In Tokyo this coming Friday we get a wonderful card with a couple of title fighters and several very interesting under-card bouts. If you're a fan of the Japanese, or Asian scene in general, this card deserves your attention, even if it's not a particularly huge one in terms of names. It's one that has quality match ups, rather than big name fighters.
The main event will see OPBF Bantamweight champion Keita Kurihara (13-5, 11) make his first defense, following his controversial title win in December against Yuki Strong Kobayashi. The hard hitting, and incredibly fun to watch, Kurihara will take on former world title challenger Warlito Parrenas (26-9-1, 23). For those who haven't seen Kurihara he's aggressive, very heavy handed and always worth watching. Parrenas, in his prime, was very similar, though the now Japanese based Filipino has aged significantly from his pomp and is certainly heading towards last chance saloon. If Parrenas can roll back the clock we could have a FOTY contender on our hands here. A full preview of this bout is available here Kurihara and Parrenas meet in OPBF title bout!
The other title fight on this card will see Japanese Light Middleweight champion Nobuyuki Shindo (20-4-2, 8) defending his title against mandatory challenger Hironobu Matsunaga (14-1, 8), in what is Shindo's second defense of the title. Shindo won the title in 2018 though suffered an injury in that win, leading to an interim title being created and Shindo then facing Akinori Watanabe in a thriller in December. Matsunaga on the other hand has earned his title shot thanks to a win over Koshinmaru Saito, in what was his 8th straight victory. Shindo is a tall, rangy boxer whilst Matsunaga is much shorter, and how that dynamic comes into play will be really interesting here. A preview of this bout is available here Shindo takes on mandatory challenger Matsunaga
This isn't just a top heavy card, but also one with good supporting bouts. On paper the best of those is Bantamweight bout between Matcha Nakagawa (13-1-1, 5) and Kai Chiba (10-1, 7). Both of these men are in their mid-twenties and both will know a win here pushes them to verge of a title fight. With both having just a single loss it's clear that both men will be looking to pick up a win here, and given their contrasting styles we're expecting a really compelling fight.
Another intriguing under-card fight will see the popular Joe Tanooka (15-6-4, 1) battle against Naoto Mizutani (5-6-1, 2). Tanooka is the clear favourite, but has lost 3 of his last 4 and desperately needs a win to remain relevant. He's not been matched softly, but too many losses and he will lose some of the fans that have been with him since his 2013 Rookie of the year campaign, where he reached the All Japan final. It's worth noting that Mizutani has also lost 3 of his last 4, but gave a very good test to Fumiya Fuse in February. Mizutani will be coming in to this lookign for an upset, like the one he got in September against Mirai Imagawa.
One more meaningful match up will see former title challengers collide. In one corner is former Japanese Lightweight title challenger Masaki Saito (15-13-6, 5) whilst the other will feature former OPBF Featherweight title challenger Ryuto Araya (12-7-1, 4. The men are meeting at a catch weight, around 133lbs, and both will know that a loss here could finish their hopes of getting another shot at a belt.
One other fighter pencilled in to fight on Friday is Kazakh Heavyweight hopeful Ivan Dychko (7-0, 7), who takes on 48 year old American Ray Austin (29-9-4, 18) in Miami. This will be Dychko's first bout since beating Maurice Harris back in July 2018 and if we're being honest it's a truly disappointing bout for his return. The Kazakh should be much, much further along with his career by now, but his team really have dropped the ball massively with him and this bout is further proof of that.
This coming Sunday is a hectic day with 4 Japanese shows, a Filipino show, a Korean show and a Vietnamese show. Not only is there lots of shows but those shows feature notable names and we get a host of title bouts, in what is a genuinely crazy day.
The biggest action for the day is from Osaka, where we get 8 bouts of note, spread over 2 shows at the EDION Arena Osaka. The first of those shows is a Green Tsuda triple title show.
The main event of this triple title show will see hard hitting Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada (17-4, 14) defending his belt against the limited but exciting Shusaku Fujinaka (16-9-2, 11). For the champion this will be a second defense of the title, and he will be looking to really make a statement in the new year, with a number of interesting challengers now vying for a shot at his belt. For Fujinaka this one more chance to win a belt, but the reality is that he's a clear under-dog. Our preview of this bout can be read here Fujinaka challenges Japanese champion Yada!
A second Japanese title fight on this card will see domestic Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-3, 10) making his first defense, taking on unbeaten contender Masayoshi Hashizume (16-0-1, 10). The champion won the belt earlier this year, over-coming Hiroyuki Kudaka, but looks likely to be little more than a transitional champion before a top domestic fighter takes it off him. Hashizume on the other hand was once a hotly tipped prospect, but poor match making from the Ioka gym has seen his development stall and stutter, and it's hard to know how prepared he is for a fight like this. Ore preview of this bout can be read here Okumoto defends Japanese title against unbeaten Hashizume
The third title bout on this show is a Japanese Super Flyweight Youth title bout, pitting the skilful Ryosuke Nasu (9-3-3, 2) against the heavy handed Yuto Nakamura (8-5, 7) to crown a new champion. We're expecting a really interesting contest here, with Nakamura trying to land his power and Nasu trying to out box the bigger punching Nakamura. It's a hard bout to call, and should be a very good one for the fans at the venue. Our in depth look at this bout is available to read hereNasu and Nakamura battle for Japanese Youth title!
Another potentially great bout on this card will see the once beaten Toshiki Shimomachi (9-1-1, 5) look to record his 8th straight win, as he takes a huge step up and faces off with Daisuke Watanabe (7-4, 4). Coming in to this momentum is clearly with Shimomachi, who won the Super Bantamweight Rookie of the Year last year, but this is certainly a tougher test than it looks on paper. Watanabe, although "only 7-4" has been in with the likes of Reiya Abe, Sho Nakazawa and Gakuya Furuhashi, and held his own in some tough domestic bouts. This is a serious match up and a really good fight for both men, who will know that a win massively boosts their career.
