Filipino fighter Erbito Salavarria (40-11-3, 11) is one of the most forgotten world champions and is certainly a fighter who deserves a lot more attention than he gets. His career ran from 1963 to 1978 and during that he fought 54 times with 7 world title bouts and a string of high profile wins. He was also a man was famously stripped of a world title in some very, very peculiar and suspicious circumstances.
Salavarria was a genuine world class Flyweight in one of the division's most exciting periods. In the early 1970's he faced a genuine who's who and the only really big name fighter from the division he missed out from that sort of time was Masao Oba, who sadly passed away in 1973. His legacy took a hit with the way he lost the WBC Flyweight title in 1971, though he would later claim the WBA title in 1975. By then however he wasn't the fighter he had once and he would lose 3 of his final 4 career bouts.
Of course we're not here to talk about anyone's legacy here however and instead we're here to look at the 5 most significant wins for... Erbito Salavarria
Tsuyoshi Nakamura II (October 18th 1969)
In the 1960's Tsuyoshi Nakamura pretty much dominated the OPBF title scene. He won the title in 1963, beating Chartchai Chionoi, and made 10 defenses of the belt including wins against the likes of Ric Magramo, Al Diaz, Erbito Salavarria and Bernabe Villacampo. In 1969, in their second meeting, Salavarria got revenge, stopping the Nakamura in 12 rounds to claim the OPBF title, end Nakamura's long reign and essentially help push Nakamura into retirement. The bout was the only time Nakamura would be stopped during his 74 fight career and would net Salavarria his first international title, instantly putting him in the mix for a world title fight. It also saw him avenge one of his 5 losses at the time.
Whilst not a big win internationally this was a huge win for Salavarria at the time and got him well in the running for a world title fight.
Berkrerk Chartvanchai (July 25th 1970)
Just 9 months after claiming the OPBF title Salavarria faced off with the then WBA Flyweight world champion Berkrerk Chartvanchai, in a non-title bout. The talented Chartvanchai was unbeaten and had won the WBA title 3 months earlier, when he beat Bernabe Villacampo for the WBA title. Salavarria managed to bring the champion over to the Philippines for a bout above the Flyweight limit and took a clear decision over the Thai, in a 10 rounder. The bout really did push Salavarria to a bigger fight and proved he belong not just at Oriental level but world level.
Chartchai Chionoi (December 7th 1970)
Salavarria would get his first world title shot less than 5 months after beating Berkrerk Chartvanchai, as he travelled to Thailand and took on WBC Flyweight champion Chartchai Chionoi. On paper this was another step up for the talented Filipino, but he made it look easy as he destroyed Chionoi in 2 rounds, dropping him multiple times to rip the WBC title from the Thai. Chionoi had held the belt since March, when he had won a rubber match with Efren Torres and his reign ended in his first defense.
Susumu Hanagata I (April 30th 1971)
Unfortunately for Salavarria his reign was a short one, though it ended in highly dubious fashion. Prior to losing the belt however he had defeated Susumu Hanagata in a title defnense, less than 5 months after winning the title. The talented Salavarria left no doubt on the night, taking a very clear win over the Japanese fighter, who would play a major role in Salavarria's career. After 15 rounds here there was no debating the winner with Hanagata suffering his 10th career defeat, in his 49th professional bout.
In November 1971 Salavarria was stripped of the WBC title following a bout with Betulio Gonzalez. The bout seemed like a set up to deprive Salavarria and after the bout referee Mills Lane stated he was never going back to Venezuela. He was stripped for testing positive for amphetamines, a full month after the bout took place. From our research this appears to be the first time a world title had been stripped from a champion on the basis of a drug test
Susumu Hanagata II (April 1st 1975)
Almost 4 yeas after their first clash Salavarria and Hanagata would clash for the second time. This time Hanagata was the reigning WBA Flyweight champion and Salavarria was looking to become a 2-time champion. Unlike their first bout, which took place in the Philippines, this one was in Japan and Hanagata had the crowd behind him. Since their first bout the Japanese had gone 10-3, with a notable win in October 1974 over Chartchai Chionoi to claim the title. It seemed like the Japanese fighter had the advantages, but he couldn't over-come the Filipino who took a split decision over the local favourite.
These two would rematch again later in the year, with Salavarria winning again, but his reign ended in 1976 when he was stopped by Alfonso Lopez. He would then remain out of the ring for over 2 years before losing in an ill fated comeback against Netrnoi Sor Vorasingh in December 1978.
Another week is over, and we've had another strange week in the world of professional boxing. There has been some amazing moments in the ring, some brilliant stories outside of it, some hilarious bad decisions made in the governing of the sport, and some disgusting officiating.
