This coming Friday is a pretty quiet day in Asian boxing, the calm before the storm of a busy weekend, but does feature a notable Thai fighter in action.
That Thai is former WBA Flyweight title challenger Stamp Kiatniwat (19-1, 7), who takes on Jaysever Abcede (15-8, 10) in a bout for the WBA Asia Flyweight title, which Stamp will be defending. The Thai has gone 4-0 since losing in his world title fight against Kazuto Ioka and will be looking to build his way towards another world title shot. Aged just 20 there is no rush for the Thai but it's clear that he and his team will be wanting to work their way up the WBA rankings with this Asia title. Abcede is a 23 year old Filipino who has mixed in great company, with losses to Wanheng Menayothin, Tsubasa Koura, Panya Pradabsri and Dexter Alimento. Despite coming up short in most of his most notable bouts Abecede he does hold a big win in Thailand against Pigmy Kokietgym and will come in to this bout with the mentality that he can get another big upset here.
This coming Thursday fight fans in Thailand get a handful of notable bouts.
The most notable of those bouts will see Thai teenager Stamp Kiatniwat (18-1, 6) take on Filipino visitor Macrea Gandionco (12-5-3, 7). The talented Stamp is riding a 3 fight winning run following his 2016 loss to Kazuto Ioka in a bout for the WBA Flyweight title. The visitor on the other hand has won just 1 of his last 5 bouts and is 0-3-1, with 3 stoppage losses in the Land of Smiles, with another loss expected here.
In Bangkok we'll get two Thai title bouts.
One of those bouts will see Chatchai Or Benjamas (8-10, 6) battle against Fahpituck Por Pakdee (7-4, 4) for the national Light Flyweight title. Chatchai has been stopped in 2 of his last 3, including a 3rd round TKO defeat to the debuting Lu Bin whilst Fahpituck has won just 1 of his last 5 bouts, and is a long way removed from a fighter who was once 6-0.
The other title bout will see the limited but heavy handed Rungpetch Saithonggym (5-4, 5) take on Saksith Yutthana Chaiyonggym (6-5, 4) for a Super Bantamweight title,though with both men only fighting a few days ago there is a chance the bout will now no longer take place.
Attention in Japan this coming Thursday focuses on a Misako promotion in Tokyo, where fans get two title bouts.
The first of those title bouts will see Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koichi Aso (21-7-1, 14) making the first defense of his title as he takes on Yusuke Konno (11-3, 5), who comes into the bout as the #1 ranked challenger. Aso won the title earlier this year, in what was his third shot at the belt, and will be looking to keep a tight grasp on it given his long and hard career, though it's fair to say he has taken punishment during his career and it's hard to know how much he has left in the tank. This will be Konno's first title bout, and he'll come into the contest very hungry,but will be the under-dog. Interestingly the winner of this could be the next target for the really talented Koki Inoue.
The other title bout will see world ranked OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (16-3-1, 9) defending his title against Korean challenger Sa Myung Noh (10-3, 3). The under-rated Takenaka is a very talented boxer who has built from losses to good fighters, like Hisashi Amagasa, and looks to be one of the rising contenders in the packed Featherweight division, though he would be the big under-dog against any of the current world champion. Noh is a pretty good fighter, but his technical flaws should see him be easy pickings for Takenaka, who we suspect will box his way into control, before closing the show in the middle rounds.
In an interesting under-card bout we'll see the under-rated Yusuke Suzuki (7-3, 5) battle against the more experienced Keita Nakano (14-10-6, 4). On paper Suzuki might not look anything special but he's a genuine talent, and was a very good amateur before turning professional in late 2012. He has been matched hard through his career, losing to Yusaku Kuga, Ryoichi Tamura and Jeffrey Francisco, though could well have been 10-0 (5) with a bit of luck. Nakano, fighting for the 31st time as a professional has mixed at a good level and will be the under-dog here, but he is certainly a live under-dog.
In Thailand on the same day fight fans will see former world title title challenger Stamp Kiatniwat (16-1, 6) battle against Filipino foe Michael Enriquez (13-6-1, 9) in what looks like an interesting match up. The Thai youngster will be favoured, and he showed he was legitimate in his 2016 loss to Kazuto Ioka, but Enriquez will go to war with him and the bout could be very, very fan friendly, as Enriquez's bout against Rex Tso was back in 2015.
