April 24th - World and Regional title fights in Japan, world title eliminator in South Africa and more!
This coming Saturday is set to be a hectic day, with two notable Japanese shows, a world title eliminator in South Africa and a show in the Philippines featuring several noteworthy fighters.
EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The most notable card comes from Osaka and is a lovely mix of everything Japanese boxing has to offer. It has a world title bout in the main event, a brilliant domestic bout in the co-feature role and several talented prospects in tough bouts through the card.
The main event will see WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) look to record his latest defense as he faces Japanese veteran Tetsuya Hisada (34-10-2, 20), in a bout that has a surprising amount of history behind it. The two men were originally scheduled to fight in 2017, before Kenshiro vacated the Japanese title and went on to fight for the WBC belt. They were also scheduled to fight in 2020, before legal issues scuppered the bout. Of the two men Kenshiro is the more well known and the more proven, with this being his 8th defense, but the highly experienced Hisada is a very capable fighter, who gave Hiroto Kyoguchi a tough test in 2019 and will know that this is his last chance at a world title. We expect this one to be a brilliant bout between a strong, aggressive, veteran and a talented and intelligent champion. A genuinely fantastic match up. Our in depth preview of this can be read here 4 years in the making - Kenshiro Teraji Vs Tetsuya Hisada
The co-feature for this show will see talented teenage hopeful Ayumu Hanada (5-0, 4) take on the huge punching Mammoth Kazunori (6-3-1, 6) in a 6 round bout between the Flyweight and Super Flyweight limits. Hanada began his career in Mexico before moving back to Japan last year and he made his JBC debut late last year in a very impressive performance. He's very young, but lives up to the "Flaco" nickname, with an aggressive, exciting and explosive style. Talking about explosive however Kazunori is one of the heaviest handed fighters in Japan, and if he catches an opponent clean he can wipe some one out. This is a very dangerous bout for Hanada, but a win here will likely lead him to a potential bout with a Japanese ranked opponent next time out.
Another prospect on this card is Kantaro Juri (2-0, 1), who looks to score his third win as he takes on the light punching Toma Kondo (8-6-1, 1). The 24 year old Juri is a talented southpaw, who has a lot of promise and showed a lot of ability as an amateur, but is yet to show what he can really do as a professional. Fingers crossed we see him put together a better performance here than we've seen from him so far. Kondo is no world beater, but he is much better than his record suggests and 4 of his 6 losses have been by split decision. He's coming in to this on the back of a minor high, as he he surprisingly held Yuki Nakajima to a draw in December, and will feel like he can build on that result here.
One other bout that deserves a bit of attention is a match up between Daiki Asai (0-1) and Yu Konomura (10-9-2, 4). Asai lost his debut, last year, to Kyonosuke Kameda, but showed a lot as an amateur and clearly has some tools in his arsenal that could see him in some interesting bouts over the next few years. Konomura is a win some-lose some, type of fighter, but has began to find his self belief and power, scoring his last 3 wins by stoppage, and we suspect he'll come in to this confident that he can get another KO. Both of these guys are better than their records suggest, and they could end up giving a genuine treat deep on the under-card of this show.
Convention Center, Ginowan, Okinawa, Japan
A second Japanese card, which will be aired live in Okinawa and be shown on tape delay in Tokyo, will be a card that has a very easy to over-look main event, and a solid prospect on the under-card. It's not as interesting, or as big as the Osaka card, but is a show worthy of attention.
The main event here will see former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (17-1-1, 17) look to score his first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title, as he takes on the unbeaten Ryosuke Nishida (3-0, 1). Higa won the title in impressive fashion last December, when he stopped Yuki Strong Kobayashi, but hasn't looked the most convincing since his forced move to Bantamweight. He is certainly heavy handed and very exciting, but we do wonder whether he has the natural size to compete against the better fighters in the division. For Nishida this is a massive step up, but he has impressed since turning professional, and he looked a real talent last time out, when he beat Shohei Omori. He has the style and size to neutralise Higa, and if he can put a complete performance together here he could upset the local hero. Our in depth preview of this one can be read here Higa returns to Okinawa to take on unheralded Nishida!
