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.