Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Tuesday we get the next show from the Diamond Glove series of events. The card was, on paper, is one of the stronger Diamond Glove shows we'll get this year, but sadly saw it's main event being cancelled in the build up.
The planned main event would have seen Japanese Welterweight champion Keita Obara (25-4-1, 22) defending his title against Yuki Nagano (19-3, 15), the man he beat for the title back in 2020. Sadly this was cancelled in March when Obara suffered a leg injury.
As a result the main of the card will now see former Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (11-2, 6) takes on former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo (15-2, 10) in a scheduled 8 rounder. For Sagawa this is his second bout since losing the Japanese title last year, when he was stopped in 7 rounds by the sensationally talented Hinata Maruta. The talented Sagawa was last seen in the ring in October when he avenged his first loss, against Retsu Kosaka. As for Kubo, it's now more than 4 years since he lost the WBA world title, and since then he has gone 3-1, with his most recent bout being a 3 round win over Ruito Saeki more than a year ago
The card also has a notable female bout on it, as professional novice Mizuki Hiruta (1-0) battles former world title challenger Terumi Nuki (12-4, 8), in a huge step up for Hiruta. As an amateur Hiruta was very solid, winning 29 bouts and racking up more than 40 bouts in the unpaid ranks. She looked excellent on debut last year, and seems set to be moved incredibly quickly through the ranks. Nuki on the other hand is battle tested, and has been in with the likes of Mariana Juarez and Debora Anahi Dionicius, and is a very capable fighter, despite not being competitive at world level. This should be a great chance to see if Hiruta is as good as her team believe her to be.
Another really interesting supporting bout will see Mikyo Watarai (0-0) make his professional debut against Takafumi Shibata (2-0), in a battle between two former Japanese amateur standouts. As an amateur Shibata came in the top 3 in several major domestic competitions and had a style more suited to the pro ranks. Since making his debut in 2021 he has proven to be exciting, fun to watch and busy in the ring, though he does lack power and it does seem like he's still very much a work in progress. As for Watari he ran up an excellent 77-15 (19) record in the unpaid ranks and impressed in several national tournaments. As an amateur Watari was aggressive, exciting and and very composed, with a style that should translate over to the professional ranks very nicely.
This coming Sunday isn't a huge day for boxing, but if you're in Osaka, you may be in for a treat as the EDION Arena Osaka hosts 3 different shows, including the finals of the West Japan Rookie of the Year, which is split over 2 shows, and an unrelated show. As well as the West Japan Rookie of the Year events there is also set to be another Rookie of the Year event in Aichi as the Western and Central Japan Rookie of the Year winners clash.
EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The first of the West Japan Rookie of the Year events is set to feature 5 bouts in total.
One of the most interesting bouts on this first show is the Light Flyweight bout which pits two real novices against each other, with Kohei Hosoda (1-0) battling against Takuma Kamigaki (1-0). Both of these men are in their early 20's, both have just 4 rounds to their names and neither is particularly well known, but they are only two wins away from fighting at All Japan Rookie of the Year final in February.
Another interesting match up will see Ren Nishimura (4-2, 2), who competed in the West Japan Rookie of the Year last year, taking on the hard hitting Shodai Morita (4-1, 3). This is one that promises to be explosive, with both men capable of hurting the other. This should be a very, very solid Super Bantamweight bout between two men with plenty of promise.
EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
On the second West Japan Rookie of the Year show we'll see another 5 bouts.
One of the bouts on this card is a Welterweight clash between Mitsuyoshi Oshima (3-1, 1) and Yusa Toyonaka (2-2-1, 1). Welterweight bouts at Rookie of the Year tend to be very entertaining, as it's usually two big guys, at least for Japanese boxing, with some serious flaws, unloading on each other and that's exactly what we expect to see here.
On paper the bout on this card that promises the most is the Super Featherweight bout between Ryuichi Sakamoto (2-0, 2) and Takehiro Ogawa (1-0-1). Both of these men are 21 years old, unbeaten and will bring a lot of ambition into this one. Sakamoto has needed just over 3 minutes to score his first two wins, and he will be coming out guns blazing here, whilst Ogawa will be happy to go rounds, given his first two bouts have both gone the scheduled 4 round distance.
EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The third show from the EDION Arena Osaka is a card from Green Tsuda and will feature 7 bouts in total. The show isn't the deepest but does have some interesting match ups on it.
