Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Attention turns to Korakuen Hall this coming Saturday for the next Teiken show, and it's a really interesting one packed with prospects all looking to secure their next wins, along with a Japanese title eliminator.
The main event of the card will see the hard hitting Yamato Hata (12-1, 11) take on Yuna Hara (11-2-1, 6), in a bout to secure a place at the Champion Carnival next year, as the mandatory challenger for the Japanese title at 130lbs. Of the two men Hata will be regarded as the favourite, and he's not just the bigger puncher but also the man in form, having won his last 9 including notable wins over Shingo Kusano, Konshin Takeshima and Yoji Saito, who he stopped in March in a brilliant performance. As for Hara he had won his last 5, 4 of which he has won by stoppage, but this will be his first bout in Tokyo, and his most notable bout since a 2018 loss in the Rookie of the Year. Hara is talented, but this is very much a big step up for him, in enemy territory.
The most notable of the prospects on the card is JBC and OPBF ranked hopeful Mikito Nakano (6-0, 5), who has looked sensational since his debut and is expected to secure his first title fighter sooner rather than later. The talented Nakano will be seeking his second win of the year as he takes on Filipino visitor Lorenz Ladrada (11-3-1, 3) , who has lost 2 of his last 3 including a 4th round KO loss to Dana Coolwell in July. That bout will Coolwell will likely be seen as the target for Nakano who will be wanting to take Ladrada out quicker than the popular Australian fighter. This is scheduled for 8, but if it goes the distance we'd be very, very surprised.
The under-card on this show is packed with the next wave of emerging Teiken prospects. We won't go into details on the bouts individually, as every under-card bout features a notable prospect, but the card really does show the depth of talent at the Teiken gym. These under-card bouts are Kenji Fujita (2-0, 1) facing Ronnie Campos (9-4-3, 6), in a scheduled 8 rounder, and Subaru Murata (2-0, 2) against Marvilo Aballe (8-2-2, 3), Kota Kaneko (1-0, 1) battling Sugary Montales (3-1, 1), Reo Saito (1-0, 1) clashing with Jufel Salina (5-4-1, 4), Kyosuke Takami (1-0, 1) up against In Cheol Hwang (3-0-1, 1) and a battle of debutants as Keito Tanaka (0-0) and Hyuga Oki (0-0) face off, all over the 6 round distance.
Spaceplus Bangkok RCA, Bangkok
Whilst the card in Japan is about the next generation of Japanese stars, there is also a card in Thailand, which features both a touted prospects and a veteran, who is certainly moving into the end years of his career.
The main bout here will see the unbeaten men collide, as touted Thai hopeful Yuttapong Tongdee (8-0, 4) faces Filipino visitor Herlan Gomez (5-0, 2) , in a bout for Yuttapong's WBA Asia Bantamweight title. The 29 year old Yuttapong is touted as one of Thailand's hottest prospects, and his win over Ryan Rey Pontmeras earlier this year for the WBA title is a big step towards him getting a notable international bout. Sadly he's in one of the toughest divisions in the sport, but if he's patient he will likely land a major fight Naoya Inoue eventually moves up to Super Bantamweight. As for Gomez this will be his third bout in Thailand, and comes on the back of two wins, over previously unbeaten Thai's earlier this year. He will, rightfully, be seen as the under-dog, but he will certainly have plenty of self belief thanks to his recent results.
The veteran on the card is former world title contender Tewa Kiram (47-1, 33), who famously fought Lucas Matthysse back in 2018. Since losing to Matthysse he has gone unbeaten, racking up 9 wins, but has fought as high as 175lb and his most notable bout during this stretch was against former Bantamweight and Super Featherweight world champion Sirimongkol Singwancha. His career certainly feels like it's petering out, and at the time of writing his opponent for this bout is un-named, suggesting he won't be facing someone able to put up any kind of a test.
Saigon Sports Club, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
As well as the notable action in Japan and Thailand we also get a mall card in Vietnam, featuring some of Vietnam's top prospects taking on international opposition.
One of the more notable prospects on this card is Super Middleweight hopeful Dinh Hoang Truong (2-0, 2), who looked set for big things in early 2020, after dominating Yuttana Wongda in the Philippines, but has now been out of the ring for close to 32 months and will be looking to shake some ring rust here. In the opposite corner to Truong will be Indonesian veteran Robert Kopa (14-11-3, 4), who is not expected to put up much, if anything, of a test for Truong. Now aged 38 Kopa has lost his last 5, with 3 losses coming by stoppage and is without a win in 5 years. He i also the naturally much, much, much smaller man.
Another prospect with some hope on their shoulders is 29 year old Huu Toan Le (4-0, 2), who takes on the highly experienced Silem Serang (18-23-3, 2). Le has managed to fit in a fight earlier this year, taking a competitive decision over Kitidech Hirunsuk in March to claim the WBA Asia title, and he'll be looking to build on that win, whilst also getting some valuable experience here. Whilst Serang does have a terrible looking record, he has shown some desire to change things in recent years, and has won 3 of his last 4, though was beaten last time out by Frengky Rohi, albeit in a well contested and competitive bout.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Monday we get the next show under the Dynamic Glove banner, and it's a really notable one, with the Japanese ring return of a notable Lightweight, an interim Japanese title fight and a chance to see 5 notable unbeaten prospects in action.
