The big headline bout this coming weekend sees us focus on Glasgow, Scotland, as the WBSS moves towards the final bouts. The bout of interest for us is the highly anticipated WBSS Bantamweight semi-final bout between WBA "regular" champion Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) and IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12). The bout is a clash between unbeaten world class fighters, who are both looking to move one step closer to proving they are the best Bantamweight on the planet. For Inoue this will be his first bout in Europe, and he will be looking to become the first Japanese fighter to win a world title bout in the continent, whilst Rodriguez returns to the country that he won the IBF title in, when he beat Paul Butler. Coming in both are in great form, though it should be noted that Rodriguez went 24 rounds last year, Inoue has only gone 20 rounds combined in his last 6 fights. If Rodriguez can survive the early going Inoue's lack of activity could be a problem here, as could history. A full review of this bout can be read here Inoue and Rodriguez go one on one in semi final!
Before the action in the UK there will be some action in Asia, including a notable show at Korakuen Hall in Toyko.
The main event of this show will see Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Ryoichi Tamura (12-3-1, 6) make his first defense, as he takes on former champion Yusaku Kuga (17-3-1, 11), in what will be a second bout between these two. Thee two men fought in 2017, with Kuga taking a narrow decision win over Tamura to retain the title, since then however Kuga has been stopped by Shingo Wake and Tamura has bounced back from losing to Kuga to win the title. Given their first bout was a brilliant and violent fight we're expecting something really special here. A full preview of this bout is available here Tamura and Kuga to meet again, potential war set?
In a major supporting bout we'll see Tatsuya Yanagi (15-5-2, 6) and Koichi Aso (23-8-1, 15) clash at Lightweight, in a bout that should be very fan friendly. Coming in to this Yanagi is unbeaten in 5 bouts, including a draw in a Japanese title eliminator last year with Accel Sumiyoshi, but this is likely to be a really tough bout for him. Aso, a veteran and former Japanese Light Welterweight champion, will be dropping down in weight but always brings intense pressure and will be looking to break down Yanagi. This could be an all out war if Yanagi can't keep Aso at range.
At Super Bantamweight we'll see ranked fighters clash, as Naoya Okamoto (13-7-1, 6) and Yosuke Fujihara (17-6, 4) face off in a bout that could well set up a future title fight with the winner of the main event. Okamoto narrowly missed out on a title fight, when he lost a technical decision in October in a Japanese title eliminator, and will be hungry here to shine. Fujihara on the other hand is someone who has challenged for a title before but has lost 3 of his last 4 and really needs a good performance here.
Another bout featuring domestic ranked fighters will see Kenta Nakagawa (16-3-1, 11) take on Ryosuke Nasu (10-4-3, 2). Nakagawa is a former Japanese Super Flyweight champion, holding the title in 2016-2017, and has won 3 in a row since losing the belt to Ryuichi Funai. Nasu on the other hand is a former Japanese Youth Super Flyweight champion who will know that a win here will prove to be a huge step towards a potential senior title fight later in the year.
Another name worthy of noting on this card is Kazuki Saito (6-1, 5), though our understanding is a planned bout has been cancelled and he will instead compete in a spar rather than an actual fight.
Bang Phun, Thailand
At the Workpoint Studio we'll former world title challenger Nawaphon Por Chokchai (44-1-1, 34) take on former champion Sonny Boy Jaro (45-14-5, 32), in what looks almost certain to be a fun fight. Nawaphon, at 27, is the much younger man and needs a big win, and a win over Jaro would be among his very best. Jaro, who is known in Thailand due to his shock win over Pongsaklek Wonjongkam back in 2012. At the age of 37 it's hard to know what Jaro really has left, though he was stopped in 2017 by Jonas Sultan, a none puncher, and surely has to be coming very close to the end of his career.
In Russia we'll see a couple of hard hitting Uzbek fighters in action.
