This coming Saturday isn't a huge day for boxing, but there is more than enough to get your teeth into as we begin quite an interesting month for Asian boxing.
Rangsit Boxing Stadium, Rangsit, Thailand
Arguably the most notable action of the day, at least for us, is in Thailand where we'll see a world champion in action and a really good looking all-Thai regional title bout.
The world champion in question is WBC Minimumweight champion Panya Pradabsri (35-1, 22), who will be in action against a low level domestic opponent in a contracted bout well above the Minimumweight limit. This will be Panya's first bout since his title win, and huge upest, against Wanheng Menayothin. The plan for Panya is to have a tune up here before a potential rematch with Wanheng in the summer, so we don't expect to see him do much more than go through the motions here, but it's still good to see him in action.
The most interesting of the bouts, on paper at least, is a WBC Asia title fight at Super Flyweight which will pit Kongfah CP freshmart (35-1-1, 18), aka Jakkrawut Majoogoen, against former world title challenger Wittawas Basapean (34-15-1, 12) aka Samartlek Kokietgym. On paper this might not look the best fight, but if we're being honest we expect a really exciting fight here. Kongfah is the younger and naturally bigger fighter, but Samartlek comes to fight and never takes a backwards step, so we are, genuinely, expecting a bit of a war. Kongfah should win, but he will not have an easy time with his more experienced foe.
Staying with Asian action we also get a show in India, which features a couple of noteworthy bouts.
The main event here will see 21 year old Indian hopeful Lalrinsanga Tlau (4-0, 2) take on Ghana's Eric Quarm (4-1, 1) for the WBC Youth Super Featherweight title. The unbeaten Tlau will be fighting in his title bout and so far he has been pretty impressive, barely losing a round since his debut in 2019. The 23 year old Quarm, who is fighting outside of Africa for the first time, was last seen in the ring in 2019 when he lost in a bout for the West African Union Lightweight title. Although neither man is well known, this is a really interesting contest, and one that should provide some really good action, with both men desperate to avoid a loss and desperate to win the Youth title.
Also on this card is an interesting match up between Indian fighter Asad Asif Khan (9-2-1-1, 2) and Afghan fighter Aimal Ahmad Sediq Zada (5-1, 4). Khan made his debut all the way back in 2011 and despite going 2-2-1-1 in his first 6 has reeled off 7 straight wins, and done so internationally with bouts in Thailand, Dubai and the Philippines. The hard hitting Zada lost on his debut, in 2018, but also comes into this one with some momentum on the back of 5 straight wins. This could end up being a very good bout, but one that is certainly easy to over-look.
Miami, Florida, USA
As well as the action in Asia we also have some central Asian fighters in action in Florida.
One of those Central Asian fighters is Uzbek hopeful Kozimbek Mardonov (1-0, 1), who was impressive in his January debut. The talented former amateur standout is expected to be moved quickly he's being matched with the experienced Abel Nicolas Adriel (23-20-3, 5) here. The 31 year old Adriel has been collecting losses during his career, but with only 4 stoppage losses he is durable and should be able to survive a few rounds with Mardonov, though the Uzbek will be strongly favoured to pick up the win.
Another Central Asian on this card is Tajik fighter Mekhrubon Sanginov (9-0-1, 6) , who looks to build on a career best win over Quincy LaVallais as he takes on Miguel Angel Suarez (15-6, 9). The 25 year old Sanginov will be favoured here, and will be expected to pick up his 10th win, and do so relatively quickly. Suarez, and Argentinian 39 year old, was once 15-0 but has lost his last 6, and has been stopped in 5 of those 6 losses. This looks like an easy win for Sanginov following some struggles vs LaVallais in January.
Also scheduled for this show, though with no opponent named at the time of writing, is US based Azeri fighter Elvin Gambarov (14-0, 13), who will be looking for his third win of 2021. Gambarov has already blown away two limited opponents in Colombia this year and he's likely to be facing another over-matched foe here. It's a shame that we really don't know how good Gambarov can be as his competition so far has been beyond terrible. Fingers crossed we see him tasted later this year.
This coming Saturday is a hectic day of action, despite the fact the bout most of us wanted to see was cancelled when Sergey Kobalev failed a drug test ahead of his scheduled bout with fast rising Uzbek Bektemir Melikuziev. Even with that bout off, there is a lot taking place.
