From where we're sat the main show this coming Saturday is in Tokyo, where we get 4 Japanese title eliminators on what is a mouth watering card. The winners will all get Japanese title shots at the 2020 Champion Carnival meaning these 4 bouts are very significant.
The lowest weight covered by these eliminators is Bantamweight, where the once touted Kazuki Tanaka (11-2, 8) takes on the often under-rated Kyosuke Sawada (13-2-1, 6), in what could turn out to be a masterful lesson of boxing by Sawada or an all out brawl. This really does depend on just how desperate the two men get, and whether Tanaka's power will be too much for Sawada to handle with his skills. This could be a very, very good fight. A full preview of this bout can be found here Sawada and Tanaka look to book a place at the Champion Carnival
At Featherweight we'll see the very highly regarded Hinata Maruta (9-1-1, 7) take on former Japanese Featherweight champion Takenori Ohashi (17-5-2, 11). We suspect that Murata will have the speed, size and skills to deal with Ohashi, but the experienced man can genuinely bang and his KO earlier this year over Shun Wakabayashi showed just how heavy his hands are. This should be a win for Murata, but he really cannot get sloppy given the lights out power of his opponent. A full preview of this bout can be read here Maruta and Ohashi clash in Japanese eliminator
On paper we could end up with a bit of a boxing classic as Kazuki Saito (7-1, 5) and Izuki Tomioka (6-2-1, 2) meet in Japanese Lightweight title eliminator. Saito is a fantastic offensive boxer, but has real issues taking a shot, and that does actually make his fights even more fun to watch, and he is quite honest a bit of a glass cannon. Tomioka on the other hand is a very light punching boxer-mover and he managed to give Masayoshi Nakatani fits in an OPBF title fight. We expect skills to be on here. Our preview of this bout can be read here Saito and Tomioka clash in Lightweight eliminator!
The heaviest weight covered on this show is the Welterweight division, where former world title challenger Keita Obara (21-4-1, 19) will take on Toshiro Tarumi (12-3-3, 6). On paper this doesn't look a great bout, with Obara having the edges in experience, power, and level of competition. It is worth noting however that Tarumi has momentum coming in to this, thanks to wins over Noriaki Sato and Shusaku Fujinaka during a 7 fight winning run. Our preview of this bout can be read here Hard hitting Obara takes on little known Tarumi in Japanese eliminator
As well as the fantastic action in Japan we're actually being treat to a huge amount of fights spread across Asia, including a card from Kazakhstan.
The headline bout of this show will see the unbeaten Kanat Islam (26-0, 21) take on recent world title challenger Walter Kautondokwa (18-1,17), in what looks likely to be a very, very explosive bout. The unbeaten Kazakh will be fighting for the second time since returning from an injury that kept him out of the ring for close to 2 years. We say fighting for the but it's hard to call his 14 second demolition of Julio De Jesus a fight, more an assault. The 34 year old Kautondokwa, from Namibia, has only been beaten once and that in a WBO Middleweight world title fight against Demetrius Andrade, so he is tough, but it's a big ask for him to get a result in Kazakhstan.
Novice Kazakh prospect Nursultan Amanzholov (1-0) will look to build on his first professional win as he takes on 38 year old Polish foe Michal Banbula (13-31-4). At his very best Banbula was a criminally under-rated fighter who scored a win over Tony Oakey and a draw with Tony Jeffries. Sadly though Banbula has lost 5 of his last 6 and should pose little threat to someone like Amanzholov, who is a fully blown Heavyweight.
The pick of the bouts outside of Japan looks to be an excellent contest in China where we see two older fighters in action to keep their careers alive.
The bout in questions sees the once beaten local Wenfeng Ge (11-1, 6) take on former world champion Kompayak Porpramook (60-7, 41) for the WBO Global Flyweight title. The tough Ge is looking to bounce back from a TKO loss to Giemel Magramo earlier in the year, and that was a painful beating so we'll see what effect it has on his psyche and will to win. As for the Thai he has lost 2 of his last 3, but the former WBC Light Flyweight champion is still a nightmare for fighters willing to have a war with hi, and he should be viewed as a legitimate live under-dog here.
