The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex, Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines
The main show this coming Sunday is in the Philippines, where we see two notable Filipino hopefuls in action, along with a veteran.
The most notable bout on the card will see Charly Suarez (12-0, 7) take on Carlo Magali (25-13-3, 13) in a bout for the unified GAB and WBA Asia Featherweight titles. The 34 year old Suarez is a real talented, and it's a shame, in many ways, that he didn't begin his professional journey until 2019, which was way too late and then he essentially saw his career stall due to the pandemic. Since turning professional he has looked class, but is running out of time to make a big impact. As for Magali he is a former OPBF champion and is better than his record suggests but has gone 2-4 in his last 6 and is without a fight since 2019, suggesting his hunger for an upset here might not be what it was just a few years ago.
Unbeaten puncher Weljon Mindoro (8-0, 8) will be looking to continue his current and score a 9th straight stoppage as he takes on Junjesie Ibgos (13-6, 11). On paper this looks a good test for Mindoro, however Ibgos has been stopped in his last 3, and 4 of his last 5, and is with out a win in over 4 years. The 22 year old Mindoro is one to watch, and someone to keep a close eye on over the coming years, but we would like to see him begin to face international opponents in the next 12-18 months, rather than continue against fellow Filipino fighters.
One other fight worth of attention sees veteran fighter Mark John Yap (30-17, 15) fight for the 48th time as a professional, as he takes on Junior Kauko Raka (2-1, 2) from Papua New Guinea. Raka scored a notable win over Allan Vallespin on debut but was beaten by Roldan Aldea last time out. As for Yap he's one of those fighters who has been there, fought there and has the T-Shirt, however he has lost his last 4 and 5 of his last 6, and it's unclear how badly he wants to win fights now a days, with his last win coming in March 2019.
Yuto Sogo Gym, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan
In Japan we get a small card packed with 4 rounders. Hard to say much about this card, but from the 14 fighters scheduled for the show, there are 6 debutants. Notably the most experienced fighter on the card is 28 year old Masami Moriizumi (5-11-1, 4), who takes on Masashi Tokihiro (1-3-2, 1). Moriizumi has a bizarre record that saw him going 5-0-1 (4) to begin his career, before losing 11 in a row and is now without a win since 2013. Tokihiro on the other hand won his debut, but has gone win-less in his 5 fights since then.
Rangsit International Stadium, Rangsit
Over in Thailand we have a very notable bout as Saowaluk Nareepangsri (13-19, 6) clashes with Kullathida Kueasanor (3-0, 2) in a bout for the vacant Thai Female Light Flyweight title. Aged 28 the experienced Saowaluk has faced a bit of a who's who including Kayoko Ebata, Masae Akitaya, Ayaka Miyao, Cherneka Johnson and Hee Jung Yuh, however she has picked up a loss every time she's fought anyone of note. Aged 15 Kullathida is a boxing baby, but a win here would make her one of the youngest title holders in world boxing, and give her career a huge shot at such an early stage.
This coming Sunday is a busy day in Asia with a trio of notable cards in Asia.
City Sogo Gym, Hirakata, Osaka, Japan
For us the most interesting of those cards is the Green Tsuda gym, that features a really nice mix of youngsters and notable names, along with the retirement ceremony of former Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada (20-8, 17).
The most notable bout on the card is an all Japan contest between rising youngster Toshiki Shimomachi (14-1-2, 10) and the hard hitting Takuya Mizuno (17-3-1, 14). The talented Shimomachi is best known for winning the All Japan Rookie of the Year in 2017, and since then has gone on to win the Japanese Youth Bantamweight title and slowly move towards a bout for a senior title. He comes into this on the back of 5 stoppage wins, including ones against Hiroki Hanabusa and Jerry Castroverde. Mizuno on the other hand is a noted puncher, but has struggled recently, losing his last 2 bouts and is without a win in the last 3 years. If Mizuno has ambition he should give Shimomachi a genuinely test here, but it's hard to know what hunger he has after being out of the ring for almost 2 year.
Shimomachi's stable mate Jinki Maeda (9-0, 4), also a former All Japan Rookie of the Year winner, will be looking to continue his winning run as he takes on hard hitting Filipino Jhunriel Ramonal (17-10-6, 10), in a really tough step up bout. The talented Maeda is a very nice boxer-puncher, who has gone under the radar with fans outside of Japan, and he'll know that he needs to step up to make a buzz on the regional scene. On paper Ramonal shouldn't be a test, but records don't fight and Ramonal has proven to be a nasty puncher and a really dangerous fighter, with notable KO's against the likes of Yusaku Kuga and Shingo Wake. If Maeda isn't careful here he could well find himself on the receiving end of a shock KO.
