The biggest card this coming Friday is in Qingdao as we get two world title fights and several other minor title contests.
One of the world title bouts will see WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura (16-1-2, 9) return to China, where he won the title last year against Zou Shiming, to defend the belt against Froilan Saludar (28-2-1, 19). Kimura has made just a single defense of the title, but looks like a solid champion who is strong, hungry and hard hitting, much more so than his record suggests. As for Saludar he was once tipped as a major star but has failed to reach the heights expected of him. Saying that however Saludar has seen his brother, Vic Saludar, score a massive win recently over Ryuya Yamanaka and will feel full of confidence following his brothers win. We're expecting heavy leather to be thrown here and we suspect both have the power to hurt the other.
The other world title fight will see unbeaten WBA Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (17-0, 7) defending his title against China's very own Xiong Zhao Zhong (27-7-1, 14). This will be Knockout's first bout outside of Thailand and will see him hunting a 5th defense of the WBA regular title. Although talented Knockout does have flaws and with the Chinese crowd against him he may need to up the pace in the later rounds, something he's rarely done when he's been fighting at home. For Zhong the bout is one final chance to become a 2-time world champion, though at the age of 35 it's hard to know what he really left in the tank.
In another title bout we'll see China's Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (13-2-1, 6) take on Filipino fighter Sonny Katiandagho (12-2, 7) for a couple of regional titles. Coming in to this Nasiyiwula will be trying to bounce back from his April loss against Fredrick Lawson in the US, and will be dropping back down from Welterweight to Light Welterweight for this bout. As for Katiandagho he was stopped 2 fights ago, and has been down a few times during his career, though will feel confident here having gone 2-0 in fights in China.
Other bouts on this card include Can Xu (13-2, 1) against Jelbirt Gomera (13-4, 7) and an interim regional Flyweight title bout between Wulan Tuolehazi (7-3-1, 3) and Yokthong Kokietgym (18-4, 11).
Fight fans in Tokyo will get something a bit special as reason put on a stacked card at the Korakuen Hall.
The major attraction here is an amazing match up for the Japanese Super Bantamweight title, as defending champion Yusaku Kuga (16-2-1, 11) takes on former world title challenger Shingo Wake (24-5-2, 16) in what is essentially a world title eliminator between two world class fighters. The hard hitting Kuga has made two defenses of the title that he won in February 2017, though certainly got pushed hard in the first of those against the aggressive and hard hitting Ryoichi Tamura. Wake on the other hand is a former OPBF champion who's only loss in the last 6 years came to the hard hitting Jonathan Guzman in 2016. This is a puncher against a boxer, and we're expecting a compelling stylistic match up here.
Whilst the main event is brilliant it may end up being outshone by a supporting bout between unbeaten Minimumweight prospects, who trade blows for the Japanese Youth Minimumweight title. The bout in question will see 2016 Minimumweight Rookie of the Year Daiki Tomita (12-0, 4) take on the heavy handed Kai Ishizawa (4-0, 4) in what is really a fantastic match up. The 20 year old Tomita had a break out 2016 with his Rookie of the Year triumph and since then has gone 4-0 (2) with a notable domestic win over Desierto Nagaike. On the other hand Ishizawa, who debuted in June 2017, has just been destructive with his April win over Tatsuro Nakashima being a huge statement. This really has the potential to be a very special bout.
Former Japanese and OPBF champion Takuya Kogawa (29-5, 13) will be returning to the ring for his first bout of the year, as he takes on former Japanese title challenger Yusuke Sakashita (16-8-2, 11). At his best Kogawa was world class, and has long been a fan favourite due to his high octane style and willingness to have a tear up against anyone. Sadly though at the age of 33 we suspect his career is catching up with him and he may not have too long left at the top. Saying that however we still suspect Kogawa will have more than enough to over-come the somewhat limited Sakashita who has gone 4-4 in his last 8, losing to the 4 notable fighters that he's shared the ring with in that time.
Another really interesting match up will see former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Masaaki Serie (27-9, 10) return to the ring after more than 2 years away from the ring. Unfortunately for the 35 year old Serie he will be up against the fast rising Daisuke Sugita (2-0, 1), who is tipped for big things. At his best Serie was a really solid fighter, who scored notable wins against the likes of Mikihito Seto, Shoji Kimura and Yasutaka Ishimoto. Sadly for Serie he was showing signs of his age before his break from the ring, and had gone 3-4 in his previous 7 bouts. Sugita is a former amateur stand out who debuted in April and is taking a big step up here, but one that we expect him to make with ease given just how good he was as an amateur, and how good he's been since turning professional.