The final day of 2016 is one of the most notable on the boxing calendar as Japanese TV promoters, and TV channels put on a number of shows. This year we get three shows, each with multi-ple title bouts and notable prospects.
The most notable of the three shows takes place in Kyoto and will be aired on TBS as part of their huge end of year celebrations.
The headline bout here will see the WBA regular and interim titles at Flyweight being unified. The bout sees regular champion Kazuto Ioka (20-1, 12) battle with unbeaten interim champion Stamp Kiatniwat (15-0, 6) from Thailand. The bout is an interesting match up with Stamp's team showing confidence in their man, who seemed to believe he was travelling to Japan to stop the champion. The experience Ioka will be looking to show that experience is key here and will likely be looking to prove he's the best Flyweight on the planet in 2017, after getting this mandatory defense out of the way.
A second world title fight on this card will see IBF Super Bantamweight chamion Jonathan Guzman (22-0-0-1, 22) defending his title for the first time. The heavy handed Dominican will be up against once beaten Japanese challenger Yukinori Oguni (18-1-1, 7), who is looking to add a world title to his collection which already includes a Japanese and OPBF title. Guzman, who won the title in Japan with a stoppage win over Shingo Wake, has looked relaxed but some have felt that he is over-looking Oguni who has started to find his own power in recent bouts.
Sadly an IBF Bantamweight title bout between Lee Haskins (34-3, 14) and Shohei Omori (17-1, 12) was cancelled in the weeks leading up to the bout, as Haskins suffered an injury that forced him out. Omori's team, who are promoting the show, managed to find their man a solid late replacement in the former of multi-time world title challenger Rocky Fuentes (32-8-2, 20). The bout isn't a bad one given the short notice but it should be noted that Fuentes is best known for his run at Flyweight and will be dwarfed by Omori who is around 5” taller than the Filipino.
Another bout pitting a Japanese fighter against a Thai will see the unbeaten, and world ranked, Sho Ishida (22-0, 11) up against the hapless Petchnamnung Sor Thiebkhun (0-10). The Thai has been stopped 8 times in his 10 defeats and will be unlikely to test Ishida who has made it clear that he's wanting world title fights in 2017. A bout like this won't prepare him for world class opposition but serves the task of keeping him busy and ticking him over whilst looking for a big fight.
Another Ioka gym hopeful on this under card is the unbeaten, and exciting, Super Flyweight Masayoshi Hashizume (11-0, 8). Hashizume won the Rookie of the Year in 2014 and although we had hoped to see him in notable fights since he actually this year facing unknown Thai Chatpetch Saithonggym (0-0). Hopefully 2017 will be a better year for the Osaka man who hasn't progressed like some had hoped.
Another notable multi-title show will come from Tokyo and be promoted by Watanabe promotions, who continue their association with TV Tokyo.
The headline bout of this is the “revenge or repeat” bout between Panama's tricky Jezreel Corrales (20-1-1, 8) and Takashi Uchiyama (24-1-1, 20). Earlier this year Corrales blitzed Uchiyama in 2 rounds to give “KO Dynamite” his first professional defeat and to claim the WBA Super Featherweight “super” title and shocked the boxing world. Now the champion will be looking to repeat the feat as he returns to a Japanese ring whilst Uchiyama will be looking to prove the result was an anomaly. At 37 years old however the view is that Uchiyama is several years removed from his prime and will likely be over-whelmed by the speed and movement of Corrales once again.
The second of the world title bouts on this card will see WBA Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi (25-2-1, 11) defending his belt against unbeaten Venezuelan puncher Carlos Canizales (16-0, 13). On paper this looks like a good defense for Taguchi but in fairness Canizales hasn't yet fought anyone of any name recognition and it's hard to know how good he really is. He could be the next gem of a talent from Venezuela or he could be a crude domestic fighter, as the footage suggests, either way we'll see questions answered about him, even if we don't learn anythign new about Taguchi.
Arguably the most interesting bout of the whole day is an OPBF / WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title unification bout as the once beaten Masayuki Ito (19-1-1, 9), the current OPBF champion, takes on the teak tough and criminally under-rated Takuya Watanabe (30-6-1, 16), the current WBO Asia Pacific title holder. This bout is one for the hardcore but is something we expect to actually leave the fans the happiest with. Both men are incredibly talented, have under-rated power and skills and the winner really does deserve some other major bouts in 2017. We think Ito is the more proven but Watanabe is always a handful and appears to be getting better with every fight.
