This coming Saturday is a very busy day for Asian fight fans with shows taking place through Asia. The day not only features bouts across the continent, but also across all sorts of levels, including a former world title challenger in one bout, and a range from domestic and regional level bouts, right through to show cases for prospects.
Central Gym, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan
The most notable single bout comes from Hyogo where we see former world champion Tomoki Kameda (38-3, 20) take on hard hitting Dominican William Encarnacion (19-3, 15) in an interesting 10 round Featherweight bout. Kameda is seeking his third straight win since a 2019 loss to Rey Vargas, and is taking a dangerous opponent here, whilst biding his time for another world title fight, but we don wonder whether he should really be at 126lbs given his lack of power and a physicality in his style Encarnacion is no world beater, and he has lost 3 of his last 4, but he's got power, and did give Adam Lopez a really close and solid test back in May. Kameda will be the favourite, but this is a live test for him.
On the same card we'll also see Japanese ranked Light Middleweight Kohei Miyamoto (5-1-1, 5) battle against limited veteran Mao Tameda (3-12-2). The 25 year old Miyamoto has stopped his last 3 in the opening round, and will come into this with a lot of confidence that he has the power and aggression to shine here. As for Tameda he is experienced and tough, having only been stopped in 3 of his 12 losses, but has been struggling to pick up wins recently and is 1-4 in his last 5 going back to 2020. This should be a test of Miyamoto's stamina see what he's like when a fighter can take his punch, but he should still be favoured.
Uchinada Town Sogo Gym, Kahoku-gun, Ishikawa, Japan
A second Japanese card will take place in Ishikawa where we get the debut of a brilliantly named fighter, and a Japanese Youth title fight.
The Japanese Youth title bout on this card will see Japanese Youth Featherweight champion Hiroki Hanabusa (9-2-3, 3) defending his title against Toshiyuki Takahashi (7-4, 4), in what will be Hanabusa's first defense, since winning the title last November. The talented Hanabusa has lost 2 of his last 3, though they have come to very good fighters in the form of Toshiki Shimomachi and Katsuya Fukui, and they helped prepare him for his upset win last time out against Kyonosuke Kameda for the title. As for Takahashi he has won his last 4, though this is a very step up in class for him, and he will go in as the under-dog. Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here Youth champion Hanabusa defends against Takahashi
The wonderfully named fighter on this card is Megaton Marina (0-0), who will be facing fellow debutant Reona Fukuoka (0-0) in a 4 round female bout at Super Bantamweight. Not really much to add here, other than that Megaton is a brilliant name, especially if it turns out that she's a puncher!
The Grand Ho Tram Strip, Vung Tau, Vietnam
Over in Vietnam we get a a trio of minor title bouts thanks to Cocky Buffalo.
The main event of the card will see Uzebkistani veteran Olimjon Nazarov (27-5, 15) defending his WBO Oriental Flyweight title against Filipino challenger Bienvenido Ligas (14-2-2, 9). The 36 year old Nazarov has a messy looking record, with 5 losses, but is currently riding an impressive 14 fight winning streak, dating back more than 5 years, and is banging on the door of a world title fight. Ligas on the other hand is 24 year old who has shown a lot of potential, and could well be only a fight or two from a world title shot of his own, if he wins here. The Filipino youngster already holds win against the likes of Alphoe Dagayloan and Roland Jay Biendima, and a win here would be a step in the right direction for his career.
A second title bout will see local hopeful Hong Quan Dinh (8-1-1, 4) make his first defense of the IBF Asia Lightweight title as he takes on Filipino visitor Jules Victoriano (11-4, 8). Dinh won the title last time out, taking a 10 round decision over Delmar Pellio, and he'll be looking to not just retain his title but also score a 7th straight win, and potentially move towards an OPBF title fight later in the year. As for Victoriano, he's very much a glass cannon, with 8 stoppage wins and 4 stoppage losses from his 15 fights and will be hoping to use his power here, before Dinh cracks his chin.
