The most notable action this coming Wednesday comes from Thailand where we will see a very intriguing world title bout.
That world title bout it the most significant bout of the day and sees WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (52-3, 35) defending his title against mandatory challenger Marlon Tapales (28-2, 11). The champion, who won the title last year against Ryo Akaho, will be making the second defense of his title and will be favoured given the bout is in Thailand. However Tapales has been an upset minded fighter in the past, as we saw last year when he blitzed the touted Shohei Omori in 2 rounds and when he was very narrowly beaten by David Sanchez in Mexico back in 2013.
As well as the show in Thailand fight fans in Japan will also get a card, albeit a low level one with only one notable name on it.
In the most notable bout on this card recent Japanese Super Flyweight title challenger Ryuichi Funai (24-7, 16) will be fighting in a stay busy bout against a Thai opponent, who's name we don't currently have. This is one of 3 bouts scheduled for 5 rounds on this card and Funai will know that a win could potentially help him get a second shot at the national title.
Another 5 rounder on this show will see the unbeaten OPBF ranked Erika Hanawa (5-0, 1) battle Thailand's win-less Sirisopha Sirisak (0-4). For Hanawa the bout could we be an OPBF title eliminator, and if she wins she may well move on to an OPBF Atomweight title fight in the coming months. For Sirisak the bout will be her first outside of Thailand and her first in more than 2 years.
One other bout from this card that caught our eye will see 19 year old Yoshimitsu Kimura (4-0, 2) face 25 year old Masaaki Shiraishi (3-0-2, 2) in what looks like a really intriguing 4 rounder.
This coming Friday is relatively packed with action, with two notable shows in Asia.
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
The most notable show of the day comes from Thailand where OnesongChai put on an interesting looking card on Channel 7.
The main event of the card sees Pungluang Sor Singyu (51-3, 35) defending the WBO Bantamweight title against Filipino challenger Jetro Pabustan (26-2-6, 7). The champion will be the clear favourite here, and will be looking for the first defense of the title that he won last year, when he stopped Ryo Akaho. Although the under-dog Pabustan will be confident and will know that this a huge opportunity to make a name for himself.
As well as the main event the under-card does feature some interesting match ups, the most notable which will see experienced Thai Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym (35-1-2, 20) battling against unbeaten Filipino Giemel Magramo (15-0, 12) in what could be the proverbial “coming out party” for Magramo. The Filipino fighter is stepping up in class but is regarded as genuine prospect and may well see this as a chance to make a name for himself.
Another bout will feature the promising Rakniran Muadransarakam (9-0, 6) who will be facing a Thai foe.
Lu Zhou, Chinese card
The Thai card isn't the only notable one to be televised this Friday was another card coming from China where Zovi boxing put on their second card for Chinese new year.
The main event of this one will see Chinese Super Bantamweight hopeful Qiu Xiao Jun (19-2, 9) battle against Ghana's Raymond Commey (13-2, 7) for the WBA International Super Bantamweight title. Originally this bout was announced as a WBA “regular” world title bout but the WBA, who are now aiming to having just a single champion in every division, changed that and have only allowed the bout to be for the “International” crown. The winner of this however will find themselves on the verge of fighting for a world title later in the year. Interestingly both men are bringing 11 bout winning runs into this one.
In total this card has 5 title bouts. Another of those sees Can Xu (7-2) fighting against the experienced, and heavy handed, Isaias Santos Sampaio (26-11, 24). The Chinese local, a 21 year old, had a great 2015 with 4 wins, including notable victories over Hurricane Futa and Kris George, will be defending his WBA Oceania Super Featherweight title here. The visitor, a Brazilian, brings power to the ring but has been stopped 10 times and may well become Xu's first stoppage victim.
In an all-Asian bout Xian Qian Wei (9-5-1) will face Japanese veteran Takafumi Nakajima (24-7-1, 10) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Featherweight title. Interestingly this will be the 5th defense of the title by Wei, who began his career 2-4-1 before going 7-1 with wins of note against Thewa Onesongchaigym, twice, Hero Tito, and most recently Rex Wao. This is a tough bout for the 21 year old local but a really good chance to make a name for himself against a 2-time Japanese title challenger.
