This coming Saturday is an amazingly busy day for boxing fans though it does build to a clear highlight that should get the attention of every single boxing fan on the planet.
New York, USA
The aforemention standout bout of the day is in New York where Kazakhstan's sensational Gennady Golovkin (29-0, 26) attempts to defend his WBA Middleweight "super" title for the first time since being upgraded earlier this year. Golovkin, who made numerous defences of the WBA interim and regular titles, will be facing his toughest test as he goes up against former double champion Daniel Geale (30-2, 16). Despite the notable step up in class Golovkin is widely viewed as unbackable favourite against the talented Australian fighter.
Metro Manila, Philippines
We get two shows in Metro Manila this Saturday though for us the more interesting of the two takes place at the Mandaluyong Gym.
This card is headlined by a trio of 10 rounders and although they don't look the most competitive of bouts they do look interesting. The best of the three, at least on paper, will see Bernabe Concepcion (32-6-1, 18) battle against Eden Sonsona (32-6-1, 10) in a very even looking contest. Although Concepcion is more well known to Western fans, courtesy of his bouts with Juan Manuel Lopez and Mikey Garcia, Sonsona has mixed comparable company courtesy of fights with Pungluang Sor Singyu and Kohei Kono. We do make Concepcion a slight favourite but this has the potential to be a great contest.
Another of the 10 rounders will see the criminally over-looked Richard Pumicpic (14-6-2, 4) battle against Rex Olisa (10-28-1, 8). We are big admirers of Pumicpic who has proven to be a man who is very tricky to beat, as Yohei Tobe and Ryosuke Iwasa have found out in recent times and with that in mind we need to suspect he'll have more than enough to see off the limited Olisa.
The third 10 rounder is unfortunately a giant mismatch as the explosive and promising Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr (12-0, 11) battles Indonesia's Dicky Amtiran (3-8). Dodie Boy Jr, the son of Dodie boy Sr and newphew of the show's promoter Gerry Penalosa, really should be matched than this considering his potential and although we are happy to admit we think Amtiran has an "incomplete record" he should still be no match at all for Penalosa. Whilst some will point to the fact Amtiran is a late replacement for
On the under-card their will be a chance to see Dodie's brother Dave Penalosa (8-0, 5) battling against Danilo Gabisay (5-2, 3). This should actually be a tougher test than the one Dodie Boy Jr gets. Gabisay isn't great but he has only lost to Rex Wao and Jack Tepora, two very talented Filipino's who are both getting some notable attention for their potential.
The same Filipino card has a further 3 bouts listed for it.
The other Manila card, held at The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex, will feature 8 bouts in total with the most interesting of those bouts being a contest between the "world ranked" Lionel Legada (11-6-1, 5) and journeyman Ricky Oyan (4-20-2, 2). We've got to admit we're not sure how Legada is still world ranked despite losing 4 of his last 6 but he should still have way more than enough to beat Oyan.
Legada's former foe Lionel Mark Duran (12-10-2, 5) will also be on the same card as he battles Ruben Traza (4-6-3, 1) in what is another less than pulsating bout.
Amazingly the main event is an 8 rounder between Bebong Manalo (8-2, 5) and Jovill Marayan (8-17-3, 3) in what really isn't fit to main event a show. Thankfully however the card does have something of real intrigue, the 4th professional bout of Warlight Dapidran (3-0, 2). Dapidran will be fighting against Diover Mangaya-ay (1-5-1) and should win without any problems but will hopefully go 6 rounds here. For those who are unaware Dapidran is Manny Pacquiao's young cousin.
One of the most interesting shows of the night takes place in Mexico where fans get a trio of Mexico Vs Asia bouts.
The most interesting of those bouts will see Japan's Takahiro Shigee (11-0-1, 9) battle against former IBF Super Flyweight champion Rodrigo Guerrero (20-5-1, 13). Shigee will be Guerrero's second Japanese opponent in just 3 fights with Guerrero having been beaten by Daiki Kameda 10 months ago in what was one of Daiki's best performance. Shigee however will need to have a sensational night to over-come the Mexican in Mexico.
In an IBF International Flyweight title fight fans will get the chance to see former OPBF Minimumweight title challenger Jonathan Refugio (13-4-4, 3), of the Philippines, battle Mexico's Armando Santos (14-3, 8). Santos is no stranger to fighting Asian fighters having already shared a ring with Toshiyuki Igarashi and Rolio Golez and will almost certainly be the favourite against Refugio who will need a career best performance to over-come the Mexican.
Sadly the third bout is a complete mismatch as WBA female Minimumweight champion Anabel Ortiz (14-3, 2) defends her belt against Filipino challenger Norj Guro (7-3-1, 4). The bout will be Ortiz's second defence of the title and it's hard to see anything but a straight forward win for the Mexican fighter.
"Down under" fans will get the chance to see Thailand's Phissanuthep Chaiyonggym (4-10-1, 3) battle for the IBO Asia Pacific Super Bantamweight title. Unfortunately for the limited Thai he will be up against Australia's very own Jason cooper (10-2-1, 5). Cooper, a very capable fighter, is probably best known for his loss, in China, to Qiu Xiao Jun though he is 2-0 since that loss in February and we'd expect him to extend that winning run to 3 here with very few problems.
(Image courtesy of http://www.thegarden.com)