The chief support bout is a contest for the WBC Asian Boxing Silver Super Bantamweight title China's Chunlei Lin (9-3, 2) will battle against Indonesian Galih Susanto (17-9-1, 4). The 25 year old local, dubbed the "Black Dragon", has not proven a great deal yet and has lost to his 2 most notable opponents thus far, including a loss at home to Japan's Shun Wakabayashi. On the other hand Susanto is no world beater but is a bit better than his record suggests and may well expose Lin a little bit, before losing, likely on the cards.
A second Chinese card will see the unbeaten Xiang Li (5-0, 4) take on Japan's Takuya Ota (8-2-1, 6). The technically limited but hard hitting Li scored a solid win in January, or Arvin Young, and scored another in August over Do Jin Lee. So it's good to see him being active after a very slow start to his professional career, sadly though his competition doesn't appear to be improving through the year. Ota is nothing of a step up from the last couple of bouts for Li, but is still a capable fighter and he reached the Rookie of the Year final last year. We suspect this will be another win for Li, but another one where his flaws are made evident by the successes of his opponent.
A third show in China will be headlined by Mongolian Tsendbaatar Erdenebat (1-0), though sadly his opponent hasn't yet been announced for a bout in Shenzhen. Whilst no opponent is known at the time of writing for the Mongolian this is set to be a 10 rounder, which is very ambitious for the 2016 Olympian.
Yet another Chinese card will take place, with this one being headlined by unbeaten local Zhong Liu (14-0, 5) taking on Filipino John Kenan Villaflor (8-5-4, 2) in what looks like an interesting 8 rounder. The unbeaten local comes into this on the back of a big win over Jess Rhey Waminal and Villaflor will be in the ring looking to get revenge for his countryman.
A second bout of interest will see Chinese youngster Wuzhati Nuerlang (12-3, 10) look score his second win of 2019 as he takes on veteran Said Mbelwa (47-29-5, 31). This could be a good chance for the 23 year old Chinese fighter to shine against a very shop worn foe who has got over 80 career bouts and 12 career stoppage losses.
La Union, Philippines
On a lesser level we have a Filipino show in La Union, this show certainly doesn't have much in terms of names, but does have a couple of bouts that could end up being much better than they look on paper.
The heavy hitting 25 year old Arnel Baconaje (11-3, 9) will be up against fellow Filipino Jestoni Autida (12-11, 6). On paper this looks like a mismatch, especially given that Baconaje has gone 5-1 in his last 6, however Autida is a tough and capable fighter who has give Ryoichi Tamua, Ernesto Saulong and Jason Canoy very tough bouts in recent years. Baconaje is the favourite, but Autida a clear live under-dog.
Another potentially interesting match up will see Jules Victoriano (9-2, 6) take on Virgil Puton (17-13-2, 8), though this could also be a stinker. The 22 year old Victoriano was on a 9 fight winning before losing in Japan to Yoshimitsu Kimura in June, and we suspect he'll be confident of getting back to winning ways here. The 30 year old Puton was once a very, very capable opponent, but he is now 0-5-2 in his last 7 and has been stopped in 4 of those 7 bouts, and seems very much like he's a "shot" fighter. If Puton has anything left in the tank he could make this competitive, but the worry is that he's only a shell of the fighter he once was.
One other bout on this card will see IBF Bantamweight mandatory challenger Michael Dasmarinas (29-2-1, 19) fight in a stay busy bout against Artid Bamrungauea (25-27, 23). The talented Filipino is the mandatory for the winner of the upcoming WBSS winner Bantamweight finish and this really is just a tick over against a heavy handed but very limited Thai foe. It's worth noting that in recent weeks Dasmarinas has been sparring with Takuma Inoue, and although this is only a low key fight he'll likely be wanting to impress.
In Bangkok fans are set for some low quality action.
