The main event of today's show in Suzhou saw WBO minor titles being unified, as International Flyweight champion Wenfeng Ge (11-1, 6) [葛文峰] took on Oriental counter part Giemel Magramo (23-1, 19). For Ge this was his first defense whilst Magramo was looking for his second defense,and both men not only had eyes on unifying the belts but also on taking a huge step towards a potential world title fight against WBO world champion Kosei Tanaka [田中恒成].
The bout began with Ge, who looked the naturally stronger of the two men, taking center ring whilst Magramo bouncer around on the outside and picked clean shots at range, finding the body several times. Ge's defensive flaws seemed to be picked up on quickly by Magramo but Ge had some solid moments of his own. Knowing the edge in speed was with Magramo it seemed like Ge was looking to pick his shots, landing a good right hand early in the second round, Magramo responded well though and the bout began to heat up, with both landing shots on the inside. The inside war seemed to swing one way, then the other as the intensity ratcheted through the gears.
Having come up second best on the inside Ge began to try and box on the inside, using his heavy jab. Magramo however looked intent on getting close and letting his body shots go, as he had in the first 2 rounds. Later in the round Magramo managed to niggle at the body of the Chinese fighter, who got a loud road from the crowd when he landed anything clean. Ge again tried to stay on the outside in round 4, and landed some great counters as Magramo tried to cut the distance, and did so in a rather reckless and open manner.
The pressure continued to come from Magramo, who landed the more eye catching shots again in round 5, as Ge got on the retreat, moved away from the Filipino and begin to show signs of crumbling from a combination of pressure and body shots. Through the final minute of the round Ge was in trouble several times and hit to grit it out as Magramo seemed to completely take over. Ge tried to get Magramo's respect early in round 6 but the Filipino really seemed unfazed by the work of the Chinese fighter, marching him down and looking to land heavy shots, The only thing working in Ge's favour was the Magramo was trying to load too much at times, and that Ge managed to just get out of range, though he was clearly facing the pace.
With Ge backing off, a lot, Magramo was struggling to really connect clean and was taking risks that he didn't need to take. In round 7 he was caught coming in and forced to back off as Ge showed some ambition, but the Chinese fighter backed off again soon afterwards as Magramo began another forward march. Sadly for Magramo he continued to make mistakes, throwing the wrong shots at the wrong time, and allowed Ge some respite through what was one one of Ge's better rounds.
Ge came out for round 8 with some fire, though was quickly dragged into an inside battle that didn't help his cause. He quickly realised fighting on the inside was a mistake and began to back off, but Magramo could smell blood and proceeded to give him a beating through the round, one of the most 1-sided rounds of the fight with Ge eating some huge head shots. Ge, to his credit, bit down and swung punches roughly in the direction of Magramo, but was struggling to land as the Filipino connected with rights and left. Those shots were taking a toll on Ge's face which was swelling and reddening as we ended the round.
Magramo seemed to know that he could stop Ge, and went out for 9 with the intention of doing just that, as he had in a number of previous rounds. This time however he was smart about it, rarely loading up and instead shoving his jab into Ge's swollen face and trying to follow up. He struggled to land cleanly as Ge's negativity made it hard to land anything, but Ge wasn't throwing much of note back the Filipino was in total control.
Early in round 10 Ge was tagged with two hard head shots, and it was clear that his toughness was the only thing keeping him upright. He was in full survival mode, holding, back tracking, wrestling and doing pretty much anything other than actually boxing. A left hook from Magramo 2 minutes in snapped his head back and a right hand 10 seconds later again saw Ge depend on his durability to stay upright. It was clear he little left to offer.
Between rounds 10 and 11 the bout was stopped, seemingly on the advice of the referee, with Ge being saved from more punishment. It was the right call, with Ge's face a swollen mess with a number of cuts on it, his energy tank running on empty and the score cards almost certainly against him.
With the win Magramo now becomes a double champion, and will likely be interested in a bout with Kosei Tanaka, but on this performance there is still a few things Magramo should work on before pursuing a world title fight. He dominated, but did make numerous offensive mistakes, mistakes that a fighter like Tanaka would make the most of.
For Ge this loss ends a bit of a fairy tale, given his career has been fought with disability from hearing and speech, but showed what a tough guy he is, and no one will doubt his heart. Sadly he was just up against a much better boxer, who really looked a level above him.
