The final day of 2016 is one of the most notable on the boxing calendar as Japanese TV promoters, and TV channels put on a number of shows. This year we get three shows, each with multi-ple title bouts and notable prospects.
The most notable of the three shows takes place in Kyoto and will be aired on TBS as part of their huge end of year celebrations.
The headline bout here will see the WBA regular and interim titles at Flyweight being unified. The bout sees regular champion Kazuto Ioka (20-1, 12) battle with unbeaten interim champion Stamp Kiatniwat (15-0, 6) from Thailand. The bout is an interesting match up with Stamp's team showing confidence in their man, who seemed to believe he was travelling to Japan to stop the champion. The experience Ioka will be looking to show that experience is key here and will likely be looking to prove he's the best Flyweight on the planet in 2017, after getting this mandatory defense out of the way.
A second world title fight on this card will see IBF Super Bantamweight chamion Jonathan Guzman (22-0-0-1, 22) defending his title for the first time. The heavy handed Dominican will be up against once beaten Japanese challenger Yukinori Oguni (18-1-1, 7), who is looking to add a world title to his collection which already includes a Japanese and OPBF title. Guzman, who won the title in Japan with a stoppage win over Shingo Wake, has looked relaxed but some have felt that he is over-looking Oguni who has started to find his own power in recent bouts.
Sadly an IBF Bantamweight title bout between Lee Haskins (34-3, 14) and Shohei Omori (17-1, 12) was cancelled in the weeks leading up to the bout, as Haskins suffered an injury that forced him out. Omori's team, who are promoting the show, managed to find their man a solid late replacement in the former of multi-time world title challenger Rocky Fuentes (32-8-2, 20). The bout isn't a bad one given the short notice but it should be noted that Fuentes is best known for his run at Flyweight and will be dwarfed by Omori who is around 5” taller than the Filipino.
Another bout pitting a Japanese fighter against a Thai will see the unbeaten, and world ranked, Sho Ishida (22-0, 11) up against the hapless Petchnamnung Sor Thiebkhun (0-10). The Thai has been stopped 8 times in his 10 defeats and will be unlikely to test Ishida who has made it clear that he's wanting world title fights in 2017. A bout like this won't prepare him for world class opposition but serves the task of keeping him busy and ticking him over whilst looking for a big fight.
Another Ioka gym hopeful on this under card is the unbeaten, and exciting, Super Flyweight Masayoshi Hashizume (11-0, 8). Hashizume won the Rookie of the Year in 2014 and although we had hoped to see him in notable fights since he actually this year facing unknown Thai Chatpetch Saithonggym (0-0). Hopefully 2017 will be a better year for the Osaka man who hasn't progressed like some had hoped.
Another notable multi-title show will come from Tokyo and be promoted by Watanabe promotions, who continue their association with TV Tokyo.
The headline bout of this is the “revenge or repeat” bout between Panama's tricky Jezreel Corrales (20-1-1, 8) and Takashi Uchiyama (24-1-1, 20). Earlier this year Corrales blitzed Uchiyama in 2 rounds to give “KO Dynamite” his first professional defeat and to claim the WBA Super Featherweight “super” title and shocked the boxing world. Now the champion will be looking to repeat the feat as he returns to a Japanese ring whilst Uchiyama will be looking to prove the result was an anomaly. At 37 years old however the view is that Uchiyama is several years removed from his prime and will likely be over-whelmed by the speed and movement of Corrales once again.
The second of the world title bouts on this card will see WBA Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi (25-2-1, 11) defending his belt against unbeaten Venezuelan puncher Carlos Canizales (16-0, 13). On paper this looks like a good defense for Taguchi but in fairness Canizales hasn't yet fought anyone of any name recognition and it's hard to know how good he really is. He could be the next gem of a talent from Venezuela or he could be a crude domestic fighter, as the footage suggests, either way we'll see questions answered about him, even if we don't learn anythign new about Taguchi.
