Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
The biggest card of the week sees attention turn to Australia, for a major Lightweight title rematch between Devin Haney and George Kambosos. The main event doesn't involve an Asian fighter, but one of the main support bouts does, and it's an incredible notable one.
The bout in question will see two world ranked contenders face off as popular Australian Jason Moloney (24-2, 19) takes on highly experienced Thai fighter Nawaphon Kaikanha (56-1-1, 46), in what is a WBC world title eliminator, setting the winner up for a potential WBC Bantamweight title fight next year. The highly skilled Moloney will go in as the favourite, as he looks to secure a second world title shot following a loss to Naoya Inoue back in 2020. Since that loss he has reeled off 3 wins, included notable ones against Joshua Greer Jr and Aston Palicte. As for Nawaphon the Thai is looking to land his own second shot at a world title, having lost in a WBC Flyweight title bout back in 2017 against Juan Hernandez Navarrete. Since that loss Nawaphon has reeled off 20 wins, including wins over former world champions Amnat Ruenroeng, Sonny Boy Jaro and Kompayak Porpramook, though all 3 were very much faded forces by the time he faced them.
Art Center, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan
As well as action in Australia, we're also set for a trio of shows from Japan. The most notable of those is from Kobe.
One of the main bouts here will see Hiroyuki Takahara (9-4, 6) look to bounce back from a recent loss as he takes on Kyohei Tonomoto (12-3-1, 5) in what should be a hotly contested bout. Takahara, from Kobe himself, has really turned his career around in recent years, winning 5 of his last 6, and he'll be desperate to get back to winning ways here. As for Tonomoto he showed that he was a decent fighter when he challenged OPBF champion Satoshi Shimizu in 2020, since then he has reeled off 3 wins, and although he's the away fighter here he will know this is a great chance to continue building some career momentum.
The chief support bout will see Kazunori Yorimasa (6-7-4, 2) take on JBC #3 ranked Flyweight contender Shun Kosaka (17-8, 4). Kosaka, who has challenged for the OPBF and Japanese Flyweight titles, is really struggling to keep his career alive and has lost 5 of his last 7. Thankfully for him a win in May, against Sho Omote, has kept his career alive but another loss will see him losing his ranking and any chance of getting another big fight in the near future. As for Yorimasa he will come into this as a major under-dog, however he did score a win last time out, when he beat Kenta Taguchi, and he is 3-1-2 in his last 6, giving him more momentum than we'd expect given his career record.
A third bout of note will see Seira Kishida (6-1-2, 2) risking his Japanese Super Featherweight ranking as he battles Morihisa Iju (11-5, 9). Kishida suffered an early career loss, but has gone 5-0-2 since then, including a win over Seika Fukuda last time out. He's no world beater but the 24 year old is heading in the right direction and it wouldn't be any surprise at all to see him competing for a Japanese title in the future. Iju on the other hand is better than his record suggests, but unfortunately he's not fought in almost 3 years and has lost 3 of his last 4, so we do wonder what his hunger and desire is like coming in to this bout. At his best Iju could ask questions of Kishida, but we're not sure we'll see Iju even close to 100%.
Shiroyama Sky Dome, Ashikita-gun, Kumamoto, Japan
A second Japanese card, this time in Kumamoto, features something of a Japan Vs Taiwan show, with the two feature bouts both featuring locals taking on the visitors.
The nominal main event of the show will see professional novice Kazuhiro Imamura (2-1-1, 1) take on Yu Che Li (6-3-2, 4) in a 6 rounder. Imamura was last seen being stopped inside a round by the destructive Yoshiki Takei, towards the end of last year, and is now without a win since October 2019, going 0-1-1 since then. Although he had promise he was derailed by the pandemic and is now 30 years old and needs to make up for lost time after this bout. As for Li, the Taiwanese 29 year old debuted in 2016 but has lost his last 2 bouts, and like Imamura needs a win to get his career going again. Sadly for him this is a big on Japanese soil and he'd likely need a career best performance to take home a win.
The other Japan Vs Taiwan bout will see the once beaten Misaki Hirano (6-1, 2) take on Chuan Hsun Hong (3-2, 2). Hirano suffered his sole loss back in October 2020, and since then has reeled off 5 wins and won the All Japan Rookie of the Year, which he did back in February. He certainly has momentum on his side coming into this bout but this will be his first bout against a non-Japanese fighter. As for Hong, he has never faced a man with a loss, and won the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Featherweight title last time out. Notably though he has lost 2 of his last 3, and has only scored 1 win since the start of 2019.
Aioi Hall, Kariya, Aichi, Japan
On a third show in Japan, this time in Aichi, we'll see the highly experienced Takahiro Murai (16-10-2, 5) take on Tom Hamaguchi (6-4-2) in an 8 rounder. Neither of thee two are JBC ranked, or heading towards a title bout, but they are well matched and they should make for a decent contest. Although both men are relatively limited, and both have bad looking records, it should be noted that both are better than the numbers indicate, with Murai having had a number of very close decisions go against him and with that in mind he should be favoured here.
