This coming Friday fight fans in Tokyo get the chance to see the next show in the Asign Bee series of shows, and it looks like a genuinely great show on paper, littered with notable domestic fighters and a number of good match ups.
The main event is the pick of the bouts and will see the hard hitting Keita Kurihara (10-5, 9) take on the unbeaten Tetsuya Watanabe (3-0, 2). The 25 year old Kurihara lost 4 of his first 7 but has since gone 7-1 (6) with his only loss during that run coming against the very talented Hiroaki Teshigawara. Since that loss to Teshigawara we've only seen Kurihara once, but that was an impressive stoppage win over Ryan Lumacad. Watanabe debuted last year and despite winning his first 3 bouts in a combined 9 rounds this is a huge step up in class for him, with his opposition so far doing little to really show how good he actually is. A win for Watanabe would put him in the title mix, but this is a huge ask for the unbeaten man.
In the co-feature we'll see 38 year old veteran Kinshiro Usui (28-6, 12) battle against Kyosuke Sawada (10-2-1, 5) in another really good looking match up. The veteran has lost 2 of his last 3, both to former world title challengers in Hisashi Amagasa and Hidenori Otake, but showed that he was still a very good fighter over 8 rounds in both of those bouts. Usui isn't a world beater, by any stretch, but is a very good domestic level fighter who will be a nightmare to Japanese level fighters at 122lbs. Sawada turned professional with some promise, but back to back losses to Yusuke Suzuki and Hiroaki Teshigawara saw him quickly fall to 0-2. Since then however he has rebuilt brilliantly, defeating the likes of Gaku Aikawa, Kenta Okumura and Yuta Horiike. The bout is pretty much a 50-50 and a win for either man will be significant, with both risking their JBC rankings here.
A less well matched domestic bout will see Naoki Mochizuki (13-3, 8) face off with Hideyuki Watanabe (8-10-3, 6). On paper this is a bit of a mismatch, though with Mochizuki losing 3 of his 2, including his last bout, we can't really complain about him having an easier bout, especially as this will be a rematch of a razor thins 2015 bout. In their first bout Mochizuki took a raor thin win, and has since gone 5-2 (1), losing to Keisuke Nakayama and Eaktwan BTU Ruaviking in competitive bouts. Sadly for Watanabe he has gone 0-2 since losing to Mochizuki and will be looking to avoid a 5th straight loss here.
Another promising fighter looking to bounce back from a recent loss is the hard hitting Kai Chiba (7-1, 6), who was stopped last time out by Brian Lobetania. The once beaten Chiba will be up against Keisuke Tabuchi (9-4-2, 7) in what could be a potential banana skin. The 25 year old Chiba looked really promising in 2017, going 4-0 (3) for the year with notable wins over Ikuro Sadatsune and Ryo Matsubara putting nim on the map, but his loss to Lobetania has slowed his ascent and shown defensive and mental flaws. As for Tabuchi he has lost 3 of his last 4, but has been mixing at a high level with losses to Ryohei Takahashi, Hiroyuki Kudaka and Yu Kawaguchi. Interestingly Tabuchi has had a lengthy break from the ring and will likely be looking to return as a rejuvenated man here in what could be a very exciting domestic bout.
In another bout we'll see see multi-time title challenger Koshinmaru Saito (23-9-2, 13) take on a Thai foe as he attempts to earn one more shot before his career comes to an end.
The first “big” show of December will take place this Friday, kicking off one of the most insanely busy months since we started this site!
The card will be headlined by a female world title fight, as Japanese sensation Naoko Fujioka (16-2, 7) chases a 5th divisional world title and drops down to Light Flyweight to take on the unbeaten Yokasta Valle (13-0, 6), who is moving up from Atomweight. The bout could see Fujioka further solidify her place as the greatest Japanese female boxer or could, potentially, see her ending her career with a loss likely to push her into retirement, ending what has been a legendary career.
Another title fight on this card will serve as the chief support and will see the big punching Kosuke Saka (16-3, 13) defending his Japanese Featherweight title against Takenori Ohashi (14-4-2, 9), in what looks like a straight forward first defense. The champion claimed the title in impressive fashion earlier this year, stopping Shota Hayashi, and will be looking to move into 2018 as the champion, and as a man looking for bigger and better things. Although a big under-dog Ohahsi will believe he has a chance, especially if Saka has over-looked him, and the challenger will almost certainly see this as his only chance to claim a title.
