The main show for us this coming Wednesday will come from the Differ Ariake in Tokyo. The card will feature a number of a very good bouts, mos of which will be Japan Vs China, though is headlined by an OPBF title fight between a Filipino champion and a Japanese prospect, in what ios a really mouth watering match up.
The main event of the card will see OPBF Super Featherweight champion Carlo Magali (23-9-3, 12) face off with Japanese prospect Hironori Mishiro (5-0, 2), in a bout that is genuinely mouth watering. Magali has had a frustrating 2018, with several bouts announced and then falling through, and as a result this will be his return to the ring for the first time since his impressive January win over Masatoshi Kotani. Against Kotani we saw the Filipino show that he was a lot better than his record suggests, and it seems the OPBF title is helping Magali improve as a fighter, building his self belief. As for Mishiro the Japanese fighter was a former amateur stand out who only debuted 15 months ago but already holds notable domestic wins against Shuma Nakazato and Shuya Masaki and will be full of confidence coming into this bout. A win for Magali will perhaps move him on to bouts against top tier regional fighters, such as Masaru Sueyoshi or Reiya Abe, however a win for Mishiro will shoot him up to being one of the leading prospects in Japan. A really good match up, and a tough one to call!
The leading support bout is one of the many Japan vs China bouts and will see recent Japanese Flyweight title challenger Katsunori Nagamine (14-2-1, 10) battle against Yujie Zeng (11-7-1, 6) in what should be a very exciting bout, as is the norm for a Nagamine bout. Nagamine came close to claiming the Japanese Flyweight title this past March, when he lost a very lose decision to Masayuki Kuroda, and he should come in to this bout with a point to prove. It's also worth notign that Nagamine's only other loss was to WBC Light Flyweight champion Ken Shiro, more than 3 years ago. Zeng on the other hand is pretty much an unknown outside of those who follow the Chinese domestic scene. His only real bout of note came last September, when he lost to promising Filipino Genesis Libranza, and aside from that there isn't really much we can take from the Chinese fighter's record, other than that he seems to be fighting from Minimumweight to Super Bantamweight. Given what we know of Nagamine we're expecting a win for the Japanese fighter here.
In another Japanese Vs China bout fans will see the once beaten Shuma Nakazato (7-1-1, 6) battle against Qixiu Zhang (9-4-1, 3). Nakazato is one of the many hidden gems in Japanese boxing and managed to reach the 2015 Rookie of the Year, before needing to take almost 18 months away from the ring. Last year Nakazato suffered a narrow loss to Mishiro but has bounced back since with a blow out win against a Thai foe. The Chinese fighter is pretty unknown, though did impress last time out, when he travelled to Korea and scored an 11th round KO win against Nak Yul Park in May. That win aside there is little of note on Zhang's record and it;s hard to say what eh really has the potential to do, so this should give him a chance to answer some questions about his potential.
As well as the action in Japan there will also be a show in Thailand, headlined by a regional title fight between Japan's Ryohei Takahashi (14-3-1, 6) and Thai veteran Mike Tawatchai (45-11-1, 28). The two men, who are clashing over the IBF Pan Pacific Super Bantamweight title, are at different stages in their careers and Tawatchai, a genuine veteran with close to 60 fights, seems to be looking past his foe already with another bout set for September. That could well be a mistake as Takahashi is a very capable fighter with good wins over Kazuki Tanaka and Matcha Nakagawa, and defeatuing Tawatchai isn't out of the question here.
This coming Saturday we get a world title in the West and we'll also see two very interesting and notable Japanese cards, both taking place in the Kanto region of Japan.
New York, USA
The world title bout is one of a trio of bouts at Madison Square Garden to feature Asian fighters, in what should be a great chance for a number of fighters to shine.
The world title bout will see Kyrgyzstan born Russian based Light Heavyweight Dmitry Bivol (12-0, 10) defending his title against once beaten Cuban Sullivan Barrera (21-1, 14). For both men the bout is a major step forward for their career with Bivol facing his most notable opponent to date and Barrera really fighting in a must win, against his second most significant opponent to date,only behind Andre Ward who beat him 2 years ago. The bout pits two top Light Heavyweights against each other, and could well be a very special bout.
