Right now it seems like every weekend is a busy one in boxing and this weekend is no different with notable cards from Japan, the Philippines and Azerbaijan as well as a Kazakhstan fighter defending a world title in the US.
Of the shows we have, we'll begin with the Japanese show which is going to be at the Azalea Taisho Hall in Osaka. This show is going to predominantly feature female fighters with 5 of the 7 bouts on the card being female bouts, including the main event.
The begins with a female bout as Kitawaki Emi (2-4-1, 1) fights Misaki Hirooka (2-2). This bout has "distance fight" written on it if you ask us, though hopefully it will prove to be competitive.
Following the opening bout we then get the 2 male bouts back-to-back. The first will see Yuto Kawanaka (0-0) making his professional debut against Takahiro Morishita (0-2-1) before Seita Mochizuki (2-4) battles Tomonori Ota (1-1). We'll admit these male bouts are uninspiring but the card is really all about the women.
In the sole 6 round fight of the show we expect to see veteran Nao Ikeyama (12-3-1, 4) fighting against novice Mika Iwakawa (3-1-1, 1) before we move on to the 8 round bouts which will see Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (3-1-1, 2) fighting an unrecognised Thai opponent and Tamao Ozawa (5-1, 2) fighting Tanyakorn Sor Thammajak (0-3).
The main event here sees Mari Ando (10-6, 5) taking on Jasseth Noriega (16-2-1, 5) in a battle for the currently vacant WBC female Minimumweight title. The belt was vacated earlier this year by Naoko Fujioka who subsequently went up to Super Flyweight and claimed the WBC title at 115 lbs. We favour Ando here but do admit that the bout will not be easy for her.
Staying on the world title theme this weekend sees the return to the ring of Beibut Shumenov (13-1, 8) who looks to make the first defense of his WBA Light Heavyweight super title. Shumenov, who was recently upgraded to "super champion", will be fighting for the first time in 18 months as he takes on the unbeaten Tamas Kovacs (23-0, 14). On paper this is a good fight but in reality Kovacs should post no threat to Shumenov's title.
For those wanting to watch Shumenov v Kovacs it should be part of the Showtime telecast in the US.
In the Philippines we get 2 cards, as mentioned above. Of these the better show looks to be the one at the Agoncillo Complex which is co-promoted by Saved by the Bell Promotions and Brunsmick Boxing Promotions.
The headline of this card sees the unbeaten Jun Doliguez (17-0-2, 13), fresh off the back of his US debut, taking on Thailand's Maxsaisai Sithsaithong (12-3, 3). This looks, at least on paper, to be a chance for Doliguez to put on an eye catching performance more than anything else.
Doliguez isn't the only promising unbeaten fighter in action on this show as JR Magboo (12-0-2, 5) fights Danilo Pena (26-16-3, 11) and Val Falcunaya (8-0, 6) takes on the very testing Rey Perez (17-4, 3). Magboo should be favoured heavily against Pena but Falcunaya is in for a very tough test.
The other notable bouts on this show,all scheduled for 10 rounds, will see Roberto Gonzales (22-2, 13) taking on tough journeyman Jonel Alibio (16-17-4, 8), the hard hitting Al Rivera (7-1, 6) fighting against Ronald Postrano (7-17-2, 3), Benezer Alolod (12-5-4, 2) fighting Jayson Rotoni (13-12-1, 7), Gabriel Royo (9-7-2, 8) fighting against Desson Cag-ong (13-9, 7) and, finally, Jetro Pabustan (21-1-5, 6) battling against Michael Escobia (10-5-1, 2).
The card's only other bout will see JC Francisco (5-6-1, 1) fighting against Dexter Dimaculangan (3-3-3, 1) in a scheduled 8 round affair.
The second Filipino card, the lesser if you will, begins with a trio of 4 rounders as JK Elorde (1-0, 1) fights the debuting Rolly De Tomas (0-0), Charlie Gabriel (0-3) faces debutant Raymond Yalong (0-0) and Roderick Flores (1-0, 1) look to defeat another debutant in the form of CJ De Tomas (0-0).
Following the 4 rounders we move in to 8 round action as the unbeaten Jeffrey Francisco (7-0-1) takes on Junjie Lauza (4-9-1, 1) and fellow unbeaten fighter Giemel Magramo (7-0, 4) fights journeyman Roy Albaera (2-20-5).
The bulk of this card, as with the other Filipino card, is in the 10 rounders of which we have 4 of. These include a single title fight as Rene Patilano (9-1-2, 5) fights Jomar Fajardo (12-4-1, 5) for the vacant Philippines Luzon Professional Boxing Association (LuzProBA) Light Flyweight title.
In the most 1-sided of the 10 rounders we're expecting to see the highly experienced Dennis Laurente (45-5-5, 26) taking on Thailand's Khomkaew Sithsaithong (6-2, 5). We say this is the biggets mismatch but we don't expect the bouts between Jonathan Taconing (16-2-1, 13) and Namphol Sithsaithong (4-5, 4) or Juan Miguel Elorde (13-1, 5) and Ngaotawan Sithsaithong (10-11-1, 5) to be competitive either.
One of the most intriguing cards of the day takes place on the European-Asian border as we get action in Azerbaijan. This card, which features a very interesting double title fight between Welterweights Fariz Mamedov (14-1-1, 8) and the unbeaten Matthias Pelk (20-0, 11) is a bit of an odd one. For example this fight in particular will see the men fighting for the WBO European and the IBF East/West Europe titles, two titles that we don't really understand.
As well as the double title bout we also get a trio of Heavyweight bouts. The most interesting of these will see veteran Timo Hoffmann (40-9-2-1, 23) fighting against Steffen Kretschmann (16-2-0-1, 15) for the second time. The men, who first fought in 2012 saw their initial encounter called off in the 6th round due rain. We kid you not this is a rematch of a rain effected no contest.
The second most interesting Heavyweight contest will see Roman Golovashchenko (12-1, 10) fighting against Yakup Saglam (31-3, 28). Although Saglam has got an attractive record is very much a paper one and an upset would be far from a shock. The remaining Heavyweight clash is expected to see Elchin Ahmadov (0-0) make his debut against Janis Ginters (4-5, 4).
In the remaining bouts on the card the hard hitting Rashad Karimov (26-2, 23) will fight Miguel Velozo (16-1-2, 5) and Middleweight prospect Vusal Aliyev (12-0, 5) will fight Armand Cullhaj (15-3-3, 9).
For fans wanting to watch the Azerbaijan card we've been lead to believe that Eurosport will be televising portions of it including Hoffman/Kretschmann II.
The final bout of note will see the unbeaten Anton Novikov (27-0-0-1, 10) attempting to pick up a win a win in Puerto Rico as he battles Manuel Perez (20-9-1, 4). Perez has lost 2 of his last 4 and in all honesty Novikov should have the talent to make that 3 losses in 5 for the American.