Our attention turns to New York this coming Friday where we get the chance to see several Asian fighters in action.
New York, USA
The biggest of the bouts in New York will see little known Japanese fighter Ryohei Takahashi (15-3-1, 6) challenge IBF Super Bantamweight champion TJ Doheny (20-0, 14). This is a huge step up class for Takahashi and an opportunity that few would have expected to see Takahashi get. This is Doheny's first title defense, and he really be the major favourite as he takes on the little known challenger. Takahashi had to wait until January 11th to get his visa for the fight but had been training for a potential clash with Doheny since early December. We've previewed this bout bout here Preview: Doheny Vs Takahashi
New York, USA
A separate card in New York will feature a trio of Asian fighters in bouts.
One of those Asian fighters in action is Filipino fighter Jessie Cris Rosales (22-1-1, 10), who will take on the very highly regarded American Shakur Stevenson (9-0, 5) in a very attractive looking contest. Stevenson, a 2016 Olympic silver medal winner, is regarded as one of the brightest prospects in American boxing and looked fantastic last time out, when he blitzed Romanian veteran Viorel Simion. Rosales on the other hand has a good record and his only loss is to the monstrously hard hitting Jhonny Gonzalez. A win for Rosales isn't expected, but he should be the best test for Stevenson so far.
Former Indian amateur stand out Vikas Krishan (0-0) will be making his debut on this show as he faces off with Steven Andrade (3-3, 2). The gifted Krishan is a 2-time Olympian who announced his intention to turn professional last year and signed with Top Rank, who will look to guide his career to the top. There are huge hopes for Krishan who will begin his career in a 6 round bout here and will be looking to show what he can do. Sadly Adrade has lost his last 3, his last 2 by stoppage, and it's hard to see Krishan being tested at all here in what is likely to be an easy showcase for his debut.
A third Asian on this show is Uzbek fighter Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (6-0, 3), a 2016 Olympic gold medal winner and a 27 year old who is starting to understand the professional boxing scene. The unbeaten Uzbek will be up against Dominican fighter Ricardo Garcia (14-4-1, 9), in what is a very credible step up in class for Gaibnazarov. The Olympic champion has had his struggles, and was dropped on his debut, but does look to be improving and this is a real test. We would expect Gaibnazarov to win, but it'll be very interesting to see how he looks en route to that win.
We also get some action from Thailand.
In one of the major bouts Flyweight contender Dennapa Kiatniwat (20-1, 15), aka Sarawut Thawornkham, will be up against Filipino foe Mateo Handig (15-17, 9), in what looks likely to be a straight forward win for the Thai, who is currently ranked #1 by the WBA at Flyweight. In recent years Handig has been picking up a lot of losses, and we expect to see another one here against the hard hitting Thai.
On the same card we'll see Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (39-1, 29) make his first defense of the WBA Asia Light Middleweight title he won last year, as he takes on Tanzania's Meshack Mwankemwa (17-5-2, 10), in what we're expecting to be a total mismatch in favour of the Thai fighter.
In Mexico we'll see a local former world champion take on a little known, yet unbeaten, Filipino hopeful. The former champion is monstrous punching veteran Jhonny Gonzalez (63-10, 53), who has won titles at Bantamweight and Featherweight, who battles 25 year old Pinoy Jessie Cris Rosales (21-0-1, 9). For Gonalez the bout is supposed to be another step towards a Super Featherweight title fight, potentially facing off with Miguel Berchelt, whilst Rosales will be looking to make a name for himself and claim the biggest win of his career.
Mindoro Occidental, Philippines
In the Philippines there will be a small card featuring a few hopefuls taking on domestic journeymen.
The most interesting of those fighters is 20 year old puncher Jerald Daniega (11-0, 8), who takes on the limited Rey Ramos (7-8-2, 3) in a 10 rounder. It should be noted that Ramos has been stopped in 2 of his last 3, but did beat Landy Cris Leon last time out and is the naturally bigger man, having fought at much higher weights than Ramos.
Arguably the biggest names in regards to the prospects is former amateur stand out Mark Anthony Barriga (5-0, 1) who takes on Joel Taduran (8-6-1, 2). Although a proven quality in the amateur ranks Barriga hasn't yet shone as a professional and his lack of power could be a serious issue going forward, but he did stop his last opponent, and may well be finding his footing as a professional fighter.
Another of the hopefuls is the once beaten, but heavy handed, Joepher Montano (7-1-2, 6) who takes on veteran Gabriel Royo (10-17-3, 8). Royo once showed some promise but that promise is now long forgotten and he's gone 1-10-1 in his last 12 bouts, and it's clear that he's there to merely make up the numbers against Montano.
