Of course we're fans of fights in Asia but that's not always possible and sometimes Asian fighters need to travel. That's the case this Wednesday with the only Asian in action needing to travel from Japan to Australia. In return however we get a bout that has all the ingredients of a doozy a real fire cracker.
The reason that we appear to have such a great fight on our hands is because the fight will have two free swinging fighters facing off in a bout not expected to go the distance. For us the man of interest is Japan's hard hitting Shuhei Tsuchiya (15-2, 13), pictured, who started his career with a sensational run of 12 straight knock outs. In the opposite corner however will be Australia's very own Leonardo Zappavigna (30-2, 20).
For those who haven't seen him Tsuchiya is crude. Very crude. But he backs up his crudeness with genuine power, a nasty aggressiveness and an offence first mentality. This can get him in trouble, as it did against Masayoshi Nakatani who countered him at will with devastating body shots, though against Zappavigna this should lead to an all out war with the Aussie himself often neglecting defence to have a fight instead.
Both have power, both have leaky defences and both have been hurt several time in their career.
Sadly it does appear that this is the only bout with an Asian in it, anywhere, on the globe, though reports are suggesting that it will be televised in Australia on Fox Sports, giving us all a chance to sit back and enjoy this sure fire war for as long as it lasts.
(Photo courtesy of http://www.kadoebi.com/)
A new for boxing kicks off this Tuesday and what a month it promises to be. The first week alone gives us world title fights, Japanese title fights, OPBF title fights, world title eliminators and various other key bouts. It really does seem that after a slow start to the year the action is really getting under way in a big way.
Although the month, over all, is packed with action, Tuesday isn't the best of days with just solitary small level show, but still it is an ideal way to kick off what should be a great month.
The only Asian show on Tuesday is at the Korakuen Hall, the long established holy ground of Japanese boxing. The show in question is an 8 bout card promoted by Kawashima and features a pair of Japanese ranked fighters.
The first of the ranked fighters in action is Welterweight Ryoji Tanaka (6-2-1, 2) who will be hoping to record is 4th straight victory as he battles former foe Noriomi Sakamoto (3-4-2, 2). These men first met back when Tanaka was a novice and in that bout Tanaka took a 4 round decision, since then though Tanaka has gone 4-1 and scored a very notable victory over the previously unbeaten Dai Taoka in the Rookie of the year finals last year.
The other Japanese ranked fighter in action is another Welterweight, this time the big punching Toshio Arikawa (8-3, 7). Arikawa, ranked in the top 10 of Japanese Welterweights, will be fighting against the win some-lose some Daisuke Sakamoto (7-8-1, 3). On paper this looks like it shouldn't be a problem for Arikawa but Sakamoto is better than his record indicates and could well give Arikawa a tougher than expected test over the course of 8 rounds.
Aside from the two ranked fighters there really isn't too much of note on this card which is dubbed "Untouchable Fight 21"
(Picture courtesy of boxmob.jp)
After last week it would be easy to say that this coming week would be a disappointment, of course it's going to be last week was genuinely special. Despite that we do have plenty of fights this coming week and the action kicks off on Monday in Japan.
The action for the new week begins in the Korakuen Hall with the next Dangan show, Dangan 97. The show, which like a number of Dangan shows, doesn't focus on a particular fighter but rather the fights and in this case we get to kick the C Class tournament and Rookies King Tournament with "Dangan 97".
In total the show is expected to feature an impressive 12 contests, all scheduled for 4 rounds each giving a potential 48 rounds of fights.
Whilst we're unsure of all the men on the card we're going to be keeping an out for the debuting Ryota Ishida (0-0) who we believe has just turned 18.
Other than the Dangan card we don't think there are any other fights on Monday.
(Photo courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This coming Sunday sees the end of the busiest week in Asian boxing this year and amazing it's the busiest day of the year so far with 5, yes count them 5, different cards, 3 title fights and around 40 fights. It really is a bumper Sunday for fans of the sport across Asia.
