Sumida City Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Sunday we'll be getting a genuine treat from the Sumida Ward Gymnasium, as Dangan put on one of the most notable Japanese domestic cards of the year, with 3 very good looking title match ups.
The main bout from the card will see Japanese Featherweight champion Hinata Maruta (12-1-1, 9) take on Reiya Abe (22-3-1, 10), in a bout not just for the Japanese title but also the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title. The talented Maruta won the Japanese title last year, stopping Ryo Sagawa in a sensational performance, and since then has defended it once, beating Ryo Hino. The talented Maruta has long been tipped as a future world champion, and over the last 3 years has started to show that potential, but will need to show more here, and from what we understand he will come into this bout looking to not just win, but also make a huge statement. As for Abe, the "Genius" boxer is one of the best technical fighters in Japan, with a really high level boxing brain, though unfortunately for him he has stumbled in his two biggest bouts to date, fighting to a draw with Taiki Minamoto and suffering a close decision loss to Ryo Sagawa. For Abe this will be his third shot at the Japanese title, and if he suffered another set back at this level it will be hard to imagine him ever living up to the "Genius" tag that those in Japan have given him. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Japanese champion Maruta faces Abe in mouth watering clash!
In the Super Featherweight division we'll see the once beaten Masanori Rikiishi (10-1, 6) battle against veteran Takuya Watanabe (38-10-1, 22) for the OPBF title. The 27 year old Rikiishi has been in great form since suffering an early career loss to Kosuke Saka, and has won his last 10 in a row, including wins over the likes of Freddy Fonseca, Yuichiro Kasuya and Soreiki Taichi. Despite being in good form this will be his first title fight, and is very much a step up in class for him, though it does seem be coming at the right time for him. As for Watanabe, the teak tough veteran is a former WBO Asia Pacific champion who is looking to add to his title collection. He's very much a battled hardened fighter, with a technical style who has faced a who's who of the Asian scene over the years. Last year he was stopped by Kosuke Saka, in a brutal loss, but since then he has bounced back, and didn't appear to be showing any signs of that loss in October, when he stopped Kazuma Sanpei in 2 rounds. This should be a good be a good technical back and forth with the potential for fireworks in the later rounds. Our preview of this one can be read here Watanabe and Rikiishi battle for OPBF honours!
The third title bout on this show will see OPBF female Minimumweight champion Mizuki Chimoto (3-0, 1) defending her title against Kaori Nagai (6-3-3, 2), in a bout that was first scheduled to take place in early March before being postponed. Of the two fighters the champion should be regarded as the favourite, especially given how she has looked since turning professional, however Nagai is a true battler and is not one to over-look. Notably Nagai will be risking her WBA and IBF world rankings here, and a potential world title fight, whilst Chimoto will be risking her title in what should be a very interesting 8 rounder. Our preview of this bout is available here Chimoto takes on Nagai in OPBF title bout