This coming Saturday we had hoped to see the ring return of Hyun Mi Choi, who was pencilled in to unify her WBA Super Featherweight title with the WBC and IBO titles of Terri Harper. Sadly that bout, which was to take place in Manchester was cancelled earlier this month when Harper had to pull out with a hand injury. That bout has left the day looking rather empty for notable Asian action, but we do have some minor bouts taking place in Russia,
USC Soviet Wings, Moscow, Russia
The show in question is a Shamo promoted event in Moscow which features a rather easy to over-look line up, but several Central Asian fighters.
One of those hopefuls is Uzbekistan's Mirzakamol Nematov (4-0, 2) who fights for the third time this year, as he takes on Evgeny Nikitin (5-5, 2). In all honesty this isn't a great bout, but it's great to see Nematov staying busy, and he only turned professional late last year with his debut in September. As long as he stays active it's hard to complain about this level of competition, this early in his career, though steps up in class will be expected in the next 12 months. Nikitin has lost his last 3 and is 1-5 against fighters with winning records, though is clearly there to allow Nematov to pick up another win and continue building some momentum at this early stage in his career.
Another fighter from Uzbekistan in action here is Bakhromjon Fozilov (2-1-3, 1) who faces Russian Alan Dzhanaev (3-2-1) in an 8 round Middleweight bout. Interestingly these two fought to a technical draw in April and both will be hoping to pick up a victory in this rematch. It's hard to imagine either man being on their way to anything big, but it is worth noting that Fozilov is unbeaten in his last 5.
Sokol Club, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Over in the US American based Basyzbek Baratov (2-1-2), originally from Kyrgyzstan, is set to return to the ring for the first time in over 4 years as he's pencilled in to face the unbeaten Ronald Harrison (2-0, 2). For Baratov his career really seemed to end after a 2017 draw with Harold Lopez, but now, aged 29, he seems set to get back into the ring and move up the weights, from Flyweight to Featherweight to face the 31 year old Harrison. Sadly for Baratov he's taking on a man who's a reported 8" inches taller and will physically dwarf him. On paper this is technically a step up for Harrison, with Baratov being his most experienced opponent by far, but Harrison's natural size is likely to be far too much for Baratov to over-come
Aioi Hall, Kariya, Aichi, Japan
Former world champion Yasuei Yakushiji puts on his next show this coming Sunday as boxing returns back to the Aioi Hall for the first time since March. As with most Yakushiji promoted shows this isn't a big card, but we do expect some great as these smaller shows from the Aioi Hall do have a knack of over-delivering.
The main event here will see Japanese ranked Flyweight Katsuya Murakami (9-2-1, 2) take on Daisuke Sudo (7-6-3). The unheralded Murakami is a 26 year old who managed to pick up 2 solid wins over Shin Tomita in 2019 before a loss to Yuga Inoue slowed his momentum. Despite that he is still ranked and will be hoping to move towards a potential Japanese title fight in the coming years. Sudo on the other hand is a very limited southpaw, but someone with some momentum following 3 successive wins coming into this bout. Whilst this might look like a mismatch we are expecting a genuinely competitive contest here, but we do think Murakami will do enough to take home a victory.
Sadly all the other bouts on this card are 4 rounders, but that's not a bad thing, as 4 rounders typically provide a lot of action in Japan. And we expect a lot of action from a match up between Yosshah Matsumoto (1-2-2) and Ryusuke Harada (1-2-2) who face off in their 4th bout against each other in just 18 months! We're not sure if Matsumoto and Harada hate each other or not, but they sure do like fighting each other, and through their first 3 bouts we've seen Harada win one and two draws. The two are really well matched and always put on a great show, and we wouldn't be surprised at all by the men sharing the spoils with another draw here.
One other bout that will be very much worth watching will see 22 year old debutant Riku Umemura (0-0) take on unbeaten 18 year old Yuki Morikawa (0-0-1) in a Super Flyweight bout. We don't expect high quality boxing, but we do expect some very entertaining action here between two young men each wanting to make a point.
Sadly a scheduled bout between Hiroya Nojima (6-1, 2), the 2020 All Japan Rookie of the Year at Welterweight, and Shoma Okada (4-3, 2) was unfortunately cancelled. This was cancelled when Okada pulled out of the contest in late April, though hopefully it won't be too long until we see Nojima back in the ring as he looked so much fun to watch during the Rookie of the Year tournament.
