Earlier today in Pattaya, Thailand, there was a pretty notable card with a number of regional title bouts on the show.
One of the new champions to be crowned was Malaysian based Uzbek fighter Murodjon Yokubov (3-0, 2), who stopped Thai foe Thongchai Kunram (7-18, 3) in the 5th round to claim the ABF Light Welterweight title. This was a really good performance by Yokubov, though it's clear that he needs to take on much, much better opposition than Kunram.
Another new ABF champion is the newly crowned Middleweight king, Michael Alan Flannery (6-0, 6), who stopped Uthit Punsen (20-6, 11) in a 2 round mismatch. The Thai based, English born, Flannery dwarfed Punsen and really had no challenge here. It's worth noting that the Thai had began his career as a Bantamweight, and that really did show against the big and strong looking Flannery. Whilst Flannery might be English by birth all 6 of his pro bouts have been in Thailand, and all 6 have ended in the first 2 rounds.
Indian born Vaibhav Singh Yadav (6-1, 4) claimed the WBC Asian Boxing Council silver Welterweight title, and some form of the ABF Welterweight title, as he stopped Phongsathon Sompol (11-7, 6), with what was a pretty brutal. It's hard to know what Yadav's ceiling us but his activity is impressive and this was his 4th bout of 2019, sadly though those 4 bouts did include a loss to George Owano in Feburary. Interestingly Sompol has now lost 6 times by stoppage, including opening round defeats to Yuki Beppu and Rikuto Adachi last year in Japan.
Unbeaten Malaysian puncher Muhamad Farkhan (10-0, 10) claimed the WBA Asia Cruiserweight title as he stopped Indonesian veteran Alexander Bajawa (43-9-4, 16) in 3 rounds. On paper that looks like a great win for Farkhan however this is Bajawa's 7th loss in 9 bouts, the 6th by stoppage, and came way above his best weight. Bajawa was once 40-2-4 (13) but had often fought as between Bantamweight and Super Featherweight, not as a Cruiserweight as we saw here. Farkhan's win does continue his perfect KO run, but this was essentially a farce against an overweight and ancient fighter who is looking to pad the records for other fighters.
The main event of the card saw Anvar Turapov (4-1, 3) stop Filipino Roberto Gonzales (28-6, 17) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council title at Light Welterweight. This ended when Gonzales was hurt from a body shot and went down in agony in round 4. On paper this was a step up for Turapov though in reality Gonzalez has done little more than pad his record, and has now been stopped in 4 of his last 5.
Over the past couple of days there was two notable Filipino fighters in action in the US, sadly though both suffered set backs in clear decision losses.
The first of those was on Friday, when former OPBF Bantamweight champion Mark John Yap (30-14, 15), who was dominated in Las Vegas by the unbeaten Angelo Leo (18-0, 8). The bout was the main event of a Mayweather promoted card at Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall and those who had their bets on Leo never really looked like losing their money as he out sped, out boxed, out fought and out landed Yap, who looked like a fighter who was out of his depth.
Given that Yap gave Takuma Inoue a really good test last year, and was the OPBF champion less than a year ago, we do wonder whether the 30 year old has slipped a lot, or perhaps isn't as good as he was when he was being managed by the Mutoh gym in Japan, who played a major part in the best run of his career. His split with Mutoh was certainly not a good one, and this was only his second bout since that split. On the other hand Leo looked like a top prospect, and he is certainly going to be one to watch in the years to come.
On Saturday it was Neil John Tabanao (17-6, 11) who was the clearly loser, as he was widely beaten by super talented American Tremaine Williams (17-0, 7). Tabanao, who once promised so much, was unable to get into this fight and instead had to rely on his resilience to see out the 10 rounds against the diminutive but sharp punching Williams, in what was a very 1-sided bout.
It's worth noting that prior to this fight Tabanao had himself lost to Leo, back in April, and rather strangely the losses for the two Filipino does lead us to a rather interesting though that Yap and Tabanao could face off in a real cross roads fight, as could Leo and Williams.
Sadly this was not a good weekend for Filipino fighters and they were both easily out classed by US prospects.
Last night fight fans in Canada had the chance to see a trio of Kazakh fighters in action.
The most impressive was Sadriddin Akhmedov (9-0, 8) [Ахмедов Садриддин], who made very light work of Mexican foe Daniel Vega Cota (14-4-1, 11). The heavy handed Akhmedov pressed the fight from the opening moments. Cota was dropped around 90 seconds into the bout and whilst the fight did continue he was hurt only moments later before the referee stepped in and stopped him.
It was also a short night for Nurzat Sabirov (10-0, 9) [Нурзат Сабиров], who stopped Hungarian foe Laszlo Toth (7-1, 6) in the second round of their bout. A right hand to the body dropped Toth who tried to beat the 10 count, but failed due to the pain and agony he was in.
The card also featured the professional debut of youngster Aman Kazankapov (0-0-1) [Амана Казанкапова], who battled Mexican Ismael Molina Moreno (2-1-1, 2) and was surprisingly held to a 4 round draw.
The Kazakh was making his debut after an excellent run in the amateur ranks, including a gold medal at the 2016 Asian Youth Championships, and was tipped to become one to watch. This draw however will be a mark on his record and time will tell to see whether it was a blip, a case of not Moreno being better than expected or maybe Kazankapov not being as good as hoped.
Tomorrow fight fans at Korakuen Hall will see a brilliant match up between hard hitting Japanese hopeful Tsuyoshi Tameda (19-4-2, 17) [溜田剛士] and Japanese based Korean fighter Tae Il Atusmi (16-2, 8) [テイル渥美]. On paper this looks set to be an excellent bout between two tough guys who can really fight.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for their bout and both men made the Featherweight limit for the contest, weighing in bang on the divisional limit for the bout.
At today's weight in Tameda stated that he thought Atsumi was a good young man and a good person, but seemed confident he had the skills to win, and to give fans a good contest. Atsumi on the other hand spoke about needing to win, as he has military service to do for South Korea before he turns 30, and at the age of 26 time is running out on his hopes to win a title.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at Korakuen Hall will see Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (13-0, 10) [浩樹井上] defending his title against Ryuji Ikeda (14-5-3, 9) [池田竜司], in what will be Inoue's first defense.
Today, ahead of tomorrow's bout, the two fighters took part in their weigh in and both fighters made the 140lb limit with no notable issues.
On the scales Inoue was 140lbs whilst Ikeda was slightly lighter at 139.56lbs.
Inoue, who looked in amazing shape, stated that he was in the best condition of his career so far though admitted that he wanted to put on a more high impact style than he has had in the past. Inoue, who was over in the UK in May, spoke about watching the recent Josh Taylor Vs Ivan Baranchyk bout, and seemed to hint at a potential future bout with Taylor. He admitted he's not as good as Taylor is at the moment, but seems confident that he can improve and become better than the Scottish champion.
Ikeda on the other hand spoke about scoring the upset and he seemed confident of making the most of the one-to-one training he's had with Takanori Hatakeyama. He seemed to suggest he knew he couldn't out boxing Inoue but would be looking go for a stoppage of the Japanese champion.
Related - Inoue takes on Ikeda in Japanese title defense
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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