The ridiculousness of Japanese boxing is on full show this coming Sunday with a staggering 5 shows, 3 of which are in Osaka alone, with two of those actually sharing a venue!
The busy venue is the EDION Arena which is doubling up this Sunday. The first of the two shows is set to begin at 12:30 local time and is a relatively low profile Kazama promoted card.
The main event of the Kazama show sees Japanese 154lb champion Yuki Nonaka (28-8-3, 9) defending his title against the under-rated Yuto Shimizu (11-2-2, 4) in a mandatory defense. On paper it's easy to favour the champion, who is very experienced at title level and is a genuine joy to watch. Shimizu however is the much younger man and is on an 8-0 run with wins against the likes of Hikaru Nishida, the current JBC/OPBF Middleweight champion, Takehiro Shimokawara and Yosuke Kirima. This could be a very good bout.
In a notable under-card bout fans will see Japanese based Colombian Pablo Carrillo (18-4-1, 11) face off against Filipino veteran Donny Mabao (22-24-3, 4) in what looks like a mismatch, but could prove to be a good test for Carrillo, who is now managed by Hiroki Ioka. Whilst Mabao's record is “sketchy” at best he does come in to this one on a 3-fight unbeaten run, including a victory over Michael Enriquez and will be pretty confident coming into this bout.
The second show at the EDION Arena in Osaka is a much more notable card with several bouts of interest, even if they are likely to be pretty uncompetitive.
The nominal main event of the card will see the unbeaten OPBF Lightweight champion Masayoshi Nakatani (11-0, 6) defending his title against the limited, but very heavy handed, Tosho Makoto Aoki (20-13-2, 17). On paper this is a mismatch, there is no way of denying it, however Aoki has got a puncher's chance and will know that with his power his only chance is to take the fight to Nakatani. If the champion can take the power of the challenger then this will be a drama-less win for Nakatani, however Aoki's power may be enough to unsettle Nakatani's, or at least ask questions of the champion.
A second title bout on this card will see Japanese Super Flyweight champion Sho Ishida (21-0, 11) take on mandatory challenger Ryuichi Funai (24-6, 16). This will be Ishida's 5th defense of the title and if he's successful his team will almost certainly do what they can to get him a world title fight later in the year. For Funai the bout will be his second shot at a title, and he'll be hoping for a better outcome than his last title fight, a 9th round TKO loss to Rolly Lunas. Notably the challenger is 7-0 (6) since that loss and will be riding a high coming into this one.
A third bout of note here sees Kei Takenaka (10-0, 3) battle against Daoruang Saknarong (0-0) in a world title “prelude”. If Takenaka gets through this, she should, she will be matched with IBF female Light Flyweight champion Naoko Shibata in late Summer.
Another bout on this card, and one which will infact split the title contests, will see OPBF ranked Flyweight contender Shun Kosaka (11-2, 2) face off against Kenta Yamada (8-5-1, 1). This is a relatively rare, at least for Japan, 10 round non-title bout and should help prepare Kosaka for a potential title fight in the coming years.
The third Osaka card comes from the Sumiyoshi Ward Center and is a Muto promoted card that features some of the best matchmaking for the day, yet another title fight, and some potentially action.
The main event is a rematch as the heavy handed Koki Tyson (9-2-1, 9), previously known as Koki Tyson Maebara, battles Petchsuriya Singwancha (15-11, 8) for the WBC Youth Middleweight title. Tyson made light work of the Thai in 2014, stopping him in 4 rounds, though was last seen suffering a 7th round TKO loss to Akio Shibata, in a bout that saw him being outboxed before being stopped. Since the first bout Petchsuriya has gone 2-1 though was notably beaten last time out by Kerry Hope, with the bout being given to Hope after the fight was reviewed by the WBC judges.
