The Asian actions this week continues with a very interesting day of fights on Friday. We have action in Japan, with the second day of "Rookie of the East" semi-finals, a show in Thailand with title action, a genuinely interesting card in Kazakhstan, a show in Russia and of course Asian's fighting outside of Asia.
We'll start our look at the fights by beginning in Japan with the 12 bout card to find the finalists for the "Rookie of the East" competition.
The show opens with a bout at Minimumweight as Naoki Akagi (2-2-2, 1) battles Yoshinori Wakahara (4-3, 1). Compared with "the first semi final" in the division this is admittedly a let down, though of course the opening semi was, on paper, an outstanding match up.
The Light Flyweight division gives us a much more interesting contest as hard hitting 17 year old Ryuto Maekawa (5-0, 4) looks for just his second win in Japan, taking on the difficult to defeat Rei Ochiai (1-1-3). With 4 majority decisions on his record in his 5 bouts Ochiai keeps things competitive win, lose or draw and could give Maekawa a very hard time here.
In the Flyweight division Ryuto Oho (3-0, 2) tackles Katsunori Shimooki (3-2-1) before a Super Flyweight bout between the unbeaten Seiya Fujikita (4-0, 1) and Hiroto Kurosawa (5-1, 3).
The Bantamweight division sees Yuto Sasamori (5-3, 3) fighting Yukichi Hara (4-2, 1) in what looks like a decent bout on paper with Super Bantamweight action following on as Tatsuya Mukai (5-1-2, 1) fights Gaku Aikawa (2-0-1) in a potentially fantastic match up.
The Featherweight division gives us Naoto Moriya (4-0, 1) against Shingo Kusano (5-2-1, 3). Although Kusano's record is blotchy he has won his last 4 and could well prove to be a match for the unbeaten Moriya. Following the Featherweight contest fans will get to see unbeaten Super Featherweights collide as Ryosuke Suzuki (4-0) fights Yoshimichi Matsumoto (3-0, 2) in what genuinely looks like the fight of the card.
At Lightweight Akio Tomiyama (5-3, 4) looks to extend his 3 fight T/KO run as he battles fellow puncher Ryosuke Takami (2-0, 2) in what promises to be an explosive contest before Yuki Nagano (2-1, 2) battles Takuya Matsusaka (4-1, 4) at Light Welterweight in another potential shoot out.
The second to last bout on the show takes place at Welterweight as Nobuaki Sakae (2-2-1, 1) fights Kota Kakiuchi (2-4, 2) in a less than inspiring looking contest before a Middleweight bout between the Albanian born Altin Pepa (2-0, 2) and Agoura Masaru (3-1, 2).
In Thailand we expect a more notable name in action with Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (31-2, 19) expected to defend his WBC Youth World Light Flyweight title. Unfortunately we haven't got any further details on the card as of yet.
At the city of Astana in Kazakhstan we get a really interesting loking card. The highlight bout, for us, sees the very talented teenager Roman Zhailauov (9-0, 7) taking on compatriot Kanat Kartenbayev (10-5-2, 4) in what is a step up for Zhailauov. The bout sees Zhailauov defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Welterweight title as well as attempting to claim the PABA "interim" Welterweight belt and the Kazakhstani Welterweight title. Although it's still very early days in the career of Zhailauov some are already talking about him being the next star of Kazakhstani boxing.
Whilst we're looking forward to the Zhailauov/Kartenbayev fight it's actually just one of a quadtrain of title bouts on the show with others including Farhad Ospanov (4-2, 2) fighting Zhandos Zhetpisbayev (6-6, 2) in a battle over the Kazakhstani Super Bantamweight title and Behzod Nabiev (21-5-1, 15) fighting Meirbek Sabirov (2-4, 1) for the WBC Asia Council Continental Light Welterweight title.
The remaining title bout is a genuinely exciting looking bout as Russian Maxim Maslov (11-1-1, 8) battles Uzbekistan's Elyor Gulomov (8-1-1, 7) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Cruiserweight title. Whilst neither man will ever go on to major world honours this should be very fun to watch as long as it lasts.
On the under-card we appear have a rescheduling of an earlier card and the bouts will feature Bakhtiyar Eyubov (3-0, 3), Murat Nurkasymov (0-0) and Kanat Abdrakhmanov (0-0) though none of these men currently have opponents listed.
