Our attention turns to New York this coming Friday where we get the chance to see several Asian fighters in action.
New York, USA
The biggest of the bouts in New York will see little known Japanese fighter Ryohei Takahashi (15-3-1, 6) challenge IBF Super Bantamweight champion TJ Doheny (20-0, 14). This is a huge step up class for Takahashi and an opportunity that few would have expected to see Takahashi get. This is Doheny's first title defense, and he really be the major favourite as he takes on the little known challenger. Takahashi had to wait until January 11th to get his visa for the fight but had been training for a potential clash with Doheny since early December. We've previewed this bout bout here Preview: Doheny Vs Takahashi
New York, USA
A separate card in New York will feature a trio of Asian fighters in bouts.
One of those Asian fighters in action is Filipino fighter Jessie Cris Rosales (22-1-1, 10), who will take on the very highly regarded American Shakur Stevenson (9-0, 5) in a very attractive looking contest. Stevenson, a 2016 Olympic silver medal winner, is regarded as one of the brightest prospects in American boxing and looked fantastic last time out, when he blitzed Romanian veteran Viorel Simion. Rosales on the other hand has a good record and his only loss is to the monstrously hard hitting Jhonny Gonzalez. A win for Rosales isn't expected, but he should be the best test for Stevenson so far.
Former Indian amateur stand out Vikas Krishan (0-0) will be making his debut on this show as he faces off with Steven Andrade (3-3, 2). The gifted Krishan is a 2-time Olympian who announced his intention to turn professional last year and signed with Top Rank, who will look to guide his career to the top. There are huge hopes for Krishan who will begin his career in a 6 round bout here and will be looking to show what he can do. Sadly Adrade has lost his last 3, his last 2 by stoppage, and it's hard to see Krishan being tested at all here in what is likely to be an easy showcase for his debut.
A third Asian on this show is Uzbek fighter Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (6-0, 3), a 2016 Olympic gold medal winner and a 27 year old who is starting to understand the professional boxing scene. The unbeaten Uzbek will be up against Dominican fighter Ricardo Garcia (14-4-1, 9), in what is a very credible step up in class for Gaibnazarov. The Olympic champion has had his struggles, and was dropped on his debut, but does look to be improving and this is a real test. We would expect Gaibnazarov to win, but it'll be very interesting to see how he looks en route to that win.
We also get some action from Thailand.
In one of the major bouts Flyweight contender Dennapa Kiatniwat (20-1, 15), aka Sarawut Thawornkham, will be up against Filipino foe Mateo Handig (15-17, 9), in what looks likely to be a straight forward win for the Thai, who is currently ranked #1 by the WBA at Flyweight. In recent years Handig has been picking up a lot of losses, and we expect to see another one here against the hard hitting Thai.
On the same card we'll see Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (39-1, 29) make his first defense of the WBA Asia Light Middleweight title he won last year, as he takes on Tanzania's Meshack Mwankemwa (17-5-2, 10), in what we're expecting to be a total mismatch in favour of the Thai fighter.
This coming Friday we see the ring return of recent world title challenger Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (38-1, 28), who will fight for the first time since he as stopped by Lucas Matthysse. The Thai will be battling against little known Tanzanian foe Manyi Issa (11-1-2, 8), in what should be a very easy return for the Thai. Whilst Teerachai will always be known in the West for the weird way he lost to Matthysse it should be noted that he had, for the most part, made the Argentinian look very poor and actually looked pretty goo in front of the world stage, with good movement and skills. Issa on the other hand is blown up Lightweight who has never fought outside of Tanzania and has never fought at Welterweight, a worry given that this bout is supposed to be at Light Middleweight. Teerachai should be far too big, too strong and too powerful for the visitor.
The biggest show this coming Saturday is in California where we get a world title double header, and interestingly both of those world title fights have a link to Asian boxing with both bouts having an Asian born fighter, and one of the non-Asian's being promoted by Teiken promotions.
