This coming Saturday is an incredibly busy day for Asian fight fans.
We get the show of the day in Tokyo, with the Korakuen Hall hosting a title double header and a really good under-card.
The main event sees a trilogy come to a close as Yuko Kuroki (18-5-1, 8) and Saemi Hanagata (14-7-4, 7) fight for the IBF female Atomweight title. So far Hanagata is winning the series, 1-0 due to a draw in their second bout. Since their bouts together both fighters have proven to be world class, with Kuroki holding the the WBC female Minimumweight title for over 3.5 years, whilst Hanagata would hold her own in 3 world title fights but never manage to get the win. Given how competitive their first two bouts were and how both have developed since 2013 we're expecting a very exciting contest with a lot of leather being thrown between two fighters who know each other very well. - A full preview of this bout can be read here Kuroki looks to settle the score with third bout against Hanagata!
The second title bout on this card promises fire works as heavy handed OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (13-0, 9) takes on talented youngster Daiki Tomita (12-0, 4). The champion will be looking to record his third defenses of the title, following very good wins over Masataka Taniguchi and Norihito Tanaka, and this promises to be another very tough test. Tomita, the 2016 All Japan Rookie of the Year has had a frustrating time since his Rookie win, being matched against some very poor opponents and having one fight cancelled, but he is a talent and should give Tomita a lot of questions to answer. A full preview of this bout can be read here Unbeaten men Koura and Tomita collide for OPBF honours!
The leading support bout will see hard hitting Japanese Flyweight prospect Masamichi Yabuki (7-2, 7) take on Panamanian based Cuban Daniel Matellon (7-0-2, 4). The Japanese puncher has only gone beyond 2 rounds once in his career, a 4 round decision loss to Junto Nakatani, and he is naturally very heavy handed. On the other hand Matellon is a world ranked fighter with real skills, but he will be the smaller man here. This will put power against speed, and should be a very compelling contest.
Former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (16-3-1, 9) will be returning to the ring following his title loss, in June 2017, as he takes on the always testing Vergil Puton (17-10-1, 8). The talented Takenaka was going through a solid run run when he was the OPBF champion, making 3 defenses of the title, before losing via KO to Sa Myung Noh last year. On his return he will be moving up in weight to face Puton. The Filipino visitor doesn't have a great looking record, and has failed to win in his last 3 bouts, but he's tough and has proven to be a very good opponent at this type of regional level. Takenaka should be able to win, but this is a tough return for the man from the Misako gym.
Another really notable under-card bout on this card will see the all action Kenya Yamashita (12-4, 9) take a huge step up in class to face off with former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (20-11-3, 5) in a Bantamweight bout. The exciting, but flawed, Yamashita has often been in some thrilling contests, but has shown issues with his chin and has lost 3 of his last 7 inside the distance. On the other hand Apolinario has won just twice in the last 30 months, with 5 losses in that same time period.
As well as the big show in Japan there is also a very notable card in Singapore, with two title bouts and several other bouts of note.
The main event of the card will see unbeaten local Muhamad Ridhwan (11-0, 8) take on former world champion Paulus Ambunda (26-2, 11) in a contest for the IBO Super Bantamweight title. The unbeaten Ridhwan, regarded as Singapore's biggest hope, has already noted two wins this year and his team will be seeing this as a logical step up in class. As for Ambunda this is probably his last chance saloon, and at the age of 38 it's hard to see where he would go if he lost here. Saying that however Ambunda has only lost to world class fighters, Tomoki Kameda and Moises Flores, and he could well have one final performance left in him.
Another major bout on this card will see Filipino Bantamweight contender Michael Dasmarinas (28-2, 19) face off against Ghanaian puncher Manyo Plange (17-0, 15). Coming in to this Dasmarinas has won his last 10, with 8 stoppages, including a big victory over Karim Guerfi last time out. Not much is known about Plange, however this will be his first bout outside of Ghana, and will be a massive step up in class for him.
In another title bout Malaysian fighter Muhammad Meeraj (8-2-1, 4) will take on teenager Natthawut Masamin (7-3, 5). The 28 year old Meeraj has won his last 2 bouts, including a win that saw him become the WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Heavyweight champion. He will be defeating that title here against his Thai foe. Masamin, the Thai Middleweight champion, has a very misleading record and gave Yuki Nonaka real issues earlier this year. We think Meeraj should have the size to win, but this is no gimme and could be a very tough contest to call.
In a potentially fan friendly contest fans will see Keng Fai Hui (4-0-1, 4) take on Abdelelah Karroum (3-0, 3). Both men have a reputation for being heavy handed and it seems likely that both will come out swinging here. Hui, a 23 year old from Malaysia, was held to a draw last time out, against Alexander David. Karroum on the other hand is a Singaporean based French born fighter who has stopped his first 3 opponents in a combined 4 rounds. Expected explosive action here!
