In Tokyo we get a low key card that really doesn't have too much to talk about.
The main event will see Takuya Kihashi (5-7-2, 2) take on recent Japanese Light Flyweight title challenger Satoru Todaka (9-3-4, 3). Coming in the limited Kihashi has won just once in his last 7 bouts and has really struggled to make any sort of impact at all. Todaka on the other hand is looking to bounce back from an 8th round loss in a Japanese title bout against Kenichi Horikawa, and it's hard to imagine anything but a win for Todaka here.
In the main supporting bout we'll see Yuta Nakayama (7-3-1, 4) take on Yuki Uchida (7-6, 1) in an 8 rounder. Nakayama has been stopped in 2 of his last 3, but win or lose he has tended to make for exciting fights and none of his last 4 bouts have seen the final bell. Uchida on the other hand has proven to be tough but light hitting. This will be a really interesting match, albeit at a very low level.
On paper the bout on this card that has our attention will see Celes Kobayashi promoted youngster Issei Ochiai (1-0) take on Kazunori Takai (6-5-3, 3). The 20 year old Ochiai is tipped to be a big star in Japan with Kobayashi guiding his career, and this is a good test for the youngster against a man he should beat, but could be asked questions by.
There was also plans for a Japanese female Minimumweight title bout on this card between Mizuki Chimoto (2-0, 1) and Yumi Narita (3-4-3, 1). Sadly however this bout got cancelled in the build up to the show.
Whilst there is a card in Japan the better card is actually in Singapore, of all places.
The main event on this card will see the unbeaten local Hamzah Farouk (9-0, 6) take on Indonesian teenager Reynold Kundimang (8-1-3, 2) in a bout for the OPBF silver Super Featherweight title. The unbeaten Farouk has impressed at times, and the 31 year old is likely to have missed his window for success. Despite his age Farouk will have the home advantage and the edge in power. The 18 year old Kundimang is a talented youngster, but is probably getting this fight a bit too early. Rather oddly we are having a post peak fighter take on a pre-peak fighter, and it's going to be interesting to see who wins, and who enters 2020 as the OPBF silver champion.
Also on this card is Muhamad Ridhwan (14-2, 10), another local hopeful, who takes on Filipino journeyman Junny Salogaol (14-17-5, 13). Ridhwan suffered back to back losses at the end of 2018 and start of 2019, but has reeled off 3 wins since then. He should have too much for Salogaol here.
From where we're sat the main show this coming Saturday is in Tokyo, where we get 4 Japanese title eliminators on what is a mouth watering card. The winners will all get Japanese title shots at the 2020 Champion Carnival meaning these 4 bouts are very significant.
The lowest weight covered by these eliminators is Bantamweight, where the once touted Kazuki Tanaka (11-2, 8) takes on the often under-rated Kyosuke Sawada (13-2-1, 6), in what could turn out to be a masterful lesson of boxing by Sawada or an all out brawl. This really does depend on just how desperate the two men get, and whether Tanaka's power will be too much for Sawada to handle with his skills. This could be a very, very good fight. A full preview of this bout can be found here Sawada and Tanaka look to book a place at the Champion Carnival
At Featherweight we'll see the very highly regarded Hinata Maruta (9-1-1, 7) take on former Japanese Featherweight champion Takenori Ohashi (17-5-2, 11). We suspect that Murata will have the speed, size and skills to deal with Ohashi, but the experienced man can genuinely bang and his KO earlier this year over Shun Wakabayashi showed just how heavy his hands are. This should be a win for Murata, but he really cannot get sloppy given the lights out power of his opponent. A full preview of this bout can be read here Maruta and Ohashi clash in Japanese eliminator
On paper we could end up with a bit of a boxing classic as Kazuki Saito (7-1, 5) and Izuki Tomioka (6-2-1, 2) meet in Japanese Lightweight title eliminator. Saito is a fantastic offensive boxer, but has real issues taking a shot, and that does actually make his fights even more fun to watch, and he is quite honest a bit of a glass cannon. Tomioka on the other hand is a very light punching boxer-mover and he managed to give Masayoshi Nakatani fits in an OPBF title fight. We expect skills to be on here. Our preview of this bout can be read here Saito and Tomioka clash in Lightweight eliminator!
The heaviest weight covered on this show is the Welterweight division, where former world title challenger Keita Obara (21-4-1, 19) will take on Toshiro Tarumi (12-3-3, 6). On paper this doesn't look a great bout, with Obara having the edges in experience, power, and level of competition. It is worth noting however that Tarumi has momentum coming in to this, thanks to wins over Noriaki Sato and Shusaku Fujinaka during a 7 fight winning run. Our preview of this bout can be read here Hard hitting Obara takes on little known Tarumi in Japanese eliminator
As well as the fantastic action in Japan we're actually being treat to a huge amount of fights spread across Asia, including a card from Kazakhstan.
The headline bout of this show will see the unbeaten Kanat Islam (26-0, 21) take on recent world title challenger Walter Kautondokwa (18-1,17), in what looks likely to be a very, very explosive bout. The unbeaten Kazakh will be fighting for the second time since returning from an injury that kept him out of the ring for close to 2 years. We say fighting for the but it's hard to call his 14 second demolition of Julio De Jesus a fight, more an assault. The 34 year old Kautondokwa, from Namibia, has only been beaten once and that in a WBO Middleweight world title fight against Demetrius Andrade, so he is tough, but it's a big ask for him to get a result in Kazakhstan.
Novice Kazakh prospect Nursultan Amanzholov (1-0) will look to build on his first professional win as he takes on 38 year old Polish foe Michal Banbula (13-31-4). At his very best Banbula was a criminally under-rated fighter who scored a win over Tony Oakey and a draw with Tony Jeffries. Sadly though Banbula has lost 5 of his last 6 and should pose little threat to someone like Amanzholov, who is a fully blown Heavyweight.
