There isn't a lot of action this coming Sunday but we do see Chinese fighters looking to tick over in Thailand and a couple of Filipino's in action in South Africa.
The show in Thailand is an interesting one from Bangkok featuring a number of notable Chinese fighters in what are essentially stay busy fights.
One of the Chinese fighters on this card is Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (16-3-1, 6), who is looking to build on his 2019 win in the US against Saul Corral. From what we understand the enigmatic Baishanbo will be up against Filipino foe Welbeth Loberanis (12-2, 3), who is returning to the ring almost 7 years after his last bout, and around 30lbs heavier. It's hard to imagine anything but a win for the Chinese fighter here.
Someone looking to begin the rebuilding process here is recent world title challenger Wulan Tuolehazi (13-4-1, 6), who will be fighting for the first time since he was stopped by Kosei Tanaka at the end of 2019. The awkward Tuolehazi will be up against experienced Filipino Jomar Fajardo (17-15-2, 9), in what should be a very winnable return to the ring for the Chinese fighter. Fajardo was a capable fighter a few years ago, twice giving Francisco Rodriguez Jr a good test, but has been racking up losses and would need a really big performance to test the Chinese fighter.
An unbeaten Chinese hopeful looking to pick up a win here is Yeerlan Nuerlanbieke (4-0, 1), who takes on teenage hopeful Channarong Injampa (3-2, 2). The unbeaten local is looking to build on his November win over Yangcheng Jin and shouldn't have any issues here. Injampa has been stopped in both of his losses, and we'd expect him to be stopped again here, despite the fact he is not a big puncher.
One other Chinese fighter worthy of attention on this card is youngster Xiang Li (7-2-2, 2), who is looking to build on an interesting 2019 which saw him beat Raymond Poon KaiChing and fight to a draw with excellent Japanese hopeful Ryu Horikawa. We really can't see any way in which Li struggles to get past local novice Wachira Malai (1-1) on this card, and this really should be a formality.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
Sadly in South Africa we expect to see a pair of Filipino fighters coming up shot.
In one bout local hopeful Yanga Sigqibo (13-1-1, 3) will take on experienced Pinoy Cris Paulino (21-4, 8). Although Sigqibo hasn't got much fanfare yet he's a real talent and is looking to score his 11th straight victory, after a 3-1-1 start to his professional career. The 27 year old Paulino was once a decent regional level fighter, but he's now years away from a win of note and with 4 stoppage loss to his name it's hard to imagine him picking up a victory here on the road.
Another local looking to pick up a win against a Filipino fighter is the hard hitting Sivenathi Nontshinga (8-0, 8), who takes on Ivan Soriano (20-3-1, 10). The unbeaten 21 year old, dubbed the "Special One", will be defending his IBF International Light Flyweight title for the second and will be taking on his toughest so far.The 31 year old Soriano has lost 2 of his last 4, but the Pinoy is tough, and should be a legitimate test for Nontshinga.
For us the biggest show this Saturday is in China where we get a China Vs Japan card featuring a number of bouts between fighters from those two countries. Not only is there the China Vs Japan theme, but also the return to the ring of a popular Japanese former world champion.
The former world champion is Sho Kimura (17-2-2, 10), who despite being Japanese is hugely popular in China following his title win over Zou Shiming in 2017. Kimura was dethroned of the WBO Flyweight title in September, by Kosei Tanaka, but will be strongly favoured to pick up a win here as he takes on Thai veteran Pigmy Kokietgym (60-10-2, 24) in a bout for the OPBF Silver Flyweight. Pigmy was once a solid fighter, and is a 2-time world title challenger, but is not a natural Flyweight, he's 37 and has been stopped 7 times in his career, with Kimura likely to make that 8.
One of the many China Vs Japan bouts will see China's Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (15-2-1, 6) take on Yusuke Konno (14-4, 7) in a bout for some minor WBA Light Welterweight title. Originally the title was listed as the WBA "International" title, though their is now speculation that it will be for the WBA "Asia" title. Nasiyiwula is a talented fighter, but often comes across as a man with a bad attitude, and a real arrogance. He has impressed in the past, but didn't look good last time out, when he fought Ernesto Espana. Konno on the other hand has a poor looking record, but comes into this bout on the back of 3 good domestic wins, including an excellent victory over Vladimir Baez in December and will be full of confidence.
Another China Vs Japan bout, with a title on the line, will see world ranked Chinese fighter Wulan Tuolehazi (10-3-1, 5) battle against highly regarded Japanese prospect Ryota Yamauchi (4-0, 4) in a bout for the WBA International Flyweight title. Tuolehazi has impressed in recent years, turning around a 0-2 start to professional boxing to have a 10-3-1 record including a big win over Jayr Raquinel last year. Yamauchi has impressed us since his professional debut, and already has a couple of solid wins on his record, but this is a big step up for him. We suspect Yamauchi has the tools needed to over-come Tuolehazi, but he will need to answer serious questions here, and prove himself more than he has at any other point in his career. A full preview of this bout can be read here Yamauchi and Tuolehazi battle in mouth watering Flyweight clash
The China Vs Japan rivalry may be set to give us a very special bout as Fangyong Zhang (11-4-1, 3) and Ryuto Maekawa (11-1-1, 7) clash in a potential war. Neither of these are world beaters, but both are happy to let their hands go and be involved in a fight. Maekawa is best known for his insane bout with Rex Tso whilst Zhang is less well known he is certainly not a bad fighter to watch and should make for the perfect partner with Maekawa for a brilliant fight.
As well as the big card in China there will also be a big one in the US, in fact the US card in Pennsylvania is the biggest of the day in terms of general boxing. The card isn't just big in a wider boxing sense but also features several Asian fighters.
