The month of September has been a bit of a strange one for Asian boxing. We have had a lot of activity, but we've seen it in bursts, with this past weekend being one of those bursts. The big names, for the most part, weren't in action and a lot of what we did get was Rookie of the Year in Japan and low level tick over bouts in Thailand, with novices looking to kick off their careers in Kazakhstan and more low level stuff in China. As a result a lot of our awards this month are heading to relative unknowns.
Fighter of the Month
John Riel Casimero
The Fight of the Month was one of the easiest awards for the month, with WBO Bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero being the stand out fighter for the month. He was the only Asian world champion to defend a world title during the month, and he did so in spectacular fashion, battering Duke Micah in 3 rounds. Casimero has continued to build on the win by calling out Naoya Inoue pretty much continually since the bout, and has certainly made fans sit up, take note, listen and remember his name.
Fight of the Month
Tsubasa Narai Vs Tomohiro Igarashi
We had some real fun fights this past month, though the most fun was the thrilling shout out between Tsubasa Narai and Tomohiro Igarashi. This wasn't the most violent bout, but was the most dramatic, most exciting a thrilling back and forth war. Both men showed solid skills, both men were dropped and both men had the bout going against them at some point. The bout was action packed through out and ended in spectacular fashion. A real must watch
Koichi Aso Vs Shogo Yamaguchi
John Riel Casimero Vs Duke Micah
Arman Rysbek vs Mikhail Dauhaliavets
KO of the Month
Aito Abe TKO1 Kentaro Omori
We didn't get too many brutal KO's in September but the one that left the biggest impression on us came in the East Japan Rookie of the Year qualifying bout between Aito Abe and Kentaro Omori. The entire bout didn't last long and ended in spectacular fashion, with Abe landed a dynamite right hand that sent Omori crashing to the canvas. A single, huge, right hand. Absolutely brutal shot and one that fans, with Boxing Raise, should go and check out...now!
Prospect of the Month
Rentaro Kimura (2-0, 2)
There was some very impressive performances by prospects in September, though none were as impressive as Rentaro Kimura's performance. His opponent wasn't the most testing, or skilled, but that didn't prevent Kimura from genuinely impressing. The Japanese "Super Prospect" showed sensation shot selection, an amazing use of angles, and not only show cased his offense against an over matched opponent but also his defense in a performance that was incredibly impressive. This was the type of performance that should make people sit and take notice and we suspect we'll see a lot of fans getting behind Kimura very, very quickly following a showing like he had here.
Upset of the Month
Pungluang Sor Singyu KO7 Campee Phayom
After losing the WBO Bantamweight title in 2016 Pungluang Sor Singyu struggled to get his career back on track, losing 4 of his following 5 bouts. Surprisingly however he managed to get his career back in track in early September when he scored a come from behind stoppage win over Campee Phayom. Pungluang wasn't expected to pick up the win here, he was expected to be too old, too small, too shot, but managed to use his experience to grind down Campee and take the KO victory over the much younger man. Thanks to this win, Pungluang's second win in 4 and a half years, the Thai veteran has given his career a major shot in the arm.
Round of the Month
Arman Rysbek vs Mikhail Dauhaliavets (Rd3)
We love rounds where fighters trade shots, and set a high tempo. We had a lot of these this month. Rounds of action up close and personal are typically our favourite rounds and there was was a lot of those. In terms of quality there were very few that matched the incredible quality of the 3rd round between Arman Rysbek and Mikhail Dauhaliavets. This was high quality boxing, at close range, at a high pace, with clean shots landed by both. If fans missed this fight we suggest you give it a watch, especially round 3. Genuinely fantastic.
John Riel Casimero Vs Duke Micah (Rd1)
Ryo Yoshida Vs Ricky Hasegawa (Rd 1)
Quite often when a fighter suffers a loss they get written off, especially in the west. This completely ignores the value off a loss and a performance, and can cause fans to down-rate fighters that they sometimes haven't seen, ignoring their potential, and some of their bouts. It seems silly to say due to how obvious it is, but many top fights have suffered early losses, learned from them and built their careers in part thanks to a loss.
With that in mind we want to talk about 20 year old Japanese Super Bantamweight Ryuya Tsugawa (7-1, 3) today, in our latest "introducing" article. Yes he has a loss, and he may suffer more of them, but we would still suggest that he is a prospect worthy of attention, and worthy of making a mental note of for the next few years.
Like many youngsters in Japan Tsugawa did martial arts when he was a boy, he then took up boxing in junior high school, following a friend who was boxing. Despite picking up the sport relatively young his amateur experience was limited, at best, and instead of changing that and getting amateur experience he turned professional in 2018, aged just 17.
Tsugawa's debut came in April 2018 and saw him defeat the then 0-3 Tomoki Yamada with a well fought 4 round decision at the L-Theatre in Osaka. Despite debuting against a southpaw Tsugawa looked confident and calm, taking the clear decision without any issues. Just a month later the youngster was back in the ring and scored his first stoppage win, blasting out Reon Nakayama in less than 2 minutes. This was a really impressive performance, dropping his man 3 times in 118 seconds to advance in the West Japan Rookie of the Year.
Tsugawa's journey through the 2018 West Japan Rookie of the Year continued a couple of months later, when he defeated Kaito Takeshima with a 4 round decision. This was the toughest bout of his career up to this point and turned out to be a thrilling 4 rounder for the fans at the venue. This win secured moved Tsugawa's journey on and he was again in a tough test as he narrowly squeaked past Daichi Okamoto in September 2018.
Sadly for the youngster he would see his winning run end at 4 as he came up short in November 2018, losing a close decision to Yusei Fujikawa. It was a loss that will stay on his record, and many will look at Tsugawa's record and see it. They will also ignore the fact that Fujikawa later went on to win the 2018 All Japan Rookie of the Year at Bantamweight, and the loss was a serious learning experience for the then 18 year old Tsugawa.
Some 8 months after suffering his first professional loss Tsugawa returned to the ring, to compete in the 2019 West Japan Rookie of the year. He impressed after his lengthy lay off and blitzed Ren Nishimura in 106 seconds. The bout saw Nishimura start aggressively but a well timed left hook dropped him and Tsugawa managed to secure the finish soon afterwards. That win was then followed by another blow out, as Tsugawa stopped Yutaka Asakura in the first round, with Asakura being saved when he was under pressure.
The win over Asakura saw Tsugawa book his place in the 2019 All Japan Rookie of the year final, where he took on Takeshi Takehara. This wasn't the Rookie of the Year final but was also Tsugawa's Korakuen Hall debut. Despite being in his opponents backyard the talented youngster took control early on, using his speed and movement well to maintain distance, and picked his spots on the outside. Takehara wasn't there to lose but struggled to avoid the straight right hands of Tsugawa, which landed to the head and body of Takehara. After 5 rounds it was clear that Tsugawa had done enough to deserve the victory, and the Rookie of the Year crown, with a stellar performance.
