July 5th-Shibata battles Nishida in unified title defence whilst Taguchi, Taconing and Rufino are all in lesser bouts
This coming weekend is one of the quietest in boxing this year. Despite the relative lack of activity we do have some interesting contests on Saturday that thankfully do help keep some interest in the sport for the day.
The biggest show of the day for us is in Japan with a Watanabe Gym promoted card at the Korakuen Hall. The show, "The 526th Dynamic Glove, will have just 7 bouts but they are almost all worthy of attention.
The most interest bout is the main event which will see OPBF and Japanese Middleweight champion Akio Shibata (22-8-1, 9) defending his unified crown against the under-rated Hikaru Nishida (10-6-1, 3). On paper you'd be right to assume this would be a mismatch but Nishida is in tremendous form having won 6 of his last 7, including victories over Kazuhiko Hidaka and Makoto Fuchigami and has genuinely earned this opportunity on merit.
The penultimate bout on the show will be a contest between Japanese ranked Light Welterweight Hayato Hokazono (17-4-1, 10) and the light hitting Osamu Hashimoto (9-6,1). Going in to this bout we can't see anything but a win for Hokazanko and we're unsure why this has got the "chief support" billing on the card..
Although the Hokazano/Hashimoto bout is technically the chief support bout the most interesting of the under-card contests is a Light Flyweight contest between former Japanese champion Ryoichi Taguchi (19-2-1, 8) and former IBF Minimumweight champion Florante Condes (27-8-1, 23). Taguchi is the only man to have seen the final bell against Naoya Inoue whilst Condes is a big punching Filipino who on't have travelled to Japan to just lose. With that in mind we're really excited about this bout.
Another Japan Vs Philippines bout on this show will see the Japanese ranked Yuji Wauke (17-4-1, 8) fighting against Jonel Gadapan (8-6-1, 4). Whilst we're excited about the Taguchi/Condes fight this one sadly looks like a mismatch with Wauke the clear favourite to win against a limited visitor who has been beaten by almost every notable opponent he has faced in his career.
Metro Manila, Philippines
As well as the solid looking show in Japan we also have a card in the Philippines, unfortunately it's a card that appears to have some interesting fighters on it but no interesting bouts with them all pretty much looking like mismatches on paper.
The most notable of the bouts will see recent OPBF Featherweight title challenger Vinvin Rufino (34-16-3, 16) taking on Cristian Abila (11-12-3, 3) in a defence of Rufino's GAB Featherweight title. Although Rufino was no match for Hisashi Amagasa earlier this year we can't see him coming unstuck against the very average Abila who is, at best, a domestic Filipino journeyman. Rufino's "level" probably is at the top end of the Filipino domestic scene and there is nothing wrong with that, we just wish he'd be in with someone a little bit better than Abila.
Rufino may have failed in his attempt to become an OPBF champion earlier this year but the same could not be said of the hard hitting Jonathan Taconing (18-2-1, 15) who claimed the OPBF Light Flyweight title back in March by winning a thriller with compatriot Vergilio Silvano. Sadly Taconing won't be defending his belt here and instead he'll be fighting in a non-title bout at Flyweight as he takes on Thai visitor Nimithra Sithsaithong (4-5, 3) in what is little more than a mismatch. We love Taconing and feel he could be a potential world champion but it'd be nice to see him fighting a much higher level than this.
From what we understand there are 5 other bouts on this card with the most interesting of those being a contest between Glenn Suminguit (12-2, 7), ending a 2 year break from the ring, and the unbeaten Junar Adante (5-0-1, 2). It's not a bout that features a big name but it should prove to be a very good bout and the winner will deserve serious credit.
The most interesting bout outside of Asia, though involving an Asian, is in Mexico where Thai female star Samson Tor Buamas (33-3, 15) takes on the talented Arely Mucino (19-2-2, 10) in a WBC female Flyweight eliminator. The winner of this contest would be set to take on Shindo Go and although we'd have to think Mucino goes in as the favourite Samson has the experience and skills to make life difficult for the Mexican.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia fans will get the chance to see Australian based Filipino Joel Dela Cruz (17-21-2, 7) taking on relative novice Michael Mlacic (8-2-1, 2). Although Dela Cruz is the more experienced of the two men he is without a win since December 2011 and will be going in to this bout trying to avoid a 10th straight loss.
In Germany we have an all-Asian bout as Uzbekistan's Jonny Ibramov (8-5-2, 2) battles against Azerbaijan's Bakhtiyar Iskenderzade (9-4, 2) in a 6 round Light Welterweight bout. We've got to admit this isn't a hugely interesting bout but it's still a bout that does leave us curious about both men despite the potential of both men being pretty limited.
(Image courtesy of Boxmob.jp)
This coming Saturday is an easy day to forget in the boxing world, despite British television channel Boxnation's ridiculous attempt to sell a pay-per-view at £27 in the UK. Despite that it does have numerous interesting bouts through both the Western world and the Asian world.
