The end of year run in begins this coming Tuesday with a show that may well be the best and most packed show this year. It features many of those who are regarded the future of Japanese boxing, 3 world title bouts and a very good OPBF title bout. All in all it's the sort of show every fight fan should have an interest in, even if they can't actually watch it.
The show kicks off with the world ranked Takuma Inoue (3-0, 1) battling against former world title challenger Nestor Daniel Narvaes (20-2-2, 9). For Inoue this is his biggest test so far though is, in some ways, only a small step up from his biggest win so far, a decision victory over Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr back in April. Narvaes may be remembered by Japanese fans for giving Toshiyuki Igarashi a very tough test back in 2012 though since then the Argentinian has fought just twice and not looked great in either of those bouts. It is a step for Inoue but one he should pass if he's as good as touted.
In the second bout on the show we see another heavily touted Japanese prospect in action as Ryo Matsumoto (12-0, 10) attempts to claim his first professional title. Matsumoto, a former amateur standout, will be hoping to claim the OPBF Super Flyweight title as he battles against the world ranked Rusalee Samor (25-5-2, 11) of Thailand. Samor will be best known to many fans for his tight loss to Rex Tso in Macau and if he fights like that here we could be in for a great contest. Saying that however we expected Matsumoto to struggle against Denkaosan Kaovichit though took him early doors and he may be able to do the same here against Samor with his devastating body shots.
We go from one title fight to another, and the show's third bout will see former 2-weight world champion Jorge Linares (37-3, 24) attempt to claim the WBC Lightweight title as he takes on the limited, but heavy handed, Javier Prieto (24-7-2, 18). The bout looks like a mismatch and it's hard to see how Linares loses unless he does something stupid, sadly however we have seen Linares do something stupid in the past and he may well get caught here. For Linares this is a great opportunity to win a a 3rd divisional and we really can't see him getting a better chance any time soon.
The next bout will see 2012 Olympic Middleweight champion Ryota Murata (5-0, 4) in action as he battles against American Jessie Nicklow (24-4-3, 8). This is Murata's 4th bout of the year and his first since being take the distance by Adrian Luna Flores in September. Although Murata did go 10 rounds last time out we struggle to see Nicklow coping with the power or pressure of the Japanese fighter for long here and this could be over relatively early if Murata is in the mood to make a statement.
In the chief support bout fans are in for a treat as the always exciting Akira Yaegashi (20-4, 10) battles against Mexico's Pedro Guevara (23-1-1, 15) for the vacant WBC Light Flyweight title. This bout is a great opportunity for Yaegashi to become a 3-weight world champion though Guevara is talented himself and will not be flying around the world to just pick up a paycheck. Potentially this could be the fight of the night, and in fact we'd not be surprised if this was a very late contender for FOTY.
The main event will see Japanese youngster Naoya Inoue (7-0, 6) attempt to become a 2-weight world champion in just his 8th professional contest. Inoue will battle against Argentinian veteran Omar Andres Narvaez (43-1-2, 23) with Narvaez attempting to make the 12th defense of the WBO Super Flyweight title. The fight is intriguing to say the least and could end up being the passing of the torch from the 39 year old Narvaez to the 21 year old Inoue or, alternatively, it could a veteran proving that there is still life left in his legs despite his advanced age. The only thing that is clear about this bout is that it's going to answer a lot of questions about both men involved in it.
(Image courtesy of Ohashi Gym)
This coming Friday looks like a very quiet day, though we have made aware of a title bout in Thailand as the world ranked Rusalee Samor (24-5-2, 11) defends his IBF Asia Super Flyweight title. Samor, a tough and exciting action fighter from Thailand, will be battling against Filipino Fernando Ocon (13-7, 5) in what we suspect will be an easy defense.
On the under-card fans will get the chance to see another world ranked fighter in action as Patomsuk Pathompothong (29-2-1, 18) battles against 21 year old Filipino Rodel Wenceslao (8-8-1, 2) in what should be a mismatch given what we know of the two men involved in this one.
Another notable name on this card is Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (24-3-1, 15) who will be taking part in his 4th bout of the year. The Thai 21 year old will be fighting against South Korean Da-Won Suh (3-3-1, 1) who, despite the record, is unbeaten in 4 bouts. The Thai should be favoured, and he has competed at a much higher level, though he does come into this one on the back of a disappointing result with Tatsuya Fukuhara.
Another of the undercard bouts here will see Patomsith Pathompothong (9-2, 4) battle against another Korean visitor as he takes on Ji-Hwan Lee (5-3-1, 2). Going into this bout Lee has lost his last 3 though may provide a decent rival for the Thai fighter.
For those wanting to watch this show it will be televised by Channel 7.
June 20th-Rusalee Samor and Patomsul Pathompothong in action in Thailand, Rookie of the East continues in Japan
It's been a mostly quiet week this week but we do end it with action in both Japan and Thailand.
Phatthalung Province, Thailand
In Thailand we have title action as the always fun to watch Rusalee Samor (23-5-2, 10) defends his IBF Asia Super Flyweight title against Indonesia's experienced but limited Ricky Manufoe (23-20-2, 10). We love watching Samor who, whilst limited, is an all action fighter and was very unlucky in his most recent loss, a majority decision to Rex Tso last July.
