Our attention turns to Tokyo this coming Friday as Ohashi gym put on a notable card at the Korakuen Hall, in what is being sold as a double main event card.
One of the main event bouts will see Satoshi Shimizu (6-0, 6) defending the OPBF Featherweight title against Shingo Kawamura (16-3-1, 8). The heavy handed champion will be making his third defense of the title that he won last October, when he stopped Sa Myung Noh. The Olympic bronze medal winner has looked destructive but clumsy so far though is unlikely to be made to pay for his clumsiness here. The 28 year old challenger will be having his second title shot, following a loss to Mike Tawatchai in an IBF Pan Pacific Super Bantamweight title fight. Kawamura comes into this on the back of a 6 fight winning streak, including a win over Tae Il Atsumi, but this is certainly a big step up from that level of competition.
The co-main event will see former 3 weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (26-6, 14) take on former world title challenger Hirofumi Mukai (16-5-3, 6) in an interesting must win bout for both men. Yaegashi is hunting a Super Flyweight world title and although that is a huge task for the popular warrior he does seem to believe in himself and will know that a win over Mukai will open doors. As for Mukai the bout will see him looking to continue a 3 fight stoppage run, but this is his first step up in class since a 2017 loss to Rex Tso. The loser of this will have to seriously consider their future, whilst the winner will move towards one more notable bout.
The best of the under-card bouts will see the hard hitting Tsuyoshi Tameda (17-3-2, 15) take on Japanese based Korean Tae Il Atsumi (14-2, 7) in what should be a genuinely fantastic match up. The destructive Tameda, has stopped his last 4 opponents, and is unbeaten since a 2016 loss to Reiya Abe. He'll be looking to continue that form and move towards a potential Japanese or OPBF title fight in the future. As for Atsumi this bout will see him looking to rebuild from his aforementioned loss to Kawamura, who beat him just 2 fights ago. At his best Atsumi is a talented and hard hitting fighter, who holds notable wins over Sho Nakazawa, Dennis Tubieron, Burning Ishii and Neil John Tabanao. This should be a very exciting bout for the fans in the venue, even if it's unlikely to be televised.
Interestingly former Atsumi victim Sho Nakazawa (10-2, 4) is also on this card, as he fights in a straight forward match up against Ahmad Lahizab (3-5-1, 1) of Indonesia. It's hard to see anything but a win for Nakazawa, though he hasn't actually scored a win since April 2017 and has fallen a long way short of the promise he had shown as an amateur.
On the subject of people who showed promise as an amateur the fans will also see former amateur stand out Kazuki Nakajima (4-0, 3) take on the tough but light hitting Takuya Fujioka (8-8-1, 1). The talented Nakajima is tipped for big things thought he will need to get past the under-rated Fujioka here if he's to reach the heights expected of him. It's worth noting that Fujioka is a real potential banana skin and scored a big upset win in February when he defeated Futa Akizuki.
There's more Japanese action in the US as popular tough brawler Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-4-2, 24) takes on American foe Greg Vendetti (19-2-1, 12) in California. For Kamegai this will be his first bout in almost a year, with the iron chinned warrior not having fought since his August 2017 loss to Miguel Cotto in a world title fight. Part of the long break for Kamegai was due to a shoulder injury earlier this year, but with that now healed he's looking to get back to winning ways. As for Vendetti he's looking for his 4th win of 2018, but this is a big step up for "The Villain's who has won his last 15 bouts against limited opposition.
The most significant bout, at least from an Asian perspective, this coming Saturday will see Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33) take on Japanese warrior Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-3-2, 24) in a bout for the WBO Light Middleweight title. For Cotto the bout will be a return to the ring after almost 2 years out of the ring, and he will be looking to prove there is still something left in the tank. For Kamegai the bout will be his first world title bout and could put the icing on the cake in regards to his career, which has been an incredibly fun one to following a lot of wars and exciting brawls.
Uthai Thani, Thailand
Another notable name will be in action in Thailand, on a less than exciting card.
The notable fighter is Amnat Ruenroeng (17-1, 5), with the former IBF Flyweight champion taking on the limited Petchthongchai Singmanasak (6-12, 2). This will be Amnat's first professional boxing contest since he lost the world title 15 months ago, and at the age of 37 it's hard to know what he has left, however his foe is very limited and should pose no real threat.
In another mismatch we'll see the promising Atchariya Virotesunobon (7-0, 4) take on Birdy Tor Buamas (0-6-1) in what should be a very straight forward win for Atchariya.
