Sanman Gym, General Santos City, Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
This coming Tuesday we'll be getting a very, very interesting card from the Philippines featuring 3 men who have competed in world title bouts!
The best of the bouts on the card is a mouth watering clash between Vince Paras (16-2, 14) and Robert Paradero (18-2, 12). Paradero is a 2-time world title contender, who lost to Vic Saludar and Knockout CP Freshmart last year. Although he has those two losses against his name, he is a very solid fighter, and someone who did seem to look to make a fight of things against Knockout, before being taken out in round 5. As for Paras the 23 year old showed what he could do when he challenged Hiroto Kyoguchi in 2018, losing but putting up a solid effort. Sadly neither man has a win of note in recent years, however this is a great match up which will see the winner move towards another major bout, whilst the loser will have some serious rebuilding to do.
Another former world title challenger on this card is Edward Heno (14-1-5, 5), who is being matched against unbeaten prospect RV Deniega (6-0, 3). Heno was last seen in action in 2019, when he lost a very competitive bout with the then WBO Light Flyweight champion Elwin Soto, and sadly any momentum he could have had from that bout has been lose with around 30 months of inactivity. Despite that he will come in to this bout as the favourite against the unbeaten 22 year old. Daniega is a talent, and a genuine hopeful for the Philippines, but sadly for him he is stepping up big time here and looks to be taking a leap up in class. Saying that Daniega is the bigger, younger, fresher and more active man and his team will know a win here gives his career a huge boost.
One other fighter of note on this card is the hard hitting Jhack Tepora (23-1, 17), who looks to rebuild from a huge upset loss to Oscar Escandon in 2019. Sadly for Tepora he has been out of the ring since December 2019, and that loss to Escandon really has derailed his career. Coming in to this bout, his opponent is unknown 2 weeks out so we're not expecting anyone too testing for the talented Tepora, who will be hoping to get an easy confidence building win here.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
As well as the Filipino card we also get a small, but interesting, card from Korakuen Hall.
In one of the main bouts here the 37 year old Hiro Ichimichi (6-0-1, 5) will face off with Ryuto Araya (14-9-1, 4). Ichimichi made his debut in 2019, aged 34 and despite having a draw on debut, he has impressed since then, and has shown really nasty power, with 5 stoppages in 6 bouts, including one against Hyoga Taniguchi. For him this will be his first 8 rounder, and he'll known a win over Araya will move him towards a potential title fight, something few would have expected when he was debuting. As for Araya he has fought a bit of a who's who of the Japanese scene over the last few years, and even challenged for the OPBF Featherweight title, but he has gone 3-5 in his last 8, and has suffered 5 stoppage losses, a worry against someone like Ichimichi.
In another solid bout on this card unbeaten teenager Kai Watanabe (6-0-1, 2) will be up against Ryota Ishida (11-2, 6). Aged 19 Watanabe is a genuine prospect, who won the All Japan Rookie of the Year in February and looks to build on that success here. He is quick, sharp and a very intelligent out-side boxer. Ishida on the other hand the type of fighter who wants to take the fight to opponents, and will look to drag Watanabe into something of a war. This should be a great chance to see what Watanabe is really made of, and really see what his potential is at this early stage of his career.