Nakhon Sawan, Thailand
Attention turns to Thailand this coming Wednesday as we see a fighter attempt to etch their name into history and another looking to move towards a second world title fight.
The fighter looking to etch their name in the history books is WBC Mnimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (50-0, 18), who will be looking to not only make his 10th defense of the WBC world title but also advance his record to 51-0. The unbeaten Thai veteran will be taking on Filipino challenger Pedro Taduran (12-1, 9), who takes a huge step up in class for his first world title bout. The champion has blown hot and cold in recent contests struggling with Melvin Jerusalem and Tatsuya Fukuhara but demolishing Leroy Estrada, but when he's on he is arguably the top fight at 105lbs, and certainly has a solid unbeaten run that, if he extends, goes ahead of Floyd Mayweather's “50-0”. As for the challenger, the 21 year old is riding a 6 fight winning streak, including a big win last time out against Jerry Tomogdan, himself a former Wanheng foe. The challenger will have confidence but this is a massive step up in class.
Also on this same show is Palangpol CP Freshmart (16-2, 9), who will be fighting for the third time this year. The former world title challenger, who dropped Kosei Tanaka, is 2-0 since losing his most notable bout to date and will be looking to step back up a level here before having a big fight near the end of 2018.
This coming Wednesday Japanese fans get a treat as there's a world title double header in Osaka and small but notable show in Tokyo.
The Osakan card, which will be televised in part on TBS, is a really interesting show with 3 worth taking note of.
The most significant is an all Japanese bout for the IBF Super Bantamweight title as defending champion Yukinori Oguni (19-1-1, 7) takes on mandatory challenger Ryosuke Iwasa (23-2, 15). For Oguni this will be his first defense and see him fighting for the first time since his career defeingin victory over Jonathan Guzman at the end of 2016. Well school and building in confidence the champion has really shone recently and looks to be a fighter who still has areas that he's developing. The challenger will be having his second world title fight and seems hungry ti impress after failing in a previous challenge of the IBF Bantamweight title. Blessed with heavy hands Iwasa will believe he has the power to over-come the smooth skills of Oguni in what is set to be a corker.
In the other title bout we'll see WBO Light Flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka (9-0, 5) seek his second defense of the title as he takes on Thai challenger Palangpol CP Freshmart (14-1, 8), in his first world title bout. The Japanese champion came through a tough mandatory earlier this year, against Angel Acosta, and is looking to end the year in a unification bout with Ryoichi Taguchi, though needs to get through this assignment first. The Thai under-dog is a former Muay Thai champion but as a boxer has looked rough around the edges and this is a huge step up for him going his opponents in Western boxing so far.
In the leading support bout we'll see former world title challengers collide as Shingo Wake (21-5-2, 13) takes on Thai veteran Panomroonglek Kaiyanghadaogym (50-2, 31) in a world title eliminator. Wake is best known internationally for losing to the previously mentioned Jonathan Guzman in a gutsy performance and this will be his second bout since that loss. Tghe Thai veteran on the other hand is best known for losing to the then WBA Bantamweight champion Koki Kameda by razor thin decision. This could be, potentially, the best fight on the card and is one that will likely go over-looked given the two headline contests.
Further down the card will be bouts featuring talented prospect Masayoshi Hashizume (13-0, 10) and former OPBF Bantamweight champion Takahiro Yamamoto (19-5, 16).
In the Tokyo show, from the Korakuen Hall we're guaranteed some excitement, but the show is a much lesser one than the Osakan one.
The main event here will see former world title challenger Koki Eto (20-4-1, 15) taking on a Thai foe as the all-action Eto looks to rebuild following his 2015 loss to Carlos Cuadras. Given the growing popularity of the Super Flyweight division Eto has the chance to be in some firecrackers over the coming years against Rex Tso, Jamie Conlan and Kohei Kono and hopefully we'll get the chance to see him in those types of bouts, rather than more contests against limited visitors.
Sadly other than Eto's bout there is little to get excited about here and a lot of the attention should be on the card from Osaka.
Khon Kaen, Thailand
Attention turns back to Thailand this week with a card from Khon Kaen which has a genuine fantastic looking Minimumweight title bout, as well as two notable fighters in supporting bouts.
In the main event we see a really mouth watering match up as unbeaten Thai Knockout CP Freshmart (12-0, 6) faces Nicaraguan fighter Byron Rojas (17-2-3, 8) for the WBA Minimumweight title. Coming in to this one Knockout is the interim champion whilst Rojas is the “real champion”, saying that however this will only be Rojas's second world title bout whilst Freshmart will be in his 5th “world” title bout. For Rojas the bout will be a chance to build on his upset win over Hekkie Budler whilst Knockout finally gets his shot at the main WBA title.
