Some days in boxing quiet, others are busy and on very rare occasions boxing is crazy. This Saturday is one of those crazy days with more action than you could shake a stick at, in fact there is more Asian action this Saturday than we can honestly believe.
We'll start with the biggest show of the day, “Pinoy Pride XXIII”, which as you may have guess will be in the Philippines.
Dubbed “Pinos Kontra Latinos” the show is mainly Filipinos fighting against Latinos and it's these fights that give us the shows two main events and the chief support bouts.
The main fight, for us, is the WBO Minimumweight title fight which will see Merlito Sabillo (23-0, 12) defending his title against unbeaten Nicaraguan Carlos Buitrago (27-0-0-1, 16). Buitrago, fighting in Asia for the first time, will be the third successive Latin American to fight Sabillo who has stopped both Luis De La Rosa and Jorle Estrada this year. With both men having unbeaten records and with a world title on the line this is one of those rare fights that does get the mouth water and really could be something very special inside the ring.
Sabillo isn't the only man defending his world on this Filipino show as his compatriot Donnie Nietes (31-1-4, 17) attempts to defend his WBO Light Flyweight title. Nietes, who looked very poor against Moises Fuentes last time out, has an easier assignment than Sabillo as he fights the somewhat shop worn Sammy Gutierrez (33-9-2, 23). At his best Gutierrez would have been a handful for Nietes but right now the Mexican challenger appears to merely be collecting one more pay day.
Alongside the two world title fights are two international fights as Filipinos again face Latinos. These bouts will see Jason Pagara (31-2, 19) defending his WBO International Light Welterweight title against the big hitting Vladimir Baez (19-1-2, 17) from the Dominican Republic and recent world title challenger Milan Melindo (29-1, 12) attempting to claim the WBO International Flyweight title as he takes on Jose Alfredo Rodriguez (29-2, 18). For Melindo his bout will be his first since losing in his world title fight to Juan Francisco Estrada and he may feel the mental effects of that loss here, despite putting up a very good effort.
In the most notable non-title bout of the show AJ Banal (29-2-1, 1) will be fighting Manuel Gonzalez Garcia (16-7-2, 5) over 10 rounds. This will be supported on the under-card by Jimrex Jaca fighting (38-6-3, 21) fighting Wellem Reyk (17-7-3, 5) of Indonesia.
The opening contests on this Filipino card will see Justo Bornilla (5-1-1) fighting Diover Mangaya-ay (1-2-1), Jerwin Dela Rosa (1-3) battling Marlon Arcilla (2-1) and Rolly Sumalpong (1-0) meeting fellow unbeaten Jeffrey Alejandre (1-0).
It's not just the Filipino card with world title action but also China as their first ever world champion Xiong Zhao Zhong (21-4-1, 11) makes the second defense of his WBC Minimumweight title. Unfortunately this bout, which will be televised by CCTV 5, won't be Zhong in with a real challenger as Omari Kimweri was forced out of the bout due to passport issues. Instead Zhong will be facing Thailand's Lookrak Kiatmungmee (7-4, 4) who hasn't fought a professional boxing contest since 2011. Of course with this being Zhong's first defense in China it's hard to bee too angry about him having an easy one.
On the same show as Zhong's world title defense we expect five other bouts. These are likely to include Nampetch Or Liangprasert (1-0, 1) fighting the debuting Kang En (0-0), Chinese based Russian Andrey Kalyuzhnyy (3-1, 1) battling Angelov Vasil Kostadinov (0-0), Xian Wei Qian (2-1-1) up against Neeraj Goyat (0-2-2) and Xu Chun Yan (2-3) fighting Keanpetch Superchamps (5-5-1) in an all female bout. The only contest we're unsure about is that of Qu Peng (3-0-1, 2) who is apparently fighting an Indian opponent called Surender (0-0). We assume Surender isn't the fighter full name.
Although things are busy in China and in the Philippines things are insanely busy in Russia where we're lead to believe there will be an astonishing five different shows!
The most interesting of the Russian shows is at the Olympic Sports Complex in Grozny as SKV Boxing put on an eight fight show which involves two title fights and several interesting unbeaten fighters.
