Chong Qing, China
The most notable action for us this coming Thursday takes place in Chong Qing, where fans will get 4 regional title fights and the ring return of a former world title challenger.
One of those bouts will see once beaten Chinese hopeful Peng Qu (12-1-1, 8) face off with Gasan Gasanov (14-5-1, 12) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Heavyweight title. The lanky Peng comes into this bout on the back of two opening round blow outs and will be looking to continue that run in his first 10 rounder. The 26 year old Gasanov also comes into the bout on the back of two blow out wins, but has been stopped in all 5 of his losses, including one in China earlier this year to Fanlong Meng.
In an IBF Pan Pacific Light Middleweight title fight fans will see Indonesian visitor Larry Siwu (26-9, 22) take on China's Tong Hui Li (9-1, 5). Of the two men it's Siwu who is much better known, and has shared the ring with the likes of Teerachai Kratingdaenggym, Keita Obara, Sirimongkol Singwancha and Qudratillo Abduqaxorov. Although not a world class fighter Siwu is certainly well tested and has shown he can fight at a decent level. Although relatively unknown Li has shown some promise and has won his last 4, include his US debut. This is a big step up for the local, but a win will push him towards the rankings. This is an interesting bout, despite not being a big one.
In a battle of unbeaten fighters Kaisheng Fu (6-0, 1) will take on the heavy handed Yongqiang Yang (7-0, 6) for the WBO China Zone Light Welterweight title. The 30 year old Fu has won his last 2 bouts by very close decision and is rather lucky to still have a 100% winning record. The same cannot be said of Yang, who has only faced limited foes, but has typically blasted them out, including Indonesian journeyman Geisler AP who was stopped inside a round back in April.
Another WBO China Zone title bout takes place at Welterweight and will see Abulimiti Tuersunniyazi (4-1-1, 3) take on the unbeaten Youli Dong (9-0-1, 6). The 26 year old Tuersunniyazi has had mixed success recently, going 1-1-1 in his last 3 bouts and has yet to really shine. Dong on the other hand is unbeaten in 10, and has won his last 9, with 6 straight stoppages. It's worth noting that whilst Dong's record ticks the right boxes on paper, his competition is paper thin and he has only really fought novices.
Another notable bout will see 22 year old Filipino prospect Adam Diu Abdulhamid (11-4, 4) take on former world title challenger Ik Yang (19-2-0-1, 14). For the Filipino the bout is a huge step up, and he comes into the bout having lost 2 of his last 4, including an opening round blow out in Russia and a decision defeat in Thailand. Yang has lost his last 2, losing to Cesar Rene Cuenca and Leonardo Zappavigna, and his career looks like it's falling apart, though he will know this is a chance to get a much needed win, and another loss will likely be the end for the “Wild man”. This is a must win for both fighters, and could be a very entertaining contest, despite no title being on the line.
In the US fight fans will be able to see unbeaten Kazakh novice Yedil Kozhamberdiyev (1-0, 1) fight in his first 6 rounder. The Kazakh fighter will be up against 22 year old American Blake LaCaze (3-4-1, 1), who has had mixed results, and shouldn't prove to be any sort of a threat for Kozhamberdiyev.
The most significant bouts featuring Asian fights this Saturday both come from a stacked card in Las Vegas where Bob Arum is putting on a bumper show with several good looking bouts, including a mouth watering world title unification fight.
The most interesting bout with an Asian interest on this card will see China's IK Yang (19-1-0-1, 14) face off against Leonardo Zappavigna (34-2, 24) in an IBF Light Welterweight eliminator. The bout looks almost certain to be a thriller with both fighters having serious flaws and being relatively free swinging. Of the two Zappavigna is the more proven however Yang is the bigger puncher and has the toughness that should help him to a very competitive victory.
The other Asian fighter on this card is Japanese Middleweight contender Ryota Murata (10-0,7) who takes on the much more experienced George Tahdooahnippah (34-2-3-2, 24) in what will be Murata's second bout Stateside. Murata failed to shine on his US debut, when he beat Gunnar Jackson, but should manage to look here against an opponent who has little to threaten him. Another other than an impressive victory will seriously harm Murata's hopes of becoming a star in the US.
It's not just in the US where we get some interesting match ups with Asian fighters as Singapore hosts a very intriguing card.
