CAA Centre, Brampton, Ontario, Canada
There isn't much Asian action this coming Saturday however we do get the chance to see Indian hopeful Sukhdeep Singh Bhatti (10-0, 4) seek his latest win, as he takes on Luca Michael Pasqua (17-7-1, 10) of Italy. On paper this should be a straight forward win for Bhatti, a 29 year old Canadian based Indian fighter, and he has beaten better fighters than Pasqua in the past. However it's still hard to know just how good he actually is, and hopefully we'll see him in with a with a genuine test later in the year. As for Pasqua, he's a 40 year old Italian who has lost 3 of his last 4, is a natural Welterweight and was stopped in his last bout in Canada, which came in 2013 against Brandon Cook. Given everything going against him, it's hard to see Pasqua putting up much of an effort here, sadly.
The most notable action in Asia this coming Saturday will be in Thailand as we get the next show in the WP Boxing series of events, and it's a show that will look to highlight two of the hottest prospects in Thailand.
One of the promising Thai's in question is Phongsaphon Panyakum (12-1, 6), who will be looking to defend his WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Flyweight title against Adrian Lerasan (10-4, 3). The 21 year old Panyakum is one of the best prospects in Thailand, and has gone on a great run since a defeat to Kai Ishizawa on debut back in 2017, and is looking to continue his rise through the ranks towards a WBC world title fight, something we expect to see him in in 5 or 6 years time. Despite Panyakum being a great prospect this won't be an easy one for him and Lerasan can't be over-looked, especially given his recent form in Thailand, that included a massive upset win over Tanes Ongjunta in 2020. This should be a very interesting match up.
Sadly the other main bout on this show is less likely to be an interesting one, as the hard hitting Chainoi Worawut (14-0-1, 12) takes on the much older, much smaller Suriyan Satorn (61-12, 41). A prime Suriyan was always great fun to watch, and a legitimately great warrior, but he was at his best at 108lbs and is now fighting up at 122lbs for this bout. Chainoi Worawut is a genuinely promising prospect, and hopefully we see him in with some interesting international opponents in the near future, but at the moment he's a long way from being a legitimate threat in the Super Bantamweight division. Despite being a long way from a top fight he should be far too big and too strong here to even be tested.
CAA Centre, Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Over in Canada we'll see a new Canadian Middleweight champion being crowned, as Canadian based Indian born fighter Sukhdeep Singh Bhatti (9-0, 3) takes on Jordan Balmir (11-1, 6) for the vacant title. Bhatti slowly been making a name for himself on the Canadian scene, and despite having a frustrating level of inactivity in recent years, with just a single fight in 2020 and a single fight in 2021, he is clearly a promising fighter who could help kick start the love of professional for Indian youngsters. Balmir on the other hand is a Canadian fighter best known for losing in 2018 to Steven Butler, who stopped Balmir in 3 rounds. That loss aside there's not much on Balmir's record to talk about, though he was inactive through 2019 and 2021 and has had just 6 rounds of action since losing to Butler in October 2018.
Olympic Arena, Andijan, Uzbekistan
Staying in notable Asian boxing countries we see Uzbekistan, an amateur boxing power house, hosting a show in Andijan. It's not a big show but there are some interesting fighters on the card.
Potentially the most interesting fight on the show is a 10 rounder between Khusniddin Pulatov (11-3, 7) and the debuting Dilshod Sodikov (0-0), in what seems a really strange one. Pulatov has been quietly making a name for himself in Uzbekistan and South Korea, scoring a notable win over In Duck Seo in 2019, and should be heavily favoured here, however it's clear that Sodikov and his team are confident in his potential and are throwing him in deep here in what could be a great chance for him to announce himself on the regional scene.
Another interesting looking bout will see 23 year old Ulugbek Sobirov (11-1, 6) take on Argentinian fighter Brian Damian Chaves (14-1, 5). Sobirov had a fair bit of momentum build at one point, but a loss in 2020 to Dmytro Mytrofanov slowed his rise and he's yet to really rebuild from that defeat, with just a single win since then. Chaves on the other hand has won 3 in a row since being blasted out by Jeremias Nicolas Ponce. Notably Chavez has shown a questionable chin, but will feel confident of having the tools to over-come Sobirov in a good looking match up.
