This coming Saturday isn't the busiest day for Asian boxing, especially given some of the other big contests that we've had recently, but it is still a pretty notable one with a number of interesting contests involving prospects and a clash of former world title challengers.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The pick of the bouts, on paper, is the aforementioned clash of former world title challengers, as former 2-time world title challenger Jonathan Taconing (27-3-1, 22) takes on recent title challenger Vince Paras (13-1, 11), with Taconing defending the WBC International Light Flyweight title against his compatriot. At the age of 31 Taconing is likely on the back end of his career, though he is still a very dangerous, hard hitting, tough southpaw who is a nightmare for anyone at 108lbs. Paras on the other hand is just 19 and looking to immediately get back into the title mix following a recent loss in an IBF title fight against Hiroto Kyoguchi. This could end up being a very special and very brutal contest.
Staying in the Philippines we get a pretty notable card taking place in Benguet.
The main event will see former OPBF title challenger Cris Paulino (18-3, 7) facing off with the upset minded Jomar Fajardo (16-11-2, 7) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Super. Flyweight title. Paulino has been stopped in all 3 of hos defeats, to Ardin Diale, Koki Eto and Vic Darchinyan, but is a very capable fighter who is riding a 4 fight winning run into this fight. “Wallopman” Fajardo is best known for his two fights with Francisco Rodriguez Jr, earning a draw in the first of those bouts. Despite being upset minded Fajardo is 1-7-1 in his last 9 and and a win here would be one of his very best.
A bout that should be better than the records of those involved suggests will see Ryan Rey Ponteras (22-13-2, 11) take on Cris Alfante (14-7-1, 6). Neither of these men are world beaters, by any stretch of the imagination, but they should make for a very good contest between each other. Ponteras, on his day, can hold his own with fringe OPBF level opponents but is very inconsistent and can end up losing to opponents he should be. Alfante is the naturally smaller man, but also the younger man, and the fighter who will be looking to build on recent wins over Reymark Taday and Roilo Golez. This could be a pretty interesting match up, if we get the best from both guys.
Also on this card is promising youngster Jayson Vayson (7-0, 4), who looks to continue his unbeaten start to professional boxing as he takes on Ronald Alapormina (3-2-1). We like the 20 year old Vayson, a lot, and are looking forward to seeing him let off the leash in the near future. On paper this isn't a step up in class, but it will be his first 10 round contest. As for Alapormina he has gone 0-2-1 in his last 3 and will be wanting to end that win-less run. We expect a win for Vayson, but do hope to see him getting tested in the near future.
In Ibaragi Japanese fight fans get a small yet notable card featuring a former Japanese title challenger in what looks to be a mismatch, and interesting 8 round under-card bout.
The former Japanese title challenger is Tatsuya Takahashi (28-8-5, 20), who pushed the then Japanese Bantamweight champion hard Kentaro Masuda incredible hard back in December 2014. Takahashi will be up against domestic journeyman Masahide Shinabe (8-16-2, 4) in what should be a straight forward win for Takahashi, however Takashi will be coming in to this having lost last time out, losing a decision to Ikuro Sadatsune in a bout he was expected to win.
The interesting under-card bout will see Naoto Fujimoto (9-9-1, 4) face off against Ryuta Wakamatsu (11-13-1, 8). This is a bout between two limited domestic fighters, but they often give us some of the best action, with both men believing they can win, and putting it on the line to claim a relatively rare victory. This could, in terms of action at least, over-shadow the main event.
London, United Kingdom
One other bout with an Asian interest takes place on the biggest card of the weekend and will see 2016 Olympic silver medal winner Shakhram Giyasov (4-0, 3) face off with unbeaten Nicaraguan Julio Laguna (14-0, 10) on the under-card of the huge Anthony Joshua Vs Alexander Povetkin fight. For both men this will give them a chance to shine in front of a huge audience, and on paper it's a very interesting match up. The reality however is that if Giyasov is as good as he has looked in recent bouts then he will really impress here and move a considerable way towards getting a huge fighter in 2019. This is a good test on paper, but one that Giyasov should pass with no issue.
Bang Phun, Thailand
In Thailand our attention turns to Workpoint who will be showcasing a small but notable card. The headline bout of which will see unbeaten 29 year old local Atchariya Wirojanasunobol (11-0, 9) take on Japanese visitor Taisho Ozawa (21-10-2, 13) for a WBC regional title at Light Welterweight. Atchariya has fought twice this year, winning and defending the WBC Asian Boxing Council title at 140lbs, and we expect him to come out on top here as well. Oazawa on the other hand will be fighting for the first time in 2018 and is without a win almost 6 years, a combination of inactivity and 3 straight losses.
There is also set to be a small card in China, which will be main event by a 6 round contest between Yu Che Li (3-1-2, 2) and Hongpeng Zhang (5-5-1, 2). Given that that's the main event it should be little surprise that this card isn't going to get much attention. Coming in both men are on a 3 fight unbeaten run, with both men being 2-0-1 (1) during that 3 fight run, but neither has faced anyone of real note.