The best bout on the card is another rematch as former multi-time title challenger Hiroyuki Hisataka (24-14-1, 10) faces off against under-rated Filipino Mark John Yap (23-12, 10). These two men met last year with Yap winning an 8 round decision, this rematch however will be over 10 rounds and could well see the winner getting a Japanese or OPBF title fight later in the year. Although the records may not show it, this really could be something very special.
The main event isn't the only probably blow out, with the chief support bout being a contest between the explosive Masao Nakamura (21-3, 20) and the tough but limited San Saknarong (3-5, 1). The last time we saw the Thai he was stopped in 6 by Hidenori Otake, and it's hard to see him living with Nakamura, who will see a win a chance to move towards a well deserved title shot, potentially with Kenichi Ogawa in what would be a very fun shoot out.
In a 4th bout of note Japanese ranked fighters collide as Masahiro Sakamoto (6-0, 4) faces off against Atsushi Aburada (10-9, 6) in a bout that could potentially decide a future Japanese title challenger. On paper Sakamoto is the favourite but Aburada is the more proven fighter and this could be a very tough bout for both, who know there is a lot to lose coming in to this one.
One of the small Japanese shows comes from Kobe where fans will see a former world title contender and a former OPBF title challenger in action.
The former world title contender is Teiru Kinoshita (23-1-1, 6) who will be looking to continue to rebuild his career following his loss to the excellent Zolani Tete in an IBF Super Flyweight title bout back in 2014. The Japanese fighter should be very heavily favoured here as he takes on little known Korean fighter Min Wook Lee (2-3), who is best known for losing to the then debuting Muhammad Waseem late last year.
The former OPBF title challenger is Kazuya Murata (11-5, 5) who faces Tatsuya Yoneo (8-5, 1) in what will be Murata's first bout following a 5th round loss to Masayoshi Nakatani last August. Murata should win here, but it could be interesting to see if the loss to Nakatani did take something out of him.
The smallest of the Japanese shows comes from Fukuoka where fans get a very small card with novices. All the bouts here are 4 rounders with the most notable being a Lightweight contender between Tsuyoshi Matsuda (4-0, 2) and teenager Seiya Matsunaga (2-1, 1), which shows the level of this card.
Metro Manila, Philippines
As well as the action in Japan there is also a show in the Philippines.
The most notable bout here features former world title challenger Silvester Lopez (25-11-2, 18), who faces the limited and light hitting Prell Tupaz (8-30-5, 1) in what should be a walk in the park for Lopez. Sadly however Lopez has been inconsistent in recent years going 6-8-1 in his last 15 bouts.
In a notable under-card contest 21 year old puncher Allan Vallespin (5-0, 5) will risk his perfect record against Jomar Borbon (4-23-2, 2). Vallespin has looked devastating so far and will be looking to continue that run against the experienced Borbon.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
In wonderful Brazil fight fans will be able to see India's Neeraj Goyat (7-2-2, 2) battle against Brazilian local Guilherme Castagnazzi Ribeiro (3-1, 3). Ribeiro has won his last 3 bouts in a combined 4 rounds, but this is a step up in class for the local and Goyat, although the naturally smaller man, comes into this one on a 7-0 run.
Hong Kong, SAR China
The biggest Asian show this coming weekend comes from Hong Kong where fans get the home coming event of the nation's boxing son
In the main event fans will see local star Rex Tso (17-0, 10) battle against Australian visitor Brad Hore (5-1) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Flyweight title. Tso, who has been a popular star on the shows in Macau appears to be trying to help build the sport back home in Hong Kong however this bout is unlikely to be anything more than a showcase for the “Wonder Boy”. Given his position however we suspect we won't see Tso in a competitive looking bout until he's secured a world title fight.
Another title fight will see Thailand's limited Petchsuriya Singwancha (14-10, 8) take on Australian based Welshman Kerry Hope (22-7, 2) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Middleweight title. Petchsuriya, a former WBC Youth champion, has been stopped numerous times but is better than his record suggests. Saying that however he will be the under-dog against Hope, a former European Middleweight champion.
