Today has been a hectic day for fight fans across Asia with a whole host of shows taking place across the continent. Those weren't all huge, but they featured at least one bout of some note.
The main event of this card saw talented Filipino Mark Magsayo (20-0, 14) dominate former Thai world champion Pungluang Sor Singyu Onesong (53-7, 35). Magsayo never managed to hurt Pungluang, who is a tough old rugged lump, but thoroughly dominated him and landed some highlight reel combinations in the later stages. The win saw Magsayo claim the WBC Asian Boxin Council Featherweight title, and it's now time he got a big fight. As for Pungluang it's clear he's still a serviceable fighter at regional level, but this was a 4th loss in 5 for the former WBO Bantamweight champion.
In a hotly contested bout for the GAB Bantamweight title Giovanni Escaner (20-4, 12) narrowly over-came Renoel Pael (23-10-1, 12), with a 12 round split decision. On paper this didn't look like it'd be competitive, but the styles gelled well and in the end their was very little to split the men.
In a Featherweight bout Virgel Vitor (15-2, 9) impressively destroyed Alan Alberca (11-4, 6) in 4 rounds. Vitor's power was on show through out the bout and he really did look like a brutally spiteful puncher through out. Alberca gave a good effort but was no match for Vitor and his power.
Chinese fighter Ainiwaer Yilixiati (17-1, 11) claimed the WBC Asian Boxing Council and IBO Asia Middleweight titles, as he took a clear decision win over Japan's Ryosuke Maruki (16-7-1, 11). This was a 6th straight win for Yilixiati, following his 2017 loss to Jayde Mitchell whilst Maruki has now lost 3 of his last 4.
The main event here saw the talented Andika Sabu (17-0, 8) pull himself off the canvas to take a decision over Filipino Richard Rosales (14-10-2, 8). The 23 year old Sabu has got potential and time on his side, but he also has a lot of areas to work on. Sadly for Rosales he is now 2-6 in his last 8, dating back 2 years.
Unbeaten Indonesian Lightweight Hebi Marapu (15-0, 11) extended his winning run as he took a 6 round decision over veteran Isack Junior (26-12-3, 9). The powerfully built Marapu has shown promise, but at 30 years old it's now or never for that promise and we would be hugely disappointed if he fails to secure a big bout in 2020.
Bang Phli, Thailand
Hard hitting Thai youngster Thanongsak Simsri (11-0, 11) extended KO streak, and claimed his first title, as he stopped Nattee Thongsingcle (2-2, 2) in 3 rounds to claim the Thai Light Flyweight title. The 20 year old Thanongsak has been drubbed "Srisaket II" in the Thai press and whilst that is a big tag to live up to, he has now racked up 11 wins in just over 14 months.
On the same card veteran Mike Tawatchai (47-13-2, 30) scored a 3rd round KO win over 16 year old novice Keerati Rueangdet (0-2).
Macao S.A.R., China
Exciting young hopeful Lap Cheong Cheong (7-0, 4) shone in front of local fans as he took a dominant decision win over ShanTuo Lu (2-4). The 22 year old Cheong Cheong shut out Lu over 6 rounds, to take his second decision win of the year, following a wide decision win over Muhammad Wahid in May. Lu, who has still never been stopped, never looked competitive but did serve as good foil for the youngster to shine against.
Former world title challenger Ernesto Saulong (22-5-2, 9) came up short in a bout against the unbeaten Brock Jarvis (17-0, 15). The match up, for the WBA Oceania Super Bantamweight title, was a clear win for Jarvis, who had too much of everything for Saulong who has now won just 1 of his last 5.
Just moments ago at the latest WP Boxing event in Bang Phun we saw former 2-time WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (53-6, 35), aka Panya Uthok, battle against former OPBF Super Featherweight champion Carlo Magali (23-12-3, 12).
On paper this was a really strange one in a number of ways. Firstly Pungluang had fought much of his career at a much lower weight than Magali, who had fought as high as Light Welterweight. Secondly was the fact both men were entering this successive losses, in fact Pungluang had lost 3 in a row, and was winless in over 3 years. Not only had Pungluang lost his last 3, but he hadn't fought in Thailand since losing the WBO Bantamweight title to Marlon Tapales in the summer of 2016. On the other hand the 32 year old Magali had lost his last 2 including a stoppage loss to Masao Nakamura in December.
Despite feeling like this was a strange match up it seems like the match makers knew what they were doing and we had a genuinely entertaining, TV friendly battle over 6 rounds of relative intensity. The Thai didn't look significantly smaller than Magali, though seemed much sharper and quicker and was often the man landing the eye catching flurries whilst taking much of the return fire on the arms and shoulders, often smiling whilst doing so. To his credit Magali never gave up trying, but was clearly being out worked, out landed and out boxed by the Thai, who showed surprising sharpness and ring craft given his recent form.
