Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
At Korakuen Hall this coming Friday we get a very interesting card thanks to Teiken, who have managed to give us a real mix of things on a very nice looking card.
The main event is a bout that has been on and offer more often this year than our socks, though we are so glad that it is is now on and sorted. The bout in question is the match up between once beaten Filipino Giemel Magramo (24-1, 20) and unbeaten Japanese fighter Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15), who vie for the vacant WBO Flyweight. The title became vacant earlier this year, when Kosei Tanaka moved up in weight, and was supposed to see a new champion crowned several times, however the on going situation, and travel issues, kept pushing it back, and back. Thankfully Magramo was able to travel to Japan in October, do his isolation, and leave us here, now, on the verge of this brilliant match up. A full, in depth, preview of this bout can be read here Old fashioned fine tuning and the quick study: Giemel Magramo versus Junto Nakatani
In a fantastic chief support bout we'll see second generation fighter Juiki Tatsuyoshi (13-0, 9) take on the fast tracked Kazuhiro Imamura (2-0, 1). Although not the fighter his father, Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, was it's fair to say that Juiki Tatsuyoshi is developing well and is actually becoming a very solid fighter in his own right. Imamura on the other hand is a relative unknown in many ways, but but has looked solid in his two previous pro bouts and will know that a win here will open the door for a Japanese title fight in the near future. This is not a big fight, by any stretch, but it is a very interesting one between two unbeaten men looking to move their career's forward.
In another supporting bout we'll see Junpei Tsujimoto (6-2-3, 4) take on the big punching Daiki Ogura (4-3-1, 4). Last time out Tsujimoto was stopped by Nath Nwachukwu in 2 rounds and will now be looking to bounce back from that set back. He will be backed heavily against the hard hitting, but very beatable, Ogura. We suspect this will really will be about rebuilding Tsujimoto's confidence, and little more.
The first major show of the new year takes place in China this coming Saturday, and it really is a great show with several bouts of note, in what will see 4 different title bouts taking place.
The main event is a fantastic match up between unbeaten Chinese Flyweight Wenfeng Ge (11-0, 6) and once beaten Filipino Giemel Magramo (22-1, 18), who will be fighting for the WBO International Flyweight title, with Ge making his first defense of the tite. So far Ge has scored notable wins over Amnat Ruenroeng and Ivan Soriano, and looked solid, but at the age of 31 will know he can't afford a loss. Magramo on the other hand looks like a star in the making, and his sole defeat was a razor thin one in Korea to Muhammad Waseem. Since his loss Magramo has reeled off 5 stoppage wins and looks to be a fighter intent on making a statement. This really could be a brilliant way to break in the new year. A preview of this fantastic clash can be read here -Ge and Magramo look to begin year with mouth watering match up!
Another fantastic match up will see Chinese Light Flyweight Jing Xiang (15-4-2, 3) take on Thai veteran Kompayak Porpramook (59-6, 40) for the WBC silver Light Flyweight. The 28 year old Chinese fighter will be making his first defense of the title, which he last September when he defeated Merlito Sabillo, and he'll be looking to record an 8th straight win. Porpramook, best known for his wars with Adrian Hernandez and Koki Eto, is now 36, but showed he was still a capable fighter last year, when he defeated Pongsaklek Sithdabnij in the first of two bouts. The winner of this will be in the world title mix, but it's hard to see where the loser goes. A preview of this bout can be read here - Chinese novice Jing Xiang takes on Thai veteran Satorn
China's Jian Wang (7-1, 2) will be looking for his 6th straight win as he takes on Korean visitor Sung Young Yang (6-2-4, 3) in a bout for the WBO Oriental Youth Super Bantamweight title. The Chinese fighter looks to be in good form on paper, but his competition during his winning run has been poor, and his only real win of note came back in November 2015, when he beat the then debuting Wulan Tuolehazi. Yang is a 22 year old Korean fighter who has won his last 4, and is unbeaten in his last 6, though like Wang he's untested and a win here would be the biggest of his career,
The other title bout on this card pits unbeaten men against each other, as local hopeful Xiang Li (3-0, 2) faces off with Filipino Ryan James Racaza (10-0, 6) in a contest for the WBO Oriental Youth Lightweight title. The local novice debuted back in November 2016 but hasn't been particularly active in a pro ring, avoiding the ring through 2017 and only fighting once on 2018. Despite the inactivity Li is regarded highly as a prospect and a win here would be huge proof of his ability. Racaza isn't one of the more well known prospects in the Philippines but the 22 year old southpaw has scarcely lost a round since his debut and has already stopped both Jayar Estremos and Junar Adante. Racaza looks like one to watch, and a win here, on his international debut, would be a potential statement of intent. Although neither man in this bout is well known, this is a very interesting match up.
