Attention is split this coming Sunday with two Asian shows, the most notable which takes place in Pattaya in Thailand and is a card with a really international feel with fighters from all over the globe taking part.
The main event will see Malaysian based Uzbek Anvar Turapov (3-1, 2) take on Filipino foe Roberto Gonzales (28-5, 17) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Welterweight title. On paper this looks like a mismatch, with a huge gulf in experience between the two men, but the reality is that Turapov, even with a loss, is a highly regarded prospect. Gonzalez has one of the sports most padded records and given that Gonzalez has been stopped in 3 of his last 4, we wonder what his ambition is like here. We wouldn't be surprised at Gonzalez looking for a way out when the pressure amps up.
Another title bout on this card will see the unbeaten Thai based Englishman Michael Alan Flannery (5-0, 5) battle Thai local Uthit Punsen (20-5, 11) for the lightly regarded ABF Middleweight title. Flannery, originally from Ormskirk in England, has scored 5 blow out wins in Thailand already, including 3 already this year. This is a step up for the Englishman but we are expecting him to quickly take out his Thai foe, who has already been stopped in 4 of his 5 losses.
Flannery isn't the only fighter with a 100% KO rate on this card, with Malaysian puncher Muhamad Farkhan (9-0, 9) looking to extend his perfect start against Indonesian veteran Alexander Bajawa (43-8-4, 16). On paper this looks a really good test for Farkhan, however the 37 year old Bajawa has been stopped in 7 of his 8 losses and been stopped 5 times in the last 3 years, including a 3rd round loss to Farkhan last December.
As well as the two title bouts we've already mentioned there will be two other minor title bouts, though neither of these are hugely exciting on paper. One will see Murodjon Yokubov (2-0, 1) against 37 year old Thai loser Thongchai Kunram (7-17, 3) whilst the other will have Vaibhav Singh Yadav (5-1, 3) up against Phongsathon Sompol (11-6, 6).
Ulsan, South Korea
The card in Korea is must less deep, but does feature an interesting Korean hopeful in the main event.
The notable hopeful is Korean Middleweight Sung Jae Jo (8-0, 6), who risks his unbeaten record against Thai foe Somprasong Chuenchana (12-15-1, 3). The unbeaten 23 year old Korean is a genuine talent, but has a lot of developing to do if he's to reach his potential. He needs bouts like this to develop his experience, but we don't expect him to be tested too much here.
In a good supporting bout we'll see Ki Chang Go (6-3, 2) take on Joo Ho Lee (5-3-1) in an all-Korean bout at Super Flyweight. Of the two men Go is the more well known, though he is best known for being stopped earlier this year by Masahiro Sakamoto. Lee on the other hand has never fought outside of Korea, though will fancy his chances to score a career best win here.
The biggest card of the weekend comes form Cebu and is a stacked ALA card.
The main event of the card will see former world title challengers Milan Melindo (34-2, 12) and Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (31-4-1, 16) face off to crown a new IBF “interim” Light Flyweight champion, and decide the mandatory challenger for current world champion Akira Yaegashi. Melindo, fighting in his third world title fight, should be favoured here but Fahlan has put in his best performances as the under-dog, and the Thai is of course best known for upsetting Ryo Miyazaki. The bout should be a really intriguing one given the match up, and the fact that the winner moves into a world title bout this is an incredibly significant bout.
In a support bout will see the world ranked Jason Pagara (39-2, 24) battle former world champion Jose Alfaro (28-10-1-2, 24) in an interesting 10 rounder. Alfaro is a long way removed from his short reign as the WBA Lightweight world champion, but still has power and could still hurt Pagara who has shown himself to be a genuine world class fight. Sadly for Alfaro his only chance is a puncher's chance.
Staying with the Pagara family another bout will see the once beaten Albert Pagara (26-1, 18), who was last seen being stopped by Cesar Juaez, take on the tough but limited Raymond Commey (16-3, 9), who we saw lose to Qiu Xiao Jun not too long ago. The bout is a big question of Pagara's mental state, and whilst he should be favoured there is some worries that he will be damaged goods given the way he couldn't see Juarez and was stopped himself as Juarez rode the storm and came back strongly. Commey appears to be very durable and could be a real nightmare down the stretch for Pagara.