For fans wanting to watch this event, the fantastic sakana 1976 is set to stream live on YouTube for free. Go subscribe to them and tune in to what should be a fun, if low level, card of boxing and something very different to the action in the US on Friday night in Arlington, Texas.
Note - There was also plans for a show in Tokyo on Sunday, that card has now been postponed due to the on going State of Emergency in Tokyo.
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, USA
This coming Saturday is a relatively quiet one for Asian fighters but, and there isn't really too much to talk about. Thankfully however there is something huge taking place in the US and we do get a bout with a Japanese fighter, in what could end up being something a little bit special. Especially for fans who still tend not to make an effort to see the little men in action.
Of course the main event this weekend is a super fight between global boxing star Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders, but on the under-card of that we'll see popular Japanese warrior Katsunari Takayama (32-8-0-1, 12) challenge WBO Light Flyweight champion Elwin Soto (18-1, 12), in a bout that has the potential to give us something amazing.
For fans who haven't seen Takayama before, the Japanese veteran is one of the sports real warriors and he has been in with a legitimate who's who of the lower weights since his debut back in 2000. He has faced the likes of Eagle Den Junlaphan, Yutaka Niida, Roman Gonzalez, Nkosinathi Joyi, Mario Rodriguez, Francisco Rodriguez Jr, Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr, and Jose Argumedo, among others. Not only has he faced the best but he's also beaten a number of the best and is a multi-time former champion at 105lbs who is now looking to become a 2-weight champion.
Soto on the other hand has been making quite a name for himself in the last 2 years as a huge punching youngster with a solid chin and a thrilling style. He won the WBO title in 2019, with a big upset over Angel Acosta, and is looking for his third defense here. Despite being a huge puncher Soto is regarded as a work in progress, and his win, last year, against Carlos Buitrago showed there was still a lot of work for him to do, though at the age of 24 there's also no rush.
Given the styles of the two men this has the potential to be a brilliant war between an old veteran, looking to go to the well one last time, and an emerging force of the lower weights. Don't be surprised if this is a lot more exciting than the main event of the show.
Our full, in depth, preview of this bout, can be read here Takayama gets a chance to become 2-weight champion! Faces hard hitting Soto
This coming Friday we'll, potentially, be getting an Indian show that was first scheduled for mid-April before being postponed. And sadly it could well be postponed again given how things currently are in India, and where boxing really should be put on the back burner until the country can get on top of the current situation.
If the card goes ahead the main event will see former Indian amateur standout Nutlai Lalbiakkima (1-0, 1) take on fellow professional novice Sandeep Singh (1-0-1) in a bout for the WBA Intercontinental Minimumweight title. As an amateur Lalbiakkima was a solid, if often over-looked, fighter who scored numerous notable wins including a big one at the 2018 President's Cup against Hasanboy Dusmatov. He's expected to be moved quickly through the professional ranks and it seems that a win here will secure him a minor title and potential WBA world ranking. Singh on the other hand is a 17 year old who debuted as a professional in 2019 and despite being unbeaten is expected to be easy prey for Lalbiakkima.
In a supporting bout the once beaten Vimal Punera (4-1, 4) looks to score a 5th straight stoppage win as he takes on Hans Raj (2-3-1, 1). Punera lost his debut in 2018, in Australia, but since then has scored 4 quick wins, including an opening round TKO win over Raj in 2019. As for Raj he has struggled for victories, but won last time out and will be looking to avenge his prior to Punera. Interestingly the very lightly regarded IBA Asian Flyweight title is supposed to be on the line here.
We need to make it very clear however, this card is not one we expect to be taking place in May given the current situation in India.
KRK “Uralets”, Ekaterinburg, Russia
As well as the Indian show there is also set to be some Asian interesting on a card in Russia, which is being promoted by RCC Boxing Promotions.
One of the Asian fighters on this card is Kazakh 29 year old Berikbay Nurymbetov (7-2-1, 2), who takes on unbeaten Russian Ivan Nikonov (4-0, 1) in a 6 rounder. Coming in to this Nurymbetov is unbeaten in 3, though those 3 fights have cine at a very low level after back to back losses to bright prospects, Talgat Shayken and Ray Seitzhanov. The 24 year old Nikonov has shown some real promise since making his debut in 2019, but has had a bit of a stop-start career and only fit a single bout into 2020, losing some of the moment he was building. Even with the inactivity in mind he should have far too much for the Kazakh man.
