For a second day running Japanese fans get OPBF title action at “The Hall”, sadly however today's action is a less than inspiring match up on a card that really fails to get any blood pumping.
The main event is the aforementioned OPBF title bout as Super Middleweight champion Yuzo Kiyota (27-4-1, 25) defends his title against the horribly over-matched Kajornsak Sithsaithong (7-5, 7) of Thailand. On paper this really shouldn't count as a defense of Kiyota's title but unfortunately there appears to have been no attempt by the OPBF to force Kiyota to face a better foe. Coming in Sithsaithong has been stopped 3 times already and we'd be shocked to see him survive the distance here.
The chief support bout here will see OPBF ranked Super Featherweight puncher Yoshitomo Watanabe (7-1, 5) battle against win-less Thai Fasanghan Or Benjamad (0-9) in what appears to be a genuinely pointless match up. Watanabe, who does have some genuine promise, shouldn't have any problems here against a man who has been stopped in all 9 of his previous bouts
Arguably the pick of the bouts is at Welterweight where Satoshi Nakayama (7-8-1, 3) battles against Yudai Ueno (7-7-3, 6). This is well matched with both fighters having similar records and very similar recent form, with a 1-4-1 record in their last 4 bouts, incidentally they come into this bout following a split draw with each other in December. This really should be the most competitive fight of the day.
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The great Japanese action this month continues on a Wednesday which is highlighted by a potentially sensational Japanese Flyweight title fight. We won't pretend this card is a strong one but the main event looks great and one of the support bouts has the potential to be be very interesting whilst another support bout features a man eyeing up a domestic title fight later in the year..
The aforementioned Flyweight title bout will see defending champion Suguru Muranaka (21-2-1, 7) attempt to record the 3rd defence of the belt as he takes on former challenger Tetsuma Hayashi (25-2-2, 9) in a bout that we suspect will see a lot of leather being thrown. Muranaka, who is world ranked by all 4 bodies, has looked really good in recent bouts stopping both Masayuki Kuroda in a gruelling battle before knocking Yusuke Sakashita in spectacular fashion. Although Muranaka is in great form Hayashi should make for a very tough stylistic match up and exciting bout. We really wouldn't be surprised if this ended up being a Japanese FOTY contender.
An interesting support bout at Featherweight will see Yoshitomo Watanabe (6-1, 5), an OPBF ranked contender, battle against Kosuke Mizuno (7-4-2, 2) in what we suspect could be a very good test for for the once beaten Watanabe. Coming into this bout both men are unbeaten in 3 and both know a win moves them close to a title fight.
Another ranked fighter on this card is Cobra Suwa (14-11-2, 7), who is ranked by the JBC. Suwa, a Welterweight contender, will be battling against Thailand's limited Chatchai Sithsaithong (8-4, 6). We can't see anything but a Suwa win here, though it certainly wouldn't be enough for him to get a third title fight, so hopefully a quick win will be followed by a swift return to action later in the year.
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Some days are busy, this coming Sunday is one such day with a host of bouts through out Asia, even if they aren't the biggest fights of the year.
The most interesting of the numerous Asian shows today will come from the Philippines where we see one of the sport's most exciting little men in action.
The aforementioned little man is Filipino slugger Denver Cuello (34-5-6, 22) who will be fighting against experienced Indonesian journeyman Samuel Tehuayo (18-27-2, 3) in a 10 round bout. This will be Cuello's second bout in quick succession this year having lost more than a year of his career to inactivity following a nasty arm injury that he suffered in a WBC world title fight in 2013 against Xiong Zhao Zhong. As for Tehuayo, AKA Sammy Hagler, this will be his second fight this month following a loss to Pigmy Kokietgym back on November 14th.
The co-feature bout on this show is also a notable one as former WBC Flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro (37-13-5, 27) battles against Arjet Caballes (6-31-5, 3) in another complete and utter mismatch.
An interesting under-card bout here will see the unbeaten Kyota Otsuka (4-0, 2) fighting against the much more experienced Ricky Oyan (4-22-2, 2). On paper this is a a good step up for Otsuka but it's a step up he should manage with out too many problems.
In Ishikawa, on one of the three Japanese shows, we see a number of bouts featuring international fighters.
