Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Wednesday Korakuen Hall plays host to a small show from Hideki Todaka. Whilst the card is certainly not a huge one, it does have 3 bouts worthy of some attention.
The main event will be pitting two JBC ranked fighters against each other as the once beaten Yuki Nakajima (4-1-1, 4) takes on Ryuto Oho (12-5-1, 4) in what essentially a Japanese title eliminator, albeit not a final eliminator at 112lbs. Nakajima, the brother of Kazuki Nakajima, has seen his brother win a regional title in recent months and will be looking to replicate his success whilst Oho will be returning to the ring after more than 2 years out of action, with his last bout coming in May 2019 against Masamichi Yabuki. We have to favour Nakajima, but he certainly didn't look his best last time out, fighting to a draw with Toma Kondo at the end of 2020.
In the chief support bout we'll see Hiroshi Takaki (6-8-1, 2) take on JBC ranked Bantamweight contender Naoto Mizutani (7-7-2, 2) in an 8 rounder. On paper this doesn't look too much to get excited about but Mizutani has notched solid domestic wins over Joe Tanooka and Naoya Okamoto in 2 of his last 3 and and a win here would move him towards a potential Japanese title fight. As for Takaki he'll be back in the ring for the first time since April 2018 and it's going to be very interesting to see how much hunger he has for this return.
One other but on this card worthy of attention is the third professional bout of Issei Ochiai (2-0, 1), who is a highly regarded former Japanese amateur that some regard as one to watch over the coming decade. The 20 year Ochiai will be up against Rui Ikari (5-2-2-, 1), in what is a solid step up bout for the youngster. Interestingly neither of these young men have fought since 2019, and so we are expecting some rust to show from both, but the class and amateur pedigree from Ochiai should be too much here.
In Tokyo we get a low key card that really doesn't have too much to talk about.
The main event will see Takuya Kihashi (5-7-2, 2) take on recent Japanese Light Flyweight title challenger Satoru Todaka (9-3-4, 3). Coming in the limited Kihashi has won just once in his last 7 bouts and has really struggled to make any sort of impact at all. Todaka on the other hand is looking to bounce back from an 8th round loss in a Japanese title bout against Kenichi Horikawa, and it's hard to imagine anything but a win for Todaka here.
In the main supporting bout we'll see Yuta Nakayama (7-3-1, 4) take on Yuki Uchida (7-6, 1) in an 8 rounder. Nakayama has been stopped in 2 of his last 3, but win or lose he has tended to make for exciting fights and none of his last 4 bouts have seen the final bell. Uchida on the other hand has proven to be tough but light hitting. This will be a really interesting match, albeit at a very low level.
On paper the bout on this card that has our attention will see Celes Kobayashi promoted youngster Issei Ochiai (1-0) take on Kazunori Takai (6-5-3, 3). The 20 year old Ochiai is tipped to be a big star in Japan with Kobayashi guiding his career, and this is a good test for the youngster against a man he should beat, but could be asked questions by.
There was also plans for a Japanese female Minimumweight title bout on this card between Mizuki Chimoto (2-0, 1) and Yumi Narita (3-4-3, 1). Sadly however this bout got cancelled in the build up to the show.
Whilst there is a card in Japan the better card is actually in Singapore, of all places.
The main event on this card will see the unbeaten local Hamzah Farouk (9-0, 6) take on Indonesian teenager Reynold Kundimang (8-1-3, 2) in a bout for the OPBF silver Super Featherweight title. The unbeaten Farouk has impressed at times, and the 31 year old is likely to have missed his window for success. Despite his age Farouk will have the home advantage and the edge in power. The 18 year old Kundimang is a talented youngster, but is probably getting this fight a bit too early. Rather oddly we are having a post peak fighter take on a pre-peak fighter, and it's going to be interesting to see who wins, and who enters 2020 as the OPBF silver champion.