In a second bout of note for us we'll see rough and tough Filipino Alphoe Dagayloan (14-4-6, 5) take on Tajik born Russian Zafar Parpiev (9-2, 2), in a Super Flyweight bout. The ugly record of Dagayloan hides the fact that he's an absolute nightmare to fight against, with a marauding style and under-rated power. In recent years he has scored more than his share of upsets and also given the likes of Ryota Yamauchi, Carlo Caesar Penalosa and Bienvenido Ligas a tough nights work. Parpiev on the other hand can't be over-looked and will be coming in to this one the back of a big win over Turat Osmonov in December. He also holds a notable win over Jake Bornea. Whilst not a bout that will get much attention this should be a really good fight. Sadly we suspect Parpiev's natural size advantage will be key, but he'll have to work hard for a victory.
The Won Boxing Stadium, Seoul, South Korea
Over in Korea this coming Sunday we'll see KBM Lightweight champion Moo Hyun Kim (6-1, 2) defending the title he won last November, as he takes on Yun Seong Kim (4-1, 2), who is himself dropping down in weight for this bout.
The talented champion has shown what he can do on the road, beating Hironori Shigeta and George Tachibana earlier on his career, and has also impressed back in Korea. Although a flawed fighter the 28 year old has impressed since suffering his sole loss in 2017 and seems like he has the potential to be a player on the OPBF title scene in the future, if he continues to develop. As for the challenger he was stopped just a couple of fights back, but it's though that, at 135lbs, he'll be stronger and more powerful than he was whilst fighting at Light Welterweight.
As with all Korean bouts we expect this one to be a damn exciting war, with both men letting leather fly and it could end up being the hidden gem of the weekend.
As well as the main event this card will feature 3 under-card bouts, including a 6 rounder and a female 4 rounder. Don't expect the boxing to be high level on the under-card, but the action should make up for that and Korean under-cards almost always deliver great brawls.
We were expecting this Saturday to be a huge one for Asian boxing, though sadly it's not gone ahead without a hiccup. A card planned for Korakuen Hall has been postponed, from May 1st to May 19th, due to the current State of Emergency in Tokyo, and a show planned to take place in Thailand has been postponed to June 5th. Despite that the day is certainly still onw with stuff to talk about.
London, United Kingdom
The biggest bout of the day takes place in London as WBA Light Heavyweight "super" champion Dmitry Bivol (17-0, 11) defends his title against Craig Richards (16-1-1, 9), in what looks like a massive leap up in clash for the British national champion. Bivol, born in Kyrgyzstan though fighting out of Russia, is one of the most talented and proven fighters at 175lbs, but also one of the most frustrating and someone who has gained a reputation for having a lot of skills but an unwillingness to take risks. In Richards we have a man we expect to look very much out of his depth, but put up a game effort in what could be a rather ugly and messy fight. Despite not being the most attractive match up style wise, it is great to see Bivol back in the ring after more than a year of inactivity. Our full preview of this bout can be read here WBA "Super" Champion Bivol faces Richards in the UK!
Urdaneta Cultural Center, Urdaneta City, Dangasinan, Philippines
In the Philippines we're set to get a show that was originally scheduled to take place on April 24th but was then delayed. Sadly despite the delay it is still very much a show of mismatches.
One of the notable fighters on this card is former amateur standout Charly Suarez (5-0, 4), who had been tipped as a future force for Filipino boxing when he turned professional. The now 32 year old Suarez turned professional disappointingly late and now, in his 6th bout, is taking on regional journeyman Pablito Canada (7-18-4, 1), who was replaced Suarez's originally planned opponent of Lorence Rosas (9-5-2, 3). We know that Filipino fighters, like Japanese fighters, are limited right now due to travel issues brought on by covid19 but in reality Canada, even as a late replacement, is a poor choice of opponent, and he shouldn't really force Suarez to break a sweat. Canada has gone 1-7-1 in his last 9 and will almost certainly pick up another loss here to the frustrating but talented Suarez.