One of those bouts will see unbeaten Thai hopeful Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (38-0, 28) take on exciting Argentinian Lucas Martin Matthysse (38-4-0-1, 35) for the WBA Welterweight title. For Matthysse the bout is a huge opportunity to become relevant again at the world stage, more than 2 years removed from his loss to Viktor Postol back in October 2015. Matthysse has been a very popular fighter with an aggressive style and heavy hands, but it's hard to really know what he has left in the tank. The Thai is stepping up massively, but given the huge wins by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai last year he'll feel he too can make a name for himself with a big win in the US. Teerachai has been in more than 30 title fights on the regional scene and whilst he hasn't beaten many fighters of note he has beaten fighters like Vladimir Baez, Larry Siwu and Kaizer Mabuza, who have all posed different questions for the Thai.
The other bout will see Teiken promoted Venezuelan Jorge Linares (43-3, 27) battle Filipino Mercito Gesta (31-1-2, 17), in Linares's latest WBA Lightweight title defense. The talented "El Niño de Oro" has been in great form recently, and is unbeaten in more than 5 years whilst picking up wins against the likes of Nihito Arakawa, Kevin Mitchell, Anthony Crolla and Luke Campbell, but questions over his durability will remain with the 3 surprise stoppage losses linger over his head. For Gesta this is a second shot at a world title, following a bizarre performance against the then IBF champion Vazquez back in 2010, which saw Gesta spending a lot of time looking at the big screen rather than actually fighting. Since the loss to Vazquez we've sene Gesta go 5-0-1 (3) but the reality is that few are giving him a chance here against someone with the skills and experience of Linares. Neither man can really afford a loss, but it's hard to imagine Gesta havign what's needed to give Linares his 4th professional defeat.
Another Filipino on this card is the heavy handed Romero Duno (15-1, 13), who takes on Mexican based Yardley Armenta Cruz (22-9-0-1, 12). The Filipino is an explosive puncher and someone everyone should make an effort to watch. Given that the Mexican has been stopped 6 times already we're expecting another stoppage loss here.
On a second American show fans will be able to see unbeaten Uzbek hopeful Botirali Mamajonov (5-0, 3) seek a 6th straight win. The Uzbek is looking likely to be in another 4 rounder here, and will hopefully begin fighting in longer bouts later in 2018.
Another US show will feature a couple of Asian fighters.
One of these is Japanese Southpaw Gaku Takahashi (15-7-1, 7), who will be up against Cameron Krael (12-12-3, 3). The Japanese fighter has had mixed success in recent fights, but did score a career best victory in 2016, when he stopped Kim Poulsen, and will be looking to get a win here, and rebuild following a less to Jamontay Clark last time out.
American based Uzbek Sanjarbek Rakhmanov (9-0-1, 4) will be on the card seeking his 6th straight win, and looking to continue his rise towards a notable bout. Sadly at the time of writing his opponent for this show hasn't yet been announced.
Back in Asia we will have a card in China, though at the time of writing the only a couple of bouts from the show are known about.
The more notable of the two bouts will see former 2-weight world champion Sirimongkol Singwancha (92-4, 57) continue his long career, as he looks to move one win closer to becoming the latest boxing centurion. The 40year old Thai will be up against China's Fei Hu Wang (5-1, 3), who is less than half the age of Sirimongkol at just 19! The Thai has slowed significantly in recent times, and has lost 2 of his last 3, but will feel like he has a chance here. As for Wang he was beaten last January by a debuting Aleksei Podkolzin, but has since scored back to back wins and will have youth and size, around 7" in height, over the veteran.
The other bout will see 18 year old Qiang Jiang (1-0, 1) take on Ukrainian Oleksii Kostenko (0-1). The Chinese youngster made his debut in July, with a stoppage of another debutant, whilst Kostenko, who debuted in June, was stopped by a Chinese debutant. Hard to know too much about these two, but a bout between them should be decent enough given that both are real novices.
Baja California, Mexico
In Mexico we'll see Filipino veteran Drian Francisco (29-4-1, 22) take on rising Mexican hopeful Edivaldo Ortega (25-1-1, 12). The once touted Francisco is now 35 and is almost certainly coming to the end of his career, which began way back in 2005. A win here would keep him relevant as a fighter, but he'll be the under-dog against Ortega, who is quickly climbing the ranks towards a potential world title fight.
Pocheon, South Korea
It's also worth noting that there is a small, low key card courtesy of BoxingM. The card features a total of 8 bouts, and will include a 14 debuts, showing the level of this card. For those wondering all of the bouts will be 4 rounders.