The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex, Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Over in the Philippines fight fans will get the chance to see the once beaten Arvin Magramo (14-1-1, 9) take on veteran Jonathan Refugio (22-8-5, 8), in what looks like a good step up for Magramo. At one point Refugio was considered a very solid regional level fighter, and he has been in with something of a regional who's who including Melvin Jerusalem, Hiroto Kyoguchi, Taku Kuwahara, Knockout CP Freshmart, Merlito Sabillo and Wanheng Menayothin. Sadly though he has only notched a single win since the start of the pandemic and it's hard to imagine him having what's needed to over-come the fresher, hungrier Magramo.
The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex, Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines
The most notable of three Asian shows this coming Saturday takes place in the Philippines, where we see a battle between two former world title contenders, along with two notable prospects.
The former world title challengers are actually facing off as former WBO Flyweight title challenger Giemel Magramo (25-2, 20) takes on former WBC Minimumweight title challenger Jerry Tomogdan (29-12-4, 15). The talented Magramo was unfortunate in his world title fight to come up against the sensational Junto Nakatani, who really was levels above him and schooled him before securing an 8th round TKO. That loss was a one sided one, but Magramo is still a legitimate contender at 112lbs and we wouldn't be surprised to see him mixing it at world level again. As for Tomogdan it feels much like his career is coming to an end, and he's been stopped in his last 2 bouts, very early in both bouts, and hasn't scored a win in well over 2 years. This should be a show case for Magramo and little else.
Another Magramo on this show is the once beaten Arvin Magramo (13-1-1, 9), who will be seeking a 5th straight early win as he takes on Ronald Alapormina (5-3-3, 2), who is 2-2-2 in his last 6 dating back 2017. Magramo has been scoring decent domestic wins, beating the likes of Jake Amparo, Francis Jay Diaz and Jerry Francisco, and should be strongly favoured to pick up a victory here.
Another promising fighting on this show is the unbeaten Albert Francisco (5-0, 3), who is returning to the ring after more than 2 years out. Given his long lay off we can't really complain that he's being matched softly here, and will be up against Justine Polido (4-4-1, 3), who has lost his last 2 and is without a win since 2017, when he beat the then 0-3 Emil Ferran.
Max Muaythai Stadium, Pattaya, Thailand
In Thailand we're set for a pretty interesting card, with a mix of notable names and low level title bouts.
One of the notable names on this show is once beaten Indonesian fighter Hebi Marapu (16-1, 12), who takes on Thai veteran Pipat Chaiporn (47-13-2, 30), aka Mike Tawatchai. The heavy handed Marapu was upset in 2021 when he last to Hero Tito, but has bounced back since then with a recent win in Switzerland, and will be looking to build on that here. As for Tawatchai the bout will be his first since a 2019 win over Keerati Rueangdet, and it's fair to question just what the 36 year old has to offer here. For winner of this the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Lightweight will be the reward, and it is, admittedly, a very lowly regarded title.
In a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental title we'll see Thai based Kiwi Nort Beauchamp (19-5, 3) face off with the limited Chaiwat Buatkrathok (37-6, 25), in a bout that really shouldn't be as competitive as it looks on paper. Chaiwat, also known as Kongfah Nakornluang,has an incredibly padded record and he loses when he faces fighters of any note, including limited Indonesian Jefrey Kakuhe who beat him in May. Whilst Beauchamp is no world beater he should be far, far too good for his man here, and should take a very comfortable victory, likely by decision.
Also involved in title action will be Thai based French puncher Emmeric Dewaele (5-0, 5), who takes on Thailand's Thoedsak Sinam (16-8, 13) in a bout for the WBA Asia Super Middleweight title. So far Dewaele has taken out all 5 of his foes in a combined 21 rounds, whilst picking up two minor title, in fact he won those minor titles last time out with a come from behind TKO win over Apisit Sangmuang. Sinam on the other hand is something of a win some lose some fighter, who has moved through the weights and had very mixed success. Among the more notable names he's faced as Phoobadin Yoohanngoh and Nihito Arakawa, and to consider him a natural Super Middleweight would be very, very wrong. We suspect Sinam wil be too small and too under-powered here.
Another battle between Indonesian fighters and Thai's will see hard hitting Indonesian fighter Jon Jon Jet (10-1, 8) take on unbeaten Thai 15 year old Surat Eaim ong (5-0-1, 2). Jet is will be fighting for the first time since a brutal TKO1 loss to Luke Boyd, back in November 2019, and prior to that he had been reeling off early wins back home in Indonesia. As for Surat debuted last November and this will be his 7th boxing bout in a little under 8 months! Despite being active this is very notable a big step up for him, but a win will push him towards a regional title fight of some kind.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
We also get a somewhat low key show in Tokyo, as we get the next card under the A Sign Bee banner. The card is certainly not a huge one, but it does have 3 bouts worthy of note on it.
The main event is an interesting looking 8 rounder as the light punching, but aggressive, Ryuya Nihei (7-2-1, 1) takes Mugicha Nakagawa (24-8-2, 14), who is looking to bounce back from a loss to Ryo Akaho earlier this year. This has the potential to be a genuinely thrilling action bout, and a fun back and forth brawl if Nihei can drag Nakagawa into his type of fight. Sadly though there is also a real risk it ends up being an ugly stinker, like Nakagawa's bout with Akaho. Aged 24 Nihei does have the potential to mix it up on the domestic title scent in the coming years, and showed his potential last time out, when he beat the well liked Tom Mizokoshi, bit this is very much a step up in class for him.
