Hong Kong, China
The most notable card this coming weekend comes from Hong Kong of all places.
The headline bout on the card will see three secondary titles being unified as local star Rex Tso (20-0, 12) takes on former 2-time world title challenger Hirofumi Mukai (13-4-3, 3) in a bout that both men will see as a must win. The aggressive Tso will be favoured here, especially given the home advantage, but Mukai has impressed recently and stopped Inthanon Sithchamuang in 2 rounds back in November. The bout will be brawler against boxer and could a very compelling contest.
In an all Filipino support bout we'll see the talented, but currently struggling, Mark Anthony Geraldo (33-7-3, 15) take on countryman Kenny Demecillo (12-3-2, 7) in a bout for the WBO Oriental Bantamweight title. Coming in to this Demecillo is on a solid 5 fight fight unbeaten run with two wins against Daryl Basadre and another win against Jestoni Autida. That run will fill Demecillo with a lot of confidence but it's fair to see that Gerlado will come into this knowing he needs a win. The experienced man has lost 3 of his last 5 and desperately needs to steady the ship.
In a Philippines Vs Japan bout we see big punching Filipino Rey Megrino (23-20-4, 20) take on Japan's Yuki Strong Kobayashi (10-6, 5). Megrino has gone 8-0-1 (7) in his last 9, with notable wins against Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, Myung Ho Lee and Ernesto Saulong, and will be expecting to continue that rich vein of form here. Kobayashi has struggled in recent fights, going 2-3, but has mixed at a good level with losses to Ye Joon Kim and Takahiro Yamamoto and will be looking to use those experiences against Megrino.
Another bout with a metropolitan feeling will see Japan's teak tough Takuya Watanabe (30-7-1, 16) take on Thai veteran Khunkiri Wor Wisaruth (24-18-2, 16). The bout should be a mismatch in favour of Watanabe, though the Japanese fighter will be looking to make a statement following a wide loss to Masayuki Ito at the end of 2017.
There will also be action in Queensland featuring some Asian fighters.
One of those bouts will see local fighter Steve Spark (4-1, 4) take on Chinese fighter Zhen Yang Cai (4-2-1, 2). On paper this looks really well matched, though it should be noted that Cai has gone 1-2-1 in his last 4 and has never fought outside of China prior to this contest.
Another bout pitching a local against a Chinese visitor will see the unbeaten Brent Rice (5-0, 2) take on Li Fu Hu (4-2, 2), with Hu taking on his biggest test so far. The Chinese fighter, has proven to be limited and shouldn't pose many questions for Rice, but will be a trier and certainly will come to test the local
It's also worth noting that Hero Tito (22-12-2,8) and Jack Asis (35-19-5, 18) as both set to fight on this card, against different opponents, but neither man has had their foe named as of yet.
Things really take off over the weekend with some really notable fighters and some intriguing match ups.
Hong Kong, SAR China
The biggest card of the day comes from Hong Kong and promises a lot of exciting, despite not being littered with the biggest or best names in the sport. There should be a lot of action and should be a lot of fun for fight fans at the venue.
The main event of the card will see unbeaten fighters Rex Tso (19-0, 12) and Ryuto Maekawa (11-0-1, 7) face off in a bout that looks great on paper. Of the two Tso is by far the better known fighter, and has carved out a following thanks to Bob Arum and Top Rank who show cased him in various Macau shows. The bouts that helped Tso build a following were exciting fights and although he showed flaws he was fun. Maekawa on the other hand has really looked poor, despite being unbeaten, and seems to either blow opponents away or struggle over the finishing line.
In an interesting supporting bout Jay Solmiano (18-3-1, 14) will be up against the once beaten Chaloemporn Sawatsuk (17-1, 13). For Chaleomporn this bout will be his first since he was stopped, in a round, by Azizbek Abdugofurov he is however dropping down from Middleweight where that bout took place. Solmiano, a former OPBF title challenger, will be looking to record a second straight win since his 2014 loss to Keita Obara.