In the Philippines we'll see the unbeaten Roy Nagulman (6-0-1, 4) battle against experienced journeyman Albert Alcoy (15-27-8, 5), in what should serve as little more than a record padding win for Nagulman, who is just 17 and really shouldn't be rushed. The 35 year old Alcoy has been stopped 16 times, and has just 1 win since the start of 2013, despite that he is actually a step up for Nagulman.
Metro Manila, Philippines
One of the best Filipino cards of the month comes on the final Monday of the month, surprisingly, where we get a world title fight, a world title eliminator, a regional title bout and several interesting prospects in action.
The main event will be a brilliant match up between talented and sharp punching Filipino Randy Petalcorin (29-2-1, 22) and destructive Nicaraguan Felix Alvarado (33-2, 29), who meet for the vacant IBF Light Flyweight title. On paper this is a really interesting contest between two very different but very talented fighters each looking to claim a world title for the first time. Although Petalcorin has the home advantage Alvarado comes into the bout in terrifying form, with 14 stoppage wins in his last 15 bouts! This could be a modern classic. A preview of this bout can be read here Petalcorin and Alvarado meet for IBF crown!
In a major supporting bout Filipino Kenny Demecillo (14-4-2, 8) will take on English southpaw Lee Haskins (35-4, 14) in an IBF Bantamweight world title eliminator. The unheralded Filipino is taking a massive step up in class to face the former world champion, but at 26 years old Demecillo is just coming into his prime whilst Haskins is an old 35. Whilst the Filipino is the youngster it's hard to see him defeating the tricky, slippery and ultra-awkward Haskins.
Another major supporting bout will see the once beaten Giemel Magramo (21-1, 17) defending his WBO Oriental Flyweight title against Mexican visitor Sebastian Sanchez (11-5, 8). The only loss on Magramo's record was a razor thin one to Muhammad Waseem in Korea and he's very highly regarded as a fighter who will, at the very least, challenge for a world title. The 26year old Sanchez has lost 4 of his past 5, but has been matched hard with bouts against the likes of Paul Butler, Cristofer Rosales and the aforementioned Alvarado.
Lower down the card we'll see Ronnie Baldonado (12-1-1, 9) look to score his third wins since losing to Kosei Tanaka, as he faces Enrique Magsalin (5-0-2, 1) in a decent domestic bout. The very touted Jade Bornea (12-0, 8) will face journeyman Macrea Gandionco (12-6-3, 7), who appears to have been a late replacement for former world champion Sonny Boy Jaro and teenage prospect Dave Apolinario (8-0, 5) will be hoping to notch his next win as he faces Joan Imperial (14-7-6, 9).
This coming Sunday is a relatively busy day in Asia, with a pair of shows in bot Philippines and Japan.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The most interesting card, for us at least, is in Metro Manila where Elorde will be putting on a card.
The main event of this card sees the excellent Giemel Magramo (20-1, 16) take on the once beaten Michael Bravo (13-1, 6) in a bout for the vacant WBO Oriental Flyweight title, and a chance to take a huge step towards getting a potential world title fight. Magramo is the better known fighter and has scored a two of notable wins since losing a very close decision to Muhammad Waseem in late 2016. Magramo world class potential in that loss and could thrust himself into the world title picture with a win here. For Bravo the bout is a huge step up in class, though he is riding an 8 fight winning run coming in to this and has won both PBF and MinProBA titles in his last 2 bouts, showing he is in really good form and very confident.
Another bout on this card will see the unbeaten Casey Morton (6-0-3, 1) battle Thai foe Nongmuay Kokietgym (13-3-3) in a female bout. The unbeaten Morton, who is based in the US, will be having her third successive fight in Asia and this is a step up for her. The Thai is a multi-time former world title challenger and is a very credible foe, despite her total lack of punching power.
