This coming Friday is a busy day in the world of Asian boxing with Asian fighters in action in the US, Kazakhstan and the Philippines. The day is also a really interesting one with world title bouts, prospects and contenders all in action making it a real great day to sit down and watch some fights.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida, USA
The biggest show of the day for Asian fighters is in Florida, where Matchroom and DAZN put on one of their final shows of 2020. It's not a massive show, but it's certainly a noteworthy one.
The main event of the card will see Kazakh Middleweight great Gennadiy Golovkin (40-1-1, 35) defending his IBF and IBO titles against unbeaten Polish challenger Kamil Szeremeta (21-0, 5). For Golovkin this will be his first defense of the titles since reclaiming them in October 2019, when he narrowly beat Sergiy Derevyanchenko, and we do wonder what the 38 year old Kazakh has left in the tank, especially given the 14 month break between fights. Sadly however it's unlikely that Szeremeta will ask him any real questions in what is a massive step up in class for the Polish man. Our full preview of this bout can be read here Golovkin returns against unbeaten Szeremeta
A second Kazakh on this show will be the unbeaten Ali Akhmedov (16-0, 12) who clashes with fellow unbeaten Carlos Gongora (18-0, 13) in a bout for the IBO Super Middleweight title. The exciting Akhmedov has been facing very poor competition so far, and this is, very clearly, a step up in class for him, and his team will know that a win puts him on the verge of a "real" world title fight. As for Gongora the Ecuadorian was a stellar amateur, competing in 2 Olympics and 3 World Amateur Championships, but at 31 this is his first real test. This is an excellent match up, and one that promises to be very, very interesting.
In a female world title bout we'll see Korean Hyun Mi Choi (17-0-1, 4) make her international debut and look to make her latest defense of the WBA Super Featherweight title. The hope was that she would be in with some sort of name opponent or at very least a live foe for her US debut but instead she is matched with late call up Calista Silgado (19-11-3, 14), from Colombia. On paper Silgado looks like she can punch, but her record against opponents of some quality has shown she is limit. Thankfully she is tough, but this should be a straight forward defense for Choi, who deserves better from Matchroom. Our preview of this bout can be read here WBA champ Hyun Mi Choi makes US debut as she takes on Calista Silgado!
Tynyshpayev Academy of Transport and Communications, Almaty, Kazakhstan
In Kazakhstan Tukeshov Promotions will be putting on an event with a staggering 22 bouts on it! Given boxrec currently list 132 bouts taking place anyone where on the globe on Friday it's amazing that a single show will have 22 of them! Of course we won't go through all of them, but there are 3 that have really got our interest.
The best of the bunch is a Cruiserweight bout between Kazakh amateur star Kamshybek Kunkabayev (1-0, 1), who has eyes on a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and under-rated Ukrainian Serhiy Radchenko (7-6, 2). On paper a nothing bout, even for a 1-0 prospect, but this should actually be a legitimate test for Kunkabayev given that Radchenko has given the likes of Krzysztof Glowacki, Ruslan Fayfer, Adam Balski and Artur Szpilka real tests. We suspect the big man from Kazakhstan will be too good, but this is not the gimme it looks on paper.
Another potentially tough bout for an unbeaten Kazakh will see Sultan Zaurbek (9-0, 7) take on Vladyslav Melnyk (12-2, 7). Zaurbek has been needing a step up for a while, with MTK feeding him a lot of limited opponents early on and this is a much needed step up in class against a fighter who has proven himself and shown a desire to win. Zaurbek is very talented, but we don't yet know if he's very good. Melnyk is a 22 year old Ukrainian who will be coming in to this with belief and we suspect the hunger to test the Kazakh. Potentially a very compelling match up.
Another prospect worthy of real attention on this card is Talgat Shayken (2-0, 1), who will be up against Russian foe Maxim Churbanov (8-7-1-1). Shayken, who is now just 20 year's old, has got a lot of potential, but that potential needs work and he needs developing. The 34 year old Churbanov is well travelled and tends to be a good test for decent fights, asking questions of fighters like Michal Syrowtka. Shayken should win but bouts like this will help hone and develop his undeniable potential, so we've no issues with him being moved slowly.
IPI Compound, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
Over in the Philippines we get two shows thanks to Omega Sports who have split an event in two for Covid19 safety reasons.
The first of the two shows is Kumbati 6 and features two interesting prospects on it.
One of the prospects in question is unbeaten Light Flyweight Mark Vicelles (12-0-1, 6), who takes on veteran Arnold Garde (10-10-3, 4) The talented Vicelles comes into this bout with wins against Robert Onggocan and Jesse Espinas and is very talented, however it's understandable that his team are just looking to keep him ticking over here. Garde was once a a decent opponent, capable of asking questions of good fighters, but he has now lost 6 of his last 7, and been stopped in 4 of those bouts. We see this being another loss for him.
