The only action this coming Saturday comes from Cebu and although not being a massive card it does have several interesting match ups on it, including a very notable main event in one of the sports best division.
That main event will see unbeaten Light Flyweight prospect Christian Araneta (15-0, 13) take on former world title challenger Jerry Tomogdan (25-9-4, 13) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver title. The very hard hitting and promising Araneta is one of many Filipino prospects at Light Flyweight, and has scored several notable wins including a 22015 victory over Jesse Espinas. Coming in to this Araneta has stopped his last 4 opponents in a combined 11 rounds and will be hoping that sort of destruction continues here. As for Tomogdan he is best known for coming up short in a world title fight against Wanheng Menayothin, though has faced other notable foes with losses to Jobert Alvarez, Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep, Richard Claveras and Pedro Guevara as well as a notable 2017 win against Riku Kano. We suspect that the power and size of Araneta will be too much, but Tomogdan's experience could keep him competitive here.
A second title bout will see unbeaten Frenchman Jaber Zayani (14-0, 8) battle against former Satoshi Shimizu foe Eduardo Mancito (16-8-2, 9) in a bout for the WBO Oriental Super Featherweight title. We're not sure how Zayani, qualifies for an Oriental title but his last two bouts have been in Thailand and he'll be hoping to continue his success in Asia here, and extend his unbeaten record. As for Mancito he has lost 3 of his last 4, but that losing run did come to an end last time out when he defeated limited veteran Danilo Pena. Sadly a win over Pena is unlikely to help Mancito here against Zayani, who should come out on top without too many problems.
A third bout of not will see the once touted Jobert Alvarez (17-2-2, 7) take on Gerpaul Valero (22-21-4, 16). Valero was once 1-13-3 and has turned his record around since then, but in the last few years he has he has began to struggle again, going 1-4-1 in his last 6 bouts. Alvarez on the other hand was expected to be a star following a very competitive loss to Juan Francisco Estrada. Since then he has failed to live up to expectation, but is still young enough to bounce back. Sadly for Alvarez he was very unlucky not to claim an OPBF title last October, when he was held to a draw by Keisuke Nakayama, but should come out on top here with very few problems.
In Cebu we'll see the next ALA show, and it'll feature a number of Filipino prospects who are tipped for big things.
One of those prospects is the hard hitting, and once beaten, Virgel Vitor (12-1, 7). The 20 year old Vitor has won his last 8 bouts and will be looking to continue that winning run as he takes on the domestic journeyman Gerpaul Valero (22-20-4, 16). Vitor is coming into this bout on the back of defeat domestic wins against the likes of Michael Escobia and John Ray Logatiman but on paper this should be a better test. Valero was once 1-13-3 and has since gone 21-7-1 (16) and although no world beater is far better than his record suggests. This is a potential banana skin for Vitor, but one he should be able to over-come.
Another of the prospects in action is the excellent KJ Cataraja (7-0, 6), who faces off with Indonesian foe Frengky Rohi (5-5-1, 1) in a 10 rounder. Given that Cataraja turned professional with quite a bit of fanfare and hype it's frustrating to still see him fighting at this level almost 3 years after his debut. Cataraja is a sensational talent and really should be stepped up sooner rather than later. More annoyingly is that this bout is actually a step backwards for the unbeaten 23 year old, following an excellent win against Wiljan Ugbaniel last September. Rohi has lost his last 5 bouts, and is 0-4 outside of Indonesia. Amazingly Rohi has already lost 4 times in 2018 and it's hard to see him ending this run against someone as talented as Cataraja.
The third prospect in action will be Christian Bacolod (8-0, 6), the heavy handed 23 year old will be facing off against fellow Filipino Mervin Lulu (5-2-2, 2) in what looks likely to be the most interesting match up featuring a prospect. Bacolod has been really dangerous early in bouts, scoring all 6 of his stoppages in the first 3 rounds, but has shown the ability to fight over 6 rounds, having taken a couple of 6 round decisions. Lulu has been stopped twice, with one of those losses coming to recent world title challenger Vince Paras. Given his stoppage losses we don't see Lulu surviving with Bacolod here.
In Quebec fans will see exciting Kazakh hopeful Nurzat Sabirov (6-0, 5) fight for the third time this year. The promising Super Middleweight / Light Heavyweight will be taking on Guillermo Romero (12-6, 9) in an 8 rounder. On paper this looks a decent test for the touted Kazakh but should be a straight forward win given that Romero has been stopped in 5 of his 6 defeated, including a 5th roind stoppage last time out.
Mandaue City, Philippines
The biggest show this coming Friday for us is in the Philippines, where we will see a nice mix of bouts, ranging from notable names to unbeaten prospects.
One of the biggest names on the card is the teak tough, and heavy handed, Jason Canoy (26-7-2, 19). Canoy, who was the debut opponent of Hinata Maruta, will be up against relatively notable domestic foe Renerio Arizala (13-7-2, 5) in what should be a straight forward win for Canoy. The talented Canoy was beaten last time out, losing a split decision in in South Africa to Mzuvukile Magwaca, but should have far too much for Arizala, who struggled in recent years and has scored just 1 win in his last 8 bouts.
In the only title bout on the card fans will be able to see Jhaleel Payao (15-1, 9) make his first defense of the PBF Bantamweight title, as he takes on the heavy handed Raul Yu (9-2-2, 8). The talented Payao has only been beaten by the very skilful Michael Dasmarinas, and since that loss has bounced back with 4 straight forward domestic wins, including his title winning effort back in March against Nelson Tinampay. The big punching Yu was beaten last time out, losing a wide decision to Jade Bornea, but should be viewed as a live challenger here, and he certainly has the edge in power here. This should be a really interesting match up, but we do see the champion retaining his title.
