Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, USA
The most notably bout with an Asian fighter in this weekend comes from the US where WBC Featherweight champion Mark Magsayo (24-0, 16) takes on mandatory challenger Rey Vargas (35-0, 22). For Magsayo the bout will be his first defense, following his upset win against Gary Russell Jr earlier this year, and he'll obviously be wanting to hand over the title so soon after winning it, however he is in with a really awkward, tough and talented challenger. Of the two men Vargas is the more skilled, the more natural boxer, and the one who has the more proven resume, however this is only his second bout since coming back to the sport following a broken leg, and if Magsayo is going to beat him, this is probably the best time to face him. Whilst Vargas is the more talented it's fair to say that Magsayo has shown a real will to win in recent bouts, and he has dug deep in wins over Rigoberto Hermosillo and Julio Ceja, and it's hard to ever write him off after the win over Ceja. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Magsayo faces Vargas in first defense of WBC title
O2 Arena, Greenwich, London, United Kingdom
Staying outside of Asia for a little longer, we're also set to see the rematch between Israil Madrimov (8-0, 6) and Michel Soro (35-3-1, 24), who had a very controversial bout last year, with Madimov stopping Soro after the bell to end round 9. The bout, a WBA world title eliminator at 154lbs, left a sour taste and rather than letting the controversy stand the two men arranged this rematch, which actually serves both men well given the current state of the division. For Soro the bout is a chance to avenge his loss, and move towards another world title fight which given he's now 34 would likely be his last major bout. As for Madrimov the bout gives him a chance to get some more valuable rounds behind him, and if he wins he will be better prepared to face the top men in the division, though we suspect he would still be the clear under-dog against Jermell Charlo.
Esforta Arena Hachioji, Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan
In Japan we have the next show from Hachioji Nakaya Gym. The show isn't a huge one, but does have 3 very solid domestic type bouts on it.
The main event will see the hard hitting Jin Sasaki (12-1, 11) take on 2021 All Japan Rookie of the Year Kotaro Sekine (3-0, 3) in a very exciting 8 rounder. For Sasaki, who is one of the most fan friendly fighters in Japan, the bout will be his second since losing to Andy Hiraoka in a Japanese and WBO Asia Pacific title fight in October, and he will know the pressure is on him to perform in front of local fans in his home town of Hachioji. As for Sekine this is a massive step for a man who has only had 5 career rounds, but a win here would boost his standing in the sport, and move to within touching distance of a title fight. We do not expect this one to last long, but do expect a lot of fireworks.
On the subject of title bouts, the card has one of those as Hyoga Taniguchi (5-3-2, 1) clashes with Seika Fukuda (6-3, 1) for the Japanese Youth Super Featherweight title. Unlike the main event, neither of these men are big punchers, but the two youngsters are exciting, they like to throw a lot, and in many ways it feels like the styles should gel to give us a very, very fun action fight. Taniguchi will be the favourite, as like Sasaki he's from Hachioji City, but Fukuda will not be looking to make up the numbers and will be a very, very live under-dog. Our preview of this bout can be read here Taniguchi and Fukuda battle for Youth title
One other bout of note on this card is the rubber match between Yuni Takada (8-8-3, 3) and Shunsuke Isa (9-4-1, 1), who have had two incredibly close bouts in recent years. The first of those saw Takada pick up a close unanimous decision in 2019 with Isa beating Takada by split decision last year, to win the Japanese Youth Minimumweight title. Given how close and competitive their previous meetings were we expect another hotly contested bout here between two exciting, speedy and aggressive fighters.
House of Warriors Boxing Academy, New Delhi, India
Also in Asia will be a small card in India. Sadly the most notable bouts on this card are very, very clear mismatches.
One of those mismatches will see rising Indian hopeful Shiva (14-3-1, 7) battle against 21 year old novice Arun Sharma (3-4, 3). Coming into this Sharma has lost his last 3 bouts, including one in June, and he is clearly up against it here. Shiva on the other hand is unbeaten in his last 9, going 8-0-1, and should be too skilled, too experienced and too good for his foe.
The other notable mismatch will see unbeaten 24 year old Mahesh (7-0, 5) take on struggling 17 year old Sumit Kumar (1-2) in a 6 rounder. Mahesh might not be a world beater, but he's one of the more promising Indian fighters, and this looks like a bit of record padding for him here, though Kumar has never been stopped and may be able to take Mahesh a few rounds here.
Borgata Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
This coming Saturday attention turns to New Jersey for an interesting card from PBC. The show isn't a massive one, but it does feature two very notable bouts with Asian fighters involved, one a world title fight and one a major crossroads fight for two men who can't afford another loss to begin this year.
The world title fight sees WBC Featherweight champion Gary Allen Russell Jr (31-1, 18) end 2 years of inactivity as he takes on his latest mandatory challenger, Filipino fighter Mark Magsayo (23-0, 16). Russell Jr is one of the most talented fighters in the sport, and there is no denying his ability, but there is major question marks as to how the WBC haven't yet stripped him, and a massive question mark about his hunger for the sport. Hunger that doesn't appear to be there, and that's a shame as his career could have been something very special. As for Magsayo this is a huge opportunity for a Filipino fighter who was tipped for huge things right from the off, but has struggled in recent bouts and whilst this is the right time to fight Russell, we do feel Magsayo could have done with a few more tough fights. Especially given how bad he looked against Rigoberto Hermosillo. This is a massive opportunity for Magsayo but also a major ask for him. Our preview of this bout can be read here Unbeaten Magsayo gets shot at WBC king Russell Jr
In an excellent supporting match up former Russell foe Tugstsogt Nyambayar (12-2, 9) takes on Vic Pasillas (16-1, 9), in what could be a show stealer. The talented Nyambayar lost to Russell Jr in 2020 and lost last time out, when he moved up in weight and was out pointed by Chris Colbert. He now needs a win to remain relevant after those two losses. Thankfully for him this bout is at his natural Featherweight and he is very dangerous at 126lbs. Pasillas, who is great fun to watch, has been out of the ring for almost a year, and was last seen losing in a brilliant action bout with Ra'eese Aleem, for the interim WBA Super Bantamweight. Notably it is Pasillas moving up in weight for this bout, and that should help Nyambayar out. Regardless, expect fireworks with this one.
