This coming Friday sees Filipino fans getting the bulk of Asian action in quite a stacked card, with a number of bouts of real note, as well as some bouts which could be better than they look on paper.
Davao del Sur, Philippines
That Filipino shows comes from Davao del Sur and features a single title fight, as the twice beaten Jake Bornea (11-2, 5) faces Renerio Arizala (13-6-1, 5) for the WBF Intercontinental Super Flyweight title. On paper this bout might not look anything special, particularly given that Arizala has gone 1-5 in his last 6, but the reality is that both men will be hunting a win and both will put it all out there in an attempt to claim some silverware.
Jake isn't the only member of the Bornea family in action as younger brother Jade Bornea (7-0, 4) risks his unbeaten record against the massively experienced Jetly Purisima (21-22-4, 6). This should see the unbeaten Bornea move to 8-0 but we're expecting to see the talented youngster rack up some much needed rounds as he continues his development. Although Bornea did go 10 rounds last time out he has only got 29 rounds under his belt and a tough survivor like Purisima should really help with his development.
Another unbeaten man on this card looking to keep his “0” in place is the under-rated Ryan Lumacad (12-0-3, 7), who takes on Renoel Pael (21-5-1, 11) in the best bout of the show on paper. The unbeaten Lumacad has drawn 2 of his last 3, though was unlucky last time out not to take a win over Go Onaga in Okinawa and looks like a really talented prospect with a good engine and under-rated power. Interestingly Pael has lost to the two fighters Lumacad has fought to recent draws with, but a solid fighter and looks likely to bring the best out of the unbeaten youngster.
On paper a match up between Adones Cabalquinto (23-3, 15) and Rodel Wenceslao (11-14-1, 4) doesn't look hugely appealing, especially given that Cabalquinto beat his compatriot last year. The reality however is that Wenceslao is much better than the numbers suggest and this could be a really tough ask for Cabalquinto following 3 losses in his last 5.
One man expected to pick up a confidence booster is Rosekie Cristobal (12-2, 9), who has lost his last 2. The once touted Cristobal will be up against the tough but limited Alvin Makiling (10-13-4, 3). Another fighter looking for a confidence boosting win is Joebert Alvarez (15-2-1, 7), who should be strongly favoured to defeat Rodel Tejares (21-42-7, 6) in their 6 rounder.
Hampshire, United Kingdom
As well as the action in the Philippines there will be two Kazakh fighters in action in the UK, as they attempt to both claim titles.
In a really interesting bout at 154lbs Yernar Yeshenov (5-0, 4) will face fellow unbeaten Michael McGurk (8-0, 2), with the winner to become the new WBC Youth Silver Intercontinental champion. The 22 year old Yeshenov has fought in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Thailand, and has previously claimed a Youth regional title at Middleweight, though never filled out to being a fully fledged Middleweight. Scottish fighter McGurk has never been in a bout scheduled for 6 before this contest, and will be needing a career best performance to hold his own with the powerful Kazakh hopeful.
The other bout will see the hard hitting Alexandr Zhuravskiy (13-2, 11) battle against the unbeaten Stephen Danyo (11-0-3, 6) in a bout for the WBO European Welterweight title. Zhuravskiy, like his compatriot, is well travelled and has scored wins in Kazakhstan, Russia and Thailand, with both of his losses being competitive. Danyo is a British based Dutch fighter who has fought all over the place himself and could make for a very interesting match up here.
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There isn't a lot of action this coming Friday but the key shows is in the Philippines.
The most notable bout of the day will see OPBF Light Welterweight champion Al Rivera (16-2, 14) make the first defense of his title as he takes on Fellow Filipino Adones Cabalquinto (23-2, 15), in what will be the second meeting between these two men. Riveral scored a surprise 2nd round win over Cabalquinto in November 2015 and subsequently went on to batter Shinya Iwabuchi to claim the OPBF title this year. This will be Rivera's first defense of the title and will also give Cabalquinto a chance to avenge his 2015 loss. This could be a really good bout, or another impressive performance from the monstrously heavy handed Rivera who has stopped his last 6
In the chief supporting bout we'll see the out of form Benezer Alolod (16-8-5, 5) battle against fellow struggler Renren Tesorio (15-8-3, 4) in a rubber bout between the two men. The men first fought in 2014, with Alolod taking a split decision win, then rematched in 2015 with Tesorio taking a majority decision. Since their second bout Tesorio has gone 1-2, suffering a 10th round TKO loss to Daigo Higa, whilst Alolod has suffered back to back losses to Koji Itagaki and Richard Claveras.
In another title bout involving a Filipino we'll see Czar Amonsot (32-3-3, 20) battle against Kaewfah Tor Buamas (23-0, 16). The bout will be Amonsot's first defense of the “interim” WBA Oceania Light Welterweight title and could see the winner move towards a potential world title fight, with Amonsot holding a decent world ranking. The bout will be Kaewfah's first bout of real note, though he has been scheduled to face other notable opponents, whilst Amonsot will be looking to extend a 16 fight winning run.
Yet another title fight involving a Filipino will see South African Gideon Buthelezi (17-5, 4) defending his IBO Super Flyweight title against Filipino visitor Jonas Sultan (11-3, 7). The bout is a tough ask for Sultan, given he's on the road here, but he has impressed on the road in the past, giving Go Onaga a very competitive bout last year and stopping Tatsuya Ikemizu earlier this year. It's worth noting that Buthelezi has been stopped by a Filipino before, having been taken out in a round by Edrin Dapudong in 2013
The most significant bouts featuring Asian fights this Saturday both come from a stacked card in Las Vegas where Bob Arum is putting on a bumper show with several good looking bouts, including a mouth watering world title unification fight.
