Hong Kong S.A.R., China
This weekend sees our attention to to Hong Kong where a number of notable names are in action on a card that will see several fighters looking to take a notable step forward.
The star of the card for local fans will be Hong Kong's very own Rex Tso (18-0, 11), who looks to extend his unbeaten record as he takes on former world title challenger Young Gil Bae (27-5-1, 21). On paper it's hard to see Bae win, especially given the way Wanheng Menayothin stopped him, but he's a step up in many ways from some of Tso's opponents, and will be looking to upset the local star. Given the styles of the two men this will almost certainly be very fun to watch, but we think natural size advantage will be the difference between these two.
Tso isn't the only notable fighter on this card, nor is he the only fighter looking to move towards a world title. Another man in a similar position is Japan's Ryota Murata (9-0, 6), who looks to secure his 10th win as he battles once beaten Brazilian fighter Felipe Santos Pedroso (13-1, 11). A win is expected from Murata but he'll be hoping to avoid any sort of injury as there is serious talk about him fighting in July in the US on a major card, possibly in a world title eliminator.
Another promising fighter, though one way lower down in his career, is Macau's promising Kuok Kun Ng (8-0, 4), who risks his unbeaten record against Thailand's Weerachit Kitee (7-8-2, 7). It's hard to see Ng losing given what we have seen of him in the past, though we're hoping to see him show signs of development as he has shown some genuine potential.
In an interestingly matched bout Li Quan Lin (6-1-1, 2) will face the unbeaten Thai Campee Phayom (9-0, 7). Both of these men are teens, both are essentially stepping up, though Lin did face Terdsak Kokietgym on his debut back in 2012, and both will know that winning this will push their career forward. This really could be the best bout of the card.
As well as the card in Hong Kong there will also be a show in Kazakhstan.
In the main event the unbeaten Bekman Soylybayev (8-0, 3), who will be making his Kazakhstan debut, will be facing the more experienced Nikoloz Kokashvili (17-3-1, 7), for the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Super Featherweight title. So far Soylybayev has made his career in Ukraine and the US but should be more than capable to pick up a win here. Interestingly Kokashvili, a Georgian fighter, has lost his sole fight outside of his home land, being stopped by Vladimir Tikhonov in Estonia earlier this year.
In a supporting bout the once touted Roman Zhailauov (15-2, 9) will be facing Nikoloz Gviniashvili (15-5-3, 11), in an 8 rounder. The bout sees the 21 year old Zhailauov returning to Kazakhstan for the first time in 2 years, and will be looking to bounce back following back-to-back defeats in South Africa.
In a 6 rounder fans will be able to see Heavyweight hopeful Ruslan Myrsatayev (1-0, 1) face off against Farruh Madaminov (1-4-1, 1) On his debut Myrsatayev scored an opening round win, and will hopefully be stepping up shortly, something that really is needed given he's in his 30's already.
Another notable bout on this card will see the promising Ali Akhmedov (0-0) make his debut. The 20 year old Akhmedov will be up against Siarhei Krapshyla (4-12-2, 3) and we've been told Akhmedov has a lot of potential and could well be another Kazakh to watch out for.
In the US fans will get the chance to see the wonderfully named Kazakh hopeful Shyngyskhan Tazhibay (3-0, 2) face debutant Ahmet Kayretli (0-0). This should see the Maryland based Kazakh pick up a 4th straight win.
March 7th-Amnat Vs Zou in a showdown, with notable action from Ik Yang, Rex Tso, Hiroki Okada, Suyon Takayama and more!
The start of the year has been tediously slow at times however March is certainly seeing in ring action liven up, in a big way. The first real date to mark down on your calendar is March 7th which sees action across Asia with several big names a host of notable fights ranging from a world title bout to world title eliminators to national title bouts.
The biggest of the days show's comes from Macau where fans are treat to another of Bob Arum's foray's into the gambling capital of Asia. In many ways this is the most important of all the Macau shows and is, potentially, the biggest banana skin on the road to making the experiment a major long term success.
The tricky part of this card is the main event which will see Chinese megastar Zou Shiming (6-0, 1) put his unbeaten record on the line as he takes on IBF Flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng (14-0, 5) in a brilliant match up. These two men are both unbeaten, both under-rated and were major amateur rivals. They are also men looking to claim a major scalp. For Shiming this a test that really could see him becoming a national hero or boxing's biggest villain, for Ruenroeng it's a chance to level the score with Shiming, who holds a 2-1 record over him from the amateur ranks. For Bob Arum this is a real test of his nerve. Shiming is talented and fast but this is a major step up for the double Olympic champion.