Davao del Sur, Philippines
A second Filipino show, courtesy of Pacquiao Promotions will take place in Davao del Sur.
The main event here will be a Filipino Welterweight title fight, as Jayar Inson (15-1, 10) takes on Romeo Jakosalem (18-16-1, 10). The bout sees two former regional title holders facing off in what should be a bit of a slugfest. Of the two fighter Inson is the younger and more promising fighter, with the 27 year old Southpaw being a brutal puncher, as we saw in his demolition job against Ryota Yada for the WBO Asia Pacific Welterweight title. Despite only being 29 years old Jakosalem has had a very hard career and already looks a bit shot, as shown by the fact he has been stopped 10 times in total, including 3 of those in his last 3 bouts. Inson will be strongly favoured here and should be able to stop Jakosalem and move towards bigger and better fights.
The rest of this card is pretty weak in all honesty, but will feature a host of promising fighters in mismatches. Those fighters include Joel Lino (8-0-1, 2), Rene Mark Cuarto (14-1, 8), Vincent Astrolabio (10-1, 7) and Jerry Francisco (2-0), who should all be adding to their win column against some horribly over-matched opposition.
The most notable the two Japanese cards will take place in Aichi and will feature a Japanese youth title fight along with a bout between two OPBF ranked fighters.
The youth title fight will see Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Takuya Mizuno (13-1-1, 11) defending his title against Daiki Maniwa (6-1-1, 4), in what will be Mizuno's second defense of the belt. The champion won the title last August and defended it in December, taking split decision in both of those bouts. Although a powerful puncher it does seem like Mizuno's power isn't carrying up to level and he could well be dragged into another tough bout by Maniwa. The challenger is a bit of an unknown, though he has won his last 6, with his win last November against Yo Konomura being a career best.
In a battle between OPBF ranked fighters we'll see Super Bantamweight contender Ruito Saeki (7-1, 1) take on Bantamweight veteran Eita Kikuchi (21-5-4, 8). Aged 19 Saeki is a promising youngster who's only loss was in the West Japan Rookie of the Year final in 2016, and since then he has bounced back with 3 wins to work his way into the OPBF rankings. The 32 year old Kikuchi is a former OPBF title challenger, have challenger Shingo Wake for the OPBF Super Bantamweight title back in June 2013. Since losing to Wake Kikuchi has gone 7-2 (2), though was stopped last time out by Yusuke Suzuki in a Japanese Bantamweight title eliminator, and may well be feeling the after effects of his third stoppage loss.
In Fukuoka fans will see Japanese ranked Bantamweight Hideo Sakamoto (17-4-4, 5) look to get his career back on track as he takes on Takaaki Kanai (8-7, 4). Back in early 2015 Sakamoto looked well on his way to getting a Japanese title fight, thanks to wins over Hiroki Shiino and Ryoichi Tamura, sadly though he has gone 1-3-2 since then and is clearly faltering with his career, and needs a win to give his career one more shot in the arm. Kanai shouldn't put up much of a test for Sakamoto, given he has fought at a far lower level and struggled a lot in recent bouts, but the pressure is on Sakamoto to perform, and make sure he does more than just get the win.
This coming Saturday is set to be a hectic day with a lot of action as we continue to race towards Christmas!
In many ways the most significant bout to include an Asian this coming Saturday comes from Mexico where former world champion Nana Yoshikawa (7-2, 4) resurfaces, to take on the limited Delia Lopez (10-6-2, 5) for the WBC Female interim Flyweight title. For Yoshikawa a loss is likely to be the end of her career, and it would be a huge disappointment given her amateur background. Lopez however is a less than great opponent and should pose little threat for the Japanese fighter.
Staying on the theme of Japanese fighters there is also a low key card in Hyogo, thanks to Senrima Kobe.
The main event of the card will see 2-time world title challenger Teiru Kinoshita (25-2-1, 8) take on a Thai foe in what is expected to be little more than a confidence builder for Kinoshita. The Japanese fighter was last seen in action this past July when he was stopped by Jerwin Ancajas in Australia, and it's clear that he's not going to win a world title. Despite that it's good to see him back in the ring, and hopefully he'll be moved towards an OPBF title fight in 2018.
