Unlike many weekend's this Saturday isn't a massively busy day in the world of Asian boxing, though it is a massively important one thanks to a major card in Russia and a notable card in Japan as well as two interesting bouts in the US.
We'll start by looking at the Japanese card, a card entitled the "518th Dynamic Glove".
This Japanese show opens with a bout between the debuting Wataru Takeda (0-0) and the 1 fight novice Ryuhei Takahashi (0-1), We can't really say much about this bout, or the subsequent contest between novices Masayuki Ichikawa (1-0, 1) and Takashi Yamaguchi (1-1).
After the opening two bouts we get the cards first genuinely good looking contest as Takenori Ohashi (10-3, 7) battles Kenta Takahashi (10-6-2, 3) in an evenly matched bout on paper. Although looking at the two men Ohashi would start as a favourite it's worth noting that Takahashi has been unfortunate in his most recent loss, a bout with the unbeaten Gosuke Seki.
In the show's fourth contest former OPBF champion Yukinori Oguni (10-1, 2) begins the process. Oguni was shocked earlier this year by the under-rated Shingo Wake and will be hoping that he's not beaten in a second successive bout as he takes on Yuki Iwasaki (11-3, 6) who is highly ranked by both the OPBF and the JBC.
The show's fifth bout is the first of two title bouts on the show as Suyon Takayama (18-1, 7) defends his Japanese Welterweight title for the second time. It's difficult to imagine Takayama being upset by the #12 ranked Japanese title challenger Cobra Suwa (12-10, 5), who himself is best known for losing a OPBF title effort earlier this year to Akinori Watanabe.
The main event of this show sees OPBF Lightweight champion Yoshitaka Kato (25-4-1, 7) defending his title over 12 rounds against Filipino Rey Labao (24-4, 16) in what should be an excellent bout. We favour Kato but Labao has got the power to neutralise Kato's edge in skill.
If the Japanese card is a notable one then it's fair to say that the big action is in Russia. The main event in Moscow sees Russian Heavyweight Alexander Povetkin (26-0, 18) attempting to claim the WBA "super", WBC, IBF, Ring Magazine and IBO titles as he battles Ukraining Wladimir Klitschko (60-3, 51) in what promises to be the most notable Heavyweight fight of the year.
The Povetkin/Klitschko bout isn't the only Heavyweight clash on the show, despite the fact it takes up the whole poster, with Uzbekistan's Ruslan Chagaev (21-2-1, 20) battling Jovo Pudar (30-3, 17) in the second Heavyweight bout on the show. We believe this bout will be for the PABA Heavyweight title, giving the winner a real chance at fighting for the vacant WBA "regular belt" next time out.
As well as the two Heavyweight clashes we also have two very interesting looking Cruiserweight bouts. The most interesting of the two sees unbeaten Pole Mateusz Masternak (30-0, 22) battling Russian Grigory Drozd (36-1, 25) in a fight for the European title whilst in the second bout recent world title challenger Rakhim Chakhkiev (16-1, 12) fights Giulian Ilie (20-6-2, 6). This will be Chakhkiev's first bout since losing to Krzysztof Wlodarczyk back in June.
The only other bout on the Russian card that we're aware of is a Middleweight bout that features Fedor Chudinov (7-0, 6) taking on Kenyan Daniel Wanyonyi (18-5-2, 15) in what promises to be explosive one way or another.
In the US Russian Lightweight Andrey Klimov (16-0, 8) looks to become the spoiler as he takes on fast rising American Terence Crawford (21-0, 16) whilst on the came card Vietnam's Dat Nguyen (17-2, 6) takes on unbeaten Puerto Rican Jayson Velez (20-0, 15). It's hard to see anything but wins for the two unbeaten men here though if they get upset then it really would be worth noting.
The final bout of interest in regards to ourselves takes place in Germany as Bakhtiyar Iskenderzade (8-3, 1) of Azerbaijan, battles Josef Holub (2-58-1) in what looks likely to be Iskenderzade fight victory following back to back defeats.
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.