This coming Saturday is a mouth watering weekend for hardcore fight fans who are in for treat if they can find some of the bouts on TV.
Distrito Federal, Mexico
The most meaningful bout featuring an Asian comes from Mexico where we see WBC Light Flyweight champion Ganigan Lopez (27-6, 17) defending his belt against Filipino slugger Jonathan Taconing (22-2-1, 18). For Lopez this is a baptism of fire for his first defense whilst Taconing finally gets his second shot at a world title. Potentially this is a FOTY contender and really could be something very special.
The bout in Mexico isn't the only only of note featuring an Asian and may actually have a serious contender for the fight of the weekend status featuring another two Asian's.
That other potential fire cracker will see OPBF Flyweight champion Ardin Diale (31-9-3, 15) face off against fast rising Japanese star Daigo Higa (9-0, 9) in one of the bouts that we have been hoping to see all year. A couple of years ago Diale was in a FOTY contender with Higa's stablemate Koki Eto, losing in a crazy 8th round, and Higa will be looking for similar success here as he looks to continue his rise through the ranks. For Diale it's a chance to get some revenge of Shirai Gushiken Sports Gym and continue his reign, and work his way towards another potential world title fight.
On the under card of this Japanese card fight fans will see Junki Sasaki (15-3, 6) battle against Reiko Sugiyama (7-5-3, 5) in one of the very few supporting bouts of note.
Unfortunately a mouth watering match up between Ryuto Maekawa (11-0-1, 7) and Ryuto Oho (9-2-1, 2) has been cancelled following an injury to Maekawa, though we have been informed that the bout will be rescheduled.
On a second Japanese card fight fans will get the chance to see two notable names in action.
One of the notable names is former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Rikki Naito (14-1, 5) who faces Argie Toquero (9-4-2, 7). This will be Naito's second bout since losing the Japanese title last year to Kenichi Ogawa and should be a straight forward win for the talented 24 year old, who will be fighting for the first time this year.
The other notable name on this show is former OPBF and Japanese Light Middleweight champion Charles Bellamy (25-3-1, 17), who faces Elfelos Vega (6-3, 4). This will be Bellamy's first bout this year and is likely to help kick start his career after some issues out of the ring. The talented Japanese based American should over-come Vega relatively easily, given that Vega has lost 2 of his last 3.
New South Wales, Australia
Back on the road there is also action in Australia with several Asian fighters.
One of those Asian's is Joebert de los Reyes (15-6-1, 10) who faces off against Darragh Foley (8-2, 6) for the WBA Oceania Light Welterweight title. On paper this doesn't look anything special but the reality is that both men have something to gain here, and de los Reyes is looking to avenge a 2015 defeat to Foley, this really could be an intriguing bout.
Two other Asian fighters clash in a female bout as Filipino Gretchen Abaniel (16-8, 6) faces Thailand's Petcharas Superchamp (6-0, 1) for the GBU and WIBA Minimumweight titles. On paper Abaniel will be favoured given her edger in experience though the Thai will likely feel confident of continuing her unbeaten run.
In Tokyo fans get another card at the Korakuen Hall with this one featuring two notable names.
In the main event fight fans will see Yuki Beppu (12-0, 12) attempt to continue his stoppage run as he takes on Thai visitor Wajana Kiewon (0-1). Welterweight puncher Beppu won the Rookie of the Year back in 2014 and added 3 KO's last year, with this bout being his second of 2016. Whilst not a big name the Japanese fighter is chasing the Japanese KO run of Tsuyoshi Hamada, who ran up 15 straight KO's. Kiewon will be hoping to end Beppu's run, which has already seen the local stop 2 other Thai's.
In a supporting bout fight fans will see former Japanese Bantamweight title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (23-6-4, 16) face a Thai foe. We have loved following Takahashi since he lost to Kentaro Masuda in a thrilling title fight and since then he has gone unbeaten, with a run of 5-0-1. Unfortunately we know nothing in regards to Takahashi's opponent for the bout.
As well as the action in Japan there also seems to be a card in Thailand, with the focus on Kazakh fighters.
