This coming Saturday isn't a huge one for Asian boxing, but we so have plenty of hopefuls in action.
The biggest name in action is the hotly tipped Uzbek standout Israil Madrimov (4-0, 4), who takes on former world title challenger Charlie Navarro (29-9, 22). This bout, a world title eliminator with the WBA, is a good step forward for Madrimov on paper, but should be little more than another showcase when the two men actually get into the ring. As we all already know Madrimov is a very special talent and a win here should set him up for a world title fight later in the year. Navarro, despite being 40 years old, is no push over and could ask some questions of Madrimov by relying on his experience and power.
Over in Asia we'll have a show in Cambodia of all places, where we'll see several fighters of note in action.
In the main event Uzbek fighter Olimjon Nazarov (21-5, 12) will take on Filipino fighter Orlie Silvestre (15-5-2, 8) in a bout for a WBO regional title. Although Nazarov has 5 losses to his name he has won his last 8 and appears to be "coming good" as experience and time has allowed him to develop, and score wins over the likes of Ivan Soriano and Kongfah Nakornluang. Silvestre is a decent fighter, but is very much the smaller man and we suspect he'll struggle here, given he's a small Light Flyweight, and Nazarov is a big Flyweight.
In another title bout we'll see Vietnamese fighter Thi Thu Nhi Nguyen (3-0, 1) battle against Thai foe Kanyarat Yoohanngoh (7-4, 4) for the WBO Asia Pacific female Minimumweight title. The unbeaten 23 year old Nguyen is stepping up massively here, but a win would put her in the mix for a world title bout. Aged 21 Kanyarat has previously fought at world level, where she was stopped by Etsuko Tada in a world title eliminator, and has lost 2 of her last 3. We see the unbeaten Vietnamese fighter picking up the win here.
Another Uzbek Vs Philippines bout on this show will see Abdurasul Ismoilov (7-1, 4) take on veteran Adones Aguelo (33-20-2, 23). On paper this looks like another step forward for Ismoilov, who looks to continue to rebuild following a surprise 2019 loss to Hwang Kil Kim, but Aguelo, on his day, can be a banana skin. Aguelo is tough, rugged, his hard and can pick up upsets, as he did last year against Eden Sonsona and did a few years ago against Jerry Nardo. Aguelo will be the under-dog, but he has got the ability to ask real questions of Ismoilov.
Another fighter of note on this card is Vietnamese fighter Van Thao Tran (12-1 8), who looks to rebuild from a loss to Billy Dib. The talented Tran will be strongly favoured here as he takes on Filipino journeyman Aries Buenavidez (13-4, 7), who was stopped in November by Petch Sor Chitpattana. Tran may have disappointed against Dib, but we suspect he will be too big and too good for Buenavidez here.
This coming Sunday there's two cards in Korea, one from Busan and one from Seoul.
Seoul, South Korea
The Seoul card, from the KBA, is the more interesting of the two shows. It's not a huge one but it does have the more notable names on it.
On paper the most significant bout is an 8 rounder between local Nam Jun Lee (10-6-3, 4) and Chinese foe Yong Peng (8-9-2, 5). The 36 year old Lee was last seen in the ring back in May, when he lost to Shuya Masaki. That Lee's only fight in the last 2 years, following solid wins over Sa Myung Noh and Jelbirt Gomera. The 27 year old Peng has been inconsistent since turning professional and he'll need a career best performance to pick up the win here, on his international debut.
In a solid supporting bout the once beaten Uzbek fighter Abdurasul Ismoilov (6-1, 3) will be up against unbeaten Chinese fighter Nuomin (4-0, 1). The 23 year old Ismoilov will be fighting for the first time since losing in a WBA Asia Lightweight title bout last September, to Hwang Kil Kim, but will be strongly favoured to get back to winning ways here. Aged 20 Nuomin is a young fighter who will be making his international debut and also stepping up, massively here.
In a female bout the unbeaten Bo Mi Re Shin (8-0-3, 3) will face off with Indian foe Suman Kumari (4-2-1, 1). The 25 year old Shin started her career 3-0-3 and since then has reeled off 5 straight wins and got her career up and running. Although Shin lacks a really big win, she did stop Chika Mizutani in 2018 and is building some real momentum. Kumari is 1-1 outside of India but would need a massive performance here to notch her second win on the road. Kumari will be giving away a lot of natural size here and will really struggle to keep the local fighter at bay. This could end up being an ugly mismatch.
Busan, South Korea
The other Korean show is a Boxing M card featuring very low level action.
