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.
Japanese attention turns to Osaka this coming Friday where we get a domestic title fight and a couple of supporting bouts between Japanese and Korean fighters.
The Japanese title fight will see Japanese Light Flyweight champion Tetsuya Hisada (32-9-2, 19) make his 5th defense as he takes on 2016 Rookie of the Year winner Akihiro Toya (8-4, 1). This looks like a stay busy defense for the 34 year old champion, who is on the verge of a world title fight, but any sort of slip up here could end those dreams. At 23 years old Toya is still maturing, but a loss earlier this year to Takumi Sakae doesn't bode well for him against someone as talented as Hisada. A full preview of this bout can be found here Hisada defends Japanese crown against youngster Toya!
One of the supporting bouts will see Japan's Yuki Takahashi (8-3, 4) battle against Korean rankled visitor Hwan Young Jo (5-5, 1). Takahashi has been stopped in his last 2 bouts and hasn't shown too much promise coming into this, but he will be favoured given he is the home fighter and has the better looking record. Jo on the other hand challenged for the Korean Super Featherweight title back in July, and will be looking to bounce back from a loss in that bout.
Another Japan Vs Korea bout will see the limited but hard hitting 23 year old Shota Asami (6-5, 4) battle against Hyun Joo Lee (2-0). Asami began his career 4-2 (4) but hasn't scored a stoppage in his last 5 bouts, whilst going 2-3. Lee is ranked by the KBF but his record doesn't seem to be complete on boxrec, with the KBF listing him as being 5-1-1 (4). If the KBF record is complete then we could be in for a fun fight between punchers, though how good he actually is, is unclear.
There's also a show in Thailand this coming Friday
The big talking point is that WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (51-0, 18) will be on the card in a stay busy bout, taking on Indonesian foe Tyson Lahagu (2-9-1, 2). The contest is supposed to be a tune up for the Thai ahead of a potential world title defense at the end of the year, and will see him stretching his record 52-0 as he looks to further increase his unbeaten record.
Although Wanheng and his unbeaten record will get much of the attention it also seems like we'll see OPBF silver Minimumweight champion Panya Pradabsri (24-1, 13) defending his title against talented Filipino Dexter Alimento (13-4, 9), in a very good looking bout. This has the potential to be very exciting and very fun, and we wouldn't be surprised to see Alimento push the local all the way.
We'll see US based Tajik prospect Anvar Yunusov (5-0, 2) look to continue his rise through the ranks as he takes on Joshua Davis (11-3, 5). The unbeaten man debuted last year, in a match up against the experienced Justin Savi, and has been matched well so far, but this should be regarded as his best test to date. Davis has lost his last 2 bouts but at 27 he will have ambition to get his career back on track and should make for a compelling opponent for the Yusunov, who was a 3-time Olympian.
Johore Bahru, Malaysia
As well as the show in Japan there will also be a card in Malaysia.
One of the bouts on this card will see unbeaten local Adli Hafidz (3-0, 2) take on experienced Thai foe Yuttana Wongda (13-21, 9). The local fighter, aged 29, has been matched softly so far, and this should be considered as a step up in class, but a very manageable one. Yuttana has gone 2-10 in his last 12 bouts and we suspect he will come up short again here.
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
The main card this Wednesday comes from Thailand as WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (49-0, 17) battles against mandatory challenger Leroy Estrada (16-2, 6). The bout will be Wanheng's 9th defense of the title, a title that he won back in 2014, and will also see him attempt to extend his unbeaten record to 50-0, a figure that would match Floyd Mayweather's record. The champion has shown some cracks recently, and looked less than great in defenses against Tatsuya Fukuhara and Melvin Jerusalem last year. At 32 years old the Thai is getting on for a Minimumweight but does look like there might be another few fights left in him. At 23 years old Estrada is a young gun striving for the top, and is coming into this bout on the back of 4 straight wins including one over Saul Juarez. Sadly for Estrada this is a huge step up in class for him, even from the likes of Juarez, and given his style it's hard to really see him making the most of Wanheng's flaws.
In a supporting bout fans will see Petchmanee Kokietgym (19-1, 11) battle against Melianus Mirin (9-4, 6) in a bout for OPBF "silver" Minimumweight title. For Petchmanee this will be his second bout since he lost to Xiong Zhao Zhong in a battle for the WBA “interim” world title. Questions however need to be asked as to how Mirin qualifies for this fight given his lack of notable wins, and recent loss to Satanmuanglek CP Freshmart.