The other notable prospect on Kumbati 6 is the twice beaten Tomjune Mangubat (11-2-1, 9), who returns to the ring for the first time since is 2019 epic with Jong Seon Kang, which is a bout everyone should get around to watching. In the opposite corner to Mangubat will be the limited Reymond Empic (7-5, 3), who is looking to avoid a third straight loss. On paper this isn't an awful bout for Mungubat, coming in off a loss himself, but Empic has lost 3 of his last 4 and is unlikely to be a serious test for Mungubat.
IPI Compound, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
The other show from Omega Sports will be Kumbati 7, and this looks a more stacked one, with prospects and a couple of world title level in action.
The best bout on this show will see the once beaten Christian Araneta (18-1, 14) take on Roland Jay Biendima (15-6-1, 8) in what should be a sensational battle. Araneta is looking to score his second win since a 2019 injury TKO loss to Daniel Valladares, and is very highly regarded. He is however also the smaller man and Biendima showed his toughness earlier this year, when he went toe-to-toe with Kento Hatanaka back in February. This should be a real test for Araneta.
Sadly we don't expect to see Albert Pagara (32-1, 23) have any sort of issues at all when he takes on Virgil Puton (18-14-2, 9). Once up a time Puton was good regional level opponent, giving the likes of Shuya Masaki and Masayuki Ito questions to answer. Now a days however he looks about spent and has been stopped in 3 of his last 6. Pagara should be too quick, too powerful and far too good to go too many rounds here with the worn and weary Puton.
The once beaten Peter Apolinar (12-1, 8) looks to score his latest win as he goes up against the limited Danilo Tampipi (9-11-2, 5), who has been stopped in 3 of his last 4. Apolinar has won his last 7, including a very solid win over Jetro Pabustan in October, and shouldn't need to work too hard to pick up a win here.
One other man who should be picking up an easy win is the all action Carl Jammes Martin (15-0, 14), who fights for the first time since December 2019. The 21 year old sensation is one of the most fan friendly fighters in the Philippines and he should be looking at big bouts in the next year or two. Here however he's just looking to take over and shake some ring rust as he takes on Richard Rosales (14-13-2, 8), who has lost his last 4 and 7 of his last 8.
Incheon, South Korea
The biggest bout for us this Saturday will see WBA female Super Featherweight Hyun Mi Choi (16-0-1, 4) defending her title, for the 7th time. The Korean fighting queen will be up against 38 year old Japanese challenger Wakako Fujiwara (8-2-2, 3), in what we suspect will be a bit of a mismatch in favour of the Korean. Choi, who has fought in well over 10 world title bouts, has almost all the advantages here and should be too good for the veteran challenger. A full preview of this bout can be found here Korean queen Choi takes on Fujiwara in 7th defense
In India fans get a small but notable card featuring a host of local hopefuls. The card isn't big, by any stretch, but does feature a number of unbeaten fighters.
One of the bouts on the card is a 6 rounder between Sachin Dekwal (4-0, 2) and Chiranjit Bauri (0-2). It's hard to not imagine Dekwal extending his unbeaten record here, but it's good to see him staying busy after 4 fights last year, and fingers crossed their will be a step up later in the year.
Another 6 round bout on this card will see females clash as the heavy handed Urvashi Singh (4-2, 4) battles against debutant Bhawna (0-0). Again it seems obvious that the fighter with experience should pick up the win, but it's still nice to see her staying active, and this will be her 5th bout in the space of 12 months.
As well as all the other action in Asia there will also be a small card in China featuring novices in low key bouts. There's not much to talk about here, though from what we under-stand much of the card will feature all-debutant bouts.
Another low key Asian card is in Singapore where local talent will be on show. The fighters in action on this show include Nurshahidah Roslie (13-2, 10), Muhammad Ashiq (6-1-1, 5) and Rey Caitom (7-0-1, 2), though none of the fighters had their opponents names at the time of writing.
Outside of Asia we do get some interesting action, with two highly regarded Kazakh prospects.
The more highly regarded of the two men is Sadriddin Akhmedov (8-0, 7), who looks to bounce back from his decision win over John Ruba as he takes on Mexican fighter Daniel Vega Cota (14-3-1, 11). This should be a straight forward win for Akhmedov, especially given Cota has been beat in a few recent fights, but questions will be asked about how Akhmedov has recovered following an injury suffered in the Ruba fight.
The other touted prospect is Nurzat Sabirov (9-0, 8) who will battle against Hungarian puncher Laszlo Toth (7-0, 6), the less well known fighter with this name. Sabirov is regarded incredibly highly as a prospect, has power, skills and a very good amateur pedigree but we wouldn't be surprised if he was given a bit of test here by an unbeaten fighter with a point to prove. Whilst Hungarian fighters do have a reputation of not travelling well Toth's namesake, a very solid Welterweight, has proven a capable fighter so hopefully this Toth can also prove to be a solid fighter on the road.
