With 3 notable cards today it's fair to say that one certainly steals the show with 2 title bouts and a highly regarded contender all on the same card.
That card is the card, in the Korakuen Hall, sees OPBF Middleweight champion Makoto Fuchigami (20-7, 11) attempt to defend his belt against Japanese Light Middleweight champion Akio Shibata (20-7-1, 9). On paper this is a bout to be genuinely excited about with Fuchigamai, a former world title contender, certainly facing his toughest bout since being badly beaten by WBA Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Shibata may not have a great record but the only man to beat him in the last 5 years is the highly regarded Charlie Ota and this could well be a great clash.
The other title bout sees Japanese Lightweight champion Yoshitaka Kato (24-4-1, 7) taking on former world title contender Motoki Sasaki (39-9-1, 24) not only for Kato's belt but also the vacant OPBF title. Sasaki certainly goes in to this bout with an experience edge and a the edge in terms of opponent level (having been in with Humberto Soto and Vyacheslav Senchenko) though at 37 he's a long way from his best. The 28 year old Kato, whilst unknown in the west has only been decisively beaten once and is making the 5th defense of his national title, it'd be a shock to see him beaten here.
The final bout on this card sees the very highly ranked Nihito Arakawa (23-2-1, 15) bouncing back from his 12 round loss to Daniel Estrada. Sadly Arakawa's opponent is Thai novice Pakphum Tor Pornchai (0-1) who will do little more than pad Arakawa's record.
The other two cards are both held in the Philippines are much less likely to get the attention of international fans, though the card in Benguet does have a title bout.
The main event in that card sees the highly regarded power puncher Rex Wao (6-0, 5) attempt to claim the interim WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Bantamweight title as he faces Dandy Toei (9-4-3, 3). This bout really could help Wao make a name for himself, though of course he will need to score the best win of his career so far.
The same card also features Remuel Obidos (7-3-1, 2) against the experienced Arjet Caballes (6-26-5, 3) and bouts for the unbeaten trio of Jonel Espineli (0-0-1), Renato Palay (also 0-0-1) and Stephen Gelawa (4-0-1, 2). Though only Palay and Gelawa's opponents have been named with Gelawa facing Jestoni Pepito (7-10-2, 2) and Palay facing Jomar Tumbaga (0-4-1).
The other card in the Philippines, held in the Mandaue City Plaza Square may not have a title on it though it's arguable a better card overall. The main event sees Melvin Gumban (13-0, 6) facing off against Fernando Ocon (10-4, 2) as Gumban attempts to score his second win of the year.
This card features a further 6 bouts with Pedro Balaba (10-4, 5) fighting Aroel Romasasa (11-4, 5); Juren Labordo (8-0, 4) fighting Roel Garcia (5-9-1, 1); Rey Morales (7-0, 2) facing Renante Suacasa (4-7); Lito Dante (3-3-3, 1) fighting Rez Padrogane (2-1, 1); Brian Lobitania (4-0-1, 3) facing Rocky Alvarez (1-2, 1) and Ivor Lastrilla (4-2-1, 3) fighting against Takaoki Noma (0-2).
Whilst none of these bouts are of massive interest it's fair to sat that Labordo and Morales are genuinely promising young prospects that fans should be keeping an eye on.
Whilst it's fair to say that tomorrow (May 4th) will see every boxing fan watching major bouts from Europe (Wladimir Klitschko v Francesco Pianeta) and America (Floyd Mayweather Jr v Robert Guerrero and Abner Mares v Daniel Ponce De Leon) today is about fights in Asia.
Not only do we see a Japanese fighter attempting to make history but we also see 2 former world champions in action as they attempts to make their way back to the top in what promises to be an excellent day of fights in Thailand.
The highlight appears to be in Si Sa Ket with a card headlined by WBC Super Flyweight champion Yota Sato (26-2-1, 12) defending his belt against the thunderously powerful Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (18-3-1, 17). This bout will not only be the 3rd defense of the title by Sato but also holds an historic value, is Sato wins he'll be the first ever defending world champion to win a title defense in Thailand. This bout, in full, has been previewed here.
