December 5th- Thai double header, Nakano in action in Japan and Central Asian's set for Russian show!
It's fair to say that this coming Saturday is set to be an busy day, despite not being one lined up with super-fights. Instead we get some evenly matched bouts and some prospects in action.
Workpoint Studio, Bang Phun, Thailand
For us the most interesting show this coming Saturday is the latest in the WP Boxing series thanks to NKL and Workpoint, who will be streaming the bout on their Facebook and Youtube channels.
The card is a rare double header on Thai TV and in fairness both of the main bouts are very solid ones.
One of those main bouts will see the unbeaten Apichet Petchmanee (7-0, 2) defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Lightweight title against Musheg Adoian (7-2, 7) in the second bout between the two men. These two fought back in October with Apichet taking a controversial 8 round decision over Adoian, who scored 2 knockdowns and seemed to do enough to take at least a draw. The controversial nature of their first bout lead to calls for a rematch and now, just 2 months later, we see them go again. We can't help but think that Thai based Russian Adoian will be looking to make a point here following the controversial first bout, and Apichet will need to be at his very best to avoid defeat this time around.
The other main bout will see highly touted prospect Thai prospect Phongsaphon Panyakum (10-1, 5) take on former WBC Light Flyweight champion Kompayak Porpramook (60-10, 41), with Phongsaphon looking to defend the WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Flyweight title. The 20 year old Panyakum has been really impressive since losing on debut to Kai Ishizawa, and has gone from a scrawny, under-developed teenage, into a promising, tough and aggressive 20 year old with real raw potential, though potential that certainly needs ironing out. Kompayak on the other hand is a 38 year old who is very much one the back end of his career, but is still a hungry and aggressive fighter who has been testing prospects regularly in recent years, and he could have the style, toughness and energy to be a real handful for the youngster here. Interestingly Kompayak did only get this bout on a few weeks notice, replacing former world title challenger Sarawut Thawornkham, who had to pull out of the bout and then retire, due to health issues.
Also on this card will be 23 year old hopeful Chainoi Worawut (12-0-1, 11), who is already in the WBC world rankings and is tipped for big things. Chainoi, also known as Thattana Luangphon, will be up against Anurak Madua (7-5, 5), in what should be little more than an early blow out win for the unbeaten youngster.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
As well as the action in Thailand we also have some televised action in Japan thanks to Yokohama Hikari and G+ with the latest in the Dynamic Glove series of shows. Compared to many Dynamic Glove cards this is a smaller show, but the two main bouts are certainly worthy of attention.
The chief support bout will see former Japanese Welterweight champion Yuki Nagano (17-3, 13) take on the somewhat limited Masafumi Ando (6-10-2, 3) in an 8 rounder. For Nagano this will be his first bout since losing the Japanese title to Keita Obara back in February, so we do under-stand him having an easier bout, especially when his last 5 have included Riku Nagahama, Yuki Beppu, Ryota Yada and the aforementioned Obara. Whilst Ando is no world beater, and his record makes it fairly clear he's pretty limited, he is only a few fights removed from a big upset win over Toshio Arikawa and if he's in the mood he could be a potential banana skin here. Yes, Nagano is the clear favourite, but this isn't the gimme the records may suggest, especially not after Nagano took a beating to Obara.
In the main event the very promising Mikito Nakano (4-0, 4) will be looking for win #5 as he takes on his first Japanese opponent, Ruito Saeki (7-3-1, 1). The very talented Nakano has looked like a potential star in the making since turning professional in October 2018, and he has been matched hard recently with two good wins against solid Filipino visitors. A win here and we suspect Teiken will begin looking at title fighters for the 25 year old Featherweight hopeful. Saeki on the other hand is a 22 year old in need of a big performance. Entering this bout Saeki has failed to win any of his last 3, but has been matched hard, facing the likes of Takenori Ohashi, Shingo Kawamura and Ken Osato. On paper this should be the best test so far for Nakano, but one we expect him to pass on route to bigger and better things.
RCC Boxing Academy, Ekaterinburg, Russia
After the two cards in Asia we get another card that will be streamed on the RCC YouTube channel for those interested and will feature several notable and interesting Asian fighters.
The most notable of the Asian fighters on this card will be 29 year old Uzbek Welterweight Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (8-1, 5), who won an Olympic gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Sadly since turning professional Gaibnazarov has failed to light up the pros, and had struggled before losing to Mykal Fox in May 2019. This will be his second bout since then and he'll face off with Russian based Armenian Manuk Dilanyan (11-4-1, 4), who should have real size advantage over Gaibnazarov, but we suspect the skills and amateur pedigree of the Uzbek should be enough to see him to a victory here.
Another notable Asian on this show will be unbeaten Kazakh Middleweight Meiirim Nursultanov (13-0, 8), who looks to be fighting in tune up bout after a year away from the ring. The talented Nursultanov will be up against Ilya Balandin (4-3-1, 2), and it's hard to see anything but an easy win for Nursultanov, who we suspect will be looking to shake some ring rust and move on to bigger things in 2021.
