The most significant card this coming Sunday will come from Rizal where we get a world title eliminator as well as a card featuring a host of notable Filipino fighters, who are sadly taking on a number of over-matched foes.
The main bout is an IBF Minimumweight final eliminator with unbeaten Filipino sensation Mark Anthony Barriga (8-0, 1) battling against Colombian Gabriel Mendoza (29-5-2, 23). The talented Filipino has been waiting for an eliminator for some time, having seen various foes drop out, and will now be looking to dazzle as he takes on the limited but hard hitting Mendoza. As for Mendoza this will be his second bout since losing to Jose Argumedo in an IBF title fight, and although he's not world class he can hit hard and could test Barriga chin, if he can land on the slippery Filipino. Interestingly the winner of this will likely face Hiroto Kyoguchi later in the year, if Kyoguchi can retain his title against Vince Paras later this year
One of the most notable names on this show is recent world title challenger Genesis Servania (30-1, 13), who fights for the second time since his loss to Oscar Valdez. The talented Servania will be up against Indonesian journeyman Jason Butar Butar (27-23-1, 18), in what should really bee little more than a show case for Servania. Although a mismatch the bout will see Servania fight in the Philippines for the first time since February 2015.
Another very notable name in action is the enigmatic Marvin Sonsona (20-1-1, 15), who looks once again to kick start his frustrating career. The former WBO Super Flyweight champion hasn't fought since May 2015, when he struggled past Jonathan Arrellano. Whilst Sonsona is a genuine talent there is real question marks surrounding the Filipino and his desire to make the most of his skills. He'll be up against Arief Blader (23-27-2, 8) in what should be a really easy ring return, though we really don't know what Sonsona will turn up.
Also on this card are AJ Banal (35-2-1, 23), James Enterina (10-0-1, 4), Lolito Sonsona (21-2-4, 9) and Dave Apolinario (6-0, 4) among others.
A second Filipino show will be held in Bulacan, and will be a much smaller show.
The most notable bout here will see Jose Roda Jr (3-1-1) take on Richard Morales (3-2, 2) in a bout scheduled for 6 rounds. Both men will come into this feeling confident of picking up the win and as a result this should make for an interesting contest, but we're not expecting anything in terms of high quality, at least compared to the other Filipino show which is much, much better than this card.
As well as the action in the Philippines there is also two shows in Japan, one of which is being held in Yamaguchi by Kanmon Japan.
The chief support bout on this card is a terrific match up as the unbeaten Kudura Kaneko (6-0, 4) takes on Change Hamashima (10-2-1, 4) in a rematch of their 2017 clash. In the first bout between these two Kaneko won a wide decision over 6 rounds but will be stepping up to the 8 round distance here. Interestingly this will be the first time either fighter has been scheduled in an 8 round bout, and should be a good test for the stamina of both men. Given how clearly Kaneko won the first bout however it's hard to see why these two are having rematch so soon after their first contest.
The main event of this card is fantastic on paper with Accel Sumiyoshi (10-4-2, 3) taking on Shogo Yamaguchi (11-3-2, 6). Since losing to Masayoshi Nakatani in an OPBF Lightweight title bout back on 2015 we've seen Sumiyoshi go 6-0-1 with notable wins over Tatsuya Yanagi, Allan Tanada, Naotoshoi Nakatani and Motoki Sasaki and really build himself a solid record at this level. As for the 24 year old Yamaguchi we've seen him begin to struggle. Yamaguchi went 9-0-1 (4) to begin his career but has since gone 2-3-2 and was stopped last year by Andy Hiraoka. Given the momentum in both men's careers it's hard to pick against Sumiyoshi, but it is a very good bout on paper.
The second Japanese show is from Ibaragi, where the fans will get the chance to see a number of unbeaten men in action.
One of the unbeaten fighters is Fumiya Fuse (5-0, 1), who is scheduled to face off with an Indonesian visitor. Last year we saw Fuse claim the Rookie of the Year crown at Bantamweight, when he stopped Hiroki Tokuyama in the final, and he'll be looking to build on that success here as he kicks off his 2018 and looks to secure a 6th straight win.
The bout scheduled as the final bout on the card is all unbeaten contest as Hideaki Onuki (3-0) takes on Akihiko Kurita (2-0) in a bout scheduled for 4 round. This looks almost certain to go the distance but should still prove to be a very interesting and well matched bout between two fighters with similar records and similar experience.
June 6th-Igarashi and Shimoda return to action in Japan whilst Yordan is in action in Indonesia and Sonsona in the US!
This Saturday is set to be a hectic day for boxing fans with a number of fights taking place around the globe. For Asian fans the attention really should be on Japan and Indonesia with both countries hosting some notable fights.
The most notable card of the day is in Tokyo where fans will get a little bit of everything ranging from former world champions to hopeful contenders, from solid but uninspiring domestic fighters to novices beginning their careers.
