This coming Friday is set to be an incredibly busy day for Asian fight fans, with cards of note taking place in Japan, Thailand, Russia and Tanzania. The days also has a nice mix of rising youngsters looking to make their way in the sport, a veteran looking for his 98th professional win, and several contenders also in action.
Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California, USA
We'll start not in Asia but in the US, where rising Uzbek sensation Bektemir Melikuziev (5-0, 4) will be defending his WBA Continental America's Super Middleweight title against Mexican challenger Alan Campa (17-5, 11). This, in reality, should be little more than a stay busy bout for the talented Uzbek, who looks set to become a star in the coming years. Sadly the "Bully" hasn't been as active as we'd have liked, though given how 2020 has been we are glad we're going to see him get a run out here.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
One of the many cards comes from Korakuen Hall, and will be made available on demand on Boxing Raise. The card has several good looking bouts on it, and several others worthy of note.
the best of the bouts on this one will see rising Japanese Lightweight Shu Utsuki (6-0, 5) look for win #7 as he takes on Takayuki Sakai (9-2-2, 6). The heavy handed Utsuki had a great 2019, scoring 4 stoppages, but has been out of the ring since October 2019, and has lost much of the momentum he had. As for Sakai he's no push over, and scored a notable 2018 win over Amphol Suriyo, aka Pharanpetch Tor Buamas, but has gone 1-1 since then. We expect Utsuki to come out on top here, but it should be a very, very fun bout.
Another unbeaten man on this card will be Ryo Nakai (1-0-1, 1), who looks for his second professional win as he takes on Mirai Naito (8-1, 3). Nakai turned professional last year with some solid amateur credentials but was held to a draw in a tough debut, before picking up his first win in November. He has the amateur background but Naito has the blood line, with his father, Cassius Naito, and brother, Rikki Naito, both being notable fighters. Naito also has the edge in professional experience and has notched 3 wins since his solitary loss. We expect this one to be the hidden gem of the show.
In a female bout the unbeaten Sayo Segawa (1-0, 1) will be up against Natsuki Tarui (3-6-2). The talented Segawa ran up over 30 wins in the amateurs and placed 3rd in an All Japan amateur tournament before turning professional last year and looking good on her debut. Sadly she's been out of the ring for a year as we enter this bout and her career has clearly stalled before it's even got going. Tarui on the other hand is a 29 year old domestic level fighter who isn't expected to go far, but should serve as a good opponent to help Segawa shake some ring rust and get back up to speed.
Rangsit International Stadium, Rangsit, Thailand
Over in Thailand we get a small show featuring two notable names, and a promising youngster. Sadly however it's hard to get invested in this show.
The main event will see the young, and somewhat unproven, Kittithat Ungsrivongs (16-1, 9) fight for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Featherweight title. Sadly his opponent is the win-less Omar El Ouers (0-1-1). Kittithat, also known as Wanchana Menayothin is only 21, so it's harsh to complain too much about an easy bout, but he's been a professional for almost 4 years now and is still fighting very limited opposite. Notably El Ouers did fight to a draw last time out with Kongfah CP Freshmart, but Kongfah is very much a Super Flyweight, and El Ouers success there is unlike to carry up to 130lbs.
Talking about Kongfah CP Freshmart (33-1-1, 16) he will also be on the card, along with Petch Sor Chitpattana (57-1, 42). Sadly however neither man has had their opponent made clear at the time of writing. Given how Petpiya fights go, and how these two have been matched previously, we don't really expect anything exciting for either man.
PTA Hall, Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania
On the subject of Thai's it's worth noting that former 2-weight world champion Sirimongkol Singwancha (97-4, 62) is also scheduled for action, albeit in Tanzania, where he is set to face local fighter Twaha Kassimu Rubaha (15-6-1, 8) for the WBC Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title. Despite once being a brilliant fighter Sirimongkol is now a 43 year old, former blown up Bantamweight with over 100 bouts to his name and is not the fighter he once was. Although Rubaha is moving up in weight for this bout he is the naturally bigger man, and the much younger man, and we think those advantages will take him to victory here.
USC Soviet Wings, Moscow, Russia
In Moscow we have some fighters from Central Asia in action.
The most notable of the Central Asian fighters in action here is Kazakh female fighter Firuza Sharipova (11-1, 6), who has often received a lot of media attention but appears to be under-the-radar for this fighter, likely due to the backlash her last bout had. The frustrating Kazakh will be up against Serbian fighter Sara Marjanovic (7-7, 3), who's record is very padded thanks to 5 successive wins against very low level opposition. This should be an easy win for Sharipova,
Another central Asian fighter on this show is 26 year old Kyrgyzstan fighter Turat Osmonov (3-0, 3), who looks for his next win as he takes on the win-less Mutrib Karambakhshov (0-3), a Russian based Tajik. Really is hard to get too excited about this one, though we have liked what we have seen of Osmonov and hopefully he will be stepped up in his next fight or two.