Higa's once beaten stablemate Ryuto Owan (6-1, 4) will also be on this show, as he takes on the tough and rugged Takafumi Iwaya (4-4). Owan won his first 5 bouts before losing in 2018, in a Japanese Youth title bout. Following that loss he disappeared for a couple of years before returning last year with a win over Tomoya Kishine and he looked really good in that win. Iwaya isn't a particularly well known fighter, but he is insanely tough and last year we saw him take a battering at the hands of the brilliant Rentaro Kimura, before finally being stopped in round 5. He's very limited but there is no doubting his toughness and he will be a potential nightmare for Owan here. Owan should have the tools to win, but he will have to work hard against one of the toughest men in the sport.
Suamlum Night Bazaar, Ratchadaphisek, Bangkok
Over in Thailand we get the next show from TL Promotions and it's one with a very peculiar main event.
That main event will see former Welterweight contender Teerachai Sithmorseng (44-1, 31) clash with former Bantamweight and Super Featherweight champion Sirimongkhon Iamthuam (97-5, 62), with the bout taking place all the way up at Light Heavyweight. The bout will be for Teerachai's WBA Asia title and it's fair to say that neither man will look in their best physical shape and condition.
The show will also feature the third professional boxing contest of Nonthasith Petchnamthong (2-0) who will be defending his WBA Asia Bantamweight title , as he takes on Suradech Ruhasiri (6-2, 5). Nonthasith is a top Muay Thai fighter who has been solid since turning to professional, and should be far, far too good for his Thai foe here. Though sadly Nonthasith has shown little power in professional boxing gloves, and it's going to be interesting to see whether or not he can stop his limited foe here.
2nd Floor, Mega Mart Burgos Poblacion Norte, Paniqui, Tarlac, Philippines
In the Philippines we're set to get a show that is rather disappointing overall, but one that does feature several fighters of note. Sadly however as with many Filipino shows it has the look of "mismatch city".
One of the notable fighters on this card is former amateur standout Charly Suarez (5-0, 4), who had been tipped as a future force for Filipino boxing when he turned professional. The now 32 year old Suarez turned professional disappointingly late and now, in his 6th bout, is taking on regional journeyman Lorence Rosas (9-5-2, 3). We know that Filipino fighters, like Japanese fighters, are limited right now due to travel issues brought on by covid19 but in reality Rosas is a poor choice of opponent, and he shouldn't really force Suarez to break a sweat. Rosas has lost his last 4, last fought in 2019, as a Super Bantamweight, and offers very little to test Suarez with.
In a potentially better match up the under-rated Richard Pumicpic (21-11-2, 6), who is much, much better than his record suggests, will take on Landy Cris Leon (13-21-5, 6). Although Pumicpic's record is underwhelming he's a real nightmare to fight and has given the likes of Ryosuke Iwasa, Cesar Juarez and Musashi Mori fits. He record might not show it, but he is a legitimate handful at the Oriental title level and shouldn't be over-looked, even with 11 losses to his name. Leon on the other hand has gone from once being a decent regional journeyman to a man who has started to collect losses bout after bout after bout. This should be an easy win for Pumicpic, but given he's lost his last 3 we won't complain too much. He deserves an easy one if we're being honest.
Gqeberha, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Outside of Japan the most significant bout of the day comes from South Africa, where once beaten Filipino Christian Araneta (19-1, 15) takes on hard hitting South African prospect Sivenathi Nontshinga (9-0, 9), in what is an IBF world title eliminator at 108lbs. The talented Araneta suffered his only loss in 2019, when an arm injury forced him to retire against Daniel Valladares, in what was a fantastic though disappointingly short bout. Since that loss he has notched 2 domestic wins and appears hungry to make a statement. Nontshinga on the other hand is somewhat unknown outside of South Africa but has got notable wins over Siyabonga Siyo and Ivan Soriano. Interestingly he did go 7 rounds before stopping Muhsin Kizota in 2018, the same Kizota who looked clueless recently against Hasanboy Dusmatov, and there maybe is some doubt about how good he really is. The winner of this will be right in the mix and may well end up getting a shot at Felix Alvarado later in the year. This is easy to over-look but could be the bout that steals the weekend.
