Metro Manila, Philippines
The biggest show this Sunday comes from the Philippines and features some very notable fighters, including an interim world champion, a former world champion and three touted prospects.
On paper the main event will see WBA “interim” Bantamweight champion Reymart Gaballo (19-0, 16) battling against the horribly limited Julias Kisarawe (29-6-1, 15) of Tazania. The talented Gaballo claimed the interim title earlier this year, when he upset the unbeaten Stephon Young in the US, and showed that he was world class. Sadly Gaballo was one of the many talented Bantamweights who missed out on the World Boxing Super Series but as long as he stays active between now and the end of the tournament he will be in with a great chance of facing the eventual winner. Sadly this really is just a stay busy for Gaballo, and Kisarawe was stopped back in 5 rounds in July by Prince Patel, showing just how limited he is.
The former champion on the card is former WBO Bantamweight champion Marlon Tapales (30-2, 13), who will be fighting for the first since he scored an 11th round KO against Shohei Omori in April 2017, a bout that saw him being stripped of the title for failing to make weight. Given his long break from the ring few we can't complain much about Tapalese being matched softly, and he has been. On paper Goodluck Mrema (22-3, 12) looks to be a decent opponent but the man from Tanzania has been matched very softly and has lost in his two bouts outside of homeland, including a stoppage loss in June in Scotland to the then 3-0 Lee McGregor. Tapales should have no problems dealing with the visitor here.
One of the prospects on this card Dave Penalosa (13-0, 9), the nephew of promoter Gerry Penalosa, who looks to be taking a step up in class, at least on paper. The unbeaten southpaw will be up against Twalib Tuwa (21-5-2, 14), another import from Tanzania. Tuwa is 0-3 on the road, including a loss to to Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym. When you consider Kwanpichit is a Flyweight and Penalosa is a Featherweight we really should be questioning why Tuwa's team are throwing him in here.
Another Penalosa on this card is Carlo Caesar Penalosa (12-1, 5), who will also be taking on an opponent from Tanzania, Jemsi Kibazange (11-2-2, 1). On paper this actually looks the most compelling of the Philippines Vs Tanzania bouts, despite Kibazange being very feather fisted. Kibazange hasn't never been stopped and despite suffering a couple of losses at least looks like he could be a test for Penalosa. Even if we are expecting the contest to be a mismatch.
In Japan there will be two shows at the Kagoshima Arena,
On paper the more notable of those two cards is the second show, which features a couple of notable bouts.
The main event of this card will see Naoya Haruguchi (15-9, 6) take on Filipino visitor Lito Dante (14-10-4, 7). This will be Haruguchi's first bout since a loss to Tatsuya Fukuhara in July and although he's lost 2 of his last 3 he has proven to be a very credible fighter around the Japanese and OPBF title scene, with notable wins against the likes of Norihito Tanaka and Jeffrey Galero. On paper Dante looks like a limited fighter, but like Haruguchi he is much better than his record suggests and has gone the distance twice with Vic Saludar and also took Simphiwe Khonce the schedule. Dante is tough, talented and will be there to pick up a win on the road. This could be a thrilling and hotly contest contest.
In the chief support bout we'll see OPBF female Bantamweight champion Miyo Yoshida (10-1) make her first defense, just weeks after winning the belt, as she takes on Thai challenger Phannaluk Kongsang (4-6-1, 2). Yoshida won the title on October 20th, to unify the OPBF and Japanese titles, and this will be her first defense of the regional belt as she gets a homecoming contest in Kagoshima, with the plan being for her to move on to world title fights in the near future. Coming in to this the Thai has lost 3 of her last 4, including a previous challenge for this title, and a win would be the biggest of her career, by far. We don't see the upset happening, but we do imagine the Thai will be able to last the distance, given Yoshida's lack of power.
The other card in Kagoshima is a Rookie of the Year card, pitting the Western Japan champions against the Central Japan champions. The winners of these bouts will then find themselves one bout away from an appearance at the All Japan Rookie of the Year final in December. This card will feature 9 bouts in total with contests taking place from Minimumweight to Welterweight. We won't go through the bouts, but we are expecting some very competitive contests.
The most notable action takes place in Kazakhstan, as a former world champion returns to action and fans also get the chance to see a number of local prospects take their next towards stardom.
