The best single bout to feature an Asian fighter comes from Glasgow, where legendary Filipino Nonito Donaire (38-5, 24) takes on WBA Bantamweight “super” champion Ryan Burnett (19-0, 9) in the final WBSS Bantamweight quarter final. This has the potential to be Donaire's last bout, if he loses, given he turns 36 on November 16th, but a win secures him a semi-final bout against Zolani Tete. For the unbeaten Burnett the bout is a chance to score a big win over a huge name in the lower weights, as well as setting himself up for a bout with Tete. This is real must win for both men, but sadly has the potential to be a bit of a stinker with Burnett likely to be too quick, too smart and too elusive for the Filipino veteran. A full preview of this bout can be read here Burnett and Donaire face off for final semi-final place!
The most notable card for us this coming Saturday comes from the Korakuen Hall where we get a Japanese Middleweight title bout and bouts featuring several notable Japanese prospects.
The Japanese title bout will see Japanese Middleweight king Kazuto Takesako (9-0, 9) make his first defense, as he faces off with former champion Sanosuke Sasaki (12-6, 6). The unbeaten champion won the title earlier this year, decimating Hikaru Nishida in 92 seconds, and since then has fought only a stay busy bout against tough Thai visitor Chaiwat Mueanphong. Former champion Sasaki had a 4 month reign from last 2012 to early 2013 but is 1-5 coming into this bout and looks to be a very under-whelming challenger for the heavy handed champion. It's nice to see Takesako defend the title, but it's a shame that he's not in there with a man anyone is giving much of a chance to. A preview of this title fight can be read here Takesako's first defense sees him takes on former champion!
In a supporting bout Masaya Tamayama (11-1, 6) will battle against Daijiro Yuki (8-4-1, 4). Coming in to this the 25 year old Tamayama is riding a 7 fight winning streak, and has broken into the JBC rankings at Welterweight. Yuki, also 25, is unbeaten his last 2 bouts but is 3-4-1 in his last 8, and has been stopped twice. We can't see anything but a win for Tamayama, but we do expect him to have to earn it.
Another supporting bout will see Daiki Funayama (7-3-1, 2) take a part in his first 8 rounder, as he takes on once beaten puncher Kenta Yamada (5-1-1, 4). Funayama has won his last 4, though has had to go the distance in those wins, and seems to lack power, even at the low end of the domestic level. Yamada on the other hand will be fighting for the first time in over 2 years. Although no world beater Yamada does hold a notable win over Kazuki Sanpei and will be looking to get himself back on the domestic map here.
One of the notable prospects is Jin Minamide (1-0, 1), who will take a notable step up in class to face Filipino Conrado Tanamor (10-2, 4). On paper this looks like a great match up for the young prospects, though digging beneath the surface we do wonder what Tanamor really brings to the ring following back to back stoppage losses, and a 0-2 record in fights outside of the Philippines. Despite Tanamor not being a great opponent we are looking forward to seeing how Minamide goes about his business here
Another of the prospects on this show is the debuting Masahiro Suzuki (0-0), who is scheduled to take on Antonio Sismundo (6-1, 6). Suzuki is a touted fighter who is a notable Japanese amateur with a lot of expectation on his shoulders, and he's been matched aggressively here against a man who clearly has power. Sismundo has stopped 6 men inside the first 3 rounds, but was stopped himself in his sole defeat back in September 2017.
Staying in Asia we also get a title double header in the Philippines, though neither match looks particularly competitive.
One of them will see Eranio Semillano (16-9-3, 5) and Edison Berwela (16-39-8, 5) battle for the PBF Bantamweight title. It's hard to imagine Semillano losing here, but Berwela is a live under-dog and did shock the Asian scene earlier this year when he stopped Saenganan Sithsaithong way back in January. It should be noted that since that upset win Berwela has lost his last 2 bouts.
The other bout will be for the PBF Super Flyweight bout and will see Cris Alfante (14-7-1, 6) take on Zoren Pama (8-14-3, 5). Alfante has mixed with great competition, such as Knockout CP Freshmart, Andrew Moloney and Daigo Higa, and we suspect that he will have far too much for Pama, who lacks a win of any note, though did surprisingly go 7 rounds before losing a technical decision to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in 2014.