The most significant bout, in regards to Asian interest, will see the unbeaten Uzbek fighter Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (15-0, 6) take on Japanese puncher Keita Obara (20-3-1, 18) in an IBF Welterweight world title eliminator. The talented Abdukakhorov will be making his US debut and begin a 3 fight deal with Top Rank with this fight, and will know that a win will open up major doors, though he is up against a serious puncher in Obara. For Obara, who has been stopped in all 3 of his losses, this is a must win but he has failed to win his biggest bouts and at the age of 32 he is likely on the slide. Our preview of this bout is available here Abdukakhorov and Obara battle for mandatory position
Once beaten American based Kazakh Askhat Ualikhanov (4-1, 2) will take on Puerto Rican puncher Jose Lopez (11-1, 9) in an 8 round bout. The 28 year old Ualikhanov was beaten on debut, in 2016, when he was controversially DQ'd and since then has reeled off 4 wins, to rebuild his reputation. Lopez on the other hand was stopped last time out by journeyman Carlos Winson Velasquez and is may not find this bout to be the confidence builder he needs.
New South Wales, Australia
There will also be a show in Australia, featuring a couple of Filipino fighters.
The main event of this card will see WBSS participant Jason Moloney (17-1, 14) return to the ring for the first time since losing to IBF Bantamweight champion Emmanuel Rodriguez. The talented, once beaten, Australian will be up against Filipino visitor Cris Paulino (19-3, 8) in a bout for the WBA Oceania Bantamweight title. Given that all 3 of Paulino's losses have come by stoppage it's hard to imagine him lasting with the hard hitting Moloney, who will likely get to Paulino sooner or later.
Another Filipino on this card is Rey Juntilla (23-8-5, 14), who takes on Billel Dib (22-3, 10). The 29 year old Juntilla has lacked activity in recent years, with only 1 bout in the last 2 years, and although he has a good looking record he has lost against almost every noteworthy name he's faced. Dib is no world beater, and has lost 2 of his last 3, but he should pick up an easy win here.
In a bit of an oddity we'll see German based Moroccan Bilal Messoudi (6-4-1, 2) take on Chinese fighter Shayilanbieke Kadeerbieke (2-3-2, 1). Although Messoudi has lost 4 bouts he has mixed with decent fighters and is better than the numbers suggest. As for Kadeerbieke this will be his first bout outside of China, and we'll be honest and admit that is strange he's set to fight in Germany.
Jeonju, South Korea
Arguably the most interesting action this coming Saturday is in Korea, where we'll see the next Korea Vs Japan card, and it features so pretty interesting fighters.
A bout where the Korean will be favoured will see Ro Joon Suh (5-0, 2) take on Japanese visitor Ken Koibuchi (4-2, 3). The 20 year old Suh will be moving up from 4 round bouts for the first time, but he has looked good since turning professional in October 2017, though he does perhaps lack a bit of power. Koibuchi on the hand has got power, but can be out boxed, and was beaten last time out, losing in the East Japan Rookie of the Year final to Yusaku Sekishima.
A bout where the Korean will be the clear under-dog will see local fighter Jong Min Jung (9-8, 3) take on Japanese puncher Kai Chiba (9-1, 7). The local is a former "interim" PABA Featherweight champion who debuted way back in 2008 and struggled early on in his career, though is 5-1 (2) in his last 6 bouts. Chiba began his career 7-0 but was stopped this January by Brian Lobetania and hasn't quite refound his form, despite scoring two wins since then. At his best Chiba is a monster boxer-puncher, but we're not sure what his confidence is like at the moment.
A pretty interesting match up on this card will see Seung Yoon Shin (3-1-3, 1) take on Japanese novice Tatsumasa Abe (1-0, 1). The Korean 21 year old will be facing his first non-Korean opponent, and it's hard to read too much into his record, which has come against fellow domestic novices. Abe on the other hand was a stellar amateur, going 71-19 in the unpaid ranks, and is tipped as one to watch. Interestingly Abe debuted in Thailand in August and this will be a second bout outside of his homeland as he embarks on an unusual start to his career.
The main bout from the card isn't part of the Korea Vs Japan event, but is instead an All Korean 10 round contest and will pit Hyun Je Shin (9-8, 2) against Chan Young Kim (3-1-2, 1), with the two fighting for the Korean Super Featherweight title, BoxingM version. Shin is a former Korean title challenger at Flyweight, Super Flyweight and Super Featherweight, who is sadly 0-3 in title bouts. Despite the poor record in title bouts he does hold wins over Kazuki Sanpei and Daniel Ferreras. Kim on the other hand is a 20 year old who comes into the bout on the back of a good win against Hwan Oh Kim.
Gyeongju, South Korea
A second Korean show, from the KBA, will take place in Gyeoingju. Sadly this card is scarcely worth a mention, with the main event being a 6 round contest between Yi Fan Liu (3-0, 3) and Jong Bin Lim (4-0, 1). That's a good main event but there's no real big name to attract fans from the much better Korea Vs Japan card.
A second major show on the Asian front at least, is in China where we'll be getting a trio of title bouts.
The most notable bout on the card will see the exciting Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (14-2-1, 6), who has suffered competitive losses to Rikki Naito and Fredrick Lawson, taking on Venezuelan veteran Ernesto Espana (26-1-1, 21) in a bout for WBC International Light Welterweight title. The Chinese fighter is an aggressive warrior, who has got limitations but is a real handful, and is better at 140lbs than at 147lbs. Espana on the other hand is a 37 year old who has mostly fought awful competition, but in 2016 held Ruben Nieto to a draw in Spain and went the distance with the talented Yves Ulysse Jr earlier this year. We suspect the Chinese local will come out on top but Espana has shown enough to suggest this will not be an easy win for Baishanbo.
Another title bout on this card will see the unbeaten ZongLi He (4-0, 1) take on Filipino Vincent Astrolabio (12-2, 8) for the vacant WBO Oriental Youth Bantamweight title. He turned professional last year, but has stepped up quickly and claimed the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Super Flyweight title this past May when he defeated experienced Filipino Diarh Gabutan over 10 rounds. Astrolabio looked like a promising prospect a year ago, when he was 10-0, but losses to John Mark Apolinario and Yuki Strong Kobayashi leaves him needing a big performance. This is a really interesting match up, but one where the local will be favoured.
