Unlike many weekend's this Saturday isn't a massively busy day in the world of Asian boxing, though it is a massively important one thanks to a major card in Russia and a notable card in Japan as well as two interesting bouts in the US.
We'll start by looking at the Japanese card, a card entitled the "518th Dynamic Glove".
This Japanese show opens with a bout between the debuting Wataru Takeda (0-0) and the 1 fight novice Ryuhei Takahashi (0-1), We can't really say much about this bout, or the subsequent contest between novices Masayuki Ichikawa (1-0, 1) and Takashi Yamaguchi (1-1).
After the opening two bouts we get the cards first genuinely good looking contest as Takenori Ohashi (10-3, 7) battles Kenta Takahashi (10-6-2, 3) in an evenly matched bout on paper. Although looking at the two men Ohashi would start as a favourite it's worth noting that Takahashi has been unfortunate in his most recent loss, a bout with the unbeaten Gosuke Seki.
In the show's fourth contest former OPBF champion Yukinori Oguni (10-1, 2) begins the process. Oguni was shocked earlier this year by the under-rated Shingo Wake and will be hoping that he's not beaten in a second successive bout as he takes on Yuki Iwasaki (11-3, 6) who is highly ranked by both the OPBF and the JBC.
The show's fifth bout is the first of two title bouts on the show as Suyon Takayama (18-1, 7) defends his Japanese Welterweight title for the second time. It's difficult to imagine Takayama being upset by the #12 ranked Japanese title challenger Cobra Suwa (12-10, 5), who himself is best known for losing a OPBF title effort earlier this year to Akinori Watanabe.
The main event of this show sees OPBF Lightweight champion Yoshitaka Kato (25-4-1, 7) defending his title over 12 rounds against Filipino Rey Labao (24-4, 16) in what should be an excellent bout. We favour Kato but Labao has got the power to neutralise Kato's edge in skill.
If the Japanese card is a notable one then it's fair to say that the big action is in Russia. The main event in Moscow sees Russian Heavyweight Alexander Povetkin (26-0, 18) attempting to claim the WBA "super", WBC, IBF, Ring Magazine and IBO titles as he battles Ukraining Wladimir Klitschko (60-3, 51) in what promises to be the most notable Heavyweight fight of the year.
The Povetkin/Klitschko bout isn't the only Heavyweight clash on the show, despite the fact it takes up the whole poster, with Uzbekistan's Ruslan Chagaev (21-2-1, 20) battling Jovo Pudar (30-3, 17) in the second Heavyweight bout on the show. We believe this bout will be for the PABA Heavyweight title, giving the winner a real chance at fighting for the vacant WBA "regular belt" next time out.
As well as the two Heavyweight clashes we also have two very interesting looking Cruiserweight bouts. The most interesting of the two sees unbeaten Pole Mateusz Masternak (30-0, 22) battling Russian Grigory Drozd (36-1, 25) in a fight for the European title whilst in the second bout recent world title challenger Rakhim Chakhkiev (16-1, 12) fights Giulian Ilie (20-6-2, 6). This will be Chakhkiev's first bout since losing to Krzysztof Wlodarczyk back in June.
The only other bout on the Russian card that we're aware of is a Middleweight bout that features Fedor Chudinov (7-0, 6) taking on Kenyan Daniel Wanyonyi (18-5-2, 15) in what promises to be explosive one way or another.
In the US Russian Lightweight Andrey Klimov (16-0, 8) looks to become the spoiler as he takes on fast rising American Terence Crawford (21-0, 16) whilst on the came card Vietnam's Dat Nguyen (17-2, 6) takes on unbeaten Puerto Rican Jayson Velez (20-0, 15). It's hard to see anything but wins for the two unbeaten men here though if they get upset then it really would be worth noting.
The final bout of interest in regards to ourselves takes place in Germany as Bakhtiyar Iskenderzade (8-3, 1) of Azerbaijan, battles Josef Holub (2-58-1) in what looks likely to be Iskenderzade fight victory following back to back defeats.
With 3 notable cards today it's fair to say that one certainly steals the show with 2 title bouts and a highly regarded contender all on the same card.
That card is the card, in the Korakuen Hall, sees OPBF Middleweight champion Makoto Fuchigami (20-7, 11) attempt to defend his belt against Japanese Light Middleweight champion Akio Shibata (20-7-1, 9). On paper this is a bout to be genuinely excited about with Fuchigamai, a former world title contender, certainly facing his toughest bout since being badly beaten by WBA Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Shibata may not have a great record but the only man to beat him in the last 5 years is the highly regarded Charlie Ota and this could well be a great clash.
The other title bout sees Japanese Lightweight champion Yoshitaka Kato (24-4-1, 7) taking on former world title contender Motoki Sasaki (39-9-1, 24) not only for Kato's belt but also the vacant OPBF title. Sasaki certainly goes in to this bout with an experience edge and a the edge in terms of opponent level (having been in with Humberto Soto and Vyacheslav Senchenko) though at 37 he's a long way from his best. The 28 year old Kato, whilst unknown in the west has only been decisively beaten once and is making the 5th defense of his national title, it'd be a shock to see him beaten here.
The final bout on this card sees the very highly ranked Nihito Arakawa (23-2-1, 15) bouncing back from his 12 round loss to Daniel Estrada. Sadly Arakawa's opponent is Thai novice Pakphum Tor Pornchai (0-1) who will do little more than pad Arakawa's record.
The other two cards are both held in the Philippines are much less likely to get the attention of international fans, though the card in Benguet does have a title bout.
The main event in that card sees the highly regarded power puncher Rex Wao (6-0, 5) attempt to claim the interim WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Bantamweight title as he faces Dandy Toei (9-4-3, 3). This bout really could help Wao make a name for himself, though of course he will need to score the best win of his career so far.
The same card also features Remuel Obidos (7-3-1, 2) against the experienced Arjet Caballes (6-26-5, 3) and bouts for the unbeaten trio of Jonel Espineli (0-0-1), Renato Palay (also 0-0-1) and Stephen Gelawa (4-0-1, 2). Though only Palay and Gelawa's opponents have been named with Gelawa facing Jestoni Pepito (7-10-2, 2) and Palay facing Jomar Tumbaga (0-4-1).
The other card in the Philippines, held in the Mandaue City Plaza Square may not have a title on it though it's arguable a better card overall. The main event sees Melvin Gumban (13-0, 6) facing off against Fernando Ocon (10-4, 2) as Gumban attempts to score his second win of the year.
This card features a further 6 bouts with Pedro Balaba (10-4, 5) fighting Aroel Romasasa (11-4, 5); Juren Labordo (8-0, 4) fighting Roel Garcia (5-9-1, 1); Rey Morales (7-0, 2) facing Renante Suacasa (4-7); Lito Dante (3-3-3, 1) fighting Rez Padrogane (2-1, 1); Brian Lobitania (4-0-1, 3) facing Rocky Alvarez (1-2, 1) and Ivor Lastrilla (4-2-1, 3) fighting against Takaoki Noma (0-2).
Whilst none of these bouts are of massive interest it's fair to sat that Labordo and Morales are genuinely promising young prospects that fans should be keeping an eye on.