The first Japanese show in March comes from the Korakuen Hall as Kawashima put on an interesting 8 bout card with 3 ranked Japanese fighters all in action, including a battle between 2 of them in a very tasty looking main event. Outside of the Japanese domestic scene the show isn't of significance however it's a show that fans of Japanese should make a mental of.
That interesting main event will see #5 ranked Japanese Welterweight Toshio Arikawa (9-4, 7) battle against #8 ranked Ryota Itoyama (10-6-1, 5). Arikawa not only risks his Japanese ranking coming into this bout but also an OPBF ranking at 154lbs. Coming into the bout Arikawa will be seen as the puncher howver his chin doesn't match his power and he has been stopped in the opening round in 3 of his 4 losses. As for Itoyama his power isn't as damaging but he has been unfortunate in 3 of his losses, which came by narrow decision, including a majority decision loss to Moon Hyun Yun. The winner of this one is likely to be eyeing up a title bout later in the year though in all honesty both are a level or two behind current Japanese champion Suyon Takayama.
The third ranked fighter on this card is #6 ranked Japanese Welterweight Daisuke Sakamoto (8-8-2, 4) who battles against Tomoyuki Omura (8-6, 4). Although Sakamoto doesn't possess a great record coming into this bout he has scored one or two notable wins, including an opening round blow out of Toshio Arikawa, from the main event, and a decision over Cobra Suwa. Coming into this bout Omura has lost 3 of his last 4 and at 34 years old knows his dreams of fighting for a title are hanging by a thread. This is one of those bouts that is a competitive despite not being between two top fighters and what we could see in the ring could end up being a very well fought contest.
Sadly the rest of the card is really weak however the two main bouts are worth making a note of given that a Japanese Welterweight title fight may be just around the corner for either of the winners.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
In Japan we're getting the only show of the day, which is a 6 fight, card. Sadly 4 of the bouts are very low level contests however the two main bouts both feature Japanese ranked fighters.
One of those Japanese ranked fighters is light hitting Light Flyweight Takashi Omae (12-4-5, 1) who will be facing Thailand's Petchnamchai Sor Sakulwong (1-1, 1) as he looks to rebuild following a decision loss last November to Myung Ho Lee. Interestingly Petchnamchai was last seen in action last year when he lost a decision to Japan's Shin Ono.
The other Japanese ranked fighter is Light Welterweight Kazuya Maruki (17-3, 11), who is also hoping to bounce back from a defeat following his surprise loss in December to Quaye Peter. Maruki will be up against Mongkoldam Sithwarunee (1-3, 1)* who has lost his last 3 bouts, including a loss in Japan last year.
As well as the action in Japan there is also a card in Bangkok.
The details on this card are limited but we know two Japanese fighters will be in action against Thai opposition. One of the Japanese fighters is #10 ranked Japanese Lightweight Ryusei Yoshida (25-6, 12) who will be up against Thailand's very own Siangthip Sithbunkon (0-0). The other bout will be the return to Thailand for
Tatsuya Fukuhara (13-4-5, 4), who fought to a draw with the world ranked Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr last October. Sadly however we're unsure who Fukuhara will be fighting.
*There is some suspicion that Mongkoldam's boxrec record is incomplete and missing a number of bouts.
As February has gotten going we have, slowly, seen the boxing world awaken and it now seems that March is going to continue the trend. Before we get to March however we need to see out February which looks set to go out with a bang...
The action in Japan to end the month isn't the best but it is notable with a couple of world title bouts as well as a former 2-weight world champion. Unfortunately those “world” class fighters are all female fighters and lack the attention that their male counterparts would get.
The former 2-weight world champion is Mari Ando (11-7, 5) who battles against experienced Filipino fighter Jujeath Nagaowa (12-13-1, 8) in what looks to be an easy fight but really could be surprisingly difficult. Ando isn't a brilliant fight and although she is a multi-weight world champion her reigns have both been short. Nagaowa hasn't been a world champion but has been in with a who's who such as Momo Koseki, Samson Tor Buamas and Shindo Go whilst also being narrowly beaten in a number of other losses. This could, potentially, be a very competitive contest.
One of the world champions in action is WBO female Minimumweight champion Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (6-1-1, 3) who will be hoping to record the first defence of her title as she battles against Filipino challenger Jessebelle Pagaduan (7-1, 4) in what looks like a greatest contest on paper. Sadly the paper is unlikely to give a full reflection of this bout and Pagaduan was beaten less than a year ago by Ikehara's friend Naoa Ikeyama in a bout for the WBO Atomweight title in a bout that really wasn't competitive. We suspect Ikehara looks just as dominated against Pagaduan as Ikeyama did.