As far as we are aware the main event will see Apti Ustarkhanov (3-1-1, 1) fighting Josef Obeslo (4-13-1, 2) for the GBU Light Heavyweight title. Despite us assuming that's the main event, the most interesting contest is probably the other world title bout on the show which will see the unbeaten Nikki Adler (10-0, 6) fighting for the female WBC Super Middleweight title as she faces Zane Brige (2-3-1, 1). Whilst this is a better contest it should be noted that Adler is already 2-0 against Brige.
In regards to the prospects on the show we're very interesting in Movsur Yusupov (5-0, 3), who is scheduled in a 12 rounder against Vladimir Idranyi (4-13-2, 1), and Viskhan Murzabekov (6-0, 3), who will be up against Uladzislau Mahdanau (1-4, 1) in a 10 rounder. It's hard to tell what either of these unbeaten men have in terms of potential but the fact they are already being put in 10 and 12 rounders is an interesting thing to note considering their lack of experience.
On the under-card Arbi Madaev (1-0) will be fighting the win-less Oleksandr Pritula (0-1), Zubayr Suleymanov (0-1) will be hunting his first victory as he takes on the relative fragile Bogdan Bondarenko (1-6, 1), Heavyweight puncher Apti Davtaev (3-0, 3) will look to extend his stioppage run as he goes up against Frantisek Kynkal (2-2, 2) and probably most interestingly Ilyas Kelimatov (0-0) debuts in a 6 rounder against Anton Petukhov (0-1).
Whilst the debut of Kelimatov interests us we'd actually go as far as to say the most interesting debut takes place in Moscow as 2012 Olympian Uktamjon Rahmonov (0-0) debuts against Evgeny Klimov (2-0, 1). Rahmonov looked very good in the Olympics before running in to eventual Gold medal winner Roniel Iglesias and we'd say he has real potential to become a very special fighter.
It's of course not just Rahmonov in action in Moscow the though the show is full of debuts as Iliyor Sherali (0-0) takes on Sherzod Isakjonov (0-1), Igor Morozov (0-0) starts his career, Rasul Dibirov (0-0) fights Alexander Kubich (3-0, 1) and Islam Dumanov (0-0) takes on Egor Bakulin (2-0, 1).
The most exciting looking contest in Russia takes place in Lyubertsy as heavy handed Cruiserweights collide in a bout between Dmitry Kudryashov (11-0, 11) and Zack Mwekassa (14-3, 13). Between the two men they have a combined record of 25-3 (24) and have only been the distance twice in 28 contests. Don't be shocked if this is over in vicious fashion.
On the same show in Lyubertsy Evgeny Chuprakov (6-0, 2) will be fighting Alexey Shorokhov (5-6, 3) for the Russian Super Featherweight title. We believe Chuprakov should have more than enough in him to defeat Shorokhov though we'd like to see the unbeaten man pushed hard.
The rest of this card will see Maksym Ponomarev (8-1) fighting Alexey Kovalev (2-3, 1), Gasan Gasanov (6-2, 5) taking on Josef Krivka (4-3, 4), Arkadiy Arutyunyan (3-0) battling Gor Arutyunyan (0-1) and Romal Amanov (2-0) sharing the ring with Roman Ivanov (1-1, 1).
In Ekaterinburg we get a 3 fight show headlined by Dmitry Mikhaylenko (14-0, 5) fighting against Bogdan Protsyshyn (7-7, 2) in a 10 rounder.
The support bouts here are expected to see the unbeaten Vasily Lepikhin (14-0, 7) battling Alexey Varakin (28-18-3, 16) over 8 rounds and Andrei Isaeu (23-4, 7) fighting Suhrobjon Usmonov (4-11) over 6 rounds.
The final Russian card is in Pskov and features six contests. The main event here is expected to be Artur Akavov (8-1) up against Jeferson Luiz De Souza (12-1-1, 7) in a 10 rounder. Despite this being the main event we actually like the co-feature with Yuri Ramanau (22-3, 14) against Ravil Mukhamadiyarov (10-51-2, 8). Although a mismatch it could well open up a more meaningful contest for Ramanu who we've been long term admirers of despite how disappointing his career has become.