After the Green Tsuda card we then get an Ioka promoted show from the EDION arena. This card only features a single title bout, but does have a great supporting card to go along with the main event.
The title match up will see OPBF Lightweight champion Masayoshi Nakatani (17-0, 11) defending his belt against tough and hard hitting challenger Hurricane Futa (25-7-1, 15), who should put up a very interesting challenge. Nakatani will be strongly favoured, as he looks to secure his 11th defense of the title, but his career has failed to live up to early expectations and there is a real worry that he will go off the boil, if he hasn't already, and he looked less than his best last time out. Futa is a dangerous fighter, despite technical limitations he can really bang, and he's tough, with his record littered with upset wins, including KO wins over Vage Sarukhanyan and Will Tomlinson. An in depth look at this bout from regular contributor George Delis can be read here OPBF king Nakatani battles hard hitting Futa!
One of the supporting bouts will see former world title challenger Shohei Omori (19-2, 14) take on former OPBF Bantamweight champion Takahiro Yamamoto (21-5, 17). This looks almost certainly like a bout that will have explosive action. Omori is the more technically skilled of the two men, and has solid power to go with his technical skills, but Yamamoto can certainly bang and is a very dangerous fighter, even if he lacks that bit of class Omori has. Both fighters have been stopped and should feel they have the power to stop the other here. A preview of this bout can be read here Omori and Yamamoto clash in "survival" bout!
Another supporting bout will see former world title challengers battle, as former WBA Super Flyweigt title challenger Sho Ishida (26-1, 15) takes on former WBO title challenger Warlito Parrenas (26-8-1, 23). At 27 years old the 5'8" Ishida has the potential to go all the way, and 2-0 (2) since his loss to Kal Yafai, in what as a close but very forgettable contest. That loss seems to have made Ishida aware that he does need to improve and we have seen a more spiteful attitude from him in the ring. Parrenas on the other hand is 35 and has been stopped in 2 of his last 4, losing to Naoya Inoue and Ryuichi Funai and this seems like a bout he must win if he intends to keep his career alive. Our preview of this clash can be read here Ishida and Parrenas clash in must win bout!
In one other bout of note we'll see Tatsuya Ikemizu (19-2, 8) hunt a 7th straight win, since being stopped by Jonas Sultan in 2016, as he takes on Sonin Nihei (8-2-3, 1). Both of these men were once tipped for success, though both have fallen very short of expectations so far. Given that both are young, both are 25, there is a chance that they could come good. It's worth noting that Nihei hasn't fought since being stopped by Keita Kurihara in December 2016, in what was a second straight stoppage loss for Nihei.
On a lesser level to the Osaka cards is a show from Okinawa, where 2017 Light Welterweight Rookie of the Year Marcus Smith (6-1-1, 6) takes on Filipino Nelson Tinampay (13-7-1, 6). This will be Smith's first bout since losing a Japanese title eliminator to Koki Inoue and should be a solid test for the Japanese-American puncher. Tinampay has been stopped in 4 of his last 6, but has mixed with good talent across the region and will give us something to compare Smith's result against.
In a supporting bout we'll see the talented Tatsuro Nakashima (7-1-1, 5), who came runner up in the East Japan Rookie of the Year last year, looking to bounce back from a recent loss to Kai Ishizawa. The 24 year old Japanese fighter will be up against Thai foe Sanchai Yotboon (4-1, 4), who was last seen in the ring in September, being demolished by the debuting Ginjiro Shigeoka. We don't expect anything but a win for Nakashima, but we're interested in this bout to learn more about how good Shigeoka's performance was.
This card will also feature Former OPBF female Bantamweight champion Yuko Henzan (6-7-4, 2), who is scheduled to face off against a Thai opponent.
The least notable of the Japanese cards comes from Hyogo, where the Japanese ranked Giraffe Kirin Kanda (13-2, 7) takes on the hard hitting Takuya Matsuzaka (8-7, 7) in what should be a good test before Kanda begins a march towards titles in 2019. Kanda is riding a 7 fight winning streak into this bout whilst Matsusaka has managed to win just 3 of his last 7. Although heavy handed Matsusaka has been stopped in 6 of his 7 losses, and we'd not be surprised to see him being taken out again here.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
As well as the Japanese action there will also be a card in Vietnam, in association with a Japanese promoter, with a Japanese fighter headlining the card.
That Japanese fighter in the main event is the exciting Gakuya Furuhashi (23-8-1, 12), who faces off with limited Thai Yutthichai Wannawong (9-7, 7) in a bout for the vacant OPBF Silver Super Bantamweight title. The bout is supposed to be a special attraction as the OPBF look to build up boxing in Vietnam, and it seems clear the OPBF do have big plans for the coming years in these non-boxing countries, so fingers crossed this main event interests the fans.
A second OPBF affiliated title will be on the line as Nguyen Anh Tuan Dao (1-1, 1) faces an opponent, sadly we don't have their name, for the newly created OPBF Vietnamese National Light Welterweight title. The idea seems to be to spread these national titles across a number of countries, in what could be a very interesting experiment from the OPBF, who seem to realise that their market needs to grow outside of their strong hold markets.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In Metro Manila we'll see 3 bouts of note, even if they aren't hugely interesting match ups.
The most promising of those fighters is Joe Noynay (15-2-1, 5), who looks to secure a 4th straight win as he takes on Nathan Bolcio (14-15-3, 4), who has lost his last 3. The talented 23 year old Noynay is unbeaten since losing in February 2017 to Reiya Abe, and looks to be a genuine prospect. Bolcio on the other hand looks like a fighter who has given up trying to win and is 4-13-2 in his last 19 bouts, with 8 of those 13 losses coming by stoppage.
