This coming Saturday is massive with a trio of world title bouts, to warm up for the big day we get a really interesting card in Japan on Friday, with 2 really good Japan Vs Philippines bouts and a pair of bouts involving touted debutants.
The main event of the show will see OPBF Flyweight champion Jayr Raquinel (10-1-1, 7) look to make his second defense, as he takes on Japanese veteran Takuya Kogawa (30-5-1, 13), who is essentially fighting for his career at this point. The talented Raquinel won the title in March 2018, stopping Keisuke Nakayama, and impressed when he stopped Shun Kosaka in his first defense. Sadly a loss in China to Wulan Tuolehazi last September slowed his ascent and he's been out of the ring ever since. At the age of 34 Kogawa really is a veteran, and the popular Tokyo brawler has began to show signs of his career catching up with him in recent years. Since losing the Japanese title in June 2016 to Masayuki Kuroda we've not been impressed by Kogawa, who has struggled in his 3 subsequent bouts, though has been hit by stretches of inactivity. If Kogawa is half the fighter he once was this could be amazing, alternatively this could be the bout that pushes him into retirement. A full preview of this bout is available here Rising hopeful Raquinel and veteran Kogawa clash for OPBF title
Another brilliant bout between a Filipino and a Japanese local will see Pinoy hopeful Alphoe Dagayloan (13-2-5, 5) take on touted Japanese hopeful Ryota Yamauchi (4-1, 4). For Dagayloan this bout will see him looking to extend a 7 fight winning streak, and build on wins over the likes of Esneth Domingo and Danrick Sumabong. A win for the Filipino will almost certainly open up big opportunities in the near future, given his run of form. For Yamauchi however the bout will be his first since suffering a controversial loss in China to Wulan Tuolehazi, the same man who has also beaten Jayr Raquinel. A win for Yamauchi gets him back on the fast track, whilst a loss will give him some real rebuilding to do. It's great to see both men taking a risk here, and we're really expecting something very special from this bout. Our preview of this bout is available here Yamauchi and Dagayloan set to battle in intriguing 8 rounder!
In an interesting all-Japanese bout ranked fighters clash, as JBC and WBO Asia Pacific ranked Yuichiro Kasuya (12-2-1, 3) takes on OPBF and JBC ranked Takayuki Sakai (9-1-2, 6), in what is arguably the most over-looked bout on the card. The 22 year old Kasuya has been a professional for over 5 years and show a lot of early promise, winning the Rookie of the Year in in 2014. A 3 fight run that saw him going 0-2-1 slowed his ascent but with Kadoebi now behind him it seems like his career is back on track and hopefully he can build on the early promise he showed. Sakai on the other hand started his career 3-1-2 but has since reeled off 6 straight wins, including a very notable one over Amphol Suriyo, aka Pharanpetch Tor Buamas, last December. The winner of this one could well find themselves in a title fight very soon.
One of two notable debutants on this card is Mikio Sakai (0-0), who takes on the hard hitting Elfelos Vega (7-6, 5). As an amateur Sakai went 44-22 (19) and was a pretty notable amateur and even if he didn't regularly win national tournaments he was solid with Kadoebi clearly expecting big things from him. Vega is a very tough tough debut opponent, with the Japanese based Colombian being heavy handed and able to take a good shot. Vega hasn't fought since March 2018, but has shared the ring with the likes of Takeshi Inoue, Charles Bellamy and Kazuto Takesako, with only Takesako and Ryosuke Maruki managing to stop him. This looks like it could be a baptism of fire for Sakai.
Another debutant who is in tough is the 21 year old Ryo Nakai (0-0), who takes on unbeaten Filipino Jay Lloyd Quidlat (4-0-1, 2). The debutant ran up a 30-16 (15) record in the amateurs and should have the tools to handle Quidlat, who is unbeaten but has faced very limited opposition on the lower end of the Filipino scene. An interesting looking debut for Nakai, but a big step up for Quidlat.
