This coming Saturday isn't a big day for Asian fight fans, but there is plenty of action to get excited about, including a solid looking card in the Philippines, an unbeaten Kazakh Heavyweight hopeful and a couple of Uzbek fighters.
Binan City, Laguna, Philippines
The main focus for us will be the Philippines where we get two mouth watering match ups.
The most notable of the two will be a bout between Vic Saludar (20-4, 11) and Robert Paradero (18-0, 12), which is expected to be for some form of WBA title at Minimumweight. The bout will see Saludar looking to secure his second win since losing the WBO world title in 2019 to Wilfredo Mendez and could help him move towards a showdown with Knockout CP Freshmart. The heavy handed former champion is the more proven man but we need to wonder what he'll be like after more than a year away from the ring. As for Paradero he's yet to face anyone of real note, though has long been touted as a really bright prospect. Sadly, aged 24, Paradero appears to be coming in to this bout without having had the developmental fights he'd need to hold his own against someone like Saludar. Saying that however he will clearly be there to make the most of this huge opportunity. An in depth preview of this bout can be read here Sure Thing: Vic Saludar and Roberto Paradero in all-Filipino WBA ‘not-quite’ title fight
In a supporting bout the talented 21 year old Carl Jammes Martin (16-0, 14) looks to extend his unbeaten record, as he takes on the battle tested Joe Tejones (13-7, 7). The hard hitting Martin has long been regarded as a thrilling, fun to watch prospect, but one who is somewhat open and needs polishing before stepping up in class. Tejones on the other hand has been matched hard and has already shared the ring with the likes of Hinata Maruta, Tenta Kiyose and Tsuyoshi Tameda. We suspect Martin will be too good and too strong, but this is a genuine test for the youngster.
Universum Gym, Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Over in Germany we'll see unbeaten Kazakh Heavyweight hopeful Zhan Kossobutskiy (14-0, 13) take part in his first bout of the new year as he battles heavy handed Nigerian Onoriode Ehwarieme (18-1, 17) for the WBA International Heavyweight title. The unbeaten Kossobutskiy was a talented amateur and has shown some promise since turning professional in 2017, however at the age of 32 he is at the point where he needs to begin making a move towards bigger and better fights. He has been active, with 14 fights in less than 4 years, but he needs to begin facing name quality foes this year. Ehwarieme on the other hand hasn't faced too many fights of note but is, surprisingly, well travelled with fights in Indonesia, Ghana, Nigeria, Argentina and the USA. Sadly his most notable result is an opening round loss to Rodney Hernandez, which sums up his level pretty well.
If we're being honest we suspect Kossobutskiy ends up stopping Ehwarieme relatively early on here in what will look like a pointless mismatch, despite looking interesting on paper.
Doubletree Miamimart Hotel, Miami, Florida, USA
American based Kazakh fighter Dimash Niyazov (13-1-3, 6) ends a lengthy break from the ring as he takes on feather fisted Argentine Jonatan Hernan Godoy (5-7). The 32 year old Niyazov hasn't fought since April 2018, when he lost a decision to Angel Sarinana. Since then he has been working as a police officer in New York. Amazingly since Niyazov last fought Godoy has fought 11 times. If activity is the key here, Godoy has a chance, otherwise we suspect Niyazov's class and skills will be the difference.
Shelby Co Fairgrounds, Shelbyville, Kentucky, USA
We can't help but feel that unbeaten American based Korean fighter Jongin Choi (5-0, 3) needs a step up now, at the age of 29. Sadly however that won't be happening here, as he takes on win-less 43 year old Muhammad Adams (0-5-1). Disappointingly this looks to be little more than a record padding effort for Choi, who really needs to be facing someone coming to win. To date Choi's first 5 opponents have a combined record of 1-35-1 and this low level of competition is doing nothing to advance his career.
Vegas City Hall, Krasnogorsk, Russia
Over in Russia we'll see two Uzbek fighters in action.
The most notable of the two is unbeaten Lightweight Ulugbek Qayumboev (3-0, 3), who has taken out his first 3 opponents in a combined 7 rounds. Sadly, at the time of writing, Qayumboev hasn't had his opponent for this bout named, though given his first 3 opponents we're not expecting anyone too testing for the unbeaten 20 year old.
The other Uzbek on this show will be Muzaffar Rasulov (5-2, 3), who looks to continue a 4 fight winning run as he takes on the limited Arkadi Harutyunyan (4-14-0-1, 1). The 24 year old Rasulov lost 2 of his first 3 but has began showing some genuine promise, though he is obviously still a work in progress. Armenian born Russian Harutyunyan scored one of the biggest upsets of 2020, stopping Andrey Klimov in February, but then lost 6 in a row as he failed to build on a career best win. Notably the win over Klimov was his first since 2013! With that in mind we're not giving him much of a chance 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.
This weekend is a big one for fans of Asian boxing! The biggest show comes from Aichi on Saturday but that's not all we have, with notable action in the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Russia!