We're lead to believe the first show to start will be at the Aioi Hall in Aichi. This show is expected to start at mid-day local time and will be headlined by Japanese #10 ranked Featherweight Shinji Takayama (20-3, 11) who will be fighting against the light hitting Kohei Maruoka (7-5-1, 1) in what really should be little more than a light work out for the talented Takayama.
In total this card is expected to feature 11 bouts but other than the main event very little is worth noting on a Matsuda show that is packed though not hugely interesting.
Although the first card of the day is the Aichi one we think the most notable is at the FujisanMesse in Fuji, Shizuoka. The reason this card is more notable than the others is that the main event is a genuinely promising looking fight as the unbeaten Ryuji Hara (16-0, 10) battles Filipino veteran Donny Mabao (21-20-1, 4) for the vacant OPBF Minimumweight title. Although this looks like a complete mismatch on paper we do imagine it will turn out to be a very tough battle for Hara who has looked less than great in his recent contests.
As well as the OPBF title bout this card will include a further 10 contests, including an interesting bout between James Murashige (7-3-1, 4) and Brazilian Cristiano Aoqui (7-3-1, 4). Both men here have almost identical records, the only difference is that Aoqui has 2 stoppage losses whilst Murashige doesn't have any. It's those stoppage losses that may find Murashige favoured slightly but it is an excellent match up.
At the same time as the Shizuoka show we see the start of a show at the Matsushita IMP Hall, a show that is effectively split in to two separate parts.
The first part of this show, will feature 7 bouts in total with the headliner being an OPBF female Super Flyweight title bout between reigning champion Tomoko Kawanishi (8-1, 4) and Thai challenger Jubjang Lookmakarmwan (3-6). For this bout we're really favouring the champion, especially when you consider the bad run the challenger has been on recently with 6 straight losses.
As well as the female title fight the show will also feature the unbeaten, and very promising, Ryuto Kyoguchi (10-0-1, 7) who will be fighting against Yasunori Kishigami (8-1-1, 5) in what will be an excellent match up between two pretty good domestic fighters. We do favour Kyoguchi but the upset certainly cannot be ruled out.
In total their is 8 bouts on the first part of this show before a small break.
On the second part of the show things really heat up with some brilliant match ups including an absolutely fantastic Flyweight bout between former 2-time world title challenger Hirofumi Mukai (9-3-1, 1) and former OPBF title challenger Myung Ho Lee (16-4, 5). This bout really is a great bout even though neither man is likely to become a world champion and it's this sort of bout that makes for a great main event.
Another bout on the second part of this card will see the unbeaten and very highly touted Shohei Omori (10-0, 6) fighting against southpaw Yubon Kim (10-3, 3). We're going with Omori to win this but we expect to see him struggling a little, at least compared to his last 3 contests which lasted just a combined 4 rounders. We have very high hopes for Omori though we do expect Kim to give him a good work out here.
Hae Nam City, South Korea
Outside of Japan we also get a show in South Korea with yet another title on the line. This time it's the turn of the lightly regarded IFBA Minimumweight title as the reigning champion Ji-Hyun Park (19-2, 5) fights Mexican Anahi Torres (12-11, 2). On paper this looks like a total gimme for Park but Torres is one of those fighters with a misleading record and after starting her career 5-10 she has won 7 of her last 8, including notable wins over Nancy Franco and Jasseth Noriega.
We expect Park to defend her title though wouldn't be surprised if she is given a seriously difficult test by her criminally over-looked Mexican opponent.
(Poster courtesy of Boxmob.jp and is for the second part of the Osaka Teiken show)
This coming Saturday is an interesting one in the world of Asian boxing. It's not a hugely active one, in fact compared to Sunday it's a very quiet one, but the action we do have, especially on the road, is genuine interesting and has a lot of significance to it.
