St Petersburg, Russia
In Russian we'll see Uzbek contender Shohjahon Ergashev (18-0, 16) fight in a stay busy bout as he takes on Belarusian Dzmitry Miliusha (9-3-1, 4). The last time out we saw Ergashev blast out Adrian Estrella, in January, and since then he has sadly been inactive and seemingly getting a little bit frustrated as comments from fans.
This bout won't do much to convince fans that Ergashev's competition is getting better, but will keep him busy whilst he awaits for a bigger fight. With that in mind it is worth noting that there are rumours that he has got a potential bout set against Batyrzhan Jukembayev (18-0-0-2, 14) in November, though obviously he needs to get through this one with out any issues first.
Aioi Hall, Kariya, Aichi, Japan
We get more Rookie of the Year action on Monday as we return to Aichi for the Central Japan Rookie of the Year Finals. This event is actually a split event, with the event being broken up into two different events due to the on going global situation, with one part having 4 bouts and the other having 5 bouts. It's due to this split event idea that the bouts won't run in typical Rookie order, where the first bout is at Minimumweight.
For the sake of this we'll be looking at the best of the 9 bouts, rather than looking at them as two different events.
One of the most interesting bouts comes at 130lbs where Kazuki Higuchi (4-1, 2) and Kazuki Hase (5-1-1, 3) clash. Due to the fact both of these men have 4, or more, wins this will be fought over 5 rounds, and should be a very interesting bout in the ring. Unlike many bouts this is more just a bout between two men, this is actually a rematch between the two men, with Hase giving Higuchi his sole defeat last year. Expect this one to be hotly contested and have some extra fire on it.
At Middleweight we're expecting to see fireworks as Denis Robert Maeoka (1-0, 1) and Norifumi Hayakawa (1-0, 1) face off. The 33 year old Maeoka debuted in November 2019 and has just 70 seconds of professional experience under his belt. Hayakawa on the other hand is a 26 year old who debuted in August and has just 98 seconds of experience. We expect both guys to come out swinging and this could be over in an instant.
A third bout we like the look of is an all southpaw bout at Light Flyweight, where the 24 year old Hayato Yamazaki (2-1, 1) takes on 21 year old Kaito Kakumu (2-0, 1). Sadly neither of these men have fought this year, but both will be hungry to make a mark here. Yamazaki's loss came at Flyweight, and he has dropped down in weight since then, with the feeling being he's more suited to 108lbs. Kakumu on the other hand looks to be a solid fighter at 108lbs and has shown some genuine promise and potential. We think this could be a very well fought bout over 4 rounds.
Capio, Tsukuba, Ibaragi, Japan
This coming Sunday we see two cards in Japan. Neither are big, though the most notable of those comes from Ibaragi.
The main event will see former Japanese title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (31-9-6, 21) take on Hibiki Jogo (10-2, 5) in an 8 round match up. Aged 31 Takahashi is probably coming to the end of his career, but the teak tough and exciting Bantamweight may manage to have one more charge towards a title fight. Takahashi is currently in the JBC and WBO Asia Pacific rankings, but will know a loss here would likely see him being removed from those. Jogo on the other hand came runner up in the 2016 Rookie of the Year and despite a set back in 2018 has won 3 in a row to give him some momentum here. We suspect Takahashi will be the favourite here, but we do imagine he'll have to work for the win.
In a brilliant Light Flyweight bout we'll see 2018 Rookie of the Year winner Daiki Kameyama (7-4-1, 2) take on the very, very highly regarded and talented youngster Ryu Horikawa (2-0-1, 1). This has the potential to be the show stealing bout here. Since winning Rookie of the Year Kameyama has struggled for form, losing to Shokichi Iwata and Yuga Inoue, but will see this as a chance to end that slide. Horikawa on the other hand looked sensational in his win over Yuki Nakajima and was very unlucky last time out against Xiang Li, in a draw. This could be a very exciting bout.