This coming Friday our attention turns to Russia where two unbeaten Central Asian hopefuls are in action, with both men taking on decent looking opponents.
One of the two is Russian based Kazakh Super Featherweight Stanislav Kalitskiy (9-0, 3), who looks to kick off his 2020, and score his 10 professional win, as he takes on Argentina's Alan Isaias Luques Castillo (27-8, 10). Last year the unbeaten Kalitskiy scored 3 wins, and despite keeping his unbeaten record intact it was clear he lacked power. Castillo on the other hand went 1-1 in 2019, with his loss coming to talented British fighter Anthony Cacace before he bounced back and claimed the South American Featherweight title. This could be a genuine test for Kalitskiy.
The other Asian is Russian based Uzbek Ravshanbek Umurzakov (10-0, 7), who went 4-0 (2) last year. The talented Umurzakov will be up against Venezuelan puncher Esneiker Correa (13-2-1, 11), who enters this bout on the back of 5 straight stoppage wins. We have been impressed by Umurzakov so far, and a win here needs to be followed up by a clear step up in class. As for Correa his record is pretty padded, and he lost in his only bout outside of Venezuela. Despite that he can punch, and it'll be interesting to see if he can chin check the Uzbek here.
As well as the Russian card there will also be a Thai card on Channel 7HD.
The main event of this card will see once beaten Thai Kongfah CP Freshmart (30-1, 16), aka Jakkrawut Majoogoen, defending a regional WBC Asia Super Bantamweight title against Filipino journeyman Edison Berwela (18-43-8, 6). On paper this is an horrific mismatch, but Berwela is much better than his record suggests and he should prove a decent test for the Thai local. Interestingly Kongfah's only loss came to Daigo Higa, way back in 2015 and since then he has racked up 16 straight wins.
This coming Friday in Tokyo we get a low key card with a few notable bouts on it.
One of the names on this card to be excited about is the debuting Ayato Hiromoto (0-0), the older brother of promising female fighter Eruka Hiromoto. The talented Ayato is expected to go on to big things, and will get a chance to show what he can do here against Thai opponent Suriyo Chonlathan (1-0, 1). Little is known about the Thai, though from what we under-stand he made his debut 11 months ago, with a win against another debut.
In a potentially explosive bout we'll see the hard hitting Zirolian Riku (8-3, 8) take on fellow Japanese foe Ken Matsuzawa (5-5, 3). Between the two men they've had a combined 11 KO wins, from 13 combined wins, and 5 of their 8 combined losses have also been by stoppage. We do not expect this one to see the final bell!
Interestingly the actual main event of this card is a low key match up between Joji Tsuchiya (8-5-3, 5) and Kazuki Kobayashi (7-10, 2), in what is a really weak main event bout. It's hard to get excited about this main event, but it should be a pretty competitive 8 rounder and make for some really fun low level action.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Despite the action in Japan we'd actually say the day's highlight is in the Philippines, where we see a former world title challenger, a top young prospect and a once touted contender all in action.
One of two title bouts will see the talented Mark Anthony Geraldo (37-9-3, 18) take on the limited Lorence Rosas (9-4-2, 3), with Geraldo looking to defend the GAB Super Bantamweight title. The talented Geraldo will be looking to make his first defense here, and score his 4th straight win following a 2017 loss to Nordine Oubaali. Rosas on the other hand is looking to avoid a 4th straight loss, but it's now 18 months since he last picked up a win.
A second title bout on this card will see the unbeaten Carl Jammes Martin (13-0, 12) go for gold as he takes on the experienced Benezer Alolod (19-12-5, 7) in a bout for the PBF Bantamweight title. On paper this isn't really a step up for Martin, but in reality we;re expecting this to be his toughest bout to date, as Alolod, despite his record is no push over and he'll be in there to win, and to upset the fast rising youngster. Given Martin's energy, power and aggression he'll be favoured, but we expect to see him need to work for this one
Also on this card will be former world title challenger Vince Paras (14-2, 10), who has been matched incredibly softly as he goes up against domestic journeyman Vincent Bautista (5-15-4, 1). After taking two hard fought losses in 2018, to Hiroto Kyoguchi and Jonathan Taconing, we can excuse a couple of confidence building wins for Paras, who also picked up an easy win in April against Reymark Taday. At one point Bautista was a solid journeyman but with 9 losses in a row and 3 stoppages losses in his last 7 there is a feeling he's very becoming damaged goods.
