This coming Saturday isn't one of the busiest days of the year so far, but it's certainly an a day worthy of making a note of, even if it is for just one bout in the US.
That US bout will take place in California and will see WBA Featherweight champion Can Xu (17-2, 3) make his second defense, as he goes up against unbeaten challenger Manny Robles III (18-0, 8), in what should be a very fun fight. Xu is all aggression, as we've seen in the past, and whilst he's technically a rough around the edges fighter he has amazing stamina, will to win and work rate. His pressure is incessant and although his punches aren't hard on a punch by punch basis their is simply so many of them. He's also amazingly tough and is a very hard man to back up. Robles is a much more technically sound fighter, he's the cuter guy, the more skilled and smart man. However Robles is also the type to get dragged into a war, and if he can't quell those urges here, then he'll end up in the wrong type of fight. This is a test of Robles' mentality in the ring, as much as anything, and we're expecting his machismo to kick in. A full preview of this bout can be read here Xu returns to US to face unbeaten challenger Robles!
Davao del Norte, Philippines
In the Philippines we get a small show, headlined by the often fun to watch Jess Rhey Waminal (13-3-1, 8) taking on the unbeaten Sunil Siwach (5-0-1, 2). The under-rated Waminal is better than his record suggests, and he's perhaps unlucky to have suffered his most recent losses which were both very close decisions. Siwach on the other hand is an Indian fighter making his international debut, and stepping up massively. We really can't see anything but a win for the Filipino here.
New South Wales, Australia
In New South Wales we get a trio of low level bouts featuring Thai journeyman and unbeaten fighters. One of those bouts will see unbeaten Chilean hopeful Andres Campos (6-0, 2) take on professional loser Worawatchai Boonjan (14-24-2,13), another will see unbeaten local Josh Humberdross (2-0) take on Gerttipong Kumsahwat (3-4, 3), who was stopped a round by Ginjiro Shigeoka, and the debuting Elli-Bliss Reynolds (0-0) will be up against the win-less Ratsadaporn Khiaosopa (0-13). Not a great card, but one with some, albeit very minor, Thai interest
This coming Sunday we see two very notable cards in Asia, both of which are double headers, though both are at very different levels. The more notable is in China, though a Japanese card is certainly worth being aware of.
The Chinese card is expected to be a huge show in terms of local fan interest, with the new face of Chinese boxing headlining along side an incredibly popular foreign fighter, from nearby Japan.
The local star is current WBA "regular" Featherweight champion Can Xu (16-2, 2), who looks to make his first defense, as he takes on Japanese challenger Shun Kubo (13-1, 9), himself a former WBA Super Bantamweight champion.We saw Xu shock the boxing world earlier this year when he defeated Jesus M Rojas for the title in the US, announcing himself on the world stage in impressive and exciting fashion. As for Kubo this will be only his second fight since losing the WBA Super Bantamweight title to Daniel Roman back in September 2017, and he comes in to the ring following surgery to his eyes and more than a year of inactivity. This should be a really, really entertaining and action packed bout, but one where the champion should be favoured. A full preview of this bout can be found here Will Xu be successful in first defense as he takes on Kubo?
The other world title bout on this card will see WBA Light Flyweight champion Carlos Canizales (21-0-1, 17) take on former WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura (18-2-2, 11), who is dropping down 4lbs for this bout. Canizales has really made his name in Asia, despite being from Venezuela, with great performances against Ryoichi Taguchi, Reiya Konishi and Lu Bin. He has been very hard hitting, aggressive and exciting, and and will be looking to record his second defense. Kimura, who is huge in China following his win over Zou Shiming, will be looking to recapture world gold following his sensational 2018 loss to Kosei Tanaka but there are questions over how he will cope with dropping down to Light Flyweight. If Kimura can make weight safely we could be in for a true FOTY contender. An in depth preview of this bout is available here Canizales and Kimura battle for gold in China!
Another notable match up on this show will see world ranked Chinese Flyweight Wulan Tuolehazi (11-3-1, 5) taking on Filipino veteran Ardin Diale (35-13-4, 17). Tuolehazi will be looking to build on a very hotly contested win over Ryota Yamauchi from March, a bout that was much, much closer than the scores suggest and will be strongly favoured here. Diale is a veteran, but is well below world level and this should be a straight forward win for the Chinese local.
