Another Friday and another extremely busy day in the Asian boxing world with a major domestic card in Japan, two very notable shows in Thailand and two Asian's in title fights in Australia.
We'll start with the Thai action is split between Nakhon Sawan and Nakhon Ratchasima with two notable fights expected to take place in each venue with one of those shows (we think the Nakhon Ratchasima) to be televised on Thai Channel 3.
In the Nakhon Ratchasima card we expect to see former world title holder Tepparith Kokietgym (23-3, 13) in action, albeit against a yet to be named opponent, as he attempts to claim the WBC Asia Council Continental Bantamweight title.
As well as Tepparith we also expect to see a bout with Thai based Jqpanese fighter Tomoyuki Nishikawa (2-0, 1) taking on Russian Alexandr Masalov (0-0-1) in a battle for the interim WBC Asia Council Continental Light Middleweight title.
On the other Thai card we expect to see recent Bantamweight world title holder Pungluang Sor Singyu (44-2, 29) defending his WBO "international" Bantamweight title against Indonesian Zun Rindam (9-2-1, 4). On the same card, Pungluang's Thai compatriot Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (47-1, 30) attempts to defend his WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title as he also fights an Indonesian named Yon Armed (10-3-1, 6),
In Japan we get the a show dubbed "Dangan 83", a show that features 12 bouts, all of which are scheduled for 4 rounds. These bouts are split in to two, with the first 4 all being normal novice bouts, whilst the final 8 bouts are semi-finals for a Class C Tournament.
The opening bout on the Japanese show features two debutants who we believe are Tomofumi Hongo (0-0) and Tamaki Tetsuya (0-0), their bout will be swiftly followed by a battle between the unbeaten paring of Hiroyasu Shiga (1-0, 1) and Yoshiki Abe (2-0-1, 1) in what looks like a promising match up on paper.
In the third bout, which we expect will be an explosive encounter, the unbeaten Masayasu Nakamura (2-0, 2) fights Kota Shibayama (2-1-1, 2) before the final, none Class C tournament bout which will see Tomokazu Ueda (2-0) fighting Makoto Kawasaki (2-1-1, 1).
We've got to admit that none of those bouts are highly interesting to us in total honesty, though hopefully they will be better in the ring than they look on paper.
In the first of the tournament bouts the unbeaten Takamasa Kawahara (1-0) will battle Tatsuji Kakumoto (1-3) this is one of two Light Flyweight bouts in the tournament with the other seeing Shoji Ebisawa (2-1) battling Yuki Shiina (1-3). We expect that Kawahara and Ebisawa will be successful here and move on to the next round.
In a Flyweight bout we get a meeting of unbeaten fighters as Sonin Nihei (1-0) battles Shuhei Takahashi (2-0, 1) in what is the only bout at the weight. Incidentally we also only have a single Bantamweight bout as Yoshihiko Hashimoto (0-1) battles the debuting Ishii Ryu Makoto (0-0) (least we believe that to be his name).
At Featherweight we have two bouts with the first of those being Yuta Itagaki (1-1, 1) against the unbeaten Yuta Onishi (2-0, 2) in a bout that we favour Onishi in, whilst the second will see Kazuo Shimada (2-6, 1) fighting Tsuyoshi Naito (2-3-2, 1). We've got to be honest this second bout doesn't really do anything for us and it's very hard to be too excited about, no matter who comes out on on top.
The penultimate bout sees Super Featherweight action as Naoki Oura (2-1, 2) takes on Ryo Sugimoto (1-5) in a bout that we'd expect Oura to come out on top in. The final bout, at Light weight, thankfully allows the show to end on a high with unbeaten men colliding as Yoshihito Takahashi (2-0, 2) fights Shoma Koga (2-0, 2) in a bout we do not expect will let us down.
The final bouts involving Asian fighters both take place in Australia. The most notable of these bouts will see Filipino born Australian Jack Asis (29-18-4, 15) battling Japan's Hirohito Fukuhara (16-8-8, 8) in a battle for the vacant WBC Asia Council Continental Super Featherweight title. Although neither man has an outstanding record it's worth noting that Asis is on an 8 fight unbeaten run whilst Fukuhara hasn't been stopped since going 9 rounds with the hard hitting Shuhei Tsuchiya and also holds a notable stoppage over Filipino Roberto Gonzales. The winner of this bout will claim the vacant WBC Asia Council Continental Super Featherweight title.