Universum Gym, Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Over in Germany we'll see unbeaten German based Thai Phannarai Netisri (7-0, 4) fight for a WBC Youth title. Sadly her opponent, at the time of writing, is yet to be announced as her original opponent appears to have been pulled out of the contest due to some nasty injuries suffered in their last bout. "Fai" is a really exciting young fighter at just 20 years old, and it's going to be very interesting to see how she develops from here
GK Ekaterininskiy, Krasnodar, Russia
As well as everything we've already mentioned there is also set to be an appearance from rising Uzbek hopeful Ulugbek Qayumboev (4-0, 4), who will be looking for his 5th straight early win as he takes on a yet to be named opponent. The 20 year old Qayumboev, who fights around the Lightweight division, debuted last year and has been blowing out very low level competition so far. Fingers crossed we see him stepping up later this year, though sadly this bout doesn't seem like to be much of an upgrade given no opponent was named 7 days out.
This coming Friday is a busy day in the world of Asian boxing with Asian fighters in action in the US, Kazakhstan and the Philippines. The day is also a really interesting one with world title bouts, prospects and contenders all in action making it a real great day to sit down and watch some fights.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida, USA
The biggest show of the day for Asian fighters is in Florida, where Matchroom and DAZN put on one of their final shows of 2020. It's not a massive show, but it's certainly a noteworthy one.
The main event of the card will see Kazakh Middleweight great Gennadiy Golovkin (40-1-1, 35) defending his IBF and IBO titles against unbeaten Polish challenger Kamil Szeremeta (21-0, 5). For Golovkin this will be his first defense of the titles since reclaiming them in October 2019, when he narrowly beat Sergiy Derevyanchenko, and we do wonder what the 38 year old Kazakh has left in the tank, especially given the 14 month break between fights. Sadly however it's unlikely that Szeremeta will ask him any real questions in what is a massive step up in class for the Polish man. Our full preview of this bout can be read here Golovkin returns against unbeaten Szeremeta
A second Kazakh on this show will be the unbeaten Ali Akhmedov (16-0, 12) who clashes with fellow unbeaten Carlos Gongora (18-0, 13) in a bout for the IBO Super Middleweight title. The exciting Akhmedov has been facing very poor competition so far, and this is, very clearly, a step up in class for him, and his team will know that a win puts him on the verge of a "real" world title fight. As for Gongora the Ecuadorian was a stellar amateur, competing in 2 Olympics and 3 World Amateur Championships, but at 31 this is his first real test. This is an excellent match up, and one that promises to be very, very interesting.
In a female world title bout we'll see Korean Hyun Mi Choi (17-0-1, 4) make her international debut and look to make her latest defense of the WBA Super Featherweight title. The hope was that she would be in with some sort of name opponent or at very least a live foe for her US debut but instead she is matched with late call up Calista Silgado (19-11-3, 14), from Colombia. On paper Silgado looks like she can punch, but her record against opponents of some quality has shown she is limit. Thankfully she is tough, but this should be a straight forward defense for Choi, who deserves better from Matchroom. Our preview of this bout can be read here WBA champ Hyun Mi Choi makes US debut as she takes on Calista Silgado!
Tynyshpayev Academy of Transport and Communications, Almaty, Kazakhstan
In Kazakhstan Tukeshov Promotions will be putting on an event with a staggering 22 bouts on it! Given boxrec currently list 132 bouts taking place anyone where on the globe on Friday it's amazing that a single show will have 22 of them! Of course we won't go through all of them, but there are 3 that have really got our interest.
The best of the bunch is a Cruiserweight bout between Kazakh amateur star Kamshybek Kunkabayev (1-0, 1), who has eyes on a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and under-rated Ukrainian Serhiy Radchenko (7-6, 2). On paper a nothing bout, even for a 1-0 prospect, but this should actually be a legitimate test for Kunkabayev given that Radchenko has given the likes of Krzysztof Glowacki, Ruslan Fayfer, Adam Balski and Artur Szpilka real tests. We suspect the big man from Kazakhstan will be too good, but this is not the gimme it looks on paper.