In China fans will see the fast rising Pui Yu Lim (4-0, 4) take on highly experienced Indonesian fighter Alexander Bajawa (41-4-4, 14) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Light Heavyweight title. Lim is a heavy handed southpaw who looks like a fighter who is on a very fast track through the ranks, and he shouldn't struggle here, but it's hard to know just how good he is. As for Bajawa he's been stopped in his last two and his record is certainly a padded one.
In Kazakhstan we have a card with a number of title bouts.
One of those title bouts will see see Firuza Sharipova (6-1, 4) take on the battle hardened Milena Koleva (9-9-1, 3) in a contest for the WIBA Lightweight title. Sharipova suffered a loss on her debut but has gone 6-0 since then, however the level of her competition has been dire. Koleva has been fighting stiff competitive through her career and her last two bouts saw her suffer decision losses to Svetlana Kulakova and Katie Taylor. This could be much more competitive than the records may suggest.
Another title bout on this card will see Russian fighter Apti Ustarkhanov (15-2-3, 5) taking on Georgian Soso Abuladze (11-6-1, 8) for the IBO Inter Continental Super Middleweight title, and in another title bout we'll see Russian Aslambek Idigov (11-0, 4) fighting for the IBO Youth Super Middleweight title.
There will also be a small card in the Philippines.
On of the major bouts here will be a 10 rounder between Jerome Clavite (8-4-2, 4) and the out of form Roque Lauro (13-22-5, 3). Coming in to this Clavite has won 3 of his last 4, and at 21 has shown some promise to make a mark on the domestic scene going forward. That 3-1 run might not be amazing but it's likely to be extend as he takes on a low on confidence Lauro, who has lost his last 6. As his best Lauro was a potential banana skin, fighting to a draw with Edward Heno and scoring wins over the likes of Ryuya Yamanaka, Ronelle Ferreras and Young Gil Bae, but he appears to have slipped significantly as a fighter in recent contests.
In another interesting looking bout on this card we'll see Alphoe Dagayloan (6-2-4-1, 2) take on the once touted Renerio Arizala (13-7-1, 5). Arizala began his career 11-0-1, but has slipped significantly since then going 2-7-1 and finds himself really struggling to get his career back on track, with a 5 fight losing streak coming in to this. Dagayloan is nothing special but coming into this both fighters will believe they can come out on top and pick up a win.
In Australia we'll see former OPBF Middleweight champion Dwight Ritchie (15-1-0-4, 2) look to record his second win since losing the title to Koki Tyson last November. He'll be widely expected to score a win here as he takes on Thai journeyman Paitoon Jaikom (7-32, 2), who has never been stopped in 39 bouts, but doesn't tend to pick up many victories as he takes the role of a fighter intent on getting his opponents some rounds.
In Azerbaijan we'll be getting a low key card, with one of the most notable fighters on it being Rauf Aghayev (21-6, 9), who is facing off with a yet to be named foe in a 4 rounder. Aghayev has won his last 4, all this year, and is keeping up his high level of activity whilst looking to go 5-0 for the year so far.
Another fighter of some note on this card is 27 year old Light Heavyweight hopeful Malik Mammadzade (11-0, 6), who will be in an 8 rounder. The unbeaten man has shown some promise, and has picked up international experience in Germany and Georgia, but is a long way from attention on the wider scene. IF he keeps racking up the wins, which he has 3 of already this year, he will however work his way towards a title fight of some kind. Sadly Mammadzade hasn't yet had his opponent for the bout announced.
August was a quiet month, there is no denying that the reason for that was the 2016 Rio Olympics. September however tries to make up for all that with September 10th being probably the most stacked day of the year, with major bouts all over the globe.
London, United Kingdom
Two of the most notable bouts take place in the UK where we see two Asian champions defending their world titles in London.
One of those Asian's is Kazakhstan's unbeaten Middleweight destroyer Gennady Golovkin (35-0, 32), who defends his WBC, IBF, and IBO titles against IBF Welterweight champion Kell Brook (36-0, 25). The Kazakh, who also holds the WBA title which won't be on the line, is widely favoured to retain his titles here but some view the bout as potentially the toughest test of his career. A win for Golovkin will likely open the doors for other UK bouts whilst an upset for Brook would likely help make him a star over-night.