This card will also feature a pair of Kazakh hopefuls. One of those is Meiirim Nursultanov (5-0, 4), who risks his unbeaten record against Alejandro Torres (9-3-2, 4). Nulrsultanov has looked really good since his debut in late 2016 and will be looking to launch himself up towards the world rankings by the end of 2018, with Torres being his first bout of the year. As for Torres the Mexican 24 year old has proven to be tough and should serve a good test for the Kazakh, who will be hunting his 5th straight stoppage.
The other Kazakh on this show will be Madiyar Ashkeyev (8-0, 4), who faces live under-dog Jose Antonio Abreu (13-3, 8). The Kazakh isn't as touted as his aforementioned countryman but is a skilled operator who will be looking to make up for lost time after having fought just once in 2017. Abreu, from the Dominican Republic, has lost 3 of his last 4, all in the US, and will likely come up short again here, though has been matched hard in those losses and is certainly no push over.
New York, USA
On a separate US card in New York, fans will see Kazakh hopeful Shyngyskhan Tazhibay (5-0, 2) risk his unbeaten record. At the time of writing his opponent hasn't been announced, but it's unlikely to be too much of a step up in class for the unbeaten man.
On paper the Japanese card with the best single bouts take place in Kanagawa on a Kawasaki Nitta promoted card where fans will get two Japanese title fights and another solid support bout.
The main event of the card is a Japanese Flyweight title bout between defending champion Masayuki Kuroda (28-7-3, 16) and mandatory challenger Katsunori Nagamine (14-1-1, 10), who meet in a Champion Carnival bout. The champion will be seeking his second defense of the title, and will be expecting a much tougher bout than his last defense, which saw him dominate the limited but entertaining Mako Matsuyama. Nagamine on the other hand will be getting his first title bout, and, on paper, his toughest bout since his sole loss to Ken Shiro.
The other title bout is likely to be even better and will see teak tough Japanese Middleweight champion Hikaru Nishida (17-8-1, 8) take on the explosive Kazuto Takesako (7-0, 7) in another of the 2018 Champion Carnival bouts. Nishida has held the title for almost 2 years, but has only managed a single defense, due to an out of the ring accident which forced him out of the ring for a while. Despite the lack of defenses he's a tough, aggressive and exciting champion with a solid mentality and style. Takesako is a talented slugger, and should take the fight to Nishida in a potential war. We are expecting this bout to be a potential Japanese fight of the year and something very special.
Also on this card will be the always fun to watch Gakuya Furuhashi (20-8-1, 9), who faces Masashi Kamon (7-2-1, 4) in an 8 rounder. Furuhashi has long been one of the fringe contenders on the domestic scene, and is far better than his record suggests, despite 3 losses in his last 6. Kamon on the other hand began his career 1-2 but has gone on a good run, going 6-0-1 in his last 7. Despite being on a good run Kamon is taking a notable step up in class here.
The other Japanese card will be televised on G+ and despite being higher profile in it's coverage it's arguably a lesser card, despite having a number of notable fighters on it.
The main event here will see WBO #1 ranked Super Featherweight contender Masayuki Ito (22-1-1, 11) take on under-rated Filipino Vergil Puton (17-9, 8), in a bout which appears to be a world title prelude for Ito. The talented Japanese fighter, a former OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific champion, will be expected to easily over-come Puton but the visitor is no push over, and has asked genuine questions to the likes of Paul Fleming, Ibraham Balla, Shuya Masaki and Ye Joon Kim. Ito should win, but this will be much tough than a public spar for the Japanese fighter.
