Lake Event, Samut Prakan, Thailand
This coming Friday our attention turns to Thailand for an interesting card featuring two of the most promising Thai prospects, as well the ring of a former world title challenger, in what is very much a gimmie bout bout after more than a year out of the ring.
The main event is a genuine great one as unbeaten Thai hopeful Nattapong Jankaew (10-0, 6), one of the more naturally skilled Thai's out there, takes on under-rated Filipino Adrian Lerasan (11-4, 4). The bout will be for Jankaew's WBA Asia Super Flyweight title, which he will be looking to defend for the second time. The Thai has proven to be a truly skilled fighter with a lot promise, but someone who has, at times, not fully performed to his ability, and has gone through the motions at times, when really he should have been showing what he can do. If he looks to cruise here he could be in a lot of problems. On paper Lerasan is nothing special however he has won his last 4 by stoppage, including 3 wins in Thailand over much fancied prospects, stopping Tanes Ongjunta and Phongsaphon Panyakum, and he has already shown Thai hopefuls not to over-look him. This is a potential banana skin for Jankaew, who should win, but will have to take Lerasan seriously.
Another unbeaten hopeful on this card is the 20 year old Chaiyapong Phongwankittikun (6-0, 6) who will be stepping up massively, as he takes on veteran Aekkawee Kaewmanee (24-18, 12). The youngster is looking for his third win of the year, and is clearly making up for lost time having not fought at all in 2021, but to date his wins have come against very, very limited opponents, and he has taken them out early on, with no one lasting more than 4 rounds with him. Kaewmanee is a proper veteran, who has been around 2013, but he is now 40 and has lost 5 of his last 6. He's still racking in bouts, and this will be his 6 of the year, but he lacks any ambition and the real question is how long will be survive with the youngster
The former world title challenger on this card is Komgrich Nantapech (30-5, 21), aka Eaktwan BTU Ruaviking, who came up short against Donnie Nietes in 2017 and Juan Carlos Reveco that same year, but has reeled off an 8 fight winning runs since then. Sadly Komgrich has been out of the ring since March 2021, and rather than taking on someone testing he will be up against Thawi Chaisat (0-13), a very limited who has been stopped 13 times in just 32 rounds. Komgrich shouldn't break a sweat here, but sadly this is the 6th straight bout against a limited local foe, and we really hope he faces someone more meaningful next time out.
The most notable action in Asia this coming Saturday will be in Thailand as we get the next show in the WP Boxing series of events, and it's a show that will look to highlight two of the hottest prospects in Thailand.
One of the promising Thai's in question is Phongsaphon Panyakum (12-1, 6), who will be looking to defend his WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Flyweight title against Adrian Lerasan (10-4, 3). The 21 year old Panyakum is one of the best prospects in Thailand, and has gone on a great run since a defeat to Kai Ishizawa on debut back in 2017, and is looking to continue his rise through the ranks towards a WBC world title fight, something we expect to see him in in 5 or 6 years time. Despite Panyakum being a great prospect this won't be an easy one for him and Lerasan can't be over-looked, especially given his recent form in Thailand, that included a massive upset win over Tanes Ongjunta in 2020. This should be a very interesting match up.
Sadly the other main bout on this show is less likely to be an interesting one, as the hard hitting Chainoi Worawut (14-0-1, 12) takes on the much older, much smaller Suriyan Satorn (61-12, 41). A prime Suriyan was always great fun to watch, and a legitimately great warrior, but he was at his best at 108lbs and is now fighting up at 122lbs for this bout. Chainoi Worawut is a genuinely promising prospect, and hopefully we see him in with some interesting international opponents in the near future, but at the moment he's a long way from being a legitimate threat in the Super Bantamweight division. Despite being a long way from a top fight he should be far too big and too strong here to even be tested.