Another potentially tough bout for an unbeaten Kazakh will see Sultan Zaurbek (9-0, 7) take on Vladyslav Melnyk (12-2, 7). Zaurbek has been needing a step up for a while, with MTK feeding him a lot of limited opponents early on and this is a much needed step up in class against a fighter who has proven himself and shown a desire to win. Zaurbek is very talented, but we don't yet know if he's very good. Melnyk is a 22 year old Ukrainian who will be coming in to this with belief and we suspect the hunger to test the Kazakh. Potentially a very compelling match up.
Another prospect worthy of real attention on this card is Talgat Shayken (2-0, 1), who will be up against Russian foe Maxim Churbanov (8-7-1-1). Shayken, who is now just 20 year's old, has got a lot of potential, but that potential needs work and he needs developing. The 34 year old Churbanov is well travelled and tends to be a good test for decent fights, asking questions of fighters like Michal Syrowtka. Shayken should win but bouts like this will help hone and develop his undeniable potential, so we've no issues with him being moved slowly.
IPI Compound, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
Over in the Philippines we get two shows thanks to Omega Sports who have split an event in two for Covid19 safety reasons.
The first of the two shows is Kumbati 6 and features two interesting prospects on it.
One of the prospects in question is unbeaten Light Flyweight Mark Vicelles (12-0-1, 6), who takes on veteran Arnold Garde (10-10-3, 4) The talented Vicelles comes into this bout with wins against Robert Onggocan and Jesse Espinas and is very talented, however it's understandable that his team are just looking to keep him ticking over here. Garde was once a a decent opponent, capable of asking questions of good fighters, but he has now lost 6 of his last 7, and been stopped in 4 of those bouts. We see this being another loss for him.
The other notable prospect on Kumbati 6 is the twice beaten Tomjune Mangubat (11-2-1, 9), who returns to the ring for the first time since is 2019 epic with Jong Seon Kang, which is a bout everyone should get around to watching. In the opposite corner to Mangubat will be the limited Reymond Empic (7-5, 3), who is looking to avoid a third straight loss. On paper this isn't an awful bout for Mungubat, coming in off a loss himself, but Empic has lost 3 of his last 4 and is unlikely to be a serious test for Mungubat.
IPI Compound, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
The other show from Omega Sports will be Kumbati 7, and this looks a more stacked one, with prospects and a couple of world title level in action.
The best bout on this show will see the once beaten Christian Araneta (18-1, 14) take on Roland Jay Biendima (15-6-1, 8) in what should be a sensational battle. Araneta is looking to score his second win since a 2019 injury TKO loss to Daniel Valladares, and is very highly regarded. He is however also the smaller man and Biendima showed his toughness earlier this year, when he went toe-to-toe with Kento Hatanaka back in February. This should be a real test for Araneta.
Sadly we don't expect to see Albert Pagara (32-1, 23) have any sort of issues at all when he takes on Virgil Puton (18-14-2, 9). Once up a time Puton was good regional level opponent, giving the likes of Shuya Masaki and Masayuki Ito questions to answer. Now a days however he looks about spent and has been stopped in 3 of his last 6. Pagara should be too quick, too powerful and far too good to go too many rounds here with the worn and weary Puton.
The once beaten Peter Apolinar (12-1, 8) looks to score his latest win as he goes up against the limited Danilo Tampipi (9-11-2, 5), who has been stopped in 3 of his last 4. Apolinar has won his last 7, including a very solid win over Jetro Pabustan in October, and shouldn't need to work too hard to pick up a win here.
One other man who should be picking up an easy win is the all action Carl Jammes Martin (15-0, 14), who fights for the first time since December 2019. The 21 year old sensation is one of the most fan friendly fighters in the Philippines and he should be looking at big bouts in the next year or two. Here however he's just looking to take over and shake some ring rust as he takes on Richard Rosales (14-13-2, 8), who has lost his last 4 and 7 of his last 8.
IPI Compound, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
After months and months of waiting boxing is finally back in the Philippines with Omega boxing putting on a card this coming Wednesday. The event isn't a huge one, but it is an interesting one and it is one with huge intrigue given how long it's taken the country to get the sport up and running.