Arguably the most interesting bout of the whole day is an OPBF / WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title unification bout as the once beaten Masayuki Ito (19-1-1, 9), the current OPBF champion, takes on the teak tough and criminally under-rated Takuya Watanabe (30-6-1, 16), the current WBO Asia Pacific title holder. This bout is one for the hardcore but is something we expect to actually leave the fans the happiest with. Both men are incredibly talented, have under-rated power and skills and the winner really does deserve some other major bouts in 2017. We think Ito is the more proven but Watanabe is always a handful and appears to be getting better with every fight.
One of the hottest young talents in Japanese boxing will be looking to secure his 5th straight stoppage win. That is the wonderfully aggressive Hiroto Kyoguchi (4-0, 4), who will be up against Filipino visitor Junuel Lacar (7-3-3, 5). The bout should be a test for Kyoguchi but the reality is that he has made supposed tests, like Kenichi Miyazaki and Michael Camelion, look poor courtesy of his speed and power. A win here could see Kyoguchi begin to fight for titles in 2017.
Another fast rising prospect on this card is the really exciting Masataka Taniguchi (5-0, 4), who is looking to build on his recent win over Dexter Alimento as he takes on Vicent Bautista (5-5-3, 1) in what looks like a straight forward bout for the much fancied Taniguchi. It's thought that 2017 will see Taniguchi battle for titles and this could be his final bout before he gets to wear his first strap.
For those interested in final 3 bouts mentioned here they will be features on tape delay as part of the Boxingraise service.
A third show, in fact the first of the three, takes place in Gifu where Hatanaka will be promoting a card. The main event of this will have a legal stream broadcast world wide for fans interested.
The main event of this card will see former WBO Minimumweight champions collide as Kosei Tanaka (7-0, 4) takes on Moises Fuentes (24-2-1, 13) for the vacant WBO Light Flyweight. For Tanaka this is a huge chance to match Naoya Inoue's Japanese record of becoming a 2-weight world champion in 8 bouts however it's a tough bout against a very talented Mexican who many feel should should have scored a win a win over Donnie Nietes in his first bout with the talented Filipino. On paper this is probably the most interesting of the bouts from the day, at least at world title level.
At Japanese title level we'll see Shota Hayashi (28-5-1, 17), making his first defense of the Japanese Featherweight title, taking on former world champion Akifumi Shimoda (31-5-2, 14). For Hayashi, who won the title back in September, a win here would legitimise his reign and prove him to be a worthy champion. For Shimoda this is a second shot at this title following a narrow loss to Satoshi Hosono last year.
In a supporting bout we'll see former Japanese Bantamweight title contender Yushi Tanaka (18-1-3, 12) face off with Takuya Taniguchi (6-9-2, 1). For Tanaka this is a chance to record a third straight win following his March loss to Kentaro Masuda for the Japanese title. The little known Taniguchi will be looking to score his biggest win, though he has gone just 1-3 in his last 4 bouts dating back more than a year.
Another supporting bout will see Kento Hatanaka (1-0, 1), the son of former former world champion Kiyohi Hatanaka, battle against Yukihiro Asahara (2-4, 1). The 18 year old Hatanaka will be seeking to score his second win in the space of just 5 weeks! On his debut Hatanaka score a quick blow out over an over-matched foe and will be looking to do the same again here.
The most significant card for us this Saturday comes from Tokyo and will be aired on G+ in Japan.
In the main event of the show card we'll see Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yasutaka Ishimoto (28-8, 7) battle against Gakuya Furuhashi (18-7-1, 8) in a really exciting rematch between two well matched fighters. These two fought last year, with Ishimoto winning a very competitive decision, and we favour him again here though it's a bout that should be genuinely compelling from the opening round to the final bell, and the two men will almost certainly gel well again here, as they did in their first bout.
In the chief supporting bout we'll see former world champion Akifumi Shimoda (30-5-2, 13) battle against Filipino journeyman Gadwin Tubigon (14-11-2, 9). Shimoda was last seen in December, losing in a very close Japanese Featherweight title fight against Satoshi Hosono, however he has remained in the domestic title mix and will be expecting a title fight next time out, if he over-comes Tubigon. Interestingly Tubigon has won his last 4, by stoppage, and will be riding a streak of confidence coming in to this even if he is the huge under-dog.