One of those fighters is Ravshanbek Umurzakov (7-0, 7), who takes on Anthony Moloisane (11-3-1, 7) in a bout scheduled for 10 rounds. The talented Umurzakov has shown a lot of promise but isn't being moved up through the levels yet, sadly, and that shows again here, with South African fighter Moloisane, who isn't bad, but also isn't a clear step up for the Uzbek who should be taking on much better opponents now.
A second Uzbek on this show will see Elnur Abduraimov (4-0, 4) in action, as he hunts his 5th straight stoppage. He's stepped up in his last two bouts, but it's clear he needs a real test in the near future, so fingers crossed that happens sooner rather than later. He's too good to be wasting his time against limited opposition and would be served much better by take on someone to extend him some rounds and help prepare him for bigger and better bouts. At the time of writing the opponent for this bout hasn't been named, suggesting a limited and late notice opponent for the Uzbek.
Also on this card is unbeaten Kazakh youngster Stanislav Kalitskiy (7-0, 3), who will be stepping into his first 8 round bout. Sadly there is not currently an opponent confirmed for Kalitskiy, and as with Abduraimov it seems like he will be matched softly with a late notice foe.
Another Asian card will take place in Taiwan, though this is a very low level card, headlined by an 8 round bout between Chia Ching Hung (4-1-1, 4) and Anurak Madua (6-3, 4). Hung is a local to Taiwan, but hasn't fought in over a year, and is 1-1-1 in his last 3. Madua on the other hand was stopped in 77 seconds last time out, when he fought in Osaka against Kyosuke Tsutsumimoto.
The rest of this card is mostly novices bouts with debutants.
In Rizal we'll see a former world champion and a former world title challenger in action.
The former world title challenger is Denver Cuello (36-5-6, 24), who takes on Jack Amisa (21-45-2, 14). This will be Cuello's first fight since June 2015, when he beat Boy Tanto, and he will be looking to roll back the clock in a big way. He was once regarded as the most exciting little man in the sport, but his career was plagued by injuries that prevented him from fulfilling the promise he once had. A 15% of what he was Cuello should still have too much for Amisa, but clearly this is about more than just winning, and is likely to be the start of an comeback for Cuello, who has a lot of lost time to make up for.
As for the world champion on this card, that's former WBC Flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro (44-14-5, 31), who looks to continue his career with a bout against limited Indonesian foe Frans Damur Palue (15-21-3, 10). At 36 years old Jaro has certainly seen better days, and is now 7 years removed from his huge upset win over Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, but should still have too much for Palue, who was stopped in 2 rounds by Akira Yaegashi a year ago.
One other bout of note will see the unbeaten KJ Natuplag (7-0-2, 6) battle against the much more experienced Robert Udtohan (24-5-3, 15). On paper this looks a really tough test for Natuplag, but it should be noted that Udtohan has lost 4 of his last 5, including his last 3. Given how hard hitting the unbeaten 22 year old Natuplag is, this should be a straight forward win for the rising hopeful.
Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico
Staying with Filipino's it's worth noting that unbeaten Filipino youngster Robert Paradero (17-0, 11) is set to face Wilfredo Mendez (11-1, 4), in a bout that has been rearranged a number of times already. This was originally meant to take place back in January as a world title eliminator, though visa issues has caused it to be delayed a few times, and hopefully it will take place this time, rather than slipping again. This bout has been previewed here Mendez and Paradero to battle for shot at WBO crown!
Western Australia, Australia
In Australia we have a few bouts of note.
One of those will see once beaten Australian Jackson Jon England (8-1, 4) take on Indonesian journeyman Rivo Rengkung (37-29-6, 14). The 34 year old Rengkung has lost his last 3, and 6 of his last 7, but does usually come to give an effort and went the 8 round distance with Luke Jackson in December. The 21 year old Jackson isn't a puncher but is a promising prospect and should secure a 5th straight win here.
