This Friday is a very busy day in Asian boxing with numerous former world champions in action and several really interesting bouts.
The first of the former world champions in action today is former WBC Super Flyweight world champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (29-4-1, 26). The heavy handed Thai will be defending his regional WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Flyweight title against Filipino Bobby Concepcion (11-5-1, 5) in what we suspect will prove to be a disappointingly one sided mismatch. Concepcion comes into this bout on the back of successive stoppage losses and will not be expected to even test the Thai puncher who has scored wins in each of the last two months.
In Tokyo we get a really interesting show, albeit one that is more interesting for those interested in Japanese domestic and Oriental scenes.
The main event promising to be thrilling as the always entertaining Shuhei Tsuchiya (16-3, 14) battles against Japanese based Filipino Ricky Sismundo (26-8-1, 12). The bout pits two Japanese ranked Lightweights against each other with both hoping to recapture some form after recent losses. Tsuchiya enters this bout 2-3 in his last 5 bouts with the most recent losses being stoppages to Leonardo Zappvigna, who stopped him in a bloody 10 round affair, and Masayoshi Nakatani, who dominated him in a 3-round break out win for the Ioka youngster. Sismundo lost his last bout, also to Nakatni, by decision and will know that a win here could open up title opportunities for him in 2015. This is a fantastic bout and should be thrilling for as long as it lasts.
In a second bout between Japanese and Filipino fighters fan will see #2 ranked Japanese Super Featherweight Yuya Sugizaki (19-9-1, 6) battle against heavy handed but limited Filipino slugger Gabriel Royo (9-10-2, 8). This should be an easy win for Sugizaki though Royo's power may keep this interesting early on.
Another bout on this card that has caught out eye will see the OPBF and Japanese Yuta Nakagawa (13-4-1, 8) risking his rankings against the heavy hitting Yuta Saito (7-4-2, 6). Saito was the 2012 All Japan Rookie of the Year MVP though has really failed to shine in his last two bouts, if he catches Nakagawa this could be an interesting fight however Nakagawa should win given his ability and experience.
A fourth bout from this show that we're interested in is a 6 rounder that features the touted Koki Koshikawa (2-0, 1). Koshikawa will be fighting against Ryoji Miyagi (7-4-1, 4) in a clear step up for the Celes gym prospect. Miyagi comes into this bout with no real form having lost his last 2 bouts, including a stoppage to current Japanese Light Welterweight champion Hiroki Okada, however he does have an edge in experience and could well test the promising youngster, who turns 24 just days before this fight.
In the most interesting of two separate Russian cards we will see several notable fighters including two former world champions in the main event. Sadly however a number of these bouts do feel like mismatches.
The biggest mismatch is in the main event, where recent WBO Light Welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov (23-3, 16) battles against Mexican veteran Jose Luis Castillo (66-12-1, 57). In his prime Castillo would have been a perfect opponent to see Provodnikov fight, in fact that would likely have been a classic. Sadly Castillo is now almost a decade past his prime and aged 40 he's unlikely to do much more than be a human puncher here for the “Siberian Rocky”.
In a second 12 rounder fans will see the light hitting but talented Andrey Klimov (18-1, 9) defending his WBO Inter-Continental Super Featherweight title against Mexican visitor Gabino Cota (16-2-1, 14). We suspect that Klimov will win this as Cota has a very padded record, though with 14 stoppages in 19 bouts he may have genuine power that could make this interesting, though it is doubtful.
A third 12 rounder on this show sees the exciting Sergey Lipinets (4-0, 3) going for his first professional title. Lipinets will be hoping to claim the WBO Asia Pacific Welterweight title as he battles against Filipino Ernie Sanchez (14-5-1, 5) in what looks to be an opportunity to let Lipinets into the world WBO world rankings. We like the Russian and we like that he's being fast tracked and in all honesty we can't see anything but a Lipinets win here.
