This coming Monday we get the second Diamond Glove show of the month, with an OPBF title being the headliner and two wonderfully interesting support bouts with prospects being given serious tests and giving us a chance to really know what their careers will have to offer.
The OPBF title bout will see OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (14-3-1, 8) defending his belt against once beaten Filipino Randy Braga (19-1-1, 5). For the champion this will be his second defense of the title, though his 14 month reign has been a frustrating one plagued by injuries. Takenaka looked great when he won the title, scoring an eye catching KO of Vinvin Rufino but a defense against Akira Shono proved little. Although relatively unknown Braga is a really credible challenger who proved himself last year, losing a controversial one to Macbute Sinyabi and taking the unbeaten record of Neil John Tabanao
In one of two really mouth watering supporting bouts we'll see unbeaten Light Welterweight hopeful Shuichiro Yoshino (2-0, 1) face the once touted Kenta Onjo (6-2, 3) in an intriguing 8 rounder. Yoshino has looked good so far, and made a statement in his second bout out boxing the highly experienced Chaiyong Sithsaithong but Onjo is a man now fighting for his career after 2 losses in his last 4. This could end up being a really great bout.
Although the two bouts mentioned above are really interesting the bout of the show, in our eyes at least, sees Masataka Taniguchi (4-0, 4) take on the world ranked Dexter Alimento (11-0, 7) in a bout fit to headline a card. Taniguchi is a young Watanabe fighter who has looked sensational so far, stopping his first 4 opponents in a combined 8 rounds, he is however taking a huge leap up in class. Alimento, a 20 year old Filipino,really impressed us earlier this year with a break out win against Chanachai CP Freshmart. Some might think these two are being thrown against each other too early but we love that the teams want to test their men, and that the fighters are willing to put their 0's on the line! Real credit to both fighters and we're expecting something very, very special.
Unbeaten Kazakh Ruslan Madiev (7-0, 3) continues his career after a spell of inactivity. Madiev will be up against Baltazar Ramirez (3-1, 3), who either stopped his opponents or been stopped in the first 3 rounds of his fights so far. We suspect with Ramirez's style this might not last long, one way or the other.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
In the UK fight fans will see Iranian born Scottish based fighter Mohammad Babazadeh (4-0, 1) look to build on his unbeaten record. This will be Babazadeh's first bout this year, after 3 bouts in 2015, and it seems he may be too inactive to build much career momentum at this stage.
The most notable from 4 Japanese cards takes place in Osaka where Green Tsuda put on a notable show with several “name” fighters.
The most notable of those fighters is former world champion Denkaosan Kaovichit (63-6-1, 26) who returns to a Japanese ring, for the first time since his stoppage loss to Ryo Matsumoto, to face Kazuki Tanaka (4-0, 3). This should be another step forward for the 23 year old who will be looking to get himself a title fight before the year is over.
The Kaovichit Vs Tanaka bout is one of 4 notable Japan Vs Thailand bouts. Another, at the top of the card, will see Takayuki Okumoto (16-6-2, 6) battle world ranked Thai Eaktawan Mor Krungthepthonburi (17-3, 12). Eaktawan is 0-3 outside of Thailand, having lost to Albert Pagara, Sho Ishida and Froilan Saludar, but has looked like a promising fighter in recent times, winning his last 10 bouts. Okumoto has won his last, following a loss in 2013 to Rusalee Samor, and will see this as an opportunity to climb into the fringes of the world rankings. A really good match up on paper and hopefully one that will deliver in the ring.
Another bout will see former OPBF Bantamweight champion Yu Kawaguchi (24-7, 11) battle a Thai, though we haven't been given the name of the Thai, just that he's a Mor Krungthepthonburi fighter. Likewise Masataka Taniguchi (0-0), will be making his debut in a 6 rounder against a Thai foe.
Another card in Japan comes from Chiba with this one featuring several bouts of note.
One of those bouts sees the once touted Kenta Onjo (5-2, 3) fight for his career as he battle Akihiko Katagiri (17-8-2, 8). Early in his career Onjo looked like one to watch but having lost 2 of his last 3, by stoppage, this is a real must win for him. Katagiri is a win-some-lose-some but has been in good form, with a 5-1-1 (4) record in his last 7 and will be expected to continue that run here.
Another of the notable bouts will see the Japanese ranked Yuta Saito (9-7-2, 7) battle against Corrales Kawashimo (7-6-1, 2). Saito's record isn't great but he's a dangerous fighter and is better than his record suggests. Incidentally Kawashimo was stopped last time out by Katagiri, who was in the previously mentioned bout.
A third bout of note, and in fact the main event of the card, will see Atsuki Hayashi (6-2-1, 2) battle against Naoya Nishimura (4-8-1, 3). Local man Hayashi will be fighting for the first time since he lost a competitive bout with Naoto Uebayashi back in May 2013 and there seems to be some genuine hope that his return will be a successful one.
There's low profile show in Fukuoka. The main event on the card will see Yoshihiko Matsuo (18-7-6, 3) battle against the limited Yuta Sasaki (7-7-1, 1). This Super Bantamweight bout, scheduled for 8 rounds, is unlikely to move the winner to a title fight but it could kick start their career after both men have faltered recently. Coming in to this one Sasaki is 1-4-1 in his last 6 whilst Matsuo is 1-2-1 in his last 4.
In a supporting bout Areji Kato (7-1, 2) will be facing a Thai opponent in a 6 rounder.
