Having ended 2015 in a flurry of big fights we're glad to report the title action continues into early 2015 as one of Thailand's most promising prospects Stamp Kiatniwat (11-0, 5) defends his PABA Flyweight title against an Indonesian foe. We're sad to admit we're unsure who the foe is but we do enjoy watching Stamp and his performances in 2014 have put at #14 in our prospects to watch in 2015. When we did that list we didn't expect him to be in action so quickly in to the year.
As well as the 17 year old Stamp we suspect several of his stablemates will be in action on a show televised on Thai Channel 7 from 14:30 to 16:30 local time.
After having seen the excellent "Super Boxeo" show on December 30th, including Naoya Inoue's historic win over Omar Andres Narvaez, we now get to look forward to New Year's Eve which features 2 massive shows with 5 world title fights between them!
Of the two New Year's Eve shows in Japan the best is in Osaka in an Ioka-Kyoei joint promotion card. This show is notable pretty much from top to bottom with major almost every bout featuring either a title level fighters, a prospect or a notable name.
One of the interesting under-card bouts will see unbeaten female hopeful Terumi Nuki (5-0, 2) battle battle against debuting Thai Petchluksor Sor Praithong (0-0). It's thought that if Nuki wins here her next bout will be an OPBF title bout as she moves towards a world title bout sometime in the next 2 years. Another notable Japanese female fighter on this show is Tomomi Takano (6-1, 5) who also finds herself up against a debuting Thai in the form of Rannada Sor Vorapin (0-0).
The two female fights are both scheduled for 6 rounds as are two of the male bouts. One of those will see the busy Takeru Kamikubo (7-0, 4) fighting for the 8th time this year. Sadly the talented Kamikubo has been matched very softly here as he fights against the win-less Phetsaifar Lukmaelamperigym (0-5). For Phetsaifar this is likely to be his 6th straight stoppage loss and his 5th in Japan having previously lost to Kamikubo's stable mate Masayoshi Hashizume and the very interesting Kohei Kashino. The other will see Ryuto Maekawa (9-0, 5) fighting against Chanachai Sor Siamchai (0-1).
In an 8 rounder the heavy handed Takahiro Yamamoto (14-3, 11) will find himself up against Thailand's Kamraiyok Or Wandavee (0-0). Yamamoto comes into this bout on the back of 8 successive victories and has shown real promise with all 3 of his losses being very close decision losses. Another 8 rounder on this show will see former world champion Ryo Miyazaki (21-1-3, 12) fighting against Kajonsak Nattapolgym (0-0). For Miyazaki this bout falls exactly a year after his sole loss to, another Thai Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr., and he'll be hoping to avoid the same fate here.
The first title fight on this show will see the promising Sho Ishida (17-0, 9) making the first defence of the Japanese Super Flyweight title as he battles against Masato Morisaki (9-3-1, 5) in what looks to be a relatively straight forward defense for the talented Ishida. From what we understand if Ishida is successful here their will be moves to make a bout between Ishida and Teiru Kinoshita in 2015.
The second title fight on this show will be a strange unification bout as the IBF and WBO vacant belts will be unified. The belt situation of the bout is an odd one but the fight it's self looks to be a great one as former multi-time world champion Katsunari Takayama (27-7-0-1, 10) battles against Japanese champion Go Odaira (11-3-3, 1). This bout is expected to be very high paced and all action though it's not expected to have the “drama” that some may expect in a FOTY contender.
Splitting up world titles fights fans we will see former 2-division champion Kazuto Ioka (15-1, 9) battle against former "interim" world champion Jean Piero Perez (20-7-1, 14). This bout does look like a disappointing one considering the quality of Ioka and the fact Perez has been struggling in recent years, though it does seem like Ioka will be fighting in a WBA world title fight early next year against Juan Carlos Reveco, who recently defended his title with a stoppage victory against Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep.
In the main event fans will see Cuban sensation Guillermo Rigondeaux (14-0, 9) defending his WBO and WBA "super" Super Bantamweight titles against OPBF Featherweight champion Hisashi Amagasa (28-4-2, 19). The talented Cuban is a clear betting favourite going into this bout but the contest does look like an interesting one given that Amagasa will have a massive size advantage and also an advantage in activity with Rigondeaux having only fought one round in the last 12 months.
