Earlier this week ALA announced their next big show, Pinoy Pride 43, which will take place on November 25th in Tagbilaran City, Bohol.
Sadly the card isn't going to be headlined by a world title fight, as some had expected, but on the hand the main event of the card is still a very good looking match up which will see unbeaten Filipino Mark Magsayo (17-0, 13) take on former Japanese champion Shota Hayashi (30-6-1, 18).
The bout will see the unbeaten Magsayo defending his WBO International Featherweight title for the third time, and continue his journey to a world title fight. He won the title back in 2016, stopping Chris Avalos in a FOTY contender, and has since defended the title against Ramiro Robles and Daniel Diaz, whilst talking about moving into a world title fight. Although touted as one of the future stars of Filipino boxing he hans't yet managed to convince his promoters that he's ready to face the likes of Oscar Valdez, Lee Selby, Leo Santa Cruz of Gary Russell Jr. A win here may go some way to getting a shot to prove just how good he is.
Hayashi is a former Japanese Featherweight champion who won the title in September 2016 and made a single successful defense, beating former world champion Akifumi Shimoda. He lost his title earlier this year, suffering a third round stoppage loss to Kosuke Saka in April, and has since bounced back with a win over Markquil Salvana. The loss to Saka put the breaks on his rise, though it's clear that he'll be looking at this bout as a chance to kick start his pursuit of a world title, and put himself back into the title mix.
Other fighters included on his card include the once beaten Albert Pagara (28-1, 19) and former world title challengers Melvin Jerusalem (11-2, 7) and Rocky Fuentes (35-9-2, 20), though all 3 are in bouts that look like mismatches on paper.
As the present moment there are two on going cards in Japan, each headlined by a pair of world title fights. One of those cards is a Woz promoted show in Kyoto, with the main events from the card set to be aired live on TBS.
The under-card for the show has featured several notable names, with their results likely have an effect on the boxing scene for 2017.
The first of those notable fighters was OPBF female Super Flyweight champion Tamao Ozawa (14-3, 4) [小澤 瑶生] who took a clear 6 round decision win over compatriot Yuki Koseki (4-2) [小関 有希]. The bout looked a mismatch on paper though ended up being a good work out for Ozawa who will be looking to either defend her title next year or potentially fight for a world title.
The second of the notable names was JBC and OPBF ranked Super Flyweight hopeful Masayoshi Hashizume (12-0, 9) [橋詰 将義] who scored a 4th round KO win over Thai visitor Chatpetch Saithonggym (0-1). The Thai came to fight, and credit to him, but Hashizume soon took control of the bout and hurt the Thai in reound 3 before finishing him the following round, with the Thai being counted out at the 2 minute 38 second mark of round 4. Hashizume will almost certainly be looking to get into the title mix in 2017 though Ioka do seem to be moving him very gradually considering he won Rookie of the Year back in 2014!
Another Japanese fighter beating a Thai was the world ranked Sho Ishida (23-0, 12) [石田 匠], who defeated Petchnamnung Srisaketpattana (0-1)* in 2 rounds. The Thai, we have been told was ranked #8 in Thailand, was never really in the bout and Ishida before Ishida closed the show in the later stages of the second round round. It now looks almost certain that Ishida will get a world title fight in 2017, and in fact his #1 WBA ranking may mean that a figth with Britain's Kal Yafai could happen, potentially in Spring when Ioka would be expected to hold their next show.
In a Japan Vs Philippines bout fans saw the world ranked Shohei Omori (18-1, 13) [大森 将平] take card of veteran Rocky Fuentes (35-9-2, 20) in 3 rounds. Omori, who was originally slated to fight for the IBF Bantamweight title on this show, took some of his furstrations out on the much smaller Fuentes and now looks set to figth for a world title in 2017, potentially with Lee Haskins who he was originally meant to face on this card.
*Given the Thai's ranking it would seem likely that boxrec.com have an incomplete record for Petchnamnung.
Last week we reported that the December 31st IBF Bantamweight title fight between Lee Haskins (34-3, 14) and Shohei Omori (17-1, 12) [大森 将平] had been cancelled, due to an injury to Haksins. Following the cancellation the Woz boxing gym, who promote Omori, had made efforts to secure Omori another major bout, though unfortunately plans to face WBO champion Marlon Tapales failed to come to fruition.
Earlier today saw news break of who Omori will actually be facing on Ndw Year's Eve with the exciting southpaw puncher now set to face former Flyweight world title challenger Rocky Fuentes (35-8-2, 20), who has taken the bout on late notice.
The bout will be an 8 rounder cvontractedf at 55KG's and sees both men knowing a win is key. For Omori there is the potential of a rescheduled bout with Haskins on the line, with some suggesting a Spring date for the two men to face off, whilst Fuentes needs a big win to get his career back on track following back to back losses in 2014 to Amnat Ruenroeng and Roman Gonalez, in bouts for the IBF and WBC world titles. Since those losses he has scored 2 low key wins but this is a huge step back up in class for the Filipino "Road Warrior".
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today it was announced that Filipino youngster Kevin Jake "KJ" Cataraja (1-0,1) would return to the ring on November 28th to face Indonesian Farris Nenggo (10-8-3,8) as part of the upcoming "Pinoy Pride 34" card.
The talented Cataraja made an immediate impression when he began his professional career earlier this year with an impressive victory against Ardi Tefa and it seems like ALA aren't going to allow him too many "easy bouts" as he continues his professional development and moves through the ranks at what we expect to be a fast pace, especially for a Filipino prospect.
The youngster turned professional with quite a lot of hype and his debut saw him live up to some of that hype, show casing some fantastic ability, great speed, solid power, fantastic composure and the sort of traits that a trainer and team would love one of their fighters to have at that stage in their career.
At the moment the full card hasn't been fully announced though we know that ALA have will be show casing a number of their fighters, including 4 former world title challengers, Milan Melindo (32-2,12), Arthur Villanueva (21-1,14), Rocky Fuentes (35-8-2,20) and AJ Banal (33-2-1, 22KO). At the moment only one of their opponents has been announced, with Banal set to fight Emilio Norfat (24-5-0, 18) from Tanzania.
For those who missed Cataraja's debut against Tefa we've included it below.
The weigh in for this weekend's WBC Flyweight title bout was held earlier today in Japan and saw both men making weight for what is likely to be a genuinely exciting contest.
The defending champion Roman Gonzalez (40-0, 34), who will be making the first defense of the title he won in September, made the Flyweight limit of 112lbs dead on. This was the third time in 4 bouts that Gonzalez weighed in at 112lbs and so far he has looked awesome at the weight destroying both Akira Yaegashi and Juan Kantun. Although Gonzalez wasn't ripped physically at the weigh in he did look in great condition and like he made weight comfortably with out needing to take much out of himself.
Filipino challenger Rocky Fuentes (35-7-2, 20) made the weight with room to spare weighing in at 111lbs, a full 1lb under the limit. For Fuentes this was his lowest weight in more than 6 years, with the last time he weighed this weight coming back in October 2008 when he beat Lowie Bantigue. It is exactly 1lb lighter than he was in his previous bout, a decision loss to Amnat Ruenroeng in an IBF title fight and interestingly he did look like he was a little bit drained at the weigh in. That's not to say Fuentes looked back but it did look a little bit like he had over-drained coming into this bout, the biggest of his career.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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