Although we saw some fights in January it's fair to say that we all felt the actual action was lacking. The bigger fights tended to fall short and with so few big shows it's fair to say the month was disappointing. Thankfully we kick off a new month today and we kick off in style with so many notable bouts that it's hard to remember when we last had such a great day.
The part of the day sees us focusing our attention on the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo as we get the first Japanese title fight of the new month. The title fight, the headline bout of the "521th Dynamic Glove", sees Yu Kimura (12-2-1, 2) taking on Kenichi Horikawa (25-12-1, 4) in a battle for the vacant Japanese Light Flyweight title. On paper it's not a great bout we do expect it to be very entertaining and incredibly competitive with the two men being very well matched.
Whilst the title bout is the main event there is excitement through the card. Unfortunately the one bout with little in terms of excitement is the chief support bout which sees Yasutaka Ishimoto (23-6, 6) taking on Zun Rindam (9-3-1, 4). It's hard to see anything but a victory for the world ranked Ishimoto, who is best known for upsetting Wilfredo Vazquez Jr, and as a result there is perhaps a bit of disappointed feeling around this bout.
A bout we're really excited by from this card is the explosive encounter between Yuichi Yokoyama (12-2, 11) and Koichi Ito (9-1-2, 8). Both men are big punchers, both are defensively lacking and both go in the ring to knockout the other man, what's not to like here? The only thing that seems certain is that this one won't be going the scheduled 8.
In total this Japanese card has 7 bouts scheduled for it and we'd be shocked if the card was anything less than enthralling.
Philippines, Metro Manila
Staying in the Orient for a little bit longer there is also a card in the Philippines. This card, an Elorde Promotions card, is scheduled to feature 10 bouts with the headline contest being a 12 rounder between Juan Martin Elorde (15-1, 7) and Chaiyong Sithsaithong (32-12-3, 23) for the WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title.
Elorde, defending his title for the first time, is the grandson of the great Flash Elorde, unfortunately however he doesn't posses the traits that made his grandfather so great. He has been matched lightly and will likely struggle here against Chaiyong who isn't great himself but he decent enough to be a banana skin.
The Elorde bout is one of two title bouts on the show with the other seeing the experienced Dennis Laurente (46-5-5, 27) defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Middleweight title against Singdet Nonpitayakom (11-15-1, 8). Whilst we aren't sure about Elorde retaining his belt, it's hard to see part Laurente here who should retain with out too many problems.
In the other bout of note on this card Randy Braga (12-0, 2) will attempt to extend his winning run as he battles the experienced Jonel Alibio (16-17-4, 8) in a 10 rounder. Braga has only done 10 rounds once before and will know that he's expected to go the distance again here, if he does then it'll do his development the world of good even though the bout does look like a total mismatch on paper.
Over in Russian we've been told that the unbeaten, and very promising, Konstantin Ponomarev (22-0, 11) will be risking his unbeaten record against the experienced American Hector Munoz (22-12-1, 14). Munoz, who was stopped in 6 by Yoshihiro Kamegai back in 2011, shouldn't have enough left in the tank to really test Ponomarev though he could have enough to give Ponomarev a few questions to answer in the ring.
Monaco, Monte Carlo
Whilst we plenty of action in Asia to kick off February it's fair to say that the biggest fights involving Asian are in Europe, in the principality of Monaco.
The biggest of the bouts with an Asian involved is the WBA Middleweight title bout between Kazakhstan's destructive Gennady Golovkin (28-0, 25) and Ghana's brave Osumanu Adama (22-3, 16). It's hard to see anything but a victory by Golovkin, though with Adama having never been stopped there is a clear aim there for Golovkin who will be looking to score an eye catching KO over a man who has proven to be tough even if he is limited. We don't expect this one to go the distance and we also don't expect a title to change hands.
