After two days of major female action we get back to manly action with a number of top Asian men in action across several major cards.
The biggest sole fight of the day takes place in Thailand where WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (22-3-1, 20) looks to make the first defence of his world title as he takes on Japan's Hirofumi Mukai (9-2-1, 1). Mukai, competing in his second world title fight is widely viewed as the under-dog though will know the pressure isn't on his shoulders in the slightest.
In Japan we have two shows.
Arguably the “lesser” of the two is at the Body manufacturer Colosseum where Harada put on a 9 fight show. This show kicks off with Reiya Konishi (1-0) fighting Tatsuya Sakamoto (3-3, 1) in one of five bouts scheduled for 4 rounds which also include the debut of Junya Shuchiku (0-0) and a contest featuring Kaito Hoshino (3-3), unfortunately we're unsure who either of those two men are fighting. In the remaining 4 rounders on this show Kyohei Tonomoto (1-1, 1) will fight Akira Takasuka (3-5) and the unbeaten teenager Yuki Takahashi (1-0) will fight Tetsuya Morisada (1-1, 1).
Following the 4 round bouts we will have a 6 rounder, though unfortunately we've failed to identify either of the men involved in this contest.
This show then finishes with a trio of 8 round bouts. The first of which will see Yuki Takemoto (13-18-2, 6) fight Yoshihiro Kinjo (7-17-2, 2) in what looks like two journeymen colliding. Unfortunately with neither man looking like they go on to much in their career it's actually hard to care too much about this contest.
The second of the 8 rounders, which sees Tetsuya Hisada (20-8, 10) up against Shunji Nagata (7-10-2, 3) is unfortunately the best looking contest on the bout. Hisada should win though we hope he'll be pushed hard. In the final contest Kota Tokunaga (10-2, 7) will look to score his third win in a row as he fights Takashi Fujiki (6-7-2, 6) who has lost his last 4.
The other Japanese show takes place at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. This show has 7 contests and starts with a fight between the debuting Ryusuke Arai (0-0) and the win-less Toshiki Maruyama (0-4). Arai is one of two debutants on the show with Shinya Ito (0-0) also fighting a win-less opponent as he fights Akihito Mitsumura (0-1).
It's not just the debutants in 4 round contests as Shunsuke Fukushima (1-1-1, 1) also fights in a bout scheduled for 4, unfortunately however we're unsure who he will be fighting.
Following the three short bouts there are four bouts scheduled for 8 rounds. The first of these 4 bouts will see Ryo Nakamura (7-2, 3) fighting Ryuta Wakamatsu (8-8, 5) in what should be a victory for Nakamura unless Wakamatsu can connect with his heavier artillery. This bout will be followed by a contest between Japanese based Filipino Johnreil Maligro (8-0, 6) AKA-Jun Sakura, and Thailand's Kosol Sor Vorapin (17-17-1, 11). This will be a huge shock if Kosol wins, despite his clear edge in experience.
Kosol isn't the only Thai that we expect to see beaten on this show as Eakkreenkrai Mor Krungthepthonburi (0-2) battles Kuninobu Shimamura (15-3, 10). It is worth noting however that Shimamura was unexpectedly beaten last time out by RJ Ano-os.
The final bout on this show Kazuhiko Hidaka (31-7, 22) fighting in what looks like a total mismatch against Shiro Saito (6-3-1, 2). The experience edge for Hidaka is huge here and he was a former OPBF Light Middleweight champion, however at 35 years old he is significantly older than Saito who has just turned 26.
Staying in Asia we expect to see the fast rising “Prince” Albert Pagara (17-0, 12) in action in the Philippines. Pagara is listed to fight against Indonesian Ruben Manakane (12-11, 8) though there is a few question marks surrounding this contest due to the issues currently in the Philippines.
We also have action in Russia where we get an eight fight card including two title fights.
This show kicks off with debutant action as Yury Kashinsky (0-0) battles Yerbol Zholdybayev (0-0) in an all debutant contest and then Alexander Gomon (0-0) takes on Denis Kenzhegaliev (0-2). These two contests are the only 4 rounders on the show and will hopefully make a solid start to the night of action.
