The biggest Asian show this coming Saturday takes place in Cebu where ALA host their latest “Pinoy Pride” card.
The main event of the card will see former 2-weight champion Donnie Nietes (39-1-4, 22) take on Thai visitor Eaktwan BTU Ruaviking (22-3, 15) in a bout for the vacant IBF Flyweight title, that was vacated by Johnriel Casimero. On paper it's hard to go against the Filipino veteran, who hasn't lost since a very controversial defeat back in 2004, but at 34 years old and fighting in his first title fight at Flyweight this could be a really good test to see what Nietes has left in the tank. As for Eaktawan this could be a huge chance to score a break out win and announce himself on the world stage.
In the lead support bout fans will see the touted Mark Magsayo (15-0, 11) take on Tanzania's Issa Nampepeche (24-7-4, 11). The unbeaten Magsayo is slowly working his way towards a world title fight and although this won't put him in the mix it does seem him go in there with a live opponent and he will have to make sure that he doesn't over-look the “Peche Boy”.
Another notable prospect in a supporting role is Jeo Santisima (12-2, 11), who puts a 10 fight T/KO run on the line against Indonesian visitor Master Suro (11-8-1, 2). The heavy handed Santisima looks like he could be one of the next big stars of the Philippines and at just 20 years old there is real excitement in regards to his future. Suro isn't anything great but he has proben to be tough through his career so far, with his only stoppage loss so far coming to recent OPBF title challenger Kaewfah Tor Buamas.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Staying with the Philippines there will also be a small show in Metro Manila.
The main event of thise card will see Danny Tampipi (7-6-2, 4) battle against experienced domestic foe Albert Alcoy (14-23-8, 4) in a bout for the "interim" Philippines Boxing Federation (PBF) Bantamweight title. It's not a great bout but it should be a competitive one, and could well be a fun one with both men fighting to claim some silverware.
In Osaka fight fans will be able to get a little bit more world title action.
That world title bout will see WBC female Flyweight champion Nana Yoshikawa (7-1, 4) battle against Mexican challenger Monserrat Alarcon (8-3-2). The bout will be Yoshikawa's first defense of her title and on paper looks a really good one, though truthfully we're not too sure what Alarcon really brings to the table here and she could be a very tough foe for the 38 year old champion.
Also on this card will be a bout feature the promising Shingo Kawamura (13-3-1, 6), who takes on a Thai visitor, and an interesting looking bout will see Yu Konomura (7-4-2, 1) battle against Yuki Iriguchi (7-1-1, 4).
Another Japanese show will take place in Ishikawa, where we get a pretty interesting looking card.
The main event will see the unbeaten Genesis Servania (28-0, 11) battle against Ralph Jhon Lulu (12-1-2, 5) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title. The once touted Servania has seemingly wasted the last few years, but a win here will help put him back into the title mix with the WBO. For Lulu a win would be a potential career changer and put him in the mix for some notable fights later in the year.
In the co-feature Hurricane Futa (22-6-1, 13) will be battling against Ernie Sanchez (16-9-1, 7) in what should be a really fun to watch battle. Both guys are better than their records suggest, with both being tough, heavy handed and exciting fighters.
The big action of the day comes from Wenzhou in China where fight fans will get a genuinely notable card of international note. Not only does it feature 3 of China's most notable fighters but also a world title fight between a Thai and a Panamanian based Venezuelan.
That world title bout will see WBA Super Bantamweight champion Nehomar Cermeno (24-5-1, 14) take on unbeaten Thai challenger Nop Kratingdaenggym (17-0, 5), aka Anurak Thisa, in an intriguing match up between ambitious youngster and veteran champion. The champion will be looking to record his first defense of the title he won in June, when he stopped Qiu Xiao Jun in the 12th round though at 36 he is ancient for a top level fighter. On the other hand the 25 year old Thai will be fighting outside of Thailand for the first time and will be taking a huge step up in class.