1-Seki-Chan's attempt to buy boxing broadcasting rights
We love free boxing, it's essentially something that helps show case fighters, invites fans into the sport, and gives people a chance to enjoy a sport that, sadly, has become very expensive to follow. With that in mind we're so, so happy to hear that Seki-Chan is looking to buy broadcasting rights for shows in Japan and give away the events on youtube to viewers. This is a truly original idea, backed by someone's love for the sport, and it's something we hope more fans can get behind, especially as the first show planned to be streamed by Seki-chan is at the of November!
If you can support this then please subscribe to this YouTube channel and help to hit it's 1,000 subscriber target by the start of November.
Boy did we have some shocking results during the week as boxing really did show that's an unpredictable sport at times. Potentially the biggest of those upsets was in South Africa, where Prince Dlomo stopped former Devin Haney opponent Xolisani Ndongeni, though we had shocks in other places, such as Belarus, with Germaine Brown beating Dmitrii Chudinov, and the UK, where Kane Baker, Marc Leach and Rylan Charlton each picked up shock wins!
A moment ago we mentioned Prince Dlomo's KO, and it was a sensational one, but it was one of a host of great KO's this week. We also saw amazing KO's from Katsunori Endo, Aaron Aponte, Jan Marsalek and Daniel Robles among others. We're not sure what's in the water right now but we are getting a strong of brutal KO's in October, and long may they continue.
For anyone wanting to know about the best, unheralded KO's of the year, we suggest you give a look over Tim Boxeo's excellent list of knockouts, which can be seen here.
4-Teofimo Lopez is the man!
On Saturday we had the bout the boxing world was waiting for with Lightweight titles being unified as Vasyl Lomachneko faced off with Teofimo Lopez. Lomachneko was the betting favourite, and it was assumed that his experience would come into play against Lopez, who was stepping up massively. Whilst Lomachenko was genuinely disappointing, doing very, very little in the first 6 rounds, Lopez exceeded expectations, by some distance. He out boxed Lomachenko, he neutralised the Ukrainian, he shut him down, and even when Lomachenko tried to turn it on he was put back in his place. American boxing may well have the new star to carry it for the next decade!
1-British Scorecards...fucking stink!
And now we get to our usual complaints! What on earth was going on in the UK on Saturday night? We had two awful scorecards from Terry O'Connor, who had Lewis Ritson beating Miguel Vazquez 117-111 and Thomas Patrick Ward beating Thomas Essomba 88-84. We also had a stinking cards from Michael Alexander, who had Ritson beating Vazquez and Ward and Essomba fighting to a draw. The fact the same two judges, both turned in awful cards in the two most meaningful fights of the show needs to be looked into. The fact Terry O'Connor has had a long string of these poor scorecards really is taking the piss now.
Things haven't been helped by O'Connor seemingly glancing at his phone during round 8. Whether he did or didn't we'll leave to you to think about, but the scorecards he turned in are inexcusable regardless.
2-WBC's Super Cruiserweight Division
Fucking hell. So the WBC have decided to create a new weight class, more than 30 years after the Straight divisions was created in the late 1980's. To do this they are resetting the Cruiserweight limit to 190lbs, which it was until 2003, and putting a division above it, up to 224lbs. This leads to so many questions straight off the bat. For example, are they expecting all their current Cruiserweight champions, such as World, Youth, Intercontinental, International, etc, champions to lose 10lbs to keep their current titles? Are they expecting the other world title bodies to follow suit or are we going to, essentially, have two different limits at Cruiserweight?
Earlier we praised Teofimo Lopez's performance as Vasyl Lomachenko but in reality we also need to be honest and say that Lomachenko's tactics were bizarre. The talented Ukrainian gave away rounds by doing nothing early on. He didn't seem to throw a punch in some rounds and instead skirted around the ring, doing little to even make the bout seem competitive. Whilst he did make a good charge late on it came too late for him to win without putting Lopez down. It was truly bizarre. When he put his foot on the gas in round 7, he looked brilliant, but having given up 6 rounds the best he could have expected was a draw. Real questions need to be asked as to who thought giving away 6 rounds was a good idea. Yes Lopez did great in neutralising Lomachenko, but Lomachenko didn't seem to really try anything to unsettle Lopez until it was too late. Absolutely bizarre game plan from someone as highly regarded as Lomachenko.
4-Julie Lederman's scorecard
119-111? Did anyone see Lopez beat Lomachenko that widely? We think most agree that Lopez deserved the win, we also think everyone would have given the Ukrainian at least 3, and as many as 5. So what Julie Lederman was watching is nothing short of a mystery, As with Terry O'Connor this is not a one off bad card, but one in a growing string of bad scorecards that really should be investigated. Too many bad cards from too many judges, are making this sport look a lot, lot worse than it is.
1-Robert Smith of the British Boxing Board of Control
Well in for a penny in for a pound! The British Boxing Board of Control's Robert Smith spoke on Sunday morning, after the controversial Ritson Vs Vazquez fight, and essentially did his best impression of an Emu, by essentially burying his head in the sand. Rather than standing up, saying their are issues that need to be looked into, and being clear in what is being done about judges with consistently questionable cards.
