Some days are big global boxing days, we saw one this past weekend with Froch/Groves fight falling on the same day as Hernandez/Alekseev and “The Clash In Cotai”, others however a big local boxing days. Days where the only notable action takes place in a small area of the world and is unlikely to break away from that area.
We have one of those “local days” this Friday where Asian fans will certainly be happier than their European and American counterparts due to several interesting contests that will light up both Thailand and Japan.
The obvious starting point for a look at Friday's action is in Thailand where we get the first world title fight of the weekend. The contest, which sees Koki Eto (14-2-1, 10) returning to Thailand to make the first defense of his WBA interim Flyweight, appears to be one which should have real interest in both Thailand and Japan. Eto, who defeated Kompayak Porpramook for the title earlier this year will be facing Kompayak's stable-mate Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (32-2, 19), AKA Yodmongkol CP Freshmart.
Although we're unsure what other bouts will be shown by Thai channel 7 we've got to admit we're really looking forward to this one which should be a real barn burner as long as it lasts. For the sake of to we hope he can put on a performance similar to the one he had against Porpramook, though with Yodmongkol being on a long winning run he'll be confident of scoring the upset here.
Over in Japan we have two shows. Of those the one that interests us the most is “Dangan 88” a show that really deserves some sort of television coverage though doesn't seem to have it.
This show, headlined by Tadashi Yuba (44-8-2, 33) rematching Yoshihisa Tonimura (16-8-4, 4) in Japanese Light Middleweight title bout, is one where a Tonimura will be seeking revenge for a razor thin loss whilst Yuba will be further seeking to enhance his legacy. Although unknown outside of Japan, Yuba is a domestic legend and the first ever 5-weight Japanese national champion. We'd be shocked if this was anything but hard fought, competitive and incredibly close through out.
Whilst Yuba/Tonimura II is the main event it is far from the only interesting contest in an excellent eight fight card.
The show begins with a 4 rounder as the debuting Shuta Igarashi (0-0) fights the win-less Kenji Suzuki (0-4). Following this opening contest we have a second successive 8 rounder as Shogo Endo (0-1) battles who we believe will be Makoto Kawasaki (3-1-1, 1).
Oddly straight after the two opening 4 rounders we immediately move in to the 8 round distance for a Minimumweight contest between Kazuhiro Nakamura (8-4, 3) and the once beaten youngster Hiroya Yamamoto (7-1, 3). This will be Yamamoto's first contest since being upset by Hayato Yamaguchi back in August and there will be serious interest to see how Yamamoto bounced back from his first loss.
The second 8 rounder on the show will see Dai Iwai (12-3-1, 5) taking on the highly ranked Michiya Sato (10-4-4, 6). Ranked by both the JBC and the OPBF Sato is risking a lot here against the capable Iwai who will be looking at this as his chance to move into a title fight of some sort.
Following the first two 8 rounders we suddenly drop back to the 4 round distance as singer-come-boxer Yuki Clay (0-0), of Kimaguren fame, makes his professional boxing debut. The singer will be facing fellow debutant Kubota Akinori (0-0) in what appears to be an intriguing contest, even if it is little more than a gimmick fight, much like Andrew Flintoff's was in the UK a while back.
After the 4 round interlude we get back to serious action as Yuki Ozawa (10-2, 2) battles the more experienced Koji Aoki (14-7-2, 5) in a potentially enjoyable bout that screams “distance fight” to us, despite the fact Aoki has been stopped in 5 of his 7 losses.
The penultimate contest on Dangan 88, and the chief support contest for the title fight, sees Noriyuki Ueno (15-11-5, 5) defending his OPBF and Japanese rankings as he battles Yosuke Kawano (7-2-1, 3). Despite Ueno's record he is a genuine threat at domestic title level, in fact when you consider Ueno started his career 2-6-1 and has since fought in 3 Japanese title fights and 1 OPBF title fight there is little doubt that there is talent there.