Halyk arena sport complex, Aktau, Kazakhstan
As well as the US action there is also a show in Kazakhstan.
In the main event of the card unbeaten Kazakh Middleweight hopeful Meiirim Nursultanov (15-0, 8) will be up against Russian fighter Andrey Sirotkin (19-1-1, 7), with the men battling for the WBO International Middleweight title. Coming in to this Nursultanov will be looking to show what he can do, and to prove himself after really treading water in recent years. He has long shown potential, but that potentially really hasn't been delivered on, yet, but a win over Sirotkin would help him move towards a world title fight. As for Sirotkin, he will be looking to bounce back from a draw last time out with Danny Dignum, but he will know he's the away fighter and the crowd will be backing Nursultanov.
Also on this card will be Bekzad Nurdauletov (3-0, 1) and Bekman Soylybayev (12-1, 4), who are both looking to kick off 2022 and move their careers forward. Although neither are major names Nurdauletov is certainly a prospect to keep an eye on and someone we tend to think has the potential to go all the way, though him reaching those hieghts is, admittedly, still some years away from happening.
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
The main action involving Asian fighters, in fact the main action full stop, this weekend takes place on a Showtime card in Las Vegas, headlined by one of the sports few true super stars. The match up is not the one we were expecting just a few weeks ago, but is still a solid bout put on on short notice and not something we're going to be complaining about, whilst the card also features a man who has promised a lot over the years, but has failed, so far, to deliver on that promise.
The superstar in question is Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39) who was scheduled to take on Errol Spence Jr, before Spence was diagnosed with a detached retina. Instead of facing the unbeaten American star Pacquiao will instead face Cuban Yordenis Ugas (26-4, 12), in a bout for the WBA "Super" title at Welterweight. On paper this is a big downgrade, though we can't help but feel this might actually be a better fight, with the styles of the two men likely to gel well, and it's also great to see Ugas, who has really not had much luck with his career, landing on his feet for once. We expect the Filipino to begin to look his 42 years of age, but with Ugas being 35 himself he's no spring chicken, and this could end up allowing Pacquiao to just squeak by in a potentially thrilling match up. Our full, in depth preview of this one can be read here Pacquiao and Ugas clash for WBA crown!
The fighter who has promised so much is Mark Magsayo (22-0, 15), who burst onto the Filipino scene way back in 2013, when he was regarded as a Filipino super prospect. Sadly, more than 8 years on, Magsayo has still not shown what he can really do, and his signature win stands as a 2016 victory over Chris Avalos. Here he has a great chance to score a win of note as he battles against Julio Ceja (32-4-1, 28). The exciting Ceja, was once a very notable fighter and is a former WBC interim champion at 122lbs. Sadly however he's without a win since November 2017, he's not fought since November 2019 and he's also not a natural Featherweight. Ceja, at his best, would have been a great test for Magsayo, but all things considered it's hard to get too excited about this one.
Universum Gym, Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Over in Germany we'll see unbeaten Kazakh Heavyweight hopeful Zhan Kossobutskiy (15-0, 14) look to score his biggest win to date as he takes on America Joey Dawejko (21-8-4, 12). It's fair to say that 2021 has been a frustrating year for Kossobutskiy, who has seen dates and events fall by the way side, including a planned UK debut, but it'll be good to see him back in the ring here, and Dawejko is no push over. In fact he could be a rare test for the big Kazakh who has been relatively under-tested thus far. Saying that we still strongly back Kossobutskiy to win, but he should be asked some questions here.
Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut, USA
This biggest bout for us this coming Saturday takes place in Uncasville and is a bout that was originally set for late 2019 and has been delayed, rescheduled and pushed back several times. In fact it's been pushed back so many times that one of the men has changed promoters since it was first announced!
The match up in question is an IBF Super Flyweight title bout between long reigning champion Jerwin Ancajas (32-1-2, 22), from the Philippines, and mandatory challenger Jonathan Javier Rodriguez (22-1, 16), from Mexico. Coming in to this bout Ancajas has 8 defenses of the title, which he won all the way back in 2016 when he upset McJoe Arroyo, and has the longest reign in the title's history. The talented Filipino has, however, had an underwhelming reign and has failed to meet any of the top Super Flyweights of his era, and actually turned down a potential unification bout with the then WBO champion Naoya Inoue. It's hoped the future will bring him bigger and better bouts than he's been having for such a long reigning champion. Rodriguez on the other hand is a bit of an unknown whose best wins have come against Felipe Orucuta and Julian Yedras. They are decent wins on paper, but Yedras is very undersized at Super Flyweight leaving just the Orucuta win as a genuinely good win on his record.
Despite that Rodriguez comes across as a confident, hungry, young fighter and that desire could end up making life very tough for the talented, yet frustrating, Ancajas.