History is set to be made in Taiwan as the country hosts it's most notable show in history, with a couple of title fights in Taipei.
The main event of the card will see teak tough Japanese Super Feather Takuya Watanabe (34-8-1, 19) take on Thai foe Paiboon Lorkham (19-10, 8), aka Maxsaisai Sithsaithong, fight for the OPBF Silver Super Featherweight. Although his record doesn't show it Watanabe is a very talented fighter who has mixed at a very good level, losing to the likes of Masayuki Ito, Satoshi Hosono, Jae Sung Lee and Hisashi Amagasa. Although a talented boxer Watanabe is best known for his insane toughness, which saw him fight through a crimson mask against Lee for almost the entire fight. The Thai is much less well established, despite being 39 years old. His most notable bout to date have been losses to the likes of Hisashi Amagasa, AJ Banal and Joel Brunker, and they were all several years ago. Lorkham at his best might have been an interesting test for Watanabe, but this version or Lorkham is little more than body for Watanabe to beat in the main event of the show.
The other title fight will see Chinese fighter Wensi Huang (9-3-1, 3) take on Thai foe Jutamas Jitpong (4-2, 2) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental female Super Flyweight title. The 29 year old Huang lost 3 of her first 6 bouts, including a contest against Ji Hye Woo, though has since gone unbeaten, albeit against dreadful opposition. Aged 20 the Thai is the younger fighter by far, but she has also come up short, losing to Yuko Henzan and Olga Gurova. This is a very limited match up, but does give the fans in Taipei a chance to see a female title bout, as well as the male one.
Over in the US we get the chance to see once beaten Filipino prospect Romero Duno (17-1, 14) look to build on his growing reputation. The 22 year old Filipino fighter will be up against Mexican foe Ezequiel Aviles (16-2-3, 6), who will be fighting outside of Mexico for the first time. It's worth noting that Aviles has only been stopped once in 21 bouts, but that loss was last time out, when Oliver Quintana stopped him in 10 rounds. It's also worth noting that Aviles has also been out of the ring for over a year following that loss
The card will also set to feature the debut of Uzbek prospect Elnur Abduraimov (0-0), though his opponent hasn't yet been announced.
New York, USA
Staying in the US fans in Brooklyn, New York, will be able to see Uzbek Heavyweight hopeful Bakhodir Jalolov (1-0, 1) continue his career. The highly touted Jalolov, a former amateur standout, will be up against Thomas Hawkins (4-3-0-1, 1) who has lost his last 3 and is without a win in over 4 years. Given how we have seen Uzbek fighters handled we're hoping this will be Jalolov's last bout at this level before he goes up against someone who can test him. He's too good to spend time against fighters like Hawkins.
This Friday is set to be a relatively quiet one in the realms of Asian boxing, however there will be a relatively notable card in Singapore, with several fighters of interest being involved, several of whom meet in some really good match ups that deserve a lot more attention than they arelikely to get, sadly.
One of the most notable contest on this show will see local hopeful Muhamad Ridhwan (9-0, 7) battle under-rated Filipino Jeson Umbal (16-5, 11) for the vacant IBO Inter-Continental Featherweight title. The 30 year old local, known as “The Chosen Wan”, has impressed in recent fights,taking wins against the likes of Waldo Sabu, Fadhili Majiha and Nataneal Sebastian but this is a very big step up in class. Although Umbal's record might not look too impressive he is much better than the numbers suggest and is currently riding an 8 fight winning streak, including a win over Mark Anthony Geraldo. This really could be a very good match up, and promises a lot.
Another bout that promises a lot will see Filipino Michael Dasmarinas (27-2, 18) take on Frenchman Karim Guerfi (26-3-0-1, 8) for the lightly regarded International Boxing Organization World Bantamweight title. The 25 year old Dasmarinas is one of the many Filipino fighters who has been rising through the ranks without getting much attention from fans, but those in the sport are well away of his talent and he has been a sparring partner for the likes of Shinsuke Yamanaka over the last few years. The Filipino is currently riding a 9 fight winning streak and is ranked by the WBC and WBO at Bantamweight. Guerfi on the other hand is enjoying his second reign as the European Bantamweight champion and is currently enjoying a 6 fight winning run, which includes notable wins over Alejandro Gonzalez Jr, Ryan Farag and Stephane Jamoye. The recent wins for Guerfi have put him into the WBC and IBF world rankings, and this essentially be a world title eliminator between these two talented, and under-rated fighters,
A third title bout will see Malaysian Muhammad Meeraj (6-2-1, 3) complete a trilogy with Chase Haley (5-2-1, 2) for the currently vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Light Heavyweight title. These two men fought back in May 2017 with Haley taking majority decision over Meeraj, in a bout that saw both men being dropped, a rematch in October resulted in a split decision draw and has left us with a third bout between the two men in just 11 months. Given the competitive nature of their first two bouts we won't complain much about this one, but do wonder if it's a case of the two fighting until Meeraj gets a win over his nemesis.
