There's quite a lot of title action this coming Friday with title fights in both Japan and the Philippines. Of those two shoes it's the Japanese card that looks the much better show.
The most significant bout on the card sees Japanese Light Middleweight champion Takeshi Inoue (11-0-1, 6) challenge OPBF champion Ratchasi Sithsaithong (9-3, 7), in a bout which will see the winner also claim the WBO Asia Pacific title. On paper it looks like a bout where Inoue should be favoured, and in all honesty if he wins he could be regarded as the Japanese break out fighter of the year, but Ratchasi is no mug. Coming into this Ratchasi has scored 3 wins in a row against Japanese fighters, including a 12th round TKO of Yutaka Oishi and an 11th round TKO of Jumbo Oda Nobunaga Shoten Petagine, who subsequently retired. Whilst Inoue has had a great year a win for Ratchasi would see him going 3-0 in Japan and have a very legitimate claim to being the best 154lb fighter in Asia.
Although the bout above is the biggest bout of the card it's technically not the main event. Instead that will be a Japanese Flyweight title bout between defending champion Masayuki Kuroda (27-7-3, 15) and the limited but entertaining Mako Matsuyama (8-12-2, 3). The bout will be Kuroda's first defense of the title he won earlier this year, when he beat Takuya Kogawa, to become a 2-weight Japanese champion. Matsuyama is best known for his 2014 FOTY contender against Rex Tso, though has some how gotten this title shot having won just once in his last 7 bouts. Kuroda should easily retain his title here if we're being honest, but this should be a fun fight all the same.
A third title bout will see former world champions collide, with Naoko Shibata (17-4-1, 6) and Etsuko Tada (16-3-2, 5) facing off for the WBO Asia Pacific female Minimumweight title. These two fought back in September 2012, with Tada defeating Shibata to retain the WBA female Minimumweight title. Since then both women have held IBF titles, with Tada holding one at 105lbs and Shibata at 108lbs. Since there first bout Tada has gone 5-3 whilst Shibata has gone 8-3-1 but both have been fighting at the top level and know that a win here will help them remain relevant, whilst a loss could end their career as a world class fighter.
The only bout of note from the under-card sees the big punching Kazuto Nakane (8-2, 8) take on former Kuroda opponent Yuta Matsuo (12-3-1, 6), in what could be an entertaining lower tier scrap. Nakane has fought at a lower level, but has show natural power and is the bigger man, whilst Maysuo is more tested man, having shared the ring with Kuroda, Ardin Diale and Ryuto Oho. This is arguably the most well matched bout on the card, despite no title being on the line.
There is also a show in the Philippines full of title bouts, though if we're being honest it's not the most attractive of shows, despite 4 “title bouts”.
The most interesting looking title bout will see the once beaten Carlo Caesar Penalosa (9-1, 3) take on Salatiel Amit (10-3-2, 7) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Super Flyweight title. Neither man is very well known, even in Filipino boxing circles, but Penalosa is notable not just for his famous surname but also the fact he's one of the few to stop tough journeyman Vincent Bautista. As for Amit he's best known for losing to notable opponents, suffering losses to Jade Bornea, Jonathan Taconing and Froilan Saludar, though should prove to be a very solid opponent for Penalosa here.
In an interim OPBF Featherweight title fight we'll see Venezuelan Omrri Bolivar (5-0, 3) take on Filipino Jelbirt Gomera (12-4, 6), in a bout that makes very little sense. The OPBF champion, Satoshi Shimizu, won the full title in October and he's not injured, Bolivar isn't from the OPBF region and Gomera has lost his last 3. For the OPBF to sanction this bout is a mystery and really beggars belief. The one positive is that Bolivar will find himself involved in more notable bouts going forward, after he beats Gomera, and we'd quite like a Bolivar Vs Shimizu bout in 2018.
One actual "full" OPBF title bout will see Yuko Henzan (5-6-3, 2) take on Kongsang Palum (2-3, 1) in a bout for the OPBF female Bantamweight title. It's fair to say that this isn't a very attractive bout given the limited records of both fighters, but given that both fighters are limited the bout at least be relatively competitive. Coming in Henzan has won her last 3, and is unbeaten in her last 4, but has faced limited foes in that run. As for Palum she has never scored a win over a fighter with a positive record.
In another female title bout we'll see former world title challenger Erika Hanawa (7-1, 2) take on Thai foe Sornsawan Sarakarngym (2-4, 1) for the OPBF interim Female Minimumweight title. Last time out we saw Hanawa lose to Japanese veteran Kayoko Ebata, in a bout that showed up Hanawa's limitations at that point, but it's hard to see anything but a win for her here. The Thai has been stopped in 3of her losses, including the aforementioned Ebata, and we wouldn't be shocked to see her being stopped again here.
In Australia we'll see a notable Filipino and a novice Indonesian.
