This coming Sunday isn't a big day for Asian boxing but there are a few shows taking place with some action on them.
Jekpe-Jek Arena, Nur-Sultan (Astana), Kazakhstan
The most notable card of the day is in Kazakhstan where we see some notable unbeaten fighters look to step up and show what they can do.
One of those unbeaten fighters is 22 year old Heavyweight hopeful Danila Semenov (3-0, 2), who looks to score his second win of the year as he takes on the experienced Vikapita Meroro (30-10, 15), from Namibia. Semenov has looked good since beginning his professional career, and it is hard to criticise him and his team for this match up, but Meroro is a 36 year old who is 2-6 in his last 8 and has been stopped 5 times in those 6 losses. Semenov should pick up the win, with out any problems, but we would like to see him in with better opponents than this sooner rather than later.
Another touted youngster on this card is 21 year old Yevgeniy Pavlov (4-0, 3), who is stepping up in impressive fashion to take on the once beaten Isaac Sackey (25-1-1, 20) in a bout for the WBA International Super Bantamweight title. Pavlov was a stellar amateur and the way his team are moving him is really impressive. He appears to have the talent to go a long way and we don't imagine Sackey will be much of a test, despite his impressive looking record. Sackey, from Ghana, will be fighting away from home for the first time, and it's always interesting to see how fighters look when they away from home. Sadly we don't imagine Sackey is going to travel well.
A genuinely interesting match up at Super Middleweight will see 23 year old Kazakh hopeful Bek Nurmaganbet (4-0, 2) take on former Ryota Murata opponent Bruno Sandoval (21-4-1, 17) in a bout for the WBA International title at 168lbs. Nurmaganbet was regarded as one of the best Kazakh amateurs a few ago and turned professional to a lot of fanfare, but hasn't yet really shown what he can do, something we expect to see change here as he takes a big step up in class. Sandoval is a decent fighter, but he is 3-3 in his last 6 with all 3 of those losses coming by stoppage, including one to Murata in 2016 one to Louis Toutin in 2019. The Kazakh should win here, but it's nice to see him in with someone who has faced some notable fighters and has some ambition of his own.
The main event is a brilliant Super Middleweight bout as unbeaten Kazakh Aidos Yerbossynuly (15-0, 10) takes on Lennox Allen (22-1-1, 14), who was last seen losing to Cuban sensation David Morrell just over a year ago. Yerbossynuly was supposed to get a world title eliminator earlier this year, before a case of Covid19 forced him to cancel those plans, and he's been out of he ring for a while now. Rather than having an easy stay busy he's in there with a solid fighter in Lennox, though Lennox will, clearly, be the under-dog. This should be a genuine test for the Kazakh, but he needs to begin kicking on sooner rather than later, especially given how he pulled out of the aforementioned eliminator.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Over in Dubai we have a really interesting card, but that one really doesn't make too much sense. It's a card that features some notable non Asian names, such as Diego Gabriel Chaves. It's a card that really does look like it's been thrown together at random and has got some strange match ups as a result.
The strangest of the match ups on the show will see once touted American Light Middleweight Glen Tapia (23-5, 15) take on Thailand's Saddam Kietyongyuth (28-8, 22), who was at his best down at 135lbs and 140lbs. Saddam was once regarded as a promising fighter bus has gone 2-6 in his last 8 and is not a natural fighter at Welterweight, never mind Middleweight, where this bout will be. This should be a very, very easy win for Tapia.
Another odd looking bout is a clash between Filipino puncher KJ Natuplag (8-3, 7) and Colombian fighter Argel Berrio (18-8, 11). On paper this one doesn't look too odd, but Berio is moving up from Bantamweight to Featherweight for the contest. We expect this one will be exciting, and a bit of a shoot out, but Natuplag should be too big, too strong and too powerful for Berrio.
Thankfully there is an all Asian bout on the card that really does actually have something going for it, and that's a bout between Sachin Dekwal (10-0, 6) and Muhammad Bilal (9-1-1, 7), in what looks pretty much like a 50-50 style bout for the WBA Asia Lightweight title. The unbeaten Dekwal has impressed in his homeland of India, and he'll know this is a chance to really build his name, but is also stepping up, massively here to take on a man who wants to beat him, and not just make up the numbers. Bilal, from Pakistan, was beaten last time out, at the end of 2020, but feel confident he has the power to hurt his foe. Given the issues between India and Pakistan we can imagine tensions running high here, and this could be a very intriguing match up.