In the most notable bout the UK's 48 year old Denise Castle (2-2, 2) will go up against Thailand's Sutthinee Bamrungpao (4-6) in a bout for the vacant WIBA Minmumweight title. The Thai fighter is the younger of the two but has suffered 6 stoppage losses in her 10 bout career and has never beaten a fighter with a winning record. Castle is well beyond her best years, which were spent outside of boxing, but we wouldn't be surprised if she did enough to take the win here. It's worth noting that both of Castles' losses have come in world title bouts, with the first coming to Momo Koseki, but she's done very little to derseve this fight with her last win being more than 5 years ago.
Also on this card we'll see rather odd WBC interim Asian Boxing Council silver Featherweight title bout between the limited Thai based Filipino Joel Kwong (4-9, 4) and the limited Waldo Sabu (13-14, 3), from Indonesia. We assumed the idea of the Silver titles was to get rid of the need for an interim belt, but an interim silver regional title fight between two guys with losing records is very, very hard to defend.
Staying in Asia we also have a small card in Singapore.
One of the main bouts will see unbeaten Malaysian fighter Adli Hafidz (7-0, 3) take on 40 year old Indonesian fighter Ramadhan Weriuw (18-11-1, 16) in a bout for the WBA Asia South Super Middleweight title. This really should be a very straight forward win for Hafidz, who is no world title challenger in the making but still a very capable fighter. It's worth noting that in 2016 Weriuw fought as a Welterweight and has no reason to be fighting as an out of shape, old Cruiserweight.
Local favourite Muhamad Ridhwan (13-2, 9) will also be on this show as he takes on Thai visitor Taweechai Juntarasuk (10-13, 6), who is 0-8 in fights outside of Thailand. This looks a mismatch on paper, and we suspect it will also be a mismatch in the ring, with Ridhwan looking to score a third straight win since back to back losses.
In the US we get a very even looking match up as 28 year old American Andy Vences (22-1-1, 12) takes on 25 year old Filipino Mark Bernaldez (19-2, 13). Vences began his career 20-0 but has struggled in recent bouts, going 2-1-1 in his last 4, and now needs to get his career back on track following his first professional loss, back in June to Albert Bell. Bernaldez on the other hand has lost 2 of his last 6, but is unbeaten the US, where his last 2 bouts have been held and does have a little big of momentum. We suspect the naturally bigger Vences will take the win, but this it the perfect time for Bernaldez to face him.
The big show of the day this Saturday is in the Philippines, where we see a top prospect take on a former world champion and several under-card bouts worthy of some attention.
The main bout will see the unbeaten Mark Magsayo (19-0, 14) battle against former WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (53-6, 35) in a bout for a couple of minor regional titles. For Magsayo this will be his second bout since a 2017 in over Shota Hayashi, in what was a really tough bout, whilst Pungluang will be looking to build on a recent win over Carlo Magali. Despite the two men having very, very, different careers it's worth noting that only 5 years separate these two men, yet their debuts were almost 9 years difference between their debuts. Pungluang is a true veteran, and will be here to win, but Magsayo will be favoured and has long been regarded as a special talent.
In an excellent GAB Bantamweight title fight we'll see Giovanni Escaner (19-4, 12) take on Renoel Pael (23-9-1, 12), with both looking to rebuild following a loss on foreign soil. Escaner was beaten in February by Joshua Greer Jr in the US, though had given a really decent account of himself before the stoppage. Pael on the other hand was taken to school in Japan by Ryusei Kawaura May, suffering his 5th loss on the road. With the GAB title up for grabs and a chance to get some momentum in to their career, we're expecting this to be a very hotly contested match up.
Another supporting bout of interest will see Filipino Roldan Aldea (14-7-1, 8) go up against Malaysian based Uzbek Anvar Turapov (5-1, 4). Coming in to this Aldea is riding a huge boost following his big upset win in Russia against Mikhail Alexeev whilst Turapov has notched 5 straight wins following a loss on debut. Given Aldea's recent win this could be interesting.
For a second day in a row we get action from Qingdao, and this is potentially just heavily stacked in favour of the locals as the other card.