Of the remaining contests on the show only two are fully listed with Andrey Knyazev (9-0, 4) fighting Yuri Bihoutseu (6-5-2, 5) and Sergey Gorokhov (1-1, 1) battling Mikhail Ryzhonkin (2-3-1, 1).
The remaining contests in Pskov will see Gennady Martirosyan (23-3, 11) and Sherali Mamadaliev (17-2, 10) in action, though neither man yet has a named opponent.
Amazingly it seems like there are more Russians in action than any other nationality over the weekend as two are competing in Canada as well. For Sergey Kovalev (22-0-1, 20) the weekend will be marked by his first WBO Light Heavyweight title defense as he fights Ismayl Sillakh (21-1, 17) in what could be a very short lived contest if Kovalev can get his wrecking balls in to action early on.
The other Russian in Canada is the very promising Artur Beterbiev (2-0, 2) who looks to extend his winning as he takes on Billy Bailey (12-17, 4). Bailey, despite having 17 losses has only been stopped twice, though Beterbiev does look like a genuinely destructive fighter and has the look of a future world champion.
The final bout which interests us will see Filipino-Canadian Marc Pagcaliwangan (6-0, 6) looking for his seventh straight stoppage as he takes on Octavio Hernandez (13-5, 6). This is by far the toughest contest in the career of Pagcaliwangan though the expectation is that the kid will become a massive star in the future so he should be able to pass this test with out any major worries.
A somewhat quiet weeks comes to a crashing halt on Sunday as the Asian boxing fans get a major day of action both at home and around the globe.
We'll start by looking at the sole world title bout featuring an An Asian fighter as Japanese fighter Hiroyuki Hisataka (22-10-1, 10) travels to Argentina to take on WBO Super Flyweight champion Omar Andres Narvaez (39-1-2, 20).
In recent world title fights on international soil Japanese fighters have been impressive, winning or losing. Hisataka will have to be just as impressive as the likes of Takashi Miura and Koki Eto if he's to defeat Narvaez in a fight where he is a clear under-dog. We think Hisataka may come up short but will really give it a fantastic effort as he has done in almost all of his losses to date.
Although Hisataka in action away from his homeland there is also action in Japan at the Bodymaker Colosseum, Osaka.
The card in Osaka opens with debutants in action as Konishi Rei (0-0) faces Murakami Hirohide (0-0). This will be followed by another debutant as Susumu Nakazawa (0-0) takes on a Thai opponent.
The third bout on the Osaka show sees the unbeaten Ryuto Kyoguchi (10-0, 7) in action though we're not sure who he will be fighting. Boxrec.com have him listed down to fight Adones Aguelo (20-8-1, 12) though the Japanese Boxing Commission (JBC) don't have anyone listed as being Kyoguchi's opponent.
In the show's fourth bout Naoki Matsumoto (8-6-2, 2) faces Masashi Uranishi (7-5-12, 1). This appears to be "the weak" link of the show because the two main events are fantastic bouts and either of them could have headlined with any sort of complaint.
The first of the two main events sees Myung Ho Lee (16-3, 5) taking on hard hitting and highly ranked Filipino visitor Rey Megrino (19-20-3, 17). Although Migreno's record is poor the guy is much better than the numbers show and he's currently on a 4 fight winning streak including stoppages over Kenji Kubo and Pongsaklek Wonjongkam.
In the other main fight female OPBF Super Flyweight champion Tomoko Kawanishi (7-1, 3) defends her title for the first time as she takes on the unbeaten Tamao Ozawa (5-0, 2) in what looks like a genuinely interesting contest.
As well as the show in Japan there are two shows int he Philippines. The most noteworthy of those is the ALA show at the Escalante City Coliseum, a show that features 8 bouts and is the part of ALA's "Idol" series.
