Agusan del Norte, Philippines
The better of two Asian shows comes from the Philippines, where we get two national title fights and the chance to see the ring return of Orlie Silvestre, who impressed us earlier this year.
One of the title bouts will see the once beaten Genisis Libranza (16-1, 10) defending the GAB Flyweight title against against the hard matched Renz Rosia (14-6-1, 7). On paper this looks like a mismatch in favour of the champion but the reality is that this should be very competitive. Libranza has been matched much easier than Rosia. Both have lost to Moruti Mthalane but Rosia has also come up short against the likes of Giemel Magramo, Makazole Tete and Kongfah CP Freshmart, all of whom are above the level of Libranza's best wins.
Another title bout on this show will see the hard hitting Jayar Inson (17-1, 11) take on the battle worn Allan Tanada (15-7-3, 7), in what will be Inson's first defense of the GAB Welterweigth title. The 27 year old Inson impressed us in 2016, when he demolished Ryota Yada in 7 rounds, and despite losing to Thulani Mbenge after that fight, he is on a good run with a notable win over Terry Tzouramanis last time out. The 26 year old Tanada will be fighting for the first time in over a year and is 2-5 in the last 4 years, a long way removed from the fighter who upset Rikiya Fukuhara for the OPBF Super Featherweight title in 2010. Despite being 26 Tanada might be the oldest 26 year old in the sport, and is likely to be under-sized here against the powerful Inson.
As mentioned we'll also see Orlie Silvestre (11-4-1, 7) on this card, as he takes on Indonesian visitor Hengky Baransano (13-12, 5). We were really impressed by Silvestre last time out, when he pushed Reiya Konishi all the way, and can't see anything but a win for Silvestre here. Baransano has been stopped in 10 of his 12 losses and we expect to see him being taken out again here.
In China there's a small show, which is unlikely to get too much attention that's despite the fact it does feature some notable talent on it.
Included on the show with be China's Junjun He (1-0), who takes on Tanzania's Sunday Kiwale (13-10-4, 7). On paper He looks to be the under-dog but he was a very good amateur, with WSB experience, and looked impressive on his professional debut this past September. Kiwale on the other hand is limited, and his only win outside of Tanzania saw him coming in over 4lbs over-weight.
Another Chinese prospect on this card is Lanhai Xiao (1-0, 1), who also debuted in September. Xiao will be up against Thai foe Worawatchai Boonjan (12-17-1, 11). The Chinese fighter is a 23 who looked excellent on his debut in September, but was up against a fellow novice. In this fighter he's up against a fighter with plenty of experience, but a man who has been stopped 12 times in his career, and 4 times this year! We have to worry about Boonjan's health going forward given how frequently he is being stopped.
This coming Sunday is an interesting day for Asian fight fans. We get a world title fight, several interesting prospects, and a recent world title challenger all in action.
The biggest bout for the day, by some margin, is in Fukuoka and will see WBC female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (17-4-1, 8) take on long reigning WBC Atomweight queen Momo Koseki (23-2-1, 9). The bout will see Koseki move up in weight after an incredible 9 year reign as the Atomweight champion, which has seen her defend the title an incredible 17 times. For Kuroki the bout will be her 6th defense, and if she wins here she really will continue to build her reputation as the rising force in the division, perhaps even solidifying her place as the division's #2 fighter behind Anabel Ortiz.
Another notable female bout on this card will see Sana Hazuki (6-2, 2) battle Nanae Suzuki (5-2, 1) in a bout to decide the mandatory challengers for the Japanese female Atomweight title. On paper this is a real 50-50 fight with both being beatable but decent fighters, at least at domestic level. Coming in Suzuki has won her last 4, including a notable win over Chie Higano last time out, whilst Hazuki has gone 2-2 in her last 4, but has fought a slightly higher level of competition.
We get a trio of notable fighters in Ishikawa, unfortunately all three look like total mismatches on paper. The one possible saving grace of this show is a Japanese female title bout.
The main event of the card sees the entertaining Hurricane Futa (22-7-1, 13) take on Thai novice Detanan Rongriankila Korat (1-1, 1), in what looks set to be an easy ring return for Futa following a 5th round TKO loss to Ernie Sanchez in April. The tough Futa had never previously been stopped, so this bout will be all about how he is mentally following that defeat.