In Okalahoma we're expecting to see two Central Asian prospects in action.
The more well known of those is hard hitting Uzbek prospect Shohjahon Ergashev (16-0, 14), who risks his unbeaten record against fellow puncher Abdiel Ramirez (24-4-1, 22). On paper this looks like an interesting match up, and it should be explosive, though Ramirez is the naturally smaller man and has lost 3 of his last 4. Given that both can punch we do expect to see heavy leather thrown, but Ergashev should be too heavy handed, too big and too tough for 28 year old Mexican.
The other Central Asian fighter on this card is Izim Izbaki (1-0, 1), though it should be noted Izbaki has had several fight fall through since his debut. Well regarded by those in Kazakhstan Izbaki has got potential, and should be far too good for the 26 year old Armonte Summers (1-1), who is listed as being 6'10". If this bout takes place we expect Izbaki to fight like a man with a point to prove given the issues he's had with getting in the ring since his debut last November.
Staying in the US we'll also see the unbeaten Bobirzhan Mominov (10-0, 8) take on Javier Flores (14-2, 12). The talented 27 year old Mominov is one of the less spoken about Kazakh prospects but has impressed and looks like someone who needs to be let off the leash sooner, rather than later. On paper this is a big step up for him, with Flores having never been stopped, and having gone 10 rounds with the once touted Ronald Cruz just a few months ago. A good test, but one that Mominov should pass.
New South Wales, Australia
One other bout of note will take place in Australia and see Australian based Filipino veteran Jack Asis (38-22-5, 19) fight for the 66th time as he takes on the unbeaten Youssef Dib (12-0, 5). Asis has had a real roller coaster of a career, turning around a 21-18-4 (10) record by scoring 14 straight wins, but he has suffered back to back losses entering this bout, and was stopped last time out after being dropped a number of times. The 26 year old Dib is no puncher, and did look poor last time out, but should have more than enough to beat the 36 year old Asis.
Gauteng, South Africa
Under-rated Kazakh Alexandr Zhuravskiy (13-4-1, 11) ended a 3 fight losing run last time out, when he held Boyd Allen to a draw in South Africa. This coming Friday he returns to South Africa to take on 21 year old South African puncher Roarke Knapp (8-0-1, 7). This looks a tough ask for Zhuravskiy, however he continues to show that he's no easy out for anyone, and we wouldn't be surprised to see him to give Knapp a really serious test here.
The action for April kicks off with a show from the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, which features some Rookie action and some interesting hopefuls.
The main event of this card will see Takayuki Sakai (8-1-2, 6) take on Tomoki Takada (6-4-2, 3) over 8 rounds. For Sakai, the bout will see him hunting a 6th straight win and building on a very good victory over Pharanpetch Tor Buamas, aka Amphol Suriyo. Since losing in August 2016 Sakai has gone 6-0-1 and a solid, if unspectacular run coming into this bout. Takada ont he other hand has won his last 2, but has suffered 3 stoppage losses and doesn't appear to be the most durable fighter out there.
In the main supporting bout Ryuki Ishii (9-3, 5) will look to continue his good form, as he takes on Filipino puncher Reymond Yanong (9-4-1, 8). Last time out Ishii beat Zirolian Riku, and has won 3 in a row since losing to Kazuma Sanpei back in October 2017. Yanong has been stopped in 2 of his last 3, but certainly has the power to trouble Ishii here.
The 2018 Rookie of the Year runner up Haruki Ishikawa (6-1, 5) will be looking to kick off his 2019 as he takes on Alvin Medura (8-3, 7), in what will be his first bout since losing to Yusei Fujikawa in December last year. This has the ingredients of being a very, very explosive and fun encounter!
In a Rookie of the Year bout Kyonosuke Kameda (2-1, 1) will take on Takuya Inamori (1-3). Kameda, part of the clan that has already given us 3 world champions, will be seeking a third straight win since being stopped on debut at the start of 2018, Inamori on the other hand will be looking to bounce back from his third career defeat, earlier this year.
