We love busy weekends and this weekend is no exception with a very long weekend of noteworthy fights. The action kicks off on Friday and goes right through to Tuesday with notable bouts.
At the Korakuen Hall we get a nice looking card thanks to Watanabe Promotions. Although we're sure we've not got the full details, what we have at the moment does look solid event.
The 3 bouts we have details of at the moment are Hajime Nagai (10-5-2, 2) against Masahide Shinabe (6-10-2, 3) in a Bantamweight clash, Rikiya Fukuhara (26-7-1, 19) against Keita Ito (8-15-2, 4) at Featherweight and Sanosuke Sasaki (11-2, 5) facing Takehiro Shimokawara (18-8-2, 6) in a Light Middleweight contest.
Whilst the Bantamweight and Featherweight fights do look forgone conclusions the Light Middleweight bout is very promising despite the fact both men enter on a loss. Sasaki is a former national champion though enters this bout following a stoppage loss to Tomohiro Ebisu and Shimokawara is a very credible fighter despite having never held any title.
Outside of Asia there is a lot of action, literally spread around the round.
The most notable bout of the day takes place in Russia as former amateur standout Rahkim Chakhkiev (16-0, 12) takes on WBC Cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (47-2-1, 33). This will be the first world title fight for Chakhkiev who has been tipped as a future world champion ever since he turned pro back in 2009. A full preview of this bout can be read here.
On the same card as Chakhkiev's world title bout is a Heavyweight clash with Denis Bakhtov (36-8, 24) who despite being a Russian fighter was born in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. Bakhtov will be facing novice Vladimir Goncharov (2-0, 1) in what should be a compelling bout, especially if Goncharov is as good as people are saying.
In the US and live on ESPN Friday Night Fights, Thai veteran Fahsai Sakkreerin (39-3-1, 21) faces the unbeaten Rances Barthelemy (18-0, 11) in an IBF Super Featherweight title eliminator. Although Barthelemy is "unbeaten" many felt he didn't deserve his most recent victory, a very controversial decision over Arash Usmanee. The winner of this bout will be expected to face Argenis Mendez in a very tough bout later this year for the title.
Also in the US is the highly experienced Filipino Juanito Rubillar (49-19-7, 24) who faces the hard hitting John Amuzu (13-0, 13) of Ghana. Fighting for 76th time in his professional career Rubillar actually has a really good chance at scoring an upset here against a fighter with a very padded and puffed up record.
Staying in North America, though in Canada. There will be action for both the exciting Marc Pagcaliwangan (4-0, 4)-a Canadian Filipino- and Steven Bloyer (10-4-2, 6)-a Lebanaese born Canadian-. Pagcaliwangan will be facing John Brown (0-1) in what is a bit of a disappointment in all honesty whilst Cheikho will face Steven Bloyer (14-8, 1).
A bit closer to home in Australia the busy Filipino Jayson Mac Gura (1-16-2, 1) fights for the 7th time this year. Mac Gura will be facing previous opponent Brendan Saunders (0-0-1), who he managed a draw against earlier this year. On the same card is Yousef Kanani (0-1) who was born in Iran will face Emosi Solitua (0-1) and Indonesian Aswin Cabuy (14-39-3, 7) will face Australian Renold Quinlan (3-0, 2).
We are aware that in Thailand Channel 7 will be televising some live boxing.
We are assuming here but we think that the main bout on Channel 7 will be a defense of the IBF Asia Light Flyweight title by Amnat Ruenroeng (9-0, 3). We're not sure who Ruenroeng is facing but we are sure that the former amateur standout will continue on his steep learning curve so the bout will likely be a good one for the unbeaten man.