In the main event of the show fight fans will see promising Uzbek Qudratillo Abduqaxorov (7-0, 5) face off against once beaten Filipino Adones Cabalquinto (23-1, 15) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Welterweight title. The very talented Abduqaxorov has impressed so far in his career but this is a very credible step up and a win will put him on the boxing map. For Cabalquinto the bout is a must win with many criticising his career after a good start, with him facing a string of limited opponents.
In an interesting all Filipino bout Jeson Umbal (10-5, 7) will be up against Mark Anthony Geraldo (33-6-3, 15) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Bantamweight title. Geraldo has lost 2 of his last 4, though was closing in on a world title fight before those losses. He will be favoured over Umbal, though knows that another loss will be the end of his hopes as a contender. Interestingly this will be the second time these two men have fought this year, with Geraldo beating Umbal back in February.
A really testing bout will see former amateur stand out Azizbek Abdugofurov (2-0, 2) battle against Thailand's Chaloemporn Singwancha (17-0, 13) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Middleweight title. The 24 year old Abdugofurov is a hotly tipped Uzbek prospect but this is a monstrous step up for a guy who only debuted in May! The Thai will be favoured on paper but is is one of his first bouts with a guy actually facing him with the intention of winning, and that's without mentioning that Abdugofurov was a very accomplished amateur fighter.
Another title bout will see Muhamad Farkhan (1-0, 1) face off with Indonesian Elly Pangaribuan (4-7-2, 1) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Cruiserweight title. We like Farkhan's desire to win a title at such an early stage but the WBC really should explain why either guy is fighting for any sort of belt here.
One other bout of note sees our Canadian friend Ryan Ford (6-0, 4) in action for the first time since he beat Thailand's Manus Boonjumnong. The unbeaten Canadian will be up against Malaysian Muhammad Meeraj (2-0) in what should be an interesting bout. Ford will certainly be favoured but it seems that Meeraj should be the bigger fighter in the ring and could pose serious questions to the aggressive Canadian.
We also have title action in Indonesia where fans get two title fights.
One of those is for the Indonesian Featherweight title and will see the experienced James Mokoginta (30-18-3, 17) battle against Gusti Elnino (3-9, 1). This looks like a straight forward win for Mokoginta however he's certainly beatable and has lost 3 of his last 6.
The other title fight will see Ruben Manakane (17-16-1, 11) battle against Marten Kisamlu (3-6,1) - Indonesian Super Bantamweight title. This is a very competitive bout, despite the huge different in the records, and should be a genuinely compelling match of up for the fans in Jakarta.
This coming Saturday is a very busy day in Asian boxing circles with a lot of fighters in action, particularly in China.
The most notable the shows comes from Shanghai where fight fans will get the chance to see a number of big names in action.
The main event sees former world title challenger Zou Shiming (6-1, 1) fight for the first time since he lost to Amnat Ruenroeng last March. The Chinese fighter looks to be in tough against 21 year old Brazilian puncher Natan Santana Coutinho (12-0, 10) but the reality is that Coutinho is unlikely to pose many threats to the Chinese fighter, and as we know Brazilians have regularly had padded puncher's records with little in terms of real skill.
Shiming, a 2-time Olympic champion, isn't the only Olympic Gold medal winner on this card as Japan's Ryota Murata (8-0, 5) battles against Argentinian Gaston Alejandro Vega (24-10-1-1, 10). This should be a straight forward win for Murata but the Japanese Middleweight will need a good performance if he's to move closer to a world title fight later in the year. Unfortunately Murata failed to shine last year on his US debut, against Gunnar Jackson, and cannot afford another less than impressive performance here.
Other bouts on this card include a Super Middleweight bout between Zulpikar Maimaitiali (5-0-1, 3), one of the most exciting prospects in China, and Australian visitor Steve Moxon (5-2, 4) and a bout featuring former WBA "interim" Light Flyweight title challenger Ma Yi Ming (12-6, 7), who is fighting for the first time since he was blitzed by Randy Petalcorin.
Sadly however a bout at 140lbs between former world title challenger IK Yang (19-1-0-1, 14) and unbeaten Thai Chalermpol Singwancha (16-0, 12) has been cancelled following an injury in training suffered by Yang.
A second show in Shanghai, also promoted by Bob Arum, will see novices in action as part of the Fists of Fury cards, which are hoping to help develop more home grown talents.