The main event will see Masayoshi Nakatani (19-2, 13) return to Japan for the first time in well over 3 years, as he takes on Harmonito Dela Torre (22-3, 14). The talented Nakatani hasn't fought in Japan since he beat Hurricane Futa back in 2018. Since then he has fought 3 times, fighting Teofimo Lopez, Felix Verdejo and Vasyl Lomachenko. Despite not fighting in Japan recently Nakatani's profile has risen massively with those 3 fights and he has gone from being a fighter only known in Asia to a fighter with something of an international profile. As for Dela Torre, he's a talented fighter, but someone who has come up short in his most notable bouts, with losses to Tugstsogt Nyambayar, Yongqiang Yang and Shuichiro Yoshino, with that loss to Yoshino happening in his only previous bout in Japan. Whilst we suspect that Nakatani could see off Dela Torre early on, we actually expect to see him take a few rounds, enjoy the the feel of a Japanese audience and then, finally, get to work on finishing Dela Torre in the middle rounds.
In the co-feature bout we'll see former Japanese Welterweight champion Yuki Nagano (19-3, 15) take on Takeru Kobata (11-5-1, 4) for the interim Japanese Welterweight title, with the bout being organised following an injury to Japanese Welterweight champion Keita Obara. Notably Nagano was supposed to face Obara for the Japanese title earlier this year, with that bout being cancelled due to Obara's injury which appears to be series enough for an interim title to be created. Coming into this Nagano knows he has everything to lose, and a loss to Kobata would end any hope of that Obara bout being re-arranged. As for Kobata this is a massive chance for him to make a name for himself, and coming in to this he really isn't well known, even in Japan, so this opportunity is absolutely massive for his career. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Nagano and Kobata clash for Interim title!
One of the many prospects on this card is the much touted Mikito Nakano (5-0, 4), one of the very best prospects in Japan, who takes on Filipino Juanito Paredes (9-7-1, 4). The talented Nakano didn't fight at all last year, and has fought just once since the start of the pandemic. Despite his career stalling during the pandemic there is no denying Nakano's ability, and he's incredibly smooth in the ring, with a solid amateur career and an impressive transition to the pro ranks, which should see him fighting for a title of some sort within 3 or 4 fights. As for Paredes he's unlikely to put up much of a test for Nakano, though we wouldn't be surprised to see him take Nakano into the later rounds of the bout. Notably Paredes has turned his career around well, after a 1-4-1 start to his career, but he has lost 2 of his last 3 and is facing arguably the most talented fighter he's faced so far.
A second unbeaten hopeful taking on a Filipino visitor is Katsuya Fukui (3-0, 2), who will face off with Jason Buenaobra (8-6-3, 3). The talented Fukui began his career in 2019 but sadly was out of the ring for the entirety of 2020 due to the Covid pandemic. He return last year with a career best win, over Hiroki Hanabusa, and will be looking to build on that win here. As for Buenaobra, he is best known for his 2020 loss to Daigo Higa, in what was Higa's long awaited and since then has gone 1-1 suggesting. Sadly for Buenaobra he is 1-3 in his last 4 and it would take a career best performance for him to over-come the must touted Fukui.
Another former amateur standout taking on a Filipino visitor is Subaru Murata (1-0, 1), who battles against John Mark Tihuk (6-1-2, 2). The talented Murata, who is one of the most notable Japanese amateur in recent memories, debuted last June in Las Vegas, when he stopped Keven Monroy on a Top Rank card, and he'll be expected to be moved very quickly now, especially given the time that he's wasted since hanging up the vest and turning professional way back in 2020. Notably the Japanese local isn't being matched easily here, and Tihuk is no push over, in fact the 23 year old Pinoy reached the semi final of the UBS tournament in 2020 and has reeled off 4 straight wins since then, taking 3 unbeaten records along the way, including that of Ranelio Quizo. This should serve as a genuine test for Murata.
One other bout worthy of note will be the debut of 24 year old hopeful Kota Kaneko (0-0), who went 56-13 as an amateur. The promising 24 year old will be up against Thai visitor Pasith Visetso (6-2, 4), who is ranked #9 in Thailand. Kaneko really did look like a promising talent in the unpaid ranks and there are big hopes in the Teiken gym for him, and his future in the sport. As for the Thai, he's a 21 year old who will be fighting outside of Thailand for the first time. On paper Viseto doesn't look anything special, and his wins have come against fellow novices, though it's worth noting that he faced Kongfah CP Freshmart, though he was stopped in 3 rounds in that bout.
