Toyota Center, Houston, Texas, USA
The most notable bout with an Asian fighter this coming Saturday takes place in the US in what is essentially a world title eliminator at 122lbs. The match up in question will see unbeaten American hopeful Ra'eese Aleem (19-0, 12) take on once beaten Filipino Mike Plania (26-1, 13) in what is a genuinely match watering match up. The 31 year old Aleem is incredibly fun to watch, and comes into whilst being regarded as a top 15, is not top 10, contender following notable wins over Vic Pasillas and Eduardo Baez. As for Plania he looked set for something big in 2020, when he beat Joshua Greer Jr, but has lost that momentum coming into this bout, and will know that he needs to perform like he did against Greer if he's going to reinject some much needed fire into his career. We expect this to be a barn burner, given the styles of the two men, but Plania will need to be at his very best to over-come Aleem.
World Trade Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
As well as the major fight in the US we also get some pretty notable action in Dubai, with several notably prospects in action.
On paper the best of the bouts on the Dubai card will see unbeaten Filipino fighter Jayson Vayson (9-0-1-1, 5) take on exciting Indian fighter Nutlai Lalbiakkima (4-0, 4), in what could be a very special bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Light Flyweight title. Vayson comes in to this on the back of a very controversial bout with Tibo Monabesa, which saw the WBC declare the bout a no-contest due to the controversial decision that went to Monabesa. He also holds a very notable draw against Rene Mark Cuarto. As for Lalbiakkima he comes into this having been a wrecking ball on the Indian scene, with his 4 wins so far coming in just 7 rounds. The winner of this won't get a world title fight immediately, but will certainly become one to watch.
Lalbiakkima isn't the only unbeaten Indian hopeful on this card, another is Laldingliana (3-0, 2), who also takes a step up in class as he battles Kazakh fighter Alimzhan Tursunov (4-1, 3), who was beaten last time out and has been out of the ring for around 18 months. Hard to say much about this one, given neither has really faced anyone of any note, but it should be a very interesting bout, and given it's scheduled for 8 we should see the two men needing to prove their stamina and resolve.
Another Indian fighter on this card is Manish Ahlawat (3-2-1, 2) who battled unbeaten Pakistani hopeful Muzafar Khan (9-0, 8). On paper this looks like an easy win for Khan, but his opponents so far have been absolutely awful, and this is the first time he's faced someone with more than 2 bouts to their name. As for Ahlawat he has lost his last 2, but has gone 6 rounds in those losses and will be desperate to get back to winning ways here.
One other bout worthy of some attention is a 6 Heavyweight bout pitting unbeaten American Norman Neely (12-0, 8) against Azeri novice Surat Garayev (1-0), who is taking a huge step up this early in his career. Neely has a nice looking record, but really hasn't beaten anyone of note, and is something of an untested fighter, which is disappointing for a 33 year old with 1 bouts. As for Garayev he debuted in December, beating a 5-0 fighter, and will be looking to record another win here and put himself on the fast track to facing a notable foe.
As well as the action in the US and in Dubai we also have action in the Philippines, with two shows in the country. One of those is in Masbate, with a mouth watering main event
That main event will see two unbeaten men collide, as Criztian Pitt Laurente (9-0, 6) takes on Richard Bulacan (8-0, 6), in what is a real test for both fighters. The 22 year old Laurente has long been tipped as one to watch by those who followed him in the amateurs, and whilst clearly talented he hasn't yet set the world on fire and a lot of his competition has been poor, Ernesto Saulong being the only real exception to that. As for Balucan he has scored a few solid, low key, wins such as beating Rimon Rama, Vergel Deguma and Anthony Sabalde. The winner of this really should be looking at a title fight later in the year, whilst the loser can certainly bounce back.
In a supporting bout we'll see Prince Andrew Laurio (11-3-1, 8) in action against Mark Jequinto (4-9-1). Laurio was once 10-0-1 but has struggled in recent years, going 1-3 in his last 4 and he will be looking to rebuild. It's hard to imagine Jequinto to put up much of a fight here given he has lost his last 4.
Kitaotao Gym, Kitaotao, Bukidnon, Philippines
The other Filipino show takes place in Bukidnon and is less interesting than the Masbate one.
