This coming Friday isn't a particularly busy day for Asian boxing but there is a pretty notable bout in the US, on a really big show.
The bout in question will see the unbeaten Uzbek Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (16-0, 9) take on former world champion Luis Collazo (39-7, 20). Coming in to the bout Abdukakhorov is the #1 challenger with the IBF, making him the mandatory challenger to Errol Spence Jr, and whilst he is risking that shot here, he is also getting some high level work in. At his best Collazo was very much world class, but that was a decade ago, and now he's "just" a very high level gate keeper. This should be a bout that tells us a lot about both men, and whilst there isn't a lot of action this along makes it a day worth caring about in an Asian boxing stand point. Our preview of this clash can be read here Abdukakhorov clashes with Collazo in intriguing Welterweight bout
Of course the main event of this card will see Oleksandr Gvozdyk (17-0, 14) and Artur Beterbiev (14-0, 14) clash in a Light Heavyweight unification bout, to combine the WBC and IBF world titles. Whilst this bout doesn't explicitly feature and Asian fighter it is a bout with a big Asian interest given Dmitry Bivol's importance in the division and the face that Meng Fanlong is the mandatory challenger for the winner. With that in mind our very own George Delis has previewed the bout here The Hammer and the Nail - Beterbiev Vs Gvozdyk (Preview)
For us the biggest show this Saturday is in China where we get a China Vs Japan card featuring a number of bouts between fighters from those two countries. Not only is there the China Vs Japan theme, but also the return to the ring of a popular Japanese former world champion.
The former world champion is Sho Kimura (17-2-2, 10), who despite being Japanese is hugely popular in China following his title win over Zou Shiming in 2017. Kimura was dethroned of the WBO Flyweight title in September, by Kosei Tanaka, but will be strongly favoured to pick up a win here as he takes on Thai veteran Pigmy Kokietgym (60-10-2, 24) in a bout for the OPBF Silver Flyweight. Pigmy was once a solid fighter, and is a 2-time world title challenger, but is not a natural Flyweight, he's 37 and has been stopped 7 times in his career, with Kimura likely to make that 8.
One of the many China Vs Japan bouts will see China's Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (15-2-1, 6) take on Yusuke Konno (14-4, 7) in a bout for some minor WBA Light Welterweight title. Originally the title was listed as the WBA "International" title, though their is now speculation that it will be for the WBA "Asia" title. Nasiyiwula is a talented fighter, but often comes across as a man with a bad attitude, and a real arrogance. He has impressed in the past, but didn't look good last time out, when he fought Ernesto Espana. Konno on the other hand has a poor looking record, but comes into this bout on the back of 3 good domestic wins, including an excellent victory over Vladimir Baez in December and will be full of confidence.
Another China Vs Japan bout, with a title on the line, will see world ranked Chinese fighter Wulan Tuolehazi (10-3-1, 5) battle against highly regarded Japanese prospect Ryota Yamauchi (4-0, 4) in a bout for the WBA International Flyweight title. Tuolehazi has impressed in recent years, turning around a 0-2 start to professional boxing to have a 10-3-1 record including a big win over Jayr Raquinel last year. Yamauchi has impressed us since his professional debut, and already has a couple of solid wins on his record, but this is a big step up for him. We suspect Yamauchi has the tools needed to over-come Tuolehazi, but he will need to answer serious questions here, and prove himself more than he has at any other point in his career. A full preview of this bout can be read here Yamauchi and Tuolehazi battle in mouth watering Flyweight clash
The China Vs Japan rivalry may be set to give us a very special bout as Fangyong Zhang (11-4-1, 3) and Ryuto Maekawa (11-1-1, 7) clash in a potential war. Neither of these are world beaters, but both are happy to let their hands go and be involved in a fight. Maekawa is best known for his insane bout with Rex Tso whilst Zhang is less well known he is certainly not a bad fighter to watch and should make for the perfect partner with Maekawa for a brilliant fight.
As well as the big card in China there will also be a big one in the US, in fact the US card in Pennsylvania is the biggest of the day in terms of general boxing. The card isn't just big in a wider boxing sense but also features several Asian fighters.
