Suamlum Night Bazaar, Ratchadaphisek, Bangkok
In Thailand we're set for a small but notable show, headlined by WBC Asian Boxing Council Flyweight champion Thananchai Charunphak (13-1, 10) defending his title against Filipino puncher Jeny Boy Boca (14-8, 12). On paper this looks like a safe defense for the talented and well regarded Thai hopeful, however Filipino fighters have been enjoying travels to Thailand in recent years, with Boca himself shocking Sarawut Thawornkham in 2020. If Thananchai picks up a win here, as we expect, he should be looking to climb up the rankings, however he cannot afford to overlook Boca who is much more dangerous than his record suggests.
Nasipit Municipal Hall, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte, Philippines
Over in the Philippines we see several notable names in action, though as is typical for Filipino domestic shows, the match ups aren't particularly competitive.
The main event of the card will see Joel Lino (11-3-1, 4) take on Dexter Alimento (13-8, 9). Lino has lost 3 of his last 4, but he has gone in with solid fighters including Masataka Taniguchi and Ginjiro Shigeoka, and did bounce back from those losses with a TKO win over ArAr Andales. Sadly though Lino hasn't been in action since 2019 and does need a win to get going again. As for Alimento his once promising career has, sadly, never recovered from his 2016 win over Natthaphon Chaiudom, with Natthaphon collapsing after the bout. Since then he has gone 3-8 and his career really has fallen apart, with losses in his last 6. We can't imagine anything but a Lino win here.
In a massive mismatch the hard hitting Jayar Inson (19-3, 12) will take on the horrible over-matched Ryan Maano (5-13-2, 1). Inson, a former WBO Asia Pacific Welterweight champion, is very, very dangerous on the regional level and despite being beaten easily by Sergey Lipinets is a very much one of the better regional fighters at 140 and 147lbs. As for Maano he has lost his last 4, 3 by stoppage, and is the naturally smaller man. Notably with 5 stoppage losses to his name Maano has shown little in terms of durability and with Inson's power it's hard to imagine this being any sort of a test for Inson.
One other bout of note on this card will see the unbeaten Jayson Brillo (5-0, 4) take on Arnold Garde (10-13-3, 4). The 21 year old Brillo has looked destructive so far, but he does need to step up, and this should be a good step forward for him. Whilst Garde is limited, he is very much a step up from the competition that Brillo has been facing. Aged 32 Brillo has become something of a journeyman, and when he fancies his chances he can be a test, as he showed against Hayate Kaji, but he has been stopped in 5 of his last 7 bouts and it's hard to know whether he wants to be a test here, or is happy to roll over for Brillo.
Shagan Olympic Sport Complex Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan
Over in Central Asia we get a small, yet notable, card in Baku. The card really doesn't have much to talk about, though does have a bout for the very, very lightly regarded UBO Lightweight title on it, as Pakistani fighter Muhammad Bilal (10-2-1, 8) takes on unbeaten Azeri fighter Seymur Isayev (8-0, 6). The 27 year old Bilal has lost 2 of his last 3 and will come in to this knowing the fans are against. As for Isayev, who will have the local fans behind him, this is a huge step up for the competition he's been facing, and should be seen as his first real test, given that his competition so far has only been novices.
This coming Saturday is set to be a great day for Asian boxing, with notable action in Thailand, Japan, Russia and the US.
Workpoint Studio, Bang Phun, Thailand
For once we'll start in Thailand as WP Boxing give us one of their most interesting shows of 2020, and do so free on their YouTube and Facebook pages. The card isn't a monster card, but it does have two very interesting main bouts on it.
The highest profile bout on the card will see former world champions colliding for a regional title. In one corner will be former WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (54-8, 36), who showed there was still something left in the tank with a recent upset win over Campee Phayom, whilst the other corner will host Amnat Ruenroeng (20-4, 6), himself a former IBF Flyweight champion. On paper it seems easy to favour the hard hitting, and naturally bigger, Pungluang, however Amnat showed he still have plenty to offer when he ran Srisaket Sor Rungvisai close a few months ago. This is a really intriguing match up and will be for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Featherweight title.