In a supporting title bout Can Xu (9-2) will be facing the unbeaten Ramiro Blanco (14-0-3, 7) in what looks like an intriguing match up. Blanco is an unbeaten Nicaraguan, fighting outside of home for the first time. Xu on the other hand is one of China's most promising young talents and despite lacking power he does look to be a diamond in the rough for Chinese boxing.
Another Chinese diamond in the rough is Qiu Xiao Jun (20-3, 9), who fights for the first time since being stopped by Cermeno. Although very rudimentary Jun has scored a number of notable wins and will be looking to add another as he faces Filipino Robert Udtohan (23-1-3, 15) here. The Filipino has a pretty good looking record but this is actually a big step up for him and he'll be the clear under-dog against the solid hitting Jun.
In a Heavyweight bout fans will see Zhang Zhilei (11-0, 7) take on the highly experienced Gogita Gorgiladze (32-13, 27) from Georgia. On paper this looks like a good step forward for Zhilei but the reality is that the visitor has a very padded record and shouldn't last long with “Big Bang”
In another China Vs Georgia bout we'll see the touted Fanlong Meng (8-0, 6) battle against Zura Mekereshvili (18-5, 14). The 28 year old Meng is tipped as a real hopeful and a win here should be his final one before moving into 10 rounders. Sadly Mekereshvili should prove to be too small to really test Meng.
Bacoor, Cavite, Philippines
As well as the big show in China there is also a notable card in the Philippines where titles will be on the line.
The two main bouts on this card are both OPBF Silver title fights and both feature a former world title challenger against an unbeaten foe. One of those fights comes at 115lbs and sees former OPBF Flyweight champion Ardin Diale (31-10-3, 15) battle Ryan Lumacad (11-0-1, 6). Coming in to this one the 44 fight Diale will be looking to show that his recent beating to Daigo Higa wasn't the start of the end. For Luamcad the bout is a potential break out opportunity and he'll be coming into this one with the belief of an unbeaten man looking for a career best win.
The other OPBF Silver title fight comes at Flyweight and sees former WBC Light Flyweight world title challenger Richard Claveras (15-2-2, 13) battle against Jeronil Borres (7-0-1, 5). Claveras is best known for losing to Pedro Guevara last year and since then has gone 3-1 (1). The 20 year old Borres is leaping up in class but will hope to have struck at the right time with Claveras showing flaws recently.
The key bout from Thailand will see Eaktwan BTU Ruaviking (21-3, 14) defending his IBF regional title against Filipino puncher Jeny Boy Boca (12-3, 10) in what looks like a really intriguing match up and one not expected to see the final bell. Both of these guys can punch and both will be hoping to make the most of their power here.
Also in Thailand fight fans will see the unbeaten Downua Ruaviking (2-0, 1) battle against Thai based Cameroonian Afanwi Kingsly Shu (1-1). The Thai is tipped as a real hope and although this is a very low quality bout some are hyping him as a bright prospect already. This bout likely won't tell us much but hopefully a step up in 2017 will tell us something about the youngster.
Surat Thani, Thailand
It's been a bad year for fighters from the Kiatkreerin stable in Thailand. We've seen Amnat Ruenroeng being stopped by Johnriel Casimero, Mike Tawatchai being stopped by Yukinori Oguni, Pomtomsith Pathompothong losing to both Ye Joon Kim, by wide decision on Korea, and by stoppage to Ryosuke Iwasa and Manus Boonjumnong suffering a stoppage loss to Ryan Ford.
Despite those set backs the stable are looking forward and this coming Friday we get another Kiatkreerin show.
One of the few fighters from the stable to progress this year has been Eaktawan Mor Krunthepthonburi (20-3, 13), who has recorded a trio of wins this year including a victory over Tkayuki Okumoto in Japan. He'll be looking to make if 4 out of 4 for the year as he takes on Indonesian Demsi Manufoe (10-5, 7),who has been take care off in 2 of his last 3 bouts. This won't be a case of whether the talented Eaktawan wins, but just how long will it take him.