In a female title bout Zong Ju Cai (6-1, 1) face off with Venezuelan Debora Rengifo (6-1-1, 3) in a bout for the WBC International Female Minimumweight title, with Cai defending the title for the 3rd time. On paper this looks really well matched but the Visitor has faced some awful opposition and this will be her first bout away from home. Although Cai hasn't been through murderer's row she has been notching up solid wins, including decision wins last year against Gretchen Abaniel, Angor Onesongchaigym and Mari Ando.
The remaining title bout on this show comes at the Youth level as the unbeaten Bai Shan Bo (6-0-1, 3) takes on the stop or be stopped Tackie Annan (6-2, 6) for the WBC Youth Light Welterweight title. Bo has faced some notable opponents regional opponents, including Heri Andriyanto, but this should be his first chin check. Annan lost his first 2 bouts but has since strung together 6 straight stoppage wins, albeit against very poor opposition.
Metro Manila, Philippines
There's also action in the Philippines with a show in Metro Manila.
The most notable bout here will see the under-rated Eden Sonsona (34-6-2, 12) battle against fellow under-rated fighter Vergel Nebran (14-11-1, 9). On paper it's hard to see Sonsona struggling but Nebran has a deceptive record and can, at times, be a banana skin when he's the under-dog.
Sadly much of the card does appear to be mismatches and other than the Sonsona/Nebran bout there is little to really get excited about.
To end the week we get a genuinely busy day with action all across Asia.
The most notable bout of the day comes from Thailand where we get a WBO Bantamweight title fight between hard hitting Japanese slugger Ryo Akaho (26-1-2, 18) and Thai veteran Punluang Sor Singyu (50-3, 34), who is hoping to become a 2-time world champion. On paper it's hard to bet against Akaho, who is big, strong and hits like a mule, however no Japanese fighter has ever won a world title bout in Thailand and it could well be a case of history repeating it's self here.
Also on this show will be two other title bouts. One of those will see Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (55-2, 36) defending his WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title as he battles Indonesian visitor Boido Simanjuntak (18-28-1, 7) in what is a clear mismatch. The visitor enters this bout 0-14 on his trips to Thailand whilst Chonlatarn is unbeaten in his homeland and has only lost to world class ighters.
The other title bout will see the once beaten Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym (31-1-2, 16) defending his WBO Oriental Flyweight title as he continues to rebuild following his 2014 loss to Chinese star Zou Shiming.
Whilst the biggest bout of the day is in Thailand the best card is actually in Dubai as ALA return to the oil rich emirate and show case some of their most exciting fighters.
The most exciting of the fighters on this card is the unbeaten Super Bantamweight hopeful Albert Pagara (23-0, 16). The 21 year old “Prince” Albert will be defending his IBF Inter-Continental title against Mexican challenger Jesus Rios (31-7-1, 25), who is expected to supper his 8th stoppage loss. Given the ability of Pagara we would like to see him step up in a class but that was never likely on this particular card
Albert's older brother Jason Pagara (35-2, 22) will also be in action as he battles Ramiro Alcaraz (15-4-1, 9) in what amounts to a 10 round stay busy contest at a contracted 143lbs. The bout is really little more than a ticking over bout for Pagara who is world ranked by the WBO and could potentially get a world title fight sooner rather than later.
One other notable name on this card is Jimrex Jaca (39-8-4, 22) who battles 24 year old foe Pablo Lugo Montiel (21-5, 17). On paper this looks a lot tastier than than the other two major bouts however Montiel has gone 4-4 in his last 8 and going through his record shows that he hasn't scored a win of any real note so far
There will also action at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo where fans get the chance to see several crossroad bouts.
The most exciting bout on the card will see former Japanese title contenders collide in what is essentially a Japanese title eliminator at 122lbs. In one corner is Gakuya Furuhashi (17-5-1, 7), who was recently held to a draw by current champion Yukinori Oguni, whilst in the other corner will be Yasutaka Ishimoto (25-8, 7), who was narrowly beaten by Oguni last year. This bout may not be one that gets international attention but the winner will be regarded as a fringe contender on the world scene and could well end up getting a national title fight next year before a possible step up to a world title fight at some point. This will be a relatively tactical affair but a very good fight all the same.
