We've gotten used to Friday morning action in Thailand but this week it seems things are a little different with action on Thursday as well as Friday, even better the Asian action isn't just local with Asians also in action Stateside.
We'll start with the Thai action which we expect will take place at the Ban Rai Temple, Nakhon Ratchasima.
The main event in Thailand sees Thailand's very own Samartlek Chaiyonggym (13-4, 4) attempt to claim the WBC Asian Boxing Council Minimumweight title as he battles Filipino Jimmy Masangkay (4-1-1, 1). This will be Samartlek's 4th bout of the year after winning his previous 3 and certainly his most notable whilst Masangkay will be entering the contest with a loss in his only other bout this year.
We only know of one other bout on the card and that bout will see the unbeaten Thai based Japanese fighter Rika Matsumoto (4-0, 4) attempt to claim the WBC Asian Boxing Council female Light Flyweight title as she takes on Thailand native Lamnammoon Kwanjaisrikort (0-4).
Over in the US we have two bouts involving fighters from Uzbekistan.
In the Heavyweight division the unbeaten hopeful Ahror Muralimov (14-0, 11) battles former American amateur stand out Nathan James (9-2, 5) in what could well be an explosive encounter. In the other bout, way down the weights, the always fun to watch Bahodir Mamadjonov (14-1, 9) faces Chris Linson (21-5-1, 11) in what appears to be a genuinely tough bout.
We love watching Mamadjonov, who has carved out a solid career in the states following an excellent amateur career. On the other hand Muralimov does look like there is something about him though there is no reason for him to be a 230-240lb Heavyweight standing at just 5'11" and if he could make 175lbs he could, potentially be, a title threat.
To end the wonderful month of September (a month in which our team has all been struck down with the flu!) there are two cards. One is a domestic show in the Philippines whilst the second is a much more interest card in Japan full of international action, including Filipinos.
With the Japanese card, dubbed "Fil-Japan Vol. III", it seems an obvious starting point for the day.
We expect the Japanese card to kick off with the debut of Middleweight Jermaine Adrian Pritchett (0-0) who faces southpaw Yuichi Sakuta (1-1), this bout is followed by Naoaki Kumagai (0-1) facing the card's second debutant Kenta Hirata (0-0). For those wondering Kumagai isn't the the woman made famous in the movie "Jackass", that's Naoko Kumagai, who we will admit we were confused by originally.
Talking about female fighters the third fight on the show is the first of 2 bouts featuring females as Japanese based Filipino Honey Mae Bermoy AKA Honey Katsumata (4-2, 4) battles Japan's unbeaten Saki Yamada (6-0-1, 2) in a fight that sees Yamada risking her high OPBF ranking agains a serious puncher.
The show's fourth bout sees another Japanese based Filipino in action as Jovylito Aligarbes, AKA Jovy Katsumata (8-2, 3) battles against the more experienced Monico Laurente (23-8, 5), who himself is from the Philippines. Of the two men involved here it's fair to say that Laurente has been in with the tougher competition including Tomoki Kameda, Pungluang Sor Singyu, Malcolm Tunacao and Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat though with Katsumata being the promoters fighter we may see an upset here.
In the show's fifth bout we get a really interesting contest as Yuki Chinen (13-1, 6), a recent Japanese national title challenger, battles Filipino veteran Ryan Bito (22-11-3, 8). Unfortunately with Bito losing 3 of his last 4, including a decision to the then unbeaten Yohei Tobe, this bout has lost some of it's shine though should still be a good test for Chinen who will be wanting to get back on to the winning trail.
The second female bout on the card sees the hugely popular Tomomi Takano (2-0, 1), a former model-turn-boxer, in action against a Filipino debutant. Although we're no certain we are lead to believe that Takano will be fighting a woman called Jiperin Derima (0-0). The Takano bout is seen as the chief support due to her immense popularity, which we've got to admit is an amazing accomplishment for such a novice, though her looks do admittedly get her a lot of attention.
The main event on this card is a simply excellen match up that pits the unbeaten Masayuki Ito (11-0-1, 3) with once beaten Filipino Jeffrey Arienza (9-1-1, 4) in a battle over the WBC Youth Lightweight title. Although Arienza was unexpectedly stopped last time out by Leonardo Doronio it's fair to say Ito probably doesn't have the same power as Doronio.
The Filipino card, held at the Siquijor Capital Square is expected to feature 6 bouts beginning with action kicking off with a 6 round affair between Bryan Samson (3-3, 1) and Darius Elorde (1-1, 1).
