Another weekend begins in the boxing world and again we get a busy one with Asian fighters fighting both at home and around the world.
The most notable card in the Asian boxing world this weekend is a Teiken promotions card from Tokyo which features 7 bouts including 2 very notable ones.
In the main even of the Teiken card former linear and WBC Flyweight champion Toshiyuki Igarashi (17-2-1, 10) takes on Mexican veteran, and former world title challenger himself, Omar Soto (23-10-2, 15). The bout, scheduled for 10 rounds, will be Igarashi's first since losing his titles to Akira Yaegashi back in April and although he's stepping up to Super Flyweight it'd be a shock to see anything but a clear win for the former champion.
The co-feature of the card sees former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda (27-3-2, 12) face Alejandro Hernandez (25-9-2, 14) as Shimoda loosk to put an unexpected draw to Roli Gasca earlier this year behidn him. Hernandez is a very capable fighter, despite his patchy record, and his most notable losses have come against excellent fighters such as Leo Santa Cruz, Omar Andres Narvaez and Carlos Tamara whilst he also has a draw to Marvin Sonsona.
In the final of arguably a triple header Yasutaka Ishimoto (22-6, 5) takes on the experienced Ignacio "Charly" Valenzuela (20-17-4, 9). Although Ishimoto isn't as much of a name as Shimoda and Igarashi he did send shockwaves through the boxing world earlier this year when he upset Wilfredo Vazquez Jr, he may well only be two or three wins away from a possible world title fight.
From the rest of the card the only really notable bout is one between Masanobu Nakazawa (12-1-1, 4) and Kazutaka Takakuwa (9-6, 2). Although on paper this looks like a clear victory for Nakazawa it does need to be noted that he's been fortunate in several of his recent contests.
The rest of the card sees Yuichi Yokoyama (11-2, 10) fighting Yasumasa Eguchi (6-8-2, 3), Heisuke Ono (2-2-2, 2) battling Hikaru Takaki (3-3, 3) and Yoshinobu Kakinaga (1-0) facing Katsuaki Kinoshita (0-2) in the show's opening bout.
As well as the Japanese card there is two shows in the Philippines, both of which feature some genuinely interesting match ups.
In Cebu, where there's a 7 fight show, we will see a main event between Vergilio Silvano (16-2-1, 10) and Jetly Purisima (17-12-4, 5) with the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title up for grabs. With the records of the two men it's easy to favour Silvano for the victory but Purisima has mixed at a much higher level and will be looking for his biggest win here, a victory that isn't totally out of his grasp.
In the chief support bout we expect to see a return to the ring for former WBO Super Flyweight champion Marvin Sonsona (16-1-1, 13). "Marvelous" Marvin has only fought twice in the last 3 years but at just 23 years old he can certainly get back to the top, well as long as he can sort out his issues out of the ring.
Although Sonsona's opponent is yet to be named we wouldn't expect anyone too tough for him here though hopefuly he'll show commitment to the sport, something that has clearly been lacking recently.
The rest of the card sadly lacks anything too interesting with the unbeaten Jhaleel Payao (5-0, 3) looking to extend his unbeaten record against Roel Garcia (5-10-2, 1). The only other bout worth noting from the undercard sees Jimboy Haya (2-0-1, 2) facing fellow unbeaten novice Jhon Kenan Villaflor (2-0-1, 1).
The remaining bouts on show are Jordan Catubay (4-1-1, 2) battling Junny Salogaol (4-4-4, 4), Jessie Suacasa (2-0, 1) facing Salatiel Amit (1-0, 1) and the debut of Cristian Amante (0-0) who fights Gary Rojo (1-5).
The second Filipino card, taking place in Metro Manila, is headlined by a WBC International Flyweight bout as Renan Trongco (13-4, 8) battles China's Wang Xin Hua (10-8-1). Hua, like many Chinese fighters, is tough and much better than his record indicates so don't expect to see him blown away by Trongco here.
Unfortunately the rest of the card here is weak. We expect the opening fight to be between debutant Ariel Benedict Escayo (0-0) and Arnold Garcia (0-1), before winless pair Jay-Ar Campana (0-1) and Kenjie Watanabe (0-1) meet in a "somebody's 0 has got to go" bout.
The first of the cards 6 round bouts is expected to be a rather mismatched bout between Just Bornilla (4-1, 1) and Edsil Jungco (0-4-4) before the second 6 round bout which pitches Warren Mambuanag (6-2-2, 3) and Roldan Aldea (3-1-1, 2) together.
