This coming Tuesday we see a return to action for the first post-Christmas show in Asia, with the attention switching to Hyogo where Shinsei promotions put on an interesting gift of a card, with a Japanese title bout and a very good looking chief support bout, with some genuine significance.
The main event is a Japanese Minimumweight title bout, as unbeaten champion Reiya Konishi (14-0, 5) makes his second defense of the title, taking on #1 ranked domestic challenger Kenta Matsui (8-6, 1). The champion, who won his title earlier this year against Masataka Taniguchi, looked less than stellar in his first defense, against Shin Ono, and it's fair to say that he needs to shine here if he's to really make the title his own, and move towards a world title fight in early 2018. On paper Matsui looks an under-qualified challenger but he has scored two notable wins in his last 3 bouts and could prove to be a banana skin here for the unbeaten but unspectacular champion.
The leading support bout will see Japanese ranked Lightweight Masashi Wakita (8-5-2, 3) take on Japanese ranked Super Featherweight Naotoshi Nakatani (10-1, 6) in a rematch of a bout from a year ago. In their first bout Nakatani won a competitive decision but since then Wakita has scored back to back wins, and looks to be getting some momentum going. On the other hand Nakatani was upset last time out, suffering a 6th round TKO loss to Accel Sumiyoshi, and hasn't won a bout since his win over Wakita 12 months ago.
In another supporting bout fans will see the talented Ryo Kosaka (15-3-1, 7) take on a Thai foe. Coming in to this Kosaka is riding an 8 fight winning run and should be fighting for the Japanese Super Bantamweight title next year, if he comes through this one without suffering any sort of serious injury.
As well as the action in Japan fans may also be interested to know that Swiss based Japanese fighter Aniya Seki (32-3-2, 5) will be in action, as she battles Hungarian foe Judit Hachbold (4-2). Although Seki is a flawed fighter it's hard to imagine her losing here to the visitor.
This coming Sunday won't create many headlines in Asian boxing circles, but there is some pretty interesting match ups going on in Japan.
The most notable of the fights will be in Osaka, where we get a former world title challenger headlining, and an exciting local in a supporting bout.
The main event will see recent WBO Featherweight world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa (30-4-4, 19) take on world ranked Ecuadorian puncher Julio Cortez (13-0, 11) in a real must win for Osawa. Of course we all saw the Japanese fighter in action last November, when he was stopped in 7 rounds by the brilliant Oscar Valdez and he'll know that he can't afford a loss here if he's going to ever get a second shot at a title. Cortez is hungry for a shot himself and will come in to this fight as an unbeaten man who won't want to give up his 0 and could be a handful for Osawa.
In a supporting bout the always fun to watch Ryuto Kyoguchi (14-2-1, 10) will be battling a limited Thai foe. This will be Kyoguchi's first bout since his loss to Silvester Lopez earlier this year, and he'll be looking to make a statement and rebuild his confidence with a straight forward win here.
The other Japanese card takes place in Yamaguchi and will feature a few interesting fights of it's own.
The main event is genuinely mouth watering as Naotoshi Nakatani (10-0, 6) risks his unbeaten record against former OPBF title challenger Accel Sumiyoshi (8-4-2, 2). Nakatani has genuinely impressed through his career so far, and famously won the All Japan Rookie of the Year in 2015, but this is a huge step up in class and should be his hardest test so far. Although Sumiyoshi's record is less than flattering he has been in tough through his 14 fight career and is a lot better than the numbers suggest. This could be a really, really good bout with fighters should be a lot more well matched than the numbers suggest.
Another bout of note on this card will see Fever Maki (8-5-1, 2) battle Yuki Ozawa (11-5, 2) in what looks like a distance bout, but one that could be fun and competitive. Neither guy is a puncher but together they should have some exciting exchanges.
One other bout of intrigue here will see the talented but light punching Change Hamashima (8-1-1, 2) take on the limited but heavy handed Takuya Matsusaka (6-5, 6). On paper Hamashima will be favoured, he is the better boxer, but Matsusaka does have fight changing power at this level and could change the fight if he lands clean.
In Australia we'll see veteran Les Sherrington (35-10, 19) take on Indonesian Marco Tuhumury (11-17-2, 4) in what should be another loss for Tuhumury, who has failed to shine when he's faced anyone of any note. Sherrington is nothing special, but he should be far too good for his man here.
This coming Sunday is a hectic day in Japanese boxing with a number of cards.
The biggest card comes from Osaka, and will be featured on Boxingraise on a delayed basis.
The main event of the card sees the WBO Asia Pacific titles continue to rise in Japan as Ryota Yada (12-3, 10) takes on unbeaten Filipino Jayar Inson (12-0, 8) for the Welterweight crown. The bout isn't a huge one by any stretch, but it is a very attractive one with two talented, hungry fighters each looking for a major international title and a potential WBO world ranking. Although interesting on paper Inson is moving up from Lightweight and is likely to look very small compared to Yada.
In a supporting bout Takayuki Okumoto (17-7-2, 7) will be defending his Japanese Super Flyweight ranking as he faces off against the limited Takanori Hayashida (7-10-3). Ranked #3 by the JBC Okumoto will be looking for a title fight in 2017 and will know that any sort of a set back will ruin those dreams. On paper this looks like a mismatch, and will likely be very one sided, but Hayashida has won his last 2 bouts following an 8 fight win-less streak and will be eager to keep his current winning form going.
One of the most attractive match ups on the card will see Takahiro Murai (14-6-2, 5) face the talented but fragile Takeru Kamikubo (11-2, 8) in a really interesting match up. Murai is Japanese ranked at Flyweight and is clearly looking to get a title fight in the near future, with his recent competition being solid on the domestic level. Kamikubo did show real promise at one point but back to back stoppage losses in 2015 derailed his career and he is very much needing to rebuild here.
