We get some notable action this coming Sunday with a world title fight, in Ukraine featuring an Azeri-Ukrainian and a Thai, as well as a Japanese Rookie card with a very notable main event.
The world title bout will see the unbeaten Artem Dalakian (16-0, 11) making his first defense of the WBA Flyweight title, as he takes on former interim WBA champion Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (50-3, 35). The Ukrainian based Azeri born champion won the title back in February, when he defeated veteran Brian Viloria for the title which Kazuo Ioka had vacated in late 2017. In that title win Dalakian impressed, though it did look like Viloria was well past his best and was a shadow of the fighter he had once been. Yodmongkol is best known for his wins over Koki Eto and Takuya Kogawa along with his loss to Juan Carlos Reveco. Since losing to Reveco the Thai has been ultra active, going 16-0 (15), but has been matched incredibly lightly and will need a career best performance here against the impressive Dalakian.
In Aichi fans will get a Rookie of the Year card for Central Japan. In total there will be 7 Rookie bouts with arguably the best of the bunch being a Featherweightbout between Masaki Sasaki (3-1-1, 1), who fights for the first time since March 2017, and the hard hitting Terutaka Shimada (1-0, 1).
Despite this being a Rookie card much of the attention will actually be at the main event, where the hard hitting Masamichi Yabuki (6-2, 6) will take on former world title challenger Gilberto Pedroza (18-4-2, 8). Yabuchi has stopped all 6 of his victims in the first 2 rounds, in fact he he has scored 5 opening round stoppages in his 8 bouts. Despite those wins Yabuki has suffered notable domestic defeats to Junto Nakatani and Seigo Yuri Akui and a win here would be a career best. As for Pedroza he is coming in to this bout on the back of December's 4th round TKO loss to Ken Shiro in a bout for the WBC Light Flyweight title. A win for Pedroza would help him get his career back on track however a loss will set the Panamanian back a long way, and destroy his hopes of getting another world title fight any time soon.
We may have lacked notable action in January but February promises to be a much more active month and we get notable action from the off with a major show this coming Thursday.
In the main event we get a rematch as local favourite Knockout CP Freshmart (11-0, 6) faces off against exceptional Nicaraguan Carlos Buitrago (28-1-1-1, 16) in a bout for the WBA Flyweight title. These two met, for the interim title, back in October 2014 and had a really competitive and close bout. We're expecting another close one here with the two men being well matched and having very different skill sets. It wouldn't be a shock to again see the bout decided by the judges and it wouldn't be surprising for the loser to feel hard done by.
Whilst the main event is brilliant the under-card is also littered with notable fighters with bouts announced for former WBA “interim” Flyweight champion Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (37-3, 23), who is expected to be in a regional title bout, former world title challenger Panomroonglek Kaiyanghadaogym (47-2, 29) and former world champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai (58-1-1, 23). Sadly however we're unsure who those men are fighting on what is set to be a 3 hour telecast.
The most interesting of two Thai shows features two men of note.
The main event of the show sees former WBA interim Flyweight champion Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (36-3, 22) fight against Indonesian fighter Iwan Key (10-13-3, 1) for the PABA Flyweight title in what is a massive mismatch. Key, who was once lined up to fight Akira Yaegashi, was last seen being stopped in 3 rounds by Samartlek Kokietgym and it's hard to see anything more than a stoppage loss here. For Yodmongkol however it's a confidence builder before another possible foray towards world class in 2016.
The other bout of note on this card will see Kongfah CP Freshmart (14-1, 8) taking on a man we've been told is Chokanan por Pakdee (who appears to be a debutant). For Kongfah this is his first bout since he was stopped, in a thriller, by Daigo Higa for the WBC Youth title and it's an understandable confidence building fight for a man who wimple broken down last time out.
This card will be aired on Channel 7 for those interested.
Another Thai card will be from Bangkok, and will be shown on Channel 3.
This card features a pair of title fights with both of those coming at Super Flyweight. One of those bouts will see PABA champion Chatpetch Sithmorseng (12-3-2, 6) defending his title against Indonesian Bayu Palue (2-0, 2), who likely has a very incomplete record.
