The Superfly series of shows has it's third chapter this coming Saturday, and despite not having the likes of Roman Gonzalez or Srisaket Sor Rungvisai on the card the show promises a lot with several notable bouts. For us two of those stand out due to the fact they feature Asian boxers in very meaningful contests.
The most significant of those, in theory at least, will see Filipino's collide in the second all-Filipino world title fight of 2018. The bout will see veteran Donnie Nietes (41-1-4, 23) attempt to become a 4-weight champion as he takes on heavy handed countryman Aston Palicte (24-2, 20) for the vacant WBO Super Flyweight title, the belt that Naoya Inoue vacated earlier this year. Nietes, who has won titles at Minimumweight, Light Flyweight and Flyweight, has been one of the most over-looked Filipino fighters in recent years though impressed a wider audience when he defeated Juan Carlos Reveco earlier this year. Although less established Palicte is a dangerous fighter who, at 27, is reaching his physical prime, is going to have serious size and strength advantages over Nietes and is a very imposing Super Flyweight. Palicte can be out boxed but has the power and size to trouble almost any Super Flyweight and his only loss in the last 5 years was a very controversial one, that many felt he had deserved the win in. With his hunger and youth Palicte is going to be a very dangerous foe for Nietes.
Whilst the Nietes Vs Palicte is the bigger bout there may well be more intrigue in the other bout to feature an Asian fighter. That's because 3-weight champion Kazuto Ioka (22-1, 13) will be ending his retirement and making his US debut in a contender against McWilliams Arroyo (17-3, 14), for the WBC Silver Super Flyweight title. The talented Ioka hasn't fought in over a year, in part due to a falling out with his father and former promoter, and will be looking to immediately jump into the Super Flyweight mix here by taking on a fighter who has given problems to the likes of Roman Gonzalez and Amnat Ruenroeng. If Ioka has filled out his frame and is strong at 115lbs he'll be a fantastic new addition to the division, however at times he did look under-sized at Flyweight. For Arroyo this is a chance to build on his February upset win over Carlos Cuadras, and could move him to within touching distance of a WBC title shot. This is a genuinely intriguing match up and one we're very excited about.
One other bout of note on this card will see American based Filipino Bruno Escalante (17-3-1, 7) take on unbeaten Romanian Alexandru Marin (16-0, 11). We're expecting this to be a hotly contested 10 round bout, and the winner may not find themselves immediately in the mix but will only be a few bouts from a potential title fight.
This coming Friday isn't a busy day, but there is a string of bouts worthy of note.
The most notable Asian card of the day takes place at the Korakuen Hall and is headlined by a Japanese title eliminator.
That eliminator comes at 140lbs and will see Japanese based Dominican Vladimir Baez (23-3-2, 21), aka “Destino Japan”, take on the in form Kazuyasu Okamoto (14-4, 4). Baez really impressed last time out, battering Daishi Nagata into submission in 5 rounds, and has scored 2 stoppage wins this year to get his career back on track following a loss to Teerachai Kratingdaenggym last year. Okamoto was stopped by Kazuya Murata back in December 2014 but has since gone 5-0 (1) and will be be fully aware that this is a great opportunity to secure a title fight in 2018.
In one of a number of notable supporting bouts we'll see the light punching Ryo Narizuka (8-7) take on Japanese ranked Light Flyweight Naoyuki Tsukada (8-3-4, 3). Without a stoppage to his name it's hard to see a win for Narizuka, here. As for Tsukada he's in good form, going 5-0-3 (1) in his last 8, but hasn't really beaten a fighter of any note during that run.
A bout between two Japanese ranked fighters will see Ganbare Shota (14-7-2, 2) take on Hikaru Ota (8-6, 4), with both men knowing a win will move them towards a potential Japanese title fight in 2018. At the time of writing Shota was ranked #13 and Ota #14 by the JBC at 112 lbs, and it's clear the winner should move to the top 10, whilst the loser will likely drop out of the top 15.
One other bout on this card will see the touted Koki Koshikawa (5-1, 3) v look for his second win of the year. The Celes Gym fighter was tipped for big things, but a loss in 2015 put the breaks on his career, and saw him take more than 24 months out. Here he will be expecting a straight forward win as he takes on Thai visitor Taengthong Sithsaithong (0-3).
There will also be notable Asian action in Texas, with a trio of Asian fighters fighting on the same card.
