This coming Tuesday sees action return to the Korakuen Hall for what is a genuinely intriguing title double header, featuring two really nice looking bouts.
Technically the main event of the card is a Japanese Light Middleweight title fight, as Koshinmaru Saito (23-8-2, 13) takes on Takeshi Inoue (9-0-1, 4) for the currently vacant title. Originally Saito was supposed to fight Yuki Nonaka for the title, but Nonaka vacated and as a result this bout was made, which in fairness is a much more even looking bout. Saito is a genuine veteran of the sport, aged 38 and with almost 17 years of experience under his belt. Despite being a veteran Saito has never win “a big one” and will likely know that this will be his final title shot. For the exciting Inoue this is a big step up, but could well see him becoming a champion less than 3 years after his debut.
Talking about being fast tracked the other title bout will see Hiroto Kyoguchi (6-0, 6) make the first defense of his OPBF Minimumweight title, as he takes on Jonathan Refugio (16-5-5,4). The ultra-fast rising Kyoguchi has been a professional for just over a year but has had a meteoric rise since debuting in April 2016 and has already claimed his first title, with others expected to follow before the end of 2017. Although Refugio is 23 years old he's already a bit of a veteran and has shared the ring with a string of notable names and should serve as a very legitimate first challenger for Kyoguchi.
On the under-card we'll see Noriyuki Ueno (18-14-5, 5) battle against a Thai visitor and veteran Ribo Takahata (12-7-1, 4) battle against recent Japanese Lightweight title challenger Yusuke Tsukada (8-6, 3), in what should be a very interesting card.
The most notable bout to feature an Asian fighter this weekend sees former-2 weight world champion Donnie Nietes (38-1-4, 22) make his long anticipated move up to Flyweight where he will kick off his campaign with a fighter against Mexican veteran Edgar Sosa (52-9, 30). The bout isn't a major test, given Viloria's recent performances at world level, but is is a solid introduction to the weight for Nietes, who will be looking to become a 3-weight champion in the near future.
In a supporting bout on the same card former world title challenger Arthur Villanueva (29-1, 15) will face Juan Jimenez (22-10, 15) in a rematch. These two men fought earlier this year with Villanueva controversially winning the bout, and the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title, with a head-butt KO. Coming into this one Jimenez will be seeking revenge whilst Villanueva will be looking to win this one cleanly.
A third notable Filipino in action in the US is the touted prospect Mark Magsayo (14-0, 11), who risks his unbeaten record against Ruben Garcia (17-2-1, 7). The talented Magsayo won the WBO International Featherweight title last time out, beating Chris Avalos in a slugfest, and will be hoping to defend the belt here against Garcia. If he comes out on top then ALA might see fit to step up Magsayo and move him towards a title fight in the next 12 months or so.
The day is a busy on in Japan with 4 shows across the country. The most notable of which is a Dangan card in Tokyo.
The main event of the card will see Japanese Lightweight champion Nihito Arakawa (27-6-1, 16) face off against Yusuke Tsukada (8-5, 3) in what will be Arakawa's first defense of the title. The teak tough champion won the belt earlier this year, ending the reign of Kota Tokunaga, and looks like he's making a simple first defense before potentially facing Shuhei Tsuchiya.
It's worth noting that Shuhei Tsuchiya (20-4, 17) will be in one of the main supporting bout on this card as he takes on Filipino visitor Rex Olisa (11-29-1, 8). The bout is expected to be a mismatch with the bout serving almost entirely to help build for a bout between Tsuchiya and Arakawa in 2017.
Another Japanese title bout will be held in Aichi as Shota Hayashi (27-5-1, 17) trades blows with veteran Noriyuki Ueno (18-13-5, 5) in a bout for the vacant Japanese Featherweight title, which was recently vacated by Satoshi Hosono. Coming in Hayashi will clearly be the favourite however Ueno is under-rated, knows this will almost certainly be his only chance and comes in riding a huge high after a massive upset win against Yuki Ogata last time out.
