Incheon, South Korea
The biggest bout for us this Saturday will see WBA female Super Featherweight Hyun Mi Choi (16-0-1, 4) defending her title, for the 7th time. The Korean fighting queen will be up against 38 year old Japanese challenger Wakako Fujiwara (8-2-2, 3), in what we suspect will be a bit of a mismatch in favour of the Korean. Choi, who has fought in well over 10 world title bouts, has almost all the advantages here and should be too good for the veteran challenger. A full preview of this bout can be found here Korean queen Choi takes on Fujiwara in 7th defense
In India fans get a small but notable card featuring a host of local hopefuls. The card isn't big, by any stretch, but does feature a number of unbeaten fighters.
One of the bouts on the card is a 6 rounder between Sachin Dekwal (4-0, 2) and Chiranjit Bauri (0-2). It's hard to not imagine Dekwal extending his unbeaten record here, but it's good to see him staying busy after 4 fights last year, and fingers crossed their will be a step up later in the year.
Another 6 round bout on this card will see females clash as the heavy handed Urvashi Singh (4-2, 4) battles against debutant Bhawna (0-0). Again it seems obvious that the fighter with experience should pick up the win, but it's still nice to see her staying active, and this will be her 5th bout in the space of 12 months.
As well as all the other action in Asia there will also be a small card in China featuring novices in low key bouts. There's not much to talk about here, though from what we under-stand much of the card will feature all-debutant bouts.
Another low key Asian card is in Singapore where local talent will be on show. The fighters in action on this show include Nurshahidah Roslie (13-2, 10), Muhammad Ashiq (6-1-1, 5) and Rey Caitom (7-0-1, 2), though none of the fighters had their opponents names at the time of writing.
Outside of Asia we do get some interesting action, with two highly regarded Kazakh prospects.
The more highly regarded of the two men is Sadriddin Akhmedov (8-0, 7), who looks to bounce back from his decision win over John Ruba as he takes on Mexican fighter Daniel Vega Cota (14-3-1, 11). This should be a straight forward win for Akhmedov, especially given Cota has been beat in a few recent fights, but questions will be asked about how Akhmedov has recovered following an injury suffered in the Ruba fight.
The other touted prospect is Nurzat Sabirov (9-0, 8) who will battle against Hungarian puncher Laszlo Toth (7-0, 6), the less well known fighter with this name. Sabirov is regarded incredibly highly as a prospect, has power, skills and a very good amateur pedigree but we wouldn't be surprised if he was given a bit of test here by an unbeaten fighter with a point to prove. Whilst Hungarian fighters do have a reputation of not travelling well Toth's namesake, a very solid Welterweight, has proven a capable fighter so hopefully this Toth can also prove to be a solid fighter on the road.
Also on this card will be the debuting 21 year old Aman Kazankapov (0-0),who was an excellent amateur and looks to be another excellent young Kazakh signing for Eye of the Tiger Management. Kazankapov's debut will be against Mexican novice Ismael Molina Moreno (2-1, 2) and although Moreno has been dangerous in the opening round he isn't expected to live with the Kazakh debutant, who is expected to be a real top prospect.
Staying outside of Asia we'll also see Filipino fighter Neil John Tabanao (17-5, 11) take on the unbeaten, and extremely skilled, Tramaine Williams (17-0, 6) in Connecticut. The Filipino is a bit of a road warrior, though he's struggled in bouts away from home recently, and has lost 4 of his last 5 outside of the Philippines, including a very wide loss to Angelo Leo in the US in April. The unbeaten Williams has already fought twice this year and looks to be making up for what was a frustrating 2018, in which he fought just once. He is a very talented, quick and sharp fighter and could well find himself using Tabanao as a punch bag here.
This coming Saturday is a really interesting day for Asian fight fans, with a notable show in Japan and the Philippines, and then fighters from those two countries colliding in California at the end of the day. As well as the major shows there is also a small card in Singapore.