Our full preview of this bout can be read here Ancajas and Rodriguez face off... at last!
Also on this show will be unbeaten Filipino Featherweight contender Mark Magsayo (21-0, 14), who takes on 34 year old American foe Pablo Cruz (21-3, 6). On paper this one looks pretty well matched, though it should be noted that Cruz hasn't scored any wins of real note, and has instead been padding his record against C and D level fighters. Sadly it appears to be another, in a line, of bouts that look good on paper for Magsayo though see him continue to tread water, something it seems he has been doing for far, far too long already. He's a contender, he now needs to be fighting at that level!
USC Soviet Wings, Moscow, Russia
Over in Russia fans will get the chance to see unbeaten Uzbekistani prospect Mirzakamol Nematov (4-0, 2) fight for the third time this year! In the opposite corner to Nematov will be the limited Pavel Mamontov (12-12-2, 1), a Russian based Kazakh born veteran.
Aged 23 year Nematov is very much a youngster and a genuine professional novice, who only debuted in September 2020 but has already scored 4 wins, including an opening round blow out of Marat Khuzeev in February. Unlike many Uzbek prospects he's not getting much attention and he could well find himself developing his skills without the hype and scrutiny that is around many Uzbek hopefuls. As for Mamontov he's a 38 year old who has gone 1-11 in his last 12 bouts, and has been stopped in his last 4. This should be an easy win for Nematov, and hopefully bigger tests will come, but there's no need to rush him at this moment in time.
Balai Sarbini Convention Hall, Jakarta, Indonesia
At the moment, as we write this, there is a show planned to take place in Indonesia. However the show is in real doubt, with the local authorities not yet giving permission for the event, and the promoter failing to fill in the paper in an acceptable manner. With that in mind do not be surprised if this show falls through.
If it goes ahead then fans in Indonesia are in for a treat as Tibo Monabesa (20-1-2, 8) clashes with Toto Landero (11-4-2, 2) in a WBC International Light Flyweight title fight. The talented Monabesa has notched two wins since his 2018 loss to Hiroto Kyoguchi and seemed to be getting his career back on track before the Covid19 Pandemic put boxing on ice in Indonesia. Landero on the other hand is a former world title challenger, who gave Knockout CP Freshmart a good test in 2018. Sadly he is 1-2 since that loss and he's not been able to generate much momentum in recent years. Saying that however Landero is not an easy out, for anyone, and he holds a very big win over Vic Saludar. If he's up for this, and if the bout takes place, Landero is a very live under-dog.
A second notable bout on this show will see unbeaten puncher Hebi Marapu (15-0, 11) take on Hero Tito (27-15-2, 11). Marapu was one of the Indonesia fighters that caught out eye years ago. He showed potential, power, an exciting style and like he had the tools to mix it on the regional scene. He could, and should, have out grown the Indonesian domestic scene. Sadly however he is now 32, and his career has really failed to kick on. Tito on the other hand is a true veteran of the Indonesian scene. He's nothing special, not by any stretch, but he's a veteran and he has been around the professional scene for more than 17 years now! Tito is limited but tough and should ask questions of Marapu, but it's still a shame that Marapu never moved above this level, and is still trudging along, wasting his potential.
This coming Saturday is an exciting day in Asian boxing with bouts taking place across Asia, and a promising Filipino getting a great chance to shine on US TV, just a week after we saw what John Riel Casimero can do when given an opportunity to shine.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
The biggest show of the day, for us at least, comes from the Japanese Holy Land of boxing, Korakuen Hall, and will will be shown live on G+. This is a pretty deep an interesting card and will be headlined by a Japanese title fight, whilst featuring plenty of young hopefuls making up the noteworthy under-card.
The main event here will see Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (16-1, 10) make his second defense as he takes on mandatory challenger Yuto Shimizu (14-4-2, 5) in a delayed Champion Carnival bout. Matsunaga won the belt last year, stopping Nobuyuki Shindo, and successfully defended it with a win over Koki Koshikawa, in what was a short but thrilling little bout. As for Shimizu he comes into this bout on the back of noteworthy wins over Charles Bellamy and the aforementioned Shindo. Coming into this we expect a really interesting match up, with the champion giving up notable size to the challenger, and but having the power and work rate to neutralise the size difference. Given the styles of the two men we are expecting a genuine tear up here. Our full preview of this one can be read here Matsunaga faces mandatory challenger Shimizu!
In the chief support bout former world title challenger Ryohei Takahashi (18-4-1, 8) will take on Kiyohei Endo (3-3, 3). We all saw Takahashi have his limitations exposed in 2019, when he was stopped by TJ Doheny, but since then he has resumed his career at a lower level and picked up two low key wins as he looks to build towards another fight of note. When he turned profession there was real expectations on Endo but he has shown poor durability, and very unpredictable form. Another loss for Endo here could end up spelling the end of his career.
In a mouth watering battle between unbeaten 25 year old Kenshi Noda (2-0, 2) will face off with Toshiki Kawamitsu (4-0, 1). As an amateur Noda went 45-16 (10) and is regarded as one of the more promising young fighters at the Teiken Gym, who have signed a lot of talented youngster in recent years. Since beginning his career Noda has looked sharp, aggressive and like the type of fighter who can be fast tracked. Although Noda was a very solid amateur Kawamitsu was a pretty decent one himself, going 35-15 in his amateur career. Kawamitsu has looked a lot more limited than Noda since turning professional, but has racked up rounds, and has 18 of them compared to Noda's 2. Of the two Kawamitsu has faced stiffer competition, got more rounds and shown more as a professional, though is likely to still be the under-dog here.
