The most notable show this coming Monday comes from Tokyo as the Korakuen Hall .
In the main event of this card we'll see the hard hitting Japanese Bantamweight Yuki Beppu (18-1-1, 18) take on Filipino veteran Jason Egera (24-20-2, 11). This should be little more than a bounce back win for Beppu, who was beaten last October in a Japanese title eliminator by Yuki Nagano in a Japanese title eliminator. With 9 stoppage losses on his record Egera will not be expected to see out the scheduled 8 rounds with Beppu.
In a supporting bout former Japanese Bantamweight challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (30-8-5, 21) will take on the limited but hard hitting Masayasu Nakamura (6-3-1, 6). Coming into this Takahashi will be seeking a third straight win, whilst Nakamura will be looking for a career best victory. A loss for Takahashi is likely to cost him his Japanese and WBO Asia Pacific rankings.
A third bout of note will see Japanese ranked Minimumweight Desierto Nagaike (11-4-2, 2) face off with Shuri Hasebe (7-5, 2). Nagaike has won just 1 of his last 4, but will be confident of picking up a win here. Hasebe on the other hand will be looking to build on a win against Yoshimitsu Kushibe from back in December.
Once beaten hopeful Tetsuya Watanabe (4-1, 3) looks to record his second win since losing to Keita Kurihara, as he takes on Masajiro Honda (6-10, 4). This should be a pretty straight forward win for Watanabe, especially given that Honda has been stopped in his last 5 and is more than 4 years removed from his last win.
As well as the show in the Philippines there is also set to be a show in the Philippines, sadly though this is a much less significant show with only one bout of real note.
That one bout is set to be a 12 round contest between the in form Jhon Gemino (19-11-1, 9) and Juanito Paredes (8-5-1, 3). On paper this doesn't look amazing but both have been in notable runs, with Gemino upsetting Carlos Ornelas and Sho Nakazawa in his last 2 bouts and Paredes riding a 5 fight winning run with victories over the likes of Lloyd Jardeliza and Jestoni Autida. This could be very interesting.
Although there is only a single bout of note, at least at the time of writing, it is worth noting that the 21 year old Jahzeel Trinidad (3-0) will be in action here, and he is expected to go on to do big things in the near future.
Action returns to the Korakuen Hall this coming Friday for a small, but notable card featuring a few names known around the Asian scene.
The main event of the card will see the teak tough Tatsuya Takahashi (29-8-5, 21) take on the underrated Gaku Aikawa (9-6-1, 3). The 29 year old Takahashi first came to our attention in 2014, when he challenged the then Japanese Bantamweight champion Kentaro Masuda in a thrilling 10 round contest, in which Takahashi was described as a "zombie" afterwards. Since losing to Masuda in their entertaining bout Takahashi has gone 11-1-2 (8) and been in some entertaining contests. Aikawa is a win some, lose some fighter, going 6-6 in his last 12, though has mixed with good fighters. Sadly for Aikawa it's hard to imagine him picking up a win against Takahashi, even if Takahashi is himself rather crude.
Another bout of note on this card will see former Japanese Minimumweight title challenger Masashi Tada (12-5-3, 8) take on former OPBF Light Flyweight title challenger Lester Abutan (13-9-3, 7) in an interesting match up. Coming into this Tada is 1-2-2 in his last 5, dating back 5 years, whilst Abutan has lost 4 of his last 6, though those losses do include defeats by Kenshiro in an OPBF title bout and Ryota Yamauchi in late 2017. Neither of these are a world beater, but this should still be an interesting and competitive contest.
As well as the Japanese card there will also be a show in Thailand, featuring 2 notable Thai fighters.
The main event will see OPBF "silver" Super Flyweight champion Kongfah CP Freshmart (24-1, 13) defending his title against Filipino foe Salatiel Amit (11-5-2, 8). This is a mismatch on paper, but the reality is that Amit is much better than his record suggests, and we suspect that Kongfah will have to work hard for a win here. We don't expect to see the title changing hands, but Amit will certainly give Kongfah a really tough test.