The big card in Aichi, will be headlined by a world title fight, and will have support bouts featuring a fast rising local prospect and a former world title challenger. It's not a monster card, but it is a very good one.
The main event will see 3-weight world champion Kosei Tanaka (13-0, 7) defending the WBO Flyweight title against mandatory challenger Jonathan Gonzalez (22-2-1, 13). For Tanaka this will be his second defense of the title he took from Sho Kimura last year, and sees him looking to build on his win over Ryoichi Taguchi earlier this year. For Gonzalez this will be his first world title fight, and finally a chance for him to live up to the potential he showed as an amateur. This should be a really high speed and very technical bout, but the champion will clearly be the favourite. Interestingly if Tanaka wins there are murmurs he could be set for another step up in weight and another world title. Our preview of this world title bout can be read here Tanaka returns for next defense, faces "Bomba" Gonzalez
In an excellent supporting bout we'll see the hard hitting and wonderfully exciting Kento Hatanaka (9-0, 9) take on world ranked Filipino fighter Jaysever Abcede (19-8, 12). The unbeaten Hatanaka has needed just 32 rounds to get to 9-0 and already looks like he's a star in the making with major titles clearly in his future. On paper Abcede should be a straight forward step up for Hatanaka hwever the Filipino is no push over and he has regularly proven to be a banana skin, with upset wins against the likes of Pigmy Kokietgym, Stamp Kiatniwat and Seigo Yuri Akui. This should be a really good test for Hatanaka. Our preview of this bout can be read here Hatanaka steps up in class for Abcede test!
Another notable name in a supporting role is former world title challenger Genesis Servania (32-2, 15), who will be fighting for the first time since he lost to Carlos Castro back in February. The talented Japanese based Filipino is getting a clear confidence builder here as he takes on limited Indonesian foe Erick Deztroyer (12-5-1, 3), in a clear mismatch. Don't be surprised if this one ends very early!
A much more interesting match up on this card will see the limited but hard hitting Kanta Fukui (6-2, 5) take on the very talented and promising Shuma Nakazato (8-1-2, 6). Fukui came runner up in the West Japan Rookie of the Year last year, losing a razor thin decision to Takuya Ota in the final. Since then he has bounced back with a single win, but will be stepping up massively here. The 22 year old Nakazato is genuine talent, and someone who should be on the radar of hardcore Japanese. He's the son of former world title challenger Shigeru Nakazato, and has already held his own with Hironori Mishiro, losing a competitive decision to the current OPBF champion and beaten Lorence Rosas. Although in the middle of the card this is a very interesting match up, and one that could end in explosive fashion.
Also on this card will be Japanese Youth Super Flyweight champion Yuto Nakamura (10-5, 7) who battles in an 8 round bout against Indonesian Muhammad Wahid (4-2, 1). Wahid impressed us, in some ways, this past May when he stood and took a 6 round pounding from Lap Cheon Cheong in Hong Kong, and he showed his bravery. We suspect that Wahid will again have to be brave, but can't see him lasting 8 round here.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Staying in Asia we also get a notable card in Metro Manila, featuring a great mix of fighters from world class to prospect level.
The world title bout, or rather the WBO "interim" world title bout, will see John Riel Casimero (27-4, 18) defend his Interim Bantamweight title against the limited Cesar Ramirez (18-3, 11). The talented Casimero, a true road warrior, won the title in April and will be looking to make his first defense here. Ramirez is yet to prove he belongs any where near world level, especially in this talent stacked division that we currently have. Although can blow hot and cold, it's hard to imagine him really being tested here. Our preview of this bout is available to read here Casimero set to face Ramirez in first interim title defense
In a pretty interest all Filipino bout between regional contender types we'll see Vincent Astrolabio (13-3, 9) take on Kevin Aseniero (9-2-1, 5). Astrolabio will be defending the WBO Oriental Bantamweight title, which he won in Indonesian back in April, for the first time. Aserniero on the other hand will be looking to stretch a 4 fight unbeaten run.
The most notable prospect on this card is former amateur standout Charly Suarez (2-0, 2), who takes a big step up in class to face the under-rated Virgil Puton (17-12-2, 8). The 30 year old Suarez, who made his debut in January, will be looking to get his career back on track after a 5 month break from action. He's incredibly talented, but doesn't have time to waste. In Puton we have a true regional journeyman, who picks up losses, but pushes good fighters, such as Ye Joon Kim and Shuya Masaki. This is a tough test for Suarez, but one he must pass if he's to make any noise at all in the pro ranks.
Amazing we'll have a third world title fight, with WBO Minimumweight champion Vic Saludar (19-3, 10) making his second defense as he takes on mandatory challenger Wilfredo Mendez (13-1, 5) in Puerto Rico. The under-rated champion, who won the belt in July 2018, was successful this past February when he beat Masataka Taniguchi in his first defense and now fights outside of Asia for the first time. Although not a major global name Saludar is very talented, heavy handed and has under-rated boxing skills. For Mendez this will be his first world title fight, and it looks like a massive step up in class for the talented, though rather negative, Puerto Rican hopeful. This could be a very interesting clash of styles, though will of course be over-shadowed by the other world title bouts earlier in the day. Our full preview of this bout can be read here Vic Saludar and Wilfredo Mendez clash for WBO title!