In the chief support bout Yushi Tanaka (17-1-3,11) will be facing a poor Thai opponent in what will be Tanaka's second bout since losing in a Japanese title bout against Kentaro Masuda this past March. It's hard to see Tanaka losing here but he'll be forced to step up his competition in the near future if he wants another crack at silverware.
Fans in Ibaragi get a less interesting card though one headlined by the insanely tough Tatsuya Takahashi (24-6-4, 17), who faces Thai visitor Parkin Phakdeepin (1-7) in a 10 rounder. The bout, for all intents, is a mismatch but we find it impossible not to love Takahashi who has been in numerous thrillers. Although a mismatch Takahashi should make this fun.
Another low profile card comes from Oita where the main event will see Yuta Sasaki (8-8-1, 1) face off against Hyuma Fujioka (7-4-1). The bout is another less than great match up, however this one should at least be competitive with both men looking to prove they are the better fight.
Camarines Sur, Philippines
The Filipino fans also get some action, the most notable of which features the very talented and under-rated Michael Dasmarinas (24-2, 16) facing off with Michael Escobia (11-12-1, 3). On paper this looks like a real mismatch however Escobia is much better than his record suggests and he has given fighters like Masaaki Serie and Koki Eto really competitive bouts, with the Eto bout coming earlier this year. Dasmarinas should win but this is no gimme.
A second Filipino show is set to take place in Rizal where we get several bouts of note.
The main event of the card will see Glenn Suminguit (18-2, 9) face off against Alvin Bais (15-6-1, 4) in a bout for the vacant GAB Bantamweight title. The bout isn't the greatest one but should be a very competitive one and both men will be coming in to this one seeking a title victory. On paper it's easy to favour Suminguit, who has won his last 8, but he will be tested here in what should a relatively competitive bout.
On this card in supporting bouts are the Elorde brothers. Juan Martin Elorde (20-1-1, 8) will face off against Indonesian veteran Boido Simanjuntak (23-40-2, 9) whilst Juan Miguel Elorde (21-1, 11) will face Junior Bajawa (14-9, 7). It's hard to see either of the brothers losing here, though we do hope they will both step up a level in the near future, as neither should be tested by their inferior foes here.
Staying in Asia there is also action in Kazakhstan where we get several bouts of note.
The most interesting bout will see unbeaten puncher Issa Akberbayev (17-0-0-1, 12) face off against fellow puncher Maik Kurzweil (17-6, 17) in a bout we don't imagine will go the distance. Although neither is near “world class” they are fighting for the GBC title and will put it on the line to hold the belt.
In an under-card bout the once beaten Russian Medzhid Bektemirov (17-1, 12) will face the highly experienced Gary Abajyan (33-27-1, 17). This will be Bektemirov's second bout since suffering a split decision loss last year to Alexander Brand. It's hard to see Abajyan holding his own here, but Bektermirov is usually fun to watch.
In another under-card bout the unbeaten Berikbay Nurymbetov (2-0) will be facing the much more experienced Valentyn Kuts (22-5-0-1, 8). Kuts has failed to win any of his last 5 bouts and we suspect that losing run will continue here against a man who is obviously backed by a very confident team.
Quintana Roo, Mexico
In Mexico we'll see the much unfancied Hirotsugu Yamamoto (19-12-2, 3) battle against former world champion Jhonny Gonzalez (61-10, 51) for the WBC International Super Featherweight title. It's hard not to favour the much more experienced Gonzalez here in what looks like a mismatch against the visitor.
Back in California, though not on the same show as the three Filipino's, fight fans will be able to see American based Kazakh Madiyar Ashkeyev (5-0, 3) face off with fellow unbeaten Martez Jackson (3-0-2, 2). The bout looks relatively even on paper but we suspect the Kazakh will be too good and too powerful for the unbeaten American.
