For us the most interesting card of the day, at least in terms of Asian action, was at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo a where we got “The 520th Dynamic Glove”. This show was headlined by an OPBF Welterweight title fight between Japan's hard hitting Yoshihiro Kamegai (23-1-1, 20) and Australia's Tim Hunt (16-4, 6). Kamaegai, fighting for the first time since losing to Johan Perez in the US stopped Hunt in 5 rounds to claim the previously vacant title, and will now likely be looking towards defending that belt in a major Asian clash.
The same card featured 5 other bouts. The most notable of those, at least for us, saw Hayato Yamaguchi (11-4-1, 1) upsetting the big hitting Hiroyuki Otsuka (6-2, 5) via majority technical decision. Their bout, scheduled for 8 rounds, was stopped in the 6th with the cards being very close, unfortunately for Otsuka 2 of them read “58-57” for Yamaguchi who scored his 4th straight win. Interestingly from Yamaguchi's 4 fight winning streak, 3 have come by technical decision.
The Otsuka/Yamaguchi bout was 1 of 2 bouts scheduled for the 8 round distance. The other one saw Hayato Hokazono (17-4-1, 9) defeating Yuya Okazaki (8-7-1, 2) who retired at the end of round 6. Although this was Okazaki's 5th loss in 6 bouts it's his first stoppage defeat since his debut so some credit should go Hokazono for forcing an early finish to the contest.
In the sole 6 rounder from the show Tsubasa Matsuo (8-2, 4) stopped Masajiro Honda (4-4, 3) early in round 5. This is the second loss this year for Honda whilst Matsuo has won twice year and is now on a 4 fight winning streak.
The two 4 rounders on the show were both finished early. These bouts saw Masaya Tamayama (2-0, 2) stopping Kensuke Sakamoto (3-5, 1) in 2 rounds and the debuting Ryo Matsubara (1-0, 1) taking out Shinichi Hoshino (1-2) in just 35 seconds.
As well as the bigger show in Japan there was also a secondary show courtesy of Shinsei Promotions. This show, which was rather disappointing in all honesty, had 6 contests with only one of them being competitive.
That one competitive bout saw Taiki Minamoto (8-3, 7) defeating Eita Kikuchi (14-4-4, 6) by 8th round stoppage. This was a genuine upset of Kikuchi who entered the bout as the #7 ranked Japanese Super Bantamweight, though it appears that with Minamoto's power he could always cause an upset.
In regards to the mismatches on the card 3 of the bouts came against debutants. These saw Makoto Mizoshita (1-1, 1) stopping Maito Fujii (0-1) inside a round, Yuhei Suzuki (14-3, 11) wiping out Thailand's Saksurin Jittigym (0-1) in the 3rd round and Takahiro Shigee (10-0-1, 8) stopping Najilek Sor Boonlieng (0-1) early in round 4.
It was really a poor card for Thai visitors with both Rungniran Korat Sport School (0-8) and Chamuakpetch Por Panya (0-2) being stopped in round 5. Chamuakpetch was taken out by Tokiya Nishioka (7-3-2, 3) whilst his compatriot was stopped by the emerging Yuki Yonaha (3-0, 3) who has yet to face a fighter with a victory on his record.
Over in the Philippines there were also 2 one was an 8 fight show from Highland-Hayashi Boxing Team whilst the other was a 9 fight card from ALA.
Although ALA show was the better show on paper it was the Highland-Hayashi show that had the only title fight on it as Tosho Makoto Aoki (16-12-2, 13) stopped Amor Tino (14-16-3, 4) to claim the WBC Asia Council Continental Lightweight title. Aoki had lost the opening 2 rounds on the judges cards before forcing a 3rd round stoppage of Tino.
The title fight, was on paper the most interesting bout on Highland-Hayashi show which looked poor from the outside. Despite the poor look of the show it turned out to have some thoroughly competitive bouts on it. These competitive contests saw Carlo Magali (17-7-2, 9) taking a split decision over the always game Rex Olisa (9-22-1, 7), Benjie Bartolome (2-6-1) taking a split decision over the debuting Riku Kanou (0-1) and the debuting Kaito Hattori (0-0-1) fighting to a draw with Mike Kinaadman (0-1-1).