The most significant bout, in regards to Asian interest, will see the unbeaten Uzbek fighter Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (15-0, 6) take on Japanese puncher Keita Obara (20-3-1, 18) in an IBF Welterweight world title eliminator. The talented Abdukakhorov will be making his US debut and begin a 3 fight deal with Top Rank with this fight, and will know that a win will open up major doors, though he is up against a serious puncher in Obara. For Obara, who has been stopped in all 3 of his losses, this is a must win but he has failed to win his biggest bouts and at the age of 32 he is likely on the slide. Our preview of this bout is available here Abdukakhorov and Obara battle for mandatory position
Once beaten American based Kazakh Askhat Ualikhanov (4-1, 2) will take on Puerto Rican puncher Jose Lopez (11-1, 9) in an 8 round bout. The 28 year old Ualikhanov was beaten on debut, in 2016, when he was controversially DQ'd and since then has reeled off 4 wins, to rebuild his reputation. Lopez on the other hand was stopped last time out by journeyman Carlos Winson Velasquez and is may not find this bout to be the confidence builder he needs.
New South Wales, Australia
There will also be a show in Australia, featuring a couple of Filipino fighters.
The main event of this card will see WBSS participant Jason Moloney (17-1, 14) return to the ring for the first time since losing to IBF Bantamweight champion Emmanuel Rodriguez. The talented, once beaten, Australian will be up against Filipino visitor Cris Paulino (19-3, 8) in a bout for the WBA Oceania Bantamweight title. Given that all 3 of Paulino's losses have come by stoppage it's hard to imagine him lasting with the hard hitting Moloney, who will likely get to Paulino sooner or later.
Another Filipino on this card is Rey Juntilla (23-8-5, 14), who takes on Billel Dib (22-3, 10). The 29 year old Juntilla has lacked activity in recent years, with only 1 bout in the last 2 years, and although he has a good looking record he has lost against almost every noteworthy name he's faced. Dib is no world beater, and has lost 2 of his last 3, but he should pick up an easy win here.
In a bit of an oddity we'll see German based Moroccan Bilal Messoudi (6-4-1, 2) take on Chinese fighter Shayilanbieke Kadeerbieke (2-3-2, 1). Although Messoudi has lost 4 bouts he has mixed with decent fighters and is better than the numbers suggest. As for Kadeerbieke this will be his first bout outside of China, and we'll be honest and admit that is strange he's set to fight in Germany.
The bigger show this coming Saturday is a big one from California which has seen more changes to it than most people change clothes, and credit needs to be given to the promoters for even getting a workable together.
Originally the card had been set to be the rematch between Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33) and Saul Alvarez, following their controversial 2017 draw, with the bout to be staged in Las Vegas. The Mexican failed a drugs test and a replacement was sought, with Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21) being the man to get the shot at Golovkin, and the fight moving to California, and the IBF deciding not to allow their title to be fought for by Martirosyan due to his lack of a world ranking. The desire to put on a show is admirable, but this isn't an amazing match up, and we've seen other issues with the show, such as Roman Gonzalez being removed from the show as well.
In the Uzbek capital of Tashkent fight fans will get the chance to see a number of local hopefuls in action.
The main event of the card will see the promising Azizbek Abdugofurov (10-0, 4) battle against Russian Dmitrii Chudinov (21-2-2, 13) in a bout for the WBC Silver Super Middleweight title. The local, fighting only his 3rd bout in Uzbekistan, will be looking to secure his second win at world level, following last year's win over Sirimongkol Singwancha. The 26 year old, has risen fast and looked really exciting but this is still a big step up. Chudinov is a former WBA “interim” Middleweight world champion, and at one point looked really good himself, however since losing to Chris Eubank Jr just over 3 years ago he's not looked the same and suffered a loss to veteran Lolenga Mock earlier this year. Chudinov has the tools to give the Uzbek problems, but it's hard to imagine Abdugofurov losing against this version of Chudinov.