Another title bout with an Asian on this card sees unheralded Filipino Rey Loreto (17-13, 9) fighting for the IBO Light Flyweight title. Loreto, although on a good run, will be a clear under-dog against South African Nkosinathi Joyi (24-2-0-1, 17), who of course holds notable wins over Florante Condes and Katsunari Takayama. Although the under-dog Loreto will refuse to write himself off and could well score the most memorable upset of his career. In terms of the betting odds, we have seen Loreto priced as wide at 10-to-1 giving him almost at little chance as Adama. We'd not say those odds are wrong but we do think Loreto will give Joyi one very tough fight.
The final bout with Asian on this card feature's Russia's Roman Belaev (12-0, 10) who takes on Ireland's Dean Byrne (17-2-1, 6) in a battle for the vacant WBA Continental Welterweight title. Belaev is priced as the big favourite and we'll admit we expect him to roll over the limited and light hitting Irishman who has little for the Russian to be afraid of.
It's fair to say that January has been a slow month for boxing. Sure we've had some fights but the notable ones have been few and far between. Thankfully the month is now coming to and end and we are on the verge of some massive fights around the world. Although we still need to wait for them, the wait isn't long.
Thailand-Ubon Ratchathani Province
The only televised action with an Asian interest is in Thailand where Channel 7 do their usual Friday show. As is usually the case, sadly, we're unsure on the full details of the show.
What we do know is that amazingly well named Knockout CP Freshmart (4-0, 3) is listed as fighting on the show. Knockout, the current WBC Youth Minimumweight champion, may sport the best name in world boxing right now but he also seems to be very talented and we'd be expecting him to retain his title here.
As well a the Knockout fight we're expecting at least 2 other bouts to fill the 2 hour slot from Channel 7.
As well as the televised card in Thailand there is also an untelevised show in the Philippines. This show, promoted by Shock Punch Promotions, is another one of those Filipino shows which doesn't really have anything that stands out but yet keeps the countries boxing alive between the bigger shows.
As with the Thai show there is an amazingly named fight on this card courtesy of female fighter Lady Love Sampiton (0-2), pictured. The win-less female will be taking on the "stop or be stopped" Cheraly Dagit (3-2, 3) who probably will have too much for Sampiton though hopefully we'll get to see Sampiton fighting on even if she does fall to 0-3 as expected.
Although the Filipino card is one with out much in terms of quality we are interested in the 6 round contest between Antonio Melencion (2-4-1) and unbeaten Japanese fighter Kyota Otsuka (2-0, 1). Aged 19 Otsuka is one of the very few Japanese fighters plying their trade away from home and although he's unlikely to be a star his story is an interesting one to us.
The main event, if you can call it that, of this show is a contest between the limited JC Francisco (5-6-2, 1) and the even more limited Ricky Oyan (4-18-2, 2). This bout, the only 10 rounder on the card, is certainly not a bout we are looking forward to though with both men having losing records it may turn out to be moderately entertaining.
It's not often where we get cards and can't recognise anyone from it, though this Thursday sees one such case as Japan hosts a 13 fight card where none of the fighters ring any bells. Unfortunately all 13 bouts are at the 4 round level so in all honesty it would have been a shock had we known much about them, though what cards like this do is keep the action going thick and fast with next to no slow down.
The show, dubbed "Freshboy Vol 82", is to be held at the Korakuen Hall and with the lack of big names comes a lack of a hefty price with the most expensive tickets costing just 10,000yen (less than $100 for our American readers).
The show is expected to begin with a fight in the Welterweight division, we believe this will see Fumio Takehara (0-3) fighting against Sasaki Torataro (?-?). We'll admit however that we're not sure on the actual fighters, merely that the bout is a 4 rounder in the Welterweight division.
Following the opening contest we expect to see bouts across a variety of weights from Minimumweight to Middleweight. Going through the fighters in those bouts the one of the few names we do recognise is Middleweight Naoya Kaneko (2-1, 2) who will be fighting Tatsuya Aizu (2-3, 2) in what should be an explosive encounter. This bout will be the 10th contest on the show.
