Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
The most notable bout to involve an Asian fighter this coming Saturday doesn't actually take place in Asia, but instead Canada as Chinese Heavyweight Junlong Zhang (19-0, 18) takes on German foe Erdogan Kadrija (18-5, 12) in Ontario. The Chinese fighter, dubbed the "Dragon King", was long regarded as something of a mystery man, but surfaced in Canada earlier this year, and took his first decision win. The hard hitting Chinese fighter, who won his first 18 official bouts inside the first 2 rounds, will be looking to prove his power here after losing his stoppage streak. As for Kadrija he has been stopped 4 times, with 3 of those stoppages coming in his last 6 bouts. Notably he is a blown up Super Middleweight, who was stopped by Juergen Braehmer way back in 2019 and really shouldn't pose any questions for Zhang.
Consolacion, Cebu, Philippines
Whilst the single most notable bout with an Asian will be in Canada, we do get a really notable card in Cebu where a number of prospects will be looking to move their careers on in step up bouts.
One of those prospects is John Vincent Pangga (6-0, 4), who looks like he could in for a test as he takes on Vergilio Silvano (21-9-1, 12), however the bout really isn't the competitive match up some might expect. Silvano is best known for facing Katsunari Takayama, in an IBF world title fight, where he came up short. His form since that is hit and miss and he has little momentum coming in to this. More notably however is that and isn't a natural Super Flyweight-come-Bantamweight like Pangga, who should be too big and too strong.
A much more competitive looking bout will see the once beaten Berland Robles (5-0, 2) face off with the once beaten Jerven Mama (12-1-1, 7), in what is an excellent match up. Robles is a 22 year old who has stepped up his level of fights in one way or another every time since his debut, and recently showed he could do 10 rounds. He might not be a world beater in the making, but there is no denying that his team are moving him well and putting trust in him to continue to develop. Mama on the other hand was once tipped for big things, but a KO loss last year to Mark Vicelles has killed the momentum he was building, and he'll be desperate to get things back on track here.
Another prospect taking a genuine step up is the unbeaten 21 year old "Wild Fury" Bryan James Wild (9-0, 6), who battles the experienced and battled hardened Carlo Demecillo (15-6-1, 8). Wild is quickly capturing the attention with string of solid wins for someone at this point in his career, and whilst he is still very much a developing fighter this is a positive step up for him from his team. Demecillo is no world beater, or even a regional contender, but he has proven to be a tough guy and he doesn't roll over for anyone, so he should have the tools to ask Wild some real questions and force the youngster to prove what he can do, and whether he has the tools to move onto regional level bouts.
Other prospects on this card include the once beaten April Jay Abne (10-1, 5), who takes on Ramel Antaran (5-18-2); Ian Abne (6-0-1, 4), who faces Charlie Malupangue (9-5-4, 6) in a rematch of their technical draw from August, and Ramil Macado (3-0, 2) who takes a huge step up to face off with Renoel Pael (23-12-1, 12). This really is a show of Pinoy prospects.
Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines
On a second Filipino card former world title challenger Michael Dasmarinas (31-3-2, 21) looks to get his career back on track as he faces Ryan Rey Ponteras (23-16-3, 12) for the GAB Super Bantamweight title. Dasmarinas, who is best known for losing in 3 rounds to Naoya Inoue in 2021, has failed to get going since that loss with a technical draw against Ernesto Saulong and a win over domestic journeyman Danny Tampipi. He knows another set back here really would be a nightmare for his career, and for any hope he might have of getting a second world title fight down the line. As for Ponteras, he has long been one of the best Filipino journeymen out there, with a really gritty toughness and the 32 year old might not have a great record, but he is a potential banana skin here who has been robbed of wins in numerous bouts during his career. This might look like a mismatch, but Ponteras really should be regarded as a very, very live underdog.
New Delhi, India
We also get a show in India, but sadly this feels like a rather underwhelming card.
That main bout here will see Satnam Singh (10-2, 4) look to bounce back from a loss to Billel Dib as he takes on Varun Phartyal (1-2), in what is the second bout between the two men. These two fought in October 2021, with Singh taking a 4 round majority win over the then debuting Phartyal, and suspect that over 8 rounds this should be a clearer win for Singh than their first bout was.
