This coming Friday might not have any world title fights but it's certainly a busy day with numerous meaningful fights spread all across Asia.
Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand
The most notable fight is in Thailand as Thong Sithluangphophun (9-0, 6) looks to defend his PABA Featherweight title against Indonesia's Yakobus Heluka (7-7). Heluka comes in to this bout following 3 successive losses and it's hard to see him surviving with Thong here, especially considering that Thong has stopped his last 4 opponents in a combined 14 rounds, including a 3rd round KO of Tony Arema.
In Hyogo Shinsei will putting on 7 bout card which will feature several ranked fighters, many of which will be from the Philippines.
One of those Filipino's will be Renren Pasignahin (6-3-1, 2) who will be looking to upset the fast rising and much touted Shun Kubo (4-0, 3), who his himself ranked by the OPBF. Pasignahin has lost 3 of his past 4 bouts but they have included decision losses to the very talented Michael Dasmarinas and the very talented Nop Kratingdaenggym. Kubo should be favoured but Pasignahin is not a patsy.
The chief support bout will see another ranked Filipino, the GAB #7 ranked Flyweight, Renoel Pael (13-1-1, 5) taking on heavy handed Japanese fighter Yuki Yonaha (3-1, 3). Going in to this bout the 23 year old Yonaha has never lost to a foreign fighter, though he was beaten last time out by domestic rival Takayuki Okumoto in what was a minor upset. This is another bout with the home fighter at risk of losing, especially considering how Pael's only loss was a highly controversial one in Thailand to the highly experienced Noknoi Sitthiprasert. Credit where it's due, this is a great match up.
Another of the supporting bouts will see heavy handed, though not as good as his record suggests, Kota Fukuoka (15-4-2, 12) fighting against former OPBF title challenger Jhunriel Ramonal (13-7-4, 7). On paper this looks well matched but Ramonal has won just 1 of his last 7, being stopped in 3 and suffering a trio of technical draws. We think Fukuoka has to be fancied but we don't imagine this will be as good as the aforementioned bout.
One more bout of note from this card will see Ryuya Yamanaka (7-1, 2) fighting against the highly experienced Filipino Roque Lauro (10-16-4, 2). Yamanaka is a 19 year old who has shown some promise but did look very frail when he was stopped inside a round by Kenta Shimizu back in April. Lauro won't have the power to hurt Yamanaka but will ave the toughness and skills to give him a hard bout. Interestingly Lauro has managed to see the final bell against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, something he managed last September, an excellent feat for any fighter never mind a journeyman.
Whilst Shinsei have a great card in Hyogo it's fair to say that SGS Gym have an equally good one in Tokyo and in fact we believe this one will be stream by the Gushinken ustream channel.
In total this show will have 10 bouts but there are only 3 that fans will really have any interest in. The first of those will see the free swinging Taiki Eto (12-3, 9) taking on Thailand's Brukluk Kor Narong Service (0-1). Eto is one of the 3 brothers who are all managed by SGS gym though to many fans he's the most limited. So far Eto has lost in OPBF and Japanese title challenger, he shouldn't however come up short here against a Thai that lasted less than 2 rounds in his only previous contest, despite that bout being against current Japanese Super Flyweight champion Sho Ishida.
The second bout of note will see there always fun to watch Akinori Watanabe (30-4, 26) battling against Thailand's Chatchai Sithsaithong (8-3, 6). Watanabe is heavy handed and really should make light work of his Thai opponent here especially when you consider that Chatchai is naturally smaller and has lost his last 3 bouts in a combined 10 rounds. This really should be a blow out victory for Watanabe though we have seen the Japanese fighter show issues with his own durability in the past, including his loss with Tsuyoshi Kamiishi.
In the main event Shingo Eto (13-2-1, 8) will be fighting a Thai who we believe is Arnon Sithsaithong (0-0). From what we understand a win for Eto here will see him moved on to a title fight next time out, probably against unbeaten Japanese Super Featherweight champion Rikki Naito.
Metro Manilla, Philippines
In the Philippines we have another very interesting card that may well be over-looked by many fans though promises a lot of explosive action.
The most explosive bout here is likely to be the 12 round main event which will see unbeaten power punchers colliding. One of those men will be Filipino Richard Claveras (8-0-2, 8) whilst the other will be Thai teenager Sangthong Chor Pakdee (4-0, 4). Whilst the men both bring unbeaten records and a lot of power with them they will also be bringing a lot of desire as the winner will claim the WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Flyweight title. At he moment Claveras is the defending champion though his belt, and unbeaten record, are under threat here.
As well as the main event the under-card looks interesting with one bout in particular catching our eye. That's the bout between the heavy handed and all action Warlito Parrenas (20-6, 18) and the experienced Richard Garcia (25-19-1, 7). We really like Parrenas and although he's limited he's incredibly heavy handed and very much a fighter who looks for excitement, in fact we'd go as far as to say that Parrenas shadow boxing would be more fun to watch than many televised fights. With his power and aggression we'd be shocked if Parrenas doesn't walk through Garcia here.
In a female title bout fans will get the chance to see Momoko Kanda (6-6-2) battle against Nongnun Mor Krungthepthonburi (2-2, 1) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council female Minimumweight title. Kanda beat Nongnun back in June for the title and this will be her first defence.
In the US we will see the promising Bahodir Mamadjonov (16-1, 11) in action as he battles the experienced Osumanu Akaba (31-5-1, 24). Mamadjonov, from Uzbekistan, should easily overcome Akaba though we're unsure why Mamadjonov isn't fighting at Lightweight or Light Welterweight, weights which we think suit him a lot more than Light Middleweight. We know it may just be a case of ticking over but at 135lbs he has the potential to be a real force so it'd be nice to see him back down there.
(Courtesy of United Boxing International Promotions)