At the time of writing the under-card doesn't look to be set to concretely, with only the promoters fighters having been confirmed for the show. Saying that however the is a lot of name value to make note of here, including Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (14-0, 9), Umid Rustamov (3-0, 3), Jasur Akhmadjonov (4-0, 3) and Ulugbek Sobirov (4-0, 2), all of whom look set to have a great future in the sport.
At the Korakuen Hall we'll see the next show from Kyoei, and it's a pretty interesting one in some ways, but one that isn't likely to get too much attention outside of Asia.
The headline bout is the shows key talking point, yet isn't even an official bout, as Koki Kameda (33-2, 18) battles Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (90-5-2, 47) in a rematch of Kameda's first professional defeat. This fight will be held under special exhibition rules, and is scheduled to go 8 rounds. The bout won't have judges, though a TV voting system will essentially be used to determine an unofficial winner if the bout goes the distance, and the bout won't be recorded on either man's record. Despite that the contest is something that both men seem to win with Kameda looking to avenge one of his two defeats and Wonjongkam looking to prove there is still life left in his 40 year old legs.
Koki's younger brother Tomoki Kameda (34-2, 20) will be in the main official bout as he takes on Mexican visitor Daniel Noriega (30-11-1, 15). Kameda has stated that this bout will be his final one before he gets another shot at a world title, likely at Super Bantamweight as he looks to become a 2-weight champion. The popular Japanese fighter should be too good, too fast and too skilled for Noriega but the Mexican is tough and could give Kameda some questions to answer late in the bout, with this being a 10 round contest.
Also on this card is rising female hopeful Jun Yabuki (10-0, 5), who will face a Thai foe, and Kyonosuke Kameda (0-1), who looks to pick up his first won against Kazuyuki Watanabe (1-1, 1).
Another Asian show will take place in Singapore, where local fighters will be looking to advance their careers.
The most notable bout on this card will see 22 year old hopeful Muhammad Ashiq (3-0, 3) fighting against 50 fight veteran Julio de la Basez (21-21-8, 12). On paper this looks like a huge step up for Ashiq but he's up against a 38 year old Indonesian veteran who has scored just 1 win in the last 7 years.
Busan, South Korea
The Asian action continues with a small show in Busan. This card won't get too much attention but does deserve a quick look over.
The main event of the show will see Ki Chang Go (5-2, 2) and JooHyun Kim (4-2-2, 1) battle for a version of the Korean Super Flyweight title. Despite losing his first two bouts Go has been impressive with 5 straight wins coming in to this one, including a an opening round stoppage last time out against Morakote PatanakanGym. As for Kim his form has suffered recently, and after winning his first 3 he has gone 1-2-2, with a stoppage loss to Teiru Atsumi back in November 2014 being his last bout.
The key support bout on this card will see the unbeaten In Duck Seo (9-0-2, 6) battle against Uzbek visitor Eldorbek Sayidov (4-3-1, 3). The 23 year old Korean debuted just over 3 years ago and despite suffering 2 draws in his last 3 bouts has looked really promising and is likely to be the next Korean to try and make a mark at the Oriental level. The visiting Uzbek has won his last 3, but is win-less outside of Tashkent and won't be expected to defeat Seo here.
The key Asian show this coming Saturday comes from Malaysia, where fans will see a number of promising fighters in action.
The most promising fighter on the card is WBC Silver Welterweight champion Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (13-0, 9), who will be making his second defense of the title as he takes on Hungarian foe Laszlo Toth (25-3-1, 17). The Uzbek fighter had a fantastic 2017 with notable wins over Charles Manyuchi, to win the title, and Dmitry Mikhaylenko to defend it, and he looks like a future world title challenger, possibly fighting for a world title later this year. The visitor is a bit of an unknown, though unlike most Hungarian fighters he's not collapsed in his defeats, instead he has gone the distance against the likes of Vyacheslav Senchenko and Kerman Lejarraga. This could be a decent test for the Uzbek fighter, but one that we expect him to come through as he continues his march to a world title fight.