At Welterweight we'll see the always entertaining Aso Ishiwaki (9-5-1, 7) take on hard hitting Thai visitor Achariya Boonmoh (12-0, 11). Although not the best fighter out there Ishiwaki is a very fan friendly warrior, with an aggressive style and a real will to win. He will however need to show some real resolve here as the 21 year old Boonmoh is a nasty puncher, who has stopped his last 11 foes, in a combined 31 rounds. Notably the Thai is stepping up, massively here and hasn't faced anyone of any real note, but will feel confidence given how he has been destroying opponents so far.
Another Thai puncher on this card is Sitthisak Simsri (12-0, 12), the younger brother of Thanongsak Simsri, who will be risking his WBA ranking against the once beaten Toshiki Kawamitsu (6-1, 3). The 20 year old Simsri has never faced anyone of any note so far, but has been taking out his limited opposition in quick fashion, with his bouts lasting less than 3 rounds on average. As for Kawamitsu, he has been inactive since being stopped in 2 rounds last year by Ginjiro Shigeoka, and it's hard to know what his hunger will be like, and what his confidence will be like against someone as hard hitting as Simsri.
The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex, Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines
The more notable of two Filipino cards comes from Metro Manila where we see a number of notable fighters in action.
The most notable bout on the card sees unbeaten hopeful Charly Suarez (11-0, 7) take on veteran Mark John Yap (30-16, 15), with Suarez looking to defend his WBA Asia Super Featherweight title. The unbeaten Suarez was touted for big things when he turned professional, but now aged 33 he really is running out of time if he's to land a major international fight. As for Yap he was once a very good Bantamweight, and a legitimate top level regional fighter. Now a days however it's hard to know what to expected from him and he is 1-4 in his last 5 dating back 4 years. He has lost his last 3 and we don't think moving to Super Featherweight will be a good move for him here.
In a really solid match up we'll see Al Toyogon (12-6-1, 8) take on Allan Villanueva (11-2, 8), in what is a pretty even looking match up. Toyogon has lost 4 of his last 6, but they include defeats to the likes of Ryo Sagawa, Shuya Masaki and Jorge Linares, and he has notched wins in his last 2 bouts. As for Villanueva he has lost his last 2, but they have come to very solid domestic opponents. The winner of this will claim the WBF Asia Pacific Lightweight title, a very low quality title, but something that both men will be fighting hard for, given their opportunities for bigger titles will be limited.
Another WBF title fight, this time for their International Minimumweight title, will see the criminally under-rated Lito Dante (18-11-4, 10) take on Clyde Azarcon (17-4-1, 6). On paper Azarcon should be the favourite here, but the 27 year old has a very padded record, and has been stopped in the opening round of 2 of his last 4 bouts. As for Dante his record is underwhelming in terms of numbers, but he has some very solid wins including a TKO over future world title challenger Tsubasa Koura. Over 10 rounds Dante is a total nightmare, and it's hard to imagine him losing here to Azarcon.
Sibonga, Cebu, Philippines
A second Filipino card will be held in Sibonga, where we see two notable bouts.
The most notable of the bouts on this card will see once beaten fighters collide, as April Jay Abne (9-1, 5) takes on Christian Bacolod (14-1, 10). For Abne the bout will see him look to score his third win since a shock December 2021 loss to Garen Diagan, and he will feel he has the tools to deal with Bacolod. As for Bacolod he has won two in a row since a hotly contest 2019 loss to Thanongsak Simsri, though they have come at a very low level and this is a notable step back up in class for him. This has a genuine 50-50 feel and is the type of bout we really want to see more of in the Philippines.
The other notable bout on this card will see Bryan James Wild (8-0, 6) look to continue his winning run, as he takes on limited veteran Mateo Handig (15-21, 9). Wild struggled past Jason Dogelio back in May and with that in mind it's little wonder he's facing someone who has no ambition or drive to win, such as Handig here. At his best Handig was a solid Minimumweight fighter, and he holds a controversial win over Katsunari Takayama, however since then he has gone 2-16-1 and moved through the weights with a complete lack of success
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
After a low profile Rookie of the Year card on July 12th in Kariya we see higher level action return to Japan this coming Thursday as we get the first card in Tokyo since February. Thankfully this is actually worthy of attention, despite only having 2 bouts on it. This is a card where quality comes first, and the two bouts we get are both very solid match ups.
