. It's hard to say much about Preciado, but his competition so far does little to suggest he's actually a world class fighter, and Osawa will certainly feel confident of picking up a win here. We've done a full preview of this fight here Osawa and Preciado fight in must win contest!
Originally announced for the card was a bout between Ginjiro Tsutsumimoto (2-0, 2) and Thailand's Amphol Suriyo (23-3, 19), sadly however Tsutsumimoto has been removed from this bout and replaced by 28 year old countryman Takayuki Sakai (7-1-2, 5). The Thai visitor is a former OPBF title challenger who will be riding a high coming in to this bout, on the back of a huge upset win over Kazuki Saito in Tokyo. As for Sakai, he is riding a 4 fight winning run, with 3 straight stoppages, but this is a big step up in class for him.
Although Ginjiro is off this card his brother, the heavy handed Kyosuke Tsutsumimoto (8-1, 7), will be on the show. The once beaten Tsutsumimoto and Anurak Madua (6-2, 4), a Thai who is riding a 4 fight winning run. Tsutsumimoto is a big puncher, and has won his last 4 by stoppage since losing a decision in 2016. Interestingly both of Madua's losses have come in previous visits to Japan.
Having mentioned a couple of Thai's it's worth noting that Thailand will host a show of it's own, as former amateur stand out Apichet Petchmanee (1-0, 1) takes on the hard hitting Sadudee Tor Buamas (8-0, 6) in a bout for the OPBF Silver Light Welterweight title. Apichet impressed on debut, stopping the then 13-0 Attanon Kunlawong, and looks like he might be one of the brightest hopefuls in Thailand, and at 29 he knows he will need to be moved quickly. The 25 year old Sadudee Tor Buamas hasn't fought in a while, but is a former PABA Light Welterweight champion and can punch. This a very interesting match up and one we're really looking forward to.
In the Philippines we'll see unbeaten puncher Christian Araneta (16-0, 14) take on journeyman Vincent Bautista (5-11-4, 1). This is little more than a stay busy fight for Araneta, who really is on the verge of a major fight, and really we do expect him to score a clear win. It is however worth noting that Bautista was generally regarded as being durable, but he has suffered 2 recent stoppage losses and looks to be a man feeling the effects of a hard career.
Also on this card is Harmonito Dela Torre (19-2, 12), who is looking to bounce back from successive losses. The once touted Dela Torre, who has been beaten by Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Yongqiang Yang, will be up against experienced veteran Richard Betos (20-21-2, 7). Betos is very limited and shouldn't be competitive with the talented Dela Torre.
New York, USA
In the US we get a number of Asian fighters in action.
One of those is the eye catching and fun to watch Shohjahon Ergashev (11-0, 11), who impressed back in January when he defeated Sonny Fredrickson. The Uzbek hopeful will be facing off with Chinese fight Zhimin Wang (10-2, 3) in what should be another chance for Ergashev to show case his skills. Wang isn't a terrible fighter, but he is naturally smaller than the Uzbek and is essentially taking a a pea shooter into a gun fight against Ergashev's brutal power.
Unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Dimash Niyazov (13-0-3, 6) will be seeking an 8th straight win as he goes up against limited Mexican Angel Sarinana (7-7-2, 3). Niyazov doesn't have the look of being the next Kazakh star but should be far too good for Sarinana, who lacks power and has already been stopped in 4 of his 7 losses.
The most interesting Asian on this card is Kazakh debutant Daniyar Yeleussinov (0-0). The Kazakh won gold at Rio 2016 and is touted to be a very special professional, given just how strong and impressive his amateur credentials are. He signed with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Sports and is likely to matched aggressively. Sadly at the time of writing the opponent for his debut is unknown though we're not expecting any one too notable given the short notice.
In Hyogo Japanese fans get a really interesting card with two notable bouts.
The most interesting of those will see former world champion Shun Kubo (12-1, 9) take on former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa (33-4-4, 19). The bout is being sold as a “survival match” for the two men, with neither really able to afford a loss at this point. For Kubo this bout will be his first as a fully fledged Featherweight and his first since losing the WBA Super Bantamweight title to Daniel Roman last September. For Osawa this bout will see him hunting a 4th straight win since his 2016 loss to Oscar Valdez. The winner of this will move towards another world title fight, whilst the loser could well be looking down the end of a barrel.
