Davao del Norte, Philippines
Attention turns to Davao del Norte this Tuesday for a relatively low key card, with a few notable names involved. In total there will be 4 difference MinProBA title bouts.
On paper the most interesting bout will see youngsters clash as the once beaten James Francis Buray (7-1, 2) battle unbeaten Singaporean puncher Muhammad Ashiq (6-0, 5) in a bout for the MinProBA Super Featherweight title. This is a really interesting fight and we have been impressed by Ashiq so far, though this will be his toughest bout so far.
Another MinProBA title fight will see sensational former amateur stand out Charly Suarez (1-0, 1) take on fellow unbeaten Justin Cabarles (4-0, 2) for the Lightweight title. Given how good Suarez was an amateur, and he really was excellent, this bout seems a pretty interesting test, but one he could make look very easy. Cabarles, a 23 year old, struggled last time out and is taking on his most talented opponent so far, though he may manage to surprise us.
In a supporting bout the 23 year old Marvilo Aballe (7-1-2, 3) will be facing off with Rocky Sardido (8-22-5, 3), in another bout for a MinProBA Featherweight title. Despite a huge edge in experience Sardido is the much smaller man and has gone 1-14-2 in his last 17 bouts, showing what sort of form he's in. Aballe is far from unbeatable but shouldn't struggle against Sardido, who looks to be turning up happy to lose in recent years.
In a 10 round non-title bout the once very decent Glenn Porras (31-8, 19) will be taking on journeyman Ramel Antaran (3-12-1). Porras was genuinely a promising fighter once, but has lost 5 of his last 8, with KO losses last year, and it's hard to know what he has left. Antaran shouldn't ask many questions of Porras here, sadly.
Seoul, South Korea
The biggest show this coming Sunday comes from Seoul where the KBF put on a title double header, which also involves one of the hopes of Korean boxing.
The main event will see In Duck Seo (10-1-2, 6) and Heuk San Lee (9-0-2, 4), battling for the KBF Welterweight title. For Seo this will be his first defense of the title whilst Lee looks to claim the KBF title, adding to a previous reign as the BoxingM Light Middleweight champion. This could be a really, really good fight.
The second KBF title fight will take place at Light Middleweight, with Dong Woo Kim (5-2, 3) taking on Tae Young Suh (4-0-1). This is the biggest bout for both men so far and will see the winner really get a big win on their record, at least in terms of the domestic scene, but it's hard to imagine either man making a mark above domestic level, at least any time soon.
Another notable fight sees the once very highly regarded Ye Joon Kim (16-1-2, 8) take on Muaty Thai fighter, turned boxer, Anocha Phuangkaew (2-0, 2). The Thai is said to be 45-5 in Muay Thai and could prove to be a very dangerous opponent for the unorthodox Kim, who will be fighting for the second time since ending a 2 year break from the ring.
In Thailand fans will get a small card in Pattaya. One of the bouts on that card will see Thai based, Armenian born Russian Arest Saakyan (2-0) attempt to extend his unbeaten run as he takes on the debuting Boonyarit Boonyai (0-0).
Also pencilled in for this card is Thai based British fighter Michael Alan Flannery (1-0, 1), who looks to build on his debut win back in January.
Misamis Oriental, Philippines
It is worth noting that a Filipino show was announced with former OPBF champion Mark John Yap (29-13, 14), Jess Rhey Waminal (12-2-1, 7) and Marco John Rementizo (9-3, 6) all announced for the show. Sadly details of this card sort of vanished and it's unclear if the show is going to take place, and if so who is actually going to be in action. All 3 of the fighters mentioned are fantastic and we really the show does take place, but the lack of noise from those involved and lack of details would suggest that the opponent would be very late notice fighters.
Action returns to the Korakuen Hall this coming Satuday for the next Dynamic Glove card, though sadly it won't be aired live on G+ as we typically see, instead being delayed for broadcast on Monday.
