With the world pretty much in some form of lock down right now it feels weird talking about boxing returning to the ring, anywhere, but this coming Sunday there will actually be fights. Albeit in an empty boxing gym in Gimpo. Whilst it's great to have some boxing to talk about, and it feels like there is some light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, it's also worrying that perhaps boxing shouldn't be getting pushed back out there yet until things are more normal. We won't digress too much further other than to say this show, sanctioned by the KBC, is the first boxing event in a while. Fingers crossed we will see more in the near future, but not before other things are sorted out.
Given this is in Korea, and there's no ticket sales, and appears to be no streaming, it's obvious the fighters won't be getting wads of cash, and it may further split the always fragile working relationships in Korea.
Anyway that's enough of that, lets look at what we do have!
Gimpo, South Korea
The KBC will be sanctioning a 4 bout show at the Legend Boxing Gym in Gimpo. There really isn't much to talk about, with a couple of 4 rounders and a pair of 8 rounders. From those 4 bouts we're only going to go into one of them in any detail as it really is a card with Novice Vs Novice bouts, apart from the one bout.
The bout of note will see 28 year hopeful Hwang Kil Kim (11-2, 5) taking on Jae Duk Bae (4-6-2). Yes this is the best bout on the one card that is taking place any time soon. Kim is actually a really solid fighter at this time of level. He's no world beater but a win against Abdurasul Ismoilov last year saw him show potential, and he was competitive with Liam Paro late last year. Kim was actually supposed to be fighting Hiroki Okada in Japan before things prevented fights in the Land of the Rising Sun, and at the moment it's unclear will ever take place. Whilst Kim is a decent fighter he's the naturally smaller man here with Bae being a natural Welterweight, however Bae is the much more limited fighter, having gone 1-6 in his last 7 bouts.
We'll be honest we can't see anything but a win for Kim here.
This coming Monday we'll be getting action in the Philippines thanks to Hardstone Boxing Promotions. It's not a huge show, but it's one with a very notable fighter involved, as they look to tick over and move towards a world title fight later in the year.
La Union, Philippines
The main event on this card will see IBF #1 ranked Bantamweight contender Michael Dasmarinas (30-2-1 20), who will be the mandatory for the winner of April's bout between Naoya Inoue and John Riel Casimero, taking on Thailand's Chaiwat Buatkrathok (33-3, 21), aka Kongfah Nakornluang. The talented Dasmarinas has everything to lose here and little to gain, but does need to be kept active and this is only his third bout since his controversial draw with Manyo Plange in September 2018. On paper the Thai looks like a dangerous risk, but in reality Chaiwat is very limited, has one of the most padded record in the sport and has lost 2 of his last 3. What looks like a test on paper should be a super quick win for the highly ranked Dasmarinas.
The only other bout worth of some attention on this card will see the heavy handed Ryan Torres (9-2-1, 8) taking on Kyota Otsuka (6-6-2, 4). The 24 year old Torres, dubbed "Barracuda", has been out of the ring for almost a year and will be hoping to make up for lost time, with only a single fight in 2 years. Filipino based Japanese fighter Otsuka showed some early promise but has gone 1-6-2 in his last 9, and has lost 4 in a row. On paper this is intriguing, more than anything else, with us curious as to how Torres looks after his inactivity, and whether or not Otsuka can roll back the clock and claim another win.
Although the names aren't big there are a number of Central Asian fighters competing in Russia.
In one bout we'll see unbeaten Russian based Armenian hopeful Radik Grigoryan (6-0, 1) take on Uzbek foe Mukhammadsalim Sotvoldiev (5-2-1, 2), in what will be a rematch of a contest the two men had in October. In their first bout Grigoryan won a clear 8 round decision and will be looking to repeat the act again here. Sotvoldiev is 2-2-1 in his last 5 and the Uzbek has had a super busy scheduled recently with this being his 6th bout since May last year.
In another bout we'll see another Uzbek in action, with Ali Turgunaliyev (0-1) going up against Mukhiddin Dadashev (0-2), who's originally from Kyrgyzstan, in a bout that will likely see someone score their first win. Interestingly neither man has heard the final bell, with all 3 combined losses coming inside the distance! Sadly not much else to say here, but it's interesting to note that this is scheduled for 6 rounds, despite neither man having a win to their name.