Arguably the most notable name on this card is model-boxer Tomomi Takano (12-5, 8) , who created a lot of buzz early in her career for her looks and did manage to twice fight for world titles. The tall, rangy and charismatic Takano has come up short in her most notable bouts so far, and at the age of 35 it's hard to know what desire she still has to make a name for herself as an actual boxer, rather than as a bit of a gimmick. Sadly her bout on this show is unlikely to tell us anything new about her, as she takes on limited 37 year old Ai Sugimoto (3-3, 2), who was stopped for the third time in her career this past March Makoto Kikuchi.
The other bout on this card worthy of note is the debut of Kento Uchigamae (0-0), who went 39-22 in the amateurs. He debuts in a good looking 6 rounder as he takes on the fun to watch Ren Anzai (6-4-1, 2), in what could well be a very, very entertaining 6 round round war. Last time out Anzai scored a really solid win over Fuya Tomita, and will be looking to build on that win here, whilst Uchigamae will be looking to showcase what he learned in the amateurs
Airport Hilton, Miami, Florida, USA
As well as the action in Asia, we'll also get an Asian fighter in action in Florida, as the unbeaten Mekhrubon Sanginov (12-0-1, 9), a US based Tajik fighter, takes on Colombian puncher Janer Gonzalez (20-4-1, 16). The 26 year old Sanginov has won his last 5, following a draw in 2019 with Fred Wilson Jr, and has stopped 4 of those 5. Whilst that sounds good, it's worth noting that he has been facing decent competition and has been quietly making a name for himself. As for Gonzalez, he has actually lost 4 of his last 5, though they have come against some very good fighters, and sadly he only has a single win to his name since 2018. At his best Gonzalez would be a live under-dog, but now aged 35 with inactivity and poor form, it's very hard to see him posing a real test for Sanginov.
Wadong Gymnasium, Ansan, South Korea
The main card this coming Saturday comes from South Korea where we get an excellent card featuring a female world title fight, two minor regional title fights and several promising prospects.
The main event of the show will see WBO female Minimumweight champion Etsuko Tada (20-3-3, 7) defending her title, for the first time, against mandatory challenger Thi Thu Nhi Nguyen (4-0, 1) of Vietnam. This champion won the title in spectacular fashion, knocking out Ayaka Miyao, but has at 40 years old and with just 3 fights since the start of 2019 it's hard to know what she has left, especially given how hard her career has been and how many wars she has been involved in. At her best Tada was one of the elite female fighters in the lower weights, but those years are well past her by now. Nguyen made her debut in 2015, but only really started taking the sport seriously as a professional in 2019, scoring 3 wins before the pandemic pretty much paused her career in early 2020. She has been lined up for a world title fight for well over a year, but due to the pandemic was unable to face Ayaka Miyao or Tada for the belt, and has had to wait until now for this opportunity. That has left her out of the ring for over 18 months. A full preview of this bout can be read here Tada travels to defend against Nguyen
The more notable of two WBO Oriental title bouts will see the world ranked Olimjon Nazarov (25-5, 14) defending his regional title against once beaten Filipino challenger Michael Mendoza (11-1-2, 4). The 35 year old champion is knocking on the door of a WBO world title fight, however he is ancient for a Flyweight, at 35, and he lacks the profile which would help him get a shot at the top. Notably he has aged well and is currently riding a 12 fight winning run coming into this bout. Mendoza is a relative unknown outside of Asia, but he has shown plenty to like and looked very impressive in his 2019 win over Kento Yabusaki, which is the only other time he's fought outside of the Philippines. He will go in to this as the under-dog, but is the much younger man, and knows that he has nothing to lose and everything to win. Expect to see Mendoza using his speed and movement, and Nazarov looking to use power and experience.
A second WBO Oriental title fight will be held at Minimumweight and see Vietnam's Minh Phat Sam (7-3, 5) take on former world title challenger ArAr Andales (12-2, 4), from the Philippines. Of the two men Andales is the more well known, having given Knockout CP Freshmart a tough test in 2019, but he has struggled since than win and is only 2-1 since losing to Knockout more than 3 years ago. He's certainly a talent but his career has lost all momentum in recent years. Phat on the other hand is is a man who struggled early on in his career, but is 7-1 in his last 8, albeit against very low level competition. This bout is a chance for Phat to make a name for himself, but he will be a a very clear under-dog.
In other bouts on this card we'll see once beaten Uzbekistani prospect Abdurasul Ismoilov (8-1, 5) clash with Korean fighter Moo Hyun Kim (8-1, 4), in what looks like a fantastic 50-50 style bout whilst unbeaten Uzbekistani puncher Abdulazizbek Najmiddinov (7-0, 6) takes on Sung Hun Kim (1-4), in what should be an easy win for Najmiddinov
The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex, Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines
As well as the show in South Korea we also have an interesting card in the Philippines, headlined by an excellent regional title bout, and also featuring a strong of notable names on the under-cards.