One of those interesting match ups is a female contest between Terumi Nuki (11-4, 8) and Marina Sayama (4-2-1, 2). Of the two fighters Nuki is the better known, having fought in several female world title bouts, including two against the legendary Mariana Juarez Sadly however she has lost 3 of her last 5 and is fighting for the first time in well over 2 years. Sadly Sayama hasn't been seen in the ring since the very end of 2019, when she lost in a Japanese title fight to Yume Hirayama and it's hard to know what ambition she has coming in to this given her lengthy inactivity. Whilst this is certainly not a mouth watering bout, it is certainly an interesting one and one we expect will provide great entertainment.
The most interesting bout on this card will see touted former amateur stand out Ran Tomomatsu (1-1) battle against Rookie of the Year king Katsuhiro Nakata (6-0, 4), in a potentially thrilling Middleweight bout. Tomomatsu was tipped for pretty big things on the domestic scene when he turned professional, in 2019. Tomomatsu lost his second bout, to Mikio Sakai, who has proven his quality since that bout. Nakata on the other hand showed what he could do in 2020, Reaching the All Japan final which he won in February this year in a great bout against Eiki Kani. Given the styles of the two men, with Tomomatsu being an aggressive boxer-fighter and Nakata being a tall boxer, this could end up being a genuinely brilliant little war.
Aioi Hall, Kariya, Aichi, Japan
In Aichi we'll see the Central Japan and Western Japan Rookie of the Year winners clash, and they will actually go on to face the West Japan winners later in the year.
One of the most interesting bouts on this card is the Lightweight bout, which will pit 24 year old puncher Ren Yamabe (2-0, 2) against 20 year old Kuhiro Arimitsu (0-0). Both men debuted earlier this year, with Yamabe making his debut in May and Arimitsu in June, and both are showing some real promise. Yamabe, as a southpaw, has the trickier style, but Arimitsu has the edge in height and reach and this could be a a very tough one to predict.
Another interesting bout on this event will see will be at Flyweight, where teenagers Yuki Morikawa (1-0-2) takes on Kento Seki (1-0, 1). It's rare for two 18 year olds to clash in Rookie of the Year, but for them to face off just 2 wins from a place in the All Japan Final is even rare. Of the two Morikawa is the more experienced, and is also the taller man and a southpaw, but he lacks power and has gone the distance in all 3 of his bouts. Seki on the other hand showed good power and aggression in his debut, back in June, and looks to be the man with some pop coming into this one.
This coming Friday our attention turns to Osaka for a small but notable card thanks to Hiroki Ioka.
The main event of the show is a brilliant Japanese Youth Welterweight title fight, pitting unbeaten champion Kudura Kaneko (9-0, 6) against Ioka protege Rikuto Adachi (12-1, 9), in what could end up being the best Japanese Welterweight bout of the year. Kaneko comes into this bout seeking his 10th straight win, and looking to build on an excellent win last year over former national champion Toshio Arikawa. Adachi on the other hand will be looking for his 5th straight stoppage win, and will be looking to score his biggest win to date. On paper this is mouth watering, and there is a very real chance that the winner fights in either a senior title fight this year, or gets a Japanese title eliminator at the end of the year. A full preview of this bout can be read here Kaneko and Adachi clash in battle of young Welters!
Former female world title challenger Terumi Nuki (10-4, 7) looks to bounce back from her 2018 loss to Mariana Juarez. She will be up against a Thai opponent in what should be a straight forward win for the local.
Sadly a bout that was supposed to feature 2017 all-Japan Super Bantamweight Rookie of the Year Toshiki Shimomachi (9-1-2, 5) hasn't actually materialise, leaving the entire card with just 4 bouts on it.
Western Australia, Australia
As well as the Japanese card there is also a bout of interest in Australia. The bout in question will see Australia's very own Wes Capper (19-2-1, 12) return to the ring after a little over a year out, to take on Filipino journeyman Arnel Tinampay (25-23-1, 11). On paper this is a mismatch, but one thing bout Tinampay is that he plays the under-dog. The Filipino is a heavy handed tough guy who is a lot better than his record suggests, and could well upset Capper here in a very intriguing contests, despite the obvious difference in the records of the two men.
