This past Saturday was a busy day for Asian fight fans. Not only was their a show, predominately female, in Tokyo but there was also a show in Azerbaijan as Europe and Asia collided and of course Asian's in action in the US and Puerto Rico.
We'll start by looking at the action in the West for once where we had a world title fight and a bout that featured a fringe world title contender.
In the US, WBA Light Heavyweight super champion Beibut Shumenov (14-1, 9) ended an 18 month break from action as he made a dramatic return to the ring and swiftly beat down Slovakian Tamas Kovacs (23-1, 14). Shumenov dropped Kovacs in rounds 1, 2 and 3 before the referee called a halt to what was one of the biggest mismatches this year. Thankfully however the bout seemed to be more about getting Shumenov a show case bout ahead of a possible clash with Bernard Hopkins than anything else. A bout between Hopkins and Shumenov, possibly in 2014, would be a major move in the division and the winner would be a very clear player in the division. Sadly though the winner would be seen as a second rate champion behind Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev, both of whom fight on HBO and would be unlikely to fight either Hopkins or Shumenov.
In Puerto Rico it was Russian fighter Anton Novikov (28-0-0-1, 10) who impressed as he took a clear decision over Manuel Perez (20-10-1, 4). This victory is unlikely to see "The Pick Hammer" move in to a world title bout but he's already broken the WBC rankings and sits at #12 at 140lbs and isn't going to need too many more fights like this to be considered as a possible world challenger.
Continuing to go east from the west, Azerbaijan gave us a 5 fight show. This was headlined by 2 bouts scheduled for 12 rounds, both of which were arguably upsets as Matthias Pelk (21-0, 12) stopped Fariz Mamedov (14-2-1, 8) and claimed both the vacant WBO European and IBF East/West Europe Welterweight titles. The other big upset saw the once 27-0 Yakup Saglam (31-4, 28) suffer his 4th loss in 7 as Roman Golovashchenko (13-1, 10) took a majority decision over him. This really is the end of Saglam as any sort of "hopeful" and hopefully will expose him as a man with one of the most padded records in boxing.
Another, minor upset, came on the under-card as Miguel Velozo (17-1-2, 5) took a close decision over the hard hitting Rashad Karimov (26-3, 23). This saw Karimov's 22 fight winning streak coming to an end.
The rest of this card went the way it was expected to with Vusal Aliyev (13-0, 5) out pointing Armand Cullhaj (15-4-3, 9) over 6 rounds and the debuting Elchin Ahmadov (1-0) defeating Latvian journeyman Janis Ginters (5-5, 4).
Back over in Japan there was a 7 fight card in Osaka. The main event here saw Mari Ando (11-6, 5) becoming a 2-weight world champion as she successfully claimed the WBC Minimumweight title. Ando had to go through a real battle with Jasseth Noriega (16-3-1, 5) though did enough to claim the split decision and as a result the previously vacant title.
Ando's fight was 1 of 5 fought on the card between women. The others saw Tamao Ozawa (6-1, 2) out pointing win-less Thai Tanyakorn Sor Thammajak (0-4) in a bout that was more competitive than their records would suggest; Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (4-1-1, 3) blasting out Thai debutant Supa Tor Narong (0-1); veteran Nao Ikeyama (13-3-1, 4) narrowly defeating Mika Iwakawa (3-2-1, 1) and Emi Kitawaki (3-4-1, 1) out pointing Misaki Hirooka (2-3).
The only 2 male bouts on this show saw Tomonori Ota (2-1, 1) stop Seita Mochizuki (2-5) in 2 and the debuting Yuto Kawanaka (1-0, 1) take out Takahiro Morishita (0-3-1) in round 3.
We try and give you the latest results on all the fights from Asia.