Sadly Tsugawa hasn't fought since winning Rookie of the Year, due in part to the on going climate. He had hoped to fight for the Japanese Youth title, but sadly those plans were scuppered. Instead we'll be seeing the 20 year old return to the ring later this week, when he takes on Hikari Mineta in what will be Tsugawa's first 8 round bout. It's a big step up but a win here will have him really moving his career on.
In regards to his style Tsugawa is a talented boxer-mover. He judges distance well, preferring to keep action at range, has lovely hand speed and knows that when he has his opponent he should move in and put his foot on the gas. Interestingly all 3 of his stoppage wins to date have come in the opening round, and he's managed to show good stamina over 4 and 5 rounds already. Defensively there is still work to do, as he often relies too much on having distance to work with and his reflexes. Up close he doesn't seem to have a great inside game and that could be a problem as he steps into longer fights.
Although he had a loss we would implore fans to keep an eye on Tsugawa, he is not someone we see raving to titles. He needs more experience and more physical maturity before getting really big fights, but in 3 or 4 years time we could see him well in the mix for a Japanese title fight.
Well...that weekend is behind us, the matchsticks have been removed form our eyes, the coffee has had to be replaced, and our bodies are still feeling the effects of one of the most incredible weeks this sport has had in a long, long time. Whether you're a fan of mainstream boxing or the sport at wide you would have enjoyed something from this past week. Boy we know we did! With that in mind we've a lot of good to go along with some bad and a couple of true uglies.
1-Lots of free boxing!
Lets start with the best thing of the week and that was all the free boxing that was available. We couldn't possible guess on how many free cards were available world wide but over the course of a week we had no less than 5 Asian cards for free, as well as a show from Latvia! Seriously we can, and will, bitch about PPV, but we also need to say well done to promoters putting on free shows during these trying times. During the week we had a live card from Kazakhstan, two from Thailand, two from Japan and one from Latvia. Yes boxing can be a very expensive sport to follow, but we, as fans, should be making the must of all the free action we can!
Thanks to our good Friend Tim Boxeo (@Hock1717) we've come to the total being at least 20 free boxing shows world wide this past week!
2-Melvin Lopez helps Yeison Vargas to sleep
Jesus fucking Christ what a KO! Not sure we need to add anything here, but we'll try. A single left hand from Melvin Lopez knocked Yeison Vargas out cold, with Vargas still standing, before he crash to the canvas. This was another in a long line of great KO's we've seen recently is certainly in the running for the KO of the year. An absolute thunderbolt that sadly saw Vargas essentially being concussed standing and then concussed again as he crashed to the canvas below. If you've not seen it we seriously suggest you hunt it down!
3-Julio Cesar Chavez Sr and Jorge Arce III
Whilst we've seen the upcoming Mike Tyson Vs Roy Jones Jr exhibition getting a lot of attention the reality is that we're not expecting anythign too spectacular there. Thankfully for fans of fun exhibitions we got something hugely entertaining this week as Mexican icons Julio Cesar Chavez Sr and Jorge Arce put on a show for charity. This is exactly what an exhibition is supposed to be about. Two guys, past their best, putting on a showcase performance for fans. This was fun, high octane and showed that two guys have still got the tank to go a few rounds.
4-WBSS Cruiserweight II Final
We had a lot of great bouts this week and one of the best was the, well over-due, WBSS Cruiserweight II final between Mairis Briedis and Yuniel Dorticos. We know that the Crusierweight division has long been the bastard child of the Heavyweight division but once again it has seen two men knock 7 lumps out of each other in a truly incredible bout. The iron these two guys have in their chin needs investigating, with both taking monster shots through the 12 round bout. In the end the skills and ability to adapt of the 35 year old Briedis were the difference maker, but that just added to the bout. We had bombs, skills, action drama. If you missed it go and watch it. Now!
5-The Hitman Vs The Mechanic
We've just mentioned one great bout, now let us talk about another! This WBC Middleweight title bout between Jermall Charlo and Sergiy Derevyanchenko was expected to be a really interesting match up, and boy did it ever live up to expectations. Early on it looked like Charlo was going to have an easy time with the Ukrainian, who struggled to get past the jab of the American. Then we saw Derevyanchenko adapt, get close and begin to work up close on Charlo, suffering for his success. Then Charlo seemed to re-sume control, before a late surge from Derevyanchenko, who tired in the championship rounds. Whilst the Showtime PPV on Saturday gave us some great action, this was the best back and forth bout.
6-Rentaro Kimura..Japan's answer to Vasyl Lomachenko?
On Sunday morning from Shizuoka we saw Rentaro Kimura fight for the second time in the professional ranks and he put in a sensational performance showing amazing offense, brilliant movement, defense, angles, punch selection, defense. His debut, back in July, seemed to be about getting a win first but this was about shining and boy did he shine. His opponent, Takafumi Iwaya, played his part by being tougher than a pair of old boots, but what a show case from Kimura. Folks, we may well have Japan's new must watch fighter!
1-Kohei Oba's return
After more than 6 years out of the ring we saw former Japanese Bantamweight champion Kohei Oba return to action, to face Yoshiki Minato. Sadly Oba didn't look good at all here. He looked slow, he looked clumsy, his reflexes weren't there and he never got a chance to get himself into the bout. For a man who was once dubbed the "Mayweather of Nagoya" this was a humiliating showing ans made it very, very clear that Oba needs to retire and stay retired. He's very lucky Minato wasn't a big puncher, or this could have gotten very ugly, rather than just embarrassing.
2-Shun Kubo Vs Takashi Igarashi
Whilst Kohei Oba could be excused for his disappointing performance, given he'd been out of the ring so long, we don't have much of an excuse for why Shun Kubo Vs Takashi Igarashi was such a poor affair. This was just very much a "meh" fight that never really caught fire. Both men seemed far too cautious through out, neither man ever fully committed and as a result it just sort of meandered towards a nothing win for Kubo. If you missed this one live, don't both catching it, it's not worth your time.
3-Scoring again an issue!
Whilst we had some truly brilliant fights this past weekend we really do need to wonder what some officials were watching at times. We had poor scores over shadow some very good good bouts. How judges in Lativa scored the Arturs Gorlovs vs Felipe Nsue bout a draw is a mystery, as was a judge having Ricards Bolotniks Vs Hosea Burton 100-90, a score we can't get to no matter how we try.
It wasn't just Latvia that left us scratching out heads though. I
n the US Don Ackerman's 118-110 in the Luis Nery Vs Aaron Alameda fight was a terrible score, as was David Sutherland having the same in the Jermall Charlo Vs Sergiy Derevyanchenko bout. We felt the Daniel Roman Vs Juan Carlos Payano bout was super close, yet the judges had it a rather clear win for Roman.
Also two judges in Mexico somehow only had a point separating Mario Abel Cazares and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, more about him later.
Oh and one in Germany had Mairis Briedis vs Yuniel Dorticos level at 114-114.
As we can see this isn't isolated to one country, but is a worldwide issue. Lets have it sorted out guys!
