To end a busy weekend of boxing in the east we have 2 more cards. One of those is in the Philippines, to genuinely end an exhaustive weekend, whilst the other in Japan effectively kicking off a new week of action.
We'll start our look at the days action in the Philippines where Elorde Int'l Productions appear to have a stacked card at The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex in Metro Manilla.
The main event here, headlining a 12 bout card, is expected to see once beaten fighters Cris Alfante (9-1, 3) and Oliver Gregorio (8-1-1, 5) clashing for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Minimumweight title. This looks like an excellent match up on paper and whilst neither man is even near being ready for a world title it should still help one of them move in the right direction.
Whilst the main event may not feature men who are ready for the world stage the one of the two chief support contests features a man who has already competed on the world stage. Sylvester Lopez (20-6-2, 15), a former WBC Super Flyweight title challenger, looks to start his career revival after just one victory in his last five contests. Lopez takes on the limited but tough Prell Tupaz (8-21-4, 1) in what should be an easy contest for Lopez.
The other chief support contest sees recent OPBF title challenger Dennis Tubieron (15-2-1, 6) looking to bounce back from his recent disappointment. Tubieron, like Lopez, will be facing a limited but tough opponent in the form of Rufino Mante (8-16-2, 4) who has only been stopped once in 26 contests.
Both of the chief support contests are scheduled for 10 rounds.
As well as the chief support contests the card has a quintet of contests scheduled for 8 rounds. From where we're sat the most intriguing of those is a contest between Cris Paulino (13-1, 3) and the experienced Pit Anacaya (8-21-2, 1). Although a mismatch on paper Anacaya has proven to be a potential banana skin on the Filipino domestic scene and could well trip up Paulino if the youngster isn't fighting at his best.
The rest of the 8 round contests sees Jonathan Ligas (5-5-1) taking on journeyman Rolando Niones (4-14-2, 2); Bebong Manalo (6-1, 3) fighting Jomar Borbon (3-14-2, 1); Kenjie Monenio (4-3-3) tackling Junjie Lauza (4-8-1, 1) and JC Francisco (4-6-1) meeting the highly experienced Rey Morano (8-37-1, 1). We've got to be honest and say that these bouts don't really do much for us though they should on the whole beef up the card and give fans in attendance their value for money.
The show features two contests scheduled for 6 rounds. The one of those that interests us sees JM Samonte (0-0), making his debut, fighting Arnold Garcia (1-1, 1) in a rare Filipino Light Heavyweight contest. The Light Heavyweight bout is joined by a contest between the unbeaten Fighting Heno (1-0-3) and Jessie Caballes (2-9).
We expect this show to kick off with with a pair of 4 round contests with Joe Misako (1-0) fighting the debuting Jomel Lumangcag (0-0) and Jon Jon Estrada (0-1) taking on Gebby Manago (0-2). Again it's hard to be too interested in these but they could turn out to be more interesting in the ring than on paper.
In Japan we have a 7 fight card, dubbed "Japan, Orient Pacific Ocean and global prelude", which features a trio of main events as well as four bouts scheduled for 4 rounds.
The show opens up with the unbeaten Nobuhiro Oshiro (1-0, 1) fighting, who we believe will be, Daikichi Miyagi (1-2-1, 1) who we think is returning to the ring after almost 4 years out of action.
In the second contest of the show we get a female bout as Kei Minayo (0-0) makes her debut fighting against the unbeaten Aiko Yamagishi (1-0-1) in an Atomweight contest.
Following the female bout we think that China's Yuan Sheng Li (0-1) though we're unsure as to who he will be fighting, or if it's actually him for that matter. This will be followed by the debut of Kinjo Taiki (0-0) who takes on Hirayama Kazuyuki (3-2-1, 3) in the final of the 4 round contests.
We believe the first of the three main events will see Filipino Dado Cabintoy (11-4-2, 6) again a Thai opponent. Unfortunately, as is often the case, we're unsure on who the Thai will be.