Another fighter who appears to be in easy is Ryan Sermona (20-9-1, 13), who takes on Junar Adante (7-10-1, 4). Sermona has mixed with good fighters, including a 2014 loss to Masayuki Ito and a 2017 loss to Masayoshi Nakatani, and is a decent fighter on the domestic Filipino scene. Adante on the other hand has been stopped in his last 4 bouts, and 8 of his last 9, suggesting Sermona shouldn't have any problems at all here.
The other bout of note on this card will see 23 year old Glenn Medura (9-4-1, 5) battle against Dado Cabintoy (15-8-2, 8), in a bout that looks competitive on paper, but isn't a hugely interesting bout. Medua is 1-3 in his last 4, with only a single win in the last 2 years, whilst Cabintoy is 0-4 coming into this bout and is more than 40 months removed from his last win!
Seoul, South Korea
The main event here is really the only bout worth talking about, and will be an 8 round Super Featherweight clash, as Dong Kwan Lee (8-2-2, 4) takes on Hwan Young Jo (5-6, 1). It's hard to see past a win for Lee, but he was stopped last time out, being taken out in 3 rounds by Jun Zhao back in September. Jo on the other hand has gone 1-3 in his last 4, and at 30 years old really looks like a fighter who won't be getting any better.
This coming Thursday Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall get a triple header of title fights, and whilst none are massive, all three look like they will be solid bouts, where both men have some to gain and something to lose.
One of the main bouts will see WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (16-2-2, 9) defends his belt for the second time, battling against former 2-time world title challenger Teiru Kinoshita (26-2-1, 9). For the hard hitting, and really exciting, Teshigawara this will be his second defense following a win in a brilliant bout against Jason Canoy back in February. The champion will know that a win here moves him a step closer to a world title fight, but a loss will be a massive hit to his career, and be a major set back. As for Kinoshita, who has lost in world title fights to Zolani Tete and Jerwin Ancajas, this is a must win. A loss for Kinoshita now would essentially kill any dreams of getting another shot at a world title, and would be his third loss against a notable fighter in less than 4 years, which is sadly a 4 year period without a single win of note. We don't imagine Kinoshita will pose much of a threat to Teshigawara but could have the skills to ask some questions of the champion.
Another WBO Asia Pacific title fight will be at Super Flyweight, as former Japanese national champion Ryuichi Funai (29-7, 20) takes on former world title challenger Warlito Parrenas (26-7-1, 23) for the currently vacant title. On paper this is probably the best of the three title bouts and features two talented fighters each looking to work their way towards a potential world title bout. Coming in to this Funai is world ranked by all 4 title awarding bodies and he'll be interested in getting a world title fight later this year. Parrenas is best known for losing to the then WBO champion Naoya Inoue in 2015, and since then he has beaten 2-low key Thai foes whilst becoming a trainer at the Morioka gym. Given that Parrenas is a big puncher he has a real shot here, but he will be the under-dog against the more active, and more rounded, Funai.
The third title bout will see Japanese Lightweight champion Shuichiro Yoshino (7-0, 5) make his second defense, and take on the hard matched challenger Genki Maeda (6-2-1, 2). The talented Yoshino has been fast tracked through the Japanese ranks and claimed the national title last year, when he stopped Spicy Matsushita in the 7th round of their bout. The champion made his first defense this past February, blowing out Masaki Saito in 156 seconds, and has looked like a sensational prospect since making his debut in 2015. Whilst the champion is a former amateur standout and expected to go on to be a huge success the same can't be said for Maeda. Despite the fact he has been matched incredibly hard. So far Maeda has shared the ring with Yoshimichi Matsumoto, Mitsuyoshi Fujita and Shogo Yamaguchi, in just 9 bouts. Maeda is a pretty good fighter, but is going up against a really good fighter here, and we can't help but think this bout will be a case of levels, and Yoshino is several levels above Maeda.
As well as the action in Japan there will also be a notable bout in California, as Filipino Mercito Gesta (31-2-2, 17) takes on the once touted Robert Manzanarez (36-1, 29) in a bout for the NABO Lightweight title. This will be Gesta's first bout since losing in January to Jorge Linares, in what was Gesta's second loss in a world title fight. Despite losing to Linares the Filipino did acquit himself much better than he did in his other loss, a terrible performance against Miguel Vazquez. Manzanarez has rebuilt excellently since his sole loss, back in 2012, with 15 straight wins, but this is a big step up in class for him, and it could be too much too soon for the 23 year old American.
This coming Sunday is set to be a busy day for fight fans following the Asian boxing scene. There is 3 cards in Japan and a number of Asian fighters in action in Russia.
The most notable of the Japanese cards comes from Kobe where fans will get a Japanese title fight at Minimumweight, with both of the fighters involved looking to claim the vacant title.
That title bout will see the under-rated Ryoki Hirai (10-4-1, 4) battle against former multi-time world title challenger Shin Ono (21-9-3, 5) for the vacant Japanese Minimumweight title. These two are ranked #1 and #2 by the JBC and are fighting for the title that Reiya Konishi vacated earlier this year, so that he could move up in class to fight for the WBA title. Hirai's record is a bit of a mess, but that's because he started his career 3-3-1, before rebuilding and going 7-1. In recent bouts Hirai has beaten the likes of Takumi Sakae and Ryoya Ikema and has really deserved a shot at the title and a chance to shine. As for Ono he has really struggled in recent years, going 4-4-1 in his last 9, though has mixed at a high level with losses to Katsunari Takayama, Kenichi Horikawa, Knockout CP Freshmart and Reiya Konishi. The bout really pits Hirai's youth and hunger against Ono's experience and should be very interesting.
In a supporting bout we'll see Japanese and OPBF ranked Giraffe Kirin Kanda (11-2, 6) take on the limited but heavy handed Tatsuya Miyazaki (9-10-1, 9). Although Kanda should be favoured he has has been stopped before and Miyazaki will have the belief that he has the power to stop Kanda, just like Yuki Nagano did in 2015.