In a really good chief support bout fans will see former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Yohei Tobe (12-2-1, 8) take on Hajime Nagai (15-9-2, 5), with both men risking JBC rankings. Coming into this Tobe is ranked #7 by the JBC and Nagai is ranked #10. Tobe is riding a 4 fight winning run since losing the Japanese title to Sho Ishida, in a very competitive bout back in 2014, and despite issues with activity he is still a top domestic talent. Nagai on the other hand has lost 2 of his last 3, bith technical decisions,but does have under-rated skills, as he's shown against the likes of Yuji Shimizu back in 2016. This should be Tobe's to lose, but is a very good test on paper for the Misako gym fighter.
Another support bout will see the often fun to watch Koki Eto (21-4-1, 16) take on Filipino journeyman Marzon Cabilla (16-15-1, 5). Eto is currently riding a 4 fight winning run, albeit against limited competition, since his 2015 loss to Carlos Cuadras. Despite his low level of competition the Japanese fighter is a fringe world class talent, and is well known for his thrilling bouts against the likes of Kompayak Porpramook, Yodmongol Vor Saengthep and Ardin Diale. Cabilla enters this bout in the form of his career, riding a 7 fight winning run, but is stepping back up in class here and is likely to see that run of success come to an end.
One other bout of note will see Japanese ranked Light Flyweight Kenji Ono (11-2-1, 6) take on former Japanese Minimumweight contender Masashi Tada (11-5-2, 7). Ono is best known for his up-and-down war with Jun Takigawa from 2016, and has gone 1-1-1 since that bout, suffering an opening round loss to Seigo Yuri Akui in late 2016. He needs a win if he's to move into a title bout. As for Tada he has gone 0-2-1 in his last 3, and over 4 years removed from his last win, however at the age of 28 he does still have time to rebuild his career and a win here would see him move into the JBC rankings.
Belfast, United Kingdom
In regards to Asian fighters the biggest single fight is a Bantamweight unification contest, as Zhanat Zhakiyanov (27-1, 18) takes on Ryan Burnett (17-0, 9) in Belfast. Coming in to that bout the heavy handed Zhakiyanov will be looking to defend the WBA title, however the Kazakh will be up against a real boxing talent in the form of the excellent Burnett. For both men this will not only be a unification world title bout, but also their first defense, making this a very tricky assignment for two men who only won their title's earlier this year. The Kazakh upset Rau'shee Warren for his title earlier this year, out hustling the American in a very competitive bout, whilst Burnett completely schooled fellow Brit Lee Haskins, despite one judge some how confusing the two fighters. This should be a really good bout,and could well crown the heir apparent for the Bantamweight division.
Whilst the biggest single fight, from an Asian perspective, takes place in Northern Ireland it's hard not to feel like a card from Tokyo is actually the more interesting show. Not only does it have a Japanese title fight, but it also has 4 Japanese title eliminators, and really does promise a fantastic value show.
The main event sees fast rising prospect Shuichiro Yoshino (5-0, 3) battle against veteran Spicy Matsushita (17-9-1, 2) for the Japanese Lightweight title, with both men competing for their first national titles. The unbeaten Yoshino has been touted since his debut, and really has looked like a champion in the making thanks to wins over Chaiyong Sithsaithong, Yoshitaka Kato and Kenta Onjo, and a win here is likely to see him begin a notable reign as a national champion, with not many domestic fighters looking up to the task of beating him. As for Matsushita the bout really is a must win, and he does come into the contest on the back of a huge win over a then unbeaten Yuichiro Kasuya. Sadly for Matsushita form has been an issue and his recent wins have all been razor thin decisions, which won't bode well against the talented Yoshino.
At Featherweight we see an elimination bout as Dai Iwai (21-4-1, 7) and Taiki Minamoto (13-5, 11) battle for the right to challenger for the national title next year. Of the two men Iwai is the more experienced and the more technically gifted fighter, but Minamoto certainly has the edge in power, and acquitted himself well in a 2015 loss to the then Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni. Coming into this Iwai will be the favourite, we suspect hat the bout will be incredibly competitive.