The ALA show begins with several all novice bouts including Raul Yu (1-0, 1) against Ritchel Rosales (0-2), debutant JoyJoy Boiles (0-0) against Kazuma Ejiri (0-3), the debuting Geo Santisima (0-0) against Roniel Parcon (1-0) and Alvin Sibugan (1-0) against Kim Galon (1-0-1, 1) all in 4 round bouts. It would seem likely that ALA are hoping that one of these 8 men shows something a bit special though we're doubting it at this point.
In the show's sole 6 round bout Richard Barrios (4-0, 2) battles Ryan Canillas (2-1-3, 1). We've got to admit that whilst the 6 round contest doesn't do much to excite us the two bouts scheduled for 8 rounds. In the first of these unbeaten prospects collide as Jessel Magsayo (2-0, 2) faces John Rey Melligen (2-0, 1). We're fans of both men and would consider that who ever loses could well still go on to have a great career.
The second of the 8 round bouts sees the unbeaten Mark Vincent Bernaldez (10-0, 6) taking on Marangin Marbun (21-10-1, 9) in what appears to be a very good step up for the unbeaten Bernaldez. If Bernaldez wins as expected it really won't be too much longer before he's given a really notable bout on a bigger stage than this.
In the main event, a 10 round contest, the unbeaten Melvin Gumban (14-0, 6) takes on Indonesia's John Bajawa (11-4, 6) who has lost his last 2, including an opening round stoppage to Ryo Matsumoto.
The other show in the Philippines is held at the Lucena City Convention Center and features 6 bouts including 2 title bouts.
This card opens with 3 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds as debutants collide in bouts between Roberto Sta. Ana (0-0) and Joel Trinidad Tamayo (0-0) as well as well as Daryl Gamboa (0-0) against Rodney Ramirez (0-0. These 4 men are also joined at the start of their professional journey by another debutant, Jordan Estrada (0-2) who faces Jerwin Dela Rosa (0-2).
The chief support bout on the card sees Aston Palicte (10-1, 8) facing Jerald Cortes (3-7-4, 2) in what should be a mismatch really for Palicte.
In the co-main event Jerwin Ancajas (16-1-1, 8) will face Armando Casa (11-10-5, 3) for the vacant Philippines Luzon Professional Boxing Association (LuzProBA) Bantamweight title whilst in the other title fight Lolito Sonsona (16-1-3, 6) looks to claim the Philippines Luzon Professional Boxing Association (LuzProBA) Super Flyweight title as he takes on Albert Alcoy (14-16-5, 4). It'd be a shock to us if either Ancajas or Sonsona lost here.
It's not just at home that Filipino's are in action with Filipino fighters appearing on shows in both Ukraine and Mexico.
In Mexico Rolio Golez (14-10-1, 5) attempts to claim the NABF Flyweight title as he battles reigning chamion Armando Santos (11-3, 7) and on the same show Mateo Handig (13-5, 7) looks to claim the vacant WBC International Silver Minimumweight title as he faces Ganigan Lopez (22-5, 15), a man who has only evenr been stopped once, by Denver Cuello.
In Ukraine Juan Purisima (11-3-1, 4) will attempt to claim the WBA International Flyweight title as he battles the unbeaten champion Artem Dalakian (7-0, 5) in a very tough bout. The other Filipino fighter on the card is Jason Canoy (16-3-2, 11) who fights Oleksandr Hryshchuk (12-0, 5) for the WBA Inter-Continental Flyweight title. Both of these fights, and the two in Mexico, are very tough bouts for the Filipino's but we wish them the best of luck.
The remaining fights involving Asian fighters are in Germany as several fighters with an Asian connection are in action.
The most notable fighters on the German show are Kazakhstan born trio Ina Menzer (30-1, 11), Vitali Tajbert (23-2, 6) and Dimitri Sartison (30-2, 18).
Menzer, a former WBC, WBO, WIBF female Featherweight champion looks to claim the WBF and WIBA as she faces the unbeaten Goda Dailydaite (8-0, 2). For Tajbert, a former WBC Super Featherweight champion who lost the title to Takahiro Ao, his assignment looks easy on paper as he takes on Mikheil Avakyan (18-10-3, 7).