For us much of the action involves Filipino fighters or Russian's who appear to be spread around the world this weekend.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The most interesting of two Filipino shows is the Elorde Int'l Productions show in Paranaque City, a show that features a staggering 11 bouts!
The stand out contest, by a long way, is the main event contest which features former IBF Minimumweight champion Florante Condes (26-8-1, 22), pictured, battling against promising youngster Cris Alfante (10-1, 3) for the vacant IBF Pan Pacific Minimumweight title. If reputation won bouts then this is in the bag for the hard hitting 33 year old Condes however the 21 year old Alfante will know that a victory will put him on the map so to speak and possibly move him to with 2 or 3 fights of a world title contest.
Unfortunately from the 11 bouts the Alfante/Condes bout is the one stand out match up. Saying that however there is another notable name or two on the card, including Dennis Tubieron (16-3-1, 7) who has gone 1-1 with the hard hitting Hiroki Shiino. Tubieron will be fighting against the limited Samuel Apuya (7-16-1, 4). Although Tubieron has been stopped in 2 of his last 3 it's been more than 10 fights since Apuya last won a contest unfortunately making this a bit of a mismatch.
One other fighter on this card that has got our attention is Virden Rivera (6-0-1, 2) who has won his last 6 contests after drawing on his debut. Rivera moves in to the 10 round distance this weekend as he takes on the more experienced Jovill Marayan (8-15-3, 3).
The other Filipino show is in Batangas and will feature a similarly impressive number of bouts at 10 contests.
The most notable contest on this show is also a title bout, albeit a GAB Super Bantamweight title fight, as the unbeaten JR Magboo (13-0-2, 6) takes on former OPBF title challenger Jhunriel Ramonal (13-6-4, 7). Whilst Magboo does go in to this bout unbeaten Ramonal has faced the much better fighters, including Shingo Wake, Hiromasa Ohashi and Silvester Lopez and it's fair to assume those same men would also have beaten Magboo. This looks like a mismatch though should prove to be a compelling and competitive fight between two men looking to state their claim as the best at their weight in the Philippines.
Aside from the main event the other stand out bout here will see Lolito Sonsona (16-1-4, 6), the cousin of former world champion Marvin Sonsona, fighting against Bobby Concepcion (11-3-1, 5), the younger brother of former world title challenger Bernabe Concepcion. Although this is certainly a bout sold on family "names" it does look a surprisingly good contest, although we do favour the more experienced Sonsona.
This card also features the unbeaten Renerio Arizala (9-0-1, 4) in action against a domestic journeyman.
In Moscow fans will get to see a number of notable Russian fighters, the most well known of which are in the Cruiserweight division.
Amongst these Cruiserweights are Grigory Drozd (37-1, 26) who is nearing a world title fight. Before dreams of world titles however Drozd will need to defeat French Cruiserweight champion Jeremy Ouanna (14-8, 3) in what, in all honesty, should be an easy test for the talented "Pretty Boy". A victory for Drozd will almost certainly see him put next in line for one of the champions.
Another of the Russian Cruiserweights looking to earn a crack at a world title is the aggressive and hard hitting Rakhim Chakhkiev (17-1, 13) who takes on Juho Haapoja (20-4-1, 13) in what looks to be a decent match up but not great. We do love watching Chakhkiev though do tend to feel that if he can't take people out early in a bout he does struggle and this is likely to be the case next time he fights a tough world level opponent.
One other Cruiserweight bout on this card sees Maxim Maslov (12-1-1, 8) taking on Anar Mammadov (6-1) from Azerbaijan. This looks like the biggest mismatch from the Cruiserweight contests.
As well as the Cruiserweight bouts this card also features 3 other contests.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Another Russian Cruiserweight is in action in the United Kingdom as former WBA interim champion Valery Brudov (41-4, 28) battles against recent Light Heavyweight title challenger Tony Bellew (20-2-1, 12). Bellew, who was stopped last time out by Adonis Stevenson, has claimed that this move was long over-due, despite stating otherwise less than a year ago. Unfortunately Brudov however his career is long over-due and you need to go back to 2006 to find a win of note on his record.
With the WBO International Cruiserweight title up for grabs Brudov may be all to roll back the clock though we doubt it.
In the US a former opponent of Tony Bellew's, Isaac Chilemba (21-2-2, 9) will also be looking for a victory over a Russian as he takes on Light Heavyweight Denis Grachev (13-2-1, 8). We again struggle to see Grachev winning though this should certainly be more interesting than Bellew/Brudov.
In Germany we're expecting to see Azerbaijan's Welterweight hopeful Fariz Mammadov (14-2-1, 8) in action though he currently has no opponent listed.
