Aioi Hall, Kariya, Aichi, Japan
Rather interestingly in Aichi this coming Sunday fans will be allowed in a venue to watch boxing, though the show will only have 2 bouts on it, and social distance will be enforced with a lot of the venue also set to be empty. With only 2 bouts on the card we'll talk about both, and thankfully both have something to say about them.
The main event will be a Champion carnival bout as the heavy handed Masamichi Yabuki (10-3, 10) clashes with Tsuyoshi Sato (10-1-1, 5) for the vacant Japanese Light Flyweight title. Originally Yabuki was supposed to face the defending champion Yuto Takahashi for the title earlier in the year. Sadly that bout was postponed due to the on going global situation and Takahashi, who had previously spoke about being frustrated by the sport, retired. His frustration at being unable to fight saw him retire and vacate the title.
Whilst a bout between Takahashi and Yabuki would have been great we feel this may be a more fun bout with the heavy handed handed Yabuki up against the intense pressure and energy of Sato. We think Sato might be lacking the power needed to get Yabuki's respect, but it's clear he's going to be there to win, and we can't help but feel this has the potential to be a very exciting fight. Our preview of this fight can be read here Yabuki and Sato clash to crown new Japanese champion!
The only other bout on this card will see the crude but exciting Takumi Chono (5-1, 3) take on Takefumi Higashi (5-8, 1) in a 6 round Minimumweight bout. Whilst we don't think many fans will be aware of Chono he came runner up in the 2019 All Japan Rookie of the Year, losing in the final to the excellent Katsuki Mori, and we enjoyed watching his aggression, pressure and energy. Higashi is a long way from a world beater, having scored just 2 wins in his last 8, but typically he goes the rounds and makes a fight of things. Chono should win, but he has a dance partner who will give everything and potentially make the perfect foil to the talented youngster.
Hongtang Shopping Center, Chengdu, China
Staying in Asia there's also set to be a small show in China, which, like many recent Chinese cards, is focused on novices.
We won't go through all the bouts here, but the most notable of the contests on the show is a 6 rounder between 22 year old Wen Song Liu (4-1, 3) and 19 year old debutant Xiaolong Jiang (0-0). Despite only being 22 Liu made his debut way back in 2017, when he suffered a TKO loss. Since losing in 2017 we've seen Liu score 4 straight wins and get his career back on track and he is coming in to this bout with some momentum.
Over in Belarus, of all places, we'll be seeing a show promoted by Suliemen Promotions. This card is stacked with unbeaten Kazakh hopefuls, in what should be a very interesting card on Khabar TV.
The main event will see world ranked Super Middleweight contender Aidos Yerbossynuly (13-0, 9) defending his numerous minor titles against 38 year veteran Nuhu Lawal (27-6, 15). The 28 year old Yerbossynuly has unified minor titles from the WBA, WBC and WBO and is looking to move towards a potential future world title fight. Lawal is a true veteran, at the age of 38, and will be expected to take Yerbossynuly rounds though isn't expected to be much of a threat to the talented Kazakh fighter.
In the co-feature Nursultan Zhangabayev (8-0, 5), another world ranked Kazakh, will be up against French southpaw Sandy Messaoud (13-6, 1). Although Messaoud has 6 losses to his name he is enjoying a nice run, with 5 straight wins, and will be full of confidence here. Saying that however it's hard see him over-coming the criminally under-rated Zhangabayev, who has impressed time and time again.
Also on this card are Bek Nurmaganbet (0-0), who won a gold medal at the 2019 Asian Amateur Championships, and Yevgeniy Pavlov (0-0), who will both be taking part in their debuts, and the unbeaten Nursultan Amanzholov (2-0, 1)
This coming Wednesday the Korakuen Hall plays host to a small, yet pretty interesting, card featuring a fun to watch puncher and an all-action youngster taking on a former national title challenger.
The main event of the card will see the heavy handed Zirolian Riku (9-3, 9) take on Ikemen Atsushi (7-4-2, 2), in what could a fun little bout. Although no world beating Riku is a solid enough domestic fighter, who is much better than his recent form, of 2 losses in 3 bouts, suggests. Likewise Atsushi unlikely to ever make any sort of mark above Japanese domestic level, but he should make for an interesting match up with Riku.
In our eyes the chief support bout is a much better up than the main event, and will see youngster Tsuyoshi Sato (9-1-1, 5) take on veteran Masashi Tada (13-6-3, 8). The 22 year old Sato is a genuine must watch fighter, who brings intense pressure, throws a lot of leather and despite being a Light Flyweight is an incredibly strong kid. Tada on the other hand is a 2-time Japanese title challenger who's had mixed success in recent years but is certainly no push over, and should serve as a legitimate test for the youngster.
A third bout of some note is a rematch between Yuji Okinori (9-5-2, 2) and Fire Ikkyu (6-2-1, 4), who fought to an opening round technical draw in July 2017. Since their draw Okinori has gone 1-1 whilst Ikkyu has gone 0-1, and neither has shined, though it means this rematch does have some significance, with neither really able to afford another loss at this point in time.
We are set for a mouth watering title triple header on July 27th. Originally the card was a quadruple header, though one of the bouts was cancelled, but more about that in a few moments.
