After a huge Friday for Japanese fight fans we get an interesting card on Saturday with interest for fans across Asia.
The most notable bout of the day is a huge one for Filipino fight fans, as IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (29-1-1, 20) defends his title against mandatory challenger Jonas Sultan (14-3, 0). This all-Filipino bout will the first all-Filipino world title bout in over 90 years and will see the winner really get a chance to become a big name back home, as well as solidifying themselves as one of the top Super Flyweights on the planet. Unfortunately it would seem likely that both are likely to miss out on the HBO “Superfly” series of shows, but if the winner can unify with WBA champion Kal Yafai that may not be too much of a problem in the short term.
For Mongolian fans attention should be shifted to Mississippi as unbeaten prospect Tugstsogt Nyambayar (9-0, 8) takes a huge step up to face off with former interim world champion Oscar Escandon (25-3, 17). The Mongolian hopeful was taken the distance for the first time in his last bout, and was dropped in that bout by Harmonito Dela Torre, but has looked capable of going all the way and this upcoming bout should be the sort of bout he needs to get himself in to the title mix. Escandon is just 15 months removed from an excellent KO win over Robinson Castellanos, but has lost his only bout since then, being stopped by Gary Russel Jr, and should really be 1-3 in his last 4, dating back over 3 years. This is a decent step up, but one that Nyambayar should manage without too many issues.
In Canada fans will be able to see hard hitting Kazakh hopeful Batyrzhan Jukembayev (12-0-0-2, 10) battle against Argentinian Jonathan Jose Eniz (20-9-1-1, 7) for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Light Welterweight title. The talented Kazakh does look like a very promising fighter but does need a genuine test after having had his way in many of his bouts so far. Given that Enil has been stopped only once, way back in 2015 by German Argentino Benitez, we're expecting him to be a real test for the Kazakh who may well need to show his skills as well as his power.
As for Japanese fans they can look a little bit closer to home thanks to a low key card in Osaka. The card is a pretty weak one but is headlined by former Japanese Light Flyweight champion Kenichi Horikawa (35-15-1, 9), who takes on a Thai we believe will be Mongkol Kamsommat (6-3, 5). This should be an easy win for Horikawa who fights in bis 52nd professional bout, which would see him become the outright number one for the most fights of any currently active Japanese fighter.
It seems that we're getting some great fights week after week at the moment, and this coming weekend looks set to deliver something special with a number of noteworthy bouts.
The biggest bout of the weekend, by far, and one of the biggest bouts this year will see Middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33) defending his WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO titles against Mexican icon Saul Alvarez (49-1-1, 34). For the mainstream sports fan the bout might not have the appeal of the recent Floyd Mayweather Vs Conor McGregor bout but for a boxing fan this is a bigger bout and it will see two of the biggest names in the sport collide in a really interesting match up. Will the biggest name in Mexican over-come the most destructive Middleweight of his generation, or will the Kazakh hero defeat the face of Mexican boxing.
It's not just in American that we get a world title fight, as we also get one in the Philippines, and this is another really well matched one which headlines a stacked card.
That world title bout will see IBF Light Flyweight champion Milan Melindo (36-2, 13) defending his title against former WBA Minimumweight champion Hekkie Budler (31-2, 10). The Filipino took the title earlier this year with a surprising first round win over Akira Yaegashi, setting a divisional record in the process, and will be looking to build on a fantastic little run which also includes a win over Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr. For Budler the bout sees him looking to become a 2-weight champion and score a third straight victory since his upset loss to Byron Rojas back in March 2016. This could be the fight of the weekend.
Talking about possible fights of the weekend it's hard not to think that John Riel Casimero (24-3, 15) against Jonas Sultan (13-3, 9) has the potential to be something special. Casimero, a former world champion at both Light Flyweight and Flyweight is seeking a world title fight at Super Flyweight and finds himself in there with a fighter who has slowly been building a reputation as one to watch. Whilst Casimero is a proven world level fighter, with wins against the likes of Luis Alberto Lazarte and Amnat Ruenroeng, it's hard not to be impressed by Sultan, who has run up recent stoppages against Tatsuya Ikemizu, Makazole Tete and Sonny Boy Jaro. This has the potential to be a very good fight.
Whilst the bouts mentioned above are all about fighters looking to kick on and go to better places it should be noted that this card also features a bout where neither man can afford another set back. That bout will see former world title challengers Arthur Villanueva (30-2, 16) and Richie Mepranum (31-6-1, 8) face off in a must win. Villanueva was last seen suffering a horribly one-sided loss to Zolani Tete in the UK, where Villanueva looked completely out of his depth, whilst Mepranum has been stopped in his last 2. Notably Villanueva is the naturally bigger man, and should win with out problems, but his performances in big bouts has left much to be desired so far.