A really interesting looking all Filipino under-card bout will see former OPBF title challenger Jimmy Paypa (18-3-1, 6) battle the under-rated Jerry Nardo (21-9, 11) in what could potentially help decide a future OPBF title challenger. On paper Paypa should be favoured, especially given that Nardo has gone 2-5 in his last 7, but Nardo can spring upsets at domestic level and this bout could be a banana skin for Paypa.
Another good looking all-Filipino domestic bout will see Jeo Santisima (11-2, 10) face recent OPBF challenger Rex Wao (11-3, 9) in what look like a potentially explosive bout between very well matched fighters, at least on paper.
One of the most promising Filipino fighters is Kevin Jake Cataraja (4-0, 3) who looks for win #5 as he takes on the more experienced John Kenan Villaflor (6-1-2, 2) on a minor step up, and will hopefully be Cataraja's final bout before being stepped up. Another unbeaten hopeful in action here is the big punching Melvin Jerusalem (10-0, 7), who takes on Bonjun Loperez (10-5-1, 5) in a bit of a stay busy bout for the unbeaten youngster.
A second Filipino card of the day comes from Batangas.
In the headline bout on this card we'll see a rematched between the experienced Roberto Gonzales (27-2, 17) and Ryan Sermona (19-8, 12), who fight for the GAB Lightweight title. On paper it looks like a straight forward first defense for Gonzalez, who has won his last and 7 bouts, however he was stopped by Sermona when the two men first fought back in May 2012 and Sermona will be confident of scoring a second win over Gonzalez.
In an interesting match up we'll see the experienced Al Sabaupan (25-2-1, 20) battle Jheritz Chavez (5-1-2, 3) in a real cross roads. Sabaupan had once been tipped as a world title contender but losses in 2012 and 2013 ended those hopes. Sabaupan has won his last 5 but hasn't shown his early promise in recent years and has only fought twice in he last 25 months. Chavez was beaten last time out but is unbeaten at home and could prove to be a total handful for Sabuapan.
Another bout on the show will see Glenn Porras (29-4, 17) battle against the very limited Jayar Estremos (10-12, 4). Porras was beaten just 2 fights back, though that was back in December 2012 and he has did return to winning ways last time out. Estremos is a very limited fighter and it would be a huge surprise for him to test Porras, even with Porras' recent lack of activity.
Icheon City, South Korea
In South Korea fans will see former world champion Eun Hye Lee (8-1, 3) battle against Thailand's Nongnun Mor Krungthepthonburi (5-3-1) in a bout for the WIBA Flyweight title. Lee was unlucky to not become a 2-weight world champion this year, losing a controversial bout to Nana Yoshikawa. The Thai will be the huge under-dog and we can't see how she wins here.
In Mexico we'll see Japanese born, Mexican based, Shoki Sakai (21-6-1, 13) face off with Jose Lopez (26-6-2, 15) in a really well matched bout. Sakai has suffered back-to-back setbacks, albeit controversial ones, and will be looking to score his second win of the year. Whilst Sakai has been unfortunate this year Lopez had been in a bad run of form, going 1-3-1 in his last 5 bouts over the last 14 months.
Jeju, South Korea
There is a lot of Asian action this coming Saturday though the most interesting, at least on paper, comes from Jeju, in South Korea where fans get a show with a real international flavour.
The undercard features fighters form Japan, China and Korea however it's really the main event that's worthy of attention as Ye Joon Kim (12-1-2, 6) defends his IBF Asia Super Bantamweight title against former world title challenger Angky Angkotta (32-11-1, 18). The talented Kim is the KBF's “face” of boxing and the KBF really need him to succeed if they are are to grow into a relevant group on the fractured Korean scene.
In Japan we have a low level show with only two bouts that are really worth talking about.
One of those bouts will see the once beaten Ken Osato (6-1-1, 3) battle against the more experienced Yushi Fujita (7-6-4, 1). Osato has fought just once in the last 12 months, but that once bout saw him scoring a draw with former Japanese title challenger Kento Matsushita, and it's fair to say that he comes into this bout trying to build on that result. Fujita has certainly got a scrappy record but has gone 6 fights, unbeaten coming into this bout and will be looking to extend that run.
