This coming Saturday is a crazy one for fight fans following Asian fighters with bouts all over the globe!
West Midlands, United Kingdom
The highest profile bout takes place in the UK as South African Zolani Tete (28-3, 21) takes on Filipino fighter John Riel Casimero (28-4, 19) to unify the WBA and WBO interim Bantamweight titles. For Tete the bout will see him back in action for the first time since a messy bout in October 2018 with Mikhail Aloyan whilst Casimero will be looking to score a 5th straight T/KO. Both men have a point to prove and both will know that a win here helps take them one step closer to a divisional super fight with WBA/IBF champion Naoya Inoue. A full preview of this bout is available to read here Casimero takes on Tete for WBO title!
Monte Carlo, Monaco
We get a bit of a strange one in Monaco, where unbeaten Chinese southpaw Zhilei Zhang (20-0, 16) takes on Ukraine's Andriy Rudenko (32-4, 20) in a clash of Heavyweight hopefuls. For Zhang this will be his first bout in over a year, as he looks to make up for lost time, and to try and get things back on track after previous issues with a visa. As for Rudenko, he has taken this bout as a late replacement for Sergey Kuzmin, and it's unclear how prepared he will be for this. This is a must win for both men, who are now both in their 30's, and it will be very, very hard to see the loser making any sort of a mark on the sport going forward.
In the US fans will be able to see unbeaten Japanese hopeful Andy Hiraoka (14-0, 9) make his American debut, as he takes on American foe Rogelio Casarez (13-8, 5). The talented Hiraoka, who has trained in the US in the past, will be going into this with a lot of confidence following a career best win over Akihiro Kondo in July but Casarez is a tough guy and will be expecting to take Hiraoka the scheduled 8 rounds here.
Top Rank continue their toe-dipping in China with another show alongside SECA, and this one features quite a lot of notable Chinese prospects.
One of those Chinese prospects will be Lei Wang (4-0, 2), who takes on Filipino foe Marlon Paniamogan (10-1-1, 5) in a bout for the WBO Great China Light Welterweight title. For Wang this will be his third bout this year, and he'll be looking to build momentum as we head into the new year. For Paniamogan this will be his second bout since losing to Kuntae Lee in July. On paper this is a really interesting match up and one we're looking forward to.
Another interesting match up on this show will see the unbeaten Yongqiang Yang (12-0, 9) take on JR Magboo (18-3-2, 9). The 27 year old Yang is one of Chinese boxing brightest hopes, and wins over Takuya Watanabe, Harmonito Dea Torre and Ernie Sanchez have really shown he can hang with good fighters. Sadly he spent more than a year away from action, which slowed his rise, but he is certainly someone who deserves some real attention. At his best Magboo was an decent hopeful, but with 3 losses in his last 5 bouts it's hard to see him putting up much of a test for Yang, who has the tools to go a very long way.
There will also be a show in Taiwan, featuring a pair of notable Japanese fighters.
In one of the main bouts former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Ryoichi Tamura (12-5-1, 6) will be up against Indonesian foe Moensaku Yor (6-5-1, 4). The hard hitting Tamura has had a very mixed year, with a career defining win in January over Mugicha Nakagawa being followed by back to back losses to Yusaku Kuga and Gakuya Furuhashi. Despite the losses Tamura will be strongly favoured here against Yor, who has been stopped in 3 of his last 4 bouts.
The other notable name on this show is boxing-policeman Daisuke Sugita (5-1, 3), who looks to defend his WBA Asia Super Bantamweight title against Filipino journeyman Edison Berwela (18-42-8, 6). This will be Sugita's first defense of the title he won in August when he beat Crison Omayao, and he'll be strongly favoured here against Berwela. Despite being the big under-dog Berwela will be expected to take Sugita rounds, and the Filipino has only been stopped in 7 of his 42 losses with the most recent stoppage coming more than 3 years ago against Michael Dasmarinas.
