This coming Sunday is expected to be a really interesting day for fight fans with a number of show of interest, and some really notable fighters in action. Whilst it's not a huge day, it is certainly an interesting one, and one well worth making a mental note of as we move towards the weekend.
The show of the day comes from Russia where we get a host of Asian fighters making up the supporting cast of a card headlined by the always fun to watch Denis Lebedev.
The most notable bout on the card will see Russian fighter Dmitry Mikhaylenko (22-1, 10) battle against fast rising Uzbek contender Qudratillo Abduqaxorov (11-0, 8), with the Uzbek looking to make his first defense of the WBC Silver Welterweight title. On paper this is really the stand out bout of the day, and a real chance for the Uzbek to prove himself as a top contender, it is however a really tough test on Russian soil and he'll have to really be on the top of his game to shut down the “Mechanic”.
Another mouth watering bout sees former world title challenger Daiki Kaneko (26-5-3, 18) face off with the unbeaten Pavel Malikov (11-0, 5). The Japanese fighter is best known for his bout with Takashi Uchiyama, in which he dropped Uchiyama late, and sine then he has struggled to really shine, going 7-2. He will however see this as a huge opportunity to get his career back on track. For Malikov the bout is his first against a former world title challenger, and is a huge step up for the 31 year old Russian.
In another Russia Vs Japan bout we'll see Mark Urvanov (10-1, 6) take on Jin Miura (9-1, 1), with the two men fighting for the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Featherweight title. The bout looks great on paper, even if it's clear neither has lights out power. It's a huge test for both men and is the type of bout we love to see, with both men having something to gain and something to lose.
Another bout where both fighters will be fighting for a title will be a contest between unbeaten Tajik fighter Mukhammadkhuja Yaqubov (7-0, 4) and Japanese puncher Daiki Ichikawa (9-2, 7), who will face off for the WBO Lightweight title, currently held by Yaqubov. This is a real corker on paper and could be a coming out party for Ichikawa, who has stopped his last 3 and bounced back from a couple of defeats. Yaqubov has struggled himself, especially early in his career, and will need to prove himself here.
One final bout of note will see the unbeaten Zaur Abdullaev (4-0, 3) face off with Japanese fighter Mao Kawanishi (4-2, 1), in what looks likely to be a competitive 4 rounder.
The more notable of two Japanese cards comes from Osaka where we'll see a former Japanese title challenger headline and a former touted amateur make their debut.
Before we talk about the bouts which will take place we will just make a quick note that the card was supposed to be headlined by Juiki Tatsuyoshi (6-0, 4). Originally Tatsuyoshi was supposed to face off with Indonesian Jundullah M Fauzan (3-1), but the bout was cancelled just over a week before the contest due to Juiki suffering an injury. Sadly that injury has seen the card being pulled from the planned TV coverage that G+ was going to give the show.
The former Japanese title challenger on the card is former 2-time challenger Satoru Sugita (12-4-1, 7), who will now headline the card with a bout against Indonesian visitor Egy Rozten (5-15-2, 3). With losses in 2 of his last 3 we can't begrudge Sugita an easy bout, but it's a shame that the bout will now headline the card, because it's not a headline worthy contest.
In a supporting bout Kyosuke Tsutsumimoto (4-1, 3) will look to bounce back from his first career loss as he battles Takashi Okura (5-5, 1). The 22 year old Tsutsumimoto has been out of action since suffering his sole loss, in March 2016, but looks to be back with some hunger for his first 6 rounder. Okura has also been out of the ring for more than a year, and will be the under-dog, but will be a hungry fighter here looking for a chance to make a name for himself.
The most intriguing bout on the card sees former amateur stand out Ginjiro Tsutsumimoto (0-0), who really looked like a joy in some of his amateur contests, face off with Jio Alfriando (3-2, 2). In the unpaid ranks Tsutsumimoto went 24-3 and looked like a more accomplished fighter than his record suggests. He may not be in the mould of a super prospect, but he is certainly a highly capable young fighter, and the 19 year old is one to keep an eye out for.
A second show in Japan will take place in Chiba, with this card being a much smaller one
The first of two bouts of note on this card will see Yudai Tamagawa (9-8-1, 3) take on Ryuki Ishii (5-2, 4) in what looks like an intriguing bout, but nothing too mouth watering. Both of these fighters are southpaws and the bout should be competitive, but we do suspect that Ishii will be too good for Tamagawa.
A much more notable fight will see the unbeaten Fire Ikkyu (4-0, 3) take on Yoshiki Abe (5-5-3, 1) in a 6 rounder. Ikkyu will be fighting in his first 6 round bout and he should be favoured, however Abe is better than his record suggests and could put up a genuine fight here.