Distrito Federal, Mexico
Arguably the biggest bout in Asia this weekend will come from Mexico as WBC female Bantamweight champion Mariana Juarez (49-9-4, 18) rematches Japanese challenger Terumi Nuki (10-3, 7). These two fought in 2017, with Juarez taking a clear win, and since then Nuki has gone 1-1, losing a wide decision to Debora Anahi Dionicius. This is likely to be Nuki's final shot at a world title for a while if she comes up short, so we're expecting a very fiery effort here from the challenger. At the age of 38 Juarrez is an old fighter, especially given she's had 62 bouts and fought in 455 rounds. Despite her age she is on a 6 fight unbeaten run and will not be handing over her title over without someone ripping it from her hands.
The biggest Asian show comes from the City Sogo Gym in Osaka, as we get a Japanese title fight, a hotly tipped female fighter and a mouth watering domestic clash.
The main event will see Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada (16-4, 3) make his first defense as he takes on Kazuyasu Okamoto (14-5, 4). The hard hitting Yada claimed the title back in April, when he stopped fellow puncher Toshio Arikawa in 8 rounds, in what was a brutal and hard hitting bout. The win over Arikawa was the 4th straight victory for Yada who has bounced back very well from his 2016 loss to Jayar Inson. The challenger will be in his first title fight, though unfortunate for Okumoto he was stopped last time out by Vladimir Baez and hasn't notched up a win since April 2017. The challenger really would need a career defining performance here to even test Yada.
The chief support bout actually looks likely to be the bout of the show as the once beaten former amateur stand out Kazuki Tanaka (9-1, 6) takes on the inform and very hard hitting Keita Kurihara (11-5, 10). Coming in to this bout Tanaka has a #3 ranking with the JBC and is looking to build on good wins over Hikaru Marguame and Seizo Kono. On the other hand Kurihara, who is ranked by the OPBF, JBC and WBO Asia Pacific, is looking to build on devastating wins over Ryan Lumacad and Tetsuya Watanabe. We're expecting this to a brutal clash and could go either way.
Once beaten Japanese ranked Super Bantamweight Toshiki Shimomachi (8-1-1, 5) will be in action against Filipino fighter Renan Portes (10-6, 6). Shimomachi has rebuilt well following a 2-1-1 start to his career and claimed the Super Bantamweight Rookie of the Year crown last year. Despite his ranking this is a slight step up in class the Japanese fighter. As for Portes he has been picking up loses on the road for the last 2 years, including a stoppage loss to Hayate Kaji last year and Mike Tawatchai earlier this year.
Also on this card will be former female stand out Kasumi Saeki (1-0) who steps up to 8 round bouts as she takes on a Thai visitor in what is likely to be her final bout before a title shot.
A second show in Osaka will be held at the Sumyoshi Ward Center and will be a relatively low key card with only 4 bouts worthy of any mention.
The main event will see WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight champion Masahiro Sakamoto (12-1, 8) fighting in a non-title bout against South Korean Super Flyweight champion Ki Chang Go (6-2, 2). On paper this doesn't look the best of match ups, but with Sakamoto moving up in weight for this contest he could be pushed hard by the Korean visitor, who has won his last 6 after a 0-2 start to his professional career.
In the chief support bout fans will see OPBF ranked Super Bantamweight Shachihoko Dragons Keita (8-5-4, 1) face off with Yosuke Taniguchi (6-5-1, 1), in what should be a very safe bout for Keita, who has gone 3-0-3 in his last 6 bouts. Although we wouldn't fancy Keita to claim an OPBF title he should manage to pick up a win here.
Another ranked fighter on this card is Kota Fujimoto (8-2-1, 2), who risks his JBC and OPBF rankings against Tatsuya Terada (6-3-1, 1). Coming in to this Fujimoto is riding a 3 fight unbeaten run, including a draw with the touted Masayoshi Hashizume from last December. As for Terada he was beaten last time out and his wins have, for the most part, come against very limited opponents.
Also on this card is the debuting Riku Kunimoto (0-0), who makes his debut against a Korean opponent. Kunimoto is tipped to have a big future but it will be interesting to see how he kicks off his career, and how he looks as a professional fighter.
As well as the action in Osaka there is also an interesting card set to take place in Laguna, featuring an OPBF champion defending his title, and a couple of unbeaten prospects.
The OPBF champion is the inform Light Flyweight contender Edward Heno (12-0-5, 5), who defends his title against the fringe world class Jesse Espinas (19-2, 11) in what looks like an amazing match up. This will be Heno's second defense, following a excellent win over Merlito Sabillo this past February, and another win here will push him well up the world rankings towards a world title fight. Espinas comes into this bout riding an 8 fight winning run, with notable wins over Joey Canoy, Paipharob Kokietgym and Elias Joaquino. This is set to be a very special bout and should see the winner announce themselves as a leading contender in one of the deepest divisions in the sport.