Another notable Japanese fighter on this card is Ryoki Hirai (9-4-1, 4), who sadly will also be facing a less than testing Thai foe. The talented Hirai has a misleading record, and is much better than the numbers suggest, as shown by recent wins over Takumi Sake and Ryoya Ikema. Although this bout is a step backwards for Hirai it should be noted that he was injured earlier in the year and this looks like an easy run out to test how he's recovered.
The most interesting bout on this card will see Japanese ranked fighters collide as Giraffe Kirin Kanda (10-2, 6) battles Mitsuyoshi Fujita (10-3, 3). Coming in to this Kanda is on a 4 fight winning streak, including a big win over Ukyo Yoshigai, and looks to be slowly but surely working his way to a domestic title fight. Whilst Kanda is in good form the same can't be said or Fujita, who was stopped last time out by Koki Inoue, though prior to that loss he had been on an 8 fight winning run and is a live fighter here in what looks like a genuine 50-50 match up.
For a second day running there will be action in Zhongshan, with several titles on the line.
One of those titles will be the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Super Featherweight title, which will see Filipino Joe Noynay (12-2-1, 4) battle against Chinese fighter Yongcai Liu (6-4-3, 3). Noynay was last seen losing in a very competitive contest to Reiya Abe, in what was his second loss in 4 bouts, but he should be favoured here. The local has won hist last two against veterans, but a win here would be a surprise given that he is stepping up quite notably here.
A second bout for a WBC Asian Boxing Council title will be at Super Middleweight and will see once beaten Chinese puncher Ainiwaer Yilixiati (11-1, 9) take on Georgian foe Tornike Gikashvili (15-7-1, 3). For Yilixiati this bout will be his second since losing to OPBF champion Jayde Mitchell back in August, and it's hard to see anything but a win for the aggressive Chinese slugger. The 20 year old visitor has gone 1-5 in his last 6, including 4 stoppage losses, and it's hard to imagine him lasting the distance here.
Another bout at Super Middleweight will see Zulipikaer Maimaitiali (9-1-1, 7) take on Pavel Semjonov (21-7-2, 8), in a non-title bout. The exciting Maimaitiali will be fighting for the second time since his very close loss to Vijender Singh in August and he will be looking to make a statement here. The visitor, from Estonia, may be recognisable to European fight fans, as he has fought a variety of notable fighters, but regularly comes up short in performance that show his toughness. We're expecting to see Maimaitiali win, and if so we can hopefully move towards a bout between him and the aforementioned Yilixiati.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The most significant of three shows in the Philippines takes place in Metro Manila and features a trio of title bouts, along with a scattering of other notable fighters.
One of those title bouts will see the promising Ernesto Saulong (21-2-1, 8) battle against countryman Renan Portes (10-5, 6) for the IBF Pan Pacific Bantamweight title. Coming in to this Saulong has won his last 3, and rebuilt well following his 2015 loss to Lwandile Sityatha. On paper Portes looks the much lesser fighter, and his loss to Hayate Kaji earlier this year does show he can be blasted out, but Portes will know this is a big opportunity and hopefully he looks to take it with both hands.
A second title bout, for the OPBF Silver Light Flyweight title will see the once beaten Ivan Soriano (16-1-1, 8) take on the upset minded Jaysever Abcede (15-7, 10). Coming in to this Soriano is riding a 12 fight winning run, dating back to 2010, though he has taken a significant break from action during that run and has fought only 4 rounds in the last 4 years. Abcede is best known for a 2015 upset win over Pigmy Kokietgym, though has only gone 5-4 since then and lost to the likes of Tsubasa Koura and Wanheng Menayothin. This could be a really intriguing match up, though it does look like one that Soriano should pick up the win in.
A third title bout, and by far the weakest on the card, will see Danny Tampipi (7-8-2, 4) battle Noel Adelmita (13-11-2, 2) for the PBF Super Bantamweight title. We'll be honest and admit we really are struggling to get excited about this one with both fighters being out of form and neither likely to really shine here.
Other fighters on this card include Mark Anthony Barriga (7-0, 1), Jerald Daniega (11-0, 8), Richard Claveras (18-3-2, 15) and AJ Banal (34-2-1, 23), all of whom are expected to pick up straight forward wins against over-matched foes. Barriga and Daniega are two real prospects with genuine potential, whilst Claveras and Banal are both aggressive and exciting and aggressive fighters who should be looking to make statements.
