Yesterday Filipino fans got a treat with a genuine interesting, and well matched, show from The Atrium, at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
Among the bouts on offer was a WBC International Super Bantamweight title contest between the unbeaten Joe Noynay (10-0-1, 3) and the well tested Alie Laurel (14-4-1, 9). The bout looked good on paper with Noynay, also known as Joe Misako, taking a huge step up in class to face the naturally smaller, but more battle hardened, Laurel. Despite the step up in class Noynay appeared to have done enough to claim the win, with a late knockdown, however the bout ended up being scored a raw courtesy of a 114-114 card. The card result in a split draw with the other judges scoring the bout 114-113 but not agreeing on the winner.
Another really good looking match up came at Minimumweight where the unbeaten Toto Landero (8-0-2, 2) claimed his most notable win to date, with a very narrow majority decision win over Rolly Sumalpong (9-2-1, 4). The win for Landero saw him not only shock Sumalpong but also claim the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Minimumweight title, which Sumalpong had been defending for the first time. Notably this is a second straight loss for Sumalpong who also lost last year to Ken Shiro in a WBC Youth title fight.
A third title bout on the same card saw Eranio Semillano (12-7-1, 4) score a shock 11th round TKO win over Kyota Otsuka (5-1-1, 3) to claim the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Super Flyweight title. Although Semillano had gone 1-2-1 in his previous 4 we diud suspect that he would prove to be a very tough ask for Otsuka, who was stepping up massively in terms of class and distance.
Earlier today we were informed of a brilliant match up which has been made for February 18th in the Philippines.
The match up will see the unbeaten Joe Noynay (10-0, 3) battle against the criminally under-rated Alie Laurel (14-4, 9) in a bout for the WBC International Super Bantamweight title.
The unbeaten Noynay, also known as Joe Misako, is a 20 year old who debuted back in September 2013, scoring a win over fellow debutant Jestoni Autida. Since then he has piled up the wins and, last year, claimed the WBC EPBC Super Bantamweight title, with a decision win over Edison Berwela. Whilst unbeaten, and touted, it is hard to say much about him from his record with Autida, who subsequently went on to face Petch Sor Chitpattana, Ratchasak KKP and Ryo Matsumoto, being the most notable opponent on his ledger.
Laurel doesn't have a great record on paper but he is better than the numbers suggest and holds notable stoppage wins over Tiger Tor Buamas and Nobuhisa Coronita Doi whilst his losses have all been very close, with two coming to Ernesto Saulong, one to Ason Palicte and one to John Paul Batista. Aged 24 years old Laurel has been a professional since August 2010 and certainly hasn't been matched as softly as Noynay.
On paper Noynay will be the favourite however it is an interesting fight. Noynay is unbeaten and naturally he's the bigger man, however Laurel is more proven and could well prove to be too much for Noynay given his power, strength and style.
Last year Thai fans were shocked by the little known Filipino fighter Alie Laurel (12-3, 8) who traveled to the land of smiles as a supposedly "easy mark" for the then unbeaten Tiger Tor Buamas (then 15-0). Laurel left Thailand in surprising fashion having battered Tiger into defeat after just 5 rounds and claimed the WBO Oriental Bantamweight title in one of 2014's first shock results.
Sadly Laurel, who was rewarded with a world ranking, then became a forgotten man and it was some 4 months before he was back in the ring, stopping Mike Espanosa in just 110 seconds.
Sadly since stopping Espanosa last May we've not seen Laurel in action and much of the momentum of his win over Tiger Tor Buamas has faded away. Thankfully Laurel will return to the ring in a meaningful bout on March 17th when he battles against former Japanese title challenger Nobuhisa Coronita Doi (29-14-8, 11) at the Korakuen Hall.
Aged 23 Laurel is one of the many fighters in the Philippines who has shown the potential to be a real threat though has lacked the opportunities to really make a name for himself, so far. In many ways that makes him a bit like Rey Loreto, and like Loreto, he is a very hard hitting southpaw who has youth on his side and the potential to become a genuine contender in the future.
For Doi this could be all or nothing. Aged 36 he needs a win of note and has lost a number of notable matches in recent years, including a technical decision loss to Hidenori Otake and an opening round KO loss to Gakuya Furuhashi. For Laurel a win here however will boost his standing and could well push him towards an OPBF title fight later in the year.
Much of today's main Asian action was in the SM Mall of Asia Arena but there was also a second show at the Olivarez Stadium, albeit a much smaller and more over-looked show. The main event here however was an interesting one as the WBO world ranked Alie Laurel (12-3, 8) was putting his ranking and his WBO Oriental title on the line against fellow Filipino Mike Espinosa (12-8-1, 7).
Laurel knows what it's like to be the under-dog, he was a huge "dog" when he went to Thailand back in January and stopped Tiger Tor Buamas. With that in mind he'll know that a fighter should never feel secure with just being a favourite and he showed that as he went immediately to work and stopped Espinosa in just 110 seconds!
Ranked #12 at Bantamweight by the WBO Laurel probably knows he's a long way from a world title fight but as long as he continues to score wins there could well be a world title fight somewhere down the line for the fighter known as the "Demolition Man".
Earlier this year the previously unknown Filipino Alie Laurel (11-3, 7) launched himself in to the world rankings with a stunning upset over Tiger Tor Buamas (then an unbeaten 15-0, 12). At the time Tor Buamas was the WBO #11 ranked Bantamweight and the proud holder of the WBO Oriental Bantamweight title.
Laurel had to travel to Thailand for that fight though took his opportunity with both hands and stopped the Thai in 5 rounds to take the title and a world ranking.
Currently ranked #12 by the WBO Laurel will make the first defence of his belt on May 10th against unbeaten Indonesian puncher Defry Palulu (10-0, 9).
The fight, in the Philippines, sees Laurel in the position that Tor Buamas was in. He's the man who's at home defending his belt against an unknown who is coming to prove himself. Although we have to favour Laurel, considering the way he beat down Tor Buamas it is certainly a potential banana skin against a fighter who has the clear ability to hurt opponents.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!