In a potential thriller at Welterweight we'll see the tough and hard working Moon Hyun Yun (18-4-3, 4) take on the big punching Ryota Yada (14-4,12), in possibly the best bout of the card. Yun is coming in to this after a Japanese FOTY contender against Shusaku Fujinaka and he's unbeaten in 6, including a draw with former champion Nobuyuki Shindo. The heavy handed Yada has blown out his last 2 opponents, but has a lot of question marks lingering over him following last years stoppage loss to Jayar Inson, who moved up in weight and bullied him. We're expecting this one to be a little bit special, and can't see anything but an action bout.
Another potential action bout will be at Bantamweight and see veteran Eita Kikuchi (21-4-4, 8) take on the exciting Yusuke Suzuki (8-3, 5). The 31 year old Kikuchi lost 2 of his first 11, before rebuilding his career and has subsequently only been beaten by Shingo Wake, in an OPBF title fight, and the aforementioned Minamoto, with both of those losses coming at Super Bantamweight. On paper Suuki's record is less than great, but to date his losses have all come to very good fighters, with the first coming to Yusaku Kuga back in 2013, the second to Ryoichi Tamura in 2015 and the third coming to Jeffrey Francisco in the Philippines last year. All 3 of those losses were close and were losses which will aid the development of the 28 year southpaw.
Another eliminator will take place Flyweight, and sees the always fun to watch Katsunori Nagamine (14-1, 10) battle against the in-form and very under-rated Akinori Hoshino (14-7-1, 9). The heavy handed Nagamine began his career 10-0 before being beaten by the excellent Ken Shiro in 2015. Since that loss Nagamine has bounced back with 4 stoppages, including thrilling wins over Kenya Yamashita, Mako Matsuyama and Tetsuya Tomioka, which have all been all out wars. Around a year agoHoshino was 11-7-1 (8) and it looked like his career was going no where. Since then however he has moved down in weight and reeled off 3 big wins, including a stoppage of Kenya Yamashita and a decision over Shun Kosaka. We're expecting another good one here, though it's hard to see a win for Hoshino.
Gümligen bei Bern, Switzerland
There's yet more notable action featuring a Japanese fighter as Aniya Seki (31-3-2, 5) takes on Hungarian Kleopatra Tolnai (13-12-1, 4) in Seki's adopted homeland of Switzerland. The bout will see Seki defending her WBC Silver female Bantamweight title, for the second time, and in all fairness this be a simple defense against an opponent who has won just 1 of her last 5.
The next few days are set to be interesting ones in Japan, with Dangan holding back-to-back shows. The second of those, on May 16th, is a Youth tournament semi final show, but before then we have a lower key card with a number of notable names on it.
The main event of this card sees the always fun to watch Katsunori Nagamine (13-1, 9) battle against heavy handed foe Tetsuya Tomioka (5-1, 5). Nagamine is the #1 ranked JBC Flyweight, and will be looking to continue his run towards a Japanese title fight however Tomioka can't be over-looked and his power is legitimate. We've seen Nagamine hurt, and stopped, before and with Tomioka's power there is a chance we will see him hurt again, but Nagamine should be regarded as the definitive favourite here.
In a really good looking supporting bout fans will see the popular but light punching Joe Tanooka (13-3-4, 1) take on veteran Hajime Nagai (14-8-2, 4). Although Tanooka isn't a big name he does have a very credible following due to his personality and the youngster has certainly connected with fans, despite his lack of power. Against Nagai we're expect Tanooka to be be too quick and too busy, but he 33 year old Nagai has been able to score upsets throughout his career. Notably Tanooka is booked to be back in the ring in August, in a Youth tournament final.
We also have two bouts where notable local talents take on Thai foes. One of those locals will be the exciting and heavy handed youngster Tsubasa Koura (9-0, 6), who fights in a stay busy contest against Thongchai Chaiyonggym (0-5) whilst the other will see former world title challenger Shin Ono (19-8-4, 3) take on Chanai Jaikrajang (0-3). It's hard to imagine either Koura or Thognchai losing here but it's good to see both men being active, albeit for different reasons.
This key show this weekend for Asian fight fans comes from the Korakuen Hall where we get two title bouts.
