After a huge weekend in Japan we see action quieten off and the only Asian card this coming Monday is a small show in the Philippines.
The main event of the card is an interesting GAB Light Flyweight title fight as Lester Abutan (11-6-3, 5) takes on the out of form Rene Patilano (16-3-3, 8). Abuton comes into this bout as the reigning champion, having won the belt last June when he defeated Renren Tesorio, and he's certainly better than his record suggests, having run Fahlan Sakkreerin very close last year. Once touted as one to watch Patilano has lost 2 of his last 4, including a 6th round KO loss to Kosei Tanaka. This could be an excellent bout for fans at the Binan Town Plaza.
Another interesting look bout will see Lloyd Jardeliza (7-5-3, 6), a former OPBF Super Bantamweight title contender, take on Jimmy Aducal (8-6-2, 6) in what could be a bombs away affair. Neither man is going to the top, but both can bang, and both have very similar records, suggesting this a real 50-50.
One other bout of note will see Mark Rey Taday (6-2, 3) take on the once beaten Toto Landero (8-1-2, 2) in another good match up. Again neither guy looks likely to be moved into a world title fight any time soon, if ever, but both can be very good at domestic level and this could be a really fun bout.
The first Indonesian show of the year takes place on January 21st and is an interesting on from Jakarta.
The main event from the card is a really intriguing match up that sees unbeaten local Tibo Monabesa (14-0-1, 7) battle against Filipino visitor Rene Patilano (15-2-3, 7) for the WBC International silver Light Flyweight title. For Monabesa the bout is a huge step up, though he has impressed on the domestic scene and has faced some international talent, with a notable win against Kaichon Sor Vorapin. For Patilano the bout will be his second since being stopped in 6 rounds by Kosei Tanaka and he will be hoping to get some career momentum going again after failing to win either of his last 2 bouts.
On the under-card we'll see fights featuring John Ruba (11-3-1, 6) and Defry Palulu (15-1-1, 11), against yet to be named opponents.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The only Asian card of the day comes from the Philippines.
The most significant bout of the card will see former 2-time world title challenger Jonathan Taconing (22-3-1, 18) look to bounce back from his recent loss to Ganigan Lopez, as he takes on the heavy handed Salatiel Amit (9-1-2, 7) for the vacant WBC International Light Flyweight title. Taconing is a bull in the ring and it's hard to see him losing here to Amit, however the 24 year old Amit will know that a win will put him in the mix for a world ranking and may well meet fire with fire, potentially leading to a war.
Recent Kosei Tanaka victim Rene Patilano (15-2-2, 7) also returns to the ring following a loss, with the twice beaten Patilano taking on domestic journeyman JC Francisco (6-13-5, 2) in a key supporting bout. Patilano was made to look poor against Tanaka but this bout should be an easy win for the former world ranked Light Flyweight. Francisco is win-less in 10 bouts and is unlikely to change that here.
Another fighter looking to bounce back from a loss is Wilbert Berondo (10-1, 4), last seen being stopped by the sensational Hinata Maruta. The once beaten Berondo will be facing off with Robin Dingcong (3-3-2, 1) in what looks like an easy return to the ring for Berondo, who was made to look very poor against Maruta, though it does seem like Maruta will make very good fighters look average in the years to come.
The most significant bout, at least in terms of the world title scene, comes form the US where Japan's Ryosuke Iwasa (22-2, 14) battles the unbeaten Luis Rosa (22-0-0-2, 10) in an IBF Super Bantamweight world title eliminator. The winner of this will be particularly interested in the December 30th bout between Jonathan Guzman and Yukionori Oguni, and may well find themselves facing the winner of that bout next year. It's a major test for both and is a really good match up, worthy of it's eliminator status.
Staying in the US there are several Asian fighters in action on the Nevada card, headlined by Sergey Kovalev's bout with Andre Ward.
One of those bouts will be a battle of unbeaten men as American based Uzbek Botirsher Obidov (6-0-1, 2) risks his record against Russian puncher Bakhram Murtazaliev (6-0, 4). This is a notable step up for both men and should prove to be a great test for both fighters, who have got a lot of questions to answer still.
The other Asian is debuting Kazakh Meirim Nursultanov (0-0), who looks to make his first mark on professional boxing as he takes on the limited Henry Beckford (4-5,1) in a 4 rounder.
