August wasn't the biggest month for Asian boxing, but was a solid month overall, which had plenty of shows to be excited about and a very few real breaks between something of note.
On paper September looks like it will be a lot less interesting than August was. It looks to start slowly, peak with a flurry of major bouts in the middle, then tail off in forgettable fashion. With that said lets have a look at what's to come in the first part of the month.
Samuel Salva (17-0, 10) Vs Pedro Taduran (13-2, 10) -Metro Manila, Philippines
The first world title bout takes place on the 7th and is an all-Filipino battle for the vacant IBF Minimumweight title. The bout pits the unbeaten Samuel Salva against hard hitting youngster Pedro Taduran. For Salva this is his first world title bout, and a chance to announce himself after a relative slow build on the Filipino domestic scene. As for Taduran the bout will be his second world title fight, following a 2018 loss to Wanheng Menayothin. The winner of this will be seen as the weakest of the champions at 105lbs but they'll have had a very credible win to take the title regardless.
Giemel Magramo (23-1, 19) vs Eaktwan BTU Ruaviking (25-5, 16) - Metro Manila, Philippines
On the same card as the Salva/Taduran bout we also get an IBF Flyweight world title eliminator, as once beaten Filipino hopeful Giemel Magramo takes on former world title challenger Eaktwan BTU Ruaviking, aka Komgrich Nantapech, in what could end up being one of the best bouts of the month. The winner will likely get a shot at Moruti Mthalane, though will almost certainly have to go through a real war to get that title fight. Both of these men like to come forward, through shots and press the action, so we're expecting a bit of a phone booth tear up here. On paper Eaktwan is the more experience and proven but Magramo looks to be the more naturally talented and smarter. Either way we're in for something very special here.
Yuki Nagano (16-2, 12) vs Makoto Kawasaki (11-7-1, 2) - Tokyo, Japan
In a Japanese Welterweight title fight we'll see Yuki Nagano defending his title against veteran Makoto Kawasaki. On paper this looks like an easy first defense for Nagano, though we really can't begrudge him an easy one after successive wins over Riku Nagahama, Yuki Beppu and Ryota Yada. With a 14 fight winning run Nagano is in great form and full of confidence. The 35 year old Kawasaki on the other hand likely knows retirement is looming and a loss he will almost certainly push him into hanging up the gloves. Kawasaki isn't a bad fighter, but we really don't know what he has in his arsenal to test the in form champion.
Jorge Linares (45-4, 28) Vs Al Toyogon (10-4-1, 6)
Former 3-weight world champion Jorge Linares has fought around half of his carer in Japan, though amazingly he's not fought in the Land of the rising Sun in well over 4 years. The wait for his Japanese return ends here as he takes on Filipino Al Toyogon, who looks to end a 2-fight losing run. The exiting, but vulnerable, Linares is in a position where his career is likely over as a world class operator with another loss. Toyogon comes into this on the back of losses to Ryo Sagawa and Shuya Masaki, but will know a win here will get the boxing world talking about him, and there is no better time to face Linares.
Saemi Hanagata (15-7-4, 7) Vs Nao Ikeyama (18-5-4, 5) III - Tokyo, Japan
All female cards are rare, but when they happen in Japan they tend to be stacked with some excellent match ups. On September 12th we get once such card, headlined by the third bout between IBF Atomweight champion Saemi Hanagata and former WBO Atomweight champion Nao Ikeyama. After drawing in the first 2 fights of their rivalry both will be desperate to take home a win here and we're expecting an all out thriller, much like their previous bouts.
Ayaka Miyao (23-7-1, 6) Vs Monseratt Alcaron (12-4-2) - Tokyo, Japan
Another fantastic looking female world title bout on same card will see the WBA Atomweight title being unified. In one corner will be regular champion Monseratt Alcaraon whilst the other will house interim champion Ayaka Miyao, together they should make for a brilliant match up. Miyao is an aggressive veteran who uses a lot of speed and a high output whilst Alcaron is a smart fighter with an aggressive counter punching style. This should be a bout that really sees the style gel.
Eri Matsuda (3-0) Vs Mont Blanc Miki (4-2-1, 1) - Tokyo, Japan
A third Atomweight title bout on the same card will see Eri Matsuda make her first defense of the Japanese Atomweight title, as she takes on the limited Mont Blanc Miki. Matsuda is one of the pure talents in female boxing, and she will likely be targeting one of the winners from the world title fights on this show. Miki on the other hand has been stopped in both of her defeats, both at a low level, and a win here for the challenger would be a a big surprise.