A third title bout on this card will see Casey Morton (7-0-3, 1) take on Jutamas Jitpong (4-2, 2) for the WBO Asia Pacific Female Super Flyweight Title. The unbeaten Morton is an Hawaiian who is becoming a frequent fixture on the Asian scene, has recently fought twice in Thailand and once in China, scoring a good win this past March against Nongmuay Kokietgym in Paranque City, to claim the Flyweight version of this title. The Thai 20 year old has lost 2 of her last 4, and it's hard to really gauge how good she actually is from her competition and performances. A win for Jitpong would be her biggest win by some margin, whilst Morton has got a big win coming in to this bout.
One other bout of note on this card is contest between Qixiu Zhang (9-5-1, 3) and Karen Margaryan (3-0-1). The Chinese local is looking to bounce back from a recent loss to Joe Noynay in the Philippines, whilst Russian based Armenian Margaryan is taking a marked step up and actually risking his unbeaten record.
We've also been informed that Ricky Sismundo (35-11-3, 17) will be in action on this show, against Chinese fighter Lei Wang (1-0, 1), who was a former WSB fighter before making his regular professional debut in September. This looks like being a really good fight, and a one that both fighters will believe they can win, though of course
In Canada we'll see Indian fighter Neeraj Goyat (10-3-2, 2), fighting for the second time in Canada, take on Bence Molnar (18-8, 10). On paper this is a fantastic step up for Goyat, who will be fighting over 8 rounds, rather than the 4 rounds he fought last time. At 27 years old he has time to develop but it's hard to see him getting too far in the sport given how few Indian's have made a mark on the pro-scene, so far. Molnar on the other hand is an Hungarian journeyman, who has fought through most of Europe, and is notable for having gone 10 rounds with hard hitting Brit Lewis Ritson in 2016. This could be a very good test for Goyat and give his team a chance to really see what he's really about.
In Russia we're expecting to see a trio of Kazakh punchers in action, with Super Middleweight Ibragim Iskandarov (5-0, 5), Uzbek born Kazakh Cruiserweight Ualikan Bissengulov (7-0, 7) and American based Kazakh Yedil Kozhamberdiyev (5-2, 5), also a Cruiserweight, expected to be in action. Sadly their opponents haven't been announced.
The biggest card this coming Friday is in Qingdao as we get two world title fights and several other minor title contests.
One of the world title bouts will see WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura (16-1-2, 9) return to China, where he won the title last year against Zou Shiming, to defend the belt against Froilan Saludar (28-2-1, 19). Kimura has made just a single defense of the title, but looks like a solid champion who is strong, hungry and hard hitting, much more so than his record suggests. As for Saludar he was once tipped as a major star but has failed to reach the heights expected of him. Saying that however Saludar has seen his brother, Vic Saludar, score a massive win recently over Ryuya Yamanaka and will feel full of confidence following his brothers win. We're expecting heavy leather to be thrown here and we suspect both have the power to hurt the other.
The other world title fight will see unbeaten WBA Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (17-0, 7) defending his title against China's very own Xiong Zhao Zhong (27-7-1, 14). This will be Knockout's first bout outside of Thailand and will see him hunting a 5th defense of the WBA regular title. Although talented Knockout does have flaws and with the Chinese crowd against him he may need to up the pace in the later rounds, something he's rarely done when he's been fighting at home. For Zhong the bout is one final chance to become a 2-time world champion, though at the age of 35 it's hard to know what he really left in the tank.
In another title bout we'll see China's Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (13-2-1, 6) take on Filipino fighter Sonny Katiandagho (12-2, 7) for a couple of regional titles. Coming in to this Nasiyiwula will be trying to bounce back from his April loss against Fredrick Lawson in the US, and will be dropping back down from Welterweight to Light Welterweight for this bout. As for Katiandagho he was stopped 2 fights ago, and has been down a few times during his career, though will feel confident here having gone 2-0 in fights in China.
Other bouts on this card include Can Xu (13-2, 1) against Jelbirt Gomera (13-4, 7) and an interim regional Flyweight title bout between Wulan Tuolehazi (7-3-1, 3) and Yokthong Kokietgym (18-4, 11).
Fight fans in Tokyo will get something a bit special as reason put on a stacked card at the Korakuen Hall.
The major attraction here is an amazing match up for the Japanese Super Bantamweight title, as defending champion Yusaku Kuga (16-2-1, 11) takes on former world title challenger Shingo Wake (24-5-2, 16) in what is essentially a world title eliminator between two world class fighters. The hard hitting Kuga has made two defenses of the title that he won in February 2017, though certainly got pushed hard in the first of those against the aggressive and hard hitting Ryoichi Tamura. Wake on the other hand is a former OPBF champion who's only loss in the last 6 years came to the hard hitting Jonathan Guzman in 2016. This is a puncher against a boxer, and we're expecting a compelling stylistic match up here.
Whilst the main event is brilliant it may end up being outshone by a supporting bout between unbeaten Minimumweight prospects, who trade blows for the Japanese Youth Minimumweight title. The bout in question will see 2016 Minimumweight Rookie of the Year Daiki Tomita (12-0, 4) take on the heavy handed Kai Ishizawa (4-0, 4) in what is really a fantastic match up. The 20 year old Tomita had a break out 2016 with his Rookie of the Year triumph and since then has gone 4-0 (2) with a notable domestic win over Desierto Nagaike. On the other hand Ishizawa, who debuted in June 2017, has just been destructive with his April win over Tatsuro Nakashima being a huge statement. This really has the potential to be a very special bout.
Former Japanese and OPBF champion Takuya Kogawa (29-5, 13) will be returning to the ring for his first bout of the year, as he takes on former Japanese title challenger Yusuke Sakashita (16-8-2, 11). At his best Kogawa was world class, and has long been a fan favourite due to his high octane style and willingness to have a tear up against anyone. Sadly though at the age of 33 we suspect his career is catching up with him and he may not have too long left at the top. Saying that however we still suspect Kogawa will have more than enough to over-come the somewhat limited Sakashita who has gone 4-4 in his last 8, losing to the 4 notable fighters that he's shared the ring with in that time.