Another bout on this card will see WBA #2 ranked Flyweight Noknoi Sitthiprasert (68-5, 42) take part in what was being promoted as a tune up bout ahead of a potential world title fight later in the year.
This coming Saturday isn't the busiest day for Asian boxing, especially given some of the other big contests that we've had recently, but it is still a pretty notable one with a number of interesting contests involving prospects and a clash of former world title challengers.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The pick of the bouts, on paper, is the aforementioned clash of former world title challengers, as former 2-time world title challenger Jonathan Taconing (27-3-1, 22) takes on recent title challenger Vince Paras (13-1, 11), with Taconing defending the WBC International Light Flyweight title against his compatriot. At the age of 31 Taconing is likely on the back end of his career, though he is still a very dangerous, hard hitting, tough southpaw who is a nightmare for anyone at 108lbs. Paras on the other hand is just 19 and looking to immediately get back into the title mix following a recent loss in an IBF title fight against Hiroto Kyoguchi. This could end up being a very special and very brutal contest.
Staying in the Philippines we get a pretty notable card taking place in Benguet.
The main event will see former OPBF title challenger Cris Paulino (18-3, 7) facing off with the upset minded Jomar Fajardo (16-11-2, 7) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Super. Flyweight title. Paulino has been stopped in all 3 of hos defeats, to Ardin Diale, Koki Eto and Vic Darchinyan, but is a very capable fighter who is riding a 4 fight winning run into this fight. “Wallopman” Fajardo is best known for his two fights with Francisco Rodriguez Jr, earning a draw in the first of those bouts. Despite being upset minded Fajardo is 1-7-1 in his last 9 and and a win here would be one of his very best.
A bout that should be better than the records of those involved suggests will see Ryan Rey Ponteras (22-13-2, 11) take on Cris Alfante (14-7-1, 6). Neither of these men are world beaters, by any stretch of the imagination, but they should make for a very good contest between each other. Ponteras, on his day, can hold his own with fringe OPBF level opponents but is very inconsistent and can end up losing to opponents he should be. Alfante is the naturally smaller man, but also the younger man, and the fighter who will be looking to build on recent wins over Reymark Taday and Roilo Golez. This could be a pretty interesting match up, if we get the best from both guys.
Also on this card is promising youngster Jayson Vayson (7-0, 4), who looks to continue his unbeaten start to professional boxing as he takes on Ronald Alapormina (3-2-1). We like the 20 year old Vayson, a lot, and are looking forward to seeing him let off the leash in the near future. On paper this isn't a step up in class, but it will be his first 10 round contest. As for Alapormina he has gone 0-2-1 in his last 3 and will be wanting to end that win-less run. We expect a win for Vayson, but do hope to see him getting tested in the near future.
In Ibaragi Japanese fight fans get a small yet notable card featuring a former Japanese title challenger in what looks to be a mismatch, and interesting 8 round under-card bout.
The former Japanese title challenger is Tatsuya Takahashi (28-8-5, 20), who pushed the then Japanese Bantamweight champion hard Kentaro Masuda incredible hard back in December 2014. Takahashi will be up against domestic journeyman Masahide Shinabe (8-16-2, 4) in what should be a straight forward win for Takahashi, however Takashi will be coming in to this having lost last time out, losing a decision to Ikuro Sadatsune in a bout he was expected to win.
The interesting under-card bout will see Naoto Fujimoto (9-9-1, 4) face off against Ryuta Wakamatsu (11-13-1, 8). This is a bout between two limited domestic fighters, but they often give us some of the best action, with both men believing they can win, and putting it on the line to claim a relatively rare victory. This could, in terms of action at least, over-shadow the main event.
London, United Kingdom
One other bout with an Asian interest takes place on the biggest card of the weekend and will see 2016 Olympic silver medal winner Shakhram Giyasov (4-0, 3) face off with unbeaten Nicaraguan Julio Laguna (14-0, 10) on the under-card of the huge Anthony Joshua Vs Alexander Povetkin fight. For both men this will give them a chance to shine in front of a huge audience, and on paper it's a very interesting match up. The reality however is that if Giyasov is as good as he has looked in recent bouts then he will really impress here and move a considerable way towards getting a huge fighter in 2019. This is a good test on paper, but one that Giyasov should pass with no issue.
