Action returns to Singapore this coming Saturday with a number of interesting prospects back in action.
In the main event we'll see unbeaten Uzbek hopeful Qudratillo Abduqaxorov (10-0, 7) take a huge step up in class as he takes on Zimbabwean fighter Charles Manyuchi (20-2-1, 12) for the WBC “silver” Welterweight title. For Abduqaxorov the bout is a massive step up but a win would secure him a place in the WBC rankings and move him towards a world title shot, as well as see him build on wins against the likes of Larry Siwu, Adones Cabalquinto and Romeo Jakosalem. For Manyuchi the bout sees him making his Asian debut, though he has scored notable wins in Burkina Fase, Italy and Russia. If Manyuchi retains his title it seems him building on last year's huge upset win over Dmitry Mikhaylenko and likely secures him a WBC title shot in the near future.
In a supporting bout Azizbek Abdugofurov (5-0, 4) will put his unbeaten record on the line against Martin Fidel Rios (21-10-4, 11). The unbeaten Abdugofurov was forced to go 12 rounds earlier this year against Sirimongkol Singwancha and proved his stamina in the process but still has a number of questions to answer in regard to his long term potential. For Rios the bout comes after an upset win over Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna and a very controversially and foul filled fight with Jamie Cox in the UK. A really interesting match up even though it may not look it on paper.
In an support bout we'll see in form Filipino Jeson Umbal (13-5, 9) battle against Fadhili Majiha (20-7-4, 9). Umbal really has been stringing together a nice run over the last 12 months, with 5 wins in the last year, and will be looking to notch another here as he looks to move onto the fringes of a world title fight. As for Majiha he returns to Asia for the first time since 2014, when he suffered 3 successive losses to world class fighters, losing to Marlon Tapales, Pungluang Sor Singyu and Jerwin Ancajas. A win for Umbal would see him joining that notable list of fighters.
Another notable bout on this card will see Indonesian fighter Daud Yordan (36-3-0-1, 24) take on Thai youngster Campee Phayom (11-2, 7). The talented, and fun to watch, Yordan is currently riding a 6 fight winning run and will be looking to extend that run as he looks to move towards another world title fight. He'll know that he is on the verge of a potential title shot, but can't let it slip from his grasp with a loss here. For Campee the bout sees him looking for a third successive win, and looking to build on a big upset win last year against Yoshimichi Matsumoto. Against Matsumoto we saw Campee prove that he can fight on the road and a win here would get him some serious attention.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Fight fans in Metro Manila are also set for a card with some notable action.
In a bout for the WBC International Minimumweight title we'll see the unbeaten Jay Loto (13-0-1) take on the tough Lito Dante (12-7-4, 7). On paper this looks like a clear win for the unbeaten man but the reality is that he's stepping up to face a much more battle hardened fighter, who will be looking to score an upset. This is much better than it looks on paper.
Also on this card will be Jonathan Taconing (23-3-1, 19) and Glenn Suminguit (19-2, 10), though neither of their opponents have been announced at the time of writing.
In Russia we'll see the unbeaten Akzhol Sulaymanbek uulu (5-0, 4), a Russian based Kyrgyzstan born fighter, taking on Denis Lashin (6-2, 2) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Featherweight title. The bout is a notable step up for Sulaymanbek uulu, who has never been in a bout scheduled for more than 6 rounds, and it should be a good test, though it's hard to know just how good Lashin is himself.
In Uganda we'll see Azeri Shahin Adygezalov (8-0, 7) battle against Fabian Lyimo (18-6-2, 11) in a bout for the UBO Welterweight title. Strangely this will be Adygezalov's 4th successive bout in Uganda, and his 5th bout in Africa as looks to make a name for himself away from “home”.
This coming weekend is a pretty big one with notable Asian's fighting in the Philippines and in the US and it's a day where a number of fighters are expected to be given a real test.
The biggest Asian show of the weekend is the next in the ALA line of “Pinoy Pride” cards and it looks to be a genuinely good looking one with a number of top prospects in action, some of which are being given a serious test, their first since turning professional.