Another really interesting match up will see former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Masaaki Serie (27-9, 10) return to the ring after more than 2 years away from the ring. Unfortunately for the 35 year old Serie he will be up against the fast rising Daisuke Sugita (2-0, 1), who is tipped for big things. At his best Serie was a really solid fighter, who scored notable wins against the likes of Mikihito Seto, Shoji Kimura and Yasutaka Ishimoto. Sadly for Serie he was showing signs of his age before his break from the ring, and had gone 3-4 in his previous 7 bouts. Sugita is a former amateur stand out who debuted in April and is taking a big step up here, but one that we expect him to make with ease given just how good he was as an amateur, and how good he's been since turning professional.
A second Japanese card will be held in Osaka where we see several rising prospects and a former Japanese champion in action. Sadly however this card really lacks in terms of quality match ups.
The main event on this card will see second generation fighter Juiki Tatsuyoshi (8-0, 5), the son of the legendary Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, take on Indonesian veteran Noldi Manakane (32-24-2, 18). The Japanese fighter will be fighting in his first 10 rounder and taking a notable step up in class as he battles his first former world title challenger. Sadly though Manakane is a long, long way from the fighter who challenged Koki Kameda or the WBA Bantamweight title back in 2012 and the 34 year old has won just 8 of his last 21 fights.
The former champion on this card is former Japanese Featherweight champion Kosuke Saka (17-4, 14), who continues to rebuild his career following his shock loss to Takenori Ohashi last December. The heavy handed Saka shouldn't struggle at all with the light hitting Gusti Elnino (4-12-1, 1), who fights outside of Indonesia for the first time. Saka might not be the best fighter, or the smartest, but he should be far too strong and powerful for Elnino.
The once beaten, and heavy handed, Kyosuke Tsutsumimoto (7-1, 6) will be looking to score his 4th straight stoppage as he takes on Arega Yunian (6-10, 1). The Japanese fighter has rebuilt well since a loss in a 4 rounder to Bunta Okamoto back in 2016, and looks to be rising through the ranks, helped in part to a big win in April against Engelbert Moralde. The Indonesian fighter also fought in April, but unlike Tsutsumimoto he was himself stopped, being taken out in 3 rounds by super prospect Hintata Maruta. Given how their performances went in April it's hard to see anything but a stoppage win for Tsutsumimoto.
Also on this show will be the highly promising Ginjiro Tsutsumimoto (1-0, 1), who impressed us back in his amateur days. The talented Japanese hopeful will be up against his own Indonesian foe in the form of Iwan Sanca, who has been stopped in both of his defeats. We've got big hopes for Tsutsumimoto and really can't imagine him struggling, at all, in this bout as he moves towards bigger and better fights.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
Outside of Asia the most interesting match up will see once beaten South African fighter Yanga Sigqibo (10-1-1, 3) face off against Filipino foe Rene Dacquel (20-7-1, 6) in a bout for the WBC international Super Flyweight title. The South African fighter won the national title last year and made one defense, but this is a big step up for him as he takes on a former OPBF champion. Dacquel was dominated last time out, by Andrew Moloney, but is a very capable fighter and has got a real chance of picking up a solid win on the road here.
The more notable of two Australian cards comes from Victoria where Brian Amatruda gives us a pretty interesting match up with a Thai involved, and also a bout with a notable Filipino.
The interesting bout, for us, will see the once touted Kaewfah Tor Buamas (27-4, 17) take on rising Australian hopeful Liam Paro (14-0, 10). The Thai would win his first 23 bouts but has since gone 4-4 as his career has began to go backwards and he has suffered recent defeats to Czar Amonsot, Masayoshi Nakatani, George Kambosos and Atchariya Wirojanasunobol all in the last 24 months. As for Paro this is a slight step up in class, but the 22 year old looks a class act and should have the edge in size, power, youth and skills as we go into this bout. A win from Paro is expected, but the real question will be about how he wins.
The Filipino on the other hand is Czar Amonsot (34-4-3, 22). He hasn't had his opponent for the contest announced as of yet, but isn't expected to face much of a test as he competes in a 6 rounder and looks to bounce back from an October 2017 loss to Carlos Manuel Portillo.
Western Australia, Australia
Staying in Australia there will also be a couple of mismatched featuring Indonesian fighters.
One bout will see the under-rated Brandon Ogilvie (19-2-1, 10) take on Indonesian journeyman Rusmin Kie Raha (15-15-3, 3). Although no world beater Ogilvie is certainly not a bad fighter, and his 2016 draw in Tokyo against Yoshitaka Kato was impressive, as was his stoppage win against Pharanpetch Tor Buamas. As for the Indonesian he has suffered 9 stoppage losses in his 15 defeats and has gone 3-13-1 in his last 17 bouts.
The other match up with an Indonesian visitor will see the once beaten Jackson Jon England (4-1, 3) battle against the very limited Arief Blader (23-28-2, 8). Although England was beaten last time out, losing to the then debuting Richard Lockett, he should easily pick up a win here against a very out of form Blader, who has lost his last 6 and has started to collect losses on a very regular basis.
The most notable bout featuring an Asian fighter this coming Friday will see once beaten Chinese fighter Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (13-1-1, 6) battle against the big punching Fredrick Lawson (26-1, 21) of Ghana, as part of Evander Holyfield's new 8 man tournament. The bout will be the first round bout for the two men and will see Nasiyiwula make his US debut just 6 months after losing a razor thin decision in Japan, to Rikki Naito. Although relatively unknown outside of China Nasiyiwula is one of the tournaments dark horses and could see this as his chance to put himself on the boxing map. Lawson on the other hand will be having his 6th US bout and will be looking to build on wins against the likes of Ray Narh and Breidis Prescott. Although a big puncher Lawson has been stopped himself, with Kevin Bizier stopping him in 10 rounds back in 2015. Since his loss Lawson has picked up two low key wins, one back in Ghana and on in the US. This should see both men answering questions about their ability, toughness and potential, and for those reasons alone this is a really interesting bout, and of course both men will be looking to progress in the tournament and move towards a WBC top 15 world ranking.