Another man returning to the ring following a loss last time out is Genesis Servania (29-1, 12), who put in a solid showing en route to a loss against Oscar Valdez in a WBO Featherweight title fight. The Japanese based Filipino stepped up and impressed against Valdez and will fighting a stay busy bout against a Thai here, before potentially moving towards a second world title fight in 2018.
The third mismatch featuring a fighter of note will see OPBF ranked Super Bantamweight Takashi Igarashi (11-3, 4) face off with Satopet Saithonggym (0-2). Coming in to this Igarashi has won his last 4, and will be looking for a third win of the year here. Satopet will be fighting for the third time this year, and in his previous bouts of the year he was stopped, with both bouts coming in Japan. It'd be a surprise to see the Thai avoid a third straight stoppage loss.
Arguably the one bout of real intrigue here is a Japanese female Featherweight title fight, as Asami Jinnari (5-2, 2) takes on Wakako Fujiwara (4-2-1, 2) for the vacant title. The 33 year old Jinnari has won her last two, following a 2016 loss to Ayumi Goto, whilst the 36 year old Fujiwara is aon a 3 fight winning run and appears to have the moment coming in to this one.
In Tokyo fight fans get the chance to see a couple of notable fighters, but sadly they are both in mismatches.
One of those fighters is the really promising and very much in form Reiya Abe (15-2, 7). Abe has had a really great few years and is riding a 7 fight winning streak with notable wins against the likes of Ryo Hino, Hikaru Marugame, Tsuyoshi Tameda and Satoshi Hosono. Given that level of competition that Abe has been facing we can't begrudge him an easy bout, but it's still disappointing that he's not being moved more aggressively towards a title fight of some kind.
In another bout fans will see 2016 Super Featherweight Rookie of the year Yuji Awata (9-4, 3) in action. Sadly, like Abe, he's up against a Thai visitor and is not expected to get much of a test here.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
In the Philippines there's a small but relative intriguing card.
The main event of the card looks likely to be a genuine entertaining contest as the once beaten Genisis Libranza (13-1, 9) takes on the often exciting Michael Enriquez (13-8-1, 9). The talented Libranza has notched up two wins since suffering a loss in April to Moruti Mthalane and will be favoured here against his more experienced foe. On paper Enriquez looks limited and he's lost 6 of his last 9, however he has been in thrillers with Rex Tso and Stamp Kiatniwat and we suspect this could also be a very entertaining contest, and Enriquez is likely to put up a better than his record suggests.
In a notable step up we'll see 20 year old Vincent Astrolabio (10-0, 7) take on former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (18-11-3, 4). The unbeaten youngster stopped 7 of his first 8 but has gone the distance in his last 2 bouts and will likely feel he's proven his stamina in those two bouts. Apolinario foiught for the WBA Bantamweight title way back in 2013, losing a wide decision to Koki Kameda. Since that loss he has gone 2-8 and it's likely to become 2-9 here, with Apolinario having shown little desire since the loss to Kameda.
One really interesting bout here will see 19 year old Vince Paras (12-0, 10) risk his unbeaten record against fellow unbeaten Aldren Moreno (3-0, 2). The bout really could be very exciting. Both fighters are young, punchers who are being given an opportunity to prove themselves here. On paper Paras's extra experience will likely serve him well here, but Moreno was a former amateur stand out and his team wouldn't throw him to the wolves unless they believed he could win.
Western Cape, South Africa
The biggest bout to feature an Asian this coming Friday will see unbeaten Filipino Genisis Libranza (11-0, 8) battle with former IBF Flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane (32-2, 21), in a bout for the IBO Flyweight crown. Coming in to this Mthalane will be looking to make his third defense of the title, a title that he won back in 2014 against Jether Oliva. Although the champion Mthalane hasn't fought since December 2015 and is 35 later this year. Aged 23 Libranza is a real unknown, but a win here would really boost his standing in the sport, and could well see him become one of the new faces at Flyweight. Although it doesn't look it on paper this really could be a very interesting bout.
In the US fight fans will be able to see American based Kazakh novice Ashkat Ualikhanov (1-1, 1) battle against Antonio Sanchez (5-4-2, 3), in what looks like a well matched bout on paper.
The month of June has started relatively slowly though this Saturday sees things heating up with a lot of action featuring Asian fighters, including notable bouts outside of Asia.
