It's been busy in Asia recently and that's the case again on April 22nd when we get cards across Asia, and we get fighters on the road.
In Japan fans get two shows, with the most notable being held at the Korakuen Hall, and although it lacks a “big fight” it does look like a very intriguing card with three bouts of note.
The main event of the card sees the promising Takeshi Inoue (5-0-1, 2) battle against Elfelos Vega (6-2, 4) in a contest that could well decide the next Japanese title challenger at 154lbs. Of the two men Inoue is the one who has impressed more, though this will be his toughest test to date and comes against a man who does have the power to be a real threat to Inoue's unbeaten record.
Interestingly Vega's last loss came to a man on the under-card of this show, Kazuto Takesako (2-0, 2). The very promising Takesako will be up against a Thai foe who isn't expected to pose any threat to the unbeaten novice, though hopefully we will see Takesako let off the leash later in the year as he has the potential to go very far in the sport, though did look somewhat wild against Vega.
The third bout of note from this card will see Kazuaki Moriya (13-7, 2) battle against Ryuto Oho (8-2-1, 2), in what is essentially the co-feature bout. The records may not be great, and given the power of both men we do suspect this will go the scheduled 8 rounds, but we'd be amazed if it wasn't an action packed and exciting Flyweight encounter.
The other Japanese show comes from Osaka and sadly is lacking in terms of bouts, with the only notable contest being a bout between Tetsuya Hisada (24-9-2, 14) and poor Indonesian import Ardi Tefa (6-6-1, 4), who is unlikely to pose any threat to the JBC ranked Light Flyweight contender. This should be an easy contest for Hisada before a potential Japanese title fight later in the year.
Tefa isn't to be the only Indonesian in action this weekend and in fact Indonesian fans get a show all of their own, and in fact they get two title fights.
On paper the more significant of those two title fights comes in an international bout as former world title challenger Roy Mukhlis (28-5-3, 21), who once faced Takashi Uchiyama for the WBA Super Featherweight title, faces former OPBF Super Featherweight champion Allan Tanada (13-4-3, 5) for the lightly regarded World Boxing Foundation Asia Pacific Lightweight title. Coming in to this one Mukhlis has gone 2-2-1, in his last 5, including a 1-1-1 series with Hero Tito. Interestingly Tanada is also 2-2-1 in his last 5, though has lost his last 2 bouts.
The other title bout will see veteran Rasmanudin (19-14-3, 10) battle against Hanif Yogya (3-2-1, 2) for the IBC Super Bantamweight title. If we're being honest Rasmanudin has looked horrible show in recent fights, and has gone 3-11-1 in his last 15. On paper Yogya shouldn't pose much of a threat however he has won his last 3 and may simply have more left than his rival.
Metro Manila, Philippines
We get yet more title action in the Philippines with a bout between Warren Mambuanag (9-5-2, 3) and the hard hitting Arnel Baconaje (5-0, 5), who will be trading blows for the Interim GAB Super Featherweight title. The winner of this will be set to face veteran Edgar Gabejan for the full title later in the year, though Gabejan hasn't actually defended the belt in over a year.
Sadly aside from the main event there is little to really note about this show, though there is an interesting 6 rounder between Carlo Caesar Penalosa (3-0, 1) and fellow novice Alvin Defeo (1-0).
Another card in the Philippines, which is actually worse than the one above, is set to take place in Tarlac.
On paper the most notable bout is a 6 round mismatch as former OPBF champion Romeo Jakosalem (16-12-1, 8) faces the horribly over-matched Edsil Jungco (1-9-5). Jakosalem has lost his last 3, and 8 of his last 12, but should be far too good for Jungco here in what we suspect will be an easy win for “Jako”.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
Fans get two really interesting bouts in South Africa as Japanese fighters get their passports out to face a pair of locals.
The most notable of the bouts on offer sees Japan's very promising Tsuyoshi Tameda (13-1-2, 11) take on former world champion Simpiwe Vetyeka (28-3,17). Although relatively unknown outside of Asia Tameda is a genuinely promising fighter who has notable stoppage wins over Takenori Ohashi and Mark Bernaldez, with the Bernaldez win being his best to date. As for Vetyeka he's a man known to Japanese fans for his bout with Hozumi Hasegawa, almost 9 years ago, whilst international fan will recognise his win over Chris John and his loss to Nonito Donaire. On paper it's easy to favour Vetyeka, a former WBA champion, however he is now 35 and has fought just 4 rounds in the last 16 months.
The other bout sees former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Yohei Tobe (9-2-1, 5) face off against Luzuko Siyo (15-3, 12) in a bout for the WBA Inter-Continental Super Flyweight title. Again the local is the favourite but Tobe is better than his record indicates and does seem to be the naturally bigger man here, with Siyo having fought as low as Minimumweight. This could be a really good bout, even if it does end up being over-shadowed by the other contest on the card.
Staying with Japanese fighters on the road, fans in Australia will be able to see Japanese veteran Yosuke Kirima (22-5-2, 15) take on Australia's very own Michael Zerafa (18-2, 10) for the IBF Pan Pacific Middleweight crown. Although experienced Kirima has been known as a fighter who loses in his most notable contests, losing in two Japanese title fights, and hasn't yet managed to score a “big win”, even domestically. As for Zerafa he too has lost his biggest bouts, though one of those was a bout with former world champion Peter Quuillin, whilst the other was against fast rising Russian Arif Magomedov, both of whom are much better than Kirima if we're being honest.