Despite the trio of close bouts some of the contests didn't go the distance. These saw Stephen Gelawa (5-0-1, 3) stopping Romnick Dejano (2-7, 1) in round 2, Rey Ramos (5-4-2, 2) surprisingly stopping Diarh Gabutan (18-4-3, 9) in round 6 and inflicting just the second stoppage defeat of Gabutan's career, Roilo Golez (15-11-1, 6) stopping Jopher Marayan (6-4-2, 2) in 3 and Takaya Kakutani (7-3, 6) stopping Mike Tumbaga (12-20-2) also in 3.
On the whole the Highland-Hayshi card was good for the Japanese trio of Hattori, Kakutani and Aoki who went through the show unbeaten with 2 stoppages in their favour.
The ALA show, which was headlined by Albert Pagara (18-0, 12) defeating Gadwin Tubigon (9-8-2, 4) by a 10 round decision. This was a hard fought affair and Pagara was forced to work for the victory which is never a bad thing for a promising young fighter.
The Pagara/Tubigon bout was joined by another scheduled 10 round battle which saw just 8 rounds of action as Jaymart Toyco (14-4, 10) shocked the previously unbeaten Juren Labordo (11-1, 7). The bout, which featured head clashes, low blows and Labordo being dropped early on was certainly a full of drama though the set back for Labordo will be a big one.
Lower down the card there were quick blow outs as Jay Solomon (1-0, 1) stopped Eddie Liparanon (1-1) inside a round whilst Crispin Parba (7-7, 4), who stopped stopped Marvin Catipay (1-2, 1), Geo Santisima (2-1, 1), who stopped Jamjam Ungon (1-5), and Belmar Plaza (2-1-3, 1), who defeated Kim Galon (3-1-1, 2), all scored second round victories.
The only other stoppage on the show saw Raul Yu (4-0, 4) defeating Andrew Palas (2-2) who was stopped due to a cut.
In the two remaining bouts Boyce Sultan (8-3, 5) defeated, via a split decision, Roy Sumugat (9-9-1, 3) despite being knocked down and Roma Rate (11-1-1, 8) defeated Raymond Tabugon (11-3-1, 4) via unanimous decision.
In a much, much smaller card in Thailand Daendongyen Soonkileelabangmod (1-0) out pointed Ryuhei Sato (0-2) whilst Thong Soonkeelabangmod (1-0, 1) stopped fellow debutant Yodkwanchai Sithviboolchaigym (0-1) in round 5.
Outside of Asia the Asian fighters continued to fight on international soil, most notably in the USA and in Australia.
In the US there was two interesting contests involving Russian fighters. One of these, the most interesting one to us, was the debut of Egor Mekhontsev (1-0, 1) who defeated PJ Cajagas (0-3-1) in 3 rounds. Mekhontsev, an Olympic gold medal winner in 2012, didn't show the class someone like Ryota Murata or Vasyl Lomachenko but he is expected to go on to major things in the near future. Following this victory a story broke suggesting that Mekhontsev's second professional contest will be in Macau on a February date that will also see Murata and Zou Shiming in action. We'll admit that we're hoping that show comes to fruition.
The other Russian involved in a fight State side was Matt Korobov (22-0, 13). Korobov showed flashes of real talent though was dropped in the opening round by Derek Edwards (26-3-1, 13) before managing to take slowly break down Edwards in round 9. Korobov, for his great amateur career, has been a disappointing professional and we'd not be shocked to see him come unstuck the next time he takes a step up.
As well as the Russian's who were in action there was also a bout featuring Filipino born Bruno Escalante (11-1-1, 5) who claimed the IBA Super Flyweight title with a decision over Michael Ruiz Jr (9-4-1, 3).
In Australia the action wasn't great for Asian's with both Pornchai Sithpajuk (0-6) and Tuathong Singmanasa (0-1) suffered early blow out losses. Their losses came to Jono Carroll (2-0, 1) and Tony Senior (3-0, 3) respectively with two Australian based fighters impressing. Despite Carroll and Senior being based in the US it's worth noting that Senior is from London, England, whilst Carroll is from Dublin, Ireland, showing just how global boxing is.