Also on this card will be the debuting 21 year old Aman Kazankapov (0-0),who was an excellent amateur and looks to be another excellent young Kazakh signing for Eye of the Tiger Management. Kazankapov's debut will be against Mexican novice Ismael Molina Moreno (2-1, 2) and although Moreno has been dangerous in the opening round he isn't expected to live with the Kazakh debutant, who is expected to be a real top prospect.
Staying outside of Asia we'll also see Filipino fighter Neil John Tabanao (17-5, 11) take on the unbeaten, and extremely skilled, Tramaine Williams (17-0, 6) in Connecticut. The Filipino is a bit of a road warrior, though he's struggled in bouts away from home recently, and has lost 4 of his last 5 outside of the Philippines, including a very wide loss to Angelo Leo in the US in April. The unbeaten Williams has already fought twice this year and looks to be making up for what was a frustrating 2018, in which he fought just once. He is a very talented, quick and sharp fighter and could well find himself using Tabanao as a punch bag here.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
This coming Sunday we get one of the biggest shows of the year, possibly in fact the show of the year, as Pacquiao fever takes over Malaysia for a stacked card with 4 world title fights, and a number of notable under-card fights.
The main event will see Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38) challenge WBA Welterweight champion Lucas Martin Matthysse (39-4-0-1, 36) in what is really a must win for both men. The Filipino icon, 39, hasn't fought in over a year with his last outing being a controversial decision loss to Jeff Horn in Australia. In fact we now need to go back to November 2016 to find Pacquiao's last win, which came against Jessie Vargas. At his best Pacquiao was a destructive dervish in the ring, but he is several years beyond his best. Matthysse also looks to be on the slide, and looked like a shadow of himself last time out against Teerachai Kratingdaenggym. Although a dynamite puncher, with under-rated skills, Matthysse can be out boxed, and can be made to look slow and predictable. We're not sure what to expect here, but with both men being past their prime neither can really afford a loss.
In another of the world title bouts we'll see former IBF Flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane (35-2, 24) look to reclaim that title as he faces South Korean based Pakistani Muhammad Waseem (8-0, 6). The IBF Flyweight title became when Donnie Nietes vacated it, to move up to Super Flyweight, and as a result we have a brilliant match up here. At his best Mthalane was a leading Flyweight, an aggressive but technically sound fighter with wins against the likes of Hussein Hussein, Julio Cesar Miranda, Zolani Tete, Johnriel Casime and Ricardo Nunez. Sadly though the former champion is now 35, ancient for a Flyweight. Waseem on the other hand was on the fast track to the top to begin his career, but financial issues have slowed his rise and he's spent the last year treading water to keep off ring rust. At his best Waseem is an excellent boxer, but this is easily his toughest test to date. This could be a really high class contest.
Another of the title fights could, potentially, be an historic one. The bout in question sees WBA Light Flyweight champion Carlos Canizales (20-0-1, 16) defending his belt against Chinese novice Lu Bin (1-0, 1). The Chinese 23 year old is looking to become the new record holder for the fewest fights to win a world title, doing so in 2 fights, and the confidence of Bin suggests he believes he can do it. He was a former amateur stand out and, like Vasyl Lomachenko, wanted to be fast tracked in the professional ranks. A win for Bin really would raise the bar for what is expected of true “super prospects”. Canizales on the other hand is looking for his first defense, after winning the title against Reiya Konishi earlier this year. The Venezuelan puncher is a fearsome fighter who's only set back was a split decision draw with Ryoichi Taguchi, and coming into this bout he may well be the best fighter at 108lbs, though obviously has stiff competition from the likes of Ken Shiro. We suspect Canizales will be the favourite but Bin is not there to roll over and lose.
The 4th world title bout will see Filipino Jhack Tepora (21-0, 16) battle against Mexican Edivaldo Ortega (26-1-1, 12) for the WBA “interim” Featherweight title. The talented Tepora has long been tipped as one of the most promising young Filipino fighters and has picked up a number of minor titles in recent years but this is a big step up from the likes of Lusanda Komanisi, who Tepora stopped in eye opening fashion last September. The Filipino is flawed but has lights out power and will be a very dangerous fighter to go toe-to-toe with. Ortega is an all-action fighter with a come forward pressure style. He has scored notable wins over the likes of Juan Carlos Carlos Sanchez Jr, Tomas Rojas and Drian Francisco, but has never been in with someone who has power like Tepora. We're expecting to see Ortega bring the action and Tepora look for counters in what could be an absolute barn burner.