Another fighter looking to bounce back from a defeat is the once touted Sho Nakazawa (8-1, 4), who will be fighting for the first time since being stopped by Teiru Atsumi. That loss was a genuine upset and a real set back for Nakazawa who will be looking to bounce back as he takes on Filipino fighter Cris Leon (10-13-4, 4). Leon is a journeyman and despite scoring a couple of wins recently he shouldn't be able to last with Nakazawa, especially given that Leon has 10 stoppage losses against him already.
A big name on the under-card is Juiki Tatsuyoshi (5-0, 3), the son of Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, who will be up against Monkey Shuhei (5-8-1, 2). This will be Tatsuyoshi's second 6 rounder and should be a far better test than his first one, which saw him defeat a really poor Thai foe. Shuhei comes into this on the back of 5 losses, and just a single win in his last 8, but should be game against the 20 year old Osakan.
Arguably the most intriguing of the under-card bouts sees Teiken prospect Kenshin Oshima (1-0, 1), who has only 68 seconds of professional experience, taking on teenager Yuki Iriguchi (5-1-1, 3). Oshima made an impressive debut back in June and will be looking to build on that however Iriguchi impressed last year, going 4-0 (3) for the year. Despite a good 2015 Iriguchi has gone 0-1-1 this year and will be hoping to end that skid.
Another under-card bout will see the once beaten Masaya Tamayama (7-1, 4) take on the experienced Shohei Kanemoto (10-11-1, 3). It's hard to see anything but a win for Tamayama however he will be fighting in his first 8 rounder and could be moving on to big things in the near future.
Although the Japanese card is a really interesting show the bout of the day actually looks likely to be in Mexico as WBC Female Flyweight champion Jessica Chavez (27-4-3, 4) battles 3-weight world champion Naoko Fujioka (15-1, 6). The bouts sees Fujioka attempt to become the first Japanese fighter to become a 4-weight world champion but to claim that honour she will have to defeat a fellow female fighting great. This really is a mouth watering bout, and although we know plenty don't care about female boxing they should make an exception for this bout.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Back in Asia there will also be a notable show in Metro Manila with two title bouts.
One of hose title bouts will see Cris Alfante (11-6-1, 4) battle against Roilo Golez (16-15-1, 7) in a bout for the currently vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Flyweight title. On paper this looks like a mismatch in favour of Alfante however the bout should be better than it looks. Despite having a moderately decent record on paper Alfante has gone 1-4-1 in his last 6 and is seriously struggling. Interestingly Golez is 2-4 in his last 6 and should put up a solid bout here, despite the disparity in records.
The other title bout here will see Danilo Gabisay (6-6, 4) take on Joe Noynay (10-1-1, 3) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Featherweight title. Noynay began his career 10-0 but has suffered successive set backs this year and knows that he'll need a win here to put things back on track. On paper Gabisay should be an easy mark for Noynay and with 1 win in his last 5 it does likely that he is the “patsy” for Noynay to get back to winning ways.
A genuinely intriguing bout on this card will see Roldan Aldea (9-3-1, 3) battle former OPBF title challenger Benjie Suganob (10-5-1, 5) in a really even looking contest. Aldea has lost his last 2 bouts, though both were on the road, and will be hoping to avoid a third successive loss whilst Suganob has gone 2-3 in his last 5 but has certainly not shamed himself and could see this as a great chance to get notable win and move himself towards another top fight.
A second Filipino show will be held in Ifugao. This card lacks any sort of quality and the main event will see unbeaten 17 year old Carl Jammes Martin (2-0, 2) face the limited Manny Mamacquiao (1-8-1) in what should be a straight forward win for Martin.
In Russian fight fans will see Kyrgyzstan born Akzhol Sulaymanbek uulu (1-0, 1) take on a yet to be named foe
Whilst we all know that New Year's Eve is a date to always mark down on your boxing calendar for the action from Japan we have also got a special show on December 29th as Ohashi follow up their very successful FES 2014 with FES 2015, another festival of boxing with big names and the backing of Fuji TV.