A second Japanese card will be held in Osaka where we see several rising prospects and a former Japanese champion in action. Sadly however this card really lacks in terms of quality match ups.
The main event on this card will see second generation fighter Juiki Tatsuyoshi (8-0, 5), the son of the legendary Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, take on Indonesian veteran Noldi Manakane (32-24-2, 18). The Japanese fighter will be fighting in his first 10 rounder and taking a notable step up in class as he battles his first former world title challenger. Sadly though Manakane is a long, long way from the fighter who challenged Koki Kameda or the WBA Bantamweight title back in 2012 and the 34 year old has won just 8 of his last 21 fights.
The former champion on this card is former Japanese Featherweight champion Kosuke Saka (17-4, 14), who continues to rebuild his career following his shock loss to Takenori Ohashi last December. The heavy handed Saka shouldn't struggle at all with the light hitting Gusti Elnino (4-12-1, 1), who fights outside of Indonesia for the first time. Saka might not be the best fighter, or the smartest, but he should be far too strong and powerful for Elnino.
The once beaten, and heavy handed, Kyosuke Tsutsumimoto (7-1, 6) will be looking to score his 4th straight stoppage as he takes on Arega Yunian (6-10, 1). The Japanese fighter has rebuilt well since a loss in a 4 rounder to Bunta Okamoto back in 2016, and looks to be rising through the ranks, helped in part to a big win in April against Engelbert Moralde. The Indonesian fighter also fought in April, but unlike Tsutsumimoto he was himself stopped, being taken out in 3 rounds by super prospect Hintata Maruta. Given how their performances went in April it's hard to see anything but a stoppage win for Tsutsumimoto.
Also on this show will be the highly promising Ginjiro Tsutsumimoto (1-0, 1), who impressed us back in his amateur days. The talented Japanese hopeful will be up against his own Indonesian foe in the form of Iwan Sanca, who has been stopped in both of his defeats. We've got big hopes for Tsutsumimoto and really can't imagine him struggling, at all, in this bout as he moves towards bigger and better fights.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
Outside of Asia the most interesting match up will see once beaten South African fighter Yanga Sigqibo (10-1-1, 3) face off against Filipino foe Rene Dacquel (20-7-1, 6) in a bout for the WBC international Super Flyweight title. The South African fighter won the national title last year and made one defense, but this is a big step up for him as he takes on a former OPBF champion. Dacquel was dominated last time out, by Andrew Moloney, but is a very capable fighter and has got a real chance of picking up a solid win on the road here.
The more notable of two Australian cards comes from Victoria where Brian Amatruda gives us a pretty interesting match up with a Thai involved, and also a bout with a notable Filipino.
The interesting bout, for us, will see the once touted Kaewfah Tor Buamas (27-4, 17) take on rising Australian hopeful Liam Paro (14-0, 10). The Thai would win his first 23 bouts but has since gone 4-4 as his career has began to go backwards and he has suffered recent defeats to Czar Amonsot, Masayoshi Nakatani, George Kambosos and Atchariya Wirojanasunobol all in the last 24 months. As for Paro this is a slight step up in class, but the 22 year old looks a class act and should have the edge in size, power, youth and skills as we go into this bout. A win from Paro is expected, but the real question will be about how he wins.
The Filipino on the other hand is Czar Amonsot (34-4-3, 22). He hasn't had his opponent for the contest announced as of yet, but isn't expected to face much of a test as he competes in a 6 rounder and looks to bounce back from an October 2017 loss to Carlos Manuel Portillo.
Western Australia, Australia
Staying in Australia there will also be a couple of mismatched featuring Indonesian fighters.
One bout will see the under-rated Brandon Ogilvie (19-2-1, 10) take on Indonesian journeyman Rusmin Kie Raha (15-15-3, 3). Although no world beater Ogilvie is certainly not a bad fighter, and his 2016 draw in Tokyo against Yoshitaka Kato was impressive, as was his stoppage win against Pharanpetch Tor Buamas. As for the Indonesian he has suffered 9 stoppage losses in his 15 defeats and has gone 3-13-1 in his last 17 bouts.