Another notable prospect on this show is Shigetoshi Kotari (1-0, 1), who notched an impressive 50-23 record in the amateurs. Kotari is tipped for very big things and looked decent in his debut, a year ago. Sadly Kotari has failed to build on his debut, in part due to what has gone on in the world in 2020, and looks to be easing himself back into the ring with a bout against 33 domestic fighter Motosuke Kimura (3-4-2, 1). Whilst Kimura has never been stopped he has lost his last 3 and with that in mind it's hard to see this being anything but an easy one for the talented Kotari.
Workpoint Studio, Bang Phun, Thailand
As well as the Japanese show there is also a pretty notable one in Thailand, thanks to Nakornluang and Work Point.
The main event here will see former 2-time WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (48-5-1, 41) taking part in a stay busy bout as he faces Filipino foe Jomar Fajardo (17-17-2, 9). This will be Srisaket's first bout since he disappointing performance against Amnat Ruenroeng earlier in the year and it's clear that his team will be looking to keep him busy and prevent ring rust before a potentially huge fight in 2021. Fajardo was once a good test down at Light Flyweight, but he's been picking up a lot of losses recently and we expect him to be taken out early on by Srisaket here.
In a solid supporting bout we'll see unbeaten Thai hopeful Apichet Petchmanee (6-0, 2) [อภิเชษฐ เพชรมณี] defending the WBC Asian Boxing Council Lightweight title against Thai based Russian challenger Musheg Adoian (7-1, 7). The unbeaten Apichet has faced some stiff tests since tunring professional, but recent bouts have seen some question his potential, and there does seem to have been some worries in Thailand that he's not as good as he first looked. In Adoian we have a man who's on a 7 fight T/KO run, but is stepping up massively here. Despite stepping up Adoian looks destructive and he could ask questions of Apichet and his chin.
100-day yuan shopping mall, Zhuzhou, China
At the wonderfully named 100-day yuan shopping mall we'll be getting a small Chinese card. The bouts here are, on paper, nothing to get too excited about, but there is an interesting hopeful in one of the 6 rounders.
That interesting hopeful is the once beaten Dacong Wang (6-1-1, 1), who is seeking a 6th straight win as he takes on the debuting Hairula Maimaitiaili (0-0). Wang was 1-1-1 after 3 bouts but has scored 5 wins in a row, including one in Korea against Do Hyuk Kim, and will be hoping to continue building his momentum here. Unfortunately not much is known about Maimaitiaili, though it is reported that he is 20 years old, and will be hoping to kick his career off with a win.
Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles, California, USA
Outside of Asia we have some of our attention on the US with unbeaten Filipino Mark Magsayo (20-0, 14) taking on Rigoberto Hermosillo (11-2-1, 8) in a 10 round bout. Magsayo is one of the most highly regarded hopefuls in the Philippines and fingers crossed we see him shine now he's linked up with MP Promotions and PBC. We had hoped to see him face Jose Haro in September but that date slipped, before Haro decided to retire. As a replacement Hermosillo is a poor one, and comes into this with back to back losses. We really don't see this as being much more than a showcase for the talented Filipino.
The big show of the day this Saturday is in the Philippines, where we see a top prospect take on a former world champion and several under-card bouts worthy of some attention.
The main bout will see the unbeaten Mark Magsayo (19-0, 14) battle against former WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (53-6, 35) in a bout for a couple of minor regional titles. For Magsayo this will be his second bout since a 2017 in over Shota Hayashi, in what was a really tough bout, whilst Pungluang will be looking to build on a recent win over Carlo Magali. Despite the two men having very, very, different careers it's worth noting that only 5 years separate these two men, yet their debuts were almost 9 years difference between their debuts. Pungluang is a true veteran, and will be here to win, but Magsayo will be favoured and has long been regarded as a special talent.
In an excellent GAB Bantamweight title fight we'll see Giovanni Escaner (19-4, 12) take on Renoel Pael (23-9-1, 12), with both looking to rebuild following a loss on foreign soil. Escaner was beaten in February by Joshua Greer Jr in the US, though had given a really decent account of himself before the stoppage. Pael on the other hand was taken to school in Japan by Ryusei Kawaura May, suffering his 5th loss on the road. With the GAB title up for grabs and a chance to get some momentum in to their career, we're expecting this to be a very hotly contested match up.
Another supporting bout of interest will see Filipino Roldan Aldea (14-7-1, 8) go up against Malaysian based Uzbek Anvar Turapov (5-1, 4). Coming in to this Aldea is riding a huge boost following his big upset win in Russia against Mikhail Alexeev whilst Turapov has notched 5 straight wins following a loss on debut. Given Aldea's recent win this could be interesting.
For a second day in a row we get action from Qingdao, and this is potentially just heavily stacked in favour of the locals as the other card.
The main event will see Ainiwaer Yilixiati (15-1, 11) drop down to Middleweight to take on Japanese Light Middleweight contender Ryosuke Maruki (16-6-1, 11) in a bout for two regional Middleweight titles. The hard nosed Chinese puncher suffered his only loss 3 years ago, when he was beaten in Australia by Jayde Mitchell, and has since reeled off 5 straight wins. Maruki on the other hand has lost 2 of his last 3, including a blow out loss to Akinori Watanabe a year ago and this will be a very tough bout for him in what will be his international debut.
