Right now it seems like every weekend is a busy one in boxing and this weekend is no different with notable cards from Japan, the Philippines and Azerbaijan as well as a Kazakhstan fighter defending a world title in the US.
Of the shows we have, we'll begin with the Japanese show which is going to be at the Azalea Taisho Hall in Osaka. This show is going to predominantly feature female fighters with 5 of the 7 bouts on the card being female bouts, including the main event.
The begins with a female bout as Kitawaki Emi (2-4-1, 1) fights Misaki Hirooka (2-2). This bout has "distance fight" written on it if you ask us, though hopefully it will prove to be competitive.
Following the opening bout we then get the 2 male bouts back-to-back. The first will see Yuto Kawanaka (0-0) making his professional debut against Takahiro Morishita (0-2-1) before Seita Mochizuki (2-4) battles Tomonori Ota (1-1). We'll admit these male bouts are uninspiring but the card is really all about the women.
In the sole 6 round fight of the show we expect to see veteran Nao Ikeyama (12-3-1, 4) fighting against novice Mika Iwakawa (3-1-1, 1) before we move on to the 8 round bouts which will see Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (3-1-1, 2) fighting an unrecognised Thai opponent and Tamao Ozawa (5-1, 2) fighting Tanyakorn Sor Thammajak (0-3).
The main event here sees Mari Ando (10-6, 5) taking on Jasseth Noriega (16-2-1, 5) in a battle for the currently vacant WBC female Minimumweight title. The belt was vacated earlier this year by Naoko Fujioka who subsequently went up to Super Flyweight and claimed the WBC title at 115 lbs. We favour Ando here but do admit that the bout will not be easy for her.
Staying on the world title theme this weekend sees the return to the ring of Beibut Shumenov (13-1, 8) who looks to make the first defense of his WBA Light Heavyweight super title. Shumenov, who was recently upgraded to "super champion", will be fighting for the first time in 18 months as he takes on the unbeaten Tamas Kovacs (23-0, 14). On paper this is a good fight but in reality Kovacs should post no threat to Shumenov's title.
For those wanting to watch Shumenov v Kovacs it should be part of the Showtime telecast in the US.
In the Philippines we get 2 cards, as mentioned above. Of these the better show looks to be the one at the Agoncillo Complex which is co-promoted by Saved by the Bell Promotions and Brunsmick Boxing Promotions.
The headline of this card sees the unbeaten Jun Doliguez (17-0-2, 13), fresh off the back of his US debut, taking on Thailand's Maxsaisai Sithsaithong (12-3, 3). This looks, at least on paper, to be a chance for Doliguez to put on an eye catching performance more than anything else.
Doliguez isn't the only promising unbeaten fighter in action on this show as JR Magboo (12-0-2, 5) fights Danilo Pena (26-16-3, 11) and Val Falcunaya (8-0, 6) takes on the very testing Rey Perez (17-4, 3). Magboo should be favoured heavily against Pena but Falcunaya is in for a very tough test.
The other notable bouts on this show,all scheduled for 10 rounds, will see Roberto Gonzales (22-2, 13) taking on tough journeyman Jonel Alibio (16-17-4, 8), the hard hitting Al Rivera (7-1, 6) fighting against Ronald Postrano (7-17-2, 3), Benezer Alolod (12-5-4, 2) fighting Jayson Rotoni (13-12-1, 7), Gabriel Royo (9-7-2, 8) fighting against Desson Cag-ong (13-9, 7) and, finally, Jetro Pabustan (21-1-5, 6) battling against Michael Escobia (10-5-1, 2).
The card's only other bout will see JC Francisco (5-6-1, 1) fighting against Dexter Dimaculangan (3-3-3, 1) in a scheduled 8 round affair.
The second Filipino card, the lesser if you will, begins with a trio of 4 rounders as JK Elorde (1-0, 1) fights the debuting Rolly De Tomas (0-0), Charlie Gabriel (0-3) faces debutant Raymond Yalong (0-0) and Roderick Flores (1-0, 1) look to defeat another debutant in the form of CJ De Tomas (0-0).