The main event of the show will see world level contender Christian Araneta (17-1, 14) look to bounce back from a 2019 loss to Daniel Valladares. The talented Araneta had given Valladares a great fight before suffering an injury that forced a disappointing early end to a contest that looked like it was set to be a real fire cracker. Given the injury and long lay off it's hard to complain about Araneta getting an easy one, and an easy one he is getting, as he takes on domestic rival Richard Rosales (14-12-2, 8). Rosales has lost 6 of his last 6, including stoppages to Reiya Konishi and Dave Apolinario, and it's hard to imagine this being anything more than an easy work out for Araneta.
In an interesting support bout the once beaten Peter Apolinar (11-1, 8) will take on former world title challenger Jetro Pabustan (30-7-6, 9). Coming in to this Apolinar is riding a 6 fight winning streak since a 2015 loss to Jeo Santisima and on paper this is a really good step up for him, with the hope being for him to shine and move towards some for of title in the near future. At 30 years old Pabustan is a veteran and is a veteran who has taken a lot of punishment recently, including a TKO loss to Hiroaki Teshigawara in 2017 and a KO loss to Carlos Ornealas in 2018. Pabustan at his best would have been a great test for Apolinar but we see this as a very faded version of Pabustan.
In a Light Flyweight bout we'll see the unbeaten Mark Vicelles (11-0-1, 5) take on Junuel Lacar (8-5-3, 6). The talented Vicelles has won 8 in a row after a draw early in his career and looks to be slowly making a name for himself, helped in part by wins over Robert Onggocan and Jesse Espinas. Lacar on the other hand has won just once in his last 7, going 1-4-2, and is not expected to be much of a test for Vicelles here, despite a win last time out against Romeo Tenorio.
In a bout all the way up at, or around, 140lbs we'll see the unbeaten Carlo Bacaro (5-0, 4) look to extend his perfect record as he takes on Jeffrey Stella (4-9-3, 4). On paper this looks like a massive mismatch, but Bacaro has only really been beating novices so far in to his career and it's hard to know what he really has in the tank. Stella on the other hand is a man who was fighting at Super Flyweight in 2018, and has gone 0-8-2 in his last 10!
Action returns to Osaka this coming Saturday for what is a pretty notable card at the EDION Arena. The card features a second generation fight and a former world title challenger.
The second generation fighter is Juiki Tatsuyoshi (9-0, 6), the boxing son of the enigmatic Joichiro Tatsuyoshi. The unbeaten Tatsuyoshi will be taking a notable step up in class as he goes up against 35 year old veteran Yuki Hirashima (9-2-1, 3), in what looks like a solid test for the youngster. Tatsuyoshi turned professional under the shadow of his father but has slowly started to make his own mark and has now shown the ability to go 8 rounds, as he did against Shun Ishibashi. Hirashima lacks a notable win, but he comes into this bout as someone who knows a good performance could secure him a lot of attention in the new year, whilst a third career defeat may well end his career.
The former world title challenger on this card is Japanese veteran Hiroshige Osawa (33-5-4, 19), who is likely aware that can't afford another loss if he wants a second world title fight. Osawa is best known for losing to Oscar Valdez in a show for the WBO Featherweight title, and since then he is 3-1, losing last time out to former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo. In the opposite corner to Osawa will be world ranked Colombian Belmar Preciado (18-1-1, 11), who is fighting in Asia for the first time in his career. It's hard to say much about Preciado, but his competition so far does little to suggest he's actually a world class fighter, and Osawa will certainly feel confident of picking up a win here. We've done a full preview of this fight here Osawa and Preciado fight in must win contest!
Originally announced for the card was a bout between Ginjiro Tsutsumimoto (2-0, 2) and Thailand's Amphol Suriyo (23-3, 19), sadly however Tsutsumimoto has been removed from this bout and replaced by 28 year old countryman Takayuki Sakai (7-1-2, 5). The Thai visitor is a former OPBF title challenger who will be riding a high coming in to this bout, on the back of a huge upset win over Kazuki Saito in Tokyo. As for Sakai, he is riding a 4 fight winning run, with 3 straight stoppages, but this is a big step up in class for him.