In Colorado we'll see Uzbek veteran Bexzod Nabiyev (25-9-1, 17) battle against Manuel Perez (27-12-1, 7) in a really well matched bout. The 31 year old Nabiyev looked like his career was fading away when he won 1 of 7 bouts a few years ago, but he's won his last 3 and will feel like he can make it 4 in a row as he takes on Perez, however Perez is much better than the opposite than Nabiyev has been beating.
For a second day running we're expecting to see action in Jakarta.
The main event of this card will see Stevanus Nana Bau (6-8-2, 2),who has twice lost to the touted Iwan Zoda, battle against the win-less Abeito Freitas (0-3) in a bout for the vacant Indonesia Boxing Association Light Flyweight title. Whilst we always doubt the completion of Indonesian records it's hard to believe that Freitas will be getting this title bout after being out of the ring for more than 4 years.
A more attractive under-card bout will see the half decent Isack Junior (24-7-2, 8), who has lost 6 of his last 8 but has lost those all on the road to good fighters, take on Boido Simanjuntak (23-46-2, 9). On paper this looks like a mismatch, but Junior has been inactive recently and the experienced Simanjuntak could be looking at this as a chance to end a 12 fight losing run.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
In Malaysia we'll see the experienced Filipino Carlo Magali (21-9-3, 10) face off with unbeaten Indian hopeful Sandeep Balhara (4-0, 3), who will be fighting outside of India for the first time. On paper the Filipino will be favoured, given his significant experience advantage, but it' lear that Balhara's team have got belief in their man to even take this fight.
The most notable of the action in Asia this coming Saturday is at the Korakuen Hall as Japanese fans see a card featuring two former world title challengers
The main event of the card will see the powerful Daiki Kaneko (25-5-3, 17), best known for giving Takashi Uchiyama real fits in their 2013 contest, facing off with 36 year old veteran Tsuyoshi Tojo (13-14-5, 2). The bout should be a clear win for Kaneko, who is riding a 4 fight winning streak coming in to this, and although he has been in some real wars he should be far too good and powerful for Tojo. What will be telling however will be the result, with Tojo having never been stopped before in his 32 fight career.
The other former world title challenger in action is 41 year old Motoki Sasaki (42-10-1, 26), who faces the 24 year old Genki Ishikawa (8-1, 5). The once beaten Ishikawa will see this as his opportunity to score a career defining win, and boost his hopes for a domestic title fight, however Sasaki will be the favourite , and has won 3 bouts since ending his retirement from the sport. Sasaki might be an old man but he's a genuinely talented fighter at this level and will be seeing this bout as a chance to earn himself another Japanese title fight. This is a really interesting bout on the Japanese domestic scene.
In South Korea we'll see a KBF Rookie of the Year tournament show, with only the main event not being part of that Rookie tournament.
That aforementioned main event will see the talented Geun Sik Choi (4-0, 3) take on upset minded Filipino Arnel Tinampay (23-20-1, 9) in what looks like a really good test for Choi. On paper we know this looks like a mismatch but Tinamapay has scored so many upsets through his career that his record only tells half the story about his ability and he will be looking to score another shock on the road.
In regards to the actual Rookie bouts the most interesting on paper will see unbeaten men colliding with Tae Won Jung (2-0) battling Kook Min Moon (2-0, 1) in a Super Featherweight clash. Both of these men debuted on March 26th and scored their second win on April 16th, so have been active and neither will be wanting to let go of their small winning runs here.
To kick off a new week we'll see a small Japanese card, being shown by A-sign boxing. The card, promoted by Yokohama Hikari, isn't a huge one but does have some notable names featured on it.
The main event of the card will see OPBF and JBC ranked fighter Kinshiro Usui (26-4, 10) battle against 3-time Japanese title challenger Hiroyasu Matsuzaki (22-7-2, 11), who is returning to the ring following a long break from the ring. Usui will be favoured here, but he is 36 and will know that another loss here will be the end of his hopes to become a Japanese champion before the end of his career. Matsuzaki hasn't won in over 3 years and it'd be a surprise to see winning here given his long stretch of inactivity.
In a supporting bout former world title challenger Daiki Kaneko (24-5-3, 16) will be facing a limited Thai opponent, with Kaneko seeking a 4th straight win. The tough Kaneko is rebuilding towards a second world title fight but is a long way from such an opportunity and certainly needs to start stepping up his competition in the near future rather than fight in more stay busy type contests.
Another supporting bout will see Japanese ranked Lightweight Ryusei Nakajima (9-1, 3) battle against Keisuke Ota (9-10, 2). Coming in to this Nakajima is riding a 7 fight winning run and will be hoping to keep that run going as he edges towards a title fight. Ota has won just 2 of his last 8 bouts and won't be expected to win here, but could well be a better test than he looks on paper, and his record is certainly a misleading one.
