Sumiyoshi Ward Center, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The main show this coming Sunday comes from Osaka where we see one of the brightest hopefuls in Japan defending a regional title.
The aforementioned hopeful is WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Nishida (5-0, 1), who looks to make his second defense as he takes on Filipino fighter Aljum Pelesio (11-1, 6). Nishida, who famously dethroned Daigo Higa, will be expected to win here and move on to bigger and better things in the new year. This is technically a step from his biggest bouts, wins over Higa and Shohei Omori, but the bout will serve a purpose and that's to keep him focused, even in bouts where he is the very, very clear favourite. As for Pelesio this is a massive step up, it's his first bout over 10 rounds and his first bout outside of the Philippines. Pelesio will know he has nothing to lose, and few are giving him a chance, but he will need a career best performance to even be semi competitive with the highly skilled Nishida. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here WBO Asia Pacific champion Nishida takes on Filipino challenger Pelesio
In the chief support fight former amateur stand out Kaito Yamasaki (3-0, 1) looks to move to 4-0 as he takes on visiting Thai Adirek Meesrida (2-0, 2). The talented Yamasaki stepped up big time in May, when he beat Koshin Takeshima, and will be expected to pick up an easy win here. As for Meesrida the Thai debuted in July, scored his second win in August and is now looking for a third win in less than 4 months. Sadly for the visitor this is a massive step up in class, and also his first bout outside of Thailand. Meesrida's record suggests that he can punch a bit, and could chin check Yamasaki, but it would be a huge surprise to see him really testing Yamasaki.
One other bout of note on this card will be the debut of former amateur stand out Takeru Inoue (0-0), who takes on Thai novice Piya Chaichot (1-0, 1). Inoue, no relation to the Ohashi promoted brothers, was a genuinely brilliant amateur on the Japanese scene and he went 56-14 in the unpaid ranks whilst also winning two domestic titles. There are a lot of expectations on the 24 year old and he is expected to shine here. As for Chaichot, who is just 18, he debuted in August with an opening round win, but this is a huge step up class for him here and it's hard to imagine him having the tools to cope with Inoue.
Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines
As well as the show in Japan there is also a card in the Philippines, with a fantastic main event, and a promising prospect competing on the under-card.
The main event will see two notable Filipino Light Flyweights face off as Vince Paras (17-2-1, 15) meets Robert Paradero (18-2-1, 12), in what will be the second bout between the men who fought to a split decision draw in April. Paras is the more well known fighter, having fought for the IBF Minimumweight title in 2018, losing to Hiroto Kyoguchi. Sadly since that world title bout Paras has gone 4-1-1 and lacks a notable win, with a loss to Jonathan Taconing and the draw with Paradero. Aged just 23 he does have time on his side, but he does need to start notching notable wins, and a win over Paradero would certainly count there. As for Paradero he fought for the WBA "Regular" Minimumweight title, losing to Vic Saludar, and the "Super" title, losing to Knockout CP Freshmart, both in 2021. Those losses, and the draw with Paras, have been his last 3 bouts and he is now without a win in over 3 years. He desperately needs a victory, and whilst he is only 26 year he can ill afford another setback given his recent form. We expect this to be explosive, a little bit wild, and wouldn't be surprised to see this one ending early, despite the fact their first bout went 10 rounds just a few months ago.
The under-card will see unbeaten hopeful Kenneth Llover (6-0, 4) look for his 7th win as he takes on domestic journeyman Jonathan Francisco (10-17-1, 4). It's hard to imagine anything but a win for Llover, with the real question not being who will win, but how long Francisco can last with the promising Llover.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Our attention turns to the TV5 studio this coming Sunday for an interesting card featuring an IBO world title bouts, and some good bouts pitting young hopefuls against each other, as the Ultimate Boxing Series (UBS) has it's finals.
The main event of the show will see the once beaten Carlo Caesar Penalosa (14-1, 7) take on Mexican visitor Maximino Flores (24-4-1-2, 17) for the IBO Flyweight title. The talented Penalosa has won 7 in a row, including 4 straight by T/KO, but this is a step up in class and looks like his toughest bout, by far. Flores on the other hand is a young veteran who has clashed with the likes of Milan Melindo, Martin Tecuapetla and Andrew Selby. Experience favours Flores, but he is 0-2 outside of Mexico.
The UBS Flyweight final will see 26 year old April Jay Abne (3-0, 1), who debuted this February, take on Ronel Sumalpong (8-1-1-1, 5), who has been a professional for more than 2 years. Both fighters have looked really promising through their UBS bouts, winning unanimous decisions in both of their bouts so far, but have shown a real lack of power, with neither man yet to score a stoppage. The winner here will be ear marked for something much bigger in the near future, and will likely have ESPN5 well and truly behind them.
The other UBS bout on this show will take place at Bantamweight and see unbeaten men collide. The match up will have Lienard Sarcon (6-0, 2) take on Aljum Pelesio (8-0, 5) in what looks like a mouth watering prospect vs prospect match. The 19 year old Sarcon won his quarter final bout with no issue, but struggled in his semi with Gary Tamayo. On the other other hand the 21 year old Pelesio has only really lost a single round in both of his bouts and he will likely be the slight favourite here.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
As well as the Filipino show, which is expected to be streamed on ESPN5, there is also a card from Vietnam, with some international title interest.
The main event of this card will see 33 year old Uzbek fighter Olimjon Nazarov (18-5, 11) take on 30 year old Filipino Ivan Soriano (20-2-1, 10) for the WBO Oriental Flyweight title, which has recently been vacated by the excellent Giemel Magramo. The talented Soriano has rebuilt since losing to Wenfeng Ge last year with a couple of low key wins, and knows that a world title fight not be far off with a win here. Nazarov on the other hand has won 5 in a row, though his wins have typically been against a very low level of opposition and this would be his biggest win to date, if he managed to over-come Soriano.