Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Monday we get the next show under the Dynamic Glove banner, and it's a really notable one, with the Japanese ring return of a notable Lightweight, an interim Japanese title fight and a chance to see 5 notable unbeaten prospects in action.
The main event will see Masayoshi Nakatani (19-2, 13) return to Japan for the first time in well over 3 years, as he takes on Harmonito Dela Torre (22-3, 14). The talented Nakatani hasn't fought in Japan since he beat Hurricane Futa back in 2018. Since then he has fought 3 times, fighting Teofimo Lopez, Felix Verdejo and Vasyl Lomachenko. Despite not fighting in Japan recently Nakatani's profile has risen massively with those 3 fights and he has gone from being a fighter only known in Asia to a fighter with something of an international profile. As for Dela Torre, he's a talented fighter, but someone who has come up short in his most notable bouts, with losses to Tugstsogt Nyambayar, Yongqiang Yang and Shuichiro Yoshino, with that loss to Yoshino happening in his only previous bout in Japan. Whilst we suspect that Nakatani could see off Dela Torre early on, we actually expect to see him take a few rounds, enjoy the the feel of a Japanese audience and then, finally, get to work on finishing Dela Torre in the middle rounds.
In the co-feature bout we'll see former Japanese Welterweight champion Yuki Nagano (19-3, 15) take on Takeru Kobata (11-5-1, 4) for the interim Japanese Welterweight title, with the bout being organised following an injury to Japanese Welterweight champion Keita Obara. Notably Nagano was supposed to face Obara for the Japanese title earlier this year, with that bout being cancelled due to Obara's injury which appears to be series enough for an interim title to be created. Coming into this Nagano knows he has everything to lose, and a loss to Kobata would end any hope of that Obara bout being re-arranged. As for Kobata this is a massive chance for him to make a name for himself, and coming in to this he really isn't well known, even in Japan, so this opportunity is absolutely massive for his career. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Nagano and Kobata clash for Interim title!
One of the many prospects on this card is the much touted Mikito Nakano (5-0, 4), one of the very best prospects in Japan, who takes on Filipino Juanito Paredes (9-7-1, 4). The talented Nakano didn't fight at all last year, and has fought just once since the start of the pandemic. Despite his career stalling during the pandemic there is no denying Nakano's ability, and he's incredibly smooth in the ring, with a solid amateur career and an impressive transition to the pro ranks, which should see him fighting for a title of some sort within 3 or 4 fights. As for Paredes he's unlikely to put up much of a test for Nakano, though we wouldn't be surprised to see him take Nakano into the later rounds of the bout. Notably Paredes has turned his career around well, after a 1-4-1 start to his career, but he has lost 2 of his last 3 and is facing arguably the most talented fighter he's faced so far.
A second unbeaten hopeful taking on a Filipino visitor is Katsuya Fukui (3-0, 2), who will face off with Jason Buenaobra (8-6-3, 3). The talented Fukui began his career in 2019 but sadly was out of the ring for the entirety of 2020 due to the Covid pandemic. He return last year with a career best win, over Hiroki Hanabusa, and will be looking to build on that win here. As for Buenaobra, he is best known for his 2020 loss to Daigo Higa, in what was Higa's long awaited and since then has gone 1-1 suggesting. Sadly for Buenaobra he is 1-3 in his last 4 and it would take a career best performance for him to over-come the must touted Fukui.
Another former amateur standout taking on a Filipino visitor is Subaru Murata (1-0, 1), who battles against John Mark Tihuk (6-1-2, 2). The talented Murata, who is one of the most notable Japanese amateur in recent memories, debuted last June in Las Vegas, when he stopped Keven Monroy on a Top Rank card, and he'll be expected to be moved very quickly now, especially given the time that he's wasted since hanging up the vest and turning professional way back in 2020. Notably the Japanese local isn't being matched easily here, and Tihuk is no push over, in fact the 23 year old Pinoy reached the semi final of the UBS tournament in 2020 and has reeled off 4 straight wins since then, taking 3 unbeaten records along the way, including that of Ranelio Quizo. This should serve as a genuine test for Murata.