In Russia we get a pretty big card headlined by Sergey Kovalev and Anthony Yarde. Although that bout doesn't have an Asian interest the under-card does, and it has quite a few in fact with several different bouts featuring an unbeaten Central Asian fighter.
Arguably the most interesting of the Central Asian hopefuls on this card is the always fun to watch Akzhol Sulaimanbek Uulu (14-0, 7) defending his WBA Asia Super Featherweight title. Originally he was pencilled in to face off with Sibusiso Zingange (13-3-2, 3), though Zingange was removed from the bout and at the time of writing, his replacement hasn't been named. Uulu, whilst flawed, would have been strongly favoured to beat the South African.
Another really interesting bout will see Uzbek Super Middleweight Azizbek Abdugofurov (12-0, 4) risk his WBC Silver title against once beaten Russian Andrey Sirotkin (16-1, 5). The talented Uzbek has been out of the ring since beating Wuzhati Nuerlang last November, and has lost much of the early momentum his career once had. Despite that he will be favoured over the 34 year old Sirotkin, who is best known for being stopped last October by John Ryder in the UK.
Unbeaten Kyrgyzstan born Russian based Erzhan Turgumbekov (6-0-1, 2) looks to bounce back from a draw against Javokhirbek Karimov just a few weeks ago, as he takes on unbeaten Ukrainian teenager Heorhii Lashko (9-0, 5). The unbeaten Turgumbekov rushed to 6-0 in just over 13 months but the draw last time out certainly slowed his momentum. Lashko on the other hand scored his biggest win in March, when he beat Ryo Takenaka in China, and will be looking for his 5th win of the year here. Takenaka aside there is little on his record of any note at all.
Kazakh Meiirim Nursultanov (11-0, 8) will also be looking to extend his unbeaten record as he takes on the once beaten Artur Osipov (15-1, 10). The 26 year old Kazakh, who is managed by Egis Klimas, has been out of the ring since beating Luis Hernanez in March, and will be looking to impress on what will be his first bout outside of the US in close to 2 years. Osipov on the other hand is coming in to this bout after a loss in March to Evgeny Terentiev, and will likely be low on confidence, for what looks like his toughest bout so far, on paper.
Another bout on this Russian card worthy of interest ins a contest between Aleksei Papin (11-0, 10) and Ilunga Makabu (25-2, 24) in what is a must watch bout on paper, promising a lot of explosive fireworks and a real feeling that this one will not see the final bell. A full preview of this bout is available here Dynamite meets TNT as Papin and Makuba clash!
Attention turns to Tokyo this coming Tuesday for the next notable Watanabe card, headlined by a world title fight and supported by a number of really interesting prospects.
The main event of the show will see WBO Minimumweight champion Vic Saludar (18-3, 10) making his first defense and taking on Japanese challenger Masataka Taniguchi (11-2, 7). Saludar, who won the title last year when he beat Ryuya Yamanaka, has proven to be a difficult assign for top fighters, with Kosei Tanaka needing to pull himself off the canvas to stop him and his win over Yamanaka. Taniguchi on the other hand is taking a huge step up in class, but is a top class fighter who's only losses have been razor thin ones to Tsubasa Koura and Reiya Konishi. We're really expecting this to be something really special. Our preview of this bout can be read here Saludar returns to Japan to defend against Taniguchi!
The main under-card bout will see former amateur standout Shu Utsuki (3-0, 2) take on Japanese based Filipino Jerry Castroverde (10-5, 5), who is promoted by Nobuhiro Ishida. Utsuki has shown great promise already in his career, but this is a very clear step up in class and will be the first time he has taken on someone with real ring experience. Castroverde on the other hand has lost 3 of his last 6, but has mixed with good competition, including Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov and Tae Il Atsumi. This is a huge step up for the unbeaten man.
Another big supporting bout will see the 2017 Rookie of the year Fumiya Fuse (7-0, 1) take on Naoto Mizutani (5-5-1, 2) in a really good looking 8 round bout. We've been impressed by Fuse, who really shined last year on his international debut in Korea, and we're expecting to see huge things from him in 2019. This should be a straight forward win for the youngster, but Mizutani has mixed with so very notable foes, including Kenshin Oshima and Ryo Akaho, so may have a few tricks up his sleeve to teach Fuse.
Teenage sensation Ginjiro Shigeoka (1-0, 1) will be fighting his second professional bout on his card, as he takes on once beaten 20 year old Thai Gerttipong Kumsahwat (3-1, 3), in what should be another bout to allow Shigeoka to shine ahead of a planned 8 round bout in April.