Although Ginjiro is off this card his brother, the heavy handed Kyosuke Tsutsumimoto (8-1, 7), will be on the show. The once beaten Tsutsumimoto and Anurak Madua (6-2, 4), a Thai who is riding a 4 fight winning run. Tsutsumimoto is a big puncher, and has won his last 4 by stoppage since losing a decision in 2016. Interestingly both of Madua's losses have come in previous visits to Japan.
Having mentioned a couple of Thai's it's worth noting that Thailand will host a show of it's own, as former amateur stand out Apichet Petchmanee (1-0, 1) takes on the hard hitting Sadudee Tor Buamas (8-0, 6) in a bout for the OPBF Silver Light Welterweight title. Apichet impressed on debut, stopping the then 13-0 Attanon Kunlawong, and looks like he might be one of the brightest hopefuls in Thailand, and at 29 he knows he will need to be moved quickly. The 25 year old Sadudee Tor Buamas hasn't fought in a while, but is a former PABA Light Welterweight champion and can punch. This a very interesting match up and one we're really looking forward to.
In the Philippines we'll see unbeaten puncher Christian Araneta (16-0, 14) take on journeyman Vincent Bautista (5-11-4, 1). This is little more than a stay busy fight for Araneta, who really is on the verge of a major fight, and really we do expect him to score a clear win. It is however worth noting that Bautista was generally regarded as being durable, but he has suffered 2 recent stoppage losses and looks to be a man feeling the effects of a hard career.
Also on this card is Harmonito Dela Torre (19-2, 12), who is looking to bounce back from successive losses. The once touted Dela Torre, who has been beaten by Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Yongqiang Yang, will be up against experienced veteran Richard Betos (20-21-2, 7). Betos is very limited and shouldn't be competitive with the talented Dela Torre.
The only action this coming Saturday comes from Cebu and although not being a massive card it does have several interesting match ups on it, including a very notable main event in one of the sports best division.
That main event will see unbeaten Light Flyweight prospect Christian Araneta (15-0, 13) take on former world title challenger Jerry Tomogdan (25-9-4, 13) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver title. The very hard hitting and promising Araneta is one of many Filipino prospects at Light Flyweight, and has scored several notable wins including a 22015 victory over Jesse Espinas. Coming in to this Araneta has stopped his last 4 opponents in a combined 11 rounds and will be hoping that sort of destruction continues here. As for Tomogdan he is best known for coming up short in a world title fight against Wanheng Menayothin, though has faced other notable foes with losses to Jobert Alvarez, Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep, Richard Claveras and Pedro Guevara as well as a notable 2017 win against Riku Kano. We suspect that the power and size of Araneta will be too much, but Tomogdan's experience could keep him competitive here.
A second title bout will see unbeaten Frenchman Jaber Zayani (14-0, 8) battle against former Satoshi Shimizu foe Eduardo Mancito (16-8-2, 9) in a bout for the WBO Oriental Super Featherweight title. We're not sure how Zayani, qualifies for an Oriental title but his last two bouts have been in Thailand and he'll be hoping to continue his success in Asia here, and extend his unbeaten record. As for Mancito he has lost 3 of his last 4, but that losing run did come to an end last time out when he defeated limited veteran Danilo Pena. Sadly a win over Pena is unlikely to help Mancito here against Zayani, who should come out on top without too many problems.
A third bout of not will see the once touted Jobert Alvarez (17-2-2, 7) take on Gerpaul Valero (22-21-4, 16). Valero was once 1-13-3 and has turned his record around since then, but in the last few years he has he has began to struggle again, going 1-4-1 in his last 6 bouts. Alvarez on the other hand was expected to be a star following a very competitive loss to Juan Francisco Estrada. Since then he has failed to live up to expectation, but is still young enough to bounce back. Sadly for Alvarez he was very unlucky not to claim an OPBF title last October, when he was held to a draw by Keisuke Nakayama, but should come out on top here with very few problems.
