Earlier today in Laguna fight fans were able to see OPBF Light Flyweight champion champion Edward Heno (13-0-5, 5) successfully make his second defense, and turn back the challenge of fellow Filipino Jesse Espinas (19-3, 11). Not only was it a bout fans in Laguna, at the venue, could see but so too could fans on the the Games and Amusements Board facebook group.
The bout started somewhat slowly with Heno looking to see what his challenger had in his arsenal. An early head clash did cause a slight delay in the action but from then on Heno seemed to always be a touch too quick and too sharp for Espinas, who had moments but rarely managed to really get the respect of the champion.
Heno seemed happy for the most part on the back foot, counter and pick holes in Espinas, and whilst it wasn't hugely exciting it was a tactic that worked well, and neutralised the power of Espinas pretty well. Even when Espinas did have success Heno slowed him in his tracks and gained his respect.
The boxing of Heno saw him take the win comfortably on the scorecards, with scores of 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112, to build on his previous defense against Merlito Sabillo.
Sadly for those wanting to watch the fight the video on the GAB facebook is less than stellar.
(Image of the score card due to the Games and Amusements Board facebook)
According to multiple Thai sources WBC Minimumweigth champion Wanheng Menayothin (50-0, 18) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม] will return to the ring on August 28th to make his 10th defense of the world title, and attempt to improve his record to 51-0.
At the moment few details have been provided, though our understanding is that he will be up against a Japanese opponent in a bout to be held in Nakhon Sawan. The opponents hasn't been named, though there are several Japanese options in the WBC rankings, and as we all know the rankings can change on a whim depending on how much the title body want their sanctioning fee.
Although there has been talk about a unification bout between Wanheng and IBF Minimumweight champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (10-0, 7) [京口 紘人] it would seem unlikely that that will be the bout, with that bout likely to do better financially in Japan at the end of the year. On paper the more likely bout would be between Wanheng and OPBF champion Tsubasa Koura (13-0, 9) [小浦 翼], who has made it clear he's happy to travel to Thailand to take on the unbeaten world champion.
On the same card we also expect to see Palangpol CP Freshmart (14-2, 8) [คู่เอก พลังพล ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] fight for an OPBF title. It's likely his title bout will come at 108lbs, though it's unclear if it will be for the regular title, held by Edward Heno (12-0-5, 5), or whether it will be for an interim title, which have began to crop up in Thailand in recent months.
We expect more details on this card to emerge in the coming days, with opponents for both of the Thai's to be announced in the very near future.
Last year Edward Heno (12-0-5, 5) travelled to Nakagami twice to face Seita Ogido for the OPBF Light Flyweight title, having a very controversial draw in the first bout before stopping Ogido in the second bout to claim the title. Today he returned to a Filipino ring to take on former WBO Minimumweight champion Merlito Sabillo (27-5-1, 13), who was looking to make his first defense of the ABF Light Flyweight title.
The bout, which took place Bacolod City, was a huge step up in clss for Heno though he managed tocome out on top, taking a split decision over Sabillo. The scores for the bout were 119-109 and 118-110 to Heno whilst the third judge managed to have the contest 116-112 to Sabillo, going massively against the other two judges.
For Heno the win boosts his chance of moving towards a world title fight, and even prior to today's contesthe was ranked in the top 15 of all 4 major world title bodies, with the WBO actually placing Sabillo higher than Heno who will likely move into the top 10 when their rankings are next updated.
As for Sabillo the future is pretty bleak, even if the result was "only" a split decision loss. The 34 year old has scored just 4 wins in the last 4 years, going 4-5 during that time, and has failed in 3 shots at OPBF titles during that run. At the age of 34 it's hard to see where Sabillo will go next.
Back in September we saw Filipino fighter Edward Heno (11-0-5, 5) travel to Japan and stop Seita Ogido (11-3-3, 3) [荻堂 盛太] to claim the OPBF Light Flyweight title, doing so in impressive fashion following a draw with Ogido earlier in the year. Sadly for the new champion his reign has already come to an end with a report from the Philippines saying that Heno has been stripped, and boxrec also listing a vacant title fight later this year.
Apparently Heno will be unable to defend the belt at the OPBF convention in November, and rather than the OPBF showing some common sense they have decided to strip the champion and set up a bout between Rey Loreto (23-14, 15) and Ivan Soriano (16-1-1, 8), which will take place on November 10th at the Puerto Princesa Coliseum, in Palawan.
The decision to strip Heno is based on the fighter wanting to spend time with his sick son, and not having enough time to prepare for a fighter like Loreto, especially given that the Heno fight was only a few weeks earlier. The logical idea of having an interim title fight between Loreto and Soriano seems to have passed the OPBF by, despite the fact the same show will have an OPBF "interim" Featherweight title fight on it between Lorence Rosas (8-1-2, 2) and Jelbirt Gomera (12-4, 6), with Gomera getting the shot on the back of 3 successive losses to Asian opponents.
Although the OPBF seem to be hiding behind their rule book, the decision is certainly one that doesn't appear to have been made in great faith and leaves the body open to a lot of questions about their treatment of fighters, like Heno.
(Story originally broken by the fantastic Ryan Songalia of Rappler, with his full story available here)
Earlier this year we saw unbeaten Filipino Edward Heno (11-0-5, 5) fight to a much disputed draw with Japan's Seita Ogido (11-3-3, 3) [荻堂 盛太] in a bout for the OPBF Light Flyweight title. Originally Heno was announced as the winner of the bout but the decision was reversed, with the final result being a draw that seemed to leave no one hapy.
Today the two fighters had a rematch and this time there was no disputing the winner with Heno stopping Ogido in the 7th round to claim the title and avenge the draw.
The bout started competitively though saw Heno pressing the action, closing the distance and landing his right uppercut and left hooks. Ogido gought back well, and his his moment fighting back, especially in rounds 2 and 3, but he never looked comfortable as Heno continued to press and muscle his way. The determination of Heno showed in round 4 as he forced mistakes for Ogido, who was warned for going low and was beginning to show signs of tiredness.
Ogido continued to try fighting back but in round 7 Ogido went down. His heart helped him to get up from the knockdown, but it wasn't long until the end as Heno jumped on his, unloaded his shots and eventually forced the finish with Ogido looking spent.
Whilst the set back is a big one for Ogido it should be noted that he could well have lost his previous two bouts and maybe this loss will do him the world of good. For Heno this will feel like he's corrected the judges decision from the draw in their first bout. The Filipino is a long way from being a world title challenger, but this bout will help him get the bouts he needs to open up world title contests in the years to come.
(Iimage courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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