In Tokyo we have the “other” show promoted by Watanabe. Although there are 3 world titles on this show the card it's self is actually the weaker of the two cards with 2 of the 3 world title fights looking like mismatches.
The main event will be one of those mismatch world title fights as WBA Super Featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama (21-0-1, 17) looks to make the 9th defence of his belt. The heavy handed Japanese fighter, known as “KO Dynamite”, will be defending his belt against 35 year old Argentinian challenger Israel Hector Enrique Perez (27-2-1, 16), a man who really doesn't look fit to step in the ring against Uchiyama.
In another world title fight fans will see the popular Kohei Kono (30-8, 13) defending his WBA Super Flyweight world title for the first time since he re-won it earlier this year with a KO of Denkaosan Kaovichit. The "Tough Boy" will be defending his title against Dominican challenger Norberto Jimenez (20-8-3, 10). Sadly like the other bout the challenger looks completely out of his depth and is unlikely to pose much of a threat.
The most interesting of the title fights is at Light Flyweight where Ryoichi Taguchi (20-2-1, 8) attempts to become a world champion. Taguchi is involved in the most interesting of the world title bouts as he takes on Peru's WBA Light Flyweight world champion Alberto Rossel (32-8-0-1, 13). For Taguchi this is the most significant fight of his career and is clearly his toughest since he fought the then fat rising Naoya Inoue.
As well as the 3 world title fights there are a further 6 other bouts on the same card though none of them feature anyone of note.
For those wanting to watch the main bouts from his show they will be televised on TV Tokyo.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
The end of year run in begins this coming Tuesday with a show that may well be the best and most packed show this year. It features many of those who are regarded the future of Japanese boxing, 3 world title bouts and a very good OPBF title bout. All in all it's the sort of show every fight fan should have an interest in, even if they can't actually watch it.
The show kicks off with the world ranked Takuma Inoue (3-0, 1) battling against former world title challenger Nestor Daniel Narvaes (20-2-2, 9). For Inoue this is his biggest test so far though is, in some ways, only a small step up from his biggest win so far, a decision victory over Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr back in April. Narvaes may be remembered by Japanese fans for giving Toshiyuki Igarashi a very tough test back in 2012 though since then the Argentinian has fought just twice and not looked great in either of those bouts. It is a step for Inoue but one he should pass if he's as good as touted.
In the second bout on the show we see another heavily touted Japanese prospect in action as Ryo Matsumoto (12-0, 10) attempts to claim his first professional title. Matsumoto, a former amateur standout, will be hoping to claim the OPBF Super Flyweight title as he battles against the world ranked Rusalee Samor (25-5-2, 11) of Thailand. Samor will be best known to many fans for his tight loss to Rex Tso in Macau and if he fights like that here we could be in for a great contest. Saying that however we expected Matsumoto to struggle against Denkaosan Kaovichit though took him early doors and he may be able to do the same here against Samor with his devastating body shots.
We go from one title fight to another, and the show's third bout will see former 2-weight world champion Jorge Linares (37-3, 24) attempt to claim the WBC Lightweight title as he takes on the limited, but heavy handed, Javier Prieto (24-7-2, 18). The bout looks like a mismatch and it's hard to see how Linares loses unless he does something stupid, sadly however we have seen Linares do something stupid in the past and he may well get caught here. For Linares this is a great opportunity to win a a 3rd divisional and we really can't see him getting a better chance any time soon.
The next bout will see 2012 Olympic Middleweight champion Ryota Murata (5-0, 4) in action as he battles against American Jessie Nicklow (24-4-3, 8). This is Murata's 4th bout of the year and his first since being take the distance by Adrian Luna Flores in September. Although Murata did go 10 rounds last time out we struggle to see Nicklow coping with the power or pressure of the Japanese fighter for long here and this could be over relatively early if Murata is in the mood to make a statement.
