This coming Saturday is set to be a great day for Asian boxing, with notable action in Thailand, Japan, Russia and the US.
Workpoint Studio, Bang Phun, Thailand
For once we'll start in Thailand as WP Boxing give us one of their most interesting shows of 2020, and do so free on their YouTube and Facebook pages. The card isn't a monster card, but it does have two very interesting main bouts on it.
The highest profile bout on the card will see former world champions colliding for a regional title. In one corner will be former WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (54-8, 36), who showed there was still something left in the tank with a recent upset win over Campee Phayom, whilst the other corner will host Amnat Ruenroeng (20-4, 6), himself a former IBF Flyweight champion. On paper it seems easy to favour the hard hitting, and naturally bigger, Pungluang, however Amnat showed he still have plenty to offer when he ran Srisaket Sor Rungvisai close a few months ago. This is a really intriguing match up and will be for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Featherweight title.
A second WBC Asian Boxing Council title fight on this card will be at Flyweight, with rising youngster Thananchai Charunphak (10-1, 8) defending his title over battle worn veteran Pigmy Kokietgym (61-13-2, 25). We are huge fans of the 20 year old Thananchai, who has been very impressive in recent bouts and will be looking to secure a third notable win here. Sadly Pigmy Kokietgym is about 10 years beyond his prime, and about 7lbs north of his best weight. We suspect Pigmy will give it a go early on, before being broken down and stopped by Thananchai. Although a mismatch we can't recommend fans following Thananchai enough, this youngster is one of the best prospects in Thailand.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
As well as as the action in Thailand we also get a pretty notable show at Korakuen Hall, sadly however this show won't be getting live TV coverage and instead will be televised a few days after the event takes place.
Originally the main event here was supposed to see Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (12-0-1, 11) make a mandatory defense of his title as he takes on unbeaten youngster Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2), as part of the Champion Carnival. Sadly the bout was cancelled just over a week before the show due to Takesako suffering a training injury.
Due to the main event bout being cancelled the headline bout here will see former world title challenger Takeshi Inoue (16-1-1, 10) fight in what is supposed to be a tune up contest against the unbeaten Nath Nwachukwu (6-0-2, 3), who will likely see himself as a live under-dog. Inoue, best known for his 2019 bout with Jaime Munguia, will be seeking a 4th straight win and will be hoping to move into a second world level bout next year. Notably he won't be defending his WBO Asia Pacific title here, which he did defend back in January. The 23 year old Nwachukwu won the All Japan Rookie of the Year at Middleweight in 2018 and has picked up 3 wins since then. Although he's the under-dog Nwachukwu will know a win here would genuinely change his career.
Another bout of note on this card will see flawed puncher Takuma Takahashi (5-0, 5) take on Kodai Kiyota (9-6-2, 9), in what could be a very explosive contest. Takahashi has looked very, very heavy handed, but he also showed some real vulnerability last time out, getting dropped and cut against Leonardo Doronio, and there are worries about his punch resistance. Kiyota is no world beater, and hasn't fought in over a decade, but he is heavy handed and could well have the power needed to take out Takahashi, if he lands clean.
Also on this card will be recent Japanese title challenger Koki Koshikawa (9-2, 6), who takes on Yuichi Ideta (13-15-1, 7), with Koshikawa looking to bounce back from a loss to Hironobu Matsunaga.
RCC Boxing Academy, Ekaterinburg, Russia
The WP Boxing event isn't the only one we'll be getting for free on YouTube as RCC will also be giving us a show, this time from Russia, with several Central Asian fighters on it.
One of the bouts on this show will see once beaten Uzbek hopeful Ravshanbek Umurzakov (10-1, 7) take on really talented Ukrainian Zoravor Petrosian (9-0, 4), in a bout that was originally for September. Umurzakov was upset back in January by Esneiker Correa, in a genuine surprise, and has been out of the ring since then. Petrosian on the other hand is a 22 year old who turned professional in 2018 and has scored 3 wins this year, whilst looking very highly skilled. This should be a very, very interesting match up.
In a supporting bout baby faced Kazakh fighter Yerzhan Zalilov (11-2-1, 5) take on Russian fighter Evgenii Liashkov (6-1, 1). At one point Zalilov looks like a fighter with the potential to go places, but sadly 2 losses in is last 3 bouts have pretty much ended his hopes of reaching the top of the mountain. Liashkov is a light puncher who lost on but has reeled off 6 wins and comes into this with real momentum.