The third bout of real interest here will see 2019 Rookie of the Year runner up Yuta Ashina (4-2) take on Yuya Nemoto (6-8-3, 1). Despite losing last December Ashina showed enough to want to follow him and it'll be interesting to see how he looks here, and he's incredibly exciting for those who haven't seen him. Aged 34 and with just 1 win in his last 7 it's easy to assume that Nemoto isn't won't be competitive, but Nemoto did score a win last time out and is unbeaten in his last 3. We suspect Ashina will be asked questions by the veteran, but should still take the win here with his aggression and work rate
Green Tsuda Gym, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The other Japanese card is a West Japan Rookie of the Year show from the Green Tsuada Gym, with 9 bouts on this card. This is the second Rookie of the Year card at the Osakan gym in recent days, following one last weekend.
The most interesting of the bouts on this show, for us, is a Super Bantamweight clash between the unbeaten Sora Fukunaga (5-0, 2) and the stop of be stopped Shuya Kuwabuchi (2-1, 2). The 22 year old Fukunaga debuted in 2018 and since then has barely dropped a round, and shown improving power, stopping his last 2. Kuwabuchi on the other hand has yet to see the final bell, but was stopped last time out. We expect fireworks here.
Another Rookie bout on this card worthy of attention will be the debut of Daichi Morino (0-0), who takes on 20 year old Yasuhiro Kanzaki (3-1, 1) at Flyweight. Morino turns pro after running up a 2-1 amateur record and it'll be interesting to see how he looks here as he begins his professional career. As for Kanzaki he started his career perfectly, with 3 straight wins, but did lose last time out and will be desperate to get back to winning ways here.
Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut, USA
There's not much Asian action this coming Saturday but we do have an appearance from one of the few notable Mongolian fighters currently in the pro-ranks.
The bout in question will see once beaten Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-1, 9) battle against unbeaten 28 year old Cobia Breedy (15-0, 5) in a WBC world title eliminator!
For Nyamabayar the bout is his first since losing to WBC Featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr earlier this year and he'll be looking to make a statement following that loss. On the other hand Breedy is an aggressive and exciting fighter who will be looking to make the most of a big opportunity here. The styles of the bout should gel to give us a real tear up, with Nyambayar's power and strength going up against Breedy's work rate and inside work. Although not a huge match up, it should be very exciting.
It's worth noting that originally the plan had been for Nyamabayar to face Mexican Eduardo Ramirez (23-2-3, 10) in a world title eliminator, though Ramirez was removed and replaced by Breedy about a month before the contest.
As well as the action in the US there is also some lower profile action in Barnaul that is worthy of some attention.
One bout worthy of note is a 10 round Super Flyweight bout with Turat Osmonov (3-0, 3) taking on Artem Tkachenko (5-0, 3). The 26 year old Osmonov is a baby faced fighter from Kyrgyzstan who debuted last October, and has picked up 3 quick wins against very low level competition. On the other hand Tkachenko has been a professional for 2 years and this is the first time he will be facing a fighter with a winning record. Whilst this is a low level fight it will be a chance to see what the two men can do against someone who is looking to pick up a win.
Another fighter from Kyrgyzstan in action on this card will be Sardar Atakishiev (6-0, 4), though sadly his opponent hasn't yet been announced. The 27 year old has faced very limited competition since his 2019 debut and hopefully he will face a genuine test sooner rather than later.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Wednesday we get the latest show from Ohashi, who put on their third card since boxing returned to Japan in July. This card lacks a "big name" has go some real talent on it, including a Rookie of the Year winner. From what we gather this card is very much a developmental card, but we won't complain given the inexperience of the prospects involved.
The most notable of the prospects on this card is the hard hitting Kazuki Nakajima (8-0-1, 7), who looks to build on his win in the God's Left Bantamweight tournament back in January. The unbeaten Nakajima will be up against 23 year old Kenta Nomura (7-3, 3), in an 8 round Super Bantamweight bout. We'll admit we felt Nakajima was very lucky to get a draw against Seiya Tsutsumi in January, and was announced the tournament winner on the tie breaker rules, but we have been impressed by Nakajima in the past and suspect he'll show what he can do here. He's basic, but very heavy handed, and very exciting. Nomura is the naturally bigger man, but with 3 losses in his last 6, and 2 by stoppage, it's hard to imagine him surviving 8 rounds with Nakajima here.