1-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr Quits... again
We said we were going to get back to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and here we are. Erm...Yeah Quitting once is pretty bad, but for Chavez Jr to do it a number of times now is beyond the point where even his most ardent of fans can suspend him. He quit with a relative small cut, he then bitched about Cazares headbutting him. Dude, find a new career, get out of the sport and...become a catwalk model or something. We'll admit we loved seeing Jr come through the ranks , and his bout with Sergio Martinez was fantastic, but recently he has become a joke and has dragged his father's name through the mud.
The Showtime PPV was...interesting. The in ring action was good, and the pacing for the first half of the show was perfect. It felt quick, sharp and moved on from bout to bout with no issues. It was enjoyable, exciting, and a nice mix of great action, and excitement. Then we hit the intermission and oh boy was that shit. We're sure Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell are lovely chaps, and the idea of an intermission was a good idea. But this just failed. The guys didn't seem to be fully coherent of the subject matter, they both seemed like they were being paid by the word, and it completely killed the pacing of the show. This was ill judged and if Showtime are going to do a similar type of PPV in the future they need to reconsider how they will split the different parts of the show.
3-Lack of research from Showtime!
Staying with our complaints about Showtime there was at least 3 occasions where they mentioned "John Riel Casimero's US debut", seemingly unaware he had fought in the US around 18 months ago, fighting for the interim version of the title he defended over the weekend. Whilst that bout wasn't shown on TV it did happen, and it was strange that Showtime were either not aware of it, or tried to act like it didn't happen. Very very odd that no one seemed to twig that they were repeating the same mistake. It didn't help that in there intermission the people doing the show seemed to suggest that Casimero was a slow starter, despite the fact 10 of his 20 stoppages prior to last night had been in the first 3 rounds. It was one of those cases where a quick look at his record would have done the broadcast the world of good.
Whilst it might seem like a little thing it it's also something that shouldn't have happened, and calls into question other things they say. Come on folks, do your research!
4-Vazquez Vs Figueroa..What was everyone doing?
Okay now we're just picking on the Showtime PPV. For 3 or 4 rounds the WBA Super Bantamweight bout between Brandon Figueroa and Damien Vazquez was an enthralling all action war. Absolutely brilliant from both. But then Figueroa began to turn the screw and from round 7 the bout was becoming painful to watch. Quite why the referee, the ringside doctor and Vazquez's own team let him go out for rounds 8, 9 or 10. Everyone had a duty of care to Vazquez who couldn't see the left hands that Figueroa was throwing, had a swollen face, lacked fight changing power and was being beaten up. There is a duty of care that those in the position to stop fights have and watching this one it seemed like they all neglected that duty of care. Sadly the 23 year old Vazquez too almost 3 rounds of unnecessary punishment, and it felt like we were going to see a young fighter beaten into retirement.
The corner, the referee and the ringside doctor should be dragged in front of the commission and forced to explain why they allowed this beating to continue as long as it did. This was ugly by the end and didn't do anyone any favours.
It's fair to say that September, for the most part, was a disappointing month, with some notable gaps between noteworthy bouts. Sure the month finished with a bang, but there were certainly a few weeks where little happened and we were sat twiddling out thumbs waiting for the next notable fight. In October however that won't be happening, with great after great show, and notable name after notable name. Potentially the longest gap we'll see between notable fights will be 7 days. With that in mind we've had to break October into 3 parts for this series.
Korakuen Hall, Japan (G+ - Tape Delay)
Kenichi Ogawa (24-1-1-1, 18) Vs Kazuhiro Nishitani (21-4-1, 12)
The main event of the first notable show of the month will see former Japanese national champions facing off in a very interesting match up. In one corner will be former Japanese Featherweight champion Kenichi Ogawa, best known for his bout with Tevin Farmer, whilst the other corner will play host to Kazuhiro Nishitani, a former Japanese Lightweight champion. Coming into this both of these fighters have got world rankings, and both will know a loss will end their dreams of getting a big fight. On paper this could end up being a very, very good bout, with the styles of the two men expected to gel well. A great way to kick off the month.
Hayate Kaji (14-0, 9) Vs Hiroki Yajima (9-8-3, 4)
Unbeaten Japanese hopeful Hayate Kaji once looked like a star in the making and seemed destined for huge things. In recent performances however he has struggled to shine, and there's been a feeling that his career has started to stall with poor performance and a lack of professionalism. Sadly for Kaji the hope of taking on an opponent that could push his career forward isn't being realised here as he faces lower level domestic foe Hiroki Yajima. Coming into this Yajima has lost 3 of his last 4, and is 2-3-2 in his last 7. Despite his form Yajima has never been stopped and will likely make this tricky and awkward for Kaji.
Shokichi Iwata (4-0, 3) Vs Ryo Narizuka (9-9-1)
The hotly tipped Shokichi Iwata looks to stay busy as he steps into 8 round territory for the first time. Regarded as a future world champion Iwata is being moved smartly and this is a decent domestic level test for him as he takes on Ryo Narizuka. Whilst Narizuka isn't anything special he is generally quite durable and should give Iwata some rounds here, allowing the youngster to shake some ring rust. Given that Iwata has been out of the ring since November a fight like this is ideal, before potentially heading for a title fight in 2021, when the Japanese boxing scene is more "normal" than it is at the moment.
Korakuen Hall, Japan (G+ - Live)
Hironobu Matsunaga (16-1, 10) Vs Yuto Shimizu (14-4-2, 5)
In the first Japanese title bout of the month we'll see JBC Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga defending his title against mandatory challenger Yuto Shimizu, in what could be a real thriller. Matsunaga is a thrilling little warrior who sets a high work rate, comes forward and looks to break opponents down with an aggressive and exciting style. Shimizu on the other hand is a tough, tricky, opponent who is big, strong, rangy and should be able to blunt some of Matsunaga's aggression. This might end up messy at times, but should be a compelling match up between the aggression of the champion the crafty skills of the challenger.
Kenshi Noda (2-0, 2) Vs Toshiki Kawamitsu (4-0, 1)
A low key one to watch will see the touted Kenshi Noda take on fellow unbeaten Toshiki Kawamitsu in a brilliant looking 6 rounder. Noda, a fooirmer amateur standout, is a Teiken hopeful who debuted last year and blitzed his first 2 opponents in under 3 and a half minutes, combined. He is tipped very highly and is regarded as one of the best prospects at Teiken, but this is very much his first bout against someone trying to beat him. Although he's been less impressive in terms of results Kawamitsu is the more proven professional and has faced stiffer competition whilst also getting more rounds under his belt. This is a hard one to call, and pits Noda's amateur experience and power against Kawamitsu's professional seasoning. A very interesting bout.
Shigetoshi Kotari (1-0, 1) Vs Motosuke Kimura (3-4-2, 1)
Talented hopeful Shigetoshi Kotari is regarded as one of the brightest hopes at the MT Gym, the same gym as Junto Nakatani, and here we see him in his second professional bout. On debut Kotari looked sharp, powerful and promising, but was up against a very limited opponent. On paper Motosuke Kimura isn't a big step up in class, but Kimura is better than his record suggests, and gave Hikari Mineta a good test last year. With that Mineta bout in mind we suspect he will take Kotari rounds here, but ultimately the gulf in class will prove too much.