The rising generation of Japanese fighters was seen last week when Hiroto Kyoguchi became a world champion in just his 8th professional fight. This coming Saturday we again see two young Japanese fighters looking to continue their rise, one is a stablemate of Kyoguchi's at the Watanabe gym whilst the other is another heavy handed Minimumweight, and a potential future foe for Kyoguchi.
The main event will see Kyoguchi's stable mate Yusaku Kuga (14-2-1, 10) look to make his first defense of the Japanese Super Bantamweight title, as he takes on fellow hard hitter Ryoichi Tamura (8-2-1, 5) in what looks like a potentially brilliant fire fight. Neither of these men are the most skilled, but both can bang and both like to let their hands go. On paper Kuga should be the favourite, with his higher level of experience and move proven credentials, but Tamura can hit and could be a nightmare in a potential slugfest.
The other main bout will see Tsubasa Koura (10-0, 7) face off with Filipino Jaysever Abcede (14-6, 9), with the winner looking to become the new OPBF Minimumweight champion, claiming a title last held by the aforementioned Kyoguchi. Koura's rise has been great and he really shone last year, stopping Jeffrey Galero in an opening performance, but Abcede cannot be over-looked and he holds a massive win himself, stopping Pigmy Kokietgym just a few fights back. The winner here will put themselves in the mix for a world title bout and both will feel confidence that they can claim the victory, and the title.
In a supporting bout we'll see Naoya Okamoto (10-6-1, 5) take on Gaku Aikawa (8-4-1, 2) in a decent low level domestic bout. Neither of these guys are ranked, but they will be facing off in a nice looking 8 rounder, and the winner will certainly give their career a boost in the arm, which could do the world of good going forward.
In Hyogo we get a West Japan Rookie of the Year Card. As with many of these Rookie of the Year cards there are no names of note, but there are some interesting bout.
One of those bouts will see 30 year old Takafumi Minobe (1-0) take on teenager Rikuto Adachi (5-0, 2) in a bout at Welterweight. Given the lack of depth in Japan at 147lbs the winner of the Rookie of the Year can find themselves in the title picture rather quickly, and that could be the case if the winner of this can go all the way to the Rookie crown in December.
The most even bout on the show will see 20 year old Nozomi Yamashoji (2-0, 1) take on 21 year old Temin Kimura (2-0, 1). The two Super Featherweights have identical records, with Kimura being slightly older Yamashoji have a single round more experience. Although the two are similar it does need noting that Yamashoji has been out of the ring for more than a year, and that could show here.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In Metro Manila fight fans get a low level card littered with notable names.
The most notable of those names is 2-time world title challenger Jonathan Taconing (24-3-1, 20 ), who fights in a 10 round bout against journeyman Silem Serang (8-13-1, 1). Originally Taconing was supposed to be defending his WBC International Light Flyweight title but that appears to be off, likely with Serang not being eligible for the title given his recent form, with 5 losses in his last 6.
The card also features some unbeaten prospects. One of those is the heavy handed Abraham Bullagay (9-0-1, 9), who looks to record a 10th win as he takes on veteran Ryan Tampus (11-19, 8) in a bout scheduled for 8. Given that Tampus has been stopped 8 times in 11 bouts it's hard to imagine him coming out on top here. Another unbeaten puncher on this card is Arvin Magramo (5-0, 4), who was originally pencilled in to take on Anecito Padillo (3-2, 2) though it now seems Padillo has removed from boxrec.com so it's unclear who Magramo will be facing.
A third unbeaten prospect in action here is Bryan Ascano (7-0-1, 2), who takes part in a good looking 6 rounder against Jules Victoriano (5-1, 4), in what should be the best bout on the show, and is clearly the most well matched.
The card also featured Wilbert Berondo (10-2-1, 4), who looked to get his career back on track following a 0-2-1 run including a loss to Hinata Maruta. The Filipino youngster will be up against domestic journeyman Ruben Traza (4-12-4, 1) in what should be an easy confidence builder for Berondo.
For a second day running we get low level Chinese action in Jinan, with the card scheduled to have 8 bouts of 4 rounds on it, with no notable names at all in action.
Puerto Armuelles, Panama
Korean based Pakistani fighter Muhammad Waseem (6-0, 4) will fight for the second time in the space of weeks as he takes on Ivan Trejos (7-7-2, 1) in a stay busy fight in Panama. His promoter, Andy Kim, is putting on the show and will be keeping Waseem busy along with a number of other AK fighters, though it does seem like Waseem's rapid rise has sadly faltered this year.
Action returns to Singapore this coming Saturday with a number of interesting prospects back in action.
In the main event we'll see unbeaten Uzbek hopeful Qudratillo Abduqaxorov (10-0, 7) take a huge step up in class as he takes on Zimbabwean fighter Charles Manyuchi (20-2-1, 12) for the WBC “silver” Welterweight title. For Abduqaxorov the bout is a massive step up but a win would secure him a place in the WBC rankings and move him towards a world title shot, as well as see him build on wins against the likes of Larry Siwu, Adones Cabalquinto and Romeo Jakosalem. For Manyuchi the bout sees him making his Asian debut, though he has scored notable wins in Burkina Fase, Italy and Russia. If Manyuchi retains his title it seems him building on last year's huge upset win over Dmitry Mikhaylenko and likely secures him a WBC title shot in the near future.