On the same card as the Sato bout there is also action from former champion Suriyan Sor Rungvisai (20-5-1, 10) the man that Sato beat for the title last year. Suriyan will be expected to score his 6th victory since his loss to Sato when he steps in to the ring against Filipino journeyman Edison Berwela (11-26-6, 2), who will be fighting for the second time in around a week (after having lost a split decision to Robert Udtuhan).
The card will also see the unbeaten Nawaphon Por Chokchai (13-0, 10), the younger brother of Suriyan, in action. Nawaphon will be facing Michael Rodriguez (13-36-1, 3) in what appears to be an easy victory. Also on the card are Chaiyong Sithsaithong (29-10-3, 21) who will face Jen Yu Jia (2-4-1, 1) and Yodchanchai Nakornloung Promotion (19-3-0-1, 16) who looks to bounce back after being stopped by Nabuo Nashiro a few weeks ago, he'll be facing debutant Pansak Sor Ratidech (0-0).
Also in Thailand we see the return to the ring of former WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (43-2, 28) who looks for his first victory since losing his title to Paulus Ambunda back in March. Sor Singyu will be facing Filipino Fredirex Rodriguez (11-2-1, 8) for the WBO International Bantamweight title. With Sor Singyu being as good as he is we'd expect him to come out victorious here and perhaps try and force a rematch with Ambunda (and lets be honest, like anyone would dislike that!)
As well as the bouts in Thailand, there is also a low profile card in the Philippines. The main bout here is in the Light Flyweight division as Jomar Fajardo (11-4-1, 5) takes on durable journeyman Ruther del Castillo (8-18-8, 2). The other bouts on the card, feature 3 unbeaten men as Renren Pasignahin (4-0-1, 1), Ian Ligutan (4-0-1, 2) and Lloyd Jardeliza (3-0-2, 2) are in action. Sadly only Pasignahin's opponent is known and he'll be fighting Menard Zaragosa (5-11, 3)
Outside of Asia, Australia again hosts action with Thai pair Kiatchai Singwancha (32-9, 21) and Sapapetch Sor Sakaorat (29-11, 19) both in action. Although both men have solid records they have been brought to Australia as "opponents" for two Aussie fighters who are expected to score relatively easy but yet notable victories. Fingers crossed that the plan backfires!
The only bout of note today in regards to an Asian interest sees South Korean banger Ji-Hoon Kim (24-8, 18) attempt to move 1 step closer to a world title fight as he takes on the tough and upset minded Mauricio Herrera (18-3, 7).
Kim, the best known active South Korean in the sport may have lost 3 of his last 6 bouts but his heavy hands and aggressive style have helped make him a fan favourite. In fact his style has seen him become a mainstay on American TV with ESPN picking up most of his recent fights (including this one).
Whilst Kim is great fun to watch he is technically limited and if his power can't take an opponent out early doors there is every chance he'll be shown up. This may be the case against Herrera who has proven himself to be incredibly tough and hard working. In fact it terms of single wins Herrera's victory over Ruslan Provodnikov stands out as the best either man has to their name and his ability to take Provodnikov's power (and even the power of Karim Mayfield and Mike Alvarado) doesn't bode well for Kim.
If Kim can manage a win it's fair to say he'll be back in the mix for a world title, though a loss here could well see him put a long way from the world title scene. Oddly a loss may actually do him a favour for now with the current world champions all having solid technical boxing skills that would neutralise Kim's own strengths.
Once again it's the Filipino's that treat us to the best action of the day as a a 6 bout card in Batangas is the highlight of a pretty weak looking day.
The card's 6 bouts don't really have that much excitement written across them though the preliminary bout between the unbeaten Ricky Rulay (5-0, 4) and Rey Ramos (4-1-1, 1) is a very promising 8 rounder. To date Dulay has fought just 13 rounds and with Ramos having never been stopped he could well be extended here in what could prove to be a solid match up.
Dulay isn't the only unbeaten fighter in action that as Jun Doliguez (15-0-1, 11) and JR Magboo (9-0-2, 3) look to extend their unbeaten runs. For both men the job looks easy with Doliguez taking on Arlon Batingal (7-6, 4) whilst Magboo faces Rolly Llino (4-9-1, 2). It'd be a real surprise if either of the unbeaten fighters here suffered their first reversal.
At Super Featherweight Roberto Gonzales (21-2, 12) looks to rebuild his career after suffering 2 losses last year. This will be "Calibre's" second bout this year and it'd be a shock if he lost against Eric Rapada (15-20-7, 2) who he actually beat back in 2010.
Bantamweight action takes up the card's other two bouts with Roman Canto (8-1-1, 3) facing Armando Casa (11-10-4, 3) and Jetro Pabustan (20-1-5, 6) facing the legendary Menard Zaragosa (5-11, 3) who is known for having left the ring during a bout in need of the toilet. It's hard to see either of the once beaten guys getting upset here.
In Australia the hard hitting Thai Singsiam Kokietgym (6-2, 6) looks for his biggest victory as he takes on Matthew Lytwynenko (9-2-3, 5). Also on this card in Australia is OPBF Heavyweight champion Solomon Haumono (20-1-2, 18) who is best known for stopping Japanese Heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto. Haumono will look to make an impact on the world scene as he takes on former world title challenger Kevin Johnson (28-3-1, 13) who himself beat Alex Leapai (27-4-3, 22) a year ago.
With no major action scheduled in Asian today it may seem like a quite day for Asian boxing, the opposite however is true as Asian fighters fight around the globe once again as they attempt to prove that they can be road warriors.
Most notably for Asian fight fans is a card in Mexico which sees 4 scheduled bouts between Mexicans and Japanese fighters.
The most notable bout on that Japanese card sees former world champion Jhonny Gonzalez (53-8, 45) taking on Akihiko Katagiri (12-6-1, 4). On paper this looks a very tough ask for Katagiri though with the Japanese fighter having never been stopped and Gonzalez showing signs of slowing down in recent fights the upset cannot be completely ruled out.
In a battle of bangers Akinori Kanai (25-7, 22) faces Dante Jardon (22-3, 18) in a bout that we're not expecting to go the distance. Both guys are hard hitters and aggressive and this should be ridiculously fun for as long as it lasts. With the WBC Continental Americas Super Featherweight title on the line (again we're not sure how these titles work as Kanai isn't from the Continental Americas) there is a notable reward up for grabs.
The biggest mismatch on the card sees Rey Vargas (13-0, 12) taking on Seizo Kono (13-4-1, 8). On paper Kono's record is solid enough but he could well be 1-6 in his last 7 bouts (instead of 4-3) and whilst he may take Vargas the distance we'd be shocked if he could score an upset.
Arguably the most interesting bout on the card is in female action as former world title contender Riyo Togo (9-4-1, 8) takes on former WBC female Flyweight champion Mariana Juarez (36-6-3, 16). Juarez will of course be favoured but Togo has the ability, power and size to score the biggest victory of her career.
As well as the action in Mexico Asian's are also in action in the US and in Australia.
In the US the tough nosed Filipino Michael Farenas (34-4-4, 26) takes on Mexican veteran Gerardo Zayas (19-21-2-1, 11). Farenas has proven his toughness against both Takashi Uchiyama and Yuriorkis Gamboa and it'd be a massive shock if he lost to Zayas.
In Australia, Thai based Iranian Amir Hossein Ranjdar (11-18, 5) will be hoping to end a 4 fight losing streak as he faces the unbeaten Dean Mikelj (8-0, 6). Whilst it'd be nice for "Amir Bando" to upset the Mikelj applecart it's hard to imagine it happening.