The main event of the card sees the return of the hugely popular Naoya Inoue (8-0, 7) who defends his WBO Super Flyweight title for the first time since he won it last December. Inoue, who really impressed a year ago when he blitzed Omar Andres Narvaez, has been out of the ring with a hand injury, suffered in that bout, and gets thrown straight into the deep end once again as he faces big punching Filipino fighter Warlito Parrenas (24-6-1, 21). The bout has got attention due to it beign Inoue's return however Parrenas is a serious threat and despite having 6 losses, 4 by stoppage, he has really impressed in recent bouts, including a controversial draw in Mexico with David Carmona. The pressure is on Inoue to impress, though Parrenas will know that this is a huge opportunity to make a name for himself and become a fixture on the world scene.
The Inoue Vs Parrenas bout is one of two world title bouts with the other being a really exciting looking Light Flyweight bout between former 2-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (22-5, 12) goes up against IBF champion Javier Mendoza (24-2-1, 19). For Mendoza this will be his second defense, following a controversial technical decision win against Milan Melindo earlier this year and this is a great chance for him to make a name for himself. Sadly for the Mexican he is going up against one of the most popular Japanese fighters in Yaegashi, who will have the whole venue behind him. Yaegashi is looking to become the third Japanese man to become a 3-weight world champion and will know that this is a must win if his career is going to continue at the world level.
The two world title fights are joined by both an OPBF and a Japanese title fight. The OPBF title fight sees Naoya's younger brother Takuma Inoue (5-0, 1) defending the OPBF Super Flyweight title against under-rated Filipino Rene Dacquel (15-5-1, 5). This is Takuma's first defense of the title, that he won back in July when he out pointed Mark Anthony Geraldo, and is another tough match up for the talented youngster. The speed Inoue will be up against a man who is in good form having recently beaten both Melvin Gumban and Thembelani Nxoshe. This is a really good match up, but one that will get over-looked given the two main events.
The Japanese title fight is a genuinely thrilling match up as Japanese Featherweight champion Satoshi Hosono (29-2-1, 20) takes on former world champion Akifumi Shimoda (30-4-2, 13) in as good of a domestic title bout as you could make. Hosono is hoping to secure a 4th world title fight in 2016 though will need to impress against Shimoda, whilst also recording his 5th defense of the title that he won in April 2014. For Shimoda, who is best known for suffering KO of the Year type losses to Rico Ramos and Marvin Sonsona, will know that a win here could help him get a title fight, though will be aware that another eye catching KO loss will be the end of his career.
On the under-card, in non title bouts, we have two notable fighters. The highest profile of those is former OPBF champion, and current world ranked contender, Ryo Matsumoto (16-0, 14) who faces under-rated Filipino Jestoni Autida (9-3, 4). On paper this looks like a stay busy bout for Matsumoto, who is likely eyeing a world title fight in 2016, however Autida cannot be over-looked and in 2015 he has already upset Ratchasak KKP and pushed Petch Sor Chitpattana very close, with both of those bouts taking place in Thailand. This is a genuine test for Matsumoto.
The other notable fighter is the debuting Koki Inoue (0-0), the cousin of Naoya and Takuma. Koki, a former amateur stand out himself, will be up against Indonesian fighter Arif Maud (1-2, 1) in a 6 rounder. The promising Inoue is a 23 year old southpaw who will be looking to make a name for himself at 140lbs and could potentially be a third member of the Inoue family to become a star.
The best Asian card of the day comes from Japanese promotional giant Teiken who show case some of their notable fighters and also put on an interesting under-card of well matched bouts.
In the main event former world champion Akifumi Shimoda (29-4-2, 12) takes on an interesting in the form of Filipino foe Jerry Nardo (21-7, 11). On paper it's clear that Shimoda should be favoured however Nardo is much better than his record suggests and it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see the supposedly chinny Shimoda in some worrying moments
In the co-feature Welterweight puncher Yoshihiro Kamegai (25-3-1, 22) takes on Filipino fighter Nelson Gulpe (8-5, 3). We can't see this being anything more than an easy win for Kamegai, who should be too strong, too powerful and too tough for the limited Gulpe. The Filipino, who has been in poor form here, may feel he's getting a diminished Kamegai but the Japanese fighter is unbeaten in Japan and is likely to swat aside almost everyone at Oriental level, never mind Gulpe who is some way away from Oriental class.