CAA Centre, Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Over in Canada we'll see a new Canadian Middleweight champion being crowned, as Canadian based Indian born fighter Sukhdeep Singh Bhatti (9-0, 3) takes on Jordan Balmir (11-1, 6) for the vacant title. Bhatti slowly been making a name for himself on the Canadian scene, and despite having a frustrating level of inactivity in recent years, with just a single fight in 2020 and a single fight in 2021, he is clearly a promising fighter who could help kick start the love of professional for Indian youngsters. Balmir on the other hand is a Canadian fighter best known for losing in 2018 to Steven Butler, who stopped Balmir in 3 rounds. That loss aside there's not much on Balmir's record to talk about, though he was inactive through 2019 and 2021 and has had just 6 rounds of action since losing to Butler in October 2018.
Olympic Arena, Andijan, Uzbekistan
Staying in notable Asian boxing countries we see Uzbekistan, an amateur boxing power house, hosting a show in Andijan. It's not a big show but there are some interesting fighters on the card.
Potentially the most interesting fight on the show is a 10 rounder between Khusniddin Pulatov (11-3, 7) and the debuting Dilshod Sodikov (0-0), in what seems a really strange one. Pulatov has been quietly making a name for himself in Uzbekistan and South Korea, scoring a notable win over In Duck Seo in 2019, and should be heavily favoured here, however it's clear that Sodikov and his team are confident in his potential and are throwing him in deep here in what could be a great chance for him to announce himself on the regional scene.
Another interesting looking bout will see 23 year old Ulugbek Sobirov (11-1, 6) take on Argentinian fighter Brian Damian Chaves (14-1, 5). Sobirov had a fair bit of momentum build at one point, but a loss in 2020 to Dmytro Mytrofanov slowed his rise and he's yet to really rebuild from that defeat, with just a single win since then. Chaves on the other hand has won 3 in a row since being blasted out by Jeremias Nicolas Ponce. Notably Chavez has shown a questionable chin, but will feel confident of having the tools to over-come Sobirov in a good looking match up.
Dubai Marina, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Over in Dubai we're set to see the next chapter in the long running saga of Guillermo Rigondeaux (20-2-0-1, 13) versus the Philippines, as he takes on Vincent Astrolabio (16-3, 12) for the vacant WBC International Bantamweight title. The Cuban veteran has faced numerous Filipino's over the years, and was unbeaten against them until his 2021 loss to John Riel Casimero last year, and it did seem like he had slowed significantly from the man who beat Nonito Donaire, in what is still the career defining win for Rigondeaux. Despite the Cuban's slow down he should have way too much for Astrolabio, who is very much a Filipino level domestic fighter who has fallen short against his most notable opponents, such as Yuki Strong Kobayashi and John Mark Apolinario.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
The big Asian card this weekend is from Tokyo, and will be aired as part of the Dynamic Glove series on G+. It's not a massive card, but it's a very good Dynamic Glove one, with a triple crown bout in the main event and a brilliant chief support bout which should be nothing short of a brutal war.
The title fight will see Super Flyweight triple crown champion Ryoji Fukunaga (14-4, 14) defending his WBO Asia Pacific, OPBF and Japanese titles against the unbeaten, and once very highly touted, Hayate Kaji (15-0, 9). The hard hitting Fukunaga has looked fantastic in recent bouts, winning his last 4, all by stoppage, including big wins against Froilan Saludar and Kenta Nakagawa to unify the triple crown. He does however have time against him and at 35 another loss ends any hope of him getting a world title fight. On the other hand a win here sees him continuing to knock on the door and he is currently ranked by the IBF and WBO. Kaji on the other hand sent excitement through the Japanese scene as a teenager, winning the All Japan Rookie of the Year aged 18. Sadly though he has failed to develop like many had hoped, and he's looked less than great in a number of recent bouts. Hopefully, with this being a huge opportunity for him, we'll see the best of Kaji, and if we do we are going to be in for something very special here. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Fukunaga looks to defend triple crown against unbeaten Kaji!
