This coming Saturday is a busy day for Asian fight fans with several shows in Asia and some Asian fighters fighting in the US.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
The best looking Asian card of the day, by some margin, comes from Tokyo, though is sadly set to be on behind a paywall. The card features just 4 bouts, but all 4 of those are very interesting match ups, including a Japanese title eliminator.
The Japanese title eliminator will be at Lightweight as former Japanese 140lb champion Masahiro Suzuki (6-0, 4) takes on Seiryu Toshikawa (14-5, 8), in a very interesting match up. Suzuki looked sensational in his title win at 140lbs when he stopped Daishi Nagata but he knew it wasn't his best weight and he decided to begin a pursuit of the Japanese title at 135lsb. In his way is the under-rated Toshikawa, who has won his last 4 and is 8-1 since the start of 2017. Toshikawa hasn't been beating top, top domestic names, but he's been in good form, beating solid domestic fighters and could be a very solid test for the very good Suzuki.
Whilst the title eliminator is a great bout we're even more excited about a clash between Kai Chiba (13-2, 8) and Suzumi Takayama (4-0, 4). The talented Chiba will be looking to bounce back from a loss to Kazuki Nakajima in an OPBF title bout back in May, and he'll know another loss here puts him a very, very long way from another title shot, of any kind. As for Takayama, a former Japanese Youth champion, he's been highly impressive to begin his career, and a win here against Chiba would be a huge announcement, and a massive chance for him to put his hat into the mix for a title fight. Although he's only had a combined 13 rounds as a professional, Takayama does look like an incredible prospect with power, skills and heart, and this is a great chance for him to show exactly what he can do.
In an interesting match up we'll see the teak tough Takuya Watanabe (37-10-1, 21) look to bounce back from a brutal and punish loss to Kosuke Saka in a Japanese Super Featherweight title fight. He's in an easier bout here ad he takes on the limited Kazuma Sanpei (20-6, 9), who is who has won 5 of his last 6, but has been fighting at a lower level than Watanabe, who has mixed at title level numerous times. Sanpei will feel confident of continuing his good run, and may feel he's getting Watanabe at the right time, but he will still be regarded as the under-dog here.
The other bout on this card will see the hard hitting, and incredibly fun to watch, Yasutaka Fujita (7-1, 6) take on the light punching, but very skilled, Izuki Tomioka (7-4-1, 2). Of the two men Fujita is the naturally bigger, heavier, hard hitting, but the man with questionable stamina and the much less skilled and accomplished boxer. Tomioka is light punching, but very skilled, tricky, and is battle tested at Japanese and OPBF level. On paper this is an easy bout to over-look but should prove to be a genuinely compelling 8 rounder.
Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines
In the Philippines ARQ Promotions will be putting on a small card, with a brilliant main event, as one of the brightest young prospects in the country takes a massive leap up in class. Sadly outside of that bout there isn't too much to be excited about.
That bout will see the unbeaten April Jay Abne (6-0, 3) battle for the OPBF "Silver" Flyweight title as he takes on the once beaten Bienvenido Ligas (13-1-2, 9), in a truly mouth watering clash. The talented, though inexperienced, Abne, is one of the best natural talents in the country, and seems like the type of fighter who has the technical abilities to go a long way, though does need to find his man strength. Ligas is the bigger puncher and the more naturally forceful fighter, but does leave holes and can be out boxed at times. Despite having holes Ligas is very solid, and he was very impressive Alphoe Dagayloan back in February, in a career best win. This is a genuinely excellent match up.
Suamlum Night Bazaar, Ratchadaphisek, Bangkok, Thailand
There is also Asian action in Thailand, with a show being broadcast under the "The Fighter" banner, thanks to TL Promotions. Sadly whilst it does feature two very notable Thai hopefuls, neither man is in with someone expected to test them.
One of the promising Thai fighters on this show is the once beaten Tanes Ongjunta (8-1, 4), who looks notch a 5th straight win, as he takes on the limited Lerdchai Chaiyawed (6-5, 2). Ongjunta, looking to defend his WBA Asia Flyweight title, should be too good, too skilled, and too smart for his foe, though to credit where it's due, Chaiyawed does tend to offer plenty of resistance, even in his losses, and won't be there to just make up the numbers. We expect Chaiyawed to come to win, but simply not be good enough.
The other notable bout on this card will see the once beaten Arnon Yupang (7-1, 3) take on Filipino novice Fritz Biagtan (1-0, 1). Yupang was once a Thai amateur standout who has a lot of potential, and was last seen beating Amnat Ruenroeng for the WBA Asia South Featherweight title. He won't be defending that title here, but will be expecting to pick up a win. As for Biagtan, he made his debut in 2018, but has sadly been out of the ring for well over 40 months and is the naturally smaller man. Sadly we do not expect this one to be a particularly competitive match up.
Madison Square Garden Theater, New York, New York, USA
Former world title challenger Jonas Sultan (17-5, 11) looks to keep himself in the world title mix as he takes on the hard hitting, and unbeaten, Carlos Caraballo (14-0, 14), in a brilliant match up. The technically well schooled Sultan, who holds a very good win over John Riel Casimero, is often under-rated but has shown what he can do in the ring and should be regarded as a leading contender in the Super Flyweight division. Sadly however he is stepping up in weight here, to take on the very exciting Caraballo. The unbeaten Caraballo has stopped everyone so far, including former world title challenger Christian Esquivel, and is a very dangerous fighter. Although technically gifted this is a very tough ask for Caraballo.
