EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The Edion Arena plays host to two different shows this coming Friday, one from Taisei Promotions and one from Harada Promotion, both of which were originally scheduled to take place in June.
The bigger of the two is the Taisei promoted event, which serves as a regional title double header.
The main event will see former world title challenger Riku Kano (17-4-1, 8) defending his WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title against the once touted Takumi Sakae (22-3-1, 16), in what could be a genuinely competitive match up. Kano was once regarded as the next super kid of Japanese boxing, but those hopes have faltered, repeatedly, in recent years and his ceiling, for now, appears to be this regional title level. Despite that comment he is a solid boxer, with good speed and he fights to his strengths. He is however too lightweight, at least at the moment, to make it to the top. Sakae was tipped incredibly highly at one point, but he has fallen short when he's stepped up and it seems clear that he doesn't have what it takes to reach the top. He's an exciting and fun guy to watch, but he's certainly lacking the tools to reach the world level. This bout could be a bit of a messy one, but should be competitive. Our full preview of this one can be read here Kano takes on Sakae in first defense of WBO Asia Pacific title
In the co-feature veteran fighter Yuki Nonaka (34-10-3, 10) will defend his WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight title against Koki Koshikawa (9-2, 6). The talented Nonaka has had a remarkable career, and at 43 is among the oldest fighters in Japan. He signed a contract with an American promoted before the pandemic, and it was hoped that he would land a big US bout, but the pandemic put those plans to bed and he's now been out of the ring since September 2019. He desperately needs to get back in the ring, before father time beats him. In the opposite corner is a man who was tipped to be a star when he turned professional, following a strong run as an amateur, but has, so far, fallen short. Sadly for Koshikawa a TKO loss last time out, to Hironobu Matsunaga in 2019, has left his career dangling by a thread, and he needs a win here. It's rare for a bout to be a legitimate must win, but that's exactly what we have here. Our in depth preview of this one can be read here Veteran Nonaka takes on flawed Koshikawa!
On the under-card we'll see WBO and JBC ranked Flyweight Arata Matsuoka (10-6, 4) take on Tetsuya Mimura (8-3, 1) in a 10 round bout. Matsuoka will be looking to fight for a domestic or regional title shortly, and this match up should help him prepare for something like that. As for Mimura he shouldn't be over-looked, but he's the big under-dog and probably lacks the power he'd need to defeat Matsuoka.
One other domestic bout on this card worthy of some note will see Ryo Suwa (11-4, 2) take on Tomoya Kishine (6-4-1, 2), in a scheduled 6 rounder at Super Bantamweight. Suwa was once regarded as a domestic contender, but he has now lost 3 in a row and is more than 2 years removed from his last win. Kishine on the other hand is no world beater, but will feel he's getting to Suwa at the right time and a win here would still be a sizable boost to his career.
EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The other show is a much smaller event headlined by a Japanese Youth title fight, and a really interesting one at that.
That Youth title bout will see the unbeaten Tsubasa Narai (7-0, 6), look to build on his Rookie of the Year win, back in February, as he takes on Kyonosuke Kameda (6-2-1, 5) in a mouth watering match up. Both of these men can punch, both are young, and both are coming to fight. For Kameda, the cousin of the fighting brothers, the key will be to use his height and reach to keep Narai at range and box behind his long straight shots. As for Narai we expect to see him relying on his power, and his aggression and for him to try and take Kameda out with single heavy shots, and well placed counters. Our preview of this one can be read here Narai and Kameda battle for Youth honours!
November 28th - Mori takes on Tameda in Tokyo, Hiromoto, Phoobadin and Laurente all in action and more!
This coming Saturday is a pretty busy day in terms of Asian boxing with two shows in Japan, one in Thailand and one in India. Across those shows we will see a couple of regional title bouts, and a number of very promising youngsters as we move towards the end of November.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
The most notable show of the day is an Ohashi promoted event at Korakuen Hall, which will feature a world ranked fighter defending a regional title, two interesting domestic fights and noteworthy exhibition.
In the main event we'll see WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight champion Musashi Mori (11-0, 6) take on the heavy handed Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-5-2, 19) in an excellent match up. Mori, who is currently world ranked by the WBO, will be 21 when this fight takes place and will know that a win will help him move one step closer to a world title fight. Although a light puncher the talented youngster is maturing and following the guidance of legendary trainer Ismael Salas, and has become a very skilled young fighter. Tameda was once touted as one to watch, but in recent bouts he has been picking up losses, and appears to be falling short of expectation. Despite that Tameda is a rock fisted fighter and his power could give him a real chance, if he can catch Mori clean. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Young regional champion takes on dynamite puncher!