Another 8 rounder will see the unbeaten Katsuya Yasuda (6-0, 4) face off with Japanese based Venezuelan Omrri Bolivar (8-3, 3). The talented Yasuda turned professional with some pretty high expectations on his shoulders, but a lack of activity has seen the 28 year old have a career that feels like it has stalled, several times. He turned professional in 2017 and fought twice that year before only fighting once in 2018, then taking 10 months before returning to the ring. He's talented, but needs to get his career back on track quickly, and win here would be a great starting place for that. Bolivar once showed some promised but with stoppage losses in his last 2, and 3 of his last 6, it's hard to see him holding his own with the talented Yasuda.
Arguably the diamond among the rough on this show is 2019 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner at Minimumweight, Katsuki Mori (6-0, 1). The talented, smooth, highly skilled and gorgeous to watch Mori will be fighting for the first time since his Rookie triumph as he takes on the much more experienced Yuki Uchida (7-7, 1) in a 6 rounder. We were really impressed by Mori last year and the 20 year old has the potential to be a genuine contender in the coming years. He is one of the most gifted young fighters we've seen compete in Rookie of the Year in recent years. In Uchida we'll see Mori in with a 27 year old who has shared the with a number of notable fighters, such as Tsuyoshi Sato and Shin Tomita. Uchida will be there to win, and will be there to fight, however we do feel that Mori's advanced skills, and boxing brain, will be the difference here.
Green Tsuda Gym, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The Green Tsuda gym, of all places, hosts the next in the Rookie of the Year cards as we get a West Japan Rookie of the Year show featuring 9 bouts in total. According to boxrec this is the second time the Gym has been used to hold a show, with it previously being used way back in 2011!
In a Light Flyweight bout we see youngsters with very similar records face off as Koki Yoshikawa (4-1-1) and Hyogo Kimura (4-1, 1) clash. The 23 year old Yoshikawa comes into this on the back of 3 straight wins after going 1-1-1 in his first 3 and certainly has momentum on his side. Kimura on the other hand is 20 years old and after winning his first 4 saw his career hit the wall in September 2019 when he suffered his first professional loss, coming up short against Sho Hatsuda. This should be a very, very competitive match up.
In a Welterweight bout we'll see Seiryu Kureyama (1-0, 1) look to build on his debut win as he takes on the wonderfully named Bigbaby Okamoto (0-0). The 19 year old Kureyama made his debut last December, with a win over Kyosuke Yujima, and it's a real shame it's take so long for him to get back in the ring. There's very little out there on Okamoto, though we do know that he's 26 and this will be his debut. Typically Welterweight bouts in the Rookie of the Year are low level but very entertaining bouts, with hayemakers, from both, being a regular thing!
One other bout of note is at Featherweight, where 22 year old Kakeru Mio (4-2, 3) will be up against unbeaten 24 year old Yuta Nakatsuji (1-0, 1). Interestingly Mio is one of the two Green Tsuda gym fighters on this card, giving him a big home advantage, though he has has struggled in recent bouts, losing 2 of his last 3. As for Nakatsuji he's looking to build on his debut win last December, when he stopped Yuya Miyazaki, and the southpaw will know he's up against it here, literally in Mio's back yard.
Despite there being no massive action this coming Saturday we do have a scattering of fights featuring Asian fighters across the planet.
RCC Boxing Academy, Ekaterinburg, Russia
For us the most notable show this coming Saturday comes from Russia where we see a couple of Central Asian fighters in action.
The more notable of the two men is the once beaten Uzbek Ravshanbek Umurzakov (10-1, 7), who will be taking on the unbeaten Zoravor Petrosyan (8-0, 3). Last time out Umurzakov was upset by the unheralded Esneiker Correa, and he will be desperate to get back to winning ways here. Saying that however he's not in a gimme here and Petrosyan is a very talented young Ukrainian who has the ability to play the spoiler and pick up another win. This is not an easy bout for the Uzbek, especially coming in on the back of a confidence destroying TKO loss.