Talking about low key Thai's it's worth noting that Suzumi Takayama (0-0) will be making his debut against a low key Thai, taking on Nirun Baonok (5-14, 4), who has stacked up losses in Japan. Typically Baonok has given rounds to good fighters and been matched really hard, but given the fact Takayama was a stand out amateur we don't see this being a competitive match up.
This coming Friday fight fans in Japan get two shows, whilst Korean fans get one, and even Indian fans have something worthy of their attention!
The biggest single show takes place in Hyogo where we get two title fights, a notable debut and a former Japanese champion all in action.
The main event will be a world title fight, and will see talented WBO Minimumweight champion Ryuya Yamanaka (16-2, 5) battle against heavy handed challenger Vic Saludar (17-3, 10). The champion, who won the title last year, will be making his second defense and will be looking to shine again, just like he did in an eye opening domination of Moises Calleros back in March. Although seen as the less notable champion at 105lbs Yamanaka does look a very classy fighter. For Saludar this bout will be his second title shot, and he will be looking to prove that his performance against Kosei Tanaka wasn't a fluke performance, but a sign that he really should be competing at world level. This really is an excellent match up between a brilliant pure boxer, and a brutal puncher.
In the chief support bout fans will see former world title challenger Reiya Konishi (15-1, 5) take on Filipino foe Orlie Silvestre (11-3-1, 7) in a out for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title. Earlier this year Konishi came up short against Carlos Canizales, though really looked like a great little fighter with insane bravery and an incredible desire to win. The Japanese fighter will be the favourite here, but Silvestre has nothing to lose and everything to win. The Filipino fighter comes into this on the back of 5 straight wins and will feel confident of scoring a career best victory here.
Former Japanese Lightweight champion Kazuhiro Nishitani (18-4-1, 10) looks to score his first win of 2018 and takes on limited Filipino foe Rey Ramos (8-8-2, 3). Nishitani really failed to build on his March 2017 upset win over Shuhei Tsuchiya, having scored only a single win since then over a limited Thai, but he has talent and shouldn't struggle to over-come Ramos here. The Filipino has lost 4 of his last 6, including 2 by stoppage, and it's hard to imagine him having anything to trouble Nishitani with.
One other bout of note will see Yuki Yamauchi (0-0) make his debut, as he takes on Jimboy Rosales (3-2-1, 2). The Japanese debutant was a sensational amateur, with notable results on the high school, national and world university level. Aged 23 big things are expected of Yamauchi and this looks like a pretty interesting opponent for his debut, with Rosales having gone unbeaten in his last 4, following back-to-back losses to begin his career. If Yamauchi is as good as anticipated then he really could make an instant impact here.
A second Japanese show will take place in Tokyo, and was originally set to feature two former world title contenders in action.
The planned main event was a bout set to have Akihiro Kondo (30-7-1, 17) take on domestic foe Quaye Peter (11-9-3, 6). Sadly for the teak tough Kondo, who is best known for his November 2017 loss to Sergey Lipinets, this bout has been cancelled due to Peter suffering an injury a a week or so before the show was set to take place.
A a result of Peter's injury the card will now be headlined by former 2-time world title challenger Ryo Akaho (31-2-2, 20), who returns to the ring following medical problems that forced him to vacate the Japanese Bantamweight title. It was expected that Akaho would be matched incredibly easily but instead he will be up against Filipino Robert Udtohan (24-3-3, 15). At his best Akaho is a tough, aggressive fighter, who has beaten the likes of Yushi Tanaka, Hiroaki Teshigawara, Masaaki Serie and Yohei Tobe. Sadly though it's unclear how much the health issues has taken from the Japanese fighter. As for the visitor he has got a pretty padded record, and has lost recent bouts to Qiu Xiao Jun and Ryoichi Tamura, but is a tougher opponent than expected for Akaho's ring return.
Seoul, South Korea
In Seoul there will be a small card courtesy of former world champion Myung Woo Yuh and his Buffalo Promotion.
The main event will be an interesting match up between 22 year old Ki Soo Lee (6-3) and 30 year old Hwan Young Jo (5-4, 1). The youngster has had mixed for, though showed he was a capable fighter last December when he ran the touted Katsuya Yasuda close in Yokohama and will look for his third win since that loss. On the other hand Jo hasn't really shined, but is certainly not going to be a push over here and should make for a good dance partner for Lee. Only real issue here is that neither man is much of a puncher.
In another bout of note on this card fans will see unbeaten fighters collide with Do Jin Lee (5-0-2) taking on Jong Sun Gang (4-0, 1). Lin is a 17 year old who made his debut at the age of 16 and despite only fighting in 4 rounders so far is worth following as he moves into his first 6 rounder. As for Gang he has been a professional since November last year and has been busy, but will also be taking part in his first 6 rounder.
