By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Filipino Clyde Azarcon (15-2-1,5KO’s) will face Japanese blue chip prospect Ginjiro Shigeoka (3-0,2KO’s) on July 27 at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific minimumweight title.
Last year, Azarcon had his first attempt at a WBO regional title and lost to Rene Mark Cuarto by unanimous decision in Davao. Cuarto would go on to lose in an IBF eliminator to a fellow Filipino, Samuel Salva, also by unanimous verdict, last March.
The 24 years old Azarcon hails from Davao City. Together with trainer Christopher ‘Pingping’ Tepora, they will be leaving for Japan Wednesday July 24.
“Clyde is ready,” Tepora told this writer, “All we need to focus now is to make weight.”
“We already reviewed a video of his opponent,” Tepora added, “The Japanese is good but Clyde has a good chance of winning. One of his sparring partners is Rhonvex Capuloy”
Capuloy is a southpaw featherweight who has a 6-1 record. Trainer Tepora is the elder brother of former WBA interim featherweight titleholder Jhack Tepora. He is also known for having trained Johnriel Casimero when he won the IBF world junior flyweight title in 2012.
The 19 year old Shigeoka, a southpaw, was born in Kumamoto, Japan. He turned pro in 2018 and is being touted as Japan’s next prospect to watch and future main attraction. His amateur record is an impressive 56-1. This included a victory in the 2017 Japanese High School National Selection Tournament in the pinweight (46kg) category.
In his last fight, he beat Filipino Joel Lino by unanimous decision.
Last February, Azarcon fought Gary Rojo to a majority draw in Cebu City. This fight showed Azarcon’s vulnerabilities, In the fourth, Azarcon sent Rojo down. But he got up and survived. Rojo looked to be in more trouble in the fifth when he was knocked down by an accidental head butt. After being given five minutes to recover, he finished the round by bloodying Azarcon’s nose. Just when it seemed Azarcon was headed for a points win, Rojo knocked him down in the eighth and final round and managed to save the fight. In his last bout, Azarcon beat Ernesto Alera by unanimous decision, also here in Cebu City.
Azarcon has a fan friendly style and has seen his share of pro ring wars. But will this be enough to stop the talented Shigeoka’s two-fisted attack and ruin the Japanese’s ascent to stardom?
Photo – Clyde Azarcon during the weigh-in for his fight against Rene Mark Cuarto
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
A few days ago, this website featured a poster showing Ivan Soriano (20-2-1,10KO’s) of the Philippines against Olimjon Nazarov (18-5,11KO’s) of Uzbekistan for the vacant WBO Oriental flyweight title August 25 in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City.
The 30 year old Soriano will be looking to reverse his road loss last year in Shenzhen,China, by unanimous decision to Chinese prospect Ge Wenfeng for the vacant WBO International flyweight title. This was only his second loss as a pro.
Soriano is from Gen.Santos City, the hometown of Manny Pacquiao. He turned pro in 2009 and suffered his first loss in 2010 by unanimous decision to Delmar Cabatas. He spent a couple of years fighting exclusively in Thailand with a 5W (4KO’s)-1D record. Since the loss to Ge, Soriano has since bounced back with victories against Rogen Flores and Bonjun Loperez.
“Our training camp is going well,” Soriano’s trainer Jhun Agrabio told this writer, “Ivan and I have watched a video of his opponent. I think Ivan can beat him, he just needs to avoid being lax and overconfident because his opponent is naturally bigger.”
Soriano is listed as a light flyweight in boxrec while Nazarov fights as a flyweight.
The 33 years old Nazarov turned pro in 2008. He lost thrice in the U.S., including a unanimous decision loss in 2017 to Stephon Young, who was knocked out by Nonito Donaire last April.
Nazarov has since compiled five straight wins since returning to fight in Uzbekistan. A google search yielded one of Nazarov’s accomplishments as an amateur - a bronze medal in the 2007 Asian Championships. He also has a promotional video on youtube courtesy of Cocky Buffalo, the company that will be promoting this bout.
