Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
The big Asian card this weekend is from Tokyo, and will be aired as part of the Dynamic Glove series on G+. It's not a massive card, but it's a very good Dynamic Glove one, with a triple crown bout in the main event and a brilliant chief support bout which should be nothing short of a brutal war.
The title fight will see Super Flyweight triple crown champion Ryoji Fukunaga (14-4, 14) defending his WBO Asia Pacific, OPBF and Japanese titles against the unbeaten, and once very highly touted, Hayate Kaji (15-0, 9). The hard hitting Fukunaga has looked fantastic in recent bouts, winning his last 4, all by stoppage, including big wins against Froilan Saludar and Kenta Nakagawa to unify the triple crown. He does however have time against him and at 35 another loss ends any hope of him getting a world title fight. On the other hand a win here sees him continuing to knock on the door and he is currently ranked by the IBF and WBO. Kaji on the other hand sent excitement through the Japanese scene as a teenager, winning the All Japan Rookie of the Year aged 18. Sadly though he has failed to develop like many had hoped, and he's looked less than great in a number of recent bouts. Hopefully, with this being a huge opportunity for him, we'll see the best of Kaji, and if we do we are going to be in for something very special here. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Fukunaga looks to defend triple crown against unbeaten Kaji!
Talking about very special the chief support bout will be the third meeting between Ryoichi Tamura (14-5-1, 7) and Yusaku Kuga (19-5-1, 13), which will serve as a Japanese title eliminator at Super Bantamweight. Kuga is winning the series 2-0, having won two brutal decisions against Tamura, but he's lost his last 2 by stoppage, and his career is perhaps coming to an end. He's taken a lot of punishment in recent years, being stopped 3 times in his last 6, and it's hard to imagine him having much left in the tank. Saying that however Tamura has also been in a lot of punishing wars himself, including the two with Tamura and as well as ones against Mugicha Nakagawa, Yusuke Suzuki and Gakuya Furuhashi. Tamura has never been stopped, but the accumulation of punishment through his career will be taking a toll on him. We expect this one to be a complete and utter war and we wouldn't be surprised by Kuga being stopped for the 4th time in his career.
Capio, Tsukuba, Ibaragi, Japan
As well as the show in Tokyo we also have a small Japanese card in Ibaragi. This is a small show but one that does promise some exciting action of it's own, with a really nice match up that should both be very fan friendly.
In the main event the always fun to watch, but very flawed, Tatsuya Takahashi (32-10-6, 21) will be up against the equally fun but flawed Shota Ogasawara (6-3-1, 3), who clash in an 8 rounder at 122lbs. Of the two men Takahashi is the much more well established and proven fighter, but the 32 year old hasn't looked good in recent bouts, and is 2-2-1 in his last 5, including a decision loss to Ryotaro Kawabata last time out. He will be the home town favourite, and this is his 15th bout at the Tsukuba Capio venue, but he's showing his age and signs that his career is coming to an end. Aged 26 Ogasawara is coming into his prime, though has struggled recently and know he can't afford another set back if he's to get into the title mix any time soon. Given the styles of the two men, we expect this to be a really good fight, and a genuine tear up, even if the skill level of both is rather limited.
Workpoint Studio, Bang Phun, Thailand
As well as the action in Japan we also get a card in Thailand as boxing finally returns to Work point, 6 months after their last show. The action in Thailand has been minimal this year due to the effects of Covid in the country, but it's great to see WP Boxing boxing, even if it does appear their relationship with DAZN is on the rocks once again. RAZN, really paying right!
In the main event the unbeaten Apichet Petchmanee (10-0, 2) will be seeking his 11th straight win as he takes on 21 year old Thai foe Phutthiphong Rakoon (8-4, 6), who is incredibly limited, and hasn't hasn't had a recorded bout in over 3 years. We'll be honest, we don't rate Apichet as a man going places, in fact the 31 year old seems to have rapidly regressed during his career, but he should still be far, far, far too good for Phuttiphong here.