Another supporting bout will see unbeaten Australian Paul Fleming (22-0, 14) face off with Filipino Jerope Mercado (27-8-3, 9). The 36 year old Mercado was a very solid fighter at Bantamweight a few years ago, now however he is a man looking like he's at the end of his career and has gone 3-7 in his last 10. The unbeaten Fleming is a promising fighter and a win here should be expected, though it's where he goes next that could be really interesting.
Another supporting bout will see the criminally over-looked Filipino Rey Megrino (22-20-4, 19) face off with Indonesian Jason Butar Butar (20-18-1, 14). On paper this is a really, really, well matched bout between two fighters who look like heavy handed journeymen. In reality however this should be a mismatch, despite Megrino fighting well above his usual weight. Megrino is fringe world class and shouldn't struggle here, despite moving up in weight.
The biggest bout of the day with an Asian fighter comes from Mexico and sees former WBO-WBA “super” Flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada (33-2, 24) take on Filipino journeyman Raymond Tabugon (18-5-1, 8). The bout will be Estrada's first in over a year and although Tabugon will be the under-dog it may be the best time for him to face a guy like Estrada, who is moving up in weight, has been injured and inactive.
New South Wales, Australia
There will also be some Asian interest in Australia where two Asian fighters will be in action.
One of those Asian's is Indonesian Rusmin Kie Raha (14-10-2, 3) who faces Valentine Borg (12-2, 8) in what looks likely to be Kie Raha's 11th loss. The Indonesian has gone 3-8 in his last 11 bouts and he has been several times recently, including an opening round blow out to Hyun Woo Yuh. Whilst Borg is flawed he should be far too good for the visitor here.
Another bout on this card sees debutant Satali Tevi Fuamoano (0-0) face Thai foe Pramool Boonpok (1-24-1). Given Boonpok's record it's fair to say that this is a safe debut for Fuamoano.
Their will also be an obscure Korean show in Gapyeong, which will be the first from a new Korean boxing body. The details on this are scarce but it's clear this will feature two "Korean" title bouts.
Negros Occidental, Philippines
To begin action for April we get a trio of OPBF “interim” title fights, and although we don't agree with interim title fights these fights do all have some appeal.
One of those “interim” OPBF title fights comes at Super Flyweight where local fighter Rene Dacquel (16-6-1, 5) battles unbeaten Thai hopeful Lucky Tor Bumas (7-0, 7). Dacquel came up short last December in a bout for the regular OPBF title, losing to Takuma Inoue, and will be hoping that it's second time lucky here. As for the Thai this is a huge step up in class and it's hard to see him continuing his perfect record here.
Another of those “interim” OPBF title fights comes at Super Featherweight where the under-rated Carlo Magali (19-7-3, 10) battles former OPBF Featherweight title challenger Mark Gil Melligen (21-6-1, 12). It's hard to see why either of these men are fighting for an OPBF title fight, however the contest should be a good one, with both knowing that a win would be a defining moment in their career.
The best of the “interim” title fights will come at Bantamweight and see the heavy handed Rey Megrino (22-20-3, 19) face off against the criminally under-rated Jonathan Baat (30-7-4, 14). This could be a genuinely thrilling match up, and although the records of the two men may not be impressive the bout is almost certainly going to be something very special.
Another bout of note on this card will see Venezuelan Omrri Bolivar (3-0, 1) battle Filipino Gerry Patenio (4-10-2, 2). This is Bolivar's third bout in Asia and we're expecting him back, in China, later in the month. If he can get past Patenio here.
District of Columbia, USA
In the US fans will see promising Kazakh Shyngyskhan Tazhibay (2-0, 2) risk his unbeaten record as fellow unbeaten Riarus Dudley (2-0-1, 2) in what looks like a very interesting 4 rounder.