Following the 4 rounders we move in to 8 round action as the unbeaten Jeffrey Francisco (7-0-1) takes on Junjie Lauza (4-9-1, 1) and fellow unbeaten fighter Giemel Magramo (7-0, 4) fights journeyman Roy Albaera (2-20-5).
The bulk of this card, as with the other Filipino card, is in the 10 rounders of which we have 4 of. These include a single title fight as Rene Patilano (9-1-2, 5) fights Jomar Fajardo (12-4-1, 5) for the vacant Philippines Luzon Professional Boxing Association (LuzProBA) Light Flyweight title.
In the most 1-sided of the 10 rounders we're expecting to see the highly experienced Dennis Laurente (45-5-5, 26) taking on Thailand's Khomkaew Sithsaithong (6-2, 5). We say this is the biggets mismatch but we don't expect the bouts between Jonathan Taconing (16-2-1, 13) and Namphol Sithsaithong (4-5, 4) or Juan Miguel Elorde (13-1, 5) and Ngaotawan Sithsaithong (10-11-1, 5) to be competitive either.
One of the most intriguing cards of the day takes place on the European-Asian border as we get action in Azerbaijan. This card, which features a very interesting double title fight between Welterweights Fariz Mamedov (14-1-1, 8) and the unbeaten Matthias Pelk (20-0, 11) is a bit of an odd one. For example this fight in particular will see the men fighting for the WBO European and the IBF East/West Europe titles, two titles that we don't really understand.
As well as the double title bout we also get a trio of Heavyweight bouts. The most interesting of these will see veteran Timo Hoffmann (40-9-2-1, 23) fighting against Steffen Kretschmann (16-2-0-1, 15) for the second time. The men, who first fought in 2012 saw their initial encounter called off in the 6th round due rain. We kid you not this is a rematch of a rain effected no contest.
The second most interesting Heavyweight contest will see Roman Golovashchenko (12-1, 10) fighting against Yakup Saglam (31-3, 28). Although Saglam has got an attractive record is very much a paper one and an upset would be far from a shock. The remaining Heavyweight clash is expected to see Elchin Ahmadov (0-0) make his debut against Janis Ginters (4-5, 4).
In the remaining bouts on the card the hard hitting Rashad Karimov (26-2, 23) will fight Miguel Velozo (16-1-2, 5) and Middleweight prospect Vusal Aliyev (12-0, 5) will fight Armand Cullhaj (15-3-3, 9).
For fans wanting to watch the Azerbaijan card we've been lead to believe that Eurosport will be televising portions of it including Hoffman/Kretschmann II.
The final bout of note will see the unbeaten Anton Novikov (27-0-0-1, 10) attempting to pick up a win a win in Puerto Rico as he battles Manuel Perez (20-9-1, 4). Perez has lost 2 of his last 4 and in all honesty Novikov should have the talent to make that 3 losses in 5 for the American.
It's nice for Japan to give us some days off from boxing late in the week but that doesn't boxing gives us a day off with multiple title fights and several shows across Asia.
The biggest show of the day is in the Philippines. It may not have a title fight on it but it does have a number of very interesting contests and is the lastest show put on by Manny Pacquiao's "MAG Pacman Boxing".
In the main event 2-time world title challenger Michael Farenas (36-4-4, 28) will be taking on Jesus Rios (26-4-1, 20). Having seen the difficulty that Farenas has given the likes of Yuriorkis Gamboa it's hard to bet against him stopping Rios over the 12 rounds.
The card has 4 chief support bouts, all scheduled for 10 rounds. One of these will see Richard Pumicpic (13-5-2, 4) taking on Luis Lugo (15-4-2, 11) in what looks like a very interesting bout. Although relatively unknown Pumicpic has held Yohei Tobe to a draw in Japan and beaten Ratchasak Kokietgym in Thailand and has the potential to go a long way, Lugo on the other hand won't have traveled to Mexico to just lose.
One of the other support bouts sees the tough Fernando Ocon (11-5, 3) taking on Jeffrey Cerna (14-8, 5). On paper this is a mismatch but it was just 18 months ago that Cerna took Arthur Villanueva to a split decision. Although unlikely he may well be about to turn in one such performance here.