(Photo courtesy of boxrec.com)
We know the new year has began but, without trying to sound moody, the boxing really hasn't. Sure we've had a world title fight, a female world title fight and one or two other bouts but it's still not really back to the usual action we expect to see...or is it? This Saturday may well be the official start to the boxing year with major fights in Asia and in Mexico as we finally get to say the year, has kicked off.
For us the key card is a small one in Japan at the Korakuen Hall. The show, promoted by Kadoebi Jewel, will be their first show of 2014 and will feature the first OPBF title fight of the new year as Yoshitaka Kato (26-4-1, 7) defends his belt against the unbeaten Masayoshi Nakatani (6-0, 5).
Although the more experience fighter, Kato will know that he's in for a tough one against the big hitting Nakatani, a gym mate of Kazuto Ioka and Ryo Miyazaki. Kato, both the OPBF and Japanese Lightweight champion, will only have his OPBF belt on the line though will know that a loss will really hurt his career whilst on the flip-side of that Nakatani will know that a win will put him on the platform to challenge for world honours like his more established gym mates. Whoever wins will certainly have to show how good they are.
On the same card we expect to see Yukinori Oguni (11-1, 2), the former OPBF Super Bantamweight champion, dipping his toe at Featherweight as he takes on Yuki Fujimoto (7-2-1, 2) in a 10 rounder. This bout, the chief support of the show, will be Oguni's second bout since losing his title to he excellent Shingo Wake back in March 2013.
Further down the card is Kenji Kubo (3-2, 1) who takes on Kota Sato (9-5-1, 4). Kubo, who is highly tipped despite his record, will be expected to easily beat Sato despite the relative lack of experience compared to Sato who has lost 3 of his last 7.
This will also be the card which sees former Japanese Light Middleweight champion Nobuhiro Ishida take part in a public sparring session with Yamato Fujinaka. If Ishida can impress the JBC with this sparring session he's expected to receive a Heavyweight ranking and a possible fight with Kyotaro Fujimoto could be made for the Japanese Heavyweight title in April.
In total we are expecting just 5 bouts on this show, but with the 3 mentioned above we're expecting a very solid all-round card with no real weak link, other than the relatively poor poster.
The Philippines-Metro Manila
Whilst we are really excited by the Japanese card we have to admit we're disappointed by the card that we appear to be getting in the Philippines. Originally we were expecting to see Sonny Boy Jaro (34-13-5, 24), the former WBC and Linear Flyweight champion, fight domestic journeyman Pit Anacaya (8-22-2, 1) and Florante Condes (25-8-1, 21), the former IBF Minimumweight champion, return to action to face Rey Morano (8-38-1, 1). Sadly the GAB haven't allowed either of these fights to take place on the grounds that they are mismatches.
Unfortunately this was a chance for both Condes, pictured above, and Jaro to put some losses behind them and get back to winning ways, though the GAB's decision has seen both fights cancelled and left the matchmaker without enough time to find replacement opponents.
Thankfully one bout that has passed the GAB's inspections sees the of the promising Neil John Tabanao (5-0, 4) in action. The unbeaten prospect takes on his biggest challenge so far as he battles Warren Mambuanag (6-3-2, 3) who should ask Tabanao some previously unasked questions in what looks to be a brilliant matched bout, unlike the 2 that were cancelled.
As well as the bout we've mentioned above we're expecting a total of 12 bouts courtesy of Jaro Promotion International. The show, which looks like a deep one, may not be that competitive but with all the bouts we'd expect at least one or two worth watching especially on the under-card.
As well as the fights in Asia we also have a trio of Filipino's in action in Mexico on a special "Mexico v Filipinas" show courtesy of Promociones del Pueblo.
In terms of name value the lowest profile of the bouts sees Adones Aguelo (20-8-2, 12) taking on Nery Saguilan (26-4-1, 10). Although it's a lower profile bout it's probably the best chance the Philippines has of getting a win on the board with both men being relatively well matched on paper and Aguelo being a slightly bigger puncher and the tougher of the two men.
Sadly we find it very hard to see a way to win for Lionel Mark Duran (11-9-2, 5) to over-come Ramon Garcia Hirales (19-4-1, 12), the former WBO Minimumweight champion. Although Garcia isn't great, and was blasted out in 4 rounds by Roman Gonzalez, he shouldn't have many problems with Duran who is tough but limited.
If life will be hard for Duran we expect it to be doubly hard for Vergel Nebran (11-6-1, 7) who will be trying to score a major upset against former WBC Super Flyweight champion Tomas Rojas (41-14-1-1, 27). Rojas, who has wins over Kohei Kono and Nobuo Nashiro, may have lost to both Suriyan Sor Rungvisai and Shinsuke Yamanaka in recent years but it's highly unlikely he loses to Nebran, and in fact the likely outcome is that Nebran doesn't hear the final bell.