The second bout in Australia sees Filipino Gabriel Altarejos (12-2-1, 4) being thrown to the wolves once again. Following back to back losses to Masaaki Serie and Hugo Fidel Cazares the 21 year old "Wonderboy" now faces the hard hitting Brayd Smith (6-0, 5) in a bout for the WBC Youth Silver Featherweight title. On paper this looks fine but Altarejos has never fought at Featherweight and probably should be at Bantamweight in all honesty.
Although Friday's schedule was a bit thin it appears that things are a bit better on Saturday with a solid (though unspectacular) card at the Korakuen Hall as well as a deep card in Metro Manila, Philippines and numerous fighters fighting internationally.
The card in Japan features 7 bouts though it's only really the main event that has any sort of a "name" draw as former world title contender Ryo Akaho (19-1-2, 12) fights for the first time since losing to Yota Sato in December. Akaho is veing given what appears to be a confidence builder as he takes on Filipino journeyman Elmar Francisco (16-18-2, 4) who is without a victory in 5 bouts.
As well as Akaho, the card features former 2-time Japanese national champion Daisuke Nakagawa (20-3-2, 15) who faces Indonesian Elvin Marbun (14-10-2, 6). Like Akaho, it appears that Nakagawa is being given an easy bout to build his confidence as he looks for another notable fight.
The Nakagawa bout is one of 5 bouts on the card scheduled for 8 rounds with Junki Sasaki (11-1, 5) facing Ryosei Arai (11-3-1, 3) in probably the most well matched bout of the show. The 21 year old Sasaki is tipped. by some to be a future champion though will need to come through a tough test here.
The reaming 3 bouts for the 8 round distance lack any real drawing factor with Toru Shiba (14-7-1, 11) facing Yuto Shimizu (6-2-2, 1), Kenichi Ogata (5-4, 3) fighting Shunsuke Sato (7-14-2, 4) and Musashi Suzuki (8-1, 3) facing Tatsuya Fukuhara (12-2-3, 3).
In a solitary 4 round bout Kazuya Seki (3-3, 1) takes on the unbeaten teenager Gaku Aikawa (1-0). It's a well matched bout though with Aikawa having been out of the ring for around 11 months it's hard to really know what the 19 year old wants from the sport.
In the Philippines a stacked 12 bout card is scheduled. The headline bout sees Juan Purisima (10-3-1, 3) facing Renren Tesorio (11-2-3, 3) in a battle over the Philippines Boxing Federation (PBF) Flyweight title. This is a bout that is likely to go the distance and yet it's also likely to have drama with both men being well matched on paper.
It's fair to say that the main event is by far the best bout on the card, though with several unbeaten prospects also on the show the card does have plenty to be excited about. Of those prospects it's hard not to be excited about Menard Avial (2-0), Daryl Basadre (9-0-1, 6) and Renerio Arizala (5-0, 3) though all 3 are being matched against limited opponents here.
Sadly much of the card does appear, at least on paper to be mismatches with bouts like Michael Dasmarinas (11-1, 7) against Rolando Niones (4-12-1, 2), Andrian Camique (4-0-1, 2) against Sherwin McDo Lungay (7-22-2) and Jerry Nardo (16-2, 7) against Jonel Borbon (1-8-1, 1).
Despite the apparent mismatches on the card there are several well matched 4 rounders with Jay-Ar Diama (0-0-2) fighting Rodel Garde (0-4), Fidel Cuyno (0-1) facing Juanito Hundante (0-1), Rowel Rosia (2-2, 1) taking on Honesto Luha (0-1) and Roderick Naduma (0-1) taking on debutant Miko Sacro (0-0).
In international action Filipino youngster Gabriel Altarejos (12-1-1, 4) tries to score the biggest win of his career as he travels to Mexico to face former multi-weight world champion Hugo Fidel Cazares (38-7-2, 26). With the WBC International Silver Super Bantamweight title on the line a win would help put Altarejos on to the world stage, but he will be going in as a big under-dog against an excellent fighter.
Also in Mexico is Thai Rusalee Samor (20-4-2, 9) who faces David Sanchez (20-2-2, 15) in a bout for the interim WBC Silver Super Flyweight title. This looks to be an excellent contender on paper and could go either way, though Sanchez has to be the slight favour.
In the US Sri Lankan Nuwan Jayakody (1-0, 1) looks to score his second professional victory as he takes on Anthony Burgin (3-0, 1). This is awell matched bout and a win for Jayakody could help him put Sri Lanka on the boxing map.