The most notable action to involve Asian fighters this Thursday takes place in the US where two fantastic prospects will be in action.
The most promising of the prospects is the fantastic Dmitry Bivol (5-0, 5) who looks to continue his meteoric rise through the Light Heavyweight ranks as he faces Brazilian Cleiton Conceicao (22-8-2, 18). Bivol, from Kyrgyzstan, is possibly the most exciting prospect on the planet and looks to be a man set to fight in world level bouts in the next 12-18. This is likely to just be the next step on his road to the top.
The other prospect is unbeaten Kazakh Bekman Soylybayev (7-0, 3) who moves in to title bouts as he takes on the experienced Moises Delgadillo (15-13-2, 8) for the WBA-NABA USA Super Featherweight title. This should be a straight forward win for Soylybayev, who was a former stand out amateur and WSB champion, though it's actually the manner of his performance that will be important here.
Metro Manila, Philippines
As well as the notable action in the US fight fans also get an Asian interest in the Philippines where fans get several title bouts in what looks likely to be a very intriguing card in Metro Manila.
The main event of the card will see the unbeaten Joe Noynay (10-0, 3), also known as Joe Misako, battle against the criminally under-rated Alie Laurel (14-4, 9) in a bout for the WBC International Super Bantamweight title. The unbeaten 20 year old will be the favourite given his unbeaten record but this will be a dangerous bout for him. Noynay is the naturally bigger fighter but Laurel is a very dangerous fighter, as seen in wins over Tiger Tor Buamas and Nobuhisa Coronita Doi.
Another unbeaten fighter looking to claim a title on this show is Kyota Otsuka (5-0-1, 3) who faces Eranio Semillano (11-7-1, 3) for the WBC EPBC Super Flyweight title. On paper this looks like a logical step up for Otsuka but the 21 year old is stepping up massively for his first 12 rounder and this is a potential upset. Semillano is 1-2-1 in his last 4 but shouldn't be over-looked as he has been mixing at a much higher level than Otsuka, and actually fought current WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu in 2014.
The remaining title bout is probably the best match up on the card and sees the unbeaten Toto Landero (7-0-2, 2) battle against the once beaten Rolly Sumalpong (9-1-1, 4) for the WBC EPBC title at Minimumweight. This is the first defense by Sumalpong, who won the title last June, and will be his first bout since losing to fast rising Japanese star Ken Shiro last October. For Landero this is a step up to 10 round action and a great chance for him to score a big win. This really is a fantastic match up and very mouth watering.
The most notable action featuring Asian fighters this coming Sunday comes from Texas where we get two former world champions in action as they both look bounce back from losses in world title action.
Of the two men the most notable is former WBO Bantamweight champion Tomoki Kameda (31-1, 19) who faces Englishman Jamie McDonnell (26-2-1, 12), in an attempt to avenge his first career defeat and claim the WBA Bantamweight title. These two faced each other earlier this year in a brilliantly compelling bout that saw McDonnell climb off the canvas to take a narrow decision win over the youngster of the 3 Kameda brothers. Kameda, who had a rematch clause, will be looking to become a 2-time world champion but will need to show much more than he did in the first meetign with McDonnell, especially down the stretch.
The other is Tomoki's older brother Daiki Kameda (29-4, 18). Daiki, a former Flyweight and Super Flyweight world champion, willl be facing Mexican slugger Victor Ruiz (19-5, 14) in what looks like a good match up on paper. Kameda hasn't fought since late 2013, when he lost a Super Flyweight unification bout to Liborio Solis, and will likely be rusty here though should over-come Ruiz who has a very padded looking record.
Whilst the Kameda's will be the biggest name Japanese fighters in action they will certainly not be the only Japanese fighters in action with a show in Toyama.
Notably this show will be headlined by two non-Japanese fighters as Venezuelan Juan Jose Landaeta (26-8-1, 20) battles against Panama's Walter Tello (21-8, 8). Landaeta is now based in Japan and will be hoping show some of the form that once lead him to holding the WBA interim Minimumweight title. As for Tello this will be his second bout since he was stopped by Randy Petalcorin in June 2014, and we'd expect him to come up short again here.
In another feature bout on this card fans will see the once beaten Aiko Yamagishi (4-1-1, 2) battle former world title challenger Saemi Hanagata (9-6-2, 4) in a 6 round female bout. Hanagata has come up short in her last two bouts but did run Naoko Shibata very close back in February and we expect her to show her ability here. Notably Yamagishi was stopped last time out and this is a big step up in class for her.
The most attractive of three Filipino shows comes from Benguet where we get two bouts that have really caught our eye.
