This coming Friday is a pretty big day in Asian boxing, with a female world title bout in Japan and the US debut of a notable Japanese hopeful.
The female world title fight will take place at the Korakuen Hall on a small but interesting card.
That title fight will see Japanese female star Naoko Fujioka (17-2, 7) defending her WBA Female Flyweight title against interim champion Irma Sanchez (30-7-1, 8) of Mexico. The talented Fujioka, the first ever 5 weight world champion from Japan, is a veteran at 43 years old but is the golden girl of Japanese boxing and is widely regarded as one of the top pound for pound female fighters. Aged 30 the Mexican challenger won the interim title last time out, narrowly defeating Brenda Ramos, and is an accomplished world class fighter who has faced a number of top foes, including Jessica Chavez, Carina Moreno and Mariana Juarez in her 12 year career. We suspect Fujioka will come out on top, but this is a genuinely tough match up and should be a really good test of what Fujioka has left.
The best of the supporting bouts on this card is a mouth watering domestic clash, as veteran Takafumi Nakajima (29-10-1, 13) takes on under-rated youngster Yuki Iriguchi (9-2-1, 4). Last time out Nakajima pushed Mark John Yap all the way in an OPBF Bantamweight title fight and us a proven quantity around title level, with notable contests against the likes of Shingo Wakes, Kinshiro Usui, Kosuke Saka, Hidenori Otake and Jonathan Baat. Although a proven fighter Nakajima is now 34 and it's unclear much longer he can go on.
Another under-card bout of some inter-rest will bee between Yutaka Motoyoshi (7-12, 5) and Ryuto Araya (11-7-1, 3). The 30 year old Motoyoshi has lost 4 of his last 5, including his last 3, and will know that he cannot afford another loss if he's to move his career to the next level. Also aged 30 Araya was once regarded as a promising fighter, but has himself struggled recently, losing in an OPBF title fight last year and suffering back to back loss to Tatsuya Otsubo. Whilst neither of these men will be competing at world level before they retire, both will come into this fight with belief they can win and that should give us a good contest.
In California we see two Asian fighters in action.
The more notable of the two is Japanese Light Welterweight hopeful Hiroki Okada (18-0, 13), who is a former Japanese and WBO Asia Pacific champion and is currently the owner of several world rankings. The Japanese fighter, who recently signed a promotional deal with Top Rank, will be making his US debut as he takes on Argentinian fighter Cristian Rafael Coria (27-6-2, 11). Amazingly this bout will Okada's first outside of the Korakuen Hall but it does appear that he's been matched safely so he can get a win on the road and then begin going through the final stages before a world title fight. The 35 year old Coria is a 12 year veteran who has never been stopped, but has lost to a number of recognisable names, such as Paulus Moses, Daud Yordan and Custio Clayton. Okada should win, but it's less about the result and more about whether he can impress Top Rank enough to push him straight into a world title bout, or whether he will have wait to get his shot at a world title.
On the same card fans will be able to see touted American Jamel Herring (17-2, 10) take on Filipino prospect John Vincent Moralde (20-1, 10). Herring was a 2012 US Olympian who had been touted as a potential professional star, but he has lost 2 of his last 4, suffering a 10th round TKO to Denis Shafikov and a 10 round unanimous decision Ladarius Miller. Moralde has promised a lot, and he finally lived up to that promise last time out, when he defeated Ismail Muwendo over 8 rounds. If Moralde can put it together again here he'll give his career a huge boost, and claim the USBA Super Featherweight title.
A second card with some interest comes from Pennsylvania as unbeaten Kazakh Shyngyskhan Tazhibay (6-0, 2) battles against Yasmani Pedroso (2-4, 1), in what looks like a straight forward win for the unbeaten 26 year old. Tazhibay has had some fanfare, but inactivity in 2017 and 2018 has really hampered his development, much like mismatches like this. We hope to see him face better competition shortly, but at this rate it looks like it could take a long time before he faces someone of any note.
It's not just Japanese and Filipino fight with something to get excited about as Chinese fans in Zhengzhou also get a notable card with a couple of title fights and a couple of interesting looking support bouts.
