The most notable action in Asia this coming Saturday will be in Thailand as we get the next show in the WP Boxing series of events, and it's a show that will look to highlight two of the hottest prospects in Thailand.
One of the promising Thai's in question is Phongsaphon Panyakum (12-1, 6), who will be looking to defend his WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Flyweight title against Adrian Lerasan (10-4, 3). The 21 year old Panyakum is one of the best prospects in Thailand, and has gone on a great run since a defeat to Kai Ishizawa on debut back in 2017, and is looking to continue his rise through the ranks towards a WBC world title fight, something we expect to see him in in 5 or 6 years time. Despite Panyakum being a great prospect this won't be an easy one for him and Lerasan can't be over-looked, especially given his recent form in Thailand, that included a massive upset win over Tanes Ongjunta in 2020. This should be a very interesting match up.
Sadly the other main bout on this show is less likely to be an interesting one, as the hard hitting Chainoi Worawut (14-0-1, 12) takes on the much older, much smaller Suriyan Satorn (61-12, 41). A prime Suriyan was always great fun to watch, and a legitimately great warrior, but he was at his best at 108lbs and is now fighting up at 122lbs for this bout. Chainoi Worawut is a genuinely promising prospect, and hopefully we see him in with some interesting international opponents in the near future, but at the moment he's a long way from being a legitimate threat in the Super Bantamweight division. Despite being a long way from a top fight he should be far too big and too strong here to even be tested.
CAA Centre, Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Over in Canada we'll see a new Canadian Middleweight champion being crowned, as Canadian based Indian born fighter Sukhdeep Singh Bhatti (9-0, 3) takes on Jordan Balmir (11-1, 6) for the vacant title. Bhatti slowly been making a name for himself on the Canadian scene, and despite having a frustrating level of inactivity in recent years, with just a single fight in 2020 and a single fight in 2021, he is clearly a promising fighter who could help kick start the love of professional for Indian youngsters. Balmir on the other hand is a Canadian fighter best known for losing in 2018 to Steven Butler, who stopped Balmir in 3 rounds. That loss aside there's not much on Balmir's record to talk about, though he was inactive through 2019 and 2021 and has had just 6 rounds of action since losing to Butler in October 2018.
Olympic Arena, Andijan, Uzbekistan
Staying in notable Asian boxing countries we see Uzbekistan, an amateur boxing power house, hosting a show in Andijan. It's not a big show but there are some interesting fighters on the card.
Potentially the most interesting fight on the show is a 10 rounder between Khusniddin Pulatov (11-3, 7) and the debuting Dilshod Sodikov (0-0), in what seems a really strange one. Pulatov has been quietly making a name for himself in Uzbekistan and South Korea, scoring a notable win over In Duck Seo in 2019, and should be heavily favoured here, however it's clear that Sodikov and his team are confident in his potential and are throwing him in deep here in what could be a great chance for him to announce himself on the regional scene.
Another interesting looking bout will see 23 year old Ulugbek Sobirov (11-1, 6) take on Argentinian fighter Brian Damian Chaves (14-1, 5). Sobirov had a fair bit of momentum build at one point, but a loss in 2020 to Dmytro Mytrofanov slowed his rise and he's yet to really rebuild from that defeat, with just a single win since then. Chaves on the other hand has won 3 in a row since being blasted out by Jeremias Nicolas Ponce. Notably Chavez has shown a questionable chin, but will feel confident of having the tools to over-come Sobirov in a good looking match up.
Dubai Marina, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Over in Dubai we're set to see the next chapter in the long running saga of Guillermo Rigondeaux (20-2-0-1, 13) versus the Philippines, as he takes on Vincent Astrolabio (16-3, 12) for the vacant WBC International Bantamweight title. The Cuban veteran has faced numerous Filipino's over the years, and was unbeaten against them until his 2021 loss to John Riel Casimero last year, and it did seem like he had slowed significantly from the man who beat Nonito Donaire, in what is still the career defining win for Rigondeaux. Despite the Cuban's slow down he should have way too much for Astrolabio, who is very much a Filipino level domestic fighter who has fallen short against his most notable opponents, such as Yuki Strong Kobayashi and John Mark Apolinario.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The biggest show this coming Saturday is in the Philippines, where we get a world title fight and a world title eliminator.