In a potentially better match up the under-rated Richard Pumicpic (21-11-2, 6), who is much, much better than his record suggests, will take on Landy Cris Leon (13-21-5, 6). We like Pumicpic, a lot, and his record really doesn't tell the tale of his ability or his career. Coming in Pumicpic has lost his last 3, but we're expecting a very decisive performance here against the very limited Leon.
CWE Academy, Jalandhar, India
There is also set to be a small show in India, though we wouldn't be surprised if this was postponed given what is currently happening in the country.
The planned main event here would see unbeaten men collide, with Pawan Goyat (3-0) and Sachin Nautiyal (4-0, 3) facing off in a 6 rounder in the Light Middleweight division. Goyat made an impressive in 2016, but has been horribly inactive since then, and it's hard to know what his ambitions for the sport are. Nautiya on the other hand is 19 and will be up against his first fighter with a win. Hard to read much into this one, but still it is good to see Indian boxing look up, after some stellar results in recent amateur competitions.
Another unbeaten fighter on this card worthy of some attention is popular female fighter Asha Roka (3-0, 1), who looks for her 4th win in professional boxing as she takes on the win-less Madhu Rani (0-3). Although her boxing career is still in it's infancy Roka does have a growing fanbase, and the potential to be one of the key Indian female professional stars, though does need stiffer competition in the near future. Sadly this is not likely to be a test for her. As for Rani, at least we can say she's active and this will be her 4th professional bout since November 2020. Unfortunately she's lost the previous 3 and will be expected to lose this one as well.
Sanman Gym, General Santos City, Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
To end the month of April we get the next show from Sanman promotions. It's not a huge card, though it's a very notable one, with 3 notable Filipino hopefuls in action, as they all look to tick over and move towards bigger and better things. They are 3 fighters who, after the pandemic, will all be knocking on the door of big fights.
The main event will see world ranked Filipino hopeful Mike Plania (24-1, 12) take on the limited Emmanuel Mogawa (5-3, 2), in what should be little more than a stay busy bout for Plania. The talented "Magic Mike" scored a career best win last June, over Joshua Greer Jr, but was unable to build on that victory and has sadly lost the momentum that that win should have injected into his career. Sadly with the momentum gone it makes sense to tick over with a bout like this, and keep ready than to waste more time. It's just a shame he didn't get a big fight after the win over Greer. As for Mogawa he's never been stopped, and can fight, but should be very under-sized here.
Another man who seemed set for big things last year is Jayson Mama (15-0, 8), who had been lined up for a fight with Moruti Mthalane, before that fell apart due to issues with the promoter. Mama will have to put that missed opportunity behind him, and stay focused as he takes on the rugged Romshane Sarguilla (7-5-2, 4), who is a lot more of a test than his record suggests. The 23 year old Mama is a talented prospect, but someone who serious needs some tests and some seasoning, and this bout should be a good test for him. Sarguilla is limited but has managed to ask serious questions of upcoming world title challenger Pongsaklek Sithdabnij and Andika D'Golden Boy. He will be there to win and should be the type of fighter who brings out the best in Mama.
A third notable hopeful here is Jade Bornea (15-0, 10), who takes on Roland Jay Biendima (15-7-1, 8). Bornea was a standout amateur and is someone with the potential to mix it at a high level, but he has yet to really click in the professional ranks and will need a more complete performance than we've seen from him if he's to convince the sport that he is a world champion in the making. Biendima however has had mixed performances. His 2020 clash with Kento Hatanaka was an amazing war, where he showed real toughness, but he was stopped quickly a bout later, by Christian Araneta. On his day Biendima can be a force, and we hope he manages to put on a good performance here, as Bornea needs to forced into showing what he can really do.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
We return to Korakuen Hall this coming Tuesday, ending a 6 day run without a show there, as we get the next A-Sign Bee show. This isn't a big card, by any stretch, but does look to be quite an evenly matched one, and that's saying more than we can for some shows.
The main event will see Japanese ranked Super Featherweight fighters clash in a n 8 rounder. In corner is #9 ranked Kazuma Sanpei (19-6, 8) and in the other corner will be Kazuaki Miyamoto (7-5, 6), ranked #19. On paper this doesn't look like an amazing bout, but it should be a very well contested one. Sanpei is a 25 fight veteran who began his career in 2012, and is still only 25. His record looks good at first glance, and a 2013 All Japan Rookie of the Year win also looks good, but he is 8-6 (4) in his last 14 bouts, not that much different to Miyamoto's career record. He has also been stopped in 4 of those 6 losses. Miyamoto on the other hand is a 27 year old glass cannon who has been stopped in all 5 losses, but has the power to be dangerous with only 1 decision win on his record. We expect this one to be explosive!
