Attention in Japan this coming Thursday focuses on a Misako promotion in Tokyo, where fans get two title bouts.
The first of those title bouts will see Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koichi Aso (21-7-1, 14) making the first defense of his title as he takes on Yusuke Konno (11-3, 5), who comes into the bout as the #1 ranked challenger. Aso won the title earlier this year, in what was his third shot at the belt, and will be looking to keep a tight grasp on it given his long and hard career, though it's fair to say he has taken punishment during his career and it's hard to know how much he has left in the tank. This will be Konno's first title bout, and he'll come into the contest very hungry,but will be the under-dog. Interestingly the winner of this could be the next target for the really talented Koki Inoue.
The other title bout will see world ranked OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (16-3-1, 9) defending his title against Korean challenger Sa Myung Noh (10-3, 3). The under-rated Takenaka is a very talented boxer who has built from losses to good fighters, like Hisashi Amagasa, and looks to be one of the rising contenders in the packed Featherweight division, though he would be the big under-dog against any of the current world champion. Noh is a pretty good fighter, but his technical flaws should see him be easy pickings for Takenaka, who we suspect will box his way into control, before closing the show in the middle rounds.
In an interesting under-card bout we'll see the under-rated Yusuke Suzuki (7-3, 5) battle against the more experienced Keita Nakano (14-10-6, 4). On paper Suzuki might not look anything special but he's a genuine talent, and was a very good amateur before turning professional in late 2012. He has been matched hard through his career, losing to Yusaku Kuga, Ryoichi Tamura and Jeffrey Francisco, though could well have been 10-0 (5) with a bit of luck. Nakano, fighting for the 31st time as a professional has mixed at a good level and will be the under-dog here, but he is certainly a live under-dog.
In Thailand on the same day fight fans will see former world title title challenger Stamp Kiatniwat (16-1, 6) battle against Filipino foe Michael Enriquez (13-6-1, 9) in what looks like an interesting match up. The Thai youngster will be favoured, and he showed he was legitimate in his 2016 loss to Kazuto Ioka, but Enriquez will go to war with him and the bout could be very, very fan friendly, as Enriquez's bout against Rex Tso was back in 2015.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The notable action this coming Saturday comes from he Philippines where this is a great show featuring a number of title bouts.
The most well matched bout on this card comes at 108lbs where former world title challenger Richard Claveras (14-1-2, 12) defends his WBC International title against Jonathan Refugio (14-4-4, 3). Whilst Claveras was taken out inside a round in his world title shot this is a bout he should win and probably the sort of bout that he needed before getting a world title fight. Refugio has mixed with good company, including Knockout CP Freshmart and Wanheng Menayothin, but has lost in his most notable bouts and we suspect that will happen again here.
Another notable title fight will see OPBF Flyweight champion Ardin Diale (30-9-3, 15) defending his title, for the first time, against clear under-dog Jonathan Francisco (8-4-1, 2). We're unsure how Francisco has earned this shot, and we can't see him winning, though in many ways Diale deserves an easy fight to record his first defense of the title he won in December.
A third title fight, and another that looks likely to be one-sided, sees the under-rated Michael Enriquez (11-4-1, 7) facing veteran Donny Mabao (21-24-3, 4) for the GAB Flyweight title. The under-rated Enriquez has lost 2 of his last 3 but one of those was a razor thin loss to Rex Tso, in Macau. Mabao on the other hand is with out a win since a 2012 upset over former world champion Florante Condes, he has since gone 0-4-2. Mabao was better than his record, but is looking like a fighter who is done, despite only being 27 years old.
There are two other title fights on this card however we prefer to ignore those and instead mention a much more intriguing match up as Rene Dacquel (15-6-1, 5) battles Mateo Handig (13-10, 7) in a really solid looking bout. Of the two men Dacquel seems to be the one with more to give but recent loses to Takuma Inoue and Jonas Sultan have killed the momentum he had from a win last April over Melvin Gumban. Whilst Dacquel's ecent form hasn't been great Handig has lost his last 5, including 3 by stoppage, since a 2012 win over Katsunari Takayama.