One of those Kazakh's is Alexandr Zhuravskiy (11-2, 9) who faces Indonesian journeyman Stevie Ongen Ferdinandus (20-11-1-1, 9) in a bout for the PABA Welterweight title. Zhuravskiy will be fighting in Thailand for the 4th time, and will be looking to record his third win in the country whilst Ferdinandus will be looking for his first win in country, on what will be his fifth visit.
Another Kazakh in action is Yernar Yeshenov (2-0, 1),who fights in a third country in as many fights. The unbeaten 21 year old will be up against Thai local Natthawut Arunsuk (8-6, 4), aka Chingchai Kiatpracha, who is 2-5 in his last 7 bouts.
Khon Kaen, Thailand
Attention turns back to Thailand this week with a card from Khon Kaen which has a genuine fantastic looking Minimumweight title bout, as well as two notable fighters in supporting bouts.
In the main event we see a really mouth watering match up as unbeaten Thai Knockout CP Freshmart (12-0, 6) faces Nicaraguan fighter Byron Rojas (17-2-3, 8) for the WBA Minimumweight title. Coming in to this one Knockout is the interim champion whilst Rojas is the “real champion”, saying that however this will only be Rojas's second world title bout whilst Freshmart will be in his 5th “world” title bout. For Rojas the bout will be a chance to build on his upset win over Hekkie Budler whilst Knockout finally gets his shot at the main WBA title.
In a supporting bout Thailand's touted Palangpol CP Freshmart (11-1, 7) will be in a stay busy bout against Filipino foe Vincent Bautista (4-4-3, 1). Bautista was stopped last time he was in Thailand, losing in 5 rounds to Petch Sor Chitpattana and we expect something similar here with Palangpol almost certainly being too heavy handed for the visitor.
One other notable bout on this card will see the highly experienced Noknoi Sitthiprasert (57-4, 35) battle against Samuel Tehuayo (19-37-2, 4), in what is surprisingly their first contest against each other. Coming in to this one the Indonesian warrior will be the clear under-dog whilst the Thai seeks a 57th straight win!
One of the final Japanese shows of the month is the next in the Dangan series of shows and features a number of interesting match ups, despite not being a major show in the slightest.
The most interesting bout, at least in our eyes, is the nominal main event which will feature the debut of Teiken promoted 21 year old Kenshin Oshima (0-0), who will be up against Naoto Mizutani (3-1, 1). Oshima hasn't really had a lot of hype ahead of his debut but the youngster will be in a 5 rounder to kick things off and some have suggest that he's another Bantamweight to make a note of for the long term.
In another 5 rounder from this card fans will see Yuichiro Sano (4-3-2, 1) battle Ryusei Ishii (5-2, 3) in what looks like an interesting Featherweight bout. Again this may not have a pair of established names involved in it but does looks like a competitive bout that both men will give their all in.
This coming Sunday is an incredibly hectic day for fight fans hoping to follow the Asian fight scene with bouts across the Orient, stretched across 4 countries and 5 cards.
Seoul, South Korea
For many the most notable card will be a show from Seoul which will feature several notable Japanese fighters and be streamed over youtube.
The most notable name on the card is former world title challenger Satoshi Hosono (31-2-1, 20) who faces off against Indonesian journeyman Rasmanudin (19-15-3, 10). For Hosono the bout is likely to be a tune up bout before a potential world title eliminator later in the year. Sadly the once promising Rasmanudin appears to be shot to pieces.
Another notable name on this card is the highly touted Koki Inoue (3-0, 3), the cousin of Naoya and Takuma Inoue. The unbeaten and heavy handed Japanese fighter will be stepping up in class for face Korean puncher Hyun Woo Yuh (5-1, 5), in what is a genuinely credible match up for both men. Yuh did lose last time out, losing a narrow decision to Sonny Katiandagho, but will be looking to make a name for himself here.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
In the Philippines fans will get the chance to see prospects in action.
One of those prospects is the unbeaten Mike Plania (10-0, 4), who risks his unbeaten record against the more experienced Romulo Ramayan Jr (7-6-3, 3). Plania is showing serious signs of becoming a prospects of note but at just 19 we are some time from seeing him really being tested. Sadly Ramayan is unlikely to ask anything of Plania here.