Hilton Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Also in the US we'll see the limited Jeronil Borres (11-5-1, 6), another Filipino fighter, take on unbeaten American Dylan Price (14-0, 10). The 26 year old Borres is now world beater, but he was very competitive against Matthew Griego last time out, also in the US, and will be looking to show what he can do against Price here. The 23 year old Price is a genuine prospect, and he has scored 3 wins already this year, with a 4th expected here. Although not a world beater Borres is better than a TKO1 loss to Junto Nakatani suggests, and he could ask questions of Price here, but we don't expect him to run the unbeaten man too close.
For us the most interesting card of the day takes place in China, where we see a a really talented local look to continue his impressive winning run, a once beaten local looking to add to his record and an unbeaten prospect look to build on his good start.
The main event will see the world ranked Jing Xiang (16-4-2, 3) take on Filipino visitor Jomar Caindog (10-1-1, 4) in a very interesting looking match up on paper. The talented Xiang, who is world ranked at 108lbs, will be dropping to Minimumweight for this match up as he attempts to claim the WBO International title. On paper Caindog is a good opponent, but this will be a big step up for the Filipino, who fights outside of the Philippines for the first time. The winner of this will be in the mix for WBO Minimumweight title so this is a very significant fight for both men and should be a bout that has a lot of skills on show. A full preview of this bout is available to read here Xiang moves down to take on Caindog in International title fight
In a good support bout local fighter Xiao Tao Su (10-1, 5) will take on Shota Yukawa (11-5-3, 4) for the WBO Oriental Super Featherweight title. Coming into this the local is on a 6 fight winning run, including a KO win over the once touted Konthara KKP and another over Riki Hamada. Su is certainly not a big name prospect but has got momentum coming into this bout. Yukawa on the other hand is a 31 year old who has been facing very poor opposition since being stopped in May 2018 by Takura Uehara and will come into this bout as a clear under-dog.
A third bout of interest will see the flawed but hard hitting Chinese Xiang Li (4-0, 3) take on Korean teenager Do Jin Lee (6-2-3) for a pair of minor titles. For Li this will be his second second bout of the year, following January's win over Arvin Yurong. In that win over Young we saw plenty to like about the 24 year old Li, who really does look a powerful young kid, but he really needs a lot of polishing before being moved through the rankings. Lee on the other hand comes into this bout on the back of a very wide loss to Mirai Naito back in June, and that loss showed his level.
ALA have been really quiet this year, though they do have a show this coming Saturday in Leyte, featuring two of their biggest hopes, both in matches that look like mismatches.
The most clear of those mismatches will see the heavy handed Jeo Santisima (17-2, 14) take on Indonesian foe Alvius Maufani (6-3-2, 3). Santisima hasn't fought since last November, when he scored a solid win over tough Mexican Victor Uriel Lopez, and has lost much of his momentum as a result of the lay off. On the other hand Maufani has failed to win any of his last 3, and was stopped last time out, by Yamato Hata.
The other stand out fighter on this card is Albert Pagara (31-1, 22), who takes on Thai puncher Lucky Tor Buamas (12-3, 12). Pagara has promised a lot, but like Santisima has been inactive since last November, and has only fought 5 times since his loss to Cesar Jaurez in July 2016. Given that Lucky has been stopped in his 3 defeats we suspect another early defeat for him here.
Other notable Filipino fighters on this card include Esneth Domingo (11-1, 6) and former world title challengers Melvin Jerusalem (14-2, 8) and Jonas Sultan (15-5, 9). All 3 will be expected to pick up straight forward wins here.
Bang Phun, Thailand
Sticking with pretty notable action we also get a WP Boxing card from Bang Phun, which we expect to see being aired on DAZN in the US.
The main event of this show will see Apichet Petchmanee (4-0, 2) and Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (61-4, 41) battle in a rematch. The two fought earlier this year and the unbeaten Apichet was given a really tough test by the much more experienced fighter, who was though to be past it but proved to still a lot left in the tank. The 65 fight veteran is a former multi-time world title challenger, and whilst he's proven to be no threat to world champions he is a solid regional fighter and will be looking to avenge the loss he suffered in his first bout with Apichet. This could end up being one of the most interesting bouts of the day.
Also on this card is unbeaten youngster Chainoi Worawut (5-0-1, 5), who looks like he could be in a bit of a shoot out as he battles Filipino Matthew Arcillas (6-2, 6). Between the two men they have had 14 bouts, but only seen the final bell once, Chainoi's draw with Rakniran Muadransarakam. Both can punch, and with Arcillas having a suspect chin we're not expecting this to go long. This could be explosive and very exciting.
From what we understand there was supposed to be two Super Flyweight tournaments bouts, with Danai Ngiabphukhiaw (2-1, 1) taking on Yodtanong Chaepet (2-0, 1) and Samartlek Kokietgym (34-10-1,12) going up against Phongsaphon Panyakum (4-1, 1). We have however been told that at least one of these bouts, if not both, have been rescheduled due to an injury.
Staying in Asia there is also a show set to take place in Singapore, albeit a very low level card with little in terms of interesting action.