We'll also get title action in the Philippines, as the once beaten Clyde Azarcon (12-1, 4) battles against Bonjun Loperez (10-8-1, 5) for the vacant PBF Minimumweight title. Azarcon suffered a loss in his second bout, but has since reeled off 11 straight wins and looked pretty good doing them. Despite his winning run Azarcon has got questions to answer, and he'll be looking to answer some of them here against the more experienced Loperez. The 24 year old Loperez has won 1 of his last 7, but has been matched hard against the likes of Christian Araneta, Lester Abutan, Rene Mark Cuarto and John Paul Bentoso. On paper this looks like a mismatch, but in reality it should be a very good test for Azarcon.
The most notable action this coming Tuesday is from Datong, in China, where we'll get two former world champions taking on younger fighters in what could potentially be a card where two men turn back the clock, or get put out to pasture.
One of those former champions is Xiong Zhao Zhong (26-7-1, 14), the first ever male world champion, who looks to resurrect his career in the show's main event. The former WBC Minimumweight champion hasn't fought in over a year, and is more than 2 years removed from his last win, but has gotten a fight with unbeaten Thai Petchmanee Kokietgym (18-0, 10), with the two men fighting for the WBA “interim” world title at Minimumweight. The 26 year old Thai will be taking a huge step up, but comes into the bout as an unbeaten fighter on his way to world titles and will be very confident of coming out on top here.
The other bout will see world ranked Chinese fighter Can Xu (12-2) take on former champion Nehomar Cermeno (26-6-1-1, 15) in a WBA International Featherweight title fight. Coming in to the bout Xu is closing in on a world title shot, with a #4 ranking with the WBA, but hasyet to score a big win. He'll see this as a huge chance to score a career best win, but it comes against a man who twice beat China's last big hope, Qiu Xiao Jun. This could be a coming out performance for Xu, or another win over a Chinese hope by Cermeno.
There is also a bout of note set to take place in Azerbaijan, with the main event bout against featuring an aged former world champion taking on a younger unbeaten man, looking to move his career forward and score his biggest win.
This time around the unbeaten man is Ramal Amanov (10-0, 1), a 33 year old Azeri southpaw, and the former champion is Zab Judah (43-9-0-2, 30), who was a huge name in the early 00's but is now very much a spent force at the age of 39 and with just a single fight in the last 3 years. Amanov is taking a huge step up here but if he's going to have any sort of notoriety with his career he will have to get past the ghost of Judah here.
This coming Friday isn't packed with action but there are some notable names in action.
Negros Occidental, Philippines
In the Philippines fans get a relatively good looking show with several notable fighters in action.
The main event, a WBC Youth Super Featherweight title fight, will see Argie Toquero (8-3-1, 6) defending his belt against unbeaten puncher Ardie Boyose (15-0-1, 11). On paper this is a really tricky defense for Toquero however the bout is also a step up for Boyose who has been matched softly so far.
Arguably the most interesting bout, on paper, will see Jerry Nardo (20-6, 11) battle against Jason Egera (21-13, 10). This bouts pits two flawed fighters against each other and could end up being a very interesting match up, even if it's not likely to a really highly skilled affair.
The biggest name fighter here is former WBO Minimumweight champion Merlito Sabillo (23-2-1, 12) who fights for the first time since his shock loss to Faris Nenggo last November. Sabillo, who has gone 0-2-1 in his last 3 bouts, will be expected to pick up a straight forward win here against Powell Balaba (8-13-1, 5) though it really is a must win for Sabillo who has been stopped in his last 2 bouts.
Pathum Thani, Thailand
In Thailand fans will be getting a televised show featuring several notable names.
The most notable is Terdsak Kokietgym (56-5-1, 36) who looks to continue his long career as he battles once beaten Filipino Roldan Aldea (9-1-1, 3). Up for grabs here will be the WBO Oriental Super Featherweight title with Terdsak looking to earn himself one more shot at a world title. Unfortunately for the 33 year old Thai he is getting on and it would appear like that his last shot at the top level was his September 2014 FOTY contender with Orlando Salido.
In one of the supporting bouts we'll see the unbeaten Petchmanee Kokietgym (7-0, 2) take on Indonesian visitor Rofiq Aditaya (2-1-1, 2). Aditaya will be fighting in Thailand for the second time, and this one comes less than a month after his defeat to Jirapan Nakorluang, a 3rd round KO.
The second supporting bout of note will see former world title challenger Pigmy Kokietgym (56-7-2, 22) battle against Indonesian foe Ardi Tefa (6-4, 4). Tefa comes in to this bout 0-4 outside of his homeland and it's very hard to see him changing that against someone with Pigmy's experience.
In Germany we'll get the chance to see two Asian fighters in action.