In another very interesting supporting bout fans will see the heavy handed Keita Kurihara (9-5, 8) take on unbeaten Filipino Ryan Lumacad (13-0-3, 7). The Japanese fighter is certainly is no world class fighter, but he is a powerful fighter and is a real danger, especially in the early stages of a bout. For Lumacad the bout sees him returning to Japan for his first bout in the country since a very controversial draw against Go Onaga in January, and he will be hoping to keep this bout out of the hands of the judges. A really interesting support bout here.
Also on the card are recent OPBF Super Bantamweight title challenger Kinshiro Usui (27-6, 11) and the experienced Akihiko Katagiri (17-9-2, 8) who are facing less experienced domestic foes. Both Usui and Katagiri suffered losses last time out and both will be wanting to get back to winnings ways here.
As well as the Japanese card there is also a notable card in the Philippines, with several notable names involved.
One of those name fighters is the under-rated Ernesto Saulong (21-2-1, 8), who faces off with fellow Filipino Renan Portes (10-5, 6) in a bout for the IBF Pan Pacific Bantamweight title. The bout won't make much noise internationally, but should see the winner move towards an IBF top 15 position. Of the two Saulong has been the more impressive, but he can't continue fighting domestic level Filipino foes for too much longer, or his career will begin to stagnate massively. For Portes this will be his second bout since Hayate Kaji stopped him in 2 rounds, and he really shouldn't pose much of a test for Saulong.
The unbeaten Jerald Daniega (11-0, 8) makes his ring return, after almost a year of inactivity, as he takes on low key foe Jerwin Mejes (4-2-3, 3). Prior to his break from the ring Daniega had began to get some real momentum and had scored 4 wins in 2016, and will be looking to ease himself back into action here, before kicking on next year. For Mejes the bout will see him looking to continue a 4 fight unbeaten run, which has seen him score 2 wins and two draws. Although not the most talented of fighters Mejes does hold a win with Lloyd Jardeliza and could prove to be a tough foe for the returning prospect.
The hotly tipped Mark Anthony Barriga (7-0, 1) will be looking to continue his development as he takes on the once beaten Glenne Calacar (3-1-6, 1). The talented Barriga, a former top amateur star in the Philippines, has had a busy 2017 with 4 wins already including a very good 10 round decision win in September against Samartlek Kokietgym, and will be expecting another one here. As for Calacar, who has a very strange looking record, he comes into this bout having drawn his last two, and will be looking to place the spoiler once again, as he has done against every unbeaten fighter he has fought. Although Calacar will be the under-dog he is, strangely, 0-0-4 against unbeaten fighters!
Another very notable fighter on this card is the debuting Pete Panitente (0-0), who was recently a sparring partner for Jerwin Ancajas prior to Ancajas's world title defense against Jamie Conlan. The debutant will be facing off with journeyman Jomar Borbon (4-29-2, 2) and should have no issues showcasing his skills on route to inflicting Borbon's 30th career defeat.
Outside of Asia we'll get the chance to see former Kazakh amateur stand out Ivan Dychko (2-0, 2) continue his professional development, as he fights for the third time in just over 9 weeks. The talented and touted Heavyweight will be fighting in his first 6 rounder as he takes on 32 year old Lamarco Ellis (2-4, 1) in what should be another straight forward win for Dychko. It's worth noting that Ellis is a big lump, weighing in over 300lbs for all of his bouts to date, and is unlikely to have anything to trouble Dychko.
Rhode Island, USA
In a really interesting match up the once touted Toka Kahn Clary (23-1-0-1, 16) will take on unbeaten Filipino prospect John Vincent Moralde (19-0, 10). To date Clary's only loss was a shock opening round defeat to Filipino journeyman Jhon Gemino, in a highly surprising 90 second blow out, and and this will be Clary's first fight with a Filipino since that loss. For Moralde the bout will serve as his US debut, and he comes into the bout on a 3 fight stoppage run, albeit against limited domestic foes. A win for Moralde will help put him on the international boxing map, and it's clear he will be fighting with that in mind.
West Midlands, United Kingdom
In the UK fans will see English based Indian born fighter Dilbag Singh (4-0, 1) in action, with Singh seeking his 5th straight win. The unbeaten man hasn't had his opponent named at the time of writing, and we're not expecting anyone too testing, but if he keeps his winning run intact for the next 12-18 months he could well find himself fighting for titles on the British scene.
This coming Wednesday sees Japanese fight fans focus on a really notable oriental level show at the Korakuen Hall, with two OPBF title fights and a supporting card that features a former world title challenger taking on a former Japanese interim champion.
