The part of the day sees us focusing our attention on the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo as we get the first Japanese title fight of the new month. The title fight, the headline bout of the "521th Dynamic Glove", sees Yu Kimura (12-2-1, 2) taking on Kenichi Horikawa (25-12-1, 4) in a battle for the vacant Japanese Light Flyweight title. On paper it's not a great bout we do expect it to be very entertaining and incredibly competitive with the two men being very well matched.
Whilst the title bout is the main event there is excitement through the card. Unfortunately the one bout with little in terms of excitement is the chief support bout which sees Yasutaka Ishimoto (23-6, 6) taking on Zun Rindam (9-3-1, 4). It's hard to see anything but a victory for the world ranked Ishimoto, who is best known for upsetting Wilfredo Vazquez Jr, and as a result there is perhaps a bit of disappointed feeling around this bout.
A bout we're really excited by from this card is the explosive encounter between Yuichi Yokoyama (12-2, 11) and Koichi Ito (9-1-2, 8). Both men are big punchers, both are defensively lacking and both go in the ring to knockout the other man, what's not to like here? The only thing that seems certain is that this one won't be going the scheduled 8.
In total this Japanese card has 7 bouts scheduled for it and we'd be shocked if the card was anything less than enthralling.
Philippines, Metro Manila
Staying in the Orient for a little bit longer there is also a card in the Philippines. This card, an Elorde Promotions card, is scheduled to feature 10 bouts with the headline contest being a 12 rounder between Juan Martin Elorde (15-1, 7) and Chaiyong Sithsaithong (32-12-3, 23) for the WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title.
Elorde, defending his title for the first time, is the grandson of the great Flash Elorde, unfortunately however he doesn't posses the traits that made his grandfather so great. He has been matched lightly and will likely struggle here against Chaiyong who isn't great himself but he decent enough to be a banana skin.
The Elorde bout is one of two title bouts on the show with the other seeing the experienced Dennis Laurente (46-5-5, 27) defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Middleweight title against Singdet Nonpitayakom (11-15-1, 8). Whilst we aren't sure about Elorde retaining his belt, it's hard to see part Laurente here who should retain with out too many problems.
In the other bout of note on this card Randy Braga (12-0, 2) will attempt to extend his winning run as he battles the experienced Jonel Alibio (16-17-4, 8) in a 10 rounder. Braga has only done 10 rounds once before and will know that he's expected to go the distance again here, if he does then it'll do his development the world of good even though the bout does look like a total mismatch on paper.
Over in Russian we've been told that the unbeaten, and very promising, Konstantin Ponomarev (22-0, 11) will be risking his unbeaten record against the experienced American Hector Munoz (22-12-1, 14). Munoz, who was stopped in 6 by Yoshihiro Kamegai back in 2011, shouldn't have enough left in the tank to really test Ponomarev though he could have enough to give Ponomarev a few questions to answer in the ring.
Monaco, Monte Carlo
Whilst we plenty of action in Asia to kick off February it's fair to say that the biggest fights involving Asian are in Europe, in the principality of Monaco.
The biggest of the bouts with an Asian involved is the WBA Middleweight title bout between Kazakhstan's destructive Gennady Golovkin (28-0, 25) and Ghana's brave Osumanu Adama (22-3, 16). It's hard to see anything but a victory by Golovkin, though with Adama having never been stopped there is a clear aim there for Golovkin who will be looking to score an eye catching KO over a man who has proven to be tough even if he is limited. We don't expect this one to go the distance and we also don't expect a title to change hands.
Another title bout with an Asian on this card sees unheralded Filipino Rey Loreto (17-13, 9) fighting for the IBO Light Flyweight title. Loreto, although on a good run, will be a clear under-dog against South African Nkosinathi Joyi (24-2-0-1, 17), who of course holds notable wins over Florante Condes and Katsunari Takayama. Although the under-dog Loreto will refuse to write himself off and could well score the most memorable upset of his career. In terms of the betting odds, we have seen Loreto priced as wide at 10-to-1 giving him almost at little chance as Adama. We'd not say those odds are wrong but we do think Loreto will give Joyi one very tough fight.
The final bout with Asian on this card feature's Russia's Roman Belaev (12-0, 10) who takes on Ireland's Dean Byrne (17-2-1, 6) in a battle for the vacant WBA Continental Welterweight title. Belaev is priced as the big favourite and we'll admit we expect him to roll over the limited and light hitting Irishman who has little for the Russian to be afraid of.