Right now it seems like every weekend is a busy one in boxing and this weekend is no different with notable cards from Japan, the Philippines and Azerbaijan as well as a Kazakhstan fighter defending a world title in the US.
Of the shows we have, we'll begin with the Japanese show which is going to be at the Azalea Taisho Hall in Osaka. This show is going to predominantly feature female fighters with 5 of the 7 bouts on the card being female bouts, including the main event.
The begins with a female bout as Kitawaki Emi (2-4-1, 1) fights Misaki Hirooka (2-2). This bout has "distance fight" written on it if you ask us, though hopefully it will prove to be competitive.
Following the opening bout we then get the 2 male bouts back-to-back. The first will see Yuto Kawanaka (0-0) making his professional debut against Takahiro Morishita (0-2-1) before Seita Mochizuki (2-4) battles Tomonori Ota (1-1). We'll admit these male bouts are uninspiring but the card is really all about the women.
In the sole 6 round fight of the show we expect to see veteran Nao Ikeyama (12-3-1, 4) fighting against novice Mika Iwakawa (3-1-1, 1) before we move on to the 8 round bouts which will see Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (3-1-1, 2) fighting an unrecognised Thai opponent and Tamao Ozawa (5-1, 2) fighting Tanyakorn Sor Thammajak (0-3).
The main event here sees Mari Ando (10-6, 5) taking on Jasseth Noriega (16-2-1, 5) in a battle for the currently vacant WBC female Minimumweight title. The belt was vacated earlier this year by Naoko Fujioka who subsequently went up to Super Flyweight and claimed the WBC title at 115 lbs. We favour Ando here but do admit that the bout will not be easy for her.
Staying on the world title theme this weekend sees the return to the ring of Beibut Shumenov (13-1, 8) who looks to make the first defense of his WBA Light Heavyweight super title. Shumenov, who was recently upgraded to "super champion", will be fighting for the first time in 18 months as he takes on the unbeaten Tamas Kovacs (23-0, 14). On paper this is a good fight but in reality Kovacs should post no threat to Shumenov's title.
For those wanting to watch Shumenov v Kovacs it should be part of the Showtime telecast in the US.
In the Philippines we get 2 cards, as mentioned above. Of these the better show looks to be the one at the Agoncillo Complex which is co-promoted by Saved by the Bell Promotions and Brunsmick Boxing Promotions.
The headline of this card sees the unbeaten Jun Doliguez (17-0-2, 13), fresh off the back of his US debut, taking on Thailand's Maxsaisai Sithsaithong (12-3, 3). This looks, at least on paper, to be a chance for Doliguez to put on an eye catching performance more than anything else.
Doliguez isn't the only promising unbeaten fighter in action on this show as JR Magboo (12-0-2, 5) fights Danilo Pena (26-16-3, 11) and Val Falcunaya (8-0, 6) takes on the very testing Rey Perez (17-4, 3). Magboo should be favoured heavily against Pena but Falcunaya is in for a very tough test.
The other notable bouts on this show,all scheduled for 10 rounds, will see Roberto Gonzales (22-2, 13) taking on tough journeyman Jonel Alibio (16-17-4, 8), the hard hitting Al Rivera (7-1, 6) fighting against Ronald Postrano (7-17-2, 3), Benezer Alolod (12-5-4, 2) fighting Jayson Rotoni (13-12-1, 7), Gabriel Royo (9-7-2, 8) fighting against Desson Cag-ong (13-9, 7) and, finally, Jetro Pabustan (21-1-5, 6) battling against Michael Escobia (10-5-1, 2).
The card's only other bout will see JC Francisco (5-6-1, 1) fighting against Dexter Dimaculangan (3-3-3, 1) in a scheduled 8 round affair.
The second Filipino card, the lesser if you will, begins with a trio of 4 rounders as JK Elorde (1-0, 1) fights the debuting Rolly De Tomas (0-0), Charlie Gabriel (0-3) faces debutant Raymond Yalong (0-0) and Roderick Flores (1-0, 1) look to defeat another debutant in the form of CJ De Tomas (0-0).
Following the 4 rounders we move in to 8 round action as the unbeaten Jeffrey Francisco (7-0-1) takes on Junjie Lauza (4-9-1, 1) and fellow unbeaten fighter Giemel Magramo (7-0, 4) fights journeyman Roy Albaera (2-20-5).
