By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Zhilei Zhang (20-0): WBO #5
The undefeated Chinese giant and Olympic Silver Medalist beat Don Haynesworth (15-3) this past September in his first WBO Oriental title defense.
Super Lightweight / Jr Welterweight:
-Apinun Khongsong (13-0): IBF #10
The current IBF Asia & Pan Pacific champion has fought thrice this year, all stoppage victories.
-Daud Yordan (38-4): WBA #4
Yordan’s latest success came this April, when he knocked out Pavel Malikov (14-1) to become the WBO Intercontinental champion. On October 11 he put on a good performance against former World champion Anthony Crolla (34-6) in a WBA World title eliminator, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.
-Mercito Gesta (32-2): WBO #5
After unsuccessfully challenging Jorge Linares for the WBA World championship earlier this year, Gesta defeated Robert Manzanarez (36-2) for the vacant WBO-NABO title.
-Can Xu (15-2): WBA #2 / WBC #10
The reigning WBA International champion will be facing Jesus Rojas (26-2) for the WBA “regular” title on January 26.
-Genesis Servania (32-1): WBO #1 / WBA #3 / IBF #5 / WBC #12
Servania has knocked out all of his opponents, since losing to WBO World champion Oscar Valder (24-0) in 2017, including world title contender Carlos Carlson (23-5) in September. He’s now looking for another shot at a World championship, either at Featherweight or at Super Bantamweight. His next confirmed opponent is Luis May (21-11), whom he’ll face in Arizona, on January 12.
-Mark Magsayo (18-0): WBC #1 / WBO #10
The reigning WBO International champion is the number 1 contender for the WBC World title. A match with Gary Russell Jr. (29-1) could be in the works for 2019.
-Richard Pumicpic (21-9): WBO #8
Pumicpic recently lost his WBO Asia Pacific title to undefeated prospect Musashi Mori (8-0).
Super Bantamweight / Jr Featherweight:
-Albert Pagara (31-1): WBO #5 / IBF #6 / WBC #18
Pagara stopped Laryea Gabriel Odoi (20-4) this past June, to become the WBO Intercontinental champion. He successfully made his inaugural title defense against George Krampah (14-4) on November 24.
-Juan Miguel Elorde (26-1): WBO #3
The WBO Asia Pacific champion marked his third successful title defense earlier this year against Likit Chane (16-8). After dispatching Ratchanon Sawangsoda (12-3) in July, he will return to the ring once more before the year is over, on December 16. No opponent has been named as of yet.
-Marlon Tapales (31-2): WBO #6
The former WBO Bantamweight World champion made short work of Goodluck Mrema (22-4) this past September. It’s not certain if Super Bantamweight or Featherweight will be the division Tapales sticks with.
-Tasana Salapat (48-0): WBC #2
“Petch Sor Chitpattana” is set to face Takuma Inoue (12-0) for the interim WBC World championship, on December 30, in Japan.
-Nawaphon Kaikanha (43-1): WBC #9
Nawaphon earned a huge victory earlier this year when he stopped former IBF World Flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng (18-3) in the third round. He then moved to Bantamweight where he won the WBC Asia title in July and defended it later in November against Richard Claveras (18-6).
-Kenny Demecillo (14-4): IBF #3
Demecillo has fought only once this year, scoring a KO win over Vyacheslav Mirzaev (11-1) in Russia. His next scheduled appearance is in March of 2019 as he takes on Michael Dasmarinas (28-2) in an IBF World title eliminator.
-Michael Dasmarinas (28-2): IBF #4 / WBC #15
Dasmarinas knocked out former EBU European champion Karim Guerfi (28-4) this April to earn the IBO “world” title. His latest fight against Manyo Plange (17-0) came to a draw. He will square off against Kenny Demecillo (14-4), as mentioned above, for a chance at the IBF World title.
-Carl Jammes Martin (11-0): WBO #10 / WBA #15
2018 has been a breakout year for the Filipino, winning 4 fights in the span of only 6 months, plus the WBO Oriental Youth & WBA Asia titles.
Super Flyweight / Jr Bantamweight:
-Donnie Nietes (41-1): WBO #1 / WBC #6
The former 3 division World champion fought Aston Palicte (24-2) for the vacant WBO World title, this past September, to a draw. Nietes will now be facing fellow 3 division World champion Kazuto Ioka (23-1) for the same vacant crown, on December 31st in Macau.
-Aston Palicte (24-2): WBO #2 / WBO #8
Palicte will be involved in a WBO World title eliminator with Jose Martinez (20-0) in the near future.
-Sarawut Thawornkham (20-1): WBA #1
The former WBA Asia champion has fought twice in 2018 and has knocked out both of his opponents.
-Nare Yianleang (68-5): WBA #2 / WBC #5
Since losing to Kazuto Ioka in 2017, “Noknoi Sitthiprasert” has been undefeated in his last 6 fights, but none of them was against a credible opponent.
