Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
We get the first live televised Japanese card of the year this coming Saturday, though it's a relatively small show from Kadoebi with the focus more on debutants than established names, with one very clear exception.
The one exception on the card will see OPBF Welterweight champion Riku Nagahama (12-2-1, 4) make his first defense of the title he won back in February 2020, as he takes on Ryota Toyoshima (12-2-1, 8) in a very interesting looking match up. The talented Nagahama has bounced back well from stoppage losses to Takeshi Inoue and Yuki Nagano, and is currently riding a 4 fight winning streak, including his title winning bout against Kudura Kaneko last year. Despite that run he still has question marks over his toughness and his chin. Toyoshima on the other hand is unbeaten since a 2017 loss to Masaharu Kaito, who also gave him his first loss way back in 2015. The challenger has won his last 5 and certainly enters the bout as the puncher, but a win here would be his most meaningful by far. Our preview of this bout can be read here Potential thriller as OPBF champion Nagahama takes on Toyoshima!
In the middle of the card is another bout between two men with some experience as Japanese ranked Super Flyweights Chikato Sumida (9-3, 1) and Ken Achiwa (12-15-5, 4) clash in an 8 rounder at Bantamweight. Coming into this the 27 year old Shumida has won 5 of his last 6, and will know another win will continue to move him towards a title bout. On the other hand the 34 year old Achiwa has only scored a single win in his last 6, though he is much better than his record suggests and should give Sumida a bit of a test here.
Most of the card here is based around introducing some Kadoebi promoted novices, who will make their debuts. One of those is Flyweight hopeful Jukiya Iimura (0-0), who went an excellent 68-13 in the amateurs. He’s being matched in a 6 rounder against 36 year old Daisuke Yamada (6-5, 1), who reached the East Japan Rookie of the Year final, back in 2016 when he was then blasted out in a round by Junto Nakatani. We suspect Iimura will have too much for Yamada, though it’s nice to see him making his debut in a 6 rounder.
Another of the debutants, this time at Super Bantamweight, will be Jun Ikegawa (0-0) who takes on Kakeru Yoshikawa (4-1-2) in a tough looking debut. As an amateur Ikegawa went 51-15 and was a very solid amateur in the Kansai League, where he made his name as a talented southpaw. The 23 year old Yoshikawa has gone unbeaten in his last 4, and is unbeaten since July 2017. Notably he enters this bout following back to back draws in 6 rounders, and may well have the stamina and experience to ask real questions of Ikegawa.
Another of the debutants is 21 year old Yugo Kon (0-0), who notched a 23-11 amateur record during his relatively short career in the unpaid ranks. He’s been matched with Koji Tsurumi (4-3-1, 1) in a 6 round bout at a contracted 54.5KG’s (just over 120lbs). Kon wasn’t the deeply experienced amateur that some of the others on this card were, but he seems to be incredibly hungry to prove a point and we suspect he could end up being moved relatively quickly over the next few years. Although his record might not show it, Tsurumi is going to be in a confident mood here, having taken the unbeaten record of Shion Yokoyama 2 bouts ago, and scoring a draw with the aforementioned Kakeru Yoshikawa.
In an all debutant bout Kadoebi fighter Yudai Murakami (0-0) will be taking on Naoki Shimizu (0-0) from the MT Gym, in a 4 rounder at Lightweight. Murakami went 29-6 in the amateurs, and does have some hype behind him as he begins his career. Reportedly Shimizu went 14-7 in the amateurs, and will be regarded as the under-dog here in what will be the opening bout of the show.
Compostela Valley, Philippines
The most notable card this coming Friday is in the Philippines where we get a small but interesting card with several notable domestic clashes taking place on the show.
The main event will see PBF Flyweight title bout between Arnold Garde (10-7-3, 4) and Renz Rosia (14-8-1, 7), in what is easily the best bout of the show. Garde was last seen going 8 rounds with Hayate Kaji in Japan, and show he was tough and a little awkward. Despite that showing it needs to be noted that he has only scored 1 win in his lat 5 and it's hard to know what ambition he really has. Rosia, of course, is no world beater himself but another loss for him really could be the end of any hopes he has of landing another big fight, and would leave him win-less in 5. For both guys this is essentially a must win bout.