The biggest bout of the day is, obviously, the US bout, which will see IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-2, 20) defending his title against mandatory challenger Ryuichi Funai (31-7, 22). For Ancajas the bout will serve as his 7th defense of the title, which he won back in September 2016, and will be his third mandatory. The champion really under-performed last time out, narrowly holding on to the belt against Alejandro Santiago Barrios, and would be expected to put on a better showing here. Funai on the other hand is an unknown outside of Japan, though is a former Japanese and WBO Asia Pacific champion who has mixed in good company, with bouts against the likes of Shinsuke Yamanaka, Rolly Lunas, Sho Ishida and Warlito Parrenas. The challenger has earned this shot, winning an eliminator last year, but will be regarded as a clear under-dog. A full preview of this bout is available here - Ancajas takes on mandatory challenger Funai
In Tokyo fans will get the chance to attend a Teiken promoted card at Korakuen Hall. Sadly this will only be shown on tape delay, meaning those not in the venue will have to wait to see the bouts.
The main event here will see Japanese Super Featherweight champion Masaru Sueyoshi (18-1-1, 11) defending his title in a mandatory bout against Ken Osato (15-2-1, 4), in what is their second meeting. These two fought in February 2018, when Sueyoshi had to recover from a knockdown to stop Osato in the 8th round. Since then Sueyoshi has gone 1-0-1, fighting to a draw over 12 rounds with Hironori Mishiro, and will be looking for bigger bouts later in the year. Osato on the other has scored back to back decision wins since losing to Sueyoshi, but this is a step up from those wins. A full preview of this bout is available here Sueyoshi looks to over-come Osato again!
The chief support bout here will see the once beaten Shuya Masaki (11-1, 5) take on Korean visitor Nam Jun Lee (10-5-3, 4). For Masaki the bout is the first since his narrow win over Izuki Tomioka last year, in what was his third bout of 2018. It's notable Lee's first bout since June 2017. Notably the 35 year old Korean has had a very stop start Korea, but does hold notable wins over Sa Myung Noh and Jelbirt Gomera, so could be a better test than his record suggests.
Another very notable bout on this card is the Japanese debut of Shokichi Iwata (1-0, 1), who debuted last year in the US. The talented and touted Iwata will face 2018 Rookie of the Year winner Daiki Kameyama (7-2-1, 2), in a very, very interesting match up. Iwata won his debut but didn't look sensational, and this could prove to be too much too soon for the former amateur standout, and a huge chance for the 22 year old Kameyama to build on his Rookie success.
Other interesting bouts on this card include Junpei Tsujimoto (4-1-3, 2) battling against Tetsuya Yoshimura (5-3-1, 4) and Hiroki Yajima (9-7-3, 4) facing off with Mirai Imagawa (9-5, 3), with both Imagawa and Tsujimoto having won Rookie of the Year in recent years. There will also be a chance for the hard hitting Yamato Hata (7-1, 7) to pick up another win, as he takes on Indonesian Alvius Maufani (6-2-2, 3), in what should be a straight forward bout for the local.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Of course it's not just Japan that has a great show but also the Philippines, with ESPN5 set to show a title fest from Metro Manila, with this show being aired live.
The pick of the bouts here is another Philippines Vs Japan clash, as Al Toyogon (10-2-1, 6) looks to defense his WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Super Featherweight title against in form Japanese fighter Ryo Sagawa (6-1, 4). The 21 year old Toyogon will be seeking his second defense here, and will be looking to record a 6th straight win as he continues to develop into a very solid fighter. Sagawa on the other hand gets his first title shot, and he clearly deserves it on the back of wins against Junki Sasaki, Ryo Matsumoto and Shingo Kawamura. This is probably the more intriguing bout of the day, even more saw than the world title bout. A full preview of this bout is available here Toyogon and Sagawa battle for regional title!
A second WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver title fight takes place at Bantamweight and will see the heavy handed Jun Blazo (11-6-3, 8) take on Benezer Alolod (19-11-5, 7). Blazo has lost 4 of his last 7, but has spun off 3 straight wins coming into this bout and will be confident of extending that run. Alolod is very much Mr Inconsistent with a 6-6 record in his last 12. Hard to get a read on this, but if both are up for it we could get a very good fight.