Camarines Sur, Philippines
The only show actually in the Orient is a small one in the Philippines. This show is headlined by a trio of 10 rounders though for us the stand out name is the promising "Captain A" Al Sabaupan (20-2-1, 15) who will be fighting Thai visitor Rachamongkol Sor Pleonchit (14-7, 6). Sabaupan was beaten last time out by Ricardo Dominguez so will be looking to bounce back with a win here.
Another semi-notable name on this card is Roberto Gonzales (22-2, 13) who will be looking for his third successive victory as he takes on domestic journeyman Ronald Postrano (7-18-2, 3) in a clear mismatch.
Another mismatch will see the promising Michael Dasmarinas (14-1, 8) attempt to extend his 11 fight winning streak as he takes on the limited Zoren Pama (5-9-3, 2). As with the Gonzalez bout, this looks to be a pretty clear mismatch.
Whilst the only Oriental card of the day looks uninspiring it does look better than the Russian show which is headlined by Sergey Ekimov (9-0, 3) fighting against Said Mbelwa (26-14-4, 18). The unbeaten Ekimov scored two solid wins last year but on paper this should be his toughest assignment so far.
New Jersey, USA
Talking about Russian's it's actually a Russian fighter that is the highlight of the night. That's because hard hitting Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (23-0-1, 21) returns to the ring for his second defence of the WBO Light Heavyweight title. In the opposite corner to Kovalev will be unbeaten American Cedric Agnew (26-0, 13) who will be taking a huge step up in class. Kovalev isn't just expected to defend his belt but is expected to stop Agnew inside the first few rounds as he has done with his last few opponents.
On the same card in the US there will also be a fight featuring Kovalev's compatriot and managerial stable-mate Khurshid Abdullaev (6-0-1, 3) who will be taking a huge step up to fight Wilky Campfort (16-1, 9). We're sad to say that we don't expect a victory for Abdullaev here.
Nuevo León, Mexico
We go first circle here having started with Filipino's we actually finish in Mexico with a different Filipino, Balweg Bangoyan (18-8, 7) who is essentially being thrown in with the wolves. Bangoyan, a Filipino journeyman who has lost 6 of his last 8, is travelling to fight the vicious and highly destructive Adrian Estrella (16-0, 16) who comes in to the bout on back to back victories over Asian fighters including Jose Maxian, who was stopped in 3 by Estrella last year. It's really hard to give Bangoyan any chance at all here.
A crazy week in Asian boxing starts to wind down slightly on Friday with very little action actually in Asia though plenty of Asian's fighting in international bouts around the globe.
The main Asia card of the day is in China where we get a real mixed bag of fights from Flyweight all the way up to Heavyweight.
For many the headline bout here features Japanese based Ugandan Okello Peter (21-7, 19) taking on Russian giant Evgeny Orlov (14-12-1, 10) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asia Council Continental Heavyweight title. Although Peter is a ring veteran and a former world title challenger he is almost 42 and although he still has power he is slow, clumsy and can be out manoeuvred, it just a question of whether or not Orlov can manage to do it.
A second title bout on this show is set to feature China's very own Qiu Xiao Jun (11-2, 4) fighting against Filipino Jonathan Baat (25-4-3, 12) in a battle over Jun's WBC Asia Council Continental Super Bantamweight title. Jun, who defended his belt in February against Australia's Jason Cooper, has recently broken in to the WBC top #15 and will know that a loss here would be a big set back, morethan anything however a victory would see him getting revenge over the only man to have beaten him. Great fight and a fantastic way to end a trilogy.
As well as the two title bouts this show is expected to feature a further 3 bouts at a lower level.
Distrito Federal, Mexico
Whilst the biggest Asian card is in China the biggest bout involving an Asian is in Mexico as Filipino Marvin Mabait (19-1-2, 13) returns to Mexico for his second successive fight. Mabait won the WBO Inter-Continental Bantamweight title back in October in Mexico and will be looking to make the first defense of the title as he battles the experienced and tough Alejandro Hernandez (26-10-2, 14). Hernandez will be trying to avenge the loss of Johnny Garcia, who was stopped in just 36 seconds in Mabait's Mexican debut.
