Seoul, South Korea
This coming Sunday isn't a stacked day in Asian boxing but it could be a day where were learn a lot about one of the most promising fighters in Asia, who we suspect will be given his first real gut check.
That promising fighter is former Pakistani amateur stand out Muhammad Waseem (3-0, 3) who takes of former world title challenger Jether Oliva (24-5-2, 11) in a bout for the vacant WBC silver Flyweight title, essentially moving the winner to within a step or two of a world title bout. Waseem only turned professional last year but has quickly impressed with a trio of stoppage wins and looks to continue his progress here against a very capable Oliva. For Oliva, who has fought a reltive who's who of the lower weights, this is a bout that he must win if he's to remain relevant, it is however a big ask against a fighter who some suspect could go on to become the first Pakistani born world champion.
In the chief support bout fans will see Korean Eun Chang Lee (9-4, 5) take on Indonesian visitor Maxi Nahak (6-11-2, 2) WBA Asia Middleweight champion and seems to see this as a chance of getting some sort of recognition with the WBC, for Nahak the bout is a chance to score his most notable win so far, though he has lost 3 of his last 5 and will be the massive under-dog here.
Seoul, South Korea
As well as the above show there will be another Korean show, this one being held by Buffalo Promotion and held under the banner of the KBF. Like the other Korean show this one will also in Seoul.
The main event of this one will be a KBF Middleweight title bout and should feature 8 under-card bouts.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The notable action this coming Saturday comes from he Philippines where this is a great show featuring a number of title bouts.
The most well matched bout on this card comes at 108lbs where former world title challenger Richard Claveras (14-1-2, 12) defends his WBC International title against Jonathan Refugio (14-4-4, 3). Whilst Claveras was taken out inside a round in his world title shot this is a bout he should win and probably the sort of bout that he needed before getting a world title fight. Refugio has mixed with good company, including Knockout CP Freshmart and Wanheng Menayothin, but has lost in his most notable bouts and we suspect that will happen again here.
Another notable title fight will see OPBF Flyweight champion Ardin Diale (30-9-3, 15) defending his title, for the first time, against clear under-dog Jonathan Francisco (8-4-1, 2). We're unsure how Francisco has earned this shot, and we can't see him winning, though in many ways Diale deserves an easy fight to record his first defense of the title he won in December.
A third title fight, and another that looks likely to be one-sided, sees the under-rated Michael Enriquez (11-4-1, 7) facing veteran Donny Mabao (21-24-3, 4) for the GAB Flyweight title. The under-rated Enriquez has lost 2 of his last 3 but one of those was a razor thin loss to Rex Tso, in Macau. Mabao on the other hand is with out a win since a 2012 upset over former world champion Florante Condes, he has since gone 0-4-2. Mabao was better than his record, but is looking like a fighter who is done, despite only being 27 years old.
There are two other title fights on this card however we prefer to ignore those and instead mention a much more intriguing match up as Rene Dacquel (15-6-1, 5) battles Mateo Handig (13-10, 7) in a really solid looking bout. Of the two men Dacquel seems to be the one with more to give but recent loses to Takuma Inoue and Jonas Sultan have killed the momentum he had from a win last April over Melvin Gumban. Whilst Dacquel's ecent form hasn't been great Handig has lost his last 5, including 3 by stoppage, since a 2012 win over Katsunari Takayama.
In Mexico we'll see two Filipino's facing off against Mexican brothers on a card from Sinaloa.
The most notable of the bouts will see former world title challenger Jether Oliva (23-4-2, 11) battle against former WBC Light Flyweight champion Pedro Guevara (26-2-1, 17). For Guevara this is his first bout since losing the world title to Yu Kimura last November and he will be favoured to return to winning ways, however Oliva is no push over and will be returning to Mexico with revenge in mind following a loss last year to Luis Nery, where Nery's team messed Oliva about in regards to weight.
The other bout will see Edward Mansito (13-3-2, 7) face former world title challenger Alberto Guevara (23-2, 9). Coming in to this one Guevara is on a 5 fight winning run, including a victory over Oscar Blanquet, since losing in 2013 to Shinsuke Yamanaka.