In 2016 Filipino hopeful Giemel Magramo (22-1, 18) suffered a narrow loss in South Korea to Muhammad Waseem. Follow that loss he had rebuilt well, with 4 wins by stoppage prior to today. He looked to continue that impressive run earlier today as he took on Thai foe Petchchorhae Kokietgym (17-2, 8) at the Midas Hotel and Casino in Pasay City.
The bout, Magramo's first defense of the WBO Oriental Flyweight title, was put together on short notice when Magramo's original opponent was forced out of the contest. The change in opponent never seemed to phase the Filipino however, as he took the fight to his Thai foe from the opening bell, using a ramrod jab to creating opening and then picking his man apart with crisp, sharp shots to both head and body.
In the second round the skill difference between the two men became more and more obvious, with Magramo looking fluid and natural in the ring, whilst Petchchorhae seemed to be forcing everything, throwing wildly and and was rarely in position too follow up on any success he managed to get. In fact what success the Thai did have seemed to leave him off balance and open to shots from Magramo, who really did look like a special talent.
The third round saw Magramo go out with the intention of stopping his man, as he went through the gears and really took the Thai apart, with brilliant combinations, the final of which was punctuated by a brutal left hand to the body that dropped the Thai. Petchchorhae did get to his feet but the bout was immediately waved off to give Magramo his 5th stoppage victory since his defeat to Waseem.
To his credit Petchchorhae showed ambition, and didn't travel to lose, but he lacked the nuances and skills of the Filipino who found openings with far too much ease. Magramo however looked a very classy fighter with a lot of potential to go a very long way, and we'd not be surprised to see him competing for a world title in 2019.
in his last 5 bouts. Although that's a poor run it is worth noting that he has been matched hard with losses to Paul Butler, Cristofer Rosales and Felix Alvarado.
It's worth noting that Magramo is world ranked by all 4 major world title bodies coming into this bout and will not only be risking his Oriental title but also those world rankings, and a loss will seriously set his career back. A loss would however be considered a big upset.
On October 7th we'll see a triple header in Yokohama. The headline bout of the card will see Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14) [井上 尚弥] begin his WBSS campaign as he takes on Juan Carlos Payano (20-1, 9) whilst another the WBSS bout between Kiryl Relikh (22-2, 19) and Eduard Troyanovsky (27-1, 24) will increase the international profile of the card.
Arguably the best bout of the card however is a bout with no link to the WBSS. Instead it's the WBC Light Flyweight title bout between Ken Shiro (13-0, 7) [拳四朗] and former IBF champion Milan Melindo (37-3, 13).
The bout is a fantastic match up between two top Light Flyweights and promises to deliver some brilliant action.
To prepare for the bout the reigning champion has been training in the Philippines, at the Elorde gym, sparring with the likes of Giemel Magramo (21-1, 17). That camp ended today, following 10 days at the camp.
The training saw Ken Shiro spar regularly with Magramo, admitting he had a bad day whilst there before improving and getting to control the spar more at his distance. In total the champion sparred about 60 rounds in total, with sessions as long as 8 rounds.
The fighter also attended a local show, and spoke to fans at the show, and seems to have genuinely enjoyed the hard work and conditions he's endured in the camp.
(Image courtesy of bmb gym)
One of the best things with boxing right now is the way prospects in some countries are being matched. We're now seeing hotly tipped prospects avoid the long list of easy match ups and instead the top prospects are being forced to fight good opponents early in their careers. This is being seen by fighters from Japan, Ukraine, the UK and Russia among others.
The most notable Russian to be on a fast track is former amateur sensation Mikhail Aloyan (2-0), who fought in a 10 rounder on debut,then claimed the WBC "Silver" Super Flyweight title in just his secone bout, taking a 12 decision over the tricky Marvin Salano
It was recently revealed that Aloyan will continue his move up the rankings with another very tough bout when he returns to the ring. That will be on December 9th in Kemerovo and will see him take on the once beaten Filipino Giemel Magramo (19-1, 15), who's only career defeat came to Korean based Pakaistani fighter Muhammad Waseem last November.
For Aloyan the bout will act as his first defense of the WBC "Silver" title and if he's successful it will move him towards a potential showdown for the WBC world title at 115lbs, potentially against the winner of the upcoming match up between Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Juan Francisco Estrada. For Magramo the bout will see him look to score his third win since the loss to Waseem, which hapened at Flyweight. Notably it will only be Magramo's second bout outside of the Philippines, and he is current 0-1 away from home, with the loss to Waseem coming in South Korea.
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