Manual Artime Community Center Theater, Miami, Florida, USA
This coming Friday attention turns to Miami for a couple of hard hitting Asian fighters.
One of those Asian fighters is unbeaten Kazakh puncher Serik Musadilov (10-0, 9) , who looks for his 11th win as he takes on Shawn Miller (18-6-1-1, 7). The hard hitting Musadilov has picked up two wins already this year, including a decision win over Lamont Capers, but he has done little to convince anyone that's not just bottom feeding against incredibly limited opponents. The 39 year old Miller is, on paper, a step up in class for the Kazakh "Panda", but Miller has been stopped in his last 2 bouts and is without an official win since August 2018. Miller's record looks better than the typical opponents for Musadilov, but this really shouldn't be much of a test given Miller's recent performances.
The other Asian on this card is hard hitting Filipino Romero Duno (23-2, 18), who is looking for his third win since losing to Ryan Garcia in 2019. In the opposite corner to Duno is the very limited, though highly experienced, Jonathan Perez (38-27, 30), from Colombia. The 34 year old Perez has lost his last 4, and is 2-14 in his last 16 dating back more than 5 years, and really is just fodder for a fighter of Duno's abilities.
Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles, California, USA
The main action to involve Asian fighters this coming Friday comes from California, and is part of a Golden Boy promoted card. Interestingly not only is the notable action in the US but it's also two bouts featuring veteran female fighters getting their chance to shine in front of a global audience, something both deserved to do much earlier in their careers.
The most interesting of the two bouts will see Japanese veteran Tenkai Tsunami (28-12-1, 16) defending her WBO female Light Flyweight title against the sensational Seniesa Estrada (20-0, 8). Tsunami is one of the true veterans of female boxing, having been around the world level for over a decade, and she's also a very well travelled fighter who has shown the toughness, engine and work rate in a brilliant career. But a career which is now heading to the end. Unfortunately for Tsunami she's in against one of the best of the new wave of female fighters in Estrada who looks like the sort of fighter who could, and maybe should be, the new face of female boxing. In her prime Tsunami would have made this very interesting, but right now we really don't see anyone between 105lbs and 115lbs beating Estrada, who is a genuine star in the making. Our full, in depth, preview of this bout can be read here Tenkai Tsunami takes on "Super Bad" Estrada!
The other bout on this card of note will see WBA female Flyweight champion Naoko Fujioka (18-2-1, 7) make her long over due US debut as she defends her title against Sulem Urbina (12-1-0-1, 2). Fujioka, Japan's only 5 weight world champion, has long been one of the best female fighters in the world, but with her 46th birthday coming in August and with more than a year of inactivity we do wonder what she can actually show here. At her best she belonged very high up the female pound for pound lists, but right now it's really hard to know what she has left in her legs. As for Urbina this is a massive leap up in class and comes on the back of a 2020 loss to Marlen Esparza. It's hard to back Urbina given her record, competition and form, though being 15 or so years younger, without the wear and tear and fighting relatively close to home, she may well be in the right place at the right time. Our in depth preview of this one can be read here Fujioka makes long awaited US debut as she takes on warrior Urbina!
Airport Hilton, Miami, Florida, USA
Over in Miami we're expecting to see two more Asian fighters in action, albeit in rather low key bouts.
The more notable of the two bouts will see heavy handed Kazakh fighter Serik Musadilov (9-0, 9) take on Reuel Williams (8-1, 3) for the NABA Cruiserweight title. On paper this looks like an interestingly match up, even more when you consider Williams has won 8 in a row. Sadly however Williams is now 45 year old and hasn't fought in over 4 years. Even at his best he wasn't very good either and is a natural Light Heavyweight. It really is a shame Musadilov is still wasting his time with this type of fight, when it's very clear he's now needing a test, not just bouts to pad his record, like this one.
The other Asian on this card is Kazakh fighter Mark Bernaldez (22-4, 16), who takes on Mexican veteran Juan Kantun (21-11-3, 15). Bernaldez has picked up two wins since losing to Albert Bell in July 2020 and he'll be looking to keep that run going here, as he continues to plug along as a decent fighter, but an unspectacular one. Kantun on the other hand is without a win since 2013, having lost his last 7. As with the Musadilov bout, this is just padding the record of Bernaldez and little else.
