This past week has been a relatively strange one for Asian fighters, as there wasn’t anything early in the week, which is always unusual, but there was a packed weekend.
The only mid-week action came on Thursday when a trio of unbeaten Kazakh fighters all scored stoppage wins.
The most notable of the Kazakh trio was Batyrzhan Jukembayev (9-0-0-2, 8), who over-came veteran Cosme Rivera (41-24-3, 29) in 7 rounds, to keep alive his winning record and claim the IBO International Light Welterweight title. The unbeaten Jukembayev is an exciting fighter who is building a small but growing reputation in Canada, where this bout took place.
On the same Canadian show fans also saw Ablaikhan Khussainov (6-0, 5) score a 2nd round KO over experienced southpaw Cristian Arrazola (23-14-2, 16) to complete a good night for for Kazakh fans in Canada.
The third part of the Kazakh trio was Ruslan Madiev (9-0, 4), who fought in California. Madiev, like Khussainov, scored a 2nd round KO as he over-came the durable Evincii Dixon (7-18-2, 2), who appears to be on the slide recent bouts having once been a very decent test for novices.
On Saturday attention turned to Australia where fight fans saw a number of Filipino’s in action. Sadly for the Pinoy’s they went 0-5 down under in what was a day to forget for Filipino fight fans.
The most significant match up saw limited veteran Mark Sales (22-41-4, 8) challenger OPBF Welterweight champion Jack Brubaker (13-1-1, 7) and suffer a 2 round loss to the talented champion. Sales really shouldn’t have gotten this shot and it showed with Brubaker reasily retaining his title.
Sales’ compatriots Joel Dela Cruz (20-26-3, 8), who was stopped in 5 rounds by the talented Ben Savva (6-1, 2), and Sonny Katiandagho (11-2, 6), who was stopped in 6 rounds by Darragh Foley (11-2, 8), also suffered stoppage losses on the same card in what was really a card that saw the local promoter do good by his fighters at the expenses of the imports.
On a second Australian card, held in, Western Australia fans saw Randy Braga (20-3-1, 5) suffer a unanimous decision loss to the once beaten Nathaniel May (17-1, 9). The two men were fighting for the IBF Pan Pacific Featherweight title and May was too good overall for the Filipino, who travelled to win but was out fought. On the same card Junjesie Ibgos (11-2, 9) was out pointed by Brandon Ogilvie (18-2-1, 9) in a bout for the IBF Australasian Lightweight title.
To end the weekend attention turned to Osaka, where 3 cards were held. One of those cards was very low key but the other two were both notable shows.
The first of those shows, promoted by Shinsei Gym, was headlined by Shun Kubo (12-0, 9), who became the new WBA Super Bantamweight champion with an upset win over veteran Nehomar Cermeno (26-6-1-1, 15). The talented Kubo showed touches of brilliance at times but also showed worrying frailties, which saw him being dropped in round 7. Despite the knockdown Kubo showed guts and fought on until Cermeno retired in his corner at the start of round 11.
Kubo’s Shinsei gym stablemate Reiya Konishi (13-0, 5) also claimed a major win, and title, as he earned the Japanese Minimumweight title with a razor thin majority decision over the previously unbeaten Masataka Taniguchi (6-1, 4). The bout was touch and go through out and Taniguchi will have every right to feel frustrated about the decision going against him.
A third title bout on this card saw Ioka gym’s Masayoshi Nakatani (14-0, 8) record his 7th defense of the OPBF Lightweight title, as he scored a clear decision over Thai Kaewfah Tor Buamas (23-2, 16). The talented Nakatani failed to shine and it seems likely that he will either move up in weight, as he did look very bad at the weigh in, or will look for more significant challenges. It seemed he was once on the way to the top but his career really has stalled in recent times, sadly.
Staying in Osaka, on a second card, there was also a win for another OPBF champion, as Bantamweight king Mark John Yap (26-12, 12) battled a poor Thai foe in a non-title bout. Following Yap’s win fans saw veteran Takayuku Hosokawa (29-11-5, 9) end his career with an 8 round decision against a Thai opponent who was game, and lasted the 8 round distance, but out classed.
(Scott Graveson covers the Asian boxing scene for www.asianboxing.info)