Over 6 rounds there was no real debating the winner, with Magali putting up a good effort, but clearly coming off second best, with Pungluang taking a clear decision and getting his first win since taking a technical decision over Jetro Pabustan in early 2016.
According to sources in Thailand we have seen the end of Pungluang Sor Singyu (52-4, 35) [ผึ้งหลวง ส.สิงห์อยู่] in a boxing ring.
The sources has informed us that Pungluang has retired from the sport following his loss to Marlon Tapales earlier this year, with that loss apparently resulting in the Thai suffering a badly damaged fractured jaw and needing hospital treatment.
It seems, from what we've been told, that Pugnluang will be welcomed back by OnesongChai if he changes his mind but, for now at least, the 2-time WBO Bantamweight champion is ending his career and looking to move on to new things in life.
The exciting Thai may have been stopped in his two biggest bouts, losses to Tomoki Kameda and Marlon Tapales, but he enjoyed a solid career over-all with wins against the likes AJ Banal and Ryo Akaho beign his stand out victories.
In boxing we have a lot of different fighters. Some of those are avoided like the plague due to being high risk and low reward, after all whats the points of being beaten for a small pay day right? Others are low risk and high reward, where you're likely to be able to make your name on the coat tails of another fighter, or be paid handsomely to defeat someone who is still holding on to the edge of their career. Another is a wanted man, and that's the role that current WBO Bantamweight champion Marlon Tapales (29-2, 12) has found himself in with fighters and promoters scrambling around to offer a deal to the Filipino.
Tapales won the world title earlier this year, pulling himself off the canvas twice to stop Pungluang Sor Singyu in one of the gutsiest performances of 2016. Since that win it seems there has been a bullseye on his back with many fighters now said to be targeting him and offers flying in to try and secure a bout against the "Maranding Nightmare".
Last week we reported that Takuma Inoue (7-0, 2) [井上 拓真] was interested in facing Tapales, something that has since been confirmed, though he wouldn't be able to have a world title fight until later in the year, likely December. Yesterday we saw another Japanese fighter, Shohei Omori (17-1, 12) [大森 将平], talk about a bout with Tapales. Omori is looking to avenge his sole defeat, which came to the Filipino last year, though could be left in the cold here if Tapales feels he has "been there and done that".
Omori isn't the only man looking for revenge and it's been said that Pungluang Sor Singyu (52-4, 35) [ผึ้งหลวง ส.สิงห์อยู่] is also interested in a rematch with Tapales, though he may be made to travel if big money isn't offered for the Filipino's services given the way the promoter messed Tapales about ahead of heir first fight, which saw Tapalese battle back to stop Pungluang in the later stages.
Another linked to Tapales, and apparently the most concrete offer made so far, is Englishman Paul Butler (21-1, 12). Butler is a former IBF champion at the weight who had been looking to become a major player at 115lbs, but has struggled at Super Flyweight before returning back to Bantamweight. Physically he's a small fighter at the weight, like Tapales in many ways, and is promoter by Frank Warren. The offer is said to be for a date in October with a lot more laid down than either of the Japanese offers.
A peculiar offer could see Tapales travel to Vietnam, creating history in the process as the first world champion to defend a title in the country. The offer for a bout in Vietnam seems to revolve around an Australian fighter, believed to be TJ Doheny (15-0, 11), the PABA Super Bantamweight champion.
An alternative is that Tapales could be on the November 5th card headlined by compatriot Manny Pacquiao, who challenges Jessie Vargas for the WBO Welterweight title. At the moment this would likely be the highest profile option, though may mean that Tapales' team may need to find an opponent and do more of the "leg work" than if others were in control of the promotion, it would however see him enter the ring with a large Filipino friendly crowd.
At the moment Tapales' team are weighing all the offers up, though may need to strike a deal swiftly as some offers won't be around for long and fighters may take a different route if they end up being forced to wait too long. Of course they may also see the advantage of taking two fighters this year, one in October and maybe one in December if their man can come out on top in the first bout.'
Tomorrow fight fans in Thailand will have the chance to see WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (52-3, 35) [ผึ้งหลวง ส.สิงห์อยู่] defend his title against mandatory challenger Marlon Tapales (28-2, 11). Today those two men went through the last of their official duties before their fight tomorrow.
That was of course there weigh in, which saw both men make weight, albeit naked and after needing to lose weight.
The men were allowed to take part in a check weigh in with resulted in both men being above the maximum allowed. This left them with some time to lose the weight, which they both did. For Pungluang the excess came off relatively easily whilst Tapales was forced to run out in the sun to sweat out that little bit more water weight. For both men however the time was well spent given that they both managed to make the limit when they finally went through the official weigh in process.
At the weigh in both men came in at 117.8lbs. Both looked in good shape but it's clear that come tomorrow both will have rehydrated several pounds.
Will Pungluang over come mandatory challenger Tapales?
Pungluang slight favourite over Tapales
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