Staying in Hyogo, though going from Kobe to Kawanishi, fight fans will be able to see the next Morioka card, featuring several noteworthy fighters in what will likely be some horrific mismatches.
The main event of the card will see former OPBF title challenger Hinata Maruta (6-1, 5) battle against Indonesian visitor Arega Yunian (6-9, 1), in what looks like a really disappointing match up for the talent Maruta. Despite losing to Hidenori Otake last November Maruta is an exceptional talent and a bout like this will do little to help build that talent, and it feels like he would have been much better off taking on a domestic level fighter than someone like Yunian. The Indonesian has already suffered 6 stoppage losses, all of which have come when he's fought on the road and include stoppages to Ryo Matsumoto and Takashi Igarashi in Japan
As well as Maruta fans will also be able to see former world title challenger Warlito Parrenas (25-7-1, 22) and former Japanese Youth title challenger Naoto Iwai (4-2, 2) both in action, as they each face Thai opponents. Parrenas will be seeking his second win since a 2015 loss to Naoya Inoue, in a bout for the WBO Super Flyweight title, whilst Iwai will be looking to put a poor 2017 behind and begin to rebuild his career.
As well as the action in Hyogo there will also be a low key card in Fukuoka. This card is a pretty weak one in all honesty, but will be headlined by former WBO Minimumweight champion Tatsuya Fukuhara (19-6-6, 7), who will look to bounce back following back-to-back defeats to Ryuya Yamanaka and Wanheng Menayothin. The former champion, will be up against domestic foe Yuto Takahashi (8-3, 4) in what looks to be a big step down in class. Despite stepping down in levels Fukuhara does deserve an easy one given his run from winning the Japanese title in 2015 to today has seen him facing 3 unbeaten men, two current world champions and two other fringe world class fighters. Takahashi hasn't shown he can compete at the top of the domestic level and although this is a big chance for him to make a mark, it's very hard to see how he can over-come the under-rated Fukuhara.
As well as the Japanese action there is also a lot of Asian interest in a Russian card, with several notable fighters in action.
The main event of the card looks set to be a special kind of bout, as Indonesian warrior Daud Yordan (37-3-0-1, 25) takes on unbeaten Russian Pavel Malikov (13-0, 5) in a really good looking 12 round bout. Yordan seems to have been around around forever but at 30 years old he still has some time on his side to get a second world title fight, following a set back against Chris John back in 2011, and a win against Malikov might be what he needs to get a crack at a world champion. As for Malikov he has been in some great bouts recently, and his last two have been razor thing wins over Daiki Kaneko, in an under-rated 2017 war, and Deiner Berrio. Malikov is certainly beatable, but whether Yordan will be the man to beat him is yet to be seen. It's worth nothing that both of these men hold world rankings and the bout is essentially a world title eliminator.
In a great support bout we'll see unbeaten men collide, with Akzhol Sulaimanbek Uulu (10-0, 5) battling Leonardo Padilla (16-0, 12) for the vacant WBA Asia Super Featherweight Title. Uulu is a Kyrgyzstan born Russian based fighter who has struggled at times but appears to be improving and has got the talent to go a long way, if he can correct some defensive flaws. Those defensive flaws could be a major problem here however as Padilla, like many fighters from Venezuela, can bang with 8 stoppages in his last 10. We'll be honest and admit we're unsure how the Venezuelan qualifies for a WBA Asia title but that can't take away from what looks like a really exciting match up.
Another battle of unbeaten men will see Uzbek hopeful Ravshanbek Umurzakov (2-0, 2) take on Georgian Merab Turkadze (5-0, 2). The Uzbek looks to be a natural prospect and was a solid amateur before making his debut at the end of last year. So far Umurzakov has fought only 2 rounds, taking both of his opponents out with brutal left hands to the body in the opening round. It's always hard to know what you get with a Georgian fighter but given that Umurzakov is scheduled to fight again in May it seems like his team are confident of another quick win here.
One other bout of note will see Russian novice Mekhdi Abdurashedov (1-0) take on the once touted Iwan Zoda (14-3-1, 13) of Indonesia. At one point Zoda looked like a star in the making, and his 2015 win over Petchchorhae Kokietgym was a sensational performance. Sadly though he has gone 1-2-1 in his last 4 and really is fighting an up hill battle to remain relevant. It's unclear how good Abdurashedov is, but this is a big step up for the Russian and hopefully Zoda will show of the skills that got many of us excited when he was younger
This coming Saturday is set to be a very busy day for boxing fans, with some huge action taking place over the weekend.
The biggest bout of the day, featuring an Asian fighter, is in Nevada and will be a bout for the currently vacant IBF Super Featherweight title. The bout will see Japan's Kenichi Ogawa (22-1, 17) take on defensive American Tevin Farmer (25-4-1, 5) in a bout that pits a puncher against a slickster. The bout will be for the title recently stripped from Gervonta Davis, who failed to make weight for a defence back in August, and looks like a really intriguing match up, even if it's unlikely to be the most exciting fight of the weekend.
In Osaka we're set to get a pretty interesting lower level card.
The main event will see ranked fighters facing off, with the unbeaten Daiki Tomita (10-0, 3) risking his JBC, WBO Asia Pacific and OPBF rankings against Desierto Nagaike (10-2-1, 2), who will be putting his own OPBF ranking on the line. The winner of this will clearly move closer to a title fight, and there is a lot to be fighting for in a bout that both will believe they can win.
A second bout of intrigue will see the capable Shingo Kawamura (14-3-1, 7) battle against Japanese based Korean Teiru Atsumi (13-1, 6). On paper Kawamura seems like the lesser fighter but with wins over the likes of Shun Ishibashi, Kota Fukuoka and Shingo Kusano he's proven to be a credible domestic fighter through his career so far. Atsumi has been on a role in recent fights, beating the likes of Sho Nakazawa, Dennis Tubieron, Burning Ishii and Neil John Tabanao but cannot be over-confident coming in to this bout.