There will also be a couple of bouts of note in Texas where two Kazakh prospects will be in action.
One of those prospects will be the very highly touted Janibek Alimkhanuly (3-0, 1), who faces off against Vaughn Alexander (12-1, 8) in what looks like an excellent test for the unbeaten man. The 25 year old Kazakh southpaw failed to really shine in his US debut, back in September, but he is a genuine talent and the expectation is that he will adapt to the professional ranks quickly. The once beaten Alexander is looking to bounce back from an August loss to Dennis Doughlin, and will not be coming in to this bout to lose. This should be an excellent test for Alimkhanuly.
The other prospect is less hyped Sagadat Rakhmankul (3-0, 1), who hunts his fourth win as he takes on the once beaten Nicklaus Flaz (5-1, 4). The unbeaten Rakhmankul has been impressive so far, following a debut this past February, and will be looking to close out the year with arguably his best win so far, as the 25 year old looks to move to the next level. Flaz is a 22 year old Puerto Rican who was beaten last time out by Hurshidbek Normatov and will be looking to get back to winning ways, though sadly hasn't fought since that Normatov bout back in December 2017.
This coming Tuesday we'll see a small card at the Korakuen Hall, and the reality is that the card lacks in names but does have some interesting contests on it.
One of the interesting bouts will be a 6 rounder between Katsuhiro Hoshi (7-2-1, 5) and Yoshiki Abe (5-6-4, 1). Aged 20 Hoshi has shown some real promise, and has gone 6-0-1 in his last 7 bouts, including a win against Takeshi Kaneko last time out. Despite that promise this will be a tough contest as Abe is no push over at this level.
Another match up of interest on this card will see Shinnosuke Hasegawa (4-2-1, 3) taking on Takuya Yamaguchi (3-9-2, 2). Although Yamaguchi is limited we've become very big fans of him due to his charisma, heart and style and he's certainly someone who makes us smile when he fights. Sadly it's hard to imagine him providing much of a test for Hasegawa, who has stopped his last 3 foes and will likely pick up another stoppage here.
The main event of the card will be the most evenly matched contest, and will see former Japanese Middleweight champion Sanosuke Sasaki (11-6, 5) take on Hisao Narita (12-5, 6). Sasaki won the Japanese title in October 2012, when he stopped Tadashi Yuba, but would lose it in his first defense, as he was stopped by Tomohiro Ebisu. Sadly for Sasaki he has now lost his last 5 and looks to be a shot fighter. Narita on the other hand is 3-3 in his last 6, having now won 3 in a row, and will know that a win here will put him in the mix for a potential title fight down the line.
Whilst not all the Dangan cards are particularly great we do, sometimes, get some littered with brilliant match ups or intriguing names. This the case this coming Tuesday when we get 5 bouts of real note, and amazingly not one of them is for a title, and only two of them feature an unbeaten fighter. Saying that however two of the fighters involved are former Japanese national champions and 6 of the 8 are currently ranked by the JBC or OPBF!
The main event pits those two former champions against each other as former Welterweight champion Nobuyuki Shindo (17-4-1, 6) takes on former Middleweight champion Sanosuke Sasaki (11-5, 5). The bout, set at 154lbs, could be viewed as a bit of a must for both men. Sasaki has lost his last 4, 3 by stoppage, and hasn't won a bout since upsetting Tadashi Yuba back in October 2012, meaning it's already 4 years since his last win. Shindo is 1-2-1 in his last 4, and was stopped in 10 rounds last time out as he lost the Japanese Welterweight crown to Toshio Arikawa, and took a bit of beating at times in that fight. The loser here will struggle to rebuild whilst the winner will likely find themselves in the mix for a title fight in the coming year or so.
