New York, USA
The biggest card of the day comes from New York and on that card we will get the chance to Korea's biggest hope, Min Wook Kim (15-1-1, 11) return to the ring for his most significant bout in years. The “Sniper” will be up against once beaten American Louis Cruz (11-1, 5), and the hop is that a win here will help Kim move towards some bigger, more notable bouts in the near future, with the eventual hope being a world title fight in 2017. Kim's career has lacked momentum in recent times but it's clear that an impressive outing here could help him rebuild some of the momentum he had before relocating from Korea.
The best of the Asian shows comes from Cebu where we see several fights of note.
One of those notable bouts will see Kenny Demecillo (10-3-2, 7) battle against Rambo Lagos (8-1-2, 5) for the WBF Asia Pacific Bantamweight title. This is a well matched bout and should prove to be one of the more even contests from the card, though we suspect Demecillo will be the favourite.
In another title fight, this time for the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Super Bantamweight title, fans will see the unbeaten and touted Jack Tepora (17-0, 12) taking on Bryan Capangpangan (10-2-1, 7). Tepora was tipped major things when he debuted but this, in many ways, is one of his first real step ups in class after having generally faced fighters who haven't come to win. For Capangpangan this is a great chance to make a name for himself.
Also on this card is 2012 Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga (0-0) who makes his professional debut, at last, as he takes on Melvin Manangquil (1-1-2, 1) in a 4 round bout at Light Flyweight.
We also have a notable Top Rank card from China which is a long card to say the least.
The card has two really good looking bouts. One of those comes at Lightweight as the unbeaten, and heavy handed, Alimu Wushouer (7-0, 6) takes on Xiao Long Yang (5-1-1, 4) in a bout that we expect to go the 8 round schedule. These two men met in April 2015, when both were debuting, and Yang was stopped in 88 seconds, his only loss to date and Yang will be looking to avenge that defeat here. A win for Wushouer is likely to see him progress into some notable international bouts in the next 12 months.
In the Light Middleweight division we have unbeaten fighters faxing off as the hard hitting Qiang Luo (6-0, 4) faces the light hitting Alimu Tuersun (6-0-1) in an intriguing match up between two men who look well matched on paper. It's easy to go with the puncher in a bout like this but Tuersun has the youth advantage, is taller, rangier and has more experience, with 10 more rounds, than his rival.
Kulon Progo, Indonesia
In Indonesia the experienced Eddy Comaro (32-27-5, 13) will be up against novice Benny Tamaela (3-3, 1). On paper it's easy to favour Comaro, he has fought at a higher level, has more experience and has more KO's than Tamaela has total bouts. Saying that however bot men are very flawed and this should prove to be a competitive match up.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
In Brazil fans will see Indian fighter Neeraj Goyat (7-2-2, 2) battle against local fighter Guilherme Castagnazzi Ribeiro (3-1, 3) in an 8 rounder. Despite starting his career 0-2-2 Goyat has rebuilt well and won 8 straight, with wins in China, Korea and India, he's now looking to add a win in Brazil. This is however a relative step up in class.
On the same card in Brazil fans will see Indian fighter Vicky (0-0) make their debut.
New South Wales, Australia
In new Australia Chinese Middleweight Yong Zhang (5-4-1, 1) will take on the highly experienced Joe Rea (10-29-5, 4) ion a 4 rounder
This coming weekend is a pretty big one with notable Asian's fighting in the Philippines and in the US and it's a day where a number of fighters are expected to be given a real test.
The biggest Asian show of the weekend is the next in the ALA line of “Pinoy Pride” cards and it looks to be a genuinely good looking one with a number of top prospects in action, some of which are being given a serious test, their first since turning professional.
The main event doesn't appear to be one of those testing bouts as Super Bantamweight sensation Albert Pagara (25-0, 18) defends his WBO Inter-Continental title against Yesner Talavera (15-3-1, 4). Pagara's team had hoped to secure a high profile opponent for their man but unfortunately ended up with Talavera after negotiations broke down with a former world champion. This should be a straight forward win for Pagara who may well be getting a world title fight later this year.
