This coming Monday is a great day for those wanting to follow Japanese boxing, with free live streams available and shows in both Hyogo and Tokyo. The day might not be the biggest, but there is plenty to be excited about, and plenty of potentially thrilling match ups and action
Bunka Center, Sanda, Hyogo, Japan
The first of the cards will be from Hyogo on a Taisei promoted card in Sanda. This event will have 4 bouts on it, and may well have the bout of the week on it.
That potential bout of the week will see former multi-time world champion Katsunari Takayama (31-8-0-1, 12) take on former 2-time world title challenger Reiya Konishi (17-2, 7) in a bout that has the ingredients to be something truly special. For Takayama, who's now 37, the bout is a return to the professional ranks after a short lived flirtation with the amateur game, and he has eyes on getting another world title before hanging them up for good. For Konishi the bout is a must win following recent losses to Carlos Canizales and Felix Alvarado, another loss will be the end of his world title dreams. Given the styles of the two men expect this to be all action, bloody, thrilling and a bit of a war. The only real shame here is that this is scheduled for just 6 rounds.
Also on this show we'll see an 8 round bout we'll see Japanese ranked Flyweight Arata Matsuoka (9-6, 4) take on Hideyuki Watanabe (8-12-3, 6). On paper it's hard to see this being anything but a win for the 25 year old Matsuoka, who is a former Japanese Youth Flyweight champion. Although no world beater Matsuoka is much better than his record suggests and is 6-1 in his last 7. As for Watanabe he's actually 1-6 in his last 7, though has been competitive in a number of those losses, and could well be a banana skin for Matsuoka here. This is a much, much better bout than it looks on paper.
Bunka Center, Sanda, Hyogo, Japan
After the first card in Sanda we get another, at the same venue by the same promoter, who has essentially split the show in to two to deal with the on going guidelines on boxing in Japan. This only features 3 bouts but two of those are well worthy of attention.
The first of those two notable bouts will see former world title challenger Sho Ishida (28-2, 15) take on Japanese Youth Bantamweight champion Toshiya Ishii (3-0, 2), in what could be a genuinely intriguing and explosive encounter. The twice beaten Ishida is likely best known for his WBA world title bout with Kal Yafai in the UK, though was once touted as an outstanding prospect form the Ioka Gym, and the next star from the gym, following Kazuto Ioka. That promise has never been delivered on but he'll be aware that a loss almost certainly ends any dream of a second world title fight. Ishii on the other hand has been thrown in deep from the off, with his second bout coming against the then 8-0 Fumiya Fuse and his third but being a war with Haruki Ishikawa. A win for Ishii puts him straight into the domestic title picture. A brilliant, risky, and wonderful match up that we are really looking forward to.
The other bout on this second part of the event will see another former world title challenger in action as Riku Kano (16-4-1, 8), who has previously fought the aforementioned Katsunari Takayama, takes on Ryoki Hirai (13-6-1, 4) for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title. Kano was once regarded as a prodigy but with a 6-3 record in his last 9 he's fallen a long way short of expectations. Thankfully he is only 23, but it really does seem like he has got a lot of work to do to even come close to what was predicted for him. In Hirai we have an under-rated fighter who hasn't had much fanfare or success, but is in his prime and will see this as a great chance to make a mark on the sport around 8 years after his debut! A very interesting bout that will put the winner in the world title mix, and leave the loser with some serious questions to answer. Our full preview of this bout can be read here Kano and Hirai clash for WBO regional title
For fans wanting to watch the action from Hyogo it'll be streamed on TV Osaka's YouTube channel, who will be showing both parts of the event!
Shinjuku FACE, Tokyo, Japan
The other show is the latest in the A-Sign series of shows and will come from the Sinjuku FACE in Tokyo. On paper this is the less interesting of the 3 events from Japan, and sadly is another small show, with just 3 bouts on it.
In the main event we'll see emerging Welterweight star Jin Sasaki (8-0, 7) taking on Tatsuya Miyazaki (9-13-1, 9) in a 6 rounder. When we talk about prospects we usually consider their skills as the key factor, but with Sasaki we are looking at the full package, with the 19 year old having skills, power, charisma and the X-Factor. He looks like a genuinely bankable future star for Japanese boxing, and just needs to work on his defense and carry his destructive power up through levels. Sadly the 36 year old Miyazaki is unlikely to ask many questions of Sasaki, but if he lands clean he could end up giving Sasaki's chin a test.
In the chief support bout the exciting Ryugo Ushijima (4-1-2, 2) will be up against the light punching Hyuma Fujioka (10-10-1, 1). Although we don't see future world champion potential in Ushuijima he does make for fun fights and his 2019 bout with Shota Ogasawara was a real highlight and his 2020 bout with Ryukyu Oho was a fun one a few months ago. In Fujioka we have a tough but limited fighter, who should ask questions of Ushijima, but come up short in what should be a solid bout.