In a supporting bout Azizbek Abdugofurov (5-0, 4) will put his unbeaten record on the line against Martin Fidel Rios (21-10-4, 11). The unbeaten Abdugofurov was forced to go 12 rounds earlier this year against Sirimongkol Singwancha and proved his stamina in the process but still has a number of questions to answer in regard to his long term potential. For Rios the bout comes after an upset win over Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna and a very controversially and foul filled fight with Jamie Cox in the UK. A really interesting match up even though it may not look it on paper.
In an support bout we'll see in form Filipino Jeson Umbal (13-5, 9) battle against Fadhili Majiha (20-7-4, 9). Umbal really has been stringing together a nice run over the last 12 months, with 5 wins in the last year, and will be looking to notch another here as he looks to move onto the fringes of a world title fight. As for Majiha he returns to Asia for the first time since 2014, when he suffered 3 successive losses to world class fighters, losing to Marlon Tapales, Pungluang Sor Singyu and Jerwin Ancajas. A win for Umbal would see him joining that notable list of fighters.
Another notable bout on this card will see Indonesian fighter Daud Yordan (36-3-0-1, 24) take on Thai youngster Campee Phayom (11-2, 7). The talented, and fun to watch, Yordan is currently riding a 6 fight winning run and will be looking to extend that run as he looks to move towards another world title fight. He'll know that he is on the verge of a potential title shot, but can't let it slip from his grasp with a loss here. For Campee the bout sees him looking for a third successive win, and looking to build on a big upset win last year against Yoshimichi Matsumoto. Against Matsumoto we saw Campee prove that he can fight on the road and a win here would get him some serious attention.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Fight fans in Metro Manila are also set for a card with some notable action.
In a bout for the WBC International Minimumweight title we'll see the unbeaten Jay Loto (13-0-1) take on the tough Lito Dante (12-7-4, 7). On paper this looks like a clear win for the unbeaten man but the reality is that he's stepping up to face a much more battle hardened fighter, who will be looking to score an upset. This is much better than it looks on paper.
Also on this card will be Jonathan Taconing (23-3-1, 19) and Glenn Suminguit (19-2, 10), though neither of their opponents have been announced at the time of writing.
In Russia we'll see the unbeaten Akzhol Sulaymanbek uulu (5-0, 4), a Russian based Kyrgyzstan born fighter, taking on Denis Lashin (6-2, 2) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Featherweight title. The bout is a notable step up for Sulaymanbek uulu, who has never been in a bout scheduled for more than 6 rounds, and it should be a good test, though it's hard to know just how good Lashin is himself.
In Uganda we'll see Azeri Shahin Adygezalov (8-0, 7) battle against Fabian Lyimo (18-6-2, 11) in a bout for the UBO Welterweight title. Strangely this will be Adygezalov's 4th successive bout in Uganda, and his 5th bout in Africa as looks to make a name for himself away from “home”.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The only Asian card of the day comes from the Philippines.
The most significant bout of the card will see former 2-time world title challenger Jonathan Taconing (22-3-1, 18) look to bounce back from his recent loss to Ganigan Lopez, as he takes on the heavy handed Salatiel Amit (9-1-2, 7) for the vacant WBC International Light Flyweight title. Taconing is a bull in the ring and it's hard to see him losing here to Amit, however the 24 year old Amit will know that a win will put him in the mix for a world ranking and may well meet fire with fire, potentially leading to a war.
Recent Kosei Tanaka victim Rene Patilano (15-2-2, 7) also returns to the ring following a loss, with the twice beaten Patilano taking on domestic journeyman JC Francisco (6-13-5, 2) in a key supporting bout. Patilano was made to look poor against Tanaka but this bout should be an easy win for the former world ranked Light Flyweight. Francisco is win-less in 10 bouts and is unlikely to change that here.
Another fighter looking to bounce back from a loss is Wilbert Berondo (10-1, 4), last seen being stopped by the sensational Hinata Maruta. The once beaten Berondo will be facing off with Robin Dingcong (3-3-2, 1) in what looks like an easy return to the ring for Berondo, who was made to look very poor against Maruta, though it does seem like Maruta will make very good fighters look average in the years to come.
The most significant bout, at least in terms of the world title scene, comes form the US where Japan's Ryosuke Iwasa (22-2, 14) battles the unbeaten Luis Rosa (22-0-0-2, 10) in an IBF Super Bantamweight world title eliminator. The winner of this will be particularly interested in the December 30th bout between Jonathan Guzman and Yukionori Oguni, and may well find themselves facing the winner of that bout next year. It's a major test for both and is a really good match up, worthy of it's eliminator status.
Staying in the US there are several Asian fighters in action on the Nevada card, headlined by Sergey Kovalev's bout with Andre Ward.
