Quintana Roo, Mexico
In theory the most meaningful bout, as it's a world title fight, this coming Saturday will take place in Mexico, as WBC Female Light Flyweight champion Yesenia Gomez (14-5-3, 6) defends her title against Japan's Erika Hanawa (10-3, 4). For Gomez this will be her first defense, following a big win over veteran Esmeralda Moreno in September, and a good test for what's going to she's going to be able to do as a champion. Hanawa, who is fighting in her second world title bout, is talented but has got a reputation as someone who comes up short in her biggest bouts. Fighting outside of Asia for the first time won't do Hanawa any favours, but she does seem like she's really up for this fight. Our preview of this bout is here Hanawa gets world title shot at Gomez!
Another really meaningful contest will take place in California, as Ryosuke Iwasa (25-5, 16) clashes with Cesar Juarez (23-6, 17) in an IBF Super Bantamweight world title eliminator. Iwasa, a former world champion, will be making his US debut against a very exciting and aggressive Mexican in what could be one of the most exciting bouts at 122lbs this year. Both men are flawed, but both are exciting, and their styles should gel. Iwasa is the bigger puncher, on a single punch basis, but Juarez is tough and sets a higher pace, making this a very hard to call bout. Our preview of this fight can be read here Iwasa and Juarez meet in IBF eliminator!
Also on this card will be former WBO Bantamweight world champion Marlon Tapales (31-2, 14), though his opponent is still yet to be announced and there is a chance this bout could fall through by the time the show takes place.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines we get a televised show courtesy of ESPN5, and it's a card with a number of good looking fights on it.
The main event will be a 12 round contest between the unbeaten Dave Penalosa (14-0, 10) and Mexican visitor Marcos Cardenas (19-6-1, 15), who battle for the WBO Oriental Featherweight title. The unbeaten Penalosahas had a stop start career but two quick wins last year has seen him build some momentum to begin 2019 and a win here will give his career the big shot in the arm that it needs. Cardenas however won't be travelling to just lose however and he is riding a 3 fight winning run into this bout. Penalose will be strongly favoured, but Cardenas will have travelled to win, and has sort of proven his toughness, lasting 8 rounds with Miguel Marriaga and 5 rounds with Rey Vargas.
The main supporting bout will see former 2-time world champion John Riel Casimero (25-4, 16) take on exciting Japanese brawler Kenya Yamashita (13-4, 10). The 29 year old Casimero, who won world titles at Light Flyweight and Flyweight, hasn't looked great recently, with a loss to Jonas Sultan last time he fought on home soil, but will be under pressure to perform here. Yamashita is crude, but exciting and powerful and will be looking to shine on his international debut. Should be a huge gulf in technical ability, but also a potential gulf in desire and hunger.
A second supporting bout on this card will see teenage prospect Carl Jammes Martin (11-0, 10) take a huge step up in class to face off with Thai foe Petchchorhae Kokietgym (17-2, 8). The unbeaten Martin scored 4 wins last year, all by stoppage, and seems like one of the most promising young Filipino fighters beginning to break out. Petchchorhae on the other hand has failed to impressive despite winning some minor titles earlier in his career. The Thai was last seen being stopped in 3 rounds by Giemel Magramo, and was stopped in his other loss by Iwan Zoda, suggesting he can be taken out, something that Martin will be looking to do here.
Suwon, South Korea
There will also be a domestic card in Korean, albeit at a relatively low level.
The main bouts are 6 round contests, with one of them being a bout between Ki Hyun Park (2-2-2) and Han Bin Suh (3-0-1, 2) whilst the other will be between Jong Won Jung (5-7-1) and Dae Young Lee (2-9-1). We'll be honest and admit that it's hard to get excited about either of these bouts, of the card in general.
In Liege fans will be able to see Belgian based Kyrgyzstan born Faroukh Kourbanov (16-1, 3) battle against Ukrainian 36 year old Volodymyr Matviichuk (4-1). Kourbanov suffered his sole defeat last year, to the experienced Devis Boschiero in Italy, and will be looking to score his second win since that defeat. Matviichuk, who competed at the 2016 Olympics, only debuted as a professional in 2017 and will clearly see this bout as a chance to get into the mix at European level. Whilst Matviichuk does have a loss, it appears to be a suspect one, losing a split decision in Latvia to Ivans Levickis, in a bout that one judge scored 60-55 to the Ukrainian.
