Another weekend begins in the boxing world and again we get a busy one with Asian fighters fighting both at home and around the world.
The most notable card in the Asian boxing world this weekend is a Teiken promotions card from Tokyo which features 7 bouts including 2 very notable ones.
In the main even of the Teiken card former linear and WBC Flyweight champion Toshiyuki Igarashi (17-2-1, 10) takes on Mexican veteran, and former world title challenger himself, Omar Soto (23-10-2, 15). The bout, scheduled for 10 rounds, will be Igarashi's first since losing his titles to Akira Yaegashi back in April and although he's stepping up to Super Flyweight it'd be a shock to see anything but a clear win for the former champion.
The co-feature of the card sees former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda (27-3-2, 12) face Alejandro Hernandez (25-9-2, 14) as Shimoda loosk to put an unexpected draw to Roli Gasca earlier this year behidn him. Hernandez is a very capable fighter, despite his patchy record, and his most notable losses have come against excellent fighters such as Leo Santa Cruz, Omar Andres Narvaez and Carlos Tamara whilst he also has a draw to Marvin Sonsona.
In the final of arguably a triple header Yasutaka Ishimoto (22-6, 5) takes on the experienced Ignacio "Charly" Valenzuela (20-17-4, 9). Although Ishimoto isn't as much of a name as Shimoda and Igarashi he did send shockwaves through the boxing world earlier this year when he upset Wilfredo Vazquez Jr, he may well only be two or three wins away from a possible world title fight.
From the rest of the card the only really notable bout is one between Masanobu Nakazawa (12-1-1, 4) and Kazutaka Takakuwa (9-6, 2). Although on paper this looks like a clear victory for Nakazawa it does need to be noted that he's been fortunate in several of his recent contests.
The rest of the card sees Yuichi Yokoyama (11-2, 10) fighting Yasumasa Eguchi (6-8-2, 3), Heisuke Ono (2-2-2, 2) battling Hikaru Takaki (3-3, 3) and Yoshinobu Kakinaga (1-0) facing Katsuaki Kinoshita (0-2) in the show's opening bout.
As well as the Japanese card there is two shows in the Philippines, both of which feature some genuinely interesting match ups.
In Cebu, where there's a 7 fight show, we will see a main event between Vergilio Silvano (16-2-1, 10) and Jetly Purisima (17-12-4, 5) with the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title up for grabs. With the records of the two men it's easy to favour Silvano for the victory but Purisima has mixed at a much higher level and will be looking for his biggest win here, a victory that isn't totally out of his grasp.
In the chief support bout we expect to see a return to the ring for former WBO Super Flyweight champion Marvin Sonsona (16-1-1, 13). "Marvelous" Marvin has only fought twice in the last 3 years but at just 23 years old he can certainly get back to the top, well as long as he can sort out his issues out of the ring.
Although Sonsona's opponent is yet to be named we wouldn't expect anyone too tough for him here though hopefuly he'll show commitment to the sport, something that has clearly been lacking recently.
The rest of the card sadly lacks anything too interesting with the unbeaten Jhaleel Payao (5-0, 3) looking to extend his unbeaten record against Roel Garcia (5-10-2, 1). The only other bout worth noting from the undercard sees Jimboy Haya (2-0-1, 2) facing fellow unbeaten novice Jhon Kenan Villaflor (2-0-1, 1).
The remaining bouts on show are Jordan Catubay (4-1-1, 2) battling Junny Salogaol (4-4-4, 4), Jessie Suacasa (2-0, 1) facing Salatiel Amit (1-0, 1) and the debut of Cristian Amante (0-0) who fights Gary Rojo (1-5).
The second Filipino card, taking place in Metro Manila, is headlined by a WBC International Flyweight bout as Renan Trongco (13-4, 8) battles China's Wang Xin Hua (10-8-1). Hua, like many Chinese fighters, is tough and much better than his record indicates so don't expect to see him blown away by Trongco here.