Bang Phun, Thailand
In Thailand our attention turns to Workpoint who will be showcasing a small but notable card. The headline bout of which will see unbeaten 29 year old local Atchariya Wirojanasunobol (11-0, 9) take on Japanese visitor Taisho Ozawa (21-10-2, 13) for a WBC regional title at Light Welterweight. Atchariya has fought twice this year, winning and defending the WBC Asian Boxing Council title at 140lbs, and we expect him to come out on top here as well. Oazawa on the other hand will be fighting for the first time in 2018 and is without a win almost 6 years, a combination of inactivity and 3 straight losses.
There is also set to be a small card in China, which will be main event by a 6 round contest between Yu Che Li (3-1-2, 2) and Hongpeng Zhang (5-5-1, 2). Given that that's the main event it should be little surprise that this card isn't going to get much attention. Coming in both men are on a 3 fight unbeaten run, with both men being 2-0-1 (1) during that 3 fight run, but neither has faced anyone of real note.
This coming Monday attention returns to the Korakuen Hall as Yamaguchi Tsuchiura put on a small domestic card.
The main event will see former Japanese Bantamweight title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (28-7-5, 20) battle against youngster Ikuro Sadatsune (7-2-3, 2) in a pretty good looking bout. Takahashi really made his name in 2014, when he had a thrilling 10 round war with Kentaro Masuda. Since then he has gone 9-1-2 (7) and chasing a second title fight. As for Sadatsune he's less well known, but has shown his toughness, and not only took Kai Chiba the distance but also scored a very good win over Ryo Suwa last time out. This should be much better than it looks on paper.
Another bout with promise to be better than it looks is the chief support bout between Keisuke Ota (10-11, 3) and Sho Nagata (8-4, 2). The 33 year old Ota has a dire looking record but hasn't been given many easy bouts, battling the likes of Yuchiro Kasuyra, Masashi Noguchi and Tatsuya Yanagi and he is better than the numbers suggest. Nagata however will be the favourite and the 22 year old is a very capable fighter despite losing 3 of his last 6 bouts. Both will be seeking a win and both will see this as a winnable bout, so we're expecting a very competitive contest here.
In Tokyo fans will get the chance to see a number of notable fighters in action, though in fairness it's not like those notable fighters are really likely to bes tested given the level of competition theyt are facing.
The most notable of the bouts on the card will see the limited but teak tough Tatsuya Takahashi (27-7-5, 20) take on countryman Keita Nakano (14-12-6, 4). The bout has the potential to be a very fun contest, but Takahashi has an unwelcome ability to make his life harder than it needs to be and this bout will likely be another case of him getting into a bit of an unnecessary war. Nakano's lack of power won't help him in that war, but he could be surprisingly competitive here in what could be a very fun match up at the fringes of the Japanese title scene.
Another notable fighter on this show is the heavy handed Yuki Beppu (16-0-1, 16), who will be looking to keep his unbeaten record alive as he takes on a Thai opponent in the show's final bout. Little is known about the Thai but Beppu has feasted on a series of limited opponents since claiming the Japanese Rookie of the Year back in 2014, with the one exception being the drawn fight against Charles Bellamy. It's unfortunately time that Beppu started facing more notable opponents and really began to do more than run up KO's against over-matched foes.
A third fighter of note on this card is 2014 Super Featherweight Rookie of the Year Yuichiro Kasuya (9-2-1, 1). Like Beppu we'll see him in with a Thai foe, though this is more understandable given that Kasuya is almost 2 years removed from his last win, and has gone 0-2-1 in his last 3, albeit in very competitive bouts. The 21 year old does look like a fighter who needs to build belief in his power and an easy blow out against an over-matched Thai foe may be the perfect way to build that confidence.
New York, USA
In the US fight fans wil get the chance to see two exciting American based fighters from central Asia.
