A new week in the world of boxing kicks off on Monday with shows in both Japan and Russia.
For once it's the Russian action that has really caught our eye with two seperate cards, both of which draw an interestin in some way.
Of the two Russian shows it's the one in Krasnodar, thanks to Pushka Promotions, that draws a morbid interest from ourselves. That's due to a main event between former WBC Heavyweight title holder Oleg Maskaev (38-7, 28) and former world title challenger Danny Williams (44-18-0-1, 33). With both men being well beyond their prime we can only say that this is a morbid interest but still in could spell the end for one, if not both, fighters.
The only other fight that we have confirmed from that card is one between David Avanesyan (15-1-1, 8) and Carlos Leonardo Herrera (24-5, 10). This bout will be for the WBC Baltic Welterweight title though we've got to admit that we're not certain how Herrera, an Argentinian, qualifies as Baltic.
The rest of this card will see 6 more contests though so far we've only got the names of one man from each fight. These are Aik Shakhnazaryan (8-0, 2), a promising and unbeaten Light Welterweight; Fedor Papazov (13-0, 9), another unbeaten fighter who has shown some genuine promises; Sherzod Husanov (17-0-1, 8), a third unbeaten fighter who campaigns in the Light Middleweight division; Ruslan Faifer (1-0), a novice Cruiserweight looking for his second win; Felix Amoev (6-1, 4), a Middleweight who will be looking for his fourth victory of the year and once beaten Super Middleweight Maxim Vlasov (26-1, 12) a very promising fighter who is creating a bit of a buzz internationally.
The second card in Russia is a 6 fight to be held in Saint Petersburg. The main event here may not hold a morbid interest though does still posses some genuine intruige as Andrey Meryasev (14-0, 11) looks to continue his rise through the ranks. Meryasev will be fighting Argentinian Sergio Jose Sanders (21-9-2, 12) a man who is much more experienced than the Russian and could well give him a serious test.
In the chief support bout the unbeaten Vladimir Tikhonov (9-0, 4) faces Danny Flores (14-4-1, 8) a man with almost as many stoppages on his record as Tikhonov has total bouts. This is a good test for the unbeaten man, despite the fact Flores has won just one of his last five contests.
Unfortunately, as with the other Russian card, it's looking like a card that is still being pieced together. It appears that Ruslan Berchuk (6-3, 3) will be on the card, as will the debuting trio of Nikolay Kuzmitski (0-0), Maxim Sirota (0-0) and Kiril Viktorchik (0-0) though none of those men have their opponents set as of yet.
In Japan we get an 8 fight card, albeit it a very low level.
We expect this show to start with a battle of unbeaten men as Kazuaki Okada (2-0, 2) fights Shogo Yamaguchi (1-0-1). . Unfortunately this bout, at Super Featherweight, is one of only two that we have complete details on. The other of those is a bout between Koichi Nagatsuka (2-1, 1) and the debuting Yoko Sato (0-0).
We do know that Hajime Ikeda (3-3), Shinichi Hoshino (0-1) and Ryunosuke Yamashita (0-2) will all be on the card facing domestic opponents in the beef of the card, though unfortunately we were unable to identify their opponents.
In a trio of main bouts Makoto Kato (7-7, 2), Yuya Miyagi (17-4-3, 6) and Yuki Fujimoto (6-2-1, 1) all fight Thai opponents. Again we're been struggling to identifiy the opponents unfortunately, though we doubt they will be anything too testing.
Kazuaki Okada (2-0, 2) v Shogo Yamaguchi (1-0-1) [130/4]
Hajime Ikeda (3-3) v ???
Shinichi Hoshino (0-1) v ???
Koichi Nagatsuka (2-1, 1) v Yoko Sato (0-0)* [debut]
Ryunosuke Yamashita (0-2) v ???
Makoto Kato (7-7, 2) v Thai
Yuya Miyagi (17-4-3, 6)-returns after 5 years out v Thai
Yuki Fujimoto (6-2-1, 1) v Thai
Two Russian cards
Although much of the last week, aside from Monday, has been quiet in terms of Asian boxing it's fair to say that it's been a calm before a storm with Saturday being nothing short of a spectacular day for fight fans. Whilst we're obviously biased in favour of Asian boxing it's fair to say that no boxing fan has any right to be disappointed with today.