A more well matched bout will see local puncher Suradech Ruhasiri (6-4, 5) take on Filipino fighter Adrian Lerasan (9-4, 2), in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Flyweight title. This will be Lerasan's first bout since his big 2020 upset over touted Thai Tanes Ongjunta, and whilst he will be expected to show some ring rust he should still be favoured. Suradech has lost his last 4, and been stopped twice in that run, but he is fighting at home and is lively, so will be in the ring looking for a win, even if he is the under-dog.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Thursday we'll get live televised action from Japan, as Teiken put on a show case of young talent live on G+ under the Dynamic Glove banner. The card isn't a major one, in fact if we're being honest it's a rather small one, but it's an interesting one with 4 intriguing match ups on it.
The main event of the card will see former amateur standout Gonte Lee (2-0-1, 1) take on the always fun to watch Aso Ishiwaki (8-3-1, 6). The talented Lee turned professional with high expectations but has been unable to deliver on those expectations so far, though that is partly due to being unfortunate and being out of the ring for the entire of 2020 due to the Covid19 pandemic. He's a real talent, but things do need to kick on for him and it's Teiken know that he needs to be matched hard. As for Ishiwaki he's a fun, talented fighter with an aggressive style, though he was, notably, battered at the end of last year, when Jin Sasaki smashed him in 3 rounds for the Japanese Youth title, and he'll be looking to bounce back from that loss. This could be a very, very good match up, as the skills of Lee go up against the pressure of Ishiwaki.
In the chief support bout we'll see veteran Tatsuya Takahashi (32-9-6, 21) take on Ryotaro Kawabata (12-4-2, 6), in a rescheduled that was first pencilled for January. With 47 bouts to name Takahashi is one of the most experienced fighters in Japan, but he's never been a very polished fighter and he can be out boxed, with opponents taking advantage of his various limitations and flaws. Despite his flaws he comes to fight and tends to give anyone a good test due to his tenacity and fighting spirit. As for Kawabata he is limited himself, as we saw last September against Tsubasa Murachi, but a more polished boxer than Takahashi. Sadly for Kawabata he has scored just a single win in the last 5 years.
In a really mouth watering clash the unbeaten Katsuya Fukui (2-0, 2) will be up against Hiroki Hanabusa (8-1-3, 3). The talented Fukui has looked really exciting and promising, with two quick blow out wins so far, but his competition has been limited and this will be his first bout against a domestic opponent and it'll be interesting to see how he copes with a fellow Japanese fighter who's looking to move his own career forward. The 22 year old Hanabusa is a talented fighter, who impressed in 2018 Rookie of the Year and was unbeaten until last August, when he was stopped in 5 rounds by the fantastic Toshiki Shimomachi. With that loss in mind we suspect Hanabusa will be more determined than ever to pick up a win here. Although not a huge bout this one could be very interesting.
Arguably the most interesting match up on the card is the professional debut of former amateur standout Kenji Fujita (0-0), who we've been waiting to see in the professional ring for almost a year now. The talented Fujita was a genuine amateur standout and he should be looking to make an impression here as he takes on Motosuke Kimura (3-5-2, 1) in a 6 rounder. Kimura has lost his last 3, and 4 of his last 5, but is better than those numbers suggest and he should ask questions of Fujita, though it'd be a massive upset if Kimura won.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
On Tuesday the often overlooked Yamaguchi Tsuchiura promotions put on a show at Korakuen Hall. It’s not a big one, by any stretch of the imagination, but it is still a worthwhile one with a potential sleeper on the show.
The potential sleeper on this show will be an 8 rounder between Yosuke Kawano (14-9-2, 8) and Daisuke Watanabe (11-4-2, 6), who are both ranked by the JBC at Featherweight. Coming into this Watanabe is in great form, going unbeaten in his last 7 and winning the Hajime No Ippo 30th Anniversary Featherweight tournament last year, where he beat Shingo Kusano in the final. He will be full of confidence coming into this and has really turned his career around after a 6-4 (3) start. The 32 year old Kowano has been inconsistent in terms of results but has certainly been very competitive in a number of his losses, and just a single round swing in many bouts could have seen him walking away with the W. Kawano will be the under-dog here, but should be regarded as a very live under. We suspect this will be competitive, with both men needing to take some huge shots, though we edge Watanabe in a potential thriller.
In a 6 rounder at a contracted 68KG's we'll see Yuya Nemoto (6-9-3, 1) take on Tetsuya Kondo (5-2, 3) in what should be a really exciting little war itself. Neither of these men are going to become world title contenders, but both can make for fan friendly bouts and we suspect together they should make for a very entertaining contest. Nemoto certainly has the edge in size, being a natural at 154lbs, but pulling him down around 4lbs may neutralise that edge, whilst Kondo is the more skilled, but much smaller man.
