Hong Kong S.A.R., China
This weekend sees our attention to to Hong Kong where a number of notable names are in action on a card that will see several fighters looking to take a notable step forward.
The star of the card for local fans will be Hong Kong's very own Rex Tso (18-0, 11), who looks to extend his unbeaten record as he takes on former world title challenger Young Gil Bae (27-5-1, 21). On paper it's hard to see Bae win, especially given the way Wanheng Menayothin stopped him, but he's a step up in many ways from some of Tso's opponents, and will be looking to upset the local star. Given the styles of the two men this will almost certainly be very fun to watch, but we think natural size advantage will be the difference between these two.
Tso isn't the only notable fighter on this card, nor is he the only fighter looking to move towards a world title. Another man in a similar position is Japan's Ryota Murata (9-0, 6), who looks to secure his 10th win as he battles once beaten Brazilian fighter Felipe Santos Pedroso (13-1, 11). A win is expected from Murata but he'll be hoping to avoid any sort of injury as there is serious talk about him fighting in July in the US on a major card, possibly in a world title eliminator.
Another promising fighter, though one way lower down in his career, is Macau's promising Kuok Kun Ng (8-0, 4), who risks his unbeaten record against Thailand's Weerachit Kitee (7-8-2, 7). It's hard to see Ng losing given what we have seen of him in the past, though we're hoping to see him show signs of development as he has shown some genuine potential.
In an interestingly matched bout Li Quan Lin (6-1-1, 2) will face the unbeaten Thai Campee Phayom (9-0, 7). Both of these men are teens, both are essentially stepping up, though Lin did face Terdsak Kokietgym on his debut back in 2012, and both will know that winning this will push their career forward. This really could be the best bout of the card.
As well as the card in Hong Kong there will also be a show in Kazakhstan.
In the main event the unbeaten Bekman Soylybayev (8-0, 3), who will be making his Kazakhstan debut, will be facing the more experienced Nikoloz Kokashvili (17-3-1, 7), for the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Super Featherweight title. So far Soylybayev has made his career in Ukraine and the US but should be more than capable to pick up a win here. Interestingly Kokashvili, a Georgian fighter, has lost his sole fight outside of his home land, being stopped by Vladimir Tikhonov in Estonia earlier this year.
In a supporting bout the once touted Roman Zhailauov (15-2, 9) will be facing Nikoloz Gviniashvili (15-5-3, 11), in an 8 rounder. The bout sees the 21 year old Zhailauov returning to Kazakhstan for the first time in 2 years, and will be looking to bounce back following back-to-back defeats in South Africa.
In a 6 rounder fans will be able to see Heavyweight hopeful Ruslan Myrsatayev (1-0, 1) face off against Farruh Madaminov (1-4-1, 1) On his debut Myrsatayev scored an opening round win, and will hopefully be stepping up shortly, something that really is needed given he's in his 30's already.
Another notable bout on this card will see the promising Ali Akhmedov (0-0) make his debut. The 20 year old Akhmedov will be up against Siarhei Krapshyla (4-12-2, 3) and we've been told Akhmedov has a lot of potential and could well be another Kazakh to watch out for.
In the US fans will get the chance to see the wonderfully named Kazakh hopeful Shyngyskhan Tazhibay (3-0, 2) face debutant Ahmet Kayretli (0-0). This should see the Maryland based Kazakh pick up a 4th straight win.
This coming Saturday is a hectic day in Asian boxing with a lot of action across the continent.
Wanju, South Korea
In Wanju Korean fans will get two shows both under the auspices of the KBF. One of those will be a rookie card, of which we're lacking details but do know of it's existence. The other is a card headlined by a female world title bout.
The female world title bout will see WIBA Light Flyweight champion Su Yun Hong (11-1-1, 5) face Thailand's Namwaan Sithpracha (7-1, 4) in what looks a good match up on paper. It does need to be said however that Namwaan hasn't beaten an opponent with a single win and is unlikely to claim a win here.
Also on this card will be Filipino fighters Ernie Sanchez (14-6-1, 5) and Christine Latube (1-6-2) who will be faking Ji-Hoon Cha (1-3) and Chan-Mi Lim (0-1) respectively.
Yangju, South Korea
A third card in Korea, this time a KBC show, will feature a number of novices.
For us the most interesting bout on the card will see Woo Min Kim (1-1-1) battle against Korean based Canadian Andrew (0-1), who was spectacularly knocked out by Jin Soo Kim back in May, in what we still have as a KO of the year contender.
A bout between unbeaten fighters will see Hyun Min Gang (1-0, 1) take on Sung Koo Han (0-0-1) in an interesting looking 4 rounder
Earlier this month we saw one of Indonesia's shining lights, Iwan Zoda, claim a major win. Now we get the chance to see another of the countries few exciting prospect in action as Tibo Monabesa (7-0, 3) faces the experienced Ichal Tobida (12-15, 8). This is a good test for Monabesa, who is already a 2-weight champion champion in Indonesia, and hopefully a win here will see him begin to move beyond domestic level.