Arena, Beppu, Oita, Japan
In Japan we get a very low key card in Oita. The card is mostly 4 rounders, in fact 3 of the 4 bouts on the show are set for the short distance. The one bout that is scheduled for a little bit longer is the main event, which is an 8 rounder between Japanese Youth Welterweight champion Takeru Kobata (10-5-1, 4), who won the title in March when he stopped Rikuto Adachi, and 33 year old Fumisuke Kimura (9-7-1, 6). Whilst this is certainly not a great bout, especially given that Kimura has lost his last 3 and hasn't scored a win since April 2019, it is good to see Kobata staying busy and this is his 4th bout since December 2020 and it's great to see a Japanese youngster being active during this current situation, which has slowed the progress of so many young fighters.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
In Vietnam we'll see the once touted Van Thao Tran (13-1, 8) look to defend his very, very, lightly regarded IBA title as he takes on Fadhili Majiha (27-14-4, 13), from Tanzania. The talented Tran was expected to be the real star of Vietnamese boxing, but the last few years has seen his career stall with inactivity, bouts falling through and a loss in 2019 to Billy Dib. We would love to see Tran being tested, but Majiha is not going to be a test here. The man from Tanzania has lost consistently when fighting away from home, and it's almost unthinkable for him to pick up a win in Vietnam here.
This coming Friday our attention will be turning to India of all places, for what appears to be one of the biggest and most notable Indian shows in history. It features their biggest name professional in the main event and several other notable fighters on the show in what looks like an interesting event, albeit one that won't create waves outside of India.
The big name in action on the show is the unbeaten Vijender Singh (12-0, 8), a former amateur standout who has been promoted by both Frank Warren and Bob Arum, with neither managing to turn him into the star they had been expecting. Sadly for the now 35 year old Singh his career seems unlikely to go much further, but it's nice to see him back in the ring after more than a year of inactivity. In fact this will be his first bout since November 2019. Sadly however his opponent for the bout, Russian fighter Artysh Lopsan (4-1-1, 2), really brings nothing to the table. Last year Lopsan was stopped in 7 rounds by novice Pavel Silyagin, and we suspect he'll likely be stopped again here as Singh looks to shake some ring rust and put on a show for local fans.
Although Singh's bout appears to be a mismatch we do love the look of a supporting bout between Karthik Sathish Kumar (6-0, 3) and Sachin Dekwal (9-0, 6). A bout that actually looks like a real 50/50 match up, something we rarely see in India. The 24 year old Kumar has been matched incredibly softly, but has experience of fighting in Thailand, Dubai and India and has been, for the most part, fairly impressive against fellow novices. Dekwal on the other hand is the more experienced, more proven and slightly older man, and will likely be the favourite. Whichever way this one goes we suspect the winner will begin to be viewed as one of the key figures to build Indian boxing around.
Also on this card will be the once beaten Ramandeep Kaur (7-1, 1), who will be looking to avenge her loss in rematch with Rinky Inder Kishore (1-0). The two women battled in January 2020, with Kishore taking a 6 round split decision win over Kaur and Kaur will be looking to right that wrong. This is nothing amazing on paper, but with the back story between the two women the bout does have some genuine interest and intrigue to it.
This coming Sunday is a somewhat unusual day in that India becomes the focus for Asian boxing. Not only that but the country hosts 2 boxing shows on the same day, a real rarity.
Delhi Ruler Boxing Academy, Delhi, India
Of the two cards the more interesting appears to be a show from Delhi, which features some of the more notable Indian prospects.
One of the fighters on this card worthy of some attention is Sanjay Thapa (6-0, 3), who looks for his 7th win as he takes on novice Yash Malik (1-0). The 23 year old Thapa has been building a nice record for himself since his 2016 debut, but has yet to face anyone resembling a test and we suspect this will be another win over a very inexperienced novice. Malik on the other hand debuted in 2019 and took a decision win over a fellow debutant, and has been out of the ring since then. We suspect Thapa will be too good here, but it's nice to see someone building their record in India and hopefully he will land some more meaningful bouts in the future.
Another fighting looking to move to 7-0 on this show is Akashdeep Singh (6-0), with the feather fisted 26 year old taking on Suresh Pasham (1-0, 1). Singh made his debut in 2019, fought 4 times in 2019 and once last year. It seemed he was building plenty of momentum prior to 2020 and he'll want to kick start that again here. Pasham on the other hand made his debut in December 2020 scoring an opening round win and will be looking to build on that debut victory.