Another of the 10 rounders will see current PABA interim Minimumweight champion Ronelle Ferreras (13-5-2, 5) fighting in a none title contest with fellow Filipino Roque Lauro (9-16-4, 2). This should not be much of a test for Ferreras but we may well see him given some sort of a rough ride at times.
Whilst some of those 10 rounders look interesting the most notable bout scheduled for 10 is that of Ernesto Saulong (13-0, 5). The unbeaten prospect has looked very promising at times though will be given a good test by Mike Espanosa (12-6, 7) who is stubborn and has a hurtful punch, at least on the Filipino domestic scene.
Saulong isn't the only unbeaten prospect in action with 3rd generation star Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr (11-0, 11) returning to action for the 12th time. Penalosa Jr will be fighting against Mexico's Alem Robles (6-3-2, 2) in a scheduled 8 rounder. It's a shame Penalosa Jr isn't being stepped up yet but we do understand why they are taking the kids development slowly. Unfortunately in regards to this bout we think Dodie will swiftly take out Robles and learn nothing in the process.
The bulk of undercard are scheduled 6 rounders with Fighting Heno (1-0-3) taking on Jessie Caballes (2-9); Lester Abutan (3-1-1, 1) going up against Jhon Jhon Faminiano (1-9-2) and Junar Adante (1-0-1) fighting Valeriano Gabriel (2-3).
The rest of the undercard will see Eric Pansa (2-1-1) up against the unbeaten Robin Dingcong (0-0-1) and Henry Barton (1-0, 1) fighting debutant Mike Mirafuente (0-0). We believe both of these will be scheduled for 4 rounds.
In regards to the world stage the biggest fight of the day is in Thailand as former WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (45-2, 30) defends his WBO international Bantamweight title. The Thai, currently ranked at #2 with the WBO, will be regarded as a huge favourite as he takes on Filipino Romnick Magos (9-2, 5) though will of course be risking his world ranking for the fight. For those wanting to watch this bout it will be televised live on Channel 7 in Thailand along with the rest of the, yet to be listed, card.
Russia see's title action with Murat Gassiev (13-0, 9) defending his WBC Youth Cruiserweight world title. Although his opponent has yet to be namedwe've got to admit we've been impressed by him so far and do expect a small step up here.
Down in Australia Filipino Roberto Oyan (20-40-5, 7) will be fighting Kye MacKenzie (5-0, 3) for the Australian Super Featherweight title. Although Onyan is from the Philippines originally this will be Oyan's 23rd successive bout in Australia and so it's hard to begrudge him an Australian national title fight, even if he is a big under-dog.
Finally it appears that Japanese fans can have a break after several days of action. Saying that however Asian boxing fans in general can't as we get title action in Thailand.
Although we're unsure on the full we know one of the bouts sees the experienced Sirimongkol Singwancha (74-2, 46), AKA Sirimongkol Singmanasak, defending his WBC Asia Council Continental Welterweight title for the 3rd time. The experience Sirimongkol, a former WBC Bantamweight and WBC Super Fetherweight world champion will be taking on Filipino Giovani Rota (7-5, 4).
On paper this is a total mismatch in terms of level and record. Unfortunately it's even worse when you realise Rota has lost his last 2 by stoppage and lost 3 of his last 6 all at a lower weight than this contest.
This bout, along with others on the card will be on Channel 7 in Thailand and although this appears to be a mismatch we do expect some good action somewhere on the card.
The action in Japan just keeps coming this week with another on Wednesday courtesy at the Korakuen Hall.
The show begins with 5 contests scheduled for 4 rounds. Unfortunately we've failed to identify the men involved in the first 2 contests.
Despite being unable to name the men involved in the first 2 bouts we do know that the third bout will see Katsuya Abe (1-3) fighting against Hiroomi Miyauchi (1-3) in what appears to be a very evenly matched contest. The Abe/Hiroomi bout will be followed by a contest between Naoki Inaba (1-1) and Shinki Yamazaki (1-3) before the final 4 rounder which will see Kenji Fujiyama (3-2, 2) up against Kyohei Tsunashima (3-3, 3).