In a GAB Lightweight title fight Roldan Aldea (12-7-1, 7) will be seeking his first defense, as he takes on Rey Ramos (8-11-2, 3), in what looks like a mismatch whilst 5lbs north we'll see Jheritz Chavez (8-3-2, 6) seek his second defense of the GAB Light Welterweight title, facing off with Junar Adante (7-11-1, 4). Sadly neither of these domestic title bouts look particularly competitive.
In Singapore local hopeful Nurshahidah Roslie (12-2, 9) will be seeking a 5th straight win as she takes on Thai novice Suphansa Phooong (1-0), in what looks like a mismatch, over 6 rounds. Roslie isn't the huge star that Singaporean boxing needs to really kick-start something but the Thai is an inexperienced teenager, and will be making her international debut.
Attention turns to Singapore this coming Friday for a small card feature a pair of title bouts.
One of those title bouts will see the unbeaten Muhammad Ashiq (5-0, 4) face off with experienced Indonesian journeyman Jason Butar Butar (28-24-1, 19) in a bout for the WBC International Silver Super Bantamweight title, which is currently vacant. The unbeaten fighter from Sinapore is one of the country's more promising fighters and at 23 he does have a long career ahead of him, if he dedicates himself to the sport. A win here would put him in the mix for bigger and better fights in the new year. Butar on the other hand has essentially become a local whooping boy and is win-less outside of Indonesia, with stoppage losses in his last 7 bouts away from home.
The other title bout will see local female hopeful Nurshahidah Roslie (9-2, 7) taking on Thai visitor Nongmuay Kokietgym (13-4-3) in a bout for the vacant World Boxing Council Asian Boxing Council Female Super Bantamweight title. This is a much more serious fight than the other, with the visitor being a genuinely credible fighter, who is a former WBC interim champion and has never been stopped. Roslie isn't some world beater, but if she wins here she will be in the mix for a world title in 2019.
As well as the card in Singapore there will also be a small card in Toyama. This card will feature 6 bouts, all scheduled for 4 rounds. The card is a very low key one and none of the fighters on the card are notable names.
The most notable bout for Asian fight fans this Saturday is in Texas where we'll see a Filipino icon in action as Nonito Donaire (37-4, 24) returns to the ring for the first time since losing the WBO Super Bantamweight title to Jessie Magdaleno last November. The “Filipino Flash” has been training in Japan for his return, which sees him moving back up to Featherweight to face Ruben Garcia Hernandez (22-2-1, 9) in a contest for the WBC Silver title. Although he has been inactive, and is 34, Donaire should have far too much for Hernandez.
In California there is another notable Filipino in action, as the heavy handed Romero Duno (14-1, 13) returns to the States for the first time since his break out win over Christian Gonzalez. The hard hitting Pinoy puncher will be up against Mexican veteran Juan Pablo Sanchez (30-13, 14). Duno should have too much fire power for his Mexican foe, who has been stopped 8 times, but Sanchez does appear to be than his record suggests and his last couple of losses, have been in competitive decisions against Rene Alvarado and Antonio Moran, both solid punchers.
More Asian fighters are in action in the US as a number of fighters from Central Asia fight on a card in Louisiana.
In the main event we'll see 21 year old Tajik hopeful Mekhrubon Sanginov (4-0, 3) take on American Cameron Burroughs (4-1-0-1, 3) for the WBC Youth Middleweight title. Sanginov has been a professional for just under a year but has impressed with 3 quick wins and a bizarre split decision in Poland where one judge appears to have been watching a different fight to everyone else. This should be a really interesting and looks to be very well matched, though neither man has has got many rounds under their belt, which could make this contest sloppy if it gets to the later rounds.
