Tacoma, Washington, USA
This coming Friday is a day that really doesn't have much of an Asian interest, however there is one Asian scheduled to fight, and that is unbeaten Uzbekistani fighter Ravshan Makhamadjonov (12-0, 8). Sadly at the time of writing Makhamadjonov doesn't have an opponent for the show listed, and this is really a shame as the unbeaten youngster has already seen several bouts fall through this year. Although unbeaten the 22 year old Makhamadjonov is pretty untested with his toughest bout to date being a razor close 2020 win over Volodymyr Hordiienko in Russia. Since then he was supposed to make his US debut, several times over, but has repeatedly seen cancellations. Whilst certainly not an Uzbek amateur standout Makhamadjonov is talented, he's young and he's exciting and it is a massive shame his career really hasn't kicked on this year and that no opponent has been secured for this bout at the time of writing.
This Friday isn't a big day for Asian fighters, but there are some bouts of interesting taking place.
Tacoma, Washington, USA
Unbeaten Uzbekistani Ravshan Makhamadjonov (12-0, 8) looks to make his US debut this Friday, though sadly his opponent has yet to be confirmed for the bout. The exciting 22 year old Light Middleweight is the WBC Youth Champion at 154lbs, and has been carving out his career in Uzbekistan and Russia so far, so it is great to see him making an appearance in the US, but with no opponent named it's hard to feel like he's going to be tested here, which is a shame. Makhamadjonov is certainly promising but his competition has, on the whole, left much to be desired, and we suspect that'll be the cas again here.
Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee, Florida, USA
Staying in the US we'll see the debut of US based Uzbekistani hopeful Otabek Kholmatov (0-0), who was a solid amateur and shined in the 2016 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships, where he picked up a bronze medal after losing to Hayato Tsutsumi. Although not one of the top Uzbek amateurs, Kholmatov is certainly going to be one to watch. Sadly however his opponent for this bout has yet to be announced, which is a real shame as it would suggest the opponent is going to be a very late notice foe.
Hotel Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
On a card in Dubai we'll see unbeaten Kazakh prospect Bekman Soylybayev (12-0, 4) taking on fellow unbeaten Ramiro Cesena (13-0-1, 11), from Mexico. For Soylybayev this will be his first bout in almost 4 years, but before his lengthy lay off, he was on the verge of some interesting fighters, having won and defending a WBC minor title at 130lbs and scored a notable win over tough veteran German Meraz. Sadly though with so long out of the ring it's hard to know what he has in the tank. Cesena on the other hand has score 4 wins since the start of 2020, including 3 by stoppage, and he has all the momentum coming in to this. This could be a very, very painful night for the Soylybayev if he has any ring rust coming into this.
The month of April is already under way and this Saturday we are getting a treat with a stacked day of action, featuring prospects, debutants, world title contenders and, best of all, a huge world title bout in Uzbekistan! In fact we are getting the greatest professional boxing event in Uzbekistan's history!
Humo Arena, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
We'll start with the Uzbek card, which is really something special and something super stacked! In fact it's up there with the most notable cards of the year so far.
The main event will see unified Super Bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6) defending his WBA "super" and IBF Super Bantamweight titles against Japanese challenger Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17), in a mandatory defense. Akhmadaliev won the titles last year, when he beat Danny Roman, and has had to wait over a year to return to the ring as a champion. He will be the strong favourite, and the clear fan favourite for what is a massive home coming fight. Iwasa on the other hand is looking to reach the pinnacle of the sport for a second time, having previously held the IBF title. The hard hitting Japanese fighter can blow very hot and cold, but looked fantastic last time out, dominating Marlon Tapales. Sadly that was in December 2019. Despite the lengthy lay offs for both men this is a mouth watering bout and it deserves a lot of attention. Potentially the best bout of the entire month! Our in depth preview of this match up can be read here Akhmadlaiev and Iwasa clash at last!
In one of the main supporting bouts we'll see the highly regarded Israil Madrimov (6-0, 5) take on the hard hitting Emmany Kalombo (14-0, 14), in a mouth watering match up. Madrimov has looked like a future world champion in the making since his 2018 debut, though looked underwhelming last time out, against the tough and awkward Eric Walker. He'll be wanting to shine here and make a statement in his first bout since that one. Congolese born South African based Kalombo on the hand will be going in to this bout knowing that he has a huge chance to announce himself to the world. It's a huge opportunity for Kalomobo, but he will be the big under-dog. Given unbeaten records and the combined 95% KO ratio we don't expect this one to go the distance. Instead we expect a short but explosive contender. Don't blink.
Another established Uzbek on this card is Shakhram Giyasov (10-0, 8), who takes on experienced Mexican fighter Patricio Lopez Moreno (28-4, 20). On paper this looks like it should be a straight forward win for Giyasov, a 2016 Olympic silver medal winner, but Moreno is a credible competitor and we suspect he'll give Giyasov a number of questions to answer here. Giyasov should have the tools to pick up a win, but we don't think he'll have an easy time.