The other bout sees the experienced Ryota Kajiki (26-9, 17), who is a former Japanese title challenger, take on Shota Okuda (7-2, 2). Both men are on small winning runs coming in to this one but neither should considered close to a title shot, though that really says more about how strong the Super Featherweight division is in Japan right now. Despite being away from title level this could well be a very well matched bout, but one that Kajiki should come out on top in.
New South Wales, Australia
The only 12 round bout on the card sees the upset minded Joebert Delos Reyes (15-5-1, 10) take on the unbeaten George Kambosos Jnr (8-0, 4) in a bout for the interim PABA Lightweight title. Kambosos won the title back in July and this will be his first defense, which on paper looks easy but Delos Reyes has shown that he is a threat and wins over Charlie Sugiura, Andrew Wallace, Valentine Borg and Darragh Foley show that he has no fear of facing an unbeaten opponent.
In another title bout on this show fans will see former OPBF Flyweight title challenger Cris Paulino (14-2, 4) take on 39 year old former world champion Vic Darchinyan (41-8-1, 20). Up for grabs is the WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Bantamweight title however it a really tough ask for Paulino given that he's naturally a much smaller, less experienced fighter. Whilst Paulino is the clear under-dog he may well feel that Darchinyan is there for the taking, and the Aussie based Armenian is less than a month form his 40th birthday.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The most notable of two Filipino show comes from Metro Manila and is courtesy of Johnny Elorde Promotions, who will be showcasing several hopefuls.
The most exciting of the bouts on offer will see the unbeaten Giemel Magramo (14-0, 11) take on the dangerous Jenny Boy Boca (10-2, 10). These fighters are both 21 years old and will both know that a victory here would be a statement win. The two are fighting for the WBC International Flyweight title, and a world ranking, and likely to put on a genuinely enthralling bout that sees both putting it on the line. Given that both men have solid power this may not go the distance, but it will be a lot of fun.
On the under-card will be Juan Miguel Elorde (19-1, 10) up against notable Indonesian Rasmanudin (19-12-4, 10). A few years ago this would have been an intriguing test however recently Rasmanudin has looked like a shot fighter and won just once in his last 10 bouts, whilst being stopped in his last 3. We suspect a 4th successive stoppage loss is on the cards for the “Lost Boy”
Juan Miguel's older brother Juan Martin Elorde (18-1-1, 8) will also be in action as he faces Indonesian visitor Master Suro (3-3-2, 1), who is thought to have an incomplete record. If Suro's record is accurate this bout is a bit of a farce, though even if it's not accurate we can't see Elorde really being tested by the
Another Filipino show comes from Bulacan and features a few notable names, though overall is over-shadowed by the Elorde show.
The main event here is a mismatch as Roberto Gonzalez (25-2, 16) takes on RJ Anoos (8-7-1, 2) in a stay busy fight. The 25 year old Gonalez is riding a 5 fight winning streak coming into this one and it should be extended here against Anoos, who has won just once in his last 6 bouts, though that win was a surprising one against Kuninobu Shimamura in Japan. Anoos is better than is record suggests, but shouldn't get a win here.
Sadly much of this card isn't worth noting however we are excited by Arnel Baconaje (3-0, 3) stepping up to the 8 round distance to take on Robin Dingcong (1-3-2, 1). This shouldn't be much of a test for Baconaje, though hopefully the fact his team are confident enough to put him in an 8 rounder means that he will be tested sooner rather than later.
For a second day running fans in Yunnan get some low level Chinese action. The fighters in action aren't particularly notable however A Fu Bai (6-0, 3) does seem like he has some promise and will b risking his unbeaten record against Cai Zheng Yang (3-1-1, 2). Also on this card is the experienced Xinghua Wang (11-13-1), who faces the limited Jian Hai Fei.
Those two bouts are both scheduled for 6 rounds.
Auckland, New Zealand
In New Zealand fans will get the chance to see Indonesian veteran Aswin Cabuy (16-54-4, 7) in action as he takes on the unbeaten Nikolas Charalampous (9-0, 5). This is likely to be Cabuy's 55th professional loss though he has typically been game and may well “give it a go”.