Another bout on this card will see Waldo Sabu (6-2, 1) face Thailand's Keanpetch Manoprungroj (4-4, 2) in a 10 round bout. Sabu was last seen, according to boxrec.com, last October beating Rasmanudin in what looked like a good win at the time, though Rasmanudin has since gone 1-4, with 3 stoppage losses and appears to be a totally spent force.
The Manado card is one of two cards from Indonesia with the other taking place in Jakarta.
The most notable bout on this card is a bout between veterans as local veteran Falazona Fidal (25-43-1, 8) takes on well traveled Thai Khunkhiri Wor Wisaruth (21-12-1, 14). On paper it's easy to back the Thai, who at least has a winning record, but he has won just 1 of his last 4, against a win-less fighter. Khunkiri has the better record but it is a very padded records and hasn't got many wins of note.
Another bout that caught our eye from this card will see the debuting Mark Scheide (0-0) battle former English Cricketer Adam Hollioake (2-2, 1). Hollioake, who previously played international level cricket for England, will be fighting for the first time outside of his adopted Australia. This will be one of three Heavyweight bouts on this card.
Gauteng, South Africa
In South Africa fans will get the chance to see Kazakhstan's exciting Roman Zhailauov (15-0, 9) take on the interesting challenger of Thompson Mokwana (20-10-1, 12). On paper this looks a good step up bout for the Kazakh though one he should make successfully given that Mokwana has lost his last two and not won a bout since December 2013. Although not the best fighter Mokwana has only been stopped once and may have the toughness to test the Kazakh Kid.
There is also set to be a card in the Philippines, albeit a very low level one.
The most notable bout on the card will the once beaten JR Magboo (16-1-2, 7) attempt to bounce back from his first loss as he takes on the experienced but limited Richard Garcia (25-22-1, 7). This is an easy ask for Magboo who was narrowly beaten by Jhon Gemino last December and Garcia shouldn't pose any threat at all.
One other bout of note will see Vincent Bautista (3-2-3, 1) go up against Oliver Gregorio (9-5-2, 5) in what looks to be a well matched, though low level, bout. Both guys have marks on their record but both should bring it here and provide a great 10 rounds of action.
June 6th-Igarashi and Shimoda return to action in Japan whilst Yordan is in action in Indonesia and Sonsona in the US!
This Saturday is set to be a hectic day for boxing fans with a number of fights taking place around the globe. For Asian fans the attention really should be on Japan and Indonesia with both countries hosting some notable fights.
The most notable card of the day is in Tokyo where fans will get a little bit of everything ranging from former world champions to hopeful contenders, from solid but uninspiring domestic fighters to novices beginning their careers.
The main event of the show will see former Flyweight champion Toshiyuki Igarashi (20-2-1, 11 battle against once beaten Filipino visitor Renerio Arizala (12-1-1, 5). Arizala was a late replacement for Lionel Mark Duran (13-11-2, 5) and appears to have been a huge upgraded, however the fact he was given the bout at late notice may well come back to cost him in what a genuine intriguing match up.
The co-feature of the show features another former world champion as former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda (28-4-2, 12) takes on former Japanese title challenger Gosuke Seki (16-1-2, 3). Shimoda is best know for suffering two KO-of-the-Year style defeats, to Rico Ramos and Marvin Sonsona, and will be hoping to get back to winning ways after more than a year out of the ring. For Seki this is a great opportunity to score a career defining win however he's certainly not a star in the making.
Another bout that caught our eye on this show is a Super Featherweight bout between hard hitting local Kenichi Ogawa (14-1, 12) and Filipino visitor Raymond Sermona (17-5-5, 8). For Ogawa this is a chance to score a 7th straight stoppage and to move towards a bigger and better fight. As for Sermona it's a potential chance to turn his career around after a run of 2-3-1 in the last 6 bouts. We suspect Ogawa will be far too good for the Filipino.
In Indonesia fans will get the chance to see several interesting bouts involving some of the countries most notable and interesting fighters.
The main event will see former world title challenger Daud Yordan (33-3-0-1, 24) take on Ghanaian southpaw Maxwell Awuku (40-2-1, 26) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific and WBO Africa Lightweight titles. For Yordan this will be his first bout since December, when he stopped Ronald Pontillas, and it's fair to say he's going to be wanting another excellent performance to remind fans how good he is.
In the chief support bout the heavy handed Defry Palulu (11-1, 10) will be up against Thai visitor Sukkasem Kietyongyuth (13-4, 8). This will be Palulu's second bout since being stopped, in 2 rounds, by AJ Banal and although he's less experienced than the Thai he will be favoured, especially considering the fact that Sukkasem has lost his last 2 bouts by stoppage.