Another 19 year old rising through the ranks is puncher Raymart Gaballo (13-0, 11), who will be up against veteran fighter Jilo Merlin (13-26-2, 2) in an 8 rounds. Merlin has been stopped in 14 of his 26 losses and it's hard to see him surviving with the hard hitting Gaballo. One other prospect on this card is the once beaten Romero Duno (9-1, 8) who faces Eusebio Baluarte (19-15, 12) in what should be a very easy assignment for the 20 year old Duno.
In Japan fans get two shows,one of which is in Wakayama and headlined by former OPBF title challenger Eita Kikuchi (19-4-4, 8), who faces Kazuki Fukakura (9-10-2, 3) in what looks like a mismatch, Kikuchi, who lost to Shingo Wake back in 2013, has run off 5 straight wins and will be hoping to extend that run here. A win for Fukakura would be his biggest and best to date,
On the same card fans will get the chance to see the promising Shohei Kawashima (13-0-2, 3) look for his 8th win as he takes on Yoshiyuki Takabayashi (8-7, 3) in what looks like a good test for the unbeaten man. Takabayashi has lost his last 4 but does have the ability to perform better than his record suggests and he may well be able to ask serious questions of the unbeaten man.
The other Japanese show comes from Fukuoka and is headlined by Koki Ono (10-3, 5), who faces Junya Nishikawa (7-7-2, 2). The bout is a well matched one, given that Ono has lost 2 of his last 4, but it's one with a clear favourite. Sadly however the rest of this card is entirely forgettable.
The day also comes with a Chinese card set to be headlined by two 8 rounders.
One of those 8 rounders will see unbeaten teenager Bingbing Cheng (5-0-1) battle against Que Xu (8-1-1, 2) in a Featherweight bout whilst the other 8 rounder will see Tao Weng (3-1-2) face off against Zhong Jie Niu (7-0, 2) at 140lbs, with the winners set to be moved towards notable bouts in the near future.
This Friday promises a lot, sadly however Saturday is a much less busy day.
The only Asian show will be in China and be one of the regional developmental cards that Bob Arum is putting on. The card will feature 10 bouts in total and will see bouts taking place across a number of weight classes.
One bout that has caught the eye is a 140lb clash between Leshan Li (7-2-1, 5), the most experienced man on the card, and Xue Liu (0-0) a debutant.
Although the only Asian card is in China there are Asian's fight in Australia.
One of those is Australian based Thai Paitoon Jaikom (5-18, 2), who will face Andrew Gosden (8-5-1, 5) for the WBF Asia Pacific Light Middleweight title. Jaikom is limited but appears to have been matched a bit more competitively here than he has in the past.
Another Thai on this card will be the limited Pramool Boonpok (1-21-1), who looks for his second win as he takes on Jason Kanofski (19-7-4, 3) in what looks like a clear mismatch.
This Friday is set to be a busy day in China with two shows, including a very notable card put together by Zovi boxing and Sampson boxing, in association with the WBA.
The more notable of the two Chinese cards is set to be held in the Chinese capital of Beijing and feature two world title fights.
For Chinese fans the biggest bout of the day sees fast rising Chinese fighter Qiu Xiao Jun (20-2, 9) battle for the WBA Super Bantamweight title as he takes on former world champion Nehomar Cermeno (23-5-1, 13). A win for Jun would see him becoming just the second Chinese man to become a world champion, though China has had several female world champions however Cermeno is a talented and tricky fighter, albeit one past his sell by date.
The Jun vs Cermeno bout isn't the only world title bout for the day was WBA Super Featherweight champion Javier Fortuna (29-0-1-1, 21) brings international attention to China as he faces Jason Sosa (18-1-4, 14). For Fortuna the bout is a chance to move towards a clash with “Super” champion Jezreel Corrales and a chance to extend his unbeaten record, and possibly impress by stopping a man who recently went the distance with Nicholas Walters. For Sosa the bout will be his first would title fight and could see him claiming a major title.
On the under-card we get another two title fights. One of those will see Xu Can (8-2) face Corey McConnell (15-1-1, 2) in a bout for two regional WBA titles at 130lbs whilst another will see Alesia Graf (27-5, 12) battle against Noemi Bosques (10-6-2, 2) in a bout for a WBA International female title.