Unfortunately the rest of the card here is weak. We expect the opening fight to be between debutant Ariel Benedict Escayo (0-0) and Arnold Garcia (0-1), before winless pair Jay-Ar Campana (0-1) and Kenjie Watanabe (0-1) meet in a "somebody's 0 has got to go" bout.
The first of the cards 6 round bouts is expected to be a rather mismatched bout between Just Bornilla (4-1, 1) and Edsil Jungco (0-4-4) before the second 6 round bout which pitches Warren Mambuanag (6-2-2, 3) and Roldan Aldea (3-1-1, 2) together.
The 8 round bouts on the show see Vergel Rivera (3-0-1) in action, albeit against an opponent that we aren't certain about, Lloyd Jardeliza (3-0-3, 2) facing Arjet Caballes (6-27-5, 3) and Cirilo Espino (18-12-3, 11) up against Jomar Borbon (3-14-2, 1).
In the chief support bout the hard hitting Gabriel Royo (8-7-2, 7) takes on the limited Samuel Apuya (7-15-1, 4).
The final Asian card takes place Kazakhstan. We expect Bakhtiyar Eyubov (3-0, 3) to headline the card which also features debutants Kanat Abdrakhmanov (0-0) and Murat Nurkasymov (0-0). Sadly all 3 men are down to face as yet named opponents.
On the international stage we expect Asian's to be in action in Australia, Denamrk and Germany.
The Australian card, in Bunbury, sees a trio of Asian with Filipino Allan Tanada (12-2-3, 5) fighting in the main event against Matt Garlett (11-1, 6). This bout will be for the WBC International Super Featherweight title and likely help move the winner to within a few fights of a possible world title bout.
The other other bouts in Australia see Thai's in action with Rachamongkol Sor Pleonchit (14-5, 6) battling former world title challenger Naoufel Ben Rabeh (36-3, 19) and Thongthai Rajanondh (16-14, 4) fighting the debuting Nathaniel May (0-0).
In Denmark the Lebanese born "Baby face" Ahmad Kaddour (26-2-1, 10) faces Aleksei Tsatiasvili (4-4, 2) and Uzbek born Artem Solomko (11-23-1, 4) faces the dangerous Oscar Ahlin (7-0, 7).
The final bout of note sees Rola El Halabi (12-1, 6), also originally from Lebanon, in action against the unbeaten Sopo Putkaradze (6-0-2, 1). This will be El Halabi's first defense of the WBF female Light Welterweight bout and we expect her to get a real hero's welcome to celebrate the turn around of her career after being shot 2 years ago by her step father
It's not too often that we get to see Asian's competiting in 3 seperate would title bouts but that's exactly what this Saturday brings with 3 world title bouts spread across 3 countries. As well as the world title bouts there are also some other notable bouts taking place around the world.
The first fight involving an Asian is expected in Australia as Filipino Allan Tanada (11-2-3, 5) takes on fellow Filipino Michael Correa (3-5-3, 1). Although Correa is based in Australia and will be the "home" fighter here it's hard to see him defeating the very talented Tanada.
We expect the next show to take place will be in the Philippines as we get to the only major card held in Asia.
The main attraction here is the first defense of the WBO Minimumweight title by the unbeaten Merlito Sabillo (22-0, 11) who takes on Jorle Estrada (17-6, 6). This will be Sabillo's second successive bout against against a Colombian following his 8th round stoppage of Luis De la Rosa in March. We've previewed this bout in full here.
The card starts off with the two very promising youngsters. Firstly the debut of Vic Saludar (0-0) the former amateur standout and brother of the highly touted Froilan Saludar. Saludar will begin his professional campaign by taking on Juanito Hundante (1-1). Don't be surprised if Saludar makes a very impressive deubt.
The second of the promising yougster's is Albert Pagara (16-0, 11) who faces Thailand's hard hitter Phupha Por Nobnom (10-8-1, 9). This will be the second meeting between these two fighters with the first seeing Pagara easily despatching the Thai last year. This seems more about keeping Pagara busy than anything else.
The undercard also features the former world title challenger AJ Banal (28-2-1, 20) returns to the ring for the first time since last October, when he was stopped by Pungluang Sor Singyu in a bout for the WBO Bantamweight title. The 24 year old Banal will be facing the naturally bigger Mexican Abraham Gomez (18-7-1, 9) in a bout that could spell the end of Banal's career if he doesn't come out with a victory.
In the chief support bout the very highly regarded Arthur Villanueva (22-0, 12) takes on Mexican banger Arturo Badillo (21-4, 19). The 24 year old Villanueva will be hoping to add the WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title to his ever growing collection of belts and knows that a victory here could move him to within a fight or two or a world title bout.
In Europe we have two Asian fighters in title fight action.
In Monaco the unbeaten Russian, Khabib Allakhverdiev (18-0, 8) looks to make the first defense of WBA Light Welterweight title as he takes on the experienced Frenchman Souleymane M'baye (40-4-1, 22). Although M'baye is close to home it's hard to imagine him beating Allakhverdiev who looks like one of the most over-looked fighters at 140lbs. We've previewed this fight in full here.
The other European based world title fight sees Japanese Super Middleweight Yuzo Kiyota (23-3-1, 21) attempt to claim the WBO Super Middleweight title from Robert Stieglitz (44-3, 25). A victory for Kiyota has been ruled out by most though if he can upset Stieglitz he would become Japan's first ever champion above Middleweight and their first ever WBO champion. As with the other world titles bouts we've previewed this contest in full here.
In Mexico the hard hitting Riyo Togo (10-4-1, 9) looks to repeat history as she takes on Mariana Juarez (36-7-3, 16) for the second time. When the women first met in April, Togo shocked "Barbie" Juarez by stopping her in 118 seconds to claim the WBC International female Super Flyweight title and this will be the first defense of that title by Togo. It's fair to say that if Togo wins again here she'll be in line for a world title fight.
Togo and Kiyota aren't the only Japanese fighters fighting on the road with former WBC Super Featherweight champion Takahiro Ao (23-3-1, 10) also fighting away from home.
Ao makes his US debut as he takes on the US based Chilean Hardy Paredes (16-11, 10). A loss here for Ao would really dent his hopes of returning to the top of the sport though with Paredes being little more than a journeyman there really shouldn't be an upset against the often over-looked Ao.
Whilst we love boxing in Asia, it's always fun when we have Asian's fighting in international bouts. Today Asian fighters are literally fighting every where.
In New South Wales Filipino's collide with the once highly ranked Allan Tanada (11-2-2, 5) facing the Australian based Filipino born veteran Roberto Oyan (20-38-4, 7). Oyan seems to have spent the past few years merely making up the numbers and we'd expect the same here against a fighter looking to rebuild his career after suffering 2 losses in his last 3 bouts.
Staying in Australia, though in Queensland Thai pair Khomkeaw Sithsaithong (6-1, 5) and Khomsan Sithsaithong (0-0) are in action. Khomkaew faces the unbeaten Dennis Hogan (11-0-1, 4) in the shows main event whilst Khomsan takes on Jarrett Owen (2-1-1, 1).
Whilst Asian's fighting in Australia is rather "common" it's much less common to see them in Denmark. Surprisingly that's where Artem Solomko (11-22-1, 4), an Uzbek born Belorussian, is fighting this weekend. Solomko faces the highly touted Norwegian Simen Smaadal (5-0, 2)
In South Africa Filipino Edrin Dapudong (28-5, 16) looks to claim the IBO Super Flyweight title as he takes on current champion Gideon Buthelezi (13-3, 4). This bout is the second between the two men who fought last Novemeber with Dapudong bein very unfortunate not to claim the title. We're expecting a very close battle here.
In Britain the Pakistan born Faheem Khan (4-0-2) faces the once beaten Gareth Heard (4-1, 1) in what looks to be a very evenly matched bout.
Arguably the most important bout howeber takes place in Argentina as the highly regarded Chika Mizutani (14-3, 7) challenges WBC female Lightweight champion Erica Anabella Farias (16-0, 9). Mizutani is in hard here but she's certainly a live under-dog and has got the ability to at least test Farias, even if she is unlikely to defeat the Argentinian champion.