One more bout on this show will see Uzbek born Russian Dmitry Yun (4-0, 1) taking on Sherzodjon Abdurazzokov (1-0). Yun is a really skilled boxer-mover, who looks like a brilliant talented, with lovely speed, movement and accuracy. Sadly however his lack of power, and questionable durability, seem likely to hold him back, despite how fantastic he is to see in full flow. Aged 20 Abdurazzokov is an Uzbek youngster who made his debut in 2019, and will go into this as the under-dog.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida, USA
We will also Chinese Heavyweight hopeful Zhilei Zhang (21-0, 16) in action, as he begins his relationship with Matchroom Sports. The 37 year Chinese fighter, who has been spoken about as a future opponent for Anthony Joshua, will be up against 38 year old American Devin Vargas (22-6, 9). Sadly for a man that Eddie Hearn wants to talk about big fights for, time is rapidly running out for Zhang, and it seems highly unlikely that he will ever manage to reach the heights some expected of him.
This coming Saturday is an incredibly busy day for Asian boxing, with a two notable shows in Japan and very high profile bouts in the US.
The most notable of the bouts takes place in California, and is world title fight, with a supporting that also features an Asian fighter.
The main event will see IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (31-1-2, 21) battle against Mexican challenger Jonathan Javier Rodriguez (21-1, 15). For Ancajas this will be his 8th defense, though it's not the type of defense which will really improve his profile. Ancajas is incredibly talented, but seems to have been kept away from most of the other top Super Flyweights, which is incredibly disappointing and frustrating. For Rodriguez this bout is a big step up, and despite a win over Felipe Orucuta last time out there's very, very little quality on his record. Our full preview of this bout can be read here IBF king Ancajas takes on Rodriguez
On the same show we'll see Japan's Hiroki Okada (19-1, 13) attempt to bounce back from his first loss, as he takes on 2008 Olympian Javier Molina (20-2, 8) in a very interesting looking bout. Okada was stopped last time out, by Raymundo Beltran in a very entertaining bout, and is not being given an easy comeback bout here. Molina isn't a big puncher, but is skilled and has won 3 in a row since his most recent loss, a 2016 decision loss to Jamal James.
Las Vegas, USA
A second US show of note will see two very interesting looking match ups.
The most interesting of those will see the once beaten Romero Duno (21-1, 16) take on unbeaten American Ryan Garcia (18-0, 15). The talented Duno has won 12 in a row since suffering his sole defeat, a 2016 loss in Russia to Mikhail Alexeev. During his winning run he has scored some solid wins but a win here would put him on the map in a big way. On the other hand Garcia is a hotly tipped prospect, and is a hugely popular fighter who will be expected to get a real test here. Garcia has been able to build his record with noteworthy wins over the likes of Jayson Velez and Jose Lopez, but has yet to fight a young prime fighter. This is a big step up for both men and the winner will be ear marked to go a very long way.
The second bout featuring an Asian fighter will see Kazakh fighter Meiirim Nursultanov (12-0, 8) take on tough Mexican fighter Cristian Olivas (16-5, 13). The talented Kazakh has looked good coming through the ranks but this is set to be a genuine test against a flawed but tough and heavy handed for. A very interesting match and a great test, on paper, for Nursultanov.
The most significant show in Asia for the day is at the Korakuen Hall and will be shown on G+ in Japan. The card has 6 bouts scheduled for it, but 2 of those really stand out.
The main event of the show will see Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (15-1, 9) defending his belt against Koki Koshikawa (9-1, 6). The talented and exciting Matsunaga will be looking to make his first defense of the belt, following his title win over Nobuyuki Shindo earlier this year, and is riding a real hot streak with 9 straight wins. For Koshikawa, who was once tipped as a future star following a strong amateur background, this will be a big step up and marks his first title fight. A very interesting match up, and a very hard one to call. Our full preview of this bout can be read here Matsunaga seeks first defense as he goes up against talented Koshikawa
The chief support bout on this show will be a Japanese Light Middleweight title eliminator, as former champion Nobuyuki Shindo (20-5-2, 8) takes on Yuto Shimizu (13-4-2, 5). This a match that will decide who challenges for the title in next year's Champion Carnival and is another hard one to call. Shindo is the more accomplished fighter but Shimizu has impressed in recent fights and will be there to build on a recent win over Charles Bellamy. Our preview of this eliminator can be read here Shindo and Shimizu battle in eliminator
As well as the two main bouts there will supporting bouts featuring former world title challenger Ryohei Takahashi (17-4-1, 7) and the once beaten Kai Chiba (11-1, 7).
A second show at Korakuen Hall on Saturday, though the one which will actually take place first, is a Teiken show featuring 6 of their brightest hopefuls all in 8 round bouts.
