Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
The most notable show, for us at least, this coming Friday comes from Korakeun Hall, as we get the latest Victoriva show, a female only card promoted by the find people at Dangan. The card is certainly not a big one, but it is one that's worth being aware of, especially if you're a fan of female boxing.
The main event here was supposed to be a rematch between WBO Atomweight champion Mika Iwakawa (10-5-1, 3) and Nanae Suzuki (10-4-1, 1). Sadly however this bout was cancelled around a week ago when the champion had to pull out due to an injury she suffered in training. Is a disappointment, given how good their first bout was, but fingers crossed Iwakawa recovers swiftly and we can see this bout being rescheduled for the near future.
Due to the cancellation of the main event the new main event will instead see Kayoko Ebata (12-8, 6) and Nao Ikeyama (18-6-4, 5) battle in a clash between veteran former world champions. Aged 52 Ikeyama is a fighter who is well past the age of a typical fighter, but she's aged like fine wine and has had many of her career defining bouts after the age of 40, a win here could see her securing a world title fight in 2022. She's no spring chicken but she is, still, a world class fighter. As for Ebata she's got a patchy looking record but she's legitimately faced a who's who of the sport, and will be seeking a chance to become a 2-time world champion, if she can pick up a win here.
In a major supporting bout we'll get the debut of Mizuki Hiruta (0-0), who takes on Nanae Yamaka (4-0, 2) in a scheduled 6 rounder. Hiruta is highly regarded following an exciting amateur career, which saw her go 29-16 (13) and show a lot of power and tenacity in the unpaid ranks. Yamaka on the other hand is ranked #2 by the JBC, and will know that she's up against a talented former amateur, and has a lot to lose here. We expect this to be a genuine tear up.
In another supporting bout we'll see Japanese ranked fighters face off as Megumi Hosoda (3-2) faces the unbeaten Honoka Kano (3-0-1, 2). The 38 year old Hosada has lost 2 of her last 3, but has mixed with good company and has shared the ring with Mong Blanc Miki and Nanako Suzuki. Kano on the other hand has a better looking record but the 26 year od has been matched softly so far and this is certainly a very credible step up in class, and one that could vault her to a Japanese title fight, if she can pick up the win.
Over in Pakistan we're expecting a small show, headlined by a Pakistani Super Middleweight title fight between Abi Jozi Khan (5-2, 4) and Jamal Khan (1-2, 1). The battle of Khan's is one that, on paper, clearly favour's Abi Jozi. He's got a better record, scored more notable wins and appears to have the better credentials, but at 33 father time will be tapping on his shoulder, and Jamal is several years younger and coming into his physical prime.
It's great to see boxing picking up in Pakistan, but in all honest it feels we are years away from their domestic title being worth anything at all. Hopefully bouts like this lay the foundation for the future, but there is a very, very, very, very long way to go before Pakistan's national title carries any value at all.
Over in Kazan we'll see once beaten Uzbekistani fighter Ali Turgunaliyev (5-1, 3) take on Azeri Elvin Akhundzada (4-8, 2). The talented Turgunaliyev has reeled off 5 straight wins since losing on debut in September 2019 and will feel confident of extending that run here against a man whi has been stopped 3 times already this year. The 34 year old Akhundzada appears to be little more than fodder and it's hard to see see this testing Turgunaliyev at all.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Japanese shows during January tend to not be too big, and this coming Thursday is an example of just that, as Ichiriki put on a 8 bout show with each of the bouts being 4 rounders under the “Fresh Boy” banner.
As is probably expected, given the nature of the show, there aren't any big names on this card, with pretty much every fighter on the card being a novice. Despite the nature of the show there is one bout that stands out as being a little bit to the others on the show.
That one bout that feels a bit different will be a 4 rounder between Japanese ranked female fighters. In one corner will be JBC ranked Flyweight Nanae Yamaka (3-0, 1), who will be moving up in weight slightly, to take on fellow unbeaten Ai Sugimoto (2-0, 1), who is ranked at Bantamweight. Given the fact the two women fight at different weights this will be fought at a catchweight around 115.75lbs.
One other other fight that could be pretty interesting, mostly due to the fact we don’t see many Middleweight bouts in Japan, is a bout between 35 year old Mao Tameda (2-10-2) and 22 year old Naoya Mitsuhashi (1-1, 1). This doesn’t look great, but we always love seeing Japanese Middleweight fights as they tend to be very entertaining, even at the lowest levels, like this one.