One of those bouts will be a battle of unbeaten men as American based Uzbek Botirsher Obidov (6-0-1, 2) risks his record against Russian puncher Bakhram Murtazaliev (6-0, 4). This is a notable step up for both men and should prove to be a great test for both fighters, who have got a lot of questions to answer still.
The other Asian is debuting Kazakh Meirim Nursultanov (0-0), who looks to make his first mark on professional boxing as he takes on the limited Henry Beckford (4-5,1) in a 4 rounder.
There is also notable action in Australia where unbeaten local Luke Jackson (12-0, 5) takes on Filipino visitor Silvester Lopez (27-11-2, 19). Coming into this Lopez is on a bit of a run having won his last 3, but has been inconsistent in the last few years going 8-8-1 in his last 17 bouts. A former world title challenger Lopez was one a threat at 115lbs but is now fighting well above his best weight and should be too small to really test Jackson, but may have the power to hurt the local favourite.
In less significant bouts in Australia we'll see Brent Dames (3-2) battle against Australian based Thai Paitoon Jaikom (5-22, 2) and the unbeaten Kayne Clarke (1-0, 1) take on Arnon Yuchareon (1-15-2, 1) in two less than great match ups.
This coming Saturday is a mouth watering weekend for hardcore fight fans who are in for treat if they can find some of the bouts on TV.
Distrito Federal, Mexico
The most meaningful bout featuring an Asian comes from Mexico where we see WBC Light Flyweight champion Ganigan Lopez (27-6, 17) defending his belt against Filipino slugger Jonathan Taconing (22-2-1, 18). For Lopez this is a baptism of fire for his first defense whilst Taconing finally gets his second shot at a world title. Potentially this is a FOTY contender and really could be something very special.
The bout in Mexico isn't the only only of note featuring an Asian and may actually have a serious contender for the fight of the weekend status featuring another two Asian's.
That other potential fire cracker will see OPBF Flyweight champion Ardin Diale (31-9-3, 15) face off against fast rising Japanese star Daigo Higa (9-0, 9) in one of the bouts that we have been hoping to see all year. A couple of years ago Diale was in a FOTY contender with Higa's stablemate Koki Eto, losing in a crazy 8th round, and Higa will be looking for similar success here as he looks to continue his rise through the ranks. For Diale it's a chance to get some revenge of Shirai Gushiken Sports Gym and continue his reign, and work his way towards another potential world title fight.
On the under card of this Japanese card fight fans will see Junki Sasaki (15-3, 6) battle against Reiko Sugiyama (7-5-3, 5) in one of the very few supporting bouts of note.
Unfortunately a mouth watering match up between Ryuto Maekawa (11-0-1, 7) and Ryuto Oho (9-2-1, 2) has been cancelled following an injury to Maekawa, though we have been informed that the bout will be rescheduled.
On a second Japanese card fight fans will get the chance to see two notable names in action.
One of the notable names is former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Rikki Naito (14-1, 5) who faces Argie Toquero (9-4-2, 7). This will be Naito's second bout since losing the Japanese title last year to Kenichi Ogawa and should be a straight forward win for the talented 24 year old, who will be fighting for the first time this year.
The other notable name on this show is former OPBF and Japanese Light Middleweight champion Charles Bellamy (25-3-1, 17), who faces Elfelos Vega (6-3, 4). This will be Bellamy's first bout this year and is likely to help kick start his career after some issues out of the ring. The talented Japanese based American should over-come Vega relatively easily, given that Vega has lost 2 of his last 3.
New South Wales, Australia
Back on the road there is also action in Australia with several Asian fighters.
One of those Asian's is Joebert de los Reyes (15-6-1, 10) who faces off against Darragh Foley (8-2, 6) for the WBA Oceania Light Welterweight title. On paper this doesn't look anything special but the reality is that both men have something to gain here, and de los Reyes is looking to avenge a 2015 defeat to Foley, this really could be an intriguing bout.
Two other Asian fighters clash in a female bout as Filipino Gretchen Abaniel (16-8, 6) faces Thailand's Petcharas Superchamp (6-0, 1) for the GBU and WIBA Minimumweight titles. On paper Abaniel will be favoured given her edger in experience though the Thai will likely feel confident of continuing her unbeaten run.
Metro Manila, Philippines
There is huge action in the US and the UK this coming Saturday but there will also be notable action in the Asia with two shows in the Philippines, including a really exciting one in Metro Manila.
In the main event fans will get the chance to see heavy handed OPBF Light Flyweight champion Jonathan Taconing (21-2-1, 18) defending his belt against Jomar Fajardo (14-8-2, 7). Taconing, who is one of the most criminally under-rated fighters on the planet, should be getting a world title fight in the near future, if he sees off Fajardo here. As for Fajardo he could find himself playing the spoiler again, as he did last year when he held Francisco Rodriguez Jr to a draw. Despite the result against Rodriguez we'd be amazed if he survives against Taconing here.
