Some days are big global boxing days, we saw one this past weekend with Froch/Groves fight falling on the same day as Hernandez/Alekseev and “The Clash In Cotai”, others however a big local boxing days. Days where the only notable action takes place in a small area of the world and is unlikely to break away from that area.
We have one of those “local days” this Friday where Asian fans will certainly be happier than their European and American counterparts due to several interesting contests that will light up both Thailand and Japan.
The obvious starting point for a look at Friday's action is in Thailand where we get the first world title fight of the weekend. The contest, which sees Koki Eto (14-2-1, 10) returning to Thailand to make the first defense of his WBA interim Flyweight, appears to be one which should have real interest in both Thailand and Japan. Eto, who defeated Kompayak Porpramook for the title earlier this year will be facing Kompayak's stable-mate Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (32-2, 19), AKA Yodmongkol CP Freshmart.
Although we're unsure what other bouts will be shown by Thai channel 7 we've got to admit we're really looking forward to this one which should be a real barn burner as long as it lasts. For the sake of to we hope he can put on a performance similar to the one he had against Porpramook, though with Yodmongkol being on a long winning run he'll be confident of scoring the upset here.
Over in Japan we have two shows. Of those the one that interests us the most is “Dangan 88” a show that really deserves some sort of television coverage though doesn't seem to have it.
This show, headlined by Tadashi Yuba (44-8-2, 33) rematching Yoshihisa Tonimura (16-8-4, 4) in Japanese Light Middleweight title bout, is one where a Tonimura will be seeking revenge for a razor thin loss whilst Yuba will be further seeking to enhance his legacy. Although unknown outside of Japan, Yuba is a domestic legend and the first ever 5-weight Japanese national champion. We'd be shocked if this was anything but hard fought, competitive and incredibly close through out.
Whilst Yuba/Tonimura II is the main event it is far from the only interesting contest in an excellent eight fight card.
The show begins with a 4 rounder as the debuting Shuta Igarashi (0-0) fights the win-less Kenji Suzuki (0-4). Following this opening contest we have a second successive 8 rounder as Shogo Endo (0-1) battles who we believe will be Makoto Kawasaki (3-1-1, 1).
Oddly straight after the two opening 4 rounders we immediately move in to the 8 round distance for a Minimumweight contest between Kazuhiro Nakamura (8-4, 3) and the once beaten youngster Hiroya Yamamoto (7-1, 3). This will be Yamamoto's first contest since being upset by Hayato Yamaguchi back in August and there will be serious interest to see how Yamamoto bounced back from his first loss.
The second 8 rounder on the show will see Dai Iwai (12-3-1, 5) taking on the highly ranked Michiya Sato (10-4-4, 6). Ranked by both the JBC and the OPBF Sato is risking a lot here against the capable Iwai who will be looking at this as his chance to move into a title fight of some sort.
Following the first two 8 rounders we suddenly drop back to the 4 round distance as singer-come-boxer Yuki Clay (0-0), of Kimaguren fame, makes his professional boxing debut. The singer will be facing fellow debutant Kubota Akinori (0-0) in what appears to be an intriguing contest, even if it is little more than a gimmick fight, much like Andrew Flintoff's was in the UK a while back.
After the 4 round interlude we get back to serious action as Yuki Ozawa (10-2, 2) battles the more experienced Koji Aoki (14-7-2, 5) in a potentially enjoyable bout that screams “distance fight” to us, despite the fact Aoki has been stopped in 5 of his 7 losses.
The penultimate contest on Dangan 88, and the chief support contest for the title fight, sees Noriyuki Ueno (15-11-5, 5) defending his OPBF and Japanese rankings as he battles Yosuke Kawano (7-2-1, 3). Despite Ueno's record he is a genuine threat at domestic title level, in fact when you consider Ueno started his career 2-6-1 and has since fought in 3 Japanese title fights and 1 OPBF title fight there is little doubt that there is talent there.