In the other notable bout Mike Tawatchai (39-9-1, 22) will be looking to score his second win following his loss to Oguni. The once highly ranked, at least by the IBF, Thai will be up against Paulus Baransano (2-7) in what should be a straight forward win for the local.
The most notable show this Friday comes from the Korakuen where Flash Akabane are putting on a notable show.
In the main event fans will see former Japanese Flyweight champion Suguru Muranaka (23-2-1, 8) fight for the second time since he had multi-weight issues. The Japanese fighter, who is currently world ranked, will be up against under-rated Filipino fighter Renoel Pael (19-3-1 9) in what is likely to be a very good get for Muranaka, but one he should pass. Although we favour Muranaka here we can't see this being anything but a fun fight for fight fans and one that will have to see Muranaka stepping up his game significantly from his last bout.
The only other bout of real note on this card will see Kenta Nakagawa (11-2-1, 8) take on Thai visitor Ken Menayothin (0-1). Nakagawa has gone 9-0-1 in his last 10 and is heading towards a ranking, following good results against the likes of Toyoto Shiraishi, Jo Tanooka and Shuji Hamada. This bout will be Menayothin's second in Japan, follow a stoppage loss at the end of last year to the very promising Masayoshi Hashizume, and we don't see him winning here against Nakagawa.
Despite not being in action this card will also feature Yuzo Kiyota, who will be in a retirement ceremony ending his long career in the ring.
As well as the action in Japan there will also be shows in China and Thailand.
One of the main bouts of the show will see the promising Zulpikar Maimaitiali (6-0-1, 4) face off against the much more experienced Tanzanian Thomas Mashali (18-4-1-1, 9). Notably Mashali has been stopped in both of his bouts away from home, both in Russia, and we see him being stopped again here against a slightly crude but very exciting Chinese fighter.
The other bout of genuine note on this card will see the big punching Ainiwaer Yilixiati (7-0, 6) face off against Chaoqun Dong (5-1, 2). Coming in to this one Yilixiati is on a 6 fight stoppage run, with the first of the stoppages actually coming against Dong last October. For Dong this is a chance to avenge his sole defeat.
In Thailand the major bout will see world ranked Super Flyweight hopeful Eaktawan Mor Krungthep Thonburi (19-3, 13) battle against Filipino opponent Jayar Diama (7-7-5, 3). This is expected to be another win for Eaktawan, who is a genuinely promising prospect, but Diama is better than his record suggests and was very unfortunate not to beat Ming Ma Yi back in January.
Also in Thailand, though possibly on a different show, the unbeaten Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (34-0, 25) will be defending his PABA Welterweight “Super” title against Japanese based Dominican Vladimir Baez (21-2-2, 19).
The most notable from 4 Japanese cards takes place in Osaka where Green Tsuda put on a notable show with several “name” fighters.
The most notable of those fighters is former world champion Denkaosan Kaovichit (63-6-1, 26) who returns to a Japanese ring, for the first time since his stoppage loss to Ryo Matsumoto, to face Kazuki Tanaka (4-0, 3). This should be another step forward for the 23 year old who will be looking to get himself a title fight before the year is over.
The Kaovichit Vs Tanaka bout is one of 4 notable Japan Vs Thailand bouts. Another, at the top of the card, will see Takayuki Okumoto (16-6-2, 6) battle world ranked Thai Eaktawan Mor Krungthepthonburi (17-3, 12). Eaktawan is 0-3 outside of Thailand, having lost to Albert Pagara, Sho Ishida and Froilan Saludar, but has looked like a promising fighter in recent times, winning his last 10 bouts. Okumoto has won his last, following a loss in 2013 to Rusalee Samor, and will see this as an opportunity to climb into the fringes of the world rankings. A really good match up on paper and hopefully one that will deliver in the ring.
Another bout will see former OPBF Bantamweight champion Yu Kawaguchi (24-7, 11) battle a Thai, though we haven't been given the name of the Thai, just that he's a Mor Krungthepthonburi fighter. Likewise Masataka Taniguchi (0-0), will be making his debut in a 6 rounder against a Thai foe.