At Cruiserweight we see another former world champion in actual as Cuban veteran Juan Carlos Gomez (55-3-0-1, 20) attempts to end the KO streak of Russian puncher Dmitry Kudryashov (15-0, 15). On paper this is a step up for the Russian though if he wins in style there is little doubt that he'll be moved towards a world title bout in 2015. Gomez is a long way removed from his prime but he's on a nice run of 6 straight wins and knows a win here will move back into the world rankings. We doubt the win is all Kudryashov wants here and he'll be seeking a stoppage to keep his great run going.
A second Cruiserweight bout here will see Rakhim Chakhkiev (20-1, 15) battling against the heavy handed Jackson Junior (15-1, 13) in what looks like a genuinely exciting bout for the Russian ahead of possible world title bout in 2015.
One other notable name down for this show is Olympic champion Egor Mekhontsev (6-0, 6) who will be in his 7th bout of the year. We want to see the Mekhontsev step up now as he's now 30 years old and hasn't got time to waste on many more mismatches, especially given his amateur pedigree, power and ability. Sadly however he is only fighting against Joey Vegas (17-9-1, 10) and this shouldn't be difficult at all for the talented Russian.
On a second Russian show we have a few interesting, though lower level, bouts.
The most interesting bout here comes at Cruiserweight as the promising Yury Kashinsky (4-0, 4) battles against Yuriy Barashian (27-7, 18) in a clear step up for Kashinsky who could become yet another Russian name in the Cruiserweight rankings.
A second notable bout here will see PABA Light Middleweight champion Pavel Mamontov (9-1-2, 2) defending his title against Argentinian fighter Oscar Roberto Medina (24-6-2, 9). We're not big on Mamontov and wouldn't be surprised to see him losing sometime soon, but it's unlikely to be here.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Some days are insanely busy and today is one such day with more fights of note than almost any other day this year, and better yet they are spread all over the globe form the Philippines to the US, from Germany to Mexico. It really is a great day to look forward to.
New Jersey, USA
The most important bout for many fans this Saturday is in the US where destructive Russian Sergey Kovalev (25-0-1, 23) attempts to unify his WBO Lightweight title with the WBA "super" and IBF titles currently held by Bernard Hopkins (55-6-2-2, 32) in a bout that appears to have every boxing fans interested , even those that typically hate watching Hopkins. Kovalev, a destructive puncher, has been a on a real role recently wiping out decent contenders on a regular basis, often with out breaking sweat. Hopkins on the other hand has been the same old Hopkins we all know, lulling opponents to sleep en route to winning wide decisions. We suspect this bout could be over early if Kovalev hits as hard as we think, or could end up being a long and slow night if Hopkins can hypnotise Kovalev, like he has to many previous opponents. That's what makes this bout so interesting, who will manage to instill their natural game plan on the bout?
On the undercard we have another Russian, Andrey Sirotkin (4-0, 1), risking his unbeaten record against the limited Michael Mitchell (3-4-2, 1) in what should be a straight forward 6 round affair for Sirotkin.
Whilst the main event in New Jersey is undeniably the biggest bout of the day it's very easy to pick the biggest female bout of the day as unbeaten Japanese boxing queen Naoko Fujioka (12-0, 6) attempts to become the first Japanese female fighter to become a 3-weight world champion. Unfortunately for Fujioka she will be up against her toughest challenge yet, Germany's popular Susi Kentikian (33-2-0-1, 17), the current WBA female Flyweight champion. The bout is a tough one on paper and it's made even tougher by the fact Fujioka is on the road traveling to Germany for the bout against on of Europe's most popular female fighters.
A second very good female bout comes from Mexico as former WBA female Minimumweight champion Etsuko Tada (13-1-2, 3) attempts to regain the title and avenge her sole defeat. That however will see her needing to over-come Mexico's very own Anabel Ortiz (15-3, 3) who claimed a controversial split decision in Japan over Tada last year. We suspect this could be a better bout that the Fujioka/Kentikian one though in our eyes the other is slightly more significant considering that Fujioka is attempting to carve her place in history. We'll admit with this being a rematch we're hoping for something a bit special.