In Asia it's self there is a relatively low key card in Baku, which is actually headlined by two non Asian fighters and features a number of locals in low profile bouts.
The main event of the card will see South African Kevin Lerena (20-1, 9) take on German based Ukrainian Roman Golovashchenko (19-1-0-1, 17) in a bout for the IBO Cruiserweight title. Coming in to this Larena is riding a 9 fight winning, with victories over notable fighters like Micki Nielsen, Youri Kayembre Kalenga and Dmytro Kucher, as well as avenging his sole loss to Johnny Muller. As for Golovashchenko he is unbeaten in 16, including a no-contest against Yakup Saglam. The Ukrainian looks the bigger puncher on paper but hasn't really faced anyone of note and this is actually a big step up for him, but a chance for him to prove himself.
Other fighters on this card include Azeri born German based Russian, yes we know that's rather confusing, Vusal Aliev (18-0, 10), Azeri born German Rashad Karimov (30-3, 26) and once beaten Baku local Malik Mammadzada (12-1, 7) all facing late notice opponents.
It's been a slow start to the Japanese boxing calendar this year, but this coming Saturday we get out first live televised card of 2018. The show, set to be aired by G+, features the first Japanese title fight of 2018 along with a number of other names fighters, including 2 prospects who could really break out over the next 12 months.
The main event will see Japanese Bantamweight champion Ryo Akaho (31-2-2, 20) make his second defense of the title, as he takes on the under-rated, and aggressive, Yusuke Suzuki (9-3, 6). Akaho, a former 2-time world title challenger, won the title last March and recorded his first defense with a stoppage win against Yuta Saito last August. Although a heavy handed fighter, at this level at least, he's a ling way from being the best Japanese fighter at 118lbs and could well see his reign being a short one, given the rising talent in the country. Suzuki started his career with big aspirations but sets backs to Yusaku Kuga, Ryoichi Tamura and Jeffrey Francisco slowed his climb. Coming in to this the challenger has won his last 3, and earned the right to fight Akaho thanks to his 7th riund TKO win over Eita Kikuchi in a Japanese title eliminator last October. This should be a hard hitting and violent war.
In the chief support bout we'll see Charles Bellamy (26-3-2, 17) return to the ring after more than a year out. The Japanese based American will be up against a Thai foe, who we've been told is a natural 140lb fighter and should look much smaller than Bellamy. The talented New Yorker born fighter hasn't fought since a controversial 2017 draw with Yuki Beppu and will likely be looking to make up for lost time this, with a quick blow out here and a speedy return to action.
One of the notable prospects on this card is Japanese Youth champion Junto Nakatani (13-0, 10), who takes on Filipino visitor Jeronil Borres (8-3-1, 5). The unbeaten 20 year old has been impressive since his 2015 debut, and claimed the 2016 Flyweight Rookie of the Year along with the Japanese Youth title last year. Beronil began his career 7-0-1 but has lost 3 of his last 4, including a very controversial loss to Joo Hyun Jung last February. The Filipino is the naturally smaller man and whilst he's a good fighter at his level, we suspect the power and size of Nakatani will be too much.
Another unbeaten on this show is the very exciting Kai Chiba (7-0, 6), who faces of with Filipino foe Brian Lobetania (12-4-3, 10). Last year we saw Chiba go 4-0 (3) and scoring a very notable win in a thriller with Ryo Matsubara, in what was one of many hidden gems of 2017, here he will be looking to continue his climb towards a title fight, but comes up against a very live Lobetania. The Filipino has lost 4 of his last 6, but is a natural puncher and will be looking to stop Chiba, in what is likely to be a very thrilling action bout.
The once beaten Hironobu Matsunaga (11-1, 5) is expected to be in action on the card, though no information at all is available on his opponent. The talented Matsunaga fought 3 rimes in 2016, scoring 3 solid wins, but was inactive in 2017 and will be hoping to rebuild his career this year, potentially moving towards some kind of title fight before the year is over.
There is also set to be a Chinese card, with a number of title bouts.
In the main event of this card we'll see once beaten Chinese hopeful Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (12-1-1, 5) take on Indonesian visitor John Ruba (15-3-1, 8) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Light Welterweight title. The exciting Chinese fighter was beaten last time ouit by Rikki Naito, but was unlucky in what was a very competitive bout. It's hard to know how good he is but he has looked good through his career so far. As for Ruba he's a very promising fighter at this level, and comes into this bout on a 7 fight winning run...but it would take a career best win for Rub to win here.
Arguably the most interesting bout on this card will see Jing Xiang (13-4-2,3) take on very talented Filipino fighter Dexter Alimento (13-2, 9) in a contest for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Light Flyweight title. Coming in to this Xiang is on a 5 fight winning run having claimed the WBO Oriental Flyweight title in 2016. He has come up short against some decent fighters in the past, such as Macrea Gandionco and Ben Mananquil, but a decision win over Mananquil in their second bout shows his ability.
Also on this card is a 10 rounder between once beaten local hopeful Jian Wang (4-1) and Thai foe Yutthichai Wannawong (6-4, 5) for the WBO Oriental Youth Super Bantamweight title. The 21 year old Wang has scored back to back wins following a loss in a regional title bout. The Thai visitor lost his first 3 bouts, all in Japan, but has gone 6-1 (4) since then and claimed a Thai title on his way up. On paper this isn't the most interesting of bouts, but the Thai has a little bit of form and could make for an a decent test.
At the Korakuen we get a genuinely important card, as Japanese and Chinese fighters face off in the second Japan Vs China Dangan card.
