Former OPBF Bantamweight champion Mark John Yap (30-13, 15) has really seen his career slow down since losing in a WBC world title eliminator to Takuma Inoue [井上 拓真] last year, though it now seems like he is set for a well deserve break.
The always excellent Ian Mellodillar recent informed us that Yap will be making his US debut at the end of June, and will do so on a Mayweather promoted card as he takes on the unbeaten Angelo Leo (17-0, 8), who is a highly regarded Super Bantamweight prospect.
For those who look at Yap's record and write him off, he does, genuinely, have one of the most misleading records in the sport. The 30 year old Filipino has turned around a 19-12 (10) record by winning 11 of his last 12. That run has seen him claim the OPBF title, score notable wins over multi-time world title challenger Hiroyuki Kudaka as well as OPBF champion Takahiro Yammaoto and former Japanese champion Kentaro Masuda, with his only loss since the start of 2015 coming to Takuma Inoue, the younger brother of Naoya Inoue.
Leo on the other hand is a 25 year old who turned professional in 2012 and has slowly moved through the ranks. Interesting he has fought a number of Filipino's on his way up, scoring a blow out win against Glenn Porras in 2018 and a wide decision win in April against Neil John Tabanao.
Also scheduled for this card is Jessie Cris Rosales (22-2-1, 10), who will look to bounce back from his stoppage loss to Shakur Stevenson last time out. The 27 year old will be matched against unbeaten American Xavier Martinez (14-0, 10), a 21 year old who is riding a 6 fight stoppage run including a win over Filipino John Vincent Moralde from back in April.
In New York on Friday night fight fans had the chance to see the latest outing from 2016 Olympic silver medal winner Shakur Stevenson (10-0, 6), from the US, who took on Filipino foe Jessie Cris Rosales (22-2-1, 10). On paper this looked like a potential test for Stevenson, given Rosales was a hungry fighter with ambition and had only lost when he had faced Jhonny Gonzalez.
Sadly the ambition that Rosales' record suggested was non-existent when he got in the ring and he did very little to try and impose himself on Stevenson, who did as he wished.
The Filipino, who was being given a great opportunity to put in an effort and potentially open doors, even if he lost, looked like he was there just for a pay day. Stevenson on the other hand was there to shine and show what he could do.
After dominating the first 3 rounds he closed the show in round 4 with a short shot that left Rosales flat on his back, having found his way out of the contest.
Stevenson, although dominant, looks like he has a lot still up his sleeve and is only getting better, stronger and more impressive. Rosales on the other hand really didn't look like he had any belief at all. Awful from the Filipino.
Later today we'll see Filipino fighter Jessie Cris Rosales (22-1-1, 10) face off with Olympic medal winning American Shakur Stevenson (9-0, 5) in the US. For both men it's seen as a major bout. For Stevenson' it's potentially his final bout before a world title eliminator and a huge whilst Rosales is fighting on a major US boxing broadcast for the first time.
Yesterday both men took part in the weigh in, and both men came in under 126lbs.
On the scales the unbeaten Stevenson was 125.5lbs, and was the heavier man. Rosales on the other hand was 124.5lbs.
For Stevenson the weigh is his lightest in almost a year, as he came in at the same weight back in February 2018 when he was taken the 8 round distance by Juan Tapia. Since that win he has been as high as 128lbs, and has gone 4-0 (3). For Rosales the weight is his lowest recorded weight since May 2011, when he beat Bobie Sentillas. Since then he has been over the 130lb limit a few times. Despite being lighter than usual Rosales doesn't look like he has drained himself, instead he appears to be fighting at his natural weight.
(Image courtesy of Top Rank)
This coming Friday Filipino fighter Jessie Cris Rosales(22-1-1, 10) will take on his most notable opponent so far, as he battles Olympic medal winning American Shakur Stevenson (9-0, 5) in the US. Sadly for the Filipino he is being given very little chance of springing the upset win here and putting himself on the boxing map.
The Filipino has opened as a 6/1 betting under-dog for what will be the biggest profile bout of his career. Although not well known in the West the Filipino has travelled in the past. On the road he has scored a fantastic win over Ibrahim Ball, scoring that in Australia last year, and a win in Thailand against Ibuki Tanaka. Sadly his biggest profile bout to date saw him being stopped by massive Mexican puncher Jhonny Gonzalez back in July 2017.
As for Stevenson he is currently a 1/12 favourite to win, and build on his unbeaten record and stellar October win over Viorel Simion. He looked fantastic last time out and will be looking to shine again here, with his eyes clearly on bigger and better things in the future.
professional debut in 2014, and he has been stepping up his quality of opposition recently, with his last outing being a sensational opening round TKO win over Viorel Simion. A win for him would strengthen his claim for a world title fight later in the year.
From what we understand this bout will be televised on ESPN+ as part of the Bryant Jennings Vs Oscar Rivas card, which will also feature 2016 Olympic gold medal winner Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (6-0, 3) [Фазлиддин Ғоибназаров], from Uzbekistan
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