Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Tuesday we'll see the next show from the Ohashi Gym, and it's one that will show case some of the top young talent in Japan.
The main event of the show will see WBO Asia Pacific Light Welterweight champion Andy Hiraoka (20-0, 15) defending his title against the crude, but hard hitting Filipino Alvin Lagumbay (13-5-1, 11). The talented Hiraoka is touted as Japan's biggest and best hope at 140lbs, and the hope is that this will be his last bout at this level, before progressing onto facing top 20 or so fighters, and begin moving towards a world title fight. As for Lagumbay he is very dangerous, as we saw in his first bout with Keita Obara, but he's certainly not unbeatable, and Hiraoka should have the tools to beat him. Our preview of this bout can be read here Hiraoka faces dangerous Lagumbay
In a major supporting bout third generation fighter Keisuke Matsumoto (5-0, 5) will look to continue his rise through the ranks, as he takes on Ryota Ishida (11-3, 6). The talented Matsumoto is stepping up here, and it's something that he's needed to do, though he shouldn't struggle with Ishida who was stopped inside a round last time out by Kai Watanabe.
In a mouth watering bout we'll see two unbeaten hopefuls face off as Ryutaro Nakagaki (2-0-2, 2) takes on Kyotaro Yoshida (2-0). Nakagaki turned professional with a lot of expectations on his shoulders following an excellent amateur career, but has had back to back draws coming into this bout, and desperately needs a win, but isn't being given a gimmie here as Yoshida was also a talented amateur. Notably Yoshida hasn't been hugely active since making his debut over a year ago, but he will see this as his chance to make an impact, whilst Nakagako looks to get back to winning ways.
One other unbeaten fighters on this card is Kantaro Juri (4-0, 2), who takes on Filipino fighter Danrick Sumabong (12-2, 9). Juri is very highly regarded and the 26 year old was last seen sending former world title challenger Masayuki Kuroda into retirement. On paper this is a step backwards for him, but we'd rather a fighter takes a step back rather than sits inactive, which has been an issue for Juri since his 2019 debut. Even as a step back Sumabong is no push over, and he showed what he could do when he pushed Alphoe Dagayloan all the way, and since then he has won 5 in a row.
The first Japanese show of the new month takes place this coming Wednesday and is an interesting one in Tokyo, featuring a very good step up for a promising professional novice.
The first bout of note on the show will see touted Bantamweight hopeful Kyotaro Yoshida (1-0) look to build on his 2021 debut win, over Hiroki Kinjo, as he takes on Kanta Sakai (4-4-1, 1). On paper this isn't a step up, more of a lateral step, but a good chance for Yoshida to another good 6 rounds under his belt as he looks to move onwards and upwards. He is an excellent talented, and we suspect it will only be a matter of time before he finds himself stepping up towards Japanese ranked opponents. Sakai has been stopped in 3 of his 4 losses, but if 4-1 in his last 5 and seems to have bounced back well from 3 stoppage losses in his first 4 bouts.
In the main event the hard hitting Daiju Hamaguchi (6-5, 4) will be going up against Japanese ranked Super Bantamweight fighter Naoto Mizutani (8-7-2, 3). Hamaguchi is limited, but very dangerous early on and his last 3 wins have all come in the opening round, which could make this interesting given that Mizutani has been stopped in 5 of his 7 losses. Despite having a reputation as being fragile Mizutani can box and wins over the likes of Joe Tanooka and Naoya Okamoto have shown that and he'll be looking to neutralise Hamaguchi and do what he needs to to take a decision.
Notably there was a planned OPBF female Minimumweight title fight, which was supposed to see defending champion Mizuki Chimoto (3-0, 1) taking on on Kaori Nagai (6-3-3, 2), the Japanese Atomweight champion. Sadly however this bout was cancelled back in February.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Wednesday is a solid day for Japanese fight fans in Tokyo, thanks to a Dangan and Watanabe promoted show headlined by a WBO Asia Pacific title bout, and featuring several solid match ups on the under-card.
The main event is a truly brilliant match up as the much touted Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0, 4) defends the WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title against fellow unbeaten Toshiki Kawamitsu (6-0, 3). The explosive Shigeoka hasn't fought since stopping Rey Loreto at the end of 2019, and has had a really frustrating 18 months or so, needing to recover from an injury having several dates slip away. Given his long break from the ring and the issues that covid has had on his career it's hard to really know where Shigeoka is at mentally coming in to this. Kawamitsu on the other hand has really made his name in the "covid-era" of boxing with a brilliant win in 2020 over Kenshi Noda, in a truly fantastic fight, and a swift win over Kosuke Ando this past January. Those wins have helped put Kawamitsu on the map and a win here would boost him to the verges of a world title fight. This is a bout that should be explosive, high tempo, and a must watch for fans of the lower weights. Our full preview of this bout can be read here Shigeoka returns as he takes on unbeaten Kawamitsu!
The chief support bout is a genuinely brilliant one as the heavy handed Shu Utsuki (8-0, 7) takes on the skilled Ryo Nakai (2-0-1, 1) in a great 8 round Lightweight clash. The hard hitting Utsuki, who is banging on the door of a title fight, has stopped his last 6 opponents in a combined 21 rounds and looks like he's ready for a serious test after wins over the likes of Jerry Castroverde and Masashi Wakita. Although not too well known Nakai is no push over, and is instead a very talented boxer, who has rebuilt well since a draw on his debut. Although talented we do feel this is maybe a little bit too soon for Nakai, who perhaps could have done with 2 or 3 more fights before facing someone as dangerous as Utsuki.
In another interesting supporting bout we'll see the once beaten Fumiya Fuse (9-1, 1) battle against Fuya Tomita (6-2, 2). The talented Fuse, who won Rookie of the Year in 2017, will be fighting for the first time since he beat Melmark Dignos in last 2019, and with more than 18 months out it's going to be interesting to see how he looks here. Tomita on the other hand has been surprisingly busy in recent years, and has fought 3 times since since November 2020, including his win in the All Japan Rookie of the Year in February. Not only is Tomita active and in good form, but he's also a physical freak standing at close to 6 foot, despite fighting as a Bantamweight! This is going to be a very, very tough bout for Fuse.
Also on this card is the debut of 24 year old Watanabe hopeful Kyotaro Yoshida (0-0), who went 32-13 in the amateurs, who takes on the once beaten Hiroki Kinjo (5-1, 4). The talented debutant is expected to be a bright hope for the Watanabe gym and someone the gym could move quickly in the coming years. Kinjo on the other hand is 21 and debuted back in 2018, winning his first 5 before losing to the aforementioned Fuya Tomita last November. Prior to that loss Kinjo had been matched softly and this is certainly one of his toughest bouts so far.