To begin October we turn our attention to the Korakuen Hall,where Ohashi gym put on a solid looking card.
The main event is a genuinely brilliant match up as 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner Satoshi Shimizu (3-0, 3) takes a massive step up, to challenge OPBF Featherweight champion Sa Myung Noh (11-3, 4, who will be looking to defend the title he won back in June when he upset Ryo Takenaka. To date Shimizu has fought just 9 rounds as a professional and has looked destructive, but flawed, with a lot of power and exciting style. As for Noh he's looking to build on a career defining win and will be hoping that another win in Japan could help him more towards a potential world title fight, and it is worth noting he enters this bout with a WBC world ranking which will improve if he retains his title here.
The main event is a great bout but it may actually be the second best fight on the card as former world title challenger Satoshi Hosono (33-3-1, 22) takes on talented youngster Reiya Abe (14-2, 7). On paper we suspect many will favour Hosono, given his experience and the fact that his set backs have come against world class opposition, however Abe is no joke and he has rocked up 6 straight wins,including notable victories against Ryo Hino, Hikaru Marugame, Shingo Kusano and Tsuyoshi Tameda. This really could be a very special bout between fighters at different points in their career.
On the under-card fight fans will see Tsuyoshi Tameda (14-3-2, 12), making his Ohashi debut, and Ryuji Hara (22-2,13) who both take on Thai foes in what should be showcases contests before bigger bouts later in the year, with Hara expected to get a second world title fight in the very near future.
For a second day running Japanese fans in Tokyo get a huge show at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo.
The main event here sees Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue (12-0, 10) defending his WBO Super Flyweight title against Mexican born American based challenger Ricardo Rodriguez (16-3, 5. The bout will be Inoue's 5th defense of the title and it's likely to be his last with his team talking about vacating the title later in the year, ahead of his US debut. The pressure is on the youngster to shine here but Rodriguez is tough and has never been stopped, and will be looking to score a career defining victory here.
The other world title fight here will see IBF Light Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi (25-5, 15) battle against interim champion Milan Melindo (35-2, 12). The bout is, on paper at the very least, the most interesting of the 6 world title fights taking place this coming weekend and it looks like a genuine 50-50 match up. Of the two fighters Yaegashi is the more proven and the more well known, but he's also the older man and the man with a lot more miles on the clock. Melindo, the less proven fighter, is probably the more technically sound fighter, but a win here would be the biggest of his career by some margin.
The biggest mismatch on this card will see the once beaten Ryo Matsumoto (19-1, 17) battle against Hendrik Barongsay (29-25-3, 18) in what is little more than a stay busy fight for Matsumoto. The talented Japanese youngster looked better than ever last time out, blowing out Hideo Sakamoto in less than 2 minutes, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Barongsay last a similar amount og time here.
One of the biggest names on the under-card is former multi-time world title challenger Satoshi Hosono (32-3-1, 21), who will take on Masashi Noguchi (12-6-1, 6) in an 8 rounder. This will be Hosono's first bout since losing in October to Jonathan Victor Barros in an IBF world title eliminator. Aged 33 this will probably be the start of Hosono's last run, and he really can't afford another set back. Noguchi is a former Japanese title challenger, who lost in December to Shuhei Tsuchiya, and is the naturally bigger man, but a win here would be his best to date.
In another notable under-card bout we'll see 2012 Olympic Bronze medal winner Satoshi Shimizu (2-0, 2) take on his first domestic opponent, Takuya Yamamoto (8-6, 4). The bout should be a straight forward win for Shimizu, though it's probably fair to say that his eyes are on the future and it's hard to imagine him not fighting for a domestic title before the end of 2017, especially given that he's now 31 and doesn't have much time to waste.
Also on the under-card is the re-re-scheduled meeting between talented youngster Andy Hiraoka (8-0, 5) and Shogo Yamaguchi (10-2-1, 5), who were originally meant to meet in the 2014 Rookie of the Year. The two were also meant to fight earlier this year. Sadly Hiraoka was forced to pull out of both the previous dates but will be looking to prove a point here. As for Yamaguchi he's going to be wanting to take his frustrations out on the younger man in what could be an under-card classic.