The main event of the card will see Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) defending his belt for the second time, and taking on mandatory challenger Shuji Kato (10-1-1, 6), a former Rookie of the Year winner. Takesako has looked brutal so far through his career, but has struggled to get suitable opponents on the domestic scene, and likely needs to look beyond domestic title challengers, if he gets past Kato. For the challenger this is a huge step up in class, a very, very tough match up, but a huge chance for him to make a big name for himself. Our preview for this bout is available here Japanese king Takesako faces mandatory challenger!
The main event is mouth watering and it's strange that the under-card appears to be focused on showcasing a trio of notable Japanese prospects. One of those is Celes Kobayashi protege Jin Minamide (2-0, 2). The unbeaten Minamide, a former standout amateur, has taken out good looking opponents very easily so far, but will be taking a huge step up in class here, as he goes up against Filipino Marjun Pantilgan (18-7, 14), in what could be a very tough outing for the unbeaten hopeful.
On paper Takuma Takahashi (2-0, 2) is also taking a step up as he goes up against 21 year Filipino Jonel Dapidran (10-3, 6). On paper this is a credible step in the right direction for Takahashi, though we wouldn't be surprised to see him score another early win. Dapidran fought in Japan late last year and was stopped by Rikuto Adachi, retiring after 3 rounds, and that will almost certainly be a marker for Takahashi to try and beat.
Interestingly Masahiro Suzuki (1-0, 1) is the only prospect on the card not taking a clear step forward, and in fact is taking a slight step backwards. His debut came against the big punching Antonio Siesmundo, and he was forced to dig deep to win, so it seems sensible to ease things a bit, as he takes on Kelvin Tenorio (4-4, 2). It's hard to imagine anything but a win for Suzuki, who is one of the best prospects in Japan, but here we'll be looking to read more from the performance, rather than the result.
There is one really competitive looking bout on this card, as Japanese ranked Kenji Ono (11-2-2, 6) takes on the returning Hayato Yamaguchi (14-7-1, 2). Both of these guys can be in entertaining scraps, and despite their records they are really well matched. Ono is more active in recent years, but is winless in 3, whilst Yamaguchi hasn't fought since October 2016, when he lost to Tetsuya Hisada. Don't be surprised if this one steals the show.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia we'll see unbeaten Australian puncher Brock Jarvis (15-0, 14) battle against Filipino foe Philip Luis Cuerdo (11-5-1, 4) in a bout for the IBF Youth Bantamweight title. The heavy handed Jarvis is one of Australia's most promising fighters, though he has been up against some pretty opponents so far and is in need of a step up. On paper he is stepping up in class here, but it should be noted that Cuerdo is naturally the much smaller man, and has been stopped in 3 of his last 5 bouts. Cuerdo is a decent fighter on the Filipino domestic scene, but shouldn't be in there with a bigger, strong more powerful guy like Jarvis.
In Poland we'll see unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Viktor Kotochigov (7-0, 3) battle against Piotr Gudel (9-2-1, 1) in a bout for the Republic of Poland International Super Featherweight title. The unbeaten Kotochigov has had an interesting career, with bouts in China, Russia, Georgia and Kazakhstan but this will be his first title bout. Grudel on the other hand has fought his entire career in Poland, and his most notable bout so far is a 2016 loss to Kamil Laszczyk. This should be a really interesting contest, and could well see notable doors opening for Kotochigov if he wins.
Wales, United Kingdom
Talking about unbeaten Kazakh's there will also be an appearance from the unbeaten Sultan Zaurbek (4-0, 3), though his opponent hasn't been announced at the time of writing. Fellow Kazakh Nurtas Azhbenov (3-0, 1) was also announced for this show, but his appearance on the card is now thought to be in some doubt.
Attention turns to Tokyo this coming Tuesday for the next notable Watanabe card, headlined by a world title fight and supported by a number of really interesting prospects.
