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).
A busy Saturday sees the Philippines taking centre stage in the the Asian boxing world with two notable cards.
In Muntinlupa City, and televised on NBN Channel 4, there is a 10 fight card, featuring an impressive 4 title bouts.
The show, of course, kicks off with none title action and features 6 non-title bouts. These are expected to start with the unbeaten Marlon Arcilla (2-0) battling Eric Pansa (1-1-1) and Fighting Heno (0-0-3) in action against Julius Bala (2-1) in what we expect to be 4 round bouts.
In 8 round action Eranio Semillano (6-5, 3) faces Bryan Vicera (11-6-3, 5) in what promises to be a solid under-card bout before we have a series of 10 round contests. In the non-title 10 round bouts Mike Espanosa (11-6, 7) fights the unbeaten Renren Pasignahin (5-0-1, 1), Virgil Puton (10-3, 4) battles Daniel Ferreras (12-6-2, 4) and Jaymart Toyco (12-4, 8) attempts to defeat journyeman Michael Rodriguez (13-36-1, 3).
The first of the title fights on the show is expected to be a contest for the vacant Philippines Boxing Federation (PBF) Super Featherweight title. This will be between the "Unpredictable" Ronald Pontillas (15-6-3, 7), a former OPBF champion, and former national Super Bantamweight champion Balweg Bangoyan (18-8, 7).
We expect the second title bout to be between Rene Dacquel (10-1, 3) and Angelito Merin (6-2-2, 1) with the winner getting the vacant WBC Youth Intercontinental Super Flyweight title, a belt previously held by Carlos Cuadras and Stephane Jamoye.
In the first of two 12 round title bouts we expect to see Jerson Luzarito (7-3-3, 3) fighting Ronelle Ferreras (12-5-2, 5) for the interim PABA Minimumweight title. This bout could put the winner in with a good chance of fighting for the WBA Minimumweight title in the next 12 months, especially considering the storng rumour that Ryo Miyazaki is set to vacate.
The last of the title fights sees former world title challenger Ardin Diale (21-8-3, 8) defending his Philippines Games & Amusement Board (GAB) Flyweight title for the fourth time. Diale will be taking on Jeffrey Cerna (14-7, 5) who comes in to the bout after back-to-back victories on the domestic scene.
The card above is one of two in Meetro Manila with the other taking place in Mandaluyong City. This second card, a 6 fight show promoted by ALA, is a much lesser card.
The main event on the ALA show sees Rene Bestudio (15-5-4, 5) battling Jonel Alibio (16-16-4, 8) in a 10 round contest. When you compare this bout to the ones in Muntinlupa, it's fair to say that this show pales in comparison to the other one.
In the co-feature of the ALA show the hard hitting Jimmy Aducal (6-2-2, 5) fights Argie Toquero (4-3-1, 3) whilst the unbeaten Richard Claveras (3-0-2, 3) battles the once beaten Jesame Dela Cerna (4-1-3, 1). These bouts, both scheduled for 8, should be interesting though we doubt either will be great.
The resy of the card will see JC Francisco (3-6-1) battling Dexter Dimaculangan (3-2-3, 1), Philip Luis Cuerdo (0-0) fighting Roderick Naduma (0-2) and, in a contest between debutants Robin Dingcong (0-0) and Joel Lumangcag (0-0).
As well as the Filipino action there is also an Asian interest in both Australia and the UK.
In Australia the Thai trio of Dennapa Bigshotcamp (12-27, 4), Dechapon Suwunnalird (5-24, 1) and Komgrit Nanakorn (17-19, 7) are in action.
Of the three thai's it's Dennapa that has the hardest match up taking on the unbeaten Ozan Craddock (5-0, 4). Saying that however it's hard to imagine any of the Thai;s winnning with Dechapon taking on the promising Nathan Carroll (9-1-1, 3) and Komgrit fighting the hard hitting Balazs Varga (8-4, 7).