As one of the support bouts we'll see the talented Juan Martin Elorde (17-1-1, 7) take on Yakobus Heluka (8-12, 1) in a really awful mismatch. Heluka has gone 1-7 coming into this fight, with 5 of those losses coming by stoppage and it's hard to see how he avoids the same fate here, despite the fact Elorde isn't a noted puncher.
Another of the support bouts will see Juan Martin Elorde's younger brother, Juan Miguel Elorde (18-1, 9) battle against Rasmanudin (19-11-3, 10). On paper this is another gross mismatch with Rasmanudin going 1-7-1 in his last 9, with hist last loss coming earlier this month to Kongthara KKP. Amazingly Rasmanudin has been stopped 3 times already this year, and we really need to ask what his handlers are doing throwing him into another bout so soon after his last one.
One other support bout of note will see 20 year old Flyweight prospect Giemel Magramo (13-0, 10) in action. At the time of writing however his opponent hasn't been announced.
There is a second in the Philippines, though one without the big title fight main event.
On paper the most interesting bout on this card will see the unbeaten and heavy handed Christian Araneta (9-0, 8) battle against the once beaten Jessie Espinas (11-1, 7). This one promises fireworks and really is a very well matched bout with both men having solid power, and lot to gain with a win. This really could be a bout that turns out to be fantastic for the fans in attendance.
On the same card will be another notable prospect, Jack Tepora (14-0, 10). Tepora, dubbed “The Golden Boy”, will be up against experienced foe Jason Egera (21-14, 10). On paper it looks like the typical opponent you'd expect of someone with Tepora's experience but the reality is that Egera hasn't won in over 2 years, and is coming into this one on a 0-6 run.
In an all-Asian bout in the US, on the under-card of Floyd Mayweather's clash with Andre Berto, fans will see Uzbekistan's Sanjarbek Rakhmanov (1-0, 1) battle against Kyrgyzstan's Farkhad Sharipov (4-4, 1).
This Saturday is an incredibly busy day in the world of boxing with bouts coming thick and fast on a day thats sees notable fighters in action and some wonderful match ups.
In Tokyo we get the first Japanese title fight of the month alongside a couple of other noteworthy bouts.
The title bout in question will see Japanese Light Flyweight champion, and current world ranked fighter, Yu Kimura (15-2-1, 2) defending his national crown against Hayato Yamaguchi (12-5-1, 2), who is making his second Japanese title challenger. For Kimura this is a must win bout if he hopes to get a world title fight later in the year however he won't have been able to prepare for Yamaguchi as he would have liked as the challenger only signed for the fight a few weeks ago after Shin Ono suffered an injury that forced him out of the bout. Of course saying that Yamaguchi will not have had a full training camp himself for this bout.
On the same card we will see the return to the ring of Yasutaka Ishimoto (24-8, 7) who will be fighting for the first time since his narrow loss to Yukinori Oguni last December in a Japanese Super Bantamweight title fight. The popular Ishimoto should be able to end a 2-fight skid as he takes on the limited Yoshihiro Utsumi (12-5-3, 7) in what looks to be a confidence building bout for the 33 year old Ishimoto.
In another bout of note fans will get the chance to see the once beaten Masanobu Nakazawa (16-1-1, 6) battle against the hard hitting Kazuya Soma (7-6-2, 6). Coming into this bout Nakazawa is on a 13 fight winning streak and we suspect that'll continue here, though Soma can hit hard enough to trouble fighters at this level.
A third noteworthy bout on this show will feature 2014 All Japan Flyweight Rookie of the Year Kenji Ono (7-1, 3) who battles against Taichi Yokote (6-2, 3), who has been inactive since a close decision loss in November 2013. This looks like a really good match up on paper and the sort of 50-50 fight that we love seeing, even if Yokote has been out of the ring for more than a year.
In Osaka there are two shows in the same venue, the “L Osaka”.
The first of those shows will be the Taiho promoted card which features only a single notable fighter, in a mismatch no less. Though it does have two relatively interesting looking support bouts.
The main event will see the Japanese and OPBF ranked Ryota Kajiki (24-9, 15) battle the horribly over-matched Tokiya Nishioka (9-4-2, 5). Whilst Kajiki has gone 4-3 in his last 7 they did include a loss to Daiki Kaneko in a Japanese title bout and he is much better than fighters like Nishioka who was stopped in 2 rounds last time out. A horrible mismatch.
A much better looking bout sees Ippo Nishiwaki (7-3-1, 4) fight against Hirokazu Okajima (8-4-2, 4) in an even looking an match up between two flawed but capable fighters who will each be hoping that a win will move them towards bigger and better things. It's not a headline style bout but it's a very solid match up in it's own right.
A second notable support bout will see Akiyoshi Kanazawa (11-3-4, 5) attempt to score his first in 3 fights as he fights Junya Nishikawa (7-5-2, 2), Kanazawa isn't as good as his record suggests, despite a notable win over Atsushi Aburada, though he should be good enough to see off Nishikawa.