Another local hopeful facing an Asian visitor is Michael Kaplan (6-1), who takes on Muhammad Wahid (4-1, 1), who like Rengkung is from Indonesia. Wahid is 0-1 outside of Indonesia, but has got a bit of talent and could be a potential banana skin for Kaplan, who is facing his first opponent with a winning record.
One other bout involving an Asian will see unbeaten Australian Steve Gago (9-0, 4) battle against Indonesian veteran Heri Andriyanto (24-28-2, 11). Andriyanto has been collecting a lot of losses in recent years, losing 8 of his last 10 including a defeats to Koki Inoue and Downua Ruawaiking, and we suspect another defeat will come here to Gago.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The main show this coming Saturday is the Elorde promoted card from Metro Manila.
The main event of the show will see once beaten Filipino Juan Miguel Elorde (24-1, 13) defending the WBO Asia Pacific Super Bantamweight title against Thai Yodsingdaeng Jor Chaijinda (16-4, 10). The local will be strongly favoured here, but the Thai should ask some questions of Elorde, and the bout should be more competitive than it looks on paper.
Sadly the rest of this show looks like a card mostly stacked with mismatches, however one bout does back that rule and looks like a compelling contest on paper. That bout is an 8 rounder that pits the unbeaten pairing of Arvin Magramo (7-0-1, 4) and Michael Mendoza (5-0-2, 1) against each other. This could end up being the bout of the day.
Lanao del Norte, Philippines
A second Filipino card will take place in Lanao del Norte.
This card will see once beaten prospect Cris Ganoza (14-1, 8) take on highly experienced veteran Donny Mabao (22-34-3, 4). The bout will be Mabao's 60th as a professional whilst Ganoza will be seeking his third straight win, following a stoppage loss to Edward Heno, almost a year ago.
Another bout of some note on this card is one between former WBC Flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro (43-14-5, 30) and Dondon Narvaez (12-25-7, 3). Jaro is a long way removed from the fighter who stopped PongsaklekWonjongkam back in 2012, though should still have far too much for Narvaez, who has been stopped in his last 4, and is more than 3 years removed from his last win.
Dongducheon, South Korea
In South Korea fans will be getting a card with a lot of Rookies on it, in fact the card has a frankly jaw dropping 24 Rookie bouts on it. As well as those Rookie bouts there will also be a 6 round line bout featuring the Korean based Cameroonian born refugee Heuk San Lee (5-0-1, 3), who looks to continue his remarkable story.
For those unaware Abdoulaye Assan, aka Heuk San Lee, is a man who has sought refuge in Korea and has become a minor boxing celebrity in the country. His opponent for this show is unknown but it's hard not to support him in his fight to have a quality life in Korea.
Pathum Thani, Thailand
There will also be a small card in Thailand.
The main event here will see Fahpetch Singmanassak (5-2, 2) take on 36 year old Petchthongchai Singmanasak (6-13). Of the two men it's Petchthongchai who is perhaps the more well known, though he was stopped by the then returning Amnat Ruenroeng last year, and there is little else of note on his record. As for Fahpetch there is next to nothing on his record of any note, though he has won his last 3 bouts.
The card will also feature Soh Ohba (2-0-1, 2), who is the nephew of former Japanese world champion Masao Oba. At the time of writing nothing is known in regards who he will be fighting.
The biggest bout of the day, in regards to Asian fights at least, comes from Rizal where we see a rearranged contest between the talented, and criminally under-rated, Jonas Sultan (12-3, 8) and former world champion Sonny Boy Jaro (43-13-5, 30). The bout will see Sultan defending his IBF Inter-Continental Super Flyweight title, which he won last time out when he stopped Makazole Tete, and both men will be seeing a win here as potentially opening the door to a world title fight.
Xi An, China
In China we'll be getting quite a notable show.
The main event of this card will see the world ranked Can Xu (11-2) defending his WBA International Super Featherweight title against Filipino veteran Jack Asis (35-19-5,18). This will be Asis' first bout since he lost to Malcolm Klassen last year, and will see him ending a retirement, a retirement that he announced following the loss to Klassen. Xu is risking his world ranking and his title, but will favour his youth and energy to be the difference here.