For a second day running Thai fans will get televised action, though this time around the action is a bit more interesting and Channel 7 do appear to have picked up a solid looking card, well solid looking for a Thai show at least.
The main event will see the unbeaten Petchchorhae Kokietgym (13-0, 8) trying to record a double over promising Indonesian teenager Iwan Zoda (6-1, 5), in a bout for the interim WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title. These two men met last October with Petchchorhae taking a 6 round decision win, though since then the Indonesian has picked up 5 straight stoppage wins and could well go into this bout believe he can avenge his sole defeat. We'll admit we're actually rather exciting about this one.
The key support bout here will see former world title challenger Samartlek Kokietgym (21-5, 6) take on Indonesia's Iwan Key (9-12-3, 1). It's hard to see Key offering much resistance to Samartlek, who has run up 4 wins since his 11th round TKO loss to Naoya Inoue, almost a year ago to the day.
One man we're excited to see return to action is unbeaten prospect Kongthara KKP (8-0, 6) who will be up against Indonesia's Rasmanudin (19-10-3, 10). A few years ago this would have been a solid bout but in recent times Rasmanudin has become a “loser” and is 1-6-1 in his last 8. We expect this to be another loss to the talented and fast rising Rasmanudin.
Thai fans get another televised show this Wednesday as channel 3 show a small but notable show that sees the lightly regarded EPBC getting some attention.
Firstly lets start with the EPBC who have two of their titles on the line. They are the Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council who appear to be affiliated with the WBC and were, looking at the details on their website, founded last year. From what we understand they will be yet another regional organisation looking to have their fingers in the Asia pie alongside the PABA, WBA Asia, OPBF, WBC Boxing Council, and IBF Asia, among others. We really do wonder just how many organisations are wanted, or needed in the area though it appears we've not seen them all yet.
In a bout for the vacant EPBC Light Flyweight title fans will see Yokthong KKP (17-4, 11) battle against Indonesian foe Frans Damur Palue (10-7-2, 5). Yokthong is best known for losing every time he steps up with notable stoppage losses to Ryuji Hara (KO2) and Zou Shiming (TKO7). Palue however isn't at that level and is himself 0-3 outside of Indonesian including an 8th round TKO loss to Petchbarngborn Kokietgym earlier this month. Interestingly Yokthong was ranked #5 in the recent EPCB rankings whilst Palue was #9.
The other EPBC title fight will see the unbeaten, and genuinely promising, Petchchorhae Kokietgym (11-0, 7) battle against Indonesia's Oscar Raknafa (12-8, 5) in a bout for the Flyweight title. The unbeaten Thai has shown some glimpses of real talent though this hardly seems like a step forward for him. Notably Raknafa has lost his life 5 bouts, including a loss to the then debuting Kosei Tanaka, and we expect that run will continue here in what appears to be another mismatch against the Indonesian. In terms of the rankings for this bout, the Thai is ranked #3 whilst Raknafa is #12.
Another mismatch on this card will see former world title challenger Terdsak Kokietgym (54-5-1, 34) back in the ring for his second bout since his thrilling 11th round loss to Orlando Salido last September. Terdsak will be up against Yakobus Heluka (8-9, 1), who has lost 5 of his last 6, including a 3rd round KO to Thong Sithluangphophun last August. This is one of those horrible match ups that is simply used to keep a guy like Terdsak ticking over.
One other bout on this card will see the unbeaten Mai Lookboonmee (1-0, 1) battle against the win-less Singsomdech Kwanjaisrikot (0-2). This, on paper, looks the most even match up on the show though we still suspect it could be 1-sided in the ring.
The biggest show of the weekend this Saturday comes from the Philippines as ALA Promotions put on the 28th show in their "Pinoy Pride" series and, we've got to be honest here, it looks like a great one even if the main event is likely to feel like a let down, thankfully however there are 4 or 5 other interesting bouts on the card and several notable names.
The aforementioned main event will see WBO Light Flyweight champion Donnie Nietes (33-1-3, 9) return to the ring in an attempt to record the 5th defense of his title. We say attempt though he shouldn't really struggle as he takes on the exciting but limited Carlos Velarde (26-3-1, 14). We don't think Nietes will be given a real test here but we do suspect the fight will be fun to watch as Velarde always brings action to the ring, as he did prior to getting stopped by Ryo Miyazak in a WBA Minimumweight title bout last year.
