On paper the most notable Asian show this coming Monday takes place in Osaka, where we get a pair of female Featherweight title bouts. Sadly though neither bout really screams that it deserves masses of attention, despite both featuring a world title challenger.
On paper the more significant of the two bouts will see OPBF female Featherweight champion Wakako Fujiwara (8-3-2, 3) defending her title against Yoshie Wakasa (6-1, 2), in what looks like a pretty decent match up on paper. Fujiwara won the belt last year and defended it once before challenging WBA female Super Featherweight champion Hyun Mi Choi earlier this year, and lost a clear decision to the Korean. Fujiwara is a decent fighter, and a solid OPBF level competitor, but at 38 we do need to wonder what she has left in the tank. At 31 Wakasa is the much younger challenger, but is also the naturally smaller fighter, and her last bout was a loss in a Japanese female Bantamweight title fight, so we need to wonder how she operates 8lbs heavier than she's been fighting at recently. Our preview of this bout can be read here Fujiwara to defend OPBF title against once beaten Wakasa
The other title bout is much less interesting, as the limited but solid punching Miki Mitsuda (5-5, 4) takes on veteran Kimika Miyoshi (13-12-1, 5) for the Japanese female Featherweight title. Of the two it's Miyoshi who is the more well known, a 3-weight OPBF champion and a former world title challenger, but she has lost her last 4 and is more than 3 years removed from a win. Mitsuda on the other hand is the defending champion, having won the belt last time out, and she's turned her career right around with a 4-1 (3) record in her last 5 bouts. This is very much momentum Vs experience, and should be entertaining, but shows the clear lack of depth in some divisions of female boxing, still. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Mitsuda takes on experienced veteran Miyoshi for vacant title!
A second Japanese show will be held in Fukuoka and see several notable hopefuls in action as they look to move towards bigger and better fights.
One of the notable hopefuls is Welterweight puncher Yuki Beppu (19-1-1, 18), who has had a frustrating 12 months thanks to a loss last October to Yuki Nagno and scored his first decision win this past April. The big punching Beppu is expected to score his 10th win, and his 19 stoppage, as he takes on under-sized Indonesian visitor Roy Mukhlis (31-10-4, 23). At his best Mukhlis was a world title challenger, at Super Featherweight, but that was almost a decade ago, and even that he was blasted out by Takashi Uchiyama. This should be nothing more than a showcase win for Beppu.
Another fighter expecting to win a show case against an Indonesian foe is Takumi Sakae (21-3-1, 15), who takes on the very limited Stevanus Nana Bau (9-11-2, 2). Sakae was once tipped for big things, in the world rankings and a Rookie of the Year winner. In recent years his career has faltered, but he is a skilled fighter with an aggressive mentality and he should go through Bau with ease. The visitor has been stopped in 3 of his last 4, and 8 of his 11 career losses, and we can't see anything but another stoppage loss here for the visitor.
A third bout of note on this show will see the unbeaten Kazuki Kyohara (4-0-1, 3) step up for his first 6 rounder. The unbeaten youngster will be up against the much more experienced Toshihiro Kai (6-11-2, 2) who has been stopped in 4 of his last 5. On paper this is a step up for Kiyohara, but it should be a very manageable step up up for the youngster.
This coming Sunday is set to be a busy day in Japan, with 5 shows set to take place across the country, including 2 in Osaka.
The biggest show is one of those Osaka shows, and will be held by Green Tsuda, with 2 Japanese title bouts.
The main event of the card will see Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada (18-4, 15) defending his title against Yuki Nagano (15-2, 11) in a mandatory defense. This will be Yada's third defense of the title, and will be the first time he faces a puncher since dethroning Toshio Arikawa in April 2018. Nagano has earned his shot with wins over Riku Nagahama and Yuki Beppu, but this is easily his toughest test to date. We're expecting a very, very entertaining contest here. An indepth preview of this bout is available here Yada and Nagano battle for Japanese crown!