A second show in Osaka will also take place, and this one features some slightly bigger names, albeit again foes who aren't likely to pose much of a threat.
One of those notable names is former world title challenger Warlito Parrenas (24-7-1, 21), who fights for the first time since his December 2015 loss to WBO Super Flyweight champion Naoya Inoue. The Filipino,who is now based in Japan and part of the Morioka Gym, will be up against a limited Thai foe and will be expected to pick up a relatively straight forward win here and begin to get his career back on track.
Another notable man on this card is youngster Tatsuya Ikemizu (16-2, 7), who who looks to continue the rebuilding profess of his career. Ikemizu lost 2 bouts in a run of 3 but is now on a 3 fight winning streak, albeit against limited Thais. Sadly this bout will also see him up against a limited opponent from the Land of Smiles.
The main event of this card will see OPBF ranked Bantamweight Yuki Strong Kobayashi (11-7, 6) take on Noboru Osato (8-5-4, 1) in what looks likely to be a pretty competitive bout. Kobayashi is less than 2 years removed from an OPBF title fight, but with a 6-7 record in his last 13 he's certainly no world beater, and despite having the skills to upset fighters on the domestic scene. Osato has had better recent form, going 7-4-2 in his last 13, but he has been competing at a lower level. This could be a very intriguing bout.
Fans in Indonesia will get their own card, albeit a small one, which will be headlined by a bout between the experienced Heri Andriyanto (22-26-2, 10) and the very limited Benny Tamaela (3-7, 1). The reality is that this is a weak bout, but it could well be a competitive one, between two limited fighters.
There will also be Asian fighters fighting in Russia.
One of those bouts will see Russian fighter Isa Chaniev (11-1, 5) take on Filipino visitor Juan Martin Elorde (23-1-1, 10). The bout, for the IBF Inter-Continental and WBO International Lightweight titles, will be Elorde's first bout outside of the Philippines and marks a clear step up for the 33 year old Pinoy, who now seems set to sink or swim. The Russian was beaten back in May but has scored a win since and will know that a win here will help establish him as name to watch at 135lbs.
Another is Thai fighter Sukkasem Kietyongyuth (18-7, 12), who takes on the unbeaten Vyacheslav Mirzaev (9-0, 1). The Thai is a former world ranked fighter but is 5-5 in his last 10 and looks like a man who simply can't do it against fighters with something to them. This bout will serve as a test for Mirzaev, but a win won't propel him too far, more prove that he has the ability to go further than the likes of Sukkasem.
In the wonderful country of Singapore fight fans will get several notable bouts.
One of those bouts will see Indonesian fighter Larry Siwu (22-6, 18) face off against unbeaten Uzbek prospect Qudratillo Abduqaxorov (6-0, 5). Siwu was last seen being stopped by Teerachai Kratingdaenggym but will be hoping top bounce back with a win here, for Abduqaxorov the bout is a great chance to continue his development and possible move towards a regional title fight.
Another bout, for the UBO Inter-Continental female Super Featherweight title, will see Nurshahidah Roslie (2-0) face off against teenager Wondergirl Sithsaithong (0-1) whilst another prospect, Muhamad Ridhwan (2-0, 1), will battle against Egy Rozten (4-11-1, 3).
Metro Manila, Philippines
One of the other notable cards comes from the Philippines where fight fans will get to see two former world title challengers in action.
One of those world title challengers is Richard Claveras (14-2-2, 12) who looks to bounce back from a decision loss to Jonthan Refugio. The heavy handed Claveras will be up against journeyman Juan Purisima (11-8-1, 4) in what should be an easy win for the “Explosive” Claveras, though it should be noted that he has lost 2 of his last 4.
The other former world title challenger in action is Warlito Parrenas (24-7-1, 21), who is fighting for the first time since his December loss to Naoya Inoue. The exciting Parrenas will be up against Rolio Golez (15-15-1, 6) in what should be a straight forward win for Parrenas. Although Golez isn't great he was once a dangerous fight, though days however are long gone and he's gone 1-7-1 in his last 9 bouts, likely falling further here.
One other bout on this card will see the unbeaten Erika Hanawa (4-0, 1) battle against Christine Latube (1-9-2) for the WBC-Asia Atomweight title. Sadly, given Latube's recent results, this will likely be a mismatch.
The low level action in China continues this weekend with a small card at the “Star Space” in Shanghai. The card is another of the Top Rank/SECA shows and will see fights taking place across a number of weights, though none of the fighters are particularly experienced or big names.
In Canada fight fans will get the chance to see Kazakh fighter Battyrzhan Jukenbayev (2-0-0-2, 2) fight in a 4 rounder against a low level opponent.
Whilst we all know that New Year's Eve is a date to always mark down on your boxing calendar for the action from Japan we have also got a special show on December 29th as Ohashi follow up their very successful FES 2014 with FES 2015, another festival of boxing with big names and the backing of Fuji TV.
The main event of the card sees the return of the hugely popular Naoya Inoue (8-0, 7) who defends his WBO Super Flyweight title for the first time since he won it last December. Inoue, who really impressed a year ago when he blitzed Omar Andres Narvaez, has been out of the ring with a hand injury, suffered in that bout, and gets thrown straight into the deep end once again as he faces big punching Filipino fighter Warlito Parrenas (24-6-1, 21). The bout has got attention due to it beign Inoue's return however Parrenas is a serious threat and despite having 6 losses, 4 by stoppage, he has really impressed in recent bouts, including a controversial draw in Mexico with David Carmona. The pressure is on Inoue to impress, though Parrenas will know that this is a huge opportunity to make a name for himself and become a fixture on the world scene.