The main event of the show will see former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Rikki Naito (17-2, 6) take on unbeaten Chinese visitor Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (12-0-1, 5), in a really good looking bout. For Naito it's his second as a 140lb'der, and his 6th since losing the Japanese Super Featherweight title to Kenichi Ogawa. Although Naito's has been troubled recently he will feel confident of picking up a win over the Chinese fighter. For Nasiyiwula the bout will be his first outside of China and his second successive bout against a Chinese foe, having won adecision back in May against Taisho Ozawa. A win for the visitor will open up doors for more significant fights and could well see him in the mix for an OPBF title sooner rather than later.
A second good looking bout on here will see the once beaten Takeshi Kaneko (5-1-1) look to bounce back from a June loss as he takes on Wulan Tuolehazi (5-3, 1). The Chinese visitor has a mixed record, but has won his last 3, including a win over former world title challenger Nouldi Manakane. Although this bout will be expected to go the contacted 8 rounds it should still be a lot of fun and a very exciting contest.
Negros Occidental, Philippines
We get another notable card in the Philippines, with two bouts of note.
The biggest in terms of names will see former world champion Merlito Sabillo (26-4-1, 13) battle against well regarded journeyman Crison Omayao (22-14-4, 7), who has share the ring with the likes of Naoya Inoue and Kosei Tanaka. Since losing the WBO Minimumweight title to Francisco Rodriguez Jr back in 2014 life has been hard in the ring for Sabillo, who has gone 3-3 and cannot really afford any more set backs. Whilst Omayao has also had mixed results recently he certainly has time on his side, and the 24 year old really isn't at the end of the line, despite the fact he is racking up losses now a days.
The other bout of note on this card will see the unbeaten Jayr Raquinel (7-0-1, 5) take on Richard Rosales (12-4-2, 7) for the OPBF interim Flyweight title, despite the fact the “regular” title was defended just a week ago. The bout should be a good one, given the men involved and their desire for a win, but one does wonder what the OPBF are playing at with the logic that this was going to be an interim title fight, so soon after the last defense of the actual title.
The deepest of the Asian shows is from Singapore, where Ringstar Management Pte Ltd will be hosting a notable show with a host of title bouts, and notable names,
In one of the supporting bouts on this card we'll see talented Filipino hopeful Michael Dasmarinas (26-2, 17) take on Thai journeyman Phupha Por Nobnom (11-10-1, 10). This should be a total mismatch in favour of the criminally under-rated Filipino, who has won his last 8 and looks ready to be stepped up massively after this contest.
A slightly more competitive looking supporting bout will see Thailand's Decha Kokietgym (34-11-3, 18) take on Australian veteran Chad Bennett (36-4-3, 27). The 32 year old Thai hasn't fought since June 2013, and is certainly not the fighter her once was, though Bennett is no spring chicken and had his 44th birthday a few months ago. It's also worth noting that Bennett himself has been out of the ring for over 2 years. This bout may not excite fans, but there is some intrigue on paper.
A much more relevant bout will see Malaysian hopeful Keng Fai Hui (3-0, 3) compete in his first title bout, as he battles Petch Fonchang Chonburi (7-3, 2) for the IBO Oceania Welterweight title. On paper this looks like a mismatch but it's a step up for the unbeaten 22 year old, who has been in with really limited opposition for. The Thai is nothing special, but should prove a better opponent that Hui's previous 3.
In a competitive looking bout we'll see Muhammad Meeraj (6-2, 3) battle against Chase Haley (5-1, 2), in a second contest between the two men. These two fought back in May, with Haley winning a majority decision in a bout that saw both men being dropping, and it's clear that Meeraj will be out for revenge whilst Haley will be chasing a second win over the Malaysian hopeful. On the line in this bout will be the International Boxing Organization Oceania Light Heavyweight Title, which Haley won last time out.
The biggest name on the card will be 2-weight former world champion Sirimongkol Singwancha (92-3, 57), who continues his long career as he takes on Australian fighter Tommy Browne (34-6-2, 13). The 40 year old Thai has lost just once in his last 53 and will be hoping to edge towards 100 wins here, as he takes on a 34 year old Australian, who is 8-0-1 in his last 9. The bout will see the two fighters trading blows for the International Boxing Organization Asia Pacific Super Welterweight Title and there is a good chance the winner will try and move on towards a more notable title bout in 2018.
The main event of the show will see Singapore's very own Muhamad Ridhwan (8-0, 7) face off with Namibia's Nataneal Sebastian (9-0, 5) in a battle of unbeaten's. The two men will be trading blows for the International Boxing Organization International Super Featherweight Title and will be looking to extend their unbeaten records. Ridhwan struggled on his debut but has stopped his last 7, taking small but progressive steps up whilst Sebastian will be fighting in a notable step up, and his first bout outside of Namibia.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
In Argentina fight fan will be able to see unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Bobirzhan Mominov (4-0, 4) take on Argentinian based Uruguayan fighter Carlos Andres Chaparro (7-15-1, 3). The heavy handed Kazakh has needed just 11 rounds for his first 4 wins and will be looking to keep his stoppage run alive here, but may find that tricky against a durable but limited foe.
The biggest bout of the day, in regards to Asian fights at least, comes from Rizal where we see a rearranged contest between the talented, and criminally under-rated, Jonas Sultan (12-3, 8) and former world champion Sonny Boy Jaro (43-13-5, 30). The bout will see Sultan defending his IBF Inter-Continental Super Flyweight title, which he won last time out when he stopped Makazole Tete, and both men will be seeing a win here as potentially opening the door to a world title fight.
Xi An, China
In China we'll be getting quite a notable show.
The main event of this card will see the world ranked Can Xu (11-2) defending his WBA International Super Featherweight title against Filipino veteran Jack Asis (35-19-5,18). This will be Asis' first bout since he lost to Malcolm Klassen last year, and will see him ending a retirement, a retirement that he announced following the loss to Klassen. Xu is risking his world ranking and his title, but will favour his youth and energy to be the difference here.