One man looking to eventually get a big bout is Jason Pagara (40-2, 25), though he will need to over-come James Onyango (23-11-1, 19) if he's to get a shot at a world title. He's ranked #3 in the world by the WBO, and could be in the running for a shot very soon, but can't afford any slip ups here.
One man still looking to carve out his early career is Kevin Jake Cataraja (6-0, 5), who takes a small step up against Wiljan Ugbaniel (13-5-1, 4). The young Cataraja is regarded by those in the Philippines as one of the country's best prospects but will need to prove that against better foes than Ugbaniel. The more experienced man has lost his last 3 by stoppage, in a combined 4 rounds, and although he was once seen as a prospect it does seem like his career as a hopeful is now over.
We get another notable bout in Ukraine, as the unknown Uzbek Jamshidbek Najmiddinov (14-0, 9) takes on former world champion Viktor Postol (28-1, 12). For Postol the bout serves as his comeback contest following his wide decision loss to Terence Crawford back in July 2016 whilst the contests serves as a huge opportunity for Najimidinov to make a name for himself and score a career defining best win.
On a lower level we'll see two Thai's fighting in Australia.
One of those will see Paitoon Jaikom (7-32, 2) take on the unbeaten Matthew Triffett (3-0, 1) whilst the other will see Aphichat Koedchatturat (2-16-1) take on Lachlan Higgins (1-0, 1). It's clear these bouts won't get much attention given the other action for the day, but they will make up some under-card in Tasmania.
The biggest bout of the day, in regards to Asian fights at least, comes from Rizal where we see a rearranged contest between the talented, and criminally under-rated, Jonas Sultan (12-3, 8) and former world champion Sonny Boy Jaro (43-13-5, 30). The bout will see Sultan defending his IBF Inter-Continental Super Flyweight title, which he won last time out when he stopped Makazole Tete, and both men will be seeing a win here as potentially opening the door to a world title fight.
Xi An, China
In China we'll be getting quite a notable show.
The main event of this card will see the world ranked Can Xu (11-2) defending his WBA International Super Featherweight title against Filipino veteran Jack Asis (35-19-5,18). This will be Asis' first bout since he lost to Malcolm Klassen last year, and will see him ending a retirement, a retirement that he announced following the loss to Klassen. Xu is risking his world ranking and his title, but will favour his youth and energy to be the difference here.
In a bout pitting a local talent against an Indonesian, fans will see Wulan Tuolehazi (4-3, 1) battle former world title challenger Nouldy Manakane (32-21-2, 18), with Tuolehazi seemingly replacing Qiu Xiao Jun who was originally set to face the Indonesian veteran. At his best Manakane was a decent fighter, but nothing better than decent on the regional scene. Saying that however it's hard to know how good Tuolehazi is and although he should win here, it's still not likely we'll know really how good he is for a while yet.
In a China Vs Japan bout we'll unbeaten Chinese hopeful Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (11-0-1, 5) battle with Japanese veteran Taisho Ozawa (21-9-2, 13). Although relatively unknown Baisahnbo has caught our eye in the past and the 22 year old does look like a genuine prospect. Aged 36 Ozawa is in last chance saloon, and is looking to record his first win since 2012!
Also on this card will be a bout between heavy handed Puerto Rican Waldemar Pagan (8-1, 7) and Filipino Macrea Gandionco (12-4-2, 7). Although not an Asian fighter this will be Pagan's second fight in Asia, where he has also been used as a sparring partner, and he has impressed in the area, likely leaving a number of promotional outfits interested in him long term. The Filipino has already been stopped 4 times in his career, and it's hard to imagine him lasting the distance with the Puerto Rican here.
The only show in Japan is a small one in Osaka. Whilst it is small, and very low key, it does have a somewhat notable main event as the unbeaten Takuya Uehara (11-0, 6) defends his WBC Youth Featherweight title against Thai visitor Nongdear Sor Bangkharu (1-14). Despite the title being on the line it's hard to get too excited about this one given the unbeaten champion is taking on someone who has lost his last 6, suffering 5 stoppages during that run.
In Australia fans will see Australian veteran Les Sherrington (35-10, 19) battle against Indonesian foe Marco Tuhumury (11-17-2, 4) in what should be a straight forward win for Sherrington, despite the fact he's 34 and been stopped in his last 3 bouts, dating back more than 2 years.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The best of the three Asian shows this Sunday comes from the Philippines where we'll get some really intriguing action.
On paper the main event here is bout of the day and will see rising youngster Jonas Sultan (12-3, 8) take on former world champion Sonny Boy Jaro (43-13-5, 30), with Sultan looking to defend his IBF Inter-Continental Super Flyweight title for the first time. Sultan has impressed a lot over the last 2 years or so, with a number of solid wins including stoppages against Tatsuya Ikemizu and Makazole Tete and if he can score a win over Jaro he will potentially find himself on the fringes of the world rankings. Aged 34 Jaro is looking to earn another world title fight, and is on a 9 fight winning streak following a series of setbacks in 2012 and 2013. At his best Jaro is a tough guy to beat, with power, experience and toughness and will be looking to put himself back in the mix with a win over the rising hopeful. A really great match up.