Saritson, the former WBA Super Middleweight champion, the task does look somewhat more tricky, though still far from difficult, as he takes on Baker Barakat (38-14-4, 26) of Syria.
The final bout on the card with an Asian interest see's the Russian born Timur Dugazaev (1-0) in action against George Kandelaki (9-3-1, 2), also on the card in Germany.
In Canada the Canadian Filipino Marc Pagcaliwangan (5-0, 5) faces his biggest test to date as he fights David Kanalas (13-7, 7) in a contest scheduled for six rounds.
We love busy weekends and this weekend is no exception with a very long weekend of noteworthy fights. The action kicks off on Friday and goes right through to Tuesday with notable bouts.
At the Korakuen Hall we get a nice looking card thanks to Watanabe Promotions. Although we're sure we've not got the full details, what we have at the moment does look solid event.
The 3 bouts we have details of at the moment are Hajime Nagai (10-5-2, 2) against Masahide Shinabe (6-10-2, 3) in a Bantamweight clash, Rikiya Fukuhara (26-7-1, 19) against Keita Ito (8-15-2, 4) at Featherweight and Sanosuke Sasaki (11-2, 5) facing Takehiro Shimokawara (18-8-2, 6) in a Light Middleweight contest.
Whilst the Bantamweight and Featherweight fights do look forgone conclusions the Light Middleweight bout is very promising despite the fact both men enter on a loss. Sasaki is a former national champion though enters this bout following a stoppage loss to Tomohiro Ebisu and Shimokawara is a very credible fighter despite having never held any title.
Outside of Asia there is a lot of action, literally spread around the round.
The most notable bout of the day takes place in Russia as former amateur standout Rahkim Chakhkiev (16-0, 12) takes on WBC Cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (47-2-1, 33). This will be the first world title fight for Chakhkiev who has been tipped as a future world champion ever since he turned pro back in 2009. A full preview of this bout can be read here.
On the same card as Chakhkiev's world title bout is a Heavyweight clash with Denis Bakhtov (36-8, 24) who despite being a Russian fighter was born in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. Bakhtov will be facing novice Vladimir Goncharov (2-0, 1) in what should be a compelling bout, especially if Goncharov is as good as people are saying.
In the US and live on ESPN Friday Night Fights, Thai veteran Fahsai Sakkreerin (39-3-1, 21) faces the unbeaten Rances Barthelemy (18-0, 11) in an IBF Super Featherweight title eliminator. Although Barthelemy is "unbeaten" many felt he didn't deserve his most recent victory, a very controversial decision over Arash Usmanee. The winner of this bout will be expected to face Argenis Mendez in a very tough bout later this year for the title.
Also in the US is the highly experienced Filipino Juanito Rubillar (49-19-7, 24) who faces the hard hitting John Amuzu (13-0, 13) of Ghana. Fighting for 76th time in his professional career Rubillar actually has a really good chance at scoring an upset here against a fighter with a very padded and puffed up record.
Staying in North America, though in Canada. There will be action for both the exciting Marc Pagcaliwangan (4-0, 4)-a Canadian Filipino- and Steven Bloyer (10-4-2, 6)-a Lebanaese born Canadian-. Pagcaliwangan will be facing John Brown (0-1) in what is a bit of a disappointment in all honesty whilst Cheikho will face Steven Bloyer (14-8, 1).
A bit closer to home in Australia the busy Filipino Jayson Mac Gura (1-16-2, 1) fights for the 7th time this year. Mac Gura will be facing previous opponent Brendan Saunders (0-0-1), who he managed a draw against earlier this year. On the same card is Yousef Kanani (0-1) who was born in Iran will face Emosi Solitua (0-1) and Indonesian Aswin Cabuy (14-39-3, 7) will face Australian Renold Quinlan (3-0, 2).
We are aware that in Thailand Channel 7 will be televising some live boxing.
We are assuming here but we think that the main bout on Channel 7 will be a defense of the IBF Asia Light Flyweight title by Amnat Ruenroeng (9-0, 3). We're not sure who Ruenroeng is facing but we are sure that the former amateur standout will continue on his steep learning curve so the bout will likely be a good one for the unbeaten man.