The first of the bouts on the show will see OPBF Featherweight champion Satoshi Shimizu (8-1, 8) defending his title against Kyohei Tonomoto (9-2-1, 4), in what will be Shimizu's 5th defense of the belt and Tonomoto's first bout at Oriental level. Shimizu won the belt way back in October 2017 and looked like he was going to quickly rise through the rankings, but a 6th round TKO loss at Super Featherweight last July put a stop to that and injuries delayed his return. Now aged 34 he can't afford another set back if he's to get a world title shot. Whilst Shimizu had a nightmare 2019 Tonomoto had a solid year winning, and defending, the Japanese Youth Featherweight title. Aged 25 Tonomoto will know that a win here will put him on the boxing map, but he will also know that he's been chosen as a supposedly safe opponent for Shimizu, given the champion's inactivity and recent injury woes. Our preview of this bout can be read here Shimizu returns to Featherweight to defend OPBF title!
The other title bout on this show is a Champion Carnival bout and will see Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) defending his belt against mandatory challenger Daishi Nagata (14-2-1, 5). This bout was originally supposed to take place in March before being delayed, originally due to Inoue being injured, to May which it's self was delayed by the on going global situation. As a stand alone bout this is an excellent match up with Inoue, the cousin of Naoya and Takuma, looking to extend his reign and Nagata looking to claim a title in his second title fight. Style wise we're expecting this to be a really fun contest, with Nagata pressuring the more naturally skilled champion, who will stand and fight in spurts. Although we feel the champion will have too much we do expect this to be a very, very good fight and the ideal type of bout to headline the first Korakuen Hall boxing show in months. Our preview of this bout can be read here Koki Inoue returns to the ring to take on mandatory challenger!
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Former OPBF Bantamweight champion Mark John Yap (30-15, 15) looks to end his 2 fight losing run as he takes on former world title challenger Miguel Marriaga (29-3, 25). Although Yap is fighting above his best weight, and has never really refound the form he had when he was fighting out of the Muto Gym, he's going to be alive under-dog here against the big punching Marriaga. The heavy handed Marriaga is the naturally bigger man, and has only lost at world level, but there are questions about his mental attitude after his 2017 bout with Vasyl Lomachenko.
On the same card will be fellow Filipino John Vincent Moralde (23-3, 13), who will be up against Mexican Alexis del Bosque (17-5, 9) in what looks like a very interesting match up and an even contest on paper.
Seoul, South Korea
The biggest show this coming Sunday comes from Seoul where the KBF put on a title double header, which also involves one of the hopes of Korean boxing.
The main event will see In Duck Seo (10-1-2, 6) and Heuk San Lee (9-0-2, 4), battling for the KBF Welterweight title. For Seo this will be his first defense of the title whilst Lee looks to claim the KBF title, adding to a previous reign as the BoxingM Light Middleweight champion. This could be a really, really good fight.
The second KBF title fight will take place at Light Middleweight, with Dong Woo Kim (5-2, 3) taking on Tae Young Suh (4-0-1). This is the biggest bout for both men so far and will see the winner really get a big win on their record, at least in terms of the domestic scene, but it's hard to imagine either man making a mark above domestic level, at least any time soon.
Another notable fight sees the once very highly regarded Ye Joon Kim (16-1-2, 8) take on Muaty Thai fighter, turned boxer, Anocha Phuangkaew (2-0, 2). The Thai is said to be 45-5 in Muay Thai and could prove to be a very dangerous opponent for the unorthodox Kim, who will be fighting for the second time since ending a 2 year break from the ring.
In Thailand fans will get a small card in Pattaya. One of the bouts on that card will see Thai based, Armenian born Russian Arest Saakyan (2-0) attempt to extend his unbeaten run as he takes on the debuting Boonyarit Boonyai (0-0).
Also pencilled in for this card is Thai based British fighter Michael Alan Flannery (1-0, 1), who looks to build on his debut win back in January.
Misamis Oriental, Philippines
It is worth noting that a Filipino show was announced with former OPBF champion Mark John Yap (29-13, 14), Jess Rhey Waminal (12-2-1, 7) and Marco John Rementizo (9-3, 6) all announced for the show. Sadly details of this card sort of vanished and it's unclear if the show is going to take place, and if so who is actually going to be in action. All 3 of the fighters mentioned are fantastic and we really the show does take place, but the lack of noise from those involved and lack of details would suggest that the opponent would be very late notice fighters.
This coming Tuesday attention turns back to the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo as Hideyuki Ohashi puts on a really interesting and notable card with a fantastic headline bout, and several notable fighters on the under-card.
