Boxing in China really has taken a massive hit in the last 16 months or so, and we really don't need to explain why. There has still be some occasional event here and there, but their number has dropped significantly since 2019. Thankfully we do get something of an interesting Chinese card this coming Saturday as Chengdu plays host to a card featuring a former world title challenger and an interesting match up between two unbeaten hopefuls.
The former world title challenger on this show is former WBO Flyweight title challenger Wulan Tuolehazi (14-4-1, 7), who looks to score his second win since a 2019 loss to Kosei Tanaka. In the opposite corner will be Yinhuan Su (7-5-2, 1). At his best Tuolehazi is a solid Oriental level fighter, who has wins against the likes of Jayr Raquinel, Roland Jay Biendima and Ryota Yamauchi, but we're not sure what hunger and desire he really has, and whether he can get up and motivated for a bout against someone like Su. Su is no world beater. He's lost 4 of his last 5. But he's got enough about him to be a banana skin if Tuolehazi is looking past him, and looking towards a second world title fight.
The most interesting of the supporting bouts here will see Huayun Wang (3-0, 3) battle against Xingqiang Yang (2-0) in a really nice looking match up. Wang is the older man, at 27, and the bigger puncher, taking out his first 3 opponents in just 6 rounds. He is however someone who has only faced debuting fighters and has never seen the end of round 3, leaving lots of questions as to what happens when an opponent doesn't just fold. Yang on the other is 19 years old, he's already had 8 rounds as a professional, and has beaten a fighter with some experience, albeit just 3 fights of experience. This should puncher against boxer, and unbeaten man against unbeaten man.
MCA Arena, Mumbai, India
Another notable card for us comes from the MCA Arena in Mumbai and features two bouts of note.
In the main event former Indian amateur standout Nutlai Lalbiakkima (1-0, 1) will battle fellow professional novice Sandeep Singh (1-0-1) in a bout for the WBA Intercontinental Minimumweight title. As an amateur Lalbiakkima was a solid, if often over-looked, fighter who scored numerous notable wins including a big one at the 2018 President's Cup against Hasanboy Dusmatov. He's expected to be moved quickly through the professional ranks and it seems that a win here will secure him a minor title and potential WBA world ranking. Singh on the other hand is a 17 year old who debuted as a professional in 2019 and despite being unbeaten is expected to be easy prey for Lalbiakkima.
In a supporting bout the once beaten Vimal Punera (4-1, 4) looks to score a 5th straight stoppage win as he takes on Hans Raj (2-3-1, 1). Punera lost his debut in 2018, in Australia, but since then has scored 4 quick wins, including an opening round TKO win over Raj in 2019. As for Raj he has struggled for victories, but won last time out and will be looking to avenge his prior to Punera. Interestingly the very lightly regarded IBA Asian Flyweight title is supposed to be on the line here.
Hannam 2nd Boxing Gymnasium, Seoul, South Korea
We also get some pretty noteworthy action in South Korea as we get the next show under the KBC banner. This is certainly not a big card but it does feature several fighters worthy of note including a very interesting main event, as we see an international fighter competing in Korea for the first time in well over a year.
That main event will see local star Hwang Kil Kim (13-2, 7) taking on Filipino fighter Gerpaul Valero (22-22-4, 16). On paper this is a mismatch, especially given Valero's inactivity, but the bout is one worthy of being aware of, and not just because it's an international bout in South Korea in these current times. Kim is one of the better Korean fighters, with a fun style and the actual ability to to move into the Oriental title scene in the comings years. Valero on the other hand is a fighter with one of the weirdest careers in the sport, having gone from 1-13-3 to 13-13-3, and having a record of 21-17-3 (15) when he was 25. There is potentially no fighter quite as inconsistent as Valero, but if he's on song he could be a real test for Kim... that is, however, a huge "if"
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida, USA
As well as the action in Asia we also get an interesting Heavyweight clash over in the US as former Azeri amateur standout Mahammadrasul Majidov (3-0, 3) takes a massive step up in class. The big punching Azeri will be up against the highly experienced Andrey Fedosov (31-3, 25), in what is actually the first genuinely meaningful bout for Majidov.