The main event of the show will see OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hidenori Otake (28-2-3, 12) making his first defense of the title as he takes on 37 year old veteran Kinshiro Usui (27-5, 11). On paper this bout may not interest fans, given how unknown Usui is outside of Japan, but those who have seen him will have seen him push Hisashi Amagasa incredibly close and will know he's a genuine threat to Otake's reign. We accept Otake should be favoured, given his experience and the proven qualities of his toughness and energy, but this is certainly no foregone conclusion.
The other OPBF title fight is also one where the under-dog challenger is a live challenger and the bout is again no foregone conclusion. This bout will see OPBF Super Flyweight champion Rene Dacquel (19-6-1, 6) take on Japanese challenger Hayato Kimura (26-9, 17) in a good looking contest. The champion is 3-2-1 in Japan, but has won in his last two visits beating Go Onaga and Shota Kawaguchi and looks to be moving his career along nicely in recent times. As for the challenger he has twice come up short in a Japanese title fight, but should be a competitive challenger here.
In a notable non-title bout we'll see Shingo Wake (20-5-2, 12) return to the ring for the first time since his loss in July 2016 to Jonathan Guzman in an IBF title fight. Wake will be up against fellow Japanese fighter Mikihito Seto (34-13-3, 18), a former Japanese interim Bantamweight champion. At his best Seto was a really solid fighter but he's notched just a single win in the last 60 months, and has gone 0-3-1 in his last 4, with all 3 of those losses being by stoppage. It's a bout that should be a good return for Wake, but also a safe one for the popular and gutsy sharp shooting southpaw.
On the under-card we'll see Japanese ranked Welterweight Shusaku Fujinaka (15-7-2, 10) take on Tomoyuki Omura (8-8, 4) and Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (6-3, 5) battle with Naoki Wada (10-10-2, 2), both of these bouts should be interesting, but both have a very clear favourite.
This Friday marks the first “Asign Bee” card, and what a card it looks like being with 3 really notable bouts, each featuring a man with world title experience.
The main event will see 2-time former world title challenger Ryo Akaho (29-2-2, 19) take on the once beaten Yushi Tanaka (19-1-3, 13) in a bout for the vacant Japanese Bantamweight title. The title was vacated last year by Kentaro Masuda, who seems set to turn his attention on regional titles, and we've got this intriguing match up as a result. Akaho will be favoured, he has fought at a higher level, holds the more notable wins and has fought in and around title level for years, but the 25 year old Tanaka will be hungry and will know that he has avoided the career harming wars that Akaho has frequently had.
In the chief support bout we'll see former WBO Bantamweight champion Tomoki Kameda (32-2, 20) take on experienced Thai Mike Tawatchai (42-9-1, 25). Tomoki, fighting in Japan for the first time since December 2013, will be expected to over-come Tawatchai as he looks to begin a run towards Super Bantamweight gold, and will have eyes on the likes of IBF champion Yukinori Oguni. Talking about Oguni he actually stopped Tawatchai last year, in 5 rounds. Tawatchai has also suffered a relatively recent loss in Japan to Shingo Wake and will be looking to avenge a 2012 loss to Tomoki's older brother Daiki Kameda. Highly experience Tawatchai isn't a terrible fighter, but shouldn't be much of a test for Kameda.
The third bout of note sees former world title challenger Hisashi Amagasa (31-6-2, 20), best known for twice dropping Guillermo Rigondeaux, taking on domestic foe Kinshiro Usui (27-4, 11) in a real must win for both men. Amagasa hasn't looked great in recent bouts, and it looks almost like his toughness is wearing down after damaging bouts with Rigondeaux, Patomsith Pathompothong, Josh Warrington and Carlo Demecillo. Usui is a former Japanese title challenger at Bantamweight and has mixed with good company himself, suffering losses to the likes of Kohei Oba, Ryosuke Iwasa and Takafumi Nakajima, but is riding a solid 6 fight winning streak and will be high on confidence coming into this bout.
Western Australia, Australia
We'll also see a number of Asian's fighting outside of Asia. One of those is Thai veteran Yodpichai Sithsaithong (12-16, 6), who takes on former world champion Vic Darchinyan (42-9-1, 31) in Australia. The Thai is a very limited fighter, who has lost his last 3, but will be going up against a very shot Darchinyan, who is more than a year removed from his last win, and has been stopped in 4 of his last 7, dating back more than 3 years.