The most notable of those bouts will see exciting Filipino puncher Aston Palicte (23-2, 19) fight for the second time on US soil. The heavy handed Filipino fighter will be up against former 2-time world title challenger Jose Alfredo Rodriguez (32-6, 19), who has lost in world title bouts against both Kazuto Ioka and Jerwin Ancajas. Coming in to this bout Rodriguez has suffered back-to-back losses, and is almost a year removed from his last win, and is unlikely to pose and threat to Palicte.
Unbeaten 22 year old Kazakh Ali Akhmedov (9-0, 7) takes a notable step up on this card in the chief support bout, as he takes on fellow unbeaten fighter DeShon Webster (9-0, 6). The Kazakh has looked very destructive recently, and has stopped his last 3 fights to claim his first two titles. Those titles, the WBC Youth and NABF Light Heavyweight titles, will be on the line here. Aged 26 Webster really does seem to be the one taking the bigger step up in class here, but like Akhmedov he's unbeaten and will be full of confidence here going into the biggest bout of his career.
Another unbeaten Kazakh on this card is Iskander Kharsan (2-0, 2), who takes on fellow novice David Alfaro (1-0) in a 6 rounder. This looks like a good match up on paper, but it's hard to see past the 20 year old Kazakh, who does appear to have some confident backers in his camp.
Several Asian fighters will be fighting in Victoria.
The most notable bout, at least for us, will see Sylvia Scharper (7-1-2, 1) take on Thai Ploynapa Sakrungrueng (13-10-1, 1) in a bout for the WIBA Super Flyweight title. The Thai has lost her last 4, including a stoppage to Momo Koseki and had previously fought Eun Hye Lee for a WBO world title, again suffering a stoppage. Scharper is far from being a world class fighter, but should be far, far too good for the Thai.
Australian Capital Territory, Australia
A second Australia show will take place in Woden, and we'll see a number of Asian fighters in action, mostly they are there to pad a local's record, sadly. One of those likely to pick up another loss is Egy Rozten (5-17-2, 3), who will be up against the unbeaten Haithem Laamouz (11-0, 4). Rozten has lost his last 5, and will almost certainly suffer another defeat again here, potentially inside the distance.
This coming Saturday is set to be a huge one in the Philippines where a host of notable fighters will be in action across three different shows.
One of those Filipino shows is in Cebu and features a former world title challenger, a former world title contender and two really promising prospects.
The biggest name in action here is fringe contender Froilan Saludar (24-2-1, 15), who takes on Salatiel Amit (10-2-2, 7) in what should be a straight forward win for the once touted Saludar. Although Saludar isn't as highly regarded as he once was, with some picking him as a world champion in the making several years ago, he should still be far too good for Amit here.
Froilan's brother, Vic Saludar (14-2, 9), will continue to rebuild from his 2015 loss to Kosei Tanaka, in a WBO Minimumweight title bout, as he takes on the once beaten Toto Landero (8-1-2, 2). On paper this looks like it could be the bout of he day, and although Saludar will be favoured, given his destructive power, Landero is well schooled and won't be getting in the ring to suffer a second career defeat.
Another pretty good looking bout will see the unbeaten Vince Paras (10-0, 9) take on Jimboy Haya (10-3-2, 6). Again the puncher should be favoured, given he's unbeaten and on the rise, but Haya has never been stopped, and lasted 12 rounds with the aforementioned Vic Saludar last year, suggesting he can take a shot even if he was widely beaten but the former world title challenger.
Another unbeaten on this card is Robert Paradero (13-0, 8), who faces veteran Fabio Marfa (25-33-4, 12). Marfa began his career back in the mid 1990's and began as a promising teenager, going 9 bouts unbeaten before suffering his first defeat, sadly he's gone 0-12 in the last 9 years or so, and is unlikely to pose any real test for Paradero.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
Another notable Filipino card takes place in Cotabato del Sur and will again feature some notable names in action.
One of the most notable name on the card is the fast rising Romero Duno (13-1, 12), who looks to follow up on his career best win over Christian Gonzalez back in March. The once beaten Duno will be hotly tipped to score a 5th straight win as he takes on puncher Jason Tinampay (8-4-1, 7). This could be a shoot out, given that Tinampay's only chance seems to be a puncher's one, but it's still hard to doubt anything but a Duno win.
In one of the other notable bouts we'll see big punching hopeful Aston Palicte (22-2, 18) take on former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (18-8-3, 4) in a bout that really should be a stepping stone for the much fancied Palicte. The twice beaten man, who was very controversially beaten in Mexico not too long ago, should be too strong and too powerful for Apolinario, who doesn't have the power to get the respect of a fighter like Palicte.