The main event will be a WBC Bantamweight world title eliminator, as OPBF Bantamweight champion Mark John Yap (29-12, 14) takes on the unbeaten Takuma Inoue (11-0, 3) for a shot at the currently vacant WBC Bantamweight title. Yap hasn't got a fantastic record, but comes into this bout on the back of a fantastic 10 fight winning run, including wins against the likes of Hiroyuki Kudaka, Takahiro Yamamoto, Kentaro Masuda and Takafumi Nakajima. Inoue, the younger brother of Naoya Inoue, has long been tipped for the top but an injury in 2016 slowed his rise. On paper this might look like a mismatch, due to the records, but in reality this is a fantastic 50-50 contest.
A full preview of that bout can be read here - Takuma Inoue and Mark John Yap clash in WBC Eliminator!
One of the main support bouts will see Ryo Matsumoto (21-2, 19) return to the ring for the first time since he lost to Daniel Roman in a WBA Super Bantamweight title fight earlier this year. The touted Matsumoto will be up against the in form Ryo Sagawa (4-1, 2), who has won his last 3 including a major domestic upset against Junki Sasaki. This should be a straight forward return to domestic level for Matsumoto but it'll be interesting to see what his confidence is like following the loss to Roman, where he was out boxed, out thought and out fought.
Another notable supporting bout will see Japanese Light Welterweight Youth champion Andy Hiraoka (12-0, 8) defending his title against Ukyo Yoshigai (6-2, 5), in what will be the second between the two men. These two fought back in August 2017, with Hiraoki stopping Yoshigai to claim the Japanese Youth title, which he has since defended once. Yoshigai will be seeking revenge, but will be be the under-dog against one of the top young talents in Japan.
Lower down on the under-card fans will be able to see former amateur stand out Katsuya Yasuda (2-0, 1) take on experienced Indonesian Anshori Anhar Pitulay (9-16-2, 6), in what is likely to be a mismatch, whilst Taku Kuwahara (1-0, 1) faces off with Ardi Tefa (6-7-1, 4), in what suspect will be a quick blow out win for the unbeaten Japanese fighter.
Ichiriki put on their next show this coming Wednesday at the Korakuen Hall, with a pretty interesting looking card headlined by an OPBF title fight, with several pretty good bouts coming under it.
The main event of the card will see Japanese based Filipino Mark John Yap (28-12, 14) make his next defense of the OPBF Bantamweight title, as he takes on veteran Takafumi Nakajima (29-9-1, 13), in what could be Nakajima's final bout. The talented Yap has had a real surge in the last few years, winning his last 9 bouts, claiming the OPBF title and making 2 notable defenses and is moving towards a world title fight, despite his less than perfect looking record. Nakajima on the other hand has struggled at times in recent years, , despite being 7-3 in his last 10. Those losses are nothing to be ashamed by, losing to Hidenori Otake, Jonathan Baat and Kosuke Saka, but at the age of 33 it's unclear what he really has left.
In a real must win we'll see Masashi Noguchi (12-9-1, 6) battle Tatsuya Yanagi (14-5-1, 5) for the second time. Noguchi fought for the Japanese Lightweight title back in December 2016, when he was stopped in 3 rounds by Shuhei Tsuchiya, and since then he has gone 0-3, with his career clearly on the rocks. Aged 28 Noguchi isn't an old fighter, but with with 4 straight losses, 3 of those by stoppage, there is clearly a feeling that his career might be heading to the end. Yanagi saved his career last year, going 3-0 for the year following a 0-3-1 run prior to his winning run. Among those 3 wins for Yanagi was a decision over Noguchi and another here really could end Noguchi and put Yanagi in the title mix.
A pretty interesting 8 rounder will see Ryuji Ikeda (12-4-2, 8) face off with Kentaro Endo (7-7-1, 6). Ikeda was beaten last time out by Darragh Foley, and he's now 1-2-1 in his last 4, with his only win coming over a very limit Thai in Bangkok last year. As for Endo his record is similarly patchy, though he has been competitive with Daishi Nagata and Kazuki Matsuyama and did look destructive last time out when he stopped Tatsuya Miyazaki. This could be a lot more competitive than the records suggest.
Another very exciting match up will see Tasuku Nakagawa (7-2-1, 3) battle against Filipino banger Jon Jon Estrada (10-4-1, 9). The 24 year old Nakagawa comes into this on the back of a big opening round win against Akihiko Katagiri and will be full of confidence coming into this one. Estrada on the other hand is a real danger man who was stopped last time out by Jeson Umbal but does hold notable stoppages against Brian Lobetania and the teak tough Pablito Canada. The Filipino will not have travelled to pick up a loss here.