The main event will feature promising Filipino Daryl Basadre (13-1-1, 9) fighting against unbeaten Thai Yodsingdaeng Jor Chaijinda (6-0, 4) in what looks to be a genuinely interesting contest for the WBC Youth Bantamweight. Basadre is unbeaten since being stopped by Suriyan Sor Rungvisai back in September 2013 and has since ran up 4 wins, 3 by stoppage, as he's redeveloped his confidence. Yodsingdaeng is a bit of a mystery Thai though hopefully will prove to be better than some other Thai's we've seen fighting on the road recently.
The show will also feature two other bouts between a Filipinos and Thais. One will see Mark Gil Melligen (20-4-1, 11) battling against a Thai opponent, though sadly one we haven't the name of. The other will see the very exciting and promising Neil John Tabanao (9-0, 6) fighting against the win-less Tienchai Sor Kanitsorn (0-3). We suspect we'll see the Filipino's going 3-0 here.
The 5 other bouts on this card will see Japanese fighters fighting against Chinese fighters. The most notable of these bouts is a 6 rounder between Yukiya Hanabusa (6-2-2, 1) battle against Chinese novice Xu Yuan Cai (0-1).
Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines
A second Filipino card is going to be held in Zamboanga and will be headlined by a bout between the unbeaten and promising Dexter Alimento (6-0, 4) and the limited but experienced Jherom Tuyor (6-19-2, 3) in what we suspect will be a relatively straight forward win for the unbeaten man.
A second Japanese show comes from Tochigi and is only a small one featuring a total of 7 bouts, though only 2 are worth noting.
The main event here is a 10 round featuring OPBF ranked Super Featherweight contender Yoshitomo Watanabe (5-1, 4). The 22 year old Japanese fighter will be fighting against a Thai opponent though unfortunately we don't have any information about the Thai in this bout.
In the chief support bout fans will get an 8 rounder between Yuki Furuya (6-6, 2) and Masahide Shinabe (6-11-2, 3). This isn't a great bout on paper but it should give the fans something to enjoy before the main event.
In Kagoshima we get the weakest of the three Japanese cards. The show will also feature 7 bouts and it's most notable bouts are both relatively poor.
One of the co-features will see Naoya Haruguchi (5-5, 2) fighting against Takeshi Nakayama (3-6-2, 1) whilst the other will see Tomohiro Nagakari (6-2, 1) battling against Takuya Taniguchi (4-5-1, 1). Both of these bouts are 6 rounders and sadly it does leave us feeling under-whelmed with nothing on the show being particularly interesting.
In China there is a small show as well, with yet more Chinese fighters in action. That card, from Wuhan, appears to have a number of novices in action with no real stand out bout.
One of those novices is Wang Kun (1-1, 1) who will be battling against limited Georgian Giorgi Gochishvili (3-4-2, 1) in an interesting 8 rounder. Kun fought both of his bouts in 2012 and will be returning to the ring after a notable break. Gochishvili started his career 3-0 though has failed to record a win in his last 6 bouts and suspect that run will be continue here.
The other bout will see A Mu (0-0) making his debut. The debuting Chinese fighter will be in action against Georgian visitor Renat Samedovi (10-11-1, 3). We suspect that Mu will be given a good test here and this isn't a gimme as we would usually see from a debutant.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
We get two more Asian fighters in action in South Africa as we get a pair of IBO title fights, strange the Asian's on this show have actually fought each other in the past.
One of the fighters is is the heavy handed Filipino hopeful Marbon Bodiongan (11-1-2, 9) who will be fighting against Xolani Mcotheli (10-1, 8) in a bout for the IBO Super Featherweight title. This is a great bout on paper and one we're excited by given that both guys are talented and both guys appear to have real power.
The other Asian on this show is another Filipino, the talented and very promising Michael Dasmarinas (18-1, 11) challenging for the IBO Super Flyweight title against Lwandile Sityatha (17-3-1, 7). Dasmarinas was actually stopped by Bodiongan back in April 2012 though has since ran off 15 straight wins, including an impressive one on the road against Hayato Kimura in Japan. Sityatha comes into this bout following a very narrow win over Edrin Dapudong and we suspect Dasmarinas has been given a heads up about how the South African fighters ahead of this coming contest.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)