There will also be title action in Okinawa, albeit at a lower level as fans get an OPBF title fight.
That that OPBF title fight will see Japan's Seita Ogido (11-2-2, 3) battle unbeaten Filipino Edward Heno (10-0-4, 4) for the vacant Oriental Light Flyweight title. The title was vacated earlier this, by Ken Shiro ahead of his WBC world title fight with Ganigan Lopez, and the bout to crown a new champion does look like an interesting one. Ogido is seen as a promising youngster in Japan, and fought to a draw with the under-rated Jonathan Refugio earlier this year, suggesting there is talent there. Heno on the other hand is a bit of an unknown quantity, despite being unbeaten in 14 bouts, though he did impress last time out as he claimed the PBF title. This bout really could answer questions about both men.
The chief supporting bout here will see Masatoshi Kotani (20-2, 13) hunt an 11th straight win as he takes on Indonesian visitor Musa Letding (12-6-4, 6) in an 8 rounder. Kotani has been unbeaten since a 9th round stoppage loss to Filipino Cirilo Espino in 2012 and looks to have improved significantly since then. As for Letding he's 0-4 out side of Indonesia and will be looking for his first win on the road.
In another under-card bout we'll see the heavy handed Morihisa Iju (10-2, 8) battle against Masaya Kohama (6-5-1, 3). This bout will be Iju's third of the year, but will see him returning to the ring following a March loss to Ryo Kosaka and it's clear he'll be looking to avoid back-to-back defeats. Despite losing last time time out Iju should be favoured given that Kohama has been stopped in his last 3, with the most recent of those coming last July to Yohei Tobe.
There will also be a small card in the Philippines. The card here is very poor overall but the main event does look interesting as Pedro Taduran (10-1, 7) and Philip Luis Cuerdo (9-3-1, 4) battle for the PBF Minimumweight title in a good looking 10 rounder. Coming in the once beaten Taduran has won his last 4 and has rebuilt well following his first loss however Cuerdo was stopped last time out, whilst leading on the score cards.
The key show for the day is from Tokyo where Ohashi will put on their next card.
In the main event we'll see multi-time world title challenger Satoshi Hosono (32-2-1, 21) face former world champion Jonathan Victor Barros (40-4-1, 22) in an IBF Featherweight world title eliminator. The styles of these two should gel, well with Hosono being a basic pressure fighter fighter and Barros being more of a stick-and-move fighter, and with a potential world title fight up for grabs for the winner neither will be looking to do anything other than give the bout their all. This really could be a bit of a treat for fans in Tokyo.
In a key supporting bout we'll see former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seiichi Okada (18-6-1, 11) take on Tatsuya Yanagi (11-4-1, 4) in a must win for the 34 year old veteran. Coming in to this Okada is more than 2 years removed from his last win and has gone 0-2-1 in his last 3, including a loss Masaki Saito, who has a less than 50% win record. Yanagi showed early promise, winning his first 10 bouts, but has gone 1-4-1 in his last 6 and won't be looking to roll over for for the beatable former champion.
Other supporting bouts will see the once beaten Yoshimichi Matsumoto (10-1, 8) and the unbeaten Andy Hiraoka (6-0, 3) face off against unnamed Thai visitors. For Matsumoto his bout will be a 10 round test in what is the chief support bout whilst Hiraoka will be making his ring return after more than 2 years away from the ring.
When this show was first announced Ryo Matsumoto (17-1, 15) was set to feature on it. Matsumoto was however pulled from the card a few weeks later and underwent surgery for a medical condition that had plagued him previously, and played a part in him losing unbeaten record last time out.
Unfortunately the Televised portion of this card, which we think will just be the main event, will only be shown on tape delay over the weekend.
Gwangju, South Korea
There is also set to be a KBF show though details of this one are scarce with the bouts all said to be 4 rounders except for a single 6 rounder.
This coming Sunday is an incredibly hectic day for fight fans hoping to follow the Asian fight scene with bouts across the Orient, stretched across 4 countries and 5 cards.
Seoul, South Korea
For many the most notable card will be a show from Seoul which will feature several notable Japanese fighters and be streamed over youtube.