For fans of the Asian scene the most notable show of the day comes from Thailand where we see an unbeaten Local continue to slowly chase a world title fight,and a battle of veterans.
That unbeaten Thai is Welterweight contender Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (37-0, 28), who appears to have drifted from a world title fight, and will be facing Ramadhani Shauri (22-11-1, 11), of Tanzania. The bout, for the WBA Asia Welterweight title, will be Teerachai's second this year and shows his inactivity during 2017, following 4 bouts last year and the same in 2015. Although he's been out for 5 months he should be far too good for Shauri here.
In a battle of veterans we'll see Les Sherrington (35-10, 19) take on Plaisakda Boonmalert (39-26, 33). Aged 45 and with 21 stoppages against him it's hard to see what the Thai has to offer, but he can bang and Sherrington has been stopped in 9 of his 10 losses. With a combined age of 80 we're not expecting anything fun here, but it looks interesting on paper.
In Australia we'll see talented Filipino Czar Amonsot (34-3-3, 22) defending his interim WBA Oceania Light Welterweight title. At the time of writing his opponent hasn't been announced, so we suspect it could well be a very poor foe for Amonsot, who is slowly grinding his way to a potential world title fight.
Western Australia, Australia
In Western Australia we'll see a number of Asian fighters used to be the “opponent”, with none of them really being given a shot.
One of those is Thai fighter Komkit Chanawong (1-3), who takes on novice Francis Chua (1-0) in a 4 rounder. Another Thai in action here is the debuting Dechsak Sangmorakot (0-0), who takes on fellow novice Francisco Da Silva (1-0).
The third bout featuring an Asian will see Jacob McBride (7-5, 3) take on Indonesia Boido Simanjuntak (23-46-2, 9) in what looks likely to be yet another loss for the Indonesian veteran.
In California we'll see talented Kazakh prospect Meiirim Nursultanov (2-0, 1) take on Lannay Dardar (5-7-2, 3) in a 6 rounder. On paper the bout is a step up for the Kazakh, and it should be known that other top prospects, like Jason Quigley and Esquiva Falcao both stopped Dardar. This is a good chance for the Kazakh to get some rounds with a decent but limited foe.
The most notable show this Friday comes from the Korakuen where Flash Akabane are putting on a notable show.
In the main event fans will see former Japanese Flyweight champion Suguru Muranaka (23-2-1, 8) fight for the second time since he had multi-weight issues. The Japanese fighter, who is currently world ranked, will be up against under-rated Filipino fighter Renoel Pael (19-3-1 9) in what is likely to be a very good get for Muranaka, but one he should pass. Although we favour Muranaka here we can't see this being anything but a fun fight for fight fans and one that will have to see Muranaka stepping up his game significantly from his last bout.
The only other bout of real note on this card will see Kenta Nakagawa (11-2-1, 8) take on Thai visitor Ken Menayothin (0-1). Nakagawa has gone 9-0-1 in his last 10 and is heading towards a ranking, following good results against the likes of Toyoto Shiraishi, Jo Tanooka and Shuji Hamada. This bout will be Menayothin's second in Japan, follow a stoppage loss at the end of last year to the very promising Masayoshi Hashizume, and we don't see him winning here against Nakagawa.
Despite not being in action this card will also feature Yuzo Kiyota, who will be in a retirement ceremony ending his long career in the ring.
As well as the action in Japan there will also be shows in China and Thailand.
One of the main bouts of the show will see the promising Zulpikar Maimaitiali (6-0-1, 4) face off against the much more experienced Tanzanian Thomas Mashali (18-4-1-1, 9). Notably Mashali has been stopped in both of his bouts away from home, both in Russia, and we see him being stopped again here against a slightly crude but very exciting Chinese fighter.
The other bout of genuine note on this card will see the big punching Ainiwaer Yilixiati (7-0, 6) face off against Chaoqun Dong (5-1, 2). Coming in to this one Yilixiati is on a 6 fight stoppage run, with the first of the stoppages actually coming against Dong last October. For Dong this is a chance to avenge his sole defeat.
In Thailand the major bout will see world ranked Super Flyweight hopeful Eaktawan Mor Krungthep Thonburi (19-3, 13) battle against Filipino opponent Jayar Diama (7-7-5, 3). This is expected to be another win for Eaktawan, who is a genuinely promising prospect, but Diama is better than his record suggests and was very unfortunate not to beat Ming Ma Yi back in January.