File photo – Ivan Soriano during the weigh-in for his bout against Wenfeng Ge in Shenzhen last year.
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Joe Noynay was a picture of calm on social media going into his fight against Satoshi Shimizu. On the morning of the fight he posted photos of himself walking around in Osaka. Pre-fight articles stated he was in for a difficult fight and an underdog on the road.
But Noynay once again stunned the pundits. He started like a house on fire, dropping Shimizu twice in the opening round and seemed like he was headed for a quick win. But a couple of rounds later, Shimizu fired back and had Noynay on the defensive.
But Noynay recovered and adjusted. Even as the two southpaws exchanged shots, it was Noynay’s right jab and deceptive power that was the huge factor in the fight. With Shimizu’s face starting to swell, the ring doctor had to be called in to check on Shimizu’s eye.In the sixth, Shimizu turned his back as Noynay pounced for the kill. The referee correctly waived it off and the WBO Asia Pacific junior lightweight belt remained in Noynay’s hands.
Noynay, from Cebu,Philippines, goes up to 18-2-1,7KO’s. Shimizu suffered his first loss as a professional - 8-1,8KO’s. Shimizu represented Japan in the London Olympics and captured a bronze medal. The 23 year old Noynay now has a 2W-1L record in Japan, having lost on points to Reiya Abe in 2017 and stopping Kosuke Saka in two rounds last April.
“We were actually looking for a church so we can pray, that was why we were walking around Osaka this morning,” Noynay told this writer. Noynay is a Christian like most Filipinos and makes it a habit to pray before a fight.
“I noticed his eye was starting to swell in the second,” Noynay said, “I guess he had trouble with his eyesight.”
Noynay isn’t much of a talker. He credits his latest win to hard work and faith. He doesn’t even speculate if he is headed for a world title bout. Prior to this bout, he was ranked number seven by the WBO in the 130 lb division. This victory on the road will certainly boost his status. The current WBO world champ is Jamel Herring of the U.S.
Noynay’s other significant road win was in 2017 when he beat Chinese Pan Jingxiang by eighth round technical decision in Zhongshan,China.
Noynay’s countryman, Jonathan Taconing on the other hand, lost to WBC junior flyweight world champ Ken Shiro by TKO in the fourth round.The fights were held at the Edion Arena in Osaka on the undercard of the rematch between Rob Brant and Ryota Murata which saw the Japanese Murata getting a revenge second round stoppage win to regain the WBA middleweight belt.
File Photo – Joe Noynay in Bogo, Cebu last year for his bout against Mexican Hector Garcia.
by Rene Bonsubre,Jr.
Hours ago, reports stated that Sampson Boxing won the rights to stage the IBF light flyweight eliminator between IBF number 3 contender Christian Araneta (17-0, 14 KO’s) of the Philippines and number 4 Augustin Gauto (12-0, 8 KO’s) of Argentina.
The 24 year old Araneta's last fight was in December when he got a unanimous verdict against fellow Filipino Vincent Bautista in Cebu City.
"We already started preparing since January. We knew when Araneta was ranked number three by the IBF that we would be headed for an eliminator.”’ Omega gym trainer Julius Erving Junco told this writer, "I have seen a video of his opponent, he is very good, He is a counter puncher. But we have a good chance of winning.”
Junco is one of the more diligent young trainers here in the Philippines when it comes to studying fight videos and training techniques.
Omega Promotions VP Jerome Calatrava told this writer that the venue of the bout is most likely in Metro Manila on October 6. He mentioned MP Promotions and Sampson Boxing as the partners of Omega in this promotion.