The Filipino in action is the world class Randy Petalcorin (27-2-1, 20), who returns to Australia for his first bout in the country since his controversial loss to Omari Kimweri in 2016. The talented Filipino will be up against faltering Indonesian Oscar Raknafa (13-15, 5), who was once world ranked but has gone 2-12 in his last 14 bouts and is now essentially a record padder on the Asian scene.
In the other bout on the card we'll see Daniel Huculak (1-0, 1) take on Indonesian novice Mujiyono (0-1). It's hard to say much about these two, but Huculak won his debut with an opening round stoppage and it's clear that he will be favoured here.
The real show of note for us this weekend comes from Carson California in what is arguably the best card of the last few years. It's not stacked with 50-50 bouts, though two bouts could well fit into that category, but it is stacked with talent with potentially the top 5 fighters at Super Flyweight all in action with a trio of bouts that have a logical reason to be on the same show. This is a card which has had thought behind it, and promises so much. It's one of those rare card where if one bout turns out to be a disappointment, for example an early technical draw, there is still enough for the card to be remembered fondly.
The main event of the card is a rematch of one of the best fights of the year, as Thailand's Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (43-4-1, 29) takes on Nicaraguan great Roman Gonzalez (46-1, 38). Their first bout saw Srisaket drop Gonzalez in the first round en route to a close, and disputed, decision over the previously unbeaten Gonzlez. Srisaket will be looking to repeat the victory and make the first defence of his second reign of the WBC Super Flyweight title. Gonzalez will be seeking revenge for his first, and only, loss and looking to reclaim the title that he lost to the Thai back in March.
A second world title fight on this card will see Japanese sensation Naoya Inoue (13-0, 11) defending the WBO Super Flyweight title against Antonio Nieves (17-1-2, 9), in what is Inoue's US debut. The extremely talented Japanese youngster is viewed by many as one of the best natural talents in the sport, and will know that this is his chance to show the world just how good he is in front of an audience of fans from around the globe. Although the huge under-dog Nieves is coming into the bout confident, and knows that a win here really puts him on the boxing map. The challenger is a bit of an unknown, and this opportunity is huge, but it's a huge step up in class for him.
Interestingly a former Gonzalez foe is part of the under-card here, with Brian Viloria (37-5-0-2, 22) taking on Miguel Cartagena (15-3-1, 6), who is known in Asian circles for his win over Jobert Alvarez and his nasty technical draw with Toshiyuki Igarashi, from this past April. The 25 year old American is tough, aggressive and could be a genuine handful for the 36 year old Viloria, who has fought just once since his October 2015 loss to Gonzalez. At his best Viloria would be a huge favourite, but this bout could be extremely tough for the veteran.
Also on this card will be the unbeaten Nick Frese (5-0, 5), who faces Nam Phan (3-2-1, 2). Dutch born Thai based Frese will be fighting outside of Asia for the first time and will be hoping to show his skills, and pick up another quick win. The unbeaten man us pencilled in to fight again in October and has been ultra busy this year, but has also been destructive racking up a combined 10 rounds from his 5 bouts. Nam Phan, who is an American based American, hasn't fought in will over a year and is 10 years removed from his last win, but the bout really is supposed to just showcase Frese.
As well as the bouts mentioned the card will feature an all-Mexican bout, back at Super Flyweight, as Juan Francisco Estrada (35-2, 25) takes on Carlos Cuadras (36-1-1, 27), with the winner set to become the mandatory for the Srisaket Vs Gonzalez winner.
A second notable show packed with Asian fighters comes in Central Asian country Kazakhstan,where we get a number of notable and unbeaten Kazakh's in action, against opponents who look very solid on paper.
The main event of the card will see the world ranked Kanat Islam (24-0, 19) take on Brandon Cook (18-0, 11) in a really mouth watering match up. The unbeaten 32 year old Islam is slowly edging towards a world title fight, and is regarded as one of the notable Kazakh's in the professional ranks so far, but his career has been a slow burning and he's been a professional for close to 5 years with out yet really making a big splash. Aged 31 Cook has also been a bit of a slow burner as a professional, though his win in January against Steven Butler did get him some international attention, due to a post fight incident which saw Cook being hit with an item thrown at him. This really is a must win for both, and who ever loses will find it very hard to rebuild at this stage.
Another good looking bout towards the top of the card will see the very promising Zhankosh Turarov (21-0, 15) battle with Argentinian puncher Bruno Leonardo Romay (21-4, 18). Although less well known than Islam we have got high hopes for Turarov, who is 26 and has shown real flashes of being a genuine prospect. Romay will be hoping to make the most of his power, but this is a big step up for the South American, who's fighting in Asia for the first time.
