Mandaue City, Philippines
The biggest show this coming Friday for us is in the Philippines, where we will see a nice mix of bouts, ranging from notable names to unbeaten prospects.
One of the biggest names on the card is the teak tough, and heavy handed, Jason Canoy (26-7-2, 19). Canoy, who was the debut opponent of Hinata Maruta, will be up against relatively notable domestic foe Renerio Arizala (13-7-2, 5) in what should be a straight forward win for Canoy. The talented Canoy was beaten last time out, losing a split decision in in South Africa to Mzuvukile Magwaca, but should have far too much for Arizala, who struggled in recent years and has scored just 1 win in his last 8 bouts.
In the only title bout on the card fans will be able to see Jhaleel Payao (15-1, 9) make his first defense of the PBF Bantamweight title, as he takes on the heavy handed Raul Yu (9-2-2, 8). The talented Payao has only been beaten by the very skilful Michael Dasmarinas, and since that loss has bounced back with 4 straight forward domestic wins, including his title winning effort back in March against Nelson Tinampay. The big punching Yu was beaten last time out, losing a wide decision to Jade Bornea, but should be viewed as a live challenger here, and he certainly has the edge in power here. This should be a really interesting match up, but we do see the champion retaining his title.
Another pretty decent match up on this card will see Kenny Demecillo (12-4-2, 7) take on domestic banana skin Gerpaul Valero (21-19-4, 15), in what could be a very tricky match up. On paper Demecillo will be the favourite, though he did lose his last bout, suffering a decision loss to Mark Anthony Geraldo, and Valero has scored notable upsets in the past.
Explosive youngster Tomjune Mangubat (7-0, 7) will be seeking to continue his impressive start as he battles against Crisanto Contemprato (6-3-1, 4) in an decent looking match up. The 20 year old Mangubat is being gradually stepped up, but has so far just been too powerful for everyone he's faced,scoring 7 T/KO's in just 11 combined rounds. The 25 year old Contemprato has only been stopped once in 10 bouts, and that was up at Super Featherweight, suggesting he can take a shot, which he'll need to do to over-come Mangubat.
Also on the under is a battle of unbeaten fighters as Rimon Rama (6-0-1, 4) takes on Richard Bulacan (3-0, 3) in a match up that looks likely to be explosive,a little bit wild and very exciting. Despite both men being novices this is scheduled for 8 rounds, and is 18 year old Rama's second bout scheduled for the distance.
In Canada we'll see touted Kazakh hopeful Batyrzhan Jukembayev (9-0-0-2, 8) take a huge step up in class as he faces off with once touted Panamanian Alberto Mosquera (24-3-2-2, 16). The Kazakh has been an exciting fighter so far, and looks like a very dangerous man with serious power, though has shown decent stamina with an 8 round decision win last year. It's worth noting that whilst Mosquera is a decent fighter he has been stopped in al 3 of his defeats and Jukembayev can certainly punch.
In the US fight fans will get the chance to see former Uzbek amateur star Rustam Tulaganov (0-0) make his professional debut. The talented 26 year old will be debuting in a 4 rounder, though the reality is that he could be fast tracked through the ranks and facing notable names before the end of 2018.
On March 8th we only get one show, though it could potentially be an interesting one for Filipino fight fans for a title bout in the main event and intriguing chief support bout.
That main event will see the once beaten Jhaleel Payao (14-1, 8) take on the heavy handed Jason Tinampay (8-3-1, 7) in a bout for the Philippines Boxing Federation Bantamweight title. Payao has rebuilt with 3 straight wins since suffering a narrow loss in July 2015 to the under-rated Michael Dasmarinas but this is a step back in up class since that loss. For Tinampay this will be a third title shot, having been stopped in his previous two, though he has mixed with good fighters including Rimar Metuda and Jack Tepora, who both stopped him.
