Sanman Gym, General Santos City, Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
To end the month of April we get the next show from Sanman promotions. It's not a huge card, though it's a very notable one, with 3 notable Filipino hopefuls in action, as they all look to tick over and move towards bigger and better things. They are 3 fighters who, after the pandemic, will all be knocking on the door of big fights.
The main event will see world ranked Filipino hopeful Mike Plania (24-1, 12) take on the limited Emmanuel Mogawa (5-3, 2), in what should be little more than a stay busy bout for Plania. The talented "Magic Mike" scored a career best win last June, over Joshua Greer Jr, but was unable to build on that victory and has sadly lost the momentum that that win should have injected into his career. Sadly with the momentum gone it makes sense to tick over with a bout like this, and keep ready than to waste more time. It's just a shame he didn't get a big fight after the win over Greer. As for Mogawa he's never been stopped, and can fight, but should be very under-sized here.
Another man who seemed set for big things last year is Jayson Mama (15-0, 8), who had been lined up for a fight with Moruti Mthalane, before that fell apart due to issues with the promoter. Mama will have to put that missed opportunity behind him, and stay focused as he takes on the rugged Romshane Sarguilla (7-5-2, 4), who is a lot more of a test than his record suggests. The 23 year old Mama is a talented prospect, but someone who serious needs some tests and some seasoning, and this bout should be a good test for him. Sarguilla is limited but has managed to ask serious questions of upcoming world title challenger Pongsaklek Sithdabnij and Andika D'Golden Boy. He will be there to win and should be the type of fighter who brings out the best in Mama.
A third notable hopeful here is Jade Bornea (15-0, 10), who takes on Roland Jay Biendima (15-7-1, 8). Bornea was a standout amateur and is someone with the potential to mix it at a high level, but he has yet to really click in the professional ranks and will need a more complete performance than we've seen from him if he's to convince the sport that he is a world champion in the making. Biendima however has had mixed performances. His 2020 clash with Kento Hatanaka was an amazing war, where he showed real toughness, but he was stopped quickly a bout later, by Christian Araneta. On his day Biendima can be a force, and we hope he manages to put on a good performance here, as Bornea needs to forced into showing what he can really do.
For a third day in a row we get world title action this Sunday as South Africa plays host to an interesting match at world level. As well as the action in South Africa we also get Rookie of the Year action in Japan and a card in India in what a very nice Sunday for fight fans, coming off back to back busy days!
Olive Convention Centre, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
The would title bout in question will see IBF Flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane (39-2, 26) looking to make his 4th defense as he takes on unbeaten Filipino youngster Jayson Mama (15-0, 8). The bout isn't just a normal defense for the well travelled Mthalane but will be his first professional bout in his home area of KWa-Zulu-Natal, and is set to be an emotional night for the veteran. Aged 38 it's hard to know how much longer Mthalane can go on, though he has rarely come close to losing since his 2008 defeat to Nonito Donaire. At 23 years old Mama is the much, much younger fighter, though their is perhaps some concern he is getting this fight too soon, and wins against the likes of Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr and Kwanthai Sithmoreseng haven't done enough to prepare him for someone as talented, experienced and battle hardened as Mthalane. Our full, in depth, preview of this bout can be read here Unbeaten Mama takes on South African great Mthalane for IBF title
*At the time of publishing there is RUMOURS that Mthalane Vs Mama has been cancelled - we are currently awaiting an official confirmation from the promoter of either man. Please keep an eye out for updates regarding this world title bout.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
As well as the high profile action in South Africa we also get the annual East Japan Rookie of the Year final over in the Japanese capital. Originally there was 12 bouts scheduled for this show, but the Light Flyweight bout has been cancelled, leaving us with just 11.
Before we get on to the bouts, it should be noted that any match up on this show where both fighters have at least 4 wins, will be fought over 5 rounds, and not 4 as listed on Boxrec at the time of writing.
