Action returns to the Korakuen Hall this coming Satuday for the next Dynamic Glove card, though sadly it won't be aired live on G+ as we typically see, instead being delayed for broadcast on Monday.
The main event of the card will see Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) defending his belt for the second time, and taking on mandatory challenger Shuji Kato (10-1-1, 6), a former Rookie of the Year winner. Takesako has looked brutal so far through his career, but has struggled to get suitable opponents on the domestic scene, and likely needs to look beyond domestic title challengers, if he gets past Kato. For the challenger this is a huge step up in class, a very, very tough match up, but a huge chance for him to make a big name for himself. Our preview for this bout is available here Japanese king Takesako faces mandatory challenger!
The main event is mouth watering and it's strange that the under-card appears to be focused on showcasing a trio of notable Japanese prospects. One of those is Celes Kobayashi protege Jin Minamide (2-0, 2). The unbeaten Minamide, a former standout amateur, has taken out good looking opponents very easily so far, but will be taking a huge step up in class here, as he goes up against Filipino Marjun Pantilgan (18-7, 14), in what could be a very tough outing for the unbeaten hopeful.
On paper Takuma Takahashi (2-0, 2) is also taking a step up as he goes up against 21 year Filipino Jonel Dapidran (10-3, 6). On paper this is a credible step in the right direction for Takahashi, though we wouldn't be surprised to see him score another early win. Dapidran fought in Japan late last year and was stopped by Rikuto Adachi, retiring after 3 rounds, and that will almost certainly be a marker for Takahashi to try and beat.
Interestingly Masahiro Suzuki (1-0, 1) is the only prospect on the card not taking a clear step forward, and in fact is taking a slight step backwards. His debut came against the big punching Antonio Siesmundo, and he was forced to dig deep to win, so it seems sensible to ease things a bit, as he takes on Kelvin Tenorio (4-4, 2). It's hard to imagine anything but a win for Suzuki, who is one of the best prospects in Japan, but here we'll be looking to read more from the performance, rather than the result.
There is one really competitive looking bout on this card, as Japanese ranked Kenji Ono (11-2-2, 6) takes on the returning Hayato Yamaguchi (14-7-1, 2). Both of these guys can be in entertaining scraps, and despite their records they are really well matched. Ono is more active in recent years, but is winless in 3, whilst Yamaguchi hasn't fought since October 2016, when he lost to Tetsuya Hisada. Don't be surprised if this one steals the show.
This coming Monday attention turns to Osaka where we get two different shows.
One of the two shows takes place at the EDION Arena Osaka, where Hiroki Ioka puts on a small card, featuring a couple of low key but relatively notable contests.
The main event is scheduled for 10 rounds and will see Rikuto Adachi (10-1, 7) take on Filipino Jonel Dapidran (10-2, 6) in a brilliant clash of 20 year olds. The Japanese fighter suffered his only defeat in the 2017 Rookie of the Year final at Welterweight, losing a close decision to Hironori Shigeta, but has since bounced back with a pair of stoppage wins over visitors. Dapidran is a solid fighter, but has lost 2 of his last 5 and a win here would be his best so far. We genuinely are expecting this to be the bout of the day.
In the chief support bout on this card fans will see Koya Sato (11-4-1, 2) battle against Tatsuya Terada (6-3-2, 1). Sato is the more experienced fighter, and is currently riding a 4 fight winning run. Terada on the other hand is 1-1-1 in his last 3 bouts. This should be competitive, but Sato's experience should be the difference maker.
The other show is an Apollo promotions card from the Yodogawa Ward Center. As with the Hiroki Ioka card this isn't a big show and only really has 3 bouts of any note.
The headline bout on this show will see the unbeaten Takuya Uehara (15-0, 9) face off against Noriyoshi Taki (6-7-1, 1). The talented Uehara has impressed in recent bouts, with notable wins against the likes of Markquil Salvana and Takuya Yamamoto. The 25 year old Taki is a southpaw, which Uehara does need experience against, but he has been stopped in 3 of his last 5 and we would be surprised by him lasting the distance with Uehara. On paper this is a step down for Uehara, but a chance to get some ring time against a southpaw.
In the leading support bout fans will see former Uehara foe Shota Yukawa (8-5-3, 3) take on Indonesian foe Ramly Pasaribu (6-13, 1). Coming in to this Yukawa has gone 2-3-1 in his last 6 and needs a confidence building performance. Pasaribu should serve as that confidence building win for Yukawa, with the visitor having been stopped in 11 of his 13 losses.
On paper the most even bout is another Japan Vs Indonesia bout, and will see touted prospect Takamori Kiyama (1-0, 1) face off with Ken Neparasi (1-0, 1). On paper this is an even looking bout but Kiyama is very highly touted and is expected to go a long way. Neparasi may turn out to be a surprising talent but we would be very shocked to see him really test the Japanese prospect, despite their similar professional records.
Attention turns to Australia this coming Sunday as Top Rank host a major card, headlined by one Filipino star, and acting as a potential show case for the another.
The main bout will see the iconic Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38) defending the WBO Welterweight title against unbeaten Australian challenger Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11). Although Pacquiao is coming to the end of his great career he is expected to still have too much for Horn, who is stepping up massively to face the “Pacman”. Although the bout does see Pacquiao defending his title the contest has lacked the big fight feel of most Pacquiao bouts and it certainly hasn't caught the attention of international fans, but is set to do big numbers in Australia where demand for the tickets has been high.
A second world title fight on this card will see talented Filipino fighter Jerwin Ancajas (26-1-1,17) defending his IBF Super Flyweight title against Japanese challenger Teiru Kinoshita (25-1-1, 8), who enters the bout as the mandatory challenger. Coming into this Ancajas will be seeking his second defense of the title that he won last year, when he upset McJoe Arroyo, and he will be hoping that an impressive win here opens the door to major bouts in the red hot Super Flyweight division. For Kinoshita the bout will see him making his international debut, and getting his second world title fight, following a loss to Zolani Tete. The bout is potentially a huge opportunity for the winner to move into divisional super fights but it a bout where the champion will be strongly favoured.
Also on this card is Filipino youngster Jonel Dapidran (8-1, 4), who will be making his international debut. The Filipino youngster will be looking to score his second successive win here as he takes on Australian local Brent Dames (5-3), who was beaten last time in a 10 rounder. This is a tough ask for Dapidran, but he has shown plenty of promise and will be coming in to this one with the hope of scoring a huge win on a card headlined by his older cousin Manny Pacquiao.
As well as the action in Australia there will also be a small card in China. The most notable bout on the card will see rising local puncher Pui Yu Lim (3-0, 3) battling against Indonesian foe Skak Max (8-14, 7). Although Lim is relatively unknown he has impressed so far, and last time out the confident Chinese fighter stopped Chaloemporn Singwancha in Thailand and will now be looking to continue his rise here. Max has never won outside of Indonesia and it's hard to see him winning here.