Another man from Kyrgyzstan on this show is Shokhrukh Zakirov (0-4), who has been stopped in the opening round of everyone of his fights so far. Sadly for Zakirov it seems likely he'll be stopped early again here as he takes on Armenian puncher Rafayel Simonyan (7-0, 6), who has stopped 3 of his 6 stoppage victims in the first round.
Staying with Central Asian fighters we'll also see US based Tajik Anvar Yunusov (8-1, 4) in action, as he takes on the unbeaten Martino Jules (9-0, 2) in a bout for a WBA regional title. This will be Yunusov's first bout since suffering a loss to Hector Luis Garcia last July whilst Jules is stepping up massively. The 33 year old Yunusov, a multi-time Olympian, needs a big year if he's to build on his amateur reputation but this is certainly not a gimme for him.
Stanmore Bay, New Zealand
In New Zealand, of all places, we'll see a number of Indian fighters in action. Sadly most of them are very obscure, but there is the notable inclusion of Neeraj Goyat (11-3-2, 2) on the show, with Goyat to face David Zauska (0-0-1). Goyat is best known for being the original opponent for Amir Khan last year, before Goyat was injured and replaced by Billy Dib. We suspect Goyat will have too much for his inexperienced foe, but this is still a weird bout against a Slovakian opponent who has been out of the ring for almost 4 years.
Other Indian fighters set for this card are Ranjeet Singh (3-0) and Harman Singh (0-0), both of whom will be regarded as under-dogs against local fighters.
The most note worthy show for us this coming Friday takes place in Miami and features a pair of Kazakh fighters.
The more notable of the two is Mussa Tursyngaliyev (10-0, 6), who looks to notch his next win as he takes on 35 year old Ezequiel Alberto Tevez (13-5, 4). The talented Tursyngaliyev had a frustrating 2019, fighting just twice and will clearly be hoping to be busier this year. On the subject of inactivity Tevez will be fighting for just the third time since the start of 2016, and the Argentinian will not be expected to test the unbeaten Kazakh "Warrior".
The other Kazakh on the show will see hard hitting 25 year old Serik Musadilov (5-0, 5) take on 35 year old Quintell Thompson (4-10-1, 4). The unbeaten Musailov, dubbed "Panda", has only gone beyond the second round once in his career so far, and will be expecting to blitz Thompson, who has been stopped in the opening round of his last 2 bouts. A bit of a record padding bout here for the promising Kazakh we're afraid.
In Minnesota we see the limited but fun to watch Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-2-1-1, 12) look to bouts back from his loss to Jaron Ennis from back in January. The twice beaten Kazakh is set to drop down in weight, fighting at a more natural 140lbs, as he takes on 39 year old Carlos Winston Velasquez (27-36-2, 17), in what should be a straight forward win for Eyubov. Whilst we're not a big fan of confidence building bouts it's hard to argue here, with Eyubov going 0-2-1 in his last 3.
There is also set to be a small, low key, show in Thailand.
One of the bouts will see Chinese teenager Yeerjialahasi Laayibieke (2-2, 1) take on Thai foe Visut Tamkhuntod (2-4, 1). The 19 year old Laayibieke lost his first 2 bouts, both to Ge An Ma, but has picked up a couple of wins recent and enters this bout with some momentum. Aged 46 it's hard to know what Tamkhuntod is really trying to accomplish in the sport and we can't see anything but another loss for the ageing Thai.
Another bout on this card worthy of some note, albeit very little, will see Australian based Korean born Taekyun Kim (2-1, 2) return to the ring after 4 years out of action, to take on 18 year old local Atthapon Baenkham (1-3-1, 1). Hard to get too excited here, though it is always interesting to see fighters ending long breaks, and seeing what they have left in the tank.
It should be noted however that there is discussions that this show may be cancelled to help fight the spread of Coronavirus, with Thailand expected to make a move similar to that of Japan and Korea in cancelling all boxing.
There's not much action this coming Thursday, but there's enough to have a quick look over.
The only Asian show this coming Thursday is set to come from India. It's not a big card, by any stretch, but it is the only one in Asia.
One of few bouts worthy of some note on this show will see the unbeaten Muskan Shrivastava (2-0) take on the once beaten Chandni Mehra (6-1, 1) in a 6 round Welterweight bout. Shrivastava debuted back in June 2018, but has only fought only once since then and is sadly too inactive. Mehra on the other hand debuted in September 2018 and has been busy since then, with this being her second bout of 2020.