One of the main bouts here will see Ryan James Racaza (11-0, 7) look to extend his unbeaten record as he takes on the very limited Romulo Ramayan Jr (7-18-5, 3). Typically this is a bout that we would complain about, but Racaza has been out of the ring since the end of 2019 and it's clear the focus is on him shaking some ring rust and getting back in to action. Ramayan on the other hand has only a single win in the last decade and has gone 1-12-4 in his last 17 bouts dating back around 10 years.
The only other bout worthy of some attention here will see the one beaten Christian Bacolod (13-1, 9) take on Jay R Tulinan (4-5, 2). Sadly Bacolod has been relatively inactive since his 2019 loss to Thanongsak Simsri, with just a single bout since that one, and this bout is about getting him some ring time, against someone who has lost their last 4 bouts. A bit of a nothing contest for a talented 27 year old hopeful.
March 25th-Kanaya and Oku step up
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
On Friday we don't get much action, but there some interesting bouts taking place, several of which are in Japan on a show at Korakuen Hall.
On paper the most interesting match up is a 6 rounder between Yuri Kanaya (1-0) and Masatora Okada (6-3-1, 2), with Kanaya looking to continue what we suspect will be a rapid rise through the ranks. Kanaya made his debut last year, with a very solid debut win over Sora Takeda, and should be favoured here, but will certainly have to work hard for the win. Okada is a very solid opponent at this lower domestic level, and come into the bout with two wins following a very competitive loss in 2018. He'll be game, but we do expect the class of Kanaya to be too much.
Another promising fighter seeking their second professional win on this show is Yuya Oku (1-0-1, 1), who is taking on Daiki Imanari (6-3, 3) in a good looking bout. It's hard to say how good Oku is, especially given his draw last time out against Yuya Azuma, but the 25 year old has got some potential and we suspect that draw will help him improve and develop. Imanari on the other hand has won just one of his last 3 bouts, but may well be looking at this as a chance to build on his 2021 win over Shogo Sakai. Not a stellar bout, by any stretch, but one that should be very competitive.
Rather notably the main event of this card is an 8 rounder, that really doesn't capture the attention. The main event will see Kenta Taguchi (6-9-1, 1) battle Kazunori Yorimasa (5-7-4, 2), and although not a great match up, it is one that should be action packed, hotly contested and expected to go the distance, with neither man being much of a puncher. Aged 35 Taguchi can ill afford another loss, and notable he had won his last 3, whilst Yorimasa is 29, and is 1-1-1 in his last 3, and will be looking to build some momentum for his career here. We suspect it will be fan friendly, but not the most dramatic or explosive of bouts.
Manual Artime Community Center Theater, Miami, Florida, USA
As well as the action in Japan we also get some action in the US, with two shows in the US. The most notable of the two is in Miami, where we see three Asian fighters scheduled for action. Sadly at the time of writing, two of those fighters haven't had their opponent named, and there's a good chance at least one of the fighters will see their bout being pulled.
One of the Asian fighters set for this card is Filipino Mike Plania (26-1, 13), who really has failed to build on his 2020 win over Joshua Greer, a win that should have propelled him to the verges of a world title fight. The talented Plania has proven what he's capable of, but has only picked up 2 low key wins since that victory and is very much treading water, especially here against a fighter who will be taking the bout on short notice. Fingers crossed he lands a big fighter later this year, rather that wastes more time going no where.
The second to have not had their opponent named is Kazakh Cruiserweight hopeful Serik Musadilov (11-0, 9), who picked up 3 wins last year, but tread water with those bouts and appears to be set for more water treading here. He's exciting, aggressive and comes to fight, but recent bouts aren't moving his career forward, or developing his experience and skillset. A real waste of time for a man who needs to be tested sooner rather later.
Another Asian pencilled in for action on this show is Kazakh fighter Mussa Tursyngaliyev (10-0, 6), who thankfully does seem to have his opponent for the show names, as he takes on the highly experienced Michael Isaac Carrero (13-67-6, 6). We never said he was taking on a good opponent. Carrero fought 7 times last year, losing all 7 bouts, and is without a win since 2015 whilst going 0-28-2 since then. This is little more than record padding for the Kazakh.
