Yesterday in the US fight fans had the chance to see Filipino hopeful Mike Plania (19-1, 10) score his latest win, out pointing Mexican born American Juan Antonio Lopez (12-5, 4) in what was a clear 8 round decision win.
The Filipino got off to the perfect start, setting a high work rate and racked up the points early on with a high work rate. That was a tactic that worked well for Plania who had earned a clear lead after 6 rounds and managed to cruise through the final 2 stanza's en route to a unanimous decision. With scores of 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75.
Although Plania did have an opening round knock down chalked off, ruled as coming from an illegal blow, he never looked in any trouble. Despite that he did show some flaws that he and his team will be looking to work on before he returns to the ring. This was 8 good rounds for the youngster, but the feeling is that there is a lot, lot more for him to deliver.
Later today we'll see once beaten Filipino prospect Mike Plania (18-1, 10) battle against Mexican born American Juan Antonio Lopez (12-4, 4) at the Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles. The bout isn't one of the headline bouts, but is a notable one, especially with Plania being one of the more well hidden Filipino prospects and someone who actually dropped Juan Carlos Payano last year.
Despite not being a big name Plania is the clear betting favourite, with UK bookies pricing the 21 year old at between 1/25 and 1/50, suggesting this bout is a total mismatch and little more than a show case for Plania. This will be his second bout on US soil, and only his third bout outside of the Philippines, but it's clear that he and his team are confident in his ability, at home or on the road.
Lopez on the other hand is the clear under-dog, priced at priced at between 83/10 and 12/1.
The draw on the other hand is available as high as 28/1
The WBA have had a reputation for creating too many titles, muddying the waters of what real world class is, and leading many to almost ignore anything but their Super Titles. Whilst that's a fantastic attitude to the WBA's almost offensive title creation scheme it does need to be said that the proliferation of titles does give more fighters a chance to make a name for themselves. It makes it hard to know who is really world class, but does give leeser known fighters a chance to put themselves in the mix and in some cases that's a good thing, even if the way the WBA does it is pathetic and wrong.
The latest fighter to claim one of the WBA's "interim" titles was one fighter who took the opportunity with both hands and put himself straight into the mix of his division.
That fighter is unbeaten Filipino 21 year old Reymart Gaballo (19-0, 16) who claimed the WBA "interim" Bantamweight title last night with an impressive and dominant decision win over Stephon Young (17-1-3, 7).
Gaballo, a relative unknown out of the Philippines, dropped Young in round 3 and never looked like losing from then on, as he took the decision with scores of 117-110, twice, and 118-109.
With the win Gaballo puts himself in the mix for a fight at the "Super" champion Ryan Burnett, or the "Regular" title, which Jamie McDonnell will defend against Naoya Inoue in May.
Whilst we do despise the WBA's multiple title system, for Gaballo right now the win is a career changing one and the 21 year old is now in the mix for huge fights. It would have made more sense for the WBA to have held the bout as a world title eliminator, but the reality is that for the fighter the win is key, and the doors that win opens up really are career changing.
Interestingly on the same card Filipino Mike Plania (14-1, 7) lost a decision to former world champion Juan Carlos Payano (20-1, 9), despite dropping Payano in round 3, and Kazakh puncher Mussa Tursyngaliyev (7-0, 6) stopped Luis Hinojosa (31-14-0-2, 18) in 3 rounds, to claim the vacant WBA-NABA USA Featherweight title.
(Image courtesy of Sanman Promotions)
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