The main event will see former world title challenger Giemel Magramo (24-2, 20) look to bounce back from his 2020 loss to Junto Nakatani as he takes on Jayr Raquinel (12-1-1, 9), in a bout for the vacant OPBF Flyweight title. The talented and heavy handed Magramo was made to look third rate against Nakatani and will be looking to avoid another loss here, though with a lot of inactivity and his confidence likely to be at a low point following that loss it's hard to know just what he'll be like here. Raquinel, a former OPBF Flyweight champion, is a man who has been easy to over-look, but is a very live fighter with solid power and no fear of fighting as the under-dog. Sadly Raquinel has fought just twice since the start of 2019, and is horribly inactive, but the 24 year old southpaw will know a win gets his career back on track. This could be a very, very exciting bout and is one of the best all-Filipino match ups of 2021. Our in depth preview of this one can be read here Magramo and Raquinel battle for OPBF honours!
The chief support bout will be another bout as another member of the Magramo clan, this time Arvin Magramo (12-1-1, 8), takes on the once beaten Jerry Francisco (9-1, 2) for the lightly regarded WBO Oriental Light Flyweight title. The talented Magramo has bounced back well since suffering a split decision loss to Garen Diagan back in 2018, winning 4 bouts in a row to get his career back in track. Incidentally Francisco's only loss has also come to Diagan, losing a technical decision to Diagan in 2019. Since that loss Francisco has bounced back with two wins, but they have come at a very low level and he should, really enter this bout as the under-dog
Another man who came up short in a world title bout is Juan Miguel Elorde (28-2, 15) , who is best known for losing to Emanuel Navarrete in 2019. The once touted Elorde, who is Flash Elorde's grandson, will be fighting for the first time since losing to Navarrete and should be picking up a very, very easy win as he takes on Aroel Romasasa (11-9, 5). Although not world class, or even close to it, Elorde is a solid and decent fighter whilst Romasasa is man who has lost his last 8, hasn't win since 2010 and hasn't fought since 2016, and that's not likely to change here.
Another former world title challenger on this card is Jonathan Taconing (28-4-1, 22), who fights for the first time since being stopped in 2019 by Kenshiro Teraji. The hard hitting 34 year old south paw is now likely past his best, but should still have far, far too much for 38 year old journeyman Albert Alcoy (15-28-8, 5), who is 1-14-3 in his last 18 bouts! Taconing is unlikely to get another world title fight, but he should get a win here.
Ghani Sports Football Club, Karachi, Pakistan
We're set to get a show from Pakistan, albeit at a much, much lower level, as Pakistani boxing continues its slow and gradual domestic development.
The proof of how lacking the Pakistani domestic scene currently is can be seen in the fact the card is set to feature a bout between Shahir Afridi (2-0-1) and Haroon Khan (1-3, 1), who clash for the national Middleweight title. Afridi, struggled to a win last time out and has never beaten anyone with a win to their name, whilst Khan's last fight was a loss at Welterweight. Fingers crossed the domestic scene improves as this sort of a "title fight" does little to help the Pakistani scene.
Also on the card will be the unbeaten Taimoor Khan (3-0, 2), a very rare Pakistani Heavyweight hopeful who is looking to step up into an 8 rounder for the first time and battle for the Pakistan national Heavyweight title. Sadly however no opponent has been named at the time of writing, suggesting that his opponent will not be a notable one, or a testing one. Again not a great way to crown a national champion.
This coming Saturday is a really busy day in Asia, but the standout card is a Japanese one with 4 notable bouts on it. Notably this card isn't just a good one on paper, but will also be available live, thanks to Boxing Raise.
The main event will see Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yusaku Kuga (18-3-1, 12) make his first defense, of his second reign, as he battles against the limited but typically fun to watch Yosuke Fujihara (18-6, 5). The hard hitting Kuga won the belt back earlier this year, winning a Japanese Fight of the Year Contender against Ryoichi Tamura, and will be looking to impress here as he attempts to put his 2018 loss to Shingo Wake behind him. The power, pressure and aggression of Kuga is likely to be too much for the challenger but Fujihara does make for fun fights and this should be a fan friendly 1-sided bout. A full preview of this bout can be read here Kuga takes on Fujihara in first title defense!
A second title bout will see fast rising Japanese hopeful Tsubasa Murachi (4-0, 3) take on former world title challenger Froilan Saludar (30-3-1, 21) in a bout for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title. Although not one of the big name hopefuls in Japan Murachi is very well regarded by those who have followed his career, and the plan had always been to fast track him, though we didn't expect such a big step up so early in his career. A win for Murachi at this stage will likely secure him a WBO world ranking but it's not an easy task. Saludar, who was once touted as a future world champion himself, has faltered in his biggest bouts, including bouts against Takuma Inoue and Sho Kimura, but is very capable. For Saludar another loss here would likely end his hopes of getting another world title fight, but he'll feel confident that his experience will be too much for the Japanese youngster. A very interesting match up. A full preview of this bout can be read here Murachi goes for gold in 5th fight, takes on Saludar for WBO regional title!