The main event will see the unbeaten Yelieqiati Nihemaituola (13-0-1, 5) take on Filipino visitor Eranio Semillano (16-8-3, 5) in a bout for the WBA Asian Boxing Council Bantamweight title. The unbeaten local will be looking to make his first defense of the title, which he won in April by stopping Conrado Tanamor, but is facing one of the most notable opponents of his career. The 26 year old Semillano is no world beater but is a solid opponent on his day, as shown with wins over the likes of Wilbert Berondo. Sadly for Semillano he doesn't seem to have the consistency needed to score good wins on a regular basis, and it's hard to imagine him putting it together against Nihemaituola.
Another title bout will see Youli Dong (12-0-1, 8) battle Adam Diu Abdulhamid (12-6, 5), in what will be Dong's first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Welterweight title. The unbeaten Chinese drew in his debut but has built fantastically afterwards claiming a couple of WBO regional titles along the way. Although Dong failed to score a stoppage in his first 4 bouts he has stopped 8 of his last 9 and looks to be building the tools he needs for a bright future. On the other hand Abdulhamid was touted as an amateur but has failed to come good, losing 3 of his last 4, and it's unlikely a bout on the road against a hard hitting Welterweight prospect will be good for his career.
Talking about fighters who were once touted it's good to see that Chinese Light Heavyweight Peng Qu (12-2-1, 8) will be returning to the ring 10 months after a surprise loss in China to Gasan Gasanov. The Chinese local has been inactive since losing to Gasanov last November but will be looking to bounce back with a win here, as he takes on Tanzanian visitor Benson Mwakyembe (11-4-1, 6), who should be an easy comeback opponent. Mwakyembe has been stopped in 3 of his last 5 and is naturally smaller than the Chinese fighter, who will likely be looking for a quick blowout.
An interesting support bout here will see Mongolian debutant Tsendbaatar Tsendbaatar (0-0) face off with Joseph Omana (12-5-1, 6) in a 6 round bout. We're unsure about Tsendbaatar's background, though we always love to see Mongolian fighters in action so we hope his bout against his Chinese based Filipino foe will be available online. Coming in to this one Omana has lost his last 4, and is without a win in a little over a decade! Despite that he is still only 28.
There will also be Japanese action in Germany, as former WBC Light Flyweight title challenger Atsushi Kakutani (19-6-1, 12) takes on promising German prospect Mirco Martin (12-0, 6) in a Flyweight bout. Kakutani was once a promising fighter but losses in his 3 most significant bouts doesn't bode well for him here, especially given he's now 33 and has been inactive for over a year. Martin comes into this bout on a good run of results, including a bit win last time out against former world title contender Jose Antonio Jimenez.
The first “big” show of December will take place this Friday, kicking off one of the most insanely busy months since we started this site!
The card will be headlined by a female world title fight, as Japanese sensation Naoko Fujioka (16-2, 7) chases a 5th divisional world title and drops down to Light Flyweight to take on the unbeaten Yokasta Valle (13-0, 6), who is moving up from Atomweight. The bout could see Fujioka further solidify her place as the greatest Japanese female boxer or could, potentially, see her ending her career with a loss likely to push her into retirement, ending what has been a legendary career.
Another title fight on this card will serve as the chief support and will see the big punching Kosuke Saka (16-3, 13) defending his Japanese Featherweight title against Takenori Ohashi (14-4-2, 9), in what looks like a straight forward first defense. The champion claimed the title in impressive fashion earlier this year, stopping Shota Hayashi, and will be looking to move into 2018 as the champion, and as a man looking for bigger and better things. Although a big under-dog Ohahsi will believe he has a chance, especially if Saka has over-looked him, and the challenger will almost certainly see this as his only chance to claim a title.
In another very interesting supporting bout fans will see the heavy handed Keita Kurihara (9-5, 8) take on unbeaten Filipino Ryan Lumacad (13-0-3, 7). The Japanese fighter is certainly is no world class fighter, but he is a powerful fighter and is a real danger, especially in the early stages of a bout. For Lumacad the bout sees him returning to Japan for his first bout in the country since a very controversial draw against Go Onaga in January, and he will be hoping to keep this bout out of the hands of the judges. A really interesting support bout here.
Also on the card are recent OPBF Super Bantamweight title challenger Kinshiro Usui (27-6, 11) and the experienced Akihiko Katagiri (17-9-2, 8) who are facing less experienced domestic foes. Both Usui and Katagiri suffered losses last time out and both will be wanting to get back to winnings ways here.
As well as the Japanese card there is also a notable card in the Philippines, with several notable names involved.