One other bout worthy of note will be the debut of 24 year old hopeful Kota Kaneko (0-0), who went 56-13 as an amateur. The promising 24 year old will be up against Thai visitor Pasith Visetso (6-2, 4), who is ranked #9 in Thailand. Kaneko really did look like a promising talent in the unpaid ranks and there are big hopes in the Teiken gym for him, and his future in the sport. As for the Thai, he's a 21 year old who will be fighting outside of Thailand for the first time. On paper Viseto doesn't look anything special, and his wins have come against fellow novices, though it's worth noting that he faced Kongfah CP Freshmart, though he was stopped in 3 rounds in that bout.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
After a very quiet start to the boxing year, something we're used to by now, we're set to get the first Japanese show of 2022 this coming Tuesday, and it's one that has a brilliant main event, as well as number of good supporting under-card bouts. It's not a big domestic show, not by any stretch, but it's a solid show to begin a new year.
The excellent main event will see the hard hitting Kai Ishizawa (9-1, 8) take on the hugely skilled, but light punching, Katsuki Mori (9-0, 2) in a bout for the vacant Japanese Minimumweight title. The title was vacated late last year by Masataka Taniguchi, who went on to win the WBO title in December, and it's fair to say that the winner of this bout will likely have eyes on Taniguchi for the future, especially Ishizawa given his only loss came to Taniguchi. The 25 year old Ishizawa has been on the radar for a while now and is a genuinely exciting Minimumweight, with brutal power, naturally heavy hands and some brilliant body shots. Unlike most at 105lbs he is a pure pressure fighter who hurts people, and breaks them. Mori on the other hand is a wonderful pure boxer, who won Rookie of the Year in 2019 and looks like a genuine prospect, but at 21 he also looks like he's not yet a fully matured fighter and it might be a few years before we see the best from him. Regardless, it's great to see Mori and his team take a dangerous fight like this and the bout should deliver a lot of great action, in what is, of course, the first Japanese title fight of the year. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Ishizawa and Mori clash in first Japanese title fight of 2022!
In one of the numerous solid supporting bouts we'll see unbeaten prospect Narumi Yukawa (3-0, 2) take on Kanta Fukui (8-4-1, 6) in a Lightweight bout. Yukawa looks the part, with an energetic, aggressive, pressure style, and he's determined to put some questionable past activities behind him as he pursues professional success in the ring. Fukui is a good opponent for Yukawa at this point in time, with Fukui having the power, skills and toughness to keep Yukawa honest, and we wouldn't be surprised if the unbeaten prospect really needs to work for his win here.
Another unbeaten hopeful on this card is the under-rated Tentaro Kimura (7-0-2), the cousin of the very highly regarded Rentaro Kimura, who takes a credible step up in class to face off with Kaito Takeshima (6-3-1, 1) in what should be a very good technical bout. Kimura is a naturally gifted boxer, but he lacks stopping power, and his team will know that, and that likely explains why he's not being rushed into taking on punchers. In Takeshima we have another talented fighter, but another man who lacks power, and someone who has had some set backs in recent years. Interestingly both of these men are 23 and we really wouldn't be surprised by seeing them collide again down the line.
One other bout that needs a mention is a stay busy bout for JBC ranked Light Middleweight Makoto Kawasaki (11-8-1, 2) as he takes on Fumisuke Kimura (9-8-1, 6). The 37 year old Kawasaki will likely be looking to land a Japanese title fight later in the year, before heading off in to the sunset, but he's not fought since the pandemic and will have some ring rust to shake here, with Kimura serving as something of a tough and dangerous test. Although Kimura is without a win in his last 5 he is dangerous and cannot be over-looked by Kawasaki here.
Sangyo Shinko Center, Sakai, Osaka, Japan
The only Asian action this coming Thursday takes play at the Sangyo Shinko Center in Sakai City and it's certainly not a big show, but it should be an entertaining one with two pretty interesting 8 rounders scheduled for the show.
The first of the two outs of note will see the limited but big hitting Toshiya Yokogawa (11-12-2, 10) take on the highly experienced Shun Ishibashi (10-24-1, 4). The 36 year old Yokogawa has proven to be a limited fighter, even on the domestic stage, but he's a very dangerous fighter and 8 of his 11 wins have come in the first 3 rounds. As well as being heavy handed, Yokogawa is also a fighter easy to tag and he's been stopped in 4 of his 12 losses. Ishibashi on the other hand is a 33 year old veteran who has struggle a lot in recent years, losing his last 8. Despite that he can be a banana skin, and with Yokogawa's limitations this could be a strangely compelling and competitive bout.