The third bout which is getting a lot of interest is a Japanese Minimumweight title eliminator. This bout, the second of the eliminators for the 2020 Champion Carnival, will see former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (11-3, 7) going up against hard hitting youngster Kai Ishizawa (6-0, 6). For Taniguchi this is a must win bout, but also a huge step backwards following a bout with Vic Saludar earlier this year. As for Ishizawa this is a massive step up in class, and a win will put him on the map and secure a title fight next year. Our view is that it maybe too much too soon for Ishizawa, but we understand why he has taken the fight. This is genuine high risk, high reward for both men. Our preview of this bout is available here Taniguchi and Ishizawa meet in Japanese title eliminator
The final of the notable bouts will see rising Afghan born Japanese based Welterweight hopeful Kudura Kaneko (10-0, 7) continue to step up as he takes on rugged veteran Moon Hyon Yun (18-7-3, 4) in what could turn out to be the best bout of the show. Kaneko is a very exciting, hard hitting boxer-puncher whilst Yun is a genuine tough guy who has scored more than his share of upset wins. This should be a real test for Kaneko, and could well be a genuine banana skin given the style that Yun brings to the ring. This bout has been featured as our One to watch-Kudura Kaneko vs Moon Hyon Yun this week.
In China we get an interesting card with an international feel to it.
In one of the main bouts we'll see Chinese puncher Jun Zhao (11-2-1, 8) take on Japanese foe Sonin Nihei (9-4-2, 1) in a contest for the WBA Asia Bantamweight title. Coming in to this the 26 year old Zhao has been in good form, winning his last 6, but hasn't looked sensational during that run and he certainly improvements to make. On the other hand Nihei has struggled for results, winning just 1 of his last 3, but will be travelling with the knowledge that he has the skills to spring in the upset.
In a supporting bout we'll see Mongolian hopeful Erkhembayar Batbayar (5-0, 3) take on Korean foe Jun Yong Lee (6-5-4, 3). This is a 10 rounder and on paper a big step up for the Mongolian, who has never been beyond 6 rounds so far. The Korean is a former national champion, but has won just 1 of his last 4, and is 2-4-1 in his last 7. Batbayar will be the favourite, and rightfully so, but this is certainly his biggest test to date.
Bang Phun, Thailand
We return to the Work Point Studio for a Thai card which will be available on Work Point in Thailand and DAZN in the US.
One of the main bouts on this card will see former Naoya Inoue opponent Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (43-9, 20) take on Filipino visitor Renz Rosia (15-8-1, 8). Petchbarngborn, also known as Karoon Jarupianlerd, has gone 8-1 since losing to Inoue in 2016 but has fought at a most limited level, with a loss earlier this year to Amnat Ruenroeng being the most notable of those bouts. Rosia on the other hand is 1-3-1 in his last 5 and despite once being a solid fighter at regional level looks like a man who is is often fighting above his best weight. Rosia always comes to fight, but there is a feeling that he probably won't have enough to over-come the Thai in Thailand, where an away win is never easy.
Another bout on this card pitting a Thai against a Filipino will see Nawaphon Kaikanha (46-1-1, 36) take the under-rated and tough Ryan Rey Ponteras (22-14-3, 11). The once beaten Nawaphon is a former world title challenger who is also the brother of former world champion Suriyan Sor Rungvisai. Since his loss, in a WBC Flyweight title bout to Juan Hernandez, Nawaphon has moved up to Bantamweight and reeled off 10 straight wins. On paper Ponteras doesn't look like much of a threat, but in reality he's a really good journeyman who should take Nawaphon some rounds, and be competitive at times. Saying that however there are question marks about what Ponteras still has left following his first stoppage defeat back in March, when he was stopped in the opening round by Seiya Tsutsumi. At his best he was very much an upset minded fighter, who scored more than his share of wins against the odds, but he's now without a win in 4 bouts and could well be past his best.
Another bout on this card will be part of the WP Boxing Super Flyweight tournament and will see novices Danai Ngiabphukhiaw (2-1, 1) and Yodtanong Chaepet (2-0, 1) face off. These two were supposed to fight in August but their bout was pushed back to here. On paper this 6 rounder promises a lot and should be competitive, and of course we're big fans of tournaments, so fingers crossed the winner of the overall competition will be given a career boost as Thailand looks to unearth it's next generation of talent.
A second show in Thailand is a much lower profile card. The bouts here are much less interesting and the main event will see Murodjon Yokubov (4-0, 3) battle against teenager Tanawat Ketsiri (2-5, 2). The 25 year old Yokubov is a Thai based Uzbek who turned pro last year and really needs a step up in the near future. Ketsiri on the other hand has lost 4 times this year, and looks almost certain to pick up another loss here.
Sadly not other bout on this card is really worth talking about.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Yet another show of some note is a Filipino card from the Elorde Sports Center in Paranaque City.
Among the bouts on this card is a clash of once beaten youngsters, as Arvin Magramo (10-1-1, 6) and Francis Jay Diaz (8-1-1, 1) face off in an 8 round Light Flyweight contest. Magramo is very much in the rebuilding stages of his career, following a defeat at the hands of Garen Diagan a year ago, but this is a tough match up on paper and his team are taking a risk here. The 21 year old Diaz, dubbed "The Amazing Boy" began his career 1-1-1 before reeling off 7 straight wins, but this is a bi step up for him. Although a low key bout, in the grand scheme of things, this is a very interesting match up
A second contest between fighters with a single loss to their name will feature Marlon Paniamogan (9-1-1, 5) and Jino Rodrigo (5-1-2, 4), who will also be involved in a 10 round fight. On paper this should be more explosive than the other bout however it's worth noting that Paniamogan was beaten last time out, losing a decision in Japan to Kuntae Lee. Rodrigo, on the other hand, is 3-1-2 in his last 6, suggesting neither has much moment coming into this bout.
