Singmanassak Muaythai School, Pathum Thani, Thailand
In Thailand we are set for small card, with two regional title bouts, albeit in two bouts that look like clear mismatches.
One of those bouts will see Uzbekistan's Davronbek Kurbonov (4-0, 4) take on Thai Thoedsak Sinam (17-9, 14) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Light Heavyweight title. To date Kurbonov has needed just 13 rounds to dismiss his 4 opponents, and whilst he is, technically, stepping up here, it's hard to imagine him struggling with Sinam. The Thai does have 14 stoppages to his name, but has been stopped in 4 of his 9 losses, and has fought at Lightweight before, suggesting he's going to be very under-sized here.
The other notable fight on this card will see Turkish fighter Baris Erdogan (5-0, 2) battle against Thailand's Pathueang Sikun (8-12, 5), in what is scheduled as an Asian Boxing Federation Light Heavyweight title though we suspect it will actually be for Erdogan's ABF Super Middleweight title. Erdogan debuted in 2020 and whilst he had to wait more than 2 years between his first two bouts, he has been busy this year, with this being his 5th bout of 2022, and being a notable step in the right direction. As for Sikun he has been stopped 8 times during his career, but comes in to this bout with some momentum having won his last 6, albeit against very limited opposition.
EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
In Japan we are set to get two shows at the EDION Arena Osaka. The first of those is the West Japan Rookie of the Year final, which was set to feature 11 bouts but has seen two contests being cancelled.
From those that remain on the card the best looking appears to be at Super Bantamweight, where Yoshun Taho (3-0) takes on Kirei Yasumura (3-0, 2). Aged 19 Taho debuted last December and has shown plenty of skills, but does appear to need some time to physically mature and develop his power. Yasumura on the other hand is slightly older, at 22, and appears to have more power, having stopped his first two opponents, but he did struggle last time out against Shugo Hisataka, who he narrowly defeated in July.
A similarly interesting looking match up will be at Super Featherweight, where 18 year old Naoto Komatsu (3-0, 1) takes on 21 year old Shinsei Otani (2-0, 2). Both men debuted last last year and given their ages both have a lot of time to develop and progress, however both men will know that a win here puts them just 2 bouts away from being crowned All Japan Rookie of the Year and really boosting their profile in the sport.
EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The other show at the EDION Arena Osaka will be promoted by Futur. The card is a low key one, but does have a very nice main event, as Ren Kobayashi (5-2-1, 2) takes on Shori Umezu (7-0-1, 6). Kobayashi has gone 2-2-1 in his last 5, and the 24 year old really needs a solid win, and chance to build on May's victory over Yuki Yazan. As for Umezu he will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing technical draw with Taiga Higashi in June. The power of Umezu could be the difference here, as he looks to build on his Rookie of the Year triumph in February, but we expect he will be in for a real fight here.
Over in India we also get a small show, with the most notable bout on the show being a 6 rounder at Super Middleweight between Akashdeep Singh (3-0) and Shashikant Shashikant (1-2-1, 1), with the rest of the card being 4 rounders. The 20 year old Singh made his debut in April and has already reeled off 3 wins in around 5 months, showing some activity that other fighters perhaps need to try to replicate. As or Shashikant he debuted in 2020, going 1-1-1 that year, before taking more than a year out of the ring and losing this past April.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Thursday attention turns Korakuen Hall once again as we get a Japanese title fight and a relatively notable under-card.
The main event of the show will see Japanese Bantamweight champion Kyosuke Sawada (15-2-2, 6) seek his first defense as he takes on the unlucky Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0-2, 4). Sawada won the title earlier this year, with a 5th round technical decision win over Kenshin Oshima, in what was his second shot at the belt. The talented and technically very solid Sawada has long been under-rated due to suffering back to back losses to begin his career, but has rebuilt remarkably going 15-0-2 since then. Sadly though he is now 34 and there's a good chance he's on the slide already. As for Tsutsumi he is one of the most unlucky fighters in the sport, having been denied against Kazuki Nakajima and Daigo Higa, with those bouts resulting in draws when he had a great shout of winning both. Amazingly this will be his first title bout, despite the competition he's faced, and he'll know this is his chance to win a title, and make for lost time, given he's been out of the ring since October 2020. Despite not having a win in over 3 years Tsutusmi should not be written off here, and the 26 year old is some one with the potential and the tools to go all the way. This will be high action, between two well trained fighters, and could well have some serious drama as both men can hurt fighters, with Tsutsumi being heavy handed and Sawada being a wonderfully clean and accurate puncher. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Japanese champion Sawada takes on unbeaten Tsutsumi
In the chief support bout former world title challenger Shingo Wake (27-7-2, 19) takes on Naoto Mizutani (9-7-2, 3), in what really is a mismatch. The 34 year old Wake isn't the fighter he once was, and is a shadow of the fighter who claimed the OPBF Super Bantamweight title in 2013 and is even diminished from the fighter who won the Japanese title in 2018. Despite that he's a capable boxer-puncher who can turn it on, and should be levels above Mizutani. As for Mizutani the 33 year old had been a regularly on the lower part of the Japanese domestic scene, and whilst isn't a bum or anything like that, he's also not close to the level of Wake. Sadly we suspect Wake's retirement isn't too far off, but he should still have far, far too much for Mizutani at this point in time.
Further down the card we'll see former Japanese title challenger Seigo Hanamori (7-4, 5) take on Hiroshi Takaki (6-9-1, 2). Hanamori was last seen in August, when he was stopped in 3 rounds in a Japanese Super Bantamweight title fight against Gakuya Furuhashi, but that loss saw him make some new fans with a gutsy, exciting, aggressive and determined performance. We expect to see that same aggression here as he faced a rather limited 36 year old foe in the form of Takaki. This should be little more than a showcase for Hanamori, who is limited, but very fun.
One other bout on this card worth being aware of will see the durable Taiga Higashi (7-5-1, 2) take on unbeaten puncher Shori Umezu (7-0, 6). Although not a stand out fighter Higashi has served as something of a domestic tester for prospects, going rounds with the likes of Matcha Nakagawa, Kazuki Nakajima, Kantaro Juri and Yusuke Mine. He's not going to spring many upsets but he will make fighters work for their win. As for Umezu he won the All Japan Rookie of the Year back in February, in his only bout to go the distance, and we suspect he will be asked some tough questions here by Higashi.