They were a bit wary before the result of the purse bidding was announced. Seven years ago, when John Riel Casimero was still an Omega Gym boxer, he faced Luis Alberto Lazarte in Mar de Plata, Argentina for the IBF interim light flyweight title. Casimero beat Lazarte but the Argentine fans started to riot and assaulted Casimero and his team. This resulted in Lazarte being banned for life by the IBF and it was even reported that the Filipino ambassador to Argentina filed a protest.
Augustin Mauro Gauto sports the ring moniker ‘El Avion’ or the Plane, is twenty one years old and undefeated. He is from Buenos Aires, the reigning IBF Youth light flyweight champ and a former South American flyweight titleholder.
Araneta aka The Bomb, does not have an extensive amateur background. He spent most of his career without any fanfare, away from the TV cameras. He was born in Borbon, Cebu and grew up with a slightly shorter left leg. This did not stop him from taking up boxing when he was 14 years old.
It was in 2015 when he upset erstwhile world ranked Jessie Espinas. This made a few veteran Filipino boxing writers sit up and take notice. He would win a WBO Oriental title and a WBC ABCO Silver belt. Araneta would be sidelined for a year after suffering a right shoulder injury during training in 2017. His other notable win happened last year, against former world title challenger Jerry Tomogdan, who Araneta knocked out with one punch in the twelfth and final round.
The IBF 108-pound title is currently held by Nicaraguan Felix Alvarado (35-2, 30 KO’s), who won the vacant title last August by beating Filipino Randy Petalcorin in seven rounds in the Philippines. Alvarado defended successfully on May 19 defeating Japanese Reiya Konishi in Kobe,Japan by unanimous decision.
File Photo – Christian Araneta during the weigh-in for his fight against Jerry Tomogdan last year in Cebu.
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
For the past couple of days, reports surfaced that South African DeeJay Kriel was vacating the IBF minimumweight crown. Kriel was supposed to defend his world title against Filipino Samuel Salva, the mandatory challenger, in the Philippines on August 24.
Another Filipino, Pedro Taduran (13-2,10KO’s), ranked number 3 by the IBF, is now being tapped to fight Salva (17-0,10KO’s) for the vacant title in an all-Filipino showdown possibly on September 7. Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions earlier won the purse bid to stage Salva’s title challenge.
The 22 year old Salva is currently training in Iligan City, Northern Mindanao.
“Yes, they already told me I would be fighting another Filipino,” Salva told this writer, “I wanted to fight Kriel, take the belt away from the champion. But fighting Taduran is okay, I have no problem fighting another Filipino, whoever wins, a Filipino will be world champion.”
“I am currently sparring with Marco Rementizo. My training is going well,” Salva stated, “I will be moving my training camp soon to Cavite, the Survival camp.”
Rementizo (10-3,7KO’s) is a light flyweight with a 1W-1L record fighting overseas in Thailand. The Survival Camp in Cavite will provide Salva with a championship atmosphere during training; it is the home base of IBF super flyweight world champ Jerwin Ancajas.
“I feel this is my time. I will be world champion.” Salva concluded.
Salva earned the right to fight for the IBF title after beating another Filipino, Rene Mark Cuarto by unanimous decision last March. The undefeated Salva was a virtual unknown before appearing on this televised fight card in the Philippines.
The 22 year old Taduran will not be a pushover. He already has world championship experience, having lost to WBC strawweight world champ Chayaphon Moonsri a.k.a Wanheng Menayothin (53-0,18KO’s) of Thailand last year by unanimous decision. His only other loss was a split verdict to Joel Lino three years ago. Taduran is currently the Philippine minimumweight champion.
The first all-Filipino world title fight in history was held in Manila in 1925, when Pancho Villa successfully defended his title on points against Clever Sencio. The lives of both men would have a tragic end in the United States. Villa died ten days after losing a non-title bout to Jimmy McLarnin due to a worsening infection after having a wisdom tooth extraction. A year after his fight with Villa, Sencio was found dead in his hotel room due to brain hemorrhage after a decision loss to Bud Taylor.
