The weeks action ends on a Friday that sees interesting action in both Thailand and Japan involving several very promising fighters.
We're expecting 5 bouts to take place at the Krungthepthonburi University in the Thai capital of Bangkok. The most notable of those bouts is expected to be a very even contest between PABA Super Flyweight champion Chatpetch Sithmorseng (7-3, 3) and Filipino challenger Romnick Magos (9-3, 5). Although Magos was beaten, in just 2 rounds, last time he was in Thailand there is a gulf of difference the man he fought that day, Pungluang Sor Singyu, and Chatpetch here.
We've been told there is likely to be a second title bout on this show as the unbeaten Eaktawan Mor Krungthepthonburi (3-0, 2) battles against Indonesian veteran Jemmy Gobel (18-23-5, 13) in a contest for the WBA Asia Flyweight title. Although a novice Eaktawan is highly tipped to become a notable fighter on the world stage and after just 3 fights boxrec already have him in the top 100 Super Flyweights.
The most interesting of the other bouts on the show concerns the debuting Petchsamui Kiatniwat (0-0) who we've been informed is the son of former world champion Denkaosan Kaovichit. Petchsamui hasn't got an illustrious Muay Thai background but, with the guidance of his father he will be expected to have some pretty good success somewhere down the line.
Japanese fans in Hyogo get to see the next in the Shinsei Gym "Real Spirits" show.
The headline bout here sees the unbeaten and hard hitting Takahiro Shigee (10-0-1, 8) battling against Toshiya Yokogawa (6-5-1, 5) in what shouldn't be too hard for Shigee, who will be defending his #15 OPBF Bantamweight ranking. Although unbeaten Shigee was given a very tough time when he faced Diarh Gabutan in the only notable bout of his career and could well be one of those fighters who isn't as good as his record would suggest.
We get another unbeaten fighter in the chief support bout as Shohei Okuda (9-0, 4) puts his #11 Japanese ranking on the line against Tatsuya Yoneo (6-3, 1). The 23 year old Okuda is highly regarded though may have problems dealing with a significant height disadvantage here against the notably taller Yoneo who, at 25, is just reaching his physical prime and could be a much tougher opponent than the records of the men would suggest.
A third ranked fighter on this show is Tokiya Nishioka (8-3-2, 4) who is ranked in the top 15 by both the JBC and the OPBF. Despite those rankings he's not a particular threat to any of the top fighters and it wouldn't be the biggest upset if he struggled with the limited Hiroki Yoshimura (7-9, 4) here.
As well as those 3 bouts we expect 6 other contests to be on the show, though 5 of them are scheduled for 4 rounds.
In Canada Afghanistan's Arash Usmanee (20-2-1, 10) faces the solid challenge of Juan Ruiz (23-12, 7). Although it may look a mismatch on paper Usmanee is win less, 0-2-1, in his last 3 bouts and he deserves an easier bout than his last 3 which have all been against world class opponents. We know that Usmanee will have to be lucky to become a world champion but we still love watching him with his all action style and his toughness and we hope he can inspire a generation of Afghan born fighters in the coming years.
Over the past few weeks every day seems to have been packed with a lot of boxing. Some of it was genuinely great, other bits were unmemorable and relatively forgettable. This Saturday however promises to be a night to remember despite their not actually being a lot of fighting going on.
The reason it's such an exciting day is because we get the return of the great Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino ring legend who fights for the first time this year.
Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38) returns to the US to look for revenge as he battles unbeaten American Timothy Bradley (31-0-0-1, 12) in an attempt to avenge a very controversial loss from back in 2012. With the WBO Welterweight title on the line and honour to be reclaimed for Pacquiao a lot is on the line for the Filipino though Bradley is no push over and he'll be hoping to prove the first fight was no fluke.
On the same card we also get WBA Light Welterweight champion Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-0, 9) who will be defending his title for the second time as he battles the unbeaten, and once very touted, Jessie Vargas (23-0, 9). Vargas doesn't really impress us though he does keep winning and Allakhverdiev will need to make sure he's at the top of his game to over-come the unbeaten Mexican-American who Floyd Mayweather Jr once hyped. Vargas has good speed and heart but Allakhverdiev, if he's on forum, certainly has the ability to grind him down late.
Staying with same card Filipino fighter Mark Anthony Geraldo (29-4-3, 13) will be battling against Mexico's Raul Hidalgo (21-10, 16) in a fight that could give the US Audience their first chance to see Geraldo who we live. The Filipino kid isn't the biggest puncher or the most skilled but he's a very good fighter who has shown guts to travel for bouts against Oleydong Sithsamerchai and Hirofumi Mukai in the past. Had Geraldo had a decent promoter behind him he could well have been looking at having had world title fights, heck Mukai's had 2 and Geraldo managed to wipe him out in double quick time just a year ago.
Also on this card is Afghan born Canadian based Arash Usmanee (20-1-1, 10) who is a late fill in for Roman Martinez. Usmanee will be in a very tough bout with Raymundo Beltran (28-6-1, 17) with the winner expected to face Terence Crawford in a WBO Lightweight world title fight later this year.
In Germany Heavyweight fans can see the Lebanese born Manuel Charr (25-1, 15) in action as he takes on Kevin Johnson (29-5-1, 14) in what looks like a really good Heavyweight match up. Fans have given both fighters abuse over the years but on their day they are a handful for anyone not named "Wladimir Klitschko" and they could well give us a great bout as they both try and shoot themselves back into world title contention.
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