The 8 round bouts on the show see Vergel Rivera (3-0-1) in action, albeit against an opponent that we aren't certain about, Lloyd Jardeliza (3-0-3, 2) facing Arjet Caballes (6-27-5, 3) and Cirilo Espino (18-12-3, 11) up against Jomar Borbon (3-14-2, 1).
In the chief support bout the hard hitting Gabriel Royo (8-7-2, 7) takes on the limited Samuel Apuya (7-15-1, 4).
The final Asian card takes place Kazakhstan. We expect Bakhtiyar Eyubov (3-0, 3) to headline the card which also features debutants Kanat Abdrakhmanov (0-0) and Murat Nurkasymov (0-0). Sadly all 3 men are down to face as yet named opponents.
On the international stage we expect Asian's to be in action in Australia, Denamrk and Germany.
The Australian card, in Bunbury, sees a trio of Asian with Filipino Allan Tanada (12-2-3, 5) fighting in the main event against Matt Garlett (11-1, 6). This bout will be for the WBC International Super Featherweight title and likely help move the winner to within a few fights of a possible world title bout.
The other other bouts in Australia see Thai's in action with Rachamongkol Sor Pleonchit (14-5, 6) battling former world title challenger Naoufel Ben Rabeh (36-3, 19) and Thongthai Rajanondh (16-14, 4) fighting the debuting Nathaniel May (0-0).
In Denmark the Lebanese born "Baby face" Ahmad Kaddour (26-2-1, 10) faces Aleksei Tsatiasvili (4-4, 2) and Uzbek born Artem Solomko (11-23-1, 4) faces the dangerous Oscar Ahlin (7-0, 7).
The final bout of note sees Rola El Halabi (12-1, 6), also originally from Lebanon, in action against the unbeaten Sopo Putkaradze (6-0-2, 1). This will be El Halabi's first defense of the WBF female Light Welterweight bout and we expect her to get a real hero's welcome to celebrate the turn around of her career after being shot 2 years ago by her step father
The weekend is of course the busiest time for boxing in both Europe and the US. Unfortunately neither Europe or the US have any genuinely massive fights this weekend and in fact you'd be hard pushed to find a better card than the one at the Korakuen Hall this Saturday.
The show, a Japanese title double header sees 6 bouts in total on the card.
The opening bout, scheduled for 4 rounds sees Suzuki Kenta (0-0) facing Yushan Masaya (0-0) in an all debutant match up in the Welterweight divsion. It appears that the card was supposed to open with a bout between Takahiko Suzuki (1-0, 1) and the debuting Yokoyama Wataru (0-0) though that now looks to have been cancelled and Kenta/Masaya has replaced it in regards to being the shows opener.
The first of 3 bouts scheduled for 8 rounds sees Yuji Hasegawa (7-2, 1) taking on veteran Dosanko Fighter Hayasaka (7-9-2, 1). Unfortunately Hayasaka comes in to the bout on the back of 5 losses and is winless in over 4 years whilst Hasegawa is on a 3 fight winning streak.
The second of the cards 8 round contests sees Yota Hori (9-1-2, 6), a fighter who held Koki Eto to a 6 round draw, taking on Filipono Ardin Diale (20-8-3, 7). Diale, a former world title challenger, looks to be the toughest challenger that Hori has faced so far and is capable of scoring the upset if he's on his game.
The final 8 round contest sees Shuji Hamada (12-5-3, 2), the #12 ranked Japanese Super Flyweight, fighting Masafumi Otake (14-10-3, 7). Hamada has had a good year with 2 straight victories following a trio of setbacks in 2011-2012 and shouldn't struggle too much with Otake despite the fact Otake is unbeaten in 4 bouts.
The first of the two Japanese title fights sees the hard hitting Tomohiro Ebisu (11-2, 11) defending his Japanese Middleweight title. Ebisu will be making the first defense of his title as he takes on former Welterweight and Light Middleweight champion Daisuke Nakagawa (21-3-2, 16), who is currently the #1 ranked contender. Although both of Ebisu's losses have come by stoppage he does hit hard and often comes out on top in a shoot out, as he did last time against the then champion Sanosuke Sasaki.
The final bout on the show sees Japanese Super Featherweight champion Daiki Kaneko (18-2-3, 11) defending his belt for the fourth time. Kaneko will be facing #11 ranked Mitsuya Omura (16-7-1, 12). This will be Omura's second attempt to claim a Japanese national title after being stopped in in a Lightweight title tilt by Nihito Arakawa.