On the under-card fans will see Enrique Magsalin (4-0-2, 1) risk his unbeaten record against the once beaten Adrian Lerasan (6-1, 1) whilst Prince Andrew Laurio (9-0-1, 6) will take on Jopher Marayan (7-11-2, 3). We expect to see the unbeaten men continue to keep their “0” in tact, but Magasalin looks like he has a genuine test on his hands.
Negros Occidental, Philippines
This coming Saturday fans in the Philippines get a small treat, with an excellent looking OPBF title fight and the return to the ring for a recent world title challenger and one other man making his return following a loss.
The OPBF title fight will see OPBF Light Flyweight champion Edward Heno (11-0-5, 5) make his first defense of the title, as he takes on former world champion Merlito Sabillo (27-4-1, 13). Heno won the title last September, when he stopped Seita Ogido in their second bout, and will be looking to continue his unbeaten run whilst also recording his most notable win to date. Sabillo is a long way removed from his reign as the WBO Minimumweight and has gone 4-4 in his last 8 bouts, dating back around 4 years. Has hs notched up 2 recent wins,beating Jack Amisa and Crison Omayao but looks to be a long way removed from what he was once. The bout is a step up for Heno, but it's hard to know just what Sabillo has left.
In a key support bout we'll see recent world title challenger Rey Loreto (23-14, 15) take on domestic foe Arnold Garde (8-5-3, 3). Loreto challenged WBA Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart last July, coming up short against the Thai, but had been riding a 7 fight winning streak into that bout and is genuinely on the fringes of being a world class fighter. Garde on the other hand is struggling on the domestic scene and is 5-5-3 in his last 13 bouts, with losses to a mixture of novices and recognisable names, such as Randy Petalcorin and Jonathan Taconing. Given what we know about Loreto it's hard to see anything but a win for him.
One other man involved on this card is Ryan Lumacad (13-1-3, 7), who looks to bounce back from a stoppage loss to Keita Kurihara, who stopped the Filipino last December. It's unclear at the moment who Lumacad will be facing, but we suspect the bout will be an easy confidence building one for the Filipino.
In Argentina we get world world title action, as unbeaten IBF Female Super Flyweight champion Debora Anahi Dionicius (26-0, 6) defends her title against Japanese challenger Terumi Nuki (9-2, 6). The bout will Nuki getting her second world title fight but like her first bout she will be travelling around the globe to face a champion in their backyard. Dionicius has notched up 10 defenses already and will be looking for her 11th, but this will be her first bout against a Japanese opponent and could prove to be a trickier assignment than some of her other defenses, with some of her challengers being very poor.
This coming Saturday is set to be a busy day for Asian fight fans with bouts featuring Asian fighters taking place all over the globe.
The biggest show of the day is an ALA show in Cebu that features a number of the best Filipino prospects getting decent tests.
The main event of the show will see the unbeaten, and highly touted, Mark Magsayo (16-0, 12) battle against Nicaraguan Daniel Diaz (23-7-2, 15). The bout will see Magsayo defending his WBO International Featherweight title, for the second, in what looks like a good test on paper. Magsayo is seen as one of the most promising Filipino hopefuls, and he has impressed, but this could be a tough ask as Diaz has mixed with good competition, fought for a world title and holds a win over Roberto Marroquin.
Another bout that looks great on paper sees the heavy handed Jeo Santisima (13-2, 11) take on the unbeaten Goodluck Mrema (16-0, 8). The 21 year old Santisima has won his last 11, with 10 stoppages, and has really impressed with his power and aggression but is in tough here against an unbeaten Tanzanian fighter who won't be wanting to give up his perfect record. This could be the stand out bout of the show.
Former world title challenger Melvin Jerusalem (11-1, 7) looks to bounce back from his narrow loss to WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin as he takes on fellow Filipino Joey Canoy (12-3-1, 6). The talented and exciting Jerusalem looks like a future world champion in the making and looks like someone with all the talented needed to be a future Filipino star, but needs to prove that he has the mentality to be a special fighter as he drops back down to domestic level. Canot has lost 3 of his last 7, but Jerusalem still cannot over-look him here.
