When we talk about quiet days in Asia we tend to feel that there is more than just one show. This Friday however it seems only one Asian show is planned and, from the details we've gotten, it's not a huge one.
The only show we know about is a Thai card that will be shown on Thai Channel 7. From what we are are this show will feature Thailand's talented female fighter Samson Tor Buamas (32-3, 14) who we believe will be fighting for the WIBA Light Flyweight title. Her opponent is said to be Swedish with out friend Pal speculating that it could be Maria Elin (?-?) who we think is a Muay Thai specialist.
We'd just like to say thank you to pal for this information.
We have been informed by Pal, who is quickly becoming our go to guy for Thai fights, that there is action this Thursday from Thailand.
The show, televised on Channel 3, will see Nop Kratingdaenggym (7-0, 1) defending his PABA Super Bantamweight title again Filipino youngster Renren Pasignahin (6-2-1, 2). Although a light puncher Nop does look like a very talented fighter and it's hard to see the limited Pasignahin defeating him here. Interesting both men have faced 2 fighters with winning records so far, Nop is 2-0 against them whilst Pasignahin is 0-2 against fighters with winning records, with imagine both of those streaks will continue here.
April 30th-Ishida makes Heavyweight debut against Fujimoto whilst Kato defends Lightweight title against suzuki
T end April we get a show that appears to have gotten more attention outside of Japan than inside of Japan despite being in Tokyo, featuring a Japanese title fight and featuring one of the most interesting domestic bouts we've seen in a long, long time.
"Kamikaze 3", as the show is known, has managed to interest our readers, especially ones from the US. It has managed to have fans showing a real interest in a bout that appeared, just 6 months ago, as unlikely as seeing Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao square off, though it's now upon.
That bout in question is a Japanese Heavyweight bout between former Light Middleweight Nobuhiro Ishida (25-9-2, 10) and Japanese Heavyweight champion Kyotaro Fujimoto (8-1, 5). The interest from the US is clear and it's pretty easy to explain, the fans want to see the guy that stopped James Kirkland.
Unfortunately for Ishida the shock upset over Kirkland, a Ring magazine Upset of the Year, has made Ishida more well known in the US than Japan, ironically meaning that whilst he does have fans at home his US popularity seems to be more significant than his domestic popularity. Unfortunately this means the fight won't be televised live, though we hope it will shown on tape delay over the coming days.
Oddly despite being the main event the Ishida/Fujimoto bout is only scheduled for 8 rounds and features no title, though it's a bout with significant interest from ourselves.
Of course whilst the Heavyweight bout is the big attention grabber it's not the only bout on the show, far from it in fact. As well as the Heavyweight we also have a brilliant Japanese Lightweight clash between defending champion Yoshitaka Kato (26-5-1, 7) and the big punching Yuhei Suzuki (14-3, 11). For Suzuki this is a chance to avenge his most recent loss, for Kato it's a chance to get back to winning ways after losing his OPBF title to Masayoshi Nakatani last time out.
There are two other bouts of note on this card. One of those sees the once touted Kenji Kubo (3-2-1, 1) taking on Atsushi Hosogai (6-7) whilst the other will see Japanese ranked Yusuke Sakashita (11-4-2, 7) battle against Hideyuki Watanabe (7-5-2, 5).
(Image courtesy of http://www.kadoebi.com/)
One of the most interesting weeks in the year so far comes to an end on a relatively quiet Sunday which features a show in both Japan and the Philippines. Neither of the shows are particularly significant but both promise some genuinely interesting action.
In Japan the show is a "Barrier JAPAN" promotion which features 7 bouts, including 5 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds.
Of the 4 rounds bouts only one stands out as notable and that's the all debutant Welterweight clash which features the 18 year old Yuki Hamajima (0-0). We're not certain who Hamajima's opponent will be but we are aware that it will be another debutant.
As well as the 4 rounders we also get a pair of 8 rounders. The first of those will see Japan's Burning Ishii (4-1-1, 1) taking on OPBF ranked Filipino Leonardo Doronio (12-9-2, 7) who puts his #11 OPBF Lightweight ranking on the line. Although Doronio has a poor looking record he does hold very recent wins over Jeffrey Arienze and Jose Ocampo though he did lose to Ronald Pontillas last time out. Whilst Doronio hasn't a great record Ishii isn't in great form and is win-less in his last 2 bouts though has got the ability to beat Doronio if he's on form.
