This coming Saturday we get several bouts of note, including a world title fight in Ukraine and a small but notable Filipino card.
The world title bout will see Azeri born Ukrainian Artem Dalakian (18-0, 13) defending his WBA Flyweight title against mandatory challenger Dennapa Kiatniwat (20-1, 15), aka Sarawut Thawornkham, from Thailand. The champion will be looking for this third defense here, and will enter a very clear favourite, though for the first time he's taking on a young challenger, who has real belief. This isn't a washed up challenger, or a veteran who has seen better days, but is instead a man rising a 20 fight winning run. Dalakian has a strong amateur background, a good reign as the champion and a lot of momentum at the moment. Kiatniwat on the other hand has never notched a win on the road, but has shown some real promise despite this being a massive step up in class. A full preview of this bout can be read here Dennapa takes on unbeaten WBA king Dalakian
Davao del Sur, Philippines
As well as the bout in Ukraine there is, as mentioned, a show in the Philippines thanks to Red Boxing International.
The main event of this show is a Heavyweight bout, a real rarity for the Philippines. The bout will see the once beaten Ronald Johnson (15-1, 4) take on the hugely experienced Saul Farah (69-23-3, 60). Johnson is a 33 year old American who debuted at Super Middleweight, back in 2004, and last fought in 2017, more than 60lbs heavier than he was on debut. At 36 years old Farah is a true veteran and will be fighting the 96th time. The Bolivian is certainly no world beater, but he is an active fighter and a win here would be his 70th as a professional, a figure very rarely hit in modern day boxing.
One of many good looking supporting bouts will see the once beaten Christoval Furog (7-1, 3) take on Orlie Silvestre (13-5-1, 8), in what should be a very competitive bout. Of the two Furog is the less well known, but he did give Christian Bacolod one of his toughest bouts to date, whilst Silvestre has shown his ability with competitive performances against Reiya Konishi and Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr. This has the potential to be very entertaining.
In other notable under-card bouts we'll see the unbeaten Roy Nagulman (8-0-1, 6) take on Jufry Kakahure (4-2, 4) and the promising KJ Natuplag (8-0-2, 7) battle Reynold Kundimang (4-1-3, 1). It's hard to see past the unbeaten fighters here, but they should be tested and we should see questions being asked of both hopefuls.
In Australia we'll see a number of journeyman from Asia in action, with the only fighter of real note being unbeaten Korean Deok No Yun (3-0, 2), who battles against the once beaten David Drapac (6-1, 3). This will be Yun's third bout in Australia, and sees him stepping up to a 6 rounder for the first time. Drapac has a nice looking record, but has only beaten novices and the professional Aswin Cabuy. This is a pretty interesting match up, and Yun certainly has a good chance to extend his winning run.
We get some notable action this coming Sunday with a world title fight, in Ukraine featuring an Azeri-Ukrainian and a Thai, as well as a Japanese Rookie card with a very notable main event.
The world title bout will see the unbeaten Artem Dalakian (16-0, 11) making his first defense of the WBA Flyweight title, as he takes on former interim WBA champion Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (50-3, 35). The Ukrainian based Azeri born champion won the title back in February, when he defeated veteran Brian Viloria for the title which Kazuo Ioka had vacated in late 2017. In that title win Dalakian impressed, though it did look like Viloria was well past his best and was a shadow of the fighter he had once been. Yodmongkol is best known for his wins over Koki Eto and Takuya Kogawa along with his loss to Juan Carlos Reveco. Since losing to Reveco the Thai has been ultra active, going 16-0 (15), but has been matched incredibly lightly and will need a career best performance here against the impressive Dalakian.
In Aichi fans will get a Rookie of the Year card for Central Japan. In total there will be 7 Rookie bouts with arguably the best of the bunch being a Featherweightbout between Masaki Sasaki (3-1-1, 1), who fights for the first time since March 2017, and the hard hitting Terutaka Shimada (1-0, 1).
Despite this being a Rookie card much of the attention will actually be at the main event, where the hard hitting Masamichi Yabuki (6-2, 6) will take on former world title challenger Gilberto Pedroza (18-4-2, 8). Yabuchi has stopped all 6 of his victims in the first 2 rounds, in fact he he has scored 5 opening round stoppages in his 8 bouts. Despite those wins Yabuki has suffered notable domestic defeats to Junto Nakatani and Seigo Yuri Akui and a win here would be a career best. As for Pedroza he is coming in to this bout on the back of December's 4th round TKO loss to Ken Shiro in a bout for the WBC Light Flyweight title. A win for Pedroza would help him get his career back on track however a loss will set the Panamanian back a long way, and destroy his hopes of getting another world title fight any time soon.