One of those fighters is Uzbek destroyer Shohjahon Ergashev (10-0, 10), who takes a huge step up in class to face fellow unbeaten fighter Sonny Fredrickson (18-0, 12). The hard hitting Uzbek went 4-0 (4) in 2017 fighting just 5 combined rounds, and has only gone beyond 2 rounds once, showing just what power he has early on. If he can take out Fredrickson then he'll be on his way to making a real statement in 2018. The 23 year old Fredrickson was a former amateur standout and will be looking to extend a 3 fight stoppage run, as he takes on his second successive unbeaten foe.
The other fighter of note on this card for us is Kazakh puncher Bakhtiyar Eyubov (13-0, 11), who looks to put a less than great 2017 behind him as he takes on Maurice Chalmers (14-13-1, 8). The bout looks like a mismatch on paper, but with Eyubov fighting just 7 rounds last year we can understand why he's being given a relatively easy one here, against a man who is almost 2 years removed from his last bout.
The most notable bout for Asian fight fans this Saturday is in Texas where we'll see a Filipino icon in action as Nonito Donaire (37-4, 24) returns to the ring for the first time since losing the WBO Super Bantamweight title to Jessie Magdaleno last November. The “Filipino Flash” has been training in Japan for his return, which sees him moving back up to Featherweight to face Ruben Garcia Hernandez (22-2-1, 9) in a contest for the WBC Silver title. Although he has been inactive, and is 34, Donaire should have far too much for Hernandez.
In California there is another notable Filipino in action, as the heavy handed Romero Duno (14-1, 13) returns to the States for the first time since his break out win over Christian Gonzalez. The hard hitting Pinoy puncher will be up against Mexican veteran Juan Pablo Sanchez (30-13, 14). Duno should have too much fire power for his Mexican foe, who has been stopped 8 times, but Sanchez does appear to be than his record suggests and his last couple of losses, have been in competitive decisions against Rene Alvarado and Antonio Moran, both solid punchers.
More Asian fighters are in action in the US as a number of fighters from Central Asia fight on a card in Louisiana.
In the main event we'll see 21 year old Tajik hopeful Mekhrubon Sanginov (4-0, 3) take on American Cameron Burroughs (4-1-0-1, 3) for the WBC Youth Middleweight title. Sanginov has been a professional for just under a year but has impressed with 3 quick wins and a bizarre split decision in Poland where one judge appears to have been watching a different fight to everyone else. This should be a really interesting and looks to be very well matched, though neither man has has got many rounds under their belt, which could make this contest sloppy if it gets to the later rounds.
Also on this card are Balaussa Muzdiman (0-0), Iskander Kharsan (1-0, 1) and Ali Baloyev (1-0, 1) who will all be facing limited looking opposition as they look to take their next step in their professional journey.
Fight fans in Japan are set for a bit of a strange card with a trio of notable names, all taking on very weak opposition.
In the main event the always fun to watch Tatsuya Takahashi (26-7-5, 19) will be up against limited Thai visitor Chatphet Saithonggym (0-2) in what should be an easy win for Takahashi, following a technical decision loss to Jetro Pabustan earlier this year. Although Takahashi is a very fun to watch fighter it's unlikely this will be too exciting, with the bout likely designed to give Takahashi an easy win.
Another mismatch will see big punching Japanese Welterweight Yuki Beppu (15-0-1, 15) take on an unnamed Thai foe. This will be Beppu's second bout since drawing with Charles Bellamy back in January and we're expecting another early finish for the 26 year old banger.
Arguably the most interesting bout on this card will see novice Tetsuya Watanabe (1-0), who is touted as once to watch, take on the always entertaining and charming Takuya Yamaguchi (3-8-2, 2). It's hard to imagine Yamaguchi winning, but he will throw leather with bad intentions and could well test Watanabe's resolve and chin in a potentially interesting contest.
Johore Bahru, Malaysia
We get yet another Asian show with action in Malaysia, as we see FH Promotions give several fighters a chance to shine.
