A busy Saturday sees the Philippines taking centre stage in the the Asian boxing world with two notable cards.
In Muntinlupa City, and televised on NBN Channel 4, there is a 10 fight card, featuring an impressive 4 title bouts.
The show, of course, kicks off with none title action and features 6 non-title bouts. These are expected to start with the unbeaten Marlon Arcilla (2-0) battling Eric Pansa (1-1-1) and Fighting Heno (0-0-3) in action against Julius Bala (2-1) in what we expect to be 4 round bouts.
In 8 round action Eranio Semillano (6-5, 3) faces Bryan Vicera (11-6-3, 5) in what promises to be a solid under-card bout before we have a series of 10 round contests. In the non-title 10 round bouts Mike Espanosa (11-6, 7) fights the unbeaten Renren Pasignahin (5-0-1, 1), Virgil Puton (10-3, 4) battles Daniel Ferreras (12-6-2, 4) and Jaymart Toyco (12-4, 8) attempts to defeat journyeman Michael Rodriguez (13-36-1, 3).
The first of the title fights on the show is expected to be a contest for the vacant Philippines Boxing Federation (PBF) Super Featherweight title. This will be between the "Unpredictable" Ronald Pontillas (15-6-3, 7), a former OPBF champion, and former national Super Bantamweight champion Balweg Bangoyan (18-8, 7).
We expect the second title bout to be between Rene Dacquel (10-1, 3) and Angelito Merin (6-2-2, 1) with the winner getting the vacant WBC Youth Intercontinental Super Flyweight title, a belt previously held by Carlos Cuadras and Stephane Jamoye.
In the first of two 12 round title bouts we expect to see Jerson Luzarito (7-3-3, 3) fighting Ronelle Ferreras (12-5-2, 5) for the interim PABA Minimumweight title. This bout could put the winner in with a good chance of fighting for the WBA Minimumweight title in the next 12 months, especially considering the storng rumour that Ryo Miyazaki is set to vacate.
The last of the title fights sees former world title challenger Ardin Diale (21-8-3, 8) defending his Philippines Games & Amusement Board (GAB) Flyweight title for the fourth time. Diale will be taking on Jeffrey Cerna (14-7, 5) who comes in to the bout after back-to-back victories on the domestic scene.
The card above is one of two in Meetro Manila with the other taking place in Mandaluyong City. This second card, a 6 fight show promoted by ALA, is a much lesser card.
The main event on the ALA show sees Rene Bestudio (15-5-4, 5) battling Jonel Alibio (16-16-4, 8) in a 10 round contest. When you compare this bout to the ones in Muntinlupa, it's fair to say that this show pales in comparison to the other one.
In the co-feature of the ALA show the hard hitting Jimmy Aducal (6-2-2, 5) fights Argie Toquero (4-3-1, 3) whilst the unbeaten Richard Claveras (3-0-2, 3) battles the once beaten Jesame Dela Cerna (4-1-3, 1). These bouts, both scheduled for 8, should be interesting though we doubt either will be great.
The resy of the card will see JC Francisco (3-6-1) battling Dexter Dimaculangan (3-2-3, 1), Philip Luis Cuerdo (0-0) fighting Roderick Naduma (0-2) and, in a contest between debutants Robin Dingcong (0-0) and Joel Lumangcag (0-0).
As well as the Filipino action there is also an Asian interest in both Australia and the UK.
In Australia the Thai trio of Dennapa Bigshotcamp (12-27, 4), Dechapon Suwunnalird (5-24, 1) and Komgrit Nanakorn (17-19, 7) are in action.
Of the three thai's it's Dennapa that has the hardest match up taking on the unbeaten Ozan Craddock (5-0, 4). Saying that however it's hard to imagine any of the Thai;s winnning with Dechapon taking on the promising Nathan Carroll (9-1-1, 3) and Komgrit fighting the hard hitting Balazs Varga (8-4, 7).
The action continues in the UK as Edmund Gerber (23-1, 14), originally of Kazakhstan, takes on former Heavyweight world title challenger Derrick Chisora (17-4, 11). With Gerber having looked incredibly poor in his most recent fights it would be far from a shock to see him stopped here by Chisora who is clearly looking for a second world title fight, or a shot at the Haye/Fury winner later this month.
