Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
The most notable bout to involve an Asian fighter this coming Saturday doesn't actually take place in Asia, but instead Canada as Chinese Heavyweight Junlong Zhang (19-0, 18) takes on German foe Erdogan Kadrija (18-5, 12) in Ontario. The Chinese fighter, dubbed the "Dragon King", was long regarded as something of a mystery man, but surfaced in Canada earlier this year, and took his first decision win. The hard hitting Chinese fighter, who won his first 18 official bouts inside the first 2 rounds, will be looking to prove his power here after losing his stoppage streak. As for Kadrija he has been stopped 4 times, with 3 of those stoppages coming in his last 6 bouts. Notably he is a blown up Super Middleweight, who was stopped by Juergen Braehmer way back in 2019 and really shouldn't pose any questions for Zhang.
Consolacion, Cebu, Philippines
Whilst the single most notable bout with an Asian will be in Canada, we do get a really notable card in Cebu where a number of prospects will be looking to move their careers on in step up bouts.
One of those prospects is John Vincent Pangga (6-0, 4), who looks like he could in for a test as he takes on Vergilio Silvano (21-9-1, 12), however the bout really isn't the competitive match up some might expect. Silvano is best known for facing Katsunari Takayama, in an IBF world title fight, where he came up short. His form since that is hit and miss and he has little momentum coming in to this. More notably however is that and isn't a natural Super Flyweight-come-Bantamweight like Pangga, who should be too big and too strong.
A much more competitive looking bout will see the once beaten Berland Robles (5-0, 2) face off with the once beaten Jerven Mama (12-1-1, 7), in what is an excellent match up. Robles is a 22 year old who has stepped up his level of fights in one way or another every time since his debut, and recently showed he could do 10 rounds. He might not be a world beater in the making, but there is no denying that his team are moving him well and putting trust in him to continue to develop. Mama on the other hand was once tipped for big things, but a KO loss last year to Mark Vicelles has killed the momentum he was building, and he'll be desperate to get things back on track here.
Another prospect taking a genuine step up is the unbeaten 21 year old "Wild Fury" Bryan James Wild (9-0, 6), who battles the experienced and battled hardened Carlo Demecillo (15-6-1, 8). Wild is quickly capturing the attention with string of solid wins for someone at this point in his career, and whilst he is still very much a developing fighter this is a positive step up for him from his team. Demecillo is no world beater, or even a regional contender, but he has proven to be a tough guy and he doesn't roll over for anyone, so he should have the tools to ask Wild some real questions and force the youngster to prove what he can do, and whether he has the tools to move onto regional level bouts.
Other prospects on this card include the once beaten April Jay Abne (10-1, 5), who takes on Ramel Antaran (5-18-2); Ian Abne (6-0-1, 4), who faces Charlie Malupangue (9-5-4, 6) in a rematch of their technical draw from August, and Ramil Macado (3-0, 2) who takes a huge step up to face off with Renoel Pael (23-12-1, 12). This really is a show of Pinoy prospects.
Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines
On a second Filipino card former world title challenger Michael Dasmarinas (31-3-2, 21) looks to get his career back on track as he faces Ryan Rey Ponteras (23-16-3, 12) for the GAB Super Bantamweight title. Dasmarinas, who is best known for losing in 3 rounds to Naoya Inoue in 2021, has failed to get going since that loss with a technical draw against Ernesto Saulong and a win over domestic journeyman Danny Tampipi. He knows another set back here really would be a nightmare for his career, and for any hope he might have of getting a second world title fight down the line. As for Ponteras, he has long been one of the best Filipino journeymen out there, with a really gritty toughness and the 32 year old might not have a great record, but he is a potential banana skin here who has been robbed of wins in numerous bouts during his career. This might look like a mismatch, but Ponteras really should be regarded as a very, very live underdog.
New Delhi, India
We also get a show in India, but sadly this feels like a rather underwhelming card.