The main event of the bout will see former WBA Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight champion Beibut Shumenov (17-2, 11) return to face the once beaten Hizni Altunkaya (30-1, 17) for a version of the WBA Cruiserweight title, one of 4 “world” titles the WBA has at the weight. The Kazakh hasn't fought in over 2 years, since beating Junior Anthony Wright for the WBA “regular” title, due to an eye injury but has shown a new hunger for this return at the age of 34. Altunkaya on the other hand has been active but is one of the biggest bottom feeders in the sport and is totally without a win of note. The German based Turk has lost his only bout of note, suffering a 5th round loss to Krzysztof Glowacki, and this is a significant step up from his other competition. If Shumenov is half the fighter he once was, he shouldn't struggle to come out on top here.
One of the most notable prospects is Bobirzhan Mominov (6-0, 5), who will be looking to make a mark on his first bout on Kazakh soil, as he takes on Georgian teenager Giorgi Bliadze (7-6, 2). The unbeaten Kazakh has fought in the US and in Argentina so far, and has looked good in his wins to date, but this should be a great chance for him to shine against the relatively limited Georgian fighter.
Among the other fighters on this card is Aidos Yerbossynuly (7-0, 6), who has looked fun in his first 7 bouts. His opponent hasn't been named at the time of writing, but we don't imagine it will be anyone too testing.
As well as the show in Kazakhstan there is also a notable card in Tokyo, which will be broadcast on tape delay in the coming week. The card isn't a stacked one in terms of quality match ups, but it does feature a good main event and several notable names.
The main event will see the unbeaten Junto Nakatani (15-0, 11), who is now a world ranked fighter, taking on talented Filipino Dexter Alimento (13-3, 9). On paper this is a great match up, with Nakatani looking to build on a strong run of wins against the likes of Seigo Yuri Akui, Jeronil Borres and Mario Andrade and Alimento looking to give his own career a big boost. The Japanese fighter looks to be one of the countries fastest rising hopefuls and at just 20 the future is very bright for Nakatani. The 22 year old Alimento scored a huge win in January 2016, when he stopped Chanachai CP Freshmart, but has since gone 3-3, including a razor thin loss to Masataka Taniguchi, A move up to Flyweight isn't likely to help the Filipino, but we can't write him off give his energy and style, and he could be a real banana skin here.
Another Japan Vs Philippines bout looks to be thoroughly one-sided, as Matcha Nakagawa (12-1-1, 5), the 2015 Bantamweight Rookie of the Year, takes on Marzon Cabilla (16-16-1, 5). The talented Nakagawa is riding a 3 fight winning run coming in to this but hasn't fought since December. The Filipino the other hand has been active, with two fighters already this year, and whilst he has won 7 of his last 8 he was stopped last time out, and has been stopped in 12 of his 16 defeats.
Also on this card fans will be able to see Yuichi Yokoyama (17-4, 15), Ryota Toyoshima (8-2-1, 6) and Masaya Tamayama (10-1, 5) all in action, with all 3 men taking on Thai visitors.
There's also two cards in the Philippines, one of which will take place in Bohel and be promoter by former world champion Gerry Penalosa.
The main event of the card will see the unbeaten Dave Penalosa (12-0, 8) make his ring return, after almost 2 years away from the ring, as he takes on Indonesian veteran Ricky Manufoe (27-34-3, 10). The talented Penalosa had looked like a promising talent early in his career but a few stumbles in his activity has slowed his progress and he's now been out of the ring since September 2016. Despite the inactivity the the Filipino will be strongly favoured against an opponent who has been racking up a lot of losses on the road in recent years.
A second Philippines Vs Indonesia bout will see Carlo Caesar Penalosa (11-1, 4) battle against Iwan Key (11-21-3, 1), in an equally mismatched contest. Penalosa was upset in February 2017, by Reymark Taday, but has since bounced back with 4 wins and will be expecting another easy one here. Key has scored 1 win in his last 11 and won't be expected to get a win on the road here.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The bets of the Filipino bouts, on paper at least, comes from Metro Manila, as WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Flyweight champion Cris Alfante (14-6-1, 6) makes his second defense, battling against veteran Ardin Diale (33-12-4, 16). Alfante won the title in 20116, with a win over Rolio Golez, and made his first defense last September. He will go in as the champion, but as the under-dog with less experience than the battle hardened Diale, who is a proven fighter at the regional level and will be looking to bounce back from a 2017 loss to Moruti Mthalane.