In a supporting bout we'll see former OPBF Bantamweight champion Takahiro Yamamoto (20-5, 17) battle against Filipino visitor Jestoni Autida (11-7, 5). The Japanese slugger will be looking for his third straight stoppage win since having the title ripped out of his hands in November 2016 by Mark John Yap. At his best Yamamoto is a pure raw heavy handed slugger who can be a nightmare to fight, though his competition since his loss to Yap has been poor. Autida on the other hand is one of the many under-rated Filipino fighters, and he has toughness and ability to give Yamamoto real fits here. Although on paper a mismatch Autide has mixed with top level company, and suffered losses to fighters like Ryo Matsumoto and Petch Sor Chitpattana, so we do not expect this to be a walk in the park for Yamamoto.
One other bout of note on this card is a bout between Retsu Kosaka (8-3, 3) and Koichi Ito (11-6-3, 10). This should be a pretty interesting contest, despite neither fighter being particularly goo. Ito really does have nasty power and if he connects Kosaka could be in trouble, however Kosaka has the edge in skills and could be simply too good for the cruder fighter.
A second Japanese show will come from Osaka, where we get a relatively low key card.
The main event is a very interesting match up as Matcha Nakagawa (12-1-1, 5) faces off with Yuki Iriguchi (9-2-1, 4) in a bout for the Japanese Youth Bantamweight title. This is one of the many interesting match ups to come from the Japanese Youth title scene. Coming into this one Nakagawa is riding a 3 fight winning run since losing unbeaten record in late 2016 to Ryohei Takahashi. Iriguchi on the other hand lost his unbeaten record last time out in a split decision loss to Takuya Mizuno. Given the quality of these two fighters this match up should be very competitive and compelling, even if it does lack in terms of excitement.
Also on this card will be Shingo Kawamura (15-3-1, 7) and Daiki Tomita (11-0, 3), who will both be fighting Thai foes. We haven't got the names of the visiting fighters, which should really sum up the quality of the opponents in this bout, and both Kawamura and Tomita will be expecting to pick up wins here.
The day is set to be an incredibly busy on in the Philippines. The most notable of the shows is to come from Glan in Saragani province.
The main event of this card will see unbeaten fighters collide in a bout for the WBO Oriental Youth Super Flyweight title. The bout will see Jade Bornea (10-0, 7) take on Danrick Sumabong (5-0, 4) in what should be a really good match up. Bornea was a top Filipino amateur before turning professional and should be favoured, but 19 year old Sumabong is a hard hitting with confidence and could prove to be the sort of opponent who could give Bornea absolute fits.
Other fighters on this card are Harmonito Dela Torre (19-1, 12), Jayson Mama (9-0, 5), Mark Bernaldez (15-1, 10) and Jake Bornea (13-2, 7). None of them are expecting to face any sort of tests, but the promoters do look like they are stacking the card with notable hopefuls and prospects.
Another Filipino card with a title bout headlining it will see the unbeaten Carl Jammes Martin (7-0, 6) take on Tanzanian Hashimu Zuberi (14-2, 4) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Bantamweight title. The 18 year old Martin has been really impressive on the lower level of the Filipino domestic scene but this is a notable step up and he will have to prove that he is one to watch with this bout. As for Zuberi he lacks power but the 22 year old showed his toughness in 2016, when he went 12 rounds with Rakniran Muadransarakam. He was stopped last year by Andrew Moloney, in 4 rounds, but is a fantastic test for the unbeaten Martin.
Agusan del Norte, Philippines
In Agusan del Norte fans will get the chance to see another low key card, headlined by Monico Laurente (29-13, 6) battling against Ralph Jhon Lulu (12-2-2, 5), who we believe was a late replacement for JP Macadumpis. On paper this is a decent match up, especially given that Laurente is on the slide, however Lulu has lost his last two bouts and is 20 months removed from a win, which came against the limited Junjie Lauza.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In Metro Manila fans get a title double header.
One of the bouts on this card will see the aggressive Allan Vallespin (11-2, 8) defending his GAB Super Featherweight title against the limited Warren Mambuanag (11-9-2, 3). Both of Vallespin's losses have been by stoppage, with the Filipino being stopped by both Masaru Sueyoshi and Denys Berinchyk, and he shouldn't be worried about Mambuanag's power here. The challenger has 4 of his last 5, including a loss to Vallespin in December 2016, and will be a major under-dog coming in to this bout.