The pick of the bouts outside of Japan looks to be an excellent contest in China where we see two older fighters in action to keep their careers alive.
The bout in questions sees the once beaten local Wenfeng Ge (11-1, 6) take on former world champion Kompayak Porpramook (60-7, 41) for the WBO Global Flyweight title. The tough Ge is looking to bounce back from a TKO loss to Giemel Magramo earlier in the year, and that was a painful beating so we'll see what effect it has on his psyche and will to win. As for the Thai he has lost 2 of his last 3, but the former WBC Light Flyweight champion is still a nightmare for fighters willing to have a war with hi, and he should be viewed as a legitimate live under-dog here.
The chief support bout is a contest for the WBC Asian Boxing Silver Super Bantamweight title China's Chunlei Lin (9-3, 2) will battle against Indonesian Galih Susanto (17-9-1, 4). The 25 year old local, dubbed the "Black Dragon", has not proven a great deal yet and has lost to his 2 most notable opponents thus far, including a loss at home to Japan's Shun Wakabayashi. On the other hand Susanto is no world beater but is a bit better than his record suggests and may well expose Lin a little bit, before losing, likely on the cards.
A second Chinese card will see the unbeaten Xiang Li (5-0, 4) take on Japan's Takuya Ota (8-2-1, 6). The technically limited but hard hitting Li scored a solid win in January, or Arvin Young, and scored another in August over Do Jin Lee. So it's good to see him being active after a very slow start to his professional career, sadly though his competition doesn't appear to be improving through the year. Ota is nothing of a step up from the last couple of bouts for Li, but is still a capable fighter and he reached the Rookie of the Year final last year. We suspect this will be another win for Li, but another one where his flaws are made evident by the successes of his opponent.
A third show in China will be headlined by Mongolian Tsendbaatar Erdenebat (1-0), though sadly his opponent hasn't yet been announced for a bout in Shenzhen. Whilst no opponent is known at the time of writing for the Mongolian this is set to be a 10 rounder, which is very ambitious for the 2016 Olympian.
Yet another Chinese card will take place, with this one being headlined by unbeaten local Zhong Liu (14-0, 5) taking on Filipino John Kenan Villaflor (8-5-4, 2) in what looks like an interesting 8 rounder. The unbeaten local comes into this on the back of a big win over Jess Rhey Waminal and Villaflor will be in the ring looking to get revenge for his countryman.
A second bout of interest will see Chinese youngster Wuzhati Nuerlang (12-3, 10) look score his second win of 2019 as he takes on veteran Said Mbelwa (47-29-5, 31). This could be a good chance for the 23 year old Chinese fighter to shine against a very shop worn foe who has got over 80 career bouts and 12 career stoppage losses.
La Union, Philippines
On a lesser level we have a Filipino show in La Union, this show certainly doesn't have much in terms of names, but does have a couple of bouts that could end up being much better than they look on paper.
The heavy hitting 25 year old Arnel Baconaje (11-3, 9) will be up against fellow Filipino Jestoni Autida (12-11, 6). On paper this looks like a mismatch, especially given that Baconaje has gone 5-1 in his last 6, however Autida is a tough and capable fighter who has give Ryoichi Tamua, Ernesto Saulong and Jason Canoy very tough bouts in recent years. Baconaje is the favourite, but Autida a clear live under-dog.
Another potentially interesting match up will see Jules Victoriano (9-2, 6) take on Virgil Puton (17-13-2, 8), though this could also be a stinker. The 22 year old Victoriano was on a 9 fight winning before losing in Japan to Yoshimitsu Kimura in June, and we suspect he'll be confident of getting back to winning ways here. The 30 year old Puton was once a very, very capable opponent, but he is now 0-5-2 in his last 7 and has been stopped in 4 of those 7 bouts, and seems very much like he's a "shot" fighter. If Puton has anything left in the tank he could make this competitive, but the worry is that he's only a shell of the fighter he once was.
One other bout on this card will see IBF Bantamweight mandatory challenger Michael Dasmarinas (29-2-1, 19) fight in a stay busy bout against Artid Bamrungauea (25-27, 23). The talented Filipino is the mandatory for the winner of the upcoming WBSS winner Bantamweight finish and this really is just a tick over against a heavy handed but very limited Thai foe. It's worth noting that in recent weeks Dasmarinas has been sparring with Takuma Inoue, and although this is only a low key fight he'll likely be wanting to impress.
In Bangkok fans are set for some low quality action.
In the most notable bout the UK's 48 year old Denise Castle (2-2, 2) will go up against Thailand's Sutthinee Bamrungpao (4-6) in a bout for the vacant WIBA Minmumweight title. The Thai fighter is the younger of the two but has suffered 6 stoppage losses in her 10 bout career and has never beaten a fighter with a winning record. Castle is well beyond her best years, which were spent outside of boxing, but we wouldn't be surprised if she did enough to take the win here. It's worth noting that both of Castles' losses have come in world title bouts, with the first coming to Momo Koseki, but she's done very little to derseve this fight with her last win being more than 5 years ago.
Also on this card we'll see rather odd WBC interim Asian Boxing Council silver Featherweight title bout between the limited Thai based Filipino Joel Kwong (4-9, 4) and the limited Waldo Sabu (13-14, 3), from Indonesia. We assumed the idea of the Silver titles was to get rid of the need for an interim belt, but an interim silver regional title fight between two guys with losing records is very, very hard to defend.
Staying in Asia we also have a small card in Singapore.
