This coming weekend is the final one be before Christmas and there is a lot to be excited about before we tuck into out turkey's, open our presents and get drunk with families. For the fighters in action this weekend it'll be their final chance to shine this year and although celebrations are just around the corner for many they will still know that those celebrations could be made that little bit better they can record a big win.
Possibly the most interesting and potentially exciting bout for ourselves is in Argentina where the WBA regular and WBA interim Flyweight titles will unified in a potential FOTY contender. In one corner is regular champion Juan Carlos Reveco (34-1, 18), the home fighter and a 2-weight world champion, whilst interim champion Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (34-2, 20), a legitimate Thai warrior, will be in the other corner. Reveco didn't impress last time out when he defended his title against Felix Alvarado, taking a controversial decision against the exciting Nicaraguan, and since then has been struck with a number of injuries which have forced this bout to be delayed several times. Like Alvarado we weren't impressed last time we saw Yodmongkol in the ring, taking a very questionable decision against Japan's Takuya Kogawa, though he genuine impressed us in his victory over Koki Eto. If both men are on the top of their game this has thrilling written all over it though if either under-performs the other will likely do enough to win.
This bout is doubly important for Asian fans as Kazuto Ioka (15-1, 9) is expected to face the winner early next year as he attempts to become a 3-weight world champion. Of the two we suspect Ioka would prefer Reveco than Yodmongkol.
At the Colisee de Quebec we see a trio of Russian's all with different expectations on their shoulders.
Making his debut will be former amateur star Vislan Dalkhaev (0-0) who will be up against Efren Bautista (3-5-2, 2) in what is expected to be a successful start to his professional career. This should be a straight forward win for Dalkhaev if he's as good as he's supposed to be.
Talking about being as good as someone is supposed to be this card will also feature the genuinely fantastic, destructive and brilliant Artur Beterbiev (6-0, 6). Beterbiev, who was last seen destroying former IBF champion Tavoris Cloud, will be battling against the unbeaten Jeff Page Jr (15-0, 10) in what looks like a good test though we suspect Beterbiev will run through Page in double quick fashion to try and further strengthen his position as the division's premier prospect-come-contender.
In the main event we see Dmitry Sukhotsky (22-2, 16) challenging for the WBC Light Heavyweight title as he takes on the explosive Adonis Stevenson (24-1, 20). Sukhotsky is a huge under-dog here though knows a win will set him up for huge fights down the line and he has got the ability and power to spring an upset here. Stevenson, who was one of the top fighters in 2013, has disappointed hugely this year and knows that anything but a sensational performance will see him cast aside as yesterday's news. This is must win and must win well for Stevenson who knows anything but a great performance really could cost popularity, money and big fights.
In Japan we get a small but interesting card with a hugely promising prospect in the main event as well as an under-card featuring 8 other bouts.
The promising prospect is the OPBF ranked Shun Kubo (5-0, 4) who puts his unbeaten record on the line against WBC world ranked Bantamweight Luis May (15-7-1, 7). In theory this should be a huge step up for Kubo though in all honesty there is nothing on May's record that should scare the talented Japanese youngster who could find himself bursting into the world rankings in early 2015.
In the chief support contest the ranked Tokiya Nishioka (9-3-2, 5) will be up against Toshiya Yokogawa (6-7-1, 5). Nishioka brings an OPBF and a Japanese ranking into this bout and although he should win it does need saying that Yokogawa does have the power to trouble people at this level and Nishoka will need to be careful.
Also on this card will be the return to the ring of Takahiro Shigee (11-1-1, 9) following his loss in July to Rodrigo Guerrero. Shigee will be fighting a Thai visitor though we're unsure who the visitor will actually be.
In Thailand fans are getting the chance to see a world class fighter in action as Suriyan Sor Rungvisai (27-6-1, 16) attempts to defend the WBC Bantamweight Asia title against Indonesian Tony Arema (3-5). This will be Suriyan's first bout since his loss to Shinsuke Yamanaka in a WBC Bantamweight title fight a few weeks ago.
In the Philippines fans will get the chance to see a number of novices in action in what looks to be a small but interesting card.
The most interesting bout will see the unbeaten Robert Ates (3-0, 2) battle against Rafaek Sueno (2-1, 2) in what we suspect will be an explosive encounter and a good test for Ates. Sadly the other “main bout” looks like a mismatch as Peter Apolinar (3-0, 3) fights against Takaoki Noma (0-3-1) in what appears to be a test of the 19 year old Apolinar's power as opposed to his ability.
The other 3 bouts on this card feature real novices with single fight records, though all 6 men are upbeaten. Hopefully they'll manage to bring out the best in each other and give us some great bouts
This weekend seems to be the next step in the rise of boxing's "Russian Revolution" with numerous major bouts, ranging from world title to possible break out bouts, many of which will feature Russian fighters.