The other bout on this card featuring an Asian fighter will see Uzbek novice Ali Turgunaliyev (3-1, 2) take on Russian veteran Alexander Saltykov (12-60-3, 7). In his 2019 debut Turgunaliyev suffered a TKO loss, but since then he has managed to pick up 3 low quality wins and will be expected to pick up another here against the very limited Saltykov, who has lost 12 in a row.
Round 10 Boxing Club, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
In United Arab Emirates we have a really low quality show thanks to Round 10 Promotions, who have a case that is most novices. Although the show is a low key one there is a single bout worthy of attention on this card.
That bout will see 20 year old Hasibullah Ahmadi (9-0, 2), a Dubai based Afghan youngster, take on 30 year old Filipino Allan Piodena (9-2, 6), who returns to the ring more than 8 years after his last bout. The unbeaten Ahmadi is a well travelled, with fights as far afield as India, Ghana, Kenya and Kazakhstan, and is coming along well for a young prospect. Sadly however this is a total mismatch, it Piodena being an inactive, older, smaller man, who shouldn't be any sort of a test for the talented youngster.
Universum Gym, Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
In Germany we'll see the WBC allow one of their regional Asian titles to be fought for.
The bout in question will see Indian fighter Vikas Singh (9-1-1, 4) take on German puncher Ali Kiydin (11-1, 10) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Heavyweight title. The 33 year old Singh went unbeaten in his first 10 bouts before losing a decision in Australia last year to Aaron Russell. Sadly his competition, for the most part, has been dreadful and it's really hard to know what he has to offer. Kiydin on the other hand is a 29 year old who won his first 8 before being taken out in a round on the under-card of Amir Khan's bout with Billy Dib in 2019, in a brutal knockout. Since that loss Kiiydin has gone 3-0 (3) and looks an exciting, if flawed, fighter. This could be a very short but exciting fight!
The Bubble, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
We also see action in the bubble as Tajik fighter Aleem Jumakhonov (8-3-2, 4) takes on American Jorge Ramos (7-2-1, 4) in a decent looking, lower level bout. The 27 year old Jumakhonov was beaten last time he was in the bubble, losing a majority decision to Martino Jules, and is 1-2-1 in his last 4 against very solid competition. Interestingly the 21 year old Ramos is also 1-2-1 in his last 4 and has also faced some decent competition. This isn't an amazing bout, but it is a solid one and looks competitive, which is always a good thing!
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Tuesday we see action at Korakuen Hall once again as as Flash Akabane put on the next show in their "Over Heat Boxers Night" series. The card is certainly not a huge one, with just 6 fights in total, but there some interesting scheduled for the show.
The main event of the card will see magician-boxer Zirolian Riku (10-3, 9) take on Kanta Takenaka (7-5-1, 2), in what is a solid match up. The 32 year old Riku lost in the 2017 All Japan Rookie of the Year final to Musashi Mora, and struggled to rebuild after that loss, but has won his last two and is starting to see his profile grow again. In Takenaka we have a 23 year old who is desperately wanting to bounce back from a TKO loss to Kaiki Yuba back in January. We suspect Riku enters as the favourite but this is not a gimme for him, despite his edge in power.
In another good looking bout Yosuke Kawano (13-9-2, 7) clashes with Daichi Matsuura (7-5-2, 3). The 32 year old Kawano has lost 3 of his last 4 and will know that he needs a win here to get his career back on track. Despite those losses, he has repeatedly been competitive and is much, much better than his record suggests. Matsuura on the other hand has had some inconsistent performances. Last year he was blown out by Juiki Tatsuyoshi, inside a round, before later going 12 rounds with Chainoi Worawut. Both of these men can fight, but we suspect the consistency of Kawano, and his added power will be the difference in this one.
