This Friday is a very busy day in Asian boxing with numerous former world champions in action and several really interesting bouts.
The first of the former world champions in action today is former WBC Super Flyweight world champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (29-4-1, 26). The heavy handed Thai will be defending his regional WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Flyweight title against Filipino Bobby Concepcion (11-5-1, 5) in what we suspect will prove to be a disappointingly one sided mismatch. Concepcion comes into this bout on the back of successive stoppage losses and will not be expected to even test the Thai puncher who has scored wins in each of the last two months.
In Tokyo we get a really interesting show, albeit one that is more interesting for those interested in Japanese domestic and Oriental scenes.
The main event promising to be thrilling as the always entertaining Shuhei Tsuchiya (16-3, 14) battles against Japanese based Filipino Ricky Sismundo (26-8-1, 12). The bout pits two Japanese ranked Lightweights against each other with both hoping to recapture some form after recent losses. Tsuchiya enters this bout 2-3 in his last 5 bouts with the most recent losses being stoppages to Leonardo Zappvigna, who stopped him in a bloody 10 round affair, and Masayoshi Nakatani, who dominated him in a 3-round break out win for the Ioka youngster. Sismundo lost his last bout, also to Nakatni, by decision and will know that a win here could open up title opportunities for him in 2015. This is a fantastic bout and should be thrilling for as long as it lasts.
In a second bout between Japanese and Filipino fighters fan will see #2 ranked Japanese Super Featherweight Yuya Sugizaki (19-9-1, 6) battle against heavy handed but limited Filipino slugger Gabriel Royo (9-10-2, 8). This should be an easy win for Sugizaki though Royo's power may keep this interesting early on.
Another bout on this card that has caught out eye will see the OPBF and Japanese Yuta Nakagawa (13-4-1, 8) risking his rankings against the heavy hitting Yuta Saito (7-4-2, 6). Saito was the 2012 All Japan Rookie of the Year MVP though has really failed to shine in his last two bouts, if he catches Nakagawa this could be an interesting fight however Nakagawa should win given his ability and experience.
A fourth bout from this show that we're interested in is a 6 rounder that features the touted Koki Koshikawa (2-0, 1). Koshikawa will be fighting against Ryoji Miyagi (7-4-1, 4) in a clear step up for the Celes gym prospect. Miyagi comes into this bout with no real form having lost his last 2 bouts, including a stoppage to current Japanese Light Welterweight champion Hiroki Okada, however he does have an edge in experience and could well test the promising youngster, who turns 24 just days before this fight.
In the most interesting of two separate Russian cards we will see several notable fighters including two former world champions in the main event. Sadly however a number of these bouts do feel like mismatches.
The biggest mismatch is in the main event, where recent WBO Light Welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov (23-3, 16) battles against Mexican veteran Jose Luis Castillo (66-12-1, 57). In his prime Castillo would have been a perfect opponent to see Provodnikov fight, in fact that would likely have been a classic. Sadly Castillo is now almost a decade past his prime and aged 40 he's unlikely to do much more than be a human puncher here for the “Siberian Rocky”.
In a second 12 rounder fans will see the light hitting but talented Andrey Klimov (18-1, 9) defending his WBO Inter-Continental Super Featherweight title against Mexican visitor Gabino Cota (16-2-1, 14). We suspect that Klimov will win this as Cota has a very padded record, though with 14 stoppages in 19 bouts he may have genuine power that could make this interesting, though it is doubtful.
A third 12 rounder on this show sees the exciting Sergey Lipinets (4-0, 3) going for his first professional title. Lipinets will be hoping to claim the WBO Asia Pacific Welterweight title as he battles against Filipino Ernie Sanchez (14-5-1, 5) in what looks to be an opportunity to let Lipinets into the world WBO world rankings. We like the Russian and we like that he's being fast tracked and in all honesty we can't see anything but a Lipinets win here.
At Cruiserweight we see another former world champion in actual as Cuban veteran Juan Carlos Gomez (55-3-0-1, 20) attempts to end the KO streak of Russian puncher Dmitry Kudryashov (15-0, 15). On paper this is a step up for the Russian though if he wins in style there is little doubt that he'll be moved towards a world title bout in 2015. Gomez is a long way removed from his prime but he's on a nice run of 6 straight wins and knows a win here will move back into the world rankings. We doubt the win is all Kudryashov wants here and he'll be seeking a stoppage to keep his great run going.