The card of the day, by a long shot, is in Russia where we get four very interesting title bouts as well as two contests involving unbeaten Russian prospects taking a step up in class. It is the sort of card that we want to see more of though sadly boxing seems to be having of them.
The first of the prospects expected to be in action is Alexander Sharonov (2-0, 1) fighting in a 6 rounder against Ghana's Godwin Cudjoe (8-6, 7). Cudjoe comes into this fight on a 6 fight winning streak though he will still be seen as an under-dog against the 22 year old Sharanov. The second prospect in action is the very highly touted Sergey Lipinets (3-0, 2) who attempts to record his 4th win as he steps up to fight Daniel Lomeli (22-4, 11) in an 8 round bout. Lipinets was a former kick boxing star with strong amateur pedigree and it seems clear his team are confident in his ability. Some will suggest that Lomeli is an under-sized opponent which is fair but for a main in fight #4 this is an acceptable step for Lipinets who some are tipping very highly.
In a female world title bout we see a re-run of a bout we saw earlier this year. This will see the unbeaten Svetlana Kulakova (9-0-1, 1) battle against WBA female Light Welterweight Ana Laura Esteche (10-3-2, 2). In their meeting earlier this year the two fought to a draw with Kulakova twice being deducted a point. Had it not been for those deductions the Russian would have won the title with a majority decision and many who saw the bout know that that would have been an unjust result. Hopefully we'll see a less scrappy performance form Kulakova who looked really good for 4 round before showing signs of exhaustion in the middle and later rounds.
In a regional title fight we will get to see Andrey Knyazev (10-1, 5), the current Russian Cruiserweight champion, battle against Shalva Jomardashvili (37-8-2, 28) for the vacant WBO Oriental Cruiserweight title. This will be one of three Cruiserweight bouts on the show and is by far the weakest of the three. Knyazev may enter as the Russian champion but he's well down the picking order of top Russian Cruiserweights whilst Jomardashvili has gone 6-5-1 in his last 12 fights and shown that he's never going to be world class.
The two main events of the show are both Cruiserweight title fights. One of those is a WBC Cruiserweight title fight as Poland's Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (49-2-1, 35) attempts to defend his belt against once beaten Russian Grigory Drozd (38-1, 27). The 32 year old Wlodarczyk will be looking for his 6th defence of the WBC title and will be returning to Russia 15 months after stopping the then unbeaten Rakhim Chakhkiev, also in Moscow. As for Drozd this will be his first world title fight, finally getting his shot at the big time. Drozd will be taking part in this fight about a year after his stand out win over the then unbeaten Mateusz Masternak. This is one of those great Cruiserweight bouts that has gone under-the-radar but really does look to be something a bit special.
The other event will see the long awaited return to the ring of WBA champion Denis Lebedev (25-2, 19) who will fight for the first time since his painful loss to Guillermo Jones last year. The all action and always fun to watch Lebedev will be battling against Poland's Pawel Kolodziej (33-0, 18) though there are worries about Lebedev who took a real beating at the hands of Jones and has been inactive, courtesy of an aborted rematch with Jones that saw the Panamanian fail a drugs test on the day of the fight. Kolodziej isn't as good as fellow Pole Wlodarczyk but is still a world class Cruiserweight and could be too much for Lebedev if the Russian isn't 100%.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In Metro Manila we have yet more title action with 2 titles fights and various other domestic contests.
The headline bout of this Filipino show will see Filipino fighter Renan Trongco (15-4, 9) take on Japanese visitor Hayato Yamaguchi (12-4-1, 2) in a battle for the WBC International Flyweight title. For Trongco this will be the first defense of the title he won a year a go when he defeated China's Wang Xin Hua via decision. Yamaguchi is 0-2 in title fights going into this fight, with those losses coming in a Japanese Light Flyweight title fight against Masayuki Kuroda and a WBC Youth Intercontinental Flyweight title fight against Cris Paulino.
A second title fight on this show will see Carleans Rivas (3-1-3) battle against Lady Love Sampiton (1-2, 1) for the Philippines Games & Amusement Board (GAB) female Flyweight title. As far as we are aware this is the inaugural title bout for this title which is a newly created title.
A third notable bout on this show will see Jeffrey Arienza (11-2-1, 6) battle against journeyman Ronald Postrano (7-20-2, 3) in a domestic 12 rounder. Arienza will be looking for his third straight win after suffering back to back defeats last year. As for Postrano he comes into this bout after suffering a trio of defeats and has won just one of his last 11 bouts!
On a small show in Japan we're expecting to see a total of 8 bouts, most of which are 4 rounders.
