This coming Monday in Kanagawa sees us having the final big show before Christmas, with 4 bouts worthy of real attention, including 3 world title bouts.
The one non-title bout which is worthy real of attention will be the ring return of Nicaraguan great Roman Gonzalez (47-2, 39), who fights for the first time in a year. The 4-weight world champion will be fighting his first bout in Japan in almost 5 years, and takes on Filipino foe Diomel Diocos (14-5-3, 4). On paper this looks like an easy win for Gonzalez, but with wear and tear and inactivity there are question marks about what he has left in the tank. Diocos is no world beater but has only been blown away once in 5 losses, and that was to Daigo Higa way back in 2017.
The first of the 3 world title bouts isn't expected to be shown on Fuji TV, but does look like it could be the best of the bouts on the show, with IBF Flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane (38-2, 25) defending his title against Japanese legend Akira Yaegashi (28-6, 16). This will be Mthalane's third defense and despite being the wrong side of 35 he did look very good in his last 2 bouts, and seems almost ageless. As for Yaegashi this is a chance to become a 4-time world champion, but he's looked very much like a fighter who has had a career that is taking it's toll on his body, and his 2017 loss to Milan Melindo certainly remains in our mind. Our full preview of this bout can be read here Yaegashi challenges IBF king Mthalane in battle of veterans!
The first of the two televised world title fights will see WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (16-0, 9) defending his belt against late replacement Randy Petalcorin (31-3-1, 23). Originally Teraji was to face Felix Alvarado in a WBC/IBF unification bout, before Alvarado fell ill in the build up to the bout. Thankfully the promoters managed to secure a fantastic replacement in Petalcorin, who is looking to make the most of his second world title bout. We expect this to be very high speed, with tactical elements and some power from both. Both men are fantastic and this, even as a late replacement bout, still promises a lot. The excellent George Delis previews this bout here Kenshiro Teraji goes up against Randy Petalcorin in next defense
The main event of the show will see WBA Middleweight champion Ryota Murata (15-2, 12) looking to make his first defense of his second reign as he takes on Canadian challenger Steven Butler (28-1-1, 24), who fights at world level for the first time. This is a really interesting bout on paper, with both being very heavy handed fighters, but both being very flawed fighters. Murata is the more proven, and the Olympic gold medal winner looks like the stronger basic fighter, but Butler looks like a very rangy fighter and appears to have the edge in speed. One notable thing to consider here is the pressure is all on Murata who knows that if he loses his dreams of a super fight end instantly, whilst a win swings the door open to some monster bouts in 2020. A preview of this bout can be read here Murata defends against big punching Canadian Butler
One other bout we want to mention features friend of the the site Caliente Koyasu (3-1, 1) battling against unbeaten puncher Daiki Sakamoto (2-0-1, 2). The 29 year old Koyasu will be looking to score his second win of the year, following a loss in May to Ryugo Yanagibori. Sakamoto on the other hand will be looking to extend his unbeaten record here, and has looked very destructive so far into his career.
This coming Sunday there will be two small shows in Japan.
One of those shows, arguably the most significant, takes place in Hyogo and sees a recent Japanese title contender in action.
The recent Japanese title contender is Ryoki Hirai (10-5-1, 4) who looks to bounce back from his recent loss to Shin Ono. In the opposite corner to Hirai will be Yuto Takahashi (8-4, 4), who looks to bounce back from a loss of his own to Tatsuya Fukuhara. The 27 year old Hirai had been riding a 5 fight winning run before coming up short to Ono and did show that he had the talent to go all the way, but lacked the experience. We're expecting to see Hirai use the loss to Ono to build on and shine here. As for Takahashi he's 4-4 in his last 8 and it would be a big surprise to see him pick up a win here.
In the chief support bout fans will see Japanese and OPBF ranked Giraffe Kirin Kanda (12-2, 7) take on Mitsumasa Takahashi (9-4-1, 3). Coming in to this Kanda is riding a 6 fight winning run, including notable wins over Ukyo Yoshigai and Mitsuyoshi Fujita. The 30 year old Takahashi is unbeaten in his last 3, including a win over Shunsuke Nakamura and Yudai Ueno, but this would take a career best performance for him to pick up a win here
The other Japanese card takes place in Osaka, and is even less significant than the Hyogo one.