In Mexico we'll see two Filipino's facing off against Mexican brothers on a card from Sinaloa.
The most notable of the bouts will see former world title challenger Jether Oliva (23-4-2, 11) battle against former WBC Light Flyweight champion Pedro Guevara (26-2-1, 17). For Guevara this is his first bout since losing the world title to Yu Kimura last November and he will be favoured to return to winning ways, however Oliva is no push over and will be returning to Mexico with revenge in mind following a loss last year to Luis Nery, where Nery's team messed Oliva about in regards to weight.
The other bout will see Edward Mansito (13-3-2, 7) face former world title challenger Alberto Guevara (23-2, 9). Coming in to this one Guevara is on a 5 fight winning run, including a victory over Oscar Blanquet, since losing in 2013 to Shinsuke Yamanaka.
The most notable card of the day takes place in Hiroshima where we get the chance to see several ranked fighters.
The main event of the card is a 10 round contest between two OPBF ranked fighters. The lower ranked fighter is Japan's very own Koji Itagaki (15-9-2, 6) who likely to be viewed as the under-dog against the better ranked Filipino Michael Enriquez (11-3-1, 7). Coming into this one Itagaki is 3-4-1 though those 3 wins have come in his last 3 and he does hold notable wins over Palangpol CP Freshmart and Benezer Alolod. As for Enriquez he is 3-4 in his last 7 and is best known for his close and exciting loss, in March, to Rex Tso in what was a genuine FOTY contender. Given what we know of both fighters we have to favour the Filipino.
In a supporting bout we'll see recent OPBF title challenger Yuya Okazaki (11-8-1, 4) take on novice Noriaki Sato (2-1). This is a huge step up for Sato however a win could move him towards a title fight. For Okazaki this is his first bout since he was stopped by Keita Obara back in April.
Another supporting bout will see see the inform Tetsuya Morisada (6-3, 6) risk his Japanese ranking against Ryuji Ikeda (10-2-1, 6), who is looking to extend a 4 fight KO streak. On paper this looks like a bout where Ikeda should be favoured but Morisada would certainly feel that he deserves to be favoured given his ranking. Of the two men Ikeda has achieved more, winning the All Japan Rookie of the Year in 2013, but that was Lightweight whilst this bout will be closer to 140lbs which should favour Morisada.
A second Japanese show takes place in Shizuoka.
The main event appears to be a mismatch as Yuya Miyagi (18-4-3, 7) takes on Tienchai Sor Kanitsorn (1-4, 1). Miyagi has gone 3-2-1 in his last 6 but should be far too good for Tienchai who has been stopped in his last 4 bouts, all of which have taken place in Japan.
The co-feature of the show sees the unbeaten Shogo Yamaguchi (8-0-1, 4) in a good looking bout against the light punching Shota Suito (10-4-1, 1). On paper it's hard to back Suito however his edge in experience could help here against the younger and less tested fighter.
As well as the Japanese action there will also be an Indonesian show.
In the main event fans will see veteran James Mokoginta (28-17-3, 15) battle against novice foe Marten Kisamlu (3-5) in a bout for the KTPI/IBPC Featherweight title. Mokoginta is the more well known of the two men and has fought a relative who's who of the Asian fight scene, including Daiki Kameda, Dennis Tubieron and Sod Kokietgym, though has yet to pick up a win of note on the international stage. As for Kisamlu he has never fought outside of Indonesia and in all honesty a win here would be his best, by far.
In the chief support bout fans will get an all-debutant bout between Aris Larabi (0-0) and Felix Babel (0-0). This is scheduled to go 6 rounds and could well be a well matched bout, though given what we know about Indonesian records we may well see this being a total mismatch.