Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Action returns to Korakuen Hall this coming Friday for an interesting card from the MT Promotions, the gym that is behind the rise of current world champion Junto Nakatani.
The main event of the show will be a Japanese Minimumweight title eliminator as the hard hitting Kai Ishizawa (8-1, 7) takes on the much more experienced Naoya Haruguchi (18-11, 7), with the winner set to fight for the national title next year. Of the two men it's the 24 year old Ishizawa who is more highly regarded and more exciting, with his heavy handed pressure style being a fun one to watch, and he is someone who has long been tipped as one to watch on the Japanese scene. Sadly however he was underwhelming last time out, taking a decision over Yuni Takada, and there are question marks over what happens when his power doesn't hurt fighters. Haruguchi on the other hand is a 32 year old veteran who has proven to be tough, and is a much better fighter than his record suggests. On paper Haruguchi looks like a push over but his only stoppage loss was back in 2013, and since then he has faced a who's who including Reiya Konishi, Riku Kano, Tatsuya Fukuhara, Lito Dante, Norihito Tanaka and Shin Tomita. He's skilled, he's too, he's a big guy at 105lbs and he is a potential banana skin for Ishizawa. This might not look like a competitive match up, but it is a legitimate test for the exciting youngster.
A second really interesting bout on this card will be an 8 rounder between two talented professional novices, but two men who put winning ahead of entertaining. The bout in question will see Shigetoshi Kotari (2-1, 1) take on Jun Ikegawa (2-0). The talented Kotari made his debut in 2019, but has had a very stop start career, taking a year between his first two bouts and 7 months between his second and third bout. Kotari is a real technically smart fighter, but comes in on the back of a controversial loss in May to Junya Shimada, and we do wonder if he can bounce back from that disappointment. Ikegawa on the other hand debuted earlier this year, and will be looking for his 3rd bout in under 9 months. Ikegawa looks like a talent, but like Kotari he is a technical but boring fighter, and we do wonder if he has that extra gear to move into when he needs to. For fans expecting a war, this isn't going to fill their lust for blood, but it should be a bout a very interesting technical chess match.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
For a second day running we're at Korakuen Hall for title action in what is a very easy to over-look event, but one that has several very interesting match ups on it including a huge regional title unification bout, and a bout between two talented novices each looking to take huge strides forward with their careers.
That novice bout will see former amateur standouts clash as Junya Shimada (0-0) makes his debut and takes on Shigetoshi Kotari (2-0, 1). Although it's his professional debut there are huge things expected from Shimada, who is tipped as a future face of the Teiken Gym and a future world title contender. Kotari turned professional with a decent amount of hype himself, but a disappointing performance against Motosuke Kimura last time out did see some of that hype die down. Here we're expecting a highly skilled and very competitive bout, and the winner will almost certainly be pushed quickly towards a title fight. As for the loser, it's early days and they will not be written off.
The bout on this show will see the once touted Junpei Tsujimoto (7-2-3, 5) take on Hideo Mikan (9-13-2, 2) in what looks like a total mismatch, but could be a very dramatic bout. The talented Tsujimoto is very much a man who has a questionable chin and he was stopped 2 fights ago, and was almost stopped last year as well, in a remarkable bout with Daiki Ogura. Despite having won the All Japan Rookie of the Year in 2018 his career really has not kicked on. Mikan on the other hand is a limited fighter, but comes into this unbeaten in his last 3 and will be looking to build a little bit more momentum with his career. Sadly for Mikan he had lost 6 in a row before his current unbeaten run.
In the chief support we'll see a very interesting match up as Japanese ranked Welterweight Masaya Tamayama (13-2, 7) takes on WBO Asia Pacific ranked Light Middleweight Hisashi Kato (10-9-2, 6). On paper this looks like a one sided bout, with Tamayama the clear favourite, and he certainly has momentum on his side going 9-1 (4) in his last 10. Kato however isn't the push over his record suggests and he can spring the upset and has faced a string of very good domestic fighters. This could be genuinely well contested, though obviously Tamayama will go in as the favourite.