Another potentially explosive bout will see Ken Koibuchi (6-5, 5) and Katsunori Endo (7-3, 4) clash in another 8 rounder. The 25 year old Koibuchi is limited but tough, having been stopped once in his 5 losses whilst Endo has been stopped in 2 of his 3 defeats. The key however is the power for both men, and this could end up being one where both men are hurt before we see a finish. Interestingly Endo enters the bout ranked #11 by the JBC at Super Featherweight.
Another ranked fighter on this show is Tatsuya Yanagi (17-6-2, 7), who is risking rankings with the JBC, OPBF and the WBO Asia Pacific, as he takes on Toru Kiyota (10-4, 7). Yanagi's record is certainly not the best, but he is 6-1-1 in his last 8 including good wins over Ryusei Nakajima, Koichi Aso and Kazuki Saito. Kiyota on the other hand is 3-3 in his last 6 but has shown a lot to like, and with some luck could well have had 3 of those losses expunged from his record. This might not look great but should be a very interesting bout over the 8 round schedule.
One other bout worthy of note is an all debutant 4 rounder between Italian born Japanese based Boni Federica (0-0) and Asako Sugawara (0-0). Not much is known about either fighter, but Federica was born in Italy and is now fighting out of the RK Kamata Gym, with her goal being to win a Japanese title. Sugawara on the other hand is from the Ichiriki Gym and has reportedly set a target of winning a world title. Not a great bout, but certainly an interesting one.
NOTE - There is talk that this show may be postponed due to the recent state of emergency in Tokyo If you are attending the event please check with the promoter (Ichiriki)
April 24th - World and Regional title fights in Japan, world title eliminator in South Africa and more!
This coming Saturday is set to be a hectic day, with two notable Japanese shows, a world title eliminator in South Africa and a show in the Philippines featuring several noteworthy fighters.
EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The most notable card comes from Osaka and is a lovely mix of everything Japanese boxing has to offer. It has a world title bout in the main event, a brilliant domestic bout in the co-feature role and several talented prospects in tough bouts through the card.
The main event will see WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) look to record his latest defense as he faces Japanese veteran Tetsuya Hisada (34-10-2, 20), in a bout that has a surprising amount of history behind it. The two men were originally scheduled to fight in 2017, before Kenshiro vacated the Japanese title and went on to fight for the WBC belt. They were also scheduled to fight in 2020, before legal issues scuppered the bout. Of the two men Kenshiro is the more well known and the more proven, with this being his 8th defense, but the highly experienced Hisada is a very capable fighter, who gave Hiroto Kyoguchi a tough test in 2019 and will know that this is his last chance at a world title. We expect this one to be a brilliant bout between a strong, aggressive, veteran and a talented and intelligent champion. A genuinely fantastic match up. Our in depth preview of this can be read here 4 years in the making - Kenshiro Teraji Vs Tetsuya Hisada
The co-feature for this show will see talented teenage hopeful Ayumu Hanada (5-0, 4) take on the huge punching Mammoth Kazunori (6-3-1, 6) in a 6 round bout between the Flyweight and Super Flyweight limits. Hanada began his career in Mexico before moving back to Japan last year and he made his JBC debut late last year in a very impressive performance. He's very young, but lives up to the "Flaco" nickname, with an aggressive, exciting and explosive style. Talking about explosive however Kazunori is one of the heaviest handed fighters in Japan, and if he catches an opponent clean he can wipe some one out. This is a very dangerous bout for Hanada, but a win here will likely lead him to a potential bout with a Japanese ranked opponent next time out.
Another prospect on this card is Kantaro Juri (2-0, 1), who looks to score his third win as he takes on the light punching Toma Kondo (8-6-1, 1). The 24 year old Juri is a talented southpaw, who has a lot of promise and showed a lot of ability as an amateur, but is yet to show what he can really do as a professional. Fingers crossed we see him put together a better performance here than we've seen from him so far. Kondo is no world beater, but he is much better than his record suggests and 4 of his 6 losses have been by split decision. He's coming in to this on the back of a minor high, as he he surprisingly held Yuki Nakajima to a draw in December, and will feel like he can build on that result here.