In a supporting bout we'll see talented Light Flyweight Rene Mark Cuarto (16-2-1, 9) look to bounce back from a recent loss to the world ranked Samuel Salva. The talented Cuarto will be expected to get a relatively straight forward win here, as he takes on the limited Mike Kinaadman (6-9-2, 4), who has lost his last 7 in a row.
One other fighter on this card worthy of a note is Aries Buenavidez (13-3, 7), who will be expecting to pick up his 14th win as he takes on limited domestic foe Kim Lindog (5-6-1, 4).
As well as the Filipino card there is also a small card in Toyko thanks to Flash Akabane. Sadly the most interesting fighter scheduled for this card, Zirolian Riku (8-0, 3), has had his bout cancelled and won't be on the card despite being announced for the show to begin with.
The main event of this card will see Akihiro Yamanaka (7-7-2, 3) battle against Yuki Uchida (6-6, 1), in an 8 round bout. Given the records of the two men it's clear neither is a world beater. However both are well matched and this should be a very competitive and well contested bout between two men with very similar records, and two men who will be coming into this with the belief they can pick up a win.
The co-feature will see Ken Achiwa (11-15-5, 4) take on Hikaru Ota (9-9, 5), in another bout that should be competitive, but not an incredibly high quality bout. Achiwa may have the worse looking record on paper but he has been matched incredibly hard and run guys like Suguru Muranaka and Yuki Nasu and Yuku Fukimoto close, and he could have had a very, very different record with a little bit of luck through his career.
One other card, that we got late notice of, was a show in Thailand, set to be headlined by OPBF Flyweight "silver" champion Panya Pradabsri (25-1, 14), who will be looking to get past tough Filipino Robert Onggocan (12-5, 8) before beginning a run for a Light Flyweight world title later in the year. His team had planned to petition the WBO for a shot at Angel Acosta before Acosta's recent loss, and will likely still push forward with their desire for a world title fight at 108lbs.
In the US we'll see Uzbek fighter Sanjarbek Rakhmanov (11-2-1, 5) look to rebuild his confidence after losses in 2 of his last 3. Having started his career 10-0-1 Rakhmanov has really faltered in recent fights, losing to Marquis Taylor and Keith Hunter in the last 12 months. He's not a bad fighter, but we don't expect him to be one of the stars of Uzbek boxing in the future.
There is only one show in Japan this coming Sunday.
The main event of the card will see under-rated Filipino Rolly Sumalpong (10-2-1, 4) return to Japan for the first time since losing his unbeaten record to Ken Shiro. The Filipino youngster will be up against Japanese veteran Koji Itagaki (17-11-2, 7) in what looks like a really intriguing fight. Sumalpong is a real talent, but has lost 2 of his last 3 and needs a win of note now. Itagaki has mixed at a high level, but has lost in recent contests to Rey Loreto and Kenichi Horikawa, and will be hoping to use that experience here.
In an under-card bout of interest we'll see Taiyo Inoue (6-3-1, 4) face the experienced but light hitting Kenta Sugimoto (11-10-1, 1) in a good looking bout that won't set pulses racing, but should be a good fight all the same.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines we have two shows, though very few bouts of actual note. Although the bouts aren't big one of the bouts will see the very promising Giemel Magramo (17-1, 13) battle against John Rey Lauza (13-13-4, 6), in what should be an easy win for the once beaten man. Last year we saw Magramo suffer a narrow loss to Muhammad Waseem, and he should bounce back with a win here.
The other Filipino show is very unexciting.
One of the main bouts will see Richard Rosales (11-4-2, 6) battle domestic journeyman Rey Morano (9-50-2, 1) whilst another will see the unbeaten Roldan Sasan (2-0, 1) face professional loser Reynaldo Buluan (3-12-2, 1).
