This coming Thursday in Beijing fight fans will get a number of IBF Silk Road tournament bouts. Sadly we don't have the full card, though we do have details of two bouts on the show.
One of the bouts will see former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (18-3-1, 11) take on unbeaten foe Omurbek Malabekov (4-0, 1). The talented Japanese fighter advanced to this bout with a win over Lorence Rosas last year whilst Malabekov will be fighting for the first in almost a year. The winner of this contest is expected to get a world ranking with the IBF. Not much is known about Malabekov, though he is unbeaten and will see this as a huge chance to make a name for himself.
Another bout on this show will see experience Thai fighter Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (38-6-1, 21) take on unbeaten Filipino fighter Jayson Mama (11-0, 6). The 25 year old Fahlan will be looking to score his 5th straight win since being stopped by Felix Alvarado in 2017 whilst Mama will be looking to continue his perfect start to professional boxing. Of the two men Fahlan is, by far, the more well known, but he didn't look good at all last time out, taking a pretty questionable decision in a dire bout with Orlie Silvestre.
In Thailand we have a re-scheduled bout, as the once beaten Thai Nop Kratingdaenggym (22-1, 8) , aka Anurak Thisa, battles Filipino JR Magboo (17-2-2, 8) for the fighting for the WBA Asia Featherweight title. Originally this bout was supposed to take place on March 22nd but was rescheduled due to Thai Channel 7 changing their policy on bouts that they will air, and instead of taking place as originally planned it will now be shown on Channel 3SD.
New York, USA
In the US we get a number of Asian fighters in action.
One of those is the eye catching and fun to watch Shohjahon Ergashev (11-0, 11), who impressed back in January when he defeated Sonny Fredrickson. The Uzbek hopeful will be facing off with Chinese fight Zhimin Wang (10-2, 3) in what should be another chance for Ergashev to show case his skills. Wang isn't a terrible fighter, but he is naturally smaller than the Uzbek and is essentially taking a a pea shooter into a gun fight against Ergashev's brutal power.
Unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Dimash Niyazov (13-0-3, 6) will be seeking an 8th straight win as he goes up against limited Mexican Angel Sarinana (7-7-2, 3). Niyazov doesn't have the look of being the next Kazakh star but should be far too good for Sarinana, who lacks power and has already been stopped in 4 of his 7 losses.
The most interesting Asian on this card is Kazakh debutant Daniyar Yeleussinov (0-0). The Kazakh won gold at Rio 2016 and is touted to be a very special professional, given just how strong and impressive his amateur credentials are. He signed with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Sports and is likely to matched aggressively. Sadly at the time of writing the opponent for his debut is unknown though we're not expecting any one too notable given the short notice.
In Hyogo Japanese fans get a really interesting card with two notable bouts.
The most interesting of those will see former world champion Shun Kubo (12-1, 9) take on former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa (33-4-4, 19). The bout is being sold as a “survival match” for the two men, with neither really able to afford a loss at this point. For Kubo this bout will be his first as a fully fledged Featherweight and his first since losing the WBA Super Bantamweight title to Daniel Roman last September. For Osawa this bout will see him hunting a 4th straight win since his 2016 loss to Oscar Valdez. The winner of this will move towards another world title fight, whilst the loser could well be looking down the end of a barrel.
In a supporting bout we'll see former OPBF Bantamweight champion Takahiro Yamamoto (20-5, 17) battle against Filipino visitor Jestoni Autida (11-7, 5). The Japanese slugger will be looking for his third straight stoppage win since having the title ripped out of his hands in November 2016 by Mark John Yap. At his best Yamamoto is a pure raw heavy handed slugger who can be a nightmare to fight, though his competition since his loss to Yap has been poor. Autida on the other hand is one of the many under-rated Filipino fighters, and he has toughness and ability to give Yamamoto real fits here. Although on paper a mismatch Autide has mixed with top level company, and suffered losses to fighters like Ryo Matsumoto and Petch Sor Chitpattana, so we do not expect this to be a walk in the park for Yamamoto.
One other bout of note on this card is a bout between Retsu Kosaka (8-3, 3) and Koichi Ito (11-6-3, 10). This should be a pretty interesting contest, despite neither fighter being particularly goo. Ito really does have nasty power and if he connects Kosaka could be in trouble, however Kosaka has the edge in skills and could be simply too good for the cruder fighter.
A second Japanese show will come from Osaka, where we get a relatively low key card.
The main event is a very interesting match up as Matcha Nakagawa (12-1-1, 5) faces off with Yuki Iriguchi (9-2-1, 4) in a bout for the Japanese Youth Bantamweight title. This is one of the many interesting match ups to come from the Japanese Youth title scene. Coming into this one Nakagawa is riding a 3 fight winning run since losing unbeaten record in late 2016 to Ryohei Takahashi. Iriguchi on the other hand lost his unbeaten record last time out in a split decision loss to Takuya Mizuno. Given the quality of these two fighters this match up should be very competitive and compelling, even if it does lack in terms of excitement.