Another notable bout here will see the once beaten Albert Pagara (27-1, 18) battle against Thai visitor Patomsith Pathompothong (16-9, 6). The talented Pagara will be fighting for the second time since suffering his sole career defeat, to Cesar Juarez, and should be able to get a confidence building win here. The Thai once looked like a possible contender, but with 5 losses in his last 6 he now looks like a journeyman, and it's unlikely he'll put up much of a fight here.
One final prospect on this card of real note is the unbeaten Kevin Jake Cataraja (5-0, 4), who will be facing off with Lony Cadayday (4-1-2, 1). The wonderfully talented Cataraja is one of the best young fighters in the Philippines but still needs a lot of time to develop his skills and will certainly be handled well by ALA who will look to keep him busy and continue his development before moving him in to title bouts, potentially next year. Cadayday comes into this bout as the under-dog, but as a man who has gone unbeaten in 6 and scored a big win last time out over Jeny Boy Boca, with that win being a huge confidence builder for the once beaten Cadayday.
Although the best card is in the Philippines it does need to be said that the most significant bout with an Asian fighter takes place in Mexico as WBC female Bantamweight champion Mariana Juarez (45-9-4, 17) defends her title against Japanese challenger Terumi Nuki (9-1, 6). The Mexican star will be strongly favoured, but there is a chance she'll get old over-night and that would give Nuki half a chance, like we saw last weekend when Jeff Horn shocked the legendary Manny Pacquiao.
New South Wales, Australia
We also get Asian's in action in Australia, where we get a trio of bouts of note.
For us the best of the bouts will see the unbeaten Mark Lucas (8-0, 3) take on upset minded Filipino Arnel Tinampay (24-20-1, 10). On paper this looks like a typical “Prospect Vs Journeyman” bout, but Tinampay has a reputation for upsetting the apple carts and beating guys he's not supposed to beat. Lucas will be favoured, but this is a real banana skin bout for him.
Another bout of note here will see Haithem Laamouz (9-0, 3) and Filipino Joebert Delos Reyes (15-7-1, 10) battle for the Australian Lightweight title, in a bout that could be better than the records suggest. Laamouz should win, but Delos Reyes is capable an upset, and is heavy handed.
The other fight of note will see the limited Michael Van Nimwegen (9-5, 4) take on long term Australian based Indonesian trial horse Aswin Cabuy (19-61-4, 7). On paper this looks likely to be another loss for Cabuy but he's certainly beaten fighters than Van Nimwegen in the past and could be up for this one, despite being 42 years old.
There will also be a pair of shows in Indonesia. One of those will be in Mankwari where the card is headlined by a bout between Hengky Baransano (11-11, 4) and Domi Nenokeba (12-29-2, 8). The bout isn't hugely appealing internationally but should be fun for fans in attendance. The only other bout of note on this card will see veteran Geisler AP (10-10, 7) take on the debuting Samson (0-0).
The other show in Indonesia takes place in Jakarta and against won't get much international intention, but should still be a decent card.
One of those bouts on the card will see Ruben Manakane (20-17-1, 12) take on Edison Berwela (15-35-8, 4) in what could be a better bout than it looks on paper. Another bout similar intent will see veteran James Mokoginta (33-18-3, 20) take on journeyman Artid Bamrungauea (11-16, 9),with this bout being for the WBC ABC Continental title.
Another title fight will see Willem Marahina (5-15-1, 3) face off with Rocky Irawan Sikumbang (6-3, 2) for the International Boxing Association Super Lightweight title.
Another bout with some interest will see the unbeaten Hebi Marapu (8-0, 6) face of with Hendy Luis (7-11-2, 3), in what looks like a good test for the promising Marapu.
The only Japanese card this Saturday comes from Osaka
The main event of the card will see world ranked Light Middleweight Yutaka Oishi (14-5, 7) make his first defense of the OPBF title as he takes on Thai visitor Ratchasi Sithsaithong (7-3, 5). Although a real unknown in the eyes of many Oishi is ranked by the IBF and comes into this bout on the back of a career defining win over Takayuki Hosokawa last year, for the OPBF title which he'll be defending here. The visiting Thai will be looking to add the OPBF title to his collection, which also includes the WBC ABC title, which he won last December when he defeated Cobra Suwa. The bout won't do much for the OPBF title but should be a fun fight all the same.