A third bout of interest here sees unbeaten men battle, with Delmar Pellio (7-0, 3) and Marjon Piencenaves (6-0-1, 4) fighting in an 8 rounder. The 19 year old Pellio has only previously faced 1 opponent with a winning record and will be looking for his third win of the year. Piencenaves on the other hand is a 24 year old who is facing his first opponent with a winning record, so for both men this is a step up and their real, serious test.
New Delhi, India
There's also a small show in India.
The main bout on this card will see the unbeaten Rajesh Kumar (10-0-1-2) take on Filipino foe Ivor Lastrilla (11-7-1, 6) in an 8 round contest. The 25 year old Kumar has won his last 5, following a draw in October 2016, and is looking to build on those wins here. On paper Lastrilla is a step down from Kumar's last 2 foes, but could still make for an interesting test. The 27 year old Lastrilla has lost his last 3, but when on form he can be a good test. Lastrilla is unlikely to have the size, power or strength to be a physical threat to Kumar, but may have the skills to ask questions of him.
In a supporting bout female hopeful Ramandeep Kaur (5-0) will take on Thai journey-woman Saranyaphong Theinthong (2-13, 2), in what really should be an easy win for Kaur over 6 rounds.
Gimhae, South Korea
The most notable show of the day comes from Korea, where the we get top Korean female fighter making a defense of one of her titles.
The aforementioned female fighter is Hee Jung Yuh (20-3, 10), who will be defending her WBF Intercontinental Female Super Flyweight title against Thai foe Saowaluk Nareepangsri (7-14, 1). Yuh is an interesting and skilled fighter, though she is well below elite level, and her only loss in the last 10 years has come to Naoko Fujioka. Despite only losing once in 10 years her competition, Fujioka aside, has been appalling. Saowaluk has lost her last 5, including 3 by stoppage. She's very much a fight who will travel to pick up a loss, and that seems to be the case again here as she returns to Korea for the fourth time in her career, still seeking her first win in the country.
There will also be a bout featuring Seung Ho Lee (4-0, 4). Lee will battle for the WBF Asia Pacific Welterweight title as he takes on Thai visitor Girapan Boonpeng (4-1, 4), who was last seen losing inside a round to Rivo Kundimang in Indonesia in November. We'll get a chance to compare Lee to Kundimang, but that's about the only thing this bout will actually do.
As well as the title action in Korea there will also be a small, yet noteworthy, card in Osaka featuring two bouts of interest.
In a bout that genuinely excites us we'll see the inform Dynamic Kenji (10-3, 7) take on the once touted Naoto Iwai (5-2, 3). Coming in to this Kenji has won his last 5 by stoppage, including big wins over Futa Akizuki and Shota Kawaguchi. That winning run has taken him from 5-3 to 10-3 and he's quickly climbing up the rankings towards a potential title fight. Iwai was tipped highly as a prospect from Hyogo but the youngster suffered back to back defeats in 2017 and he's yet to really recover from those set backs. He's notched a couple of wins over Thai's since suffering his defeats but this is a clear step up, and it feels like Morioka will be looking to see if he sinks or swims against someone as good as Kenji.
The other bout of note will see 2016 Rookie of the Year runner up Hibiki Jogo (7-2, 4) take on Tricky Kumagai (9-8, 6). The 25 year old Jogo was stopped in 4 rounds in the Rookie of the Year final and was also stopped last time out, by Yoshihiro Utsumi, suggesting that perhaps he's lacking in durability. Kumagai has also been stopped, in fact 4 of his 8 losses have been inside the distance, and he is 2-6 in his last 8, meaning he can ill afford another loss here. This isn't a massive fight for the Japanese domestic scene, but is massive for both fighters, who will have a long road to climb if they come up short here.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines fans get a small card, expected to be headlined by the unbeaten Marlon Paniamogan (8-0-1, 5) taking on Jimmy Borbon (7-6-4, 4). This is a less than great match up, but the card looks like it will feature a bunch of more recognisable names.
Listed for the show are Wilbert Berondo (12-3-2, 5), Juan Miguel Elorde (26-1, 14), Arvin Magramo (8-1-1, 5) and Delmar Pellio (5-0, 3). Sadly none of those fighters have had their opponents named at the time of writing.
Kazakh fans get the chance to end the year on a high with a number of their fighters in action on a special card promoted by the Astana Arlans and Qazaq Promotions. The show will be free to attend, but sadly the level of bouts is a bit of a mystery.
Whilst full details on this card haven't been announced we do know that is it will feature Aidar Sharibayev (7-1, 6), Yelieqiati Nihemaituola (14-0-1, 5), Askhat Ualikhanov (4-1, 2), Ablaikhan Khussainov (9-0, 6) and Ruslan Myrsataev (5-0, 5), all of whom likely to be up against limited opponents in what we suspect will be little more than show case bouts.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The main show this coming Saturday is the Elorde promoted card from Metro Manila.
