This coming Saturday looked like it could be an interesting one for fans of Asian fighters, though sadly a number of bouts being cancelled turned what was a good looking weekend into a pretty ordinary one. Despite that we do still have quite a few fights to look forward to.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
With the planned IBF Flyweight title bout between Sunny Edwards (16-0, 4) and Jayson Mama (16-0, 9) falling through in the middle of the week the real focus for us is Tokyo, ad we get the latest show in the Dynamic Glove series of shows. This card features a Japanese title fight, a Japanese title eliminator and an interesting test for a novice professional.
The main event is the aforementioned title bout, which will see the once beaten Rikito Shiba (5-1, 3) clash with the touted Shokichi Iwata (6-0, 4) for the vacant Japanese Light Flyweight title. The title became vacant a few weeks ago when Masamichi Yabuki, the one man to have beaten Shiba, vacated it to focus on his up coming WBC world title fight with Kenshiro Teraji and we've been left with this really interesting match up as a result. Of the two men Shiba is the slightly more proven as a professional, having scored the better wins and shared the ring with Yabuki, but Iwata has long been seen as a special talent following a very good run in the unpaid ranks, and he will enter as the favourite here. Despite the fact both men have only got 6 bouts to their name both are regarded highly, both were solid amateurs and both will be feeling they have the tools to not just win the Japanese title but to go much, much further in the coming years. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Iwata and Shiba clash for Japanese title!
In the chief support bout we'll see former Japanese Welterweight champion Yuki Nagano (18-3, 14) take on former WBO Asia Pacific champion Yuki Beppu (21-2-1, 20) in a rematch of a clash the men had in 2018, when Nagano gave Beppu his first loss. Since their first bout both men went on the achieve their biggest success, with both winning titles, but both half also suffered recent stoppage losses and it's probably fair to say that neither man is quite the same fight that they were when they first faced off. We expect bombs to be thrown here, though it's a very, very hard bout to predict. Notably the winner of this will land a Japanese Welterweight title fight at the 2022 edition of the Champion Carnival.
The third bout of note on this card will see Goki Kobayashi (1-0, 1) take on Hayato Aoki (4-1, 3) in a very, very interesting match up. Kobayashi made his debut earlier this year, stopping the 2020 All Japan Rookie of the Year runner up Hyogo Kimura. The hope is that he can be moved incredibly quickly, and taking on Aoki this early in his career is a good chance for him to prove himself. Aoki on the other hand will be desperate to rebuild following his first loss, which came this past June.
As well the action in Japan we'll also see a number of Central Asian hopefuls in action in action in Russia.
One of the Asian fighters on this card is once beaten Kazakh fighter Stanislav Kalitskiy (11-1, 4), who takes on unbeaten Russian foe Ruslan Kamilov (10-0-1, 5). The 24 year old Kalitskiy was beaten 2 fights ago, but bounced back in March this year when he stopped Dmitrii Khasiev, and he will be looking to add another win here as he looks to get his career back on track. Whilst Kalitskiy is coming in on the back of a good win Kamilov is on a string of them, including a stoppage win over former world title challenger Evgeny Chuprakov back in March.
Unbeaten Tajik hopeful Asror Vokhidov (9-0, 5) will be looking for his 10th successive win as he takes on Mukhammad Shekhov (9-0-1, 3). This is a really well matched bout, and whilst neither man is heading towards a world title fight any time soon, this should still be a very, very interesting one.
Another Tajik fighter on this card is world ranked Super Featherweight Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (17-0, 9), who will be looking to defend his WBC International Super Featherweight title against Cristian Palma (31-10-2, 7). The talented Yaqubov is banging on the door of a world title fight, and is being matched relatively softly here in what looks like a bit of a stay busy bout rather than a genuine test. Palma, from Chile, is experienced but shouldn't be any sort of a problem here for the talented Tajik.