A third title fight on this show will see the unbeaten Korean teenager Chan Ho Song (7-0, 3) defending his WBO Youth Light Welterweight title against Thai foe Bunchuai Phonsungnoen (4-1-1, 3). Song won the title in April, with a narrow win over Romer Pinili, and should be favoured here, but this is certainly not a gimme for a first defense. The 22 year old Bunchuai was stopped on his debut, in 4 rounds against Toshio Tarumi in Japan, but showed enough there to catch the eye, and has gone unbeaten in the 4 years following the defeat. This is a genuinely solid first defense for this level of title.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In Metro Manila we'll see rising star Carl Jammes Martin (19-0, 16) defending his WBA Asia Super Bantamweight title against Charles Tondo (12-5-2, 5). The hard hitting Martin won the title last time out, when he stopped Ronnie Baldonado in 11 rounds, and had to show some grit to pull himself off the canvas early on. As for Tondo, from Tanzania, he was recently beaten by rising British fighter Dennis McCann in a bout where he looked limited but tough, and that toughness will be tested again here.
Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Ona separate card in the Philippines we'll get a battle of unbeaten punchers, as Kenneth Llover (5-0, 4) takes on Ridick Tablanza (4-0, 4). On paper this looks like an excellent match up between two young men each looking to move their careers forward. Of the two men Llover is the more notable, having turned professional in 2020 and racking up two wins already this year. As for Tablanza he debuted in late 2018, and ran up 4 wins in a combined 6 rounds, but has now been out of the ring since December 2019, and it's hard to know what desire he has given that lengthy lay off.
Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, California, USA
In the US we'll see once beaten Kazakh hopeful Ali Akhmedov (18-1, 14) take on Mexican veteran Ricardo Adrian Luna (23-8-2, 15). The hard hitting and exciting Akhmedov has picked up 2 low key wins since his thrilling 2020 loss to Carlos Gongora, and is rebuilding his confidence against low key opponents. Luna is a big step up from Akhmedov's recent opponents, and he recently held Vyacheslav Shabranskyy to a shock draw, but he is a naturally smaller man who has really been more of a gym fighter in recent years, notable as a main sparring partner for Ryota Murata.
176BOX, Toyonaka, Osaka, Japan
This coming Saturday we'll see one of Japan's most popular current fighters returns to the ring after almost 2 years of inactivity. Not only that but it's also the start of a new venture from a well known former Japanese fighter.
The show, which is promoted by Shinsei Promotions, will feature several fighters from the 3150 Gym, the newly founded gym from former world champion Koki Kameda who is looking to reinject excitement into boxing in West Japan.
As part of putting excitement back into boxing in Osaka we'll see this show being promoted by former Bantamweight champion Tomoki Kameda (36-3, 20), as he takes on the underwhelming Hironori Miyake (9-10-2, 1). The talented Kameda hasn't been seen in the ring since July 2019, when he lost to Rey Vargas, and had plans that needed cancelling last year due to the on going pandemic. At his best Kameda is a fantastic fighter, one of the most eye pleasing in Japan, but fighting at Super Bantamweight or Featherweight his lack of power is a massive issue, at least at the higher levels. Thankfully for Kameda his lack of power is unlikely to be an issue here as Miyake has lost his last 4, and was stopped last time out by the debuting Keisuke Matsumoto.
Also on this card is former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa (36-5-4, 21), who take on Chiharu Takasuka (7-7-1, 4). The now 35 year old Osawa is highly ranked by the WBA but was out of the ring for the entire of 2019, due to the pandemic, and has lost all the moment he had been rebuilding since his 2016 loss to Oscar Valdez. With that in mind it's hard to complain about him having an easy bout here. Takasuka, also aged 35, has been stopped in 3 of his last 4 and is 2-6 in his 8, against much more limited fighters than Osawa. This really is just a case of Osawa shaking some ring rust, nothing more and nothing less.
Whilst we won't go into the under-card there are 3 other 3150 Gym fighters on the card, along with Tomoki Kameda, as the gym starts to get it's self off the ground and as the Kameda's continue their long relationship with the Abema streaming service.
Booysens Hall, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
For a second day in a row we get action over in South Africa featuring local fighters against Filipino fighters, in bouts where the locals will be favoured of their visiting foes.
The most notable of the fighters in action is popular South African warrior Hekkie Budler (32-4, 10) who battles Filipino youngster Jonathan Almacen (7-3-2, 2) in a bout for the WBC Silver Light Flyweight title, and a potential crack at Kenshiro Teraji. The talented Budler, a 2-weight and former unified champion at Light Flyweight, hasn't fought since losing to Hiroto Kyoguchi at the end of 2018 and it's hard to know what such a long break from the ring will will do for him. At his best he would easily beat Almacen but at 33 years old and with so much inactivity this bout is more interesting than it would once have been. As for Almacen this is a massive step up in class and is, by far and away, his toughest bout to date.
