Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Friday action returns to Korakuen Hall for a small, but notable card show casing two talented unbeaten prospects, along with two other bouts of note.
The main event will feature one of the unbeaten hopefuls, as Yuri Kanaya (2-0) takes on Takumi Chono (7-1, 5) in a very tough looking 8 rounder. The 25 year old Kanaya debuted last October and has already broken into the JBC rankings, but this is a very notable step up in class and a win against Chono, who's only loss came in the All Japan Rookie of the Year final in 2019 to Katsuki Mori, would be a big statement of intent. Kanaya has looked quick, sharp and skilled, though perhaps needs to show some more power before being moved towards a Japanese title fight. As for Chono he's a talented fighter with good counters and solid pop, which could well get Kanaya's respect.
The other unbeaten hopeful on this show is Yuya Oku (2-0-1, 1), who debuted last July with a 50 second win over Naoto Moriya, but hasn't looked a puncher since. In the opposite corner to Oku is a puncher, as he clashes with the hard hitting Kazunori Hirano (4-1-1, 4), who stopped his first 4 opponents in a combined 10 rounds. Sadly for Hirano his power hasn't carried up and he has gone 0-1-1 in his last 2 bouts, kissing off some of the fear his power may have had. Regardless we do expect Hirano to throw bombs here, and Oku will have to pass something of a chin check if he's to pick up his third victory.
In regards to other fighters on the card, the most well known is probably Ryusei Ishii (8-7-1, 5), who is in desperate need of a win. The once touted Ishii, is 1-4-1 in his last 6 bouts, and has understandably been matched softly here as he takes on Naoya Nishimura (4-10-1, 3) in a scheduled 6 rounder. The 26 year old Ishii was once ranked by the JBC but his career has really fallen apart in recent years. As for Nishimura, the 36 year old will go into this knowing it will be his final bout, due to the retirement age in Japan, and will be looking to retire on a victory making him something of a potential banana skin for his younger foe.
Interestingly the most fun bout of the show could be at Welterweight as the always fin to watch Yuta Ashina (6-3) takes on Masaki Kobayashi (6-2, 3). Coming in to this Ashina should be the slight favourite, and should feel comfortable building on a win in March against Takumi Imasato. He does however lack power, and is very much a battler who has to fight hard for results. Kobayashi on the other hand does have some bang, with half of his wins coming inside the distance, but also has something of a questionable chin, having been stopped in both of his losses. This could well be a very, very interesting and exciting bout, even if it is buried deep down the card.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
On Friday we don't get much action, but there some interesting bouts taking place, several of which are in Japan on a show at Korakuen Hall.
On paper the most interesting match up is a 6 rounder between Yuri Kanaya (1-0) and Masatora Okada (6-3-1, 2), with Kanaya looking to continue what we suspect will be a rapid rise through the ranks. Kanaya made his debut last year, with a very solid debut win over Sora Takeda, and should be favoured here, but will certainly have to work hard for the win. Okada is a very solid opponent at this lower domestic level, and come into the bout with two wins following a very competitive loss in 2018. He'll be game, but we do expect the class of Kanaya to be too much.
Another promising fighter seeking their second professional win on this show is Yuya Oku (1-0-1, 1), who is taking on Daiki Imanari (6-3, 3) in a good looking bout. It's hard to say how good Oku is, especially given his draw last time out against Yuya Azuma, but the 25 year old has got some potential and we suspect that draw will help him improve and develop. Imanari on the other hand has won just one of his last 3 bouts, but may well be looking at this as a chance to build on his 2021 win over Shogo Sakai. Not a stellar bout, by any stretch, but one that should be very competitive.
Rather notably the main event of this card is an 8 rounder, that really doesn't capture the attention. The main event will see Kenta Taguchi (6-9-1, 1) battle Kazunori Yorimasa (5-7-4, 2), and although not a great match up, it is one that should be action packed, hotly contested and expected to go the distance, with neither man being much of a puncher. Aged 35 Taguchi can ill afford another loss, and notable he had won his last 3, whilst Yorimasa is 29, and is 1-1-1 in his last 3, and will be looking to build some momentum for his career here. We suspect it will be fan friendly, but not the most dramatic or explosive of bouts.