The final bout on the card is at Super Featherweight where Takahiro Araki (3-2, 2) will be fighting against Yu Takegaki (3-1-1, 1). Araki may be recognisable form last years rookie of the year though unfortunately Takegaki isn't a man who rings any bells as he hasn't been in a fight since 2012.
Whilst the card has no sort of "name" on it it does look like a cracking card in terms of value for money and should be something very fun if you can get tickets to it. With a scheduled 52 rounds it may not last long but should be full of action through out.
This Wednesday might not be a big days for world boxing but that doesn't mean that we are fightless, in fact we, as Asian boxing fans manage to get ourselves a few small bouts on a show headlined by former world champion Anthony Mundine.
Whilst the main event, as shown on the poster, is Anthony Mundine v Gunnar Jackson we are looking forward to two of the under-card bouts.
The most promising of those two bouts sees Thailand's Jaikom Paitoon (1-0) taking on fellow unbeaten George Kambosos Jr (3-0, 2). Jaikom debuted as a pro boxer late last year though was apparently a very good kick boxer. He is, admittedly, the under-dog here though we'd not be massively shocked if Paitoon did manage to score the upset.
In the other bout the debuting Pramool Boonpok (0-0), also of Thailand, takes on the very highly regarded Cameron Hammond (6-0, 3). Hammond, who competed at the 2012 Olympics, will be expected to take an easy victory over Pramool though the Thai was a very good kick boxer.
Although it's hard to view either of the Thai's as having a good chance in their bouts they are certainly live under-dogs in bouts
Although Asian boxing has been relatively quiet over the past few weeks we're happy to announce that things look like they are set to kick off and get back in the flow that we were so used to last year. Although we don't have a big card here, we do have one which does look like the sort of staple of the Japanese scene.
The card, put on by Yonekura Gym, is a show which features 8 scheduled bouts as well as an exhibition contest featuring a Japanese legend. It's this legend that we'll start with as he's the man who takes up the centre piece of of the poster. The man pictured is Yoshinori Nishizawa (31-21-6, 19), who at 48 years old is finally hanging up the gloves and having a retirement bout.
A 2-time world title challenger Nishizawa has had an extraordinary career. He has fought in Japan, Australia and Germany and lost in notable world title challenges to Anthony Mundine and Markus Beyer. Thankfully rather than continue on he has made the right decision to call time on his long career.
Although Nishizawa is the star of the show his bout isn't a competitive one and will be little more than a celebration of his career. What we do have though is 8 competitive bouts.
The pick of the bunch in regards to competitive action sees the hard hitting Tsuyoshi Tameda (8-1-1, 7) taking on Indonesia's Hero Tito (7-3, 3). The bout looks like one we need to favour Tameda in though he hasn't really been in bouts that have tested him in a way that we'd have hoped for someone with such an impressive looking record. Notably Tito gave IK Yang a very hard fought contest last time out, dropping a 6 round decision to Yang and could well be a banana skin here.
In an equally well matched contest, at least on paper, Coronita Doi (27-14-8, 10) takes on Indonesia's Rivo Rengkung (32-17-5, 12). Neither of these two guys are ever going to compete for a world title but both should be able to put on a good fight here and it's one that should be better than the record of the men would suggest.
With 6 other contests on the show we are expecting something pretty from this show, even if it's not a show full of big names, it should more than interesting.
After a quiet Friday it's a shame we've got to say that we're having another quiet day with a Saturday that is unfortunately lacking in action with just a single Asian card and two Asians fighting away from home.
The one Asian card takes place at the The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex in Paranaque City. Unfortunately not only is the the only Asian card of the day but the main event here is a pretty forgettable looking contest between Bryan Macamay (7-2-2, 5) and journeyman Edison Berwela (12-27-6, 3). This bout, one of 13 on the card, isn't great but appears that Elorde International Productions has decided to stack the card deep instead of having genuinely interesting looking contests on it.