One other bout that deserves a bit of attention is a match up between Daiki Asai (0-1) and Yu Konomura (10-9-2, 4). Asai lost his debut, last year, to Kyonosuke Kameda, but showed a lot as an amateur and clearly has some tools in his arsenal that could see him in some interesting bouts over the next few years. Konomura is a win some-lose some, type of fighter, but has began to find his self belief and power, scoring his last 3 wins by stoppage, and we suspect he'll come in to this confident that he can get another KO. Both of these guys are better than their records suggest, and they could end up giving a genuine treat deep on the under-card of this show.
Convention Center, Ginowan, Okinawa, Japan
A second Japanese card, which will be aired live in Okinawa and be shown on tape delay in Tokyo, will be a card that has a very easy to over-look main event, and a solid prospect on the under-card. It's not as interesting, or as big as the Osaka card, but is a show worthy of attention.
The main event here will see former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (17-1-1, 17) look to score his first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title, as he takes on the unbeaten Ryosuke Nishida (3-0, 1). Higa won the title in impressive fashion last December, when he stopped Yuki Strong Kobayashi, but hasn't looked the most convincing since his forced move to Bantamweight. He is certainly heavy handed and very exciting, but we do wonder whether he has the natural size to compete against the better fighters in the division. For Nishida this is a massive step up, but he has impressed since turning professional, and he looked a real talent last time out, when he beat Shohei Omori. He has the style and size to neutralise Higa, and if he can put a complete performance together here he could upset the local hero. Our in depth preview of this one can be read here Higa returns to Okinawa to take on unheralded Nishida!
Higa's once beaten stablemate Ryuto Owan (6-1, 4) will also be on this show, as he takes on the tough and rugged Takafumi Iwaya (4-4). Owan won his first 5 bouts before losing in 2018, in a Japanese Youth title bout. Following that loss he disappeared for a couple of years before returning last year with a win over Tomoya Kishine and he looked really good in that win. Iwaya isn't a particularly well known fighter, but he is insanely tough and last year we saw him take a battering at the hands of the brilliant Rentaro Kimura, before finally being stopped in round 5. He's very limited but there is no doubting his toughness and he will be a potential nightmare for Owan here. Owan should have the tools to win, but he will have to work hard against one of the toughest men in the sport.
Suamlum Night Bazaar, Ratchadaphisek, Bangkok
Over in Thailand we get the next show from TL Promotions and it's one with a very peculiar main event.
That main event will see former Welterweight contender Teerachai Sithmorseng (44-1, 31) clash with former Bantamweight and Super Featherweight champion Sirimongkhon Iamthuam (97-5, 62), with the bout taking place all the way up at Light Heavyweight. The bout will be for Teerachai's WBA Asia title and it's fair to say that neither man will look in their best physical shape and condition.
The show will also feature the third professional boxing contest of Nonthasith Petchnamthong (2-0) who will be defending his WBA Asia Bantamweight title , as he takes on Suradech Ruhasiri (6-2, 5). Nonthasith is a top Muay Thai fighter who has been solid since turning to professional, and should be far, far too good for his Thai foe here. Though sadly Nonthasith has shown little power in professional boxing gloves, and it's going to be interesting to see whether or not he can stop his limited foe here.
2nd Floor, Mega Mart Burgos Poblacion Norte, Paniqui, Tarlac, Philippines
In the Philippines we're set to get a show that is rather disappointing overall, but one that does feature several fighters of note. Sadly however as with many Filipino shows it has the look of "mismatch city".
One of the notable fighters on this card is former amateur standout Charly Suarez (5-0, 4), who had been tipped as a future force for Filipino boxing when he turned professional. The now 32 year old Suarez turned professional disappointingly late and now, in his 6th bout, is taking on regional journeyman Lorence Rosas (9-5-2, 3). We know that Filipino fighters, like Japanese fighters, are limited right now due to travel issues brought on by covid19 but in reality Rosas is a poor choice of opponent, and he shouldn't really force Suarez to break a sweat. Rosas has lost his last 4, last fought in 2019, as a Super Bantamweight, and offers very little to test Suarez with.