We often sing the praises of the Japanese Boxing commission, and one thing they do really well is communicate with those who follow Japanese boxing. When officials need to be investigated they are, and if they need to be punished they are, and when they need more training they get it. And better yet the JBC make it clear what's happening. In the UK however things are done behind closed doors, and kept very secretive. It's no wonder discontent is growing among British boxing fans.
Instead of doing what is good for boxing Smith has arrogantly come across as if fans don't matter, as if controversies don't happen in the UK, and that British judges shouldn't be investigated. Fuck Robert Smith!
We enjoy boxing from around the world, but rarely does it seem any head of a national body is complicit in the issues that are causing it problem like the British board are. For years it was Germany, Italy, Thailand and Argentina that away fighters couldn't get decisions in. Now the UK seems to be among, if not the, very worst for questionable decisions.
On October 26th we get to see a talented prospect return to the ring after more than 2 years out of action. With that in mind we have decided to give the prospect in question the "Introducing..." treatment this week
The fighter in question is Ryuto Owan (5-1, 3), who seemed likely to go a long way when he burst on to the professional in 2017, but failed to live up to the early expectations on his shoulders. Despite that it's far, far too early to write off Owan, who has a lot still to give the sport, and could well "come good" with a new found hunger and training environment.
Owan began boxing as a child and made an impact on the amateurs at a young age, winning the Under 15's national Championship before later coming third in the National High School championships. He was regarded well as an amateur, but his full amateur record doesn't seem to be available anywhere, and it's hard to know just how many fights he had in the unpaid ranks.
In 2017 Owan turned professional, doing so under the watch of Yoko Gushiken at the Shirai Gushiken Sports Gym (SGS). At the time he was just a teenager, but he was joining a solid stable, including the always exciting Koki Eto and the then unbeaten Daigo Higa, a close friend of Owan's from Okinawa.
Owan would go on to debut in May 2017, on the same card that Higa won his WBC Flyweight title with a TKO win over Juan Hernandez. Although Owan's bout got little attention he looked impressive, stopping Samphan Choksukanan in 2 rounds. Just weeks later Owan was back in the ring, where he demolished Oatthaphon Kruaisawat in just 71 seconds at Korakuen Hall.
The youngster would continue to be busy and jut 2 months later Owan picked up his third win, dominating Filipino Alvin Medura over 6 rounds in a clear step up. Although Medura is no world beater he was very much a dangerous opponent so early in Owan's career, however the Japanese youngster dealt with him with ease, whilst taking a 6 round shut out.
Having raced to 3 we would then see Owan take another step up in class as he took on the hard hitting Jun Blazo in February 2018. At this point in Blazo's career he had earned a reputation as a limited, but tough and heavy handed fighter. He had dropped Koki Eto just a few fights earlier and had asked questions of Hayate Kaji. He was, however, no problem at all for Owan who took a clear 6 round decision over him. Owan then built on that win with a blow out win over domestic foe Takuma Matsushita in what was essentially a Japanese Youth Bantamweight title eliminator.
Following his win over Matsushita we saw Owan get a fight with Tetsu Araki for the vacant Japanese Youth Bantamweight title. That bout came in October 2018 and was a close and competitive bout through out, however Araki did enough to take the close decision and the title.
Sadly following the loss to Araki we haven't seen Owan in the ring.
In the two years since his loss to Araki we have however seen a lot happen outside of the ring. We won't go into everything however the gym he was fighting out, the Shirai Gushiken Gym, has closed, and he has followed Daigo Higa to the newly set up AMBITION Gym. It's with them that he will be making his ring return on October 26th against Tomoya Kishine in a bout that Owan is expected to win as he restarts his career at the age of 22.
Given how big this week felt for boxing, thanks to huge action in the US, it wasn't a great week for action in Asia, with only a handful of cards of any note. Despite the lack of action there was plenty go talk about as we look back on the week with out latest Weekly Awards.
Fighter of the Week
The Fighter of the Week category was quite a limited one this week, due to the lack of action and notable bouts. There was only, really, two contenders for the award, and it was a toss up between them as to who earned it. In the end we've gone with Japanese Featherweight Reiya Abe, for him intriguing, high level win over Ren Sasaki on Tuesday at Korakuen Hall. The talented Abe took a round or two to get going, then out boxed Sasaki with out many issues, showing what a skilled, intelligent boxer he is. There are still areas for him to work on, such as his output and finishing, but this was a very good win against a very good opponent.