In the chief support bout we'll see Jimboy Haya (9-3-2, 6) battle the heavy handed Ken Jordan (4-0-1, 4). No one, to date, has stopped Haya who went 12 rounds with Vic Saludar last year and his toughness can't be questioned. Jordan has looked like a power this far into his career and will know that stopping Haya would be a statement here, if he can do it.
Makati City, Philippines
The most notable of two Filipino cards comes from Makati City and features several fighters of note.
The main event will see Drian Francisco (28-4-1, 22) who will face veteran Mateo Handig (13-12, 7). Handig is on a poor run of form, however he may like his chances here given that Francisco has been out of the ring since his November 2015 loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux. At his best Francisco was a fringe world class fighter and although Handig has got an excellent win on his record over Katsunari Takayama it's hard to see him lasting long with Francisco here.
In a notable supporting bout we'll see 2012 Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga (3-0) battle Jeven Villacite (4-5-4, 1) in a 10 rounder. Barriga was a top class amateur and should be able to prove his skills here, as he looks to show that he is a top level prospect. Although Villacite will look for the win it's hard to see him having anything to test Barriga with.
Cebu City, Philippines
On a second Filipino card fans will see Jhaleel Payao (14-1, 8) face off with puncher Jason Tinampay (8-3-1, 7) in a bout for the PBF Bantamweight title. Payao is one of the hidden gems of the Filipino boxing scene and should be favoured here, but Tinampay can certainly punch and shouldn't be over-looked here.
Russian fans also get a show on the 18th of February that features several fighters from an Asian background.
The most notable of those bouts will see the unbeaten Shavkat Rakhimov (8-0, 6), originally from Tajikistan, take on the once touted Filipino Rogelio Jun Doliguez (21-3-2, 15) in about for the vacant WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Super Featherweight title. Rakhimov is coming in to this one on the back of two stoppages over Filipino foes, in Jerry Castroverde and Roldan Aldea, and will be looking to make it 3 from 3 here, but he is facing a big step up in class here. Doliguez has never been stopped, though has lost 3 of his last 6 and his career has certainly lost a lot of the hype he had early one. If the visitor can win here he could give his career a much needed shot in the arm.
In another title bout we see another Tajik born fighter, Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (5-0, 3), battle with veteran Colombian Yogli Herrera (28-17, 20) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Lightweight title, which Yaqubov will be defending for the first time. It's hard to know how good Yaqubov is, but this bout should tell us something about his potential. Aged 21 Yaqubov has time to mature into a good fighter but so far there is a lot of questions about how good he could become.
This coming Saturday is a very busy day in Asian boxing, despite not having a real top tier fight.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Much of the action for the day is in the Philippines where fans get two shows. One of those is set to take place in Metro Manila and show case a former world title challenger who is really struggling for form.
The former challenger is the heavy handed Silvester Lopez (24-11-2, 18) who takes part in a confidence building bout against Eranio Semillano (10-7, 3). The bout is technically a contest for the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Bantamweight title, but the reality is that no one really cares about the belt and instead the key is to get Lopez a much needed win.
The key under-card bout, for us at least, will see the unbeaten Joe Noynay (9-0, 2) risk his unbeaten record against Marvin Abila (4-10-1). This should be a straight forward win for Noynay however we haven't yet seen him step up and hopefully that will happen in the near future.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
The other Filipino card is from General Santos City and features several bouts of note.
The main event will see recent OPBF title contender Mark Anthony Geraldo (31-6-3, 14) attempt to end a 2-fight losing streak as he takes on Ryan Rey Ponteras (13-11-1, 6). On paper this is a huge mismatch but, Ponteras has been over-looked in the past and has proven to be a banana skin, so could possible test Geraldo's resolve here.
As for the key under-card bout, that will be a contest featuring the promising, but once-beaten, Jhaleel Payao (11-1, 6) who hopes to bounce back from a loss to Michael Dasmarinas, as he takes on Jeson Umbal (8-3, 6). This really is a great supporting bout and could well be the show stealer.
