City Gymnasium, Yokkaichi, Mie, Japan
This coming Saturday our attention turns to Mie where we see the next event from Midori Promotions, and it's a pretty interesting one, with an excellent main event and two, solid, domestic bouts making up the chief support bouts.
The aforementioned main event will see former WBC Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (13-4, 12) look to rebuild from his rematch with Kenshiro Teraji, as he takes on unbeaten Thai punch Thanongsak Simsri (24-0, 22). At his best Yabuki is one of the top contenders at 108lbs, thanks to his freakishly heavy hands, under-rated boxing skills and good movement. He was however made to look third rate by Kenshiro in their rematch, with Kenshiro essentially ripping him apart in 3 rounds in March, and it's going to be interesting to see his mindset here. As for Simsri he was on the verges of landing a world title fight in 2020, before Hiroto Kyoguchi tested positive for covid, and that disappointment he has kept busy against low key Thai opponents, whilst physically developing and getting some rounds under his belt. Amazingly this will be Simsri's 7th bout in 12 months, but it's a huge step up for him and he will likely need a career best performance to over-come the former WBC champion.
In a supporting bout the popular Tom Mizokoshi (8-4-1, 4) will clash with Sonin Nihei (10-6-2, 2) in a 6 rounder. Mizkoshi, who is still only 23, feels like he's been around for ages and will be desperate to avoid another loss following recent defeats to Hiroyuki Takahara, Haruki Ishikawa and Ryuya Nihei. His confidence will be low and he and his team will know a win is very, very much-needed. Nihei has also struggled for success recently, with 3 losses in his last 4 and 5 losses in his last 7, but he has shown there is still life in him with upsets against Tatsuya Ikemizu and Ryosuke Nasu. He might not be a top domestic talent, but he's also no push over. This should be a very hard fought and competitive bout.
Another solid bout will see Katsuya Murakami (12-2-1, 3) look for a 5th straight win, and continue his climb towards a title fight, as he takes on Tetsuya Mimura (9-3, 2). Murakami might have had a few set backs on his record but he's a talent and has the tools to mix in the domestic title scene over the next few years. Mimura on the other hand has lost 2 of his last 3 and has little momentum coming in to this, but has been fighting at a solid level, having run Riku Kano close in 2019 and Yuga Inoue in 2020. Sadly Mimura has fought just just 2 rounds since August 2020, and we are expecting him to have some build ring rust that needs shaking here.
EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The Edion Arena plays host to two different shows this coming Friday, one from Taisei Promotions and one from Harada Promotion, both of which were originally scheduled to take place in June.
The bigger of the two is the Taisei promoted event, which serves as a regional title double header.
The main event will see former world title challenger Riku Kano (17-4-1, 8) defending his WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title against the once touted Takumi Sakae (22-3-1, 16), in what could be a genuinely competitive match up. Kano was once regarded as the next super kid of Japanese boxing, but those hopes have faltered, repeatedly, in recent years and his ceiling, for now, appears to be this regional title level. Despite that comment he is a solid boxer, with good speed and he fights to his strengths. He is however too lightweight, at least at the moment, to make it to the top. Sakae was tipped incredibly highly at one point, but he has fallen short when he's stepped up and it seems clear that he doesn't have what it takes to reach the top. He's an exciting and fun guy to watch, but he's certainly lacking the tools to reach the world level. This bout could be a bit of a messy one, but should be competitive. Our full preview of this one can be read here Kano takes on Sakae in first defense of WBO Asia Pacific title
In the co-feature veteran fighter Yuki Nonaka (34-10-3, 10) will defend his WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight title against Koki Koshikawa (9-2, 6). The talented Nonaka has had a remarkable career, and at 43 is among the oldest fighters in Japan. He signed a contract with an American promoted before the pandemic, and it was hoped that he would land a big US bout, but the pandemic put those plans to bed and he's now been out of the ring since September 2019. He desperately needs to get back in the ring, before father time beats him. In the opposite corner is a man who was tipped to be a star when he turned professional, following a strong run as an amateur, but has, so far, fallen short. Sadly for Koshikawa a TKO loss last time out, to Hironobu Matsunaga in 2019, has left his career dangling by a thread, and he needs a win here. It's rare for a bout to be a legitimate must win, but that's exactly what we have here. Our in depth preview of this one can be read here Veteran Nonaka takes on flawed Koshikawa!