Another pretty decent match up on this card will see Kenny Demecillo (12-4-2, 7) take on domestic banana skin Gerpaul Valero (21-19-4, 15), in what could be a very tricky match up. On paper Demecillo will be the favourite, though he did lose his last bout, suffering a decision loss to Mark Anthony Geraldo, and Valero has scored notable upsets in the past.
Explosive youngster Tomjune Mangubat (7-0, 7) will be seeking to continue his impressive start as he battles against Crisanto Contemprato (6-3-1, 4) in an decent looking match up. The 20 year old Mangubat is being gradually stepped up, but has so far just been too powerful for everyone he's faced,scoring 7 T/KO's in just 11 combined rounds. The 25 year old Contemprato has only been stopped once in 10 bouts, and that was up at Super Featherweight, suggesting he can take a shot, which he'll need to do to over-come Mangubat.
Also on the under is a battle of unbeaten fighters as Rimon Rama (6-0-1, 4) takes on Richard Bulacan (3-0, 3) in a match up that looks likely to be explosive,a little bit wild and very exciting. Despite both men being novices this is scheduled for 8 rounds, and is 18 year old Rama's second bout scheduled for the distance.
In Canada we'll see touted Kazakh hopeful Batyrzhan Jukembayev (9-0-0-2, 8) take a huge step up in class as he faces off with once touted Panamanian Alberto Mosquera (24-3-2-2, 16). The Kazakh has been an exciting fighter so far, and looks like a very dangerous man with serious power, though has shown decent stamina with an 8 round decision win last year. It's worth noting that whilst Mosquera is a decent fighter he has been stopped in al 3 of his defeats and Jukembayev can certainly punch.
In the US fight fans will get the chance to see former Uzbek amateur star Rustam Tulaganov (0-0) make his professional debut. The talented 26 year old will be debuting in a 4 rounder, though the reality is that he could be fast tracked through the ranks and facing notable names before the end of 2018.
Negros Occidental, Philippines
This coming Wednesday there will be a small profile show in the Philippines.
The main event of the card will be a 10 rounder that pits Jess Rhey Waminal (10-1-1, 6) against the highly experienced, and very streaky, Gerpaul Valero (21-18-4, 15). Coming in to this Waminal is on a nice run, having won his last 4 bouts, but they haven't come against fighters as heavy handed, or as experienced as Valero. On paper Valero is a journeyman, however since the start of 2011 he has gone 20-5-1 (15) and is certainly not as bad as his record suggests. This could be a very interesting match up.
In a supporting bout Lorenz Ladrada (4-0, 2) will risk his unbeaten record against Lenmar Presillas (2-4, 1). The 19 year old Ladrada will be looking to keep his run going, and he should manage that given that Presillas has lost his last 4 bouts in a row and is more than a year removed from his last win.
March 6th-Valero returns, Saulong and Sonsona battle limited foes in the Philippines, Seki and Teeraporn to be tested in Germany
The week ends with lower profile action but there is plenty of it.
The only Asian show of the day takes place in Laguna where a number of notable Filipino fighters will be in action.
The most notable of the bouts will see Ernesto Saulong (16-1-1, 6) battle against Jaderes Padua (9-4-1, 6) in a 10 round bout. Saulong, has won his last 2 bouts after being stopped by the heavy handed Rey Megrino last year. Coming into this bout Padua has been stopped in 3 of his last 4, including a 72 second knockout loss last year to Rikiya Fukuhara
Another 10 round will see Eden Sonsona (32-6-2, 10) battle against the limited but tough Rex Olisa (10-27-1, 8). Sonsona will, obviously, be favoured but he'll almost certainly have to work for his win and Olisa did manage to give Vinvin Rufino a very good test last December.
As well as the two bouts mentioned there are several other bouts scheduled for this show.
In Australia fans get the chance to see one of the most under-rated fighters on the planet look to act an upsetter once again. That fighter is the tough Gerpaul Valero (18-16-3, 12) who takes on the unbeaten Andrew Moloney (2-0, 2) in a 6 round bout. Valero has one of the most deceiving records in the sport having begun his career 1-13-3, since then he has gone 17-3 (11). Notably Valero was stopped in a round last time out, by Aston Palicte, though will be looking to upset his touted foe here.
Another Filipino on this card is Alvin Bais (14-4, 3) who battles the unbeaten Jason Moloney (2-0, 2) in another tough looking bout. Sadly for Bais he has lost 4 of his last 5, with 3 stoppage losses, and is going to struggle here.
In Germany there will be a pair of Asian female fighters in action. One of those is Swiss based Japanese fighter Aniya Seki (26-3-2, 2) who will be up against the unbeaten Christina McMahon (6-0, 3) in a bout for the WBC International female Bantamweight title. Seki has won her last 2 bouts, both against Claudia Ferenczi, though lingering memories or her stoppage loss to Judith Rodriguez will linger coming into this bout.
The other Asian in action here is Thailand's Teeraporn Pannimit (20-7, 5) who is in an incredibly tough bout against Raja Amasheh (17-0-1, 4) in a bout for the WBC Silver female Flyweight title. The 22 year old Pannimit has been in with a number of top fighters, such as Momo Koseki, Susi Kentikian, Jessica Chavez and Su-Yun Hong and although she's always come up short at the top level she has got that top level of experience