We were supposed to see Tatsuya Takahashi (32-9-6, 21) take on Ryotaro Kawabata (12-4-2, 6) in the main event of this show, but that bout has now been called off, and has been removed from every Japanese schedule for the show. Interestingly Kawabata wasn't the original opponent for Kawabata, that was Jin Miura (11-3-4, 2), so we really do wonder what has happened here to see not only the original bout change, but for the replacement fight to also be called off.
Tynyshpayev Academy of Transport and Communications, Almaty, Kazakhstan
As well as the Japanese action there is also set to be a long card in Kazakhstan thanks to Tukeshov Promotions. Sadly the card is lacking in notable names, with many of the fighters on the card being novices, though there is certainly a main event worthy of attention.
That main event will see 22 year old hopeful Ray Seitzhanov (5-0, 2), who has been looking pretty good in recent fights, taking on 20 year old Nurbol Berdimuratov (2-0). It's always good to to see unbeaten youngsters risking their "0" in fights like this, though we'll admit that neither man has done much since turning professional, with both of Berdimuratov's wins coming against debutants.
One other noteworthy fighter on this card was once touted teenager Dastan Saduuly (3-1, 3), who turned professional very young and was talked about as one to watch. Despite being touted Saduuly was batterd last September, suffering is first loss, and it now getting a confidence building bout as he takes on the win-less Assylbek Tastulek (0-2).
Capio, Tsukuba, Ibaragi, Japan
This coming Sunday we see two cards in Japan. Neither are big, though the most notable of those comes from Ibaragi.
The main event will see former Japanese title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (31-9-6, 21) take on Hibiki Jogo (10-2, 5) in an 8 round match up. Aged 31 Takahashi is probably coming to the end of his career, but the teak tough and exciting Bantamweight may manage to have one more charge towards a title fight. Takahashi is currently in the JBC and WBO Asia Pacific rankings, but will know a loss here would likely see him being removed from those. Jogo on the other hand came runner up in the 2016 Rookie of the Year and despite a set back in 2018 has won 3 in a row to give him some momentum here. We suspect Takahashi will be the favourite here, but we do imagine he'll have to work for the win.
In a brilliant Light Flyweight bout we'll see 2018 Rookie of the Year winner Daiki Kameyama (7-4-1, 2) take on the very, very highly regarded and talented youngster Ryu Horikawa (2-0-1, 1). This has the potential to be the show stealing bout here. Since winning Rookie of the Year Kameyama has struggled for form, losing to Shokichi Iwata and Yuga Inoue, but will see this as a chance to end that slide. Horikawa on the other hand looked sensational in his win over Yuki Nakajima and was very unlucky last time out against Xiang Li, in a draw. This could be a very exciting bout.
The third bout of real interest here will see 2019 Rookie of the Year runner up Yuta Ashina (4-2) take on Yuya Nemoto (6-8-3, 1). Despite losing last December Ashina showed enough to want to follow him and it'll be interesting to see how he looks here, and he's incredibly exciting for those who haven't seen him. Aged 34 and with just 1 win in his last 7 it's easy to assume that Nemoto isn't won't be competitive, but Nemoto did score a win last time out and is unbeaten in his last 3. We suspect Ashina will be asked questions by the veteran, but should still take the win here with his aggression and work rate
Green Tsuda Gym, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The other Japanese card is a West Japan Rookie of the Year show from the Green Tsuada Gym, with 9 bouts on this card. This is the second Rookie of the Year card at the Osakan gym in recent days, following one last weekend.
The most interesting of the bouts on this show, for us, is a Super Bantamweight clash between the unbeaten Sora Fukunaga (5-0, 2) and the stop of be stopped Shuya Kuwabuchi (2-1, 2). The 22 year old Fukunaga debuted in 2018 and since then has barely dropped a round, and shown improving power, stopping his last 2. Kuwabuchi on the other hand has yet to see the final bell, but was stopped last time out. We expect fireworks here.
