Boxing is littered with some great stories and over-looked heroes. One such fighter has recently called it a day retiring having made a success of his career after once being written off, big time.
That man is "Cinderella Man" Jack Asis (35-19-5, 18) who has announced his retirement at the age of 33.
The Filipino born Australian based fighter, known as the "Assassin", began his career way back in 2002 and struggled almost from the off falling to 2-2-1 after 5 bouts. His tenacity kept him in the sport and he swiftly improved, winning 6 in a row to move to 8-2-1 (3) with a notable upset win over Dody Boy Agrabio. That winning run came to an end at the hands of future world title challenger Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym and by the end of 2006 he was 11-6-2 (4). His style had made for fun fights but he was picking up losses whilst being over-matched, as seen with his 2006 loss to Mzonke Fana and losses in 2007 to Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo and Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym.
Beginning 2009 Asis was 19-12-3 (9), his career had seemingly began to go nowhere. Things got worse when he went on a run of 6 straight losses in the space of 15 months and fell to 21-18-4 (10). With a sub 50% winning rate it looked like Asis was set to be little more than a journeyman but then he was given time and invest, with a promoter actually willing to give him a chance. Asis took that chance and ended up running off a 14-1-1 (8) end to his career, scoring upset wins against the likes of Brett William Smith, Chaiyong Sithsaithong, Maxsaisai Sithsaithong, Josh King, Nestor Rocha, Ryusei Yoshida and Kye MacKenzie, eventually winning the IBO Super Featherweight title.
Asis was working towards a more widely recognised world title until he lost earlier this year to Malcolm Klassen in South Africa. After the loss Asis took time to asses where he wanted to before announcing his retirement.
Once a homeless boy on the streets of the Philippines Asis became a hero to those and clear example of what hard work and dedication can do for a fighter. He never have been the best in the ring but the way he turned around a career that seemed aimless really is a real story worth remembering and although the IBO title not be taken seriously to most it was certainly an unexpected achievement for Asis given the way his career looked at various times.
We'd like to wish Jack all the best in his next move and really hope that a movie will be created about him as he's a fighter with such a great story.
Yesterday two Filipino fighters were in action in South Africa with both men having meaningful bouts.
The most notable of those was Australian based Filipino Jack Asis (35-19-5, 18) who unfortunately lost his IBO Super Featherweight title to local veteran Malcolm Klassen (33-6-2, 17). The defending champion had originally planned to defend his title last week but issues regarding the officials for the bout saw the contest being pushed back a week. Sadly however that change didn't help Asis score an all important victory, despite giving a genuinely brilliant effort.
Asis, who was the clear under-dog, had entered the bout on the back of a career reviving 14-0-1 (8) run though was unable to secure the victory following a slow start. That slow start allowed Klassen to rack up the rounds before the South African start flag late on, by then however Asis had too much to do over-turn the deficit, despite putting his all into the final rounds.
The other Filipino was Jhon Gemino (14-7-1, 6), who scored a 9th round TKO win against Toto Helebe (17-7, 9) in a bout for the WBA Inter-Continental Super Bantamweight title. Despite the win Gemino didn't win the title as he had failed to make weight for the contest.
Yesterday fight fans were expecting to see Australian based Filipino Jack Asis (35-18-5, 18) battle against South African Malcolm Klassen (32-6-2, 17), in a defense of Asis' IBO Super Featherweight world title. Surprisingly however the bout didn't go ahead on Friday with the fight being rescheduled for August 5th instead.
The rescheduling has come following a complaint from Asis' team regarding the selection of officials, which included a South African, Tony Nyangiwe. The complain was that all the officials should have been from neutral countries, something the IBO later agreed with.
As a result of the complaint the bout will now take on August 5th with the referee being changed to Englishman Terry O'Connor.
We're hoping the bout sets a precedent that will be followed by other organisations who have, for far too long, selected officials form the same country as one of the fighters in a world title bout. We're not saying officials are corrupt but we have seen bias and it may best to have the referee and all 3 judges for world title bouts featuring fighters from different countries, to all be neutral.
Thankfully the complaint has seen the bout added to what is actually an interesting card featuring two other IBO title bouts, including an IBO Super Flyweight title bout featuring South African local Gideon Buthelezi (17-5, 4).
Earlier today we were informed that Australian based Filipino Jack Asis (35-18-5, 18) was set to have one of his most important bouts on July 29th, as he travels to South Africa to face former world champion Malcolm Klassen (32-6-2, 17).
The Filipino fight will be travelling to defend his IBO Super Featherweight title against Klassen after seeing a bout with Vyacheslav Gusev fall apart, with Gusev suffering an injury.
Asis isn't a big name by any means but he has become a bit of a modern day Cinderella man turning around a 21-18-4 (10) record, which had included a 0-5 run, courtesy of a 14-0-1 (8) run over the last 5 years. That run has included wins over the likes of Brett William Smith, Josh King, Ryusei Yoshida, Kye MacKenzie and Maxsaisai Sithsaithong and has seen him move on to the verge of world rankings with the big 4.
Klassen on the other hand was once a solid name and is a 2-time IBF Super Featherweight champion. The 34 year old from Gauteng made his debut in 1999 and won his first world title 7 years later, out pointing Gairy St Clair, though lost in his first defense to Mzonke Fana. In 2009 he had his second brief reign as champion, beating Cassius Baloyi before losing the belt to Robert Guerrero. Since losing to Guerrero Klassen has gone 8-1, including a win over Paulsus Moses.
The bout will be a tough ask for Asis but he seems confident of scoring a win here and moving towards a "proper" world title fight.
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