Both of the champions will be expected to claim victory here though there is a chance that they could both be upset in what promises to be a great card from start to end.
The day's "secondary" card takes place at the Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex in Paranaque City Gabriel Elorde and the Elorde promotional outfit put on a 6 bout show. Unfortunately none of these bouts hold too much interest.
The main event, scheduled for 10 rounds, sees Cris Alfante (8-1, 2) taking on journeyman Roy Albaera (2-19-4). This is as much of a mismatch as it appears on paper with Albaera having been stopped 14 times in his 25 contests to date.
Unfortunately the shows other bouts look equally as uninteresting with Zoren Pama (3-7-3, 1) taking on Rolando Niones (4-13-2, 2); Rolden Aldea (2-1-1, 1) facing Marco Niones (3-8, 1) and Joathan Ligas (4-5-1) taking on Elbert Guardario (8-21-1, 2) in the shows 3 contests scheduled for 8 rounds.
Arguably the most competitive bout on the show is the sole 6 round contest which sees Vergel Rivera (2-0-1) fighting Raymond Empic (2-1, 1). The remaining contest on the show is a 4 round bout as Arnold Garcia (0-1) takes on debutant Ken Heart Paliprin (0-0)
Although the week so far has been relatively quiet it appears that we actually end the week with quite a busy day or two.
The most notable card in Asia today is held at the The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex in Metro Manila and features a staggerin 12 bouts.
The most notable of the bouts on the Metro Manila card sees Jerson Mancio (16-3-3, 7) making the second defense of his Philippines Games & Amusement Board (GAB) Light Flyweight title s he takes on Robel Villegas (9-6, 3). This looks, at least on paper, like an easy enough defense for Mancio.
The other more notable bouts on the card see Cris Alfante (7-1, 1) taking on Ricky Oyan (4-16-2, 2) and Ronelle Ferreras (11-5-1, 4) taking on Roque Lauro (7-13-3, 2) both in 10 rounders. It'd be a shock to see Alfante losing and Ferreras, in all honesty should manage to secure his 12th victory.
In 8 round bouts we get Ricardo Roa (10-7-2, 2) against Samuel Apuya (7-14-1, 4), the unbeaten Andrian Camique (4-0-1, 2) against Sherwin McDo Lungay (7-22-2, 10) and Lionel Mark Duran (9-7-2, 3) against Junjie Lauza (4-7. 1). Of the 6 men here it's fair to say that Camique has the most interest to us, though we do sort of feel that there isn't a super star brewing amongst them.
Of the remaining bouts on the card, including Bryan Macamay (6-1-2, 5) against Menard Zaragosa (5-11, 3); Zoran Pama (2-7-3) against Roy Lagrada (2-4-1, 2); Ariel Arevalo (1-1, 1) against Gebby Manago (0-0); Vergel Rivera (1-0-1) against Jerwin Dela Rosa (0-1); Just Bornilla (3-1) against Reymond Yalung (0-0) and Jessebelle Pagaduan (4-0, 3) against Lady Love Sampiton (0-1) we're more interested in the final than the others mainly due to wonderful name of "Lady Love".
In Australia there is plenty of action as Filipino trio Michael Correa (3-3-3, 1), Jayson Mac Gura (1-14-2, 1) and Romeo Jakosalem (14-8-1, 7) all look to upset Australian based fighters. It certainly appears that Jakosalem has the toughest bout of the 3 men taking on Samoan banger Leti Leti (8-1, 8), though with the other two Filipino's facing debuting pair George Kambosos Jr and Nathan Wright they haven't easy nights work either.
As well as the Filipino's in action in Australia there is also action for South Korean Jeong Jin Park (1-3) who looks to claim the Australia New South Wales State Light Middleweight title whilst battling Joshua Diab (4-0, 2).
There are also fights in Russia including a bout for Zhandos Zhetpisbayev (5-5, 2) of Kazakhstan and Marat Khasanov (0-3) who was born in Uzbekistan. Zhetpisbayev faces the unbeaten Sahib Usarov (18-0, 6) whilst Khasnov goes into the ring with debutant Steven Lee (0-0)
What a day today promises to be for Filipino fans who not only have interest at home with 2 domestic cards but should also be looking to the west with 2 of their fighters fighting on foreign soil.
Of course the highest profile bout for an Asian today is Nonito Donaire (31-1, 20) who will be hoping to unify his WBO Super Bantamweight title with the WBA title currently held by Guillermo Rigondeaux (11-0, 8). Going in to this bout Donaire is the betting favourite and a victory would likely be his last at 122lbs with the clear intention being to move up to the Featherweight division sooner rather than later.
