This coming weekend is a big one with Asian boxing, especially on Saturday where we get a host of big fights. Friday however is a much quieter day with significantly less action of note.
The only confirmed card for the day is taking place in Rizal and will be a card with a number of noteworthy names in action.
In one of the headline bouts fans will see Rogelio Jun Doliguez (22-4-2, 16) take on Landy Cris Leon (10-16-4, 4). The 26 year old Doliguez will be heavily favoured here, despite being 3-3 in his last 6, and he is with out a doubt the more talented and proven fighter, despite his current lack of form. As for Leon he has actually lost his last 3, but is showing a new found grit, have not suffered a stoppage loss in over 2 years, after having had 10 through his career so far. Loen's determination might see him survive the distance with Doliguez, but it's hard to see him scoring the upset here.
A much more attractive looking bout will see Renz Rosia (15-3, 7) take on Renoel Pael (21-7-1, 11) in what looks like a bit of a 50-50 bout. Aged 29 Rosia is a man with some inconsistent form. He's lost 2 of his last 3, and 4 of his last 5, but has mixed against very good opponents, such as Moruti Mthalane, Giemel Magramo and Makazole Tete. Pael is also struggling for form, and has lost his last 3, and 6 of his last 8, but has never been stopped and is much better than those numbers suggest. This could be a genuinely intriguing contest.
One other bout of note here will see unbeaten Malaysian Aiman Abubakar (6-0, 2) look to extend his unbeaten record as he takes on Germaine Dela Rosa (4-8-2, 1). The Malaysian is slowly stepping up, and this will be his first 8 rounder, but it's hard to see what Dela Rosa has to offer in terms of competition.
Makati City, Philippines
The most notable of two Filipino cards comes from Makati City and features several fighters of note.
The main event will see Drian Francisco (28-4-1, 22) who will face veteran Mateo Handig (13-12, 7). Handig is on a poor run of form, however he may like his chances here given that Francisco has been out of the ring since his November 2015 loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux. At his best Francisco was a fringe world class fighter and although Handig has got an excellent win on his record over Katsunari Takayama it's hard to see him lasting long with Francisco here.
In a notable supporting bout we'll see 2012 Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga (3-0) battle Jeven Villacite (4-5-4, 1) in a 10 rounder. Barriga was a top class amateur and should be able to prove his skills here, as he looks to show that he is a top level prospect. Although Villacite will look for the win it's hard to see him having anything to test Barriga with.
Cebu City, Philippines
On a second Filipino card fans will see Jhaleel Payao (14-1, 8) face off with puncher Jason Tinampay (8-3-1, 7) in a bout for the PBF Bantamweight title. Payao is one of the hidden gems of the Filipino boxing scene and should be favoured here, but Tinampay can certainly punch and shouldn't be over-looked here.
Russian fans also get a show on the 18th of February that features several fighters from an Asian background.
The most notable of those bouts will see the unbeaten Shavkat Rakhimov (8-0, 6), originally from Tajikistan, take on the once touted Filipino Rogelio Jun Doliguez (21-3-2, 15) in about for the vacant WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Super Featherweight title. Rakhimov is coming in to this one on the back of two stoppages over Filipino foes, in Jerry Castroverde and Roldan Aldea, and will be looking to make it 3 from 3 here, but he is facing a big step up in class here. Doliguez has never been stopped, though has lost 3 of his last 6 and his career has certainly lost a lot of the hype he had early one. If the visitor can win here he could give his career a much needed shot in the arm.
In another title bout we see another Tajik born fighter, Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (5-0, 3), battle with veteran Colombian Yogli Herrera (28-17, 20) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Lightweight title, which Yaqubov will be defending for the first time. It's hard to know how good Yaqubov is, but this bout should tell us something about his potential. Aged 21 Yaqubov has time to mature into a good fighter but so far there is a lot of questions about how good he could become.
This coming Friday features some interesting action from across Asia.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The best Asian show of the day appears to come from the Philippines where fans get a trio of title bouts as well as a trio of other interesting match ups.
The main event of the show will see former world title challenger Bernabe Concepcion (33-6-2, 19) take on Tanzanian visitor Juma Fundi (27-12-3, 11) in a bout for the WBO Oriental Super Bantamweight title. It's hard to see anything but an easy win for Concepcion who has only come up short against very good fighters over the last decade. We must admit we're unsure how Fundi has qualified for an “Oriental” title considering he's from Africa but that's the magic of the WBO we guess!
A GAB Light Flyweight title bout will see Renren Tesorio (14-6-3, 4) defending his belt against the little known Bonjun Loperez (9-3-1, 5). This will be Tesorio's first defense of the title following his majority decision win over Benezer Alolod back in March. Despite the scratchy record Tesorio is a solid fighter and we can't see him coming up short here against a man who has been stopped in 2 of his last 3.
The other title fight will see the once beaten Recky Dulay (8-1-0-1, 5) taking on Warren Mambuanag (7-5-2, 3) in a bout for the PBF Featherweight title. On paper it's hard to see Dulay losing here, however he has been matched light and this may not as straight forward as it looks on paper. Mambuanag has certainly been in tougher than Dulay and could be a banana skin in this one.
In none title action we have got to admit we like the look several bouts on this card. Arguably the best of those is a contest between Renerio Arizala (12-2-1, 5) and Romnick Magos (11-4, 7), in what looks like a genuinely well matched bout between two men wanting a really good domestic level win.