The other will see Inthanon Sithchamuang (27-7-1, 16) defending the WBA Asia Super Flyweight title against Ichal Tobida (12-17, 8). It's hard to see anything but a win for the champion, but it's also hard to care too much for this bout given the limitations of Inthanon, who was notably stopped in 2 rounds in Macau by Jerwin Ancajas last year.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
To close out the week Filipino fans get a show that sees prospects facing “professional losers”.
On paper the biggest mismatch sees unbeaten Bantamweight hopeful Raymart Gaballo (10-0, 8) put his unbeaten record on the line against Roldan Malinao (11-35-1, 2). The 19 year old Gaballo has only fought at a low level, and this is technically a step up, however Malinao hasn't won a bout in almost 8 years.
Another mismatch featuring an unbeaten fighter comes at 122lbs where the 18 year old Michael Angelo Plania (7-0, 4) battles Ronerex Dalut (9-17-2, 2). The 26 year old Dalut is a relatively tough fighter, having been stopped only 6 times in his 17 losses, but has only won once in the last 3 years and won't be expected to really test Plania.
A third unbeaten fighter on here is Featherweight 21 year old Rimar Metuda (8-0, 4) who fights the very experienced Jamie Barcelona (38-58-1, 10). Barelona is a true veteran, and a tough one at that, but he has recently been a professional loser and won just once in the last 6 years. Metuda should get a test of his stamina but little else given that Barcelona seems to lack the desire to try and win fights in recent times.
In Thailand fans get the chance to see the return to the ring of former WBA interim Flyweight champion Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (35-3-1, 21) who faces the limited Edo Anggoro (7-3), from Indonesia. This bout, for the WBA Asia Flyweight title, should be little more than a stay busy foight for Yodmongkol who will likely be hoping to move back up the ranks over the next 12-24 months.
For those interested in watching this one it'll be part of a broadcast on Channel 11 in Thailand.
April 24th-A busy day with Petalcorin defending his title as well as Parrenas, Yodmongkol, Dasmarinas, Katagiri and a lot more!
April 24th is a strangely active day with notable fights taking place all over the place. The bouts range from relatively small contests to a “world” title fight in China. Despite the action the day will likely go under the radar for many fans, at least in terms of the Asian fighters.
The biggest bout of the day will be in the Chinese capital at the “Capital Gym” and will see WBA “interim” Light Flyweight champion Randy Petalcorin (22-1-1, 17) defending his belt against unheralded Chinese challenger Ma Yi Ming (12-5, 7). Coming into the bout Petalcorin is a relatively known quantity and looked very good in his title victory last August, when he stopped Walter Tello in 7 rounds. As for Ming this is a relatively undeserved challenge but the Chinese fighter is a lot better than his record indicated will come to fight, possibly leaving himself open to Petalcorin's fast and accurate shots. This could be a potential banana skin for the talented Petalcorin who should move onto bigger fights if he's successful here.
On the same card Qu Peng (6-1-1, 4) will be battling against Australian fighter Dane Campbell (3-2, 2). This will be Peng's first bout since losing to Andrew Robinson in Macau last November.
In Japan we get a low level card which doesn't leave us too exciting but it does feature some notable fighters, sadly all of which are in relative mismatches.
The main event will see the Japanese and OPBF ranked Akihiko Katagiri (16-7-2, 7) facing off against the over-matched Tatsuya Otsubo (7-6-1, 3). Katagiri comes into this bout unbeaten in 5, following a 4th round TKO loss to Jhonny Gonzalez, and will be hoping to continue that type of form as he edges towards a title fight. Whilst Otsubo has a similar run, with 5 straight wins, he has been fighting at a much lower level and this is a massive step up in class for him.
In the chief support bout we'll see former OPBF and Japanese Middleweight title challenger Hikaru Nishida (11-7-1, 3) facing off against the debuting Kungsuk Sor Sompong (0-0. Although we know little about Kungsuk we do know that Nishida is a lot, lot better than his record indicates and should have enough in the tank to beat his foe here.