The most notable name on the card is former world title challenger Satoshi Hosono (31-2-1, 20) who faces off against Indonesian journeyman Rasmanudin (19-15-3, 10). For Hosono the bout is likely to be a tune up bout before a potential world title eliminator later in the year. Sadly the once promising Rasmanudin appears to be shot to pieces.
Another notable name on this card is the highly touted Koki Inoue (3-0, 3), the cousin of Naoya and Takuma Inoue. The unbeaten and heavy handed Japanese fighter will be stepping up in class for face Korean puncher Hyun Woo Yuh (5-1, 5), in what is a genuinely credible match up for both men. Yuh did lose last time out, losing a narrow decision to Sonny Katiandagho, but will be looking to make a name for himself here.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
In the Philippines fans will get the chance to see prospects in action.
One of those prospects is the unbeaten Mike Plania (10-0, 4), who risks his unbeaten record against the more experienced Romulo Ramayan Jr (7-6-3, 3). Plania is showing serious signs of becoming a prospects of note but at just 19 we are some time from seeing him really being tested. Sadly Ramayan is unlikely to ask anything of Plania here.
Another 19 year old rising through the ranks is puncher Raymart Gaballo (13-0, 11), who will be up against veteran fighter Jilo Merlin (13-26-2, 2) in an 8 rounds. Merlin has been stopped in 14 of his 26 losses and it's hard to see him surviving with the hard hitting Gaballo. One other prospect on this card is the once beaten Romero Duno (9-1, 8) who faces Eusebio Baluarte (19-15, 12) in what should be a very easy assignment for the 20 year old Duno.
In Japan fans get two shows,one of which is in Wakayama and headlined by former OPBF title challenger Eita Kikuchi (19-4-4, 8), who faces Kazuki Fukakura (9-10-2, 3) in what looks like a mismatch, Kikuchi, who lost to Shingo Wake back in 2013, has run off 5 straight wins and will be hoping to extend that run here. A win for Fukakura would be his biggest and best to date,
On the same card fans will get the chance to see the promising Shohei Kawashima (13-0-2, 3) look for his 8th win as he takes on Yoshiyuki Takabayashi (8-7, 3) in what looks like a good test for the unbeaten man. Takabayashi has lost his last 4 but does have the ability to perform better than his record suggests and he may well be able to ask serious questions of the unbeaten man.
The other Japanese show comes from Fukuoka and is headlined by Koki Ono (10-3, 5), who faces Junya Nishikawa (7-7-2, 2). The bout is a well matched one, given that Ono has lost 2 of his last 4, but it's one with a clear favourite. Sadly however the rest of this card is entirely forgettable.
The day also comes with a Chinese card set to be headlined by two 8 rounders.
One of those 8 rounders will see unbeaten teenager Bingbing Cheng (5-0-1) battle against Que Xu (8-1-1, 2) in a Featherweight bout whilst the other 8 rounder will see Tao Weng (3-1-2) face off against Zhong Jie Niu (7-0, 2) at 140lbs, with the winners set to be moved towards notable bouts in the near future.
The Ohashi gym have become one of the most notable in Japan over the last few years with Chairman Hideyuki Ohashi becoming one of the key figures in boxing. Not only has the Ohashi gym become notable at the world level thanks to the success of fighters like Naoya Inoue and Akira Yaegashi but they are also one of the most significant domestically, with solid domestic shows on a regular basis. Their next show is this coming Monday and features a Japanese title fight as well as several other note worthy fighters.
The main bout of the card see veteran fighters colliding in a bout for a Japanese title fight. The bout question will see Japanese Featherweight kingpin Satoshi Hosono (30-2-1, 20) defending his title against nemesis Rikiya Fukuhara (31-8-1, 23), in what is the third meeting between the two men. To date the Hosono is winning the series 2-0 and the former 3-time world title challenger will know that he will need to impress here if he's to get a much desired 4th world title shot. For Fukuhara the bout is a chance to finally get one over on Hosono, and possibly put himself in the mix for a world title title. Whilst Fukuhara is 37 he's young 37 and still has impressive speed and vicious power, whilst Hosono has shown signs of slowing decently, despite being a relatively young fighter at “just” 32.
