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Japanese Kickboxing Scene: November Preview

  • Written by Dave Walsh

With an eventful October in the books, November seems to hold just as much promise for Japanese kickboxing fans as promotions start to gear up for the end of the year. The highlights of this month are the Shootboxing S-Cup Tournament and Krush.24’s headliner, pitting LiverKick #1 ranked Lightweight Masaaki Noiri against #5 ranked Yetkin Ozkul. However, NJKF, SNKA, M-1 Muay Thai, MA Kick and J-Network all have big cards/fights lined up for this month, as well as the return of the Hoost Cup.

November 4th – NJKF: Kick to the Future 8

Headliner: Kunitaka vs Ekadet Mor. Krungthepthonburee II

Former multi-division NJKF champ and WBC International Super Bantamweight champion Kunitaka has been fighting exclusively against Thais since August of last year when he fought Rungravee Sasiprapa, with the intention of getting ranked at Rajadamnern Stadium and eventually winning a title. He is just 1-4 in this stretch, losing to Rungravee, Kaimookdam Chuwattana, Singdam Wor. Rungniram and Ekadet in their first fight, with the sole win coming against Fonped Chuwattana. Kunitaka was ranked 10th at Super Bantamweight at the time of their first fight, so I would imagine Ekadet has taken his spot and this fight will determine who cracks the top 10.

MA Kick: BREAK-31 ~Absolute~

Headliner: Yukimaru vs Yasuyuki Murata

While Yukimaru vs Yasuyuki Murata headlines the event, the most intriguing matchup on the card is a Flyweight fight between #2 ranked Tatsuya Rose and Sazanami Satsutama. Tatsuya earned his ranking with a draw against current champ Yuuji Uwasawa, but is 2-1 since that fight, with a loss to Nagata Haryi. Satsutama has run through the Flyweight gauntlet in his last 5 fights, losing to Ryuji Kato, Uwasawa and most recently Yuki, while drawing Naoki Otsuki and defeating Kiminori Matsuzaki. A win here could set either man up with a title shot or a #1 contender fight against Ryuji Kato.

Shootboxing Young Caesar Cup #5

Headliner: Keita Urano vs Kazuki Tamagawa

November 10th – Krush.24

 Headliner: Masaaki Norii vs Yetkin Ozkul

LiverKick #1 Lightweight Masaaki Noiri and #5 Yetkin Ozkul fight in what will help compare the European and Japanese Lightweight scenes, with Yuki defeating #2 Javier Hernandez last month and throwing a wrench in everything. Also on this card are the 63kg and 70kg Youth GP Finals, with Koya Urabe facing Hisaki Higashimoto at 63kg and Shintaro Matsukura facing Taisei Kondo at 70kg.

November 11th - M-1 Sutt Yod Muay Thai vol. 4 Parts 1 and 2

Headliner: Yusuke Sugawara vs Kaew Fairtex

Sugawara is 3-2 on the year, going 1-2 in RISE with very close losses to Mohan Dragon and Yukihiro Komiya and a win over Shohei Asahara, while picking up a pair of wins in Shootboxing. Kaew is 4-0 in 2012, winning the Legend of Heroes 8-man tournament in Beijing and knocking out Kousuman in September. The 2-part card also features a WPMF Women’s World Featherweight Title fight which is a rematch between defending champion Sawsing Sor. Sopis and AZUMA, the 3rd fight between Chiharu and Little Tiger for Chiharu’s WPMF Women’s World Pinweight title, a WPMF Japan Light Heavyweight title fight between Naoki Samukawa and SHOHEI, as well as Shunsuke Oishi, J-Network Super Flyweight champion Yuki, Kousuman and Tomoko SP.

K-SPIRIT 4

Headliner: Hikaru Machida vs RIOT

Machida is 1-1-2 on the year, drawing Keijiro Miyakoshi and Kanongsuk Weerasakreck, while defeating Takaaki Kimura and most recently losing his bid for the WBC Japan Super Featherweight title against champion Yoshinori Nakasuka. RIOT is 3-0-1 since losing his MA Kick title to Machida. RIOT is ranked #1 by MA Kick at Super Featherweight and this fight is scheduled for 5 rounds, but I have no idea if this fight is for Machida’s MA Kick title, RIOT’s RKA title, both or neither. Also on the card is #1 ranked MA Kick Super Bantamweight Kunihiro.

MA Kick/Yamanashi Kickboxing Association 11

Headliner: RYOTA vs Hiroki Fujisawa

Fujisawa is ranked #3 at Featherweight after losing his title to Hiroki Akimoto while RYOTA holds the #4 ranking. A win moves either man closer to a shot at Akimoto.