The main event is a potential Japanese fight of the Year contender as Ryota Toyoshima (13-2-1, 8) the OPBF Welterweight champion takes on WBO Asia Pacific champion Yuki Beppu (21-1-1, 20) in a regional unification bout that promises so much. Toyoshima won his title earlier this year and showed himself to be a tough, aggressive fighter with clear technical limitations but a good work rate, good power and a good chin. Beppu on the other hand is a monstrous puncher, with very heavy hands, under-rated boxing skills and a shaky chin, but incredible powers of recover, as we saw against Ryota Yada in 2019. Given the styles of the two men this should be an all out war, and one that really could see both men being dropped, multiple times. If you can tune in to this one live, on G+, you're in for a genuine treat. The only real shame is that Beppu has been inactive for over a year coming in to this. Our full, in depth, preview of this one can be read here Beppu and Toyoshima clash to unify regional titles!
Lokomotiv Arena, Novosibirsk, Russia
As well as the Japanese show we also have an event in Russia featuring some Central Asian hopefuls.
One of the notable hopefuls on this show is talented Kazakh Bek Nurmaganbet (3-0, 2), who takes on Tazania's Twaha Kassim (17-7-1, 8), in what looks like a very nice test for the unbeaten Kazakh. The unbeaten Nurmaganbet was a sensational amateur and it's going to be very interesting to see how he developes in the professional ranks. Kassim is certainly not a bad fighter, but he has gone 5-5 in his last 10 and has struggled when fighting outside of Tanzania. On paper a very decent test for the Kazakh, but one he should pass with fly colours.
Nurmaganbet isn't the only Kazakh on this card as compatriots Yevgeniy Pavlov (3-0, 2) and Danila Semenov (2-0, 1) are also in action on this card, looking to build on their own fledgling careers. Sadly at the time of writing they don't have their opponents confirmed for this show.
Another unbeaten Asian fighter on this show is Indian fighter Gurpreet Singh (2-0-1, 1), who battles fellow novice Nachyn Chambaldoo (0-0-1) in a 6 rounder. Singh will be fighting for the first time in almost 2 years, though his last performance suggested there was something to him, fighting to a draw with the then 6-0 Rakesh Lohchab. The 27 year old Chambaldoo also had a draw last time, but to a professional loser, suggesting he's not a hugely promising fighter himself.
Another Indian fighter on this card is 22 year old Suraj (2-2, 1) who will be taking on the unbeaten Shahriyor Akhmedov (1-0, 1), originally from Tajikistan. Akhmedov looked decent on debut, winning his first bout by TKO due to cuts, though it's hard to read into that debut too much. As for Suraj he's not impressed since turning professional and both of his wins came against debutants. This is likely a bout to make Akhmedov look good, but it's still way too early to get too excited about him.
This coming Saturday is an exciting day in Asian boxing with bouts taking place across Asia, and a promising Filipino getting a great chance to shine on US TV, just a week after we saw what John Riel Casimero can do when given an opportunity to shine.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
The biggest show of the day, for us at least, comes from the Japanese Holy Land of boxing, Korakuen Hall, and will will be shown live on G+. This is a pretty deep an interesting card and will be headlined by a Japanese title fight, whilst featuring plenty of young hopefuls making up the noteworthy under-card.
The main event here will see Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (16-1, 10) make his second defense as he takes on mandatory challenger Yuto Shimizu (14-4-2, 5) in a delayed Champion Carnival bout. Matsunaga won the belt last year, stopping Nobuyuki Shindo, and successfully defended it with a win over Koki Koshikawa, in what was a short but thrilling little bout. As for Shimizu he comes into this bout on the back of noteworthy wins over Charles Bellamy and the aforementioned Shindo. Coming into this we expect a really interesting match up, with the champion giving up notable size to the challenger, and but having the power and work rate to neutralise the size difference. Given the styles of the two men we are expecting a genuine tear up here. Our full preview of this one can be read here Matsunaga faces mandatory challenger Shimizu!
In the chief support bout former world title challenger Ryohei Takahashi (18-4-1, 8) will take on Kiyohei Endo (3-3, 3). We all saw Takahashi have his limitations exposed in 2019, when he was stopped by TJ Doheny, but since then he has resumed his career at a lower level and picked up two low key wins as he looks to build towards another fight of note. When he turned profession there was real expectations on Endo but he has shown poor durability, and very unpredictable form. Another loss for Endo here could end up spelling the end of his career.