One other bout of note on this show is a 6 round match up between Sandeep Kumar (7-1-1, 4) and Arman (2-1, 1). Coming in to this Kumar is riding a 7 fight unbeaten rung, following an early career loss, but his competition has been awful and his opponents during his unbeaten run have a combined 2 wins. The 17 year old Arman was beaten last time out, but was matched rather hard for a novice, losing a close split decision to Rakesh Lohchab, and he could well be a banana skin for Kumar here.
Hilldale Matric School, Thinnanur Nadu, India
Despite thinking the show in Delhi is the better one, the other show, from Nadu, is also arguably a more competitive one.
In an 8 round bout we'll see 20 year old Mohd Azahar (2-3, 2) look to rebuild from back to back losses as he takes on the win-less Sediqi Wahedulla (0-2). We're not really sure why these two have been scheduled for 8 rounds, but it's clear that both men will feel this is a great chance to pick up a win against someone with no momentum and it could end up being a much more competitive bout than some of the ones in Delhi.
Another 8 rounder on this show will see the promising 25 year old Sachin Dekwal (9-0, 6) take on Kuldeep Singh (0-1), who had a draw on his debut in 2020. We think Dekwal has the potential to make a mark on the regional scene, though it's clear his competition will need to step up in the next year old two. Fingers crossed that when the world gets back to some sort of normality we get to see Dekwal face a test or two, rather than continue to rack up wins against novices at home.
A third bout of note on this show will be a female bout, as Urvashi Singh (7-2, 5) battles 20 year old novice Priyanshee Priyanshee (1-1). Although not a star Singh is a somewhat established fighter who has previously fought in Thailand and the Philippines and has got the potential to compete against decent fighters on the regional female scene. Sadly however Singh is going over old ground here, and she stopped Priyanshee last year, making us feel this is a bit of a meaningless re-run for a genuinely promising young Indian female fight.
Hansraj College, Delhi University, New Delhi, India
For a second day in a row we see action pencilled in for India. It's not a big show, but it is a potentially interesting card for those who want to follow the Indian scene as it continues to grow.
One of the bouts of note here is a female 8 rounder between 31 year old Suman Kumari (4-3-1, 1) and the promising 25 year old puncher Urvashi Singh (6-2, 5). Whilst neither of these ladies are expected to make a mark at the top of the sport it's a very nicely pointed bout, with Boxrec ranking them #47 and #48 at the time of writing. Of the two Singh should be favoured, but she will have to work for a victory here.
Another bout of note on this show will see the unbeaten Sachin Dekwal (8-0, 6) take on Amey Nitin (4-2, 2) in an 8 round bout at Lightweight. The unbeaten Dekwal is one of the very, very few Indian fighters of note and has stopped his last 5 in a row. Nitin on the other other hand has never been stopped and will be in the ring looking for a career best win. This could be a decent test to see what Dekwal has to offer.
It's fair to say this coming Saturday is mostly about one contest in the US, though surprisingly there is an incredible amount of action involving Asian fighters here, with bouts all over Asia. This is probably the busiest day we've had since boxing restarted back in the summer.
The Bubble, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
It goes without saying that our attention this coming Saturday is in Las Vegas, where we get two Japanese fighters on action on a Top Rank show.
The main event here will see WBA "Super" and IBF Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) make his Las Vegas debut, as he takes on Australian challenger Jason Moloney (21-1, 18) in a much anticipated bout. For Inoue this will be his first bout since his World Boxing Super Series win against Nonito Donaire last year, and he has some questions hanging over him for once, such as whether or not his right eye is anything close to 100% following that Donaire bout. He also has questions hanging over him in regards rust and potentially being over-trained, given he was supposed to fight in March. As for Moloney he's the clear under-dog and this is a huge chance for him, though he will know that if he wins his career will change massively. Interesting Moloney was close to facing Inoue last year, and would have done so had he got the decision in the WBSS quarter final bout against Emanuel Rodriguez. Since his loss to Rodriguez, Moloney has racked up 4 wins and comes into this with momentum, despite being the big under-dog. Our full, in depth, previous of this bout can be read here The Monster takes on Moloney in Las Vegas!