Another card in Japan comes from Chiba with this one featuring several bouts of note.
One of those bouts sees the once touted Kenta Onjo (5-2, 3) fight for his career as he battle Akihiko Katagiri (17-8-2, 8). Early in his career Onjo looked like one to watch but having lost 2 of his last 3, by stoppage, this is a real must win for him. Katagiri is a win-some-lose-some but has been in good form, with a 5-1-1 (4) record in his last 7 and will be expected to continue that run here.
Another of the notable bouts will see the Japanese ranked Yuta Saito (9-7-2, 7) battle against Corrales Kawashimo (7-6-1, 2). Saito's record isn't great but he's a dangerous fighter and is better than his record suggests. Incidentally Kawashimo was stopped last time out by Katagiri, who was in the previously mentioned bout.
A third bout of note, and in fact the main event of the card, will see Atsuki Hayashi (6-2-1, 2) battle against Naoya Nishimura (4-8-1, 3). Local man Hayashi will be fighting for the first time since he lost a competitive bout with Naoto Uebayashi back in May 2013 and there seems to be some genuine hope that his return will be a successful one.
There's low profile show in Fukuoka. The main event on the card will see Yoshihiko Matsuo (18-7-6, 3) battle against the limited Yuta Sasaki (7-7-1, 1). This Super Bantamweight bout, scheduled for 8 rounds, is unlikely to move the winner to a title fight but it could kick start their career after both men have faltered recently. Coming in to this one Sasaki is 1-4-1 in his last 6 whilst Matsuo is 1-2-1 in his last 4.
In a supporting bout Areji Kato (7-1, 2) will be facing a Thai opponent in a 6 rounder.
Another low profile show is set to take place in Okayama. The main event here will see the JBC ranked Light Flyweight Seigo Yuri Akui (6-0-1, 2) take on Hideaki Yamaji (5-10, 2). This looks like a mismatch though Akui, the 2015 Rookie of the Year at Light Flyweight, will be facing his most experienced man so far.
There isn't much action this coming Wednesday, but fans do get a second successive day of televised action
In Thailand, on Mono 29, fans will get title action as Patomsith Pathompothong (12-4, 5) battles Filipino visitor Benjie Suganob (9-3-1, 5) in a contest for the vacant IBF pan pacific Featherweight title. Patomsith was last seen in the ring losing to former world title challenger Hisashi Amagasa, despite that loss his team have used their good relationship with the IBF to secure this regional bout for their man.
Another bout of note on this card will see Eaktawan Mor Krungthepthonburi (14-3, 10) battle against Indonesian visitor Frans Damur Palue (11-8-2, 6). We do like the look of Eaktawan, who has only lost to really talented fighters on the road, but this is a mismatch for the man who comes in to the bout on a run of 8 wins. Hopefully we'll see Eaktawan step back up in class before the year is out.
Another prospect in action is the genuinely exciting Atchariya Tor Chantaroj (4-0, 1), who is an unbeaten Lightweight prospect tipped for big things. He'll be up against the limited, and fragile, Anshori Anhar Pitulay (8-15-2, 6) in what should be an easy win for the unbeaten man. Likewise we're not expecting Denchana Sakkreerin (2-0) to struggle with Paisuk Pothnggym (0-1), especially if Denchana is half as good as our Thai friends have told us.
As well as title action in Thailand there will also be a title bout in China as Adili Abulimiti (1-1-1) battles against Thai visitor Chingchai Kiatpracha (7-3, 3) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Middleweight title.
Note- Atchariya Tor Chantaroj has previouslt fought under his birth name of Atchariya Virotesunobon.
(Image courtesy of kiatkreerin)
Thai fans get yet more action this month with another Channel 7 televised card.
The main event, and so far the only bout we have details about, will see the very talented Eaktawan Mor Krungthepthonburi (13-2, 9)* battle against Filipino fighter Lionel Legada (13-8-1, 6). The winner here will claim the IBF Asia Flyweight title and move towards a world ranking and possible IBF world title fight. Incidentally this will be Eaktawan's first bout since signing with Kiatkreerin, the promoter of current IBF Flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng.