The other bout will see local fans cheering on Simpiwe Konkco (19-6-0-1, 7) as he takes on Pinoy visitor Ariston Aton (9-3, 5). The talented Konkco was last seen in the ring in October 2019, when he lost to the then defending WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin, in what was a clear win for the Thai great. Sadly with a long lay off, it's now almost 3 years since Konkco last scored a win. As for Aton he's lost his last two, being out pointed in 2019 by Tatsuro Nakashima and being stopped last year by Tsuabasa Koura. Despite the 21 year old Aton being the more active recently, it would be a huge shock if he picked up the win against the often under-rated Konkco.
For a second day running we see a Japanese fighter in a world title fight, this time it's Tomoki Kameda (36-2, 20), who takes on WBC Super Bantamweight champion Rey Vargas (33-0, 22). This bout will see the regular and interim WBC titles being unified and should be a very high quality bout between two excellent fighters, but not one that is likely to have much drama. Both fighters are excellent boxers, but neither has much power and neither has shown themselves to be chinny, so that has a 12 round distance feel to it, and could well end up be one for the purists, rather than for those expecting fireworks. A full preview of this bout is available here Tomoki Kameda faces off with Rey Vargas for unified WBC crown!
As well as the big bout in the US there will also be a Rookie of the Year show in Hyogo, as part of the West Japan Rookie of the Year. In total 13 bouts are scheduled for this show, all 4 rounders, taking place between Minimumweight and Light Welterweight.
One of the bouts of real intrigue here is at Featherweight, and will see 20 year old Konosuke Kirihigashi (1-0, 1) take on 21 year old Kaito Okubo (3-0). Both of these men are youngsters, unbeaten and relatively tall, with Okubo being close to 6 foot tall. It's too early to know how good either man is, but with both being unbeaten we suspect both will be fighting with the mentality of an unbeaten man.
A very even looking match up on paper takes place at Lightweight and will see Yudai Tokumaru (2-1, 1) take on Kohei Ishikawa (2-1, 1) in a 50-50 match up. Tokumaru, at 23, is much young than the 34 year old Ishikawa and he's also a southpaw, so has more upside. It's also worth noting that Tokumaru's loss came to Aso Ishiwaki, who has become one of most under-rated youngsters in Japan, so were excited to see how he rebuilds from that loss.
Another bout of some intrigue will see 18 year old Ryuya Tsugawa (4-1, 1) take on the debuting Ren Nishimura (0-0), who went 14-9 (14) in the amateur ranks before signing his professional papers. It's going to be interesting to see how Nishimura transitions to the professionals given his power in the amateurs, but Tsugawa is certainly no push over and his only loss was a razor thin one last November.
This coming week is a quiet one, but it does have a highlight on Monday as we get a WBC “interim” world title fight from Tokyo, courtesy of ABEMA TV. The card is weak, other than the main event, but it should be worth tuning into if you're in the Land of the rising sun.
The main event of the card will be an excellent match up as former WBO Bantamweight champion Tomoki Kameda (35-2, 20) faces off with Abigail Medina (19-3-2, 10) for the WBC “interim” Super Bantamweight title. Kameda is the more well known of the two men and is the youngest of the Kameda clan, though has yet to really score a big win since moving to Super Bantamweight back in 2016, and there are question marks about his power. Despite being a bit light punching Kameda is a talent, with speed and skills, and he comes into this bout on a 4 fight winning streak. Medina on the other hand is a Dominican born fighter currently based in Spain, and he is unbeaten in almost 5 years. In that time he has won the WBU title, taking it from Jeremy Parodi, and defended it twice over solid challengers. This might only be an interim title fight, but it should be an ultra competitive one. A preview of this bout can be found here Kameda and Medina battle for WBC interim title!
The only under-card bout of real note will see Japanese ranked Welterweight contender Toshiro Tarumi (10-3-3, 5) take on Masafumi Ando (5-7-1, 2). The talented Tarumi comes into this bout following 5 straight wins, including victories over Takashi Inagaki, Noriaki Sato and Shusaku Fujinaka and will feel that he is edging towards a Japanese title fight in the near future. Ando looks to be a stay busy opponent for Tarumi, and has gone 3-5-1 in his last 9, but should get Tarumi some rounds before a potential title fight next year.