In a bout between unbeaten men, fans will see hard hitting Malaysian Keng Fai Hui (4-0, 4) take on Filipino born Singaporean Alexandrew David (4-0, 2) in what could be a very explosive fight. Hui has looked like a genuine puncher so far, needing just 9 rounds to defeat his first 4 opponents whilst David has notched a couple of opening round wins of his own. From the 8 combined wins of these fighters 4 have come in the first round, and 6 have come in the first 4.
One final bout of note will see John Hutchinson (12-2-3, 4) take on Indonesian veteran Larry Siwu (27-10, 23). Although relatively unknown Hutchinson, originally from Ireland, has been a bit of a boxing traveller fighting in Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, the USA, Thailand, Australia and now Singapore. Siwu on the other hand has been fighting on the Asian scene through his career and has gone on to face some notable names in recent years, losing to the likes of Teerachai Kratingdaenggym, Keita Obara and Sirimongkol Singwancha. This shouldn't be regarded in the same level of significance as the top bouts, but should still be a genuinely interesting fight, and one where Siwu has the edge in experience, but will be the naturally smaller man.
At the Korakuen we get a genuinely important card, as Japanese and Chinese fighters face off in the second Japan Vs China Dangan card.
The main event of the show will see former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Rikki Naito (17-2, 6) take on unbeaten Chinese visitor Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (12-0-1, 5), in a really good looking bout. For Naito it's his second as a 140lb'der, and his 6th since losing the Japanese Super Featherweight title to Kenichi Ogawa. Although Naito's has been troubled recently he will feel confident of picking up a win over the Chinese fighter. For Nasiyiwula the bout will be his first outside of China and his second successive bout against a Chinese foe, having won adecision back in May against Taisho Ozawa. A win for the visitor will open up doors for more significant fights and could well see him in the mix for an OPBF title sooner rather than later.
A second good looking bout on here will see the once beaten Takeshi Kaneko (5-1-1) look to bounce back from a June loss as he takes on Wulan Tuolehazi (5-3, 1). The Chinese visitor has a mixed record, but has won his last 3, including a win over former world title challenger Nouldi Manakane. Although this bout will be expected to go the contacted 8 rounds it should still be a lot of fun and a very exciting contest.
Negros Occidental, Philippines
We get another notable card in the Philippines, with two bouts of note.
The biggest in terms of names will see former world champion Merlito Sabillo (26-4-1, 13) battle against well regarded journeyman Crison Omayao (22-14-4, 7), who has share the ring with the likes of Naoya Inoue and Kosei Tanaka. Since losing the WBO Minimumweight title to Francisco Rodriguez Jr back in 2014 life has been hard in the ring for Sabillo, who has gone 3-3 and cannot really afford any more set backs. Whilst Omayao has also had mixed results recently he certainly has time on his side, and the 24 year old really isn't at the end of the line, despite the fact he is racking up losses now a days.
The other bout of note on this card will see the unbeaten Jayr Raquinel (7-0-1, 5) take on Richard Rosales (12-4-2, 7) for the OPBF interim Flyweight title, despite the fact the “regular” title was defended just a week ago. The bout should be a good one, given the men involved and their desire for a win, but one does wonder what the OPBF are playing at with the logic that this was going to be an interim title fight, so soon after the last defense of the actual title.
The deepest of the Asian shows is from Singapore, where Ringstar Management Pte Ltd will be hosting a notable show with a host of title bouts, and notable names,
In one of the supporting bouts on this card we'll see talented Filipino hopeful Michael Dasmarinas (26-2, 17) take on Thai journeyman Phupha Por Nobnom (11-10-1, 10). This should be a total mismatch in favour of the criminally under-rated Filipino, who has won his last 8 and looks ready to be stepped up massively after this contest.
A slightly more competitive looking supporting bout will see Thailand's Decha Kokietgym (34-11-3, 18) take on Australian veteran Chad Bennett (36-4-3, 27). The 32 year old Thai hasn't fought since June 2013, and is certainly not the fighter her once was, though Bennett is no spring chicken and had his 44th birthday a few months ago. It's also worth noting that Bennett himself has been out of the ring for over 2 years. This bout may not excite fans, but there is some intrigue on paper.
