This coming Sunday is a busy day with several shows through Asia.
The most significant bout of the day comes in Osaka where Japan's once beaten Nana Yoshikawa (6-1, 4) faces unbeaten Korean Eun Hye Lee (8-0, 3) for the WBO female Flyweight title. Hye, the former WBO female Light Flyweight champion, is moving up in weight for this bout after having had troubles with funding when she was the champion and will be fighting away from home for the first time. For Yoshikawa the bout will be her second world title fight, after coming up short against Anabel Ortiz last year. The winner will be a target for several notable names and could see a potential show down with 3-weight world champion Naoko Fujioka in 2017.
In a supporting bout Shingo Kawamura (12-3-1, 6) will battle Takuya Yamamoto (7-4, 4) in an interesting looking 8 rounder at 122lbs. Although Kawamura will be favoured he has struggled recently and is 3-2-1 in his last 6, dating back more than 2 years. Kawamura has been mixing at a higher level than Yamamoto, who is stepping up, but he has been losing when he's been fighting the better competition.
In another supporting bout the once beaten Terumi Nuki (7-1, 4) will face a Thai foe, in what looks like to be a title prelude bout for Nuki.
Another Japanese card, from Hiroshima, will be headlined by veteran Koji Itagaki (16-10-2, 7) as he takes on former OPBF Minimumweight champion Michael Landero (18-13-4, 7). Landero, a Filipino veteran, will be looking to continue his 2 fight winning run, and scored a 3rd win on Japanese soil. For Itagaki the bout will be his first since being stopped by another Filipino visitor, Rey Loreto back in April.
In the chief support bout the Japanese ranked Ryuji Ikeda (11-3-1, 7) will face very highly experienced Filipino journeyman Mark Sales (22-40-3, 8). On paper this is a total mismatch but Ikeda is looking to bounce back from a loss last time out and will be looking rebuild his confidence rather than score a statement win.
Daejeon, South Korea
In Korea fight fans get an intriguing show with international implications.
The main event will see Korean-Russian Je Ni Ma (9-1-3, 8) battle against Japan's Hironobu Matsunaga (10-1, 5) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Middleweight title. For both men this will be their biggest bout, though it's fair to say that Ma will be favoured given he's fighting at home and is currently riding a 12 fight unbeaten run. Despite Ma being the favourite Matsunaga will be confident and comes into this riding a 4 fight winning run.
On the under-card KBF 140lb champion Dong Hee Kim (5-1-1, 1) will be facing former OPBF Super Featherweight title challenger Ernie Sanchez (15-8-1, 6), with Sanchez being a late replacement for the aggressive Hyun Woo Yuh, who was originally stipulated to face Kim in a title fight.
One other bout of note on this under-card will see Japan's Chaoz Minowa (1-0, 1) battle Chan Mi Lim (2-1, 2). Minowa is tipped as the most promising Japanese female fighter since Naoko Fujioka and is returning to the ring just weeks after her debut. Although not well known Lim is exciting, heavy handed and aggressive and could well be the gut test Minowa needs before fighting for titles.
The main Japanese card of the day is in Osaka where Osaka Teiken put on a card that has a number of notable fighters in action.
The main event of the card will see the JBC and OPBF ranked Sho Nakazawa (8-0, 4) faced Japanese based Korean Teiru Atsumi (6-1, 2), who will be fighting in Japan for the second time. The highly touted Nakazawa should be heavily favoured here with his team then likely to move him towards a title fight in the summer. At the moment Nakazawa is one of the most promising Japanese fighters but would be viewed as the under-dog in either an OPBF or JBC title bout. For Atsumi there is little to lose and a lot to gain from a good performance here.
The co-feature here will see unbeaten teenager Juiki Tatsuyoshi (3-0, 2) battle against Kazuki Sanpei (3-3, 1). Tatsuyoshi, the son of the great Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, looked less than stellar last time out but on paper he is stepping down slightly in class here against a man who has been stopped in 2 of his last 3.
A third bout of note on this card, and in all honesty the most well matched, will see Tatsuya Ikemizu (13-1, 9) battle the under-rated Jonas Sultan (9-3, 5), of the Philippines. On paper Ikemizu would be the favourite however this is one of the toughest opponents he has faced and Sultan really is much better than his record suggests,in fact he gave the world ranked Go Onaga all he could handle last year. Ikemizu is the naturally bigger fighter but he's in with a very live opponent with Sultan and this could be a banana skin for the touted Japanese youngster.
A second Japanese show comes from Aichi, where fans only really get one bout of note.
That one bout will see the Japanese ranked Satoshi Ozawa (11-6-1, 2) battle against Kazuki Fukakura (9-9-2, 3) in what looks like a easy match up for Ozawa. Ranked by the JBC at Bantamweight Ozawa will be coming in to this one following back-to-back wins over Yoshihiko Matsuo however prior to those wins he was stopped twice and does have question marks over his toughness. Ozawa should win, but he is beatable.
All the other bouts on this card are 4 rounders.
Gwangmyeong, South Korea
We also get several Korean cards with the most “significant” being the KBA sanctioned show from Gwangmyeong.
The headline bout here sees Korean defector Hyun Mi Choi (11-0-1, 4) defending her WBA female Super Featherweight title against Colombian veteran Diana Ayala (19-11-4, 13). Ayala is in her 10th world title bout, an impressive achievement, however for Choi, who won the WBA female Featherweight on her debut, this will be her 12th. The champion should be favoured, but Ayala has power and could well be the first fighter in a long time to really take the fight to the Pyongyang born Seoul based fighter.
Seoul, South Korea
As well as the KBA card we actually have two KBF shows, both in Seoul.
One of those cards is a Rookie of the Year card, with 6 bouts on it, whilst the other is an genuinely intriguing card with a couple of title bouts and an international under-card bout.
The most notable of the bouts will see Ye Joon Kim (13-1-2, 7) face off against Thailand's Patomsith Pathompothong (15-4, 5) in a bout for an IBF regional title at 126lbs. Kim is viewed by many as the most promising Korean currently plying his trade at home, and the 23 year old is regarded as the face of the KBF. This is however a tricky bout for the young Korean who is facing a man who is limited but tough and could well be a banana skin for the Korean, who will be moving up a weight for this bout.
On the under-card we'll get a KBF Featherweight title bout as defending champion Sa Myung Noh (9-2, 2) defends his belt against Min Suk Choi (3-2-1, 2). This will be Noh's first defense of the title that he won last year and he should be favoured here, though very little is known about Choi, other than the details provided by the KBF.
Also on the under-card is a bout between Je Ni Ma (7-1-3, 6) and the very experienced Indonesian Michael Speed Sigarlaki (16-18-2, 14). Ma, born Evgeny Samarin, is a Korean-Russian who lost his debut but has since gone 10 fights unbeaten and should be favoured against Sigarlaki. The Indonesian has been around the block, and faced the better fighters, but has always come up short against the good fighters he's faced and we're expecting to see that happen again here.