There is also notable action in Australia where unbeaten local Luke Jackson (12-0, 5) takes on Filipino visitor Silvester Lopez (27-11-2, 19). Coming into this Lopez is on a bit of a run having won his last 3, but has been inconsistent in the last few years going 8-8-1 in his last 17 bouts. A former world title challenger Lopez was one a threat at 115lbs but is now fighting well above his best weight and should be too small to really test Jackson, but may have the power to hurt the local favourite.
In less significant bouts in Australia we'll see Brent Dames (3-2) battle against Australian based Thai Paitoon Jaikom (5-22, 2) and the unbeaten Kayne Clarke (1-0, 1) take on Arnon Yuchareon (1-15-2, 1) in two less than great match ups.
Negros Occidental, Philippines
The key show for fans of Asian fighters is in Negros Occidental where ALA will be putting on their next “Pinoy Pride” card.
In the main event fans will see long reigning Filipino world champion Donnie Nietes (37-1-4, 21) face off against former 2-time champion Raul Garcia (38-3-1, 23). Nietes, the current WBO Light Flyweight champion, defeated Garcia's twin brother, Ramon Garcia Hirales, back in 2011 and will be hoping to record a win over Raul too. For Raul it's a chance to become a 3-time champion and avenge one of his brother's losses.
The most interesting of the supporting bouts sees former world title challenger Arthur Villanueva (28-1, 14) face off against the chinny Juan Jimenez (22-9, 15) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight. Despite being for an Asia Pacific title Jimenez is a Mexican so we're not sure how he qualifies for this title, however with 8 stoppage losses to his name it's hard to see him winning here.
In one of the other main supporting bouts former world title challenger Milan Melindo (33-2, 12) will be facing Maximino Flores (19-2, 13), who appears to have been a late fill in for Javier Mendoza. This bout will be an IBF Light Flyweight eliminator and the winner could find themselves taking a big step towards a world title fight later in the year.
In another supporting bout the promising Kevin Jake Cataraja (3-0, 2) will be up against Thai visitor Wanchai Nianghansa (5-7, 4). We have been impressed by Cataraja so far and expect this will be another straight forward win for the Filipino sensation, who is widely regarded by those in Filipino boxing circles as a future champion.
In Japan fans get a small card but one with an interesting main event and a notable return to the ring for a recent Japanese title challenger.
The interesting main event sees former world champion Kosei Tanaka (6-0, 3) move up to Light Flyweight where he will face world ranked Filipino foe Rene Patilano (15-1-2, 7) in a very good looking 10 rounder. For Tanaka the bout is a chance to make a mark at a new weight class, and shake the shackles of the 105lb weight class that he claimed to be struggling massively with. As for Patilano the bout will serve as a huge chance to make a mark on the sport and boost his opportunity to get a world title fight of his own later in the year.
The aforementioned former Japanese title challenger is Yushi Tanaka (16-1-3, 10), who faces Yuta Sasaki (8-7-1, 1), in what is Tanaka's first bout since losing in that Japanese title bout to Kentaro Masuda. This should be an easy win for Tanaka but their may be lingering effects from his stoppage loss to Masuda.
Two other men looking to bounce back from a loss on this card will be Shogo Yamaguchi (9-1-1, 4), and Genki Maeda (2-1, 1), who face each other in an interesting looking Lightweight bout. Yamaguchi was beaten last time out by Akihiro Kondo, in a bout that saw Yamaguchi look like a promising fighter despite losing, whilst Maeda was stopped by Yoshimichi Matsumoto in a less impressive performance. This could be a very good one, or it could see Maeda made to look like a novice.
Their will also be action in Uzbekistan
In the main event hard hitting Russian Heavyweight hopeful Apti Davtaev (11-0-1, 11) will be facing Kazakh journeyman Talgat Dosanov (13-14-1, 6) in what looks like a total mismatch in favour of the heavy handed Russian hopeful.
A much more interesting bout will see Uzbek fighter Bahrom Payozov (23-5, 15) face Russian novice Alexander Kotov (3-0, 1). Kotov debuted in December and this is a huge step up in class for him, however a win here is somewhat expected. For Payozov, who has lost 3 of his last 5, the bout is a bit of a must win.
New South Wales, Australia
Once again we see Asian fighters travelling to Australia, this time however we have one genuinely competitive bout as Romnakit Boontree (8-0, 5) facing off against the once beaten Richard Smith (8-1, 3). The unbeaten Thai has shown genuine promise through his first 8 bouts and whilst this is a step up he does look like the sort of fighter who could go a long way, if he can win here in his first bout outside of Thailand.