2300 Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
In the Philadelphia fight fans will see US based Kazakhstan born fighter Temirlan Raimkulov (4-1-2) take on Isiah Seldon (14-4-1, 5), the son of former Heavyweight world champion Bruce Seldon. For Raimkulov this will be his third bout in the US, and he'll be looking to record a third straight win, after scoring two victories last year. And a win for him would be the biggest of his career so far. As for Seldon his record looks pretty, but he has been stopped, in the opening round, in 3 of his last 6 and he's only had 3 wins since the start of 2018.
Sambo Hall, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan
The main Asian card this coming Saturday comes from Hyogo where Shinsei Gym will be putting on a small, but solid, card.
The main event of the show will see Yuga Inoue (11-2-1, 2) and Aoba Mori (7-2-1, 1) battle for the vacant Japanese Youth Flyweight title. Of the two men Inoue is certainly the more well known, having won the 2017 All Japan Rookie of the Year, gave Kai Ishizawa fits in their 2018 Youth title bouts, and has some solid domestic level wins. He's a very talented youngster, and he has the potential to mix at the higher domestic levels over the coming years, but is still a fighter who is developing and is a long way from being the finished product. Mori made his debut in 2017 and despite some mixed results has shown plenty of potential. Aged 21 he's also a man who is far from the finished product, but to date he has shown less overall ability than Inoue and this is a clear step up for him here. Yuga Inoue clashes with Aoba Mori for Youth title
In a support bout bout we'll see the out of form Shohei Kawashima (18-5-2, 4) take on the once beaten Takeshi Takehara (6-1, 1). The talented Kawashima started his career by going unbeaten in his first 16 bouts before losing a very competitive decision to former world champion Cristian Mijares. Sadly since losing to Mijares we've seen Kawashima struggle to string together good results, going 4-4 since loss, including KO losses to Hiroaki Teshigawara and Shingo Wake, leaving him in desperate need for a win. Takehara on the other hand is looking to build on a 2020 win over Beverly Tsukada, and continue to rebuild following a 2019 loss to Ryuya Tsugawa. The light punching Takehara will be the under-dog coming in to this one, but he'll know that this is the perfect time to face Kawashima, who's confidence must be shot to bits.
In another under-card bout we'll see the once beaten Seika Fukuda (6-1, 1) take on Yuna Hara (9-2-1, 5) in a very interesting match up over 6 rounds. Fukuda's only loss came in February this year when he was stopped in the All Japan Rookie of the Year final against Tsubasa Narai, and since then he has bounced back with a win but is stepping up here. Hara on the other hand Hara on the other hand is best known for coming close to reaching the 2018 All Japan Rookie of the Year final, losing one bout before the final to Hiroki Hanabusa. Since then however he has bounced back, scored 3 straight stoppages, and looks to be developing his confidence and punching power.
Manual Artime Community Center Theater, Miami, Florida, USA
As well as the Japanese show there will also be a pair of Asian fighters in action on a US card in Miami. One is a rising Cruiserweight hopeful, whilst the other is a Filipino who should be in the mix for a world title fight, but has sadly become the forgotten man in and around the Bantamweight division.
The Cruiserweight hopeful is Kazakh puncher Serik Musadilov (10-0, 9), who stopped his first 9 opponents before going the distance this past July with Lamont Capers, in what was an underwhelming performance from the Kazakh. He'll be looking to return to stopping fighters here, as he takes on the limited Dustin Long (6-2-2-1, 4), who is 39 years old, and has been stopped twice, including an opening round loss to Tristan Kalkreuth back in March. Long's record is padded, but he does have a notable win over Marsellos Wilder, the brother of Deontay Wilder. That win aside, there's nothing on Long's record and it's hard to imagine him surviving long against Musadilov.