The main event doesn't appear to be one of those testing bouts as Super Bantamweight sensation Albert Pagara (25-0, 18) defends his WBO Inter-Continental title against Yesner Talavera (15-3-1, 4). Pagara's team had hoped to secure a high profile opponent for their man but unfortunately ended up with Talavera after negotiations broke down with a former world champion. This should be a straight forward win for Pagara who may well be getting a world title fight later this year.
Another man who isn't taking a major step up on this card is the incredibly promising Mark Magsayo (12-0, 10), who faces Eduardo Montoya (17-4-1, 13) for the WBO Youth Featherweight title. This looks likely to be win #13 for Magsayo though the plan is to then move him into a much bigger bout, against former world title challenger Chris Avalos, in what would be a major step up in class for the 20 year old.
Another notable Filipino prospect on this card is Kevin Jake “KJ” Cataraja (2-0, 2) who is stepping up to the 8 round distance for the first time. The hotly tipped 20 year old will be up against Tony Rodriguez (3-1, 1) in what looks like a straight forward win for the youngster, though we may see Cataraja's stamina being given a test here. If he's as good as advertised he may well be in 10 rounders by the end of the year and could well be future gem of Filipino boxing scene.
One youngster who is stepping up massively on this card is the heavy handed Melvin Jerusalem (8-0, 7) who doesn't so much "step up" as leap up to face former world champion Florante Condes (29-7-1, 23). This is a real gut check for Jerusalem and whilst Condes isn't the fighter he once was he is still a whole different universe to Jerusalem's previous opposition.
Another fighter moving up in a similar manner is Elmo Traya (10-1, 8) who faces former OPBF champion Romeo Jakosalem (16-11-1, 8). Traya is currently on a 9 fight winning streak however this sees him stepping up to a level that he hasn't even come close to in the past. Jakosalem has seen better days but is still heavy handed and isn't a push over, despite 3 losses in his last 4.
Another really intriguing bout is the debut of 28 year Singaporean amateur stand out Muhamad Ridhwan (0-0) who faced unbeaten local Melchor Roda (3-0, 3). This look like an interesting match up on paper and although Roda hasn't faced a fighter of any note yet he may see this as a chance to get a notable win under his belt. For Ridhwan this is a check of his professional ability straight from the off. A really good looking match up.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Another show in the Philippines will be taking place in Metro Manila and will feature a number of promising fighters taking part in what appears to be mismatches.
The main event will see the once beaten Randy Braga (17-1-1, 4), who was really unlucky to actually suffer that loss in South Africa, defending the GAB Featherweight title against the experienced but limited Danilo Pena (27-22-4, 11). Pena has been around the block but has gone 1-10-2 in his last 13 bouts and is unlikely to pose a threat to Braga, who is genuine a promising fighter. Although Braga should win we can't see this one ending in a stoppage given that Braga is a proven survivor with just a couple of stoppage losses in his 53 fight career.
The support bout features another once beaten fighter, Rene Patilano (14-1-2, 7) battling against the limited Jopher Marayan (7-8-2, 3) in what looks like a foregone conclusion over 10 rounds. That bout is one of two 10-round bouts with the other being a contest between the feather fisted Jay Loto (10-0-1) and the testing Vincent Bautista (4-3-3, 1), interestingly this could be a solid test for Loto.
Busan, South Korea
In Busan the KBC will be sanctioning an 8 bout card, headlined by a KBC title fight and supported by two bouts featuring international fighters.
The title bout will see defending KBC 140lb champion Woo Shin Kim (6-1-3, 2) battle against Dong Hee Kim (4-1-1, 1)*. This looks like a well matched bout on paper and sees the champion return to fighting his homeland following a draw in Vietnam against Nguyen Ngoc Hai last October.
The chief support bout will see the unbeaten Dong Hoon Yook (8-0, 4)* battle against well travelled Indonesian Hero Tito (11-9-1, 3),who adds Korea the list of countries where he has fought. Although not a top fighter Tito has mixed in decent company, and actually fought Ik Yang to a majority decision and is 1-1-1 with countryman Roy Mukhlis. Notably Yook is the current KBC Lightweight champion and seems to be viewed as one of their most promising fighters so it's hard to see him losing this one.
