This coming Saturday isn't a huge one for Asian boxing, but we so have plenty of hopefuls in action.
The biggest name in action is the hotly tipped Uzbek standout Israil Madrimov (4-0, 4), who takes on former world title challenger Charlie Navarro (29-9, 22). This bout, a world title eliminator with the WBA, is a good step forward for Madrimov on paper, but should be little more than another showcase when the two men actually get into the ring. As we all already know Madrimov is a very special talent and a win here should set him up for a world title fight later in the year. Navarro, despite being 40 years old, is no push over and could ask some questions of Madrimov by relying on his experience and power.
Over in Asia we'll have a show in Cambodia of all places, where we'll see several fighters of note in action.
In the main event Uzbek fighter Olimjon Nazarov (21-5, 12) will take on Filipino fighter Orlie Silvestre (15-5-2, 8) in a bout for a WBO regional title. Although Nazarov has 5 losses to his name he has won his last 8 and appears to be "coming good" as experience and time has allowed him to develop, and score wins over the likes of Ivan Soriano and Kongfah Nakornluang. Silvestre is a decent fighter, but is very much the smaller man and we suspect he'll struggle here, given he's a small Light Flyweight, and Nazarov is a big Flyweight.
In another title bout we'll see Vietnamese fighter Thi Thu Nhi Nguyen (3-0, 1) battle against Thai foe Kanyarat Yoohanngoh (7-4, 4) for the WBO Asia Pacific female Minimumweight title. The unbeaten 23 year old Nguyen is stepping up massively here, but a win would put her in the mix for a world title bout. Aged 21 Kanyarat has previously fought at world level, where she was stopped by Etsuko Tada in a world title eliminator, and has lost 2 of her last 3. We see the unbeaten Vietnamese fighter picking up the win here.
Another Uzbek Vs Philippines bout on this show will see Abdurasul Ismoilov (7-1, 4) take on veteran Adones Aguelo (33-20-2, 23). On paper this looks like another step forward for Ismoilov, who looks to continue to rebuild following a surprise 2019 loss to Hwang Kil Kim, but Aguelo, on his day, can be a banana skin. Aguelo is tough, rugged, his hard and can pick up upsets, as he did last year against Eden Sonsona and did a few years ago against Jerry Nardo. Aguelo will be the under-dog, but he has got the ability to ask real questions of Ismoilov.
Another fighter of note on this card is Vietnamese fighter Van Thao Tran (12-1 8), who looks to rebuild from a loss to Billy Dib. The talented Tran will be strongly favoured here as he takes on Filipino journeyman Aries Buenavidez (13-4, 7), who was stopped in November by Petch Sor Chitpattana. Tran may have disappointed against Dib, but we suspect he will be too big and too good for Buenavidez here.
This coming Saturday is a genuinely crazy day of action, with a host
London, United Kingdom
The biggest bout for Asian boxing, on a truly hectic day, comes from the Copper Box in London and will see rising local star Daniel Dubois (13-0, 12) take on Japanese Heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto (21-1, 13), in what is likely to be a bit of a mismatch. Dubois is considered by many as one of the future stars of the Middleweight division and is likely going to be took quick, too strong and too powerful for Kyotaro. The Japanese fighter managed to have notable success on the domestic and regional title scene but this is a huge step up in class.
Staying in the Western world Miami plays host to Filipino hopeful Mike Plania (22-1, 12), who takes on Giovanni Gutierrez (9-0, 6) in a bout for the IBF North American Super Bantamweight title. Although not very well known Plania is a real talent and there is genuine potential for him to make a mark in the coming years. On paper Gutierrez has the better wins, but the Nicaraguan hasn't done anything to prove he's better than Plania, making this very much a 50-50 contest in our eyes, and one of the more under-rated bout of the day.
New South Wales, Australia
Staying on the theme of international action it's worth noting that two Asian fighters will be in action "down under".
One of those is Vietnamese hopeful Van Thao Tran (12-0, 8), who risks his unbeaten record against former world champion Billy Dib (45-6-0-2, 26). This will be Dib's first bout since being stopped in July by Amir Khan, when he moved up to Welterweight on short notice. Although once a world champion Dib has looked a shadow of himself recently and it's hard to see what the 34 year old really has left in the tank. The 27 year old Thao is stepping up massively, and is certainly under pressure as he'll knows a win here would be the biggest win ever by a Vietnamese boxer. The big question is whether Tran has got Dib at the right time or not? If he has this will be a huge win for Tran, and Vietnam.
The other Asian on this card is Indonesian Rivo Kundimang (9-0-2, 5), who looks to make a swift return to the ring following his technical draw with Kunta Lee from early November. The 22 year old Southpaw will be up against fellow unbeaten Daniel Lewis (5-0, 3) in what looks a really interesting match up. It's hard to read much into this, but we do love seeing unbeaten fighters taking risks and that's what they are doing here.