One of those hopefuls is Shuya Masaki (13-1, 5) who looks to be heading towards a title fight in the near future. He will be up against Filipino foe Roman Canto (14-13-3, 8) in what should be a relatively easy bout for Masaki. The Japanese fighter is only a bout or two from a title of some kind, though is likely to head for an OPBF or WBO Asia Pacific title fight in 2020. Canto has lost in 5 previous visits to Japan and it's hard to imagine him getting a win here.
Another bout pitting a Japanese hopeful against a Filipino will see unbeaten Japanese puncher Hayate Kaji (13-0, 9) take on Diomel Diocos (14-4-3, 4). Early in his career Kaji looked like a star in the making, he looked like he had all the tools to go to the top, combining skills, power, speed and ambition. Sadly he's not really progressed as we'd hoped and his career seems to faltered, and he's had disappointing performances in his last two bouts. The Filipino has lost 2 of his last 3 and was stopped in 4 rounds last time he fought in Japan, being stopped in 2017 by Daigo Higa.
Former amateur stand out Kuntae Lee (2-0, 1) takes his next step up as he takes on unbeaten Indonesian hopeful Rivo Kundimang (9-0-1, 5). As an amateur Lee really was a stand out, and he is hotly tipped to be a a future star in Japan. Despite only being a novice Lee he has already taken one unbeaten record, beating Marlon Paniamogan back in July. Kundimang will be fighting outside of Indonesia for the first time, and has win his last 9 bouts in a row, following a draw on his debut back in September 2017.
In a good step up we'll also see Mikito Nakano (3-0, 3) take on Filipino foe KJ Natuplag (8-1-2, 7), in an excellent bout. The talented Nakano has adapted well to the professional ranks and looks to be on his way to real success at Featherweight in the coming years. On paper this is a step up, but Nakano has looked very good, and last time out he really impressed against Arvin Young. Natuplag has shown real promise, and back in March he stopped Robert Udtohan, but was beaten last time out by Joe Tejones. We're expecting an excellent showing from Nakano who will likely find himself in the title mix next year.
Also on this card will be Kenshin Oshima (6-1-1, 3) and Masaya Tamayama (12-2, 6), who look to continue their rise through the ranks and move towards a title fight in the coming 18 months or so.
One of the other interesting bouts for the day will see the unbeaten Tajik fighter Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (14-0, 9) take on the once beaten Abraham Montoya (18-1-1, 13), in what will be Yaqubov's second defense of the WBC International Super Featherweight title. The talented Yaqubov has impressed recently and moved towards a world title fight thanks to wins over the likes of Mark Urvanov, Victor Alejandro Zunigaabd Emanuel Lopez, and another win here would leave him on the verge of a shot. Montoya, from Mexico, is unbeaten in 19 but this will be his first bout outside of Mexico.
Unbeaten Kazakh Heavyweight Issa Akberbayev (20-0-0-1, 15) takes on his biggest test so far as he battles against 2016 Olympic champion Evgeny Tishchenko (5-0, 3), who is of course best known for his controversial Olympic win over Vasiliy Levit in the Olympic final. Despite being unbeaten the Kazakh will be the very clear under-dog and the Russian will be the favourite. Notably Akberbayev has been away from the ring for almost 2 years, and it's hard to not imagine that being a major issue here, against his most notable foe so far.
In Australia we'll see the unbeaten Chris Brackin (7-0, 3), an Australian local, take on Indian fighter Balkar Singh (3-1, 1). Singh lost last time out, when he was out pointed by the unbeaten Andrew Hunt over 4 rounds, and we suspect he will suffer another loss here to the talented Brackin.
The most notable show for us this coming Friday is in Tokyo, where Hideka Todaka will be promoting a card.
The main event of this show will see the talented Koki Koshikawa (8-1, 5), who is ranked #3 by the JBC at 154lbs, take on Indonesian visitor Yosmar Kefi (9-9, 8). On paper this looks like a dangerous bout for Koshikawa, given Kefi's reputation as a puncher, but in reality we don't see this as anything but a total mismatch as Koshikawa looks to move a step closer to his first title bout.
In another notable bout, fans will see Japanese ranked Featherweights clash, with Kazuma Sanpei (16-5, 7) and Tatsuya Otsubo (13-9-1, 4) facing off in a must win bout. Both men had mixed 2018's, going 2-1, losing to real talented fights by stoppage. Sanpei was stopped in July by Yoshimitsu Kimura and a month later Otsubo was stopped in a Japanese title fight by Taiki Minamoto. This could easily be the Asian bout of the weekend.