The second Japanese show, courtesy of Shinsei, is scheduled to just have six contests though like the Dangan show it's a very promising looking card overall.
Despite being promising over-all the show starts with a weak 4 rounder as the win-less pairing of Daiki Haraguchi (0-6) and Daisuke Takeichi (0-1) face off. Thankfully this is the shows one bad fight fight.
The second contest on the show sees Shinsei making a very brave move as they put their unbeaten youngster Shun Kubo (2-0, 2) up against Filipino Monico Laurente (23-9, 5). Although Laurente has picked up a couple of losses in recent bouts and is much smaller than Kubo, he could prove to be very tricky still and make Kubo look bad. Kubo's natural size advantage should see him through to the victory but the experience difference between the two men could make it very interesting.
If we think Kubo is in hard then Thai visitor Mongkoldam Sithwarunee (1-2, 1) has it even tougher as he takes on the hard hitting Kota Fukuoka (14-3-2, 11). Fukuoka is certainly beatable but he has won his last 7 with 5 of those coming by stoppage, it'd be a surprise if he didn't add another to both of those figures here.
In the fourth contest of the card we get another of those interesting looking bouts with an unbeaten prospect as Shohei Omori (9-0, 5) faces Filipino veteran Albert Alcoy (14-16-7, 4). Although this looks a great test on paper it does seem like Omori is becoming a man and punching harder and this bout seems like a step backwards for him considering how he stopped Kiron Omura in 92 seconds back in July. We'd be pretty shocked if Omori doesn't record another stoppage here.
The penultimate bout on this show will see Ryotaro Kawabata (8-2, 3) in action. Although we're not certain on who he'll be up against we have heard that it's a Korean, likely to be Bum-Young Lee (8-6-2, 3), a former Korean Super Flyweight champion. Lee is a man that some Japanese fans will be familiar with due to his losses to Hirofumi Mukai and Takuya Kogawa and if it him fighting Kawabata it's fair to say that we expect the Korean to suffer his third loss to a Japanese fighter.
Like with Danagn 88 the main event here is another Japanese title fight. This time it's down at Bantamweight where Kohei Oba (34-2-1, 13) will be seeking the second defense of his title as he battles Yuji Hasegawa (8-2, 2). We'd expect that if Oba wins he'll be looking to get himself into a world title fight rather than keeping a hold of the national title any longer.
Unfortunately due to the strength of Japanese boxing at Bantamweight Oba is between a rock and a hard place. He could keep defending the belt, he could challenger the winner of Shiino/Iwasa to an OPBF title bout or he could try to fight one of the three Japanese world champions at the weight. Unfortunately we'd not back him against any of the world champions or the Shiino/Iwasa winner, though he's better than pretty anyone else domestically. In fact domestically Oba against Ryo Akaho is probably the most interesting contest out there for him.
Out side of the Asian countries the action continues with a few interesting contests.
In Queensland, Australia fans will get to see Thailand's Chaiyong Sithsaithong (31-11-3, 22) take on Josh King (15-3, 8) in a battle for the WBO Oriental Lightweight title. On the same show as that Filipino Michael Dan (3-6-1, 1) will be facing Ryan Heck (3-1-1) in a much lower level contest.
Staying in Australia, though down south in Victoria, Filipino Marlon Alta (12-3, 9) will be facing the unbeaten Zac Dunn (10-0, 9) in a battle over the WBC Youth World Super Middleweight title. Alta, who has been out of the ring since he was stopped by Makoto Fuchigami 13 months ago, will know that a win here could explode him back on to the scene, but he'll also know he's being brought in to lose to the Aussie banger.
A third bout in Australia sees Aswin Cabuy (14-44-3, 7) trying to end a 6 fight losing streak as he takes on Leroy Brown (15-5-1, 5) in New South Wales.