Staying in Asia we also get a small card in Thailand.
One of the bouts of note here will see Kongfah CP Freshmart (28-1, 15) taking on Hyuma Fujioka (10-9-1, 2), in a bout for a regional WBC Super Bantamweight title. On paper this looks like a mismatch in favour of Kongfah, who is currently riding a 14 fight winning. Despite being a clear under-dog Fujioka is a live dog here, and ran Ryo Akaho close earlier in the year. Kongfah should be favoured, but we wouldn't be surprised if he really needs to work for the win.
Yorkshire, United Kingdom
We also see some Asian attention in the UK as once beaten Thai fighter Aran Dipaen (6-1, 5) takes on unbeaten Brit Tommy Frank (11-0, 3) in a bout for the WBC international silver Super Flyweight title. For Dipean this will be his third bout outside of Thailand, following a loss in Russia to Zafar Parpiev and a win earlier this year in Japan against Ryohei Arakawa. The under-dog the Thai is a very live fighter coming into this. Frank has been matched tougher than the Thai and until recently had shown little in terms of power, but with 3 stoppages in his last last 4 he is certainly developing belief in his power. This could be a very, very interesting match up.
Originally Downua Ruawaiking (16-0, 13) was pencilled into for this card, but he now appears to have had his bout on the show cancelled.
Action returns to the Korakuen Hall this coming Friday for a small, but notable card featuring a few names known around the Asian scene.
The main event of the card will see the teak tough Tatsuya Takahashi (29-8-5, 21) take on the underrated Gaku Aikawa (9-6-1, 3). The 29 year old Takahashi first came to our attention in 2014, when he challenged the then Japanese Bantamweight champion Kentaro Masuda in a thrilling 10 round contest, in which Takahashi was described as a "zombie" afterwards. Since losing to Masuda in their entertaining bout Takahashi has gone 11-1-2 (8) and been in some entertaining contests. Aikawa is a win some, lose some fighter, going 6-6 in his last 12, though has mixed with good fighters. Sadly for Aikawa it's hard to imagine him picking up a win against Takahashi, even if Takahashi is himself rather crude.
Another bout of note on this card will see former Japanese Minimumweight title challenger Masashi Tada (12-5-3, 8) take on former OPBF Light Flyweight title challenger Lester Abutan (13-9-3, 7) in an interesting match up. Coming into this Tada is 1-2-2 in his last 5, dating back 5 years, whilst Abutan has lost 4 of his last 6, though those losses do include defeats by Kenshiro in an OPBF title bout and Ryota Yamauchi in late 2017. Neither of these are a world beater, but this should still be an interesting and competitive contest.
As well as the Japanese card there will also be a show in Thailand, featuring 2 notable Thai fighters.
The main event will see OPBF "silver" Super Flyweight champion Kongfah CP Freshmart (24-1, 13) defending his title against Filipino foe Salatiel Amit (11-5-2, 8). This is a mismatch on paper, but the reality is that Amit is much better than his record suggests, and we suspect that Kongfah will have to work hard for a win here. We don't expect to see the title changing hands, but Amit will certainly give Kongfah a really tough test.
Another bout on this card will see WBA #2 ranked Flyweight Noknoi Sitthiprasert (68-5, 42) take part in what was being promoted as a tune up bout ahead of a potential world title fight later in the year.
The most interesting of two Thai shows features two men of note.
The main event of the show sees former WBA interim Flyweight champion Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (36-3, 22) fight against Indonesian fighter Iwan Key (10-13-3, 1) for the PABA Flyweight title in what is a massive mismatch. Key, who was once lined up to fight Akira Yaegashi, was last seen being stopped in 3 rounds by Samartlek Kokietgym and it's hard to see anything more than a stoppage loss here. For Yodmongkol however it's a confidence builder before another possible foray towards world class in 2016.
The other bout of note on this card will see Kongfah CP Freshmart (14-1, 8) taking on a man we've been told is Chokanan por Pakdee (who appears to be a debutant). For Kongfah this is his first bout since he was stopped, in a thriller, by Daigo Higa for the WBC Youth title and it's an understandable confidence building fight for a man who wimple broken down last time out.
This card will be aired on Channel 7 for those interested.
Another Thai card will be from Bangkok, and will be shown on Channel 3.
This card features a pair of title fights with both of those coming at Super Flyweight. One of those bouts will see PABA champion Chatpetch Sithmorseng (12-3-2, 6) defending his title against Indonesian Bayu Palue (2-0, 2), who likely has a very incomplete record.