Hard hitting Kazakh hopeful Batyrzhan Jukembayev (4-0-0-2, 4) will be looking to continue his reign of terror as he battles Leandro Mendes Pinto (19-9-2, 9) in a notable step up. The Kazakh destroyer has looked promising so far and should look good here, but notably Pinto has been around the clock and could teach the youngster a few new tricks. Although Pinto has avoided regular stoppages it's hard to imagine him being big enough or tough enough to last long with Jukembayev
To close out the month Japanese fans get a bit of a treat with a couple of national title fights and a couple of good support bouts. The card isn't one of the strongest you'll see but it's certainly not a terrible card to end September.
The main event sees Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (14-1-1, 4) defending his title for the second time, as he takes on the heavy handed Taiki Minamoto (10-4, 9). Oguni hasn't looked great in recent bouts, taking a razor think with over Yasutaka Ishimoto and a draw with Gakuya Furuhashi, but should be too skilled for Minamoto. For the challenger his best chance is to land a bomb, and he does have the power to do just that. This is one of thse Boxer Vs Puncher bouts and whilst we side the boxer here, he could well be caught at any point.
The other title bout comes at Welterweight where Japanese champion Suyon Takayama (22-1, 7) looks to extend his long, but uninspiring, reign as champion. Takayama will be putting his title on the line against the limited Ryoji Tanaka (8-4-1, 2), who has lost his last 2 bouts. Although Takayama has been less than great as a champion, at least in terms of how he has won his bouts, his reign has included 5 title defenses and he's certainly not a man who will let title easily slip from his grasp.
In a good supporting bout fans will see former Japanese Featherweight title challengers collide as Yuki Ogata (21-1-1, 3) takes on Noriyuki Ueno (17-13-5, 5). A few years ago this bout could have been a really good match up, sadly however Ueno has lost his last 2 bouts and looks to be on the slide, having suffered a rare stoppage loss last time out.
A well as the card in Japan there will also be a small show in the Philippines.
The main event here is a 10 round bout between teenagers as the unbeaten 18 year old Jerald Deniega (6-0, 4) takes on heavy handed 19 year old Geo Santisima (6-2, 5). Given the records of the two men this could be very explosive and may well be a “blink and you miss it” bout. Whilst the records are good we need to applaud both men for taking this bout at this embryonic stage in their career's and hopefully both will go on to move into bigger and better bouts down the line.
A well matched 8 rounder will see the unbeaten 20 year old Jess Rhey Waminal (6-0-1, 4) battles against 19 year old Carlo Demecillo (4-2, 1). This is another wonderful match up between two young fighters who know that a win really pushes them forward whilst they can bounce back from a loss.
A similarly matched 6 rounder will see 21 year old Junder Gregorio (4-0) take in Peter Apolinar (5-1, 3) in what again looks like a marvelous match up. Gregorio, a non-puncher, will know that Apolinar's only loss, suffered last time out, was a stoppage but will likely feel confident of extending his own perfect record
(Image courtesy of www.boxmob.jp)
This coming Friday isn't one of the biggest days in Asian boxing boxing but we do have several interesting bouts including a bout that could help change the life of a popular and exciting Filipino slugger.
Hato Rey, Puerto Rico
The biggest bout involving an Asian fighter today comes all the way from Puerto Rico as former world title challenger Michael Farenas (39-4-4, 31) battles against the unbeaten Jose Pedraza (18-0, 12) in an IBF Super Featherweight final eliminator. The bout is biggest bout of the night and promises to be a very exciting one with on the line. For Pedraza it's a huge opportunity to put himself in line for a title fight whilst for Farenas it's a chance to put a frustrating year behind him. We all thought Farenas was going to get an IBF title shot following his victory over the previously unbeaten Mark Davis, instead however he got told to have another eliminator which then saw various opponents avoid him and sadly leaving him out in the cold before Pedraza got the call. Hopefully the frustration won't have got to Farenas too much as this could open up a very good chance for him to become a world champion in 2015.