The stand out bout on the show will be a clash between teenage sensation Kosuke Tomioka (4-0, 3) and Shunpei Kubo (5-1-1, 3), who meet at Super Flyweight. Since the tournament began Tomioka, a stylish and exciting youngster, has been tipped as the favourite and has barely lost a minute on route to the final. Kubo on the other hand wasn't given too much of a chance, but has impressed during the tournament and will go in there knowing that a win would really build his career. Potentially a very interesting bout, with Tomioka's counter punching and speed going up against Kubo's aggression and work rate.
Staying with the little guys we expect explosive action with a match up between Shugo Namura (4-0, 4) and Akira Hoshuyama (3-0, 2), who clash in a very good looking Flyweight bout. The heavy handed Namura, managed by former world title challenger Hiroyuki Sakamoto, has stopped all 4 of his opponents in the first 2 rounds and looks to be a really destructive and fun fighter. Hoshuyama has himself looked hard hitting, but also looked a solid boxer last time out and should make for a brilliant dance partner for Namaura. This could be a very violent and thrilling action bout.
At Lightweight we'll see American born Japanese based Dominique Kenshin (5-1, 2) take on unbeaten puncher Tsubasa Narai (5-0, 4). Kenshin caught our eye last year, but ended 2019 with an opening round loss to Hiro Ichimichi which took some shine off him. Since then however he has picked up 2 wins and does look a strong and powerful fighter. Narai on the other hand has been on a tear with 4 stoppages in 5 bout and will feel confident of repeating which Ichimichi did to Kenshin last year.
Marine Centre Club, Mumbai, India
We also get low level action in India, where most of the bouts will be 4 rounders. The one exception is the clash between the unbeaten pairing of Mohammed Zekria Zamani (4-0, 2) and Sagar Chaudhary (2-0, 1) at Welterweight. The 22 year old Zamani is an Afghan fighter who debuted in 2019, in India, and has also fought in Thailand, albeit against novices. Chaudhary on the other hand is a native Indian and in his last bout won a 4 rounder by incredibly wide margins, including 10 points on one card.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
This coming Thursday our attention focuses on the Philippines for a notable card in Cotabato del Sur, which features several noteworthy fighters.
One of the notable fighters on the show is the unbeaten Rolando Servania (9-0, 3), who faces the once beaten Jerry Pabila (6-1, 4) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Youth Super Bantamweight title. Servania is hotly tipped as a hidden gem among the Filipino fighting scene, and although not a big name he is a notable hopeful. Pabila on the other hand has been out of the ring since losing to Jason Buenaobra in June 2018. This bout pits two talented youngsters against each other, and this should be a very interesting match up.
Another talented youngster on this card is Jayson Mama (13-0, 7), who looks to extend his unbeaten run as he takes on the flawed but hard hitting Mark Anthony Florida (12-8, 9). Mama is a real talent, though we didn't see that last time out when Kwanthai Sithmorseng essentially quit against him, and should make light work of Florida here.
Others on this card include Rogelio Jun Doliguez (25-4-2, 19) and John Vincent Moralde (21-3, 11), who are both up against over-matched opponents with more losses than wins.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The most botable card in Asia is the next in the ESPN5 line of shows, stacked with prospects.
One of top prospects on the show is Jayson Mama (12-0, 6), who takes on former world champion Kwanthai Sithmorseng (49-6-1, 26). The talented Filipino is a real talent and will be expected to win here, though the question is how he wins and how good he looks against the Thai veteran. Kwanthai was very good, once, but is a long way removed from his best years.
Another of the notable prospects in action here will see the all action Carl Jammes Martin (12-0, 11) take on unbeaten Indian visitor Rakesh Lohchab (6-0, 2). On paper this looks like a decent test for Martin, but in reality the Filipino youngster should pick up his next win with no problems. Martin is one of the sports true "made for TV" fighters and we suggest fans do all they can to catch every bout of his that they can.
In an all-Filipino show down we'll see the very highly regarded Dave Apolinario (10-0 6) take on the out of form Dexter Alimento (13-6, 9). Apolinario looks to be up there with the top prospects in Asia, and he should be too strong and too powerful for Alimento. Alimento's career once promised a lot, but it really has faltered in recent bouts and it's hard to know what he really has left.