One of those name fighters is the under-rated Ernesto Saulong (21-2-1, 8), who faces off with fellow Filipino Renan Portes (10-5, 6) in a bout for the IBF Pan Pacific Bantamweight title. The bout won't make much noise internationally, but should see the winner move towards an IBF top 15 position. Of the two Saulong has been the more impressive, but he can't continue fighting domestic level Filipino foes for too much longer, or his career will begin to stagnate massively. For Portes this will be his second bout since Hayate Kaji stopped him in 2 rounds, and he really shouldn't pose much of a test for Saulong.
The unbeaten Jerald Daniega (11-0, 8) makes his ring return, after almost a year of inactivity, as he takes on low key foe Jerwin Mejes (4-2-3, 3). Prior to his break from the ring Daniega had began to get some real momentum and had scored 4 wins in 2016, and will be looking to ease himself back into action here, before kicking on next year. For Mejes the bout will see him looking to continue a 4 fight unbeaten run, which has seen him score 2 wins and two draws. Although not the most talented of fighters Mejes does hold a win with Lloyd Jardeliza and could prove to be a tough foe for the returning prospect.
The hotly tipped Mark Anthony Barriga (7-0, 1) will be looking to continue his development as he takes on the once beaten Glenne Calacar (3-1-6, 1). The talented Barriga, a former top amateur star in the Philippines, has had a busy 2017 with 4 wins already including a very good 10 round decision win in September against Samartlek Kokietgym, and will be expecting another one here. As for Calacar, who has a very strange looking record, he comes into this bout having drawn his last two, and will be looking to place the spoiler once again, as he has done against every unbeaten fighter he has fought. Although Calacar will be the under-dog he is, strangely, 0-0-4 against unbeaten fighters!
Another very notable fighter on this card is the debuting Pete Panitente (0-0), who was recently a sparring partner for Jerwin Ancajas prior to Ancajas's world title defense against Jamie Conlan. The debutant will be facing off with journeyman Jomar Borbon (4-29-2, 2) and should have no issues showcasing his skills on route to inflicting Borbon's 30th career defeat.
Outside of Asia we'll get the chance to see former Kazakh amateur stand out Ivan Dychko (2-0, 2) continue his professional development, as he fights for the third time in just over 9 weeks. The talented and touted Heavyweight will be fighting in his first 6 rounder as he takes on 32 year old Lamarco Ellis (2-4, 1) in what should be another straight forward win for Dychko. It's worth noting that Ellis is a big lump, weighing in over 300lbs for all of his bouts to date, and is unlikely to have anything to trouble Dychko.
Rhode Island, USA
In a really interesting match up the once touted Toka Kahn Clary (23-1-0-1, 16) will take on unbeaten Filipino prospect John Vincent Moralde (19-0, 10). To date Clary's only loss was a shock opening round defeat to Filipino journeyman Jhon Gemino, in a highly surprising 90 second blow out, and and this will be Clary's first fight with a Filipino since that loss. For Moralde the bout will serve as his US debut, and he comes into the bout on a 3 fight stoppage run, albeit against limited domestic foes. A win for Moralde will help put him on the international boxing map, and it's clear he will be fighting with that in mind.
West Midlands, United Kingdom
In the UK fans will see English based Indian born fighter Dilbag Singh (4-0, 1) in action, with Singh seeking his 5th straight win. The unbeaten man hasn't had his opponent named at the time of writing, and we're not expecting anyone too testing, but if he keeps his winning run intact for the next 12-18 months he could well find himself fighting for titles on the British scene.
Asign boxing get their second stand out show of the month this coming Monday as we get Asign Bee Vol 2, and just like the first show on March 10th, the show is really good one.
The main event of the card sees the sensationally talented Naoko Fujioka (15-2, 6) hunt a 4th divisional title as she takes on Mexican Isabel Millan (18-2-1, 8) in a bout for the WBA female Flyweight title. Originally Fujioka had been down for facing Louisa Hawton for the WBO female Light Flyweight title, but that bout was scrapped about 5 weeks before the contest and as a result the promoter got Millan to travel to Japan for this equally as interesting Flyweight bout. A win for Fujioka would see her becoming the first Japanese fighter to become a 4-weight world champion, whilst a win for Millan would massively boost her career.