Another intriguing match up on this card is a rematch of a Japanese Middleweight contest that is a must win for both men. In one corner for this bout is the criminally under-rated Hikaru Nishida (12-7-1, 4) who looks to score his second win over former OPBF and Japanese champion Makoto Fuchigami (21-10, 12), who is best known for his loss in a world title bout to Gennady Golovkin. On paper it's easy to back Fuchigami but in their first meeting Nishida won a unanimous decision and has gone 6-1 in his last 7 whilst Fuchigami has struggled for form with 4 losses in his last 6.
On the under-card there are two novices who are expected to receive notable attention. One of those is the unbeaten Kohei Kashino (2-0, 1), who battles Hizuki Saso (4-1), and the other is Riyako Goshi (3-3), who faces Chie Higano (3-3). Kashino is, from what we understand, a highly qualified young man who is attempting to make his name in boxing whilst Goshi is a model known for risque pictures, and always seems to get more attention than her talent deserves.
We also have two bouts in Australia featuring Asian fighters.
The most notable of those fights is a PABA Light Welterweight title fight that sees the talented Czar Amonsot (28-3-3, 17) battle against Indonesian fighter Rusmin Kie Raha (14-7-2, 3). It's hard to see what Raha has to really test Amonsot but the Filipino has everything to lose and nothing to gain from this bout.
Another Filipino in action on this card is Roberto Lerio (16-21-1, 6) who looks to upset the unbeaten Ibrahim Balla (7-0, 5) in a bout for the Australian Super Bantamweight title. Lerio, who is based in Australia, is the clear under-dog but will know that a win here will open up some really good opportunities for him in Mexico.
(Image courtesy of www.onesongchai.com)
It's fair to say we, boxing fans, have been treat especially well to begin the start of May, at least in terms of great match ups. That run continues on May 6th as we get a genuinely brilliant Super Featherweight title fight headlining a title triple header in Japan
The Japanese show is a fiesta of sorts for Watanabe gym who have 2 of their 3 world champions in action whilst another of their fighters attempts to become a world champion and finish their long career with a world title.
The main event here is really mouth watering and will see WBA Super Featherweight “super” champion Takashi Uchiyama (22-0-1, 18) defending his belt for the 10th time. In the opposite corner will be unbeaten Thai Jomthong Chuwatana (9-0, 4), a Muay Thai exponent who has had a very interesting boxing career and shown that his skills can generate genuine success in western boxing. The bout isn't expected to be a “FOTY” style war but technically we may struggle to find a better bout between two heavy handed technicians who are both very capable fighters. This is really, as good as it gets.
In the co-feature Uchiyama's young stablemate Ryoichi Taguchi (21-2-1, 8) looks to make the first defence of his WBA Light Flyweight title. This is another Japan Vs Thailand bout and will see Taguchi battle against Thai veteran Kwanthai Sithmorseng (49-3-1, 26) in a bout that looks really good on paper though is likely to be relatively one sided with Kwanthai not looking like a “world class” fighter in recent years. For a first defense this is acceptable though hopefully Taguchi's next bout comes against a more interesting opponent, such as Ryo Miyazaki or Randy Petalcorin, both of which would be mouth watering bouts.
A third world title bout here will see Kayoko Ebata (8-5, 4) attempt to claim the WBO female Minimumweight title as she battles defending champion Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (6-1-2, 3). The 39 year old Ebata will be in her 4th world title bout and it comes 7 years after her first, a very close and controversial loss to Samson Tor Buamas. As for Ikehara this will be her second defense of the title, though her first was a less than memorable opening round technical draw with Jessebelle Pagaduan back in February.
As well as the 3 bouts which have been mentioned there will be a further 2 on this card, one of which will feature Japanese ranked Light Flyweight Takumi Suda (11-10-2, 3) who will be risking his ranking against Yoshinori Wakahara (7-4, 4).
As well as the Japanese card there will also be a show in Thailand where we get the chance to see some recognisable faces in action.
The main event here will see former WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (49-3, 33) defending his WBO Asia Pacific title against former world title challenger Nouldy Manakane (29-16-1, 18). Pungluang, best known for being stopped by Tomoki Kameda, will be seeking his 4th straight win and shouldn't really struggle here against a man who is 0-6 in Thailand and a long way removed from his WBA Bantamweight title fight with Koki Kameda, back in 2012. Incidentally it's thought that if Pungluang gets through this he may get a chance to recapture his old title with a bout against Ryo Akaho looking very possible for later in the year.