Workpoint Studio, Bang Phun, Thailand
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (48-5-1, 41) Vs Jomar Fajardo (17-17-2, 9)
In Thailand we'll see former 2-time WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai return fight in a stay busy bout against limited Filipino Jomar Fajardo. Srisaket, who fought back in July, is expected to get a world title shot in 2021 and is looking to keep the rust off here in a bout that even the broadcaster describe as a tune up. Fajardo was once a capable fighter at Light Flyweight but will be expected to be blasted out here by Srisaket.
Apichet Petchmanee (6-0, 2) vs Musheg Adoian (7-1, 7)
In one of the more interesting bouts we'll see this month in Thailand the unbeaten Apichet Petchmanee will take on Thai based Russian fighter Musheg Adoian, in a bout for that will see Apichet defending a minor WBC title. The unbeaten Thai looked great in his first few bouts, but has looked less good in more recent bouts, and we do wonder if he's as good as first thought. In Adoian we have someone who could give Apichet a serious chin checking and let us see what the Thai really is made of. Adoian is no world beater himself but is a live under-dog here.
Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles, California, USA (FS1 - Live)
Mark Magsayo (20-0, 14) Vs Rigoberto Hermosillo (11-2-1, 8)
World class Filipino Mark Magsayo looks to move a step closer to a world title bout, and score win #21, as he takes on Rigoberto Hermosillo. The bout sees Magsayo take on a late replacement, who is a massive down grade, but that hardly matters here as the focus is on the Filipino looking good, getting his face in front of a US TV and getting back in the ring after a lengthy break. Expect bigger and better matches for Magsayo in 2021, with this acting as little more than a show case for the unbeaten Pinoy.
Korakuen Hall, Japan (Fuji TV - Tape Delay)
Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2-2, 14) Vs Shingo Kawamura (16-5-4, 8)
The second title fight to be held in Japan in October will see OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara defending his title against domestic foe Shingo Kawamura. The talented Teshigawara is hoping to land a world title fight in the coming year or two, and has transferred over to Misako Gym, which should help him secure a shot at the top. As for Kawamura he has come up short in an OPBF title bout at Featherweight and is dropping down in weight here, though we don't imagine he'll have much success against the under-rated Teshigawara.
Taiki Minamoto (16-6-1, 13) Vs Kanehiro Nakagawa (9-6, 5)
Former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto looks to bounce back from a frustrating 2019, in which he drew with Reiya Abe and lost to Takuya Watanabe, as he takes on Kanehiro Nakagawa. The heavy and talented Minamoto is in the hunt for a Japanese title at 130lbs and should be favoured here against the less experienced Nakagawa. Saying that however Nakagawa is no push over and he is riding a 4 fight winning streak, including upsets over Seiichi Okada and Ken Osato. On paper this doesn't look great but in reality we are expecting a very interesting match up between men who should be more evenly matched than their records suggest.
Earlier this month we brought back our weekly awards, but in the weeks that followed there simply wasn't enough action to talk about, with only a handful of bouts a week. Thankfully this past week we saw a pick tick up in action taking place around the world, and there was, thankfully, more than enough notable action to talk excitedly about. With that in mind we bring you the latest in our weekly awards series.
Fighter of the Week
John Riel Casimero
It's fair to say that we have all been affected in some way by the nightmare that has been 2020. For John Riel Casimero the year has been massively frustrating. He had been scheduled to face Naoya Inoue in April before that bout was cancelled due to the on going global situation. As a result he had to look elsewhere for a bout and ended up fighting this past weekend, defending his WBO Bantamweight title against Duke Micah. With a lot of built up frustration we saw Casimero do everything he could to shine, and shine he did. His win was easily the biggest of any Asian fighter this week, and boy did he ever make a statement.
Performance of the Week
John Riel Casimero
It's a double for Casimero! After years of being over-looked by the wider boxing public Casimero knew he had a chance to show the world what he was capable of, and he took that opportunity. From the opening bell he tried to destroy and dismantle the rugged Duke Micah. Micah, who had entered the bout 24-0, tried to fight fire with fire but there was no stopping Casimero here, as the Filipino battered, beat up and broke down the Ghanaian fighter in sensational fashion. Sadly few in America had ever seen Casimero before, but after this it's fair to say he has made some sit up and take note.
Also his post fight antics, calling out Inoue and doing one armed press ups, will also have endeared him to the American fight fans.
Casimero knew he had a chance to capture the attention of the boxing world, and oh boy did he take it here!
Fight of the Week
Tsubasa Narai Vs Tomohiro Igarashi
We're off to the land of the obscure here, but the East Japan Rookie of the Year bout between Tsubasa Narai and Tomohiro Igarashi, shown on Boxing Raise, needs to be seen! This was an amazing 4 round shoot out that saw both men hitting the canvas before Narai finished off Igarashi in round 4. If you're a Boxing Raise subscriber and you missed this you seriously need to make time to watch it. The action wasn't as high level as the Caismero Vs Micah bout, but the drama was more interesting, and seeing both men hit the canvas sees this one coming out on top for us.
Round of the Week
Ryo Yoshida Vs Ricky Hasegawa (Rd 1)
We're staying with the world of the obscure, and within the realm of Rookie of the Year, for the best round of the week. That was the opening round of Ryo Yoshida's win over Ricky Hasegawa. This was just a breathless round. From the opening bell Hasegawa tried to bulldozer Yoshida, setting a breath taking pace. Yoshida was downed during the round, and had to gut out a torrid 3 minutes, trying to fight back. Again this was low level stuff but it was so incredibly fun to watch. It was brilliant from start to end and is again available to watch on Boxing Raise.
Prospect of the Week
Rentaro Kimura (2-0, 2)
There really wasn't any competition here. The performance put on by Rentaro Kimura was really something else and saw the youngster show some breath taking offense, some sensational defense, and use movement in a similar fashion to Vasyl Lomachenko. We won't go as far as to suggest Kimura is the Japanese Lomachenko, but his performance here was one where he certainly showed touches of the Ukrainian sensation. This young man is one of the best prospects in world boxing, and on this performance he has the tools to be one of the next major stars of Japanese boxing.
Later today we'll see the return of PPV boxing to Showtime as the channel puts on it's first PPV event since boxing was shut down earlier this year due to the on going global situation. On paper the card is a stacked one with 5 world title fights, and it's being marketed as a double-header PPV. On paper it ticks a lot of boxes, but will it be a success of failure? Is it too soon to be back asking, cap in hand, for fans to fund the sport with the almost archaic PPV model? Is the price point right? Have Showtime, and the fighters, judged the feeling of a nation? Have the journalists, who have been highly negative, been able to puncture the sales?
Whilst we can't answer those questions we can certainly attempt to discuss the PPV, and query whether it will be a success or not. And also what the future may bring for PPV if this is a success, or a failure.
Also before we begin, we need to admit this is a bit of a stream of consciousness from our collective minds.
Whats different with this PPV?