Talking about Nao Ikeyama (15-3-1, 4) the WBO Atomweight champion will also be in action as she defends her belt, for the second time, and takes on Norj Guro (7-3-1, 4). The Japanese veteran, aged 45, will likely retire if she loses here however she will be favoured coming into the bout against the distinctly less than impressive Guro who has won just twice in her last 6 bouts.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines fans get a low level domestic show which is likely to give a number of prospects a chance to stay busy.
In one of the feature bouts fans will see the world ranked Rene Patilano (12-1-2, 6) battle against “domestic loser” Aroel Romasasa (11-8, 5) who is in desperate need for a win after losing 8 straight following an 11-0 start to his career.
Another of the feature bouts will see the unbeaten Jay Loto (9-0) fight against the limited JC Francisco (6-9-3, 2) in what looks like a mismatch on paper for the unbeaten but light punching Loto, who is known as “The Mindoro Assasin” despite his lack of power.
Another well regarded unbeaten fighter on this card will be Randy Braga (14-0-1, 3) who battles the experienced Cristian Aliba (12-15-3, 4) in what looks like being one of the most competitive bouts on the shame, even though Braga should extend his unbeaten record.
As well as the 3 bouts mentioned the card is expected to feature a further 8 contests.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
Another Filipino in action will be the heavy handed and criminally under-rated Rey Loreto (19-13, 11) who will be hoping that lightning strikes twice as he defends his IBO Light Flyweight for the first time. Last year we saw Loreto make a name for himself as he stopped former world champion Nkosinathi Joyi (24-3-0-1, 17) in eye catching fashion and he'll be hoping to do the same again when he travels to Joyi's homeland in a much anticipated rematch.
German fans will get the chance to see a potentially explosive encounter as “unbeaten” Kazakhstan Isa Akberbayev (14-0-0-1, 10) battles against Argentinian KO artist Ruben Angel Mino (25-1, 25). Mino has one of the most impressive looking records on paper however it is incredibly padded and it's hard to see how he'll fare here. Akberbayev was a touted prospect a few years ago though he was “exposed” when he was iced by Anthony Ferrante in January 2013 and it's hard to see him ever reaching his perceived ceiling, saying that he should win here against the limited but heavy handed Mino.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
As we've gone through the month of February we've slowly seen action pick up. As we come to the end of the month we're seeing action pick up again with an OPBF title fight in Japan, a collision of prospects and the third professional bout in the career of a Chinese Heavyweight hopeful.
One of the shows is in Japan where we get a genuinely important card with a couple of really notable bouts at different levels.
The most significant of the bouts is in the Super Bantamweight division as the world class Shingo Wake (17-4-2, 10) defends his OPBF title for the 5th time in a little under 2 years. Wake, who is chasing a world title fight later this year, will find himself up against Filipino challenger Jimmy Paypa (16-2-1, 6). This fight was apparently close to being made for December last year and it could well be that we end up with both fighters coming in “over-boiled” for this, or we could see a destruction by a man looking to make a statement. If Wake does come out and scores an impressive win the talk is that he will be getting a shot at WBA "Super" and WBO Super Bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Wake isn't the only fighter from the Koguchi gym to be on this card as rising teenager Kenya Yamashita (7-0, 4) puts his unbeaten record on the line against Jo Tanooka (9-2-3). The unbeaten Yamashita was the Flyweight Rookie of the Year in 2014 and he is being tipped to go a very long way in his career however Tanooka is a great test and will be looking for a win himself after coming up short last time out against Hiroki Saito.
Another notable bout on this card will see former OPBF and Japanese Super Flyweight title challenger Toyoto Shiraishi (24-8-2, 11) battle against Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi (8-7-1, 4). For Shiraishi this is a must win bout following a run of just 1 win in 4 bouts however Yamaguchi shouldn't provide much in terms of competition
Talking about fighters who need a win Kota Sato (9-6-2, 4) has to be desperate to get a “W” after going 0-2-1 in his last 3 bouts. Sato will be up against Toshikuni Wake (8-14-3, 2). Wake is nothing other than a journeyman and shouldn't be able to beat Kota though we suspect a loss for Kota will be the end here.
One other bout on this card, a really interesting one in fact, will see Kazuma Sanpei (11-1, 4) battle against Masaru Sueyoshi (8-1, 5). Sanpei comes in to this bout on the back of his first career defeat, an 88 second blow out loss to Japanese based Filipino Johnreil Maligro, whilst Sueyoshi brings a 5 fight winning streak into this bout including a very notable decision over Yuta Nagai. Brilliant and brave match up for both guys.