The other Osaka show is promoted by Osaka Teiken and unfortunately looks just as bad in regards to it's main event, though the two support bouts are both solid and meaningful domestic bouts.
The main event will see OPBF and Japanese ranked Flyweight Myung Ho Lee (17-4-1, 5) battle against Thai visitor Dawut Manopkanchang (0-2), who has been stopped in two previous visits to Japan. Aged 20 Dawut is still a young fighter but there is no need to have him in the ring with someone like Lee, even though he may see out there bell here given Lee's relative lack of power.
A solid looking support bout will see Japanese ranked Featherweight Ryuto Kyoguchi (13-0-1, 9) battle against Kosuke Saka (9-3, 6). We expect Kyoguchi to come out on top however this no walk in the park and Saka has been in with good competition losing to the likes of Masayuki Ito and Hiroshige Osawa. For Kyoguchi it's a tough assignment but one he'll need to pass if he's to be taken seriously as a Japanese contender, for Saka it's a chance to move himself towards a possible title fight.
The other notable support bout will see former All-Japanese Rookie of the Year Bunta Mitaka (6-2-2) take on Shingo Kawamura (9-2, 4) in a real must win for both. Mitaka has lost his last 2 bouts, including a 3rd round TKO loss to the excellent Shohei Omori, and has seen his 2013 Rookie of the Year crown becoming little more than history. On the other hand Kawamura was stopped last time out by the excellent Kongthara KKP and will know that he needs a win to remain relevant. A brilliant match up.
We see Korean outfit AK Promotions continuing their activity in Thailand as they take Jaesung Lee (18-4-2, 9) over to Chonburi to battle against Joaquim Mahe (10-2, 6) in a contest for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council silver Featherweight title. Lee was run close last time by Angelito Merin, who fought under the name Rivera AK Gym, and may well find himself being run close again here by his French opponent, who gave Tepparith Kokietgym a very competitive contest earlier this year.
In Mexico fans are going to be treat to a potentially explosive clash between hard hitting Filipino Jonathan Taconing (20-2-1, 17) and Mexico's very own Raul Garcia (36-3-1, 22). Taconing, the OPBF Light Flyweight champion, is a thunderous puncher who has stopped his last 7 opponents since being controversially beaten by the then WBC Light Flyweight champion Kompayak Porpramook back in 2012. As for Garcia he's a former IBF champion who has a number of notable wins on his record, including his world title win over Florante Condes. This is potentially the fight of the weekend and has the potential to be a FOTY contender.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Christmas is just around the corner but yet for fight fans and fighters alike there are still fights to be excited about between now and the time we get to open presents. A lot of those fights come this coming Sunday as we get cards in 3 separate Asian countries with each of those shows having something notable about them.
Of the 3 shows it's one from Japan that has us the most excited with the Korakuen Hall hosting the 2014 All Japan Rookie of the Year finals. The show, which will consist of 11 bouts, will crown the Rookie of the Year winners and should be one of the best value for money shows that Japanese fans get this year.
For those wanting to read about all the fights and fighters we've done a small feature on the show here, though for those just wanting the highlights we've selected our 3 favourite bouts.
The first of the bouts that has us excited is at Super Flyweight where Ioka prospect Masayoshi Hashizume (6-0, 4) puts his unbeaten record on the line against Shogo Yonenaga (6-1, 3). For those who haven't seen Hashizume in action yet we advise you check out his last 2 bouts, a 38 second blow out of the then 3-0 Takeshi Kajikawa and a 120 second victory over Eita Sakurai, who was 4-0 going into that bout. As you'll see from the footage he is very exciting. On the other hand Yonenaga isn't as exciting but is highly skilled and more experienced and will be fully aware that a win could launch him onto the fringes of a domestic ranking. This is going to see fireworks.
At Lightweight the very touted Andy Hiraoka (6-0, 3) will battle fellow unbeaten fighter Shogo Yamaguchi (6-0-1, 3). The pressure here is on Hiraoka, a 5'11” southpaw, who has got a lot of people very excited about him despite being just 18 years old. Yamaguchi is viewed by many as the under-dog though with an unbeaten record and several wins over unbeaten foes he'll be going into this bout with belief that he can halt Hiraoka's rise. We'll admit that might not have the fire works of the Super Flyweight bout but should be a great contest between two men who will each have a lot of self belief coming into this contest.
The third highlight comes at Welterweight where we again have an all unbeaten match up. The most interesting of the two men here is Yuki Beppu (7-0, 7) who appears to be a man with serious power and real promise. Whilst Beppu has been collecting stoppages for fun, including 5 opening round victories, he hasn't fought anyone as good as Hironobu Matsunaga (6-0, 3) before and this is expected to be the toughest bout so far for both men. The winner here might well find themselves put on the fast track to the Japanese Welterweight title with current champion Suyon Takayama looking less than convincing in recent defenses of his belt.
With 11 bouts, a lot to fight for and really exciting match ups we suspect this could be a really memorable show.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Whilst the show in Japan is all about hopeful youngster's there is a card in the Philippines about more established talent with several notable fighters.