Malaysian Muhamad Farkhan (3-0, 3) will be in the remaining headline bout, as he takes a huge step up to take on Marlon Alta (12-7, 9). The talented Farkhan has looked promising and has 11 rounds under his belt, but this is a big step up in class against a Filipino who can punch, and is an experienced professional. Although Alta's record isn't great he has mixed in good company, facing the likes of Makoto Fuchigami, and Peng Qu, and should ask questions of Farkhan.
This card also features the debut of two touted youngsters. One of those is Dave Apolinario (0-0), who is viewed as a real prospect following success in the amateurs, and he will be up against Prince Canonero (0-3) and the other is Mark Antonio (0-0), who will be facing fellow debutant Rusty Padua (0-0).
A smaller show in the Philippines comes from Cavite and really lacks attention grabbing name action.
In one of the bigger bouts Alphoe Dagayloan (5-2-4, 2) will face limited veteran Ryan Tampus (11-18, 8) whilst another leading bout will feature Jerome Clavite (7-4-2, 3) taking on Mark Anthony Florida (9-7, 7). With all the other action in the Philippines it is, admittedly, hard to card much about this show.
Staying in Asia there will also be a show in China, where we'll see a number of notable of bouts. One of those will see former world title challenger Angky Angkotta (28-14-1, 14) battle against Chinese southpaw Yong Cai Liu (4-4-3, 3) in an interesting looking 6 rounder. On paper Angkotta will be favoured, but it's been a while since he last scored a win and Liu will be looking for his biggest win to date.
The best bout,on paper at least, will see Zhong Liu (8-0, 2) battle against Sen Chen (8-0, 2) in a perfectly balanced bout. Liu is a 25 year old Southpaw, and will be the slightly more experienced with 5 rounds more than 24 year old Chen, but the bout really is a toss up on paper.
Gauteng, South Africa
We get some really good looking bouts in South Africa as Filipino warriors continue to show their grit on the road.
The main event is an IBF Minimumweight title fight, which will see Simphiwe Khonco (17-5, 7) battle Lito Dante (13-7-4, 7) in a battle of the under-rated. Of the two men Khonco is likely the more well known, having lost in a thrilling WBA title bout to Hekkie Budler in 2015 before defeating Nkosinathi Joyi last time out. Dante however shouldn't be over-looked and could be a genuine banana skin for the local here.
In an even more mouth watering match up we'll see the Jayar Inson (13-0, 9) take on Thulani Mbenge (10-0, 10) in a battle of unbeaten punchers. Inson caught our eye last year, when he stopped Ryota Yada in Osaka and announced himself as a genuine prospect, but he's in tough here against a local puncher who has been taking out foes quickly, with only one bout going beyond 4 rounds for Mbenge. This could be a very exciting shoot out.
In Russia we'll see Uzbek novice Ulugbek Xakberdiyev (2-0, 1) take on Russian based Argentinian veteran Oscar Roberto Medina (27-14-2-1, 9). Although Xakberdiyev has only fought 7 rounds so far we already know that top Uzbek fighters don't wait around and we don't expect to see the 24 year old to actually struggle here, given that Medina has lost 5 of his last 6 and is now a 35 year old who has had than 230 professional rounds under his belt.
This Saturday is set to be a hectic day for Asian fight fans.
The biggest show of the day sees action return to China for a Max Power card of international note with a world title fight, an international title fight and several bouts involving notable Chinese fighters.
The main event of the card sees WBA Super Bantamweight champion Nehomar Cermeno (25-5-1-1, 15) fight in China for a third time this year as he rematches Qiu Xiao Jun (21-3, 10), the man he beat earlier this year for the title. Cermeno has had a bizarre late career revival in China winning the title by stopping Jun and then defending it against the then unbeaten Nop Kratingdaenggym, after having been all but inactive previously. Although very talented Cermeno is 37 and it's likely that father time will get to him sooner rather than later. Saying that he did dominate Jun back in June and it's hard to see him having aged much since that win.
Another title bout from this card will see the light punching Can Xu (10-2) defending his WBA International Super Featherweight title against Japan's Spice Matsushita (16-8-1, 2). The champion will be looking for his third defense and although lacking power he has impressed at times, and looks to be developing into a talented fighter, who simply hasn't yet matured into a powerful young man. Matsushita is a true veteran having debuted more than a decade ago but at 33 he's not a spring chicken and has never fought outside of Japan before.
Another interesting international bout will see the promising Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (10-0-1, 5) battle against unbeaten New Zealander Leki Maka (9-0, 3). Baishanbo has impressed through his career, and has caught our eye in the past, but this looks like a very different assignment to his previous ones. Although the favourite the Chinese fighter will be aware that Maka holds a notable recent win over Farzan Ali Jr on the road in Fiji.