In the main event we'll see Japanese youngster Ken Shiro (8-0, 4) make his first defense of the OPBF Light Flyweight title as he takes on Filipino foe Lester Abutan (11-5-3, 5), and attempts to take another step towards a world title fight. The Japanese youngster, who has claimed the WBC Youth, Japanese and WBC Youth titles already in his career, will know that a loss will be a major set back in his climb towards a shot at a world title, but that a win will put further pressure on the divisional champions to face him. For Abutan the bout will be his Japanese debut, though he has performed well in his two bouts away from the Philippines and could be a genuine banana skin for Ken Shiro, if he's on form here.
The other title bout on this show will see Japanese Bantamweight champion Kentaro Masuda (25-7, 13) face first time challenger Satoshi Ozawa (13-6-1, 2). On paper this is a big step up for Ozawa however the 29 year old challenger is on a 4 fight winning streak, including 2 solid wins over Yoshihikp Matsuo, and has been making a mark at Super Bantamweight over the last 18 month or so. For Masuda the bout will be his second defense of his second reign and could open the doors to a potential rematch with Tatsuya Takahashi next year, if he wins here and Takahashi wins in January, which we would love to see!
A really fan friendly bout will see the once beaten Katsunori Nagamine (12-1, 8) face off with the limited but gutsy Mako Matsuyama (8-10-2, 3). Nagamine was in one of the most intensely fun fights of the year, his win over Kenya Yamashita back in February. Whilst Nagamine is certainly a fun and aggressive fighter it's fair to say that Matsuyama's 2014 bout with Rex Tso, an insane war in Macau, was a better bout and with these two getting it on we're expecting to see something very special.
Another under-card bout will see Jin Miura (8-1, 1) battle against Naoaki Kumagai (7-5, 4). The light hitting Miura does look like the favourite here but has struggled in a number of his wins and could well be given a really good test here by Kumagai, who is a very under-rated fighter. Although he has lost his last 3 Kumagai has mixed in good company and could be a banana skin for Miura.
As part of the under-card we'll also see the debut of Ryo Sagawa (0-0), who takes on Korean foe Ho Ya Kim (4-4, 2). Sagawa was a former amateur standout and is tipped for big things, kicking off his career in a 6 rounder here. Kim will be fighting in Japan for the second time, following a loss to Ryuya Kaji earlier this year, and may come into this with the belief of scoring a win on Japanese soil, though will have to put in a career best performance against Sagawa to even be competitive.
In California we'll see fast rising Mongolian Tugstsogt Nyambayar (6-0, 6) take on veteran fighter German Meraz (55-39-1, 32) in what looks like a step up for Nyambayar. Merez, a real veteran with more than 90 fights under his belt, is a proven tough guy who has only lost by stoppage 7 times in his long career. Nyambayar has never been extended beyond 4 rounds and this is, potentially, set to be his toughest and longest bout to date. If the Mongolian can blow away Meraz in quick fashion it could time to put him in with the divisional wolves, rather than continue to slowly develop the Mongolian monster.
The only show this Thursday is an interesting one from the Korakuen Hall.
In the main event fight fans will see OPBF Super Featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (18-1-1, 8) defending his title against Filipino foe Ernie Sanchez (15-7-1, 6). The talented, yet criminally under-rated Ito, will be making the second defense of his title and looking to make a successful ring return following a hand injury, that already scuppered and arranged bout with Sanchez. For Sanchez the bout is an undeserved opportunity given he has gone 1-4-1 over the last 3 years but he has mixed with some very good fighters like Oscar Valdez, Sergey Lipinets and Rey Vargas.
In a supporting bout we see the wonderfully fun to watch Katsunori Nagamine (11-1, 7) take on the very credible Yuki Yonaha (7-2, 5), who enters the bout with an OPBF rating and the hunger to move forward with his own career. For fans this is the sort of match up that makes Japanese boxing so brilliant, there is no waiting for either Nagamine, who comes in following two tough bouts, or Yanaha to get on with securing themselves a big fight and the winner of this could well move in to the mix for a title bout.