The main event of the show will see once beaten Filipino Juan Miguel Elorde (24-1, 13) defending the WBO Asia Pacific Super Bantamweight title against Thai Yodsingdaeng Jor Chaijinda (16-4, 10). The local will be strongly favoured here, but the Thai should ask some questions of Elorde, and the bout should be more competitive than it looks on paper.
Sadly the rest of this show looks like a card mostly stacked with mismatches, however one bout does back that rule and looks like a compelling contest on paper. That bout is an 8 rounder that pits the unbeaten pairing of Arvin Magramo (7-0-1, 4) and Michael Mendoza (5-0-2, 1) against each other. This could end up being the bout of the day.
Lanao del Norte, Philippines
A second Filipino card will take place in Lanao del Norte.
This card will see once beaten prospect Cris Ganoza (14-1, 8) take on highly experienced veteran Donny Mabao (22-34-3, 4). The bout will be Mabao's 60th as a professional whilst Ganoza will be seeking his third straight win, following a stoppage loss to Edward Heno, almost a year ago.
Another bout of some note on this card is one between former WBC Flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro (43-14-5, 30) and Dondon Narvaez (12-25-7, 3). Jaro is a long way removed from the fighter who stopped PongsaklekWonjongkam back in 2012, though should still have far too much for Narvaez, who has been stopped in his last 4, and is more than 3 years removed from his last win.
Dongducheon, South Korea
In South Korea fans will be getting a card with a lot of Rookies on it, in fact the card has a frankly jaw dropping 24 Rookie bouts on it. As well as those Rookie bouts there will also be a 6 round line bout featuring the Korean based Cameroonian born refugee Heuk San Lee (5-0-1, 3), who looks to continue his remarkable story.
For those unaware Abdoulaye Assan, aka Heuk San Lee, is a man who has sought refuge in Korea and has become a minor boxing celebrity in the country. His opponent for this show is unknown but it's hard not to support him in his fight to have a quality life in Korea.
Pathum Thani, Thailand
There will also be a small card in Thailand.
The main event here will see Fahpetch Singmanassak (5-2, 2) take on 36 year old Petchthongchai Singmanasak (6-13). Of the two men it's Petchthongchai who is perhaps the more well known, though he was stopped by the then returning Amnat Ruenroeng last year, and there is little else of note on his record. As for Fahpetch there is next to nothing on his record of any note, though he has won his last 3 bouts.
The card will also feature Soh Ohba (2-0-1, 2), who is the nephew of former Japanese world champion Masao Oba. At the time of writing nothing is known in regards who he will be fighting.
The rising generation of Japanese fighters was seen last week when Hiroto Kyoguchi became a world champion in just his 8th professional fight. This coming Saturday we again see two young Japanese fighters looking to continue their rise, one is a stablemate of Kyoguchi's at the Watanabe gym whilst the other is another heavy handed Minimumweight, and a potential future foe for Kyoguchi.
The main event will see Kyoguchi's stable mate Yusaku Kuga (14-2-1, 10) look to make his first defense of the Japanese Super Bantamweight title, as he takes on fellow hard hitter Ryoichi Tamura (8-2-1, 5) in what looks like a potentially brilliant fire fight. Neither of these men are the most skilled, but both can bang and both like to let their hands go. On paper Kuga should be the favourite, with his higher level of experience and move proven credentials, but Tamura can hit and could be a nightmare in a potential slugfest.
The other main bout will see Tsubasa Koura (10-0, 7) face off with Filipino Jaysever Abcede (14-6, 9), with the winner looking to become the new OPBF Minimumweight champion, claiming a title last held by the aforementioned Kyoguchi. Koura's rise has been great and he really shone last year, stopping Jeffrey Galero in an opening performance, but Abcede cannot be over-looked and he holds a massive win himself, stopping Pigmy Kokietgym just a few fights back. The winner here will put themselves in the mix for a world title bout and both will feel confidence that they can claim the victory, and the title.
In a supporting bout we'll see Naoya Okamoto (10-6-1, 5) take on Gaku Aikawa (8-4-1, 2) in a decent low level domestic bout. Neither of these guys are ranked, but they will be facing off in a nice looking 8 rounder, and the winner will certainly give their career a boost in the arm, which could do the world of good going forward.
In Hyogo we get a West Japan Rookie of the Year Card. As with many of these Rookie of the Year cards there are no names of note, but there are some interesting bout.
One of those bouts will see 30 year old Takafumi Minobe (1-0) take on teenager Rikuto Adachi (5-0, 2) in a bout at Welterweight. Given the lack of depth in Japan at 147lbs the winner of the Rookie of the Year can find themselves in the title picture rather quickly, and that could be the case if the winner of this can go all the way to the Rookie crown in December.
The most even bout on the show will see 20 year old Nozomi Yamashoji (2-0, 1) take on 21 year old Temin Kimura (2-0, 1). The two Super Featherweights have identical records, with Kimura being slightly older Yamashoji have a single round more experience. Although the two are similar it does need noting that Yamashoji has been out of the ring for more than a year, and that could show here.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In Metro Manila fight fans get a low level card littered with notable names.