The other match up with an Indonesian visitor will see the once beaten Jackson Jon England (4-1, 3) battle against the very limited Arief Blader (23-28-2, 8). Although England was beaten last time out, losing to the then debuting Richard Lockett, he should easily pick up a win here against a very out of form Blader, who has lost his last 6 and has started to collect losses on a very regular basis.
The most notable action this coming Tuesday is from Datong, in China, where we'll get two former world champions taking on younger fighters in what could potentially be a card where two men turn back the clock, or get put out to pasture.
One of those former champions is Xiong Zhao Zhong (26-7-1, 14), the first ever male world champion, who looks to resurrect his career in the show's main event. The former WBC Minimumweight champion hasn't fought in over a year, and is more than 2 years removed from his last win, but has gotten a fight with unbeaten Thai Petchmanee Kokietgym (18-0, 10), with the two men fighting for the WBA “interim” world title at Minimumweight. The 26 year old Thai will be taking a huge step up, but comes into the bout as an unbeaten fighter on his way to world titles and will be very confident of coming out on top here.
The other bout will see world ranked Chinese fighter Can Xu (12-2) take on former champion Nehomar Cermeno (26-6-1-1, 15) in a WBA International Featherweight title fight. Coming in to the bout Xu is closing in on a world title shot, with a #4 ranking with the WBA, but hasyet to score a big win. He'll see this as a huge chance to score a career best win, but it comes against a man who twice beat China's last big hope, Qiu Xiao Jun. This could be a coming out performance for Xu, or another win over a Chinese hope by Cermeno.
There is also a bout of note set to take place in Azerbaijan, with the main event bout against featuring an aged former world champion taking on a younger unbeaten man, looking to move his career forward and score his biggest win.
This time around the unbeaten man is Ramal Amanov (10-0, 1), a 33 year old Azeri southpaw, and the former champion is Zab Judah (43-9-0-2, 30), who was a huge name in the early 00's but is now very much a spent force at the age of 39 and with just a single fight in the last 3 years. Amanov is taking a huge step up here but if he's going to have any sort of notoriety with his career he will have to get past the ghost of Judah here.
Mid week action isn't that rare in the East but this week we do get a relatively special treat with a brilliant looking show in China.
The main event of the card is the much anticipated rematch between IBF Flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng (17-0, 5) and former Light Flyweight champion John Riel Casimero (21-3, 13). The two meet for a second time after their first bout became a farcical contest full of wrestling, holding and rule bending from Ruenroeng, who seemed to be allowed to do what he wanted from inept referee Larry Doggett. This could be a defining fight for both men, a win for either does open up some very interesting bouts for later in the year.
In the chief support bout fans will see former world champion Xiong Zhao Zhong (26-6-1, 14) face off against Jose Antonio Jimenez (16-5-1, 7) in an IBF world title eliminator at 105lbs. The winner will take a huge step towards getting a world title fight with Jose Argumedo later in the year however it is really a must win for Zhong who has looked like a man coming to the the end in recent bouts.
The main event isn't the only title bout on the card as China's Cai Zong Ju (7-1, 1) faces former world champion Samson Tor Buamas (37-3, 19) in a bout for the IBF Inter-Continental female Minimumweight title. This is a big step up for Ju but she has impressed and will know that a win here will put her in the mix for a world title fight in the near future.
Another bout of note on this card sees the unbeaten Fanlong Meng (6-0, 4) battle Australian Rob Powdrill (6-2, 1) in what is a notable step up for the former Chinese amateur star.
In the Philippines fans get a small, and relatively forgettable, show, in Tarlac.
The main event of the card will see veterans colliding as Cristian Abila (14-19-4, 5) faces off against Prell Tupaz (8-30-5, 1) in a bout for the LuzProBA Featherweight title. We won't try and build this up to be anything special, however it should be noted that the bout has seemingly been re-arranged a number of times in recent weeks.
New South Wales, Australia
As well as the action in Asia there are also a couple of Indonesian fighters travelling to Australia.
One of those will be the experienced, but limited, Roy Tua Manihuruk (18-15-2, 14) who will be up against novice professional Ben Savva (2-1), with Savva looking for a third straight win. The other will be Marco Tuhumury (10-12-2, 3), who is expected to be little more than fodder for the unbeaten Ahmed Dib (18-0, 9).
The main action of the day sees action return to the Korakuen Hall for what looks to be a genuinely interesting looking card.