The bulk of this card, as with the other Filipino card, is in the 10 rounders of which we have 4 of. These include a single title fight as Rene Patilano (9-1-2, 5) fights Jomar Fajardo (12-4-1, 5) for the vacant Philippines Luzon Professional Boxing Association (LuzProBA) Light Flyweight title.
In the most 1-sided of the 10 rounders we're expecting to see the highly experienced Dennis Laurente (45-5-5, 26) taking on Thailand's Khomkaew Sithsaithong (6-2, 5). We say this is the biggets mismatch but we don't expect the bouts between Jonathan Taconing (16-2-1, 13) and Namphol Sithsaithong (4-5, 4) or Juan Miguel Elorde (13-1, 5) and Ngaotawan Sithsaithong (10-11-1, 5) to be competitive either.
One of the most intriguing cards of the day takes place on the European-Asian border as we get action in Azerbaijan. This card, which features a very interesting double title fight between Welterweights Fariz Mamedov (14-1-1, 8) and the unbeaten Matthias Pelk (20-0, 11) is a bit of an odd one. For example this fight in particular will see the men fighting for the WBO European and the IBF East/West Europe titles, two titles that we don't really understand.
As well as the double title bout we also get a trio of Heavyweight bouts. The most interesting of these will see veteran Timo Hoffmann (40-9-2-1, 23) fighting against Steffen Kretschmann (16-2-0-1, 15) for the second time. The men, who first fought in 2012 saw their initial encounter called off in the 6th round due rain. We kid you not this is a rematch of a rain effected no contest.
The second most interesting Heavyweight contest will see Roman Golovashchenko (12-1, 10) fighting against Yakup Saglam (31-3, 28). Although Saglam has got an attractive record is very much a paper one and an upset would be far from a shock. The remaining Heavyweight clash is expected to see Elchin Ahmadov (0-0) make his debut against Janis Ginters (4-5, 4).
In the remaining bouts on the card the hard hitting Rashad Karimov (26-2, 23) will fight Miguel Velozo (16-1-2, 5) and Middleweight prospect Vusal Aliyev (12-0, 5) will fight Armand Cullhaj (15-3-3, 9).
For fans wanting to watch the Azerbaijan card we've been lead to believe that Eurosport will be televising portions of it including Hoffman/Kretschmann II.
The final bout of note will see the unbeaten Anton Novikov (27-0-0-1, 10) attempting to pick up a win a win in Puerto Rico as he battles Manuel Perez (20-9-1, 4). Perez has lost 2 of his last 4 and in all honesty Novikov should have the talent to make that 3 losses in 5 for the American.
Another weekend and another extremely busy day the world of Asian boxing.
In Japan we have 3 cards on the same day, including 2 at the Azalea Taisho Hall. Despite trying hard we've been unable to name all the fighters on these cards, but we've made not of the most notable bouts.
The one show in Japan not held at the Azalea Taisho Hall is being held at the Ota Sports Park Civic Gymnasium and features 6 contests, with it being held at a different venue to the other 2 we'll start our look at the bouts here.
We think, though aren't 100% certain, that the opening bout will see Daisuke Nakajima (2-11, 1) in action though we can't hunt down his opponent unfortunately.
The second bout on the show will see Keisuke Fujii (2-3, 2) taking on Shota Inoue (1-3, 1) who will be looking for his first victory since his victory back in December 2012. Unfortunately we're unsure again on the show's third bout as both men are fighters making their debuts in a 4 round contest.
The final bout scheduled for 4 rounds sees Shibayama Kota (1-1-1, 1) facing off against who think will be Kenji Motegi (2-1-1). We're not certain about it being Motegi though we have a feeling it will be.
The two bouts we are totally certain over are the main event and the chief support. The chief support bout sees Ryuta Otsuka (12-5-2, 3), the #6 Super Flyweight in Japan, fighting Mako Matsuyama (6-6-1, 3). This really is little more than a stay busy fight for the talented Otsuka.
In the main event Hisashi Amagasa (23-4-2, 15), the Japanese Featherweight champion. fights in a stay busy contest against the unranked Zuri Kannan (15-4-2, 4). Although it's the main event it looks like a one sided one.
The first of the two cards at the Azalea Taisho Hall takes place at 13:00 local time and features 6 contests.
We believe the first contest on the show will see Seita Mochizuki (1-4) in action against a debutant who we believe will be Ryoji Fukunaga (0-0). Following this Takaichi Tsujimoto (0-2) will be in action though, again he's against a fighter we're struggling to name.