The main event will see Tatsuya Takahashi (17-5-3, 12) battle against win-less Thai novice Kittichai Or Boonchuay (0-3). On paper this looks like a mismatch and, whilst it's likely to go the way we all expect, Takahashi isn't anything special and is unlikely to ever become a real challenger even on the Japanese domestic scene. We do doubt Kittichai's record and assume that it's incomplete but he should provide little challenge for the Japanese fighter.
As well as a the main event and the 5 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds this show will also feature a pair of 6 rounders though none of the 4 men involved will be known by anyone other than the most hardcore of the hardcore of Japanese boxing fans.
It's not just in Russia that we will see Russian fighters in action and in Canada we will see the very exciting Artur Beterbiev (5-0, 5) taking on his biggest challenge to date. Beterbiev will be attempting to claim the NABA Light Heavyweight title as he battles against former IBF world champion Tavoris Cloud (24-2, 19) and although this is a big step up we're still expecting to see Beterbiev defeat Cloud and announce himself as the most exciting Light Heavyweight prospect on the planet.
(Image courtesy of http://akboxing.ru)
With Friday having 2 titles fights in Asia it's interesting to note that Saturday will have have 2 title bouts, involving Asian's, in Mexico, as well as bouts in Asia it's self, albeit no title fights.
The biggest Asian card of the day seems to be in Indonesia. The show, which is the first in the country, that we are of aware of, since Chris John's recent loss to Simpiwe Vetyeka, is headlined by an interesting looking Lightweight bout between Wellem Reyk (17-8-3, 5) and Yohannes Yordan (12-2-3, 2). On paper this is a great bout, at least as far as the Indonesian scene goes, though it does need to be said that Reyk has lost 4 of his last 7, 3 by stoppage, whilst Yordan is unbeaten in 5.
As well as the interesting looking main event there are several other bouts including a contest between journeyman Rommy Wassar (8-14-7, 3), who has faced and lost to numerous top Thai's, and Indonesian stalwart Falazona Fidal (24-38-1, 8). This 8 round bout is unlikely to get the attention of many international fans but it's actually a bout that is pretty interesting and should get the Indonesian fan base very excited about what is a great domestic clash.
In total 4 bouts are listed on boxrec.com though we are expecting the card to feature at least 2 more bouts. Unfortunately however it doesn't appear that the show will be televised. There is some hope it will be covered by TVRI though we're assuming it won't be.
Philippines, Misamis Oriental
As well as the card in Indonesia we also have a small one in the Philippines as young Filipino Wenie Cline Verano (1-0, 1) looks for her second win, against an un-named foe, whilst Macrea Gandionco (9-0-1, 5) takes on Allan Doronilla (9-9-1, 3). Unfortunately these are the only 2 bouts that we have details on for the card, though we are assuming that at least 1 more bout will actually take place, if the card doesn't totally fall through.
As well as the shows in Asia we have interest in two bouts in Mexico. The more interesting of those bouts in Hermosillo, Sonora as the hard hitting Filipino Marco Demecillo (19-1-1, 14) takes on Mexico's world ranked David Sanchez (23-2-2, 18) in a battle for the vacant WBA International Super Flyweight title. The bout, one of the highlights of the weekend, looks like it'll be a shoot out and with both men relying on their power it'll certainly be entertaining...for as long as it lasts. If there is one bout you catch this weekend, we'll advise that you make it this one, and not one of the bigger name bouts in Canada.
Whilst we can't deny that the Demecillo/Sanchez bout is the one we're really excited about there is a second title fight in Mexico as Fernando Lumacad (29-6-3, 12), who like Demecillo is a Filipino, takes on the unbeaten Horacio Garcia (24-0, 16) in a battle for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Super Bantamweight title. On paper this looks just as tough, if not tougher, than Demecillo's bout, though we wouldn't be hugely shocked if Lumacad manages to pull out the upset.
On paper it's a mismatch but Garcia, despite being perfect through 24 bouts, has yet to face anyone of note and Lumacad is a huge step up for him. Unfortunately for Lumacad he is likely to be a bit too small and lack the power to beat Garcia though he should prove to be a very testing foe for the unbeaten man.
The biggest show of the weekend is the one in Quebec, a show that could well be the biggest Canadian clash in history. Although many will be tuning in for the All-Canadian clash between Lucien Bute and Jean Pascal our interest is firmly on the undercard as Light Heavyweight prospect Artur Beterbiev (3-0, 3) takes on the tough and experienced Gabriel Lecrosnier (16-25-3, 1). Although Lecrosnier has been beaten 25 times he's only been stopped in 3 bouts and should be able to give Beterbiev some rounds, saying that however the unbeaten Russian has been crushing durable foes so far in his career and we'd expect the same here.