Jeddah Superdome, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
The most notable bout to feature an Asian fighter this coming Saturday will be in Saudi Arabia, where hard hitting Chinese Giant Zhilei Zhang (24-0-1, 19) takes on touted Croatian hopeful Filip Hrgovic (14-0, 12) in an IBF Heavyweight world title eliminator. The bout was set to take place earlier in the year, before Hrgovic had to pull out, and in many ways the rescheduling makes this more intriguing, with the bout being held on a bigger stage. The 39 year old Zhang is a heavy handed giant of a man with surprising hand speed for a man his age and size, however he has been hurt before and has shown questionable stamina at times. As for Hrgovic, the 30 year old has long promised to be something special in the Heavyweight division, but has failed to live up to that promise so far. Both men can punch and both will know a future world title shot is on the line for them, however both will also know that a loss here will leave their career in tatters. Expect this to be tense, with a sense that one punch, either way, could decide the fight, at any time.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida, USA
In the US we see former world champion Sergey Lipinets (16-2-1, 12) take on Paraguayan fighter Carlos Manuel Portillo (22-4, 17). Lipinets, a Kazakh puncher, is looking to get his career back on track after back to back set backs. He will be strongly favoured here, but we do need to wonder what inactivity and the set backs to Custio Clayton and Jaron Ennis, in 2020 and 2021, will have done to him. As for Portillo he has lost his last 3 and 4 of his last 5, including 3 early stoppages losses. This really should be an easy win for Lipinets who will be looking to rebuild some of his confidence and shake some ring rust.
The Melbourne Pavilion, Flemington, Victoria, Australia
In Australia we'll see a battle of former world champions as former WBO female Super Flyweight champion Tomoko Okuda (7-3-2, 1) takes on former IBF female Bantamweight Susie Ramadan (28-3, 12), in a real must win for both fighters. Ramadan is the more proven and the more established, but at 43 years old and with just 1 bout since 2019 it's really hard to know what she has in the tank. In saying that Ramadan is at home and Okuda, who herself is 39, will be fighting outside of Japan for the first time, who will also be fighting for the first time since losing her WBO title to Miyo Yoshida, in June 2021. Okuda should have a little bit of extra freshness, but we're not sure if that can over-come the power of Ramadan or the fact the bout is on the road.
We also have a small show in Vietnam as Trigger boxing put on a very, very low key card in Hanoi. The bouts listed for this, at the time of writing, are all 4 rounder with only Tran Minh Tri Pham (1-0) having any recorded experience, and that being a solitary fighter in January for the 17 year old. He will be taking on the debuting Van Tien Vo (0-0) in a 4 rounder. Outside of that bout the others fighters on the show are all making their debuts.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Tuesday the Korakuen Hall will play host to the latest show from Misako promotions. The card isn't a bit one but it does feature a world title rematch in the main event, a good prospect in the chief support bout and some Japanese ranked fighters in supporting bouts. It's a decent show, but not one which set the world alight.
The main event will see WBO female Super Flyweight champion Tomoko Okuda (7-2-2, 1) make her first defense as she takes on Miyo Yoshida (14-2), the woman she beat for the title back in December. The first bout between these two saw Okuda prove to be too strong, too aggressive and too powerful for Yoshida, before headclashes and cuts forced the bout to be stopped in round 6. This time around we dare say Yoshida knows what to expect from the 38 year old Okuda and we could end up seeing a more purposeful display from the former champion. As for Okuda she will not be looking to hand the title back without a fight and this could end up being very, very competitive and very personal. Our preview of this bout can be read here Okuda and Yoshida II - Repeat or revenge?
In the chief support bout we'll see the very talented Tsubasa Murachi (6-1, 3) battle against Ken Achiwa (12-15-6, 4) in a bout that should see the winner knocking on the door of a title fight. Entering the bout Murachi is ranked in the top 10 by the JBC and the WBO AP whilst Achiwa is in the top 20 of the JBC rankings. On paper this looks a mismatch, and Murachi should be strongly favoured as he is a genuine talent, but Achiwa is an upset minded fighter and he has proven to be much better than his record suggests. Achiwa will look for the upset, but we see the boxing brain and speed of Murachi being too much and the youngster should take a clear, if hard fought, decision here.