The second Japanese show, courtesy of Shinsei, is scheduled to just have six contests though like the Dangan show it's a very promising looking card overall.
Despite being promising over-all the show starts with a weak 4 rounder as the win-less pairing of Daiki Haraguchi (0-6) and Daisuke Takeichi (0-1) face off. Thankfully this is the shows one bad fight fight.
The second contest on the show sees Shinsei making a very brave move as they put their unbeaten youngster Shun Kubo (2-0, 2) up against Filipino Monico Laurente (23-9, 5). Although Laurente has picked up a couple of losses in recent bouts and is much smaller than Kubo, he could prove to be very tricky still and make Kubo look bad. Kubo's natural size advantage should see him through to the victory but the experience difference between the two men could make it very interesting.
If we think Kubo is in hard then Thai visitor Mongkoldam Sithwarunee (1-2, 1) has it even tougher as he takes on the hard hitting Kota Fukuoka (14-3-2, 11). Fukuoka is certainly beatable but he has won his last 7 with 5 of those coming by stoppage, it'd be a surprise if he didn't add another to both of those figures here.
In the fourth contest of the card we get another of those interesting looking bouts with an unbeaten prospect as Shohei Omori (9-0, 5) faces Filipino veteran Albert Alcoy (14-16-7, 4). Although this looks a great test on paper it does seem like Omori is becoming a man and punching harder and this bout seems like a step backwards for him considering how he stopped Kiron Omura in 92 seconds back in July. We'd be pretty shocked if Omori doesn't record another stoppage here.
The penultimate bout on this show will see Ryotaro Kawabata (8-2, 3) in action. Although we're not certain on who he'll be up against we have heard that it's a Korean, likely to be Bum-Young Lee (8-6-2, 3), a former Korean Super Flyweight champion. Lee is a man that some Japanese fans will be familiar with due to his losses to Hirofumi Mukai and Takuya Kogawa and if it him fighting Kawabata it's fair to say that we expect the Korean to suffer his third loss to a Japanese fighter.
Like with Danagn 88 the main event here is another Japanese title fight. This time it's down at Bantamweight where Kohei Oba (34-2-1, 13) will be seeking the second defense of his title as he battles Yuji Hasegawa (8-2, 2). We'd expect that if Oba wins he'll be looking to get himself into a world title fight rather than keeping a hold of the national title any longer.
Unfortunately due to the strength of Japanese boxing at Bantamweight Oba is between a rock and a hard place. He could keep defending the belt, he could challenger the winner of Shiino/Iwasa to an OPBF title bout or he could try to fight one of the three Japanese world champions at the weight. Unfortunately we'd not back him against any of the world champions or the Shiino/Iwasa winner, though he's better than pretty anyone else domestically. In fact domestically Oba against Ryo Akaho is probably the most interesting contest out there for him.
Out side of the Asian countries the action continues with a few interesting contests.
In Queensland, Australia fans will get to see Thailand's Chaiyong Sithsaithong (31-11-3, 22) take on Josh King (15-3, 8) in a battle for the WBO Oriental Lightweight title. On the same show as that Filipino Michael Dan (3-6-1, 1) will be facing Ryan Heck (3-1-1) in a much lower level contest.
Staying in Australia, though down south in Victoria, Filipino Marlon Alta (12-3, 9) will be facing the unbeaten Zac Dunn (10-0, 9) in a battle over the WBC Youth World Super Middleweight title. Alta, who has been out of the ring since he was stopped by Makoto Fuchigami 13 months ago, will know that a win here could explode him back on to the scene, but he'll also know he's being brought in to lose to the Aussie banger.
A third bout in Australia sees Aswin Cabuy (14-44-3, 7) trying to end a 6 fight losing streak as he takes on Leroy Brown (15-5-1, 5) in New South Wales.