In a supporting bout JBC #1 ranked Lightweight Seiryu Toshikawa (12-5, 7) will be taking on Takahiko Kobayashi (9-3, 7) in a good looking 8 rounder. The 24 year old Toshikawa, who will be risking his ranking here, has won 6 of his last 7, and has bounced well since a 2018 loss to Shawn Oda, in a very close fight for the Japanese Youth title. This however is not a gimme for him. In Kobayashi we have an under-rated 24 year old puncher who gave Handy Hiraoka real problems in 2017, leading on all 3 cards before being stopped, and beat touted Korean Jeong Han Cha last time out. Although not a spectacular bout on paper this is a really interesting match up, and could be a very, very compelling one when the men get in the ring.
In another supporting bout we'll see the in form Hiromu Murota (6-4-1, 4) take on former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seiichi Okada (22-7-1, 13). We've seen Murota really turn his record around after a 2-4-1 start, and he has run off 4 straight wins coming in to this bout, but they have all been at a very low level. As for Okada the 38 year old is well past his best, and it's more than 8 years since he lost the Japanese title to Daiki Kaneko. At his best Okada had more than enough skills to over-come Murota, but the question is what does he have left at this point in his long career.
Also on this card will be an exhibition between former 3-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (28-7, 17) and rising Japanese prospect Taku Kuwahara (7-0, 4). Although Yaegashi has retired as an active fighter it is good to see him remain in the sport, and it will be good to see him again here. Despite being retired he has continued to work in the sport, and is now working as a trainer at the Ohashi Gym. As for Taku Kuwahara the 25 year old Flyweight is one of the best prospects in Japan and this will be a great opportunity for him to showcase his skills against a loved figure of Japanese boxing ahead of his next fight in January.
EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
On a second card in Japan, over in Osaka, we see several interesting match ups.
The main event will see Kyonosuke Kameda (5-2-1, 4), the cousin of Koki, Daiki and Tomoki, battle against the debuting Daiki Asai (0-0). On paper it's easy to assume that Kameda will be favoured here, especially after he reached the 2019 All Japan Rookie of the Year final last year, where he lost to Jinki Maeda, however this bout isn't the gimme it looks. Despite Kameda being from a successful boxing family it needs to be noted that Asai is a former amateur standout and went 61-16 (33), and will be looking to make a statement now he's turned professional. This could be a very intriguing bout, despite having the debutant status of Asai.
Another very interesting bout here will see novice professional Ayato Hiromoto (2-0, 1) take on Japanese ranked Super Flyweight Ryosuke Nasu (12-5-3, 2). Originally we were expecting to see Hiromoto battled for world title challenger Masayuki Kuroda but with Kuroda being injured Hiromoto's team looked elsewhere and secured him this bout with Nasu. So far Hiromoto has looked a real talent, with excellent skills and boxing craft, but this is a serious step up. As for Nasu he's looking to secure a third straight wins following a 2019 loss to Kenta Nakagawa. This should be a very interesting match up, and a genuine test to see what Hiromoto really has to offer going forward.
A third bout of interest here will see JBC ranked Light Flyweight Sho Omote (8-1, 3) take on Shota Asami (7-7, 4). The once beaten 26 year old is riding a 6 fight unbeaten streak, and had a sensational 2019 which included him winning the All Japan Rookie of the Year in December. The 25 year old Asami might not have a great record, and has lost his last 2 bouts, but he's had a number of very close bouts and he is much better than his record looks. With that in mind we wouldn't be surprised, at all, if Omote was given a very serious test by Asami here.
Suamlum Night Bazaar, Ratchadaphisek, Bangkok, Thailand
We also get a really good bout in Thailand pitting two talented unbeaten fighters against each other in a truly mouth watering contest.