In one of the notable under-card bouts we'll see former Japanese Super Featherweight Seiichi Okada (18-6, 11) battle against Spice Matsushita (15-8, 2). Okada, an Ohashi gym fighter, was once 16-1 (9) and the Japanese champion, sadly however his career has faltered in recent years with a 2-5 run, with 3 stoppage losses, and he's now really fighting for his career. Given that Matsushita is a light puncher it's hard to see him stopping Okada but he is certainly a live under-dog and will be looking to secure his 5th straight win whilst taking a clear step towards a potential title fight of his own.
Another notable under-card bout here will the promising Kenichi Miyazaki (10-1-1, 3) take on recent Japanese title challenger Hiroya Yamamoto (9-4, 3). This is a great match up with both men knowing that a win could help them secure a Japanese Minimumweight title fight in the near future. Given that both men are young we're expecting to see a high tempo contest here, with both going all out for the win in what could be the bout of the show.
Of course the Inoue name is now a key one in boxing with Naoya and Takuma Inoue being two of the best youngsters in the sport. This card will also feature their cousin, Koki Inoue (1-0, 1) who will be in a 6 round bout against a Thai foe, who will be expected to be stopped early on by the very promising Inoue.
As well as the action in Japan there will also be a show in Russia whilst has some Asian interest. A main part of that interest is unbeaten Uzbek Uktamjon Rahmonov (5-0-1, 1), who puts his unbeaten record on the line against Manuk Dilanyan (3-2-1, 2). Rahmonov should be the favourite but he was held to a draw last time out and was lucky to claim a win in his fight before that one.
Whilst we all know that New Year's Eve is a date to always mark down on your boxing calendar for the action from Japan we have also got a special show on December 29th as Ohashi follow up their very successful FES 2014 with FES 2015, another festival of boxing with big names and the backing of Fuji TV.
The main event of the card sees the return of the hugely popular Naoya Inoue (8-0, 7) who defends his WBO Super Flyweight title for the first time since he won it last December. Inoue, who really impressed a year ago when he blitzed Omar Andres Narvaez, has been out of the ring with a hand injury, suffered in that bout, and gets thrown straight into the deep end once again as he faces big punching Filipino fighter Warlito Parrenas (24-6-1, 21). The bout has got attention due to it beign Inoue's return however Parrenas is a serious threat and despite having 6 losses, 4 by stoppage, he has really impressed in recent bouts, including a controversial draw in Mexico with David Carmona. The pressure is on Inoue to impress, though Parrenas will know that this is a huge opportunity to make a name for himself and become a fixture on the world scene.
The Inoue Vs Parrenas bout is one of two world title bouts with the other being a really exciting looking Light Flyweight bout between former 2-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (22-5, 12) goes up against IBF champion Javier Mendoza (24-2-1, 19). For Mendoza this will be his second defense, following a controversial technical decision win against Milan Melindo earlier this year and this is a great chance for him to make a name for himself. Sadly for the Mexican he is going up against one of the most popular Japanese fighters in Yaegashi, who will have the whole venue behind him. Yaegashi is looking to become the third Japanese man to become a 3-weight world champion and will know that this is a must win if his career is going to continue at the world level.
The two world title fights are joined by both an OPBF and a Japanese title fight. The OPBF title fight sees Naoya's younger brother Takuma Inoue (5-0, 1) defending the OPBF Super Flyweight title against under-rated Filipino Rene Dacquel (15-5-1, 5). This is Takuma's first defense of the title, that he won back in July when he out pointed Mark Anthony Geraldo, and is another tough match up for the talented youngster. The speed Inoue will be up against a man who is in good form having recently beaten both Melvin Gumban and Thembelani Nxoshe. This is a really good match up, but one that will get over-looked given the two main events.
The Japanese title fight is a genuinely thrilling match up as Japanese Featherweight champion Satoshi Hosono (29-2-1, 20) takes on former world champion Akifumi Shimoda (30-4-2, 13) in as good of a domestic title bout as you could make. Hosono is hoping to secure a 4th world title fight in 2016 though will need to impress against Shimoda, whilst also recording his 5th defense of the title that he won in April 2014. For Shimoda, who is best known for suffering KO of the Year type losses to Rico Ramos and Marvin Sonsona, will know that a win here could help him get a title fight, though will be aware that another eye catching KO loss will be the end of his career.
