Seoul, South Korea
In Seoul we'll get a small BoxingM.
The headline bout from the show will see former world champion Yong Soo Choi (30-4-1, 20) fight in his second bout since making his comeback to the sport. The Korean veteran will be up against Filipino Nelson Tinampay (11-3-1, 5) in a bout for the WBC EPBC silver Lightweight title. For Tinampay, the much younger fighter, the bout is a chance to make a name for himself whilst Choi will be looking to leave another mark on the sport more than 20 years after claiming the WBA Super Featherweight title.
This card will also feature a couple of Korean Welterweight bouts, as a Korean tournament moves into it's semi final stages. One of those will see the 6'2" Ji Soo Jung (2-0, 1) battle against the 5'9" Kwang Min Choi (2-0, 1), in what could look like a rather peculiar bout between men with a 5” height difference between the two men.
One other bout of note on this card will see promising puncher Hyun Min Yang (3-0, 3) take on Jae Hyuk Shin (2-0, 1) in a clash of unbeatens.
In the Philippines fans see a small card in Quezon.
The card is headlined by a bout between former OPBF title challenger Felipe Cagubcob Jr (6-3-5, 2) and Ryan Rey Ponteras (18-11-1, 9). On paper this doesn't look that attractive but the reality is that both of these men are interesting fighters. Although Cagucob was stopped by Daigo Higa he did show some ability and Ponteras has won his last 5, and proven to be a handful in the past with a controversial DQ loss to Go Onaga and a stoppage win over Rusalee Samor being genuinely notable results.
Another man of note on this card is former world title challenger Rommel Asenjo (31-5, 23) who takes a stay busy bout against compatriot JC Francisco (6-13-6, 2). This should be a mismatch in favour of Asenjo but the 2-time world title challenger has been in tough before and it's worth wondering just how long his career will go on. Asenjo might be 28 years old but in boxing he's an old 28.
In recent weeks we've seen action pick up with a series of great bouts taking place last weekend. We expect to see that trend continue this weekend with a notable show in Japan.
The main event of the card is the first of the 2017 Champion Carnival bouts and sees Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yasutaka Ishimoto (29-8, 8) defending his title against big punching Watanabe gym fighter Yusaku Kuga (13-2-1, 9), who is looking to avenge one of his defeats. These two fought back at the end of 2015 with Ishimoto just doing enough to take a decision over the younger and bigger punching Kuga, and claim the Japanese title. Kuga has since impressed and earned this rematch by stopping Jonathan Baat in 4 rounds. Ishimoto has impressed recently, and stopped Gakuya Furuhashi last time out, but at 35 one wonders how long he has left in the sport.
In the chief support bout we'll see OPBF Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (11-0, 11) fight in a non-title fight with one beaten Filipino Diomel Diocos (10-1-3, 3), who was a late replacement for journeyman Jayar Estremos (11-12, 4). Although Higa will be strongly favoured against Diocos the bout should be a good warm up for Higa ahead of a potential world title fight later this year. Whilst Higa will be expected to steam roll Diocos this should still tell us a lot about both fighters, and their potential.
Another Japan Vs Philippines bout will see Teiken promoted Super Featherweight Masaru Sueyoshi (13-1, 8) take on the unbeaten, and heavy handed, Allan Vallespin (9-0, 8). Sueyoshi comes into this bout having won his last 10 bouts, with notable wins against Yuta Nagai, Shingo Eto and Kazuma Sanpei, but will be up against an unbeaten banger here. For Vallespin, the GAB champion at 130lbs, this will be his first taste of international action and potentially a chance to make a statement. Although it seems like he's a puncher this will be the first real test of Vallespin's power and a real acid test for the 22 year old Pinoy puncher.
In a possible shoot out we'll see 20 year old Yamato Hata (3-0, 3) battle against Takuya Hashimoto (5-5, 5). To date neither of these men has heard the final bell, with Hata having never been past round 3 and Hashimoto only going into the 4th round once. Hata will be favoured, given he's unbeaten, but he's up against a fellow puncher and this could be genuinely explosive.
Gauteng, South Africa
In South Africa we'll see Filipino fighter Joey Canoy (12-2-1, 6) fighting for the IBO Light Flyweight title. The 23 year old Filipino will be in deep as he takes on former WBA Minimumweight champion Hekkie Budler (30-2, 9),who is looking to rebuild his career at 108lbs. The South African lost his Minimumweight crown last March to Byron Rojas and has since moved up in weight, scoring a big domestic win over Siyabonga Siyo, and will now be looking to become a 2-time IBO Light Flyweight champion, reclaiming a title he held from 2010-2011.