Staying with Filipino's fans in the US will get the chance to see the much touted Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr (14-0, 12) take part in his second bout in the space of 5 weeks. Penalosa Jr has been matched very easily here and will be up against “no hoper” Greg Coverson Jr (3-13-3, 2) in what should be a simple win for the 24 year old Filipino.
Also in the US fans will get the chance to see Kyrgyzstan's Urmat Ryskeldiev (11-3, 7) take on promising puncher Nathaniel Gallimore (9-0, 8) in what could be a very explosive match up in Burbank, California.
In China there will be a rookie show, consisting of 10 bouts, all scheduled for 4 rounders. This is the next set of bouts in the recent Top Rank/SECA co-promoted deal from the Mercedes-Benz Arena and is hoping to, eventually, develop the next crop of Chinese talent.
Where we have had some interesting days already this month we see things go on to a totally new gear on July 11th with the Philippines really dominating a very, very active day.
The best of the shows comes from Cebu where ALA will be running the next in the “Pinoy Pride” cards. Not only is the card a “big name” one but it features a little bit of everything from a recognised champion in a really exciting match up to action involving touted prospects and a major debut for a man tipped as a future Filipino star.
The main event is the world title bout which sees long term WBO Light Flyweight kingpin Donnie Nietes (35-1-4, 21) defends his belt against former unified Minimumweight champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr (17-2-1, 11). This is a genuinely mouth watering match up between arguably the best, and most proven, fighter in the division and one of the most promising and battle hardened young fighters on the planet. Credit to both men for getting this one sorted.
In the co-feature we'll see the much touted Mark Magsayo (10-0, 8) attempt to claim his first title. The talented Filipino will be up against Mexico's Rafael Reyes (16-4, 12) in a bout for the IBF Youth Featherweight title. Magsayo has, generally, impressed but this is a much more significant bout than his previous 10 and we expect to learn something new of the 20 year old here.
Whilst Magsayo is the most touted prospect on the card there is a lot of attention being given to Kevin Jake Cataraja (0-0) who makes his professional debut against Ardi Tefa (6-4, 4). From what we've been told the 20 year old Cataraja is expected to progress quickly through the ranks and could find himself in the same position as Magsayo within the the next year or two.
One other prospect on this card worthy of a mention is the heavy handed Vic Saludar (9-1, 7) who has failed to live up to expectation so far. The once touted Saludar will be up against Michael Kaibigan (3-2-2, 2).
Metro Manila, Philippines
In Metro Manila we have a number of intriguing matches with more Filipino's including a match up that may go down as the best domestic Filipino bout of the year, the card will also feature a pair of former world title challengers and a GAB title fight.
The match up we most like is a 10 round bout for the WBC Youth Super Flyweight title between the unbeaten Jhaleel Payao (11-0, 6) and Michael Dasmarinas (20-2, 13). We've been impressed in the past by Dasmarinas who looked fantastic beating Hayato Kimura last year ans was very unlucky against Lwandile Sityatha. As for Payao he's impressed in sessions working with Ryosuke Iwasa and the reports are that he's a very promising young prospect. We really cannot say enough good words about this one.
Another WBC strap will be on the line as former world title challenger Richard Claveras (12-1-2, 12) looks to defend his WBC Asian Boxing Council title against Benezer Alolod (16-7-5, 5). This will be Claveras's first bout since his loss, in a WBC world title fight, to Pedro Geuvara back in April and this is a tough return to action, despite Alolod not holding the most impressive of records.
A third title bout is for the GAB Super Flyweight title as Rene Dacquel (14-4-1, 5) defends his title against Jonas Sultan (8-2, 5). On paper it's hard to side with Sultan but he has looked good recently with 4 straight wins, 3 by T/KO, and was unlucky in his most recent loss. Whilst it's not the best match up on the card it certainly isn't a bad one.