One of those is Kazakh Cruiserweight hopeful Isa Akerbayev (15-0-0-1, 11) take on Brazilian puncher Julio Cesar Dos Santos (27-4, 24). This should be a straight forward win for Akerbayev, however given the fact Dos Santos can punch we may see the Kazakh take his time and fight cautiously against the 37 year old South American.
The other fighter in action here is Filipino tough guy Rey Labao (27-6, 18) who takes on once German Rico Mueller (18-1-1, 13). This is Labao's third successive bout on the road and although he'll be the under-dog he is very live, as seen last time out when he shocked former OPBF champion Masao Nakamura. The one big problem for Labao here will be the weight with the bout having been made at Welterweight rather than his more natural Lightweight or even Light Welterweight.
With a huge weekend coming up we suspect that a bunch of fans really just can't wait for this week to end however we do have some interesting, and we'll admit we use that term liberally, bouts this Thursday.
Probably the most notable bout of the day comes from the new infamous Yemeni Boxing Gym in Sanaa where unbeaten KO machine Ali Raymi (23-0, 23) puts his unbeaten record on the line in an attempt to claim the UBO Light Flyweight title. Raymi will be fighting fellow Yemeni fighter Prince Maz (9-3, 7) in what will be their 4th contest this year. Raymi claimed the lightly regarded IBI Minimumweight title with a 9th round retirement of Maz in October and it seems both men are stepping up a division for a bout that we believe will be aired on Yemeni national TV. We've got to admit that the rivalry between the two men is becoming farcical.
Surat Thani, Thailand
A more serious show comes from Thailand where we see two unbeaten Thai's in regional title fights whilst a former world title challenger is also featured in action.
The main event here will see novice professional Petchmanee Kokietgym (3-0) battle against fellow unbeaten Ardi Tefa (4-0, 3) in a 12 round contest for the currently vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Minimumweight title. Petchmanee will be stepping up to 12 rounds for the first time after scoring solid wins for a novice over the likes of Domi Nenokeba and Wilber Andogan. For Indonesian fighter Tefa this will be his first bout outside of of his homeland and appears to be a big step up for the 28 year old dubbed the "Predator". On paper this looks genuinely interesting though we do suspect the Thai will be too well schooled for visiting opponent.
In the other title fight fans will see the unbeaten Saenganan KKP (9-0, 5) defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Light Flyweight title against Indonesian southpaw Demsi Manufoe (9-3, 6). This will be the first defense from Saenganan who won the title in August when he defeated Filipino Wilber Andogan in what was a less than stellar bout. We're expecting a win from the Thai here though we're unsold on him overall following his less than impressive performance Domi Nenokeba earlier this year.
The aforementioned world title challenger on this card is the highly experienced Sod Kokietgym (63-3-1, 28) who will be fighting for the first time since his opening round loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux back in July. At the time of writing his opponent has yet to be named.
The month of October might still be young but the notable fights continue through the coming days with a number of title fights and world ranked fighters in action.
The most significant Asian fight of the day comes from Tokyo where we get to see the world ranked Suguru Muranaka (20-2-1, 6) defending his Japanese national title. Muranaka will be battling against the little known Yusuke Sakashita (12-4-2, 7). This will be Muranaka's second defense of the title he won last December with a victory over Takuya Kogawa and, with some luck, a win here will help him move towards a world, or OPBF, title fight. Although not a divisional elite Muranaka is a very hard working and talented fighter who we like and would love to see him testing himself against a higher caliber opponent sooner rather than later.
Sadly the rest of this show is poor. The chief support bout is a Lightweight contest which will see Japanese veteran Takashi Inagaki (17-12-1, 7) battling against domestically ranked foe Yusuke Tsukada (6-4, 3). It's an even match up but not one that excites us in the slightest.
One man we are interested in seeing in action is novice Kensuke Sasaki (1-1, 1) who lost on his debut to Kenta Okumura but is tipped as someone with plenty of talent who could go on to national glory. Hopefully Suzuki will get to show that potential as he takes on Indonesian visitor Jack Madison (2-2).
As well as the Japanese card we also have a trio of shows in the Philippines. For us the most interesting of the three is in Batangas with several interesting fighters in action.
One of the bouts on this card will see the promising Rene Dacquel (11-3-1, 3) battle against the once beaten Menard Abila (5-1-4, 1) with both men attemptin to claim the WBC Youth Intercontinental Super Flyweight title. Dacquel has only won 1 of his last 4 bouts though is talented and his stoppage over Yuki Nasu last year was impressive, we're just unsure about him as a Super Flyweight. As for Abila he's taking a clear step up for this bout though it's hard to say how good, or bad, the 20 year old is.