That main bout here will see Satnam Singh (10-2, 4) look to bounce back from a loss to Billel Dib as he takes on Varun Phartyal (1-2), in what is the second bout between the two men. These two fought in October 2021, with Singh taking a 4 round majority win over the then debuting Phartyal, and suspect that over 8 rounds this should be a clearer win for Singh than their first bout was.
This coming Monday attention turns to Bohol, where we see a touted Filipino hopeful take a massive step up to take on a former world title challenger in one of several bouts featuring promising hopefuls.
The main event of the card will see the unbeaten Regie Suganob (9-0, 3) take on Ricardo Sueno (10-4-4, 3) in what a really solid fight, and a good chance to compare Suganob to other notable hopefuls, such as Thanongsak Simsri and Taku Kuwahara. The talented Suganob is 24 years old and debuted in 2018 in some low profile bouts, but since then has impressed and progressed and is moving in the right direction. Sueno started his career well but has lost 2 of his last 3, albeit at a high level, and should serve as a genuine test for his unbeaten foe here in what could be a a very good domestic bout.
On paper the co-feature is a really interesting one, as Rodel Suganob (5-0-1, 1) takes on Vergilio Silvano (21-7-1, 12), but it's one that probably isn't going to be all that competitive. The 25 year old Suganob debuted in 2019 and suffered a draw last year and has had a career that has been slowed due to the pandemic, but he did pick up 3 wins in the last half of 2021 and has bounced back well from a draw to Luis Borje, however he has yet to score a win over a fighter with a winning record. As for Silvano he's been a professional since 2007, and is best known for his 2013 bout with Katsunari Takayama for the IBF Minimumweight title. Sadly since that loss to the Lightning Kid Silvano has moved up in weight, gone 4-4 and been out of the ring since 2016. Given Silvano has once win in the last 7 years, has lost 3 of his last 4 and has been out of the ring for more than 6 years it's hard to imagine him winning here, though a prime Silvano would have asked serious questions of Suganob
Where we have had some interesting days already this month we see things go on to a totally new gear on July 11th with the Philippines really dominating a very, very active day.
The best of the shows comes from Cebu where ALA will be running the next in the “Pinoy Pride” cards. Not only is the card a “big name” one but it features a little bit of everything from a recognised champion in a really exciting match up to action involving touted prospects and a major debut for a man tipped as a future Filipino star.
The main event is the world title bout which sees long term WBO Light Flyweight kingpin Donnie Nietes (35-1-4, 21) defends his belt against former unified Minimumweight champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr (17-2-1, 11). This is a genuinely mouth watering match up between arguably the best, and most proven, fighter in the division and one of the most promising and battle hardened young fighters on the planet. Credit to both men for getting this one sorted.
In the co-feature we'll see the much touted Mark Magsayo (10-0, 8) attempt to claim his first title. The talented Filipino will be up against Mexico's Rafael Reyes (16-4, 12) in a bout for the IBF Youth Featherweight title. Magsayo has, generally, impressed but this is a much more significant bout than his previous 10 and we expect to learn something new of the 20 year old here.
Whilst Magsayo is the most touted prospect on the card there is a lot of attention being given to Kevin Jake Cataraja (0-0) who makes his professional debut against Ardi Tefa (6-4, 4). From what we've been told the 20 year old Cataraja is expected to progress quickly through the ranks and could find himself in the same position as Magsayo within the the next year or two.
One other prospect on this card worthy of a mention is the heavy handed Vic Saludar (9-1, 7) who has failed to live up to expectation so far. The once touted Saludar will be up against Michael Kaibigan (3-2-2, 2).
Metro Manila, Philippines
In Metro Manila we have a number of intriguing matches with more Filipino's including a match up that may go down as the best domestic Filipino bout of the year, the card will also feature a pair of former world title challengers and a GAB title fight.