This coming Sunday is a busy day in Asia with a trio of notable cards in Asia.
City Sogo Gym, Hirakata, Osaka, Japan
For us the most interesting of those cards is the Green Tsuda gym, that features a really nice mix of youngsters and notable names, along with the retirement ceremony of former Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada (20-8, 17).
The most notable bout on the card is an all Japan contest between rising youngster Toshiki Shimomachi (14-1-2, 10) and the hard hitting Takuya Mizuno (17-3-1, 14). The talented Shimomachi is best known for winning the All Japan Rookie of the Year in 2017, and since then has gone on to win the Japanese Youth Bantamweight title and slowly move towards a bout for a senior title. He comes into this on the back of 5 stoppage wins, including ones against Hiroki Hanabusa and Jerry Castroverde. Mizuno on the other hand is a noted puncher, but has struggled recently, losing his last 2 bouts and is without a win in the last 3 years. If Mizuno has ambition he should give Shimomachi a genuinely test here, but it's hard to know what hunger he has after being out of the ring for almost 2 year.
Shimomachi's stable mate Jinki Maeda (9-0, 4), also a former All Japan Rookie of the Year winner, will be looking to continue his winning run as he takes on hard hitting Filipino Jhunriel Ramonal (17-10-6, 10), in a really tough step up bout. The talented Maeda is a very nice boxer-puncher, who has gone under the radar with fans outside of Japan, and he'll know that he needs to step up to make a buzz on the regional scene. On paper Ramonal shouldn't be a test, but records don't fight and Ramonal has proven to be a nasty puncher and a really dangerous fighter, with notable KO's against the likes of Yusaku Kuga and Shingo Wake. If Maeda isn't careful here he could well find himself on the receiving end of a shock KO.
At Welterweight we'll see the always entertaining Aso Ishiwaki (9-5-1, 7) take on hard hitting Thai visitor Achariya Boonmoh (12-0, 11). Although not the best fighter out there Ishiwaki is a very fan friendly warrior, with an aggressive style and a real will to win. He will however need to show some real resolve here as the 21 year old Boonmoh is a nasty puncher, who has stopped his last 11 foes, in a combined 31 rounds. Notably the Thai is stepping up, massively here and hasn't faced anyone of any real note, but will feel confidence given how he has been destroying opponents so far.
Another Thai puncher on this card is Sitthisak Simsri (12-0, 12), the younger brother of Thanongsak Simsri, who will be risking his WBA ranking against the once beaten Toshiki Kawamitsu (6-1, 3). The 20 year old Simsri has never faced anyone of any note so far, but has been taking out his limited opposition in quick fashion, with his bouts lasting less than 3 rounds on average. As for Kawamitsu, he has been inactive since being stopped in 2 rounds last year by Ginjiro Shigeoka, and it's hard to know what his hunger will be like, and what his confidence will be like against someone as hard hitting as Simsri.
The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex, Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines
The more notable of two Filipino cards comes from Metro Manila where we see a number of notable fighters in action.
The most notable bout on the card sees unbeaten hopeful Charly Suarez (11-0, 7) take on veteran Mark John Yap (30-16, 15), with Suarez looking to defend his WBA Asia Super Featherweight title. The unbeaten Suarez was touted for big things when he turned professional, but now aged 33 he really is running out of time if he's to land a major international fight. As for Yap he was once a very good Bantamweight, and a legitimate top level regional fighter. Now a days however it's hard to know what to expected from him and he is 1-4 in his last 5 dating back 4 years. He has lost his last 3 and we don't think moving to Super Featherweight will be a good move for him here.
In a really solid match up we'll see Al Toyogon (12-6-1, 8) take on Allan Villanueva (11-2, 8), in what is a pretty even looking match up. Toyogon has lost 4 of his last 6, but they include defeats to the likes of Ryo Sagawa, Shuya Masaki and Jorge Linares, and he has notched wins in his last 2 bouts. As for Villanueva he has lost his last 2, but they have come to very solid domestic opponents. The winner of this will claim the WBF Asia Pacific Lightweight title, a very low quality title, but something that both men will be fighting hard for, given their opportunities for bigger titles will be limited.
