After a huge Friday for Japanese fight fans we get an interesting card on Saturday with interest for fans across Asia.
The most notable bout of the day is a huge one for Filipino fight fans, as IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (29-1-1, 20) defends his title against mandatory challenger Jonas Sultan (14-3, 0). This all-Filipino bout will the first all-Filipino world title bout in over 90 years and will see the winner really get a chance to become a big name back home, as well as solidifying themselves as one of the top Super Flyweights on the planet. Unfortunately it would seem likely that both are likely to miss out on the HBO “Superfly” series of shows, but if the winner can unify with WBA champion Kal Yafai that may not be too much of a problem in the short term.
For Mongolian fans attention should be shifted to Mississippi as unbeaten prospect Tugstsogt Nyambayar (9-0, 8) takes a huge step up to face off with former interim world champion Oscar Escandon (25-3, 17). The Mongolian hopeful was taken the distance for the first time in his last bout, and was dropped in that bout by Harmonito Dela Torre, but has looked capable of going all the way and this upcoming bout should be the sort of bout he needs to get himself in to the title mix. Escandon is just 15 months removed from an excellent KO win over Robinson Castellanos, but has lost his only bout since then, being stopped by Gary Russel Jr, and should really be 1-3 in his last 4, dating back over 3 years. This is a decent step up, but one that Nyambayar should manage without too many issues.
In Canada fans will be able to see hard hitting Kazakh hopeful Batyrzhan Jukembayev (12-0-0-2, 10) battle against Argentinian Jonathan Jose Eniz (20-9-1-1, 7) for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Light Welterweight title. The talented Kazakh does look like a very promising fighter but does need a genuine test after having had his way in many of his bouts so far. Given that Enil has been stopped only once, way back in 2015 by German Argentino Benitez, we're expecting him to be a real test for the Kazakh who may well need to show his skills as well as his power.
As for Japanese fans they can look a little bit closer to home thanks to a low key card in Osaka. The card is a pretty weak one but is headlined by former Japanese Light Flyweight champion Kenichi Horikawa (35-15-1, 9), who takes on a Thai we believe will be Mongkol Kamsommat (6-3, 5). This should be an easy win for Horikawa who fights in bis 52nd professional bout, which would see him become the outright number one for the most fights of any currently active Japanese fighter.
This coming Saturday is a genuine brilliant day for fight fans who follow the Asia fight scene, with a couple of world title bouts, along side a number of other interesting contests.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
The biggest fight of the weekend for Asian fight fans takes places in Belfast and will see IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (27-1-1, 18) make his third defense of the title, as he takes on unbeaten challenger Jamie Conlan (19-0, 11). In some ways Ancajas is the forgotten man at 115lbs, a talented and beautiful to watch pure boxer, but a man who lacks the star power of Naoya Inoue, the hype of Kal Yafai and the power of Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Although over-looked by many he's going to be looking to make a mark here. As for Conlan he's a man who really can't help but be involved in thrilling contests, no matter who he's against. The bout will be a massive step up for the unbeaten man, but he's almost certain to put on a show, win or lose.
Incheon, South Korea
Another world title fight takes place in Korea and will see WBA female Super Featherweight champion Hyun Mi Choi (14-0-1, 4) seek her next defense, as she faces off with Mexican challenger Jessica Gonzalez (7-3-2-3, 1). Choi is Korea's only world champion,and is one of the few beacons of success for Korean boxing, but has lacked suitable competition in recent fights and hasn't really been able to show her skills. Gonzalez is a decent enough foe, but falls much into the same categories as Choi's other recent foes, in being limited and lacking the skills, and likely desire, to let the champion shine.
In a minor title bout we'll see Korean local Hye Soo Park (4-7-1, 1) take on the unbeaten Hei Tao Zhang (2-0, 1) for the WBF Intercontinental Light Flyweight. The match up is an interesting one, though nothing too remarkable, with the most interesting thing being the step up for the unbeaten 19 year old Chinese hopeful.
Although there are a couple of world title fights featuring Asian fighters we dare suggest that the most interesting bout to feature an Asian is actually a non-title fight, between two unbeaten Asian fighters. The fight in question will see the very highly regarded Mongolian talent Tugstsogt Nyambayar (8-0, 8) taking on Filipino Harmonito Dela Torre (19-0, 12). The winner of this will push themselves well on the way to a world title fight, in the often over-looked Super Bantamweight division, whilst the winner will have to rebuild their careers.
Da Lian, China
In China we get a small card, with a main event that promises explosive action.
That main event is a WBO Youth Super Middleweight title bout, between China's Wuzhati Nuerlang (8-1, 8) and Ghana's Iddrisa Amadu (9-1, 9). With 17 stoppage wins in a combined 19 fights we're expecting this to be a lot of fun, very exciting and very hard hitting.
