One of the best bouts of 2015 saw Takashi Miura (30-3-2, 23) face off with Francisco Vargas in a brilliant war for the WBC Super Featherweight title. This week wee see Miura return to an American ring as he takes on Mexican veteran Miguel Roman (56-11, 43) in a WBC world title eliminator, with the winner set to face either Vargas or Miguel Berchelt, who fight on the same card. The Miura Vs Roman bout had been touted through much of 2016 but for various reasons the bout hasn't taken place and instead we get to kick 2017 with the bout, just weeks into the near year.
Miura won't be the only Japanese fighter on the road this weekend as former IBF Super Flyweight title challenger Teiru Kinoshita (25-1-1, 8) fights in a world title eliminator against former champion McJoe Arroyo (17-1, 8). Kinoshita, making his international debut, is a former Japanese Super Flyweight champion who is best known for being out boxed by Zolani Tete for the IBF Super Flyweight title in the Portopia Hotel in Kobe, where Kinoshita was actually working at the time. Since then he has gone 6-0 (5) and shown a development in his power. For Arroyo this bout will be his first since losing the title last year in a mandatory title defense against Jerwin Ancasjas, where the Puerto Rican fighter was thoroughly uninspired. This is winnable for Kinoshita, but it will be a tough ask for the 31 year old Japanese Southpaw.
In Canada we'll see a pair of unbeaten Kazakh hopefuls fighting to extend their winning starts.
The more notable of the two is Batyrzhan Jukembayev (7-0-0-2, 6), who will be looking for his 8th win as he takes on David Rangel (12-4, 8). On paper this should be a good test for the Kazakh, although he will be strongly favoured. Rangel has lost 4 of his last 6, but has mixed in good company with losses to the likes of Gilberto Gonzalez and Javier Prietom and a recent win over Leonardo Jimenez.
The other Kazakh on this card is 25 year old Ablaikhan Khussainov (4-0, 3), who takes on the once beaten Oscar Mejia (8-1-1, 3). The Kazakh has looked good so far but is taking a clear step up here and will be fighting in his first scheduled 6 rounder as he takes on a Mexican who has shown some genuine potential himself. Although Mejia lost last time out he proved he was capable and should be a very good test for Khussainov.
The most notable bout set to take place in Asia this weekend will see rising Indonesian star Iwan Zoda (13-1, 12) defending his IBF Youth Flyweight title against Filipino Robert Onggocan (7-1, 3). Zoda, who is the most exciting Indonesian youngster since Daud Yordan was first breaking through the ranks, will be looking to make his first defence of the title whilst Onggocan will be fighting in his first title bout.