In a supporting bout Thailand's touted Palangpol CP Freshmart (11-1, 7) will be in a stay busy bout against Filipino foe Vincent Bautista (4-4-3, 1). Bautista was stopped last time he was in Thailand, losing in 5 rounds to Petch Sor Chitpattana and we expect something similar here with Palangpol almost certainly being too heavy handed for the visitor.
One other notable bout on this card will see the highly experienced Noknoi Sitthiprasert (57-4, 35) battle against Samuel Tehuayo (19-37-2, 4), in what is surprisingly their first contest against each other. Coming in to this one the Indonesian warrior will be the clear under-dog whilst the Thai seeks a 57th straight win!
Action continues in Thailand this week with a trio of notable fighters.
The most notable of those fighters is former WBC Minimumweight champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai (55-1-1, 21) who continues to move, slowly, towards a Super Flyweight world title fight. Sadly Sithsamerchai hasn't fought a notable opponent since he came up short against Kazuto Ioka way back in 2011. With his experience and ability Sithsamerchai does have the potential to claim a world title again but we suspect he'll not get the chance any time soon.
Whilst Oleydong is a former world champion there is a man on the card who is said to only be a fight or two away from a title. That is Palangpol CP Freshmart (7-1, 4) who is said to be viewing a possible shot at the WBO Minimumweight title later in the year. Palangpol is a really exciting prospect but we suspect he's not as good as his team hope and although he's made a successful transition from Muay Thai to western boxing there is still the feeling that he made the move too late.
The third fighter of note on this show is Kongfah CP Freshmart (11-0, 6)* who we really like the look of. Kongfah scored one of the best KO's we've seen recently, when he iced Saengthong Chor Pakdee, and since then has been a man we've been following closely.
At the moment we're unsure who the 3 Thai's will be fighting though we are under the belief that their opponents will all be Filipino's.
*Boxrec.com are missing one of Kognfah's bouts from last December.
In Thailand fans get their second televised show of the week in what looks like a relatively interesting card with at least one bout worth making a mental note of and several interesting prospects in action.
The main event of the show will see the unbeaten Petch Sor Chitpattana (28-0, 18) defending the WBC Silver Youth Bantamweight title against Chinese visitor Hou Tingling (0-1). Tinglong's only previous bout was a decision loss in November 2014 to Japanese Flyweight Katsuteru Yoshifusa and it's hard to see that really helping him against Petch who is a very promising Thai fighter.
The most promising looking bout will see the much touted Palangpol CP Freshmart (6-1, 4) battling against Filipino stalwart Donny Mabao (21-23-1, 4). Palangpol is viewed as a very promising fighter following an excellent Muay Thai career however there does seem to be some doubt about his potential following less than impressive back-to-back showings. Although not a star Mabao is capable enough fight to pose serious questions to fighters like Palangpol and we suspect this could be a very good test for the Thai who is said to be eyeing up a world title opportunity later this year.
This card will also feature one of the most exciting prospects in Thailand as we get the chance to see teenager Kongfah CP Freshmart (9-0, 4) in action against Fahpikard Twins Gym (2-7. Last year Kongfah caught our attention with a beautiful knockout against Saengthong Chor Pakdee and we'd not be shocked to see him do something similar here against the limited Fahpikard
Strangely we do get what looks to be a competitive under-card bout as Phompetch Twins Gym (6-2, 3) battles against fellow limited fighter Chatree Sor Narongchai (4-3, 2). This is a low level match up but both men will be entering the ring with the intention of recording a win and as a result this could end up being the best bout on the show.
(Image courtesy of http://www.thairec.com)
It's rare to have mid-week fights that we are really looking forward to but that's exactly what we have this week courtesy of a big show in Thailand that had us excited from the moment it was first mentioned.
The first world title bout in the month of October comes form Thailand where we get a collision of unbeaten fighters battling for the WBA interim Minimumweight world title. The bout will see Thailand's wonderfully named Knockout CP Freshmart (8-0, 5) stepping up massively to fight Nicaraguan youngster Carlos Buitrago (27-0-1-1, 16) in what looks to have been a very risky match up to make from Knockout's team. We're unsure if Knockout's team know something we don't but from footage of the two men we suspect the Thai may have bitter off more than he can chew here and Buitrago really impressed us in his performance against Merlito Sabillo last year, as with that fight Buitrago is travelling with a point to prove.
The world title fight won't be the only bout with a title on the line here and in the co-feature WBA Asia Light Flyweight champion Palangpol CP Freshmart (4-1, 4) will be defending his title against Indonesian visitor Tommy Seran (24-2, 15). Reports suggest that is Palangpol wins here will be matched with Alberto Rossel in the near future as he attempts to become a world champion. Palangpol was a top level Muay Thai fighter and it appears his team believes he can also be a world class boxer. It's a high target given his boxing inexperience but we are excited all the same.