The under-card here is littered with great match ups, including a bout between unbeaten Chinese fighter Yongqiang Yang (10-0, 7) and once beaten Filipino Harmonito Dela Torre (19-1, 12), in what really could be a very special bout. Another good looking contest will see the hard hitting Filipino Jayar Inson (16-1, 11) taking on Aussie foe Terry Tzouramanis (20-3-3, 3) in what could be a very exciting contest.
As well as the big Malaysian show there will also be a smaller, though somewhat notable, card in Aichi.
The main event of this Aichi card will see 2017 Super Featherweight Rookie of the Year Musashi Mori (6-0, 5) battling against Filipino foe Allan Vallespin (12-2, 9). The 18 year old Mori is one to watch, blessed with natural power, speed and skills he appears to be a fighter who could find himself in the title mix in 2 or 3 years, if he can continue to rack up wins. On paper this is a notable step up in class for the Japanese teenager, given that Vallespin's only losses have come to very decent fights in the form of Masaru Sueyoshi and Denys Berinchyk. This is a a really interesting bout and a very tough test for Mori.
Also on this card is the hard hitting Arashi Iimi (5-1, 5), who takes on Suntorn Panhom (2-2, 1) on Thailand. The Japanese fighter came runner up in the 2017 Rookie of the Year at Super Bantamweight and has since bounced back with a stoppage over Shuto Takase in April. This will be his first bout against a non-Japanese fighter. Panhom comes into this on the back of back-to-back losses and we're not expecting him to to handle the power of Iimi, at all.
There is also a small card in Korea courtesy of the KBA.
The headline bout here will see WBA female Super Featherweight champion Hyun Mi Choi (15-0-1, 4) defending her title against Argentinian challenger Mayra Alejandra Gomez (18-7, 4). Choi, the only current Korean world champion, will be looking to extend her reign and increase her profile with this win as she attempts to make her 6th defense of the title. The champion, a tall and rangy fighter, should be strongly favoured, but Gomez has fought at world level before and has proven to be no push over against the likes of Jackie Nava.
Also on this card will be Ji Hyun Park (22-3, 6), who will be up against a Thai foe. The Korean is a IFBA, WIBA and WIBF world champion who will be looking to add a WBF International Minimumweight title to her collection. Although she's a multi-time title winner Park was beaten last time out in a WBO world title fight by Kayoko Ebata, in what was her first defeat in over a decade. We suspect she'll be back to winning ways here.
This coming Saturday is a genuine brilliant day for fight fans who follow the Asia fight scene, with a couple of world title bouts, along side a number of other interesting contests.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
The biggest fight of the weekend for Asian fight fans takes places in Belfast and will see IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (27-1-1, 18) make his third defense of the title, as he takes on unbeaten challenger Jamie Conlan (19-0, 11). In some ways Ancajas is the forgotten man at 115lbs, a talented and beautiful to watch pure boxer, but a man who lacks the star power of Naoya Inoue, the hype of Kal Yafai and the power of Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Although over-looked by many he's going to be looking to make a mark here. As for Conlan he's a man who really can't help but be involved in thrilling contests, no matter who he's against. The bout will be a massive step up for the unbeaten man, but he's almost certain to put on a show, win or lose.
Incheon, South Korea
Another world title fight takes place in Korea and will see WBA female Super Featherweight champion Hyun Mi Choi (14-0-1, 4) seek her next defense, as she faces off with Mexican challenger Jessica Gonzalez (7-3-2-3, 1). Choi is Korea's only world champion,and is one of the few beacons of success for Korean boxing, but has lacked suitable competition in recent fights and hasn't really been able to show her skills. Gonzalez is a decent enough foe, but falls much into the same categories as Choi's other recent foes, in being limited and lacking the skills, and likely desire, to let the champion shine.
In a minor title bout we'll see Korean local Hye Soo Park (4-7-1, 1) take on the unbeaten Hei Tao Zhang (2-0, 1) for the WBF Intercontinental Light Flyweight. The match up is an interesting one, though nothing too remarkable, with the most interesting thing being the step up for the unbeaten 19 year old Chinese hopeful.
Although there are a couple of world title fights featuring Asian fighters we dare suggest that the most interesting bout to feature an Asian is actually a non-title fight, between two unbeaten Asian fighters. The fight in question will see the very highly regarded Mongolian talent Tugstsogt Nyambayar (8-0, 8) taking on Filipino Harmonito Dela Torre (19-0, 12). The winner of this will push themselves well on the way to a world title fight, in the often over-looked Super Bantamweight division, whilst the winner will have to rebuild their careers.
Da Lian, China
In China we get a small card, with a main event that promises explosive action.