Another Asian on this show will be Turat Osmonov (4-0, 3), from Kyrgyzstan, who will be seeking his third win of 2020 as he takes on Zafar Parpiev (8-2, 1). This is a very clear step up in class for Osmonov who has been treat with kid gloves so far, so it'll be interesting to see if he can develiver against someone coming to win. The 32 year old Parpiev tasted a loss last time out and will be looking to avoid successive defeats here. On paper not a great bout, but a fairly interesting one and one that could end up being pretty competitive, more than we can say for some bouts on this show.
Also on this card will be Uzbek opponent Sardor Muzaffarov (4-3, 2), who clashes with former world title challenger Evgeny Chuprakov (22-3, 12). On paper this should be an easy win for Chuprakov, who has struggled mightily since losing to Masayuki Ito at the end of 2018, however this might not be the gimme it first appears. Muzaffarov has been unlucky in all 3 losses, that could easily have swung his way and is likely to be a nightmare for Chuprakov, if he's got any doubt at all in his mind. Yes the Russian former world title challenger should be the favourite, but this should be regarded as a genuine test given his inconsistent recent form
This Sunday is a very quiet day in Asia, though there is a small, yet notable, card in Osaka from Taiho with a couple of interesting domestic clashes.
The main event will see 2-time Japanese Super Featherweight title challenger Ken Osato (15-3-1, 4) take on 20 year old hopeful Ruito Saeki (7-2-1, 1) in what looks like a very interesting match up. Last time out Osato ran Masaru Sueyoshi close in a bout for the Japanese Super Featerweight title, losing a majority decision to the champion, and will be looking to bounce back here in a bout he will be favoured to win. Although Saeki is stepping up, the 20 year old is a very nice, tidy boxer, though lacks power and hasn't yet matured fully. Entering as the under-dog Saeki is a tricky enough fight to ask questions of Osato, and we suspect he will manage to take a round or two from Osato.
Another Osato on this card is Noboru Osato (10-8-4, 2), who takes on the once beaten Ryo Suwa (11-1, 2) in a very interesting bout. The 24 year old Osato has lost his last 2, including a Japanese Youth Featherweigth title bout to Hikaru Matsuoka, but has managed to show that he's no push over and ran current WBO Asia Pacific champion Yuki Strong Kobayashi very close in 2017. Suwa on the other hand is unbeaten in 4, and has rebuilt well following a 2017 loss to Ikuro Sadatsune. Although relatively untested Suwa did score a notable win in December against Noldi Manakane. This one looks almost certain to go the distance, but should still be a very interesting and competitive match up
A third bout of note will see 2016 Rookie of the Year runner up Hibiki Jogo (9-2, 4) take on Indonesian Kichang Kim (9-8-1, 2). The talented Jogo has picked up 2 wins since suffering a loss to Yoshihiro Utsumi in April 2018, and will be expected to score another here as he continues to rebuild his confidence. Kim has been stopped in his 6 bouts outside of Indonesia, including blow out losses in Japan to Hayate Kaji and Yusuke Suzuki, and we'd expect that run to continue here, even if Jogo is not a power puncher.
There's plenty of action set to take place this coming Sunday, even if the quality of that action isn't the best.
For us the most notable card of the day takes place in Okayama, and will be available on demand on Boxing Raise.
The main event of the card will see the talented pairing of Seigo Yuri Akui (12-2-1, 8) and Yoshiki Minato (8-1, 3) meet in a brilliantly matched bout. We like Akui a lot, he's fun to watch, hard hitting and aggressive, but has been stopped in 2 of his last 3, and is certainly not an unbeatable fighter despite having real sting on his punches. Akui has already had success, winning the 2015 Rookie of the Year, and picked up solid wins over Kenji Ono, Ryuto Oho and Masamichi Yabuki, but he really cannot afford another loss at this point. Minato is less well known, but is riding a 4 fight winning run, which lead him to winning the 2018 Rookie of the Year. This could end up being the bout of the day.
Another potential contender for the bout of the day will see Japanese Youth Bantamweight champion Tetsu Araki (13-1-1, 2) make his first defense, and take on the unbeaten Atsushi Takada (6-0-3, 3), in what we're expecting will be a technical war. Neither of these guys is a huge puncher, but both are talented, skilled youngsters each looking to make their name. We're expecting a very, very good fight here. A full preview of this bout can be read here Araki and Takada battle for Youth Crown!
A second Japanese show comes from Gifu, where we'll see a rising hopeful take on a recent OPBF title challenger, looking to get his career back on track. Coming in both men need a win.