The most interesting bout with an Asian interest on this card will see China's IK Yang (19-1-0-1, 14) face off against Leonardo Zappavigna (34-2, 24) in an IBF Light Welterweight eliminator. The bout looks almost certain to be a thriller with both fighters having serious flaws and being relatively free swinging. Of the two Zappavigna is the more proven however Yang is the bigger puncher and has the toughness that should help him to a very competitive victory.
The other Asian fighter on this card is Japanese Middleweight contender Ryota Murata (10-0,7) who takes on the much more experienced George Tahdooahnippah (34-2-3-2, 24) in what will be Murata's second bout Stateside. Murata failed to shine on his US debut, when he beat Gunnar Jackson, but should manage to look here against an opponent who has little to threaten him. Another other than an impressive victory will seriously harm Murata's hopes of becoming a star in the US.
It's not just in the US where we get some interesting match ups with Asian fighters as Singapore hosts a very intriguing card.
In the main event of the show fight fans will see promising Uzbek Qudratillo Abduqaxorov (7-0, 5) face off against once beaten Filipino Adones Cabalquinto (23-1, 15) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Welterweight title. The very talented Abduqaxorov has impressed so far in his career but this is a very credible step up and a win will put him on the boxing map. For Cabalquinto the bout is a must win with many criticising his career after a good start, with him facing a string of limited opponents.
In an interesting all Filipino bout Jeson Umbal (10-5, 7) will be up against Mark Anthony Geraldo (33-6-3, 15) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Bantamweight title. Geraldo has lost 2 of his last 4, though was closing in on a world title fight before those losses. He will be favoured over Umbal, though knows that another loss will be the end of his hopes as a contender. Interestingly this will be the second time these two men have fought this year, with Geraldo beating Umbal back in February.
A really testing bout will see former amateur stand out Azizbek Abdugofurov (2-0, 2) battle against Thailand's Chaloemporn Singwancha (17-0, 13) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Middleweight title. The 24 year old Abdugofurov is a hotly tipped Uzbek prospect but this is a monstrous step up for a guy who only debuted in May! The Thai will be favoured on paper but is is one of his first bouts with a guy actually facing him with the intention of winning, and that's without mentioning that Abdugofurov was a very accomplished amateur fighter.
Another title bout will see Muhamad Farkhan (1-0, 1) face off with Indonesian Elly Pangaribuan (4-7-2, 1) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Cruiserweight title. We like Farkhan's desire to win a title at such an early stage but the WBC really should explain why either guy is fighting for any sort of belt here.
One other bout of note sees our Canadian friend Ryan Ford (6-0, 4) in action for the first time since he beat Thailand's Manus Boonjumnong. The unbeaten Canadian will be up against Malaysian Muhammad Meeraj (2-0) in what should be an interesting bout. Ford will certainly be favoured but it seems that Meeraj should be the bigger fighter in the ring and could pose serious questions to the aggressive Canadian.
We also have title action in Indonesia where fans get two title fights.
One of those is for the Indonesian Featherweight title and will see the experienced James Mokoginta (30-18-3, 17) battle against Gusti Elnino (3-9, 1). This looks like a straight forward win for Mokoginta however he's certainly beatable and has lost 3 of his last 6.
The other title fight will see Ruben Manakane (17-16-1, 11) battle against Marten Kisamlu (3-6,1) - Indonesian Super Bantamweight title. This is a very competitive bout, despite the huge different in the records, and should be a genuinely compelling match of up for the fans in Jakarta.
The month of June has started relatively slowly though this Saturday sees things heating up with a lot of action featuring Asian fighters, including notable bouts outside of Asia.
One of those notable bouts is set to take place in the UK where Thai veteran Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (38-7-1, 18) faces former IBF Bantamweight champion Paul Butler (21-1, 12) in a bout for the WBO International Super Flyweight title, and a bout that could well set the winner on the way to facing world champion Naoya Inoue. For Petchbarngborn the bout sees him risking a 16 fight winning streak though he will be the clear under-dog and will be facing one of his best opponents to date. For Butler the bout is a step up in class, but one he will be strongly favoured to win.
Staying “on the road” Indonesian fighter Daud Yordan (35-3-0-1, 24) will be in Uruguay where he will face Argentinian fighter Cristian Rafael Coria (24-4-2, 9) in a bout for the “Interim” WBA International Lightweight title. Yordan should be the favourite here, but will be looking to do more than “just win” in what could potentially be a huge stepping stone towards a world title fight, later in the year.
Continuing with title action action outside of Asian fight fans in the US will see Filipino Jhon Gemino (13-6-1, 5) battle against the unbeaten, and heavy handed, Christian Gonzalez (13-0, 12) for the WBC Youth Lightweight title. This looks like a huge ask for Gemino but he will go in to the ring knowing that a win would open up some doors, and be a genuinely good win.
Quintana Roo, Mexico
One final bout of note outside of Asia will see former OPBF title challenger Jovylito Aligarbes (12-3, 6) face off against Edgar Jimenez (21-11-2, 15) in what looks like a well matched bout in Jimenez's homeland of Mexico.
As well as the bouts outside of Asia there is some interesting match ups in Asia.
