The next few weeks are packed with some great action and there are a lot of bouts that are easy to miss, especially on some of the more obscure cards. Today we look at one of those bouts, on of the more obscure bouts.
The One to Watch?
Yelieqiati Nihemaituola (14-0-1, 5) Vs Ryan Rey Ponteras (22-14-3, 11)
Octber 12th (Saturday)
When a prospect steps up we're always interested in seeing how things go, and that's going to be the case here when the unbeaten Nihemaituola, a Chinese-Kazakh, takes on the rugged and upset minded Ponteras. On paper this doesn't look like it will be great, but Ponteras has often impressed us with his toughness, and his will to win. With Ponteras bringing the fight we're tipping this as being much better than it looks on paper.
Nihemaituola, dubbed the "Kazakh Warrior", is one of a number of Chinese fights with a Kazakh heritage. The 25 year old southpaw has picked up a number or minor titles but has yet to really impress, and his unbeaten record is padded with limited opposition. On paper his best win looks to be over a then 10-0 Conrado Tanamor in 2018, but since then we've seen Tanamor suffer 3 opening round blow outs in 4 bouts. In reality Nihemaituola's most impressive win was a razor thin one over Eranio Semillano just over a year ago, and in reality he's not as good as his record suggests. He's not bad, but he's certainly not a sensational rising star.
At 29 years old Pomnteras is a young veteran, with 39 fights to his name, many as the under-dog. Ponteras has gone the distance with the likes of Froilan Saludar, Jelbirt Gomera, Gideon Buthelezi, Genesis Libranza and Renz Rosia, with only the monstrously heavy handed Seiya Tsutsumi stopping him in 39 fights. Although not the most skilled, or the hardest punching he is much better than his record suggests, and he really should be holding a number more wins, and fewer losses. Do not let his record give the impression that he's not very good, because he is very decent and really should have found himself in the OPBF title mix at some point.
What to expect?
We expect Ponteras to start fact, trying to take Nihemaituola out of his stride before he can get into. If he can, then this fight becomes very interesting and he'll look to keep Nihemaituola on the back foot. Whilst the unbeaten man is more technically skilled than Ponteras he's not as proven and this should be a real test of his mental toughness, his physical skill and what he's like when he's under pressure.
The bad news?
The bout will be stream on IFL TV for fans in the UK, so it's free to watch, but the bad news is that Ponteras comes into this bout on the back of solitary stoppage loss, and we do wonder if he's taken too much through his career to give Nihemaituola the fight we expect.
Takahiro Onaga is a regular contributor to Asian Boxing and will now be a featured writer in his own column where his takes his shot at various things in the boxing world.