The other Asian champion defending his title in the UK is IBF Flyweight champion John Riel Casimero (22-3, 14), who looks to secure his first defense as he takes on English novice Charlie Edwards (8-0, 3). This will be Casimero's first defense of the title that he won in China earlier this year, stopping Amnat Ruenroeng, and will also be his European debut. Although fighting in Europe for the first time Casimero is very well travelled and won't be intimidated by the British fans who will certainly be behind Edwards here.
Whilst the bouts in the UK are high profile bouts there is also a big show in California, headlined by a WBC Super Flyweight title bout between two Teiken promoted fighters, Carlos Cuadras and Roman Gonzalez. In a supporting roll fans will get the chance to see a potential FOTY contender as Yoshihiro Kamegai (26-3-2, 23) battles against Jesus Soto Karass (28-10-4, 18). These two met in an all out war earlier this year but we're expecting this rematch to be even better than their first fight.
We also get notable title action in Japan where we see a domestic title bout, featuring a world ranked champion, and we also see an under-card bout featuring a former world champion.
That title bout will see Japanese Super Featherweight champion Kenichi Ogawa (18-1, 15) defending his title, for the second time, against Kento Matsushita (34-9-7, 13) in what looks likely to be the challenger's final bout, if he loses. Ogawa has impressed us in the past but looked rather poor last time out and will likely look to make a statement here however the challenger is a veteran and will hope to use his experience to claim a national title at long last.
The former world champion on this card is Toshiyuki Igarashi (22-2-2, 11) who will be facing off against a limited Thai. The hope for Igarashi is to get a world title fight in the near future but the reality is that he's done little to deserve one in recent years and he's looked relatively poor in recent bouts. Despite that he should still beat the Thai that he's facing.
Arguably the best match bout on this card will see Yuki Nagano (8-2, 6) battle Dai Taoka (8-2, 5) in a real 50-50 type bout. Nagano is top 10 Japanese ranked but this is a real test and the winner will almost certainly find themselves in the mix for a Japanese Welterweight title fight in 2017.
One other bout of note on this card will see Japan's Shohei Kikuzato (11-2, 5) battle against Filipino ranked Renan Portes (8-3, 4) in what should be a very competitive 8 rounder between two men who each looking for a break out win.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
We also get some notable action in the Philippines with two different shows, the most notable of which is in Cotabato del Sur.
The match up here sees once beaten puncher Romero Duno (10-1, 9) face off against Maxsaisai Sithsaithong (16-8, 5) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Featherweight title. Duno is a big puncher with a lot of promise and we expect him to see him stop the Thai, who has gone 2-4 in his last 6 including a stoppage loss to Hisashi Amagasa in an OPBF title fight.
The other notable bout here will see the unbeaten Reymart Gaballo (14-0, 12) battle with Yodpichai Sithsaithong (12-13, 6) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Bantamweight title. We can't see this as anything but a mismatch but hopefully it will open doors for Gaballo to face stiffer competition in coming bouts, he really is far too good for this level of opposition.
Tarlac City, Tarlac, Philippines
A second Filipino card is set to take place in Tarlac but sadly this is a very poor card. The two main bouts will see Jeffrey Garcia (2-5-3, 2) battle against Menard Zaragosa (6-23-1, 4) and Ryan Bongcawil (7-11-5, 3) face off against Jeson Berwela (4-22, 2) in 8 rounders. Hardly worth getting exciting about on quiet days, never mind a day like this!
We also get action in China where it looks like things are starting to take off on a pretty regular basis now. Interestingly this particular card appears to be a major move by the WBA to make their mark on the Chinese mainland.
The main event of this card will see Xing Xin Yang (11-4-2, 8) battle against Qiang Luo (6-1, 4) in a bout for the WBA China Light Middleweight title. The bout is a well matched one and should provide some decent action, but we suspect it won't go the distance with the two men both being solid punchers.
Another title bout on this card will see the unbeaten Bai Shan Bo (8-0-1, 4) trade blows with He Zhang (2-3, 1) in a bout for the WBA China Light Welterweight title. It's fair to say that Bo should win this and should move into bigger and better fights in the near future.
Another notable bout on this card will see A Fu Bai (7-0, 4) battle against Kazakh novice Viktor Kotochigov (1-0,1) in a 6 rounder. This could be the best bout on the card despite the novice status of the 23 year old Kotochigov.
Staying with all-unbeaten fighters Russian fans will get the chance to see Uzbek fighter Kobiljon Bobojonov (2-0, 1) battle against Sergey Sharapov (5-0, 2) in a 6 rounder.