Another interesting international bout will see Chinese based Ruissian Andrey Kalyuzhnyy (13-2, 11) face off with struggling Thai Chaloemporn Singwancha (17-2, 13). On paper this looks like a really good bout but the Thai has lost his last 2 by stoppage and has struggled throughout his career when facing someone who comes to fight, like the Russian does. This could be a third straight set back for the Thai.
One other international bout will see Filipino Sonny Katiandagho (10-1, 6) face Stevie Ongen Ferdinandus (24-12-1, 12), in a bout that has been re-arranged after being been set earlier in the month. The once beaten Filipino is a guy who has had good results, including wins over Allan Tanada, Hyun Woo Yuh and Rafik Harutjunjan and this should be another.
A second, less notable, Chinese card will come from Shanghai and will a few interesting bouts of it's own, albeit at a lower level.
The main even of the card will see Indonesian fighter Geisler AP (9-8, 6) battle unbeaten local hopeful Alimu Wushouer (8-0, 6), with Wushouer looking to record his first win over an international opponent. Wushouer has impressed on the Chinese scene, as part of the League of Fists, but this could be a more interesting assignment for the unbeaten 22 year old. Geisler has never won outside of Indonesia but this could be a chance to change that.
In an all Chinese bout we'll see the heavy handed WuZhati Nuerlang (5-1, 5) take on the limited but heavy handed Chengbo Zheng (6-5-0-1, 4) in what could be an explosive contest. It's likely that we'll see Nuerlang come out on top here, given he as has stopped his last 5 opponents and that Zheng has been stopped several times before, however its good to see him face someon who has a punchers reputation themselves.
Another all-Chinese bout will see the unbeaten Naiwuzhati Nuermaimaiti (4-0-1, 2) take on the once beaten Chao Peng (5-1-2, 1) in a very interesting looking match up.
New Delhi, India
More title action will be held in India where Indian boxing megastar Vijender Singh (7-0, 6) battles against the experienced Francis Cheka (32-9-2, 17). The bout will be Singh's first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title, a title he won back in July with a decision victory over Kerry Hope. Cheka was once a good test for an emerging fighter but is well past his best and shouldn't trouble Singh too much here.
In Cebu fight fans will get a relatively uninteresting card, though the main event is worth making a note of. That main event will see the once beaten Jess Rhey Waminal (9-1-1, 5) take on Margarito Moya (9-2, 3) in what looks like a very even and competitive bout.
In Russia we'll see unbeaten Russian Pavel Malikov (9-0, 3) take on Filipino veteran Adones Aguelo (27-14-2, 19). Aguelo, one of the more under-rated Filipino fighters, will be hoping to pick up a win here to claim the WBC Asian Boxing Council Lightweight title and score a 4th straight win. Malikov has shown promise but this is a step up for him and should be a real test for the unbeaten man.
In the US we'll see big punching Filipino Aston Palicte (21-2, 18) face off against the talented, but feather fisted, Oscar Cantu (14-0, 1) in a bout for a trio of regional titles. The bout is a “puncher Vs slickster” type of bout but should be some very fun and very exciting with Palicte almost certain to hunt a stoppage after his robbery defeat last time he fought away from the Philippines.
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)
March 7th-Amnat Vs Zou in a showdown, with notable action from Ik Yang, Rex Tso, Hiroki Okada, Suyon Takayama and more!
The start of the year has been tediously slow at times however March is certainly seeing in ring action liven up, in a big way. The first real date to mark down on your calendar is March 7th which sees action across Asia with several big names a host of notable fights ranging from a world title bout to world title eliminators to national title bouts.
The biggest of the days show's comes from Macau where fans are treat to another of Bob Arum's foray's into the gambling capital of Asia. In many ways this is the most important of all the Macau shows and is, potentially, the biggest banana skin on the road to making the experiment a major long term success.
The tricky part of this card is the main event which will see Chinese megastar Zou Shiming (6-0, 1) put his unbeaten record on the line as he takes on IBF Flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng (14-0, 5) in a brilliant match up. These two men are both unbeaten, both under-rated and were major amateur rivals. They are also men looking to claim a major scalp. For Shiming this a test that really could see him becoming a national hero or boxing's biggest villain, for Ruenroeng it's a chance to level the score with Shiming, who holds a 2-1 record over him from the amateur ranks. For Bob Arum this is a real test of his nerve. Shiming is talented and fast but this is a major step up for the double Olympic champion.