In Mexico we get the rescheduled bout between former world champion Cristian Mijares (51-8-2, 25) and Filipino journeyman Vergel Nebran (13-8-1, 8). Coming into this bout Nebran is 0-5 on his travels and we'd be shocked to see that change against someone with the ability of Mijares, who was once regarded as a pound-for-pound top 10 fighter.
New York, USA
Another Filipino in action is the heavy handed Ranee Ganoy (36-12-2, 32) who faces the unbeaten Cletus Seldin (16-0-0-1, 13) in a bout for the WBC International silver Light Welterweight title. On paper this looks like a mismatch however Ganoy is much better than his record indicates and could well give Seldin a genuine test here.
*Eaktawan's boxrec record has been changed a lot in recent weeks. Previously he was listed as 8-0 (7) though there is still some questioning whether his updated record is actually correct. From what we understand Eaktawan had previously fought under the moniker Tawanrung Eausampan.
As we come to another week we've got to be honest, the last few days have been disappointing. That disappointment however ends on Friday with a flurry of bouts, including a notable debut and some seriously interesting looking Thai action.
Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand
On Thai channel 7 fans will be will be able to see several interesting fighters in action, albeit in relatively one-sided looking bouts.
One of those notable fighters is 23 year Light Flyweight hopeful Hanuman Sithluangporphun (7-4, 1) who will be defending his PABA interim Light Flyweight title against Indonesian fighter Stevanus Nana Bau (2-2-1, 2). The Indonesian fighter, also known as Stevanus Nanai, will be fighting for the first time since his 7th round TKO loss to Iwan Zoda in February though does have half a chance at spring the upset here against a less than spectacular champion.
Another Thailand Vs Indonesia bout will see the unbeaten Thong Sithluangphophun (10-0, 7) fighting in a non-title bout with Ruben Manakane (14-13-1, 9). Thong has looked solid as a prospect and is the PABA Featherweight champion entering this bout however he hasn't scored that “big win” yet. As for Manakane he is a professional loser but he's also a fighter who has mixed with good company including Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat, Marlon Tapales and former world champion Billy Dib.
Also on this card we're expecting to see once beaten Yodsingdaeng jor Chaijinda (6-1, 4), who is set to fight for the first time since being stopped by Daryl Basadre last November.
As well as the Channel 7 card fans in Thai can also tune in to 5 who are showing a title double header with one of our favourite Thai prospects being involved on the show.
That prospect is the wonderfully talented Eaktawan mor Krungthepthonburi (7-0, 6) who will be defending his lightly regarded WBA Asia Flyweight title against Indonesian visitor Ardi Tefa (6-3, 4). Tefa has mixed with really good company and has shared the ring with Denver Cuello and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, however both of those men stopped him in round 3. We'd not be surprised by Eaktawan also stopping him, relative easily.
The other title bout will see Amin sor Wangmoo (10-1-1, 8) defending his WBA Asia Super Featherweight title against Indonesian southpaw Smile Brown (6-19-1, 3). Brown is win-less in almost 8 years and has been inactive for a year suggesting this is a bit of a stitch up with Amin almost certain to retain his title.
A third bout on this card will feature Inthanon Sithchamuang (25-7, 15) though his opponent is unknown at this moment.
The only Japanese show of the day doesn't look to be a great one but there is likely to be some fun for the fans in attendance with a total of 8 bouts.
The main event will see Japanese ranked Welterweight Shusaku Fujinaka (10-5-2, 6) battle against the limited Hisashi Kato (7-7-2, 4). The limited Fujinaka might be ranked by the JBC but has lost 3 of his last 4 and we're not expecting him to show anything great here, though we do suspect he will defeat Kato.
The main event is one of 3 bouts scheduled for 8 rounds and one of the others looks to be very competitive as Takahiro Fujii (6-3-1, 2) battles against the light hitting Koya Sato (7-2-1, 1). This bout doesn't look “exciting” as such but should be wonderfully competitive with both men having similar looking records.
