Negros Occidental, Philippines
To begin action for April we get a trio of OPBF “interim” title fights, and although we don't agree with interim title fights these fights do all have some appeal.
One of those “interim” OPBF title fights comes at Super Flyweight where local fighter Rene Dacquel (16-6-1, 5) battles unbeaten Thai hopeful Lucky Tor Bumas (7-0, 7). Dacquel came up short last December in a bout for the regular OPBF title, losing to Takuma Inoue, and will be hoping that it's second time lucky here. As for the Thai this is a huge step up in class and it's hard to see him continuing his perfect record here.
Another of those “interim” OPBF title fights comes at Super Featherweight where the under-rated Carlo Magali (19-7-3, 10) battles former OPBF Featherweight title challenger Mark Gil Melligen (21-6-1, 12). It's hard to see why either of these men are fighting for an OPBF title fight, however the contest should be a good one, with both knowing that a win would be a defining moment in their career.
The best of the “interim” title fights will come at Bantamweight and see the heavy handed Rey Megrino (22-20-3, 19) face off against the criminally under-rated Jonathan Baat (30-7-4, 14). This could be a genuinely thrilling match up, and although the records of the two men may not be impressive the bout is almost certainly going to be something very special.
Another bout of note on this card will see Venezuelan Omrri Bolivar (3-0, 1) battle Filipino Gerry Patenio (4-10-2, 2). This is Bolivar's third bout in Asia and we're expecting him back, in China, later in the month. If he can get past Patenio here.
District of Columbia, USA
In the US fans will see promising Kazakh Shyngyskhan Tazhibay (2-0, 2) risk his unbeaten record as fellow unbeaten Riarus Dudley (2-0-1, 2) in what looks like a very interesting 4 rounder.
The final Asian card of the month comes from the Philippines and whilst it's not a great card it does feature several prospects worth noting.
The most noteworthy of those prospects is the very talented Dexter Alimento (10-0, 7), who came to our attention earlier this year with an upset win over Thailand's Chanchai CP Freshmart, for the WBC Youth Minimumweight title. For this bout Alimento will be stepping up in weight to face the very experience Rodel Tejares (20-37-6, 5) for the MinProBA Light Flyweight title. Tejares isn't expected to really test Alimento however this will be the 20 year old hopefuls first bout since his tragic contest with Chanachai, which left the Thai in a coma, and his mental state may be tested here.
The other prospect of note here is Joe Tejones (3-0, 1), a 19 year old who will be up against Rowel Garcia (7-18-3, 1), a limited and light hitting opponent who is unlikely to do anything but go a few rounds with the teenager.
To end the month of March Japanese fans in Tokyo get to see the Rookie of the Year kick off with an East Japan qualifying show. The card doesn't feature anyone with more than 5 bouts but does act as a potential way forward for fighters who know that the Rookie of the Year could act as a potential launch pad for their careers.
This card will feature 10 bouts, though was originally announced with 13 contest 3 of which have been cancelled.
The bouts on the show will take place from Super Bantamweight up to Super Featherweight, where there was a lot of applicants to take part in the East Japan Rookie of the Year.
Whilst none of the fighters are top amateur we are expecting some great fights, as happens when the fighters are well matched
Metro Manila, Philippines
The Elorde name is one of the names synonymous with Filipino boxing. That name again comes to the fore this Tuesday when one Elorde, Johnny S. Elorde, promotes a card featuring two other's from the Elorde clan.
One of those fighting Elorde's is 31 year old Juan Martin Elorde (19-1-1, 8) who will be in action against Indonesian fighter Musa Letding (10-4-4, 6). On paper this looks like a mismatch but Letding is a game fighter who notably went 10 rounds with Brandon Ogilvie last October and will be looking to give Elorde some real questions to answer here. Notably Letding has gone 6-1-2 in his last 9 and will be looking to build on that form. Whilst Letding is in some decent forum is should be noted that Elorde is the favourite, he's won his last 4 and is 8-0-1 since his sole loss back in 2011.
The other Elorde in action on this card is Juan Martin's younger brother Juan Miguel Elorde (20-1, 11), who will be facing another Indonesian, Waldo Sabu (7-3, 2). Sabu may be familiar to this who follow Shingo Wake, with Wake having stopped Sabu earlier this year in 5 very one sided rounds, but the Indonesian is confident and is certainly not in with someone as good as Wake for this bout. The once beaten 29 year old Elorde has won his last 10 and will be looking to make an impression here. We can't see the local fighter losing but his target has to be to “out perform” Wake, rather than to just “win”.
A third bout on this card will feature one of the many promising yet over-looked Filipino prospects, Giemel Magramo (15-0, 12). Magramo is, at the time of writing, listed to face John Bajawa (11-12, 7), however given that Bajawa was stopped on March 19th by Muhammad Waseem we're expecting to see Magramo face a replacement opponent.