The main event of the show will see WBO Minimumweight champion Vic Saludar (18-3, 10) making his first defense and taking on Japanese challenger Masataka Taniguchi (11-2, 7). Saludar, who won the title last year when he beat Ryuya Yamanaka, has proven to be a difficult assign for top fighters, with Kosei Tanaka needing to pull himself off the canvas to stop him and his win over Yamanaka. Taniguchi on the other hand is taking a huge step up in class, but is a top class fighter who's only losses have been razor thin ones to Tsubasa Koura and Reiya Konishi. We're really expecting this to be something really special. Our preview of this bout can be read here Saludar returns to Japan to defend against Taniguchi!
The main under-card bout will see former amateur standout Shu Utsuki (3-0, 2) take on Japanese based Filipino Jerry Castroverde (10-5, 5), who is promoted by Nobuhiro Ishida. Utsuki has shown great promise already in his career, but this is a very clear step up in class and will be the first time he has taken on someone with real ring experience. Castroverde on the other hand has lost 3 of his last 6, but has mixed with good competition, including Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov and Tae Il Atsumi. This is a huge step up for the unbeaten man.
Another big supporting bout will see the 2017 Rookie of the year Fumiya Fuse (7-0, 1) take on Naoto Mizutani (5-5-1, 2) in a really good looking 8 round bout. We've been impressed by Fuse, who really shined last year on his international debut in Korea, and we're expecting to see huge things from him in 2019. This should be a straight forward win for the youngster, but Mizutani has mixed with so very notable foes, including Kenshin Oshima and Ryo Akaho, so may have a few tricks up his sleeve to teach Fuse.
Teenage sensation Ginjiro Shigeoka (1-0, 1) will be fighting his second professional bout on his card, as he takes on once beaten 20 year old Thai Gerttipong Kumsahwat (3-1, 3), in what should be another bout to allow Shigeoka to shine ahead of a planned 8 round bout in April.
Talking about low key Thai's it's worth noting that Suzumi Takayama (0-0) will be making his debut against a low key Thai, taking on Nirun Baonok (5-14, 4), who has stacked up losses in Japan. Typically Baonok has given rounds to good fighters and been matched really hard, but given the fact Takayama was a stand out amateur we don't see this being a competitive match up.
Attention turns to Osaka this coming Sunday for a card promoted by Hiroki Ioka.
The main event of this card is a mouth watering clash between unified OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight champion Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (11-3, 10) and veteran challenger Yuki Nonaka (32-10-3, 10). The champion is a marauding, puncher, who doesn't know how to take a step backwards, and instead marches forward looking to impose his will on opponents. It was that desire that helped him win the titles last year, as he broke down Yasuyuki Akiyama in the 11th round of a very hard and gruelling fight. Nonaka on the other hand is a technically sound 41 year old southpaw, who gave Takeshi Inoue real problems last year. Nonaka lacks power but is a very smart fighter and will be looking to use his boxing brain here in what could be one last hurrah for the Hiroki Ioka promoted fighter. A full preview of this bout is available to read here Regional champion Hosokawa takes on veteran Nonaka!
Sadly the under-card is a bit lacking, with the best of the under-card bouts being a contest between Japanese ranked Super Flyweight Tatsuya Terada (7-3-2, 1) and recent Japanese youth title challenger Ryosuke Nasu (9-4-3, 2). The 29 year old Terada is 4-1-1 in his last 6 and is in good form, but certainly needs a big win this year if he's wanting to move into title contention. Nasu on the other hand lost in a razor thin bout to Yuto Nakamura in a Youth title fight, and has had really mixed form in recent years, including a KO loss to Masamichi Yabuki and an upset win over Naoto Iwai. Neither of these look like future champions but they should make for an interesting match up against each other.
Dongducheon, South Korea
This coming Saturday we turn our attention to Korea where fans will be able to see Korean title double header along with a number of Korean hopefuls.