This coming Saturday is set to be an incredibly busy day for fighters from Asia, with a host of Asian fighters competing in the US and a handful also competing in Russia
Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
The biggest card for us this weekend comes from Las Vegas and is a Top Rank card with 4 different Asian fighters involved, including a debutant from Japan, an Olympic gold medal winner from Uzbekistan, a world ranked Kazakh and a talented and tricky Japanese Lightweight.
The debuting Japanese fighter is former amateur standout Subaru Murata (0-0), who looks to kick off his professional career with a 4 round bout against fellow professional novice Keven Monroy (1-1, 1). Murata is tipped incredibly highly after a strong amateur career, and some in Japan do view him as a future world champion in the making. Despite the hype and the expectations he will need to impress here, and is getting a chance to shine, in front of a global audience, on a major US show.
The Uzbekistani Olympic gold medal winner is Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (9-1, 5), who also needs to shine as he takes on the unbeaten Quinton Randall (8-0, 2). Gaibnazarov won gold at the 2016 Olympics and was tipped for big things, but has struggled to acclimatise to the professional ranks and hasn't really bounced back from a 2019 loss to the awkward Mykal Fox. Randall on the other hand is 30 years old and fighting in his most notable bout to date. Coming in to this one neither man can really afford a loss and although we're not expecting a fight of the year contender this could be a very, very interesting contest between two men who will both be looking to prove a point
On the subject of interesting contests the chief support bout on this card will see talented Kazakh Zhanibek Alimkhanuly (9-0, 5) take on former WBA "regular" Middleweight champion Rob Brant (26-2, 18), in a huge step up in class for Alimkhanuly. The Kazakh is already world ranked, after just 9 bouts, and has been calling out Demetrius Andrade over the last 12 or so months. A win against Brant here will really strengthen his call outs and could help him land a world title fight later in the year. As for Brant this will be his second bout since losing to Ryota Murata in 2019 and he'll know that a win over Alimkhanuly could, potentially, lead to him getting a chance to become a 2-time world champion. This is a true 50-50 style match up and one of the most interesting looking bouts on the schedule right now, with both men likely feeling they have what it takes to score a victory here.
As for the main event we'll see once beaten Japanese Lightweight Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1, 13) taking on former Ukrainian amateur boxing god Vasyl Lomachenko (14-2, 10), in a really important bout for the Lightweight division. The tall, rangy, tough Nakatani has impressed in his last two bouts, losing a competitive bout with Teofimo Lopez and stopping Felix Verdejo, and he'll know that a win here would almost certainly secure him a world title bout, potentially even a rematch with Lopez. As for Lomachenko he looked rather poor last time out, losing a decision to Lopez, and there are question marks about whether he's a natural Lightweight, and at 33 what his long in ring career has taken from him. This is a great opportunity for Nakatani, though he will be the clear under-dog against the magical Lomachenko.
State Farm Arena, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
As well as the collection of Asian fighters competing on the Top Rank show in Nevada we also bet the chance to see once beaten Uzbekistan born fighter Batyr Akhmedov (8-1, 7) take on Dominican veteran Algenis Mendez (25-6-3, 12) in a very good looking match up. This is Akhmedov's second bout since his fantastic 2019 bout with Mario Barrios, in what was a legitimate Fight of the Year contender, and is a big step back up in class after a win last September against the limited Rey Perez. Mendez on the other hand is a faded for from the fighter he once was, but he's still a smart and capable fighter, and he'll know that a win here puts him in the mix for some big fights. Expect to see this being a really interesting clash of styles with Akhmedov's pressure and aggression matching up against Mendez's guile and boxing brain.
801 Event Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
On a third US card we'll see Uzbekistani veteran Ravshan Hudaynazarov (18-4, 14) battle against the unbeaten Sergio Sarabia (5-0, 4). The 37 year old Hudaynazarov won his first 17 bouts before disappearing from the sport in 2014. Sadly when he returned in 2018 he lost 4 in a row, before picking up a very low key win in April this year. The 29 year old Sarabia on the other hand hasn't fought since 2013, and although he's unbeaten we have to assume ring rust will be a major issue for him here.
RCC Boxing Academy, Ekaterinburg, Russia
As well as the action in the US there's also a show in Russia that features some Asian fighters.
One of the Asian fighters on this card is Southpaw Erzhan Turgumbekov (8-2-1, 2), who looks to bounce back from back to back losses as he takes on Zhora Hamazaryan (10-3-2, 7) in a very good looking 10 round Super Featherweight bout. After going unbeaten in his first 9 bouts Turgumbekov will now have low confidence and be questioning his place in the sport, knowing another loss could be the end of his place in notable bouts on RCC shows. On paper Hamazaryan doesn't have the best of records, but the Armenian is a genuine handful and with his aggression, power, work rate and will to win, he should be regarded as the favourite here, in what could be the hidden gem of the weekend.
Another Asian on this card is Turkmenistan's Bahodur Yakubov (1-0), who looks to build on his debut win over Viktor Vezhlivtsev. At the time of writing his opponent here hasn't been named, though he's expected to be competing in a 4 rounder on this show.