Also on the card are several notable prospects. One of those Naotoshi Nakatani (9-0, 6), who risks his unbeaten record against Masashi Wakita (6-4-2, 2), another is Kazuki Tanaka (5-0, 4), who has yet to have his opponent for the show to be named, and also school girl boxer Fuka Komura (1-0), who faces Mizuki Matsuoka (0-1)
A second show comes from Aichi.
The main event of this card will see former OPBF title challenger Eita Kikuchi (19-4-4, 8) take on Kazuki Fukakura (9-11-2, 3) in what appears to be a total mismatch. Kikuchi is best known for his 2013 loss to Shingo Wake, and whilst he did lose his following bout he has gone on a 5 fight winning run and looks to have rebuilt some confidence whilst moving into a top 10 JBC ranking at Bantamweight. Fukakura has gone 2-5 in his last 7, dating back more than 2 years, and is unlikely to win here, but does have the ability to be competitive at this type of level.
In the most interesting of the supporting bouts we'll see Takashi Igarashi (8-3, 3) battle the Yoshiki Kawamura (5-6-2, 3). The bout isn't a competitive bout, and it'd be a genuine shock to see Igarashi lose, but it should be better than it looks on paper and the 20 year old Igarashi should be tested a bit here.
A third show is in Yamaguchi.
The main event here will see OPBF and JBC ranked Lightweight Accel Sumiyoshi (7-4-2, 2) battle against Japanese ranked Super Featherweight Yusuke Nakagawa (10-5-1, 6) in what should be a really intriguing match up. Despite neither guy having a great record on paper the two should be well matched and are both much better than the raw numbers suggest. Sumiyoshi is the naturally bigger guy, and should be favoured, but it is a very competitive match up.
Another really interesting match from this show will see the under-rated Burning Ishii (7-3-1, 2) battled Japanese based Korean Teiru Atsumi (11-1, 5). Ishii is the promoter's fighter and has mixed with good company, but was stopped last time out by Kosuke Saka and has now been stopped twice whilst also showing little real power. Atsumi is arguably the most promising Korean fighter in the sport and has scored 3 stoppages since relocating to Japan, including a huge win over Sho Nakazawa and a notable stoppage against Dennis Tubieron. Hard not to favour Atsumi here, but it's another intriguing match up.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
Outside of Japan there will also be action in the Philippines.
In the main event here we see former WBA “interim” Light Flyweight champion Randy Petalcorin (24-2-1, 18) take on Arnold Garde (7-3-2, 3) in a bout for the IBF Pan Pacific Light Flyweight title. This will be Petalcorin's second bout since his controversial loss to Omari Kimweri and should be a straight forward win against Garde, who has been stopped 3 times at domestic level, including an opening round stoppage to the then debuting Zoren Collado,
In a notable supporting bout we'll see Eden Sonsona (34-6-2, 12) return to the ring for the first time since his huge May 2015 upset win over Adrian Estrella. Sadly for Sonsona he was unable to build on the win over Estrella and now, 19 months later will be taking on Eusebio Baluarte (19-17, 12) in what looks like a massive step backwards. Although a step backwards it's nice to see Sonsona back in the ring.
One of a number of interesting prospects in action here is the unbeaten John Vincent Moralde (17-0, 8), who looks to extend his winning run as he takes on the limited Joas Apericio (12-17-1, 9). We do like Moralde, and he does have a lot of talent, but Apericio really won't do anything to test the youngster and there's a reason that he's gone 0-7-1 in his last 8. A horrible mismatch in favour of the very talented unbeaten Moralde.
Another Filipino that we like is Ben Mananquil (11-1-2, 3), who came close to stopping Kwanpichit OnesongChaigym back in 2013. The once beaten Filipino has been away from the ring for 15 months but should return with a win this weekend as he takes on the limited Romulo Ramayan Jr (7-8-3, 3) in an 8 rounder.
There will also be action in Thailand where we'll see a national Super Flyweight title fight as Chatchai Or Benjamas (6-8, 5) faces Yodpichai Sithsaithong (12-15, 6) for the vacant title. The bout doesn't pit two major names but does look like it could be a competitive and even match up, even if it is at a very low level.
This coming Friday isn't a busy on in Asia, and on Saturday fight fans in Japan only get two small cards, however we are expecting their to be a small card in Thailand that we don't actually have information on as of yet.
In Kobe fight fans will get the chance to see several fighters of note.
The highest profile of those in action here is former world champion Etsuko Tada (15-2-2, 4) who will be up against a Thai opponent in what looks likely to be little more than a mismatch. The former champion has lost 2 of her last 5 bouts but is a world class talent and will be eyeing up a potential world title fight in the near future.
In a supporting bout fans will see the unbeaten, and world ranked, Reiya Konishi (10-0, 4) battle against Takayuki Teraji (6-10-1, 3). The 22 year old Konishi will likely be looking to get himself into titles bouts in 2016 and will know that a win here could be the bout that convinces his team to fast track that title bout. As for Teraji, he'll be looking to avoid an 8th loss in 10 bouts and possibly resurrect his faltering career.
Another unbeaten hopeful expected to pick up a win here is Naotoshi Nakatani (8-0, 5), who faces win-less Thai Bank TJ Gym (0-3) in what should be a straight forward victory for the Japanese local, who is fighting over 6 rounds for the first time in his career.
In Tokyo fight fans will get the chance to see an East Japan Rookie of the Year card. In total 10 bouts will take place on this show with fights from a range of divisions, as low as Minimumweight and as high as Lightweight. All the bouts are 4 rounders, and all will feature novices, but they should all be very interesting bouts with men looking to prove themselves.