One of the main bouts will see unbeaten Malaysian fighter Adli Hafidz (7-0, 3) take on 40 year old Indonesian fighter Ramadhan Weriuw (18-11-1, 16) in a bout for the WBA Asia South Super Middleweight title. This really should be a very straight forward win for Hafidz, who is no world title challenger in the making but still a very capable fighter. It's worth noting that in 2016 Weriuw fought as a Welterweight and has no reason to be fighting as an out of shape, old Cruiserweight.
Local favourite Muhamad Ridhwan (13-2, 9) will also be on this show as he takes on Thai visitor Taweechai Juntarasuk (10-13, 6), who is 0-8 in fights outside of Thailand. This looks a mismatch on paper, and we suspect it will also be a mismatch in the ring, with Ridhwan looking to score a third straight win since back to back losses.
In the US we get a very even looking match up as 28 year old American Andy Vences (22-1-1, 12) takes on 25 year old Filipino Mark Bernaldez (19-2, 13). Vences began his career 20-0 but has struggled in recent bouts, going 2-1-1 in his last 4, and now needs to get his career back on track following his first professional loss, back in June to Albert Bell. Bernaldez on the other hand has lost 2 of his last 6, but is unbeaten the US, where his last 2 bouts have been held and does have a little big of momentum. We suspect the naturally bigger Vences will take the win, but this it the perfect time for Bernaldez to face him.
This coming Saturday is a crazy day in Asian boxing, with the welcome return of one series of shows from Thailand as well as notable and large shows featuring Asian fighters in the Philippines and Russia as well as other action!
Metro Manila, Philippines
The most interesting card of the day is an MP Promoted card from Metro Manila, featuring a couple of world title eliminators, along with some other interesting supporting bouts.
One of the world title eliminators comes at Bantamweight, where Michael Dasmarinas (28-2-1, 19) and Kenny Demecillo (14-4-2, 8) battle to become the IBF mandatory challenger at 118lbs. Of the two men Dasmarinas is the more experienced and more proven man, but Demecillo has proven to be capable of upsets in the past and will know that Dasmarinas looked less than his best last time out, being gifted a draw with Manyo Plange. A very interesting bout, with real significance in the packed Bantamweight division. Our full in depth preview of this contest can be read here - Demecillo and Dasmarinas clash in eliminator!
Another world title eliminator on this card is an IBF Minimumweight eliminator, as Samuel Salva (16-0, 10) and Rene Mark Cuarto (16-1-1, 9) battle for the right to become the mandatory challenger. This is, on paper, more interesting than the Bantamweight bout due to how similar the records of the two men are, but will likely get over-looked in the west due to the weight class. Both will be aware that they could book a bout with Deejay Kriel with a win here, and that will drive both on in what could be a real classic. An indepth preview of this bout can be read here Salva and Cuarto battle in eliminator
In supporting bouts we'll see Singaporean fighter Muhamad Ridhwan (11-1, 8) take on Landy Cris Leon (11-18-5, 5), in what should be a good confidence building bout for Ridhwan after a loss to Paulus Ambunda last September.
Other supporting bouts will include Chinese prospect Lei Wang (2-0, 1) battling Adam Diu Abdulhamid (13-7, 5), in a tough test for the unbeaten novice, a brilliant all-Filipino match up between Ronnie Baldonado (13-1-1, 9) and Elias Joaquino (12-3-2, 6) and a potentially very fun contest between Orlie Silvestre (12-5-1, 8) and Joel Taduran (8-10-2, 2).
As well as the Filipino show there's also a stacked RCC Promotions show in Russia.
One of the main bouts here will see Tajik born Russian Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (13-0, 10) battle against South African Rofhiwa Maemu (18-7-2, 12), in what will be Rakhimov's third defense of the IBO Super Featherweight title. On paper this doesn't look great, but a lot of that is due to Maemu's 7 losses. Whilst that is notable we do need to put it into context and explain that 5 of those came in his first 11 bouts, and he has since gone 14-2. It should however be noted that Rakhimov is in amazing form and is expected to win and go on to much bigger and better things in the near future.
Russian based Kyrgyzstan born fighter Akzhol Sulaimanbek Uulu (13-0, 6) will be expecting his next win as he takes on Thai veteran Mike Tawatchai (45-12-2, 28), who will be fighting for the 61st time as a professional. At his best Tawatchai could be a good test for Uulu, but at the age of 33 and more than 3 years removed from a win of note it's hard to see Tawatchai being much of a threat for the unbeaten hopeful.
Other Asian fighters involved on this card include Uzbek born prospect Mukhammad Shekhov (3-0, 2), Kyrgyz fighter Erzhan Turgumbekov (5-0, 1), Filipino puncher Jon Jon Estrada (11-5-1, 10) and highly touted Uzbek fighters Makhmud Gaipov (2-0, 1) and Elnur Abduraimov (3-0, 3).
Bang Phun, Thailand
We return to the Workpoint Studio for the first WP Boxing show of 2019 and although the details aren't totally clear we do know that the show will feature hotly tipped Apichet Petchmanee (2-0, 2), who will be taking on Shota Suito (11-9-1, 1) for a WBC regional silver title. Apichet is one of the best talented in Thailand, and finers crossed he will be kept busy in 2019, because at the age of 2019 he sadly doesn't have much time to waste. Unfortunately this bout does look to be a step backwards for the Thai, but picking up some WBC title could open doors for him in the future.
We have also been informed that Thai based Dutch fighter Nick Frese (8-0, 6) is expected to be on this card.