Seigo Yuri Akui
Performance of the Week
We love Yoji Saito, despite the fact he's not yet really made much of a mark on the Japanese boxing scene. Saying that however his performance this week was one that should have made fans sit up and take note. He was against Masashi Wakita and set off like a house on fire. He set a high work rate from the opening bell, pressed, pressured and unloaded on Wakita and never let Wakita get a toe hold in the bout. This was a fantastic performance against a very capable fighter. If a fighter wants to make an impact they should look at what Saito did here. Tremendous performance, in a bout that he really needed to win.
Takuya Kogawa vs Hayato Yamaguchi
We love back and forth action, fun exchanges and a high tempo. If we can have exchanges up close than that's a bonus! And we didn't really have too many bouts like that take place in Asia this past week. As a result there was a bit of a run away winner and that was the 6 round battle between Takuya Kogawa vs Hayato Yamaguchi. This was just a great little hidden gem of a bout on Wednesdays. They skill level wasn't the highest but the bout had action and in a quiet week for Asian boxing that was enough to take this award.
Yoji Saito vs Masashi Wakita (Rd1)
Whilst the Kogawa Vs Yamaguchi fight was the best fight, and had a number of very good rounds, the best best single round came from the bout that followed it, and that was the first round from Yoji Saito's bout with Masashi Wakita. We've already mentioned Saito's performance, but Wakita played his part here, digging deep and trying to fight back against a man who personified a terminator mentality. This was a thrilling round, with none stop action, guts, bravery and a high tempo. If you missed this one, and have Boxing Raise, give it watch, a real good one!
Katsunori Endo TKO4 Ryuto Araya
Hidden away on Tuesday's card from Korakuen Hall was a brilliant, and somewhat unexpected, TKO win for Katsunori Edno. Endo seemed to lost the first 3 rounds, and was on the way to losing the fourth until he absolutely destroyed Ryuto Araya with a fantastic combination. The 3 punch burst from Endo turned off Araya's light and sent him crashing to the canvas face first in a visually sensational finish. Credit to Araya for not being out cold on the canvas, but seemed like he was out cold on his feet and seemed to wake up on his contact with the canvas. This was brutal, fantastic, and one that deserves to be featured on a highlight reel video from A-Sign boxing at the end of 2020.
Askat Zhantursynov (5-0, 4)
There wasn't too many prospects in action this past week from Asia, and we're certainly not counting Kai Ishizawa as a prospect as he's very much a proven domestic contender. As a result it's Askat Zhantursynov pretty much won this award by default. The big lad from Kazakhstan looked calm, accurate and surprisingly quick in his blow out over Ruslan Rodzivich. Yes his opponent wasn't up to much, but that's not Zhantursynov's fault and he looked good. Despite winning this by default we would certainly advice fans to make a note of his name as the 26 year old Cruiserweight appears to have something about him and really didn't look like a man who had been out of the ring for 18 months.
In the summer of 2019 we did an "Introducing..." on Japanese hopeful Shu Utsuki (then 4-0 (3), now 6-0, (5)). Since then he has has fought twice, as we'll go through in this week's "Revisiting".
Before we get on to what Utsuki's done recently it's worth noting what he had done previously. He had captained his University boxing Club and as an amateur had gone an excellent 81-27. As a professional he had shined in 2018 and within a year of his debut he had raced out to 4-0 (3), with decent low key wins against Da Xu and Jerry Castroverde. He had impressed but was still a rather obscure Japanese prospect, who was bouncing around the Super Featherweight and Lightweight divisions.
When we spoke about Utsuki last year he was just 9 days from his 5th professional bout, which was to be against Japanese based Venezuelan Omrri Bolivar. Going in to that bout he seemed to be stepping up in class and was arguably in the toughest match up of his professional career. At least that's how it looked.
Instead of being tested by Bolivar we saw the talented, and heavy handed, Utsuki blow out the Venezuelan in 3 rounds. This bout, which came on the under-card of Kazuto Ioka's bout with Aston Palicte, was a brutal KO by Utsuki at the start of round 3, showing his power was legit.
Utsuki would then build on that win a few months later when he defeated Thai foe Somphot Seesa in 2 rounds, finishing off Seesa with a third knockdown during the round.
Rather interestingly in early 2020 Japanese TV viewers got the chance to see Utsuki's 2019 bout with Castroverde, as it was, finally televised, almost a year after it took place. That performance was, by far, the most testing that Utsuki has had since entering the professional ranks. Although he managed to stop Castroverde in the 8th round he had been given a very, very serious test by the then Japanese based Filipino. That test was only passed after Utsuki landed some huge blows part way through the 8th round and forced the corner to throw in the towel and save Castroverde.
Like many of the recent Japanese prospects to turn from being solid amateurs to professional hopefuls Utsuki has a lot of things going for him. He has really solid balance, nice shot selection and imposing physical strength. Technically there is work for him to do, and he can be hit rather easily, which is disappointing for a man with over 100 amateur bouts to his name, but there is still a lot to get excited about.