Also on this card are Balaussa Muzdiman (0-0), Iskander Kharsan (1-0, 1) and Ali Baloyev (1-0, 1) who will all be facing limited looking opposition as they look to take their next step in their professional journey.
Fight fans in Japan are set for a bit of a strange card with a trio of notable names, all taking on very weak opposition.
In the main event the always fun to watch Tatsuya Takahashi (26-7-5, 19) will be up against limited Thai visitor Chatphet Saithonggym (0-2) in what should be an easy win for Takahashi, following a technical decision loss to Jetro Pabustan earlier this year. Although Takahashi is a very fun to watch fighter it's unlikely this will be too exciting, with the bout likely designed to give Takahashi an easy win.
Another mismatch will see big punching Japanese Welterweight Yuki Beppu (15-0-1, 15) take on an unnamed Thai foe. This will be Beppu's second bout since drawing with Charles Bellamy back in January and we're expecting another early finish for the 26 year old banger.
Arguably the most interesting bout on this card will see novice Tetsuya Watanabe (1-0), who is touted as once to watch, take on the always entertaining and charming Takuya Yamaguchi (3-8-2, 2). It's hard to imagine Yamaguchi winning, but he will throw leather with bad intentions and could well test Watanabe's resolve and chin in a potentially interesting contest.
Johore Bahru, Malaysia
We get yet another Asian show with action in Malaysia, as we see FH Promotions give several fighters a chance to shine.
One of those looking to impress here is Azizbek Abdugofurov (7-0, 4), who was originally scheduled to face Ibrahim Tamba (21-8-1, 14) but is now listed as facing a TBA, presumably a late replacement for Tamba who appears to be out of the bout. Abdugofurov is regarded as one of the top Uzbek prospects and has quickly climbed into the top 25 on boxrec due to notable wins over the likes of Chaloemporn Singwancha, Sirimongkol Singwancha and Martin Fidel Rios. It's likely his bout here will just be a stay busy, but he really is one to watch.
Another unbeaten man looking to extend his record is local favourite Muhamad Farkhan (4-0, 4), who will want to shine in front of his loyal fans as he takes on Thai visitor Khundon Chaiyonggym (8-3, 8). It's fair to say that Farkhan will have all the fans behind him and should win, but this is a small step up for the local hero.
On paper one bout that does have promise will see Filipino fighters collide as Jeson Umbal (15-5, 10) takes on Jon Jon Estrada (10-3-1,9). For Umbal this bout will be his 4th in Malaysia, where he is 3-0 (1) and will see him look to continue his 7 fight winning run. As for Estrada this bout will be his first outside of the Philippines. Given his power Estrada is a real threat to the rise of Umbal and this could be a very exciting and hard hitting bout, which should thrill the fans.
Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines there will be two shows, but the most notable is in Metro Manila.
In the main event of this card we'll see the talented pairing of Glenn Suminguit (19-3, 10) and Renoel Pael (21-6-1, 11) battle for the GAB Bantamweight title, with Suminguit looking for his firs defense of the title. Suminguit won the title a year ago, stopping Alvin Bais in 3 rounds for the vacant title, but has only fought once since then, losing in Super Bantamweight bout, and could well have some ring rust coming in to this one. As for Pael the bout will see is confidence being checked, with the once touted Leyte man being 2-5 in his last 7, and really struggling for form.
In supporting bouts we'll see the Elorde brothers take on two over-matched Indonesians. Juan Miguel Elorde (23-1, 12) will be up against Afrizal Tamboresi (11-6, 6), who has lost his last 4 and been stopped in his last 3 and Juan Martin Elorde (22-1-1, 9) will be up against veteran Arief Blader (23-24-2, 8), who has won 1 of his last 5. It's hard to imagine of the Elorde's losing here in what are really mismatches.
What could turn out to be an interesting contest is set to see Wilbert Berondo (10-2-1, 4) take on the tough and under-rated Jayar Diama (7-11-7, 3). Although it looks one sided on paper it needs to be noted that Diama is much better than the numbers suggest and he could be a real handful for Berondo, who is best known for suffering a stoppage loss to the exceptional Hinata Maruta.