On the same card in Mexico Ryuji Yokoyama (11-1-1, 3) will be looking for the biggest win of his career as he takes on the world class Jesus Silvestre (25-9, 21) in a very big test for the Japanese fighter.
Back in the US we see the next bout of the talented Vasily Lepikhin (16-0, 9) who attempts to build on his excellent victory over Robert Berridge last time out. This time Lepikhin will be battling big punching Brazilian Jackson Junior (15-1, 13), was was last in the US about 20 months ago being taken apart by Cuban Umberto Savigne. We suspect that Lepikhin will have a very easy night with the Brazilian who isn't as dangerous as his record would indicate.
In a third US bout fans will see Olympic gold medal winner Egor Mekhontsev (5-0, 5) take the next step on his way to a world title. Mekhontsev has had things all his own way so far but we wouldn't be shocked to see him struggle, at least a bit, with the extremely heavy handed Jinner Guerrero (7-2, 6). Guerrero is limited but what he hits, he hurts. Guerrero comes in with 2 losses in his last 3 but he is insanely heavy handed and if Mekhontsev gets caught or gets reckless this could get very interesting.
A bit closer to "home" is a card in Australia that strikes us as interesting but not great with two bouts of note.
The main event here will see world ranked Bantamweight puncher Zhanat Zhakiyanov (23-1, 16) battle against Filipino journeyman Roberto Lerio (16-20-1, 6) in what appears to be little more than a stay busy fight for the highly regarded Kazakh puncher. This will be Zhakiyanov's third bout of the year and will see him building on two stoppage wins, including an eye catching 1-punch KO over Karim Guerfi back in April and we'd be shocked if Lerio managed to take him the distance here.
The other bout will see the always entertaining Filipino slugger Romeo Jakosalem (15-8-1, 8) battle against the fast rising Cameron Hammond (10-0, 4) in what is likely to be a painful night for the Filipino. Jakosalem comes into this bout with 4 losses in his last 5, including a 2nd round TKO loss to Min Wook Kim back in May 2012, though did win last time out against Elmer Legaria and, if he's on form, he could make life difficult for Hammond. Odds are however Jakosalem isn't going to be close to his best unfortunately and will instead be dominated by the talented Australian.
Davao del Sur, Philippines
Having just mentioned some Filipino's it makes sense to mention some more as we go to the first of two Filipino cards.
This one in Davao del Sur involved two interesting bouts with the co-feature being the better of the two, at least on paper. That bout will see the heavy handed but limited Drian Francisco (25-2-1, 20) battle against former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (17-4-3, 4). Having seen Apolinario struggle to survive against Koki Kameda last year we believe Francisco will stop him, though we do know that Francisco can be out boxed by a speedy fighter and that could prove to be an issue here.
The main event looks like a total mismatch as the talented Adones Cabalquinto (17-0, 10) continues to toil and waste away his career. The talented Filipino Light Welterweight will be battling against Thai visitor Pankorn Mor Poowana (3-1-1, 1) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Welterweight title and we can't help but think he really should bite the bullet, take a risk and go for the OPBF title with a fight against Keita Obara, as was once arranged earlier this year.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The other Filipino show comes from Metro Manila and is a much deeper card. Sadly due to just how busy the day is we're only going to talk about a few of the bouts on the card.
The main event will see the thunderously hard hitting Richard Claveras (9-0-2, 9) attempting to defend his WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Flyweight title against the limited but tough JC Francisco (6-8-3, 2). Francisco has won just 1 of his last 4 and we don't see it changing here but we do suspect that Claveras will be forced to work hard to get the win considering that Francisco has never been stopped so far.
A second interesting bout on here will see Ardin Diale (24-9-3, 11) attempt to defend his his GAB Flyweight title against the heavy handed Jenny Boy Buca (9-1, 9). Diale is better than his record suggests though we're unsure how good Buca is. If Buca has got skills as well as power he may manage to upset Diale who has had a very hard year considering his slugfest with Koki Eto was just 5 months and he has already had a very hard fight with Renerio Arizala since then. This is going to be a tough year for the Filipino who needs a win here to remain relevant.