Shiming of course isn't the only Chinese born fighter on this show, nor is he the most exciting. One of the contenders for the tag of “most exciting” is the heavy handed Ik Yang (18-0-0-1, 13) who will be up against Thailand's experienced Patomsuk Pathompothong (30-2-1, 18) in an IBF Pan Pacific Light Welterweight title bout, which will also double as an IBF world title eliminator. Yang has been on a number of Top Rank shows and is known for his power and offensive style though his flawed defense may be a problem here against the talented Patomsuk, who gave world ranked Takayuki Hosokawa a very close bout back in late 2013. This could be very interesting.
Another rival to the tag of China's most exciting fighter is the very flawed but fun Rex Tso (15-0, 9) who battles Filipino Michael Enriquez (10-2-1, 6) in a bout for the WBA International Super Flyweight title. Tso will go into this bout as the favourite and is viewed as being likely to get a fight with WBA world champion Kohei Kono if he comes through here. For Enriquez this is a major opportunity though he has lost both of his previous title fights.
Going further down the card fans will get the chance to see the explosively heavy handed Aston Palicte (16-1, 14), of the Philippines, take on one of his toughest tests as he goes up against Ismael Garnica (13-5-1-1, 5). Garnica is best known for losing a decision British fighter Paul Butler last year, other than that however there is very little of note on his record. Palicte on the other hand is a dynamite puncher who comes into this bout on the back of 5 successive opening round blow outs, including a very notable one against Gerpaul Valero.
Another Filipino in action here will be Raymond Sermona (17-4-5, 8) who will be hoping to record his 3rd successive win as he battles former “world” title challenger Jose Felix Jr (28-1-1, 23). Felix Jr's only loss came last year when he stepped up to fight Bryan Vasquez and was well beaten, despite two horribly close scorecards, and he'll be favoured to make light work of Sermona.
To open the show we're expecting to see some local talent in action. One of those locals will be the unbeaten Zhou Yun Fei (4-0, 1) who battles against Paul Valenzuela (2-1-1, 2) whilst the other will be Macau's Kuok Kun Ng (6-0, 2), who will be facing Thailand's Chingchai Kiatpracha (7-2, 3).
As well as the action in Macau there is also a show, with title action, in Japan where fans will get a couple of domestic title fights courtesy of Kadoebi.
One of those title bouts will see once beaten Japanese Welterweight champion Suyon Takayama (21-1, 7) defending his belt against former foe Nobuyuki Shindo (16-2, 6) in what looks like to be a very competitive match up. Takayama has the title, the better looking record and a win over Shindo already on his record however he is a weak champion and a lot of bouts have been very close. Shindo has height and reach advantages though the question coming in is whether or not he will be able to make them count.
In the other title fight the unbeaten Hiroki Okada (9-0, 7) will be up against former title contender Hayato Hokazono (18-4-1, 11). We like Okada though are unsure how far he can really go, though it is obviously early days in his career. Hokazono is best known for his losses to the monstrously hard hitting Keita Obara, aside from those losses there is little else to note about his record other than a win over Kazuyoshi Kumano way back in December 2010.
On the under-card there is little of note though a bout between Hisao Narita (8-1, 4) and Yusuke Konno (8-2, 3) does look likely to be very competitive over the scheduled 8 rounds. Another undercard bout that we'll mention will see former Japanese Super Bantamweight title challenger Yukinori Hisanaga (16-5-2, 9) battle against Takuma Takahashi (6-4-1, 1).
In South Korea we get 3 bouts between Korean fighters and Japanese visitors as Watanabe send a trio of their stable over to Korea.
The most notable of the Japanese fighters is Sonin Nihei (5-1-1, 1) who came runner up in last years East Japan Rookie of the year. The talented 21 year old, who lost a split decision to Kenya Yamashita, will be taking on the debuting Tae Un Jung (0-0) who we know nothing about.
Another of the bouts will see unbeaten Korean Joo-Young Kwon (2-0) take on Keisuke Kanazawa (2-4, 1). On paper it's hard to go against the Korean though he has only faced debutants so far whilst Kanazawa holds a very surprising win over the much touted Koki Tyson Maebara from back in January 2013.
The remaining bout, and the most looking on paper, will see Shingo Yabu (4-4-2) battle against Chan-Hee Park (4-5-1). Yabu is 0-2-1 in his last 3, including a loss to Jumbo Oda Nobunaga Shoten Petagine in the 2013 All Japan Rookie of the Year final. Park on the other hand has lost his last 4 and hasn't notched a win since 2009, in fact he's not fought since October 2010. Interesting match up in some ways but neither guy is anything great.
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