Johore Bahru, Malaysia
We're also expecting a card to take place in Malaysia, which again lacks in terms of details. The one bout that is listed for this show is a WBC Asian Boxing Council silver Super Middleweight title bout, with unbeaten local Adli Hafidz (5-0, 2) taking on Indonesian foe Bambang Rusiadi (9-8, 4), who is 0-5 outside of Malaysia.
Over in the US we get an excellent match up as Filipino journeyman Ricky Sismundo (35-12-3, 17) hits the road again and takes on unbeaten Russian puncher Maxim Dadashev (12-0, 10). On paper this looks like a mismatch but the reality is that Sismundo is among the very best journeymen on the planet and the 31 year old has picked up upset wins against the likes of Yoshitaka Kato, Ghislain Maduma, Akihiro Kondo and Shuhei Tsuchiya. Dadashev is a great talent, but this should be a very good test for the Russian puncher.
This coming Saturday is an incredibly busy day for Asian fight fans.
We get the show of the day in Tokyo, with the Korakuen Hall hosting a title double header and a really good under-card.
The main event sees a trilogy come to a close as Yuko Kuroki (18-5-1, 8) and Saemi Hanagata (14-7-4, 7) fight for the IBF female Atomweight title. So far Hanagata is winning the series, 1-0 due to a draw in their second bout. Since their bouts together both fighters have proven to be world class, with Kuroki holding the the WBC female Minimumweight title for over 3.5 years, whilst Hanagata would hold her own in 3 world title fights but never manage to get the win. Given how competitive their first two bouts were and how both have developed since 2013 we're expecting a very exciting contest with a lot of leather being thrown between two fighters who know each other very well. - A full preview of this bout can be read here Kuroki looks to settle the score with third bout against Hanagata!
The second title bout on this card promises fire works as heavy handed OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (13-0, 9) takes on talented youngster Daiki Tomita (12-0, 4). The champion will be looking to record his third defenses of the title, following very good wins over Masataka Taniguchi and Norihito Tanaka, and this promises to be another very tough test. Tomita, the 2016 All Japan Rookie of the Year has had a frustrating time since his Rookie win, being matched against some very poor opponents and having one fight cancelled, but he is a talent and should give Tomita a lot of questions to answer. A full preview of this bout can be read here Unbeaten men Koura and Tomita collide for OPBF honours!
The leading support bout will see hard hitting Japanese Flyweight prospect Masamichi Yabuki (7-2, 7) take on Panamanian based Cuban Daniel Matellon (7-0-2, 4). The Japanese puncher has only gone beyond 2 rounds once in his career, a 4 round decision loss to Junto Nakatani, and he is naturally very heavy handed. On the other hand Matellon is a world ranked fighter with real skills, but he will be the smaller man here. This will put power against speed, and should be a very compelling contest.
Former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (16-3-1, 9) will be returning to the ring following his title loss, in June 2017, as he takes on the always testing Vergil Puton (17-10-1, 8). The talented Takenaka was going through a solid run run when he was the OPBF champion, making 3 defenses of the title, before losing via KO to Sa Myung Noh last year. On his return he will be moving up in weight to face Puton. The Filipino visitor doesn't have a great looking record, and has failed to win in his last 3 bouts, but he's tough and has proven to be a very good opponent at this type of regional level. Takenaka should be able to win, but this is a tough return for the man from the Misako gym.
Another really notable under-card bout on this card will see the all action Kenya Yamashita (12-4, 9) take a huge step up in class to face off with former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (20-11-3, 5) in a Bantamweight bout. The exciting, but flawed, Yamashita has often been in some thrilling contests, but has shown issues with his chin and has lost 3 of his last 7 inside the distance. On the other hand Apolinario has won just twice in the last 30 months, with 5 losses in that same time period.
As well as the big show in Japan there is also a very notable card in Singapore, with two title bouts and several other bouts of note.
The main event of the card will see unbeaten local Muhamad Ridhwan (11-0, 8) take on former world champion Paulus Ambunda (26-2, 11) in a contest for the IBO Super Bantamweight title. The unbeaten Ridhwan, regarded as Singapore's biggest hope, has already noted two wins this year and his team will be seeing this as a logical step up in class. As for Ambunda this is probably his last chance saloon, and at the age of 38 it's hard to see where he would go if he lost here. Saying that however Ambunda has only lost to world class fighters, Tomoki Kameda and Moises Flores, and he could well have one final performance left in him.
Another major bout on this card will see Filipino Bantamweight contender Michael Dasmarinas (28-2, 19) face off against Ghanaian puncher Manyo Plange (17-0, 15). Coming in to this Dasmarinas has won his last 10, with 8 stoppages, including a big victory over Karim Guerfi last time out. Not much is known about Plange, however this will be his first bout outside of Ghana, and will be a massive step up in class for him.
In another title bout Malaysian fighter Muhammad Meeraj (8-2-1, 4) will take on teenager Natthawut Masamin (7-3, 5). The 28 year old Meeraj has won his last 2 bouts, including a win that saw him become the WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Heavyweight champion. He will be defeating that title here against his Thai foe. Masamin, the Thai Middleweight champion, has a very misleading record and gave Yuki Nonaka real issues earlier this year. We think Meeraj should have the size to win, but this is no gimme and could be a very tough contest to call.
In a potentially fan friendly contest fans will see Keng Fai Hui (4-0-1, 4) take on Abdelelah Karroum (3-0, 3). Both men have a reputation for being heavy handed and it seems likely that both will come out swinging here. Hui, a 23 year old from Malaysia, was held to a draw last time out, against Alexander David. Karroum on the other hand is a Singaporean based French born fighter who has stopped his first 3 opponents in a combined 4 rounds. Expected explosive action here!
History is set to be made in Taiwan as the country hosts it's most notable show in history, with a couple of title fights in Taipei.
