This coming Friday is a really disappointing day in many ways as it's the first time this year, and the first time in a very long time, where we've been able to say there's a PPV in Japan. Thankfully however we suspect the promoter knows there won't be much demand for and that the numbers will be embarrassing. With that in mind lets look at the action.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
So the PPV comes from Korakuen Hall where Kawasaki Nitta put on a show featuring 5 bouts, headlined by a Japanese female title fight, with one of the other bouts of note being the debut of a promising former amateur.
The main event of this card will see Kimika Miyoshi (15-12-1, 6) battle against Yoshie Wakasa (6-2, 2), with Miyoshi looking to defend the JBC female Featherweight title for the second time. The 36 year old veteran has been a servant of Japanese female boxing and it's nice to see her having a run at the top of the domestic scene, but with the rise of global female boxing it's hard to see her getting another world title fight, win or lose here. As for Wakasa she began her career 6-0 and has struggled when she's fought at title level. This will be the challenger's third title fight, and we suspect it will also be her third loss at title level. Regardless we do expect this to be a pretty fun bout for those in the venue. Our in depth preview of this fight is available here Japanese champion Miyoshi clashes with Wakasa
In a supporting bout we'll see Mao Kawanishi (6-4, 2) clash with Katsunori Imai (6-12-3, 1) in an 8 rounder. Coming in to this Kawanishi will be the favourite, though he is 3-3 in his last 6 and has struggled for form in recent years. As for Imai he is 1-7-2 in his last 10 and it's hard to imagine him picking up a victory here. Despite that he is better than his record suggests and we do expect him to at least give Kawanishi something to think about.
Arguably the most interesting bout on this show will be the debut of Junki Shirasaki (0-0), who kicks his career off with a 6 rounder against Yuma Omine (0-2). As an amateur Shirasaki went 33-25 (3) and came 5th in a national Athletic meet, suggesting there is talent there, but probably not enough to make a mark above domestic level. Interestingly Omine was a pretty decent amateur domestically himself, going 32-16, and may well see this as his chance to pick up his first victory. One of those rare cases of paying much attention to the records, and just enjoying what should a very solid and competitive bout.
BT Sport Studio, Stratford, London, United Kingdom
Over in the UK British based Afghan born fighter Quaise Khademi (8-0, 2) will be looking to extend his perfect record as he takes on Ijaz Ahmed (7-2). The unbeaten Khademi will not just be looking to keep his perfect start going but will also be hoping to record his first defense of the WBO European Super Flyweight title and claim an IBF European title. Despite being unbeaten he is somewhat untested and, on paper, this looks like one of his toughest bouts to date. Ahmed on the other hand is a former British Midlands champion who gave the touted Harvey Horn all he could handle last year. This could end up being a genuine banana skin for Khademi if he's not careful.
On paper the most notable Asian show this coming Monday takes place in Osaka, where we get a pair of female Featherweight title bouts. Sadly though neither bout really screams that it deserves masses of attention, despite both featuring a world title challenger.
On paper the more significant of the two bouts will see OPBF female Featherweight champion Wakako Fujiwara (8-3-2, 3) defending her title against Yoshie Wakasa (6-1, 2), in what looks like a pretty decent match up on paper. Fujiwara won the belt last year and defended it once before challenging WBA female Super Featherweight champion Hyun Mi Choi earlier this year, and lost a clear decision to the Korean. Fujiwara is a decent fighter, and a solid OPBF level competitor, but at 38 we do need to wonder what she has left in the tank. At 31 Wakasa is the much younger challenger, but is also the naturally smaller fighter, and her last bout was a loss in a Japanese female Bantamweight title fight, so we need to wonder how she operates 8lbs heavier than she's been fighting at recently. Our preview of this bout can be read here Fujiwara to defend OPBF title against once beaten Wakasa
The other title bout is much less interesting, as the limited but solid punching Miki Mitsuda (5-5, 4) takes on veteran Kimika Miyoshi (13-12-1, 5) for the Japanese female Featherweight title. Of the two it's Miyoshi who is the more well known, a 3-weight OPBF champion and a former world title challenger, but she has lost her last 4 and is more than 3 years removed from a win. Mitsuda on the other hand is the defending champion, having won the belt last time out, and she's turned her career right around with a 4-1 (3) record in her last 5 bouts. This is very much momentum Vs experience, and should be entertaining, but shows the clear lack of depth in some divisions of female boxing, still. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Mitsuda takes on experienced veteran Miyoshi for vacant title!
A second Japanese show will be held in Fukuoka and see several notable hopefuls in action as they look to move towards bigger and better fights.
One of the notable hopefuls is Welterweight puncher Yuki Beppu (19-1-1, 18), who has had a frustrating 12 months thanks to a loss last October to Yuki Nagno and scored his first decision win this past April. The big punching Beppu is expected to score his 10th win, and his 19 stoppage, as he takes on under-sized Indonesian visitor Roy Mukhlis (31-10-4, 23). At his best Mukhlis was a world title challenger, at Super Featherweight, but that was almost a decade ago, and even that he was blasted out by Takashi Uchiyama. This should be nothing more than a showcase win for Beppu.