The main event will be a real treat for fight fans as punchers collide in a bout for the OPBF 140lb title. The match up will see former Japanese champion Shinya Iwabuchi (26-5, 22), fighting in his third OPBF title fight, face off against Filipino puncher Al Rivera (14-2, 12), who comes into the bout on the back of a stoppage win over Adones Cabalquinto last November. This will almost certainly be a fire fight and, given the power and style of the two men involved we wouldn't be surprised if this ended with an eye catching KO.
As well as the mouth watering main event this card features 3 other bouts of note. One of those is an evenly matched Flyweight bout between Yuta Matsuo (9-2-1, 5) and Seiya Fujikita (8-2, 1). This is a wonderfully matched bout between two fighters with similar looking records. Matsuo has won his last two bouts but was beaten last May by Ardin Diale whilst Fujikita has been very close in both of his losses. This really could be a very competitive and exciting bout.
A less competitive, yet still very relevant match up, will see the unbeaten Daishi Nagata (5-0-1, 3) battle against Kentaro Endo (5-6, 4). It's hard to see anything but a win for the unbeaten 26 year old here, however Endo is no push over and could test Nagata.
Possibly the most eye raising bout on the card will see the much touted Shuichiro Yoshino (1-0) battle against Thai veteran Chaiyong Sithsaithong (39-14-4, 28) in what will almost certainly see Yoshino answering questions about his potential. This really is a risky match up for the unbeaten 24 year old.
As well as the action in Japan there is also set to be a very interesting card in Chin where two codes of professional boxing collide in what is being regarded as a very unique show to begin the Chinese new year.
The main event of the card will see former WBC Minimumweight champion Xiong Zhao Zhong (26-6-1, 14) face off with APB champion Lu Bin. The bout between the two has been hyped by Chinese boxing sources as a “Super Bowl” of boxing and is a real oddity in boxing where the “normal” professional fighters and the “APB” professionals have stayed away from each other. Unfortunately a lack of clear details on this bout do leave us wondering if the contest will be counted officially on either man's record.
The show will feature three other, similar bouts, one of which will be between the under-rated Xinghua Wang (12-13-1) and Jiawei Zhang.
Attention turns to to Chinese this Friday as we get a number of title bouts from a show in Ningbo, which is set to be aired on CCTV5.
The most notable bout on the show will see former world champion Xiong Chao Zhong (25-6-1, 14) battle against hard matched Filipino Crison Omayao (17-9-3, 5) in a bout for both the WBC International the OPBF Minimumweight titles. This will be Zhong's first defense of the WBC international belt, that he won earlier this year with a decision against Hiroya Yamamoto, whilst Omayao will look to claim his first international title.
Another title fight at 105lbs will see the once beaten Cai Zong Ju (5-1, 1) battle against Mari Ando (12-7, 5) for the WBC International Female title. Ju, who will be defending her belt for the second time will be looking to score her biggest win to date and her third successive win of note, having previous wins over Gretchen Abaniel and Angor Onesongchaigym. For Ando this is a chance to move towards another world title after having come up short 3 times in recent years.
A third title bout on this card will see China's Xu Chan (6-2) battle against Thai veteran Chaiyong Sithsaithong (37-13-4, 26) in a bout for the a WBA Oceania title. Chan, who impressed last time when he upset Kris George in Australia, is coming in to this one in some former with a trio of wins including a decision over Hurricane Futa. Despite being highly experienced Chaiyong has never won on the road, where he is 0-8-1, this however is his best chance at changing that.
In a non-title bout Mohamadreza Hamze (6-6-1, 2) will face Huang Ju Xiang (0-1). This bout will be Hamze's first since losing in South Korea, albeit to an unknown opponent in a bout not listed on boxrec.com
In Thailand fans will also get some action as Channel 3 airs a small card from Bangkok.
The main event of the card will see Thailand's very own Chatpetch Sithmorseng (11-3-2, 6) take on experienced Filipino visitor Jetly Purisima (20-16-4, 5) in a bout for the PABA Super Flyweight title. On paper it's hard to see Purisima winning however we have seen Filipino travel to Thailand in recent months with a very upset minded mentality and that may be the case again here.
Other bouts on this card include a bout between Romnakit Technopoly Bangkok (4-0, 3) and Filipino Junar Adante (5-1-1, 2), in what looks like a good match up on paper though Romnakit has looked impressive so far, an all Thai bout between the unbeaten Dennapa Kiatniwat (5-0, 2) and the win-less Kongpichit Sithprayoon (0-3) and a bout featuring Montree Technopoly Bangkok (2-0, 1).