One of those interesting match ups sees former world title challenger Daiki Kaneko (22-5-3, 15) battle against Ribo Takahata (12-6-1, 4), in what could see the winner move towards a title fight. On paper Kaneko should be strongly favoured however he has lost 3 of his last 6 and doesn't look like the fighter that many tipped to become a world champion, following his competitive bout with Takashi Uchiyama at the end of 2013.
Another really good bout will see Shingo Eto (17-4-1, 9) face the once beaten Masaru Sueyoshi (11-1, 7). Eto is the better known man here but he has lost twice in his last 5 bouts and knows that another loss here could be the end of his title dreams. For Sueyoshi the bout will see him going for a 9th straight win and build on victories over the likes of Yuta Nagai and Kazuma Sanpei. This could be the bout of the day and is really well matched.
Talking about the possible “bout of the day” it's hard not to get a little bit excited about seeing Kenji Ono (10-1, 5) face Takumi Suda (12-11-2, 3). The records may not suggest that this one will be anything special but Ono has been in a FOTY once already this year, his 8th round win over Jun Takigawa, and could be forced into a war here against the under-rated Suda.
Davao del Sur, Philippines
There's also action in the Philippines, though the matches here are mostly looking like mismatches.
The biggest of the mismatches sees former Filipino Light Welterweight champion Adones Cabalquinto (22-1, 15) battle against journeyman Rodel Wenceslao (11-11-1, 4). Cabalquinto was once tipped for big things but has seen his career flat line recently, despite that he should be far too good for Wenceslao here.
Thankfully there are some prospects on this card, despite them being in mismatches. One of those prospects is Genesis Libranza (9-0, 6) who looks to extend his perfect start as he battles veteran Jetly Purisima (21-18-4, 6). Although likely to be a mismatch this is a step up for Libranza and is the right way to move the promising 22 year “Cobra”.
Another prospect of note on this show is Lightweight hopeful Jayar Inson (10-0, 7), who faces Richard Betos (20-14-1, 7). This another “logical step” for a prospect, but one that doesn't look too exciting on paper. Inson has impressed in recent times and some are tipping him to fight for regional honours in the near future, he will however have to see off fighters like Betos if he's to progress to fighting for an OPBF title
Davao del Sur, Philippines
The most interesting of the action comes on a Filipino card that us littered with promising fighters, sadly however they are typically being matched very lightly.
One of the mismatches sees the really promising, and naturally heavy handed, Aston Palicte (18-1, 16) taking on Fernando Ocon (13-9-1, 5), in what horrible mismatch. We like Palicte, a lot, and realise that he has the potential to be a genuine star however bouts like this will just pad his record. What he needs is a test and sadly this won't be one.
Another man who needs a test but won't be getting one is Adones Cabalquinto (20-0, 13) who has been matched ridiculously easily as he takes on RJ Ano-os (8-6-1, 2). This really isn't worth talking about if we're being honest and it's becoming clear that Cabalquinto isn't going to step up a level any time soon. It's shame that unbeaten man hasn't fought the likes of Keita Obara, Shinya Iwabuchi or even Min Wook Kim, and now it seems that his handlers aren't even going to pursue those types of bouts.
Another mismatch will see Richie Mepranum (29-4-1, 7) take on Juan Purisima (11-8-1, 4). Purisima has been matched hard, losing to the likes of Roman Gonzalez and Jerwin Ancajas, but with out a win in more than 2 years he shouldn't be in with Mepranum. Mepranum, himself a former world title challenger, is looking for a 3rd win since being stopped by Juan Francisco Estrada last year, but shouldn't wasting too much time against low level domestic foes.
Possibly the best bout on the card will be a contest for the interim WBO Oriental Lightweight title. The bout will see the unbeaten Jayar Inson (8-0, 5) take on Victor Mausul (9-3-2, 5). The 24 year old Inson is looking promising but this appears to be a tougher test that the opponents he has been up against in the past.
One other unbeaten fighter worth noting is Romero Duno (6-0, 5), a 19 year old puncher who may be given a genuine test as he takes on Jo-as Apericio (12-15-1, 9) in a 10 rounder. Apericio seems to be a gatekeeper on the Filipino scene and has faced top prospects, such as Jack Tepora and Neil Tabanao so this bout could tell us something new about Duno.
Our favourite bout of the day comes from Australia where the under-rated Adones Aguelo (24-11-2, 16) takes on local favourite Will Tomlinson (23-2-1, 13). On paper we know this is a mismatch, in reality however the paper lies and this has the potential to be an upset. Aguelo is tough, heavy handed, well travelled and has given fighters Sergio Thompson and Nery Saguilan really tough tests. This really is a tougher bout than it looks for “Wild Will”.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
In South Africa we see another Filipino hunting an upset as Lito Dante (9-4-3, 5) takes on local favourite Siyabonga Siyo (8-0, 4) for the WBA International Minimumweight title. This it a really tough ask for Dante but neither man is particularly proven and the Filipino won't be scared by Siyo's record which hasn't got a big win on it as of yet.
May 30th-Kosei Tanaka and Melindo go for gold, Pinoy's get domestic show and even India get in on the action!
This Saturday is one of the busiest and possibly most memorable days this year for boxing fans around the globe. For us it's a day that feature two major world title bouts and a lot, lot more besides.
The big show of the day, for us at least, comes from Japan where an impressive record is under threat and we may well be able to crown the next Japanese sensation.