The other will see Inthanon Sithchamuang (27-7-1, 16) defending the WBA Asia Super Flyweight title against Ichal Tobida (12-17, 8). It's hard to see anything but a win for the champion, but it's also hard to care too much for this bout given the limitations of Inthanon, who was notably stopped in 2 rounds in Macau by Jerwin Ancajas last year.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
To close out the week Filipino fans get a show that sees prospects facing “professional losers”.
On paper the biggest mismatch sees unbeaten Bantamweight hopeful Raymart Gaballo (10-0, 8) put his unbeaten record on the line against Roldan Malinao (11-35-1, 2). The 19 year old Gaballo has only fought at a low level, and this is technically a step up, however Malinao hasn't won a bout in almost 8 years.
Another mismatch featuring an unbeaten fighter comes at 122lbs where the 18 year old Michael Angelo Plania (7-0, 4) battles Ronerex Dalut (9-17-2, 2). The 26 year old Dalut is a relatively tough fighter, having been stopped only 6 times in his 17 losses, but has only won once in the last 3 years and won't be expected to really test Plania.
A third unbeaten fighter on here is Featherweight 21 year old Rimar Metuda (8-0, 4) who fights the very experienced Jamie Barcelona (38-58-1, 10). Barelona is a true veteran, and a tough one at that, but he has recently been a professional loser and won just once in the last 6 years. Metuda should get a test of his stamina but little else given that Barcelona seems to lack the desire to try and win fights in recent times.
This coming Friday isn't a busy day in Asian boxing but is an interesting one with 3 bouts of real note.
Every week we see bouts in Thailand which are mismatches and bouts that we have very little real interesting in. This coming Friday however is an exception as we get a genuinely mouth watering WBC Youth Flyweight title fight between two young and unbeaten fighters who have been tipped for real success. Those fighters are Kongfah CP Freshmart (14-0, 8) and Daigo Higa (6-0, 6). We have a real interest in both men and suspect the winner will race to become a contender in one of the sports most packed divisions. As for the loser, they will almost certainly come back and rebuild what could be a very successful career of their own. Brilliant match up
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia we see Filipino tough guy Arnel Tinampay (22-18-1, 8) continue his interesting career as he takes on the unbeaten Sam Ah See (12-0-1, 6). Although on a mismatch Tinampay has often found himself travelling and scoring the occasional upset, as he also most did to see just a few fights back, when see won a controversial majority decision. We know Tinampay isn't world class but the 31 year old is tough, hits harder than his record suggests and is a real banana skin, as he'll be hoping to prove once again here.
Also in action will be Japanese “export” Shoki Sakai (18-5, 12) who continues his his career in Mexico. We're unsure who he will be fighting but he's one of many fighters who is better than his record indicates and could well continue his run of good performances. Although he has lost 2 of his last 3 bouts Sakai has mixed at a good level and will know that he has a chance at scoring another win.
March 27th-Petch defends youth title, Oleydong, Konfah and Chanachai look to extend winning runs, Pontillas hopes to resurrect career
For Thai fans the day begins in a fun way with Channel 7 televising a show with several notable names.
The main event will see the unbeaten Petch Sor Chitpattana (29-0, 19) defending his WBC Youth Silver Bantamweight title against a Filipino opponent. Sadly we don't have the visitors name though looking at Petch's previous opponents we're not expecting a real challenge for the Thai who is slowly climbing towards a world title bout based on his record, not his competition.
A much more interesting bout will see former WBC Minimumweight champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai (55-1-1, 21) battle against the well traveled Rasmanudin (19-8-3, 10), of Indonesia. The Indonesian “Lost Boy” has gone 1-4-1 in his last 6 though has generally been fighting as a Super Bantamweight and may be able to have a size advantage over the very experienced Oleydong.
Also in action will be the exciting teenager Kongfah CP Freshmart (12-0, 7)*, who looks to continue his rise through the ranks as he takes on a domestic foe, and the highly aggressive Chanachai Cp Freshmart (2-0, 1), who will also be taking on a Thai foe. Sadly we've not been given the names of the opponents for Kongfah or Chanachai
In Ghana we see Filipino veteran Ronald Pontillas (17-7-3, 8) attempt to resurrect his career as he goes up against the tough George Ashie (25-4-1, 18) in an interesting 10 round contest. Pontillas, known as “Unpredictable” has lost 3 of his last 5, including a 5th round KO loss last time out to Daud Cino Yordan. As for Ashie he has won his last 2 bouts and is proven to be tough having gone 12 competitive rounds with Kevin Mitchell, however he does lack a notable win.
In Russia fans will get the chance to see several Asian fighters.
