Unlike many weekend's this Saturday isn't a massively busy day in the world of Asian boxing, though it is a massively important one thanks to a major card in Russia and a notable card in Japan as well as two interesting bouts in the US.
We'll start by looking at the Japanese card, a card entitled the "518th Dynamic Glove".
This Japanese show opens with a bout between the debuting Wataru Takeda (0-0) and the 1 fight novice Ryuhei Takahashi (0-1), We can't really say much about this bout, or the subsequent contest between novices Masayuki Ichikawa (1-0, 1) and Takashi Yamaguchi (1-1).
After the opening two bouts we get the cards first genuinely good looking contest as Takenori Ohashi (10-3, 7) battles Kenta Takahashi (10-6-2, 3) in an evenly matched bout on paper. Although looking at the two men Ohashi would start as a favourite it's worth noting that Takahashi has been unfortunate in his most recent loss, a bout with the unbeaten Gosuke Seki.
In the show's fourth contest former OPBF champion Yukinori Oguni (10-1, 2) begins the process. Oguni was shocked earlier this year by the under-rated Shingo Wake and will be hoping that he's not beaten in a second successive bout as he takes on Yuki Iwasaki (11-3, 6) who is highly ranked by both the OPBF and the JBC.
The show's fifth bout is the first of two title bouts on the show as Suyon Takayama (18-1, 7) defends his Japanese Welterweight title for the second time. It's difficult to imagine Takayama being upset by the #12 ranked Japanese title challenger Cobra Suwa (12-10, 5), who himself is best known for losing a OPBF title effort earlier this year to Akinori Watanabe.
The main event of this show sees OPBF Lightweight champion Yoshitaka Kato (25-4-1, 7) defending his title over 12 rounds against Filipino Rey Labao (24-4, 16) in what should be an excellent bout. We favour Kato but Labao has got the power to neutralise Kato's edge in skill.
If the Japanese card is a notable one then it's fair to say that the big action is in Russia. The main event in Moscow sees Russian Heavyweight Alexander Povetkin (26-0, 18) attempting to claim the WBA "super", WBC, IBF, Ring Magazine and IBO titles as he battles Ukraining Wladimir Klitschko (60-3, 51) in what promises to be the most notable Heavyweight fight of the year.
The Povetkin/Klitschko bout isn't the only Heavyweight clash on the show, despite the fact it takes up the whole poster, with Uzbekistan's Ruslan Chagaev (21-2-1, 20) battling Jovo Pudar (30-3, 17) in the second Heavyweight bout on the show. We believe this bout will be for the PABA Heavyweight title, giving the winner a real chance at fighting for the vacant WBA "regular belt" next time out.
As well as the two Heavyweight clashes we also have two very interesting looking Cruiserweight bouts. The most interesting of the two sees unbeaten Pole Mateusz Masternak (30-0, 22) battling Russian Grigory Drozd (36-1, 25) in a fight for the European title whilst in the second bout recent world title challenger Rakhim Chakhkiev (16-1, 12) fights Giulian Ilie (20-6-2, 6). This will be Chakhkiev's first bout since losing to Krzysztof Wlodarczyk back in June.
The only other bout on the Russian card that we're aware of is a Middleweight bout that features Fedor Chudinov (7-0, 6) taking on Kenyan Daniel Wanyonyi (18-5-2, 15) in what promises to be explosive one way or another.
In the US Russian Lightweight Andrey Klimov (16-0, 8) looks to become the spoiler as he takes on fast rising American Terence Crawford (21-0, 16) whilst on the came card Vietnam's Dat Nguyen (17-2, 6) takes on unbeaten Puerto Rican Jayson Velez (20-0, 15). It's hard to see anything but wins for the two unbeaten men here though if they get upset then it really would be worth noting.
The final bout of interest in regards to ourselves takes place in Germany as Bakhtiyar Iskenderzade (8-3, 1) of Azerbaijan, battles Josef Holub (2-58-1) in what looks likely to be Iskenderzade fight victory following back to back defeats.
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.
We're sorry for the past week or so of no updates, we've been having issues that have been keeping us from updating the site recently. Thankfully those issues have been sorted and normal service will be resumed this week, starting with a preview of Tuesday's upcoming action.
Tuesday's action is shared across Hong Kong and Japan with two noteworthy cards that are sure to grab the attention of boxing fans.
In the Korakuen Hall there is a 6 bout card that features several promising young Japanese fighters. Arguably the biggest name on the card is Kenji Kubo (1-1) who is looking to bounce back from his stunning loss to Rey Megrino back in January. Kubo will be matched a little softer than he has been so far as he takes on Galih Susanto (6-2, 1) from Indonesia. Although this is supposedly an easier bout Susanto did give Denkaosan Kaovichit a tough bout earflier this year and is better than his record indicates.
If Kubo is the biggest name (due to his experience in other fields) then Hiroki Okada (5-0, 5) is the most promising. The unbeaten Okada is to take on the experienced Indonesian Heri Andriyanto (19-15-2, 10). Whilst on paper this is a mismatch Andriyanto did end the stoppage streak of Shuhei Tsuchiya just over a year ago. Aged 23 Okada is one of Japan's most exciting prospects but will need to pass this tough test before we can say too much more.
Other than Okada there is only 1 other unbeaten fighter on the card, Gosuke Seki (12-0-2, 2) who faces Kenta Takahashi (10-5-2, 3). This is a rematch of a bout from last year which saw next to nothing seperating the two men and the judges ruling it a draw.
The other 3 bouts on the card include Ryota Itoyama (9-4, 5) taking on Yuichi Ideta (13-7-1, 7) with Ideta trying to end a 5 fight winless streak, the very evenly matched Tonko Nakagawa (11-5, 4) and Yoshihiro Utsumi (10-4-1, 5) fighting in a Super Bantamweight bout and Masahito Igawa (10-7-1, 3) looking to return after over 2 years out as he takes on Masatoshi Nakamura (6-6, 3).
In Hong Kong local star Rex Tso (8-0, 5) fights his toughest bout to date as he takes on former world champion Wandee Singwancha (67-16-1, 18). Tso will be hoping to make the second defense of his WBC Asia Council Continental Super Flyweight title. Despite the huge gulf in experience he should have enough size advantage and youth to defeat his Thai opponent.
The Tso bout is just 1 of 3 titles bouts on the Hong Kong card with Thai Ekapol Yothinpanawet (13-1, 9) looking to claim the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Welterweight title as he takes on Filipino Mike Tumbaga (12-18-2, 6) in the only bout for a vacant title.
Arguably the most significant title bout on the card is the WBC Atomweight title fight between the Japanese champion Momo Koseki (15-2-1, 3) and Eun-Young Huh (6-1-1). Kosecki is on a 13 fight unbeaten streak including 10 defenses of her title and will be looking to once again back up her claim of being the best Atomweight on the planet.
The card's only 6 round bout sees Japanese based Ugandan Festus Omondi (8-4, 6) taking on the experienced Edgar Gabejan (23-29-6, 7). This is a bit of a toss up though we would favour Gabejan due to his experience.
The remaining 3 bouts, all scheduled for 4 rounds sees 6 novices in action with just a solitary bout between them. The one man with a fight to his name is Chan Sin Man (1-0) who will be facing Alvin Cooney (0-0), the other two, all debutant bouts are Nibesh Ghale v Kuok Kun Ng and Oliver Prevost v Keng Fai Lam. The second of those bouts is the most interesting pitting the Hong Kong based Frenchman Prevost against Macao's Keng Fai Lam in a Heavyweight bout in a bout that has plenty of intrigue though can it deliver?