The main event of the card will see teak tough Japanese Super Feather Takuya Watanabe (34-8-1, 19) take on Thai foe Paiboon Lorkham (19-10, 8), aka Maxsaisai Sithsaithong, fight for the OPBF Silver Super Featherweight. Although his record doesn't show it Watanabe is a very talented fighter who has mixed at a very good level, losing to the likes of Masayuki Ito, Satoshi Hosono, Jae Sung Lee and Hisashi Amagasa. Although a talented boxer Watanabe is best known for his insane toughness, which saw him fight through a crimson mask against Lee for almost the entire fight. The Thai is much less well established, despite being 39 years old. His most notable bout to date have been losses to the likes of Hisashi Amagasa, AJ Banal and Joel Brunker, and they were all several years ago. Lorkham at his best might have been an interesting test for Watanabe, but this version or Lorkham is little more than body for Watanabe to beat in the main event of the show.
The other title fight will see Chinese fighter Wensi Huang (9-3-1, 3) take on Thai foe Jutamas Jitpong (4-2, 2) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental female Super Flyweight title. The 29 year old Huang lost 3 of her first 6 bouts, including a contest against Ji Hye Woo, though has since gone unbeaten, albeit against dreadful opposition. Aged 20 the Thai is the younger fighter by far, but she has also come up short, losing to Yuko Henzan and Olga Gurova. This is a very limited match up, but does give the fans in Taipei a chance to see a female title bout, as well as the male one.
Over in the US we get the chance to see once beaten Filipino prospect Romero Duno (17-1, 14) look to build on his growing reputation. The 22 year old Filipino fighter will be up against Mexican foe Ezequiel Aviles (16-2-3, 6), who will be fighting outside of Mexico for the first time. It's worth noting that Aviles has only been stopped once in 21 bouts, but that loss was last time out, when Oliver Quintana stopped him in 10 rounds. It's also worth noting that Aviles has also been out of the ring for over a year following that loss
The card will also set to feature the debut of Uzbek prospect Elnur Abduraimov (0-0), though his opponent hasn't yet been announced.
New York, USA
Staying in the US fans in Brooklyn, New York, will be able to see Uzbek Heavyweight hopeful Bakhodir Jalolov (1-0, 1) continue his career. The highly touted Jalolov, a former amateur standout, will be up against Thomas Hawkins (4-3-0-1, 1) who has lost his last 3 and is without a win in over 4 years. Given how we have seen Uzbek fighters handled we're hoping this will be Jalolov's last bout at this level before he goes up against someone who can test him. He's too good to spend time against fighters like Hawkins.
Attention turns to Singapore this coming Friday, as Golden Gloves Asia put on a pretty notable card, featuring some promising local talent.
The headline bout from the card will see the unbeaten Muhamad Ridhwan (10-0, 7) continue his rise through the ranks as he takes on Indonesian veteran Rivo Rengkung (36-25-6, 14). On paper this is a step backwards for Ridhwan, given he beat Jeson Umbal back in April, but he's keep busy ahead of a scheduled September bout against Mike Tawatchai. The 34 year old Rengkung, fighting in his 68th bout, has been stopped in his last 2 bouts and will be expected to come up short again here, though may find a way to survive to the final bell.
Another unbeaten local who seems to be taking a step back as he stays busy is Hamzah Farouk (5-0, 3), who takes on Ramly Pasaribu (6-12, 1). Given that Farouk has beaten a couple of better fighters this year this bout does seem disappointing, but the 29 year old is staying busy with this being his third bout of the year and we suspect his team will look to move him up a level before the end of 2018. As for Pasaribu he has won his last 2 bouts, but has been stopped in all 6 of his bouts outside of Indonesia.
Another local worthy of note is Abdelelah Karroum (2-0, 2), who steps up in class to face Benny Tamaela (4-8, 1). The local has blown out his first 2 opponents inside a round and will be hoping to continue his destructive run here. On paper this is a step up, however Tamaela has been stopped in 6 of his 8 losses, and is unlikely to survive Karroum's power for the scheduled 6 rounds.
Compostela Valley, Philippines
Also on Friday will be a small Filipino card.
In one of the notable bouts fans will see Aries Buenavidez (10-2, 6) put his 6 fight winning run on the line as he goes up against Arnold Garde (8-6-3, 3). The in form Buenavidez has stopped 5 of his last 6 and has been stepping up in class recently, going from novices to notable domestic veterans, but this does look like another step up for the 22 year old. As for Garde he is a decent test on the domestic level, but he has gone 1-3-1 in his last 5, suffering stoppage losses to Jonathan Taconing and Rey Loreto in his last 2 bouts. Garde could be a good test for Buenvidez, but if the last two bouts have taken their toll on him he may well become the next stoppage victim for the twice beaten prospect.
Another prospect expecting to pick up a win is the unbeaten Joel Lino (9-0-1, 3), who faces off against domestic journeyman Bonjun Loperez (10-9-1, 5). The 23 year old Lino has recently shown a belief in his power, stopping his last 2 foes, and this could well be a third stoppage win in a row given that Loperez has been stopped in 6 of his 9 losses. Loperez has got some power of his own, but it's unlikely he'll pose too muchg of a threat for the unbeaten youngster.
Also on this card will be Ronnie Baldonado (10-1-1, 7), who looks to bounce back from his March loss to Kosei Tanaka, as he takes on Ramel Antaran (3-9-1). This really should be a mismatch in favour of Baldonado, though we can't complain too much at the 22 year old having an easy fight given the damage he had taken at the hands of Tanaka, who stopped him after 9 relative one-sided rounds. Antaran was stopped himself last time out, inside a round by Orlie Silvestre,and we are expecting him to be stopped again here by the talented Baldonado.
