There's not much Asian action this coming Friday, as we all begin the count down to a truly incredible December. Whilst there isn't a lot there is some action worthy of note in both Singapore and the Philippines.
In Singapore fans will see unbeaten local hopeful Hamzah Farouk (6-0, 4) fight for his first title, as he takes on experienced Indonesian Isack Junior (25-9-3, 8) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Featherweight title. The unbeaten Farouk debuted last year and has stepped up gradually, through his first 6 bouts, though this is a massive step up from his previous competition. Junior on the other hand has fallen a long way short from early expectations, after a 22-1-2 (8) start to professional boxing. With 8 losses in his last 10 we can't really see what Juniour has to offer Farouk, mentally or physically.
Another unbeaten on this card is Abdelelah Karroum (3-0, 3), who takes on Indonesian journeyman Hardian Siregar (6-20, 2). Not too much is known of Karroum, who only debuted this past Fabruary, but the Singaporean based French is looking destructive, and has needed just 4 rounds to stop his first 3 opponents
As well as the show in Singapore there will also be action in the Philippines, with a small card in Laguna.
The main event of the card will see 22 year old Robert Onggocan (10-4, 6) look to build some career momentum, after 3 close losses in his last 4 bouts. The talented Onggocan has been matched hard and, as a result, got a misleading record that doesn't show how good he is. Given how impressed we've been by Onggocan we suspect he has the potential to compete at OPBF level in the future, if he doesn't get disillusioned with the sport. In the opposite corner to Onggocan will be 24 year old Jason Buenaobra (6-3-3, 3), who will come into this fight with a lot of ambition of his own, and could well end up making things very interesting. Although Buenaobra has suffered 3 losses of his own he is currently on a 4 fight unbeaten run.
A supporting bout will see former OPBF Super Bantamweight title challenger Jhunriel Ramonal (14-8-4, 7), who was stopped in 3 rounds by Shingo Wake back in 2013, end a 4 year break from the ring to take on the unbeaten Jenel Lausa (7-0, 4). Ramonal was a decent fighter back in his pomp, at least domestically, but with a 2-4-3 record in his last 9 bouts and a 4 year break we do wonder what he has left to offer. The unbeaten 30 year old Lausa, is also returning to the ring after a break, having been away for more than 2 years himself. Sadly for Lausa his break left him unable to build on a very good win over Jon Jon Estrada, and we're hoping he'll be wanting to make up for lost time.
Another unbeaten fighter on this card is the fast rising Kristian Hernandez (4-0, 4), who only debuted back in May but is already trying to record his 5th professional win. The heavy handed Hernandez is still in the formative years of his career, but is stepping up here, to take on veteran Prell Tupas (10-35-5, 2). Tupas, at his best, could have posed some questions for Hernandez, but sadly Tupas has lost his last 4, 3 by stoppage, and now looks to have little use in the sport, other than to pad records. We suspect Tupas fails to make it beyond round 5 here.
Camarines Norte, Philippines
This coming Wednesday fight fans in Camarines Norte get a small, and relatively poor, card. The only real bout of note on the card will see the teak tough Robert Onggocan (9-4, 5) take on Joel Taduran (8-9-1, 2). On paper it's easy to overlook this bout but the fight should be exciting as Onggocan is often in good fights, and gave real tests to the likes of Mirco Martin, Jeronil Borres and Jonathan Taconing. Taduran is typically tough nut to crack, and lasted 10 rounds with Tosiyuki Igarashi back in 2016, but has suffered a string of losses to the likes of Junto Nakatani and Mark Anthony Barriga, struggling to even win a round in those two bouts.
Metro Manila, Philippines
This coming Thursday attention turns to the Philippines for a rather notable card in Metro Manila, featuring a couple of title bouts as well as several notable names in the supporting bouts.