At Welterweight we'll see veteran's collide as Motonobu Suzuki (5-6-2, 2) takes on the JBC ranked Yuichi Ideta (14-15-1, 7), who is actually on the verge of a very unexpected title fight. The 37 year old Suzuki hasn't fought since January 2019, and despite his record looking like a mess he is 3-1-2 in his last 6 bouts dating back to 2015, impressive form for a man who was 2-5 in his first 7. Ideta on the other hand is a 36 year old who lost 11 in a row between 2012 and 2019, but scored an upset of the year contender in 2020, when he beat Ryota Yada. That shock win has put Ideta in the top 10 of the JBC rankings and just a win or two away from a very, very unexpected title fight.
Another JBC ranked fighter on this show is Shuri Hasebe (8-5, 2), who defends his top 15 JBC Minimumweight ranking as he takes on 28 year old Kosuke Ando (8-3, 3). Although no world beater Hasebe has put in some good performances, notably beating Desierto Nagaike last time out, and will know that if he keeps plugging along and picking up wins he could land a title fight. As for Ando this is an opportunity to rebuild his career after a blow out loss last time out to Toshiki Kawamitsu. Ando impressed in the 2019 Rookie of the Year, reaching the All Japan final, and will feel he needs win here to get his career back on the right track.
December 13th becomes the latest date for a promoter to hold two events at the same venue in Japan, and although neither of the shows are amazing, both look relatively interesting with title action and a couple of decent bouts. Interestingly it appears the first will be made available on YouTube, as part of the Boxing Real channel whilst the second will be available, on demand, on Boxing Raise.
EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The first of the cards features a solid, if somewhat easy to over-look, main event, a Japanese female title bout and an anticipated debut.
The main event on the first show will see Yuki Yonaha (7-3-1, 5) take on the JBC ranked Motoki Osanai (4-2, 1) in an interesting 8 rounder. The 29 year old Yonaha is without a win in well over 4 years, but did show plenty of desire and hunger in his most recent bout, a draw with Naota Iwai, and it's clear he is a talent, though we do question his hunger and desire in the sport. Osanai on the other hand turned professional to fanfare, taking part in his pro-test bout on the same day as Hiroto Kyoguchi and Masataka Taniguchi, but was sadly left in their shadows and lost 2 of his first 3. Coming into this he has scored 3 wins and appears to be building some career momentum, and a win here would continue the ball rolling. One of those ones where the abilities of both men are a lot better than their records suggest.
The title bout on this card will see Japanese female Minimumweight champion Yumi Narita (4-4-3, 1) defending her title against Mont Blanc Miki (4-3-1, 1), in what will be Narita's first defense of the title. On paper this is another where the records of the two fighters suggests a poor bout, but the styles and mentalities of the two women should actually make for a war. Neither of the two are technically fantastic but both are warriors who let their hands go and we expect this to be a genuine tear up. Our full preview of this bout can be read here Narita takes on Miki in first Japanese title defense
As for the debutant that is switch hitter Takahiro Tai (0-0), who fights out of the gym by his father. Tai was a solid amateur on the Japanese amateur scene and is looking to make an impact on his professional debut as he takes on Ryosei Hamaguchi (6-6, 2) in a 6 rounder. We don't think Tai will be fast tracked, but there was a lot to like from his amateur performances and he's very much a fan friendly, stylish fighter with a lot of flare. We see that winning over fans quickly here. Hamaguchi isn't a bum, but he has lost 4 of his last 5, and has scored just 1 win in the last 3 years, so would need something a bit special to test the talented Tai here.
EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The second part of the card will again feature a title bout, an intriguing 8 rounder and a debut...well a debut of sorts.
The title bout here, which is also the main event, will see WBO female Super Flyweight champion Miyo Yoshida (14-1) making her second defense of her title as she takes on Tomoko Okuda (6-2-2, 1). The talented Yoshida will be strongly favoured here, though it is worth noting that this will be her first bout since transferring over to the Misako Gym and the change in her team and set up could end up leaving some questions for her to answer. Okuda has been fortunate at times with some results, but at 37 we really do wonder if she has the tools to hang with a top class fighter like Yoshida. Our full preview of this world title bout can be read here Yoshida takes on Okuda in second WBO world title defense
In an excellent 8 round match up we'll see the once beaten Yuga Inoue (10-1-1, 1) take on Daiki Tomita (14-2, 5), in a bout between two top 10 JBC ranked Light Flyweights. The light punching Inoue has scored 3 wins since his 2018 loss to Kai Ishizawa for the Japanese Youth title, and has rebuilt in a hard way, going up against solid fighters and testing the water at Flyweight. He's had a loss, and gone straight back in with tough competition rather than rebuilding his confidence with easy wins. In fairness that's actually what Tomita is looking to do here in his first bout since a 10th round TKO loss to Kenichi Horikawa in July. Although both men are in their early 20's this is strangely a cross roads bout and the winner will find themselves on the verge of a Japanese title fight, whilst the loser will begin a long climb back up the rankings. A genuinely excellent match up.