Metro Manila, Philippines
A second Filipino show in Metro Manila will take place, though to much less fan fare than the one above.
The most notable bout on the card is a huge mismatch between Cris Paulino (14-3, 4) and Roy Lagrada (3-18-1, 3). The talented Paulino is the much better fighter here, despite losing successive bout to Koki Eto and Vic Darchinyan, though has taken 2 years out of the ring and will be looking to ease himself back into action against the over-matched Lagrada.
This show will also feature the once beaten Giemel Magramo (19-1, 15), who looks to secure his third win since a close and competitive loss to Muhammad Waseem back in November 2016. Sadly at the time of writing Magramo's opponent hadn't been announced.
There will also be a small card in Cebu.
The main event of the card will see the heavy handed Jayar Aliasot (6-1, 5) take on domestic foe Carlo Demecillo (8-4, 2). Aliasot is stepping up big time here, but will feel his power can do a number on Demecillo, like Satoshi Shimizu's did last December, and that he can get the lighter punching man out of there. As for Demecillo the game plan will be able dragging his man into the later rounds, and out working him, showing the toughness that gave Hisashi Amagasa problems in October 2016.
Also on this card is a very interesting looking match up between 32 year old Clyde Azarcon (10-1, 4) and 21 year old Royder Lloyd Borbon (5-1-1, 5). Coming in to this Azarcon has won his last 9, but the competition during that run tells us very little about how good he is and none of the opponents had records to suggest they were really going to be tests. Borbon on the other hand will come in on the back of 3 stoppages, and will be looking to score his best win to date here. This should tell us a lot about both men.
In Ukraine we see a Filipino fighter go to the Lion's den to face one of the more over-looked Ukrainian fighters of recent times. The Ukrainian in question is the outstanding Denys Berinchyk (7-0, 4), who was a Silver medal winner at the 2011 World Amateur championships and the 2012 Olympics. In the opposite corner to the Ukrainian will be once beaten Filipino Allan Vallespin (11-1, 8), who was stopped in his only bout outside of the Philippines by a thunder bolt from current Japanese Super Featherweight champion Masaru Sueyoshi. Vallespin could test Barinchyk but it's hard to imagine him getting a win here.
We have another bout involving a Filipino in France, as local prospect Nordine Oubaali (12-0, 9) takes on the highly experienced Filipino Mark Anthony Geraldo (34-7-3, 15) in a bout for the WBC “Silver” Bantamweight title. The talented Oubaali is a 2-time Olympian who was once tipped for big things, but at 31 years old it does seem like now or never for him. Aged 26 Geraldo has been able to be a busy professional and has shown real touches of brilliance, but has never quite managed to put on a full performance at the higher levels. Coming in to this Geraldo is 3-3, including a loss to Takuma Inoue, and although he could give Oubaali a good test, it would be regarded as a real upset if Geraldo picked up the win.
In Canada we see one of the most exciting prospects from Kazakhstan in action. That man is the heavy handed Batyrzhan Jukembayev (10-0-0-2, 9), who takes a credible step up in class to take on 22 year old American Wilberth Lopez (20-8, 14). The hard hitting Jukembayev does look like a destructive force and is carving out a promising career in Canada but does need to win here to continue that run. Lopez will come in as the opponent but he will be a very live one. He has gone the distance with decent prospects, like Alex Saucedo, Ivan Baranchyk and Juan Ruiz, whilst also proving he can score the odd upset, as he did against Jose Roman. This is not likely to be a walk in the park for the Canadian based Kazakh.
There is only one show in Japan this coming Sunday.
The main event of the card will see under-rated Filipino Rolly Sumalpong (10-2-1, 4) return to Japan for the first time since losing his unbeaten record to Ken Shiro. The Filipino youngster will be up against Japanese veteran Koji Itagaki (17-11-2, 7) in what looks like a really intriguing fight. Sumalpong is a real talent, but has lost 2 of his last 3 and needs a win of note now. Itagaki has mixed at a high level, but has lost in recent contests to Rey Loreto and Kenichi Horikawa, and will be hoping to use that experience here.