Manual Artime Community Center Theater, Miami, Florida, USA
As well as the action in Japan we also get some action in the US, with two shows in the US. The most notable of the two is in Miami, where we see three Asian fighters scheduled for action. Sadly at the time of writing, two of those fighters haven't had their opponent named, and there's a good chance at least one of the fighters will see their bout being pulled.
One of the Asian fighters set for this card is Filipino Mike Plania (26-1, 13), who really has failed to build on his 2020 win over Joshua Greer, a win that should have propelled him to the verges of a world title fight. The talented Plania has proven what he's capable of, but has only picked up 2 low key wins since that victory and is very much treading water, especially here against a fighter who will be taking the bout on short notice. Fingers crossed he lands a big fighter later this year, rather that wastes more time going no where.
The second to have not had their opponent named is Kazakh Cruiserweight hopeful Serik Musadilov (11-0, 9), who picked up 3 wins last year, but tread water with those bouts and appears to be set for more water treading here. He's exciting, aggressive and comes to fight, but recent bouts aren't moving his career forward, or developing his experience and skillset. A real waste of time for a man who needs to be tested sooner rather later.
Another Asian pencilled in for action on this show is Kazakh fighter Mussa Tursyngaliyev (10-0, 6), who thankfully does seem to have his opponent for the show names, as he takes on the highly experienced Michael Isaac Carrero (13-67-6, 6). We never said he was taking on a good opponent. Carrero fought 7 times last year, losing all 7 bouts, and is without a win since 2015 whilst going 0-28-2 since then. This is little more than record padding for the Kazakh.
2300 Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
In the Philadelphia fight fans will see US based Kazakhstan born fighter Temirlan Raimkulov (4-1-2) take on Isiah Seldon (14-4-1, 5), the son of former Heavyweight world champion Bruce Seldon. For Raimkulov this will be his third bout in the US, and he'll be looking to record a third straight win, after scoring two victories last year. And a win for him would be the biggest of his career so far. As for Seldon his record looks pretty, but he has been stopped, in the opening round, in 3 of his last 6 and he's only had 3 wins since the start of 2018.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Wednesday we get more action from Korakuen all as the Kaneko Gym put on a small show, but a fairly notable one, headlined by a Japanese Youth title fight and featuring some very promising Japanese prospects.
The main event will see the flawed but hugely entertaining Takahiro Tai (3-0, 3) take on the talented, but light punching, Fumiya Fuse (10-1, 1) in a bout for the Japanese Youth Bantamweight title. The men fight very, very differently to each other, with Fuse relying on speed, combinations and accurate shots whilst Tai likes to entertain, with switch hitting, showboating and throwing very little other than bombs looking to leave an impression, but their style should gel really well here and deliver something resembling an action war. Our preview of this bout can be read here Fuse and Tai battle for Youth title
In the chief support bout the promising Yuya Oku (1-0, 1) will look to build on his impressive debut, which lasted just 50 seconds, as he takes on Yuya Azuma (5-6-1, 1). Azuma tends to be a durable and tough foe, but a technically limited one, and we suspect Oku will go for an early finish, realise Azuma is not going to fold and end up cruising to a wide decision win. Oku is certainly a talent and we should see what he's all about here.
Another notable novice on this card is Yuri Kanaya (0-0), who makes his debut against JBC ranked foe Sora Takeda (6-2, 1). The 25 year old Kanaya went 35-17 (10) in the unpaid ranks and will be looking to impress now he's turned professional, and a win over a JBC ranked opponent on debut would be an impressive way to kick things off. Takeda on the other hand is looking to bounce back from a January loss to Katsuki Mori, in what was a genuinely fantastic 8 rounder. Although Kanaya was a good amateur this is a very tough debut and Takeda has the tools to be a banana skin here in what could be a bit of a hidden gem of a bout.