Quintana Roo, Mexico
In Mexico we'll see Japan's Hajime Nagai (14-7-2, 4) take on former unified Minimumweight champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr (20-4-1, 13). The bout is a massive step up in class for Nagai, but wins over Gakuya Furuhashi and Naoya Okamoto show he has got some ability. For Rodriguez the bout will be his first against a Japanese fighter since his incredible 2014 bout against Katsunari Takayama.
London, United Kingdom
In the UK we see Filipino veteran Ardin Diale (32-10-4, 15) battle against fast rising Welshman Andrew Selby (7-0, 5). The bout is a huge step up for Selby, in regards to his professional competition, but his amateur credentials speak for themselves and he will be heavily favoured here. Diale, who has been in with a who's who of boxing, is only 7 months removed from his 4th round TKO loss to Daigo Higa, but has fought twice since that loss and appears to have avoided lasting damage from that loss.
South Australia, Australia
On February 3rd we get the chance to see two interesting looking bouts take place in Australia as two Filipino fighters look to over-come unbeaten Australian twins.
At Bantamweight we'll see the unbeaten Andrew Moloney (11-0, 7) take on the under-rated Renoel Pael (21-4-1, 11). Moloney was a former amateur standout who has made a name for himself in the professional ranks thanks to wins over notable Filipino fighters like Jether Oliva and Markquil Salvana. The unbeaten man will be looking to continue that run as he takes on Pael, who has lost 3 of his last 5. Although Pael isn't in great form he has been fighting good fighters with losses to Ardin Diale, Go Onaga and Suguru Muranaka. Although on paper Pael is a live under-dog it should be noted that he's not a natural Bantamweight and could struggle with Moloney's power.
The other unbeaten Australian is Andrew's twin brother Jason Moloney (11-0, 10), who will be seeking his 12th win as he takes on experienced Filipino Marco Demecillo (22-6-1, 17). Again this bout look good on paper but sadly Demecillo looks to be a fighter very low on confidence and has gone 4-6 in his last 10, with 2 stoppage losses during those 10 bouts. He isn't a natural Super Bantamweight and will, like Pael, be expected to struggle against his foe's power and well honed skills. There is a slight chance of an upset, but it really is only a slight one.
Ansan, South Korea
There is also set to be a small KBC show in Ansan. The card is a very small one as part of the KBC's Rookie tournament.
To begin February we get a low profile card at the Korakuen Hall. The card, promoted by Kawasaki Nitta, doesn't feature anyone of real note but does feature some interesting bouts.
The main event of the card will see the heavy handed Akira Ono (6-4-1, 5) take on Hideki Suzuki (8-4-2, 3). Ono has suffered setbacks in his last 2 bouts, and is win less in more than 2 years, but can punch and should be seen as a genuine threat here. Whilst Ono has struggled recently the same can't be said for Suzuki who has been in great form recently with 4 wins and a draw in his last 5 bouts dating back well over 2 years.
In an interesting support bout we'll see 18 year old hopeful Shunsuke Isa (2-0, 1) battle against Kensuke Yamaoka (1-1, 1). Isa made his debut last September and has looked promising in his first two bouts, but has a lot to improve on. He'll have to show that here whilst Yamaoka looks to record his second straight win.
The final Asian show for the month comes from the Korakuen Hall and features 3 bouts of note, one of which features an always fun to watch Japanese Lightweight, who attempts to become a triple crown winner.
The main event is that aforementioned Lightweight, Nihito Arakawa (28-6-1, 17) who has previously won the Japanese and OPBF Lightweight titles and will now be looking to win the WBO Asia Pacific title as he takes on Filipino Anthony Sabalde (12-5-0-1, 7). Arakawa vacated the Japanese title at the end of last year as he turned his attention to the WBO regional title, which was then held by Daud Yordan. Sabalde isn't anything special and has clearly been matched with Arakawa to make the Japanese fighter look here.
In an exciting support bout we'll see former OPBF title contender Dai Iwai (19-4-1, 7) takes on Shota Yamaguchi (14-3, 8). Although neither of these men are going to set the world on fire both are well matched here. Iwai is best known for his 2015 loss to Masayuki Ito and has score two low profile wins since that defeat, this is however a step up for the Misako man. For Yamaguchi,who has suffered stoppages in 2 of his last 4 bouts, this bout us a chance to build some more momentum following a September win over Aozora Nishida. This really could be a very competitive bout where both men will be looking for a win and both will believe they could claim a very good win here.
A third bout of note on this card will see Keita Nakano (13-10-6, 4) battle against Naoya Okamoto (10-5-1, 5) in rematch of a contest from last September. When these two fought last year they ended up having a 3 round technical draw, Nakano's third successive draw. Although not a great fighter Nakano is better than his record suggests and can score upsets, as he's done in the past. Okamoto is unbeaten in his last 3, following an opening round stoppage loss in May 2015, but will know that a loss here will almost certainly end any dreams of fighting for a title in the future.