Another Rookie bout on this card worthy of attention will be the debut of Daichi Morino (0-0), who takes on 20 year old Yasuhiro Kanzaki (3-1, 1) at Flyweight. Morino turns pro after running up a 2-1 amateur record and it'll be interesting to see how he looks here as he begins his professional career. As for Kanzaki he started his career perfectly, with 3 straight wins, but did lose last time out and will be desperate to get back to winning ways here.
November 9th- Japanese title eliminator and God's Left tournament highlight an exciting day!
This coming Saturday is a really exciting day in Asian boxing thanks to a brilliant card in Tokyo. The support bouts across the Asian scene aren't the best, but we do have good main events in Ibaragi and New South Wales, Australia, as well.
As mentioned the best card of the day is in Tokyo, and is Dangan card with 4 bouts worthy of attention.
On paper the most significant bout is a Japanese Super Featherweight eliminator. This bout will see former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-5-1, 13) battle perennial regional contender Takuya Watanabe (36-9-1, 21). On paper Minamoto is the one to back here, he's the more polished boxer and the bigger puncher, with higher level of wins. However Watanabe is no puch over, and he's as rugged as they come, with under-rated skills and will be the naturally bigger guys. We're expecting this to come down to Minamoto's power and skills against Watanabe's toughness and will to win. We are thinking this could be something special between two men who should have styles that gel really well here. A full preview of this bout can be read here Hard hitting Minamoto takes on teak tough Watanabe
In a God's Left Bantamweight tournament semi-final we'll see a very exciting match up between the unbeaten Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0, 4) and the always entertaining Kenya Yamashita (14-5, 11). On paper it's hard to see what Yamashita has in his locker to over-come Tsutsumi, but he's never been one to just take a loss with putting up a fight. We really expect this to be an all out war between men who are very similar in their styles and mentality and this could be the hidden gem of the month.
Another potential gem for the month comes in the other God's Left Bantamweight tournament semi-final, as unbeaten fighter Jin Minamide (4-0, 3) and Kuzuki Nakajima (7-0, 6) face off for a place in the final. Both men have been very exciting and shown real power and aggression since their debuts. Both men are in their mid 20's and whilst the loser will see the bout as a notable set back they will likely be able to pursue a rematch down the line. This is a fantastic match up and another that we are expecting to be a war.
Also on this card is the ring return of former OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (14-1, 9), who will be fighting for the first time since being upset by Lito Dante earlier this year. Given how badly Koura lost to Dante, suffering a beating and being stopped in round 12, we can't complain too much about him facing a very limited foe, and that's what he's doing against Indonesian foe Silem Serang (15-20-2, 2). This is little more than a confidence rebuilder for Koura, and that's very understandable.
In Ibaragi we get another Japanese card. This one is much lower profile than the Tokyo show, but does appear to have an excellent main event.
That main event will see the flawed but entertaining Tatsuya Takahashi (30-9-6, 21) take on Filipino foe Ben Mananquil (17-2-3, 4), in a really good looking 50/50 style bout. The Japanese local is a rather unpolished fighter, but he has great energy and toughness and it always worth watching for his aggression and pressure. On the other other hand Mannaquil is typically a tricky, skilled boxer-mover who has picked up good results on the road, though was stopped last time out by Yuki Strong Kobayashi. This will be a very interesting test and it's a hard one to call either way
As well as the action in Japan there will also be a show in the Philippines. This is a much lower level card, with a main event between John Magagmoc (6-2-1) and Gary Tamayo (3-1, 2). Given the quality of action in Japan this is a very poor bout, but it is a clash between teenagers and we do like those, and do expecting an interesting out, even if it's not at the highest of levels.
New South Wales, Australia
Surprisingly it appears we could be in for a shoot out down under as the unbeaten pairing of Luke Boyd (7-0, 7) and Jon Jon Jet (10-0, 8) face off for the interim WBA Oceania Super Bantamweight title. Boyd, a 32 year old Australian, has been crushing low level opponents in double quick time, with only 1 of his 7 bouts going beyond the second round, with his most notable opponent being Inthanon Sithchamuang. At 25 years old Jet is one of the more promising Indonesian fighters, but his competition has been awful and it's hard to get a read on how good Jet may, or may not, be. This should be explosive, though is hard to know how good either man is given their competition to date.