Arguably the best of 3 well matched under-card bouts will see Japanese ranked Musashi Suzuki (11-3, 4) battle against 2014 Rookie of the Year Kenya Yamashita (7-1, 4). This is Yamanashita's first bout since he was beaten by Jo Tanooka and we expect to see him try and make a statement against Suzuki, however the more experienced man cannot be written off here.
Another of the under-card bouts that caught our eye will see once beaten Teiken fighter Masaru Sueyoshi (9-1, 6) take on the “better than his record suggests” Roman Canto (10-7-2, 5). On paper it's easy to write off Canto though this should genuinely be a very good measure of how good Masaru is and we may well see him kick on if he can look impressive here.
The remaining under-card bout that caught our eye will see Junki Sasaki (13-3, 5) battle against Yuki Ozawa (10-4, 2). This is an excellently matched bout and although Ozawa has lost his last 4 he should ask very god questions of Sasaki. Notably Sasaki did run Ryo Takenaka very close last time out and seems like he has got a lot of promise, though hasn't yet
In Thailand fans will get the chance to see highly regarded Paipharob Kokietgym (30-0, 23) defending his WBO Oriental Light Flyweight title against Filipino journeyman Jopher Marayan (7-7-2, 3). This is one of the worst bouts we've seen headline a Thai card, especially given that Marayan has lost 5 of his last 6 bouts coming in to this one.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia fans will get the chance to see a number of Thais in action.
Many of the bouts here are low profile but three actually did, genuinely, catch our eye. In one of them former world champion Denkaosan Kaovichit (63-5-1, 26) battles the unbeaten TJ Doheny (12-0, 8) in a bout for the PABA Super Bantamweight “super” title. This will be Denkaosan's first bout since he was stopped last year by Ryo Matsumoto. The Thai will be the under-dog here but has got the experienced to perhaps make life difficult for the champion, then again at 39 Denkaosan might be too shot to put up any kind of a fight at all.
Another bout of note sees Mongkolchai Lookmuangkanch (12-4, 7) take on former world champion Vic Darchinyan (40-8-1, 29). This should be a horrible mismatch against the Thai but, at 39, Darchinyan is a bit long in the tooth and could find himself being a bout that turns out to be much more competitive than expected.
The third bout of note will see the experienced, but limited Denkamon Pakdee Gym (22-6, 13) take on the unbeaten, and much touted, Cameron Hammond (13-0, 7). This is a very tough ask for the Thai who has lost his last 2 and is unlikely to pose any threat at all to Hammond, who some are tipping as a potential Australian world champion.
In the US fans get a mouth watering b-tier match up as popular Filipino Mercito Gesta (28-1-2, 16) takes on former world title challenger Martin Honorio (32-9-1, 16). On paper Gesta will be the clear favourite but Mexican veteran Honorio is certainly no push over, despite losing his last 3. At his best Honorio was a real handful, giving Juan Carlos Salgado a close loss back in 2014, pushing Argenis Mendez razor close in 2010 and scoring upsets over the likes of John Molina and Steve Luevano. Despite Honorio's ability to play the upsetter it's difficult to see him winning this one.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
June 6th-Igarashi and Shimoda return to action in Japan whilst Yordan is in action in Indonesia and Sonsona in the US!
This Saturday is set to be a hectic day for boxing fans with a number of fights taking place around the globe. For Asian fans the attention really should be on Japan and Indonesia with both countries hosting some notable fights.
The most notable card of the day is in Tokyo where fans will get a little bit of everything ranging from former world champions to hopeful contenders, from solid but uninspiring domestic fighters to novices beginning their careers.
The main event of the show will see former Flyweight champion Toshiyuki Igarashi (20-2-1, 11 battle against once beaten Filipino visitor Renerio Arizala (12-1-1, 5). Arizala was a late replacement for Lionel Mark Duran (13-11-2, 5) and appears to have been a huge upgraded, however the fact he was given the bout at late notice may well come back to cost him in what a genuine intriguing match up.