Also in Thailand, though possibly on a different show, the unbeaten Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (34-0, 25) will be defending his PABA Welterweight “Super” title against Japanese based Dominican Vladimir Baez (21-2-2, 19).
In Thailand fans will get the chance to see Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (32-0, 24) in the ring as he defends his PABA Welterweight crown once again. The unbeaten puncher, who holds a high ranking with the WBA, will be expected to continue his unbeaten record as he takes on Kazakh visitor Alexandr Zhuravskiy (10-1, 8) in what looks like a possible chin-check for the unbeaten youngster.
In the UK fans at the Radisson Blue Hotel in Glasgow will get the chance to see Pakistan born Bantamweight hopeful Ukashir Farooq (1-0) battle against a yet to be named opponent. The 20 year old, who debuted last October is a genuine youngster and whilst he may not have the amateur pedigree of compatriot Muhammad Waseem it is still great to see some Pakistani fighters looking to make a name for themselves.
For the third time this week Japanese fans get female world title action at the Korakuen Hall.
This time around it's the turn of IBF female Light Flyweight champion Naoko Shibata (14-3, 4) who looks to defend her title against former WBC “youth” champion Maria Salinas (11-4-2, 4). The champion, who claimed her title 2 years ago, will be hoping to record her 4th defence and move towards bigger and better fights in the near future whilst the challenger will be looking to claim her biggest scalp to date. Given what we know about the two fighters this one promises a lot of action though we do need to favour the home fighter who is the more proven of the two women.
Whilst the main event is a really good bout we've also got to admit that the one of the support bouts is also brilliant as the very promising Takeshi Inoue (4-0-1, 2) battles the “better than his record suggests” Hideo Mikan (7-9-1, 2). On paper it's a mismatch but in reality this should serve as a great test for the unbeaten 25 year old title hopeful.
In Osaka there is an Harada promoted card that has only one notable bout.
That bout will see Japanese ranked Light Flyweight Tetsuya Hisada (29-3-2, 13) battle against Il Che (7-9-5, 1) in what looks to be a tune up bout for Hisada before a potential title clash in 2016. Hisada comes into this bout with a 3-2-2 record in his last 7 bouts but has stopped his last two opponents and and another stoppage here is certainly not out of the question.
As well as the Japanese action there is also two bouts of note in Bangkok, both being aired on Channel 7.
The more intriguing of the two bouts will see highly regarded Thai Welterweight Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (31-0, 24) defending his PABA title against the criminally under-rated Arnel Tinampay (22-19-1, 8). On paper this is a mismatch of the highest order however Tinampay has been a banana skin for various other fighters and he's not only better than his record suggests but also hits harder than the numbers state and can really take a shot, in fact he's never been stopped. Not only is this a tough assignment for Teerachai but it's also a high pressure one with the Thai risking a potential WBA interim title fight with this contest.
The other bout is a contest for the interim WBA Asia Lightweight title and will see Thai based Nigerian Taiwo Ali (18-3-1, 13) battles against Filipino foe Leonardo Doronio (14-11-3, 9). Althogh not a great fighter Doronio is better than his record suggests and recent wins over Al Rivera, Burning Ishii, Jose Ocampo and Jeffrey Arienza do show that, however Ali is an under-rated fighter himself and this could be a really competitive match up despite the records not looking very even on paper.
To end a good week we get a brilliant flourish with several notable fighters, including two who are matched in a potential thriller.
Some fights looking mouth watering the second they are announced. Today we one such bout whilst the card features several other contests of note.
That bout in question will see former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Daiki Kaneko (21-4-3, 14) take on the big punching Masao Nakamura (19-3, 19). On paper this is as good as it gets for a fight fan. Kaneko is, by far, the more technically capable of the two men though is still pretty basic and relies more on his immense physical strength than his boxing ability. Nakamura on the other-hand is a venomous puncher dubbed the “KO King”. Do not be surprised is this ends up being the fight of the month and absolute barn burner.