In the chief support bout fans are in for a treat as the always exciting Akira Yaegashi (20-4, 10) battles against Mexico's Pedro Guevara (23-1-1, 15) for the vacant WBC Light Flyweight title. This bout is a great opportunity for Yaegashi to become a 3-weight world champion though Guevara is talented himself and will not be flying around the world to just pick up a paycheck. Potentially this could be the fight of the night, and in fact we'd not be surprised if this was a very late contender for FOTY.
The main event will see Japanese youngster Naoya Inoue (7-0, 6) attempt to become a 2-weight world champion in just his 8th professional contest. Inoue will battle against Argentinian veteran Omar Andres Narvaez (43-1-2, 23) with Narvaez attempting to make the 12th defense of the WBO Super Flyweight title. The fight is intriguing to say the least and could end up being the passing of the torch from the 39 year old Narvaez to the 21 year old Inoue or, alternatively, it could a veteran proving that there is still life left in his legs despite his advanced age. The only thing that is clear about this bout is that it's going to answer a lot of questions about both men involved in it.
(Image courtesy of Ohashi Gym)
Dec 28th- Nonaka and Ota start off the New Year run but Nakamura and Labao have the potential to steal the show
Although December 30th and 31st are by far the most exciting days left this year for boxing fans we do have a very interesting “starter” a few days early as Muto Promotions put on a genuinely interesting card around the Japanese domestic scene. The show won't have international fans too excited but there is a potential FOTY on it and 3 genuinely interesting bouts.
The main event will see Japanese Light Middleweight champion Yuki Nonaka (26-8-2, 9) defending his belt against former champion Charlie Ota (24-2-1, 16). Nonaka won the title earlier this year with an excellent victory over the heavy handed Kengo Nagashima, it was a bout Nonaka made look easy despite Nagashima being a dangerous puncher. Whilst Nagashima was a dangerous puncher it's fair to say Ota is a much more rounded and dangerous fighter and we suspect Ota will be a nightmare for Nonaka here in what is potentially a very good bout between a boxer and a brawler.
Although the main event looks really good we've got to admit that the co-feature has the potential to be even better as the heavy handed Masao Nakamura (18-2, 18) takes on tough Filipino Rey Labao (26-6, 17) in a contest that has all the ingredients to be something special. Nakamura comes into the bout following a loss to the unheralded Masayuki Ito and will be hoping to get back to winning ways here. Labao, himself a loser last time out Roman Andreev, will also be wanting to to get back with a win. Not only do both men need a win here but both also love to punch and have real belief in their power. Of the two we suspect Nakamura is the bigger puncher however Labao has never been stopped and there is every chance he can Nakamura's power. There is however no proof that Nakamura can take the best Labao has to offer. This one may be a thriller or it may be over very quickly.
A third notable contest on this card will see Kojiro Takada (13-7-3, 9) battle against former OPBF title challenger Eita Kikuchi (15-4-4, 7). Takada is a streaky fighter and as he lost last time out we suspect he'll loser again here, though the bout was close and he has got the ability to spring genuine upsets, as he did against Ratchasak KKP and Jerope Mercado. Kikuchi will be seeking his second straight win after suffering back-to-back losses, including a stoppage defeat to Shingo Wake in an OPBF Super Bantamweight title fight. Although the loser won't be heading to retirement the winner will certain take a big boost here whilst the loser will, obviously, be hit by a big set back that could be hard to come back from.
One more bout we'd like to quickly mention will see Yuki Strong Kobayashi (8-3, 4) battle against the criminally under-rated Satoshi Niwa (15-18-3, 2). Kobayashi was recently the pro-test partner for the highly regarded Hinata Maruta and the reports suggest Maruta man handled him at times, it'll be interesting to see what he's like here. Niwa on the other hand sports the most misleading record in Japanese boxing and last time out he pushed the then unbeaten Tatsuya Ikemizu very close in a hard fought 8 rounder. This will be competitive if nothing else.
As well as the 4 bouts we've spoken about this card will feature a further 3 bouts
Metro Manila, Philippines
As well as the action in Japan there is also a show in the Philippines. Although this can't isn't as big it does look like a really interesting one with 3 genuinely notable bouts on it.