Another WBF title fight, this time for their International Minimumweight title, will see the criminally under-rated Lito Dante (18-11-4, 10) take on Clyde Azarcon (17-4-1, 6). On paper Azarcon should be the favourite here, but the 27 year old has a very padded record, and has been stopped in the opening round of 2 of his last 4 bouts. As for Dante his record is underwhelming in terms of numbers, but he has some very solid wins including a TKO over future world title challenger Tsubasa Koura. Over 10 rounds Dante is a total nightmare, and it's hard to imagine him losing here to Azarcon.
Sibonga, Cebu, Philippines
A second Filipino card will be held in Sibonga, where we see two notable bouts.
The most notable of the bouts on this card will see once beaten fighters collide, as April Jay Abne (9-1, 5) takes on Christian Bacolod (14-1, 10). For Abne the bout will see him look to score his third win since a shock December 2021 loss to Garen Diagan, and he will feel he has the tools to deal with Bacolod. As for Bacolod he has won two in a row since a hotly contest 2019 loss to Thanongsak Simsri, though they have come at a very low level and this is a notable step back up in class for him. This has a genuine 50-50 feel and is the type of bout we really want to see more of in the Philippines.
The other notable bout on this card will see Bryan James Wild (8-0, 6) look to continue his winning run, as he takes on limited veteran Mateo Handig (15-21, 9). Wild struggled past Jason Dogelio back in May and with that in mind it's little wonder he's facing someone who has no ambition or drive to win, such as Handig here. At his best Handig was a solid Minimumweight fighter, and he holds a controversial win over Katsunari Takayama, however since then he has gone 2-16-1 and moved through the weights with a complete lack of success
Resorts World Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
The most notable action of the day for us comes from Las Vegas, where unbeaten Kazakh fighter Zhanibek Alimkhanuly (11-0, 7) clashes with unbeaten Englishman Danny Dignum (14-0-1, 8), for the WBO interim Middleweight title which is likely to be upgraded to the full title later in the year. The bout has come about after Demetrius Andrade felt like testing the water at Super Middleweight, rather than face Alimkhanuly in a mandatory defense, and other fighters in the division also turned down a fight with Alimkhanuly. At times, early in his career, Alimkhanuly struggled to settle into a professional style, with his performance against Vaughn Alexander being a notable example, but recently he has looked like one of the best Middleweights on the planet, and had a string of impressive performances. As for Dignum, the Englishman is stepping up massively for this bout, especially given a 2021 draw against Andrey Sirotkin, but will feel like he's being over-looked and could end up being a potential banana skin for Alimkhanuly. The winner of this will find themselves in the mix for big divisional bouts, but sadly the division is a weak one at the moment. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Alimkhanuly and Dignum battle for WBO interim title!
Davies Boxing and Fitness, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Staying in the US we'll also see Korean fighter Bo Mi Re Shin (11-1-3, 6) in action in Texas, as she battles Mexican Iranda Paola Torres (13-6-1-1, 4) for the WBC International Female Super Featherweight title. The 28 year old Shin made her debut in 2016 and had a very weird 3-0-3 start to her professional career, before getting some momentum and winning 6 in a row. Sadly her winning run came to an end in 2020, but she has bounced back with back to back wins to get her career back on track. Torres on the other hand is 32 years old and began her career well, with 6 straight wins, but has struggled since then, going 7-6-1-1. In fairness to her however she has faced some very notable fighters, with notably losses to Cindy Serrano, Heather Hardy and Jelena Mrdjenovich. For both this is a great chance to claim a minor title, and potentially move towards a world title fight in the next year or two.
As well as the action in the US we also get a small Filipino card in Cebu, with a number of promising youngsters looking to secure their next wins.