Utsuki's power, strength and punching is all really impressive and we dare say that the hope, coming into 2020, was to have him knocking on the door of a domestic title fight before we got to 2021. Sadly 2020 has, for obvious reasons, not gone to plan for anyone but we will see Utsuki back in the ring before the year is over. In fact on October 30th we'll see Utsuki take on domestic foe Takayuki Sakai, in a decent looking 6 round Lightweight bout.
From when we first spoke about Utsuki his career has moved forward, but there is still a long, long way for him to go, and it's a shame that 2020 has slowed his momentum just as it seemed he was on the verge of something big. Fingers crossed 2021 does deliver something bigger for the talented fighter from the Watanabe Gym.
For those who haven't seen Utsuki before we have included his bout with Castroverde below.
When we talk about Thai boxing legends there are a number of worthy names to talk about from through the years. Today we talk about one of those names as we look at one of the early legends of the Thai boxing, and one of the most notable Thai world champions from the 1960's and 70's, as we return for the latest in the "The 5 most significant wins for..." series.
The Thai in question here is Chartchai Chionoi (61-18-3, 36) who was a mainstay on the Flyweight world title scene for around a decade and genuinely fought a who's who of who during his 82 fight career. Whilst he did suffer some losses that was really no surprised given the quality of opponents he was up against. That included not only top world champions of his era but also leading contenders, like Mitsunori Seki, Fritz Chervet and Bernardo Caraballo.
For those that follow the history of the sport Chionoi is one of those really interesting fighters, that deserves a lot more attention. Whilst this article isn't going to go into a deep dive of his complete career, he really is one of the forgotten legends, and when we look at his 5 most significant wins you'll be able to see just how good he was.
Salvatore Burruni (February 8th 1966)
As we entered 1966 Chartchai Chionoi was a rising hopeful. He had reigned as the OPBF champion, but lost in his first defense, and was still battling to get his name out there. Just a few months into the year he scored a then career best win over Italian Salvatore Burrini, to put his name well and truly in the mix for a world title fight. Burruni had been a former WBA and WBC champion, and although he wasn't a champion at this point in time he hadn't lost the belts inside the ring, being stripped for not facing mandatory challengers. Chionoi defeated the Italian with a clear decision win, and immediately moved towards a world title fight. Notably this bout took place above the Flyweight limit, but was still a clear example of what Chionoi could do.
Walter McGowan I (December 30th 1966)
Around 10 months after Chionoi beat Burruni he would get a shot at the then lineal world champion Walter McGowan. The talented Scottish champion had not only beaten Burruni himself, but had done so at Flyweight to claim the lineal title. As a result McGowan was recognised by the EBU, BBBofC and The Ring as the champion, despite having not having an ABC title at the time. The Thai would be dropped in round 2, but battle back hard and force a stoppage in round 9 of a bloodied and battered McGowan. The tough Scot ended up receiving stitches after the bout to close up his nose, which had been a total mess when the bout was stopped.
Walter McGowan II (September 19th 1967)
Around 9 months after Chionoi beat McGowan in Thailand the two men would re-run the fight in England. Like the first bout Chionoi would end up stopping McGowan on cuts, with the Scottish fighter ended up a bloody mess due to a cut over his right eye. McGowan had looked good until being cut over the eye in round 5. That essentially forced his hand and made him step up his output. Although McGowan had success he also had a target for Chionoi to go after, and he did in round 7 when the cut forced the referee to step in.
Bernabe Villacampo (November 10th 1968)
Although Chionoi had been recognised in some quarters as the Linear champion since his first win over Walter McGowan he hadn't actually held a physical ABC title. That changed in 1968 when he beat Bernabe Villacampo to claim the WBC Flyweight title. The talented Thai would take a decision over the Filipino to claim the WBC crown and prove his status as one of the very best in the world. The win, a 15 round decision, meant the WBC could no longer look the other way. Interestingly less than a year later Villacampo himself would claim the WBA title, beating Hiroyuki Ebihara in Osaka, adding further significance and meaning to Chionoi's victory, and the Linear title that he held coming out of his win over Villacampo.
Efren Torres III (March 20th 1970)
Prior to beating Villacampo in late 1968 Chionoi had beaten Efren Torres. Torres would get revenge straight after Chionoi's win over Villacampo, taking the WBC title from the Thai just 3 months after he won it. In 1970 the two men would have a rubber match, with Chionoi taking the win and reclaiming the WBC Flyweight title, to end their in ring rivalry. Interestingly this was the only one of their 3 bouts that didn't end in a TKO, with Chionoi taking a 15 round decision over his Mexican foe.
Sadly for Chionoi his reign was a short one, again, and lasted less than 9 months, ending when he was stopped in 2 rounds by Filipino Erbito Salavarria. Following the win over Torres he would go 10-5-1 (3) but did reclaim the WBA title in 1973, beating Fritz Chervet, and defended it twice before losing it to Susumu Hanagata in 1974 and retiring soon afterwards.
