The most notable bout of the day comes from Thailand where a young and unbeaten fighter takes on a true veteran of the sport.
The youngster involved here is the WBA interim Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (9-0, 5) who attempts to defend his belt against Indonesian veteran Muhammad Rachman (65-11-5, 35). For Rachman this is a chance to become a 3-time “world champion” and become a title holder at the advanced age of 43 whilst for Knockout it's a chance to defend the title he won last October, when he narrowly out pointed Carlos Buitrago.
The biggest name fighter on the undercard will be Panomroonglek Kaiyanghadaogym (43-2, 25) who will be defending his PABA Bantamweight title against Filipino challenger Mateo Handig (13-8, 7) in what appears to be a horrible mismatch. Handig was world ranked not too long ago, and does hold a major win over Katsunari Takayama, but is a Minimumweight jumping up to Bantamweight and Panomroonglek will simply be too big and too strong for his challenger.
Another support bout will see Flyweight contender Noknoi Sitthiprasert (52-4, 30) put his 51 fight winning streak on the line against Filipino journeyman Donny Mabao (21-24-1, 4). Noknoi, who is unbeaten since 2005 and brings the longest active winning streak into the ring, sadly however Mabao has lost his last 4, including an OPBF Minimumweight title bout to Ryuji Hara and a WBC Asian Boxing Council Flyweight title bout against Nawaphon Por Chokchai.
Another notable fighter on this card will be former WBA interim Flyweight champion Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (34-3, 20) who makes his return to the ring for the first time since losing a WBA Flyweight unification bout against Juan Carlos Reveco last year. Yodmongkol has had a trio of hard fights coming into this bout and is now expected to face a very low level opponent.
The final bout we've been made aware of will feature the very exciting Chanachai Cp Freshmart (2-0, 1), who currently holds the WBC Youth Minimumweight title. Chanchai will be battling fellow unbeaten Chatpetch Por Pakdee (2-0) in a non-title bout that comes just weeks after Chanachai defended his belt with a clear decision against Wilber Andogan. Chanachai is fun to watch and we're fans though we know that he's being matched in a way to make him look good stylistically and this should be another bout like that.
Japanese fans have seen March kicking off with a swathe of nationally ranked fighters in action. Now they get the chance to see a trio of champions as the month really moves up a gear and Ohashi gives us their first show of the new year.
Technically the highest level of champion is a world champion and this shows sees a world champion in action. Sadly however it's WBA Atomweight champion Ayaka Miyao (19-5-1, 4) who fights in a non-title bout scheduled for 6 rounds with Momoko Kanda (8-6-2, 2). On paper this a great contest and it should prove to be a hit with the fans however as a female bout we suspect some fans, especially those in the West, will ignore this one.
The second tied of champion is a continental champion and we get one of those in action on this show as the sensational Ryo Matsumoto (13-0, 11) kicks off his year. Matsumoto, who won the OPBF Super Flyweight title at the end of last year, will be taking part in a bout contracted at 54KG's as he takes on Thai visitor Thanuthong Chor Kangwal (0-0). This bout is a complete mismatch on paper though we suspect it's hinting at a possible move to Bantamweight for Matsumoto who has always appeared to be a very big Super Flyweight.
Although neither Miyao or Matsumoto are defending their titles it doesn't mean there won't be title action on this show. The title action comes in the main event as Japanese Featherweight champion Satoshi Hosono (26-2-1, 20) battles against former foe Rikiya Fukuhara (30-7-1, 22) in a second meeting between the two men. The heavy handed Hosono, best known for a trio of failures at world level, stopped Fukuhara back in 2012 and will be hoping to do the same here whilst Fukuhara looks to become a 2-weight Japanese champion, adding the Featherweight title to a previous reign at Super Bantamweight.
As well as the three bouts featuring a champion the card also features some other recognisable fighters. One of those is former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seiichi Okada (18-5, 11) who essentially battles for his career after 4 stoppage losses in his last 6 bouts. Okada should be safe here as he takes on the very light hitting Masaki Saito (11-10-4, 3). On paper this another mismatch but Okada is looking very much like a shot fighter whilst Saito has gone 5-2-1 in his last 8 bouts, dating back almost 3 years.
Former Japanese Featherweight title challenger Toru Suzuki (24-4, 8) is also in action as he takes on Tatsuya Yanagi (10-2, 4). This is an intriguing contest with Yanagi trying to bounce back from back-to-back losses, including a wide decision to the excellent Johnriel Maligro, whilst Suzuki tries to rebuild after going 2-3 in his previous 5, including a stoppage loss to Hisashi Amagasa. For both men this is a must win bout.
One notable under-card bout will see Kenichi Miyazaki (7-1-1, 2) attempt to record his 3rd straight win as he takes on Takuro Habu (11-9-2, 3). On paper this looks like a horrible match up however Habu has fought much, much better competition than Miyazaki and has suffered losses to the likes of Amnat Ruenroeng and Yu Kimura. This is one of those bouts which is likely to be much better than the records of the fighters suggest.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
It may be fair to admit that we're really excited about February 22nd an the great looking Macau card dubbed "Ring of Gold", before then though we have an amazingly busy day across Asia with a bit of everything. We have former world champions, unbeaten prospects and men who are looking to claim national titles. Really is one of those days that is worth keeping a really serious eye on.