One of the notable men in action is Monico Laurente (24-12, 5) who takes on the experienced Richard Garcia (25-20-1, 7) in a bout scheduled for 10 rounds. Laurente is the GAB champion and was, once, highly ranked by the OPBF tough has lost 4 of his last 5 bouts including clear decision losses to Shun Kubo and Yusuke Suzuki. We suspect Laurente will defeat the limited Garica here though a big question mark hangs over Laurente's head in terms of his confidence which may well be shot to bits.
Another recognisable name fighting on this show will be Vinvin Rufino (35-16-3, 16), who challenged OPBF Featherweight champion Hisashi Amagasa earlier this year. Rufino will be seeking his second successive win following the loss to Amagasa as he takes on the limited but tough Rex Olisa (10-26-1, 8) in what suspect will be a decision win for the experienced Rufino.
It's fair to say the most exciting fighter on this card is current OPBF Light Flyweight champion Jonathan Taconing (19-2-1, 16) who we understand will be fighting in his second successive non-title bout. Taconing, best known for his controversial loss to Kompayak Porpramook back in March 2012, has yet to have his foe named but we're not expecting anyone too tough for the exciting Filipino puncher who we really enjoying watching.
As ell as the 3 bouts mentioned we're expecting to see a further 5 bouts on this show.
Seoul, South Korea
In South Korea fans will be getting 6 bouts. Sadly this card isn't great though does continue to see fights taking place in South Korea, something we'll never complain about. It's worth noting that all 6 bouts will see South Korean locals fighting against Japanese foes.
Of the 6 bouts in the card the most interesting looks to be a Super Bantamweight contest between Hyun Woo Lee (5-1, 1) and Ryosuke Hayase (4-1, 1). We won't pretend either of these fighters are great but together they should feature in a genuinely competitive contest against each other.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
July 5th-Shibata battles Nishida in unified title defence whilst Taguchi, Taconing and Rufino are all in lesser bouts
This coming weekend is one of the quietest in boxing this year. Despite the relative lack of activity we do have some interesting contests on Saturday that thankfully do help keep some interest in the sport for the day.
The biggest show of the day for us is in Japan with a Watanabe Gym promoted card at the Korakuen Hall. The show, "The 526th Dynamic Glove, will have just 7 bouts but they are almost all worthy of attention.
The most interest bout is the main event which will see OPBF and Japanese Middleweight champion Akio Shibata (22-8-1, 9) defending his unified crown against the under-rated Hikaru Nishida (10-6-1, 3). On paper you'd be right to assume this would be a mismatch but Nishida is in tremendous form having won 6 of his last 7, including victories over Kazuhiko Hidaka and Makoto Fuchigami and has genuinely earned this opportunity on merit.
The penultimate bout on the show will be a contest between Japanese ranked Light Welterweight Hayato Hokazono (17-4-1, 10) and the light hitting Osamu Hashimoto (9-6,1). Going in to this bout we can't see anything but a win for Hokazanko and we're unsure why this has got the "chief support" billing on the card..
Although the Hokazano/Hashimoto bout is technically the chief support bout the most interesting of the under-card contests is a Light Flyweight contest between former Japanese champion Ryoichi Taguchi (19-2-1, 8) and former IBF Minimumweight champion Florante Condes (27-8-1, 23). Taguchi is the only man to have seen the final bell against Naoya Inoue whilst Condes is a big punching Filipino who on't have travelled to Japan to just lose. With that in mind we're really excited about this bout.
Another Japan Vs Philippines bout on this show will see the Japanese ranked Yuji Wauke (17-4-1, 8) fighting against Jonel Gadapan (8-6-1, 4). Whilst we're excited about the Taguchi/Condes fight this one sadly looks like a mismatch with Wauke the clear favourite to win against a limited visitor who has been beaten by almost every notable opponent he has faced in his career.
Metro Manila, Philippines
As well as the solid looking show in Japan we also have a card in the Philippines, unfortunately it's a card that appears to have some interesting fighters on it but no interesting bouts with them all pretty much looking like mismatches on paper.
The most notable of the bouts will see recent OPBF Featherweight title challenger Vinvin Rufino (34-16-3, 16) taking on Cristian Abila (11-12-3, 3) in a defence of Rufino's GAB Featherweight title. Although Rufino was no match for Hisashi Amagasa earlier this year we can't see him coming unstuck against the very average Abila who is, at best, a domestic Filipino journeyman. Rufino's "level" probably is at the top end of the Filipino domestic scene and there is nothing wrong with that, we just wish he'd be in with someone a little bit better than Abila.
Rufino may have failed in his attempt to become an OPBF champion earlier this year but the same could not be said of the hard hitting Jonathan Taconing (18-2-1, 15) who claimed the OPBF Light Flyweight title back in March by winning a thriller with compatriot Vergilio Silvano. Sadly Taconing won't be defending his belt here and instead he'll be fighting in a non-title bout at Flyweight as he takes on Thai visitor Nimithra Sithsaithong (4-5, 3) in what is little more than a mismatch. We love Taconing and feel he could be a potential world champion but it'd be nice to see him fighting a much higher level than this.