The action seemed to go quiet for a while but picks up suddenly this weekend. Saturday was big but in many ways Sunday is busier with 3 Japanese shows and a Singaporean show, featuring a streamed card, courtesy of asign, and an OPBF title bout.
The OPBF title bout from an intriguing card in Okinawa where we get several bouts between Japanese locals and Filipino visitors.
The most notable of those international bouts will see OPBF Super Flyweight champion Rene Dacquel (17-6-1, 6) take on veteran challenger Go Onaga (27-2-2, 18) in a bout that both men will see as a must win bout. For the 36 year old Onaga a loss here will likely thwart any dreams of fighting for a world title, his one major dream. A loss for Dacquel however would probably see his own dreams shattered, and many would likely suggest that he won't ever progress beyond continental level.
A really interesting supporting bout will see Japan's Seita Ogido (10-2-1, 3) battle former world title challenger Jeffrey Galero (14-1, 7), who managed to ask some questions of Wanheng Menayothin last year. Since suffering his sole loss Galero has picked up 3 wins and will be looking to continue that winning run here. Ogido is stepping up in a huge way however he will be looking to be buoyed on by the local fans with Ogido being a local fighter to Okinawa.
On paper the biggest mismatch between the Japanese and Filipino fighters will see Masatoshi Kotani (18-2, 13) battle against journeyman Jovill Marayan (9-22-3, 4). Kotani is on an 8 fight winning run, albeit against limited opposition and should extend that here against a man who has gone 1-10 in his last 11 bouts.
The asign show, which will be streamed on a PPV basis, is a Yokohama Hikari card and although it's not the best card of the weekend all the bouts will be streams and several of those are worth noting.
The biggest bout on the card is the main event which will see former world title challenger Daiki Kaneko (23-5-3, 15) continue to try and rebuild his career after losses to Jomthong Chuwatanab and Masao Nakamura. The former Japanese champion will be up against Japanese ranked fighter Yusuke Nakagawa (10-4-1, 6) in what looks to be an easy win for the experienced man, at least on paper. Nakagawa however is an under-rated fighter and will be a stiffer tests than his record suggests.
Another bout of some interest here will see recent OPBF title challenger Futoshi Usami (13-2-1, 10) face off with the heavy handed Tatsuya Miyazaki (8-8-1, 8). Usami challenged Masayoshi Nakatani for the OPBF title in 2014 but has only fought 6 rounds since then and Miyazaki might see this as his chance to take advantage of his opponents inactivity and end a 4-fight losing streak.
A third Japanese show will come from Hyogo, sadly however the card is less than great despite featuring a former world title contender.
That former world title contender is the light hitting Teiru Kinoshita (24-1-1, 7) who will be facing a Thai visitor as Kinoshita looks for a 6th successive win. Kinoshita, who lost to Zolani Tete in an IBF title fight, has stated in the past that he would like another world title bout, will need to start facing better opponents that Thai novices if he's to be full prepared for a world level bout.
Another local taking on a Thai foe will be Kazuhiro Nishitani (15-4-1, 7), and as with the Kinoshita bout we're unsure on the name of the Thai. Nishitani has gone 1-2-1 in his last 4, including a loss in a Japanese title fight to Kota Tokunaga, but should come away with a win here.
In an all Japanse bout Kazuya Murata (12-5, 5) will face Makoto Kawasaki (7-4-1, 1). Coming in to this Murata holds a #2 ranking with the JBC at Lightweight and know that he could move towards securing a Japanese title fight with a win here. For Kawasaki, who is 3-3 in his last 6, this is a great opportunity to move towards a ranking place.
Another man looking to secure a ranking place with an upset will be Satoshi Momota (10-11-1, 4) who faces ranked Light Welterweight Kazuyasu Okamoto (11-4, 3). Despite being the “promoter's boy” Momota will be the clear under-dog coming into this one.
Fight fans in Singapore will also get some action, albeit low level action.
In the main event former amateur stand out Muhamad Ridhwan (3-0, 2) will be up against Filipino Jonel Borbon (2-19-2, 2). Ridhwan was given some attention on debut following his amateur success but appears unlikely to become a star that Singaporean fight fans would have been hoping for.
Staying with local talent Nurshahidah Roslie (3-0, 1) will be up against the debuting Krisna Limbaga (0-0). Roslie claimed the UBO Inter-Continental title last time out but will not be defending her title here.
The month of June has started relatively slowly though this Saturday sees things heating up with a lot of action featuring Asian fighters, including notable bouts outside of Asia.
