Art Center, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan
The most notable of three Japanese shows this coming Sunday is in Hyogo, where we get a card from Senrima Kobe Promotions.
The main event of the card will see two Japanese ranked Super Flyweights battling against each other as Hiroki Tokuyama (10-3-1, 2) clashes with Ryosuke Nasu (12-7-3, 2), and going in the two men will know that a win will push them to within a fight or two of a Japanese title fight. It will also be an interesting bout with a bit of history given these two men fought in August 2020, with Nasu winning a clear decision. Of the two men Nasu is the more more proven, and he holds a win over Tokuyama, but he has lost his 2 bouts and was surprisingly stopped by Sonin Nihei in April. Tokuyama on the other hand has bounce back from his loss to Nasu with a win over Shunji Nagata and will be looking to build on that win. We don't expect this bee the best bout of the weekend, but it should be a compelling bout between two men each looking to move their career forward.
In another interesting match up the 30 year old Hiroyuki Takahara (9-3, 6) will be looking to over-come Ryuya Nihei (5-2-1, 1) in what could be a very hard to call 6 rounder. Takahara has the experience and has got real momentum coming in to this, having won his last 5 bouts, dating back almost 4 years, including a notable win over Tom Mizokoshi last year. Nihei on the other hand is the younger man, at 23, but also the one struggling for form, with just a single win in his last 4 bouts and losses in his last 2.
A third bout of interest here will see professional novices Josuke Nagata (1-0) and Tomoki Kawasaki (1-1) clash in a 6 rounder. Nagata made his debut in June, beating Koji Tsurumi in an impressive performance and it was clear that he's certainly one to watch going forward, and someone with a decent amateur background. Though of course he's a novice who will need time to develop. Kawasaki on the other hand was a good amateur himself who lost to Jukiya Iimura on debut, in June, before bouncing back with a win in September. Whilst neither of these men have much professional experience, but are young, hungry fighters, who were good amateurs, are clearly skilled fighters and aren't scared of facing good competition from the off as they look to develop and progress quickly at the start of their careers.
Aioi Hall, Kariya, Aichi, Japan
A second Japanese show will be in Aichi, where we see a couple of interesting looking 6 rounders.
The main event on this show will see Japanese ranked Welterweight Hiroya Nojima (7-1, 3) take on Kojiro Nishikawa (5-3-1, 2). The once beaten Nojima has reeled off 4 straight wins since a 2019 loss to Hoare Yasui, and won the the All Japan Rookie of the Year this past February. On paper this is a step up for him, but he comes into it with momentum and on the back of a blow out win over Shoma Okada in July. As for Nishikawa he is 1-3-1 in his last 5, and really needs a win now. Nishikawa has no momentum coming in to this, but will fight like a man who needs a victory, and could be a banana skin for the promising Nojima.
The second bout of note on this card, and the planned chief support bout, will see 30 year old veteran Takahiro Murai (15-9-2, 5) take on unbeaten 22 year old Atsuki Nakamura (5-0-1, 3). On paper this is a hard one to call, especially given that that neither man has been all that active in recent years. Murai did fight this past July, but that was his only bout since in over 3 years, and it's hard to know what he has left to offer, especially given he's 1-3 in his last 4 dating back more than 5 years. Nakamura on the other hand hasn't fought since December 2019, and we do wonder whether ring rust will be a problem for him here.
Chres Gym, Kochi, Kochi, Japan
A third Japanese show will take place in Kochi, and will be headlined by an 8 rounder between Sora Fukunaga (9-0, 4) and Shinnosuke Kimoto (6-5, 2). The unbeaten Fukunaga won the All Japan Rookie of the Year at Super Bantamweight back in February, but has sadly not fought since beating Yuki Yazan in that final. Notably this will be his first 8 rounder and in fact his first bout scheduled for more than 5 rounds. As for Kimoto he's yet to achieve anything of note, though his record is very, very misleading and all 5 of his losses have been razor thin, including a notable one against Tom Mizokoshi in 2019. We suspect Fukunaga will take home his 10th win here, but he will have to work for it.
Gachibowli Indoor Stadium, Hyderabad, India
As well as the action in Japan there will also be a card in India. This show isn't a big one, but the main event is certainly worth being aware of.
That main event will see unbeaten Indian hopeful Karthik Sathish Kumar (7-0, 3) look to win the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Lightweight title as he takes on Indonesian veteran Hero Tito (29-15-2, 11), who will be having his 47th bout. Kumar will be favoured, after all he's at home, he's unbeaten and he's the younger man, though this is a massive leap up in class for him, and his competition so far has been novices and very limited fighters. Tito on the other hand is no world beater, but he can notch the odd upset, as we saw in April when he beat countryman Hebi Marapu. If Tito is hungry he could well pick up his 30th professional win here, and score 3 wins in a row for the first time since 2013!