In Russia we get a low profile match up as Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (1-0, 1), originally from Tajikistan, faces Kazakh Amir Saltayev (1-0) in a bout between unbeaten novices.
Jeju, South Korea
There is a lot of Asian action this coming Saturday though the most interesting, at least on paper, comes from Jeju, in South Korea where fans get a show with a real international flavour.
The undercard features fighters form Japan, China and Korea however it's really the main event that's worthy of attention as Ye Joon Kim (12-1-2, 6) defends his IBF Asia Super Bantamweight title against former world title challenger Angky Angkotta (32-11-1, 18). The talented Kim is the KBF's “face” of boxing and the KBF really need him to succeed if they are are to grow into a relevant group on the fractured Korean scene.
In Japan we have a low level show with only two bouts that are really worth talking about.
One of those bouts will see the once beaten Ken Osato (6-1-1, 3) battle against the more experienced Yushi Fujita (7-6-4, 1). Osato has fought just once in the last 12 months, but that once bout saw him scoring a draw with former Japanese title challenger Kento Matsushita, and it's fair to say that he comes into this bout trying to build on that result. Fujita has certainly got a scrappy record but has gone 6 fights, unbeaten coming into this bout and will be looking to extend that run.
The other bout sees the experienced Ryota Kajiki (26-9, 17), who is a former Japanese title challenger, take on Shota Okuda (7-2, 2). Both men are on small winning runs coming in to this one but neither should considered close to a title shot, though that really says more about how strong the Super Featherweight division is in Japan right now. Despite being away from title level this could well be a very well matched bout, but one that Kajiki should come out on top in.
New South Wales, Australia
The only 12 round bout on the card sees the upset minded Joebert Delos Reyes (15-5-1, 10) take on the unbeaten George Kambosos Jnr (8-0, 4) in a bout for the interim PABA Lightweight title. Kambosos won the title back in July and this will be his first defense, which on paper looks easy but Delos Reyes has shown that he is a threat and wins over Charlie Sugiura, Andrew Wallace, Valentine Borg and Darragh Foley show that he has no fear of facing an unbeaten opponent.
In another title bout on this show fans will see former OPBF Flyweight title challenger Cris Paulino (14-2, 4) take on 39 year old former world champion Vic Darchinyan (41-8-1, 20). Up for grabs is the WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Bantamweight title however it a really tough ask for Paulino given that he's naturally a much smaller, less experienced fighter. Whilst Paulino is the clear under-dog he may well feel that Darchinyan is there for the taking, and the Aussie based Armenian is less than a month form his 40th birthday.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The most notable of two Filipino show comes from Metro Manila and is courtesy of Johnny Elorde Promotions, who will be showcasing several hopefuls.
The most exciting of the bouts on offer will see the unbeaten Giemel Magramo (14-0, 11) take on the dangerous Jenny Boy Boca (10-2, 10). These fighters are both 21 years old and will both know that a victory here would be a statement win. The two are fighting for the WBC International Flyweight title, and a world ranking, and likely to put on a genuinely enthralling bout that sees both putting it on the line. Given that both men have solid power this may not go the distance, but it will be a lot of fun.
On the under-card will be Juan Miguel Elorde (19-1, 10) up against notable Indonesian Rasmanudin (19-12-4, 10). A few years ago this would have been an intriguing test however recently Rasmanudin has looked like a shot fighter and won just once in his last 10 bouts, whilst being stopped in his last 3. We suspect a 4th successive stoppage loss is on the cards for the “Lost Boy”
Juan Miguel's older brother Juan Martin Elorde (18-1-1, 8) will also be in action as he faces Indonesian visitor Master Suro (3-3-2, 1), who is thought to have an incomplete record. If Suro's record is accurate this bout is a bit of a farce, though even if it's not accurate we can't see Elorde really being tested by the
Another Filipino show comes from Bulacan and features a few notable names, though overall is over-shadowed by the Elorde show.
The main event here is a mismatch as Roberto Gonzalez (25-2, 16) takes on RJ Anoos (8-7-1, 2) in a stay busy fight. The 25 year old Gonalez is riding a 5 fight winning streak coming into this one and it should be extended here against Anoos, who has won just once in his last 6 bouts, though that win was a surprising one against Kuninobu Shimamura in Japan. Anoos is better than is record suggests, but shouldn't get a win here.
Sadly much of this card isn't worth noting however we are excited by Arnel Baconaje (3-0, 3) stepping up to the 8 round distance to take on Robin Dingcong (1-3-2, 1). This shouldn't be much of a test for Baconaje, though hopefully the fact his team are confident enough to put him in an 8 rounder means that he will be tested sooner rather than later.
For a second day running fans in Yunnan get some low level Chinese action. The fighters in action aren't particularly notable however A Fu Bai (6-0, 3) does seem like he has some promise and will b risking his unbeaten record against Cai Zheng Yang (3-1-1, 2). Also on this card is the experienced Xinghua Wang (11-13-1), who faces the limited Jian Hai Fei.
Those two bouts are both scheduled for 6 rounds.
Auckland, New Zealand
In New Zealand fans will get the chance to see Indonesian veteran Aswin Cabuy (16-54-4, 7) in action as he takes on the unbeaten Nikolas Charalampous (9-0, 5). This is likely to be Cabuy's 55th professional loss though he has typically been game and may well “give it a go”.