The action continues in the UK as Edmund Gerber (23-1, 14), originally of Kazakhstan, takes on former Heavyweight world title challenger Derrick Chisora (17-4, 11). With Gerber having looked incredibly poor in his most recent fights it would be far from a shock to see him stopped here by Chisora who is clearly looking for a second world title fight, or a shot at the Haye/Fury winner later this month.
What a great day today looks like being. We not only have Asian fighters competing around the globe but we also have a chance to crown an Asian world champion and the continuation a modern day Asian great.
In Hyogo, Japan we see the return to the ring of Hozumi Hasegawa (31-4, 13) who is fighting for just the 3rd time since being stopped by Jhonny Gonzalez back in April 2011. Hasegawa has, on paper anyway, a very easy nights work as he takes on Thai Veerapol Sor Chantasith (3-3). With Chantasith having not fought at all in 3 years it's almost certain that Hasegawa is looking to just shake off some rust.
Also in Japan though in Tokyo is action for Kuninobu Shimamura (14-2, 9) who will face Yusuke Kikuchi (11-4, 4) in what should be a pretty even match up. This card also features Rokuhei Suzuki (7-4-2, 3) who fights Takenori Ohashi (9-3, 6) in what should again be an excellently matched bout.
In Thailand we have a chance to see Kompayak Porpramook (49-4, 34) attempt to claim the "interim" WBA Flyweight title as he faces Jean Piero Perez (20-5-1, 14). This bout has been fully previewed here.
In the Philippines the "Southville 3 Multi-purpose Gymnasium" hosts arguably the biggest card of the day. The main event of the card sees unbeaten youngster Cris Paulino (10-0, 3) attempt to claim the Filipino (GAB) Flyweight title from Ardin Diale (19-7-3, 6). This is a bout we're looking forward to and have heard really things about Paulino who some view as one of the more over-looked Filipino youngsters.
The same Filipino card sees Jaymart Toyco (11-3, 7) looking for his 7th straight victory as he takes on Jovel Romasasa (10-9, 4) over 10 rounds, in fact the card features 3 bouts scheduled for 10. The other 2 longer bouts see Dan Nazareno Jr (17-10, 13) taking on Alejandro Anas (4-11-1, 2) and Virgil Puton (8-3, 3) fighting Rex Olisa (9-18-1, 7).
With 4 bouts schedules for 8 it's the Donaire name that stands out as Richard Donaire (5-7-1, 2), the cousin of Nonito Donaire, faces Pit Anacaya (8-19-2, 1). The other 8 round bouts feature the promising Robert Udtuhan (18-1-2, 12) who fights Edison Berwela (11-25-6, 2), Mike Espanosa (10-6, 6) who is pitted against Jeson Berwela (4-13, 2) and Angelito Merin (5-2-2, 1) who's matched with Jonathan Ligas (4-4-1).
Over the 6 round distance Richard Claveras (2-0-2, 2) will be looking to maintain his unbeaten record as he goes up against Richie Bagaan (1-1-1). The card's only 4 rounder sees the unbeaten Joel Taduran (1-0) taking on debutant Jean Luis Araneta (0-0).
In international action Chinese born Kazakh Kanat Islam (10-0, 9) looks for his biggest win in the pro ranks as he faces the experienced Colombian Emilio Julio Julio (26-10-2, 19). The 2008 Olympic bronze medal winner, has been incredibly active and this will be his 11th fight in just 7 months yet with his amateur pedigree and genuine power. We're excited about this guys potential and think he's really one to keep an eye out for.
There is also international action for Filipino Ronald Pontillas (15-5-3, 7) who travels all the way to Ghana to face Emmanuel Tagoe (20-1, 8) for the
vacant WBA International Super Featherweight title and the WBO Africa Super Featherweight title. We've got to admit, we have no idea how Pontillas qualifies for the WBO Africa title but good luck to "Unpredictable" .