November 17th – Shootboxing 2012 S-Cup

Headliner: S-Cup Tournament

The 2012 S-Cup field consists of 3-time champion Andy Souwer, Henri van Opstal, Warren Stevelmans, Hiroki Shishido, Hiroaki Suzuki, Bovy Sor Udomson and MMA fighters Joachim Hansen and Gesias Cavalcante. While the field lacks 2010 finalists Buakaw Por. Pramuk and Toby Imada, the additions of Stevelmans, Suzuki, Hansen and Cavalcante ensure that every quarterfinal will be competitive, and likely entertaining. This could also very well be Hiroki Shishido’s final S-Cup. The only other fights announced for the card so far are RISE 60kg champ Kosuke Komiyama vs Shootboxing Featherweight champ Naguranchun Masa M16 and Kizaemon Saiga vs MASAYA.

November 18th – J-NETWORK: J-FIGHT in Shinjuku ~vol.28~/J-GIRLS: Platinum In the Ring FINAL

Headliners: Masato Otake vs Atsushi Sasatani II for Otake’s J-Network Welterweight Title/ Fir vs Miho for the vacant J-Girls Mini Flyweight Title

Otake started his career 9-0, beating Sasatani for the J-Network Welterweight title last October. Since, however, he has lost 2 in a row to Soichiro Miyakoshi and Kousuman. Since losing his title to Otake, Sasatani is 2-1 with wins over Kousuman and Tsukuru Midorikawa, while losing to Hideya Tanaka in a WPMF Japan #1 contender fight. Fir is 3-1 in her last 4 fights, losing to Little Tiger while defeating Nana Kusakabe, Chiharu and, most recently, Miyako “SMILE” Mihori while Miho snapped a 2-fight losing streak with a win over Anna Shiratsuki.

MA Kick: Sanctuary 2012 ~Final~

Headliner: Masatoshi Abe vs Kenji Kimura

November 23rd – Krush-EX 2012 vol.6

Headliner: Hiroto Yamaguchi vs Atsushi Ogata

This event officially marks the beginning of Krush’s recently announced 58kg and 67kg divisions. While it is unclear if there is a main event, the biggest fight so far is a 63kg fight between 2012 Youth GP semifinalist Hiroto Yamaguchi and Atsushi Ogata. Yamaguchi started his career 8-0, winning the DEEP*KICK 65kg tournament before losing to fellow prospect SHIGERU. He participated in this year’s Krush 63kg Youth GP, defeating another prospect, Minoru Kimura, before losing to Koya Urabe in the semifinals. Ogata wasn’t much of a name until he KO’d Toshiki Taniyama at Krush-EX vol.4 back in July, but his most recent fight was a brutal head kick KO loss to Seiji Takahashi in September. This card features the first 67kg fight in Krush, with Krush regular Makihira Keita taking on RISE regular Kotetsu.

Hoost Cup Spirit 1

Headliner: Ryuya Kusakabe vs Ilais El Hajoui

After a successful event in May, the Hoost Cup is looking to establish itself as an ongoing series of events with this event and an event in April scheduled. So far, only two fights have been announced: Ryuya Kusakabe vs Ilais El Hajoui and Ayano Oishi vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

November 25th – NJKF: Kick to the Future 9

Headliner: Kenta vs Takenaka Shirakami for Kenta’s NJKF Super Welterweight Title

In what is probably the most stacked card of the month, Kick to the Future 9 features NJKF Super Lightweight champion Seiji Takahashi in a superfight against Dejpanom Senchaigym, NJKF Lightweight champion Keijiro Miyakoshi in a superfight against Mongkoldet Sithubon, NJKF Super Welterweight champion Kenta defending his title against NEW JAPAN WARS 2012 Super Welterweight winner Takenaka Shirakami, NEW JAPAN WARS 2012 Super Featherweight finalists Daichi Yamato and KEI fighting for the vacant NJKF Super Featherweight title, the NEW JAPAN WARS 2012 Welterweight finals between Soichiro Miyakoshi and Tae-yong, the NEW JAPAN WARS 2012 Super Lightweight finals between Marimo and Kazushige Sugama and a NEW JAPAN WARS 2012 Flyweight semifinal between Naoki Otsuki and Nimo.

SNKA: KICK Insist II

Headliner: Hideki Soga vs Kompayak Beamdesign

This card features 6 Japan vs Thailand fights, headlined by the Soga-Kompayak matchup. Soga took a surprise win over Jomthong Chuwattana last April, but is just 2-2 against Thai opposition since then, losing to Rungravee Sasiprapa and Kiatphet Suan-Ahartpeakmai in his last two fights.

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