One of those looking to impress here is Azizbek Abdugofurov (7-0, 4), who was originally scheduled to face Ibrahim Tamba (21-8-1, 14) but is now listed as facing a TBA, presumably a late replacement for Tamba who appears to be out of the bout. Abdugofurov is regarded as one of the top Uzbek prospects and has quickly climbed into the top 25 on boxrec due to notable wins over the likes of Chaloemporn Singwancha, Sirimongkol Singwancha and Martin Fidel Rios. It's likely his bout here will just be a stay busy, but he really is one to watch.
Another unbeaten man looking to extend his record is local favourite Muhamad Farkhan (4-0, 4), who will want to shine in front of his loyal fans as he takes on Thai visitor Khundon Chaiyonggym (8-3, 8). It's fair to say that Farkhan will have all the fans behind him and should win, but this is a small step up for the local hero.
On paper one bout that does have promise will see Filipino fighters collide as Jeson Umbal (15-5, 10) takes on Jon Jon Estrada (10-3-1,9). For Umbal this bout will be his 4th in Malaysia, where he is 3-0 (1) and will see him look to continue his 7 fight winning run. As for Estrada this bout will be his first outside of the Philippines. Given his power Estrada is a real threat to the rise of Umbal and this could be a very exciting and hard hitting bout, which should thrill the fans.
Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines there will be two shows, but the most notable is in Metro Manila.
In the main event of this card we'll see the talented pairing of Glenn Suminguit (19-3, 10) and Renoel Pael (21-6-1, 11) battle for the GAB Bantamweight title, with Suminguit looking for his firs defense of the title. Suminguit won the title a year ago, stopping Alvin Bais in 3 rounds for the vacant title, but has only fought once since then, losing in Super Bantamweight bout, and could well have some ring rust coming in to this one. As for Pael the bout will see is confidence being checked, with the once touted Leyte man being 2-5 in his last 7, and really struggling for form.
In supporting bouts we'll see the Elorde brothers take on two over-matched Indonesians. Juan Miguel Elorde (23-1, 12) will be up against Afrizal Tamboresi (11-6, 6), who has lost his last 4 and been stopped in his last 3 and Juan Martin Elorde (22-1-1, 9) will be up against veteran Arief Blader (23-24-2, 8), who has won 1 of his last 5. It's hard to imagine of the Elorde's losing here in what are really mismatches.
What could turn out to be an interesting contest is set to see Wilbert Berondo (10-2-1, 4) take on the tough and under-rated Jayar Diama (7-11-7, 3). Although it looks one sided on paper it needs to be noted that Diama is much better than the numbers suggest and he could be a real handful for Berondo, who is best known for suffering a stoppage loss to the exceptional Hinata Maruta.
In a second Filipino show we'll see a card headlined by a bout between Roilo Golez (16-18-1, 7) and Diarh Gabutan (19-6-3,10). Coming in to this one Golez is totally out of form, losing 7 of his last 8 bouts by stoppage. Whilst Golez has mixed with some good company he's also suffered lossesto limited foes, like Geboi Mansalayao and it's fair hard to say that Gabutan should pick up the win here. Saying that however Golez' only win in his last 8 bouts, was actually a 5th round KO against Gabutan, who knows he cannot afford another loss, especially not to Golez.
Also in Asia there is a show in Singapore, featuring a number of fighters from across Asia.
In a high profile female bout local star Nurshahidah Roslie (6-1, 4) will take on Thai visitor Sriphrae Nongkipahuyuth (12-4-2, 5) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Female and OPBF Female Featherweight titles. This will give both fighters something to fight for, and we do expect them to have a proper fight here, but it's hard to imagine the visitor having the power needed to really test Roslie.
Another local in action is unbeaten Super Middleweight hopeful Rafi Majid (5-0, 5), who takes on Indonesian visitor Maxi Nahak (7-13-3, 3) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Super Middleweight title. Majid has blitzed his first 5 opponents, in a combined 7 rounds, and will likely do the same here, against a naturally smaller man who has been stopped 9 times already n 23 fights.