A second Cruiserweight bout here will see Rakhim Chakhkiev (20-1, 15) battling against the heavy handed Jackson Junior (15-1, 13) in what looks like a genuinely exciting bout for the Russian ahead of possible world title bout in 2015.
One other notable name down for this show is Olympic champion Egor Mekhontsev (6-0, 6) who will be in his 7th bout of the year. We want to see the Mekhontsev step up now as he's now 30 years old and hasn't got time to waste on many more mismatches, especially given his amateur pedigree, power and ability. Sadly however he is only fighting against Joey Vegas (17-9-1, 10) and this shouldn't be difficult at all for the talented Russian.
On a second Russian show we have a few interesting, though lower level, bouts.
The most interesting bout here comes at Cruiserweight as the promising Yury Kashinsky (4-0, 4) battles against Yuriy Barashian (27-7, 18) in a clear step up for Kashinsky who could become yet another Russian name in the Cruiserweight rankings.
A second notable bout here will see PABA Light Middleweight champion Pavel Mamontov (9-1-2, 2) defending his title against Argentinian fighter Oscar Roberto Medina (24-6-2, 9). We're not big on Mamontov and wouldn't be surprised to see him losing sometime soon, but it's unlikely to be here.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This week comes to an end in brilliant fashion with numerous notable fighters in action across the areas covered by the PABA and OPBF.
The most significant action of the day comes from Russia where we have several interesting bouts that range from a world class match up to a solid break through contest for a promising fighter just beginning to make a name for himself.
The promising fighter is the unbeaten 28 year old Light Heavyweight Sergey Ekimov (11-0, 5) who will be attempting to defend his CISBB Light Heavyweight title against the experienced Czech based Cuban Miguel Velozo (17-2-2, 5), who was very unfortunate in his last bout. This is a great test for Ekimov, easily his toughest so far, though one he should find a way to win if he's as good as some suggest.
A more notable bout comes at Cruiserweight where one-time world title challenger Rakhim Chakhkiev (19-1, 14) battles against former world champion Giacobbe Fragomeni (32-4-2, 13). Fragomeni is solid world level fighter and we suspect he could give Chakhkiev a really hard test here though an impressive win for the Russian may earn him a world title shot next year and with fellow Russian fighters Denis Lebedev and Grigory Drozd holding world titles that could give us an all-Russian world title bout.
The main event on this show will see former Heavyweight title holder Alexander Povetkin (27-1, 19) battle against the very under-rated Carlos Takam (30-1-1, 12) in a fight for the WBC Silver Heavyweight title. The winner here will be put near to the front of the queue for a WBC world title bout next year. They will be behind mandatory challenger Deontay Wilder though will view Wilder, and current champion Bermane Stiverne, as beatable opponents if they face either man next year. This is a tough one for Povetkin but it is winnable, especially in Russia where the officials will likely help him if needed.
As well as the show in Russia we also have an interesting card in Japan courtesy of Watanabe Gym.
The main event on this Russian show will see Hayato Kimura (21-7, 15) looking to bounce back from his loss last time out to Michael Dasmarinas as he takes on the limited and thoroughly unimpressive Kanae Onogi (6-6-1, 3). Kimura's record looks impressive but he's far from being an impressive fighter and has lost his last 3, in fact he has lost 3 of his last 5 and 5 of his last 10 suggesting that he's really nothing special, though he should be good enough here.
In the co-feature we'll get the chance to see the always fun to watch, and heavy handed, Rikiya Fukuhara (29-7-1, 21) who will be taking on the limited Thiendaeng Manoprungroj (1-4, 1). This should be an easy contest for Fukuhara who we suspect may be fighting to shake off some rust before a Japanese title fight next year against Satoshi Hosono in what promise to be an explosive encounter. Of course Fukuhara was supposed to be fighting Hosono earlier this year though had to pull out due to an injury, hopefully the injury will have full recovered by now and he'll be back to his best.
A third 8 round bout on this show will see former OPBF title challenger Ryuichi Funai (21-6, 14) battle against domestic journeyman Toshikuni Wake (8-13-3, 2) in what should be a straight forward win for Funai, even if we don't believe he's a great fighter himself. Wake has won 4 of his last 12 bouts and will likely suffer a stoppage here looking at who has beaten him in the past.
