Just over a week after we had two world title fights in Asia, we have 2 more as Hiroki Ioka puts on an excellent looking 9 fight show show in Osaka, with a world title double header stealing the headlines.
The main fight on the show see's Hiroki's nephew, Kazuto Ioka (12-0, 8) defending his WBA Light Flyweight title as he takes on experienced Thai Kwanthai Sithmorseng (43-1-1, 22), a former WBA Minuimumweight champion. This will be Ioka's second successive defense against a Thai and much like previous challenger Wisanu Kokietgym, it's hard to see the Thai surviving the distance, never mind putting up a real challenge to the talented Japanese youngster.
In the co-main feature Kazuto Ioka's most notable stablemate, Ryo Miyazaki (19-0-3, 11), is in action defending his WBA Minimumweight title. Miyazaki faces current WBA "interim" champion Jesus Silvestre (27-3, 20) in a WBA unification bout, and arguable the most exciting bout on the card. Unlike Ioka/Kwanthai this bout really does look like it's competitive and could be very, very tough for the unbeaten Japanese fighter.
Splitting the two main events on the show is a bout for Filipino Malcolm Tunacao (32-3-3, 20). The experienced Filipino appears to be matched incredibly easily as he battles Thai novice Imron Lookkhlongtan (0-2), though this is likely a bout to see if Tunacao has much left after his loss earlier this year to Shinsuke Yamanaka.
In the fourth most notable bout the unbeaten Sho Ishida (13-0, 6) takes on former PABA champion Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (22-6-1, 9). Although Ishida will be a clear favourite we expect this to be a genuinely tough contest for the unbeaten man.
The card opens with Chocoboy Oizumi (0-2-1) in action against a debutant that we believe is Jo Masaru (0-0), though we may be wrong. The Oizumi bout will be followed by Hikaru Matsuoka (3-1-2,1) against Toshiya Yokogawa (4-4, 4) before Takahiro Yamamoto (9-3, 6) takes on a Thai opponent, who unfortunately we're struggling to name.
Also on the card are two reserve bouts, or rather we think they are more precisely "floaters". These will see Daiya Shimazu (2-0, 2) fighting Takumi Imasato (3-2) and the debut of Hashizume Masayoshi (0-0) against an opponent that we can't identify
For those interested the fight poster for this show can be found here.
As well as the show in Tokyo we are also expecting a show in the Philippines and one in Thailand.
In the Philippines we expect to see the always fun to watch Lorenzo Villanueva (24-1, 22) in action as he hard hitter takes on the durable journeyman Alvin Makiling (9-6-3, 2). Villanueva, dubbed "Thunderbolt", wil be lookign for his third straight victory since his stoppage loss to Daud Cino Yordan last year.
On the same card we're anticipating action from Rolando Magbanua (22-2, 15), who is thought to have been matched with Roland Teofilo (10-17-2, 3) and former world title challenger Rommel Asenjo (23-3, 18) who is expected to blast through Brobro Languido (4-10-1, 1).
The show's opener is arguably the most interesting bout however as the promising Roskie Cristobal (5-0, 5) fights Eric Mansira (1-10, 1). On paper this looks as much of a mismatch as the rest of the card though it's actually a step up of sorts for Cristobal who's opponents so far had just a combined 8 fights between them.
In Thailand, and we're assuming live on Thai Channel 7, Norasing Kokietgym (7-0-1, 5) is expected to defend his PABA title, though we're unsure if this bout will actually take place with the PABA not yet listing an opponent for Norasing.
All the notable action today for Asian fans will be focused on the Philippines which hosts 3 cards with one of those really standing out as well as Filipino born fighters taking part in international cards.
The best of the 3 local cards takes place in the "University of Southeastern Philippines Gymnasium" in Davao City. This cards double main event are amongst the best fights anywhere on the planet this weekend.
The more notable of the 2 top fights sees former world title challenger Rey "Boom Boom" Bautista (34-2, 25) taking on Mexican Jose Ramirez (24-3, 15). Although Bautista is rightfully the favourite it does need to be noted that Ramirez can bang and 2 of his losses have come controversially by split decision. The bout, a defense of Bautista's WBO International Featherweight title could end up having an explosive finish.
For us the better bout is actually the all-Filipino co-feature that sees OPBF Super Flyweight champion Arthur Villanueva (20-0, 11) defending his belt against fellow unbeaten fighter Marco Demecillo (18-0-1, 14). This could honestly be the stand out fight of the day. Both men are evenly matched, both are unbeaten and both will be wanting to prove a point.
Through the rest of the features 2 genuinely notable bouts as Rocky Fuentes (34-6-2, 20) takes on Juan Kantun (20-3-3, 15) and the explosive Lorenzo Villanueva (23-1, 21) who faces Indonesian Arief Blader (18-9-1, 7). The card also features 3 youngsters as Engelbert Moralde (3-1, 3), John Vincent Moralde (4-0, 2) and the debuting Glenn Ramos all feature against as yet unnown opponents.
The other cards are genuinely hard to split apart in terms of quality. The one in "La Trinidad Trading Post" is headlined by Japanese visitor Tosho Makoto Aoki (13-12-2, 10) taking on Ruel Suya (6-7-1, 3) in a bout for the WBC Asia Council Continental Lightweight title. Technically that's the 12 rounder though the more appealing bout is prospect Rex Wao (6-0, 5) against Dandy Toei (9-4-3, 3) in what could well be the next stepping stone for Wao on his way to title fights.
The rest of the card in La Trinidad is somewhat passable as an undercard with Remuel Obidos (7-3-1, 2) facing Arjet Caballes (6-24-5, 3); Stephen Gelawa (4-0-1, 2) facing Jestoni Pepito (7-10-2, 2) and bouts for Jonel Espineli (0-0-1) and Renato Palay (0-0-1) bot against as yet un-named opponents.
The final card, in "Lipa City Youth Cultural Center" is headlined by Cirilo Espino (18-11-3, 11) defending his Filipino (GAB) Featherweight title against the experienced Vinvin Rufino (32-15-3, 15) on paper we've got to favour the challenger.
The Lipa City card also has a battle of unbeatens as Jeffrey Galero (8-0, 4) faces Ian Ligutan (4-0-1, 2) in a promising bout. The only other completely listed bout is hard hitting James Delos Reyes (4-1-1, 4) against Baby Marfil Jr. (2-5-2) who has yet to be stopped. We're also expecting Jecker Buhawe (14-7-1, 9) to be in action and the professional debut of Mike Kinaadman, though both are fighting to be named opponents.
As well as the local stuff however it's also good to see that Roberto Lerio (14-17-1, 5) the Australian based Filipino will be able to defend the Australian Bantamweight title that he won a year ago as he takes on Brad Hore (2-0). And in New South Wales Jayson Mac Gura (1-13-2, 1) faces Joey Williams (9-1-1, 4).