This coming Tuesday we'll see a really good card from Tokyo as Japanese and Korean fighters clash, and we get a female title fight featuring a fighter who has been put on the fast track.
The female title fight will see Japanese female Minimumweight champion Chie Higano (8-8-1, 2) defending her title against touted novice Mizuki Chimoto (1-0, 1), who looks to win a Japanese title fight in just her second bout. Chimoto was a former amateur standout who looked sensational on her debut and is clearly being pushed hard by her team at the Watanabe Gym. Higano is a nightmare to fight with her aggression and style, but she will enter as the under-dog against the talented upstart in what should be a very interesting match up. A full preview of this bout is available here Chimoto goes up against Higano in Japanese title fight!
The title bout is actually in the middle of the card, with the main event being the Japan Vs Korea bout that looks most likely to have fireworks. The match up in question will see unbeaten Korean teenager Jeong Han Cha (5-0, 5) take on Japanese puncher Takahiko Kobayashi (8-3, 6) in a bout at 140lbs. This has the potential to be a very exciting bout between two heavy handed, but flawed, young fighters who will be in the ring attempting to stop the other, rather than win a decision.
Another Korean teenager on the show will be In Soo Jang (5-1-1) who will battle former Japanese amateur standout Suzumi Takayama (1-0, 1), in what could be a very interesting match up. Jang is only 19 but already has a 6 round bout under his belt. Takayama on the other hand made his debut in February and is taking a clear step up in class here, though was a very accomplished fighter on the amateur scene.
Another Japanese novice on this card will be Ai Tomomatsu (0-0), a former amateur stand out who will be up against unbeaten Korean puncher Sang Geun Lee (6-0, 4). This is a baptism of fire for Tomomatsu, but a win will give his career a huge boost straight away and we wouldn't be surprised by him showing his amateur skills to shine here. Lee is dangerous, but Tomomatsu will be favoured.
One other interesting bout between fighters from the two countries will see Do Jin Lee (6-1-3) take on Mirai Naito (7-1, 3), the brother of OPBF Light Welterweight champion Rikki Naito. On paper this looks like a really competitive bout, and although we don't expect thrilling fireworks this should still be a very compelling match up.
Dongducheon, South Korea
This coming Saturday we turn our attention to Korea where fans will be able to see Korean title double header along with a number of Korean hopefuls.
One of those title bouts will see Korean Super Featherweight champion Hyun Je Shin (10-8, 2) taking on Dong Kwan Lee (9-2-2, 4). Shin won the title last year, out pointing Chan Young Kim, to record his biggest win to date. At 24 it's unclear how good Shin really will be, but his record doesn't scream anything special. Lee on the other hand is a 26 year old who is 8-1-1 in his last 10 bouts. Unfortunately Lee's opposition so far has been awful and it's really hard to know what he's capable of. The one thing that is clear here is that the bout will tell us something new about both men.
The other title bout on this card will see the Korean Middleweight vacancy being filled as the hard hitting Hyun Min Yang (5-2, 5) takes on the limited Gyu Hyun Lee (2-3-1). Yang is a stop or be stopped fighter, rarely getting beyond 2 rounds in fights due to his power. Lee on the other hand lacks power but will know that he won't get many bigger chances than this. It's an interesting bout, but another weak title bout for the Korean scene, something we're seeing a lot off as they look to give the sport a shot in the arm on the national stage.
Among the bouts on the under-card is a contest between the touted Jeong Han Cha (4-0, 4), one of the most promising Korean prospects, and fellow unbeaten Yun Seong Kim (3-0, 1). The 18 Cha is a very promising puncher, who is raw, but heavy handed, fast, destructive and exciting. There is real promise with Cha but he will need time to develop his skills. Kim on the other hand is 24 years old and this is a step up for him, following a razor thin win last time out against Sang Min Moon.
Another bout between unbeaten men will see 24 year old's clash, as Ha Nok Shim (3-0, 2) takes on Jae Min Kim (3-0, 1). Shim, a southpaw, has shown decent power, but is certainly unproven as a fighter and has only had 7 professional rounds. Kim on the other hand will have the advantage in height, but looks like he lacks power, having gone a combined 11 rounds in his 3 fights to date, and struggled to split decision wins in 2 of them.