One of those title bouts will see Korean Super Featherweight champion Hyun Je Shin (10-8, 2) taking on Dong Kwan Lee (9-2-2, 4). Shin won the title last year, out pointing Chan Young Kim, to record his biggest win to date. At 24 it's unclear how good Shin really will be, but his record doesn't scream anything special. Lee on the other hand is a 26 year old who is 8-1-1 in his last 10 bouts. Unfortunately Lee's opposition so far has been awful and it's really hard to know what he's capable of. The one thing that is clear here is that the bout will tell us something new about both men.
The other title bout on this card will see the Korean Middleweight vacancy being filled as the hard hitting Hyun Min Yang (5-2, 5) takes on the limited Gyu Hyun Lee (2-3-1). Yang is a stop or be stopped fighter, rarely getting beyond 2 rounds in fights due to his power. Lee on the other hand lacks power but will know that he won't get many bigger chances than this. It's an interesting bout, but another weak title bout for the Korean scene, something we're seeing a lot off as they look to give the sport a shot in the arm on the national stage.
Among the bouts on the under-card is a contest between the touted Jeong Han Cha (4-0, 4), one of the most promising Korean prospects, and fellow unbeaten Yun Seong Kim (3-0, 1). The 18 Cha is a very promising puncher, who is raw, but heavy handed, fast, destructive and exciting. There is real promise with Cha but he will need time to develop his skills. Kim on the other hand is 24 years old and this is a step up for him, following a razor thin win last time out against Sang Min Moon.
Another bout between unbeaten men will see 24 year old's clash, as Ha Nok Shim (3-0, 2) takes on Jae Min Kim (3-0, 1). Shim, a southpaw, has shown decent power, but is certainly unproven as a fighter and has only had 7 professional rounds. Kim on the other hand will have the advantage in height, but looks like he lacks power, having gone a combined 11 rounds in his 3 fights to date, and struggled to split decision wins in 2 of them.
This coming Friday out attention turns to Russia for the next RCC card, which features several notable fighters from across Asia.
One of those is Russian based Tajik Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (12-0, 8), who will be looking to make his first defense of the WBC International Super Featherweight title. The unbeaten 23 year old will be up against experienced Mexican Emanuel Lopez (29-9-1, 13), who has had mixed success in recent years, losing 3 of his last 5. If Yaqubov is as good as he has looked in recent bouts then we'd expect him to win here, and take a huge step towards a potential world title eliminator later in the year.
Unbeaten Uzbek fighter Ravshanbek Umurzakov (6-0, 5) had an interesting 2018, going 5-0 (4) but having a big asterisks over his biggest win, a 58 second victory over Eden Sonsona who looked like he didn't want to be in the ring. Umurzakoz will be up against Filipino Rimar Metuda (12-4-1, 7), who has proven himself as durable, though is 2-4-1 in his last 7 and is 0-3-1 outside of the Philippines. We suspect Metuda will put up a good effort against the Uzbek, but not really test him.
Unbeaten Kazakh Stanislav Kalitskiy (6-0, 3) will be risking his unbeaten record against Filipino Venson Delopere (6-3-4, 2). The 21 year old Kalitskiy scored 3 wins last year, including a notable one against Jestoni Autida, but it's unclear what he can really do in the ring and he should be tested here. Delopere is a 23 year old who has proven tricky to beat, but is winless outside of the Philippines. This should be a good test for Kalitskiy and we wouldn't be surprised to see him struggle at times with the Filipino.