One of those notable bouts is set to take place in the UK where Thai veteran Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (38-7-1, 18) faces former IBF Bantamweight champion Paul Butler (21-1, 12) in a bout for the WBO International Super Flyweight title, and a bout that could well set the winner on the way to facing world champion Naoya Inoue. For Petchbarngborn the bout sees him risking a 16 fight winning streak though he will be the clear under-dog and will be facing one of his best opponents to date. For Butler the bout is a step up in class, but one he will be strongly favoured to win.
Staying “on the road” Indonesian fighter Daud Yordan (35-3-0-1, 24) will be in Uruguay where he will face Argentinian fighter Cristian Rafael Coria (24-4-2, 9) in a bout for the “Interim” WBA International Lightweight title. Yordan should be the favourite here, but will be looking to do more than “just win” in what could potentially be a huge stepping stone towards a world title fight, later in the year.
Continuing with title action action outside of Asian fight fans in the US will see Filipino Jhon Gemino (13-6-1, 5) battle against the unbeaten, and heavy handed, Christian Gonzalez (13-0, 12) for the WBC Youth Lightweight title. This looks like a huge ask for Gemino but he will go in to the ring knowing that a win would open up some doors, and be a genuinely good win.
Quintana Roo, Mexico
One final bout of note outside of Asia will see former OPBF title challenger Jovylito Aligarbes (12-3, 6) face off against Edgar Jimenez (21-11-2, 15) in what looks like a well matched bout in Jimenez's homeland of Mexico.
As well as the bouts outside of Asia there is some interesting match ups in Asia.
One of those interesting match ups sees former world title challenger Daiki Kaneko (22-5-3, 15) battle against Ribo Takahata (12-6-1, 4), in what could see the winner move towards a title fight. On paper Kaneko should be strongly favoured however he has lost 3 of his last 6 and doesn't look like the fighter that many tipped to become a world champion, following his competitive bout with Takashi Uchiyama at the end of 2013.
Another really good bout will see Shingo Eto (17-4-1, 9) face the once beaten Masaru Sueyoshi (11-1, 7). Eto is the better known man here but he has lost twice in his last 5 bouts and knows that another loss here could be the end of his title dreams. For Sueyoshi the bout will see him going for a 9th straight win and build on victories over the likes of Yuta Nagai and Kazuma Sanpei. This could be the bout of the day and is really well matched.
Talking about the possible “bout of the day” it's hard not to get a little bit excited about seeing Kenji Ono (10-1, 5) face Takumi Suda (12-11-2, 3). The records may not suggest that this one will be anything special but Ono has been in a FOTY once already this year, his 8th round win over Jun Takigawa, and could be forced into a war here against the under-rated Suda.
Davao del Sur, Philippines
There's also action in the Philippines, though the matches here are mostly looking like mismatches.
The biggest of the mismatches sees former Filipino Light Welterweight champion Adones Cabalquinto (22-1, 15) battle against journeyman Rodel Wenceslao (11-11-1, 4). Cabalquinto was once tipped for big things but has seen his career flat line recently, despite that he should be far too good for Wenceslao here.
Thankfully there are some prospects on this card, despite them being in mismatches. One of those prospects is Genesis Libranza (9-0, 6) who looks to extend his perfect start as he battles veteran Jetly Purisima (21-18-4, 6). Although likely to be a mismatch this is a step up for Libranza and is the right way to move the promising 22 year “Cobra”.
Another prospect of note on this show is Lightweight hopeful Jayar Inson (10-0, 7), who faces Richard Betos (20-14-1, 7). This another “logical step” for a prospect, but one that doesn't look too exciting on paper. Inson has impressed in recent times and some are tipping him to fight for regional honours in the near future, he will however have to see off fighters like Betos if he's to progress to fighting for an OPBF title
The boxing year has been slow to get going, not just in Asia but worldwide. Thankfully that has started to change and on March 11th we see the 2016 Champion Carnival kick off with what appears to be a genuinely notable Japanese domestic card.
The champions Carnival bout, which is the main event of the show, will see Japanese and OPBF Middleweight champion Akio Shibata (27-8-1, 13) face off against the criminally under-rated Hikaru Nishida (14-7-1, 6), with both of Shibata's titles on the line. The veteran champion is well known as the debut opponent of Ryota Murata, where he was stopped in 2 rounds by the 2012 Olympic champion, but since then he has been reeling off wins at the top of the Japanese domestic scene. The only man in recent times to really push Shibata close was Nishida, when the two men met in 2014, and we expect another very competitive bout here. Of the two men Shibata is the better boxer, in fact he's a very technically capable boxer-mover, however Nishida is a strong, tough pressure fighter who will be in Shibata's face and try to break down the champion. This really could be an excellent way to kick off the Champion Carnival.