-Giemel Magramo (22-1): WBO #7 / WBC #9 / WBA #9 / IBF #10
The Filipino captured the vacant WBO Oriental title in March and successfully defended it on October 29, against Petchchorhae Kokietgym (17-2). He will meet Wenfeng Ge (11-0) for the WBO International title on January 5th, in his opponent’s home country, China.
-Wenfeng Ge (11-0): WBO #10 / IBF #13 / WBC #25
The undefeated Chinese prospect took the unanimous decision victory over Ivan Soriano (18-2) as well as the vacant WBO International championship, this past August. His first title defense will be against top ranked Flyweight Giemel Magramo (22-1) on January 5th.
-Sirichai Thaiyen (51-4): WBA #8 / WBC #19
The former WBA interim World champion failed the recapture the crown this summer in Ukraine when he fought Artem Dalakian (17-0).
-Jayr Raquinel (10-1): IBF #7 / WBC #24
Earlier this year, Raquinel won the OPBF title from Keisuke Nakayama (11-3) and in 2 months time, successfully marked his first title defense over Shun Kosaka (15-5). However, he failed to capture the vacant WBC Silver championship, when he boxed with Chinese rising star Wulan Tuolehazi (9-3), in September.
-Komgrich Nantapech (24-5): IBF #3
The reigning IBF Pan Pacific champion was supposed to face Masayuki Kuroda (30-7) in an IBF world title eliminator bout, on November 21, but due to a sudden injury, he wasn’t able to compete.
-Jonathan Taconing (28-3): WBC #1 / WBO #2 / WBA #3 / IBF #10
Taconing defended his WBC International championship, for the second time, this past September against former world title contender Vince Paras (13-2).
-Edward Heno (13-0): WBO #4 / WBC #6 / WBA #6 / IBF #7
Heno marked 2 successful title defenses of the OPBF championship, within 2018, over Jesse Espinas (19-3) as well as former World champion Merlito Sabillo (27-6). His third OPBF title defense will take place in Japan, against Koji Itagaki (18-13), on February 11.
-Jing Xiang (15-4): WBO #7 / WBC #11
2018 has been a quite successful year for Xiang as he, not only captured the vacant WBO Intercontinental title on January, but also earned a huge victory after defeating former World champion Merlito Sabillo (27-6), this past September, to become the WBC Silver champion. 2019 will bring another major test for the Chinese rising star as he is scheduled to make his first WBC Silver title defense against 2 time World champion Suriyan Satorn (59-6), on January 5th, in China.
-Christian Araneta (16-0): WBC #10 / WBA #9 / WBO #11
Araneta expanded his undefeated streak when he stopped former world title contender Jerry Tomogdan (25-10), in August, to win the vacant WBC Asia Silver championship. He has expressed his wish to face Chayaphon Moonsri (52-0) for the WBC World Minimumweight title.
-Teeraphong Utaida (37-6): IBF #5
Since losing to Felix Alvarado last year, Utaida has won 3 fights in a row, including the IBF Pan Pacific title.
-Rey Loreto (24-14): WBC #7
After a failed attempt to dethrone Thammanoon Niyomtrong (19-0) last year, Loreto returned this past February and knocked out journeyman Arnold Garde (10-6).
-Milan Melindo (37-4): WBC #5
The former IBF World champion lost to the defending WBC World champion Ken Shiro (14-0) this October, after enduring a massive beating for 7 rounds.
-Robert Paradero (17-0): WBO #1 / WBC #26
Paradero is supposed to face Wilfredo Mendez (11-1) in a WBO World title eliminator. The winner will be next in line to challenge the winner of Vic Saludar/Masataka Taniguchi, for the gold, in 2019.
-Chaozhong Xiong (27-8): WBA #8 / WBC #15
Xiong tried to become a 2 time World champion when he fought Thammanoon Niyomtrong (19-0) in July, but it wasn’t meant to be. No news yet if that was his last match or not.
-Rene Mark Cuarto (16-1): WBO #9 / WBC #27
Cuarto won his first championship in August after he fought Clyde Azarcon (13-2) for the vacant WBO Oriental title.
-Pedro Taduran (13-2): IBF #9 / WBC #11
Taduran began 2018 very promising as he dropped former world title challenger Jerry Tomogdan (25-10) in the fifth round, but couldn’t capitalize on that momentum in his World championship bout against Chayaphon Moonsri (52-0). He beat Jeffrey Galero (17-6) on December 7.
-Samuel Salva (15-0): IBF #8 / WBC #32
The Filipino prospect remained undefeated in 2018 as well, adding 3 more victories to his record.
*Interim World Champions NOT included.
**The focus was on South/East Asian countries.
***The WBC/IBF rankings are from October
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features