This coming Sunday is a busy day in Japan with 3 shows in the country, with 2 of those taking place in Osaka.
The most significant of those is a multi-title show from Muto promotions, with the card being headlined by OPBF Middleweight champion Koki Tyson (13-2-2, 11), who faces off with veteran Yasuyuki Akiyama (11-7-1, 8). The bout will see Tyson defending his OPBF title and also look to add the WBO Asia Pacific title, which is currently vacant but on the line for this bout. It's hard to see past a win for Tyson, given he holds almost every advantage, but the bout is likely to be the final one of Akiyama's career, and he will almost certainly give everything he has here.
A second OPBF title fight will see Bantamweight champion Mark John Yap (27-12, 13) seek his second defense, as he puts his title on the line against Japanese foe Seizo Kono (19-8-1, 12). The Japanese based Filipino champion will be making his second defense of the title, following his dramatic win over Kentaro Masuda, and knows that if he can continue on his current winning streak there is a chance he will be able to move towards a world title fight. For Kono the bout perhaps comes at the perfect time, with the Japanese man having won his last 4, and seemingly ended his blotchy form, which saw him going 2-5. Despite being on a bit of a run this is still a big ask for Kono.
In a rematch we'll see former multi-time world title challengers collide, as Hirofumi Mukai (14-5-3, 4) and Inthanon Sithchamuang (31-9-1, 19) battle for the WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title, just as they did in November 2016. In their first meeting Mukai stopped the Thai in 3 rounds, but since then he has gone 1-1, beating a novice Thai and being stopped in a war with Rex Tso. As for Inthanon, he's fought once since losing to Mukai, also a win over a novice Thai. It's fair to say that Mukai will be favoured, given how easily he won the first contest between the two, but it'll be interesting to see what the Tso bout took out of him.
A second Japan Vs Thailand bout for a WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title will see the once beaten Masahiro Sakamoto (10-1, 6) take on veteran former world champion Kwanthai Sithmorseng (50-4-1, 27). Aged 26 Sakamoto is just coming into his prime and the Flyweight will be looking to claim the biggest win of his career here. His only loss came in a bout for this very same title last year, when he suffered a very close loss to current WBO world champion Sho Kimura, and he will know that a win against Kwanthai could push him into the world title mix. As for Kwanthai, he's a long way removed from the man who claimed the WBA Minimumweight title in 2010. He has gone 19-4 since that win, but suffered 2 stoppages and only beaten very limited opposition. This should be a win for Sakamoto, but the question is really “how impressive does he look here?”
A second show in Osaka will be promoted by Green Tsuda and although not a big card does have one of the day's most interesting contests on it, as well as the continued push of a man who has been matched hard through his career.
That hard matched man is Takayuki Okumoto (18-8-3, 8), who's record doesn't suggest anything special but he did recently challenge Japanese Super Flyweight champion Ryuichi Funai, and ran Eaktwan BTU Ruaviking close in 2016. The Japanese fighter will be up against a Thai foe here, and should, easily, pick up the win in the card's main event.
Arguably the most interesting match up of the day is a supporting contest between two once tipped amateur stars, both in need of a big win after recent set backs. In one corner will be Kazuki Tanaka (7-1, 5), a Green Tsuda man who was tipped as a star but was stopped last time out by Ryohei Takahashi. Like Tanaka we saw Hikaru Marugame (6-2-1, 4) turn professional with high expectations, having competed on the international stage in the amateurs, but with 2 losses and a draw in his last 4 bouts those expectations are quickly dying. A loss here for either man would likely spell the end of any hope of them becoming a notable name, and the bout really is a must win for both.
A third card from Japan this coming Sunday is from Aichi, and is certainly one with an international feel, given the three most notable bouts all feature a visitor.
The main event sees former Japanese Light Middleweight title challenger Ryosuke Maruki (14-4-1, 9) take on Indonesia's Filipus Rangga (10-17, 1). The Japanese fighter looked like one to watch when he lost to Yuki Nonaka, with some suggesting just a tiny bit of seasoning was needed, and since then he has picked up two stoppage wins and looks like a genuine domestic contender, with a second title fight perhaps only a few bouts away. Rangga began his career 5-1 but since then has gone 5-16 and really is a very limited fighter on the domestic scene, and has fought at much higher weights. Not only is Rangga smaller, older, and less talented but he is also making his international debut. In all honesty Maruki should be disappointed if this goes beyond 6 rounds.