Another low profile show is set to take place in Okayama. The main event here will see the JBC ranked Light Flyweight Seigo Yuri Akui (6-0-1, 2) take on Hideaki Yamaji (5-10, 2). This looks like a mismatch though Akui, the 2015 Rookie of the Year at Light Flyweight, will be facing his most experienced man so far.
Japanese fans get more title action on November 11th as they get a double female world title show.
The most notable of those titles fights comes at 115lbs where model-boxer Tomomi Takano (8-1, 5) goes up against Argentina's Daniela Romina Bermudez (17-3-2, 5). The bout sees Takano stepping up massively against the WBO female Super Flyweight champion who has proven her ability on the tough South American scene, where she has faced the likes of Yesica Yolanda Bopp and Mayerlin Rivas. Although it's a step up for the challenger she has been preparing with the best and has been sparring with Naoko Fujioka who she will hope to replicate in becoming a world champion.
The other title bout is an all Japanese affair as Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (7-1-2, 3) defends her WBO female Minimumweight title against Momoko Kanda (9-7-2, 3). On paper this looks like a massive mismatch with Kanda going in as the major under-dog however she is better than her record suggests and has rebuilt well after a 1-6-1 run in the middle of her career. For Ikehara this will be the third defence of the title she won in September 2014 and whilst she will be hoping to retain her title she will also be hoping to avoid headclashes, which have plagued her last two bouts.
As well as the two world title bouts there is another notable name on the card with former world title challenger Hisashi Amagasa (29-5-2, 19) battling against Filipino fighter Nathan Bolcio (12-9-2, 5). Amagasa is expected to win here and will then continue his chase towards another world title fight, with the fighter himself said to be eyeing up a shot at Lee Selby. Whilst there will be two men in the ring, Bolcio has lost 5 of his last 6 and has only scored 2 wins in his last 10 bouts.
Also on this card will be the promising Kenta Onjo (5-1, 3), who will be facing Tomoya Yamada (12-6, 3) whilst seeking his second win since being shocked by Jonathan Baat earlier this year, and Ryoichi Tamura (4-2-1, 1) who takes on Yuki Matsudo (10-2, 6) in a very good looking Super Bantamweight clash.
The action in Japan keeps coming through March and one of the most interesting shows comes on the 16th as we get several notable names in action, with one of the bouts being particularly notable.
That notable bout will see former Japanese Lightweight champion Akihiro Kondo (20-5-1, 9) battled against former “world” title challenger Jimrex Jaca (39-7-4, 22) of the Philippines. Jaca is a serious puncher and is capable of hurting almost anyone in, or around, the Lightweight division and Kondo is tough which means that this could be an explosive and exciting encounter with Jaca's power battling against Kondo's will and toughness.
In a female bout on this card former female world champion Tenkai Tsunami (20-10, 9) will fight in a stay busy contest against Thailand's Rathsada Sor Worasin (0-4). This really is a stay busy contest for the talent Tsunami who will likely be looking for another world title bout later in the year.
Another bout of note will see the fast rising Kenta Onjo (4-0, 3) battle against Japanese based Filipino Jonathan Baat (27-6-3, 13). On paper this is a huge step up in class for the talented Onjo however he will be strongly favoured and should have a considerable size advantage against Baat who will be going from Bantamweight all the way up to Super Featherweight for this contest. From what we've seen of the 25 year old Onjo he is massively talented and should be able to see off his smaller but more experienced for with out too many issues.
One other bout that looks particularly interesting will see the light hitting Yukiya Hanabusa (7-2-2, 1) face off against Yudai Arai (6-1-3, 3). This looks like a brilliantly even contest on paper even if the two men aren't well known. In 2013 Hanabusa reached the All Japan Rookie of the Year final whilst Arai has gone 5-0-2 in his last 7 bouts. This really does look promising and both guys will know what a win will boost them to moving towards a national ranking.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
November 17th-Former champion Akihiro Kondo expected to score first win in 18 months! Kenta Onjo also in action
A new week kicks off on Monday with a Japanese domestic card that may not inspire many fans around the world but it has caught out eye due to the fact several interesting fighters will be featured on it and we suspect that several fights will be worth talking about after the show.
Sadly the main event isn't likely to be one of those more interesting bouts despite the fact it features the biggest name on the card. That name is Akihiro Kondo (19-4-1, 8) the former Japanese Lightweight champion who is rarely in a poor fight will be expected to pick up an easy win here as he takes on Thailand's Kaewkla Chaiyonggym (0-1) who was stopped in 2 rounds by Burning Ishii back in August. We like Kondo and suspect that this is a stay busy win before chasing a big fight in 2015 and can excuse him for an easy one after his war with Nihito Arakawa last time out.
The chief support bout will see Japanese #3 ranked Middleweight Yasuyuki Akiyama (9-4-1, 7) risking his ranking against Kazuaki Irisawa (8-5, 5) in an intriguing 8 rounder at Middleweight. We wouldn't suggest either man has a chance against Japanese champion Akio Shibata but against each other they should make for a very interesting contest.
Another interesting bout comes at Lightweight where the much touted Kenta Onjo (3-0, 3) pits his #13 Japanese ranking on the line against the more experienced and heavy handed Kazuya Soma (7-5-2, 6). We suspect a win for Onjo will move him towards a national or OPBF title fight in 2015 however this is not a gimme and Soma has the power to hurt Onjo if the young prospect fights foolishly. Unfortunately for those wanting to see the touted Onjo in action footage is scarce with only his debut against Thiland's Tanut Sitmanopchai being currently being available.
As well as the 3 bouts announced there will be a further 6 contests with one of them featuring WBC regional title holder Momoko Kanda (7-6-2, 1).
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)