The Ohashi gym have become one of the most notable in Japan over the last few years with Chairman Hideyuki Ohashi becoming one of the key figures in boxing. Not only has the Ohashi gym become notable at the world level thanks to the success of fighters like Naoya Inoue and Akira Yaegashi but they are also one of the most significant domestically, with solid domestic shows on a regular basis. Their next show is this coming Monday and features a Japanese title fight as well as several other note worthy fighters.
The main bout of the card see veteran fighters colliding in a bout for a Japanese title fight. The bout question will see Japanese Featherweight kingpin Satoshi Hosono (30-2-1, 20) defending his title against nemesis Rikiya Fukuhara (31-8-1, 23), in what is the third meeting between the two men. To date the Hosono is winning the series 2-0 and the former 3-time world title challenger will know that he will need to impress here if he's to get a much desired 4th world title shot. For Fukuhara the bout is a chance to finally get one over on Hosono, and possibly put himself in the mix for a world title title. Whilst Fukuhara is 37 he's young 37 and still has impressive speed and vicious power, whilst Hosono has shown signs of slowing decently, despite being a relatively young fighter at “just” 32.
In one of the notable under-card bouts we'll see former Japanese Super Featherweight Seiichi Okada (18-6, 11) battle against Spice Matsushita (15-8, 2). Okada, an Ohashi gym fighter, was once 16-1 (9) and the Japanese champion, sadly however his career has faltered in recent years with a 2-5 run, with 3 stoppage losses, and he's now really fighting for his career. Given that Matsushita is a light puncher it's hard to see him stopping Okada but he is certainly a live under-dog and will be looking to secure his 5th straight win whilst taking a clear step towards a potential title fight of his own.
Another notable under-card bout here will the promising Kenichi Miyazaki (10-1-1, 3) take on recent Japanese title challenger Hiroya Yamamoto (9-4, 3). This is a great match up with both men knowing that a win could help them secure a Japanese Minimumweight title fight in the near future. Given that both men are young we're expecting to see a high tempo contest here, with both going all out for the win in what could be the bout of the show.
Of course the Inoue name is now a key one in boxing with Naoya and Takuma Inoue being two of the best youngsters in the sport. This card will also feature their cousin, Koki Inoue (1-0, 1) who will be in a 6 round bout against a Thai foe, who will be expected to be stopped early on by the very promising Inoue.
As well as the action in Japan there will also be a show in Russia whilst has some Asian interest. A main part of that interest is unbeaten Uzbek Uktamjon Rahmonov (5-0-1, 1), who puts his unbeaten record on the line against Manuk Dilanyan (3-2-1, 2). Rahmonov should be the favourite but he was held to a draw last time out and was lucky to claim a win in his fight before that one.
The main Japanese card of the day is in Osaka where Osaka Teiken put on a card that has a number of notable fighters in action.
The main event of the card will see the JBC and OPBF ranked Sho Nakazawa (8-0, 4) faced Japanese based Korean Teiru Atsumi (6-1, 2), who will be fighting in Japan for the second time. The highly touted Nakazawa should be heavily favoured here with his team then likely to move him towards a title fight in the summer. At the moment Nakazawa is one of the most promising Japanese fighters but would be viewed as the under-dog in either an OPBF or JBC title bout. For Atsumi there is little to lose and a lot to gain from a good performance here.
The co-feature here will see unbeaten teenager Juiki Tatsuyoshi (3-0, 2) battle against Kazuki Sanpei (3-3, 1). Tatsuyoshi, the son of the great Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, looked less than stellar last time out but on paper he is stepping down slightly in class here against a man who has been stopped in 2 of his last 3.
A third bout of note on this card, and in all honesty the most well matched, will see Tatsuya Ikemizu (13-1, 9) battle the under-rated Jonas Sultan (9-3, 5), of the Philippines. On paper Ikemizu would be the favourite however this is one of the toughest opponents he has faced and Sultan really is much better than his record suggests,in fact he gave the world ranked Go Onaga all he could handle last year. Ikemizu is the naturally bigger fighter but he's in with a very live opponent with Sultan and this could be a banana skin for the touted Japanese youngster.
A second Japanese show comes from Aichi, where fans only really get one bout of note.
That one bout will see the Japanese ranked Satoshi Ozawa (11-6-1, 2) battle against Kazuki Fukakura (9-9-2, 3) in what looks like a easy match up for Ozawa. Ranked by the JBC at Bantamweight Ozawa will be coming in to this one following back-to-back wins over Yoshihiko Matsuo however prior to those wins he was stopped twice and does have question marks over his toughness. Ozawa should win, but he is beatable.