One potential star in action is 21 year old puncher Alimu Wushouer (5-0, 5) who will be fighting against Jin Sheng Zhang (1-0-2). Wushouer, from Xinjiang, blew out 5 opponents last year in a combined 7 rounds and will be hoping to notch up another quick win as he faces an unbeaten 17 year old.
Another puncher putting his unbeaten record on the line is Abulimiti Tuersunniyazi (3-0, 3) who puts his perfect record on the line against Yangcheng Jin (0-1-2). This should be a 4th straight win for Tuersunniyazi who could be a real hidden gem.
Staying in China fight fans will get the chance to see Heavyweight puncher Zhang Junlong (11-0, 11) battle against Argentinian visitor Juan Pedro Guglielmetti (7-4, 5). Junlong may be the best of the Chinese Heavyweights, and wins over Jason Gavern and Shawn Cox, are pretty notable. Sadly though fighting solely in China and missing out on the Top Rank cards will be doing Junglong more harm than good and it's unlikely he'll get to have a genuinely big fight.
On the same card the once beaten Wang Kun (3-1, 1) will face experienced Filipino Cristian Abila (13-18-4, 4). Abila, who has been a professional for more than 6 years, has been racking up losses recently but can turn in solid performances, as he did last year against Nino Magboo, and is a threat to the rising Kun, who looks to build on a big win over Romeo Jakosalem last year.
A Korean show, sanctioned by the KBF, will feature a number of bouts, sadly though the specific details of the card are scarce with only confirmed bout being a 6 rounder featuring Mongolian youngster Joldasbyek Tagtyanal (0-0), a 20 year old from Ulaanbaatar. From what we under-stand he will be facing a local Korean fighter but sadly the specific details really are lacking here.
Outside of Asia, and in the US, fight fans get the chance to see the American debut of former OPBF Lightweight title challenger Ricky Sismundo (30-8-2, 13). The under-rated Japanese based Filipino is in a tough one as he takes on fringe contender Jose Felix Jr (32-1-1, 25). On paper the bout is a mismatch, with Felix being much hiugher regarded that Sismundo however the Filipino is far better than his record indicates and comes in on a 5 fight unbeaten run, including wins over Yoshitaka Kato, Akihiro Kondo and Shuhei Tsuchiya. This really could be a good one if Sismundo can handle the power of Felix early on.
Staying in North America fans will get the chance to see Filipino Leonardo Doronio (15-11-3, 10) battle against the charismatic Nery Saguilan (36-5-1, 13). The bout, for the WBC Latino Lightweight title, looks like a mismatch but the bout is a huge opportunity for Doronio who holds notable wins against the likes of Taiwo Ali, Al Rivera and Burning Ishii.
Fans in Kazakhstan also get some notable action.
Among the bouts in Almaty is the debut of former amateur stand out Ruslan Myrsatayev (0-0), who faces the win-less Valery Zamiralov (0-3). Myrsatayev made his name back in 2007 when he went to the World Amateur Championships, and continued to make a name for himself at the 2008 Olympics. Sadly, aged 30, this could be a case of waiting too long to go pro however he was impressive in WSB.
Boy, what a busy Saturday we have ahead of us!
The main Asian show this Saturday comes from Macau where Top Rank are putting on solid card with an excellent main event and fights involving several fighters on the verge of a world title fight.
The main event of the show will see Chinese slugger Ik Yang (19-0-0-1, 14) go for his first world title as he battles Argentina's Cesar Rene Cuenca (47-0-0-2, 2) in a bout for the vacant IBF Light Welterweight title. On paper this isn't a “world class” title bout but it's an interesting one all the same between unbeaten fighters with very different styles and mentalities in the ring.
In a supporting bout, scheduled for 10 rounds, we'll see multi-weight world champion Nonito Donaire (34-4, 22) battle against Frenchman Anthony Settoul (20-3, 8) in what should be a mismatch in favour of the talented Filipino. For Donaire this is his second bout since being stopped by Nicholas Walters and it's likely to be a tune up contest before a potential world title fight with Englishman Scott Quigg, in a bout that is said to be pencilled in for later in the year.