The main event will see Ainiwaer Yilixiati (15-1, 11) drop down to Middleweight to take on Japanese Light Middleweight contender Ryosuke Maruki (16-6-1, 11) in a bout for two regional Middleweight titles. The hard nosed Chinese puncher suffered his only loss 3 years ago, when he was beaten in Australia by Jayde Mitchell, and has since reeled off 5 straight wins. Maruki on the other hand has lost 2 of his last 3, including a blow out loss to Akinori Watanabe a year ago and this will be a very tough bout for him in what will be his international debut.
Another bout on this card will see Tonghui Li (11-2, 5) take on Tanzania's Maono Ally (9-4-1, 5). Li lost in August 2018, to Jung Kyoung Lee, and had bounced back with a win over Arnel Tinampay last September but has been inactive since that win. Ally has lost in 3 of his 4 bouts outside of Tanzania, and was beaten last time out by Oliver Meng. Ally may not be the best fighter but we do love his nickname "The Monster of Bagamoyo".
One local who is looking to bounce back from a couple of recent set backs is Wuzhati Nuerlang (11-3, 9), who has been beaten twice on the road recently and needs a confidence building victory. He will be up against Tanzanian veteran Said Mbelwa (47-29-5-2, 31), who at the age of 41 really is on the back end of his career. Given Nuerlang's recent losses we can't hold this bout against him, and expect him to rebuild some of his broken confidence here.
Macao S.A.R., China
Staying around China, Macau hosts a small card, which on the whole isn't too interesting, though local hopeful Lap Cheong Cheong (6-0, 4) is in the headline bout, as he takes on Yu Fen Wu (0-0). Cheong isn't a big name but he is an incredibly fun to watch youngster. Aged 22 he looks like he might be the face of Macao boxing over the coming years, sadly though this is a clear step backwards for him to take on a debutant at this point in time.
Pocheon, South Korea
Staying in Asia there's also a low key card in Pocheon, though this really is a card that won't get much attention.
The main bout here is a 6 round Middleweight clash that will see Seung Hee Lee (3-5, 1) take on Hyo Joon Jang (1-1-1). Given this is the main event you can understand how low level this show really is.
Technically this show is a KBM 4 round parade show, and should be fun to watch, as they usually are, but it's very to talk about before hand as it's a card of novices and debutants, with not stand out bout on it.
In Victoria, Australian fans will see one of their unbeaten hopefuls go up against a former world title challenger.
The former world title challenger is Filipino fighter Ernesto Saulong (22-4-2, 9), who challenged the then IBF Super Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa in 2018, and will now be taking on Australian youngster Brock Jarvis (16-0, 15). Since then however he has gone 1-1-1, including a huge KO loss to Waldo Sabu in July 2017. Jarvis is a really talented, hard hitting 21 year old prospect, but needs to step up his competition, and on paper this is a very good step up. A win for Jarvis is expected, but we expect to see him given something of a test after 15 straight wins in the first 3 rounds.
The big show this coming Sunday comes from Osaka and will be the West Japan Rookie of the Year final, which will decide the West Japan representative at the All Japan Rookie of the Year in December. Rather than going through all the bouts we've just picked 3 of the most interesting ones.
One of the most even match ups is the Super Featherweight bout between Kanta Fukui (5-1, 4) and Takuya Ota (5-1-1, 4). The two men have very similar looking records and both are in their mid 20's. Strange they do differ massively in when they debuted. Ota made his debut way back in 2012, when he would actually go 2-1-1, before returning late last year and eventually earning his spot in this Rookie final. Fukui on the other hand debuted last year and despite losing his second bout is coming into this final on a run of 4 straight wins.
Another good looking match up will see 24 year old Yuna Hara (6-1-1, 2) face off with unbeaten teenager Hiroki Hanabusa (4-0-1, 2) in a Super Bantamweight bout. Hara made his debut back in 2015 and seemed to have early success, including a draw in 2016 with Toshiki Shimomachi who went on to win the 2017 Rookie of the Year. He's reached this final by beating a couple of unbeaten foes, and will be hoping to make it 3 in a row. Hanabusa on the other hand debuted last year, going 2-0 in 2017, and has gone 2-0-1 this year. It's worth noting that for such a novice Hanabusa has faced two fighters with significantly more experience, and has shown that is better than his novice status would suggest. This could be a very interesting bout with skills being the key.