Arguably the most notable prospect on this card is also the least experienced, as a professional. That's former amateur star Zhanibek Alimkhanuly (1-0, 1), who looks to impress in his second bout as he takes on Carmelito De Jesus (18-5, 15). We saw Alimkhanuly really shine in the amateurs, winning World and Asian championship gold in 2013 and reach the quarter finals of the 2016 Olympics. On his professional debut the Kazakh destroyed Milton Nunez and we're expecting a similar performance here. De Jesus, from Brazil, has scored wins on the road before, stopping Italian Stefano Castellucci, and will be there hunting the upset but he'll likely have little success against the Kazakh sensation.
Another notable prospect is Nursultan Zhanabayev (2-0, 1), who made his debut last year in China and has already competed in a pair of 10 rounders. His upcoming bout will see him take on the heavy handed Brazilian Alex Sandro Duarte (13-1-1, 10). Although Duarte has a nice record on paper he has lost to his most notable foe to date, and we expect another set back for him here.
Other hopefuls on this card include Ali Akhmedov (8-0, 6), who was last seen stopping the unbeaten Curtis Hill Jr, battling against Justin Thomas (18-2, 7), and Aidos Yerbossynuly (6-0, 5), who's fighting for the first time since going the distance with Devin Butcher, who will look to shine against the more experienced Jonathan Geronimo Barbadillo (17-4-1, 14).
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
In the Philippines we have a pretty notable show.
One of the most notable bouts on the show will see Ben Mananquil (14-1-2, 3) battle against Jess Rhey Waminal (11-1-1, 6) in a bout between talented and once beaten fighters., looking to claim the interim OPBF Bantamweight title. Of the two men Mananquil is the more proven man, and he's unlucky not to have a stoppage win over Kwanpichit OnsongchaiGym to go along with his wins over Mateo Handig and Glenn Porras. Although less well known Waminal can't be over-looked and has scored notable wins over Joe Tejones and Gerpaul Valero. This isn't going to be a true OPBF title level fight, but the reality is that it is still a brilliant match up, with both fighters looking to go in there and prove they are the better fighter.
A less exciting looking bout will see veterans collide as Eden Sonsona (36-7-2, 13) takes on Jaime Barcelona (39-61-1, 10). The talented Sonsona is an upset minded fighter, as we saw in 2015 when he stopped Adrian Estrella in 2 rounds, but will be the favourite here against a man who really is just a journeyman, but a damned tough one who has only been stopped 5 times in 101 bouts. Although Sonsona will be the favourite it is worth noting that he only just took a narrow decision over Barcelona last December, and this could be another hotly contested bout, despite the hugely different looking records.
A really good match up on this card will see unbeaten Filipino prospect Jade Bornea (8-0, 5) taking on once beaten Thai Kongfah CP Freshmart (19-1, 11) in a mouth watering match up for the IBF Youth Super Flyweight title. The Filipino prospect was an amateur stand out before turning professional in 2014. He's tipped to go a long way but this is a big step up in class for the 22 year old Pinoy. For Kongfah this will be his most significant fight since he faced a then unknown Daigo Higa back in 2015, when Higa stopped the Thai in a 7 round thriller! This could be a coming out party for Bornea or a chance for Kongfah to climb back up the rankings, a great match up!
In a mismatch worthy of noting we'll see the world class Randy Petalcorin (26-2-1, 19) take on veteran Jetly Purisima (21-23-4, 6). The bout shouldn't be competitive,with Petalcorin being better than Purisima in every way, but it does give the talented “Razor” a chance to shake some ring rust after more than 6 months of inactivity. Petalcorin is a natural talent and should be fighting at world level so hopefully his team will move him in that direction next year, rather than keep him in there with horribly over-matched opponents, like Purisima.
There will also be two promising novice prospects on this card in low key bouts. One of those is Mark Antonio (2-0, 2), who will look to keep his stoppage run alive as he takes on Michael Padayag (3-8-1) in what should be a straight forward win and Dave Apolinario (2-0, 1), who will be strongly favoured to over-come Rudy Salaton (0-1).
This coming Sunday we see action all across Asia in one of the busiest days of the year so far.
The main action for the day comes from Kumamoto in Japan, where fight fans get the chance to see a local star attempt to open the doors to some major fights.
That local star is the unheralded Tatsuya Fukuhara (18-4-6, 7) who faces Mexican Moises Calleros (25-6-1, 14) in a bout for the WBO Interim Minimumweight title, with the winner set to get a fight at regular champion Katsunari Takayama later in the year. Fukuhara has come a long way since suffering a defeat to the the debuting Takuma Inoue in 2013 and has gone 6-0-3 with wins over Takumi Sake and Genki Hanai to earn this shot, as well as draws with Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr and Shin Ono. Although Fukuhara is one of Japan's hidden gems he will be stepping up here to face a Mexican who is riding high following a win over Mario Rodriguez. Interesting Calleros has fought as high as 120 recently and will be fighting at 105lbs for the first time in over 7 years, so he's likely to be bigger and stronger that Fukuhara. Notably the Mexican has suffered a few poor losses and will be fighting outside of his homeland for the first time.
