After two days of major female action we get back to manly action with a number of top Asian men in action across several major cards.
The biggest sole fight of the day takes place in Thailand where WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (22-3-1, 20) looks to make the first defence of his world title as he takes on Japan's Hirofumi Mukai (9-2-1, 1). Mukai, competing in his second world title fight is widely viewed as the under-dog though will know the pressure isn't on his shoulders in the slightest.
In Japan we have two shows.
Arguably the “lesser” of the two is at the Body manufacturer Colosseum where Harada put on a 9 fight show. This show kicks off with Reiya Konishi (1-0) fighting Tatsuya Sakamoto (3-3, 1) in one of five bouts scheduled for 4 rounds which also include the debut of Junya Shuchiku (0-0) and a contest featuring Kaito Hoshino (3-3), unfortunately we're unsure who either of those two men are fighting. In the remaining 4 rounders on this show Kyohei Tonomoto (1-1, 1) will fight Akira Takasuka (3-5) and the unbeaten teenager Yuki Takahashi (1-0) will fight Tetsuya Morisada (1-1, 1).
Following the 4 round bouts we will have a 6 rounder, though unfortunately we've failed to identify either of the men involved in this contest.
This show then finishes with a trio of 8 round bouts. The first of which will see Yuki Takemoto (13-18-2, 6) fight Yoshihiro Kinjo (7-17-2, 2) in what looks like two journeymen colliding. Unfortunately with neither man looking like they go on to much in their career it's actually hard to care too much about this contest.
The second of the 8 rounders, which sees Tetsuya Hisada (20-8, 10) up against Shunji Nagata (7-10-2, 3) is unfortunately the best looking contest on the bout. Hisada should win though we hope he'll be pushed hard. In the final contest Kota Tokunaga (10-2, 7) will look to score his third win in a row as he fights Takashi Fujiki (6-7-2, 6) who has lost his last 4.
The other Japanese show takes place at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. This show has 7 contests and starts with a fight between the debuting Ryusuke Arai (0-0) and the win-less Toshiki Maruyama (0-4). Arai is one of two debutants on the show with Shinya Ito (0-0) also fighting a win-less opponent as he fights Akihito Mitsumura (0-1).
It's not just the debutants in 4 round contests as Shunsuke Fukushima (1-1-1, 1) also fights in a bout scheduled for 4, unfortunately however we're unsure who he will be fighting.
Following the three short bouts there are four bouts scheduled for 8 rounds. The first of these 4 bouts will see Ryo Nakamura (7-2, 3) fighting Ryuta Wakamatsu (8-8, 5) in what should be a victory for Nakamura unless Wakamatsu can connect with his heavier artillery. This bout will be followed by a contest between Japanese based Filipino Johnreil Maligro (8-0, 6) AKA-Jun Sakura, and Thailand's Kosol Sor Vorapin (17-17-1, 11). This will be a huge shock if Kosol wins, despite his clear edge in experience.
Kosol isn't the only Thai that we expect to see beaten on this show as Eakkreenkrai Mor Krungthepthonburi (0-2) battles Kuninobu Shimamura (15-3, 10). It is worth noting however that Shimamura was unexpectedly beaten last time out by RJ Ano-os.
The final bout on this show Kazuhiko Hidaka (31-7, 22) fighting in what looks like a total mismatch against Shiro Saito (6-3-1, 2). The experience edge for Hidaka is huge here and he was a former OPBF Light Middleweight champion, however at 35 years old he is significantly older than Saito who has just turned 26.
Staying in Asia we expect to see the fast rising “Prince” Albert Pagara (17-0, 12) in action in the Philippines. Pagara is listed to fight against Indonesian Ruben Manakane (12-11, 8) though there is a few question marks surrounding this contest due to the issues currently in the Philippines.
We also have action in Russia where we get an eight fight card including two title fights.