Another bout on this card will see Tonghui Li (11-2, 5) take on Tanzania's Maono Ally (9-4-1, 5). Li lost in August 2018, to Jung Kyoung Lee, and had bounced back with a win over Arnel Tinampay last September but has been inactive since that win. Ally has lost in 3 of his 4 bouts outside of Tanzania, and was beaten last time out by Oliver Meng. Ally may not be the best fighter but we do love his nickname "The Monster of Bagamoyo".
One local who is looking to bounce back from a couple of recent set backs is Wuzhati Nuerlang (11-3, 9), who has been beaten twice on the road recently and needs a confidence building victory. He will be up against Tanzanian veteran Said Mbelwa (47-29-5-2, 31), who at the age of 41 really is on the back end of his career. Given Nuerlang's recent losses we can't hold this bout against him, and expect him to rebuild some of his broken confidence here.
Macao S.A.R., China
Staying around China, Macau hosts a small card, which on the whole isn't too interesting, though local hopeful Lap Cheong Cheong (6-0, 4) is in the headline bout, as he takes on Yu Fen Wu (0-0). Cheong isn't a big name but he is an incredibly fun to watch youngster. Aged 22 he looks like he might be the face of Macao boxing over the coming years, sadly though this is a clear step backwards for him to take on a debutant at this point in time.
Pocheon, South Korea
Staying in Asia there's also a low key card in Pocheon, though this really is a card that won't get much attention.
The main bout here is a 6 round Middleweight clash that will see Seung Hee Lee (3-5, 1) take on Hyo Joon Jang (1-1-1). Given this is the main event you can understand how low level this show really is.
Technically this show is a KBM 4 round parade show, and should be fun to watch, as they usually are, but it's very to talk about before hand as it's a card of novices and debutants, with not stand out bout on it.
In Victoria, Australian fans will see one of their unbeaten hopefuls go up against a former world title challenger.
The former world title challenger is Filipino fighter Ernesto Saulong (22-4-2, 9), who challenged the then IBF Super Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa in 2018, and will now be taking on Australian youngster Brock Jarvis (16-0, 15). Since then however he has gone 1-1-1, including a huge KO loss to Waldo Sabu in July 2017. Jarvis is a really talented, hard hitting 21 year old prospect, but needs to step up his competition, and on paper this is a very good step up. A win for Jarvis is expected, but we expect to see him given something of a test after 15 straight wins in the first 3 rounds.
Pak Kret, Thailand
The main action this coming Saturday is from Thailand of all places, as ONE Championship put on a card that will feature a major boxing world title fight.
That bout will see WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (46-4-1, 41) defending his belt against Mexican challenger Iran Diaz (14-2-3, 6). The champion, who is now a sporting hero in Thailand, will be making his third defense of the title that he won in March 2017 when he upset Roman Gonzalez. Since then he has beaten Gonzalez in a second bout, Juan Franisco Estarada and fought a stay busy bout against Young Gil Bae, this is however a serious chance to impress on a show that isn't aimed specifically at a boxing audience. Diaz is taking a huge step up in class, though has scored notable wins over Hernan Marquez and Luis Concepcion. Sadly the Mexican has suffered notable stoppage losses and given Srisaket's power the odds are he will suffer another stoppage defeat here. A full preview of this bout can be read here - Srisaket and Diaz clash at Kingdom of Heroes
As well as the big show in Thailand there is also a notable card at the Korakuen Hall, including a title unification bout, a Japanese title eliminator and the debut of a stand out amateur fighter.
The title unification bout will see OPBF Super Featherweight champion Hironori Mishiro (6-0, 2) battle against Japanese champion Masaru Sueyoshi (18-1, 11) to unify those two titles. Of the two men it's Sueyoshi, the national champion, that has the more distinguished reign, having held his title since October 2017 and has already made a couple of defenses of the belt. Although a talented fighter Sueyoshi can be frustrating to watch and has a rather unique tempo in the ring. Mishiro on the other hand only won his regional title this past June, defeating Carlo Magali with a split decision. He knows he's up against a more experienced professional fighter, but did have a very accomplished amateur background. This could be the best bout of the day in terms of skills, even if the action probably won't be the most intense. A full preview this bout can be read here - Mishiro and Sueyoshi battle to unify crowns!
The chief support bout will see the unbeaten Junto Nakatani (16-0, 12) face off with recent OPBF title challenger Shun Kosaka (15-4, 4) with the winner getting a Japanese Flyweight title fight next year. Of the two Nakatani is clearly the favourite. He's a Rookie of the Year winner, a Japanese Youth Champion and a fighter who has broken into the world rankings. Kosaka on the other hand has come up short in most of his biggest bouts, with stoppage losses to Tetsuya Hisada and Jayr Raquinel, with the loss to Raquinel coming in an OPBF title bout. Given Nakatani's power we suspect Kosaka suffer his third stoppage defeat. A full preview of this bout can be read here - Nakatani and Kosaka fight for the right to challenge for Flyweight title!
This show will also feature the debut of of the very highly regarded Mikito Nakano (0-0), who ran up an excellent 75-9 in the amateurs and has been sparring with Hiroaki Teshigawara to prepare for his debut. The Japanese fighter will be taking on a relatively straight forward first assignment as he battles Thai foe Thanawat Yancharoen (1-3), in what should be a straight forward debut win for a genuine talent and a great addition to the Japanese professional ranks.
In the Philippines we get a card rescheduled from September 22nd, a pretty notable card taking place in Benguet.