The most interesting of the bouts it at Bantamweight where the unbeaten Rex Wao (10-0, 8) attempts to defend his WBC International title against former world title challenger Silvester Lopez (22-9-2, 16). Wao is very highly touted and some in the Philippines seem to view him as one of the country's most promising fighters however this is a step up for the 24 year old. Lopez might only be 27 but he already appears to be on the slide, big time, and will know a loss here could be the end of his dreams of ever becoming a force on the world scene. Really good match up and a very important one.
At Featherweight fans will see an interesting clash between Dennis Tubieron (19-3-1, 8) and Carlo Magali (18-7-2, 9). The two men will be fighting for the WBC International title at Featherweight and the winner may well find them put into the verges of the WBC's top 15.
In a Lightweight clash Japan's heavy handed, and under-rated, Tosho Makoto Aoki (18-12-2, 15) will battle against Indonesia's Rengga Rengga (7-1, 1) for the IBF Asia title. Aoki comes into this bout on the back of 5 straight stoppage victories and a growing reputation as a dangerous puncher whilst Rengga was last seen being stopped in just 119 seconds by Masatoshi Kotani. We suspect this will be a mismatch with Aoki taking out the Indonesian early on.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We return to action after having had a short break for Christmas and the return is certainly an interesting one with notable action in both Japan and China.
In the first post-Christmas show in Japan we see a genuinely recognisable name in action in what is a relatively small show.
The most notable man in action is former WBA interim Light Middleweight champion Nobuhiro Ishida (26-10-2, 10) who continues his Heavyweight project as he takes on fellow Japanese Heavyweight Kotatsu Takehara (10-10-3, 4) in what is, for all intents a Japanese Heavyweight title eliminator. Both men have lost to Japanese champion Kyotaro Fujimoto but both would presumably like another fight with him, he is after all the only money in the division domestically. We know Ishida went to Heavyweight in pursuit of the Japanese title but he does need to win here to keep that dream alive.
In the co-feature on this card fans will see Japanese ranked Featherweight Kazuki Hashimoto (9-4, 5) fighting against Yoichi Oguma (15-6, 3). For Hashimoto this will be his first bout since February as he looks for a third successive win following a trio of losses. The 34 year old Oguma has been inactive even longer, in fact the southpaw has been inactive since last December, where he was stopped by Mike Tawatchai in Thailand. The loser here really will need to give a serious thought to retirement.
Although the show in Japan features the well known Nobuhiro Ishida we've got to admit we're more excited by the other show of the day which comes from China and features a trio of title fights.
The most interesting of the 3 bouts is a compelling rematch for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title. The bout will see China's very own Xiang Jing (7-3-2, 1) battle against unbeaten Filipino Ben Mananquil (10-0-2, 2). The men fought to a split decision draw earlier this year and we've got to admit this is a rematch we really like the look of. Although somewhat unknown we do like Mananquil a lot and feel he his first draw was very unfair in a bout that he should have had an opening round TKO over Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym. Jing however held his own with Mananquil last time out and this is by far the most well matched bout of the day.
Another rematch on this card will see Xian Wei Qian (5-4-1) defending his WBA Asian Boxing Council Featherweight title against Thailand's Thewa Onesongchaigym (5-1, 1). These two met back in August with Qian beating Thewa to become the first Chinese fighter to win a title in Thailand, he'll now be hoping to defend that belt for the first time.
Amazingly the third title bout will also be a rematch as Thailand's heavy handed Kajornsak Sithsaithong (7-3, 7) battles against Russia's Andrey Kalyuzhnyy (5-1, 3) in a bout for the IBF Youth Super Middleweight title. In their first bout the Russian stopped Kajomsak in just 32 seconds and he'll be hoping to do the same here.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
The only show this coming Tuesday is a small one from the KBS Hall in Kyoto. The card, in total, features just 7 bouts in total though in fairness only 2 of those are actually worth mentioning.
