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
Whilst it's fair to say that tomorrow (May 4th) will see every boxing fan watching major bouts from Europe (Wladimir Klitschko v Francesco Pianeta) and America (Floyd Mayweather Jr v Robert Guerrero and Abner Mares v Daniel Ponce De Leon) today is about fights in Asia.
Not only do we see a Japanese fighter attempting to make history but we also see 2 former world champions in action as they attempts to make their way back to the top in what promises to be an excellent day of fights in Thailand.
The highlight appears to be in Si Sa Ket with a card headlined by WBC Super Flyweight champion Yota Sato (26-2-1, 12) defending his belt against the thunderously powerful Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (18-3-1, 17). This bout will not only be the 3rd defense of the title by Sato but also holds an historic value, is Sato wins he'll be the first ever defending world champion to win a title defense in Thailand. This bout, in full, has been previewed here.
On the same card as the Sato bout there is also action from former champion Suriyan Sor Rungvisai (20-5-1, 10) the man that Sato beat for the title last year. Suriyan will be expected to score his 6th victory since his loss to Sato when he steps in to the ring against Filipino journeyman Edison Berwela (11-26-6, 2), who will be fighting for the second time in around a week (after having lost a split decision to Robert Udtuhan).
The card will also see the unbeaten Nawaphon Por Chokchai (13-0, 10), the younger brother of Suriyan, in action. Nawaphon will be facing Michael Rodriguez (13-36-1, 3) in what appears to be an easy victory. Also on the card are Chaiyong Sithsaithong (29-10-3, 21) who will face Jen Yu Jia (2-4-1, 1) and Yodchanchai Nakornloung Promotion (19-3-0-1, 16) who looks to bounce back after being stopped by Nabuo Nashiro a few weeks ago, he'll be facing debutant Pansak Sor Ratidech (0-0).
Also in Thailand we see the return to the ring of former WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (43-2, 28) who looks for his first victory since losing his title to Paulus Ambunda back in March. Sor Singyu will be facing Filipino Fredirex Rodriguez (11-2-1, 8) for the WBO International Bantamweight title. With Sor Singyu being as good as he is we'd expect him to come out victorious here and perhaps try and force a rematch with Ambunda (and lets be honest, like anyone would dislike that!)
As well as the bouts in Thailand, there is also a low profile card in the Philippines. The main bout here is in the Light Flyweight division as Jomar Fajardo (11-4-1, 5) takes on durable journeyman Ruther del Castillo (8-18-8, 2). The other bouts on the card, feature 3 unbeaten men as Renren Pasignahin (4-0-1, 1), Ian Ligutan (4-0-1, 2) and Lloyd Jardeliza (3-0-2, 2) are in action. Sadly only Pasignahin's opponent is known and he'll be fighting Menard Zaragosa (5-11, 3)
Outside of Asia, Australia again hosts action with Thai pair Kiatchai Singwancha (32-9, 21) and Sapapetch Sor Sakaorat (29-11, 19) both in action. Although both men have solid records they have been brought to Australia as "opponents" for two Aussie fighters who are expected to score relatively easy but yet notable victories. Fingers crossed that the plan backfires!