When he turned professional fans of hardcore boxing were really excited to see Majidov move through the ranks, given he debuted at the age of 32 it was assumed he would be fast tracked and moved aggressively. In his first 3 bouts however he was matched softly, and his most recent opponent really shouldn't have been in the ring. Here however he's in with the type of opponent he needs to be facing. The 35 year old Fedosov is a veteran, he's been in with a who's who and has never been an easy guy to beat. He has, however been out of the ring for well over 2 years. A win here for Majidov is expected, and, fingers, will launch him into bigger and better fights later in the year.
RCC Boxing Academy, Ekaterinburg, Russia
There is also set to be an RCC card in Russia. Sadly the full line up of this is yet to be confirmed at the time of writing. Thankfully though we do know a number of Central Asian fighters will be on the card.
The central Asian fighters include the debuting Bek Kamchybekov (0-0), who turns professional following a solid amateur career. The talented fighter, a multi-time national champion in Kyrgyzstan, will be up against Uzbekistan's Sherzodjon Abdurazzokov (1-2), in what looks like an easy debut, but could be a genuine test. Although Abdurazzokov has a losing record he has mixed with good prospects and given them a good test, we expect the same here.
Also lined up for this card was Ravshanbek Umurzakov (10-2, 7), although at the time of writing it's unclear if his bout will take place or not, at Umurzakov was said to have been suffering a minor injury a little while ago.
Pyeongtaek City, South Korea
This coming Sunday in Pyeongtaek City the KBC will be overseeing a small card. The card certainly isn't a big one, but is a fail notable one with several noteworthy names involved.
The show will have 5 bouts in total, and according to the KBC the two main bouts are essentially boxer Vs kick boxer bouts due to issues with match making related to the on going global situation. The kick boxers have proven themselves in their sport, but big questions need to be asked about how they will fair in professional boxing.
The first of those main bouts will see Kim Ju Young (15-3-2, 9) take on a fighter who appears to be called San Hae Jo (0-0), in a 6 rounder. Although Ho is a kicked boxer, the KBC have stated they are 17-1 (6) in kick boxing, and on paper that does make this a little bit more competitive than it first looks. Sadly for Ho that kick boxing experience might not be enough against someone with the talent and experience of Young.
The second main bout on the card will see Hwang Kil Kim (12-2, 6) face off with Ki Sub Kwon (0-0). Kim is one of the better Korean fighters out there and holds decent wins against the likes of Abdurasul Ismoilov and Kongthara KKP, so a match against a debuting boxer does seem rather hair. Kwon, although making his boxing debut, has gone 17-3 (4) in kick boxing.
We'll admit we hope this is a one off, but the KBC doe have a history of some awful match making and this doesn't fill us with much hope that this show will be a good one. Saying that however the two kick boxers are, apparently MAX FC champions, so are certainly capable fighters, even if they lack traditional boxing experience.
With the world pretty much in some form of lock down right now it feels weird talking about boxing returning to the ring, anywhere, but this coming Sunday there will actually be fights. Albeit in an empty boxing gym in Gimpo. Whilst it's great to have some boxing to talk about, and it feels like there is some light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, it's also worrying that perhaps boxing shouldn't be getting pushed back out there yet until things are more normal. We won't digress too much further other than to say this show, sanctioned by the KBC, is the first boxing event in a while. Fingers crossed we will see more in the near future, but not before other things are sorted out.
Given this is in Korea, and there's no ticket sales, and appears to be no streaming, it's obvious the fighters won't be getting wads of cash, and it may further split the always fragile working relationships in Korea.
Anyway that's enough of that, lets look at what we do have!
Gimpo, South Korea
The KBC will be sanctioning a 4 bout show at the Legend Boxing Gym in Gimpo. There really isn't much to talk about, with a couple of 4 rounders and a pair of 8 rounders. From those 4 bouts we're only going to go into one of them in any detail as it really is a card with Novice Vs Novice bouts, apart from the one bout.
The bout of note will see 28 year hopeful Hwang Kil Kim (11-2, 5) taking on Jae Duk Bae (4-6-2). Yes this is the best bout on the one card that is taking place any time soon. Kim is actually a really solid fighter at this time of level. He's no world beater but a win against Abdurasul Ismoilov last year saw him show potential, and he was competitive with Liam Paro late last year. Kim was actually supposed to be fighting Hiroki Okada in Japan before things prevented fights in the Land of the Rising Sun, and at the moment it's unclear will ever take place. Whilst Kim is a decent fighter he's the naturally smaller man here with Bae being a natural Welterweight, however Bae is the much more limited fighter, having gone 1-6 in his last 7 bouts.
We'll be honest we can't see anything but a win for Kim here.