In the US we'll see unbeaten Kazakh Madiyar Ashkeyev (13-0, 6) take on American veteran Walter Wright (17-8, 8). The 31 year old Ashkeyev has been a professional for close to 4 years and really needs to get a move on before he gets too old to make a mark. Whilst 2019 has been a better year for him he really does need to step it up again next year, in a big way. Given that Wright is a late replace, for a late replacement, this is unlikely to be a test for the Kazakh but Wright has only been stopped once, and that was way back on his debut in 2003.
We're focusing on Tokyo again this coming Monday for a small card at Korakuen Hall. It's not one which will get pulses racing but does feature a very interesting main event, and a few domestic names on the under-card.
The main event will see former OPBF title challenger Dai Iwai (23-5-1, 7) take on the under-rated Daisuke Watanabe (8-4-1, 5), in a very interesting bout. Iwai has the edge in experience, and has shared the ring with the likes of Masayuki Ito and Taiki Minamoto, but on the whole he has been rather softly matched. On the other hand Watanabe has been matched ridiculously hard, and has picked up some solid wins against the likes of Gakuya Furuhashi and Yosuke Fujihara. Although it doesn't look an even match up on paper we're expecting this to be very hotly contested.
Another bout that doesn't look like it will be competitive, though we're expecting it will be, sees former Japanese title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (30-9-5, 21) take on Junnosuke Nagayasu (14-14-3, 4). The bout looks like a straight forward win for Takahashi on paper, but his record is mostly padded with wins against limited opposition and he is 3-4 in his last 7, dating back just over 2 years. With 44 bouts to his name, and some very damaging wars along the way, it's hard to know what Takahashi's body has left in it, and he has certainly not looked great in recent years. The 36 year old Nagayasu has gone 1-4-1 in his last 6, but that record doesn't show how close his losses have been and he is certainly no push over.
On paper a much better bout will see the limited but hard hitting Renji Ichimura (7-4, 6) take on Shingo Kusano (11-7-1, 4) in a support bout. This one could steal the show Ichimura is a stop or be stopped type of guy, and has only seen the final bell in 3 of his 11 bouts. Coming in to this he has been out of the ring for close to 3 years, but that rest could well have done him the world of good, and he's still only 25. Kusano, the last man to beat Reiya Abe, has lost his last 3 but a win over Abe holds a lot of weight and he ran Ryohei Takahashi really close last time out, showing that there is talent there. Although neither man is a world beater, this should be a really solid match up.
The most notable show this coming Monday comes from Tokyo as the Korakuen Hall .
In the main event of this card we'll see the hard hitting Japanese Bantamweight Yuki Beppu (18-1-1, 18) take on Filipino veteran Jason Egera (24-20-2, 11). This should be little more than a bounce back win for Beppu, who was beaten last October in a Japanese title eliminator by Yuki Nagano in a Japanese title eliminator. With 9 stoppage losses on his record Egera will not be expected to see out the scheduled 8 rounds with Beppu.
In a supporting bout former Japanese Bantamweight challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (30-8-5, 21) will take on the limited but hard hitting Masayasu Nakamura (6-3-1, 6). Coming into this Takahashi will be seeking a third straight win, whilst Nakamura will be looking for a career best victory. A loss for Takahashi is likely to cost him his Japanese and WBO Asia Pacific rankings.
A third bout of note will see Japanese ranked Minimumweight Desierto Nagaike (11-4-2, 2) face off with Shuri Hasebe (7-5, 2). Nagaike has won just 1 of his last 4, but will be confident of picking up a win here. Hasebe on the other hand will be looking to build on a win against Yoshimitsu Kushibe from back in December.
Once beaten hopeful Tetsuya Watanabe (4-1, 3) looks to record his second win since losing to Keita Kurihara, as he takes on Masajiro Honda (6-10, 4). This should be a pretty straight forward win for Watanabe, especially given that Honda has been stopped in his last 5 and is more than 4 years removed from his last win.
As well as the show in the Philippines there is also set to be a show in the Philippines, sadly though this is a much less significant show with only one bout of real note.
That one bout is set to be a 12 round contest between the in form Jhon Gemino (19-11-1, 9) and Juanito Paredes (8-5-1, 3). On paper this doesn't look amazing but both have been in notable runs, with Gemino upsetting Carlos Ornelas and Sho Nakazawa in his last 2 bouts and Paredes riding a 5 fight winning run with victories over the likes of Lloyd Jardeliza and Jestoni Autida. This could be very interesting.
