Today seems a great day to be a Filipino boxing fan with domestic action and international action.
In Cebu City, ALA Promotions have got a very exciting 7 fight card headlined by the highly ranked Roli Gasca (19-4-1, 5) facing the hard hitting Jimmy Aducal (6-1-2, 5).
Gasca's career in recent fights has slowed significantly with 3 losses in his last 6 bouts though he is very talented and looking to prove himself once again. He'll need to get beyond Aducal who is a big hitter and has stopped his last 5 opponents whilst also claiming the PBF Super Flyweight title. We should have an excellent contest here between boxer and banger.
As well as the Gasca/Aducal bout there are 4 promising Filipino prospects with Mark Andrew Acub (11-0, 9) being the most notable of them. Acub faces the experienced Rene Bestudio (15-4-4, 5) in what looks like his toughest bout to date.
The other prospects on the Cebu City card are Arjan Canillas (8-0-2, 6) who faces Rodel Wenceslao (6-6-1, 1); John Vincent Moralde (5-0, 2) who fights Rolando Navarette Jr (2-1-1, 2) and Kim Galon (1-0, 1) who is up against Ryan Canillas (2-1-2, 1).
Also on the card are bouts between Engelbert Moralde (4-1, 3) and Junior Salvador (4-15-3) and Jojo Entor (23-10-7, 8) who faces Jamjam Ungon (0-3).
As well as the Cebu City card there is also a show in Metro Manila thanks to Elorde Promotions. This show in Metro Manila features 6 bouts with 5 unbeaten fighters on the show.
The most notable bout on the card sees Randy Braga (10-0, 2) facing the experienced Rex Olisa (9-19-1, 7). This will be Braga's first 10 round bout and could well help move him to within a fight or two of a national title bout.
In the card's other 10 rounder the once beaten Rene Patilano (8-1-2, 4) faces Geboi Mansalayao (8-14-4, 3). This is Patilano's first bout since suffering a technical draw with Randy Petalcorin in February.
In 6 round action the unbeaten Giemel Magramo (5-0, 3) faces Julius Bala (2-1) and Jay Loto (4-0) faces Benjie Bartolome (1-6-1). It would be a genuine shock here if either of the unbeaten men were beaten here. The reamining 2 bouts, both scheduled for 4 rounds, see John Ray Logatiman (1-0) fighting Richard Elma (0-1) and Jomel Diocos (2-0, 2) facing Arnold Garde (3-1-2, 1). Again it would be a surprise if the unbeaten fighters were defeated here.
In Mexico the Filipino youngster Jaderes Padua (8-2-1, 5) faces his second former world champion in successive bouts as he fights the hard hitting Mexican Fernando Montiel (49-4-2, 37). Montiel, a former Flyweight, Super Flyweight and Bantamweight champion hasn't looked the same since being stopped in 2 rounds by Nonito Donaire back in 2011, though he should still have too much for Padua who was stopped by Tomas Rojas back in April.
Also in Mexico Weng Haya (17-5, 9), yet another Filipino, faces the hard hitting Mexican prospect Miguel Berchelt (18-0, 15) who has looked very good in recent bouts. This looks like a hard nights work for Haya.
In the UK the tricky Syrian journeyman Youssef Al Hamidi (12-55-2, 1) faces Chris Goodwin (16-2-1). Goodwin was earlier scheduled to face Oisin Fagan so it appears that Hamidi has been a late replacement, despite this he has the ability to make things very tough for Goodwin.
What a day today promises to be for Filipino fans who not only have interest at home with 2 domestic cards but should also be looking to the west with 2 of their fighters fighting on foreign soil.
Of course the highest profile bout for an Asian today is Nonito Donaire (31-1, 20) who will be hoping to unify his WBO Super Bantamweight title with the WBA title currently held by Guillermo Rigondeaux (11-0, 8). Going in to this bout Donaire is the betting favourite and a victory would likely be his last at 122lbs with the clear intention being to move up to the Featherweight division sooner rather than later.
The 4-weight world champion, known as "The Filipino Flash" may not be as liked as Manny Pacquiao but he's certainly a genuine pound-for-pound fighter and if he can defeat his Cuban opponent then he'll have to be regarded as Asian's premier boxer on any pound-for-pound list. Though of course Donaire will need to beat one of the most amazing amateurs of all time in Rigondeaux and that is of course not a forgone conclusion despite what some fans may suggest.
