EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
This coming Sunday is a busy day for Japanese fight fans with 3 shows taking place across the country. For us the most interesting of the 3 comes in Osaka City, and is being promoted by Green Tsuda, with a genuinely excellent prospect headlining the card.
The prospect headlining this card is the slippery and awkward Toshiki Shimomachi (13-1-2, 9), who hasn't made a lot of nose but is quietly putting together a solid record, and developing his reputation as one of the most skilled hopefuls in Japan. The talented Shimomachi has stopped his last 4 opponents, including Kenta Nomura and Hiroki Hanabusa, and will be desperate to show what he can do here, after more than a year out of the ring. The man looking to stop Shimomachi's run is Filipino Jerry Castroverde (10-7, 5), who has lost his last 3, but been matched hard and certainly has some higher level experience to call upon in an attempt at slowing Shimomachi's momentum
In the chief support we'll see the out of form Ryosuke Nasu (12-8-3, 2) take on Hiroki Yajima (9-10-3, 4), with Nasu looking to turn things around and end a 3 fight losing run. Sadly for Nasu things really have gone down hill for him following a solid 8-2-3 (2) start to his career as a professional fighter. Aged 26 Nasu is still young enough to turn things around, but he does need to start finding his groove sooner rather than later. As for Yajima it does seem like his career is going nowhere and he is 1-5 in his last 6, dating back to 2017, and at 31 his role in the sport seems to be less about moving his own career forward and more about giving talented prospects and hopefuls some rounds. We should see Nasu take a win here, and fingers crossed he gets to boost his confidence and move onwards and upwards in the coming years.
Sangyo Shinko Center, Sakai, Osaka, Japan
Staying in Osaka prefecture, though travelling to Sakai City, we get another card, and this one could be a bit more interesting despite only one of the fighters on the card being particularly notable.
The most notable bout on this card will be a clash between two 24 year olds, as Daiki Tomita (16-2, 5) takes on Yoshiki Yamashita (8-3-1). The talented Tomita is now two bouts removed from a TKO loss to Kenichi Horikawa, and has got the tools to be a fixture on and around the domestic and regional title scene. Although talented Tomita is still a work in progress, and we can't help but feel he's not yet grown into his man strength, or his body, and it could be a year or two before we see the best of him. Yamashita on the other hand doesn't seem like a fighter going places, but he should be game and he should do enough to test Tomita, without being a real threat.
In an interesting and well matched supporting bout we'll see the hard hitting Toshiya Yokogawa (12-12-2, 10) take on Daichi Matsuura (7-6-2, 3). Yokogawa is limited as a boxer, but in the ring he's dangerous and with his power he does have a genuine chance against better fighters, as we've seen in recent wins against Takashi Igarashi and Glenn Medura, but he also has a questionable chin, having been stopped in 4 of his 12 losses. Matsuuura on the other hand has lost 3 of his last 4, though did show his toughness in 2019, when he went 12 with the hard hitting Chainoi Worawut. Yokogawa should be favoured, but this one could be tough, rough and if Matsuura can take hi power for a few rounds it could be a very competitive bout.
Kokura Kita Gym, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan
Over in Fukuoka we'll see former amateur standout Kiyotaka Horita (0-0) make his professional debut, as he takes on the hard hitting Ukyo Yoshigai (6-4, 5) in a scheduled 6 rounder. As an amateur Horita had 58 bouts and game 5th in the All Japan Championships and at 29 we suspect he'll be looking to moved quickly and aggressively. Yoshigai on the other hand won the All Japan Rookie of the Year back in 2016, but has gone 1-4 in his last 5 and hasn't fought since 2019. Yoshigai has power, but we wonder about his confidence and hunger coming in to this one.