Whilst the main event looks somewhat predictable the two main support bouts both look interesting to say the least.
One of those will see former world title challenger Milan Melindo (31-1, 12) drop down to Light Flyweight to take on Mexico's Saul Juarez (20-3, 11) in an IBF world title eliminator. The bout was put together after Juarez missed out on the world title shot that Velarde has and we suspect that Melindo will be given a good work out here even if he does make it look relatively easy. The other major support bout will see the unbeaten Albert Pagara (21-0, 15) battle against tough Mexican Raul Hirales (22-3-1, 11). This will be Pagara's first defense of the IBF Inter-Continental Super Bantamweight title and appears to be a great step up for the Filipino who has blitzed his last 3 foes in a combined 5 rounds. It's a big step up but Hirales has looked very ordinary in his 3 losses and we suspect Pagara will manage to make him look poor as well.
In the most interesting of 3 bouts scheduled for 10 rounds we will see unified Minimumweight champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr (16-2, 11) battle against Jomar Fajardo (14-5-1, 7). Rodriguez will be fighting for the first time since he unified the IBF and WBO titles with his stellar victory over Katsunari Takayama this year in a FOTY contender and we suspect that this will be his last bout before making a permanent move to the Light Flyweight division, which appears to be set for a memorable 2015.
Another of the 10 rounders will see former Rodriguez foe Merlito Sabillo (23-1-1, 12) battle against the limited Faris Nenggo (8-6-3, 2). This will be Sabillo's first bout since being stopped by Rodriguez in March whilst for Nenggo it'll be his first bout since back-to-back defeats to Ryuji Hara and Paipharob Kokietgym. It should be an easy win for Sabillo but it's hard to judge what his confidence will be like after the battering he suffered at the hands of Rodriguez.
The third 10 rounder will see former world title contender AJ Banal (31-2-1, 22) battle against recent OPBF Featherweight title challenger Maxsaisai Sithsaithong (15-5, 4). We assume this could be fun to watch but Banal, for all his talent, appears to have a knack of letting us down. We wouldn't be shocked for him to take out his Thai foe early nor would we be shocked to see him struggle to a relatively limp and unexciting decision win.
Lower down the card in an 8 rounder we will see Mark Magsayo (8-0, 6), one of out favourite Filipino prospects, battle against South Korean visitor Moon-Sun Jung (2-3-3). We imagine Magsayo will see off Jung though hopefully he'll get some rounds in the bank before closing the show.
Nakhon Nayok, Thailand
Whilst the Filipino show is clearly the most important of the day we do have shows across Asia with one of them taking place in Thailand.
This show will be headlined by a regional title bout between unbeaten fighters as Petchchorhae Kokietgym (8-0, 5) attempts to make the first defense of his WBC Asian Boxing Council silver Flyweight title. The man trying to stop the Thai is unbeaten Indonesian Rizky Pratama (2-0) who we really don't know about. Hopefully this will be competitive though we suspect the Indonesian will be blown away relatively quickly in a mismatch.
In a clear mismatch fans will get the chance to see former world title challenger Terdsak Kokietgym (53-5-1, 33) take on Indonesia's Yacob Ton (4-10, 2). This is a mismatch and few will defend it however it will be Terdsak's first bout since his thrilling encounter with Orlando Salido a few months ago and hopefully Terdsak won't damaged good following that fight which was extremely damaging for the Thai.
A third bout on this card will see Petchnamchai KKP (1-0, 1) risking his unbeaten record against the debuting Ricardo Sithsaithong (0-0) in what looks like an even match up on paper though is unlikely to be even at all given what we know about boxing in Thailand.
A small show in Japan, featuring 9 bouts in total, looks to be a forgettable one with only 2 bouts even worth mentioning.
The main event, an 8 rounder, will see Keita Nakano (11-9-3, 2) fight against Takaaki Ishikawa (10-5, 5) in what appears to be a competitive match up though a sub-domestic level one that won't get fans, even domestic ones, excited in the slightest. Although not a great bout both men do need a win and will likely put it all on the line to take home a W. The only other bout worth noting is a 6 rounder that will see Ryuto Araya (6-2-1) taking on Tsubasa Mochizuki (6-4, 2) in a bout we suspect will go the distance considering neither guy has much power on their shots.