On the undercard we're expecting to see the world ranked, IBF #10 Light Welterweight, Patomsuk Pathompothong (27-2-1, 17) in action as he battles against Indonesian visitor Billy Sumba (19-6-1, 4). Interestingly this is the second meeting between these two men with Patomsuk having beaten Sumba via an 8 round decision back in 2011.
Another Thai Vs Indonesian bout will see Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (23-3, 15) taking on Ichal Tobida (10-11, 8). Fahlan, who was last seen in the ring being dominated by Takuma Inoue, needs a win here and will be expected to scored it against the hard hitting but very limited Tobida who is already 0-5 in Thailand. Fahlan might have been clearly beaten by Inoue but he should still be a level above Tobida,
As well as the title action in Thailand we also have a number of bouts from the East Japan Rookie of the Year. In total this show, from the Korakuen Hall, will feature 12 bouts with fights ranging from Light Flyweight to Middleweight. Of the 12 bouts the one we're most interested in is the Light bout between the highly touted 17 year old Lightweight Andy Hiraoka (3-0, 2) and the 24 year old Yoshihito Takahashi (2-1, 2).
On a second Japanese show, this time in Osaka, we will get to see 8 bouts in total. Although 7 of the 8 contests are 4 rounders there is one notable contest, the main event, which will see former world title challenger Masae Akitaya (8-4-2, 3) fighting for the first time since February 2013. Akitaya, who is best known for her losses to Ayaka Miyao, will be facing a Thai opponent though sadly we've failed to come up with the name of the Thai fighter.
Western Australia, Australia
In Australia we get to see a handful of low level bouts with Asian fighters involved. One of those will see Filipino veteran Arnel Tinampay (21-16-1, 7) battle against the unbeaten, though inexperienced, Wes Capper (4-0, 3) in what look to be a very interesting bout. Sure Capper is unbeaten but the difference in experience is huge and may well help Tinampay to a victory, something he deserved last time he fought in Australia.
The other two bouts involve Thai's with one of the bouts being between Baikon Lokromklao (1-2) and the debuting Shane Carroll (0-0) whilst the other will feature debuting Thai female Wiilaiwan Namuanghchan (0-0) who fights Louisa Hawton (0-0), a fellow debutant.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
April 18th-Rusalee in IBF action!
It's Friday once and as per usual it's the Thai's that are delivering the televised action with another Channel 7 card that is more mysterious to us than the Bermuda Triangle.
Surat Thani, Thailand
Unfortunately the mystery of the card is confusing in not just terms of bouts but also venue. The one thing we are sure of is that the card will feature the always fun to watch Rusalee Samor (22-5-2, 10) who will be defending his IBF Asia Super Flyweight title.
*Thanks to Pal for this information but Samor's opponent will be unbeaten Indonesian Espinos Sabu (11-0-1, 5). Sabu is the Indonesian Flyweight champion and, at one point last year, was linked strongly to an Ali Raymi fight.
In Osaka fight fans will be treat to an Harada promoted card at the wonderfully named Bodymaker Colosseum, AKA the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.
In total this show will feature 8 bouts and include 2 Japanese ranked fighters with a ranked Middleweight and a ranked Flyweight in action as well.
The headline bout will see the Japanese ranked Tetsuya Hisada (21-8, 11) take on former world title challenger Junichi Ebisuoka (23-17-5, 10). It may be hard to remember it but Ebisuoka challenged Oleydong Sithsamerchai to the WBC Minimumweight title way back in 2008. Unfortunately for Ebisuoka that was his career highly and although he has fought in other title fights he has repeatedly been the bridesmaid losing in Japanese title fights and an OPBF title fight.
For Hisada this bout with Ebisuoka is a chance to repeat a 2008 victory, though as with Ebisuoka we don't imagine he'll ever win a big one.
The other ranked fighter in action on this show is Ryuji Kanza (6-1, 4) who will be fighting for the first time in over a year. Kanza's opponent will be Takayuki Morimoto (5-7, 3) who has won just 2 of his last 9. This should be an easy victory for the ranked Kanza but will ring rust effect him?
In Russia we have a chance to see the very promising Aik Shakhnazaryan (11-0, 4) takes on Felix Lora (18-10-5, 9). Shakhnazaryan comes in to this fight looking for his second notable victory after beating Alisher Rahimov last month. Aged just 20 the unbeaten Russian is a fast prospect and a victory over the "trickier than his record suggests" Lora would help establish Shakhnazaryan as one of Russia's fastest rising youngsters.
Another bout on this Russian card will see David Avanesyan (16-1-1, 9) battle against former world title challenger Kaizer Mabuza (25-10-3, 15) in a major bout for Avanesyan.
One more noteworthy fighter on this card is former Olympian Uktamjon Rahmonov (2-0) who some are quietly tipping as a future world champion. Aged 23 and hailing from Uzbekistan Rahmonov is unlikely to set the world alive in the next year or two but we'd certainly advice fans to keep a watchful eye on his progress.
(Image above, and video below are courtesy of Kietkreerin, the video is the hype video of what we believe is Samor bout, unfortunately it's in Thai which none of our team speak)