Sadly the two other main events sees us having the same problem in recognising the opponents, though we think that Japanese fighters will be Koseki Nakama (16-4, 7), ranked #7 by the OPBF at Super Featherweight, and the hard hitting Masatoshi Kotani (12-2, 9), ranked #14 at Super Featherweight by the OPBF.
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)
Although the week so far has been relatively quiet it appears that we actually end the week with quite a busy day or two.
The most notable card in Asia today is held at the The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex in Metro Manila and features a staggerin 12 bouts.
The most notable of the bouts on the Metro Manila card sees Jerson Mancio (16-3-3, 7) making the second defense of his Philippines Games & Amusement Board (GAB) Light Flyweight title s he takes on Robel Villegas (9-6, 3). This looks, at least on paper, like an easy enough defense for Mancio.
The other more notable bouts on the card see Cris Alfante (7-1, 1) taking on Ricky Oyan (4-16-2, 2) and Ronelle Ferreras (11-5-1, 4) taking on Roque Lauro (7-13-3, 2) both in 10 rounders. It'd be a shock to see Alfante losing and Ferreras, in all honesty should manage to secure his 12th victory.
In 8 round bouts we get Ricardo Roa (10-7-2, 2) against Samuel Apuya (7-14-1, 4), the unbeaten Andrian Camique (4-0-1, 2) against Sherwin McDo Lungay (7-22-2, 10) and Lionel Mark Duran (9-7-2, 3) against Junjie Lauza (4-7. 1). Of the 6 men here it's fair to say that Camique has the most interest to us, though we do sort of feel that there isn't a super star brewing amongst them.
Of the remaining bouts on the card, including Bryan Macamay (6-1-2, 5) against Menard Zaragosa (5-11, 3); Zoran Pama (2-7-3) against Roy Lagrada (2-4-1, 2); Ariel Arevalo (1-1, 1) against Gebby Manago (0-0); Vergel Rivera (1-0-1) against Jerwin Dela Rosa (0-1); Just Bornilla (3-1) against Reymond Yalung (0-0) and Jessebelle Pagaduan (4-0, 3) against Lady Love Sampiton (0-1) we're more interested in the final than the others mainly due to wonderful name of "Lady Love".
In Australia there is plenty of action as Filipino trio Michael Correa (3-3-3, 1), Jayson Mac Gura (1-14-2, 1) and Romeo Jakosalem (14-8-1, 7) all look to upset Australian based fighters. It certainly appears that Jakosalem has the toughest bout of the 3 men taking on Samoan banger Leti Leti (8-1, 8), though with the other two Filipino's facing debuting pair George Kambosos Jr and Nathan Wright they haven't easy nights work either.
As well as the Filipino's in action in Australia there is also action for South Korean Jeong Jin Park (1-3) who looks to claim the Australia New South Wales State Light Middleweight title whilst battling Joshua Diab (4-0, 2).
There are also fights in Russia including a bout for Zhandos Zhetpisbayev (5-5, 2) of Kazakhstan and Marat Khasanov (0-3) who was born in Uzbekistan. Zhetpisbayev faces the unbeaten Sahib Usarov (18-0, 6) whilst Khasnov goes into the ring with debutant Steven Lee (0-0)
What a day today promises to be for Filipino fans who not only have interest at home with 2 domestic cards but should also be looking to the west with 2 of their fighters fighting on foreign soil.
Of course the highest profile bout for an Asian today is Nonito Donaire (31-1, 20) who will be hoping to unify his WBO Super Bantamweight title with the WBA title currently held by Guillermo Rigondeaux (11-0, 8). Going in to this bout Donaire is the betting favourite and a victory would likely be his last at 122lbs with the clear intention being to move up to the Featherweight division sooner rather than later.
The 4-weight world champion, known as "The Filipino Flash" may not be as liked as Manny Pacquiao but he's certainly a genuine pound-for-pound fighter and if he can defeat his Cuban opponent then he'll have to be regarded as Asian's premier boxer on any pound-for-pound list. Though of course Donaire will need to beat one of the most amazing amateurs of all time in Rigondeaux and that is of course not a forgone conclusion despite what some fans may suggest.