That potential sensation is the incredibly talented 19 year Kosei Tanaka (4-0, 2) who looks to claim the WBO Minimumweight title in just his 5th professional bout. In the opposite corner to Tanaka will be once beaten Mexican fighter Julian Yedras (24-1, 13), a decent contender though a man who is seen as being “up against it” here against a potential superstar in the making. Tanaka has been nothing but sensational thus far into his career and a win here would see him setting a Japanese national record for fewest bouts to a world title. A loss would be a serious set back but given his age Tanaka would bounce back.
In the chief support bout fans will see unbeaten OPBF and Japanese ranked contender Yushi Tanaka (13-0-3, 9) battle against the brave but limited Mako Matsuyama (7-8-2, 3). Tanaka is slowly working towards a title bout and should come out on top here, though we're unsure just how good he is, or how good he could become. As for Matsuyama we'll never forget his amazingly brave effort against Rex Tso last year and we hope for a similarly exciting bout here, though we're next expecting one even near to the same level.
Another supporting bout will see the experienced Shota Hayashi (24-5-1, 15) battle against Yasuyuki Otagaki (5-3-3, 1) in what looks to be a stay busy fight for Hayashi, who hasn't fought this year. Hayashi is ranked by both the OPBF and JBC and this bout seems to be more about shaking off ring rust than anything else.
As well as the 3 bouts mentioned this card is scheduled to feature 4 undercard bouts as well.
The second world title fight of the day involving and Asian fighter we'll see Milan Melindo (32-1, 12) challenge hard hitting IBF Light Flyweight champion Javier Mendoza (23-2-1, 19). This is a really tough test for Melindo though he has been up against it in the past and managed to acquit himself well in his only other bout at this level, losing a competitive decision to Flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada. For Mendoza this will be the first defense of the title that he won last year, in a really engaging brawl with Ramon Garcia Hirales, and he won't be wanting to give that title up. We really expect that this one could be something a little bit special
Staying in Mexico fans will see Filipino fighter Vergel Nebran (13-8-1, 8) take on former world champion Cristian Mijares (51-8-2, 25). Mijares, once one of the best pure boxers on the planet, is several years removed from his best however he should still be too good, too quick and too skilled for the 25 year old Filipino who has gone 3-5 in his last 8 and is 0-5 outside of the Philippines.
Davao del Norte, Philippines
Having mentioned a few Filipinos in international action it makes sense to look at what's going on in the Philippines with an interesting looking card coming from General Santos City.
The main event here will see Adones Cabalquinto (19-0, 12) defend his Filipino national title against Jonel Gadapan (9-7-2, 5) in what appears to be a complete mismatch in favour of the champion. We do like Cabalquinto but really cannot understand why he's still toiling around at this level rather than being pushed upwards and onwards towards an OPBF title fight.
Another notable fighter in action here will be the sensationally talented Jerwin Ancajas (22-1-1, 14) who is fighting a stay busy fight against Juan Purisima (11-7-1, 4). Ancjas has looked brilliant recently and we're hoping to see him fighting at a higher level than this shortly though he has been out of the ring since last November, when he blitzed Fadhili Majiha in Macau. Hopefully a quick win here will allow the “Pretty Boy” to return to action sooner rather than later.
Another fighter on this show who has been showcased in Macau is Aston Palicte (17-1, 15). The heavy handed Palicte made an impressive statement when he stopped Ismael Garnica and will be hunting his 8th straight stoppage here as he battles Michael Escobia (10-9-1, 2). Interestingly Escobia has gone the distance with some good fighters, including Froilan Saludar and Masaaki Serie, though he has been stopped thrice.
One final name of note on this show will be Drian Francisco (27-2-1, 21) who will be in a genuinely interesting looking match up against Jason Canoy (23-5-2, 17). On paper this is, easily, the stand out bout and although Francisco is more experienced, at least at a higher level, we're not expecting him to just have a walk in the park here. Brilliant match up.
Dongducheon, South Korea
There is also a card in South Korea, sanctioned by the KBC.
This card is certainly not a big one and only features novices though it may still be an interesting card.
From what we understand there is no notable name in action as much of the card is focused on debutants. Despite that there should be some good action, including a Welterweight bout between Woo Min Kim (1-0) and Won Suk Lee (0-0-1) who are both risking their unbeaten records.
New Dehli, India
The most peculiar card of the day comes from New Dehli in India as Brazilian promoter Mike Miranda puts on what is believes to be the first professional boxing show in India since 1952.
The card, despite it's historic status, is a weak looking one with the main event being a 12 round bout between Neeraj Goyat (2-2-2) and Nelson Gulpe (8-4, 3) for the lightly regarded WBC Asian Boxing Council Welterweight title. We're not sure what either fighter has done to deserve a title fight but the belt does add some allure to the card.
The only other notable fighter in action here is Gurlal Singh (6-0, 6) who fights against Vikas Hooda (0-0). Singh has been based in Thailand fighting under the guidance of South Korean promoter Andy Kim and he'll be hoping to carry on his run in the country of his birth.
In Texas fans will see Filipino veteran Juanito Rubillar (49-22-7, 24) battle against former world champion Joseph Agbeko (29-5, 22). The 38 year old Rubillar has seen much better days, in fact he's not fought in more than 18 months and not scored a win in more than 2 years, in fact you need to go back to 2009 to find his second most win. Agbeko might not have scored a win in 2 years but he's a world class fighter and should over-come his Filipino foe.
Another bout in the US will see Kyrgyzstan's Timur Shailezov (17-9-1, 4) battle against the unbeaten Nate Green (7-0, 2) in a tough looking 6 round for the 35 year old from Bishek. Shailezov has won just 1 of his last 8 and we're not expecting him to pick up the win here, though he has scored an occasional upset in the past.
