For a second day running Japanese fans get the chance to see a trio of domestically ranked fighter in action. This time around however we feel the over-all show is better with 4 noteworthy bouts on a show that actually only features 6 bouts in total.
The first of the bouts of note sees Bantamweight hopeful Ryotaro Kawabata (10-2-1, 4) battle against Ryuta Wakamatsu (10-11, 7). On paper this does look like a bit of a mismatch however we're really unsure on how good Kawabata is and his best win to date hasn't come at a very notable level. In all honesty Kawabata's most notable bout was his 4th as he was clearly out pointed by the then 2-0 Shohei Omori, and we now know how good Omori is. As for Wakamatsu he has solid enough power to hurt fighters like Kawabata but unfortunately he has 7 stoppage losses against his name and seemingly can't take it as well as he hands it out. On paper a mismatch in reality however this could be a great test for Kawabata.
The second of the notable bouts is the first to feature a ranked contender as Japanese ranked 140lb fighter Shohei Okuda (11-1, 4) attempts to bounce back form a 3rd round TKO loss to Ryusei Yoshida. Up against Okuda here will be the experienced Kosuke Iwashita (14-17-2, 8). Although experienced Iwashita has won just once in his last 8 bouts, and that win came against a very poor Thai import. This should be easy for Okuda though we of course need to see how he bounces back from his first loss.
One the most recognisable fighters on this card is ranked Light Flyweight Tetsuya Hisada (21-8-2, 11) who looks to put back-to-back draws behind him as he battles the light punching Kenta Sugimoto (8-7-1, 1), who incidentally comes into this bout with a 2-fight winning streak. We have to favour Yamada though again this bout could tell us a lot about his psyche given his poor form recently.
In the main event fans will get the chance to see former Japanese Lightweight title challenger Yuhei Suzuki (15-4, 11) battle against Junki Oura (6-5, 2) in what should be a mismatch. Suzuki, who is stilled ranked in the top 10 at Lightweight by the JBC, will be seeking his second win since being stopped by Yoshitaka Kato last April. For Oura this bout will see him trying to secure a 3rd straight win, however a win here would be the best result of his career, by far.
As well as the 4 bouts there will also be a public sparring session between former Japanese Bantamweight champion Kohei Oba, who will be taking part in his retirement ceremony, and former 2-weight world champion Hozumi Hasegawa, who will be in the ring in public for the first time since he was stopped by Kiko Martinez last year.
Notably this show will also feature music from Korean pop group LPG who look set to do a live performance at the show.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
If we say November ended in style with a number of big and exciting bouts then we need to confess that November starts even better with a day so brilliant, packed and wonderful that we know a lot of great bouts will go over-looked just do to the depth of the day.
The headline bout of the day is in the US where WBO Bantamweight champion Tomoki Kameda (30-0, 19) battles against interim champion Alejandro Hernandez (28-10-2, 15). On paper this looks a mismatch given that Hernandez's record contains numerous losses however in reality the Mexican is a very good fighter and comes into this bout on a good run of results with wins over Marvin Mabait and Daniel Rosas. We'd still favour the more talented and slicker Kameda but this certainly isn't the mismatch the that numbers would suggest and Hernandez is a tough and difficult assignment for anyone at 118lbs.
Tomoki won't be the only Japanese fighter on this side as older brother Koki Kameda (32-1, 17) will also be in action. Koki, fighting for the first this year, will be battling against Mexican veteran Omar Salado (24-8-2, 15) in what we suspect will be a bout designed to help him shake off some ring rust ahead of a probably WBA Super Flyweight title fight next year against Kohei Kono. Notably for Koki this will be his debut and gives him a great chance to impress a new audience much like Tomoki did on his US debut when he stopped Pungluang Sor Singyu.
It's not just in the US that we get a world title fight but also in Japan with Fukuoka hosting a female world title fight between WBC Female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (11-4-1, 6) and former IBF champion Katia Gutierrez (19-4, 4). Kuroki will be defending her title for the first time since winning it earlier this year with a decision over Mari Ando and she has gone from the frying pan into the fire with Gutierrez being a very, very tough opponent. We favour Kuroki but this is a very tough contest between two truly world class fighters.
