Another weekend begins in the boxing world and again we get a busy one with Asian fighters fighting both at home and around the world.
The most notable card in the Asian boxing world this weekend is a Teiken promotions card from Tokyo which features 7 bouts including 2 very notable ones.
In the main even of the Teiken card former linear and WBC Flyweight champion Toshiyuki Igarashi (17-2-1, 10) takes on Mexican veteran, and former world title challenger himself, Omar Soto (23-10-2, 15). The bout, scheduled for 10 rounds, will be Igarashi's first since losing his titles to Akira Yaegashi back in April and although he's stepping up to Super Flyweight it'd be a shock to see anything but a clear win for the former champion.
The co-feature of the card sees former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda (27-3-2, 12) face Alejandro Hernandez (25-9-2, 14) as Shimoda loosk to put an unexpected draw to Roli Gasca earlier this year behidn him. Hernandez is a very capable fighter, despite his patchy record, and his most notable losses have come against excellent fighters such as Leo Santa Cruz, Omar Andres Narvaez and Carlos Tamara whilst he also has a draw to Marvin Sonsona.
In the final of arguably a triple header Yasutaka Ishimoto (22-6, 5) takes on the experienced Ignacio "Charly" Valenzuela (20-17-4, 9). Although Ishimoto isn't as much of a name as Shimoda and Igarashi he did send shockwaves through the boxing world earlier this year when he upset Wilfredo Vazquez Jr, he may well only be two or three wins away from a possible world title fight.
From the rest of the card the only really notable bout is one between Masanobu Nakazawa (12-1-1, 4) and Kazutaka Takakuwa (9-6, 2). Although on paper this looks like a clear victory for Nakazawa it does need to be noted that he's been fortunate in several of his recent contests.
The rest of the card sees Yuichi Yokoyama (11-2, 10) fighting Yasumasa Eguchi (6-8-2, 3), Heisuke Ono (2-2-2, 2) battling Hikaru Takaki (3-3, 3) and Yoshinobu Kakinaga (1-0) facing Katsuaki Kinoshita (0-2) in the show's opening bout.
As well as the Japanese card there is two shows in the Philippines, both of which feature some genuinely interesting match ups.
In Cebu, where there's a 7 fight show, we will see a main event between Vergilio Silvano (16-2-1, 10) and Jetly Purisima (17-12-4, 5) with the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title up for grabs. With the records of the two men it's easy to favour Silvano for the victory but Purisima has mixed at a much higher level and will be looking for his biggest win here, a victory that isn't totally out of his grasp.
In the chief support bout we expect to see a return to the ring for former WBO Super Flyweight champion Marvin Sonsona (16-1-1, 13). "Marvelous" Marvin has only fought twice in the last 3 years but at just 23 years old he can certainly get back to the top, well as long as he can sort out his issues out of the ring.
Although Sonsona's opponent is yet to be named we wouldn't expect anyone too tough for him here though hopefuly he'll show commitment to the sport, something that has clearly been lacking recently.
The rest of the card sadly lacks anything too interesting with the unbeaten Jhaleel Payao (5-0, 3) looking to extend his unbeaten record against Roel Garcia (5-10-2, 1). The only other bout worth noting from the undercard sees Jimboy Haya (2-0-1, 2) facing fellow unbeaten novice Jhon Kenan Villaflor (2-0-1, 1).
The remaining bouts on show are Jordan Catubay (4-1-1, 2) battling Junny Salogaol (4-4-4, 4), Jessie Suacasa (2-0, 1) facing Salatiel Amit (1-0, 1) and the debut of Cristian Amante (0-0) who fights Gary Rojo (1-5).
The second Filipino card, taking place in Metro Manila, is headlined by a WBC International Flyweight bout as Renan Trongco (13-4, 8) battles China's Wang Xin Hua (10-8-1). Hua, like many Chinese fighters, is tough and much better than his record indicates so don't expect to see him blown away by Trongco here.
Unfortunately the rest of the card here is weak. We expect the opening fight to be between debutant Ariel Benedict Escayo (0-0) and Arnold Garcia (0-1), before winless pair Jay-Ar Campana (0-1) and Kenjie Watanabe (0-1) meet in a "somebody's 0 has got to go" bout.
The first of the cards 6 round bouts is expected to be a rather mismatched bout between Just Bornilla (4-1, 1) and Edsil Jungco (0-4-4) before the second 6 round bout which pitches Warren Mambuanag (6-2-2, 3) and Roldan Aldea (3-1-1, 2) together.
The 8 round bouts on the show see Vergel Rivera (3-0-1) in action, albeit against an opponent that we aren't certain about, Lloyd Jardeliza (3-0-3, 2) facing Arjet Caballes (6-27-5, 3) and Cirilo Espino (18-12-3, 11) up against Jomar Borbon (3-14-2, 1).
In the chief support bout the hard hitting Gabriel Royo (8-7-2, 7) takes on the limited Samuel Apuya (7-15-1, 4).