The other bout will see the once beaten Rakesh Lohchab (7-1-1, 3) take on the unbeaten Jaskaran Singh (1-0-1). The 23 year old Lohchab is 1-1-1 in his last 3 and will be favoured here against the less experienced Singh, but Singh will enter as an unbeaten fighter and will be looking to extend his unbeaten run to 3 bouts.
We had expected to see a pair of Kazakh fighters in action in Quebec, though sadly the highly touted Saddridin Akhmedov suffered an injury around a week before be was expected to fight, leaving us with just a single fighter of note on the show.
The fighter in question here is 22 year old Aman Kazankapov (1-0-1), who looks to notch his second straight win as he takes on Mexico's Julio Ornelas (1-0, 1) in a 4 rounder. Kazankapov drew on his debut but did notch a shut out win last time out, when he beat Jesus Arriaga, and will be looking to build on that here. Ornelas on the other hand debuted in August and picked up an early win, and will be looking to build on that here. An interesting bout between unbeaten fighters here.
This coming Monday in the Philippines we get a small WBF related title double header. The main event is a fantastic match up, which the sporting card isn't great, but does have a couple of fighters of note on it.
The main event will be a WBF Minimumweight title fight as the unbeaten Rey Caitom (9-0-1, 4) takes on former world title challenger ArAr Andales (10-2, 2). The unbeaten, but untested, Caitom is fighting in the Philippines for the first time in well over a decade, after having had a number of fighters in Singapore in recent years. Although unbeaten his competition has been lacking and this is very much a step up for him. As for Andales he's looking to end a 2 fight slide, which has included a loss to Knockout CP Freshmart in a WBA world title fight. Given Andales' recent losses this is a must win for him.
In a WBF Intercontinental Minimumweight title fight we'll see Filipino Clyde Azarcon (16-3-1, 6) take on Mike Kinaadman (7-13-2, 5). For Azarcon this is his second bout since being stopped in a round by Ginjiro Shigeoka last July and a chance to pick up a minor title as he looks to rebuild from the Shigeoka gut buster that put him down for the count. Kinaadman's record might not show it, but he is a decent level domestic journeyman and could ask questions of Azarcon, despite some very disappointing recent form. We expect Azarcon to win, but he'll have to work for it.
One other name of interest on this card is Carlo Demecillo (14-5-1, 7), who has gone 8-1-1 since being stopped by Satoshi Shimizu at the end of 2016. Demecillo has scored a draw with Arthur Villanueva a few fights back and seems to be finding something of a groove as he goes into his bout with Anthony Galigao (9-14, 4). The 29 year old Galigao on the other hand has won just 1 of his last 4.
There isn't a lot of action this coming Sunday but we do see Chinese fighters looking to tick over in Thailand and a couple of Filipino's in action in South Africa.
The show in Thailand is an interesting one from Bangkok featuring a number of notable Chinese fighters in what are essentially stay busy fights.
One of the Chinese fighters on this card is Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (16-3-1, 6), who is looking to build on his 2019 win in the US against Saul Corral. From what we understand the enigmatic Baishanbo will be up against Filipino foe Welbeth Loberanis (12-2, 3), who is returning to the ring almost 7 years after his last bout, and around 30lbs heavier. It's hard to imagine anything but a win for the Chinese fighter here.
Someone looking to begin the rebuilding process here is recent world title challenger Wulan Tuolehazi (13-4-1, 6), who will be fighting for the first time since he was stopped by Kosei Tanaka at the end of 2019. The awkward Tuolehazi will be up against experienced Filipino Jomar Fajardo (17-15-2, 9), in what should be a very winnable return to the ring for the Chinese fighter. Fajardo was a capable fighter a few years ago, twice giving Francisco Rodriguez Jr a good test, but has been racking up losses and would need a really big performance to test the Chinese fighter.
An unbeaten Chinese hopeful looking to pick up a win here is Yeerlan Nuerlanbieke (4-0, 1), who takes on teenage hopeful Channarong Injampa (3-2, 2). The unbeaten local is looking to build on his November win over Yangcheng Jin and shouldn't have any issues here. Injampa has been stopped in both of his losses, and we'd expect him to be stopped again here, despite the fact he is not a big puncher.