There are several things that make this PPV different to a typical PPV in boxing. Firstly it's a deep card, it goes against the tried and tested argument that "no one care about the undercard" by stacking the card, giving it a chance to look more like value than a single main event card with a rather low key, low quality under-card of mismatches. In theory this means the card spreads the load a lot more evenly than a typical PPV.
Typically we see a PPV sold on, and depend on, the main event. This tends to mean the main event is not just the selling factor but the factor the entire card is judged on, both before hand and afterwards.
To sell those PPV's shows tend to focus on a star. Someone like Floyd Mayweather Jr or Manny Pacquiao. Going further back Oscar De La Hoya or Mike Tyson. These were bankable names that would draw casual fan interest. Their bouts were the ones fans tuned in for.
For this one, fans are expected to tune in for depth of the show, not for a single name. There is no out and out bankable star on the card. Some will argue that Charlo twins, as a package, could be deemed bankable, but in reality that's pretty unproven, especially at PPV level. With 5 title bouts the show is looking to promote it's self on depth, at least in theory.
Has this been marketed right?
Interestingly whilst fans are talking about the depth of the show it should be noted that much of the promotional art work, such as online banners have focused on the two Charlo's. It may have been a wiser idea to try to sell the show on all 5 title bouts rather than the twins. Doing so could have made the card look like value to the casual fans, and also helped push the idea that their opponents are dangerous.
If you are reading this, you are a boxing fan. You know that Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Jeison Rosario are good fighters, you do not need to be told that, but if you're a casual fan looking at the art work, it's essentially looking like a show case.
We dare say had the visual creative been a bit smarter we could, potentially, have seen more wider spread fan interest.
Is it a good card?
On paper this looks like one of the cards of the year. It gives us 5 world title bouts, including a 3 title unification bout and one of the best possible match ups at Middleweight.
Looking a little deeper however it's one that the bookies don't have pegged for having a single 50-50 bout on it. From the 6 main bouts the most competitive, with the bookies, is the Middleweight bout between Jermall Charlo and Derevyanchenko. Even that sees the favourite going in at 4/7.
The others bouts see the favourites as clear favourites. Jermell Charlo is 2/9 to beat Jeison Rosario, Luis Nery is 1/20 to beat Aaron Alameda, John Riel Casimero is 1/7 to beat Duke Micah, Daniel Roman is 1/12 to beat Juan Carlos Payano, and Brandon Figueroa is 1/33 to beat Damien Vazquez. They hardly look like compelling 50-50 bouts here.
Also worth noting is that whilst there are 5 world title bouts on the show they lack in terms of distinguished champions. For example John Riel Casimero is making his first defense, Luis Nery Vs Aaron Alameda is for a vacant title, Jermell Charlo and Jeison Rosario are making their first defense, albeit in a triple title unification bout and Brandon Figueroa is making his second defense.
That's not to say the bouts aren't good. We absolute love the look of Jermall Charlo Vs Sergiy Derevyanchenko, and think that could be a FOTY contender, and Jermell Charlo Vs Jeison Rosario gets a thumbs up from us as we love title unifcation bouts. Howevere expect Daniel Roman, Luis Nery, Brandon Figueroa and John Riel Casimero to make light work of their opponents. Though we do expect all 4 bouts to be fun watches, as the 4 big favourites do tend to be fun to watch, and all have a point to prove. For example Daniel Roman was essentially ignored by Eddie Hearn, despite back to back FOTY contenders, and John Riel Casimero wants to make a statement given the situation with Naoya Inoue.
Two great bouts on a card is more than we've come to expect of boxing. And 4, potentially, fun to watch bouts is a real bonus.
Of course we're looking forward, and there is a real chance the in ring action proves to be much better, and more competitive, than we expect.
Is the price high?
The argument is that this is a standard price PPV, which is true, that doesn't mean it's not high. It just means the standard is high. The argument is that people smarter than us have worked out the sweet spot in terms of pricing, and they may be right. This may provide the best income given price and sales. In reality though it's still high, especially given the lack of proving selling power of the Charlo brothers, the relatively unknown status of their opponents, and the fact that the supporting card is at the lower weights.
Also we are not living in standard times. We don't need to explain that there's a gloval issue affecting everyone. That has lead to unemployment increases in the US, and even people in safe jobs will be looking at stretching their budgets more than usual. They could well have gone from thinking $75 is fine the questioning whether it's something they are willing to buy. We've also seen general sports numbers dropping in recent weeks, and that's certainly not a good sign for boxing.
Also we need to consider that PPV parties will not be happening in the same volume as normal. No longer will people be chipping in $15 and taking their booze to watch it together, decreasing the price per viewer. Now it's a case that if you want it, pay for it. A stinger for some, who view sport as escapism and now can't afford it.
We also need to consider UFC, which is set to be shown opposite the Showtime card, is $64.99. A combat sport fan deciding on which they'll pay for will almost certainly go for the cheaper option. Even someone who is more inclined to boxing generally, may end up order UFC to save themselves a bit of change.
In fact ESPN are doing a price bundle for ESPN+ for a year, with UFC253 for $84.98 for new customers. That bundle could really harm the the Showtime numbers, with boxing fans likely now aware ESPN+ is showing regular boxing content.
It's also worth noting that the WWE have their "Clash of Champions" show on Sunday and may also get some fans interested, preferring to spend $10 a month on WWE to $75 on boxing.
What if this is a success?
We suspect the number for a "success" is lower than a typical PPV, but given their competition, the unemployment situation, the price point, and the lack of a bankable star the numbers here could be a rather rather disappointing. And that would be a shame. Honestly it would be a massive shame, and it would, sadly, "prove a point", or rather several.
A low number could back up the argument that no one cares about the under-card. We strongly disagree with this point, but it could be used as evidence that they could have just ran a Charlo twin show, with a garbage under-card and it would have done just as well.
It could also "prove" that boxing is dying, afterall 5 world title fights and the sport can't sell. We can all imagine the grin on Dana White's face if this is a flop.
It would also show that the Charlo brothers, although talented fighters, aren't the bankable stars that some seem to suggest. They are interesting fighters outside of the ring, they tend to be fun inside it, and they rub some people up just enough that they will have some people buying to see them lose, as well as plenty seeing them win and others just wanting to see a fight. But they probably aren't "bankable" enough to lead a PPV.
If this is successful we could see more double header PPV's and split PPV's, which is a nice idea, and hopefully a successful one. After all we get better shows as fans!
Do we expect a success?
Sadly not. We think the in ring action will be great, but we don't see the show doing the numbers that the fighters and broadcaster would be wanting. If we're right it may mean that Showtime take a look at things. They may realise the price point needs a reset during these tough economic times. They can then use that to their advantage going forward, pushing for a $49.99 price, and seeing how that works. If the big complaint is the price, then maybe, just maybe, listen to the fans and find what they deem acceptable.
Even marketing a lower price, say $69.99 or $59.99 may have been a smart idea here given the lack of PPV parties, and the global situation.
How have the media reacted?
Well generally the media have been overly harsh complaining about the price, without really giving the card credit. The card is a good one, even if only two bouts are genuine likely to be competitive, they are two damn good fights!
Also credit needs to be given to Showtime for at least attempting a PPV in this environment, whether that bites them on the ass or not is yet to be seen.