Another really good domestic match up will see the under-rated Richard Pumicpic (18-8, 6) take on former OPBF champion Roli Gasca (23-7-1, 7) in what could be a real thriller, despite what the records suggest. Pumipic was last seen losing an all-action bout against Cesar Juarez last October and has previously given hell to the likes of Ryosuke Iwasa, Yohei Tobe and Allan Tanada. Gasca on the other hand has beaten Hiromasa Ohashi and twice had competitive bouts with Yukinori Oguni, and earned a draw with Akifumi Shimoda. Neither of these two are likely to be future world champions, but both are solid and should be make for a great bout against each other.
Also on this card will be the unbeaten Edward Heno (9-0-4, 3), who looks to claim the Philippines Boxing Federation Light Flyweight title. Heno will be up against fellow unbeaten southpaw Cris Ganoza (12-0, 6) in what looks like another cracking match up on a really good show.
The more notable of two Japanese shows comes from Hyogo where we see a small card featuring a couple of fighters of some note.
The most promising fighter on the show will be rising Bantamweight hopeful Tenta Kiyose (11-2-1, 4), who looks to extend a nice 4 fight unbeaten run as he takes on Taisei Higashi (7-9-1, 5). Kiyose was last seen stopping Ryuta Otsuka in 3 rounds, and has been on a great run since coming up short at the 2015 Rookie of the Year final. Higashi on the other hand has struggled with consistency recently and gone 3-6-1 in his last 10, which doesn't bode well here.,
The other fighter of note is 22 year old Featherweight hopeful Tenmei Serizawa (9-3, 5), who battled against Takuya Yamamoto (7-6, 4). Earlier in his career Serizawa struggled, going 3-3 in his first 6, but has strung together 6 straight wins including a career best 4th round KO win over Hikaru Matsuoka last time which has put him on the map so to speak. On the other hand Yamamoto has struggled recently with a 1-3 run in his last 4, including defeats to Shingo Kawamura and Yuta Uetani. On paper this doesn't look hugely exciting but Yamamoto is better than his record suggests and this could be a very competitive match.
For fans interested in this show it will be part of the Boxingraise subscription sevrice, and will be added on delay.
The other card is a small one form Fukuoka.
In the main event of this card we'll see Yusuke Yamanouchi (8-3-1, 4) battling against a Thai visitor in a 10 rounder. The bout looking to bounce back from an 8 round decision last May to Mitsuyoshi Fujita whilst little is known about the Thai he'll be facing.
The chief supporting bout here is a 6 rounder between Takuya Sugiyama (5-3-1) and Yuta Nakashima (7-10, 2), who fight in a rematch following a very close contest last year. Between them the fighters have a combined 12 wins, with 2 stoppages, and 13 losses, with just 2 of them by stoppage. Although yet to score a stoppage Sugiyama will be favoured to win here with Nakahsima having lost his last 5 in a row, including a loss to Sugiyama last time out, and is without a win in over 6 years!
The only Asian show of the day takes place in China.
The main event of the card will see former world title challenger Angky Angkotta (28-13-1, 14) take on Chinese local Yin Gang Wang (8-3, 2). Angkotta was once a solid fighter, and is the only man to have beaten Donnie Nietes, but has lost his last 5 and has gone 1-7-1 in his last 9 with his career having gone from title contender to journeyman. Notably Wang has lost 3 of his last 4 but the Chinese fighter will have youth and hunger on his side here and we suspect they will be too much the very shop worn Angkotta.
On the same card fight fans will also see big punching Chinese fighter Yongqiang Yang (5-0, 5) battle against the once beaten Kuerbanjiang Qiong (3-1). Yang has needed just 9 rounds to stop his first 5 opponents, but they were all total novices and this is a step up. As for Qiong he's gone the distance in all 4 bouts, and has a combined 16 rounds, but does appear to lack the power that he'll need to go far in the sport.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
We also get a really interesting bout from South Africa, where Makazole Tete (15-1-2, 11), the younger brother of Zolani Tete, faces Filipino Jonas Sultan (11-3, 7). Sultan will be travelling to face Tete for the IBF Inter-Continental title, with Tete looking to make his first defense of the belt. Tete won the belt back in July, when he beaten Raymond Tabugon in 5 rounds, this however is a much tougher bout for the local. Sultan, who has never been stopped, could have a strong argument as being unbeaten and was unlucky in all 3 losses, including last year's loss to Go Onaga. Whilst Sultan has suffered some controversial defeats he does notable wins over Jerson Mancio, Brian Lobetania, Rene Dacquel and Tatsuya Ikemizu and could prove a real handful for Tete.