Ulsan, South Korea
Another Asian show will be taking place in South Korea. Like many Korean cards this is a pretty low key show, but the main event deserves some attention as unbeaten local Sung Jae Jo (10-0, 8) takes on Indian visitor Deepak Tanwar (4-0, 2). This will be Jo's 4th bout of the year, and he's moving forward with his career. Tanwar however has been inactive for almost 3 years and it's hard to imagine him putting up much of a fight here.
We also have a bout of interest in Australia as the rugged but limited John Ruba (19-6-1, 10), from Indonesia, takes on unbeaten Australian Ben Mahoney (8-0, 4) for the IBO Asian Pacific title at Light Middleweight. Ruba is no world beater but he has gone the distance with Sadriddin Akhmedov and Mahoney will be expected to earn his win here.
This coming Thursday in Beijing fight fans will get a number of IBF Silk Road tournament bouts. Sadly we don't have the full card, though we do have details of two bouts on the show.
One of the bouts will see former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (18-3-1, 11) take on unbeaten foe Omurbek Malabekov (4-0, 1). The talented Japanese fighter advanced to this bout with a win over Lorence Rosas last year whilst Malabekov will be fighting for the first in almost a year. The winner of this contest is expected to get a world ranking with the IBF. Not much is known about Malabekov, though he is unbeaten and will see this as a huge chance to make a name for himself.
Another bout on this show will see experience Thai fighter Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (38-6-1, 21) take on unbeaten Filipino fighter Jayson Mama (11-0, 6). The 25 year old Fahlan will be looking to score his 5th straight win since being stopped by Felix Alvarado in 2017 whilst Mama will be looking to continue his perfect start to professional boxing. Of the two men Fahlan is, by far, the more well known, but he didn't look good at all last time out, taking a pretty questionable decision in a dire bout with Orlie Silvestre.
In Thailand we have a re-scheduled bout, as the once beaten Thai Nop Kratingdaenggym (22-1, 8) , aka Anurak Thisa, battles Filipino JR Magboo (17-2-2, 8) for the fighting for the WBA Asia Featherweight title. Originally this bout was supposed to take place on March 22nd but was rescheduled due to Thai Channel 7 changing their policy on bouts that they will air, and instead of taking place as originally planned it will now be shown on Channel 3SD.
Arguably the most notable show this coming Friday is from Tokyo, where we see a relatively low level Japanese domestic card.
The main event of the card will see Japanese ranked Light Welterweight Ryuji Ikeda (14-5-2, 9) facing off with domestic journeyman Joji Tsuchiya (8-5-2, 5) in what should be a straight forward win for Ikeda. Ikeda has lost 2 of his last 4, but he is better than that would suggest, and one of those losses was on the road to Darragh Foley. Tsuchiya is in better form, going 4-1 in his last 5, but this is a big step up from the competition that those wins have come against.
Japanese ranked Flyweight Wolf Nakano (5-7-4 1) looks to build on a good win over Mako Matsuyama as he takes on Shogo Sumitomo (6-13-1, 5). This isn't a great bout, in terms of how significant it is, but should be competitive and entertaining with both men going to be in there for the win.
Former kick boxer turned boxer Kanako Taniyama (1-0, 1) will step up in class as she battles Thai visitor Phannaluk Kongsang (5-7-1, 2). Taniyama had been a top kick boxer before a knee injury left her career in tatters and forced her into boxing. She looked promising, but flawed, on her debut last year but we're expecting to see a more rounded performance here. Phannaluk is no patsy here, and was in action in November, when she won the WBC Asian Boxing Council Female Bantamweight title, so should provide a test for the Japanese novice.
La Union, Philippines
As well as the card in Japan we also get a low key one in the Philippines.
The main event of this card will see Michael Mendoza (8-1-2, 3) battle against Vincent Bautista (5-12-4, 1), in a bout for the PBF Flyweight title. Mendoza will be strongly favoured here, given his record but he could be tested by Bautista who is typically a tough nut to crack. Although Bautista has gone 0-7-1 in his last 8, we wouldn't be surprised by him making this a competitive contest.
In a supporting bout Ryan Torres (8-2-1, 7) will battle against Jerry Mae Villagracia (6-7, 2). Torres was beaten last time out, and is almost 2 years removed from his last win, but will still be the favourite, especially given that Villagracia has been stopped in his last 6, and 7 of his last 8. If we're being honest this looks little more than a confidence builder for Torres.