Pathum thani, Thailand
On a second Thai card, to be aired on Channel 7, Nakornloung will be putting on a show, which features a world ranked fighter and a former world champion.
That former world champion is 26 year old "veteran" Suriyan sor Rungvisai (44-6-1, 22) who will be defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council Bantamweight title against Indonesian foe Frans Damur Palue (11-9-2, 6). Suriyan, who is a genuinely world class Bantamweight, shouldn't struggle at all here though the hope is that he will move towards another world title bout in 2016, with a possible bout against Rodrigo Guerrero coming before another shot at the top
Another bout on this card will see the unbeaten Nawaphon Por Chokchai (29-0, 22) taking on Medgoen Por Kobkua (0-0). Nawaphon, who is hoping to get a Flyweight world title bout, should pick up an easy win here to take him to 30-0 however the question is whether he will ever get a shot a Roman Gonzalez or whether his #1 ranking with the WBC is meaningless.
A more well matched bout, at least on paper, will see Pongsaklek Sithdabnij (4-3-1, 3) attempt to extend his 4 fight winning run as he takes on Heri Purnomo (2-5, 1). Although the records are both poor there is some talk of Pongasklek being one to watch and he has turned his career around after a 0-3-1 start. Incidentally the man that Pongsaklek scored his biggest win against, Kongfah Nakornloung (22-1, 14) will also be in action, albeit against an unknown opponent.
*Note we have been informed that “Romnakit Technopoly Bangkok” and “Ronnakit PKT College” are the same fighter likewise “Montree Technopoly Bangkok” and “Montree PKT College”
Although western boxing fans don't have much action this Sunday it is actually a great day for boxing fans in in Asia with both Chinese and Indonesian fans getting notable and interesting shows.
It seems that Chinese boxing is rising and although the country is still a long way from being a “force” in world boxing it's great to see the proliferation of the country's talent and with several Chinese fighters now plying their trade in the US we suspect will be quicker and more visible for western fans than ever before.
Although several Chinese fighters are making their name in the west there is still plenty of action in China it's self where a number of fighters are beginning to forge their own legacies.
The most established of the China based Chinese fighters is former WBC Minimumweight world champion Xiong Zhao Zhong (24-6-1, 14) who will be hoping to work himself into another world title fight later in the year. Zhong will be expected to pick up an easy win here as he battles against Japanese visitor Hiroya Yamamoto (8-2, 3) in a bout for the WBC International Minimumweight belt. Although Zhong is limited he will have to be heavily favoured here against Yamamoto who enters having lost 2 of his last 3, including a Japanese title fight against Go Odaira last September.
Whilst Zhong is limited he is the most established talent in the country. Zhong's success has lead to more success in the country and the rising star at the moment is Super Bantamweight prospect Qiu Xiao Jun (14-2, 6) who will be battling in his most notable bout to date. The Chinese fighter will be up against former world title challenger Silvester Lopez (23-9-2, 17) in a bout for the WBC Silver Super Bantamweight title and we suspect that this really could be a very special bout between two men each looking for their biggest win and looking to move towards establishing themselves in WBC world rankings.
Another title bout on this card will see Xian Wei Qian (6-4-1, 1) risking his WBC Asian Boxing Council Featherweight title whilst also hoping to claim the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Featherweight title. In the opposite corner to Qian will be Indonesian foe Hero Tito (9-5-1, 3). On paper this looks like a good bout, despite the fact neither man is ever going to be a world beater.
Another possibly interesting title bout will see Yang Xing Xin (9-3-2, 6) attempt to defend the WBC Youth Welterweight title against South Korean foe Joon-Yong Lee (4-2-3, 2). Xin has won his last 3 bouts and although he's nothing special the 22 year old “Chinese Warrior” is an improving fighter who has shown good development in recent contests. As for the Korean 24 year old this is a big opportunity and sees him coming into the bout on the back of a loss in a Korean Light Middleweight title bout. Although Lee isn't well known he does hold a notable win over Sa Ya Lee, the current Korean Lightweight champion.
One final title bout on this card is a female title bout which will see Cai Zongju (3-1, 1) battling again Filipino Gretchen Abaniel (15-6, 6). This bout will be for the female versions of the WBC International and WBC Asian Boxing Council Minimumweight titles and looks like a very interesting fight. For Abaniel it's a must win bout following recent losses on the road to Ayaka Miyao and Kumiko Seeser Ikehara. Saying that however Zongju is a much weaker for than the two Japanese fighters who have beaten Abaniel.