The best bout of the night for us comes from the US where, potentially, we have a FOTY candidate.
The bout in will see warriors colliding as Japan's popular Yoshihiro Kamegai (26-3-1, 23) battles against Mexico's Jesus Soto Karass (28-10-3, 18). On paper this is a bout between two men who are below world class, but the paper doesn't quite explain the styles of the men involve,d with both being aggressive, exciting and limited enough to always get involved in a fire fight. With both men having fighter's mentalities this could be something very special.
New York, USA
Staying in the US we're expecting to see unbeaten Kazakh Dimash Niyazov (9-0-3, 4) in action, though his opponent hasn't yet been named.
Fans in Australia will get to see one of the most promising Filipino fighters in action as Randy Petalcorin (23-1-1, 18), the former WBA interim Light Flyweight champion, battles against Australian based Tanzanian Omari Kimweri (15-3, 6) in a bout for a WBC “Silver” title.
Petalcorin has had a truly frustrating career with in recent years with just a handful of bouts since the start of 2013, including a technical draw with Rene Patilano. He was unable to turn his WBA “interim” title into a proper world title fight and has sadly been left looking at the world title picture without being able to get himself involved. As for Kimweri he came close to getting a world title fight in 2013, but unfortunately “visa issues” prevented Kimweri from facing the then WBC Minimumweight champion Xiong zhao Zhong. Given the frustrations of both men this could be a very good bout with both out to prove a point, however given the inactivity it could be a very disjointed display form both.
In Japan fans will get a Rookie of the East qualifying card with 10 bouts from Minimumweight to Light Welterweight.
Whilst no one on this card is a “recognised” name we did smile at the name of Super Bantamweight hopeful Zappa Tokyo (3-0, 1), a Japanese based Dominican. Tokyo will be putting his unbeaten record on the like against the big punching Takayoshi Miyachi (3-1, 3)
The best Asian card of the day comes from Japanese promotional giant Teiken who show case some of their notable fighters and also put on an interesting under-card of well matched bouts.
In the main event former world champion Akifumi Shimoda (29-4-2, 12) takes on an interesting in the form of Filipino foe Jerry Nardo (21-7, 11). On paper it's clear that Shimoda should be favoured however Nardo is much better than his record suggests and it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see the supposedly chinny Shimoda in some worrying moments
In the co-feature Welterweight puncher Yoshihiro Kamegai (25-3-1, 22) takes on Filipino fighter Nelson Gulpe (8-5, 3). We can't see this being anything more than an easy win for Kamegai, who should be too strong, too powerful and too tough for the limited Gulpe. The Filipino, who has been in poor form here, may feel he's getting a diminished Kamegai but the Japanese fighter is unbeaten in Japan and is likely to swat aside almost everyone at Oriental level, never mind Gulpe who is some way away from Oriental class.
Arguably the best of 3 well matched under-card bouts will see Japanese ranked Musashi Suzuki (11-3, 4) battle against 2014 Rookie of the Year Kenya Yamashita (7-1, 4). This is Yamanashita's first bout since he was beaten by Jo Tanooka and we expect to see him try and make a statement against Suzuki, however the more experienced man cannot be written off here.
Another of the under-card bouts that caught our eye will see once beaten Teiken fighter Masaru Sueyoshi (9-1, 6) take on the “better than his record suggests” Roman Canto (10-7-2, 5). On paper it's easy to write off Canto though this should genuinely be a very good measure of how good Masaru is and we may well see him kick on if he can look impressive here.
The remaining under-card bout that caught our eye will see Junki Sasaki (13-3, 5) battle against Yuki Ozawa (10-4, 2). This is an excellently matched bout and although Ozawa has lost his last 4 he should ask very god questions of Sasaki. Notably Sasaki did run Ryo Takenaka very close last time out and seems like he has got a lot of promise, though hasn't yet
In Thailand fans will get the chance to see highly regarded Paipharob Kokietgym (30-0, 23) defending his WBO Oriental Light Flyweight title against Filipino journeyman Jopher Marayan (7-7-2, 3). This is one of the worst bouts we've seen headline a Thai card, especially given that Marayan has lost 5 of his last 6 bouts coming in to this one.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia fans will get the chance to see a number of Thais in action.