In the co-feature fans will see 2-time world title challenger Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (53-2, 34) in action against Indonesian visitor Yakobus Heluka (8-10, 1) in what should be little more than a tune up bout for the talented Chonlatarn. Although the Thai was made to look absolutely terrible by Vasyl Lomachenko last year he is a capable fighter and this really does have “ugly mismatch” written all over it.
(Image courtesy of http://www.watanabegym.com)
The first Thai action of December comes from Bangkok on Thursday as former WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang sor Singyu (47-3, 31) looks to make his first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title. The Thai, who is now known world wide courtesy of his knock-out loss to Tomoki Kameda, will be fighting against Filipino fighter Eranio Semillano (10-6, 3) and will be seeking his second win since that loss to the Japanese star. For Semillano this will be a big step up in class though he does have experience of fighting in Thailand have fought Nop Kratingdaenggym recently.
This show will be televised on Channel 7 for those wanting to watch it.
(Information courtesy of Pal)
This week comes to an end in brilliant fashion with numerous notable fighters in action across the areas covered by the PABA and OPBF.
The most significant action of the day comes from Russia where we have several interesting bouts that range from a world class match up to a solid break through contest for a promising fighter just beginning to make a name for himself.
The promising fighter is the unbeaten 28 year old Light Heavyweight Sergey Ekimov (11-0, 5) who will be attempting to defend his CISBB Light Heavyweight title against the experienced Czech based Cuban Miguel Velozo (17-2-2, 5), who was very unfortunate in his last bout. This is a great test for Ekimov, easily his toughest so far, though one he should find a way to win if he's as good as some suggest.
A more notable bout comes at Cruiserweight where one-time world title challenger Rakhim Chakhkiev (19-1, 14) battles against former world champion Giacobbe Fragomeni (32-4-2, 13). Fragomeni is solid world level fighter and we suspect he could give Chakhkiev a really hard test here though an impressive win for the Russian may earn him a world title shot next year and with fellow Russian fighters Denis Lebedev and Grigory Drozd holding world titles that could give us an all-Russian world title bout.
The main event on this show will see former Heavyweight title holder Alexander Povetkin (27-1, 19) battle against the very under-rated Carlos Takam (30-1-1, 12) in a fight for the WBC Silver Heavyweight title. The winner here will be put near to the front of the queue for a WBC world title bout next year. They will be behind mandatory challenger Deontay Wilder though will view Wilder, and current champion Bermane Stiverne, as beatable opponents if they face either man next year. This is a tough one for Povetkin but it is winnable, especially in Russia where the officials will likely help him if needed.
As well as the show in Russia we also have an interesting card in Japan courtesy of Watanabe Gym.
The main event on this Russian show will see Hayato Kimura (21-7, 15) looking to bounce back from his loss last time out to Michael Dasmarinas as he takes on the limited and thoroughly unimpressive Kanae Onogi (6-6-1, 3). Kimura's record looks impressive but he's far from being an impressive fighter and has lost his last 3, in fact he has lost 3 of his last 5 and 5 of his last 10 suggesting that he's really nothing special, though he should be good enough here.
In the co-feature we'll get the chance to see the always fun to watch, and heavy handed, Rikiya Fukuhara (29-7-1, 21) who will be taking on the limited Thiendaeng Manoprungroj (1-4, 1). This should be an easy contest for Fukuhara who we suspect may be fighting to shake off some rust before a Japanese title fight next year against Satoshi Hosono in what promise to be an explosive encounter. Of course Fukuhara was supposed to be fighting Hosono earlier this year though had to pull out due to an injury, hopefully the injury will have full recovered by now and he'll be back to his best.
A third 8 round bout on this show will see former OPBF title challenger Ryuichi Funai (21-6, 14) battle against domestic journeyman Toshikuni Wake (8-13-3, 2) in what should be a straight forward win for Funai, even if we don't believe he's a great fighter himself. Wake has won 4 of his last 12 bouts and will likely suffer a stoppage here looking at who has beaten him in the past.
As well as the 3 bouts we've mentioned there will be another 6 contests on the show.
In Thailand we get to see former world champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (46-3, 31) attempting to claim the WBO International Bantamweight title. Pungluang, fighting for the first time since he was stopped by Tomoki Kameda in July, will be fighting against Filipino Bryan Macamay (9-2-2, 5) in what should be a real mismatch in favour of the talented Thai.