A second WBC Asian Boxing Council title fight on this card will be at Flyweight, with rising youngster Thananchai Charunphak (10-1, 8) defending his title over battle worn veteran Pigmy Kokietgym (61-13-2, 25). We are huge fans of the 20 year old Thananchai, who has been very impressive in recent bouts and will be looking to secure a third notable win here. Sadly Pigmy Kokietgym is about 10 years beyond his prime, and about 7lbs north of his best weight. We suspect Pigmy will give it a go early on, before being broken down and stopped by Thananchai. Although a mismatch we can't recommend fans following Thananchai enough, this youngster is one of the best prospects in Thailand.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
As well as as the action in Thailand we also get a pretty notable show at Korakuen Hall, sadly however this show won't be getting live TV coverage and instead will be televised a few days after the event takes place.
Originally the main event here was supposed to see Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (12-0-1, 11) make a mandatory defense of his title as he takes on unbeaten youngster Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2), as part of the Champion Carnival. Sadly the bout was cancelled just over a week before the show due to Takesako suffering a training injury.
Due to the main event bout being cancelled the headline bout here will see former world title challenger Takeshi Inoue (16-1-1, 10) fight in what is supposed to be a tune up contest against the unbeaten Nath Nwachukwu (6-0-2, 3), who will likely see himself as a live under-dog. Inoue, best known for his 2019 bout with Jaime Munguia, will be seeking a 4th straight win and will be hoping to move into a second world level bout next year. Notably he won't be defending his WBO Asia Pacific title here, which he did defend back in January. The 23 year old Nwachukwu won the All Japan Rookie of the Year at Middleweight in 2018 and has picked up 3 wins since then. Although he's the under-dog Nwachukwu will know a win here would genuinely change his career.
Another bout of note on this card will see flawed puncher Takuma Takahashi (5-0, 5) take on Kodai Kiyota (9-6-2, 9), in what could be a very explosive contest. Takahashi has looked very, very heavy handed, but he also showed some real vulnerability last time out, getting dropped and cut against Leonardo Doronio, and there are worries about his punch resistance. Kiyota is no world beater, and hasn't fought in over a decade, but he is heavy handed and could well have the power needed to take out Takahashi, if he lands clean.
Also on this card will be recent Japanese title challenger Koki Koshikawa (9-2, 6), who takes on Yuichi Ideta (13-15-1, 7), with Koshikawa looking to bounce back from a loss to Hironobu Matsunaga.
RCC Boxing Academy, Ekaterinburg, Russia
The WP Boxing event isn't the only one we'll be getting for free on YouTube as RCC will also be giving us a show, this time from Russia, with several Central Asian fighters on it.
One of the bouts on this show will see once beaten Uzbek hopeful Ravshanbek Umurzakov (10-1, 7) take on really talented Ukrainian Zoravor Petrosian (9-0, 4), in a bout that was originally for September. Umurzakov was upset back in January by Esneiker Correa, in a genuine surprise, and has been out of the ring since then. Petrosian on the other hand is a 22 year old who turned professional in 2018 and has scored 3 wins this year, whilst looking very highly skilled. This should be a very, very interesting match up.
In a supporting bout baby faced Kazakh fighter Yerzhan Zalilov (11-2-1, 5) take on Russian fighter Evgenii Liashkov (6-1, 1). At one point Zalilov looks like a fighter with the potential to go places, but sadly 2 losses in is last 3 bouts have pretty much ended his hopes of reaching the top of the mountain. Liashkov is a light puncher who lost on but has reeled off 6 wins and comes into this with real momentum.
One more bout on this show will see Uzbek born Russian Dmitry Yun (4-0, 1) taking on Sherzodjon Abdurazzokov (1-0). Yun is a really skilled boxer-mover, who looks like a brilliant talented, with lovely speed, movement and accuracy. Sadly however his lack of power, and questionable durability, seem likely to hold him back, despite how fantastic he is to see in full flow. Aged 20 Abdurazzokov is an Uzbek youngster who made his debut in 2019, and will go into this as the under-dog.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida, USA
We will also Chinese Heavyweight hopeful Zhilei Zhang (21-0, 16) in action, as he begins his relationship with Matchroom Sports. The 37 year Chinese fighter, who has been spoken about as a future opponent for Anthony Joshua, will be up against 38 year old American Devin Vargas (22-6, 9). Sadly for a man that Eddie Hearn wants to talk about big fights for, time is rapidly running out for Zhang, and it seems highly unlikely that he will ever manage to reach the heights some expected of him.