The bigger show this coming Saturday is a big one from California which has seen more changes to it than most people change clothes, and credit needs to be given to the promoters for even getting a workable together.
Originally the card had been set to be the rematch between Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33) and Saul Alvarez, following their controversial 2017 draw, with the bout to be staged in Las Vegas. The Mexican failed a drugs test and a replacement was sought, with Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21) being the man to get the shot at Golovkin, and the fight moving to California, and the IBF deciding not to allow their title to be fought for by Martirosyan due to his lack of a world ranking. The desire to put on a show is admirable, but this isn't an amazing match up, and we've seen other issues with the show, such as Roman Gonzalez being removed from the show as well.
In the Uzbek capital of Tashkent fight fans will get the chance to see a number of local hopefuls in action.
The main event of the card will see the promising Azizbek Abdugofurov (10-0, 4) battle against Russian Dmitrii Chudinov (21-2-2, 13) in a bout for the WBC Silver Super Middleweight title. The local, fighting only his 3rd bout in Uzbekistan, will be looking to secure his second win at world level, following last year's win over Sirimongkol Singwancha. The 26 year old, has risen fast and looked really exciting but this is still a big step up. Chudinov is a former WBA “interim” Middleweight world champion, and at one point looked really good himself, however since losing to Chris Eubank Jr just over 3 years ago he's not looked the same and suffered a loss to veteran Lolenga Mock earlier this year. Chudinov has the tools to give the Uzbek problems, but it's hard to imagine Abdugofurov losing against this version of Chudinov.
At the time of writing the under-card doesn't look to be set to concretely, with only the promoters fighters having been confirmed for the show. Saying that however the is a lot of name value to make note of here, including Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (14-0, 9), Umid Rustamov (3-0, 3), Jasur Akhmadjonov (4-0, 3) and Ulugbek Sobirov (4-0, 2), all of whom look set to have a great future in the sport.
At the Korakuen Hall we'll see the next show from Kyoei, and it's a pretty interesting one in some ways, but one that isn't likely to get too much attention outside of Asia.
The headline bout is the shows key talking point, yet isn't even an official bout, as Koki Kameda (33-2, 18) battles Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (90-5-2, 47) in a rematch of Kameda's first professional defeat. This fight will be held under special exhibition rules, and is scheduled to go 8 rounds. The bout won't have judges, though a TV voting system will essentially be used to determine an unofficial winner if the bout goes the distance, and the bout won't be recorded on either man's record. Despite that the contest is something that both men seem to win with Kameda looking to avenge one of his two defeats and Wonjongkam looking to prove there is still life left in his 40 year old legs.
Koki's younger brother Tomoki Kameda (34-2, 20) will be in the main official bout as he takes on Mexican visitor Daniel Noriega (30-11-1, 15). Kameda has stated that this bout will be his final one before he gets another shot at a world title, likely at Super Bantamweight as he looks to become a 2-weight champion. The popular Japanese fighter should be too good, too fast and too skilled for Noriega but the Mexican is tough and could give Kameda some questions to answer late in the bout, with this being a 10 round contest.
Also on this card is rising female hopeful Jun Yabuki (10-0, 5), who will face a Thai foe, and Kyonosuke Kameda (0-1), who looks to pick up his first won against Kazuyuki Watanabe (1-1, 1).
Another Asian show will take place in Singapore, where local fighters will be looking to advance their careers.
The most notable bout on this card will see 22 year old hopeful Muhammad Ashiq (3-0, 3) fighting against 50 fight veteran Julio de la Basez (21-21-8, 12). On paper this looks like a huge step up for Ashiq but he's up against a 38 year old Indonesian veteran who has scored just 1 win in the last 7 years.
Busan, South Korea
The Asian action continues with a small show in Busan. This card won't get too much attention but does deserve a quick look over.
The main event of the show will see Ki Chang Go (5-2, 2) and JooHyun Kim (4-2-2, 1) battle for a version of the Korean Super Flyweight title. Despite losing his first two bouts Go has been impressive with 5 straight wins coming in to this one, including a an opening round stoppage last time out against Morakote PatanakanGym. As for Kim his form has suffered recently, and after winning his first 3 he has gone 1-2-2, with a stoppage loss to Teiru Atsumi back in November 2014 being his last bout.