As well as Donaire's fight in the US Filipino fans should also be aware that Jaderes Padua (8-1-1, 5) also fights abroad as he faces former WBC Super Flyweight champion Tomas Rojas (39-14-1-1, 26) over in Rojas' native Mexico. For Padua this is not only a huge step up in class but will be the 22 year old's first fight outside of his homeland. A win for Padua would not only be a huge upset but also be massive news in the lower divisions.
A bit closer to home for Filipino fans are the 2 cards being held in their country, both in Metro Manila.
Arguably the less interesting of the 2 domestic cards is the one held at the "The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex" which features a scheduled 8 bouts.
Amongst the bouts on this card are 4 bouts scheduled for 10 rounds (Dado Cabintoy (10-3-2, 5) against Jovill Marayan (7-12-3, 3); hot prospect Giovanni Escaner (9-0, 5) against veteran Ryan Tampus (11-10, 8); the unbeaten Jeffrey Arienza (9-0-1, 4) against Leonardo Doronio (10-8-2, 6) and Rene Dacquel (8-0, 1) against Samuel Apuya (7-14-1, 4)).
From the 10 round bouts we're expecting wins from Cabintoy, Escaner, Arienza and Dacquel, though it's fair to say that we think Escaner is in the toughest bout.
In the 4 bouts not scheduled for 10 rounds we will see Andrian Camique (3-0-1, 2) look for his first win of the year as he faces southpaw Lowell Saguisa (7-11, 3) over 8 rounds in what could be a tough bout for Camique. In action over 6 is Cris Alfante (6-1, 1) who faces journeyman Dodoy Alapormina (1-21-1) in what should really be a mismatch despite how tough Alapormina is.
The card also features 2 bouts scheduled for 4 round with debutant Raymond Palusot (0-0) facing Vergel Rivera (0-0-1) and debuting pair JK Elorde (0-0) facing Roy Velarde (0-0) in a Featherweight bout.
The other card, held in Taguig City has 10 scheduled bouts ranging from 4 rounders to a championship bout. The 4 round bouts see 3 debutants in action as Honesto Luha (0-0), Raymond Palusot (0-0) and Ryan Medes (0-0) go up against Menard Avila (1-0), Jonathan Susada (0-0-1) and Jay-Ar Diama (0-0-1).
The card also sees 3 bouts scheduled for 8 as Michael Dasmarinas (10-1, 6) fights against Jerald Cortes (3-6-4, 2), Oliver Gregorio (7-1-1, 4) goes up against Dexter Dimaculangan (3-1-3, 1) and Rennel Flechero (8-3-1, 4) faces Gerry Pateno (3-4-2, 2). None of these bouts seem too interesting in all honesty with it hard to really pick an upset in any of them.
Thankfully he card picks up with it's 10 round bouts which may include 1 stinker but also includes an excellent match up. The stinker is Renren Tesorio (11-2-12, 4) against the very limited Joseph Deimos (2-13-2, 1) who has proven to be a survivor though isn't a fighter who should be able to test Tesorio. Former domestic (GAB) Super Flyweight champion Marvin Mabait (17-1-2, 11) looks to continue his rebuilding as he faces (17-7-1, 11) who comes into this bout following a stoppage loss in Japan to Tomoki Kameda.
The most promising of the 10 round bouts is the hard punching Anthony Marcial (19-1, 18) facing off against the PBF Super Featherweight champion Rene Bestudio (14-4-4, 4). This bout is genuinely exciting and with Macial proving to be a wrecking force could be over very quickly if "Rocky" gets his way.
In the championship bout 26 year old Jay Solmiano (16-2-1, 12) attempts to defend the WBO Asia Pacific Light Welterweight title against Indonesian (KTI/IBC) Lightweight champion Wellem Reyk (15-6-3, 4). Whilst Reyk is 0-3 outside of Indonesia he'll know that a win here could see him climbing into the WBO top 15, a major achievement, for Solmiano however he'll be looking to maintain his excellent #12 ranking.