This show kicks off with debutant action as Yury Kashinsky (0-0) battles Yerbol Zholdybayev (0-0) in an all debutant contest and then Alexander Gomon (0-0) takes on Denis Kenzhegaliev (0-2). These two contests are the only 4 rounders on the show and will hopefully make a solid start to the night of action.
In the sole 6 round contest of the show the unbeaten Artem Merzlikin (2-0-1, 2) fights Ruslan Sirazhev (1-1) in an interesting looking Middleweight contest.
The bulk of this card is made up by 10 round contests of which we have 4 of. The least interesting of these is Karen Avetisyan (7-6-1, 3) against Bekzod Yunusov (6-2, 3). This contest looks like it's got “distance” written all over it with neither man being a big puncher and also neither man is really highly skilled or going to go particularly far in their career.
In other male 10 round bouts Eduard Troyanovsky (15-0, 12) will fight Michael Odhiambo (11-4, 9) in what looks like a very explosive contest, though one that Troyanovsky should win with out too many issues, and the promising Fedor Chudinov (7-0, 6) taking on Jimmy Colas (32-9, 13) in what looks like a good test for Chudinov.
We expect the first title fight will be a female bout as blonde bombshell Svetlana Kulakova (8-0, 1) attempts to defend her interim WBA Light Welterweight title. Kulakova will be facing the teak tough Kenyan Florence Muthoni (8-2-1, 3) who was unfortunate not to claim the IBO Welterweight title in her last fight. Whilst we strongly favour the talented Kulakova she could be forced to work for all 10 rounds to retain her belt.
In the biggest fight of the show the once beaten Pavel Mamontov (7-1-1, 1) will face Kanat Kartenbayev (10-6-1, 4) in a bout for the interim PABA Light Middleweight title. For a few days the winner of this contest will be the sole PABA Light Middleweight champion as we await the result from the up coming bout between Akinori Watanabe and Kyung-Suk Kwak to decide the true title holder.
As well as the bouts in Asia we also get a bout in Australia as Indonesian fighter Rasmanudin (17-4-2, 9) fights Filipino Roberto Lerio (16-17-1, 6) in what is a pretty easy looking fight for Rasmanudin on paper though should be genuinely tough in reality.
It's not often that the Philippines takes centre stage in the boxing world though that's exactly what happens this coming Saturday with 3 seperate cards across the country, two of which are highly interesting.
The most noteworthy of the three Filipino shows is expected to take place at the Makati Coliseum in Makati City. A show headlined by a WBO Light Flyweight world title fight between Filipino youngster John Riel Casimero (18-2, 10) and Mexican challenger Felipe Salguero (18-4-1, 13). This will be Casimero's first defense in his homeland though his third overall and we're really hoping that he gets a hero's weclome, though we do admit that he's in a very tough bout here.
Casimero's world title defense is one of three title bouts scheduled on the show. The second most interesting, at least for us, is a WBO Asia Pacific Youth Super Flyweight title bout between the criminally under-rated Mark Anthony Geraldo (28-4-3, 12) and Inthanon Sithchamuang (19-5, 10). This will be the first defense for Geraldo of a title he won 20 months ago and we'd be very shocked if he failed to retain the title here.
The third title bout sees Adones Cabalquinto (14-0, 8), the Philippines Games & Amusement Board (GAB) Light Welterweight champion, defending his title for the second time as he takes on RJ Ano-os (8-4-1, 2). This will be Cabalquinto's first contest since December 2012 though even with the ring rust he should have enough to over come the naturally smaller Ano-os.
Amazingly, despite the the three title fights, the big names continue in several other bouts. One of those sees former world title challenger Michael Farenas (35-4-4, 27) taking on Thai opponent Kosol Sor Vorapin (17-16-1, 11). This is a genuine mismatch with Sor Vorapin coming in on the back of 4 straight stoppage losses, though it's always nice to see Farenas in action.