Sadly this Filipino card is a strange one. Looking through it there is no stand out bout and nothing that makes us go "we wish we were there", we know that it's deep and that at least 1 fight will turn out to be good but there is nothing on the show that genuinely looks enticing.
In Mexico we get probably the most interesting action in terms of Asian interest with a "Mexico v Japon" card. The most exciting bout on this card sees former female world champion Tenkai Tsunami (19-8, 8), pictured, taking on the unbeaten Arely Mucino (18-2-2, 10) in what should actually be a genuinely excellent bout between to world level fighters.
Unfortunately the other bout on this card, involving an Asian, is a disappointing one with Yuta Matsuda (9-9-2, 4) being thrown to the wolves and matched against the destructive Adrian Estrella (15-0, 15). Estrella, defending his WBC FECARBOX Super Featherweight title, should really cruise through Matsuda who has been flown out to Mexico to take part in a mismatch.
In New York City Sri Lankan Nuwan Jayakody (2-3-1, 2) will hope to play spoiler as he takes on the unbeaten Alberto Machado (5-0, 3). This is a big ask for Jayakody though we've got to admit that a victory over Machado wouldn't be one of the biggest shocks.
Sadly none of out team are native Thai, Japanese or Korean speakers. We've managed to get this far with the site by being damned hard researchers and willing to spend a lot of time to get details on things. Unfortunately our research doesn't always work as well as we hope and this Friday sees one such case as we appear to have found a bout that no knows about other than a Thai television channel.
Unfortunately details of this show are incredibly scarce. We know that Channel 7 in Thailand will be showing something though if their TV guide is to be believed then the bout is a contest between Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat (50-2, 33) and Dominican Juan Carlos Payano (14-0, 8).
On paper this would be a major match up so to only have it reported on a Thai TV guide makes us doubt whether or not the contest is on. More interestingly however is the fact that the TV guide translates the show into being a "provisional" bout for the WBA Bantamweight title. We'd infer that to mean that it's a WBA interim title fight.
With the lack of details we have, several times this week, asked the WBA to confirm or deny that there was a WBA title fight in Thailand on Friday. Rather sadly the WBA haven't shown any interest in giving us an answer.
Unfortunately this appears to be the only bout, with any details at all, in Asia this Friday. Looks like we'll have to turn in to Channel 7 to have any idea about what is happening.
Although action in Asia is scarce we do have a few bouts of note around the world. The notable of those sees world ranked Light Heavyweight Ilshat Khusnulgatin (11-0, 6) taking on Roberto Jose Acevedo (7-1, 4). Khusnulgatin is currently ranked #14 by the WBA and will be putting his ranking on the line here Acevedo or Puerto Rico. We're really confused as to how the Russian is world ranked but he'll not be wanting to give up that ranking here against a man wanting to put his sole loss behind him.
Spain-Comunidad de Madrid
At a much lower level than Khusnulgatin we have Fatah Baghban (8-5, 5), originally of Iran, who will be hoping to score his first win since September 2012 as he takes on Pablo Sosa (2-3-1, 1). Sosa, originally from Argentina himself, has lost his last 3 though could prove to a banana skin for Baghban in what looks to be a competitive match up despite the very different records of the two me.
The second successive day of televised action in Thailand sees a world title on the line as an Olympian takes on one of the most deserving world title challengers on the planet and a man who has been over-looked far too often over the course of his career.
Thailand, Nakhon Ratchasima
Having seen a regional title fight on Thai Channel 3 on Tuesday we get to move up in the world on Wednesday as Channel 7 show a battle for the vacant IBF Flyweight title. In one corner, is Thailand's unbeaten Olympian Amnat Ruenroeng (11-0, 5), a man who was originally set to face South African Moruti Mthalane. Instead of Mthalane we get to see Amnat in with Filipino Rocky Fuentes (35-6-2, 20) in what actually looks like a better fighter than the one we had been expecting.