A second title fight will see Mugicha Nakagawa (22-5-1, 13), the brother of the aforementioned Match Nakagawa, battle against Ricky Manufoe (27-32-3, 10) for the WBA Asia East Super Bantamweight Title. This should be a mismatch and a pretty straight forward win for Nakagawa, who impressed us last year when he came up just short against Yasutaka Ishimoto. Indonesian foe Manufoe has lost 4 of his last 5, and is likely to be beaten again here.
So Christmas is this coming Monday, Turkey, alcohol, presents, fun and family. On Sunday however we have fights in Japan as the sport delivers once more before the big day.
The more notable of two shows comes from Kadoma City in Osaka and will feature a number of notable fighters.
One of those notable fighters is second generation hopeful Juiki Tatsuyoshi (6-0, 4), who will be facing off with a Thai visitor in the main event of the card. The bout with Tatsuyoshi is his first to be scheduled over the 8 round distance, and will actually be aired on G+, who appear happy to push him as a star in the making, thanks to his still hugely popular father Joichiro Tatsuyoshi. This will be Tatsuyoshi's first bout of the year, though comes after a number of injuries and the birth of his first child, so expect a lot of substories being told by the TV crew, but the key is for the unbeaten Osakan to win, and move into 2018 with his unbeaten record intact.
In the co-feature we'll see former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa (32-4-4, 19) look to take a huge step towards a second world title fight, as he takes on world ranked Nicaraguan Alexander Mejia (8-0, 4). Internationally Osawa is best known for his 1-sided loss to Oscar Valdez but has bounced back since then with two wins, including a wide decision win over the then unbeaten Julio Cortez. Coming into this Meija has never fought outside of Nicaragua and comes into the bout with split decision wins over Lesther Lara and Ramiro Blanco as well as his unbeaten record.
One other bout of note on this card will see Shohei Kawashima (15-1-2, 3) face off with Gaku Aikawa (8-5-1, 2) in what looks likely to be a pretty interesting match up. The once beaten Kawashima has only fought once since his narrow defeat to Cristian Mijares in October 2016 and is a very talented fighter, who may well suffer from inactivity here, after 9 months out of the ring. Although his record doesn't show it Aikawa is a very decent lower tier domestic fighter and could well take advantage of Kawashima's inactivity here.
The other show comes from Osaka city, and features some notable fighters, but far less than the other card.
The main event here sees the unbeaten Takuya Uehara (13-0, 8) take on Takuya Yamamoto (8-7, 4) in what looks like a mismatch on paper. The unbeaten 22 year old Southpaw has shown traits of being one to watch, but has been matched lightly, with his best win being a decision over Filipino Markquil Salvana. Uehara is young, and for that we can let him off for the poor competition, but it's starting to feel like he's ready for a step up. Yamamoto is a limited fighter but is much better than his record indicates, and he has given Shingo Kawamura and Yuta Uetani tough bouts in recent times, though was dominated by Satoshi Shimizu back in May, who stopped him inside 2 minutes.
In the chief support bout fans will see the touted Kazuaki Miyamoto (4-1, 3) take on a Thai foe, in what should be a straight forward win for Miyamoto. Miyamoto was stopped earlier this year, by Shuzo Inada, but should be able to record his second win since that loss.
In the only title bout of the day fight fans in Hyogo will see youngsters collide with the 21 year old Tenta Kiyose (13-2-1, 6) taking on 20 year old Filipino Joe Tejones (9-4, 5) for the WBC youth Super Bantamweight title. Of the two men it's Tejones who is probably the more well known internationally, following bout with the likes of Hinata Maruta and Singsayan CP Freshmart, for the WBC Youth Bantamweight and Super Flyweight titles respectively. As for Kiyose he's yet to fight for a title, but did fight in the 2015 Rookie of the Year final and has since gone 6-0 (5) and will be looking to use his natural size advantage.
A second show in Hyogo promises a lot more, without featuring any title action. Instead of title action it's a show mostly focused on youngsters looking to continue their budding careers.
