This coming weekend is a big one internationally in boxing, though of course it actually kicks off in Asia with bouts in both China and Thailand.
The most notable the day's action is in China where Zovi put on a show, their first of 2 notable cards set for September.
The main event of the card will see China's really promising Super Bantamweight contender Qiu Xiao Jun (17-2, 7) defend his WBC Silver title against Filipino visitor Diarh Gabutan (19-4-3, 10) in what looks, on paper, to be a competitive contest. Of course paper can lie and we have seen Jun defeat the likes of Silvester Lopez and Jonathan Baat, both by stoppage. Gabutan isn't a bad fighter, though has lost 3 of his last 4 and it's going to be a very tough ask here against a naturally bigger and strong man than himself.
Originally the fo-feature was set to see Thailand's Kaewfah Tor Buamas (19-0, 13) face off against well known Australian veteran Michael Katsidis (31-7, 24) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Lightweight title. Sadly for those hoping to see “The Great” in action Katsidis has been replaced by British born Australian Andrew Wallace (10-5-1, 6). Given that Wallace is a 37 year old who has gone 1-5 in the last 3 years it's hard to see what brings to the table, though a win for Kaewfah could move him towards bigger and better fights.
One other bout that caught our eye from this card will see Thailand's Khunkiri Wor Wissaruth (21-12-1, 14) take on Venezuelan novice Omrri Bolivar (1-0, 1). Khunkiri has lost 4 of his last 5, including stoppage losses to Defry Palulu, in Indonesia last year, and to Rex Tso earlier this year, though he may see this as a chance to pick up a win against an unbeaten fighter.
As well as the action in China there will also be a notable bout in Thailand as the unbeaten, and promising Thong Sithluangphophun (13-0, 9) battles against Danilo Pena (27-21-4, 11) for the PABA Featherweight title. This will see Thong defending the title that he won more than a year ago as he looks to continue his climb through the ranks.
This card will be televised on Channel 7 in Thailand.
As we come to another week we've got to be honest, the last few days have been disappointing. That disappointment however ends on Friday with a flurry of bouts, including a notable debut and some seriously interesting looking Thai action.
Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand
On Thai channel 7 fans will be will be able to see several interesting fighters in action, albeit in relatively one-sided looking bouts.
One of those notable fighters is 23 year Light Flyweight hopeful Hanuman Sithluangporphun (7-4, 1) who will be defending his PABA interim Light Flyweight title against Indonesian fighter Stevanus Nana Bau (2-2-1, 2). The Indonesian fighter, also known as Stevanus Nanai, will be fighting for the first time since his 7th round TKO loss to Iwan Zoda in February though does have half a chance at spring the upset here against a less than spectacular champion.
Another Thailand Vs Indonesia bout will see the unbeaten Thong Sithluangphophun (10-0, 7) fighting in a non-title bout with Ruben Manakane (14-13-1, 9). Thong has looked solid as a prospect and is the PABA Featherweight champion entering this bout however he hasn't scored that “big win” yet. As for Manakane he is a professional loser but he's also a fighter who has mixed with good company including Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat, Marlon Tapales and former world champion Billy Dib.
Also on this card we're expecting to see once beaten Yodsingdaeng jor Chaijinda (6-1, 4), who is set to fight for the first time since being stopped by Daryl Basadre last November.
As well as the Channel 7 card fans in Thai can also tune in to 5 who are showing a title double header with one of our favourite Thai prospects being involved on the show.
That prospect is the wonderfully talented Eaktawan mor Krungthepthonburi (7-0, 6) who will be defending his lightly regarded WBA Asia Flyweight title against Indonesian visitor Ardi Tefa (6-3, 4). Tefa has mixed with really good company and has shared the ring with Denver Cuello and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, however both of those men stopped him in round 3. We'd not be surprised by Eaktawan also stopping him, relative easily.
The other title bout will see Amin sor Wangmoo (10-1-1, 8) defending his WBA Asia Super Featherweight title against Indonesian southpaw Smile Brown (6-19-1, 3). Brown is win-less in almost 8 years and has been inactive for a year suggesting this is a bit of a stitch up with Amin almost certain to retain his title.
A third bout on this card will feature Inthanon Sithchamuang (25-7, 15) though his opponent is unknown at this moment.
The only Japanese show of the day doesn't look to be a great one but there is likely to be some fun for the fans in attendance with a total of 8 bouts.