In Russia fans will get the chance to see unbeaten Kazakh prospect Roman Zhailauov (13-0, 8) battle against the tough but limited Vyacheslav Yakovenko (7-19-1, 3). This will be Zhailauov's first bout of the year though we'll be honest it does seem like his team have slowed his progress over the past few bouts.
In the US American fans will get the chance to see Chinese giant Taishan Dong (2-0, 2) who hopes to extend his winning run as he battles against Roy McCrary (3-2, 3). The imposing Dong has to be a big favourite here against the 41 year old McCrary though we're more interested in the performance of Dong here rather than just getting the win. So far Dong has shown some ability but there are a lot of questions regarding his potential and so far none of his opponents have really been able to ask any questions of him with Tommy Washington Jr being a laughably bad opponent last time out.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Action continues in Thailand this week with a trio of notable fighters.
The most notable of those fighters is former WBC Minimumweight champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai (55-1-1, 21) who continues to move, slowly, towards a Super Flyweight world title fight. Sadly Sithsamerchai hasn't fought a notable opponent since he came up short against Kazuto Ioka way back in 2011. With his experience and ability Sithsamerchai does have the potential to claim a world title again but we suspect he'll not get the chance any time soon.
Whilst Oleydong is a former world champion there is a man on the card who is said to only be a fight or two away from a title. That is Palangpol CP Freshmart (7-1, 4) who is said to be viewing a possible shot at the WBO Minimumweight title later in the year. Palangpol is a really exciting prospect but we suspect he's not as good as his team hope and although he's made a successful transition from Muay Thai to western boxing there is still the feeling that he made the move too late.
The third fighter of note on this show is Kongfah CP Freshmart (11-0, 6)* who we really like the look of. Kongfah scored one of the best KO's we've seen recently, when he iced Saengthong Chor Pakdee, and since then has been a man we've been following closely.
At the moment we're unsure who the 3 Thai's will be fighting though we are under the belief that their opponents will all be Filipino's.
*Boxrec.com are missing one of Kognfah's bouts from last December.
February 24th-Suriyan and Nawaphon in Thailand, whilst Noguchi and Watanabe take to the ring in Japan
It's rare to have much in terms of interesting action on a Tuesday but this week fans in Japan get interesting action on a B class Dangan show whilst Thai fans get the chance to see some world class fighters in action.
Pathum Thani, Thailand
In Thailand fans get televised action on channel 3.
Sadly the main event is a complete mismatch as WBC Asian Boxing Council Flyweight champion Nawaphon Por Chokchai (25-0, 18) defends his belt against the horrible over-matched Powell Balaba (8-12-1, 5). Balaba may have impressed fans who saw his last bout, in which he pushed Rommel Asenjo very close in an 8 rounder, but we think Nawaphon is going to be too big and too strong here for the Filipino Light Flyweight. This is a mismatch however it's also a stay busy fight for Nawaphon who is hoping to get a WBC Flyweight title eliminator later in the year.
Nawaphon isn't the only notable fighter on this card and his older brother Suriyan Sor Rungvisai (39-6-1, 18) will also be in action as he looked for his second win of the year. From what we understand Suriyan will be up against the very limited Domi Nenokeba (11-22-1, 7) in what is again a stay busy fight for the Thai, who is also seeking a world title eliminator later in the year.
A third fighter of interest on this card is the promising Jirapan Nakornluang (2-0, 2),though we're unsure who he will be fighting. We were really impressed by Jirapan on his debut and would suggest keeping a tab on him for the future, though his development might end up being a slow one.
For the second successive day this week we get the chance to see action from the Korakuen Hall as we the latest in the Dangan series of shows. This particular show is a B Class tournament show and will feature 11 bouts in total with 10 of them being scheduled for 5 rounds.
Rather then going through all the bouts we'll just pick a few that have caught our eye.
A relatively even looking even looking Middleweight bout will see the stop-or-be stopped Wataru Seino (4-2 4) battle against Koji Kase (4-4, 2) in an interesting, though relatively insignificant contest early on the card.
Possibly the best prospect on the card is the unbeaten Kenya Noguchi (2-0, 1) who is a product of the Celes gym and appears to be one of the gyms most promising talents. The 19 year old Southpaw will be facing Thailand's Signoi Singmanasak (1-1) in what looks interesting on paper but is likely to be a dominant victory for Noguchi who we rate very highly.
