After a few poor days in terms of fights recently we get back to the swing of things here with fights taking places all over the place.
The biggest bout, at least in terms of attention that a bout will receive, is in the USA where Chinese Heavyweight Zhang Zhilei (0-0) will make his professional debut against Curtis Lee Tate (7-4, 6). Zhilei, stood at 6'6", is the second recent Chinese Heavyweight to debut in the US following Taishan Dong, who stopped Alex Rozman. Although significantly older than Dong we actually think Zhilei has the more potential, especially when you consider his amateur credentials which have included an Olympic Silver medal in 2008 and a World Amateur Bronze medal in 2009
As is often the case the most notable action inside of Asia is at the Korakuen Hall where we get the rather misleading "The Greatest Boxing Vol 19" show.
The headline bout for this show is a clash between the very talented Tetsuma Hayashi (24-2-1, 8) and the heavy handed but limited Hideyuki Watanabe (7-6-2, 5). Of the two men it's clear that Hayashi has to be the favourite and he has fought at a much higher level than Watanabe, in fact Hayashi pushed Takuya Kogawa close in a Japanese Flyweight title fight back in 2012. Watanabe however will no there is no pressure on his shoulders and that a win could catapult him in to the national rankings.
Whilst the main event looks a little bit one sided the co-feature looks very interesting as former multi-time title challenger Yoshihisa Tonimura (17-9-4, 5) takes on fellow Japanese ranked Light Middleweight Toshio Arikawa (8-4, 7). Arikawa is heavy handed though Tonimura has gone 18 rounds with Tadashi Yuba and many felt Tonimura deserved wins over Yuba in both fights they've had together.
A third notable bout on this card looks like another mismatch as the highly ranked former multi-time title challenger Koji Umetsu (21-14-3, 9) battles against Thai novice Chamuakpetch Por Panya (0-2). Chamaukpetch has been stopped in both of his previous contests, both in Japan, and we'd expect him to be stopped again here by Umetsu, despite the fact Umetsu is 37 an has never been much of a puncher.
Whilst the Japanese show is technically the best, due to having 3 bouts of note, the most significant bouts of the day are probably in Laos where the unbeaten Norasing Kokietgym (10-0-1, 7) attempts to extend his winning record and claim the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Super Flyweight title. In the opposite corner to Norasing will be Filipino journeyman Geboi Mansalayao (9-16-4, 3). Going into this bout the Filipino has lost 7 of his last 8, including a stoppage to Amnat Ruenroeng, and we'd expect to see another loss added to his record here.
In another title bout on this show Nampetch Kwanjaisrikod (1-1, 1) will be fighting the debuting Kanda Por Muangpetch (0-0) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental female Light Flyweight title. We're not sure what either fighter has done to qualify for a title fight but the WBC, in their infinite wisdom, have managed to pick up a sanctioning fee for the bout all the same.
A second show with Thai backing takes places in Thailand and is headlines by a genuinely exciting looking all Thai bout as veteran Kwanthai Sithmorseng (46-2-1, 24) battles against rising young star Stamp Kiatniwat (8-0, 4). Stamp is viewed as one of the future faces of boxing in Thailand and this will be an insane test for the youngster who knows that if he wins he will shoot into the fringes of the world rankings. If you've not seen Stamp before we do have videos of his bout with John Bima and his bout with Johna Wahyudi.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia we see another title bout as Indonesia's Stevi Ongen Ferdinandus (15-6-1, 8) attempts to claim the currently vacant WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Light Welterweight title. Unfortunately for Ferdinandus he's going to need a considerable upset to see off Australia's very own Chad Bennett (33-4-3, 24) in what appears to be another mismatch. Going in Bennet has won his last 9 with 8 stoppages, we'd expect him to increase both of those numbers.
Staying in Australia there will be another bout with an Asian as win-less Thai Pramool Boonpok (0-7) competes in his 8th bout of the year and takes on the light hitting Charlie King (18-5, 1). King, originally form the UK, has won just 1 of his 3 bouts since relocating to Australia though it appears almost certain that he will over-come the Thai here.
(Image courtesy of Kadoebi.com)