In a mouth watering battle between unbeaten 25 year old Kenshi Noda (2-0, 2) will face off with Toshiki Kawamitsu (4-0, 1). As an amateur Noda went 45-16 (10) and is regarded as one of the more promising young fighters at the Teiken Gym, who have signed a lot of talented youngster in recent years. Since beginning his career Noda has looked sharp, aggressive and like the type of fighter who can be fast tracked. Although Noda was a very solid amateur Kawamitsu was a pretty decent one himself, going 35-15 in his amateur career. Kawamitsu has looked a lot more limited than Noda since turning professional, but has racked up rounds, and has 18 of them compared to Noda's 2. Of the two Kawamitsu has faced stiffer competition, got more rounds and shown more as a professional, though is likely to still be the under-dog here.
Another notable prospect on this show is Shigetoshi Kotari (1-0, 1), who notched an impressive 50-23 record in the amateurs. Kotari is tipped for very big things and looked decent in his debut, a year ago. Sadly Kotari has failed to build on his debut, in part due to what has gone on in the world in 2020, and looks to be easing himself back into the ring with a bout against 33 domestic fighter Motosuke Kimura (3-4-2, 1). Whilst Kimura has never been stopped he has lost his last 3 and with that in mind it's hard to see this being anything but an easy one for the talented Kotari.
Workpoint Studio, Bang Phun, Thailand
As well as the Japanese show there is also a pretty notable one in Thailand, thanks to Nakornluang and Work Point.
The main event here will see former 2-time WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (48-5-1, 41) taking part in a stay busy bout as he faces Filipino foe Jomar Fajardo (17-17-2, 9). This will be Srisaket's first bout since he disappointing performance against Amnat Ruenroeng earlier in the year and it's clear that his team will be looking to keep him busy and prevent ring rust before a potentially huge fight in 2021. Fajardo was once a good test down at Light Flyweight, but he's been picking up a lot of losses recently and we expect him to be taken out early on by Srisaket here.
In a solid supporting bout we'll see unbeaten Thai hopeful Apichet Petchmanee (6-0, 2) [อภิเชษฐ เพชรมณี] defending the WBC Asian Boxing Council Lightweight title against Thai based Russian challenger Musheg Adoian (7-1, 7). The unbeaten Apichet has faced some stiff tests since tunring professional, but recent bouts have seen some question his potential, and there does seem to have been some worries in Thailand that he's not as good as he first looked. In Adoian we have a man who's on a 7 fight T/KO run, but is stepping up massively here. Despite stepping up Adoian looks destructive and he could ask questions of Apichet and his chin.
100-day yuan shopping mall, Zhuzhou, China
At the wonderfully named 100-day yuan shopping mall we'll be getting a small Chinese card. The bouts here are, on paper, nothing to get too excited about, but there is an interesting hopeful in one of the 6 rounders.
That interesting hopeful is the once beaten Dacong Wang (6-1-1, 1), who is seeking a 6th straight win as he takes on the debuting Hairula Maimaitiaili (0-0). Wang was 1-1-1 after 3 bouts but has scored 5 wins in a row, including one in Korea against Do Hyuk Kim, and will be hoping to continue building his momentum here. Unfortunately not much is known about Maimaitiaili, though it is reported that he is 20 years old, and will be hoping to kick his career off with a win.
Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles, California, USA
Outside of Asia we have some of our attention on the US with unbeaten Filipino Mark Magsayo (20-0, 14) taking on Rigoberto Hermosillo (11-2-1, 8) in a 10 round bout. Magsayo is one of the most highly regarded hopefuls in the Philippines and fingers crossed we see him shine now he's linked up with MP Promotions and PBC. We had hoped to see him face Jose Haro in September but that date slipped, before Haro decided to retire. As a replacement Hermosillo is a poor one, and comes into this with back to back losses. We really don't see this as being much more than a showcase for the talented Filipino.
New York, USA
The biggest show this coming weekend comes from New York and features a trio of Central Asian fighters in notable bouts.
The biggest of those bouts will see Kazakh legend Gennady Golovkin (39-1-1, 35) battle against Ukrainian foe Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10) for the vacant IBF Middleweight title. The hard hitting Golovkin is seen as being past his best, but is still favoured to pick up the win here against the technically well schooled Derevyanchenko. The title, which was vacated when Saul Alvarez's team failed to reach a deal with Derevyanchenko, will give the winner a bargaining chip for a unification bout next year, but will leave the loser in a really awful position. Our full preview of this fight can be read here Golovkin and Derevyanchenko clash for IBF crown!