A second support bout will see female fighter Kimika Miyoshi (9-8-1, 4) battle against a Thai foe. Miyoshi, who is ranked in the top 10 by the IBF and the WBA at Bantamweight will be hoping to move towards a world title fight though she's unlikely to be able to beat any of the current world champions in or around 118lbs.
As well as the 3 bouts mentioned here there will a further 5 bouts. One of those bouts will see Takuya Watanabe (24-5-1, 11) fighting a Thai foe in a 6 round bout. Watanabe, the IBF Asian Featherweight champion, shouldn't have any issues here in what looks like a stay busy fight for a man facing his 5th straight Thai foe. Other bouts will involve qualified accountant Kohei Kashino (1-0, 1) and risique model Riyako Goshi (3-2) who are both involved in 4 rounders with domestic opponents.
In Thailand fans will get the chance to see former WBA "interim" Flyweight champion Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (35-3, 20)* fight for the second time since being beaten last year by Juan Carlos Reveco. Yodmongkol is set to fight Jopher Marayan (7-5-2, 3) in a bout for the WBA Asia Flyweight title.
Whilst other bouts will be on this show we've not been informed of what they are, yet. What we do know is that this show will be aired on Thai channel 7.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines we're expecting to see WBO #1 ranked Super Flyweight Warlito Parrenas (23-6, 20) facing off against Thailand's Kaichon Sor Vorapin (25-13, 9) in a 10 round bout. It seems Parrenas's bout with Jamie Conlan has been cancelled for a second time and Parrenas has decided to stay busy and take a fight at home instead of waiting on the side lines.
In the co-feature Recky Dulay (8-1-0-1, 5) will be facing Warren Mambuanag (7-5-2, 3) in what should be a straight forward victory for Dulay who does look like a promising prospect despite already suffering a loss.
Others on this bout include the talented Michael Dasmarinas (19-2, 12), who will be in a 6 round bout against a TBA and Jenel Lausa (3-0, 2), who is facing Benjie Baron (2-1) in a 6 rounder.
We get more Filipino action as a couple of Filipino fighters take to South Africa in the search for IBO titles.
One of the Filipino's in action is unbeaten Featherweight Randy Braga (15-0-1, 3) who battles the heavy handed Macbute Sinyabi (24-4, 19) in a bout for the IBO Inter-Continental Featherweight title. For Braga this a very risky assignment but at 27 years old it seems the time is now or never to step up. Sinyabi is a vicious puncher but his power doesn't quite seem to have the same effect in recent bouts as it did earlier in his career and if Braga can take his power there maybe a title heading to the Philippines.
The other bout is even trickier for the visitor. This one will see Renz Rosia (11-2, 5) battle against the much touted Makazole Tete (12-0-1, 9) in a bout for the IBO Inter-Continental Flyweight title. Tete is the young brother of current IBF Super Flyweight champion Zolani Tete and is said to be better than Zolani, if that's true then Rosia is on to a beating here. On paper Rosia is on a great run with 9 straight wins but he's stepping up massively for this bout and we suspect he'll come up very short against a very good South African.
Staying in Africa we will also see the heavy handed Joebert Delos Reyes (13-4-1, 10) taking on Emmanuel Tagoe (22-1, 9) in a bout for the WBA Inter-continental Lightweight title. Tagoe will be fighting for the first time in 20 months and whilst his record looks good he has had some luck, including a debatable decision against Ronald Pontillas. Reyes might not be a star in the making but he really can bang and he'll be hoping to show that power here.
*Boxrec are missing Yodmongkol's most recent bout against Pongpan Pattanakarngym.
The most notable bout of the day comes from Thailand where a young and unbeaten fighter takes on a true veteran of the sport.
The youngster involved here is the WBA interim Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (9-0, 5) who attempts to defend his belt against Indonesian veteran Muhammad Rachman (65-11-5, 35). For Rachman this is a chance to become a 3-time “world champion” and become a title holder at the advanced age of 43 whilst for Knockout it's a chance to defend the title he won last October, when he narrowly out pointed Carlos Buitrago.