The key support bout on this card will see the unbeaten In Duck Seo (9-0-2, 6) battle against Uzbek visitor Eldorbek Sayidov (4-3-1, 3). The 23 year old Korean debuted just over 3 years ago and despite suffering 2 draws in his last 3 bouts has looked really promising and is likely to be the next Korean to try and make a mark at the Oriental level. The visiting Uzbek has won his last 3, but is win-less outside of Tashkent and won't be expected to defeat Seo here.
To begin a new week we get the next in the Asign Bee series of shows, and like many of the others it's a really good card, and will be available over the Asign service on demand.
The main event will see former Bantamweight world champion Tomoki Kameda (33-2, 20) continue to re-establish himself in Japan as he takes on former world title challenger Ivan Morales (31-2, 19) in a really good looking match up on paper. Although an attractive looking bout it's likely to be one sided, with Kameda almost certainly being too good for Morales, the younger brother of the legendary Erik Morales. Despite thinking Kameda will be too good we still expect this to be a fan friendly contest with a lot of action.
In the chief support bout we'll see veteran Takafumi Nakajima (27-9-1, 12) take on Filipino foe John Ray Logatiman (6-5-2, 2). The 33 year old Nakajima has been in their with a who's who during his long and hard career, and it's likely he's now winding down on a career that began back in 2003. He may have enough to score a win here, but Logatiman is 10 years his junior and will be looking to pick up his first win in Japan, following a loss to Sho Nakazawa earlier this year.
In a really good supporting bout we'll see the upset minded Toshiro Tarumi (6-3-3, 3) take on the under-rated Noriaki Sato (5-1-1). On paper this bout won't grab fans but the reality is that should be a real thriller. In recent bouts Tarumi has upset Kazuki Hayashi Jr, Quaye Peter and Takashi Inagaki, and went out swinging against Yuki Nagano. Sato on the other-hand is a real talent and will be looking to move towards a title fight in the near future, and will know he needs a win here.
Talking about title fighters it's interesting to note that we see the first ever Japanese female title eliminator as Jun Yabuki (7-0, 3) and Yumiko Shimooka (3-3, 1) face off. The winner of this bout will take a huge step towards becoming a Japanese female champion, and whilst that's not earth shattering news it is a big story for female boxing, and boxing in Japan.
One other bout of note sees Yuta Nakagawa (20-4-1, 11) take on a Thai foe in an 8 rounder. The bout isn't anything more than a stay busy bout for Nakagawa, though he is in line for a potential Japanese Super Bantamweight title fight down the line, and cannot afford any slip ups, or cuts, here if he's wanting to advance to a title bout, or eliminator of his own.
This Friday marks the first “Asign Bee” card, and what a card it looks like being with 3 really notable bouts, each featuring a man with world title experience.
The main event will see 2-time former world title challenger Ryo Akaho (29-2-2, 19) take on the once beaten Yushi Tanaka (19-1-3, 13) in a bout for the vacant Japanese Bantamweight title. The title was vacated last year by Kentaro Masuda, who seems set to turn his attention on regional titles, and we've got this intriguing match up as a result. Akaho will be favoured, he has fought at a higher level, holds the more notable wins and has fought in and around title level for years, but the 25 year old Tanaka will be hungry and will know that he has avoided the career harming wars that Akaho has frequently had.
In the chief support bout we'll see former WBO Bantamweight champion Tomoki Kameda (32-2, 20) take on experienced Thai Mike Tawatchai (42-9-1, 25). Tomoki, fighting in Japan for the first time since December 2013, will be expected to over-come Tawatchai as he looks to begin a run towards Super Bantamweight gold, and will have eyes on the likes of IBF champion Yukinori Oguni. Talking about Oguni he actually stopped Tawatchai last year, in 5 rounds. Tawatchai has also suffered a relatively recent loss in Japan to Shingo Wake and will be looking to avenge a 2012 loss to Tomoki's older brother Daiki Kameda. Highly experience Tawatchai isn't a terrible fighter, but shouldn't be much of a test for Kameda.