Amazingly there is one other Asian involved in a title fight, though rather peculiarly it's in Ecuador as Chinese born Kazakhstani fighter Kanat Islam (14-0, 12) battles Colombia's Emilio Julio Julio (28-11-2, 20) for what we assume will be the WBA Fedelatin Light Middleweight title. Islam is one of those fighters who seems very interesting, though is unfortunately very well hidden from the wider boxing public. Thankfully if he wins here he's expected to be on an American card in December.
It's fair to say that after a busy weekend we've had a really, really quiet week this week. The relative silence comes to a crashing end on a very busy Friday with Asian fighters battle across the Eastern hemisphere.
The most notable card is likely to be the Thai card held in Choburi where Wanheng Menayothin (29-0, 10) will attempt to defend his WBC International Minimumweight title for the 9th time as he takes on Japanese challenger Yuma Iwahashi (10-5-1, 1),
On paper the match is a mismatch but Iwahashi has been very competitive in 4 of his 5 losses, including a loss to Ryuji Hara in a Japanese national title bout, and his sole stoppage defeat was to the hands of Atsushi Kakutani who challenges for a world title tomorrow. So we wouldn't be too shocked it this was toughed for Menayothin than it looks on paper.
The day's title action isn't just limited to Thailand as we get a title double header in Lucena City Convention Center. In fact we appear to be gett the full card that we expected there on August 24th as Jerwin Ancajas (16-1-1, 8) faces Armando Casa (11-10-5, 3) for the vacant Philippines Luzon Professional Boxing Association (LuzProBA) Bantamweight title and Lolito Sonsona (16-1-3, 6) looks to claim the Philippines Luzon Professional Boxing Association (LuzProBA) Super Flyweight title as he fights the experienced Albert Alcoy (14-16-5, 4).
The card it's self appears pretty unchanged to the one we had listed for the 24th with the chief support bout still being Aston Palicte (10-1, 8) against Jerald Cortes (3-7-4, 2) in what looks likely to be a mismatch.
In fact the major changes to the card have been in the lower card bouts. We still have Daryl Gamboa (0-0) against Rodney Ramirez (0-0) and Jordan Estrada (0-0) against Jerwin Dela Rosa (0-2), though the the other 4 round bout now appears to be Jhon Jhon Faminiano (1-8-1) against Jiro Saonoy (0-3).
This card also seems to have acquired 2 new 6 round bouts as the unbeaten Richard Claveras (3-0-2, 3) battles Lowell Saguisa (7-12, 3) and the once beaten Orlan Vasquez (8-1, 1) takes on the hard hitting Mark Anthony Florida (8-3, 7).
As well as the shows in Thailand and the Philippines there is also a show in Japan at the Korakuen Hall as promotional company Dangan put on "Dangan 81".
The main event here sees Ryuichi Funai (18-6, 12) up against a Thai opponent who we believe boasts an 8-6-1 (2) record. This bout, expected to be an 8 rounder, is supported be a co-main event between Dai Iwai (11-3-1, 5) and Yasuyuki Masuda (7-4, 1).
It's not just Funai's opponent that we've been unable to name but both Hiroshi Ishii (6-7-3) and Genji Ishida (1-0) are facing yet to be identified opponents in two of the nine bouts scheduled for 4 rounds
The rest of the bouts, all scheduled for 4 rounds will kick off with Yuki Uchida (1-1) against Shinnosuke Okada (1-3-2, 1), this will be followed by the unbeaten Hiroyasu Shiga (1-0, 1) facing Masakazu Sakamoto (1-1-1, 1) and Koji Okubo (1-1) against Junki Abe (1-2).
After the above trio of bouts we will see debutants in action as Kazuma Yoshihara (0-0) takes on Takahiro Yamanishi (0-1) and in an all debutant match Aihara Shinta (0-0) battles Hosokawa Wataru (0-0).
The sole female bout on the show sees former kickboxer Shoko Hayashida (1-2, 1) looking to level up her record as shetakes on Yunoka Furukawa (1-1-1, 1).
The final of the 4 round bouts sees Ryosuke Goku Tsuboi (2-1, 1) fighting the unbeaten Haruka Itakura (1-0).