In one other bout of note we'll see former world title challenger Randy Petalcorin (29-3-1, 22) take on Thai journeyman Worawatchai Boonjan (14-21-1, 13), aka Phupha Por Nobnom. This will be Petalcorin's first bout since losing to Felix Alvarado in an IBF Light Flyweight world title fight last October and will likely be little more than a confidence building win for the talented Filipino.
A second notable card this coming Sunday takes place in Hiroshima, Japan, and features a female OPBF title fight, and a couple of interesting, but low level, domestic bouts.
The main event of this show will see unbeaten teenager Eruka Hiromoto (4-0) taking on Korean foe Chan Mi Lim (4-6-1, 4) in a bout for the OPBF female Minimumweight title. The talented Hiromoto comes into this bout having already scored a win over Lim, just over a year ago, and will be hotly tipped to pick up the victory here and claim her first title. Lim has gone 2-1 since losing to Hiromoto in their first bout but is 0-2 on the road, having twice lost in Japan.
Another female bout on this card will see Yumi Narita (3-3-3, 1) battle Sana Hazuki (6-4-1, 2). Coming in to this both fighters are ranked by the OPBF and JBC, and will know that a win here could open the door to another title fight. We say another title fight as both women are, 0-1-1 in Japanese female title bouts, so both will be hoping to secure another shot and make it third time lucky.
One other female bout of note will see JBC ranked female Flyweights Sachiko Kondo (2-3-2) and Yume Hirayama (3-0) face off in a pretty good test for the 19 year old Kondo.
In a male Flyweight bout we'll see Taiyo Inoue (8-4-2, 5) take on Akira Kokubo (7-8-3, 2). Coming in to this Inoue is ranked by the WBO Asia Pacific , thanks to a win in November against Roland Jay Biendima, and will be risking that ranking here. On paper Inoue will be favoured, though it's worth noting that Kokubo has won 5 of his last 6, turning around a really bad start to his career.
As well as the shows in Asia there is also a show in Russia featuring several Asian fighters.
The most notable of the Asian fighters on this card is unbeaten Uzbek puncher Shohjahon Ergashev (16-0, 14). Ergashev struggled last time out, narrowly over-coming Mykal Fox, and we're expecting him to have an easier time here against what appears to be a very late notice opponent
The other is Russian based Korean fighter He Su Khan (5-4-1, 1). Although Khan is 0-3-1 in his last 4 he has been unlucky in some of those set backs, and he is much, much better than his record suggests. At the time of writing Khan's opponent hasn't been named, though given how Khan has been facing fighters with better record we are hoping for him to get an easy win here.
This coming Thursday in Beijing fight fans will get a number of IBF Silk Road tournament bouts. Sadly we don't have the full card, though we do have details of two bouts on the show.
One of the bouts will see former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (18-3-1, 11) take on unbeaten foe Omurbek Malabekov (4-0, 1). The talented Japanese fighter advanced to this bout with a win over Lorence Rosas last year whilst Malabekov will be fighting for the first in almost a year. The winner of this contest is expected to get a world ranking with the IBF. Not much is known about Malabekov, though he is unbeaten and will see this as a huge chance to make a name for himself.
Another bout on this show will see experience Thai fighter Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (38-6-1, 21) take on unbeaten Filipino fighter Jayson Mama (11-0, 6). The 25 year old Fahlan will be looking to score his 5th straight win since being stopped by Felix Alvarado in 2017 whilst Mama will be looking to continue his perfect start to professional boxing. Of the two men Fahlan is, by far, the more well known, but he didn't look good at all last time out, taking a pretty questionable decision in a dire bout with Orlie Silvestre.
In Thailand we have a re-scheduled bout, as the once beaten Thai Nop Kratingdaenggym (22-1, 8) , aka Anurak Thisa, battles Filipino JR Magboo (17-2-2, 8) for the fighting for the WBA Asia Featherweight title. Originally this bout was supposed to take place on March 22nd but was rescheduled due to Thai Channel 7 changing their policy on bouts that they will air, and instead of taking place as originally planned it will now be shown on Channel 3SD.
New York, USA
In the US we get a number of Asian fighters in action.