Another notable name on this card is Froilan Saludar (17-0-1, 11), the hard hitting prospect that many have tipped for a world title. Like Farenas, Saludar will be facing a Thai opponent, in this case Tawanrung Eausampan (5-2, 2). Saludar is one of two major prospects on the card with former amateur standout Jack Tepora (7-0, 5) fighting Danilo Gabisay (4-1, 3).
For many shows that alone would all be more than enough it appears MP Promotions, the promotional company of Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao really wants to make a statement and the show includes another 6 contests. One of those 6 contests features one time "would be" world title challenger Jose Ocampo (17-6-1, 12) tackling Leonardo Doronio (11-8-2, 7) and the promising Jessie Cris Rosales (12-0-1, 5) facing domestic rival Jerry Nardo (17-3, 8).
The remaining 4 contests on this super show will see Jessie Espina (4-1, 3) battling Louie Arlos (8-2, 2), the hard hitting Anthony Marcial (19-2, 18) taking on Rodel Wenceslao (6-6-1, 1), Joneil Dapidran (0-0) debuting against Jonnie Villacrusis (0-1) and Rence Brian Magarce (0-0) also making his debut as he takes on Diomedes Semella (0-1).
One thing is for sure about the Makati Card. Mr Pacquiao has certainly layed down a marker to say that his promotional arm is out there as a real challenger to the more established promoters in the Philippines such as ALA Promotions.
Talking about ALA they have their own show in Cebu City. This card is a bit less complete than the MP Promotions show but does feature 2 very notable title bouts.
In a WBO International Super Flyweight title bout the unbeaten Arthur Villanueva (23-0, 13) will take on limited Mexican Edgar Martinez (16-7, 10) whilst in a WBO Inter-continental Super Bantamweight title bout Genesis Servania (22-0, 8) will fight former world title challenger Rafael Concepcion (18-6-1, 8).
Of the two titles bouts in Cebu City we've got to admit we're really looking forward to Servania versus Concepcion, especially considering the problems Concepcion gave Nonito Donaire last time he faced a Filipino. Villanueva is in easy but Servania could well be given a serious test for the second fight running.
The final Filipino card is in Paranaque City and promoted by Johnny Elorde Promotions. This show, the only Filipino show with no title fights doesn't have anywhere near the quality of the other two though looks like a somewhat interesting low level card.
The most notable bout on this show features the experienced Vinvin Rufino (33-15-3, 15) taking on Junard Postrano (7-3, 2) in what looks to be a bit of a mismatch. Rufino is not only by far the more experienced man but also enters the contest on a trio of victories whilst Postrano enters on back-to-back losses.
In the co-main feature the unbeaten Randy Braga (11-0, 2) takes on the experienced Richard Olisa (23-22-2, 12). This will be a serious test for Braga despite the apparent mismatch in terms of the fighters records.
Braga isn't the only unbeaten prospect on the card as the promising Giemel Magramo (6-0, 3) takes on journeyman Ricky Oyan (4-17-2, 2) and the light hitting Jay Loto (5-0) battles Dexter Dimaculanga (3-3-3, 1). These are both decent tests for the unbeaten men though tests they should pass.
The rest of the card features mostly novices looking to establish themselves. These include Diomel Diocos (2-1, 2) who faces journeyamn Roy Albaera (2-20-4), a man who has been stopped 15 times in his 20 losses. The other two contests will see Jerome Montalban (1-0) fighting Junar Adante (0-1) and Roderick Flores (0-0) fighting Bhenyson Ricafranca (0-0) in an all debutant contest.
The one remaining Asian card takes place in Rostov-Na-Donu, Russia.
This Russian card is headlined by a GBU Cruiserweight title bout between KO sensation Dmitry Kudryashov (10-0, 10) and former world title challenger Shawn Cox (17-3, 16). This bout has "explosive" written all over though will almost certainly not last 3 rounds, in fact it'd not be a shock if it lasts less 1.
As well as the 12 round title bout there are two bouts scheduled for 10 rounds. These will see Movsur Yusupov (4-0, 3) fighting the tough Josef Obeslo (4-12-1, 2) in a male contest and the unbeaten Natalia Smirnova (6-0, 4) fighting Hana Horakova (3-9). It's hard to imagine either of the unbeaten fighters here taking their first defeat, though their true potential won't be shown here.