Last year, we saw two all-Filipino world title bouts but both didn’t satisfy the casual fans. Jerwin Ancajas defended his IBF belt against Jonas Sultan by unanimous verdict. It was a relatively easy win for Ancajas but fans at ringside grew restless and discontented. Donnie Nietes and Aston Palicte fought for the vacant WBO junior bantamweight title and the bout ended in a controversial split draw. Both fights were held in the U.S.
The all-Filipino title match-ups also paled in comparison to the memorable Mexican civil wars - Rafael Marquez vs Israel Vasquez and Marco Antonio Barrera vs Erik Morales are notable examples.
Will Salva vs Taduran have fans wishing for more all-Filipino battles?
PHOTO - From video of Samuel Salva's fight against Oliver Gregorio
By Rene Bonsubre, Jr.
Vic Saludar (19-3,10KO’s) of the Philippines will defend his WBO minimumweight world title against the mandatory challenger Wilfredo Mendez (13-1,5KO’s) of Puerto Rico. This will be another road battle for Saludar on August 24 with the fight set at the challenger’s home country.
Last February, Saludar successfully defended his title for the first time against Japanese Masataka Taniguchi by unanimous decision at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
The 28 years old Saludar took the title in Kobe,Japan last July 13, 2018 against Ryuya Yamanaka, also by unanimous decision. Saludar decked Yamanaka in round seven with a hard right hand that changed the complexion of what was a close fight in the first six rounds.
Saludar lost in his first world title attempt on New Year’s Eve 2015, when then champion Kosei Tanaka stopped him with a body shot in round six.
“Saludar has already started to train,” Promoter Kenneth Rontal told this writer. Rontal promotes Vic and his brother Froilan here in the Philippines and he heads Championship Boxing Promotions. They decided not to go through the purse bidding that was initially planned on June 27.
“Saludar’s training is going well,” Trainer Jojo Palacios told this writer, “He is very disciplined. This will be our most difficult challenge. We need to be very impressive in this fight, it will be a difficult fight but if the opportunity comes, we will go for a knockout.”
Saludar is a former mainstay of the Philippine amateur boxing team. He won a bronze medal in the light flyweight class in the 2010 Asian Games and his brother Rey won the gold in the flyweight category.
Mendez is the WBO number one contender. The 22 years old southpaw is also ranked number 11 by the IBF and number 14 by the WBA. He was initially reported early this year as an opponent for Filipino Robert Paradero for the right to face Saludar. That fight didn’t push through.
Mendez holds the regional WBO NABO belt. His only loss happened in 2018, by unanimous decision against Nicaraguan Leyman Benavides in the Dominican Republic. In his last fight, Mendez scored a split decision verdict against countryman Janiel Rivera.
Mendez aims to follow the footsteps of countrymen Alex Sanchez and Ivan Calderon who previously held the WBO 105 lb division title.
August 24 will be an exciting day for Philippine boxing; on the same date Filipino Samuel Salva is scheduled to challenge IBF minimumweight world champion DeeJay Kriel of South Africa in Metro Manila.
PHOTO – Vic Saludar
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Filipino contenders Arthur Villanueva (31-3-1,18KO’s) and Jonathan Taconing (28-3-1,22KO’s) both experienced fighting at the world championship level twice and came up short. They will be getting a third shot at glory this July.
Villanueva will be the first to step up to the plate when he fights the undefeated WBC world bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali (15-0, 11KO’s) of France at the Barys Arena in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on July 6.
Villanueva was a rising star in Philippine boxing and touted as a future world champ. He was undefeated in 27 fights when he fought Puerto Rican McJoe Arroyo in 2015 for the vacant IBF world junior bantamweight title. Villanueva lost a tenth round technical decision. The fight was stopped due to Villanueva’s cut near the right eye. The scores were wide in favor of Arroyo - 98-91 twice and 97-92. But the punch stats told a different story with Villanueva shown to be busier, throwing 494 and landing 95, while Arroyo threw just 278 and landed 77. No rematch happened and Arroyo would lose his title to another Filipino, Jerwin Ancajas.