The main event of the card will see OPBF Super Featherweight champion Hironori Mishiro (7-0-1, 2) seek his third defense, as he goes up against former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (18-5-1, 11). The talented and highly skilled Mishiro has been moved quickly since his 2017 debut, and already has wins against the likes of Shuya Masaki, Carlo Magali and Takuya Watanabe. Another win here would move him close to a potential world title fight. On the other hand Takenaka, 34, is now in last chance saloon , following a loss in March to Heorhii Lashko and it's hard to see how he can bounce back from another defeat. Our preview of this bout can be read here Mishiro takes on Takenaka in latest OPBF title defense
A second title fight will see Japanese Bantamweight champion Yuta Saito (12-9-3, 9) defending his title against mandatory challenger Yusuke Suzuki (10-3, 7), in what should be an excellent match up between two skilled and heavy handed fighters. For Saito the bout will be his second defense, and despite his poor looking record he has looked sensational in his last 2 bouts with heavy handed, intense pressure and a lot of aggression. Suzuki has long been due a title fight, but due to injuries and issues with opponents his opportunity has been pushed back, and back until now. Suzuki has shown more variety to his boxing than Saito, though he's been pretty inactive recently, due to his injuries. This is likely to be the show stealer, based on the styles of the two men involved. Our preview of this bout is here Saito and Suzuki battle for Japanese crown
The third title bout will see super prospect Ginjiro Shigeoka (3-0, 2) facing Filipino foe Clyde Azarcon (15-2-1, 5) in a bout for the in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title. For the extremely highly touted Shigeoka this will be his first title fight, and a win here would see him match the Japanese male record for fewest fights to win a title, of any kind. Shigeoka was a very high touted amateur before turning professional last year and has raced to this shot. The Filipino on the other hand will be fighting out of the Philippines for the first time, but will be competing in his third title bout, after claiming the PBF title last year and fighting to a close loss in a WBO Oriental title fight. This has the potential to be the coronation of a future star, or a case of another fighter coming up short when being pushed too far too fast. Our preview of this sensational match up is available here Shigeoka goes for regional title against Azarcon!
Sadly a scheduled bout between Tsuyoshi Sato (9-1-1, 5) and Rikito Shiba (3-0, 2), which would have been for the Japanese Youth Light Flyweight title, had to be cancelled earlier in the month. The bout was called off after Sato suffered an injury in training, but the hope does seem like the two sides will try to rearrange the contest for later in the year.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
As well as the Japanese action there will also be some more Filipino interest in the day as young Filipino Joseph Ambo (9-1-1, 6) takes on once beaten South African Yanga Sigqibo (12-1-1, 3) in a bout for the WBO Inter-Continental Super Flyweight title. Ambo sufffered his only loss so far when he fought outside of the Philippines last year, losing a decision to the capable Sukkasem Kietyongyuth in Hua Hin, Thailand. Sigqibo on the other hand is on a good run and has recently scored good wins over Rene Dacquel and Keyvin Lara, and will clearly be expected to pick up another win here.
Attention turns to Tokyo this coming Saturday as we get a really interesting Kadoebi card at the Korakuen Hall, headlined by a Japanese title fight but also featuring numerous other notable fighters.
The main event of the card will see Japanese Light Welterweight champion Valentine Hosokawa (24-6-3, 11) defending his title against unbeaten mandatory challenger Koki Inoue (12-0, 10), the third member of the Inoue clan. For the 37 year old Hosokawa this will be his third defense of the belt, which he won in 2017 against Koichi Aso. As for Inoue this will be his first title fight, and comes after a relatively disappointing performance against Marcus Smith, though a performance that did see Inoue battling with injuries. A full preview of this bout can be read here Another Inoue goes for gold, as Koki takes on Valentine Hosokawa.
In the chief support bout we'll see former OPBF Middleweight champion Koki Tyson (13-3-2, 11) take on durable Thai Chaiwat Mueanphong (4-3, 2). For Tyson this will be his first bout since signing with the Kadoebi Gym and his first bout since losing the OPBF title to Yasuyuki Akiyama in December 2017. Chaiwat on the other hand comes into this bout on the back of 3 straight losses, but has proven to be tough and almost went 7 complete rounds with Kazuto Takesako last year. Tyson should win, but will have to work for it.
An excellent supporting bout will see Japanese-Brazilian Cristiano Aoqui (13-7-2, 9) battle against Anthony Marcial (24-3-1, 22) of the Philippines.The talented Aoqui isn't a world beater, but is an exciting and fun yo watch fighter who has a notable fan base. Marcial on the other hand has an impressive looking record, but has mostly been a can crusher on the Filipino domestic scene. This could be a much, much better bout than it looks on paper, though we're expecting Aoqui to be too good for the visitor.
Another supporting bout will see Tsuyoshi Sato (8-1-1, 4) take on Tetsuya Tomioka (5-3, 5) in a Japanese Youth Light Flyweight title tournament semi final bout. The exciting Sato is aggressive, all action and very fan friendly, whilst Tomioka is a big puncher, with questionable durability. This might end up being the bout of the show, and both are very fun to watch. It's worth noting that this bout will be a semi-final bout of a 4 man tournament to crown a new Japanese Light Flyweight youth champion, with the other semi-final taking place on April 11th.
Other supporting bouts will see Hironori Shigeta (5-1-1, 3) take on Mitsumasa Takahashi (9-5-1, 3) and Aso Ishiwaki (5-2, 3) battle Yoji Saito (1-1, 1). On paper neither of these bouts look amazing, but both promise a lot. Shigeta is a Japanese ranked Welterweight, and the 2017 Rookie of the year, whilst Takahashi is a very solid domestic level guy. Ishiwaki is the 2018 Lightweight Rookie of the Year whilst Saito is a former amateur standout, and despite having a loss on his record is very much a prospect to make a note of.
As well as the great show in Japan there is also a low key card in the Philippines. The headline bout here will see Eduardo Mancito (16-10-2, 9) battling against Nathan Bolcio (14-15-3, 4). On paper this is a pretty good domestic bout, it's nothing amazing, but should be pretty competitive and that's always a good thing!