The Inoue Vs Parrenas bout is one of two world title bouts with the other being a really exciting looking Light Flyweight bout between former 2-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (22-5, 12) goes up against IBF champion Javier Mendoza (24-2-1, 19). For Mendoza this will be his second defense, following a controversial technical decision win against Milan Melindo earlier this year and this is a great chance for him to make a name for himself. Sadly for the Mexican he is going up against one of the most popular Japanese fighters in Yaegashi, who will have the whole venue behind him. Yaegashi is looking to become the third Japanese man to become a 3-weight world champion and will know that this is a must win if his career is going to continue at the world level.
The two world title fights are joined by both an OPBF and a Japanese title fight. The OPBF title fight sees Naoya's younger brother Takuma Inoue (5-0, 1) defending the OPBF Super Flyweight title against under-rated Filipino Rene Dacquel (15-5-1, 5). This is Takuma's first defense of the title, that he won back in July when he out pointed Mark Anthony Geraldo, and is another tough match up for the talented youngster. The speed Inoue will be up against a man who is in good form having recently beaten both Melvin Gumban and Thembelani Nxoshe. This is a really good match up, but one that will get over-looked given the two main events.
The Japanese title fight is a genuinely thrilling match up as Japanese Featherweight champion Satoshi Hosono (29-2-1, 20) takes on former world champion Akifumi Shimoda (30-4-2, 13) in as good of a domestic title bout as you could make. Hosono is hoping to secure a 4th world title fight in 2016 though will need to impress against Shimoda, whilst also recording his 5th defense of the title that he won in April 2014. For Shimoda, who is best known for suffering KO of the Year type losses to Rico Ramos and Marvin Sonsona, will know that a win here could help him get a title fight, though will be aware that another eye catching KO loss will be the end of his career.
On the under-card, in non title bouts, we have two notable fighters. The highest profile of those is former OPBF champion, and current world ranked contender, Ryo Matsumoto (16-0, 14) who faces under-rated Filipino Jestoni Autida (9-3, 4). On paper this looks like a stay busy bout for Matsumoto, who is likely eyeing a world title fight in 2016, however Autida cannot be over-looked and in 2015 he has already upset Ratchasak KKP and pushed Petch Sor Chitpattana very close, with both of those bouts taking place in Thailand. This is a genuine test for Matsumoto.
The other notable fighter is the debuting Koki Inoue (0-0), the cousin of Naoya and Takuma. Koki, a former amateur stand out himself, will be up against Indonesian fighter Arif Maud (1-2, 1) in a 6 rounder. The promising Inoue is a 23 year old southpaw who will be looking to make a name for himself at 140lbs and could potentially be a third member of the Inoue family to become a star.
Action begins to really get underway this Saturday with a really interesting looking “interim” world title bout alongside a number of other contests.
The biggest fight of the day, for us anyway, comes from Mexico where the heavy handed Warlito Parrenas (24-6, 21) attempts to upset local favourite David Carmona (19-2-4, 8) to claim the WBO “interim” Super Flyweight title and open the way to a potential clash with Japanese sensation Naoya Inoue. The bout, which has been put together following Inoue's hand issues, looks good on paper but we suspect Parrenas has to be strongly viewed as the favourite against a limited and light hitting Mexican foe.
The first Japanese show of the month takes place today at the Korakuen Hall.
Originally the main event was set to see Japanese Light Welterweight champion Hiroki Okada (10-0, 8) defending his title against former foe Masayoshi Kotake (9-9-2, 5). Sadly an injury to Okada in late June has forced that bout to be cancelled.
As a result of Okada's injury the new main event will be between Japanese ranked Welterweights as Ryoji Tanaka (8-3-1, 2) battles against Daisuke Sakamoto (9-8-2, 5) in a bout that promises to be better than the records would suggest. Coming in Sakamoto is in good form, having won 2 of his last 3 and was very unlucky in his most recent loss. Tanaka on the other hand was beaten last time out, snapping a 5 fight winning streak. On paper it's not a special bout be we suspect it will be very competitive.
Although the card isn't the strongest it does have some interesting looking bouts, arguably the best of the under-card contests comes at Super Bantamweight where Yukinori Hisanaga (16-6-2, 9) takes on Yosuke Fujihara (14-3, 4) in a bit of a must win bout for both men. Coming in Fujihara has lost his last 2, and 3 of his last 4 though will know that a win puts him in the mix for a potential title fight. As for Hisanaga he has lost 2 of his last 3, though one of those did come in a national title fight to Hidenori Otake.
Another under-card bout worth noting will see the always fun to watch Shuhsei Tsuchiya (17-4, 15) take on Kazuya Soma (7-7-2, 6) in a potential shoot out. Tsuchiya has all the advantages on paper but with 3 stoppage losses in his last 6 he may well be a fighter “on the slide”, despite being just 28. It's a must win for the popular Tsuchiya if he's to ever get himself a domestic title fight, however Soma can certainly punch and will be looking to score the home run shot.
In Germany we see another Japanese fighter in action as the experienced Aniya Seki (26-3-2, 2) battles against unbeaten German Leonie Giebel (7-0-1, 1). On paper Seki's experience could be her key against a naturally bigger fighter, however this is a very tough bout for the European based Japanese fighter who is 14 years older than her foe.
New South Wales, Australia
In NSW Australian fans will get the chance to see the upset minded Filipino Arnel Tinampay (22-17-1, 8) battle against unbeaten Aussie Rocky Jerkic (10-0, 8). Whilst Tinampay isn't the best fighter out there he is better than his record suggests and shouldn't be taken lightly, as he's proven in bouts against the likes of Yosuke Kirima and Shoma Fukumoto. Jerkick is on a good run but this will almost certainly be a tougher bout for him than his team may have suspected.
New South Wales, Australia
A separate show in NSW sees several bouts featuring Asian's, though none of whom will be given a real chance.