The most notable of the youngsters is former world title challenger Riku Kano (11-3-1, 6), who faces domestic foe Naoya Haruguchi (14-7, 6). Coming in to this one the once touted Kano knows he needs a win, having lost 2 of his last 3 including a stoppage loss to Jerry Tomogdan. Talented, speedy and young Kano did attempt to set a Japanese record last year as the youngster Japanese world champion, though came up short against Katsunari Takayama. As for Haruguchi he's in great form with 6 straight wins, including victories over Norihito Tanaka and Jun Takigawa. Although not well known Haruguchi will not be there to lose, and this could be a very competitive contest.
Another former world title challenger on this card is Hiroshige Osawa (31-4-4, 19), who will be expected to blitz Indonesian foe Erick Deztroyer (9-5-1, 2) in what looks like a mismatch. The talented Osawa was several levels below WBO Featherweight champion Oscar Valdez when they fought around year ago, but Deztroyer should be several levels below Osawa.
Another youngster on this card is Kano's 19 year old stable mate Futa Akizuki (10-0, 8), who fights for the 6th time in Japan. The talented and heavy handed Akizuki will be facing off with Kenji Kihisa (6-3, 3) in a good looking 8 round bout. Akizuki has impressed, with a near shut out against Vincent Bautista and a 7th round stopped of the usually durable Shun Ishibashi. Kihisi is yet to win a bout of note, but he has never been stopped and should prove to be a durable foe for Akizuki and a test of Akizuki's power, especially at this lower tier of domestic level.
Arguably the most interesting bout on this card is the “debut” of 17 year old Kazusa Arai (2-0, 2), who has fought twice in Thailand but will finally be fighting on Japanese soil for the first time. The teenager will be up against 18 year old Tetsuro Ohashi (2-0, 1). Ohashi has racked up 4 rounds so far in his career, compared to Arai's 3, but hasn't shown the power of the younger man who will be looking to make a mark here and announce himself to a domestic audience, who may well not know of his activity in Thailand.
In Fukuoka fan will see the heavy handed Ryota Ishida (8-2, 6) take on local resident Yuki Ozawa (12-5, 3) in what looks like a really decent match up on paper. Ishida was last seen losing a decision to the heavy handed Takuya Mizuno in August, with that loss ending a 3 fight stoppage run for Ishida. Ozawa on the other hand has notched up back-to-back wins following a 5 fight losing run, which included losses to Masaaki Serie and Ryo Takenaka. And he looks to be getting his career back on track.
This coming Sunday won't create many headlines in Asian boxing circles, but there is some pretty interesting match ups going on in Japan.
The most notable of the fights will be in Osaka, where we get a former world title challenger headlining, and an exciting local in a supporting bout.
The main event will see recent WBO Featherweight world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa (30-4-4, 19) take on world ranked Ecuadorian puncher Julio Cortez (13-0, 11) in a real must win for Osawa. Of course we all saw the Japanese fighter in action last November, when he was stopped in 7 rounds by the brilliant Oscar Valdez and he'll know that he can't afford a loss here if he's going to ever get a second shot at a title. Cortez is hungry for a shot himself and will come in to this fight as an unbeaten man who won't want to give up his 0 and could be a handful for Osawa.
In a supporting bout the always fun to watch Ryuto Kyoguchi (14-2-1, 10) will be battling a limited Thai foe. This will be Kyoguchi's first bout since his loss to Silvester Lopez earlier this year, and he'll be looking to make a statement and rebuild his confidence with a straight forward win here.
The other Japanese card takes place in Yamaguchi and will feature a few interesting fights of it's own.
The main event is genuinely mouth watering as Naotoshi Nakatani (10-0, 6) risks his unbeaten record against former OPBF title challenger Accel Sumiyoshi (8-4-2, 2). Nakatani has genuinely impressed through his career so far, and famously won the All Japan Rookie of the Year in 2015, but this is a huge step up in class and should be his hardest test so far. Although Sumiyoshi's record is less than flattering he has been in tough through his 14 fight career and is a lot better than the numbers suggest. This could be a really, really good bout with fighters should be a lot more well matched than the numbers suggest.
Another bout of note on this card will see Fever Maki (8-5-1, 2) battle Yuki Ozawa (11-5, 2) in what looks like a distance bout, but one that could be fun and competitive. Neither guy is a puncher but together they should have some exciting exchanges.