The main event will see the OPBF and Japanese ranked Lightweight contender Kota Tokunaga (13-2, 9) battling against Kazumasa Kobayashi (8-4-1, 5). Tokunaga comes into this bout seeking a 6th straight win however his last loss actually came in this arena, where he was stopped in 154 seconds by Ronald Pontillas. As for Kobayashi he's seeking his first win in over 3 years and although he's the under-dog he's very much a live under-dog.
The other bout will see Yuki Yonaha (3-2, 3) battling against Hiroki Taniguchi (6-4-1, 2) in what looks like a competitive contest. Yonaha has scored a win against an opponent with a single win however he does look better than his record suggests. As for Taniguchi he has lost 3 of his last 5 and he is the smaller man coming into this bout. It's an interesting contest but not a great one.
(Image courtesy of Boxmob.jp)
Christmas is just around the corner but yet for fight fans and fighters alike there are still fights to be excited about between now and the time we get to open presents. A lot of those fights come this coming Sunday as we get cards in 3 separate Asian countries with each of those shows having something notable about them.
Of the 3 shows it's one from Japan that has us the most excited with the Korakuen Hall hosting the 2014 All Japan Rookie of the Year finals. The show, which will consist of 11 bouts, will crown the Rookie of the Year winners and should be one of the best value for money shows that Japanese fans get this year.
For those wanting to read about all the fights and fighters we've done a small feature on the show here, though for those just wanting the highlights we've selected our 3 favourite bouts.
The first of the bouts that has us excited is at Super Flyweight where Ioka prospect Masayoshi Hashizume (6-0, 4) puts his unbeaten record on the line against Shogo Yonenaga (6-1, 3). For those who haven't seen Hashizume in action yet we advise you check out his last 2 bouts, a 38 second blow out of the then 3-0 Takeshi Kajikawa and a 120 second victory over Eita Sakurai, who was 4-0 going into that bout. As you'll see from the footage he is very exciting. On the other hand Yonenaga isn't as exciting but is highly skilled and more experienced and will be fully aware that a win could launch him onto the fringes of a domestic ranking. This is going to see fireworks.
At Lightweight the very touted Andy Hiraoka (6-0, 3) will battle fellow unbeaten fighter Shogo Yamaguchi (6-0-1, 3). The pressure here is on Hiraoka, a 5'11” southpaw, who has got a lot of people very excited about him despite being just 18 years old. Yamaguchi is viewed by many as the under-dog though with an unbeaten record and several wins over unbeaten foes he'll be going into this bout with belief that he can halt Hiraoka's rise. We'll admit that might not have the fire works of the Super Flyweight bout but should be a great contest between two men who will each have a lot of self belief coming into this contest.
The third highlight comes at Welterweight where we again have an all unbeaten match up. The most interesting of the two men here is Yuki Beppu (7-0, 7) who appears to be a man with serious power and real promise. Whilst Beppu has been collecting stoppages for fun, including 5 opening round victories, he hasn't fought anyone as good as Hironobu Matsunaga (6-0, 3) before and this is expected to be the toughest bout so far for both men. The winner here might well find themselves put on the fast track to the Japanese Welterweight title with current champion Suyon Takayama looking less than convincing in recent defenses of his belt.
With 11 bouts, a lot to fight for and really exciting match ups we suspect this could be a really memorable show.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Whilst the show in Japan is all about hopeful youngster's there is a card in the Philippines about more established talent with several notable fighters.
One of the notable men in action is Monico Laurente (24-12, 5) who takes on the experienced Richard Garcia (25-20-1, 7) in a bout scheduled for 10 rounds. Laurente is the GAB champion and was, once, highly ranked by the OPBF tough has lost 4 of his last 5 bouts including clear decision losses to Shun Kubo and Yusuke Suzuki. We suspect Laurente will defeat the limited Garica here though a big question mark hangs over Laurente's head in terms of his confidence which may well be shot to bits.
Another recognisable name fighting on this show will be Vinvin Rufino (35-16-3, 16), who challenged OPBF Featherweight champion Hisashi Amagasa earlier this year. Rufino will be seeking his second successive win following the loss to Amagasa as he takes on the limited but tough Rex Olisa (10-26-1, 8) in what suspect will be a decision win for the experienced Rufino.