The main event will see former OPBF title challenger Cris Paulino (18-3, 7) facing off with the upset minded Jomar Fajardo (16-11-2, 7) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Super. Flyweight title. Paulino has been stopped in all 3 of hos defeats, to Ardin Diale, Koki Eto and Vic Darchinyan, but is a very capable fighter who is riding a 4 fight winning run into this fight. “Wallopman” Fajardo is best known for his two fights with Francisco Rodriguez Jr, earning a draw in the first of those bouts. Despite being upset minded Fajardo is 1-7-1 in his last 9 and and a win here would be one of his very best.
A bout that should be better than the records of those involved suggests will see Ryan Rey Ponteras (22-13-2, 11) take on Cris Alfante (14-7-1, 6). Neither of these men are world beaters, by any stretch of the imagination, but they should make for a very good contest between each other. Ponteras, on his day, can hold his own with fringe OPBF level opponents but is very inconsistent and can end up losing to opponents he should be. Alfante is the naturally smaller man, but also the younger man, and the fighter who will be looking to build on recent wins over Reymark Taday and Roilo Golez. This could be a pretty interesting match up, if we get the best from both guys.
Also on this card is promising youngster Jayson Vayson (7-0, 4), who looks to continue his unbeaten start to professional boxing as he takes on Ronald Alapormina (3-2-1). We like the 20 year old Vayson, a lot, and are looking forward to seeing him let off the leash in the near future. On paper this isn't a step up in class, but it will be his first 10 round contest. As for Alapormina he has gone 0-2-1 in his last 3 and will be wanting to end that win-less run. We expect a win for Vayson, but do hope to see him getting tested in the near future.
There's another small card taking place in India, which has also been rescheduled from September 15th and feature a youth title bout.
The title bout will see unbeaten Indian Rajesh Kumar (9-0-1, 2) take on Bright Ayala (16-1, 11), with Kumar defending the WBC Youth Lightweight title for the first time. The unbeaten local won the title back in April, when he defeated Glenn Enterina, and will not be wanting to relinquish that title just 5 months after winning it. Ayala, from Ghana, hasn't fought anyone of real note though was beaten last time he faced an unbeaten opponent, losing a decision to Oluwaseun Joshua Wahab. This bout should let us know how good both men are, or aren't.
The lead supporting bout is a female contest which will see 20 year old local Kirti (4-1, 2) take on Kiwi visitor Cherneka Johnson (10-0, 5). Coming into this Kirti is looking to build on a big win over Noemi Bosques but she will be regarded as the underdog against the in-form Johnson, who has stopped 3 of her last 4.
Baja California, Mexico
Out side of Asia we have a number of notable bouts, including a very interesting contest in Mexico between Jason Canoy (27-8-2, 19) and Luis Nery (26-0, 20), who battle for the WBC Silver Bantamweight title. The rugged Canoy is best known for losing in his biggest fights, including a loss to a then debuting Hinata Maruta and a thrilling loss to Hiroaki Teshigawa, and is expected to come up short again here. However the Filipino is tough, heavy handed and has never been stopped, he will also know this is a massive opportunity. Nery on the other hand is known for being a controversial figure, who has two tainted wins over Shinsuke Yamanaka. Nery is talented, heavy handed and highly capable, though there are serious doubts as to whether he can make Bantamweight and he will always have dark clouds hanging over his head for the wins over Yamanaka.
Baja California, Mexico
Staying in Mexico there will also be a contest featuring Mark Magsayo (18-0, 13), though his opponent has yet to be named. This will be Magsayo's first bout of 2018, and his first contest since seemingly leaving ALA Promotions earlier this year. He's a talented fighter but the long break, change in management and the lack of named opponent will not serve him well as he continues looking to build towards a potential world title fight.
In Canada fans will be able to see Kazakh prospect Batyrzhan Jukembayev (13-0-0-2, 11) continue his rise as he faces off with Mexican southpaw Patricio Moreno (20-2, 14). This will be Jukembayev's third bout of the year and he is tipped to go on to big things, this however is a perfect step up in class with Moreno being a tough but limited opponent capable of genuinely testing Jukembayev. A really interesting and solid match up.
The biggest fight of the day, for the Asian scene at least, comes from Thailand and will see see a world title on the line, as WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (48-0,17) defends against former WBO champion Tatsuya Fukuhara (19-5-6, 7). The defending champion is getting very close to the magic 50-0, a record of Floyd Mayweather Jr, and will be strongly favoured over Fukuhara here, with the Japanese challenger needing to create history to win. Given the styles of the two men this should be a very entertaining clash with two aggressive fighters facing off.
In Bohol we get a genuinely stacked card thanks to ALA who put on their next Pinoy Pride card.
The main event of the card will see the unbeaten and highly regarded Mark Magsayo (17-0, 13) defending his WBO International Featherweight title against former Japanese champion Shota Hayashi (30-6-1, 16). The promising Magsayo is looking to move into world class in the near future and will see a bout against Hayashi as a good step forward following two quick blow outs earlier in the year. For Hayashi, who lost his Japanese title to Kosuke Saka back in April, the bout is a tough one for his international debut, but he will know the reward of winning is a world ranking.
The card is stacked with prospects. This includes Virgel Vitor (11-1, 7), Albert Pagara (28-1, 19), Jeo Santisima (14-2, 12) and former world title challenger Melvin Jerusalem (11-2, 7). Unfortunately all 4 of the promising fighters appear to be in huge mismatches as they look to stay busy going in to the new year.
Also on the card will be Roli Gasca (23-8-1, 7) and Rocky Fuentes (35-9-2, 20), who like the aforementioned prospects are in easy against opponents they should have no trouble with.