On the under-card we'll see WBO and JBC ranked Flyweight Arata Matsuoka (10-6, 4) take on Tetsuya Mimura (8-3, 1) in a 10 round bout. Matsuoka will be looking to fight for a domestic or regional title shortly, and this match up should help him prepare for something like that. As for Mimura he shouldn't be over-looked, but he's the big under-dog and probably lacks the power he'd need to defeat Matsuoka.
One other domestic bout on this card worthy of some note will see Ryo Suwa (11-4, 2) take on Tomoya Kishine (6-4-1, 2), in a scheduled 6 rounder at Super Bantamweight. Suwa was once regarded as a domestic contender, but he has now lost 3 in a row and is more than 2 years removed from his last win. Kishine on the other hand is no world beater, but will feel he's getting to Suwa at the right time and a win here would still be a sizable boost to his career.
EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The other show is a much smaller event headlined by a Japanese Youth title fight, and a really interesting one at that.
That Youth title bout will see the unbeaten Tsubasa Narai (7-0, 6), look to build on his Rookie of the Year win, back in February, as he takes on Kyonosuke Kameda (6-2-1, 5) in a mouth watering match up. Both of these men can punch, both are young, and both are coming to fight. For Kameda, the cousin of the fighting brothers, the key will be to use his height and reach to keep Narai at range and box behind his long straight shots. As for Narai we expect to see him relying on his power, and his aggression and for him to try and take Kameda out with single heavy shots, and well placed counters. Our preview of this one can be read here Narai and Kameda battle for Youth honours!
Tokiwa Arena, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan
Action returns to Hyogo this coming Friday for a show promoted by Senrima Kobe. It's not a big card, by any stretch, but there are 4 bouts worthy of note from a show with 7 scheduled contests.
The first of the interesting bouts worthy of note will see Hiroyuki Takahara (7-3, 5) take on the once beaten Tom Mizokoshi (7-1-1, 4) in a 6 round Featherweight bout. The 28 year old Takahara is a win some, lose some type of fighter, who has reeled off 3 straight wins after back to back losses in 2017. It should be noted he's not fought since April 2019. On the other hand Mizokoshi is a highly regarded 21 year old who had won his last 5, including a win in South Korea against Ha Nok Shim last year. Interestingly Mizokoshi fought 4 times in 2019 and it'll be interesting to see what a lay off, since December, will do for him. This may only be a 6 rounder but it should serve as a good test to see what improvements and development Mizokoshi is making.
The first of three Japanese ranked fighters on this show is Japanese ranked Featherweight Chiharu Takasuka (7-6-1, 4), who takes on Yuna Hara (8-2-1, 4) in an 8 rounder. Despite being ranked Takasuka is certainly nothing incredible and he has lost 4 of his last 6. Hara on the other hand has won 4 of his last 5, and his only loss in that stretch was in the West Japan Rookie of the Year in November 2018. The momentum is all behind Hara who will be looking to gate crash the Japanese rankings here.
Another ranked fighter on this show is the once beaten Light Flyweight hopeful Yuga Inoue (9-1-1, 1), who enters ranked #8 by the JBC. Inoue will be in against Tetsuya Mimura (8-2, 1) in an 8 round Flyweight bout that really does look brilliant. Although very light punching the 21 year old Inoue is a real talent, and he won the 2017 Rookie of the Year at Minimumweight, before losing in a Japanese Youth title fight to Kai Ishizawa. Since that loss he has been trying to make a point and been facing solid domestic opponents. Mimura is a touch older, turning 24 just days before the fight, and is himself a former Rookie of the Year runner up, losing in the 2018 final. Despite that loss he has bounced back well, and was unlucky in his second loss, losing a razor thin majority decision to Riku Kano in Sanda last November. Expect this one to be high level boxing between two very skilled young boxers.
The final ranked fighter is Ryosuke Nasu (11-5-3, 2), who takes on Hiroki Tokuyama (9-2-1, 2) in the main event. The 24 year old Nasu has lost 3 of his last 6, but has been mixing in good company and wins over Tatsuya Terada and Toma Kondo in his last 3 bouts. He's not looking likely to get a Japanese title fight any time soon, but we suspect he will get one before his career is over. Although not ranked himself Tokuyama is banging on the door of a ranking having won 4 of his last 5. His most notable result was a loss to Fumiya Fuse in the 2017 Rookie of the Year final, and he bounced back with 4 straight wins, before a razor thin loss last December against Chikato Sumida. We expect this one will be close and competitive and it's a hard to pick a winner in.
Again this isn't a big card, but is a very competitive looking one, and we can't complain about getting several 50/50 type bouts on a single show!
In a rarity the show that has caught our eye for November 17th comes from Indonesia and will feature the biggest name in Indonesian boxing and one of the hottest prospects in the country.
