Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Attention again heads to Tokyo at the end of the month as the Korakuen Hall hosts the first set of East Japanese Rookie of the Year bouts for 2020. In total there are 8 bouts set for the event, though there is a chance the card will see bouts cancelled at late notice, given all that is going on in the world at the moment.
From the 8 bouts that have been set for the show the two that really intrigue us are both at Super Bantamweight.
One of those bouts will see 25 year old Ryotaro Nakabayashi (1-0) battle against 22 year old Ryuya Nihei (4-0, 1). With 4 bouts to his name Nihei will enter as the favourite, though it is worth noting that his career has been horribly stop start since his debut in March 2017. He's talented but this will be the first time he has fought twice in a calendar year, having also fought back in February. As for Nakabayashi this will see him return to the ring for first time since his December 2019 debut.
The other bout will see 19 year old Takeshi Wako (1-0) battle against 25 year old Nozomu Yoshimura (2-0, 2). The teenager made his debut last December, taking a wide decision over Tomoya Tanaka, and looked like he had some real promise. Yoshimura on the other hand debuted in February 2019 and has taken out both of his opponents in a combined 7 rounds.
We do love seeing unbeaten novices matched up in Rookie of the Year bouts and that's no exception here as we finally see the tournament kick off in East Japan, months after things were originally set to start.