London, United Kingdom
As for Indian fans they will turn their attention to London, England, as national hero Vijender Singh (10-0, 7) takes on Lee Markham (17-4-1, 7) for the Commonwealth Super Middleweight title. The Indian star is now 32 years old and his team won't keep holding him back for long. A win here could well open big doors for him and takes him much closer to a potential world title shot. On paper Markham looks limited but he is a former English Middleweight champion who has score several notable results on the British scene, including a draw with Frank Buglioni. Singh should be favoured, but Markham is a very live under-dog coming in to this one.
This coming Tuesday attention turns to the Philippines for a card of mismatches, though mismatches that feature some notable fighters.
One of those notable fighters is unbeaten prospect Robert Paradero (16-0, 11), who looks to continue his unbeaten run as he takes on the limited but hard hitting Royder Lloyd Borbon (5-2-1, 5). The 21 year old Paradero is showing real talent, power and improvements as he continues to develop though maybe needs to face a step up sooner rather than later, before he gets the chance to stagnate as we've seen with too many Filipino prospects in the past. Borbon has yet to be stopped, but hasn't really faced anyone of any note, and was beaten last time out by Clyde Azarcon. Borbon does appear to have power, but his 5 wins have come against opponents with a combined 6-10-3 record and it's clear that he hasn't score a win of any note so far.
Former world title challenger Vic Saludar (16-3, 9) will be looking to continue his pursuit of a second world title bout as he takes on former foe Mike Kinaadman (6-5-2, 4). Saludar is best known for dropping Kosei Tanaka in their WBO Minimumweight title bout back in 2015, and since then he has gone 5-1, with his only lose coming in an upset to Toto Landero who has since proven his ability with a close loss to Knockout CP Freshmart. One of those 5 wins was an 8 round decision over Kinaadman, and it's likely he'll be looking to stop him this time out. For Kinaadman however this is a chance to avenge his loss, and get a career defining victory.
Vic's brother Froilan Saludar (27-2-1, 18) will also feature on this card, as he takes on the limited Jonathan Francisco (9-8-1, 3). This will be Saludar's 5th bout since his 2016 loss to Takuma Inoue and it's certainly feeling like Saludar should be doing much more than fighting guys like Francisco. It's not like he's been inactive since losing to Inoue, fighting 4 times in 2017, and it's not like he's still a youngster, at 28 he's in his prime and should be getting bigger bouts than this. Francisco has only been stopped twice, but those stoppages have come in 2 of his last 3 bouts, and he has no right to be in the ring with Saludar here. An horrific mismatch.
This coming Saturday is set to be a huge one in the Philippines where a host of notable fighters will be in action across three different shows.
One of those Filipino shows is in Cebu and features a former world title challenger, a former world title contender and two really promising prospects.
The biggest name in action here is fringe contender Froilan Saludar (24-2-1, 15), who takes on Salatiel Amit (10-2-2, 7) in what should be a straight forward win for the once touted Saludar. Although Saludar isn't as highly regarded as he once was, with some picking him as a world champion in the making several years ago, he should still be far too good for Amit here.
Froilan's brother, Vic Saludar (14-2, 9), will continue to rebuild from his 2015 loss to Kosei Tanaka, in a WBO Minimumweight title bout, as he takes on the once beaten Toto Landero (8-1-2, 2). On paper this looks like it could be the bout of he day, and although Saludar will be favoured, given his destructive power, Landero is well schooled and won't be getting in the ring to suffer a second career defeat.
Another pretty good looking bout will see the unbeaten Vince Paras (10-0, 9) take on Jimboy Haya (10-3-2, 6). Again the puncher should be favoured, given he's unbeaten and on the rise, but Haya has never been stopped, and lasted 12 rounds with the aforementioned Vic Saludar last year, suggesting he can take a shot even if he was widely beaten but the former world title challenger.
Another unbeaten on this card is Robert Paradero (13-0, 8), who faces veteran Fabio Marfa (25-33-4, 12). Marfa began his career back in the mid 1990's and began as a promising teenager, going 9 bouts unbeaten before suffering his first defeat, sadly he's gone 0-12 in the last 9 years or so, and is unlikely to pose any real test for Paradero.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
Another notable Filipino card takes place in Cotabato del Sur and will again feature some notable names in action.
One of the most notable name on the card is the fast rising Romero Duno (13-1, 12), who looks to follow up on his career best win over Christian Gonzalez back in March. The once beaten Duno will be hotly tipped to score a 5th straight win as he takes on puncher Jason Tinampay (8-4-1, 7). This could be a shoot out, given that Tinampay's only chance seems to be a puncher's one, but it's still hard to doubt anything but a Duno win.
In one of the other notable bouts we'll see big punching hopeful Aston Palicte (22-2, 18) take on former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (18-8-3, 4) in a bout that really should be a stepping stone for the much fancied Palicte. The twice beaten man, who was very controversially beaten in Mexico not too long ago, should be too strong and too powerful for Apolinario, who doesn't have the power to get the respect of a fighter like Palicte.