Also on this card is the debut of Ayumu Hanada (4-0, 3), or rather the Japanese debut of Hanada. Or more precisely the JBC debut of Hanada, who began his career in Mexico and fought in an unrecognised bout in Japan in 2019. Despite the weird start to his career Hanada is expected to be a star and he has impressed, bot just in his Mexican bout but also his "unofficial", for lack of a better word, bout in Japan. In the opposite corner to Hanada is the heavy handed Ryuku Nagamine (5-1, 5), who began his career with 5 early wins before losing to Keisuke Iwasaki in the Rookie of the Year last year. Given his power he's a real dangerman for Hanada and, if we're being honest, this could end up being the bout of the day. Both men are explosive punchers and both will be looking to make a statement. If you're going to watch this one, don't blink!
As well as the action in Japan we also get a small Chinese card from Quzhou. Sadly this is a very low level card.
The most interestingly match up on the show will see 20 year old hopeful Yeerjialahasi Laayibieke (4-2, 3) take on the once beaten Jiaming Li (4-1, 2). Whilst this isn't expected to be a great fight we do love the fact it looks like a pretty 50-50 match up. Notably Laayibieke has won his last 4, with his last 3 coming by T/KO, but he's not the only one with momentum, and Li has also won his last 4. A genuinely interestingly match up.
The only other 8 rounder on this card will see Jiajia Li (6-2, 2) battle Ayati Sailike (10-8-3-1, 4) in a decent looking match up. We don't think this will be as good as the other one, but it is a lot more even than it looks on paper. The 32 year old Li was beaten last year, and since then has picked up two very low key wins. Sailike on the other hand is unbeaten in more than 2 years and looks like he's coming into his prime. This could end up being a lot better than it appears on paper.
Note - Hanada's Japanese debut was a WBF title bout in Osaka in June 2019. The bout isn't recognised by the JBC, his "actual" record is 5-0 (3)
For the second time this month we head to the Korakuen Hall for a tournament final, and this time around we also have a lot of title action on the show, with the "God's Left" Bantamweight final coming on a show that also features 3 title fights, including a female world title fight!
The tournament final will see unbeaten Ohashi gym hopeful Kazuki Nakajima (8-0, 7) take on Kadoebi gym hopeful Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0, 4) in a very, very, explosive looking God's Left Bantamweight tournament final. Tsutsumi, who was the only seed in the tournament, has gotten through to the final with out fighting in a single bout, getting a bye in the quarter final stage then a walk over in his semi-final. Nakajima on the other hand has blitzed Kenichi Watanabe and Jin Minamide to reach the final, beating both men inside a round. Both of these fighters can bang, and we expect this to be fireworks almost from the off.
The female world title bout will see Ayaka Miyao (23-8-1, 6) take on Etsuko Tada (19-3-2, 6) for the vacant WBO female Minimumweight title. For Miyao this bout will see her moving up in weight, abandoning the Atomweight division that she has been such a major force in over the years, whilst Tada will be looking to become a 4-time world champion. Given the styles of the two women involved in this one we expect fireworks, as both like to let their hands go. Tada is certainly the bigger, stronger fighter but she's also the older slower fighter, whilst Miyao is faster and more energetic. A very, very interesting match up. Our preview of this can be read here Veterans Tada and Miyao face off for WBO title!
Another title fight on this show will see second generation fighter Kaiki Yuba (6-0-2, 4) take on Kanta Takenaka (7-4-1, 2) for the vacant JBC Youth Lightweight title. For the unbeaten Yuba this is a second shot at the title, following a technical draw when he fought Izuki Tomioka for the belt almost 2 years ago, whilst Takenaka will be looking to build on his win over Kazuaki Miyamoto from last April. This bout has an in depth preview here Yuba and Takenaka clash for Japanese youth title!
The other title bout on this card is actually a rematch, as Kanako Taniyama (2-0-1, 1) and Tomoko Okuda (5-2-2, 1) battle for the vacant JBC female Bantamweight title. These two women fought to a draw last September, in what was a genuinely entertaining bout, though it felt like Taniyama deserved the win but didn't get it in Okuda's home city. We can't help but think Taniyama will take the win here, in another entertaining battle. Our preview of this bout is here Taniyama and Okuda face off again for Japanese female title!