In the sole 6 round contest of the show the unbeaten Artem Merzlikin (2-0-1, 2) fights Ruslan Sirazhev (1-1) in an interesting looking Middleweight contest.
The bulk of this card is made up by 10 round contests of which we have 4 of. The least interesting of these is Karen Avetisyan (7-6-1, 3) against Bekzod Yunusov (6-2, 3). This contest looks like it's got “distance” written all over it with neither man being a big puncher and also neither man is really highly skilled or going to go particularly far in their career.
In other male 10 round bouts Eduard Troyanovsky (15-0, 12) will fight Michael Odhiambo (11-4, 9) in what looks like a very explosive contest, though one that Troyanovsky should win with out too many issues, and the promising Fedor Chudinov (7-0, 6) taking on Jimmy Colas (32-9, 13) in what looks like a good test for Chudinov.
We expect the first title fight will be a female bout as blonde bombshell Svetlana Kulakova (8-0, 1) attempts to defend her interim WBA Light Welterweight title. Kulakova will be facing the teak tough Kenyan Florence Muthoni (8-2-1, 3) who was unfortunate not to claim the IBO Welterweight title in her last fight. Whilst we strongly favour the talented Kulakova she could be forced to work for all 10 rounds to retain her belt.
In the biggest fight of the show the once beaten Pavel Mamontov (7-1-1, 1) will face Kanat Kartenbayev (10-6-1, 4) in a bout for the interim PABA Light Middleweight title. For a few days the winner of this contest will be the sole PABA Light Middleweight champion as we await the result from the up coming bout between Akinori Watanabe and Kyung-Suk Kwak to decide the true title holder.
As well as the bouts in Asia we also get a bout in Australia as Indonesian fighter Rasmanudin (17-4-2, 9) fights Filipino Roberto Lerio (16-17-1, 6) in what is a pretty easy looking fight for Rasmanudin on paper though should be genuinely tough in reality.
We did think that Friday (yesterday) was somewhat quiet but looking at today we understand why with action featuring top fighters from Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines.
Firstly lets start in Tokyo, Japan where we get to see one of the top Bantamweights on the planet in action aswell as several highly ranked Japanese domestic fighters.
In the most high profile bout, the once beaten Bantamweight Ryosuke Iwasa (14-1, 9) takes on Filipino Jecker Buhawe (14-8-1, 9) in what is likely to be little more than a stay busy fight for Iwasa. Ranked #2 by the WBC, #3 by the WBO and #15 by the IBF it's only a matter of time before Iwasa gets a world title fight though it could be that he's trying to avoid facing WBC champion Shinsuke Yamanaka, the only man to currently hold a victory over Iwasa.
On the same card as the Iwasa bout are 4 other contests. They notably include the #2 ranked Japanese ranked Light Flyweight Yu Kimura (11-2-1, 2) taking on Tatsuya Fukuhara (12-2-3, 3) the #9 ranked Minumumweight in what is certain to be a highly compelling 8 round contest.
Their will also be action for the #1 ranked Flyweight Tetsuma Hayashi (21-2-1, 7) who will continue his pursuit of the second Japanese title fight as he faces Marzon Cabilla (9-8-1, 4) of the Philippines.
Also in action will be #7 ranked Japanese Flyweight Kohei Kubo (15-3-1, 10) who also faces a Filipino. Kubo's opponent will be Romnick Magos (8-2, 4) best known for his stunning upset of the then 10-0 Aston Palicte in December 2012. This should be a victory for Kubo but Magos will be looking for his second big upset in successive bouts.
The remaning fight on the card sees Jun Hamana (7-1, 2) taking on Spice Matsushita (12-7, 2) who is 2-2 in his last 4 contests dating back over 2 years.
Down in Australia we get a big of an Asian invasion with 3 seperate Oriental fighters on the card.
The first of those in action is Arnel Tinampay (20-15-1, 6) of the Philippines who takes on the unbeaten prospect Rocky Jerkic (5-0, 3). Although Tinampay is the under-dog he is on a 2-fight winning streak away from home and Jerkic is entering after more than a year out of the ring.