The other Asian fighter on this card is 24 year Filipino contender Mike Plania (25-1, 12) , who will be up against Ricardo Nunez (29-12, 23), in what is Plania's second bout since his 2020 upset win over Joshua Greer Jr. The talented Plania really deserved a big fight on that back of the Greer win, but his team have sadly dropped the ball with him, as the Filipino took 10 months out of the ring before beating Emmanuel Mogawa in April this year and is now wasting more time taking on Nunez. The 33 year old Nunez was, once, a very, very good fighter and a world class fighter, but that was a decade ago, at Flyweight. In recent years however he has been racking up losses, and is now more than 4 years removed from a win and has lost his last 6 in a row. This really should be little more than a stay buys bout for Plania.
Universum Gym, Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Over in Germany we'll be getting Heavyweight action as unbeaten Kazakh Heavyweight hopeful Zhan Kossobutskiy (16-0, 15) takes on fellow unbeaten Alexis Garcia (11-0, 7), in a good looking match up. Sadly whilst this one looks good on paper it's hard to have any idea how good Garcia is given his competition, so far, has been dreadful, to say the least. We suspect Kossobutskiy will have no problem picking up the win here, though hopefully Garcia will put up something of a fight before taking the L.
Conrad Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
We were expecting a big show this coming Friday in Dubai, though sadly the planned big show was made significantly smaller when the main event of the show was cancelled at short notice due to an injury suffered in training by one of the two fighters. Despite the huge loss at the top of the card, there are three bouts of note on their with Asian interest, still.
The main event is one of those bouts with Asian interest as unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Ali Baloyev (10-0, 7) takes on Rolly Lambert Fogoum (11-1-1, 10), who is based in Dubai and originally from Cameroon. The promising Baloyev seemed set for big things early in his career, but sadly he has never stepped up or kicked on with things, and on paper this is actually his toughest bout to date. Something that should be regarded as a genuine shame given how promising he seemed to be in his first few bouts. As for Fogoum his competition has also been poor, but there's never really been much fuss about him showing much promise. This is a strange one, in that both men have good looking records, but we really don't much at all about either man.
Another bout of note is an all-Thai fight, which will see Apichet Petchmanee (9-0, 2) defending his WBC regional Lightweight title against Phumiritdet Chonlathondamrongkun (7-0, 7). This is not just an all Thai bout, but also a bout between two unbeaten fighters. Apichet has long been touted as a potential star of Thai boxing, but in recent bouts he has looked very limited, and a lot of hype surrounding him has died off. Phumiritdet on the other hand is real unknown, but has scored all of his wins by stoppage, and that could be a problem given that Apichet has shown a questionable chin in the past.
The third bout of note for us will see unbeaten Indian fighter Faizan Anwar (7-0, 4) take on Filipino veteran Ricky Sismundo (35-15-3, 17). The unbeaten Anwar is taking a huge step up in class here, especially given the competition he has faced so far, however Sismundo is not the fighter he once was, and he has lost his last 4, and is almost 3 years removed from his last win, with 2 recent losses coming by stoppage. Anwar is not only the younger, fresher fighter, but also the naturally bigger fighter and should be seen as the huge favourite, but this is easily the toughest match up of his career so far.
Airport Hilton, Miami, Florida, USA
As well as the action in Dubai we'll also be expecting to see Filipinos in action in the US .
One of the Filipino fighters in question is the heavy handed Romero Duno (22-2, 17), who is set to take on the limited Ramon Elizer Esperanza (22-19-1, 11). This will be Duno's second bout since he was beaten by Ryan Garcia, and this really should be little more than a formality for Duno, who is levels above Esperanza.
Another Filipino set to be on this show is Mike Plania (25-1, 12), who takes on the very poor Jonathan Lecona Ramos (18-31-5, 6). Sadly Plania is one of those fighters has really not been able to build on a big win. His win over Joshua Greer Jr in 2020 is almost forgotten, and although he's world ranked this is the type of fight he's now getting, whilst Greer just got a big fight on ESPN last weekend. Fingers crossed Plania will get big fights in the near future, but this bout should serve as little more than a tick over for "Magic Mike".
We get more action in the west as two notable Japanese fighters take to a ring in Mexico for bouts as A-Sign boxing take their show on the road and go international.
The more notable of the two Japanese fighters on this show is Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (18-1, 11), who takes on the very limited Gustavo Garibay (16-14-2, 8). The talented Matsunaga has proven himself as a fantastic fighter in Japan, the hope is that, in the next year or two, he will land a big fight in the US and this bout should help him prepare for a big US bout by allowing him experience of fighting in a very different environment than he's used to in Japan.