One man who will be looking to establish himself in the professional ranks on this show is 2016Olympic gold medal winner Hasanboy Dusmatov (2-0, 2), who has failed to set the world alight since turning professional, but clearly has the talent to do so. He'll be up against Tanzania's Muhsin Kizota (11-2, 5) in what should be a real showcase for the unbeaten Uzbek. Kizota is tough, durable and will be hungry, but Dusmatov is a special talent, and he should be far, far too good for the Tanzanian fighter.
We won't go through the entire under-card, but it will feature touted Heavyweight prospect Bakhodir Jalolov (7-0, 7), the explosive Elnur Abduraimov (7-0, 6), the talented Sanjar Tursunov (2-0, 1) and debuting former amateur standouts Ikboljon Kholdarov (0-0) and Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov (0-0). We suspect at least 2 of these 5 will go on to win world titles one day in the future, though all 5 have that level of potential.
Round 10 Boxing Club, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
A second show worthy of major attention comes from Dubai, where we get several bouts featuring Asian fighters. This card is headlined by WBO Super Featherweight champion Jamel Herring defending his title against Carl Frampton, but it's Asian action we're interested in.
The most notable of the Asian fighters on the show is 4-weight world champion Donnie Nietes (42-1-5, 23), who returns to the ring for the first time since beating Kazuto Ioka for the WBO Super Flyweight title at the very end of 2018! The talented Filipino really has had a couple of years to forget, sitting on the sidelines and watch the Super Flyweight division set on dire whilst injuries and issues with ALA Promotions cost him a potential super fight. In the opposite corner to "Ahas" will be Colombian veteran Pablo Carrillo (25-7-1, 16), who shouldn't be a real test for Nietes, but could ask some questions of the 38 year old Pinoy. If Nietes is as good as he was, he should win with ease, but we do wonder the the long lay off done to him.
In a really good looking match up the unbeaten Zhankosh Turarov (24-0, 17) will be up against Tyrone McKenna (21-2-1, 6). Sadly Turarov has wasted a lot of his potential, and despite still being unbeaten it seems that injuries, inactivity and a bit of an aimless career will never reach the heights that many predicted. Turarov is now 30 and he's at the point where he needs to be focused on the sport. McKenna is no world beater, but he's a very solid fighter all the same, and he the tenacity and hunger to be a a real threat to Turarov's unbeaten record. This could end up being a real gut check for "Da Kazakh Kid".
Another Kazakh on this card in an interesting looking match up is Tursynbay Kulakhmet (2-0, 1), who defends his WBC International 154lb title against unbeaten Venezuelan Heber Rondon (20-0, 13). The talented Kulakhmet impressed in the amateurs, looked like a sensation in his professional debut, then looked like a power but limited fighter in his second professional bout. We're expecting a much better performance here from him than we got last time. As for Rondon his record is unbeaten but under-whelming and he lacks wins of any real value. In fact this will be his toughest bout so far. Worrying for a 34 year old with a 20-0 record.
Workpoint Studio, Bang Phun, Thailand
Back over in Asian we get the latest show in the WP Boxing series of shows thanks to Workpoint and NKL. This card is certainly not a big one, but it's a notable one, with two bouts worthy of attention.
One of the two bouts is a flat out mismatch, as WBC ranked Bantamweight Nawaphon Por Chokchai (50-1-1, 40) takes part in a stay busy bout against Sophon Klachun (5-5-1, 1). The bout really is match up designed to keep Nawaphon active after a frustrating start to the year, which included planned world title fight falling through. We don't like matches like this, especially given this is the fourth successive "stay busy" bout for Suriyan, but it's much better than his sitting twiddling his thumbs doing nothing.
The other bout is a much better match up, as the unbeaten Apichet Petchmanee (8-0, 2) defends his WBC regional title against veteran Kaewfah Tor Buamas (29-7, 19). This bout "should" be an easy one for the talented Apichet, but it's hard to know with him. At times he has looked really, really good, but recently he has shown some real limitations and is lucky to still be unbeaten. Kaewfah was once a solid fighter but has now lost his last 3 and seems to be on the back end of his career. The veteran might have some tricks up his sleeve, but it would be a big surprise to see him pick up a victory here.
On a second show in Thailand we'll see an interesting looking match up between former world title contender Petch CP Freshmart (59-1, 44), aka Tasana Salapat, and fellow Thai Kongfah Nakornluang (33-3, 21), aka Chaiwat Buatkrathok. The bout will see Petch defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Bantamweight title, and looking to begin his slow climb towards another major fight. On paper this looks like a good bout. Interestingly this bout was meant to take place way back in December, on Christmas day in fact, but was cancelled at short notice and pushed back more than 3 months.