On the under-card, in non title bouts, we have two notable fighters. The highest profile of those is former OPBF champion, and current world ranked contender, Ryo Matsumoto (16-0, 14) who faces under-rated Filipino Jestoni Autida (9-3, 4). On paper this looks like a stay busy bout for Matsumoto, who is likely eyeing a world title fight in 2016, however Autida cannot be over-looked and in 2015 he has already upset Ratchasak KKP and pushed Petch Sor Chitpattana very close, with both of those bouts taking place in Thailand. This is a genuine test for Matsumoto.
The other notable fighter is the debuting Koki Inoue (0-0), the cousin of Naoya and Takuma. Koki, a former amateur stand out himself, will be up against Indonesian fighter Arif Maud (1-2, 1) in a 6 rounder. The promising Inoue is a 23 year old southpaw who will be looking to make a name for himself at 140lbs and could potentially be a third member of the Inoue family to become a star.
Ohashi gym see some of their fighters return to the ring this Thursday on an interesting card which features a couple of title bouts, including a long awaited unification contest.
In the main event fans will see former world title challenger Satoshi Hosono (28-2-1, 20) defending his Japanese Featherweight title against the tough and gutsy Takuya Watanabe (26-5-1, 12), who is best known for his bloody war with Jaesung Lee. Hosono, who only defended his title a few weeks ago against Tatsuya Otsubo, will be hunting his 4th defense and will be hoping to get another world title fight before his career is over. For Watanabe this is a great opportunity to announce himself domestically though it's hard to see him beating the heavy handed Hosono.
In the co-feature but we'll see world titles unified as WBC Atomweight champion Momo Koseki (20-2-1, 7) puts her title on the line against WBA champion Ayaka Miyao (20-5-1, 4). For both fighters this will be their first unification bout, but both are well established at world level, in fact for Koseki this will be world title fight #19. The rough and tough WBC champion will be hoping to extend her long unbeaten run, of 18 bouts, however WBA champion Miyao has really grown and will not be there to just make up the numbers. This really could be an outstanding match up.
On the under-card the world ranked Ryo Matsumoto (15-0, 13) will be facing Thai visitor Saensak Sithvarunee (0-2) in what looks like a stay busy fight for Matsumoto. It's thought that a win here for the Japanese youngster will be followed, later in the year, with a big bout, possibly in December.
(Image courtesy of www.boxmob.jp)
The Japan fans get a treat this coming Thursday with a good looking Ohashi Gym card headlined by a national title fight though also featuring other notable names.
The main event will see former 3-time world title challenger Satoshi Hosono (27-2-1, 20) defending his Japanese Featherweight title against under-rated challenger Tatsuya Otsubo (8-6-1, 3). On paper this is a horrible mismatch but the realist is that Otsubo is better than the numbers suggest and he's fantastic form, form that really does shows his potential. Hosono will be the favourite but we don't expect this to be as one-sided as the record suggest.
In a solid support bout fans will see former OPBF Super Flyweight champion Ryo Matsumoto (14-0, 12) battle against world ranked foe Luis May (17-8-1, 7). On paper this is the most significant bout of the card and if Matsumoto wins there is talk of him getting a potential title fight by the end of the year. That'd be a big ask for the unbeaten youngster but he was very impressive in 2014 and he does deserve a chance more than some other recent title challengers.
The third notable bout on this card features former 2-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (21-5, 11). Yaegashi will be facing Said M Said (2-2, 1), who was the 4th man scheduled to face Yaegashi. This looks like a mismatch, and should be one, though it seems that Yaegashi's team are still trying to see what he has left in the tank before putting him in another tough match up, especially considering that 2014 saw him suffer back-to-back stoppage losses.