The match up will see 20 year old Ruito Saeki (7-2, 1) take on Shingo Kawamura (16-5-1, 8). Saeki was last seen in October, losing to former Japanese Featherweight champion Takenori Ohashi. That losses ended a 4 fight winning run for Saeki, who's other loss came in the 2016 West Japan Rookie of the Year final. Kawamura on the other hand has been stopped in his last 2 bouts, coming up short to Satoshi Shimizu in an OPBF title fight and Reiya Abe. For Kawamura this really is a must win, with a third straight loss likely ending his hopes of getting another major any time soon. For Saeki this is a great chance to get his career back on track a hiccup last time out. A very interesting bout.
Seoul, South Korea
Staying in Asia we also get a title double header from Korea, though if we're being totally honest neither looks to be an amazing match up despite national titles being on the line.
One of the title bouts will see Doo Hyup Kim (10-6-2, 5) make his second defense of the KBM Korean Light Middleweight title, as he takes on unbeaten foe Tae Yun Baek (3-0-1, 1). The 38 year old Kim won the title last year, when he over-came Boo Hyun Baek, but was lucky in his first defense, when he retained with a defense against Kun Woo Kang. Baek , the 27 year old challenger, has never been scheduled for more than 6 rounds, so this is a massive step up in class, but he will go in with the confidence of an unbeaten fighter.
The other title clash will be for the vacant KBM Korean Super Bantamweight title and will pit the unbeaten Han Bin Suh (3-0-2, 2) against Dae Young Lee (2-9-2). The unbeaten fighter is a 19 year old hopeful, who has drawn his last 2, and never featured in a bout longer than 6 rounds. Lee, who has won just 2 of 13 fights, is 40 years old and is 1-6-2 in his last 9. It's hard to say anything positive about this bout.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
It's sad to say that ALA have had a quiet year, the once dominant force in Filipino boxing has all but vanished this year with nothing major having happened, and not on the visible horizon. Their one highlight for the coming weeks will see former world title challenger Jonas Sultan (15-4, 9) travel to South Africa to take on Athenkosi Dumezweni (11-2, 8) in a bout for the WBC silver Super Flyweight title. Sultan is a real talent, one of many talented fighters under the ALA banner, but he's not very exiting and his last 3 bouts, including a loss to Jerwin Ancajas, haven't left great lasting memories. It's alays been hard to pick up a win in South Africa and given Sultan's recent performances he may not do enough to impress the local judges here. Dumezweni doesn't appear to be the next hidden gem of South African boxing, but he can hit and will be strongly supported here.
To kick off the month of October we get the next show in the “Slugfest” series of cards from Kadoebi. The card's the most exciting but is headlined by a former national champion and features 3 notable prospects in supporting bouts.
The main event of the card will see former Japanese Featherweight champion Takenori Ohashi (15-5-2, 10) taking on teenage hopeful Ruito Saeki (7-1, 1). The heavy handed Ohashi was totally manhandled earlier this year when Taiki Minamoto ripped the title from him in April in impressive fashion, stopping Ohashi in 7 rounds and ending his 4 month reign as champion. This will be Ohashi's first bout since that loss. The 19 year old Saeki competed in the 2016 Rookie of the Year and has has shown good skills, but a lack of power is likely to be a major problem, especially here, with Ohashi unlikely to show him respect.
Another fighter looking to return to winning ways is Kazuki Saito (5-1, 5), a talented former amateur stand out who was upset last time out by Amphol Suriyo, aka Pharanpetch Tor Buamas, who really showed how flawed Saito is defensively. The hard hitting Saito is being matched softly here, as he takes on Filipino Rey Ramos (8-9-2, 3), who has been beat in 5 of his last 7 with 3 career stoppage losses. This is clearly a confidence booster for Saito, and we can't begrudge him one those given the stoppage loss.
Another of the under-card bouts features super prospect Ryota Yamauchi (3-0, 3) in what looks to be a stay busy fight. The sensationally talented Yamauchi, who has really impressed us through 2018, will be up against Indonesian foe Rio Nainggolan (4-8, 3). Coming in to this Yamauchi has spent 2018 stopping both Lester Abutan and Yota Hori, to move into the OPBF and JBC rankings at Flyweight. As for the visitor he has fought just once this year, losing to Carlo Cesar Penalosa in 3 rounds. The Indonesian has had no luck at all on the road with losses to the likes of Petch Sor Chitpattana, Juiki Tatsuyoshi, Petch Kokietgym and Penalosa, and we would be massively surprised if Nainggolan managed to last more than 5 rounds with the Japanese wunderkind.
Another notable prospect in action here is the debuting Yuki Nakajima (0-0), the brother of Kazuki Nakajima. The 23 year old is tipped for huge success and will look to shine as he begins his professional career against Thai visitor Somphon Banyaem (3-1, 3), who's only bout of note was a 4th round KO loss to Takamori Kiyama in May, with Kiyama making his debut in that bout. We suspect Nakajima will stop the Thai, and will look to do so quicker than Kiyama, but this is an interesting debut given that it allows for a direct comparison between two young up and comers.