This coming Friday is set to be an incredibly busy day for Asian fight fans, with cards of note taking place in Japan, Thailand, Russia and Tanzania. The days also has a nice mix of rising youngsters looking to make their way in the sport, a veteran looking for his 98th professional win, and several contenders also in action.
Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California, USA
We'll start not in Asia but in the US, where rising Uzbek sensation Bektemir Melikuziev (5-0, 4) will be defending his WBA Continental America's Super Middleweight title against Mexican challenger Alan Campa (17-5, 11). This, in reality, should be little more than a stay busy bout for the talented Uzbek, who looks set to become a star in the coming years. Sadly the "Bully" hasn't been as active as we'd have liked, though given how 2020 has been we are glad we're going to see him get a run out here.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
One of the many cards comes from Korakuen Hall, and will be made available on demand on Boxing Raise. The card has several good looking bouts on it, and several others worthy of note.
the best of the bouts on this one will see rising Japanese Lightweight Shu Utsuki (6-0, 5) look for win #7 as he takes on Takayuki Sakai (9-2-2, 6). The heavy handed Utsuki had a great 2019, scoring 4 stoppages, but has been out of the ring since October 2019, and has lost much of the momentum he had. As for Sakai he's no push over, and scored a notable 2018 win over Amphol Suriyo, aka Pharanpetch Tor Buamas, but has gone 1-1 since then. We expect Utsuki to come out on top here, but it should be a very, very fun bout.
Another unbeaten man on this card will be Ryo Nakai (1-0-1, 1), who looks for his second professional win as he takes on Mirai Naito (8-1, 3). Nakai turned professional last year with some solid amateur credentials but was held to a draw in a tough debut, before picking up his first win in November. He has the amateur background but Naito has the blood line, with his father, Cassius Naito, and brother, Rikki Naito, both being notable fighters. Naito also has the edge in professional experience and has notched 3 wins since his solitary loss. We expect this one to be the hidden gem of the show.
In a female bout the unbeaten Sayo Segawa (1-0, 1) will be up against Natsuki Tarui (3-6-2). The talented Segawa ran up over 30 wins in the amateurs and placed 3rd in an All Japan amateur tournament before turning professional last year and looking good on her debut. Sadly she's been out of the ring for a year as we enter this bout and her career has clearly stalled before it's even got going. Tarui on the other hand is a 29 year old domestic level fighter who isn't expected to go far, but should serve as a good opponent to help Segawa shake some ring rust and get back up to speed.
Rangsit International Stadium, Rangsit, Thailand
Over in Thailand we get a small show featuring two notable names, and a promising youngster. Sadly however it's hard to get invested in this show.
The main event will see the young, and somewhat unproven, Kittithat Ungsrivongs (16-1, 9) fight for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Featherweight title. Sadly his opponent is the win-less Omar El Ouers (0-1-1). Kittithat, also known as Wanchana Menayothin is only 21, so it's harsh to complain too much about an easy bout, but he's been a professional for almost 4 years now and is still fighting very limited opposite. Notably El Ouers did fight to a draw last time out with Kongfah CP Freshmart, but Kongfah is very much a Super Flyweight, and El Ouers success there is unlike to carry up to 130lbs.
Talking about Kongfah CP Freshmart (33-1-1, 16) he will also be on the card, along with Petch Sor Chitpattana (57-1, 42). Sadly however neither man has had their opponent made clear at the time of writing. Given how Petpiya fights go, and how these two have been matched previously, we don't really expect anything exciting for either man.
PTA Hall, Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania
On the subject of Thai's it's worth noting that former 2-weight world champion Sirimongkol Singwancha (97-4, 62) is also scheduled for action, albeit in Tanzania, where he is set to face local fighter Twaha Kassimu Rubaha (15-6-1, 8) for the WBC Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title. Despite once being a brilliant fighter Sirimongkol is now a 43 year old, former blown up Bantamweight with over 100 bouts to his name and is not the fighter he once was. Although Rubaha is moving up in weight for this bout he is the naturally bigger man, and the much younger man, and we think those advantages will take him to victory here.
USC Soviet Wings, Moscow, Russia
In Moscow we have some fighters from Central Asia in action.