The main event will see Indonesian journeyman Stevie Ongen Ferdinandus (29-17-1, 16) take on Thailand's Theerawat Yoohanngoh (21-10, 15) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Light Middleweight title. The 38 year old Ferdinandus was once a respectable regional fighter at Lightweight, but his 2018 clash with Tim Tszyu is hard to forget, and it's clear that his career is ambling to an end. Theerawat on the other hand is a 31 year old who showed promise a decade ago, but has certainly not shown that level of promise in recent years. This could be interesting, but it's one where neither guy is likely to go much further.
In a supporting bout 35 year old local Darryl Edmund Kho (4-1-1, 1) battles Rahman Ambodalle (6-12-2, 3). Given how Ferdinandus career is winding down we really do worry for Ambodalle who was stopped in 2 by Ferdinandus in May. That was Ambodalle 9th stoppage loss and he's almost certainly there to just pad Kho's record.
In what looks like another record padding bout the unbeaten Adli Hafidz (6-0, 3), from Malaysia, will be up against 35 year old Rocky Alap Alap (5-18-2). Alap Alap actually fought Theerawat back in 2010, losing in 4 rounds and has only win once since June 2008, suffering 15 losses in that time.
Over in the US Top Rank promoted Kazakh prospect Janibek Alimkhanuly (6-0, 2) looks to continue his unbeaten run as he takes a big step up in class and faces off with Stuart McLellan (27-3-3-1, 11). The talented and unbeaten Alimkhanuly has, at times, flattered to deceive and although clearly an excellent fighter hasn't totally adapted to the professional ranks...yet. McLellan on the other hand is a 32 year old Canadian who is no world beater, but is a solid enough fighter to match Alimkhanuly with at this stage of his career. McLellan has mostly fought on the Canadian scene with his most notable result being a TKO3 loss to Steve Clagget back in 2015. Since the loss to Clagget he has gone 15-1-0-1 and should ask some questions of the Kazakh hopeful.
There's plenty of action set to take place this coming Sunday, even if the quality of that action isn't the best.
For us the most notable card of the day takes place in Okayama, and will be available on demand on Boxing Raise.
The main event of the card will see the talented pairing of Seigo Yuri Akui (12-2-1, 8) and Yoshiki Minato (8-1, 3) meet in a brilliantly matched bout. We like Akui a lot, he's fun to watch, hard hitting and aggressive, but has been stopped in 2 of his last 3, and is certainly not an unbeatable fighter despite having real sting on his punches. Akui has already had success, winning the 2015 Rookie of the Year, and picked up solid wins over Kenji Ono, Ryuto Oho and Masamichi Yabuki, but he really cannot afford another loss at this point. Minato is less well known, but is riding a 4 fight winning run, which lead him to winning the 2018 Rookie of the Year. This could end up being the bout of the day.
Another potential contender for the bout of the day will see Japanese Youth Bantamweight champion Tetsu Araki (13-1-1, 2) make his first defense, and take on the unbeaten Atsushi Takada (6-0-3, 3), in what we're expecting will be a technical war. Neither of these guys is a huge puncher, but both are talented, skilled youngsters each looking to make their name. We're expecting a very, very good fight here. A full preview of this bout can be read here Araki and Takada battle for Youth Crown!
A second Japanese show comes from Gifu, where we'll see a rising hopeful take on a recent OPBF title challenger, looking to get his career back on track. Coming in both men need a win.
The match up will see 20 year old Ruito Saeki (7-2, 1) take on Shingo Kawamura (16-5-1, 8). Saeki was last seen in October, losing to former Japanese Featherweight champion Takenori Ohashi. That losses ended a 4 fight winning run for Saeki, who's other loss came in the 2016 West Japan Rookie of the Year final. Kawamura on the other hand has been stopped in his last 2 bouts, coming up short to Satoshi Shimizu in an OPBF title fight and Reiya Abe. For Kawamura this really is a must win, with a third straight loss likely ending his hopes of getting another major any time soon. For Saeki this is a great chance to get his career back on track a hiccup last time out. A very interesting bout.
Seoul, South Korea
Staying in Asia we also get a title double header from Korea, though if we're being totally honest neither looks to be an amazing match up despite national titles being on the line.
One of the title bouts will see Doo Hyup Kim (10-6-2, 5) make his second defense of the KBM Korean Light Middleweight title, as he takes on unbeaten foe Tae Yun Baek (3-0-1, 1). The 38 year old Kim won the title last year, when he over-came Boo Hyun Baek, but was lucky in his first defense, when he retained with a defense against Kun Woo Kang. Baek , the 27 year old challenger, has never been scheduled for more than 6 rounds, so this is a massive step up in class, but he will go in with the confidence of an unbeaten fighter.