There isn't much action this coming Wednesday but Filipino fans do get a bit of action in a small show from Saragani.
In the main event fans see a GAB Minimumweight title fight as the once beaten Ronie Tanallon (7-1-1, 2) takes on Lester John Pronco (9-10-1, 6). The bout is the first time either man has been scheduled for more than 10 rounds, in fact it will be Tanallon's first bout scheduled for more than 8 rounds. Notably Pronco, the under-dog, will be fighting in his second successive title bout, tough he did lose the previous bout, a MinProBa Minimumweight title bout.
In another feature bout fans will see former world title challenger Jether Oliva (23-3-2, 11) take on journeyman Romulo Ramayan Jr (6-5-3, 3) in an 8 round bout. It's hard to see anything but a straight forward win for Oliva, who is a fringe world level fighter as he showed in his close bout with Moruti Mthalane.
Possibly the best bout of the card will feature unbeaten 19 year hopeful Romero Duno (7-0, 6) who goes up against Eusebio Baluarte (19-12, 12). On paper this is a good test for Duno, though one he should come through, especially given that Baluarte has been stopped in 10 of his 12 defeats.
This coming Sunday will be an emotional but busy day in Japan with 3 shows in the land of the rising sun as well as a single show in the Philippines.
Possibly the most notable, and easily the most emotional, of the Japanese cards comes from Hyogo where we see several fighters of note in action on a Taisei promoted card that is being held in memory of Kaito Hattori, who sadly passed away earlier this year.
The main event of the show will be the Japanese debut of youngster Riku Kano (5-1-1, 3), who battles against late replacement Marihot Hutajulu (1-2). Kano, who has fought in Thailand and the Philippines so far, is tipped to go a long way however he will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders coming in to this bout. The talented youngster has been matched easily here but knows that this is just the beginning of a journey expected to take him a very long way.
In the chief support bout we'll see Rikito Hattori (2-0, 1), the older brother of Kaito, take on an Indonesian foe. This won't be a major bout but it will be a hugely emotional one for Hattori.
In an interestingly matched 8 round bout fans will see Hikaru Matsuoka (8-2-3, 1) battle against Seizo Kono (14-7-1, 9). This will be Matsuoka's first bout since he was stopped by Yuki Strong Kobayashi in April and he'll know that back-to-back losses will push him a long way from a major bout. As for Kono he's can't afford a loss after back-to-back defeats.
A very peculiar looking bout will see Japanese based Filipino Mark John Yap (20-12, 10) take on former WBA interim Minimumweight champion Juan Jose Landaeta (26-7-1, 20). The 36 year old Landaeta is well known on Japan for his bouts with Yutaka Niida and Koki Kameda though he is likely to be giving away a lot of natural size here against Yap.
We have a lesser show in Kanagawa that has an interesting main event but, over-all, looks to be a much less interesting card that some of the others.
The main event will see Middleweight hopeful Shoma Fukumoto (6-1, 5) attempt to claim his 5th straight win as he faces the more experienced Kazuaki Irisawa (8-6, 5). On paper this is a big step up for Fukumoto though one that he should come out on top of given that Irisawa has already been stopped 5 times, including last time out.
In a support bout Keita Nakano (13-9-3, 4) will be taking on Yuta Saito (7-6-2, 6). Coming in to this bout Nakano is ranked by the JBC and would likely lose that ranking if he was to be beaten here. Notably however Saito has gone 0-3-1 in his last 4 bouts and is win-less since the end of 2012.
A second support bout will see Emika Himuro (4-1-1, 1) battle against Kai Johnson (5-7-3, 2). These two fought in November 2013, fighting to a 6 round majority draw, and will be hoping to settle the score here.
Another Japanese card is being promoted by Kanmon Japan.
The main event here will see recent OPBF title challenger Accel Sumiyoshi (4-4-1, 1) take on Leonardo Doronio (14-9-3, 9) in a 10 round bout. This is a rematch from a contest the two men had last year, which resulted in a split decision draw. Since their first bout Sumiyoshi has challenged for the OPBF Lightweight title, losing a wide decision to Masayoshi Nakatani, whilst Doronio has been inactive, perhaps giving the Japanese fighter the slight edge.