Although there is only a single bout of note, at least at the time of writing, it is worth noting that the 21 year old Jahzeel Trinidad (3-0) will be in action here, and he is expected to go on to do big things in the near future.
Action returns to the Korakuen Hall this coming Friday for a small, but notable card featuring a few names known around the Asian scene.
The main event of the card will see the teak tough Tatsuya Takahashi (29-8-5, 21) take on the underrated Gaku Aikawa (9-6-1, 3). The 29 year old Takahashi first came to our attention in 2014, when he challenged the then Japanese Bantamweight champion Kentaro Masuda in a thrilling 10 round contest, in which Takahashi was described as a "zombie" afterwards. Since losing to Masuda in their entertaining bout Takahashi has gone 11-1-2 (8) and been in some entertaining contests. Aikawa is a win some, lose some fighter, going 6-6 in his last 12, though has mixed with good fighters. Sadly for Aikawa it's hard to imagine him picking up a win against Takahashi, even if Takahashi is himself rather crude.
Another bout of note on this card will see former Japanese Minimumweight title challenger Masashi Tada (12-5-3, 8) take on former OPBF Light Flyweight title challenger Lester Abutan (13-9-3, 7) in an interesting match up. Coming into this Tada is 1-2-2 in his last 5, dating back 5 years, whilst Abutan has lost 4 of his last 6, though those losses do include defeats by Kenshiro in an OPBF title bout and Ryota Yamauchi in late 2017. Neither of these are a world beater, but this should still be an interesting and competitive contest.
As well as the Japanese card there will also be a show in Thailand, featuring 2 notable Thai fighters.
The main event will see OPBF "silver" Super Flyweight champion Kongfah CP Freshmart (24-1, 13) defending his title against Filipino foe Salatiel Amit (11-5-2, 8). This is a mismatch on paper, but the reality is that Amit is much better than his record suggests, and we suspect that Kongfah will have to work hard for a win here. We don't expect to see the title changing hands, but Amit will certainly give Kongfah a really tough test.
Another bout on this card will see WBA #2 ranked Flyweight Noknoi Sitthiprasert (68-5, 42) take part in what was being promoted as a tune up bout ahead of a potential world title fight later in the year.
September 22nd-Former World title challengers collide in Metro Manila on hectic day!
This coming Saturday isn't the busiest day for Asian boxing, especially given some of the other big contests that we've had recently, but it is still a pretty notable one with a number of interesting contests involving prospects and a clash of former world title challengers.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The pick of the bouts, on paper, is the aforementioned clash of former world title challengers, as former 2-time world title challenger Jonathan Taconing (27-3-1, 22) takes on recent title challenger Vince Paras (13-1, 11), with Taconing defending the WBC International Light Flyweight title against his compatriot. At the age of 31 Taconing is likely on the back end of his career, though he is still a very dangerous, hard hitting, tough southpaw who is a nightmare for anyone at 108lbs. Paras on the other hand is just 19 and looking to immediately get back into the title mix following a recent loss in an IBF title fight against Hiroto Kyoguchi. This could end up being a very special and very brutal contest.
Staying in the Philippines we get a pretty notable card taking place in Benguet.
The main event will see former OPBF title challenger Cris Paulino (18-3, 7) facing off with the upset minded Jomar Fajardo (16-11-2, 7) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Super. Flyweight title. Paulino has been stopped in all 3 of hos defeats, to Ardin Diale, Koki Eto and Vic Darchinyan, but is a very capable fighter who is riding a 4 fight winning run into this fight. “Wallopman” Fajardo is best known for his two fights with Francisco Rodriguez Jr, earning a draw in the first of those bouts. Despite being upset minded Fajardo is 1-7-1 in his last 9 and and a win here would be one of his very best.
A bout that should be better than the records of those involved suggests will see Ryan Rey Ponteras (22-13-2, 11) take on Cris Alfante (14-7-1, 6). Neither of these men are world beaters, by any stretch of the imagination, but they should make for a very good contest between each other. Ponteras, on his day, can hold his own with fringe OPBF level opponents but is very inconsistent and can end up losing to opponents he should be. Alfante is the naturally smaller man, but also the younger man, and the fighter who will be looking to build on recent wins over Reymark Taday and Roilo Golez. This could be a pretty interesting match up, if we get the best from both guys.