Dubai Marina, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Over in Dubai we're set to see the next chapter in the long running saga of Guillermo Rigondeaux (20-2-0-1, 13) versus the Philippines, as he takes on Vincent Astrolabio (16-3, 12) for the vacant WBC International Bantamweight title. The Cuban veteran has faced numerous Filipino's over the years, and was unbeaten against them until his 2021 loss to John Riel Casimero last year, and it did seem like he had slowed significantly from the man who beat Nonito Donaire, in what is still the career defining win for Rigondeaux. Despite the Cuban's slow down he should have way too much for Astrolabio, who is very much a Filipino level domestic fighter who has fallen short against his most notable opponents, such as Yuki Strong Kobayashi and John Mark Apolinario.
This coming Saturday isn't a huge day for Asian fight fans, but there is a nice mix of action, including title fights, in both Japan and the Philippines, as well as prospects in action in what should be a better day of action than it looks on paper.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
For us the most interesting action comes from Tokyo, where will be getting the latest Dynamic Glove show. The card features an Oriental title fight, a rematch of an interest Japanese Middlewieght bout and a the next step up for a promising prospect.
The title bout will see OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Welterweight champion Ryota Toyoshima (14-2-1, 9) make his second defense of the OPBF belt as he takes on "reimported" boxer Shoki Sakai (26-12-2, 14), who first made his name fighting in the West. The talented Toyoshima has been on a tear in recent bouts, and scored notable wins over Riku Nagahama and Yuki Beppu already this year, a win over the teak tough Sakai would put him in the running for the Japanese domestic fighter of the year. Sakai on the other hand was last seen losing a close, and hotly contested, bout to Keita Obara for the Japanese title, and he'll know that a loss here might be his final shot to win a notable title, especially his style which does seem him taking a lot of punishment. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Toyoshima defends OPBF title against tough guy Sakai!
In an interesting Japanese Middleweight bout, yes we do actually get some of those, we'll see All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Katsuhiro Nakata (7-0, 4) look to repeat his September win over once touted amateur Ran Tomomatsu (1-2). In their first bout Nakata won 58-56 on all 3 cards, but Tomomatsu was certainly not shown up there and will be determined to get revenge here, and get his career back on track after back to back losses.
A third bout of note on this card will see promising novice Yudai Murakami (1-0), who was a very solid Japanese amateur, look to score his second win in the professional ranks, as he takes on Yudai Yakabu (3-2, 3). Murakami looked solid in his debut, back in January, but this is a credible step up and the hard hitting Yakabu will be in the ring to stop, or be stopped. Interestingly Yakabu has never seen round 4 of a fight, and has only gone beyond a single round twice, so we do not expect this one to go long.
The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex, Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines
As well as the Japanese card there's also an interesting one in the Philippines featuring former world title challengers and promising unbeaten fighters.
The best bout on the card sees the once touted Mark Anthony Geraldo (38-9-3, 19), who really is a skilled fighter but has been inconsistent at times, take on exciting youngster Carl Jammes Martin (17-0, 15) for the GAB Super Bantamweight title. Geraldo won the title in 2019 and has defended it once since winning it, but has been inactive and this will be his first bout in over 2 years. Although very skilled we do wonder problems inactivity will cause for him here. As for Martin he is one of the rising stars of Filipino boxing, with an exciting, hard hitting style. Martin has been stepping up his level of competition in recent bouts, and will feel confident of making this step up as well as he looks to prove he's ready for bigger and better bouts. This should be a very interesting test for the unbeaten youngster.
In a battle of unbeaten fighters former amateur standout Charly Suarez (8-0, 6) will be up against Delmar Pellio (9-0, 4). Suarez was someone who had the skills to go a long, long way in the sport. Now aged 33 it seems he will never come close to reaching his potential, and instead it seems almost like he's going to be a fighter who retires as tale of what could have been, had he turned professional younger and had the Pandemic not hit. Aged 21 Pellio is promising youngster, but sadly he comes into this bout having been out of the ring for almost 2 years and he is stepping up massively. It's hard to see past a Suarez win here, but he needs to kick on in 2022 if he's ever going to come close to landing a major international bout.
