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.
The weekend is of course the busiest time for boxing in both Europe and the US. Unfortunately neither Europe or the US have any genuinely massive fights this weekend and in fact you'd be hard pushed to find a better card than the one at the Korakuen Hall this Saturday.
The show, a Japanese title double header sees 6 bouts in total on the card.
The opening bout, scheduled for 4 rounds sees Suzuki Kenta (0-0) facing Yushan Masaya (0-0) in an all debutant match up in the Welterweight divsion. It appears that the card was supposed to open with a bout between Takahiko Suzuki (1-0, 1) and the debuting Yokoyama Wataru (0-0) though that now looks to have been cancelled and Kenta/Masaya has replaced it in regards to being the shows opener.
The first of 3 bouts scheduled for 8 rounds sees Yuji Hasegawa (7-2, 1) taking on veteran Dosanko Fighter Hayasaka (7-9-2, 1). Unfortunately Hayasaka comes in to the bout on the back of 5 losses and is winless in over 4 years whilst Hasegawa is on a 3 fight winning streak.
The second of the cards 8 round contests sees Yota Hori (9-1-2, 6), a fighter who held Koki Eto to a 6 round draw, taking on Filipono Ardin Diale (20-8-3, 7). Diale, a former world title challenger, looks to be the toughest challenger that Hori has faced so far and is capable of scoring the upset if he's on his game.
The final 8 round contest sees Shuji Hamada (12-5-3, 2), the #12 ranked Japanese Super Flyweight, fighting Masafumi Otake (14-10-3, 7). Hamada has had a good year with 2 straight victories following a trio of setbacks in 2011-2012 and shouldn't struggle too much with Otake despite the fact Otake is unbeaten in 4 bouts.
The first of the two Japanese title fights sees the hard hitting Tomohiro Ebisu (11-2, 11) defending his Japanese Middleweight title. Ebisu will be making the first defense of his title as he takes on former Welterweight and Light Middleweight champion Daisuke Nakagawa (21-3-2, 16), who is currently the #1 ranked contender. Although both of Ebisu's losses have come by stoppage he does hit hard and often comes out on top in a shoot out, as he did last time against the then champion Sanosuke Sasaki.
The final bout on the show sees Japanese Super Featherweight champion Daiki Kaneko (18-2-3, 11) defending his belt for the fourth time. Kaneko will be facing #11 ranked Mitsuya Omura (16-7-1, 12). This will be Omura's second attempt to claim a Japanese national title after being stopped in in a Lightweight title tilt by Nihito Arakawa.
Both of the champions will be expected to claim victory here though there is a chance that they could both be upset in what promises to be a great card from start to end.
The day's "secondary" card takes place at the Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex in Paranaque City Gabriel Elorde and the Elorde promotional outfit put on a 6 bout show. Unfortunately none of these bouts hold too much interest.
The main event, scheduled for 10 rounds, sees Cris Alfante (8-1, 2) taking on journeyman Roy Albaera (2-19-4). This is as much of a mismatch as it appears on paper with Albaera having been stopped 14 times in his 25 contests to date.
Unfortunately the shows other bouts look equally as uninteresting with Zoren Pama (3-7-3, 1) taking on Rolando Niones (4-13-2, 2); Rolden Aldea (2-1-1, 1) facing Marco Niones (3-8, 1) and Joathan Ligas (4-5-1) taking on Elbert Guardario (8-21-1, 2) in the shows 3 contests scheduled for 8 rounds.
Arguably the most competitive bout on the show is the sole 6 round contest which sees Vergel Rivera (2-0-1) fighting Raymond Empic (2-1, 1). The remaining contest on the show is a 4 round bout as Arnold Garcia (0-1) takes on debutant Ken Heart Paliprin (0-0)
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" .