The other title clash will be for the vacant KBM Korean Super Bantamweight title and will pit the unbeaten Han Bin Suh (3-0-2, 2) against Dae Young Lee (2-9-2). The unbeaten fighter is a 19 year old hopeful, who has drawn his last 2, and never featured in a bout longer than 6 rounds. Lee, who has won just 2 of 13 fights, is 40 years old and is 1-6-2 in his last 9. It's hard to say anything positive about this bout.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
It's sad to say that ALA have had a quiet year, the once dominant force in Filipino boxing has all but vanished this year with nothing major having happened, and not on the visible horizon. Their one highlight for the coming weeks will see former world title challenger Jonas Sultan (15-4, 9) travel to South Africa to take on Athenkosi Dumezweni (11-2, 8) in a bout for the WBC silver Super Flyweight title. Sultan is a real talent, one of many talented fighters under the ALA banner, but he's not very exiting and his last 3 bouts, including a loss to Jerwin Ancajas, haven't left great lasting memories. It's alays been hard to pick up a win in South Africa and given Sultan's recent performances he may not do enough to impress the local judges here. Dumezweni doesn't appear to be the next hidden gem of South African boxing, but he can hit and will be strongly supported here.
This Saturday is a huge one for Asian fight fans with notable bouts taking place on 3 different continents.
New Jersey, USA
The biggest card for us is North America where we see a headlining bout between two established fighters and get a supporting card featuring major Central Asian prospects.
The card is headlined by Dmitry Bivol (14-0, 11)defending his WBA Light Heavyweight title against veteran Jean Pascal (33-5-1-1, 20). The talented Bivol has been busy this year with wins against Sullivan Barrera and Isaac Chilemba and a win over Pascal would see him ending a good year with a big name on his record, albeit a faded force in Pascal. The 36 year old Pascal is well beyond his best, but was competitive with Eleider Alvarez last year and the hope will be for Bivol and Alvarez to face off in 2019. A prime Pascal would have given Bivol a real test, but he's now little more than a name. An in depth preview of this bout can be read here - Can Bivol over-come Pascal in one of the final HBO shows?
One of the prospects on this card is Uzbek sensation Murodjon Akhmadaliev (4-0, 3), who will be looking to make his first defense of the WBA Inter-Continental Super Bantamweight title. The unbeaten Akhmadaliev was a former amateur stand out will be up against American foe Isaac Zarate (16-3-3, 2) , who comes into this bout on the back of a 5 fight unbeaten run including wins over Carlos Carlson and Horacio Garcia. This is a good step up for the Uzbek, who's is set to have his fight televised on HBO, and hopefully bigger and better opportunities will come his way in 2019.
One of the other major prospects on this card is the debuting Israil Madrimov (0-0), who looks to instantly announce himself as one to watch, as he takes on Vladimir Hernandez (10-2, 6) in a 10 rounder, on debut. The highly regarded Madrimov is tipped to be a major success, and it seems clear that his team have big expectations for him, putting him in such a tough bout to begin his career. Hernandez might not be a major name but he's a very solid opponent for a debut, and has only lost a couple of close decisions, to Humberto Velazco Torres and Adrian Luna Flores. Not only has Hernandez been competitive with good opponents, but he has scored decent wins over Elco Garcia and Danny Valdivia. This is a serious debut.
Another prospect on this card is 2016 Olympic silver medal winner Shakhram Giyasov (5-0, 4), who will be up against the very experienced Miguel Zamudio (41-11-1, 25). The unbeaten Giyasov has been very impressive this year, beating good opponents like Gabor Gorbics, Albert Mensah and Julio Laguna, defeating Laguna at Wembley on a massive international card. Zamudio is a 27 year old Mexican veteran, who debuted back in 2009 and has been ultra-active. Despite being active Zamudio has lost to the notable opponents he's faced, such as Jose Zepeda, Sharif Bogere and Will Tomlinson.
Kazakh Heavyweight Ivan Dychko (7-0, 7) was also scheduled to be on this card, though was pulled in the weeks leading up to the show, without a reason being given.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Another international card with notable action comes from Monaco, where we get a couple bouts involving Asian fighters.
A second unbeaten Chinese fighter on this card is Meng Fanlong (13-0, 8) who goes up against popular Englishman Frank Buglioni (22-3-1, 16). The bout will be Fanlong's first defense of the IBF Inter-Continental Light Heavyweight title, a title he won in October 2017 when he defeated Ammanuel Danso. The Chinese fighter has looked good at times, but has been shown to have a less than amazing chin and although Buglioni is not a world beater, he does have respectable power. If Buglioni lands clean this could be a night to forget for Fanlong, who will be making his Euroipean debut.
Another Olympic medal winner on this card will be 2016 gold medal winner Daniyar Yeleussinov (4-0, 2) of Kazakhstan. The 2016 Olympic champion will be battling against Nicaraguan Marcos Mojica (16-2-2, 12) and this is another good platform for Yeleussinov to shine on, as he did last time out, when he stopped Matt Doherty. If Yeleussinov can continue to develop his style he could become a star, but there is still a long way for him to go. Mojica is the under-dog, but is a live under-dog here.
We were also hoping to see unbeaten Chinese hopeful Zhang Zhilei (20-0, 16) take on veteran Alexander Ustinov (34-2, 25), but that bout was cancelled at late notice due to Zhilei having visa issues in the weeks running up to the fight.
Despite the notable action in the US and Monaco there is actually a stacked card in the Philippines, courtesy of ALA Promotions who are putting on a show with several WBO affiliated titles.
One of those title bouts will feature the hard hitting Jeo Santisima (16-2, 14) making his first defense of the WBO Oriental Super Bantamweight title, as he takes on Mexican visitor Victor Uriel Lopez (13-6-1, 6). The champion won the title earlier this year, when he stopped Yodsingdaeng Jor Chaijinda and this should be a good defense against a fighter who has proven he can fight on the road. Lopez first came to our attention in 2016, when he upset Ryo Matsumoto, and despite a loss to Matsumoto in a rematch he has remained relevant, with a big win this past August against Antonio Tostado. We're expecting an interesting bout here.