Oxigeno Human playground, Heredia, Costa Rica
The most notable bout for us is an IBF female Minimumweight title bout in Costa Rica, where Yokasta Valle (20-2, 9) will be defending her title against Japanese challenger Sana Hazuki (8-4-1, 2). This bout was only announced earlier this month, though it appears both fighters are hungry and both are out to make a statement. For Valle the stakes are high, and she will likely get a shot at vengeance, with a rematch against WBC champion Tina Rupprecht, if she wins here. As for Hazuki she enters as the clear under-dog, but will get a chance to etch her name in to the history books if she can somehow over-come the talented champion. Our preview of this bout can be read here Hazuki takes on IBF champion Valle in Costa Rica!
Manual Artime Community Center Theater, Miami, Florida, USA
We also have Asian in action in Florida on the latest show from M&R Boxing Promotions.
Arguably the most notable of the Asian fighters on this show is Filipino slugger James Bacon (25-4, 17) who takes on Argentinian journeyman Ramon De La Cruz Sena (23-27-3, 13). This should be little more than a showcase for the 30 year old Bacon who scored two wins last year, including a KO of the year contender against Roque Agustin Junco in November. The 34 year old Argentinian is a veteran but has been racking up losses in recent years. Despite picking up a lot of losses Sena has only been stopped 5 times and should provide some resistance to the power of Bacon.
As well as Bacon there will be 3 Central Asian prospects on the card. One of those is Tajik fighter Mekhrubon Sanginov (8-0-1, 6), who risks his unbeaten record against 27 year old American Quincy LaVallais (10-0-1, 5). Coming into this both men are riding high with Sanginov taking a big TKO win in November against Cleotis Pendarvis, in his best win to date, whilst LaVallais is looking to build on a December 2020 win over Clay Collard. This 10 round match really is a very interesting match up and should tell us where both men are going with their careers.
Another of the prospects here is Uzbek Kozimbek Mardonov (0-0), who looks to build on a successful amateur campaign with a bout against experienced Argentinian Marcelo Ruben Molina (23-18-1-1, 19). The talented Mardonov has turned professional with high expectations on his shoulders, and he really was a very, very solid amateur and it's going to be great to follow his journey as a professional. As for Molina the 27 year old last scored a win back in 2016 and since then has been knocked out 4 times, leaving him with 15 stoppage losses from 18 defeats.
Daejeon, South Korea
There's a trio of shows in Asia, the most notable which will be a KBA show in Daejeon. The card is set to feature 6 bouts in total, though it's really only the main event that needs any sort of real attention.
That main event will be a Korean Heavyweight title bout, as 37 year old Sang Ho Kim (7-3-1, 1) takes on 42 year old Sung Jin Kwak (6-1, 5). We love Korean boxing, and even bouts like this, that don't look the best on paper, manage to deliver thrilling action and interesting back and forth. With that in mind we expect to see a real fun one here, even if it is at a very, very low level.
Macao Boxing House, Macao, Macao S.A.R., China
In Macao we're set for a card featuring novices. The show, for the most part, will be 4 rounders only, though the main event will be over 6 rounds, at Super Featherweight.
That Super Featherweight bout will see Yi You (2-1-1, 1) take on Jiaming Li (4-2, 2), in a second bout between the two men. These two clashed in a very competitive bout in 2019, with Li taking a majority decision, and we expect another close and competitive one here. Saying that however this is a very, very low level bout, on a very low level show.
Infiniti Mall, Malad West, Mumbai, India
We get another novice card in India, though this one does feature a number of 6 round bouts.
The most interesting match up here will see the unbeaten Lalrinsanga Tlau (3-0, 1) take on the wonderfully named Prince Mojesh Shrivastava (0-0), in a battle of 21 year olds. If we're being honest it's clear that Tlau should be the favourite, given his edge in experience. Saying that however this is still an interesting match up, and it'll be interesting to see who comes out on top here, as the Indian scene continues to try and develop and build out of almost nothing.
Fightclub, Wuppertal, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
We'll also have a bout of interest in Germany as 26 year old German based Uzbek born Cruiserweight Muhammadjon Hayotov (1-0, 1) looks for his second professional win, as he takes on Cornel Paul Cristea (0-1), from Romania. Hard to say too much about this one, but Hayatov was successful in his 2019 debut whilst Cristea was stopped in his debut, a few weeks later.