In Thailand fans will be able to see once beaten Thai Nop Kratingdaenggym (22-1, 8) , aka Anurak Thisa, fighting for the WBA Asia Featherweight title against JR Magboo (17-2-2, 8). The Thai is currently riding a 5 fight winning run following his 2016 loss to the then WBA Super Bantamweight champion Nehomar Cermeno in China. Magboo on the other hand has lost 2 of his last 3, though is a solid Filipino domestic level fighter.
This coming Saturday is a hectic day in Asian boxing with a lot of action across the continent.
Wanju, South Korea
In Wanju Korean fans will get two shows both under the auspices of the KBF. One of those will be a rookie card, of which we're lacking details but do know of it's existence. The other is a card headlined by a female world title bout.
The female world title bout will see WIBA Light Flyweight champion Su Yun Hong (11-1-1, 5) face Thailand's Namwaan Sithpracha (7-1, 4) in what looks a good match up on paper. It does need to be said however that Namwaan hasn't beaten an opponent with a single win and is unlikely to claim a win here.
Also on this card will be Filipino fighters Ernie Sanchez (14-6-1, 5) and Christine Latube (1-6-2) who will be faking Ji-Hoon Cha (1-3) and Chan-Mi Lim (0-1) respectively.
Yangju, South Korea
A third card in Korea, this time a KBC show, will feature a number of novices.
For us the most interesting bout on the card will see Woo Min Kim (1-1-1) battle against Korean based Canadian Andrew (0-1), who was spectacularly knocked out by Jin Soo Kim back in May, in what we still have as a KO of the year contender.
A bout between unbeaten fighters will see Hyun Min Gang (1-0, 1) take on Sung Koo Han (0-0-1) in an interesting looking 4 rounder
Earlier this month we saw one of Indonesia's shining lights, Iwan Zoda, claim a major win. Now we get the chance to see another of the countries few exciting prospect in action as Tibo Monabesa (7-0, 3) faces the experienced Ichal Tobida (12-15, 8). This is a good test for Monabesa, who is already a 2-weight champion champion in Indonesia, and hopefully a win here will see him begin to move beyond domestic level.
Another bout on this card will see Waldo Sabu (6-2, 1) face Thailand's Keanpetch Manoprungroj (4-4, 2) in a 10 round bout. Sabu was last seen, according to boxrec.com, last October beating Rasmanudin in what looked like a good win at the time, though Rasmanudin has since gone 1-4, with 3 stoppage losses and appears to be a totally spent force.
The Manado card is one of two cards from Indonesia with the other taking place in Jakarta.
The most notable bout on this card is a bout between veterans as local veteran Falazona Fidal (25-43-1, 8) takes on well traveled Thai Khunkhiri Wor Wisaruth (21-12-1, 14). On paper it's easy to back the Thai, who at least has a winning record, but he has won just 1 of his last 4, against a win-less fighter. Khunkiri has the better record but it is a very padded records and hasn't got many wins of note.
Another bout that caught our eye from this card will see the debuting Mark Scheide (0-0) battle former English Cricketer Adam Hollioake (2-2, 1). Hollioake, who previously played international level cricket for England, will be fighting for the first time outside of his adopted Australia. This will be one of three Heavyweight bouts on this card.
Gauteng, South Africa
In South Africa fans will get the chance to see Kazakhstan's exciting Roman Zhailauov (15-0, 9) take on the interesting challenger of Thompson Mokwana (20-10-1, 12). On paper this looks a good step up bout for the Kazakh though one he should make successfully given that Mokwana has lost his last two and not won a bout since December 2013. Although not the best fighter Mokwana has only been stopped once and may have the toughness to test the Kazakh Kid.
There is also set to be a card in the Philippines, albeit a very low level one.
The most notable bout on the card will the once beaten JR Magboo (16-1-2, 7) attempt to bounce back from his first loss as he takes on the experienced but limited Richard Garcia (25-22-1, 7). This is an easy ask for Magboo who was narrowly beaten by Jhon Gemino last December and Garcia shouldn't pose any threat at all.