The most notable of the Central Asian fighters in action here is Kazakh female fighter Firuza Sharipova (11-1, 6), who has often received a lot of media attention but appears to be under-the-radar for this fighter, likely due to the backlash her last bout had. The frustrating Kazakh will be up against Serbian fighter Sara Marjanovic (7-7, 3), who's record is very padded thanks to 5 successive wins against very low level opposition. This should be an easy win for Sharipova,
Another central Asian fighter on this show is 26 year old Kyrgyzstan fighter Turat Osmonov (3-0, 3), who looks for his next win as he takes on the win-less Mutrib Karambakhshov (0-3), a Russian based Tajik. Really is hard to get too excited about this one, though we have liked what we have seen of Osmonov and hopefully he will be stepped up in his next fight or two.
This coming Friday we see the return of boxing onto Channel 7 in Thailand, but sadly we won't see Bektemir Melikuziev in action.
Rangsit International Stadium, Thailand
We see action continue to get back to normal in Thailand as we get, we believe, the first televised outdoor card since boxing returned to the country. The event will be on Channel 7 and like many Thai cards features names in total squash matches.
In the main event Petch Sor Chitpattana (55-1, 40) will defend his regional WBC title against Tongthep Taeyawong (5-2-1, 4). This really should be little more than a work out for the talented Petch, who needs much, much tougher opponents for us to really see what he's made of. Competition like this will not help him develop the skills he needs to become a champion, as we saw when he suffered his sole defeat to Takuma Inoue.
In the the chief support bout Petchmanee Kokietgym (32-1, 21), also known as Panya Pradabsri, will be in action against a Brazilian opponent, that we're lead to believe is Dionatha Santos Tobias (0-2). On paper this should be little more than a work out for the talented Thai who should, really, be facing tougher opposition to help prepare for a second world title bout. The Thai based Brazilian has faced stiff competition so far, but has come up short in both of his bouts since turning professional.
Another likely mismatch on this card will see Kittithat Ungsrivongs (15-1, 8) take on Omar El Ouers (0-1). Kittithat, also known as Wanchana Menayothin, is only 21, but he has been a professional since 2016 and he's still fighting at the same level as he was back then. We feel he needs to step it up and get developmental fights, rather than padding his record in bouts like this. He's had 6 confidence building wins since his 2018 loss to Que Xu and doesn't need any more.
Also originally scheduled for this show was Noknoi Sitthiprasert (72-5, 44) but the 33 year old was pulled from the event earlier this month.
On the subject of things being pulled, a scheduled event on DAZN, which was was supposed to feature Bektemir Melikuziev (5-0, 4) taking on Alan Campa (17-5, 11), was cancelled. Sadly that whole show was pulled just over a week before the event, after the promoters failed to secure a replacement opponent for Javier Fortuna, after Jorge Linares was forced to pull out of the event.
The final two days of 2018 are set to be huge for Asian combat sports, with several major shows. For us it's the boxing that is key and this coming Sunday we'll see a triple header being shown on Fuji TV.
Technically the main event of the show will see WBO Super Featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (24-1-1, 12) make his first defense, as he takes on unbeaten mandatory challenger Evgeny Chuprakov (20-0, 10). The talented Ito won the title earlier this year in the USA, defeating the touted Christopher Diaz, and now looks to build on that win. The unbeaten Chuprakov didn't look great last time out, being pushed very hard by Ernie Sanchez, but is a good fighter and should make for an interesting first defense by the popular Japanese fighter. This is a really good bout on paper, but one where we suspect the champion has to be favoured. Our full in depth preview of this bout can be read here - Masayuki Ito faces mandatory Evgeny Chuprakov
The second champion defending their title on this show is WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro (14-0, 8), who will be looking to make his 5th defense of the title. The talented champion will be up against Mexican foe Saul Juarez (24-8-2, 13). On paper this isn't an awful bout, especially given that Juarez is proven at world level, but is 1-4-1 in his last 6 bouts, dating back more than 2 years. Kenshiro has been one of Japanese's boxing big success stories of the last few years, and looked sensational in beating Milan Melindo earlier this year. If Kenshiro can put on a similar performance here to the one he put on against Melindo he has to be in the running for the Asian Fighter of the Year. A preview of this bout can be read here Kenshiro seeks 5th defense, takes on Baby Juarez
The third bout of note on this card will see unbeaten fighters collide, as Takuma Inoue (12-0, 3) battles Petch Sor Chitpattana (48-0, 33), who is also known as Petch CP Freshmart and Tasana Salapat, for the WBC "Interim" Bantamweight title. Inoue, the younger brother of Naoya Inoue, is well know in Asian boxing circles and has a number of good wins, beating the likes of Tatsuya Fukuhara, Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr, Rene Dacquel, Froilan Saludar, Hiroyuki Kudaka and Mark John Yap already in his short career. Petch on the other hand has one of the longest unbeaten records in the sport, but totally lacks in terms of quality, with his best wins coming against Jestoni Autida and Jeson Umbal. A preview of this bout can be read here - Petch Sor Chitpattana and Takuma Inoue clash for WBC interim title!
