According to sources in Thailand Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-4-1, 41) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น], aka Wisaksil Wangek, will be back in action in February in what will be a tune up bout.
According to the sources the WBC Super Flyweight champion is expected to be fighting on February 8th in a tune up bout, in Thailand, before moving onto a mandatory title defense against former foe Juan Francisco Estrada (38-3, 26) in the US.
At the moment it's unclear when that title defense would take place, though it seems likely that it will take place on DAZN with multiple sources suggesting that Tom Leoffler will take all of his boxers to the new streaming service, including the likes of with Gennady Golovkin and Kazuto Ioka.
Potentially the rematch with Estrada could take place on a future "Superfly" show or, alternatively, as a supporting bout for the recently announced Middleweight super-fight between Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs, which will draw a large Mexican fan base who would support Estrada.
Sadly it appears the hopes of Srisaket and IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-2, 20) to have a unification bout have fallen through, for now at least, with both expected to have mandatory title defenses, before any possible unification bout. Both teams had looked at arranging a unification fight for March, but negotiations didn't go as quickly as hoped, and instead both will have mandatory title defenses.
For Srisaket the mandatory, as mentioned, is Estrada whilst Ancajas' will be Japanese fighter Ryuichi Funai (31-7, 22) [船井 龍一], who earned the shot late last year on a card shown on Boxing Raise. It's worth noting that Funai was recently seen in a Japanese ring, as part of ceremony and not a fight, and seemed to suggest that he was actively pursuing his mandatory title fight, which is also expected to take place in the US.
Earlier today several Thai sources reported that talks were on going for a Super Flyweight unification bout between WBC champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-4-1, 41) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น], aka Wisaksil Wangek, and IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-2, 20), with a March date being eyed for the bout.
According to the reports their are multiple parties involved in the negotiations, meaning that the talks are more complex than usual, but both fighters are wanting the bout.
The sources are reporting that Srisaket will begin preparing for a March bout in January. Ancajas is his preferred option, but if that's not able to be sorted then he will look else where for the best deal he can get.
It should be noted that both champions do have mandatory defenses looming, with Srisaket to face Juan Francisco Estrada (38-3, 26) in a WBC mandatory title fight and Ancajas to face Ryuichi Funai (31-7, 22) [船井 龍一] in a mandatory. The unification bout would take precedence over mandatory fights, but will need to be sorted.
(Image courtesy of dailynews.co.th)
Earlier today, Tuesday, the East Japan Boxing Association announced their 3 award winners for the month of November.
The MVP for the month was Watanabe Gym's Ryuichi Funai (31-7, 22) [船井 龍一] who became the IBF Super Flyweight mandatory challenger due to his win over Mexican fighter Victor Olivo (15-3-1, 7). That win netter Funai the MVP award as well as the IBF title shot.
The Fighting Spirit award went to 20 year old Japanese-Afghan fighter Kudura Kaneko (9-0, 6) [クドゥラ金子] who looked fantastic, as he stopped former Japanese Welterweight champion Toshio Arikawa (15-6, 13) [有川 稔男] in a real break out win. That win has immediately put him in the mix for a title fight and we're expecting a huge 2019 for him.
The New Comer award, or State of the Art award, was won by Shuji Kato (10-1-1, 6) [加藤収二] who became the mandatory challenger for the Japanese Middleweight title, following his win over Hikaru Nishida (17-10-1, 8) [西田光].
The award ceremony for the 3 winners will be held at the Korakuen Hall on January 12th.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
The Super Flyweight division promises a lot at the moment, with an interesting mix of fighters. Sadly a number of those fighters, especially those at the top, are taking on less than testing opponents and challengers, whilst waiting to a big fight.
Today we saw Japan's Ryuichi Funai (31-7, 22) [船井 龍一] finally secure himself a big fight as he became the IBF mandatory title challenger, winning a world title eliminator against Mexican fighter Victor Olivo (15-3-1, 7) in 2 rounds.
The first round was very much a feeling out effort from Funai, who really did nothing. Olivo managed to take the round with ease, by just boxing, using his movement to get inside and landing body shots as well as 1-2's. It was smart from Olivo, but Funai seemed to be over-patient, ultra cautious and tried to create too much room in what was awkward, rather than effective, movement.
The first 90 seconds of round 2 was very similar to how the opening round had been. Once again Funai waited, and waited, allowing Olivo to land body shots, get comfortable and force the action. It seemed like either Funai was waiting for the perfect moment to strike, or had frozen in such a major career fight. That however changed when he finally let his right hand go, and dropped Olivo with what was pretty much the first punch he connected cleanly with. Olivo stumbled, dropping down a second time before recovering to his feet and being allowed to continue.
The Mexican was still dazed when the fight resumed and Funai pursued his man, dropping him again and forcing the referee to wave off the bout with the Mexican down.
With this win Funai secures himself an IBF world title fight, so he will likely be facing Jerwin Ancajas in the new year. For Olivo he must have wondered what he got his by, as the right really came out of nowhere.
Tomorrow fight fans in Tokyo, and those with Boxing raise, will get the chance to see an IBF Super Flyweight world title eliminator, to decide the next mandatory challenger for the title.
The match up will see former Japanese and WBO Asia Pacific champion Ryuichi Funai (30-7, 21) [船井 龍一] battling against Mexican opponent Victor Olivo (15-2-1, 7). The match up hasn't had a lot of attention in the West, but the winner will be lined up for a shot at Jerwin Ancajas in the new year.
Interestingly there isn't odds for this match up in the UK but there is in Poland, through the good people at STS.
The Polish website have got Funai as the betting favourite, at 1.62, the same as 31/50 for those who use fractional betting odds or -161.29 using the American style of odds. Olivo is the under-dog at 2.02, the same as 51/50 for those using fractional and +102.
As well as the "To Win" market STS have also priced up the bout for an over/under, setting the mark at 8.5 rounds. For the bout to go over 8.5 rounds the odds are 1.40, which are the same as 2/5 or -250, whilst the under has been priced at 2.5, which is the equivalent of 3/2 or +150.
Funai and Olivo battle in world title eliminator!
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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