In a supporting title bout we'll see the once beaten Terumi Nuki (8-1, 5) battle against Thai veteran Nongbua Lookpraiaree (10-13-1, 2) in a bout for the OPBF female Super Flyweight title. For Nuki this will be a second title fight, following a razor thin loss in a 2015 title bout against Tamao Ozawa. Although relatively unknown the Thai is 0-3 in Japan, and suffered a loss herself in an OPBF title fight recently, losing to Tomomi Takano in 2015.
On the under-card of this show we will see the always fun to watch Hiroyuki Hisataka (24-16-1, 10), who will be facing a low key Thai opponent. The multi-time world title challenger has lost his last 3 bouts and it's clear that he's being matched easier here to try and get him a win, following losses to Mark John Yap and Suguru Muranaka in recent bouts, though another loss will probably end his long, fun and memorable career.
Interestingly Yuki Nonaka (31-8-3, 10) was also scheduled for this card when it was announced, but he's since been removed from the show, with many rumours linking him to a notable fight in the west.
There will also be a low key card in China.
In the main event of this card we'll see Wulan Tuolehazi (3-3) battle against the once beaten YinHuan Su (5-1-2, 1). This 10 rounder is unlikely to be a great bout but should be a competitive and one that will see both men fighting to win. On paper it's easy to favour Su but Tuolehazi is no push over and should make for a real test here.
On an under-card bout we'll see Hai Ma (1-1) face off with Zhen Yang Cai (4-2-1, 2) in what could be a hotly contested 6 rounder.
This coming Sunday is a busy day with several shows through Asia.
The most significant bout of the day comes in Osaka where Japan's once beaten Nana Yoshikawa (6-1, 4) faces unbeaten Korean Eun Hye Lee (8-0, 3) for the WBO female Flyweight title. Hye, the former WBO female Light Flyweight champion, is moving up in weight for this bout after having had troubles with funding when she was the champion and will be fighting away from home for the first time. For Yoshikawa the bout will be her second world title fight, after coming up short against Anabel Ortiz last year. The winner will be a target for several notable names and could see a potential show down with 3-weight world champion Naoko Fujioka in 2017.
In a supporting bout Shingo Kawamura (12-3-1, 6) will battle Takuya Yamamoto (7-4, 4) in an interesting looking 8 rounder at 122lbs. Although Kawamura will be favoured he has struggled recently and is 3-2-1 in his last 6, dating back more than 2 years. Kawamura has been mixing at a higher level than Yamamoto, who is stepping up, but he has been losing when he's been fighting the better competition.
In another supporting bout the once beaten Terumi Nuki (7-1, 4) will face a Thai foe, in what looks like to be a title prelude bout for Nuki.
Another Japanese card, from Hiroshima, will be headlined by veteran Koji Itagaki (16-10-2, 7) as he takes on former OPBF Minimumweight champion Michael Landero (18-13-4, 7). Landero, a Filipino veteran, will be looking to continue his 2 fight winning run, and scored a 3rd win on Japanese soil. For Itagaki the bout will be his first since being stopped by another Filipino visitor, Rey Loreto back in April.
In the chief support bout the Japanese ranked Ryuji Ikeda (11-3-1, 7) will face very highly experienced Filipino journeyman Mark Sales (22-40-3, 8). On paper this is a total mismatch but Ikeda is looking to bounce back from a loss last time out and will be looking rebuild his confidence rather than score a statement win.
Daejeon, South Korea
In Korea fight fans get an intriguing show with international implications.
The main event will see Korean-Russian Je Ni Ma (9-1-3, 8) battle against Japan's Hironobu Matsunaga (10-1, 5) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Middleweight title. For both men this will be their biggest bout, though it's fair to say that Ma will be favoured given he's fighting at home and is currently riding a 12 fight unbeaten run. Despite Ma being the favourite Matsunaga will be confident and comes into this riding a 4 fight winning run.
On the under-card KBF 140lb champion Dong Hee Kim (5-1-1, 1) will be facing former OPBF Super Featherweight title challenger Ernie Sanchez (15-8-1, 6), with Sanchez being a late replacement for the aggressive Hyun Woo Yuh, who was originally stipulated to face Kim in a title fight.
One other bout of note on this under-card will see Japan's Chaoz Minowa (1-0, 1) battle Chan Mi Lim (2-1, 2). Minowa is tipped as the most promising Japanese female fighter since Naoko Fujioka and is returning to the ring just weeks after her debut. Although not well known Lim is exciting, heavy handed and aggressive and could well be the gut test Minowa needs before fighting for titles.