Another man looking to move to a title fight is the unbeaten 21 year old Tsubasa Koura (7-0, 4), who claimed the Rookie of the Year crown last year. The unbeaten youngster will be taking on his most experienced foe to date, Bimbo Nacionales (14-11-1, 3). The experienced Filipino is nothing special but should be a good test for the hotly tipped Japanese youngster.
Talking about fighters looking for titles there is also a former Japanese national champion on this card, that's former Japanese Super Flyweight, and current WBA International, champion Yohei Tobe (10-2-1, 6), who takes on the limited Masaya Kohama (6-4-1, 3). For Tobe this bout will be his first since his excellent win over Luzuko Siyo and should see him scoring a third successive win. For Kohama it's hard to see him winning but he'll get a chance to face a notable opponent.
Japanese fans get a real treat this week with a solid looking card at the Korakuen Hall.
In the main event fight fans will see IBF #1 ranked Super Bantamweight contender Shingo Wake (19-4-2, 11) battle against Indonesian visitor Waldo Sabu (7-2, 2) in what is regarded as a tune up bout for Wake, ahead of a world title fight later in the year. The IBF have ordered the winner of the upcoming Scott Quigg Vs Carl Frampton fight to face Wake in a mandatory title fight and this bout is just to keep the juices flowing for Wake ahead of such a bout later in the year. Sabu does have a huge opportunity to make a name for himself but the reality is that he'll be lucky to see out the distance against the under-rated Wake.
Whilst the main event is a mismatch the under-card does have some interesting supporting bouts. One of those will see Wake's stablemate Kenya Yamashita (8-1, 5) battle the returning Katsunori Nagamine (10-1, 6), who is fighting for the first time since a loss last year to Ken Shiro. On paper this is a great bout, and one where an argument could be made for either man, but the reality is that Yamashita should be the favourite given that Nagamine has recently under-gone serious eye surgery following a detached retina, suffered in the Ken Shiro bout.
Another brilliant supporting bout will see former Japanese Super Flyweight title challengers collide as Toyoto Shiraishi (25-8-3, 12) takes on Hayato Kimura (24-8, 16). This is a really well matched contest and the two men will be fighting with the hope of securing another title fight down the line, however both will know that current champion Sho Ishida is out of their league and they will likely have to wait until he vacates before going for the belt
In the US fan will see Kazakh hopeful Dauren Yeleussinov (4-0, 3) continue his development in a 6 rounder. Sadly at the time of writing his opponent hasn't been named.
The Dangan series returns this Thursday in what originally looked like one of the best Japanese shows of the year so far. Originally it featured not only title action, with a pair of title bouts, but also a brilliant all prospect match up and two bouts between ranked contenders on the domestic scene. It wasn't stacked with world class talent but as far as a domestic show it was very solid on paper. Sadly however we saw one bout change at late notice leaving us with a respectable, but less impressive card.
The changed fight will see Japanese and OPBF Middleweight champion Akio Shibata (24-8-1, 10) fight against Indonesian visitor Michael Speed Sigarlaki (15-13-2, 13) in a non-title bout. Originally however Shibata was supposed to defend his unified crown against Yasuyuki Akiyama (10-4-1, 8). Sadly however Akiyama suffered an injury just over a week before the fight resulting in this change.
The first of the still notable bouts on this show will see ranked Super Bantamweight Kenta Toi (4-4, 1) battle against Keita Nakano (12-9-2, 2). On paper this is a mismatch however Toi scored a career defining win last time out, stopping Mikihito Seto, and is looking to build on that huge upset. Nakano will be the favourite coming in here but he is up again a man flying high and who will be full of confidence.