The most notable bout involving an Asian fighter in the US will be a contest between former world champion Marvin Sonsona (19-1-1, 15) and the tough but limited Jonathan Arrellano (15-5-2, 3). Sonsona, who last fought a year ago, will be hoping to make an impact here following a dull affair last time out against Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. Incidentally Arrellano's last bout was also against Vazquez Jr, dropping a close decision, and he is now 1-3 in his last 4 bouts.
New York, USA
Chinese Heavyweight hopeful Zhang Zhilei (3-0, 2) continues his development as he takes on Glenn Thomas (1-3) in a scheduled 4 rounder. Zhilei, a former Olympic medalist is 32 and it seems like he's really needing a step up sooner rather than later and hopefully a 6 round bout will come before the end of the year.
In Virginia fans will see the second pro bout of Uzbek fighter Zarifbek Nishanbaev (1-0, 1). Nishanbaev made his debut earlier this year with a 27 second blow out of Mike Blocker and will be hoping for something similar here. Unfortunately the “opponent” wasn't named at the time of writing.
Gauteng, South Africa
In South Africa fans get the chance to see unbeaten Kazakh prospect Roman Zhailauov (14-0, 8) facing off against the relatively fragile Luyanda Jako (9-9-2, 4), who has been stopped in all 9 losses and has won just 1 of his last 6 bouts.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
April is a busy month for Japanese boxing fans this year with bouts at every level, from Rookie of the Year qualifying bouts to world title bouts featuring some real stars of the sport. One of the best shows is this coming Monday at the Korakuen Hall, despite the fact there is no world title on the line.
In total the show will feature 6 bouts. And although the first couple won't grab the attention of many fans they are both expected to be interesting 8 rounders. The first will feature Kyosuke Sawada (2-2, 1) taking on a Thai visitor whilst the second will see Yosuke Kawano (8-4-1, 3) face Hiroyuki Sagehashi (7-7-2, 1). We won't pretend these bouts are worth getting too excited about but they are just you're standard under-card bouts.
The third bout however sees things stepping up as former OPBF Featherweight title challenger Ryo Takenaka (11-3-1, 6) takes on Junki Sasaki (13-2, 5). Takenaka, who gave Hisashi Amagasa all sorts of problems last October, will be fighting for the first time since losing his biggest bout to date. In that bout he showed a lot of ability and befuddled Amagasa for the better part of 12 rounds before being stopped with less than 2 minutes to go. Sasaki on the other hand is relatively unknown southpaw who will come in to this bout knowing that a good win will really move career onwards. We think this is a really well matched bout.
The 4th bout on the card will see a bout between ranked fighters as Dai Iwai (16-3-1, 5) battles against Noriyuki Ueno (17-12-5, 5). Ueno is the more well known of the two men having come up short in 4 titles bouts, 3 Japanese and 1 OPBF, and is better than his record indicates. Unfortunately for Ueno he is now 33 and didn't look his best last time out, losing a decision to Kazunori Takayama. Iwai on the other hand is looking to get a shot at either a national title or a regional title after having previously held a WBC Youth belt, back in 2012. At the moment Iwai is on an excellent 7 fight winning streak though it does appear his lack of power may be an issue down the line. On paper this is an excellent match up, despite the fact it probably won't be the most exciting.
On paper the stand out bout, by a long way, is the Japanese Bantamweight title bout between defending champion Kentaro Masuda (21-6, 11) and the unbeaten Shohei Omori (13-0, 8). For Masuda this is the 3rd defence of the title that he won exactly a year ago and since winning the title he has looked fantastic blowing away the charismatic Konosuke Tomoiyama in 3 rounds and then having an enthralling 10 round war with Tatsuya Takahashi. Aged 32 however it's time for Masuda to record a statement win then move towards the next level. Unfortunately for the champion this one won't be an easy win as he goes up against the wonderfully talented Omori who we view as one of the best prospects in Japan. Omori is a wonder-boxer puncher who scored his break out win last year when he stopped Christian Esquivel and the 22 year old southpaw is a viewed as a fighter with the potential to go all the way. Brilliant match up between two men who are on the fringes of world class, despite only fighting for the Japanese title.
The final bout on the card will see the heavy handed Keita Obara (13-1, 12) defending his OPBF Light Welterweight title against the horribly over-matched Yuya Okazaki (14-7-1, 4) in a match up that appears disgustingly one sided. We like Obara and we understand he wants to make the move to Welterweight shortly though in all honesty he should have just made the move instead of defending his title against Okazaki who isn't fit to step in to the ring with him. Sadly Okazaki is one of the worst OPBF title challengers in recent memory and we'd be shocked if he managed to really give Obara any sort of a fight.