Many of the bouts here are low profile but three actually did, genuinely, catch our eye. In one of them former world champion Denkaosan Kaovichit (63-5-1, 26) battles the unbeaten TJ Doheny (12-0, 8) in a bout for the PABA Super Bantamweight “super” title. This will be Denkaosan's first bout since he was stopped last year by Ryo Matsumoto. The Thai will be the under-dog here but has got the experienced to perhaps make life difficult for the champion, then again at 39 Denkaosan might be too shot to put up any kind of a fight at all.
Another bout of note sees Mongkolchai Lookmuangkanch (12-4, 7) take on former world champion Vic Darchinyan (40-8-1, 29). This should be a horrible mismatch against the Thai but, at 39, Darchinyan is a bit long in the tooth and could find himself being a bout that turns out to be much more competitive than expected.
The third bout of note will see the experienced, but limited Denkamon Pakdee Gym (22-6, 13) take on the unbeaten, and much touted, Cameron Hammond (13-0, 7). This is a very tough ask for the Thai who has lost his last 2 and is unlikely to pose any threat at all to Hammond, who some are tipping as a potential Australian world champion.
In the US fans get a mouth watering b-tier match up as popular Filipino Mercito Gesta (28-1-2, 16) takes on former world title challenger Martin Honorio (32-9-1, 16). On paper Gesta will be the clear favourite but Mexican veteran Honorio is certainly no push over, despite losing his last 3. At his best Honorio was a real handful, giving Juan Carlos Salgado a close loss back in 2014, pushing Argenis Mendez razor close in 2010 and scoring upsets over the likes of John Molina and Steve Luevano. Despite Honorio's ability to play the upsetter it's difficult to see him winning this one.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
The most significant bout of the day takes place in the US where the popular and exciting Yoshihiro Kamegai (25-2-1, 22) battles against former world title challenger Alfonso Gomez (24-6-2, 12). For Kamegai this will be his 6th bout in the US, and his first since signing for Golden Boy Promotions. Currently Kamegai has a record of 2-2-1 (2) when he has travelled Stateside with the last win there coming last December against Oscar Godoy. The 34 year old Gomez is himself best known for coming up short against Saul Alvarez and Miguel Cotto and we suspect that this is a make or break fight for the popular Mexican, who famously took part in the first season of “The Contender”. In the ring these two should make for a great fight with both men having styles that should gel for a very memorable action fight.
In Australia fans will have the chance to see the world ranked Czar Amonsot (27-3-3, 17) facing off against Thai veteran Decha Kokietgym (34-11-3, 18) in what looks to be a huge mismatch in favour of the Australian based Filipino fighter
Thai fans get two shows, the most notable of which comes from Bangkok where fans get the chance to see unbeaten fringe contender and a former world champion.
The fringe contender is the limited but always entertaining Kongfah Nakornluang (19-0, 11) who will be defending the WBC Youth Silver Super Flyweight for the first time. Kongfah, who won the title in January with a 3rd round TKO against Rendi Stone, will be defending his belt against the unbeaten Ricky Morales (4-0-1), who is apparently unbeaten but his record appears incomplete.
As for the former champion, that is Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (32-4-1, 29) who stays busy with a bout against Indonesian journeyman Samuel Tehuayo (18-34-2, 3), who has amazingly gone 18 fights with out a stoppage loss. The tough Tehuayo is likely to be stopped here but that says more about the destructive power of Srisaket than anything else.
A relatively interesting looking lower tier bout will see Denchai Por Korkua (1-2) battle against the win-less Petch-ek Sithsaithong (0-1). We won't pretend this is a special contest but it could be entertaining all the same.
For those wanting to watch this card it will be televised on Channel 7.
This other Thai show will be on Channel 11 and features a long term unbeaten fighter who has yet to full convince us of his ability.
The aforementioned unbeaten but untested fighter is Kaewfah Tor Buamas (17-0, 11) who battles Indonesia's Boido Simanjuntak (18-27-1, 7) in a bout for the vacant WBA Asia Lightweight title. This should be a straight forward win for Kaewfah however it is a huge step up in class for the Thai who really has got a paper record, to be polite.
In a second bout on this show fans will see the unbeaten Pharanpetch tor Buamas (14-0, 10) in a non-title bout, unfortunately however we've not yet got the name of his opponent.
In Japan fans get a small show with little to really get excited about.
The main event here sees Japanese ranked fighter Tsukasa Saito (19-3, 14), a former Japanese Lightweight title challenger and former WBC Youth champion, battle against regular visitor Fasanghan Or Benjamad (0-7). Fasanghan has lost all 7 recorded bouts by stoppage with 6 losses coming in Japan and we suspect this will be #7 in the country.