Other Asian's on this card are Indonesian fighters Abbas Makki (1-4), who faces Michael Upton (4-1-1) and Maxi Nahak (6-11-2, 2), who faces Rocky Jerkic (14-0, 11), in bouts that are both likely to be won by the local favourites.
This coming weekend is a pretty big one with notable Asian's fighting in the Philippines and in the US and it's a day where a number of fighters are expected to be given a real test.
The biggest Asian show of the weekend is the next in the ALA line of “Pinoy Pride” cards and it looks to be a genuinely good looking one with a number of top prospects in action, some of which are being given a serious test, their first since turning professional.
The main event doesn't appear to be one of those testing bouts as Super Bantamweight sensation Albert Pagara (25-0, 18) defends his WBO Inter-Continental title against Yesner Talavera (15-3-1, 4). Pagara's team had hoped to secure a high profile opponent for their man but unfortunately ended up with Talavera after negotiations broke down with a former world champion. This should be a straight forward win for Pagara who may well be getting a world title fight later this year.
Another man who isn't taking a major step up on this card is the incredibly promising Mark Magsayo (12-0, 10), who faces Eduardo Montoya (17-4-1, 13) for the WBO Youth Featherweight title. This looks likely to be win #13 for Magsayo though the plan is to then move him into a much bigger bout, against former world title challenger Chris Avalos, in what would be a major step up in class for the 20 year old.
Another notable Filipino prospect on this card is Kevin Jake “KJ” Cataraja (2-0, 2) who is stepping up to the 8 round distance for the first time. The hotly tipped 20 year old will be up against Tony Rodriguez (3-1, 1) in what looks like a straight forward win for the youngster, though we may see Cataraja's stamina being given a test here. If he's as good as advertised he may well be in 10 rounders by the end of the year and could well be future gem of Filipino boxing scene.
One youngster who is stepping up massively on this card is the heavy handed Melvin Jerusalem (8-0, 7) who doesn't so much "step up" as leap up to face former world champion Florante Condes (29-7-1, 23). This is a real gut check for Jerusalem and whilst Condes isn't the fighter he once was he is still a whole different universe to Jerusalem's previous opposition.
Another fighter moving up in a similar manner is Elmo Traya (10-1, 8) who faces former OPBF champion Romeo Jakosalem (16-11-1, 8). Traya is currently on a 9 fight winning streak however this sees him stepping up to a level that he hasn't even come close to in the past. Jakosalem has seen better days but is still heavy handed and isn't a push over, despite 3 losses in his last 4.
Another really intriguing bout is the debut of 28 year Singaporean amateur stand out Muhamad Ridhwan (0-0) who faced unbeaten local Melchor Roda (3-0, 3). This look like an interesting match up on paper and although Roda hasn't faced a fighter of any note yet he may see this as a chance to get a notable win under his belt. For Ridhwan this is a check of his professional ability straight from the off. A really good looking match up.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Another show in the Philippines will be taking place in Metro Manila and will feature a number of promising fighters taking part in what appears to be mismatches.
The main event will see the once beaten Randy Braga (17-1-1, 4), who was really unlucky to actually suffer that loss in South Africa, defending the GAB Featherweight title against the experienced but limited Danilo Pena (27-22-4, 11). Pena has been around the block but has gone 1-10-2 in his last 13 bouts and is unlikely to pose a threat to Braga, who is genuine a promising fighter. Although Braga should win we can't see this one ending in a stoppage given that Braga is a proven survivor with just a couple of stoppage losses in his 53 fight career.
The support bout features another once beaten fighter, Rene Patilano (14-1-2, 7) battling against the limited Jopher Marayan (7-8-2, 3) in what looks like a foregone conclusion over 10 rounds. That bout is one of two 10-round bouts with the other being a contest between the feather fisted Jay Loto (10-0-1) and the testing Vincent Bautista (4-3-3, 1), interestingly this could be a solid test for Loto.
Busan, South Korea
In Busan the KBC will be sanctioning an 8 bout card, headlined by a KBC title fight and supported by two bouts featuring international fighters.
The title bout will see defending KBC 140lb champion Woo Shin Kim (6-1-3, 2) battle against Dong Hee Kim (4-1-1, 1)*. This looks like a well matched bout on paper and sees the champion return to fighting his homeland following a draw in Vietnam against Nguyen Ngoc Hai last October.
The chief support bout will see the unbeaten Dong Hoon Yook (8-0, 4)* battle against well travelled Indonesian Hero Tito (11-9-1, 3),who adds Korea the list of countries where he has fought. Although not a top fighter Tito has mixed in decent company, and actually fought Ik Yang to a majority decision and is 1-1-1 with countryman Roy Mukhlis. Notably Yook is the current KBC Lightweight champion and seems to be viewed as one of their most promising fighters so it's hard to see him losing this one.
