Earlier today Filipino fans at the Gaisano Mall Atrium of General Santos City had the chance to see some of the Philippines most under-rated prospects in action, including the talented John Vincent Moralde (15-0, 7), who claimed the WBF International Featherweight title in the main event of the card.
The 21 year old Moralde, who made tragic headlines last year following a fight with Brayd Smith, was facing countryman Anthony Sabalde (10-5, 5) in a bout that looked set to be much more competitive than the records of the two men suggested.
That competitive nature was shown at times with the men both starting the bout slowly, neutralising other out in the early stages which were nip and tuck. The first to really take an advantage during he bout was Sabalde, with the under-dog trapping Moralde on the ropes as he looked to spring the upset.
Sadly for Sabalde his momentum was short lived and in round 5 Moralde took control, relying on his ability to box and move to hit Sabalde and get out of range. The movement of Moralde worked in his favour and in round 6 landed one of his best shots, a clean right hand. From then on the unbeaten youngster took over completely, leaving Sabalde with a bad swelling under the right eye which became a target for Moralde's solid and clean shots.
Although Sabalde hung in tough the swelling seemed to kill his aggression and Moralde made the most of it, landing his 1-2's and racking up the final few rounds.
Despite the competitive start to the fight Moralde was a clear winner on the cards, with scores of 98-92 on all 3 cards.
Earlier today we were informed that Filipino youngster John Vincent Moralde (14-0, 7) would be back in action on February 13th in a bout against fellow Filipino fighter Anthony Sabalde (10-4-0-1, 5) in a bout for the World Boxing Federation International Featherweight title.
This will be the first bout for both fighters this year and will be Moralde's third bout since his tragic win over Australian Brayd Smith. Since that win the talented and unbeaten 21 year old has been matched relatively easily however this should be a solid step back up in class for the man known as "Mulawin".
For Sabalde the bout will see him dropping back down to Featherweight after fighting as high as 134lbs last year. The southpaw, dubbed "Zorro", has won his last 2 bouts but is 2-1-0-1 in his last 4, inclduing a loss to Jessie Cris Rosales in what was Sabalde's only previous title fight. That loss to Rosales is certainly not a bad one, though Sabalde did go 1-3 in 2011, and didn't fight at all in 2012.
The bout is one of two title fights announced for the show along with a PBF Super Featherweight title fight between the unbeaten Romero Duno (8-0, 7) and the highly experienced Jason Egera (21-16, 10). This one should see Duno being given a solid test, despite the fact that Egera has lost his last 8 bouts.
Unbeaten Filipino John Vincent Moralde (12-0, 6) will be looking to continue his perfect run on June 19 when he returns to the ring or the first time following the sad passing of Australian fighter Brayd Smith, who died following his decision loss to Moralde. The Filipino, who claimed the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Featherweight title in his previous contest, will be hoping to add the WBC Youth Featherweight title to his collection of belts as he takes on 21 year old Russian Evgeny Smirnov (7-0, 2) in Spain.
The unbeaten Russian, who has spent his ring time between Russia and Spain, will be defending the title for the first time since winning the belt in April against Neo Martinez Raygoza. The Russian hasn't really impressed, despite his unbeaten record and has twice escaped with split decision wins, despite only facing very limited opposition. He will however know that if he picks up a win here he'll move towards a bout of note.
For Moralde this bout will be a tough on. It's his first bout in Europe, it's his first bout since the tragic death of Smith and it's a tough test as a bout anyway. A win will however move him towards a much more notable bout and will prove his ability as a fantastic fighter, whether he's fighting at home or away. This will be his second bout on the road and a win here could see Moralde building a reputation as a road warrior, like compatriot Johnriel Casimero.
When unbeaten fighters collide there is often something special in the air. The feeling of something big happening even when the match up may appears to be heavily weighted in the favour of one man, or the other.
One such bout occurred earlier today in Australia as unbeaten Filipino John Vincent Moralde (12-0, 6) battled against Australian puncher Brayd Smith (12-1, 10) in a bout for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Featherweight title.
On paper it was a bout the heavier handed, more experienced, slightly older Smith was supposed to win, especially considering the bout was Smith's home of Toowoomba, Queensland was Moralde was fighting outside of the Philippines for the first time in his young career.
Something special was in the air however and it was to be Moralde's night as he put on a career defining performance that saw him dominate from early in the bout and land combinations at will. The 20 year Filipino actually looked a level, if not two, above the local favourite who was unable to make his power count and instead had to rely on his toughness to just see out portions of the bout.
Although relatively unknown outside of the Philippines it seems clear that Moralde is a potential star and wins like this will see him being fast tracked to the top. We won't over-state it and claim this was a career changing win but it was clearly the best of his career so far and is almost certainly going to boost his confidence and standing with the WBC, who didn't rank him in there top 40 at the start of the month.
(Image courtesy of Buhaykamao)
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