Another supporting bout will see Indonesian veteran Roy Mukhlis (27-4-3, 21) take on Denis Shafikov (35-1-1, 19) in a 10 round bout at 137lbs. Mukhlis is a late replacement for Mickey Bey, who vacated the IBF Lightweight title rather than fight Shafikov, and will come into this bout as a massive under-dog. There is however little to lose for Indonesian who may get himself a world title opportunity if he was to upset the touted Russian.
One other supporting bout of note here will see Hong Kong's exciting Rex Tso (16-0, 8) taking on limit Thai Khunkiri Wor Wisaruth (21-11-1, 14) in what is really a stay busy fight for Tso, who is looking to get a world title bout later in the year. Tso should see off his limited Thai foe inside the distance, especially considering that Khunkiri has already been stopped 6 times, but we need to admit that Tso continues to blow hot and cold and may under-perform again here.
In the US we get a Super Flyweight world title bout as unbeaten Filipino Arthur Villanueva (27-0, 14) takes on talented Puerto Rican McJoe Arroyo (16-0, 8) in a bout for the IBF title, which was recently vacated by Zolani Tete. The bout is a brilliant one on paper between two talented and unbeaten boxer-punchers who are each seeking to be recognised on the world stage. It's fair to say the winner here won't be recognised as a truly elite level fighter in the division, but they will throw their name into the hate for big fights against the likes of Naoya Inoue or Carlos Cuadras.
Also in Texas fans will get the chance to see the US debut of Korean slugger Min Wook Kim (12-1, 9). Kim, a former OPBF 140lb champion, will be battling 31 year old Mexican southpaw Sergio Rivera (27-15-2, 17) in what should be a straight forward win for the Korean star. Although boxing in Korea is quiet at the moment Kim is a shining light and an exciting win against Rivera could help the Korean become a staple in the US where his talent and style will be appreciated.
On another US card we'll see the debut of American based Kazakh Shynggyskhan Tazhibay (0-0) who takes on the win-less Jasey Montalvo (0-5). This should be an easy win for the 23 year debutant though it's only the first step of his career and we know bigger and better bouts will come in the future.
Pocheon, South Korea
In South Korea fans will get a small show of novices with 6 novice bouts, all scheduled for 4 rounds. There really isn't any big names in action here, a given considering how poor Korean boxing is at the moment, though we are interested in a heavyweight bout between Sang Ho Kim (1-0, 1) and Choong Yul Lee (0-0) and a Super Featherweight contest between Jin Jun (1-0, 1) and Sung Il Lim (1-0, 1), in what is the only bout between fighters with a record bout each.
Sawang Calero, Philippines
In the Philippines fight fans get a very small show that is likely to go under the radar.
The main event here will see Eduard Penerio (16-2, 11) take on the tough but limited JR Salvador (5-2-3). On paper this is a huge mismatch however Salvador has only been stopped once in his career, and that came more than 4 years ago.
March 7th-Amnat Vs Zou in a showdown, with notable action from Ik Yang, Rex Tso, Hiroki Okada, Suyon Takayama and more!
The start of the year has been tediously slow at times however March is certainly seeing in ring action liven up, in a big way. The first real date to mark down on your calendar is March 7th which sees action across Asia with several big names a host of notable fights ranging from a world title bout to world title eliminators to national title bouts.
The biggest of the days show's comes from Macau where fans are treat to another of Bob Arum's foray's into the gambling capital of Asia. In many ways this is the most important of all the Macau shows and is, potentially, the biggest banana skin on the road to making the experiment a major long term success.
The tricky part of this card is the main event which will see Chinese megastar Zou Shiming (6-0, 1) put his unbeaten record on the line as he takes on IBF Flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng (14-0, 5) in a brilliant match up. These two men are both unbeaten, both under-rated and were major amateur rivals. They are also men looking to claim a major scalp. For Shiming this a test that really could see him becoming a national hero or boxing's biggest villain, for Ruenroeng it's a chance to level the score with Shiming, who holds a 2-1 record over him from the amateur ranks. For Bob Arum this is a real test of his nerve. Shiming is talented and fast but this is a major step up for the double Olympic champion.
Shiming of course isn't the only Chinese born fighter on this show, nor is he the most exciting. One of the contenders for the tag of “most exciting” is the heavy handed Ik Yang (18-0-0-1, 13) who will be up against Thailand's experienced Patomsuk Pathompothong (30-2-1, 18) in an IBF Pan Pacific Light Welterweight title bout, which will also double as an IBF world title eliminator. Yang has been on a number of Top Rank shows and is known for his power and offensive style though his flawed defense may be a problem here against the talented Patomsuk, who gave world ranked Takayuki Hosokawa a very close bout back in late 2013. This could be very interesting.