Although Friday's schedule was a bit thin it appears that things are a bit better on Saturday with a solid (though unspectacular) card at the Korakuen Hall as well as a deep card in Metro Manila, Philippines and numerous fighters fighting internationally.
The card in Japan features 7 bouts though it's only really the main event that has any sort of a "name" draw as former world title contender Ryo Akaho (19-1-2, 12) fights for the first time since losing to Yota Sato in December. Akaho is veing given what appears to be a confidence builder as he takes on Filipino journeyman Elmar Francisco (16-18-2, 4) who is without a victory in 5 bouts.
As well as Akaho, the card features former 2-time Japanese national champion Daisuke Nakagawa (20-3-2, 15) who faces Indonesian Elvin Marbun (14-10-2, 6). Like Akaho, it appears that Nakagawa is being given an easy bout to build his confidence as he looks for another notable fight.
The Nakagawa bout is one of 5 bouts on the card scheduled for 8 rounds with Junki Sasaki (11-1, 5) facing Ryosei Arai (11-3-1, 3) in probably the most well matched bout of the show. The 21 year old Sasaki is tipped. by some to be a future champion though will need to come through a tough test here.
The reaming 3 bouts for the 8 round distance lack any real drawing factor with Toru Shiba (14-7-1, 11) facing Yuto Shimizu (6-2-2, 1), Kenichi Ogata (5-4, 3) fighting Shunsuke Sato (7-14-2, 4) and Musashi Suzuki (8-1, 3) facing Tatsuya Fukuhara (12-2-3, 3).
In a solitary 4 round bout Kazuya Seki (3-3, 1) takes on the unbeaten teenager Gaku Aikawa (1-0). It's a well matched bout though with Aikawa having been out of the ring for around 11 months it's hard to really know what the 19 year old wants from the sport.
In the Philippines a stacked 12 bout card is scheduled. The headline bout sees Juan Purisima (10-3-1, 3) facing Renren Tesorio (11-2-3, 3) in a battle over the Philippines Boxing Federation (PBF) Flyweight title. This is a bout that is likely to go the distance and yet it's also likely to have drama with both men being well matched on paper.
It's fair to say that the main event is by far the best bout on the card, though with several unbeaten prospects also on the show the card does have plenty to be excited about. Of those prospects it's hard not to be excited about Menard Avial (2-0), Daryl Basadre (9-0-1, 6) and Renerio Arizala (5-0, 3) though all 3 are being matched against limited opponents here.
Sadly much of the card does appear, at least on paper to be mismatches with bouts like Michael Dasmarinas (11-1, 7) against Rolando Niones (4-12-1, 2), Andrian Camique (4-0-1, 2) against Sherwin McDo Lungay (7-22-2) and Jerry Nardo (16-2, 7) against Jonel Borbon (1-8-1, 1).
Despite the apparent mismatches on the card there are several well matched 4 rounders with Jay-Ar Diama (0-0-2) fighting Rodel Garde (0-4), Fidel Cuyno (0-1) facing Juanito Hundante (0-1), Rowel Rosia (2-2, 1) taking on Honesto Luha (0-1) and Roderick Naduma (0-1) taking on debutant Miko Sacro (0-0).
In international action Filipino youngster Gabriel Altarejos (12-1-1, 4) tries to score the biggest win of his career as he travels to Mexico to face former multi-weight world champion Hugo Fidel Cazares (38-7-2, 26). With the WBC International Silver Super Bantamweight title on the line a win would help put Altarejos on to the world stage, but he will be going in as a big under-dog against an excellent fighter.
Also in Mexico is Thai Rusalee Samor (20-4-2, 9) who faces David Sanchez (20-2-2, 15) in a bout for the interim WBC Silver Super Flyweight title. This looks to be an excellent contender on paper and could go either way, though Sanchez has to be the slight favour.
In the US Sri Lankan Nuwan Jayakody (1-0, 1) looks to score his second professional victory as he takes on Anthony Burgin (3-0, 1). This is awell matched bout and a win for Jayakody could help him put Sri Lanka on the boxing map.