The final prospect of note for us is teenager Daniel Lim (4-0, 2), who takes a small step up in class to face off with Jerry Salivio (1-5, 1). Give he's 17 there is no problem with Lim fighting at this level for now, but we're looking forward to seeing him step up in the near future.
North Carolina, USA
We'll also get the chance to see two promising central European fighters fighting in the US.
One of those is Kazakh Light Heavyweight Ali Akhmedov (6-0, 4), who faces 40 year old veteran Brad Austin (12-25, 9). It's hard to see this being anything more than an easy night for the 22 year old unbeaten man, but it's hopefully more about getting him used to the US than really trying to develop his fighting style. He's promising, but will need more serious tests in the near future.
On the same card Tajik fighter Mekhrubon Sanginov (3-0, 2) will be in action making his debut. The 21 year old Middleweight has fought got an active passport with this being the 4th country for him to fight in in the space of 10 months. Sadly at the time of writing his opponent hasn't been named.
New York, USA
In the biggest show of the night, and one of the biggest shows of the year so far, we get the chance to see two Asian fighters take part in potentially explosive world title bouts.
The main course from the show sees Kazakh Middleweight sensation Gennady Golovkin (36-0, 33) defending his WBC, IBF and WBA “super” titles against WBA “regular” champion Daniel Jacobs (32-1, 29), in what is one of the most anticipated bouts of the year. Golovkin, who has made a reputation as an unbeatable puncher, will be looking to score the biggest win of his career and potentially prove himself as being head and shoulders above the rest of the division. Jacobs, who is seen as the big under-dog here, will know this is a huge step up from his recent competition, but he will feel he has the speed, power and athleticism to trouble Kazakh destroyer.
Although the Middleweight title bout is the main course it's hard not to be incredibly excited about the “starter” as we see WBC Super Flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez (46-0, 38) battle against former champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (41-4-1, 38). Although fans who have seen Gonalez may feel this is a mismatch, especially given the way HBO rave about Gonzalez, the bout is an incredibly exciting one with Srisaket being the naturally bigger and stronger man than Gonzalez, and being a destructive fighter himself. Although the Thai has suffered 4 losses during his career he has, amazingly, gone 40-1 (37) since a troubled 1-3-1 (1) start and is a genuine monster in the ring. This will be no walk over for Chocolatito.
Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
The most notable of the other cards featuring Asian fighters comes from Cebu City where we get two regional title fights and several other interesting contests.
The most notable of the title fights sees the highly regarded Jack Tepora (19-0, 14) defending his WBO Oriental Super Bantamweight title against Indonesian challenger Yon Armed (14-7, 6). The 23 year old Tepora has long been regarded as one of the most promising Filipino's rising through the ranks and he should be far too good for Armer, who's most notable bouts have seen him being stopped in a round by Hiroshige Osawa, 2 rounds by Kenichi Ogawa and 3 rounds by Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo.
The other title fight on this card will see the heavy handed Christian Araneta (13-0, 11) take on Indonesian Demsi Manufoe (11-6, 8) in a bout for the WBO Oriental Light Flyweight title. Although not the most skilled fighter Araneta has an exciting style, solid power and at 22 years old he has a lot of potential, potential which should be showcased here against the the chinny Manufoe.
In a 10 rounder we'll see the heavy handed Salatiel Amit (9-2-2, 7) take on the out of former Renerio Arizala (13-5-1, 5), with Arizala looking to avoid a 4th straight loss and Amit looking to bounce back from a 10th round loss to Jonathan Taconing.
Fans also get the chance to see some notable unbeaten hopefuls on this show. These include Jessie Cris Rosales (20-0-1, 8), who battles the out of form Jerry Nardo (21-10, 11), and teenage puncher Tomjune Mangubat (6-0, 6), who takes on veteran Marvin Tampus (27-24-3, 18). It's hard to imagine either Rosales or Mangubat losing here, but both will have better tests ahead.
La Union, Philippines
On a second show in the Philippines fight fans will see a Philippines Boxing Federation Super Bantamweight title fight as Brian Lobetania (11-2-3, 9) takes on Arnel Baconaje (7-2, 6). Both guys have got limitations, and both are 2-2 in their last 4, but both can punch and they should put on a fun contest against each other, with both men looking to claim their first professional title.
In Australia fans will see Filipino tough guy Vergil Puton (16-7, 8) battle against the once beaten Ibrahim Balla (10-1, 7). Balla, who was stopped last year by Neil John Tabanao, will be favoured over Puton, but the Filipino can be a nightmare at this level and could be a potential banana skin, as he almost showed in 2015 against Ye Joon Kim.