Gauteng, South Africa
In South Africa fans get the chance to see promising Kazakh Roman Zhailauov (13-0, 8) risk his unbeaten record against Luyanda Jako (9-9-2, 4). The 18 year old from Astana has recently signed a promotional contract with Golden Gloves in South Africa and this will be his first bout under that contract with the hope of developing him into a Welterweight contender. If Zhailauov wins here then it's expected that he will be put him on a Hekkie Budler undercard in June.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
As we've gone through the month of February we've slowly seen action pick up. As we come to the end of the month we're seeing action pick up again with an OPBF title fight in Japan, a collision of prospects and the third professional bout in the career of a Chinese Heavyweight hopeful.
One of the shows is in Japan where we get a genuinely important card with a couple of really notable bouts at different levels.
The most significant of the bouts is in the Super Bantamweight division as the world class Shingo Wake (17-4-2, 10) defends his OPBF title for the 5th time in a little under 2 years. Wake, who is chasing a world title fight later this year, will find himself up against Filipino challenger Jimmy Paypa (16-2-1, 6). This fight was apparently close to being made for December last year and it could well be that we end up with both fighters coming in “over-boiled” for this, or we could see a destruction by a man looking to make a statement. If Wake does come out and scores an impressive win the talk is that he will be getting a shot at WBA "Super" and WBO Super Bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Wake isn't the only fighter from the Koguchi gym to be on this card as rising teenager Kenya Yamashita (7-0, 4) puts his unbeaten record on the line against Jo Tanooka (9-2-3). The unbeaten Yamashita was the Flyweight Rookie of the Year in 2014 and he is being tipped to go a very long way in his career however Tanooka is a great test and will be looking for a win himself after coming up short last time out against Hiroki Saito.
Another notable bout on this card will see former OPBF and Japanese Super Flyweight title challenger Toyoto Shiraishi (24-8-2, 11) battle against Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi (8-7-1, 4). For Shiraishi this is a must win bout following a run of just 1 win in 4 bouts however Yamaguchi shouldn't provide much in terms of competition
Talking about fighters who need a win Kota Sato (9-6-2, 4) has to be desperate to get a “W” after going 0-2-1 in his last 3 bouts. Sato will be up against Toshikuni Wake (8-14-3, 2). Wake is nothing other than a journeyman and shouldn't be able to beat Kota though we suspect a loss for Kota will be the end here.
One other bout on this card, a really interesting one in fact, will see Kazuma Sanpei (11-1, 4) battle against Masaru Sueyoshi (8-1, 5). Sanpei comes in to this bout on the back of his first career defeat, an 88 second blow out loss to Japanese based Filipino Johnreil Maligro, whilst Sueyoshi brings a 5 fight winning streak into this bout including a very notable decision over Yuta Nagai. Brilliant and brave match up for both guys.
In Russia fans will get the chance to see unbeaten Kazakh prospect Roman Zhailauov (13-0, 8) battle against the tough but limited Vyacheslav Yakovenko (7-19-1, 3). This will be Zhailauov's first bout of the year though we'll be honest it does seem like his team have slowed his progress over the past few bouts.
In the US American fans will get the chance to see Chinese giant Taishan Dong (2-0, 2) who hopes to extend his winning run as he battles against Roy McCrary (3-2, 3). The imposing Dong has to be a big favourite here against the 41 year old McCrary though we're more interested in the performance of Dong here rather than just getting the win. So far Dong has shown some ability but there are a lot of questions regarding his potential and so far none of his opponents have really been able to ask any questions of him with Tommy Washington Jr being a laughably bad opponent last time out.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Action returns to Russia on Thursday with a small but yet interesting card that features one of the most interesting prospects from central Asia. The area might not get the attention that the Orient gets but it is one of the growing areas in boxing and one of the areas that seems likely to really grow into one of the big forces in world boxing.
With 5 fights on the card the most interesting man to us is Kazakhstan's Welterweight prospect Roman Zhailauov (10-0, 7). Aged 19 Zhailauov is already the "interim" PABA champion at 147lbs and seems to be one of the most promising teenagers out there right now. Although he's still very young, and relatively short for a Welterweight, we would advise keeping an eye on him.
Although Zhailauov has yet to have his opponent named we'd expect him to take on a limited foe as he continues to develop his very promising skill set.
Zhailauov isn't the only promising unbeaten fighter on the card. Another is 27 year old Russian Cruiserweight Yury Kashinsky (1-0, 1) who battles against Elyor Gulomov (8-2-1, 7) in what looks like a very tough test. Kashinsky, if he wins, will likely be put on the fast track and we'll be really excited to follow that.
Although there are 3 other contests on this card none of them are as interesting as the two we've mentioned.