The co-feature of the show features another former world champion as former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda (28-4-2, 12) takes on former Japanese title challenger Gosuke Seki (16-1-2, 3). Shimoda is best know for suffering two KO-of-the-Year style defeats, to Rico Ramos and Marvin Sonsona, and will be hoping to get back to winning ways after more than a year out of the ring. For Seki this is a great opportunity to score a career defining win however he's certainly not a star in the making.
Another bout that caught our eye on this show is a Super Featherweight bout between hard hitting local Kenichi Ogawa (14-1, 12) and Filipino visitor Raymond Sermona (17-5-5, 8). For Ogawa this is a chance to score a 7th straight stoppage and to move towards a bigger and better fight. As for Sermona it's a potential chance to turn his career around after a run of 2-3-1 in the last 6 bouts. We suspect Ogawa will be far too good for the Filipino.
In Indonesia fans will get the chance to see several interesting bouts involving some of the countries most notable and interesting fighters.
The main event will see former world title challenger Daud Yordan (33-3-0-1, 24) take on Ghanaian southpaw Maxwell Awuku (40-2-1, 26) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific and WBO Africa Lightweight titles. For Yordan this will be his first bout since December, when he stopped Ronald Pontillas, and it's fair to say he's going to be wanting another excellent performance to remind fans how good he is.
In the chief support bout the heavy handed Defry Palulu (11-1, 10) will be up against Thai visitor Sukkasem Kietyongyuth (13-4, 8). This will be Palulu's second bout since being stopped, in 2 rounds, by AJ Banal and although he's less experienced than the Thai he will be favoured, especially considering the fact that Sukkasem has lost his last 2 bouts by stoppage.
The most notable bout involving an Asian fighter in the US will be a contest between former world champion Marvin Sonsona (19-1-1, 15) and the tough but limited Jonathan Arrellano (15-5-2, 3). Sonsona, who last fought a year ago, will be hoping to make an impact here following a dull affair last time out against Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. Incidentally Arrellano's last bout was also against Vazquez Jr, dropping a close decision, and he is now 1-3 in his last 4 bouts.
New York, USA
Chinese Heavyweight hopeful Zhang Zhilei (3-0, 2) continues his development as he takes on Glenn Thomas (1-3) in a scheduled 4 rounder. Zhilei, a former Olympic medalist is 32 and it seems like he's really needing a step up sooner rather than later and hopefully a 6 round bout will come before the end of the year.
In Virginia fans will see the second pro bout of Uzbek fighter Zarifbek Nishanbaev (1-0, 1). Nishanbaev made his debut earlier this year with a 27 second blow out of Mike Blocker and will be hoping for something similar here. Unfortunately the “opponent” wasn't named at the time of writing.
Gauteng, South Africa
In South Africa fans get the chance to see unbeaten Kazakh prospect Roman Zhailauov (14-0, 8) facing off against the relatively fragile Luyanda Jako (9-9-2, 4), who has been stopped in all 9 losses and has won just 1 of his last 6 bouts.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
It's not rare in boxing to have action all over the place but one show gets all the headlines. That's the case this weekend as we get one massive blockbuster of a show that has been stealing the headlines for weeks and been by far the most anticipated show of the year so far. Whilst that, admittedly, isn't saying much considering how slow the year has been, this is still a huge and really notable show and there is no real shame in ignoring most other shows to pay attention to just the one.
The show in question is the massive "Ring of Gold" show in Macau's amazing Venetian Resort. The resort, which is one of the biggest buildings on the planet looks good with out boxing though this Saturday it will look even better with 3-Olympic champions, 3 title bouts, 2 former world champions, one world title and 9 different countries being represented! This is what global boxing is all about!
The card kicks off with a Super Flyweight contest scheduled for 8 rounds. This bout sees Jerwin Ancajas (18-1-1, 10) fighting against Inthanon Sithchamuang (20-6, 11) in what we expect to be a relatively straight forward victory for Ancajas. Although he has lost one and drawn one Ancajas is a real talent and the draw, a technical draw, came very early in his career whilst his loss was a narrow one to the very under-rated Mark Anthony Geraldo. He's a very solid and improving fighter who will title aspirations.
