This past Thursday Chinese fans in Beijing saw 36 year old Ma Yi Ming (13-7, 7) [马一鸣] suffer an opening round loss to unbeaten Filipino hopeful Ronnie Baldonado (9-0-1, 6), with the Chinese veteran being blown out in 102 seconds.
It was Ming's first bout since January 30th 2016, when he narrowly took a decision over Jayar Diama, and ended up being his 6th career stoppage loss, his 4th inside the opening round.
Foloowing the bout Chinese sources reported that Ming had had a host of issues in preparation for the bout, including essentially needing to train himself for the contest. It seems that after the fight those issues began to be made public whilst the the Chinese media suggested that Ming is now likely to retire from the sport, rather than continue on in his long career.
Although never a true star of Chinese boxing Ming was a real veteran who debuited back in 2007 and faced the likes of Wanheng Menayothin, Jonathan Baat and Randy Petalcorin, all of whom stopped Ming in the opening round. His retirement is likely to be the end of an era in some ways for Chinese boxing, which appears to appears to be heading in a new direction with younger fighters coming through the ranks in an exciting manner.
One of those younger fighters, 24 year old Xiang Xiang Sun (12-0, 9) [孫想想], was also in action in Thursday as he picked up a stoppage win over Indonesian veteran Roy Mukhlis (29-7-3, 22), to retain the interim WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight title. Although not yet a star we would suggest keeping a close eye on Sun as he rises through the rankings.
(Image courtesy of sina.cn)
Tomorrow in Beijing local fans will have the chance to see a second Chinese "world" champion crowned as their very own Ma Yi Ming (12-5, 7) battles WBA "interim" Light Flyweight champion Randy Petalcorin (22-1-1, 17). Ming is a big under-dog but the opportunity is a huge one for him given how obscure he was prior to being announced as Petalcorin's foe.
Today saw the weigh in for the bout and both saw both men make weight whilst each looked strong and in great condition for the bout.
For Australian based Filipino fighter Petalcorin this will be his first defense of the title, though it's title he won in China last year when he stopped the over-matched Walter Tello. That bout, in Shanghai, was the biggest win of Petalcorin's career so far and he'll be hoping to keep the momentum going with a win here.
As for Ming he really was an unknown by all but the most ardent of fans who may have seen his win over Morakote Patanakan Gym on the under-card of the Petalcorin/Tello bout, or perhaps seen his win over Tommy Seran, with that win certainly being his most notable to date.
There has been a murmur that this bout may be streamed on the Toprank.tv website, though we've not been able to get this confirmed unfortunately so it's a case of crossing our fingers and hoping.
Petalcorin looks for first defence as he takes on Chinese fighter Ming (Preview)
A few weeks ago we had heard rumours that WBA interim Light Flyweight champion Randy Petalcorin (22-1-1, 17) would be defending his belt in China in April. The rumour, at the time, was that Petalcorin would be defending in Shanghai on April 23rd against a yet to be named opponent.
On Sunday that rumour was proven to be wrong, though it wasn't far off, as news broke that Petalcorin would actually be defending his in Beijing on April 24th.
Sadly for fans hoping to see Petalcorin battle a notable name they'll be left disappointed as the Filipino puts his belt on the line against the relatively unknown Chinese southpaw Ma Yi Ming (12-5, 7). Ming only really came to our attention late last year when he defeated Indonesian veteran Tommy Seran to claim the WBO Asia Pacific title. It was Mind's first Light Flyweight title, though he had previously held the WBO China Zone title at Flyweight. The win over Seran was Ming's 9th in a row and although it ended a 4 fight stoppage run it was his best to date, by some margin. Notably that run of wins has really turned Ming's career around after a torrid 3-5 start which saw him being matched with fighters like Wanheng Menayothin and Jonathan Baat.
Although Ming is on a good run and will be fighting at home he will be viewed as the big under-dog against the talented Petalcorin who won the title last August when he scored a 7th round TKO win against Walter Tello, in what is the best win on his record. Notably that win came in Shanghai in what is Petalcorin's only previous bout in China.
(Image courtesy of boxrec.com)
Earlier today in the Filipino press we saw WBO Light Flyweight champion Donnie Nietes (34-1-4, 20) being linked to fights with several Asian fighters for his next defense, scheduled for March 28th, and it was a huge hint that much mooted bout with Francisco Rodriguez Jr (16-2-1, 11) wouldn't be happening, at least for now. The story, reported by the Sunstar in the Philippines, has come after Nietes long term promoter, and the head of ALA Promotions, Michael Aldeguer, was quoted as saying:
“It’s a voluntary title defense. We are looking at someone from Asia. Maybe a Japanese ranked fighter as boxing in Japan recently is doing well. Donnie has been fighting a lot of Mexican fighters already so maybe this time an opponent from Asia as boxing has become more popular because of China,”
Whilst the quote is a little bit confusing in that it hints to China and Japan it does leave us with a very interesting selection fighters, as per the most recent WBO rankings.