Possibly the standout bout of the show is between prospects as the much touted Ken Shiro (2-0, 1) battles the more experienced Katsunori Nagamine (10-0, 6). Nagamine was the 2012 All Japan Super Flyweight Rookie of the Year however he has been relatively in active since then with just 3 bouts in the last 2 years. Ken Shiro, the son of former OPBF and Japanese champion Hisashi Teraji, is viewed as another “Super prospect” and a win here will likely boost him to getting a title fight of some type later in the year. Notably Ken Shiro will be taking this fight at 112lbs, a weight that sees him fighting for the first time as a fully blown Flyweight.
In a third bout of note we will see OPBF and Japanese ranked Ryuichi Funai (22-6, 15) battle Japanese ranked Ryuta Otsuka (14-7-2, 4). Funai is on a 5 fight willing streak since coming up short against Rolly Lunas in an OPBF title fight back in 2012, that is his only loss in the last 4 years. As for Otsuka he has had mixed fortunes with a record of 3-3-1 in his last 7 however he has been in with Yuki Nasu, Konosuke Tomiyama, Teiru Kinoshita and Malcolm Tunacao during that run of 7 bouts. Neither of these guys will ever be world champions but both are fighting to get a shot as a Japanese or OPBF title in the near future and will put it all on the line to pick up a win here.
The remaining title bout will see Japanese Minimumweight champion Go Odaira (11-4-3, 1) defending his title again Yutaka Sowano (9-5-1, 6). For Odaira this is a return to the Japanese domestic level after coming up short in a world title fight with Katsunari Takayama on New Year's Eve and although he was stopped by Takayama it's hard to see Sowano really testing him here. As for Sowano this is a big step up in class.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Action is back at the Korakuen Hall for the second successive day this week for a show that has got us a little bit excited without truly blowing us away.
The most exciting of the bouts, by far, is the OPBF Light Middleweight title bout which sees experienced Filipino Dennis Laurente (48-5-5, 29) battling against Japanese veteran Tadashi Yuba (46-9-2, 33). The vacant title, recently given up by Koji Numata, is a major reward for the winner though it could spell the end for the loser with both men turning 38 next year. This promises excitement, action and although it won't be the most skilful bout we get in “The Hall” this month it could potentially be one of the most out-and-out fun.
In the chief support bout fan will see Japanese Heavyweight champion Kyotaro Fujimoto (10-1, 6) fighting French visitor David Radeff (5-8-2, 2). This bout is a direct comparison bout for Fujimoto who will be trying to do a better job against Radeff than Nobuhiro Ishida did earlier this year. Ishida clearly beat Radeff on points in their bout, back in September, and Fujimoto will be hoping to stop the French visitor to indirectly prove he's much better than his more experience compatriot. We're a bit disappointed by the actual bout but we do understand it and why it's been made.
Although unlikely to get as much there are 3 very interesting under-card bouts on this show.
One of those undercard bouts will see former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Masaaki Serie (25-7, 10) battling against the returning Kinshiro Usui (21-4, 10). Usui has been inactive for more than 3 though will be expected to come back with some new found desire and although he's close to 35 we suspect he'll feel he can beat Serie who is himself a faded force. We could end up with a potentially exciting contest or a dud depending on what Usui has left in the tank.
Another of the under-card bouts will see Yuta Matsuo (6-1-1, 4) battle against Yota Hori (12-2-2, 7). This is an incredibly even match up even if it's not something that will really excite international fans. We're unsure who'll be favoured here though it's clear that both men will be coming to win and that the action should be very competitive.
Arguably the pick of under-card bouts is a Flyweight contest at the unbeaten Katsunori Nagamine (9-0, 6) steps in against Ryuto Oho (6-1-1, 2). Both guys caught our eye in 2013 with Nagamine stepping up to 8 rounders in the middle of the year whilst Oho managed to win the Flyweight Rookie of the Year, an award Nagamine actually won in 2012. Unfortunately whilst both guys have looked great in the past they've had very poor 2014's with Nagamine not fighting at all this year whilst Oho is 0-1-1 for the year. This really is a bout both men need to win to make sure they haven't had a year that's to be written off, however both guys are young and a loss isn't the end of the world for either of them.
As well as the 5 bouts spoken about there will be one other under-card bout on this show.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)