Another bout of note on this card will see Chinese youngster Shichao Gao (3-0-1, 1) take on former world title challenger Nop Kratingdaenggym (23-1, 9). The 21 year old Gao looked fantastic in March, when he beat Koji Igarashi, and will know that a win here will give his career a massive boost. A win isn't however a foregone conclusion for the Chinese fighter, and Nop is no push over, with 6 wins in a row since his 2016 loss to Nehomar Cermeno back in 2016. This could be a very compelling contest and a real test for the naturally bigger local.
As well as the card in China we also get a pretty notable regional title double header in Osaka, featuring two WBO Asia Pacific title fights and a bout featuring a very promising local hopeful.
One of the WBO Asia Pacific title fights will take place at Flyweight title as former world title challenger, Masahiro Sakamoto (13-2, 9) takes on Yusuke Sakashita (17-8-3, 12) in a bout that should be a lot more interesting than it looks. Sakamoto looked totally out classed when he faced Moruti Mthalane last year, and it was clear he isn't world class, but this regional title level is where he should find himself being really competitive. Sakashita is a solid Japanese domestic fighter, but we don't imagine him having the skills to really test Sakamoto, who looks to re-capture the WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title. A preview of this bout can be found here Sakamoto and Sakashita battle for regional title!
The other title bout will see WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight champion Ben Mananquil (17-1-3, 4), defending his title against former OPBF title challenger Yuki Strong Kobayashi (14-8, 8). This looks like an easy win for Mananquil, who will be looking to make his first defense and build on February's big win over Tenta Kiyose, also in Japan. For Kobayashi this will be his first bout since since losing in December to Keita Kurihara, in a controversial and very entertaining clash. That bout with Kurihara saw Kobayashi show great resilience and a good boxing brain, and he is a lot better than his record suggests. He will however be the under-dog here. A preview of this bout is available here Manaquil looks to defend regional crown against Kobayashi!
The other bout of note here will see rising prospect Tulio Kuwabata (2-0, 2) take on former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (20-13-3, 5), in what is a huge step up in class for Kuwabata. Despite being a step up the 23 year old Japanese fighter will be strongly favoured and will know a win here is a huge step towards a a regional title bout. Apolinario was once a credible fringe world class contender but with a 6-13-1 (3) record in his last 20 it's clear he has lost his desire and will be expected to pick up another loss here.
One other Asian card set to take place this Sunday is in Mumbai, where Arif Khan promoted a rather low key affair. Although most of the bouts are scheduled for 6 rounds they are mostly between novices. The bout with the most experienced sees a combined 18 bouts between the men involved, with Rahukl Kumar (5-1-1, 4) taking on Shiva (8-3, 3) in a Welterweight bout.
Although it's good to see bouts in India, there's nothing to get too excited about here.
In Texas this coming Saturday we'll get a number of Asian fighters fighting on a major Golden Boy card, two of whom will be challenging for major titles
The main event of the card will see unbeaten Mexican Jaime Munguia (31-0, 26) defending his WBO Light Middleweight title against Japanese challenger Takeshi Inoue (13-0-1, 7). The champion really burst onto the scene last year, not only winning the title but also fitting in 2 defenses of the belt in a real break out year. Surprisingly Munguia was an unknown when was denied the chance to fight Gennady Golovkin, but ended the year one with incredible momentum. A real break out star of the year. Inoue, no relation to Naoya Inoue, had a brilliant 2017, scoring 4 wins and unifying the Japanese, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific titles, but had a frustrating 2018 fighting only once. The expectation is that Inoue will be brushed aside by the excellent Mexican, but he will have travelled to score the upset and seems to be fully aware of how big this opportunity is. Our preview of this contest can be read here Inoue looks to upset WBO champion Munguia!
Thhe other bout will see Puerto Rican puncher Jesus M Rojas (26-2-2-1, 19) take on Chinese challenger Can Xu (15-2, 2), with Rojas looking to defend his WBA "Regular" Featherweight title. Rojas lost last time out to Joseph Diaz, but Diaz failed to make weight resulting in Rojas keeping the, and he'll be looking to make a real statement this coming year. Xu will be looking to become the first Chinese man above 112lbs to win any form of a world title but is up against it here. Rojas is the more experienced man, the hard hitting and the more proven fight, but Xu will certainly be there to win and to put himself at the top of the world scene. This is an interesting match and for many their first real chance to see Xu fighting live. Our preview of this bout can be found here Can Xu become the WBA "regular" Featherweight champion?