Following the cards opener we expect to see Harmonito Dela Torre (11-0, 6) fighting against Indonesia's Yakobus Heluka (7-5, 3) in a 6 round bout at Super Featherweight. We do like Dela Torre a lot, though wonder what the point of this bout is and whether Heluka is even fit to fight having recently been stopped in Japan. By "recently" we mean less than 4 weeks ago and we don't think Heluka could possibly have recovered in that time.
We're expecting at least one of those two to end early and if it does we could see the "swing bout" moved up to being the show's third bout. The swing contest is between Macao's very own Kuok Kun Ng (2-0) and Indonesian Rocky Alap Alap (5-10). Although neither has a stoppage to their name we wouldn't be shocked if Ng did stop Alap Alap inside the scheduled 4 rounds. In fact we'd be more shocked if Alap Alap was dwarfed in the ring by a much bigger fighter.
The reason we're expect the swing bout to be so early is because the next scheduled bout is Ryota Murata's (2-0, 2) contest which has got a set aside time slot to appease Fuji TV. The bout, which will start at around 7PM local time, sees Murata fighting against former world title challenger Carlos Nascimento (29-3, 23) in what looks like a good step up for Murata. Unfortunately the bout isn't likely to be as testing as it looks as Nascimento is 40 years old and several years past his best though it's still a positive step up from the Japanese Olympic champion.
After Murata's bout we get the show's first title bout as Hong Kong's insanely popular Rex Tso (11-0, 7) battles Japan's Mako Matsuyama (7-7-1, 3). On the line here is Tso's WBC Asia Council Continental Super Flyweight title and the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title as well as Tso's recent WBO world ranking. At lost at stake forTso but the expectation is that he will easily cope with Matsuyama.
Following the first title fight we're then scheduled to go to the second title bout which see's former world champions colliding in the best looking contest on the show. This bout sees former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda (28-3-2, 12) fighting Filipino power puncher Marvin Sonsona (17-1-1, 14), himself a former WBO Super Flyweight champion. The winner of this bout will likely be moved to within a fight or two of a world title bout, though will immediately claim the WBO International Featherweight title and a big boost to any possible WBO rankings that they have.
The Shimoda/Sonsona bout is followed by the second Olympic champion on the show as Egor Mekhontsev (1-0, 1) faces unbeaten Thai Atthaporn Jaritram (4-0, 1). On paper this is an interesting bout between unbeaten fighters but in reality it's hard to see anything but an impressive victory for the talented and much more experienced Russian who was a former standout amateur and multi-medal winning fighter in the unpaid ranks.
Mekhontsev's contest merely gives us a break between title fights before his fellow Russian Denis Shafikov (33-0-1, 18) attempts to claim his biggest victory as a professional. Shafikov, fighting in his first world title fight will be hoping to dethrone talented and rangy Mexican Miguel Vazquez (33-3, 13) of the IBF Lightweight in what promises to be an incredibly interesting and tough contest. Interesting since this bout was first listed on the sports books the odds have closed remarkably and there are many smelling a possible upset here.
The main event, scheduled to take place at 10PM local time, is to be local star Zou Shiming (3-0) fighting Thai teenager Yokthong Kokietgym (15-3, 11). On paper this looks like a huge leap of faith from Shiming's side but when you consider Japanese youngster Ryuji Hara stopped Yokthong in 2 rounds it's fair to assume that Shiming's team have just been very cynical with their match making. Oddly one of our writers has gone against the tide and confidently predicted Yokthong to win, be the rest of us aren't buying it.
As we said when we started this, the Macau card is the big, but it's not the only one with one also taking place in the very pleasantly named Peoples Park in Baguio City. The card, expected to feature 6 contests has just one of note and that's the bout featuring Rex Wao (7-0, 6) who will be attempting to extend his unbeaten record as he fights Gerry Pateno (4-5-2, 2). Wao has stopped his last 5 and some in the Philippines are very excited by him. Hopefully another win here, in style, will see him given more notable opportunities in the near future.
Outside of Asia we're also expecting to see Tajikistan's Azamat Umarzade (0-1) in action. Umarzade, who has been inactive since losing on debut back in 2010 is being matched with Joey Ruelas (6-0-1, 3) in what is one of the most pointless matches we can ever remember mentioning on this site.