Right now it seems like every weekend is a busy one in boxing and this weekend is no different with notable cards from Japan, the Philippines and Azerbaijan as well as a Kazakhstan fighter defending a world title in the US.
Of the shows we have, we'll begin with the Japanese show which is going to be at the Azalea Taisho Hall in Osaka. This show is going to predominantly feature female fighters with 5 of the 7 bouts on the card being female bouts, including the main event.
The begins with a female bout as Kitawaki Emi (2-4-1, 1) fights Misaki Hirooka (2-2). This bout has "distance fight" written on it if you ask us, though hopefully it will prove to be competitive.
Following the opening bout we then get the 2 male bouts back-to-back. The first will see Yuto Kawanaka (0-0) making his professional debut against Takahiro Morishita (0-2-1) before Seita Mochizuki (2-4) battles Tomonori Ota (1-1). We'll admit these male bouts are uninspiring but the card is really all about the women.
In the sole 6 round fight of the show we expect to see veteran Nao Ikeyama (12-3-1, 4) fighting against novice Mika Iwakawa (3-1-1, 1) before we move on to the 8 round bouts which will see Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (3-1-1, 2) fighting an unrecognised Thai opponent and Tamao Ozawa (5-1, 2) fighting Tanyakorn Sor Thammajak (0-3).
The main event here sees Mari Ando (10-6, 5) taking on Jasseth Noriega (16-2-1, 5) in a battle for the currently vacant WBC female Minimumweight title. The belt was vacated earlier this year by Naoko Fujioka who subsequently went up to Super Flyweight and claimed the WBC title at 115 lbs. We favour Ando here but do admit that the bout will not be easy for her.
Staying on the world title theme this weekend sees the return to the ring of Beibut Shumenov (13-1, 8) who looks to make the first defense of his WBA Light Heavyweight super title. Shumenov, who was recently upgraded to "super champion", will be fighting for the first time in 18 months as he takes on the unbeaten Tamas Kovacs (23-0, 14). On paper this is a good fight but in reality Kovacs should post no threat to Shumenov's title.
For those wanting to watch Shumenov v Kovacs it should be part of the Showtime telecast in the US.
In the Philippines we get 2 cards, as mentioned above. Of these the better show looks to be the one at the Agoncillo Complex which is co-promoted by Saved by the Bell Promotions and Brunsmick Boxing Promotions.
The headline of this card sees the unbeaten Jun Doliguez (17-0-2, 13), fresh off the back of his US debut, taking on Thailand's Maxsaisai Sithsaithong (12-3, 3). This looks, at least on paper, to be a chance for Doliguez to put on an eye catching performance more than anything else.
Doliguez isn't the only promising unbeaten fighter in action on this show as JR Magboo (12-0-2, 5) fights Danilo Pena (26-16-3, 11) and Val Falcunaya (8-0, 6) takes on the very testing Rey Perez (17-4, 3). Magboo should be favoured heavily against Pena but Falcunaya is in for a very tough test.
The other notable bouts on this show,all scheduled for 10 rounds, will see Roberto Gonzales (22-2, 13) taking on tough journeyman Jonel Alibio (16-17-4, 8), the hard hitting Al Rivera (7-1, 6) fighting against Ronald Postrano (7-17-2, 3), Benezer Alolod (12-5-4, 2) fighting Jayson Rotoni (13-12-1, 7), Gabriel Royo (9-7-2, 8) fighting against Desson Cag-ong (13-9, 7) and, finally, Jetro Pabustan (21-1-5, 6) battling against Michael Escobia (10-5-1, 2).
The card's only other bout will see JC Francisco (5-6-1, 1) fighting against Dexter Dimaculangan (3-3-3, 1) in a scheduled 8 round affair.
The second Filipino card, the lesser if you will, begins with a trio of 4 rounders as JK Elorde (1-0, 1) fights the debuting Rolly De Tomas (0-0), Charlie Gabriel (0-3) faces debutant Raymond Yalong (0-0) and Roderick Flores (1-0, 1) look to defeat another debutant in the form of CJ De Tomas (0-0).
Following the 4 rounders we move in to 8 round action as the unbeaten Jeffrey Francisco (7-0-1) takes on Junjie Lauza (4-9-1, 1) and fellow unbeaten fighter Giemel Magramo (7-0, 4) fights journeyman Roy Albaera (2-20-5).
The bulk of this card, as with the other Filipino card, is in the 10 rounders of which we have 4 of. These include a single title fight as Rene Patilano (9-1-2, 5) fights Jomar Fajardo (12-4-1, 5) for the vacant Philippines Luzon Professional Boxing Association (LuzProBA) Light Flyweight title.