In a major supporting bout we'll see the world ranked Akihiro Kondo (27-6-1, 14) take on Thai visitor Patomsuk Pathompothong (33-6-1-1, 20) in a rematch of a contest the two men had back in 2015. On paper this should be a repeat win for Kondo, who looks to be having a solid run at the moment, but Patomsuk did look good last time out, losing a controversial decision to Kuok Kun Ng.
A second notable female bout here sees the unbeaten Jun Yabuki (6-0, 3) take on the in form Shione Ogata (7-5, 2). Although the bout looks like a mismatch on paper Ogata has won her last 6 in a row and has certainly turned her career around since a 1-5 start and she will be hungry to keep that run going here.
In another supporting bout we'll see Takafumi Nakajima (26-9-1, 11) take on Jump Ikeo (6-4-2, 4) in what looks like a straight forward win for experienced man. Nakajima will be looking to secure his second straight win since being blown out in 88 seconds last September, by a rampant Kosuke Saka and although a bit of a faded fighter now a days Nakajima is still solid. Ikeo has lost 3 of his last 5 and shouldn't prove much of a test here.
Another notable name on this card is the struggling Hikaru Marugame (6-2-1, 4). Marugame turned professional with high expectations and a strong amateur background but has gone 1-2-1 in his last 4 and cannot afford another slip up here. In the opposite corner to the Japanese fighter will be Filipino visitor John Ray Logatiman (5-4-2, 1), who looks to build on a career best win over Brian Lobetania here. This could be a real gut check for Marugame, who's career may be written off with another loss.
The most significant card for us this Saturday comes from Tokyo and will be aired on G+ in Japan.
In the main event of the show card we'll see Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yasutaka Ishimoto (28-8, 7) battle against Gakuya Furuhashi (18-7-1, 8) in a really exciting rematch between two well matched fighters. These two fought last year, with Ishimoto winning a very competitive decision, and we favour him again here though it's a bout that should be genuinely compelling from the opening round to the final bell, and the two men will almost certainly gel well again here, as they did in their first bout.
In the chief supporting bout we'll see former world champion Akifumi Shimoda (30-5-2, 13) battle against Filipino journeyman Gadwin Tubigon (14-11-2, 9). Shimoda was last seen in December, losing in a very close Japanese Featherweight title fight against Satoshi Hosono, however he has remained in the domestic title mix and will be expecting a title fight next time out, if he over-comes Tubigon. Interestingly Tubigon has won his last 4, by stoppage, and will be riding a streak of confidence coming in to this even if he is the huge under-dog.
Another fighter looking to bounce back from a defeat is the once touted Sho Nakazawa (8-1, 4), who will be fighting for the first time since being stopped by Teiru Atsumi. That loss was a genuine upset and a real set back for Nakazawa who will be looking to bounce back as he takes on Filipino fighter Cris Leon (10-13-4, 4). Leon is a journeyman and despite scoring a couple of wins recently he shouldn't be able to last with Nakazawa, especially given that Leon has 10 stoppage losses against him already.
A big name on the under-card is Juiki Tatsuyoshi (5-0, 3), the son of Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, who will be up against Monkey Shuhei (5-8-1, 2). This will be Tatsuyoshi's second 6 rounder and should be a far better test than his first one, which saw him defeat a really poor Thai foe. Shuhei comes into this on the back of 5 losses, and just a single win in his last 8, but should be game against the 20 year old Osakan.
Arguably the most intriguing of the under-card bouts sees Teiken prospect Kenshin Oshima (1-0, 1), who has only 68 seconds of professional experience, taking on teenager Yuki Iriguchi (5-1-1, 3). Oshima made an impressive debut back in June and will be looking to build on that however Iriguchi impressed last year, going 4-0 (3) for the year. Despite a good 2015 Iriguchi has gone 0-1-1 this year and will be hoping to end that skid.
Another under-card bout will see the once beaten Masaya Tamayama (7-1, 4) take on the experienced Shohei Kanemoto (10-11-1, 3). It's hard to see anything but a win for Tamayama however he will be fighting in his first 8 rounder and could be moving on to big things in the near future.
Although the Japanese card is a really interesting show the bout of the day actually looks likely to be in Mexico as WBC Female Flyweight champion Jessica Chavez (27-4-3, 4) battles 3-weight world champion Naoko Fujioka (15-1, 6). The bouts sees Fujioka attempt to become the first Japanese fighter to become a 4-weight world champion but to claim that honour she will have to defeat a fellow female fighting great. This really is a mouth watering bout, and although we know plenty don't care about female boxing they should make an exception for this bout.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Back in Asia there will also be a notable show in Metro Manila with two title bouts.