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There isn't a lot of action this coming Friday but the key shows is in the Philippines.
The most notable bout of the day will see OPBF Light Welterweight champion Al Rivera (16-2, 14) make the first defense of his title as he takes on Fellow Filipino Adones Cabalquinto (23-2, 15), in what will be the second meeting between these two men. Riveral scored a surprise 2nd round win over Cabalquinto in November 2015 and subsequently went on to batter Shinya Iwabuchi to claim the OPBF title this year. This will be Rivera's first defense of the title and will also give Cabalquinto a chance to avenge his 2015 loss. This could be a really good bout, or another impressive performance from the monstrously heavy handed Rivera who has stopped his last 6
In the chief supporting bout we'll see the out of form Benezer Alolod (16-8-5, 5) battle against fellow struggler Renren Tesorio (15-8-3, 4) in a rubber bout between the two men. The men first fought in 2014, with Alolod taking a split decision win, then rematched in 2015 with Tesorio taking a majority decision. Since their second bout Tesorio has gone 1-2, suffering a 10th round TKO loss to Daigo Higa, whilst Alolod has suffered back to back losses to Koji Itagaki and Richard Claveras.
In another title bout involving a Filipino we'll see Czar Amonsot (32-3-3, 20) battle against Kaewfah Tor Buamas (23-0, 16). The bout will be Amonsot's first defense of the “interim” WBA Oceania Light Welterweight title and could see the winner move towards a potential world title fight, with Amonsot holding a decent world ranking. The bout will be Kaewfah's first bout of real note, though he has been scheduled to face other notable opponents, whilst Amonsot will be looking to extend a 16 fight winning run.
Yet another title fight involving a Filipino will see South African Gideon Buthelezi (17-5, 4) defending his IBO Super Flyweight title against Filipino visitor Jonas Sultan (11-3, 7). The bout is a tough ask for Sultan, given he's on the road here, but he has impressed on the road in the past, giving Go Onaga a very competitive bout last year and stopping Tatsuya Ikemizu earlier this year. It's worth noting that Buthelezi has been stopped by a Filipino before, having been taken out in a round by Edrin Dapudong in 2013
In one of a trio of main events on this card fight fans will see promising Light Middleweight Ryosuke Maruki (10-3-1, 7) battle against South Korean visitor Jung Hoon Yang (9-7, 2). Coming in to this one Maruki will be looking to record a 4th straight win and move towards a potential Japanese title fight in the near future.
In another “Japan Vs Korea” bout we'll see the big punching Yuki Beppu (10-0, 10) take on Jin Soo Kim (6-5, 3) in what should be Beppu's 11th straight stoppage win. Coming in to this one Beppu's form is brilliant, and has seen him claim the Rookie of the Year crown last year, Kim however has lost his last 3 and has won just twice in his last 6 bouts.
Another of the feature bouts will see 2014 All Japan Rookie of the year, at Super Bantamweight, Shohei Kawashima (11-0-2, 3) risk his unbeaten record against Kosuke Mizuno (7-5-2, 2). On paper this should be an easy bout for Kawashima however Mizuno is better than his record suggests and he really could be a great test for the unbeaten youngster.
As well as the 3 noted bouts there will be 4 other contests on this show.
Another Japanese show takes place in Okinawa and features a really good looking main event.
That main event will see the world ranked Go Onaga (25-2-2, 18) take on the criminally under-rated Jonas Sultan (9-2, 5) of the Philippines. We know the 35 year old Onaga will be strongly favoured here however Sultan has the ability to be a genuine banana skin and has never “cleanly” lost a bout so far. Whilst Onaga will be expected to win we'd not be surprised at all by a Sultan win, especially given his form and confidence on the back of a 5 fight winning streak.
Sadly the resat of this card is relatively uninteresting.
In Osaka we get the West Japan Rookie of the Year tournament with 12 bouts to decide the West representative for the All Japan final, which is to take place in December.
Of the 12 bouts the most notable on paper seems to be at Lightweight where 21 year old Tomoaki Matsumura (5-0, 3) battles against 20 year old Daiki Ichikawa (6-0, 4) in a really good looking all-unbeaten fight. The contest certainly won't “create a star” but it really is a fantastic fight and one of those brilliant match ups that the Rookie of the Year helps to generate.
A similarly attractive match up comes at Featherweight where Yuto Nagano (5-0, 2) battles Shuma Nakazato (4-0, 3). Again both fighters are unbeaten and young and looking to make a name for themselves. Interestingly Nakazato is probably the more well known of the two men considering that his father is a well regarded gym chairman, who helps handle the career of Katsunari Takayama.
This show promises a lot of action and we're really hoping that it lives up to the hopes we have for it.