The biggest name fighter on the undercard will be Panomroonglek Kaiyanghadaogym (43-2, 25) who will be defending his PABA Bantamweight title against Filipino challenger Mateo Handig (13-8, 7) in what appears to be a horrible mismatch. Handig was world ranked not too long ago, and does hold a major win over Katsunari Takayama, but is a Minimumweight jumping up to Bantamweight and Panomroonglek will simply be too big and too strong for his challenger.
Another support bout will see Flyweight contender Noknoi Sitthiprasert (52-4, 30) put his 51 fight winning streak on the line against Filipino journeyman Donny Mabao (21-24-1, 4). Noknoi, who is unbeaten since 2005 and brings the longest active winning streak into the ring, sadly however Mabao has lost his last 4, including an OPBF Minimumweight title bout to Ryuji Hara and a WBC Asian Boxing Council Flyweight title bout against Nawaphon Por Chokchai.
Another notable fighter on this card will be former WBA interim Flyweight champion Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (34-3, 20) who makes his return to the ring for the first time since losing a WBA Flyweight unification bout against Juan Carlos Reveco last year. Yodmongkol has had a trio of hard fights coming into this bout and is now expected to face a very low level opponent.
The final bout we've been made aware of will feature the very exciting Chanachai Cp Freshmart (2-0, 1), who currently holds the WBC Youth Minimumweight title. Chanchai will be battling fellow unbeaten Chatpetch Por Pakdee (2-0) in a non-title bout that comes just weeks after Chanachai defended his belt with a clear decision against Wilber Andogan. Chanachai is fun to watch and we're fans though we know that he's being matched in a way to make him look good stylistically and this should be another bout like that.
Japanese fans have seen March kicking off with a swathe of nationally ranked fighters in action. Now they get the chance to see a trio of champions as the month really moves up a gear and Ohashi gives us their first show of the new year.
Technically the highest level of champion is a world champion and this shows sees a world champion in action. Sadly however it's WBA Atomweight champion Ayaka Miyao (19-5-1, 4) who fights in a non-title bout scheduled for 6 rounds with Momoko Kanda (8-6-2, 2). On paper this a great contest and it should prove to be a hit with the fans however as a female bout we suspect some fans, especially those in the West, will ignore this one.
The second tied of champion is a continental champion and we get one of those in action on this show as the sensational Ryo Matsumoto (13-0, 11) kicks off his year. Matsumoto, who won the OPBF Super Flyweight title at the end of last year, will be taking part in a bout contracted at 54KG's as he takes on Thai visitor Thanuthong Chor Kangwal (0-0). This bout is a complete mismatch on paper though we suspect it's hinting at a possible move to Bantamweight for Matsumoto who has always appeared to be a very big Super Flyweight.
Although neither Miyao or Matsumoto are defending their titles it doesn't mean there won't be title action on this show. The title action comes in the main event as Japanese Featherweight champion Satoshi Hosono (26-2-1, 20) battles against former foe Rikiya Fukuhara (30-7-1, 22) in a second meeting between the two men. The heavy handed Hosono, best known for a trio of failures at world level, stopped Fukuhara back in 2012 and will be hoping to do the same here whilst Fukuhara looks to become a 2-weight Japanese champion, adding the Featherweight title to a previous reign at Super Bantamweight.
As well as the three bouts featuring a champion the card also features some other recognisable fighters. One of those is former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seiichi Okada (18-5, 11) who essentially battles for his career after 4 stoppage losses in his last 6 bouts. Okada should be safe here as he takes on the very light hitting Masaki Saito (11-10-4, 3). On paper this another mismatch but Okada is looking very much like a shot fighter whilst Saito has gone 5-2-1 in his last 8 bouts, dating back almost 3 years.
