Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
For a second day in a row we get action from Korakuen Hall as Ichiriki put on a small card under the A-Sign Boxing Banner. This really is a small card, but as we see all the time even small Japanese cards can deliver some real fun and there is the potentially for some intriguing action here.
The main event here will see the "stop or be stopped" Kazuaki Miyamoto (6-5, 5) take on the under-rated Tasuku Suwa (6-4-1, 1) in what could be a brilliant, and easy to over-look, 8 rounder. In his 11 bouts to date Miyamoto has heard the final bell once, and that was in September 2017, since then he has had 6 bouts and none have gone the distance with only 2 lasting longer than 2 rounds. Thankfully for Miyamoto's chin Suwa isn't a puncher, but he is much better than his record suggests and he ran the inform Kanehiro Nakagawa razor close in 2018. Don't look at the records and ignore this one, is really could a very good bout.
Talking about good bouts we also have a 6 round Middleweight clash between Kazuki Kyohara (4-0-2, 3) and Yuta Ashina (5-2) which could end up being something very tasty. Kyohara fought to a draw in the 2018 All Japan Rookie of the Year with Nath Nwachukwu, and showed he was tough, aggressive and energetic in that bout. He might not be a big name but he's certainly a capable fighter. Ashina on the other hand lost in the final of the 2019 All Japan Rookie of the Year final, but his route to the final was all action, and he's one of the most fan friendly, aggressive fighters out there. We genuinely expect this to be an all out war and one of the hidden gems of the month.
InterContinental Miami, Miami, Florida, USA
Unbeaten US based Azeri fighter Elvin Gambarov (9-0, 8) is looking to have a quick turn around as he looks to return to the ring just weeks after his most recent bout. Gambarov took a quick win in Colombia against Segundo Herrera on November 20th and will be looking to squeeze in his third bout within a month as he takes on Geronimo Nahuel Sacco (8-1-1, 1). Although talented it's hard to say much about Gambarov as his competition has been very poor so far. Sacco on the other hand is an Argentinian who began his career 8-0 but has come up short in his last 2 bouts, losing one and drawing the other. On paper this looks a good match up but we can't help think this is an easy 10th win for Gambarov who will need bigger and tougher tests soon.
On paper the most notable Asian show this coming Monday takes place in Osaka, where we get a pair of female Featherweight title bouts. Sadly though neither bout really screams that it deserves masses of attention, despite both featuring a world title challenger.
On paper the more significant of the two bouts will see OPBF female Featherweight champion Wakako Fujiwara (8-3-2, 3) defending her title against Yoshie Wakasa (6-1, 2), in what looks like a pretty decent match up on paper. Fujiwara won the belt last year and defended it once before challenging WBA female Super Featherweight champion Hyun Mi Choi earlier this year, and lost a clear decision to the Korean. Fujiwara is a decent fighter, and a solid OPBF level competitor, but at 38 we do need to wonder what she has left in the tank. At 31 Wakasa is the much younger challenger, but is also the naturally smaller fighter, and her last bout was a loss in a Japanese female Bantamweight title fight, so we need to wonder how she operates 8lbs heavier than she's been fighting at recently. Our preview of this bout can be read here Fujiwara to defend OPBF title against once beaten Wakasa
The other title bout is much less interesting, as the limited but solid punching Miki Mitsuda (5-5, 4) takes on veteran Kimika Miyoshi (13-12-1, 5) for the Japanese female Featherweight title. Of the two it's Miyoshi who is the more well known, a 3-weight OPBF champion and a former world title challenger, but she has lost her last 4 and is more than 3 years removed from a win. Mitsuda on the other hand is the defending champion, having won the belt last time out, and she's turned her career right around with a 4-1 (3) record in her last 5 bouts. This is very much momentum Vs experience, and should be entertaining, but shows the clear lack of depth in some divisions of female boxing, still. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Mitsuda takes on experienced veteran Miyoshi for vacant title!
A second Japanese show will be held in Fukuoka and see several notable hopefuls in action as they look to move towards bigger and better fights.
One of the notable hopefuls is Welterweight puncher Yuki Beppu (19-1-1, 18), who has had a frustrating 12 months thanks to a loss last October to Yuki Nagno and scored his first decision win this past April. The big punching Beppu is expected to score his 10th win, and his 19 stoppage, as he takes on under-sized Indonesian visitor Roy Mukhlis (31-10-4, 23). At his best Mukhlis was a world title challenger, at Super Featherweight, but that was almost a decade ago, and even that he was blasted out by Takashi Uchiyama. This should be nothing more than a showcase win for Beppu.
Another fighter expecting to win a show case against an Indonesian foe is Takumi Sakae (21-3-1, 15), who takes on the very limited Stevanus Nana Bau (9-11-2, 2). Sakae was once tipped for big things, in the world rankings and a Rookie of the Year winner. In recent years his career has faltered, but he is a skilled fighter with an aggressive mentality and he should go through Bau with ease. The visitor has been stopped in 3 of his last 4, and 8 of his 11 career losses, and we can't see anything but another stoppage loss here for the visitor.
A third bout of note on this show will see the unbeaten Kazuki Kyohara (4-0-1, 3) step up for his first 6 rounder. The unbeaten youngster will be up against the much more experienced Toshihiro Kai (6-11-2, 2) who has been stopped in 4 of his last 5. On paper this is a step up for Kiyohara, but it should be a very manageable step up up for the youngster.