This coming Friday brings us some genuinely notable action from and involving Asian fighters. in fact not only is there cards in both Thailand and Japan but their is an Asian involved in a title fight in Mexico and an unbeaten Russian fighting in the US as well as a show in Yemen with their rising boxing star.
We'll start off by looking at the Thai card that we're aware of. This show, expected to be on Thai Channel 7 will see the the unbeaten Nop Kratingdaenggym (5-0, 1) attempt to claim the PABA interim Super Bantamweight title as he fights Indonesian Skak Max (6-12, 6). We expect other fights to be on this show though at the moment details are scarce.
In Japan have plenty more details of a show promoted by Kaneko promotions. We expect to see an all debutant match open the show with Iizuka Makoto (0-0) fighting Riki Hamada (0-0) before novices collide in a bout between Suguru Akimoto (0-1) and Masayoshi Abe (1-1).
The novices continue in action as Kazutaro Ueno (0-1), who we think is actually called Ichitaro Ueno, battles Sosuke Sakata (1-0) and the unbeaten Akihiro Yashiro (1-0-1) fights the debuting Wataru Yokoyama (0-0).
Following the 4 bouts with novices we then have some experienced fighters in action with Tsuyoshi Nishimura (3-5-1, 1) fighting in his 10th bout as he takes on 12 fight "veteran" Hidetoshi Ueki (3-8-1). Sure neither guy has a winning record but, at least on paper, they appear to be well matched.
It takes until the 6th bout on the show until we get fighters with winning records facing each other as Takahiro Fujii (4-2-1, 1) fights Takuma Nishida (5-4, 2) in another bout that looks competitive on paper. Unfortunately after back to back "competitive" fights we appear to have a bit of a mismatch as the experienced Keisuke Ota (7-6, 1) battles the hard hitting but inexperienced Junpei Sakagami (3-2-2, 3).
The show's 8th bout is a second all debutant contest as Imakura Kazuhide (0-0) fight Yukihiro Kaneko (0-0) in what is effectively the second to last fight on the show. The only "fight" after this is a contest between Ryuji Hirano (5-2-1) and Masashi Odaira (4-2-2, 2). Unfortunately the advertised headline bout between Akihiro Kondo and Masashi Noguchi has been called off at late noticed.
Despite the "main event" being called off fans do get the chance to see one more bit of action as former world title holder Tomonobu Shimizu laces up the gloves once more for an open sparring session with fellow Kaneko gym mate Hidenori Otake. This open sparring is seen as a farewell to Shimizu and with both men being gym mates we'd not expect anything too hard from either man.
In Sanaa, the Yemeni capital we get yet other show featuring KO sensation Ali Raymi (15-0, 15). Raymi, the almost cult like figure on boxing forums, will be going for win #16 as he takes on Husam Shargabi (3-0, 1).
On the same show as Raymi/Shargabi there will also be 3 other contests. The most interesting of those will see Omar Awdan (7-0, 3), almost certainly a future Raymi victim, fighting Bahr Slyman (2-2, 1).
The other two contests sees unbeaten men colliding as Muhana Hajaji (2-0) fights Hani Ansi (1-0) and Hamoody Jubran (1-0) taking on Abdu Achille (1-0).
The Thai bout isn't the only title bout as Australian action sees Indonesia's Marco Tuhumury (10-10-1, 3) attempt to claim the PABA Middleweight title at he takes on Jarrod Fletcher (16-1, 10) whilst on the same show Filipino Michael Dan (3-5-1, 1) battles the unbeaten Anthony Buttigieg (2-0). It's hard to see victories for either Tuhumury or Dan though we won't totally rule out Dan giving his opponent a tougher than expected test.
Over in the US the unbeaten Russian Ilshat Khusnulgatin (10-0, 5) looks to score his third victory on American soil as he takes on Arsenio Terrazas (9-5, 8). Unfortunately for the Russian he was given a real scare last time out with Nathan Bedwell dropping him twice before he pulled it out of the bag. This may be an even tougher bout for Khusnulgatin than the Bedwell bout was.
The action in the west isn't just limited to the US as Filipino Marvin Mabait (18-1-2, 12) travels to Mexico in an attempt to claim the WBO Inter-Continental Bantamweight title. Mabait will however need to get past Johnny Garcia (18-4-1, 9), something that is far from a "gimme"
The start of a new weekend and we get action across Asia with cards in Japan Thailand and China.
Of all the shows it's the one in Thailand that has the most noteworthy contest as Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat (47-2, 31) defends his PABA Bantamweight title against Filipino Nathan Bolcio (11-5-2, 4). Bolcio returns to Thailand for his third fight in the country, though he is 0-2 there with both losses coming by T/KO and it'd be a major shock if he defeated Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat.