Another Filipino on this card is Arnold Garde (10-6-3, 4), who will be up against unbeaten Russian fighter Mekhdi Abdurashedov (5-0, 2). The Russian really impressed last time out, stopping Filipino Prince Andrew Lauro in 5 rounds, and this bout seems to be a good step up for him. Garde has been stopped in 2 of his last 3, but is going to have travelled with some ambition. Sadly for Garde we don't question his desire, but we do doubt he has the skills to handle Abdurashedov
In Hungary fans a bout is scheduled between Russian born Azeri Roman Zakirov (8-0, 7) and Mexican foe Daniel Vega Cota (13-2-1, 10). The unbeaten Zakirov is a 22 year old who only turned professional a year ago but has been ultra active, with fights in Uzbekistan, Georgia and Russia and now looks to add Hungary to passport. Cota on the other hand has only fought outside of Mexico once and should be easy enough for the Azeri, given he has been stopped in both of his losses.
In Thailand we'll see unbeaten Thai hopeful Satanmuanglek CP Freshmart (10-0, 4) battle against experienced Filipino Crison Omayao (24-18-4, 8) in a bout for the OPBF Silver Light Flyweight title. This bout will be the Thai's first at 108lbs and it's hoped that he will show what he can really do at the new weight after looking less than great at Minimumweight.
A second title bout on this show will see Kanyarat Yoohanngoh (4-2, 2) take on Japanese fighter Umi Ishikawa (7-2, 5) for the OPBF silver Female Minimumweight title. This is a low key bout but the winner should find themselves moving towards some bigger and better fights in the near future.
Interestingly this Thai card will also feature Wanheng Menayothin (52-0, 18) and Knockout CP Freshmart (19-0, 7) playing some part in the show, though the specifics of their appearances seem to be an exhibition or a live public training event rather than any kind of fight.
London, United Kingdom
In London we'll see unbeaten Kazakh Sultan Zaurbek (3-0, 2) take a small step up in class as he takes on Lyuben Todorov (6-3, 2). The unbeaten prospect will be facing his first opponent with a winning record, but the Bulgarian is 0-3 outside of Bulgaria and isn't expected to be much of a threat for Zaurbek, who is scheduled to fight again a week later.
Attention turns to the Korakuen Hall this coming Monday as we get an IBF world title eliminator at 140lbs as well as a must win bout for a former Japanese title challenger.
The main event is the aforementioned world title eliminator, which will see teak tough Japanese veteran Akihiro Kondo (31-7-1, 18) battle against unbeaten Thai Downua Ruawaiking (14-0, 11), with the winner getting a shot at the IBF Light Welterweight title. The Japanese fighter came to the attention of international fans in 2017, when he battled Sergey Lipinets in a surprisingly competitive contest, and since then has scored a couple low profile stoppages whilst staying busy. Downua on the other hand is a touted Thai hopeful who hasn't fought major names, but has impressed and was really sharp in December, when he stopped Sonny Katiandagho in 3 rounds to defend the IBF Pan Pacific Light Welterweight title. The Thai is a heavy handed fighter, with good speed and timing, but this is a big step up for him. We're looking forward to this one, a lot, even if neither man would be regarded as a serious test for any of the current world champions. Our preview of this bout is available here Kondo and Downua battle in IBF eliminator!
The chief support bout will see former Japanese Lightweight title challenger Masashi Noguchi (12-11-1, 6) fighting in a must win contest. Noguchi has lost his last 6, including a stoppage losses to Shuhei Tsuchiya, Satoshi Hosono and Reiya Abe, and another loss likely ends his career. In the opposite corner to Noguchi will be Tasuku Nakagawa (7-4-1, 3), who has lost 3 of his last 4 and needs a win of his own. This is a real must win for both men.
Quintana Roo, Mexico
In theory the most meaningful bout, as it's a world title fight, this coming Saturday will take place in Mexico, as WBC Female Light Flyweight champion Yesenia Gomez (14-5-3, 6) defends her title against Japan's Erika Hanawa (10-3, 4). For Gomez this will be her first defense, following a big win over veteran Esmeralda Moreno in September, and a good test for what's going to she's going to be able to do as a champion. Hanawa, who is fighting in her second world title bout, is talented but has got a reputation as someone who comes up short in her biggest bouts. Fighting outside of Asia for the first time won't do Hanawa any favours, but she does seem like she's really up for this fight. Our preview of this bout is here Hanawa gets world title shot at Gomez!