Over the last few years Thailand hasn't produced many world class fighters. They have, of course, had the odd star like Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, Suriyan Sor Rungvisai, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Tepparith Kokietgym and most recently Amnat Ruenroeng but on the whole they haven't been producing top class fighters like they have done in the past. If I'm being honest I'm disappointed not only in the fact that they have just 1 world champion right now but also in the fact a number of their contenders, like Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat, Pungluang Sor Singyu and Denkaosan Kaovichit have all suffered stoppage losses in recent bouts.
Of course Thailand has a number of promising contenders, the ones that are, or have been, on the fringes of a world title fight for a while. Those guys, like Rusalee Samor for example or Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo, aren't the focus of those piece, instead I want to bring to your attention some of Thailand's most promising youngsters and those who are just beginning to break onto the scene. For that reason I'm only going to mention guys with 10 or fewer fights, according to boxrec.com.
Nop Kratingdaenggym (10-0, 1)
It's not often that a complete non-puncher will get rave reviews but 22 year old Nop Kratingdaenggym is certainly a fighter who has had a growing reputation as one of the Super Bantamweight prospects with real potential courtesy of his excellent boxing ability.
It's that boxing ability that really makes Nop standout compared to many of his compatriots. He's not power hungry but instead he will fight off his jab, move intelligently, land crisp combinations and control the distance cleverly. At the moment he still lacks his man strength but already has 4 complete 12 rounders under his belt and is the proud owner of the PABA Super Bantamweight title.
At the moment Nop is a million miles from a world title bout but with Kratingdaeng backing him and his obvious talent I'd be very shocked if he doesn't become a genuine contender at 122lbs. He has the tools to be very good if given time to develop and I think he has something a little bit special about him. It's obvious though that his team know he needs development and that's why he's been matched with the likes of Hendrik Barongsay and Daniel Ferreras, tough opponents but not ones good enough to beat a real star prospect.
Footage of Nop isn't very widely available though we do have full footage of his bout with Jovill Marayan, although it is only a 6 rounder, and his bout with Skak Max, though see the note below about that.
*Note Nop's record on boxrec is, at the time of writing, 9-0 (1), I know that's wrong as it ignores his title winning contest against Skak Max.
Palangpol CP Freshmart (4-0, 4)
Whilst Nop Kratingdaenggym might be a relative "non puncher" the same cannot be said for the lead handed Light Flyweight Palangpol CP Freshmart who appears to lack some of boxing ability of Nop but makes up for the lack of skills with really vicious power. That power has seen him not only remain unbeaten but also score a number of interesting wins, already.
The most interesting of those wins have come over Jack Amisa (KO7) and Heri Amol (TKO8), neither opponent is typically faced in a fighters first few bouts suggesting that Palangpol is really expected to go a long way, likely due to his history in Muay Thai. Most recently he added a win over Joan Imperial, another foe that isn't usually faced this early in a fighters career.
There was talk, at one point, about Palangpol being moved towards an IBF world title fight. I think that talk is too early at the moment but it's likely that if he keeps stopping usually tough and durable opponents then he will have to be moved towards a title fight, just to get him in with someone capable of surviving against him.
Eaktawan Mor Krungthepthonburi (4-0, 3)
Another fighter who appears to have have power is Super Flyweight hopeful Eaktawan Mor Krungthepthonburi. Eaktawan has been matched relatively impressively for such a novice and has also been able to look impressive. In fact Eaktawan probably should have come to our attention more on his debut when he scored a stunning KO over Chamuakpetch Kor Kamolwat. In that bout he looked very much like a fighter with serious potential, nasty but natural power and pretty solid speed.
To date his biggest win as a professional has come over Jemmy Gobel though it's clear that he's going to be moved up in class significantly in his coming fights. Eaktawan may not have beaten the same level of competition that some other's have beaten but he looks like a fighter with the potential to go a very, very long way. In fact just watching suggests that we have a very promising fighter on our hands.
At Super Flyweight there is certainly some competition at the top but in the mid-to-lower levels there isn't many, if any, that will get Eaktawan's way and we imagine his team know it. However his team will also be aware that he has defensive issues that need working on before rushing him. He does eat a few shots to get his own off and in many ways he resembles the old style South Koreans who walk forward with the mentality of busting up their opponents before being broken themselves. If he can change that mentality slightly and tweak his boxing he really could be a star with his seek-and-destroy style.
Stamp Kiatniwat (9-0, 4)
For many the standout Thai prospect is Stamp Kiatniwat who we are very big fans of. The youngster is still a teenager though looks like one of the most promising and aggressively matched young fighters on the planet. Unlike many Thai fighters he doesn't bring a lot of pressure of power though like Nop he can box and can do so on the front foot or the back foot making him a versatile fighter despite his young age.