In a bout pitting a local talent against an Indonesian, fans will see Wulan Tuolehazi (4-3, 1) battle former world title challenger Nouldy Manakane (32-21-2, 18), with Tuolehazi seemingly replacing Qiu Xiao Jun who was originally set to face the Indonesian veteran. At his best Manakane was a decent fighter, but nothing better than decent on the regional scene. Saying that however it's hard to know how good Tuolehazi is and although he should win here, it's still not likely we'll know really how good he is for a while yet.
In a China Vs Japan bout we'll unbeaten Chinese hopeful Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (11-0-1, 5) battle with Japanese veteran Taisho Ozawa (21-9-2, 13). Although relatively unknown Baisahnbo has caught our eye in the past and the 22 year old does look like a genuine prospect. Aged 36 Ozawa is in last chance saloon, and is looking to record his first win since 2012!
Also on this card will be a bout between heavy handed Puerto Rican Waldemar Pagan (8-1, 7) and Filipino Macrea Gandionco (12-4-2, 7). Although not an Asian fighter this will be Pagan's second fight in Asia, where he has also been used as a sparring partner, and he has impressed in the area, likely leaving a number of promotional outfits interested in him long term. The Filipino has already been stopped 4 times in his career, and it's hard to imagine him lasting the distance with the Puerto Rican here.
The only show in Japan is a small one in Osaka. Whilst it is small, and very low key, it does have a somewhat notable main event as the unbeaten Takuya Uehara (11-0, 6) defends his WBC Youth Featherweight title against Thai visitor Nongdear Sor Bangkharu (1-14). Despite the title being on the line it's hard to get too excited about this one given the unbeaten champion is taking on someone who has lost his last 6, suffering 5 stoppages during that run.
In Australia fans will see Australian veteran Les Sherrington (35-10, 19) battle against Indonesian foe Marco Tuhumury (11-17-2, 4) in what should be a straight forward win for Sherrington, despite the fact he's 34 and been stopped in his last 3 bouts, dating back more than 2 years.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The best of the three Asian shows this Sunday comes from the Philippines where we'll get some really intriguing action.
On paper the main event here is bout of the day and will see rising youngster Jonas Sultan (12-3, 8) take on former world champion Sonny Boy Jaro (43-13-5, 30), with Sultan looking to defend his IBF Inter-Continental Super Flyweight title for the first time. Sultan has impressed a lot over the last 2 years or so, with a number of solid wins including stoppages against Tatsuya Ikemizu and Makazole Tete and if he can score a win over Jaro he will potentially find himself on the fringes of the world rankings. Aged 34 Jaro is looking to earn another world title fight, and is on a 9 fight winning streak following a series of setbacks in 2012 and 2013. At his best Jaro is a tough guy to beat, with power, experience and toughness and will be looking to put himself back in the mix with a win over the rising hopeful. A really great match up.
Another really good domestic match up will see the under-rated Richard Pumicpic (18-8, 6) take on former OPBF champion Roli Gasca (23-7-1, 7) in what could be a real thriller, despite what the records suggest. Pumipic was last seen losing an all-action bout against Cesar Juarez last October and has previously given hell to the likes of Ryosuke Iwasa, Yohei Tobe and Allan Tanada. Gasca on the other hand has beaten Hiromasa Ohashi and twice had competitive bouts with Yukinori Oguni, and earned a draw with Akifumi Shimoda. Neither of these two are likely to be future world champions, but both are solid and should be make for a great bout against each other.
Also on this card will be the unbeaten Edward Heno (9-0-4, 3), who looks to claim the Philippines Boxing Federation Light Flyweight title. Heno will be up against fellow unbeaten southpaw Cris Ganoza (12-0, 6) in what looks like another cracking match up on a really good show.
The more notable of two Japanese shows comes from Hyogo where we see a small card featuring a couple of fighters of some note.