As well as the 3 bouts we've mentioned there will be another 6 contests on the show.
In Thailand we get to see former world champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (46-3, 31) attempting to claim the WBO International Bantamweight title. Pungluang, fighting for the first time since he was stopped by Tomoki Kameda in July, will be fighting against Filipino Bryan Macamay (9-2-2, 5) in what should be a real mismatch in favour of the talented Thai.
On the under-card here we're expecting to see Anuntachai Sor Por Lor Krungthep (6-7, 4) battle against China's You-Jie Zeng (5-6, 5) in what could be a very explosive encounter.
In Australia we see another Asian in action as Indonesia's Ricky Manufoe (23-21-2, 10) battles against the debuting Andrew Maloney (0-0), a former amateur stand out who won a Commonwealth games gold medal. Despite having 46 bouts under his belt Manufoe really isn't likely to give Maloney any sort of a test given how good the Australian is.
(Image courtesy of Watanabe Gym)
Whilst we know almost every boxing fan is looking forward to the action through out Saturday there is plenty going on on Friday to keep fans interested with former world champions, world class fighters and a genuinely great show in Russia.
Surat Thani, Thailand
The earliest action of the day is in Thailand where one time world champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai (53-1-1, 19) defends his WBC International Super Flyweight title against Filipino challenger Noli Morales (10-4, 3), who has suffered all 4 of his losses so far in Thailand. This is the best opponent Morales has faced and that should sum up how we expect the contest to go.
The biggest show of the day is the one in Russia as we get a genuinely fantastic show with several world class fighters in action in some very interesting looking contests.
The main event is the pick of the bouts with former WBA Heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin (26-1, 18) returning to the ring for the first time since his defeat at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko. Povetkin's opponent will be former WBC Heavyweight title challenger Manuel Charr (26-1, 15) and with both men looking to move back into a world title fight this is effective a title eliminator, despite only officially being a WBC international title fight. We'll be honest we're really looking forward to this one and expect it to be a very, very competitive bout between two top 20 Heavyweights each looking to earn their way to a major bout later in the year.
Whilst the Heavyweight clash is brilliant it's also supported by two world class fighters on the undercard. One of these is former WBC Cruiserweight title challenger Rakhim Chakhkiev (18-1, 14) who will be defending his WBC international Cruiserweight title for the first time as he battles former world title challenger Santander Silgado (25-1, 20). Silgado is somewhat known to Russian fans for his loss to Denis Lebedev back in 2012 and has gone 2-0 (2) since then against opponents with a combined record of 44-5-2 despite that he really shouldn't be a problem for Chakhkiev who is a vicious fighter.
The other world class fighter is Lightweight Eduard Troyanovsky (17-0, 14) who has had a disappointing few months due to an injury that has seen a WBA world title bout with Richar Abril fall through. Sadly Troyanovsky's disappointment won't be softened by his very weak opponent, Anton Bekish (5-10, 4), who is tough but has nothing at all to threaten the very talented Russian contender.
A fourth bout of note on this card will see Sergey Lipinets (1-0) return to the ring for his second professional bout. Lipinets, who debuted just a few short weeks ago, will be hoping to score his second win as he takes on the once beaten Serbian fighter Dzemil Cosovic (3-1-1) in a scheduled 6 round bout. We've heard very promising things about Lipinets and we hope he progresses as the Russian media are suggesting he could. If the media are right this youngster has the potential to be a real star.
In the US we get another Russian in action as Medzhid Bektemirov (13-0, 10) puts his unbeaten record on the line against a yet to be named foe.
Thanks, as always, go out to Pal for his information regarding the action in Thailand. With out him we'd be at a real loss in regards to the Thai boxing scene.
(Image courtesy of the 13th round)
This coming Saturday is an easy day to forget in the boxing world, despite British television channel Boxnation's ridiculous attempt to sell a pay-per-view at £27 in the UK. Despite that it does have numerous interesting bouts through both the Western world and the Asian world.
For us much of the action involves Filipino fighters or Russian's who appear to be spread around the world this weekend.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The most interesting of two Filipino shows is the Elorde Int'l Productions show in Paranaque City, a show that features a staggering 11 bouts!