The other notable international bout sees the exciting Hyun Woo Yuh (2-0, 2)* battle against Indonesian visitor Rusmin Kie Raha (14-8-2, 3). The visitor is 2-6 in his last 8 bouts and whilst he has mixed with better fighters than Yuh it is hard to see him over-coming the Korean youngster, who does appear to be genuinely heavy handed.
In the US fans get another chance to see the best of the active Korean fighters, Min Wook Kim (14-1, 11). The once beaten “Snyper” will be facing off against Mexican Jose Luis Rodriguez (17-8, 10) and it's hard to see this being anything other than another easy win for the Korean, who has needed just 7 rounds to see off his last 3 foes. Hopefully another impressive performance here will see Kim move towards getting a real chance to prove himself against a worthy adversary.
On a card in Australia we'll see a peculiar 5 rounder as the win-less Sarawut Patsawatho (0-2), originally from Thailand, faces James Katz (3-1, 1). It's unlikely that Sarawut will claim his first win here, especially given that this is his first boxing contest in over 2 years, but we suspect he will put up a solid effort Katz, who was beaten last time out.
*Records taken from the KBC, boxrec list Dong Hee Kim as being 1-0-1, Dong Hoon Yook as being 4-0 (3) and Hyun Woo Yuh as being 4-0 (4). Strangly Yuh's 4-0 (4) is probably right with the KBC not recognising two bouts he fought outside of their control.
As February has gotten going we have, slowly, seen the boxing world awaken and it now seems that March is going to continue the trend. Before we get to March however we need to see out February which looks set to go out with a bang...
The action in Japan to end the month isn't the best but it is notable with a couple of world title bouts as well as a former 2-weight world champion. Unfortunately those “world” class fighters are all female fighters and lack the attention that their male counterparts would get.
The former 2-weight world champion is Mari Ando (11-7, 5) who battles against experienced Filipino fighter Jujeath Nagaowa (12-13-1, 8) in what looks to be an easy fight but really could be surprisingly difficult. Ando isn't a brilliant fight and although she is a multi-weight world champion her reigns have both been short. Nagaowa hasn't been a world champion but has been in with a who's who such as Momo Koseki, Samson Tor Buamas and Shindo Go whilst also being narrowly beaten in a number of other losses. This could, potentially, be a very competitive contest.
One of the world champions in action is WBO female Minimumweight champion Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (6-1-1, 3) who will be hoping to record the first defence of her title as she battles against Filipino challenger Jessebelle Pagaduan (7-1, 4) in what looks like a greatest contest on paper. Sadly the paper is unlikely to give a full reflection of this bout and Pagaduan was beaten less than a year ago by Ikehara's friend Naoa Ikeyama in a bout for the WBO Atomweight title in a bout that really wasn't competitive. We suspect Ikehara looks just as dominated against Pagaduan as Ikeyama did.
Talking about Nao Ikeyama (15-3-1, 4) the WBO Atomweight champion will also be in action as she defends her belt, for the second time, and takes on Norj Guro (7-3-1, 4). The Japanese veteran, aged 45, will likely retire if she loses here however she will be favoured coming into the bout against the distinctly less than impressive Guro who has won just twice in her last 6 bouts.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines fans get a low level domestic show which is likely to give a number of prospects a chance to stay busy.
In one of the feature bouts fans will see the world ranked Rene Patilano (12-1-2, 6) battle against “domestic loser” Aroel Romasasa (11-8, 5) who is in desperate need for a win after losing 8 straight following an 11-0 start to his career.
Another of the feature bouts will see the unbeaten Jay Loto (9-0) fight against the limited JC Francisco (6-9-3, 2) in what looks like a mismatch on paper for the unbeaten but light punching Loto, who is known as “The Mindoro Assasin” despite his lack of power.
Another well regarded unbeaten fighter on this card will be Randy Braga (14-0-1, 3) who battles the experienced Cristian Aliba (12-15-3, 4) in what looks like being one of the most competitive bouts on the shame, even though Braga should extend his unbeaten record.
As well as the 3 bouts mentioned the card is expected to feature a further 8 contests.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
Another Filipino in action will be the heavy handed and criminally under-rated Rey Loreto (19-13, 11) who will be hoping that lightning strikes twice as he defends his IBO Light Flyweight for the first time. Last year we saw Loreto make a name for himself as he stopped former world champion Nkosinathi Joyi (24-3-0-1, 17) in eye catching fashion and he'll be hoping to do the same again when he travels to Joyi's homeland in a much anticipated rematch.
