When we started this site earlier this year we expected to be talking a lot about Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. Whilst we've not really had a lot of Indonesian action on the whole, we've been right with the other three.
What we never expected was that Yemen would be one of the major talking points on here. That's not a complaint, merely a statement as we get yet another Yemeni card.
As with many of the other shows in Sanaa this one will be headlined by cult fighter Ali Raymi (16-0, 16) who will be seeking his 17th straight KO over an unbeaten opponent as he takes on Omar Awdan (8-0, 4). Amazingly if Raymi can get Awdan out of there inside a round he'll be just 2 fights from tying Tyrone Brunson's world record for most successive opening round KO's.
As well as Raymu/Awdan we expect at least two other contests.
The details we have of the show will see unbeatens colliding as Fati Ansi (2-0) fights Amr Ammari (2-0) in the the Super Bantamweight division and Faisal Fittini (1-0, 1) battles Sam Iwuji (1-0) in a Cruiserweight contest.
Whilst there is 3 bouts featuring unbeaten men, lets be honest, only one will take the headlines, not matter what happens in the other contests.
This coming Friday brings us some genuinely notable action from and involving Asian fighters. in fact not only is there cards in both Thailand and Japan but their is an Asian involved in a title fight in Mexico and an unbeaten Russian fighting in the US as well as a show in Yemen with their rising boxing star.
We'll start off by looking at the Thai card that we're aware of. This show, expected to be on Thai Channel 7 will see the the unbeaten Nop Kratingdaenggym (5-0, 1) attempt to claim the PABA interim Super Bantamweight title as he fights Indonesian Skak Max (6-12, 6). We expect other fights to be on this show though at the moment details are scarce.
In Japan have plenty more details of a show promoted by Kaneko promotions. We expect to see an all debutant match open the show with Iizuka Makoto (0-0) fighting Riki Hamada (0-0) before novices collide in a bout between Suguru Akimoto (0-1) and Masayoshi Abe (1-1).
The novices continue in action as Kazutaro Ueno (0-1), who we think is actually called Ichitaro Ueno, battles Sosuke Sakata (1-0) and the unbeaten Akihiro Yashiro (1-0-1) fights the debuting Wataru Yokoyama (0-0).
Following the 4 bouts with novices we then have some experienced fighters in action with Tsuyoshi Nishimura (3-5-1, 1) fighting in his 10th bout as he takes on 12 fight "veteran" Hidetoshi Ueki (3-8-1). Sure neither guy has a winning record but, at least on paper, they appear to be well matched.
It takes until the 6th bout on the show until we get fighters with winning records facing each other as Takahiro Fujii (4-2-1, 1) fights Takuma Nishida (5-4, 2) in another bout that looks competitive on paper. Unfortunately after back to back "competitive" fights we appear to have a bit of a mismatch as the experienced Keisuke Ota (7-6, 1) battles the hard hitting but inexperienced Junpei Sakagami (3-2-2, 3).
The show's 8th bout is a second all debutant contest as Imakura Kazuhide (0-0) fight Yukihiro Kaneko (0-0) in what is effectively the second to last fight on the show. The only "fight" after this is a contest between Ryuji Hirano (5-2-1) and Masashi Odaira (4-2-2, 2). Unfortunately the advertised headline bout between Akihiro Kondo and Masashi Noguchi has been called off at late noticed.
Despite the "main event" being called off fans do get the chance to see one more bit of action as former world title holder Tomonobu Shimizu laces up the gloves once more for an open sparring session with fellow Kaneko gym mate Hidenori Otake. This open sparring is seen as a farewell to Shimizu and with both men being gym mates we'd not expect anything too hard from either man.
In Sanaa, the Yemeni capital we get yet other show featuring KO sensation Ali Raymi (15-0, 15). Raymi, the almost cult like figure on boxing forums, will be going for win #16 as he takes on Husam Shargabi (3-0, 1).
On the same show as Raymi/Shargabi there will also be 3 other contests. The most interesting of those will see Omar Awdan (7-0, 3), almost certainly a future Raymi victim, fighting Bahr Slyman (2-2, 1).
The other two contests sees unbeaten men colliding as Muhana Hajaji (2-0) fights Hani Ansi (1-0) and Hamoody Jubran (1-0) taking on Abdu Achille (1-0).
The Thai bout isn't the only title bout as Australian action sees Indonesia's Marco Tuhumury (10-10-1, 3) attempt to claim the PABA Middleweight title at he takes on Jarrod Fletcher (16-1, 10) whilst on the same show Filipino Michael Dan (3-5-1, 1) battles the unbeaten Anthony Buttigieg (2-0). It's hard to see victories for either Tuhumury or Dan though we won't totally rule out Dan giving his opponent a tougher than expected test.
Over in the US the unbeaten Russian Ilshat Khusnulgatin (10-0, 5) looks to score his third victory on American soil as he takes on Arsenio Terrazas (9-5, 8). Unfortunately for the Russian he was given a real scare last time out with Nathan Bedwell dropping him twice before he pulled it out of the bag. This may be an even tougher bout for Khusnulgatin than the Bedwell bout was.