Following the 5 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds we then get 4 bouts scheduled for 8 rounds. These will start with Filipino Randy Megrino (14-15-2, 8) fighting against fellow Filipino Ricky Sismundo (20-7-1, 10). Sismundo, also known as Mondo Harada is based in Japan, unlike his counterpart so will probably be favoured here if it's close.
The second of the 8 rounders sees another Filipino in action as Jilo Merlin (13-18-2, 2) takes on Japan's very own Akinori Hoshino (10-5-1, 7) in what looks like a bout that could test Hoshino's mental resolve even though Merlin is limited.
In the show's 7th contest we see Kentaro Masuda (17-6, 9), who is highly ranked by the JBC, taking on Yusuke Tachikawa (9-3-1, 3) in what appears to be a mismatch on paper. Although the records of the two men are vastly different it is worth noting that this bout will be at Super Bantamweight, a weight where Tachikawa is 4-0 (2), possibly giving him an advantage.
The shows final bout also looks a bit like a mismatch as the hard hitting and highly ranked Koji Numata (20-7-1, 15) takes on the once beaten Ryo Okayama (8-1, 5). Numata, who is ranked by both the JBC and the OPBF, is a former Japanese Welterweight champion and although he was stopped last time out by Charlie Ota he'll be expected to win here against Okayama who is taking a big step up.
As well as the action in Japan there is also a show in Australia featuring a number of Asian fighters. These will see Indonesian Erick Diaz Siregar (16-19-4, 4) taking on the unbeaten Brayd Smith (7-0, 6) in what looks a very tough assignment. Unfortunately Siregar has the easiest of the 3 assignments with Thailand's Dennapa Bigshotcamp (12-29, 4) taking on Cameron Hammond (5-0, 3) and Dechapon Suwunnalird (6-25, 2), also of Thailand, taking on the exceptionally promising Damien Hooper (5-0, 5).
It'd be a shock if any of the Asian's on the Australia card won, though it'd also be a shock if any of them won more than a few rounds aganst the trio of very good u
It appears to us that Japanese fans are getting a lot of early Christmas presents. Over the past few days they've had title fights involving Naoya Inoue, Akira Yaegashi, Ryosuke Iwasa and Keita Obara. Today sees that title action continuing with a title triple header courtesy of the weirdly named "Overheat Boxers Night Vol.66".
This show, put on by Katsumata, will be headlined by recent WBO Super Middleweight title challenger Yuzo Kiyota (23-4-1, 21) who looks to reclaim the OPBF title he gave up for his world title challenge. In the opposite corner to the monstrously hard hitting Kiyota we will have Shintaro Matsumoto (10-3, 8), who Kiyota actually defended the title against in his first reign.
As well as the OPBF title fight in the main event we get a Japanese title fight in the main support bout as former WBC Flyweight title challenger Takuya Kogawa (22-2, 13) defends his Japanese Flyweight for the 4th time. Kogawa will be facing top Japanese contender and world ranked opponent Suguru Muranaka (18-2-1, 5). It's fair to say that who ever wins here will be eying up a potential world title fight in 2014. Kogawa brings world rankings with all 4 Organisations (WBO #5, WBA #9, IBF#9 and WBA #15) whilst Muranaka is ranked by the WBA (#8). Although this is the support bout it's arguably the most important contest of the day.
The secondary support bout is also a title fight as Filipino Angelito Merin (7-2-2, 1) meets countryman Jovylito Aligarbes (9-2, 3) in a defense of Merin's WBC Youth World Super Flyweight title. This bout is admittedly a big step down from the other two title fights but with a Filipino rivalry coming in to the contest it could prove to be something rather memorable.
Alongside the 3 title fights we get 4 other contests. The most intriguing of those is an 8 round bout between Filipino Rene Dacquel (10-2, 3) and the hard hitting but limited Hideyuki Watanabe (6-5-2, 5).
To start the show we get the other 3 bouts, all scheduled for 4 rounds. These are to feature a debutant in the first fight before Fujioka Hyuma (3-2-1) takes on Keisuke Fujii (3-3, 2) and Fumio Ujihara (1-1, 1) fights Yosuke Sato (2-6, 2).