That main event is a WBO Youth Super Middleweight title bout, between China's Wuzhati Nuerlang (8-1, 8) and Ghana's Iddrisa Amadu (9-1, 9). With 17 stoppage wins in a combined 19 fights we're expecting this to be a lot of fun, very exciting and very hard hitting.
Another bout of some note on this show will see the unbeaten Xiaolu Mu (8-0-1, 3) take on the once beaten Shidong Cai (5-1-1, 2). This should be an interesting contest even if it does lack any sort of international appeal.
New South Wales, Australia
Interestingly on we'll see the debuting Natalie Jenkinsen (0-0) take on Thai Siriwan Thongmanit (6-10-1), who is a former world title challenger and has twice been stopped by the aforementioned Hyun Mi Choi.
Seoul, South Korea
Arguably the most notable bout to feature an Asian comes from Seoul where Hyun Mi Choi (12-0-1, 4) [최현미] returns to the ring to defend her WBA female Super Featherweight title, and look to claim the WBF title, as she takes on South African challenger Unathi Myekeni (10-2-1, 4). This will be Choi's 13th world title bout and sees her return to the ring just a few weeks after defeating Diana Ayala.
In Russia fight fans will be able to see the very exciting Kyrgyzstan born Dmitry Bivol (6-0, 6) fight in his most significant bout to date, as he faces the unbeaten Dominican Felix Valera (13-0, 12) for the WBA “interim” Light Heavyweight title, a title that Valera will be defending for the first time. The bout is a step up in class for Bivol but, given how he's looked so far, he is likely to pass this test with flying colours.
In the US fans get the chance to see Kazakhstan's Beibut Shumenov (16-2, 10) continue his career, as he faces Junior Anthony Wright (15-1-1, 12) for the WBA Cruiserweight title. Sadly due to how late this bout was put together we were unable to preview it, and we have been told that it won't be televised, though looks like a good one on paper.
The main Japanese card of the day is in Osaka where Osaka Teiken put on a card that has a number of notable fighters in action.
The main event of the card will see the JBC and OPBF ranked Sho Nakazawa (8-0, 4) faced Japanese based Korean Teiru Atsumi (6-1, 2), who will be fighting in Japan for the second time. The highly touted Nakazawa should be heavily favoured here with his team then likely to move him towards a title fight in the summer. At the moment Nakazawa is one of the most promising Japanese fighters but would be viewed as the under-dog in either an OPBF or JBC title bout. For Atsumi there is little to lose and a lot to gain from a good performance here.
The co-feature here will see unbeaten teenager Juiki Tatsuyoshi (3-0, 2) battle against Kazuki Sanpei (3-3, 1). Tatsuyoshi, the son of the great Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, looked less than stellar last time out but on paper he is stepping down slightly in class here against a man who has been stopped in 2 of his last 3.
A third bout of note on this card, and in all honesty the most well matched, will see Tatsuya Ikemizu (13-1, 9) battle the under-rated Jonas Sultan (9-3, 5), of the Philippines. On paper Ikemizu would be the favourite however this is one of the toughest opponents he has faced and Sultan really is much better than his record suggests,in fact he gave the world ranked Go Onaga all he could handle last year. Ikemizu is the naturally bigger fighter but he's in with a very live opponent with Sultan and this could be a banana skin for the touted Japanese youngster.
A second Japanese show comes from Aichi, where fans only really get one bout of note.
That one bout will see the Japanese ranked Satoshi Ozawa (11-6-1, 2) battle against Kazuki Fukakura (9-9-2, 3) in what looks like a easy match up for Ozawa. Ranked by the JBC at Bantamweight Ozawa will be coming in to this one following back-to-back wins over Yoshihiko Matsuo however prior to those wins he was stopped twice and does have question marks over his toughness. Ozawa should win, but he is beatable.
All the other bouts on this card are 4 rounders.
Gwangmyeong, South Korea
We also get several Korean cards with the most “significant” being the KBA sanctioned show from Gwangmyeong.
The headline bout here sees Korean defector Hyun Mi Choi (11-0-1, 4) defending her WBA female Super Featherweight title against Colombian veteran Diana Ayala (19-11-4, 13). Ayala is in her 10th world title bout, an impressive achievement, however for Choi, who won the WBA female Featherweight on her debut, this will be her 12th. The champion should be favoured, but Ayala has power and could well be the first fighter in a long time to really take the fight to the Pyongyang born Seoul based fighter.
Seoul, South Korea
As well as the KBA card we actually have two KBF shows, both in Seoul.
One of those cards is a Rookie of the Year card, with 6 bouts on it, whilst the other is an genuinely intriguing card with a couple of title bouts and an international under-card bout.