New York, USA
In the biggest show of the night, and one of the biggest shows of the year so far, we get the chance to see two Asian fighters take part in potentially explosive world title bouts.
The main course from the show sees Kazakh Middleweight sensation Gennady Golovkin (36-0, 33) defending his WBC, IBF and WBA “super” titles against WBA “regular” champion Daniel Jacobs (32-1, 29), in what is one of the most anticipated bouts of the year. Golovkin, who has made a reputation as an unbeatable puncher, will be looking to score the biggest win of his career and potentially prove himself as being head and shoulders above the rest of the division. Jacobs, who is seen as the big under-dog here, will know this is a huge step up from his recent competition, but he will feel he has the speed, power and athleticism to trouble Kazakh destroyer.
Although the Middleweight title bout is the main course it's hard not to be incredibly excited about the “starter” as we see WBC Super Flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez (46-0, 38) battle against former champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (41-4-1, 38). Although fans who have seen Gonalez may feel this is a mismatch, especially given the way HBO rave about Gonzalez, the bout is an incredibly exciting one with Srisaket being the naturally bigger and stronger man than Gonzalez, and being a destructive fighter himself. Although the Thai has suffered 4 losses during his career he has, amazingly, gone 40-1 (37) since a troubled 1-3-1 (1) start and is a genuine monster in the ring. This will be no walk over for Chocolatito.
Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
The most notable of the other cards featuring Asian fighters comes from Cebu City where we get two regional title fights and several other interesting contests.
The most notable of the title fights sees the highly regarded Jack Tepora (19-0, 14) defending his WBO Oriental Super Bantamweight title against Indonesian challenger Yon Armed (14-7, 6). The 23 year old Tepora has long been regarded as one of the most promising Filipino's rising through the ranks and he should be far too good for Armer, who's most notable bouts have seen him being stopped in a round by Hiroshige Osawa, 2 rounds by Kenichi Ogawa and 3 rounds by Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo.
The other title fight on this card will see the heavy handed Christian Araneta (13-0, 11) take on Indonesian Demsi Manufoe (11-6, 8) in a bout for the WBO Oriental Light Flyweight title. Although not the most skilled fighter Araneta has an exciting style, solid power and at 22 years old he has a lot of potential, potential which should be showcased here against the the chinny Manufoe.
In a 10 rounder we'll see the heavy handed Salatiel Amit (9-2-2, 7) take on the out of former Renerio Arizala (13-5-1, 5), with Arizala looking to avoid a 4th straight loss and Amit looking to bounce back from a 10th round loss to Jonathan Taconing.
Fans also get the chance to see some notable unbeaten hopefuls on this show. These include Jessie Cris Rosales (20-0-1, 8), who battles the out of form Jerry Nardo (21-10, 11), and teenage puncher Tomjune Mangubat (6-0, 6), who takes on veteran Marvin Tampus (27-24-3, 18). It's hard to imagine either Rosales or Mangubat losing here, but both will have better tests ahead.
La Union, Philippines
On a second show in the Philippines fight fans will see a Philippines Boxing Federation Super Bantamweight title fight as Brian Lobetania (11-2-3, 9) takes on Arnel Baconaje (7-2, 6). Both guys have got limitations, and both are 2-2 in their last 4, but both can punch and they should put on a fun contest against each other, with both men looking to claim their first professional title.
In Australia fans will see Filipino tough guy Vergil Puton (16-7, 8) battle against the once beaten Ibrahim Balla (10-1, 7). Balla, who was stopped last year by Neil John Tabanao, will be favoured over Puton, but the Filipino can be a nightmare at this level and could be a potential banana skin, as he almost showed in 2015 against Ye Joon Kim.
There isn't much action this coming Friday, with only a single notable show from the Philippines.
The main event of the card is the only title bout but also features real intrigue as the unbeaten, and highly touted, Jack Tepora (18-0, 13) takes on Indonesian foe Galih Susanto (12-6-1, 2) for the vacant WBO Oriental Super Bantamweight title. On paper this looks like an easy one for Tepora but Susanto has proven to be a tough guy and has been the distance with the likes of Marlon Tapales, Mike Tawatchai and Denkaosan Kaovichit.