Macao S.A.R, Macao
For a second day running fans in Macao will get a notable card at the Cotai Arena.
The main event on this card will be a female world title fight and will see Japan's Etsuko Tada (16-2-2, 5) defending her IBF female Minimumweight title against once beaten Chinese fighter Cai Zong Ju (8-1, 1). The bout will be Tada's first defense of the title she won in December 2015 whilst the Chinese challenger will be fighting in her first world title fight. On paper it's hard to see Tada losing, but she has never won outside of Japan and Ju will have the fans behind her.
In supporting bouts we'll see the unbeaten Wen Feng Ge (4-0, 2) face off with the once beaten Melmark Dignos (6-1), teenage hopeful Fei Hu Wang (3-0, 1) battle with the debuting Aleksei Podkolzin (0-0) and the very exciting Xiang Xiang Sun (9-0,7) battling with Kun Wang (6-2, 1).
As well as the Macao show there will also be a notable show in Tokyo.
In the main event of the card fans will see former Japanese Super Flyweight title challenger Hayato Kimura (25-9, 16) battle against the under-rated Ryohei Takahashi (10-2-1, 2), who will be looking to record a career boosting win. Kimura has lost 2 of his last 4 fights, but they have come in title bouts against Sho Ishida and Kenta Nakagawa and he will be feeling confident of earning another title fight in the coming year or two. For Takahashi, a Rookie of the Year winner, the bout is a potential chance to score a statement win, however this would be the biggest win of his career and would certainly over-shadow his Rookie crown win from 2014.
As well as the action at the Korakuen Hall there will also be a low profile Filipino show from Cavite. The card is a small one but does have a few fighters of some interest on it.
In a 10 rounder we'll see Recky Dulay (8-2, 5) face off with the highly experienced Philip Parcon (26-22-3, 8). Dulay lost last time out, and has gone 3-2-1 in his last 6, but will be favoured strongly here. Parcon hasn't won in over 2 years, but has faced some stiff competition and had a sizeable break from the ring, which could revitalise him here.
In a supporting bout we'll see the unbeaten Joseph Ambo (2-0, 2) take on Alberto Pentecostes (1-10-1). Ambo has looked destructive so far, albeit against very limited opponents, and we expected to see more of the same here, especially given that Pentecostes has been stopped in 4 of his 10 losses.
Arguably the biggest name on this card is former world title challenger Jessebelle Pagaduan (8-1-1, 4), who takes on the win-less Beverly Casero (0-1) in a 6 rounder. Pagaduan will be fighting for just just the second time since a February 2015 draw with Kumiko Seeser Ikehara, in a bout for the WBO Female Minimumweight title. Despite the inactivity Pagaduan should be more than good enough to beat Casero here.
To begin the Chinese new year we get the first of two shows at the Cotai Arena in Macao, with the second set to be held on January 30th.
In the main event we'll see IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (25-1-1, 19) make his first defense as he takes on Mexican veteran Jose Alfredo Rodriguez (32-4, 19), who is best known for losing to Kazuto Ioka on a New Year's Eve show and to Milan Melindo the following year. For Ancajas it's a bout that should be an easy first defense,but in many ways it's also a chance for him to return to Macau, where he has fought twice before, earn some money following a paltry purse for his title win, and potentially move towards some bigger and better fights in 2017. For Rodriguez the bout is a huge opportunity to win a world title, but he'll be the clear under-dog for the bout, and it's hard to see what he has to really test Ancajas.
In a supporting bout we see unbeaten Heavyweights collide as Frenchman Raphael Tronche (8-0, 4) takes on touted Romanian Bogdan Dinu (16-0, 12) for the IBF Inter-Continental Heavyweight title. Although not a star Dinu has the potential to become a force on the Heavyweight scene and a win here could see the talented Romanian move into the IBF world rankings and give his career a huge shot in the arm. Troche is a real unknown and this will be a huge step up for him, and his first fight above the French domestic scene.
Another supporting Heavyweight bout will see Carlos Takam (33-3-1, 25) face off with Marcin Rekowski (17-4, 4) in what should be a straight forward win for the under-rated Frenchman. The 39 Rekowski has lost 3 of his last 4 and although he holds wins over Danny Williams and Oliver McCall both of those wins came against fighters well beyond their best.
Metro Manila, Philippines
There will also be a show in the Philippines, although a small card it does have some people of note on it.
The most notable fighter on the card is Argie Toquero (11-5-2, 8), who is looking to secure his third win since his controversial 2016 loss to Rikki Naito in Kanagawa. In the opposite corner to Toquero will be veteran Danilo Pena (27-26-4, 11). Although Toquero is is far from a world class prospect he is a handful and should easily see off Pena.
