ANTHONY Sabalde gets a huge step up in competition as he takes on Japanese veteran Nihito Arikawa tonight for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) Asia-Pacific lightweight title in Tokyo, Japan. The 24-year-old Sabalde hopes to continue his winning streak and win his first regional title for a spot in the world rankings. Sabalde went 2-1 last year, starting out with a unanimous decision loss to John Vincent Moralde before winning back-to-back against Marvin Tampus and Jhun Ryan Quimbo. The 35-year-old Arikawa, who once fought for an interim World boxing Council (WBC) lightweight title in 2013, has won three in a row after losing to Rikki Naito by unanimous decision in 2013. he is coming off a sixth round knockout victory over unheralded Yusuke Tsukada. Sabalde is 12-5 with seven knockouts, while Arikawa is 28-6-1 with 17 knockouts.