In one corner will be talented teenager Phoobadin Yoohanngoh (9-0, 4), who will be looking to defend his WBA Asia Light Welterweight title, whilst the other corner will play host to unbeaten challenger Atchariya Wirojanasunobol (13-0, 5). Aged just 16 Phoobadin is one of the most promising teenagers in the sport, and is tipped incredibly highly following several excellent performances. He will however need a career best performance here to over come the once touted Atchariya. As for Atchariya this will be his second bout since the start of 2019, following a lengthy legal battle, which derailed a bout in Japan against Andy Hiraoka. Aged 31 Atchariya can't afford an in ring set back, but he's in with a big, strong, skilled, youngster looking to make a big mark and move his career forward. This is a very, very interesting bout, and will be shown live on Thairath for fans interested in watching it live.
Bawing Gym, General Santos City, Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
In the Philippines we'll see unbeaten prospect Criztian Pitt Laurente (5-0, 3) take on Renan Portes (10-13, 6), in what is expected to be another win for the talented Laurente. At one point Portes was a very capable fighter but he has now lost 8 in a row, and has been stopped in his last 5 suggesting he's essentially given up with trying to win. Given the talent of Laurente it's hard to see anything but a win for the youngster here.
INTHEPINK FITNESS CLUB, Bangalore, India
There will also be a show in India, albeit a very, very low key card.
In one of the bouts on this show the unbeaten Karthik Sathish Kumar (5-0, 3) will be up against the debuting Jayapal Jaganadhan (0-0). The 24 year old Kumar debuting in April 2010 and has become a well travelled fighter already, with bouts in Thailand, Dubai and India. Sadly for him this will be his first bout since January. As for Jaganadhan, the 21 year old is really an unknown, and this looks like a tough debut, at least on paper.
Another fighter making their debut on this card will be Shaik Nagma (0-0), who takes on the once beaten Ramandeep Kaur (6-1) in a female bout. Kaur was beaten last time out, by Rinky Inder Kishore, but will be looking to get back to winning ways here.
We really are closing in on Christmas, and even though we're a few days away we are set for one of the annual treats boxing calendar, the All Japan Rookie of the Year final. As well as the Rookie of the Year's there's a lot of other stuff going on, with a title bout, an eliminator and a host of prospects in action. This Sunday is big for Asian boxing!
Our attention is obvious focused on the All Japan Rookie of the Year final from Korakuen Hall, with G+ airing the show live, and in full. For fans who want to know what makes Japanese boxing special at the lower end this is it. This is the culmination of a tournament that covers the whole country and takes the better part of a year. To get to the final you need to have won your regional final, and you don't get this far by chance. You get here on merit alone, and as a result we get some amazing match ups.
We won't be going through all 12 bouts, but we have picked out favourite match ups from the line.
It's always great to see all-unbeaten fights in the final and at Minimumweight we have one such bout, as Katsuki Mori (5-0, 1) takes on Takumi Chono (5-0, 3). This is a brilliant fight, with both men being young, having very similar records and both proving themselves to get this far. Mori is a sensational pure boxer from the Ohashi gym and will be looking to show case his skills, but Chono is not a push over, and has looked strong and powerful through out. The winner of this will really be one to watch in 2020.
At Featherweight we expect to see fire-works as Kyonosuke Kameda (5-1-1, 4) and Jinki Maeda (3-0, 2) face off. It's been an emotional year for Kameda, the cousin of Koki, Daiki and Tomoki, and only 2 weeks ago there was a a real chance he'd miss out on this bout due to the politics at the Kyoei gym. Now here the hard hitting 21 year old will be wanting to make the most of his opportunity. Maeda has quietly made his way to the final, blowing out his first two professional opponents before shutting out the then 4-0 Hikaru Fukunaga. We expect this one to be the standout bout of the day.
More fireworks are expected up at 140lbs where Kodai Honda (4-1, 3) and Yasutaka Fujita (5-0, 5) will face off. The 20 year old Honda lost on debut, more than a year ago, but has reeled off 4 wins since then, and he has stopped each of his last 3 opponents. Fujita on the other hand has been blitzing opponents and his 5 bouts have lasted just 10 rounds. Expect bombs to be thrown, and to be thrown early here!
Whilst the Rookie of the Year show is the biggest it's certainly not the only show of note, and at the Sumiyoshi Ward Center the Muto Gym will be show casing some of their brightest young talents, as well as a regional champion.
The main event of the show will see WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight champion Yuki Strong Kobayashi (15-8, 9) defending his title against Korean challenger Ki Chang Go (8-3, 4). This will be Kobayashi's first defense since winning the title in May with a minor upset against Ben Mananquil, and he'll be looking to go into the new year with some real momentum behind following a bizarre decision loss to Keita Kurihara at the end of 2018. It's really hard to see what Go offers here, and it was only last year that Go was stopped by career Flyweight Masahiro Sakamoto, a stablemate of Kobayashi's at the time. Our full and in depth previous of this regional title bout can be read here Kobayashi defends against Go in Osaka!
