Sangyo Shinko Center, Sakai, Osaka, Japan
The only Asian action this coming Thursday takes play at the Sangyo Shinko Center in Sakai City and it's certainly not a big show, but it should be an entertaining one with two pretty interesting 8 rounders scheduled for the show.
The first of the two outs of note will see the limited but big hitting Toshiya Yokogawa (11-12-2, 10) take on the highly experienced Shun Ishibashi (10-24-1, 4). The 36 year old Yokogawa has proven to be a limited fighter, even on the domestic stage, but he's a very dangerous fighter and 8 of his 11 wins have come in the first 3 rounds. As well as being heavy handed, Yokogawa is also a fighter easy to tag and he's been stopped in 4 of his 12 losses. Ishibashi on the other hand is a 33 year old veteran who has struggle a lot in recent years, losing his last 8. Despite that he can be a banana skin, and with Yokogawa's limitations this could be a strangely compelling and competitive bout.
In the main event we'll have a battle of Kanta's as Kanta Fukui (7-4-1, 5) takes on Kanta Takenaka (7-6-1, 2). On paper this looks like a relatively poor match up, however both men has misleading records. Fukui has really showed his class in the last few years, running Shuma Naakzato and Go Hosaka close and earning a draw against the heavy handed Yoji Saito. Takenaka on the other hand has been stopped in 4 of his last 4, but can pick up upsets at this level, and a number of his wins, so far, have been mild surprises. This should be a lot more exciting than the records of the two men suggest.
A new week is up on us on Monday and we get some pretty low key action in both Japan and Russia, with a very under-rated Kazakh fighting in Moscow.
Yodogawa Ward Center, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The Japanese card is set to come from Yodogawa Ward Center in Osaka and will, barring late cancellations, feature 7 bouts in total, with only a single one scheduled for more than 4 rounds.
That one longer bout will be an 8 rounder between under-rated veteran Shun Ishibashi (10-23-1, 4) and Yu Konomura (9-9-2, 3). With 20 losses to his name it'd be easy to assume that Ishibashi is a "bum" but the 15 year veteran is a mile away from that, and he tends to serve as more of a domestic gatekeeper. During his 34 fight career he's been stopped 7 times but has heard the bell against the likes of Yu Kawaguchi, Mark John Yap, Tenta Kiyose and Juiki Tatsuyoshi. He always comes to win, and doesn't fight like a guy with 20 losses. Although Konomura's ledger looks better on paper he probably enters this as the under-dog and he has just 2 wins since 2016, though like Ishibashi he's no pushover. On paper not a great bout, but both guys do fight to win, and both will feel they can get a win here.
The rest of the card is full of novices with a host of debutants. Included in those debutants are Kodai Shiozaki (0-0) and Takumi Kato (0-0), who face off. These two are both 20 years old and should make for an interesting match up at Super Flyweight. Not only are both men make their debuts, but both are 20 years old so they could end up having success in the future.
One other bout we want to mention is a clash between Jimmy Hiroaki Kobayashi (1-2-1) and Akira Matsuda (0-2). The 36 year old Kobayashi is looking to end a 3 fight slide in what is likely to be one of his final bouts, given the JBC's age rules. Matsuda on the other hand has been stopped in his first two bouts, and can ill afford another loss here. Although a low level bout, this is one where both men will feel their boxing careers are on the line.
Vegas City Hall, Moscow, Russia
Over in Russia it will be Kazakh fighter Alexandr Zhuravskiy (13-6-1, 11) who will be in action. The 35 year old Zhuravskiy is certainly not a big name, but he's a tough guy, with decent power, who comes to win, and will be looking to upset Khuseyn Baysangurov (16-1, 14). Coming in Zhuravskiy is winless in 5, losing 4 and drawing 1, but is an upset minded fighter who could have wins in some of his losses, had he not been the away fighter. Baysangurov will obviously be the favourite, but if he thinks he's going to have an easy time with Zhuravskiy he could well end up getting a real shock here in a very interesting 10 rounder.