In a bout pitting a local talent against an Indonesian, fans will see Wulan Tuolehazi (4-3, 1) battle former world title challenger Nouldy Manakane (32-21-2, 18), with Tuolehazi seemingly replacing Qiu Xiao Jun who was originally set to face the Indonesian veteran. At his best Manakane was a decent fighter, but nothing better than decent on the regional scene. Saying that however it's hard to know how good Tuolehazi is and although he should win here, it's still not likely we'll know really how good he is for a while yet.
In a China Vs Japan bout we'll unbeaten Chinese hopeful Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (11-0-1, 5) battle with Japanese veteran Taisho Ozawa (21-9-2, 13). Although relatively unknown Baisahnbo has caught our eye in the past and the 22 year old does look like a genuine prospect. Aged 36 Ozawa is in last chance saloon, and is looking to record his first win since 2012!
Also on this card will be a bout between heavy handed Puerto Rican Waldemar Pagan (8-1, 7) and Filipino Macrea Gandionco (12-4-2, 7). Although not an Asian fighter this will be Pagan's second fight in Asia, where he has also been used as a sparring partner, and he has impressed in the area, likely leaving a number of promotional outfits interested in him long term. The Filipino has already been stopped 4 times in his career, and it's hard to imagine him lasting the distance with the Puerto Rican here.
The only show in Japan is a small one in Osaka. Whilst it is small, and very low key, it does have a somewhat notable main event as the unbeaten Takuya Uehara (11-0, 6) defends his WBC Youth Featherweight title against Thai visitor Nongdear Sor Bangkharu (1-14). Despite the title being on the line it's hard to get too excited about this one given the unbeaten champion is taking on someone who has lost his last 6, suffering 5 stoppages during that run.
In Australia fans will see Australian veteran Les Sherrington (35-10, 19) battle against Indonesian foe Marco Tuhumury (11-17-2, 4) in what should be a straight forward win for Sherrington, despite the fact he's 34 and been stopped in his last 3 bouts, dating back more than 2 years.
This Saturday is set to be a hectic day for Asian fight fans.
The biggest show of the day sees action return to China for a Max Power card of international note with a world title fight, an international title fight and several bouts involving notable Chinese fighters.
The main event of the card sees WBA Super Bantamweight champion Nehomar Cermeno (25-5-1-1, 15) fight in China for a third time this year as he rematches Qiu Xiao Jun (21-3, 10), the man he beat earlier this year for the title. Cermeno has had a bizarre late career revival in China winning the title by stopping Jun and then defending it against the then unbeaten Nop Kratingdaenggym, after having been all but inactive previously. Although very talented Cermeno is 37 and it's likely that father time will get to him sooner rather than later. Saying that he did dominate Jun back in June and it's hard to see him having aged much since that win.
Another title bout from this card will see the light punching Can Xu (10-2) defending his WBA International Super Featherweight title against Japan's Spice Matsushita (16-8-1, 2). The champion will be looking for his third defense and although lacking power he has impressed at times, and looks to be developing into a talented fighter, who simply hasn't yet matured into a powerful young man. Matsushita is a true veteran having debuted more than a decade ago but at 33 he's not a spring chicken and has never fought outside of Japan before.
Another interesting international bout will see the promising Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (10-0-1, 5) battle against unbeaten New Zealander Leki Maka (9-0, 3). Baishanbo has impressed through his career, and has caught our eye in the past, but this looks like a very different assignment to his previous ones. Although the favourite the Chinese fighter will be aware that Maka holds a notable recent win over Farzan Ali Jr on the road in Fiji.
Another interesting international bout will see Chinese based Ruissian Andrey Kalyuzhnyy (13-2, 11) face off with struggling Thai Chaloemporn Singwancha (17-2, 13). On paper this looks like a really good bout but the Thai has lost his last 2 by stoppage and has struggled throughout his career when facing someone who comes to fight, like the Russian does. This could be a third straight set back for the Thai.
One other international bout will see Filipino Sonny Katiandagho (10-1, 6) face Stevie Ongen Ferdinandus (24-12-1, 12), in a bout that has been re-arranged after being been set earlier in the month. The once beaten Filipino is a guy who has had good results, including wins over Allan Tanada, Hyun Woo Yuh and Rafik Harutjunjan and this should be another.
A second, less notable, Chinese card will come from Shanghai and will a few interesting bouts of it's own, albeit at a lower level.
The main even of the card will see Indonesian fighter Geisler AP (9-8, 6) battle unbeaten local hopeful Alimu Wushouer (8-0, 6), with Wushouer looking to record his first win over an international opponent. Wushouer has impressed on the Chinese scene, as part of the League of Fists, but this could be a more interesting assignment for the unbeaten 22 year old. Geisler has never won outside of Indonesia but this could be a chance to change that.
In an all Chinese bout we'll see the heavy handed WuZhati Nuerlang (5-1, 5) take on the limited but heavy handed Chengbo Zheng (6-5-0-1, 4) in what could be an explosive contest. It's likely that we'll see Nuerlang come out on top here, given he as has stopped his last 5 opponents and that Zheng has been stopped several times before, however its good to see him face someon who has a punchers reputation themselves.
Another all-Chinese bout will see the unbeaten Naiwuzhati Nuermaimaiti (4-0-1, 2) take on the once beaten Chao Peng (5-1-2, 1) in a very interesting looking match up.
New Delhi, India
More title action will be held in India where Indian boxing megastar Vijender Singh (7-0, 6) battles against the experienced Francis Cheka (32-9-2, 17). The bout will be Singh's first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title, a title he won back in July with a decision victory over Kerry Hope. Cheka was once a good test for an emerging fighter but is well past his best and shouldn't trouble Singh too much here.
In Cebu fight fans will get a relatively uninteresting card, though the main event is worth making a note of. That main event will see the once beaten Jess Rhey Waminal (9-1-1, 5) take on Margarito Moya (9-2, 3) in what looks like a very even and competitive bout.
