For a second day running Thai fans will get televised action, though this time around the action is a bit more interesting and Channel 7 do appear to have picked up a solid looking card, well solid looking for a Thai show at least.
The main event will see the unbeaten Petchchorhae Kokietgym (13-0, 8) trying to record a double over promising Indonesian teenager Iwan Zoda (6-1, 5), in a bout for the interim WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title. These two men met last October with Petchchorhae taking a 6 round decision win, though since then the Indonesian has picked up 5 straight stoppage wins and could well go into this bout believe he can avenge his sole defeat. We'll admit we're actually rather exciting about this one.
The key support bout here will see former world title challenger Samartlek Kokietgym (21-5, 6) take on Indonesia's Iwan Key (9-12-3, 1). It's hard to see Key offering much resistance to Samartlek, who has run up 4 wins since his 11th round TKO loss to Naoya Inoue, almost a year ago to the day.
One man we're excited to see return to action is unbeaten prospect Kongthara KKP (8-0, 6) who will be up against Indonesia's Rasmanudin (19-10-3, 10). A few years ago this would have been a solid bout but in recent times Rasmanudin has become a “loser” and is 1-6-1 in his last 8. We expect this to be another loss to the talented and fast rising Rasmanudin.
There isn't a lot of action this Friday however fans do get the chance to see a televised card from Laos, which will be aired on Thai Channel 7.
The details are some what lacking though we have been told that the unbeaten Kongthara KKP (6-0, 5) will be defending his WBC Asia Boxing Council silver Super Bantamweight title for the second time. The talented and unbeaten fighter, also known as Yuri KKP and Attanon Kunlawong, was extended the distance last time out by former world title challenger Nouldy Manakane and will likely be looking to build on that win as he continues his rise through the rankings. Sadly we aren't sure who Kongthara will be fighting however we are glad to see him back in action
New York, USA
Last year saw the Boxcino tournament really catch the imagination in what was a really exciting competition. One of the break out fighters from that tournament was Russian boxer Petr Petrov (35-4-2, 17) who won the Lightweight crown as well as two regional belts. Petrov returns to an American ring to begin 2015 as he battles one of the best opponents of his career, the touted and highly skilled Henry Lundy (25-4-1, 12). The bout is a really good one and one that really should tell us a lot about both men with the winner likely to move into a title eliminator of some kind. As for the loser this could be a major career set back.
For those wanting to watch this it will be aired in the US on ESPN.
The month of December may have taken a few days to get going but when it begins to kick off, it really begins to kick off and today we have a genuinely exciting card with several very good looking bouts.
The first action of the day is in Tokyo where we get one of the best domestic cards of the year. In fact it's almost like an early Christmas present with 3 really interesting match ups.
The main event of the trio is a 10 round non-title bout between the teak tough Nihito Arakawa (25-4-1, 16) and Japanese Lightweight champion Yoshitaka Kato (28-5-1, 9). This is the third meeting between the two and will act as a rubber with each man holding a narrow win over the other. The bout has been made slightly above the Lightweight limit though that shouldn't take the shine off what is likely to be a violent, exciting and thrilling tear up between two very well matched fighters. We're really excited about this one and wouldn't be shocked if it ended up being a FOTY contender, it really could be that good.
As well as the non-title bout fans will also have two title bouts to look forward to. The most notable of those is also a rematch as the unified Japanese and OPBF Middleweight champion Akio Shibata (23-8-1, 9) looks to defend his unified for the second time. Shibata will be battling against former world title challenger Makoto Fuchigami (21-9, 12), a man best known for being stopped by Gennady Golovkin, and it's fair to say there is more to this bout than just the titles. This will be the second meeting between the two and in the first Shibata took a clear technical decision over Fuchigami who knows that his career will need a win here given that his recent form has been forgettable to say the least with just 2 wins in his last 5 bouts. This bout has titles, bragging rights and possibly even careers on the line, the stakes really couldn't be any higher.
The third bout is the remaining title bout as former OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (13-1, 4) battles against Yasutaka Ishimoto (24-7, 7) in a bout for the vacant Japanese Super Bantamweight title. The belt was given up by Hidenori Otake ahead of Otake's world title bout with Scott Quigg and has left us with a potentially brilliant bout between two light hitting but technically proficient fighters. Neither of these guys is likely to ever become a genuine world champion though we suspect the winner could end up progressing to OPBF title fights and may get a world title shot somewhere down the line.
As well as the main trio the card will feature 4 under card contests, with the most interesting of those being a bout between the Japanese and OPBF ranked Kazuya Maruki (17-2, 11) and Quaye Peter (5-5-2, 3). This is a stay busy fight for Maruki who is on a 6 fight winning streak following his 8th round TKO loss to the monstrously hard hitting Keita Obara back in 2012. If Maruki can continue stringing together wins the odds are he will find himself getting a title fight of some sort at some point in 2015 or 2016.
Pathum Thani, Thailand
In Thailand there's another bout worth looking forward to as the unbeaten Kongthara KKP (5-0, 5) steps up in class and attempts to defend his WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Bantamweight title against experienced Indonesian Nouldy Manakane (27-15-1, 17). Kongthara blasted on to our radar back in May when he stopped Shingo Kawamura on his debut and now looks to add the scalp of a former world title challenger to his ledger. It should be a mismatch in favour of Kongthara but this is a good test for the promising Thai.
Nuevo León, Mexico
In Mexico fans in for a treat as WBC female Flyweight champion Shindo Go (14-2, 9) takes on highly regarded Mexican fighter Arely Mucino (20-2-2, 10) in a bout with a lot of promise. The contest has been a drawn out one outside of the ring with several issues getting in the way and we just hope those issues won't destroy what should be one of the best female bouts of the year.
Staying in Mexico fans will also get the chance to see the unbeaten Joebert Alvarez (14-0-1, 6) in the toughest bout of his career as he goes up against unified Flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada (30-2, 22). Estrada appears to be testing the water at 115lbs here and some have speculated that Estrada is set to vacate his Flyweight titles. We'll admit we'd love to see Estrada fight Roman Gonzalez in a much anticipated rematch however a bout between Estrada and Naoya Inoue would be equally as interesting and could be a bout made between two of the sports really young outstanding youngsters.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)