On the under-card here we're expecting to see Anuntachai Sor Por Lor Krungthep (6-7, 4) battle against China's You-Jie Zeng (5-6, 5) in what could be a very explosive encounter.
In Australia we see another Asian in action as Indonesia's Ricky Manufoe (23-21-2, 10) battles against the debuting Andrew Maloney (0-0), a former amateur stand out who won a Commonwealth games gold medal. Despite having 46 bouts under his belt Manufoe really isn't likely to give Maloney any sort of a test given how good the Australian is.
(Image courtesy of Watanabe Gym)
After almost a week of subdued action we end the week with some real action in the US with an all-Asian world title bout.
That all-Asian bout will see WBO Bantamweight champion Tomoki Kameda (29-0, 18) defending his title for the second time. Tomoki will be taking on mandatory challenger Pungluang Sor Singyu (46-2, 31) in a bout that will see both men making their US debuts.
On paper the contest is genuinely exciting and pits 2 of the top 10 or so Bantamweights against each other with the added bonus of exposing themselves to a new and large market.
Although the bout is only being shown on "regular Showtime" the contest is likely to raise the profile of both men and the winner could well find themselves in another major US bout sometime next year. Sadly however we're expecting to see the winner forced to fight against the unattractive Alejandro Hernandez, the current interim champion. Although Hernandez is in great form he won't be a man either fighter would have wanted to fight next.
Western Australia, Australia
As well as the bout in the US there is also an Asian in action in Australia as Hwi Jong Kim (5-12, 1), from South Korea, battles against Nathaniel May (5-1, 3). It's hard to see Kim winning here but he is better than his record indicates.
(Image courtesy of Onesongchai.com)
A busy week sees us getting a third successive day with fighters from Asia in action and this time things come in multiple countries.
Thailand -Bang Rajan
To us the key card of the day is in Bang Rajan in Thailand. This show, courtesy of Onesongchai, is the Channel 7 card for the week and is headlined by the world ranked Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym (24-0-2, 10), pictured.
Kwanpichit, who also goes by the name "Kwanpichit 13 Rien Express", will be defending his WBO Oriental Flyweight title against the limited Filipino Jopher Marayan (6-4-2, 2). Although his title is on the line we'd expect Kwanpichit to be more concerned by his world rankings which are currently very promising. At the moment the WBO rank the Thai #5 at Flyweight whilst the WBA have him at #14 and a loss to Marayan, dubbed "Baby Hatton" would see them immediately stripped away.
Kwanpichit isn't the only world ranked fighter on the card with both Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (48-1, 31) and Pungluang Sor Singyu (46-2, 31) also in action.
Although no opponent has been announced for Pungluang it's very unlikely to be anyone even semi testing with for the former WBO Bantamweight championing currently lining up a world title fight with Tomoki Kameda. For Chonlatarn, who has had his opponent named, things should be straight forward with Suor Carryboy (9-9-1, 4) having next to no chance to do anything but give the highly favoured fighter some rounds.
As well as the show in Thailand we also have action in the Philippines with a long looking 12 fight card courtesy of various promoters working together.
The main event here appears to be a PABA Super Middleweight title fight between unbeaten men. The defending champion Ben McCulloch (12-0, 9), of Australia, will be hoping to secure the second defense of his title as he takes on Iran's Gavad Zohrehvand (13-0) in what looks, on paper, to be a great contest. Unfortunately Zohrehvand has yet to fight anyone of any type of note and this looks to be a massive step up for him.
We've got to admit we're not sure why an Australian and an Iranian are fighting each other in the Philippines though we can't complain about unbeaten fighters battling each other.
The McCulloch/Zohrehvand fight isn't the only title bout on the card as Gretchen Abaniel (13-5, 4) fights Thailand's Nongnun Mor Krungthepthonburi (2-0) for the Women's International Boxing Association (WIBA) Minimumweight title. This bout is expected to be a straight forward victory for Abaniel who is a very good fighter, though with Nongnun having an unbeaten record she may well be a banana skin for the Filipino fighter,
Other bouts of note on this card include former world title challenger Ardin Diale (22-8-3, 9) fighting against Thailand's Kaichon Sor Vorapin (25-11, 9) and Ryan Bito (22-13-3, 8) taking on domestic journeyman Geboi Mansalayao (8-16-4, 3). Whilst these should be one sided they are still notable due to the "A-side" in them who are both known by fans on the international stage.