This Friday is set to be a relatively quiet one in the realms of Asian boxing, however there will be a relatively notable card in Singapore, with several fighters of interest being involved, several of whom meet in some really good match ups that deserve a lot more attention than they arelikely to get, sadly.
One of the most notable contest on this show will see local hopeful Muhamad Ridhwan (9-0, 7) battle under-rated Filipino Jeson Umbal (16-5, 11) for the vacant IBO Inter-Continental Featherweight title. The 30 year old local, known as “The Chosen Wan”, has impressed in recent fights,taking wins against the likes of Waldo Sabu, Fadhili Majiha and Nataneal Sebastian but this is a very big step up in class. Although Umbal's record might not look too impressive he is much better than the numbers suggest and is currently riding an 8 fight winning streak, including a win over Mark Anthony Geraldo. This really could be a very good match up, and promises a lot.
Another bout that promises a lot will see Filipino Michael Dasmarinas (27-2, 18) take on Frenchman Karim Guerfi (26-3-0-1, 8) for the lightly regarded International Boxing Organization World Bantamweight title. The 25 year old Dasmarinas is one of the many Filipino fighters who has been rising through the ranks without getting much attention from fans, but those in the sport are well away of his talent and he has been a sparring partner for the likes of Shinsuke Yamanaka over the last few years. The Filipino is currently riding a 9 fight winning streak and is ranked by the WBC and WBO at Bantamweight. Guerfi on the other hand is enjoying his second reign as the European Bantamweight champion and is currently enjoying a 6 fight winning run, which includes notable wins over Alejandro Gonzalez Jr, Ryan Farag and Stephane Jamoye. The recent wins for Guerfi have put him into the WBC and IBF world rankings, and this essentially be a world title eliminator between these two talented, and under-rated fighters,
A third title bout will see Malaysian Muhammad Meeraj (6-2-1, 3) complete a trilogy with Chase Haley (5-2-1, 2) for the currently vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Light Heavyweight title. These two men fought back in May 2017 with Haley taking majority decision over Meeraj, in a bout that saw both men being dropped, a rematch in October resulted in a split decision draw and has left us with a third bout between the two men in just 11 months. Given the competitive nature of their first two bouts we won't complain much about this one, but do wonder if it's a case of the two fighting until Meeraj gets a win over his nemesis.
In a bout between unbeaten men, fans will see hard hitting Malaysian Keng Fai Hui (4-0, 4) take on Filipino born Singaporean Alexandrew David (4-0, 2) in what could be a very explosive fight. Hui has looked like a genuine puncher so far, needing just 9 rounds to defeat his first 4 opponents whilst David has notched a couple of opening round wins of his own. From the 8 combined wins of these fighters 4 have come in the first round, and 6 have come in the first 4.
One final bout of note will see John Hutchinson (12-2-3, 4) take on Indonesian veteran Larry Siwu (27-10, 23). Although relatively unknown Hutchinson, originally from Ireland, has been a bit of a boxing traveller fighting in Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, the USA, Thailand, Australia and now Singapore. Siwu on the other hand has been fighting on the Asian scene through his career and has gone on to face some notable names in recent years, losing to the likes of Teerachai Kratingdaenggym, Keita Obara and Sirimongkol Singwancha. This shouldn't be regarded in the same level of significance as the top bouts, but should still be a genuinely interesting fight, and one where Siwu has the edge in experience, but will be the naturally smaller man.
At the Korakuen we get a genuinely important card, as Japanese and Chinese fighters face off in the second Japan Vs China Dangan card.
The main event of the show will see former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Rikki Naito (17-2, 6) take on unbeaten Chinese visitor Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (12-0-1, 5), in a really good looking bout. For Naito it's his second as a 140lb'der, and his 6th since losing the Japanese Super Featherweight title to Kenichi Ogawa. Although Naito's has been troubled recently he will feel confident of picking up a win over the Chinese fighter. For Nasiyiwula the bout will be his first outside of China and his second successive bout against a Chinese foe, having won adecision back in May against Taisho Ozawa. A win for the visitor will open up doors for more significant fights and could well see him in the mix for an OPBF title sooner rather than later.
A second good looking bout on here will see the once beaten Takeshi Kaneko (5-1-1) look to bounce back from a June loss as he takes on Wulan Tuolehazi (5-3, 1). The Chinese visitor has a mixed record, but has won his last 3, including a win over former world title challenger Nouldi Manakane. Although this bout will be expected to go the contacted 8 rounds it should still be a lot of fun and a very exciting contest.
Negros Occidental, Philippines
We get another notable card in the Philippines, with two bouts of note.
The biggest in terms of names will see former world champion Merlito Sabillo (26-4-1, 13) battle against well regarded journeyman Crison Omayao (22-14-4, 7), who has share the ring with the likes of Naoya Inoue and Kosei Tanaka. Since losing the WBO Minimumweight title to Francisco Rodriguez Jr back in 2014 life has been hard in the ring for Sabillo, who has gone 3-3 and cannot really afford any more set backs. Whilst Omayao has also had mixed results recently he certainly has time on his side, and the 24 year old really isn't at the end of the line, despite the fact he is racking up losses now a days.
The other bout of note on this card will see the unbeaten Jayr Raquinel (7-0-1, 5) take on Richard Rosales (12-4-2, 7) for the OPBF interim Flyweight title, despite the fact the “regular” title was defended just a week ago. The bout should be a good one, given the men involved and their desire for a win, but one does wonder what the OPBF are playing at with the logic that this was going to be an interim title fight, so soon after the last defense of the actual title.