Also in action on this card will be former Japanese and OPBF Minimumweight champion Ryuji Hara (19-1, 11) who is to take part in an exhibition bout with Kenichi Miyazaki (9-1-1, 2). Hara was supposed to fight Said though it seems he has signed a deal to fight Katsunari Takayama in September and as a result will only feature in an exhibition here. Although the Takayama bout hasn't yet been announced the rumour is that it will be announced in the ring following this exhibition.
For fans interested, a portion of this card will be aired on Fuji TV this coming weekend.
(Image courtesy of Ohashi Gym)
The most notable bout of the day comes from Thailand where a young and unbeaten fighter takes on a true veteran of the sport.
The youngster involved here is the WBA interim Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (9-0, 5) who attempts to defend his belt against Indonesian veteran Muhammad Rachman (65-11-5, 35). For Rachman this is a chance to become a 3-time “world champion” and become a title holder at the advanced age of 43 whilst for Knockout it's a chance to defend the title he won last October, when he narrowly out pointed Carlos Buitrago.
The biggest name fighter on the undercard will be Panomroonglek Kaiyanghadaogym (43-2, 25) who will be defending his PABA Bantamweight title against Filipino challenger Mateo Handig (13-8, 7) in what appears to be a horrible mismatch. Handig was world ranked not too long ago, and does hold a major win over Katsunari Takayama, but is a Minimumweight jumping up to Bantamweight and Panomroonglek will simply be too big and too strong for his challenger.
Another support bout will see Flyweight contender Noknoi Sitthiprasert (52-4, 30) put his 51 fight winning streak on the line against Filipino journeyman Donny Mabao (21-24-1, 4). Noknoi, who is unbeaten since 2005 and brings the longest active winning streak into the ring, sadly however Mabao has lost his last 4, including an OPBF Minimumweight title bout to Ryuji Hara and a WBC Asian Boxing Council Flyweight title bout against Nawaphon Por Chokchai.
Another notable fighter on this card will be former WBA interim Flyweight champion Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (34-3, 20) who makes his return to the ring for the first time since losing a WBA Flyweight unification bout against Juan Carlos Reveco last year. Yodmongkol has had a trio of hard fights coming into this bout and is now expected to face a very low level opponent.
The final bout we've been made aware of will feature the very exciting Chanachai Cp Freshmart (2-0, 1), who currently holds the WBC Youth Minimumweight title. Chanchai will be battling fellow unbeaten Chatpetch Por Pakdee (2-0) in a non-title bout that comes just weeks after Chanachai defended his belt with a clear decision against Wilber Andogan. Chanachai is fun to watch and we're fans though we know that he's being matched in a way to make him look good stylistically and this should be another bout like that.
Japanese fans have seen March kicking off with a swathe of nationally ranked fighters in action. Now they get the chance to see a trio of champions as the month really moves up a gear and Ohashi gives us their first show of the new year.
Technically the highest level of champion is a world champion and this shows sees a world champion in action. Sadly however it's WBA Atomweight champion Ayaka Miyao (19-5-1, 4) who fights in a non-title bout scheduled for 6 rounds with Momoko Kanda (8-6-2, 2). On paper this a great contest and it should prove to be a hit with the fans however as a female bout we suspect some fans, especially those in the West, will ignore this one.
The second tied of champion is a continental champion and we get one of those in action on this show as the sensational Ryo Matsumoto (13-0, 11) kicks off his year. Matsumoto, who won the OPBF Super Flyweight title at the end of last year, will be taking part in a bout contracted at 54KG's as he takes on Thai visitor Thanuthong Chor Kangwal (0-0). This bout is a complete mismatch on paper though we suspect it's hinting at a possible move to Bantamweight for Matsumoto who has always appeared to be a very big Super Flyweight.
Although neither Miyao or Matsumoto are defending their titles it doesn't mean there won't be title action on this show. The title action comes in the main event as Japanese Featherweight champion Satoshi Hosono (26-2-1, 20) battles against former foe Rikiya Fukuhara (30-7-1, 22) in a second meeting between the two men. The heavy handed Hosono, best known for a trio of failures at world level, stopped Fukuhara back in 2012 and will be hoping to do the same here whilst Fukuhara looks to become a 2-weight Japanese champion, adding the Featherweight title to a previous reign at Super Bantamweight.