A final title but here will see Rey Juntilla (20-6-4, 13) trading blows with Danilo Pena (26-21-4, 11) for the vacant LuzProBA Featherweight title. We've got to admit we can't see a win for Pena who is now little more than a domestic journeyman, and is 3 years removed from his last win. Juntilla may go on to achieve something more notable, given he is just 25, but we can't see him progressing to the levels that he'd like to get to.
One final bout of note here will see former world title challenger Ardin Diale (28-9-3, 14) take on Indonesian veteran Heri Amol (35-23-4, 14). From what we understand Diale is awaiting to get a shot at the OPBF Flyweight title and will know that a win here really will put him within touching distance of a shot later in the year. It does need saying Amol has lost his last 9, including a defeat to the then debuting Ken Shiro, but is still a decent enough journeyman to get Diale some good rounds.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
Another Filipino show really looks very exciting with some fantastic match ups on a more domestic level.
The most promising fighter on the card is the unbeaten John Vincent Moralde (12-0, 6), who will be fighting for the first time since his tragic bout with Brayd Smith. The unbeaten Moralde has been matched easily here against William George (10-22, 3) in what should be an easy win, but that allows Moralde's handlers to know where he's at in terms of his mental state.
Another very touted young fighter on this card is 20 year old Jade Bornea (3-0, 2), who holds a notable amateur victory over Kosei Tanaka. Bornea will be facing his stiffest test to date as he goes up against fellow unbeaten Salatiel Amit (6-0-2, 4) in what looks to be a very well matched bout. Jade's brother Jake Bornea (9-1, 4) is also in a very good looking bout as he takes on Richard Rosales (9-2-2, 4) in a bout for the WBC Asia Pacific Youth Flyweight title. Jake is highly tipped, like his brother, though it's hard to overlook his 2014 loss to Raymond Tabugon.
One other prospect worthy of note from this card is Jelbirt Gomera (8-0, 5) takes on the highly experienced, though limited Prell Tupaz (8-27-5, 1) in a bout for the PBF Super Bantamweight title. Gomera hasn't received the plaudits of many others but has slowly carved out a promising record and a title win here will almost certainly move him onto bigger fights.
Whilst this card doe feature a lot of prospects one bout stands out as being a truly mouth watering clash. That bout pits former world title challenger Vergilio Silvano (20-4-1, 12) takes on the talented Jetro Pabustan (25-2-6, 7). On paper this is a brilliant fight with the winner almost certainly being moved towards a bigger and better fight whilst the loser will hover around the top of the domestic scene.
It's not in the Philippines that we have a world title as fight fans in Germany get the chance to see WBA Heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev (33-2-1, 20) defending his title against German based Italian born fighter Francesco Pianeta (31-1-1, 17). On paper this looks mouth watering but in fairness Chagaev is not the fighter he once was and Pianeta was made to look like a journeyman in his last notable bout, a 6th round TKO loss to Wladimir Klitschko. Although it's a “heavyweight title fight” it's hard to see anyone even pretending that this features 2 of the divisions top fighters.
One final bout comes from Mexico as Filipino Jhon Gemino (12-3-1, 5) takes on the touted and unbeaten Andres Gutierrez (31-0-1, 22). This is a huge task for Gemino, who has clearly been brought in to lose, but we can't criticise him for taking the fight.
(Image courtesy of ALA Boxing)
The action really does continue through much of December and this coming Tuesday is no different with notable shows in 4 of the Asian countries and in fact all 4 countries play host to at least 1 title fight.
The most notable of the title fights is in Japan where heavy handed OPBF Super Middleweight champion Yuzo Kiyota (26-4-1, 24) defends his belt against unknown Fijian challenger Abhay Chand (16-13-4, 10), a man we really don't know a lot about. Kiyota, who is best known for his loss to Robert Stieglitz last year, will be making the first defense of his current reign and we suspect he'll make light work of Chand though we haven't managed to find much of Chand's footage and our view is just based on his record.