Sadly a bout between Hyoga Taniguchi (4-2-2, 1) and Hiro Ichimichi (4-0-1, 3), which looked excellent on paper, has had to be cancelled after Taniguchi was involved in a traffic accident. As a result the only other bout on this show will see Ken Koibuchi (6-4, 5) take on Tetsuya Kondo (4-2, 3), in what should be a very explosive, but lower level, bout.
For fans wanting to watch this show it will be shown on the A-Sign YouTube channel.
Dayao Walnut Culture Square, Chuxiong, China
We also have action in China, albeit at a much lower level, with 5 of the 6 bouts on the card being 4 rounders.
The one bout scheduled for longer than 4 rounds is an 8 rounder between Chunhua Yang (4-1-1, 2) and Jun Qi (2-1-1), who clash at Super Flyweight. Coming in to this Yang was beaten in September, in his only other bout this year, and his 4 wins have come against poor opposition and novices, with Qi will be facing his most experienced opponent to date.
This coming Friday in Tokyo we get a low key card with a few notable bouts on it.
One of the names on this card to be excited about is the debuting Ayato Hiromoto (0-0), the older brother of promising female fighter Eruka Hiromoto. The talented Ayato is expected to go on to big things, and will get a chance to show what he can do here against Thai opponent Suriyo Chonlathan (1-0, 1). Little is known about the Thai, though from what we under-stand he made his debut 11 months ago, with a win against another debut.
In a potentially explosive bout we'll see the hard hitting Zirolian Riku (8-3, 8) take on fellow Japanese foe Ken Matsuzawa (5-5, 3). Between the two men they've had a combined 11 KO wins, from 13 combined wins, and 5 of their 8 combined losses have also been by stoppage. We do not expect this one to see the final bell!
Interestingly the actual main event of this card is a low key match up between Joji Tsuchiya (8-5-3, 5) and Kazuki Kobayashi (7-10, 2), in what is a really weak main event bout. It's hard to get excited about this main event, but it should be a pretty competitive 8 rounder and make for some really fun low level action.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Despite the action in Japan we'd actually say the day's highlight is in the Philippines, where we see a former world title challenger, a top young prospect and a once touted contender all in action.
One of two title bouts will see the talented Mark Anthony Geraldo (37-9-3, 18) take on the limited Lorence Rosas (9-4-2, 3), with Geraldo looking to defend the GAB Super Bantamweight title. The talented Geraldo will be looking to make his first defense here, and score his 4th straight win following a 2017 loss to Nordine Oubaali. Rosas on the other hand is looking to avoid a 4th straight loss, but it's now 18 months since he last picked up a win.
A second title bout on this card will see the unbeaten Carl Jammes Martin (13-0, 12) go for gold as he takes on the experienced Benezer Alolod (19-12-5, 7) in a bout for the PBF Bantamweight title. On paper this isn't really a step up for Martin, but in reality we;re expecting this to be his toughest bout to date, as Alolod, despite his record is no push over and he'll be in there to win, and to upset the fast rising youngster. Given Martin's energy, power and aggression he'll be favoured, but we expect to see him need to work for this one
Also on this card will be former world title challenger Vince Paras (14-2, 10), who has been matched incredibly softly as he goes up against domestic journeyman Vincent Bautista (5-15-4, 1). After taking two hard fought losses in 2018, to Hiroto Kyoguchi and Jonathan Taconing, we can excuse a couple of confidence building wins for Paras, who also picked up an easy win in April against Reymark Taday. At one point Bautista was a solid journeyman but with 9 losses in a row and 3 stoppages losses in his last 7 there is a feeling he's very becoming damaged goods.
Staying in Asia we also get a small card in Thailand.
One of the bouts of note here will see Kongfah CP Freshmart (28-1, 15) taking on Hyuma Fujioka (10-9-1, 2), in a bout for a regional WBC Super Bantamweight title. On paper this looks like a mismatch in favour of Kongfah, who is currently riding a 14 fight winning. Despite being a clear under-dog Fujioka is a live dog here, and ran Ryo Akaho close earlier in the year. Kongfah should be favoured, but we wouldn't be surprised if he really needs to work for the win.
Yorkshire, United Kingdom
We also see some Asian attention in the UK as once beaten Thai fighter Aran Dipaen (6-1, 5) takes on unbeaten Brit Tommy Frank (11-0, 3) in a bout for the WBC international silver Super Flyweight title. For Dipean this will be his third bout outside of Thailand, following a loss in Russia to Zafar Parpiev and a win earlier this year in Japan against Ryohei Arakawa. The under-dog the Thai is a very live fighter coming into this. Frank has been matched tougher than the Thai and until recently had shown little in terms of power, but with 3 stoppages in his last last 4 he is certainly developing belief in his power. This could be a very, very interesting match up.
Originally Downua Ruawaiking (16-0, 13) was pencilled into for this card, but he now appears to have had his bout on the show cancelled.