Agusan del Norte, Philippines
The better of two Asian shows comes from the Philippines, where we get two national title fights and the chance to see the ring return of Orlie Silvestre, who impressed us earlier this year.
One of the title bouts will see the once beaten Genisis Libranza (16-1, 10) defending the GAB Flyweight title against against the hard matched Renz Rosia (14-6-1, 7). On paper this looks like a mismatch in favour of the champion but the reality is that this should be very competitive. Libranza has been matched much easier than Rosia. Both have lost to Moruti Mthalane but Rosia has also come up short against the likes of Giemel Magramo, Makazole Tete and Kongfah CP Freshmart, all of whom are above the level of Libranza's best wins.
Another title bout on this show will see the hard hitting Jayar Inson (17-1, 11) take on the battle worn Allan Tanada (15-7-3, 7), in what will be Inson's first defense of the GAB Welterweigth title. The 27 year old Inson impressed us in 2016, when he demolished Ryota Yada in 7 rounds, and despite losing to Thulani Mbenge after that fight, he is on a good run with a notable win over Terry Tzouramanis last time out. The 26 year old Tanada will be fighting for the first time in over a year and is 2-5 in the last 4 years, a long way removed from the fighter who upset Rikiya Fukuhara for the OPBF Super Featherweight title in 2010. Despite being 26 Tanada might be the oldest 26 year old in the sport, and is likely to be under-sized here against the powerful Inson.
As mentioned we'll also see Orlie Silvestre (11-4-1, 7) on this card, as he takes on Indonesian visitor Hengky Baransano (13-12, 5). We were really impressed by Silvestre last time out, when he pushed Reiya Konishi all the way, and can't see anything but a win for Silvestre here. Baransano has been stopped in 10 of his 12 losses and we expect to see him being taken out again here.
In China there's a small show, which is unlikely to get too much attention that's despite the fact it does feature some notable talent on it.
Included on the show with be China's Junjun He (1-0), who takes on Tanzania's Sunday Kiwale (13-10-4, 7). On paper He looks to be the under-dog but he was a very good amateur, with WSB experience, and looked impressive on his professional debut this past September. Kiwale on the other hand is limited, and his only win outside of Tanzania saw him coming in over 4lbs over-weight.
Another Chinese prospect on this card is Lanhai Xiao (1-0, 1), who also debuted in September. Xiao will be up against Thai foe Worawatchai Boonjan (12-17-1, 11). The Chinese fighter is a 23 who looked excellent on his debut in September, but was up against a fellow novice. In this fighter he's up against a fighter with plenty of experience, but a man who has been stopped 12 times in his career, and 4 times this year! We have to worry about Boonjan's health going forward given how frequently he is being stopped.
This coming Friday fight fans in Japan get two shows, whilst Korean fans get one, and even Indian fans have something worthy of their attention!
The biggest single show takes place in Hyogo where we get two title fights, a notable debut and a former Japanese champion all in action.
The main event will be a world title fight, and will see talented WBO Minimumweight champion Ryuya Yamanaka (16-2, 5) battle against heavy handed challenger Vic Saludar (17-3, 10). The champion, who won the title last year, will be making his second defense and will be looking to shine again, just like he did in an eye opening domination of Moises Calleros back in March. Although seen as the less notable champion at 105lbs Yamanaka does look a very classy fighter. For Saludar this bout will be his second title shot, and he will be looking to prove that his performance against Kosei Tanaka wasn't a fluke performance, but a sign that he really should be competing at world level. This really is an excellent match up between a brilliant pure boxer, and a brutal puncher.
In the chief support bout fans will see former world title challenger Reiya Konishi (15-1, 5) take on Filipino foe Orlie Silvestre (11-3-1, 7) in a out for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title. Earlier this year Konishi came up short against Carlos Canizales, though really looked like a great little fighter with insane bravery and an incredible desire to win. The Japanese fighter will be the favourite here, but Silvestre has nothing to lose and everything to win. The Filipino fighter comes into this on the back of 5 straight wins and will feel confident of scoring a career best victory here.
Former Japanese Lightweight champion Kazuhiro Nishitani (18-4-1, 10) looks to score his first win of 2018 and takes on limited Filipino foe Rey Ramos (8-8-2, 3). Nishitani really failed to build on his March 2017 upset win over Shuhei Tsuchiya, having scored only a single win since then over a limited Thai, but he has talent and shouldn't struggle to over-come Ramos here. The Filipino has lost 4 of his last 6, including 2 by stoppage, and it's hard to imagine him having anything to trouble Nishitani with.
One other bout of note will see Yuki Yamauchi (0-0) make his debut, as he takes on Jimboy Rosales (3-2-1, 2). The Japanese debutant was a sensational amateur, with notable results on the high school, national and world university level. Aged 23 big things are expected of Yamauchi and this looks like a pretty interesting opponent for his debut, with Rosales having gone unbeaten in his last 4, following back-to-back losses to begin his career. If Yamauchi is as good as anticipated then he really could make an instant impact here.
A second Japanese show will take place in Tokyo, and was originally set to feature two former world title contenders in action.
The planned main event was a bout set to have Akihiro Kondo (30-7-1, 17) take on domestic foe Quaye Peter (11-9-3, 6). Sadly for the teak tough Kondo, who is best known for his November 2017 loss to Sergey Lipinets, this bout has been cancelled due to Peter suffering an injury a a week or so before the show was set to take place.
A a result of Peter's injury the card will now be headlined by former 2-time world title challenger Ryo Akaho (31-2-2, 20), who returns to the ring following medical problems that forced him to vacate the Japanese Bantamweight title. It was expected that Akaho would be matched incredibly easily but instead he will be up against Filipino Robert Udtohan (24-3-3, 15). At his best Akaho is a tough, aggressive fighter, who has beaten the likes of Yushi Tanaka, Hiroaki Teshigawara, Masaaki Serie and Yohei Tobe. Sadly though it's unclear how much the health issues has taken from the Japanese fighter. As for the visitor he has got a pretty padded record, and has lost recent bouts to Qiu Xiao Jun and Ryoichi Tamura, but is a tougher opponent than expected for Akaho's ring return.
Seoul, South Korea
In Seoul there will be a small card courtesy of former world champion Myung Woo Yuh and his Buffalo Promotion.
The main event will be an interesting match up between 22 year old Ki Soo Lee (6-3) and 30 year old Hwan Young Jo (5-4, 1). The youngster has had mixed for, though showed he was a capable fighter last December when he ran the touted Katsuya Yasuda close in Yokohama and will look for his third win since that loss. On the other hand Jo hasn't really shined, but is certainly not going to be a push over here and should make for a good dance partner for Lee. Only real issue here is that neither man is much of a puncher.
In another bout of note on this card fans will see unbeaten fighters collide with Do Jin Lee (5-0-2) taking on Jong Sun Gang (4-0, 1). Lin is a 17 year old who made his debut at the age of 16 and despite only fighting in 4 rounders so far is worth following as he moves into his first 6 rounder. As for Gang he has been a professional since November last year and has been busy, but will also be taking part in his first 6 rounder.
London, United Kingdom
As for Indian fans they will turn their attention to London, England, as national hero Vijender Singh (10-0, 7) takes on Lee Markham (17-4-1, 7) for the Commonwealth Super Middleweight title. The Indian star is now 32 years old and his team won't keep holding him back for long. A win here could well open big doors for him and takes him much closer to a potential world title shot. On paper Markham looks limited but he is a former English Middleweight champion who has score several notable results on the British scene, including a draw with Frank Buglioni. Singh should be favoured, but Markham is a very live under-dog coming in to this one.