A much more relevant bout will see Malaysian hopeful Keng Fai Hui (3-0, 3) compete in his first title bout, as he battles Petch Fonchang Chonburi (7-3, 2) for the IBO Oceania Welterweight title. On paper this looks like a mismatch but it's a step up for the unbeaten 22 year old, who has been in with really limited opposition for. The Thai is nothing special, but should prove a better opponent that Hui's previous 3.
In a competitive looking bout we'll see Muhammad Meeraj (6-2, 3) battle against Chase Haley (5-1, 2), in a second contest between the two men. These two fought back in May, with Haley winning a majority decision in a bout that saw both men being dropping, and it's clear that Meeraj will be out for revenge whilst Haley will be chasing a second win over the Malaysian hopeful. On the line in this bout will be the International Boxing Organization Oceania Light Heavyweight Title, which Haley won last time out.
The biggest name on the card will be 2-weight former world champion Sirimongkol Singwancha (92-3, 57), who continues his long career as he takes on Australian fighter Tommy Browne (34-6-2, 13). The 40 year old Thai has lost just once in his last 53 and will be hoping to edge towards 100 wins here, as he takes on a 34 year old Australian, who is 8-0-1 in his last 9. The bout will see the two fighters trading blows for the International Boxing Organization Asia Pacific Super Welterweight Title and there is a good chance the winner will try and move on towards a more notable title bout in 2018.
The main event of the show will see Singapore's very own Muhamad Ridhwan (8-0, 7) face off with Namibia's Nataneal Sebastian (9-0, 5) in a battle of unbeaten's. The two men will be trading blows for the International Boxing Organization International Super Featherweight Title and will be looking to extend their unbeaten records. Ridhwan struggled on his debut but has stopped his last 7, taking small but progressive steps up whilst Sebastian will be fighting in a notable step up, and his first bout outside of Namibia.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
In Argentina fight fan will be able to see unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Bobirzhan Mominov (4-0, 4) take on Argentinian based Uruguayan fighter Carlos Andres Chaparro (7-15-1, 3). The heavy handed Kazakh has needed just 11 rounds for his first 4 wins and will be looking to keep his stoppage run alive here, but may find that tricky against a durable but limited foe.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The only show this coming Thursday is a low key one from Metro Manila. Although low key it does have a couple of fights of some note.
The biggest will see the highly talented Michael Dasmarinas (25-2, 16) take on shop worn foe Mateo Handig (13-14, 7). The under-rated Dasmarinas has won his last 7, following a controversial loss in South Africa to Lwandile Sityatha, and he does look like another of the rising Filipino who could go on to world honours down the line, having proven his skills both in bouts and as a high level sparring partner for top Japanese fighters. Handig was once close to an IBF Minimumweight world title fight, after a split decision win over Katsunari Takayama, but has since lost 9 in a row as his career has tumbled into irrelevancy and it'd be a massive upset for him to beat Dasmarinas in this one.
In another notable bout we'll see 23 year old prospect Lorence Rosas (7-1-2, 2) take on the limited Danny Tampipi (7-7-2, 4), in what will be a second meeting between the two men. These two fought last September, with Rosas taking a 6 round shut out over his foe, and we'd expect something similar here for the youngster, though the bout will be fought over a longer distance.
Camarines Sur, Philippines
In a bout originally scheduled for the weekend fans will see Michael Dasmarinas (24-2, 16) facing off with Michael Escobia (11-12-1, 3). On paper this looks like a real mismatch however Escobia is much better than his record suggests and he has given fighters like Masaaki Serie and Koki Eto really competitive bouts, with the Eto bout coming earlier this year. Dasmarinas should win but this is no gimme.
There is also action from Laguna.
In the main event fans will get an interesting Light Flyweight bout between Lester Abutan (10-5-3, 5) and Mateo Handig (13-11, 7). On paper this looks like a mismatch, especially given that Handig has lost his last 6, however those 6 defeats have come to good fighters, such as Ganigan Lopez, Nawaphon Por Chokchai and Panomroonglek Kratingdaenggym. Abutan has a good record but has failed when he's stepped up in class, losing to Fahlan Sakkteerin Jr and Chanachai CP Freshmart, and as a result we suspect this will be more competitive than the records suggest.
In a supporting bout the 20 year old Robert Onggocan (6-1, 2) will face the very experienced Rodel Tejares (20-39-7, 5). Onggocan will be fighting for the third time since his sole defeat and although he has a promising looking record this is actually one of his toughest bouts so far. Tejares has gone 0-16-3 in his last 19 but could well see this as his chance to score his first win in over 4 years!