One other bout of note will see Vincent Bautista (3-2-3, 1) go up against Oliver Gregorio (9-5-2, 5) in what looks to be a well matched, though low level, bout. Both guys have marks on their record but both should bring it here and provide a great 10 rounds of action.
We are only a few days from Christmas but yet we still have some major fights left between now and then, including some genuinely important bouts.
Carolina, Puerto Rico
For us the day's most interesting bout comes from Puerto Rico where the amazingly talented Mark Anthony Geraldo (31-4-3, 14) battles the unbeaten McJoe Arroyo (15-0, 8) in an IBF Super Flyweight eliminator. Geraldo is genuinely gorgeous to watch when he's in full flow and letting his shots go though he does have several issues including a relative lack of power and, as seen last time out, issues with pacing and stamina. Arroyo, the twin of McWilliams Arroyo, will be favoured here given his home advantage and sensational performance last time out against Hernan Marquez though it's the sort of bout every boxing fan should be interested in.
In a potentially enthralling contest in Indonesia fans will get to see the long awaited return to the ring of Daud Cino Yordan (32-3-0-1, 23) who is set to fight Filipino fighter Ronald Pontillas (17-6-3, 8) for the interim WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight title. Yordan has had a wasted year with fights falling through and other issues that have kept him out of the ring for more than a year, a real considering how fun he is to watch and the fact that he's in his prime. Pontillas has won his last 2 bouts though is known as “Unpredictable” and in very inconsistent. On his best day Pontillas is a nightmare for anyone though on his bad days he's not a threat to any half decent fighter. This bout really does depend on which Pontillas shows up.
Staying with Filipino fighters there's also a full show of them in Batangas.
The main event on this card will see the unbeaten JR Magboo (16-0-2, 7) battling against Jhon Gemino (11-3-1, 5) in what is a great test for the unbeaten fighter. Just 2 fights ago Gemino fought the much touted Neil John Tabanao and this bout will allow us to compare Magboo to Tabanao. Magboo himself didn't look great last time out, struggling to a split decision against Virgil Puton, though is on a run of 6 straight wins including a stoppage against Jhunriel Ramonal.
Of the support bouts the stand out contest is a bout between Roberto Gonzales (24-2, 15) and Jose Ocampo (17-8-1, 12). Gonzales is on a 4-fight stoppage run since suffering back-to-back stoppage defeats in 2012, those wins have however come at a low level. As for Ocampo fans may remember him as a man who was once lined up to fight Ricky Burns when Burns was the then WBO Lightweight champion. In his last 3 fights Ocampo has gone 0-3 and we suspect that losing streak will continue here though he does have enough power to give Gonzales a scare if he connects.
Another interesting support bout will see Oliver Gregorio (9-3-2, 5) in action against Bonjun Loperez (8-2-1, 4). Gregorio is 1-1-2 in his last 4 contests and hasn't looked good at all so he will fight with the knowledge that he needs a win here. Loperez was stopped last time out and will be hoping to get his career back on track here though it's certainly not a given in what looks like a very competitive match up.
As well as the 3 mentioned bouts we believe there is a further 6 contests on this show.
In Russia fans will get a small card with a number of novices in action. Although many of the bouts are lacking in terms of someone notable we are interested in the main event which will see unbeaten fighters colliding. The more well known, and more experienced, of those men is Evgeny Chuprakov (10-0, 4) who has been touted for a while as a very promising Russian prospect. Chuprakov will up against Evgeny Tarabukin (2-0, 2) who we don't know much about other than the fact he is stepping notably for this contest.
The other 7 bouts on this card are hard to get excited about going into them though hopefully the action in the ring will be enjoyable.
New York, USA
In the US fans will get to see a rematch between Mongolian fighter Bayan Jargal (17-5-3-1, 11) and unbeaten American Cletus Seldin (14-0-0-1, 11). The two men fought in a no contest this past July when a head clash caused an early and inconclusive ending to the fight. Prior to the ending however Seldin was looking much more powerful and stronger than Jargal who we suspect will be beaten this time around.