Another interesting bout on this show will see the world ranked, and always fun to watch, Warlito Parrenas (21-6, 19) defending his WBO Oriental Super Flyweight title against Indonesia's Espinos Sabu (11-1-1, 5). We love watching Parrenas in action due to his aggression and power though we did see Sabu go the distance with Rusalee Samor not too long ago and he may be able to surprise Parrenas in what could be the Asian fight of the day.
In a Filipino Flyweight title fight fans will get the chance to see champion Ardin Diale (23-9-3, 10) attempt to record his 5th defence of the belt. Diale, who was involved in an absolute war with Koki Eto earlier this year, will be taking on the unbeaten Renerio Arizala (11-0-1, 4). On paper Diale has to be the favourite due to the clear edge in experience and quality of opponents so far, however Arizala knows that this is a huge opportunity and will boost his standing in the sport massively.
The remaining bout of note on this show will see the explosive Richard Claveras (9-0-2, 9) defending his WBC ABCO Light Flyweight title against former OPBF title challenger Jonathan Refugio (13-4-4, 3). This could be a real test of how genuine Claveras's power really is and if he walks over Refugio quickly we will have to take the unbeaten with some seriousness. For Refugio this will be his first bout since losing a decision to Knockout CP Freshmart in March.
On a second Filipino show, one in Benguet, we will again seen some interesting fighters, though they are less interesting than those involved in Batangas.
The most notable name here is Joneil Dapidran Pacquiao (5-0, 3), the nephew of Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao will be hoping to extend his winning run as he takes on the win-less Jeffrey Garcia (0-1) in what looks to be little more than a squash match to further pad Pacquiao's unbeaten record.
Although Pacquiao is the most notable name on the show he's a long way from being the best on the show. That is probably the world ranked Mateo Handig (13-6, 7) who holds a controversial decision over Katsunari Takayama. Handig will be fighting for the first time in over a year as he takes on novice Julius Bala (3-2, 1) in a 8 round contest. The bout looks like a mismatch though it's likely to be a case of letting Handig shake off some ring rust before taking on more testing foes.
The only title bout on this show will see Argie Toquero (7-3-1, 5) battle against Japanese visitor Takaya Kakutani (7-4, 6) in a bout for the vacant WBC Youth World Super Featherweight title. We'll admit this is a very weak title bout, one of the weakest "Youth" title bouts in a long time. We've got to go with Toguero here, he is the more proven fighter, though neither should be fighting in a title contest like this.
Misamis Oriental, Philippines
The third, and least interesting, of the Filipino shows is in Misamis Oriental.
The headline bout here is a 10 round non-title contest between Jessie Espinas (8-1, 4) and the highly experienced Rodel Tejares (20-30-6, 5). Although Espinas is a promising youngster we don't think this bout should be a main event anywhere, hopefully however Espinas will impress and step up to the plate to put on a great performance and announce himself as a possible contender.
In a 6 round bout we will see unbeaten fighters collide as Jeronil Borres (4-0, 4) takes on Jack Lord Daoay (1-0, 1). This is For Borres this will be his 5th fight since his debut at the start of May and he really looks like an interesting prospect at just 18 years old and having vicious power, sadly though his opponents so far have been poor and inexperienced. Daoay made his debut in Jun and this will be a step up from his debut, though likewise he him self is a step up in class for Borres. Interesting fight.
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
In Thailand we get some interesting action with the unbeaten Paipharob Kokietgym (26-0, 20) defending his PABA Light Flyweight title. Sadly we're confused as to who his opponent is as we've been told it could Mateo Handig, who we believe is actually in action in the Philippines. If it is Handig fighting here it's certainly a very good and is likely to be one of the toughest bouts Paipharob will have fought in so far. It's not Handig we suspect it won't be anyone notable and will be a relatively easy win for Paipharob, sadly. As for this defense we're hoping to see a better performance from Paipharob than we saw in his last out outing against Faris Nenggo.
On the same card we're expecting to see Saenganan KKP (8-0, 5) take on Indonesia's Madit Sada (9-17-1, 3). This should be an easy win for the unbeaten Thai though it is a step up for him and it would be his best win to date.
Another unbeaten man on this card is the promising Petchmanee Kokietgym (2-0) who will be fighting against Johan Wahyudi (9-29, 5). Although a relatively unknown fighter Petchmanee has been pretty aggressively matched and if he wins here he'll likely be moved towards a PABA or WBC Asia or IBF Asia title fight in the next few fights. We's admit that Wahyudi isn't a great opponent but this is still an interesting fight for the unbeaten youngster.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)