Davao del Norte, Philippines
A second Filipino card comes from Davao del Norte thanks to MB Boxing.
The main event of the card will see Filipino fighter Glenn Porras (30-6, 18) take on former world title challenger Noldi Manakane (32-22-2, 18) of Indonesia. The Filipino has lost 3 of his last 5 but is a talented fighter and should have no problem seeing off the visitor, who used to be a decent fighter, at best, but is now pretty much a regional journeyman who picks up far more losses than wins.
The talented and once touted Rosekie Cristobal (14-2, 10) will be looking to avoid a third loss in 5 bouts as he battles former OPBF Light Welterweight champion Romeo Jakosalem (18-15-1, 10). Jakosalem is almost 6 years removed from his career best win, and has only won 4 times since then. Cristobal has suffered 2 DQ losses in Mexico, and before those there was big hopes for him, so he'll be looking to bounce back and show what he's about here.
A third bout of some note sees the once beaten Michael Bravo (12-1, 5) battle against Lyster Jun Pronco (9-15-1, 6). The once beaten Bravo comes into this bout on a run of 7 straight wins, albeit against very limited opposition, whilst Pronco is win-less in his last 13, with 12 losses and a draw during that run. This bout is for the PBF Light Flyweight title, and we expect to see Bravo crowned the new champion.
Seoul, South Korea
We have an international show in Korea with some low key bouts.
One bout worthy of interest sees Korean based Cameroonian refugee Heuk San Lee (4-0-1, 2) take on Japan's Kazuhiro Baba (6-5-2, 3). Lee is looking to extend a 3 fight winning run, which has seen him claim the Boxing M Light Middleweight title, and despite being 34 is one of the more interesting fighters plying his trade in Korea right now. The visitor had the edge in age, given he's only 25, but he's the naturally smaller man, was recently stopped by Ryota Toyoshima and is fighting outside of Japan for the first time.
A second bout of note here will see Hyun Je Shin (7-6, 1) take on Filipino fighter Daniel Ferreras (13-9-2, 4). Shin is a former Korean Featherweight champion, having won the title last time out however that was more than 3 years ago and he has been inactive since winning the belt. Notably the Korean has fought as low as 112lbs before as well. Ferreras is also ending a break from the ring, which also began back in 2014 when he was stopped by Rey Vargas. Although Ferreras' record is lessthan great he has mixed in good company, with losses to Vargas and Kohei Kono.
New York, USA
There will also be US action with Kazakh prospect Meiirim Nursultanov (4-0, 3) taking on fellow unbeaten Eric Moon (7-0, 6) in what looks like a great step up in class for the 24 year old Kazakh fighter. A win for Nursultanov will help push him towards bigger and better fights, potentially moving him into fights against “name” opponents in the very near future.
This coming Saturday is set to be a busy day for Asian fight fans with bouts featuring Asian fighters taking place all over the globe.
The biggest show of the day is an ALA show in Cebu that features a number of the best Filipino prospects getting decent tests.
The main event of the show will see the unbeaten, and highly touted, Mark Magsayo (16-0, 12) battle against Nicaraguan Daniel Diaz (23-7-2, 15). The bout will see Magsayo defending his WBO International Featherweight title, for the second, in what looks like a good test on paper. Magsayo is seen as one of the most promising Filipino hopefuls, and he has impressed, but this could be a tough ask as Diaz has mixed with good competition, fought for a world title and holds a win over Roberto Marroquin.
Another bout that looks great on paper sees the heavy handed Jeo Santisima (13-2, 11) take on the unbeaten Goodluck Mrema (16-0, 8). The 21 year old Santisima has won his last 11, with 10 stoppages, and has really impressed with his power and aggression but is in tough here against an unbeaten Tanzanian fighter who won't be wanting to give up his perfect record. This could be the stand out bout of the show.
Former world title challenger Melvin Jerusalem (11-1, 7) looks to bounce back from his narrow loss to WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin as he takes on fellow Filipino Joey Canoy (12-3-1, 6). The talented and exciting Jerusalem looks like a future world champion in the making and looks like someone with all the talented needed to be a future Filipino star, but needs to prove that he has the mentality to be a special fighter as he drops back down to domestic level. Canot has lost 3 of his last 7, but Jerusalem still cannot over-look him here.
Another notable bout here will see the once beaten Albert Pagara (27-1, 18) battle against Thai visitor Patomsith Pathompothong (16-9, 6). The talented Pagara will be fighting for the second time since suffering his sole career defeat, to Cesar Juarez, and should be able to get a confidence building win here. The Thai once looked like a possible contender, but with 5 losses in his last 6 he now looks like a journeyman, and it's unlikely he'll put up much of a fight here.
One final prospect on this card of real note is the unbeaten Kevin Jake Cataraja (5-0, 4), who will be facing off with Lony Cadayday (4-1-2, 1). The wonderfully talented Cataraja is one of the best young fighters in the Philippines but still needs a lot of time to develop his skills and will certainly be handled well by ALA who will look to keep him busy and continue his development before moving him in to title bouts, potentially next year. Cadayday comes into this bout as the under-dog, but as a man who has gone unbeaten in 6 and scored a big win last time out over Jeny Boy Boca, with that win being a huge confidence builder for the once beaten Cadayday.
Although the best card is in the Philippines it does need to be said that the most significant bout with an Asian fighter takes place in Mexico as WBC female Bantamweight champion Mariana Juarez (45-9-4, 17) defends her title against Japanese challenger Terumi Nuki (9-1, 6). The Mexican star will be strongly favoured, but there is a chance she'll get old over-night and that would give Nuki half a chance, like we saw last weekend when Jeff Horn shocked the legendary Manny Pacquiao.
New South Wales, Australia
We also get Asian's in action in Australia, where we get a trio of bouts of note.
For us the best of the bouts will see the unbeaten Mark Lucas (8-0, 3) take on upset minded Filipino Arnel Tinampay (24-20-1, 10). On paper this looks like a typical “Prospect Vs Journeyman” bout, but Tinampay has a reputation for upsetting the apple carts and beating guys he's not supposed to beat. Lucas will be favoured, but this is a real banana skin bout for him.
Another bout of note here will see Haithem Laamouz (9-0, 3) and Filipino Joebert Delos Reyes (15-7-1, 10) battle for the Australian Lightweight title, in a bout that could be better than the records suggest. Laamouz should win, but Delos Reyes is capable an upset, and is heavy handed.
The other fight of note will see the limited Michael Van Nimwegen (9-5, 4) take on long term Australian based Indonesian trial horse Aswin Cabuy (19-61-4, 7). On paper this looks likely to be another loss for Cabuy but he's certainly beaten fighters than Van Nimwegen in the past and could be up for this one, despite being 42 years old.
There will also be a pair of shows in Indonesia. One of those will be in Mankwari where the card is headlined by a bout between Hengky Baransano (11-11, 4) and Domi Nenokeba (12-29-2, 8). The bout isn't hugely appealing internationally but should be fun for fans in attendance. The only other bout of note on this card will see veteran Geisler AP (10-10, 7) take on the debuting Samson (0-0).
The other show in Indonesia takes place in Jakarta and against won't get much international intention, but should still be a decent card.
One of those bouts on the card will see Ruben Manakane (20-17-1, 12) take on Edison Berwela (15-35-8, 4) in what could be a better bout than it looks on paper. Another bout similar intent will see veteran James Mokoginta (33-18-3, 20) take on journeyman Artid Bamrungauea (11-16, 9),with this bout being for the WBC ABC Continental title.
Another title fight will see Willem Marahina (5-15-1, 3) face off with Rocky Irawan Sikumbang (6-3, 2) for the International Boxing Association Super Lightweight title.
Another bout with some interest will see the unbeaten Hebi Marapu (8-0, 6) face of with Hendy Luis (7-11-2, 3), in what looks like a good test for the promising Marapu.
The biggest Asian show this coming Saturday takes place in Cebu where ALA host their latest “Pinoy Pride” card.
The main event of the card will see former 2-weight champion Donnie Nietes (39-1-4, 22) take on Thai visitor Eaktwan BTU Ruaviking (22-3, 15) in a bout for the vacant IBF Flyweight title, that was vacated by Johnriel Casimero. On paper it's hard to go against the Filipino veteran, who hasn't lost since a very controversial defeat back in 2004, but at 34 years old and fighting in his first title fight at Flyweight this could be a really good test to see what Nietes has left in the tank. As for Eaktawan this could be a huge chance to score a break out win and announce himself on the world stage.
In the lead support bout fans will see the touted Mark Magsayo (15-0, 11) take on Tanzania's Issa Nampepeche (24-7-4, 11). The unbeaten Magsayo is slowly working his way towards a world title fight and although this won't put him in the mix it does seem him go in there with a live opponent and he will have to make sure that he doesn't over-look the “Peche Boy”.
Another notable prospect in a supporting role is Jeo Santisima (12-2, 11), who puts a 10 fight T/KO run on the line against Indonesian visitor Master Suro (11-8-1, 2). The heavy handed Santisima looks like he could be one of the next big stars of the Philippines and at just 20 years old there is real excitement in regards to his future. Suro isn't anything great but he has proben to be tough through his career so far, with his only stoppage loss so far coming to recent OPBF title challenger Kaewfah Tor Buamas.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Staying with the Philippines there will also be a small show in Metro Manila.
The main event of thise card will see Danny Tampipi (7-6-2, 4) battle against experienced domestic foe Albert Alcoy (14-23-8, 4) in a bout for the "interim" Philippines Boxing Federation (PBF) Bantamweight title. It's not a great bout but it should be a competitive one, and could well be a fun one with both men fighting to claim some silverware.
In Osaka fight fans will be able to get a little bit more world title action.
That world title bout will see WBC female Flyweight champion Nana Yoshikawa (7-1, 4) battle against Mexican challenger Monserrat Alarcon (8-3-2). The bout will be Yoshikawa's first defense of her title and on paper looks a really good one, though truthfully we're not too sure what Alarcon really brings to the table here and she could be a very tough foe for the 38 year old champion.
Also on this card will be a bout feature the promising Shingo Kawamura (13-3-1, 6), who takes on a Thai visitor, and an interesting looking bout will see Yu Konomura (7-4-2, 1) battle against Yuki Iriguchi (7-1-1, 4).
Another Japanese show will take place in Ishikawa, where we get a pretty interesting looking card.
The main event will see the unbeaten Genesis Servania (28-0, 11) battle against Ralph Jhon Lulu (12-1-2, 5) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title. The once touted Servania has seemingly wasted the last few years, but a win here will help put him back into the title mix with the WBO. For Lulu a win would be a potential career changer and put him in the mix for some notable fights later in the year.
In the co-feature Hurricane Futa (22-6-1, 13) will be battling against Ernie Sanchez (16-9-1, 7) in what should be a really fun to watch battle. Both guys are better than their records suggest, with both being tough, heavy handed and exciting fighters.