Sadly the rest of this show is relatively weak.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
In the Philippines fans get an interesting show with a number unbeaten fighters or notable fringe contenders.
The main event will see the once beaten Daryl Basadre (14-1-1, 10) take on the once touted Kenny Demecillo (8-3-1, 5) in a bout for the WBA Oceania Bantamweight title. This s a great opportunity for both with the winner possibly able to claim a fringe WBA ranking. On paper Basadre is the favourite though Demecillo will not be coming in to this bout to roll over.
Of the many prospects in action on this show we tend to think the best is Jack Tepora (13-0, 9), who has been dubbed “The Golden Boy”. Tepora will be up against tough veteran Eric Barcelona (53-23-5, 19). This should be a good test for Tepora but a test that he should pass comfortably whilst getting some good rounds under his belt.
On paper the bout of the show looks to be a contest between Rimar Metuda (6-0, 3) and Jerry Castroverde (5-0, 3). We believe this bout was expected earlier in the year though has been rescheduled. This could be a very good test for both men, or could see one man “exposed”.
The biggest name in action is former IBF Light Flyweight world title challenger Jether Oliva (22-3-2, 10). Oliva, who was stopped last time out by Luis Nery, will be up against Jonathan Ricablanca (7-47-2, 1) in what looks to be an easy comeback fight for Oliva.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This coming Sunday sees rather small but interesting Filipino show that we are looking forward to even if we aren't massively excited about it.
The main event features former world title challenger Jether Oliva (21-2-2, 10) who will be taking on Indonesian journeyman Jemmy Gobel (18-24-5, 13). Oliva, best known for his spirited effort against Ulises Solis back in 2011, will be expected to capture the WBF Asia Flyweight title here. Gobel, despite having 47 fights of experience, isn't a very good fighter and has been a regular visiting loser in Thailand. Among those losses in Thailand was a 6th round stoppage to Eaktawan Mor Krungthepthonburi just a few months ago and it's likely Oliva will also stop Gobel.
Although the main event is a mismatch we are very interested in one of the chief support bouts which will see the unbeaten Christian Araneta (5-0, 4) battle against the once beaten Bonjun Loperez (8-1-1, 4). Araneta will be favoured by those who just look at records though his opposition so far has been awful with a combined record of 6-16. Loperez is unbeaten in 9 fights following a debut defeat to Lester John Pronco and we suspect that was inexperience as much as anything. This could well be the show stealer.
A third bout of note on this show will see Kenny Demecillo (7-2-1, 4) battle against Vergel Deguma (2-1). On paper this doesn't look fantastic but we suspect it'll be a more even bout than the records of the men suggest.
(Image thanks to Ian Bautista Melodillar)
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
The only show of note this Tuesday is a small one in the Philippines at the Polomolok Gym.
In the main event of the card we'll see former world title challenger Jether Oliva (21-2-2, 10) taking on a yet to be named foe in an 8 round bout set to take place at Flyweight. Oliva has blown hot and cold and looked very good against Moruti Mthalane last year though looked terrible against Wilber Andogan in May of the year, his most recent bout. Although his opponent has not yet been named we're hoping for a complete performance from Oliva rather than one that sees him over-looking his opponent and under-performing.
In the chief support bout Engelbert Moralde (7-2, 5) will be battling against the very limited Paul Apolinario (10-11-2, 6) who should be problem for Moralde. Although not a world beater Moralde isn't a bad fighter at all and his 7-2 record is somewhat misleading considering who he has lost to.
We expect another 2 bouts on this card though neither will get much attention internationally with none of the men involved being more than domestic Filipino fighters unlikely to make a mark above the domestic level.
Not all days are about fights that take place in Asia, a lot are actually about fights that take place around the world. This weekend is a great example of that as we have a world ranked Japanese based fighter fight in Canada and a Filipino fighting in Mexico.
In a rare day a fight not in Asia takes the top billing for us as the Japanese based American Charlie Ota (24-1-1, 16) fights in the biggest fight of his career so far. Ota, a former Japanese and OPBF Light Middleweight champion, will be fighting against unbeaten American Jermell Charlo (23-0, 11) in an eliminator for the IBF #2 ranking. The bout is a genuinely tough one for "Charlie" and Charlo has looked very impressive at times, so much so that some in America are already dubbing him as a future champion. For Ota to win he will have to slow down the fast Charlo and that alone is a huge ask.