In Russia there is a car in Podolsk. This show is expected to feature 4 bouts with Alexander Ivanov (3-0) fighting Ravil Mukhamadiyarov (10-50-2, 8), Gegam Mkrtchyan (1-0) battling Arkadiy Arutiunian (1-0) and action from both Mikhail Smirnov (5-0, 3) and Mikhail Sukiasyan (2-2), though these two men don't appear to have opponents as of yet.
Finally onto the international action which sees Australia again welcoming Asian fighters in to their rings. In New South Wales we expect to see Arnel Tinampay (21-15-1, 7), of the Philippines, fight the unbeaten Sam Ah-See (7-0-1, 6) and Indonesian Aswin Cabuy (14-42-3, 7) in action against Joel Camilleri (3-2, 2).
After originally getting this written we have since heard that Yemeni's Ali Raymi (12-0, 12), the man with 12 straight opening round victories, will be returning to action for the first time since July 14th. Raymi is expected to fight his 13th unbeaten opponent as he takes on Asam Dolbhante (4-0, 1)
The card, rumoured to feature a staggering 20 bouts, is thought to be have a bout between Yasin Abdulkhalik (7-0, 3) and Abdu Rafik (2-0) as the chief support.
The busy Yemen boxing scene is again at the forefront this weeks action with one of the first Asian shows of the new week. As with almost every show in Yemen it will be held in the countries capital city of Sanaa.
The 8 bout show is expected to start with debutants in action as Amad Rohani (0-0) takes on Saeed Shuaibi (0-0). This bout, made around the Super Featherweight limit is one of 5 bouts scheduled to be fought over the 4 round distance.
We expect the second of the 4 round bouts to feature two men looking for their first victories as Sameeh Arasi (0-1) fights Sami Umasi (0-1). This is the show's only bout featuring two fighters with losing records though on paper it appears to be a perfectly matched bout.
At Light Flyweight we expect the unbeaten Husam Shargabi (2-0, 1) to take on Abdu Mansur (0-1) in one of the other 4 round bouts and then at Bantamweight Omar Moxamad (2-0, 1) will take on Sabin Juma (0-1). With both Shargabi and Moxamad looking for their third successive victories it's hard to imagine either of them losing here.
It's expected that the final 4 round contest will see Wesam Maqrami (4-1, 2) in action as he tries to bounce back from his sole loss, a decision loss to Omar Awdan, as he takes on Hamdan Khulani (0-1). Maqrami is a very promising 16 year old and we'd be very shocked if he doesn't claim his fifth professional victory here.
It's thought that the first of the 10 round contests will see Luke Hasan (3-0, 1) taking on Luway Jaber (2-2, 2). This will be Hasan's second bout scheduled for 10 rounds but the third for Jaber who is 1-1 in bouts scheduled for 10 rounds.
Arguably the most interesting 10 round bouton the card sees Ali Salem (5-0, 1) facing Esayas Dagim (2-0, 1) in a battle of unbeatens. This looks like a genuinely great contest on paper between Salem, of Somalia, and Dagim an Ethiopian who will be fighting for the third time in Yemen.
Despite the fact that Salem/Dagim looks really interest it appears that the main event will see the unbeaten Yasin Abdulkhalik (6-0, 3) in action against the once beaten Moxamad Abdu (4-1, 2). This is a rematch between two men who fought just weeks ago with Abdulkhalik taking a very clear decision so we really don't see much point in the bout despite both men being well regarded domstically in Yemen.
Unfortunately with cards from certainy countries in the East the schedules don't reach us until late, one such as example is this Tuesday's Yemen card from Sanaa.
The ridiculously busy Yemen scene is probably one of the fastest growing anywhere in world boxing boxing and whilst Ali Raymi is pretty much the only name of note at the moment it doesn't seem like it will take too much longer before others will start to emerge.
This card unfortunately is unlikely to give the next emerging talent from Yemen but should still be an enjoyable even if you're in Sanaa and able to get to the Yemen Boxing Federation Gym.
The event kicks off with 4 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds and then features the same number of bouts scheduled for 10 rounds.
We expect the first bout to be around the Bantamweight division as debutant Akram Jafwi (0-0) takes on Ahmed Nasser (0-1), this is expected to be followed by a bout at Welterweight as both Ismael Elias (0-1) and Younis Dolbhant (0-1) look for their first career victories.
