This coming Saturday isn't a stacked day with huge fights, but there is a lot going on, including bouts with a number of solid names and some that look genuinely interesting in what could be a bit of an interesting day even if it's not one which will get a lot of attention.
Arguably the best bout of the day with an Asian interest takes place in Mexico, as former Japanese 154lb champion Hironobu Matsunaga (18-1, 11) takes on Mexican veteran Jhony Navarrete (34-17-2, 15), in what is a huge good opportunity for Matsunaga to build his profile internationally, and potentially begin to make a move towards a bout in the US in the next year or two. He's a fun guy to watch and Navarrete should have the style to push Matsunaga and give him some exciting rounds here, unlike some of Matsunaga's other international opponents who have at times been very poor.
Suamlum Night Bazaar, Ratchadaphisek, Bangkok, Thailand
Whilst the best single bout will likely be in Mexico, the best show overall for fans of Asian fighters will be in Thailand.
This card features a notably, the likely very one sided bout, between two former world champions as 2-time WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (50-5-1, 43) takes on former WBC Light Flyweight champion Kompayak Porpramook (61-13-1, 41). The talented Srisaket will be fighting for the first time since medical issues forced him to pull out of a scheduled bout with Carlos Cuadras, and this bout is likely to be a case of him shaking some ring rust than anything else. In recent years the 39 year old Kompayak has been picking up a lot of losses, and this will be another, though he does make an honest account of himself. Fingers crossed, in some ways, that Srisaket doesn't set out to make a statement, as this could get very ugly very quickly if he looks to blast out Kompayak.
Another bout on this card will recent world title challenger Danai Ngiabphukhiaw (10-3, 5) take on unbeaten 19 year old Vijes Oak (3-0, 2) in a very interesting match up for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Light Flyweight title. Danai challenged for the WBA Minimumweight title last year, and gave Panya Pradabsri a really solid test, much more so than the scores cards suggest, and is certainly better than his 10-3 record suggests. Oak on the other hand is a Thai based Cambodian who will know this is a great chance for him to make a name for himself, and move towards bigger and better fights himself, though he will go in a very clear under-dog.
Dangcagan, Bukidnon, Philippines
In the Philippines we get two notable fighters in action, though sadly both of the notable men are in what appear to be stay busy bouts rather than real tests.
One of the notable names is recent world title challenger Samuel Salva (18-1, 11), who takes on fellow former world title challenger Jeffrey Galero (17-7, 8). On paper this isn't a great match up to begin with, and it should be a straight forward win for Salva, though beneath the hood we can under-stand Salva having an easy bout here. He's been out of the ring since January 2020 and clearly needs to shake some ring rust and get back in the ring. Galero on the other hand hasn't fought in over 3 years and has lost 4 of his last 5.
The other really notable fighter on this card is veteran Lito Dante (17-11-4, 9), who returns for his first fight in over 2 years as he takes on 31 year old professional loser Ryan Ralozo (11-36-2, 2). Dante, one of the most under-rated fighters in the sport right now, is a real danger man over 10 and 12 rounds, but he can be shown up in these short length bouts. Saying that however Ralozo has lost his last 6 and is 1-9 in his last 10.
225 Joo Chiat road , Singapore, Singapore
Over in Singapore fans will see Malaysian fighter Adli Hafidz (9-0, 5) defending his UBO Middleweight world title for the first time, as he takes on Thai visitor Theerawat Yoohanngoh (21-12, 15). Although no world beater Hafidz is, by far, the biggest name in the Malaysian and Singaporean region, and despite not being anywhere near world class he is someone who could inspire the area to develop a domestic boxing scene before he hangs up the gloves. As for Theerawat the 34 year old was once a decent fighter, for a regional level Thai, but has been out of the ring since the end of 2019 and has been picking up more and more losses, including losing twice in Singapore in 2019, this will likely extend that run without much debate.
Yodogawa Ward Center, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
In Osaka fight fans will get a low level Japanese show with novices and debutants. The only bout that really seems even slightly notable is a bout at Welterweight between the unbeaten Kazutoshi Adachi (3-0-1, 2) and the relatively limited Yusa Toyonaka (3-3-1, 1). This should be a very entertaining 4 rounder, but nothing too notable, and certainly not one where the winner will be racing towards a title fight or anything similar.
Sawai Mansingh Indoor Stadium, Jaipur, India
We also have a small card scheduled for Jaipur in India, and sadly this is a very, very low key card, with novices, and debutants all over the show, much like the Japanese show. It's hard to say much about this one, due to the level of the fighters involved, but it's another example of what's going on in Indian boxing, with plenty of shows, giving fighters a chance to be active, and build their records at an early stage.
Nakhon Sawan, Thailand
The main show this coming Tuesday is in Thailand where we'll see a world title fight, and a former world champion.
The world title fight will see WBC Minimumweight champion Panya Pradabsri (36-1, 20) defending his title, for the first time, as he takes on fellow Thai Danai Ngiabphukhiaw (9-2, 5). For Panya this will be his second fight since winning the title, almost a year ago, but his first defense and sadly it's a thoroughly under-whelming one as he takes on someone who can only be described as professional novice. Danai has got some promise, but that's all it is, some promise. He's not anywhere close to world level, and we'd be very surprised if he was able to win even a minute of bout, before being stopped in the middle rounds. Our in depth preview of this one can be read here WBC king Panya set for first defense, faces fellow Thai!
Also reportedly set for this card is Wanheng Menayothin (54-1, 18), who is expected to fight in a bit of a tune up bout before a potential rematch with Panya in the new year. His opponent has sadly not been announced for this show, but we're hoping for someone sturdy enough to give the former WBC world champion a few rounds and let him shake some ring rust.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
As well as the action in Thailand there will also be a small card in Japan, as Dangan put on one of their fun 4 round shows.
Whilst none of the bouts are big news, we are exciting to see Michiaki Eguchi (0-0) and Kenta Kawakami (0-0) clash in an all debutant bout at 105lbs. Eguchi is a 23 year old whilst Kawakami is 19, and given their youth, plus the fact this is a bout between debutants, we are expecting a wild and exciting tear up here.
There's also a female bout on this card as Kagishippo Sachi (0-0) takes on Natsuki Tamagawa (0-0). This is another 4 rounder, but it's interesting to see two women facing off, especially given that neither is a youngster. Sachi is 34 coming in to this bout, and will need to be moved quickly if she's going to fight in bouts of any significance in the future, whilst Tamagawa is 27, and no spring chicken herself.