As well as the main event we also get a trio of notable supporting bouts. One of those features former world title challenger Daiki Kaneko (21-5-3, 14) who makes a move to Lightweight to face Kazuya Soma (7-8-2, 6). The 27 year old Kaneko impressed us in 2013, when he gave Takashi Uchiyama a very tough bout, however two losses last year, including a defeat to Masao Nakamura in a FOTY contender, has left him in need of a win. Soma is limited but is a naturally bigger fighter than Kaneko and could try to use that to his advantage against the former Japanese Super Featherweight champion.
Talking of former Japanese champions, former Middleweight champion Tomohiro Ebisu (14-4, 14) returns to the ring to face Toshihiro Kai (5-7-2, 1). This looks to be a mismatch however Ebisu is a “stop of be stopped” fighter and even the light punching Kai has a chance, if he can see out the first few rounds of Ebisu's assault. The former champion has never been the distance and he will be hoping to record his 15th stoppage win here, but he has shown fragility in the past.
The third bout of note sees recently OPBF Lightweight title challenger Accel Sumiyoshi (5-4-2, 1) battle Tatsuya Yanagi (11-3-1, 4) in, a rematch between the two men who fought to a draw last year. Coming in to this one the records suggest Yanagi should be favoured however Sumiyoshi is much better than his record indicates and he has been matched ridiculously hard since his debut in 2012, in fact he has fought the reigning Japanese and OPBF Lightweight champions and other title contenders. Whilst Sumiyoshi is better than the numbers suggest Yanagi is in a bit of a rut with a 1-3-1 record in his last 5. This is a bout neither man can really afford to lose.
We have also been made aware that there will be a show in Laos.
The main event of this card will see Thai veteran Terdsak Kokietgym (59-5-1, 39) [เทอดศักดิ์ สีซุปเปอร์เทคยิม] in a regional title bout whilst another bout on this card will see Laos teenager Nampetch Kwanjaisrikod (8-1, 3) [น้ำเพชร ก่อเกียรติยิม] continue her career. Sad we're unsure who Nampetch and Terdsak will be up against.
To end a good week we get a brilliant flourish with several notable fighters, including two who are matched in a potential thriller.
Some fights looking mouth watering the second they are announced. Today we one such bout whilst the card features several other contests of note.
That bout in question will see former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Daiki Kaneko (21-4-3, 14) take on the big punching Masao Nakamura (19-3, 19). On paper this is as good as it gets for a fight fan. Kaneko is, by far, the more technically capable of the two men though is still pretty basic and relies more on his immense physical strength than his boxing ability. Nakamura on the other-hand is a venomous puncher dubbed the “KO King”. Do not be surprised is this ends up being the fight of the month and absolute barn burner.
The key under-card bout here will see the once beaten Ryohei Takahashi (6-1-1) take on the once touted Kenji Kubo (5-3-1, 2). The fight is a brilliant match up between two young fighters each looking for a big win. On paper the bout is intriguing though it's made even more significant by the fact that Kubo has essentially said that he will walk away from the sport, at least for a while, if he loses here. Considering he began his career with a win over former world title challenger Nouldy Manakane this could be a very disappointing end to his career.
Another bout on this card will see Japanese ranked Shogo Yamaguchi (7-0-1, 4) battle against Keisuke Arima (8-10-1, 1) in an intriguing Bantamweight fight. This could be a good test for the 21 year old Yamaguchi who has won 7 in a row following a draw on debut mire than 2 years back. On paper this should be a mismatch but Arima has never been stopped and has regularly been a domestic gate keeper facing the likes of Yuhei Suzuki, Yuya Sugizaki and Kota Koike. It may look a mismatch on paper but this really could be an excellent test for the youngster.
In Thailand fans will get the chance to see Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (30-0, 23) defending his PABA title against South African challenger Boitshepo Mandawe (14-6, 10). On paper this looks like an easy win for Teerachai however Mandawe has mixed with good company and could well test Teerachai. We don't imagine the Thai will lose but we hope he'll be tested here. Interestingly it's been mentioned that Teerachai may get a shot at the WBA interim title if he comes out on top here.
On a second Thai show dans will get the chance to see former WBC Light Flyweight champion Kompayak Porpramook (52-5, 37) battle against Filipino visitor Jopher Marayan (7-6-2, 3) in a bout for a WBA Asia title. This card will be aired on Thai TV 3SD whilst the other show will be on Thai Channel 7.
In Mexico we'll see American-Filipino novice Adam Fiel (6-0, 2) battle against Brayan Santillanes (3-3-2, 1) in what looks to be a mismatch.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This year has been slow however we do see life and this Saturday sees a lot of interesting action. We have a brilliant bout in Japan, we have a notable prospect in the Philippines and two brilliant Chinese debutants in the US. What more could we want?
The first major bout in Japan this year comes this Saturday on a card that we have been excited about since it was first announced, and we won't pretend that the main event didn't make our hearts race when when we first learned of it.