In an under-card bout of interest we'll see Taiyo Inoue (6-3-1, 4) face the experienced but light hitting Kenta Sugimoto (11-10-1, 1) in a good looking bout that won't set pulses racing, but should be a good fight all the same.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines we have two shows, though very few bouts of actual note. Although the bouts aren't big one of the bouts will see the very promising Giemel Magramo (17-1, 13) battle against John Rey Lauza (13-13-4, 6), in what should be an easy win for the once beaten man. Last year we saw Magramo suffer a narrow loss to Muhammad Waseem, and he should bounce back with a win here.
The other Filipino show is very unexciting.
One of the main bouts will see Richard Rosales (11-4-2, 6) battle domestic journeyman Rey Morano (9-50-2, 1) whilst another will see the unbeaten Roldan Sasan (2-0, 1) face professional loser Reynaldo Buluan (3-12-2, 1).
In China we get a bizarrely interesting looking bout between two men who could, in all fairness, be called professional losers. The bout will pit local veteran Xinghua Wang (12-14-1), one of the most experienced fighters in Chinese boxing, up against Japan's Ken Achiwa (11-11-5, 4). Wang is likely to be the fan favourite, but has gone 2-6 in his last 8, and is clearly struggling for form. As for Achiwa he's actually in good form with a 3-0-3 run in his last 6 bouts, dating back more than 3 years.
Seoul, South Korea
For a second day running Korean fans get some action, and this time it features arguably the most exciting fighter to be based in Korea in recent years.
That Korean based fighter is Silver Flyweight champion WBC Muhammad Waseem (4-0, 3), the Pakistani born world ranked Flyweight hopeful. Waseem will be defending his title for the first time as he takes on unbeaten Korean Giemel Magramo (17-0, 13) in a really good step up for both men, Both have been earmarked for success and so to see the two facing off really says a lot about their desire and the courage of their respective teams, who clearly don't want to waste more time before seeing how good their fighter really is. It's though that if Waseem wins he will be moved towards a 2017 world title fight, but a win here is far from a foregone conclusion for the “Falcon”.
The key under-card bout on this show will see teenager I Hoon Jung (4-2-1, 3) battle against Gyu Won Lee (3-1-1, 2) in a 10 rounder. The bout might not get much international attention but it is certainly a very decent match up and one that should provide some good, hard hitting action.
The more interesting of two Japanese cards comes from Kagoshima and has several interesting match ups, even if they don't feature anything in the way of notable names.
The main event of the card will see Naoya Haruguchi (10-7, 4) battle against Thai visitor Thongchai Chaiyonggym (0-4) in a bout that looks like a mismatch, though could prove to be a more competitive fight than it first looks. Haruguchi has shown touches of potential but it seems likely that he isn't going to make a mark on the title scene, however he will be too good for the visitor here.
An interesting looking support bout will see Mitsuyoshi Fujita (9-2, 3) battle the once beaten Genki Maeda (4-1, 1) in a really solid match up between two fighters who will be both be looking to claim a win here. Both are limited but both are hungry and they should make for a very competitive match up together.
One other notable supporting bout will see Sho Yamamoto (6-7-1, 2) face Ken Kodama (7-2-1, 2) in a match up that promises to be much more competitive than the records of the two men suggests. Yamamoto will be the under-dog but is a very live under-dog here whilst isn't as good as his 7-2-1 record suggests.
A second Japanese show comes from Aichi where we see a famous name in action and an intriguing main event.
The famous name is that of Hatanaka, however it's not former world champion Kiyoshi Hatanaka but instead his son Kento Hatanaka (0-0) who makes his professional debut as he faces Takaaki Murakami (0-2). The bout isn't a big one, and Hatanaka is certainly not expected to be fast tracked to a world title fight, but it comes exactly 32 years after his father's debut and it comes at the same venue as Kiyoshi's debut back in 1984.
Whilst Hatanaka's debut will get some attention it's not the main event, that honour will be held by a bout between the heavy handed Takuya Mizuno (9-1-1, 9) and unknown Indonesian hopeful Jundullah M Fauzan (3-0). Mizuno might not be the best fighter but he is very heavy handed and has the potential to go a long way, with his power alone. Fauzan is promising fighter himself but this is a big ask for the travelling fighter here.
This coming Saturday is a busy day in Asian boxing circles with a number of major bouts.