In the chief support bout fans will see the once beaten Haruka Itakura (4-1, 1) battle against the limited Katsunori Imai (5-6-1). Itakura was a participant in last year's Rookie of the Year and came up short against the talented Reiya Abe, in what was his most recent contest. Imai however comes into this bout in appalling form having won just 1 of his last 7 bouts. That bad form of Imai's dates back to 2008!
(Image courtesy of http://www.goldenboypromotions.com)
The biggest names in action this Saturday are in the US though the day is, to be fair, one packed with fights all over the globe with numerous top names and some very promising bouts.
The most notable bout of the day for Asian fight fans is likely to be in Nevada where former Russian amateur standout Matt Korobov (24-0, 14) fights against popular Irish fighter Andy Lee (33-2, 23) in a contest for the WBO Middleweight title. The belt was given up by former champion Peter Quillin, who elected not to face Korobov in a mandatory title fight, and as a result we've got this compelling bout which is sure to send the winner into big fights whilst the loser could find themselves struggling to remain relevant in 2015.
On the same card former world title challenger Denis Shafikov (34-1-1, 19) will be fighting in a stay busy fight against the heavy handed Miguel Angel Mendoza (21-4-2, 21). On paper this looks like a great contest, in reality however Mendoza is unlikely to give Shafikov many problems and has gone 3-4-1 in his last 8 bouts, suggesting his power doesn't carry up when he steps up in class.
On a separate Nevada show we will see two more fighters of major interest in action, albeit on an untelevised portion of a card.
One of those men is former WBA Light Heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov (14-2, 9) who will be making his Cruiserweight debut as he battles against Bobby Thomas Jr (14-2-1, 9). For Shumenov this will be his first bout following the loss of his world title to Bernard Hopkins earlier this year. We're hoping to see a better version of Shumenov here than we did last time out however he has often failed to impress due to a lack of technical ability and this could be shown up markedly at the higher weight.
The other man is the always fun to watch Yoshihiro Kamegai (24-2-1, 21) who will be up against Oscar Godoy (13-3, 6) in what appears to be a straight forward win for the popular Japanese brawler. For Kamegai this will be his 5th bout in the US and we suspect that is he wins he will be back on American TV next year courtesy of his fan friendly style which would be very fun to watch against someone like Keith Thurman.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
In South Africa we see a rematch of one of the biggest shocks of the year as Rey Loreto (19-13, 11) battles against former IBF Minimumweight champion Nkosinathi Joyi (24-3-0-1, 17). Earlier this year Loreto shocked the boxing world by knocking out Joyi in Monaco and will be hoping to repeat the feat here as he looks for the first defense of his IBO Light Flyweight title. This one could end up being the fight of the night though we suspect a focused Joyi will fight carefully and take a cautious decision over the dangerous and under-rated Filipino puncher.
In Japan fans get a very disappointing show headlined by OPBF and Japanese ranked Super Featherweight contender Satoru Sugita (8-2-1, 5) who will be fighting Akira Shono (7-6-2, 4). Sugita is looking to build on his upset win over Ryota Kajiki in April and really should win here against a man who has won just 2 of his last 7 bouts.
The rest of this card is very weak we're afraid though it is a long under-card with 9 other bouts.
Mindoro Occidental, Philippines
In the Mindoro Occidental fans get a low level yet interesting card with a few notable contests.
For us the stand out bout is an 8 rounder between the unbeaten Jeffrey Galero (11-0, 5) and the once beaten Charles Canedo (7-1, 4). Galero is touted prospect who recently defeated Donny Mabao in what was his best victory to date and although Canedo was stopped last time out this does look like a good test for Canedo against a man who we suspect will be fighting for redemption.
Although we're excited about the Galero/Canedo fight it's not the main event, in fact it's not one of the 3 bouts scheduled for 10 rounds. Those include an an interesting contest between the heavy handed Jeson Umbal (7-2, 6) and the more experienced Jecker Buhawe (15-10-1, 10). This should be a good bout on the Filipino domestic scene even if those outside of the Philippines aren't likely to take much of an interest.
As well as the two bouts we've gone into some small details on this card is set to feature a further 5 contests.
Metro Manila, Philippines
On a second show in Philippines we appear to be in for a bit more action with 2 domestic title bouts.