Another promising Uzbek fighter on this card is Azizbek Abdugofurov (9-0, 4), who kicks off his 2018 with a bout against Alfonso Tissen (10-1-2, 5). The 25 year old Uzbek Middleweight looked like a star in the making as we entered 2017, but some of the excitement has been lost for him, despite going 6-0 (1) for the year. He's still very promising and hotly tipped, but some of the hype has certainly gone. Tissen on the other hand is a bit of an unknown from South Africa, who looks to be stepping up in class, after 13 straight fights on the South African domestic scene. With 2 draws in his last 4 Tissen has shined recently and will not expected to pick up a win, but if this is competitive Abdugofurov will see his rise take another hit, and he really wouldn't want that to happen at the moment.
A third Uzbek on this card is Jasur Akhmadjanov (3-0, 2), who looks to take on his most notable foe so far as he battles former world title challenger Roy Mukhlis (29-7-3, 22). Aged 21 Akhmadjanov is a promising youngster, but this is a monster step up in class, following 3 fights on the Uzbek domestic scene. Interestingly this will be the Uzbek's third bout of the year, following two bouts in January. Mukhlis challenged the then WBA Super Featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama in 2010, but since then his career has really faltered, going 5-4-1 with 3 stoppage losses. Mukhlis has looked shot in recent fights and this could be why he has been selected for Akhmadjanov's first step up, though he may still have the tool to ask questions of the youngster.
A final bout of potential interest here will be a rematch between Malaysia's very own Muhammad Shehran (6-1, 1) and Indonesian Erick Deztroyer (11-4-1, 2). These two fought last December, with Deztroyer defeating Shehran, who was then 5-0, courtesy of a majority decision. Shehran will be seeking revenge here, whilst Deztroyer will be looking to double down and get a second win over the 22 year old Malaysian fighter.
As well as the action in Malaysia there is also a show worthy of note in Victoria featuring a former world champion.
That former world champion is former WBO Bantamweight king Marlon Tapales (30-2, 13), who will be up against Indonesian foe Rivo Rengkung (36-24-6, 14). The under-rated Tapales hasn't been seen in the ring since his second bout with Shohei Omori, a bout he won by 11th round TKO but was stripped of his world title for failing to make weight, way back in April 2017. The Filipino is likely to be a real handful for anyone at 122lbs with his toughness and under-rated skills, and despite his long break from the ring he should have no issue with Rengkung. The Indonesian has been stopped in 9 of his 24 defeats, and whilst he could see out the bell, as he did against big punching South African Macbute Sinyabi, it really is hard to see anyway for him to be competitive with the Filipino.
Another Filipino on this card will be the once touted Neil John Tabano (14-4, 10), who will take on Thai puncher Yodchanchai Nakornluang (25-4-0-1, 20). Tabanao won his first 11 bouts, but has gone 3-4 in his last 7 and really needs to inject some momentum back into his career as soon as possible. The 39 year old Thai veteran hasn't fought in over 4 years and although he will still have his heavy hands he was never the toughest fighter and really should be fodder for the significantly younger and fresher Filipino hopeful.
In Russia local fans will be able to see the unbeaten Vyacheslav Mirzaev (10-0, 1) take on Filipino foe Kenny Demecillo (13-4-2, 7). The unbeaten 29 year old Mirzaev has shown nothing in terms of power but has shown some nice skills so far, including last December when widely out pointed Sukkasem Kietyongyuth. The Filipino visitor likely isn't expected to be a threat, but he is a talented fighter and should be regarded as a live under-dog here, despite his less than amazing record. Demecillo is better than the numbers suggest, and if he performs to bis best he can be a handful for a fighter like Mirzaev.
Action returns to Singapore this coming Saturday with a number of interesting prospects back in action.
In the main event we'll see unbeaten Uzbek hopeful Qudratillo Abduqaxorov (10-0, 7) take a huge step up in class as he takes on Zimbabwean fighter Charles Manyuchi (20-2-1, 12) for the WBC “silver” Welterweight title. For Abduqaxorov the bout is a massive step up but a win would secure him a place in the WBC rankings and move him towards a world title shot, as well as see him build on wins against the likes of Larry Siwu, Adones Cabalquinto and Romeo Jakosalem. For Manyuchi the bout sees him making his Asian debut, though he has scored notable wins in Burkina Fase, Italy and Russia. If Manyuchi retains his title it seems him building on last year's huge upset win over Dmitry Mikhaylenko and likely secures him a WBC title shot in the near future.