In the chief support bout we will see the unbeaten and promising Shohei Okuda (11-0, 4) battle against Ryusei Yoshida (24-6, 11) in a very tough and interesting bout. Okuda is a Japanese ranked fighter who will see his opportunity to jump up the rankings with a win here and although Yoshida is unranked this is a great step up for Okuda who has yet to have a coming of age fighter, despite being a 2012 Rookie of the Year winner.
Another support bout on this show will see Aiki Koto (7-1-1, 4), a Japanese ranked Light Flyweight, will be battling against Koki Ono (7-2, 4). This is one of those very even bouts that we love seeing on the Japanese domestic scene. Both of these guys has suffered an early blow out defeat but both have the talent and desire to come again and could become a force on the fringes of the domestic scene, especially if they compete in bouts like this one.
We get another title bout in Tokyo, albeit at a lower level as Japanese Light Flyweight champion Yu Kimura (14-2-1, 2) battles against Atsushi Aburada (9-6, 5). For Kimura this will be his second defense following an excellent win over Yuki Chinen earlier this year whilst for the challenger this will be his first title opportunity and it looks to be a big ask for Aburada to over-come the world ranked Kimura.
It's not just the main event here that looks interesting, far from in fact, and the under-card is packed with some very good fights and fighters.
One of those fighters is former Japanese Flyweight title challenger Tetsuma Hayashi (24-2-2, 8) who fights in what looks like a mismatch against Ryutaro Taira (8-4-2, 3). Hayashi is a fun fighter and he really did push Takuya Kogawa close in their bout in 2012, since then he is unbeaten in 7 though did look less than sensational last time out fighting to a draw with Hideyuki Watanabe. Whilst Hayashi wasn't great last time out Taira has only won 1 of his last 5 and can't be favoured here to even push Hayashi close.
A good bout on this card will see the heavy handed Yuichi Yokoyama (14-2, 13) battle against Filipino visitor Jonel Alibio (17-18-5, 9) in what looks to be a very good bout, despite the very different records of the two men. Alibio hasn't been in form recently though is a former OPBF champion and may have the experience to trouble Yokoyama.
Another heavy handed fighter in action is Hiroyuki Otsuka (7-2, 6) who will be up against the more experienced Takumi Suda (10-10-2, 2). Otsuka looked really promising at one point though has lost 2 of his last 3 and is needing to rebuild his career, however this isn't a gimme and Suda could prove to be a banana skin.
For us the best of the under-card bouts will be a contest between Jun Hamana (9-2, 3) and Shota Suito (9-3-1, 1). This is another 50-50 bout and despite it almost certainly being a distance bout it should be really good. Hamana's bout with Kazuma Sanpei impressed us whilst Suito is better than his record indicates and this should be a very interesting, high paced and exciting bout with neither having real fear of the other man.
Another Japanese card takes place in Hyogo. Whilst this one doesn't have a title fight on it it does look like a brilliant show and the type of thing that makes the Japanese domestic so exciting right now.
The main event here will see Japan's very own Hikaru Matsuoka (7-1-3, 1) battle against one of boxing's most under-rated fighters, Richard Pumicpic (15-6-2, 4). Pumicpic is the type of fighter nobody looks good against, he's hard working, tough, aggressive and a bit like a terrier in many ways. Matsuoka will have home advantage but Pumicpic proved he was good in Japan when he pushed OPBF Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa all the way earlier this year. Very tough assignment for the Japanese fighter.
Another solid fight on this card is the co-feature which will see the very experienced Junichi Ebisuoka (23-17-6, 10) battling against Giovanni Escaner (11-3, 7). Neither of these guys are world beaters but both are better than first meets the eye. Ebisuoka has a bad looking record though is just below the Japanese title picture whilst Escaner has lost 3 of his last 4 but has been competing against a solid level, such as Oleydong Sithsamerchai. This has the potential to be a truly sensational contest between two men who both want a win badly and we would suggest that this one will be worth catching if you're in Hyogo.