One other bout of intrigue here will see the talented but light punching Change Hamashima (8-1-1, 2) take on the limited but heavy handed Takuya Matsusaka (6-5, 6). On paper Hamashima will be favoured, he is the better boxer, but Matsusaka does have fight changing power at this level and could change the fight if he lands clean.
In Australia we'll see veteran Les Sherrington (35-10, 19) take on Indonesian Marco Tuhumury (11-17-2, 4) in what should be another loss for Tuhumury, who has failed to shine when he's faced anyone of any note. Sherrington is nothing special, but he should be far too good for his man here.
The biggest card of the weekend comes from Nevada where fight fans will get 4 world title bouts, all involving Asian fighters, in fact from the 4 bouts there are 5 Asian's in action.
The highest profile of the bouts sees multi-weight world champion Manny Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38) battle against WBO Welterweight champion Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10) in what will be Pacquiao's ring return after a short lived retirement. The Filipino sensation is the clear betting favourite but is close to 38 years old and will be the much smaller man in the ring. For Vargas the bout sees him facing his first legend and a win for the once beaten American will open huge doors, and legitimise his world title reign.
At Featherweight we see little known Japanese fighter Hiroshige Osawa (30-3-4, 19) take on WBO champion Oscar Valdez (20-0, 18), in what is Valdez's first defense. The Japanese fighter is a former OPBF champion but this is a massive step up in class for him and he hasn't really fought anyone of much renown in a while, with perhaps his best recent win being over prospect Kosuke Saka. Valdez is earmarked as a potential Mexican super star and with his style, power and skills he has the potential be one of the biggest things in boxing, and we think that will be shown here.
At Super Bantamweight we'll see Filipino champion Nonito Donaire (37-3, 24) defending his WBO title against the unbeaten Jessie Magdaleno (23-0, 17), in what is likely to be the best bout on the card. Donaire will be making the second defense of his title and although there are question marks over what he has left in the tank this is a massive step up for the challenger. The bout should tell us how good Magdaleno is and just how much Donaire has left.
In an all Asian bout we'll see Chinese star Zou Shiming (8-1, 2) battle Thailand's Kwanpichit OnesongChaigym (39-1-2, 24) in a second bout between the two men, with them now fighting for the WBO Flyweight title. These two have fought before, fighting in Macau where Shiming dominated Kwanpichit on route to a very wide decision, and we suspect we'll see the same again here, though he has has been relatively inactive whilst Kwanpichit has been stringing together low level stoppage wins in his homeland.
In Japan we get another live televised card courtesy of G+, who are showing a Gushiken card featuring several notable names.
In the main event of the show we'll see OPBF Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (10-0, 10) defending his title for the first time as he takes on Filipino challenger Felipe Cagubcob Jr (6-2-5, 2). The exciting Higa is one of the fastest rising prospects in world boxing today and is looking to build on quick victories over Romel Oliveros and Ardin Diale earlier this year. Cagubcob is looking to build on a career best win over Donny Mabao back in July and avenge Higa's wins over several Filipino fighters in recent years.
Originally one of the key support bout was supposed to see former OPBF and JBC title challenger Shingo Eto (17-5-1, 9) take on the fast rising Shuya Masaki (5-0, 2). Sadly Eto has been injured in the build up to the show and has been replaced by Thailand's Tienchai Yoongkaogym (2-6, 1), in what is a much less interesting bout. We are looking forward to seeing Masaki back in action but it's hard to deny that what we've been left with is a long way from what was originally announced.
There is still one Eto brother fighting on this card with former WBA “interim” Flyweight champion Koki Eto (18-4-1, 13) taking on Jun Blazo (5-1-3, 5) in the chief support bout. The bout will be Eto's second since his 2015 loss to Carlos Cuadras in a WBC Super Flyweight world title bout, and he'll be hoping for a much more fluent performance than he had in May against Michael Escobia, in a bout that was surprisingly competitive. Blazo is limited but has won his last 3 by stoppage and is the type of fighter we've see Eto over-look before.
Mox Power Promotions put on their next Chinese card with a low profile card in Zhengzhou. The show is low profile but features 5 bouts, all scheduled for 6 rounds, and all featuring at least one debutant.
On another lower profile show, this time in Australia, we'll see the win-less Maks Chylewski (0-2) take on tough Thai loser Pramool Boonpok (1-26-1),in what could potentially be an interesting bout, despite the obvious limitations of both fighters.