Another title bout on this card will see the once beaten Albert Pagara (30-1, 21) make his first defense of the WBO Inter-Continental Super Bantamweight title, as he takes on Ghanaian puncher George Krampah (14-3, 12). On paper this looks dangerous for Pagara, but the visitor has been stopped in 2 of his last 3 bouts, and he lacks any win of note. This is a great chance for Pagara to make his first defense, and we suspect his aim will be on stopping Krampah in under 4 rounds, to try and beat the result Isaac Dogboe had against him.
In one of the major supporting bouts we'll see former world title challengers face off with Jonas Sultan (14-4, 9) taking on Ardin Diale (34-12-4, 16). Sultan failed to shine in his recent world title fight with Jerwin Ancajas, but he is a talented fighter and will be wanting to bounce back from that setback. A win over would certainly help him go into 2019 with some momentum. As for Diale his record has been patchy recently, though he has mixed with top quality fighters such as Daigo Higa, Moruti Mthlane and Andrew Selby. We suspect Sultan's youth will get him over the line here, but this could be more competitive than the records suggest.
Sultan isn't the only former world title challenger on this show as the once touted Arthur Villanueva (32-3, 18) looks to rebuild his career after his loss earlier this year to Luis Nery. Villanueva will be up against countryman Carlo Demecillo (11-5, 5) who is less than 2 years removed from a brutal KO loss to Satoshi Shimizu. He is 5-1 (4) since that loss, but this is a big step back up in class and is certainly his toughest bout since the Shimizu bout. Hard to see anything but a win for Villanueva, but he will have to work for it.
Unbeaten prospect KJ Cataraja (8-0, 7) takes a step up as he faces Victor Hugo Reyes (9-1-1, 7) for the WBO Youth Super Flyweight title. Cataraja is widely regarded as one of the top Filipino prospects but hasn't yet had the opponents to really show what he's capable of. This is a good chance to Cataraja to prove what he can do and potentially convince his team to give him better match ups in the new year. Reyes is a live fighter, but his record doesn't have much quality on it, with his most notable bout being his loss to Ricardo Rafael Sandoval back in March. Reyes will travel to win, and should give Cataraja a good teat, but one that we expect Cataraja to pass.
Japanese prospect Go Hosaka (1-0, 1), who is signed with ALA Promotions, will be having his second professional bout. The talented former amateur stand out will be up against the hard hitting but limited Jason Tinampay (8-11-1, 7). Hosaka is a real talent and ALA may well have a future world champion on their hands here, if they manage his career properly. At this stage putting him in with Tinampay seems a good choice. Tinampay was once a dangerous fighter, but has gone 1-10-1 since a 7-1 start to his career.
We see yet more prospects in Canada, where two Kazakh hopefuls will be looking to extend their unbeaten records.
One of those prospects is the very talented Sadriddin Akhmedov (4-0, 4), who goes up against the experienced Jose Francisco Zuniga (14-11-2, 5). On paper this is a slight step up in class for Akhmedov, who has stopped his first 4 opponents in a combined 8 rounds, but one he should manage without any issues. It's worth noting Zuniga has only been stopped once in his 11 losses, but we feel he will have to put in a real survival effort to hear the final bell here.
The other is prospects is 24 year old Nurzat Sabirov (7-0, 6), who a huge step up in class to battle Rocky Montoya (32-2, 22). Sabirov is tipped to be a star, like many of the Kazakh's currently based in Canada , and has looked very promising since his debut in June 2017. This is however a step up and Montoya has only been stopped once, by the under-rated David Lopez. Whilst Montoya is a test on paper it's hard to know how good he is given that, for the most part, his competition has been dreadful. We suspect Montoya's record will be exposed here by the talented Kazakh.
In less notable action we'll see Filipino Adam Diu Abdulhamid (13-6, 5) look to build on a recent big win in China, over Youli Dong. The under-rated Filipino will be facing off with Australian Joel Camilleri (15-5-1, 7) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Welterweight title, which is currently vacant. Although relatively unknown Abdulhamid is a very good fighter and seems happy fighting on the road, despite bein 1-3 outside of the Philippines. Camilleri has won just 1 of his last 3 fights, and really lacks a good wins, but was competitive with Dwight Richie last time out, and is better than his record suggests. This looks like it could be a very interesting match up.
After a huge Friday for Japanese fight fans we get an interesting card on Saturday with interest for fans across Asia.
The most notable bout of the day is a huge one for Filipino fight fans, as IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (29-1-1, 20) defends his title against mandatory challenger Jonas Sultan (14-3, 0). This all-Filipino bout will the first all-Filipino world title bout in over 90 years and will see the winner really get a chance to become a big name back home, as well as solidifying themselves as one of the top Super Flyweights on the planet. Unfortunately it would seem likely that both are likely to miss out on the HBO “Superfly” series of shows, but if the winner can unify with WBA champion Kal Yafai that may not be too much of a problem in the short term.