The other 8 rounder will see a battle of ranked fighters as the OPBF #13 ranked Lightweight Accel Sumiyoshi (4-2, 1) battles the Japanese #5 ranked Kota Tokunaga (11-2, 8). This, like the other 8 rounder, looks really interesting though Tokunaga needs to go in to this as the clear favourite. The winner would be expected to receive rankings with both organisations though of course beating another ranked fighter is never easy.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines we're treat to an 8 fight show promoted by Elorde Int'l Productions.
The main event here sees Vergel Nebran (11-7-1, 7) taking on Menard Zaragosa (6-16-1, 4) in an 8 round bout. This will be Nebran's first contest since being stopped, controversially, by former world champion Tomas Rojas last year and we'd expect him to return to the ring with a victory over the limited Zaragosa who is best known for needing the toilet mid-fight against John-Mark Apolinario.
Another bout of note from this card is a 6 rounder from the under-card that features novice Jun Blazo (1-0, 1) who is being moved in to the 6 round distance despite still being a real novice. Blazo will be facing Roy Lagrada (2-6-1, 2) who may have a losing record but has a clear edge in experience. If Blazo can take an early win here it'd be expected but still somewhat impressive to see such a novice fighting moving in to 6 rounders eary in their career.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
It's rare that we get no Asian cards but this Saturday is one such day, thankfully however we do have a number of notable Asian fighters in around the world in some very, very good looking fights with some real significance.
With no cards of note taking place in Asia the most significant card for us, by a long way, is the Zanfer Promociones card in Sonora which features two notable fights involving Asian fighters.
The bigger of those two bouts will see Filipino Richie Mepranum (27-3-1, 6) challenge unified Flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada (25-2, 18). Estrada is the reigning the WBO and WBA "super" champion at Flyweight and will be the big, big favourite against the Filipino but Mepranum has fought at this type of level before having already faced Denkaosan Kaovichit, Julio Cesar Miranda and Hernan "Tyson" Marquez, in fact Mepranum is 1-1 with "Tyson" Marquez.
Interestingly for Estrada this will be his second successive defence against a Filipino having beaten Milan Melindo last time out in a very competitive bout in Macau.
Having just mentioned Hernan "Tyson" Marquez (36-4, 26) it's worth noting that he will be in the second fighting involving an Asian as he battles former Bantamweight title challenger John Mark Apolinario (17-3-3, 4), who was bested by Koki Kameda last year. Apolinario is, like Mepranum, also a Filipino.
The fact Apolinario was hurt and dropped by Koki doesn't bode well for him here and it's going to be hard to see him lasting the distance with Marquez who is a fearsome and hard punching machine. Though we wish him the best of look in what we view as the toughest bout of his career so far.
Mexico City, Mexico
A second card in Mexico that features Asian fighters will take place in Mexico City. Although not yet listed on boxrec the card does look like an interesting one.
For us the more significant of the bouts here features OPBF female Bantamweight champion Tenkai Tsunami (20-9, 9) who faces former adversary, and one of the elite female fighters on the planet, Jessica Chavez (19-3-3, 4). Tsunami lost a decision to Chavez last year and although the scorecards were wider than they should have been the right fighter did win. Interestingly Chavez, who is unbeaten in 3 years, could only manage a draw last time out whilst Tsunami looked revitalised in stopping Honey Katsumata in 7 rounds.
The other bout is sadly a mismatch as Filipino Ranel Suco (15-7-2, 6), last seen in a ring over a year ago, takes on the world class Julio Ceja (26-1, 24). Ceja has said he wants to fight Shinsuke Yamanaka and that would be a fight we'd be interested in, sadly this is little more than a stay busy affair for the powerful Mexican puncher.
Yorkshire, United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom fans will get the chance to see the Ricky Hatton trained Kazakh Bantamweight Zhanat Zhakiyanov (21-1, 14) attempt to claim the European title as he battles Frenchman Karim Guerfi (20-2, 5). Guerfi, who beat recent world title challenger Stephane Jamoye for the title, is a tricky and difficult customer who moves well, is tough and very tricky and could well upset the Zhakiyanov apple cart.
We've got to admit we're not 100% sure how a Kazakh qualifies to fight for the European title but it is what it is is we're afraid and a win here for the Zhakiyanov will put him into the world rankings.
In Germany, where the biggest card of the day in terms of world boxing, will be held fans will get the chance to see heavy handed Russian prospect Roman Belaev (13-0, 10). We really like the look of Belaev and he had a great work out last time out going 12 rounds with Dean Byrne. This time around Belaev is limited to just 6 rounds as he takes on the tough but light hitting Fouad El Massoudi (9-3, 1) in what should be a very easy assignment for the Russian puncher.
