This coming Saturday isn't a huge day for boxing, but there is more than enough to get your teeth into as we begin quite an interesting month for Asian boxing.
Rangsit Boxing Stadium, Rangsit, Thailand
Arguably the most notable action of the day, at least for us, is in Thailand where we'll see a world champion in action and a really good looking all-Thai regional title bout.
The world champion in question is WBC Minimumweight champion Panya Pradabsri (35-1, 22), who will be in action against a low level domestic opponent in a contracted bout well above the Minimumweight limit. This will be Panya's first bout since his title win, and huge upest, against Wanheng Menayothin. The plan for Panya is to have a tune up here before a potential rematch with Wanheng in the summer, so we don't expect to see him do much more than go through the motions here, but it's still good to see him in action.
The most interesting of the bouts, on paper at least, is a WBC Asia title fight at Super Flyweight which will pit Kongfah CP freshmart (35-1-1, 18), aka Jakkrawut Majoogoen, against former world title challenger Wittawas Basapean (34-15-1, 12) aka Samartlek Kokietgym. On paper this might not look the best fight, but if we're being honest we expect a really exciting fight here. Kongfah is the younger and naturally bigger fighter, but Samartlek comes to fight and never takes a backwards step, so we are, genuinely, expecting a bit of a war. Kongfah should win, but he will not have an easy time with his more experienced foe.
Staying with Asian action we also get a show in India, which features a couple of noteworthy bouts.
The main event here will see 21 year old Indian hopeful Lalrinsanga Tlau (4-0, 2) take on Ghana's Eric Quarm (4-1, 1) for the WBC Youth Super Featherweight title. The unbeaten Tlau will be fighting in his title bout and so far he has been pretty impressive, barely losing a round since his debut in 2019. The 23 year old Quarm, who is fighting outside of Africa for the first time, was last seen in the ring in 2019 when he lost in a bout for the West African Union Lightweight title. Although neither man is well known, this is a really interesting contest, and one that should provide some really good action, with both men desperate to avoid a loss and desperate to win the Youth title.
Also on this card is an interesting match up between Indian fighter Asad Asif Khan (9-2-1-1, 2) and Afghan fighter Aimal Ahmad Sediq Zada (5-1, 4). Khan made his debut all the way back in 2011 and despite going 2-2-1-1 in his first 6 has reeled off 7 straight wins, and done so internationally with bouts in Thailand, Dubai and the Philippines. The hard hitting Zada lost on his debut, in 2018, but also comes into this one with some momentum on the back of 5 straight wins. This could end up being a very good bout, but one that is certainly easy to over-look.
Miami, Florida, USA
As well as the action in Asia we also have some central Asian fighters in action in Florida.
One of those Central Asian fighters is Uzbek hopeful Kozimbek Mardonov (1-0, 1), who was impressive in his January debut. The talented former amateur standout is expected to be moved quickly he's being matched with the experienced Abel Nicolas Adriel (23-20-3, 5) here. The 31 year old Adriel has been collecting losses during his career, but with only 4 stoppage losses he is durable and should be able to survive a few rounds with Mardonov, though the Uzbek will be strongly favoured to pick up the win.
Another Central Asian on this card is Tajik fighter Mekhrubon Sanginov (9-0-1, 6) , who looks to build on a career best win over Quincy LaVallais as he takes on Miguel Angel Suarez (15-6, 9). The 25 year old Sanginov will be favoured here, and will be expected to pick up his 10th win, and do so relatively quickly. Suarez, and Argentinian 39 year old, was once 15-0 but has lost his last 6, and has been stopped in 5 of those 6 losses. This looks like an easy win for Sanginov following some struggles vs LaVallais in January.
Also scheduled for this show, though with no opponent named at the time of writing, is US based Azeri fighter Elvin Gambarov (14-0, 13), who will be looking for his third win of 2021. Gambarov has already blown away two limited opponents in Colombia this year and he's likely to be facing another over-matched foe here. It's a shame that we really don't know how good Gambarov can be as his competition so far has been beyond terrible. Fingers crossed we see him tasted later this year.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
For a second day in a row we get action from Korakuen Hall as Ichiriki put on a small card under the A-Sign Boxing Banner. This really is a small card, but as we see all the time even small Japanese cards can deliver some real fun and there is the potentially for some intriguing action here.