The most notable bout of the day, at least in Asian circles, sees once beaten Filipino fighter Jerwin Ancajas (24-1-1, 16) getting his long await world title shot against the unbeaten IBF Super Flyweight champion McJoe Arroyo (17-0, 8). Arroyo won the title in 2015, taking a debatable decision over Filipino Arthur Villanueva in a very forgettable bout, but has been inactive since with hand issues. For Ancajas, who has been waiting for his shot, this has been a long wait and he'll be raring to go at the man who has pretty much froze his career for 6 months.
Metro Manila, Philippines
As well as the Ancajas/Arroyo bout we have more action in the Philippines with a showcase card in Metro Manila.
One of the being show cased is the unbeaten, third generation fighter, Dave Penalosa (11-0, 8) who puts his unbeaten record on the line against the limited Edison Berwela (13-34-8, 3) in what should be a straight forward win for the grandson of Carl Penalosa, and the son of Dodie Boy Penalosa.
Staying with the Penalosa dynasty we'll also see Carlo Caesar Penalosa (5-0, 1) put his unbeaten record on the line against the limited and light hitting Ernie Mino Jr (4-6-2). Like the bout with Dave Penalosa we're next expecting any surprises here.
Thankfully the card does have some interesting match ups as well as the show cases. One of those will see once beaten puncher Jeric Potaso (2-1, 2) battle the unbeaten KJ Natuplag (2-0, 2) in a bout that shouldn't be expected to go the distance. Another sees the unbeaten pairing of Claudevan Sese (3-0-2, 1) and John Lawrence Ordonio (4-0-1, 3) face off in arguably the best matched bout of the card.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The action in May is pretty hectic after a slow start. The action doesn't actually kick off until May 4th when Filipino fans get a title double double.
In one of the two title bouts fans will see the once beaten Jeffrey Francisco (13-1-1, 1) battle against Yusuke Suzuki (6-2, 4) for the EPBC Bantamweight title. On paper this might not look like anything special however it's a really good match up with Francisco's only loss coming to the very decent Jestoni Autida whilst Suzuki's only losses are to Ryoichi Tamura and Yusaku Kuga, two more very good fighters. The bout is likely to be a boxer vs puncher affair but a very good one to watch.
The other title bout on this card will see the unbeaten Joe Noynay (10-0-1, 3) battle former OPBF title challenger Richard Pumicpic (17-7-2, 6) in what looks like a very tough assignment for the WBC International Super Bantamweight title. Noynay comes into this on the back of a draw against the under-rated, and under-sized, Alie Laurel in what was a coming of age fight for Noynay. For Pumicpic this is a chance to claim a notable title.
As for the under-card on this card it features a host of notable fighters. Including the unbeaten Dave Penalosa (10-0, 7), former world title challenger Silvester Lopez (25-11-2, 18), the once touted Renan Trongco (17-6, 10) and the exciting Allan Vallespin (5-0, 5)
This coming Saturday is an amazingly busy day for boxing fans though it does build to a clear highlight that should get the attention of every single boxing fan on the planet.
New York, USA
The aforemention standout bout of the day is in New York where Kazakhstan's sensational Gennady Golovkin (29-0, 26) attempts to defend his WBA Middleweight "super" title for the first time since being upgraded earlier this year. Golovkin, who made numerous defences of the WBA interim and regular titles, will be facing his toughest test as he goes up against former double champion Daniel Geale (30-2, 16). Despite the notable step up in class Golovkin is widely viewed as unbackable favourite against the talented Australian fighter.
Metro Manila, Philippines
We get two shows in Metro Manila this Saturday though for us the more interesting of the two takes place at the Mandaluyong Gym.
