Sambo Hall, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan
The main show this coming Sunday takes place in Kobe and is a Shinsei promoted card that very much focuses on the Japan Vs Philippines rivalry, with 3 bouts between fighters from the two countries.
The main event will see Japanese ranked Super Flyweight Tetsuro Ohashi (8-3-1, 2) take on the under-rated Roland Jay Biendima (17-11-1, 10), in what could be a potential banana skin for Ohashi. The talented Japanese fighter is looking to bounce back from a loss to WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Nishida last November. Ohashi is a real talent, but his lack of power has held him back from reaching the next level, and we do worry that he is close to, if not at, his ceiling. As for Biendima he did recently go through a 6 fight losing run, between 2020 and the start of this year, but comes into this on the back of two stoppage wins. At his best, Biendima is a hard hitting tough guy, and he could well be the type of guy who has the tools to get to, and break down, the more skilled Ohashi.
Another Filipino puncher on this card will be Jon Jon Estrada (15-9-1, 14), who will favoured to pick up a win here as he takes on limited Japanese fighter Yushi Fujita (9-9-4, 2). Estrada is a flawed fighter, really flawed, but he has brutal power, and if a fighter tries to have a tear up with him, he can catch them, and close the show on them. Notably he can be out boxed, though fighters do, generally, need to be wary of his power and find ways to either avoid it completely, or neutralise it. As for Fujita he lacks power, but is better than his record suggests, and has been a solid test for decent domestic fighters, such as Jinki Maeda who had to work for a win over Fujita last year. Estrada should be favoured, but Fujita could make this a tough day for him.
For us the best match up on the card will see OPBF ranked Filipino Cris Ganoza (19-4, 9) take on Japanese novice Goki Kobayashi (3-0, 2). The 28 year old Ganoza was blasted out in his most recent fight, by Yudai Shigeoka, but has only been beaten by solid fighters, with Shigeoka, Edward Heno, ArAr Andales and John Michael Zulueta beating him. He is certainly no push over. As for Kobayashi the 23 year old looks like a genuine prospect to keep an eye on and a blow out win over Sora Takeda back in March was a statement that he has got power and can go a long way. We suspect he has the tools to over-come Ganoza, but we also feel he will have to work for a win here and he will be forced to answer a number of questions about his potential. A really good match up and a good sign of the belief Shinsei have in Kobayashi.
Capio, Tsukuba, Ibaragi, Japan
As well as the card in Kobe we're also set to get a show in Ibaragi, though this show is much less notable and is an all 4 rounder show. These types of shows lack stars, or notable hopefuls, but do tend to deliver fun action and this 7 bout card should be a really fun one, with 4 all debutant bouts.
The one bout from the 7 we're most interested in is a bout at a contracted 50KG's between Yuki Hayato (0-0) and Tomoya Sasamoto (0-0), who are both youngsters looking to kick their careers off with a win. Hayato is a 23 year old whilst Sasamoto is a little younger at 22. Given their ages we expect to see both men continue their careers, and hopefully we'll see both men looking to leave an impression here.
The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex, Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines
The most notable Asian card this coming Saturday comes from Paranaque City and is a rather interesting one, with a mix of emerging names, and established names, though sadly it does lack in terms of really good match ups.
One of the most notable of the emerging hopefuls on the show is 23 year old Aljum Pelesio (10-1, 5), who we hope to see stepping up in class next year. Here is expected to get a confidence building win, as he takes on the very limited Bonjun Loperez (12-15-1, 6). Given that Pelesio lost in 2019, and has only fought once since that loss, it's hard to complain too much about a bout like this, which is clearly there for him to build his self belief and get some rounds, but we do hope we don't see too many bouts like this for the youngster.
Another once beaten hopeful on this show is 22 year old Gary Tamayo (6-1, 3), who takes on 33 year old Danny Tampipi (9-15-2, 5). The bout is a good chance for Tamayo to get some rounds with a southpaw, who he should beat, and at this stage experience against difference will serve him well. Fingers crossed however 2023 will be the year when he steps up and takes on tougher tests.
Arguably the most well matched of the youngsters on the show is 24 year old Bryan Tamayo (7-2-2, 2), who takes on former world title challenger Jetro Pabustan (30-9-6, 9). Although no world beater himself Tamayo showed he was certainly not a poor fighter last year, when he gave Arthur Villanueva a good work out, and he should be able to beat Pabustan here, and hopefully kick on with more fights against higher level domestic foes in the coming year or two.