The other Japanese fighter on this show is Andy Hiraoka (15-0, 10), who will be looking to extend his unbeaten record as he takes on Rickey Edwards (12-4, 3). For Hiraoka this will be his second bout in Las Vegas, where he fought last November. The Japanese Light Welterweight is being groomed for big things and he's expected to pick up an easy win here and more a step closer to a title fight, of some kind. Edwards on the other hand is struggling for form and has gone 1-4 in his last 5, and it unlikely to post any real questions to the talented Hiraoka. If you're tuning in for Inoue make sure to keep an eye out for Hiraoka, he's a genuine talent.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Staying with Japanese boxing for a moment it's worth noting that we are getting some East Japan Rookie of the Year bouts on the same day, as Korakuen Hall plays host to the first set of semi-finals bouts. In total there are 6 bouts set for this show, but due to all the action taking place through Asia we'll only really look at one of them.
The most notable is the Super Flyweight bout between unbeaten puncher Yota Sato (2-0, 2) and the very, very highly regarded Kosuke Tomioka (3-0, 2). This is the stand bout from this round of East Japan Rookie of the Year bouts, and will see Tomioka getting his first serious test against someone who looked devastating last time out. We are expecting big things here in a potentially explosive match up. If you've got tickets to this one, it's the one that you need to be in your seat for! If you're not in Tokyo, the bout is the one to watch when it becomes available online.
As well as the Sato Vs Tomioka bout, the show also pits unbeaten Flyweights against each other, with Teppei Saito (3-0, 2) facing Shugo Namura (3-0, 3), and Light Flyweights, and Light Flyweight, with Yota Mihara (3-0, 3) battling against Hayato Aoki (3-0, 2).
Yes this is gonna be a good one!
Suamlum Night Bazaar, Ratchadaphisek, Bangkok, Thailand
We also get a show of real note from Bangkok, where TL Promotions continue to make their mark on the sport, and bring through their range of talented and promising fighters.
The main event here will see Nonthasith Petchnamthong (1-0) drop down to Bantamweight to take on former Light Flyweight world champion Kompayak Porpramook (60-9, 41). We were impressed by Nonthasith on his debut, where he Arnon Yupang, where he won a WBA Asia title, and now appears to be dropping into a weight that is much, much more natural for him. Kompayak isn't the fighter he once was, not even close, but he does come to win, press, and is still a very good test for prospects. We expect to Kompayak trying to win, but be out boxed, out punched, and out muscled by the novice. Kompayaka, with his experience, is a live under-dog here, but he is clearly an under-dog.
Another bout on this show will see Anurak Thisa (24-2, 9), aka Nop Kratingdaenggym, take on Artid Bamrungauea (26-31, 24) in what looks like little more than a stay busy fight, and an easy win for talented Thisa.
Also on this card bouts between Tanes Ongjunta (4-1, 2) and Decha Puttaluksa (1-4), and a contest pitting the unbeaten Yuttapong Tongdee (3-0, 2) against the limited Kan Hamongkol (4-14, 1). Sadly these both look like formalities.
Singmanassak Muaythai School, Pathum Thani, Thailand
A second Thai show will come from Pathum thani and this really does look a lot less significant than the other show.
The main event here is set to be a clash between the unbeaten Kevin Gronlund (3-0, 1) and the limited, but heavy handed, Tanawat Ketsiri (5-6, 5), with the men clashing for the Thai Lightweight title. The 25 year old Gronlund debuted in June 2019 and has struggled in a couple of his wins. Ketsiri on the other hand is a 17 year old who debuted in 2017, has been matched hard and suffered a couple of losses to decent regional fighters, but has won his last 3 and will be hoping to carry on that momentum here.
Over in Kazakhstan we'll be getting the chance to see a number of very promising Kazakh's dip their toes in professional ranks, with the intention to remain amateurs and head to the Tokyo Olympics. This is thanks to Suleimen promotions who are putting on a 5 fight show.
One of those bouts will see Bek Nurmaganbet (1-0, 1) look for his second professional win, as he takes on experienced Tanzanian Abdallah S Pazzy (27-7-1, 24). After looking good against a very over-matched opponent on his debut this is a good step up in class for Nurmaganbet , and we should see the former amateur standout given a genuine test against a hard hitting fighter who beat Zulipikaer Maimaitiali last year. This is a genuinely dangerous test for the Kazakh novice.