Balai Sarbini Convention Hall, Jakarta, Indonesia
We're set to get low quality action in Indonesia, though it's a show that may unearth some gems, with 3 unbeaten prospects on the card in scheduled 10 rounders. Their opponents are very limited but it's still interesting to see novices in such long bouts this early in their careers.
Before we look at those prospects we want to quickly tough on a match up between James Mokoginta (40-18-3, 26) and Isack Junior (26-15-3, 9) which is an interesting one. Mokoginta, a 51 fight veteran, is only 30 years old and seems to have been around for a life time, having debuted way back in 2004. Coming in to this he has all the momentum, riding a 10 fight unbeaten run. Junior on the other hand started his career 22-1-2 (8) and seemed to be on his way to some sort of success. Since then he has gone 4-14-1 and appears to pad records for fighters. We're expecting another defeat for Junior here.
As for the prospects one of those is Christo Gara (2-0, 1), who seems to have debuted in 2019 and put in two solid performances. He'll be up against the very limited Jack Madison (2-19) in a bout that should easily move Gara to 3-0. Another man who should pick up a very easy win is Doni Syafyendro (1-0) who takes on 46 year old Harri Hutagalung (1-16), who scored his only win way back in 2010, in his debut, and has had 16 losses in a row since then, with 12 of those losses coming by stoppage.
The third prospect, and the most interesting, is Indonesian Heavyweight hopeful Alam Syaputra (1-0, 1). Yes, you did read that, an Indonesian Heavyweight. In fact he's a natural Heavyweight and he's a genuine big lad, who looked impressive and imposing in his 2019 debut against Michael Wattimena. He'll be expecting his second professional win when he takes on David Koswara (12-16-2, 4), who, is a Heavyweight now, but began his career at Welterweight. This should be a bit of a farce, but it'll be interesting to see Syaputra back in action and he's someone who want to keep an eye on in the coming years.
Pyramide, Kazan, Russia
Over in Russia we're expecting to see Kazakh female fighter Firuza Sharipova (12-1, 6) take on Sofya Ochigava (4-0, 1), in the second bout between the two women. Sharipova, once one of the most noteworthy fighters in Kazakhstan, has seen the media cool down on her significantly over the last 24 months but a win here would see the press talking about her a lot, again. As for Ochigava a win here would see her repeat her 2016 win over Sharipova, in what was the professional debut for both women.
Also pencilled in for this card is 21 year old Uzbek hopeful Ravshan Makhamadjonov (11-0, 7). The talented Makhamadjonov really needs a step up in class this year, having now been a professional for around 4 years, but unfortunately he's had no opponent confirmed at the time or writing, suggesting he'll be up against a short notice opponent, and probably a limited one at that.
USC Soviet Wings, Moscow, Russia
In Russia this coming Friday Uzbek promotional outfit Shamo Boxing put on their next show, and it's a lengthy card with a number of exciting Asian fighters on it and a number of very talented fighters, from both Central Asia and Russia.
The most notable of the fights to feature an Asian fighter will see unbeaten Uzbek hopeful Ravshan Makhamadjonov (10-0, 7) battle against once beaten Ukrainian Volodymyr Hordiienko (8-1, 3) for a WBC Youth title. Although not regarded as highly as some of the other Uzbek youngsters Makhamadjonov looks like a real classy prospect, and unlike many of his top countrymen he's able to build his record away from the eyes of the wider boxing world, and take his time to develop. Sadly we were unable to find footage of Hordiienko, but this looks like it's a step up for him and one of his toughest bouts, on paper. As with many WBC Youth title bouts, the winner will be taking a notable step forward with their career.
In a rather weird looking match up Russian based Kazakh born fighter Vladimir Kelesh (7-0, 5) will be taking on Russian veteran Valery Brudov (44-15, 30), who was last seen in the ring in December 2018 and us without a win since a victory back in April 2017. We've yet to see Kelesh in action but this is a huge chance for him to get a recognisable name on his record. Brudov is shot to pieces, but does have some name value, still.
Russian based Uzbek Ravshan Ergashev (5-0, 2) looks to continue his development as he takes on ISreal born Russian novice Mikhail Ostroumov (1-0, 1). On paper this looks like one where Ergashev should be favoured, but Ostroumov's sole win, over Karen Avetisyan, is far better than anything on Ergashev's record. This should be a very interesting match up, even if neither man is particularly experienced.
One other man pencilled in for this show is Kazakh fighter Iskander Kharsan (7-1, 6), who will be looking to bounce back from his 2019 upset loss to Thomas Essomba. Sadly at the time of writing his opponent for this bout hasn't been named, and isn't expected to be anyone too testing given his loss last time out.