In Indonesia fans will have the chance to see promising youngster Iwan Zoda (4-1, 3) battle against Stevanus Nana Bau (2-1-1, 1) in a second meeting between the two men. The two met last September in what was both mens debut, according to boxrec, with Zoda taking a decision and since then Zoda has improved and likely to become one of the few Indonesian fighters worth making a note of. This bout is scheduled for 12 rounds and will be at Flyweight, unlike their original bout which was fought over 6 rounds.
Regarding the records of Zoda and Nana Bau, we believe that Zoda's record is complete, including his loss to Thailand's promising Petchchorhae Kokietgym, whilst Nana Bau is thought to have had several unrecorded bouts as well as bouts fought under the name of Stevanus Nanai.
(Image courtesy of http://suljosblog.com)
Not every weekend needs to be packed to be important and this Saturday is certainly an important but relatively quiet day, at least on paper for Asian boxing
The first major bout on this busy day comes from Nagano as WBA atomweight champion Ayaka Miyao (18-5-1, 3) defending her belt against first time world title challenger Satomi Nishimura (7-1, 1). For Miyao this will be the 5th defense of her title and she will go into the bout as a big favourite though Nishimura will know she has nothing to lose and no expectation on her shoulders, something that can bring out the best in some fighters.
Other than the Atomweight title fight this show is rather disappointing with a weak under-card and the only other thing of note on the card is the retirement ceremony of Yoshinori Nishizawa who has eventually hung them up and will walk away from active fighting at the age of 48. It is however a card sold on Miyao's return to Nagano, her first fight fight there in more than 9 years, and the first to be recognised by the JBC!
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Whilst Miyao is seeking a defense of her title we will see China's Xiong Zhao Zhong (24-5-1, 14) attempt to become the first man from China to become a 2-time world champion. Zhong, who has previously held the WBC Minimumweight title, will be hoping to capture the WBA title as he takes on South Africa's Hekkie Budler (26-1, 9) in a very important contest for both men. For Zhong this is a huge opportunity to prove himself as a world class fighter against a very talented champion, for Budler however it's an opportunity to impress not just his own fans in South Africa but also fans in Europe and Asia.
Another title fights takes place in Mexico as Japanese based Filipino fighter Jonathan Baat (25-5-3, 13) attempts to claim the WBC International silver Bantamweight title. Baat is is in a tough ask however as he Mexico's former world title holder Rodrigo Guerrero (21-5-1, 14). Guerrero comes in to this bout on the back of his recent stoppage win against Takahirio Shigee and has won impressive back-to-back fights since losing an IBF world title bout to Daiki Kameda last year. Baat will know he needs a career best performance to win, but it's not a total mismatch and he should be able to be competitive, at least for a few rounds.
(Image courtesy of Zovi.cn)
We're all for more countries turning to boxing and whilst we're still waiting for India to embrace the sport it's great to see the sport developing in China. Notably its not just Macau but also the mainland that seems to be fostering an interest in boxing that could well turn the country into a boxing super power.
In't in China that we get the best card of the day as the Chinese city of Changsha hosts a card with truly international appeal courtesy of fighters from Romania, Ghana and Argentina as well as several Asian countries. Not just is it a cosmopolitan show but it's also one that which be shown live on CCTV 5.
The running order of the card isn't something we have access too though we're expecting the show ti begin with a bout between China's unbeaten Zhou Yun Fei (2-0) and Thailand's Atthaporn Jaritram (4-1, 1). Atthaporn will be a fighter somewhat familiar to those who have been following the Macau cards that Top Rank have been having as he faced the then 1-0 Egor Mekhontsev back in February. In that fight Atthaporn was dominated by the talented Russian however Fei is no Mekhontsev and this should be more competitive.
For the second week running we get the chance to see a Chinese Heavyweight in action as the 6'4" Xia Shunkai (1-0, 1) fights for the first time since December 2012. Whilst we doubt Shunkai will get the attention that Taishan Dong did when he beat Alex Rozman he should still be an interesting fighter to keep an eye on.
A second Heavyweight bout on this show will see Romania's Razvan Cojanu (10-1, 5) battles Argentinian veteran Manuel Alberto Pucheta (37-9, 30) for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight title. We're unsure how a Romanian or an Argentinian are eligible to fight for an "Asia Pacific" title but that's the world of boxing we guess!