One of those notable bouts is set to take place in the UK where Thai veteran Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (38-7-1, 18) faces former IBF Bantamweight champion Paul Butler (21-1, 12) in a bout for the WBO International Super Flyweight title, and a bout that could well set the winner on the way to facing world champion Naoya Inoue. For Petchbarngborn the bout sees him risking a 16 fight winning streak though he will be the clear under-dog and will be facing one of his best opponents to date. For Butler the bout is a step up in class, but one he will be strongly favoured to win.
Staying “on the road” Indonesian fighter Daud Yordan (35-3-0-1, 24) will be in Uruguay where he will face Argentinian fighter Cristian Rafael Coria (24-4-2, 9) in a bout for the “Interim” WBA International Lightweight title. Yordan should be the favourite here, but will be looking to do more than “just win” in what could potentially be a huge stepping stone towards a world title fight, later in the year.
Continuing with title action action outside of Asian fight fans in the US will see Filipino Jhon Gemino (13-6-1, 5) battle against the unbeaten, and heavy handed, Christian Gonzalez (13-0, 12) for the WBC Youth Lightweight title. This looks like a huge ask for Gemino but he will go in to the ring knowing that a win would open up some doors, and be a genuinely good win.
Quintana Roo, Mexico
One final bout of note outside of Asia will see former OPBF title challenger Jovylito Aligarbes (12-3, 6) face off against Edgar Jimenez (21-11-2, 15) in what looks like a well matched bout in Jimenez's homeland of Mexico.
As well as the bouts outside of Asia there is some interesting match ups in Asia.
One of those interesting match ups sees former world title challenger Daiki Kaneko (22-5-3, 15) battle against Ribo Takahata (12-6-1, 4), in what could see the winner move towards a title fight. On paper Kaneko should be strongly favoured however he has lost 3 of his last 6 and doesn't look like the fighter that many tipped to become a world champion, following his competitive bout with Takashi Uchiyama at the end of 2013.
Another really good bout will see Shingo Eto (17-4-1, 9) face the once beaten Masaru Sueyoshi (11-1, 7). Eto is the better known man here but he has lost twice in his last 5 bouts and knows that another loss here could be the end of his title dreams. For Sueyoshi the bout will see him going for a 9th straight win and build on victories over the likes of Yuta Nagai and Kazuma Sanpei. This could be the bout of the day and is really well matched.
Talking about the possible “bout of the day” it's hard not to get a little bit excited about seeing Kenji Ono (10-1, 5) face Takumi Suda (12-11-2, 3). The records may not suggest that this one will be anything special but Ono has been in a FOTY once already this year, his 8th round win over Jun Takigawa, and could be forced into a war here against the under-rated Suda.
Davao del Sur, Philippines
There's also action in the Philippines, though the matches here are mostly looking like mismatches.
The biggest of the mismatches sees former Filipino Light Welterweight champion Adones Cabalquinto (22-1, 15) battle against journeyman Rodel Wenceslao (11-11-1, 4). Cabalquinto was once tipped for big things but has seen his career flat line recently, despite that he should be far too good for Wenceslao here.
Thankfully there are some prospects on this card, despite them being in mismatches. One of those prospects is Genesis Libranza (9-0, 6) who looks to extend his perfect start as he battles veteran Jetly Purisima (21-18-4, 6). Although likely to be a mismatch this is a step up for Libranza and is the right way to move the promising 22 year “Cobra”.
Another prospect of note on this show is Lightweight hopeful Jayar Inson (10-0, 7), who faces Richard Betos (20-14-1, 7). This another “logical step” for a prospect, but one that doesn't look too exciting on paper. Inson has impressed in recent times and some are tipping him to fight for regional honours in the near future, he will however have to see off fighters like Betos if he's to progress to fighting for an OPBF title
This coming Saturday is certainly a busy day with a number of shows that are worthy of noting.
On paper the best show of the day is an Osaka Teiken show at the EDION Arena Osaka. The card features 3 bouts of note despite none of the bouts being title affairs.
The main event of the card sees Japanese and OPBF ranked prospect Sho Nakazawa (7-0, 4) battling against Daisuke Watanabe (2-1, 2). On paper this looks like a mismatch, especially given the hype and expectancy that Nakazawa has on his shoulders, however Watanabe has been matched hard and could well bring a hunger and desire that Nakazawa hasn't yet seen. If the “Sho of Naniwa” gets through this one then it's likely that he will be moved into a title bout in 2016, however we don't have this one pegged down as a foregone conclusion.