Another rival to the tag of China's most exciting fighter is the very flawed but fun Rex Tso (15-0, 9) who battles Filipino Michael Enriquez (10-2-1, 6) in a bout for the WBA International Super Flyweight title. Tso will go into this bout as the favourite and is viewed as being likely to get a fight with WBA world champion Kohei Kono if he comes through here. For Enriquez this is a major opportunity though he has lost both of his previous title fights.
Going further down the card fans will get the chance to see the explosively heavy handed Aston Palicte (16-1, 14), of the Philippines, take on one of his toughest tests as he goes up against Ismael Garnica (13-5-1-1, 5). Garnica is best known for losing a decision British fighter Paul Butler last year, other than that however there is very little of note on his record. Palicte on the other hand is a dynamite puncher who comes into this bout on the back of 5 successive opening round blow outs, including a very notable one against Gerpaul Valero.
Another Filipino in action here will be Raymond Sermona (17-4-5, 8) who will be hoping to record his 3rd successive win as he battles former “world” title challenger Jose Felix Jr (28-1-1, 23). Felix Jr's only loss came last year when he stepped up to fight Bryan Vasquez and was well beaten, despite two horribly close scorecards, and he'll be favoured to make light work of Sermona.
To open the show we're expecting to see some local talent in action. One of those locals will be the unbeaten Zhou Yun Fei (4-0, 1) who battles against Paul Valenzuela (2-1-1, 2) whilst the other will be Macau's Kuok Kun Ng (6-0, 2), who will be facing Thailand's Chingchai Kiatpracha (7-2, 3).
As well as the action in Macau there is also a show, with title action, in Japan where fans will get a couple of domestic title fights courtesy of Kadoebi.
One of those title bouts will see once beaten Japanese Welterweight champion Suyon Takayama (21-1, 7) defending his belt against former foe Nobuyuki Shindo (16-2, 6) in what looks like to be a very competitive match up. Takayama has the title, the better looking record and a win over Shindo already on his record however he is a weak champion and a lot of bouts have been very close. Shindo has height and reach advantages though the question coming in is whether or not he will be able to make them count.
In the other title fight the unbeaten Hiroki Okada (9-0, 7) will be up against former title contender Hayato Hokazono (18-4-1, 11). We like Okada though are unsure how far he can really go, though it is obviously early days in his career. Hokazono is best known for his losses to the monstrously hard hitting Keita Obara, aside from those losses there is little else to note about his record other than a win over Kazuyoshi Kumano way back in December 2010.
On the under-card there is little of note though a bout between Hisao Narita (8-1, 4) and Yusuke Konno (8-2, 3) does look likely to be very competitive over the scheduled 8 rounds. Another undercard bout that we'll mention will see former Japanese Super Bantamweight title challenger Yukinori Hisanaga (16-5-2, 9) battle against Takuma Takahashi (6-4-1, 1).
In South Korea we get 3 bouts between Korean fighters and Japanese visitors as Watanabe send a trio of their stable over to Korea.
The most notable of the Japanese fighters is Sonin Nihei (5-1-1, 1) who came runner up in last years East Japan Rookie of the year. The talented 21 year old, who lost a split decision to Kenya Yamashita, will be taking on the debuting Tae Un Jung (0-0) who we know nothing about.
Another of the bouts will see unbeaten Korean Joo-Young Kwon (2-0) take on Keisuke Kanazawa (2-4, 1). On paper it's hard to go against the Korean though he has only faced debutants so far whilst Kanazawa holds a very surprising win over the much touted Koki Tyson Maebara from back in January 2013.
The remaining bout, and the most looking on paper, will see Shingo Yabu (4-4-2) battle against Chan-Hee Park (4-5-1). Yabu is 0-2-1 in his last 3, including a loss to Jumbo Oda Nobunaga Shoten Petagine in the 2013 All Japan Rookie of the Year final. Park on the other hand has lost his last 4 and hasn't notched a win since 2009, in fact he's not fought since October 2010. Interesting match up in some ways but neither guy is anything great.
