Earlier today Japanese promoter Hiranaka Boxing announced the details for their next show, which will take place on January 8th in Tomigusuku City Gym. The card won't be a massive one, but will feature title action and several bouts of some note.
The main event will be a WBC Youth Light Flyweight title fight as Japanese youngster Seita Ogido (11-2-1, 3) [荻堂 盛太] battles against Filipino visitor Jonthan Refugio (16-5-4, 4) for the currently vacant title. For Ogida the bout will see him fighting in his first title fight and see him looking to build on recent wins over Naoya Haruguchi and Jeffrey Galero, with the youngster currently riding a 5 fight winning run following set backs in 2014 against Seigo Yuri Akui, a 4 round draw, and Kenji Ono, a split decision loss in the Rookie of the Year final. As for Refugio the Filipino is a former WBC International champion who will be in his 6th title bout, and although his record has losses through it he has faced good competition, such as Wanheng Menayothin, Knockout CP Freshmart and Merlito Sabillo, who have all won world titles.
In the chief support bout we'll see Go Onaga (27-3-2, 18) [翁長 吾央] face Filipino Jake Bornea (11-1, 5), in what will be Bornea's first bout following his November clash with Andrew Selby in the UK. The bout looks like a really well matched bout, but it needs to be said that it's at a weight higher than Bornea's best weight and with the Filipino only having about 8 weeks to prepare after the Selby bout he may not be in the best condition to take on a fighter like Onaga, who knows that his dreams of fighting for a world title are really hanging by a threat.
Another notable supporting bout will see Masatoshi Kotani (19-2, 13) [小谷 将寿] battle Rey Laspinas (21-14-6, 12) in a bout that we suspect will be more competitive than the records of the men perhaps hint at.
Yesterday Filipino fans got a title studded card at the Taguig Sports Complex. The card, a relatively low profile one despite featuring numerous notable names, features a trio of intriguing title matches with two of those ending in genuine upsets.
The most notable of the bouts, at least for us, was the one title bout that went as expected.
That was a OPBF Flyweight title bout that saw talented Filipino veteran Ardin Diale (31-9-3, 15) record the first defense of his title as he over-came fellow Filipino Jonathan Francisco (8-5-1, 2) with a unanimous decision. On paper this was a bit of a mismatch in favour of the often under-rated champion and it proved to be a confidence build first defense for a man who is likely to face much stiffer tests if his reign is to continue.
Francisco, fighting in his first title bout, did well to survive the 12 rounds but was never likely to over-come the champion, who really is one of the sports genuine gatekeepers at Flyweight.
It was at Flyweight where we saw one of the shows notable upsets. This time it was at the GAB level where veteran Donny Mabao (22-24-3, 4) managed a shock decision win over Michael Enriquez (11-5-1, 7). Coming in to this one Mabao had gone 0-4-2 in his last 6, dating back more than 3 years, though managed to pull out a career saving performance to over-come Enriquez. Sadly for the loser this was his 3rd loss in 4 bouts, and it seems that his gutsy display against Rex Tso a year ago has essentially taken all he had.
Whilst Enriquez's loss was an upset it wasn't the biggest shock on the card. That was at 108lbs where Jonathan Refugio (15-4-4, 3) shocked former world title challenger Richard Claveras (14-2-2, 12) in a bout for the WBC International Light Flyweight title. On paper this looked like a confidence builder for Claveras, who has scored a pair of wins since his sole loss last April, however it turns out that Refugio, who was 3-4 in his previous 7, hadn't read the script. Instead of lying down for the big punching Claveras fans saw a determined Refugio take the fight to Claveras and earn a well deserved decision win.
After the bout it was noted that Claveras was struggling to make 108lbs and it seems likely that he will now move up in weight.
Earlier today we were informed that highly experienced OPBF Flyweight champion Ardin Diale (30-9-3, 15) was set to return to the ring on February 20th to defend his title against countryman Jonathan Francisco (8-4-1, 2).
The talented Diale will be making the first defense of the title that he won last December with a decision win over Renoel Pael whilst. That was Diale's second shot an OPBF title after coming up short, in 2014, to Koki Eto in an thrilling war that featured arguable the round of the year. Since that loss to Eto we've seen Diale go a very impressive 7-0 (5) with notable wins against Renerio Arizala, Jenny Boy Bua and Heri Amol.
For Francisco this will be his first title fight of his career and comes after a technical draw against former world chamoion Toshiyuki Igarashi, last November. Although Francisco hasn't got an unimpressive record he does hold a notable win over Jonas Sultan, albeit a split decision very early in the career of both men, and he is current on a 3 fight unbeaten run.
The bout will be one of 5 title bouts on the card, with others including a WBC International Light Flyweight contest between former world title challenger Richard Claveras (14-1-2, 12), who is the defending champion, and countryman Jonathan Refugio (14-4-4, 3) and a potential FOTY candidate between Michael Enriquez (11-4-1, 7) and Donny Mabao (21-24-3, 4), who will be meeting for the vacant GAB Flyweight title.
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