When it comes to more notable and well known fighters, this card will see Roland Jay Biendima (15-11-1, 8) in action against Powell Balaba (9-32-1, 5), in what should be an easy win of Biendima, and the always tricky Richard Pumicpic (22-12-3, 7), who takes on Edison Berwela (18-44-8, 6). These are both horrific mismatches, and are done as little more than to get Biendima a win, after 6 straight losses, and keep Pumicpic busy.
There is also a second Filipino card scheduled, this time in Cavite. This is a smaller show than the other Filipino show, though does feature a number of promising young hopefuls.
The most notable of the hopefuls here is the once beaten John Mark Tihuk (6-1-2, 2), who looks to score his latest win as he takes on the limited Margarito Moya (9-11, 3). The 23 year old Tihuk has won his last 4, following a 2019 loss to Aljum Pelesio, and although still very much a young novice, is someone worth keeping an eye on. Sadly Moya has lost his last 9, all by stoppage, and it's hard to imagine him lasting 8 rounds with Tihuk here, despite the fact Tihuk isn't much of a puncher.
Other prospects on this card include Kenneth Llover (4-0, 4), who faces Miller Alapormina (5-2-1, 3) in a pretty interesting test, and John Vincent Pangga (4-0, 2), who takes on Joel Taduran (8-11-2, 2). Neither of these are big bouts, but are a chance for the unbeaten man to tick along and continue their development with out too much fuss and attention.
176BOX, Toyonaka, Osaka, Japan
We're also set to see notable prospects in action in Japan, as Osaka plays host to a card with two promising and unbeaten Japanese fighters.
On of the unbeaten fighters is former All Japan Rookie of the Year Sora Fukunaga (10-0, 5), who puts his unbeaten record on the line as he takes on all action warrior Kenya Yamashita (14-5, 11). The talented 24 year old Fukunaga struggled to build on his Rookie of the Year triumph, which came in February 2021, though a win here would seriously help move his career forward and boost his standing in the Japanese boxing world. The reason for that is the fact the 25 year old Yamashita, yes some how he's only 25, has long been a popular and exciting warrior who makes for good fights and does have a name that means something, despite numerous set backs in recent years. At one point Yamashita seemed like one to watch, with his youth, heavy hands, and aggression. This should be a genuinely exciting bout, but the size of Fukunaga should be the difference.
The other prospect of note on the show is Kaito Yamasaki (2-0, 1), who takes a big step up to take on Koshin Takeshima (4-2-1, 3). The 23 year old Yamasaki made his name in the amateur ranks and is widely expected to move through the ranks and make a big name for himself in the future, with his combination of skills, power and amateur experience. Takeshima was tipped for big things himself, and won his first 4 bouts, but has now gone 0-2-1 in his last 3, and will know another loss here will leave him in a big hole if he ever intends to become a domestic title contender. This should be a bout with impressive skills on show, and over 8 rounds could be a hard one to call.
Dawrpui Multipurpose Hall, Aizawl, India
We also have a small show in India. Sadly more than half of this card are bouts between debutants, but there two men with some recorded bouts to their name.
One of the men with some experience on this show is HC Lalramfela (2-0, 1), who scored two wins last year and will be looking to record his third one here, as he takes on Akoijam Naoton Meitei (0-0). The other fighter with some experience is C Lalhruaitluanga (2-0, 1), who seeks his third win as he takes on Laishram Ronalson Khuman (0-0). Sadly this is a step back for Lalhruaitluanga, who seemed to be moving his career forward.
Although this show is hard to get excited about, it is a sign that Indian boxing is slowly putting down the foundations for it to build off, and that is certainly not a bad things, just a very slow process.
Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
The most notable fighter competing in a bout outside of Asia here is Chinese Heavyweight Junlong Zhang (18-0, 18), with the infamous "Dragon King" making his international debut, and battling against Mexican fighter Guillermo Casas (10-2-1, 6). For years Zhang was a bit of a mystery man, with those mysteries becoming even more telling when bouts of his were reported exhibitions bouts, and then he seemed to vanish. He's now not had a recorded bout in almost 5 years, and it really is hard to know what the 40 year old has left in the tank, or whether he ever really had anything in the tank. As for Casas the 27 year old Mexican has been a regular at the popular Big Punch Arena in Tijuana, and will be making his international debut here. It's hard to read much into his record, but his competition has, so far, been poor, as one expected om the Mexican Heavyweight scene.