For Mongolian fans attention should be shifted to Mississippi as unbeaten prospect Tugstsogt Nyambayar (9-0, 8) takes a huge step up to face off with former interim world champion Oscar Escandon (25-3, 17). The Mongolian hopeful was taken the distance for the first time in his last bout, and was dropped in that bout by Harmonito Dela Torre, but has looked capable of going all the way and this upcoming bout should be the sort of bout he needs to get himself in to the title mix. Escandon is just 15 months removed from an excellent KO win over Robinson Castellanos, but has lost his only bout since then, being stopped by Gary Russel Jr, and should really be 1-3 in his last 4, dating back over 3 years. This is a decent step up, but one that Nyambayar should manage without too many issues.
In Canada fans will be able to see hard hitting Kazakh hopeful Batyrzhan Jukembayev (12-0-0-2, 10) battle against Argentinian Jonathan Jose Eniz (20-9-1-1, 7) for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Light Welterweight title. The talented Kazakh does look like a very promising fighter but does need a genuine test after having had his way in many of his bouts so far. Given that Enil has been stopped only once, way back in 2015 by German Argentino Benitez, we're expecting him to be a real test for the Kazakh who may well need to show his skills as well as his power.
As for Japanese fans they can look a little bit closer to home thanks to a low key card in Osaka. The card is a pretty weak one but is headlined by former Japanese Light Flyweight champion Kenichi Horikawa (35-15-1, 9), who takes on a Thai we believe will be Mongkol Kamsommat (6-3, 5). This should be an easy win for Horikawa who fights in bis 52nd professional bout, which would see him become the outright number one for the most fights of any currently active Japanese fighter.
It seems that we're getting some great fights week after week at the moment, and this coming weekend looks set to deliver something special with a number of noteworthy bouts.
The biggest bout of the weekend, by far, and one of the biggest bouts this year will see Middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33) defending his WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO titles against Mexican icon Saul Alvarez (49-1-1, 34). For the mainstream sports fan the bout might not have the appeal of the recent Floyd Mayweather Vs Conor McGregor bout but for a boxing fan this is a bigger bout and it will see two of the biggest names in the sport collide in a really interesting match up. Will the biggest name in Mexican over-come the most destructive Middleweight of his generation, or will the Kazakh hero defeat the face of Mexican boxing.
It's not just in American that we get a world title fight, as we also get one in the Philippines, and this is another really well matched one which headlines a stacked card.
That world title bout will see IBF Light Flyweight champion Milan Melindo (36-2, 13) defending his title against former WBA Minimumweight champion Hekkie Budler (31-2, 10). The Filipino took the title earlier this year with a surprising first round win over Akira Yaegashi, setting a divisional record in the process, and will be looking to build on a fantastic little run which also includes a win over Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr. For Budler the bout sees him looking to become a 2-weight champion and score a third straight victory since his upset loss to Byron Rojas back in March 2016. This could be the fight of the weekend.
Talking about possible fights of the weekend it's hard not to think that John Riel Casimero (24-3, 15) against Jonas Sultan (13-3, 9) has the potential to be something special. Casimero, a former world champion at both Light Flyweight and Flyweight is seeking a world title fight at Super Flyweight and finds himself in there with a fighter who has slowly been building a reputation as one to watch. Whilst Casimero is a proven world level fighter, with wins against the likes of Luis Alberto Lazarte and Amnat Ruenroeng, it's hard not to be impressed by Sultan, who has run up recent stoppages against Tatsuya Ikemizu, Makazole Tete and Sonny Boy Jaro. This has the potential to be a very good fight.
Whilst the bouts mentioned above are all about fighters looking to kick on and go to better places it should be noted that this card also features a bout where neither man can afford another set back. That bout will see former world title challengers Arthur Villanueva (30-2, 16) and Richie Mepranum (31-6-1, 8) face off in a must win. Villanueva was last seen suffering a horribly one-sided loss to Zolani Tete in the UK, where Villanueva looked completely out of his depth, whilst Mepranum has been stopped in his last 2. Notably Villanueva is the naturally bigger man, and should win with out problems, but his performances in big bouts has left much to be desired so far.
One man looking to eventually get a big bout is Jason Pagara (40-2, 25), though he will need to over-come James Onyango (23-11-1, 19) if he's to get a shot at a world title. He's ranked #3 in the world by the WBO, and could be in the running for a shot very soon, but can't afford any slip ups here.
One man still looking to carve out his early career is Kevin Jake Cataraja (6-0, 5), who takes a small step up against Wiljan Ugbaniel (13-5-1, 4). The young Cataraja is regarded by those in the Philippines as one of the country's best prospects but will need to prove that against better foes than Ugbaniel. The more experienced man has lost his last 3 by stoppage, in a combined 4 rounds, and although he was once seen as a prospect it does seem like his career as a hopeful is now over.
We get another notable bout in Ukraine, as the unknown Uzbek Jamshidbek Najmiddinov (14-0, 9) takes on former world champion Viktor Postol (28-1, 12). For Postol the bout serves as his comeback contest following his wide decision loss to Terence Crawford back in July 2016 whilst the contests serves as a huge opportunity for Najimidinov to make a name for himself and score a career defining best win.
On a lower level we'll see two Thai's fighting in Australia.