New York, USA
Staying in the US, though travelling over to New York, we get a real 50-50 match up, as unbeaten Mongolian Tugstsogt Nyambayar (10-0, 9) take on the explosive Dominican Claudio Marrero (23-2, 17) in a bout for the lightly regarded IBO Featherweight title. It's hard to see this bout going the distance, with both being serious punchers and both having been down in recent bouts. For Nyambayar this bout is a big step up in class, and his first against a Featherweight puncher in his prime. On the other hand Marrero has fought just 33 seconds since being stopped by Jesus M Rojas back in September 2017. It's hard to see this as anything but a thrilling contest. Our preview of this fight can be read here Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Claudio Marrero clash!
In Canadian we'll see top Kazakh prospect Sadriddin Akhmedov (6-0, 6) look to enhance his reputation after a brilliant 2018. He'll be up against Mexican foe Abraham Juarez (13-1, 5) in a bout for the WBC Youth Light Middleweight title. The unbeaten 20 year old Kazakh really impressed us in 2018 and we are expecting him to shine again this year. On paper Juarez is a good step up in class, and he has gone unbeaten in his last 9 bouts, but he is seen as the clear under-dog against the sensational Kazakh.
Baja California, Mexico
In Mexico fans will get the chance to see Kazakh fighter Aida Satybaldinova (4-1-1, 1) begin her 2019 campaign. "Lady Sparta" made he debut in March 2018 and was bust last year, but lost against her only opponent with a winning record and we suspect she's going to be matched softly here, though her opponent hasn't currently been announced.
The more interesting of two Filipino cards will take place in Cavite, in what is being sold a very clear double header.
One of the main bouts will see Alphoe Dagayloan (11-2-5, 5) battle against Danrick Sumabong (7-1, 6) for the WBA Asia Super Flyweight title. We've been impressed by Dagayloan, who showed his power last year with stoppage wins against Madiyar Zhanuzak and Rongguo Wu. Sumabong on the other hand is a 19 year old who hasn't had much attention, but is heavy-handed fighter who managed to give the very highly regarded Jade Bornea real problems last year. This is certainly worth getting excited about.
The other bout of note will see ArAr Andales (8-0, 1) battle Charlie Malupangue (7-3-3, 6) in a bout for the WBA Asia Minimumweight title. The 19 year old Andales is stepping up massively here, but he has shown plenty of promise and has won the LuzProBA title already in his short career. Mulapangue was stopped in his most notable bout, by Robert Paradero, but this is a credible fighter on the domestic scene, as he'll be looking to prove here. It's worth mentioning that neither of these really should be fighting for a WBA Asia title, but it's still an interesting fight all the same.
Paranque City, Philippines
As well as the Cavite show there will also be one at Paranque City. This show will be headlined by an WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Super Featherweight title clash between Al Toyogon (9-2-1, 6), the defending champion, and Ryusei Ishii (7-4-1, 4). On paper this is a well matched bout and should be pretty competitive.
The show will also feature a WBC Asian Boxing Council Flyweight title bout, with Ricardo Sueno (8-2-4, 3) and Diomel Diocos (13-2-3, 4) fighting for the vacant title. On paper this is another well matched contest and should provide some excellent action for the fans, who appear to be getting treated well in the Philippines this year with strong low level domestic clashes!
There isn't a lot of Chinese fighters showing much potential or ambition to make a name for themselves on the international scene. One of the few that is looking to become more than just a local attraction is the talented Can Xu (14-2, 12), who makes his US debut this coming Thursday in Las Vegas. At the time of writing Xu's opponent hasn't been named but we're not expecting anyone too testing for him, as he looks to adapt to American conditions ahead of a potential world title fight against WBA Featherweight champion Jesus M Rojas. For those who haven't seen Xu he's a talented boxer, with under-rated power and he comes into this bout having stopped his last two opponents, having gone the distance in all of his previous bouts. We expect that stoppage run to continue here as Golden Boy Promotions look to let him impress, and let his reputation grow further.
On the subject of Chinese fighters there will also be a Chinese card on Thursday in Zhengzhou.
The main event will see the always fun to watch Ainiwaer Yilixiati (13-1, 10) defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Middleweight title against Mada Maugo (23-16, 14), with the WBA Asia Super Middleweight title also on the line. The hard hitting and ultra-aggressive Yilixiati is one of the most exciting fighters in China and should be strongly favoured here against his foe from Tanzania. The visitor has been stopped in 8 of his 16 losses and we suspect another loss inside the distance for the 32 year visitor.
Another title bout on this card will see Tonghui Li (10-2, 5) face off with Thai visitor Theerawat Yoohanngoh (20-9, 14) in a bout for the IBF Asia Light Middleweight title. The Chinese fighter was upset in August, by Joon Kyung Lee, and will be instantly looking to get back to winning ways here. Amazingly this will be the Thai's third fight since the start of August, with a notable stoppage loss to Ulugbek Sobirov coming in the first of those. Hard to imagine anything but a home win, but it's good to see Li jumping straight back in so soon after a loss.