The biggest of the mismatches sees Pramool Boonpok (1-15-1) battle against the unbeaten Tony Senior (6-0, 5). It's hard to see a win for Boonpok here, though we would be impressed if he could see the distance with the hard hitting Senior.
Another one sided of the bouts, on paper, will see Filipino journeyman Jonel Alibio (18-18-5, 10) battle against unbeaten Australian Nathan Wright (6-0, 3) in a contest for the IBO Asia Pacific Lightweight title. On paper this looks like Alibio has been selected to help Wright win a title, though hopefully Alibio will come with the belief that he can upset Wright.
Another big mismatch will see Thailand's Mongkolchai Lookmuangkanch (12-3, 7) battle against the well regarded TJ Doheny (11-0, 7). Doheny is really starting to make a name for himself and would, obviously, be favoured here. Sadly for the Thai his last loss, a TKO defeat to Corey McConnell doesn't bode well for his chances here and it seems likely that he will be stopped again here.
The one, slight, chance for an upset comes in a 10 round bout between Joebert Delos Reyes (13-5-1, 10) and the unbeaten Darragh Foley (5-0, 3). Reyes scored a huge upset last year, when he scored a sensational KO against Valentine Borg, and will be hoping for a repeat of that here against the Australian based Foley. Foley, a southpaw originally from England, will be the favourite but this is a step up for him.
(Image courtesy of notifight.com)
April 24th-A busy day with Petalcorin defending his title as well as Parrenas, Yodmongkol, Dasmarinas, Katagiri and a lot more!
April 24th is a strangely active day with notable fights taking place all over the place. The bouts range from relatively small contests to a “world” title fight in China. Despite the action the day will likely go under the radar for many fans, at least in terms of the Asian fighters.
The biggest bout of the day will be in the Chinese capital at the “Capital Gym” and will see WBA “interim” Light Flyweight champion Randy Petalcorin (22-1-1, 17) defending his belt against unheralded Chinese challenger Ma Yi Ming (12-5, 7). Coming into the bout Petalcorin is a relatively known quantity and looked very good in his title victory last August, when he stopped Walter Tello in 7 rounds. As for Ming this is a relatively undeserved challenge but the Chinese fighter is a lot better than his record indicated will come to fight, possibly leaving himself open to Petalcorin's fast and accurate shots. This could be a potential banana skin for the talented Petalcorin who should move onto bigger fights if he's successful here.
On the same card Qu Peng (6-1-1, 4) will be battling against Australian fighter Dane Campbell (3-2, 2). This will be Peng's first bout since losing to Andrew Robinson in Macau last November.
In Japan we get a low level card which doesn't leave us too exciting but it does feature some notable fighters, sadly all of which are in relative mismatches.
The main event will see the Japanese and OPBF ranked Akihiko Katagiri (16-7-2, 7) facing off against the over-matched Tatsuya Otsubo (7-6-1, 3). Katagiri comes into this bout unbeaten in 5, following a 4th round TKO loss to Jhonny Gonzalez, and will be hoping to continue that type of form as he edges towards a title fight. Whilst Otsubo has a similar run, with 5 straight wins, he has been fighting at a much lower level and this is a massive step up in class for him.
In the chief support bout we'll see former OPBF and Japanese Middleweight title challenger Hikaru Nishida (11-7-1, 3) facing off against the debuting Kungsuk Sor Sompong (0-0. Although we know little about Kungsuk we do know that Nishida is a lot, lot better than his record indicates and should have enough in the tank to beat his foe here.
A second support bout will see female fighter Kimika Miyoshi (9-8-1, 4) battle against a Thai foe. Miyoshi, who is ranked in the top 10 by the IBF and the WBA at Bantamweight will be hoping to move towards a world title fight though she's unlikely to be able to beat any of the current world champions in or around 118lbs.
As well as the 3 bouts mentioned here there will a further 5 bouts. One of those bouts will see Takuya Watanabe (24-5-1, 11) fighting a Thai foe in a 6 round bout. Watanabe, the IBF Asian Featherweight champion, shouldn't have any issues here in what looks like a stay busy fight for a man facing his 5th straight Thai foe. Other bouts will involve qualified accountant Kohei Kashino (1-0, 1) and risique model Riyako Goshi (3-2) who are both involved in 4 rounders with domestic opponents.
In Thailand fans will get the chance to see former WBA "interim" Flyweight champion Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (35-3, 20)* fight for the second time since being beaten last year by Juan Carlos Reveco. Yodmongkol is set to fight Jopher Marayan (7-5-2, 3) in a bout for the WBA Asia Flyweight title.
Whilst other bouts will be on this show we've not been informed of what they are, yet. What we do know is that this show will be aired on Thai channel 7.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines we're expecting to see WBO #1 ranked Super Flyweight Warlito Parrenas (23-6, 20) facing off against Thailand's Kaichon Sor Vorapin (25-13, 9) in a 10 round bout. It seems Parrenas's bout with Jamie Conlan has been cancelled for a second time and Parrenas has decided to stay busy and take a fight at home instead of waiting on the side lines.
In the co-feature Recky Dulay (8-1-0-1, 5) will be facing Warren Mambuanag (7-5-2, 3) in what should be a straight forward victory for Dulay who does look like a promising prospect despite already suffering a loss.
Others on this bout include the talented Michael Dasmarinas (19-2, 12), who will be in a 6 round bout against a TBA and Jenel Lausa (3-0, 2), who is facing Benjie Baron (2-1) in a 6 rounder.
We get more Filipino action as a couple of Filipino fighters take to South Africa in the search for IBO titles.