All the other bouts on this card are 4 rounders.
Gwangmyeong, South Korea
We also get several Korean cards with the most “significant” being the KBA sanctioned show from Gwangmyeong.
The headline bout here sees Korean defector Hyun Mi Choi (11-0-1, 4) defending her WBA female Super Featherweight title against Colombian veteran Diana Ayala (19-11-4, 13). Ayala is in her 10th world title bout, an impressive achievement, however for Choi, who won the WBA female Featherweight on her debut, this will be her 12th. The champion should be favoured, but Ayala has power and could well be the first fighter in a long time to really take the fight to the Pyongyang born Seoul based fighter.
Seoul, South Korea
As well as the KBA card we actually have two KBF shows, both in Seoul.
One of those cards is a Rookie of the Year card, with 6 bouts on it, whilst the other is an genuinely intriguing card with a couple of title bouts and an international under-card bout.
The most notable of the bouts will see Ye Joon Kim (13-1-2, 7) face off against Thailand's Patomsith Pathompothong (15-4, 5) in a bout for an IBF regional title at 126lbs. Kim is viewed by many as the most promising Korean currently plying his trade at home, and the 23 year old is regarded as the face of the KBF. This is however a tricky bout for the young Korean who is facing a man who is limited but tough and could well be a banana skin for the Korean, who will be moving up a weight for this bout.
On the under-card we'll get a KBF Featherweight title bout as defending champion Sa Myung Noh (9-2, 2) defends his belt against Min Suk Choi (3-2-1, 2). This will be Noh's first defense of the title that he won last year and he should be favoured here, though very little is known about Choi, other than the details provided by the KBF.
Also on the under-card is a bout between Je Ni Ma (7-1-3, 6) and the very experienced Indonesian Michael Speed Sigarlaki (16-18-2, 14). Ma, born Evgeny Samarin, is a Korean-Russian who lost his debut but has since gone 10 fights unbeaten and should be favoured against Sigarlaki. The Indonesian has been around the block, and faced the better fighters, but has always come up short against the good fighters he's faced and we're expecting to see that happen again here.
The Champion Carnival continues this Saturday as Japanese fans get a Minimumweight title fight between two world ranked fighters each looking to prove their ability and move towards a world title fight.
That champion carnival bout will see Japanese champion Tatsuya Fukuhara (16-4-5, 6) defending his title, for the first time, against the unbeaten Takumi Sakae (13-0, 8). The champion won the title last year, out pointing a determined Hiroya Yamamoto, though is best known for set backs against Yu Kimura, Takuma Inoue, who was making his debut, and Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr, who he actually held to a draw. For Sakae this is a big step up in class and although he won the Rookie of the Year in 2013 he hasn't really kicked on since. This is an acid test for both and the winner will almost certainly be thinking about world honours later in the year.
The only other bout of note on this card will see Japanese ranked Ryusei Yoshida (26-8, 13) face off with Thailand's Maneeden Kiatpratpat (0-0) in a 10 round support bout at 140lbs. Yoshida has gone 3-5 in the last 4 years but will be hoping to get his career back on track with a victory over Maneeden.
For a second day running Chinese fans have action with a show in Shanghai. This time around the main bouts come at 154lbs where we see two battles of unbeaten fighters.
One of those bouts will see Tong Hui Li (5-0, 3) take on Cheng Su (7-0-1, 5) in a contest between two 26 year olds. On paper this is a huge step up for both men but the winner should establish themselves as one of the more notable Chinese fighters.
The other bout will see teenager Alimu Tuersun (5-0-1) face off against 30 year old puncher Qiang Luo (5-0, 4) in what looks likely to be a “skill Vs power” match up. Neither of these two have faced anyone of note so far and this really could be a very intriguing bout.
In the USA fight fans will be able to see Kyrgyzstan born America based Urmat Ryskeldiev (11-3-2, 7) take on Aaron Coley (12-1-1,6). This looks like a really watch matched bout and although Coley will be favoured it is worth noting that Ryskeldiev is an upset minded fighter who always comes to win and could well shock the naturally bigger Coley.
Action returns to Thai TV station Thairath this Friday with the channel broadcasting the next bout in the exciting career of Saenganan Sithsaithong (15-0, 7). Aged 16 Saenganan is tipped to be one of the next stars of Thailand and he has already collected a number of minor titles. Here we will see him attempt to add the IBF Pan Pacific Bantamweight title to his collection as he takes on Indonesia's Eric Panza (9-6-1, 2).
Whilst Thairath will be broadcasting other fights from this show, it's the main event that is getting the attention and there is talk of Saenganan challenging for a bigger honours in the near future. Incidentally he doesn't turn 17 until the start of May and would, in theory, have until November if he wishes to pursue the world record for youngest world champion, though of course that does seem to be a highly unlikely option at the moment.