Talking about very special the chief support bout will be the third meeting between Ryoichi Tamura (14-5-1, 7) and Yusaku Kuga (19-5-1, 13), which will serve as a Japanese title eliminator at Super Bantamweight. Kuga is winning the series 2-0, having won two brutal decisions against Tamura, but he's lost his last 2 by stoppage, and his career is perhaps coming to an end. He's taken a lot of punishment in recent years, being stopped 3 times in his last 6, and it's hard to imagine him having much left in the tank. Saying that however Tamura has also been in a lot of punishing wars himself, including the two with Tamura and as well as ones against Mugicha Nakagawa, Yusuke Suzuki and Gakuya Furuhashi. Tamura has never been stopped, but the accumulation of punishment through his career will be taking a toll on him. We expect this one to be a complete and utter war and we wouldn't be surprised by Kuga being stopped for the 4th time in his career.
Capio, Tsukuba, Ibaragi, Japan
As well as the show in Tokyo we also have a small Japanese card in Ibaragi. This is a small show but one that does promise some exciting action of it's own, with a really nice match up that should both be very fan friendly.
In the main event the always fun to watch, but very flawed, Tatsuya Takahashi (32-10-6, 21) will be up against the equally fun but flawed Shota Ogasawara (6-3-1, 3), who clash in an 8 rounder at 122lbs. Of the two men Takahashi is the much more well established and proven fighter, but the 32 year old hasn't looked good in recent bouts, and is 2-2-1 in his last 5, including a decision loss to Ryotaro Kawabata last time out. He will be the home town favourite, and this is his 15th bout at the Tsukuba Capio venue, but he's showing his age and signs that his career is coming to an end. Aged 26 Ogasawara is coming into his prime, though has struggled recently and know he can't afford another set back if he's to get into the title mix any time soon. Given the styles of the two men, we expect this to be a really good fight, and a genuine tear up, even if the skill level of both is rather limited.
Workpoint Studio, Bang Phun, Thailand
As well as the action in Japan we also get a card in Thailand as boxing finally returns to Work point, 6 months after their last show. The action in Thailand has been minimal this year due to the effects of Covid in the country, but it's great to see WP Boxing boxing, even if it does appear their relationship with DAZN is on the rocks once again. RAZN, really paying right!
In the main event the unbeaten Apichet Petchmanee (10-0, 2) will be seeking his 11th straight win as he takes on 21 year old Thai foe Phutthiphong Rakoon (8-4, 6), who is incredibly limited, and hasn't hasn't had a recorded bout in over 3 years. We'll be honest, we don't rate Apichet as a man going places, in fact the 31 year old seems to have rapidly regressed during his career, but he should still be far, far, far too good for Phuttiphong here.
A more well matched bout will see local puncher Suradech Ruhasiri (6-4, 5) take on Filipino fighter Adrian Lerasan (9-4, 2), in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Flyweight title. This will be Lerasan's first bout since his big 2020 upset over touted Thai Tanes Ongjunta, and whilst he will be expected to show some ring rust he should still be favoured. Suradech has lost his last 4, and been stopped twice in that run, but he is fighting at home and is lively, so will be in the ring looking for a win, even if he is the under-dog.
This coming Sunday is a pretty quiet day for fight fans in Asia, despite a decent show in Thailand.
The show in Thailand comes to us thanks to TL Boxing Promotions. It's certainly not a big card, but will feature a pair of WBA Asia title bouts.
One of the bouts will see former world title challenger Dennapa Kiatniwat (21-2, 16) taking on Jeny Boy Buca (13-6, 11), in a bout for the WBA Asia Flyweight title. Dennapa, also known as Sarawut Thawornkham, will be defending the title he won last November, when he stopped Samuel Tehuayo in 8 rounds. The heavy handed Buca had shown some promise earlier in his career, but with 3 losses in his last 4 bouts and only a single win in the last 3 years, it's hard to see him as any sort of a test for the Thai fighter.
Interestingly the show also has a WBA Asia Super Flyweight title fight being advertised for it, with Jomvo Korsaklamphun (?-?), who doesn't appear to be listed on boxrec, taking on Filipino Adrian Lerasan (8-4, 1). Given we know nothing about the local we're either expecting a very special talent, or a terrible fighter, but we were impressed by Lerasan last year when he gave Dave Apolinario a good test, and wouldn't be surprised by another good showing, even in a loss, here.