If Boxrec are right the most interesting card of the day takes place in Savannakhet on the west coast of Laos.
This card is to include former WBA Super Flyweight champion Tepparith Kokietgym (25-3, 15), pictured, in the main event. Tepparith is set to defend his WBC Asia Council Continental Bantamweight title and at just 25 he surely has aspirations of a second world title reign somewhere down the line.
In the opposite corner to Tepparith will be Filipino Alvin Bais (13-3, 3). Bais, who began his career 13-0, has lost his last 3 contests, all to Thai's, and it would be remarkable if he could give Tepparith anything close to a competitive contest.
As well as the Tepparith/Bais bout we're expecting a second title fight on the show with Saenmuangloei Kokietgym (18-5-3, 3) defending his WBC silver Asia Flyweight title against Filipino Michael Landero (16-10-4, 5). A few years ago this would have been a decent contest but Landero has lost his last 4 and 6 of his last 7 suggest that his best days are behind him, despite the fact he is only 27 years old.
From what we under-stand this show will be shown on Thai Channel 3, though we're unsure on specifics.
Tepparith isn't the only former world champion in action as Indonesian veteran Muhammad Rachman (64-11-5, 34) returns to the ring for the first time this year.
Rachman, a former IBF and WBA champion at Minimumweight will be hoping to capture the IBO International Light Flyweight title as he fight Thai journeyman Thongthailek Sor Tanapinyo (18-15, 7). Aged 42 Rachman is 16 years older than his opponent and has more than twice as many fights. He certainly has miles on the clock, so to speak. Thonthailek however isn't the best traveller and is 0-5 on the road suffering all 5 of those losses by KO including a loss to Sofyan Effendi in the only other fight he has fought in Indonesia.
Whilst Rachman's fight is the big talking point on this card we're also expecting to see Geisler AP (4-1, 2) fight Sonny Manakane (17-14-3, 9) in a battle for the Indonesia Boxing Commission (KTI/IBC) interim Lightweight title and a battle featuring veteran Heri Amol (33-14-4, 13). Amol's opponent has been named differently from differing sources though it seems likely he will be fighting a Thai foe.
We're unsure if this is being televised though it would be a huge shame if it wasn't considering what Rachman managed in his great career.
As well as the show in Loas and Indonesia we also get a card in Japan. Unlike the other two however this one isn't headlined by a former world champion instead the headline act is a man seeking a second Japanese Super Flyweight title fight after having lost in his first attempt to Teiru Kinoshita.
The man in question is Toyoto Shiraishi (23-8-1, 11), #12 ranked by the JBC, who will be hoping to defeat fellow Japanese fighter Yuki Fukumoto (15-8, 5) in a bout that, if Shiraishi loses, could be the end of the line. Shiraishi comes into the contest with back to back losses and has lost 3 of his last 5. Like Shiraishi, Fukomoto hasn't had great performances recently and has lost his last 2 and 4 of his last 7 though will know that a win could lead him on to a national title fight in the next year or two.
Although this card has 6 other bouts on it it's hard to say any of the other 6 are worth making much of a note of with no one really jumping out as fighters to make a note of.
Outside of Asia we'd advise fans to be keeping an eye on action in the US with two unbeaten Russian's in action.
In Delaware the unbeaten man is Aslanbek Kozaev (25-0-1, 7) who takes on the under-rated Ray Robinson (16-2, 7). Whilst "Ray Robinson" isn't that "Ray Robinson" he is still a good fighter and Kozaev will have to be at his best to beat the American with the famous name.
Kozaev has shown glimpses of class though we do need to be honest and admit that we wish his younger brother Khetag Kozaev was still alive. Khetag was an exceptionally promising Super Middleweight before he was shot to death in 2010 aged just 19.
As well as Kozaev's bout in Delaware there is also an all-Russian clash in Nevada as the unbeaten Fedor Papazov (14-0, 9) battles former world title challenger Petr Petrov (32-4-2, 15). This bout, part of the "Boxcino" tournament on ESPN, looks like a great contest on paper and should act as a high profile bout for both men giving them both a chance to make a name for themselves.
The "Boxcino" tournament, for those who haven't read about it, will feature 8 boxers in the 2 divisions fighting in what is a knock out competition. This means the winner of the Papazov/Petrov contest will move on to another ESPN televised contest. The hope is that the winner will become a star, or at very least a credible title challenger at the end of the competition.
Mexico, Distrito Federal
Amazingly there is even more action of note in the west as Hisatoshi Furukawa and his newly licensed promotional company "HI Promotions" put on a show in Mexico City. The main event on this show will see Japan's Yoshihiro Sasaki (8-9-2, 3) taking on Mexico's Willy Velazquez (16-3-1, 10) in what appears to be a mismatch.
This card is set to feature 7 contests in total though we only have information about the main event at the moment.