The action in the west isn't just limited to the US as Filipino Marvin Mabait (18-1-2, 12) travels to Mexico in an attempt to claim the WBO Inter-Continental Bantamweight title. Mabait will however need to get past Johnny Garcia (18-4-1, 9), something that is far from a "gimme"
Another weekend and another extremely busy day the world of Asian boxing.
In Japan we have 3 cards on the same day, including 2 at the Azalea Taisho Hall. Despite trying hard we've been unable to name all the fighters on these cards, but we've made not of the most notable bouts.
The one show in Japan not held at the Azalea Taisho Hall is being held at the Ota Sports Park Civic Gymnasium and features 6 contests, with it being held at a different venue to the other 2 we'll start our look at the bouts here.
We think, though aren't 100% certain, that the opening bout will see Daisuke Nakajima (2-11, 1) in action though we can't hunt down his opponent unfortunately.
The second bout on the show will see Keisuke Fujii (2-3, 2) taking on Shota Inoue (1-3, 1) who will be looking for his first victory since his victory back in December 2012. Unfortunately we're unsure again on the show's third bout as both men are fighters making their debuts in a 4 round contest.
The final bout scheduled for 4 rounds sees Shibayama Kota (1-1-1, 1) facing off against who think will be Kenji Motegi (2-1-1). We're not certain about it being Motegi though we have a feeling it will be.
The two bouts we are totally certain over are the main event and the chief support. The chief support bout sees Ryuta Otsuka (12-5-2, 3), the #6 Super Flyweight in Japan, fighting Mako Matsuyama (6-6-1, 3). This really is little more than a stay busy fight for the talented Otsuka.
In the main event Hisashi Amagasa (23-4-2, 15), the Japanese Featherweight champion. fights in a stay busy contest against the unranked Zuri Kannan (15-4-2, 4). Although it's the main event it looks like a one sided one.
The first of the two cards at the Azalea Taisho Hall takes place at 13:00 local time and features 6 contests.
We believe the first contest on the show will see Seita Mochizuki (1-4) in action against a debutant who we believe will be Ryoji Fukunaga (0-0). Following this Takaichi Tsujimoto (0-2) will be in action though, again he's against a fighter we're struggling to name.
We're under the belief that the third bout on the card will be female action with Emi Kitawaki (2-3-1, 1) battling novice Terumi Nuki (1-0). This is one of 3 females bouts on the card with the second seeing Maho Tamamori (3-2-1, 1) in action against who we believe will be Asako Tonarii (3-1-1, 2). The final female contest sees Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (2-1-1) fighting Mika Iwakawa (3-1, 1).
Between the second and third female bout is a contest between Kosuke Isono (5-1-1, 1) and Yuichi Arai (6-7-1, 2).
The second card at the Azalea Taisho Hall is expected to have 10 bouts, 9 of which are expected to take place over the 4 round distance.
The show opens with Tomoshige Ashitano (0-4-1) in action against Yuki Abe (1-2), this will be followed by Shione Ogata (1-3) taking on Mikiko Muto (1-0).
Unfortunately, as if often the case with low level bouts in Japan, we've been struggling with the names of the fighters throughout this card though what we are do know is that Shohei Kanemoto (7-6-1, 3) is on the card. We believe Kanemoto will be facing Satoshi Momota (9-8, 4) though unfortunately we are't 100% sure.
On the subject of Filipino's there is also an excellent card in Metro Manila thanks to Johnny Elorde Promotions.
The main event in the Filipino show sees the very experienced Dennis Laurente (44-5-5, 25) taking on Thai Manopnoi Singmanasak (10-15, 6) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Middleweight title. The 36 year old Laurente, a former OPBF Lightweight and current Filipino (GAB) Welterweight champion will be expected to fight at a career high here though he'll be unlikely to be the smaller man. Surprisingly Manopoi last fought in the Philippines, back in 2011, as a Super Bantamweight!
Arguably the second most important contest on the card will be at Flyweight as former world title challenger Jonathan Taconing (15-2-1, 12) takes on Thai Rambo Sithsaithong (8-3, 4). This will be the Taconing's fourth successive fight against a Thai opponent and incidentally the second bout in a row against a Filipino for Rambo.
Also on the show are Elorde boxing brothers Juan Martin Elorde (14-1, 6) and Juan Miguel Elorde (12-1, 4). Juan Miguel, the younger of the two fighters, has yet to have his opponent names though we believe that Juan Martin will be fighting against Rajakru Sor Rungwatana (0-2).
In the card's only 6 round contest the unbeaten Jeffrey Francisco (6-0-1) takes on Gerald Garcia (3-5-3) in what looks like an easy contest, though as we all know upsets regularly happen in the Philippines. Another unbeaten fighter hoping to avoid a notable upset is Fritz Marvin Bolinguet (3-0) who takes on the winless Charlie Gabriel (0-2).
The show's remaining 2 contests feature 3 debutants as Jerome Montalban (0-0) takes on novice Gebby Manago (0-1) and debutants collide as Christopher Estrera (0-0) fights Ernie Mino Jr. (0-0).