The stand out contest, by a long way, is the main event contest which features former IBF Minimumweight champion Florante Condes (26-8-1, 22), pictured, battling against promising youngster Cris Alfante (10-1, 3) for the vacant IBF Pan Pacific Minimumweight title. If reputation won bouts then this is in the bag for the hard hitting 33 year old Condes however the 21 year old Alfante will know that a victory will put him on the map so to speak and possibly move him to with 2 or 3 fights of a world title contest.
Unfortunately from the 11 bouts the Alfante/Condes bout is the one stand out match up. Saying that however there is another notable name or two on the card, including Dennis Tubieron (16-3-1, 7) who has gone 1-1 with the hard hitting Hiroki Shiino. Tubieron will be fighting against the limited Samuel Apuya (7-16-1, 4). Although Tubieron has been stopped in 2 of his last 3 it's been more than 10 fights since Apuya last won a contest unfortunately making this a bit of a mismatch.
One other fighter on this card that has got our attention is Virden Rivera (6-0-1, 2) who has won his last 6 contests after drawing on his debut. Rivera moves in to the 10 round distance this weekend as he takes on the more experienced Jovill Marayan (8-15-3, 3).
The other Filipino show is in Batangas and will feature a similarly impressive number of bouts at 10 contests.
The most notable contest on this show is also a title bout, albeit a GAB Super Bantamweight title fight, as the unbeaten JR Magboo (13-0-2, 6) takes on former OPBF title challenger Jhunriel Ramonal (13-6-4, 7). Whilst Magboo does go in to this bout unbeaten Ramonal has faced the much better fighters, including Shingo Wake, Hiromasa Ohashi and Silvester Lopez and it's fair to assume those same men would also have beaten Magboo. This looks like a mismatch though should prove to be a compelling and competitive fight between two men looking to state their claim as the best at their weight in the Philippines.
Aside from the main event the other stand out bout here will see Lolito Sonsona (16-1-4, 6), the cousin of former world champion Marvin Sonsona, fighting against Bobby Concepcion (11-3-1, 5), the younger brother of former world title challenger Bernabe Concepcion. Although this is certainly a bout sold on family "names" it does look a surprisingly good contest, although we do favour the more experienced Sonsona.
This card also features the unbeaten Renerio Arizala (9-0-1, 4) in action against a domestic journeyman.
In Moscow fans will get to see a number of notable Russian fighters, the most well known of which are in the Cruiserweight division.
Amongst these Cruiserweights are Grigory Drozd (37-1, 26) who is nearing a world title fight. Before dreams of world titles however Drozd will need to defeat French Cruiserweight champion Jeremy Ouanna (14-8, 3) in what, in all honesty, should be an easy test for the talented "Pretty Boy". A victory for Drozd will almost certainly see him put next in line for one of the champions.
Another of the Russian Cruiserweights looking to earn a crack at a world title is the aggressive and hard hitting Rakhim Chakhkiev (17-1, 13) who takes on Juho Haapoja (20-4-1, 13) in what looks to be a decent match up but not great. We do love watching Chakhkiev though do tend to feel that if he can't take people out early in a bout he does struggle and this is likely to be the case next time he fights a tough world level opponent.
One other Cruiserweight bout on this card sees Maxim Maslov (12-1-1, 8) taking on Anar Mammadov (6-1) from Azerbaijan. This looks like the biggest mismatch from the Cruiserweight contests.
As well as the Cruiserweight bouts this card also features 3 other contests.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Another Russian Cruiserweight is in action in the United Kingdom as former WBA interim champion Valery Brudov (41-4, 28) battles against recent Light Heavyweight title challenger Tony Bellew (20-2-1, 12). Bellew, who was stopped last time out by Adonis Stevenson, has claimed that this move was long over-due, despite stating otherwise less than a year ago. Unfortunately Brudov however his career is long over-due and you need to go back to 2006 to find a win of note on his record.
With the WBO International Cruiserweight title up for grabs Brudov may be all to roll back the clock though we doubt it.
In the US a former opponent of Tony Bellew's, Isaac Chilemba (21-2-2, 9) will also be looking for a victory over a Russian as he takes on Light Heavyweight Denis Grachev (13-2-1, 8). We again struggle to see Grachev winning though this should certainly be more interesting than Bellew/Brudov.
In Germany we're expecting to see Azerbaijan's Welterweight hopeful Fariz Mammadov (14-2-1, 8) in action though he currently has no opponent listed.
(Photo courtesy of boxrec.com)