The biggest bout for Asian fight fans this weekend comes form Mexico where highly experienced Thai veteran Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (61-2, 41) challenges “interim” WBO Super Featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt (29-1, 26). For the heavy handed Berchelt this will be the first defense of his title, a title he won earlier this year stopping George Jupp, and it could see him adding a genuinely recognisable name to his record. For Chonlatarn it's a third world title fight, and potentially opens the door to a rematch with Ukrainian star Vasyl Lomachenko.
New Dehli, India
In India fans get their most significant bout, and the homecoming of their first boxing star.
That star is former amateur playboy Vijender Singh (6-0, 6) who looks to extend his perfect record and claim his first title as he steps up to face former European Middleweight champion Kerry Hope (23-7, 2) in a bout for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Although there is potentially region defining fights in India there should also be plenty of attention given to the Philippines, where their will be two shows with some notable bouts.
The best bout in the Philippines this weekend will see unbeaten and highly touted prospect Giemel Magramo (16-0, 13) battled against the under-rated Renz Rosia (12-4, 6), in what is genuine a fantastic match up. The unbeaten man is regarded as one of the absolute best prospects in the Philippines and at 21 years old isn't being rushed with this bout being a well timed step up in class. For Rosia the bout comes following a 1-2 run, but that run features a win over Renan Trongco, a very disputed loss to Makazole Tete and a defeat to the world class Moruti Mthalane. This could genuinely be a cracker.
In a supporting bout on this card fans will see Glenn Suminguit (18-2, 9) battle Alvin Bais (15-6-1, 4) for the vacant GAB Bantamweight title. For both of these fighters a win looks possible and would open up doors on the regional scene. Coming in to this Suminguit is on a 6 fight winning streak, though the competition hasn't been great. Bais is 2-6-1 in his last 9, though he has been tested at a far higher level than his foe, and is 15-0-1 in his homeland.
In a genuine stay busy fight fans will see the once beaten Randy Braga (18-1-1, 4) face off with Donriel Marcos (10-26-1, 1). Braga is fringe world level, with his only loss being a controversial one to Macbute Sinyabi last year, and will be likely looking for a big fight before the year is over. This is however only his second bout of 2016 and he'll know that he can't afford to have periods of inactivity if he's to get a world title bout.
A notable bout way down this card is the professional debut of Arvin Magramo (0-0), the younger brother of Geimel Magramo. The youngster is said to be one with real promise, and will be up against the win-less Robert Mendano (0-6) in what looks like a “safe” debut.
On another show in the Philippines fans will get the chance to see some promising prospects in action,
The most notable of those prospects is big punching Minimumweight hopeful Melvin Jerusalem (9-0, 7), who will be up against domestic rival Jonathan Refugio (15-4-4, 3) in a 10 rounder. The talented Jerusalem posted his biggest win in February, beating former world champion Florante Condes, and will be looking to build on that win here.
Another notable prospect in action here is Super Bantamweight hopeful Jeo Santisima (10-2, 9) who goes up against the out of sorts Junior Bajawa (14-8, 7). Coming into this one Bajawa has lost his last 8, with 5 stoppage defeats, and it's hard to see this being much more than a record padding win for Bajawa.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The Elorde name is one of the names synonymous with Filipino boxing. That name again comes to the fore this Tuesday when one Elorde, Johnny S. Elorde, promotes a card featuring two other's from the Elorde clan.
One of those fighting Elorde's is 31 year old Juan Martin Elorde (19-1-1, 8) who will be in action against Indonesian fighter Musa Letding (10-4-4, 6). On paper this looks like a mismatch but Letding is a game fighter who notably went 10 rounds with Brandon Ogilvie last October and will be looking to give Elorde some real questions to answer here. Notably Letding has gone 6-1-2 in his last 9 and will be looking to build on that form. Whilst Letding is in some decent forum is should be noted that Elorde is the favourite, he's won his last 4 and is 8-0-1 since his sole loss back in 2011.
The other Elorde in action on this card is Juan Martin's younger brother Juan Miguel Elorde (20-1, 11), who will be facing another Indonesian, Waldo Sabu (7-3, 2). Sabu may be familiar to this who follow Shingo Wake, with Wake having stopped Sabu earlier this year in 5 very one sided rounds, but the Indonesian is confident and is certainly not in with someone as good as Wake for this bout. The once beaten 29 year old Elorde has won his last 10 and will be looking to make an impression here. We can't see the local fighter losing but his target has to be to “out perform” Wake, rather than to just “win”.
