Earlier today fight fans in Hiroshima got a real war, as bloodied and bruised local Koji Itagaki (17-11-3, 7) [板垣幸司] gritted his teeth to earn a controversial draw with Filipino youngster Rolly Sumalpong (10-2-2, 4).
On paper the bout didn't look likely to be anything great, but the paper doesn't fight and fans who knew about the actual fighters would have expected something exciting, and that's exactly what they got.
The fight started well for Itagaki, who uses his experience and speed early on, but things went down hill quickly for him with a cut around his left eye being opened in round 3 and then a second cut being opened around the same eye the following round. This lead to Itagaki fighting much of the bout with blood running down his left cheek.
Although drawing blood Sumalpong was unable to finish off Itagaki who finished the fight swinging and managed to do enough to get a split decision draw. Though one that hard cards all over the place. One judge had it even at 77-77, on judge had Sumalpong dominated at 79-74 whilst the other judge had it 78-75 to Itagaki.
Although Sumalpong clearly felt he deserved the win he seemed to feel happy about having a good performance in Japan, and it's likely he will be invited back in the near future, for what would be his third bout there following a previous loss to the recently crowned WBC Light Flyweight world champion Ken Shiro.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Yesterday Filipino fans got a treat with a genuine interesting, and well matched, show from The Atrium, at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
Among the bouts on offer was a WBC International Super Bantamweight title contest between the unbeaten Joe Noynay (10-0-1, 3) and the well tested Alie Laurel (14-4-1, 9). The bout looked good on paper with Noynay, also known as Joe Misako, taking a huge step up in class to face the naturally smaller, but more battle hardened, Laurel. Despite the step up in class Noynay appeared to have done enough to claim the win, with a late knockdown, however the bout ended up being scored a raw courtesy of a 114-114 card. The card result in a split draw with the other judges scoring the bout 114-113 but not agreeing on the winner.
Another really good looking match up came at Minimumweight where the unbeaten Toto Landero (8-0-2, 2) claimed his most notable win to date, with a very narrow majority decision win over Rolly Sumalpong (9-2-1, 4). The win for Landero saw him not only shock Sumalpong but also claim the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Minimumweight title, which Sumalpong had been defending for the first time. Notably this is a second straight loss for Sumalpong who also lost last year to Ken Shiro in a WBC Youth title fight.
A third title bout on the same card saw Eranio Semillano (12-7-1, 4) score a shock 11th round TKO win over Kyota Otsuka (5-1-1, 3) to claim the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Super Flyweight title. Although Semillano had gone 1-2-1 in his previous 4 we diud suspect that he would prove to be a very tough ask for Otsuka, who was stepping up massively in terms of class and distance.
Last October we saw Filipino fighter Rolly Sumalpong (9-1-1, 4) travel to Japan for a bout with the highly touted Ken Shiro [拳四朗]. Although Sumalpong came up short against the Japanese youngster we were impressed and decided that he was another fighter worth keeping a very close eye on going forward.
We now know the next step in Sumalpong's career will come on February 18th back home in the Philippines as he takes on the unbeaten Toto Landero (7-0-2, 2) in the first defense of Sumalpong's WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Minimumweight title
For Sumalpong this is his first bout since that loss to Ken Shiro and is another tough bout on paper for the 22 year old "Bomba", who has under-rated power and is a real prospect despite his loss last time out.
For the unbeaten Landero this is a great chance to extend his unbeaten run and continue building what is becoming an impressive, though under-stated record. In his last few fights the 20 year old has over-come the likes of Philip Luis Cuerdo and the then unbeaten Jerome Clavite.
Incidentally this will also be the second bout between these two men who fought to a draw back in June 2014, when Sumalpong entered 4-0 and Landero was 3-0. With their history in a very competitive bout we suspect that this one could be a very, very good match up and a real treat for fans at The Atrium, Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
For thoe who missed the Sumalpong Vs Ken Shiro bout, we've featured the video below.
On Friday Japanese boxing fans saw the fast rising Ken Shiro (5-0, 3) claim his first title, as he won the WBC Youth Light Flyweight title, and over-came the previously unbeaten Filipino Rolly Sumalpong (9-1-1, 4).
The talented Japan fighter, fighting in his first 10 round bout, was given his biggest test so far though scored an impressive unanimous decision win with scores of 97-91 and 96-92, twice.
Early on it was the visitor who looked the boss with Sumalpong getting off to a great start.
The unheralded Filipino fighter claimed the first round and dropped Ken Shiro in the second round. For a moment it looked like the expectation on Ken Shiro's shoulders was too much for the 23 year old novice.
Following the bad start the home fighter regrouped, almost immediately and from round 3 he began to settle, boxing and moving, using his jab and footwork. By the middle rounds he had fought himself into a narrow lead that grew as the fight went on. Whilst Ken Shiro was in the ascendency Sumalpong was faltering and his early start was all but forgotten by the start of round 10.
Sadly for the Filipino he went on to shame himself by biting Ken Shiro in the final round, getting a point deducted and putting a shadow on his performance which really should have actually been a building block for the previously unheralded fighter.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
On Monday fans in Japan will get the chance to see fast rising youngster Ken Shiro (4-0, 3) battle against unbeaten Filipino Rolly Sumalpong (9-0-1, 4) in a bout for the WBC Youth Light Flyweight title. The bout is the main event of show, Dangan 141, and will headline at the the Japanese "holy ground" of boxing, the Korakuen Hall.
Whilst that's not news we have been informed that the bout will be aired on Fuji TV, giving those who aren't able to attend a chance to see the bout.
The fight, sadly, won't be shown live, instead it will be aired on Friday night-Saturday morning, in fact it will be broadcast at 2:55 am on Saturday or as the Japanese TV guide has it "26:55" on Friday.
The bout is expected to be the feature bout though there is hope that the broadcast will also air footage from the exciting looking Lightweight clash between Yoshitaka Kato (29-5-1, 9) and Ricky Sismundo (29-8-2, 13), which may well end up being a genuine barn burner.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!