The most promising fighter on the show will be rising Bantamweight hopeful Tenta Kiyose (11-2-1, 4), who looks to extend a nice 4 fight unbeaten run as he takes on Taisei Higashi (7-9-1, 5). Kiyose was last seen stopping Ryuta Otsuka in 3 rounds, and has been on a great run since coming up short at the 2015 Rookie of the Year final. Higashi on the other hand has struggled with consistency recently and gone 3-6-1 in his last 10, which doesn't bode well here.,
The other fighter of note is 22 year old Featherweight hopeful Tenmei Serizawa (9-3, 5), who battled against Takuya Yamamoto (7-6, 4). Earlier in his career Serizawa struggled, going 3-3 in his first 6, but has strung together 6 straight wins including a career best 4th round KO win over Hikaru Matsuoka last time which has put him on the map so to speak. On the other hand Yamamoto has struggled recently with a 1-3 run in his last 4, including defeats to Shingo Kawamura and Yuta Uetani. On paper this doesn't look hugely exciting but Yamamoto is better than his record suggests and this could be a very competitive match.
For fans interested in this show it will be part of the Boxingraise subscription sevrice, and will be added on delay.
The other card is a small one form Fukuoka.
In the main event of this card we'll see Yusuke Yamanouchi (8-3-1, 4) battling against a Thai visitor in a 10 rounder. The bout looking to bounce back from an 8 round decision last May to Mitsuyoshi Fujita whilst little is known about the Thai he'll be facing.
The chief supporting bout here is a 6 rounder between Takuya Sugiyama (5-3-1) and Yuta Nakashima (7-10, 2), who fight in a rematch following a very close contest last year. Between them the fighters have a combined 12 wins, with 2 stoppages, and 13 losses, with just 2 of them by stoppage. Although yet to score a stoppage Sugiyama will be favoured to win here with Nakahsima having lost his last 5 in a row, including a loss to Sugiyama last time out, and is without a win in over 6 years!
Metro Manila, Philippines
The key card of the day is in the Philippines where we see a former world champion.
The biggest bout of the day will see former WBC Flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro (42-13-5, 30) battle against the heavy handed Marjun Pantilgan (11-3, 10) in a bout for the vacant WBC International Super Flyweight title. Coming into this Jaro has won his last 8, since being upset by Gerpaul Valero more than 3 years ago, and seems to still have some life in his 34 year old legs. Pantilgan, 22, is stepping up massively here but will see this as a potential chance to score a win that could begin to put him on the map.
In an supporting bout the unbeaten Edward Heno (8-0-4, 2) will face veteran Roque Lauro (13-19-5, 3) for the second time, following a draw last December. Heno has shown some promise but will need to show more if he's to go far with his career, however the suggestion is that he's not likely to progress beyond domestic level.
In another supporting bout we'll see the unbeaten Carlo Caesar Penalosa (6-0, 2) take on the limited Jason Dogelio (5-4, 2) in an 8 rounder. Penalosa, the latest fighter from the legendary Penalosa clan, is slowly making his way in the sport and although their isn't much expectation on his shoulders there are some excited by his name, and hopefully they won't be let down by the youngster.
We also get a show in Japan featuring a former world title challenger.
That former world title challenger is the teak tough Hidenori Otake (26-2-3, 12) who takes on big punching South American Alexander Espinoza (11-8-1, 10) as he continues to tread and move towards a second world title fight, likely at Featherweight. The limited Espinoza is unlikely to be much of a challenger for Otake but should keep the Japanese fighter busy and knock off any ring rust that he may be getting waiting for a big fight.
Also on the card will be former Randall Bailey victim Shusaku Fujinaka (14-6-2, 9), who takes on a Thai foe. This will see Fujinaka hunting a third win since his famous loss to Bailey in Korea last year.
Finally, it seems, Japanese action is picking up with the second title bout with in a week and a second card of note to begin the year.