Another genuinely notable Filipino is in action in Australia on a card decorated by Asian fighters. This time it's the turn of the very highly regarded Randy Petalcorin (20-1-1, 15) who is ranked #2 by the WBA at 108lbs. The Light Flyweight contender hasn't had his opponent listed on boxrec.com though we've been told it will be Lookrak Kiatmungmee (7-6, 4) who challenged the then WBC Minimumweight champion Xiong Zhao Zhong to a world title fight late last year.
As well as Petalcorin this card will also feature the very promising Harmonito Dela Torre (12-0, 7) who will be battling Indonesian Andy Letding (7-3-3, 3) in what looks likely to be a great test for the unbeaten Filipino. (It's this show that we've included the poster for, above)
New South Wales, Australia
A second Australian card with an Asian interest takes place in New South Wales with the main event featuring Joebert Delos Reyes (11-4-1, 8) will be attempting to claim the IBO Youth Lightweight title as he takes on the unbeaten Valentine Borg (6-0, 4). It's a huge ask for the Filipino but with such a big opportunity we're expecting hi to give it his all.
This card, like the other Australian card, features numerous other fighters from Asia, including China's Zhang Yong (2-4, 1) who will be fighting Filipino veteran Aswin Cabuy (14-46-3, 7) in one of the shows lesser bouts.
(Please note: We have been advised that there is a Thai show on Channel 7 but absolutely no details have been released about it)
(Photo courtesy of http://petermaniatis.com/)
March 27th-The Tor Buamas clan in action in Thailand, Cruiserweight destroyer looks for lucky #13 whilst title fights take place in the Philippines
Whilst Wednesday was the midweek highlight for boxing fans this week that doesn't mean it's the last day of the boxing week and on Thursday we get yet more action, including more televised action.
Samut Sakhon, Thailand
The televised action comes courtesy of Thai Channel 9 (Modernine TV) and comes live from Samut Sakhon. Although the full list of bouts for the show aren't yet available we believe the main event will see the unbeaten Pharanpetch Tor Buamas (12-0, 9) fighting against Filipino journeyman Rey Las Pinas (18-8-5, 11) in a defence of the Thai's WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Featherweight title.
The other bouts on this card see established fighters taking on debutants with with female veteran Samson Tor Buamas (31-3, 14), pictured, fighting against Saengmanee Sor Kulawong (0-0) and the recently defeated Tiger Tor Buamas (15-1, 12) fighting against Srisomdech Kwanjaisrikod (0-0).
Although the televised action is in Thailand we dare say that the most notable fight of the day is actually in Russia as KO sensation Dmitry Kudryashov (12-0, 12) takes on Czech veteran Lubos Suda (31-8-1, 23). This will by Kudryashov's biggest test so far but the Russian genuinely looks like a destroyer with his average fight length being 2.5 rounds. Suda is more experienced and the foes Kudryashov has been slicing through though at 37 we're unsure if he can withstand the thunderous power of the fast rising unbeaten man.
This Russian show is expected to have a further 7 bouts on it though they are most at a very low level.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines we get two title bouts, both for variations of the Filipino title.
The better looking of those is between Rene Dacquel (10-3, 3) and Albert Alcoy (14-17-7, 4) who will be competing over the Philippines Luzon Professional Boxing Association (LuzProBA) Super Flyweight title. Dacquel comes into the bout with the better record though has lost his last two whilst Alcoy has won just one of his last 12 bouts, an amazingly poor form by anyone's standards.
The other title fight on this show will see Rey Juntilla (17-4-2, 10) fighting against journeyman Edison Berwela (12-28-6, 3) for the vacant Philippines Boxing Federation (PBF) Super Bantamweight title. Juntilla is win-less in 4 despite his impressive looking record though Berwela has won just 1 of his last 12 and just 2 of his last 16.