The most notable of the bouts will see Ye Joon Kim (13-1-2, 7) face off against Thailand's Patomsith Pathompothong (15-4, 5) in a bout for an IBF regional title at 126lbs. Kim is viewed by many as the most promising Korean currently plying his trade at home, and the 23 year old is regarded as the face of the KBF. This is however a tricky bout for the young Korean who is facing a man who is limited but tough and could well be a banana skin for the Korean, who will be moving up a weight for this bout.
On the under-card we'll get a KBF Featherweight title bout as defending champion Sa Myung Noh (9-2, 2) defends his belt against Min Suk Choi (3-2-1, 2). This will be Noh's first defense of the title that he won last year and he should be favoured here, though very little is known about Choi, other than the details provided by the KBF.
Also on the under-card is a bout between Je Ni Ma (7-1-3, 6) and the very experienced Indonesian Michael Speed Sigarlaki (16-18-2, 14). Ma, born Evgeny Samarin, is a Korean-Russian who lost his debut but has since gone 10 fights unbeaten and should be favoured against Sigarlaki. The Indonesian has been around the block, and faced the better fighters, but has always come up short against the good fighters he's faced and we're expecting to see that happen again here.
This coming Sunday is a busy in Asian boxing with bouts in Japan and Korea.
One of the two Japanese shows comes from Hyogo where Senrima Kobe put on a show.
In the main event we see former world title challenger Teiru Kinoshita (22-1-1, 5) battle against Thai visitor Rungniran Korat Sport School (0-9) in what looks to me a huge mismatch. Although this is little more than a tune up for the Japanese fighter it does need to be noted that he got a gift last time out, when he "beat" Cyborg Nawatedani by split decision, in one of the worst decisions we've seen in Japan this year. A Kinoshita/Nawatedani rematch would have been the right thing to do here, but we understand why Kinoshita didn't take that option.
A couple of the supporting bouts feature Japanese ranked fighters. One of those is the experienced Kento Matsushita (33-9-7, 13) who is up against Tom Yankun Tsukamoto (6-5-1, 2). The 34 year old Matsushita has fought numerous times for a Japanese title but has failed to win the big one, he'll now know that a loss will completely end his dreams of ever winning a national title. Tsukamoto shouldn't pose a threat to Matsushita, but may give him a good solid work out for 8 rounds.
The other Japanese ranked fighter is Yusuke Nakagawa (8-4-1, 4) who risks his ranking against Yasuyuki Otagaki (5-4-3, 1). Coming into this one Otagaki has lost his last 3, but they included a razor thin loss to Shota Hayashi, and he has never been stopped. Nakagawa has lost 2 of his last 6, and has been stopped 4 times, so Otagaki may have a chance at scoring the most notable victory of his career.
A second Japanese show comes from Yamaguchi and sees a number of intriguing match ups, in fact on paper it's a much better show than the other one.
The main event of the card will see JBC and OPBF ranked Lightweight Accel Sumiyoshi (5-4-1, 1) battle against Tatsuya Yanagi (11-3, 4). On paper it looks like Yanagi should be favoured however Sumiyoshi's record is a mess due to the high level that he's been fighting at, losing bouts to the likes of Masayoshi Nakatani, Kota Toklunaga and Yuhei Suzuki. As for Yanagi his wins have generally come against a lower level of opposition, though he did win the 2012 Rookie of the year. Interestingly Yanagi has lost 3 of his last 4 bouts and isn't a natural Lightweight, giving Sumiyoshi perhaps the edge in “form” and in natural size.
Another very good looking Lightweight bout will see Burning Ishii (6-2-1, 2) face off against Japanese based Filipino Johnriel Maligro (12-1, 9). Ishii, again with the less than stellar record, has mixed with good company and did score a notable win last time out over the experienced Edgar Gabejan, though has been out of the ring for almost a year. Maligro on the other hand lost last time out, suffering a shock stoppage to Ribo Takahata, though had beaten two then unbeaten Japanese prospects in previous bouts, including the aforementioned Yanagi. This one really could be very good.
Daegu, South Korea
In a KBA bout fans will get the chance to see WBA female Super Featherweight champion Hyun Mi Choi (10-0-1, 3) fight in a stay busy fight against Kaenpetch Superchamps (6-9-1). The bout is a rematch following Choi's 8th round win over Kaenpetch in May 2014, is a stay busy contest for the champion who has been inactive since dominating Chika Mizutani back in May.
On the same card we;re expecting to see another rematch as Iranian fighter Mohamadreza Hamze (7-6-1, 2) faces off against Ki Hong Min (5-0, 2) for the second time. Earlier this year Min won a very competitive bout with Hamze, who will be looking for revenge this time out.