Ideally the best choice would be Thailand's Paipharob Kokietgym (27-0, 20) who is currently ranked #2 and has, apparently, had his team make contact with Nietes. This is a fight that we really do like the look of though suspect ALA wouldn't be fans of given that Paipharob is unbeaten, heavy handed and not the type of guy that fighters want to fight unless they have to. It would however be a compelling contest and one that makes sense if Nietes is wanting to prove himself.
Paipharob isn't the only Thai ranked by the WBO but he is the only "realistic" option from Thailand with the unbeaten Petchchorhae Kokietgym (10-0, 7), the WBO #14, being a very unlikely option, especially considering his level of competition so far.
The second highest ranked Asian in the WBO rankings is a Filipino, Jonathan Taconing (20-2-1, 17). Ranked #7 Taconing is one 3 ranked challengers from the Philippines and would make for a sensational opponent for Nietes. Taconing is heavy handed, aggressive and exciting and should make for a compelling bout with Nietes, a much better "boxer". Sadly however this bout looks unlikely with Taconing now expected to go the WBC route and move towards a fight with Pedro Guevara however it is certainly possible for him to go this way and give us an all Filipino bout that would guarantee fireworks.
A second Filipino option would be Rommel Asenjo (26-3, 20), ranked #11 by the WBO. Whilst this would look good on paper it's not a bout that would interest us as Asenjo isn't as good as his ranking suggests, and in his only would title fight so far he came up very short, being stopped in 3 by Raul Garcia. On the world scene Asenjo doesn't seem to have it, though he is entertaining and exciting.
The final Filipino option would be the WBO #14 ranked Benezer Alolod (16-5-5, 5), who struggled in December to beat domestic rival Renren Tesorio. Alolod is a more interesting fight than Asenjo and although he was stopped in 9 rounds by Nkosinathi Joyi, he does hold a couple of notable wins including a 7th round technical decision win over Rey Loreto and a 3rd round retirement victory over one time OPBF title contender Jerson Mancio. Those wins however wouldn't make very confident in Mancio being able to be competitive with Nietes.
Going back to Adeguer's statement regarding Japanese and Chinese challengers it's worth noting that both countries have a fighter ranked.
From China we have #9 contender Ma Yi Ming (12-5, 7) who has one of those confusing records. Ming began his career in 2007 and quickly fell to 3-5, including a trio of stoppage losses in his first 3 bouts. Since then however he has scored 7 straight wins, including a notable one this past December against Tommy Seran. Although he is "streaking", so to speak, he has been fighting at a low level and his ranking has been artificially enhanced by the fact he has been holding vario WBO titles over the years, including the WBO China Zone Flyweight title and the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title, which he won against Seran.
As for Japan their ranked contender is the #10 ranked Yu Kimura (15-2-1, 2). Kimura is the Japanese national champion and has been eyeing up an opportunity for a world title fight in recent months. On paper he's a much better challenger than Ming and has won at a higher level, with wins over Kenichi Horikawa and Yuki Chinen. He is also a proven tough guy and his most notable loss so far with a TKO loss to current WBA champion Ryoichi Taguchi. On paper this would be our "third choice" if bouts with Paipharob and Taconing cannot be made, though we suspect this may be a perfect choice for ALA and it would allow Nietes to be compared to Taguchi.
Earlier today at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China, fans had a chance to see two title bouts and better yet for local fans they got the chance to celebrate as two of their very own won the titles.
One of those men to win belts was the unheralded Ma Yi Ming (12-5, 7) who managed to over-come Indonesian veteran Tommy Seran (24-4, 15) with a 10 round decision to claim both the WBO Asia Pacific and the IBF Pan Pacific Light Flyweight titles. Ming started fast with an aggressive mentality that seemed to be based on breaking down his tough Indonesian foe, that however didn't happen. Later in the bout however, as Ming began to flag, Seran began to have his own success with accurate and clean shots.
When it came to the decision there no was real drama and Ming was a clear winner taking a 98-92 decision to continue his current run which is now standing at 9 straight wins after beginning his career 3-5.
The other man to win a new title was the popular and exciting Ik Yang (18-0-0-1, 13) who forced Thai veteran Fahsai Sakkreerin (41-6-1, 22) to retire at the end of round 4 citing an injury. The win for Yang saw him claiming the IBF Pan Pacific Light Welterweight title and furthering his collection of belts.
Although this was Yang's first title bout as a fully fledged Light Welterweight the weight did seem to suit him more than the Thai. Sadly however some will criticise Yang for taking as long as he did to get rid of the Thai who had previously been taken out in a round by Masao Nakamura. It is however another win and we suspect he'll be moved into the next IBF rankings as he attempts to become another Chinese world champion.
(Image courtesy of http://www.shanghaidaily.com)
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