This coming Friday isn't one of the biggest days in Asian boxing boxing but we do have several interesting bouts including a bout that could help change the life of a popular and exciting Filipino slugger.
Hato Rey, Puerto Rico
The biggest bout involving an Asian fighter today comes all the way from Puerto Rico as former world title challenger Michael Farenas (39-4-4, 31) battles against the unbeaten Jose Pedraza (18-0, 12) in an IBF Super Featherweight final eliminator. The bout is biggest bout of the night and promises to be a very exciting one with on the line. For Pedraza it's a huge opportunity to put himself in line for a title fight whilst for Farenas it's a chance to put a frustrating year behind him. We all thought Farenas was going to get an IBF title shot following his victory over the previously unbeaten Mark Davis, instead however he got told to have another eliminator which then saw various opponents avoid him and sadly leaving him out in the cold before Pedraza got the call. Hopefully the frustration won't have got to Farenas too much as this could open up a very good chance for him to become a world champion in 2015.
In Tokyo we get a 9 fight card courtesy of Noguchi gym who are putting on a relative small show headlined by Japanese ranked Featherweight contender Daisuke Yokoyama (15-5-1, 6) who will be hooping to retain his #2 domestic ranking as he battles journeyman Keita Ito (8-18-2, 4) in what looks to be little more than a stay busy fight. Yokoyama enters the bout 1-1-1 in his last 2 bouts dating back more than 24 months though the one loss was a close one in a Japanese title fight against Hisashi Amagasa and we suspect he may be looking to get another title fight in 2015.
In the co feature we will see another ranked Featherweight in action as Noriyuki Ueno (17-11-5, 5) battles against Kazunori Takayama (19-8-4, 4) in a 6 rounder. Although Ueno's record is poor on paper he is one of those fighters with a misleading record and has lost in 3 Japanese title fights. This bout will see Ueno risking his #9 OPBF and #4 JBC rankings against against Takayama who returns to the ring after more than 3 years out.
Another interesting 6 rounder will see Takeshi Inoue (0-0-1) battle against Samson Por Thitima (0-1) in a very interesting bout despite the fact neither man has a win on his record, according to boxrec.com. Inoue fought to a 6 round draw with fellow debutant Daishi Nagata back in August whilst Thitima's only recorded bout saw him being stopped by the debuting Ryo Okayama back in November 2009, as with many Thai's however we do suspect his record is inaccurate given that 5 years between bouts in extraordinary.
A third 6 rounder that we feel is worth noting will see Kyohei Tsunashima (4-4, 3) battle against Takashi Sakamoto (5-3, 1) in a very evenly matched contest. It's not a bout that will have fans cramming into the Korakuen Hall but we suspect the fans there will enjoy this one whichever ways it ends up going. Of the two men Tsunashima is the bigger puncher but also the less durable whilst Sakamoto takes a shot better but delivers a much less punch himself.
A second Japanese show comes form Osaka where OPBF #3 ranked Minimumweight Jetly Purisima (19-13-4, 5), from the Philippines, battles against Japan's Yuki Takemoto (16-18-2, 7) in a very interesting looking main event. Neither guy will be confused for a world class fighter but both should act as a fantastic foil for the other in what is likely to be one of the best contested bout of the day and with Pruisima's OPBF ranking on the line neither man will be happy to lost this one.
In the chief support bout Koichi Ogawa (10-4-1, 5) will battle against Japanese based Brazilian Cristiano Aoqui (8-3-2, 4) in what appears to be another really good contest that could be easily over-looked. Neither guy is likely to win a title at any point but both should again make for a good fight together.
One other interesting bout from this 6 fight show will see Ryo Kosaka (8-3-1, 4) battling against the more experienced Hiroki Yoshimura (7-10, 4). Yoshimura enters the bout on the back of 5 straight losses and desperately needs a win to end his bad run however Kosaka isn't as good as his record indicate and this could end up being a bit of an upset if Yoshimura has any confidence left.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia we're expecting a very interesting contest as Thailand's Padjai Yongyuthgym (17-1-2, 12) takes on Chad Bennet (34-4-3, 25) in a bout for the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Light Welterweight title. The Thai, a former PABA Featherweight and Super Featherweight champion, is a big puncher and probably should be unbeaten in all honesty, though we do wonder how he will do up at 140lbs. If his power is as good as we believe then Padjai does have half a chance here.
New South Wales, Australia
On a second show in Australia we will have an all-Asian bout as Australian based Filipino Aswin Cabuy (17-48-4, 7) battles with Australian based Chinese fighter Zhang Yong (2-4-1, 1) in a contest for the WBF Asia Pacific Middleweight title. The bout will be the second between the men this year after they fought to a 4 round draw in March. We suspect Cabuy will know too much for the Chinese fighter but Cabuy himself isn't a great fighter and his own flaws could make this interesting.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)