Amazingly there is one other Asian involved in a title fight, though rather peculiarly it's in Ecuador as Chinese born Kazakhstani fighter Kanat Islam (14-0, 12) battles Colombia's Emilio Julio Julio (28-11-2, 20) for what we assume will be the WBA Fedelatin Light Middleweight title. Islam is one of those fighters who seems very interesting, though is unfortunately very well hidden from the wider boxing public. Thankfully if he wins here he's expected to be on an American card in December.
What a great day today looks like being. We not only have Asian fighters competing around the globe but we also have a chance to crown an Asian world champion and the continuation a modern day Asian great.
In Hyogo, Japan we see the return to the ring of Hozumi Hasegawa (31-4, 13) who is fighting for just the 3rd time since being stopped by Jhonny Gonzalez back in April 2011. Hasegawa has, on paper anyway, a very easy nights work as he takes on Thai Veerapol Sor Chantasith (3-3). With Chantasith having not fought at all in 3 years it's almost certain that Hasegawa is looking to just shake off some rust.
Also in Japan though in Tokyo is action for Kuninobu Shimamura (14-2, 9) who will face Yusuke Kikuchi (11-4, 4) in what should be a pretty even match up. This card also features Rokuhei Suzuki (7-4-2, 3) who fights Takenori Ohashi (9-3, 6) in what should again be an excellently matched bout.
In Thailand we have a chance to see Kompayak Porpramook (49-4, 34) attempt to claim the "interim" WBA Flyweight title as he faces Jean Piero Perez (20-5-1, 14). This bout has been fully previewed here.
In the Philippines the "Southville 3 Multi-purpose Gymnasium" hosts arguably the biggest card of the day. The main event of the card sees unbeaten youngster Cris Paulino (10-0, 3) attempt to claim the Filipino (GAB) Flyweight title from Ardin Diale (19-7-3, 6). This is a bout we're looking forward to and have heard really things about Paulino who some view as one of the more over-looked Filipino youngsters.
The same Filipino card sees Jaymart Toyco (11-3, 7) looking for his 7th straight victory as he takes on Jovel Romasasa (10-9, 4) over 10 rounds, in fact the card features 3 bouts scheduled for 10. The other 2 longer bouts see Dan Nazareno Jr (17-10, 13) taking on Alejandro Anas (4-11-1, 2) and Virgil Puton (8-3, 3) fighting Rex Olisa (9-18-1, 7).
With 4 bouts schedules for 8 it's the Donaire name that stands out as Richard Donaire (5-7-1, 2), the cousin of Nonito Donaire, faces Pit Anacaya (8-19-2, 1). The other 8 round bouts feature the promising Robert Udtuhan (18-1-2, 12) who fights Edison Berwela (11-25-6, 2), Mike Espanosa (10-6, 6) who is pitted against Jeson Berwela (4-13, 2) and Angelito Merin (5-2-2, 1) who's matched with Jonathan Ligas (4-4-1).
Over the 6 round distance Richard Claveras (2-0-2, 2) will be looking to maintain his unbeaten record as he goes up against Richie Bagaan (1-1-1). The card's only 4 rounder sees the unbeaten Joel Taduran (1-0) taking on debutant Jean Luis Araneta (0-0).
In international action Chinese born Kazakh Kanat Islam (10-0, 9) looks for his biggest win in the pro ranks as he faces the experienced Colombian Emilio Julio Julio (26-10-2, 19). The 2008 Olympic bronze medal winner, has been incredibly active and this will be his 11th fight in just 7 months yet with his amateur pedigree and genuine power. We're excited about this guys potential and think he's really one to keep an eye out for.
There is also international action for Filipino Ronald Pontillas (15-5-3, 7) who travels all the way to Ghana to face Emmanuel Tagoe (20-1, 8) for the
vacant WBA International Super Featherweight title and the WBO Africa Super Featherweight title. We've got to admit, we have no idea how Pontillas qualifies for the WBO Africa title but good luck to "Unpredictable" .