Tomigusuki Civic Gymnasium, Okinawa, Japan
The most notable of two Japanese cards this coming Sunday comes form Okinawa, where we see one of the hottest prospects in world boxing look to pick up his second professional title, and we also see several interesting, albeit lower level, under-card bouts.
The main event of the card will be that aforementioned title bout, as the much touted Ginjiro Shigeoka (6-0, 5) takes on Tatsuro Nakashima (11-2-1, 7) for the vacant Japanese Minimumweight title. The hard hitting and explosive Shigeoka has seen his rapid career ascent slow, significantly, since the start of the pandemic, but a win here against Nakashima will open some significant doors for him, and his focus will be on winning here and then begin to move towards a world title fight later in the year. He will however have to make sure to not over-look Nakashima, a capable domestic level fighter who's having his second shot at the Japanese title, after having previously fallen short to current world champion Masataka Taniguchi. This should be a show case for the unbeaten man, but he will have to show Nakashima some respect in there. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Shigeoka goes for domestic gold as he faces Nakashima
In rare Japanese Welterweight bout we'll see professional novice Seeser Minagawa (1-0) take on the under-sized New Thunder Teruya (7-9-1, 4). Minagawa made his debut last year at Super Middleweight, and will be dropping down to Welterweight for the bout, whilst Teruya's last fight was at Super Featherweight and he'll be skipping up the weights. Sadly for Teruya he has been stopped in his last two bouts, and will be expected to take a bit of a pounding here in a very odd one, that should be little more than a brief work out for Minagawa, who was a very solid amateur, going 70-17 (36) in the unpaid ranks. Interestingly Teruya has changed his ring name a little bit for this fight, adding "New" to it, sadly for him, it's hard to imagine even a "New" Teruya having any chance at all here.
Another under-card bout will see 34 year old puncher Taiki Henzan (5-1, 4) take on Ryan Joshua Yamamoto (4-3, 1) in the other Welterweight bout. Coming in to this Henzan has a JBC ranking, but at his age their potential for him to be a domestic contender is slim. Despite that he is dangerous at this low level, and will be looking to make his power count. Yamamoto on the other hand is a natural Lightweight moving up in weight, on the back of 3 straight wins. He's the naturally smaller man, but at 28 he's also coming into his physical prime and will feel confident he has the youth needed to inflict Henzan's second professional loss.
Aioi Hall, Kariya, Aichi, Japan
A second Japanese card comes from Aichi, and although this is less notable than the one in Okinawa, it's still a pretty solid one, with three bouts worthy of some attention.
The main event will see youngsters clash as former Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight Champion Tom Mizokoshi (8-3-1, 4) takes on Ryuya Nihei (6-2-1, 1) in a really solid looking bout between two men in their early 20's. The 22 year old Mizokoshi is an exciting talent, with a lot of flair, but his chin has let him down and he's been stopped in 2 of his last 3, including his last bout. With a tweak to his style, and a more defensive mindset, he could go on to win national honours in the future, but he has taken a lot of punishment already in his career. Nihei on the other hand has lost 2 of his last 3, but the 23 year old is a talented fighter, and a real handful from a technical perspective. It's worth nothing that Mizokoshi's team have matched him with someone who is a genuine non-puncher here, but Nihei should provide a good test of Mizokoshi's boxing skills.
Another fighter looking to bounce back from a TKO loss, like Mizokoshi, is the big punching Mammoth Kazunori (6-5-1, 6), as he takes on Takuto Mino (4-1, 1). Kazunori is very much a flawed puncher, and he's lost his last 3, but he's incredibly dangerous and the sort of fighter who can knock people out cold with a single shot, as we saw against Lerdchai Chaiyawed. Sadly he appears limited, and can be out boxed, but with his power he's always going to be a threat. Mino on the other hand is a non-puncher, looking to bounce back from a 2021 loss to Daichi Hirai, and will feel his movement, skills, timing and size advantage will be the difference maker here. Interestingly Mizokoshi will be the much smaller man in the ring, but we suspect his power will still be dangerous at this level, even at Bantamweight.
In another good supporting bout we'll see Takatora Suzuki (4-1-2) take on Hyogo Kimura (6-3-1, 1), in a decent looking 6 rounder. Of the two men Kimura is the more well known, coming runner up in the All Japan Rookie of the Year 13 months ago, and whilst he's without a win in 3 bouts he shouldn't be written off here, given what we've seen of him so far in his young career. Suzuki on the other hand is a local fighter who has never lost in Aichi, and will be looking to make the most of home advantage here.