One of those will see Paitoon Jaikom (7-32, 2) take on the unbeaten Matthew Triffett (3-0, 1) whilst the other will see Aphichat Koedchatturat (2-16-1) take on Lachlan Higgins (1-0, 1). It's clear these bouts won't get much attention given the other action for the day, but they will make up some under-card in Tasmania.
The biggest bout of the day, in regards to Asian fights at least, comes from Rizal where we see a rearranged contest between the talented, and criminally under-rated, Jonas Sultan (12-3, 8) and former world champion Sonny Boy Jaro (43-13-5, 30). The bout will see Sultan defending his IBF Inter-Continental Super Flyweight title, which he won last time out when he stopped Makazole Tete, and both men will be seeing a win here as potentially opening the door to a world title fight.
Xi An, China
In China we'll be getting quite a notable show.
The main event of this card will see the world ranked Can Xu (11-2) defending his WBA International Super Featherweight title against Filipino veteran Jack Asis (35-19-5,18). This will be Asis' first bout since he lost to Malcolm Klassen last year, and will see him ending a retirement, a retirement that he announced following the loss to Klassen. Xu is risking his world ranking and his title, but will favour his youth and energy to be the difference here.
In a bout pitting a local talent against an Indonesian, fans will see Wulan Tuolehazi (4-3, 1) battle former world title challenger Nouldy Manakane (32-21-2, 18), with Tuolehazi seemingly replacing Qiu Xiao Jun who was originally set to face the Indonesian veteran. At his best Manakane was a decent fighter, but nothing better than decent on the regional scene. Saying that however it's hard to know how good Tuolehazi is and although he should win here, it's still not likely we'll know really how good he is for a while yet.
In a China Vs Japan bout we'll unbeaten Chinese hopeful Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (11-0-1, 5) battle with Japanese veteran Taisho Ozawa (21-9-2, 13). Although relatively unknown Baisahnbo has caught our eye in the past and the 22 year old does look like a genuine prospect. Aged 36 Ozawa is in last chance saloon, and is looking to record his first win since 2012!
Also on this card will be a bout between heavy handed Puerto Rican Waldemar Pagan (8-1, 7) and Filipino Macrea Gandionco (12-4-2, 7). Although not an Asian fighter this will be Pagan's second fight in Asia, where he has also been used as a sparring partner, and he has impressed in the area, likely leaving a number of promotional outfits interested in him long term. The Filipino has already been stopped 4 times in his career, and it's hard to imagine him lasting the distance with the Puerto Rican here.
The only show in Japan is a small one in Osaka. Whilst it is small, and very low key, it does have a somewhat notable main event as the unbeaten Takuya Uehara (11-0, 6) defends his WBC Youth Featherweight title against Thai visitor Nongdear Sor Bangkharu (1-14). Despite the title being on the line it's hard to get too excited about this one given the unbeaten champion is taking on someone who has lost his last 6, suffering 5 stoppages during that run.
In Australia fans will see Australian veteran Les Sherrington (35-10, 19) battle against Indonesian foe Marco Tuhumury (11-17-2, 4) in what should be a straight forward win for Sherrington, despite the fact he's 34 and been stopped in his last 3 bouts, dating back more than 2 years.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The best of the three Asian shows this Sunday comes from the Philippines where we'll get some really intriguing action.
On paper the main event here is bout of the day and will see rising youngster Jonas Sultan (12-3, 8) take on former world champion Sonny Boy Jaro (43-13-5, 30), with Sultan looking to defend his IBF Inter-Continental Super Flyweight title for the first time. Sultan has impressed a lot over the last 2 years or so, with a number of solid wins including stoppages against Tatsuya Ikemizu and Makazole Tete and if he can score a win over Jaro he will potentially find himself on the fringes of the world rankings. Aged 34 Jaro is looking to earn another world title fight, and is on a 9 fight winning streak following a series of setbacks in 2012 and 2013. At his best Jaro is a tough guy to beat, with power, experience and toughness and will be looking to put himself back in the mix with a win over the rising hopeful. A really great match up.
Another really good domestic match up will see the under-rated Richard Pumicpic (18-8, 6) take on former OPBF champion Roli Gasca (23-7-1, 7) in what could be a real thriller, despite what the records suggest. Pumipic was last seen losing an all-action bout against Cesar Juarez last October and has previously given hell to the likes of Ryosuke Iwasa, Yohei Tobe and Allan Tanada. Gasca on the other hand has beaten Hiromasa Ohashi and twice had competitive bouts with Yukinori Oguni, and earned a draw with Akifumi Shimoda. Neither of these two are likely to be future world champions, but both are solid and should be make for a great bout against each other.
Also on this card will be the unbeaten Edward Heno (9-0-4, 3), who looks to claim the Philippines Boxing Federation Light Flyweight title. Heno will be up against fellow unbeaten southpaw Cris Ganoza (12-0, 6) in what looks like another cracking match up on a really good show.
The more notable of two Japanese shows comes from Hyogo where we see a small card featuring a couple of fighters of some note.