Malaysian Muhamad Farkhan (3-0, 3) will be in the remaining headline bout, as he takes a huge step up to take on Marlon Alta (12-7, 9). The talented Farkhan has looked promising and has 11 rounds under his belt, but this is a big step up in class against a Filipino who can punch, and is an experienced professional. Although Alta's record isn't great he has mixed in good company, facing the likes of Makoto Fuchigami, and Peng Qu, and should ask questions of Farkhan.
This card also features the debut of two touted youngsters. One of those is Dave Apolinario (0-0), who is viewed as a real prospect following success in the amateurs, and he will be up against Prince Canonero (0-3) and the other is Mark Antonio (0-0), who will be facing fellow debutant Rusty Padua (0-0).
A smaller show in the Philippines comes from Cavite and really lacks attention grabbing name action.
In one of the bigger bouts Alphoe Dagayloan (5-2-4, 2) will face limited veteran Ryan Tampus (11-18, 8) whilst another leading bout will feature Jerome Clavite (7-4-2, 3) taking on Mark Anthony Florida (9-7, 7). With all the other action in the Philippines it is, admittedly, hard to card much about this show.
Staying in Asia there will also be a show in China, where we'll see a number of notable of bouts. One of those will see former world title challenger Angky Angkotta (28-14-1, 14) battle against Chinese southpaw Yong Cai Liu (4-4-3, 3) in an interesting looking 6 rounder. On paper Angkotta will be favoured, but it's been a while since he last scored a win and Liu will be looking for his biggest win to date.
The best bout,on paper at least, will see Zhong Liu (8-0, 2) battle against Sen Chen (8-0, 2) in a perfectly balanced bout. Liu is a 25 year old Southpaw, and will be the slightly more experienced with 5 rounds more than 24 year old Chen, but the bout really is a toss up on paper.
Gauteng, South Africa
We get some really good looking bouts in South Africa as Filipino warriors continue to show their grit on the road.
The main event is an IBF Minimumweight title fight, which will see Simphiwe Khonco (17-5, 7) battle Lito Dante (13-7-4, 7) in a battle of the under-rated. Of the two men Khonco is likely the more well known, having lost in a thrilling WBA title bout to Hekkie Budler in 2015 before defeating Nkosinathi Joyi last time out. Dante however shouldn't be over-looked and could be a genuine banana skin for the local here.
In an even more mouth watering match up we'll see the Jayar Inson (13-0, 9) take on Thulani Mbenge (10-0, 10) in a battle of unbeaten punchers. Inson caught our eye last year, when he stopped Ryota Yada in Osaka and announced himself as a genuine prospect, but he's in tough here against a local puncher who has been taking out foes quickly, with only one bout going beyond 4 rounds for Mbenge. This could be a very exciting shoot out.
In Russia we'll see Uzbek novice Ulugbek Xakberdiyev (2-0, 1) take on Russian based Argentinian veteran Oscar Roberto Medina (27-14-2-1, 9). Although Xakberdiyev has only fought 7 rounds so far we already know that top Uzbek fighters don't wait around and we don't expect to see the 24 year old to actually struggle here, given that Medina has lost 5 of his last 6 and is now a 35 year old who has had than 230 professional rounds under his belt.
Misamis Oriental, Philippines
Filipino fans in Misamis Oriental get a real treat this Friday with a title triple header featuring some really interesting match ups.
Arguably the most notable of the bouts will see former world title challenger Vic Saludar (12-2, 9) defending his WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title against fellow Filipino Jimboy Haya (9-2-2, 6). Saludar came up short in December against Kosei Tanaka, despite dropping Tanaka, and bounced back with a win over Lito Dante in April. This is a tougher bout than the one over Dante and if he wins he will likely be looking for a second shot at a world title next year. For Haya the bout is a massive step up, but a win will put him in the mix for more significant bouts in the near future.
At Super Flyweight we'll see WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight “interim” champion Rakniran Muadransarakam (12-0, 8) defending the title and his unbeaten record as he takes on Japan's Shota Kawaguchi (19-7-1, 8) in an intriguing bout on neutral soil. On paper the Japanese fighter is the more experienced, and more proven, fighter but with 3 losses in his last 6, and a hard career behind him he may well be on the back end of his career. Rakniran has impressed in Thailand but this is a huge step up and a wonderful chance for him to prove himself.
In the third title bout we'll see the unbeaten Robert Paradero (12-0, 8) battle Ronie Tanallon (9-2-1, 2) for the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Minimumweight title. On paper this is Paradero's toughest bout but he does look like one to keep an eye on with power and youth. Saying that however we can't see this as a foregone conclusion as Tanallon is certainly no pushover and could ruin Paradero's unbeaten record.
The biggest show of the day takes place in Japan with Teiken putting on a double feature, with a pair of Japanese title fights.
One of those title bouts will see the heavy handed Kenichi Ogawa (17-1, 14) defending the Japanese Super Featherweight title against Satoru Sugita (11-2-1, 7). This will be Ogawa's first defense of the title that he won late last year with a technical decision against Rikki Naito and a win here could well help Ogawa move towards a world title fight later in the year.
