Singmanassak Muaythai School, Pathum Thani, Thailand
In Thailand we are set for small card, with two regional title bouts, albeit in two bouts that look like clear mismatches.
One of those bouts will see Uzbekistan's Davronbek Kurbonov (4-0, 4) take on Thai Thoedsak Sinam (17-9, 14) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Light Heavyweight title. To date Kurbonov has needed just 13 rounds to dismiss his 4 opponents, and whilst he is, technically, stepping up here, it's hard to imagine him struggling with Sinam. The Thai does have 14 stoppages to his name, but has been stopped in 4 of his 9 losses, and has fought at Lightweight before, suggesting he's going to be very under-sized here.
The other notable fight on this card will see Turkish fighter Baris Erdogan (5-0, 2) battle against Thailand's Pathueang Sikun (8-12, 5), in what is scheduled as an Asian Boxing Federation Light Heavyweight title though we suspect it will actually be for Erdogan's ABF Super Middleweight title. Erdogan debuted in 2020 and whilst he had to wait more than 2 years between his first two bouts, he has been busy this year, with this being his 5th bout of 2022, and being a notable step in the right direction. As for Sikun he has been stopped 8 times during his career, but comes in to this bout with some momentum having won his last 6, albeit against very limited opposition.
EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
In Japan we are set to get two shows at the EDION Arena Osaka. The first of those is the West Japan Rookie of the Year final, which was set to feature 11 bouts but has seen two contests being cancelled.
From those that remain on the card the best looking appears to be at Super Bantamweight, where Yoshun Taho (3-0) takes on Kirei Yasumura (3-0, 2). Aged 19 Taho debuted last December and has shown plenty of skills, but does appear to need some time to physically mature and develop his power. Yasumura on the other hand is slightly older, at 22, and appears to have more power, having stopped his first two opponents, but he did struggle last time out against Shugo Hisataka, who he narrowly defeated in July.
A similarly interesting looking match up will be at Super Featherweight, where 18 year old Naoto Komatsu (3-0, 1) takes on 21 year old Shinsei Otani (2-0, 2). Both men debuted last last year and given their ages both have a lot of time to develop and progress, however both men will know that a win here puts them just 2 bouts away from being crowned All Japan Rookie of the Year and really boosting their profile in the sport.
EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The other show at the EDION Arena Osaka will be promoted by Futur. The card is a low key one, but does have a very nice main event, as Ren Kobayashi (5-2-1, 2) takes on Shori Umezu (7-0-1, 6). Kobayashi has gone 2-2-1 in his last 5, and the 24 year old really needs a solid win, and chance to build on May's victory over Yuki Yazan. As for Umezu he will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing technical draw with Taiga Higashi in June. The power of Umezu could be the difference here, as he looks to build on his Rookie of the Year triumph in February, but we expect he will be in for a real fight here.
Over in India we also get a small show, with the most notable bout on the show being a 6 rounder at Super Middleweight between Akashdeep Singh (3-0) and Shashikant Shashikant (1-2-1, 1), with the rest of the card being 4 rounders. The 20 year old Singh made his debut in April and has already reeled off 3 wins in around 5 months, showing some activity that other fighters perhaps need to try to replicate. As or Shashikant he debuted in 2020, going 1-1-1 that year, before taking more than a year out of the ring and losing this past April.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
The only Asian action this coming Saturday is Japanese card and it's a pretty interesting one, as well as their first live televised show of the new year.
The main event of the show will see Kyosuke Sawada (14-2-2, 6) and Kenshin Oshima (7-1-1, 3) battle for the vacant Japanese Bantamweight title, the cursed title. The title was made vacant when Yusuke Suzuki vacated due to injury, and continued a rather long line of events which plagued the title in recent years, including Sawada fighting to a technical draw for the title last year. Both Sawada and Oshima are looking to win their first title, and this is a meaningful bout, despite the recent history of the Japanese Bantamweight title. It is also a match up that looks likely to be really interesting, with both of the men involved in this being talented boxers, with Sawada being the more polished and aggressive, but Oshima being a smart counter boxer. This might not being a thrilling all action bout, but it should be a really, really interesting technical chess match. Our preview of this bout can be read here Sawada and Oshima battle for Japanese national title!
For those wanting action, we should get some explosive action in the main support bout, as Kaiki Yuba (7-1-2, 5) take on Tetsuya Kondo (6-4, 4). For Yuba this will be his first bout since a dramatic loss last year year to Jin Sasaki in a Japanese Youth title fight. We suspect Yuba will be seeking to make a statement following that loss. Kondo on the other hand has lost his last two, but shouldn't be written off, and has the power to take Yuba out if he connects. This should be a dramatic bout, even if the action isn't the most intense.
Other bouts on this card include a very interesting match up between the touted Yuki Nakajima (4-1-2, 4), who comes into this on the back of two disappointing draws, and former Rookie of the Year winner Daiki Kameyama (8-5-1, 2). This bout is one where both will feel it's a must win. Neither has been having good results recently, with Kameyama losing 3 of his last 4, and we expect this one to be a really good little war between two men each looking to advance their career with a much needed win.
One other bout worthy of some attention is a 6 rounder between the once beaten Ren Kobayashi (4-1-1, 2) and the unbeaten Shinba Yamaguchi (1-0-1, 1). Yamaguchi, a second generation fighter, is the son of former WBA Light Flyweight world champion Keiji Yamaguchi, and looked really explosive on his debut, before being held to a draw in his second pro bout. Sadly he's been out of the ring for close to 2 years due to the ongoing pandemic. Kobayashi on the other hand started his career with 3 straight wins but is 1-1-1 in his last 3, and has struggled for form, though did fight twice last year and will be hoping his recent activity will prove vital for him here.