It's rare to have genuine world title bouts on a Thursday but this week we have 2 seperate ones.
In the Philippines WBO Bantamweight champion Paulus Ambunda (20-0, 10) takes on Japanese challenger Tomoki Kameda (27-0, 18). Tomoki, the younger brother of Koki and Daiki will attempt to become the 3rd member of the Kameda family to claim a world title though Namibian Ambunda will be no push over.
Ambunda won his world title earlier this year defeating Pungluang Sor Singyu of Thailand by decision in an excellent, if somewhat ignored, contest. Using that fight as a basis for what we know about Ambunda it's clear this is going to be a tough fight for Tomoki. Oddly however if Tomoki does win he'll become the first ever Japanese WBO world champion and he'll join older brother Koki as a current Bantamweight champion.
On the same card in the Philippines there's a second Bantamweight title bout as Marlon Tapales (22-2, 9) takes on Fredirex Rodriguez (11-2-1, 8) for the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title. Ranked #14 by the WBO Rodriguez will be looking to leap up the rankings with the victory here and possibly even move in to a position to face the Tomoki/Ambunda winner.
Also on the card is former WBC and "Linear" Flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro (34-12-5, 24) who will fight Gerpaul Valero (14-14-3, 10). Although Valero has a poor record he has impressively won 13 of his last 14 contests with his sole loss being to Jerson Mancio in Mancio's home city.
The card fills out with 3 lower level bouts that see Ardie Boyosi (6-0-1, 3) taking on Al Grumo (7-6, 1), Neil John Tabanao (3-0, 2) fighting Charlie Pucdol (4-1, 3) and Joey Canoy (2-0, 1) facing Marwin Cristota (2-8-1, 1).
In Thailand the details on the card are scarce but the main event looks to be an entertaining on as Kompayak Porpramook (50-4, 35) looks to defend his WBA "interim" Flyweight title. Kompayak, best known for his wars with Adrian Hernandez, will be facing Japanese challenger Koki Eto (13-2-1, 10). Eto is a limited fighter but hits hard and Porpramook is of course a balls to the wall warrior so we expect this to be great fun as long as it lasts.
With recent victories for both Kompayak Porpramook and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai boxing in Thailand seems to be on the mend after a nightmare like 2012. Today will see two more men who will be looking to recapture titles after being deposed of their championship status in recent bouts.
The most recent Thai to lose a world title is former WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (43-2, 28). Sor Singyu, who lost the title Paulus Ambunda back in March, returns to the ring for the first time as he takes on Fredirex Rodriguez (11-2-1, 8) in a bout for the WBO International Bantamweight title. It's hard to see Sor Singyu losing this one and we'd expect him to work his way back to a world title bout sooner rather than later.
On a different card we see former WBA Super Flyweight champion Tepparith Kokietgym (22-3, 13) looking to score his second successive victory since losing to Kohei Kono at the end of 2012. Tepparith will be facing Jecker Buhawe (14-7-1, 9) in a bout for the interim WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Flyweight title.
On the same show as Tepparith's bout there are also fights for stablemates Petch Kokietgym (17-1, 3) and Ratchasak Kokietgym (15-2-1, 7). Petch will be looking for his 11th successive victory as he takes on the experienced Elmar Francisco (16-18-2, 4), it's fair to say that Petch will be expected to come out on top here.
For Ratchasak things are even more simple as he takes on Pisanuthep Sithsaithong (0-0) a fighter who is making his professional debut and will not be expected to be too much of a problem.
At the moment there is only 1 other bout confirmed for the card as Padjai Yongyuthgym (15-1-2, 10) takes on Randy Megrino (12-14-2, 7).
In Australia Thai hopes lie with Superjames Singmanasak (3-11, 2) who will need to score the biggest victory of his career if he's to upset the unbeaten Australian Mark Schleibs (2-0, 2). Whilst Schleibs is inexperienced Singmanasak has yet to record any wins of note and we can't see him scoring the upset here.
Whilst it's fair to say that tomorrow (May 4th) will see every boxing fan watching major bouts from Europe (Wladimir Klitschko v Francesco Pianeta) and America (Floyd Mayweather Jr v Robert Guerrero and Abner Mares v Daniel Ponce De Leon) today is about fights in Asia.
Not only do we see a Japanese fighter attempting to make history but we also see 2 former world champions in action as they attempts to make their way back to the top in what promises to be an excellent day of fights in Thailand.
The highlight appears to be in Si Sa Ket with a card headlined by WBC Super Flyweight champion Yota Sato (26-2-1, 12) defending his belt against the thunderously powerful Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (18-3-1, 17). This bout will not only be the 3rd defense of the title by Sato but also holds an historic value, is Sato wins he'll be the first ever defending world champion to win a title defense in Thailand. This bout, in full, has been previewed here.
On the same card as the Sato bout there is also action from former champion Suriyan Sor Rungvisai (20-5-1, 10) the man that Sato beat for the title last year. Suriyan will be expected to score his 6th victory since his loss to Sato when he steps in to the ring against Filipino journeyman Edison Berwela (11-26-6, 2), who will be fighting for the second time in around a week (after having lost a split decision to Robert Udtuhan).
The card will also see the unbeaten Nawaphon Por Chokchai (13-0, 10), the younger brother of Suriyan, in action. Nawaphon will be facing Michael Rodriguez (13-36-1, 3) in what appears to be an easy victory. Also on the card are Chaiyong Sithsaithong (29-10-3, 21) who will face Jen Yu Jia (2-4-1, 1) and Yodchanchai Nakornloung Promotion (19-3-0-1, 16) who looks to bounce back after being stopped by Nabuo Nashiro a few weeks ago, he'll be facing debutant Pansak Sor Ratidech (0-0).
Also in Thailand we see the return to the ring of former WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (43-2, 28) who looks for his first victory since losing his title to Paulus Ambunda back in March. Sor Singyu will be facing Filipino Fredirex Rodriguez (11-2-1, 8) for the WBO International Bantamweight title. With Sor Singyu being as good as he is we'd expect him to come out victorious here and perhaps try and force a rematch with Ambunda (and lets be honest, like anyone would dislike that!)
As well as the bouts in Thailand, there is also a low profile card in the Philippines. The main bout here is in the Light Flyweight division as Jomar Fajardo (11-4-1, 5) takes on durable journeyman Ruther del Castillo (8-18-8, 2). The other bouts on the card, feature 3 unbeaten men as Renren Pasignahin (4-0-1, 1), Ian Ligutan (4-0-1, 2) and Lloyd Jardeliza (3-0-2, 2) are in action. Sadly only Pasignahin's opponent is known and he'll be fighting Menard Zaragosa (5-11, 3)
Outside of Asia, Australia again hosts action with Thai pair Kiatchai Singwancha (32-9, 21) and Sapapetch Sor Sakaorat (29-11, 19) both in action. Although both men have solid records they have been brought to Australia as "opponents" for two Aussie fighters who are expected to score relatively easy but yet notable victories. Fingers crossed that the plan backfires!