Several of the other fights on the show also feature promising unbeaten fighters. This includeds Viskhan Murzabekov (5-0, 2), who fights Dmitry Lavrinenko (2-7, 1), and Apti Davtaev (2-0, 2), who fights the experienced Vyacheslav Shcherbakov (3-15-1, 2). Whilst Lavrinenko might see out the distance it's be a genuine shock for Shcherbakov to do the same.
The card has 3 other contests as Aliklych Kanbolatov (4-2, 2) fights Leri Tedeev (1-0) in an 8 round contest, Gasan Gasanov (5-2, 4) battles Mikhail Smurygin (0-1) and, in an all debutant contest, Zubair Suleymanov (0-0) will share the ring with Vladyslav Yeremenko (0-0).
In a key international bout, which takes place in Toluca, Mexico, Japan's Yuki Murai (21-17-5, 7) takes on the hard hitting Rey Vargas (16-0, 15). Murai will be the third Asian fighter to go over to Japan to fight Vargas this year and it'd be a shock if Murai, who was taken out in a round by Ryosuke Iwasa, will fair any better than Seizo Kono or Juanito Rubillar.
To start a wonderful weekend of action we have 2 major cards in Asia as well as Asian action internationally as we wind down on an amazing week of action for Asian fighters in the Orient.
In Japan the Korakuen Hall plays host to an interesting card that whilst not packed with big names does have the potential to be a pretty solid card. The main event of the card sees Japan's Taisho Ozawa (21-7-2, 13) against Filipino Rey Labao (23-4, 15) in what could well be an explosive contest and one that the visitor has a genuine chance in.
On the same card we also get a Middleweight clash between Fukutaro Ujiie (17-11-1, 11) and Kyoichiro Shoji (10-4-4, 4) in what could be a bit of an eliminator to facing Ryoto Murata later this year, though admittedly Murata would likely be able to deal with them both on the same night.
Lower down the card there is a very evenly matched bout between Ryutaro Taira (7-2-1, 3) and Ganbare Shota (9-3-1, 2) which sees both men trying to forget about a stoppage defeat last time out. This has the potential to be very even and we wouldn't be that surprised at a draw.
In fact it's only the Featherweight bout between Yosuke Kawano (6-2-1, 3) and Wataru Ikenouchi (6-8-1, 1) that appears to be a forgone conclusion as we get a very rare card of 50-50 style bouts.
In Thailand we get another card though on paper it's not as even as the Japanese card. The main event sees unbeaten Flyweight Amnat Ruenroeng (8-0, 3), a former amateur standout, takes on the experienced Filipino Julius Alcos (20-10, 3). This is a big step up for Ruenroeng but one he is expected to make with out to many difficulties against the light punching Filipino.
This card also sees Rusalee Samor (19-4-2, 8) in action against Indonesian Sammy Haggler (15-14-2, 3) whilst Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (17-2, 12) takes on a yet to be announced opponent and Patomsith Pathompothong (1-0) takes on debutant Saifah Sithsaithong.
In international action Australian based Taiwanese born Yao Yi Ma (11-1, 7) looks to score his first victory in almost a year as he takes on Aussie based Filipino Joel Dela Cruz (17-16-2, 7). Although this is a none title bout Yao has claimed the IBF Pan Pacific Light Middleweight belt in the past. On the same card Thai journeyman Kosol Sor Vorapin (17-16-1, 11) looks to end a 4 fight skid as he takes on Terry TJ Doheny (4-0, 4).
We also get notable action in the US as Timur Shailezov (16-6-1, 3) from Kyrgyzstan takes on the unbeaten American Luis Yanez (6-0-1). Although Shailezov comes in on the back of 4 losses an upset here isn't actually out of the question for the 33 year old Southpaw from Bishkek.