On a second Chinese show in Nanning fight fans will see several more title bouts.
On paper the most interesting of those will see English Heavyweight slugger Ian Lewison (11-2-1, 7) battle against unbeaten Chinese fighter Zhi Yu Wu (7-0, 1) for the WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight title. The bout sees Lewis fighting in Asia for the first time, despite the travel he should over-come Wu, who is fighting for just the third time in more than 4 years.
Another good looking title bout on this card sees unbeaten Chinese local Xiang Xiang Sun (7-0, 5) battle once beaten Thai youngster Campee Phayom (9-1, 7) for the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Light Welterweight crown. Phayom was beaten last time out, losing a decision to Li Quan Lin in Hong Kong but will be coming in to this one with that experience behind him, whilst Sun is stepping up slightly here.
Another title bout will see Xiang Jing (8-4-2, 1) faces Filipino foe Joel Taduran (7-3-1, 1) for the WBO Oriental Flyweight title. Whilst the records may not suggest anything special here we are expecting a competitive match up between two fighters looking to prove themselves.
As well as the Chinese action there is also a show in Japan which is headlined by former world title challenger Hidenori Otake (25-2-3, 12) facing off against South American visitor Hernan Cortez (9-8-3, 2). It's hard to see anything but a win for Otake here
Outside of Asia fans will be able to see Filipino fighter Cris Alfante (11-5-1, 4) battle the unbeaten Andrew Moloney (7-0, 4) in what looks like a very tall ask for the 24 year old Filipino, who has won just 1 of his last 6 bouts.
This coming week look likely to be an interesting one for boxing, after a relatively quiet week, and it kicks off tomorrow, in Japan with a card headlined by a very good looking bout.
In the main event fight fans will see former Japanese and OPBF Lightweight champion Yoshitaka Kato (29-7-1, 9) battle against the once beaten, and currently world ranked, Brandon Ogilvie (16-1, 8). Coming in to this one Kato has lost his last two and will know that he cannot afford a third successive loss, however Ogilvie will be confident of winning, especially given the recent performance by fellow Aussie Dwight Ritchie in Japan.
In a supporting bout former Japanese Flyweight title challenger Yusuke Sakashita (14-6-2, 9) will be up against Seiya Fujikita (8-3, 1). Fujita has lost his last two bouts, but both were very close decisions, and will know that he's better than his record suggests. Sakashita on the other hand is 2-2 in his last 4, though those wins came against very limited opponents.
One other bout worth noting here will see the unbeaten, and promising Wataru Takeda (8-0-1, 2) face off against Yuki Furuya (6-7, 2). Takeda, who is on an 8 fight winning run, is stepping up to fight in his first 8 rounder and will know that a win here will push him up the domestic rankings. As for Furuya, he is fighting for the first time since November 2014 and is win-less in almost 8 years.
This coming Sunday features two Japanese shows.
One of those shows is set to take place at the Central Sports Park Gym in Ibaragi.
In the main event fight fans will see the affable Japanese based American Brandon Lockhart Shane (7-4, 6) face off against former world title challenger Makoto Fuchigami (22-11, 13). For Shane the bout is a huge step up but it's fair to say that Fuchigami is a long way removed from the man who won a thriller with Koji Sato back in 2011. In fact Fuchigami is 3-5 in his last 8 and looks like a fighter who is shot.
Sadly other than the main event there is little on this card worth noting.
The only other card in Japan is a Central Japan Rookie of the year card, set to feature 6 bouts. The card isn't a big one but should see fighters take their next step towards, potentially, becoming the All Japan Rookie of the Year.
The only action this Saturday comes from Laguna, in the Philippines.
In the main event of the card we see title action as Renren Tesorio (15-7-3, 4) faces off against Lester Abutan (9-5-3, 5) for the GAB Light Flyweight title. Coming in to this one Tesorio is the defending champion but was last seen in Japan, being beaten into submission by Daigo Higa and may well have lasting effects from that hard bout.
In a supporting bout Raymond Sermona (17-6-5, 8) will be up against Gilbert Donasales (6-11-1, 4), with Sermona looking to end a 2 fight losing streak.