In Russia we'll see unbeaten Russian Pavel Malikov (9-0, 3) take on Filipino veteran Adones Aguelo (27-14-2, 19). Aguelo, one of the more under-rated Filipino fighters, will be hoping to pick up a win here to claim the WBC Asian Boxing Council Lightweight title and score a 4th straight win. Malikov has shown promise but this is a step up for him and should be a real test for the unbeaten man.
In the US we'll see big punching Filipino Aston Palicte (21-2, 18) face off against the talented, but feather fisted, Oscar Cantu (14-0, 1) in a bout for a trio of regional titles. The bout is a “puncher Vs slickster” type of bout but should be some very fun and very exciting with Palicte almost certain to hunt a stoppage after his robbery defeat last time he fought away from the Philippines.
Arguably the most intriguing bout of the day comes from Korea and features world ranked Korea Ye Joon Kim (14-1-2, 7) as he looks to defend his minor IBF title against Japanese visitor Yuki Strong Kobayashi (10-5, 5). Kim is regarded as one of the best Korean born prospects but this is a good test against a former OPBF title challenger. If Kim, who is enigmatic to say the least, is at his best he could make this look easy but Kobayashi is an upset minded fighter and showed that last year when he defeated Hikaru Matsuoka, and the year before when he beat Bunta Mitaka.
In a supporting bout we'll see the unbeaten In Duck Seo (6-0, 3) battle against Jae Sun Kim (4-2-2, 2) in a bout scheduled for 8 rounds. The 22 year old Seo will be looking for his second win this year and has, impressively, beaten 4 unbeaten opponents in a row.. Kim hasn't won a bout in his last 3, but is a step up in class for Seo.
There will also be a single show in China.
In the main event we'll see the exciting Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (9-0-1, 4) take on Filipino visitor Stephen Gelawa (6-2-1, 4). The Chinese fighter has impressed in the past, and has won his last 8 bouts including victories over Tackie Annan, to claim the WBC Youth title at 140lbs, and Nelson Tinampay. Gelawa has been stopped in his last 2 bouts, including a defeat to Charles Bellamy, but is a decent test for Baishanbo at this point.
In another main bout we'll see Chinese based Russian Andrey Kalyuzhnyy (12-2, 10) take on Yang Liu (4-3-1) in what looks like a mismatch of a 10 rounder. Although not an evenly matched bout the Russian is rebuilding following a loss earlier this year.
A more perplexing match up will see the once beaten A Fu Bai (7-1, 4) take on novice Yuan Yao (1-0). This will be Bai's first bout since he suffered his sole defeat, a 6 round decision loss to Viktor Kotochigov. Yao only debuted back in July, but did so against an experienced foe and impressed, so he may be be more competitive than the numbers suggest.
Of course much of the day's action, again, comes from Japan where there will be 3 cards, the most notable of which will be the Rookie of the West finals, and feature a total of 12 bouts from Minimumweight to Middleweight
One of the best bouts on the card is at Super Bantamweight where we see unbeaten fighters face off. In one corner will be Ioka gym's Bunta Okamoto (4-0, 2) whilst in the other corner will be Gifu Yokozeki's Ruito Saeki (4-0). With Super Bantamweight being one of the best division's in Japan this is a really significant and could see another youngster pushed towards making a mark on the division next year.
Another intriguing match up comes at Bantamweight where Hibiki Jogo (3-0, 3), another Ioka prospect, takes on fellow puncher Yuto Nakamura (6-2, 5), a 19 year old banger from the Ichino gym. This should be an explosive contest with neither man being known for going the distance.
At Super Flyweight we see another bout between unbeaten men as Kota Fujimoto (5-0, 1) takes on Katsuya Murakami (4-0-1, 1) in what looks likely to be a distance between between two men who are skilled but a bit feather fisted. A technical bout should be likely, but should be a really intriguing one with both fights looking to keep their unbeaten records.
Another show takes place in Aichi.
In the main event of the show we'll see Japanese ranked Light Welterweight Yuya Okazaki (11-9-2, 4) face off with veteran Daiki Koide (22-8-2, 9). Okazaki is without a win in almost 2 years, going 0-2-1 in his last 3, but has mixed with stiff competition in the likes of Keita Obara, Noriaki Sato and Motoki Sasaki. As for Koide he is 3-3 in his last 6 but is 2 years removed from his last win and was last seen being stopped by Korean Woo Min Won, so there are a lot of questions about what he has left in the tank. Interestingly this will be the second bout between these two who fought in July 2014, when Okazaki took a razor thin victory over Koide.
In the chief supporting bout we'll see recent Japanese title challenger Ryosuke Maruki (12-4-1, 7) battle against Elfelos Vega (6-4, 4). This will be Maruki's first bout since July's loss to Yuki Nonaka and give his performance there it's hard to see anything but a win here, with Vega having lost his last 3. Despite Vega being the under-dog he is a live under-dog who is tough and has the power to perhaps hurt Maruki, if he can land clean. Both of these men have a Japanese ranking coming into this bout so the winner could, potentially, get a title fight in 2017.
The card will be a family affair for the Maruki family as Ryosuke's brother Kazuya Maruki (19-4, 12) takes on Dai Taoka (8-3, 5). Kazuya will be looking to bounce back from a shock defeat to Chan Hee Park in May and although he has an impressive looking record he is 2-2 in his last 4 and certainly a beatable fighter. Despite Maruki being beatable Taoka has gone 1-3 in his last 4 and has lost his last 2. This should be competitive and both fighters know they can't afford another loss at the moment.
There will also be a low level card in Tokyo, headlined by an interesting looking, and well matched, 10 rounder. The bout in question will see Ryuto Araya (10-4-1, 3) face off with Yosuke Kawano (10-5-2, 4) in what is a really solid looking domestic Featherweight bout. Coming in to this Araya will be risking a 10 top Japanese ranking but should be good enough to over-come Kawano,