The world title fight is a rare all-Filipino title bout, as the unbeaten Samuel Salva (17-0, 10) takes on Pedro Taduran (13-2, 10) for the IBF Minimumweight title. Salva was originally expected to face Deejay Kriel for the title, before Kriel chose to vacate setting up this all Filipino title bout which looks like it could be a very interesting match up. The unbeaten is a 22 year old who is getting his first shot at the big time, and has lived up to his name of being the "Silent Assassin" pretty well whilst climbing up the rankings without making too much noise. Taduran on the other hand will be getting his second world title fight, after running Wanheng Menayothin close in a WBC world title fight last year. This isn't going to get a lot of attention, but should be a lot more interesting than some of the other all-Filipino world title bouts we've had recently. A full preview of this bout is available here Salva and Taduran face off for IBF title
In another notable bout on this card the once beaten Giemel Magramo (23-1, 19) will take on Thailand's Eaktwan BTU Ruaviking (25-5,16) in an IBF Flyweight world title eliminator. For both men this is a huge opportunity to set up a big fight down the line, and a shot at Moruti Mthalane, whilst from a fans point of view this could be some truly fantastic. The 24 year old Magramo has reeled off 6 straight wins since a close loss to Muhammad Waseem in 2016 and looks to be on an excellent run of form with notable wins against the likes of Petchchorhae Kokietgym and Wenfeng Ge. The Thai on the other hand is looking to notch his 4th straight win, and secure his second world title bout, though he failed to shine in bouts away from Thailand, with just a single win on the road. Style wise this should be a war, and it could easily end up being an instant classic. A preview of this bout can be read here Magramo and Nantapech set for Flyweight eliminator thriller!
Davao del Sur, Philippines
A second Filipino card this Saturday will be a much lower profile one in Davao del Sur, and will feature a number of unbeaten fighters, mostly in bouts that look stacked in their favour.
The main event of the card will see the unbeaten Jenel Lausa (9-0-1, 5) take on Indonesian foe Carlos Lopez (28-9, 9) in a fight for a minor title. On paper this looks like a big step up for the 31 year old Lausa, however Lopez has been out of the ring since March 2013. Interestingly Lopez was pencilled in to fight Billy Dib a few months ago, before Dib fought Amir Khan, so he should be in good condition, but will likely be an under-dog here.
In an interesting supporting bout the unbeaten Richard Bulacan (6-0, 4) will battle against Vergel Deguma (9-5, 4), in a battle of young southpaws. Bulacan has shown some real promise at this early stage but this should still be a solid test for the 20 year old.
The second Teiken card of the month is a much higher profile one than their first, and features not only a Japanese title fight but also a former 3 weight world champion and some notable prospects, in what looks like a very solid card.
The main event of the show will see Japanese Welterweight champion Yuki Nagano (16-2, 12) make his first defense as he battle against Makoto Kawasaki (11-7-1, 2). Nagano won the title back in April, when he stopped Ryota Yada and recorded a 14th straight win. The 30 year old, who went 2-2 in his first 4 has been in great form and beaten really good domestic fighters in recent years. At 35 years old Kawasaki is likely to be getting his last chance to win a title, but he will enter as a very clear under-dog, and will need a career best performance to over-come Nagano. Our preview of this bout is here Nagano to defend Japanese title against Kawasaki
Former multi-weight world champion Jorge Linares (45-5, 28) fights in the chief support bout of the card. The former 3 weight world champion has lost 2 of his last 3, by stoppage, but is still incredibly popular, especially in Japan, where he hasn't fought in over 4 years. Linares will be up against Filipino foe Al Toyogon (10-4-1, 6), who has lost his last 2, but will be looking to bounce back from those losses, and show what he can do in the biggest profile bout of his career.
Another notable name on this card is Welterweight hopeful Ryota Toyoshima (11-2-1, 8), who will be be seeking a 5th straight win as he takes on Masafumi Ando (6-8-2, 3). The in form Toyoshima will be the favourite, and will be looking to build on wins over the likes of Moon Hyon Yun and Woo Min Won, however Ando did score a big win last time out against former Japanese national champion Toshio Arikawa. This could be a lot more interesting than it looks on paper.
The lower end of the card here is pretty interesting as well. In a really interesting look bout the 2018 Rookie of the Year runner up Hikari Mineta (6-1, 3) takes on Yuji Oba (6-4, 4), in what looks like a good test for Mineta, Rookie of the year winner Kenta Endo (4-0-1, 3) battles Korean foe Gi Won Shin (3-2-3) and the debuting Katsuya Fukui (0-0) faces off with Sang Hoon Kim (4-1-2, 3).
Jeju, South Korea
Talking about Korean fighters it's worth noting there will be a Korean card as well, albeit at a very low level, with an international theme as locals take on a mix of Japanese and Chinese opponents.
