Next week is a bit of a quiet one, but there are some notable bouts taking place in Asia with a number of bouts which are intriguing.
The first bit of action comes form Makati City, where we see two interesting all Filipino bouts, something that we see far too rarely.
The main event of the card will see the promising Jonas Sultan (12-3, 8) put his IBF Inter-Continental Super Flyweight title on the line against Sonny Boy Jaro (43-13-5, 30). Although relatively unknown outside of Asia Sultan is one of the man dangermen currently coming through the Filipino scene and showed that last year with 3 stoppage wins, taking out Tatsuya Ikemizu and Makazole Tete in upsets on the road. Of course Jaro was once the king of the upsets himself, ending Pongksaklek Wonjongkam’s second reign as the WBC Flyweight champion. For Jaro the bout could be a launch pad towards one final world title bout, whilst a win for Sultan will almost certainly put him on the way to a major international bout.
The other all-Filipino bout that really interests me on this show will see former OPBF title challenger Richard Pumicpic (18-8-2, 6) battle with former OPBF champion Roli Gasca (23-7-1, 7). On paper this bout doesn’t have the “wow” factor that many bouts have but the reality is that these two have been in against some seriously tough opponents and have given fans some enthralling bouts, with Pumicpic’s 2016 contest against Cesar Juarez being a particularly good war. Against each other, and with national pride at stake this could be a real hidden gem.
The only real bout of note in Japan this coming week takes place at the Korakuen Hall on Wednesday as Japanese Super Flyweight champion Kenta Nakagawa (13-2-1, 9) takes on old school friend Ryuichi Funai (26-7, 18) in his first defense of the title. The two men go way back but will look to put that friendship aside with both desperate to move forward with their careers. The heavy handed Nakagawa won the title last year, beating Hayato Kimura in a thrilling contest, whilst Funai is the mandatory challenger for the title, and will be getting his third shot a title. The bout, aired live over Boxingraise.com, is one that really could be something special.
To end the week attention turns to Singapore, as Cartel International Promotions put on their next card in the region.
The main event if a major step up for unbeaten Uzbek hopeful Qudratillo Abduqaxorov (10-0, 7), who risks his unbeaten record against WBC “silver” Welterweight champion Charles Manyuchi (20-2-1, 12). Whilst fans may not be aware of Manyuchi he is a Zimbabwean fighter who is on a great run of 12 straight wins, including victories over a then 30-0 Patrick Allotey and a then 21-0 Dmitry Mikhaylenko. So far Abduqaxorov looks to be a world title challenger in the making but this is a serious step up and could be too much too soon.
Another Uzbek hopeful on this card is Azizbek Abdugofurov (5-0, 4), who will battle with Argentinian Martin Fidel Rios (21-10-4, 11). Last time out the Uzbek scored a tough win over Thai veteran Sirimongkol Singwancha but this could be even tougher with Rios having left a mark on Englishman Jamie Cox last year, in a foul filled free for all, and having scored an upset over Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna since then. On paper Abdugofurov should be favoured, but this will be a very tough test for him ahead of any big plans his team have for later in the year.
Also on this card will be Indonesian former world title challenger Daud Yordan (36-3-0-1, 24), who faces Thai teenager Campee Phayom (11-2, 7). Yordan, said to be seeking a world title fight at either 135lbs or 140lbs, will start as the clear favourite here but Campee proved his ability last October with an upset win over Yoshimichi Matsumoto and will be looking to score another upset here.
(Scott Graveson covers the Asian boxing scene for www.asianboxing.info)