Strangely picking 5 wins for Chionoi was harder than it was for most, as he around 7 that could genuinely make this list, whilst sometimes we have fighters who really do only have 5 big wins. Chionoi's record might not be the best but it's also very, very easy to over-look how good he was, how tough he was and how good some of his wins were.
October ends in a flurry of big bouts as we see a Japanese title fight, two world title bouts, and several other bouts worthy of attention. This is a great couple of weeks to close out the month and move into winter with the sport having some genuine momentum and plenty of reasons to get excited as we head closer and closer to Christmas!
Asakusa Park Gymnasium, Japan
Seigo Yuri Akui (14-2-1, 10) Vs Seiya Fujikita (13-4, 6)
The first bout of note for this part of the month is a Japanese Flyweight title fight, which will see Seigo Yuri Akui look to make his first defense, as he takes on mandatory challenger Seiya Fujikita. The heavy handed Akui is one of the most fun to Flyweights to watch, and he tends to either blow opponents away in the opening round, or struggle. Given that Fujikita has never been stopped before we're expecting this to be a genuinely tough first defense for the champion, who is certainly not unbeatable, despite being very destructive.
Korakuen Hall, Japan
Ryusei Kawaura (7-0, 4) Vs Musashi Yoshino (9-5, 3)
We head back to Tokyo for action on October 19th for the next test in the career of the talented Ryusei Kawaura. The unbeaten Kawaura is regarded as a top prospect, who's just a win or two away from a Japanese or regional title fight. Here he goes up against domestic foe Musashi Yoshino in what should be little more than a tune up bout for Kawaura. The hope was that Kawaura would get a title fight this year, but instead it seems like he'll have to wait until 2021 to get his first shot at a belt.
Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut, USA
Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (17-0, 9) Vs Sergey Lipinets (16-1, 12)
On October 24th attention turns to the US for an IBF "interim" Welterweight title bout between unbeaten Uzbek skillter Kudratillo Abdukakhorov and hard hitting Kazakh born Russian Sergey Lipinets. The two men were supposed to fight earlier in the year before various issues forced the bout to be delayed, and delayed again. These aren't two of the top name Welterweights, but they are pat of the chasing group and they should make for a very interesting clash of styles. We suspect Lipinets will be the favourites, but Abdukakhorov shouldn't be written off here, in a very, very interesting match up.
Korakuen Hall, Japan (TBS - Tape Delay)
Daigo Higa (16-1, 16) Vs Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0-1, 4)
Former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa will be seeking his second win since losing the world title in to Cristofer Rosales in 2018, as he takes on the unbeaten Seiya Tstusumi. The exciting Higa will be up against a man who scored two wins over him as an amateur, and will be looking to move his own career forward massively. For Higa this is a must win if he's to move towards a second world title whilst Tsutusmi will know a win will put him on the verge of becoming a star.
Korakuen Hall, Japan
Shu Utsuki (6-0, 5) Vs Takayuki Sakai (9-2-2, 6)
On October 30th we'll see another unbeaten man looking to push his career forward as the talented Shu Utsuki takes on Takayuki Sakai. The hard hitting Utsuki is probably only two or three wins away from a title fight of some kind, and he'll see Sakai as the next obstacle on route to a title fight. As for Sakai a win would be a huge upset, but would be massive for his career. Given the styles of the two men, and their power, we expect this one to be a very exciting contest.
The Bubble, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) Vs Jason Moloney (21-1, 18)
The month ends with a big one as WBA "Super" and IBF Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue defends his titles against once beaten Australian Jason Moloney. This will be Inoue's first bout since his 2019 war with Nonito Donaire, and whilst it's not the bout we all wanted, which was Inoue Vs John Riel Casimero in a triple title unification, it's certainly not a bad replacement fight. Moloney might not be a big star but he's a very capable fighter and he should serve as a good test for what will be Inoue's Las Vegas debut. Moloney can fight, box and punch, and should ask questions of the "Monster" but it's hard to imagine him scoring the upset here against the Japanese pound for pound star.
Another week is gone, and again it was a week of mixed stuff in the boxing world. We had some great moments in the ring, some good out of the ring announcements, some problems with broadcasters and, once again, some issues with the WBA.
1-Multiple huge KO's!
We've been really, really, lucky in recent weeks with the sheer number of great KO's scored around the world. This past week was no exception, and they just kept coming and coming. In the middle of the week Brandun Lee scored a scorcher against Jimmy Williams, just a few days later Janibek Alimkhanuly blew out Gonzalez Gaston Coria. Then, on Saturday, we got Matteo Signani scoring a sensational KO against Maxime Beaussire, Nathan Augustine blowing out Tarek Derfoufi and Robin Krasniqi scoring a sensational upset KO against Dominic Boesel.
Seriously we got some of the best KO's of 2020 all one after the other, after the other! A great week for Knock Outs!