One of those bouts comes at Light Flyweight where GAB champion Benezer Alolod (15-5-5, 5) battles against Renren Tesorio (13-5-3, 4). Alolod has been in fine form recently with 3 wins and a draw since he was stopped by Nkosinathi Joy. Of those wins all 3 have come by stoppage, including a 5th round victory over Jomar Fajardo, who recently gave Francisco Rodriguez Jr hell, and a 3rd round victory over Jerson Mancio, who is best known for losing to Naoya Inoue in an OPBF title bout. As for Tesorio it's fair to say he needs a win and is 2-4-1 in his last 7.
The other title bout sees GAB Welterweight champion Dan Nazareno Jr (20-12, 16) defending his belt against the limited Dennis Padua (9-9-2, 4). Nazareno is a heavy handed and solid fighter when he's on song but is one of those inconsistent types who can blow very cold We think even the worse Nazareno should be able over come Padua who has lost his last 7 straight and gone 1-8-1 in his last 10.
In Australia fans will see the experienced Chaiyong Sithsaithong (35-12-4, 25) in action though his opponent is currently unknown.
As we all know not all the big fights involving Asian fighters are in Asia and this weekend sees various Asian fighters fighting around the globe in some of the most significant fights of the weekend.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
The only world title fight involving an Asian fighter this weekend sees Thai veteran Pigmy Kokietgym (52-6-2, 22) taking on South Africa's Hekkie Budler (25-1, 8) in a battle for the WBA Minimumweight title. This is a huge ask for Pigmy and although the Thai has lost just once in the last decade he's really stepping up big time. Budler is widely regarded as one of the top 2 fighters in the division and will likely be too talented, too fast and too busy for the Thai who is being given next to no chance to score the upset.
Pigmy isn't the only Asian with a big task on his hands this weekend and in the US Japan's hard hitting Yoshihiro Kamegai (24-1-1, 21) will be facing multi-weight world champion Robert Guerrero (31-2-1-2, 18). This is a major bout for Kamegai who lost last time he was in the States to Johan Perez. We do love watching Kamegai who hits hard, takes a shot well and is exciting to watch but we know he's been brought in to lose to Guerrero who will be wanting to score an impressive victory after spending more than a year on the sidelines.
A bit closer to home is an ALA show in Cebu City.
This show is headlined by the Pagara brothers but features 4 very interesting bouts. The oldest of the Pagara brothers, Jason Pagara (33-2, 20) will be defending his WBO International Light Welterweight title against Mexican puncher Mario Meraz (20-3, 16). We've got to favour Pagara here as Meraz has yet to score a win of note.
Jason's younger brother Albert Pagara (20-0, 14) will be hoping to extend his winning run and claim the vacant IBF Inter-Continental Super Bantamweight title in his bout on the show. "Prince" Albert will, like his brother, be battling against a Mexican Hugo Partida (21-4-2, 16). Partida is best known for his 9th round TKO loss to Akifumi Shimoda and we'd not be surprised if Pagara managed to stop him as well, probably quicker than Shimoda did back in 2012.
Although the Pagara brothers are the head-liners we're incredibly excited about both of the support bouts. One of these will see hard hitting Filipino AJ Banal (30-2-1, 21) taking on the highly touted Indonesian banger Defry Palulu (10-0, 9) in what will be Palulu's first major test. We've been told that Palulu is the best thing in Indonesian boxing since Chris John and we're hoping that he is as the country really needs another emerging fighter. For Banal however this is a must win bout. With both men having a lot to earn from a win and a lot to lose from a loss we're expecting this to be a great contest.
The other support bout will see the experienced Jimrex Jaca (39-7-3, 22) taking on recent Japanese title contender Masayoshi Kotake (9-8-1, 5) in a very promising Light Welterweight contest. The records of the two men are huge different but Kotake's record really is misleading. Interestingly one of Kotake's losses was a close decision to Shinya Iwabuchi who, earlier this year, stopped Jaca in 7. We've got to favour Jaca but this has the potential to be a genuinely thrilling contest between two men who each need a win.
In Austria we see two female bouts involving Thai fighters who will be hoping to pick up some lesser titles. The most interesting of the two bouts will see the once beaten Nonggift Onesongchaigym (6-1-1, 1) battle against Eva Voraberger (17-3, 9) for the vacant WIBF and WBF female Super Flyweight titles. The 18 year old Nonggift enters this bout on a 7 fight unbeaten run though she is taking a huge step up to fight Austria's very own Voraberger who has been very highly praised by various sources. This is a tough ask for the Thai teen but as we know anything can happen in boxing.
