The main event of today's show in Suzhou saw WBO minor titles being unified, as International Flyweight champion Wenfeng Ge (11-1, 6) [葛文峰] took on Oriental counter part Giemel Magramo (23-1, 19). For Ge this was his first defense whilst Magramo was looking for his second defense,and both men not only had eyes on unifying the belts but also on taking a huge step towards a potential world title fight against WBO world champion Kosei Tanaka [田中恒成].
The bout began with Ge, who looked the naturally stronger of the two men, taking center ring whilst Magramo bouncer around on the outside and picked clean shots at range, finding the body several times. Ge's defensive flaws seemed to be picked up on quickly by Magramo but Ge had some solid moments of his own. Knowing the edge in speed was with Magramo it seemed like Ge was looking to pick his shots, landing a good right hand early in the second round, Magramo responded well though and the bout began to heat up, with both landing shots on the inside. The inside war seemed to swing one way, then the other as the intensity ratcheted through the gears.
Having come up second best on the inside Ge began to try and box on the inside, using his heavy jab. Magramo however looked intent on getting close and letting his body shots go, as he had in the first 2 rounds. Later in the round Magramo managed to niggle at the body of the Chinese fighter, who got a loud road from the crowd when he landed anything clean. Ge again tried to stay on the outside in round 4, and landed some great counters as Magramo tried to cut the distance, and did so in a rather reckless and open manner.
The pressure continued to come from Magramo, who landed the more eye catching shots again in round 5, as Ge got on the retreat, moved away from the Filipino and begin to show signs of crumbling from a combination of pressure and body shots. Through the final minute of the round Ge was in trouble several times and hit to grit it out as Magramo seemed to completely take over. Ge tried to get Magramo's respect early in round 6 but the Filipino really seemed unfazed by the work of the Chinese fighter, marching him down and looking to land heavy shots, The only thing working in Ge's favour was the Magramo was trying to load too much at times, and that Ge managed to just get out of range, though he was clearly facing the pace.
With Ge backing off, a lot, Magramo was struggling to really connect clean and was taking risks that he didn't need to take. In round 7 he was caught coming in and forced to back off as Ge showed some ambition, but the Chinese fighter backed off again soon afterwards as Magramo began another forward march. Sadly for Magramo he continued to make mistakes, throwing the wrong shots at the wrong time, and allowed Ge some respite through what was one one of Ge's better rounds.
Ge came out for round 8 with some fire, though was quickly dragged into an inside battle that didn't help his cause. He quickly realised fighting on the inside was a mistake and began to back off, but Magramo could smell blood and proceeded to give him a beating through the round, one of the most 1-sided rounds of the fight with Ge eating some huge head shots. Ge, to his credit, bit down and swung punches roughly in the direction of Magramo, but was struggling to land as the Filipino connected with rights and left. Those shots were taking a toll on Ge's face which was swelling and reddening as we ended the round.
Magramo seemed to know that he could stop Ge, and went out for 9 with the intention of doing just that, as he had in a number of previous rounds. This time however he was smart about it, rarely loading up and instead shoving his jab into Ge's swollen face and trying to follow up. He struggled to land cleanly as Ge's negativity made it hard to land anything, but Ge wasn't throwing much of note back the Filipino was in total control.
Early in round 10 Ge was tagged with two hard head shots, and it was clear that his toughness was the only thing keeping him upright. He was in full survival mode, holding, back tracking, wrestling and doing pretty much anything other than actually boxing. A left hook from Magramo 2 minutes in snapped his head back and a right hand 10 seconds later again saw Ge depend on his durability to stay upright. It was clear he little left to offer.
Between rounds 10 and 11 the bout was stopped, seemingly on the advice of the referee, with Ge being saved from more punishment. It was the right call, with Ge's face a swollen mess with a number of cuts on it, his energy tank running on empty and the score cards almost certainly against him.
With the win Magramo now becomes a double champion, and will likely be interested in a bout with Kosei Tanaka, but on this performance there is still a few things Magramo should work on before pursuing a world title fight. He dominated, but did make numerous offensive mistakes, mistakes that a fighter like Tanaka would make the most of.
For Ge this loss ends a bit of a fairy tale, given his career has been fought with disability from hearing and speech, but showed what a tough guy he is, and no one will doubt his heart. Sadly he was just up against a much better boxer, who really looked a level above him.
On Friday fight fans in Shenzhen had a chance to see unbeaten Chinese hopeful Wenfeng Ge (11-0, 6) [葛文峰] score his second successive major win, as he over-came talented Filipino foe Ivan Soriano (18-2-1, 9) to claim the WBO International Flyweight title.
Last November Ge put himself on the map, beating Amnat Ruenroeng and getting a sense of revenge for China who had seen Amnat inflict a loss on the then Chinese golden boy Zou Shiming. Today he proved that that win wasn't just a freak win as he defeated Soriano with a clear decision,
The bout started quickly but Ge's superior natural strength and size gave him the upper hand, soaking up the bigger shots of Soriano with no issue whilst landing his own, much more telling, shots. It wasn't until the second half of the fight, where Ge slowed, that Soriano had any major success, with rounds 7 and 10 being two of his best. By then however the Filipino was a long way behind on the score-cards and was unable to keep up the pace, with his legs looking very tired in the final round.
After 12 rounds the judges were all in agreement with Wenfeng taking the win, courtesy of scores of 117-111, twice, and 116-112.
The win pushes Ge one step closer towards a world title fight, though exposed a number of defensive flaws that he'll want to tidy up before facing a world class foe, such as current WBO world champion Sho Kimura (17-1-2, 10) [木村翔], or his upcoming challenger Kosei Tanaka (11-0, 7) [田中恒成].
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