In supporting bouts we'll see a trio of Muto gym prospects taking on Filipino foes. The most notable of the trio is Yusuke Mine (2-0, 1), who takes a huge step up to take on veteran Ardin Diale (35-15-4, 17). This is a brilliant bit of match making from the Muto team, who know that Diale is on the slide, but still very live and has been in there with a who's who of the lower weights. A risky match up for their star prospect, but a win here will instantly launch him into the mix for regional titles. High risk and high reward for Mine here.
Another stellar prospect is Tulio Kuwabata (3-0, 2), who will be fighting as Deka-narudo Torio, who takes on hard hitting Pinoy Ken Jordan (8-1-2, 7). The 23 year old Kuwabata is tipped very highly by those in Japan and has been matched aggressively so far, with this being a pretty logical looking step. Jordan is unbeaten in over 2 years and recently claimed an ABF title, back in August. This is a bout between two youngsters each coming to win, and it should give us some very competitive action over 8 rounds.
The third prospect of note is Ryosuke Nishida (1-0, 1), who made his debut in Thailand back in October. Unlike his fellow hopefuls he won't be in an 8 rounder, but instead he'll be scheduled for 6 rounds against the tough Pablito Canada (7-17-4, 1), and will likely be taken the distance by Canada who has only been stopped twice in his 28 bout career.
A second Osaka, card, this time from the EDION Arena, will also be worthy of some attention.
The main event here is a Japanese Super Flyweight title eliminator, the final of the eliminators to take place this year, and will see former world title challenger Hiroyuki Kudaka (26-18-3, 11) clash with Yuta Matsuo (15-4-1, 8) for the chance to fight Kenta Nakagawa in the new year. At 34 years old a loss will likely send Kudaka into retirement, ending an incredibly interesting and often exciting career, so we expect to see him being fired up for this. Matsuo is no world beater, but he is better than his record suggests and is hoping to secure a second Japanese Super Flyweight title fight, following a loss to Takayuki Okumoto earlier this year. Our in depth preview of this eliminator is available to read here Kudaka and Matsuo to clash in final Japanese eliminator of 2019!
In an 8 round supporting bout Kenta Nomura (6-3, 3) will battle Ryo Suwa (11-2, 2), in a very interesting looking contest. Nomura is looking to bounce back from an August loss to Toshiki Shimomachi, in a Japanese Youth title fight, and although he's nothing special he does tend to make for good fights. Suwa on the other hand has won 4 of his last 5 and will see this as a chance to take a huge step towards a potential youth title fight of his own.
This show will also feature the debut of former amateur standout Kantaro Juri (0-0), who fought in the Asian and World Youth Championships back in 2014, who will be in a 6 rounder at a contracted 53KG's. Sadly his opponent here hasn't been confirmed, though we have been told it will be an Indonesian opponent.
As well as the Japanese action there is also a low level Indian card in Golaghat.
This card will be headlined by Sagar Narwat (9-1-1, 3) taking on Shiva (9-3, 3) in an 8 round bout. For Narwat this is a chance to get back to winning ways following October's loss to Troy O'Meley in Australia. As for Shiva he's now wheeled off 3 straight wins after he suffered a trio of losses on the road in 2017. Sadly this bout aside the card isn't really worth getting too excited about.
Daejeon, South Korea
Earlier this month we were expecting to see a Korea Vs China card, that card however was forced to massively altered due to visa's issues and only a handful of bouts actually took place on the original day. All of those we did get were all-Korean bouts.
The bout weren't cancelled however and instead they will take place on July 29th, 2 weeks after the originally planned date.
Sadly whilst the Korea Vs China bouts were rescheduled they were never the most interesting on paper, with the most notable being a contest between unbeaten Korean prospect Min Jang (8-0-2, 2) and limited Chinese fighter Xing Xie (1-5, 1) being the most notable on paper. The 19 year old Jang claimed the Korean Super Flyweight title back in April and has previously notched wins against 2 other Chinese visitors. Xie on the other hand has lost his last 3 and will be making his international debut here.
