In a rare day a fight not in Asia takes the top billing for us as the Japanese based American Charlie Ota (24-1-1, 16) fights in the biggest fight of his career so far. Ota, a former Japanese and OPBF Light Middleweight champion, will be fighting against unbeaten American Jermell Charlo (23-0, 11) in an eliminator for the IBF #2 ranking. The bout is a genuinely tough one for "Charlie" and Charlo has looked very impressive at times, so much so that some in America are already dubbing him as a future champion. For Ota to win he will have to slow down the fast Charlo and that alone is a huge ask.
The winner of this bout should, in theory, be a fight or so away from a clash with IBF Light Middleweight champion Carlos Molina. That's a very difficult bout but Molina doesn't have the power to bother many fights and Ota may well see Molina as an easier foe than Floyd Mayweather, the WBA/WBC champion, or WBO champion Demetrius Andrade, who himself has a mandatory against Brian Rose later this year.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
As well as the big international fight we have two notable cards in the Philippines. For us the more interesting of those is the small card at the Lagao Gym. This show's main event is a bout between Raymond Tabugon (12-3-1, 5) and the unbeaten Jake Bornea (6-0, 3) who will be meeting a battle for the currently vacant WBC Asia Council Continental Flyweight title.
A second bout of note on this show will be between former world title challenger Jether Oliva (20-2-2, 10) and the over-matched Jopher Marayan (6-4-2, 2). It's hard to see anything but an easy victory for Oliva here and although he's not scored that breakthrough victory yet it's clear he's got the talent to mix it up at world level, as he showed in a recent bout with former IBF Flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane. At just 26 years old we are expecting to see Oliva claim a world title some day and he should make light work of Jopher Marayan here.
On the under-card fans will get the chance to see the very talented John Vincent Moralde (8-0, 4) who battles the sketchy Rolando Omela (5-9-3, 1) in what we imagine could be a bit one sided, if Moralde is as good as we're being told.
Metro Manila, Philippines
On the other Filipino show the main event will see Giemel Magramo (9-0, 6) battle against journeyman Pit Anacaya (8-23-2, 1) in a 10 round contest. There is no title on the line here and we can't see anything but a Magramo victory.
In the most interesting under-card bout Jay Loto (7-0) will be fighting against the once beaten Lester Abutan (5-1-2, 2). This is a better match up, on paper, than the main event but it;s still not a great bout in all honesty.
Baja California, Mexico
Talking about Filipino's it's worth mentioning that the promising youngster Jun Doliguez (18-1-2, 14) returns to Mexico after suffering his first loss there last month. He returns in an attempt to avenge that loss as he rematches Mexico's Gabriel Francisco Pina (11-11-5, 4), who claimed a controversial decision over him just a few short weeks ago. We're expecting Doliguez to make light work of Pina this time around and although he was dropped in the opening round of their first meeting many had him winning clearly. Hopefully however Doliguez shows a new found calmness to his work as he has often looked reckless through his career with his all out offensive mentality, which is fun to watch but can get him into trouble.
In Germany we get to see Kuwaiti Light Heavyweight Ali Rami (1-0, 1), not to be confused with Yemen's KO sensation Ali Raymi, in action as he takes on the win-less Emilio Beljan (0-3), who hasn't fought in over 6 years. It's hard not to feel that this is an easy win for Rami though we're unsure on what he imagines his ceiling is going to be in this sport. We doubt he'll go far and in fact the comparison's between himself and Raymi maybe his one claim to fame.
In Australia we have a trio of Asian's in action. These include Filipino journeyman Roberto Lerio (16-19-1, 6) who will be looking to be the the second Oriental fighter this year to defeat Jason Cooper (9-2-1, 5), who was beat by Qiu Xiao Jun in February. Incidentally this is the second meeting between these two men with Lerio actually holding a split decision win over Cooper from back in 2012 when he gave Lerio gave Cooper his first loss. Cooper has improved since the first fight but Lerio may have the confidence and belief to think that he can repeat his achievement from a coupld of years back.
Another of the Asians is Thailand's tough Paitoon Jaikom (1-5) who will be hoping to upset the debuting Dean Thomas (0-0) in a Welterweight bout. We know Paitoon is nothing special but we are impressed by his genuine toughness which he demonstrated against Ben Capps in a very recent bout. The other Asian is also a Thai in the form of Arnon Yuchareon (0-1) who will be hoping to score his first career as he battles the debuting Zoran Cassidy (0-0).
(Image, of Ota, courtesy of http://dbe1.com)