It's nice for Japan to give us some days off from boxing late in the week but that doesn't boxing gives us a day off with multiple title fights and several shows across Asia.
The biggest show of the day is in the Philippines. It may not have a title fight on it but it does have a number of very interesting contests and is the lastest show put on by Manny Pacquiao's "MAG Pacman Boxing".
In the main event 2-time world title challenger Michael Farenas (36-4-4, 28) will be taking on Jesus Rios (26-4-1, 20). Having seen the difficulty that Farenas has given the likes of Yuriorkis Gamboa it's hard to bet against him stopping Rios over the 12 rounds.
The card has 4 chief support bouts, all scheduled for 10 rounds. One of these will see Richard Pumicpic (13-5-2, 4) taking on Luis Lugo (15-4-2, 11) in what looks like a very interesting bout. Although relatively unknown Pumicpic has held Yohei Tobe to a draw in Japan and beaten Ratchasak Kokietgym in Thailand and has the potential to go a long way, Lugo on the other hand won't have traveled to Mexico to just lose.
One of the other support bouts sees the tough Fernando Ocon (11-5, 3) taking on Jeffrey Cerna (14-8, 5). On paper this is a mismatch but it was just 18 months ago that Cerna took Arthur Villanueva to a split decision. Although unlikely he may well be about to turn in one such performance here.
Another of the 10 rounders will see current PABA interim Minimumweight champion Ronelle Ferreras (13-5-2, 5) fighting in a none title contest with fellow Filipino Roque Lauro (9-16-4, 2). This should not be much of a test for Ferreras but we may well see him given some sort of a rough ride at times.
Whilst some of those 10 rounders look interesting the most notable bout scheduled for 10 is that of Ernesto Saulong (13-0, 5). The unbeaten prospect has looked very promising at times though will be given a good test by Mike Espanosa (12-6, 7) who is stubborn and has a hurtful punch, at least on the Filipino domestic scene.
Saulong isn't the only unbeaten prospect in action with 3rd generation star Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr (11-0, 11) returning to action for the 12th time. Penalosa Jr will be fighting against Mexico's Alem Robles (6-3-2, 2) in a scheduled 8 rounder. It's a shame Penalosa Jr isn't being stepped up yet but we do understand why they are taking the kids development slowly. Unfortunately in regards to this bout we think Dodie will swiftly take out Robles and learn nothing in the process.
The bulk of undercard are scheduled 6 rounders with Fighting Heno (1-0-3) taking on Jessie Caballes (2-9); Lester Abutan (3-1-1, 1) going up against Jhon Jhon Faminiano (1-9-2) and Junar Adante (1-0-1) fighting Valeriano Gabriel (2-3).
The rest of the undercard will see Eric Pansa (2-1-1) up against the unbeaten Robin Dingcong (0-0-1) and Henry Barton (1-0, 1) fighting debutant Mike Mirafuente (0-0). We believe both of these will be scheduled for 4 rounds.
In regards to the world stage the biggest fight of the day is in Thailand as former WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (45-2, 30) defends his WBO international Bantamweight title. The Thai, currently ranked at #2 with the WBO, will be regarded as a huge favourite as he takes on Filipino Romnick Magos (9-2, 5) though will of course be risking his world ranking for the fight. For those wanting to watch this bout it will be televised live on Channel 7 in Thailand along with the rest of the, yet to be listed, card.
Russia see's title action with Murat Gassiev (13-0, 9) defending his WBC Youth Cruiserweight world title. Although his opponent has yet to be namedwe've got to admit we've been impressed by him so far and do expect a small step up here.
Down in Australia Filipino Roberto Oyan (20-40-5, 7) will be fighting Kye MacKenzie (5-0, 3) for the Australian Super Featherweight title. Although Onyan is from the Philippines originally this will be Oyan's 23rd successive bout in Australia and so it's hard to begrudge him an Australian national title fight, even if he is a big under-dog.
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.