Another Kazakh with some pro experience on this show is Yevgeniy Pavlov (1-0, 1), who also takes a massive step up in class as he takes on Tanzania's Goodluck Mrema (23-5, 13). Pavlov made his debut in July and looked decent against an over-matched opponent and, like Nurmaganbet, he is taking a huge leap up in class. Mrema isn't a world beater, nothing close in fact, but he has mixed with good company and has been in the ring with Marlon Tapales and Jason Moloney. We expect a win for Pavlov here, but it would be good to see him being tested.
The first of three debutants on this show will be Danila Semenov (0-0) who makes his debut against once beaten 36 year old Ghanaian John Napari (21-1, 15). Semenov is expected to make a big mark on the professional ranks in the coming years, and this is a very serious debut, against a man who's only loss came to the then 19-0-1 Apti Davtaev. A real risk and a real potential to make a statement from Semenov.
The second debutant will be Ablaikhan Zhussupov (0-0), who has booked a place in the Tokyo Olympics. He will be looking to keep busy here as he shares the ring with Tanzania's Meshack Mwankemwa (21-7-2, 13), who has faced a few notables names. Zhussupov is a brilliant talent, and our hope is that after the Olympics he will become a fully fledged professional and a debut like this shows the belief his team have in him. Mwankemwa has got 7 losses but they have come to some decent fighters, such as Teerachai Kratingdaenggym, Roman Zakirov and Walter Kautondokwa.
The final fight on the show will see 2019 World Amateur Champion Bekzad Nurdauletov (0-0) make his professional debut as he takes on Ibrahim Maokola (14-9-1, 9), who is the fourth fight fighter from Tanzania to be involved on this show. There are huge expectations on Nurdauletov's shoulders, not just for this bout but for the Tokyo Olympics, and we expect him to answer those expectations in style here, against the rather limited Maokola.
Rongchuang Mall, Chongqing, China
We also get action in China, albeit very low level action, as the Chinese boxing scene continues to tick over. Sadly this is a very, very low show with little of note, though it does have a 10 main event.
That main event will see Ruidong Zhou (5-1, 2) and Yong Shuai Luan (3-1, 1) battle in a Welterweight bout. The 26 year old Zhou is the more experienced of the two fighters in action here, bout his last 3 wins have come against terrible opposition as he's looked to rebuild following a 2018 loss in South Korea. Luan on the other hand is a 19 year old looking to get career going after a stoppage loss last year. Luan will be looking for his third win in a row, though his last two opponents have been very poor, and he struggled with one of those in September.
Of all the action out there on Saturday this is probably the least noteworthy card featuring an Asian fighter.
Delhi University North Campus Area, New Delhi, India
Another show that isn't worth too much attention comes from India, where we see a lot of novices in action.
The only real bout of note here is an 8 round mismatch between the very promising Sachin Dekwal (7-0, 5) and the win-less Pawan Kumar (0-0-1). The talented Dekwal is one of the very few Indian fighters worth making a mental of note, and he really should be facing better opponents that Kumar at this point in his career. He's a talent, but he's really wasting time, and chances to develop as a fighter with bouts like this.
New Delhi, India
It's India that takes our attention this coming Sunday as we get two cards from the country. The most notable of those takes place in New Dehli.
One of the more notable fighters on this card is the unbeaten Sachin Dekwal (6-0, 4), who will risk his unbeaten record against Jaskaran Singh (1-0-1). The 24 year old Sachin debuted just over 2 years ago and has already fought in the Philippines, Thailand and India. On paper this should be an easy win against a man who has never fought beyond 4 rounds, and has struggle against limited novices so far.
Another notable fighter on this card is 30 year old Kuldeep Dhanda (7-2, 1) who looks to rebuilding following a huge KO loss last year against Romero Duno, in what was a legitimate KO of the year contender. Singh, who has been out of the ring since February, will be taking on professional novice Rohan Rohan (1-0, 1) who debuted last November with an opening round win.
The other card takes place in Bangalore, and is much more a novice card, with very few fighters having more than 3 fights to their name, and of those that do have some experience their opponents haven't been named at the time of writing.
The most notable and experienced fighters here are female Flyweight Ramandeep Kaur (6-0) and Lightweight puncher Karthik Sathish Kumar (4-0, 3), who fought on an MTK card last September in Dubai. As mentioned though neither of these two have had opponents confirmed at the time of writing, and we wouldn't expect them to face anyone decent on short notice. Expect them both to pick up straight forward wins here.