(Image courtesy of http://www.sandscotaicentral.com)
The growing Chinese boxing scene continues to get busier and this coming Tuesday sees yet another Chinese card as Shanghai plays host to a small but interesting show.
The show features co-main events with the least notable of those being a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title as Chinese southpaw Ma Ya Ming (11-5, 7) battles against Indonesia's Tommy Seran (24-3, 15), a former holder of this title. Seran has lost 2 of his last 3, being stopped in 4 rounds by Milan Melindo and being out pointed by Palangpol CP Freshmart, though is one of the few Indonesian fighters who fights to win every time he's in the ring. On the other Ming doesn't have a particularly impressive record but has won his last 8 in a row and this really could be a very good bout between two men who will come to the ring feeling like they need a win to ever become relevant.
The other bout on the show will see the world ranked, and always exciting, Ik Yang (17-0-0-1, 12) making his move to the Light Welterweight division to try and claim the IBF Pan Pacific and WBO interim Asia Pacific titles. Yang will be taking on Thai veteran Fahsai Sakkreerin (41-5-1, 22) in what looks like a good test on paper. Sadly however we suspect this won't be as good as it looks as Sakkreerin isn't a Light Welterweight and has been stopped in 2 of his last 4 bouts, including a 100 second defeat at the hands of Japanese “KO King” Masao Nakamura. We wouldn't be shocked if Sakkreerin failed to survive 2 rounds here against Yang, who we always enjoy watching with his brutish offense that was last seen in his 8th round TKO win over Sukkasem Kietyongyuth back in August.
This coming Tuesday looks like an interesting day in the Asian boxing world even if it's not the most significant day of the week.
It's been a long time coming but at last Bob Arum's Top Rank will be going to the Chinese mainland for their first show in Shanghai. The show isn't as high profile as Top Rank's Macau shows but it is an equally important card as Top Rank continue their assault on Asia and in fact for some of the fighters on the card the show is more significant than the Macau events that Top Rank have made into a great success.
One man who will be having the most important fight of his career is Filipino Randy Petalcorin (21-1-1, 16) who will be taking on Panamanian Walter Tello (20-7, 8) in a fight that will help lead the winner to a big money fight. The reason this bout is so important is because it's for the WBA interim Light Flyweight title and, after waiting in wings all year, Petalcorin finally gets his chance at a belt. Whilst the reward is big for the winner it's also a big step up for Petalcorin who has never fought near this level before, and whilst Tello isn't great he does have world class experience which could make life hard for the much touted Filipino.
Whilst the "interim" Light Flyweight title fight is likely to be the most important bout either man has been involved in we're actually more excited about one of the shows other bouts, one involving the always fun to watch Ik Yang (16-0, 11). Yang, the former Korean champion who has been working with Freddie Roach, is really fun and very much an offence first fighter with spiteful power and a clear neglect for defence. Although he's crude we don't imagine Yang having any problems here as he takes on former PABA Super Bantamweight champion Sukkasem Kietyongyuth (13-2, 8). The bout, for the WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight title, is really one sided in our eyes with Yang being too big and too powerful for Sukkasem.
The under-card here is mostly padded out with local Chinese talent such as Qu Peng (5-0-1, 3), a 6'3" Light Heavyweight, and Ma Yi Ming (10-5, 6), who comes into the bout with a 7 fight winning streak after a 2-5 start.
As well as the action in Shanghai there will also be a show in Indonesia. The headline bout here will see the experienced Indonesian Tommy Seran (23-2, 14), best known for his loss to Milan Melindo, taking on Thai debutant Morakot Putajab (0-0). Although Seran was bounced around the canvas by Melindo he's usually a decent enough fighter and should be too much for a debutant, saying that however a win for Putajab would certainly put the boxing world on alert for the Thai.
Another bout on this card will see John Ruba (1-0, 1) battling against Eddi Pio Pikareuw (1-1) in an all novice bout. As with many Indonesian's we do doubt the "completeness" their records though if boxrec is right then this will be Pikareuw's first fight in almost 2 years.
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)
Sometimes in boxing we go days, if not weeks, with out any major fights. On other days it seems like everything is crammed into one day. We get one of those crammed days this Saturday with more notable fights than an average month and most interestingly they are spread across the world and come at us from every angle, almost every division and petty much non stop through out the day!