Amazingly there is yet another card in the Asian boxing world as Yemen manage yet another show.
As per usual the show comes from Sanaa, the Yemeni capital and features 8 contests with many fighters holding unbeaten records.
The Yemen show opens with 5 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds. These include a duo of Light Flyweight contests as Ali Sanabani (2-2, 1) takes on Sultan Awdi (0-1) and Ali Al Ahdal (3-3, 2) faces Ali Yunus (0-1). Whilst they are a long way from headline fights they should both be competitive which is never a bad thing.
Up just a single division we expect to see debutant Suhayl Hamzi (0-0) taking on the unbeaten Husam Al Shargabi (1-0). Hamzi will be the only debutant on the show though hopefully he'll make a good account of himself.
The remaining bouts over the short distance see Luke Hasan (2-0) facing Ali Rajeh (0-1) and Jaber Arashi (1-0) battling Faisal Rifaly (0-1). Between the two bouts it seems likely that Arashi/Rifaly will be a better contest and that Hasan will just be far too skilled for Rajeh.
As well as the 4 contests the show has 3 bouts scheduled for the 10 round limit. These start with matches between Ali Salem (4-0, 1) and Saeed Asam (1-1, 1) as well as a but between Abdu Sameer (4-0) and Alwan Hawshabi (2-1, 1) which both look interesting but pale in insignificance compared to the very good looking main event.
The main event sees unbeaten fighters colliding as Omar Awdan (5-0, 2) takes on Wesam Maqrami (4-0, 2). This bout is probably between the two best Minumimweight's in Yemen not named "Ali Raymi". Aged just 16 Maqrami will know that a win here could well help make him one to watch, whilst a win for Awdan would help him push for a bout with Raymi.
After the past 2, very busy days it's nice to have a somewhat quiet Sunday with just 2 cards in Japan and one in Yemen.
Sadly from the two cards we only really have details about one of them. We know that there will be cards from the International Conference Hall in Nagoya and one from Amagasaki.
Unfortunately tonly ones we have any real details on is the one from Nagoya and even those details don't appear to be complete.
What we do know is that the Yushi Tanaka (9-0-3, 6), the Japanese ranked #8 Bantamweight, will be taking on Filipino Vergel Nebran (11-4-1, 7) in a bout for the WBC Youth Bantamweight title.
This will be Nebran's second fight in Japan following a split decision loss to last year Masamichi Nozaki in a bout that was also for the WBC Youth Bantamweight title. Rather funnily Tanaka drew with Nozaki in a bout for the very same title just a few months ago.
Whilst the records may heavily favour Tanaka their results with Nozaki would suggest that this will be an incredibly close contest and something that could well help launch the career of the winner.
The only other bout we have details about sees Shota Hayashi (19-5-1, 11), the Japanese #5 ranked Super Bantamweight, in a stay busy contest against Thailand's Payanoi Jittygym (0-2). This should really be a case of getting Hayashi rounds more than anything else.
The few other details we do know about this card is that there should 4 more bouts on the show.
The other show, the one in Amagasaki is expected to have 10 bouts as part of the "Rookie of the Year" tournament, though sadly we're unsure who the combatants are.
In Yemen we appear to be getting the domestic showdown every one wants as KO sensation Ali Raymi (11-0, 11) faces Ali Dridi (8-0, 3). All of Raymi's fights so far have ended in the opening round but Dridi is much better than any of Raymi's previous opponents and the Somalian born fighter will be looking for a memorable result here.
The other bout on the card that we have details about sees Omar Awdan (3-0, 2) taking on Ali Al Ahdal (2-0, 1). We wouldn't be shocked if the winner here took on the Raymi/Dridi winner.
The west Asian country of Yemen is unlikely to ever be viewed as a major boxing nation but it does have a card every so often. This week sees one of those rare cards as the 22 May Stadium in Sanaa plays host to a show.
The details on the card are likely to be incomplete but we are aware of 3 bouts on the show with every fighter on the card actually going in with unbeaten records (admittedly 2 of the fighters are debutants).
On the card is Somalian Ali Dridi (3-0, 1) who returns to Yemen for his 4th professional bout. Dridi fought 3 times back in 2011 though has now been inactive for over 2 years. The Somalian fighter will be fighting one of the 2 aforementioned debutants when he steps in against Anwar Ali (0-0).
The card's other debutant is 22 year old Khaled Ahmad (0-0) who celebrates his birthday around a week after his bout. Ahmad will be facing Omar Awdan (1-0, 1) who himself is only 20. Although Awdan has got a slight experience edge with a single fight on his belt, it does need to be mentioned that his bout lasted just 22 seconds.
Experienced bantamweight Ali Raymi (6-0, 6) will be looking to keep his incredible run of opening rounds victories in tact as he faces Ahmed Yousifi (1-0, 1). With a 20 year age difference between the two men this is probably the most interesting bout on the card. Despite the fight edge clearly leading to Raymi he has only fought 2 more professional rounds than Yousifi.