Aioi Hall, Kariya, Aichi, Japan
This coming Sunday boxing is back at the Aioi Hall in Aichi as we get a show from HEIWA promotions. It's not a big show, but there are notable names on it.
The most notable fighter on the show is former Japanese Bantamweight champion Kohei Oba (36-4-1, 14), who is scheduled to face Ryumei Nakamura (3-1-2, 1) in a 6 round bout at Featherweight. Oba, who was once a world ranked fighter, began a comeback last year, after 6 out of the ring, and this will be his second since returning to the sport. As for Nakamura he's 20 and this is his biggest bout by far, as he looks to bounce back from a disappointing draw against Turtle Nishida in May. It's probably fair to say that Oba is expected to win here, however a loss really should spell the end of his career, for good.
In a much more interesting match up we'll see Welterweight Rookie of the Year winner Hiroya Nojima (6-1, 2) fighting for the first time since his Rookie triumph in February. The exciting Nojima will be up against 24 year old Shoma Okada (4-3, 2), who enters the bout on the back of 3 straight losses. Nojima, who is still very much a work in progress, will come into this with momentum and should he win we'll hopefully see him in more meaningful bouts in the not too distant future.
The main event for this show will see former Japanese title challenger Ryosuke Maruki (17-7-1, 12) take on Masateru Hatagami (6-2-1, 2), in what should be a straight forward win for Maruki. The heavy handed and fun to watch Maruki saw his career hit a bit of a wall in 2018, with losses to Nobuyuki Shindo and Akinori Watanabe, and he's looking to rebuild after those set backs. Hatagami on the other hand is unbeaten in his last 3, but they are spread over the last 8 years and it's hard to imagine him having much of a chance against someone as aggressive and exciting as Maruki.
For fans wanting to watch this one it will be streamed live on the Sakana1976 YouTube channel.
Aioi Hall, Kariya, Aichi, Japan
Former world champion Yasuei Yakushiji puts on his next show this coming Sunday as boxing returns back to the Aioi Hall for the first time since March. As with most Yakushiji promoted shows this isn't a big card, but we do expect some great as these smaller shows from the Aioi Hall do have a knack of over-delivering.
The main event here will see Japanese ranked Flyweight Katsuya Murakami (9-2-1, 2) take on Daisuke Sudo (7-6-3). The unheralded Murakami is a 26 year old who managed to pick up 2 solid wins over Shin Tomita in 2019 before a loss to Yuga Inoue slowed his momentum. Despite that he is still ranked and will be hoping to move towards a potential Japanese title fight in the coming years. Sudo on the other hand is a very limited southpaw, but someone with some momentum following 3 successive wins coming into this bout. Whilst this might look like a mismatch we are expecting a genuinely competitive contest here, but we do think Murakami will do enough to take home a victory.
Sadly all the other bouts on this card are 4 rounders, but that's not a bad thing, as 4 rounders typically provide a lot of action in Japan. And we expect a lot of action from a match up between Yosshah Matsumoto (1-2-2) and Ryusuke Harada (1-2-2) who face off in their 4th bout against each other in just 18 months! We're not sure if Matsumoto and Harada hate each other or not, but they sure do like fighting each other, and through their first 3 bouts we've seen Harada win one and two draws. The two are really well matched and always put on a great show, and we wouldn't be surprised at all by the men sharing the spoils with another draw here.
One other bout that will be very much worth watching will see 22 year old debutant Riku Umemura (0-0) take on unbeaten 18 year old Yuki Morikawa (0-0-1) in a Super Flyweight bout. We don't expect high quality boxing, but we do expect some very entertaining action here between two young men each wanting to make a point.
Sadly a scheduled bout between Hiroya Nojima (6-1, 2), the 2020 All Japan Rookie of the Year at Welterweight, and Shoma Okada (4-3, 2) was unfortunately cancelled. This was cancelled when Okada pulled out of the contest in late April, though hopefully it won't be too long until we see Nojima back in the ring as he looked so much fun to watch during the Rookie of the Year tournament.
For fans wanting to watch this event, the fantastic sakana 1976 is set to stream live on YouTube for free. Go subscribe to them and tune in to what should be a fun, if low level, card of boxing and something very different to the action in the US on Friday night in Arlington, Texas.
Note - There was also plans for a show in Tokyo on Sunday, that card has now been postponed due to the on going State of Emergency in Tokyo.