One of hose title bouts will see Cris Alfante (11-6-1, 4) battle against Roilo Golez (16-15-1, 7) in a bout for the currently vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Flyweight title. On paper this looks like a mismatch in favour of Alfante however the bout should be better than it looks. Despite having a moderately decent record on paper Alfante has gone 1-4-1 in his last 6 and is seriously struggling. Interestingly Golez is 2-4 in his last 6 and should put up a solid bout here, despite the disparity in records.
The other title bout here will see Danilo Gabisay (6-6, 4) take on Joe Noynay (10-1-1, 3) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Featherweight title. Noynay began his career 10-0 but has suffered successive set backs this year and knows that he'll need a win here to put things back on track. On paper Gabisay should be an easy mark for Noynay and with 1 win in his last 5 it does likely that he is the “patsy” for Noynay to get back to winning ways.
A genuinely intriguing bout on this card will see Roldan Aldea (9-3-1, 3) battle former OPBF title challenger Benjie Suganob (10-5-1, 5) in a really even looking contest. Aldea has lost his last 2 bouts, though both were on the road, and will be hoping to avoid a third successive loss whilst Suganob has gone 2-3 in his last 5 but has certainly not shamed himself and could see this as a great chance to get notable win and move himself towards another top fight.
A second Filipino show will be held in Ifugao. This card lacks any sort of quality and the main event will see unbeaten 17 year old Carl Jammes Martin (2-0, 2) face the limited Manny Mamacquiao (1-8-1) in what should be a straight forward win for Martin.
In Russian fight fans will see Kyrgyzstan born Akzhol Sulaymanbek uulu (1-0, 1) take on a yet to be named foe
The month of June has been relatively busy with low key action so far. That action continues this coming Monday in what looks set to be a brilliant card at the Korakuen Hall.
The main event of the card is one of two world title fights, and sees WBO female Bantamweight queen Naoko Fujioka (14-1,6) defending her title against compatriot Shindo Go (16-3, 11), in what is expected to be Go's final fight before she transitions to becoming a man later in the year. The bout should be a really good one and should be one of the most well matched bouts at the top level of female boxing.
The other world title bout will see WBO Atomweight champion Nao Ikeyama (17-3-1, 4) defending her title against the under-rated Saemi Hanagata (12-6-2, 6), in what should be a thrilling contest. At 46 Ikeyama knows a loss could be the end of her career, whilst Hanagata will see this as her best chance to win a world title. The bout isn't on the same level as the main event but is a great match up and could be, stylistically at least, a thriller.
In a supporting bout Takafumi Nakajima (25-7-1, 10) will be facing Jonathan Baat (30-7-5, 14), in what looks like an absolute corker between two genuine veterans. Baat is the more proven fighter however at 35 years old he may be coming to the end, and is win-less in his last 3 bouts, whilst Nakajima has won his last 3 and is looking like a genuinely hungry 31 year old.
Another good looking supporting bout sees the once touted Naoto Uebayashi (9-1-1, 5) battle against Mikihito Seto (34-12-3. 19). Uebayashi was tipped for big then when he turned professional a few years ago, following a very successful career in the amateurs, but problems with durability has seen him struggle to make a good run in the professional ranks. Seto, a genuine veteran at 36, has won just twice in his last 6 bouts but should prove to be a good test for Uebayashi, who really cannot afford another slip up.
One final bout of note will see the exciting Akihiro Kondo (24-6-1, 11) battle against Tanva Malihom (0-1) in a stay busy bout.
Fans in Tokyo get another treat this month with a “Fighting Bee” show that features a trio of really interesting bouts.
The main event of the show sees former 2-weight world champion Naoko Fujioka (13-1, 6) go for a third divisional world title as she battles South Korean fighter Hee Jung Yuh (15-2, 6) in a bout for the WBO female Bantamweight title. This is a big ask for Fujioka, who claimed her first title at 105lbs, however the talented Japanese fighter will be favoured against Yuh, who has an impressive record on paper but is stepping up, massively, in class. For a main event this is a well matched fight on paper and really could be a fantastic fight between highly skilled women.