Also on this card is Muhamad Ridhwan (14-2, 10), another local hopeful, who takes on Filipino journeyman Junny Salogaol (14-17-5, 13). Ridhwan suffered back to back losses at the end of 2018 and start of 2019, but has reeled off 3 wins since then. He should have too much for Salogaol here.
The biggest card this coming Saturday is from Tokyo, and is the latest Dynamic Glove card set to be shown on tape delay. The card features a nice mixture of title fights and novices in what could be one a card of real interest.
The main event of the show is a rematch between Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0-1, 10) and Shuji Kato (10-1-2, 6). These two fought earlier in the year, battling to a draw in a brilliant bout where the heavy handed Takesako had to dig deep to earn a draw against a determined and smart challenger. Kato will probably have felt like he let the win slip between his fingers in their first bout whilst Takesako may have over-looked his man and we should be assured another cracking bout here between men who are very well matched but have very contrasting styles. A full preview of this bout is available here Takesako and Kato go again for Japanese Middleweight crown!
The chief support bout sees former world title challenger Takeshi Inoue (13-1-1, 7) back in the ring following his loss to Jaime Munguia in January. The tough and exciting Inoue proved he could go to war against Munguia and will be expected to easily over-come Thai visitor Patomsuk Pathompothong (38-10-1 24) on a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Middleweight title. Inoue actually held this title back in late 2017 and will be looking to become a 2-time champion. On the other hand the 35 year old Thai has been stopped in his last 2 bouts in Japan, both at 140lbs, and it's hard to see him putting up any sort of a fight against the rough and ready Japanese warrior. We've previewed this bout here Inoue returns to Japan to battle for regional title!
An interesting support bout will see the once beaten Kenshin Oshima (5-1-1, 3) take on Filipino Wilbert Berondo (14-3-2, 6). Oshima didn't look great last time out, taking a win over youngster Ikuro Sadatsune in a very good bout in January, and will be hoping to shine here against Berondo. The Filipino on the other hand will be returning to Japan for the first time since he was stopped by Hinata Maruta back in 2016 in a WBC Youth title fight.
Another promising youngster on this card is the hard hitting Takuma Takahashi (3-0, 3), who battles against Sitthidet Banti (11-4, 5). With just 5 rounds to his name Takahashi is still very much a professional novice, but it's clear he can bang, even if his technique needs some work before he starts to hunt titles. Takahashi was a successful amateur but still needs to polish his style in the next year or two and this should be a good chance for him to do some polishing against a tough Thai foe. Banti, also known as Denchana Sakkreerin, is no world beater but he's yet to be stopped and comes in to this bout on the back of 2 wins, including a victory over Saddam Kietyongyuth. Our "Introducing" feature on Takahashi from earlier in the year can be read here Introducing... Takuma Takahashi
Also on this card will be the debut of Celes Kobayashi's latest signing Issei Ochiai (0-0). The talented youngster will be debuting against Thai foe Lerdchai Chaiyawed (1-2), who holds a notable 2018 win over Wittawas Basapean though was beaten last time out, in Japan, by Seita Ogido. There are big hopes for Ochiai and we expect to see whether those hopes are well founded or not here. Our "Introducing" feature on Ochiai can be read here Introducing... Issei Ochiai
Metro Manila, Philippines
The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex in Paranaque City is set to host a title double header which features some really interesting match ups, mixing domestic talent with some international talent.
The best of the all-Filipino fights on this card will see Allan Vallespin (12-4, 9) take on Glenn Enterina (14-5-1, 9) in an excellent match up for the GAB Super Featherweight title. The under-rated Vallespin is coming in to this on the back of just 1 win in his last 3, though he has been matched hard against the likes of Denys Brinchyk, Musashi Mori and Yoshimitsu Kimura, but is 12-0 in his homeland. Similarly Enterina has suffered all of his losses on the road, and is 14-1-1 (9) at home, showing just how good he is on the domestic scene. Given how these men have fared on the Filipino scene this should be a very competitive contest.