In Russia we have yet more Filipino's in action with two Filipino's fighting in the Russian town of Klimovsk.
At Lightweight we will see Rey Labao (26-5, 17) attempting to claim the PABA title as he takes on the unbeaten Roman Andreev (15-0, 11), a man attempting to make the first defense of his title. Labao's record may not make him look like a killer but he's a very good fighter and his only loss in his last 8 bouts came against Yoshitaka Kato in an OPBF title fight. As for Andreev this is a tough defense but advantage will likely help him some what against a testing opponent though one who is perhaps less rounded and skilled than Andreev is.
The other bout comes at Bantamweight where Jason Canoy (21-4-2, 15) fights against Nikolay Potapov (12-0, 6) for the WBA Asia Bantamweight title. This bout, like the other one, looks really interesting and although we again suspect the unbeaten is more skilled we cannot rule out the Filipino fighter who we suspect will go to Russia with an upset on his mind.
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
One final show scheduled to take place is in Thailand where we have one interesting bout and one other bout worth noting, albeit a total mismatch.
The interesting bout will see WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight champion Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (28-7-1, 11) defending his belt against the once beaten Filipino hopeful Macrea Gandionco (10-1-1, 6). We suspect Petchbarngborn will be too big for the Filipino however it's a bout we're interested in and hope that Gandionco will be comfortable at the weight.
The other bout that interests us, despite it being a disgusting mismatch, will see Fonluang KKP (21-1-1, 9) take on journeyman Falazona Fidal (25-41-1, 8). This is an awful mismatch though it's nice to see Fonluang staying busy and this will be his 5th bout this year, a big change from 2012 in which he was completely inactive.
(Image courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions)
After the great action this past Friday we get a continuation of notable fighters in action on Saturday giving Japanese fans a real cause of double pleasure.
In Japan we get the only notable "Eastern" show of the day as the Korakuen Hall plays host to "Dynamic Glove 529". The show, a 7 fight card, isn't a major one in terms of match ups but it is big enough to warrant some real attention due to three of the fighters on the card.
The first of those fighters is the heavy handed Masaru Sueyoshi (6-1, 5) who will be fighting former Japanese title challenger Yuta Nagai (28-9-4, 19). The 23 year old Sueyoshi hasn't fought in well over a year but is talented and his sole loss has come, via split decision, to the excellent Masayuki Ito. A win here for Sueyoshi would thrust him towards a possible Japanese ranking. As for Nagai he is a veteran who is looking to earn himself another title fight. This is a really interesting fight though it will be over-shadowed by the other two bouts.
The second of the interesting bouts will see OPBF Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa (17-1, 10) fighting in a non-title fight against Indonesia's Rommy Wassar (10-16-7, 5). The bout looks to be a mismatch, especially when you consider that Wassar has lost 4 of his last 6 though IWasa didn't look great last time out. We're hoping that if Iwasa sees off Wassar quickly he may return before the end of the year to defend his title against a more testing foe or face a world champion.
In the main event we will see the return to action of former WBC Flyweight champion Toshiyuki Igarashi (18-2-1, 11). Igarashi has been out of the ring for almost a year due to injuries to his arm though will hoping for a successful return to the ring as he battles Filipino Renren Tesorio (13-4-3, 4). On paper this is another mismatch but we will have serious questions about how Igarashi looks considering his long lay off.
In the US we're expecting to see Russian Olympic champion Egor Mekhontsev (4-0, 4) return to the ring to battle against the heavy handed Samuel Miller (28-8, 25) in what looks to be a great test for the unbeaten Russian prospect that many feel is one of the brightest prospects in the Light Heavyweight division.
(Image courtesy of Boxmob.jp)
MacauThis coming Saturday is a ridiculously busy day in the boxing world though only one show really matters to many fans, "Champions of Gold". The card, otherwise known as "The Macau card" is the show that has been getting the column inches, forum discussions and most of the weeks attention.