Just to show how varied today's action is, at least 1 Asian fighter is fighting in Europe, North America, South America, Oceania and of course Asia it's self!
For us the most promising bout takes place in Cancun, Mexico as WBC Super Featherweight champion Takashi Miura (25-2-2, 19) takes on highly reegarded challenger Sergio Thompson (27-2, 25). It's not often a fight has “fireworks” written all over it but that's exactly what we have here with two big hitting fighters getting together in a bout that honestly has the feel of being something very memorable. If you action hard hitting this is really a bout you must catch.
On the undercard of the Thompson/Miura bout there will also be a contest involving Filipino-American Ana Julaton (12-3-1, 2). The former WBO female Super Bantamweight champion takes on Celina Salazar (4-1-2, 1) of America. Although Salazar has a decent looking record she has won just 1 of her last 4 and Julaton should probably go in to the bout as a small favourite.
Whilst the Miura/Thompson fight is the bout we're looking forward to the most we'll be honest and say it's run closely by the main event of "Red Mist" the WBO Light Heavyweight title contest between Britain's Nathan Cleverly (26-0, 12) and Russian challenger Sergey Kovalev (21-0-1, 19). Although Cleverly is the defending champion he is seen as the slight under-dog against the monstrously hard punching yet technically sound Russian who is expected by many to expose Cleverly's limitations at the world level.
Also on Clerverly/Kovalev card is British based Syrian Youssef Al Hamidi (12-56-3, 1) who will be facing the promising Craig Evans (9-0, 3)
Of course it's not just those two major cards with an Asian interest taking place outside of Asia but there's also major international bouts in the US featuring fighters from Asia.
One of those, possibly the most notable, is in Texas as Lightweight contender Denis Shafikov (32-0-1, 17) of Russia, makes his US debut and faces Santos Benavides (23-3-2, 17) in a promising 10 round bout.
It's not only the Lightweight bout in Texas that's worth our attention but also a trio of bouts in Utah. The most interesting of these sees the once beaten Bahodir Mamadjonov (13-1, 9) taking on Rynell Griffin (7-16-2, 2). Mamadjonov, of Uzbekistan, is a very strong fighter who impressed many last time out when he stopped the previously undefeated Cuban Angelo Santana and we're hoping that he'll manage to build up to a world title fight in the next 2 or 3 years as.
On the same card as the Mamadjonov fight we also expect to see Russian youngster Evgeny Chuprakov (5-0, 2) and Light Welterweight prospect Fedor Papazov (12-0, 8) though neither man appear to have an opponent at the moment.
Staying on international soil there is also action for Filipinos in Australia with journeymen Robert Oyan (20-39-5, 7) taking on the hotly tipped George Kambosos Jr (1-0, 1) and Aswin Cabuy (14-41-3, 7) faces Costa Katsounis (8-1, 5). Whilst we don't give Cabuy any chance we do feel that Oyan should be able to pose Kambosos some interesting questions in their bout.
Staying in Australia, though on a different card, Gretchen Abaniel (12-4, 3) will face Fahpratan Looksaikongdin (7-5), James Mokoginta (24-11-2, 12) will look to claim the Interim PABA Super Bantamweight title as he takes on Terry TJ Doheny (4-0, 3) and the experienced Jonathan Simamora (23-23-5, 8) looks for a major upset against Ben McCulloch (11-0, 8) for the PABA Super Middleweight tit;le.
Despite all the international action there is also action in Asia with 2 cards in the Philippines. Unfortunately details on both cards are scarce.
In Dipolog City the once beaten Marco Demecillo (18-1-1, 14) faces the unbeaten Giovanni Escaner (10-0, 6) in a battle for the Philippines Games & Amusement Board (GAB) Super Flyweight title. Although we don't know the rest of the card we'll admit that if we were around the area we'd be watching to catch this one live.
The other Filipino card takes place at Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur and so far we have details on just 2 contests from it as Powell Balaba (6-9-1, 3) takes on Thai visitor Panmongkol Ekarin (10-4, 5) and Bernard Alipan (3-4, 3) faces Jomar Ministerio (5-5-1, 2). It's fair to say that neither of these bouts will get many excited, especially with the fight that's taking places in Dipolog city.