For a second day running we get Rookie of the Year east bouts at the Korakuen Hall. The winners from these bouts will face the winners from Thursday's bout in the East Japan finals.
Again we won't look at all the bouts but a few have caught our eye, though it's just 2 this time.
On paper the best match up is at Featherweight where we get two fighters with identical records facing off in a really good encounter. This bout will see 19 year old Ryota Ishida (5-0, 3) take on 21 year old Teppei Kayanuma (5-0, 3). In his last bout Ishida looked fortunate to over-come Daiki Funayama, however Funayama was a southpaw and used that to his advantage, though has looked really promising in his other 4 bouts. Kayanuma had an easier time in his last bout, stopping Kazuhiro Koike in 4 rounds, but this will his toughest bout to date. A really good match up.
Another all unbeaten match up comes at Welterweight where we see southpaws collide in a bout between Masaharu Kaito (3-0) and Toshinobu Mimura (4-0-1, 3). The 26 year old Kaito hasn't really shined but has remained unbeaten so far winning and notched up 12 rounds of competitive experience. Since draw on his debut, back in May 2013, Mimura has looked very good and has taken out his last 3 foes in a combined 4 rounds, he'll be hoping to continue that run here. One guy can certainly in this one, whilst the other is a clear non puncher however they should make for a good bout together.
Naknon Sawan, Thailand
On Channel 7 in Thailand fans will get the chance to see the world ranked Petch Sor Chitpattana (32-0, 21) defend his WBC Youth Silver Bantamweight title against the limited and light hitting Eric Panza (8-4-1, 2). This should be an easy win for Petch, but we have been seeing Filipino's travel with a mind on upset mentality recently and we may well see that again here.
On a second Thai show, this one being aired on Channel 3SD, fans will see world ranked Super Flyweight contender Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (33-7-1, 15) defending his WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title against the always testing Espinos Sabu (12-6-2, 5), of Indonesia. We know that Petchbarngborn will be the favourite but Sabu is capable of the upset here and may well shock his world ranked foe.
March 27th-Petch defends youth title, Oleydong, Konfah and Chanachai look to extend winning runs, Pontillas hopes to resurrect career
For Thai fans the day begins in a fun way with Channel 7 televising a show with several notable names.
The main event will see the unbeaten Petch Sor Chitpattana (29-0, 19) defending his WBC Youth Silver Bantamweight title against a Filipino opponent. Sadly we don't have the visitors name though looking at Petch's previous opponents we're not expecting a real challenge for the Thai who is slowly climbing towards a world title bout based on his record, not his competition.
A much more interesting bout will see former WBC Minimumweight champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai (55-1-1, 21) battle against the well traveled Rasmanudin (19-8-3, 10), of Indonesia. The Indonesian “Lost Boy” has gone 1-4-1 in his last 6 though has generally been fighting as a Super Bantamweight and may be able to have a size advantage over the very experienced Oleydong.
Also in action will be the exciting teenager Kongfah CP Freshmart (12-0, 7)*, who looks to continue his rise through the ranks as he takes on a domestic foe, and the highly aggressive Chanachai Cp Freshmart (2-0, 1), who will also be taking on a Thai foe. Sadly we've not been given the names of the opponents for Kongfah or Chanachai
In Ghana we see Filipino veteran Ronald Pontillas (17-7-3, 8) attempt to resurrect his career as he goes up against the tough George Ashie (25-4-1, 18) in an interesting 10 round contest. Pontillas, known as “Unpredictable” has lost 3 of his last 5, including a 5th round KO loss last time out to Daud Cino Yordan. As for Ashie he has won his last 2 bouts and is proven to be tough having gone 12 competitive rounds with Kevin Mitchell, however he does lack a notable win.
In Russia fans will get the chance to see several Asian fighters.
One of those is 25 year old Kyrgyzstan prospect Ahmat Uulu Chingiz (1-0, 1) who takes on debutant Evgeny Andrianov (0-0). Hard to say much about Chingiz but we're hoping to see a top fighter emerge from Kyrgyzstan one day.