A lot of the media have been dismissive of the card whilst papering over the fact UFC is also on PPV. The truth is that some have almost ignored the fact one is PPV and the other isn't and that isn't fair at all. If they wanted to suggest the pricing of the UFC card in comparison to the boxing at leats that would be consistent.
There also seems to be a wider opinion that the Charlo brothers aren't worthy of interest, and that they have been matched softly and the such. Whether that is true or false is actually irrelevant here, they are taking on legitimately top level opponents here and they should be applauded for that. Likewise their opponents should also be applauded for taking the fights as well.
The show is a good one on paper. We have our doubts that all the bouts will deliver, but even then we are pretty confident of getting 2 really good fights and some fan friendly bouts. It would have been great to see big name writers at least talking about the positives.
Instead we saw one notable writer talk about "Showtime PPV's ridiculous cost" and that it would be "extremely lucky to hit 100,000 buys." In reality the price is high, because the standard PPV price is high, this hasn't been an increase in price.
We don't expect the media to be all positive, we're not and boxing fan in general aren't, but it would be nice to have more balance from the media.
A final word on PPV's
We do feel the PPV market is doomed. It's a market that depends on stars, but boxing in countries with PPV hasn't been developing stars in recent years. It lacks the next face of the sport. We can all see fighters who "could become" the next face, like Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia or Devin Haney, but in reality Haney and Garcia are off fighting on DAZN, in front of a small number of fans, and Davis has lost much of the momentum he once head. Errol Spence Jr and the Charlo's themselves are the wrong side of 30 and won't be able to carry the sport for more than a few years, if they can ever connect with the mainstream.
Boxing needs to appeal to a younger fanbase. Sadly for PPV providers that younger fan base knows several things. They include "knowing how to stream", and knowing the value of their money. They know that for $75 they can have Netflix, Spotify, Disney +, Amazon Prime and Hulu, and still keep some change in their pockets. Unless boxing can click with the younger generation, it will struggle, badly, to create the next Oscar De La Hoya or the next Mike Tyson.
We've seen US fight fans complain about the influx of Eastern European and Central Asian fighters. We've seen US and UK fans complain about the growth of female boxing. The thing is there are much cheaper for promoters than the US fighters. In a world where money is tight, for promoters and fans, cheaper fighters will get more exposure and chances.
With fewer American eye balls on American fighters, the sport will continue to contract in the US. Those putting on PPV's need to realise that they need to give fans a bone every so often, whether that's a reduced price PPV, a free show or some other idea is yet to be seen. The sport needs to be injected with something new and fresh, and the US, as a leader in boxing, and the leader of PPV consumption, needs to take a look at it's self. Realise it is pricing out not just the fans, but also future potential fighters.
There is a place for PPV, but it needs to be used very sparingly for the foreseeable future.
Now a days we're set for the most exciting time in Uzbek professional boxing with a host of top Uzbek amateurs turning professional, and looking like they are set to be fast tracked in a really impressive and exciting fashion. Historically however the country hasn't had many notable professionals. Prior to the current wave it was really hard to make a list of notable Uzbeks, but one name that would have made that list is former Heavyweight Ruslan Chagaev (34-3-1, 21).
Chagaev, dubbed the "White Tyson", was an amateur standout, twice winning the World Amateur Championships, though he had one of those stripped, before becoming a professional world champion. To date he's the only Asian fighter to have won a Heavyweight world title and despite his career faltering at times he did manage several major wins during his 38 fight professional career.
Although we could talk about Chagave's incredibly interesting amateur career we're not going to do that and instead we will focus on his days as a professional as we bring you the 5 most significant wins for... Ruslan Chagaev
Volodymyr Vyrchys (March 11th 2006)
Fighting a close friend is never easy but that's exactly what Chagaev did in March 2006 when he took on good friend Volodymyr Vyrchys, in a bout between unbeaten fighters. The bout was pretty much a world title eliminator, with both men being world ranked, but there was more surrounding the bout than their friendship and potential title fight. Chagaev's mother was ill at the time, Chagaev has reportedly not slept the night before, and yet dug incredibly deep in what was clearly an emotional situation and did enough to take a close decision over Vyrchys. The win saw Chagaev move to 20-0-1 (16) and was a real gut check for the German based Uzbek hopeful who took a massive step towards a potential world title fight.
John Ruiz (November 18th 2006)
Around 8 months after beating Vyrchys we saw Chagaev take on former 2-time WBA world champion John Ruiz. Ruiz wasn't a great fighter, by any stretch, but was an effective one. He knew how to win, and regularly beat better fighters by making things ugly, and spoiling fights whilst fighting to his own strengths. Chagaev managed to take a split decision over Ruiz, in what was a WBA Heavyweight world title eliminator. This isn't a particularly exciting fight, very few Ruiz fights could be described as "exciting", but was a major win for Chagaev who moved within touching distance of a world title. It was proof he could fight against some of the best in the world, and could even beat a man who made life incredibly difficult for top fighters.
Nikolay Valuev (April 14th 2007)
The win over Ruiz had seen Chagaev secure a bout with WBA Heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev. At this point Valuev was 46-0 and edging towards Rocky Marciano's legendary 49-0 record. Although Valuev, like Ruiz, was nothing special in regards to his fighting ability, he was another fighter who had a style that worked for him, and he also had some physical advantages. In fact Valuev was a 7', 320lb behemoth of a man. He was almost a foot taller than Chagaev and over 90lbs heavier than the Uzbek. Despite being dwarfed by Valuev we saw Chagaev defeat the "Beast from the East" to claim the WBA title, and create his own little bit of history. This was, at the time, the most significant win by any Uzbek in the professional ranks, by some margin.
Carl Davis Drummond (February 7th 2009)
After beating Valuev for the WBA title Chagaev's career went a bit awry. He beat Matt Skelton before suffering an out of the ring injury in 2008. This lead to the WBA instilling Chagaev as the champion in recess whilst he recovered, whilst Valuev recaptured the WBA title. When he returned to the ring after 13 months out Chagaev fought Costa Rican Carl Davis Drummond. The bout was a mess, and was stopped after 6 rounds due to a cut suffered by Chagaev, who won the technical decision. The bout really wasn't memorable or all that exciting, but it was significant. Not only was it Chagaev's first bout after a serious injury, but it also lead to a very messy situation with the WBA.
Due to the win over Drummond Chagaev was ruled to be a "co-Champion" along with Valuev, and the two men were supposed to fight later in 2009. That bout was planned for May but after Chagaev was found to have Hepatitis-B antigens the bout was scrapped. Due to that bout being cancelled and David Haye pulling out of a bout with Wladimir Klitschko we would end up seeing Chagaev and Klitschko facing off in a bout that essentially left us with a clear #1 in the division. Essentially this began a Heavyweight line that many still regard as being in existence today, more than a decade on.
