The most notable show this Friday comes from the Korakuen where Flash Akabane are putting on a notable show.
In the main event fans will see former Japanese Flyweight champion Suguru Muranaka (23-2-1, 8) fight for the second time since he had multi-weight issues. The Japanese fighter, who is currently world ranked, will be up against under-rated Filipino fighter Renoel Pael (19-3-1 9) in what is likely to be a very good get for Muranaka, but one he should pass. Although we favour Muranaka here we can't see this being anything but a fun fight for fight fans and one that will have to see Muranaka stepping up his game significantly from his last bout.
The only other bout of real note on this card will see Kenta Nakagawa (11-2-1, 8) take on Thai visitor Ken Menayothin (0-1). Nakagawa has gone 9-0-1 in his last 10 and is heading towards a ranking, following good results against the likes of Toyoto Shiraishi, Jo Tanooka and Shuji Hamada. This bout will be Menayothin's second in Japan, follow a stoppage loss at the end of last year to the very promising Masayoshi Hashizume, and we don't see him winning here against Nakagawa.
Despite not being in action this card will also feature Yuzo Kiyota, who will be in a retirement ceremony ending his long career in the ring.
As well as the action in Japan there will also be shows in China and Thailand.
One of the main bouts of the show will see the promising Zulpikar Maimaitiali (6-0-1, 4) face off against the much more experienced Tanzanian Thomas Mashali (18-4-1-1, 9). Notably Mashali has been stopped in both of his bouts away from home, both in Russia, and we see him being stopped again here against a slightly crude but very exciting Chinese fighter.
The other bout of genuine note on this card will see the big punching Ainiwaer Yilixiati (7-0, 6) face off against Chaoqun Dong (5-1, 2). Coming in to this one Yilixiati is on a 6 fight stoppage run, with the first of the stoppages actually coming against Dong last October. For Dong this is a chance to avenge his sole defeat.
In Thailand the major bout will see world ranked Super Flyweight hopeful Eaktawan Mor Krungthep Thonburi (19-3, 13) battle against Filipino opponent Jayar Diama (7-7-5, 3). This is expected to be another win for Eaktawan, who is a genuinely promising prospect, but Diama is better than his record suggests and was very unfortunate not to beat Ming Ma Yi back in January.
Also in Thailand, though possibly on a different show, the unbeaten Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (34-0, 25) will be defending his PABA Welterweight “Super” title against Japanese based Dominican Vladimir Baez (21-2-2, 19).
On April 12th we see some interesting fighters in action in Tokyo, where we see a former world title challenger and a world class fighter both in action.
That former world title challenger is Yuzo Kiyota (29-4-1, 27), who will be defending his OPBF Super Middleweight against countryman Shintaro Matsumoto (12-4, 9). This will be the third meeting between the two men, showing the lack of willing challengers for Kiyota's title, and should be another straight forward win for the champion who is struggling to really legitimise himself due to the poor quality of challengers. Saying that however Kiyota hasn't looked great in recent bouts and Matsumoto may well see this as his chance to avenge 2 of his 4 losses.
In the co-feature we'll see former Japanese Flyweight champion Suguru Muranaka (22-2, 7) return to the ring for the first time in over a year. The talented Muranaka, a really exciting fighter, has been in issue with making weight and was given two suspensions due to an inability to make weight last year. Here he'll be fighting above the Super Flyweight limit as he takes on the limited Shun Ishibashi (10-18-1, 4). A win for Muranaka is expected, but given the inactivity and weight issues the key for him will be to shake some rust rather than to really shine.
A third bout of note on this show will see Takenori Ohashi (11-4-2, 7) battle against Yoshitomo Watanabe (8-1, 6). This bout could be very explosive given that both men can punch, and although Ohashi was stopped in a round by Tsuyoshi Tameda last year he'll likely feel that Watanabe isn't as threatening as Tameda was. This really could be a very exciting match up
This coming Friday is a really busy day in Asian boxing with shows in Japan and China as well as notable bouts outside of Asia.
The most notable the Asian shows is a Shinsei promoted card from Hyogo which features a former 2-weight world champion, a female world title bout and several notable prospects.
The former world champion in action is the legendary Hozumi Hasegawa (34-5, 15) who will be dipping his toes at Super Featherweight as he faces the world ranked Mexican fight Carlos Andres Ruiz Machuca (14-1, 5). For Hasegawa this is a step up in weight but potentially could see him make a move towards a world title fight at 130lbs in 2016. For Ruiz it's a monstrous step up in class as he faces his most notable opponent so far.
The co-feature of this show is a female world title bout that sees former WBA female Minimumweight champion Etsuko Tada (14-2-2, 4) face of against Mexican Kareli Lopez (8-5-3, 2) in a bout for the vacant IBF female Minimumweight title. Tada was originally scheduled to be facing Victoria Argueta but Argueta is out and has been replaced by Lopez, who really shouldn't test a fighter as talented as Tada.