The third bout of note sees former world title challenger Hisashi Amagasa (31-6-2, 20), best known for twice dropping Guillermo Rigondeaux, taking on domestic foe Kinshiro Usui (27-4, 11) in a real must win for both men. Amagasa hasn't looked great in recent bouts, and it looks almost like his toughness is wearing down after damaging bouts with Rigondeaux, Patomsith Pathompothong, Josh Warrington and Carlo Demecillo. Usui is a former Japanese title challenger at Bantamweight and has mixed with good company himself, suffering losses to the likes of Kohei Oba, Ryosuke Iwasa and Takafumi Nakajima, but is riding a solid 6 fight winning streak and will be high on confidence coming into this bout.
Western Australia, Australia
We'll also see a number of Asian's fighting outside of Asia. One of those is Thai veteran Yodpichai Sithsaithong (12-16, 6), who takes on former world champion Vic Darchinyan (42-9-1, 31) in Australia. The Thai is a very limited fighter, who has lost his last 3, but will be going up against a very shot Darchinyan, who is more than a year removed from his last win, and has been stopped in 4 of his last 7, dating back more than 3 years.
In the US we'll see once beaten Filipino hopeful Romero Duno (12-1, 11) take on the unbeaten Christian Gonzalez (16-0, 14) in a bout for the WBC Youth Intercontinental Lightweight title. This should be a genuinely exciting clash between two punchers, each looking to claim a title, and we'd be shocked if this one goes the distance. Between them the fighters have 25 stoppages from 29 fights and we'd be expecting both to go out swinging here.
Also in the USA we'll see American based Kyrgyzstan born Basyzbek Baratov (1-1-1) take on debut Tyrone Arzena (0-0). Baratov has had 3 very competitive bouts in his career so far, and could really be 0-0-3, but will be looking to add some consistency here and get some career momentum going in what will be his first bout in his adopted Pennsylvania.
This Saturday isn't the most packed of days but does feature several fights of note.
In Sinaloa fight fans will see former world champion Pedro Guevara (28-2-1, 17) face off against Filipino former world title challenger Jerry Tomogdan (21-7-3, 9). Tomogdan is a late replacement for WBC Light Flyweight champion Ganigan Lopez, who was originally set to face Guevara before pulling out with an injury. The Filipino will be the under-dog against the fantastic Mexican but may be able to catch Guevara off form given that his original focus was on Lopez and not Tomogdan.
Staying in Mexico we'll see another former world champion in action as Tomoki Kameda (31-2, 19) faces Cecilio Santos (31-30-6, 19). This will be Kameda's first bout in over a year, following back-to-back losses to Jamie McDonnell, but should be an easy one for the only remaining Kameda, after both Koki and Daiki announced their retirements. Notably Santos was stopped in 4 rounds 6 years ago by Tomoki's older brother Koki and that will likely by Tomoki's target here.
Western Australia, Australia
In Australia we'll see Thailand's once beaten Pharanpetch Tor Buamas (18-1, 14) challenge Brandon Ogilvie (16-1-1, 8) for the Aussie's WBA Oceania Lightweight title. Pharanpetch will be returning to the country where he suffered his only loss, last year to Billy Dib, to take on a man who gave Yoshitaka Kato a thrilling war earlier this year. Sadly for the Thai we don't see him having the work rate, or natural size, to really compete with Ogilvie.
New Delhi, India
In Asia there is only one show and that comes from India.
The main event from this card will see Neeraj Goyat (7-2-2, 2) defend his WBC Asian Boxing Council Welterweight title against Australian Ben Kite (5-3-1, 1). Goyat should be favoured strongly here, given his home advantage and the likes, but Kite will travel to put up a fight.
In an under-card bout the unbeaten Indian Deepak Tanwar (2-0, 1) will face fellow unbeaten John Serunjogi (5-0, 3), from Uganda. The bout, scheduled for 6 rounds, could see questions of both men being answered, though is unlikely to really prove much about either man.
The most notable action featuring Asian fighters this coming Sunday comes from Texas where we get two former world champions in action as they both look bounce back from losses in world title action.
Of the two men the most notable is former WBO Bantamweight champion Tomoki Kameda (31-1, 19) who faces Englishman Jamie McDonnell (26-2-1, 12), in an attempt to avenge his first career defeat and claim the WBA Bantamweight title. These two faced each other earlier this year in a brilliantly compelling bout that saw McDonnell climb off the canvas to take a narrow decision win over the youngster of the 3 Kameda brothers. Kameda, who had a rematch clause, will be looking to become a 2-time world champion but will need to show much more than he did in the first meetign with McDonnell, especially down the stretch.