On the under-card we'll see Japanese and OPBF ranked Light Welterweight Ryusei Yoshida (29-8, 15) take on limited Thai Lekker Bangkok 2007 (0-3), in what should be an easy win for Yoshida. The Thai visit or has been stopped in all3 of his previous bouts, including loss last June to then debuting Kazuki Saito.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
In Cotabato del Sur we'll get a notable Filipino card.
One of those title bouts will see Lolito Sonsona (20-1-4, 9) face off with Renren Tesorio (15-9-3, 4) in a bout for the WBF Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title. Coming in to this Sonsona is on a 7 fight unbeaten streak, including a notable win over Bobby Concepcion. Whilst Sonsona has been in form the same cannot be said of his foe, with Tesorio having lost his last 3, including a 10th round TKO loss to Daigo Higa.
A much better looking bout sees the under-rated Ben Mananquil (12-1-2, 3) take on Glenn Porras (29-5, 17) for the WBF International Bantamweight title. Mananquil is one of the hidden jewels of the Filipino boxing scene. His only loss was a controversial one in China it Jing Xiang and he was also controversially denied a win against Kwanpichit OnesongChaigym. Porras on the other hand Porras has been relatively inactive with just a 1-1 record in the last 4 years, he was however once a touted fighter and did show a lot of potential early on. This could be a very interesting match up.
In a WBF International Super Featherweight title bout we'll see the in form Eden Sonsona (35-6-2, 12) take on Jovany Rota (9-9, 6). Sonsona is 9-0-2 in his last 11, including a massive win in 2015 over Adrian Estrella, and although he fought only once last year he will be full of confidence coming into this bout. Rota on the other hand is a bit of a domestic journeyman and shouldn't provide much of a test for Sonsona.
Arguably the best of the bouts is an IBF Youth Super Flyweight title bout between the super talented Jade Bornea (6-0, 4) and once beaten puncher Raul Yu (9-1-2, 8). Bornea was an amateur standout, and holds a notable amateur win over Kosei Tanaka, but is stepping up as a professional here and Yu is certainly his biggest test since his pro debut in October 2014. Yu is a series puncher and although he has suffered a loss, a decision loss in February 2015, he is a dangerman who will be looking to make a point here. Coming into this Yu is unbeaten in 6 and will looking to claim his first professional title.
Also on this card will be world class Light Flyweight Randy Petalcorin (25-2-1, 18), who fights in a stay busy fight against compatriot Mark Anthony Florida (9-6, 7) in what should be an easy win for Petalcorin, who will have bigger fish to fry.
On a second card in the Philippines we'll see a less exciting series of fights.
In the main event we'll see the once beaten Pedro Taduran (9-1, 7) take on Jerome Clavite (6-3-2, 2). The 20 year old Taduran, nicknamed “Rattle Snake”, is a good puncher at domestic level but did suffer a loss 10 months ago to Joel Lino. Since that loss he has bounced back with 3 wins an will be looking to keep that run going here. Whilst Taduran is back to winning ways it's hard to really know where Clavite's career is going. He has won just once in his last 5, but has been matched against some very decent domestic competition and should be seen as a step up for Taduran in what could be a very good match up for both men.
In an under-card bout from this show fans will see Rex Tito (5-7-2, 2) battle Marlon Arcilla (8-5, 1) in a bout between limited guys. Tito will be returning to the ring following a break of more than 4 years. Prior to his sabbatical he had gone 0-7-1 in his previous 8, with set backs to the likes of Jerwin Ancajas and Giovnni Escaner. As for Arcilla,he has lost his last 3, though has been matched hard with bouts against Ryosyuke Iwasa and Reymart Gaballo. He should be strongly favoured here but a hungry Tito could make life tricky for the 22 year old Arcilla.
Gimhae City, South Korea
We're also set for some title action in South Korea courtesy of a KBA show.
The main event of the show will see former world title challenger Young Gil Bae (27-6-1, 21) battle against Thailand's Chatchai Or Benjamas (7-8, 6) (7-8, 6) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Flyweight title. The bout will be Bae's first since his 4th round TKO loss last year to Rex Tso, 15 months ago, and see him entering on a 2-2 record in the last 24 months. Although talented at this level Bae's future, at the age of 37, looks to be very limited. On paper Chatchai has been in good form, winning 6 of his last 7, but his competition during that run has been awful with only Kevin Jake Cararaja being of any note, and he stopped Chatchai in 4 rounds last year.
The co-feature will see Hee Jung Yuh (17-3, 8) take on novice Nongkiat Saithonggym (1-1) in about for the WBC Asian Boxing Council female Super Flyweight title. As with the other bout it's hard to see the local losing here with Yuh being a very solid fighter, even if that wasn't evident in her wide decision loss last year to Naoko Fujioka. The Thai, who possibly has an incomplete record, is best known for a 2011 stoppage loss to Yuko Kuroki and we don't imagine she'll see the distance here.