(Image courtesy of Zanfer and Notifight)
This week has been a funny one in the world of boxing with the stand out day of the week being a Wednesday which is pretty rare. Oddly though Wednesday isn't the only notable week day with some interesting action as Friday follows suit with a much anticipated world title rematch and a range of bouts across the globe.
The biggest show of the day, by a margin, is in Moscow as WBA Cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev (25-2, 19) seeks redemption over Panama's Guillermo Jones (39-3-2, 31). The men fought in an amazing war last year though the bout was shrouded in controversy regarding drug tests that found something in Jones's system effectively force the WBA to give Lebedev his title back despite the fact he was eventually stopped. If this bout is half as good as their first then we're in for a great fight.
In the chief support bout the once beaten Andrey Klimov (16-1, 8) takes on Francisco Contreras (22-4, 17) of the Dominican Republic. Contreras is best known to us for his opening KO loss to Jorge Linares late last year and we'd not be shocked if he suffered another, similar, loss to Klimov.
Although not one of the top 2 fights we think the pick of the fights here is the all prospect Middleweight clash between Russia's very own Arif Magomedov (10-0, 7) and promising Colombian Alex Theran (16-0, 9). Going in to this bout Theran has a top 10 ranking with the WBA and Magomedov will certainly be targeting that ranking with a victory here though it's clear that this will be his toughest bout so far.
Another notable bout on this show is the debut of former kick boxer Sergey Lipinets (0-0) who battles the experienced and tough Venezuelan Franklin Varela (21-14, 10). Varela, who has been in the ring with Anselmo Moreno and Scott Quigg amongst others, is an amazing test for Lipinets and should give us a glimpse as to whether or not the Russian has the ability to become a star in pro boxing.
Whilst the show in Moscow is clearly the more significant of two shows in Russia there is also one in Podolsk. This one is headlined by the unbeaten
Nikolay Potapov (11-0, 6) battling against Mexico's Martin Casillas (14-2, 8) in a 10 round bout at Bantamweight. In our eyes this is a good step up for the Russian prospect who is in with a genuinely live foe here.
A second notable bout on this show sees PABA Lightweight champion Roman Andreev (15-0, 11) taking on Mexico's Juan Antonio Rodriguez (26-4, 23) in what should be an explosive encounter. Rodriguez is the more experienced man, and a former WBC Youth champion, but Andreev has looked very heavy handed and is naturally bigger than the Mexican.
In another notable bout on this show Cruiserweight Maxim Maslov (13-1-1, 8) will battle journeyman Arturs Kulikauskis (13-18-3, 6) in what is likely to be be a one sided battle for Maslov. Although the bout is very one sided on paper Kulikauskis is tough and will be expected to to get a fair few rounds from Maslov.
As well as the Russian action we'll also be having notable fighters in the ring in Thailand where former WBC Minimumweight champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai (53-1-1, 19) will be defending his WBC International Super Flyweight title against Filipino Noli Morales (10-4, 3). This will be Oleydong's 8th defence of the title and remarkably it's his 19th bout since being beaten by Kazuto Ioka back in early 2011.
In Mexico we see yet another Russian in action as the unbeaten Andrey Meryasev (15-0, 11) takes on former Welterweight champion Carlos Manuel Baldomir (49-15-6, 15). Just shy of his 43rd birthday Baldomir isn't the fighter who once beat Zab Judah or Joshua Clottey but should still be the toughest test that the unbeaten Meryasev has faced so far. What makes this a little but more interesting is that it's the Russian's first fight in American and just his second outside of his homeland
On the same card fans will also get to see Mikhail Lopatyuk (1-0), also of Russia, take on the debuting Jesus Cupul (0-0).
(Image courtesy of Notifight and Hrunov)
Although the biggest action of the Asian boxing week is on Wednesday the action doesn't stop there and less than a day later action actually returns to Japan as we get an interesting, although not eye catching, show at the Korakuen Hall.
The show, a 7 fight card, is headlined by a bout with an international flavour to it as Japan's very own Tetsuma Hayashi (23-2-1, 7) takes on Thai visitor Samransak Singmanasak (35-22-1, 27). Hayashi, ranked #3 by the OPBF and #4 by the JBC at Flyweight, will be expected to record his 6th straight win though with the experience Samransak has this could be a little bit trickier than he'd have liked.
The chief support will be one of those bouts which should be more competitive than it looks on paper. On paper it looks certain that Ken Achiwa (8-11-2, 2) will be the next victim of Ganbare Shota (10-4-1, 2) though Achiwa has been in with top competition and has given good fighters, like Yohei Tobe and Suguru Muranaka and this experience could be used to help him give Shota a very tough test.