The main event of the show will see former Flyweight champion Toshiyuki Igarashi (20-2-1, 11 battle against once beaten Filipino visitor Renerio Arizala (12-1-1, 5). Arizala was a late replacement for Lionel Mark Duran (13-11-2, 5) and appears to have been a huge upgraded, however the fact he was given the bout at late notice may well come back to cost him in what a genuine intriguing match up.
The co-feature of the show features another former world champion as former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda (28-4-2, 12) takes on former Japanese title challenger Gosuke Seki (16-1-2, 3). Shimoda is best know for suffering two KO-of-the-Year style defeats, to Rico Ramos and Marvin Sonsona, and will be hoping to get back to winning ways after more than a year out of the ring. For Seki this is a great opportunity to score a career defining win however he's certainly not a star in the making.
Another bout that caught our eye on this show is a Super Featherweight bout between hard hitting local Kenichi Ogawa (14-1, 12) and Filipino visitor Raymond Sermona (17-5-5, 8). For Ogawa this is a chance to score a 7th straight stoppage and to move towards a bigger and better fight. As for Sermona it's a potential chance to turn his career around after a run of 2-3-1 in the last 6 bouts. We suspect Ogawa will be far too good for the Filipino.
In Indonesia fans will get the chance to see several interesting bouts involving some of the countries most notable and interesting fighters.
The main event will see former world title challenger Daud Yordan (33-3-0-1, 24) take on Ghanaian southpaw Maxwell Awuku (40-2-1, 26) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific and WBO Africa Lightweight titles. For Yordan this will be his first bout since December, when he stopped Ronald Pontillas, and it's fair to say he's going to be wanting another excellent performance to remind fans how good he is.
In the chief support bout the heavy handed Defry Palulu (11-1, 10) will be up against Thai visitor Sukkasem Kietyongyuth (13-4, 8). This will be Palulu's second bout since being stopped, in 2 rounds, by AJ Banal and although he's less experienced than the Thai he will be favoured, especially considering the fact that Sukkasem has lost his last 2 bouts by stoppage.
The most notable bout involving an Asian fighter in the US will be a contest between former world champion Marvin Sonsona (19-1-1, 15) and the tough but limited Jonathan Arrellano (15-5-2, 3). Sonsona, who last fought a year ago, will be hoping to make an impact here following a dull affair last time out against Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. Incidentally Arrellano's last bout was also against Vazquez Jr, dropping a close decision, and he is now 1-3 in his last 4 bouts.
New York, USA
Chinese Heavyweight hopeful Zhang Zhilei (3-0, 2) continues his development as he takes on Glenn Thomas (1-3) in a scheduled 4 rounder. Zhilei, a former Olympic medalist is 32 and it seems like he's really needing a step up sooner rather than later and hopefully a 6 round bout will come before the end of the year.
In Virginia fans will see the second pro bout of Uzbek fighter Zarifbek Nishanbaev (1-0, 1). Nishanbaev made his debut earlier this year with a 27 second blow out of Mike Blocker and will be hoping for something similar here. Unfortunately the “opponent” wasn't named at the time of writing.
Gauteng, South Africa
In South Africa fans get the chance to see unbeaten Kazakh prospect Roman Zhailauov (14-0, 8) facing off against the relatively fragile Luyanda Jako (9-9-2, 4), who has been stopped in all 9 losses and has won just 1 of his last 6 bouts.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
After a week that has been eerily quiet in terms of Asian boxing we not hit a Saturday that kicks off an excellent few days of fight action involving Asian fighters are varying levels of the sport. It seems, at least to us, that the wait was worth the time.
New York, USA
The biggest bout involving an Asian fighter is in the US as former WBO Super Flyweight champion Marvin Sonsona (18-1-1, 15) battles former WBO Super Bantamweight champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr (23-3-1, 19) in a bout that screams "revenge" to us. Sonsona suffered his sole defeat at the hands of Vazquez some 4 years ago though both men have seen their careers going in opposite directions since then with Sonsona going 4-0 whilst Vazquez has struggled to 5-3 and this bout really is a significant one for both men. It's an excellent match up and one both men deserve credit for taking.
Although the biggest bout of the day is in the US we do have some very important bouts in Asia. The most significant of those heads lines a Teiken show as Japanese Light Flyweight champion Yu Kimura (13-2-1, 2) attempts to make the first defence of his title. Kimura, who beat Kenichi Horikawa earlier this year, will be battling against the hard hitting and freakishly tall Yuki Chinen (14-1, 7) in an excellent match up that has real significance not just to the fighters on the domestic scene but also internationally as both men are world ranked.