Over in Canada unbeaten Uzbek Hurshidbek Normatov (9-0, 3) is scheduled to be in action in a 6 round bout, though his opponent has yet to be named. This will be the unbeaten Uzbek's first professional bout outside of the US, and will see him look to build on what has been a pretty slow build career thus far.
This coming Monday isn't a huge day for boxing, but there is still a lot of action in Osaka prefecture, with 2 cards taking place in the region, with a combined 4 title bouts!
The most significant bout from those two cards takes place in Osaka city and will see WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight champion Yuki Nonaka (33-10-3, 10) making his first defense of the title he won earlier this year. The Japanese veteran, who vacated the OPBF title in the hope of moving towards a world title fight, will be defending the WBO regional title as he takes on South Korean Korean puncher Yang Hyun Min (8-2, 7) in what is expected to be little more than a work out for Nonaka. The highly skilled Nonaka is a very smart fighter who, even in his 40's, is a very talented and driven boxer who has made it clear he's still chasing goals in hi career. Min on the other hand is a bit of an unknown outside of Korea, and he's not expected to have much to test Nonaka, though has shown pretty heavy hands on the Korean domestic scene. For those interested in more information about this bout a preview can be read here Preview - Yuki Nonaka Vs Yang Hyun Min
The other title bout on this card will see youngsters collide, with Joe Shiraishi (8-0-1, 4) and Yoshiki Minato (8-2, 3) facing off for the Japanese Youth Flyweight title. Shiraishi came to our attention in 2017 when he won the All Japan Rookie of the Year, beating Minato along the way in fact, and has since added two stoppage wins since then. Sadly inactivity has been an issue for him but he is a really youngster. Of course he's not the only talented youngster here and Minato will be seeking revenge for his 2017 loss, however he comes into this on the back of an opening round blow out loss to Seigo Yuri Akui back in April. Incidentally Minato won the All Japan Rookie of the Year himself in 2018, meaning this is a clash of Rookie champions. A full preview of this bout can be read here Shiraishi and Minato rematch for Youth title!
Another interesting supporting bout on this card will see Rikuto Adachi (12-2, 9) and Change Hamashima (10-4-1, 4) battle at Welterweight. Both men really need a win here, following recent losses, and interestingly both have also lost recently to Kudura Kaneko. Adachi was stopped in 5 rounds by Kaneko, who simply over-powered him, whilst Hamashima has lost 2 decisions to Kaneko and was also stopped in 7 rounds last time out by Masaharu Kaito. It's really hard to see where the loser goes next, but the winner will likely find themselves working towards a Japanese Youth title bout.
Staying in Osaka Prefecture, though going from Osaka City to Sakai City, we get another notable card with double title action on it, albeit on a less interesting card than the other card.
Like the other card the main event is a WBO Asia Pacific title fight, though this time it's down at Light Flyweight where the once beaten Daiki Tomita (13-1, 5) takes on Hayato Yamaguchi (15-7-1, 2) for the vacant title. Tomita, who turns 22 in November, impressed us last year when he put up a brave effort against Tsuaba Koura in an OPBF title fight. Tomita impressed again last time out, blowing away Jeffrey Galero and we do suspect his move to 108lbs will be a good decision for his career. For Yamaguchi this is just his second bout since being stopped in October 2016 by Tetsuya Hisada, and we do wonder he has left in the tank at the moment in time. Our in depth preview of this bout is available here Tomita and Yamaguchi face off for WBO Asia Pacific title!
In a notable supporting bout former OPBF title challenger Shingo Kawamura (16-5-2, 8) taking on the light hitting Jin Miura (10-3-2, 1). Coming in to this Kawamura is well over a year removed from his last win, which came back on April 28th 2018, and another set back here really will leave the 29 year old Southpaw in an terrible position if he's wanting to get another shot at gold any time soon. Although no world beater Miura is unbeaten in his last 3, including a notable draw against Mugicha Nakagawa and an upset win over Tatsuya Matsumoto, and a win here will move him towards a title fight of his own. A really interesting one, even if it's not likely to be the most explosive.
A second title bout on this show will see Tomoko Okuda (5-2-1, 1) take on the fast rising Kanako Taniyama (2-0, 1) in a bout for the JBC female Bantamweight title. This will probably be the only chance that the 36 year old Okuda has to win a notably bout whilst Taniyama will be looking to prove her move over from kick boxing to boxing has been a success. At 2 years old Taniyama is no spring chicken but her combat sport experience is expected to be a launch pad to help her move into world title action sooner rather than later. If Taniyama is what the Watanabe gym are hoping for she needs to win, and win big here. A preview of this bout can be read here Taniyama and Okuda battle for female Bantamweight title!