One of those is the eye catching and fun to watch Shohjahon Ergashev (11-0, 11), who impressed back in January when he defeated Sonny Fredrickson. The Uzbek hopeful will be facing off with Chinese fight Zhimin Wang (10-2, 3) in what should be another chance for Ergashev to show case his skills. Wang isn't a terrible fighter, but he is naturally smaller than the Uzbek and is essentially taking a a pea shooter into a gun fight against Ergashev's brutal power.
Unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Dimash Niyazov (13-0-3, 6) will be seeking an 8th straight win as he goes up against limited Mexican Angel Sarinana (7-7-2, 3). Niyazov doesn't have the look of being the next Kazakh star but should be far too good for Sarinana, who lacks power and has already been stopped in 4 of his 7 losses.
The most interesting Asian on this card is Kazakh debutant Daniyar Yeleussinov (0-0). The Kazakh won gold at Rio 2016 and is touted to be a very special professional, given just how strong and impressive his amateur credentials are. He signed with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Sports and is likely to matched aggressively. Sadly at the time of writing the opponent for his debut is unknown though we're not expecting any one too notable given the short notice.
In Hyogo Japanese fans get a really interesting card with two notable bouts.
The most interesting of those will see former world champion Shun Kubo (12-1, 9) take on former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa (33-4-4, 19). The bout is being sold as a “survival match” for the two men, with neither really able to afford a loss at this point. For Kubo this bout will be his first as a fully fledged Featherweight and his first since losing the WBA Super Bantamweight title to Daniel Roman last September. For Osawa this bout will see him hunting a 4th straight win since his 2016 loss to Oscar Valdez. The winner of this will move towards another world title fight, whilst the loser could well be looking down the end of a barrel.
In a supporting bout we'll see former OPBF Bantamweight champion Takahiro Yamamoto (20-5, 17) battle against Filipino visitor Jestoni Autida (11-7, 5). The Japanese slugger will be looking for his third straight stoppage win since having the title ripped out of his hands in November 2016 by Mark John Yap. At his best Yamamoto is a pure raw heavy handed slugger who can be a nightmare to fight, though his competition since his loss to Yap has been poor. Autida on the other hand is one of the many under-rated Filipino fighters, and he has toughness and ability to give Yamamoto real fits here. Although on paper a mismatch Autide has mixed with top level company, and suffered losses to fighters like Ryo Matsumoto and Petch Sor Chitpattana, so we do not expect this to be a walk in the park for Yamamoto.
One other bout of note on this card is a bout between Retsu Kosaka (8-3, 3) and Koichi Ito (11-6-3, 10). This should be a pretty interesting contest, despite neither fighter being particularly goo. Ito really does have nasty power and if he connects Kosaka could be in trouble, however Kosaka has the edge in skills and could be simply too good for the cruder fighter.
A second Japanese show will come from Osaka, where we get a relatively low key card.
The main event is a very interesting match up as Matcha Nakagawa (12-1-1, 5) faces off with Yuki Iriguchi (9-2-1, 4) in a bout for the Japanese Youth Bantamweight title. This is one of the many interesting match ups to come from the Japanese Youth title scene. Coming into this one Nakagawa is riding a 3 fight winning run since losing unbeaten record in late 2016 to Ryohei Takahashi. Iriguchi on the other hand lost his unbeaten record last time out in a split decision loss to Takuya Mizuno. Given the quality of these two fighters this match up should be very competitive and compelling, even if it does lack in terms of excitement.
Also on this card will be Shingo Kawamura (15-3-1, 7) and Daiki Tomita (11-0, 3), who will both be fighting Thai foes. We haven't got the names of the visiting fighters, which should really sum up the quality of the opponents in this bout, and both Kawamura and Tomita will be expecting to pick up wins here.
The day is set to be an incredibly busy on in the Philippines. The most notable of the shows is to come from Glan in Saragani province.
