EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
This coming Wednesday we see attention turn to the the EDION Arena in Osaka for a show from Shinsei Gym, and it's a rare all female card with all 4 bouts on the card featuring fighters. They include a world champion in a non title bout, an OPBF title fight, an interesting debut and the third bout in the career of a very talented young fighter.
The main event will see WBO female Minimumweight champion Etsuko Tada (20-3-3, 7) battle in what is essentially a stay busy bout, as she takes on Sana Hazuki (8-5-1, 2) in an 8 rounder fought above the Minimumweight limit. Tada won the title in thrilling fashion last year, knocking out Ayaka Miyao in the 9th round of a brilliant fight last December, and it's a shame she's not defending it here, especially given that Hazuki is world ranked, albeit by the IBF, at the weight. As for Hazuki, she was last seen losing a wide decision to Yokasta Valle back in January, in an IBF title fight and given how easily she lost that one, she isn't expected to be a real test for Tada here.
In the title fight we see Yumi Narita (5-4-3, 1) clash with the once beaten Kaoru Iga (4-1-1) for the vacant OPBF Female Light Flyweight title. On paper this looks like a bout where Iga will be strongly favoured but in reality Narita is more tested, more proven and likely to be the fighter coming into the bout with more hunger, especially as most will be writing her off. Although we don't think either of these two are stars in the making their styles and hunger should gel to provide a bit of a treat at Oriental level. Our full preview of this one can be read here Narita and Iga battle for OPBF crown!
Former Japanese amateur standout Makoto Kikuchi (0-0) will be making her debut as she takes on Aka Ringo (1-0, 1) in a scheduled 6 rounder. Interestingly Kikuchi holds a JBC ranking coming into this bout, despite having never fought as a professional before, and it seems clear her team are going to be looking to move her very aggressively with title fights likely to come in the next year or two. The 34 year old debutant will likely be looking to secure a title fight if she can get past Ringo here. As for Ringo she's looking to build on a debut win in April, but this is a huge step up in class for her.
The only other bout on this card will see Sumire Yamanaka (2-0), the younger sister of former world champion Ryuya Yamanaka, take on Rin Murai (1-0-2) in an interesting looking 4 rounder. Yamanaka has shown herself to be a really talented boxer, but still a very young fighter and it could be a long, long time until we really see what she can do in the ring. Murai on the other hand is a 36 year old who's only win came more than 2 years ago, and it's going to be interesting if she can keep up with the much, much younger Yamanaka.
For a second successive day we get notable action featuring Asian fighters, including a world title fight, a Japanese female title fight and a card from Korea.
Sakai City Industrial Promotion Center, Sakai, Osaka, Japan
Both of the Japanese cards come from the same venue in Sakai, with the first being a pretty notable one, as it will only feature female fighters, and will be streamed live on the Boxing Real YouTube channel.
Sadly with it being a female only card it's not a particularly deep or stacked card, but is does have a couple of bouts of note on it. The first of those noteworthy bouts will see Sumire Yamanaka (1-0) take on the debuting Natsuki Yamada (0-0). Whilst neither of these fighters are big names, by any stretch, there is plenty of quiet expectation on the shoulders of the 19 year old Yamanaka. She is the younger sister of former world champion Ryuya Yamanaka and some suggest she could follow in her brother's footsteps and become a world champion in the future. We don't know much about Yamada but we do know she's a naturally taller and older fighter than Yamanaka, and should be able to at least ask some questions of the teenager.
The main event of this card will see Japanese Atomweight champion Kaori Nagai (5-2-3, 2) defending her belt for the first time and taking on Natsuki Tarui (4-6-2). The 31 year old champion won the belt last July, when she defeated veteran Momoko Kanda for the second time, and is riding an impressive 8 bout unbeaten run, following back to back losses at the start of her career. She's not the most talented fighter out there, but she's got under rated skills, sets a good tempo and has got the tools to be successful at Japanese and OPBF level. Tarui on the other hand is 29 years old and seems to be coming in to her own after 4 straight losses to begin her career. She's not oozing world class potential, but she's worked hard, earned a shot at the Japanese title, and is a very live challenger. This could end up being a very, very good fight over 6 competitive rounds. Our preview of this one can be read here Nagai takes on Tarui in first Japanese title defense!
Sakai City Industrial Promotion Center, Sakai, Osaka, Japan
The second card from the Sakai City Industrial Promotion Center is also set to get a live stream courtesy of the Boxing Real YouTube channel and is a more interesting card, at least on paper, than the all female show.
One of the interesting bouts here will see Aoba Mori (6-2-1) and Keisuke Iwasaki (5-2-1, 1) clash for the second time. These two fought last July, fighting to a 6 round draw, and proved to be incredibly well matched. Given their first bout this is one to look forward if you can make it to the venue. The two men are unlikely to mix it at domestic title level, but they will make for some entertaining bouts at the lower levels of the domestic scene, in fact their first was solid. Since their first bout Mori has been inactive whilst Iwasaki scored a notable win over the hard hitting Mammoth Kazunori, giving him a bit of momentum coming in to this one.
Another noteworthy under-card bout on this show will see Daiki Tomita (15-2, 5) take on Shota Asami (8-7, 4). The talented 23 year old Tomita has promised a lot, but lost his two most notable bouts, losing to Tsubasa Koura in 2018 and Kenichi Horikawa last year. He has a lot of potential, but we suspect needs to be given time to mature physically. In Asami we have someone who has struggled for form, in fact Asamai has lost 2 of his last 3 and 5 of his last 9, but he's someone who can dig in and score upsets, as he did last year against Sho Omote. This looks like a mismatch on paper, but Asami is very much a live under-dog, and the naturally bigger guy.
The main event of this show will see WBO female Light Flyweight champion Tenkai Tsunami (27-12-1, 16) looking to defend her title against fellow Japanese fighter Shione Ogata (11-6-1, 3). Tsunami won this title back in March 2018 and has defended it twice so far, whilst also dipping her toes into the Flyweight division. The 36 year old champion is a stalwart for Japanese boxing and has proven herself as a tough, hard working and criminally under-rated fighter, though sooner or later father time will catch up with her, especially given the tough bouts she's had over the years. Ogata on the other hand is an easy to over-look challenger who lost 5 of her first 6 before going 10-1-1 and winning the WBA Asia, WBO Asia Pacific and OPBF titles. She is a very, very live challenger and has developed so much in recent years under the guidance of Nobuhiro Ishida. The champion should be the favourite, but Ogata is a genuinely solid contender, despite her record. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Ogata challenges WBO queen Tsunami
The Won Boxing Stadium, Seoul, South Korea
Over in South Korea we'll be getting a low profile card from the Won Promotion. This show really isn't a big one at all, but the main event is a very evenly matched bout between Dong Ho Geum (5-3-2, 3) and In Soo Jang (5-3-1), who battle for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Super Bantamweight title. The 27 year old Geum is riding a 3 fight winning streak into this, and is actually 5-1 in his last 6 bouts, after a bizarre 0-2-2 start to his career. Jang on the other hand started his career will, going unbeaten in his first 3 bouts, but since then has gone 3-3, and lost his last 2 bouts. He needs a win, but has no momentum coming in to this and is more than 2 years removed from his last win. We're expecting a really fun fight here but one that, in the grand scheme of things, won't really matter despite the WBC regional title.