The biggest bout here is a 6 rounder between Kook Min Moon (4-1-1, 2) and Dae Young Lee (2-12-2). On paper this isn't a particularly competitive bout, but we have seen Moon being dropped in the past and he is certainly not unbeatable. for fans who follow the Korean scene Moon is best known for his 75 second win over Yo Sub Lee, in a bout that saw both men being dropped. Lee on the other hand is 40 and has gone 0-6-2 since his last win, almost 2 years ago. This should be an easy win for Moon.
This coming Sunday there will be a couple of Asian cards, one in Japan and one in Korea.
The Japanese card is a pretty interesting one, headlined by a rising hopeful and featuring a fairly solid supper bout.
The main event will see the once beaten Masanori Rikiishi (4-1, 3) take on Kei Iwahara (10-5, 5) in an 8 round bout between two Japanese ranked lightweights. Riikishi suffered his first loss last April, losing to Kosuke Saka after stepping up too much too soon, but bounced back with a couple of stoppages, including one over former Japanese title challenger Genki Maeda in December. Iwahara on the other hand is 3-1 in his last 4, and comes into this with notable wins over the likes of Yuji Awata, Mao Kawanishi and Daiki Ichikawa. This could be something very special.
In the main support bout Japan's Ryosuke Maruki (15-6-1, 10) will take on South Korean Gun Woo Gang (4-2-3, 1). Coming in to this Maruki has lost his last two, being narrowly out pointed by Nobuyuki Shindo and being blasted out by Akonori Watanabe, but typically he has been a solid and dependable fighter on the Japanese scene. Gang on the other hand has won just 1 of his last 5, going 1-2-2 during that stretch. This looks like a rebuilding fight for Maruki, and hopefully he'll be back into bigger fights later this year.
This card will also feature a number of Rookie of the Year fights as we begin the largest annual boxing tournament.
Busan, South Korea
Gun Woo Gang won't be the only Korean in action, with a card in Busan, which will feature several Korean fighters.
One of those Korean's is Bo Mi Re Shin (6-0-3, 3), who takes on Indian foe Rupinder Kaur (1-0, 1) in a bout for the Interim WIBA Super Featherweight title. The 24 year old Shin has a mostly weak looking record, but did notable score a stoppage win over Chika Mizutani in August last year and will be coming into this bout on the back of that big win. Kaur on the other hand will be fighting outside of India for the first time, and will be taking a serious step up in class, and cutting weight, significantly, having last fought above Light Welterweight.
In an interesting Champion V Champion bout we'll see KBF Super Featherweight champion Ki Soo Lee (8-3, 1) battling against IBC Super Featherweight champion Alvius Maufani (6-2-2, 3) in a clash between Korean and Indonesian champions. Lee has the edge in experience and home advantage, but Maufani has won bouts against more experienced foes in the past.
One other bout will see Uzbek puncher Abdurasul Ismoilov (3-0, 3) take on unbeaten local Jong Sun Gang (7-0, 4). This looks like the best match up on the show, with the Uzbek looking to build on a win over veteran Jaime Barcelona. Gang turned professional in late 2017 and has been active, with stoppage wins in his last 3. This looks like it could be very explosive, and very fun.
*Note Boxrec recently corrected Ismoilov's record which was previously 4-1 (4)
This coming Sunday attention turns to Vietnam, where we see Cocky Buffalo put on a pretty notable card, with a regional title bout and a couple of Uzbek prospects.
The main event will see WBA Asia Light Middleweight champion Khusniddin Pulatov (6-3, 4) make his first defense, defending his title against Filipino foe Rodel Wenceslao (13-16-2, 5). It's hard to know how this bout will go, with the champion certainly not being a quantity and the challenger being known to be less than stellar. Their limitations and question marks about both should make this interesting, even if it's nothing spectacular.
In a supporting bout Uzbek Abdurasul Ismoilov (3-1, 3), who is reportedly 2-0 despite boxrec's record suggesting he's 3-1, will be facing off with Filipino veteran Jaime Barcelona (41-63-1, 10). The Uzbek is highly regarded in the Uzbek press and this will be a good chance for him to prove what he can do against a durable veteran. Barcelona was once well regarded for his durability, but has had a very long and hard career, which has began to take it's toll on him.
A third bout, and possibly the easiest one to pick a winner in, will see the unbeaten Ravshanbek Shermatov (2-0, 1) taking on Indonesian journeyman Waldo Sabu (13-13, 3). It's hard to imagine anything but a win for the unbeaten Uzbek.