The most notable of those names is 2-time world title challenger Jonathan Taconing (24-3-1, 20 ), who fights in a 10 round bout against journeyman Silem Serang (8-13-1, 1). Originally Taconing was supposed to be defending his WBC International Light Flyweight title but that appears to be off, likely with Serang not being eligible for the title given his recent form, with 5 losses in his last 6.
The card also features some unbeaten prospects. One of those is the heavy handed Abraham Bullagay (9-0-1, 9), who looks to record a 10th win as he takes on veteran Ryan Tampus (11-19, 8) in a bout scheduled for 8. Given that Tampus has been stopped 8 times in 11 bouts it's hard to imagine him coming out on top here. Another unbeaten puncher on this card is Arvin Magramo (5-0, 4), who was originally pencilled in to take on Anecito Padillo (3-2, 2) though it now seems Padillo has removed from boxrec.com so it's unclear who Magramo will be facing.
A third unbeaten prospect in action here is Bryan Ascano (7-0-1, 2), who takes part in a good looking 6 rounder against Jules Victoriano (5-1, 4), in what should be the best bout on the show, and is clearly the most well matched.
The card also featured Wilbert Berondo (10-2-1, 4), who looked to get his career back on track following a 0-2-1 run including a loss to Hinata Maruta. The Filipino youngster will be up against domestic journeyman Ruben Traza (4-12-4, 1) in what should be an easy confidence builder for Berondo.
For a second day running we get low level Chinese action in Jinan, with the card scheduled to have 8 bouts of 4 rounds on it, with no notable names at all in action.
Puerto Armuelles, Panama
Korean based Pakistani fighter Muhammad Waseem (6-0, 4) will fight for the second time in the space of weeks as he takes on Ivan Trejos (7-7-2, 1) in a stay busy fight in Panama. His promoter, Andy Kim, is putting on the show and will be keeping Waseem busy along with a number of other AK fighters, though it does seem like Waseem's rapid rise has sadly faltered this year.
This coming Saturday is a busy day in Asian boxing circles with a number of major bouts.
The biggest bout for Asian fight fans this weekend comes form Mexico where highly experienced Thai veteran Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (61-2, 41) challenges “interim” WBO Super Featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt (29-1, 26). For the heavy handed Berchelt this will be the first defense of his title, a title he won earlier this year stopping George Jupp, and it could see him adding a genuinely recognisable name to his record. For Chonlatarn it's a third world title fight, and potentially opens the door to a rematch with Ukrainian star Vasyl Lomachenko.
New Dehli, India
In India fans get their most significant bout, and the homecoming of their first boxing star.
That star is former amateur playboy Vijender Singh (6-0, 6) who looks to extend his perfect record and claim his first title as he steps up to face former European Middleweight champion Kerry Hope (23-7, 2) in a bout for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Although there is potentially region defining fights in India there should also be plenty of attention given to the Philippines, where their will be two shows with some notable bouts.
The best bout in the Philippines this weekend will see unbeaten and highly touted prospect Giemel Magramo (16-0, 13) battled against the under-rated Renz Rosia (12-4, 6), in what is genuine a fantastic match up. The unbeaten man is regarded as one of the absolute best prospects in the Philippines and at 21 years old isn't being rushed with this bout being a well timed step up in class. For Rosia the bout comes following a 1-2 run, but that run features a win over Renan Trongco, a very disputed loss to Makazole Tete and a defeat to the world class Moruti Mthalane. This could genuinely be a cracker.
In a supporting bout on this card fans will see Glenn Suminguit (18-2, 9) battle Alvin Bais (15-6-1, 4) for the vacant GAB Bantamweight title. For both of these fighters a win looks possible and would open up doors on the regional scene. Coming in to this Suminguit is on a 6 fight winning streak, though the competition hasn't been great. Bais is 2-6-1 in his last 9, though he has been tested at a far higher level than his foe, and is 15-0-1 in his homeland.
In a genuine stay busy fight fans will see the once beaten Randy Braga (18-1-1, 4) face off with Donriel Marcos (10-26-1, 1). Braga is fringe world level, with his only loss being a controversial one to Macbute Sinyabi last year, and will be likely looking for a big fight before the year is over. This is however only his second bout of 2016 and he'll know that he can't afford to have periods of inactivity if he's to get a world title bout.
A notable bout way down this card is the professional debut of Arvin Magramo (0-0), the younger brother of Geimel Magramo. The youngster is said to be one with real promise, and will be up against the win-less Robert Mendano (0-6) in what looks like a “safe” debut.
On another show in the Philippines fans will get the chance to see some promising prospects in action,
The most notable of those prospects is big punching Minimumweight hopeful Melvin Jerusalem (9-0, 7), who will be up against domestic rival Jonathan Refugio (15-4-4, 3) in a 10 rounder. The talented Jerusalem posted his biggest win in February, beating former world champion Florante Condes, and will be looking to build on that win here.
Another notable prospect in action here is Super Bantamweight hopeful Jeo Santisima (10-2, 9) who goes up against the out of sorts Junior Bajawa (14-8, 7). Coming into this one Bajawa has lost his last 8, with 5 stoppage defeats, and it's hard to see this being much more than a record padding win for Bajawa.