Whilst Xie will be making his international debut there are two Chinese fighters making their debut on this card. One of those is Ting Zhang (0-0), who battles unbeaten Korean Soo Rin Kim (4-0-1, 1) in a 6 round female bout. At 21 years old Kim has shown enough promise early on to show there is something to work with, but it's really unclear how far she can go. Unfortunately it's hard to know what she'll be able to prove here against a debuting Chinese foe.
As well as the Korean action there will also be a show in Tokyo, as part of the Rookie of Year tournament.
Unfortunately for a Rookie of the Year card this isn't great and doesn't have many fighters who are unbeaten on it. The one unbeaten fighter is 22 year old Shunpei Kubo (3-0, 2), who takes on teenage Rui Ikari (4-1-2). It's great that both men are young and promising. The bout sees Ikari coming back a for a second Rookie of the Year, after losing in the East Japan final last year to Shinobu Wakagi, whilst Kubo will be looking for his fourth win of 2019.
One other bout of real note on this show will see Kyonosuke Kameda (3-1-1,2), the cousin of the Kameda brothers, take on Natsuki Kojima (3-2, 3). Kameda isn't half the fighter of his three cousins, but has gone unbeaten in 4 since losing on debut, including a draw with Ryugo Ushijim last time out to earn this match up. Kojima on the other hand has been stopped in his last 2, but has power and will be looking to make the most of his heavy hands here.
The action for April kicks off with a show from the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, which features some Rookie action and some interesting hopefuls.
The main event of this card will see Takayuki Sakai (8-1-2, 6) take on Tomoki Takada (6-4-2, 3) over 8 rounds. For Sakai, the bout will see him hunting a 6th straight win and building on a very good victory over Pharanpetch Tor Buamas, aka Amphol Suriyo. Since losing in August 2016 Sakai has gone 6-0-1 and a solid, if unspectacular run coming into this bout. Takada ont he other hand has won his last 2, but has suffered 3 stoppage losses and doesn't appear to be the most durable fighter out there.
In the main supporting bout Ryuki Ishii (9-3, 5) will look to continue his good form, as he takes on Filipino puncher Reymond Yanong (9-4-1, 8). Last time out Ishii beat Zirolian Riku, and has won 3 in a row since losing to Kazuma Sanpei back in October 2017. Yanong has been stopped in 2 of his last 3, but certainly has the power to trouble Ishii here.
The 2018 Rookie of the Year runner up Haruki Ishikawa (6-1, 5) will be looking to kick off his 2019 as he takes on Alvin Medura (8-3, 7), in what will be his first bout since losing to Yusei Fujikawa in December last year. This has the ingredients of being a very, very explosive and fun encounter!
In a Rookie of the Year bout Kyonosuke Kameda (2-1, 1) will take on Takuya Inamori (1-3). Kameda, part of the clan that has already given us 3 world champions, will be seeking a third straight win since being stopped on debut at the start of 2018, Inamori on the other hand will be looking to bounce back from his third career defeat, earlier this year.
On Monday we kick off a new year and for fans in the Japanese capital it will seem like nothing has chances as Kyoei put on a show at the Differ Ariake.
The show isn't as big as the two shows that ended 2017 but is still a notable one with a splattering of notable fighters.
Arguably the most distinguished of those fighters is Jun Yabuki (9-0, 4), who recently won the Japanese female Minimumweight title with a win over Fuka Komura. The 26 year old won't be defending her title, but will be in an 8 round bout, against a visiting Thai foe.
Yabuki is right in the middle of the card, despite her status as national champion. That's partly because she will be in action before the latest of the Kameda family to turn professional. That's Koki, Daiki and Tomoki's cousin Kyosuke Kameda (0-0) who kicks of his professional career with a bout against Shinnosuke Kimoto (2-1), who has won two bouts since a close loss on debut at the start of 2017.
The other bout on top of Yabuki's is the show's main event, which will see Joe Vlog (0-0) make his professional boxing debut against John Yano (2-3). The debutant is known in Japan for his youtube exploits, and saw his profile balloon in 2017 thanks to an exhibition contest against Koki Kameda on Abema TV, with Koki later taking the role of his trainer. A win for him here would be huge news and kick off a new joint deal with Kyoei and Abema. Yano, a Filipino based in Japan, appears to have been selected as a safe opponent for Vlog to shine against and this should be an easy win if the debutant wants any creditability going forward.
*Note - Joe Vlog is a name taken from the fighter's youtube, he may be fighting under an alternative name going forward