In the US we'll see once beaten Filipino hopeful Romero Duno (12-1, 11) take on the unbeaten Christian Gonzalez (16-0, 14) in a bout for the WBC Youth Intercontinental Lightweight title. This should be a genuinely exciting clash between two punchers, each looking to claim a title, and we'd be shocked if this one goes the distance. Between them the fighters have 25 stoppages from 29 fights and we'd be expecting both to go out swinging here.
Also in the USA we'll see American based Kyrgyzstan born Basyzbek Baratov (1-1-1) take on debut Tyrone Arzena (0-0). Baratov has had 3 very competitive bouts in his career so far, and could really be 0-0-3, but will be looking to add some consistency here and get some career momentum going in what will be his first bout in his adopted Pennsylvania.
To kick off a new week we'll see a small Japanese card, being shown by A-sign boxing. The card, promoted by Yokohama Hikari, isn't a huge one but does have some notable names featured on it.
The main event of the card will see OPBF and JBC ranked fighter Kinshiro Usui (26-4, 10) battle against 3-time Japanese title challenger Hiroyasu Matsuzaki (22-7-2, 11), who is returning to the ring following a long break from the ring. Usui will be favoured here, but he is 36 and will know that another loss here will be the end of his hopes to become a Japanese champion before the end of his career. Matsuzaki hasn't won in over 3 years and it'd be a surprise to see winning here given his long stretch of inactivity.
In a supporting bout former world title challenger Daiki Kaneko (24-5-3, 16) will be facing a limited Thai opponent, with Kaneko seeking a 4th straight win. The tough Kaneko is rebuilding towards a second world title fight but is a long way from such an opportunity and certainly needs to start stepping up his competition in the near future rather than fight in more stay busy type contests.
Another supporting bout will see Japanese ranked Lightweight Ryusei Nakajima (9-1, 3) battle against Keisuke Ota (9-10, 2). Coming in to this Nakajima is riding a 7 fight winning run and will be hoping to keep that run going as he edges towards a title fight. Ota has won just 2 of his last 8 bouts and won't be expected to win here, but could well be a better test than he looks on paper, and his record is certainly a misleading one.
The next few weeks are busy in boxing with numerous notable bouts coming up. To kick off this coming week Hikari Yokohama put on their next show, which will be streamed on asign for those interested in watching it.
In the main event former Japanese Middleweight champion Tomohiro Ebisu (15-4, 15) goes up against former title challenger Yasuyuki Akiyama (10-6-1, 8) in a bout almost certain not to go the distance. Ebisu has never heard the final bell from 19 previous fights, with his frightening power seeing opponents off early but seriously fragile chin allowing anyone a chance against him. Whilst Akiyama has heard the bell a few times his chin isn't likely to survive 8 rounds with Ebisu, but his power may see him over-come the former champion.
In a great supporting bout the veteran Kinshiro Usui (25-4, 10) will be up against once beaten prospect Hikaru Marugame (5-1-1, 3). Marugame was tipped very highly when he turned professional but a draw and a loss in his last 2 leaves his career looking likely to be a burst, especially given the way he was beaten last time out. He'll need to look good here against the 36 year old Usui. As for the veteran he has gone 6-1 in the last 5 years and is unlikely to worry too much about Marugame and his potential.
Interestingly the man who beat Marugame last time out is is also on this card. That is Reiya Abe (11-2, 5) who takes on Shingo Kusano (11-4-1, 4) in a rematch between the two. Abe has won his last 3, following a very close loss loss to Kusano in March 2015. Since the loss Abe has taken two unbeaten records. As for Kusano he has scored back-to-back wins since beating Abe, but this is a significantly tougher bout than his last 2.
One other bout of note on this card will see Japanese ranked Lightweight Masashi Noguchi (10-5-1, 4) face Kazuya Soma (7-9-2, 6) in what should be a good, but manageable, test for Noguchi who is 6-0-1, in his last 7, dating back more than 5 years.
This coming Sunday is a busy day in Japanese boxing with a trio of shows.
Arguably the most talented fighter in action for the day is the 18 year old Hinata Maruta (1-0) who looks to score his second win in the professional ranks. The talented Morioka Gym fighter defeated the world ranked Jason Canoy on his debut and now looks to score an easy win as he takes on unknown Thai Krunsing Kaolamlekgym (0-0). A win here is expected for Maruta who is targeting a WBC Youth title fight for the summer. Given so little is known about Krunsing there is little doubt that Maruta will be looking to start cautiously before hunting a stoppage in the later rounds of the bout.