Also on this card is promising youngster Jayson Vayson (7-0, 4), who looks to continue his unbeaten start to professional boxing as he takes on Ronald Alapormina (3-2-1). We like the 20 year old Vayson, a lot, and are looking forward to seeing him let off the leash in the near future. On paper this isn't a step up in class, but it will be his first 10 round contest. As for Alapormina he has gone 0-2-1 in his last 3 and will be wanting to end that win-less run. We expect a win for Vayson, but do hope to see him getting tested in the near future.
In Ibaragi Japanese fight fans get a small yet notable card featuring a former Japanese title challenger in what looks to be a mismatch, and interesting 8 round under-card bout.
The former Japanese title challenger is Tatsuya Takahashi (28-8-5, 20), who pushed the then Japanese Bantamweight champion hard Kentaro Masuda incredible hard back in December 2014. Takahashi will be up against domestic journeyman Masahide Shinabe (8-16-2, 4) in what should be a straight forward win for Takahashi, however Takashi will be coming in to this having lost last time out, losing a decision to Ikuro Sadatsune in a bout he was expected to win.
The interesting under-card bout will see Naoto Fujimoto (9-9-1, 4) face off against Ryuta Wakamatsu (11-13-1, 8). This is a bout between two limited domestic fighters, but they often give us some of the best action, with both men believing they can win, and putting it on the line to claim a relatively rare victory. This could, in terms of action at least, over-shadow the main event.
London, United Kingdom
One other bout with an Asian interest takes place on the biggest card of the weekend and will see 2016 Olympic silver medal winner Shakhram Giyasov (4-0, 3) face off with unbeaten Nicaraguan Julio Laguna (14-0, 10) on the under-card of the huge Anthony Joshua Vs Alexander Povetkin fight. For both men this will give them a chance to shine in front of a huge audience, and on paper it's a very interesting match up. The reality however is that if Giyasov is as good as he has looked in recent bouts then he will really impress here and move a considerable way towards getting a huge fighter in 2019. This is a good test on paper, but one that Giyasov should pass with no issue.
Bang Phun, Thailand
In Thailand our attention turns to Workpoint who will be showcasing a small but notable card. The headline bout of which will see unbeaten 29 year old local Atchariya Wirojanasunobol (11-0, 9) take on Japanese visitor Taisho Ozawa (21-10-2, 13) for a WBC regional title at Light Welterweight. Atchariya has fought twice this year, winning and defending the WBC Asian Boxing Council title at 140lbs, and we expect him to come out on top here as well. Oazawa on the other hand will be fighting for the first time in 2018 and is without a win almost 6 years, a combination of inactivity and 3 straight losses.
There is also set to be a small card in China, which will be main event by a 6 round contest between Yu Che Li (3-1-2, 2) and Hongpeng Zhang (5-5-1, 2). Given that that's the main event it should be little surprise that this card isn't going to get much attention. Coming in both men are on a 3 fight unbeaten run, with both men being 2-0-1 (1) during that 3 fight run, but neither has faced anyone of real note.
April 2nd-Takahashi returns!
This coming Monday attention returns to the Korakuen Hall as Yamaguchi Tsuchiura put on a small domestic card.
The main event will see former Japanese Bantamweight title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (28-7-5, 20) battle against youngster Ikuro Sadatsune (7-2-3, 2) in a pretty good looking bout. Takahashi really made his name in 2014, when he had a thrilling 10 round war with Kentaro Masuda. Since then he has gone 9-1-2 (7) and chasing a second title fight. As for Sadatsune he's less well known, but has shown his toughness, and not only took Kai Chiba the distance but also scored a very good win over Ryo Suwa last time out. This should be much better than it looks on paper.
Another bout with promise to be better than it looks is the chief support bout between Keisuke Ota (10-11, 3) and Sho Nagata (8-4, 2). The 33 year old Ota has a dire looking record but hasn't been given many easy bouts, battling the likes of Yuchiro Kasuyra, Masashi Noguchi and Tatsuya Yanagi and he is better than the numbers suggest. Nagata however will be the favourite and the 22 year old is a very capable fighter despite losing 3 of his last 6 bouts. Both will be seeking a win and both will see this as a winnable bout, so we're expecting a very competitive contest here.