The main event will see Japanese ranked Welterweight Shusaku Fujinaka (10-5-2, 6) battle against the limited Hisashi Kato (7-7-2, 4). The limited Fujinaka might be ranked by the JBC but has lost 3 of his last 4 and we're not expecting him to show anything great here, though we do suspect he will defeat Kato.
The main event is one of 3 bouts scheduled for 8 rounds and one of the others looks to be very competitive as Takahiro Fujii (6-3-1, 2) battles against the light hitting Koya Sato (7-2-1, 1). This bout doesn't look “exciting” as such but should be wonderfully competitive with both men having similar looking records.
Another even looking bout will see Ryo Narizuka (7-4) battling against Kazuhiro Nakamura (8-5, 3). Narizuka has won his last 2 bouts coming into this contest, including a notable win over Kazuaki Moriya and he will be favoured over Nakamura who hasn't fought in over a year.
In the US fans will get the chance to see former Mongolia amateur stand out Tugstsogt Nyambayar (0-0) make his professional debut as he battles Gabriel Braxton (2-8, 1). This is an “easy” debut for “King Tug” though the expectation is that Nyambayar will be raced to a title given his amateur pedigree, which included silver medals at the 2009 World Amateur Championships and the 2012 Olympics.
We would like to say a huge thank you to Pal for the details involving the bouts from Thailand. It is really appreciated.
The start to the new year has certainly been slow but it seems things begin to warm up this week.
New York, USA
The first Asian fighter to fight in the US this year will be Chinese Heavyweight giant Zhang Zhilei (1-0, 1) who will be fighting against the debuting Kaleb Slaughter (0-0). Zhilei made his debut last August in a bout that resembled a farce with Curtis Lee Tate dropping from what was little more than a glancing blow from the Chinese southpaw. We're hoping Slaughter can put up a better effort here and actually let us see what Zhang is about in the professional ranks though with him being a debutant it is hard to know what Slaughter really brings to the ring.
Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand
Whilst the Chinese giant is the “attention grabber” of the day there will also be a Thai show with some interesting fighters on it.
The most interesting of those Thai's is unbeaten PABA Featherweight champion Thong Sithluangphophun (10-0, 7) who will be defending his title against Indonesian opponent Singo Kinaro (6-14, 2) in what looks like a farcical bout between a talented and promising fighter and a poor challenger.
Thankfully there is a better bout on the show as the light punching but very talented Hanuman Sithluangporphun (4-0) takes on Domi Nenokeba (11-22-1, 7). We suspect this will be another win for the home fighter though Nenokeba does travel with the intention of winning and may fancy his chances against Hanuman here.
A third bout being featured on this card, which will be televised by Channel 7, will see Yodsingdaeng Jor Chaijinda (6-1, 4) fighting for the first time since he was stopped by Daryl Basadre. Unfortunately at the time of writing Yodsingdaeng's opponent has not yet been named.
This coming Friday might not have any world title fights but it's certainly a busy day with numerous meaningful fights spread all across Asia.
Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand
The most notable fight is in Thailand as Thong Sithluangphophun (9-0, 6) looks to defend his PABA Featherweight title against Indonesia's Yakobus Heluka (7-7). Heluka comes in to this bout following 3 successive losses and it's hard to see him surviving with Thong here, especially considering that Thong has stopped his last 4 opponents in a combined 14 rounds, including a 3rd round KO of Tony Arema.
In Hyogo Shinsei will putting on 7 bout card which will feature several ranked fighters, many of which will be from the Philippines.
One of those Filipino's will be Renren Pasignahin (6-3-1, 2) who will be looking to upset the fast rising and much touted Shun Kubo (4-0, 3), who his himself ranked by the OPBF. Pasignahin has lost 3 of his past 4 bouts but they have included decision losses to the very talented Michael Dasmarinas and the very talented Nop Kratingdaenggym. Kubo should be favoured but Pasignahin is not a patsy.
The chief support bout will see another ranked Filipino, the GAB #7 ranked Flyweight, Renoel Pael (13-1-1, 5) taking on heavy handed Japanese fighter Yuki Yonaha (3-1, 3). Going in to this bout the 23 year old Yonaha has never lost to a foreign fighter, though he was beaten last time out by domestic rival Takayuki Okumoto in what was a minor upset. This is another bout with the home fighter at risk of losing, especially considering how Pael's only loss was a highly controversial one in Thailand to the highly experienced Noknoi Sitthiprasert. Credit where it's due, this is a great match up.