An intriguing match up will see Kenny Demecillo (11-3-2, 7) face the upset minded Jestoni Autida (9-5, 4). Demecillo will be the favourite, and has mixed with good company facing the likes of Jetro Pabustan, Edward Mansito, Edrin Dapudong and Daryl Basadre, though did suffer a surprising stoppage loss in 2 rounds to Dondon Narvaez. Although the under-dog Autida has been a surprise package in fights in the past and holds wins over Jeffrey Francisco and Ratchasak Kokietgym, and almost Petch Sor Chitpattana back in 2015. Although this looks like mismatch it should vbe very competitive.
In an interesting under-card bout we'll see unbeaten puncher Christian Araneta (12-0, 10) face off with the upset minded Philip Luis Cuerdo (9-2-1, 4). Cuerdo is beatable, but has only been beaten by the pairing of Vic Saludar and Toto Landero. Whilst Araneta will be the favourite we suspect Cuerdo will ask some new questions of him here.
Also on the under-card is former amateur stand out Mark Anthony Barriga (2-0), who looks to extend his unbeaten run as he takes on domestic foe Rodel Kirk Pelenio (3-1-1, 2) in an 8 rounder. Barriga is tipped as a future star of Filipino boxing, but he will have to show more than he has so far, especially in terms of power, if he's going to reach the heights some have suggested he can reach. Pelenio will be the under-dog but will come in to this one on the back of a 4 fight unbeaten run.
Metro Manila, Philippines
There is huge action in the US and the UK this coming Saturday but there will also be notable action in the Asia with two shows in the Philippines, including a really exciting one in Metro Manila.
In the main event fans will get the chance to see heavy handed OPBF Light Flyweight champion Jonathan Taconing (21-2-1, 18) defending his belt against Jomar Fajardo (14-8-2, 7). Taconing, who is one of the most criminally under-rated fighters on the planet, should be getting a world title fight in the near future, if he sees off Fajardo here. As for Fajardo he could find himself playing the spoiler again, as he did last year when he held Francisco Rodriguez Jr to a draw. Despite the result against Rodriguez we'd be amazed if he survives against Taconing here.
As one of the support bouts we'll see the talented Juan Martin Elorde (17-1-1, 7) take on Yakobus Heluka (8-12, 1) in a really awful mismatch. Heluka has gone 1-7 coming into this fight, with 5 of those losses coming by stoppage and it's hard to see how he avoids the same fate here, despite the fact Elorde isn't a noted puncher.
Another of the support bouts will see Juan Martin Elorde's younger brother, Juan Miguel Elorde (18-1, 9) battle against Rasmanudin (19-11-3, 10). On paper this is another gross mismatch with Rasmanudin going 1-7-1 in his last 9, with hist last loss coming earlier this month to Kongthara KKP. Amazingly Rasmanudin has been stopped 3 times already this year, and we really need to ask what his handlers are doing throwing him into another bout so soon after his last one.
One other support bout of note will see 20 year old Flyweight prospect Giemel Magramo (13-0, 10) in action. At the time of writing however his opponent hasn't been announced.
There is a second in the Philippines, though one without the big title fight main event.
On paper the most interesting bout on this card will see the unbeaten and heavy handed Christian Araneta (9-0, 8) battle against the once beaten Jessie Espinas (11-1, 7). This one promises fireworks and really is a very well matched bout with both men having solid power, and lot to gain with a win. This really could be a bout that turns out to be fantastic for the fans in attendance.
On the same card will be another notable prospect, Jack Tepora (14-0, 10). Tepora, dubbed “The Golden Boy”, will be up against experienced foe Jason Egera (21-14, 10). On paper it looks like the typical opponent you'd expect of someone with Tepora's experience but the reality is that Egera hasn't won in over 2 years, and is coming into this one on a 0-6 run.
In an all-Asian bout in the US, on the under-card of Floyd Mayweather's clash with Andre Berto, fans will see Uzbekistan's Sanjarbek Rakhmanov (1-0, 1) battle against Kyrgyzstan's Farkhad Sharipov (4-4, 1).