The busy world title action for the day kicks off in Macau with a number of incredible fights as Top Rank put on arguably their best card of the year so far and really do give the clearest intentions that they are going to be committed to growing their Macau brand.
This card kicks off with Macau's very own prospect Kuok Kun Ng (3-0, 1) battling against Muhammad Imam (9-4, 3) in what looks likely to be the toughest bout so far for the 23 year old "Macau Kid". Imam, also known as "Felix the Cat" is 0-3 outside of Indnesia though has never lost to a fighter as inexperienced as Ng and could well give Ng some problems.
The second bout on this card will see Eun-Chang Lee (7-3, 1) attempt to upset former Ryota Murata rival Esquiva Falcao (2-0, 1). Lee is the current South Korean Super Middleweight champion though we don't see him really testing the talent Falcao who twice met Murata in major competitions including 2012 Olympic final. Falcao was twice beaten by Murata but there is the expectation that he will go on to be the next Brazilian star.
In the third bout we're hoping to see the unbeaten Ik Yang (14-0-0-1, 9) fighting against Geisler AP (5-1, 3) though we've been disappointed in the past with Yang not having the bouts he was scheduled to have in Macau. We do like Yang but feel he's a frustrating fighter to follow at times despite being a joy to watch in action.
The 4th bout for the show has been a bit of a headache for all those involved. Originally the unbeaten Hong Kong star Rex Tso (12-0, 8) was set to fight former world title challenger Atsushi Kakutani, unfortunately last week Kakutani was injured. The Japanese fighter was replaced by Thailand's Tiger Tor Buamas but over the weekend Tor Bumas was himself replaced by his compatriot Ratchasak Kokietgym (22-2-1, 10). On paper this is actually the toughest of the possible bouts for Tso who we believe could be in line for a WBA Super Flyweight title fight with Kohei Kono later this year if he beats Ratchasak here. With the WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title up for grabs however Ratchasak may well turn in be inspired to take his big and unexpected opportunity here.
We move seamlessly from one regional title bout to another with the shows next bout being the IBF Pan Pacific Super Bantamweight title fight between Japan's Yasutaka Ishimoto (24-6, 7) and the highly touted Chris Avalos (23-2, 17). This will be Ishimoto's second bout in Macau, returning to the scene of his famous victory over former world champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr, though we expect it to be a much different one to his first with Avalos being a seriously hard punching on a good run of results. It's a great fight and with an IBF Super Bantamweight title fight up for grabs for the winner this really could be a career changing win for the victor.
The first of three Featherweight world title fights will see unbeaten Russian Evgeny Gradovich (18-0, 9) defending his IBF title against Alexander Miskirtchian (24-2-1, 9) who will be attempting to become the first man from Belgium to become a world champion. Although Miskirtchian's compatriot Stephane Jamoye fell short in his recent world title bid there does seem to be an air of confidence behind Miskirtchain's bout though we really can't see him upsetting Gradovich who has been on tremendous roll in recent bouts and looks to be very difficult to beat due to his toughness and work rate.
Following the IBF title bout we then get a fight for the WBA "regular" Featherweight title that will see the hard hitting Jamaican Nicholas Walters (23-0, 19) defending his belt against the always fun to watch Vic Darchinyan (39-6-1, 28). We tend to feel that Darchinyan is a faded fighter and isn't much of a Featherweight whilst Walters is a hard hitting beast and should run through the Armenian though Darchinyan always has the power to change fights himself and this could be a shoot out in the end. This could be the fight of the show though their is the risk it come become a 1-sided beat down like the recent David Lemieux/Fernando Guerrero bout which had promised to be a shoot out but became a very uneven contest very early on.
The main event sees the very popular Nonito Donaire (32-2, 21) battle against WBA "Super" champion Simpiwe Vetyeka (26-2, 16) who famously beat Chris John and Daud Cino Yordan last year. This is a very, very tough bout and although Donaire is a clear betting favourite we think this could well be a third successive notable win for Vetyeka who has the skillset and toughness to make life very hard for the "Filipino Flash". We don't expect this to be a highly entertaining contest but it will be an interesting one with a lot of clever work from both fighters who will each be looking for their own counter shots more often than leading off.
On the undercard of the huge fight in the UK between Carl Froch and George Groves fans will get the chance to see Thailand's Tabtimdaeng Na Rachwat (52-2, 34) battle against former IBF Bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell (23-2-1, 10) in a bout for the vacant WBA Bantamweight title. We view this as a very tough assignment for the Thai though if he wins he'll have scored a huge profile victory and launched himself in to the upper echelons of the Bantamweight division.