Whilst the main event is brilliant it's not the only fight of note on the show and the co-feature between Kenichi Ogawa (11-1, 9) and Filipino visitor Gabriel Royo (9-9-2, 8) promising to be an explosive encounter. Royo, whilst limited, can bang a bit whilst Ogawa also tends to through caution to the win.
Other fights of note here will see the once beaten Masanobu Nakazawa (14-1-1, 5) battle against Kosuke Iwashita (14-16-2, 8) in a Light Welterweight bout that will see Nakazawa risking his Japanese ranking. Another man risking his domestic ranking will be the big punching Hiroyuki Otsuka (6-2, 5) who is very fun to watch. Otsuka will be battling limited Thai Thaminkhao Sor Tharnthip (3-9-1, 2) in what should be a mismatch but in fairness Otsuka needs a confidence builder after 2 close decision losses.
In total there are 7 bouts on this Japanese card.
Metro Manila, Philippines
It's not just Japan that has some great looking title action and the Philippines also joins in with a trio of title bouts.
The best of the trio is a WBO Oriental Super Flyweight title bout between the hard hitting, and insanely exciting, Warlito Parrenas (19-6, 17) who will be known to fans in both the Philippines and Japan. "Wars", as he was known, will be fighting Indonesian tough guy Junior Bajawa (14-2, 7) and this bout really does look like a fantastic match up. Parrenas has been the distance just once in his last 21 bouts whilst Bajawa has never been stopped and took the very under-rated Richard Pumicpic the distance i his most recent bout.
Parrenas isn't the only banger on this show and in another of the title fights fans will see Richard Claveras (7-0-2, 7) take on Thailand's Namphol Sithsaithong (6-7, 6) in a contest for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Flyweight title. Although neither man is likely to go very far both like to go for bombs and this should be fun to watch for as long as it lasts with both men looking to finish the fight early.
In a female bout Momoko Kanda (5-6-2) will be battling Thai novice Nongnun Mor Krungthepthonburi (2-1) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council female Minimumweight title in what looks to be a very poor excuse for a title fight. Kanda, a Japanese fighter, has lost 6 of her last 8, whilst Nongnun was stopped last time out by Gretchen Abaniel in what is Nonnun's only previous bout outside of Thailand.
We get yet more Asian action in China as Zovi Promotions put on another show on the mainland show just how much boxing really is growing, especially in Kunming.
The main event here sees talented Filipino Mark Gil Melligen (18-4-1, 9) attempt to claim his first title as he battles Thai tough guy Petchsamuthr Duanaaymukdahan (8-2, 1) for the currently vacant WBO Oriental Featherweight title. Melligen is in the form of his career with 5 wins including a notable stoppage against the previously unbeaten Bualuang OnesongchaiGym, however Petchsamuthr proved his toughness earlier this year when he went 6 rounds with emerging Puerto Rican star Felix Verdejo.
In the chief support bout we have yet another title fight as China's very own Yang Xing Xin (7-3-2, 5) attempts to claim the WBC Youth Welterweight title. In the opposite corner to Xin will be once beaten Filipino Nelson Gulpe (8-1, 3). Although Gulpe was beaten in his only fight outside of the Philippines it was a very controversial decision and we'd not be shocked if he did more than enough to defeat Xin here.
One final bout of note from this Chinese card will see the unbeaten Xu Chan (2-0) taking on India's Neeraj Goyat (1-2-2). Although on paper you need to favour Chan, due to a better record and home advantage, it's worth noting that Goyat is unbeaten in MMA and probably has more experience than his record indicates.
There is yet more title action in Australia as Australia's very own Josh King (16-3, 8) attempts to make hist first defence of the WBO Oriental Lightweight title. King will be fighting hard hitting Japanese challenger Koichi Ito (9-2-2, 8) in what could potentially be a barn burner. You do need to feel King's the favourite but Ito's power could make King unravel.
Ito isn't the only Japanese fighter on this card as compatriot Kazuyuki Fukuyama (9-4, 2) battles against the very experienced Les Sherrington (33-7, 19) in a bout that appears to be a clear mismatch.
One other Asian on this card is Aussie based Filipino Aswin Cabuy (14-46-4, 7) who will be looking to upset the unbeaten Kolby Johnston (1-0, 1) in a 4 rounder.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
It's not rare in boxing to have action all over the place but one show gets all the headlines. That's the case this weekend as we get one massive blockbuster of a show that has been stealing the headlines for weeks and been by far the most anticipated show of the year so far. Whilst that, admittedly, isn't saying much considering how slow the year has been, this is still a huge and really notable show and there is no real shame in ignoring most other shows to pay attention to just the one.
The show in question is the massive "Ring of Gold" show in Macau's amazing Venetian Resort. The resort, which is one of the biggest buildings on the planet looks good with out boxing though this Saturday it will look even better with 3-Olympic champions, 3 title bouts, 2 former world champions, one world title and 9 different countries being represented! This is what global boxing is all about!