From what we understand there are 5 other bouts on this card with the most interesting of those being a contest between Glenn Suminguit (12-2, 7), ending a 2 year break from the ring, and the unbeaten Junar Adante (5-0-1, 2). It's not a bout that features a big name but it should prove to be a very good bout and the winner will deserve serious credit.
The most interesting bout outside of Asia, though involving an Asian, is in Mexico where Thai female star Samson Tor Buamas (33-3, 15) takes on the talented Arely Mucino (19-2-2, 10) in a WBC female Flyweight eliminator. The winner of this contest would be set to take on Shindo Go and although we'd have to think Mucino goes in as the favourite Samson has the experience and skills to make life difficult for the Mexican.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia fans will get the chance to see Australian based Filipino Joel Dela Cruz (17-21-2, 7) taking on relative novice Michael Mlacic (8-2-1, 2). Although Dela Cruz is the more experienced of the two men he is without a win since December 2011 and will be going in to this bout trying to avoid a 10th straight loss.
In Germany we have an all-Asian bout as Uzbekistan's Jonny Ibramov (8-5-2, 2) battles against Azerbaijan's Bakhtiyar Iskenderzade (9-4, 2) in a 6 round Light Welterweight bout. We've got to admit this isn't a hugely interesting bout but it's still a bout that does leave us curious about both men despite the potential of both men being pretty limited.
(Image courtesy of Boxmob.jp)
We're used to seeing fights for the OPBF title often involving a Japanese fighter against a Filipino fighter. We get one of those again in Tuesday though we also get a small shake up to the formula as we also get the chance to see an all Filipino OPBF title fight in a busy day of action on the regional level.
Metro Manila, Philippines
We get the all Filipino OPBF title fight in Metro Manila as the vacant OPBF Light Flyweight title is put up for grabs. The title which was vacated by Naoya Inoue will actually be one of the most anticipated OPBF titles fight in a long as we get two world class fighters battling for the belt. In one corner will be the highly under-rated Jonathan Taconing (17-2-1, 14) whilst in the other will be recent IBF title challenger Vergilio Silvano (18-3-1, 10).
Although neither Taconing or Silvano have been world champions we expect to see both back in world title action over the next few years and as a result this bout should be seen as pseudo world title eliminator as well as being an OPBF title fight.
The Taconing/Silvano fight is one of two title fights on this show with the other being a Filipino (GAB) Bantamweight title fight between the experienced Monico Laurente (23-10, 5) and the once beaten Jetro Pabustan (22-1-5, 6). Impressively Pabustan comes into this bout on a 14 fight unbeaten streak whilst Laurente hace lost 3 of his last 4 and will surely know that he needs a win just to kick start his now faltering career.
A third bout of note on this card will feature Juan Miguel Elorde (14-1, 6), the grandson of the great Flash Elorde. Elorde will be to improve his record as he fights Indonesia's excellently named Budi Risky (8-3, 5). We're expecting Elorde to win quite easily and Risky is 0-2 outside of Indonesia, though we don't view Elorde as anything special, unlike his legendary grandfather.
The OPBF title fight is in the Japanese capital as the WBC #1 ranked Bantamweight and current OPBF champion Ryosuke Iwasa (16-1, 10) looks for the first defence of his title. Iwasa has a tough assignment ahead of him with Filipino Richard Pumicpic (14-5-2, 4) looking for his chance to announce himself to the boxing world. On paper this looks like a straight forward defence for the man known as "Eagle Eye" though in reality it's a very tough defence for Iwasa.
Iwasa is widely regarded as a world champion in the making and is currently on an 8 fight winning streak following a loss to current WBC champion Shinsuke Yamanaka. Despite his impressive winning run Iwasa will know Pumicpic is a tricky and tough customer who is a genuine banana skin for some fighters and could give Iwasa a genuine shock if the highly touted Japanese fighter isn't on his game.
In the co-feature here former world title challenger Ryo Akaho (21-1-2, 14) will be fighting Filipino veteran Richard Garcia (25-17-1, 7). Although the main event looks competitive this bout certainly seems likely to be one sided with Akaho almost nailed on to win.
On the undercard of this show we've spotted two interesting bouts. The higher profile one is between former Japanese title challenger Daisuke Yokoyama (15-5, 6) and the tough Kenta Takahashi (10-7-2, 3). Although Takahashi is limited he's never been stopped and should extend Yokoyama the scheduled 8 rounds.
The second under-card bout of interest is the debut of former amateur stand out Koki Koshikawa (0-0) who will be kicking off his professional career in a 6 rounder with Japanese based Ghanaian Quaye Peter (5-3-1, 3). Although Peter is no world beater and has lost his last 2 bouts he should have enough to at least ask a few questions of Koshikawa who some are tipping as a really good prospect.
With title fights, prospects and world ranked fighters all in action i's hard to really complain about today with a lot of action worth keeping an eye on.
(Poster courtesy of Boxmob.jp)