Talking about world class another bout on this show will see former WBC Minimumweight champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai (55-1-1, 21) in action. Oleydong, now fighting as Oleydong CP Freshmart, will be up against against Indonesian Paulus Baransano (0-4) in what appears to be another stay busy fight for Oleydong before a possible world title bout in 2015. We do like Oleydong though he really needs to step it up again seen as these mismatches are become a tiresome joke internationally with some wondering whether Oleydong will ever fight another meaningful opponent before his career peters away into obscurity
The other bout on this card that we're aware of will see Denkamon Pakdee Gym (12-3, 5), returning after 3 years out of boxing, fighting against the unbeaten Petchmai Chor Sungnork (1-0, 1). This looks like a very interesting match up on paper and the winner will likely know that their career gets a boost whilst the loser may consider walking away from the sport.
Not only is this an interesting card with 2 interesting bouts but that show is also interesting for the fact it will be held in Thailand's new race track which will be used for various motor sports over the coming years.
One of those will see world ranked Russian Maxim Vlasov (30-1, 15) take on the unbeaten Isiah Thomas (13-0, 6). This is a step up for Thomas, who at 6'4" is a huge Light Heavyweight, whilst for Vlasov this really is a must win contest given that he is risking his world rankings and is unlikely to get another opportunity in the US without something to offer. One thing to note is that Vlasov is himself a tall fighter for a Light Heavyweight and may be one of the few fighters in the division that Thomas doesn't tower over.
The other bout will see Kazakhstan fighter Isa Akberbayev (12-0-0-1, 8) battling against the limited Geovanni Sarran (5-7, 1). In all honesty this is a poor bout and Akberbayev should be competing at a higher level. The one relieving factor however is that the card it's self is a strong one and it seems that Akberbayev is merely having a bout to stay busy rather than to progress his career.
(Image courtesy of Thairec.com)
There isn't much action today, in fact from what we're aware there is actually just a single card from Japan.
The regular shows promoted by Ohashi Gym are the "Phoenix Battle" shows and this week sees the 50th edition of the Phoenix Battle, sadly though it is a weak one with no stand out bout though it does have some recognisable names on show.
The most recognisable name on the show is Ohashi's very own Ayaka Miyao (17-5-1, 2). Miyao, the WBA Atomweight champion, will be an over-whelming favourite to see off Yokfah Mor Krungthepthonburi (0-6) and in fact Miyao will actually be expected to score a stoppage. Talented, popular and energetic Miyao is a fun fighter to watch though this bout really is little more than a stay busy fight for the Japanese fighter who needs to be matched better next time out. Despite this being a mismatch we do suspect that Miyao is difficult to get bouts for especially at her weight of 102lbs and we we know this bout is being fought marginally above her usual fighting weight.
Whilst Miyao is the most notable name on the show, at least in our eyes, she is given a good run for her money by recent world title challenger Shin Ono (17-6-2, 2) who will be battling against unbeaten Thai novice Petchnamchai Sor Sakulwong (1-0, 1). For Ono this will be his first bout since falling short in an IBF Minimumweight world title challenge earlier this year and despite that loss, to Katsunari Takayama, we don't see him struggling the slightest here.
The remaining 7 bouts on the card all feature fighters from the Ohashi gym though none of them are particularly notable with the show being used to help those fighters get some experience. We understand why Ohashi has put this card together though we can't help but feel the main event should have been better. We have no problem with Miyao and Ono being on the card but it would have been nice to have seen either of them in with an opponent 2 or 3 steps up the ladder to what they are facing, especially with this being the 50th show under the Phoenix Battle banner.
We have recently been informed of a Thai card which will feature 2 bouts.
The most significant of those 2 bouts will see the unbeaten and well regarded Palangpol CP Freshmart (3-0, 3) moving into title fights for the first time. Palangol will be fighting against Filipino Joan Imperial (9-4-6, 4) in a battle for the currently vacant WBA Asia Light Flyweight title. Palangpol will rightly be favoured here and Imperial has gone 0-4-1 in his last 5 bouts, suggesting this really is a total mismatch.
In the shows other bout we've been told that Kongputorn CPFreshmart (2-0, 2) will be fighting against China's Zhu Yuan Kai (0-0) who we can't find on boxrec. This bout will also be a title bout as the men battle for the vacant WBC Youth Flyweight that was last defended by Morakot CP Freshmart more than a year ago.
*Kongputorn CPFreshmart is listed as 1-0 (1) on boxrec, we've observed 2 of his fights
It's been brought to our attention that the heavy handed Kanat Islam (17-0, 14) will be in action in Colombia. Islam, a Chinese-Kazakh will be fighting against Fidel Monterrosa Munoz (32-9-1, 26) in what should be one of Isalm's best tests since turning professional after the 2008 Olympics.
(Image courtesy of Ohashi Gym)