For a second day running we get action in Jinan, and for a second day running that action is headlined by a Chinese fighter taking on an Indonesian foe. This time around it will be the big punching Ainiwaer Yilixiati (10-1, 8) defending the Chinese honour as he takes on Skax Max (8-15, 7). The once beaten local lost last time out, after putting in a solid performance against Jayde Mitchell in an OPBF title fight, a fight that was much more competitive than the scorecards suggested. As for the visitor he has gone 2-4 in his last 6, and was stopped last time out in China by the talented Pui Yu Lim, and we expect the same to happen here.
In Indonesia we get a number of title fights on what looks like a pretty interesting card, at least given the typical stand of Indonesian cards.
One of the title bouts will see the once touted Defry Palulu (18-2-1, 12) take on domestic foe Isack Junior (25-7-2, 8) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Featherweight title, with Palulu making his first defense of the title. The bout should be an interesting but should see Palulu come out on top, and continue to rebuild his career, following an upset loss last year to Jason Butar Butar.
Another title bout on this card will see John Ruba (14-3-1, 7) take on Joffrey Garcia (5-6-4, 4) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Light Welterweight title. Although the bout looks like a mismatch it will be good to see Ruba pick up a title and begin a run towards bigger and better fights. Although relatively unknown Ruba has impressed on the road, and ran Ryosuke Maruki mega close back in 2015, and has got the ability to go far.
Also on this card will be the unbeaten Tibo Monabesa (15-0-2, 7) and the experienced Larry Siwu (25-9, 21), who will both be facing relatively poor opponents as they look to stay busy before potentially bigger fights in the near future.
In a second Indonesian show fight fans will see Budi Wilson (0-6) take on the debuting James Lipus (0-0) in a bout that is hard to get too excited about given the lack of information available on either fighter.
This coming weekend sees boxing take over in Tokyo with 5 world title fights spread over 2 days thanks to Fuji TV who are set to give us one of the most memorable weekends in recent memory. It kicks off on Saturday with a trio of world title fights on a show promoted by Teiken
The most significant of the fights sees French based Middleweight Hassan N'Dam (35-2, 21) battle against Japanese gold medal winner Ryota Murata (12-0, 9) in a bout for the WBA “regular” Middleweight title. For N'dam, who is best known for losing to Peter Quillin and David Lemieux, the bout gives him a third shot to hold a “full” title, after several reigns as an interim champion, and he does seem very confident in build up to the fight. For Murata the bout is a chance to mark his name in history as the first Japanese fighter to claim and Olympic and World titles and become just the second Japanese fighter to claim a Middleweight world title. Of all the bouts this weekend this is probably the most significant and the most interesting.
Talking about interesting it's worth nothing that the card features a mouth watering Flyweight title bout as WBC champion Juan Hernandez Navarrete (34-2, 25) takes on Japanese destroyer Daigo Higa (12-0, 12). The bout will be a mandatory for the Mexican champion whilst Higa looks to claim a world title at the age of 21, and keep alive his incredible stoppage run. The bout looks set to be something a little bit special with both being very talented and having a nice mix of styles, which should lead to a thrilling war.
The other title fight on this show will see WBC Light Flyweight champion Ganigan Lopez (28-6, 17) defending his title against former WBC Youth, Japanese and OPBF champion Ken Shiro (9-0, 5). The champion is a true grizzled veteran and has looked great in recent wins over Yu Kimura and Jonathan Taconing, with the Kimura win coming in Japan, but at 35 he is ancient for a Light Flyweight and is significantly older than Ken Shiro who will have a real advantage in youth. The bout will be Lopez's second defense and will be Ken Shiro's first bout at world level.
Whilst much of the attention for the day will be on Tokyo it won't be the only place with a world title fight, as Aichi also hosts a world title fight. Sadly whilst the Tokyo card will receive a lot of major press across Japan and looks set to be televised in a number of major markets it
looks like this will only be shown on CBC.
The headline bout of this show, and the world title bout, will see WBO Light Flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka (8-0, 5) making his first defense of the title as he takes on monstrous Puerto Rican puncher Angel Acosta (16-0, 16). The bout is a mandatory defense for Tanaka and looks like a great match up on paper as the talented and speedy champion takes on a massive puncher, with both men looking not only to walk away as champion but to also keep their unbeaten records. It's hard not to feel that Tanaka's experience at world level will be the difference here. But it's clear that Acosta has power and we have seen Tanaka down before, against heavy handed Filipino Vic Saludar, and Acosta could build a gameplan on Saludar's success.