Another fighter expecting to win a show case against an Indonesian foe is Takumi Sakae (21-3-1, 15), who takes on the very limited Stevanus Nana Bau (9-11-2, 2). Sakae was once tipped for big things, in the world rankings and a Rookie of the Year winner. In recent years his career has faltered, but he is a skilled fighter with an aggressive mentality and he should go through Bau with ease. The visitor has been stopped in 3 of his last 4, and 8 of his 11 career losses, and we can't see anything but another stoppage loss here for the visitor.
A third bout of note on this show will see the unbeaten Kazuki Kyohara (4-0-1, 3) step up for his first 6 rounder. The unbeaten youngster will be up against the much more experienced Toshihiro Kai (6-11-2, 2) who has been stopped in 4 of his last 5. On paper this is a step up for Kiyohara, but it should be a very manageable step up up for the youngster.
We get the latest in the female only "Victoriva" series of shows this coming Wednesday as we get "Victoriva Vol 4" at the Korakuen Hall. The card isn't as stacked as some of the previous shows under the banner but does feature two really good looking title bouts, both of which are worthy of some attention for fans of female boxing.
The main event will see Atomweight titles being unified as OPBF champion Eri Matsuda (2-0) faces Japanese champion Nanae Suzuki (8-2-1, 1) in a fantastic match up. The unbeaten, and fast tracked, Matsuda is a delightful fighter to watch and her OPBF title win back in December was a brilliant performance, out pointing Minayo Kei over 8 rounds. Suzuki is a battler, and come be a nightmare up close for Matsuda, though the unbeaten fighter will look to make the most of her hand speed and excellent foot work, in what should be a great clash of styles. Our preview of this bout is available here Matsuda and Suzuki battle to unify titles!
The chief support bout will see JBC and OPBF female Bantamweight champion Miyo Yoshida (11-1) defending her national title, and we believe only the Japanese title, as JBC #1 ranked contender Yoshie Wakasa (6-0, 2). Yoshida has been on a tear, winning her last 7 bouts, unifying the Japanese and OPBF crowns and going 4-0 in title bouts. Wakasa is fighting in her first title bout, but as an unbeaten challenger she is clearly hungry and will be coming into this bout knowing it's her chance to get a career best win. This could be very, very exciting, even if it's not likely to be the tidiest of bouts to watch. Our preview of this bout is available here Yoshida takes on unbeaten Wakasa in upcoming defense
As well as the show in Tokyo there is also a Filipino card scheduled.
The main event here is set to be Jason Buenaobra (7-3-3, 3) taking on the once beaten Joseph Ambo (8-1-1, 6) in a well matched contest. The 24 year old Buenaobra is the only fighter to have heard the final bell with teenage sensation Carl Jammes Martin and has reeled off a 5 fight unbeaten run since then, but does lack power and hasn't scored a stoppage since his 5th bout. Ambo on the other hand is a puncher but was beaten last time out, losing a decision in Thailand to Sukkasem Kietyongyuth. Ambo will be looking to return to winning ways, whilst Buenaobra will be looking to extend his unbeaten run to 6 bouts.
Also set for this card is the unbeaten Denmark Quibido (8-0-1, 5), who saw his record being marked up late last year with a technical draw against Joel Taduran. At the time of writing his opponent hasn't been announced.
We get the first of two Boxingraise shows on February 19th, albeit one that will be aired on delay, as Dangan put on “Pioneer of Fight Vol 2”
The main event of the show is a very interesting match up as the heavy handed Akinori Hoshino (12-7-1, 9) takes on the once touted Shun Kosaka (13-2, 3). Aged 28 Hoshino comes into this following an excellent 7th round TKO win over Kenya Yamanashita, and although his record is patchy he has been matched hard with bouts against the likes of Gakuya Furuhashi, Tatsuya Takahashi, Ryuichi Funai and Yusuke Suzuki. Although his record isn't great Hoshino is a real threat at domestic level. As for Kosaka he'll be hunting a 5th straight and prove that he's back on his way up following losses in 2014, to Yamashita, and in 2015, to Tetsuya Hisada
In a female bout we'll see the unbeaten Yoshie Wakasa (4-0, 2) take on the once beaten Miyo Yoshida (5-1). The 28 year old Wakasa will be stepping into 6 rounders for the first time, and this bout follows a tough win last year against Thai visitor Dokmaipaa Kietpompetch. Yoshida made her debut more than 2 years ago and had a busy 2016, in which she went 4-1, and she will be looking to score her best win here. Both fighters are obviously fighting for a solid win and it wouldn't be a shock to see both women fight their heart out here.
In another supporting bout we'll see Junto Nakatani (9-0, 7) battle against Thai visitor Mingkwan Sithjirachai (0-1), who was stopped in a round on debut last year. The 19 year old Nakatani will be fighting for the first time since winning the 2016 Rookie of the Year crown at Flyweight and will be looking to make a splash in 2017.