The key under-card bout here will see the once beaten Ryohei Takahashi (6-1-1) take on the once touted Kenji Kubo (5-3-1, 2). The fight is a brilliant match up between two young fighters each looking for a big win. On paper the bout is intriguing though it's made even more significant by the fact that Kubo has essentially said that he will walk away from the sport, at least for a while, if he loses here. Considering he began his career with a win over former world title challenger Nouldy Manakane this could be a very disappointing end to his career.
Another bout on this card will see Japanese ranked Shogo Yamaguchi (7-0-1, 4) battle against Keisuke Arima (8-10-1, 1) in an intriguing Bantamweight fight. This could be a good test for the 21 year old Yamaguchi who has won 7 in a row following a draw on debut mire than 2 years back. On paper this should be a mismatch but Arima has never been stopped and has regularly been a domestic gate keeper facing the likes of Yuhei Suzuki, Yuya Sugizaki and Kota Koike. It may look a mismatch on paper but this really could be an excellent test for the youngster.
In Thailand fans will get the chance to see Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (30-0, 23) defending his PABA title against South African challenger Boitshepo Mandawe (14-6, 10). On paper this looks like an easy win for Teerachai however Mandawe has mixed with good company and could well test Teerachai. We don't imagine the Thai will lose but we hope he'll be tested here. Interestingly it's been mentioned that Teerachai may get a shot at the WBA interim title if he comes out on top here.
On a second Thai show dans will get the chance to see former WBC Light Flyweight champion Kompayak Porpramook (52-5, 37) battle against Filipino visitor Jopher Marayan (7-6-2, 3) in a bout for a WBA Asia title. This card will be aired on Thai TV 3SD whilst the other show will be on Thai Channel 7.
In Mexico we'll see American-Filipino novice Adam Fiel (6-0, 2) battle against Brayan Santillanes (3-3-2, 1) in what looks to be a mismatch.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This coming Thursday promises to be a very interesting day for Thai boxing fans as they get a genuinely significant card.
In the main event we will see the unbeaten and world ranked Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (29-0, 23) fighting against former world title contender Kaizer Mabuza (25-14-3, 15). For Teerachai this is his most notable bout to date however Mabuza isn't the fighter he once was and we're now more than 4 years removed from his wins over Serhiy Fedchenko and Kendall Holt and he has subsequently gone 8-2.
Also on this show will be a bout between Inthanon Sithchamuang (25-7, 15) and Samuel Tehuayo (18-34-2, 3) for the WBA Asia Super Flyweight title. Coming into this bout Tehuayo has lost his last 11 bouts, and 15 of his last 16, and that's a run that is unlikely to change here against Inthanon who has won his last 5 since being stopped by a very impressive Jerwin Ancajas.
(Image courtesy of thairec.com)
For the second day running Thai fans get treat to televised title action with Channel 7 showing a card from the Thai capital of Bangkok. We won't pretend the card is great but there interesting fighters involved in it.
One of those interesting fighters takes part in the main event which will see PABA Welterweight champion Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (28-0, 22) defending his belt against against South African fighter Nthuthuko Memela (10-1-2, 7), who looks like a puncher according to the numbers though sadly hasn't beaten anyone to really make a note of. Teerachai brings both the PABA and world ranking into this bout and will be hoping to get a world title shot in the future, sadly however bouts like this won't prepare him for a fight at the top level.
Another of the interesting fighters on this card is Nop Kratingdaenggym (11-0, 1)* who fights a stay busy fight against Indonesian foe Boido Simanjuntak (18-26-1, 7). Simanjuntak has lost his last 8 bouts, including a KO loss to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, and will be expected to suffer another defeat here. As for Nop he looks a talented fighter and fights in a very a-typical style for a Thai however he does lack power and we suspect that will, ultimately, hold him back from reaching his potential.
A third notable fighter on this card is former WBA Minimumweight world champion Kwanthai Sithmorseng (48-3-1, 25) who is fighting for the third time since he was beaten by teenage hopeful Stamp Kiatniwat back in August. The 30 year old Kwanthai hasn't had his opponent named so we're expecting a very poor foe
In the US fans will get the chance to see Jordanian fighter Ahmed Majed Mahmood (3-0-1, 3) attempting to secure a 4th straight win as he takes on Carlos Alcala (2-5, 1).
*Boxrec.com don't recognise Nop's win over Skak Max which can be seen here.