A third bout on this card that has caught out eye is between the destructive Yuji Itani (4-0, 4) and Filipino Jonel Gadapan (8-7-1, 4). We suspect that this will be a somewhat straight forward win for Itani but it's still worth keeping an eye on him, afterall he may be fast tracked given that he's already in his 30's.
Distrito Federal, Mexico
In Mexico we have two bouts of note in a card that looks like it will be worth tuning in to.
The main even will see Mexican based Japanese fighter Shoki Sakai (17-4, 11) battling against the always interesting Nery Saguilan (30-4-1, 11). Going in to this bout the Mexican will be hunting a second successive victory over a Japanese fighter, having beaten Seiichi Okada last time out. Sadly we suspect that Okada was a bit of a shot fighter however Sakai certainly isn't and this could be a very interesting bout.
The other bout that has caught our eye is between Filipino fighter Silvester Lopez (22-8-2, 16) and the heavy handed Mexican fighter Rey Vargas (21-0, 18). This will be the second meeting between the two after Vargas scored a stoppage victory over an injured Lopez earlier this year. Interestingly in their first meeting Lopez dropped Vargas prior to being injured in the 7th round.
(Image courtesy of http://www.warriorsboxing.com)
The weeks action ends on a Friday that sees interesting action in both Thailand and Japan involving several very promising fighters.
We're expecting 5 bouts to take place at the Krungthepthonburi University in the Thai capital of Bangkok. The most notable of those bouts is expected to be a very even contest between PABA Super Flyweight champion Chatpetch Sithmorseng (7-3, 3) and Filipino challenger Romnick Magos (9-3, 5). Although Magos was beaten, in just 2 rounds, last time he was in Thailand there is a gulf of difference the man he fought that day, Pungluang Sor Singyu, and Chatpetch here.
We've been told there is likely to be a second title bout on this show as the unbeaten Eaktawan Mor Krungthepthonburi (3-0, 2) battles against Indonesian veteran Jemmy Gobel (18-23-5, 13) in a contest for the WBA Asia Flyweight title. Although a novice Eaktawan is highly tipped to become a notable fighter on the world stage and after just 3 fights boxrec already have him in the top 100 Super Flyweights.
The most interesting of the other bouts on the show concerns the debuting Petchsamui Kiatniwat (0-0) who we've been informed is the son of former world champion Denkaosan Kaovichit. Petchsamui hasn't got an illustrious Muay Thai background but, with the guidance of his father he will be expected to have some pretty good success somewhere down the line.
Japanese fans in Hyogo get to see the next in the Shinsei Gym "Real Spirits" show.
The headline bout here sees the unbeaten and hard hitting Takahiro Shigee (10-0-1, 8) battling against Toshiya Yokogawa (6-5-1, 5) in what shouldn't be too hard for Shigee, who will be defending his #15 OPBF Bantamweight ranking. Although unbeaten Shigee was given a very tough time when he faced Diarh Gabutan in the only notable bout of his career and could well be one of those fighters who isn't as good as his record would suggest.
We get another unbeaten fighter in the chief support bout as Shohei Okuda (9-0, 4) puts his #11 Japanese ranking on the line against Tatsuya Yoneo (6-3, 1). The 23 year old Okuda is highly regarded though may have problems dealing with a significant height disadvantage here against the notably taller Yoneo who, at 25, is just reaching his physical prime and could be a much tougher opponent than the records of the men would suggest.
A third ranked fighter on this show is Tokiya Nishioka (8-3-2, 4) who is ranked in the top 15 by both the JBC and the OPBF. Despite those rankings he's not a particular threat to any of the top fighters and it wouldn't be the biggest upset if he struggled with the limited Hiroki Yoshimura (7-9, 4) here.
As well as those 3 bouts we expect 6 other contests to be on the show, though 5 of them are scheduled for 4 rounds.
In Canada Afghanistan's Arash Usmanee (20-2-1, 10) faces the solid challenge of Juan Ruiz (23-12, 7). Although it may look a mismatch on paper Usmanee is win less, 0-2-1, in his last 3 bouts and he deserves an easier bout than his last 3 which have all been against world class opponents. We know that Usmanee will have to be lucky to become a world champion but we still love watching him with his all action style and his toughness and we hope he can inspire a generation of Afghan born fighters in the coming years.