Hong Kong, SAR China
The biggest Asian show this coming weekend comes from Hong Kong where fans get the home coming event of the nation's boxing son
In the main event fans will see local star Rex Tso (17-0, 10) battle against Australian visitor Brad Hore (5-1) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Flyweight title. Tso, who has been a popular star on the shows in Macau appears to be trying to help build the sport back home in Hong Kong however this bout is unlikely to be anything more than a showcase for the “Wonder Boy”. Given his position however we suspect we won't see Tso in a competitive looking bout until he's secured a world title fight.
Another title fight will see Thailand's limited Petchsuriya Singwancha (14-10, 8) take on Australian based Welshman Kerry Hope (22-7, 2) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Middleweight title. Petchsuriya, a former WBC Youth champion, has been stopped numerous times but is better than his record suggests. Saying that however he will be the under-dog against Hope, a former European Middleweight champion.
One under-rated, but notable, fighter on this card is the heavy handed Filipino Rey Megrino (21-20-3, 18) who will be up against Thailand's Khunsuk Twins Gym (11-1, 6). Megrino, on paper, has a journeyman's record but in reality he's a very dangerous fighter who has often taken bouts on short notice and still managed to score more than his share of upsets. Going by the records Megrino is the under-dog but in reality he should totally rip his Thai foe apart in what is a mismatch “against” the records.
Another Megrino in action on this card is Randy Megrino (15-18-3, 3), who is up against the unbeaten Kane Cassells (5-0, 2). Randy, like Rey, has a poor looking record unfortunately however his record is reflective of his ability and as a result it wouldn't be a shock if Cassells wins here.
On the Chinese mainland fans get another show with a number of bouts, 3 of which have caught our eye.
One of those will see promising Filipino Robert Udtohan (22-1-3, 14) battle against the limited but local Wang Xinghua (11-12-1). This should be Udtohan's 23rd win but he will know that he'll need to make sure this one isn't close considering he's fighting on the round. Interestingly this will be Udtohan's second bout in China.
In a battle of unbeaten fighters Bai Shan Bo (2-0-1) will be fighting Cai Zheng Yang (3-0-1, 2). Whilst it's hard to predict the quality of either man we do like the fact that unbeaten fighters are facing each other early in their career, something that doesn't happen often enough in this day and age.
The other bout of note here will see former world champion Merlito Sabillo (24-2-1, 12) face a yet to be named opponent.
The action this week is a bit thin on the ground with very little in terms of notable fights, never mind big fights, and unfortunately this means the biggest fights aren't very big at all.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The only show on Wednesday, despite a series of great Japanese shows these past few Wednesdays, is in the Philippines at the Hyatt Hotel in Metro Manila.
Although the show is a low profile one the main event is an interesting one as Filipino Light Flyweight champion Jerson Mancio (18-4-3, 9) defends his title against Benezer Alolod (13-5-5, 3). Mancio, best known for losing in an OPBF title fight with Naoya Inoue, will be favoured over Alolod despite the fact Alolod holds the better win, a decision over Rey Loreto. Both men have been in with good opponents though both have lost to the the best opponents they have faced and the winner her probably notches their most notable result, as well as the GAB title.
In the chief support contest the world ranked Rey Megrino (20-20-3, 17) takes on the unbeaten Ernesto Saulong (14-0-1, 5). The men have massively different records but Megrino must go in to this bout as the favourite despite winning less than 50% of his contests. Megrino is ranked #10 by the WBC at 112lbs and comes in to this bout in the form of his life with 5 straight victories including notable wins over Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, Kenji Kubo and Myung Ho Lee. Saulong may be undefeated but this is clearly a major step up for him against a dangerous, dangerous puncher.
As for the other bouts on this show the most interesting is the one that features the promising Rolando Servania (6-0, 2) taking on Marlon Arcilla (3-2, 1). Servania, the younger brother of the excellent Genesis Servania, is talented though will have to be a sensational talent to ever be really compared to his brother. Despite the fact Rolando isn't the fighter Genesis is this should still be a straight forward victory for Rolando.
(Picture, of Rey Megrino, is courtesy of boxrec.com)