Daegu, South Korea
In South Korea we get another domestic level card though one that features 2 relatively weak looking title fights.
At Super Middleweight we will see Eun-Chang Lee (7-4, 3) attempt to defend the Korean Super Middleweight title for the first time since winning the title in March. Lee, who lost in Macau to Esquiva Falcao last time out, will be battling against Young-Kyoon Lee (1-13-1) who really shouldn't be in any sort of a title fight given that he has won just 1 of 15 professional bouts.
Sadly the other title bout on the show, a South Korean Super Featherweight bout, is almost as bad as Ik Soo Han (6-3, 1) takes on Jong-Won Won (7-13-1, 3) for the vacant belt. Han last fought 19 months ago, losing a 6th round TKO to Junta Sekimoto in Japan whilst Won hasn't won a bout since July 2009! We understand that titles can interest fans but this is farcical for a title bout.
A third bout on this card will see former female world title challenger Hye-Soo Park (3-7-1, 1) fighting against win-less Thai Dorkmaipah Kiatpompetch (0-3) in what should be a clear mismatch, despite the fact Park isn't a great fighter herself.
Gauteng, South Africa
In South Africa we will see two Russian's in action in interesting looking bouts.
At Light Heavyweight we will get the chance to see Denis Grachev (13-4-1, 8) take on the unbeaten, and freakishly tall, Thomas Oosthuizen (22-0-2, 13). It's fair to say the loser here will have to forget any dreams of being a world champion whilst a win will likely help them move into contention for a belt. With the stakes so high this could a very good bout however both men have looked poor in recent contests and they may again fail to inspire here.
The other bout will see the heavy handed Roman Belaev (14-0, 10) fighting former world title challenger Ali Funeka (35-4-3, 29) in a bout for the IBO Welterweight title. Belaev has generally impressed us with his power, aggression and style and we suspect he'll show those same traits here against the 36 year old Funeka who we thing could be ready for his first stoppage loss.
(Image courtesy of ALA Promotions)
This coming Friday looks to be a great one for Thai fans though outside of Thailand the day looks to be a disappointing one with little to really note, despite a Misako promoted card at the Korakuen Hall.
Wat Tako, Thailand
A televised card from Thailand will deliver a duo of title fights. For us the most notable of the two title bouts will see the hard hitting Petchchorhae Kokietgym (6-0, 4) take on Filipino journeyman Roilo Golez (15-12-1, 6) for the currently vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Flyweight title. So far we have been impressed by Petchchorhae, on the whole, though we do know he needs to improve dramatically if he's to reach the heady heights expected of him. Golez isn't great by any means but he should give the Thai a great test especially considering he has taken big name Thai's, such as Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep, Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym and Wanheng Menayothin, the distance in the past.
The other contest will see the unbeaten but untested Saenganan KKP (7-0, 5) battling against Filipino Wilber Andogan (10-15-4, 4) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Light Flyweight title. On paper this is a mismatch but Saenganan has never faced anyone even like Andogan and so this is a step up for the unbeaten men. The Filipino has won just 1 of his last 10 and shouldn't be viewed as a real threat but we do have question marks about the Thai here.
A second Thai show will take place in Bangkok and will feature several notable names.
The main event will see Petch Sor Chitpattana (25-0, 16) defending his WBC Youth Silver Bantamweight title for the third time. Petch, who was given a great test last time out by Gerpaul Valero, will be battling with former PABA interim Flyweight champion Jaymart Toyco (14-5, 10) in what looks like being little more than an easy win for the unbeaten Thai, after all Toyco is coming up several weights for this bout.
Another of the bouts on this card will see former WBC Minimumweight champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai (52-1-1, 20) taking on Indonesia's Falazona Fidal (25-40-1, 8). Strangely this will be the third meeting between the two men with the previous 2 both being decision wins for Oleydong, we'd suspect this one will go the same way, though it is a stay busy bout for the Thai who is still hoping to reclaim a world title one day.
A third bout from this show that we're aware of will see promising teenager Kongfah CP Freshmart (7-0, 3) taking on fellow unbeaten Thai youngster Sangthong Chor Pakdee (4-0, 4). We don't know much about Sangthong though he is just 18 years and made his debut as a 16 year old in May 2012. This could be a total mismatch but when unbeaten fighters face off we can see some interesting contests, we're hoping for one of those here.