Southern Leyte, Philippines
A third show from the Philippines Marvin Tampus (27-23-3, 18) facing off with the out of form Marco Demecillo (21-5-1, 16). On paper it'd be easy to favour Demecillo however he has gone 3-5 over his last 8 bouts, dating back more than 3 years, and he is genuinely struggling to get his career back on track. For Tampus, who hasn't won in 5 years, this a great chance to get win and may be an opportunity that he will make the most of.
The most notable bout to feature an Asian fighter this weekend sees former-2 weight world champion Donnie Nietes (38-1-4, 22) make his long anticipated move up to Flyweight where he will kick off his campaign with a fighter against Mexican veteran Edgar Sosa (52-9, 30). The bout isn't a major test, given Viloria's recent performances at world level, but is is a solid introduction to the weight for Nietes, who will be looking to become a 3-weight champion in the near future.
In a supporting bout on the same card former world title challenger Arthur Villanueva (29-1, 15) will face Juan Jimenez (22-10, 15) in a rematch. These two men fought earlier this year with Villanueva controversially winning the bout, and the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title, with a head-butt KO. Coming into this one Jimenez will be seeking revenge whilst Villanueva will be looking to win this one cleanly.
A third notable Filipino in action in the US is the touted prospect Mark Magsayo (14-0, 11), who risks his unbeaten record against Ruben Garcia (17-2-1, 7). The talented Magsayo won the WBO International Featherweight title last time out, beating Chris Avalos in a slugfest, and will be hoping to defend the belt here against Garcia. If he comes out on top then ALA might see fit to step up Magsayo and move him towards a title fight in the next 12 months or so.
The day is a busy on in Japan with 4 shows across the country. The most notable of which is a Dangan card in Tokyo.
The main event of the card will see Japanese Lightweight champion Nihito Arakawa (27-6-1, 16) face off against Yusuke Tsukada (8-5, 3) in what will be Arakawa's first defense of the title. The teak tough champion won the belt earlier this year, ending the reign of Kota Tokunaga, and looks like he's making a simple first defense before potentially facing Shuhei Tsuchiya.
It's worth noting that Shuhei Tsuchiya (20-4, 17) will be in one of the main supporting bout on this card as he takes on Filipino visitor Rex Olisa (11-29-1, 8). The bout is expected to be a mismatch with the bout serving almost entirely to help build for a bout between Tsuchiya and Arakawa in 2017.
Another Japanese title bout will be held in Aichi as Shota Hayashi (27-5-1, 17) trades blows with veteran Noriyuki Ueno (18-13-5, 5) in a bout for the vacant Japanese Featherweight title, which was recently vacated by Satoshi Hosono. Coming in Hayashi will clearly be the favourite however Ueno is under-rated, knows this will almost certainly be his only chance and comes in riding a huge high after a massive upset win against Yuki Ogata last time out.
In the chief support bout Yushi Tanaka (17-1-3,11) will be facing a poor Thai opponent in what will be Tanaka's second bout since losing in a Japanese title bout against Kentaro Masuda this past March. It's hard to see Tanaka losing here but he'll be forced to step up his competition in the near future if he wants another crack at silverware.
Fans in Ibaragi get a less interesting card though one headlined by the insanely tough Tatsuya Takahashi (24-6-4, 17), who faces Thai visitor Parkin Phakdeepin (1-7) in a 10 rounder. The bout, for all intents, is a mismatch but we find it impossible not to love Takahashi who has been in numerous thrillers. Although a mismatch Takahashi should make this fun.
Another low profile card comes from Oita where the main event will see Yuta Sasaki (8-8-1, 1) face off against Hyuma Fujioka (7-4-1). The bout is another less than great match up, however this one should at least be competitive with both men looking to prove they are the better fight.
Camarines Sur, Philippines
The Filipino fans also get some action, the most notable of which features the very talented and under-rated Michael Dasmarinas (24-2, 16) facing off with Michael Escobia (11-12-1, 3). On paper this looks like a real mismatch however Escobia is much better than his record suggests and he has given fighters like Masaaki Serie and Koki Eto really competitive bouts, with the Eto bout coming earlier this year. Dasmarinas should win but this is no gimme.
A second Filipino show is set to take place in Rizal where we get several bouts of note.
The main event of the card will see Glenn Suminguit (18-2, 9) face off against Alvin Bais (15-6-1, 4) in a bout for the vacant GAB Bantamweight title. The bout isn't the greatest one but should be a very competitive one and both men will be coming in to this one seeking a title victory. On paper it's easy to favour Suminguit, who has won his last 8, but he will be tested here in what should a relatively competitive bout.
On this card in supporting bouts are the Elorde brothers. Juan Martin Elorde (20-1-1, 8) will face off against Indonesian veteran Boido Simanjuntak (23-40-2, 9) whilst Juan Miguel Elorde (21-1, 11) will face Junior Bajawa (14-9, 7). It's hard to see either of the brothers losing here, though we do hope they will both step up a level in the near future, as neither should be tested by their inferior foes here.