It's then back to the Bantamweight for a bout between Omar Moxamad (1-0) and Ahmad Sabra (0-1) with Sabra returning to the ring for the first time in well over 2 years.
The final bout scheduled for 4 rounds is thought to be a Light Flyweight contests between Mawj Abdulrezak (2-3) and Salem Hasani (0-1). For Abdulrezak this will be his fifth fight of the year, in fact his fifth fight in just over a month, for Hasani it'll be a chance to get his first win on the board.
Over the 10 round distance the Bantamweight division appears to be a busy one with 3 of the 4 contests taking place in or around 118lbs. These bouts will see Luway Jaber (1-2, 1) taking on Hasan Wesabi (1-1); Yasin Abdulkhalik (5-0, 3) facing Khaled Maweri (1-1) and the unbeaten Esayas Dagim (1-0) taking on Esam Aunfi (2-1, 1).
The only non-Bantamweight bout over 10 rounds will see Yaser Ali (3-1, 3) attempt to bounce back from his sole loss as he takes on Mohammad Saleh (2-2). Saleh comes in to this bout on back-to-back losses to Abdu Sameer who incidentally was also the man to defeat Ali/
The month ends on yet another busy day with action in Japan, Thailand and Yemen.
The most notable single bout seems likelt to occur in Thailand as WIBA Light Flyweight champion Samson Tor Buamas (29-3, 14) is expected to defend her title. Her opponent is yet to be named though it's always a joy to see Samson in action.
Whilst the key bout is in Thailand it's fair to say the biggest card is in Japan as the Korakuen Hall hosts 10 bouts from the "East Rookie of the Year" tournament.
The show in Japan kicks off with a minimumweight bout between Masaaki Okubo (3-1, 1) and Tsukada Naoyuki (3-0, 2). This looks like a very promising match up between two men wanting to make a name for themselves and claiming the "East Rookie of the Year" would be a good way to do that.
In the Light Flyweight division we have 3 contests as Tomoyuki Kaneko (4-1, 2) takes on Ohta Teru (unfortunately we are struggling to track down his record), Yuta Sakai (1-4) faces an opponent that we've got to admit we're unsure about and we think Mao Hoshino (3-8-1) fights Rei Ochiai (1-1-2).
In the sole Flyweight bout Katsunori Shimooki (2-2-1) battles Naoto Takanashi (3-6-1, 2). Interestingly Takanashi is winless in 4 bouts dating back over a year whilst Shimooki is on a 3 fight lose-less streak.
The only Super Flyweight bout appears to be Uko Nonami (2-0-1, 1) against the unbeaten Jo Tanooka (4-0-3). Tanooka appears unable to make a fight easy for himself.
The show also has 2 Bantamweight bouts on the card with the 19 year old Yamato Nakagawa (4-2, 2) taking on the 20 year old Yuki Arai (2-1) and Yukichi Hara (3-2, 1) faces Ryosuke Hayase (3-0).
At Super Bantamweight Takahiro Shibata (4-1-1, 1) will fight Naoto Fujimoto (3-2-1, 1). The final bout on the show will see Light Welterweight Yuki Nagano (1-1, 1) taking on Minoru Iizuka (2-0, 2).
All of those Japanese bouts will take place over the 4 round distance.
The card in Yemen, which we actually epect to take place first, has 7 bouts on it as the Yemeni domestic scene continues to be an oddly busy one.
The most notable bout on the Yemen card sees Yasin Abdulkhalik (4-0, 3) fighting Moxamad Abdu (2-0, 1) in a Super Bantamweight contest. This is one of two 10 round contests on the card with the other seeing Ali Sanabani (2-1, 1) fighting Asam Dolbhante (2-0).
The remaining 5 bouts on the card are all scheduled for 4 rounds as Abdelsamid Sameer (1-0) takes on Mohammad Saleh (2-0) in a Light Welterweight contest, Ali Salem (2-0, 1) facing Esam Aunfi (1-0, 1) in bout at Bantamweight, Othman Qasim (2-0) taking on Khaled Sulaym (1-0, 1), Yaser Ali (1-0, 1) taking on Khaled Munasar (0-1), who is incidentally the only man in 4 round contests with a loss, and Yasir Shadhili (1-0) taking on Khaldun Salami (1-0) in a Super Middleweight contest.