Amazingly there will also be action in China, though the show is relatively weak over-all.
The most notable of the bouts on the show will see the light hitting Yelieqiati Nihemaituola (8-0-1, 1) battle against Thai visitor Petchwanchai Sor Visetkit (14-9, 6). On paper the Thai looks like he has a fighting chance here but he has lst his last 3 bouts, all by stoppage in a combined 7 rounds, and is almost 3 years removed from a win. Although the unbeaten Nihemaituola isn't a puncher it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see him win here.
In another bout of some interest Maimaitijiang Nuermaimaiti (3-0-1, 3) will risk his unbeaten record against fellow unbeaten Hongfeng Li (4-0, 1) in what looks likely to be a power vs skill match up with genuine intrigue.
This coming Sunday is a hectic day in Japanese boxing with a number of cards.
The biggest card comes from Osaka, and will be featured on Boxingraise on a delayed basis.
The main event of the card sees the WBO Asia Pacific titles continue to rise in Japan as Ryota Yada (12-3, 10) takes on unbeaten Filipino Jayar Inson (12-0, 8) for the Welterweight crown. The bout isn't a huge one by any stretch, but it is a very attractive one with two talented, hungry fighters each looking for a major international title and a potential WBO world ranking. Although interesting on paper Inson is moving up from Lightweight and is likely to look very small compared to Yada.
In a supporting bout Takayuki Okumoto (17-7-2, 7) will be defending his Japanese Super Flyweight ranking as he faces off against the limited Takanori Hayashida (7-10-3). Ranked #3 by the JBC Okumoto will be looking for a title fight in 2017 and will know that any sort of a set back will ruin those dreams. On paper this looks like a mismatch, and will likely be very one sided, but Hayashida has won his last 2 bouts following an 8 fight win-less streak and will be eager to keep his current winning form going.
One of the most attractive match ups on the card will see Takahiro Murai (14-6-2, 5) face the talented but fragile Takeru Kamikubo (11-2, 8) in a really interesting match up. Murai is Japanese ranked at Flyweight and is clearly looking to get a title fight in the near future, with his recent competition being solid on the domestic level. Kamikubo did show real promise at one point but back to back stoppage losses in 2015 derailed his career and he is very much needing to rebuild here.
Also on the card are several notable prospects. One of those Naotoshi Nakatani (9-0, 6), who risks his unbeaten record against Masashi Wakita (6-4-2, 2), another is Kazuki Tanaka (5-0, 4), who has yet to have his opponent for the show to be named, and also school girl boxer Fuka Komura (1-0), who faces Mizuki Matsuoka (0-1)
A second show comes from Aichi.
The main event of this card will see former OPBF title challenger Eita Kikuchi (19-4-4, 8) take on Kazuki Fukakura (9-11-2, 3) in what appears to be a total mismatch. Kikuchi is best known for his 2013 loss to Shingo Wake, and whilst he did lose his following bout he has gone on a 5 fight winning run and looks to have rebuilt some confidence whilst moving into a top 10 JBC ranking at Bantamweight. Fukakura has gone 2-5 in his last 7, dating back more than 2 years, and is unlikely to win here, but does have the ability to be competitive at this type of level.
In the most interesting of the supporting bouts we'll see Takashi Igarashi (8-3, 3) battle the Yoshiki Kawamura (5-6-2, 3). The bout isn't a competitive bout, and it'd be a genuine shock to see Igarashi lose, but it should be better than it looks on paper and the 20 year old Igarashi should be tested a bit here.
A third show is in Yamaguchi.
The main event here will see OPBF and JBC ranked Lightweight Accel Sumiyoshi (7-4-2, 2) battle against Japanese ranked Super Featherweight Yusuke Nakagawa (10-5-1, 6) in what should be a really intriguing match up. Despite neither guy having a great record on paper the two should be well matched and are both much better than the raw numbers suggest. Sumiyoshi is the naturally bigger guy, and should be favoured, but it is a very competitive match up.
Another really interesting match from this show will see the under-rated Burning Ishii (7-3-1, 2) battled Japanese based Korean Teiru Atsumi (11-1, 5). Ishii is the promoter's fighter and has mixed with good company, but was stopped last time out by Kosuke Saka and has now been stopped twice whilst also showing little real power. Atsumi is arguably the most promising Korean fighter in the sport and has scored 3 stoppages since relocating to Japan, including a huge win over Sho Nakazawa and a notable stoppage against Dennis Tubieron. Hard not to favour Atsumi here, but it's another intriguing match up.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
Outside of Japan there will also be action in the Philippines.