The main event here will see the "stop or be stopped" Kazuaki Miyamoto (6-5, 5) take on the under-rated Tasuku Suwa (6-4-1, 1) in what could be a brilliant, and easy to over-look, 8 rounder. In his 11 bouts to date Miyamoto has heard the final bell once, and that was in September 2017, since then he has had 6 bouts and none have gone the distance with only 2 lasting longer than 2 rounds. Thankfully for Miyamoto's chin Suwa isn't a puncher, but he is much better than his record suggests and he ran the inform Kanehiro Nakagawa razor close in 2018. Don't look at the records and ignore this one, is really could a very good bout.
Talking about good bouts we also have a 6 round Middleweight clash between Kazuki Kyohara (4-0-2, 3) and Yuta Ashina (5-2) which could end up being something very tasty. Kyohara fought to a draw in the 2018 All Japan Rookie of the Year with Nath Nwachukwu, and showed he was tough, aggressive and energetic in that bout. He might not be a big name but he's certainly a capable fighter. Ashina on the other hand lost in the final of the 2019 All Japan Rookie of the Year final, but his route to the final was all action, and he's one of the most fan friendly, aggressive fighters out there. We genuinely expect this to be an all out war and one of the hidden gems of the month.
InterContinental Miami, Miami, Florida, USA
Unbeaten US based Azeri fighter Elvin Gambarov (9-0, 8) is looking to have a quick turn around as he looks to return to the ring just weeks after his most recent bout. Gambarov took a quick win in Colombia against Segundo Herrera on November 20th and will be looking to squeeze in his third bout within a month as he takes on Geronimo Nahuel Sacco (8-1-1, 1). Although talented it's hard to say much about Gambarov as his competition has been very poor so far. Sacco on the other hand is an Argentinian who began his career 8-0 but has come up short in his last 2 bouts, losing one and drawing the other. On paper this looks a good match up but we can't help think this is an easy 10th win for Gambarov who will need bigger and tougher tests soon.
Coliseo Sugar Baby Rojas, Barranquilla, Colombia
There isn't much Asian action this coming Thursdays, but that's not to say there's none at all. In fact there's an Asian in action in Colombia of all places, with Barranquilla hosing an American based Azeri prospect looking for his next win.
The prospect in question here is 28 year old Elvin Gambarov (7-0, 6), who was born in Azerbaijan but has fought his entire career, so far, in the US. Here he's set to make his international debut as he takes on limited Venezuelan Wilman Contreras (9-17-4-1, 6). The talented Gambarov is in need of a step up, and on paper this isn't really it. However Contreras has been in with some decent competition, and has proven to be a banana skin in the past, suggesting he could actually be a test here
The most notable show for us this coming Friday takes place in China, and although it's not a huge show it does have some interesting local fighters on it.
One of the local hopefuls is unbeaten teenager Ju Wu (6-0-2), who takes a massive step up in class to take on Filipino veteran Adones Aguelo (31-19-2, 21) in a very tough looking 8 rounder. This is a legitimately tough bout for the unbeaten man, but a win here really would leave it's mark on the regional scene.
A local we're next expecting to be tested too much is Yu Che Li (5-1-2, 3), who should easily over-come Indonesian veteran Waldo Sabu (13-14, 3). Sabu can be a banana skin, as seen when he stopped Ernesto Saulong, but in reality those performances where he actually turns up to win are few and far between.
Baja California, Mexico
Once beaten US based Kazakh Sagadat Rakhmankul (4-1, 2) makes his Mexican debut as he takes on highly experienced Daniel Armando Valenzuela (36-36-2, 21), who is fighting for the 75th time. The 25 year old Rakhmankul bounced back from a November loss to Nicklaus Flaz by beating Brandon Adams in March and will be looking to notch another win here, a win that is expected for him. Despite having 74 bouts to his name Valanezuela is only 29. Sadly 31 of his 36 losses have been inside the distance and whilst he is at home, in Mexico, he will be expected to be stopped against.
Unbeaten Azeri born American based Elvin Gambarov (4-0, 4) takes a huge step up to face off with veteran Larry Smith (10-40-1, 7). On paper this should be an easy win for the 27 year old Gambarov, as Smith is 40 and is 1-38-1 in his last 40, but it is still a step up for the Azeri who has really only faced total novices so far.