The final Asian card takes place Kazakhstan. We expect Bakhtiyar Eyubov (3-0, 3) to headline the card which also features debutants Kanat Abdrakhmanov (0-0) and Murat Nurkasymov (0-0). Sadly all 3 men are down to face as yet named opponents.
On the international stage we expect Asian's to be in action in Australia, Denamrk and Germany.
The Australian card, in Bunbury, sees a trio of Asian with Filipino Allan Tanada (12-2-3, 5) fighting in the main event against Matt Garlett (11-1, 6). This bout will be for the WBC International Super Featherweight title and likely help move the winner to within a few fights of a possible world title bout.
The other other bouts in Australia see Thai's in action with Rachamongkol Sor Pleonchit (14-5, 6) battling former world title challenger Naoufel Ben Rabeh (36-3, 19) and Thongthai Rajanondh (16-14, 4) fighting the debuting Nathaniel May (0-0).
In Denmark the Lebanese born "Baby face" Ahmad Kaddour (26-2-1, 10) faces Aleksei Tsatiasvili (4-4, 2) and Uzbek born Artem Solomko (11-23-1, 4) faces the dangerous Oscar Ahlin (7-0, 7).
The final bout of note sees Rola El Halabi (12-1, 6), also originally from Lebanon, in action against the unbeaten Sopo Putkaradze (6-0-2, 1). This will be El Halabi's first defense of the WBF female Light Welterweight bout and we expect her to get a real hero's welcome to celebrate the turn around of her career after being shot 2 years ago by her step father
After an oddly quiet week in the boxing world the action really kicks off on Friday with action around the world and across pretty much every level.
In Thailand the action kicks off with Terdsak Kokietgym (49-4-1, 32) defending the PABA Super Featherweight interim title against Filipino Rodynie Rafol (10-4-2, 4). On paper this is a bit of a mismatch but Rafol did almost upset Bualuang OnesongchaiGym in April in his last fight in Thailand so he may shock us and give Terdsak a tough one.
There is also the return to the ring of Thai world champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (19-3-1, 18) though we're very unsure on his opponent. As far as we are aware this will be a none title fight for the WBC Super Flyweight champion who is expected to defend his title before the end of the year.
Whilst the PABA action may be in Thailand that doesn't mean Japanese fans aren't in for a day to remember as well with two stacked cards of their own.
For us the most interesting of the two Japanese cards takes place at the Central Gym in Kobe. The main attraction here sees Kohei Oba (33-2-1, 12) defending his Japanese Bantamweight title against Satoshi Niwa (15-15-3, 2). The bout is a clear mismatch on paper but with so many of the top Japanese fighters at 118lbs currently mixing in and around world level Oba is actually struggling to find domestic opponents. Saying that Niwa is the #1 ranked challenger in Japan and does enter the bout on a 5 fight winning streak.
Staying at Bantamweight the once beaten Ryotaro Kawabata (8-1, 3) takes on the durable Marjohn Yap (18-9, 10). Yap returns to Japan after giving Ryosuke Iwasa a solid contest back in March so this bout is likely to be a case of directly comparing Kawabata to Iwasa, a man many feel is ready for a world title bout.
At Super Featherweight Yuta Matsuda (9-7-2, 4) faces Tokiya Nishioka (5-3-2, 2). Matsuda looks to build on his victory over Seiichi Okada from earlier this year. The other bout on the card sees Yuma Iwahashi (9-5-1, 1) taking on Atsushi Aburada (7-4, 4) in what looks like a competitive lower level match up.
The other Japanese card takes place at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
At the "Hall" the title attraction sees Naoko Shibata (9-3-0, 3) defending her OPBF female Light Flyweight title for the 3rd time. Shibata will be taking on Mika Oda (5-6-1, 1) for the second time following a decision victory over her in November 2011.
As well as Shibata/Oda II there is a promising bout at Middleweight between Kazuhiko Hidaka (31-6, 22) and Hikaru Nishida (7-6-1, 2). Hidaka, ranked #6 at Light Middleweight by the JBC will be moving up a division to take on the #8 ranked Japanese Middleweight. Hidaka has to be the favourite though he has been stopped and moving up in weight may work against him here.
The rest of the card is made up of lower level bouts with Kazutaka Takakuwa (8-6, 2) facing Osamu Hashimoto (8-4, 1) in an 8 round contest. The remaining contest are all scheduled for 6 rounds as Ryuji Yokoyama (8-1, 3) takes on Takushige Sato (4-3-1, 1); Ryo Nakamura (6-2, 2) faces the hard hitting Taro Mochizuki (4-5, 4) and Ryu Kenshiro (4-5-1, 2) fights Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi (1-3).
In terms of international action the highlight is in the US as Filipino power puncher Drian Francisco (24-1-1, 19) looks to make his mark stateside. Francisco takes on the once highly touted Chris Avalos (21-2, 16) in the main event of the up coming "Friday Night Fights" and a victory could well see him becoming a regular on US TV due to his style and power.