In the most 1-sided of the 10 rounders we're expecting to see the highly experienced Dennis Laurente (45-5-5, 26) taking on Thailand's Khomkaew Sithsaithong (6-2, 5). We say this is the biggets mismatch but we don't expect the bouts between Jonathan Taconing (16-2-1, 13) and Namphol Sithsaithong (4-5, 4) or Juan Miguel Elorde (13-1, 5) and Ngaotawan Sithsaithong (10-11-1, 5) to be competitive either.
One of the most intriguing cards of the day takes place on the European-Asian border as we get action in Azerbaijan. This card, which features a very interesting double title fight between Welterweights Fariz Mamedov (14-1-1, 8) and the unbeaten Matthias Pelk (20-0, 11) is a bit of an odd one. For example this fight in particular will see the men fighting for the WBO European and the IBF East/West Europe titles, two titles that we don't really understand.
As well as the double title bout we also get a trio of Heavyweight bouts. The most interesting of these will see veteran Timo Hoffmann (40-9-2-1, 23) fighting against Steffen Kretschmann (16-2-0-1, 15) for the second time. The men, who first fought in 2012 saw their initial encounter called off in the 6th round due rain. We kid you not this is a rematch of a rain effected no contest.
The second most interesting Heavyweight contest will see Roman Golovashchenko (12-1, 10) fighting against Yakup Saglam (31-3, 28). Although Saglam has got an attractive record is very much a paper one and an upset would be far from a shock. The remaining Heavyweight clash is expected to see Elchin Ahmadov (0-0) make his debut against Janis Ginters (4-5, 4).
In the remaining bouts on the card the hard hitting Rashad Karimov (26-2, 23) will fight Miguel Velozo (16-1-2, 5) and Middleweight prospect Vusal Aliyev (12-0, 5) will fight Armand Cullhaj (15-3-3, 9).
For fans wanting to watch the Azerbaijan card we've been lead to believe that Eurosport will be televising portions of it including Hoffman/Kretschmann II.
The final bout of note will see the unbeaten Anton Novikov (27-0-0-1, 10) attempting to pick up a win a win in Puerto Rico as he battles Manuel Perez (20-9-1, 4). Perez has lost 2 of his last 4 and in all honesty Novikov should have the talent to make that 3 losses in 5 for the American.
For the first time in almost a week we get professional back boxing in Japan though rather surprisingly it's South Korea that seem to have the best card of the day with Junggu Hall in Seoul hosting it.
With the best card happening in Korea lets start there for today's look at the upcoming action and it's fight poster.
The main event sees the highly talented Min-Wook Kim (10-1, 7) defending his OPBF Light Welterweight title for the 4th time. Kim, a talented puncher from Seoul will be facing former Japanese title challenger Valentine Hosokawa (16-3-3, 8) who lost last time out to Shinya Iwabuchi, who incidentally Kim beat in last contest. With their results against Iwabuchi fresh in the mind it's hard to pick against Kim.
The co-main event sees the WBO female Minimumweight champion Su-Yun Hong (8-0, 5) attempt to defend her belt for the second time as she takes on former WBA female Atomweight champion Mari Ando (10-5, 5). On paper this looks like an excellent match up between two very highly regarded fighters who should put on a very good bout together.
As well as the fabulous double header the show also has a fantastic chief support bout as Korean Jaesung Lee (16-3-1, 9) fights unbeaten Filipino Ernesto Saulong (12-0, 5). The bout is a big step up for Saulong but he does take his unbeaten record into the ring with him and obviously the confidence that that brings with it.
With those 3 great bouts it's fair to say the rest of the card is a bit weak. The most noteworthy bouts from the remaining 7 undercard contests see Hyun-Kyum Park (3-0, 2) fighting Joon-Chul Kim (1-0) and Sung-Tak Joo (2-0-2, 1) facing Woo-Shin Kim (3-0-1, 1) in a rematch after they drew earlier this year. Both of these bouts are in the Welterweight division and both look competitive though when you consider they are “the best of the rest” you realise just how poor the undercard is.
The other undercard bouts see Moon-Sun Jung (1-1-2) fighting Sung-Joon Park (2-0) in a rematch of both fighter's debuts, Tae-Il Kim (1-0) looking for his second win as he takes on debutant Hyuk-Tak Joo (0-0), female action as Jong-Sun Park (1-0, 1) fight the debuting Ji-Eun Yang (0-0) and 2 all debutant bouts between Jung-Hoon Go (0-0) and Ja-Ik Goo (0-0) and Joo-Young Kim (0-0) and Hoo-Rak Kim (0-0).