The match up we most like is a 10 round bout for the WBC Youth Super Flyweight title between the unbeaten Jhaleel Payao (11-0, 6) and Michael Dasmarinas (20-2, 13). We've been impressed in the past by Dasmarinas who looked fantastic beating Hayato Kimura last year ans was very unlucky against Lwandile Sityatha. As for Payao he's impressed in sessions working with Ryosuke Iwasa and the reports are that he's a very promising young prospect. We really cannot say enough good words about this one.
Another WBC strap will be on the line as former world title challenger Richard Claveras (12-1-2, 12) looks to defend his WBC Asian Boxing Council title against Benezer Alolod (16-7-5, 5). This will be Claveras's first bout since his loss, in a WBC world title fight, to Pedro Geuvara back in April and this is a tough return to action, despite Alolod not holding the most impressive of records.
A third title bout is for the GAB Super Flyweight title as Rene Dacquel (14-4-1, 5) defends his title against Jonas Sultan (8-2, 5). On paper it's hard to side with Sultan but he has looked good recently with 4 straight wins, 3 by T/KO, and was unlucky in his most recent loss. Whilst it's not the best match up on the card it certainly isn't a bad one.
A final title but here will see Rey Juntilla (20-6-4, 13) trading blows with Danilo Pena (26-21-4, 11) for the vacant LuzProBA Featherweight title. We've got to admit we can't see a win for Pena who is now little more than a domestic journeyman, and is 3 years removed from his last win. Juntilla may go on to achieve something more notable, given he is just 25, but we can't see him progressing to the levels that he'd like to get to.
One final bout of note here will see former world title challenger Ardin Diale (28-9-3, 14) take on Indonesian veteran Heri Amol (35-23-4, 14). From what we understand Diale is awaiting to get a shot at the OPBF Flyweight title and will know that a win here really will put him within touching distance of a shot later in the year. It does need saying Amol has lost his last 9, including a defeat to the then debuting Ken Shiro, but is still a decent enough journeyman to get Diale some good rounds.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
Another Filipino show really looks very exciting with some fantastic match ups on a more domestic level.
The most promising fighter on the card is the unbeaten John Vincent Moralde (12-0, 6), who will be fighting for the first time since his tragic bout with Brayd Smith. The unbeaten Moralde has been matched easily here against William George (10-22, 3) in what should be an easy win, but that allows Moralde's handlers to know where he's at in terms of his mental state.
Another very touted young fighter on this card is 20 year old Jade Bornea (3-0, 2), who holds a notable amateur victory over Kosei Tanaka. Bornea will be facing his stiffest test to date as he goes up against fellow unbeaten Salatiel Amit (6-0-2, 4) in what looks to be a very well matched bout. Jade's brother Jake Bornea (9-1, 4) is also in a very good looking bout as he takes on Richard Rosales (9-2-2, 4) in a bout for the WBC Asia Pacific Youth Flyweight title. Jake is highly tipped, like his brother, though it's hard to overlook his 2014 loss to Raymond Tabugon.
One other prospect worthy of note from this card is Jelbirt Gomera (8-0, 5) takes on the highly experienced, though limited Prell Tupaz (8-27-5, 1) in a bout for the PBF Super Bantamweight title. Gomera hasn't received the plaudits of many others but has slowly carved out a promising record and a title win here will almost certainly move him onto bigger fights.
Whilst this card doe feature a lot of prospects one bout stands out as being a truly mouth watering clash. That bout pits former world title challenger Vergilio Silvano (20-4-1, 12) takes on the talented Jetro Pabustan (25-2-6, 7). On paper this is a brilliant fight with the winner almost certainly being moved towards a bigger and better fight whilst the loser will hover around the top of the domestic scene.
It's not in the Philippines that we have a world title as fight fans in Germany get the chance to see WBA Heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev (33-2-1, 20) defending his title against German based Italian born fighter Francesco Pianeta (31-1-1, 17). On paper this looks mouth watering but in fairness Chagaev is not the fighter he once was and Pianeta was made to look like a journeyman in his last notable bout, a 6th round TKO loss to Wladimir Klitschko. Although it's a “heavyweight title fight” it's hard to see anyone even pretending that this features 2 of the divisions top fighters.