The other is Tomoki's older brother Daiki Kameda (29-4, 18). Daiki, a former Flyweight and Super Flyweight world champion, willl be facing Mexican slugger Victor Ruiz (19-5, 14) in what looks like a good match up on paper. Kameda hasn't fought since late 2013, when he lost a Super Flyweight unification bout to Liborio Solis, and will likely be rusty here though should over-come Ruiz who has a very padded looking record.
Whilst the Kameda's will be the biggest name Japanese fighters in action they will certainly not be the only Japanese fighters in action with a show in Toyama.
Notably this show will be headlined by two non-Japanese fighters as Venezuelan Juan Jose Landaeta (26-8-1, 20) battles against Panama's Walter Tello (21-8, 8). Landaeta is now based in Japan and will be hoping show some of the form that once lead him to holding the WBA interim Minimumweight title. As for Tello this will be his second bout since he was stopped by Randy Petalcorin in June 2014, and we'd expect him to come up short again here.
In another feature bout on this card fans will see the once beaten Aiko Yamagishi (4-1-1, 2) battle former world title challenger Saemi Hanagata (9-6-2, 4) in a 6 round female bout. Hanagata has come up short in her last two bouts but did run Naoko Shibata very close back in February and we expect her to show her ability here. Notably Yamagishi was stopped last time out and this is a big step up in class for her.
The most attractive of three Filipino shows comes from Benguet where we get two bouts that have really caught our eye.
The most notable of those bouts will see the once beaten Ben Mananquil (10-1-2, 2) battle against former world ranked fighter Mateo Handig (13-9, 7) in an intriguing Super Flyweight bout. We are fans of Mananquil, who at 23 years old is genuine one to keep an eye on. Handig, who holds a major win over Katsunari Takayama has lost his last 4 and will know that another defeat will spell the end of any dreams he has to make a real name for himself.
The other bout will see former world ranked slugger Alie Laurel (13-4, 9) take on Gerry Patenio (4-8-2, 2). Although this is a mismatch we always enjoy watching Laurel in action and he certainly knows a thing or two about upsets, holding wins over Nobuhisa Coronita Doi and Tiger Tor Buamas. We're looking forward to seeing more of Laurel down the line, but this is an easy win following a loss to Ernesto Saulong back in May.
As well as the bouts mentioned there will be a number of bouts featuring Indian fighters.
Another notable show comes from Wastern Samar.
The most interesting bout on this card will see the once beaten Neil John Tabanao (11-1,7) attempt to bounce back from his recent loss to Randy Braga. The talented and young Tabano will be up against the limited Alvin Makiling (10-12-3, 3) in what should be a one-sided bout with the 21 year old Tabano coming out on top.
In an 8 round support bout the unbeaten Rambo Lagos (4-0-2, 2) will be up against the limited JR Salvador (5-23-3). This should again be a win for the unbeaten man though this could be an interesting test for Lagos.
One other bout of note here will see 20 year old Margarito Moya (7-1, 2) in action. Moya was originally reported to be up against Renan Portes (4-2, 1), though it now looks like Moya is out of the bout.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
On another Filipino show fans will get the chance to see promising 21 year old Genesis Libranza (7-0, 5) battle against the very experienced Michael Rodriguez (13-41-1, 3) in a bout set for 10. It's hard to go against the unbeaten man though he does have a lot of questions to be asked before he's stepped up too much.
In the co-feature of this show fans will see the return to the ring of Drian Francisco (27-3-1, 21) who faces Jilo Merlin (13-23-2, 2). This will be Francisco's first bout since he was beaten in a round by Jason Canoy, who was recently announced as the opponent for Hianata Maruta's upcoming debut, and this is as a safe a comeback fight as Francisco could possibly have with Melin having lost his last 8.
The busy action continues on May 9th with a host of notable fighters in action with some very interesting match ups.
The most significant bout involving an Asian comes from Texas, where unbeaten Bantamweight Tomoki Kameda (31-0, 19) attempts to claim the WBA “regular” title and over-come Britain's hard working Jamie McDonnell (25-2-1, 12). This bout was originally announced as a WBO-WBA unification bout but Kameda was forced to vacate by the WBO who refused to recognise the bout as a unification due to the WBA having multiple champions. Whilst the WBO's move has removed some lure of the bout we're still expecting the action inside the ring to be fantastic and we really can't wait for this.