One bout that is a foregone conclusion will see the once beaten Tatsuya Ikemizu (12-1, 5) battle against a Thai foe, who is thought to be very inexperienced and was brought in at very late notice. The 22 year old Ikemizu is coming into this one following his first loss, though that loss did come to the talented Mark John Yap, who is a real handful despite his less than flattering record. We can't see this being any more than a confidence builder for the Osaka based Japanese youngster.
Whilst Ikemizu and Nakazawa are worth of some attention it's fair to say that more fans will be interested in a 4 rounder that features the promising Juiki Tatsuyoshi (2-0, 2). Juiki, the son of Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, will be hoping to record a 3rd straight stoppage win as he faces Koichi Wakita (2-1). Although not regarded as a major prospect Tatsuyoshi has looked exciting, aggressive and heavy handed so far, and those traits should see him to a win here.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
In Sri Lanka fight fans get an historic event as the country puts on it's first ever professional boxing card. The show, which will be the first to be held in Colombia since Sri Lanka was formed more than 60 years ago, is an event being promoted by a Japanese promoter who will be hoping his fighter can become the first champion to successfully defend a world title in the country.
That aforementioned world champion is WBO Atomweight queen Nao Ikeyama (16-3-1, 4) who defends her title, at the age of 46, against Filipino challenger Jujeath Nagaowa (13-15-1, 8). On paper this looks like a straight forward defense for the champion, however she is 18 years old than the challenger and “father” time is currently unbeaten in the ring. Ikeyama is certainly among the better “40+” fighters but we don't expect her to reign for too long and Nagaowa may have got her at the right time here.
Another female bout on this card will see Tamao Ozawa (9-2, 2) take on Thailand's Kledpetch KKP (6-4, 1) in what looks likely to be a simple win for Ozawa, who won an OPBF title just a couple of fights back and is clearly hoping to achieve bigger and better things before her career is over.
In a rare show from Azerbaijan fans get the chance to see a local “star” as Fariz Mammadov (18-2-1, 12) battle for the WBF Light Middleweight title. The Baku local appears to be in a tough one on paper as he takes on Badru Lusambya (24-2-2, 22), from Uganda. This is an interesting match up on paper, and although Lusambya, who is known as “Mr Crush”, has lost his most notable bouts his power does look legitimate and could be very problematic for Mammadov.
Manchester, United Kingdom
In the UK fans will see the return to the ring of Indian star Vijender Singh (2-0, 2) who looks for his third straight stoppage win as he takes on Samet Hyuseinov (7-7, 1). On paper this is, by far, the most testing bout of Singh's career, however that's not saying much and we don't expect Singh to really break a sweat here against a Bulgarian opponent who has won just one of his last 5 bouts.
Talented Filipino Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr (16-0, 12) will be returning to the ring to continue his career, and fight for the 4th time this year. Sadly at the time of writing his opponent hasn't been named, though it's unlikely to be anyone testing for the Filipino who has fought some very poor opposition in his last 3 contests. We don't like seeing mismatches so we are hoping that in 2016 Penalosa Jr will step his competition up rather than just “staying busy” as he has done recently.
Davao del Norte, Philippines
In the Philippines fans get the chance to see another unbeaten Filipino prospect in action as 22 year old Flyweight hopeful Genesis Libranza (8-0, 5) takes on compatriot Juan Purisima (11-8-1, 4). On paper it's hard to bet against Libranza however Purisima is better than his record suggests and has scored upsets against the likes of Renren Tesorio and Welbeth Loberanis, whilst also sharing the ring with world class fighters, like Roman Gonzalez and Jerwin Ancajas. This is a much better fight the records suggest.
Distrito Federal, Mexico
In Mexico fans will get the chance to see former world title challenge Nana Yoshikawa (4-1, 2) take on Denisse De La Cruz (0-1). This is Yoshikawa's first bout since losing to Anable Ortiz in a bout for the WBA female Minimumweight title, back in April. Despite the loss, and the fact this is her first bout outside of Osaka, it's hard to see Yoshikawa losing to Nana.
The most notable action featuring Asian fighters this coming Sunday comes from Texas where we get two former world champions in action as they both look bounce back from losses in world title action.