April 3rd-A new month kicks off in style with former title challengers, prospects and more!
April 2015 will be a huge month for Japanese boxing fans with a host of major bouts across every level of the sport. It all begins however today with the first Japanese shows of the month and it's a day that kicks things off in the perfect way. It features everything from a former world title challenger to a top class prospect, from a world ranked fringe-contender to a female title fight, oh and we have Rookie of the Year qualifying bouts! It really is the beginning of a potentially brilliant month for boxing fans.
The most notable action to begin the month comes from Osaka where we see a bit of everything in a brilliant domestic show that features everything a show at this level really should have.
The show begins with a couple of 4 rounders before moving onto an 8 round contest featuring a name fighter in need of a win against a once beaten fighter who will know that a win could really kick start his career. The name fighter in question is multi-time world title challenger Hiroyuki Hisataka (22-13-1, 10) who has lost his last 3 bouts, including a world title bout against Omar Andres Narvaez and a Japanese FOTY contender against Takuya Kogawa, and knows he needs a win. Hisataka will be expecting to get that win when he goes in against Keisuke Nakayama (6-1-1, 3), though Nakayama may well be fired up knowing that this is an amazing opportunity for him to make a name for himself against a man who is certainly coming to the end of his career.
A second 8 rounder will feature touted teenager prospect Takeru Kamikubo (8-0, 5) who begins his 2015 with a bout against former Japanese Light Flyweight title challenger Atsushi Aburada (9-7, 5). Last year we saw Kamikubo fighting 8 times in a little over 10 months though those bouts did come against low level opposition, this however is a big step up and a win over Aburada would see Kamikubo climb into the Japanese rankings. The 24 year old Aburada has lost 3 of his last 5 though has mixed with solid opposition, such as Yu Kimura and Yuma Iwahashi, and holds a very notable win over Toshimasa Ouchi. This is the sort of match up that will tell us a lot about both men.
The only 10 round bout on the card will see former OPBF Featherweight champion Hiroshige Osawa (26-3-4, 15) battle against Indonesian visitor Arief Blader (20-16-1, 7). Osawa comes into this bout ranked #14 in the world by the WBA and on a run of 4 stoppage wins, including a politically controversial 9th round KO against Jason Butar Butar in the Philippines, he'll be expecting to continue that run against Blader. The 29 year old visitor has lost 6 of his last 8, including his last 3, and tends to get stopped when he faces international level opposition, though notable he did go the 8 round distance with the world ranked Mike Tawatchai in 2013.
Surprisingly the main event here is a female fight which will see the unbeaten Terumi Nuki (6-0, 3) battle against Tamao Ozawa (7-2, 2) for the vacant OPBF female Flyweight title. Nuki, like stablemate Kamikubo, caught out attention last year when she over-came Kai Johnson in a very good win. As for Ozawa she has also shared the ring with Johnson, going 1-1 with the under-rated fighter, though has notably been blown away twice, once by Johnson and once by the elongated Tomoko Kawanishi. This could be a very good bout, or it could see Ozawa blown away early doors for the third time.
Also on the same day fans will get the chance to see the second day of qualifying bouts for the 2015 East Japan Rookie of the Year. This show will feature 12 bouts between Light Flyweight and Welterweight. Originally there was 13 bouts announced for the show but a Super Bantamweight bout was cancelled.
(Image courtesy of http://nakazatoboxing.com)
December 31st-5 world titles and a Japanese title fight to blow out the year in style!
After having seen the excellent "Super Boxeo" show on December 30th, including Naoya Inoue's historic win over Omar Andres Narvaez, we now get to look forward to New Year's Eve which features 2 massive shows with 5 world title fights between them!
Of the two New Year's Eve shows in Japan the best is in Osaka in an Ioka-Kyoei joint promotion card. This show is notable pretty much from top to bottom with major almost every bout featuring either a title level fighters, a prospect or a notable name.
One of the interesting under-card bouts will see unbeaten female hopeful Terumi Nuki (5-0, 2) battle battle against debuting Thai Petchluksor Sor Praithong (0-0). It's thought that if Nuki wins here her next bout will be an OPBF title bout as she moves towards a world title bout sometime in the next 2 years. Another notable Japanese female fighter on this show is Tomomi Takano (6-1, 5) who also finds herself up against a debuting Thai in the form of Rannada Sor Vorapin (0-0).