Another even looking bout will see Ryo Narizuka (7-4) battling against Kazuhiro Nakamura (8-5, 3). Narizuka has won his last 2 bouts coming into this contest, including a notable win over Kazuaki Moriya and he will be favoured over Nakamura who hasn't fought in over a year.
In the US fans will get the chance to see former Mongolia amateur stand out Tugstsogt Nyambayar (0-0) make his professional debut as he battles Gabriel Braxton (2-8, 1). This is an “easy” debut for “King Tug” though the expectation is that Nyambayar will be raced to a title given his amateur pedigree, which included silver medals at the 2009 World Amateur Championships and the 2012 Olympics.
We would like to say a huge thank you to Pal for the details involving the bouts from Thailand. It is really appreciated.
In November the Manny Pacquiao show will take over Macau, a small self governing area off the coast of China. For many that is as all Chinese boxing is currently about. Those people would be wrong, very wrong.
Although Chinese boxing isn't incredibly strong it is developing and we suspect that in the next few years success will have breed more success. Last year we had the first Chinese world champion, this year we've had two Chinese Heavyweights appear on US TV and the future does look potentially very exciting.
On of the most promising of the current bunch of Chinese fighters is current WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Bantamweight champion Qiu Xiao Jun (14-2, 6). Jun is a very promising fighter who has avenged his losses, both of which came in Japan to Jonathan Baat, and it would seem that he's possibly the next notable fighter from China. Jun will have to prove his quality here as he takes on once beaten American Yuandale Evans (16-1, 12). At one point Evans looked like a very promising young fighter himself though an opening round loss to Javier Fortuna in April 2012 has derailed his career and this will be his first bout in almost 30 months. Jun will have to be in top form to beat Evans though if he does get the win here expect him to get another US bout in the next 12 months or so.
Jun isn't the only Chinese fighter on this card and his compatriot Xian Wei Qian (5-3-1) will be fighting against the limited Josh Crespo (2-1-2, 1). We don't really rate Qian anywhere near as highly as Jun though we do have to say he is better than his record indicates and he's twice fought in Thailand. One of those bouts was a loss to the world ranked Petch Sor Chitpattana whilst the other was a shock win over Thewa Onesongchaigym which saw Qian getting his name printed in the record books as the first Chinese fighter to win a title in Thailand. Crespo doesn't compare to the two Thai's that Qian has fought so we'd assume that Qian will pick up the win here, though it certainly won't be easy with this bout taking place in the US.
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
As well as the action in the US we also have some interesting bouts in Thailand with 2 separate televised cards.
On channel 3 we get a Kokiet Group card headlined by PABA Super Flyweight champion Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (27-7-1, 10). Petchbarngnorn will be defending his title against teenager Ki-chang Kim (5-1-1, 1). Kim will clearly be seen as a huge under-dog going into this fight though could be rewarded with a ranking if he can beat the Thai. That's a big "if" however as Petchbarngborn is a world ranked fighter with fringe-world level talent and a clear edge in experience.
The chief support bout here will see Norasing Kokietgym (11-0-1, 8) defending his unbeaten record against Indonesian visitor Jemmy Gobel (18-24-5, 13) who has lost his last 3 bouts, including a 6th round stoppage to Eaktawan Mor Krunthepthonburi last time out. Gobel has lost 17 previous bouts in Thailand where he has yet to win and we suspect that run will continue again here with Norasing being a far better fighter than Gobel
The other show is on Channel 7 and comes from Bangkok.
One of two title bouts here will see the unbeaten Eaktawan Mor Krungthepthonburi (5-0, 4) defending his WBA Asia Flyweight title against Filipino foe Edison Berwela (13-28-7, 3). We'll admit we are big fans of Eaktawan though we'd suspect that this will be his toughest bout to date and although Berwela isn't an amazing fighter he is also not someone who falls over the first time they are hit. Berwela will be fighting for the 7th time in Thailand and currently boasts a record of 0-5-1 in the country and that will likely be extended to 0-6-1 though we do suspect that Eaktawan will have to work for the win.