In a supporting bout Azizbek Abdugofurov (5-0, 4) will put his unbeaten record on the line against Martin Fidel Rios (21-10-4, 11). The unbeaten Abdugofurov was forced to go 12 rounds earlier this year against Sirimongkol Singwancha and proved his stamina in the process but still has a number of questions to answer in regard to his long term potential. For Rios the bout comes after an upset win over Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna and a very controversially and foul filled fight with Jamie Cox in the UK. A really interesting match up even though it may not look it on paper.
In an support bout we'll see in form Filipino Jeson Umbal (13-5, 9) battle against Fadhili Majiha (20-7-4, 9). Umbal really has been stringing together a nice run over the last 12 months, with 5 wins in the last year, and will be looking to notch another here as he looks to move onto the fringes of a world title fight. As for Majiha he returns to Asia for the first time since 2014, when he suffered 3 successive losses to world class fighters, losing to Marlon Tapales, Pungluang Sor Singyu and Jerwin Ancajas. A win for Umbal would see him joining that notable list of fighters.
Another notable bout on this card will see Indonesian fighter Daud Yordan (36-3-0-1, 24) take on Thai youngster Campee Phayom (11-2, 7). The talented, and fun to watch, Yordan is currently riding a 6 fight winning run and will be looking to extend that run as he looks to move towards another world title fight. He'll know that he is on the verge of a potential title shot, but can't let it slip from his grasp with a loss here. For Campee the bout sees him looking for a third successive win, and looking to build on a big upset win last year against Yoshimichi Matsumoto. Against Matsumoto we saw Campee prove that he can fight on the road and a win here would get him some serious attention.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Fight fans in Metro Manila are also set for a card with some notable action.
In a bout for the WBC International Minimumweight title we'll see the unbeaten Jay Loto (13-0-1) take on the tough Lito Dante (12-7-4, 7). On paper this looks like a clear win for the unbeaten man but the reality is that he's stepping up to face a much more battle hardened fighter, who will be looking to score an upset. This is much better than it looks on paper.
Also on this card will be Jonathan Taconing (23-3-1, 19) and Glenn Suminguit (19-2, 10), though neither of their opponents have been announced at the time of writing.
In Russia we'll see the unbeaten Akzhol Sulaymanbek uulu (5-0, 4), a Russian based Kyrgyzstan born fighter, taking on Denis Lashin (6-2, 2) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Featherweight title. The bout is a notable step up for Sulaymanbek uulu, who has never been in a bout scheduled for more than 6 rounds, and it should be a good test, though it's hard to know just how good Lashin is himself.
In Uganda we'll see Azeri Shahin Adygezalov (8-0, 7) battle against Fabian Lyimo (18-6-2, 11) in a bout for the UBO Welterweight title. Strangely this will be Adygezalov's 4th successive bout in Uganda, and his 5th bout in Africa as looks to make a name for himself away from “home”.
Although Ohio,of all places, may seem strange for the most significant bout with an an Asian interest that's exactly what will happen this coming Saturday as Kazakh Zhanat Zhakiyanov (26-1, 18) challenges WBA “Super” and IBO Bantamweight champion Rau'shee Warren (14-1-0-1, 4). For the heavy handed Zhakiyanov this is a huge step up in class, and amazingly his US debut as he adds yet another stamp to his passport. The Kazakh has fought through much of the world, but is still a relative unknown in America, where few of his fights have been televised. Warren, a former 3-time US Olympian, is the most talented fighter that Zhakiyanov will have faced and will be seeking his first defense of the title. On paper this is puncher vs skillster and it could turn out to be a very intriguing contest.
Another show of Asian interest takes place in Singapore, where we see several notable fighters in action.