The second title fight will see Filipino puncher Alvin Medura (8-4, 7) take on Japanese visitor Mugicha Nakagawa (24-6-2, 14) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Bantamweight title. Medura has suffered his last 3 loses to Japanese foes, all on the road, but will feel confident that his power, which has netted him 5 wins int he first 2 rounds, will play a major factor against Nakagawa. Nakagawa on the other hand will be trying to put a few bad months behind him. He lost in a Japanese title fight back in January, to Ryoichi Tamura, and then fought to a draw last time out with Jin Miura. At his best Nakagawa is a tough, hard working fighter, but we do question his confidence coming into this one. If Nakagawa is half the fighter he was 12 months ago he takes a clear win here.
One other Filipino Vs Japan bout will see Crison Omayao (24-19-5, 8) face Daisuke Sugita (4-1, 3), in what looks like an abhorrent mis-match. The 26 year old Omayao has fought much of his career as a Minimumweight, and was actually the debut of opponent of Naoya Inoue back in 2012, so we really need to query why he's fighting at Super Bantamweight here against the technically limited but hard hitting Daisuke Sugita. For Sugita this looks like a really straight forward way to get back to winning ways following a very clear loss back in January to Reiya Abe. We'd be very shocked if this one went more than a few rounds and didn't end up with Omayao suffering his 10th stoppage loss
Metro Manila, Philippines
A second card from the Philippines is a much smaller one, but will feature two more title bouts.
One of those title bouts will feature the limited but hard hitting Prabhjot Singh (7-4-1, 7) taking on Edsil Jungco (3-12-7), with the two fighters battling for the PBF Middleweight title. Singh has lost his last 4, dating back over 2 years, and it's really hard to know what he has left to offer. Jungco on the other hand, the expect of the draw with 7 of them from 22 bouts, has notched 2 wins in his last 4 and will have some confidence coming into this bout after 1 win in his first 18.
The other title bout on this card is between Alie Laurel (15-4-1,10) and Lloyd Jardeliza (8-9-4, 6), who battle for the LuzProBA Featherweight title. The 27 year old Laurel is very much an under-rated fighter, but sadly had his career put on ice for almost 3 years following a draw with Joe Noynay in 2016, a draw that now looks incredibly good. This will be his second bout since that bout with Noynay. JArdeliza on the other hand is best known for being stopped in 5 rounds by Shun Kubo in an OPBF title bout, back in 2015, and since then he has struggled to make any impact in the sport, going 1-6-1 since then. Jardeliza needs a win here, but is very unlikely to get it against the talented Laurel.
Once beaten former world title challenger Jessebelle Pagaduan (11-1-1, 5) will be seeking her 5th straight win as she takes on limited domestic foe Charimae Salvador (4-2, 1). The talented Pagaduan has suffered both of her career set backs in Japan in world title bouts but will be looking to secure a third world title bout in the coming years. Interesting both of Salvador's set backs have also come in Japan but at a much lower level, including a loss to novice teenager Eruka Hiromoto last November. There's a gulf in class between these two, and it's hard to imagine anything but a clear win for Pagaduan.
Staying in Asia there will also be a card that will be headlined by Campee Phayom (16-4-1, 10) taking on China's Lunjun Zhao (6-1) in a contest for a WBO Youth title at Super Featherweight. This is the least significant of the Asian cards for the day, but is still a chance to see two youngsters in action for a minor title.
As well as all the action in Asia we'll also see Japanese veteran Hirotsugu Yamamoto (20-14-3, 4) make his US debut, as he takes on the unbeaten Michael Norato (7-0, 2). The Japanese fighter, who will be fighting in his 38th pro bout, will be fighting for the first time in a little over 2 years, with his last bout being a TKO2 loss Kenichi Ogawa. Although now aged 35 Yamamoto is looking to continue his career Stateside, though will be a big under-dog against the 26 year old Norato. The unbeaten American is technically set for his toughest fight, but this merely looks like a natural step up for him, and Norato should pick up a straight forward win.