Whilst we're very impressed when we watch Stamp we need to say we were blown away by his most recent contest, a 12 round decision over former world champion Kwanthai Sithmorseng. For a teenager with just 8 previous fights to take on, and beat, a world champion shows what a promising youngster this kid is. And the fact he is still a kid means there is still a lot of physical development left to do which could easily mean that he ends up with more bang on his shots, a scary thought all things considered.
Although still a long way from a world title fight we would not be shocked to see Stamp's name coming into the world rankings in coming months, especially following the win over Kwanthai. Hopefully his team will hold him back just a little for now, though we can understand if his team do get a little over-excited considering how good he is. Whilst he is good now he is potentially great.
For those wanting to see more of Stamp we have footage of his opening round victory over John Bima and his 4th round TKO over Johan Wahyudi which both show there is more than just skills to the promising youngster.
Kongputorn CPFreshmart (3-0, 2)
One of the numerous Muay Thai fighters-turned-boxers is Kongputorn CPFreshmart who appears to have taken to boxing in a serious way having had 3 bouts in the last few months. In each of them he has looked like a man ready to make a real go of boxing and a man set to rise as quickly as he and his handlers deem fit. In fact the experience of Muay Thai is merely an addition to natural power and swift vicious combinations.
To date Kongputorn's boxing has come against very limited foes though the skills are very visible and it's obvious that his team know how good he is, even if he's not been allowed to show it against suitable opponents as of yet.
Currently the WBC Youth Flyweight champion, having beaten Xu Yuan Cai for the title in August, it seems likely Kongputorn will be rising through the WBC rankings over his next few fights. Of course with Flyweight being the deepest division in boxing right now we'd not be shocked to see Kongputorn held back from the elite for a year or two though if he keeps winning he'll be able to decide which of the champions he would like to target down the line. In my eyes that will be the smartest decision from him and his team whilst also getting him as much experience, in terms of rounds, as they can.
Note-As with Nop we know boxrec.com are missing a fight of Konputorn's. That fight is Konputorn's debut against Veeradej Manoprungroj. His only other fight to date saw him defeating Lomnauo Sakberlin in 4 rounds.
Thong Sithluangphophun (9-0, 6)
When we look at Japanese fighters we tend to not the number of rounds they fight on debut. Very, very few start in 8 rounders with Naoya Inoue being the most recent example. In Thailand we don't tend to do that too often but Thong Sithluangphophun did the same as the Japanese "Monster"and began his career in an 8 rounder, taking a decision over Chatpayak Sithkopon Nuengkawkawhok. Since then he has fought in several 6 rounders and a trio of 12 round title fights as he's gone from strength to strength and claimed the PABA Featherweight title.
As he's stepped up the rounds we seem to have seen Thong become more confident in his power and although he went the distance in 3 of his first 5 bouts he has actually stopped his last 4 opponents, including Tony Arema in the first defence of the PABA Featherweight belt and Jason Butar Butar. That's not to say they are huge wins but at the moment they are solid wins for a fighter just starting to make their name.
As with a number of fighters on here he's not anywhere near ready to be moved up to a word title fight though he's certainly showing signs of being able to hold his own against fringe world ranked contenders. We'd not have worries if Thong's team put him in with someone on the fringes though with Featherweight looking like a division heading towards a boom period it could be a while before we see just how good Thong really is.
At the moment footage of Thong is difficult to find unfortunately though we hope to have more in the future.
And one I don't think will make it...
Chalermpol Singwancha (9-0, 7)
For many the most notable fighter will be Welterweight hopeful Chalermpol Singwancha, real name Chaloemporn Sawatsuk. Personally I think he is too flawed to be considered a true prospect although his results suggest he could be promising.
On paper Chalermpol's win over Dan Nazareno Jr, back in April, should have put the boxing world on red alert. Nazareno may not be great but a fighter beating him as early in their career as Chalermpol did was highly impressive. Unfortunately though the Thai did look very tired at the end of the bout and showed that his power may not be as killer as it looked at the time, he entered 6-0 (6). Not only was he taken the distance by Nazareno but also by Amor Tino who also pushed Chalermpol very close.
From having seen him a few times he looks strong and powerful but against opponents who understand the ring he's shown that he is very limited and unlikely to exceed despite some notable expectation being on his shoulders.
Note-I have not included Knockout CP Freshmart (8-0, 5) due to the fact he is getting a WBA interim world title fight in his next fight. If we ignore his upcoming bout with Carlos Buitrago he would certainly have made this list with his skills that really impressed against Sandeep amongst others.
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