In an interesting support bout fans will see the pretty solid Shogo Yamaguchi (10-3-2, 5) take on domestically ranked Indonesian Lightweight Sam Puadi (7-8, 5). Yamaguchi has gone 1-3-1 in his last 5, though has faced the likes of Akihiro Kondo and Andy Hiraoka during that run, and really needs a win to kick start his once fledgling career. The visitor is 0-2 outside of Indonesia, including a loss earlier this year in Japan to Yuki Harada, though it's fair to say that the visitor will feel he has half a chance here against a very out of form Yamaguchi.
Also on this card will be a Heavyweight bout, as top ranked Japanese Heavyweight Kotatsu Takehara (13-11-3, 7) takes on Korean visitor Hoo Won Lee (4-3). The 39 year old Takehara is a 2 time Japanese title challenger and although he came up short in both bouts, to Kyotaro Fujimoto, he is a game fighter. Interestingly Takehara will be fighting for the first time since May 2016, when Japanese rules actually forbid him from fighting, and will surely be wanting to prove age is just a number. The 24 year old Korean visitor has age on his side, but the former Korean Heavyweight champion is stepping up in a big way here, and was stopped in a round back in June. If Takehara is half the fighter he was he should win, if he loses however it's got to be the end for him.
Seoul, South Korea
Fans in Korea will get their own title bout, as the unbeaten In Duck Seo (8-0-1, 5) takes on the limited Joong Kyung Lee (3-2) in a bout for the KBF Light Middleweight title. Seo is unbeaten, but could only a manage a draw last time out, in a very good match up against Dong Hee Kim down at 140lbs. As for Lee, who will be having his 6th bout of the year, this bout follows an 8 round loss to Moon Sung Choi and he will certainly be coming into this one looking to score a big domestic win.
This coming Sunday Japanese fight fans in Osaka are in for a treat as they get an OPBF title triple header with supporting bouts featuring a hot prospect and a former 2-time world title challenger.
The former world title challenger is Hirofumi Mukai (13-5-3, 3), who was last seen losing a thriller with Rex Tso in Hong Kong. Although Mukai was battered by Tso he put on a brave and courageous showing and it'll be nice to see him back in action, even if he is facing a Thai who has been picked to help Mukai rebuild. The other notable fighter on the under-card is former Japanese Minimumeight title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (7-1, 5), who also faces a Thai foe. For Taniguchi the bout will be his first since suffering a narrow loss to Reiya Konishi for the Japanese title, and we suspect he will be in there with a point to prove.
The first of the three title bouts will see OPBF Light Middleweight champion Ratchasi Sithsaithong (8-3, 6) defending his title against Jumbo Oda Nobunaga Shoten Petagine (10-4, 8). For the Thai the bout will be his first defense and see him return to Japan following a massive come-from-behind victory against Yutaka Oishi back in April. For Petagine this will be his first title fight and although neither fighter is a big name the bout should be a good chance for the winner to begin making a name for themselves.
The stand out bout, on paper at least, will see OPBF Bantamweight champion Mark John Yap (26-12, 12) defending his title against former 2-time Japanese champion Kentaro Masuda (27-7, 15). On paper this bout may not get pulses racing but fans who have followed the two fighters will know their records are misleading, and both fighters can really go. Both hit harder than their records suggest, both are in good form and both are world ranked by the WBC and IBF, essentially making this a world title eliminator as well as an Oriental title bout.
The third, and final, OPBF title bout on the card will see Middleweight champion Koki Tyson (12-2-2, 11) defending his title against Japanese based American puncher Brandon Lockhart Shane (8-5-1, 7). On paper this looks like an easy win for the defending champion, who is younger, bigger and more proven than the challenger, however the challenger can puncher, and Tyson has got a suspect chin. The champion should retain, but we wouldn't be surprised if he showed a lot of respect to the American here, and looked to use his size, rather than his power, to defend his title.
The biggest show this week, at least for Asian fans, takes place on Sunday and features a title triple header as Shinsei gym give us fight fans a real treat.
The main event of the card will see WBA “regular” Super Bantamweight champion Nehomar Cermeno (26-5-1-1, 15) take on unbeaten Japanese challenger Shun Kubo (11-0, 8), with Kubo getting his first world title bout. Coming in to this Cermeno is enjoying an Indian summer in regards to his career and and reeled off 4 wins last year, including 2 against Qiu Xiao Jun and one against Nop Kratingdaenggym, to claim and defend the title. Although good last year the champion is 37 and has had a long career. Aged 26 Shinsei gym view Kubo as the next Hozumi Hasegawa and know that a win here would see Hyogo based gym have their next star. For Kubo the bout is a huge step up in class, but he and his team wouldn't have taken this bout if they weren't confident of coming out on top in what should be a bout that answers a lot of questions about both men.