One other Chinese fighter worthy of attention on this card is youngster Xiang Li (7-2-2, 2), who is looking to build on an interesting 2019 which saw him beat Raymond Poon KaiChing and fight to a draw with excellent Japanese hopeful Ryu Horikawa. We really can't see any way in which Li struggles to get past local novice Wachira Malai (1-1) on this card, and this really should be a formality.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
Sadly in South Africa we expect to see a pair of Filipino fighters coming up shot.
In one bout local hopeful Yanga Sigqibo (13-1-1, 3) will take on experienced Pinoy Cris Paulino (21-4, 8). Although Sigqibo hasn't got much fanfare yet he's a real talent and is looking to score his 11th straight victory, after a 3-1-1 start to his professional career. The 27 year old Paulino was once a decent regional level fighter, but he's now years away from a win of note and with 4 stoppage loss to his name it's hard to imagine him picking up a victory here on the road.
Another local looking to pick up a win against a Filipino fighter is the hard hitting Sivenathi Nontshinga (8-0, 8), who takes on Ivan Soriano (20-3-1, 10). The unbeaten 21 year old, dubbed the "Special One", will be defending his IBF International Light Flyweight title for the second and will be taking on his toughest so far.The 31 year old Soriano has lost 2 of his last 4, but the Pinoy is tough, and should be a legitimate test for Nontshinga.
This coming Saturday had promises of a lot for fight fans in Asia, with a brilliant looking show in Tokyo, running alongside a bout in Australia featuring a Japanese fighter in a sure fire thriller. Sadly Coronavirus saw the Japanese show being cancelled and an injury saw Jacob Ng pull out of his fight with Valentine Hosokawa.
Despite the changes we still have a decent amount to look forward to though!
The best of the action, at least in our eyes, is from Russia, where we see several really good bouts, and a very talented young prospect.
One of the best bouts on the card will see the unbeaten Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (15-0, 9) battle against former world champion Tomas Rojas (51-18-1-1, 34), in what will be Yaqubov's third defense of the WBC International Super Featherweight title. The unbeaten Russian based Tajik fighter notched 3 wins last year and appears to be heading towards a big fight, and Rojas should be a decent. Rojas, who won the WBC Super Flyweight title way back in 2010, is a true veteran of the sport but is very much a man who has seen better days and at 39 father time is snapping at his heels.
In a very attractive looking bout we'll see Russian Mark Urvanov (17-2-1, 9) take on exciting Kyrgyz Akzhol Sulaimanbek Uulu (15-0, 8) in what could be the bout of the weekend. The 23 year old Urvanov enters this bout on a 6 fight unbeaten run, including a stoppage over former world title challenger Evgeny Chuprakov and will be entering with plenty of confidence. Uulu on the other hand is unbeaten and has been scoring solid wins over the likes of Jon Jon Estrada and Mike Tawatchai in recent bouts. This could well be a genuinely fantastic little fight, and it's been previewed by George Delis here
A third bout of note will see talented youngster Dmitry Yun (3-0) take on Stanislav Maksyuchenko (2-1-1, 1). Yun, a Russian-Uzbek, is a genuine joy to watch and has an excellent amateur background, though does lack power. Ukrainian fighter Maksyuchenko shouldn't be much of a threat to the talented Yun, and is more than a year removed from his last win.
In Victoria fans will be able to see a local hopeful take on an upset minded Filipino. The bout in question will see Kayne Clarke (9-0, 6) look to score his fifth straight stoppage as he takes on Pinoy puncher Rodynie Rafol (14-7-2, 7) in a bout for the IBO Asia Pacific Lightweight title. Clarke has been impressive in terms of results, but this is a very clear step up in class for him. Rafol, who is now based in Australia, has scored back to back upsets coming in to this, stopping James MacDonald and Tyson Lantry and shouldn't be seen as a push over for Clarke
New South Wales, Australia
Staying in Australia we'll see the unbeaten Sam Goodman (6-0, 3), a 21 year old and a genuine bright hope for Australian boxing, take on former world title contender Noldi Manakane (33-30-4, 18) from Indonesia. Goodman has looked fantastic so far, and a TKO win over Claudevan Sese last year is impressive and something we see as a real marker of how good Goodman is, putting him on par with Yuki Yamauchi. Manakane was once a serviceable regional level fighter, and on his day can show a bit of grit, but we don't see him lasting with Goodman for the scheduled 8 rounds.