It's fair to say the most exciting fighter on this card is current OPBF Light Flyweight champion Jonathan Taconing (19-2-1, 16) who we understand will be fighting in his second successive non-title bout. Taconing, best known for his controversial loss to Kompayak Porpramook back in March 2012, has yet to have his foe named but we're not expecting anyone too tough for the exciting Filipino puncher who we really enjoying watching.
As ell as the 3 bouts mentioned we're expecting to see a further 5 bouts on this show.
Seoul, South Korea
In South Korea fans will be getting 6 bouts. Sadly this card isn't great though does continue to see fights taking place in South Korea, something we'll never complain about. It's worth noting that all 6 bouts will see South Korean locals fighting against Japanese foes.
Of the 6 bouts in the card the most interesting looks to be a Super Bantamweight contest between Hyun Woo Lee (5-1, 1) and Ryosuke Hayase (4-1, 1). We won't pretend either of these fighters are great but together they should feature in a genuinely competitive contest against each other.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We are only a few days from Christmas but yet we still have some major fights left between now and then, including some genuinely important bouts.
Carolina, Puerto Rico
For us the day's most interesting bout comes from Puerto Rico where the amazingly talented Mark Anthony Geraldo (31-4-3, 14) battles the unbeaten McJoe Arroyo (15-0, 8) in an IBF Super Flyweight eliminator. Geraldo is genuinely gorgeous to watch when he's in full flow and letting his shots go though he does have several issues including a relative lack of power and, as seen last time out, issues with pacing and stamina. Arroyo, the twin of McWilliams Arroyo, will be favoured here given his home advantage and sensational performance last time out against Hernan Marquez though it's the sort of bout every boxing fan should be interested in.
In a potentially enthralling contest in Indonesia fans will get to see the long awaited return to the ring of Daud Cino Yordan (32-3-0-1, 23) who is set to fight Filipino fighter Ronald Pontillas (17-6-3, 8) for the interim WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight title. Yordan has had a wasted year with fights falling through and other issues that have kept him out of the ring for more than a year, a real considering how fun he is to watch and the fact that he's in his prime. Pontillas has won his last 2 bouts though is known as “Unpredictable” and in very inconsistent. On his best day Pontillas is a nightmare for anyone though on his bad days he's not a threat to any half decent fighter. This bout really does depend on which Pontillas shows up.
Staying with Filipino fighters there's also a full show of them in Batangas.
The main event on this card will see the unbeaten JR Magboo (16-0-2, 7) battling against Jhon Gemino (11-3-1, 5) in what is a great test for the unbeaten fighter. Just 2 fights ago Gemino fought the much touted Neil John Tabanao and this bout will allow us to compare Magboo to Tabanao. Magboo himself didn't look great last time out, struggling to a split decision against Virgil Puton, though is on a run of 6 straight wins including a stoppage against Jhunriel Ramonal.
Of the support bouts the stand out contest is a bout between Roberto Gonzales (24-2, 15) and Jose Ocampo (17-8-1, 12). Gonzales is on a 4-fight stoppage run since suffering back-to-back stoppage defeats in 2012, those wins have however come at a low level. As for Ocampo fans may remember him as a man who was once lined up to fight Ricky Burns when Burns was the then WBO Lightweight champion. In his last 3 fights Ocampo has gone 0-3 and we suspect that losing streak will continue here though he does have enough power to give Gonzales a scare if he connects.
Another interesting support bout will see Oliver Gregorio (9-3-2, 5) in action against Bonjun Loperez (8-2-1, 4). Gregorio is 1-1-2 in his last 4 contests and hasn't looked good at all so he will fight with the knowledge that he needs a win here. Loperez was stopped last time out and will be hoping to get his career back on track here though it's certainly not a given in what looks like a very competitive match up.
As well as the 3 mentioned bouts we believe there is a further 6 contests on this show.