When it comes to fast rising prospects few are rising quite as quickly as 24 year old Uzbek Middleweight Azizbek Abdugofurov (4-0, 4), who looks to over-come a former 2-weight world champion in just his 5th professional bout. Not only is Abdogofurov taking on a former world champion, but a highly experienced one as he battles 39 year old Thai Sirimongkol Singwancha (91-2, 57), in what will be a defense of the WBC Asian Boxing Council Middleweight title by the Uzbek. The Thai veteran, who has claimed world titles at Bantamweight and Super Featherweight, is well past his best but will be hoping to make the most of his experience here.
Another promising Uzbek on this card is the unbeaten Qudratillo Abduqaxorov (9-0, 6), who looks for win #10 as he takes on the more-than-credible Ukrainian Viktor Plotnykov (34-4, 16). Although Abduqaxorov isn't quite as touted as his countryman he's in relatively tough here and Plotnykov is an upset minded fighter who can be a banana skin, as we saw when he beat the once touted Denton Vassell in the UK. Although Plotnykov can be a banana skin he has lost 2 of his last 4 and, at 39, is well beyond his best. If Abduqaxorov wins, as expected, he will return in a few weeks time to face Charles Manyuchi for the WBC Silver Welterweight title, he will however have to make sure not to over-look the Ukrainian here.
In an all Filipino bout we'll see the in form Jeson Umbal (12-5, 8) seek a 5th straight win as he takes on the struggling Roman Canto (12-8-3, 7). Coming in to this Umbal has scored notable wins over Luis Bedolla Orozco and Mark Anthony Geraldo and he will know if he keeps this run going he could find himself fighting for titles in the near future. As for Canto things have been tough recently, and he has fallen from 8-0 (3) to 12-8-3 with real struggles over the last 4 years or so. A win for Canto would boost his career massively here, but this will be a very tough one for the “Hitman”.
The first Asian show of a new year takes place in Malaysia of all places. Although the card is in a bit of a boxing black spot it is actually set to be a very interesting card.
In a 12 round bout on the show fans will see an all Filipino bout as Jeson Umbal (11-5, 8) faces Gadwin Tubigon (14-12-2, 9). Umbal comes into this bout in the form of his career and has stopped his last 3 foes, including Mark Anthony Geraldo, and should be expecting another win here, especially given that that Tubigon has been stopped 7 times during his 28 bouts.
In a really interesting 10 rounder we'll see exciting Uzbek hopeful Azizbek Abdugofurov (3-0, 3) battle the highly experienced Aleksander Bajawa (41-2-4 14). The heavy handed Abdugofurov is a prospect on an incredible fast track and is expected to be in the ring against in February against former 2-weight world champion Sirimongkol Singwancha. Bajawa looks like a great test on paper but the reality is that the Indonesian is inactive and is unlikely to last long with the big punching Abdugofurov.
Another fast tracked Uzbek on this card is Qudratillo Abduqaxorov (8-0, 5), who will be up against former OPBF champion Romeo Jakosalem (18-13-1, 10). The 23 year old Abduqaxorov is expected to fight in February and March if he over-comes Jakosalem here, however it's not a foregone conclusion with Jakosalem having enough power to potentially test the Uzbek. If Abduqaxorov has over-looked Jakosalem this could be a very tough night for the promising youngster.
Kazakh puncher Bakhtiyar Eyubov (11-0, 10) kicks off his year and takes on the massively experienced Elvin Perez (28-16-4, 19). This will be Eyubov's first bout since his controversial win over Karim Mayfield, and looks to be a huge step backwards, but given how fortunate he was to beat Mayfield this could be a chance to rebuild his confidence.
The most significant bouts featuring Asian fights this Saturday both come from a stacked card in Las Vegas where Bob Arum is putting on a bumper show with several good looking bouts, including a mouth watering world title unification fight.
The most interesting bout with an Asian interest on this card will see China's IK Yang (19-1-0-1, 14) face off against Leonardo Zappavigna (34-2, 24) in an IBF Light Welterweight eliminator. The bout looks almost certain to be a thriller with both fighters having serious flaws and being relatively free swinging. Of the two Zappavigna is the more proven however Yang is the bigger puncher and has the toughness that should help him to a very competitive victory.