German fans will get the chance to see a potentially explosive encounter as “unbeaten” Kazakhstan Isa Akberbayev (14-0-0-1, 10) battles against Argentinian KO artist Ruben Angel Mino (25-1, 25). Mino has one of the most impressive looking records on paper however it is incredibly padded and it's hard to see how he'll fare here. Akberbayev was a touted prospect a few years ago though he was “exposed” when he was iced by Anthony Ferrante in January 2013 and it's hard to see him ever reaching his perceived ceiling, saying that he should win here against the limited but heavy handed Mino.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This Sunday isn't an action packed day but there is plenty of action with two Japanese cards and one Filipino show.
One of those two shows takes place at the Aioi Hall in Aichi.
This one will be headline by a contest between the the Japanese ranked Lightweight Daiki Koide (21-7-2, 9) and the heavy handed Tatsuya Miyazaki (8-5-1, 8). Koide needs to be favoured but has been stopped in the past and if Miyazaki catches him we could see Kiode suffer his 3rd loss in just 4 fights and if that happens his dream of becoming a champion, even at domestic level, could well be over.
In the co-feature in this show Ryosuke Maruki (7-3-1, 5) will be in action against an Indonesian opponent, sadly we've been unable to find the Indonesian on boxrec though we suspect that Maruki hasn't been matched hard here, Strangely this co-feature is scheduled for 10 rounds whilst the main event is just an 8 rounder. We're unsure why but we do know Maruki has lost he previous 2 bouts, both of which narrow 10 round decision losses.
In a 6 rounder on the undercard Kosuke Mizuno (6-4-2, 2) will be taking on Kazuki Fukakura (7-7-2, 3). This isn't a huge bout but it should be an entertaining domestic level contest.
As well as the 3 bouts mentioned this show will feature a further 6 contests giving the card 9 bouts in total.
The other show comes from the Fukuoka prefectural gymnasium and will feature 7 bouts, 3 of which feature an fighter of some form of interest.
One of those men is the OPBF and Japanese ranked Bantamweight Yoshihiko Matsuo (17-5-6, 3) who will be battling against Tatsuya Miyamoto (10-12-1, 6). Miyamoto is very limited and has won just 3 of his last 10 and shouldn't pose Matsuo any problems on paper, though he surprisingly did hold him to a 6 round draw last time out in a real surprise. We suspect Matsuo will be going in to this bout to make a statement but it's hard to be sure given the previous contest between the two men.
For us the star of the show is the unbeaten 21 year old Minimumweight Takumi Sakae (9-0, 5) who will be going for his 10th straight win as he takes on a Thai visitor. Ranked #10 by the JBC and #15 by the WBA Sakae is on the way to achieving something notable in the course of his career. Although we're unsure who the Thai is it's fair to say he'll be coming to win and would love to upset a "world ranked" fighter like Sakae. For those who haven't seen Sakae we have managed to hunt down the video of his Rookie of the Year final win from last year which can be seen here.
Strangely the main event on this show will see Keisuke Nakayama (6-1, 3) taking on another Thai fighter that we don't recognise. We've got to admit that we find it strange Nakayama is in the main event though we suspect he's almost assured of a win with his opponent likely to be a limited one picked to get beaten easily by the Fukuoka local.
Metro Manilla, Philippines
In the Philippines Johnny Elorde Promotions puts on an 8 bout show with a few interesting looking contests though nothing that will really interest an international boxing audience.
The biggest name on the card is WBC #10 ranked Light Flyweight Lionel Legada (12-6-1, 5) who will be risking his world ranking as he takes on the once beaten Rene Patilano (11-1-2, 6). It's interesting to note that Patilano comes into this bout on a 5-fight unbeaten run, including an 8 round technical draw with current WBA interim Light Flyweight world champion Rany Petalcorin. We're unsure how Legada is still ranked given that he's lost 4 of his last 7 and we are actually to see him lose again here.
In the co-feature the unbeaten Randy Braga (13-0-1, 3) will be fighting Benjie Suganob (8-2-1, 4) in what we suspect could be a tough test for the unbeaten man who has been prone to have head clashes in recent bouts.
Unfortunately many of the other bouts appear to be mismatches though we do like the look of the 6 rounder between Roderick Flores (3-0-1, 1) and Ryan Medez (1-2-2) which could end up being a very tough contest.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)