On Saturday there will be two more champions hoping to retain their titles in Asia. One of those bouts looks difficult whilst the other looks incredibly straight forward.
The straight forward world title fight comes in Korea as the talented Hyun Mi Choi (8-0-1, 2) defends her WBA female Super Featherweight title against Thai novice Thongmanit Siriwan (0-1). It's hard to see anything but but a successful defence from Choi who is genuinely excellent.
Unfortunately we can't find many details about this bout, or the card, other than what boxrec lists. So we'll admit we have our worries about this bout not actually taking place as neither the KBC, the KPBF or the WBA have really publicised it as one would have expected.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The other world title fight, and the one we know will be taking place, is in the Philippines as WBO Light Flyweight world champion Donnie Nietes (32-1-4, 18) defends his belt against the very strong and improving Mexican Moises Fuentes (19-1-1, 10). This is the second meeting between these two men after they fought to a controversial draw last year. We thought Fuentes had won the first meeting with his work rate but we admit this is likely to be a very different fight with both men knowing that they need to win this one.
In the chief support out on this Filipino show we will get to see recent world title challenger Milan Melindo (30-1, 12) battle against fellow world ranked fighter Martin Tecuapetla (11-5-2, 8). Tecuapetla, who comes in to this bout on the back of a victory over Gilberto Parra, is highly ranked with the WBA but we don't imagine he'll give Melindo too many problems with the Filipino being a genuinely talented fighter.
A third high profile bout on this card will see the ever popular Rey "Boom Boom" Bautista (34-3, 25) face off with with 22 year old Mexican Sergio Villanueva (26-3-2, 13). Bautista is apparently re-committed to boxing and could well be set for a rise back through the ranks, sadly however his commitment has waned in the past and some has suggested that his loss to Jose Ramirez last year was due to commitment issues. If he's on form and has his head in the fight Bautista should win, but you never can be sure with him as to how he will perform on any given night.
With three great match ups on the card it would be easy to ignore the undercard but ALA have done a great job in putting some great undercard bouts together as well.
These under-card bouts include a contest between Mark Bernaldez (12-0, 8) and Thailand's Non Sithsaithong (11-6, 7), over 10 rounds, a bout between Filipino based Cuban Reymi Castellano Aleye (4-0, 1) and Filipino "homeboy" Junmar Dulog (8-23-3, 4), over 8 rounds, a 6 round bout between the excellent Mark Magsayo (5-0, 4) and South Korea's Hyuk-Tak Joo (1-1) and an other 6 rounder that features Joseph Von Minoza (14-6, 6) fighting against the unbeaten Sung-Tak Joo (5-0-2, 1).
Metro Manila, Philippines
A second show in Metro Manila will take place at the Olivarez Stadium and be a much smaller show though will, as with the other card, feature some some excellent bouts.
The best looking of those bouts will see Alie Laurel (11-3, 7) defending his WBO Oriental Bantamweight title against Mike Espanosa (12-7-1, 7). Earlier this week we had expected Laurel to be battling against unbeaten Indonesian Defry Palulu though it appears the big punching Palulu has been swapped out for Espanosa in what is a lesser bout, though one that will allow both Laurel and Palulu to continue their careers with out any risk against each other. For those who recognise Laurel's name, he comes in to this bout following an excellent victory over Tiger Tor Buamas earlier this year, a victory that saw him winning the title he'll be defending for the first time
Another title bout on the same show will see Japan's Tosho Makoto Aoki (16-12-2, 13) defending the WBC Asia Council Continental lightweight title against Filipino challenger Jonel Alibio (16-17-5, 8). This will be the second defence of the belt by Aoki though neither man is really up to much and we'd not be shocked by any result though we do expect an engaging encounter.
A third title bout on this same show will see unorthodox Japanese fighter Kenichi Yamaguchi (17-2-2, 4) fighting against Argie Toquero (6-3-1, 4) in a battle for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Bantamweight title. Yamaguchi may be known for two reasons. Firstly he is a former world title challenger having fought Orlando Salido for the WBO Featherweight and he was also involved in a memorable incident with Australia's Billy Dib where the ring erupted into a mini-riot. Unfortunately for Yamaguchi this will be his first bout since he lost to Salido back in 2011.
(Image courtesy of ALA)