One under-rated, but notable, fighter on this card is the heavy handed Filipino Rey Megrino (21-20-3, 18) who will be up against Thailand's Khunsuk Twins Gym (11-1, 6). Megrino, on paper, has a journeyman's record but in reality he's a very dangerous fighter who has often taken bouts on short notice and still managed to score more than his share of upsets. Going by the records Megrino is the under-dog but in reality he should totally rip his Thai foe apart in what is a mismatch “against” the records.
Another Megrino in action on this card is Randy Megrino (15-18-3, 3), who is up against the unbeaten Kane Cassells (5-0, 2). Randy, like Rey, has a poor looking record unfortunately however his record is reflective of his ability and as a result it wouldn't be a shock if Cassells wins here.
On the Chinese mainland fans get another show with a number of bouts, 3 of which have caught our eye.
One of those will see promising Filipino Robert Udtohan (22-1-3, 14) battle against the limited but local Wang Xinghua (11-12-1). This should be Udtohan's 23rd win but he will know that he'll need to make sure this one isn't close considering he's fighting on the round. Interestingly this will be Udtohan's second bout in China.
In a battle of unbeaten fighters Bai Shan Bo (2-0-1) will be fighting Cai Zheng Yang (3-0-1, 2). Whilst it's hard to predict the quality of either man we do like the fact that unbeaten fighters are facing each other early in their career, something that doesn't happen often enough in this day and age.
The other bout of note here will see former world champion Merlito Sabillo (24-2-1, 12) face a yet to be named opponent.
Although South Korean boxing has been quiet it does seem like something exciting is bubbling up under the surface. We're not 100% sure what but something is certainly happening at the moment.
What we do know is that Ye Joon Kim (10-1-2, 5)* is one of the more exciting Korean fighters and this week we see him kick off 2014 as he battles Filipino visitor Virgil Puton (14-5, 7) in a contest for the currently vacant IBF Asia Super Bantamweight title. We're big fans of the unique Kim who looks to be one of the most interesting fighters left plying his trade in Korea and he'll know he needs a win here if he's to remain the face of the Korean Boxing Federation.
In a second international bout on this cards fans will get the chance to see Sa Ya Lee** (6-2, 3) fight in an 8 rounder against Jonel Alibio (18-18-5, 10). in what appears to be a stay busy contest for the under-rated Lee, himself the KBF Lightweight champion.
The most notable of two Japanese shows comes from Aichi where fans will get a Youth world title fight as well as a competitive, but low tier, under-card.
The main event on the show will see WBC Youth Light Middleweight champion Petchsuriya Singwancha (13-9, 7) return to Japan for his 6th bout in the country and his second against Ryosuke Maruki (8-3-1, 6). These two met last July with Petchsuriya defending his title with a majority decision. Since their first bout the champion has fought 3 times, including a painful stoppage loss to the monstrously hard hitting Koki Tyson Maebara. Maruki on the other hand has fought just once since their first bout, stopping Anwar Solihin in 3 rounds, though will feel confident of claiming the title at the second chance of asking.
The most notable under-card bout here is an 8 rounder between Kazuki Fukakura (7-8-2, 3) and Ginzo Hanaki (6-11-1, 4). It's not a high level match up but it's certainly a solid bout between two guys who will really go for a win in the hopes of changing their fortunes.
In terms of 6 rounders fans will get the chance to see a couple of 2014 West Japan Rookie of the Year runner ups in action. One of those will be Super Bantamweight Takashi Igarashi (5-1, 1), who battles the presumably over-matched Reiko Sugiyama (4-4-3, 2), whilst the other is Minimumweight Jun Takigawa (5-1, 3), who takes on the light hitting Tatsuya Sakamoto (4-6, 1). Both of these should be straight forward wins for the prospects but it's also a bit of a mystery as to how fighters do after their first loss.