This coming Friday we were expecting a number of cards, including a pretty interesting one from Japan, though as is now well reported there will be no Japanese cards and we're left with just 2 shows to close out the week, one in Australia and one in the United Arab Emirates.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The card in Dubai looks interesting on paper, but in reality it's hard to get too excited by it, however there are some bouts we can look forward to seeing.
One of the bouts on this card that interests us will see the talented, but frustrating, Nurtas Azhbenov (8-0, 3) take on JR Magboo (18-4-2, 9). The unbeaten Kazakh southpaw turned pro with plenty of expectations on his shoulders but has yet to really show what he can do, fingers crossed that against a solid opponent like Magboo we'll get a chance to see what Azhbenov is all about. Magboo has lost 4 of his last 6 but should ask the Kazakh some questions here.
Another Kazakh pencilled in for this card is Heavyweight hopeful Zhan Kossobutskiy (12-0, 11), though at the time of writing his opponent for the bout isn't listed. For Kossobutskiy the bout will be his 4th in a year, but at the age of 31 he needs to be getting significant fights during 2020 if he's to make his mark on the pro ranks.
One other bout on this show worthy of some interest will see Dubai based Afghan teenager Hasibullah Ahmadi (9-0, 2) take on Haidari Mchanjo (11-7-4, 5) in a 6 rounder. The unbeaten Ahmadi had a decent step up last time and there is certainly no need to rush him, but fingers crossed bouts from here will be steps up in class. The 21 Mchanjo, from Tanzania, is 0-3 away from home and we expect that poor run to continue here.
Western Australia, Australia
In Australia we expect to see a lot of easy wins for local fighters who appear to be taking on some very over-matched visitors from Indonesia.
One bout pencilled in for this card will see Wes Capper (20-4-1, 12) take on Alexander Bajawa (43-11-4, 16) at Middleweight. Capper has gone 1-2-1 in his last 4 but he should be able to easily over-come the limited Bajawa, who is 3-9 in his last 12 and has bounced all over the weights, with his last bout being a regional Heavyweight title bout. On paper Bajawa represents a test but in reality we expect Capp to stop his Indonesian foe.
Another bout where we expect the local to beat a visiting Indonesian is bout between the once beaten Steve Gago (11-1, 4) and regional journeyman Geisler AP (14-10-2, 11). Gago's only loss came last year, to the very talented Nursultan Zhangabayev, and he should have far, far too much in the tank for AP here. The 36 year old visitor is unbeaten in his last 8, but this is a massive step up for him.
Another bout where we expect an Indonesian to pick up a loss will be a bout between Australian based Nigerian born novice Kazeem Soyoye (2-0, 1) and Jio Alfriando (5-8, 2). It's hard to saw too much about Soyoye, given how much of a novice he is, but the visitor is 2-5 in his last 7 and has gone 0-7 away from home.
One bout where the expected lose is from the Philippine swill see local fighter Jackson Jon England (11-1, 6) take on experienced Pinoy loser Jason Tinampay (11-13-1, 9), with the men battled for a WBC regional title. Tinampay has won his last 3, and on his day can be a tough guy to look good against, but we don't see him really testing the Australian here, with Jackson entering on a 7 fight winning run.
With Coronavirus across the globe boxing these coming weeks is very limited. Thankfully however we are set for a card in the Philippines this coming Thursday, albeit it a low key affair in Cavite.
One of the few bouts worthy of some form of attention will see unbeaten 20 year old puncher Weljon Mindoro (5-0, 5) look to kick off his 2020 as he takes on veteran loser Michael Escobia (12-19-1, 3). The talented Mindoro only made his debut last April but has already ripped through 5 opponents in a combined 10 rounds and now needs to be stepped up. On paper Escobia should be a better test for Mindoro than his previous 5 opponents, and he's not been stopped in almost 5 years, but it's hard to imagine the 30 year old Escobia coming away with a win here, given he is 1-8 in his last 9!
Another youngster looking to step up is Jerome Baloro (4-0, 2), who takes on the once durable Vincent Bautista (5-17-4, 1). Sadly Bautista has started to show more and more cracks in recent years, and 3 of his 6 career stoppage defeats have come in his last 4 bouts. We suspect that Baloro will have to work for a win here, but will do enough to move to 5-0.