The two bouts mentioned are both 8 rounders, with the card having two more bouts scheduled for 8 and two scheduled for 4, in what we expect to be a very solid, if somewhat low level, domestic show.
This coming Sunday we get quite a bit of action with a televised card from Thailand and two shows from Japan, where we are well and truly in Rookie of the Year season!
Blue Arena, Samut Prakan, Thailand
One complain we've long had about the Thai scene is that we don't see enough good all-Thai match ups, with the country often relying on having a local fighter battle a limited foreign visitor. Thankfully that's not been possible recently and we have had some interesting all-Thai bouts in recent months as a result. We potentially get two more here.
In the main event of the card we'll see Campee Phayom (20-4-2, 12) defending his WBA Asia Super Featherweight title against former WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (53-8, 35). The 22 year old Campee is no world beater in the making, but he's a solid fringe regional level fighter who is getter and is starting to get some attention in Thailand. He needs to be stepped up and given developmental fights and that's sort of what we see this as. Aged 30 Pungluang is a little bit long in the tooth, but isn't a shot fighter in terms of his age, he is however a fighter fighting well above their best weight, and that will likely be the difference here. We suspect Pungluang will ask questions of the youngster, but lack the physical traits to be a danger to the developing Campee.
In a second all-Thai bout on this show the unbeaten Nattapong Jankaew (5-0, 3) will be defending his WBA Asia South Super Flyweight title against Samartlek Kokietgym (34-13-1, 12). For the 24 year old Nattapong this will be his first defense as he looks to build on an solid win earlier this year against John Kenan Villaflor. The champion is the younger, unbeaten and naturally bigger man, but Samarlek has significantly more experience and has faced the likes of Naoya Inoue and Akira Yaegashi. We suspect Samartlek's experience will see him asking questions of Nattapon, but suffer a 5th straight loss here against a talented young who will be looking to launch himself towards bigger and better fights over the next few years.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
At the Holy Land of Japanese boxing we have an East Japan Rookie of the Year card. In total there are, 9 bouts set for this card.
From the bouts on this card the one that interests us the most is the Flyweight bout between Kei Fujita (1-0, 1) and Shugo Namura (2-0, 2). From the 3 combined bouts these two have had so far not one has gone beyond 2 rounds. We expect this to be a shoot out!
Another bout worthy of noting here will see 19 year old Aito Abe (1-0, 1) fight for the second time, as he takes on he 35 year old Kentaro Omori (2-2, 1). For Abe this bout will see him looking to build on his debut win in November whilst Omori will be returning to the ring more than 4 years after his last bout, was was a loss back in April 2016 to Satoshi Tanaka. Amazingly Omori's last win came in June 2015, at that point in time Abe was just 14!
Sun Rise Park Gym, Saga, Saga, Japan
Over in Saga we get a Western Japan Rookie of the year show, with just 4 bouts scheduled for this card.
The bout that stands out here will see 21 year old Featherweight hopeful Hikaru Fukunaga (4-1, 4) take on 36 year old southpaw Kohei Suzuki (1-0-1). Fukunaga competed in last year's Rookie of the Year, and was 1 win away from reaching the All Japan final, losing to the brilliant Jinki Maeda. Given his experience from last year, along with his power and aggression Fukunaga has got to be among the favourites for the tournament. As for Suzuki he impressed in August when he beat the more experienced Majisuka Kosaka and will feel the confidence of an unbeaten man who has twice gone the 4 round schedule. This could be a genuine highlight for fans at the Sun Rise Park Gym.
On the total opposite end of the spectrum we are interested in the match up between Yoshitada Shimogishi (0-1) and Ryoki Terada (0-3), who clash at 140lbs. With both men having lost all their bouts we have an interesting dynamic here with both know they can get off the mark. For Shimogishi this will be his first bout in more than 2 years, when he was stopped in 2 rounds by Sota Kohara. As for Terada he fought 3 times last year, and lost all 3 by decision. Whilst fights between win-less fighters aren't usually high quality they are usually entertaining and we see suspect that will be the case here.