Fres Oquendo (July 6th 2014)
Talking about something that's still on-going Chagaev would defeat American Fres Oquendo in 2014 to become a 2-time WBA Heavyweight champion. The result was regarded as massively controversial, and things weren't helped when Oquendo would later fail a drug test, according to RUSADA. The bout was another rather messy one, and if we're being honest it seemed like Chagaev got a home decision, with the fight then based in Russia. Despite the messiness of the result it's become messier since.
Currently Oquendo is in the WBA rankings due to a legally mandated world title fight, that he's been owed since this bout. But he's yet to get. In fact he's not fought since this bout, more than 6 years ago, he's never had his legally ordered world title fight but he was still in the world rankings at the time of writing, in May 2020.
Yup this win for Chagaev has lead to a man being world ranked, without fighting, for around 6 years.* Boy did this win for Chagaev really mess things up for Oquendo, and the WBA, who still technically owe Oquendo his shot...despite the fact he is now 47!
*Please note - Oquendo may have been dropped from the rankings by the time this is published, if so he was still there as of the WBA rankings for March 2020!
Last week was a rather quiet one for fans of Asian boxing, but it wasn't a totally silent week, and there as plenty of boxing to watch from around the glove, as well as giving us a bit of a "calm before the storm", with some huge bouts coming up next weekend. It was also a week that had a lot of disappointment, some strange stories circulating in the sport and a truly terrible scorecard.
1-Huge weekend up coming!
Lets start by looking a a fantastic good thing. We are now less than a week away from a massive weekend of fights. We have great action all over the place next weekend, with big bouts in the UK, Germany and the US and two live streams of shows from Japan. After a couple of quieter weeks we really see things going through the ceiling next weekend, and it's hard to not be excited. Showtime's stacked card if fantastic, the WBSS Crusierweight final in Germany promises fireworks, the bout between Downua Ruawaiking and Josh Taylor should be worth a watch and the two Japanese streams sandwich in all that world class action.
Genuinely should be one of the best boxing weekends of the year, and we should all be very, very excited about the action we'll be getting. For once we, as boxing fans, should be incredibly proud of what the sport can give us, even if it doesn't provide these types of weekends as often as we'd like.
2-Katsuki Mori is a star in the Making!
Japanese youngster Katsuki Mori claimed his most recent win in the middle of the week and despite only being 7-0 (1) he already looks like he has connected with fans. It's very, very early in his career, he wasn't a top amateur, but his performances have been excellent, he knows how to put on a show. Although he could easily stink the house out, boxing and moving, and staying safe, he instead looks to excite and the 6th round of his bout last week was tremendous. He's one of the youngsters who understands what it's going to take to be a star, and he delivers with his performances.
3-Boots shines with sensational performance
Talking about a man who delivers with his performances, Jaron "Boots" Ennis is quickly becoming a must watch fighter. His TKO win over Juan Carlos Abreu on Saturday night was another step in the direction, and he, like Mori, realises he needs to entertain and make fans care. He could have picked and poked at Abreu all night long, but instead he boxed, he fought, he countered, he lured Abreu into mistakes, he looked calm, confident, cool, relaxed and shone. Now 26-0 it is time Ennis stepped up his competition and took on a top 20 type guy, but his performances so far have been great and he's generating buzz the right way, with his talking done, mostly, in the ring.
4-Bryan Lua returns in style!
American fighter Bryan Lua had been out of the ring for more than 2 years until this past Saturday when he returned on took on Luis Norambuena. The fight wasn't the greatest but Lua's KO was something to behold. Poor Norambuena was caught by a sensational right uppercut-left hook combination that turned out his lights. He was stood out cold for a moment, before the signals got turned off to the rest of his body, sending him crashing down. This is up there with the best KO's of 2020, and one of the most visually pleasing that we'll see this year.
1-Floyd Mayweather Vs Logan Paul
Why? Just why? We understand Floyd likes his money and Paul likes attention but we, as fans, should completely ignore this. What they both want is attention and we're giving them it by talking about. Lets turn our focus elsewhere, and if this ends up signed, stream it. Don't put more money in to pockets of fighters for these types of fights. Talking about this gives them what they want, and paying for it rewards them for taking the piss out of the sport.
2-Kudratillo Abdukakharov's Visa issues
As we write this it's unclear whether Uzbek fighter Kudratillo Abdukakharov has managed to get a visa sorted for his scheduled October bout with Sergey Lipinets. Unfortunately the on going global situation has caused a backlog of visa applications around the world, including at the US Embassy in Uzbekistan. This has meant that Abdukakharov may not be able to leave Uzbekistan in time to acclimatise for his bout with Lipinets which may need delaying. The bout has already been delay and delaying the October date would be a shame, albeit and understandable one. Finger crossed this is cleared up and Abdukakharov can fly off to the US for this anticipated Welterweight clash.
3-Jukembayev turns down Ergashev
More Central Asian woes as Canadian based Kazakh Batyrzhan Jukembayev has turned down a fight with unbeaten Uzbek Shohjahon Ergashev. This one had been targetted for November, in what would have been a sensational Kazakh Vs Uzbek bout, but sadly only one party seemed to actively want it. With Jukembayev turning down this opportunity, and others offered to him in the past, his relationship with Eye of the Tiger management is starting to look very strained, again. Although we know promoters are in it for themselves, and are typically the bad guy, it does appear that Jukembayev is doing himself no favours, and the goodwill shown to him will dissipate quickly if he's not careful.
4-Erickson Lubin Vs Terrell Gausha
We want to start this by stating, the Light Middleweight division is one of the most interesting in the sport right now. Sadly however Saturday's fight between Erickson Lubin and Terrell Gausha did a lot to undermine what the division has done in recent years. The first 7 rounds of this were among the worst 7 rounds of boxing we have seen this year. The low output from both, the lack of drama, the absolute nothingness in a number of rounds really did make this feel like torture. The only thing preventing it from being an ugly was the way it finished, with Lubin being rocked in one of the later rounds before almost stopping Gausha in the final round. Sadly 2 good rounds, from 12, do not do enough to precent this being a bad. If you missed this one live, do not waste your time watching it now.
1-Don Trella's 115-111
Thankfully we didn't have much in terms of ugly this week, but we did have one massive stinker of a card from Don Trella who, somehow managed to have Cobia Breedy beating Tugstsogt Nyambayar 115-111. We thought Cobia had a great performance, a genuinely great performance, but unfortunate he was also knocked down twice. Given those knockdowns Trella must have given Breedy all but 1 of the subsequent 10 rounds. A frankly ridiculous view of what happened. This is the sort of scorecard that should have a real investigation, but in reality it will merely be swept under the rug and forgotten about.
We would love to see the veteran judge try to explain how he got to his score as we simple can't see anyway a judge could have those final 10 rounds scored 9-1 to Breedy.
One thing we hate doing in these "Introducing" pieces is not having enough information on a fighter to really talk about him in any great detail, yet have enough to want to try and shine a light on them. That's potentially the case this week when it comes to teenage hopeful Dastan Saduuly (3-0, 3), a man who should be on the radar of hardcore fight fans, despite the fact that there's really not too much out there about him. He's more one of those fighters who appears to have a bucket load of potential and youth, and does enough in the eye test, rather than really making a mark on the amateur scene.