The second Japanese title fight of the year comes just days after the first, which saw Hiroki Okada retain the Japanese 140lb title, this time we see a bout for a vacant title and, on paper, it's a mismatch. The bout in question sees former title challenger Nobuyuki Shindo (16-3-1, 6) battle against the experienced Yasuhiro Okawa (14-11-3, 5), who is set for his first title bout. On paper this is a huge mismatch but Okawa is better than his record suggests and has improved drastically from his 7-9-3 (2) start to professional life. Saying that however it's hard to see Shindo losing given how impressive he was in a Japanese title bout last year.
In the main support bout we see a former world champion in action as former WBC Flyweight kingpin Sonny Boy Jaro (42-13-5, 30) takes on Japanese ranked fight Yusuke Suzuki (6-2, 4), in what looks to be a very tough ask for Suzuki. Interestingly Jaro was once 0-3 in Japan though after a pair of wins in the “Land of the Rising Sun” last year he could level his record in the country with a win over Suzuki. For the 27 year old Japanese fighter this is an opportunity to score a big win, but he will be the huge under-dog.
Another supporting bout here will see former world title challenger Makoto Fuchigami (21-11, 12) take on Hideo Mikan (7-10-1, 2) in a must win bout for both men. Fuchigami, best known for being stuffed by Gennady Golovkin, has lost 4 of his last 5, with the last 2 both being stoppages. He needs a top performances here against Mikan, who has lost his last 3. Given that both will view this as a real opportunity we could end up with a very fun fight here.
One final under-card bout of note will see former Rookie of the year Hisao Narita (9-3, 4) take on Japanese based Colombian Elfelos Vega (5-2, 3). Both fighters were beaten last time out and know that a win here will give them something to build on, but it's fair to say that Narita will come into the bout as the favourite.
This coming Sunday Japanese fans get the choice of two shows
In Fukuoka Japanese fans get an interesting card with a trio of unbeaten fighters all looking to extend their perfect runs.
The most well known of those three is the world ranked Takumi Sakae (12-0, 8) who puts his perfect record and rankings on the line against little known domestic rival Munehito Kijima (6-7-1). This should be a clear win for Sakae however we're unsure if he's really deserving of his world rankings and we really can't wait to see him really tested. Saying that though he is a fun to watch fighter with a lot of potential.
Another man showing real potential, and genuine excitement, is Yuki Beppu (9-0, 9) who puts his perfect KO run on the line against Indonesian fighter Yasmet Star (3-4, 3). On paper this looks like an easy win for Beppu, and it really should be a blow out for the power puncher given that Star has been stopped in 3 of his 4 losses. If Beppu, as expected, blows away Star here we're hoping to see him move onto Japanese ranked foes in 2016 ahead of potential domestic title fights in the next 12-18 months.
The other unbeaten fighter on this card worth making a note of is Kotaro Ishibashi (3-0-2, 3) who faces Shota Aikawa (4-4-2, 1) in a 6 rounder. At 36 years old Ishibashi cannot waste much time so a win here could see him being moved quickly towards the 8 round distance.
As well as the three unbeaten fighters we're also genuinely excited to see the professional debut of Yuki Koha (0-0) who is tipped as one to watch at 140lbs. Koha makes his debut against Indonesian visitor Rian Cobra (2-1, 1). On paper this isn't a terrible debut for the Japanese fighter who is facing a man who's only loss was a 4-round TKO loss to Yusuke Yamanouchi back in May, and if Koha can impress then there's a good chance he'll be put on a fast track.
A second Japanese show, which also features a number of interesting bouts, comes from Osaka.
The first of two main events here is a rematch between former world champion Sonny Boy Jaro (41-13-5, 29), of the Philippines, and Shota Kawaguchi (18-6-1, 8). These two men met earlier this year, with Jaro claiming a close decision win, but Kawaguchi will be looking for revenge in what will almost certainly be a brilliant and competitive contest. Interestingly Jaro's win Kawaguchi last time out was Jaro's first win in Japan having lost in 3 previous bouts in the country.
The co-main on this show will see Shingo Kawamura (10-2-1, 5) battle Shun Ishibashi (10-17-1, 4) in an all southpaw match up. On paper this should be a straight forward win for Kawamura though he has gone 1-1-1 in his last 3 bouts whilst Ishibashi is certainly better than his record suggests. This could be a very good test for Kawamura if he's to move on to title level in the next 12 months.
April 29th-Yoshikawa goes for gold, Kakutani and Jaro in action in Japan, prospects on show in the Philippines!
This coming Wednesday is a busy day in Asia with a number of interesting bouts ranging from a female world title bout to bouts involving Filipino prospects.
The Japanese action kicks off in Osaka where fans get a 6 bout card. The card is set to feature two bouts of note and be the first part of a two-card event at at the Sangyo Shinko center.
The first of those bouts will see the once world ranked Filipino Ronelle Ferreras (14-7-3, 6) battle against Japanese teenager Ryuya Yamanaka (8-2, 2). Ferreras will be best known by Japanese fans for being the second opponent of fast rising star Kosei Tanaka, with two two meeting last year when Tanaka took a wide decision win over Ferreras who entered the bout world ranked by the WBA. Since that bout the Filipino is unbeaten with a 1-0-1 record. Interestingly Yamanaka's last loss came to a Filipino visitor, Roque Lauro, in a split decision last year. We suspect this will be a really competitive match up between two flawed but capable fighters.
In the main event of this show will be former world title challenger Atsushi Kakutani (15-4-1, 8) who will be fighting in a Flyweight bout against Indonesian journeyman Hengky Baransano (11-5, 4). Although we are several years removed from Kakutani's memorable loss to Adrian Hernandez he does seem to be chasing titles and it's hoped that a quick win here will be followed by some type of title bout later in the year.
Following on from the other Osaka show is the second part of the event, held in the same venue by the same promoter.
The main event here really is something special as former female amateur stand out Nana Yoshikawa (4-0, 2) battles against current WBA female Minimumweight champion Anabel Ortiz (16-3, 3) in what will be Yoshikawa's first world title bout. The unbeaten Japanese fighter has been fast tracked due to her advanced age, currently 36, though she was a very experienced amateur and will be hoping to use that experience to over-come Ortiz. As for the Mexican she's a brilliant little fighter who is 2-1 in Japan so far and has only been beaten by exceptionally talented fighters like Naoko Fujioka. This is a very tough match up for Yoshikawa but she really has nothing to lose going into the bout, and a lot to win.
In the chief support bout we'll see another really notable match up as Shota Kawaguchi (18-5-1, 8) takes on former Flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro (39-13-5, 28). Jaro, ranked #5 by the WBC at Super Flyweight, will be risking his ranking in a country where he sports a 0-3 record, including the loss of his world title to Toshiyuki Igarashi. Saying that however Kawaguchi has never shown the type of ability needed to score a “big” win and this is his most notable foe to date in what is a genuinely intriguing chief support bout.
A second support bout on this show will see Takeshi Sone (5-3-2, 1) battle against Il Che (7-8-4, 1) in what looks like an interesting but unspectacular 6 round bout.
In Kagoshima fans will get the chance to see a low level 8 bout card. All but one of the bouts here have been scheduled for 4 rounds with the one exception being the main event which will see Naoya Haraguchi (6-5, 2) battle against Takayuki Teraji (5-7-1, 3) in an evenly matched 6 rounder which will appeal to local fans but very few others.
As well as the action in Japan there is also a notable show in the Philippines which is packed with prospects, many of which are involved in well matched bouts.
One of the stand out contests sees Featherweight prospect Neil John Tabanao (10-0, 7) fighting Rey Perez (19-6, 4) in what looks to be a notable step up in class for the unbeaten 21 year old, who has been tipped to go very far. Tabanao should best tested here however Perez's confidence is expected to be low given he has lost his last 2 bouts and gone 2-4 in his last 6, with a stoppage loss last time out. It is however worth noting several of those losses have come at a very high level, including a razor thin decision loss to Hugo Fidel Cazares.