Fuentes, who is world ranked by the big 4 is a man who has long awaited his world title opportunity and whilst he's only gotten this one serendipitously he'll be fired up in the hope of finally winning the title that he has chased for so long. Despite Fuentes's experience there is certainly belief in the camp of the Thai fighter that the title will be hanging around the waist of Amnat by the time we reach the final bell. Great fight and one that we can't believe was put on with about a weeks notice! Great stuff
Sadly we've no other details from the can other than the main event and the fact it'll be shown on Channel 7, we do however expect several undercard bouts to be shown on the broadcast.
This week is an incredibly busy one in Thailand with no less than 3 televised shows. The first of these comes on Tuesday as Nakornluang Boxing Promotion keep 3 of their best fighters active in Pathum Thani.
The first of the televised shows is on Thai Channel 3, in we believe it's the first Channel 3 show of the year so far.
The headline bout sees former WBC Super Flyweight world champion Suriyan Sor Rungvisai (31-5-1, 13) defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Bantamweight title for the 3rd time as he takes on limited Filipino challenger Fernando Ocon (12-5, 4). This really should be a mismatch in favour of Suriyan who is a real world class fighter, though with Ocon having never been stopped and having given Petch Sor Chitpattana a tough test a couple of years ago we do expect to see Suriyan at least forced to work for his victory.
Suriyan isn't the only world level fighter on the card as stable mate and close friend Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (23-3-1, 21) fights in a stay busy fight against a yet to be named opponent. The idea seems to be that Srisaket, the current WBC Super Flyweight champion, will get a a very easy opponent to keep him prepared for an up coming contest with unbeaten Mexican Carlos Cuadras later in the year.
One other bout we've had confirmed for the card is that of the unbeaten Nawaphon Por Chokchai (18-0, 13). Nawaphon, Suriyan's younger brother, will be taking on Filipino journeyman Rodel Tejares (20-27-5, 5) in what is really just a case of staying busy. Chokchai, who stopped Tejares in just 2 rounds last May, will be expected to take an easy and quick victory over the limited Filipino.
After a couple of greats of action we knew we were going to feel disappointed on Sunday. Thankfully despite the fact there disappointment in terms of the fights we get on Sunday, we'll admit, we're glad to just be getting some fights as the Philippines gives us the only card of Sunday.
The only action of the day comes courtesy of ALA Gym who has a small, low level card at the Gaisano Country Mall Parking Lot. Typically it looks like a a very bottom tier though we'll admit we're genuinely interest in the main event as the talented and very promising Rolando Servania (5-0, 1) returns to the ring for his first bout the new year.
The unbeaten Servania, the younger brother of the world ranked Genesis Servania, has began his career with victories over 6 unbeaten fighters. On paper that would be impressive though all 6 were complete novices with just 6 bouts between them. This Sunday sees the youngster taking a tiny step up as he fights the limited but experienced Dingdong Quinones (3-7-1, 1). Of course Servania will be favoured, big time, but this should serve as a chance to see whether or not the youngster has a killer instinct. If he does he may well take this mismatch and boost his own reputation something that we'd like to see.
As well as Servania's bout with Quinones we're expecting 3 other bouts on the show. Unfortunately they are of a very low level with the most interesting man on the card being unbeaten Reymi Castellano Aleye (2-0, 1), pictured, who we believe was based in Cambodia of all places. We've read that he is now training at the ALA Gym and from his amateur background this young fighter is one to keep an eye. Aleye will be fighting Rodel Wenceslao (7-6-1, 2) and hopefully a victory here for Aleye will see him developing his career in the Philippines.
The other two bouts don't jump out at us as being anything great but with 2 unbeaten interesting young fighters on the card it will something worth keeping an eye on for the results.