Action returns to Osaka this coming Saturday for what is a pretty notable card at the EDION Arena. The card features a second generation fight and a former world title challenger.
The second generation fighter is Juiki Tatsuyoshi (9-0, 6), the boxing son of the enigmatic Joichiro Tatsuyoshi. The unbeaten Tatsuyoshi will be taking a notable step up in class as he goes up against 35 year old veteran Yuki Hirashima (9-2-1, 3), in what looks like a solid test for the youngster. Tatsuyoshi turned professional under the shadow of his father but has slowly started to make his own mark and has now shown the ability to go 8 rounds, as he did against Shun Ishibashi. Hirashima lacks a notable win, but he comes into this bout as someone who knows a good performance could secure him a lot of attention in the new year, whilst a third career defeat may well end his career.
The former world title challenger on this card is Japanese veteran Hiroshige Osawa (33-5-4, 19), who is likely aware that can't afford another loss if he wants a second world title fight. Osawa is best known for losing to Oscar Valdez in a show for the WBO Featherweight title, and since then he is 3-1, losing last time out to former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo. In the opposite corner to Osawa will be world ranked Colombian Belmar Preciado (18-1-1, 11), who is fighting in Asia for the first time in his career. It's hard to say much about Preciado, but his competition so far does little to suggest he's actually a world class fighter, and Osawa will certainly feel confident of picking up a win here. We've done a full preview of this fight here Osawa and Preciado fight in must win contest!
Originally announced for the card was a bout between Ginjiro Tsutsumimoto (2-0, 2) and Thailand's Amphol Suriyo (23-3, 19), sadly however Tsutsumimoto has been removed from this bout and replaced by 28 year old countryman Takayuki Sakai (7-1-2, 5). The Thai visitor is a former OPBF title challenger who will be riding a high coming in to this bout, on the back of a huge upset win over Kazuki Saito in Tokyo. As for Sakai, he is riding a 4 fight winning run, with 3 straight stoppages, but this is a big step up in class for him.
Although Ginjiro is off this card his brother, the heavy handed Kyosuke Tsutsumimoto (8-1, 7), will be on the show. The once beaten Tsutsumimoto and Anurak Madua (6-2, 4), a Thai who is riding a 4 fight winning run. Tsutsumimoto is a big puncher, and has won his last 4 by stoppage since losing a decision in 2016. Interestingly both of Madua's losses have come in previous visits to Japan.
Having mentioned a couple of Thai's it's worth noting that Thailand will host a show of it's own, as former amateur stand out Apichet Petchmanee (1-0, 1) takes on the hard hitting Sadudee Tor Buamas (8-0, 6) in a bout for the OPBF Silver Light Welterweight title. Apichet impressed on debut, stopping the then 13-0 Attanon Kunlawong, and looks like he might be one of the brightest hopefuls in Thailand, and at 29 he knows he will need to be moved quickly. The 25 year old Sadudee Tor Buamas hasn't fought in a while, but is a former PABA Light Welterweight champion and can punch. This a very interesting match up and one we're really looking forward to.
In the Philippines we'll see unbeaten puncher Christian Araneta (16-0, 14) take on journeyman Vincent Bautista (5-11-4, 1). This is little more than a stay busy fight for Araneta, who really is on the verge of a major fight, and really we do expect him to score a clear win. It is however worth noting that Bautista was generally regarded as being durable, but he has suffered 2 recent stoppage losses and looks to be a man feeling the effects of a hard career.
Also on this card is Harmonito Dela Torre (19-2, 12), who is looking to bounce back from successive losses. The once touted Dela Torre, who has been beaten by Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Yongqiang Yang, will be up against experienced veteran Richard Betos (20-21-2, 7). Betos is very limited and shouldn't be competitive with the talented Dela Torre.