The other Japanese fighter on this card is more well known to Mexican fans, and that's because Shoki Sakai (25-12-2, 13), first made his name in Mexico before later fighting in the US and Japan. Sakai, who last fought in Mexico back in 2016, will be up against Dario Ferman (18-9, 15), a 37 year old who's heavy handed, but has been stopped in 8 of his 9 losses and should be seen as a bit of a glass cannon.
Sanman Gym, General Santos City, Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
To end the month of April we get the next show from Sanman promotions. It's not a huge card, though it's a very notable one, with 3 notable Filipino hopefuls in action, as they all look to tick over and move towards bigger and better things. They are 3 fighters who, after the pandemic, will all be knocking on the door of big fights.
The main event will see world ranked Filipino hopeful Mike Plania (24-1, 12) take on the limited Emmanuel Mogawa (5-3, 2), in what should be little more than a stay busy bout for Plania. The talented "Magic Mike" scored a career best win last June, over Joshua Greer Jr, but was unable to build on that victory and has sadly lost the momentum that that win should have injected into his career. Sadly with the momentum gone it makes sense to tick over with a bout like this, and keep ready than to waste more time. It's just a shame he didn't get a big fight after the win over Greer. As for Mogawa he's never been stopped, and can fight, but should be very under-sized here.
Another man who seemed set for big things last year is Jayson Mama (15-0, 8), who had been lined up for a fight with Moruti Mthalane, before that fell apart due to issues with the promoter. Mama will have to put that missed opportunity behind him, and stay focused as he takes on the rugged Romshane Sarguilla (7-5-2, 4), who is a lot more of a test than his record suggests. The 23 year old Mama is a talented prospect, but someone who serious needs some tests and some seasoning, and this bout should be a good test for him. Sarguilla is limited but has managed to ask serious questions of upcoming world title challenger Pongsaklek Sithdabnij and Andika D'Golden Boy. He will be there to win and should be the type of fighter who brings out the best in Mama.
A third notable hopeful here is Jade Bornea (15-0, 10), who takes on Roland Jay Biendima (15-7-1, 8). Bornea was a standout amateur and is someone with the potential to mix it at a high level, but he has yet to really click in the professional ranks and will need a more complete performance than we've seen from him if he's to convince the sport that he is a world champion in the making. Biendima however has had mixed performances. His 2020 clash with Kento Hatanaka was an amazing war, where he showed real toughness, but he was stopped quickly a bout later, by Christian Araneta. On his day Biendima can be a force, and we hope he manages to put on a good performance here, as Bornea needs to forced into showing what he can really do.
MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Top Rank are the first major US promoter putting on shows following the recent global situation and this coming Tuesday we'll see them put on the first bout, world wide, to feature a Filipino since lockdowns began. The bout in question will see the once beaten Mike Plania (23-1, 12) take on world ranked American Joshua Greer Jr (22-1-1, 12) in a really good looking match up.
Plania, who was essentially stranded in the US, has been fighting Stateside for a while and 4 of his last 5 bouts have been in the US. Although not well known internationally he is a talented fighter and asked real questions of Juan Carlos Payano back in 2018, dropping Payano before losing a competitive decision. Since that loss he has gone 8-0 (6) and 4-0 (2) in the US. Greer on the other hand is a highly touted American who has been creating a buzz for himself in recent years and has become well known for his gimmick of carrying a pillow into the ring with him. Although touted, and very highly ranked by the world title bodies, Greer has struggled in his last 2 bouts and was dropped by the last Filipino he faced, Giovanni Escaner.
This bout is at 120lbs and should make for a very, very interesting clash.
This coming Saturday is a genuinely crazy day of action, with a host
London, United Kingdom
The biggest bout for Asian boxing, on a truly hectic day, comes from the Copper Box in London and will see rising local star Daniel Dubois (13-0, 12) take on Japanese Heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto (21-1, 13), in what is likely to be a bit of a mismatch. Dubois is considered by many as one of the future stars of the Middleweight division and is likely going to be took quick, too strong and too powerful for Kyotaro. The Japanese fighter managed to have notable success on the domestic and regional title scene but this is a huge step up in class.