The other notable international bout sees the exciting Hyun Woo Yuh (2-0, 2)* battle against Indonesian visitor Rusmin Kie Raha (14-8-2, 3). The visitor is 2-6 in his last 8 bouts and whilst he has mixed with better fighters than Yuh it is hard to see him over-coming the Korean youngster, who does appear to be genuinely heavy handed.
In the US fans get another chance to see the best of the active Korean fighters, Min Wook Kim (14-1, 11). The once beaten “Snyper” will be facing off against Mexican Jose Luis Rodriguez (17-8, 10) and it's hard to see this being anything other than another easy win for the Korean, who has needed just 7 rounds to see off his last 3 foes. Hopefully another impressive performance here will see Kim move towards getting a real chance to prove himself against a worthy adversary.
On a card in Australia we'll see a peculiar 5 rounder as the win-less Sarawut Patsawatho (0-2), originally from Thailand, faces James Katz (3-1, 1). It's unlikely that Sarawut will claim his first win here, especially given that this is his first boxing contest in over 2 years, but we suspect he will put up a solid effort Katz, who was beaten last time out.
*Records taken from the KBC, boxrec list Dong Hee Kim as being 1-0-1, Dong Hoon Yook as being 4-0 (3) and Hyun Woo Yuh as being 4-0 (4). Strangly Yuh's 4-0 (4) is probably right with the KBC not recognising two bouts he fought outside of their control.
Incheon, South Korean
For us the most interesting of three Asian shows this Sunday comes from South Korea where AK Promotions put on a Korean title double header as they continue to try and reinvigorate Korean boxing.
The most notable of he two title bouts comes at 154lbs where touted teenager Kyoo Hwan Hwang (1-0, 1) battles against Chan Hee Park (5-5-1, 3). Many in Korea are tipping Hwang as their next potential star and the 5'11 youngster does seem to have plenty of talent and enjoy fighting, as shown in his debut against Jung Ho Jang and his from his days as an amateur. As for Park he snapped a 4 fight losing streak last time out when he beat Shingo Yabu and will be looking to score his biggest win here.
The other title fight comes at 140lbs where Woo Min Won (6-1, 3) battles Jin Soo Kim (6-4, 3) in a bout for the vacant title. Coming in to this bout Kim has lost his last 2 though does hold a notable stoppage win win over Japanese based fighter Quaye Peter. On the other hand Won has fought just once in the last 5 years and may have a fair amount of ring rust.
As well as the two title bouts there will also be a couple of novice bouts on the under-card.
For fans wanting to tune into this Korean show, it will be streamed here on the AK Promotions youtube channel, as confirmed via an e-mail with promoter Andy Kim.
Metro Manila, Philippines
As well as the title action in Korea there will also be a title bout in the Philippines in what looks to be a mouth watering match up on a card that also features a really good looking support bout.
The title bout will see the unbeaten and touted Neil John Tabanao (11-0, 7) take on the once beaten Randy Braga (15-1-1, 3) in a contest for the GAB Featherweight title. Braga was really unlucky last time out, losing a really close split decision to Macbute Sinyabi in South Africa and although he lost he did show that there was real talent there. For Tabanao this is a big step up but a win will put him in the mix for continental titles.
In the chief support bout the unbeaten Jay Loto (9-0-1) will be taking on the testing Oliver Gregorio (9-5-2, 5) in what looks to be a good test for the unbeaten man. Gregorio has only won 1 of his last 6 but is better than his record suggests.
In Japan the Shinsei gym host their latest show. On paper it is a relatively poor show but there is a few bouts worth noting.
In the main event we'll see former world title challenger Junichi Ebisuoka (23-18-6, 10) battle against former Japanese title challenger Masato Morisaki (9-4-1, 5). Coming in to this bout Ebisuoka looks to be a man ready to end his long career and he's without a win in more than 3 years however Morisaki was dominated last time out when he came up very short against Japanese Super Flyweight champion Sho Ishida, back on New Years Eve.
In one of the chief support bouts fans will see Japanese ranked fighter Ryo Kosaka (9-3-1, 4) take on win-less Thai visitor Nongdear Sor Bangkhru (0-5) in what should be a straight forward win for Kosaka.