Former Japanese Featherweight title challenger Toru Suzuki (24-4, 8) is also in action as he takes on Tatsuya Yanagi (10-2, 4). This is an intriguing contest with Yanagi trying to bounce back from back-to-back losses, including a wide decision to the excellent Johnriel Maligro, whilst Suzuki tries to rebuild after going 2-3 in his previous 5, including a stoppage loss to Hisashi Amagasa. For both men this is a must win bout.
One notable under-card bout will see Kenichi Miyazaki (7-1-1, 2) attempt to record his 3rd straight win as he takes on Takuro Habu (11-9-2, 3). On paper this looks like a horrible match up however Habu has fought much, much better competition than Miyazaki and has suffered losses to the likes of Amnat Ruenroeng and Yu Kimura. This is one of those bouts which is likely to be much better than the records of the fighters suggest.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This coming weekend is the final one be before Christmas and there is a lot to be excited about before we tuck into out turkey's, open our presents and get drunk with families. For the fighters in action this weekend it'll be their final chance to shine this year and although celebrations are just around the corner for many they will still know that those celebrations could be made that little bit better they can record a big win.
Possibly the most interesting and potentially exciting bout for ourselves is in Argentina where the WBA regular and WBA interim Flyweight titles will unified in a potential FOTY contender. In one corner is regular champion Juan Carlos Reveco (34-1, 18), the home fighter and a 2-weight world champion, whilst interim champion Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (34-2, 20), a legitimate Thai warrior, will be in the other corner. Reveco didn't impress last time out when he defended his title against Felix Alvarado, taking a controversial decision against the exciting Nicaraguan, and since then has been struck with a number of injuries which have forced this bout to be delayed several times. Like Alvarado we weren't impressed last time we saw Yodmongkol in the ring, taking a very questionable decision against Japan's Takuya Kogawa, though he genuine impressed us in his victory over Koki Eto. If both men are on the top of their game this has thrilling written all over it though if either under-performs the other will likely do enough to win.
This bout is doubly important for Asian fans as Kazuto Ioka (15-1, 9) is expected to face the winner early next year as he attempts to become a 3-weight world champion. Of the two we suspect Ioka would prefer Reveco than Yodmongkol.
At the Colisee de Quebec we see a trio of Russian's all with different expectations on their shoulders.
Making his debut will be former amateur star Vislan Dalkhaev (0-0) who will be up against Efren Bautista (3-5-2, 2) in what is expected to be a successful start to his professional career. This should be a straight forward win for Dalkhaev if he's as good as he's supposed to be.
Talking about being as good as someone is supposed to be this card will also feature the genuinely fantastic, destructive and brilliant Artur Beterbiev (6-0, 6). Beterbiev, who was last seen destroying former IBF champion Tavoris Cloud, will be battling against the unbeaten Jeff Page Jr (15-0, 10) in what looks like a good test though we suspect Beterbiev will run through Page in double quick fashion to try and further strengthen his position as the division's premier prospect-come-contender.
In the main event we see Dmitry Sukhotsky (22-2, 16) challenging for the WBC Light Heavyweight title as he takes on the explosive Adonis Stevenson (24-1, 20). Sukhotsky is a huge under-dog here though knows a win will set him up for huge fights down the line and he has got the ability and power to spring an upset here. Stevenson, who was one of the top fighters in 2013, has disappointed hugely this year and knows that anything but a sensational performance will see him cast aside as yesterday's news. This is must win and must win well for Stevenson who knows anything but a great performance really could cost popularity, money and big fights.
In Japan we get a small but interesting card with a hugely promising prospect in the main event as well as an under-card featuring 8 other bouts.
The promising prospect is the OPBF ranked Shun Kubo (5-0, 4) who puts his unbeaten record on the line against WBC world ranked Bantamweight Luis May (15-7-1, 7). In theory this should be a huge step up for Kubo though in all honesty there is nothing on May's record that should scare the talented Japanese youngster who could find himself bursting into the world rankings in early 2015.
In the chief support contest the ranked Tokiya Nishioka (9-3-2, 5) will be up against Toshiya Yokogawa (6-7-1, 5). Nishioka brings an OPBF and a Japanese ranking into this bout and although he should win it does need saying that Yokogawa does have the power to trouble people at this level and Nishoka will need to be careful.