Another fight where we'd expected to see someone beat an Indonesian is a contest that will feature Filipino fighter Jun Tapale (22-9-1, 8) battling Indon Rusmin Kie Raha (15-13-3, 3). Although Tapale isn's a huge puncher Raha has been stopped in 8 of his 13 losses and we could see a 9th here. Raha's best hope is to see out the final bell, but it's hard to imagine him really testing the Filipino.
After a pretty busy weekend of fights things get turned down a bit this coming week. Despite that we do begin the week with a show from the Korakuen Hall featuring pretty good looking main event, and a bout featuring a personal favourite of the Asian boxing team.
The main event of the card will see former Japanese Bantamweight title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (26-6-5, 19) battle against former world title challenger Jetro Pabustan (28-4-6, 9) for the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title. Of the two men Pabustan is probably the better known, following his 2016 bout with Pungluang Sor Singyu, in what was Pungluang's only successful defense of the WBO Bantamweight title. Despite that high profile loss there is little else of note on Pabustan's record, barring a huge amount of technical decisions. Likewise Takahashi is best known for a loss, losing to Kentaro Masuda in 2014 in a thriller of a 10 round war. We're not expecting this bout to get huge attention, but we can't help but to expect a fun war between two wild and limited warriors.
Talking about limited we'll rarely talk about anyone as limited as the charismatic Takuya Yamaguchi (3-7-2, 2) however we have been won over by his and his showmanship, which makes him great value every time he's in the ring. Yamaguchi has half a chance of picking up a rare win here as he takes on fellow limited fighter Sosuke Sakata (4-3-1, 2) in what could be a really enjoyable contest, even if the combined skill level of the two fighters is low.
To end the month of March Japanese fans get a low key show at the Korakuen Hall.
The most notable of the bouts on this card will see the unbeaten Japanese ranked Super Featherweight Yuichiro Kasuya (9-0-1, 1) risking his unbeaten record against Japanese ranked Lightweight Spice Matsushita (16-9-1, 2), in a bout that will see Matsushita move down to 130lbs. The 20 year old Kasuya first made a name for himself in 2014, when he claimed the Rookie of the Year crown, and notched a really good win last year over Kazuma Sanpei. Last time out however he was held to a really unexpected draw against Masaki Saito. Although Matsushita has picked up losses through his career, including on last time out to Can Xu, he is still a solid fighter and could be a real banana skin for the unbeaten youngster.
The main event of the card will see former Japanese Bantamweight title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (25-6-5, 18) take on Thai visitor Rungpetch Saithonggym (0-2). Although he drew earlier this year with Yuta Saito it's fair to say that Takahashi is best known for his 2014 loss to Kentaro Masuda. Since then he has gone 7-0-2 (5) and tried to work his way into another title fight. A win here won't get him a shot out right, but will keep him in the mix and see him continue his unbeaten run. As for the Thai he suffered 2 losses in Japan last year, and we suspect he'll suffer a third successive loss in the country here.
Western Cape, South Africa
In South Africa we'll see local unbeaten fighter Mzuvukile Magwaca (17-0-2, 10) battle with tough Filipino Jason Canoy (26-6-2, 19) in a bout for the WBF Bantamweight title. The unbeaten Magwaca has won his last 4 bouts, following a 2013 draw with Makazole Tete, including a stoppage over Filipino Michael Enriquez. This is a step for the local fighter and Canoy is certainly no push over, as shown in his wins over Drian Francisco and Jestoni Autida, but he is perhaps best known for his 2015 loss to a then debuting Hinata Maruta. Although he lost to Maruta he did prove he was ridiculously tough and we know he has nasty power of his own. This could be a very good match up
The Japanese show to take place at the “Holy Ground” of the Korakuen Hall takes place on January 13th and although it's not a blockbuster card it does feature two very notable bouts.