The other Asian fighter is Russian based Uzbek Lazizbek Uzokov (3-8, 2), who is facing a yet to be named opponent. Uzokov is limited but has strung together back-to-back wins for the first time in his career and will be hoping to notch a third successive victory here.
*Boxrec.com are missing one of Kongfah's fights
In Thailand fans get their second televised show of the week in what looks like a relatively interesting card with at least one bout worth making a mental note of and several interesting prospects in action.
The main event of the show will see the unbeaten Petch Sor Chitpattana (28-0, 18) defending the WBC Silver Youth Bantamweight title against Chinese visitor Hou Tingling (0-1). Tinglong's only previous bout was a decision loss in November 2014 to Japanese Flyweight Katsuteru Yoshifusa and it's hard to see that really helping him against Petch who is a very promising Thai fighter.
The most promising looking bout will see the much touted Palangpol CP Freshmart (6-1, 4) battling against Filipino stalwart Donny Mabao (21-23-1, 4). Palangpol is viewed as a very promising fighter following an excellent Muay Thai career however there does seem to be some doubt about his potential following less than impressive back-to-back showings. Although not a star Mabao is capable enough fight to pose serious questions to fighters like Palangpol and we suspect this could be a very good test for the Thai who is said to be eyeing up a world title opportunity later this year.
This card will also feature one of the most exciting prospects in Thailand as we get the chance to see teenager Kongfah CP Freshmart (9-0, 4) in action against Fahpikard Twins Gym (2-7. Last year Kongfah caught our attention with a beautiful knockout against Saengthong Chor Pakdee and we'd not be shocked to see him do something similar here against the limited Fahpikard
Strangely we do get what looks to be a competitive under-card bout as Phompetch Twins Gym (6-2, 3) battles against fellow limited fighter Chatree Sor Narongchai (4-3, 2). This is a low level match up but both men will be entering the ring with the intention of recording a win and as a result this could end up being the best bout on the show.
(Image courtesy of http://www.thairec.com)
This coming Friday looks to be a great one for Thai fans though outside of Thailand the day looks to be a disappointing one with little to really note, despite a Misako promoted card at the Korakuen Hall.
Wat Tako, Thailand
A televised card from Thailand will deliver a duo of title fights. For us the most notable of the two title bouts will see the hard hitting Petchchorhae Kokietgym (6-0, 4) take on Filipino journeyman Roilo Golez (15-12-1, 6) for the currently vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Flyweight title. So far we have been impressed by Petchchorhae, on the whole, though we do know he needs to improve dramatically if he's to reach the heady heights expected of him. Golez isn't great by any means but he should give the Thai a great test especially considering he has taken big name Thai's, such as Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep, Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym and Wanheng Menayothin, the distance in the past.
The other contest will see the unbeaten but untested Saenganan KKP (7-0, 5) battling against Filipino Wilber Andogan (10-15-4, 4) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Light Flyweight title. On paper this is a mismatch but Saenganan has never faced anyone even like Andogan and so this is a step up for the unbeaten men. The Filipino has won just 1 of his last 10 and shouldn't be viewed as a real threat but we do have question marks about the Thai here.
A second Thai show will take place in Bangkok and will feature several notable names.
The main event will see Petch Sor Chitpattana (25-0, 16) defending his WBC Youth Silver Bantamweight title for the third time. Petch, who was given a great test last time out by Gerpaul Valero, will be battling with former PABA interim Flyweight champion Jaymart Toyco (14-5, 10) in what looks like being little more than an easy win for the unbeaten Thai, after all Toyco is coming up several weights for this bout.
Another of the bouts on this card will see former WBC Minimumweight champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai (52-1-1, 20) taking on Indonesia's Falazona Fidal (25-40-1, 8). Strangely this will be the third meeting between the two men with the previous 2 both being decision wins for Oleydong, we'd suspect this one will go the same way, though it is a stay busy bout for the Thai who is still hoping to reclaim a world title one day.
A third bout from this show that we're aware of will see promising teenager Kongfah CP Freshmart (7-0, 3) taking on fellow unbeaten Thai youngster Sangthong Chor Pakdee (4-0, 4). We don't know much about Sangthong though he is just 18 years and made his debut as a 16 year old in May 2012. This could be a total mismatch but when unbeaten fighters face off we can see some interesting contests, we're hoping for one of those here.
In Japan we get a small card at the Korakuen Hall.