In an all unbeaten match up Jerry Castroverde (5-0, 3) will be facing off against Rimar Metuda (6-0, 3). This is the second successive bout against an unbeaten foe for the 18 year old Castroverde, who defeated the then 9-0 Jun Jessie Ibgos last time out, whilst the 21 year old Metuda will be facing just his second opponent with a winning record. On paper this is the stand out bout of the card and one that should leave fans really intrigued.
Arguably the most hotly tipped prospect on the card is “Golden Boy” Jack Tepora (13-0, 9), who faces Roman Canto (10-5-2, 5). The 22 year old Tepora was a very highly regarded amateur before turning professional in 2012 and has so far been impressive. On paper this looks like an interesting match up until you see that Tepora has gone 2-5-2 in his last 9 after an 8-0 start.
Another highly tipped prospect on here is Super Featherweight puncher Ardie Boyose (14-0-1, 10) who puts his unbeaten record on the line against former world title challenger Balweg Bangoyan (19-9, 8). Bangoyan, best known for his WBC Super Bantamweight title fight with Toshiaki Nishioka back in 2010, has gone 4-8 since losing to Nishioka and it seems unlikely that he'll notch a win here.
One final prospect to note is Allan Alberca (4-0, 3) who puts his unbeaten record on the line against Pablito Canada (4-5-2, 1). On paper this looks like an easy win for Alberca but he's yet to face an opponent with more than a single win and so this is actually a huge step up for the unbeaten man. That's not to say he shouldn't favoured, but his record is certainly less convincing that the raw numbers suggest.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This Sunday isn't hugely busy but there two notable shows in different Asian countries.
In the Philippines fans get an international show with visitors from around Asia.
One of the most interesting of those visitors is Japanese Heavyweight Rio Hidaka (10-2, 8) who ends an 18 month lay off as he returns to fight David Koswara (11-12-2, 4) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Heavyweight title. Coming into this bout Hidaka has lost his last 2 bouts though that form is almost certain to change as he takes on an Indonesian who began his career at Lightweight back in the 1990's. This is a horrible mismatch we're afraid, and that's despite the fact we know Hidaka is himself very limited.
A second title bout on this card will see another Japanese fighter in action as Takamori Akita (9-4-1, 7) battle against the experienced Desson Cag-ong (14-12, 8) in a bout for the Asian Boxing Council Light Welterweight title. Neither of these fighters are great but it should make for a good lower level bout between two men fighting to win.
The most well known fighter on this card is former Flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro (38-13-5, 27) who will be fighting in what appears to be a stay busy fight against Albert Alcoy (14-21-7, 4). Jaro has been linked to a Super Flyweight world title shot but it now seems like that is unlikely and we suspect he'll continue to feature in bouts like this
Another notable bout will feature former world title challenger Kenichi Yamaguchi (17-3-2-1, 4) who will be in a 6 round bout against Indonesian veteran Hendrik Barongsay (27-20-3, 16). The 34 year old Yamagucho does have the better record but has only won 2 fights in the last 6 years and has been stopped in his last 2 bouts, including an upset loss to Argie Toquero last time out. Barongsay has lost his last 4 though we suspect he has more left in the tank than Yamaguchi.
Also on this card is the unbeaten Kyota Otsuka (5-0, 3), who will be up against fellow novice Jeven Villacite (3-3-3, 1)
In Indonesia fans will get the chance to see IBC Light Welterweight champion Roy Tua Manihuruk (16-12-2, 12) defending his belt against Philipus Rangga (8-8, 1). On paper this looks poor though frustratingly Indonesian fighter have such incomplete records that it's almost impossible to really know how good they are domestically. The only thing that is clear from these two men is that domestic level is likely the best that they will have success at.
For those wanting to watching some televised action this bout will be shown on Indonesian channel TVRI.