In the main event here we see former WBA “interim” Light Flyweight champion Randy Petalcorin (24-2-1, 18) take on Arnold Garde (7-3-2, 3) in a bout for the IBF Pan Pacific Light Flyweight title. This will be Petalcorin's second bout since his controversial loss to Omari Kimweri and should be a straight forward win against Garde, who has been stopped 3 times at domestic level, including an opening round stoppage to the then debuting Zoren Collado,
In a notable supporting bout we'll see Eden Sonsona (34-6-2, 12) return to the ring for the first time since his huge May 2015 upset win over Adrian Estrella. Sadly for Sonsona he was unable to build on the win over Estrella and now, 19 months later will be taking on Eusebio Baluarte (19-17, 12) in what looks like a massive step backwards. Although a step backwards it's nice to see Sonsona back in the ring.
One of a number of interesting prospects in action here is the unbeaten John Vincent Moralde (17-0, 8), who looks to extend his winning run as he takes on the limited Joas Apericio (12-17-1, 9). We do like Moralde, and he does have a lot of talent, but Apericio really won't do anything to test the youngster and there's a reason that he's gone 0-7-1 in his last 8. A horrible mismatch in favour of the very talented unbeaten Moralde.
Another Filipino that we like is Ben Mananquil (11-1-2, 3), who came close to stopping Kwanpichit OnesongChaigym back in 2013. The once beaten Filipino has been away from the ring for 15 months but should return with a win this weekend as he takes on the limited Romulo Ramayan Jr (7-8-3, 3) in an 8 rounder.
There will also be action in Thailand where we'll see a national Super Flyweight title fight as Chatchai Or Benjamas (6-8, 5) faces Yodpichai Sithsaithong (12-15, 6) for the vacant title. The bout doesn't pit two major names but does look like it could be a competitive and even match up, even if it is at a very low level.
The best bout of the night for us comes from the US where, potentially, we have a FOTY candidate.
The bout in will see warriors colliding as Japan's popular Yoshihiro Kamegai (26-3-1, 23) battles against Mexico's Jesus Soto Karass (28-10-3, 18). On paper this is a bout between two men who are below world class, but the paper doesn't quite explain the styles of the men involve,d with both being aggressive, exciting and limited enough to always get involved in a fire fight. With both men having fighter's mentalities this could be something very special.
New York, USA
Staying in the US we're expecting to see unbeaten Kazakh Dimash Niyazov (9-0-3, 4) in action, though his opponent hasn't yet been named.
Fans in Australia will get to see one of the most promising Filipino fighters in action as Randy Petalcorin (23-1-1, 18), the former WBA interim Light Flyweight champion, battles against Australian based Tanzanian Omari Kimweri (15-3, 6) in a bout for a WBC “Silver” title.
Petalcorin has had a truly frustrating career with in recent years with just a handful of bouts since the start of 2013, including a technical draw with Rene Patilano. He was unable to turn his WBA “interim” title into a proper world title fight and has sadly been left looking at the world title picture without being able to get himself involved. As for Kimweri he came close to getting a world title fight in 2013, but unfortunately “visa issues” prevented Kimweri from facing the then WBC Minimumweight champion Xiong zhao Zhong. Given the frustrations of both men this could be a very good bout with both out to prove a point, however given the inactivity it could be a very disjointed display form both.
In Japan fans will get a Rookie of the East qualifying card with 10 bouts from Minimumweight to Light Welterweight.
Whilst no one on this card is a “recognised” name we did smile at the name of Super Bantamweight hopeful Zappa Tokyo (3-0, 1), a Japanese based Dominican. Tokyo will be putting his unbeaten record on the like against the big punching Takayoshi Miyachi (3-1, 3)
April 24th-A busy day with Petalcorin defending his title as well as Parrenas, Yodmongkol, Dasmarinas, Katagiri and a lot more!
April 24th is a strangely active day with notable fights taking place all over the place. The bouts range from relatively small contests to a “world” title fight in China. Despite the action the day will likely go under the radar for many fans, at least in terms of the Asian fighters.
The biggest bout of the day will be in the Chinese capital at the “Capital Gym” and will see WBA “interim” Light Flyweight champion Randy Petalcorin (22-1-1, 17) defending his belt against unheralded Chinese challenger Ma Yi Ming (12-5, 7). Coming into the bout Petalcorin is a relatively known quantity and looked very good in his title victory last August, when he stopped Walter Tello in 7 rounds. As for Ming this is a relatively undeserved challenge but the Chinese fighter is a lot better than his record indicated will come to fight, possibly leaving himself open to Petalcorin's fast and accurate shots. This could be a potential banana skin for the talented Petalcorin who should move onto bigger fights if he's successful here.
On the same card Qu Peng (6-1-1, 4) will be battling against Australian fighter Dane Campbell (3-2, 2). This will be Peng's first bout since losing to Andrew Robinson in Macau last November.
In Japan we get a low level card which doesn't leave us too exciting but it does feature some notable fighters, sadly all of which are in relative mismatches.
The main event will see the Japanese and OPBF ranked Akihiko Katagiri (16-7-2, 7) facing off against the over-matched Tatsuya Otsubo (7-6-1, 3). Katagiri comes into this bout unbeaten in 5, following a 4th round TKO loss to Jhonny Gonzalez, and will be hoping to continue that type of form as he edges towards a title fight. Whilst Otsubo has a similar run, with 5 straight wins, he has been fighting at a much lower level and this is a massive step up in class for him.