Staying in the Western world Miami plays host to Filipino hopeful Mike Plania (22-1, 12), who takes on Giovanni Gutierrez (9-0, 6) in a bout for the IBF North American Super Bantamweight title. Although not very well known Plania is a real talent and there is genuine potential for him to make a mark in the coming years. On paper Gutierrez has the better wins, but the Nicaraguan hasn't done anything to prove he's better than Plania, making this very much a 50-50 contest in our eyes, and one of the more under-rated bout of the day.
New South Wales, Australia
Staying on the theme of international action it's worth noting that two Asian fighters will be in action "down under".
One of those is Vietnamese hopeful Van Thao Tran (12-0, 8), who risks his unbeaten record against former world champion Billy Dib (45-6-0-2, 26). This will be Dib's first bout since being stopped in July by Amir Khan, when he moved up to Welterweight on short notice. Although once a world champion Dib has looked a shadow of himself recently and it's hard to see what the 34 year old really has left in the tank. The 27 year old Thao is stepping up massively, and is certainly under pressure as he'll knows a win here would be the biggest win ever by a Vietnamese boxer. The big question is whether Tran has got Dib at the right time or not? If he has this will be a huge win for Tran, and Vietnam.
The other Asian on this card is Indonesian Rivo Kundimang (9-0-2, 5), who looks to make a swift return to the ring following his technical draw with Kunta Lee from early November. The 22 year old Southpaw will be up against fellow unbeaten Daniel Lewis (5-0, 3) in what looks a really interesting match up. It's hard to read much into this, but we do love seeing unbeaten fighters taking risks and that's what they are doing here.
One of the final big cards of the pre-Christmas period is in Russia, where we'll see a number of really interesting match ups, including several bouts with Asian fighters.
The most interesting of the bouts with Asian fighters will see the unbeaten Aidos Yerbossynuly (12-0, 8), from Kazakhstan, take on Ghanaian veteran Obodai Sai (35-3, 26). The talented Yerbossynuly will be seeking his third win of the year here, and is looking to build on a solid win over Rocky Jerkic last time out. As for Sai, this will be his first bout of the year and it's hard to know what the 32 year old has left in the tank.
Lower down the card we'll see the debut of Uzbek Odiljon Aslonov (0-0) and the return to the pros of former amateur standout Rustam Tulaganov (1-0), who hasn't fought as a pro since 2017. At the time of writing it's unclear who either man will be facing off against, though men will likely be matched softly.
A second Russian card will take place in Kanevskaya and will feature unbeaten Russian born Azeri Roman Zakirov (6-0, 4), who is looking for his 5th win of the year. The unbeaten 23 year old is up against South African foe Gift Bholo (8-9, 4), in what should be an easy win for Zakirov.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The most notable of three scheduled Filipino shows comes from Metro Manila, where we see a number of notable names in action.
The main event will see Al Toyogon (10-5-1, 6) look to bounce back from successive losses to Ryo Sagawa, Shuya Masaki and Jorge Linares as he takes on Carlo Magali (24-13-3, 13), in a bout for the GAB Super Featherweight title. Although Toyogon is on a bad run he has shown that he's tough, he comes to fight and really won't be discouraged easily. Magali is no world beater but tends to be a rugged and tough guy who comes to fight. With that in mind this could be a very good 12 round battle.
On the supporting card we'll see 2-time world title challenger Aston Palicte (25-3-1, 21) take on Renz Rosia (15-9-1, 8). The heavy handed Palicte will be looking to bounce back from his TKO loss to Kazuto Ioka back in June and will be favoured, though Rosia can play the role of spoiler when he's on form, so Palicte really shouldn't over-look him.
This card will also feature one of our favourite Filipino prospects, Carl Jammes Martin (14-0, 13), who looks to notch his 4th win of the year. The all action Martin will be up against Philip Luis Cuerdo (11-8-1, 4), who has lost his last 3. This could be a very quick win for Martin, who will be expecting to face better competition in 2020.
A second Filipino card will take place in Cebu, and will be a family affair for the Saludar family.
