The start of another weekend sees Asia once again the boxing limelight with fighters fighting around the world, and for the second Friday running, in a world title bout.
We'll start our look to Friday by looking at that aforementioned world title fight as China's Xiong Zhao Zhong (20-4-1, 11) makes the first defense of his WBC Minimumweight title. Zhong's opponent, the highly regarded Denver Cuello (33-4-6, 21) has finally his chance and this bout, in Dubai, should be an absolute cracker. We've previewed the bout in full here.
Also on the Dubai card is the unbeaten Iranian Mohammadali Bayat Farid (3-0, 3) who is facing a yet to be named opponent.
Of course the Zhong/Cuello fight isn't the only major fight of the day, in fact in Japan we have another title bout as former world champion Ryol Li Lee (19-3-2, 10) attempts to claim the OPBF Featherweigth title. Lee will be facing the little known Shogo Ishikawa (10-3, 1) who looks to be an undeserving fighter for the title. Interestingly this is the second time Lee has tried to claim the OPBF title in as many bouts after having been held to a draw last time out by Cirilo Espino (who Ishikawa actually beat).
The card in Japan features several other bouts with Masahiro Ishida (12-4-2, 6) taking on Yuki Iwasaki (10-3, 6) in a solid looking match up; Yoshihisa Hirayama (10-8-1, 4) facing Yuya Sugizaki (16-9-1, 6) and recent Japanese title challenger Michiya Sato (9-4-4, 6) fighting Hitoshi Ichiba (7-4-1, 3).
Staying in Asia, though going down to Thailand there will be a card televised on "Channel 7". We've got to admit that we're unsure on who will be fighting though we believe that Pharanpetch Tor Buamas (11-0, 8) will be defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Featherweight title on the show against Amor Tino (14-13-3, 4). We also believe (though lack confirmation) that Morakot CP Freshmart (3-0, 2) will be on the card defending his WBC youth world Flyweight title.
Staying on the Thai theme, though to going to Australia, jouenyamn Superjames Singmanasak (3-12, 2) faces recent Commonwealth title challenger Corey McConnell (11-1-1). This will be McConnell's first bout since being beaten by Lee Selby in England earlier this year.
In the final bout of interest Kazakhstan's Zhanat Zhakiyanov (19-1, 12) fights for the first time since linking up with former 2-weight world champion Ricky Hatton. Zhakiyanov, who has already fought in Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Switzerland, England, Belarus and Hong Kong will fight in Northern Ireland as he takes on Michael Escobar (7-8, 3).
With recent victories for both Kompayak Porpramook and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai boxing in Thailand seems to be on the mend after a nightmare like 2012. Today will see two more men who will be looking to recapture titles after being deposed of their championship status in recent bouts.
The most recent Thai to lose a world title is former WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (43-2, 28). Sor Singyu, who lost the title Paulus Ambunda back in March, returns to the ring for the first time as he takes on Fredirex Rodriguez (11-2-1, 8) in a bout for the WBO International Bantamweight title. It's hard to see Sor Singyu losing this one and we'd expect him to work his way back to a world title bout sooner rather than later.
On a different card we see former WBA Super Flyweight champion Tepparith Kokietgym (22-3, 13) looking to score his second successive victory since losing to Kohei Kono at the end of 2012. Tepparith will be facing Jecker Buhawe (14-7-1, 9) in a bout for the interim WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Flyweight title.
On the same show as Tepparith's bout there are also fights for stablemates Petch Kokietgym (17-1, 3) and Ratchasak Kokietgym (15-2-1, 7). Petch will be looking for his 11th successive victory as he takes on the experienced Elmar Francisco (16-18-2, 4), it's fair to say that Petch will be expected to come out on top here.
For Ratchasak things are even more simple as he takes on Pisanuthep Sithsaithong (0-0) a fighter who is making his professional debut and will not be expected to be too much of a problem.
At the moment there is only 1 other bout confirmed for the card as Padjai Yongyuthgym (15-1-2, 10) takes on Randy Megrino (12-14-2, 7).
In Australia Thai hopes lie with Superjames Singmanasak (3-11, 2) who will need to score the biggest victory of his career if he's to upset the unbeaten Australian Mark Schleibs (2-0, 2). Whilst Schleibs is inexperienced Singmanasak has yet to record any wins of note and we can't see him scoring the upset here.