It's not only in Korea where we get action as Japan hosts a 10 bout show at the Sakai city center.
The show kicks off with an all debutant affair. We're not certain but we think it'll be Kenjiro Shibata (0-0) against Takeshi Kajikawa (0-0). We expect to see several other debutants on the card, including a second all debutant bout between Ryuji Hayashi (0-0) and Kiyoshi Matsumoto (0-0).
The remaining debutants on the show are expected to be Takuya Fukuda (0-0) who we think will be facing Michio Mizuno (0-1), a fighter ending a 9 year break from the ring, and Yoshikawa Nana (0-0) debuting against a Thai in what we are expecting will be a 6 round contest.
As well as the bouts featuring a debuting fighter there are 3 others scheduled for 4 rounds. These will see Kazuma Uemura (1-0) meeting fellow unbeaten Takaaki Kanai (1-0, 1), Keita Honke (1-2) fighting Masahiko Jikan (0-2) and a bout between Hiroki Taniguchi (3-1-1) and Wataru Sadamichi (3-4-1, 2).
After the bouts are out of the way we get a trio of bouts scheduled for 8 bouts. The first of these is at Flyweight as Shunji Nagata (7-9-2, 3) who faces Takahiro Murai (8-4-1, 3). This bout isn't the best on the card but serves as a nice warm up to a Super Flyweight featuring Shota Kawaguchi (14-4-1, 5) against a Thai opponent.
The main event will see Yoichi Oguma (14-5, 2) in action taking on another visiting Thai. Unfortunately, once again, we have struggled to work out who is it.
We also believe that there will be a card in the Philippines that seems likely to feature 5 bouts, however there is talk that this card may now have been cancelled.
The opening bouts here will see Philip Cuerdo (0-0) making his debut against Antonio Melencion (0-3-1) in an entirely winable bout and Jayson Nicart (1-2, 1) fighting Junar Adante (0-0-1). Both of these bouts are scheduled for 4 rounds.
We then expect 3 bouts scheduled for 6 rounds. The first of those is expected to be Joel Taduran (2-0) fighting JR Florendo (2-1). We expect this contest to go the 6 round distance and be genuinely competitive, although we do doubt both guys making a real name for themselves down the line.
We expect the Taduran/Florendo bout to be followed by a Feathwerweight contest between Jerron Talaman (2-4, 2) and Edsil Jungco (0-4-4). With Talaman yet to see the final bell of a bout we'd be shocked if both men were still standing after 6.
The final bout is between Ruben Traza (3-4-2) taking on Lester Abutan (2-1-1, 1) in what looks like a competitive bout even if it's not hugely compelling.
SORRY-The Philippines card has apparently been POSTPONED until Thursday August 22nd.
For the 2nd successive day this week Japan hosts some notable bouts, this time at the Korakuen Hall courtesy of Ohashi Promotions.
The main event sees WBA female Atomweight champion Ayaka Miyao (14-5-1, 1) attempt to defend her belt for the second time. Miyao will be facing former rival Mari Ando (10-4, 5). This rematch between the two women sees Miyao facing the fighter she took the title from back in September 2012.
As well as the very exciting female world title bout we appeard to have an excellent undercard.
The most notable bout from the undercard sees young puncher Ryo Matsumoto (7-0, 7) taking a step up as he goes up against Takuya Miyamori (14-5-1, 2). Although Miyamori has been beaten several times he is durable and has only been stopped once, in his debut back in 2004 by the hard hitting Takeshi Hagiwara.
The experienced Toru Suzuki (23-3, 7) looks to rebuild his career after 2 losses in his last 3 fights. Suzuki will be facing Daisuke Furuhashi (13-5, 4) who has only won 3 of his last 7 bouts.
Hard hitting Lightweight Junpei Hara (11-5-2, 7) will be hoping to get his career back on the right tracks after going 2-3-1 in his last 6. Hara will be fighting the 22 year old Filipino "Bad Boy" Desson Cag-ong (13-8, 7) who is 0-2 in Japan (having been stopped by Takashi Miura in his most notable bout to date). This could be a pretty competitive match up in all honesty.
Also on the card is an 8 round female bout between recent world title challengers Yuko Kuroki (9-3, 5) and Saemi Hanagata (7-4-1, 3). Hanagata comes in to the bout winless in 3 bouts though they included a draw with Masae Akitaya and a loss to Momo Kosecki whilst Kuroki comes in following a lob sided decision loss to Etsuko Tada. This could well be the show stealer and act as a bit of a title eliminator.