Over the past couple of days there was two notable Filipino fighters in action in the US, sadly though both suffered set backs in clear decision losses.
The first of those was on Friday, when former OPBF Bantamweight champion Mark John Yap (30-14, 15), who was dominated in Las Vegas by the unbeaten Angelo Leo (18-0, 8). The bout was the main event of a Mayweather promoted card at Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall and those who had their bets on Leo never really looked like losing their money as he out sped, out boxed, out fought and out landed Yap, who looked like a fighter who was out of his depth.
Given that Yap gave Takuma Inoue a really good test last year, and was the OPBF champion less than a year ago, we do wonder whether the 30 year old has slipped a lot, or perhaps isn't as good as he was when he was being managed by the Mutoh gym in Japan, who played a major part in the best run of his career. His split with Mutoh was certainly not a good one, and this was only his second bout since that split. On the other hand Leo looked like a top prospect, and he is certainly going to be one to watch in the years to come.
On Saturday it was Neil John Tabanao (17-6, 11) who was the clearly loser, as he was widely beaten by super talented American Tremaine Williams (17-0, 7). Tabanao, who once promised so much, was unable to get into this fight and instead had to rely on his resilience to see out the 10 rounds against the diminutive but sharp punching Williams, in what was a very 1-sided bout.
It's worth noting that prior to this fight Tabanao had himself lost to Leo, back in April, and rather strangely the losses for the two Filipino does lead us to a rather interesting though that Yap and Tabanao could face off in a real cross roads fight, as could Leo and Williams.
Sadly this was not a good weekend for Filipino fighters and they were both easily out classed by US prospects.
Earlier today fight fans around the globe saw two world title bouts from Osaka. Fans in the arena didn't just have those title bouts but also a pretty notable under-card with a number of significant fighters in actions.
The first of the bouts of note saw Japanese based Korean Teiru Atsumi (13-1, 7) take a very good 6 round decision win over tough Filipino Neil John Tabanao (13-4, 9). The bout pitted two top 10 OPBF ranked contenders against each other and Atsumi certainly deserved the win, but was pushed hard with Tabanao looking to turn things around right through the final round.
The once touted Tatsuya Ikemizu (15-2, 6) [池水 達也] scored his second straight win as he over-came Thai visitor Nattakorn Sithjacknoi (0-1) with a very wide 8 round decision. The bout was scored 80-69, twice, and 80-68 with the Thai beind dropped, and deducted a point and basically looking toothless but tough through out.
The unbeaten Masayoshi Hashizume (13-0, 10) [橋詰 将義] made light work of his Thai foe, Chanchai Saithonggym (0-1), with a 4th round KO from a nasty right hook. It took just 3 rounds for former OPBF Bantamweight champion Takahiro Yamamoto (19-5, 16) [山本 隆寛] to see off Petchinsee Rongriangkilakorat (0-1), in what was Yamamoto's first bout since suffering a stoppage loss to Mark John Yap.
Former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Sho Ishida (24-0, 13) [石田 匠] also scored a quick blow out, stopping diminutive Thai Patiporn Saithonggym (0-1) in 3 rounds. Ishida, ranked #1 by the WBA at Super Flyweight, will be expecting a world title fight in the near future and seems to have been doing little more than keeping the rust off with this performance.
There was also a stoppage win for 20 year old hopeful Hayate Ikuta (8-0, 4) [幾田 颯], who took 5 rounds to see off Chatphet Saithonggym (0-2).
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Yesterday fans in Ghana had to chance to see popular 2012 Olympian Isaac Dogboe (15-0, 9) battle against Filipino visitor Neil John Tabanao (13-2, 9). Unfortunately for Tabanao however the fight didn't go the way he had been hoping and the Ghanaian fans instead got to see their own star take home the win.
The details of the bout are scarce though the result looked a clear one on paper with Dogboe taking the win with scores of 120-109, 119-110 and 117-113. Despite the wide scores we have been informed that the bout was much closer, though the same source did say that Dogboe deserved the decision all the same.
It seems like the judges may have been swayed a little by the partisan crowd, who were said t have cheered everything that Dogboe threw.
The win for the Ghanaian saw him add the WBC Youth Featherweight and WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight titles to his WBO Africa Featherweight. These titles, and Dogboe's team, could lead to a WBO title eliminator later in the year. For Tabanao the loss is a clear set back but at just 22 he has a lot of time to bounce back and rebuild.
This coming Friday fans in Ghana will get a genuine treat as once beaten Filipino Neil John Tabanao (13-1, 9) faces off against 2012 Olympian Isaac Dogboe (14-0, 9) in a multi-title unification bout. It was a bout that sold it's self given the styles, records and personality of the two men involved, however they did their best to sell it a little more at a press conference on Wednesday.
At the press event Dogboe described himself as a "soldier" who is there to "protect the land" and guaranteed "fireworks", a sentiment echoed by a confident Tabanao who himself promised "fireworks", and stated that he hadn't travelled to not fight his best.
The bout may not be receiving western TV coverage but it's fair to say that Ghanaian fans are in for something special and the winner could well find themselves being pushed into a significant world ranking with the promoter suggesting the winner could be just a few fights from a world title bout.
(Image courtesy of the Ghanaian Times)
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