Another really interesting bout on this card will see unbeaten local Xiaolu Mou (13-0-1, 5) take on Japanese youngster Ryoma Isami (1-0). This is a massive step up for Isami, who only made his debut in August in Thailand, but a win here will put him on the boxing map. Mou has been a been a professional for 30 months, but has fought at a mostly limited level and should see this as his toughest bout to date. A very interesting contest.
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 action this coming Tuesday is from Datong, in China, where we'll get two former world champions taking on younger fighters in what could potentially be a card where two men turn back the clock, or get put out to pasture.
One of those former champions is Xiong Zhao Zhong (26-7-1, 14), the first ever male world champion, who looks to resurrect his career in the show's main event. The former WBC Minimumweight champion hasn't fought in over a year, and is more than 2 years removed from his last win, but has gotten a fight with unbeaten Thai Petchmanee Kokietgym (18-0, 10), with the two men fighting for the WBA “interim” world title at Minimumweight. The 26 year old Thai will be taking a huge step up, but comes into the bout as an unbeaten fighter on his way to world titles and will be very confident of coming out on top here.
The other bout will see world ranked Chinese fighter Can Xu (12-2) take on former champion Nehomar Cermeno (26-6-1-1, 15) in a WBA International Featherweight title fight. Coming in to the bout Xu is closing in on a world title shot, with a #4 ranking with the WBA, but hasyet to score a big win. He'll see this as a huge chance to score a career best win, but it comes against a man who twice beat China's last big hope, Qiu Xiao Jun. This could be a coming out performance for Xu, or another win over a Chinese hope by Cermeno.
There is also a bout of note set to take place in Azerbaijan, with the main event bout against featuring an aged former world champion taking on a younger unbeaten man, looking to move his career forward and score his biggest win.
This time around the unbeaten man is Ramal Amanov (10-0, 1), a 33 year old Azeri southpaw, and the former champion is Zab Judah (43-9-0-2, 30), who was a huge name in the early 00's but is now very much a spent force at the age of 39 and with just a single fight in the last 3 years. Amanov is taking a huge step up here but if he's going to have any sort of notoriety with his career he will have to get past the ghost of Judah here.
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.
The big action of the day comes from Wenzhou in China where fight fans will get a genuinely notable card of international note. Not only does it feature 3 of China's most notable fighters but also a world title fight between a Thai and a Panamanian based Venezuelan.
That world title bout will see WBA Super Bantamweight champion Nehomar Cermeno (24-5-1, 14) take on unbeaten Thai challenger Nop Kratingdaenggym (17-0, 5), aka Anurak Thisa, in an intriguing match up between ambitious youngster and veteran champion. The champion will be looking to record his first defense of the title he won in June, when he stopped Qiu Xiao Jun in the 12th round though at 36 he is ancient for a top level fighter. On the other hand the 25 year old Thai will be fighting outside of Thailand for the first time and will be taking a huge step up in class.
In a supporting title bout Can Xu (9-2) will be facing the unbeaten Ramiro Blanco (14-0-3, 7) in what looks like an intriguing match up. Blanco is an unbeaten Nicaraguan, fighting outside of home for the first time. Xu on the other hand is one of China's most promising young talents and despite lacking power he does look to be a diamond in the rough for Chinese boxing.
Another Chinese diamond in the rough is Qiu Xiao Jun (20-3, 9), who fights for the first time since being stopped by Cermeno. Although very rudimentary Jun has scored a number of notable wins and will be looking to add another as he faces Filipino Robert Udtohan (23-1-3, 15) here. The Filipino has a pretty good looking record but this is actually a big step up for him and he'll be the clear under-dog against the solid hitting Jun.
In a Heavyweight bout fans will see Zhang Zhilei (11-0, 7) take on the highly experienced Gogita Gorgiladze (32-13, 27) from Georgia. On paper this looks like a good step forward for Zhilei but the reality is that the visitor has a very padded record and shouldn't last long with “Big Bang”
In another China Vs Georgia bout we'll see the touted Fanlong Meng (8-0, 6) battle against Zura Mekereshvili (18-5, 14). The 28 year old Meng is tipped as a real hopeful and a win here should be his final one before moving into 10 rounders. Sadly Mekereshvili should prove to be too small to really test Meng.
Bacoor, Cavite, Philippines
As well as the big show in China there is also a notable card in the Philippines where titles will be on the line.