Also on this card will be the return to the ring of Takahiro Shigee (11-1-1, 9) following his loss in July to Rodrigo Guerrero. Shigee will be fighting a Thai visitor though we're unsure who the visitor will actually be.
In Thailand fans are getting the chance to see a world class fighter in action as Suriyan Sor Rungvisai (27-6-1, 16) attempts to defend the WBC Bantamweight Asia title against Indonesian Tony Arema (3-5). This will be Suriyan's first bout since his loss to Shinsuke Yamanaka in a WBC Bantamweight title fight a few weeks ago.
In the Philippines fans will get the chance to see a number of novices in action in what looks to be a small but interesting card.
The most interesting bout will see the unbeaten Robert Ates (3-0, 2) battle against Rafaek Sueno (2-1, 2) in what we suspect will be an explosive encounter and a good test for Ates. Sadly the other “main bout” looks like a mismatch as Peter Apolinar (3-0, 3) fights against Takaoki Noma (0-3-1) in what appears to be a test of the 19 year old Apolinar's power as opposed to his ability.
The other 3 bouts on this card feature real novices with single fight records, though all 6 men are upbeaten. Hopefully they'll manage to bring out the best in each other and give us some great bouts
One of the great things about the Asian boxing scene is that no days seem to be off limits for big fighters. In the US and through much of Europe the big fights only take place on a Saturday night with some "B grade" world title fights being fought on a Friday. In Asia however it seems every day has the potential to be a boxing day. This is made obvious this week as we get three major title fights on a Tuesday!
Thailand, Nakhon Ratchasima
The first title fight of the day is also the most important bout of the day and takes place in Thailand. What makes this one the most important is that it's for the WBA "interim" Flyweight title. Sure it may not be the full version of the title but with the bouts we've had for it in recent years it's hard to deny that the fighters view it as just an interim belt. Last year we saw Koki Eto rip this very belt from the hands of Kompayak Porpramook in a thriller, then we saw Eto get beaten up and grind down as he lost it in his first defense.
The man who beat Eto for the title is Thailand's unheralded Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (33-2, 20) who may not be a big name but is a big talent. He'll be hoping to prove that once again as he attempts to defend his belt for the first time and battles former Japanese national champion Takuya Kogawa (22-3, 13) in what is potentially another war for the belt.
Kogawa is skilled and experienced though he is 0-1 in fights in Thailand and in world title fights and Japanese fighters have had notoriously bad luck in world title fights in Thailand.
We honestly think Kogawa winning would be an upset though we can't see him going down with out putting up a real fight in what promises to be a memorable affair.
In regards to rest of the card, we really don't know what to expect. We're expecting it to be televised on Thai TV though just what will be televised is a whole different question.
Whilst we get the interim world title fight in Thailand we also get a Japanese title double header in Japan, under the guise of Dangan 95".
The first of the title fights will see the unbeaten stoppage machine Hiroki Okada (7-0, 7) attempt to claim his first title, the vacant Japanese Light Welterweight title. In Okada's way is the tough, though limited Masayoshi Kotake (9-7-1, 5). Kotake, who is a tricky southpaw, is expected to cause Okada some problems, though we still expect Okada's power and strength to over-come Kotake.
Following the Japanese Light Welterweight title bout we get the second Japanese title bout as the legendary Tadashi Yuba (45-8-2, 32) attempts to make the second defense of his Japanese Light Middleweight title. Unfortunately for Yuba things aren't that easy and he'll have take on Takayuki Hosokawa (24-10-3, 8) who has already run Yuba incredibly close in a fight a few years back.
Although Hosokawa doesn't have the greatest of records he is a decent fighter and is much younger than the champion and has already given him fits. Although it's Yuba's bout to lose there is plenty of risk in the contest.
As well as the two title fights we're expecting 4 other contests, the most notable of which will feature Dai Iwai (13-3-1, 5) fighting in a testing contest with Shogo Ishikawa (10-5, 3). This may not b a great contest on paper but it's a well.