For those interested in watching this one the action will be on KBS N Sports + from 18:00 local time
Daegu, South Korea
In another KBA show fans will get the chance to see former world title challenger Dan Bi Kim (11-3-1, 4)* battle against Thai visitor Nonggift Onesongchaigym (7-4-2, 1) in a bout for the WBF Inter-Continental female Light Flyweight title. The rough and tumble Kim is a handful for most and we suspect that will help her claim a win against the Thai, who we don't think will be able to handle the aggression of the Korean.
This show will be televised on MBC Sports + from 14:00 local time.
*Record misses multiple fighs
For Asian boxing fans this weekend isn't a huge weekend, but there is a lot of action going on involving fighters from Asia.
In Seoul Korean fans will get the chance to see world title action under the auspices of the controversial KBA. Although the organisation may not be regarded as highly as the KBC, or even the KBF, this show is on par, if not better, than any that the other Korean outfits have sanctioned this year.
The main event will see unbeaten Hyun Mi Choi (9-0-1, 3) defending her WBA female Super Featherweight title against Japanese veteran Chika Mizutani (14-4, 7). This will be Choi's second defense of the title and will see her returning to the ring after more than a year of inactivity. If Choi's inactivity is bad it's made to look good by Mizutani who hasn't been in the ring for more than 18 months. Despite neither fighter fighting recently this should still be an excellent contest between two very talented fighters.
In the co-feature fans will see Dan Bi Kim (10-3-2, 2)* battle against unbeaten Thai Petchngam Sor Prasobchoke (7-0, 1) in a bout for a WIBF title, we suspect at 108lbs. This should be a fascinating contest, though we're expecting it to be very ugly, as most Kim bouts are.
As well as the action in South Korea there will also be a show in the Philippines. As with many domestic Filipino shows it's not the most mouth watering of cards but there are a few fighters of note on the card.
The main event on this card will see the very under-rated Adones Aguelo (23-11-2, 15) battle against Richard Betos (20-10-1, 7) in a contest that looks really well matched on paper. In reality we suspect this will end up being a mismatch, with Aguelo being too strong and too tough, though the bout should still be interesting all the same.
In one of the chief support bouts Joey Canoy (8-1-1, 3) will battle against journeyman Michael Borja (6-12-1). Canoy is a promising youngster and will be fighting for the first time since losing a close decision to future world title challenger Jerry Tomogdan. Canoy should be too good for Borja but the bout will be about rebuilding his confidence.
Another supporting bout will see Renoel Pael (17-1-1, 8) up against Dingdong Quinones (4-13-1, 2). Quinones has been stopped in 11 of his 13 bouts and we suspect that Pael will manage to add another one. Although not an elite fighter Pael is really worth making a note of and his sole loss was a very controversial one in Thailand last year to Noknoi Sitthiprasert.
As well as the 3 bouts mentioned this card is set to have 3 other under-card bouts.
In China there will be a small show with novices. For us the most notable bout will see Bai A Fu (2-0) take on the debuting Liu Yu (0-0) in one of 2 bouts scheduled for 6 rounds.
New South Wales, Australia
In New South Wales fans will have the chance to see a number of Asian under-dogs attempt to upset local fighters.
In one of two title bouts we'll see Thailand's Denkamon Pakdee Gym (22-4, 13) battle against the once beaten David Browne Jnr (20-1-1, 6) in a contest for the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Super Featherweight title. Denkamon is a clear under-dog though could be a potential banana skin.
The other title bout on this show will see Eakkhunphol Mor Krungthepthonburi (10-6, 5) take on Rocky Jerkic (9-0, 7) for the IBO Asia Pacific Light Middleweight title. This bout looks like an incredibly tall order for the Thai though hopefully he'll prove to be better than his record suggests.
Thailand's tough but limited Paitoon Jaikom (3-12, 2) will be hunting his third successive win as he takes on the unbeaten Mohamed Yari (1-0) in a bout that we suspect will be more competitive than the records suggest.
The remaining bout will see the win-less Arnon Yuchaereon (0-8-1) take on once beaten Aussie Valentine Borg (9-1, 6) in what looks like a clear mismatch.
New South Wales, Australia
Another show in New South Wales will be headlined by a PABA Super Featherweight title bout between Thailand's Mongkolchai Lookmuangkanch (12-2, 7) and the once beaten Corey McConnell (14-1-1, 1). On paper this looks competitive but we really can't see anything but a win for McConnell, who is talented despite lacking power.
On a third Australian show fans will see a couple of Indonesian fighters in action.
One of those fights will be Jamed Jalarante (23-17-1, 11), who was stopped last year by former world title challenger Makoto Fuchigami. Jalarante will be in action against light hitting Welshman Kerry Hope (20-4, 1) in a bout made at Welterweight. This is certainly a peculiar match up considering an Indonesian and a Welshman are facing off in Australia though it is one of the eclectic line ups put on by Ricky Hatton and Hatton Promotions who have often put on peculiar shows that are often well worth tuning in for.