One of those is 25 year old Kyrgyzstan prospect Ahmat Uulu Chingiz (1-0, 1) who takes on debutant Evgeny Andrianov (0-0). Hard to say much about Chingiz but we're hoping to see a top fighter emerge from Kyrgyzstan one day.
The other Asian fighter is Russian based Uzbek Lazizbek Uzokov (3-8, 2), who is facing a yet to be named opponent. Uzokov is limited but has strung together back-to-back wins for the first time in his career and will be hoping to notch a third successive victory here.
*Boxrec.com are missing one of Kongfah's fights
Action continues in Thailand this week with a trio of notable fighters.
The most notable of those fighters is former WBC Minimumweight champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai (55-1-1, 21) who continues to move, slowly, towards a Super Flyweight world title fight. Sadly Sithsamerchai hasn't fought a notable opponent since he came up short against Kazuto Ioka way back in 2011. With his experience and ability Sithsamerchai does have the potential to claim a world title again but we suspect he'll not get the chance any time soon.
Whilst Oleydong is a former world champion there is a man on the card who is said to only be a fight or two away from a title. That is Palangpol CP Freshmart (7-1, 4) who is said to be viewing a possible shot at the WBO Minimumweight title later in the year. Palangpol is a really exciting prospect but we suspect he's not as good as his team hope and although he's made a successful transition from Muay Thai to western boxing there is still the feeling that he made the move too late.
The third fighter of note on this show is Kongfah CP Freshmart (11-0, 6)* who we really like the look of. Kongfah scored one of the best KO's we've seen recently, when he iced Saengthong Chor Pakdee, and since then has been a man we've been following closely.
At the moment we're unsure who the 3 Thai's will be fighting though we are under the belief that their opponents will all be Filipino's.
*Boxrec.com are missing one of Kognfah's bouts from last December.
In Thailand fans get their second televised show of the week in what looks like a relatively interesting card with at least one bout worth making a mental note of and several interesting prospects in action.
The main event of the show will see the unbeaten Petch Sor Chitpattana (28-0, 18) defending the WBC Silver Youth Bantamweight title against Chinese visitor Hou Tingling (0-1). Tinglong's only previous bout was a decision loss in November 2014 to Japanese Flyweight Katsuteru Yoshifusa and it's hard to see that really helping him against Petch who is a very promising Thai fighter.
The most promising looking bout will see the much touted Palangpol CP Freshmart (6-1, 4) battling against Filipino stalwart Donny Mabao (21-23-1, 4). Palangpol is viewed as a very promising fighter following an excellent Muay Thai career however there does seem to be some doubt about his potential following less than impressive back-to-back showings. Although not a star Mabao is capable enough fight to pose serious questions to fighters like Palangpol and we suspect this could be a very good test for the Thai who is said to be eyeing up a world title opportunity later this year.
This card will also feature one of the most exciting prospects in Thailand as we get the chance to see teenager Kongfah CP Freshmart (9-0, 4) in action against Fahpikard Twins Gym (2-7. Last year Kongfah caught our attention with a beautiful knockout against Saengthong Chor Pakdee and we'd not be shocked to see him do something similar here against the limited Fahpikard
Strangely we do get what looks to be a competitive under-card bout as Phompetch Twins Gym (6-2, 3) battles against fellow limited fighter Chatree Sor Narongchai (4-3, 2). This is a low level match up but both men will be entering the ring with the intention of recording a win and as a result this could end up being the best bout on the show.
(Image courtesy of http://www.thairec.com)
The most notable bout of the day takes place in Bangkok as the unbeaten Wanheng Menayothin (35-0, 11) takes part in his most important bout to date. Wanheng will be stepping up big time to battle against WBC Minimumweight champion Oswaldo Novoa (14-4-1, 9) and despite the long unbeaten record we suspect that the Thai will be up against it here. The heavy handed Novoa is a free swinger whilst Menayothin is a pressure fighter and we're expecting this one to be very fun no matter who wins. Hopefully this bout will live up to expectation as it really does have us looking for ward to it, a lot.
On the undercard we're expecting to see the unbeaten Kongfah CP Freshmart (8-0, 4) battle against Filipino visitor Cris Alfante (10-3, 3) in a bout for the WBC Youth Minimumweight title. For Alfante this is his second shot at the title following a loss in July to Knockout CP Freshmart whilst for Kongfah it appears he'll be moving down a weight, though of course with this being a Thai under-card we're not 100% certain.
From what we under-stand there will be one other under-card bout on this show, or at least the televised portion of it, though we're completely unsure as to who will feature in that bout.
This entire card will be screened on Channel 7 in Thailand
(Image courtesy of Thairec.com)