In a potentially better match up the under-rated Richard Pumicpic (21-11-2, 6), who is much, much better than his record suggests, will take on Landy Cris Leon (13-21-5, 6). Although Pumicpic's record is underwhelming he's a real nightmare to fight and has given the likes of Ryosuke Iwasa, Cesar Juarez and Musashi Mori fits. He record might not show it, but he is a legitimate handful at the Oriental title level and shouldn't be over-looked, even with 11 losses to his name. Leon on the other hand has gone from once being a decent regional journeyman to a man who has started to collect losses bout after bout after bout. This should be an easy win for Pumicpic, but given he's lost his last 3 we won't complain too much. He deserves an easy one if we're being honest.
Gqeberha, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Outside of Japan the most significant bout of the day comes from South Africa, where once beaten Filipino Christian Araneta (19-1, 15) takes on hard hitting South African prospect Sivenathi Nontshinga (9-0, 9), in what is an IBF world title eliminator at 108lbs. The talented Araneta suffered his only loss in 2019, when an arm injury forced him to retire against Daniel Valladares, in what was a fantastic though disappointingly short bout. Since that loss he has notched 2 domestic wins and appears hungry to make a statement. Nontshinga on the other hand is somewhat unknown outside of South Africa but has got notable wins over Siyabonga Siyo and Ivan Soriano. Interestingly he did go 7 rounds before stopping Muhsin Kizota in 2018, the same Kizota who looked clueless recently against Hasanboy Dusmatov, and there maybe is some doubt about how good he really is. The winner of this will be right in the mix and may well end up getting a shot at Felix Alvarado later in the year. This is easy to over-look but could be the bout that steals the weekend.
Universum Gym, Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Over in Germany we'll see unbeaten German based Thai Phannarai Netisri (7-0, 4) fight for a WBC Youth title. Sadly her opponent, at the time of writing, is yet to be announced as her original opponent appears to have been pulled out of the contest due to some nasty injuries suffered in their last bout. "Fai" is a really exciting young fighter at just 20 years old, and it's going to be very interesting to see how she develops from here
GK Ekaterininskiy, Krasnodar, Russia
As well as everything we've already mentioned there is also set to be an appearance from rising Uzbek hopeful Ulugbek Qayumboev (4-0, 4), who will be looking for his 5th straight early win as he takes on a yet to be named opponent. The 20 year old Qayumboev, who fights around the Lightweight division, debuted last year and has been blowing out very low level competition so far. Fingers crossed we see him stepping up later this year, though sadly this bout doesn't seem like to be much of an upgrade given no opponent was named 7 days out.
United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, USA
Over in the US this coming Thursday is the next in Ring City USA shows, and it's a really good one overall, with several really interesting match ups on it, as we're becoming accustomed to with the series. For us however the focus isn't on the main bouts but instead two of the lesser bouts, which feature central Asian hopefuls.
The more notable of the two bouts featuring a Central Asian prospect will see unbeaten Kazakh Welterweight Bobirzhan Mominov (12-0, 8) take on the once beaten Angel Ruiz (16-1, 12) in a very, very good looking 8 rounder. The 29 year old Mominov has been a professional since 2016, but has treat water for a while, with his most notable career achievement being as a sparring partner for Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. Although he's yet to score a break out win there is no doubting his talent, but he does need to prove it. At 23 years old Ruiz is much younger than Mominov, but even less proven and in his last bout, back in October 2019, he was stopped in 2 rounds buy Javier Flores. On paper this is a big step up Ruiz, and it may be too much, too soon, given the lengthy lay off.
The other central Asian fighter on this show is talented Uzbek Hurshidbek Normatov (10-0, 3), who will be looking for his 11th straight win as he takes on Jose Carlos Rivera (8-4-1, 5). The awkward, tall and rangy Normatov is a 29 year old southpaw, who hasn't had much buzz, despite being an unbeaten Uzbek with a strong amateur background and WSB experience, including a win over Anthony Fowler. An exciting performance here could help generate some attention for him, but a win over Rivera by it's self won't mean much. Rivera has been a professional since 2016 and although his record looks poor he has been matched hard and has been working as a good test for prospects. He will however need a career best performance here if he's to be a real test for the skilled Uzbek.