The other bout, which is for the WIBF, WBF and GBU Minimumweight titles will see Nonggift's stable-mate Buangern Onesongchaigym (10-6-1, 1) taking on the unbeaten Oezlem Sahin (17-0-1, 5) in what appears to be a bit of a mismatch. Although she's 37 Sahin is a young and fresh 37 having avoided many hard bouts. Sadly for the 21 year old Thai fighter she's not managed to avoid punishment and she's been stopped in 3 of her last 5 bouts, including a stoppage loss at the hands of the light punching Ayaka Miyao earlier this year.
Staying on the theme female fights we also get female action in Switzerland as the Japanese born Swiss based Aniya Seki (24-2-2, 2) takes on tough Mexican Judith Rodriguez (6-7, 4) in a battle for the WBC Silver female Super Flyweight title. Seki, who has fought her career entirely in Switzerland, will probably be aware that Rodriguez gave Shindo Go a tough fight last December and that she will have to be at the top of her game to beat the very under-rated Mexican fighter.
In the UK fans will get to see the Pakistan born British based Faheem Khan (5-4-2) take on the debuting Jamie Ingleby (0-0). Although Khan has the clear edge in experience he has been stopped in each of his 4 losses and we'd not be that shocked to see him stopped again here.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
April 5th-Kamegai seeks first defense of OPBF title whilst Kiyota and Ebisu look for international victims
It's not often that a Saturday in the boxing world serves as a warm up to an excellent looking Sunday but that's exactly what happens this week with a Saturday that is "decent" but massively over-shadowed by what is come just a day later.
The major Japanese show on Saturday is the Teiken promoted 524th Dynamic Glove show. In total this show, at the Korakuen Hall, will feature 9 bouts with 4 of them currently listed on boxrec.
The most notable bout on the card will see the fun to watch Yoshihiro Kamegai (23-1-1, 20) defending his OPBF Welterweight title for the first time. The heavy handed Kamegai will be head to head with Korean champion Jung-Hoon Yang (8-5, 2) who will be trying to capture an OPBF belt at the second time of asking. Unfortunately for Yang we can't imagine him standing up to the power of Kamegai for long and this could be over relatively early.
Kamegai isn't the only big puncher on this card as we also see former Japanese Middleweight champion Tomohiro Ebisu (11-3, 11) in action. Ebisu, who won and lost the Middleweight title last year, is a monster puncher though hasn't the greatest of chins and has interestingly just 46 professional rounds. It's hard to see him being extend far by the light hitting Satria Antasena (6-6, 2) who has already been stopped in 5 of his 6 losses. Interestingly Antasena enters as the #1 Indonesian Super Middleweight though has fought, in Japan, as a Heavyweight before, losing to Rio Hidaka in that particular contest.
In a third notable bout on this show fan will get to see Japanese ranked fighter Yota Hori (10-2-2, 6) taking on Kenta Okumura (11-1-1, 2) in a bout we think could be very competitive. Okumura has struggled in recent bouts but is a very decent fighter whose only loss came back in 2010 to Atsushi Kakutani, who of course put WBC Light Flyweight world champion Adrian Hernandez on to the seat of his pants last year.
Whilst the Tokyo show is the biggest Asian show of the day it is one of two Japanese hows with the other taking place in Camp Zama. This show, with just 6 bouts in total, is headlined by former world title challenger Yuzo Kiyota (24-4-1, 22) who will be fighting against Mexican foe Victor Manuel Palacios (10-5-1, 7) in should be an easy assignment for the charismatic Kiyota. Although the Japanese fighter didn't perform up to scratch in his world title bout he has gone on to reclaim the OPBF title and should show off his power once again here.
On the same card there is also a battle between Yuta Nagai (27-9-4, 18) and Kyung-Jin Son (6-10-1, 4). Although neither is a big name both have fought for national titles. Nagai came up short against Masaaki Serie in a Japanese Bantamweight title fight back in 2010 whilst Son fell short in 3 attempts to claim the Korean Super Flyweight title. Unfortunately Son hasn't won a fight since 2007, the year he fought a then unbeaten Adrian Hernandez.
Of course we've managed to make two mentions of Adrian Hernandez here and as you're probably all aware the Mexican will fight Japanese wonder kid Naoya Inoue on Sunday, the highlight of the boxing weekend.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)