The main event here will see Yuki Fukumoto (15-9, 5) taking on Yasuhiro Sakurai (7-16) in an 8 rounder. For Fukumoto this will bout will be about him trying to end a 3 fight losing streak dating back over a year. Incidentally Sakurai ended a 10 fight losing streak back in April as he over-came Seiji Watanabe via a decision. It's fair to say that neither of these men will be going far but there is a lot on the line for both of these two
The chief support bout is another 8 rounder as the heavy handed Yudai Ueno (7-6-2, 6) battles the tough but limited Kazuki Matsuyama (8-5, 4). Ueno has lost 4 of his last 5, including his most recent bout, but with his power he is dangerous it is worth noting however that Matsuyama has mixed against better opponents and may be able to take the power. Matsuyama has won 2 of his last 5 and we'd tend to feel that he has a great chance here in what looks to be close to a 50-50 bout.
A third 8 rounder will see Ryutaro Taira (8-4-1, 3) looking for his first win of the year. Taira, who has lost 3 of his last 4, will be fighting against Ryu Onigashima (12-6, 7) who has been out of the ring for almost 2 years. This is another 50-50 bout even though it's being fought at a low level. For us we tend to enjoy competitive fights rather than too many mismatches.
The rest of this card will feature a further 7 bouts, including a single 6 round contest, giving depth to what looks like a competitive though not headline making card.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia we will see another Asian in action. That will be is Korean Hwi Jong Kim (5-13, 1) taking on Valentine Borg (7-1, 4). Borg will be the clear favourite considering that Kim has lost his last 8 though he did use to look half decent and gave both Shin Ogata and Rey Bautista good contests, sadly those two bouts were more than a decade ago.
(Image courtesy of Kadoebi)
The week ends with a slight disappointment though we still get interesting action with bouts in both Thailand and Australian.
Ayutthaya Province, Thailand
The most notable action for us is on Channel 7 in Thailand as we get several notable Asian fighters in action on a card well worth tuning in for.
The main event will see the unbeaten Petch Sor Chitpattana (20-0, 16) defending his WBC silver Youth Bantamweight title against hard hitting Filipino challenger Jimmy Aducal (7-3-2, 6). For Aducal this is a step up in class but he is a former Philippines Boxing Federation Super Flyweight champion and is heavy handed suggesting that if he connects cleanly he could give Petch some issues.
One of the support bouts will feature the very highly ranked Wanheng Menayothin (34-0, 11) biding his time by fighting against Indonesia's limited Sammy Tehuayo (17-22-2, 3). Wanheng, who has been the WBC #1 Minimumweight contender for a while now, seems to be a fighter who is getting overlooked an awful lot and would be hoping that a title fight can come sooner rather than later.
Another of the support bouts, and a rare bout where we need to favour a visitor over a Thai, will see South Korea's Myung-Goo Yuh (17-4-1, 12) taking on Morakote Patanakan Gym (8-3, 4). Yuh isn't one of the few Korean's that we are mega excited about but he is a talented and capable fighter who has a surprisingly solid record in Thailand of 4 wins and just 1 loss.
One other bout on this show will see former Muay Thai fighter Kongphutorn CP Freshmart (1-0, 1) fighting against Lomnaw Sakberlin (0-0-1). These guys aren't currently on the boxrec database but Kongphutorn debuted last week with a 3rd round victory and is very highly touted by our Thai sources who seem to feel that he has the ability to go far in boxing if he he continues in "western" boxing. Sakberlin also debuted recently and fought to a disputable draw with Petchsamui Kiatniwat, the son of Denkaosan Kaovichit, despite the result against Petchsamui we really cannot see him living with Kongphutorn here.
In Australia we had expected to see two very promising Filipino's in the form of the highly ranked Randy Petalcorin (21-1-1, 16) and Harmonito Dela Tore (13-0, 8). It now seems that these two men have been taken off the show at the last minute, likely due to issues getting suitable opponents at late notice. We don't mean to criticise the shows promoter, Peter Maniatis, but it would have been nice to have had this issue settled before the week of the fight.
Despite the Filipino's being taken off the card there is still plenty of interest for ourselves with two Thai's fighting on the show.
One of those is Komgrit Nanakorn (17-21, 7) who will be a clear under-dog as he takes on American Pierre Karam (18-4-1, 6). The other will be Yodmongkol Singmanasak (12-13-1, 7) who may well be able to pick up a win in his scheduled bout with Martin Toma (0-1) who will be fighting as a boxer for the first time in over 5 years. On his debut Toma was stopped and Yodmongkol may well be able to score his first win on Australian soil and end a 5 fight losing streak in Australia.
(Courtesy of http://petermaniatis.com)