Boxing in the West is all but done for the year. The last world title fights in the Western world were this past Saturday with the last actually being Omar Andres Narvaez again David Carmona in what turned out to be a very forgettable contest. In the East however the action continues up to New Year’s Eve with 2 very interesting looking shows in Japan.
For me, personally, the more interesting of the two cards is in Tokyo at the Ota City General Gymnasium where there is a world title double header.
The card in total features 9 bouts, though from the under-card only 3 bouts are really worth noting. The first of which features Mexico’s highly touted Carlos Cuadras (28-0, 23) who seems set to take on Thai journeyman Songseanglek Phosuwangym (1-9). This is a total mismatch but it gives Cuadras a chance to have a fight after being in active for 9 months and also helps prepare him in case he fancies his against Thailand’s destructive Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in 2014. Trust me when I say this, but Cuadras v Srisaket could be a FOTY contender if it possibly gets made
In the second interesting under-card bout we will see Japanese based Filipino Ryan Bito (22-12-3, 8) taking on former Japanese national light flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi (18-2-1, 8). This bout is about getting Taguchi a win following his demoralising defeat at the hands of Naoya Inoue and whilst Bito is limited to say the least he may be able to make the fight interesting for a round or two. This should be a Taguchi TKO win but how will his loss affect him?
The final under-card bout of note is that of Kohei Kono (28-8, 11). Kono will be facing a man he knows he should beat in the shape of Thai debutant Daut Manopkanchang (0-0). The key for Kono isn’t to just win, but to avoid any possibility of being cut, marked or swollen as this is effectively a tune up for a fight against Denkaosan Kaovichit for the vacant WBA super flyweight title. Although no date has been set for Kono/Kaovichit I’m expecting in the first few months of 2014.
Following that semi-interesting trio of mismatches we then move on to the main event title bouts. The first of these will see WBC super featherweight champion Takashi Miura (26-2-2, 19) defending his title for the second title. Fresh off the back of a FOTY contender with Sergio Thompson Miura will face his third successive Mexican opponent as he battles Dante “Crazy” Jardon (24-3, 20).
When I say that Miura/Thompson was a FOTY contender that should tell you something about Miura. He’s a big puncher who, whilst crude, is a born fighter with toughness and the attitude that he’s going to beat you down. His power is that impressive that he’s knocked down Thompson, Takashi Uchiyama and Gamaliel Diaz. His record might not totally show it but he’s very heavy handed.
Whilst Miura’s bout with Thompson tells you plenty about him, the nickname of Jardon should sum him up. He’s known as “Crazy” and sometimes fights a bit crazy with a free swinging and often amusing style that again sees him trying to beat up opponents with power and aggression. He has been made to pay for his reckless aggression once, against Kyohei Tamakoshi, though he has shown that he still comes to fight and still believes he has the power to stop anyone.
This should be a war, it should the fireworks we expect on New Year’s Eve and it should be the perfect ending to a wonderful year for Miura who imagine will come out on top.
The second main event and second world title fight will see Takashi Uchiyama (20-0-1, 17), the WBA super featherweight, taking on fellow Japanese fighter Daiki Kaneko (19-2-3, 12). On paper it’s hard to argue a way in which Kaneko wins despite the fact Kaneko is a former Japanese super featherweight champion.
The one thing Kaneko has going for him is youth. The challenger is just 25 years old and actually comes in to the bout unbeaten in 6 years with a 6 fight stoppage run. Unfortunately though those two runs haven’t come against fighters like Uchiyama. That’s not to say Kaneko hasn’t beaten good fighters, but he’s not beaten great fighters.
At 34 years old Uchiyama is “getting on” especially for fighter in and around super featherweight though he’s a young 34 who has had just 21 pro fights and just 131 professional rounds, only 8 more rounds than Kaneko. What Uchiyama has done so well is limit how much damage he takes and how much he actually exerts himself. If you watch him you’ll see a very intelligent fight who uses a strong guard going forward, applies intelligent but selective pressure and unloads when he feels confident. Not only does Uchiyama unload flurries but he unloads flurry’s of bombs.
For Kaneko his only option is to avoid a war, use his speed and stay away from any sort of an exchange. He’ll be lighter on his feet but will almost certainly be forced to work hard to avoid a tear up. As soon as Uchiyama gets in range then Kaneko will be in trouble and this could be over at any moment. Don’t blink as you may miss the finish of this one.
This show won’t be televised in full, or live, though the two main events will be shown on tape delay on TV Tokyo. I’d advise not missing it, especially with the potential of a Uchiyama/Miura fight in 2014 looming if both win here.
You can read more by Scott Graveson at his site: AsianBoxing