Also on this card was 2017 Rookie of the Year runner up Kento Yabusaki (6-2-1, 4), who has bounced back from his loss in the Rookie of the Year final with a couple of good wins. He'll be stepping up to his first 8 rounder here as he takes on domestic foe Yuji Okinori (8-4-2, 1), who has failed to take a win in his last 3 bouts.
As well as the Japanese card there will also be one in Singapore.
The main event of the card will see Singapore's very own Hamzah Farouk (7-0, 5) battle against Thai veteran Paiboon Lorkham (19-11, 8), in what will be Farouk's first defense of the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Featherweight title. It's hard to back the Thai here, despite his wealth of experience, given he's now 40, but he should be a decent test for Farouk who is looking to become the face of Singaporean boxing.
In an all unbeaten bout we'll see Singaporean based French born fighter Abdelelah Karroum (4-0, 4) take on Filipino born Singaporean foe Alexandrew David (4-0-1, 2). This bout will be for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Light Middleweight title. It's hard to read too much into what the potential winner of this bout will do, but by it's self this does look like it could be a very interesting match up.
Another bout of note here will see Filipino fighter Jeson Umbal (16-6, 11) take on Indonesian foe Tommy Seran (28-16, 16), in what should be a very straight forward win for the under-rated Umbal. It's worth noting that Umbal did lose last time out, losing a majority decision to Muhamad Ridhwan last year, but he shouldn't struggle at all against Seran, who has lost his last 4 and 7 of his last 8.
As well as the bouts in Asia there will also be a notable bout in the US, with unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Janibek Alimkhanuly (5-0, 2) battling against American based Mexican foe Cristian Olivas (16-4, 13). This looks to be another good step forward for Alimkhanuly who looked good last time out after a fell than stellar performances. We suspect the Kazakh will again show his ability here, though there are still areas to work on, and we want to start seeing some killer instinct from him, rather than just the skills we already knew he had.
This coming Wednesday the Korakuen Hall hosts a small, but notable card. It involves a once touted prospects from the Celes gym, a former OPBF champion and a former Japanese title challenger.
The main event will see the once touted Koki Koshikawa (7-1, 5) taking on former OPBF Light Middleweight champion Ratchasi Sithsaithong (8-7, 6) in a very good test for Kokshikawa. The Japanese fighter turned professional with a bit of early career buzz but would step up a touch too quickly and lose a wide decision to Koshinmaru Saito in 2015. After a 2 year break he has reeled off 3 straight stoppage wins, including a big win last time out against Daisuke Sakamoto. Ratchasi, aka Niwat Kongkan, went on a great run in 2016 and 2017 but has now lost 4 of his last 5. At his best the Thai was a nightmare to beat, with a determined will to win and heavy hands, but now appears to be a fighter well on the slide. Despite being on the slide a win for Koshikawa would be his best win to date.
A very good supporting bout will see former 2-time Japanese Featherweight title challenger Tatsuya Otsubo (12-9-1, 4) take on Yosuke Kawano (13-7-2, 7), in a bout between two Japanese ranked fighters. The last time we saw Otsubo he came up short against Taiki Minamoto in a very exciting Japanese title bout that saw Otsubo being stopped in the 9th round of a very competitive contest. The 30 year old Kawano has faced a number of decent domestic foes, and has generally been competitive, fight to a draw with Takenori Ohashi and losing narrow decisions to Ryuto Araya and Dai Iwai. This should be a very competitive contest.
A third bout of note will see Japanese ranked Kazuma Sanpei (15-5, 6) take on Yuji Awata (11-5, 4). Last time out Sanpei was stopped by Yoshimitsu Kimura, ending a 3 fight winning run, and he has mixed with very good domestic fighters since winning the 2013 Rookie of the Year. Awata on the other hand 2-2 in his last 4, but was the 2016 Rookie of the Year and is looking to get back to winning ways here.
Action is back at the Korakuen Hall this coming Monday for a notable Kadoebi show featuring a number of notable fighters.
The main event of the card will see the retiring Daisuke Sakamoto (14-9-3, 8) take on the once touted Koki Koshikawa (6-1, 4). The 36 year old Sakamoto is a former Japanese “interim” Welterweight champion, who came up short when taking on the then regular champion Toshio Arikawa last November. Since the loss to Arikawa we've not seen Sakamoto in action and he has publicly that this will be his final bout. Koshikawa was once tipped for big things, and after some early promise his career has stagnated, and he has never really bounced back from a loss to Koshinmaru Saito in 2015. This is a big opportunity for Koshikawa, but an emotional moment for Sakamoto.