Another notable name on this show is Warlito Parrenas (18-6, 16). The always exciting Filiipino puncher, also known as WARS Katsumata, will be hoping to make light work of the limited Ryan Soliveres (4-23-1, 1) in what should really be a mismatch.
(Photo courtesy of boxrec.com)
Often when we get mid-week boxing things are really quite disappointing. This Wednesday however is an exception to that rule as Japanese promotional outfit Watanabe promotions put on what looks to be a solid show including a fantastic main event and several other notable fighters.
The highlight of the boxing day is the fight for the vacant WBA Super Flyweight title between the #1 ranked Thai Denkaosan Kaovichit (62-3-1, 26) and Japan's former champion Kohei Kono (29-8, 12), who enters as the #2 ranked fight. The bout is one that is that has seen opinion on forums and is a genuinely huge bout for both men.
A loss for the 37 year old Denkaosan would likely spell the end of his incredibly long career whilst a loss for Kono would see his dream of a fight with Koki Kameda come to an end and with that in mind we expect to see both men putting everything on the line in what could turn out to be one of the best fights of the year.
As well as the great main event the card also features both Konosuke Tomiyama (23-6-1, 8) and Tatsuya Takahashi (15-5-3, 10), albeit in mismatches.
For those who recognise Tomiyama's name they may well recall his amazing 2013 battle with Filipino Genesis Servania. Although Tomiyama lost that bout he certainly made some new fans here and we're wishing him the best with his very charismatic and unique appeal. As for Takahashi the Japanese ranked fighter will be wanting to build towards a national title fight either this year or next year.
(Photo courtesy of http://www.watanabegym.com)
We're used to seeing fights for the OPBF title often involving a Japanese fighter against a Filipino fighter. We get one of those again in Tuesday though we also get a small shake up to the formula as we also get the chance to see an all Filipino OPBF title fight in a busy day of action on the regional level.
Metro Manila, Philippines
We get the all Filipino OPBF title fight in Metro Manila as the vacant OPBF Light Flyweight title is put up for grabs. The title which was vacated by Naoya Inoue will actually be one of the most anticipated OPBF titles fight in a long as we get two world class fighters battling for the belt. In one corner will be the highly under-rated Jonathan Taconing (17-2-1, 14) whilst in the other will be recent IBF title challenger Vergilio Silvano (18-3-1, 10).
Although neither Taconing or Silvano have been world champions we expect to see both back in world title action over the next few years and as a result this bout should be seen as pseudo world title eliminator as well as being an OPBF title fight.
The Taconing/Silvano fight is one of two title fights on this show with the other being a Filipino (GAB) Bantamweight title fight between the experienced Monico Laurente (23-10, 5) and the once beaten Jetro Pabustan (22-1-5, 6). Impressively Pabustan comes into this bout on a 14 fight unbeaten streak whilst Laurente hace lost 3 of his last 4 and will surely know that he needs a win just to kick start his now faltering career.
A third bout of note on this card will feature Juan Miguel Elorde (14-1, 6), the grandson of the great Flash Elorde. Elorde will be to improve his record as he fights Indonesia's excellently named Budi Risky (8-3, 5). We're expecting Elorde to win quite easily and Risky is 0-2 outside of Indonesia, though we don't view Elorde as anything special, unlike his legendary grandfather.
The OPBF title fight is in the Japanese capital as the WBC #1 ranked Bantamweight and current OPBF champion Ryosuke Iwasa (16-1, 10) looks for the first defence of his title. Iwasa has a tough assignment ahead of him with Filipino Richard Pumicpic (14-5-2, 4) looking for his chance to announce himself to the boxing world. On paper this looks like a straight forward defence for the man known as "Eagle Eye" though in reality it's a very tough defence for Iwasa.