The main event of the card will see former world title challenger Daud Yordan (39-4-0-1, 27), who takes on South African foe Michael Mokoena (15-4, 10) in a bout for the IBA World and WBO Oriental Light Welterweight titles. The talented Yordan is looking to score his second win since his 2018 loss to Anthony Crolla a year ago whilst Mokoena is looking to avoid a third loss in 4. It's hard to go against Yordan in Indonesia but the visitor will not be there to make up the numbers.
A second bout of note on this show will see the unbeaten Ongen Saknosiwi (7-0, 7) take on experienced Filipino Marco Demecillo (24-8-1, 19), in a bout for the IBA world Featherweight title. The unbeaten Saknosiwi is, on paper, taking a leap up in class after 7 bouts against relative novices, however he should have size, and physical advantage over Demecillo. The Filipino, who began his career around Super Flyweight, has fought as high as Lightweight in recent years, but is very much a blown-up-Bantamweight type fighter. Despite being the smaller man Demecillo shouldn't be written off, and he's an upset minded type of fighter who will be in the ring looking to shock the unbeaten local hero.
In Japan we have a couple of shows with the most notable of those taking place in Hyogo.
The main event of this card will see former world title challenger Riku Kano (15-4-1, 8) face off against the once beaten Tetsuya Mimura (8-1, 1), in what looks likely to be a much more interesting bout than the records suggest. Kano is a talent, but isn't looking likely to live up to the early expectations put on his shoulders, and looks like the best he'll do any time soon is a national title. Mimura on the other hand is looking for his third win since losing in the 2018 Rookie of the Year final. We'd assume Kano's experience will be key here, but it's not a given.
In the main support bout Japanese ranked Flyweight Arata Matsuoka (8-6, 4) will take on Shota Asami (7-6, 4). On paper this looks like a really competitive bout, and one that is worthy of attention. Matsuoka is a former Japanese Youth Flyweight champion and despite his record he is 6-1 (3) in his last 7, rebuilding from a 2-5 start. Asami on the other hand has suffered a lot of close losses, and could have had a 12-1 record with some good fortune shining his way. This might not look like the best of bouts, but we expect it will be much, much better than the records suggest.
Another bout that has the potential to out-shine the main event will see former Japanese Youth Featherweight champion Hikaru Matsuoka (15-5-3, 2) take on Retsu Kosaka (10-4, 4). With 23 bouts to his name it's hard to believe Matsuoka is only 24, but the youngster is an experienced young veteran who always comes to fight, despite his limitations. Kosaka isn't a great, and is 3-4 in his last 7, but can score the occasional upset and hold a a very big 2017 win over current Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa. This is another very good match up, even if it's not going to get much attention outside of Hyogo.
As well as the show in Hyogo there will also be a Japanese card in Yamaguchi, featuring a promising and talented young female fighter, a bout between Japanese fighters and a young novice with a lot of promise.
The main event of the show will be the one featuring the talented young female fighter, teenager Eruka Hiromoto (5-0). The promising Hiromoto will be looking to defend her OPBF female Minimumweight title, as she takes on the aggressive, but somewhat clumsy, Sana Hazuki (7-4-1, 2). For Hiromoto this will be her first defense, and the fleet footed southpaw will know she's in for a legitimate test here against the 35 year old Hazuki. Although Hazuki is the more technically limited of the two she's aggressive and will ask serious questions of of the champion in what promising to be a very interesting contest. Our preview of this bout can be read here Teenager Hiromoto takes on Hazuki in first title defense
The chief support bout will see Japanese ranked fighters Taiyo Inoue (8-5-2, 5) and Yuto Nakamura (11-5, 8) face off in an interesting looking 8 round contest. Entering the bout Inoue is ranked by the JBC at Light Flyweight, though has been fighting at Flyweight and Super Flyweight recently. Although Inoue is 2-3-2 in his last 7 he is much better than those numbers suggest. Nakamura on the other hand is ranked by the JBC at 115lb is a former Japanese Youth Super Flyweight champion who enters on the back of 4 straight wins. The size and power is with Nakamura here, but Inoue will certainly be in the ring seeking the upset.
It's also worth noting that Eruka Hiromoto's older brother Ayato Hiromoto (1-0, 1) will be having his second bout on this card. The talented Hiromoto will be taking on Filipino foe Romel Oliveros (10-5-1, 4), in what is a big step up in class from his debut back in September against Suriyo Chonlathan. Although Oliveros is no World beater he's a very good test for someone as inexperienced in the professional ranks as Hiromoto.