A third notable bout on this show will see Ryota Itoyama (10-5, 5), a Japanese ranked Welterweight, fight against Norimitsu Ebine (9-7-1, 6). For Itoyama this bout is about putting a recent loss to Yasuyuki Akiyama behind him whilst for Ebine this is a chance to get a second win after losing 5 of his last 6 bouts.
Yet another interesting contest on this card will see Japanese ranked Super Featherweight Keiichi Izumi (13-6, 4) take on Ribo Takahata (9-4-1, 2). Izumi lost a majority decision last year to Rikki Naito and will be hoping to get a rematch with the current Japanese Super Featherweight champion later this year. Interestingly Takahata has alternated wins and losses for his last 8 fights and is due to win this one if that run of form continues.
This card is promoted by Hideki Todaka.
(Promoter courtesy of http://boxmob.jp)
As we all know top level boxing is rare to see on a week day. This week however is no normal week and rather brilliantly we have two world title fights in Japan and a world ranked fighter in action on a tremendously exciting Wednesday in the world of boxing
Technically the day has two cards but there is only one that will have fans really talking, that's the one in the Castle Hall, Osaka which really is one of the highlight shows of the year so far.
The first of 3 notable bouts on the show feature the world ranked Lightweight Takahiro Ao (25-3-1, 12). Ao, a former world champion at Featherweight and Super Featherweight is hoping to, one day, capture a Lightweight title though will need to over-come Mexican Marco Lopez (23-3, 14) here if that dream is continue. Ao is a talented fighter but blows hot and cold. His talent is obvious and wins over Oscar Larios, Vitali Tajbert, Devis Boschiero and Terdsak Kokietgym prove that but losses to Larios, Gamaliel Diaz and Elio Rojas do leave some questions about whether or not he is truly a world level talent.
After Ao's bout we get the first of the world title fights as the popular and fun to watch Hozumi Hasegawa (33-4, 15) attempts to claim the IBF Super Bantamweight title. Hasegawa, one of Japan's most popular fighters, will be up against it as he takes on the heavy handed and hard nosed Kiko Martinez (30-4, 22) who will be defending his title for the second time. We're expecting, due to the styles of these two men, that this will be a scintillating affair with both men throwing a lot of leather though we simply can't image the contest going the scheduled 12 rounds.
Although Hasegawa is always going to be a popular figure in Japanese boxing a win would make him just the second ever 3-weight world champion from Japan and would further enhance his reputation as a modern day Japanese great.
The show's third major bout then sees the destructive Shinsuke Yamanaka (20-0-2, 15) in action. Yamanaka, one of the worlds hardest hitting fighters, will be seeking the 6th defence of his WBC Bantamweight title as he takes on former European champion Stephane Jamoye (25-4, 15) in what looks like an exciting but potentially one-sided contest. Jamoye is an exciting brawler who has come to Japan with a lot of confidence though it's hard to imagine him really testing "The god of Left"
As well as the show in Japan there is also a small show in the Philippines. The main even on this show will see Rey Ramos (6-4-2, 3) battling against veteran Richard Olisa (23-24-2, 12). This is a well matched bout but we'll be honest it's hard to care about the action in the Philippines considering what we have in Japan.
A new week in boxing kicks off slowly on Monday though has a lot of exciting looking fights later in the week. Unfortunately for Monday there is just one card and it's a Tokashiki promoted show in Japan.
The show, which was originally scheduled to feature 8 bouts, is now set to feature 7 bouts with the most notable of those being an excellent contest between the very highly touted Naoto Uebayashi (4-0-1, 2) and Indonesia's Anis Ceunfin (16-18-5, 6). Uebayashi is stepping up to the 10 round distance and many in Japan do tip him as a potential star, despite his draw in the B class final last year with Yusaku Kuga. We can't see Ceunfin really testing the Japanese fighter here.
Uebayashi's highly touted stablemate Hikaru Marugame (2-0, 1) was scheduled to be on this card though we've been told that his bout with Falazona Fidal (25-39-1, 8) is now off, though no reason has been given to us sadly.
Despite Marugame being out we do have another promising youngster on the show as the 18 year old Ryuji Ikeda (6-1-1, 2), who is #15 in Japan at Lightweight, takes on the unbeaten Kenta Onjo (2-0, 2). Both men will be fighting in their first 8 rounder though for Ikeda we know he can do 5 round, Onjo has never been beyond 2 rounds and a win for him would be huge. Very interesting bout and the winner will certainly be tipped to climb the national rankings quickly this year.