The Bomb Factory, Dallas, Texas, USA
In the US we'll see Uzbekistani fighter Jamshidbek Najmitdinov (18-2, 14) look to bounce back from his 2021 loss to Will Madera, as he takes on Charles Hatley (30-2-1, 21) for the WBC United States Welterweight title. The talented Najmitdinov looked like he could be something special when he was robbed back in 2017 against Viktor Postol, but sadly he then ended up treading water before making his US debut last year, and losing to Madero after suffering an injury. As loss here against Hatley will likely be the end of Najmitdinov as any kind of hopeful. As for Hatley, he's a former world title challenger, who challenged Jermell Charlo back in 2017, and has gone unbeaten since losing to Charlo. Hatley will be the clear favourite, though he really can't afford to over the Uzbekistani, as we know Najmitdinov is better than his loss to Madera suggests.
The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex, Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines
The biggest show for Asian fight fans this Saturday comes from the Philippines, where fans get a genuinely great looking card.
The best bout on this card will see former Filipino amateur stand out Charly Suarez (9-0, 6) take on the once beaten Tomjune Mangubat (15-2-1, 12), in a bout for the WBA Asia Super Featherweight title. Of the two men there is no doubting that Saurez is the more talented, and the one with the bigger reputation, however he is now 33 and it seems he could end up aging out of the sport before ever landing a massive fight, and getting a chance to show what he's really capable of. Aged 24 Mangubat is an exciting hopeful, who has won his last 4, following a thrilling loss in Vietnam to Jong Seon Kang in a very over-looked 2019 war. This is a step up for Mangubat, but he'll know a win here puts him in the mix for some interesting fights later in the year.
Another really interesting match up on this card will see GAB Super Bantamweight champion Carl Jammes Martin (18-0, 15) look to add to his title collection, as he takes on Ronnie Baldonado (15-2-1, 9) in a bout for the WBA Asia title. Martin has long been seen as a future star for the Philippines and is one of the countries most highly regarded prospects, despite still only being 22 years old. He's exciting, aggressive and explosive, but will be expected to work incredibly hard to win here as he takes on the solid, though naturally smaller, Baldonado. Notably Baldonado has mixed with good company, with his 2018 loss to Kosei Tanaka standing out, but will be up against a naturally much bigger and stronger man.
A third title bout on this show will see GAB Flyweight champion Bienvenido Ligas (13-2-2, 9) and defending his title against Roland Jay Biendima (15-10-1, 8), in a bout that looks like a mismatch, but should be more competitive than the records of the men suggest. Ligas is a genuine talent, but has struggled in recent fights, fighting to a draw with Miel Fajardo and losing to April Jay Aben in his last two fight, and needs a solid win here to get things back in track. Biendima on the other hand has lost his last 5, but has mixed at a very good level, with those losses to Kento Hatanaka, Christian Araneta, Jade Bornea Esneth Domingo and Aston Palicte. We suspect this one will end up being the stealing bout, and is a real test for the champion.
One of the most notable names on this card will be former world title challenger Michael Dasmarinas (30-3-2, 20), who will be fighting for the second time since losing in 2021 to Naoya Inoue. The talented Dasmarinas will be in what should be a very, very easy bout here as he takes on the limited Danny Tampipi (9-14-2, 5), who has shown himself to be tough, but very limited.
Also on this card is an interesting match up between Jess Rhey Waminal (14-4-1, 8) and the big punching Jon Jon Estrada (14-8-1, 13), which is a genuinely tough one to call, and a stay busy bout for the criminally under-rated Richard Pumicpic (22-12-2, 7), who faces Pablito Canada (7-20-4, 1) in what should be little more than a straight forward win for Pumicpic.
Saigon Sports Club, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Staying in Asia, there is also set to be an interesting show in Vietnam, where we see a regional title fight, along with a couple of local prospects in interesting fights against hard hitting visitors.
The main event will be a battle of unbeaten men, as 29 year old local hopeful Huu Toan Le (3-0, 2) takes on 19 year old Thai fighter Kitidech Hirunsuk (8-0, 5) for the WBA Asia Minimumweight title. The unbeaten Lee debuted in 2019 and has had his last two fights on the road, fighting in Thailand and the Philippines, against very low level foes, with the most recent of those coming way back in 2020. As for Hirunsuk the teenager debuted in 2020 and fought as recently as February, picking up his 8th win in just 15 months. Notably the Thai has scored 5 wins in just the first 3 rounds, and will be looking to set a fast start here, in what is a notable step up for both men.