The main event will see former WBO Minimumweight champion Vic Saludar (19-4, 10) take on Filipino journeyman Mike Kinaadman (7-12-2, 5), in a bout for the ABF Minimumweight title. This should be a very easy win for Saludar, who is looking to get back to winning ways after losing the WBO world title to Wilfredo Mendez back in August.
Vic's brothers Jakeson Saludar (4-0, 4) and Van June Saludar (5-2-2, 3) will also be on the card. On paper neither man is in an easy one here, and we wouldn't be surprised to see at least one of the brothers being tested, if not slipping up and losing.
One other fighter of note on this card is former female world title challenger Casey Morton (8-2-3, 1), who will be taking on Thai foe Saowaluk Nareepangsri (8-17, 2).
A third Filipino card will be taking place in Cavite. This is a much, much smaller card than the other two and the most notable name in action here is former OPBF Super Featherweight champion Ronald Pontillas (18-8-3, 9), who takes on Edsil Jungco (3-14, 7) in a 6 rounder.
Bang Phun, Thailand
Another Asian country with some actual action this Saturday is Thailand, as Work Point give us the last WP Boxing of the year. On paper this is one of the more interesting ones, but also one that lacks in terms of name value.
In an interesting 10 rounder Apichet Petchmanee (5-0, 2) will face off with unbeaten Indonesian Ari Agustian (8-0, 8). The 30 year old Thai was touted highly going in to the year, but hasn't really progressed as expected in 2019 and has instead looked rather human. Agustian looked like a potential break out star for Indonesia last year, after his big win over Baolin Kang, but has struggled to build on it. Here we see two men each looking to go into the new year with some momentum and a win here will give their career a big shot in the arm.
In a second notable bout on this card we'll see 22 year old Thai puncher Thattana Luangphon (8-0-1, 8) take on Japanese visitor Daichi Matsuura (7-4-2, 3), with the local looking to defend his WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Bantamweight title. Thattana, also known as Chainoi Worawut, has looked like a star of the WP Boxing series, and will be looking for his 6th win of the year. As for Matsuura he'll be looking for his second win since being taken out in a round by Juiki Tatsuyoshi.
October 25th-Wanheng takes on Konkco
This coming Friday isn't a massive day, but there are some interesting bouts set to take place, including a world title bout and two contests with promising young hopefuls.
The main bout is the world title fight and sees unbeaten Thai Wanheng Menayothin (53-0, 18) return to the ring to defend his WBC Minimumweight title against mandatory challenger Simpiwe Konkco (19-5-0-1, 7), from South Africa. Wanheng enters the bout as the longest reigning active, male, champion in the sport having held his title since November 2014. A win here will extend his reign beyond 5 years and the plan is to make his US debut next year. For Konkco the bout will be his second bout for a major world title, following a loss in a WBA title bout, and a loss here could leave "Chain Reaction" in the "who needs him?" club. Our full preview of this bout can be read here Wanheng Menayothin clashes with mandatory challenger Simpiwe Konkco
In Canada we'll see fast rising Kazakh prospect Sadriddin Akhmedov (9-0, 8) take on veteran Johnny Navarrete (33-15-2, 15). The 21 year old Akhmedov has been out of the ring since June, when he beat Daniel Vega Cota, and has managed to get married in his break away from the ring. This is a soft return for Akhmedov, with Navarrete being a limited though experienced foe, and it seems likely that Akhmedov will be back in action in December, when Eye of the Tiger Management return to the Bell Center.
Also in North America will be a bout for talented Filipino youngster Mike Plania (21-1, 11), who takes on 33 year old journeyman Julio Buitrago (13-19-0-2, 3). Given how talented Plania is, we think it's a real shame the 22 year old isn't getting better bouts than this. He has proven he can hold his own with good fighters, and he was very competitive with Juan Carlos Payano, so why he is being matched with Buitrago is a mystery. Buitrago is a rugged enough fighter to get some rounds with, having only been stopped 4 times in 34 bouts, but with only 1 win in the last 10 years this is pointless. The most interesting thing about Buitrago is his 2010 bout with Nestor Maradiaga, which ended in a rare double DQ for "not fighting".