This card is headlined by a trio of 10 rounders and although they don't look the most competitive of bouts they do look interesting. The best of the three, at least on paper, will see Bernabe Concepcion (32-6-1, 18) battle against Eden Sonsona (32-6-1, 10) in a very even looking contest. Although Concepcion is more well known to Western fans, courtesy of his bouts with Juan Manuel Lopez and Mikey Garcia, Sonsona has mixed comparable company courtesy of fights with Pungluang Sor Singyu and Kohei Kono. We do make Concepcion a slight favourite but this has the potential to be a great contest.
Another of the 10 rounders will see the criminally over-looked Richard Pumicpic (14-6-2, 4) battle against Rex Olisa (10-28-1, 8). We are big admirers of Pumicpic who has proven to be a man who is very tricky to beat, as Yohei Tobe and Ryosuke Iwasa have found out in recent times and with that in mind we need to suspect he'll have more than enough to see off the limited Olisa.
The third 10 rounder is unfortunately a giant mismatch as the explosive and promising Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr (12-0, 11) battles Indonesia's Dicky Amtiran (3-8). Dodie Boy Jr, the son of Dodie boy Sr and newphew of the show's promoter Gerry Penalosa, really should be matched than this considering his potential and although we are happy to admit we think Amtiran has an "incomplete record" he should still be no match at all for Penalosa. Whilst some will point to the fact Amtiran is a late replacement for
On the under-card their will be a chance to see Dodie's brother Dave Penalosa (8-0, 5) battling against Danilo Gabisay (5-2, 3). This should actually be a tougher test than the one Dodie Boy Jr gets. Gabisay isn't great but he has only lost to Rex Wao and Jack Tepora, two very talented Filipino's who are both getting some notable attention for their potential.
The same Filipino card has a further 3 bouts listed for it.
The other Manila card, held at The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex, will feature 8 bouts in total with the most interesting of those bouts being a contest between the "world ranked" Lionel Legada (11-6-1, 5) and journeyman Ricky Oyan (4-20-2, 2). We've got to admit we're not sure how Legada is still world ranked despite losing 4 of his last 6 but he should still have way more than enough to beat Oyan.
Legada's former foe Lionel Mark Duran (12-10-2, 5) will also be on the same card as he battles Ruben Traza (4-6-3, 1) in what is another less than pulsating bout.
Amazingly the main event is an 8 rounder between Bebong Manalo (8-2, 5) and Jovill Marayan (8-17-3, 3) in what really isn't fit to main event a show. Thankfully however the card does have something of real intrigue, the 4th professional bout of Warlight Dapidran (3-0, 2). Dapidran will be fighting against Diover Mangaya-ay (1-5-1) and should win without any problems but will hopefully go 6 rounds here. For those who are unaware Dapidran is Manny Pacquiao's young cousin.
One of the most interesting shows of the night takes place in Mexico where fans get a trio of Mexico Vs Asia bouts.
The most interesting of those bouts will see Japan's Takahiro Shigee (11-0-1, 9) battle against former IBF Super Flyweight champion Rodrigo Guerrero (20-5-1, 13). Shigee will be Guerrero's second Japanese opponent in just 3 fights with Guerrero having been beaten by Daiki Kameda 10 months ago in what was one of Daiki's best performance. Shigee however will need to have a sensational night to over-come the Mexican in Mexico.
In an IBF International Flyweight title fight fans will get the chance to see former OPBF Minimumweight title challenger Jonathan Refugio (13-4-4, 3), of the Philippines, battle Mexico's Armando Santos (14-3, 8). Santos is no stranger to fighting Asian fighters having already shared a ring with Toshiyuki Igarashi and Rolio Golez and will almost certainly be the favourite against Refugio who will need a career best performance to over-come the Mexican.
Sadly the third bout is a complete mismatch as WBA female Minimumweight champion Anabel Ortiz (14-3, 2) defends her belt against Filipino challenger Norj Guro (7-3-1, 4). The bout will be Ortiz's second defence of the title and it's hard to see anything but a straight forward win for the Mexican fighter.
"Down under" fans will get the chance to see Thailand's Phissanuthep Chaiyonggym (4-10-1, 3) battle for the IBO Asia Pacific Super Bantamweight title. Unfortunately for the limited Thai he will be up against Australia's very own Jason cooper (10-2-1, 5). Cooper, a very capable fighter, is probably best known for his loss, in China, to Qiu Xiao Jun though he is 2-0 since that loss in February and we'd expect him to extend that winning run to 3 here with very few problems.