The chief support bout sees the unbeaten, and touted, Hikaru Marugame (5-0, 3) take on the experienced Japanese based Filipino Jonathan Baat (30-6-3, 14). Coming in to this one Baat is on a 3 fight winning streak including wins over Kenta Onjo and Takahiro Shigee however the unbeaten Marugame is tipped for the top and if he's as good as they say he should see off the 35 year old Baat.
The third bout of note sees the return to the ring of Naoto Uebayashi (7-1-1, 4), who was stopped last time out by Giovanni Escaner. The one beaten 28 year old will be up against Atsushi Hosogai (7-9) in what is a real must win for Uebayashi. It seems clear that Uebayashi's team have little belief in his toughness, and as a result have matched him with a clear non-puncher here.
This coming Saturday is a busy day with action taking place all over the place with a really interesting domestic bout in the Philippines and a female super fight in Mexico.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The Filipino domestic scene is somewhat over-looked by our selves as there seems to be only a handful of really good looking domestic bouts. Thankfully we have one such bout this Saturday as we get a brilliant rematch between two talented but under-rated fighters.
One of those fights is GAB Light Flyweight champion Benezer Alolod (16-5-5, 5) who will be defending his title against the unfortunate Renren Tesorio (13-6-3, 4). These two met last year in a razor thin bout won by Alolod who successfully defended his title for the 2nd time this time around we're expecting an equally as competitive match up and possibly a contender for the Filipino domestic bout of the year.
Whilst neither man is viewed highly by international fans we need to admit both are much better than their records suggest.
In the main support bouts we have a trio of unbeaten fighters in action. One of those will be the promising Nino Valenzuela (7-0-1, 2), who will be strongly backed to over-come journeyman Jhon Jhon Faminiano (1-10-3). Another will be Rolly Sumalpong (7-0-1, 4) who takes on novice JR Florendo (3-2-1) in what looks to be a mismatch.
The one notable bout involving an unbeaten fighter will see the unbeaten Toto Landero (4-0-1, 1) battle against the once beaten Philip Luis Cuerdo (7-1, 4) in what looks to be a brilliant match up on paper. Cuerdo has beaten his last 4 foes since being beaten by the touted Vic Saludar however this is a step up in class and could be a bit of a thriller between two 19 year old fighters.
In Thailand it appears we're getting some title action involving some interesting Korean fighters.
One bout will involve the very promising Hyunwoo Yu (3-0, 3) who will be fighting in Thailand for the second time in his career. At the moment we're unsure who Yu will be fighting with Boxrec.com listing Yu's opponent as Indonesian journeyman Oke Haryanto (5-5-1, 2) whilst AK Promotions list Yu's opponent as Thai based Italian Ricardo Redbluegym (2-0, 2). From what we understand however Yu will be fighting for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Light Welterweight title
The other bout on the card is a mystery with AK Promotions stating it will be a contest between Jaesung Lee (17-4-2, 9) and Jaoquim Mahe (9-2, 5) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Featherweight title. Boxrec.com however claim this bout will be taking place next month and instead we'll be seeing a bout between Hong-Kyoon Shin (9-3-1, 5) and Jack Madison (2-3) with the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Flyweight title.
In Mexico fans get a potentially thrilling female bout as 2-weight world champion Naoko Fujioka (12-1, 6) battles against Mexican icon Mariana Juarez (40-7-3, 17). This is as a good a female fight as can be made. Fujioka comes into this contest following her first loss, a close decision to Susi Kentikian on Germany, and will know that she needs to win here as for Juarez she knows a loss will derail another super fight, a much touted contest with Zulina Munoz.
Baja California, Mexico
Another bout in Mexico will see the touted Rogelio Jun Doliguez (19-2-2, 14) face his biggest name opponent so far as he goes up against former world champion Fernando Montiel (53-4-2, 39). Coming into this bout Montiel has won his last 7 bouts but hasn't looked himself since fighting Nonito Donaire back in 2011. Unfortunately for Doliguez he has lost 2 of his last 3 and really needs a win if he's going to get his career back in track after those stumbles.
Another Filipino on the road this weekend is John Vincent Moralde (11-0, 6) who puts his unbeaten record on the line against Brayd Smith (12-0, 10) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Featherweight title.
New Jersey, USA
In the US fans will get the chance to see a pair of promising Chinese fighters.