The main event of this card will see unbeaten fighters collide in a bout for the WBO Oriental Youth Super Flyweight title. The bout will see Jade Bornea (10-0, 7) take on Danrick Sumabong (5-0, 4) in what should be a really good match up. Bornea was a top Filipino amateur before turning professional and should be favoured, but 19 year old Sumabong is a hard hitting with confidence and could prove to be the sort of opponent who could give Bornea absolute fits.
Other fighters on this card are Harmonito Dela Torre (19-1, 12), Jayson Mama (9-0, 5), Mark Bernaldez (15-1, 10) and Jake Bornea (13-2, 7). None of them are expecting to face any sort of tests, but the promoters do look like they are stacking the card with notable hopefuls and prospects.
Another Filipino card with a title bout headlining it will see the unbeaten Carl Jammes Martin (7-0, 6) take on Tanzanian Hashimu Zuberi (14-2, 4) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Bantamweight title. The 18 year old Martin has been really impressive on the lower level of the Filipino domestic scene but this is a notable step up and he will have to prove that he is one to watch with this bout. As for Zuberi he lacks power but the 22 year old showed his toughness in 2016, when he went 12 rounds with Rakniran Muadransarakam. He was stopped last year by Andrew Moloney, in 4 rounds, but is a fantastic test for the unbeaten Martin.
Agusan del Norte, Philippines
In Agusan del Norte fans will get the chance to see another low key card, headlined by Monico Laurente (29-13, 6) battling against Ralph Jhon Lulu (12-2-2, 5), who we believe was a late replacement for JP Macadumpis. On paper this is a decent match up, especially given that Laurente is on the slide, however Lulu has lost his last two bouts and is 20 months removed from a win, which came against the limited Junjie Lauza.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In Metro Manila fans get a title double header.
One of the bouts on this card will see the aggressive Allan Vallespin (11-2, 8) defending his GAB Super Featherweight title against the limited Warren Mambuanag (11-9-2, 3). Both of Vallespin's losses have been by stoppage, with the Filipino being stopped by both Masaru Sueyoshi and Denys Berinchyk, and he shouldn't be worried about Mambuanag's power here. The challenger has 4 of his last 5, including a loss to Vallespin in December 2016, and will be a major under-dog coming in to this bout.
A second title fight will see Mugicha Nakagawa (22-5-1, 13), the brother of the aforementioned Match Nakagawa, battle against Ricky Manufoe (27-32-3, 10) for the WBA Asia East Super Bantamweight Title. This should be a mismatch and a pretty straight forward win for Nakagawa, who impressed us last year when he came up just short against Yasutaka Ishimoto. Indonesian foe Manufoe has lost 4 of his last 5, and is likely to be beaten again here.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
The first Filipino show of 2018 takes place this coming Sunday in General Santos City, and features a pair of title fights.
In the main event we'll see the unbeaten Jayson Mama (8-0, 4) take on Michael Camelion (10-6-1, 8) for the WBO Asia Youth Flyweight title. The unbeaten Mama made is debut in late 2016 and has looked promising, whilst fighting at the lower levels of the Filipino domestic scene, and beating the usual combination of novices and flawed veteran. The 23 year old Camelion once looked like he could make a mark on the domestic but has lost 4 of his last 5, including an opening round loss to Hiroto Kyoguchi in late 2016 and two more subsequent stoppage defeats.
The other title fight will see former world title challenger Tomomi Takano (10-3, 7) face off with Joan Ambalong (6-7-1, 3) in a bout for the interim OPBF female Bantamweight title. Takano did hold the full version of this title not too long ago, but has lost 2 of her last 4 and appears to be on the slide. In saying that however the Filipino is very limited, naturally smaller and has lost 3 of her last 4, with this likely to be another loss for the Tampilisan fighter.
It should be noted that Takano has retired according to the JBC and there is some suspicion that this fight will not take place, and if it does it would be seen as an unsanctioned bout by the JBC.
Another fighter of interest on this card is Ben Mananquil (15-1-2, 3), who is involved in a huge mismatch as he takes on Alvin Bais (15-10-1, 4). We think Mananquil is a genuine talent with a lot of upside, but bouts like this won't do his development any favours, especially given that Bais has been stopped in his last 4 and is more than 2 years removed from his last win.