Heavy handed Japanese Middleweight contender Shoma Fukumoto (12-2, 10) will be looking to continue rebuilding his confidence as he takes on unbeaten Australian Mark Lucas (9-0, 3). The hard punching Fukumoto was stopped inside a round last December by Kazuto Takesako in a Japanese title eliminator and since then has only fought once, beating a very over-matched Indonesian foe. This should be a step up in class for Fukumoto, a tough one on paper given that Lucas is unbeaten, will be hungry and actually holds a win over Arnel Tinampay, who stopped Fukumoto back in 2013. Saying that however Lucas has been inactive for a year, and that may show in his performance here.
Popular Japanese-Brazilian Cristiano Aoqui (12-7-2, 8) will be looking to build on his quick blow out win over Duang Hongin as he takes on Filipino visitor Joffrey Garcia (6-8-4, 5). The talented and exciting to watch Aoqui had a nightmare 13 months, from July 2016 to August 2017, suffering 3 defeats but has since bounced back with a win and will be looking for a second one here. As for Garcia he has been stopped in both of his bouts outside of the Philippines, and we suspect that form will continue against Aoqui.
Another man of note on this card is the very promising Kazuki Saito (5-0, 5), who is tipped to be a star following a very strong amateur career. The unbeaten 25 year old will be facing off with Thai foe Pharanpetch Tor Buamas (22-3, 18), a recent OPBF Super Featherweight title challenger. The touted Saito hasn't had things all his own way, having been dropped earlier in his career, but does look like a real talent and will be looking to shine against the experienced Thai. As for Pharanpetch he has lost in all 3 of his fights outside of Thailand, and it would take a career best performnce to avoid another loss on the road.
This coming Friday isn't a busy day, but there is a string of bouts worthy of note.
The most notable Asian card of the day takes place at the Korakuen Hall and is headlined by a Japanese title eliminator.
That eliminator comes at 140lbs and will see Japanese based Dominican Vladimir Baez (23-3-2, 21), aka “Destino Japan”, take on the in form Kazuyasu Okamoto (14-4, 4). Baez really impressed last time out, battering Daishi Nagata into submission in 5 rounds, and has scored 2 stoppage wins this year to get his career back on track following a loss to Teerachai Kratingdaenggym last year. Okamoto was stopped by Kazuya Murata back in December 2014 but has since gone 5-0 (1) and will be be fully aware that this is a great opportunity to secure a title fight in 2018.
In one of a number of notable supporting bouts we'll see the light punching Ryo Narizuka (8-7) take on Japanese ranked Light Flyweight Naoyuki Tsukada (8-3-4, 3). Without a stoppage to his name it's hard to see a win for Narizuka, here. As for Tsukada he's in good form, going 5-0-3 (1) in his last 8, but hasn't really beaten a fighter of any note during that run.
A bout between two Japanese ranked fighters will see Ganbare Shota (14-7-2, 2) take on Hikaru Ota (8-6, 4), with both men knowing a win will move them towards a potential Japanese title fight in 2018. At the time of writing Shota was ranked #13 and Ota #14 by the JBC at 112 lbs, and it's clear the winner should move to the top 10, whilst the loser will likely drop out of the top 15.
One other bout on this card will see the touted Koki Koshikawa (5-1, 3) v look for his second win of the year. The Celes Gym fighter was tipped for big things, but a loss in 2015 put the breaks on his career, and saw him take more than 24 months out. Here he will be expecting a straight forward win as he takes on Thai visitor Taengthong Sithsaithong (0-3).
There will also be notable Asian action in Texas, with a trio of Asian fighters fighting on the same card.
The most notable of those bouts will see exciting Filipino puncher Aston Palicte (23-2, 19) fight for the second time on US soil. The heavy handed Filipino fighter will be up against former 2-time world title challenger Jose Alfredo Rodriguez (32-6, 19), who has lost in world title bouts against both Kazuto Ioka and Jerwin Ancajas. Coming in to this bout Rodriguez has suffered back-to-back losses, and is almost a year removed from his last win, and is unlikely to pose and threat to Palicte.
Unbeaten 22 year old Kazakh Ali Akhmedov (9-0, 7) takes a notable step up on this card in the chief support bout, as he takes on fellow unbeaten fighter DeShon Webster (9-0, 6). The Kazakh has looked very destructive recently, and has stopped his last 3 fights to claim his first two titles. Those titles, the WBC Youth and NABF Light Heavyweight titles, will be on the line here. Aged 26 Webster really does seem to be the one taking the bigger step up in class here, but like Akhmedov he's unbeaten and will be full of confidence here going into the biggest bout of his career.