As well as Donaire's fight in the US Filipino fans should also be aware that Jaderes Padua (8-1-1, 5) also fights abroad as he faces former WBC Super Flyweight champion Tomas Rojas (39-14-1-1, 26) over in Rojas' native Mexico. For Padua this is not only a huge step up in class but will be the 22 year old's first fight outside of his homeland. A win for Padua would not only be a huge upset but also be massive news in the lower divisions.
A bit closer to home for Filipino fans are the 2 cards being held in their country, both in Metro Manila.
Arguably the less interesting of the 2 domestic cards is the one held at the "The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex" which features a scheduled 8 bouts.
Amongst the bouts on this card are 4 bouts scheduled for 10 rounds (Dado Cabintoy (10-3-2, 5) against Jovill Marayan (7-12-3, 3); hot prospect Giovanni Escaner (9-0, 5) against veteran Ryan Tampus (11-10, 8); the unbeaten Jeffrey Arienza (9-0-1, 4) against Leonardo Doronio (10-8-2, 6) and Rene Dacquel (8-0, 1) against Samuel Apuya (7-14-1, 4)).
From the 10 round bouts we're expecting wins from Cabintoy, Escaner, Arienza and Dacquel, though it's fair to say that we think Escaner is in the toughest bout.
In the 4 bouts not scheduled for 10 rounds we will see Andrian Camique (3-0-1, 2) look for his first win of the year as he faces southpaw Lowell Saguisa (7-11, 3) over 8 rounds in what could be a tough bout for Camique. In action over 6 is Cris Alfante (6-1, 1) who faces journeyman Dodoy Alapormina (1-21-1) in what should really be a mismatch despite how tough Alapormina is.
The card also features 2 bouts scheduled for 4 round with debutant Raymond Palusot (0-0) facing Vergel Rivera (0-0-1) and debuting pair JK Elorde (0-0) facing Roy Velarde (0-0) in a Featherweight bout.
The other card, held in Taguig City has 10 scheduled bouts ranging from 4 rounders to a championship bout. The 4 round bouts see 3 debutants in action as Honesto Luha (0-0), Raymond Palusot (0-0) and Ryan Medes (0-0) go up against Menard Avila (1-0), Jonathan Susada (0-0-1) and Jay-Ar Diama (0-0-1).
The card also sees 3 bouts scheduled for 8 as Michael Dasmarinas (10-1, 6) fights against Jerald Cortes (3-6-4, 2), Oliver Gregorio (7-1-1, 4) goes up against Dexter Dimaculangan (3-1-3, 1) and Rennel Flechero (8-3-1, 4) faces Gerry Pateno (3-4-2, 2). None of these bouts seem too interesting in all honesty with it hard to really pick an upset in any of them.
Thankfully he card picks up with it's 10 round bouts which may include 1 stinker but also includes an excellent match up. The stinker is Renren Tesorio (11-2-12, 4) against the very limited Joseph Deimos (2-13-2, 1) who has proven to be a survivor though isn't a fighter who should be able to test Tesorio. Former domestic (GAB) Super Flyweight champion Marvin Mabait (17-1-2, 11) looks to continue his rebuilding as he faces (17-7-1, 11) who comes into this bout following a stoppage loss in Japan to Tomoki Kameda.
The most promising of the 10 round bouts is the hard punching Anthony Marcial (19-1, 18) facing off against the PBF Super Featherweight champion Rene Bestudio (14-4-4, 4). This bout is genuinely exciting and with Macial proving to be a wrecking force could be over very quickly if "Rocky" gets his way.
In the championship bout 26 year old Jay Solmiano (16-2-1, 12) attempts to defend the WBO Asia Pacific Light Welterweight title against Indonesian (KTI/IBC) Lightweight champion Wellem Reyk (15-6-3, 4). Whilst Reyk is 0-3 outside of Indonesia he'll know that a win here could see him climbing into the WBO top 15, a major achievement, for Solmiano however he'll be looking to maintain his excellent #12 ranking.