The under-card here isn't that notable however there are a couple of bouts worth noting. One of those will see former world title challenger Hirofumi Mukai (11-4-2, 1) face off against Toshikuni Wake (8-15-3,2) in what should be an easy win for Mukai. Once touted as a potential champion Mukai's career has failed to really kick on after an early career win over Sonny Boy Jaro and he's now looking to avoid successive defeats. Wake has been stopped in his last two, and has only 2 wins in the last 5 years.
Another under-card bout sees Japanese based American Brandon Lockhart Shane (6-4, 5) in action against Songthaya Kaolamlekgym (0-0). Although not the best of fighters the American has an infectious personality and we really do wish him all the best against his Thai opponent.
Another of the Japanese cards comes from Miyazaki where fans are set to get a trio of 8 rounders.
The most notable of those bouts takes place at Featherweight and will see former Japanese Bantamweight title challenger Kinshiro Usui (24-4, 10) take on Yosuke Kawano (10-4-2, 4). Aged 36 Usui is fighting for his career and knows that he's only a few wins from a potential Japanese title fight, on the other hand Kawano, who is unbeaten in 4, will know he's just hitting his stride at 27 and will be looking to record the biggest win of his career.
In the co-feature recent Japanese Light Flyweight title challenger Hayato Yamaguchi (13-6-1, 2) will fight Yamato Uchinono (6-4-5, 4). On paper this should be a straight forward win for the JBC ranked Yamaguchi however he has gone 1-2 in his last 3, including a stoppage loss to Yu Kimura, and Uchinono, for all his limitations, is a puncher. On the other hand Uchinono has been stopped in 2 of his last 3 bouts, and has been stopped in all 4 of his defeats.
Another bout of note sees JBC ranked 154lb fighter Hironobu Matsunaga (8-1, 4) face off against Hiroshi Ohashi (7-8, 3). This looks likely to be a clear win for Matsunaga, who will be looking to work his way towards a title fight in the coming months. Interestingly Ohashi has won just once in the last 9 years, however he has spent much of that time out of the ring.
Arguably the least interesting of the Japanese cards is in Hyogo where there's only really one bout of note.
That one notable bout sees Japanese and OPBF ranked Light Flyweight Toshimasa Ouchi (19-8-3, 5) face off against Akiyoshi Kanazawa (13-4-4, 7), in what is a really well matched 8 round bout. The winner of this one will be looking to secure a title fight later in the year however both are a long way from being the best in either Japan or the Orient at 108lbs.
It's fair to say we've had a great start to the month, things do however take a small backwards on Thursday with some lesser bouts.
In the main event of the only Japanese show of the day fans will see former Japanese Middleweight champion Tomohiro Ebisu (13-4, 13) take on the light hitting Kazuyuki Fukuyama (9-6, 2) in what appears to be an easy looking bout for the hard hitting former champion. The 26 year old Ebisu is 2-2 in his last 4 bouts and it now seems clear that he needs to get some career momentum going and a win here is needed. Fukuyama on the other hand has lost his last 2 bouts, though he hasn't been stopped on more than 5 years and he could test Ebisu's resolve here.
In the chief support bout fans will see the experienced Kinshiro Usui (22-4, 10) continue his come back which began last December with a surprise win against Masaaki Serie. Usui, a former Japanese title challenger, will be taking on Kota Sato (10-6-2, 5), who is 1-2-1 in his last 4 bouts. Aged 23 Sato is still developing but knows that a win over Usui will seriously boost his career and move him towards a more notable bout in the near future.
Another notable supporting bout will see Jo Tanooka (10-2-3) battle against the experienced Junnosuke Nagayasu (13-10-2, 3). We like Tanooka but know that his lack of power will be an issue, here however he should be too good and too fast for the 32 year Nagayasu, who's been a professional since 2003.
In a 6 round bout fans will see the heavy handed teenage prospect Takahiko Suzuki (5-1, 4) battle against Sochiro Murata (4-3-3, 2). This will be Suzuki's first 6 round bout and that could see questions being asked of his stamina however Murata isn't a bad fighter himself and has gone 4-2 since a peculiar 0-1-3 start to his career
In the US fans will get the chance to see Filipino fighter Rolly Lunas (34-9-1, 20) battle against unbeaten American Manuel Avila (16-0, 7) in a real make or break fight for the 31 year old Pinoy puncher. Lunas was last seen in the ring in November 2013 when he was stopped by Chris Avalos in 3 rounds. Unfortunately for Lunas this is a second successive bout at Super Bantamweight, as opposed to his more natural Bantamweight, though this is certainly an easier bout than the one against Avalos.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)