Distrito Federal, Mexico
The final world title bout of the day sees WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (27-3-1, 25) taking on Mexico's Carlos Cuadras (29-0, 24) in a potential FOTY candidate. We'll admit we were excited when we first realised that this bout was on the table last December and now with it just a few days away we really can't contain how excited we are about the bout. This has all the ingredients for a really amazing contest.
On the same card as the Srisaket/Cuadras bout is a female world title bout as Honey Mae Bermoy (6-3, 6), AKA Honey Katsumata, battles WBA female Bantamweight champion Irma Garcia (9-1-1-4, 1) on a non-title contest. We really can't see Bermoy winning this contest, especially not when you consider the way Tenkai Tsunami beat her back in March in an OPBF title fight, though we do give her credit for jumping into a tough bout immediately after losing to a world class foe.
We get another female world title fight in Germany as Korea's Dan-Bi Kim (9-2-1, 2) challenges German star Susi Kentikian (32-2, 16) for the WBA female Flyweight title. This is a hugely difficult assignment for the diminutive 23 year old from Anseong City though we can't see her travelling across the world if she didn't believe she could bring back the title.
We get, yet another, title fight on mainland china as the unbeaten Chinese Heavyweight Zhang Junlong (6-0, 6) battles former Japanese title challenger Kotatsu Takehara (10-9-3, 4) in a bout for the IBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight title. This is easily the toughest bout in Junglong's career though a win could put him on the verge of a huge regional bout with someone like OPBF champion Solomon Haumono. Big fight for both men and the loser will feel the loss as a major one.
A third show in the Orient takes place in Japan and even as the third biggest show in the continent it's still a pretty notable one headlined by the return to the ring of recent world title challenger Daiki Kaneko (19-3-3, 12). Kaneko, who was last seen on New Year's Eve losing to Takashi Uchiyama in a very well fought WBA Super Featherweight title bout, will be expected to walk though former OPBF Featherweight challenger Shogo Ishikawa (10-6, 3). We think Kaneko will genuinely destroy Ishikawa in a bout that will be little more than a show case contest for the excellent Super Featherweight contender.
Kaneko isn't the only former world title challenger on this card as former Super Flyweight challenger Ryo Akaho (22-1-2, 15) takes on Thailand's "body donor" Songseanglek Phosuwangym (1-10) in what appears to be little more than a stay busy fight for Akaho who we think may be lining up a title bout later this year and doesn't want to risk anything.
A third bout of note on this show will see former Japanese Middleweight champion Tomohiro Ebisu (12-3, 12) battling against Frenchman Kevin Thomas Cojean (13-5-1, 4) in a bout made just above the Super Middleweight limit. For Ebisu this is a genuinely tough assignment against a former French Light Heavyweight title challenger. Cojean, although a tough opponent for Ebisu, probably doesn't hit hard enough to stop the Japan power house puncher.
As well as the 3 bouts of note already mentioned this card is scheduled to feature a further 3 undercard bouts in what is the last Japanese card of the month.
District of Colombia, USA
In one of the lowest profile bouts of the day Sri Lankan Nuwan Jayakody (2-4-1, 2) battles the very limited David Warren Huffman (4-19-1, 1). We know Jayakody is unlikely to go far in this sport but we've got to confess we do like him and hopes that he manages to improve enough to become an "opponent" in a televised bout somewhere down the line. It's great to see a Sri Lankan fighter no matter how poor here is and with that in mind we really do wish him all the best in hopefully inspiring a generation of young Sri Lankan men in to boxing. We doubt we'll see the sport take off in the Cricket mad country but we'll continue to hope that one day we will see a Sri Lankan world champion.
New South Wales, Australia
Down under fans will get to see Australian based Filipino Michael Dan (3-9-1, 3) attempt to upset the unbeaten Ahmed Dib (13-0, 8) in a bout for the Australia - New South Wales State Light Middleweight title. It's incredibly hard to see anything but a win for Dib here though we do hope that Dan, who has lost his last 6, can put up a good effort even if he is clearly beaten.
Yes, it's a busy, busy, day!
(Image courtesy of http://www.venetianmacao.com/)