One of those youngsters is 21 year old John Paul Gabunilas (6-1, 5), who looks to build on a March win over Clyde Azarcon as he takes on Jomar Caindog (11-2-1, 4), in what could end up being a really good domestic clash. Gabunilas will go in as the prospect in form, and has won his last 4, however Caindog is no push over, and was unlucky in 2019 when he faced Jing Xiang. One notable here however is the fact Caindog has been out of the ring for more than 2 years, whilst Gabunilas will be having his 4th fight in less than a year.
Other promising youngsters on this card include Berland Robles (3-0, 2), who clashes with Reymark Alicaba (7-2, 5); Bryan James Wild (7-0, 6), who faces Jason Dogelio (10-6, 3), Rodex Piala (4-0), who clashes with Alan Alberca (11-5, 6); April Jay Abne (8-1, 4) who's un against Arnold Garde (10-12-3, 4); and Ian Abne (5-0, 4), who battles Ronald Ewican (5-3, 2).
This coming Saturday is a big day for Asian fighters, with two being involved in world title bouts, several notable rematches, and some notable hopefuls from Japan, Philippines and Tajikstan in action.
City Gym, Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan
For us the most notable card of the day takes place in Kyoto as we see a major rematch at world level, and two pretty interesting, though easy to over-look, domestic level bouts.
The main event of the card will see WBC Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (13-3, 12) make his first defense, as he takes on former champion Kenshiro Teraji (18-1, 10), who is looking to avenge his sole and reclaim the title that he lost last year. The hard hitting Yabuki stopped Kenshiro last year, but did so following a controversial headclash, which lead Kenshiro's team to petition for a rematch, that the WBC decided to order. For Yabuki this is a huge chance to prove that his first win wasn't a fluke, and the headbutt ultimately didn't matter, whilst Kenshiro will be determined to reclaim the title, and prove that he wasn't his usual self during that loss. This is a great bout and one that every fan of the lower weights should be very interested in, especially due to the involvement of DAZN in the lower weights. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Yabuki Vs Kenshiro - The Rematch
In a notable supporting bout Japanese youth Flyweight champion Yuga Inoue (12-2-1, 2) will be facing off with Shota Asami (9-9, 4). On paper this looks likely to be an easy win for Inoue, however he has struggled several times in recent years, and whilst Asami is no world beater. Inoue is a talented fighter, but lacks power, and can be dragged into close and hotly contested bout against fighters over 8 rounds. As for Asami he is better than his record indicates, and can be very much a banana skin for decent domestic fighters, as we've seen in his wins over Sho Omote and Shun Kosaka.
An other support bout is a must win for both men involved as recent Japanese title contender Rikito Shiba (5-2, 3) takes on the once touted Shisui Kawabata (2-3, 2) in a bout that really neither man can afford to lose. Shiba turned professional following a strong amateur background and quickly won the Japanese Youth Light Flyweight title, before losses to Masamichi Yabuki and Shokichi Iwata left his career hanging by a thread. Kawabata on the other hand was regarded as a major prospect when he turned professional in 2019 but has suffered 3 successive losses. Notably not only is this a must win for both men, but also a rematch of a 2019 bout between then, that saw Shiba give Kawabata his first loss, a loss he will be looking to avenge. We don't think this will out-shine the main event, but it will be a very compelling contest in it's own right.
Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The other major show for the day takes place in Dubai, where we get another world title fight, and a very interesting support bout.
The world title bout with see English slickster Sunny Edwards (17-0, 4) hunt his second defense of the IBF Flyweight title as he takes on Pakistani challenger Muhammad Waseem (12-1, 8), who gets his second shot at a world title. The slippery and talented Edwards impressed in his title win last year, dethroning Moruti Mthalane, and has been talking very confidently as if he felt he's the man to beat in the division. Hoepfully he'll get the chance to back up his talk later in the year against a fellow champion. As for Waseem, he was a fantastic fighter as an amateur, and a very capable professional, but at the age of 34 it's hard to see him being competitive with the fleet footed champion, though it Waseem will know it's now or never for his career. Or preview of this bout can be read here Waseem takes on IBF champion Edwards
In one of the main support bouts unbeaten Tajik fighter Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (18-0, 10) will take on in form American O'Shaquie Foster (18-2, 11), in a bout at Super Featherweight. Yaqubov has been making a name for himself in Russia, where he has scored decent wins over the likes of Tomas Rojas, Emanuel Lopez and Mark Urvanov, but has lacked a major win so far and needs a break out win. As for Foster he appears to be on a good run with recent wins over Jon Fernandez, Alberto Mercado and Miguel Roman, though has only fought once since the start of 2020, and is more than a year removed form his last fight, so this might be the ideal time to face him.
Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
It's not just Japan that will be having rematch, with a notable one in the Philippines between Garen Diagan (8-1, 4) and April Jay Abne (7-1, 3). These two clashed last year with Diagan scoring a notable upset against the wonderfully talented Abne, who was stopped inside a round. For Diagan that's his biggest win so far, and the "Hellboy" will be looking to show he didn't just catch Abne cold, but is the better fighter. As for Abne that was a very embarrassing loss, and one he'll be wanting to avenge and put behind him.
Sadly other details relating to this card are few and far between though we do know the unbeaten 20 year old Bryan James Wild (6-0, 5) will be seeking his next win. Sadly his opponent for this show hasn't been announced yet, and we're not expecting anyone too testing, but it's going to be great to follow his exciting career over the coming years.
Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, Albert Park, Victoria, Australia
At the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre we'll see unbeaten Australian hopeful Kayne Clarke (11-0, 8) looking for his 12th straight win as he takes on Indonesian visitor Agus Kustiawan (18-9-2, 8), who has never won a bout outside of Indonesia and is 0-2 in Australia. Kustiawan is unlikely to pose much of a test for Clarke, but Clarke will likely be wanting to better the 2016 result of Ibrahim Balla, when he stopped the Indonesian in 5 rounds.
The Melbourne Pavilion, Flemington, Victoria, Australia
Staying in Melbourne, there's going to be a pair of bouts of some Asian interest at the Melbourne Pavilion, sadly though both bouts look like easy wins for locals over poor Thai's.
One of the bouts will see Tom Fitzgerald (1-0) seek his second win, as he takes on Thatthakan Samanthong (0-2), in what is a reasonable second bout for the Australian hopeful. The other will be the debut Kha Lu (0-0), who faces win-less 40 year old Prakob Nuankaew (0-2). Hard to complain about bouts like this over 4 rounds, but also very hard to say much more than the obvious, the locals should win, with out too many problems.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
In Malaysia we're expecting to see a bout that was scheduled for back in January, as the unbeaten Adli Hafidz (9-0, 5) takes on Thai veteran Komsan Polsan (40-12-1-1, 26), aka Patomsuk Pathompothong in a bout for the UBO Middleweight title. The 33 year old Hafidz is one of the very, very few noteworthy fighters from Malaysia, and whilst he is a notable local face it's hard to imagine him stepping up to making a mark on the wider regional scene. As for Komsan, he is very under-sized at Middleweight and despite his solid looking record his is 10-10-0-1 in his last 21 bouts, dating back 7 years, including 6 losses by stoppage. It would be a huge surprise to see the 38 year old Thai take home a win here.
This coming Saturday is a busy day for Asian fight fans with several shows in Asia and some Asian fighters fighting in the US.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
The best looking Asian card of the day, by some margin, comes from Tokyo, though is sadly set to be on behind a paywall. The card features just 4 bouts, but all 4 of those are very interesting match ups, including a Japanese title eliminator.
The Japanese title eliminator will be at Lightweight as former Japanese 140lb champion Masahiro Suzuki (6-0, 4) takes on Seiryu Toshikawa (14-5, 8), in a very interesting match up. Suzuki looked sensational in his title win at 140lbs when he stopped Daishi Nagata but he knew it wasn't his best weight and he decided to begin a pursuit of the Japanese title at 135lsb. In his way is the under-rated Toshikawa, who has won his last 4 and is 8-1 since the start of 2017. Toshikawa hasn't been beating top, top domestic names, but he's been in good form, beating solid domestic fighters and could be a very solid test for the very good Suzuki.