Another man who isn't taking a major step up on this card is the incredibly promising Mark Magsayo (12-0, 10), who faces Eduardo Montoya (17-4-1, 13) for the WBO Youth Featherweight title. This looks likely to be win #13 for Magsayo though the plan is to then move him into a much bigger bout, against former world title challenger Chris Avalos, in what would be a major step up in class for the 20 year old.
Another notable Filipino prospect on this card is Kevin Jake “KJ” Cataraja (2-0, 2) who is stepping up to the 8 round distance for the first time. The hotly tipped 20 year old will be up against Tony Rodriguez (3-1, 1) in what looks like a straight forward win for the youngster, though we may see Cataraja's stamina being given a test here. If he's as good as advertised he may well be in 10 rounders by the end of the year and could well be future gem of Filipino boxing scene.
One youngster who is stepping up massively on this card is the heavy handed Melvin Jerusalem (8-0, 7) who doesn't so much "step up" as leap up to face former world champion Florante Condes (29-7-1, 23). This is a real gut check for Jerusalem and whilst Condes isn't the fighter he once was he is still a whole different universe to Jerusalem's previous opposition.
Another fighter moving up in a similar manner is Elmo Traya (10-1, 8) who faces former OPBF champion Romeo Jakosalem (16-11-1, 8). Traya is currently on a 9 fight winning streak however this sees him stepping up to a level that he hasn't even come close to in the past. Jakosalem has seen better days but is still heavy handed and isn't a push over, despite 3 losses in his last 4.
Another really intriguing bout is the debut of 28 year Singaporean amateur stand out Muhamad Ridhwan (0-0) who faced unbeaten local Melchor Roda (3-0, 3). This look like an interesting match up on paper and although Roda hasn't faced a fighter of any note yet he may see this as a chance to get a notable win under his belt. For Ridhwan this is a check of his professional ability straight from the off. A really good looking match up.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Another show in the Philippines will be taking place in Metro Manila and will feature a number of promising fighters taking part in what appears to be mismatches.
The main event will see the once beaten Randy Braga (17-1-1, 4), who was really unlucky to actually suffer that loss in South Africa, defending the GAB Featherweight title against the experienced but limited Danilo Pena (27-22-4, 11). Pena has been around the block but has gone 1-10-2 in his last 13 bouts and is unlikely to pose a threat to Braga, who is genuine a promising fighter. Although Braga should win we can't see this one ending in a stoppage given that Braga is a proven survivor with just a couple of stoppage losses in his 53 fight career.
The support bout features another once beaten fighter, Rene Patilano (14-1-2, 7) battling against the limited Jopher Marayan (7-8-2, 3) in what looks like a foregone conclusion over 10 rounds. That bout is one of two 10-round bouts with the other being a contest between the feather fisted Jay Loto (10-0-1) and the testing Vincent Bautista (4-3-3, 1), interestingly this could be a solid test for Loto.
Busan, South Korea
In Busan the KBC will be sanctioning an 8 bout card, headlined by a KBC title fight and supported by two bouts featuring international fighters.
The title bout will see defending KBC 140lb champion Woo Shin Kim (6-1-3, 2) battle against Dong Hee Kim (4-1-1, 1)*. This looks like a well matched bout on paper and sees the champion return to fighting his homeland following a draw in Vietnam against Nguyen Ngoc Hai last October.
The chief support bout will see the unbeaten Dong Hoon Yook (8-0, 4)* battle against well travelled Indonesian Hero Tito (11-9-1, 3),who adds Korea the list of countries where he has fought. Although not a top fighter Tito has mixed in decent company, and actually fought Ik Yang to a majority decision and is 1-1-1 with countryman Roy Mukhlis. Notably Yook is the current KBC Lightweight champion and seems to be viewed as one of their most promising fighters so it's hard to see him losing this one.
The other notable international bout sees the exciting Hyun Woo Yuh (2-0, 2)* battle against Indonesian visitor Rusmin Kie Raha (14-8-2, 3). The visitor is 2-6 in his last 8 bouts and whilst he has mixed with better fighters than Yuh it is hard to see him over-coming the Korean youngster, who does appear to be genuinely heavy handed.