The deepest of the Asian shows is from Singapore, where Ringstar Management Pte Ltd will be hosting a notable show with a host of title bouts, and notable names,
In one of the supporting bouts on this card we'll see talented Filipino hopeful Michael Dasmarinas (26-2, 17) take on Thai journeyman Phupha Por Nobnom (11-10-1, 10). This should be a total mismatch in favour of the criminally under-rated Filipino, who has won his last 8 and looks ready to be stepped up massively after this contest.
A slightly more competitive looking supporting bout will see Thailand's Decha Kokietgym (34-11-3, 18) take on Australian veteran Chad Bennett (36-4-3, 27). The 32 year old Thai hasn't fought since June 2013, and is certainly not the fighter her once was, though Bennett is no spring chicken and had his 44th birthday a few months ago. It's also worth noting that Bennett himself has been out of the ring for over 2 years. This bout may not excite fans, but there is some intrigue on paper.
A much more relevant bout will see Malaysian hopeful Keng Fai Hui (3-0, 3) compete in his first title bout, as he battles Petch Fonchang Chonburi (7-3, 2) for the IBO Oceania Welterweight title. On paper this looks like a mismatch but it's a step up for the unbeaten 22 year old, who has been in with really limited opposition for. The Thai is nothing special, but should prove a better opponent that Hui's previous 3.
In a competitive looking bout we'll see Muhammad Meeraj (6-2, 3) battle against Chase Haley (5-1, 2), in a second contest between the two men. These two fought back in May, with Haley winning a majority decision in a bout that saw both men being dropping, and it's clear that Meeraj will be out for revenge whilst Haley will be chasing a second win over the Malaysian hopeful. On the line in this bout will be the International Boxing Organization Oceania Light Heavyweight Title, which Haley won last time out.
The biggest name on the card will be 2-weight former world champion Sirimongkol Singwancha (92-3, 57), who continues his long career as he takes on Australian fighter Tommy Browne (34-6-2, 13). The 40 year old Thai has lost just once in his last 53 and will be hoping to edge towards 100 wins here, as he takes on a 34 year old Australian, who is 8-0-1 in his last 9. The bout will see the two fighters trading blows for the International Boxing Organization Asia Pacific Super Welterweight Title and there is a good chance the winner will try and move on towards a more notable title bout in 2018.
The main event of the show will see Singapore's very own Muhamad Ridhwan (8-0, 7) face off with Namibia's Nataneal Sebastian (9-0, 5) in a battle of unbeaten's. The two men will be trading blows for the International Boxing Organization International Super Featherweight Title and will be looking to extend their unbeaten records. Ridhwan struggled on his debut but has stopped his last 7, taking small but progressive steps up whilst Sebastian will be fighting in a notable step up, and his first bout outside of Namibia.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
In Argentina fight fan will be able to see unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Bobirzhan Mominov (4-0, 4) take on Argentinian based Uruguayan fighter Carlos Andres Chaparro (7-15-1, 3). The heavy handed Kazakh has needed just 11 rounds for his first 4 wins and will be looking to keep his stoppage run alive here, but may find that tricky against a durable but limited foe.
The biggest card of the day, for Asian boxing at least, will be in Singapore where there will be a host of UBO title fights. There's too much going on on this card for us to cover everything, but we've spotted 3 bouts which have intrigued is.
At Super Featherweight we'll see the unbeaten Singaporean local Muhamad Ridhwan (7-0, 6) battle against Fadhili Majiha (20-8-4, 9) in what is a credible step up for Ridhwan. The 29 year old, dubbed “The Chosen Wan”, has impressed so far and has stopped his last 6 foes but this is a very tough step up against a 23 year old Tanzanian who has gone the distance with fighters like Immanuel Naidjala, Pungluang Sor Singyu and Marlon Tapales.
Up at 154lbs we'll see Thai veteran Sirimongkol Singwancha (91-3, 57) face off with Indonesian Larry Siwu (24-8, 20). The Thai, looking for his 92nd win, is now 39 years old and fighting well above his best weight, but is still a talented fighter and he is a handful at regional level, and should be favoured here. Saying that however he could get old over-night. Aged 34 Siwu is no spring chicken and he has lost 3 of his last 5, but could be a tough ask for the Thai if he's on song.
In an interesting non-Asian bout we'll see Canadian Ryan Ford (11-0, 7) battle against New Zealander Robert Berridge (29-6-1, 21). Although this bout has no direct connection with Asia we do enjoy Ford's run recent run through Asia, and this will be his 4th bout in the region in just over a year. This UBO Light Heavyweight bout is a good test for Ford, and it will be fun to see how he gets on with someone like Berridge.
In Mexico fans will see popular veteran warrior Orlando Salido (43-13-4-1, 30) battle against Thai puncher Pharanpetch Tor Buamas (18-2, 14). Not too long ago we saw Salido have an up-and-down war with Terdsak Kokietgym, and since then he has had 3 really tough wars, but even with those wars he should be favoured here against the Thai, who has lost 2 of his last 3.
Ansan, South Korea
There will also be title action in Sout Korea where fans get two title fights.
One of those will see Gyu Won Lee (4-2-1, 2) battle against the unbeaten Heuk San Lee (2-0-1, 1) for the vacant South Korean Light Middleweight title. Gyu is a former Korean Middleweight champion, but he was beaten last time out and is certainly not something special. Heuk, also known as Abdoulaye Assan, is a Cameroon born fighter who looked great last time out but is a small Light Middleweight.
The other bout is a much less attractive contest as the out of form Da Won Seo (3-6-1, 1) takes on the equally faltering Gwang Shik Na (2-7, 1) for a Korean Super Flyweight title. Of the two men Seo has the slightly better record but has shared the ring with Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr, and lasted the distance with the Thai. Na on the other hand has just 1 win in his last 5 and has only ever beaten a couple of debutants.
