Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
The next week or so set to be a good one in Tokyo, with three shows in 3 days at Korakuen Hall. The third of those is an Ohashi promoted event that is headlined by a fantastic main event, and has some very notable supporting bouts.
The fantastic main event will see WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight champion Musashi Mori (12-0, 7) take on OPBF champion Satoshi Shimizu (9-1, 9) in a massive regional unification bout. The talented Mori has been on a great run recently, with recent wins against Richard Pumicpic, Takuya Mizuno and Tsuyoshi Tameda, but he is now set for his most dangerous bout. Shimizu on the other hand is a very dangerous fighter, but has continually looked crude, easy to hit and defensively flawed. Give the styles of the two men this should be a thrilling bout, and a real test of Mori's chin and patience, as well as a test to see whether Shimizu can adjust against a speedy smart fighter.
A second title bout on this show will see the unbeaten Kazuki Nakajima (9-0-1, 8) take on the under-rated Kai Chiba (13-1, 8) in a bout for the vacant OPBF Bantamweight title, which was given up by Takuma Inoue. Although not as interesting as the main event, this has the potential to be a fight that breaks into a war. Neither of these men are too well polished, though with Nakajima being a very puncher and Chiba being a boxer-puncher it has the potential to erupt into a war at any moment. We expect this to be slow at times, but once the touch paper is lit expect this to give us serious fireworks until one of the fighters forces a stoppage, and claim the title.
Third generation fighter Keisuke Matsumoto (2-0, 2) looks to build on his early development as he takes on Hiromu Murota (6-4-2, 4). The 21 year old Matsumoto has looked a mixed bag so far. He's clearly talented, but we do have questions about his defense and his durability, and it seems he's a work in progress. Despite that he's being matched tough here against Murota, who recently held former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seichi Okada to a draw and is unbeaten in his last 5. Matsumoto should win, but we expect to see Murota asking genuine questions of him here.
One other bout on this card worthy of some attention will see rising Lightweight hopeful Katsuya Yasuda (7-0, 4) battle against Tomoki Takada (8-5-2, 5), in a battle between two JBC ranked Lightweights. The 29 year old Yasuda is a legitimat talent, with under-dated defense and an excellent boxing brain, but he is also someone who has yet to be given the chances to shine, and is sadly getting older without having made much of an impact on the sport. Here against Takada we see Yasuda getting a chance to move towards a national title fight. As for Takada he is showing power recently and has scored 3 opening round in his last 5 bouts. We expect to see Takada's power going up against Yasuda's defense and counter punching here.
International Convention Centre, East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa
As well as the action in Japan there is also action in South Africa where Filipino fighter Joey Canoy (16-4-1-1, 9) takes on Nhlanhla Tyirha (4-1, 2), in a bout for the WBA Inter Continental Light Flyweight title. Although not too well known internationally Canoy is very much an under-rated fighter with wins against Toto Landero and Melvin Jerusalem, but it's fair to say that Filipino fighters rarely have any luck in South Africa and that's unlikely to change here. Tyirha isn't a big name but he did give Nkosinathi Joyi a close run bout in 2019 and he's certainly someone with the potential to be a contender in the lower weights in the coming years.
Bryan Glazer Family JCC Auditorium, Tampa, Florida, USA
Over in Florida we're expecting to see a trio of Japanese hopefuls in action as Teiken and All Star promotions look to develop some of the best talented in Tokyo.
The most established of the trio is Mikito Nakano (5-0, 4), who has looked brilliant on the Japanese scene and is coming through the deep Featherweight and Super Featherweight ranks at home. Although not a complete fighter yet, he is developing well and this should be a good chance to see what he can do on foreign soil, though his opponent has yet to be named
Another man on this card is Kenji Fujita (1-0, 1), who looked fantastic on debut earlier this year and looks like the type of fighter of who can be moved incredibly quickly. There is clearly a lot of work for him to do with Fujita, but he's a very advanced fighter for a 1-0 boxer, and he seems to have the potential to go a very, very long way. He's skilled, has a high level boxing IQ and fighting over in the US will do him the world of good, especially this earlier in his career. Sadly however he also hasn't had his opponent named fro this event.
The third Japanese fighter on this show is the debuting Subara Murata (0-0), a former amateur stand out who is tipped to go to the top very quickly. Murata turned professional last year, but was unable to kick things off due to the Covid19 pandemic. It's a shame he's had to wait so long to make his debut, but given his style and amateur pedigree is seems almost certain that he's set to be a major success in the pros. As with his two countrymen he has not had his opponent named for this bout, but it's still great to see him making his debut, at long last!
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Thursday we'll get live televised action from Japan, as Teiken put on a show case of young talent live on G+ under the Dynamic Glove banner. The card isn't a major one, in fact if we're being honest it's a rather small one, but it's an interesting one with 4 intriguing match ups on it.
The main event of the card will see former amateur standout Gonte Lee (2-0-1, 1) take on the always fun to watch Aso Ishiwaki (8-3-1, 6). The talented Lee turned professional with high expectations but has been unable to deliver on those expectations so far, though that is partly due to being unfortunate and being out of the ring for the entire of 2020 due to the Covid19 pandemic. He's a real talent, but things do need to kick on for him and it's Teiken know that he needs to be matched hard. As for Ishiwaki he's a fun, talented fighter with an aggressive style, though he was, notably, battered at the end of last year, when Jin Sasaki smashed him in 3 rounds for the Japanese Youth title, and he'll be looking to bounce back from that loss. This could be a very, very good match up, as the skills of Lee go up against the pressure of Ishiwaki.
In the chief support bout we'll see veteran Tatsuya Takahashi (32-9-6, 21) take on Ryotaro Kawabata (12-4-2, 6), in a rescheduled that was first pencilled for January. With 47 bouts to name Takahashi is one of the most experienced fighters in Japan, but he's never been a very polished fighter and he can be out boxed, with opponents taking advantage of his various limitations and flaws. Despite his flaws he comes to fight and tends to give anyone a good test due to his tenacity and fighting spirit. As for Kawabata he is limited himself, as we saw last September against Tsubasa Murachi, but a more polished boxer than Takahashi. Sadly for Kawabata he has scored just a single win in the last 5 years.
In a really mouth watering clash the unbeaten Katsuya Fukui (2-0, 2) will be up against Hiroki Hanabusa (8-1-3, 3). The talented Fukui has looked really exciting and promising, with two quick blow out wins so far, but his competition has been limited and this will be his first bout against a domestic opponent and it'll be interesting to see how he copes with a fellow Japanese fighter who's looking to move his own career forward. The 22 year old Hanabusa is a talented fighter, who impressed in 2018 Rookie of the Year and was unbeaten until last August, when he was stopped in 5 rounds by the fantastic Toshiki Shimomachi. With that loss in mind we suspect Hanabusa will be more determined than ever to pick up a win here. Although not a huge bout this one could be very interesting.
Arguably the most interesting match up on the card is the professional debut of former amateur standout Kenji Fujita (0-0), who we've been waiting to see in the professional ring for almost a year now. The talented Fujita was a genuine amateur standout and he should be looking to make an impression here as he takes on Motosuke Kimura (3-5-2, 1) in a 6 rounder. Kimura has lost his last 3, and 4 of his last 5, but is better than those numbers suggest and he should ask questions of Fujita, though it'd be a massive upset if Kimura won.