The most notable of the fighters on the under-card is the unbeaten Reiya Konishi (9-0, 4). The unbeaten 22 year old will be up against Shogo Hayashi (7-2, 4) in a really good looking 8 rounder. Konishi came to our attention last year, when he won the Rookie of the Year, and has already won a couple of 8 rounders this year. For the youngster this is a step up but a step up that he will be expected to make without too many problems.
Another notable Minimumweight youngster in against here is Ryuya Yamanaka (10-2, 2), a 20 year old title hopeful. Yamanaka will be up against the light punching Ryo Narizuka (7-6) in what looks like a stay busy fight for Yamanaka before a potential title fight in 2016. Although Yamanaka isn't a prospect with much fanfare he will know that a win would do and he will also know that a loss will cost him his rankings, with the JBC, OPBF and WBO.
A third notable under-card bout will see OPBF fighters face off as Japan's Seizo Kono (15-7-1 10) battles Benjie Suganob (9-4-1, 5). The winner of this one will be in the running for an OPBF title fight in 2016. On paper Kono is the more established fighter however Suganob is the fighter who has been competing at a higher weight and may be able to use that to his advantage in what is a very intriguing match up.
As well as the show in Hyogo Japanese fans also have a card from the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. The card, from Flash Akabane, is a less interesting one, though does feature an OPBF title fight and a bout involving one of Teiken's most promising young prospects.
The title bout on this card sees OPBF Super Middleweight champion Yuzo Kiyota (28-4-1, 26) defending his title against limited Indonesian challenger Michael Speed Sigarlaki (16-15-2, 14). On paper this looks like it could be an explosive one, however Sigarlaki will need to be regarded as a major under-dog coming in to this one and we're not expecting the challenger to have much success.
The prospect in action is the really exciting Lightweight hopeful Shuya Masaki (2-0, 1) who takes on Fumio Ujihara (4-2, 3). On paper this is a step up for the unbeaten 21 year old Lightweight prospect however it's step up that he should make if he's anywhere near being as good as touted.
As well as the Japanese action Asian fans will also get a small show from Yunnan, courtesy of Zovi promotions. The card isn't a big one, and it features no notable names, however fans will likely get some enjoyable action from the show.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Whilst the headline action for us are the Japanese cards they aren't the only ones to feature notable names. Another notable name is in Puerto Rico as he looks to continue moving towards a major title bout.
That notable fighter is former multi-weight world champion Nonito Donaire (35-3, 23). The “Filipino Flash” looks to scored his third win since being stopped by Nicholas Walters as he takes on Mexican fighter Cesar Juarez (17-3, 13), in a bout for the WBO International Super Bantamweight title. Coming in to this one Juarez has been on a good run and enters following back to back wins over Cesar Seda and Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr, Donaire however is regarded as being better than anyone Juarez has fought. Whilst Donaire is still regarded highly there are question marks about how much he has left and this fight could well see those question marks answered one way or another.
On the same card fans also get the chance to see Mongolian fighter Bayan Jargal (17-7-3, 11) take on the unbeaten William Silva (22-0, 13). This looks to be a very tough ask for Jargal, who has gone 2-7-1-1 in his last 9, though Silva does have a typical “padded Brazilian” record and is very much an unknown quantity.
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.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Although this week started with a female world title fight the action really didn't last and for the past few day's we've had almost no action. Thankfully however the weekends with a few fights, albeit nothing great.
The biggest potential fight this Friday was a clash which would have seen OPBF Super Middleweight champion Yuzo Kiyota (25-4-1, 23) defending his title. Unfortunately the title part of that bout fell through when none of the ranked contenders were happy to fight Kiyota, understandable given his power and aggression. Sadly with no ranked contenders happy to face him Kiyora has ended up facing off against Indonesian fight Hero Yauw Katili (6-6-1, 4). From what we understand Katili's record is incomplete but he has never fought anyone like Kiyota and this looks to be little more than a stay busy bout from the fun to watch Japanese slugger.
Sadly many of the other bouts on the same show lack any type of appeal with the best of the rest being an 8 rounder between the 22 year old Yoshitomo Watanabe (4-1, 3) and Thailand's Pirat Manopchaigym (0-0). Although Pirat is listed on boxrec.com as a debutant we have our suspicions that he has fought before however his actual number of fights and level of fights is up in the air.
In total there are 8 bouts on this show but it's hard to get excited about any of them now that Kiyota is facing a significantly over-matched opponent.
Outside of Asia fans will get the chance to see the Kyrgyzstan born Timur Shailezov (17-7-1, 4) fighting against the hard hitting and somewhat promising Victor Ruiz (13-3, 10). Shailezov has started to become a bit of a journeyman with 5 losses in his last 6, including stoppages to Rex Tso and Zhanat Zhakiyanov, though he did shock the previously unbeaten Miguel Cartagena last time out. In Ruiz we have an unknown but young and hungry Mexican who has shared the ring with the very good Francisco Rodriguez Jr. On record we'd favour Ruiz but on recent performances it's fair to say that Shailezov could score another upset.
(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)