The show, the 6th Top Rank promoted Macau show, doesn't look like the most interesting on paper but it does feature an interesting test and a trio of Olympic champions.
The most testing of the bouts on the show is that of the much maligned Zou Shiming (4-0, 1) who will be facing off against former world title challenger Luis De La Rosa (23-3-1, 12). De La Rosa is a huge step up in class for Shiming though we doubt Arum and his team have taken this bout without feeling very confident that Shiming will win. We assume part of their confidence is the fact De La Rosa is a significantly smaller fighter than Shiming and he has also been knocked out in 2 of his last 4 bouts, interestingly however De La Rosa did Raul Garcia real fits when they fought back in 2010 suggesting that he will come into this bout with the mentality of scoring a huge upset. This bout will be Shiming's first title bout, as he attempts to claim the WBO International Flyweight title, though the most interesting thing is that it could see him going 10 rounds for the first time in his career.
Another possible test could be seen in the fight between "The Macau Kid" Kuok Kun Ng (4-0, 2) and fellow unbeaten fighter Beau O'Brien (4-0-1, 1). We do like KK Ng and think he has real potential to be a shining light in Chinese boxing but O'Brien is no mug and has previously won a version of the New Zealand Light Middleweight title suggesting he could be a handful for the promising fighter from Macau.
Unfortunately not all the bouts are tests and one man who will be expected to score an easy win is the always exciting Rex Tso (13-0, 8) who will be fighting Indonesia's John Bajawa (12-6, 6). Bajawa has lost 4 of his last 5 including an opening round stoppage loss to Ryo Matsumoto less than 18 months ago. Tso is exciting and this bout is likely more about keeping his profile up and getting him a highlight reel KO more than anything else, especially considering the expectation is that he's going to be manoeuvred into a world title fight in his next 3 or 4 fights.
Another man not expect to struggle is Cuban sensation Guillermo Rigondeaux (13-0, 8) who will be defending his WBO and WBA "super" titles at Bantamweight. Sadly for Asian fans Rigondeaux will be battling against Thai veteran Sod Kokietgym (63-2-1, 28) who has been given no chance by anyone. The bookies make Rigondeaux an unbackable 1/100 favourite and it's hard to argue with them though hopefully a victory for the Cuban will lure him back to Macau for future fights with the likes of Shingo Wake.
Yet another apparent mismatch comes in a Lightweight contest between the very exciting Ik Yang (15-0-0-1, 10) of China and Thailand's limited Rachamongkol Sor Pleonchit (14-8, 6). Yang is a fighter who has a very American style and is great fun to watch so this is likely about getting him another eye catching win against a fighter who simply isn't fit to get in the ring with him. Rahamongkol has won just 1 of his last 7 and been stopped 6 times in his 22 bouts, we expect that to become 7 times in 23. For those interested in seeing what Yang is about before this fight we have a number of his fights in our video section, including his Macau debut against Elly Ray.
On paper another interesting bout will see Russia's Egor Mekhontsev (3-0, 3) fighting against Filipino Mike Mirafuente (2-0, 2). Sadly this contest is only interesting on paper and Mekhontsev is a very special fighter who will likely beat Mirafuente with out even breaking sweat. Hopefully next time out Mekhontsev will face a much better opponent because he has all the tools to be fast tracked to a world title.
As well as the bout involving Asian's the show will also feature an international bout of note as Mexico's unbeaten contender Gilberto Ramirez Sanchez (28-0, 22) battles against Australian Junior Talipeau (20-2-1, 7) in a bout that looks great on paper though is unlikely to be more than a simple win for "Zurdo" Sanchez who we rate very highly.
One more bout on the card will see the popular Brian Viloria (33-4-0-2, 19) returning to Macau for the first time since he lost his world crown to Juan Francisco Estrada last year. This time around Viloria is being matched easily as he takes on Jose Alfredo Zuniga (11-5-1, 5), a man who has gone the distance with both Alberto Rossel and Oswaldo Novoa in recent contests. Viloria is, of course, a bigger fighter than both Rossel and Novoa and will be expected to do a job on Zuniga here.