(Image courtesy of http://www.thegarden.com)
This coming Friday is a busy day in the boxing, especially in Asia where we have 3 separate cards all with their own significant bouts on. That's not to suggest the bouts in question will have direct consequences on the world stage but all will either have an affect on the world rankings, or feature a former world champion.
Bueng Kan, Thailand
We'd suggest that the most interesting single bout of the day, at least in Asia, takes place in Thailand where the world ranked, and currently unbeaten, Thai Welterweight Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (24-0, 18) battles against Uzbekistan's Behzod Nabiev (22-7-1, 16).
This is going to be the second meeting between Teerachai and Nabiev with Teerachai having out pointed the Uzbek last year, despite having been dropped himself. Since then Nabiev has won once and lost twice whilst the Thai has gone 4-0 (4). In fact Nabiev is the only man to have seen the distance with Teerachai in the Thai's last 10 bouts and it's fair to say that Teerachai will be hoping that he doesn't have a repeat if that here.
Whilst we know about the main event of this card we're unfortunately none the wiser on the rest of the card. Thankfully though it will be televised on Thai Channel 7 and should prove to be well worth tuning in for.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Whilst the most interesting bout of the day is in Thailand we dare say that the best card of the day is in the Philippines in Metro Manila.
As with the Thai card this one features a world ranked fighter in the main event and in fact features two former world title challengers facing off. For us the favourite is Filipino Michael Farenas (37-4-4, 29) who has fought both Takashi Uchiyama and Yuriorkis Gamboa. Farenas, a tough and hammer fisted fighter, will be hoping to score his 30th stoppage as he battles Mexican veteran Hector Velazquez (56-20-3, 38) who will be best known for his loss to Farenas's compatriot, and global boxing star, Manny Pacquiao.
We favour Farenas here though Velazquez is a late replacement opponent and with his experience could certainly frustrate Farenas who will be hoping to claim the vacant WBC Asia Council Continental Super Featherweight title and move towards a third world title fight with a impressive victory.
Whilst Farenas is the main draw this show also features some notable prospects. These include the unbeaten John Vincent Moralde (7-0, 4), who will be taking on compatriot Roman Canto (8-3-2, 3) in a really good test for the youngster, and also third generation star Dave Penalosa (7-0, 5), who will be fighting Alem Robles (6-4-2, 2). Penalosa is regarded as one of the most promising young Filipino fighters out there and although Robles is a decent test for novice Penalosa should really have more than enough in his locked.
As well as the three bouts we've mentioned we expect a further 7 bouts to be on the show.
As well as the Metro Manila show there is a second Filipino card that takes place in Rizal. This show, is a lot less interesting than the other Filipino show though it does feature 2 title bouts.
The most notable fighter on the show is former WBC Flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro (35-13-5, 25) who will be hoping to claim the vacant Philippines Luzon Professional Boxing Association (LuzProBA) Super Bantamweight title as he battles domestic rival Jovel Romasasa (10-12, 4). It's hard to see past a victory for Jaro even though Super Bantamweight isn't "his division" so to speak.
The other title fight on this show is a much lesser bout as the experienced Edgar Gabejan (25-29-6, 7) battles fellow Filipino Weng Haya (17-7, 9) in a bout for the vacant Philippines Games & Amusement Board (GAB) Super Featherweight title. In terms of competitiveness we expect this to be much better than the other bout even though neither man is a big name.
In total this show features 8 bouts including the two title fights. Unfortunately however it does lack the significance of the other Filipino card considering Jaro is coming to the end of his long, and insanely interesting, career.
New South Wales, Australia
As well as the bouts in Asia there are also some Asian fighters in action "down under". These include the very experienced Indonesian Aswin Cabuy (14-45-3, 7) who will be hoping to claim the New South Wales State Light Middleweight title when he takes on the unbeaten Ahmed Dib (11-0, 7).
As well as Cabuy there is also a fight involving Thailand's Pramool Boonpok (0-2) who ill be hoping to claim his first professional victory when he fights Mathias Collados (4-2) in what is a genuinely winnable contest.
(Image courtesy of MAG Pacman Boxing International Promotion)