Shiming of course isn't the only Chinese born fighter on this show, nor is he the most exciting. One of the contenders for the tag of “most exciting” is the heavy handed Ik Yang (18-0-0-1, 13) who will be up against Thailand's experienced Patomsuk Pathompothong (30-2-1, 18) in an IBF Pan Pacific Light Welterweight title bout, which will also double as an IBF world title eliminator. Yang has been on a number of Top Rank shows and is known for his power and offensive style though his flawed defense may be a problem here against the talented Patomsuk, who gave world ranked Takayuki Hosokawa a very close bout back in late 2013. This could be very interesting.
Another rival to the tag of China's most exciting fighter is the very flawed but fun Rex Tso (15-0, 9) who battles Filipino Michael Enriquez (10-2-1, 6) in a bout for the WBA International Super Flyweight title. Tso will go into this bout as the favourite and is viewed as being likely to get a fight with WBA world champion Kohei Kono if he comes through here. For Enriquez this is a major opportunity though he has lost both of his previous title fights.
Going further down the card fans will get the chance to see the explosively heavy handed Aston Palicte (16-1, 14), of the Philippines, take on one of his toughest tests as he goes up against Ismael Garnica (13-5-1-1, 5). Garnica is best known for losing a decision British fighter Paul Butler last year, other than that however there is very little of note on his record. Palicte on the other hand is a dynamite puncher who comes into this bout on the back of 5 successive opening round blow outs, including a very notable one against Gerpaul Valero.
Another Filipino in action here will be Raymond Sermona (17-4-5, 8) who will be hoping to record his 3rd successive win as he battles former “world” title challenger Jose Felix Jr (28-1-1, 23). Felix Jr's only loss came last year when he stepped up to fight Bryan Vasquez and was well beaten, despite two horribly close scorecards, and he'll be favoured to make light work of Sermona.
To open the show we're expecting to see some local talent in action. One of those locals will be the unbeaten Zhou Yun Fei (4-0, 1) who battles against Paul Valenzuela (2-1-1, 2) whilst the other will be Macau's Kuok Kun Ng (6-0, 2), who will be facing Thailand's Chingchai Kiatpracha (7-2, 3).
As well as the action in Macau there is also a show, with title action, in Japan where fans will get a couple of domestic title fights courtesy of Kadoebi.
One of those title bouts will see once beaten Japanese Welterweight champion Suyon Takayama (21-1, 7) defending his belt against former foe Nobuyuki Shindo (16-2, 6) in what looks like to be a very competitive match up. Takayama has the title, the better looking record and a win over Shindo already on his record however he is a weak champion and a lot of bouts have been very close. Shindo has height and reach advantages though the question coming in is whether or not he will be able to make them count.
In the other title fight the unbeaten Hiroki Okada (9-0, 7) will be up against former title contender Hayato Hokazono (18-4-1, 11). We like Okada though are unsure how far he can really go, though it is obviously early days in his career. Hokazono is best known for his losses to the monstrously hard hitting Keita Obara, aside from those losses there is little else to note about his record other than a win over Kazuyoshi Kumano way back in December 2010.
On the under-card there is little of note though a bout between Hisao Narita (8-1, 4) and Yusuke Konno (8-2, 3) does look likely to be very competitive over the scheduled 8 rounds. Another undercard bout that we'll mention will see former Japanese Super Bantamweight title challenger Yukinori Hisanaga (16-5-2, 9) battle against Takuma Takahashi (6-4-1, 1).
In South Korea we get 3 bouts between Korean fighters and Japanese visitors as Watanabe send a trio of their stable over to Korea.
The most notable of the Japanese fighters is Sonin Nihei (5-1-1, 1) who came runner up in last years East Japan Rookie of the year. The talented 21 year old, who lost a split decision to Kenya Yamashita, will be taking on the debuting Tae Un Jung (0-0) who we know nothing about.
Another of the bouts will see unbeaten Korean Joo-Young Kwon (2-0) take on Keisuke Kanazawa (2-4, 1). On paper it's hard to go against the Korean though he has only faced debutants so far whilst Kanazawa holds a very surprising win over the much touted Koki Tyson Maebara from back in January 2013.
The remaining bout, and the most looking on paper, will see Shingo Yabu (4-4-2) battle against Chan-Hee Park (4-5-1). Yabu is 0-2-1 in his last 3, including a loss to Jumbo Oda Nobunaga Shoten Petagine in the 2013 All Japan Rookie of the Year final. Park on the other hand has lost his last 4 and hasn't notched a win since 2009, in fact he's not fought since October 2010. Interesting match up in some ways but neither guy is anything great.
(Image courtesy of http://www.sandscotaicentral.com)
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.