Arguably the most interesting bout on this card is a catchweight bout between a couple of Japanese ranked fighters. The higher ranked of the two men is Kenta Sugimoto (9-7-1, 1), who is ranked at Light Flyweight, whilst the other man involved is Flyweight Shunji Nagata (10-13-2, 3). Coming in Sugimoto is in good form, having won his last 3, whilst Nagata has lost his last 2 however this should be a very good match up.
(Image courtesy of AK Promotions)
As February has gotten going we have, slowly, seen the boxing world awaken and it now seems that March is going to continue the trend. Before we get to March however we need to see out February which looks set to go out with a bang...
The action in Japan to end the month isn't the best but it is notable with a couple of world title bouts as well as a former 2-weight world champion. Unfortunately those “world” class fighters are all female fighters and lack the attention that their male counterparts would get.
The former 2-weight world champion is Mari Ando (11-7, 5) who battles against experienced Filipino fighter Jujeath Nagaowa (12-13-1, 8) in what looks to be an easy fight but really could be surprisingly difficult. Ando isn't a brilliant fight and although she is a multi-weight world champion her reigns have both been short. Nagaowa hasn't been a world champion but has been in with a who's who such as Momo Koseki, Samson Tor Buamas and Shindo Go whilst also being narrowly beaten in a number of other losses. This could, potentially, be a very competitive contest.
One of the world champions in action is WBO female Minimumweight champion Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (6-1-1, 3) who will be hoping to record the first defence of her title as she battles against Filipino challenger Jessebelle Pagaduan (7-1, 4) in what looks like a greatest contest on paper. Sadly the paper is unlikely to give a full reflection of this bout and Pagaduan was beaten less than a year ago by Ikehara's friend Naoa Ikeyama in a bout for the WBO Atomweight title in a bout that really wasn't competitive. We suspect Ikehara looks just as dominated against Pagaduan as Ikeyama did.
Talking about Nao Ikeyama (15-3-1, 4) the WBO Atomweight champion will also be in action as she defends her belt, for the second time, and takes on Norj Guro (7-3-1, 4). The Japanese veteran, aged 45, will likely retire if she loses here however she will be favoured coming into the bout against the distinctly less than impressive Guro who has won just twice in her last 6 bouts.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines fans get a low level domestic show which is likely to give a number of prospects a chance to stay busy.
In one of the feature bouts fans will see the world ranked Rene Patilano (12-1-2, 6) battle against “domestic loser” Aroel Romasasa (11-8, 5) who is in desperate need for a win after losing 8 straight following an 11-0 start to his career.
Another of the feature bouts will see the unbeaten Jay Loto (9-0) fight against the limited JC Francisco (6-9-3, 2) in what looks like a mismatch on paper for the unbeaten but light punching Loto, who is known as “The Mindoro Assasin” despite his lack of power.
Another well regarded unbeaten fighter on this card will be Randy Braga (14-0-1, 3) who battles the experienced Cristian Aliba (12-15-3, 4) in what looks like being one of the most competitive bouts on the shame, even though Braga should extend his unbeaten record.
As well as the 3 bouts mentioned the card is expected to feature a further 8 contests.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
Another Filipino in action will be the heavy handed and criminally under-rated Rey Loreto (19-13, 11) who will be hoping that lightning strikes twice as he defends his IBO Light Flyweight for the first time. Last year we saw Loreto make a name for himself as he stopped former world champion Nkosinathi Joyi (24-3-0-1, 17) in eye catching fashion and he'll be hoping to do the same again when he travels to Joyi's homeland in a much anticipated rematch.
German fans will get the chance to see a potentially explosive encounter as “unbeaten” Kazakhstan Isa Akberbayev (14-0-0-1, 10) battles against Argentinian KO artist Ruben Angel Mino (25-1, 25). Mino has one of the most impressive looking records on paper however it is incredibly padded and it's hard to see how he'll fare here. Akberbayev was a touted prospect a few years ago though he was “exposed” when he was iced by Anthony Ferrante in January 2013 and it's hard to see him ever reaching his perceived ceiling, saying that he should win here against the limited but heavy handed Mino.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)