The lesser experienced of those two fighters is novice fighter Wang Zhimin (1-0) who will be taking on the light hitting but under-rated Jesus Lule (7-10, 1), who has lost 6 of his last 7 but mixed in very good company with the likes of Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr and Oscar Valdez among others. This looks like a really good test for Zhimin who we suspect will be forced to answer a number of questions about his ability.
The other Chinese fighter will be Heavyweight hopeful Zhang Zhilei (2-0, 2) who takes on Eric George (2-8) in what looks like a relative mismatch in favour of "Big Bang" Zhilei.
(Image courtesy of notifight)
Some days are insanely busy and today is one such day with more fights of note than almost any other day this year, and better yet they are spread all over the globe form the Philippines to the US, from Germany to Mexico. It really is a great day to look forward to.
New Jersey, USA
The most important bout for many fans this Saturday is in the US where destructive Russian Sergey Kovalev (25-0-1, 23) attempts to unify his WBO Lightweight title with the WBA "super" and IBF titles currently held by Bernard Hopkins (55-6-2-2, 32) in a bout that appears to have every boxing fans interested , even those that typically hate watching Hopkins. Kovalev, a destructive puncher, has been a on a real role recently wiping out decent contenders on a regular basis, often with out breaking sweat. Hopkins on the other hand has been the same old Hopkins we all know, lulling opponents to sleep en route to winning wide decisions. We suspect this bout could be over early if Kovalev hits as hard as we think, or could end up being a long and slow night if Hopkins can hypnotise Kovalev, like he has to many previous opponents. That's what makes this bout so interesting, who will manage to instill their natural game plan on the bout?
On the undercard we have another Russian, Andrey Sirotkin (4-0, 1), risking his unbeaten record against the limited Michael Mitchell (3-4-2, 1) in what should be a straight forward 6 round affair for Sirotkin.
Whilst the main event in New Jersey is undeniably the biggest bout of the day it's very easy to pick the biggest female bout of the day as unbeaten Japanese boxing queen Naoko Fujioka (12-0, 6) attempts to become the first Japanese female fighter to become a 3-weight world champion. Unfortunately for Fujioka she will be up against her toughest challenge yet, Germany's popular Susi Kentikian (33-2-0-1, 17), the current WBA female Flyweight champion. The bout is a tough one on paper and it's made even tougher by the fact Fujioka is on the road traveling to Germany for the bout against on of Europe's most popular female fighters.
A second very good female bout comes from Mexico as former WBA female Minimumweight champion Etsuko Tada (13-1-2, 3) attempts to regain the title and avenge her sole defeat. That however will see her needing to over-come Mexico's very own Anabel Ortiz (15-3, 3) who claimed a controversial split decision in Japan over Tada last year. We suspect this could be a better bout that the Fujioka/Kentikian one though in our eyes the other is slightly more significant considering that Fujioka is attempting to carve her place in history. We'll admit with this being a rematch we're hoping for something a bit special.
On the same card in Mexico Ryuji Yokoyama (11-1-1, 3) will be looking for the biggest win of his career as he takes on the world class Jesus Silvestre (25-9, 21) in a very big test for the Japanese fighter.
Back in the US we see the next bout of the talented Vasily Lepikhin (16-0, 9) who attempts to build on his excellent victory over Robert Berridge last time out. This time Lepikhin will be battling big punching Brazilian Jackson Junior (15-1, 13), was was last in the US about 20 months ago being taken apart by Cuban Umberto Savigne. We suspect that Lepikhin will have a very easy night with the Brazilian who isn't as dangerous as his record would indicate.
In a third US bout fans will see Olympic gold medal winner Egor Mekhontsev (5-0, 5) take the next step on his way to a world title. Mekhontsev has had things all his own way so far but we wouldn't be shocked to see him struggle, at least a bit, with the extremely heavy handed Jinner Guerrero (7-2, 6). Guerrero is limited but what he hits, he hurts. Guerrero comes in with 2 losses in his last 3 but he is insanely heavy handed and if Mekhontsev gets caught or gets reckless this could get very interesting.
A bit closer to "home" is a card in Australia that strikes us as interesting but not great with two bouts of note.
