This coming Saturday had promises of a lot for fight fans in Asia, with a brilliant looking show in Tokyo, running alongside a bout in Australia featuring a Japanese fighter in a sure fire thriller. Sadly Coronavirus saw the Japanese show being cancelled and an injury saw Jacob Ng pull out of his fight with Valentine Hosokawa.
Despite the changes we still have a decent amount to look forward to though!
The best of the action, at least in our eyes, is from Russia, where we see several really good bouts, and a very talented young prospect.
One of the best bouts on the card will see the unbeaten Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (15-0, 9) battle against former world champion Tomas Rojas (51-18-1-1, 34), in what will be Yaqubov's third defense of the WBC International Super Featherweight title. The unbeaten Russian based Tajik fighter notched 3 wins last year and appears to be heading towards a big fight, and Rojas should be a decent. Rojas, who won the WBC Super Flyweight title way back in 2010, is a true veteran of the sport but is very much a man who has seen better days and at 39 father time is snapping at his heels.
In a very attractive looking bout we'll see Russian Mark Urvanov (17-2-1, 9) take on exciting Kyrgyz Akzhol Sulaimanbek Uulu (15-0, 8) in what could be the bout of the weekend. The 23 year old Urvanov enters this bout on a 6 fight unbeaten run, including a stoppage over former world title challenger Evgeny Chuprakov and will be entering with plenty of confidence. Uulu on the other hand is unbeaten and has been scoring solid wins over the likes of Jon Jon Estrada and Mike Tawatchai in recent bouts. This could well be a genuinely fantastic little fight, and it's been previewed by George Delis here
A third bout of note will see talented youngster Dmitry Yun (3-0) take on Stanislav Maksyuchenko (2-1-1, 1). Yun, a Russian-Uzbek, is a genuine joy to watch and has an excellent amateur background, though does lack power. Ukrainian fighter Maksyuchenko shouldn't be much of a threat to the talented Yun, and is more than a year removed from his last win.
In Victoria fans will be able to see a local hopeful take on an upset minded Filipino. The bout in question will see Kayne Clarke (9-0, 6) look to score his fifth straight stoppage as he takes on Pinoy puncher Rodynie Rafol (14-7-2, 7) in a bout for the IBO Asia Pacific Lightweight title. Clarke has been impressive in terms of results, but this is a very clear step up in class for him. Rafol, who is now based in Australia, has scored back to back upsets coming in to this, stopping James MacDonald and Tyson Lantry and shouldn't be seen as a push over for Clarke
New South Wales, Australia
Staying in Australia we'll see the unbeaten Sam Goodman (6-0, 3), a 21 year old and a genuine bright hope for Australian boxing, take on former world title contender Noldi Manakane (33-30-4, 18) from Indonesia. Goodman has looked fantastic so far, and a TKO win over Claudevan Sese last year is impressive and something we see as a real marker of how good Goodman is, putting him on par with Yuki Yamauchi. Manakane was once a serviceable regional level fighter, and on his day can show a bit of grit, but we don't see him lasting with Goodman for the scheduled 8 rounds.