The main event will see OPBF Atomweight champion Masae Akitaya (12-6-2, 4) take on Filipino foe Floryvic Montero (3-5, 1) in a non-title bout. The bout should be little more than a stay contest for Akitaya, who has won her last 3 and will likely be hunting one more world title bout before retiring. Montero really is no test for a fighter with Akitaya's skills and experience.
In a well matched support bout Yu Yan (6-5-3, 4) will take on Kenta Nomura (4-2, 1) in a 6 round Super Bantamweight bout. Yan has gone 2-3-1 in his last 6, going back more than 4 years whilst Nomura has lost his last 2. Neither of these fighters are going anywhere fast but should make for an interesting match up together
Another potentially interesting bout will see former OPBF Lightweight title challenger Kazuya Murata (12-6, 5) takes on Yusuke Yamanouchi (9-4-1, 5). Coming into this Murata has been stopped in 2 of his last 3 and hasn't fought in almost 2 years. Yamanouchi is no world beater but he mnay well have too much for Murata here, given he has been active, and at 36 will not be wanting to suffer another defeat.
The action seemed to go quiet for a while but picks up suddenly this weekend. Saturday was big but in many ways Sunday is busier with 3 Japanese shows and a Singaporean show, featuring a streamed card, courtesy of asign, and an OPBF title bout.
The OPBF title bout from an intriguing card in Okinawa where we get several bouts between Japanese locals and Filipino visitors.
The most notable of those international bouts will see OPBF Super Flyweight champion Rene Dacquel (17-6-1, 6) take on veteran challenger Go Onaga (27-2-2, 18) in a bout that both men will see as a must win bout. For the 36 year old Onaga a loss here will likely thwart any dreams of fighting for a world title, his one major dream. A loss for Dacquel however would probably see his own dreams shattered, and many would likely suggest that he won't ever progress beyond continental level.
A really interesting supporting bout will see Japan's Seita Ogido (10-2-1, 3) battle former world title challenger Jeffrey Galero (14-1, 7), who managed to ask some questions of Wanheng Menayothin last year. Since suffering his sole loss Galero has picked up 3 wins and will be looking to continue that winning run here. Ogido is stepping up in a huge way however he will be looking to be buoyed on by the local fans with Ogido being a local fighter to Okinawa.
On paper the biggest mismatch between the Japanese and Filipino fighters will see Masatoshi Kotani (18-2, 13) battle against journeyman Jovill Marayan (9-22-3, 4). Kotani is on an 8 fight winning run, albeit against limited opposition and should extend that here against a man who has gone 1-10 in his last 11 bouts.
The asign show, which will be streamed on a PPV basis, is a Yokohama Hikari card and although it's not the best card of the weekend all the bouts will be streams and several of those are worth noting.
The biggest bout on the card is the main event which will see former world title challenger Daiki Kaneko (23-5-3, 15) continue to try and rebuild his career after losses to Jomthong Chuwatanab and Masao Nakamura. The former Japanese champion will be up against Japanese ranked fighter Yusuke Nakagawa (10-4-1, 6) in what looks to be an easy win for the experienced man, at least on paper. Nakagawa however is an under-rated fighter and will be a stiffer tests than his record suggests.
Another bout of some interest here will see recent OPBF title challenger Futoshi Usami (13-2-1, 10) face off with the heavy handed Tatsuya Miyazaki (8-8-1, 8). Usami challenged Masayoshi Nakatani for the OPBF title in 2014 but has only fought 6 rounds since then and Miyazaki might see this as his chance to take advantage of his opponents inactivity and end a 4-fight losing streak.
A third Japanese show will come from Hyogo, sadly however the card is less than great despite featuring a former world title contender.
That former world title contender is the light hitting Teiru Kinoshita (24-1-1, 7) who will be facing a Thai visitor as Kinoshita looks for a 6th successive win. Kinoshita, who lost to Zolani Tete in an IBF title fight, has stated in the past that he would like another world title bout, will need to start facing better opponents that Thai novices if he's to be full prepared for a world level bout.
Another local taking on a Thai foe will be Kazuhiro Nishitani (15-4-1, 7), and as with the Kinoshita bout we're unsure on the name of the Thai. Nishitani has gone 1-2-1 in his last 4, including a loss in a Japanese title fight to Kota Tokunaga, but should come away with a win here.