Sadly whilst this Japanese card has the biggest title bout of the day it lacks markedly in terms of it's under-card. There will 7 undercard bouts but the only one worth noting is the 8 round contest between Kenta Nakagawa (7-2, 5) and Ryo Nakamura (7-4, 3), in what looks to be a very even match up.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Although the best title fight is in Japan we believe the best card comes from the Philippines with 4 bouts that have caught our eye.
The most exciting of those bouts is one of two main events as the promising Rene Dacquel (12-3-1, 4) attempts to defend the WBC Youth Super Flyweight title against unbeaten compatriot Jhaleel Payao (10-0, 6). Dacquel impressed earlier this year fighting to a draw, in Japan, against Ryotaro Kawabata, and has since stopped Menard Abila in 8 rounds. On the other hand Payao is unbeaten and a former PBF champion who has scarcely lost a round in the last 2 years. A really interesting and genuine well made contest.
The other main event will see highly ranked Super Flyweight Warlito Parrenas (22-6, 19) defending his WBO Oriental title against Indonesian visitor Hengky Baransano (11-4, 4). At the time of writing Parrenas is the #2 ranked Super Flyweight according to the WBO and is also one of the divisions most exciting and heavy handed fighters. We suspect the champion will stop the Indonesian visitor though as is often the case with Indonesian fighters, we don't know how good they are and every so often an Indonesian fighter does have some surprising talent so this could be interesting.
A third bout to make a note of is a Light Flyweight bout featuring monster puncher Richard Claveras (10-0-2, 10). The heavy handed and much touted puncher will be fighting against experienced journeyman Rodel Tejares (20-31-6, 5) in what could be an interesting test for the young man who is with out a doubt heavy handed and one to keep a real eye on in the coming years.
The fourth bout will see see former world title challenger Ardin Diale (25-9-3, 12) stepping up to Super Flyweight to fight against the experienced Ricky Manufoe (23-21-2, 10). On paper this is a mismatch however Manufoe's record is misleading and he has lost to numerous world champions including Kompayak Porpramook, Suriyan Sor Rungvisai, Amant Ruenroeng and Teppaith Kokietgym and he may well be a lot better than the numbers suggest. As for Diale we all know he has been in some draining battles recently, including his war with Koki Eto from earlier this year.
We suspect this card will feature another 5 bouts but we've picked out the 4 most notable ones.
In the “land of smiles” fans will get the chance to see Japanese teenage Riku Kano (4-1-1, 3) attempt to claim the WBA Asia Minimumweigth title. Kano, a 17 year old youngster who is yet to debut in Japan, will be fighting Madit Sada (9-18-1, 3). From what we understand Kano will be hoping to become the first Japanese fighter to win a WBA affiliated title prior to his Japanese debut and if he wins here the intention is to try and move towards a WBA world title fight and beat the long standing record of Hiroki Ioka's for the youngest Japanese fighter to become a world champion.
For those who haven't yet seen Kano his skills were recently on show against Wittaya Sithsaithong and going on what we saw there we suspect he'll really shine against the poor Kano.
Daejeon, South Korea
In South Korea we see two more titles up for grabs. The most notable of those is the KBC Light Welterweight title which will be defended by novice champion Myung Soo Sun (1-0) for the first time. Sun, who won the title back in September with a majority decision over Jae-Ho Kim will be fighting against Jin Soo Kim (6-3, 3) here. Although we don't know much about the challenger we do recognise some of his opponents, including Quaye Peter, who Kim stopped in a round, and Taek Min Kim, who beat him in 8 rounds for a different version of this title. This could a be a very good test for the champion.
In the other title bout the unbeaten Eun Hye Lee (5-0, 1) will be battling Filipino visitor Lady Love Sampiton (2-2, 1) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific female Flyweight title. Lee, a former Korean national champion, should be facing the best test of her career here though we've yet to be impressed by Sampiton.
The rest of the card, 4 bouts, will feature debutants in action in what we suspect the KBC hopes will help to grow Korean boxing.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)