In Russia fans will get a small card with a number of novices in action. Although many of the bouts are lacking in terms of someone notable we are interested in the main event which will see unbeaten fighters colliding. The more well known, and more experienced, of those men is Evgeny Chuprakov (10-0, 4) who has been touted for a while as a very promising Russian prospect. Chuprakov will up against Evgeny Tarabukin (2-0, 2) who we don't know much about other than the fact he is stepping notably for this contest.
The other 7 bouts on this card are hard to get excited about going into them though hopefully the action in the ring will be enjoyable.
New York, USA
In the US fans will get to see a rematch between Mongolian fighter Bayan Jargal (17-5-3-1, 11) and unbeaten American Cletus Seldin (14-0-0-1, 11). The two men fought in a no contest this past July when a head clash caused an early and inconclusive ending to the fight. Prior to the ending however Seldin was looking much more powerful and stronger than Jargal who we suspect will be beaten this time around.
This coming weekend is the final one be before Christmas and there is a lot to be excited about before we tuck into out turkey's, open our presents and get drunk with families. For the fighters in action this weekend it'll be their final chance to shine this year and although celebrations are just around the corner for many they will still know that those celebrations could be made that little bit better they can record a big win.
Possibly the most interesting and potentially exciting bout for ourselves is in Argentina where the WBA regular and WBA interim Flyweight titles will unified in a potential FOTY contender. In one corner is regular champion Juan Carlos Reveco (34-1, 18), the home fighter and a 2-weight world champion, whilst interim champion Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (34-2, 20), a legitimate Thai warrior, will be in the other corner. Reveco didn't impress last time out when he defended his title against Felix Alvarado, taking a controversial decision against the exciting Nicaraguan, and since then has been struck with a number of injuries which have forced this bout to be delayed several times. Like Alvarado we weren't impressed last time we saw Yodmongkol in the ring, taking a very questionable decision against Japan's Takuya Kogawa, though he genuine impressed us in his victory over Koki Eto. If both men are on the top of their game this has thrilling written all over it though if either under-performs the other will likely do enough to win.
This bout is doubly important for Asian fans as Kazuto Ioka (15-1, 9) is expected to face the winner early next year as he attempts to become a 3-weight world champion. Of the two we suspect Ioka would prefer Reveco than Yodmongkol.
At the Colisee de Quebec we see a trio of Russian's all with different expectations on their shoulders.
Making his debut will be former amateur star Vislan Dalkhaev (0-0) who will be up against Efren Bautista (3-5-2, 2) in what is expected to be a successful start to his professional career. This should be a straight forward win for Dalkhaev if he's as good as he's supposed to be.
Talking about being as good as someone is supposed to be this card will also feature the genuinely fantastic, destructive and brilliant Artur Beterbiev (6-0, 6). Beterbiev, who was last seen destroying former IBF champion Tavoris Cloud, will be battling against the unbeaten Jeff Page Jr (15-0, 10) in what looks like a good test though we suspect Beterbiev will run through Page in double quick fashion to try and further strengthen his position as the division's premier prospect-come-contender.
In the main event we see Dmitry Sukhotsky (22-2, 16) challenging for the WBC Light Heavyweight title as he takes on the explosive Adonis Stevenson (24-1, 20). Sukhotsky is a huge under-dog here though knows a win will set him up for huge fights down the line and he has got the ability and power to spring an upset here. Stevenson, who was one of the top fighters in 2013, has disappointed hugely this year and knows that anything but a sensational performance will see him cast aside as yesterday's news. This is must win and must win well for Stevenson who knows anything but a great performance really could cost popularity, money and big fights.
In Japan we get a small but interesting card with a hugely promising prospect in the main event as well as an under-card featuring 8 other bouts.
The promising prospect is the OPBF ranked Shun Kubo (5-0, 4) who puts his unbeaten record on the line against WBC world ranked Bantamweight Luis May (15-7-1, 7). In theory this should be a huge step up for Kubo though in all honesty there is nothing on May's record that should scare the talented Japanese youngster who could find himself bursting into the world rankings in early 2015.