Another unbeaten man on this card is Kento Hatanaka (2-0, 2), the son of former world champion Kiyoshi Hatanaka. The youngster will be taking part in a 6 rounder against an unknown Thai as he looks to continue his perfect start to professional boxing. The 18 year old has needed just 3 rounds to take out two domestic foes so far and will be looking for something similarly impressive here.
Also up against a Thai visitor will be 2-time Japanese Bantamweight challenger Yushi Tanaka (19-2-3, 13), who will be in an 8 rounder. Tanaka was last seen losing to Ryo Akaho in March, though put in a credible effort and will be hoping to run off a series of wins to earn a third shot at the Japanese title. This however won't be a notable win and will instead be confidence builder for the Hatanaka man.
There is also set to be action in Indonesia, where three of the hottest young Indonesian fighters will be in action.
One of the bouts will see the unbeaten Tibo Monabesa (15-0-1, 7) taking on Arnold Garde (8-4-2, 3) in an interesting match up for a minor WBC title at Light Flyweight. The unbeaten man, now regarded as one of the 3 Indonesian fighters to keep an out on, is going to be strongly favoured here, but Garde won't have travelled to make up the numbers and this could be a good test for the unbeaten man.
Another local fighter in action is Defry Palulu (17-2-1, 12), who will be battling the experienced Nathan Bolcio (14-12-3, 4) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Featherweight title. This looks like a mismatch but Bolcio has mixed in good company and could prove to be a stiff test for the popular local.
Another of the standout Indonesian hopefuls in action is 20 year old Iwan Zoda (13-2, 11), who will be up against domestic veteran Ical Tobida (13-23, 8). The bout will see Zoda return to action for the first time since a 7th round TKO loss to Robert Onggocan back in January and he'll clearly be fighting with intent to prove he is back to his best, following a rib injury.
In Korea the KBF will host a low key Rookie event, with very few details not note. We have been informed that the card will feature an 8 rounder, but other than that the details really are scarce.
The first Indonesian show of the year takes place on January 21st and is an interesting on from Jakarta.
The main event from the card is a really intriguing match up that sees unbeaten local Tibo Monabesa (14-0-1, 7) battle against Filipino visitor Rene Patilano (15-2-3, 7) for the WBC International silver Light Flyweight title. For Monabesa the bout is a huge step up, though he has impressed on the domestic scene and has faced some international talent, with a notable win against Kaichon Sor Vorapin. For Patilano the bout will be his second since being stopped in 6 rounds by Kosei Tanaka and he will be hoping to get some career momentum going again after failing to win either of his last 2 bouts.
On the under-card we'll see fights featuring John Ruba (11-3-1, 6) and Defry Palulu (15-1-1, 11), against yet to be named opponents.
For a second day running Thai fans get a major, international rematch as WBA “interim” Flyweight champion Stamp Kiatniwat (14-0, 6) defends his title against Dominican slugger Gregorio Lebron (13-3, 11). Stamp beat Lebron last year to claim the title before being ordered to give Lebron a rematch due to the close nature of the contest. Coming in to the rematch both men have stated they will be hunting a KO and that could mean that we won't see the judges come in to play here.
On the under-card will be unbeaten Thai hopeful Chalermpol Singwancha (16-0, 12), who was supposed to be in action at the end of January before his original opponent, IK Yang, suffered a training injury.
Often in boxing we complain about the quality of match ups, every so often however we get a match up that really does look like a treat, a genuinely special treat for us fans. One such bout is set to take place today in Jakarta where former world title challenger Daud Yordan (34-3-0-1, 24) battles Yoshitaka Kato (29-6-1, 9). The bout may not resonate with Western fans, who may have forgotten Yordan and may not know who Kato is, but it will be action packed with styles that should really gel in the ring and give us a lot of excitement. This really could be a genuine treat.
For fans interested the bout will be aired on RCTI and will be for Yordan's WBO Africa and WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight titles, with Kato himself having questioned the African title, it will also have significance on the WBO Lightweight world rankings with the winner likely moving towards a title fight as a result of this one.
As for the under-card the show will feature some interesting fights, including an exhibition featuring 55 year old Indonesian legend Ellyas Pical (20-5-1, 11) facing off against his former sparring partner in a 2 round exhibition. The bout, according to the promoter, is to raise interest in Indonesian boxing and allow Pical, the country's first world champion to be a key figure.