In Australia fans will see Filipino journeyman Fernando Ocon (13-8-1, 5) battle against Jason Cooper (13-2-1, 7) in a contest for the WBA Oceania Super Bantamweight title. It's a tough ask to see Ocon coming back with the win here but it's a good opportunity for the well traveled Filipino.
(Image courtesy of Kosei Tanaka's blog)
Although January has been a bit of a slow month it does end in exciting and busy fashion with a pair of Filipino shows. We won't pretend that any of them are ground breaking with huge headline bouts but there is certainly something to be intrigued by on both shows.
Davao del Sura, Philippines
For us the best of the Filipino shows comes from Davao del Sur and features 4 notable bouts. They aren't earth shattering bouts but all 4 contests have some form of significance to them.
The least interesting of the 4 contests will see that talented but light hitting Marlon Tapales (26-2, 9) battles against struggling compatriot Jecker Buhawe (16-10-1, 10) in what looks to bo a straight forward win for Tapales. Buhawe's record however is misleading and he is better than the numbers suggest, though we still favour Tapales.
Another bout that looks like a mismatch will see Drian Francisco (26-2-1, 20) fight against Jason Egera (21-11, 10). We suspect this will be 1-sided with Francisco taking a stoppage over Egera, however Egera may feel he needs to put in a career best performance considering that he has lost his last 3 bouts and his career will certainly be on the rocks if he's beaten quickly here.
Possibly the best bout on the card will be for the IBF Youth Super Flyweight title as the talented, young and heavy handed Aston Palicte (15-1, 13) battles against Thai visitor Jomyuthlek Sor Narongchai (12-2, 5). Palicte, dubbed “Mighty”, is a serious puncher and a really exciting guy to watch, and he should see off the Thai visitor here, however it's not a forgone conclusion and we hope to see Jomyuthlek really asking some questions of Palicte.
In the main event we get another between a Filipino and a Thai as the unbeaten Adones Cabalquinto (18-0, 11) fights against Denkamon Pakdee Gym (12-3, 5) for the IBF Australasian Light Welterweight title. From what we understand this will be Dankamon's first bout in almost 4 years and it's really hard to see him even testing Cabalquinto here. Unfortunately however it does seem that the unbeaten Filipino is doing his best to avoid real challenges and bouts like this are becoming a big common place in his career, unfortunately.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Another of the Filipino shows takes place in Metro Manila and although this card isn't as good as the other one it does still have a few interesting contests scheduled.
The main event will see the heavy handed Richard Claveras (11-0-2, 11) defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Flyweight title as he takes on Indonesian visitor Demsi Manufoe (9-3, 6). On paper it looks like a test for Claveras however in reality it's a horrible mismatch and Manufoe has been stopped in both of his bouts outside out Indonesia, lasting 3 rounds with Knockout CP Freshmart and less than a round with Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr. This could be over very quickly.
The co-feature will see Rene Dacquel (12-4-1, 4) looking to bounce back from a loss in December. The talented Dacquel, a former WBC Youth champion, will be fighting against Boy Dondee Pumar (10-6-3, 4) in what appears to be a genuinely good contest.
Sadly much of the under-card appears to be mismatches however we do like the look of Kyota Otsuka's (5-0, 3) contest, which will see the unbeaten fighter up against the light hitting but under-rated Jesame Dela Cerna (5-2-3, 1). Otsuka will be the favourite though Dela Cerna has the ability to make this a good test for the unbeaten 20 year old from Tokyo.
Whilst there are mismatches on the remaining parts of this card they do feature some very fighters including Michael Dasmarinas (18-2, 11) and Ardin Diale (26-9-3, 13) who will both be expect to pick up straight forward wins.
As well as the action in the Philippines there is also a bout of note in Mexico as the unheralded Jomar Fajardo (14-5-2, 7) battles against former Minimumweight champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr (16-2-1, 11). These two traded blows in a thrilling encounter last year in the Philippines with Rodriguez being surprisingly taken a to a draw and this time out the Mexican will be hoping to make a statement as he looks to get an opportunity to become a Light Flyweight champion later in the year.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia there are more Asian's in action, albeit as the clear B-side in bouts they are supposed to lose.
One of those Asian fighters is Filipino fighter Rodynie Rafol (12-5-2, 5) who will be trying to upset the unbeaten George Kambosos Jnr (6-0, 3). The other Asian fighter is Indonesian whipping boy Erick Diaz Siregar (16-20-4, 4), who has lost 9 of his last 10 bouts. The Indonesian will need the performance of a life time if he is to win here however as he goes up against the promising Billel Dib (15-1, 6) here.
Some days are insanely busy and today is one such day with more fights of note than almost any other day this year, and better yet they are spread all over the globe form the Philippines to the US, from Germany to Mexico. It really is a great day to look forward to.
New Jersey, USA
The most important bout for many fans this Saturday is in the US where destructive Russian Sergey Kovalev (25-0-1, 23) attempts to unify his WBO Lightweight title with the WBA "super" and IBF titles currently held by Bernard Hopkins (55-6-2-2, 32) in a bout that appears to have every boxing fans interested , even those that typically hate watching Hopkins. Kovalev, a destructive puncher, has been a on a real role recently wiping out decent contenders on a regular basis, often with out breaking sweat. Hopkins on the other hand has been the same old Hopkins we all know, lulling opponents to sleep en route to winning wide decisions. We suspect this bout could be over early if Kovalev hits as hard as we think, or could end up being a long and slow night if Hopkins can hypnotise Kovalev, like he has to many previous opponents. That's what makes this bout so interesting, who will manage to instill their natural game plan on the bout?