Villanueva would win his next three fights and got another shot at a vacant title, this time the WBO interim bantamweight belt against South African Zolani Tete. Villanueva lost by a lopsided unanimous decision in Leicester,U.K. Tete would be recognized as the regular world champion by the WBO.
Villanueva went 2W-1L-1D in his next four bouts, which included a 6th round TKO loss to Mexican Luis Nery in Tijuana and a listless performance against countryman Carlo Demecillo in Cebu, a bout that was scored a draw last November.
Villanueva is only ranked number 15 by the WBC. The WBO has him much higher at number 4. Now at 30 years old, time is not on Villanueva’s side. This could very well be his last title shot.
The 32 year old Oubaali is of Moroccan descent and is an accomplished amateur. He won a bronze medal in the 2007 World Amateur Championships in the light flyweight category.
Two years ago, Oubaali scored a seventh round knockout win over Filipino Mark Anthony Geraldo. Aside from having won WBO regional belts, Geraldo is known for being the only boxer to beat Jerwin Ancajas seven years ago in Cebu.
Oubaali, a southpaw, won the WBC world title by unanimous decision against American Rau’shee Warren by unanimous decision. This fight was on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao’s win against Adrien Broner in Las Vegas last January. He will be making his first title defense.
Then on July 12 at the Edion Arena in Osaka, Taconing will challenge WBC world light flyweight champion Ken Shiro of Japan.
Taconing, a southpaw, turned pro in 2007 and had his first title shot in 2012 against then WBC light flyweight champ Thai Kompayak Porpramook (Suriyan Satorn). He lost by a controversial technical decision in the fifth round that left many in the Philippines crying foul. The fight was topped due to a cut on Taconing in round four. The scores read 47-47 and 48-46, 50-45 in favor of Kompayak. There was a protest and a reported review of the fight. The late Ronnie Nathanielz, a famous boxing scribe in the Philippines, wrote that the WBC suspended the referee Jae Bong Kim because of his performance in that fight. But a rematch never happened.
Taconing had to wait four years for another title shot. In between he had notable wins against fellow Filipino Vergilio Silvano and former WBO world champ Ramon Garcia Hirales of Mexico. Taconing traveled to Mexico City but lost to Ganigan Lopez in their WBC light flyweight title bout by unanimous decision.
Taconing racked up six wins since then including a unanimous verdict against young rising local prospect Vince Paras. He is the WBC’s number one contender in the 108 lb division.
The 27 year old Shiro whose real name is Kenshiro Teraji, is unbeaten at 15-0,8KO’s. He dethroned Ganigan Lopez in 2017 and has since compiled five successful defenses, which includes a second round KO of Lopez in their rematch and a seventh round TKO win over Filipino Milan Melindo, a former IBF world champ.
Taconing is now 32 years old. World title shots don’t come very often even in the present era of multiple governing bodies. Just like Villanueva,there will be a sense of urgency when he enters the ring on fight night.
Photo - Arthur Villanueva (left) and Jonathan Taconing
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
WBO number 7 ranked junior lightweight contender Joe Noynay (17-2-1,6KO’s) is in the midst of training for his third trip to Japan when he defends his WBO Asia Pacific title against unbeaten Satoshi Shimizu (8-0,8KO’s) on July 12 at the Edion Arena in Osaka.
The 23 year old Noynay, who hails from the central island of Cebu in the Philippines, has a 1W-1L record in Japan, having lost on points to Reiya Abe in 2017 and stopping Kosuke Saka in two rounds last April. The fight against Saka was for the vacant WBO regional title at 130 lbs.
The 33 year old Shimizu is ranked number 9 at featherweight by the IBF. He has beaten two Filipino boxers, Eduardo Mancito and Carlo Demecillo, who is now the WBO Asia Pacific Youth titleholder at bantamweight.