In the chief support bout we'll see former OPBF and Japanese Middleweight title challenger Hikaru Nishida (11-7-1, 3) facing off against the debuting Kungsuk Sor Sompong (0-0. Although we know little about Kungsuk we do know that Nishida is a lot, lot better than his record indicates and should have enough in the tank to beat his foe here.
A second support bout will see female fighter Kimika Miyoshi (9-8-1, 4) battle against a Thai foe. Miyoshi, who is ranked in the top 10 by the IBF and the WBA at Bantamweight will be hoping to move towards a world title fight though she's unlikely to be able to beat any of the current world champions in or around 118lbs.
As well as the 3 bouts mentioned here there will a further 5 bouts. One of those bouts will see Takuya Watanabe (24-5-1, 11) fighting a Thai foe in a 6 round bout. Watanabe, the IBF Asian Featherweight champion, shouldn't have any issues here in what looks like a stay busy fight for a man facing his 5th straight Thai foe. Other bouts will involve qualified accountant Kohei Kashino (1-0, 1) and risique model Riyako Goshi (3-2) who are both involved in 4 rounders with domestic opponents.
In Thailand fans will get the chance to see former WBA "interim" Flyweight champion Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (35-3, 20)* fight for the second time since being beaten last year by Juan Carlos Reveco. Yodmongkol is set to fight Jopher Marayan (7-5-2, 3) in a bout for the WBA Asia Flyweight title.
Whilst other bouts will be on this show we've not been informed of what they are, yet. What we do know is that this show will be aired on Thai channel 7.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines we're expecting to see WBO #1 ranked Super Flyweight Warlito Parrenas (23-6, 20) facing off against Thailand's Kaichon Sor Vorapin (25-13, 9) in a 10 round bout. It seems Parrenas's bout with Jamie Conlan has been cancelled for a second time and Parrenas has decided to stay busy and take a fight at home instead of waiting on the side lines.
In the co-feature Recky Dulay (8-1-0-1, 5) will be facing Warren Mambuanag (7-5-2, 3) in what should be a straight forward victory for Dulay who does look like a promising prospect despite already suffering a loss.
Others on this bout include the talented Michael Dasmarinas (19-2, 12), who will be in a 6 round bout against a TBA and Jenel Lausa (3-0, 2), who is facing Benjie Baron (2-1) in a 6 rounder.
We get more Filipino action as a couple of Filipino fighters take to South Africa in the search for IBO titles.
One of the Filipino's in action is unbeaten Featherweight Randy Braga (15-0-1, 3) who battles the heavy handed Macbute Sinyabi (24-4, 19) in a bout for the IBO Inter-Continental Featherweight title. For Braga this a very risky assignment but at 27 years old it seems the time is now or never to step up. Sinyabi is a vicious puncher but his power doesn't quite seem to have the same effect in recent bouts as it did earlier in his career and if Braga can take his power there maybe a title heading to the Philippines.
The other bout is even trickier for the visitor. This one will see Renz Rosia (11-2, 5) battle against the much touted Makazole Tete (12-0-1, 9) in a bout for the IBO Inter-Continental Flyweight title. Tete is the young brother of current IBF Super Flyweight champion Zolani Tete and is said to be better than Zolani, if that's true then Rosia is on to a beating here. On paper Rosia is on a great run with 9 straight wins but he's stepping up massively for this bout and we suspect he'll come up very short against a very good South African.
Staying in Africa we will also see the heavy handed Joebert Delos Reyes (13-4-1, 10) taking on Emmanuel Tagoe (22-1, 9) in a bout for the WBA Inter-continental Lightweight title. Tagoe will be fighting for the first time in 20 months and whilst his record looks good he has had some luck, including a debatable decision against Ronald Pontillas. Reyes might not be a star in the making but he really can bang and he'll be hoping to show that power here.
*Boxrec are missing Yodmongkol's most recent bout against Pongpan Pattanakarngym.
This coming Tuesday looks like an interesting day in the Asian boxing world even if it's not the most significant day of the week.
It's been a long time coming but at last Bob Arum's Top Rank will be going to the Chinese mainland for their first show in Shanghai. The show isn't as high profile as Top Rank's Macau shows but it is an equally important card as Top Rank continue their assault on Asia and in fact for some of the fighters on the card the show is more significant than the Macau events that Top Rank have made into a great success.
One man who will be having the most important fight of his career is Filipino Randy Petalcorin (21-1-1, 16) who will be taking on Panamanian Walter Tello (20-7, 8) in a fight that will help lead the winner to a big money fight. The reason this bout is so important is because it's for the WBA interim Light Flyweight title and, after waiting in wings all year, Petalcorin finally gets his chance at a belt. Whilst the reward is big for the winner it's also a big step up for Petalcorin who has never fought near this level before, and whilst Tello isn't great he does have world class experience which could make life hard for the much touted Filipino.