We might as well start with that aforementioned main event which will see the unbeaten Jomthong Chuwatana (8-0, 4) defending his OPBF Super Featherweight title against former world title challenger Daiki Kaneko (21-3-3, 14). The bout is between two of the division's most talented, strong and naturally powerful fighters and is almost certainly going to be a highly skilled battle of power. Going into the bout it's a hard one to call. Kaneko is the home fighter and has been more active as a boxer recently however Jomgthong hasn't allowed rust to build up despite 1 boxing contest in the last 21 months due to the fact he has been active in Muay Thai, where he has an exceptional record. The winner of this deserves a world title fight and we'd not be massively shocked if the winner here got a shot at any of the current world champions, including Takashi Uchiyama and Takashi Miura. This really is as good a bout as you can get in the Super Featherweight division, barring unification bouts.
As well as the brilliant main event there is also a pair of notable All-Japanese Middleweight bouts on the card. For us the most interesting of those is the bout between the heavy handed Shoma Fukumoto (5-1, 5) and Kazuyuki Fukuyama (9-5, 2). Fukumoto is regarded as a potential national champion though there are questions about his chin. Those questions are unlikely to be asked by Fukuyama however we may see Fukumoto's stamina being given a test here.
The other Middleweight bout will see former Japanese champion Tomohiro Ebisu (12-4, 12) put his “stop or be stopped” reputation on the line as he battles the chinny Tatsuro Kawabata (6-5, 2). It's hard to see Ebisu losing here though he has lost 2 of his last 3 and there are serious worries about his chin and defences.
Another fighter on this card worth making a note of is Naoki Mochizuki (5-1, 4) who will be fighting against the more experienced Takuma Okada (5-9, 2). Mochizuki's sole loss came to the very good Sonin Nihei and it's fair to say the 20 year old puncher is worth keeping tabs on even if he's not going to be on the fast track to the top.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
It's not just Japanese fans who get a show on their doorstep as Filipino fans also get the chance to go and see live fights as SANMAN Promotions put on a small but interesting card.
The main event here will see the much touted Harmonito Dela Torre (14-0, 9) battle against JR Mendoza (10-17, 4) in what looks to be stay busy fight for the talented 20 year old prospect. We'll admit we do like Dela Torre, a lot, but this bout is a big step backwards compared to some of his other recent bouts and it's a bit of a shame he's not being moved forward with his career.
In the co-feature fans will see Ronie Tanallon (4-1-1, 1) up against the highly experienced Jonathan Ricablanca (7-45-2, 1) in what appears to be another mismatch, however this should be a more competitive bout that the main event.
Chinese fans will also have something to look forward to as two former Chinese amateur stand outs will be making their professional boxing debuts.
One of those men will be Wang Zhimin (0-0), who has yet to have his opponent named, whilst the other is Meng Fanlong (0-0) who will be fighting against the win-less Marcellus Yates (0-1) in what appears to be an easy start to his career.
District of Columbia, USA
Also in the US fans will get the chance to see Uzbekistan's limited Middleweight Rahman Mustafa Yusubov (11-19, 9) battle against Demond Nicholson (10-1, 10). Yusubov has lost his last 4 bouts however Nicholson was upset last time out in a contest he was expected to win and it may be that his confidence is now shot. Yusubov will be the clear under-dog though hopefully he will go for the win rather than turn up just to lose.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Some times we get days that are ridiculously busy, and we mean ridiculously busy! This Coming Saturday is one such day with more action and more fights that we are used to seeing on a single day!
New Jersey, USA
The most notable of the fights will feature former WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Heavyweight champion and current WBO Light Heavyweight world champion Sergey Kovalev (24-0-1, 22). Kovalev will be defending the WBO title for the third time since winning less than a year ago. The unfortunate man to share the ring with the "Krusher" will be the unbeaten, but light hitting, Blake Caparello (19-0-1, 6) who is almost certainly going to be the next victim of Kovalev's thudding power and vicious assaults. Going in to this bout Kovalev has stopped his last 8 opponents in a combined 31 rounds! The general view seems to be that Caparello won't last more than 3 or 4.
New York, USA
Kovalev isn't the only Russian in a world title fight and in New York Anton Novikov (29-0-0-1, 10) will be challenging for the WBA Light Welterweight title currently held by the unbeaten Jessie Vargas (24-0, 9). Vargas, who beat Khabib Allakhverdiev back in April, will be making the first defence of his title but the challenger, a former WBC Asian Boxing Council Welterweight champion, will be looking to upset the once touted American fighter. This bout certainly looks more competitive than the Kovalev fight and looks a bit like a coin toss right now.
As well as title action in the US we also get a female double in Japan in one two Tokyo shows.