Another of the supporting bouts will see heavy handed, though not as good as his record suggests, Kota Fukuoka (15-4-2, 12) fighting against former OPBF title challenger Jhunriel Ramonal (13-7-4, 7). On paper this looks well matched but Ramonal has won just 1 of his last 7, being stopped in 3 and suffering a trio of technical draws. We think Fukuoka has to be fancied but we don't imagine this will be as good as the aforementioned bout.
One more bout of note from this card will see Ryuya Yamanaka (7-1, 2) fighting against the highly experienced Filipino Roque Lauro (10-16-4, 2). Yamanaka is a 19 year old who has shown some promise but did look very frail when he was stopped inside a round by Kenta Shimizu back in April. Lauro won't have the power to hurt Yamanaka but will ave the toughness and skills to give him a hard bout. Interestingly Lauro has managed to see the final bell against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, something he managed last September, an excellent feat for any fighter never mind a journeyman.
Whilst Shinsei have a great card in Hyogo it's fair to say that SGS Gym have an equally good one in Tokyo and in fact we believe this one will be stream by the Gushinken ustream channel.
In total this show will have 10 bouts but there are only 3 that fans will really have any interest in. The first of those will see the free swinging Taiki Eto (12-3, 9) taking on Thailand's Brukluk Kor Narong Service (0-1). Eto is one of the 3 brothers who are all managed by SGS gym though to many fans he's the most limited. So far Eto has lost in OPBF and Japanese title challenger, he shouldn't however come up short here against a Thai that lasted less than 2 rounds in his only previous contest, despite that bout being against current Japanese Super Flyweight champion Sho Ishida.
The second bout of note will see there always fun to watch Akinori Watanabe (30-4, 26) battling against Thailand's Chatchai Sithsaithong (8-3, 6). Watanabe is heavy handed and really should make light work of his Thai opponent here especially when you consider that Chatchai is naturally smaller and has lost his last 3 bouts in a combined 10 rounds. This really should be a blow out victory for Watanabe though we have seen the Japanese fighter show issues with his own durability in the past, including his loss with Tsuyoshi Kamiishi.
In the main event Shingo Eto (13-2-1, 8) will be fighting a Thai who we believe is Arnon Sithsaithong (0-0). From what we understand a win for Eto here will see him moved on to a title fight next time out, probably against unbeaten Japanese Super Featherweight champion Rikki Naito.
Metro Manilla, Philippines
In the Philippines we have another very interesting card that may well be over-looked by many fans though promises a lot of explosive action.
The most explosive bout here is likely to be the 12 round main event which will see unbeaten power punchers colliding. One of those men will be Filipino Richard Claveras (8-0-2, 8) whilst the other will be Thai teenager Sangthong Chor Pakdee (4-0, 4). Whilst the men both bring unbeaten records and a lot of power with them they will also be bringing a lot of desire as the winner will claim the WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Flyweight title. At he moment Claveras is the defending champion though his belt, and unbeaten record, are under threat here.
As well as the main event the under-card looks interesting with one bout in particular catching our eye. That's the bout between the heavy handed and all action Warlito Parrenas (20-6, 18) and the experienced Richard Garcia (25-19-1, 7). We really like Parrenas and although he's limited he's incredibly heavy handed and very much a fighter who looks for excitement, in fact we'd go as far as to say that Parrenas shadow boxing would be more fun to watch than many televised fights. With his power and aggression we'd be shocked if Parrenas doesn't walk through Garcia here.
In a female title bout fans will get the chance to see Momoko Kanda (6-6-2) battle against Nongnun Mor Krungthepthonburi (2-2, 1) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council female Minimumweight title. Kanda beat Nongnun back in June for the title and this will be her first defence.
In the US we will see the promising Bahodir Mamadjonov (16-1, 11) in action as he battles the experienced Osumanu Akaba (31-5-1, 24). Mamadjonov, from Uzbekistan, should easily overcome Akaba though we're unsure why Mamadjonov isn't fighting at Lightweight or Light Welterweight, weights which we think suit him a lot more than Light Middleweight. We know it may just be a case of ticking over but at 135lbs he has the potential to be a real force so it'd be nice to see him back down there.
(Courtesy of United Boxing International Promotions)