Wonju, South Korea
In a bit of an oddity in South Koreans fans will get the chance to see Japan's Takuya Watanabe (20-5-1, 8) fight against Thailand's Yodpichai Sithsaithong (10-11, 4) in a bout for the IBF Asia Featherweight title. From what we understand the JBC won't recognise the belt but won't be punishing Watanabe for taking the fight with the knowledge that the title does help a fighter get an IBF ranking and move them towards a world title fight.
The interesting Watanabe will be fighting in Korea for a second successive bout following his bloody battle with Jaesung Lee. If you've not managed to see that bout before we advise you give it a watch, though we do need to warn you that it's probably the bloodiest bout of the year so far and all the claret seemed to come from Watanabe.
Western Australia, Australia
Western Australia plays host to three Asians this weekend though none of them will be expected to come away with a win.
In the main event Indonesian journeyman Roy Tua Manihuruk (15-10-2, 11) will be looking to become the inaugural WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Lightweight champion as he battles the unbeaten Clint Hosking (9-0, 2). Unfortunately for Manihuruk he is 0-3 in Australia and has sadly lost 4 of his last 6 bouts, including a stoppage loss to the always fun to watch Ji-Hoon Kim. With Hosking taking an unbeaten record into the ring here it's hard to expect anything other than his 10th victory.
Another bout on this card, we expect the opening bout on the show, Thailand's Baikon Lokromklao (1-3) will be in action against the win-less Jacob McBride (0-1). Although McBride hasn't won a fight he's being matched Baikon for a reason and with that in mind it's hard to to imagine anything but a victory for McBride, a win we expect will come by stoppage.
Another Thai on this show is female fighter Keanpetch Superchamps (6-8-1). Kaenpetch, who recently challenger WBA female Super Featherweight champion Hyun Mi Choi, will be expected to suffer her third straigth stoppage loss as she fights Erin McGowan (15-2, 8) in a clear mismatch.
Another fighter fighting on the round this weekend is Seiichi Okada (18-4, 11) who travels to Mexico to fight Nery Saguilan (29-4-1, 10) in an intriguing contest. Okada is a former Japanese Super Featherweight champion who has been in the ring with Takashi Miura and Daiki Kaneko amongst others though he is a fighter many feel is on the back end of his career. If Okada can upset Saguilan then he could effectively earn himself another big fight however Saguilan himself is in need of a big win after losing 3 of his previous 8 contests. As both men know they need a win we expect this to be a contest that sees them both putting it all on the line and leading to a very exciting contest.
(Image courtesy of Top Rank)
It's not rare in boxing to have action all over the place but one show gets all the headlines. That's the case this weekend as we get one massive blockbuster of a show that has been stealing the headlines for weeks and been by far the most anticipated show of the year so far. Whilst that, admittedly, isn't saying much considering how slow the year has been, this is still a huge and really notable show and there is no real shame in ignoring most other shows to pay attention to just the one.
The show in question is the massive "Ring of Gold" show in Macau's amazing Venetian Resort. The resort, which is one of the biggest buildings on the planet looks good with out boxing though this Saturday it will look even better with 3-Olympic champions, 3 title bouts, 2 former world champions, one world title and 9 different countries being represented! This is what global boxing is all about!
The card kicks off with a Super Flyweight contest scheduled for 8 rounds. This bout sees Jerwin Ancajas (18-1-1, 10) fighting against Inthanon Sithchamuang (20-6, 11) in what we expect to be a relatively straight forward victory for Ancajas. Although he has lost one and drawn one Ancajas is a real talent and the draw, a technical draw, came very early in his career whilst his loss was a narrow one to the very under-rated Mark Anthony Geraldo. He's a very solid and improving fighter who will title aspirations.
Following the cards opener we expect to see Harmonito Dela Torre (11-0, 6) fighting against Indonesia's Yakobus Heluka (7-5, 3) in a 6 round bout at Super Featherweight. We do like Dela Torre a lot, though wonder what the point of this bout is and whether Heluka is even fit to fight having recently been stopped in Japan. By "recently" we mean less than 4 weeks ago and we don't think Heluka could possibly have recovered in that time.
