To end the wonderful month of September (a month in which our team has all been struck down with the flu!) there are two cards. One is a domestic show in the Philippines whilst the second is a much more interest card in Japan full of international action, including Filipinos.
With the Japanese card, dubbed "Fil-Japan Vol. III", it seems an obvious starting point for the day.
We expect the Japanese card to kick off with the debut of Middleweight Jermaine Adrian Pritchett (0-0) who faces southpaw Yuichi Sakuta (1-1), this bout is followed by Naoaki Kumagai (0-1) facing the card's second debutant Kenta Hirata (0-0). For those wondering Kumagai isn't the the woman made famous in the movie "Jackass", that's Naoko Kumagai, who we will admit we were confused by originally.
Talking about female fighters the third fight on the show is the first of 2 bouts featuring females as Japanese based Filipino Honey Mae Bermoy AKA Honey Katsumata (4-2, 4) battles Japan's unbeaten Saki Yamada (6-0-1, 2) in a fight that sees Yamada risking her high OPBF ranking agains a serious puncher.
The show's fourth bout sees another Japanese based Filipino in action as Jovylito Aligarbes, AKA Jovy Katsumata (8-2, 3) battles against the more experienced Monico Laurente (23-8, 5), who himself is from the Philippines. Of the two men involved here it's fair to say that Laurente has been in with the tougher competition including Tomoki Kameda, Pungluang Sor Singyu, Malcolm Tunacao and Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat though with Katsumata being the promoters fighter we may see an upset here.
In the show's fifth bout we get a really interesting contest as Yuki Chinen (13-1, 6), a recent Japanese national title challenger, battles Filipino veteran Ryan Bito (22-11-3, 8). Unfortunately with Bito losing 3 of his last 4, including a decision to the then unbeaten Yohei Tobe, this bout has lost some of it's shine though should still be a good test for Chinen who will be wanting to get back on to the winning trail.
The second female bout on the card sees the hugely popular Tomomi Takano (2-0, 1), a former model-turn-boxer, in action against a Filipino debutant. Although we're no certain we are lead to believe that Takano will be fighting a woman called Jiperin Derima (0-0). The Takano bout is seen as the chief support due to her immense popularity, which we've got to admit is an amazing accomplishment for such a novice, though her looks do admittedly get her a lot of attention.
The main event on this card is a simply excellen match up that pits the unbeaten Masayuki Ito (11-0-1, 3) with once beaten Filipino Jeffrey Arienza (9-1-1, 4) in a battle over the WBC Youth Lightweight title. Although Arienza was unexpectedly stopped last time out by Leonardo Doronio it's fair to say Ito probably doesn't have the same power as Doronio.
The Filipino card, held at the Siquijor Capital Square is expected to feature 6 bouts beginning with action kicking off with a 6 round affair between Bryan Samson (3-3, 1) and Darius Elorde (1-1, 1).
Following the opener we expect a trio of bouts scheduled for 8. The most notable of these 8 rounders sees the the promising Neil John Tabanao (4-0, 3) battling the much more experienced Elmar Francisco (16-19-2, 4) in a bout that really could test the 19 year Tabanao who has never been beyond 6. Tabanao is one of two prospects in these 8 round contests with 20 year old Joey Canoy (3-0, 2) fighting Jherald Tuyor (2-14, 1) in the other.
The only 8 rounder not featuring a prospect sees modern day "Cinderella Man" Gerpaul Valero (15-14-3, 10) looking for his 15th victory in 16 bouts as he takes on Jomar Ministerio (5-5-1, 2). This is, in all honesty, an easier fight than Valero's previous bout which saw him upsetting Sonny Boy Jaro back in August.
In co-main events, both scheduled for 10 rounds, we get more prospects in action as the unbeaten Ardie Boyosi (7-0-1, 4) battles Jessie Tuyor (6-11-4, 3) and Rajah Renoel Pael (11-0-1, 4) fights Raul Pusta Jr (8-2-2, 2). The Boyosi/Tuyor looks a relatively one sided one on paper theough the Pael/Pusta bout could well be the most competitive bout of the day.
It's rare to have genuine world title bouts on a Thursday but this week we have 2 seperate ones.
In the Philippines WBO Bantamweight champion Paulus Ambunda (20-0, 10) takes on Japanese challenger Tomoki Kameda (27-0, 18). Tomoki, the younger brother of Koki and Daiki will attempt to become the 3rd member of the Kameda family to claim a world title though Namibian Ambunda will be no push over.
Ambunda won his world title earlier this year defeating Pungluang Sor Singyu of Thailand by decision in an excellent, if somewhat ignored, contest. Using that fight as a basis for what we know about Ambunda it's clear this is going to be a tough fight for Tomoki. Oddly however if Tomoki does win he'll become the first ever Japanese WBO world champion and he'll join older brother Koki as a current Bantamweight champion.
On the same card in the Philippines there's a second Bantamweight title bout as Marlon Tapales (22-2, 9) takes on Fredirex Rodriguez (11-2-1, 8) for the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title. Ranked #14 by the WBO Rodriguez will be looking to leap up the rankings with the victory here and possibly even move in to a position to face the Tomoki/Ambunda winner.
Also on the card is former WBC and "Linear" Flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro (34-12-5, 24) who will fight Gerpaul Valero (14-14-3, 10). Although Valero has a poor record he has impressively won 13 of his last 14 contests with his sole loss being to Jerson Mancio in Mancio's home city.
The card fills out with 3 lower level bouts that see Ardie Boyosi (6-0-1, 3) taking on Al Grumo (7-6, 1), Neil John Tabanao (3-0, 2) fighting Charlie Pucdol (4-1, 3) and Joey Canoy (2-0, 1) facing Marwin Cristota (2-8-1, 1).
In Thailand the details on the card are scarce but the main event looks to be an entertaining on as Kompayak Porpramook (50-4, 35) looks to defend his WBA "interim" Flyweight title. Kompayak, best known for his wars with Adrian Hernandez, will be facing Japanese challenger Koki Eto (13-2-1, 10). Eto is a limited fighter but hits hard and Porpramook is of course a balls to the wall warrior so we expect this to be great fun as long as it lasts.