In Tokyo we get a 9 fight card courtesy of Noguchi gym who are putting on a relative small show headlined by Japanese ranked Featherweight contender Daisuke Yokoyama (15-5-1, 6) who will be hooping to retain his #2 domestic ranking as he battles journeyman Keita Ito (8-18-2, 4) in what looks to be little more than a stay busy fight. Yokoyama enters the bout 1-1-1 in his last 2 bouts dating back more than 24 months though the one loss was a close one in a Japanese title fight against Hisashi Amagasa and we suspect he may be looking to get another title fight in 2015.
In the co feature we will see another ranked Featherweight in action as Noriyuki Ueno (17-11-5, 5) battles against Kazunori Takayama (19-8-4, 4) in a 6 rounder. Although Ueno's record is poor on paper he is one of those fighters with a misleading record and has lost in 3 Japanese title fights. This bout will see Ueno risking his #9 OPBF and #4 JBC rankings against against Takayama who returns to the ring after more than 3 years out.
Another interesting 6 rounder will see Takeshi Inoue (0-0-1) battle against Samson Por Thitima (0-1) in a very interesting bout despite the fact neither man has a win on his record, according to boxrec.com. Inoue fought to a 6 round draw with fellow debutant Daishi Nagata back in August whilst Thitima's only recorded bout saw him being stopped by the debuting Ryo Okayama back in November 2009, as with many Thai's however we do suspect his record is inaccurate given that 5 years between bouts in extraordinary.
A third 6 rounder that we feel is worth noting will see Kyohei Tsunashima (4-4, 3) battle against Takashi Sakamoto (5-3, 1) in a very evenly matched contest. It's not a bout that will have fans cramming into the Korakuen Hall but we suspect the fans there will enjoy this one whichever ways it ends up going. Of the two men Tsunashima is the bigger puncher but also the less durable whilst Sakamoto takes a shot better but delivers a much less punch himself.
A second Japanese show comes form Osaka where OPBF #3 ranked Minimumweight Jetly Purisima (19-13-4, 5), from the Philippines, battles against Japan's Yuki Takemoto (16-18-2, 7) in a very interesting looking main event. Neither guy will be confused for a world class fighter but both should act as a fantastic foil for the other in what is likely to be one of the best contested bout of the day and with Pruisima's OPBF ranking on the line neither man will be happy to lost this one.
In the chief support bout Koichi Ogawa (10-4-1, 5) will battle against Japanese based Brazilian Cristiano Aoqui (8-3-2, 4) in what appears to be another really good contest that could be easily over-looked. Neither guy is likely to win a title at any point but both should again make for a good fight together.
One other interesting bout from this 6 fight show will see Ryo Kosaka (8-3-1, 4) battling against the more experienced Hiroki Yoshimura (7-10, 4). Yoshimura enters the bout on the back of 5 straight losses and desperately needs a win to end his bad run however Kosaka isn't as good as his record indicate and this could end up being a bit of an upset if Yoshimura has any confidence left.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia we're expecting a very interesting contest as Thailand's Padjai Yongyuthgym (17-1-2, 12) takes on Chad Bennet (34-4-3, 25) in a bout for the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Light Welterweight title. The Thai, a former PABA Featherweight and Super Featherweight champion, is a big puncher and probably should be unbeaten in all honesty, though we do wonder how he will do up at 140lbs. If his power is as good as we believe then Padjai does have half a chance here.
New South Wales, Australia
On a second show in Australia we will have an all-Asian bout as Australian based Filipino Aswin Cabuy (17-48-4, 7) battles with Australian based Chinese fighter Zhang Yong (2-4-1, 1) in a contest for the WBF Asia Pacific Middleweight title. The bout will be the second between the men this year after they fought to a 4 round draw in March. We suspect Cabuy will know too much for the Chinese fighter but Cabuy himself isn't a great fighter and his own flaws could make this interesting.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)