Another bout of some note on this show will see the unbeaten Xiaolu Mu (8-0-1, 3) take on the once beaten Shidong Cai (5-1-1, 2). This should be an interesting contest even if it does lack any sort of international appeal.
New South Wales, Australia
Interestingly on we'll see the debuting Natalie Jenkinsen (0-0) take on Thai Siriwan Thongmanit (6-10-1), who is a former world title challenger and has twice been stopped by the aforementioned Hyun Mi Choi.
This key show this weekend for Asian fight fans comes from the Korakuen Hall where we get two title bouts.
In the main event we'll see Japanese youngster Ken Shiro (8-0, 4) make his first defense of the OPBF Light Flyweight title as he takes on Filipino foe Lester Abutan (11-5-3, 5), and attempts to take another step towards a world title fight. The Japanese youngster, who has claimed the WBC Youth, Japanese and WBC Youth titles already in his career, will know that a loss will be a major set back in his climb towards a shot at a world title, but that a win will put further pressure on the divisional champions to face him. For Abutan the bout will be his Japanese debut, though he has performed well in his two bouts away from the Philippines and could be a genuine banana skin for Ken Shiro, if he's on form here.
The other title bout on this show will see Japanese Bantamweight champion Kentaro Masuda (25-7, 13) face first time challenger Satoshi Ozawa (13-6-1, 2). On paper this is a big step up for Ozawa however the 29 year old challenger is on a 4 fight winning streak, including 2 solid wins over Yoshihikp Matsuo, and has been making a mark at Super Bantamweight over the last 18 month or so. For Masuda the bout will be his second defense of his second reign and could open the doors to a potential rematch with Tatsuya Takahashi next year, if he wins here and Takahashi wins in January, which we would love to see!
A really fan friendly bout will see the once beaten Katsunori Nagamine (12-1, 8) face off with the limited but gutsy Mako Matsuyama (8-10-2, 3). Nagamine was in one of the most intensely fun fights of the year, his win over Kenya Yamashita back in February. Whilst Nagamine is certainly a fun and aggressive fighter it's fair to say that Matsuyama's 2014 bout with Rex Tso, an insane war in Macau, was a better bout and with these two getting it on we're expecting to see something very special.
Another under-card bout will see Jin Miura (8-1, 1) battle against Naoaki Kumagai (7-5, 4). The light hitting Miura does look like the favourite here but has struggled in a number of his wins and could well be given a really good test here by Kumagai, who is a very under-rated fighter. Although he has lost his last 3 Kumagai has mixed in good company and could be a banana skin for Miura.
As part of the under-card we'll also see the debut of Ryo Sagawa (0-0), who takes on Korean foe Ho Ya Kim (4-4, 2). Sagawa was a former amateur standout and is tipped for big things, kicking off his career in a 6 rounder here. Kim will be fighting in Japan for the second time, following a loss to Ryuya Kaji earlier this year, and may come into this with the belief of scoring a win on Japanese soil, though will have to put in a career best performance against Sagawa to even be competitive.
In California we'll see fast rising Mongolian Tugstsogt Nyambayar (6-0, 6) take on veteran fighter German Meraz (55-39-1, 32) in what looks like a step up for Nyambayar. Merez, a real veteran with more than 90 fights under his belt, is a proven tough guy who has only lost by stoppage 7 times in his long career. Nyambayar has never been extended beyond 4 rounds and this is, potentially, set to be his toughest and longest bout to date. If the Mongolian can blow away Meraz in quick fashion it could time to put him in with the divisional wolves, rather than continue to slowly develop the Mongolian monster.
In Japan this Friday marks a major day for Dangan who kick off their recently announced BoxingRaise website with the first live show on the subscription service. Although it's not a major show it is a show headlined by a Japanese title fight and featuring a couple of notable under-card bouts.
The aforementioned title bout will see Japanese Flyweight champion Takuya Kogawa (26-4, 13) defending his belt against 37 year old challenger Masafumi Otake (15-14-3, 7), who gets his first title bout after having been a profession for almost 15 years. The bout looks like a mismatch, and it likely to be a relatively straight forward win for Kogawa, however Kogawa is rarely in a dull fight and we're not expecting anything but a fight contest here, with both men well aware of the bouts relative importance.
In the most interesting of the under-card bouts fans will see the talented but light punching Jo Tanooka (13-3-3) go up against the limited but heavy handed Shogo Sumitomo (6-8-1, 5). In terms of pure skills Tanooka in a different league to Sumitomo however Sumitomo has the clear edge in power and will be looking to land one of his bombs on the 2013 All Japan Rookie of the Year runner up.
In another supporting bout Japanese ranked Featherweight Ryuto Araya (9-4-1,2) will be facing off against Naoaki Kumagai (7-4, 4) in what looks like a rather even match up. Coming in to this both men have suffered 2 losses in their last 4 bouts, both will believe they can win here and both will genuinely go for it in what could be the most competitive bout on the card.