One of the final big cards of the pre-Christmas period is in Russia, where we'll see a number of really interesting match ups, including several bouts with Asian fighters.
The most interesting of the bouts with Asian fighters will see the unbeaten Aidos Yerbossynuly (12-0, 8), from Kazakhstan, take on Ghanaian veteran Obodai Sai (35-3, 26). The talented Yerbossynuly will be seeking his third win of the year here, and is looking to build on a solid win over Rocky Jerkic last time out. As for Sai, this will be his first bout of the year and it's hard to know what the 32 year old has left in the tank.
Lower down the card we'll see the debut of Uzbek Odiljon Aslonov (0-0) and the return to the pros of former amateur standout Rustam Tulaganov (1-0), who hasn't fought as a pro since 2017. At the time of writing it's unclear who either man will be facing off against, though men will likely be matched softly.
A second Russian card will take place in Kanevskaya and will feature unbeaten Russian born Azeri Roman Zakirov (6-0, 4), who is looking for his 5th win of the year. The unbeaten 23 year old is up against South African foe Gift Bholo (8-9, 4), in what should be an easy win for Zakirov.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The most notable of three scheduled Filipino shows comes from Metro Manila, where we see a number of notable names in action.
The main event will see Al Toyogon (10-5-1, 6) look to bounce back from successive losses to Ryo Sagawa, Shuya Masaki and Jorge Linares as he takes on Carlo Magali (24-13-3, 13), in a bout for the GAB Super Featherweight title. Although Toyogon is on a bad run he has shown that he's tough, he comes to fight and really won't be discouraged easily. Magali is no world beater but tends to be a rugged and tough guy who comes to fight. With that in mind this could be a very good 12 round battle.
On the supporting card we'll see 2-time world title challenger Aston Palicte (25-3-1, 21) take on Renz Rosia (15-9-1, 8). The heavy handed Palicte will be looking to bounce back from his TKO loss to Kazuto Ioka back in June and will be favoured, though Rosia can play the role of spoiler when he's on form, so Palicte really shouldn't over-look him.
This card will also feature one of our favourite Filipino prospects, Carl Jammes Martin (14-0, 13), who looks to notch his 4th win of the year. The all action Martin will be up against Philip Luis Cuerdo (11-8-1, 4), who has lost his last 3. This could be a very quick win for Martin, who will be expecting to face better competition in 2020.
A second Filipino card will take place in Cebu, and will be a family affair for the Saludar family.
The main event will see former WBO Minimumweight champion Vic Saludar (19-4, 10) take on Filipino journeyman Mike Kinaadman (7-12-2, 5), in a bout for the ABF Minimumweight title. This should be a very easy win for Saludar, who is looking to get back to winning ways after losing the WBO world title to Wilfredo Mendez back in August.
Vic's brothers Jakeson Saludar (4-0, 4) and Van June Saludar (5-2-2, 3) will also be on the card. On paper neither man is in an easy one here, and we wouldn't be surprised to see at least one of the brothers being tested, if not slipping up and losing.
One other fighter of note on this card is former female world title challenger Casey Morton (8-2-3, 1), who will be taking on Thai foe Saowaluk Nareepangsri (8-17, 2).
A third Filipino card will be taking place in Cavite. This is a much, much smaller card than the other two and the most notable name in action here is former OPBF Super Featherweight champion Ronald Pontillas (18-8-3, 9), who takes on Edsil Jungco (3-14, 7) in a 6 rounder.
Bang Phun, Thailand
Another Asian country with some actual action this Saturday is Thailand, as Work Point give us the last WP Boxing of the year. On paper this is one of the more interesting ones, but also one that lacks in terms of name value.
In an interesting 10 rounder Apichet Petchmanee (5-0, 2) will face off with unbeaten Indonesian Ari Agustian (8-0, 8). The 30 year old Thai was touted highly going in to the year, but hasn't really progressed as expected in 2019 and has instead looked rather human. Agustian looked like a potential break out star for Indonesia last year, after his big win over Baolin Kang, but has struggled to build on it. Here we see two men each looking to go into the new year with some momentum and a win here will give their career a big shot in the arm.
In a second notable bout on this card we'll see 22 year old Thai puncher Thattana Luangphon (8-0-1, 8) take on Japanese visitor Daichi Matsuura (7-4-2, 3), with the local looking to defend his WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Bantamweight title. Thattana, also known as Chainoi Worawut, has looked like a star of the WP Boxing series, and will be looking for his 6th win of the year. As for Matsuura he'll be looking for his second win since being taken out in a round by Juiki Tatsuyoshi.