Another bout where skills will be key sees unbeaten Super Flyweight's collide, with Tetsuro Ohashi (4-0-1, 1) taking on Shunichi Okazaki (4-0-1, 1). The 19 year old Ohashi fought to a draw in his semi-final, and is perhaps a touch lucky to be in this final, but is a talented young fighter and the draw shows how competitive these rookie bouts can be. Okazaki is the slightly older man, at 21, and is also somewhat fortunate to be in the final following a narrow win in his semi-final bout. These two youngsters will know that a win here will open big doors for the future, but they know that this will not be an easy bout to win.
As well as the Rookie card there is also a show from Hiroshima, featuring a few notable names on the Japanese domestic scene.
The main event will see Japanese ranked Light Welterweight Ryuji Ikeda (13-5-2, 9) taking on veteran Yuichi Ideta (13-12-1, 7). Despite only being 23 Ikeda is already a very experienced fighter and has fought a few times outside of Japan. Although he's only won 2 of his last 6 Ikeda is a promising domestic fight who could win titles down the line. Ideta on the other hand is a 34 year old veteran who debuted back in 2005, and has faced a relative who's who, including Koji Numata, Akinori Watanabe, Suyon Takayama, Keita Obara, Nobuyuki Shindo and Koshinmaru Saito. Sadly for Ideta he has lost his last 8, and is 1-12-1 in his last 14 bouts. We'd be shocked it Ideta can pick up his first win in over 7 years here.
In a supporting bout we'll see international action as Taiyo Inoue (7-4-2, 5) takes on Filipino Roland Jay Biendima (12-2-1, 6) in a good looking match up. The Japanese fighter is better than his record suggests but this is a tough test. The visitor is a 22 year old who lost 2 of his first 4 bouts, both to fighters who are now considered very good prospects, but he's yet to score a big win. This is a great chance for both men to get a career best win, and we like those sorts of bouts.
One other bout from this card worthy of a mention is a female bout between 18 year old Japanese hopeful Eruka Hiromoto (3-0) takes on unbeaten Filipino visitor Charimae Salvador (4-0, 1). On paper this is two female novices facing off, but given that neither will want to give up their unbeaten records this could be very competitive. It is worth noting that Salvador, despite being 4-0 has only fought two opponents, rematching both of her opponents so far whilst Hiromoto has faced 3 different opponents from her 3 career bouts.
Metro Manila, Philippines
As well as the two shows in Japan, there will also be a notable show in the Philippines, where the WBC will be holding their third Women's convention.
The main bout of this show will see unbeaten Uzbek Azizbek Abdugofurov (11-0, 4) take on once beaten Chinese fighter Wuzhati Nuerlang (11-1, 9) in a very good looking match up. The unbeaten 26 year old will be looking to make his first defense of the WBC "silver" Super Middleweight title, a title he won back in May when he beat Dmitrii Chudinov. The Chinese fighter lost on his debut in 2015, up at Light Heavyweight, but has since reeled off 11 wins at home and dropped down to the more natural Super Middleweight limit. We suspect will take the win, but this is still a very interesting match up.
The rest of the under-card is splattered with bout of various quality, the best of the bunch being a WBC Asian Boxing Council female Bantamweight title fight between Phannaluk Kongsang (4-7-1, 2) and Urvashi Singh (3-0, 3). Phannaluk is a 23 year old Thai who has gone 1-4 in her last 5 bouts, but has mixed with quality fighters like Tamao Oawa and Miyo Yoshida, showing that whilst she's coming up short she is facing good fighters. Singh on the other hand is a little known Indian fighter who only debuted in June, and is pencilled in for another fight in December, in what is a big step up in class. It seems like the Indian is favoured, but this is a slight step up in class for her at this early point in her career.
This coming Sunday is a pretty busy day of action Asia.