The most promising fighter on the show will be rising Bantamweight hopeful Tenta Kiyose (11-2-1, 4), who looks to extend a nice 4 fight unbeaten run as he takes on Taisei Higashi (7-9-1, 5). Kiyose was last seen stopping Ryuta Otsuka in 3 rounds, and has been on a great run since coming up short at the 2015 Rookie of the Year final. Higashi on the other hand has struggled with consistency recently and gone 3-6-1 in his last 10, which doesn't bode well here.,
The other fighter of note is 22 year old Featherweight hopeful Tenmei Serizawa (9-3, 5), who battled against Takuya Yamamoto (7-6, 4). Earlier in his career Serizawa struggled, going 3-3 in his first 6, but has strung together 6 straight wins including a career best 4th round KO win over Hikaru Matsuoka last time which has put him on the map so to speak. On the other hand Yamamoto has struggled recently with a 1-3 run in his last 4, including defeats to Shingo Kawamura and Yuta Uetani. On paper this doesn't look hugely exciting but Yamamoto is better than his record suggests and this could be a very competitive match.
For fans interested in this show it will be part of the Boxingraise subscription sevrice, and will be added on delay.
The other card is a small one form Fukuoka.
In the main event of this card we'll see Yusuke Yamanouchi (8-3-1, 4) battling against a Thai visitor in a 10 rounder. The bout looking to bounce back from an 8 round decision last May to Mitsuyoshi Fujita whilst little is known about the Thai he'll be facing.
The chief supporting bout here is a 6 rounder between Takuya Sugiyama (5-3-1) and Yuta Nakashima (7-10, 2), who fight in a rematch following a very close contest last year. Between them the fighters have a combined 12 wins, with 2 stoppages, and 13 losses, with just 2 of them by stoppage. Although yet to score a stoppage Sugiyama will be favoured to win here with Nakahsima having lost his last 5 in a row, including a loss to Sugiyama last time out, and is without a win in over 6 years!
The only Asian show of the day takes place in China.
The main event of the card will see former world title challenger Angky Angkotta (28-13-1, 14) take on Chinese local Yin Gang Wang (8-3, 2). Angkotta was once a solid fighter, and is the only man to have beaten Donnie Nietes, but has lost his last 5 and has gone 1-7-1 in his last 9 with his career having gone from title contender to journeyman. Notably Wang has lost 3 of his last 4 but the Chinese fighter will have youth and hunger on his side here and we suspect they will be too much the very shop worn Angkotta.
On the same card fight fans will also see big punching Chinese fighter Yongqiang Yang (5-0, 5) battle against the once beaten Kuerbanjiang Qiong (3-1). Yang has needed just 9 rounds to stop his first 5 opponents, but they were all total novices and this is a step up. As for Qiong he's gone the distance in all 4 bouts, and has a combined 16 rounds, but does appear to lack the power that he'll need to go far in the sport.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
We also get a really interesting bout from South Africa, where Makazole Tete (15-1-2, 11), the younger brother of Zolani Tete, faces Filipino Jonas Sultan (11-3, 7). Sultan will be travelling to face Tete for the IBF Inter-Continental title, with Tete looking to make his first defense of the belt. Tete won the belt back in July, when he beaten Raymond Tabugon in 5 rounds, this however is a much tougher bout for the local. Sultan, who has never been stopped, could have a strong argument as being unbeaten and was unlucky in all 3 losses, including last year's loss to Go Onaga. Whilst Sultan has suffered some controversial defeats he does notable wins over Jerson Mancio, Brian Lobetania, Rene Dacquel and Tatsuya Ikemizu and could prove a real handful for Tete.
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There isn't a lot of action this coming Friday but the key shows is in the Philippines.
The most notable bout of the day will see OPBF Light Welterweight champion Al Rivera (16-2, 14) make the first defense of his title as he takes on Fellow Filipino Adones Cabalquinto (23-2, 15), in what will be the second meeting between these two men. Riveral scored a surprise 2nd round win over Cabalquinto in November 2015 and subsequently went on to batter Shinya Iwabuchi to claim the OPBF title this year. This will be Rivera's first defense of the title and will also give Cabalquinto a chance to avenge his 2015 loss. This could be a really good bout, or another impressive performance from the monstrously heavy handed Rivera who has stopped his last 6
In the chief supporting bout we'll see the out of form Benezer Alolod (16-8-5, 5) battle against fellow struggler Renren Tesorio (15-8-3, 4) in a rubber bout between the two men. The men first fought in 2014, with Alolod taking a split decision win, then rematched in 2015 with Tesorio taking a majority decision. Since their second bout Tesorio has gone 1-2, suffering a 10th round TKO loss to Daigo Higa, whilst Alolod has suffered back to back losses to Koji Itagaki and Richard Claveras.
In another title bout involving a Filipino we'll see Czar Amonsot (32-3-3, 20) battle against Kaewfah Tor Buamas (23-0, 16). The bout will be Amonsot's first defense of the “interim” WBA Oceania Light Welterweight title and could see the winner move towards a potential world title fight, with Amonsot holding a decent world ranking. The bout will be Kaewfah's first bout of real note, though he has been scheduled to face other notable opponents, whilst Amonsot will be looking to extend a 16 fight winning run.
Yet another title fight involving a Filipino will see South African Gideon Buthelezi (17-5, 4) defending his IBO Super Flyweight title against Filipino visitor Jonas Sultan (11-3, 7). The bout is a tough ask for Sultan, given he's on the road here, but he has impressed on the road in the past, giving Go Onaga a very competitive bout last year and stopping Tatsuya Ikemizu earlier this year. It's worth noting that Buthelezi has been stopped by a Filipino before, having been taken out in a round by Edrin Dapudong in 2013