Earlier this week we were informed that former OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Roli Gasca (24-8-1, 8) would be back in the ring, fighting for the first time since November 2017. The talented Filipino, who beat Hiromasa Ohashi back in 2011 or the regional title, would only enjoy a short reign, losing the belt to Yukinori Oguni, but would prove a notable fighter on the regional scene with a draw against Akifumi Shimoda and close losses to Oguni, in a rematch, and Richard Pumicpic.
The talented Filipino will be up against once beaten Shuma Sugawara (6-1, 4) [菅原秀馬] at the Messe Mie in Tsu on April 14th, in what will be the chief support bout of Real Fight 5.
Sugawara is much less well known than the Filipino but is riding a 5 fight winning run and the 23 year old will know that a win will give his career a massive boost, much more so than his wins on the domestic level have done so far.
We mentioned that Gasca Vs Sugawara was the chief support, the main event of the card will be an all Japanese affair with Japanese Youth Super Flyweight champion Yuto Nakamura (9-5, 7) [中村祐斗] taking on Toma Kondo (7-4, 1) [近藤冬真]. This looks pretty interesting with both having similar win-loss records, though Nakamura is clearly the puncher, and with both having suffered 3 recent losses.
Last week we saw the announcement for the ring return of Juiki Tatsuyoshi (8-0, 5) [辰吉寿以輝], with the unbeaten second geeneration fighter getting back in the ring on July 27th to face off with Indonesian veteran Noldi Manakane (32-24-2, 18).
Today, to prepare for that bout, the Japanese fighter took part in a public sparring session with former OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Roli Gasca (24-8-1, 8), who was there to teach Tatsuyoshi a lot of tricks and help tweak the tools of the hard hitting Japanese hopeful.
The session seems to have been organised as Tatsuyoshi tries to develop his skills and relationship with new trainer Takuya Muguruma [六車卓也]. The trainer stated that he wanted Tatsuyoshi to develop his combination punching from sharing the ring with Gasca, and seems to be aware that Tatsuyoshi has really shown a lack of combos, relying more on single heavy shots rather than combinations and free flowing offense.
The 29 year old Gasca was last seen in action back in November and will likely be looking to retun to the ring shortly. This will be a great chance to him to shake some ring rust before getting backing into fighting shape and and returning for another charge towards becomign a 2-time OPBF champion.
(Image courtesy of boxmob)
Filipino fighter Roli Gasca (22-5-1, 6) came up short in his attempt to claim the IBO Super Bantamweight title on Saturday as he was widely beaten by South African power puncher Thabo Sonjica (20-2, 14). The loss for Gasca however was an entertaining one and one that certainly showed him to be a very tough fighter.
Going in to the bout Sonjica totally missed weight. He was never even close to the limit of 122lbs and actually came in above the Featherweight limit of 126lbs, signify that he probably needs to move up. Not only was Sonjica way off weight but he was also the substantially bigger man and was notably much taller than the diminutive Filipino.
Despite the weight and height difference Gasca gave his all and dropped Sonjica in round 7 as well as rocking him in round 8. In round 11 however Sonjica managed to neutralise the knockdown with one of his own, though he was also deducted a point himself in an eventful round. By the end of the bout however there as little debate as to who won with Sonjica taking a unanimous decision with scores of 116-109 on two cards and 117-109 on the other. We're hoping that Gasca will get another opportunity at the title after the weight issues of his opponents but there is every chance he will be over-looked due to the loss.
We've been informed that former OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Roli Gasca (22-4-1, 6) will get his second IBO title shot on August 9th as he travels to South Africa to face hard hitting champion Thabo Sonjica (19-2, 14).
Gasca is known as a king of upsets and has scored his most notable victories whilst fighting on the road. The first of them saw him claiming the PABA Bantamweight title when he travelled to Thailand and shocked Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat with a 6th round TKO in 2010. Less than a year later Gasca claimed the OPBF Super Bantamweight title by upsetting Hiromasa Ohashi. Of course it's not been plain sailing on the road and following those two big victories he has lost to Yukinori Oguni, twice, and Alexander Bakhtin whilst also on the road.
It was the bout with Bahktin that first saw Gasca fighting for the IBO title and although he lost he did apparently scare Bakhtin into retirement with the Russian fighting just once more before quitting the sport.
For Sonjica this will be the second defence of the title he won last July, when he stopped Gasca's compatriot Silvester Lopez in 6 rounds. Sonjica is known as a serious power puncher with 14 stoppages in his 19 victories, though he has shown some frailties himself and has been stopped in both of his losses.
On paper this is a great fight between a hard hitting champion and a tough and determined challenger. Gasca will know he needs to be at his best to beat Sonjica and will hopefully be aware of what Sonjica did to Silvester a year ago.
Talented Filipino youngster Roli Gasca (22-4-1, 6) continued to improve his standing in the boxing world earlier today as he took a unanimous decision over Japan's Yuta Horiike (9-2-3, 2) in a 10 round contest.
Gasca, the OPBF #8 ranked Super Bantamweight and former champion, was fighting in Japan for the 5th time and with this victory is now 2-2-1 in Japan, though many feel he should well be 4-1 in the country with only his first loss to Yukinori Oguni being a clear loss.
Although Gasca was win-less in his last 4 bouts outside of the Philippines we all knew he was talented and this win comes no surprise as showed the difference between being a top 10 OPBF fighter and a top 15 JBC fighter.
Gasca entered this bout 2-2-1 in his last 5 bouts though will feel this victory will move him towards another notable fight, possibly with the winner of the upcoming OPBF title fight between Shingo Wake and Jeasung Lee.
As for Horiike this results ends an 8 fight unbeaten streak dating back almost 3 years. He entered this contest the #14 ranked Japanese Super Bantamweight though will be well aware that this loss has shown up some of his flaws.
(Photo, of Gasca and his team, is courtesy of Shigetaka Mack Mizuno)
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