The other title fight will see Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yasutaka Ishimoto (27-8, 7) making the first defense of his title against Yosuke Fujihara (16-3, 4). The under-rated Ishimoto will be strongly favoured here but his career has been a hard one and at 34 he could well be coming to the end of his days as a top domestic level fighter.
Another of the notable shows takes place in Indonesia where fans will get the chance to see some of the most notable Indonesian fighters.
The main bout sees arguably the most promising Indonesian in action as teenager Iwan Zoda (8-1, 7) battled the unbeaten Szilveszter Kanalas (8-0, 6) for the IBF Youth Flyweight title. Zoda came to attention of international fans as he avenged his sole loss, stopping Petchchorhae Kokietgym and will be looking to continue to build on that success here. Kanalas is also looking to build on his success, and last time out he won the World Boxing Federation World Super Flyweight title.
A second title bout on this card will see Agus Kustiawan (14-4, 6) battle against former OPBF title challenger Lloyd Jardeliza (7-3-3, 6) for the WBF Asia Pacific Featherweight title. Last time out Jardeliza was stopped, in 5 rounds, by Japan's Shun Kubo whilst Kustiawan has lost 2 of his last 3.
Another bout on this card will see the unbeaten Ilham Loeisa (4-0, 4) battle against Run Tangkilisan (0-5), in what should be a mismatch in favour of the unbeaten man.
Interestingly this show will also feature exhibitions featuring Daud Cino Yordan and Ellyas Pical, though not against each other.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
In the Philippines we get yet more title action, with a trio of regional title bouts, and an under-card that features several promising Filipino fighters.
One of those title bouts will see former world title challenger Vic Saludar (11-2, 9) battle against Lito Dante (11-5-3, 6) for the WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title. This is Saludar's first bout since he lost to Kosei Tanaka, at the end of 2015, and whilst he will be strongly favoured against Dante there may be some question marks regarding his mental state coming in to this bout.
Another all Filipino title bout will see the once beaten Jake Bornea (10-1, 5) battle against Renerio Arizala (13-3-1, 5) for the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Flyweight title. Arizala, who started his career 11-0-1 (4) has struggled recently picking up 3 losses in his last 5 bouts though has faced some notable foes, including Toshiyuki Igarashi, and is likely to pick up another loss here against the touted Bornea.
The remaining title bout will have an international feel with Japan's Hiroshige Osawa (29-3-4, 18) battling Indonesia's Yon Armed (12-5-1, 6) for the WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title. It's hard to see this being anything other than a mismatch in favour of the Japanese fighter, who is a former OPBF champion.
Also on this card will be Froilan Saludar (23-1-1, 14), Robert Paradero (10-0, 7), Jade Bornea (4-0, 2) and Renz Magarce (8-0, 6), though they are all being matched relatively safely in what look to be very clear mismatches.
Ansan, South Korea
We get yet more title action in Korea with a KBC show that features a pair of Korean title fights.
One of those title bouts is a Korean Welterweight title bout which will see the unbeaten Joo Young Kim (3-0-2, 2) battle against Ma Roo Jung (2-3-1). This is a step up for Kim and although Jung isn't very proven he has fought at a higher level, with bouts against Jung Hoon Yang and Je Ni Ma.
The other title bout will cone at Lightweight and sees the unbeaten 19 year old Gun Woo Gang (3-0-1, 1) battle against Il Kwon Kim (5-3, 2). Gang fought to a draw on his debut and has since racked up 3 wins, though was dropped in one of those. As for Kim this will be his second Korean title fight, after having previously fought for the Korean Featherweight title.
As well the two title bouts, this card has long under-card as well.
The first show on a busy day is a Hatanaka promoted card, which will have it's headline bout broadcast on TBS.
That main bout will see WBO Minimumweight champion Kosei Tanaka (5-0, 2) defend his crown, for the first time, against Filipino puncher Vic Saludar (11-1, 9). On paper this looks a good test for the 20 year old Tanaka, who has sadly been inactive since winning the belt back in May. Saludar is genuinely dangerous and could well upset Tanaka if the Japanese champion has taken his eye off the ball, as compatriot Shohei Omori did recently.
On the under-card we see several interesting bouts. One of those features the unbeaten Yushi Tanaka (15-0-3, 9), who is tipped as a future champion. The unbeaten 24 year old will be up against Indonesian visitor Zun Rindam (11-8-1, 5), who is hoping to score his first win in Japan having twice been blown out in the country, losing in the opening round against both Yasutaka Ishimoto and Ryo Matsumoto.
Another bout of note sees world ranked Filipino fighter Genesis Servania (26-0, 11) makes his Japanese debut as he takes on Hendrik Barongsay (29-23-3, 18) in what should be little more than a showcase for the excellent Servania. The year has been a frustrating one for the Filipino and we suspect that frustration will come out here against an opponent who will have very little too offer in terms of competition.