In China we get a bizarrely interesting looking bout between two men who could, in all fairness, be called professional losers. The bout will pit local veteran Xinghua Wang (12-14-1), one of the most experienced fighters in Chinese boxing, up against Japan's Ken Achiwa (11-11-5, 4). Wang is likely to be the fan favourite, but has gone 2-6 in his last 8, and is clearly struggling for form. As for Achiwa he's actually in good form with a 3-0-3 run in his last 6 bouts, dating back more than 3 years.
Whilst not all the Dangan cards are particularly great we do, sometimes, get some littered with brilliant match ups or intriguing names. This the case this coming Tuesday when we get 5 bouts of real note, and amazingly not one of them is for a title, and only two of them feature an unbeaten fighter. Saying that however two of the fighters involved are former Japanese national champions and 6 of the 8 are currently ranked by the JBC or OPBF!
The main event pits those two former champions against each other as former Welterweight champion Nobuyuki Shindo (17-4-1, 6) takes on former Middleweight champion Sanosuke Sasaki (11-5, 5). The bout, set at 154lbs, could be viewed as a bit of a must for both men. Sasaki has lost his last 4, 3 by stoppage, and hasn't won a bout since upsetting Tadashi Yuba back in October 2012, meaning it's already 4 years since his last win. Shindo is 1-2-1 in his last 4, and was stopped in 10 rounds last time out as he lost the Japanese Welterweight crown to Toshio Arikawa, and took a bit of beating at times in that fight. The loser here will struggle to rebuild whilst the winner will likely find themselves in the mix for a title fight in the coming year or so.
In the main supporting bout we'll see Ryoichi Tamura (7-2-1, 4) take on Renji Ichimura (7-3, 6) in a really intriguing match up. Both men are better than their records suggest and both are guys in their 20's looking to go places. Aged 29 Tamura is the older man and comes into this on a 4 fight winning streak with notable victories over Yusuke Suzuki and Yuki Matsudo. Ichimura, the younger man at 23, is the bigger puncher with wins over Jin Miura, Takaaki Kansi snd Ryusei Ishii, however he has also been stopped, with that stoppage coming just 8 months ago.
In another supporting bout we'll see the unbeaten Daishi Nagata (7-0-1, 4) battle against Quaye Peter (9-7-2, 5). Nagata has won his last 7 bouts, since a draw on debut against Takeshi Inoue, adnd is moving in on a title fight thanks to wins against the likes of Jeffrey Arienza and Kazuki Matsuyama. Despite showing a lot of of promise Nagata is still a flawed fighter and will be looking at this as a chance to get experience over the 8 round distance. For the inconsistent Peter, who is 2-2 in his last 4, the bout really is a must win and another loss really will leave his career in a bit of a hole.
Possibly the most interesting of the under-card bouts will see the highly skilled but feather fisted Jo Tanooka (13-3-3, 1) face the much more experienced Ken Achiwa (11-11-4, 4), in a bout that pits two Japanese ranked Super Flyweights against each other. Tanooka scored his first stoppage earlier this year, and has won 4 of his last 5, and is chasing a Japanese title fight, and a chance to avenge a 2015 defeat to Kenta Nakagawa. Although Achiwa has struggled in the past he has gone 3-0-2 in recent bouts, with one of those draws coming against Tatsuya Takahashi last year.
Also on this card is exciting prospect Hiroto Kyoguchi (3-0, 3) who puts his stoppage run on the line against Filipino visitor Michael Camelion (8-3-1, 6). Kyoguchi has impressed so far, and looked brilliant last time out when he stopped Kenichi Miyazaki, but this is step up in class and Camelion can certainly punch, and he's been in their with the likes of Omari Kimweri and the huge punching Melvin Jerusalem, so could serve a real test for the Japanese prospect.
In Russia we'll see Nikolay Buzolin (5-2-1, 1) take on unbeaten Tajikistan born fighter Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (4-0, 2) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Lightweight title. It's not a great bout if we're being honest but it should be an interesting test for both fighters.