Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Tuesday we see action at Korakuen Hall once again as as Flash Akabane put on the next show in their "Over Heat Boxers Night" series. The card is certainly not a huge one, with just 6 fights in total, but there some interesting scheduled for the show.
The main event of the card will see magician-boxer Zirolian Riku (10-3, 9) take on Kanta Takenaka (7-5-1, 2), in what is a solid match up. The 32 year old Riku lost in the 2017 All Japan Rookie of the Year final to Musashi Mora, and struggled to rebuild after that loss, but has won his last two and is starting to see his profile grow again. In Takenaka we have a 23 year old who is desperately wanting to bounce back from a TKO loss to Kaiki Yuba back in January. We suspect Riku enters as the favourite but this is not a gimme for him, despite his edge in power.
In another good looking bout Yosuke Kawano (13-9-2, 7) clashes with Daichi Matsuura (7-5-2, 3). The 32 year old Kawano has lost 3 of his last 4 and will know that he needs a win here to get his career back on track. Despite those losses, he has repeatedly been competitive and is much, much better than his record suggests. Matsuura on the other hand has had some inconsistent performances. Last year he was blown out by Juiki Tatsuyoshi, inside a round, before later going 12 rounds with Chainoi Worawut. Both of these men can fight, but we suspect the consistency of Kawano, and his added power will be the difference in this one.
The two bouts mentioned are both 8 rounders, with the card having two more bouts scheduled for 8 and two scheduled for 4, in what we expect to be a very solid, if somewhat low level, domestic show.
For the second time this month we head to the Korakuen Hall for a tournament final, and this time around we also have a lot of title action on the show, with the "God's Left" Bantamweight final coming on a show that also features 3 title fights, including a female world title fight!
The tournament final will see unbeaten Ohashi gym hopeful Kazuki Nakajima (8-0, 7) take on Kadoebi gym hopeful Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0, 4) in a very, very, explosive looking God's Left Bantamweight tournament final. Tsutsumi, who was the only seed in the tournament, has gotten through to the final with out fighting in a single bout, getting a bye in the quarter final stage then a walk over in his semi-final. Nakajima on the other hand has blitzed Kenichi Watanabe and Jin Minamide to reach the final, beating both men inside a round. Both of these fighters can bang, and we expect this to be fireworks almost from the off.
The female world title bout will see Ayaka Miyao (23-8-1, 6) take on Etsuko Tada (19-3-2, 6) for the vacant WBO female Minimumweight title. For Miyao this bout will see her moving up in weight, abandoning the Atomweight division that she has been such a major force in over the years, whilst Tada will be looking to become a 4-time world champion. Given the styles of the two women involved in this one we expect fireworks, as both like to let their hands go. Tada is certainly the bigger, stronger fighter but she's also the older slower fighter, whilst Miyao is faster and more energetic. A very, very interesting match up. Our preview of this can be read here Veterans Tada and Miyao face off for WBO title!
Another title fight on this show will see second generation fighter Kaiki Yuba (6-0-2, 4) take on Kanta Takenaka (7-4-1, 2) for the vacant JBC Youth Lightweight title. For the unbeaten Yuba this is a second shot at the title, following a technical draw when he fought Izuki Tomioka for the belt almost 2 years ago, whilst Takenaka will be looking to build on his win over Kazuaki Miyamoto from last April. This bout has an in depth preview here Yuba and Takenaka clash for Japanese youth title!
The other title bout on this card is actually a rematch, as Kanako Taniyama (2-0-1, 1) and Tomoko Okuda (5-2-2, 1) battle for the vacant JBC female Bantamweight title. These two women fought to a draw last September, in what was a genuinely entertaining bout, though it felt like Taniyama deserved the win but didn't get it in Okuda's home city. We can't help but think Taniyama will take the win here, in another entertaining battle. Our preview of this bout is here Taniyama and Okuda face off again for Japanese female title!
Over in Canada unbeaten Uzbek Hurshidbek Normatov (9-0, 3) is scheduled to be in action in a 6 round bout, though his opponent has yet to be named. This will be the unbeaten Uzbek's first professional bout outside of the US, and will see him look to build on what has been a pretty slow build career thus far.