Despite the success of several Chinese fighters the country has still been slow to accept the sport of professional boxing. We're hoping that the acceptance will speed up as the country starts to host more cards, like the one that's being shown on Saturday.
Live at the EXPO Garden Hotel, Kunming there is a 6 bout card courtesy of Zovi Boxing Promotions. Whilst the card lacks names (and even quality to be honest) it's still good to see action in China.
The card appears likely to open with a female fight as China's own Li Yun Ting (0-4) fights at home for the first time and takes on Indian youngster Naina Rani (0-0) in a 4 round bout. Ting has been stopped in all 4 of her bouts so far, though she now has 18 rounds of experience under her belt including 5 rounds with WIBA Minimumweight champion Samson Tor Buamas.
The card also features the debut of Super Featherweight Li Xiang (0-0) who takes on Naina Rani's compatriot Neeraj Goyat (0-1-1) who actually returns to the site of his professional debut from way back in November 2011.
The other 4 bouts all look a bit more promising as Chinese fighters face more established visitors.
Novice Xian Wei Qian (2-1) takes on Filipino veteran Jonel Alibio (16-15-4, 8) in a very tough test test. Yang Xing Xin (4-1-2, 3) fights the very experienced Thai Sapapetch Sor Sakaorat (29-12-, 19) who has lost his last 2 bouts (and 3 of his last 6) whilst Sakorat's compatriot Petchwanchai Sor Visetkit (8-4, 4) goes in against Xiang Jing (3-3).
On paper however the best match up sees 22 year old Qiu Xiao Jun (6-2, 3) taking on Indonesian journeyman Falazona Fidal (20-35-1, 7). Jun looks to be the most promising fighter on the card and has experience in fighter in Japan, Thailand and Singapore. Although both of Jun's losses have come to Jonathan Baat they've both been competitive and the youngster is improving, but Fidal may have a little bit too much for him at the present moment. Certainly a very interesting bout.
In Japan former 2-weight world champion Daiki Kameda (27-3, 17) continues his search for a 3rd divisional title. The former WBA Flyweight and Super Flyweight world champion, now campaigning between Bantamweight and Super Bantamweight, takes on Mexican Aaron Bobadilla (9-2, 7). We're sure their will be more bouts on the card but at the moment this is the only one that we know of.
In international action Japanese fighters are competiting in both Mexico and the US.
In Mexico Hiroshi Nakamori (33-5-1, 20), a 2-time Japanese title challenger, faces former multi-weight world champion Humberto Soto (60-8-2-1, 34). Soto enters this bout as a big favourite though the 33 year old is an aging fighter and has already been in 71 fights and 499 rounds as a professional. With the WBC International Silver Light Welterweight title on the line Nakamori will know that a victory will be by far the biggest of his career and we expect him to put up a good effort even if he can't defeat Soto.
In the US the unbeaten Yoshihiro Kamegai (22-0-1, 19) fights for the 3rd time stateside as he takes on former "interim" world champion Johan Perez (16-1-1-1, 12). This bout, for the vacant WBA International welterweight title, is one of those rare "B level" match ups that look amazing and is a genuine 50-50. We do favour Kamegai, though wouldn't be shocked if Perez defeated him.
Both the Kamagai and the Nakamori fights will be televised in the west and hopefully it won't be that hard to get to watch them live.
Whilst it's fair to say that tomorrow (May 4th) will see every boxing fan watching major bouts from Europe (Wladimir Klitschko v Francesco Pianeta) and America (Floyd Mayweather Jr v Robert Guerrero and Abner Mares v Daniel Ponce De Leon) today is about fights in Asia.
Not only do we see a Japanese fighter attempting to make history but we also see 2 former world champions in action as they attempts to make their way back to the top in what promises to be an excellent day of fights in Thailand.
The highlight appears to be in Si Sa Ket with a card headlined by WBC Super Flyweight champion Yota Sato (26-2-1, 12) defending his belt against the thunderously powerful Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (18-3-1, 17). This bout will not only be the 3rd defense of the title by Sato but also holds an historic value, is Sato wins he'll be the first ever defending world champion to win a title defense in Thailand. This bout, in full, has been previewed here.
On the same card as the Sato bout there is also action from former champion Suriyan Sor Rungvisai (20-5-1, 10) the man that Sato beat for the title last year. Suriyan will be expected to score his 6th victory since his loss to Sato when he steps in to the ring against Filipino journeyman Edison Berwela (11-26-6, 2), who will be fighting for the second time in around a week (after having lost a split decision to Robert Udtuhan).
The card will also see the unbeaten Nawaphon Por Chokchai (13-0, 10), the younger brother of Suriyan, in action. Nawaphon will be facing Michael Rodriguez (13-36-1, 3) in what appears to be an easy victory. Also on the card are Chaiyong Sithsaithong (29-10-3, 21) who will face Jen Yu Jia (2-4-1, 1) and Yodchanchai Nakornloung Promotion (19-3-0-1, 16) who looks to bounce back after being stopped by Nabuo Nashiro a few weeks ago, he'll be facing debutant Pansak Sor Ratidech (0-0).
Also in Thailand we see the return to the ring of former WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (43-2, 28) who looks for his first victory since losing his title to Paulus Ambunda back in March. Sor Singyu will be facing Filipino Fredirex Rodriguez (11-2-1, 8) for the WBO International Bantamweight title. With Sor Singyu being as good as he is we'd expect him to come out victorious here and perhaps try and force a rematch with Ambunda (and lets be honest, like anyone would dislike that!)
As well as the bouts in Thailand, there is also a low profile card in the Philippines. The main bout here is in the Light Flyweight division as Jomar Fajardo (11-4-1, 5) takes on durable journeyman Ruther del Castillo (8-18-8, 2). The other bouts on the card, feature 3 unbeaten men as Renren Pasignahin (4-0-1, 1), Ian Ligutan (4-0-1, 2) and Lloyd Jardeliza (3-0-2, 2) are in action. Sadly only Pasignahin's opponent is known and he'll be fighting Menard Zaragosa (5-11, 3)
Outside of Asia, Australia again hosts action with Thai pair Kiatchai Singwancha (32-9, 21) and Sapapetch Sor Sakaorat (29-11, 19) both in action. Although both men have solid records they have been brought to Australia as "opponents" for two Aussie fighters who are expected to score relatively easy but yet notable victories. Fingers crossed that the plan backfires!