A third bout on this card will feature one of the many promising yet over-looked Filipino prospects, Giemel Magramo (15-0, 12). Magramo is, at the time of writing, listed to face John Bajawa (11-12, 7), however given that Bajawa was stopped on March 19th by Muhammad Waseem we're expecting to see Magramo face a replacement opponent.
This coming Friday is relatively packed with action, with two notable shows in Asia.
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
The most notable show of the day comes from Thailand where OnesongChai put on an interesting looking card on Channel 7.
The main event of the card sees Pungluang Sor Singyu (51-3, 35) defending the WBO Bantamweight title against Filipino challenger Jetro Pabustan (26-2-6, 7). The champion will be the clear favourite here, and will be looking for the first defense of the title that he won last year, when he stopped Ryo Akaho. Although the under-dog Pabustan will be confident and will know that this a huge opportunity to make a name for himself.
As well as the main event the under-card does feature some interesting match ups, the most notable which will see experienced Thai Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym (35-1-2, 20) battling against unbeaten Filipino Giemel Magramo (15-0, 12) in what could be the proverbial “coming out party” for Magramo. The Filipino fighter is stepping up in class but is regarded as genuine prospect and may well see this as a chance to make a name for himself.
Another bout will feature the promising Rakniran Muadransarakam (9-0, 6) who will be facing a Thai foe.
Lu Zhou, Chinese card
The Thai card isn't the only notable one to be televised this Friday was another card coming from China where Zovi boxing put on their second card for Chinese new year.
The main event of this one will see Chinese Super Bantamweight hopeful Qiu Xiao Jun (19-2, 9) battle against Ghana's Raymond Commey (13-2, 7) for the WBA International Super Bantamweight title. Originally this bout was announced as a WBA “regular” world title bout but the WBA, who are now aiming to having just a single champion in every division, changed that and have only allowed the bout to be for the “International” crown. The winner of this however will find themselves on the verge of fighting for a world title later in the year. Interestingly both men are bringing 11 bout winning runs into this one.
In total this card has 5 title bouts. Another of those sees Can Xu (7-2) fighting against the experienced, and heavy handed, Isaias Santos Sampaio (26-11, 24). The Chinese local, a 21 year old, had a great 2015 with 4 wins, including notable victories over Hurricane Futa and Kris George, will be defending his WBA Oceania Super Featherweight title here. The visitor, a Brazilian, brings power to the ring but has been stopped 10 times and may well become Xu's first stoppage victim.
In an all-Asian bout Xian Qian Wei (9-5-1) will face Japanese veteran Takafumi Nakajima (24-7-1, 10) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Featherweight title. Interestingly this will be the 5th defense of the title by Wei, who began his career 2-4-1 before going 7-1 with wins of note against Thewa Onesongchaigym, twice, Hero Tito, and most recently Rex Wao. This is a tough bout for the 21 year old local but a really good chance to make a name for himself against a 2-time Japanese title challenger.
In a female title bout Zong Ju Cai (6-1, 1) face off with Venezuelan Debora Rengifo (6-1-1, 3) in a bout for the WBC International Female Minimumweight title, with Cai defending the title for the 3rd time. On paper this looks really well matched but the Visitor has faced some awful opposition and this will be her first bout away from home. Although Cai hasn't been through murderer's row she has been notching up solid wins, including decision wins last year against Gretchen Abaniel, Angor Onesongchaigym and Mari Ando.
The remaining title bout on this show comes at the Youth level as the unbeaten Bai Shan Bo (6-0-1, 3) takes on the stop or be stopped Tackie Annan (6-2, 6) for the WBC Youth Light Welterweight title. Bo has faced some notable opponents regional opponents, including Heri Andriyanto, but this should be his first chin check. Annan lost his first 2 bouts but has since strung together 6 straight stoppage wins, albeit against very poor opposition.
Metro Manila, Philippines
There's also action in the Philippines with a show in Metro Manila.
The most notable bout here will see the under-rated Eden Sonsona (34-6-2, 12) battle against fellow under-rated fighter Vergel Nebran (14-11-1, 9). On paper it's hard to see Sonsona struggling but Nebran has a deceptive record and can, at times, be a banana skin when he's the under-dog.
Sadly much of the card does appear to be mismatches and other than the Sonsona/Nebran bout there is little to really get excited about.