Staying in Asia there is also action in Kazakhstan where we get several bouts of note.
The most interesting bout will see unbeaten puncher Issa Akberbayev (17-0-0-1, 12) face off against fellow puncher Maik Kurzweil (17-6, 17) in a bout we don't imagine will go the distance. Although neither is near “world class” they are fighting for the GBC title and will put it on the line to hold the belt.
In an under-card bout the once beaten Russian Medzhid Bektemirov (17-1, 12) will face the highly experienced Gary Abajyan (33-27-1, 17). This will be Bektemirov's second bout since suffering a split decision loss last year to Alexander Brand. It's hard to see Abajyan holding his own here, but Bektermirov is usually fun to watch.
In another under-card bout the unbeaten Berikbay Nurymbetov (2-0) will be facing the much more experienced Valentyn Kuts (22-5-0-1, 8). Kuts has failed to win any of his last 5 bouts and we suspect that losing run will continue here against a man who is obviously backed by a very confident team.
Quintana Roo, Mexico
In Mexico we'll see the much unfancied Hirotsugu Yamamoto (19-12-2, 3) battle against former world champion Jhonny Gonzalez (61-10, 51) for the WBC International Super Featherweight title. It's hard not to favour the much more experienced Gonzalez here in what looks like a mismatch against the visitor.
Back in California, though not on the same show as the three Filipino's, fight fans will be able to see American based Kazakh Madiyar Ashkeyev (5-0, 3) face off with fellow unbeaten Martez Jackson (3-0-2, 2). The bout looks relatively even on paper but we suspect the Kazakh will be too good and too powerful for the unbeaten American.
Hard hitting Kazakh hopeful Batyrzhan Jukembayev (4-0-0-2, 4) will be looking to continue his reign of terror as he battles Leandro Mendes Pinto (19-9-2, 9) in a notable step up. The Kazakh destroyer has looked promising so far and should look good here, but notably Pinto has been around the clock and could teach the youngster a few new tricks. Although Pinto has avoided regular stoppages it's hard to imagine him being big enough or tough enough to last long with Jukembayev
April 29th is an incredibly busy day through Asia with fights all over the continent.
In Chongqing Chinese fans get an interesting card courtesy of Zowi boxing. The card isn't the biggest but it is an interesting one with several notable bouts.
The main event will see the unbeaten Bai Shan Bo (7-0-1, 4) battle against Filipino Nelson Tinampay (9-2-1, 4) for the WBC youth 140lb title. This will be Bo's first defense of the title, that he won in February when he stopped Tackie Annan inside a round. If Bo is as good as touted he should win this one, but it is a step up in class for him and Tinampay is no push over.
In an under-card bout fans will see unbeaten Venezuelan Omrri Bolivar (4-0, 2) continue his tour of Asia as he faces the highly experienced Indonesian Ricky Manufoe (24-24-3, 10). Bolivar will be fighting in his fourth Asian bout and should over-come the Indonesian journeyman, who has struggled for wins in recent years and suffered losses regularly on the road.
Another under-card bout on this card will see Xing Xin Yang (10-4-2, 7) battle against Takamori Akita (10-5-1, 8) in a bout for the PABA and WBC ABC Continental Welterweight titles. On paper this looks a brilliantly matched bout, and whilst neither is likely to go far in the sport we are glad to see an even looking match up.
Staying in China their will also be a Fists of Fury card promoted by SECA and Top Rank. The card, like the other Fists of Fury, will feature novices each looking to become the latest Chinese fighter to catch the attention of Top Rank who could bring put them on to higher profile cards in the future.
Yesan, South Korea
In South Korea fight fans will see a WIBA Light Flyweight title bout as Su-Yun Hong (13-1-1, 7) faces experienced Filipino Jujeath Nagaowa (13-16-1, 8). This will be Hong's 4th defense of the title and looks to be her most difficult assignment since her 2014 loss to Mako Yamada, in a bout that saw Hong lose the WBO female Minimumweight title.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Fans in Metro Manila get a title double-header.
In a bout for the PBF Bantamweight title fans will see the very talented Michael Dasmarinas (23-2, 15) battle against Jecker Buhawe (16-11-1, 10). We rate Dasmarinas very highly and see him easily over-coming Buhawe here, especially given that Buhawe is 2-4 in his last 6 and hasn't fought in the last 12 months.
The other bout is a PBF Super Featherweight title fight which will see the under-rated Vergil Puton (15-7, 7) battle the puncher Marbon Bodiongan (12-4-2, 10). Puton has lost 4 of his last 5 but has been competitive in all 4 losses and he really is a credible opponent. For Bodiongan, who has lost 3 of his last 4, this is a very tricky match up and it's be a surprise if he was to win.