A very good looking Flyweight bout will see Tasuhiro Tanaka (4-1-2) fight against the interesting Kensuke Sasaki (2-1, 2). Sasaki appears to be selected as a very promising youngster and lost a close decision to the much more experienced Kenta Okumura on his debut, since then he has scored back to back stoppages and will be hoping to continue that run. Tanaka's only loss came 2 fights back when he was stopped by the then unbeaten Koya Sato in 5 rounds, notably that is Sato's only stoppage win.
At Featherweight Takehiro Shinohara (5-4-2, 5) will battle fellow puncher Atsushi Kudo (3-3-2, 3). Both men have losses and draws but all wins for both men have come inside the distance and there is a good chance both will go out looking for a stoppage here.
On paper the best match up is another Featherweight bout which will see Daisuke Watanabe (1-0, 1) battle against Ryuto Araya (7-2-1, 1) in what is a brilliant bit of match making. Watanabe's camp know they have a talent on their hands and a win here will shoot him towards a national ranking and put him on the fast track whilst a loss, this early in his career, is little more than a temporary set back.
Technically the main event will be a Welterweight bout which will see Makoto Kawasaki (5-2-1, 1) battle against Mamoru Takeuchi (5-5-2). With just a single stoppage win between them from 20 bouts this looks like a distance affair but could still turn out to be enjoyable even if it doesn't look like a really exciting highlight to the show.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Not all cards have significant fights on and the card this Monday from the Korakuen Hall us one such that lacks significance in terms of bouts but will allow fighters to progress there careers one way or another.
The most notable man on this card is the teak tough “Zombie” Tatsuya Takahashi (18-6-3, 13) who caught our attention in December with his thrilling and brave effort against Japanese Bantamweight champion Kentaro Masuda. Takahashi took a lot of punishment against Masuda but refuse to give in and ended up losing a wide but well fought decision. Rather than going back in tough he's being given an easy work out against Thailand's Nichao Chaiyonggym (0-2). We'll be honest we have no problem with Takahashi taking an easy bout after the Masuda contest, but this one is a bit too easy.
In an interesting, though somewhat insignificant under-card bout, we will see Yuzo Mitani (5-4, 2) battle against Keisuke Ota (8-7, 1). Mitani has been stopped in all 4 of his losses though he's unlikely to worry about Ota's power here and we suspect this could be very enjoyable even if the action isn't being fought at the highest level.
A similarly interesting lower level bout between two light punchers will see Yoshiyuki Suzuki (4-7-5, 1) fight against Kazuki Kobayashi (4-7). Although this bout will be over-looked it should be an interesting one between the ropes between two men who will be very hungry to pick up a win. We suspect Kobayashi will be the one who comes out on top given that he is the younger and naturally bigger man but we wouldn't be surprised with 6 rounds of really good low level action.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
*For those unaware Takahashi was described as being like a zombie by Masuda, due to his toughness and stamina, and we liked the description so will be keeping it for Takahashi in the future.
Although western boxing fans don't have much action this Sunday it is actually a great day for boxing fans in in Asia with both Chinese and Indonesian fans getting notable and interesting shows.
It seems that Chinese boxing is rising and although the country is still a long way from being a “force” in world boxing it's great to see the proliferation of the country's talent and with several Chinese fighters now plying their trade in the US we suspect will be quicker and more visible for western fans than ever before.
Although several Chinese fighters are making their name in the west there is still plenty of action in China it's self where a number of fighters are beginning to forge their own legacies.
The most established of the China based Chinese fighters is former WBC Minimumweight world champion Xiong Zhao Zhong (24-6-1, 14) who will be hoping to work himself into another world title fight later in the year. Zhong will be expected to pick up an easy win here as he battles against Japanese visitor Hiroya Yamamoto (8-2, 3) in a bout for the WBC International Minimumweight belt. Although Zhong is limited he will have to be heavily favoured here against Yamamoto who enters having lost 2 of his last 3, including a Japanese title fight against Go Odaira last September.
Whilst Zhong is limited he is the most established talent in the country. Zhong's success has lead to more success in the country and the rising star at the moment is Super Bantamweight prospect Qiu Xiao Jun (14-2, 6) who will be battling in his most notable bout to date. The Chinese fighter will be up against former world title challenger Silvester Lopez (23-9-2, 17) in a bout for the WBC Silver Super Bantamweight title and we suspect that this really could be a very special bout between two men each looking for their biggest win and looking to move towards establishing themselves in WBC world rankings.
Another title bout on this card will see Xian Wei Qian (6-4-1, 1) risking his WBC Asian Boxing Council Featherweight title whilst also hoping to claim the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Featherweight title. In the opposite corner to Qian will be Indonesian foe Hero Tito (9-5-1, 3). On paper this looks like a good bout, despite the fact neither man is ever going to be a world beater.