The other title bout on this show will see Nop Kratingdaenggym (10-0, 1)* defending his PABA Super Bantamweight title against Filipino visitor Eranio Semillano (10-5, 3). On paper this looks a pretty decent contest, especially when you consider that Semillano comes into this bout with 7 straight wins and is unbeaten in well over 2 years. Saying that however Nop does look a very talented young fighter and his potential to be a world champion is being spoken about by some hardcore fans in Thailand.
(*Boxrec don't include Nop's win over Skax Max for some peculiar reason)
September 5th-Akira Yaegashi Vs Roman Gonzalez and Naoya Inoue Vs Samartlek Kokietgym highlight amazing day!
It's not often that the Asian fight scene has every knowledgeable boxing fan actually being excited but this Friday is an exception as we get several top prospects in action, a top pound-for-pound fighter, two world champions and two of the sports most exciting fighters all in action on the same day!
The biggest show of the day, in fact one of the biggest shows of the year, takes place today at the Yoyogi #2 Gymnasium in Tokyo. The show is one of those we've been looking forward to since it was announce and featured 4 bouts we're really excited about and 1 other bout of note.
We'll start with that bout of note which will see rising teenager Takuma Inoue (2-0) taking on Thai debutant Chanachai Sor Siamchai (0-0). From our point of view this is a big step back for Takuma who looked great in his recent win over Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr though it seems like he's just getting some experience under his wings before moving up to title level, something we expect to see him doing in the next 12 months.
Although Takuma is taking a step backwards we're glad to see the unbeaten Ryo Matsumoto (11-0, 9) take a huge step up to fight former world champion Denkaosan Kaovichit (63-4-1, 26). Matsumoto did seem to struggle slightly in his last notable bout, against Hiroyuki Hisataka, though he has been groomed for stardom from his debut and will have had serious work on his stamina between that fight and this one. As for Denkaosan this could be his last fight if he loses, ending a long career. Last time out the Thai over-came Gaspar Ampolo though that was a gimme after an 8th round KO at the hands of Kohei Kono earlier this year. We're not going to suggest that this will be one sided but Matsumoto is bigger, faster and younger and needs to be favoured.
Another man taking a step up, albeit it a small one, is Ryota Murata (4-0, 4) who will be battling Mexico's Adrian Luna Flores (17-2-1, 11). We're unsure if this is really a step up from Murata's previous bout with Jesus Angel Nerio but we're expecting a similar result with Murata stopping Flores in the middle of the fight. Flores does come into this bout as the Mexican champion though he's clearly not the top Middleweight in Mexico, in fact he's a million miles away from the likes of Marco Antonio Rubio who really is world class.
Following those 4 bouts we then move on to the two world title bouts. The first of those will see WBC Light Flyweight world champion Naoya Inoue (6-0, 5) fighting for the first time as a world champion. Inoue, a former Japanese and OPBF champion, will be defending his WBC world title against Thailand's little known Samartlek Kokietgym (17-4, 5). Sadly like his brother it appears that Naoya is taking a huge step backwards here, especially considering the way he disposed of the then champion Adrian Hernandez last time out. Samartlek is a PABA champion and does hold wins over Muhammad Rachman and Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr though this is clearly a huge step up in class for him and easily his toughest bout to date. For Inoue however it's likely to be little more than an easy day at the office.
The main event is "The Fight" we've been looking forward to all year as WBC Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi (20-3, 10) defends his title for the 4th time. In the opposite corner to Yaegashi is the exceptional Roman Gonzalez (39-0, 33) who should prove to be the most talented foe that Yaegashi has faced to date. This is one of those real lower weight super clashes between two men who are both viewed very highly and although they are different types of fighters, with Yaegashi being a speedy boxer and Gonzalez being a destructive pressure fighter, we expect the styles to gel marvellously. Do not be shocked if they turns out to be one of the true fight of the year candidates and helps enhance the winner into the mythical "pound for pound top 10". Amazing bout on paper and hopefully it will live up to expectation.