The main under-card bout will see the exciting Defry Palulu (12-1, 11) face off against Filipino fighter Rey Juntilla (21-7-4, 14), in what looks like a genuinely good match up and a real test for the local favourite.
The card will also feature a celebrity charity fight, albeit between two Indonesian celebrities, whilst there are a further 6 under card bouts featuring some of the more notable domestic level Indonesian fighters.
June 6th-Igarashi and Shimoda return to action in Japan whilst Yordan is in action in Indonesia and Sonsona in the US!
This Saturday is set to be a hectic day for boxing fans with a number of fights taking place around the globe. For Asian fans the attention really should be on Japan and Indonesia with both countries hosting some notable fights.
The most notable card of the day is in Tokyo where fans will get a little bit of everything ranging from former world champions to hopeful contenders, from solid but uninspiring domestic fighters to novices beginning their careers.
The main event of the show will see former Flyweight champion Toshiyuki Igarashi (20-2-1, 11 battle against once beaten Filipino visitor Renerio Arizala (12-1-1, 5). Arizala was a late replacement for Lionel Mark Duran (13-11-2, 5) and appears to have been a huge upgraded, however the fact he was given the bout at late notice may well come back to cost him in what a genuine intriguing match up.
The co-feature of the show features another former world champion as former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda (28-4-2, 12) takes on former Japanese title challenger Gosuke Seki (16-1-2, 3). Shimoda is best know for suffering two KO-of-the-Year style defeats, to Rico Ramos and Marvin Sonsona, and will be hoping to get back to winning ways after more than a year out of the ring. For Seki this is a great opportunity to score a career defining win however he's certainly not a star in the making.
Another bout that caught our eye on this show is a Super Featherweight bout between hard hitting local Kenichi Ogawa (14-1, 12) and Filipino visitor Raymond Sermona (17-5-5, 8). For Ogawa this is a chance to score a 7th straight stoppage and to move towards a bigger and better fight. As for Sermona it's a potential chance to turn his career around after a run of 2-3-1 in the last 6 bouts. We suspect Ogawa will be far too good for the Filipino.
In Indonesia fans will get the chance to see several interesting bouts involving some of the countries most notable and interesting fighters.
The main event will see former world title challenger Daud Yordan (33-3-0-1, 24) take on Ghanaian southpaw Maxwell Awuku (40-2-1, 26) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific and WBO Africa Lightweight titles. For Yordan this will be his first bout since December, when he stopped Ronald Pontillas, and it's fair to say he's going to be wanting another excellent performance to remind fans how good he is.
In the chief support bout the heavy handed Defry Palulu (11-1, 10) will be up against Thai visitor Sukkasem Kietyongyuth (13-4, 8). This will be Palulu's second bout since being stopped, in 2 rounds, by AJ Banal and although he's less experienced than the Thai he will be favoured, especially considering the fact that Sukkasem has lost his last 2 bouts by stoppage.
The most notable bout involving an Asian fighter in the US will be a contest between former world champion Marvin Sonsona (19-1-1, 15) and the tough but limited Jonathan Arrellano (15-5-2, 3). Sonsona, who last fought a year ago, will be hoping to make an impact here following a dull affair last time out against Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. Incidentally Arrellano's last bout was also against Vazquez Jr, dropping a close decision, and he is now 1-3 in his last 4 bouts.
New York, USA
Chinese Heavyweight hopeful Zhang Zhilei (3-0, 2) continues his development as he takes on Glenn Thomas (1-3) in a scheduled 4 rounder. Zhilei, a former Olympic medalist is 32 and it seems like he's really needing a step up sooner rather than later and hopefully a 6 round bout will come before the end of the year.
In Virginia fans will see the second pro bout of Uzbek fighter Zarifbek Nishanbaev (1-0, 1). Nishanbaev made his debut earlier this year with a 27 second blow out of Mike Blocker and will be hoping for something similar here. Unfortunately the “opponent” wasn't named at the time of writing.
Gauteng, South Africa
In South Africa fans get the chance to see unbeaten Kazakh prospect Roman Zhailauov (14-0, 8) facing off against the relatively fragile Luyanda Jako (9-9-2, 4), who has been stopped in all 9 losses and has won just 1 of his last 6 bouts.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)