The other Asian fighter on this card is Japanese Middleweight contender Ryota Murata (10-0,7) who takes on the much more experienced George Tahdooahnippah (34-2-3-2, 24) in what will be Murata's second bout Stateside. Murata failed to shine on his US debut, when he beat Gunnar Jackson, but should manage to look here against an opponent who has little to threaten him. Another other than an impressive victory will seriously harm Murata's hopes of becoming a star in the US.
It's not just in the US where we get some interesting match ups with Asian fighters as Singapore hosts a very intriguing card.
In the main event of the show fight fans will see promising Uzbek Qudratillo Abduqaxorov (7-0, 5) face off against once beaten Filipino Adones Cabalquinto (23-1, 15) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Welterweight title. The very talented Abduqaxorov has impressed so far in his career but this is a very credible step up and a win will put him on the boxing map. For Cabalquinto the bout is a must win with many criticising his career after a good start, with him facing a string of limited opponents.
In an interesting all Filipino bout Jeson Umbal (10-5, 7) will be up against Mark Anthony Geraldo (33-6-3, 15) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Bantamweight title. Geraldo has lost 2 of his last 4, though was closing in on a world title fight before those losses. He will be favoured over Umbal, though knows that another loss will be the end of his hopes as a contender. Interestingly this will be the second time these two men have fought this year, with Geraldo beating Umbal back in February.
A really testing bout will see former amateur stand out Azizbek Abdugofurov (2-0, 2) battle against Thailand's Chaloemporn Singwancha (17-0, 13) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Middleweight title. The 24 year old Abdugofurov is a hotly tipped Uzbek prospect but this is a monstrous step up for a guy who only debuted in May! The Thai will be favoured on paper but is is one of his first bouts with a guy actually facing him with the intention of winning, and that's without mentioning that Abdugofurov was a very accomplished amateur fighter.
Another title bout will see Muhamad Farkhan (1-0, 1) face off with Indonesian Elly Pangaribuan (4-7-2, 1) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Cruiserweight title. We like Farkhan's desire to win a title at such an early stage but the WBC really should explain why either guy is fighting for any sort of belt here.
One other bout of note sees our Canadian friend Ryan Ford (6-0, 4) in action for the first time since he beat Thailand's Manus Boonjumnong. The unbeaten Canadian will be up against Malaysian Muhammad Meeraj (2-0) in what should be an interesting bout. Ford will certainly be favoured but it seems that Meeraj should be the bigger fighter in the ring and could pose serious questions to the aggressive Canadian.
We also have title action in Indonesia where fans get two title fights.
One of those is for the Indonesian Featherweight title and will see the experienced James Mokoginta (30-18-3, 17) battle against Gusti Elnino (3-9, 1). This looks like a straight forward win for Mokoginta however he's certainly beatable and has lost 3 of his last 6.
The other title fight will see Ruben Manakane (17-16-1, 11) battle against Marten Kisamlu (3-6,1) - Indonesian Super Bantamweight title. This is a very competitive bout, despite the huge different in the records, and should be a genuinely compelling match of up for the fans in Jakarta.
In the wonderful country of Singapore fight fans will get several notable bouts.
One of those bouts will see Indonesian fighter Larry Siwu (22-6, 18) face off against unbeaten Uzbek prospect Qudratillo Abduqaxorov (6-0, 5). Siwu was last seen being stopped by Teerachai Kratingdaenggym but will be hoping top bounce back with a win here, for Abduqaxorov the bout is a great chance to continue his development and possible move towards a regional title fight.
Another bout, for the UBO Inter-Continental female Super Featherweight title, will see Nurshahidah Roslie (2-0) face off against teenager Wondergirl Sithsaithong (0-1) whilst another prospect, Muhamad Ridhwan (2-0, 1), will battle against Egy Rozten (4-11-1, 3).
Metro Manila, Philippines
One of the other notable cards comes from the Philippines where fight fans will get to see two former world title challengers in action.