In Osaka Japanese fans get a small but notable card.
In the main event fans will see Shota Kawaguchi (18-7-1, 8) battle Filipino visitor Jonathan Francisco (8-5-1, 2). This will be Kawaguchi's third successive bout against a Filipino, following back to back losses to Sonny Boy Jaro, and he has actually lost 3 of his last 4. For Francisco this bout sees him return to Japan for his second bout in the country, following a technical draw last year against Toshiyuki Igarashi.
In a supporting bout fans will see former world title challenger Nana Yoshikawa (5-1, 3) battle against a Thai opponent. This is thought to be a title prelude for Yoshikawa who will be getting a title fight later in the year.
There is also action in Jakarta where the vacant Indonesia Boxing Association (IBA) Super Bantamweight title will be on the line as the unbeaten Semly Mau (3-0) faces off against Celvin Joe (2-3-1). Mau is thought to have debuted in 2013, though of course Indonesian records are known to be regularly incomplete, and scored a notable win over Erick Deztroyer back in 2014. As for Joe we believe he comes into this on the back of back-to-back defeats, including a loss Mike Tawatchai, though those losses were back in 2012 and 2013.
After a bit of a spurt in activity things quieten down a little bit this week, with action kicking off with a pair of low profile Filipino cards.
La Union, Philippines
The most notable of the bouts takes place in La Union as the talented, and often under-rated, Michael Dasmarinas (22-2, 14) battles experienced loser Edison Berwela (13-33-8, 3) for the PBF Super Flyweight title. It's hard to see “Hot and Spicy” losing here and in fact there's a good case for him being 23-1 following a very dubious loss in December 2014 to Lwandile Sityatha. If Berwela does more than just survive we'd be surprised.
A second Filipino card, set to take place in Abra, will be headlined by a less than mouth watering clash between Danilo Gabisay (6-5, 4) and Gerry Patenio (4-10-2, 2). This really isn't anything to get excited by but could give fans in Abra a chance to see some action.
In China we'll see an interesting show with a pair of tile fights involving Asian fighters.
One of those bouts will see China's Wei Qian Xian (8-4-1, 1) defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Featherweight title against Filipino puncher Rex Wao (11-1, 9), who is fighting for the second time since being stopped by Silvester Lopez last December. On paper it looks a clear mismatch in favour of the visitor but Xian is better than his record suggests and he could very easily upset the Filipino if Wao is still feeling the mental effects of his loss.
The other title bout will see the very promising Michael Dasmarinas (21-2, 13) defending his WBC Youth Super Flyweight title against Thai fighter Wisanlek Sithsaithong (14-8, 9). We have become big fans of Dasmarinas in recent times and can't see anything but a clear win for the very talented Filipino southpaw.
In Japan fans in the Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see the Rookie of the East finals. The show will feature 9 bouts after several contests were aborted, originally however the show was set to feature 12 bouts from Minimumweight to Middleweight.
Where we have had some interesting days already this month we see things go on to a totally new gear on July 11th with the Philippines really dominating a very, very active day.
The best of the shows comes from Cebu where ALA will be running the next in the “Pinoy Pride” cards. Not only is the card a “big name” one but it features a little bit of everything from a recognised champion in a really exciting match up to action involving touted prospects and a major debut for a man tipped as a future Filipino star.
The main event is the world title bout which sees long term WBO Light Flyweight kingpin Donnie Nietes (35-1-4, 21) defends his belt against former unified Minimumweight champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr (17-2-1, 11). This is a genuinely mouth watering match up between arguably the best, and most proven, fighter in the division and one of the most promising and battle hardened young fighters on the planet. Credit to both men for getting this one sorted.
In the co-feature we'll see the much touted Mark Magsayo (10-0, 8) attempt to claim his first title. The talented Filipino will be up against Mexico's Rafael Reyes (16-4, 12) in a bout for the IBF Youth Featherweight title. Magsayo has, generally, impressed but this is a much more significant bout than his previous 10 and we expect to learn something new of the 20 year old here.
Whilst Magsayo is the most touted prospect on the card there is a lot of attention being given to Kevin Jake Cataraja (0-0) who makes his professional debut against Ardi Tefa (6-4, 4). From what we've been told the 20 year old Cataraja is expected to progress quickly through the ranks and could find himself in the same position as Magsayo within the the next year or two.
One other prospect on this card worthy of a mention is the heavy handed Vic Saludar (9-1, 7) who has failed to live up to expectation so far. The once touted Saludar will be up against Michael Kaibigan (3-2-2, 2).