In China we have what appears to be a 6 bout show.
The main event in China sees Australian Heavyweight Alex Leapai (28-4-3, 23) attempt to defend his WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight title against American based Mexican Felipe Romero (16-6-1, 11). We're not too sure how Romero qualifies for an "Asia Pacific" title fight though it's fair to say that Leapai will be strongly favoured anyway.
The Leapai/Romero bout isn't the only title fight on the show with China's very own Qiu Xiao Jun (7-2, 3) battling Filipino Jilo Merlin (13-16-2, 2) for the currently vacant vacant WBC Asia Council Continental Super Bantamweight title. A victory for the 23 year old Jun would be by far the best on his record though really does seem likely considering how well Jun fought against Jonathan Baat in Japan in both of his losses.
Although the top 2 contests are genuinely notable the remaining 4 contests on the show are hard to card too much about. The most interesting of them sees Zhang Yong Ming (0-0) in a battle of debutants with Thailand's Denkapton Pakdee Gym (0-0). The 6 round contest hopefully speaks about Ming's potential more than anything else.
The remaining bouts on the show see Xiang Jing (4-3) taking on the debuting Aekarthit Kanyaprom (0-0), Lu Erhaci (0-0) fighting Kenyan fighter Leonard (0-0) in an all debutant clash and in a female bout Hu Die (1-0) will face Indian debutant Saroj (0-0).
The card in Japan currently has 5 bouts listed on boxrec.com though we believe that there will actually be 7 contests on the card.
The most notable contest on the Japanese card is a bout between Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Hidenori Otake (20-1-3, 9) and Yukinori Hisanaga (15-4-2, 9). Hisagana, ranked #9 in Japan at 122lbs, will be hoping to score his 5th successive victory as he attempts to claim the Japanese title against the talented Otake.
The chief support bout on the Japanese card sees Kazuaki Moriya (11-3, 1) facing Masashi Tada (10-3-1, 7) over 8 rounds. Tada, the #5 ranked Japanese Minimimumweight, moves up to Flyweight to face the #11 ranked Japanese Light Flyweight. Although on paper it may not look like a great contest we dare say that it could be a show stealer.
Also in 8 round action are Takaaki Ishikawa (9-4, 5) and Ganbare Shota (10-3-1, 2) who face each other in what looks like a potentially competitive contests even if it's not got any major names involved.
The show is expected to open with Yamato Kikuchi (2-3-2) in action against the ubeaten Yuji Okinori (4-0, 1). This bout, a 4 round contest at Flyweight would be a good opener in all honesty with Kikuchi always proving to be a competitive fighter whether he wins or loses. Unfortunately despite knowing there is another Flyweight bout to open the show we're unaware of who is going to be in the bout sadly.
In the 3rd fight of the show Ippei Azuma (1-0, 1) will fight fellow unbeaten Kota Okui (1-0) in a Bantamweight contest before we go into the only 6 round bout of the contest between Atsushi Hosogai (4-7) and Tomoya Murata (5-3, 2).
Currently Boxrec also lists a contest between Toshinobu Kondo (6-2, 6) and Kenta Takahashi (10-6-2, 3). We are under the belief that this bout has now been called off, though unfortunately we're not totally certain as to why.
For the second successive day this week the Korakuen Hall is the host to a notable card in Tokyo. Despite only 2 bouts being known about on boxrec it's expected that several more bouts will be shown though in all honesty those two bouts alone would make the show worthy of catching.
In an 8 round Heavyweight bout former K1 champion Kyotaro Fujimoto (5-1, 3) attempts to bounce back from his loss last time out to Solomon Haumono as he faces Frenchman Fabrice Aurieng (7-4, 2). Although Fujimoto lost to Haumono in an OPBF Heavyweight title bout there is still quite a lot of hope on the 26 year old who has solid boxing fundementals but didn't have the experience for a hard hitting fighter like Haumono, especially not when the crowd appeared to turn on him.
With Aurieng now the French Heavyweight champion this international bout could well help put Fujimoto back on the boxing map and would genuinely be a solid win for Japanese Heavyweight.
In the other notable bout Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Hidenori Otake (19-1-3, 9) attempts to make the second defense of the title he won in December as he takes on Coronita Doi (26-13-8, 9). This will be Doi's second attempt at the title after losing a prior shot back in 2001 against Junichi Watanabe.
Having been stopped 8 times in his 13 bouts it's almost impossible to see a way that the 34 (soon to be 35) year old Doi could upset the champion who takes a 14 fight unbeaten streak in to this bout ncluding very notable bouts in his last 2 bouts.