Iwasa is widely regarded as a world champion in the making and is currently on an 8 fight winning streak following a loss to current WBC champion Shinsuke Yamanaka. Despite his impressive winning run Iwasa will know Pumicpic is a tricky and tough customer who is a genuine banana skin for some fighters and could give Iwasa a genuine shock if the highly touted Japanese fighter isn't on his game.
In the co-feature here former world title challenger Ryo Akaho (21-1-2, 14) will be fighting Filipino veteran Richard Garcia (25-17-1, 7). Although the main event looks competitive this bout certainly seems likely to be one sided with Akaho almost nailed on to win.
On the undercard of this show we've spotted two interesting bouts. The higher profile one is between former Japanese title challenger Daisuke Yokoyama (15-5, 6) and the tough Kenta Takahashi (10-7-2, 3). Although Takahashi is limited he's never been stopped and should extend Yokoyama the scheduled 8 rounds.
The second under-card bout of interest is the debut of former amateur stand out Koki Koshikawa (0-0) who will be kicking off his professional career in a 6 rounder with Japanese based Ghanaian Quaye Peter (5-3-1, 3). Although Peter is no world beater and has lost his last 2 bouts he should have enough to at least ask a few questions of Koshikawa who some are tipping as a really good prospect.
With title fights, prospects and world ranked fighters all in action i's hard to really complain about today with a lot of action worth keeping an eye on.
(Poster courtesy of Boxmob.jp)
One of the best things about the second tier Asian shows, especially Japanese ones, are that they tend to be stacked with a number of interesting bouts, often 2 title bouts and one or two notable prospects or ranked challengers. That type of show is what we have several times this coming week in what is one Asian's boxing's best weeks so far.
On Monday we kick off the week with 2 title fights in the Korakuen Hall, as well as bouts involving one of the most famous female fighters in the east and several very promising prospects.
The card will kick off with the promising Ryuto Maekawa (7-0, 4) fighting against a Thai opponent, whose name currently eludes us. Aged just 18 Maekawa is already a well travelled fighter having fought in both Thailand and Japan before finally returning to Japan where he looks likely to make his name.
Although Maekawa made a controversial decision last year to drop out of the Rookie of the Year tournament many are eyeing him as a potential champion and we'd be shocked if he faced a really tough Thai here.
The second bout on the show will feature another unbeaten man in the form of Kazuma Sanpei (9-0, 3) who we believe won the All Japan Rookie of the Year tournament at Super Featherweight last year. The 19 year old Sanpei will be hoping to extend his winning record to double figures as he takes on Thailand's limited Anuntachai Sor Por Lor Krungthep (6-6, 4) in what should be a show case bout.
A third unbeaten fighter will be on show in the card's third bout, this time the hugely popular Tomomi Takano (4-0, 3) who will be facing a Thai opponent in a 6 round bout. Whilst we don't know the name of the Thai we do view this as being a step up for Tomomi who has never been in a bout scheduled for more than 4 rounds. We're lead to believe that her training has been going very well and that we'll seen an improved Tomomi this time out.
The first of the two title fights on the show will see the world ranked Hidenori Otake (21-1-3, 9) in action as he defends his Japanese Super Bantamweight title. Otake has already already notched up 3 defences though will be facing the man he beat to win the title, Takafumi Nakajima (22-6-1, 9) in what looks likely to be a very competitive contest. When the men first met Otake took a split decision and we'd not be shocked to see this being equally as hard fought and competitive.
Following the first title fight we then get a second as OPBF Featherweight champion Hisashi Amagasa (25-4-2, 16) takes on experienced Filipino Vinvin Rufino (34-15-3, 16). On paper this looks like a complete mismatch though in reality Rufino is much better than his record indicates and is the #1 ranked contender for the OPBF title. We do expect the champion to retain though we do know that Rufino is tough and although his record doesn't show it he is heavy handed. This could be a difficult assignment for Amagasa who will likely feel that he should be ready to move into world title fights by the end of this year.
(Picture courtesy of boxmob.jp)