In the US fans get another chance to see the best of the active Korean fighters, Min Wook Kim (14-1, 11). The once beaten “Snyper” will be facing off against Mexican Jose Luis Rodriguez (17-8, 10) and it's hard to see this being anything other than another easy win for the Korean, who has needed just 7 rounds to see off his last 3 foes. Hopefully another impressive performance here will see Kim move towards getting a real chance to prove himself against a worthy adversary.
On a card in Australia we'll see a peculiar 5 rounder as the win-less Sarawut Patsawatho (0-2), originally from Thailand, faces James Katz (3-1, 1). It's unlikely that Sarawut will claim his first win here, especially given that this is his first boxing contest in over 2 years, but we suspect he will put up a solid effort Katz, who was beaten last time out.
*Records taken from the KBC, boxrec list Dong Hee Kim as being 1-0-1, Dong Hoon Yook as being 4-0 (3) and Hyun Woo Yuh as being 4-0 (4). Strangly Yuh's 4-0 (4) is probably right with the KBC not recognising two bouts he fought outside of their control.
American fans will get the chance to see one of the few Korean fighters of note in action.
That fight will see exciting Korean Min Wook Kim (13-1, 10) battle in his most important bout since vacating the OPBF title more than 2 years ago. Kim, an exciting hopeful at 140lbs, will be up against Mexico's Erick Daniel Martinez (11-3-1, 5). On paper this is well matched with Kim really stepping up from his last two bouts, saying that however Martinez is 0-3 in recent bouts and is unlikely to be more than fodder for the “Snyper”, who has fought just 2 rounds in the last 2 years.
Metro Manila, Philippines
As well as Kim's bout in the US Asian fight fans may well be interesting in a small show in the Philippines.
The main event of the card will see the once beaten Junuel Lacar (7-1-3, 5) taking on Lito Dante (10-5-3, 5) in what looks like a really good test for Lacar, who has fought to back-to-back draws. The once beaten 23 year old is unbeaten in 6 bouts and will be looking to continue his rise. Dante on the other hand has lost 2 of his last 5, however he has mixed at a higher level than Lacar.
Whilst the main event is interesting we must confess we are more interested in an 8 rounder under-card bout between the unbeaten Jeronil Borres (6-0-1, 5) battles the once beaten Michael Bravo (8-1, 3). This is a really good match up and one where both men deserve real credit for taking, and the winner will certainly come out having proven something.
Baja California, Mexico
Going back over to the west, fight fans in Mexico will get the chance to see Filipino Jhon Gemino (12-5-1, 5) take on former world champion Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr (20-4-1, 9) in what looks like a very tough match up for the 23 year old Filipino.
Boy, what a busy Saturday we have ahead of us!
The main Asian show this Saturday comes from Macau where Top Rank are putting on solid card with an excellent main event and fights involving several fighters on the verge of a world title fight.
The main event of the show will see Chinese slugger Ik Yang (19-0-0-1, 14) go for his first world title as he battles Argentina's Cesar Rene Cuenca (47-0-0-2, 2) in a bout for the vacant IBF Light Welterweight title. On paper this isn't a “world class” title bout but it's an interesting one all the same between unbeaten fighters with very different styles and mentalities in the ring.
In a supporting bout, scheduled for 10 rounds, we'll see multi-weight world champion Nonito Donaire (34-4, 22) battle against Frenchman Anthony Settoul (20-3, 8) in what should be a mismatch in favour of the talented Filipino. For Donaire this is his second bout since being stopped by Nicholas Walters and it's likely to be a tune up contest before a potential world title fight with Englishman Scott Quigg, in a bout that is said to be pencilled in for later in the year.
Another supporting bout will see Indonesian veteran Roy Mukhlis (27-4-3, 21) take on Denis Shafikov (35-1-1, 19) in a 10 round bout at 137lbs. Mukhlis is a late replacement for Mickey Bey, who vacated the IBF Lightweight title rather than fight Shafikov, and will come into this bout as a massive under-dog. There is however little to lose for Indonesian who may get himself a world title opportunity if he was to upset the touted Russian.