The female double header will be held at the Adachi Ward Sogo Sports Center and will be headlined by female IBF Light Flyweight champion Naoko Shibata (12-3, 3) who will be seeking the second defence of her title. Unfortunately for Shibata she's in a very tough one with the experienced Ana Arrazola (20-9-2, 13). Arrazola has been in with some of the best around and will be expected to give Shibata an incredibly hard fight here and we'd not be shocked by the title changing hands in what is truly a hard bout to call.
Although Shibata/Arrazola is the main event we dare suggest that the other female title fight, between long reigning WBC Atomweight champion Momo Koseki (18-2-1, 5) and former Muay Thai sensation Denise Castle (2-0, 2). Castle really was tremendous in Muay Thai though this will be a big test of ho those skills transfer over. For Koseki we'd like to see her box more than usual, like she did against Maria Jimenez, as opposed to using the billy goat tactics that she has used through her career. If Koseki gets into a war this is anyone's fight whilst if she boxes she should win with out too many issues.
In the chief support bout fans will get the chance to see two debutants in action in a 6 round bout at Welterweight. From what we understand this contest will see Takeshi Inoue (0-0) fighting Daishi Nagata (0-0). It's rare for debutants to collide in 6 rounders but both guys are B Class licensed fighters are have shown that they are capable meaning that this is a seriously tough way to start their careers.
The other Tokyo show will be at the Korakuen Hall and feature several interesting fighters and match ups.
The most interesting of the fighters is former WBA Super Featherweight world title challenger Daiki Kaneko (20-3-3, 13) who will be hunting his second win since losing his world title bout to Takashi Uchiyama. Kaneko will be fighting the limited but tough Filipino visitor Cirilo Espino (19-13-3, 12) who has only suffered a controversial stoppage loss in his 35 fight career. Disappointingly Espino as beaten last time out by Ryota Kajiki a man who Kaneko stopped back in December 2012 and with that in mind we can't see anything but a win for Kaneko. The question here is just how long can Espino last with the heavy handed Kaneko.
Whilst Kaneko is the most interesting fighter on the card he's not in the most interesting fight. That honour belongs to Ryo Akaho (23-1-2, 16) and Masaaki Serie (25-6, 10) who get it on in a potential fire cracker. Akaho goes in to this bout hunting a second world title tilt though, as shown in his fight with Jacker Buhawe, he will need to tidy up his boxing if he wants to have any chance of winning a world title. Serie is probably past his prime but has the toughness, experience and skills to make life very difficult for Akaho here.
The most interesting of 2 Filipino shows will take place in Batangas an will feature two title fights. The most interesting of these is a bout between the unbeaten JR Magboo (15-0-2, 7) and the the promising youngster Virgil Puton (14-3, 7). The men, who battle for the vacant IBF Pan Pacific Super Bantamweight title have been matched up very well here and the winner will likely earn an IBF ranking position next month meaning there is a lot to gain by wining this all Filipino clash.
Unfortunately the other title fight is a mismatch to say the least as the talented and unbeaten Ben McCulloch (13-0, 10) defends his PABA Super Middleweight title against the very limited Yodkhunsuk Mor Poowana (3-1-1, 1). There is little one can say to defend this type of match up though we do question why the PABA would allow this contest to go ahead.
Although there are 5 other bouts on the card there was only one that really stood out and that was the contest between Roberto Gonzales (23-2, 14) and the exciting and under-rated Allan Tanada (13-2-3, 5). Gonzales won his first 20 fights but has gone 3-2 in his last 5 with both of those losses coming by stoppage as he career has began to falter. Tanada is best known for his upset win over Japan's Rikiya Fukuhara for the OPBF Super Featherweight title though he has struggled himself since then and this should prove to be a very important cross roads fight for both men.
The second of the Filipino cards seems to be more of a prospect show than one one with really interest contests. It does however have 2 bouts of note.
One of those will see the unbeaten Ardie Boyosi (10-0-1, 7) taking on the experienced and tough Richard Betos (20-8-1, 7). Boyosi has won his last 10 bouts including 6 successive T/KO wins whilst Betos has proven toughness having only been stopped once in his 29 fights. Sadly Betos's has lost 3 of his last 4 and is likely on a slide physically. Boyosi should win but we'd expect this to be a good test for the hard hitting prospect.
The other bout of note will see the unbeaten Neil John Tabanao (7-0, 6) battling against against Jhon Gemino (10-2-1, 4). Tabanao has looked good so far but this should be considered a step up for the unbeaten youngster who will be facing an opponent coming to win as opposed to someone with little self belief.
Back in the US we're expecting to see Filipino slugger Drian Francisco (24-2-1, 19) in action though his opponent has yet to be named. Francisco has been out of the ring for more than a year following his loss to Chris Avalos though he will be expecting to win here in an attempt to restart his career.