Thankfully there is a title fight that makes some sort of sense as China's Xiang Jing (7-3-1, 1) battles against unbeaten Filipino Ben Mananquil (10-0-1, 2) in a contest for the WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title. Although both Jing and Mananquil are relatively unknown fighters both deserve a lot of respect for the tests they have faced. Jing fought the ultra talented Jerwin Ancajas very early in his career and gave a good account of himself whilst Mananquil was giving the world ranked Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym fits before a headclash caused an early ending in one of his recent bouts. Interestingly we've stoppages given for less than what Mananquil did there and with that in mind we need to favour him over Jing.
Another bout on this show will see former WBC Minimumweight world champion Xiong Zhao Zhong (23-5-1, 13) battle against Indonesia's Jack Amisa (20-30-2, 14). Going in to the bout Zhong is still trying to rebuild his career following his upset loss to Oswaldo Novoa for Amisa however he really is just making up the numbers and he's won just once in the last 6 years!
A final bout that we know of will see former Olympian Isaac Dogboe (2-0, 1) attempt to extend his unbeaten record, though he has not yet had his opponent announced.
As well as the Chinese show we also get action in Australia where fight fans will get the chance to see some interesting contests.
In the main event Yutaka Oishi (11-3, 6) will be seen as a huge under-dog as he fights #1 ranked OPBF Super Middleweight Zac Dunn (13-0, 11) in a battle for the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Super Middleweight title. Oishi will know he needs a career best performance to over-come Dunn, who should be eyeing up a fight with Yuzo Kiyota if he wins here.
Oishi isn't the only Asian on this card as we also get a pair of Thai's in action. Of the two Thai's the only one we give a chance to is Paitoon Jaikom (1-6) who fights the unbeaten Lewis Goodritch (3-0) in an 8 rounder. The other Thai is the win-less Pramool Boonpok (0-6) who takes on once beaten Khoder Assi (3-1, 1) in a 6 round bout. We give neither Thai much of a chance though Paitoon is better than his record indicates.
In Thailand, and televised on Channel 3, we're expecting to see Filipino Fernando Lumacad (29-8-3, 12) fighting for the interim WBO Asian Pacific Super Flyweight title as he battles Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (26-7-1, 10). Petchbarngborn enteres this bout on a 4 fight winning streak following his stoppage loss to Sho Ishida whilst Lumacad will be hoping to end a 2 fight skid. Interestingly this is the third WBO Asia Pacific title fight of the day and it seems clear that the WBO are going to push this title as hard as they can.
On this same card we get to see a rematch between Fonluang KKP (19-1,-1 8) and Budi Risky (8-4, 5). The men fought last December with Fonluang, then fighting as a Kokietgym, stopped Risky in 2. A third bout on this card will see Chaiyong Sithsaithong (33-12-4, 24) battling against the very poor Boido Simanjuntak (18-21-1, 7). Simanjuntak will be hoping to avoid a 5th successive defeat.
A second televised Thai card will take place on Channel 7. This card is headlined by WBC Youth Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (7-0, 4) taking on Filipino youngster Cris Alfante (10-2, 3). Alfante, who last last time out to Florante Condes, will know he's up against it here but will likely be aware of Knockout's fight with Jonathan Refugio which saw the Thai fighter being forced to work for his win.
Also on this card will be Kongfah CP Freshmart (6-0, 2) who faces the win-less Jomthong Sor Songsaeng (0-2) in what appears to be little more than a clear mismatch.
(Image courtesy of Zovi Boxing)
It's been a quiet week in boxing this week but thankfully on Friday we have a couple of interesting cards. Each has a former world champion on it and although we have more than our share of mismatches the shows do hold some relevance and seem like a good start to the weekend.
For us the Asian card of the day is in China courtesy of Zovi Boxing. The card is one of those rare ones which has a bit of everything but yet remains a long way off the radar for most fans.
The stand out bout by, by a mile, sees China's fast rising, and highly touted, Qiu Xiao Jun (12-2, 4) defending his WBA Asian Council Continental Super Bantamweight title against Indonesia's Rasmanudin (18-4-2, 9). Although Rasmanudin isn't a world beater he has been in with some great fighters, such as Ryosuke Iwasa, and should prove to be an excellent test for Jun who is currently ranked #11 by the WBC at Super Bantamweight.