Sadly one bout that was scheduled for this card that has been cancelled now was set to feature the unbeaten Shogo Yamaguchi (6-0-1, 3) battle against Yuji Iwata (6-5-2, 2). That looked to be the best of the under-card bouts on paper prior to it's cancellation.
The other Japanese card comes from Hyogo and sadly looks less than exciting.
The main event will see Ryuji Miyazaki (13-7-3, 4) battle against Riichi Kawase (6-6-2, 1) in a less than thrilling looking contest. On paper Miyazaki should win against his light hitting foe with out too many problems.
In the co-feature we have an equally forgettable match up as non-punchers collide with Yushi Fujita (6-6-4, 1) battling against Kohei Maruoka (7-8-1, 1). In some ways this is a much better match up than the main event, given the two guys have similar records, though it's still nothing to write home about.
(Image courtesy of http://www.koreaboxing.or.kr)
*Boxrec don't count Kim's win over Susu Sithjadaeng from last year
**Boxrec don't count Lee's win over Sung Ta Kim from last year
Tuesday's don't usually give us a host of action but this week we are lucky devils with shows across 3 separate countries.
Hua Hin, Thailand
The Thai boxingscene is known by some international fans for it's farcical match making which can see a world champion stay busy fights against debutants. Whilst the fight fans in the west might not understand “why” those bouts are fought they understand that they are. Thankfully those farcical bouts tend to be just bouts with the winner progressing their career with win. This week however we have one such bout being fought for a title in a contest that may well go down as one of the weakest “title” bouts we've seen.
That title bout will see Pakorn Mor Poonwa (4-2-1, 4) battle against unbeaten Chinese novice Zhang Yong Ming (3-0) for the WBC Youth Light Welterweight title. To date Ming has never fought beyond 6 rounds whilst Pakorn has won just 1 of his last 4 bouts. We understand that “Youth” title fights do come at a low level however this is a very weak bout for the Youth belt, especially at 140lbs.
Note- we have been told that Pakorn may be facing a different Chinese opponent for this bout, though all sources state it will be a Chinese opponent for the Thai.
Another bout on this card will featured a former 2-weight champion who is continue to stack up wins and extend one of the longest winning streaks in the sport. That former champion is the 37 year old Sirimongkol Singwancha (82-2, 53). Sirimongkol is a former champion at 118 and 130lbs and has won his last 39 bouts dating back to May 2004. Whilst he's in great we can't really see Sirimongkol getting an opportunity to become a 3-weight world champion given that he's already 37 years old. For those wondering about Sirimongkol's foe, we're unsure on his name.
One other bout on this card will see WBC Youth 154lb champion Petchsuriya Singwancha (12-9, 6) in a non-title contest. Petchsuriya will be fighting for the first time since he was stopped, in Japan, by Koki Tyson Maebara and we suspect that this bout will be little more than a stay busy contest for the Thai who is expected to defend his title in March as he returns back to Japan. Sadly Petchsuriya will be fighting the very poor Mohamadreza Hamze (4-5-1, 1) who has twice been beaten by Sirimongkol.
It's fair to say that 2015 has had a slow start to the year in Japan and we mean slow. It's amazingly taken until January 27th for us to get the second Japanese show of the year. Sadly it's not a main one, in fact it's unlikely to have anyone that “fans” have heard of, though it does promise to be an entertaining show.
The show at hand at Dangan 119, a card with an impressive 13 bouts on it, all of which are 4 rounders.
Whilst many of the bouts are simply 4 round contests between novices there are several “C Class Tournament Bouts”. Included in those tournament bouts is a brilliant main event between Pon Ponta (3-0, 3) and Rice Hayashi (2-0, 2).
In South Korea we see a national tournament kick off with 15 bouts taking place. Sadly we're unsure of who will be on the card, and we suspect boxrec.com will also over-look the card as they don't seem willing to accept the KBF as a sanctioning body.
(Image courtesy of http://danganboxing.com)