The main focus this coming Friday is in Osaka, at EDION Arena, where we see the debut of a very touted youngster and the next bout in the career of a second generation hopeful who is quickly proving he is more than just his father's son.
The second generation fighter is Juiki Tatsuyoshi (11-0, 8), the son of the legendary Joichiro Tatsuyoshi. The unbeaten Tatsuyoshi has shown real improvement in recent bouts and was expecting to take another step forward here, but due to issues securing a suitable opponent he will instead be up against Takuya Fujioka (9-9-1, 1). With heavy hands, improving skills and developing his experience Tatsuyoshi is likely to find himself in the domestic title picture in 2020 or 2021, and a win here is seen as a given. Fujioka poses little threat to Tatsuyoshi, but is seen as a tough and durable foe, and has only been stopped once in his 19 bouts, with that stoppage coming to the excellent Kazuki Nakajima. With that in mind we expect Tatsuyoshi to get some good rounds here.
The other bout of note on this show is the debut of former amateur stand out Yusuke Mine (0-0),who looks to make a mark as he takes on Filipino visitor Jesel Guardario (8-3-1, 4). The talented Mine is regarded as a top talent and is turning professional at the age old 23, rather than try to make his way to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The Osakan is regarded as the brightest hope at the Mutoh gym since Nobuo Nashiro and will be desperate to leave a great impression. As for the visitor he will be returning to Japan after a loss last year to Ryo Suwa, and will be seeking his first win outside of his homeland.
As well as the card in Osaka there will also be a low key one in Tokyo. This card is a lot less interesting, but should still have some thrills and spills.
The main event of the card will see Hirohisa Ichikawa (7-6-2, 2) take on JBC ranked Minimumweight Hizuki Saso (10-6-1, 3) in an 8 round bout. On paper this looks like a mismatch but it's actually the third time the two men have met, following a draw and a win for Ichikawa. Given how close their previous bouts have been this should be another hotly contested bout. It's worth noting that Saso has gone 4-1 in his last 5, including good wins against Jeffrey Galero and Desierto Nagaike, but was stopped last time out by talented youngster Rikito Shiba
The chief support bout will see OPBF ranked fighter Daishi Nagata (12-2-1, 5) take on Korean visitor Yong Hwan Jun (5-4-1, 2). Despite losing in 2 of his last 6 Nagata has shown he belongs in the title mix, and a rematch with Rikki Naito is likely going to be his target for later in the year. The Korean visitor won the national Welterweight title back in February, and comes into this bout with some momentum, but a win here would clearly be the biggest of his career so far.
In the US we'll see talented Filipino hopeful Mike Plania (20-1, 11) take on the limited Matias Agustin Arriagada (6-5, 3), of Argentina. The 22 year old is looking to extend a 5 fight winning streak, a streak that has been build since his loss to Juan Carlos Payano in 2018, and a win here could see more doors open Stateside for him. As for Arriagada he is there to play the foil for Plania, and he's lost his last 4, though did go the distance with the much touted Otha Jones III last time out. This should be an easy win for Plania, who has a very bright future.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
This coming Tuesday in the Philippines fans will get a notable, but low key, show in General Santos City.
The card has several notable fighters on it, including the once beaten Mike Plania (19-1, 10), who looks to secure a 5th straight win since his 2018 loss to Juan Carlos Payano. The talented 22 year old Plania will be up against Vicente Casido (6-2-1, 2), who has lost his last 2. On paper this should be little more than a straight forward win for Plania, though we are hoping he's stretched a little bit, as we really do think he's someone who will need challenges sooner rather than later, if he's to reach his full potential.
A second bout of note on this card will see the unbeaten Jade Bornea (13-0, 9), a former amateur standout, take on domestic foe Salatiel Amit (11-6-2, 8). The unbeaten Bornea is a fantastic 23 year old prospect with notable amateur wins over Kosei Tanaka, KJ Cataraja, Jack Bateson and Murodjon Akhmadaliev. Although yet to really shine as a professional his talent can't really be questioned. Amit on this other hand is a solid domestic opponent who pushed Bornea close back in 2015 and has proven to be a decent Filipino level fighter. Sadly it's a shame that Bornea hasn't yet progressed to major regional title fights.