We're under the belief that the third bout on the card will be female action with Emi Kitawaki (2-3-1, 1) battling novice Terumi Nuki (1-0). This is one of 3 females bouts on the card with the second seeing Maho Tamamori (3-2-1, 1) in action against who we believe will be Asako Tonarii (3-1-1, 2). The final female contest sees Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (2-1-1) fighting Mika Iwakawa (3-1, 1).
Between the second and third female bout is a contest between Kosuke Isono (5-1-1, 1) and Yuichi Arai (6-7-1, 2).
The second card at the Azalea Taisho Hall is expected to have 10 bouts, 9 of which are expected to take place over the 4 round distance.
The show opens with Tomoshige Ashitano (0-4-1) in action against Yuki Abe (1-2), this will be followed by Shione Ogata (1-3) taking on Mikiko Muto (1-0).
Unfortunately, as if often the case with low level bouts in Japan, we've been struggling with the names of the fighters throughout this card though what we are do know is that Shohei Kanemoto (7-6-1, 3) is on the card. We believe Kanemoto will be facing Satoshi Momota (9-8, 4) though unfortunately we are't 100% sure.
On the subject of Filipino's there is also an excellent card in Metro Manila thanks to Johnny Elorde Promotions.
The main event in the Filipino show sees the very experienced Dennis Laurente (44-5-5, 25) taking on Thai Manopnoi Singmanasak (10-15, 6) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Middleweight title. The 36 year old Laurente, a former OPBF Lightweight and current Filipino (GAB) Welterweight champion will be expected to fight at a career high here though he'll be unlikely to be the smaller man. Surprisingly Manopoi last fought in the Philippines, back in 2011, as a Super Bantamweight!
Arguably the second most important contest on the card will be at Flyweight as former world title challenger Jonathan Taconing (15-2-1, 12) takes on Thai Rambo Sithsaithong (8-3, 4). This will be the Taconing's fourth successive fight against a Thai opponent and incidentally the second bout in a row against a Filipino for Rambo.
Also on the show are Elorde boxing brothers Juan Martin Elorde (14-1, 6) and Juan Miguel Elorde (12-1, 4). Juan Miguel, the younger of the two fighters, has yet to have his opponent names though we believe that Juan Martin will be fighting against Rajakru Sor Rungwatana (0-2).
In the card's only 6 round contest the unbeaten Jeffrey Francisco (6-0-1) takes on Gerald Garcia (3-5-3) in what looks like an easy contest, though as we all know upsets regularly happen in the Philippines. Another unbeaten fighter hoping to avoid a notable upset is Fritz Marvin Bolinguet (3-0) who takes on the winless Charlie Gabriel (0-2).
The show's remaining 2 contests feature 3 debutants as Jerome Montalban (0-0) takes on novice Gebby Manago (0-1) and debutants collide as Christopher Estrera (0-0) fights Ernie Mino Jr. (0-0).
Amazingly there is yet another card in the Asian boxing world as Yemen manage yet another show.
As per usual the show comes from Sanaa, the Yemeni capital and features 8 contests with many fighters holding unbeaten records.
The Yemen show opens with 5 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds. These include a duo of Light Flyweight contests as Ali Sanabani (2-2, 1) takes on Sultan Awdi (0-1) and Ali Al Ahdal (3-3, 2) faces Ali Yunus (0-1). Whilst they are a long way from headline fights they should both be competitive which is never a bad thing.
Up just a single division we expect to see debutant Suhayl Hamzi (0-0) taking on the unbeaten Husam Al Shargabi (1-0). Hamzi will be the only debutant on the show though hopefully he'll make a good account of himself.
The remaining bouts over the short distance see Luke Hasan (2-0) facing Ali Rajeh (0-1) and Jaber Arashi (1-0) battling Faisal Rifaly (0-1). Between the two bouts it seems likely that Arashi/Rifaly will be a better contest and that Hasan will just be far too skilled for Rajeh.
As well as the 4 contests the show has 3 bouts scheduled for the 10 round limit. These start with matches between Ali Salem (4-0, 1) and Saeed Asam (1-1, 1) as well as a but between Abdu Sameer (4-0) and Alwan Hawshabi (2-1, 1) which both look interesting but pale in insignificance compared to the very good looking main event.
The main event sees unbeaten fighters colliding as Omar Awdan (5-0, 2) takes on Wesam Maqrami (4-0, 2). This bout is probably between the two best Minumimweight's in Yemen not named "Ali Raymi". Aged just 16 Maqrami will know that a win here could well help make him one to watch, whilst a win for Awdan would help him push for a bout with Raymi.