In a supporting bout we'll see OPBF title action as OPBF Lightweight champion Masayoshi Nakatani (13-0, 8) takes on once beaten Thai challenger Kaewfah Tor Buamas (23-1, 16). For the champion this will be his 7th defense of the title, a title that he won more than 3 years ago, and it's arguably one of the more interesting defenses on paper. As for the Thai this is a must win bout given that he was dominated by Czar Amonsot last year, before being stopped in round 7. If Nakatani, as we suspect, wins here there will be serious talk of him getting a world title fight, and it could well be that he gets such a shot later this year, or early next year. For the Thai a win would be a shock, and it would take a career defining performance for him to walk away as the Oriental champion.
In another title bout from this card we see unbeaten youngsters clash in a bout for the vacant Japanese Minimumweight title. The bout will see Reiya Konishi (12-0, 5) battle with Watanabe's exciting Masataka Taniguchi (6-0, 4). Aged 23 Konishi has been a professional since 2013 and made his first real mark in 2014, when he claimed the Rookie of the Year crown. Despite being the Rookie of the Year in 2014 he's not really progressed and hasn't really moved forward in his career in 2015 or 2016. Taniguchi is also 23 but has been a professional for just over a year, debuting last April, and has already impressed with a very notable win last October against Dexter Alimento being a stand out win. Although flawed, and inexperienced, Taniguchi has been seen as a fighter on the fast track and a win here would put him on to the fringes of a world title fight.
Also on this card will be the once beaten Sho Nakazawa (9-1, 4), who will be up against Filipino visitor John Ray Logatiman (5-4-2, 1).
A second card in Osaka will be put on by Muto gym, and unfortunately whilst it does boast some notable names, the card looks to be a very one sided one. In fact it looks to be little more than a bunch of mismatches.
The main event of the card will see OPBF Bantamweight champion Mark John Yap (25-12, 11) fight in a stay busy contest against a Thai foe. In a leading support bout former OPBF, Japanese and IBF Asia Light Middleweight champion Takayuki Hosokawa (28-11-5, 9) will fight in his retirement, also against a Thai foe, and Masahiro Sakamoto (8-1, 4) is also set to take on a Thai visitor. Sadly none of the Thai's are known quantities suggesting very limited visitors.
In an all-Japan bout we'll see Kazuyasu Okamoto (13-4, 3) battle with Ryo Okayama (8-3-1, 5), who returns to a Japanese ring for the first time since 2014.
There will be a third show in Osaka, though with much less attention than the other two.
The main event here will see Yuta Uetani (19-5-1, 9) facing off with a no-name Thai foe. Although Uetani's bout is the main event there will also be a domestic match up between Ken Osato (10-1-1, 3) and Keita Ito (8-20-2, 4), in what looks like a clear mismatch.
The only non-Osakan show on Saturday comes from Fukuoka and is again a low key show.
The main event here will be a really well matched 6 rounder as Yuki Hirashima (5-1-1, 1) battles against Shinji Uramoto (5-1, 4) in what should be a really good match up. Sadly the rest of the card is merely full of novices.
This coming Friday is a hectic day with 5 title bouts taking place in Japan.
In Kobe we get an OPBF quadruple header, with the card looking, at least on paper, like one of the most notable Oriental cards of the month. The bouts might not be 4 brilliant match up, but they will help establish the OPBF scene as we enter 2017, and at least 2 of the bouts look like they could be very interesting match ups.
The “main event”, well the final of the 4 main events, will see OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo (10-0, 7) defending his title, and unbeaten record, against Korean visitor Jin Wook Lim (8-4-5, 2). This was the first bout on the card to be known about and although it looks like a mismatch it could, potentially, be a good test for Kubo who will be looking for stiff competition next year. Lim, although having a sketchy record, is a former Korean champion and holds a draw with touted Korean prospect Ye Joon Kim, giving him some legitimacy as a challenger here.
In a bout at Lightweight we'll see Masayoshi Nakatani (12-0, 7) defending his title against former OPBF Super Featherweight champion Allan Tanada (14-5-3, 6). The bout will be Nakatani's 6th defense and will see him looking to build on wins against the likes of Ricky Sismundo, Accel Sumiyoshi and Tosho Makoto Aoki. For Tanada , who has actually lost 3 of his last 4, the bout sees him attempting to score his biggest win since his 2010 shock upset over Rikiya Fukuhara. Sadly for Tanada he's gone 4-5-3 since his win over Fukuhara almost 6 years ago and it's hard to imagine this being a win for the Filipino.