This coming Friday we see boxing return to both Thailand and South Korea. In Thailand we get a televised show on Work Point whilst in South Korea we appear to be getting a Rookie card as part of the on going "Boxing M Battle Royal" tournament.
Workpoint Studio, Bang Phun, Thailand
The Thailand card is the latest in the WP Boxing series of shows
The main support bout on this card will see Phongsaphon Panyakum (9-1, 4) look to secure his 10th straight win as he takes on the unbeaten, but untested, Arthit Kaewbantid (3-0, 2). We've been impressed by Phongsaphon, who lost to Kai Ishizawa in his debut and he has since scored wins against the likes of Samartlek Kokietgym and Pigmy Kokietgym, and he will be favoured here. Arthit on the other hand has scored 3 very low profile wins and this is very clearly a step up in class for him.
The main event of the card looks like a massive mismatch as the exciting, heavy handed, and very promising Chainoi Worawut (11-0-1, 10) defends his WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Bantamweight title against Filipino challenger Joel Kwong (5-9, 3), who is the current WBC Asian Boxing Council "interim" Featherweight Silver champion. Chainoi is regarded by many as one of the top prospects in Thailand and he will be strongly fancied here to pick up the win. On paper it's hard to imagine Kwong being much of a challenge, though it is worth noting he has won his last 4 in a row, by stoppage, and he will be confident of keeping that run going here. Although he's in good form it would still be a massive upset if Kwong was to get the win here.
SG Boxing Gymnasium, Ansan, South Korea
As well as the action in Thailand there is a small card in Ansan, where all the bouts will be 4 rounders as part of the KBM Rookie tournament, the "Battle Royal 4".
In total this card will feature a staggering 17 bouts, and would have had more had 4 bouts not been cancelled due to injuries.
We won't go through the bouts here, but these cards are usually worth paying attention to and these tournaments are great events for Korean boxing, helping develop talent and build future hopefuls. From last year's tournament fighters like Da Won Gang and Sung Min Yuh shone brightly and the hope is that the tournaments will unearth some genuinely great Korean talent.
USC Soviet Wings, Moscow, Russia
In Russia this coming Friday Uzbek promotional outfit Shamo Boxing put on their next show, and it's a lengthy card with a number of exciting Asian fighters on it and a number of very talented fighters, from both Central Asia and Russia.
The most notable of the fights to feature an Asian fighter will see unbeaten Uzbek hopeful Ravshan Makhamadjonov (10-0, 7) battle against once beaten Ukrainian Volodymyr Hordiienko (8-1, 3) for a WBC Youth title. Although not regarded as highly as some of the other Uzbek youngsters Makhamadjonov looks like a real classy prospect, and unlike many of his top countrymen he's able to build his record away from the eyes of the wider boxing world, and take his time to develop. Sadly we were unable to find footage of Hordiienko, but this looks like it's a step up for him and one of his toughest bouts, on paper. As with many WBC Youth title bouts, the winner will be taking a notable step forward with their career.
In a rather weird looking match up Russian based Kazakh born fighter Vladimir Kelesh (7-0, 5) will be taking on Russian veteran Valery Brudov (44-15, 30), who was last seen in the ring in December 2018 and us without a win since a victory back in April 2017. We've yet to see Kelesh in action but this is a huge chance for him to get a recognisable name on his record. Brudov is shot to pieces, but does have some name value, still.
Russian based Uzbek Ravshan Ergashev (5-0, 2) looks to continue his development as he takes on ISreal born Russian novice Mikhail Ostroumov (1-0, 1). On paper this looks like one where Ergashev should be favoured, but Ostroumov's sole win, over Karen Avetisyan, is far better than anything on Ergashev's record. This should be a very interesting match up, even if neither man is particularly experienced.
One other man pencilled in for this show is Kazakh fighter Iskander Kharsan (7-1, 6), who will be looking to bounce back from his 2019 upset loss to Thomas Essomba. Sadly at the time of writing his opponent for this bout hasn't been named, and isn't expected to be anyone too testing given his loss last time out.