The action in Japan isn't the only action involving Asian fighters with two in action in the US.
The more notable of those US bouts sees Mongolian sensation Tugstsogt Nyambayar (5-0, 5) facing off against veteran Rafael Vazquez (16-2, 13). On paper this is a genuine step up in class for Nyambayar but should be another win for the former Mongolian amateur star, who is in his first scheduled 10 rounder. Although Vazquez has been beaten twice he has never been stopped and we suspect that will be the goal for “King Tug”.
On the same card fans will see Russian based Kazakh born destroyer Sergey Lipinets (9-0, 7) take on the teak tough Walter Castillo (26-3-1, 19), who we saw last year fight to a very controversial draw with Keita Obara. The bout should be a great test for Lipinets, who got given a real test last time out against Levan Ghamichava, and if he can stop Castillo it would put the division on alert of his potential and power.
In Africa we'll see Filipino Carlo Magali (20-7-3, 10) take on WBA International Lightweight champion Emmanuel Tagoe (25-1, 12). For Tagoe this will be his second defense of the title, that he incidentally won last year when he beat Joebert De los Reyes. The bout will be a seriously tough ask for Magali however the Filipino is known for scoring upsets and has scored back to back wins over David Browne Jr and Mark Gil Melligen in the last year, he also has upset wins over Mark John Yap and Ryuta Miyagi.
The only Asian's in action today are in California where we have two notable bouts.
One of those bouts sees unbeaten Kazakh born Russian prospect Sergey Lipinets (8-0, 6) battle once touted Georgian Levan Ghvamichava (16-1-1, 12) in what looks like a really good test for Lipinets. The unbeaten man is on the fast track to the top but this is a really match up with Ghvamichava being a heavy handed, tough fighter who knows that a win here will put him on the map, so to speak. And will come only days after fellow Georgian Avtandil Khurtsidze scored a major upset over Antoine Douglas.
An even more promising prospect in action here sees Mongolian sensation Tugstsogt Nyambayar (4-0, 4) battle against the heavy handed Rafael Vazquez (16-2, 13) in a 10 rounder. Notably Vazquez has never been stopped and should be a real test for the Mongolian, who may well find himself in with world ranked fighters if he comes through this one in impressive fashion. Interestingly Vazquez has stopped former world title challenger Mario Macias inside a round and will be the first opponent Nyambayar has faced with real belief of winning.
The only Asian fighters in action this coming Thursday will be fighting in the US.
Of the two Asian's the more interesting is Mongolian star Tugstsogt Nyambayar (3-0, 3) who looks to extend his perfect record as he takes on Pedro Melo (13-11-2, 6). This is scheduled to be Nyambayar's second 8 rounder though the odds are that he won't need the rounds to see off his foe as he continues on a fast climb to the top.
The other Asian on this card is unbeaten Kazakh fighter Ruslan Madiev (6-0, 3) who puts his unbeaten record on the line against tough-loser Thomas Herrera (4-14-1, 1). Herrera may not be the greatest of tests, and has gone 2-14-1 after a 2-0 start to his professional career, but he has never been stopped and is a better test than his record suggests. Madiev should get the win but it'd be very impressive if he could see off Herrera inside the distance.
In the US fans get to see the next chapter in the rise of the exciting Mongolian fighting machine Tugstsogt Nyambayar (3-0, 3) who faces the dangerous Ricardo Proano (11-2, 9) in what looks to be a significant step up in class for "King Tug". Nyambayar, who impressed us last time out stopping Arturo Badillo, is expected to get another win here but is facing a man who has never been stopped and has shown solid power. It's also worth noting that both of Proano's losses have come at 130lbs, where he has naturally been the smaller man, here he should feel much more at home at 122lbs.
All the Asian's in action this coming Thursday will be fighting in the US.
Mongolian hopeful Tugstsogt Nyambayar (2-0, 2) will be hoping to continue his perfect start as he battles against 25 year old Jonathan Hernandez (2-3-1, 2). On paper this isn't the step up we had hoped to see from the Mongolian prospect, who has has stopped his first two opponents inside a round. Despite that it will be his first 8 round bout and hopefully it will be followed by a real step up in class.
Another Asian on this card is unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Bekman Soylybayev (5-0, 3) who faces the very experienced Jose Luis Araiza (31-13-1, 22). On paper this looks like a good test for Soylybayev but in reality this should be a mismatch with Araiza having gone 2-12-1 in his last 15 bouts.
Another unbeaten Kazakh is expected to be in action in Texas, as Radmir Akhmediyev (6-0, 6) looks to extend his perfect start. Unfortunately we've not been informed of his opponent at this present moment.
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.