Talking about stepping up, that's also the case for 23 year old local Hong Dat Vo (1-0, 1), who takes on in form Thai puncher Jirawat Thammachot (6-2, 6). The unbeaten Vo made his debut in 2019, stopping Ramly Pasaribu, but then vanished from the pro-ranks, and will be looking to make up for lost time in the near future. This is a great chance for him to make up for almost 3 years of lost time, but it's a step up that comes up with genuine risk. Thammachot made his debut in 2020 and lost his first two bouts to highly regarded local fighters, but has bounced back with 6 straight wins, albeit against incredibly poor opponents.
In a battle of teenagers we'll see Arvin Jhon Paciones (0-0) make his debut against Adisak Ketpiam (7-2, 6). Paciones is a 17 year old Vietnam based Filipino fighter who will be looking to kick his career off here in a 6 rounder, which always catching the attention no matter how old a fighter is. Ketpiam on the other hand is an 18 year Thai who debuted in 2018 against current world champion Panya Pradabsri, losing in 5 rounds, but has rebuilt and shown some impressive power, albeit against very poor local opponents. It's an interesting match up and one that features two youngsters who aren't afraid to pick up losses early in their careers.
Rumours International, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
Over in Australia we'll see some we'll also see an Asian fighter in action.
The Asian in question will be Australian based Filipino veteran Jack Asis (38-24-5, 19), in what will be his 68th professional bout. The 38 year old, dubbed "The Assassin", hasn't had his opponent named at the time of writing, but with 4 straight losses, 3 by TKO, the hope is that this will be an easy one for him, and a chance for him to bow out on a win, rather than another painful loss.
Cathedral Room at St. Nicholas, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Over in the US 30 year old Basyzbek Baratov (5-1-2, 1), from Kyrgyzstan, will be taking a notable step up in class to take on Alexander Castellano (6-1, 2) over 8 rounds. To date Baratov's opponents have had a combined record of 6-3, with 3 of his 8 foes being debutants. It's worth noting that Baratov isn't the only one stepping up here, with Castellano fighting his only his second opponent with more wins than losses, and he lost the last time he faced an opponent like that. It's an interesting one, and a hard one to predict, but it's clear that neither of these men have the tools or ambition to go too far in the sport.
Sanman Gym, General Santos City, Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
To end the month of April we get the next show from Sanman promotions. It's not a huge card, though it's a very notable one, with 3 notable Filipino hopefuls in action, as they all look to tick over and move towards bigger and better things. They are 3 fighters who, after the pandemic, will all be knocking on the door of big fights.
The main event will see world ranked Filipino hopeful Mike Plania (24-1, 12) take on the limited Emmanuel Mogawa (5-3, 2), in what should be little more than a stay busy bout for Plania. The talented "Magic Mike" scored a career best win last June, over Joshua Greer Jr, but was unable to build on that victory and has sadly lost the momentum that that win should have injected into his career. Sadly with the momentum gone it makes sense to tick over with a bout like this, and keep ready than to waste more time. It's just a shame he didn't get a big fight after the win over Greer. As for Mogawa he's never been stopped, and can fight, but should be very under-sized here.
Another man who seemed set for big things last year is Jayson Mama (15-0, 8), who had been lined up for a fight with Moruti Mthalane, before that fell apart due to issues with the promoter. Mama will have to put that missed opportunity behind him, and stay focused as he takes on the rugged Romshane Sarguilla (7-5-2, 4), who is a lot more of a test than his record suggests. The 23 year old Mama is a talented prospect, but someone who serious needs some tests and some seasoning, and this bout should be a good test for him. Sarguilla is limited but has managed to ask serious questions of upcoming world title challenger Pongsaklek Sithdabnij and Andika D'Golden Boy. He will be there to win and should be the type of fighter who brings out the best in Mama.
A third notable hopeful here is Jade Bornea (15-0, 10), who takes on Roland Jay Biendima (15-7-1, 8). Bornea was a standout amateur and is someone with the potential to mix it at a high level, but he has yet to really click in the professional ranks and will need a more complete performance than we've seen from him if he's to convince the sport that he is a world champion in the making. Biendima however has had mixed performances. His 2020 clash with Kento Hatanaka was an amazing war, where he showed real toughness, but he was stopped quickly a bout later, by Christian Araneta. On his day Biendima can be a force, and we hope he manages to put on a good performance here, as Bornea needs to forced into showing what he can really do.