The two female fights are both scheduled for 6 rounds as are two of the male bouts. One of those will see the busy Takeru Kamikubo (7-0, 4) fighting for the 8th time this year. Sadly the talented Kamikubo has been matched very softly here as he fights against the win-less Phetsaifar Lukmaelamperigym (0-5). For Phetsaifar this is likely to be his 6th straight stoppage loss and his 5th in Japan having previously lost to Kamikubo's stable mate Masayoshi Hashizume and the very interesting Kohei Kashino. The other will see Ryuto Maekawa (9-0, 5) fighting against Chanachai Sor Siamchai (0-1).
In an 8 rounder the heavy handed Takahiro Yamamoto (14-3, 11) will find himself up against Thailand's Kamraiyok Or Wandavee (0-0). Yamamoto comes into this bout on the back of 8 successive victories and has shown real promise with all 3 of his losses being very close decision losses. Another 8 rounder on this show will see former world champion Ryo Miyazaki (21-1-3, 12) fighting against Kajonsak Nattapolgym (0-0). For Miyazaki this bout falls exactly a year after his sole loss to, another Thai Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr., and he'll be hoping to avoid the same fate here.
The first title fight on this show will see the promising Sho Ishida (17-0, 9) making the first defence of the Japanese Super Flyweight title as he battles against Masato Morisaki (9-3-1, 5) in what looks to be a relatively straight forward defense for the talented Ishida. From what we understand if Ishida is successful here their will be moves to make a bout between Ishida and Teiru Kinoshita in 2015.
The second title fight on this show will be a strange unification bout as the IBF and WBO vacant belts will be unified. The belt situation of the bout is an odd one but the fight it's self looks to be a great one as former multi-time world champion Katsunari Takayama (27-7-0-1, 10) battles against Japanese champion Go Odaira (11-3-3, 1). This bout is expected to be very high paced and all action though it's not expected to have the “drama” that some may expect in a FOTY contender.
Splitting up world titles fights fans we will see former 2-division champion Kazuto Ioka (15-1, 9) battle against former "interim" world champion Jean Piero Perez (20-7-1, 14). This bout does look like a disappointing one considering the quality of Ioka and the fact Perez has been struggling in recent years, though it does seem like Ioka will be fighting in a WBA world title fight early next year against Juan Carlos Reveco, who recently defended his title with a stoppage victory against Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep.
In the main event fans will see Cuban sensation Guillermo Rigondeaux (14-0, 9) defending his WBO and WBA "super" Super Bantamweight titles against OPBF Featherweight champion Hisashi Amagasa (28-4-2, 19). The talented Cuban is a clear betting favourite going into this bout but the contest does look like an interesting one given that Amagasa will have a massive size advantage and also an advantage in activity with Rigondeaux having only fought one round in the last 12 months.
In Tokyo we have the “other” show promoted by Watanabe. Although there are 3 world titles on this show the card it's self is actually the weaker of the two cards with 2 of the 3 world title fights looking like mismatches.
The main event will be one of those mismatch world title fights as WBA Super Featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama (21-0-1, 17) looks to make the 9th defence of his belt. The heavy handed Japanese fighter, known as “KO Dynamite”, will be defending his belt against 35 year old Argentinian challenger Israel Hector Enrique Perez (27-2-1, 16), a man who really doesn't look fit to step in the ring against Uchiyama.
In another world title fight fans will see the popular Kohei Kono (30-8, 13) defending his WBA Super Flyweight world title for the first time since he re-won it earlier this year with a KO of Denkaosan Kaovichit. The "Tough Boy" will be defending his title against Dominican challenger Norberto Jimenez (20-8-3, 10). Sadly like the other bout the challenger looks completely out of his depth and is unlikely to pose much of a threat.
The most interesting of the title fights is at Light Flyweight where Ryoichi Taguchi (20-2-1, 8) attempts to become a world champion. Taguchi is involved in the most interesting of the world title bouts as he takes on Peru's WBA Light Flyweight world champion Alberto Rossel (32-8-0-1, 13). For Taguchi this is the most significant fight of his career and is clearly his toughest since he fought the then fat rising Naoya Inoue.
As well as the 3 world title fights there are a further 6 other bouts on the same card though none of them feature anyone of note.
For those wanting to watch the main bouts from his show they will be televised on TV Tokyo.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)