The card kicks off with a Super Flyweight contest scheduled for 8 rounds. This bout sees Jerwin Ancajas (18-1-1, 10) fighting against Inthanon Sithchamuang (20-6, 11) in what we expect to be a relatively straight forward victory for Ancajas. Although he has lost one and drawn one Ancajas is a real talent and the draw, a technical draw, came very early in his career whilst his loss was a narrow one to the very under-rated Mark Anthony Geraldo. He's a very solid and improving fighter who will title aspirations.
Following the cards opener we expect to see Harmonito Dela Torre (11-0, 6) fighting against Indonesia's Yakobus Heluka (7-5, 3) in a 6 round bout at Super Featherweight. We do like Dela Torre a lot, though wonder what the point of this bout is and whether Heluka is even fit to fight having recently been stopped in Japan. By "recently" we mean less than 4 weeks ago and we don't think Heluka could possibly have recovered in that time.
We're expecting at least one of those two to end early and if it does we could see the "swing bout" moved up to being the show's third bout. The swing contest is between Macao's very own Kuok Kun Ng (2-0) and Indonesian Rocky Alap Alap (5-10). Although neither has a stoppage to their name we wouldn't be shocked if Ng did stop Alap Alap inside the scheduled 4 rounds. In fact we'd be more shocked if Alap Alap was dwarfed in the ring by a much bigger fighter.
The reason we're expect the swing bout to be so early is because the next scheduled bout is Ryota Murata's (2-0, 2) contest which has got a set aside time slot to appease Fuji TV. The bout, which will start at around 7PM local time, sees Murata fighting against former world title challenger Carlos Nascimento (29-3, 23) in what looks like a good step up for Murata. Unfortunately the bout isn't likely to be as testing as it looks as Nascimento is 40 years old and several years past his best though it's still a positive step up from the Japanese Olympic champion.
After Murata's bout we get the show's first title bout as Hong Kong's insanely popular Rex Tso (11-0, 7) battles Japan's Mako Matsuyama (7-7-1, 3). On the line here is Tso's WBC Asia Council Continental Super Flyweight title and the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title as well as Tso's recent WBO world ranking. At lost at stake forTso but the expectation is that he will easily cope with Matsuyama.
Following the first title fight we're then scheduled to go to the second title bout which see's former world champions colliding in the best looking contest on the show. This bout sees former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda (28-3-2, 12) fighting Filipino power puncher Marvin Sonsona (17-1-1, 14), himself a former WBO Super Flyweight champion. The winner of this bout will likely be moved to within a fight or two of a world title bout, though will immediately claim the WBO International Featherweight title and a big boost to any possible WBO rankings that they have.
The Shimoda/Sonsona bout is followed by the second Olympic champion on the show as Egor Mekhontsev (1-0, 1) faces unbeaten Thai Atthaporn Jaritram (4-0, 1). On paper this is an interesting bout between unbeaten fighters but in reality it's hard to see anything but an impressive victory for the talented and much more experienced Russian who was a former standout amateur and multi-medal winning fighter in the unpaid ranks.
Mekhontsev's contest merely gives us a break between title fights before his fellow Russian Denis Shafikov (33-0-1, 18) attempts to claim his biggest victory as a professional. Shafikov, fighting in his first world title fight will be hoping to dethrone talented and rangy Mexican Miguel Vazquez (33-3, 13) of the IBF Lightweight in what promises to be an incredibly interesting and tough contest. Interesting since this bout was first listed on the sports books the odds have closed remarkably and there are many smelling a possible upset here.
The main event, scheduled to take place at 10PM local time, is to be local star Zou Shiming (3-0) fighting Thai teenager Yokthong Kokietgym (15-3, 11). On paper this looks like a huge leap of faith from Shiming's side but when you consider Japanese youngster Ryuji Hara stopped Yokthong in 2 rounds it's fair to assume that Shiming's team have just been very cynical with their match making. Oddly one of our writers has gone against the tide and confidently predicted Yokthong to win, be the rest of us aren't buying it.
As we said when we started this, the Macau card is the big, but it's not the only one with one also taking place in the very pleasantly named Peoples Park in Baguio City. The card, expected to feature 6 contests has just one of note and that's the bout featuring Rex Wao (7-0, 6) who will be attempting to extend his unbeaten record as he fights Gerry Pateno (4-5-2, 2). Wao has stopped his last 5 and some in the Philippines are very excited by him. Hopefully another win here, in style, will see him given more notable opportunities in the near future.
Outside of Asia we're also expecting to see Tajikistan's Azamat Umarzade (0-1) in action. Umarzade, who has been inactive since losing on debut back in 2010 is being matched with Joey Ruelas (6-0-1, 3) in what is one of the most pointless matches we can ever remember mentioning on this site.