Things look slightly easier for Indonesian Rasmanudin (17-3-2, 9) who takes on Jason Cooper (6-1-1, 3) in a bout for the IBO Asia Pacific Super Bantamweight title. Whilst Cooper is at home in Australia it's fair to say that Rasmanudin is experienced on the road having fought in Japan and the Philippines, albeit losing all 3 including a bout to Ryosuke Iwasa.
Former world title challenger Daud Cino Yordan (30-3, 23) completes the attempted Asian take over of Australia as he attempts to claim the IBO Lightweight title. Yordan, stopped last time out by South African Simpiwe Vetyeka has skipped Super Featherweight for this bout but appears to have taken a notable step down in terms of his opponent as he takes on Argentinian Daniel Eduardo Brizuela (25-1-2-11, 8). The relatively unknown Brizuela has an attractive paper record but it's come at a very low level compared to the opponents that Yordan has faced and it's this gulf in class that make us heavily favour the popular Indonesian.
In South Africa the former world title challenger Silvester Lopez (20-5-2, 15) also looks to add an IBO title to his collection. Lopez, who lost in a world title tilt last year to Yota Sato, will be facing Thabo Sonjica (17-2, 12) for the Super Bantamweight IBO belt. Sonjica is genuinely a top fighter at 122lbs and will likely be the bigger man in the ring and the favourite heading in though "Stallone" has the power needed to score the upset. This could very easily be the fight of the weekend.
The boxing world turns to Indonesia today as fight fans tune in to see long reigning champion Chris John (48-0-2, 22) defend his WBA Featherweight title against highly rated Japanese challenger Satoshi Hosono (23-2, 17). This card not only features John but also the best of the rest from Indonesia including the excellent Daud Cino Yordan (30-2-0-1, 23), Rasmanudin (16-3-2, 8), Yohannes Yordan (12-2-2, 2) and Heri Amol (31-11-4, 13) in what promises to be an excellent card.
Whilst opponents for Amol, Yohannes Yordan, Rasmanudin and Sahlan Coral (8-2, 3) are all yet to be named it's fair to say that they aren't going to be the fighters than fans are going to be the fighters that fight fans are tuning in for.
The main event is of course the big draw but for some the co-feature is actually the more interesting bout as Daud Cino Yordan defends his IBO Featherweight title against South African Simpiwe Vetyeka (24-2, 14). Although Vetyeka is relatively unknown outside of his native South Africa he has actually fought in Asia before where he faced Hozumi Hasegawa in a WBC Bantamweight title bout back in 2007. For those who do remember Vetyeka v Hasegawa they may recall just how hard the South African pushed the Japanese fighter.
Yordan, a former world title challenger is on a 3 fight winning run since losing to Chris John around 2 years ago. Since his loss to John, Yordan has strung together 3 good wins with stoppages over Mexican Frankie Archuleta, Filipino Lorenzo Villanueva and a decision over British based Mongolian Choi Tseveenpurev.
Whilst Yordan will be the favourite as a result of both his home advantage and his natural size advantage the 32 year old South African will look to add the IBO Featherweight title the Bantamweight title he held back in 2009. This could be the show stealer.
The main event of the evening should be a good bout with Chris John looking for yet another successful defense. Although John is viewed as a clear favourite he is heading to his 34th birthday and has had a very long career, not just in terms of bouts (this will be his 51st) but also in terms of rounds with 407 already under hit belt. As skilled as he is those rounds will all take something out of a fighter.
The hard hitting challenger has had an impressive career having held both the OPBF and Japanese Featherweight titles. Whilst Hosono has been unsuccessful in 2 previous world title attempts he did come up against very highly ranked opponents with Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (who Hosono ran very close) and Celestino Caballero both managing to out point him.
The challenger will be hoping to make it 3rd time lucky though interestingly this will be his first bout outside of his homeland, a factor that may play against him especially considering he is fighting a future hall of famer. This could be a great bout if John is showing even a sign of slow down, if not Hosono may be made to look a little bit slow paced in what could be a slight disappointment considering the co-feature.