Tacoma, Washington, USA
Staying in the US we have also seen that unbeaten Uzbekistani hopeful Ravshan Makhamadjonov (12-0, 8) is pencilled in to fight in Tacoma. At the time of writing his opponent hasn't been announced, though the 22 year old has been matched softly, on the whole, so far and we're not expecting that to change here. Sadly this is likely to be another easy win for the unbeaten Makhamadjonov
Shinjuku FACE, Tokyo, Japan
Over in Japan we also get action, in fact we get a second successive day of East Japan Rookie of the Year action as the Shinjuku FACE place host to some qualifying bouts. In total there are 7 bouts scheduled for this show, but we'll only take a look at a few of them.
On paper the one that stands out the most is a bout between unbeaten novices Kanta Kawamura (1-0-1, 1) and Shingo Koyasu (2-0, 2), who clash at Flyweight. The 21 year old Kawamura made his debut in December, with a quick win over Koyo Nakayama, but was held to a 4 round draw in his second bout, this past August. Koyasu on the other hand has looked explosive since debut in September 2020 and has stopped his first 2 opponents. We expect this one to be explosive and genuinely exciting, as both look to impress in the Rookie tournament.
Surprisingly there's only a single all debutant bout on this card, and that will be between Shuhei Hanadate (0-0) and Hiroto Sato (0-0), who clash at Bantamweight. Neither of these men are from particularly big gyms, and whilst that is an issue longer term it also shows that the Rookie of the Year can be used as a shop window for fighters and these two men will know that going all the win in the tournament could open major doors for them. Don't be surprised if this ends up being a very compelling bout.
One other bout that needs mentioning is the clash between Keisuke Imabuchi (0-9-2) and Tsubasa Yamashita (0-0). The 35 year old Imabuchi has a genuine weird record, going winless in his first 11, and it would be great to see him score a win before being forced into retirement. Yamashita on the other hand is at the complete opposite end of his career, aged just 18 and kicking things off here. With 17 years difference and 11 bouts difference this is a very unique Rookie of the Year bout, but one that is certainly intriguing.
This coming Friday is a relatively quiet day in the world of Asian boxing, with the most notable Asian fighters being unbeaten Central Asian fighters fighting in the US, and the only noteworthy Asian card appears to be a low profile one in China.
Manual Artime Community Center Theater, Miami, Florida, USA
One of the US cards of note is set to be held in Miami where two Central Asian fighters are in action.
One of the prospects on this show is diminutive Cruiserweight puncher Serik Musadilov (7-0, 7), who looks to secure his 8th stoppage. The "Panda", as Musadilov is known, will be up against 29 year old Mexican Daniel Najera (9-5-1, 4). On paper this doesn't look great, but sadly it gets worth when you consider that Najera has been stopped in 4 of his 5 losses including a blow out loss last time out, almost a year ago, to Amron Sands. It's hard to see anything but a quick win here for Musadilov.
Also on this card is US based Tajik Mekhrubon Sanginov (7-0-1, 5), who is set for a big step up in class as he takes on Cleotis Pendarvis (21-6-2, 9). The unbeaten Sanginov was held to a draw last time out, and although he's unbeaten this is a big step up in class for him. Although no world beater Pendarvis has a clear edge in experience and should be regarded as a clear favourite, despite back to back losses coming in to this. Sadly for Sanginov this is a big step up in class, and we dare say too much too soon for him.
Ding An, China
As well as the show in Florida there is also a show in China. Sadly many of the bouts on this card look like they are set to be all-novice bouts, but there is one bout of some note on the card.
That one bout will see Jian Wang (8-2-1, 2) take on Hongpeng Zhang (5-7-1, 2). Although no world beater Wang isn't a bad fighter, and he is 6-1-1 in his last 8 including a brilliant 10 round draw against Seong Yeong Yang last year. Zhang on the other hand is a 33 year old who has failed to win any of his last 3 bouts. Hard to see anything other than a Wang here if we're being honest.