Another unbeaten Kazakh on this card is Iskander Kharsan (2-0, 2), who takes on fellow novice David Alfaro (1-0) in a 6 rounder. This looks like a good match up on paper, but it's hard to see past the 20 year old Kazakh, who does appear to have some confident backers in his camp.
Several Asian fighters will be fighting in Victoria.
The most notable bout, at least for us, will see Sylvia Scharper (7-1-2, 1) take on Thai Ploynapa Sakrungrueng (13-10-1, 1) in a bout for the WIBA Super Flyweight title. The Thai has lost her last 4, including a stoppage to Momo Koseki and had previously fought Eun Hye Lee for a WBO world title, again suffering a stoppage. Scharper is far from being a world class fighter, but should be far, far too good for the Thai.
Australian Capital Territory, Australia
A second Australia show will take place in Woden, and we'll see a number of Asian fighters in action, mostly they are there to pad a local's record, sadly. One of those likely to pick up another loss is Egy Rozten (5-17-2, 3), who will be up against the unbeaten Haithem Laamouz (11-0, 4). Rozten has lost his last 5, and will almost certainly suffer another defeat again here, potentially inside the distance.
This coming Saturday isn't a huge day in the world of Asian boxing, but it is a pretty interesting one, with a number of notable fighters in action.
The most significant of the bouts is set to take place in Australia, where we actually see two Chinese fighters fighting in pretty interesting looking match ups.
The more notable of the two bouts will see OPBF Super Middleweight champion Jayde Mitchell (14-1, 8) defending his title against heavy handed, and unbeaten, Chinese challenger Ainiwaer Yilixiati (10-0, 8), in what looks like a mouth watering bout. The Australian won the title last year, when he easily beat Shintaro Matsumoto, and has strung together 4 straight stoppages since then. Here however the champion goes in against a young and hungry puncher looking to make a name for himself in a what is a huge opportunity.
The other bout featuring a Chinese fighter on this card will see the once beaten local Jake Carr (13-1, 4) take on Adili Abulimiti (8-1-1, 5). Again this looks like a really solidly made match up, and whilst the local will be the favourite the bout is certainly one with a danger to it, and Abulimiti will be looking to make the most of his opportunity to score a notable upset on foreign soil
In Tokyo we get a relatively low key card, but one that should have a fair bit of low key action.
The main event will see Ryusei Nakajima (10-2, 3) look to play the spoiler as he takes on Vladimir Baez (22-3-2, 20), with Baez having a bout lined up for December 8th against Kazuyasu Okamoto to decide the Japanese mandatory challenger for the 2018 Champion Carnival. Nakajima will maybe feel like he's being over-looked here but he would still need a career best performance to over-come the heavy handed Japanese based Dominican.
In a bout that should be more interesting than the records suggest we'll see Akinori Hoshino (13-7-1, 9) take on Isao Aoyama (9-5-1, 2). On paper this looks a pretty poor bout but neither man should be over-looked going forward. Aoyama holds a very notable draw against the recently crowned WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura and reached the 2011 Rookie of the Year final at Flyweight, whilst Hoshino is on a roll with recent upset wins over Kenya Yamashita and Shun Kosaka. This might not look amazing on paper but we're expecting something very exciting.
Also on this card will be once touted prospect Koki Koshikawa (4-1, 2), who returns to the ring following a 2 year break. The last time Koshikawa fought he was widely out pointed by Koshinmaru Saito and he'll be looking to get things back on track here as he takes on a Thai visitor in an 8 rounder.
Talking of Thai's it's worth noting that Thai teenager Saenganan Sithsaithong (16-0, 7) will be ending a 16 month break from the ring as he goes up against Indonesian visitor Waldo Sabu (12-9, 2) in a bout for the WBC ABC Silver Bantamweight title. The Thai was once touted by the Thai press, but his inactivity has clearly slowed his rise and it's going to be interesting to see what he's going to be like on his return to the ring.
In Singapore we'll see more regional WBC title action as Nor Rizan (8-2, 5) and Jaipetch Chaiyonggym (7-7, 4) battle over the WBC ABC Continental Bantamweight title, in what looks a less than amazing bout.
New South Wales, Australia
Going full circle, back to Australia, there will be a bout featuring the debuting Troy O'Meley (0-0) taking on Thai journeyman Aphichat Koedchatturat (2-15-1), in what should be a straight forward win for O'Meley.
One of the best Japanese shows of the month comes on June 8th in a card that has so many good bouts it's difficult to really know which contest is the most exciting.