Whilst the "interim" Light Flyweight title fight is likely to be the most important bout either man has been involved in we're actually more excited about one of the shows other bouts, one involving the always fun to watch Ik Yang (16-0, 11). Yang, the former Korean champion who has been working with Freddie Roach, is really fun and very much an offence first fighter with spiteful power and a clear neglect for defence. Although he's crude we don't imagine Yang having any problems here as he takes on former PABA Super Bantamweight champion Sukkasem Kietyongyuth (13-2, 8). The bout, for the WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight title, is really one sided in our eyes with Yang being too big and too powerful for Sukkasem.
The under-card here is mostly padded out with local Chinese talent such as Qu Peng (5-0-1, 3), a 6'3" Light Heavyweight, and Ma Yi Ming (10-5, 6), who comes into the bout with a 7 fight winning streak after a 2-5 start.
As well as the action in Shanghai there will also be a show in Indonesia. The headline bout here will see the experienced Indonesian Tommy Seran (23-2, 14), best known for his loss to Milan Melindo, taking on Thai debutant Morakot Putajab (0-0). Although Seran was bounced around the canvas by Melindo he's usually a decent enough fighter and should be too much for a debutant, saying that however a win for Putajab would certainly put the boxing world on alert for the Thai.
Another bout on this card will see John Ruba (1-0, 1) battling against Eddi Pio Pikareuw (1-1) in an all novice bout. As with many Indonesian's we do doubt the "completeness" their records though if boxrec is right then this will be Pikareuw's first fight in almost 2 years.
A crazy week in Asian boxing starts to wind down slightly on Friday with very little action actually in Asia though plenty of Asian's fighting in international bouts around the globe.
The main Asia card of the day is in China where we get a real mixed bag of fights from Flyweight all the way up to Heavyweight.
For many the headline bout here features Japanese based Ugandan Okello Peter (21-7, 19) taking on Russian giant Evgeny Orlov (14-12-1, 10) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asia Council Continental Heavyweight title. Although Peter is a ring veteran and a former world title challenger he is almost 42 and although he still has power he is slow, clumsy and can be out manoeuvred, it just a question of whether or not Orlov can manage to do it.
A second title bout on this show is set to feature China's very own Qiu Xiao Jun (11-2, 4) fighting against Filipino Jonathan Baat (25-4-3, 12) in a battle over Jun's WBC Asia Council Continental Super Bantamweight title. Jun, who defended his belt in February against Australia's Jason Cooper, has recently broken in to the WBC top #15 and will know that a loss here would be a big set back, morethan anything however a victory would see him getting revenge over the only man to have beaten him. Great fight and a fantastic way to end a trilogy.
As well as the two title bouts this show is expected to feature a further 3 bouts at a lower level.
Distrito Federal, Mexico
Whilst the biggest Asian card is in China the biggest bout involving an Asian is in Mexico as Filipino Marvin Mabait (19-1-2, 13) returns to Mexico for his second successive fight. Mabait won the WBO Inter-Continental Bantamweight title back in October in Mexico and will be looking to make the first defense of the title as he battles the experienced and tough Alejandro Hernandez (26-10-2, 14). Hernandez will be trying to avenge the loss of Johnny Garcia, who was stopped in just 36 seconds in Mabait's Mexican debut.
Another genuinely notable Filipino is in action in Australia on a card decorated by Asian fighters. This time it's the turn of the very highly regarded Randy Petalcorin (20-1-1, 15) who is ranked #2 by the WBA at 108lbs. The Light Flyweight contender hasn't had his opponent listed on boxrec.com though we've been told it will be Lookrak Kiatmungmee (7-6, 4) who challenged the then WBC Minimumweight champion Xiong Zhao Zhong to a world title fight late last year.
As well as Petalcorin this card will also feature the very promising Harmonito Dela Torre (12-0, 7) who will be battling Indonesian Andy Letding (7-3-3, 3) in what looks likely to be a great test for the unbeaten Filipino. (It's this show that we've included the poster for, above)
New South Wales, Australia
A second Australian card with an Asian interest takes place in New South Wales with the main event featuring Joebert Delos Reyes (11-4-1, 8) will be attempting to claim the IBO Youth Lightweight title as he takes on the unbeaten Valentine Borg (6-0, 4). It's a huge ask for the Filipino but with such a big opportunity we're expecting hi to give it his all.
This card, like the other Australian card, features numerous other fighters from Asia, including China's Zhang Yong (2-4, 1) who will be fighting Filipino veteran Aswin Cabuy (14-46-3, 7) in one of the shows lesser bouts.
(Please note: We have been advised that there is a Thai show on Channel 7 but absolutely no details have been released about it)
(Photo courtesy of http://petermaniatis.com/)