One of the hottest young talents in Japanese boxing will be looking to secure his 5th straight stoppage win. That is the wonderfully aggressive Hiroto Kyoguchi (4-0, 4), who will be up against Filipino visitor Junuel Lacar (7-3-3, 5). The bout should be a test for Kyoguchi but the reality is that he has made supposed tests, like Kenichi Miyazaki and Michael Camelion, look poor courtesy of his speed and power. A win here could see Kyoguchi begin to fight for titles in 2017.
Another fast rising prospect on this card is the really exciting Masataka Taniguchi (5-0, 4), who is looking to build on his recent win over Dexter Alimento as he takes on Vicent Bautista (5-5-3, 1) in what looks like a straight forward bout for the much fancied Taniguchi. It's thought that 2017 will see Taniguchi battle for titles and this could be his final bout before he gets to wear his first strap.
For those interested in final 3 bouts mentioned here they will be features on tape delay as part of the Boxingraise service.
A third show, in fact the first of the three, takes place in Gifu where Hatanaka will be promoting a card. The main event of this will have a legal stream broadcast world wide for fans interested.
The main event of this card will see former WBO Minimumweight champions collide as Kosei Tanaka (7-0, 4) takes on Moises Fuentes (24-2-1, 13) for the vacant WBO Light Flyweight. For Tanaka this is a huge chance to match Naoya Inoue's Japanese record of becoming a 2-weight world champion in 8 bouts however it's a tough bout against a very talented Mexican who many feel should should have scored a win a win over Donnie Nietes in his first bout with the talented Filipino. On paper this is probably the most interesting of the bouts from the day, at least at world title level.
At Japanese title level we'll see Shota Hayashi (28-5-1, 17), making his first defense of the Japanese Featherweight title, taking on former world champion Akifumi Shimoda (31-5-2, 14). For Hayashi, who won the title back in September, a win here would legitimise his reign and prove him to be a worthy champion. For Shimoda this is a second shot at this title following a narrow loss to Satoshi Hosono last year.
In a supporting bout we'll see former Japanese Bantamweight title contender Yushi Tanaka (18-1-3, 12) face off with Takuya Taniguchi (6-9-2, 1). For Tanaka this is a chance to record a third straight win following his March loss to Kentaro Masuda for the Japanese title. The little known Taniguchi will be looking to score his biggest win, though he has gone just 1-3 in his last 4 bouts dating back more than a year.
Another supporting bout will see Kento Hatanaka (1-0, 1), the son of former former world champion Kiyohi Hatanaka, battle against Yukihiro Asahara (2-4, 1). The 18 year old Hatanaka will be seeking to score his second win in the space of just 5 weeks! On his debut Hatanaka score a quick blow out over an over-matched foe and will be looking to do the same again here.
On February 5th Thai fans had expected to an international rematch between WBA “interim” Flyweight champion Stamp Kiatniwat (14-0, 6) and Dominican slugger Gregorio Lebron (13-3, 11), who fought in a controversial bout last year. Sadly the bout was postponed on the day of the fight after issues with the promoter being unable to pay Thai TV station Channel 7. As a result of the postponement the bout was rescheduled for February 9 on Channel 3 SD.
The bout is expected to be a competitive one, but is likely to be a frustrating one for both fighters.
On the under-card will be unbeaten Thai Chalermpol Singwancha (16-0, 12), who was supposed to be in action at the end of January before his original opponent, IK Yang, suffered a training injury. Sadly we're unsure who Chalermpol will be facing
For a second day running Thai fans get a major, international rematch as WBA “interim” Flyweight champion Stamp Kiatniwat (14-0, 6) defends his title against Dominican slugger Gregorio Lebron (13-3, 11). Stamp beat Lebron last year to claim the title before being ordered to give Lebron a rematch due to the close nature of the contest. Coming in to the rematch both men have stated they will be hunting a KO and that could mean that we won't see the judges come in to play here.
On the under-card will be unbeaten Thai hopeful Chalermpol Singwancha (16-0, 12), who was supposed to be in action at the end of January before his original opponent, IK Yang, suffered a training injury.