Another really meaningful contest will take place in California, as Ryosuke Iwasa (25-5, 16) clashes with Cesar Juarez (23-6, 17) in an IBF Super Bantamweight world title eliminator. Iwasa, a former world champion, will be making his US debut against a very exciting and aggressive Mexican in what could be one of the most exciting bouts at 122lbs this year. Both men are flawed, but both are exciting, and their styles should gel. Iwasa is the bigger puncher, on a single punch basis, but Juarez is tough and sets a higher pace, making this a very hard to call bout. Our preview of this fight can be read here Iwasa and Juarez meet in IBF eliminator!
Also on this card will be former WBO Bantamweight world champion Marlon Tapales (31-2, 14), though his opponent is still yet to be announced and there is a chance this bout could fall through by the time the show takes place.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines we get a televised show courtesy of ESPN5, and it's a card with a number of good looking fights on it.
The main event will be a 12 round contest between the unbeaten Dave Penalosa (14-0, 10) and Mexican visitor Marcos Cardenas (19-6-1, 15), who battle for the WBO Oriental Featherweight title. The unbeaten Penalosahas had a stop start career but two quick wins last year has seen him build some momentum to begin 2019 and a win here will give his career the big shot in the arm that it needs. Cardenas however won't be travelling to just lose however and he is riding a 3 fight winning run into this bout. Penalose will be strongly favoured, but Cardenas will have travelled to win, and has sort of proven his toughness, lasting 8 rounds with Miguel Marriaga and 5 rounds with Rey Vargas.
The main supporting bout will see former 2-time world champion John Riel Casimero (25-4, 16) take on exciting Japanese brawler Kenya Yamashita (13-4, 10). The 29 year old Casimero, who won world titles at Light Flyweight and Flyweight, hasn't looked great recently, with a loss to Jonas Sultan last time he fought on home soil, but will be under pressure to perform here. Yamashita is crude, but exciting and powerful and will be looking to shine on his international debut. Should be a huge gulf in technical ability, but also a potential gulf in desire and hunger.
A second supporting bout on this card will see teenage prospect Carl Jammes Martin (11-0, 10) take a huge step up in class to face off with Thai foe Petchchorhae Kokietgym (17-2, 8). The unbeaten Martin scored 4 wins last year, all by stoppage, and seems like one of the most promising young Filipino fighters beginning to break out. Petchchorhae on the other hand has failed to impressive despite winning some minor titles earlier in his career. The Thai was last seen being stopped in 3 rounds by Giemel Magramo, and was stopped in his other loss by Iwan Zoda, suggesting he can be taken out, something that Martin will be looking to do here.
Suwon, South Korea
There will also be a domestic card in Korean, albeit at a relatively low level.
The main bouts are 6 round contests, with one of them being a bout between Ki Hyun Park (2-2-2) and Han Bin Suh (3-0-1, 2) whilst the other will be between Jong Won Jung (5-7-1) and Dae Young Lee (2-9-1). We'll be honest and admit that it's hard to get excited about either of these bouts, of the card in general.
In Liege fans will be able to see Belgian based Kyrgyzstan born Faroukh Kourbanov (16-1, 3) battle against Ukrainian 36 year old Volodymyr Matviichuk (4-1). Kourbanov suffered his sole defeat last year, to the experienced Devis Boschiero in Italy, and will be looking to score his second win since that defeat. Matviichuk, who competed at the 2016 Olympics, only debuted as a professional in 2017 and will clearly see this bout as a chance to get into the mix at European level. Whilst Matviichuk does have a loss, it appears to be a suspect one, losing a split decision in Latvia to Ivans Levickis, in a bout that one judge scored 60-55 to the Ukrainian.