Earlier this year we saw Filipino fighter Jhack Tepora (22-0, 17) announce himself on the world stage, winning the WBA "interim" Featherweight title in Malaysia by stopping Edivaldo Ortega in 9 rounds. He's been out of the ring since that win, in July but now looks set to defend the title in January.
The unbeaten Filipino will be part of the January 19th PBC card as the MGM Grand, which will be shown on Showtime and headlined by Manny Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39) facing off with Adrien Broner (33-3-1-1, 24).
Until today Tepora's opponent was totally unknown, though Linea Directa have now reported that the front runner is big punching Mexican Hugo Ruiz (38-4, 33), who is just waiting to get his visa sorted before being confirmed for the bout. Ruiz is training for the bout and has signed to fight Tepora on the card, with the bout agreed in principle.
Ruiz is a former WBA "interim" Bantamweight champion and WBC "super" Bantamweight champion, who has lost to Koki Kameda, Julio Ceja and Hozumi Hasegawa and will be looking to become a "3-weight champion". It's also been revealed that he really struggled to make the 122lb Super Bantamweight limit, hence moving up in weight for this bout.
It's also been reported that Filipino hopefuls Jayar Inson (18-1, 12) and Genesis Libranza (17-1, 10) will be on the card, though their opponents haven't yet been confirmed.
The Spanish article about Ruiz challenging Tepora can be read here on the Linea Directa website.
Earlier today in Butuan fight fans saw a GAB Flyweight title fight, as defending champion Genisis Libranza (17-1, 10) battled against southpaw challenger Renz Rosia (14-7-1, 7). For Libranza the bout was his first defense of the title, that he won back in April with a split decision over Ryan Rey Ponteras, whilst Rosia was getting his first shot at a GAB title.
On paper the bout was a great match up, with a mostly solid stream provided by Beet TV-7 Butuan in the Philippines. Sadly though the match failed to deliver on what we expected portions of messy, lazy and tired action. Despite that it was an often compelling battle of skills against wills.
Early on it seemed like Libranza was the bigger, more skilled and naturally stronger man. He was however under pressure from Rosia, who seemed hungrier, fitter and more determined, despite being tagged hard in early stages.
Rosia's determination saw him walk through the odd big shot from Libranza who really snapped Rosia's head back in round 5, and pressure the champion more than expected. Sometimes that pressure was sloppy, and in round 5 Rosia was deducted a point for low blows, after having had 2 clear warnings earlier in the bout.
The pace began to falter in the 6th round, with Rosia missing wildly through the round and looking very weary through out the 3 minutes. Libranza managed to end the round by coming forward, but failed to let his hands go. The following round it was Libranza who went low as the action became more and more messy.
The sloppiness and messiness really took over the final third of the bout. Libranza did little whilst Rosia pressed the action. Rosia's pressure wasn't the greatest however and Libranza caught the eye with one or two big flurries, really trying to win the round on quality rather than quantity as the bout fizzled out.
After 12 rounds we thought the title was set to change hands,m but the judges disagreed giving Libranza a rather lucky win with scores of 116-111, 115-112 and 114-113 as he records his first defense.
Sadly for Rosia his recent wins over Michael Enriquez, Ryan Rey Ponteras and this win today all suggest he's a fighter with a lot of work to do if he's to step beyond domestic level with real success. His work rate was poor and it's hard to imagine him competing with any top regional fighter. Rosia on the other hand can consider himself unfortunate, and not for the first time in his career
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