Last week the WBSS finally announced the date of the Bantamweight final, between Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] and Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26), which will take place on November 7th at Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
Today we saw various small stories emerge in regards to the bout, including the fact that their will some tickets made available through the Ohashi Gym lottery system and the arena is not expected to hold it's maximum capacity, instead being configured for around 22,500 seats.
What was more interesting than the ticket lottery was what Inoue was doing in to prepare for the bout, sparring with two solid Filipino fighters as he looked to amp up his preparations for the November bout.
The Filipino fighters in question were the unbeaten Jade Borena (14-0, 10) and the under-rated Jhon Gemino (20-12-1, 10), who will both bring different things to the ring to test Inoue.
In front of the press today Inoue took part in a 4 round spar with Bornea , showing fantastic crispness to his shots, notably his left hand to the body and left hook.
Gemino and Bornea, who holds a a very notable amateur win over Kosei Tanaka, are scheduled to be in camp with Inoue for around 2 weeks, likely sparring with other Ohashi gym fighters whilst in Japan, before an American is due to join Inoue as he looks to see more styles and more partners in the ring.
(Image credit - Nikkan Sports)
Earlier today in the Philippines fight fans were able to see one of the most promising Filipino prospects in action, as he recorded his 13th straight win and moved one step closer towards getting a major bout.
The man in question was former amateur standout Jade Bornea (13-0, 9), who impressively defeated countryman Macrea Gandionco (12-7-3, 7) in 5 rounds, to record his third win of the year.
Bornea, who holds a notable amateur win over Kosei Tanaka, looked composed from the start of the bout and despite heavy shots coming his way from he looked to find his groove very quickly. By the end of the opening round Bornea was countering well and picking his shots well.
Bornea would have known that Gandionco couldn't keep swinging for the fences for ever and by round 2 it was Bornea coming forward, throwing the power punches and backing his man up. The pressure and accuracy from Bornea would take it's toll on Gandionco who was dropped following a series of solid shots. It wasn't a massively painful knockdown, but secured him a 10-8 round and drew desperation from Gandionco who wildly went on the offensive.
As the fight went on Bornea simply beat the fight out of Gandionco, who was dropped again in round 4 from a straight body shot that left him in clear agony. Despite the pain he got up to fight on though was a wounded warrior when the bell came to end the round.
With his man still hurting as we entered round 5 Bornea looked to close the show and did just that with a series of body shots that dropped Gandionco twice before the referee stopped the contest.
Although it's too early for Bornea to focus on world title bouts we would love to see him in with some notable regional opponents and a potential move towards an OPBF or WBO Asia Pacific title fight will surely be on his schedule for 2019.
Over the past 24 hours we've seen Filipino promoter Sanman Promotions announce the signings of two talented and promising Filipino prospects, with the promoter making it clear that they can sign up some of the top young talent in the country, just like promotional rivals ALA.
The fighters in question are boxing brothers Jake and Jade Bornea.
The more experienced of the two brothers is Jake (11-1, 5) who currently holds the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Flyweight title, which he has defended once. Although he's not widely known outside of the Philippines he has scored notable domestic wins over Michael Enriquez, Richard Rosales and Renerio Arizala, and has ran up 5 wins since his sole defeat back in 2014 to Raymond Tabugon.
The unbeaten Jade (5-0, 3) is tipped as a future star and was a stand out amateur, claiming a very notable win over Kosei Tanaka in the unpaid ranks. He's yet to step up as a professional but did win the Philippines Mindanao Professional Boxing Federation (MinProBA) Super Flyweight title last time out and will be back in the ring on October 21st, to take on veteran Albert Alcoy.
The two will be managed by Alex Amoy of the Amoy Boxing stable but be promoted by Sanman going forward.
On Saturday Filipino fans at the Oval Plaza Gym had the chance to see an intriguing card with a trio of title bouts, and several prospects.
One of the fighters in title action was Japan's Hiroshige Osawa (30-3-4, 19) [大沢 宏晋] who easily saw off Indonesian Yon Armed (12-6-1, 6) to claim the WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title. Armed lasted less than a round against Osawa who showed his class from the opening seconds.
Another of those bouts saw former world title challenger Vic Saludar (12-2, 9) over come Lito Dante (11-6-3, 6) with a 10 round decision to retain the WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title. This was Saludar's first bout since his world title contest, with Kosei Tanaka at the end of 2015, and whilst he did record a win he will likely feel disappointed that he had to go 10 rounds here.
A third bout saw the once beaten Jake Bornea (11-1, 5) retain the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Flyweight title with a decision win over Renerio Arizala (13-4-1, 5). The win was Bornea's fifth since his defeat almost 2 years ago.
On the undercard fans saw saw the touted Jade Bornea (5-0, 3) blast away Ronnie Sunido (6-16-1, 1) inside a round, making it a good day for the Bornea family, the unbeaten Robert Paradero (11-0, 7) extend his perfect record with a 10 round decision win over Ian Ligutan (6-3-2, 3) and a shock as Jetly Purisima (21-18-4, 5) scored a 5th round TKO win over the previous unbeaten Renz Magarce (8-1, 6).
(Image of Osawa courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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