In the chief support contest the ranked Tokiya Nishioka (9-3-2, 5) will be up against Toshiya Yokogawa (6-7-1, 5). Nishioka brings an OPBF and a Japanese ranking into this bout and although he should win it does need saying that Yokogawa does have the power to trouble people at this level and Nishoka will need to be careful.
Also on this card will be the return to the ring of Takahiro Shigee (11-1-1, 9) following his loss in July to Rodrigo Guerrero. Shigee will be fighting a Thai visitor though we're unsure who the visitor will actually be.
In Thailand fans are getting the chance to see a world class fighter in action as Suriyan Sor Rungvisai (27-6-1, 16) attempts to defend the WBC Bantamweight Asia title against Indonesian Tony Arema (3-5). This will be Suriyan's first bout since his loss to Shinsuke Yamanaka in a WBC Bantamweight title fight a few weeks ago.
In the Philippines fans will get the chance to see a number of novices in action in what looks to be a small but interesting card.
The most interesting bout will see the unbeaten Robert Ates (3-0, 2) battle against Rafaek Sueno (2-1, 2) in what we suspect will be an explosive encounter and a good test for Ates. Sadly the other “main bout” looks like a mismatch as Peter Apolinar (3-0, 3) fights against Takaoki Noma (0-3-1) in what appears to be a test of the 19 year old Apolinar's power as opposed to his ability.
The other 3 bouts on this card feature real novices with single fight records, though all 6 men are upbeaten. Hopefully they'll manage to bring out the best in each other and give us some great bouts
Action is back at the Korakuen Hall for the second successive day this week for a show that has got us a little bit excited without truly blowing us away.
The most exciting of the bouts, by far, is the OPBF Light Middleweight title bout which sees experienced Filipino Dennis Laurente (48-5-5, 29) battling against Japanese veteran Tadashi Yuba (46-9-2, 33). The vacant title, recently given up by Koji Numata, is a major reward for the winner though it could spell the end for the loser with both men turning 38 next year. This promises excitement, action and although it won't be the most skilful bout we get in “The Hall” this month it could potentially be one of the most out-and-out fun.
In the chief support bout fan will see Japanese Heavyweight champion Kyotaro Fujimoto (10-1, 6) fighting French visitor David Radeff (5-8-2, 2). This bout is a direct comparison bout for Fujimoto who will be trying to do a better job against Radeff than Nobuhiro Ishida did earlier this year. Ishida clearly beat Radeff on points in their bout, back in September, and Fujimoto will be hoping to stop the French visitor to indirectly prove he's much better than his more experience compatriot. We're a bit disappointed by the actual bout but we do understand it and why it's been made.
Although unlikely to get as much there are 3 very interesting under-card bouts on this show.
One of those undercard bouts will see former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Masaaki Serie (25-7, 10) battling against the returning Kinshiro Usui (21-4, 10). Usui has been inactive for more than 3 though will be expected to come back with some new found desire and although he's close to 35 we suspect he'll feel he can beat Serie who is himself a faded force. We could end up with a potentially exciting contest or a dud depending on what Usui has left in the tank.
Another of the under-card bouts will see Yuta Matsuo (6-1-1, 4) battle against Yota Hori (12-2-2, 7). This is an incredibly even match up even if it's not something that will really excite international fans. We're unsure who'll be favoured here though it's clear that both men will be coming to win and that the action should be very competitive.
Arguably the pick of under-card bouts is a Flyweight contest at the unbeaten Katsunori Nagamine (9-0, 6) steps in against Ryuto Oho (6-1-1, 2). Both guys caught our eye in 2013 with Nagamine stepping up to 8 rounders in the middle of the year whilst Oho managed to win the Flyweight Rookie of the Year, an award Nagamine actually won in 2012. Unfortunately whilst both guys have looked great in the past they've had very poor 2014's with Nagamine not fighting at all this year whilst Oho is 0-1-1 for the year. This really is a bout both men need to win to make sure they haven't had a year that's to be written off, however both guys are young and a loss isn't the end of the world for either of them.
As well as the 5 bouts spoken about there will be one other under-card bout on this show.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)