The main event is a Lightweight clash between current Japanese Super Featherweight champion Rikki Naito (12-0, 5) and former “world” title contender Nihito Arakawa (25-5-1, 16). This is a huge step up in class for Naito and is also a move up in weight for a man that many have tipped as a potential world champion. For Arakawa, who has shown signs of being on the slide, this is a must win after 3 losses in his last 4. On paper it's a brawler against a mover and we expect this could be something very special with both men being forced to answer a lot of questions if they are to come out on top. Brave match making from both and the sort of match up that we love.
The co-main event will see the always fun to watch Koki Eto (16-3-1, 12) defending his OPBF Flyweight title against unheralded challenger Yuki Fukumoto (17-9, 5). On paper it looks like a mismatch though having followed Eto's career in the way we have we know he never makes life easy for himself and he'll almost certainly find a way to get himself in to some sort of trouble before scoring the all important win. We suspect that a win for Eto will be followed by him vacating the title and turning his focus on to winning a world title, though he is unfortunately stuck in one of the sports most stacked divisions.
In a supporting bout we see the promising Koki Koshikawa (4-0, 2) take a huge step up in class as he takes on former Japanese and OPBF title challenger Koshinmaru Saito (20-7-1, 11). Koshikawa, a fighter from the Celes gym, is tipped to go a long way following a solid amateur career on the domestic scene however Saito is very experienced and came very close to winning the Japanese Welterweight title last year. This is a great match up and should answer questions regarding the future of both fighters.
Another supporting bout will see Yusaku Kuga (10-1-1, 6) put his OPBF and Japanese rankings on the like against the more experienced Kojiro Takada (13-8-3, 9). We suspect that the talented Kuga will over-come Takada but this will be a good test for the once beaten fighter who will likely be looking at getting a Japanese title fight in the next 12-18 months, if he wins again here.
One other bout of note will see the heavy handed and really exciting Daigo Higa (5-0, 5) in action against Filipino southpaw Cris Alfante (11-4, 4). Higa has looked like a destructive ball of anger so far but this is a big step up against a man who has mixed with very good fighters. Alfante has experience to make things very tricky for Higa however the home fighter has looked like a sensational prospect and will be hoping to shine again here.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Although the action has been slow so far this year we do seem to be starting to see things heat up, albeit gradually. That build up was meant to move up a gear on February 18th though unfortunately an injury has curtailed a world title eliminator.
The main bout on this card was supposed to be an IBF Bantamweight eliminator between former Japanese and OPBF Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa (18-1, 11) and American fighter Sergio Perales (24-2, 16). Unfortunately and injury to Perales has seen this bout called off an instead Iwasa will be fighting late replacement Ricardo Roa (12-9-2, 4) of the Philippines. It's a disappointing fall back for Iwasa who only got notice of Perales's injury about 2 weeks before the fight though he'll likely know that a title fight is still just around the corner, as long as he beats Roa here.
In one of the top support bouts we will get the chance to see one of Iwasa's most promising stablemates, Koki Koshikawa (3-0, 1). The 24 year old Light Welterweight-come-Welterweight will be fighting in his first 8 rounder and could well progress to title level by the end of this year, if not early next year. From what we under-stand Koshikawa's opponent will be Indonesian visitor Sandi Korga (4-6, 1), who was stopped in his only previous visit to Japan.
Another of the support bouts will see the heavy handed Taiki Minamoto (9-4, 8) battle against Yuta Horiike (9-3-3, 2) in what appears to be a great of Minamoto's power and ability against a generally, albeit somewhat limited, opponent. A third support bout will see Isao Aoyama (5-3, 1) return to the ring for the first time in almost 3 years as he battles against Sho Kimura (5-1-1) in a competitive looking 6 rounder at Flyweight.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This Friday is a very busy day in Asian boxing with numerous former world champions in action and several really interesting bouts.
The first of the former world champions in action today is former WBC Super Flyweight world champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (29-4-1, 26). The heavy handed Thai will be defending his regional WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Flyweight title against Filipino Bobby Concepcion (11-5-1, 5) in what we suspect will prove to be a disappointingly one sided mismatch. Concepcion comes into this bout on the back of successive stoppage losses and will not be expected to even test the Thai puncher who has scored wins in each of the last two months.
In Tokyo we get a really interesting show, albeit one that is more interesting for those interested in Japanese domestic and Oriental scenes.
The main event promising to be thrilling as the always entertaining Shuhei Tsuchiya (16-3, 14) battles against Japanese based Filipino Ricky Sismundo (26-8-1, 12). The bout pits two Japanese ranked Lightweights against each other with both hoping to recapture some form after recent losses. Tsuchiya enters this bout 2-3 in his last 5 bouts with the most recent losses being stoppages to Leonardo Zappvigna, who stopped him in a bloody 10 round affair, and Masayoshi Nakatani, who dominated him in a 3-round break out win for the Ioka youngster. Sismundo lost his last bout, also to Nakatni, by decision and will know that a win here could open up title opportunities for him in 2015. This is a fantastic bout and should be thrilling for as long as it lasts.