A third bout of note on this card will see two former world title challengers facing off, as recent Naoya Inoue victim Michael Dasmarinas (30-3-1, 20) takes on Ernesto Saulong (22-7-2, 9), who challenged the then IBF Super Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa back in 2018. On paper this looks a pretty interesting bout, but Saulong has struggled for wins recently and is 1-5-1 in his last 7. Despite that he is tough and he will be in the ring looking to upset Dasmarinas, who hasn't fought since losing to the Monster back in June. The loser of this is unlikely to find themselves anywhere close to a major international fight, but the winner could end up landing a fight of note next year.
CAA Centre, Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Away from Asia we'll see Canadian based Indian fighter Sukhdeep Singh Bhatti (8-0, 3) take on limited veteran Juan Carlos Raygosa (17-18-3, 6). Singh is a solid boxer, but the 29 year old is going to have to look to make up for lost time next year, as he only fought once in 2020 and this will be his first bout of 2021. Thankfully he will get some rounds here because Raygosa, for all his faults, is a tough and rugged guy capable of taking good fighters rounds. This is not the "gimmie" it looks, but it's hard to see past a Bhatti win.
This coming Saturday was supposed to be a huge day for female boxing, as well as a huge day for Heavyweight boxing. Sadly the Coronavirus forced the cancellation of the big female bout, which would have been a major unification at 130lbs, but thankfully there is still a lot to look forward to over the day!
The biggest show of the day comes from Las Vegas where we see the highly anticipated rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. Whilst that bout doesn't have an Asian interest one of the supporting bouts.
The bout will see WBO Super Bangamweight champion Emanuel Navarrete (30-1, 26) defending his title against Filipino challenger Jeo Santisima (19-2, 16). The unbeaten Mexican champion has been one of the busiest champions since winning his title in late 2018, but his competition is somewhat disappointing. On paper this isn't really a step up for the heavy handed Mexican, who will be expected to defend against a worthwhile contender sooner rather than late. For Santisima this is a big chance, but one we don't think he's ready for. The Filipino is an exciting fighter but really isn't yet experienced enough to be given much of a chance with Navarrete. Our preview of this fight is available here Santisima challenges Navarrete, but will he stand a chance?
Metro Manila, Philippines
For a second weekend in a row we get action in Metro Manila as the fast rising, and amazingly exciting, Carl Jammes Martin (15-0, 14) takes on the rugged and experienced Renoel Pael (23-11-1, 12) in a bout for the PBF Bantamweight title. This will be Martin's second defense of the title and whilst he will be expected to win, this is a legitimate test as he takes on a man who doesn't ever get blown away. Pael has been shown up to be a long way from world class, but he's an excellent regional gatekeeper, and a stoppage win for Martin would be a massive, and surprising statement. We expect to see the young being forced to answer new questions, and for us that's exactly what a bout like this is for.
The next card under the Evolution Fight Series takes place this Saturday as well, with a show in Bangkok. This show has massively changed of the weeks in the build up to it, and has sadly seen Ongen Saknosiwi being listed, and then removed from it.
The show will have 3 title bouts in total, one of those is a Thai Middleweight bout between Thai based British fighter Thomas Newton (3-3, 2) and 17 year old Apisit Sangmuang (1-0, 1), in what could be an interesting match up. Another title fight will see Artavazd Aroyan (6-1, 4) battle with Yousof Mohammadiosmanvandi (4-0-1, 4), for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Cruiserweight title. The third of the title fights will see Gaganpreet Sharma (9-2, 5) battle against former OPBF champion Ratchasi Sithsaithong (9-8, 7) for a regional WBC title Middleweight.
Sadly it's hard to care much about any of those title bouts, which appear to be title bouts, just to try and add some kind of silverware to the show. It's cynical and not-really needed given that none of the fighters are actual title level fighters
Canadian based Indian Sukhdeep Singh Bhatti (7-0, 3) looks to continue his development as he takes on 32 year old Jamaican Richard Holmes (19-11, 9). On paper this looks like a logical next step forward for Bhatti and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him really needing to work for this win. Holmes is no world beater, but has the experience to ask questions of someone like Bhatti.