Another possibly interesting title bout will see Yang Xing Xin (9-3-2, 6) attempt to defend the WBC Youth Welterweight title against South Korean foe Joon-Yong Lee (4-2-3, 2). Xin has won his last 3 bouts and although he's nothing special the 22 year old “Chinese Warrior” is an improving fighter who has shown good development in recent contests. As for the Korean 24 year old this is a big opportunity and sees him coming into the bout on the back of a loss in a Korean Light Middleweight title bout. Although Lee isn't well known he does hold a notable win over Sa Ya Lee, the current Korean Lightweight champion.
One final title bout on this card is a female title bout which will see Cai Zongju (3-1, 1) battling again Filipino Gretchen Abaniel (15-6, 6). This bout will be for the female versions of the WBC International and WBC Asian Boxing Council Minimumweight titles and looks like a very interesting fight. For Abaniel it's a must win bout following recent losses on the road to Ayaka Miyao and Kumiko Seeser Ikehara. Saying that however Zongju is a much weaker for than the two Japanese fighters who have beaten Abaniel.
In Indonesia fans will have the chance to see promising youngster Iwan Zoda (4-1, 3) battle against Stevanus Nana Bau (2-1-1, 1) in a second meeting between the two men. The two met last September in what was both mens debut, according to boxrec, with Zoda taking a decision and since then Zoda has improved and likely to become one of the few Indonesian fighters worth making a note of. This bout is scheduled for 12 rounds and will be at Flyweight, unlike their original bout which was fought over 6 rounds.
Regarding the records of Zoda and Nana Bau, we believe that Zoda's record is complete, including his loss to Thailand's promising Petchchorhae Kokietgym, whilst Nana Bau is thought to have had several unrecorded bouts as well as bouts fought under the name of Stevanus Nanai.
(Image courtesy of http://suljosblog.com)
Monte Carlo, Monaco
There are some fighters who are able to call themselves global stars and are able to draw an audience wherever they fight. One such man is Gennady Golovkin (31-0, 28) who returns to the ring for his first fight of the year this coming Saturday as he battles for the third time in Monaco. The current WBA “super”, WBC “interim” and IBO Middleweight champion will taking on arguably his toughest challenge so far as he battles the highly respected Martin Murray (29-1-1, 12) of the UK. Murray is best known for close set backs against Felix Sturm, a 12 round draw, and Sergio Martinez, a narrow loss, though the odds here seem to suggest that Golovkin will continue his destructive run and score his 19th successive stoppage.
Sadly there is no other action of note involving an Asian fighter today however there is a bout, also in Monaco, that several Asian fighters will be interested in, as WBA Minimumweight champion Hekkie Budler (27-1, 9) defends his title against Jesus Silvestre (30-5, 22). This is a bout which will be of particular interest to both Katsunari Takayama and Knockout CP Freshmart who have both said they have an interesting in the winner.
(Image courtesy of http://www.goldengloves.co.za)
Khon Kaen, Thailand
The most notable bout of the day will see world ranked Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (26-3-1, 15) defending his IBF Asia Light Flyweight title against Japanese foe Shunji Nagata (10-12-2, 3). For those who don't follow the Asian scene carefully but have a passing interest you may recall Fahlan stopping former world champion Ryo Miyazaki in 2013, since then however he's struggled with a loss to the then 1-0 Takuma Inoue in Japan, a draw with Japanese visitor Tatsuya Fukuhara and a trio of low level wins over forgettable foes. As for Nagata he's not a great fight but we do believe he is better than his record indicates and could actually give Fahlan a test here, if he's on form.
A second title bout will see WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Featherweight champion Pharanpetch Tor Buamas (13-0, 9) defending his belt against the limited Ramli Pasaribu (3-5, 1), from Indonesia. Pharanpetch is a talented fighter but was relatively inactive last year with just a single bout, hopefully he'll be busy this year.
Although Pharanpetch is the best of the Tor Buamas fighters in action here he's not the most well known. That role belongs to female fighter Samson Tor Buamas (34-3, 16) a multi-time champion. Sadly Samson is in very light here against the wonderfully named debutant Pancake Manoprungroj (0-0). Pancake might be one of the best names in sport but we doubt she'll be any sort of competition for Samson.
The third of the Tor Buamas fighters is another female fighter, Hongfah Tor Buamas (17-5-1, 2). Like Samson we will also see Hongfah battle a debutant as she takes on Jomchon Yingchongym (0-0) in what appears to be another mismatch. Samson may be more well known than Hongfah but Hongfah has the potential to go far and this is just her next step towards go somewhere in her career.
For those interested in watching this show this will be televised on Channel 11.