Whilst the title eliminator is a great bout we're even more excited about a clash between Kai Chiba (13-2, 8) and Suzumi Takayama (4-0, 4). The talented Chiba will be looking to bounce back from a loss to Kazuki Nakajima in an OPBF title bout back in May, and he'll know another loss here puts him a very, very long way from another title shot, of any kind. As for Takayama, a former Japanese Youth champion, he's been highly impressive to begin his career, and a win here against Chiba would be a huge announcement, and a massive chance for him to put his hat into the mix for a title fight. Although he's only had a combined 13 rounds as a professional, Takayama does look like an incredible prospect with power, skills and heart, and this is a great chance for him to show exactly what he can do.
In an interesting match up we'll see the teak tough Takuya Watanabe (37-10-1, 21) look to bounce back from a brutal and punish loss to Kosuke Saka in a Japanese Super Featherweight title fight. He's in an easier bout here ad he takes on the limited Kazuma Sanpei (20-6, 9), who is who has won 5 of his last 6, but has been fighting at a lower level than Watanabe, who has mixed at title level numerous times. Sanpei will feel confident of continuing his good run, and may feel he's getting Watanabe at the right time, but he will still be regarded as the under-dog here.
The other bout on this card will see the hard hitting, and incredibly fun to watch, Yasutaka Fujita (7-1, 6) take on the light punching, but very skilled, Izuki Tomioka (7-4-1, 2). Of the two men Fujita is the naturally bigger, heavier, hard hitting, but the man with questionable stamina and the much less skilled and accomplished boxer. Tomioka is light punching, but very skilled, tricky, and is battle tested at Japanese and OPBF level. On paper this is an easy bout to over-look but should prove to be a genuinely compelling 8 rounder.
Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines
In the Philippines ARQ Promotions will be putting on a small card, with a brilliant main event, as one of the brightest young prospects in the country takes a massive leap up in class. Sadly outside of that bout there isn't too much to be excited about.
That bout will see the unbeaten April Jay Abne (6-0, 3) battle for the OPBF "Silver" Flyweight title as he takes on the once beaten Bienvenido Ligas (13-1-2, 9), in a truly mouth watering clash. The talented, though inexperienced, Abne, is one of the best natural talents in the country, and seems like the type of fighter who has the technical abilities to go a long way, though does need to find his man strength. Ligas is the bigger puncher and the more naturally forceful fighter, but does leave holes and can be out boxed at times. Despite having holes Ligas is very solid, and he was very impressive Alphoe Dagayloan back in February, in a career best win. This is a genuinely excellent match up.
Suamlum Night Bazaar, Ratchadaphisek, Bangkok, Thailand
There is also Asian action in Thailand, with a show being broadcast under the "The Fighter" banner, thanks to TL Promotions. Sadly whilst it does feature two very notable Thai hopefuls, neither man is in with someone expected to test them.
One of the promising Thai fighters on this show is the once beaten Tanes Ongjunta (8-1, 4), who looks notch a 5th straight win, as he takes on the limited Lerdchai Chaiyawed (6-5, 2). Ongjunta, looking to defend his WBA Asia Flyweight title, should be too good, too skilled, and too smart for his foe, though to credit where it's due, Chaiyawed does tend to offer plenty of resistance, even in his losses, and won't be there to just make up the numbers. We expect Chaiyawed to come to win, but simply not be good enough.
The other notable bout on this card will see the once beaten Arnon Yupang (7-1, 3) take on Filipino novice Fritz Biagtan (1-0, 1). Yupang was once a Thai amateur standout who has a lot of potential, and was last seen beating Amnat Ruenroeng for the WBA Asia South Featherweight title. He won't be defending that title here, but will be expecting to pick up a win. As for Biagtan, he made his debut in 2018, but has sadly been out of the ring for well over 40 months and is the naturally smaller man. Sadly we do not expect this one to be a particularly competitive match up.