Arguably the most interesting bout on the card sees OPBF Bantamweight champion Takahiro Yamamoto (18-4, 15) defending his title against Japanese based Filipino Mark John Yap (24-12, 10). On paper this might not look like a great bout but the reality is that the contest is brilliantly well matched and puts an exciting and hard hitting champion up against a talented and tough young veteran. For Yamamoto the bout will be his third defense, but is a huge step up from his previous 2, whilst Yap will be looking to extend a 5 fight winning run which has included a notable upset over Tatsuya Ikemizu.
Another intriguing bout will see former world champion Merlito Sabillo (25-3-1, 12) battle with rising prospect Ryuya Yamanaka (12-2, 3) in a bout for the OPBF Minimumweight title. For Sabillo the bout sees him returning to Japan for the first time since his May loss to Riku Kano, which was for the OPBF interim title, and it's fair to say that the Filipino cannot afford another set back after going 2-3-1 in his last 6 bouts. Aged 21 Yamanaka knows that a win will open doors for potential world title bouts, but this bout is by far the toughest of his career and it's clear that he will need a career best performance to defeat the Filipino veteran.
The 4 title bouts in Kobe won't be the only title action in Japan, in fact we also have a world title bout in the country, featuring the longest reigning active world champion, and the one with the most defenses of their current title.
That world champion is WBA Atomweight champion Momo Koseki (22-2-1, 8) who looks to record her 17th defense of the title. In the opposite corner to Koseki will be the little known Chie Higano (6-4, 2), who will be making her first title challenger. On paper this looks like a mismatch and it's, unfortunately, hard to see anything but a win for Koseki, possibly by stoppage in the early rounds.
In an interesting supporting bout we'll see the unbeaten Takeshi Inoue (7-0-1, 3) take on Korean puncher Chan Ho Lee (5-1, 4). Inoue already has his next bout booked, a contest in January with Akinori Watanabe, has impressed and is being tipped as a potential Japanese title contender, but this is a bout against a live under-dog. Lee is unknown outside of Korea but has impressed on the domestic scene and scored a good win over Young Sub Han this past June. Although Inoue will be favoured this could be a good test for the Japanese fighter before the Watanabe bout.
In another Japan Vs Korean bout we'll see the brilliantly exciting and fast rising Kazuto Takesako (4-0, 4) battling against Kyung-Joon Ahn (6-3-1, 5). Takesako has taken out his first 4 opponents in just 7 combined rounds and will be looking to extend that run here. Ahn on the other hand is looking to bounce back from a stoppage loss to Shoma Fukumoto, from almost 3 years ago. On paper this looks like a decent test for Takesako but in reality it should be a bit of a mismatch and an early blow out for the Japanese prospect.
There is also a Japanese card in Osaka, in what is a busy day for Japanese fans. This is however this is a much smaller and less interesting card than the other two.
In the main event we'll see Middleweights clash as Ryuji Kanza (7-2, 5) takes on Japanese based American Brandon Lockhart Shane (7-5, 6) in what should be a really intriguing contest. Both guys are limited but both can bang and we'd not be shocked to see this one be a bit of a wild slugfest that lacks quality but is fun to watch.
In a supporting bout we'll see Yuki Takahashi (6-1, 2) take on Indonesian visitor Adam Alap Alap (0-1), who we've been informed is a top 15 ranked Indonesian Lightweight suggesting his record is incomplete
There's also action in China where we get the next League of Fists show.
The main event here is a brilliant match up between unbeaten men, as Zhi Quan Xie (4-0-3, 1) battles against Yelieqiati Nihemaituola (7-0-1, 1). The bout is a really intriguing one and should tell us a lot about both men, and their potential to go further in the sport.
In the US fans will be able to see hotly touted Filipino hopeful Harmonito Dela Torre (18-0, 12) fight for the second time on US soil. At the moment his opponent is an unknown but it's unlikely to be too much of a test for Dela Torre.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia fans will see two Asian fighters fighting in New South Wales.
One of those is China's Yong Zhang (5-5-1, 1), who faces a yet to be named opponent, whilst the other will be Korean Jeong Jin Park (1-5), who faces the unbeaten Michael Hall (3-0, 3) in what looks like a mismatch against the Korean.