This coming Saturday isn't a huge day for fights involving Asian fighters, but it is a pretty interesting day with thanks to other fights, including the Heavyweight debut of Oleksandr Usyk.
On the same card as Usyk's Heavyweight debut will be a WBA Light Heavyweight world title defense for Dmitry Bivol (16-0, 11), who takes on the unheralded Lenin Castillo (20-2-1, 15). On paper this isn't the bout that Bivol, and his fans, would have wanted but it should still be a good test against a big, talented and tough challenger. Castillo isn't well known, but has never been stopped and gave Marcus Browne a really competitive test. Bivol will, obviously, be strongly favoured here but he will have to work hard for the win against a capable, yet relatively obscure, challenger. Our full preview of this bout can be read here Will Bivol be tested by unheralded Castillo?
The biggest Asian card for the day takes place Kazakhstan as MTK go to Almaty for a pretty notable, yet not hugely exciting, show.
The main event here will see the hard hitting and unbeaten Ali Baloyev (9-0, 7) take on Venezuelan veteran Gusmyr Perdomo (26-9, 17). Baloyev is a genuine one to watch, and on paper this is a credible step up in class for him, after a string of relative limited opponents. Despite that it does need noting that Perdomo is now 42 and it's more than a decade ago that he fought Mikkel Kessler. Perdomo was once a solid fighter but now he's an old man and will have to rely on wiles to survive with Baloyev.
In an 8 round support bout we'll see Abilkhaiyr Shegaliyev (6-0, 4) likely pick up a straight forward win as he takes on Georgian Sandro Jajanidze (5-19-1, 3). It's hard to see anything but a win for Shegaliyev, but Jajanidze is a tough, rugged guy and could well see out the distance with the Kazakh prospect.
Arguably the pick of the bouts will see Chinese-Kazakh fighter Yelieqiati Nihemaituola (14-0-1, 5) take on Filipino Ryan Rey Ponteras (22-14-3, 11). On paper this is a horrible mismatch, but paper only tells half the story and Ponteras is an upset minded Filipino who travels to win, and he will be here looking to end the unbeaten run of his foe. Whilst Ponteras was stopped last time out, by Seiya Tsutsumi, we still expect to see a gutsy, determined and rough effort from him and this could be a much better fight than it looks on paper.
Others on this card include unbeaten hopefuls Nurtas Azhbenov (6-0, 2), Hurshid Tojibaev (2-0, 1) and the debuting pair of Nurdos Tolebay (0-0) and Miras Ali Sarsenov (0-0). These 4 are tipped for big things, especially Tojibaev and Sarsenov who both had very strong amateur careers, and it's going to be interesting to follow their progress. Sadly however MTK aren't known for pushing their prospects quickly, and it could be a while until we see any of these talented fighters given a serious test.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Over in the Philippines we'll see a small yet noteworthy card.
In the main event we'll see former world title challenger Denver Cuello (38-5-6, 26) take on Jesse Espinas (19-4, 11) in an IBO world title eliminator. Cuello has only fought 3 times in the last 4 years and although he's not the fighter he once was the 32 year old southpaw is still a very dangerous and will know that a win will open doors for him. Espinas on the other hand will be looking to bounce back from successive defeats and will know that another loss here will be hard to bounce back from. A very interesting match up
One of the other notable bouts here will see Cris Alfante (17-7-1, 9) take on Mateo Handig (15-19, 9). The 27 year old Alfante has reeled off 3 straight stoppage wins since his last loss, to Ardin Diale, and despite his less than stellar record he is 6-1 since a June 2016 loss to Andrew Moloney. Handig is no push over, but with 3 straight losses, and only 3 wins since an upset loss over Katsunari Takayama back in 2012, he's not expected to be competitive here.
In a more interesting bout on the same card we'll see the unbeaten Ranelio Quizo (6-0, 1) take on Ronel Dela Cruz (6-1-1, 4). The 21 year old Quizo is unbeaten since his debut in early 2018 but this is a step up in class for him. On the hand Dela Cruz is 1-1-1 in his last 3, but is certainly no push over, he was just unlucky to face April Jay Abne last time out in a Ultimate Boxing Series bout, with Abne winning the tournament this past August. This is a really, really match up.
Negros Occidental, Philippines
A second Filipino card is set to be headlined by a match up between will see the hard hitting, but technically flawed, Joepher Montano (10-5-2, 9) take on former OPBF title challenger Benjie Suganob (10-7-1, 5). Given that Suganob's biggest bout to date took place at 122lbs it's hard to see what he has to offer at 140lbs, the weight for this bout.
Yanggu, South Korea
Another Asian card will take place in South Korea, and this is another less than great card.
The main event will see unbeaten Korean fighter Hye Soo Park (5-8-1, 1) take on Chinese visitor Jinyan Gao (2-1) in a bout for the WIBA Super Flyweight title. The Korean took the bout on short notice, after the unbeaten Soo Rin Kim was forced to pull out of the bout with around 10 days notice due to a back issue, and is likely to be too small for the naturally bigger Chinese fighter.
A second title fight will see Yong Hwan Jun (5-4-1, 2) make his first defense of the KBM Welterweight title, as he takes on Hae Myung Jung (3-1-1, 1). Jun won the title last time out, when he defeated Dong Young Kang over 10 rounds, but didn't really blow anyone away with his performance. The challenge was actually held to a draw last time out, when he failed to get past Gi Won Shin. This should be competitive, but it's hard to get too excited about the contest, and it showed how much the Korean scene needs to work together to have a decent domestic title picture.
New South Wales, Australia
At the East Cessnock Bowling Club in New South Wales we see two Indian fighters in action.
One of those Indian fighters is the unbeaten Sagar Narwat (9-0-1, 3), who takes on fellow unbeaten fighter Troy O'Meley (9-0, 2) in a good looking bout, but one that perhaps isn't as interesting as it looks. Narwat began his career in the Philippines, but his last 6 bouts have been in India and have all been against very limited opposition. O'Meley has also faced mostly limited opposition, though he got through a bit of a gut check last time out when he was pushed hard in a 6 rounder against Isaac Buckley. This looks good, and may turn out to be good, but really both men have mostly padded their records.
The other Indian on this card is Shivani Dahiya (1-1) who is up against it here, as she takes on Bianca Elmir (4-1, 3). On paper this doesn't look much of a mismatch, but Elmir ran Shannon O'Connell close just 2 fights ago and should have way too much for Dahiya here.
New South Wales, Australia
Also in Australia we'll see once beaten local Tyson Lantry (7-1, 3) take on Filipino visitor Rodynie Rafol (13-7-2, 6), on a separate show in New South Wales. This bout, for the lightly regarded WBF Asia Pacific Lightweight title, looks like a mismatch and we would be surprised by anything but a win for the local. Coming in Lantry has won his last 6, since a stoppage loss in his second pro-bout, whilst Rafol has lost 2 of his last 3, and has only had 1 win since 2015. Notably however Rafol's only recent win was an upset in Australia against James MacDonald, over a year ago.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The only show this coming Thursday is a low key one from Metro Manila. Although low key it does have a couple of fights of some note.
The biggest will see the highly talented Michael Dasmarinas (25-2, 16) take on shop worn foe Mateo Handig (13-14, 7). The under-rated Dasmarinas has won his last 7, following a controversial loss in South Africa to Lwandile Sityatha, and he does look like another of the rising Filipino who could go on to world honours down the line, having proven his skills both in bouts and as a high level sparring partner for top Japanese fighters. Handig was once close to an IBF Minimumweight world title fight, after a split decision win over Katsunari Takayama, but has since lost 9 in a row as his career has tumbled into irrelevancy and it'd be a massive upset for him to beat Dasmarinas in this one.
In another notable bout we'll see 23 year old prospect Lorence Rosas (7-1-2, 2) take on the limited Danny Tampipi (7-7-2, 4), in what will be a second meeting between the two men. These two fought last September, with Rosas taking a 6 round shut out over his foe, and we'd expect something similar here for the youngster, though the bout will be fought over a longer distance.
Camarines Sur, Philippines
In a bout originally scheduled for the weekend fans will see Michael Dasmarinas (24-2, 16) facing off with Michael Escobia (11-12-1, 3). On paper this looks like a real mismatch however Escobia is much better than his record suggests and he has given fighters like Masaaki Serie and Koki Eto really competitive bouts, with the Eto bout coming earlier this year. Dasmarinas should win but this is no gimme.
There is also action from Laguna.
In the main event fans will get an interesting Light Flyweight bout between Lester Abutan (10-5-3, 5) and Mateo Handig (13-11, 7). On paper this looks like a mismatch, especially given that Handig has lost his last 6, however those 6 defeats have come to good fighters, such as Ganigan Lopez, Nawaphon Por Chokchai and Panomroonglek Kratingdaenggym. Abutan has a good record but has failed when he's stepped up in class, losing to Fahlan Sakkteerin Jr and Chanachai CP Freshmart, and as a result we suspect this will be more competitive than the records suggest.
In a supporting bout the 20 year old Robert Onggocan (6-1, 2) will face the very experienced Rodel Tejares (20-39-7, 5). Onggocan will be fighting for the third time since his sole defeat and although he has a promising looking record this is actually one of his toughest bouts so far. Tejares has gone 0-16-3 in his last 19 but could well see this as his chance to score his first win in over 4 years!
Southern Leyte, Philippines
A third show from the Philippines Marvin Tampus (27-23-3, 18) facing off with the out of form Marco Demecillo (21-5-1, 16). On paper it'd be easy to favour Demecillo however he has gone 3-5 over his last 8 bouts, dating back more than 3 years, and he is genuinely struggling to get his career back on track. For Tampus, who hasn't won in 5 years, this a great chance to get win and may be an opportunity that he will make the most of.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The notable action this coming Saturday comes from he Philippines where this is a great show featuring a number of title bouts.
The most well matched bout on this card comes at 108lbs where former world title challenger Richard Claveras (14-1-2, 12) defends his WBC International title against Jonathan Refugio (14-4-4, 3). Whilst Claveras was taken out inside a round in his world title shot this is a bout he should win and probably the sort of bout that he needed before getting a world title fight. Refugio has mixed with good company, including Knockout CP Freshmart and Wanheng Menayothin, but has lost in his most notable bouts and we suspect that will happen again here.
Another notable title fight will see OPBF Flyweight champion Ardin Diale (30-9-3, 15) defending his title, for the first time, against clear under-dog Jonathan Francisco (8-4-1, 2). We're unsure how Francisco has earned this shot, and we can't see him winning, though in many ways Diale deserves an easy fight to record his first defense of the title he won in December.
A third title fight, and another that looks likely to be one-sided, sees the under-rated Michael Enriquez (11-4-1, 7) facing veteran Donny Mabao (21-24-3, 4) for the GAB Flyweight title. The under-rated Enriquez has lost 2 of his last 3 but one of those was a razor thin loss to Rex Tso, in Macau. Mabao on the other hand is with out a win since a 2012 upset over former world champion Florante Condes, he has since gone 0-4-2. Mabao was better than his record, but is looking like a fighter who is done, despite only being 27 years old.
There are two other title fights on this card however we prefer to ignore those and instead mention a much more intriguing match up as Rene Dacquel (15-6-1, 5) battles Mateo Handig (13-10, 7) in a really solid looking bout. Of the two men Dacquel seems to be the one with more to give but recent loses to Takuma Inoue and Jonas Sultan have killed the momentum he had from a win last April over Melvin Gumban. Whilst Dacquel's ecent form hasn't been great Handig has lost his last 5, including 3 by stoppage, since a 2012 win over Katsunari Takayama.
In Mexico we'll see two Filipino's facing off against Mexican brothers on a card from Sinaloa.
The most notable of the bouts will see former world title challenger Jether Oliva (23-4-2, 11) battle against former WBC Light Flyweight champion Pedro Guevara (26-2-1, 17). For Guevara this is his first bout since losing the world title to Yu Kimura last November and he will be favoured to return to winning ways, however Oliva is no push over and will be returning to Mexico with revenge in mind following a loss last year to Luis Nery, where Nery's team messed Oliva about in regards to weight.
The other bout will see Edward Mansito (13-3-2, 7) face former world title challenger Alberto Guevara (23-2, 9). Coming in to this one Guevara is on a 5 fight winning run, including a victory over Oscar Blanquet, since losing in 2013 to Shinsuke Yamanaka.
The month of October might still be young but the notable fights continue through the coming days with a number of title fights and world ranked fighters in action.
The most significant Asian fight of the day comes from Tokyo where we get to see the world ranked Suguru Muranaka (20-2-1, 6) defending his Japanese national title. Muranaka will be battling against the little known Yusuke Sakashita (12-4-2, 7). This will be Muranaka's second defense of the title he won last December with a victory over Takuya Kogawa and, with some luck, a win here will help him move towards a world, or OPBF, title fight. Although not a divisional elite Muranaka is a very hard working and talented fighter who we like and would love to see him testing himself against a higher caliber opponent sooner rather than later.
Sadly the rest of this show is poor. The chief support bout is a Lightweight contest which will see Japanese veteran Takashi Inagaki (17-12-1, 7) battling against domestically ranked foe Yusuke Tsukada (6-4, 3). It's an even match up but not one that excites us in the slightest.
One man we are interested in seeing in action is novice Kensuke Sasaki (1-1, 1) who lost on his debut to Kenta Okumura but is tipped as someone with plenty of talent who could go on to national glory. Hopefully Suzuki will get to show that potential as he takes on Indonesian visitor Jack Madison (2-2).
As well as the Japanese card we also have a trio of shows in the Philippines. For us the most interesting of the three is in Batangas with several interesting fighters in action.
One of the bouts on this card will see the promising Rene Dacquel (11-3-1, 3) battle against the once beaten Menard Abila (5-1-4, 1) with both men attemptin to claim the WBC Youth Intercontinental Super Flyweight title. Dacquel has only won 1 of his last 4 bouts though is talented and his stoppage over Yuki Nasu last year was impressive, we're just unsure about him as a Super Flyweight. As for Abila he's taking a clear step up for this bout though it's hard to say how good, or bad, the 20 year old is.
Another interesting bout on this show will see the world ranked, and always fun to watch, Warlito Parrenas (21-6, 19) defending his WBO Oriental Super Flyweight title against Indonesia's Espinos Sabu (11-1-1, 5). We love watching Parrenas in action due to his aggression and power though we did see Sabu go the distance with Rusalee Samor not too long ago and he may be able to surprise Parrenas in what could be the Asian fight of the day.
In a Filipino Flyweight title fight fans will get the chance to see champion Ardin Diale (23-9-3, 10) attempt to record his 5th defence of the belt. Diale, who was involved in an absolute war with Koki Eto earlier this year, will be taking on the unbeaten Renerio Arizala (11-0-1, 4). On paper Diale has to be the favourite due to the clear edge in experience and quality of opponents so far, however Arizala knows that this is a huge opportunity and will boost his standing in the sport massively.
The remaining bout of note on this show will see the explosive Richard Claveras (9-0-2, 9) defending his WBC ABCO Light Flyweight title against former OPBF title challenger Jonathan Refugio (13-4-4, 3). This could be a real test of how genuine Claveras's power really is and if he walks over Refugio quickly we will have to take the unbeaten with some seriousness. For Refugio this will be his first bout since losing a decision to Knockout CP Freshmart in March.
On a second Filipino show, one in Benguet, we will again seen some interesting fighters, though they are less interesting than those involved in Batangas.
The most notable name here is Joneil Dapidran Pacquiao (5-0, 3), the nephew of Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao will be hoping to extend his winning run as he takes on the win-less Jeffrey Garcia (0-1) in what looks to be little more than a squash match to further pad Pacquiao's unbeaten record.
Although Pacquiao is the most notable name on the show he's a long way from being the best on the show. That is probably the world ranked Mateo Handig (13-6, 7) who holds a controversial decision over Katsunari Takayama. Handig will be fighting for the first time in over a year as he takes on novice Julius Bala (3-2, 1) in a 8 round contest. The bout looks like a mismatch though it's likely to be a case of letting Handig shake off some ring rust before taking on more testing foes.
The only title bout on this show will see Argie Toquero (7-3-1, 5) battle against Japanese visitor Takaya Kakutani (7-4, 6) in a bout for the vacant WBC Youth World Super Featherweight title. We'll admit this is a very weak title bout, one of the weakest "Youth" title bouts in a long time. We've got to go with Toguero here, he is the more proven fighter, though neither should be fighting in a title contest like this.
Misamis Oriental, Philippines
The third, and least interesting, of the Filipino shows is in Misamis Oriental.
The headline bout here is a 10 round non-title contest between Jessie Espinas (8-1, 4) and the highly experienced Rodel Tejares (20-30-6, 5). Although Espinas is a promising youngster we don't think this bout should be a main event anywhere, hopefully however Espinas will impress and step up to the plate to put on a great performance and announce himself as a possible contender.
In a 6 round bout we will see unbeaten fighters collide as Jeronil Borres (4-0, 4) takes on Jack Lord Daoay (1-0, 1). This is For Borres this will be his 5th fight since his debut at the start of May and he really looks like an interesting prospect at just 18 years old and having vicious power, sadly though his opponents so far have been poor and inexperienced. Daoay made his debut in Jun and this will be a step up from his debut, though likewise he him self is a step up in class for Borres. Interesting fight.
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
In Thailand we get some interesting action with the unbeaten Paipharob Kokietgym (26-0, 20) defending his PABA Light Flyweight title. Sadly we're confused as to who his opponent is as we've been told it could Mateo Handig, who we believe is actually in action in the Philippines. If it is Handig fighting here it's certainly a very good and is likely to be one of the toughest bouts Paipharob will have fought in so far. It's not Handig we suspect it won't be anyone notable and will be a relatively easy win for Paipharob, sadly. As for this defense we're hoping to see a better performance from Paipharob than we saw in his last out outing against Faris Nenggo.
On the same card we're expecting to see Saenganan KKP (8-0, 5) take on Indonesia's Madit Sada (9-17-1, 3). This should be an easy win for the unbeaten Thai though it is a step up for him and it would be his best win to date.
Another unbeaten man on this card is the promising Petchmanee Kokietgym (2-0) who will be fighting against Johan Wahyudi (9-29, 5). Although a relatively unknown fighter Petchmanee has been pretty aggressively matched and if he wins here he'll likely be moved towards a PABA or WBC Asia or IBF Asia title fight in the next few fights. We's admit that Wahyudi isn't a great opponent but this is still an interesting fight for the unbeaten youngster.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)