For us the most notable of the bouts will be in Osaka and feature a really interesting Japanese Super Featherweight bout, a step up in class for an unbeaten prospect and an interesting under-card bout.
The Super Featherweight bout pits two top 5 Japanese domestic fighters against each other, as the once beaten Ken Osato (12-1-1, 4) takes on 2-time Japanese title challenger Satoru Sugita (13-4-1, 8) in a real step up for the 23 year old Osato and a must win for Sugita. The younger man has gone 8-0-1 since suffering an opening round KO loss back in September 2013, when he was still just a teenager. As for Sugita he has gone 2-2 in his last 4, though both of those loses came against the then Japanese champion Kenichi Ogawa, who will fight for a world title just hours before this bout takes place.
One man who we are glad to see taking a step in the right direction is Masayoshi Hashizume (14-0, 10), who impressed us early in his career but really faltered in terms of building a real name for himself recently, being matched against horribly inept opponents. Here we'll see the Ioka gym prospect take on domestic foe Kota Fujimoto (7-2, 2), and hopefully a win here for Hashizume will launch him towards bigger and better bouts in 2018. Fujimoto has lost 2 of his last 3, but will know that a win here will give his career a huge shot and push him towards potential title fights.
A third bout of note here will see the heavy handed Hibiki Jogo (6-1, 4) battle against the talented Yuki Hirashima (7-1-1, 1). Jogo's loss came last year, at the All Japan Rookie of the year, and since then he has racked up two wins and is really genuine puncher at the lower levels of the Japanese domestic scene. Hirashima suffered a blip last year, going 0-1-1 for the year, bus has racked up 3 wins in 2017 and will know that another here will see him go into 2018 as a man in good domestic form.
A second show in Japan will take place in Aichi and will see Japanese Youth Super Featherweight champion Takuya Mizuno (12-1-1, 11) make his first defense of the title, as he takes on fellow youngster Yuki Iriguchi (9-1-1, 4). Mizuno won the title last time out, with a split decision win over Ryota Ishida and the 22 year old puncher will be looking to get back to his destructive best here. As for the 20 year old Iriguchi this bout will see him looking to buil on a 4 fight winning run, which includes victories over touted amateur Kenshin Oshima and the then inform Ryohei Takahashi. Although an easy bout to over-look it really is a cracking contest on paper.
There is also set to be a pretty interesting card in China.
One of the best bouts on the card will see Chinese Heavyweight hopeful Zhilei Zhang (18-0, 14) take on Belgian visitor Herve Hubeaux (28-2, 14) in a bout for the WBO Oriental Heavyweight title. We'll admit we're unsure how Hubeaux qualifies for the title, but the reality is that he's been taken over to China to lose, and despite the good looking record on paper the 25 year old has shown nothing to worry Zhang. The Chinese fighter should really be seeing this as his chance to record an easy first defense of the title he won back in January. Interestingly coming into this bout Zhang is on a run of 5 opening round KO's.
A second title bout will see the once touted Zhimin Wang (9-2, 3) take on Filipino visitor Anthony Sabalde (12-6, 7) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Lightweight title. The match up isn't as good looking on paper as the Heavyweight title clash, but the reality is that this bout should be much more interesting, and looks like a much more competitive contest. Both Wang and Sabalde are flawed and both will feel they take advantage of their foes weaknesses.
There are two other notable bouts on this card. One of those will see Jianzheng Wang (6-0, 4) take on former OPBF title challenger Kajornsak Sithsaithong (10-6, 10), in what we expect will be a mismatch, and the heavy handed Wuzhati Nuerlang (9-1, 8) taking on Thai Chaloemporn Sawatsuk (17-5, 13), in what promises to be an explosive encounter.
In Pngasinan fight fans are in for a very low key card, with the main event being the only bout worthy of noting. That bout will see Alphoe Dagayloan (7-2-5, 3) take on Mateo Handig (13-15, 7), in what would have been an interesting fight had Handig not lost his last 10. Handig used to be pretty decent, but is only a shadow of the fighter he once was