Following the opener we expect a trio of bouts scheduled for 8. The most notable of these 8 rounders sees the the promising Neil John Tabanao (4-0, 3) battling the much more experienced Elmar Francisco (16-19-2, 4) in a bout that really could test the 19 year Tabanao who has never been beyond 6. Tabanao is one of two prospects in these 8 round contests with 20 year old Joey Canoy (3-0, 2) fighting Jherald Tuyor (2-14, 1) in the other.
The only 8 rounder not featuring a prospect sees modern day "Cinderella Man" Gerpaul Valero (15-14-3, 10) looking for his 15th victory in 16 bouts as he takes on Jomar Ministerio (5-5-1, 2). This is, in all honesty, an easier fight than Valero's previous bout which saw him upsetting Sonny Boy Jaro back in August.
In co-main events, both scheduled for 10 rounds, we get more prospects in action as the unbeaten Ardie Boyosi (7-0-1, 4) battles Jessie Tuyor (6-11-4, 3) and Rajah Renoel Pael (11-0-1, 4) fights Raul Pusta Jr (8-2-2, 2). The Boyosi/Tuyor looks a relatively one sided one on paper theough the Pael/Pusta bout could well be the most competitive bout of the day.
A busy weekend in the international boxing world tends to leave us a busy weekend in terms of Asian boxing, and that's the case once again here with Asian's in action in both the East and the West.
We'll start, as usual, by looking at the more local action. We will start this by looking at an interesting 10 fight card in Batangas, Philippines which is headlined by a trio of 10 round contests.
The aforementioned trio of main events sees the promising and unbeaten Val Falcunaya (7-0, 5) fighting Ryan Soliveres (5-20-1, 1), the experienced Mark Sales (19-35-3, 5) fighting Rex Olisa (9-20-1, 7) and the well regarded Jeffrey Galero (8-0, 4) fighting the always testing Rodel Tejares (20-27-5, 5). Whilst it's hard to get excited about any of those bouts in particular it is nice two very promising prospects in with such experienced opponents at this stage in their careers and in 10 round bouts already.
As well as the trio of bouts scheduled for 10 rounds we also have 4 bouts scheduled for the 6 round limit. These bouts will see the hard hitting Marbon Bodiongan (8-1-2, 7) going for his fourth straight stoppage as he takes on Rey Ramos (4-4-1, 1); Jecker Buhawe (14-9-1, 9) attempting to end a 2 fight skid as he fights Mabert Paulino (2-15); Jhon Gemino (8-2, 2) ending a 2 year break from the ring to take on Jerald Cortes (3-7-4, 2) and a bout for Rodynie Rafol (10-5-2, 4), though his opponent has not yet been announced.
The card however kicks off with the opening bouts, a trio scheduled for 4 rounds. In these bouts the win-less pair of Honesto Luha (0-2) and Aprilito Agcopra (0-1-1) will battle off in the hope of scoring their first win; debuting pair Julbert Tubiano (0-0) and Ronie R.H. Gaton (0-0) will face off in a battle of debutants and Kingjiro Saoboy (0-0) will seek a debuting victory as he takes on Ryan Medes (0-1-1).
The other Asian card takes place in Tsukuba, Japan where we have a 9 fight card headlined by a bout between Tatsuya Takahashi (15-4-2, 10), the #7 ranked Japanese Bantamweight, and Kanae Onogi (6-5, 3) in what should be an easy nights work for Takahashi who will be looking for a domestic title bout in the near future. We'll need to be honest and say that this isn't an amazing main event.
Unfortunately the undercard isn't particularly great either with a bout between Kurihara Toshihiro (4-5-1, 3) and Ryo Narizuka (5-4) acting as the co-chief support bout alongside a contest that sees Joe Takeshima (4-3, 1) battling Koki Yoshida (4-2, 2). Neither of these fights look outstanding on paper though both do look genuinely competitive.
The rest of the card, all 6 bouts, are scheduled for 4 rounds. We expect the show to kick off with an all debutant bout between Kurata Takuya (0-0) and Yano Nori Mamoru (0-0). This is one of 3 all debutant bouts on show with us also expecting bouts between Masato Yamawaki (0-0) and Ueno Takamasa (0-0) as well as a bout between Masato Motohashi (0-0) and Ryo Yabe (0-0). As well as the 3 all debutant bouts there will also be a debut for Akira Narusawa (0-0) who will fight Masaki Sakamoto (3-9-1).
In the two remaining bouts, that don't feature a debutant, we will see Satoru Morishita (2-3, 1) facing Hideki Suzuki (2-3-1) and Yuya Nemoto (1-1) fighting Japanese based Colombian Elfelos Vega (1-1, 1) who was unfortunate to be defeated last time out by Hisao Narita.
In Canada former Russian amateur star Artur Beterbiev (1-0, 1) looks to shoot his name up the rankings as he takes on the experienced Rayco Saunders (23-20-2, 10). Although it's just Beterbiev's second pro fight he has had a wealth of experience in the amateurs and should know enough to get past Saunders here.
The US plays host to a second former Russian amateur stand out as Matt Korobov (20-0, 12) battles Grady Brewer (30-16, 16). Unfortunately Korobov's career so far has been a disappointment and having been a professional for almost 5 years we'd have expected Korobov to have been much further on in terms of development. Hopefully he can see off Grady here and kick start things.
Staying in the US for a moment, there is also a contest involving US based Uzbek born fighter Rahman Mustafa Yusubov (9-11, 7). Dubbed “Genghis Khan”, Yusubov has been struggling for wins in recent years and will likely struggle again here as he takes on Paul Mendez (13-2-1, 5) in California.
And finally in Mexico we expect the unbeaten Kaewfah Tor Buamas (11-0, 7) to take on Adrian Estrella (13-0, 13) in what is sure to be an explosive encounter with the winner almost certain to take victory by stoppage, one way or another.
The Asian actions this week continues with a very interesting day of fights on Friday. We have action in Japan, with the second day of "Rookie of the East" semi-finals, a show in Thailand with title action, a genuinely interesting card in Kazakhstan, a show in Russia and of course Asian's fighting outside of Asia.
We'll start our look at the fights by beginning in Japan with the 12 bout card to find the finalists for the "Rookie of the East" competition.
The show opens with a bout at Minimumweight as Naoki Akagi (2-2-2, 1) battles Yoshinori Wakahara (4-3, 1). Compared with "the first semi final" in the division this is admittedly a let down, though of course the opening semi was, on paper, an outstanding match up.
The Light Flyweight division gives us a much more interesting contest as hard hitting 17 year old Ryuto Maekawa (5-0, 4) looks for just his second win in Japan, taking on the difficult to defeat Rei Ochiai (1-1-3). With 4 majority decisions on his record in his 5 bouts Ochiai keeps things competitive win, lose or draw and could give Maekawa a very hard time here.
In the Flyweight division Ryuto Oho (3-0, 2) tackles Katsunori Shimooki (3-2-1) before a Super Flyweight bout between the unbeaten Seiya Fujikita (4-0, 1) and Hiroto Kurosawa (5-1, 3).
The Bantamweight division sees Yuto Sasamori (5-3, 3) fighting Yukichi Hara (4-2, 1) in what looks like a decent bout on paper with Super Bantamweight action following on as Tatsuya Mukai (5-1-2, 1) fights Gaku Aikawa (2-0-1) in a potentially fantastic match up.
The Featherweight division gives us Naoto Moriya (4-0, 1) against Shingo Kusano (5-2-1, 3). Although Kusano's record is blotchy he has won his last 4 and could well prove to be a match for the unbeaten Moriya. Following the Featherweight contest fans will get to see unbeaten Super Featherweights collide as Ryosuke Suzuki (4-0) fights Yoshimichi Matsumoto (3-0, 2) in what genuinely looks like the fight of the card.
At Lightweight Akio Tomiyama (5-3, 4) looks to extend his 3 fight T/KO run as he battles fellow puncher Ryosuke Takami (2-0, 2) in what promises to be an explosive contest before Yuki Nagano (2-1, 2) battles Takuya Matsusaka (4-1, 4) at Light Welterweight in another potential shoot out.
The second to last bout on the show takes place at Welterweight as Nobuaki Sakae (2-2-1, 1) fights Kota Kakiuchi (2-4, 2) in a less than inspiring looking contest before a Middleweight bout between the Albanian born Altin Pepa (2-0, 2) and Agoura Masaru (3-1, 2).
In Thailand we expect a more notable name in action with Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (31-2, 19) expected to defend his WBC Youth World Light Flyweight title. Unfortunately we haven't got any further details on the card as of yet.
At the city of Astana in Kazakhstan we get a really interesting loking card. The highlight bout, for us, sees the very talented teenager Roman Zhailauov (9-0, 7) taking on compatriot Kanat Kartenbayev (10-5-2, 4) in what is a step up for Zhailauov. The bout sees Zhailauov defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Welterweight title as well as attempting to claim the PABA "interim" Welterweight belt and the Kazakhstani Welterweight title. Although it's still very early days in the career of Zhailauov some are already talking about him being the next star of Kazakhstani boxing.
Whilst we're looking forward to the Zhailauov/Kartenbayev fight it's actually just one of a quadtrain of title bouts on the show with others including Farhad Ospanov (4-2, 2) fighting Zhandos Zhetpisbayev (6-6, 2) in a battle over the Kazakhstani Super Bantamweight title and Behzod Nabiev (21-5-1, 15) fighting Meirbek Sabirov (2-4, 1) for the WBC Asia Council Continental Light Welterweight title.
The remaining title bout is a genuinely exciting looking bout as Russian Maxim Maslov (11-1-1, 8) battles Uzbekistan's Elyor Gulomov (8-1-1, 7) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Cruiserweight title. Whilst neither man will ever go on to major world honours this should be very fun to watch as long as it lasts.
On the under-card we appear have a rescheduling of an earlier card and the bouts will feature Bakhtiyar Eyubov (3-0, 3), Murat Nurkasymov (0-0) and Kanat Abdrakhmanov (0-0) though none of these men currently have opponents listed.
In Russia there is a car in Podolsk. This show is expected to feature 4 bouts with Alexander Ivanov (3-0) fighting Ravil Mukhamadiyarov (10-50-2, 8), Gegam Mkrtchyan (1-0) battling Arkadiy Arutiunian (1-0) and action from both Mikhail Smirnov (5-0, 3) and Mikhail Sukiasyan (2-2), though these two men don't appear to have opponents as of yet.
Finally onto the international action which sees Australia again welcoming Asian fighters in to their rings. In New South Wales we expect to see Arnel Tinampay (21-15-1, 7), of the Philippines, fight the unbeaten Sam Ah-See (7-0-1, 6) and Indonesian Aswin Cabuy (14-42-3, 7) in action against Joel Camilleri (3-2, 2).
After originally getting this written we have since heard that Yemeni's Ali Raymi (12-0, 12), the man with 12 straight opening round victories, will be returning to action for the first time since July 14th. Raymi is expected to fight his 13th unbeaten opponent as he takes on Asam Dolbhante (4-0, 1)
The card, rumoured to feature a staggering 20 bouts, is thought to be have a bout between Yasin Abdulkhalik (7-0, 3) and Abdu Rafik (2-0) as the chief support.
This week is a huge one for those following the "Rookie of the Year" competition in Japan. Thursday sees the first of two semi-final shows for "East Rookie of the Year" with Friday having the second of the semi-finals (with the winners meeting later in the year).
The opening bout, as with pretty much all of the "Rookie" shows, is at Minimumweight as we get a battle of unbeatens with Naoyuki Tsukada (3-0-1, 2) fighting Kenichi Miyazaki (4-0-1, 1) in a really promising match up. Although unlikely to be explosive this looks like an excellent match up and something the "Rookie" tournament should be applauded for giving us.
In the Light Flyweight division Tomoyuki Kaneko (5-1, 2) appears to have an easy route to the final taking on Yuta Sakai (2-4) who has never beaten a fighter with a winning record. Thankfully we get back to competitive looking action at Flyweight as Kenta Yamada (5-2) fights Yuji Okinori (5-0, 1) in what, like the opener, looks to be an excellent match up.
At Super Flyweight we expect to see Takahiro Kinoshita (3-2-1, 2) fighting the unbeaten Jo Tanooka (5-0-3) before the Bantamweight clash between Yuki Arai (3-1, 1) and Kazuki Yokoyama (4-1, 3). Interestingly Tanooka is the sole man to defeat Arai and a rematch between the two, somewhere down the line, would certainly be worthy of merit if both manage to claim the "Rookie" title at their respective weights.
Super Bantamweight action sees Ryuta Nakajima (5-1-1, 4) fighting Naoto Fujimoto (4-2-1, 2) before Featherweights collide in a bout between Yudai Tamagawa (5-3, 2) and Shinya Nemoto (3-3, 1). Incidentally the bout between Tamagawa and Nemoto is a rematch of a bout from last year that saw Tamagawa stopping Nemoto in the second round.
Up at Super Featherweight Takahiro Araki (3-1, 2) fights the unbeaten 18 year old Kazuma Sanpei (6-0, 2) before Lightweight action sees Yuzo Mitani (5-1, 2) fighting the hard hitting Reo Komiyama (5-1-2, 5).
The penultimate bout on the show sees Light Welterweights in action as Motoyoshi Honma (1-1-1) battles Shingo Yabu (2-2-1) in what looks to be the weakest bout on the show before we get the finale at Middleweight in a fight between Wataru Seino (2-1, 2) and Kenyu Ojima (5-1, 3).
Note-There was a Welterweight bout originally scheduled for the show, though this has since been cancelled.
As well as the Japanese show we also expect a Russian show in Ekaterinburg though at the moment details are scarce with only Ruslan Sirazhev (0-1) and Alexey Tukhtarov (3-1-1, 3) being listed as fighting on it.