In a second bout between Japanese and Filipino fighters fan will see #2 ranked Japanese Super Featherweight Yuya Sugizaki (19-9-1, 6) battle against heavy handed but limited Filipino slugger Gabriel Royo (9-10-2, 8). This should be an easy win for Sugizaki though Royo's power may keep this interesting early on.
Another bout on this card that has caught out eye will see the OPBF and Japanese Yuta Nakagawa (13-4-1, 8) risking his rankings against the heavy hitting Yuta Saito (7-4-2, 6). Saito was the 2012 All Japan Rookie of the Year MVP though has really failed to shine in his last two bouts, if he catches Nakagawa this could be an interesting fight however Nakagawa should win given his ability and experience.
A fourth bout from this show that we're interested in is a 6 rounder that features the touted Koki Koshikawa (2-0, 1). Koshikawa will be fighting against Ryoji Miyagi (7-4-1, 4) in a clear step up for the Celes gym prospect. Miyagi comes into this bout with no real form having lost his last 2 bouts, including a stoppage to current Japanese Light Welterweight champion Hiroki Okada, however he does have an edge in experience and could well test the promising youngster, who turns 24 just days before this fight.
In the most interesting of two separate Russian cards we will see several notable fighters including two former world champions in the main event. Sadly however a number of these bouts do feel like mismatches.
The biggest mismatch is in the main event, where recent WBO Light Welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov (23-3, 16) battles against Mexican veteran Jose Luis Castillo (66-12-1, 57). In his prime Castillo would have been a perfect opponent to see Provodnikov fight, in fact that would likely have been a classic. Sadly Castillo is now almost a decade past his prime and aged 40 he's unlikely to do much more than be a human puncher here for the “Siberian Rocky”.
In a second 12 rounder fans will see the light hitting but talented Andrey Klimov (18-1, 9) defending his WBO Inter-Continental Super Featherweight title against Mexican visitor Gabino Cota (16-2-1, 14). We suspect that Klimov will win this as Cota has a very padded record, though with 14 stoppages in 19 bouts he may have genuine power that could make this interesting, though it is doubtful.
A third 12 rounder on this show sees the exciting Sergey Lipinets (4-0, 3) going for his first professional title. Lipinets will be hoping to claim the WBO Asia Pacific Welterweight title as he battles against Filipino Ernie Sanchez (14-5-1, 5) in what looks to be an opportunity to let Lipinets into the world WBO world rankings. We like the Russian and we like that he's being fast tracked and in all honesty we can't see anything but a Lipinets win here.
At Cruiserweight we see another former world champion in actual as Cuban veteran Juan Carlos Gomez (55-3-0-1, 20) attempts to end the KO streak of Russian puncher Dmitry Kudryashov (15-0, 15). On paper this is a step up for the Russian though if he wins in style there is little doubt that he'll be moved towards a world title bout in 2015. Gomez is a long way removed from his prime but he's on a nice run of 6 straight wins and knows a win here will move back into the world rankings. We doubt the win is all Kudryashov wants here and he'll be seeking a stoppage to keep his great run going.
A second Cruiserweight bout here will see Rakhim Chakhkiev (20-1, 15) battling against the heavy handed Jackson Junior (15-1, 13) in what looks like a genuinely exciting bout for the Russian ahead of possible world title bout in 2015.
One other notable name down for this show is Olympic champion Egor Mekhontsev (6-0, 6) who will be in his 7th bout of the year. We want to see the Mekhontsev step up now as he's now 30 years old and hasn't got time to waste on many more mismatches, especially given his amateur pedigree, power and ability. Sadly however he is only fighting against Joey Vegas (17-9-1, 10) and this shouldn't be difficult at all for the talented Russian.
On a second Russian show we have a few interesting, though lower level, bouts.
The most interesting bout here comes at Cruiserweight as the promising Yury Kashinsky (4-0, 4) battles against Yuriy Barashian (27-7, 18) in a clear step up for Kashinsky who could become yet another Russian name in the Cruiserweight rankings.
A second notable bout here will see PABA Light Middleweight champion Pavel Mamontov (9-1-2, 2) defending his title against Argentinian fighter Oscar Roberto Medina (24-6-2, 9). We're not big on Mamontov and wouldn't be surprised to see him losing sometime soon, but it's unlikely to be here.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)