September 19th-Srisaket's return to the ring, Nawaphon, Doliguez and Pabustan all in action, Tanada Vs Gonzalez...
Whilst we won't go as far as to say this Friday is an amazing day in Asian boxing it is certainly a notable day with plenty of exciting and interesting fighters in action.
Sara Buri, Thailand
The biggest name in action is destructive Thai Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (27-4-1, 25) who will be attempting to claim a WBC regional title as he battles Zoren Pama (6-10-3, 3). For Srisaket this will be his first bout since he lost his world title in Mexico to Carlos Cuadras in a relatively disappointing bout that failed to live up to our expectations. Hopefully an impressive performance here will help Srisaket get another world title bout though his risk-reward isn't the sort of thing that makes him an attractive fighter, despite how exciting he is to watch with his power and seek and destroy mentality.
We expect the co-feature here to be a bout between the unbeaten, and highly touted, Nawaphon Por Chokchai (22-0, 16) and Indonesian visitor Hendrik Barongsay (26-18-3, 15). Nawaphon is a very interesting fighter and one we suspect could be claim a world title somewhere down the line. As for Barongsay this will see him looking to end a 2 fight losing streak and score a shock win, just as he did in 2012 against Tabthong Tor Buamas.
For what it's worth this card will be televised on Channel 7 in Thailand.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines we have a relatively interesting domestic card though one that won't get much, if any, international attention.
The headline bout will see the exciting Rogelio Jun Doliguez (19-1-2, 14) take on fellow Filipino Dennis Tubieron (18-3-1, 8) in a really interesting 10 rounder. We love watching Doliguez though know he can be out boxed by anyone able to take his power. We don't think Tubieron will be able to with stand the brute force of Doliguez though if he can he could find himself boosted into the fringes of a world ranking. Big opportunity for Tubieron but certainly a difficult ask.
In another bout scheduled for 10 rounds we see another Filipino hopeful in action as the talented but light hitting Jetro Pabustan (23-2-5, 6) takes on the limited Angelito Merin (7-4-2, 1) in what should be an easy win for Pabustan though one that he will probably see him go the distance. Not blessed with power Pabustan is skilled and both of his losses have been via split technical decision. Sadly for all his skills he is involved in a lot of headclashes with an astonishing 9 technical decisions in 30 bouts. Merin has lost his last 2 though has the ability to make life difficult for Pabustan, we do however only see one winner.
Sadly 2 other 10 rounders on this card look like complete mismatches with prospects taking on opponents that they are supposed to defeat without any issues. Thankfully however we do get an interesting 8 rounder as Roberto Gonzales (23-2, 14) battles the criminally under-rated Allan Tanada (13-2-3, 5) in what genuinely looks to be the show's outstanding contest. Gonzalez is a talented fighter though not one was good as his record suggests whilst Tanada is a former OPBF Super Featherweight champion who famously stopped Rikiya Fukuhara, almost 4 years ago to the day! This is a really good all-Filipino fight and one that we'd suggest could be the most competitive.
As well as the trio of bouts mentioned we're expecting a further 9 bouts in a very deep card that is pretty full of mismatches, unfortunately. Hopefully we'll see some upsets but it's unlikely that make of the fights won't go as expected.
New South Wales, Australia
Another Filipino in action will be journeyman Roman Canto (8-4-2, 3) who will be taking on the unbeaten, and very talented, TJ Doheny (7-0, 5). We never like down playing fighters like Canto who will fight anywhere any time, though unfortunately he has gone 0-4-2 in the last 2 years including losses to Hikaru Marugame, fighting for just the second time as a professional, and the limited Ruben Manakane. Doheny shouldn't have any problems taking home a win with the question merely being the manner of the win.
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)