One other supporting bout of note here will see Hong Kong's exciting Rex Tso (16-0, 8) taking on limit Thai Khunkiri Wor Wisaruth (21-11-1, 14) in what is really a stay busy fight for Tso, who is looking to get a world title bout later in the year. Tso should see off his limited Thai foe inside the distance, especially considering that Khunkiri has already been stopped 6 times, but we need to admit that Tso continues to blow hot and cold and may under-perform again here.
In the US we get a Super Flyweight world title bout as unbeaten Filipino Arthur Villanueva (27-0, 14) takes on talented Puerto Rican McJoe Arroyo (16-0, 8) in a bout for the IBF title, which was recently vacated by Zolani Tete. The bout is a brilliant one on paper between two talented and unbeaten boxer-punchers who are each seeking to be recognised on the world stage. It's fair to say the winner here won't be recognised as a truly elite level fighter in the division, but they will throw their name into the hate for big fights against the likes of Naoya Inoue or Carlos Cuadras.
Also in Texas fans will get the chance to see the US debut of Korean slugger Min Wook Kim (12-1, 9). Kim, a former OPBF 140lb champion, will be battling 31 year old Mexican southpaw Sergio Rivera (27-15-2, 17) in what should be a straight forward win for the Korean star. Although boxing in Korea is quiet at the moment Kim is a shining light and an exciting win against Rivera could help the Korean become a staple in the US where his talent and style will be appreciated.
On another US card we'll see the debut of American based Kazakh Shynggyskhan Tazhibay (0-0) who takes on the win-less Jasey Montalvo (0-5). This should be an easy win for the 23 year debutant though it's only the first step of his career and we know bigger and better bouts will come in the future.
Pocheon, South Korea
In South Korea fans will get a small show of novices with 6 novice bouts, all scheduled for 4 rounds. There really isn't any big names in action here, a given considering how poor Korean boxing is at the moment, though we are interested in a heavyweight bout between Sang Ho Kim (1-0, 1) and Choong Yul Lee (0-0) and a Super Featherweight contest between Jin Jun (1-0, 1) and Sung Il Lim (1-0, 1), in what is the only bout between fighters with a record bout each.
Sawang Calero, Philippines
In the Philippines fight fans get a very small show that is likely to go under the radar.
The main event here will see Eduard Penerio (16-2, 11) take on the tough but limited JR Salvador (5-2-3). On paper this is a huge mismatch however Salvador has only been stopped once in his career, and that came more than 4 years ago.
The most exciting of the match ups, at least in terms of what the bout means, comes all the way from Mexico where the exciting Min Wook Kim (11-1, 8) will resurface for his first bout in more than 18 months. The exciting Kim, a former OPBF Light Welterweight champion, will be up against Lizandro De los Santos (22-12, 9) in what looks like a bout made to shake off some rust with the intention of moving on quickly an attempting to move towards a world title. From the training footage we've seen of Kim he's looking ready to resume what was once a really exciting and promising career and we hope he'll manage to get back on the fast track following this bout.
Western Australia, Australia
In Western Australia fans get two title bouts involving Filipino fighters. On paper the more even of those two bouts will see Benjie Suganob (9-3-1, 5) battle against Brandon Ogilvie (9-1, 3) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Super Featherweight title. Suganob has lost 2 of his last 4 bouts but can spring the off upset, as he did in April 2012 when he stopped Rey Juntilla. Ogilvie is on a good run with 4 straight wins, including a KO against Jerope Mercado though will need to make sure not to take risks considering there are question marks about his chin.
The other bout here will see the once beaten 20 year old Lloyd Jardeliza (6-1-3, 5) take on Nathaniel May (9-1, 5) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Featherweight title. This has potential to be an explosive encounter though one where, again, the Filipino fighter will be seen as the under-dog.
Seoul, South Korea
In South Korea fans get the chance to see an interesting looking female title bout as the light hitting Ji-Hye Woo (14-2, 1) attempts to claim the WIBA Featherweight title as she battles unbeaten Thai Wanphen Sithpracha (9-0, 3). This will be Wanphen's first bout against an opponent with a win however Woo hasn't looked good in recent bouts and only just managed to notch up wins against Xu Chan Yan and Jennifer Han in her last 2 bouts.