On paper the show of the day is the Ioka promoted card from Osaka, which is also set to be televised by TBS.
The main event, and one of two world title fights, will see Kazuto Ioka (18-1, 10) defending the WBA Flyweight crown against former champion Juan Carlos Reveco (36-2, 19). Ioka beat Reveco for the belt back in April, claiming a majority decision, and will be hoping for a more conclusive result this time against the Argentinian visitor. For Reveco it's a chance to avenge his second professional loss whilst Ioka gets the chance to further strengthen his claim as a top Flyweight, and possibly move towards a potential unification bout with conqueror Amnat Ruenroeng.
The other world title bout will see IBF Minimumweight champion Katsunari Takayama (30-7-0-1, 12) defending his title against Mexican foe Jose Argumedo (15-3-1, 9). For Takayama this will be the 3rd defense of the title that he won a year ago, when he stopped Go Odaira, and he will be hoping to build on his last win, back in September against Ryuji Hara. The all action Takayama will be hoping to retain the title here to set up a unification bout in 2016. For Argumedo this is a huge opportunity but one that he does enter as a clear under-dog and isn't expected to really present much of a challenger
As well as the two world title bouts this card also features an OPBF title fight and a Japanese title fight. The OPBF title bout comes at Bantamweight where heavy handed champion Takahiro Yamamoto (16-4, 13) defends his title against Yuki Strong Kobayashi (9-4, 5). This will be Yamamoto's first defense of the title that he won earlier this year, when he stopped Yu Kawaguchi in a 7 round thriller. It's fair to say the champion is more proven, heavier handed and will go in to this one as a clear favourite. For Kobayashi, who was battered around by Hinata Maruta's in Maruta's pro-test, this is a huge opportunity bur one he's not expected to win, especially given that he is 3-3 in his last 6.
As for the Japanese title fight, that will see Super Flyweight champion Sho Ishida (20-0, 10) defending his title against Ryuta Otsuka (15-8-2, 5). Ishida, another member of the prestigious Ioka gym, will be hunting his 4th defense of the title and continue what has been a good year for the Osaka based gym. For Otsuka this is a second shot at the title, having previously lost to Teiru Kinoshita in November 2011. Despite being given a second shot at a title it's fair to say Otsuka will; be regarded as a major under-dog following recent losses to Malcolm Tunacao and Ryuichi Funai.
On the under-card fans get the chance to see former world champion Ryo Miyazaki (23-1-3, 14) take on Thai visitor Thongchai Chaiyonggym (0-1) in what is a stay busy fight for the highly ranked Osakan warrior. A win here is expected for Miyazaki who will be hoping to fight for a world title, at 108lbs, in 2016, he was however famously upset on the same date 2 years ago by Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr and will know that he cannot afford another set back like that.
Another under-card bout will see the very exciting Masayoshi Hashizume (9-0, 6) battle against a Thai novice, thought to be “Ken Meanyothin”. We have been impressed by Hashizume and are hoping to see him step up in class in 2016, with a potential title fight coming towards the end of the year.
As well as the action on TBS there is also a TV Tokyo card thanks to Watanabe.
The main event of this show sees WBA Super Featherweight “super” champion Takashi Uchiyama (23-0-1, 19) defending his belt against Nicaraguan challenger Oliver Flores (27-1-2, 17). This botu is widely regarded as a huge mismatch and it's hard to see Flores upsetting the long term champion, who looks for his 11th defense. If Uchiyama wins there is serious talk from his team about taking him to the US for 2016, with a bout against Nicholas Walters looking very likely.
Uchiyama's world title defense is one of two on the card with stable mate Ryoichi Taguchi (22-2-1, 9) defending his WBA Light Flyweight title against Colombian challenger Luis de la Rosa (24-5-1, 14). On paper this too is an awful mismatch with nobody giving de la Rosa any chance, and in fairness it's hard to see what he has to compete with the talented Taguchi, who could be looking at unification bouts in 2016 if he comes through this one.
Sadly this under-card is lacking with the most notable name on it being former Japanese title challenger Hayato Kimura (23-8, 15), who is in an awful mismatch against Thai visitor Petchnamnung Sor Thiebkhun (0-11), who is likely to suffer his 10th “recorded” stoppage loss.
As a bonus we also get a small bit of Indonesian action with the very promising Iwan Zoda (7-1, 6) battle in a 10 rounder against Thai visitor Phupha Por Nobnom (11-9-1, 10). The visitor's record isn't great but he has shared the ring with Tepparith Kokietgym, Richie Mepranum and Albert Pagara, so he has mixed at a good level, albeit he has been stopped by those 3 men. For Zoda this is his first bout since he stopped Petchchorhae Kokietgym in September, in what was an incredible win for the 19 year old Indonesian.
On the under-card of this show is an Indonesian title bout between Agus Kustiawan (13-4, 5) and Boido Simanjuntak (18-33-1, 7), who will be recognised by people who follow the Thai fight scene.