The fast rising Israil Madrimov (3-0, 3), from Ukraine, will be fighting in his 4th professional bout as he takes on Alejandro Barrera (29-5,18). On paper this is another solid match up for Madrimov, but in reality it's a notable step backwards for the Uzbek who should be expected to score a very clear win. Barrera's record looks good on paper but he has lost 3 of his last 4, was stopped by Errol Spence in 2015 and only has 1 win in the last 3 years, he has also been fighting at Welterweight. The one thing Barrera does, perhaps, have going for him is that he's only been stopped once but inactivity, natural size disadvantage and poor form doesn't bode well against a fighter like Madrimov.
Kazakh Super Middleweight Ali Akhmedov (15-0, 11) is also on this card, where he will be taking on 33 year old American Andrew Hernandez (20-7-2-1, 9). The experienced Hernandez has mixed in good company, but losses to the likes of Caleb Plant, Jesse Hart and Ahmed Elbiali do show his limitations. Saying that Hernandez has been a banana skin through his career for prospects and will be a really good test for Akhmedov. The 24 year old Kazakh is climbing through the rankings well and this is a brilliant bit of match making for him. We expect Akhmedov to win, but we expect to see him needing to earn the victory.
Whilst New York has a big card there is also a really interesting one in Japan, where Tokyo plays host to the next Dynamic Glove show, though sadly it won't be aired live on G+ and is instead set for a tape delay broadcast.
The main event here sees Japanese youngster Junto Nakatani (19-0, 14) take a huge step up in class as he takes on former world champion Milan Melindo (37-4, 13) in a really interesting 10 round contest. Nakatani has looked brilliant coming through the ranks, but has, for the most part, faced smaller opponents and limited opposition. Here we still see him up against a smaller foe, but an experience and skilled opponent with world class experience. Melindo will be going up in weight for this, and will feel he has the experience to deal with Nakatani. This is a really major bout on the regional scene, and we suspect that the winner here will end up fighting for a world title in 2020. A full preview of this fight can be read here Nakatani takes on former world title challenger Melindo!
On paper the chief support bout looks like a massive mismatch, with Korean visitor Kyung Min Kwon (7-5, 3) taking on 2-time world title challenger Ryo Akaho (34-2-2, 22). On paper this should be an easy win for Akaho, who has the clear edge in power and experience however Kwon is the naturally bigger fighter and the younger man and will be in the ring looking to score an upset. Kwon enters the bout as the interim Korean champion and managed to last 8 rounds last year with Satoshi Shimizu in an OPBF Featherweight title fight. Kwon is tough and could well frustrate Akaho, though we do expect Akaho to pick up the win.
A really good looking support bout will see Filipino Robin Langres (10-3, 4) take on under-rated Japanese local Ikuro Sadatsune (9-4-3, 3) in what has the potential to be a thriller. The 23 year old Langres is making his international debut here, and comes into the bout on the back of his second win against Jomar Fajardo, but he was beaten last year by Jason Buenaobra. Sadatsune has lost twice already this year, though both of those bouts were razor thin and against against well regarded fighters Kenshin Oshima and Sho Ishida. This could be a very hotly contest and exciting back and forth battle. For those interested in learning more about Sadatsune he was recently covered in a recent "Introducing" article Introducing... Ikuro Sadatsune
Also on this card is the debuting, but very highly touted, Shigetoshi Kotari (0-0) who kicks off his professional career against Lasben Sinaba (3-2, 3), from Indonesia. As an amateur Kotari fought over 70 professional bouts and has already impressed in sparring since turning professional. He's expected to show case his skills here, but Sinaba has been stopped in both of his losses and we see him being taken out again here and it may only be a short showcase for the Japanese debutant.
Going back to the US we'll see Kazakh heavyweight Izim Izbaki (2-0, 1) take on the win-less Troy Albring (0-2). The 24 year old Izbaki is worth making a note of, as he rises through the ranks, but this is little more than a fight to help him adapt to professional boxing. Albring has been blown in the opening round of both his previous fights and we're expecting the same to happen again here.
Also in the US will be Chinese Light heavyweight Fanlong Meng (15-0, 9), who faces Gilberto Rubio (9-8, 6), in a stay busy fight whilst he awaits his shot at the IBF Light Heavyweight title.