A similarly well matched bout will see the once touted Rogelio Jun Doliguez (19-3-2, 14) taking on Jerry Nardo (21-6, 11) in what really could be a show stealing bout. Doliguez comes in to the bout on 3 losses in his last 4 though is a man who did show a lot of promise early in his career. Nardo on the other hand is a fighter who has won some-lost some in recent times, though has rarely been stopped and could well stand up to Nardo's power and give it back.
The remaining bout of interest is an 8 rounder between a promising pair of fighters. In one corner is the once beaten Philip Luis Cuerdo (7-1-1, 4) whilst in the other is the unbeaten Toto Landero (5-0-1, 2). Both of these guys at 19 and both will be putting it on the line. Interestingly these two fought in May, fighting to an 8 round draw, and we'd not be shocked to see them in another very competitive contest here.
In Japan we have the next round of the East Rookie of the Year tournament. In total this card will feature 12 bouts, all 4 rounders, between Minimumweight and Light Middleweight.
On paper the pick of the bouts is a Super Bantamweight contest between Yasuaki Miura (3-0, 1) and Ryuya Kaji (3-1, 2). The 19 year old Kaji appears to be a solid puncher, though was beaten by the more experienced Yuki Matsudo in his most recent bout, back in July 2014. The 21 year old Miura has been more active, with all 3 of his bouts coming in the last 12 months, though this is, by far, the toughest test he'll have faced.
A very even looking bout is set to take place at Featherweight as Shogo Sakai (4-2-1, 3) takes on Kei Iwahara (4-2, 2). We won't pretend this is a mouth watering match up but it is well matched and could prove to be the show stealing contest on the card
This coming Saturday is a busy day with action taking place all over the place with a really interesting domestic bout in the Philippines and a female super fight in Mexico.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The Filipino domestic scene is somewhat over-looked by our selves as there seems to be only a handful of really good looking domestic bouts. Thankfully we have one such bout this Saturday as we get a brilliant rematch between two talented but under-rated fighters.
One of those fights is GAB Light Flyweight champion Benezer Alolod (16-5-5, 5) who will be defending his title against the unfortunate Renren Tesorio (13-6-3, 4). These two met last year in a razor thin bout won by Alolod who successfully defended his title for the 2nd time this time around we're expecting an equally as competitive match up and possibly a contender for the Filipino domestic bout of the year.
Whilst neither man is viewed highly by international fans we need to admit both are much better than their records suggest.
In the main support bouts we have a trio of unbeaten fighters in action. One of those will be the promising Nino Valenzuela (7-0-1, 2), who will be strongly backed to over-come journeyman Jhon Jhon Faminiano (1-10-3). Another will be Rolly Sumalpong (7-0-1, 4) who takes on novice JR Florendo (3-2-1) in what looks to be a mismatch.
The one notable bout involving an unbeaten fighter will see the unbeaten Toto Landero (4-0-1, 1) battle against the once beaten Philip Luis Cuerdo (7-1, 4) in what looks to be a brilliant match up on paper. Cuerdo has beaten his last 4 foes since being beaten by the touted Vic Saludar however this is a step up in class and could be a bit of a thriller between two 19 year old fighters.
In Thailand it appears we're getting some title action involving some interesting Korean fighters.
One bout will involve the very promising Hyunwoo Yu (3-0, 3) who will be fighting in Thailand for the second time in his career. At the moment we're unsure who Yu will be fighting with Boxrec.com listing Yu's opponent as Indonesian journeyman Oke Haryanto (5-5-1, 2) whilst AK Promotions list Yu's opponent as Thai based Italian Ricardo Redbluegym (2-0, 2). From what we understand however Yu will be fighting for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Light Welterweight title
The other bout on the card is a mystery with AK Promotions stating it will be a contest between Jaesung Lee (17-4-2, 9) and Jaoquim Mahe (9-2, 5) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Featherweight title. Boxrec.com however claim this bout will be taking place next month and instead we'll be seeing a bout between Hong-Kyoon Shin (9-3-1, 5) and Jack Madison (2-3) with the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Flyweight title.
In Mexico fans get a potentially thrilling female bout as 2-weight world champion Naoko Fujioka (12-1, 6) battles against Mexican icon Mariana Juarez (40-7-3, 17). This is as a good a female fight as can be made. Fujioka comes into this contest following her first loss, a close decision to Susi Kentikian on Germany, and will know that she needs to win here as for Juarez she knows a loss will derail another super fight, a much touted contest with Zulina Munoz.
Baja California, Mexico
Another bout in Mexico will see the touted Rogelio Jun Doliguez (19-2-2, 14) face his biggest name opponent so far as he goes up against former world champion Fernando Montiel (53-4-2, 39). Coming into this bout Montiel has won his last 7 bouts but hasn't looked himself since fighting Nonito Donaire back in 2011. Unfortunately for Doliguez he has lost 2 of his last 3 and really needs a win if he's going to get his career back in track after those stumbles.
Another Filipino on the road this weekend is John Vincent Moralde (11-0, 6) who puts his unbeaten record on the line against Brayd Smith (12-0, 10) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Featherweight title.
New Jersey, USA
In the US fans will get the chance to see a pair of promising Chinese fighters.
The lesser experienced of those two fighters is novice fighter Wang Zhimin (1-0) who will be taking on the light hitting but under-rated Jesus Lule (7-10, 1), who has lost 6 of his last 7 but mixed in very good company with the likes of Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr and Oscar Valdez among others. This looks like a really good test for Zhimin who we suspect will be forced to answer a number of questions about his ability.
The other Chinese fighter will be Heavyweight hopeful Zhang Zhilei (2-0, 2) who takes on Eric George (2-8) in what looks like a relative mismatch in favour of "Big Bang" Zhilei.
(Image courtesy of notifight)