The winner of this bout should, in theory, be a fight or so away from a clash with IBF Light Middleweight champion Carlos Molina. That's a very difficult bout but Molina doesn't have the power to bother many fights and Ota may well see Molina as an easier foe than Floyd Mayweather, the WBA/WBC champion, or WBO champion Demetrius Andrade, who himself has a mandatory against Brian Rose later this year.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
As well as the big international fight we have two notable cards in the Philippines. For us the more interesting of those is the small card at the Lagao Gym. This show's main event is a bout between Raymond Tabugon (12-3-1, 5) and the unbeaten Jake Bornea (6-0, 3) who will be meeting a battle for the currently vacant WBC Asia Council Continental Flyweight title.
A second bout of note on this show will be between former world title challenger Jether Oliva (20-2-2, 10) and the over-matched Jopher Marayan (6-4-2, 2). It's hard to see anything but an easy victory for Oliva here and although he's not scored that breakthrough victory yet it's clear he's got the talent to mix it up at world level, as he showed in a recent bout with former IBF Flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane. At just 26 years old we are expecting to see Oliva claim a world title some day and he should make light work of Jopher Marayan here.
On the under-card fans will get the chance to see the very talented John Vincent Moralde (8-0, 4) who battles the sketchy Rolando Omela (5-9-3, 1) in what we imagine could be a bit one sided, if Moralde is as good as we're being told.
Metro Manila, Philippines
On the other Filipino show the main event will see Giemel Magramo (9-0, 6) battle against journeyman Pit Anacaya (8-23-2, 1) in a 10 round contest. There is no title on the line here and we can't see anything but a Magramo victory.
In the most interesting under-card bout Jay Loto (7-0) will be fighting against the once beaten Lester Abutan (5-1-2, 2). This is a better match up, on paper, than the main event but it;s still not a great bout in all honesty.
Baja California, Mexico
Talking about Filipino's it's worth mentioning that the promising youngster Jun Doliguez (18-1-2, 14) returns to Mexico after suffering his first loss there last month. He returns in an attempt to avenge that loss as he rematches Mexico's Gabriel Francisco Pina (11-11-5, 4), who claimed a controversial decision over him just a few short weeks ago. We're expecting Doliguez to make light work of Pina this time around and although he was dropped in the opening round of their first meeting many had him winning clearly. Hopefully however Doliguez shows a new found calmness to his work as he has often looked reckless through his career with his all out offensive mentality, which is fun to watch but can get him into trouble.
In Germany we get to see Kuwaiti Light Heavyweight Ali Rami (1-0, 1), not to be confused with Yemen's KO sensation Ali Raymi, in action as he takes on the win-less Emilio Beljan (0-3), who hasn't fought in over 6 years. It's hard not to feel that this is an easy win for Rami though we're unsure on what he imagines his ceiling is going to be in this sport. We doubt he'll go far and in fact the comparison's between himself and Raymi maybe his one claim to fame.
In Australia we have a trio of Asian's in action. These include Filipino journeyman Roberto Lerio (16-19-1, 6) who will be looking to be the the second Oriental fighter this year to defeat Jason Cooper (9-2-1, 5), who was beat by Qiu Xiao Jun in February. Incidentally this is the second meeting between these two men with Lerio actually holding a split decision win over Cooper from back in 2012 when he gave Lerio gave Cooper his first loss. Cooper has improved since the first fight but Lerio may have the confidence and belief to think that he can repeat his achievement from a coupld of years back.
Another of the Asians is Thailand's tough Paitoon Jaikom (1-5) who will be hoping to upset the debuting Dean Thomas (0-0) in a Welterweight bout. We know Paitoon is nothing special but we are impressed by his genuine toughness which he demonstrated against Ben Capps in a very recent bout. The other Asian is also a Thai in the form of Arnon Yuchareon (0-1) who will be hoping to score his first career as he battles the debuting Zoran Cassidy (0-0).
(Image, of Ota, courtesy of http://dbe1.com)