Unlike many prospects Saduuly really doesn't have much available at all about his amateur pedigree. In fact a lot of the early articles about him on Kazakh news sites, talk about him being the "youngest boxer in Europe and Asia", with the fighter being 16 year old at the time. Despite his age he is genuinely becoming someone to watch, with his aggressive style and power, even as a kid.
Whilst we can't find a lot about his amateur background we do know that Saduuly did fight in the unpaid ranks. At least a few times. In the 2018 Kazakh Junior National Championships, in Ekibastuz, he faced off with Meyirzhan Aydar and lost a decision to his fellow young Kazakh. A few months later he lost to Olzhas Mirkhatuli at the Galib Jafarov Prizes Youth Tournament. Sadly those set backs were among the very, very few amateur details we could find about the youngster.
Despite only being 16 at the time Saduuly debuted as a professional in September 2018 on a card from Tukeshov Boxing Promotions. The show, in Aktobe, wasn't a wasn't a big show, by any means, but it was a showcase of Kazakh talent, with the likes of Ruslan Myrsatayev, Bobirzhan Mominov an Aidos Yerbossynuly on the card. In the opposite corner to the teenager was 26 year old Shamil Gulobshozoda, who was also making his debut.
From the opening seconds it was clear that Saduuly had something about him. He looked young, but still more mature than more teenagers. Defensively we saw some nice touches, and head movement, some lovely handspeed and a positive aggressive demanour in the ring. He was slapping sometimes in the early going, and looked a touch over excited when letting his shots go, but if you told someone he was a 16 year old debutant they'd have been genuinely surprised. He looked older than that and like a fighter who'd had a few fights, even if he was still in need of some serious polishing. Part way through the opening round Saduuly hurt Gulobshozoda and went in for the finish. To his credit Gulobshozoda withstood quite a bit of punishment, but was broken down early in round 2. It was an impressive debut, and given his age it was a sign that he could be someone worthy of attention, even at this early stage.
Around 5 months later Saduuly returned to the ring, again in Aktobe, where he faced Russian 21 year old Dmitry Rakhmanov. Saduuly came out very aggressive here, backing up Rakhmanov, who tried to play the class clown. Despite some weird stuff from the Russian the Kazakh was on the hunt and stopped his man within just 55 seconds.
Sadly footage of Saduuly's third bout, his biggest win to date, doesn't appear to exist online any more. It saw him forcing the veteran of 60 fights to retire, in round 2, with an injury. That win came just a month after Saduuly's second bout.
Saduuly was then supposed to fight in the summer of 2019, on the under-card of Kanat Islam's bout with Julio De Jesus in Almaty. Sadly Saduuly didn't end up on that show, and has now been out of the ring March 2019, though he's now expected to fight in September in Russia, in what will be his first 8 rounder.
Aged just 18 Saduuly is very much one to watch. He still has work to do, still needs time to further mature physically and certainly needs to polish his punching technique, but there's a lot to like about the youngster. With his next fight coming in just a few days time there is no better time to begin following the exciting teenage hopeful.
Yes Saduuly is still a work in progress, but he's already a very promising young fighter with the potential to go a very, very long way.
One of the many things that boxing has a long history of is "nicknames" and with that in mind we've decided to share some of our favourites in a new series looking at nicknames. To kick this series off we're including some of our favourites and some of the most unique, though as this series goes on we will share some awful ones as well!
Young Kyun Park - "Bulldozer"
Few nicknames will every sum up a fighter as well as "Bulldozer" summed up Korean warrior Yung Kyun Park, the former Featherweight king. Although not one of the more well known Korean fighters he was among the excellent wave of Korean fighters that made their mark on the sport in the 1980's and 1990's, and he was very much a bulldozer in the ring.
Armed with an iron chin, an incredibly work rate and a vicious power Park carved up a very good career in the ring from 1986 to 1995, going 28-3-1 (16). Although his career was short it was intense and he held the WBA Featherweight title from March 1991 to December 1993, in which time he managed to make 8 successful defenses.
If you've never watched a Park fight we desperately advise you watch his bouts with Seiji Asakwa, Koji Matsumoto and the first bout with Eloy Rojas. After that you'll understand why he was dubbed the "Bulldozer"
Naoya Inoue - "Monster"
Another nickname that sums up a fighter incredibly well is "Monster" for current Japanese star Naoya Inoue. The name has been adopted by a few other fighters in recent years, such as Can Xu and Andrew Moloney, but in reality there is only one "Monster" and that's Inoue.
Although an excellent boxer, and one of the best boxer-puncher's in the sport, Inoue is a physically imposing guy with freakish physical strength, nasty power and the ability to destroy fighters with his heavy hands.
Originally he wasn't a fan of the nickname himself, but the name has stuck and it's certainly summed up his in ring style very, very well. He's a monster, and he destroys things that are in front of him. Not too much more to it than that!
Mikito Nakano - "Manos de Acero"
We've only seen this one used once or twice but the nickname of "Manos de Arceo", literally "Fists of Iron", is attributed to rising Japanese prospect Mikito Nakano and is a name that was absolutely love. It's obviously an alternate take on Roberto Duran's iconic "Manos de Piedra", but is still a damn cool name, and one thing we love is that the name seems to be the Spanish variant, and not a Japanese version.
Although Nakano is certainly not a big name in the sport, yet, he has shown the potential to be a star, and if he can live up to that potential we are going to love hearing announcers yell out "Manos de Acero". A truly brilliant nickname and one befitting of a future star!
Elly Pical - "The Exocet"
Having names like "Bomber" is nothing new in boxing, and we have seen those types of names through out the years. Though taking the name after a specific military weapon of the time is certainly more unique and that was the case with Indonesian great Elly Pical, who adopted the nickname of "The Exocet".
For those under a certain age the name might not stand out too much, but the weapon, which translated as "Flying Fish", was a French made missile that the British used in the Falklands war and it did serious damage. The weapon was making a name for it's self when Pical was starting to create a buzz, and his left hand was dubbed the Exocet, with the fighter himself taking on the nickname later in his career.
Give the force of the military weapon the name was a perfect one for Pical, it's just a shame that he sometimes failed to land with his killer shots, resulting in a surprisingly low KO rate of just 42%.
Veeraphol Sahaprom - "Deathmask"
Although Thai great Veeraphol Sahaprom had a number of nicknames none were as imposing or as threatening as "Deathmask", a nickname that sounded vicious, dangerous and terrifying. The name referred to Sahaprom's amazing poker face, and how he was a visibly emotionless fighter in the ring, but it sounded so much more sinister, like a mask used to suffocate opponents.
Many Thai's do have nicknames that can get lost in translations, but "Deathmask" is just a brilliant nickname and an incredibly unique one, that really gives off a truly terrifying aura. That aura wasn't just an act however, and in the ring Veeraphol was a tremendous fighter, having success in both Muay Thai and professional boxing.
Having been a 2-time world champion and scoring notable wins against many of the top Bantamweights of his era few can doubt the ability of Sahaprom, and his second world title reign was a brilliant one lasting more than 6 years and 14 successful defenses.
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces