The biggest names in action this Saturday are in the US though the day is, to be fair, one packed with fights all over the globe with numerous top names and some very promising bouts.
The most notable bout of the day for Asian fight fans is likely to be in Nevada where former Russian amateur standout Matt Korobov (24-0, 14) fights against popular Irish fighter Andy Lee (33-2, 23) in a contest for the WBO Middleweight title. The belt was given up by former champion Peter Quillin, who elected not to face Korobov in a mandatory title fight, and as a result we've got this compelling bout which is sure to send the winner into big fights whilst the loser could find themselves struggling to remain relevant in 2015.
On the same card former world title challenger Denis Shafikov (34-1-1, 19) will be fighting in a stay busy fight against the heavy handed Miguel Angel Mendoza (21-4-2, 21). On paper this looks like a great contest, in reality however Mendoza is unlikely to give Shafikov many problems and has gone 3-4-1 in his last 8 bouts, suggesting his power doesn't carry up when he steps up in class.
On a separate Nevada show we will see two more fighters of major interest in action, albeit on an untelevised portion of a card.
One of those men is former WBA Light Heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov (14-2, 9) who will be making his Cruiserweight debut as he battles against Bobby Thomas Jr (14-2-1, 9). For Shumenov this will be his first bout following the loss of his world title to Bernard Hopkins earlier this year. We're hoping to see a better version of Shumenov here than we did last time out however he has often failed to impress due to a lack of technical ability and this could be shown up markedly at the higher weight.
The other man is the always fun to watch Yoshihiro Kamegai (24-2-1, 21) who will be up against Oscar Godoy (13-3, 6) in what appears to be a straight forward win for the popular Japanese brawler. For Kamegai this will be his 5th bout in the US and we suspect that is he wins he will be back on American TV next year courtesy of his fan friendly style which would be very fun to watch against someone like Keith Thurman.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
In South Africa we see a rematch of one of the biggest shocks of the year as Rey Loreto (19-13, 11) battles against former IBF Minimumweight champion Nkosinathi Joyi (24-3-0-1, 17). Earlier this year Loreto shocked the boxing world by knocking out Joyi in Monaco and will be hoping to repeat the feat here as he looks for the first defense of his IBO Light Flyweight title. This one could end up being the fight of the night though we suspect a focused Joyi will fight carefully and take a cautious decision over the dangerous and under-rated Filipino puncher.
In Japan fans get a very disappointing show headlined by OPBF and Japanese ranked Super Featherweight contender Satoru Sugita (8-2-1, 5) who will be fighting Akira Shono (7-6-2, 4). Sugita is looking to build on his upset win over Ryota Kajiki in April and really should win here against a man who has won just 2 of his last 7 bouts.
The rest of this card is very weak we're afraid though it is a long under-card with 9 other bouts.
Mindoro Occidental, Philippines
In the Mindoro Occidental fans get a low level yet interesting card with a few notable contests.
For us the stand out bout is an 8 rounder between the unbeaten Jeffrey Galero (11-0, 5) and the once beaten Charles Canedo (7-1, 4). Galero is touted prospect who recently defeated Donny Mabao in what was his best victory to date and although Canedo was stopped last time out this does look like a good test for Canedo against a man who we suspect will be fighting for redemption.
Although we're excited about the Galero/Canedo fight it's not the main event, in fact it's not one of the 3 bouts scheduled for 10 rounds. Those include an an interesting contest between the heavy handed Jeson Umbal (7-2, 6) and the more experienced Jecker Buhawe (15-10-1, 10). This should be a good bout on the Filipino domestic scene even if those outside of the Philippines aren't likely to take much of an interest.
As well as the two bouts we've gone into some small details on this card is set to feature a further 5 contests.
Metro Manila, Philippines
On a second show in Philippines we appear to be in for a bit more action with 2 domestic title bouts.
One of those bouts comes at Light Flyweight where GAB champion Benezer Alolod (15-5-5, 5) battles against Renren Tesorio (13-5-3, 4). Alolod has been in fine form recently with 3 wins and a draw since he was stopped by Nkosinathi Joy. Of those wins all 3 have come by stoppage, including a 5th round victory over Jomar Fajardo, who recently gave Francisco Rodriguez Jr hell, and a 3rd round victory over Jerson Mancio, who is best known for losing to Naoya Inoue in an OPBF title bout. As for Tesorio it's fair to say he needs a win and is 2-4-1 in his last 7.
The other title bout sees GAB Welterweight champion Dan Nazareno Jr (20-12, 16) defending his belt against the limited Dennis Padua (9-9-2, 4). Nazareno is a heavy handed and solid fighter when he's on song but is one of those inconsistent types who can blow very cold We think even the worse Nazareno should be able over come Padua who has lost his last 7 straight and gone 1-8-1 in his last 10.
In Australia fans will see the experienced Chaiyong Sithsaithong (35-12-4, 25) in action though his opponent is currently unknown.
Having had some very good days so far this week it's fair to say that we aren't going to be let down on Saturday with yet more interesting looking fights spread across the globe.
The most interesting of those bouts takes place in Nebraska as the very highly regarded Russian Matt Korobov (23-0, 14) takes on fellow unbeaten fighter Jose Uzcategui (22-0, 18) in what could potentially be the fight of the night. The two, who are 45-0 (32) between them, will be fighting for the WBO Inter-Continental title and, in all likeliness, the winner will become the WBO mandatory challenger for reigning champion Peter Quillin.
On the same card fans will also get to see the very promising Konstantin Ponomarev (23-0, 11), also from Russia, who will be fighting against Hector Munoz (23-13-1, 15). Munoz is probably best known to some as the man Yoshihiro Kamegai made his US debut against way back in October 2011, on that occasion Kamegai stopped Munoz in 6 rounds in what is still his only win on US soil. Ponomarez won't be expected to by quite as impressive against Munoz but will be expected to score a win here and live up to his nickname of "Talant".
Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic
Staying on the Russian theme for a moment longer fans in the Dominican Republic will get the chance to see the very promising Fedor Chudinov (10-0, 8) in action. Fedor is the younger brother of current WBA interim Middleweight champion Dmitry Chudinov and will be seeking his 11th straight win as he takes on Emiliano Cayetano (22-7, 13). On paper this is a step up for Chudinov but we view him as a better fighter than his brother and expect him to easily see off his more experienced foe.
Davao del Sur, Philippines
Whilst the three Russian's fighting will likely grab the attention of many fans there is also a lot of action in the Philippines with 3 separate shows. For us the most interesting of those is in Davao del Sur where Aljoe O Jaro will be putting on a show that, just a few weeks ago, seemed on the verge of falling apart.
The main event isn't great as former WBC Flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro (36-13-5, 26) battles against Ichal Tobida (10-11, 8) in a bout that looks, for all intents and purposes, like a mismatch. Jaro, best known for his shock win over Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, has lost 3 of his last 5 including a major upset loss to Gerpaul Valero. With those recent results Tobida may find himself having a chance, albeit only a slim one.
In the co-main event the unbeaten Adones Cabalquinto (15-0, 8) will be defending his GAB Light Welterweight title against the limited Giovani Rota (7-6, 4). When you consider Cabalquinto was lined up to fight Keita Obara earlier this year in an OPBF this bout does look like a waste of time though hopefully it will be the final bout at this level for Cabalquinto before he does move beyond domestic level and throw his name out there to fight Obara, Min Wook Kim or Shinya Iwabuchi. We'd be shocked if Rota makes it to the second half of this fight.
Whilst the two main events look like forgone conclusions in relatively uninteresting bouts we've got to admit we're exciting about the contest between Lorenzo Villanueva (25-1-0-1, 22) and Hendrik Barongsay (26-16-3, 15). We expect the obvious winner here and will be hoping that Villanueva gets the win though he's always been a favourite of ours since we saw his fight with Daud Cino Yordan in 2012. That bout was one of the most insanely entertaining bouts in recent years and we'd recommend you all watch the video of the fight here. Barongsay has only been stopped 5 times in his 45 fight career and the most recent of those was way back in 2009 so there is every chance he could give Villanueva some resistance here.
One other man pencilled in for this show is Roksie Cristobal (7-0, 7), the freakishly tall Lightweight prospect that some in the Philippines have become very excited about. Although he's still young we do want to see Cristobal step up a little bit in coming fights, sadly he's down to face a "TBA" at the time of writing.
As well as those bouts mentioned we expect to see several other bouts, albeit at a lower level.
Lanao del Norte, Philippines
Although we do like the the previously mentioned Filipino show we need to admit that the best single Filipino fight is in Lanao del Norte as Marlon Tapales (25-2, 9) attempts to defend his WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title for the first time. Tapales ,a very talented young fighter, will be battling against Tanzania's 20 year old Fadhili Majiha (15-3-4, 7) in a bout that looks very interesting on paper. Tapales will start as the clear favourite but Majiha is 1-0 in Asia having beaten Heri Amol in Amol's native Indonesia. Interestingly Majiha's only stoppage loss came when he was a 16 year old to Vusi Malinga suggesting he may well be a very tough cookie to Tapales to crack.
Also on this card will be the debut of Brian Capampangan (0-0) who kicks off his career with a 6 rounder against Michael Acevido (2-5-1, 1). We'll admit we don't know much about Capampangan but the fact he's beginning his career with a 6 rounder intrigues us.
As with the other show there will be other bouts on this show.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In Metro Manilla we get another very interesting looking headline bout as Renan Trongco (14-4, 8) defends his WBC International Flyweight title against fellow Filipino Weljan Ugbaniel (12-2-1, 3). Ranked #11 by the WBC at Flyweight Trongco has a lot to lose but we do favour him as he has more proven experience and has been in there with both Sammy Gutierrez and Hekkie Budler, saying that however Ugbaniel will see this as his big chance and we expect to see him fighting better than he has before.
Sadly the chief support bout is a total mismatch as former world title challenger Silvester Lopez (21-7-2, 15) takes on Arjet Caballes (6-30-5, 3). In a normal situation we'd describe this as a disgusting mismatch but in fairness to Lopez there is serious question marks about how much he has left after suffering 3 losses, including 2 stoppages, in his last 4 bouts. Evenif Lopez has something left he genuinely does need a confidence builder and that's exactly what this bout should be for him.
On paper the most competitive bout on this show will see Junjie Lauza (4-10-1, 1) facing against Zoren Pama (5-10-3, 2) which is a bit of a shame. We'd expect this bout to be very competitive. Sadly the same cannot be said about the bout between Dennis Tubieron (17-3-1, 8) and Rey Ramos (6-5-2, 3) or the Cris Paulino (13-1, 3) bout, which will see him facing Lowell Saguisa (7-15, 3) both of which are very bad mismatches we're afraid.
Again there are more than just the bouts we've mentioned.
(Image, courtesy of boxrec.com, is of Adones Cabalquinto)