This coming Friday is a busy day in the world of Asian boxing with Asian fighters in action in the US, Kazakhstan and the Philippines. The day is also a really interesting one with world title bouts, prospects and contenders all in action making it a real great day to sit down and watch some fights.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida, USA
The biggest show of the day for Asian fighters is in Florida, where Matchroom and DAZN put on one of their final shows of 2020. It's not a massive show, but it's certainly a noteworthy one.
The main event of the card will see Kazakh Middleweight great Gennadiy Golovkin (40-1-1, 35) defending his IBF and IBO titles against unbeaten Polish challenger Kamil Szeremeta (21-0, 5). For Golovkin this will be his first defense of the titles since reclaiming them in October 2019, when he narrowly beat Sergiy Derevyanchenko, and we do wonder what the 38 year old Kazakh has left in the tank, especially given the 14 month break between fights. Sadly however it's unlikely that Szeremeta will ask him any real questions in what is a massive step up in class for the Polish man. Our full preview of this bout can be read here Golovkin returns against unbeaten Szeremeta
A second Kazakh on this show will be the unbeaten Ali Akhmedov (16-0, 12) who clashes with fellow unbeaten Carlos Gongora (18-0, 13) in a bout for the IBO Super Middleweight title. The exciting Akhmedov has been facing very poor competition so far, and this is, very clearly, a step up in class for him, and his team will know that a win puts him on the verge of a "real" world title fight. As for Gongora the Ecuadorian was a stellar amateur, competing in 2 Olympics and 3 World Amateur Championships, but at 31 this is his first real test. This is an excellent match up, and one that promises to be very, very interesting.
In a female world title bout we'll see Korean Hyun Mi Choi (17-0-1, 4) make her international debut and look to make her latest defense of the WBA Super Featherweight title. The hope was that she would be in with some sort of name opponent or at very least a live foe for her US debut but instead she is matched with late call up Calista Silgado (19-11-3, 14), from Colombia. On paper Silgado looks like she can punch, but her record against opponents of some quality has shown she is limit. Thankfully she is tough, but this should be a straight forward defense for Choi, who deserves better from Matchroom. Our preview of this bout can be read here WBA champ Hyun Mi Choi makes US debut as she takes on Calista Silgado!
Tynyshpayev Academy of Transport and Communications, Almaty, Kazakhstan
In Kazakhstan Tukeshov Promotions will be putting on an event with a staggering 22 bouts on it! Given boxrec currently list 132 bouts taking place anyone where on the globe on Friday it's amazing that a single show will have 22 of them! Of course we won't go through all of them, but there are 3 that have really got our interest.
The best of the bunch is a Cruiserweight bout between Kazakh amateur star Kamshybek Kunkabayev (1-0, 1), who has eyes on a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and under-rated Ukrainian Serhiy Radchenko (7-6, 2). On paper a nothing bout, even for a 1-0 prospect, but this should actually be a legitimate test for Kunkabayev given that Radchenko has given the likes of Krzysztof Glowacki, Ruslan Fayfer, Adam Balski and Artur Szpilka real tests. We suspect the big man from Kazakhstan will be too good, but this is not the gimme it looks on paper.
Another potentially tough bout for an unbeaten Kazakh will see Sultan Zaurbek (9-0, 7) take on Vladyslav Melnyk (12-2, 7). Zaurbek has been needing a step up for a while, with MTK feeding him a lot of limited opponents early on and this is a much needed step up in class against a fighter who has proven himself and shown a desire to win. Zaurbek is very talented, but we don't yet know if he's very good. Melnyk is a 22 year old Ukrainian who will be coming in to this with belief and we suspect the hunger to test the Kazakh. Potentially a very compelling match up.
Another prospect worthy of real attention on this card is Talgat Shayken (2-0, 1), who will be up against Russian foe Maxim Churbanov (8-7-1-1). Shayken, who is now just 20 year's old, has got a lot of potential, but that potential needs work and he needs developing. The 34 year old Churbanov is well travelled and tends to be a good test for decent fights, asking questions of fighters like Michal Syrowtka. Shayken should win but bouts like this will help hone and develop his undeniable potential, so we've no issues with him being moved slowly.