Of the two men the most notable is former WBO Bantamweight champion Tomoki Kameda (31-1, 19) who faces Englishman Jamie McDonnell (26-2-1, 12), in an attempt to avenge his first career defeat and claim the WBA Bantamweight title. These two faced each other earlier this year in a brilliantly compelling bout that saw McDonnell climb off the canvas to take a narrow decision win over the youngster of the 3 Kameda brothers. Kameda, who had a rematch clause, will be looking to become a 2-time world champion but will need to show much more than he did in the first meetign with McDonnell, especially down the stretch.
The other is Tomoki's older brother Daiki Kameda (29-4, 18). Daiki, a former Flyweight and Super Flyweight world champion, willl be facing Mexican slugger Victor Ruiz (19-5, 14) in what looks like a good match up on paper. Kameda hasn't fought since late 2013, when he lost a Super Flyweight unification bout to Liborio Solis, and will likely be rusty here though should over-come Ruiz who has a very padded looking record.
Whilst the Kameda's will be the biggest name Japanese fighters in action they will certainly not be the only Japanese fighters in action with a show in Toyama.
Notably this show will be headlined by two non-Japanese fighters as Venezuelan Juan Jose Landaeta (26-8-1, 20) battles against Panama's Walter Tello (21-8, 8). Landaeta is now based in Japan and will be hoping show some of the form that once lead him to holding the WBA interim Minimumweight title. As for Tello this will be his second bout since he was stopped by Randy Petalcorin in June 2014, and we'd expect him to come up short again here.
In another feature bout on this card fans will see the once beaten Aiko Yamagishi (4-1-1, 2) battle former world title challenger Saemi Hanagata (9-6-2, 4) in a 6 round female bout. Hanagata has come up short in her last two bouts but did run Naoko Shibata very close back in February and we expect her to show her ability here. Notably Yamagishi was stopped last time out and this is a big step up in class for her.
The most attractive of three Filipino shows comes from Benguet where we get two bouts that have really caught our eye.
The most notable of those bouts will see the once beaten Ben Mananquil (10-1-2, 2) battle against former world ranked fighter Mateo Handig (13-9, 7) in an intriguing Super Flyweight bout. We are fans of Mananquil, who at 23 years old is genuine one to keep an eye on. Handig, who holds a major win over Katsunari Takayama has lost his last 4 and will know that another defeat will spell the end of any dreams he has to make a real name for himself.
The other bout will see former world ranked slugger Alie Laurel (13-4, 9) take on Gerry Patenio (4-8-2, 2). Although this is a mismatch we always enjoy watching Laurel in action and he certainly knows a thing or two about upsets, holding wins over Nobuhisa Coronita Doi and Tiger Tor Buamas. We're looking forward to seeing more of Laurel down the line, but this is an easy win following a loss to Ernesto Saulong back in May.
As well as the bouts mentioned there will be a number of bouts featuring Indian fighters.
Another notable show comes from Wastern Samar.
The most interesting bout on this card will see the once beaten Neil John Tabanao (11-1,7) attempt to bounce back from his recent loss to Randy Braga. The talented and young Tabano will be up against the limited Alvin Makiling (10-12-3, 3) in what should be a one-sided bout with the 21 year old Tabano coming out on top.
In an 8 round support bout the unbeaten Rambo Lagos (4-0-2, 2) will be up against the limited JR Salvador (5-23-3). This should again be a win for the unbeaten man though this could be an interesting test for Lagos.
One other bout of note here will see 20 year old Margarito Moya (7-1, 2) in action. Moya was originally reported to be up against Renan Portes (4-2, 1), though it now looks like Moya is out of the bout.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
On another Filipino show fans will get the chance to see promising 21 year old Genesis Libranza (7-0, 5) battle against the very experienced Michael Rodriguez (13-41-1, 3) in a bout set for 10. It's hard to go against the unbeaten man though he does have a lot of questions to be asked before he's stepped up too much.
In the co-feature of this show fans will see the return to the ring of Drian Francisco (27-3-1, 21) who faces Jilo Merlin (13-23-2, 2). This will be Francisco's first bout since he was beaten in a round by Jason Canoy, who was recently announced as the opponent for Hianata Maruta's upcoming debut, and this is as a safe a comeback fight as Francisco could possibly have with Melin having lost his last 8.