Metro Manila, Philippines
In Metro Manila we have a number of intriguing matches with more Filipino's including a match up that may go down as the best domestic Filipino bout of the year, the card will also feature a pair of former world title challengers and a GAB title fight.
The match up we most like is a 10 round bout for the WBC Youth Super Flyweight title between the unbeaten Jhaleel Payao (11-0, 6) and Michael Dasmarinas (20-2, 13). We've been impressed in the past by Dasmarinas who looked fantastic beating Hayato Kimura last year ans was very unlucky against Lwandile Sityatha. As for Payao he's impressed in sessions working with Ryosuke Iwasa and the reports are that he's a very promising young prospect. We really cannot say enough good words about this one.
Another WBC strap will be on the line as former world title challenger Richard Claveras (12-1-2, 12) looks to defend his WBC Asian Boxing Council title against Benezer Alolod (16-7-5, 5). This will be Claveras's first bout since his loss, in a WBC world title fight, to Pedro Geuvara back in April and this is a tough return to action, despite Alolod not holding the most impressive of records.
A third title bout is for the GAB Super Flyweight title as Rene Dacquel (14-4-1, 5) defends his title against Jonas Sultan (8-2, 5). On paper it's hard to side with Sultan but he has looked good recently with 4 straight wins, 3 by T/KO, and was unlucky in his most recent loss. Whilst it's not the best match up on the card it certainly isn't a bad one.
A final title but here will see Rey Juntilla (20-6-4, 13) trading blows with Danilo Pena (26-21-4, 11) for the vacant LuzProBA Featherweight title. We've got to admit we can't see a win for Pena who is now little more than a domestic journeyman, and is 3 years removed from his last win. Juntilla may go on to achieve something more notable, given he is just 25, but we can't see him progressing to the levels that he'd like to get to.
One final bout of note here will see former world title challenger Ardin Diale (28-9-3, 14) take on Indonesian veteran Heri Amol (35-23-4, 14). From what we understand Diale is awaiting to get a shot at the OPBF Flyweight title and will know that a win here really will put him within touching distance of a shot later in the year. It does need saying Amol has lost his last 9, including a defeat to the then debuting Ken Shiro, but is still a decent enough journeyman to get Diale some good rounds.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
Another Filipino show really looks very exciting with some fantastic match ups on a more domestic level.
The most promising fighter on the card is the unbeaten John Vincent Moralde (12-0, 6), who will be fighting for the first time since his tragic bout with Brayd Smith. The unbeaten Moralde has been matched easily here against William George (10-22, 3) in what should be an easy win, but that allows Moralde's handlers to know where he's at in terms of his mental state.
Another very touted young fighter on this card is 20 year old Jade Bornea (3-0, 2), who holds a notable amateur victory over Kosei Tanaka. Bornea will be facing his stiffest test to date as he goes up against fellow unbeaten Salatiel Amit (6-0-2, 4) in what looks to be a very well matched bout. Jade's brother Jake Bornea (9-1, 4) is also in a very good looking bout as he takes on Richard Rosales (9-2-2, 4) in a bout for the WBC Asia Pacific Youth Flyweight title. Jake is highly tipped, like his brother, though it's hard to overlook his 2014 loss to Raymond Tabugon.
One other prospect worthy of note from this card is Jelbirt Gomera (8-0, 5) takes on the highly experienced, though limited Prell Tupaz (8-27-5, 1) in a bout for the PBF Super Bantamweight title. Gomera hasn't received the plaudits of many others but has slowly carved out a promising record and a title win here will almost certainly move him onto bigger fights.
Whilst this card doe feature a lot of prospects one bout stands out as being a truly mouth watering clash. That bout pits former world title challenger Vergilio Silvano (20-4-1, 12) takes on the talented Jetro Pabustan (25-2-6, 7). On paper this is a brilliant fight with the winner almost certainly being moved towards a bigger and better fight whilst the loser will hover around the top of the domestic scene.
It's not in the Philippines that we have a world title as fight fans in Germany get the chance to see WBA Heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev (33-2-1, 20) defending his title against German based Italian born fighter Francesco Pianeta (31-1-1, 17). On paper this looks mouth watering but in fairness Chagaev is not the fighter he once was and Pianeta was made to look like a journeyman in his last notable bout, a 6th round TKO loss to Wladimir Klitschko. Although it's a “heavyweight title fight” it's hard to see anyone even pretending that this features 2 of the divisions top fighters.
One final bout comes from Mexico as Filipino Jhon Gemino (12-3-1, 5) takes on the touted and unbeaten Andres Gutierrez (31-0-1, 22). This is a huge task for Gemino, who has clearly been brought in to lose, but we can't criticise him for taking the fight.
(Image courtesy of ALA Boxing)