Quintana Roo, Mexico
In Mexico we will get to see Filipino Adones Aguelo (21-9-2, 13) battling against former world title challenger Sergio Thompson (29-3, 26). Thompson, best known for his thriller with Takashi Miura, is hoping to earn himself a second world title fight but will likely need to do more than just beat Aguelo here to secure a rematch with Miura, the current WBC champion. Aguelo will know that this is a huge opportunity for him to throw his name into the mix but he won't be expecting to over-come the tough and heavy handed Thompson.
(Image courtesy of http://boxenplus.com)
Whilst much of the world is looking forward to getting drunk, popping party poppers and singing various songs, the Japanese are, rightfully awaiting celebrations of another kind, the kind that comes with victories. This New Years Eve, like several others from recent years, is one laced with boxing celebration courtesy of 3 world title fights, a number of world ranked fighters and some major action in our great sport.
Amazingly the action isn't just televised on one channel but 2 with fights in both Tokyo and Osaka as fans get treat especially well.
For us the better of the two massive Japanese cards is in the Ota-City Gym in Tokyo where Watanabe put on an excellent 9 fight card headlined by 2 world title fights.
The first of those world title fights sees WBC Super Featherweight champion Takashi Miura (26-2-2, 19), defending his title for the second time as he takes on Mexico's Dante Jardon (24-3, 20). Jardon, known as "El Loco" or "Crazy", is ranked #2 by the WBC and will be the 3rd successive Mexican to fight Miura following Gamaliel Diaz and Sergio Thompson. To date Miura is 2-0 against Mexican's whilst Jardon is 1-1 against Japanese fights. In our view this, despite being the co-feature, has the possibility of being the fight of the year.
Above the Miura/Jardon bout on the card is a WBA Super Featherweight title clash that sees Takashi Uchiyama (20-0-1, 17) defending his title against fellow Japanese fighter Daiki Kaneko (19-2-3, 12, pictured together above. Kaneko, a former Japanese national champion, is taking a big step up going in to this clash though has been on a fabulous run of form and may feel that with a 9 year youth advantage he can over-come Uchiyama, a man many feel is the best on the planet at 130lbs. Although many will feel this is a complete mismatch we are expecting that the bout will be competitive, at least in spurts, and it could well see both men being rattled at one point.
Amazingly this card has more quality and name value than just the 2 world title fights. The same show will also act as a tune up for Kohei Kono (28-8, 11) ahead of his WBA world title fight with Denkaosan Kaovichit on March 26th, it will also feature notable fighters in the form of Carlos Cuadras (28-0, 13), the WBC #1 ranked fighter at Super Flyweight, Ryoichi Taguchi (18-2-1, 8) and model-turned-boxer Tomomi Takno (3-0, 2). Although these 4 fighters are being matched relatively easily, with only Taguchi's opponent Ryan Bito (22-12-3, 8) being of any sort known quantity, it's still great to see so many high profile fighters on the card.
This show, or at least the main events, will be shown on TV Tokyo.
Across the country from Tokyo we get the days second massive card with action in the wonderfully named Bodymaker Colosseum. Although this show only has a single world title fight on it, it also features a number of notable fighters including a former world champion, former world title challenger, former OPBF champion and 2 very promising unbeaten fighters.
The world title bout, a WBA Light Flyweight title fight, sees unbeaten men colliding as Kazuto Ioka (13-0, 9) looks for the 3rd defense of his belt. In Ioka's way is hard hitting Nicaraguan sensation Felix Alvarado (18-0, 15) who has been stopping opponents for fun back in Latin America. This is be far the most dangerous fight Ioka has had since becoming a Light Flyweight champion though on the flipside it's easily the stiffest test in the career of Alvarado who who is making a major leap up in class. We favour Ioka's experience at the higher level to be the difference here though it's certainly a dangerous challenge for the unbeaten Japanese youngster.
Whilst Ioka is the only world champion on the card his stablemate make Ryo Miyazaki (20-0-3, 11), the recent WBA Minimumweight champion, will also be on the show. Miyazaki, fighting for the first time since vacating his 105lb title will be taking on Thailand's world ranked Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (22-2, 14) in what appears to be a statement of intent from Miyazaki that he's going to be looking to make a mark on the Flyweight division. Sakkreerin Jr may not be a big name compared to Miyazaki but the young Thai is highly regarded and will know that a win would mean a lot in terms of his future.
Down the card we get fights involving KO sensation Masao Nakamura (17-1, 17) a former OPBF Super Featherweight champion, former world title challenger Atsushi Kakutani (13-4-1, 6), the fast fast rising Sho Ishida (14-0, 7) and unbeaten female prospect Kei Takenaka (5-0, 1). As with the other card, these fighters are expected to be against limited foes unfortunately.
We're expecting the Ioka bout to be shown like on TBS.