In a second Filipino show we'll see a card headlined by a bout between Roilo Golez (16-18-1, 7) and Diarh Gabutan (19-6-3,10). Coming in to this one Golez is totally out of form, losing 7 of his last 8 bouts by stoppage. Whilst Golez has mixed with some good company he's also suffered lossesto limited foes, like Geboi Mansalayao and it's fair hard to say that Gabutan should pick up the win here. Saying that however Golez' only win in his last 8 bouts, was actually a 5th round KO against Gabutan, who knows he cannot afford another loss, especially not to Golez.
Also in Asia there is a show in Singapore, featuring a number of fighters from across Asia.
In a high profile female bout local star Nurshahidah Roslie (6-1, 4) will take on Thai visitor Sriphrae Nongkipahuyuth (12-4-2, 5) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Female and OPBF Female Featherweight titles. This will give both fighters something to fight for, and we do expect them to have a proper fight here, but it's hard to imagine the visitor having the power needed to really test Roslie.
Another local in action is unbeaten Super Middleweight hopeful Rafi Majid (5-0, 5), who takes on Indonesian visitor Maxi Nahak (7-13-3, 3) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Super Middleweight title. Majid has blitzed his first 5 opponents, in a combined 7 rounds, and will likely do the same here, against a naturally smaller man who has been stopped 9 times already n 23 fights.
Another fight where we'd expected to see someone beat an Indonesian is a contest that will feature Filipino fighter Jun Tapale (22-9-1, 8) battling Indon Rusmin Kie Raha (15-13-3, 3). Although Tapale isn's a huge puncher Raha has been stopped in 8 of his 13 losses and we could see a 9th here. Raha's best hope is to see out the final bell, but it's hard to imagine him really testing the Filipino.
The key Asian card this Sunday comes from China.
In one of the main main bouts we'll see the unbeaten Ainiwaer Yilixiati (8-0, 6) battle against former OPBF title challenger Michael Speed Sigarlaki (16-19-2, 14),a veteran from Indonesia. On paper this looks like a step up in class for the unbeaten mean but the reality is that Sigaralaki is now little more than a journeyman, travelling and getting beaten around Asia, with that trend set to continue here.
In a battle of unbeaten fighters Lemen Chao (5-0) will be taking on Guangxiong Li (3-0-1) in another of the headline bouts. Both men are unbeaten novices so their may be a point to prove for both men, leading us tp what could be an interesting match up
Another bout scheduled for 6 rounds will see Wulamu Tulake (6-1-1, 3) face off with the more experienced Ju Xiang Huang (5-4-2, 4) in what could be a test for Tulake.
In Australia we get a really intriguing match up as Australian based Taiwanese fighter Yao Yi Ma (15-1, 10) takes on Australian Dennis Hogan (24-1-1, 7) for the WBO Oriental Light Middleweight title. Ma is a former holder of this title but has been inactive for more than a year and in that time Hogan won the title, with this being his first defense of the title.
Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Staying in Australia we'll see two Thai's fighting on a separate show.
The most notable of those two bouts will see Abe Archibald (0-0) face the limited, but heavy handed, Weerachit Kitee (7-9-2, 7). Kitee, also known as Tom Ford, has lost his last 7, with 6 of those being by stoppage, and it seems likely he'll be defeated again here despite his opponent being a debutant.
There will also be a show of note in Singapore.
In an historic bout we'll see the unbeaten Nurshahidah Roslie (4-0, 2) become the first Singaporean fighter to fight for a title recognised by one of the big 4 world title bodies, though it is only a regionaltitle. The bout will see Roslie battle against New Zealander Gentiane Lupi (4-3-1, 2) in a bout for the WBA Oceania Super Featherweight title.
In another headline bout the unbeaten Muhamad Ridhwan (4-0, 3) will face Ramli Pasaribu (4-10, 1), with Ridhwan looking to extend his unbeaten record and score his third straight win in Singapore.