2-Garcia Vs Campbell a done deal (at last)
After several cancelled purse bids, several announcements that a deal was done, only to then be cancelled, we're so glad to finally see a date being announced for the WBC "Interim" Lightweight title. It feels like this bout has been in the works for months, but to now have December 5th circled on the calendar for it, it appears we are finally getting this very interesting match up. It's one we're looking forward to, even if it is clear that the WBC Lightweight title situation has become a huge joke in recent years.
3-Boxing is back in the Philippines!
After months of boxing being suspended in the Philippines we finally saw the sport resume service there this past week with a low card from Omega Promotions. The sport still isn't truly up and running there, but it was still a boost in the arm for Filipino boxing after such a long and lengthy lay off. Fingers crossed we see more and more of the sport in the country in the near future, but only if it can be done safely, as this show was.
4-Dubois Vs Joyce - NOT ON PPV!
We've spent so much time complaining about PPV in recent months that we feel we need to give credit where a bout we expected to see cost fans more turns out to not be behind a further paywall. With that said well played to BT Sport and Frank Warren for putting the bout between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce on normal BT Sport.
It's just a shame that it appears the decision was one that comes with a caveat. Stories out of the UK suggest the same weekend BT Sport will have PPV Football, meaning BT Sport took the decision not to put boxing on PPV on the same day. Still sometimes we, as boxing fans, need to take the positives when we can.
1-BT Sports card was dire
So we've just praised BT Sport and it just so happens that karma is in effect as they put on one of the worst shows we've seen in 2020. Their card on Saturday night was nothing short of terrible. The highlight of the card was Luke Jones taking an upset win against Muheeb Fazeldin and the segue that the broadcast had to Steve Bunce talking about black history month. This was an awful broadcast, with very, very few redeeming factors. Thankfully it finished relatively early as well!
2-ESPN make fans chase their broadcast
Another complaint about a broadcaster we're afraid. What on earth were ESPN doing making fans literally chase a broadcast across 3 different channels. ESPN+, ESPN News and ESPN all hosted different parts of the same show on Friday night. There was no reason at all for this, and it really was awkward, made things tricky to follow and saw a lot of fans missing parts of the show. Come on guys, keep things simple for fans and don't confuse them! Don't make the sport harder to follow than it needs to be!
1-The WBA interims continue to be a joke
Okay we don't have any mega ugly this week, but we do have something that we want to fit in here and that's the way the WBA continue, still, to create interim titles. This time it was up at Light Heavyweight where Robin Krasniqi stopped Dominic Boesel to become the new WBA interim champion. The bout, which ended in brutal fashion, was an interesting match up that, in the past, would have been a European title bout or a world title eliminator. Some how however the WBA slapped their interim title on here, despite neither man having a world class win. Come on folks, stop devaluing your own fucking titles!
This coming week or two we don't really have any "prospects" to talk about but there is one very interesting Kazakh hopeful who deserves some attention. He might not be regarded as a prospect, given he's now 31 and will be 32 before the end of the year, but he's certainly one to keep an eye on and someone worthy of making a mental note of, before he fights this coming Saturday.
The man in question is Kazakh Heavyweight hopeful Zhan Kossobutskiy (14-0, 13), who has already won his first minor title and will be looking to pick up another one on Saturday when he takes on American veteran Steve Vukosa.
Born in November 1988 in Arkalyk City, which was then part of the USSR, Kossobutskiy has an interesting past. He's a Kazakh though he also boasts Belarusian nationality and has been trained by father, for the most part.
Sadly it's hard to know, for sure, what Kossobutskiy's amateur career was. We know that BoxRec currently give him an amateur record of 12-4 (2), though we also know that's wrong, and incomplete. We also know that Kossobutskiy was a very, very capable amateur.
We know that because we also know that Kossobutskiy is a 3-time Kazakh national amateur champion. The first of those national titles came in 2010 win, where he beat Vasiliy Levit in the Heavyweight final, before he moved up in weight and won in the Super Heavyweight division in both the 2012 and 2013. Between his national title wins was a bronze medal that he picked up in 2011.
In regards to international competition Kossobutskiy won the 2012 Liventsev Memorial in Belaurs, where he beat Azeri standout Magomedrasul Medzhidov in the final. The following year, at the 2013 Strandja Memorial in Bulgaria, he took home second place, beating Guido Vianello, who Top Rank have been promoting hard, in the quarter final. Also in 2013 he won the Nikolay Manger Memorial in Ukraine and came runner up in the Summer Universiade in Russia.
After his solid run in the unpaid ranks Kossobutskiy looked set to turn professional in 2015, signing with an American promoter. Sadly however the deal collapsed before it ever got going. As a result Kossobutskiy had to wait until 2017 to begin campaigning as a profession, debuting in Belarus in with a win over Edgars Kalnars, who he stopped in a round.