The most notable of those bouts will see the once beaten Ben Mananquil (10-1-2, 2) battle against former world ranked fighter Mateo Handig (13-9, 7) in an intriguing Super Flyweight bout. We are fans of Mananquil, who at 23 years old is genuine one to keep an eye on. Handig, who holds a major win over Katsunari Takayama has lost his last 4 and will know that another defeat will spell the end of any dreams he has to make a real name for himself.
The other bout will see former world ranked slugger Alie Laurel (13-4, 9) take on Gerry Patenio (4-8-2, 2). Although this is a mismatch we always enjoy watching Laurel in action and he certainly knows a thing or two about upsets, holding wins over Nobuhisa Coronita Doi and Tiger Tor Buamas. We're looking forward to seeing more of Laurel down the line, but this is an easy win following a loss to Ernesto Saulong back in May.
As well as the bouts mentioned there will be a number of bouts featuring Indian fighters.
Another notable show comes from Wastern Samar.
The most interesting bout on this card will see the once beaten Neil John Tabanao (11-1,7) attempt to bounce back from his recent loss to Randy Braga. The talented and young Tabano will be up against the limited Alvin Makiling (10-12-3, 3) in what should be a one-sided bout with the 21 year old Tabano coming out on top.
In an 8 round support bout the unbeaten Rambo Lagos (4-0-2, 2) will be up against the limited JR Salvador (5-23-3). This should again be a win for the unbeaten man though this could be an interesting test for Lagos.
One other bout of note here will see 20 year old Margarito Moya (7-1, 2) in action. Moya was originally reported to be up against Renan Portes (4-2, 1), though it now looks like Moya is out of the bout.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
On another Filipino show fans will get the chance to see promising 21 year old Genesis Libranza (7-0, 5) battle against the very experienced Michael Rodriguez (13-41-1, 3) in a bout set for 10. It's hard to go against the unbeaten man though he does have a lot of questions to be asked before he's stepped up too much.
In the co-feature of this show fans will see the return to the ring of Drian Francisco (27-3-1, 21) who faces Jilo Merlin (13-23-2, 2). This will be Francisco's first bout since he was beaten in a round by Jason Canoy, who was recently announced as the opponent for Hianata Maruta's upcoming debut, and this is as a safe a comeback fight as Francisco could possibly have with Melin having lost his last 8.
This coming Friday isn't a day that many fight fans will have marked on their calendars but there really is a lot of action.
In Thailand fans get a spectacular card combining boxing and Muay Thai. As we don't cover MT we've only really got 3 bouts to make note of.
In the main event, at least in terms of the boxing, fans will see the promising Saenganan Sithsaithong (10-0, 6) take on Filipino visitor Danilo Gabisay (6-3, 4). Gabisay really needs a win of note here having gone 2-3 in his last 5, though he did score a TKO over Angelito Merin last time out. Saenganan is listed as a 15 year old on boxrec and whilst we're unsure on his age he does seem to be a really promising young fighter with genuine potential. That potential should be on show here.
Another bout between a Thai and a Filipino will see the experienced Thai Chaiyong Sithsaithong (36-14-4, 26) battle against limited Filipino foe Nathan Bolcio (12-7-2, 4). Bolcio has been stopped in his last 4 bouts out side of the Philippines and we suspect he could be stopped again here, though he did notably go 10 rounds with Tomoki Kameda back in 2011. Chaiyong has however lost his last 2 bouts and now needs a win.
A third bout will see China's Jen Yu Jia (1-8-2) fight a local Thai foe, though one who's name we're unsure about having been given the name “Sant Sithsaithong”, who we can't find on boxrec.com. Jia isn't great but he is tough enough to test some prospects and if “Sant” isn't up to much he could be slipping on the banana skin here.
Although the show in Thailand is interesting we're actually more interesting in a show from China which bouts 4 title bouts and features several fighters that we have a genuine interest in.
The main event will be an all Filipino affair as Alie Laurel (13-3, 9) battles against once beaten Ernesto Saulong (17-1-1, 7) in a bout for the WBC International Bantamweight title. This will be a rematch of Laurel's third loss, a split decision to Saulong, and will allow Laurel to continue his fine form which has seen him stop his last 3 foes, including Tiger Tor Buamas and Nobuhisa Coronita Doi. Saulong has also won his last 3 bouts though was stopped, in 3 rounds, by Rey Megrino last May. This is really interesting as a match up and one of the ones we're really excited about.
Another bout we're really excited about will see the world ranked Xiang Jing (8-3-2, 1) battle against Macrea Gandionco (10-2-2, 6) in a bout for the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council and WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight titles. Coming into this bout Gandionco is 0-2-1 in his last 3, having been stopped in both of those defeats. Jing on the other hand is 1-0-2 having claimed a controversial win last time out against the very talented Ben Mananquil. This could be a good test of the Chinese fighter, though we suspect he'll come out on top.
A Featherweight title bout will see Xian Wei Qian (7-4-1, 1) battle against the unbeaten Junar Adante (5-0-1, 2) on a bout for a pair of WBC regional titles. A potential fringe world ranking could be up for grabs for the winner here , despite how unproven the two men are, and so we'd expect them to put it all on the line in an attempt to claim the two titles.
Yet another notable title fight will see Cai Zongju (4-1, 1) battle against Angor Onesongchaigym (7-2, 4) for a pair of WBC female titles. Fair to say most western fans won't be interested in this one but the winner could find themselves in the running for a potential shot at a WBC female world title later in the year.
In Australia there are a trio of bouts worth noting, including a particularly interesting female bout with a potential Atomweight world title challenger.
That female bout will see Filipino fighter Jujeath Nagaowa (12-14-1, 8) attempt to slow down the fast rise of talented Australian Louisa Hawton (4-0, 2). Hawton's team have made it clear that they are chasing world title bouts later in the year and this is an excellent step up for her, though Nagaowa isn't a push over.
Another bout here will see Thai veteran Sapapetch Sor Sakaorat (31-17, 20) battle against Australian fighter Steven Wills (17-2-2, 9) whilst Filipino fighter Lloyd Jardeliza (6-1-3, 5) takes on Nathaniel May (10-1, 5), in what appears to be a very tough ask for the Pinoy puncher.
For the second day running we get action from the Korakuen Hall with an under-rated yet interesting show which features a number of ranked fighters and several genuinely meaningful bouts.
The opening bout on the show is a 6 rounder which will see the 2014 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner at Featherweight, Reiya Abe (8-1, 4) battle for the first time since he claimed the Rookie title. Abe will be, on paper, in his toughest bout to date as he battles against Shingo Kusano (8-4-1, 4) who will be entering the bout in search of his biggest win, since he won the East Japan Rookie of the Year crown, also at Featherweight, in November 2013. Interestingly coming into this fight Abe is ranked #15 by the JBC at 126lbs.
In a contracted 80KG bout fans will see Thai debutant Kompayak Sithacharnkom (0-0) battle against former OPBF Super Middleweight title challenger Shintaro Matsumoto (10-4, 8). Matsumoto has lost his last two bouts by stoppage, including a 4th round TKO loss to Yuzo Kiyota last time out, though we know next to nothing about his Thai opponent, other than the fact he shares a “first name” with a former Minimumweight world champion.
An interesting Featherweight bout will see the hard hitting Tsuyoshi Tameda (10-1-2, 8) battle against Takenori Ohashi (11-3-1, 7) in a genuine well matched bout. We need to favour Tameda here though only just and Ohashi's draw against Mikihito Seto last June was an impressive result that he may build on here.
A second Japan Vs Thailand bout comes at Super Featherweight where IBF Asia champion Takuya Watanabe (23-5-1, 11) fights a hastily arranged bout with a Thai foe Sam Saknarong (1-1). Although this bout was relatively short notice Watanabe had been training for a bout on March 1st and should be in great shape for this non-title bout.
The show's co-feature will be one of the most significant bouts of the week as Quaye Peter (6-5-2, 3), an OPBF and JBC ranked fighter, battles against JBC ranked foe Ryoji Tanaka (8-2-1, 2). Outside of rankings this may not mean much, especially for fight fans outside of Japan, though it could well see the winner move on to a national title fight and that is significant. Peter, a Ghanaian born fighter who has fought solely in Japan, scored his biggest win last time out, taking a clear decision over Kazuya Maruki in a major upset. That win was Peter's first in more than 2 years and saw him ending a 5 fight win-less streak. On the other hand Tanaka enters this bout on a 5 fight winning streak including a notable win over Dai Taoka in the 2013 Rookie of the Year final at Welterweight.
Possibly the pick of the bouts will see Filipino visitor Alie Laurel (12-3, 8) battle against the heavily experienced Nobuhisa Coronita Doi (29-14-8, 11). Doi has come up short in a couple of Japanese title fights, including a 2013 clash with Hidenori Otake, and knows another loss could be the end of his career. As for Laurel he made a name for himself last year when he shocked the then unbeaten Tiger Tor Buamas in 5 rounds to claim the WBO Oriental Bantamweight title. Although Lurael has got defeats on his record his is a brilliant and dangerous little fighter who has been unlucky in all 3 defeats. We suspect Laurel could well end Doi's career here in a very, very interesting match up.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)