One of the two title bouts will see the touted Joe Noynay (14-2-1, 4) take on Chinese visitor Qixiu Zhang (9-4-1, 3) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Super Featherweight title, which Noynay will be defending for the second time. The talented Noynay may not have a perfect record but his two losses have come to excellent fighters in the form of Richard Pumicpic and Reiya Abe, and he didn't embarrass himself in either of those defeats. Zhang on the other hand is a bit of an unknown, though is riding a 3 fight winning run including a big victory in South Korea over Nak Yul Park from back in May. Noynay is the clear favourite, but Zhang is certainly not going to be there to make up the numbers.
The other title bout will see 20 year old Al Toyogon (8-2-1, 5) face off with the experienced Nathan Bolcio (14-14-3, 4) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Super Featherweight title. Coming in to this Toyogon is riding a very impressive 3 fight run of opening round wins, including a notable victory over Naotoshi Nakatani from back in February. As for Bolcio his form is poor, with just a single win in his last 6. Bolcio has fought a relative who's who of the Asian scene, such as Hisashi Amagasa, Tomoki Kameda and Pungluang Sor Singyu, all of whom have have taken victories over Bolcio. We expect to see Toyogan taken a few rounds, but can't see him coming up short.
The under-card really is a mixed bag, with one of the best of the under-card bouts being between the unbeaten Denmark Quibido (7-0, 5) and Jayar Diama (7-15-7, 3), who is much better than his record suggests. We expect Quibido to come out on top, but we wouldn't be surprised to see him forced to work for his win. Diama has gone 0-10-2 in his last 12 bouts, but is no push over and this is a step up for Quibido.
Another interesting supporting bout will see Ricardo Sueno (8-2-3, 3) face off with Robert Onggocan (9-4, 5). The 24 year old Sueno has won his last 6 wins, after going 2-2-3 to begin his career, but this is a genuine step up in class for him. Onggocan, 22, is out of form with 3 straight losses coming in to this, but he has mixed with good company through his career, losing to Pedro Taduan, Mirco Martin, Jeronil Borres and Jonathan Taconing, and will feel like that level of competition will help him over-come Sueno. We wouldn't be surprised if this turned out to be the bout of the night.
This coming Friday isn't the busy of days, but it is a pretty notable day with a handful of name fighters in action.
The better of the Asian shows is from Laguna and features a former world champion, a youth champion and several other fighters of note.
The bigger name on the card is 37 year old former IBF Flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng (17-1, 5), who ends his professional retirement to take on Dado Cabintoy (15-7-2, 8) in a bit of a peculiar bout. Amnat had hung up his gloves last year, following his unsuccessful campaign at the Rio Olympics but appears to be making a comeback here. Cabintoy looks like a safe opponent for Amnat, especially with the Filipino having lost his last 3, but it's hard to imagine the comeback being a good one from the Thai.
Another notable bout near the top of this card will see former OPBF champion Al Rivera (17-3, 15) battle against Indonesian visitor Rusmin Kie Raha (15-12-3, 3). Rivera was controversially beaten last time out in Russia, and sadly for Raha we suspect he's going to be on to a hiding here against a massively heavy handed monster.
In an IBF Youth Flyweight title fight we'll see Robert Onggocan (8-1, 4), who won the title with an upset win over Iwan Zoda in Indonesia, defending his belt against the heavy handed Marjun Pantilgan (14-4, 11). This is a really tough first defense,on paper at least, for Onggocan and a successful defense would solid, a stoppage would be hugely impressive for the champion.
Other fighters on this card include Ernesto Saulong (20-2-1, 8), Venson Delopere (5-1-3, 2) and Alvin Lagumbay (7-1, 6) who should all pick up straight forward wins against over-matched foes.
As well as the show in Laguna there will also be a card in Tokyo, albeit a less interesting one that the Filipino one.
The main event will see Takashi Inagaki (18-15-2, 8) face off with a Thai foe in an 8 round whilst the chief support bout will see Japanese ranked Welterweight Cobra Suwa (18-12-2, 10) face a Thai. Sadly with the top two bouts both being decent Japanese fighters taking on Thai imports that card won't excite fans outside of Japan and it's a show that will struggle to get any wider attention.