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.
After last weeks busy week in Japan it seems likely to take until Friday (today!) for the first card in in the country this week.
Held at the Kobe Central Gym, the card looks a bit barren at the moment (we are expecting more action to take place than we currently know about) though does look interesting.
The bouts that we do know are taking place see unbeaten pair of Shohei Okuda (7-0, 4) facing Burning Ishii (4-0, 1) in a very well made match and Yuhei Suzuki (11-3, 8) battling Accel Sumiyoshi (3-1, 1). Whilst we love the look of the unbeaten clash the other bout doesn't look as good on paper but we imagine that it will be less of a mismatch than the records indicate with 23 year old Suzuki looking to rebuild after losing 3 of his last 7.
A 3rd bout is listed though only Takahiro Shigee (7-0-1, 6) is listed as being part of it. We're really interested in Shigee who some in Japan are tipping as an exciting up and comer, though of course it could be a while before he makes any sort of a real splash.
We also get action in Thailand as PABA Welterweight title holder Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (19-0, 14) defends his belt against Behzod Nabiev (21-4-1, 15). This is a bit of a step up for Teerachai, though not one he should struggle with in all honesty.
As well as the action in Thailand and Japan there is also notable action in Russia thanks to 2 world title fights. WBA Heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin (25-0, 17) looks to make the 4th defense of his title as he takes on unbeaten Pol Andrzej Wawrzyk (27-0, 13). We've previewed this fight in full here. The other title fight sees WBA Cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev (25-1, 19) taking on former champion Guillermo Jones (38-3-2, 20) (a full preview of that fight is here).
And finally in Britain where Muheeb Fazeldin (1-0) returns to the ring for his second professional bout. The Yemen born youngster is only at the start of his promising career but many in Britain are tipping him as one to watch already.
It'd be an upset if either champion lost their title here.