The first of those will see the very experienced former OPBF and JBC title holder Charles Bellamy (26-3-1, 17) take on the rising and big punching Yuki Beppu (14-0, 14) in a massively significant 8 rounder. The experienced Bellamy will be looking to move towards a title fight in 2017 but at 35 some have questioned just what he has left, and he fought just 8 rounds in 2016 and only 6 in 2015. Beppu, a destructive puncher, has failed to really impress since winning the 2014 Rookie of the Year and this is set to be his biggest test, by far.
In a Bantamweight clash we'll see JBC #1 ranked contender Yuta Saito (10-7-2, 7) battle against former title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (25-6-4, 18) in a bout that will likely decide a 2017 domestic title challenger. Saito has won just 3 of his last 8 bouts but is looking to get a title fight in the near future, and has been competitive in many of his losses. Takahashi impressed us massively when he took on Kentaro Masuda in 2014 and he's pursuing a rematch with Masuda, knowing that a win here will assure him of that bout later in the year. Potentially this could be a really exciting war.
Da Lian, China
There will also be a low key show in China.
In the main even of the card fans will see Chinese local Xing Xin Yang (11-5-3, 8) take on once beaten Thai Romnakit Technopoly Bangkok (8-1, 5). The Chinese 24 year old has won one of his last 4, a stoppage win against Takamori Akita, though will be coming into this bout on the back of a loss to the then debuting Nursultan Zhanabayev. Ronnakitsuffered his first loss last year, when he travelled to China and lost to American Rogelio Casarez. This could be an interesting bout, but we suspect the naturally bigger local fighter will come out on top.
The most notable bout to feature an Asian fighter this weekend sees former-2 weight world champion Donnie Nietes (38-1-4, 22) make his long anticipated move up to Flyweight where he will kick off his campaign with a fighter against Mexican veteran Edgar Sosa (52-9, 30). The bout isn't a major test, given Viloria's recent performances at world level, but is is a solid introduction to the weight for Nietes, who will be looking to become a 3-weight champion in the near future.
In a supporting bout on the same card former world title challenger Arthur Villanueva (29-1, 15) will face Juan Jimenez (22-10, 15) in a rematch. These two men fought earlier this year with Villanueva controversially winning the bout, and the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title, with a head-butt KO. Coming into this one Jimenez will be seeking revenge whilst Villanueva will be looking to win this one cleanly.
A third notable Filipino in action in the US is the touted prospect Mark Magsayo (14-0, 11), who risks his unbeaten record against Ruben Garcia (17-2-1, 7). The talented Magsayo won the WBO International Featherweight title last time out, beating Chris Avalos in a slugfest, and will be hoping to defend the belt here against Garcia. If he comes out on top then ALA might see fit to step up Magsayo and move him towards a title fight in the next 12 months or so.
The day is a busy on in Japan with 4 shows across the country. The most notable of which is a Dangan card in Tokyo.
The main event of the card will see Japanese Lightweight champion Nihito Arakawa (27-6-1, 16) face off against Yusuke Tsukada (8-5, 3) in what will be Arakawa's first defense of the title. The teak tough champion won the belt earlier this year, ending the reign of Kota Tokunaga, and looks like he's making a simple first defense before potentially facing Shuhei Tsuchiya.
It's worth noting that Shuhei Tsuchiya (20-4, 17) will be in one of the main supporting bout on this card as he takes on Filipino visitor Rex Olisa (11-29-1, 8). The bout is expected to be a mismatch with the bout serving almost entirely to help build for a bout between Tsuchiya and Arakawa in 2017.
Another Japanese title bout will be held in Aichi as Shota Hayashi (27-5-1, 17) trades blows with veteran Noriyuki Ueno (18-13-5, 5) in a bout for the vacant Japanese Featherweight title, which was recently vacated by Satoshi Hosono. Coming in Hayashi will clearly be the favourite however Ueno is under-rated, knows this will almost certainly be his only chance and comes in riding a huge high after a massive upset win against Yuki Ogata last time out.
In the chief support bout Yushi Tanaka (17-1-3,11) will be facing a poor Thai opponent in what will be Tanaka's second bout since losing in a Japanese title bout against Kentaro Masuda this past March. It's hard to see Tanaka losing here but he'll be forced to step up his competition in the near future if he wants another crack at silverware.