On a different US show fans will have the chance to see Chinese Heavyweight giant Taishan Dong (3-0, 2) continue his development as he takes on American foe Karinn Davis (2-4, 2). Whilst Dong is heavily hyped in the US he is being matched softly and that's shown again here with Davis being a 40 year old who fought much of his career at Cruiserweight before making his Heavyweight debut earlier this year. Notably Dong will have a 1' height advantage here completely dwarfing Davis when the two get in to the ring.
Whilst the attention grabbing bouts, for many, are stateside we do still get plenty of notable action in Japan with the most notable of two shows coming from Kobe.
The Kobe show is a genuinely intriguing one which is headlined by the come-back of the popular Hozumi Hasegawa (33-5, 15). Hasegawa, fighting for the first time since he was stopped by Kiko Martinez last year, will be taking on dangerous Mexican Horacio Garcia (29-0, 21) in what looks to be a really tough return to action. This is a really difficult bout for Hasegawa though he knows that if he scores a win he could well be back in the title mix by the end of the year. The stakes however are high and another stoppage loss could well be the end of his fantastic career.
As well as the interesting main event there was also some notable fighters on the under-card. The most notable of those fighters is the fast rising Shun Kubo (6-0, 4) who is world ranked at Super Bantamweight, by the WBC, and should really have an easy time in his upcoming bout with Masajiro Honda (6-5, 4). We like Kubo a lot and hope that we see him in a more notable bout next time out.
A genuinely notable bout on this card will see Japanese based Filipino Jonathan Baat (28-6-3, 14) take on Takahiro Shigee (12-1-1, 10). This is Baat's first bout since he upset Kenta Onjo in March and if he wins again here he'll be on the verges of a title fight. For Shigee this will be his first bout of note since he was stopped in 8 rounds by Rodrigo Guerrero last July. Incidentally both men have been stopped by Guerrero.
Another really interesting match up on this card will see Tetsuya Hisada (21-9-2, 11) take on Shun Kosaka (9-1) in what should be a very competitive 8 round bout between decent but flawed fighters. Neither of these two are great but that should lead to a competitive match up and at the end of the day that's what we enjoy more than quick blow outs in mismatches.
A second Japanese card comes from Osaka where fans will get a female world title bout along with a number of relatively miss-able under-card bouts.
The main event will see WBC female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (12-4-1, 6) defending her title against multi-time title challenger Masae Akitaya (9-5-2, 3). For Kuoki this will be the second defense of the title she won last May, with a decision over Mari Ando, and on paper it's a step down. However Akitaya is certainly not a push over and will come into this bout feeling like this could be her last chance. Don't be surprised if this one ends up being fantastic despite neither fighter being being near the elite.
As for the under-card there isn't really anything of note happening on it, despite 8 scheduled bouts supporting the main event.
There will also be title action in Korea where we're expecting a couple of low level title bouts,
The most “interesting” of those bouts is a WBA Asia Middleweight title bout between Eun Chang Lee (8-4, 4) and Thailand's John Ford (6-6-1, 5). Lee may be remembered by some for his Macau Bout with Brazilian Middleweight Esquiva Falcao and although he clearly lost that bout he did show his toughness and strength. Ford on the other hand was last seen being stopped by Shuhei Tsuchiya at Light Welterweight. Given the size difference between the two we have to assume this is going to be a horrible mismatch.
The other title bout is set to be for some PABA title, though we're unsure which actual belt it will be with the suspicion it'll be a female title bout at Super Featherweight.
As well as the two title bouts this show will feature 3 under-card bouts.
We get the chance to see an interest bout in Bulgaria as Kazakh Bantamweight banger Zhanat Zhakiyanov (24-1, 17) will be battling against the unbeaten Argentinian Hector Rolando Guzman (14-0, 9). This bout will be for the WBA International Bantamweight title and seems to suggest that Zhakiyanov may not be heading the WBC route after all, a smart move considering the champion is the sensational Shinsuke Yamanaka.
Wellington, New Zealand
In New Zealand fans will have the chance to see an “interim” WIBA Super Bantamweight title fight as Thailand's Anrey Onesongchaigym (7-1-1, 3) battles Gentiane Lupi (3-1-1, 1). This bout isn't likely to tell much about either fighter though should leave the loser well away from a notable fight.