On the undercard we have another Russian, Andrey Sirotkin (4-0, 1), risking his unbeaten record against the limited Michael Mitchell (3-4-2, 1) in what should be a straight forward 6 round affair for Sirotkin.
Whilst the main event in New Jersey is undeniably the biggest bout of the day it's very easy to pick the biggest female bout of the day as unbeaten Japanese boxing queen Naoko Fujioka (12-0, 6) attempts to become the first Japanese female fighter to become a 3-weight world champion. Unfortunately for Fujioka she will be up against her toughest challenge yet, Germany's popular Susi Kentikian (33-2-0-1, 17), the current WBA female Flyweight champion. The bout is a tough one on paper and it's made even tougher by the fact Fujioka is on the road traveling to Germany for the bout against on of Europe's most popular female fighters.
A second very good female bout comes from Mexico as former WBA female Minimumweight champion Etsuko Tada (13-1-2, 3) attempts to regain the title and avenge her sole defeat. That however will see her needing to over-come Mexico's very own Anabel Ortiz (15-3, 3) who claimed a controversial split decision in Japan over Tada last year. We suspect this could be a better bout that the Fujioka/Kentikian one though in our eyes the other is slightly more significant considering that Fujioka is attempting to carve her place in history. We'll admit with this being a rematch we're hoping for something a bit special.
On the same card in Mexico Ryuji Yokoyama (11-1-1, 3) will be looking for the biggest win of his career as he takes on the world class Jesus Silvestre (25-9, 21) in a very big test for the Japanese fighter.
Back in the US we see the next bout of the talented Vasily Lepikhin (16-0, 9) who attempts to build on his excellent victory over Robert Berridge last time out. This time Lepikhin will be battling big punching Brazilian Jackson Junior (15-1, 13), was was last in the US about 20 months ago being taken apart by Cuban Umberto Savigne. We suspect that Lepikhin will have a very easy night with the Brazilian who isn't as dangerous as his record would indicate.
In a third US bout fans will see Olympic gold medal winner Egor Mekhontsev (5-0, 5) take the next step on his way to a world title. Mekhontsev has had things all his own way so far but we wouldn't be shocked to see him struggle, at least a bit, with the extremely heavy handed Jinner Guerrero (7-2, 6). Guerrero is limited but what he hits, he hurts. Guerrero comes in with 2 losses in his last 3 but he is insanely heavy handed and if Mekhontsev gets caught or gets reckless this could get very interesting.
A bit closer to "home" is a card in Australia that strikes us as interesting but not great with two bouts of note.
The main event here will see world ranked Bantamweight puncher Zhanat Zhakiyanov (23-1, 16) battle against Filipino journeyman Roberto Lerio (16-20-1, 6) in what appears to be little more than a stay busy fight for the highly regarded Kazakh puncher. This will be Zhakiyanov's third bout of the year and will see him building on two stoppage wins, including an eye catching 1-punch KO over Karim Guerfi back in April and we'd be shocked if Lerio managed to take him the distance here.
The other bout will see the always entertaining Filipino slugger Romeo Jakosalem (15-8-1, 8) battle against the fast rising Cameron Hammond (10-0, 4) in what is likely to be a painful night for the Filipino. Jakosalem comes into this bout with 4 losses in his last 5, including a 2nd round TKO loss to Min Wook Kim back in May 2012, though did win last time out against Elmer Legaria and, if he's on form, he could make life difficult for Hammond. Odds are however Jakosalem isn't going to be close to his best unfortunately and will instead be dominated by the talented Australian.
Davao del Sur, Philippines
Having just mentioned some Filipino's it makes sense to mention some more as we go to the first of two Filipino cards.
This one in Davao del Sur involved two interesting bouts with the co-feature being the better of the two, at least on paper. That bout will see the heavy handed but limited Drian Francisco (25-2-1, 20) battle against former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (17-4-3, 4). Having seen Apolinario struggle to survive against Koki Kameda last year we believe Francisco will stop him, though we do know that Francisco can be out boxed by a speedy fighter and that could prove to be an issue here.
The main event looks like a total mismatch as the talented Adones Cabalquinto (17-0, 10) continues to toil and waste away his career. The talented Filipino Light Welterweight will be battling against Thai visitor Pankorn Mor Poowana (3-1-1, 1) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Welterweight title and we can't help but think he really should bite the bullet, take a risk and go for the OPBF title with a fight against Keita Obara, as was once arranged earlier this year.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The other Filipino show comes from Metro Manila and is a much deeper card. Sadly due to just how busy the day is we're only going to talk about a few of the bouts on the card.
The main event will see the thunderously hard hitting Richard Claveras (9-0-2, 9) attempting to defend his WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Flyweight title against the limited but tough JC Francisco (6-8-3, 2). Francisco has won just 1 of his last 4 and we don't see it changing here but we do suspect that Claveras will be forced to work hard to get the win considering that Francisco has never been stopped so far.
A second interesting bout on here will see Ardin Diale (24-9-3, 11) attempt to defend his his GAB Flyweight title against the heavy handed Jenny Boy Buca (9-1, 9). Diale is better than his record suggests though we're unsure how good Buca is. If Buca has got skills as well as power he may manage to upset Diale who has had a very hard year considering his slugfest with Koki Eto was just 5 months and he has already had a very hard fight with Renerio Arizala since then. This is going to be a tough year for the Filipino who needs a win here to remain relevant.
In Russia we have yet more Filipino's in action with two Filipino's fighting in the Russian town of Klimovsk.
At Lightweight we will see Rey Labao (26-5, 17) attempting to claim the PABA title as he takes on the unbeaten Roman Andreev (15-0, 11), a man attempting to make the first defense of his title. Labao's record may not make him look like a killer but he's a very good fighter and his only loss in his last 8 bouts came against Yoshitaka Kato in an OPBF title fight. As for Andreev this is a tough defense but advantage will likely help him some what against a testing opponent though one who is perhaps less rounded and skilled than Andreev is.
The other bout comes at Bantamweight where Jason Canoy (21-4-2, 15) fights against Nikolay Potapov (12-0, 6) for the WBA Asia Bantamweight title. This bout, like the other one, looks really interesting and although we again suspect the unbeaten is more skilled we cannot rule out the Filipino fighter who we suspect will go to Russia with an upset on his mind.
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
One final show scheduled to take place is in Thailand where we have one interesting bout and one other bout worth noting, albeit a total mismatch.
The interesting bout will see WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight champion Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (28-7-1, 11) defending his belt against the once beaten Filipino hopeful Macrea Gandionco (10-1-1, 6). We suspect Petchbarngborn will be too big for the Filipino however it's a bout we're interested in and hope that Gandionco will be comfortable at the weight.
The other bout that interests us, despite it being a disgusting mismatch, will see Fonluang KKP (21-1-1, 9) take on journeyman Falazona Fidal (25-41-1, 8). This is an awful mismatch though it's nice to see Fonluang staying busy and this will be his 5th bout this year, a big change from 2012 in which he was completely inactive.
(Image courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions)
This coming Saturday is one of the weakest for boxing in months. Despite that Filipino fans do have something to look forward to with two separate shows.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The lesser of the two shows is the Elorde promoted show in Metro Manilla which features a number of "name" fighters but little in terms of solid match ups.
The main event here will experienced Filipino Dennis Laurente (47-5-5, 28) battling against Indonesian Elly Pangaribuan (3-3, 1). Laurente will be defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Middleweight title and should retain his belt relatively easily against Pangaribuan. Although we believe the Indonesian's record is incomplete he didn't look particularly good last year when he fought Nobuhiro Ishida and was stopped in 2 rounds by the Japanese fighter.
The two chief support bouts on this show will be the Elorde brothers and sadly they are in equally as one-sided bouts against Indonesian visitors. At Featherweight Juan Miguel Elorde (15-1, 7) will be battling the "win-less" Paulus Baransano (0-3) whilst Juan Martin Elorde (15-1-1, 7) will be battling against Juniston Simbolon (7-11-1, 3). Again we don't believe the Indonesian's have "complete" records on boxrec but we also don't suspect that either Elorde will struggle.
The most interesting of the bouts on this show will see unbeaten teenager Giemel Magramo (10-0, 7) battling against Filipino journeyman Jovel Romasasa (10-14, 4). Magramo, aged 19, looks like one of the most exciting prospects in the Philippines and has shown some great body shots so far, hopefully he can advance his skill to become more than just a prospect.
Davao del Sur, Philippines
The other Filipino card looks to be much more exciting on paper.
One of the main bouts here will see the very promising Jerwin Ancajas (20-1-1, 12) fighting against the limited Yokthong KKP (15-4, 11). Ancajas is great fun to watch with his speed and combinations and should make very light work of Yokthong, who is of course the only man to be stopped by Zou Shiming so far in Shiming's career. It's a shame that Ancajas isn't fighting at a higher level but it's still great to see him being active and this is his 5th fight in less than 12 months.
Another fighter who should be in harder than he is is Filipino GAB Light Welterweight champion Adones Cabalquinto (16-0, 9) who will be fighting in a non-title fight against the limited Elmer Legaria (13-7, 4). Where not sure what Cabalquinto is really doing with his career but it's time he stepped up rather than continued fighting this domestic level of opposition. Perhaps, if Cabalquinto wins, he looks again at an OPBF title fight with Keita Obara or even a clash with someone like Min Wook Kim or Ja Ik Goo. Though of course those bouts might be too dangerous for the once promising Filipino.
Another promising Filipino on the same card will be the unbeaten "Golden Boy" Jack Tepora (10-0, 6) who will be fighting against Michael Escobia (10-7-1, 2). Aged 24 Tepora is thought to be one of the best prospects in the Philippines and will hopefully come good in coming fights however, like Cabalquinto, he will need to step up notably over the next year or two if he's to ever reach the heady heights expected of him.
One more prospect, on what looks to be a very deep undercard, will be Joneil Dapidran Pacquiao (4-0, 2) who will be hoping to extend his winning run as he takes on the light punching Gabby Siempo (5-4-1, 1). It's hard to see Siempo winning here but it's also hard to tell just how good Pacquiao is and how much of his attention is due to his surname.
(Image courtesy of Powcast.net)
Having had some very good days so far this week it's fair to say that we aren't going to be let down on Saturday with yet more interesting looking fights spread across the globe.
The most interesting of those bouts takes place in Nebraska as the very highly regarded Russian Matt Korobov (23-0, 14) takes on fellow unbeaten fighter Jose Uzcategui (22-0, 18) in what could potentially be the fight of the night. The two, who are 45-0 (32) between them, will be fighting for the WBO Inter-Continental title and, in all likeliness, the winner will become the WBO mandatory challenger for reigning champion Peter Quillin.
On the same card fans will also get to see the very promising Konstantin Ponomarev (23-0, 11), also from Russia, who will be fighting against Hector Munoz (23-13-1, 15). Munoz is probably best known to some as the man Yoshihiro Kamegai made his US debut against way back in October 2011, on that occasion Kamegai stopped Munoz in 6 rounds in what is still his only win on US soil. Ponomarez won't be expected to by quite as impressive against Munoz but will be expected to score a win here and live up to his nickname of "Talant".
Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic
Staying on the Russian theme for a moment longer fans in the Dominican Republic will get the chance to see the very promising Fedor Chudinov (10-0, 8) in action. Fedor is the younger brother of current WBA interim Middleweight champion Dmitry Chudinov and will be seeking his 11th straight win as he takes on Emiliano Cayetano (22-7, 13). On paper this is a step up for Chudinov but we view him as a better fighter than his brother and expect him to easily see off his more experienced foe.
Davao del Sur, Philippines
Whilst the three Russian's fighting will likely grab the attention of many fans there is also a lot of action in the Philippines with 3 separate shows. For us the most interesting of those is in Davao del Sur where Aljoe O Jaro will be putting on a show that, just a few weeks ago, seemed on the verge of falling apart.
The main event isn't great as former WBC Flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro (36-13-5, 26) battles against Ichal Tobida (10-11, 8) in a bout that looks, for all intents and purposes, like a mismatch. Jaro, best known for his shock win over Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, has lost 3 of his last 5 including a major upset loss to Gerpaul Valero. With those recent results Tobida may find himself having a chance, albeit only a slim one.
In the co-main event the unbeaten Adones Cabalquinto (15-0, 8) will be defending his GAB Light Welterweight title against the limited Giovani Rota (7-6, 4). When you consider Cabalquinto was lined up to fight Keita Obara earlier this year in an OPBF this bout does look like a waste of time though hopefully it will be the final bout at this level for Cabalquinto before he does move beyond domestic level and throw his name out there to fight Obara, Min Wook Kim or Shinya Iwabuchi. We'd be shocked if Rota makes it to the second half of this fight.
Whilst the two main events look like forgone conclusions in relatively uninteresting bouts we've got to admit we're exciting about the contest between Lorenzo Villanueva (25-1-0-1, 22) and Hendrik Barongsay (26-16-3, 15). We expect the obvious winner here and will be hoping that Villanueva gets the win though he's always been a favourite of ours since we saw his fight with Daud Cino Yordan in 2012. That bout was one of the most insanely entertaining bouts in recent years and we'd recommend you all watch the video of the fight here. Barongsay has only been stopped 5 times in his 45 fight career and the most recent of those was way back in 2009 so there is every chance he could give Villanueva some resistance here.
One other man pencilled in for this show is Roksie Cristobal (7-0, 7), the freakishly tall Lightweight prospect that some in the Philippines have become very excited about. Although he's still young we do want to see Cristobal step up a little bit in coming fights, sadly he's down to face a "TBA" at the time of writing.
As well as those bouts mentioned we expect to see several other bouts, albeit at a lower level.
Lanao del Norte, Philippines
Although we do like the the previously mentioned Filipino show we need to admit that the best single Filipino fight is in Lanao del Norte as Marlon Tapales (25-2, 9) attempts to defend his WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title for the first time. Tapales ,a very talented young fighter, will be battling against Tanzania's 20 year old Fadhili Majiha (15-3-4, 7) in a bout that looks very interesting on paper. Tapales will start as the clear favourite but Majiha is 1-0 in Asia having beaten Heri Amol in Amol's native Indonesia. Interestingly Majiha's only stoppage loss came when he was a 16 year old to Vusi Malinga suggesting he may well be a very tough cookie to Tapales to crack.
Also on this card will be the debut of Brian Capampangan (0-0) who kicks off his career with a 6 rounder against Michael Acevido (2-5-1, 1). We'll admit we don't know much about Capampangan but the fact he's beginning his career with a 6 rounder intrigues us.
As with the other show there will be other bouts on this show.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In Metro Manilla we get another very interesting looking headline bout as Renan Trongco (14-4, 8) defends his WBC International Flyweight title against fellow Filipino Weljan Ugbaniel (12-2-1, 3). Ranked #11 by the WBC at Flyweight Trongco has a lot to lose but we do favour him as he has more proven experience and has been in there with both Sammy Gutierrez and Hekkie Budler, saying that however Ugbaniel will see this as his big chance and we expect to see him fighting better than he has before.
Sadly the chief support bout is a total mismatch as former world title challenger Silvester Lopez (21-7-2, 15) takes on Arjet Caballes (6-30-5, 3). In a normal situation we'd describe this as a disgusting mismatch but in fairness to Lopez there is serious question marks about how much he has left after suffering 3 losses, including 2 stoppages, in his last 4 bouts. Evenif Lopez has something left he genuinely does need a confidence builder and that's exactly what this bout should be for him.
On paper the most competitive bout on this show will see Junjie Lauza (4-10-1, 1) facing against Zoren Pama (5-10-3, 2) which is a bit of a shame. We'd expect this bout to be very competitive. Sadly the same cannot be said about the bout between Dennis Tubieron (17-3-1, 8) and Rey Ramos (6-5-2, 3) or the Cris Paulino (13-1, 3) bout, which will see him facing Lowell Saguisa (7-15, 3) both of which are very bad mismatches we're afraid.
Again there are more than just the bouts we've mentioned.
(Image, courtesy of boxrec.com, is of Adones Cabalquinto)