The 4-weight world champion, known as "The Filipino Flash" may not be as liked as Manny Pacquiao but he's certainly a genuine pound-for-pound fighter and if he can defeat his Cuban opponent then he'll have to be regarded as Asian's premier boxer on any pound-for-pound list. Though of course Donaire will need to beat one of the most amazing amateurs of all time in Rigondeaux and that is of course not a forgone conclusion despite what some fans may suggest.
As well as Donaire's fight in the US Filipino fans should also be aware that Jaderes Padua (8-1-1, 5) also fights abroad as he faces former WBC Super Flyweight champion Tomas Rojas (39-14-1-1, 26) over in Rojas' native Mexico. For Padua this is not only a huge step up in class but will be the 22 year old's first fight outside of his homeland. A win for Padua would not only be a huge upset but also be massive news in the lower divisions.
A bit closer to home for Filipino fans are the 2 cards being held in their country, both in Metro Manila.
Arguably the less interesting of the 2 domestic cards is the one held at the "The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex" which features a scheduled 8 bouts.
Amongst the bouts on this card are 4 bouts scheduled for 10 rounds (Dado Cabintoy (10-3-2, 5) against Jovill Marayan (7-12-3, 3); hot prospect Giovanni Escaner (9-0, 5) against veteran Ryan Tampus (11-10, 8); the unbeaten Jeffrey Arienza (9-0-1, 4) against Leonardo Doronio (10-8-2, 6) and Rene Dacquel (8-0, 1) against Samuel Apuya (7-14-1, 4)).
From the 10 round bouts we're expecting wins from Cabintoy, Escaner, Arienza and Dacquel, though it's fair to say that we think Escaner is in the toughest bout.
In the 4 bouts not scheduled for 10 rounds we will see Andrian Camique (3-0-1, 2) look for his first win of the year as he faces southpaw Lowell Saguisa (7-11, 3) over 8 rounds in what could be a tough bout for Camique. In action over 6 is Cris Alfante (6-1, 1) who faces journeyman Dodoy Alapormina (1-21-1) in what should really be a mismatch despite how tough Alapormina is.
The card also features 2 bouts scheduled for 4 round with debutant Raymond Palusot (0-0) facing Vergel Rivera (0-0-1) and debuting pair JK Elorde (0-0) facing Roy Velarde (0-0) in a Featherweight bout.
The other card, held in Taguig City has 10 scheduled bouts ranging from 4 rounders to a championship bout. The 4 round bouts see 3 debutants in action as Honesto Luha (0-0), Raymond Palusot (0-0) and Ryan Medes (0-0) go up against Menard Avila (1-0), Jonathan Susada (0-0-1) and Jay-Ar Diama (0-0-1).
The card also sees 3 bouts scheduled for 8 as Michael Dasmarinas (10-1, 6) fights against Jerald Cortes (3-6-4, 2), Oliver Gregorio (7-1-1, 4) goes up against Dexter Dimaculangan (3-1-3, 1) and Rennel Flechero (8-3-1, 4) faces Gerry Pateno (3-4-2, 2). None of these bouts seem too interesting in all honesty with it hard to really pick an upset in any of them.
Thankfully he card picks up with it's 10 round bouts which may include 1 stinker but also includes an excellent match up. The stinker is Renren Tesorio (11-2-12, 4) against the very limited Joseph Deimos (2-13-2, 1) who has proven to be a survivor though isn't a fighter who should be able to test Tesorio. Former domestic (GAB) Super Flyweight champion Marvin Mabait (17-1-2, 11) looks to continue his rebuilding as he faces (17-7-1, 11) who comes into this bout following a stoppage loss in Japan to Tomoki Kameda.
The most promising of the 10 round bouts is the hard punching Anthony Marcial (19-1, 18) facing off against the PBF Super Featherweight champion Rene Bestudio (14-4-4, 4). This bout is genuinely exciting and with Macial proving to be a wrecking force could be over very quickly if "Rocky" gets his way.
In the championship bout 26 year old Jay Solmiano (16-2-1, 12) attempts to defend the WBO Asia Pacific Light Welterweight title against Indonesian (KTI/IBC) Lightweight champion Wellem Reyk (15-6-3, 4). Whilst Reyk is 0-3 outside of Indonesia he'll know that a win here could see him climbing into the WBO top 15, a major achievement, for Solmiano however he'll be looking to maintain his excellent #12 ranking.