The other title bout will see Japanese Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-4, 10) make his second defense, as he takes on mandatory challenger Yuta Matsuo (15-3-1, 8). Okumoto won the title last August, dethroning Hiroyuki Kudaka, and this is a solid looking defense for the 27 year old champion. Matsuo earned this shot with a win over Rey Orais last year, and although that was a pretty straight forward win it is worth noting that the challenger is a live under-dog and he gave Masayuki Kuroda a real test in 2017. This could be a very close and competitive contest. A preview of this bout can be read here Okumoto hunts next defense, takes on mandatory Matsuo
Another bout on this card will see the once touted Kazuki Tanaka (9-2, 6) take on Thai foe Songrit Ontha (2-2). This is clearly a confidence building bout for Tanaka, following a stoppage loss last year to Keita Kurihara, and we would expect him to take a very straight forward, and quick, win here. Ontha has been stopped in the 4th round in both of his losses, and we expect something similar here too.
A second show in Osaka, which takes places after the Green Tsuda card, will be an Ioka promoted show featuring several notable fighters.
The co-feature of this show sees former Japanese Super Flyweight title challenger Masayoshi Hashizume (16-0-2, 10) take on Japanese based Filipino journeyman Jayar Estremos (11-14-1, 4). It's hard to imagine Estremos beating the unbeaten Japanese fighter, though he did hold Hiroyuki Kudaka to a draw in December and is better than his record suggests. We're expecting a clear win for Hashizume, but one he has to work for.
In a really good looking clash we'll see former world title challenger Sho Ishida (27-1, 15) takes on the under-rated Ikuro Sadatsune (9-3-3, 3) in a Bantamweight clash. On paper this looks like a huge mismatch, but Sadatsune is an upset minded youngster, who is always worth watching and is the naturally bigger, younger man. A loss for Ishida will end his hopes of getting a second world title fight, and he will know that he can't afford a loss. This is a huge change for Sadatsune to make a name for himself, but he will obviously be the under-dog.
The most notable show outside of Osaka takes place in Hyogo, and features a couple of Japanese ranked fighters each looking to move towards their first national title fights.
The chief support bout will see ranked fighters clash as Giraffe Kirin Kanda (14-2, 8) and Fumisuke Kimura (8-4, 5) clash in an 8 round bout at a contracted 64.5KG's. This, on paper, looks like a straight forward win for Kanda, but Kimura has shown the potential to spring upsets, especially when fighters over-look him. We suspect that Kanda will be too good and too strong, but he will have to respect Kimura to avoid a shock defeat here.
The other bout will see OPBF and JBC ranked Minimumweight Ryoki Hirai (10-6-1, 4) take on the limited Takayuki Teraji (9-17-1, 4), who isn't a world beater but is a fighter who can be relied on to give solid rounds to national level fighters. Hirai is an under-rated guy, but has sadly lost his last 2 and lost the momentum he had once built , and he should win here, but can't over-look Teraji. Teraji has lost his last 3, but was very competitive in losses to Seita Ogido and Takeru Kamikubo and is a potential banana skin here.
In Ishikawa we get a card from Casimi gym, who put on a 7 fight card headlined by a Japanese female title fight.
The Japanese title bout will see Asami Jinnari (6-3-1, 3) take on Miki Mitsuda (4-5, 3) in a battle for the Japanese female Featherweight title. The match up isn't the most interesting, especially given that Jinnari has already failed in 2 attempts to win the title, but given how we're seeing these female national titles act as something of a building block, we can't complain too much about title bouts like this. Jinnari is certainly a solid contender on the domestic front and Mitsuda is better than her record suggests. It's worth noting however that Jinnari did stop Mitsuda back in August and it's hard to see Mitsuda avenging that loss here.
A pretty good looking support bout on this card will see Omrri Bolivar (7-1, 3) take on under-rated Filipino Ernie Sanchez (19-13-1, 10). Bolivar is an OPBF ranked fighter who is now based in Japan, though is originally from Venezuela. This looks like his toughest bout to date by far, with Sanchez being a fantastic journeyman. Sanchez has been in with a real who's who, and although he has suffered 13 losses, 5 by stoppage, he is a very good journeyman who gave Evgeny Chuprakov a scare last year and stopped Hurricane Futa in 2017. This could be a very entertaining and hotly contested match up.
The least notable of the cards takes place in Yamaguchi, where we get a number of 4 round bouts at a low level. There's set to be 12 bouts on this card, but none of the bouts here are particularly notable.