One of the Filipino's in action is unbeaten Featherweight Randy Braga (15-0-1, 3) who battles the heavy handed Macbute Sinyabi (24-4, 19) in a bout for the IBO Inter-Continental Featherweight title. For Braga this a very risky assignment but at 27 years old it seems the time is now or never to step up. Sinyabi is a vicious puncher but his power doesn't quite seem to have the same effect in recent bouts as it did earlier in his career and if Braga can take his power there maybe a title heading to the Philippines.
The other bout is even trickier for the visitor. This one will see Renz Rosia (11-2, 5) battle against the much touted Makazole Tete (12-0-1, 9) in a bout for the IBO Inter-Continental Flyweight title. Tete is the young brother of current IBF Super Flyweight champion Zolani Tete and is said to be better than Zolani, if that's true then Rosia is on to a beating here. On paper Rosia is on a great run with 9 straight wins but he's stepping up massively for this bout and we suspect he'll come up very short against a very good South African.
Staying in Africa we will also see the heavy handed Joebert Delos Reyes (13-4-1, 10) taking on Emmanuel Tagoe (22-1, 9) in a bout for the WBA Inter-continental Lightweight title. Tagoe will be fighting for the first time in 20 months and whilst his record looks good he has had some luck, including a debatable decision against Ronald Pontillas. Reyes might not be a star in the making but he really can bang and he'll be hoping to show that power here.
*Boxrec are missing Yodmongkol's most recent bout against Pongpan Pattanakarngym.
The action really does continue through much of December and this coming Tuesday is no different with notable shows in 4 of the Asian countries and in fact all 4 countries play host to at least 1 title fight.
The most notable of the title fights is in Japan where heavy handed OPBF Super Middleweight champion Yuzo Kiyota (26-4-1, 24) defends his belt against unknown Fijian challenger Abhay Chand (16-13-4, 10), a man we really don't know a lot about. Kiyota, who is best known for his loss to Robert Stieglitz last year, will be making the first defense of his current reign and we suspect he'll make light work of Chand though we haven't managed to find much of Chand's footage and our view is just based on his record.
Sadly whilst this Japanese card has the biggest title bout of the day it lacks markedly in terms of it's under-card. There will 7 undercard bouts but the only one worth noting is the 8 round contest between Kenta Nakagawa (7-2, 5) and Ryo Nakamura (7-4, 3), in what looks to be a very even match up.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Although the best title fight is in Japan we believe the best card comes from the Philippines with 4 bouts that have caught our eye.
The most exciting of those bouts is one of two main events as the promising Rene Dacquel (12-3-1, 4) attempts to defend the WBC Youth Super Flyweight title against unbeaten compatriot Jhaleel Payao (10-0, 6). Dacquel impressed earlier this year fighting to a draw, in Japan, against Ryotaro Kawabata, and has since stopped Menard Abila in 8 rounds. On the other hand Payao is unbeaten and a former PBF champion who has scarcely lost a round in the last 2 years. A really interesting and genuine well made contest.
The other main event will see highly ranked Super Flyweight Warlito Parrenas (22-6, 19) defending his WBO Oriental title against Indonesian visitor Hengky Baransano (11-4, 4). At the time of writing Parrenas is the #2 ranked Super Flyweight according to the WBO and is also one of the divisions most exciting and heavy handed fighters. We suspect the champion will stop the Indonesian visitor though as is often the case with Indonesian fighters, we don't know how good they are and every so often an Indonesian fighter does have some surprising talent so this could be interesting.
A third bout to make a note of is a Light Flyweight bout featuring monster puncher Richard Claveras (10-0-2, 10). The heavy handed and much touted puncher will be fighting against experienced journeyman Rodel Tejares (20-31-6, 5) in what could be an interesting test for the young man who is with out a doubt heavy handed and one to keep a real eye on in the coming years.
The fourth bout will see see former world title challenger Ardin Diale (25-9-3, 12) stepping up to Super Flyweight to fight against the experienced Ricky Manufoe (23-21-2, 10). On paper this is a mismatch however Manufoe's record is misleading and he has lost to numerous world champions including Kompayak Porpramook, Suriyan Sor Rungvisai, Amant Ruenroeng and Teppaith Kokietgym and he may well be a lot better than the numbers suggest. As for Diale we all know he has been in some draining battles recently, including his war with Koki Eto from earlier this year.
We suspect this card will feature another 5 bouts but we've picked out the 4 most notable ones.
In the “land of smiles” fans will get the chance to see Japanese teenage Riku Kano (4-1-1, 3) attempt to claim the WBA Asia Minimumweigth title. Kano, a 17 year old youngster who is yet to debut in Japan, will be fighting Madit Sada (9-18-1, 3). From what we understand Kano will be hoping to become the first Japanese fighter to win a WBA affiliated title prior to his Japanese debut and if he wins here the intention is to try and move towards a WBA world title fight and beat the long standing record of Hiroki Ioka's for the youngest Japanese fighter to become a world champion.
For those who haven't yet seen Kano his skills were recently on show against Wittaya Sithsaithong and going on what we saw there we suspect he'll really shine against the poor Kano.
Daejeon, South Korea
In South Korea we see two more titles up for grabs. The most notable of those is the KBC Light Welterweight title which will be defended by novice champion Myung Soo Sun (1-0) for the first time. Sun, who won the title back in September with a majority decision over Jae-Ho Kim will be fighting against Jin Soo Kim (6-3, 3) here. Although we don't know much about the challenger we do recognise some of his opponents, including Quaye Peter, who Kim stopped in a round, and Taek Min Kim, who beat him in 8 rounds for a different version of this title. This could a be a very good test for the champion.
In the other title bout the unbeaten Eun Hye Lee (5-0, 1) will be battling Filipino visitor Lady Love Sampiton (2-2, 1) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific female Flyweight title. Lee, a former Korean national champion, should be facing the best test of her career here though we've yet to be impressed by Sampiton.
The rest of the card, 4 bouts, will feature debutants in action in what we suspect the KBC hopes will help to grow Korean boxing.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)