Also on this card will be Shingo Kawamura (15-3-1, 7) and Daiki Tomita (11-0, 3), who will both be fighting Thai foes. We haven't got the names of the visiting fighters, which should really sum up the quality of the opponents in this bout, and both Kawamura and Tomita will be expecting to pick up wins here.
The day is set to be an incredibly busy on in the Philippines. The most notable of the shows is to come from Glan in Saragani province.
The main event of this card will see unbeaten fighters collide in a bout for the WBO Oriental Youth Super Flyweight title. The bout will see Jade Bornea (10-0, 7) take on Danrick Sumabong (5-0, 4) in what should be a really good match up. Bornea was a top Filipino amateur before turning professional and should be favoured, but 19 year old Sumabong is a hard hitting with confidence and could prove to be the sort of opponent who could give Bornea absolute fits.
Other fighters on this card are Harmonito Dela Torre (19-1, 12), Jayson Mama (9-0, 5), Mark Bernaldez (15-1, 10) and Jake Bornea (13-2, 7). None of them are expecting to face any sort of tests, but the promoters do look like they are stacking the card with notable hopefuls and prospects.
Another Filipino card with a title bout headlining it will see the unbeaten Carl Jammes Martin (7-0, 6) take on Tanzanian Hashimu Zuberi (14-2, 4) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Bantamweight title. The 18 year old Martin has been really impressive on the lower level of the Filipino domestic scene but this is a notable step up and he will have to prove that he is one to watch with this bout. As for Zuberi he lacks power but the 22 year old showed his toughness in 2016, when he went 12 rounds with Rakniran Muadransarakam. He was stopped last year by Andrew Moloney, in 4 rounds, but is a fantastic test for the unbeaten Martin.
Agusan del Norte, Philippines
In Agusan del Norte fans will get the chance to see another low key card, headlined by Monico Laurente (29-13, 6) battling against Ralph Jhon Lulu (12-2-2, 5), who we believe was a late replacement for JP Macadumpis. On paper this is a decent match up, especially given that Laurente is on the slide, however Lulu has lost his last two bouts and is 20 months removed from a win, which came against the limited Junjie Lauza.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In Metro Manila fans get a title double header.
One of the bouts on this card will see the aggressive Allan Vallespin (11-2, 8) defending his GAB Super Featherweight title against the limited Warren Mambuanag (11-9-2, 3). Both of Vallespin's losses have been by stoppage, with the Filipino being stopped by both Masaru Sueyoshi and Denys Berinchyk, and he shouldn't be worried about Mambuanag's power here. The challenger has 4 of his last 5, including a loss to Vallespin in December 2016, and will be a major under-dog coming in to this bout.
A second title fight will see Mugicha Nakagawa (22-5-1, 13), the brother of the aforementioned Match Nakagawa, battle against Ricky Manufoe (27-32-3, 10) for the WBA Asia East Super Bantamweight Title. This should be a mismatch and a pretty straight forward win for Nakagawa, who impressed us last year when he came up just short against Yasutaka Ishimoto. Indonesian foe Manufoe has lost 4 of his last 5, and is likely to be beaten again here.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
The first Filipino show of 2018 takes place this coming Sunday in General Santos City, and features a pair of title fights.
In the main event we'll see the unbeaten Jayson Mama (8-0, 4) take on Michael Camelion (10-6-1, 8) for the WBO Asia Youth Flyweight title. The unbeaten Mama made is debut in late 2016 and has looked promising, whilst fighting at the lower levels of the Filipino domestic scene, and beating the usual combination of novices and flawed veteran. The 23 year old Camelion once looked like he could make a mark on the domestic but has lost 4 of his last 5, including an opening round loss to Hiroto Kyoguchi in late 2016 and two more subsequent stoppage defeats.
The other title fight will see former world title challenger Tomomi Takano (10-3, 7) face off with Joan Ambalong (6-7-1, 3) in a bout for the interim OPBF female Bantamweight title. Takano did hold the full version of this title not too long ago, but has lost 2 of her last 4 and appears to be on the slide. In saying that however the Filipino is very limited, naturally smaller and has lost 3 of her last 4, with this likely to be another loss for the Tampilisan fighter.
It should be noted that Takano has retired according to the JBC and there is some suspicion that this fight will not take place, and if it does it would be seen as an unsanctioned bout by the JBC.
Another fighter of interest on this card is Ben Mananquil (15-1-2, 3), who is involved in a huge mismatch as he takes on Alvin Bais (15-10-1, 4). We think Mananquil is a genuine talent with a lot of upside, but bouts like this won't do his development any favours, especially given that Bais has been stopped in his last 4 and is more than 2 years removed from his last win.