As well as the action in Thailand there will also be a small card in China. The card is a small one with the most notable fighter on the card being the unbeaten Yelieqiati Nihemaituola (6-0-1, 1). The unbeaten southpaw will be up against Jiyang Gao (3-1-1, 1) in an interesting looking 6 rounder.
Another 6 rounder at Bantamweight will see unbeaten 17 year old Zhi Quan Xie (3-0-2, 1) battle the experienced Tao Ji (10-5-1, 2), in what looks like a very tough test for Xie.
After a busy day of action on Sunday Asian fans can take a breather on Monday with not much to really talk about. In fact the only card we have details on is a small one in Fukuoka.
The main event of the show will see Yusuke Yamanouchi (7-2-1, 3) battle J Soul Maeda (4-3-2, 2) in a 6 rounder at Lightweight. Last time out Maeda was stopped, in 3 rounds by Areji Kato, whilst Yamanouchi scored a 4th round win over Rian Cobra, however the reality is that neither are expected to go far in their careers.
The co-feature, also scheduled for 6 rounds, will see the limited Takuro Habu (12-10-2, 4) battle Thai novice Chanasak Saksongkam (0-1) in what should be a a straight forward win for Habu. In his only recorded bout Chanasak lost a 6 round shut out to Rikito Hattori, back in December last year, and if he can really push Habu it would suggest that Habu career isn't going anywhere. Interestingly however Habu has faced two men who went on to win world titles, Yu Kimura and Amnat Ruenroeng.
This coming Sunday is a busy day in Japanese boxing with a trio of shows.
Arguably the most talented fighter in action for the day is the 18 year old Hinata Maruta (1-0) who looks to score his second win in the professional ranks. The talented Morioka Gym fighter defeated the world ranked Jason Canoy on his debut and now looks to score an easy win as he takes on unknown Thai Krunsing Kaolamlekgym (0-0). A win here is expected for Maruta who is targeting a WBC Youth title fight for the summer. Given so little is known about Krunsing there is little doubt that Maruta will be looking to start cautiously before hunting a stoppage in the later rounds of the bout.
The under-card here isn't that notable however there are a couple of bouts worth noting. One of those will see former world title challenger Hirofumi Mukai (11-4-2, 1) face off against Toshikuni Wake (8-15-3,2) in what should be an easy win for Mukai. Once touted as a potential champion Mukai's career has failed to really kick on after an early career win over Sonny Boy Jaro and he's now looking to avoid successive defeats. Wake has been stopped in his last two, and has only 2 wins in the last 5 years.
Another under-card bout sees Japanese based American Brandon Lockhart Shane (6-4, 5) in action against Songthaya Kaolamlekgym (0-0). Although not the best of fighters the American has an infectious personality and we really do wish him all the best against his Thai opponent.
Another of the Japanese cards comes from Miyazaki where fans are set to get a trio of 8 rounders.
The most notable of those bouts takes place at Featherweight and will see former Japanese Bantamweight title challenger Kinshiro Usui (24-4, 10) take on Yosuke Kawano (10-4-2, 4). Aged 36 Usui is fighting for his career and knows that he's only a few wins from a potential Japanese title fight, on the other hand Kawano, who is unbeaten in 4, will know he's just hitting his stride at 27 and will be looking to record the biggest win of his career.
In the co-feature recent Japanese Light Flyweight title challenger Hayato Yamaguchi (13-6-1, 2) will fight Yamato Uchinono (6-4-5, 4). On paper this should be a straight forward win for the JBC ranked Yamaguchi however he has gone 1-2 in his last 3, including a stoppage loss to Yu Kimura, and Uchinono, for all his limitations, is a puncher. On the other hand Uchinono has been stopped in 2 of his last 3 bouts, and has been stopped in all 4 of his defeats.
Another bout of note sees JBC ranked 154lb fighter Hironobu Matsunaga (8-1, 4) face off against Hiroshi Ohashi (7-8, 3). This looks likely to be a clear win for Matsunaga, who will be looking to work his way towards a title fight in the coming months. Interestingly Ohashi has won just once in the last 9 years, however he has spent much of that time out of the ring.
Arguably the least interesting of the Japanese cards is in Hyogo where there's only really one bout of note.
That one notable bout sees Japanese and OPBF ranked Light Flyweight Toshimasa Ouchi (19-8-3, 5) face off against Akiyoshi Kanazawa (13-4-4, 7), in what is a really well matched 8 round bout. The winner of this one will be looking to secure a title fight later in the year however both are a long way from being the best in either Japan or the Orient at 108lbs.