The other Indonesian on this card is the unbeaten Afrizal Tamboresi (3-0, 1) who faces once beaten Australian Brad Hore (4-1) for the WBF Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title
*-The record of Kim is incomplete on boxrec.com
(Image courtesy of Hyun Mi Choi's facebook)
This past week has been a major one with Katsunari Takayama defeating compatriot Shin Ono on Wednesday whilst Amnat Ruenroeng defended his world title against Kazuto Ioka. Both of those bouts saw champions successfully defending their world titles.
On Saturday there will be two more champions hoping to retain their titles in Asia. One of those bouts looks difficult whilst the other looks incredibly straight forward.
The straight forward world title fight comes in Korea as the talented Hyun Mi Choi (8-0-1, 2) defends her WBA female Super Featherweight title against Thai novice Thongmanit Siriwan (0-1). It's hard to see anything but but a successful defence from Choi who is genuinely excellent.
Unfortunately we can't find many details about this bout, or the card, other than what boxrec lists. So we'll admit we have our worries about this bout not actually taking place as neither the KBC, the KPBF or the WBA have really publicised it as one would have expected.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The other world title fight, and the one we know will be taking place, is in the Philippines as WBO Light Flyweight world champion Donnie Nietes (32-1-4, 18) defends his belt against the very strong and improving Mexican Moises Fuentes (19-1-1, 10). This is the second meeting between these two men after they fought to a controversial draw last year. We thought Fuentes had won the first meeting with his work rate but we admit this is likely to be a very different fight with both men knowing that they need to win this one.
In the chief support out on this Filipino show we will get to see recent world title challenger Milan Melindo (30-1, 12) battle against fellow world ranked fighter Martin Tecuapetla (11-5-2, 8). Tecuapetla, who comes in to this bout on the back of a victory over Gilberto Parra, is highly ranked with the WBA but we don't imagine he'll give Melindo too many problems with the Filipino being a genuinely talented fighter.
A third high profile bout on this card will see the ever popular Rey "Boom Boom" Bautista (34-3, 25) face off with with 22 year old Mexican Sergio Villanueva (26-3-2, 13). Bautista is apparently re-committed to boxing and could well be set for a rise back through the ranks, sadly however his commitment has waned in the past and some has suggested that his loss to Jose Ramirez last year was due to commitment issues. If he's on form and has his head in the fight Bautista should win, but you never can be sure with him as to how he will perform on any given night.
With three great match ups on the card it would be easy to ignore the undercard but ALA have done a great job in putting some great undercard bouts together as well.
These under-card bouts include a contest between Mark Bernaldez (12-0, 8) and Thailand's Non Sithsaithong (11-6, 7), over 10 rounds, a bout between Filipino based Cuban Reymi Castellano Aleye (4-0, 1) and Filipino "homeboy" Junmar Dulog (8-23-3, 4), over 8 rounds, a 6 round bout between the excellent Mark Magsayo (5-0, 4) and South Korea's Hyuk-Tak Joo (1-1) and an other 6 rounder that features Joseph Von Minoza (14-6, 6) fighting against the unbeaten Sung-Tak Joo (5-0-2, 1).
Metro Manila, Philippines
A second show in Metro Manila will take place at the Olivarez Stadium and be a much smaller show though will, as with the other card, feature some some excellent bouts.
The best looking of those bouts will see Alie Laurel (11-3, 7) defending his WBO Oriental Bantamweight title against Mike Espanosa (12-7-1, 7). Earlier this week we had expected Laurel to be battling against unbeaten Indonesian Defry Palulu though it appears the big punching Palulu has been swapped out for Espanosa in what is a lesser bout, though one that will allow both Laurel and Palulu to continue their careers with out any risk against each other. For those who recognise Laurel's name, he comes in to this bout following an excellent victory over Tiger Tor Buamas earlier this year, a victory that saw him winning the title he'll be defending for the first time
Another title bout on the same show will see Japan's Tosho Makoto Aoki (16-12-2, 13) defending the WBC Asia Council Continental lightweight title against Filipino challenger Jonel Alibio (16-17-5, 8). This will be the second defence of the belt by Aoki though neither man is really up to much and we'd not be shocked by any result though we do expect an engaging encounter.
A third title bout on this same show will see unorthodox Japanese fighter Kenichi Yamaguchi (17-2-2, 4) fighting against Argie Toquero (6-3-1, 4) in a battle for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Bantamweight title. Yamaguchi may be known for two reasons. Firstly he is a former world title challenger having fought Orlando Salido for the WBO Featherweight and he was also involved in a memorable incident with Australia's Billy Dib where the ring erupted into a mini-riot. Unfortunately for Yamaguchi this will be his first bout since he lost to Salido back in 2011.
(Image courtesy of ALA)