The most note worthy show for us this coming Friday takes place in Miami and features a pair of Kazakh fighters.
The more notable of the two is Mussa Tursyngaliyev (10-0, 6), who looks to notch his next win as he takes on 35 year old Ezequiel Alberto Tevez (13-5, 4). The talented Tursyngaliyev had a frustrating 2019, fighting just twice and will clearly be hoping to be busier this year. On the subject of inactivity Tevez will be fighting for just the third time since the start of 2016, and the Argentinian will not be expected to test the unbeaten Kazakh "Warrior".
The other Kazakh on the show will see hard hitting 25 year old Serik Musadilov (5-0, 5) take on 35 year old Quintell Thompson (4-10-1, 4). The unbeaten Musailov, dubbed "Panda", has only gone beyond the second round once in his career so far, and will be expecting to blitz Thompson, who has been stopped in the opening round of his last 2 bouts. A bit of a record padding bout here for the promising Kazakh we're afraid.
In Minnesota we see the limited but fun to watch Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-2-1-1, 12) look to bouts back from his loss to Jaron Ennis from back in January. The twice beaten Kazakh is set to drop down in weight, fighting at a more natural 140lbs, as he takes on 39 year old Carlos Winston Velasquez (27-36-2, 17), in what should be a straight forward win for Eyubov. Whilst we're not a big fan of confidence building bouts it's hard to argue here, with Eyubov going 0-2-1 in his last 3.
There is also set to be a small, low key, show in Thailand.
One of the bouts will see Chinese teenager Yeerjialahasi Laayibieke (2-2, 1) take on Thai foe Visut Tamkhuntod (2-4, 1). The 19 year old Laayibieke lost his first 2 bouts, both to Ge An Ma, but has picked up a couple of wins recent and enters this bout with some momentum. Aged 46 it's hard to know what Tamkhuntod is really trying to accomplish in the sport and we can't see anything but another loss for the ageing Thai.
Another bout on this card worthy of some note, albeit very little, will see Australian based Korean born Taekyun Kim (2-1, 2) return to the ring after 4 years out of action, to take on 18 year old local Atthapon Baenkham (1-3-1, 1). Hard to get too excited here, though it is always interesting to see fighters ending long breaks, and seeing what they have left in the tank.
It should be noted however that there is discussions that this show may be cancelled to help fight the spread of Coronavirus, with Thailand expected to make a move similar to that of Japan and Korea in cancelling all boxing.
Our attention turns to Florida on Friday night as we get the chance to see a couple of Asian fighters compete.
The more experienced, in terms of professional experience at least, is Filipino fighter Mark Bernaldez (18-2, 12), who takes on Argentinian fighter Nicolas Atilio Velazquez (11-5, 3). Although relatively unknown outside of the Asia-Pacific region Bernaldez is a solid fighter who's only losses have been to Tsuyoshi Tameda and Kye MacKenzie, sadly though both of those losses have been by stoppage. The Argentinian fighter has been stopped in 3 of his last 4, including a 15 second loss to Shakhram Giyasov, but has been fighting at a heavier weight than Bernaldez. We favour the Filipino, but we do expect Velazquez to be a tough test physically for the Filipino.
The other Asian on this card is American based Kazakh Serik Musadilov (5-0, 5), who returns to the ring 18 months after his last pro bout. The unbeaten Musadilov, who will be making his US debut, will be up against Daniel Najera (8-3-1, 4) in what is a notable step up in class. To day Musadilov's 5 pro bouts have all been in Mexico, against total novices, so this should see him answering some questions about his potential
As well as the action in the US there will also be a card in Egypt featuring a somewhat notable Thai in what is likely to be a tough assignment. The Thai in question is the once touted Saddam Kietyongyuth (28-6, 22), who has now lost 4 of his last 6 including shock losses to Yangcheng Jin and Sitthidet Banti. The now 36 year old Saddam will be up against big punching Greek born Egyptian Andreas Valavanis (13-1, 11). On paper this is a step up for Valavanis but given Saddam's recent form it shouldn't be any problem for Egyptian based fighter.