We're expecting at least one of those two to end early and if it does we could see the "swing bout" moved up to being the show's third bout. The swing contest is between Macao's very own Kuok Kun Ng (2-0) and Indonesian Rocky Alap Alap (5-10). Although neither has a stoppage to their name we wouldn't be shocked if Ng did stop Alap Alap inside the scheduled 4 rounds. In fact we'd be more shocked if Alap Alap was dwarfed in the ring by a much bigger fighter.
The reason we're expect the swing bout to be so early is because the next scheduled bout is Ryota Murata's (2-0, 2) contest which has got a set aside time slot to appease Fuji TV. The bout, which will start at around 7PM local time, sees Murata fighting against former world title challenger Carlos Nascimento (29-3, 23) in what looks like a good step up for Murata. Unfortunately the bout isn't likely to be as testing as it looks as Nascimento is 40 years old and several years past his best though it's still a positive step up from the Japanese Olympic champion.
After Murata's bout we get the show's first title bout as Hong Kong's insanely popular Rex Tso (11-0, 7) battles Japan's Mako Matsuyama (7-7-1, 3). On the line here is Tso's WBC Asia Council Continental Super Flyweight title and the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title as well as Tso's recent WBO world ranking. At lost at stake forTso but the expectation is that he will easily cope with Matsuyama.
Following the first title fight we're then scheduled to go to the second title bout which see's former world champions colliding in the best looking contest on the show. This bout sees former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda (28-3-2, 12) fighting Filipino power puncher Marvin Sonsona (17-1-1, 14), himself a former WBO Super Flyweight champion. The winner of this bout will likely be moved to within a fight or two of a world title bout, though will immediately claim the WBO International Featherweight title and a big boost to any possible WBO rankings that they have.
The Shimoda/Sonsona bout is followed by the second Olympic champion on the show as Egor Mekhontsev (1-0, 1) faces unbeaten Thai Atthaporn Jaritram (4-0, 1). On paper this is an interesting bout between unbeaten fighters but in reality it's hard to see anything but an impressive victory for the talented and much more experienced Russian who was a former standout amateur and multi-medal winning fighter in the unpaid ranks.
Mekhontsev's contest merely gives us a break between title fights before his fellow Russian Denis Shafikov (33-0-1, 18) attempts to claim his biggest victory as a professional. Shafikov, fighting in his first world title fight will be hoping to dethrone talented and rangy Mexican Miguel Vazquez (33-3, 13) of the IBF Lightweight in what promises to be an incredibly interesting and tough contest. Interesting since this bout was first listed on the sports books the odds have closed remarkably and there are many smelling a possible upset here.
The main event, scheduled to take place at 10PM local time, is to be local star Zou Shiming (3-0) fighting Thai teenager Yokthong Kokietgym (15-3, 11). On paper this looks like a huge leap of faith from Shiming's side but when you consider Japanese youngster Ryuji Hara stopped Yokthong in 2 rounds it's fair to assume that Shiming's team have just been very cynical with their match making. Oddly one of our writers has gone against the tide and confidently predicted Yokthong to win, be the rest of us aren't buying it.
As we said when we started this, the Macau card is the big, but it's not the only one with one also taking place in the very pleasantly named Peoples Park in Baguio City. The card, expected to feature 6 contests has just one of note and that's the bout featuring Rex Wao (7-0, 6) who will be attempting to extend his unbeaten record as he fights Gerry Pateno (4-5-2, 2). Wao has stopped his last 5 and some in the Philippines are very excited by him. Hopefully another win here, in style, will see him given more notable opportunities in the near future.
Outside of Asia we're also expecting to see Tajikistan's Azamat Umarzade (0-1) in action. Umarzade, who has been inactive since losing on debut back in 2010 is being matched with Joey Ruelas (6-0-1, 3) in what is one of the most pointless matches we can ever remember mentioning on this site.