176BOX, Toyonaka, Osaka, Japan
This coming Saturday we'll see one of Japan's most popular current fighters returns to the ring after almost 2 years of inactivity. Not only that but it's also the start of a new venture from a well known former Japanese fighter.
The show, which is promoted by Shinsei Promotions, will feature several fighters from the 3150 Gym, the newly founded gym from former world champion Koki Kameda who is looking to reinject excitement into boxing in West Japan.
As part of putting excitement back into boxing in Osaka we'll see this show being promoted by former Bantamweight champion Tomoki Kameda (36-3, 20), as he takes on the underwhelming Hironori Miyake (9-10-2, 1). The talented Kameda hasn't been seen in the ring since July 2019, when he lost to Rey Vargas, and had plans that needed cancelling last year due to the on going pandemic. At his best Kameda is a fantastic fighter, one of the most eye pleasing in Japan, but fighting at Super Bantamweight or Featherweight his lack of power is a massive issue, at least at the higher levels. Thankfully for Kameda his lack of power is unlikely to be an issue here as Miyake has lost his last 4, and was stopped last time out by the debuting Keisuke Matsumoto.
Also on this card is former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa (36-5-4, 21), who take on Chiharu Takasuka (7-7-1, 4). The now 35 year old Osawa is highly ranked by the WBA but was out of the ring for the entire of 2019, due to the pandemic, and has lost all the moment he had been rebuilding since his 2016 loss to Oscar Valdez. With that in mind it's hard to complain about him having an easy bout here. Takasuka, also aged 35, has been stopped in 3 of his last 4 and is 2-6 in his 8, against much more limited fighters than Osawa. This really is just a case of Osawa shaking some ring rust, nothing more and nothing less.
Whilst we won't go into the under-card there are 3 other 3150 Gym fighters on the card, along with Tomoki Kameda, as the gym starts to get it's self off the ground and as the Kameda's continue their long relationship with the Abema streaming service.
Booysens Hall, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
For a second day in a row we get action over in South Africa featuring local fighters against Filipino fighters, in bouts where the locals will be favoured of their visiting foes.
The most notable of the fighters in action is popular South African warrior Hekkie Budler (32-4, 10) who battles Filipino youngster Jonathan Almacen (7-3-2, 2) in a bout for the WBC Silver Light Flyweight title, and a potential crack at Kenshiro Teraji. The talented Budler, a 2-weight and former unified champion at Light Flyweight, hasn't fought since losing to Hiroto Kyoguchi at the end of 2018 and it's hard to know what such a long break from the ring will will do for him. At his best he would easily beat Almacen but at 33 years old and with so much inactivity this bout is more interesting than it would once have been. As for Almacen this is a massive step up in class and is, by far and away, his toughest bout to date.
The other bout will see local fans cheering on Simpiwe Konkco (19-6-0-1, 7) as he takes on Pinoy visitor Ariston Aton (9-3, 5). The talented Konkco was last seen in the ring in October 2019, when he lost to the then defending WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin, in what was a clear win for the Thai great. Sadly with a long lay off, it's now almost 3 years since Konkco last scored a win. As for Aton he's lost his last two, being out pointed in 2019 by Tatsuro Nakashima and being stopped last year by Tsuabasa Koura. Despite the 21 year old Aton being the more active recently, it would be a huge shock if he picked up the win against the often under-rated Konkco.