The main show this coming Sunday comes from Tokyo, where we get the East Japan Rookie of the Year Finals, with 12 bouts scheduled for the show. The winners here will move on to December's All Japan Rookie of the Year final, where they will face the West Japan representatives. We won't go through all 12 bouts, but we have got 4 bouts that do really interest us.
At Lightweight we'll see Shinnosuke Saito (5-3, 2) take on the unbeaten Jin Sasaki (7-0, 6). Saito has has twice been beaten in previous Rookie of the Year events, losing to Zirolian Riku in 2017 and George Tachibana in 2018, and will be hoping it's third time lucky. Sasaki on the other hand only made his debut in August 2018, and the 18 year old has been really active and really impressive. His competition hasn't been great though he looked fantastic in his East Japan Rookie of the Year semi-final in September, when he stopped Tetsuya Kondo. It's hard to see Sasaki losing, but this should be his best test so far.
At Featherweight we'll see the unbeaten Daiki Imanari (5-0, 3) take on Kyonosuke Kameda (4-1-1, 3). The unbeaten Imanari made his debut in October 2018 and has notched 4 wins this year as he's marched his way to. Aged 22 and fighting out of the southpaw stance Imanari has been impressive and booked his place in the final with an opening round TKO win against Azumah Tanaka. The once beaten Kameda, the cousin of the Kameda fighting brothers, is a huge Featherweight, at 6'0" and although he's not unbeaten he has improved drastically since being stopped on his debut at the very start of January 2018. This could be a really interesting bout and it's worth noting that both men can really punch.
On paper the Super Flyweight bout between Satoshi Iriinafuku (5-4, 4) and Seiya Meguro (4-0, 3) might not look great but this could be the hidden gem for the show. The 26 year old Iriinafuku is on a roll this year, scoring 3 successive stoppages and appears to have build his confidence with those wins, including surprise win over Rui Ikari in his semi final in September. Meguro on the other hand is a talented 19 year old who has been very dangerous in the early stages. Expect leather to fly in the opening couple of rounds of their scheduled 5 rounder.
The final bout that really interests us is the Minimumweight bout, which will pit unbeaten Ohashi gym hopeful Katsuki Mori (4-0, 1) against the very exciting Shu Nawai (3-1, 2), in what will be the second bout between the two men. These two actually fought in October 2018, when Mori out pointed the debuting Nawai, and it's fair to say that the aggressive Nawai will want to avenge that loss against the slippery and sharp Mori. This should be very interesting with their styles meshing well and the history of their previous bout.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
As well as the Rookie of the Year show in Japan there will also be a card in Vietnam.
The main event of this card is a really interesting one, with Korean teenager Jong Seon Kang (9-0-2, 6) facing off against Filipino youngster Tomjune Mangubat (11-1-1, 9) in a contest for the WBO Oriental Youth Featherweight title. Kang impressed earlier this year, when he stopped Qixiu Zhang in China, and this will be his second bout in Vietnam, following a draw back in August. Mangubat on the other hand is 1-1-1 in his last 3 and there is very little of quality on his record and this appears to be a genuine step up for him. This could be a very interesting match up.
Another potentially interesting fight will see Uzbek fighter Olimjon Nazarov (19-5, 11) take on the limited but fun to watch Kongfah Nakornluang (32-1, 20) from Thailand. Coming in to this Nazarov has won 6 in a row, including a huge win in August over Ivan Soriano, and is a long way removed from the man who lost 3 times in just over 3 months. Kongfah on the other hand has 10 wins in a row since his sole loss, Pongsaklek Sithdabnij, but those wins have come against total novices, and his last bout was way back in March 2018.
Also set for this show is Vietnamese hopeful Van Thao Tran (11-0, 8), who takes on Filipino visitor Ponciano Remandiman (10-4-1, 5). The talented Tran has had a really frustrating career, with bouts being cancelled and plans being changed, and sadly this will be his first bout in over 16 months! A huge change to the first half of 2018, where he fought 4 times in just 6 months. Remandiman has rebuilt really well since a 2-4-1 start to his career, and has won 8 in a row, including a recent win over Renz Rosia. The visitor has momentum coming into this, but will be regarded as the clear under-dog.
In Thailand this coming Thursday fight fans will see the unbeaten Tran Van Thao (6-0, 4) take on George Lumoly (8-3-1, 6) for the interim WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Flyweight Title. The unbeaten man, who is from Vietnam, has won 3 in a row in Thailand and is seen by some as the country's biggest boxing hope, though will be stepping up in same ways here after 4 early wins. Lumoly, from Indonesia, has won his last 3, and claimed a national title but hasn't had any success outside of his homeland and scored his best win way down at 108lbs, not the 115lbs that this bout will be fought at.