Fans in Ibaragi get a less interesting card though one headlined by the insanely tough Tatsuya Takahashi (24-6-4, 17), who faces Thai visitor Parkin Phakdeepin (1-7) in a 10 rounder. The bout, for all intents, is a mismatch but we find it impossible not to love Takahashi who has been in numerous thrillers. Although a mismatch Takahashi should make this fun.
Another low profile card comes from Oita where the main event will see Yuta Sasaki (8-8-1, 1) face off against Hyuma Fujioka (7-4-1). The bout is another less than great match up, however this one should at least be competitive with both men looking to prove they are the better fight.
Camarines Sur, Philippines
The Filipino fans also get some action, the most notable of which features the very talented and under-rated Michael Dasmarinas (24-2, 16) facing off with Michael Escobia (11-12-1, 3). On paper this looks like a real mismatch however Escobia is much better than his record suggests and he has given fighters like Masaaki Serie and Koki Eto really competitive bouts, with the Eto bout coming earlier this year. Dasmarinas should win but this is no gimme.
A second Filipino show is set to take place in Rizal where we get several bouts of note.
The main event of the card will see Glenn Suminguit (18-2, 9) face off against Alvin Bais (15-6-1, 4) in a bout for the vacant GAB Bantamweight title. The bout isn't the greatest one but should be a very competitive one and both men will be coming in to this one seeking a title victory. On paper it's easy to favour Suminguit, who has won his last 8, but he will be tested here in what should a relatively competitive bout.
On this card in supporting bouts are the Elorde brothers. Juan Martin Elorde (20-1-1, 8) will face off against Indonesian veteran Boido Simanjuntak (23-40-2, 9) whilst Juan Miguel Elorde (21-1, 11) will face Junior Bajawa (14-9, 7). It's hard to see either of the brothers losing here, though we do hope they will both step up a level in the near future, as neither should be tested by their inferior foes here.
Staying in Asia there is also action in Kazakhstan where we get several bouts of note.
The most interesting bout will see unbeaten puncher Issa Akberbayev (17-0-0-1, 12) face off against fellow puncher Maik Kurzweil (17-6, 17) in a bout we don't imagine will go the distance. Although neither is near “world class” they are fighting for the GBC title and will put it on the line to hold the belt.
In an under-card bout the once beaten Russian Medzhid Bektemirov (17-1, 12) will face the highly experienced Gary Abajyan (33-27-1, 17). This will be Bektemirov's second bout since suffering a split decision loss last year to Alexander Brand. It's hard to see Abajyan holding his own here, but Bektermirov is usually fun to watch.
In another under-card bout the unbeaten Berikbay Nurymbetov (2-0) will be facing the much more experienced Valentyn Kuts (22-5-0-1, 8). Kuts has failed to win any of his last 5 bouts and we suspect that losing run will continue here against a man who is obviously backed by a very confident team.
Quintana Roo, Mexico
In Mexico we'll see the much unfancied Hirotsugu Yamamoto (19-12-2, 3) battle against former world champion Jhonny Gonzalez (61-10, 51) for the WBC International Super Featherweight title. It's hard not to favour the much more experienced Gonzalez here in what looks like a mismatch against the visitor.
Back in California, though not on the same show as the three Filipino's, fight fans will be able to see American based Kazakh Madiyar Ashkeyev (5-0, 3) face off with fellow unbeaten Martez Jackson (3-0-2, 2). The bout looks relatively even on paper but we suspect the Kazakh will be too good and too powerful for the unbeaten American.
Hard hitting Kazakh hopeful Batyrzhan Jukembayev (4-0-0-2, 4) will be looking to continue his reign of terror as he battles Leandro Mendes Pinto (19-9-2, 9) in a notable step up. The Kazakh destroyer has looked promising so far and should look good here, but notably Pinto has been around the clock and could teach the youngster a few new tricks. Although Pinto has avoided regular stoppages it's hard to imagine him being big enough or tough enough to last long with Jukembayev