As well as the three bouts featuring a champion the card also features some other recognisable fighters. One of those is former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seiichi Okada (18-5, 11) who essentially battles for his career after 4 stoppage losses in his last 6 bouts. Okada should be safe here as he takes on the very light hitting Masaki Saito (11-10-4, 3). On paper this another mismatch but Okada is looking very much like a shot fighter whilst Saito has gone 5-2-1 in his last 8 bouts, dating back almost 3 years.
Former Japanese Featherweight title challenger Toru Suzuki (24-4, 8) is also in action as he takes on Tatsuya Yanagi (10-2, 4). This is an intriguing contest with Yanagi trying to bounce back from back-to-back losses, including a wide decision to the excellent Johnriel Maligro, whilst Suzuki tries to rebuild after going 2-3 in his previous 5, including a stoppage loss to Hisashi Amagasa. For both men this is a must win bout.
One notable under-card bout will see Kenichi Miyazaki (7-1-1, 2) attempt to record his 3rd straight win as he takes on Takuro Habu (11-9-2, 3). On paper this looks like a horrible match up however Habu has fought much, much better competition than Miyazaki and has suffered losses to the likes of Amnat Ruenroeng and Yu Kimura. This is one of those bouts which is likely to be much better than the records of the fighters suggest.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
A new week kicks off instantly with notable fighters and a major domestic Japanese fight as the action continues to roll with big fights. Not only do we see great action to begin this week but actually the whole week is action packed with some fantastic shows and great fights.
The show to kick off the week sees a return to the ring for a number of Ohashi Gym stable as Ohashi put on their first show since since star student Naoya Inoue claimed the WBC Light Flyweight title back on April 6th. Although Naoya isn't on this show several men who were on that show, ring "Ring of Diamonds" do return this week on the "49th Phoenix Battle".
The most notable of those fighters is Satoshi Hosono (25-2-1, 19) who will defending his Japanese Featherweight title for the first time. Hosono, who won the title when he stopped Yuki Ogata on "Ring of Diamonds", will be facing his second successive unbeaten opponent as takes on Gosuke Seki (15-0-2, 3). Seki is stepping up massively for this fight but will have the confidence of an unbeaten fighter and will be hoping to join fellow Kadoebi Houseki Boxing Gym fighters Yoshitaka Kato, Hiroki Okada, Suyon Takayama and Kyotaro Fujimoto in becoming a Japanese national champion.
Hosono isn't the only reigning champion on the show and fellow Ohashi gym fighter Ryuji Hara (17-0, 10), the current OPBF Minimumweight champion, will be facing Indonesia's Faris Nenggo (8-4-3, 2) in a stay busy fight. We expect that Hara will be trying to move on to world title fights later this year and that this bout will be little more than a formality for the talented youngster.
Another unbeaten prospect from the Ohashi gym who will be in action is the very highly regarded Ryo Matsumoto (10-0, 8) who will be battling late replacement Zun Rindam (11-4-1, 5). Matsumoto was supposed to be fighting Benigno Nino (1-1-1) but Nino was replaced just over a week before the fight by his compatriot who looks a more testing opponent for the rising youngster. Despite being a better test for Matsumoto we still only see this going one way.
Also on this card is former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seiichi Okada (17-4, 10) who will be facing domestic journeyman Shunsuke Sato (7-15-2, 4) in what should be little more than a mismatch. Okada, ranked #14 in Japan at Super Featherweight, has lost 3 of his last 4 by stoppage and is certainly on the slide but will be hoping to resurrect his career with a string of wins. It's unlikely he'll ever get to challenging the likes of Rikki Naito again but he will be hoping to get at least 1 more major fight before his career is over.
One other Ohashi fighter on this show will be Junpei Hara (13-5-2, 8) who will be putting his OPBF ranking on the line against Tomoya Yamada (11-4, 3) in the first of the 5 main contests. In terms of how good this bout is we'd suggest this was the most even of the bouts even if the fighters aren't the most well known.
As well as the 5 main bouts the show is expected to feature a further 2 bouts on the undercard on a show that really shows just how to put on an solid domestic level card.
(Image courtesy of Ohashi Gym)