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.
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).