USC Soviet Wings, Moscow, Russia
With Christmas coming up there isn't a lot of action on December 24th, as we can under-stand, but there is a show in Russia, and it features several Asian fighters on it.
The most notable of the Asian fighters on this card is experienced Thai Kaewfah Tor Buamas (29-7, 19), aka Krai Setthaphon, who is set to take on the debuting Karen Tonakanyan (0-0), who appears to be the latest in the growing number of Armenian prospects. The 34 year old Kaewfah has been around the block in his 11 year career, though has sadlty lost his last 3 and looks like a man who has seen much, much better days. The 28 year old Tonakanyan had a long amateur career and is looking to be moved quickly in the professional ranks. On paper this looks one that Thai might win, but in reality we expect the younger man to run through him in the later stages of this 8 rounder.
In another bout on this card Russian based Georgian born Welterweight prospect Alexander Tibilov (8-0, 6) will be up against Tajik fighter Nozimjon Tojiboev (2-6, 2). Although Tojiboev is better than his record suggests we can't see this ending in anything other than a loss for him against a man who has been racking up early wins over the last 14 months, with 5 straight stoppages in the first 2 rounds. This should go rounds, but Tibilov should be took good for the Tajik.
Another Tajik fighter pencilled in for this show is amateur standout Bakhodur Usmonov (0-0), who is set to make his professional debut in a 6 rounder on this show. At the time of writing however his opponent is unknown. The 22 year old from Dushanbe is a very good amateur and he won gold at the 2019 Asian Amateur Boxing Championships, so is certainly one to watch going forward.
Also on this card will be 2016 Olympic gold meal winner Hasanboy Dusmatov (1-0, 1), who looks to claim his second professional win as he moves up to 115lbs and battles Artem Tkachenko (5-0, 3). It's a shame Dusmatov hasn't been busier, but we suspect he'll get some rounds, and get the win here, as he looks to go into 2021 with some momentumn.
A week after the East Japan Rookie of the Year final we get the West Japan Rookie of the Year final, and as with the East Japan version we again get some fantastic looking bouts. Obviously we won't go through the whole card but have selected 4 bouts that intrigue us
We see unbeaten fighters clash in the Minimumweight bout as 24 year old Sho Hatsuda (2-0) takes on 21 year old puncher Takumi Chono (4-0, 3). Hatsuda made his debut last December, and then spent 9 months away from the ring before earning his place here in September, with a narrow win over Hyogo Kimura. Chono on the other hand struggled to a majority decision win in Vietnam last December, against Van Thanh Nguyen, but has blown away his other 3 opponents. We have boxer against puncher, and this could be a lot of fun.
Another battle between unbeaten men comes at Flyweight where 19 year olds Yasuhiro Kanzaki (3-0, 1) and Atsuki Nakamura (3-0-1, 3) clash. Kanzaki only debuted in April this year but has had a year to remember, earning his place in the West Japan Rookie of the Year final. Interesting Nakamura has been a professional for a year longer than his foe, but he hasn't had significantly more activity, and both of his last 2 bouts were wins over the win-less Daichi Kosaka. On paper this is another boxer Vs puncher bout, and is a very even looking one.
On paper the most explosive is the Featherweight bout, which will pit 23 year old banger Jinki Maeda (2-0, 2), who has stopped both of his bouts so far inside the opening round, against 20 year Hikaru Fukunaga (4-0, 4), who has scored 3 opening round T/KO's. We're not expecting this one to go long and we're certainly not expecting a boxing classic, but this could end up being a very, very explosive and exciting clash between two guys who look to go for the win, and go for it early.
One final bout worthy of some attention is the Welterweight bout, where Homare Yasui (3-1-2, 3) will face the unbeaten Hiroya Nojima (3-0, 2). Strangely Nojima debuted after Yasui's most recent bout, and Yasui is more than 18 months removed from his last win. We suspect Nojima will be the favourite, but both guys can punch and this, like the Featherweight bout, could be very explosive.