New South Wales, Australia
In New South Wales fans will get the chance to see a number of Asian fighters taking on Australian fighters, two of which will be in title bouts.
The most interesting of the bouts will see Australian Brit Darragh Foley (10-2, 7) battle against under-rated Filipino Sonny Katiandagho (11-1, 6) in a bout for the WBA Oceania Light Welterweight title. Coming in to this Foley is the champion, seeking his second defense of the title, but will be up against one of the toughest foes of his career so far. Although relatively unknown Katiandagho has shown his ability on the road, and is 3-0 (1) outside of the Philippines, having taken the unbeaten records of Hyun Woo Yuh and Rafik Harutjunjan. This could be a very good contest.
In a less exciting bout we'll see OPBF Welterweight champion Jack Brubaker (12-1-1, 6), who is a really solid fight, take on the less than decent Mark Sales (22-40-4, 8). Sales, who is listed as being down to challenge the champion for the title, is unbeaten in his last 3 has lost 5 of his last 8 and shouldn't be in title bouts. Sales is better than his record suggests but shouldn't be getting a title fight if we're being honest.
In form Australian based Brit Ben Savva (5-1, 1) will be seeking his 6th straight win as he takes on Filipino veteran Joel Dela Cruz (20-25-3, 8). The bout, like the Brubaker/Sales bout, should be a mismatch in favour of Savva but on paper it is a step up for him as he slowly moved up the level of his competition. Dela Cruz has been stopped in 2 of his last 3 but we suspect he may go the distance here against the light hitting Savva.
The remaining bout will see the hotly tipped Jai Opetaia (9-0, 6), a former Australian amateur standout, take on Korean visitor Joo Hyuk Lee (4-1, 2). This really should be a mismatch, especially given that Lee is a former Middleweight who has fought just once in the last 60 months, but Opetaia is young enough and busy enough to have these types of bouts on the way on up, and this is his 7th bout in 12 months.
As well as the action in Australia there will also be a show in Singapore.
In the main event of this card we'll see unbeaten Singaporean Muhamad Ridhwan (6-0, 5) take on Indonesian fighter Waldo Sabu (12-6, 3). On paper this looks like a step up for Ridhwan, who is unbeaten but taking on a fighter who will actually be coming to win, but it does need to be said that Sabu has struggled recently and suffered 4 losses, 3 by stoppage, last year. Sabu has won his last 5 but they have been against very limited opponents at home. These two will be facing off the WBA Asia Super Featherweight Title.
Another Singaporean local on this card is female fighter Nurshahidah Roslie (5-1, 3), who looks to rebuild her career following a loss last November. The Singaporean will be up against limited Thai Nongoum Por Niramon (1-1) in what should be a confidence building win for the local.
In a Singapore Vs Indonesia support bout fans will see the unbeaten Rafi Majid (4-0, 4) battle against Marco Tuhumury (11-16-2, 4). Majid is a popular fighter in the region, and is showing signs of being a genuine puncher, but has been matched softly and that's the case again here with Tuhumury having already been stopped 10 times.
In another supporting bout fans will see Filipino Jun Talape (21-9-1, 8) battle with Indonesian veteran Heri Andriyanto (22-23-2, 10). On paper this looks a total mismatch but Tapale has been out of the ring for more than 5 years, and is 6 years removed from his last win. Andriyanto has won just one of his last 6 but could make for an interesting opponent for Tapale's ring return.
The key Asian card this Sunday comes from China.
In one of the main main bouts we'll see the unbeaten Ainiwaer Yilixiati (8-0, 6) battle against former OPBF title challenger Michael Speed Sigarlaki (16-19-2, 14),a veteran from Indonesia. On paper this looks like a step up in class for the unbeaten mean but the reality is that Sigaralaki is now little more than a journeyman, travelling and getting beaten around Asia, with that trend set to continue here.
In a battle of unbeaten fighters Lemen Chao (5-0) will be taking on Guangxiong Li (3-0-1) in another of the headline bouts. Both men are unbeaten novices so their may be a point to prove for both men, leading us tp what could be an interesting match up
Another bout scheduled for 6 rounds will see Wulamu Tulake (6-1-1, 3) face off with the more experienced Ju Xiang Huang (5-4-2, 4) in what could be a test for Tulake.
In Australia we get a really intriguing match up as Australian based Taiwanese fighter Yao Yi Ma (15-1, 10) takes on Australian Dennis Hogan (24-1-1, 7) for the WBO Oriental Light Middleweight title. Ma is a former holder of this title but has been inactive for more than a year and in that time Hogan won the title, with this being his first defense of the title.
Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Staying in Australia we'll see two Thai's fighting on a separate show.
The most notable of those two bouts will see Abe Archibald (0-0) face the limited, but heavy handed, Weerachit Kitee (7-9-2, 7). Kitee, also known as Tom Ford, has lost his last 7, with 6 of those being by stoppage, and it seems likely he'll be defeated again here despite his opponent being a debutant.
There will also be a show of note in Singapore.
In an historic bout we'll see the unbeaten Nurshahidah Roslie (4-0, 2) become the first Singaporean fighter to fight for a title recognised by one of the big 4 world title bodies, though it is only a regionaltitle. The bout will see Roslie battle against New Zealander Gentiane Lupi (4-3-1, 2) in a bout for the WBA Oceania Super Featherweight title.
In another headline bout the unbeaten Muhamad Ridhwan (4-0, 3) will face Ramli Pasaribu (4-10, 1), with Ridhwan looking to extend his unbeaten record and score his third straight win in Singapore.