Often in boxing we complain about the quality of match ups, every so often however we get a match up that really does look like a treat, a genuinely special treat for us fans. One such bout is set to take place today in Jakarta where former world title challenger Daud Yordan (34-3-0-1, 24) battles Yoshitaka Kato (29-6-1, 9). The bout may not resonate with Western fans, who may have forgotten Yordan and may not know who Kato is, but it will be action packed with styles that should really gel in the ring and give us a lot of excitement. This really could be a genuine treat.
For fans interested the bout will be aired on RCTI and will be for Yordan's WBO Africa and WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight titles, with Kato himself having questioned the African title, it will also have significance on the WBO Lightweight world rankings with the winner likely moving towards a title fight as a result of this one.
As for the under-card the show will feature some interesting fights, including an exhibition featuring 55 year old Indonesian legend Ellyas Pical (20-5-1, 11) facing off against his former sparring partner in a 2 round exhibition. The bout, according to the promoter, is to raise interest in Indonesian boxing and allow Pical, the country's first world champion to be a key figure.
The main under-card bout will see the exciting Defry Palulu (12-1, 11) face off against Filipino fighter Rey Juntilla (21-7-4, 14), in what looks like a genuinely good match up and a real test for the local favourite.
The card will also feature a celebrity charity fight, albeit between two Indonesian celebrities, whilst there are a further 6 under card bouts featuring some of the more notable domestic level Indonesian fighters.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
December is a busy month and Asian fight fans get a pair of “WBA Flyweight” title bouts, both of which are rematches. The first of those is in Thailand as WBA “interim” champion Stamp Kiatniwat (14-0, 6) takes on Dominican slugger Gregorio Lebron (13-3, 11) for the second time. These two men fought earlier this year, with Stamp taking a majority decision to claim the title, and the WBA did order a rematch which we'll get here. If it's as good as their first bout then we do have something to look forward, just hopefully it will be less controversial.
Sadly we have no details regarding the under-card for this show.
The only action this coming Wednesday appears to be from Thailand where the unbeaten Stamp Kiatniwat (13-0, 6) will be looking to become one of the youngest “world champions” in history. The Thai teenager will be battling against Dominican puncher Gregorio Lebron (13-2, 11) in a bout for the WBA “interim” Flyweight title.
We're sure other bouts will be on this card, which is set to be televised on Thai Channel 3, though this is clearly the stand out bout on the show.
(Image courtesy of thairec.com)
In Thailand fans get another televised show courtesy of Channel 3 who are showing a pair of title bouts.
The less notable to the title bouts here will see interim PABA Super Flyweight champion Chatpetch Sithmorseng (9-3-1, 5) attempt to make the 4th defense of his title as he takes on Filipino visitor Macrea Gandionco (10-2-1, 6). On paper this looks an even match up but the Filipino fighter has been stopped in his last 2 bouts and is the naturally smaller man coming into this bout.
The other title bout will see unbeaten teenager Stamp Kiatniwat (12-0, 5) defending his PABA interim Flyweight title against Filipino loser Wilber Andogan (10-18-4, 4). On paper this should be a very safe bout for Stamp, who is tipped very highly by some of those in the know, however he was pushed very close last time out by Espinos Sabu and probably needs an easy bout and some time to continue his development rather than another hard challenge.
Also on this card will be Thai based Nigerian Taiwo Ali (15-3, 10) who takes on a yet to be named foe as he continues his unusual career. Whilst a Nigerian being based in Thai is pretty unusual that's only one part of Ali's unique career which has seen him debut against Medgoen Singsurat and stop his last 6 foes!
In Colombia fans will see the heavy handed and world ranked Kanat Islam (18-0, 15) defending his WBA Fedelatiboutn Light Middleweight title as he battles against the unknown Orlando de Jesus Estrada (11-6-1, 9). The telling thing about this match is that Estrada has been stopped in all 6 of his stoppages whilst holding no wins of note. It's fair to assume that Chinese born Kazakh fighter Islam will extend his perfect record here.
Having ended 2015 in a flurry of big fights we're glad to report the title action continues into early 2015 as one of Thailand's most promising prospects Stamp Kiatniwat (11-0, 5) defends his PABA Flyweight title against an Indonesian foe. We're sad to admit we're unsure who the foe is but we do enjoy watching Stamp and his performances in 2014 have put at #14 in our prospects to watch in 2015. When we did that list we didn't expect him to be in action so quickly in to the year.
As well as the 17 year old Stamp we suspect several of his stablemates will be in action on a show televised on Thai Channel 7 from 14:30 to 16:30 local time.