In Japan we get a small card at the Korakuen Hall.
The main event here will see Yuki Fukumoto (15-9, 5) taking on Yasuhiro Sakurai (7-16) in an 8 rounder. For Fukumoto this will bout will be about him trying to end a 3 fight losing streak dating back over a year. Incidentally Sakurai ended a 10 fight losing streak back in April as he over-came Seiji Watanabe via a decision. It's fair to say that neither of these men will be going far but there is a lot on the line for both of these two
The chief support bout is another 8 rounder as the heavy handed Yudai Ueno (7-6-2, 6) battles the tough but limited Kazuki Matsuyama (8-5, 4). Ueno has lost 4 of his last 5, including his most recent bout, but with his power he is dangerous it is worth noting however that Matsuyama has mixed against better opponents and may be able to take the power. Matsuyama has won 2 of his last 5 and we'd tend to feel that he has a great chance here in what looks to be close to a 50-50 bout.
A third 8 rounder will see Ryutaro Taira (8-4-1, 3) looking for his first win of the year. Taira, who has lost 3 of his last 4, will be fighting against Ryu Onigashima (12-6, 7) who has been out of the ring for almost 2 years. This is another 50-50 bout even though it's being fought at a low level. For us we tend to enjoy competitive fights rather than too many mismatches.
The rest of this card will feature a further 7 bouts, including a single 6 round contest, giving depth to what looks like a competitive though not headline making card.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia we will see another Asian in action. That will be is Korean Hwi Jong Kim (5-13, 1) taking on Valentine Borg (7-1, 4). Borg will be the clear favourite considering that Kim has lost his last 8 though he did use to look half decent and gave both Shin Ogata and Rey Bautista good contests, sadly those two bouts were more than a decade ago.
(Image courtesy of Kadoebi)
May 7th was a major day in Asian boxing with several notable fighters in action such as Sho Ishida, Masayoshi Nakatani, Kazuto Ioka, Amnat Ruenroeng and Katsunari Takayama. Just a day later we get a chance to see some budding prospects in action as we reach the next round of the Rookie of the Year-East competition.
The show, held at the Korakuen Hall, is one we're unsure of in terms of the line up though we know 13 bouts will take place on the show with fights going from Light Flyweight to Middleweight.
The Rookie of the East competition is one of the key annual competitions for Japanese boxing. The winner if the Rookie of the East fights a representative from Western Japan to fight in the Rookie of the Year final at the end of the year. The winner of the Rookie of the Year tends to go on to have notable success.
Although we're unsure on who will be in action we'll be sure to bring you results from all 13 bouts and hope to keep fans updated on the competition as we go through the rounds of the competition. Hopefully by the later rounds we'll get to know and recognise the fighters who at the moment are so low profile they aren't even having their bouts, or even the show, listed on boxrec.com.
In Thailand we believe there is a title show in Lopburi Province as the very talented and big punching Paipharob Kokietgym (23-0, 18) attempts to reclaim the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title. If our information is right then Paipharob shouldn't struggle at all with his opponent said to be the tough but limited Jay-ar Estremos (10-6, 4). Although Estremos did give Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym a serious test, and a arguable loss, earlier this year we view Paipharob and Kwanpichit on completely difference levels to each other with Paipharob being genuine world class.
On the same Thai card we've been told that Ratchasak Kokietgym (21-2-1, 10) will be battling Indonesia's Anis Ceunfin (16-19-5, 6). Ceunfin, if you recognise his name, was recently stopped by Japanese prospect Naoto Uebayashi and shouldn't be a test for the decent Ratchasak who has only lost to credible opponents so far in his career.
Another bout from this card is thought to be a contest between Petchchorhae Kokietgym (4-0, 2) and Madit Sada (9-16-1, 3). From what we understand Petchchorhae is thought to be a very promising fighter and he already holds good wins over Heri Amol and Yokthong Kokietgym we'd imagine that Sada won't give him any problems at all here.
It appears this card will be shown on Thai Channel 7 for those interested in watching the action live.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia Korean fighter Hwi Jong Kim (5-11, 1) will be hoping to score a big upset over the talented Kye Mackenzie (8-0, 6). Many in Australia are tipping MacKenzie to become a world ranked fighter so Kim is really up against it though we have seen Kim putting up some excellent efforts in some recent bouts and he might well do the same here.