As well as the big card in Tokyo we also have an historic card in Dubai as Filipino promotional powerhouse ALA Promotions take their show on the road and go to the World Trade Center in Dubai for "Pinoy Pride 27".
This show features a trio of notable Filipino fighters in action in 3 very interesting bouts. The "least significant" of the three major bouts will see the popular Rey Bautista (35-3, 25), a former world title challenger, take on Mexico's aggressive Juan Jose Martinez (19-1, 15). Although the bout is "less significant" it promises to be a thriller with both men being aggressive and both men often hunting the stoppage victory. This could really be all action for as long as it lasts.
Following the Bautista fight we then get two world ranked Filipino's in seperate bouts. One of those is the very hotly tipped Genesis Servania (24-0, 10) who puts his unbeaten record and world ranking on the line against former world title challenger Jose Cabrera (22-4-2, 10). Servania will start as a clear favourite here though we're hoping to see him tested, unfortunately Cabrera was stopped last time out and hasn't looked impressive since fighting to a draw with the then unbeaten Daniel Rosas almost 3 years ago.
The other unbeaten and world ranked Filipino is Arthur Villanueva (25-0, 14) who puts his ranking and record on the line against Nicaraguan puncher Henry Maldonado (19-3-0-1, 14). Villanueva looked very poor last time out as he was given a rough time by Fernando Aguilar who was stopped in 6 rounds by Maldonado just a few weeks back and it's fair to say that the Nicaraguan fighter won't be coming to play with the Filipino fighter. This one has the potential to be a fire cracker if Maldonado has his way though Villanueva is better than he looked last time out.
We also have a televised show in Thailand with titles on the line and some of the most exciting young fighters in Thailand courtesy of Channel 7.
The main event here will be the latest PABA Welterweight title defence by Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (26-0, 20). Teerachai, a world ranked 22 year old power house from Burriram, will be battling fellow 22 year old Nelson Gulpe (8-2, 3) from the Philippines. Interestingly Gulpe is 0-2 outside of the Philippines and has lost his last 2 bouts, including a Lightweight contest to Japanese novice Accel Sumiyoshi. Needless to say Teerachai will be strongly favoured here.
On the under-card we will get the chance to see Inthanon Sithchamuang (22-7, 13), best known for his loss in Macau to Jerwin Ancajas, battling against Heri Amol (34-18-4, 14) of Indonesia. For what it's worth this is Amol's first bout since being beaten by Japanese debutant Ken Shiro at the start of August and we suspect he'll be no match for the Thai here.
The card will also feature one of our favourite Thai prospects Eaktawan Mor Krungthepthonburi (4-0, 3) who will be putting his unbeaten record on the line against professional loser Safwan Lombok (1-25-1) of Indonesia. Although Lombok will pose no threat at all to the talented Thai the question is whether or not Eaktawan will be able to stop Lombok who has proven to be a relatively sturdy opponent with only 7 stoppages losses in 25 total losses.
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Out side of the Asian shows we have some smaller profile fight cards as well. One of those is in Burkina Faso as Filipino slugger Silvester Lopez (22-7-2, 16) battles against the once beaten Alexis Boureima Kabore (22-1, 6) in an attempt to claim the WBC International Super Bantamweight. This bout was meant to take place several weeks ago though Lopez had travel issues and the bout had to be rescheduled at late notice. We're suspect that Lopez will need a KO to get the win though Kabore has certainly not shown world level ability and Lopez should be seen as a "live under-dog".
Another lesser bout takes place in Italy as the Japanese born Swiss based Aniya Seki (24-3-2, 2) takes on journey-woman Claudia Ferenci (8-35-5, 3). The bout appears to be a clear mismatch though the 35 year old Seki was shocked last time out when Judith Rodriguez blasted her out in 2 rounds in another bout that looked like a mismatch on paper.
(Image courtesy of Ohashi Gym)