Whilst we know almost every boxing fan is looking forward to the action through out Saturday there is plenty going on on Friday to keep fans interested with former world champions, world class fighters and a genuinely great show in Russia.
Surat Thani, Thailand
The earliest action of the day is in Thailand where one time world champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai (53-1-1, 19) defends his WBC International Super Flyweight title against Filipino challenger Noli Morales (10-4, 3), who has suffered all 4 of his losses so far in Thailand. This is the best opponent Morales has faced and that should sum up how we expect the contest to go.
The biggest show of the day is the one in Russia as we get a genuinely fantastic show with several world class fighters in action in some very interesting looking contests.
The main event is the pick of the bouts with former WBA Heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin (26-1, 18) returning to the ring for the first time since his defeat at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko. Povetkin's opponent will be former WBC Heavyweight title challenger Manuel Charr (26-1, 15) and with both men looking to move back into a world title fight this is effective a title eliminator, despite only officially being a WBC international title fight. We'll be honest we're really looking forward to this one and expect it to be a very, very competitive bout between two top 20 Heavyweights each looking to earn their way to a major bout later in the year.
Whilst the Heavyweight clash is brilliant it's also supported by two world class fighters on the undercard. One of these is former WBC Cruiserweight title challenger Rakhim Chakhkiev (18-1, 14) who will be defending his WBC international Cruiserweight title for the first time as he battles former world title challenger Santander Silgado (25-1, 20). Silgado is somewhat known to Russian fans for his loss to Denis Lebedev back in 2012 and has gone 2-0 (2) since then against opponents with a combined record of 44-5-2 despite that he really shouldn't be a problem for Chakhkiev who is a vicious fighter.
The other world class fighter is Lightweight Eduard Troyanovsky (17-0, 14) who has had a disappointing few months due to an injury that has seen a WBA world title bout with Richar Abril fall through. Sadly Troyanovsky's disappointment won't be softened by his very weak opponent, Anton Bekish (5-10, 4), who is tough but has nothing at all to threaten the very talented Russian contender.
A fourth bout of note on this card will see Sergey Lipinets (1-0) return to the ring for his second professional bout. Lipinets, who debuted just a few short weeks ago, will be hoping to score his second win as he takes on the once beaten Serbian fighter Dzemil Cosovic (3-1-1) in a scheduled 6 round bout. We've heard very promising things about Lipinets and we hope he progresses as the Russian media are suggesting he could. If the media are right this youngster has the potential to be a real star.
In the US we get another Russian in action as Medzhid Bektemirov (13-0, 10) puts his unbeaten record on the line against a yet to be named foe.
Thanks, as always, go out to Pal for his information regarding the action in Thailand. With out him we'd be at a real loss in regards to the Thai boxing scene.
(Image courtesy of the 13th round)
December 21st-Yodngoen Tor Chalermchai returns to Japan, Chudinov brothers in action and Roy Jones Jr!
The last Saturday before Christmas gives us a number of bouts though few are genuinely noteworthy. As an Asian fan the key action is in Japan where 3 cards take place though there is also a show in Russia and some international fights, though Europe and South America, maybe of interest to Asian fight fights.
With 3 Japanese cards taking place we've decided that the most noteworthy of those takes place in Osaka on a show scheduled to have 10 contests.
One of the more interesting bouts of the day in the Yodogawa Ward Center will see Japan's Shota Kawaguchi (15-4-1, 6) taking on former world title challenger Yodngoen Tor Chalermchai (11-1, 5), pictured. Yodngeon, best known for losing in a WBC Minimumweight title fight to Kazuto Ioka inside a round, has won his last 3 bouts and could pose Kawaguchi some questions though we imagine the natural size advantage of Kawaguchi will prove to be too much.
The main fight in this card is one that sees Masato Morisaki (6-3-1, 3) taking on the limited Takashi Nishimura (8-10-1, 1) . The limitations of Nishimura have been shown in his last 6 bouts, which has seen him winning 2 though getting stopped in 4 of them. Morisaki isn't a major puncher but he may well be able to stop Nishimura whose punch resistance seems to be going quickly.
A 3rd noteworthy bout on this show will see Jubjang Lookmakarmwan (3-6), a highly ranked female with OPBF, taking on unbeaten Japanese fighter Nana Yoshikawa (1-0). Lookmakarmwan may be the more experienced fighter but has lost her last 6 bouts and it'd be far from a shock to see Yoshikawa defeat.
As well as the Osaka card there will be 2 successive shows in Fukuoka, both at the Kyushu Electric Power Memorial Gymnasium. The first of those 2 shows looks like a poor one with little in terms of name value despite having 8 bouts on it. the second show however has 2 bouts of interest despite only having 6 total bouts on it.
The first of those notable bouts sees Sekido Yusuke (7-10-2) fighting against Tatsuya Miyamoto (10-11, 6) in a bout that will be the shows chief support bout. Although it's nothing great it's not awful.
The second bout, a female bout, is a contest that serious consequences for one of the fighters. This fight sees unbeaten Japanese teenage Mako Yamada (5-0, 2) taking on a Thai opponent who we're told has an 8-1 (2) record. For Yamada this is a must win bout with the youngster having a WBO female Minimumweight title fight with Su-Yun Hong all but set for February if she comes through this unscathed.
In Russia we get an interesting card that features an American legend, a scheduled "interim" world title bout and several promising unbeaten men.
The most intriguing of the bouts sees the legendary Roy Jones Jr (56-8, 40) taking on Frenchman Zine Eddine Benmakhlouf (17-3-1, 8) in a Cruiserweight bout. This fight is the main event and will have international fans giving the card some attention though in all honesty Jones is merely a shadow of what he once was and Benmakhlouf is far from being anything special any Jones should pick up another win. For fans wondering, this will be Jones's first bout in Russia since being stopped by Denis Lebedev
In a supposed world title fight Russia's unbeaten Dmitry Chudinov (11-0-2, 7) will be fighting Colombian puncher Juan Camilo Novoa (22-5-1, 20). According to some sources this is a WBA "interim" Middleweight title fight, from other sources however it seems that this is a WBA "International" Middleweight title bout. In terms of the WBA's history of handing out "interim" titles it wouldn't be a shock to see one fought for here despite the fact that the fighters are ranked #6 and #7 in terms of the WBA's rankings and as of the WBA's rankings, issued on December 12th Martin Murray is still the interim champion.
To top off the under-card we're expecting to see the WBA world ranked Eduard Troyanovsky (16-0, 13) taking on Allan Kamote (23-6-4, 13). Ranked #3 by the WBA at Lightweight Troyanovsky will know that he may be able to get a world title fight in the next 12-18 months if he can keep on winning. Kamote really should pose no problems to the unbeaten Russian and Asian fans may well remember him for losing, by stoppage, in Thailand to both Napapol Sor Rungvisai and Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat. Expect this to be another stoppage loss on Kamote's record.
Further down the card Dmitry Chudinov's younger brother, Fedor Chudinov (8-0, 6) will be fighting the experienced Francis Cheka (30-7-1, 16) in what should be a good test for the promising young Chudinov