One final bout comes from Mexico as Filipino Jhon Gemino (12-3-1, 5) takes on the touted and unbeaten Andres Gutierrez (31-0-1, 22). This is a huge task for Gemino, who has clearly been brought in to lose, but we can't criticise him for taking the fight.
(Image courtesy of ALA Boxing)
We're used to seeing fights for the OPBF title often involving a Japanese fighter against a Filipino fighter. We get one of those again in Tuesday though we also get a small shake up to the formula as we also get the chance to see an all Filipino OPBF title fight in a busy day of action on the regional level.
Metro Manila, Philippines
We get the all Filipino OPBF title fight in Metro Manila as the vacant OPBF Light Flyweight title is put up for grabs. The title which was vacated by Naoya Inoue will actually be one of the most anticipated OPBF titles fight in a long as we get two world class fighters battling for the belt. In one corner will be the highly under-rated Jonathan Taconing (17-2-1, 14) whilst in the other will be recent IBF title challenger Vergilio Silvano (18-3-1, 10).
Although neither Taconing or Silvano have been world champions we expect to see both back in world title action over the next few years and as a result this bout should be seen as pseudo world title eliminator as well as being an OPBF title fight.
The Taconing/Silvano fight is one of two title fights on this show with the other being a Filipino (GAB) Bantamweight title fight between the experienced Monico Laurente (23-10, 5) and the once beaten Jetro Pabustan (22-1-5, 6). Impressively Pabustan comes into this bout on a 14 fight unbeaten streak whilst Laurente hace lost 3 of his last 4 and will surely know that he needs a win just to kick start his now faltering career.
A third bout of note on this card will feature Juan Miguel Elorde (14-1, 6), the grandson of the great Flash Elorde. Elorde will be to improve his record as he fights Indonesia's excellently named Budi Risky (8-3, 5). We're expecting Elorde to win quite easily and Risky is 0-2 outside of Indonesia, though we don't view Elorde as anything special, unlike his legendary grandfather.
The OPBF title fight is in the Japanese capital as the WBC #1 ranked Bantamweight and current OPBF champion Ryosuke Iwasa (16-1, 10) looks for the first defence of his title. Iwasa has a tough assignment ahead of him with Filipino Richard Pumicpic (14-5-2, 4) looking for his chance to announce himself to the boxing world. On paper this looks like a straight forward defence for the man known as "Eagle Eye" though in reality it's a very tough defence for Iwasa.
Iwasa is widely regarded as a world champion in the making and is currently on an 8 fight winning streak following a loss to current WBC champion Shinsuke Yamanaka. Despite his impressive winning run Iwasa will know Pumicpic is a tricky and tough customer who is a genuine banana skin for some fighters and could give Iwasa a genuine shock if the highly touted Japanese fighter isn't on his game.
In the co-feature here former world title challenger Ryo Akaho (21-1-2, 14) will be fighting Filipino veteran Richard Garcia (25-17-1, 7). Although the main event looks competitive this bout certainly seems likely to be one sided with Akaho almost nailed on to win.
On the undercard of this show we've spotted two interesting bouts. The higher profile one is between former Japanese title challenger Daisuke Yokoyama (15-5, 6) and the tough Kenta Takahashi (10-7-2, 3). Although Takahashi is limited he's never been stopped and should extend Yokoyama the scheduled 8 rounds.
The second under-card bout of interest is the debut of former amateur stand out Koki Koshikawa (0-0) who will be kicking off his professional career in a 6 rounder with Japanese based Ghanaian Quaye Peter (5-3-1, 3). Although Peter is no world beater and has lost his last 2 bouts he should have enough to at least ask a few questions of Koshikawa who some are tipping as a really good prospect.
With title fights, prospects and world ranked fighters all in action i's hard to really complain about today with a lot of action worth keeping an eye on.
(Poster courtesy of Boxmob.jp)