The main event here will see world ranked Bantamweight puncher Zhanat Zhakiyanov (23-1, 16) battle against Filipino journeyman Roberto Lerio (16-20-1, 6) in what appears to be little more than a stay busy fight for the highly regarded Kazakh puncher. This will be Zhakiyanov's third bout of the year and will see him building on two stoppage wins, including an eye catching 1-punch KO over Karim Guerfi back in April and we'd be shocked if Lerio managed to take him the distance here.
The other bout will see the always entertaining Filipino slugger Romeo Jakosalem (15-8-1, 8) battle against the fast rising Cameron Hammond (10-0, 4) in what is likely to be a painful night for the Filipino. Jakosalem comes into this bout with 4 losses in his last 5, including a 2nd round TKO loss to Min Wook Kim back in May 2012, though did win last time out against Elmer Legaria and, if he's on form, he could make life difficult for Hammond. Odds are however Jakosalem isn't going to be close to his best unfortunately and will instead be dominated by the talented Australian.
Davao del Sur, Philippines
Having just mentioned some Filipino's it makes sense to mention some more as we go to the first of two Filipino cards.
This one in Davao del Sur involved two interesting bouts with the co-feature being the better of the two, at least on paper. That bout will see the heavy handed but limited Drian Francisco (25-2-1, 20) battle against former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (17-4-3, 4). Having seen Apolinario struggle to survive against Koki Kameda last year we believe Francisco will stop him, though we do know that Francisco can be out boxed by a speedy fighter and that could prove to be an issue here.
The main event looks like a total mismatch as the talented Adones Cabalquinto (17-0, 10) continues to toil and waste away his career. The talented Filipino Light Welterweight will be battling against Thai visitor Pankorn Mor Poowana (3-1-1, 1) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Welterweight title and we can't help but think he really should bite the bullet, take a risk and go for the OPBF title with a fight against Keita Obara, as was once arranged earlier this year.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The other Filipino show comes from Metro Manila and is a much deeper card. Sadly due to just how busy the day is we're only going to talk about a few of the bouts on the card.
The main event will see the thunderously hard hitting Richard Claveras (9-0-2, 9) attempting to defend his WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Flyweight title against the limited but tough JC Francisco (6-8-3, 2). Francisco has won just 1 of his last 4 and we don't see it changing here but we do suspect that Claveras will be forced to work hard to get the win considering that Francisco has never been stopped so far.
A second interesting bout on here will see Ardin Diale (24-9-3, 11) attempt to defend his his GAB Flyweight title against the heavy handed Jenny Boy Buca (9-1, 9). Diale is better than his record suggests though we're unsure how good Buca is. If Buca has got skills as well as power he may manage to upset Diale who has had a very hard year considering his slugfest with Koki Eto was just 5 months and he has already had a very hard fight with Renerio Arizala since then. This is going to be a tough year for the Filipino who needs a win here to remain relevant.
In Russia we have yet more Filipino's in action with two Filipino's fighting in the Russian town of Klimovsk.
At Lightweight we will see Rey Labao (26-5, 17) attempting to claim the PABA title as he takes on the unbeaten Roman Andreev (15-0, 11), a man attempting to make the first defense of his title. Labao's record may not make him look like a killer but he's a very good fighter and his only loss in his last 8 bouts came against Yoshitaka Kato in an OPBF title fight. As for Andreev this is a tough defense but advantage will likely help him some what against a testing opponent though one who is perhaps less rounded and skilled than Andreev is.
The other bout comes at Bantamweight where Jason Canoy (21-4-2, 15) fights against Nikolay Potapov (12-0, 6) for the WBA Asia Bantamweight title. This bout, like the other one, looks really interesting and although we again suspect the unbeaten is more skilled we cannot rule out the Filipino fighter who we suspect will go to Russia with an upset on his mind.
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
One final show scheduled to take place is in Thailand where we have one interesting bout and one other bout worth noting, albeit a total mismatch.
The interesting bout will see WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight champion Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (28-7-1, 11) defending his belt against the once beaten Filipino hopeful Macrea Gandionco (10-1-1, 6). We suspect Petchbarngborn will be too big for the Filipino however it's a bout we're interested in and hope that Gandionco will be comfortable at the weight.
The other bout that interests us, despite it being a disgusting mismatch, will see Fonluang KKP (21-1-1, 9) take on journeyman Falazona Fidal (25-41-1, 8). This is an awful mismatch though it's nice to see Fonluang staying busy and this will be his 5th bout this year, a big change from 2012 in which he was completely inactive.
(Image courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions)