To kick off a new month we have some genuinely exciting looking match ups. Not only do we have a second successive day with a PABA title fight in Thailand but we also have a brilliant show in Japan courtesy of Reason promotions.
We'll start by talking about the Thai contest. Like yesteday's bout we believe this will be televised on Thai Channel 7 as Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat (49-2, 32) defends his PABA Bantamweight title for the fifth time this year. The busy Tabtimdeang will be facing limited Filipino Edison Berwela (12-26-6, 3) a man who comes in to the bout with just a sole win in his last 10 contests.
Whilst Tabtimdeang was given a scare last time, out as he narrowly defeated Alvin Bais, we'd be shocked if he was given any sort of a test by Berwela here.
Over in Japan we have "Dangan 86" part of the "A Class Tournament" an excellent looking 9 fight card.
This Japanese card card begins with a trio of bouts scheduled for 4 rounds. The first of those will see the winless Kosuke Miura (0-5-1) fighting the debuting Oshita Koichi (0-0). The Koichi/Miura bout will be followed by an all debutant contest as Akihiro Shimogaki (0-0) battles Kimihiro Nakagawa (0-0).
In the third and final bout scheduled for 4 rounds we get a C class tournament contest as the unbeaten 23 year old Ken Kodama (1-0, 1) takes on fellow unbeaten novice Ippei Azuma (2-0, 1).
Following the 4 round contests we then move in to the Class A tournament bouts. The first of those will take place at Super Featherweight where the hard hitting Nakano Kazuya (5-2, 5) fights Ribo Takahata (9-3-1, 2). Whilst Takahata brings a 3-3 record from his last 6 in to this contests his losses have come to talented fighters and he should give Kazuya a very tough contest.
The Kazuya/Takahata fight is immediately followed by a second Super Featherweight contest. In this bout the highly experienced Akihiko Nago (31-7-2, 15), a former two-time world title challenger, faces the twice beaten Takaomi Abe (14-2-2, 1). Nago, who was a Japanese champion way back in 1998, is now 37 and really in the twilight of a long career though will be hoping that a tournament win here could revitalise his career and give him another chance to claim a Japanese title.
Following the successive Super Featherweight contests we get the first A Class tournament bout in the Super Flyweight division. In this bout the once beaten Shohei Kikuzato (9-1, 4) takes on the more experienced Kohei Kubo (15-4-1, 10), a man with as many stoppages as Kikuzato has total bouts. Coming in to this bout with a notable win last time out over Yoichi Ide it's hard not to back Kikuzato, despite the experience edge being with Kubo.
In a Bantamweight contest the once beaten Hiroaki Teshigawara (7-1-1, 4) looks to score his most notable victory to date as he fights Kota Sato (9-4-1, 4). Sato has lost 2 of his last 5 though could well know too many tricks for Teshigawara who has been fighting at a lower level than Sato so far.
The show's penultimate contest is a Flyweight contest which sees the unbeaten Yuta Matsuo (5-0, 3) taking his first real test. The unbeaten Matsuo takes on the more experienced Musashi Suzuki (9-1, 4), a man who's only loss came to Kohei Kubo almost 2 years ago. Matsuo will be tested, though the big question is whether not not he can pass the test.
In the card's final contest the hard hitting Hayato Kimura (19-5, 14),the fomer Korean Super Flyweight champion, takes on Junichiro Sugita (16-8, 7). Although Kimura isn't in great form losing 3 of his last 6 and 4 of his last 8 he's in significantly better form than Sugita who has lost his last 5 and 7 of his last 9.
As well as the great show in Japan and the title fight in Thailand we continue to have action thanks to several international fights and a card in Yemen.
The Yemen card is headlined by Ali Raymi (17-0, 17) who looks to continue his run of opening round victories as he takes on Mustafa Humaidi (6-0, 2). If Raymi managed to take Humaidi out in the opening round he'd then just be 1 fight away from tying the record of most straight opening round stoppages.
As well as Raymi/Humaidi we expect two other bouts on the show. The most interesting of those will see Ali Salem (9-0, 1) fight Prince Maz (2-0, 2) with the winner likely getting a shot at Raymi next time out. The other contest that we expect to be on the show is a bout between Akram Jafwi (3-0, 1) and Esayas Dagim (2-2, 1).
The international action is spread across Latin America and the UK. In Mexico the Filipino-America Ana Julaton (12-4-1, 2) battles Perla Hernandez (10-6-3, 2) in what promises to be an interesting female contest. In the UK journeyman Youssef Al Hamidi (12-60-3, 1) faces another probable loss as he fights the light punching Chris Goodwin (16-2-1) in what is almost certainly going to be a distance contest.
Although much of the last week, aside from Monday, has been quiet in terms of Asian boxing it's fair to say that it's been a calm before a storm with Saturday being nothing short of a spectacular day for fight fans. Whilst we're obviously biased in favour of Asian boxing it's fair to say that no boxing fan has any right to be disappointed with today.
Just to show how varied today's action is, at least 1 Asian fighter is fighting in Europe, North America, South America, Oceania and of course Asia it's self!
For us the most promising bout takes place in Cancun, Mexico as WBC Super Featherweight champion Takashi Miura (25-2-2, 19) takes on highly reegarded challenger Sergio Thompson (27-2, 25). It's not often a fight has “fireworks” written all over it but that's exactly what we have here with two big hitting fighters getting together in a bout that honestly has the feel of being something very memorable. If you action hard hitting this is really a bout you must catch.
On the undercard of the Thompson/Miura bout there will also be a contest involving Filipino-American Ana Julaton (12-3-1, 2). The former WBO female Super Bantamweight champion takes on Celina Salazar (4-1-2, 1) of America. Although Salazar has a decent looking record she has won just 1 of her last 4 and Julaton should probably go in to the bout as a small favourite.
Whilst the Miura/Thompson fight is the bout we're looking forward to the most we'll be honest and say it's run closely by the main event of "Red Mist" the WBO Light Heavyweight title contest between Britain's Nathan Cleverly (26-0, 12) and Russian challenger Sergey Kovalev (21-0-1, 19). Although Cleverly is the defending champion he is seen as the slight under-dog against the monstrously hard punching yet technically sound Russian who is expected by many to expose Cleverly's limitations at the world level.
Also on Clerverly/Kovalev card is British based Syrian Youssef Al Hamidi (12-56-3, 1) who will be facing the promising Craig Evans (9-0, 3)
Of course it's not just those two major cards with an Asian interest taking place outside of Asia but there's also major international bouts in the US featuring fighters from Asia.
One of those, possibly the most notable, is in Texas as Lightweight contender Denis Shafikov (32-0-1, 17) of Russia, makes his US debut and faces Santos Benavides (23-3-2, 17) in a promising 10 round bout.
It's not only the Lightweight bout in Texas that's worth our attention but also a trio of bouts in Utah. The most interesting of these sees the once beaten Bahodir Mamadjonov (13-1, 9) taking on Rynell Griffin (7-16-2, 2). Mamadjonov, of Uzbekistan, is a very strong fighter who impressed many last time out when he stopped the previously undefeated Cuban Angelo Santana and we're hoping that he'll manage to build up to a world title fight in the next 2 or 3 years as.
On the same card as the Mamadjonov fight we also expect to see Russian youngster Evgeny Chuprakov (5-0, 2) and Light Welterweight prospect Fedor Papazov (12-0, 8) though neither man appear to have an opponent at the moment.
Staying on international soil there is also action for Filipinos in Australia with journeymen Robert Oyan (20-39-5, 7) taking on the hotly tipped George Kambosos Jr (1-0, 1) and Aswin Cabuy (14-41-3, 7) faces Costa Katsounis (8-1, 5). Whilst we don't give Cabuy any chance we do feel that Oyan should be able to pose Kambosos some interesting questions in their bout.
Staying in Australia, though on a different card, Gretchen Abaniel (12-4, 3) will face Fahpratan Looksaikongdin (7-5), James Mokoginta (24-11-2, 12) will look to claim the Interim PABA Super Bantamweight title as he takes on Terry TJ Doheny (4-0, 3) and the experienced Jonathan Simamora (23-23-5, 8) looks for a major upset against Ben McCulloch (11-0, 8) for the PABA Super Middleweight tit;le.
Despite all the international action there is also action in Asia with 2 cards in the Philippines. Unfortunately details on both cards are scarce.
In Dipolog City the once beaten Marco Demecillo (18-1-1, 14) faces the unbeaten Giovanni Escaner (10-0, 6) in a battle for the Philippines Games & Amusement Board (GAB) Super Flyweight title. Although we don't know the rest of the card we'll admit that if we were around the area we'd be watching to catch this one live.
The other Filipino card takes place at Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur and so far we have details on just 2 contests from it as Powell Balaba (6-9-1, 3) takes on Thai visitor Panmongkol Ekarin (10-4, 5) and Bernard Alipan (3-4, 3) faces Jomar Ministerio (5-5-1, 2). It's fair to say that neither of these bouts will get many excited, especially with the fight that's taking places in Dipolog city.