Madison Square Garden Theater, New York, New York, USA
Former world title challenger Jonas Sultan (17-5, 11) looks to keep himself in the world title mix as he takes on the hard hitting, and unbeaten, Carlos Caraballo (14-0, 14), in a brilliant match up. The technically well schooled Sultan, who holds a very good win over John Riel Casimero, is often under-rated but has shown what he can do in the ring and should be regarded as a leading contender in the Super Flyweight division. Sadly however he is stepping up in weight here, to take on the very exciting Caraballo. The unbeaten Caraballo has stopped everyone so far, including former world title challenger Christian Esquivel, and is a very dangerous fighter. Although technically gifted this is a very tough ask for Caraballo.
Hilton Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Also in the US we'll see the limited Jeronil Borres (11-5-1, 6), another Filipino fighter, take on unbeaten American Dylan Price (14-0, 10). The 26 year old Borres is now world beater, but he was very competitive against Matthew Griego last time out, also in the US, and will be looking to show what he can do against Price here. The 23 year old Price is a genuine prospect, and he has scored 3 wins already this year, with a 4th expected here. Although not a world beater Borres is better than a TKO1 loss to Junto Nakatani suggests, and he could ask questions of Price here, but we don't expect him to run the unbeaten man too close.
Amakusa Park Gym, Asakuchi, Okayama, Japan
This coming Sunday isn't set to be a big day in Asian boxing, but it should be an interesting day for fight fans in Okayama thanks to Kurashiki Moriyasu who puts on a show featuring a Japanese champion and interesting looking main support bout.
The champion in question is Japanese Flyweight champion Seigo Yuri Akui (15-2-1, 10) who will be taking part in an 8 round non-title bout, as he takes on Yuto Nakamura (11-6-1, 8) in a Super Flyweight bout. The hard hitting Akui won the Japanese title in 2019 and recorded his first defense last year. Sadly Covid19 restrictions have made it difficult for him to secure a second title defense, and rather than face an over matched challenger he's dipping his toes in a new weight classes, and potentially leaving the door open to becoming a 2-weight Japanese champion in the future.
Whilst the focus here will be on Akui it is worth noting that Nakamura is no push over. In fact the 24 year old from Mie Prefecture is a former Japanese Youth Super Flyweight who has lost just one of his last 5 bouts, and that was a frankly ridiculous match up against Super Bantamweight Ryo Akaho. Nakamura will know that if he wins here he will open the door to a potential title fight of his own at 115lbs and will come into this hungry to make a statement. He will, however, have to be wary about the explosive power of Akui. If he can avoid getting blown out early he might have the size and strength to test the naturally smaller man.
In a solid looking supporting bout we'll see Kenya Okada (5-2-1, 3) take on Sho Omote (8-2, 3) in a 6 rounder. The 25 year old Okada has struggled for momentum, and is 2-2-1 in his last 5, after winning his first 3 bouts. Sadly for him his record is rather padded and he's yet to beat a fighter with a winning record. Omote on the other hand has shown some real promise, and won Rookie of the Year in 2019, beating the then 7-1 Kosuke Ando in the All Japan final. Despite his Rookie of the Year triumph Omote did lose last time out, in a notable upset against Shota Asami in November. On paper it's fair to feel that Omote should be the big favourite, however Okada is the naturally bigger man, and he will be looking to use that advantage here against the talented, but small, Omote.
Alcantara, Cebu, Philippines
As well as the action in Japan we are also looking forward to a show from the Philippines promoted by ARQ promotions, set up by Jason and Eva Mari Arquisola. The show was originally planned for March but delayed due to the ongoing situation.
The full line up hasn't been confirmed at the time of writing, though the main event is known to feature highly skilled Filipino youngster April Jay Abne (5-0, 2) risking his unbeaten record against Royder Lloyd Borbon (6-9-1, 6). On paper this shouldn't be too much of a test for Abne, however having been out for well over a year we're just glad to see Abne back in the ring and restart his journey to through the sport. He really is one of the most talented Filipino fighters out there, and a true joy to watch.
Others on this card will include Ian Abne (1-0, 1), Christopher Caburog (1-0), and Maurino Agum (2-0, 1) in what looks likely to be a showcase of young novices.
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.