In the main event we'll have a battle of Kanta's as Kanta Fukui (7-4-1, 5) takes on Kanta Takenaka (7-6-1, 2). On paper this looks like a relatively poor match up, however both men has misleading records. Fukui has really showed his class in the last few years, running Shuma Naakzato and Go Hosaka close and earning a draw against the heavy handed Yoji Saito. Takenaka on the other hand has been stopped in 4 of his last 4, but can pick up upsets at this level, and a number of his wins, so far, have been mild surprises. This should be a lot more exciting than the records of the two men suggest.
This weekend is a big one for fans of Asian boxing! The biggest show comes from Aichi on Saturday but that's not all we have, with notable action in the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Russia!
The big card in Aichi, will be headlined by a world title fight, and will have support bouts featuring a fast rising local prospect and a former world title challenger. It's not a monster card, but it is a very good one.
The main event will see 3-weight world champion Kosei Tanaka (13-0, 7) defending the WBO Flyweight title against mandatory challenger Jonathan Gonzalez (22-2-1, 13). For Tanaka this will be his second defense of the title he took from Sho Kimura last year, and sees him looking to build on his win over Ryoichi Taguchi earlier this year. For Gonzalez this will be his first world title fight, and finally a chance for him to live up to the potential he showed as an amateur. This should be a really high speed and very technical bout, but the champion will clearly be the favourite. Interestingly if Tanaka wins there are murmurs he could be set for another step up in weight and another world title. Our preview of this world title bout can be read here Tanaka returns for next defense, faces "Bomba" Gonzalez
In an excellent supporting bout we'll see the hard hitting and wonderfully exciting Kento Hatanaka (9-0, 9) take on world ranked Filipino fighter Jaysever Abcede (19-8, 12). The unbeaten Hatanaka has needed just 32 rounds to get to 9-0 and already looks like he's a star in the making with major titles clearly in his future. On paper Abcede should be a straight forward step up for Hatanaka hwever the Filipino is no push over and he has regularly proven to be a banana skin, with upset wins against the likes of Pigmy Kokietgym, Stamp Kiatniwat and Seigo Yuri Akui. This should be a really good test for Hatanaka. Our preview of this bout can be read here Hatanaka steps up in class for Abcede test!
Another notable name in a supporting role is former world title challenger Genesis Servania (32-2, 15), who will be fighting for the first time since he lost to Carlos Castro back in February. The talented Japanese based Filipino is getting a clear confidence builder here as he takes on limited Indonesian foe Erick Deztroyer (12-5-1, 3), in a clear mismatch. Don't be surprised if this one ends very early!
A much more interesting match up on this card will see the limited but hard hitting Kanta Fukui (6-2, 5) take on the very talented and promising Shuma Nakazato (8-1-2, 6). Fukui came runner up in the West Japan Rookie of the Year last year, losing a razor thin decision to Takuya Ota in the final. Since then he has bounced back with a single win, but will be stepping up massively here. The 22 year old Nakazato is genuine talent, and someone who should be on the radar of hardcore Japanese. He's the son of former world title challenger Shigeru Nakazato, and has already held his own with Hironori Mishiro, losing a competitive decision to the current OPBF champion and beaten Lorence Rosas. Although in the middle of the card this is a very interesting match up, and one that could end in explosive fashion.
Also on this card will be Japanese Youth Super Flyweight champion Yuto Nakamura (10-5, 7) who battles in an 8 round bout against Indonesian Muhammad Wahid (4-2, 1). Wahid impressed us, in some ways, this past May when he stood and took a 6 round pounding from Lap Cheon Cheong in Hong Kong, and he showed his bravery. We suspect that Wahid will again have to be brave, but can't see him lasting 8 round here.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Staying in Asia we also get a notable card in Metro Manila, featuring a great mix of fighters from world class to prospect level.