IPI Compound, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
Over in the Philippines we get two shows thanks to Omega Sports who have split an event in two for Covid19 safety reasons.
The first of the two shows is Kumbati 6 and features two interesting prospects on it.
One of the prospects in question is unbeaten Light Flyweight Mark Vicelles (12-0-1, 6), who takes on veteran Arnold Garde (10-10-3, 4) The talented Vicelles comes into this bout with wins against Robert Onggocan and Jesse Espinas and is very talented, however it's understandable that his team are just looking to keep him ticking over here. Garde was once a a decent opponent, capable of asking questions of good fighters, but he has now lost 6 of his last 7, and been stopped in 4 of those bouts. We see this being another loss for him.
The other notable prospect on Kumbati 6 is the twice beaten Tomjune Mangubat (11-2-1, 9), who returns to the ring for the first time since is 2019 epic with Jong Seon Kang, which is a bout everyone should get around to watching. In the opposite corner to Mangubat will be the limited Reymond Empic (7-5, 3), who is looking to avoid a third straight loss. On paper this isn't an awful bout for Mungubat, coming in off a loss himself, but Empic has lost 3 of his last 4 and is unlikely to be a serious test for Mungubat.
IPI Compound, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
The other show from Omega Sports will be Kumbati 7, and this looks a more stacked one, with prospects and a couple of world title level in action.
The best bout on this show will see the once beaten Christian Araneta (18-1, 14) take on Roland Jay Biendima (15-6-1, 8) in what should be a sensational battle. Araneta is looking to score his second win since a 2019 injury TKO loss to Daniel Valladares, and is very highly regarded. He is however also the smaller man and Biendima showed his toughness earlier this year, when he went toe-to-toe with Kento Hatanaka back in February. This should be a real test for Araneta.
Sadly we don't expect to see Albert Pagara (32-1, 23) have any sort of issues at all when he takes on Virgil Puton (18-14-2, 9). Once up a time Puton was good regional level opponent, giving the likes of Shuya Masaki and Masayuki Ito questions to answer. Now a days however he looks about spent and has been stopped in 3 of his last 6. Pagara should be too quick, too powerful and far too good to go too many rounds here with the worn and weary Puton.
The once beaten Peter Apolinar (12-1, 8) looks to score his latest win as he goes up against the limited Danilo Tampipi (9-11-2, 5), who has been stopped in 3 of his last 4. Apolinar has won his last 7, including a very solid win over Jetro Pabustan in October, and shouldn't need to work too hard to pick up a win here.
One other man who should be picking up an easy win is the all action Carl Jammes Martin (15-0, 14), who fights for the first time since December 2019. The 21 year old sensation is one of the most fan friendly fighters in the Philippines and he should be looking at big bouts in the next year or two. Here however he's just looking to take over and shake some ring rust as he takes on Richard Rosales (14-13-2, 8), who has lost his last 4 and 7 of his last 8.
On Tuesday the focus goes to Kariya for a small, yet notable, card being put on by Kiyoshi Hatanaka and the Hatanaka Gym. The card isn't huge, but does feature two unbeaten Japanese prospects, both worthy of attention.
The most notable of those is the WBC Youth Flyweight champion Kento Hatanaka (10-0, 9), who will be defending his title against Filipino challenger Roland Jay Biendima (15-5-1, 8). Last time out we saw Hatanaka getting a serious gut check as he went in with Jaysever Abcede, going the distance for the first time and being dropped for the first time. We expect a more polished performance this time around from the second generation fighter, however it does feel like his team are just taking their foot off the gas, just slightly, with this fight. As for the challenger he is very much coming to win, but will be regarded as a clear under-dog. Notably this will be his second fighter in Japan, where he came close to scoring a win against Taiyo Inoue.
For fans wanting to watch the main event this will be available online, for free, through CBC's High Five WEB youtube channel, and can be watched live all over the globe, here.
The other is Hiroki Hanabusa (7-0-3, 2), who looks to kick off his 2020 with a bout against Thai visitor Sorawit Bamrungrai (6-2, 3). The talented Hanabusa is only 21 years old but has already fought on foreign soil, gone the distance in a couple of 8 rounders and earned a Japanese ranking. As for the Thai Sorawit, also known as Petchtae Petchyindee, he has been stopped in both of his losses and has yet to score a win of any note.