Whilst we often get busy days in Asian boxing we tend to find that the action is almost always in either Japan or the Philippines. This Sunday however the action is shared between Japan and China with both holding a number of bouts, albeit at a somewhat middling to low level.
When we said that the day was full of low to mid level bouts we've got to be honest we weren't joking and in fact the most interesting "bout" of the day is a public exhibition that sees Teiru Kinoshita (19-0-1, 3) sharing the ring with OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Shingo Wake (16-4-2, 9). This exhibition is being used as a chance to keep Kinoshita sharp ahead of an IBF world title fight with South Africa's Zolani Tete (18-3, 16).
The main competitive contest on this show will instead be a contest between Japanese and OPBF ranked Lightweight Kazuya Murata (8-4, 3) and Hirokazu Okajima (8-3-2, 4). On paper this looks like a really good match up though Murata is certainly in the better form of the men having won his last 3 whilst Okajima has won just 1 if his last 4. It's a good enough match up but it's not a headline bout on what is otherwise a very uninteresting card, other than the exhibition bout which will likely be the highlight of the show.
From where we're sat the most interesting, and potentially the best, fight of the day takes place at the Act City venue in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka. The bout in question sees former OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Roli Gasca (21-4-1, 6) return to Japan for his 5th bout in the country. At the moment Gasca holds a 1-2-1 record in Japan, with the two losses coming to Yukinori Oguni and a draw with Akifumi Shimoda, he'll be hoping to pick up a win as he takes on the significantly less proven Yuta Horiike (9-1-3, 2). Horiike is unbeaten in 8 but has never fought someone of Gasca's ability before.
Other, semi interesting, bouts on this card will see Michiya Sato (10-5-4, 6) fight against Shota Suito (8-3-1, 1) and Yuki Tsuge (12-3, 6) fighting against the once beaten Hideo Sakamoto (13-1-2, 3). Unfortunate neither of these contests, nor the main event, features a puncher so the crowd may well end up seeing a lot of long, drawn out contests
The longest of 4 Japanese cards is being held at the Sumiyoshi Ward Center in Osaka city and will feature an eye popping 11 bouts including 3 bouts with fighters who have some of the best names in Japanese boxing.
One of those 3 men is the hard hitting Jumbo Oda Nobunaga Shoten Petagine (8-1, 7) who looks to record his sixth straight stoppage as he takes on the tough Shohei Kanemoto (8-7-1, 3) in the shows headline bout. Another of the notable fighters is the baby faced Cyborg Nawatedani (6-2-2, 3) who battles the much more experienced Sho Nakazawa (17-10-2, 1). The final great name in action is Koki Tyson Maebara (5-1-1, 5) who faces Hiroshi Ohashi (7-7, 3) in a 6 rounder.
Not only doe Petagine, Nawatedani and Maebara have great names but they are all talented and are all putting their Japanese rankings on the pine in their fights here making this arguably the most important show of the day, at least in Asia.
The remaining Japanese show is at the Cover Plaza in Kasuga, Fukuoka. This show, a 7 bout card, is probably the least interesting of the day with the stand out bout being between Tatsuya Fukuhara (12-4-3, 3) and Akiyoshi Kanazawa (11-2-3, 5). If you recognise Fukuhara it's because he was the debut opponent of Takuma Inoue who scored a near shut out over him. It's a pretty evenly matched bout but it is quite difficult to care too much about it.
Although the most interesting part of this card is arguably the scheduled appearance of Japanese boxing legend Yoko Gushiken. We're not sure on what Gushiken's role in the show is but it it's always great to see him around.
As well as the 4 shows in Japan their is also a monster show in Kunming, China. The show, which features a staggering 13 bouts isn't just long with 12 scheduled contests but is also mega interesting with is being a Zovi show with the promoter looking to begin the journey of a new Chinese boxing star.
Rather than try and use recognised fighters for this show the promoter has instead matched 23 debutants and 3 novice fighters. The most experienced man on this show is Yang Xing Xin (6-3-2, 4) who competes in his 12th contest as he takes on the debuting Hu En Tu (0-0) in the show's only 6 round bout.
We're hoping that this is a great success. China is, despite Xiong Zhao Zhong and Zou Shiming, the untapped market of Asian boxing and if a real talent can be found from the mainland it'd be fantastic for the sport in China and could lead to a revolution in not Asian boxing but world boxing.
(image courtesy of Zovi Boxing)