The most notable bout on this card will see unbeaten Korean teenager Min Jang (8-0-2, 2) take on Japanese visitor Wataru Ikegami (7-4-1, 4). The talent Jang should be took good for Ikegami, who's lost to Fumiya Fuse and Tsubasa Murachi in recent bouts, but it is still a step up in class for the Korean youngster.
Another Korean Vs Japan bout on this card will see 21 year old Korean local Yong In Jo (7-3-2, 2) take on Japanese veteran Yuichi Ideta (13-14-1, 7). This will be Jo's first bout since a November 2017 loss to Daishi Nagata whilst IDeta will be looking to end a 10 fight losing streak.
Paju, South Korea
A second Korean card will take place in Paju and, on paper at least, it is a more notable card.
One of the most notable bout on this card will see In Duck Seo (12-1-2, 7) attempt to build on his KO win against Tysinn Best, as he faces off with Uzbek foe Khusniddin Pulatov (7-3, 5) in a contest for the WBA Asia Welterweight title. This could be a very explosive and action packed fight between two relatively limited, but fun to watch fighters, who will both believe in their toughness and power.
In a female bout we'll see Bo Mi Re Shin (7-0-3, 3) take on Jinyan Gao (2-0) in a battle of unbeaten fighters. According to the KBA this will actually be the show's main event, though in reality this bout is less significant, and less interesting, than the co-feature bout.
In Thailand we have a small, yet very notable, card featuring two bouts worthy of some attention.
The more significant of the two bouts will be a Light Middleweight bout between former world title contender Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (41-1, 30) taking on Filipino southpaw Junjesie Ibgos (13-4, 11), in a bout for the WBA Asia title at 154lbs. Teerachai is riding a 3 fight winning run since losing to Lucas Matthysse in 2018 and will be strongly favoured here against Ibgos, who fought as a Featherweight earlier in his career.
The other bout is less significant, but arguably more intriguing. This bout will see novice professional Theeraphan Polsongkarm (1-0) take on former world title challenger Inthanon Sithchamuang (31-12-1, 19), in a 10 round bout. We often see Thai's being fast tracked but this is a huge step up for Theeraphan, and a win here would be a huge statement, even if Inthanon is a long, long, way from being the fighter who went 12 rounds with Kohei Kono back in 2016.
We get yet another Asian show, with one taking place in Singapore.
The main event here is a really, really good looking one, with Ongen Saknosiwi (6-0, 6) taking on Nanthawat Maolichat (6-0, 6) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Featherweight title. Saknosiwi is the IBPC champion and is regarded as a real hopeful for Indonesian boxing, though this will be his first bout outside of Indonesia and should be seen as a credible test. Nanthawat is a Thai teenager who debuted in November, and will be taking a big step up in class himself, in what will be his first title fight. This looks like it could be very, very explosive.
As well as the good looking main event this card will also feature local hopefuls Hamzah Farouk (8-0, 5) and Abdelelah Karroum (5-0, 4), who will both be taking on limited Indonesian visitors.
In Russia we get a small card, though a card with an excellent all-Asian main event. The match up will see unbeaten Uzbek fighter Ravshanbek Umurzakov (9-0, 7) take on the upset minded Roldan Aldea (14-7-1, 8), from the Philippines. Umurzakov has shown touches of real promise, and is clearly a prospect to make a note of, but there is a lot of questions for him to still answer. On the other hand Aldea will be looking to build on July's upset win over Mikhail Alexeev, a win that came thanks to a huge KO over the previously unbeaten Russian.
This coming Sunday attention turns to Vietnam, where we see Cocky Buffalo put on a pretty notable card, with a regional title bout and a couple of Uzbek prospects.
The main event will see WBA Asia Light Middleweight champion Khusniddin Pulatov (6-3, 4) make his first defense, defending his title against Filipino foe Rodel Wenceslao (13-16-2, 5). It's hard to know how this bout will go, with the champion certainly not being a quantity and the challenger being known to be less than stellar. Their limitations and question marks about both should make this interesting, even if it's nothing spectacular.
In a supporting bout Uzbek Abdurasul Ismoilov (3-1, 3), who is reportedly 2-0 despite boxrec's record suggesting he's 3-1, will be facing off with Filipino veteran Jaime Barcelona (41-63-1, 10). The Uzbek is highly regarded in the Uzbek press and this will be a good chance for him to prove what he can do against a durable veteran. Barcelona was once well regarded for his durability, but has had a very long and hard career, which has began to take it's toll on him.
A third bout, and possibly the easiest one to pick a winner in, will see the unbeaten Ravshanbek Shermatov (2-0, 1) taking on Indonesian journeyman Waldo Sabu (13-13, 3). It's hard to imagine anything but a win for the unbeaten Uzbek.