The two main bouts on this card are both OPBF Silver title fights and both feature a former world title challenger against an unbeaten foe. One of those fights comes at 115lbs and sees former OPBF Flyweight champion Ardin Diale (31-10-3, 15) battle Ryan Lumacad (11-0-1, 6). Coming in to this one the 44 fight Diale will be looking to show that his recent beating to Daigo Higa wasn't the start of the end. For Luamcad the bout is a potential break out opportunity and he'll be coming into this one with the belief of an unbeaten man looking for a career best win.
The other OPBF Silver title fight comes at Flyweight and sees former WBC Light Flyweight world title challenger Richard Claveras (15-2-2, 13) battle against Jeronil Borres (7-0-1, 5). Claveras is best known for losing to Pedro Guevara last year and since then has gone 3-1 (1). The 20 year old Borres is leaping up in class but will hope to have struck at the right time with Claveras showing flaws recently.
The key bout from Thailand will see Eaktwan BTU Ruaviking (21-3, 14) defending his IBF regional title against Filipino puncher Jeny Boy Boca (12-3, 10) in what looks like a really intriguing match up and one not expected to see the final bell. Both of these guys can punch and both will be hoping to make the most of their power here.
Also in Thailand fight fans will see the unbeaten Downua Ruaviking (2-0, 1) battle against Thai based Cameroonian Afanwi Kingsly Shu (1-1). The Thai is tipped as a real hope and although this is a very low quality bout some are hyping him as a bright prospect already. This bout likely won't tell us much but hopefully a step up in 2017 will tell us something about the youngster.
This Friday is set to be a busy day in China with two shows, including a very notable card put together by Zovi boxing and Sampson boxing, in association with the WBA.
The more notable of the two Chinese cards is set to be held in the Chinese capital of Beijing and feature two world title fights.
For Chinese fans the biggest bout of the day sees fast rising Chinese fighter Qiu Xiao Jun (20-2, 9) battle for the WBA Super Bantamweight title as he takes on former world champion Nehomar Cermeno (23-5-1, 13). A win for Jun would see him becoming just the second Chinese man to become a world champion, though China has had several female world champions however Cermeno is a talented and tricky fighter, albeit one past his sell by date.
The Jun vs Cermeno bout isn't the only world title bout for the day was WBA Super Featherweight champion Javier Fortuna (29-0-1-1, 21) brings international attention to China as he faces Jason Sosa (18-1-4, 14). For Fortuna the bout is a chance to move towards a clash with “Super” champion Jezreel Corrales and a chance to extend his unbeaten record, and possibly impress by stopping a man who recently went the distance with Nicholas Walters. For Sosa the bout will be his first would title fight and could see him claiming a major title.
On the under-card we get another two title fights. One of those will see Xu Can (8-2) face Corey McConnell (15-1-1, 2) in a bout for two regional WBA titles at 130lbs whilst another will see Alesia Graf (27-5, 12) battle against Noemi Bosques (10-6-2, 2) in a bout for a WBA International female title.
On a second Chinese show in Nanning fight fans will see several more title bouts.
On paper the most interesting of those will see English Heavyweight slugger Ian Lewison (11-2-1, 7) battle against unbeaten Chinese fighter Zhi Yu Wu (7-0, 1) for the WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight title. The bout sees Lewis fighting in Asia for the first time, despite the travel he should over-come Wu, who is fighting for just the third time in more than 4 years.
Another good looking title bout on this card sees unbeaten Chinese local Xiang Xiang Sun (7-0, 5) battle once beaten Thai youngster Campee Phayom (9-1, 7) for the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Light Welterweight crown. Phayom was beaten last time out, losing a decision to Li Quan Lin in Hong Kong but will be coming in to this one with that experience behind him, whilst Sun is stepping up slightly here.
Another title bout will see Xiang Jing (8-4-2, 1) faces Filipino foe Joel Taduran (7-3-1, 1) for the WBO Oriental Flyweight title. Whilst the records may not suggest anything special here we are expecting a competitive match up between two fighters looking to prove themselves.
As well as the Chinese action there is also a show in Japan which is headlined by former world title challenger Hidenori Otake (25-2-3, 12) facing off against South American visitor Hernan Cortez (9-8-3, 2). It's hard to see anything but a win for Otake here
Outside of Asia fans will be able to see Filipino fighter Cris Alfante (11-5-1, 4) battle the unbeaten Andrew Moloney (7-0, 4) in what looks like a very tall ask for the 24 year old Filipino, who has won just 1 of his last 6 bouts.