We also get a Filipino card thanks to Brico Santig and his Highland Boxing Team.
Overall this card isn't great but we do like the main event, which will be the third meeting between Alie Laurel (16-4-1, 10) and Ernesto Saulong (22-5-2, 9), with the two men trading blows for the WBO Oriental Super Bantamweight title. The two fighter have had two hotly contested bouts already, with Saulong winning both at Bantamweight, but this is a good chance for Laurel to get revenge and build on his momentum. Coming in to this Saulong has gone 1-3-1 in his last 5, including a huge upset loss to Waldo Sabu, whilst Laurel has gone 6-1-1 in his last 8 and has all the momentum behind him.
In Fuzhou, China we get a small card that has 3 bouts of note on it, including one of the most anticipated debuts in recent years. The card certainly isn't a big one, but it's one that does do enough to deserve real attention.
On paper the main event looks to be an all Chinese bout, with the best bout on the show set to be a contest between unbeaten puncher Jianzheng Wang (9-0, 7) and the once beaten Zhaoxin Zhang (7-1-1, 3). The 32 year old Wang has won various regional minor titles and although his competition hasn't been great he does seem to have the power to step up a level, to the more significant regional titles. Zhang on the other hand appears to be abandoning the Light Heavyweight division to make his mark at Cruiserweight and he has proven to be a tough, but flawed, fighter. This could be a very entertaining clash.
Another unbeaten Chinese fighter on this show is Yeerlan Nuerlanbieke (3-0, 1), who will be up against the more experienced Yangcheng Jin (9-5-2, 5). The unbeaten Nuerlanbieke isn't the most active but is seemingly going with the "quality, not quantity" argument here and will be stepping up from 6 rounders to 10 rounds. He's looked decent but this is a big step up. Jin on the other hand has lost 3 of his last 5, but shouldn't be written off, with wins over Ukyo Yoshigai and Antonio Siesmundo in his last 3. This is a lot better than it looks on paper.
The main talking point for this show, at least when the show was announced, was the debut of 2016 Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov (0-0) from Uzbekistan. The talented Uzbek has has seen a lot of attention given his way with rumours since 2016 about his professional debut, and some notable upset losses in major amateur competitions since Rio. He's expected to be fast tracked through the ranks, but will need to get past Chinese local De Bin Zhou (3-1-1, 2) in an 8 rounder before eyeing up those bigger bouts. It should be noted however that this bout has now been removed from Boxrec, so there is a feeling this contest may now have been cancelled, which would be massively unfortunate.
A second Chinese card will come from Qingdao and the most notable bout pencilled in here is a contest between Chenghao Luo (2-0-1, 2) and the debuting Iranian Yaser Yaser (0-0).
We also have a show in Thailand, which is low key but still interesting.
The most interesting bout on the show will see the unbeaten pairing of Murodjon Yokubov (5-0, 4) and Abhilash Raut (3-0, 3) face off. The 26 year old Yokubov is a Thai based Uzbek hopeful, who has stopped his last 4, including 3 opening round stoppages. He looks promising, but his competition so far has been very limited. On the other hand Raut, from India, turned pro this January and has also been crushing cans, with 3 stoppages in a combined 5 rounds. Expect this one to be explosive from the off.
A second bout of interest will be a Thai Light Welterweight title fight as Musheg Adoian (2-1, 2) takes on Padyod Keartjareunsiri (2-0). The 24 year old Adoian is an Armenian born Russian who is now fighting out Thailand and has scored a couple of early wins after a loss on debut in June. Incidentally Adoian's loss on debut came to Padyod, who was also debuting, meaning this bout has a little bit of history, as well as the title, going for it.
Another low key card comes from Indonesia, where we'll see a card headlined by Jason Butar Butar (30-27-1, 19), who was last seen losing to Hiroshige Osawa, taking on Selsius Rumlus (5-12, 3).
This card will also feature the once touted Patrick Liukhoto (9-2-1, 7) battle against Louis Loemoli (4-18-1, 2), with Liukhoto looking to bounce back from successive losses.