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.
In Hangzhou we'll see an interesting card featuring a trio of title bouts, across the weigh classes.
The lowest weight covered by those title fights is at Flyweight where local hopeful Jing Xiang (9-4-2, 1) will face the once beaten Joy Joy Formentera (8-1, 4) for the WBO Oriental Flyweight title. On paper this looks like an interesting bout, and will see Xiang looking to turn the interim title into the full version of the belt. Formentera is the visitor but is unbeaten in almost 4 years and is a very live under-dog.
At Heavyweight we'll see American based Romanian Razvan Cojanu (15-2, 8) battle unbeaten German based Kazakh born fighter Alexander Frank (11-0, 9) in a battle for the WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight title, essentially guaranteeing a second successive European holder of this title, a strange thing given what the title was set up for.
Another Asia Pacific title fight comes at Lightweight where the unbeaten Xiang Xiang Sun (8-0, 6) takes on Thai visitor Tabthong Tor Buamas (15-5, 12) in a very interesting looking match up. Sun, who we believe has an incomplete boxrec record, is one of China's more over-looked hopefuls and should he win here he could be in the fringes of the WBO rankings. Whilst this looks interesting Tabthong has gone 2-4 in his last 6.
Also in China will be a card that sees Li Quan Lin (7-1-1, 2) battle Filipino Ernie Sanchez (15-8-1, 6) in a bout for the IBO Asia Pacific Lightweight title. The bout doesn't look competitive on paper but Sanchez is a live opponent, and not the journeyman his record suggests, whilst Lin is still pretty unproven, despite this being his first defense of the IBO regional title.
In Victoria we'll see two Indonesian fighters sharing the ring with the Australian Balla brothers.
Up against the once beaten Ibrahim Balla (9-1, 6) will be the experienced Agus Kustiawan (17-5-1, 7), who is fighting for the 6th time this year. Kustiawan has gone 0-1 outside of Indonesia but has been success in recent bouts winning 4 of his last 6. Balla was stopped last time out, losing to Neil John Tabanao back in June, and will be looking to return with a win here.
The other Balla is the unbeaten Qamil Balla (9-0-1, 3) who faces Musa Letding (11-5-4, 6), who was previously down to face Takuya Watanabe in Japan earlier this year. Letding is 0-3 outside of Indonesia but is a live dog here and is tough enough to give solid fighters a tough time, with his only stoppage loss coming years ago to Hurricane Futa. Balla will be favoured but should be tested.
There will also be action in Thailand with two notable Japanese fighters.
One of those is Cobra Suwa (18-11-2, 10), who will be defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Middleweight title against former foe Ratchasi Sithsaithong (6-3, 5) whilst the other will be Hirotsugu Yamamoto (19-13-2, 3), who hasn't yet had his opponent named.
In the US fight fans will see 2008 Olympic medal winner Zhang Zhilei (12-0, 8) battle the highly experienced Galen Brown (44-35-1, 25). Browne, fighting for the 81st time, will be looking to secure a career best win whilst Zhilei will be looking to extend his unbeaten record and take a small step towards bigger and better fights.
The only show this Thursday is an interesting one from the Korakuen Hall.
In the main event fight fans will see OPBF Super Featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (18-1-1, 8) defending his title against Filipino foe Ernie Sanchez (15-7-1, 6). The talented, yet criminally under-rated Ito, will be making the second defense of his title and looking to make a successful ring return following a hand injury, that already scuppered and arranged bout with Sanchez. For Sanchez the bout is an undeserved opportunity given he has gone 1-4-1 over the last 3 years but he has mixed with some very good fighters like Oscar Valdez, Sergey Lipinets and Rey Vargas.
In a supporting bout we see the wonderfully fun to watch Katsunori Nagamine (11-1, 7) take on the very credible Yuki Yonaha (7-2, 5), who enters the bout with an OPBF rating and the hunger to move forward with his own career. For fans this is the sort of match up that makes Japanese boxing so brilliant, there is no waiting for either Nagamine, who comes in following two tough bouts, or Yanaha to get on with securing themselves a big fight and the winner of this could well move in to the mix for a title bout.
Another man looking to move to a title fight is the unbeaten 21 year old Tsubasa Koura (7-0, 4), who claimed the Rookie of the Year crown last year. The unbeaten youngster will be taking on his most experienced foe to date, Bimbo Nacionales (14-11-1, 3). The experienced Filipino is nothing special but should be a good test for the hotly tipped Japanese youngster.
Talking about fighters looking for titles there is also a former Japanese national champion on this card, that's former Japanese Super Flyweight, and current WBA International, champion Yohei Tobe (10-2-1, 6), who takes on the limited Masaya Kohama (6-4-1, 3). For Tobe this bout will be his first since his excellent win over Luzuko Siyo and should see him scoring a third successive win. For Kohama it's hard to see him winning but he'll get a chance to face a notable opponent.