In an all Japanse bout Kazuya Murata (12-5, 5) will face Makoto Kawasaki (7-4-1, 1). Coming in to this Murata holds a #2 ranking with the JBC at Lightweight and know that he could move towards securing a Japanese title fight with a win here. For Kawasaki, who is 3-3 in his last 6, this is a great opportunity to move towards a ranking place.
Another man looking to secure a ranking place with an upset will be Satoshi Momota (10-11-1, 4) who faces ranked Light Welterweight Kazuyasu Okamoto (11-4, 3). Despite being the “promoter's boy” Momota will be the clear under-dog coming into this one.
Fight fans in Singapore will also get some action, albeit low level action.
In the main event former amateur stand out Muhamad Ridhwan (3-0, 2) will be up against Filipino Jonel Borbon (2-19-2, 2). Ridhwan was given some attention on debut following his amateur success but appears unlikely to become a star that Singaporean fight fans would have been hoping for.
Staying with local talent Nurshahidah Roslie (3-0, 1) will be up against the debuting Krisna Limbaga (0-0). Roslie claimed the UBO Inter-Continental title last time out but will not be defending her title here.
The final really notable card this month, as far as Japanese fans should be concerned, takes place on August 28th as we see an OPBF title bout, a world ranked contender and a couple of unbeaten JBC ranked prospects.
The main event is the aforementioned OPBF title bout which will see the unbeaten Masayoshi Nakatani (10-0, 5) defending his belt for the 4th time as he takes on clear under-dog Kazuya Murata (11-4, 5). Coming in to the bout Nakatani will be hoping to make a statement and end a run of 4 successive decision wins, including victories over Yoshitaka Kato and Ricky Sismundo, though he did look disappointing last time out against Accel Sumiyoshi. For Murata this is his first title bout and one that he's expected to be stopped in, it is however a huge opportunity for him to make a name for himself.
The world ranked contender is unbeaten Super Bantamweight prospect Shun Kubo (7-0, 5), who came to the attention of the WBC last year when he out-pointed Luis May. Sadly for Kubo, who had a solid 2014 over-all, the momentum on his career has slowed significantly and that's shown by the fact he'll be facing Jakarachlek Sor Wankaew (0-4) in his bout on this show. It should be noted however that Kubo is in the running for a potential OPBF title fight and may well attempt to pick up the title after Shingo Wake vacates.
One of the ranked prospects on this card is Bantamweight hopeful Shohei Kawashima (10-0-2, 2), who will be hoping to extend his unbeaten record as he takes on the experienced Tatsuya Miyamoto (11-13-1, 7). This bout should be a good, but passable, test for the unbeaten 23 year old.
The other unbeaten ranked contender is Reiya Konishi (8-0, 4), who actually won the All Japan Rookie of the Year last year. Konishi, who was recently included in the WBO world rankings, will be up against Naoya Haruguchi (7-5, 2) in what appears to be a suitable test for he 22 year old, who is fighting in just his second 8 round bout.
As well as the 4 bouts which have been mentioned, this card will feature 3 others.
Staying in Asia we also know there will be a show in Thailand, televised on Channel 7.
One of he headline bouts will see Pigmy Kokietgym (57-7-2, 23) face off against Jaysever Abcede (9-3, 5) on a bout for the for vacant WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title. It appears that this bout will serve as a warm up for Pigmy who is said to be in talks for a world title fight with Kosei Tanaka, which could be announced in the next week or two, if he sees off Abcede here.
The other attraction will see Paipharob Kokietgym (29-0, 22) battle against Indonesian fighter Fanther Ndahiuw (3-2-1). This bout will see Paipharob defending his defending WBO Oriental Light Flyweight title as he continues to pursue a WBO world title fight.
New South Wales, Australia
In New South Wales fans will see a battle of veterans as 43 year old Thai Plaisakda Singwancha (38-21, 32) battles 38 year old Australian based-Keyan born Kariz Kariuki (25-11-2, 19). Given the age of the two men we're not expecting anything great but both can punch and both have shown durability issues so it'd not be a huge shock to see this one end inside the schedule.
In South Africa fans will get the chance to see Filipino youngster Rene Dacquel (14-5-1, 5) take on local fighter Thembelani Nxoshe (13-5-1, 3) in a bout for the IBO International Super Flyweight title. This could well be one of the fights of the week given that both are aggressive fighters who lack major power. This really could be a joy for fans in attendance.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)