One of those world title challengers is Richard Claveras (14-2-2, 12) who looks to bounce back from a decision loss to Jonthan Refugio. The heavy handed Claveras will be up against journeyman Juan Purisima (11-8-1, 4) in what should be an easy win for the “Explosive” Claveras, though it should be noted that he has lost 2 of his last 4.
The other former world title challenger in action is Warlito Parrenas (24-7-1, 21), who is fighting for the first time since his December loss to Naoya Inoue. The exciting Parrenas will be up against Rolio Golez (15-15-1, 6) in what should be a straight forward win for Parrenas. Although Golez isn't great he was once a dangerous fight, though days however are long gone and he's gone 1-7-1 in his last 9 bouts, likely falling further here.
One other bout on this card will see the unbeaten Erika Hanawa (4-0, 1) battle against Christine Latube (1-9-2) for the WBC-Asia Atomweight title. Sadly, given Latube's recent results, this will likely be a mismatch.
The low level action in China continues this weekend with a small card at the “Star Space” in Shanghai. The card is another of the Top Rank/SECA shows and will see fights taking place across a number of weights, though none of the fighters are particularly experienced or big names.
In Canada fight fans will get the chance to see Kazakh fighter Battyrzhan Jukenbayev (2-0-0-2, 2) fight in a 4 rounder against a low level opponent.
This Saturday is a busy day for Asian fight fans with bouts across Asia and an international bout of note.
The most significant bout in many ways for Asian fight fans is in the UK as former world title challenger Hisashi Amagasa (30-5-2, 20) travels to Leeds to face off against the unbeaten Josh Warrington (22-0, 4) in a bout for the WBC International Featherweight title. For Amagasa the bout is a huge opportunity to prove himself as a world class contender, and a win could propel him to a much wanted shot at a Featherweight title. For Selby the bout could help him secure his own world title fight. A lot on the line for this one, and potentially it could be a fire cracker.
In Japan the action really doesn't stop this week and this time it's the turn of Woz who have a show in Kyoto.
In the main event Japanese Lightweight champion Kota Tokunaga (17-2, 11) will be defending his title against the teak tough Nihito Arakawa (26-6-1, 16). This will be Tokunaga's third defense of the title and by far the toughest with Arakawa looking to become a 2-time champion. If Tokunaga wins it does really legitimise him as the Japanese champion, and although Arakawa is a faded force we suspect he'll be more than a handful for the champion.
In the chief support bout fans will see former Japanese Bantamweight champion Shohei Omori (15-1, 10) attempt to bounce back from his first loss, a disappointing stoppage defeat by Marlon Tapales, and face off against Indonesia's Espinos Sabu (15-8-2, 8). On paper this looks like a very easy win for Omori however Sabu can be a handful on his day and could well give Omori the type of bout that he needs.
In South Korea the KBF put on the next of their rookie shows, despite it being a rookie card the real interest is in the main event, which sees former world champion Yong Soo Choi (29-4-1, 19) return to the ring, at the age of 43. The former WBA Super Featherweight champion will face Japanese visitor Kazuya Nakano (9-5-1, 7), in what will be Choi's first bout in over 13 years. At his best Choi was a wonderfully exciting fighter, however that was back in the 1990's, and this is now and Choi is really unlikely to resemble the fighter he once was.
The lowest profile Asian card of the day comes from Malaysia where A & A Promotions put on a small, but notable card.
The main event of this show will see the unbeaten Qudratillo Abduqaxorov (5-0, 5), from Uzbekistan, face Mexican Juan Bedolla Orozco (9-2-2, 8) for the lightly regarded WPBF Youth Welterweight crown. This looks like a good test on paper but the reality is that the unbeaten 22 year old should be strongly favoured.
Another bout of note from this card will see Jonathon Yeow Ming (1-0, 1) battle against Indonesian veteran Heri Andriyanto (21-21-2, 10). This is a massive test for the Malaysian based Ming and if he comes through it in impressive fashion he will deserve a lot of plaudits for taking on such a test at this early stage in his career.