Due to the lengthy delay to him kicking off his professional career Kossobutskiy looked to make up for lost time and within a a year of his debut he was 7-0 (6). He had been very busy, albeit against low level competition, and had racked up wins in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. Only the tough Kostiantyn Dovbyshchenko had managed to survive the distance with Kossbutskiy in that early run.
With some professional experience under his belt he continued to be active, and in 2019 he notched wins over Williams Ocando, Osborn Machimana and Agron Smakici, who was then 15-0. The win Smakici netted Kossobutskiy the IBO Inter-Continental Heavyweight title and saw him end 2019 with a lot of momentum on his side.
Sadly 2020 hasn't been a great year for anyone and it's seen Kossobutskiy's activity drop off, though he has managed to fight twice already this year, including a very good win over the under-rated and teak tough Kamil Sokolowski. He's now looking for his third win when he returns to face Vukosa.
In the ring Kossobutskiy is a very talented fighter, with solid power, a good boxing brain and a lot to like. He's also a southpaw and despite being a relatively short Heavyweight he does fight to his strengths for the most part. Sadly though he's lacking not just height, but also speed, and he certainly doesn't look like he's got an extra gear in him.
Sadly Kossobutskiy's lack of speed and size are going to be big issues when he steps up few levels, but by then we expect him to have made a decent career, and potentially to have had a chance to cash out with a good payday or two along the way.
For those who have looked over Kossobutskiy's record and spotted that he has had 9 fights in Belarus, we have read that he's actually a Belarusian national. We suspect that that's likely a big reason why so many of his bouts have come in the country. It's also worth noting that he has never fought, as a professional, in Kazakhstan.
For those that haven't seen Kossobutskiy before we've included his bout with Kamil Sokolowski below.
Another week is over and we again get to celebrate the world of Asian boxing with our look at the best from the last week. It wasn't the best week, but was a low key, solid, and enjoyable week of action featuring Asian fighters.
Fighter of the Week
With his 4th defense of the OPBF Super Bantamweight title under his belt there wasn't really much competition here, this was Hiroaki Teshigawara's award almost by default. The talented Japanese fighter kept up his march towards a world title fight as he easily stopped Shingo Kawamura. Talk is that Teshigawara is now in the running for a world title fight and whilst this wasn't the win to get him that type of bout, few can deny the run he's been on over the last few years. Fingers crossed he gets a big fight before he begins to decline, as he has genuinely earned a shot and taken risks along the way.
Performance of the Week
Although we had some very impressive performances, including that of Teshigawa, Kanehiro Nakagawa and Rei Nakajima, we don't think anyone left the impression that Kazakh contender Janibek Alimkhanuly did. The Kazakh dropped Gonzalo Gaston Coria in the opening round, stopped him in round 2 and looked like a legitimate world class fighter through out. This was the break out performance that Alimkhanuly really needed, though did come in front of an audience who had to struggle to see the bout due to issues with the way ESPN broadcast the fight. If you missed this one it's well worth tracking down and watching!
Fight of the Week
Peter Apolinar vs Jetro Pabustan
We didn't really get any standout wars this week, sadly, though we did get some decent bouts including a fairly fun brawl from the Philippines, where boxing returned after about 7 months. The card was a low key one in Mandaue City and it's stand out bout, in terms of competitive action, was the 10 rounder between Peter Apolinar and Jetro Pabustan. If you missed this one it's worth a watch, though don't expect a FOTY contender here, it's just a good old entertaining 10 rounder.
Round of the Week
Jin Miura vs Daiki Wakamatsu (Rd2)
The week didn't have any amazing rounds, and there was no rounds where knockdowns were traded or anything spectacular. Saying that however we ddid genuinely enjoy the second round of the bout between Jin Miura and Daiki Wakamatsu on Boxing Raise. Both guys were rocked during the round, with Wakamatsu being dropped and then stopped. In a week where action wasn't too plentiful this is well worthy of your time, a real fun round tucked away on an obscure Boxing Raise under-card.
Prospect of the Week
Rei Nakajima (4-0)
Due to the lack of action there wasn't too much competition here, though even if there was Rei Nakajima would likely have remained in the mix regardless. The Japanese youngster looked incredibly talented and composed with his excellent win over Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa. Nakajima looked fantastic through out the bout, moved brilliantly and looked like he was a fighter who could really go places. He was giving up size, power and experience here, but easily out boxed Hosokawa and he instantly proved himself as a legitimate domestic title contender.
KO of the Week
There wasn't a lot of action this past week, if we're being honest, but we did get an absolute beauty of a KO as Kazakh sensation Janibek Alimkhanuly blasted out Gonzalo Gaston Coria in sensational fashion. The Kazakh landed several shots that hurt Coria before he finished him off with a monstrous single left hand that turned Coria's lights out. This was an absolutely brutal finish and up there with some of the best of 2020.
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