Although the 23 year old Jun is, for us, the brightest prospect fighting in mainland China he's not actually the most well known Chinese fighter on the card. That honour instead belongs to former WBC Minimumweight world champion Xiong Zhao Zhong (22-5-1, 12) who battles Filipino Roilo Golez (15-11-1, 6) in what will be Zhong's first bout since losing his world title to Osvaldo Novoa. Zhong should be too strong and too tough for Golez but this is a big test for Zhong mentally after he was crushed by Novoa just a few months ago.
A third notable contest on this card will see Xu Chun Yan (4-3, 1) defending her WBC female International Featherweight title for the first time. Yan, who claimed the title earlier this year with a shock victory over Lindsay Garbatt, will be taking on Thailand's former world title challenger Sriphrae Nongkipahuyuth (12-3-2, 5). We tend to look at the records and think Sriphrea should be favoured but Yan is at home and is better than her record indicates so we think this could be a very competitive contest.
Nonthaburi province, Thailand
As well as the Chinese card there is also a Thai show which will be televised on Thai Channel 7.
The main event here features former Super Flyweight world champion Suriyan Sor Rungvisai (35-5-1, 15) who will be hoping to record the 4th defence of his WBC Asian Boxing Council Bantamweight title. Suriyan will be fighting former foe Fernando Ocon (12-6, 4), who he defeated back in January by 12 round decision. Whilst this is a disappointing match up for Suriyan his activity has to be applauded and this is his 5th fight year and his 10th in less than 12 months! Incredible activity even if much of it is against lesser foes.
Also on the card is the unbeaten Kongfah Nakornluang (12-0, 6) who will be battling Athiwatlek Chaiyonggym (2-2, 1), who we believe was last seen in the ring back in 2011 when he was stopped in 2 rounds by Ryuji Hara. On paper this is a mismatch though we're unconvinced on Kongfah's ability and his opposition so far has been very poor.
A third bout on this show will the once beaten Petchbodin Por Nobnom (9-1, 6) against teenager Non Sithsaithong (11-6, 7). Both men are coming in to this contest on the back of a stoppage loss, though they are coming in on very different conditions. For Petchbodin this will be his first fight since November 2012 whilst for Non he'll be trying to end a 3 fight losing streak.
-Details on the Thai card courtesy of Pal.
(Image, of Suriyan, courtesy of boxrec.com)
We think it's probably fair to say that so far this year the boxing has been sporadic at best. Thankfully the next few weeks do seem to be the start of boxing really taking off. This seems to begin with a show in China this week in what is expected to be one of the most watched sports events in history.
The big draw for the card is China's very first male boxing world champion Xiong Zhao Zhong (22-4-1, 12). Although Zhao is widely dismissed by the Western boxing fans as a WBC puppet the teak tough Chinese fighter is a man who looks very difficult to beat.
Making the 3rd defense of his world title Zhong will be hoping to over-come Mexican challenger Oswaldo Novoa (12-4-1, 7) who looks like he'll give Zhong a really good fight. Novoa is aggressive and busy and could well force Zhong into a memorable slugfest if things go the way we expect.
Although Zhong is the only world champion on the card there is actually a flurry of title bouts on the show. Unfortunately only one of them is scheduled for 12 rounds with that being the contest between Yang Xing Xin (6-2-2, 4) and Thai veteran Sirimongkol Singwancha (74-2, 47). Sirimongkol, currently on a 10 year 32-fight unbeaten run, will be expecting to beat his novice as he attempts to record the 4th defense of the WBC Asia Council Continental Welterweight title.
In a much more competitive looking contest Qiu Xiao Jun (10-2, 4) will be battling Australia's Jason Cooper (8-1-1, 4). This bout sees Jun trying to defend his WBC Youth World and WBC Asia Council Continental Super Bantamweight titles though he'll know he's going to be given a tough test from the talented Cooper.
The only female bout on the card is yet another title bout as Xu Chun Yan (3-3, 1) takes on the well regarded Lindsay Garbatt (8-6-2, 3). Garbatt, a world level fighter with wins over Jelena Mrdjenovich and Melissa Hernandez, will be expecting to take the WBC International female Featherweight title back to Canada with her.
Amazingly there is just 1 single bout on the card not to include a title bout of some variety. This contest will see Xiang Jing (6-3, 1) battling against Indonesian visitor Ricky Manufoe (22-19-2, 10) in a decent looking low level bouts.