In a supporting bout Jonel Dapidran (7-1, 4) will be looking to bounce back from his first professional loss. Dapidran will be up against Jesson Inso (9-6-1, 3) and should be strongly favoured here, despite the 19 year old being beaten last time our by the unheralded Richard Morales back in October.
Another once beaten teenager on this show is Cris Ocano (7-1-1, 5), who will be taking on the limited Roy Lagrada (3-14-1, 3) in a 6 rounder. Ocano should be more than good enough to over-come Lagrada, who has lost his last 8 in a row.
The growth of Indian boxing continues this coming Sunday as we get a show in Imphal.
In the main event fans will see the unbeaten Siddharth Ravindra Varma (3-0) battle with the debuting Jaganathan (0-0). The rest of the card sees local debutants taking on limited visitors, but shows the clear growth behind Indian boxing as we go forward.
One of the best bouts of 2015 saw Takashi Miura (30-3-2, 23) face off with Francisco Vargas in a brilliant war for the WBC Super Featherweight title. This week wee see Miura return to an American ring as he takes on Mexican veteran Miguel Roman (56-11, 43) in a WBC world title eliminator, with the winner set to face either Vargas or Miguel Berchelt, who fight on the same card. The Miura Vs Roman bout had been touted through much of 2016 but for various reasons the bout hasn't taken place and instead we get to kick 2017 with the bout, just weeks into the near year.
Miura won't be the only Japanese fighter on the road this weekend as former IBF Super Flyweight title challenger Teiru Kinoshita (25-1-1, 8) fights in a world title eliminator against former champion McJoe Arroyo (17-1, 8). Kinoshita, making his international debut, is a former Japanese Super Flyweight champion who is best known for being out boxed by Zolani Tete for the IBF Super Flyweight title in the Portopia Hotel in Kobe, where Kinoshita was actually working at the time. Since then he has gone 6-0 (5) and shown a development in his power. For Arroyo this bout will be his first since losing the title last year in a mandatory title defense against Jerwin Ancasjas, where the Puerto Rican fighter was thoroughly uninspired. This is winnable for Kinoshita, but it will be a tough ask for the 31 year old Japanese Southpaw.
In Canada we'll see a pair of unbeaten Kazakh hopefuls fighting to extend their winning starts.
The more notable of the two is Batyrzhan Jukembayev (7-0-0-2, 6), who will be looking for his 8th win as he takes on David Rangel (12-4, 8). On paper this should be a good test for the Kazakh, although he will be strongly favoured. Rangel has lost 4 of his last 6, but has mixed in good company with losses to the likes of Gilberto Gonzalez and Javier Prietom and a recent win over Leonardo Jimenez.
The other Kazakh on this card is 25 year old Ablaikhan Khussainov (4-0, 3), who takes on the once beaten Oscar Mejia (8-1-1, 3). The Kazakh has looked good so far but is taking a clear step up here and will be fighting in his first scheduled 6 rounder as he takes on a Mexican who has shown some genuine potential himself. Although Mejia lost last time out he proved he was capable and should be a very good test for Khussainov.
The most notable bout set to take place in Asia this weekend will see rising Indonesian star Iwan Zoda (13-1, 12) defending his IBF Youth Flyweight title against Filipino Robert Onggocan (7-1, 3). Zoda, who is the most exciting Indonesian youngster since Daud Yordan was first breaking through the ranks, will be looking to make his first defence of the title whilst Onggocan will be fighting in his first title bout.
In the Philippines this coming Coming Friday fight fans get the chance to see a low profile card in Bohol.
In one of the key bouts we'll see the criminally under-rated Arnel Tinampay (22-20-1, 8) take part in an 8 rounder. Another 8 rounder will see Gary Rojo (5-10, 2) battle against Marlou Talili (5-16, 2) in a bout between two men each feeling like they can pick up a win here. Although Rojo has 10 losses in 15 he has gone 4-2 in his last 6 and could have confidence here, especially given he beat Talili last June.
In an under-card bout we'll see Antonio Sismundo (2-0, 2) take on domestic journeyman Hagibis Quinones (5-19-1, 4). Although limited Quinones has got some sting on his shots and Sismundo will be advised to show a bit of caution here.
Attention turns to Thailand this Wednesday for a show with a world title bout.
In that title bout we'll see WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (43-0, 17) take on unbeaten Filipino Melvin Jerusalem (11-0, 7). For Wanheng this will be his 6th title defense in a little over 2 years and he will be hoping to build on a successful 2016, a year in which he defeated Go Odaira and Saul Juarez in title defenses. The little known Jerusalem will enter with little expectation but could end the fight by really shaking up the Minimumweight here, if he's as good as some in the Philippines are suggesting.