The world title bout, or rather the WBO "interim" world title bout, will see John Riel Casimero (27-4, 18) defend his Interim Bantamweight title against the limited Cesar Ramirez (18-3, 11). The talented Casimero, a true road warrior, won the title in April and will be looking to make his first defense here. Ramirez is yet to prove he belongs any where near world level, especially in this talent stacked division that we currently have. Although can blow hot and cold, it's hard to imagine him really being tested here. Our preview of this bout is available to read here Casimero set to face Ramirez in first interim title defense
In a pretty interest all Filipino bout between regional contender types we'll see Vincent Astrolabio (13-3, 9) take on Kevin Aseniero (9-2-1, 5). Astrolabio will be defending the WBO Oriental Bantamweight title, which he won in Indonesian back in April, for the first time. Aserniero on the other hand will be looking to stretch a 4 fight unbeaten run.
The most notable prospect on this card is former amateur standout Charly Suarez (2-0, 2), who takes a big step up in class to face the under-rated Virgil Puton (17-12-2, 8). The 30 year old Suarez, who made his debut in January, will be looking to get his career back on track after a 5 month break from action. He's incredibly talented, but doesn't have time to waste. In Puton we have a true regional journeyman, who picks up losses, but pushes good fighters, such as Ye Joon Kim and Shuya Masaki. This is a tough test for Suarez, but one he must pass if he's to make any noise at all in the pro ranks.
Amazing we'll have a third world title fight, with WBO Minimumweight champion Vic Saludar (19-3, 10) making his second defense as he takes on mandatory challenger Wilfredo Mendez (13-1, 5) in Puerto Rico. The under-rated champion, who won the belt in July 2018, was successful this past February when he beat Masataka Taniguchi in his first defense and now fights outside of Asia for the first time. Although not a major global name Saludar is very talented, heavy handed and has under-rated boxing skills. For Mendez this will be his first world title fight, and it looks like a massive step up in class for the talented, though rather negative, Puerto Rican hopeful. This could be a very interesting clash of styles, though will of course be over-shadowed by the other world title bouts earlier in the day. Our full preview of this bout can be read here Vic Saludar and Wilfredo Mendez clash for WBO title!
In Russia we get a pretty big card headlined by Sergey Kovalev and Anthony Yarde. Although that bout doesn't have an Asian interest the under-card does, and it has quite a few in fact with several different bouts featuring an unbeaten Central Asian fighter.
Arguably the most interesting of the Central Asian hopefuls on this card is the always fun to watch Akzhol Sulaimanbek Uulu (14-0, 7) defending his WBA Asia Super Featherweight title. Originally he was pencilled in to face off with Sibusiso Zingange (13-3-2, 3), though Zingange was removed from the bout and at the time of writing, his replacement hasn't been named. Uulu, whilst flawed, would have been strongly favoured to beat the South African.
Another really interesting bout will see Uzbek Super Middleweight Azizbek Abdugofurov (12-0, 4) risk his WBC Silver title against once beaten Russian Andrey Sirotkin (16-1, 5). The talented Uzbek has been out of the ring since beating Wuzhati Nuerlang last November, and has lost much of the early momentum his career once had. Despite that he will be favoured over the 34 year old Sirotkin, who is best known for being stopped last October by John Ryder in the UK.
Unbeaten Kyrgyzstan born Russian based Erzhan Turgumbekov (6-0-1, 2) looks to bounce back from a draw against Javokhirbek Karimov just a few weeks ago, as he takes on unbeaten Ukrainian teenager Heorhii Lashko (9-0, 5). The unbeaten Turgumbekov rushed to 6-0 in just over 13 months but the draw last time out certainly slowed his momentum. Lashko on the other hand scored his biggest win in March, when he beat Ryo Takenaka in China, and will be looking for his 5th win of the year here. Takenaka aside there is little on his record of any note at all.
Kazakh Meiirim Nursultanov (11-0, 8) will also be looking to extend his unbeaten record as he takes on the once beaten Artur Osipov (15-1, 10). The 26 year old Kazakh, who is managed by Egis Klimas, has been out of the ring since beating Luis Hernanez in March, and will be looking to impress on what will be his first bout outside of the US in close to 2 years. Osipov on the other hand is coming in to this bout after a loss in March to Evgeny Terentiev, and will likely be low on confidence, for what looks like his toughest bout so far, on paper.
Another bout on this Russian card worthy of interest ins a contest between Aleksei Papin (11-0, 10) and Ilunga Makabu (25-2, 24) in what is a must watch bout on paper, promising a lot of explosive fireworks and a real feeling that this one will not see the final bell. A full preview of this bout is available here Dynamite meets TNT as Papin and Makuba clash!