We also have a card in Russia with 7 bouts. The main event in this show sees the unbeaten Aik Shakhnazaryan (7-0, 2) taking on Shavkat Madaminov (9-7, 3) in a 10 round bout. This is support chiefly by a very interesting Welterweight bout between David Avanesyan (14-1-1, 7) and Fariz Kazimov (13-4-1, 4) over the 8 round schedule.
The show's sole 6 round contest sees the hard hitting Felix Amoev (5-1, 4) battling Fedor Mushtranov (4-4, 2) before we get the 4 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds. These bouts will see a trio of debutants in action with Heavyweight Ruslan Faifer (0-0) taking on Roman Mirzoev (2-6, 1) in possibly the most interesting of those bouts. The other debutants are Lightweight Aliyor Nuraliev (0-0) who faces a yet to be announced opponent and Light Welterweight Egor Bakulin (0-0) who fights Parviz Muraliev (0-1). The only all-none debutant bout over 4 rounds sees Bahruz Kazimov (3-1, 2) battling Sevak Bagdasaryan (0-1).
There is also Asian action in Australia with 4 bouts involving an Asian interest.
In Hurstville, New South Wales there will be action for Thai duo EakKhunphol Mor Krungthepthonburi (8-4, 4) and Eakkreenkrai Mor Krungthep Thonburi (0-1). Unfortunately both men will be facing unbeaten fighters with Eakkreenkrai fighting Dylan Emery (5-0, 1) whilst EakKhunphol will be facing Tony Bates (7-0-1, 5).
Not too far from Hurtsville in Homebush f (6-0, 4) will be facing Krishna Mudaliar (4-2-1, 2). This will be Dulay's first bout outside of his native Philippines though their does seem to be real expectation on his shoulders.
The remaining Asian bout "down under" features Indonesian Aswin Cabuy (14-41-3, 7) fighting novice Luke Bunder (1-0) in a 4 round contest.
A new week kicks off with an excellent "B level" show in Korakuen Hall that would actually put a lot of other domestic shows (especially those in the west) to shame. In all honesty with 2 title fights and a former 4-weight Japanese national champion on the card it really does look a bit special.
The cards weakest bout sees Hirotsugu Yamamoto (15-7-2, 2) taking on Dai Iwai (10-3-1, 5). Whilst it's not a great bout it's a very even looking contest on paper and is a the sort of bout that the sport needs more of rather than the all too common "prospect v no hoper" fights that we see in the west.
Former Japanese Lightweight, Light Welterweight, Welterweight and Middleweight champion Tadashi Yuba (42-8-2, 31) looks to continue his legendary career as he faces Kengo Nagashima (12-9-2, 11). Whilst Yuba, now 36, is a fighter coming to the end of the line he has already stamped his place on Japanese boxing history by being the first ever 4-weight national champion and a loss to Nagashima won't really his legacy.
The first of the title bouts is at Bantamweight as Hiroki Shiino (9-2, 8) takes on Filipino Dennis Tubieron (15-1-1, 6) in a bout for the vacant OPBF Bantamweight title. Not only is the title on the line but also a sense of revenge for Shiino who was stopped in 8 rounds by Tubieron last September.
Going in their first bout together Shiino was the WBC #12 ranked fighter and seemed likely to fast tracked to a world title bout. Tubieron however hadn't read the script however and dropped Shiino 4 times en route to the stoppage, and claimed the WBC International Bantamweight title as a result. Expect this to be a very special bout.
The main fight, at least for us, sees the OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Shingo Wake (13-4-2, 6) making the first defense of his belt. Wake, who defeated the highly ranked Yukinori Oguni for the title back in March faces Eita Kikuchi (14-2-4, 6) in an all-Japanese bout.
Wake's victory over Oguni was a genuine shock and helped force Wake into the world rankings (he's currently ranked WBC #11 and WBA #13) though with Kikuchi ranked #5 WBA there is alot on the line here.