In the main supporting bout we'll see Ryoichi Tamura (7-2-1, 4) take on Renji Ichimura (7-3, 6) in a really intriguing match up. Both men are better than their records suggest and both are guys in their 20's looking to go places. Aged 29 Tamura is the older man and comes into this on a 4 fight winning streak with notable victories over Yusuke Suzuki and Yuki Matsudo. Ichimura, the younger man at 23, is the bigger puncher with wins over Jin Miura, Takaaki Kansi snd Ryusei Ishii, however he has also been stopped, with that stoppage coming just 8 months ago.
In another supporting bout we'll see the unbeaten Daishi Nagata (7-0-1, 4) battle against Quaye Peter (9-7-2, 5). Nagata has won his last 7 bouts, since a draw on debut against Takeshi Inoue, adnd is moving in on a title fight thanks to wins against the likes of Jeffrey Arienza and Kazuki Matsuyama. Despite showing a lot of of promise Nagata is still a flawed fighter and will be looking at this as a chance to get experience over the 8 round distance. For the inconsistent Peter, who is 2-2 in his last 4, the bout really is a must win and another loss really will leave his career in a bit of a hole.
Possibly the most interesting of the under-card bouts will see the highly skilled but feather fisted Jo Tanooka (13-3-3, 1) face the much more experienced Ken Achiwa (11-11-4, 4), in a bout that pits two Japanese ranked Super Flyweights against each other. Tanooka scored his first stoppage earlier this year, and has won 4 of his last 5, and is chasing a Japanese title fight, and a chance to avenge a 2015 defeat to Kenta Nakagawa. Although Achiwa has struggled in the past he has gone 3-0-2 in recent bouts, with one of those draws coming against Tatsuya Takahashi last year.
Also on this card is exciting prospect Hiroto Kyoguchi (3-0, 3) who puts his stoppage run on the line against Filipino visitor Michael Camelion (8-3-1, 6). Kyoguchi has impressed so far, and looked brilliant last time out when he stopped Kenichi Miyazaki, but this is step up in class and Camelion can certainly punch, and he's been in their with the likes of Omari Kimweri and the huge punching Melvin Jerusalem, so could serve a real test for the Japanese prospect.
In Russia we'll see Nikolay Buzolin (5-2-1, 1) take on unbeaten Tajikistan born fighter Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (4-0, 2) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Lightweight title. It's not a great bout if we're being honest but it should be an interesting test for both fighters.
After a few quiet days in Japanese boxing the action returns to the Korakuen Hall for a Yokohama Hikari show featuring a former world title challenger and several interesting match ups.
The main event sees that former world title challenger, Ryo Akaho (26-2-2, 18) facing former foe Toyoto Shiraishi (25-9-3, 12) in a long awaited rematch. These two originally fought in 2009, with Akaho scoring a 9th round TKO win, and were supposed to fight last year but Akaho failed to make weight for that bout. Coming in to this one both men will know it's a must win, with both men having lost last time out, and neither can afford another slip up.
In a very good looking supporting bout the once beaten Hironobu Matsunaga (9-1, 4) will be up against former Japanese Middleweight champion Sanosuke Sasaki (11-4, 5) in what is a really attractive looking bout. Sasaki has lost his last 3 but has the experience to give Matsunaga a real test in what looks like a very even bout.
A potentially explosive bout at Super Flyweight will see Masashi Odaira (6-5-2, 2) face off against the limited but gutsy Mako Matsuyama (7-10-2, 3). This might not get a lot of attention going in but it will surely be a real war.
Arguably the best bout on the card is a 6 rounder between Takahiko Suzuki (6-1, 4) and Ryota Ishida (5-1, 3). Both of these men are 20 years old and both and both will know that a win here has the potential to be a launch pad towards a major bout with a well known domestic foe. A brilliant match up and one where the two youngsters both deserve a lot of credit.
As well as the action in Japan there is also a regional title fight in Thailand, as Nawaphon Por Chokchai (33-0, 26) defends his WBC Asian Boxing Council Flyweight title against Filipino Macrea Gandionco (11-2-2, 7). This should be a straight forward win for Nawaphon, who is looking to secure a world title fight later in the year.