Shimizu represented Japan at the 2012 Olympics where he won a bronze medal in the bantamweight division. He beat future WBO world champion Isaac Dogboe of Ghana in his first bout. He lost to the eventual gold medalist Luke Campbell of the U.K. in the semifinals.
Shimizu was a member of his country’s Self Defense Force before he retired from service. He holds a university degree in Business Administration.
“My training is going well,” Noynay told this writer. “I know this will be a tough fight. I have already seen a video of his fight. I will just train as hard as I can and pray to God that I can pull off another win.”
Other notable wins in Noynay’s career are his eighth round technical decision victory in 2017 against China’s Pan Jinxiang in Zhongshan and two wins against foreign opponents in the Philippines last year - Mexican Hector Garcia by majority decision and Chinese Zhang Qixiu by 8th round TKO.
“I am not thinking about fighting for a world title just yet.’ Noynay added, “Just focusing on further improvement.”
The current WBO world champion at junior lightweight is American Jamel Herring, who beat Masayuki Ito of Japan by unanimous decision last May in Florida.
Shimizu, listed at 5 foot 10 and a half, would be a couple of inches taller than Noynay. He captured the OPBF featherweight title in his fourth pro bout by beating Korean Sa Myung Noh by TKO in round five.
Noynay vs. Shimizu will be on the undercard of the highly anticipated rematch between Japanese star Ryota Murata and WBA middleweight champ Rob Brant of the U.S.A. Also on the same card, Japan’s Ken Shiro will defend his WBC light flyweight title against Filipino Jonathan Taconing.
Photo – Joe Noynay victorious against Kosuke Saka last April
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Carl Jammes Martin closed the curtains on ESPN 5’s live fight card with his opening round demolition of Thai boxer Yutthichai Wannawong. The bantamweight southpaw from Ifugao province also has the most entertaining ring entrance in the Philippines today, with an entourage dressed in traditional costumes. The actual fight turned out to be short but eye-catching.
Martin landed a stream of shots to the body and finished with a right to the head dropping Wannawong to his knees. Referee Danrex Tapdasan signaled the end at 2:51.
The 20 year old Martin’s two-fisted attacking style is made for television and in his second Metro Manila live show, he once again drew comparisons to the country’s boxing icon Manny Pacquiao. In his post-fight TV interview with Dennis Principe of ESPN 5, he said that Pacquiao is his boxing idol but he never really intended to copy Pacquiao’s style. But when he steps inside the ring, it just turns out that way.
Martin is now 13-0,12KO’s. Wannawong lost his third straight fight by stoppage and is now 9-9,7KO’s.
For more than a decade every Filipino prospect with a decent punch has been compared to Pacquiao. It has more often than not, turned out to a curse rather than a blessing. Most could not live up to the high expectations of the fickle Filipino public.
Martin was modest and honest in his TV interview when he said that he needs more time to develop and it could take three years before he is ready for a world title shot.
For now, he has compiled three regional belts since he turned pro in 2016. He will continue be a television attraction and his fight videos on Youtube have gotten six figure views.
Last February, this writer had a chance to interview Martin in Metro Manila. Aside from Pacquiao, he also cited retired fighters Gerry Peñalosa, a two-division champion and Z Gorres as his other favorites. Martin has Pacquiao’s early fighting style but it would be interesting to see if he can expand his repertoire and develop the technical skills of a Peñalosa and Gorres.
For the rest of Sunday's televised fights – Jayson Mama’s fight against former WBA minimumweight world champ Ekkawit Songnui (Kwanthai Sithmorseng) had a disappointing and bizarre ending. It wasn’t Mama’s fault, he did his job but the Thai boxer, a veteran of 56 fights, complained that he had trouble seeing after being hit by a jab in the third round.
Mama, who is now 13-0,7KO’s, obviously would have preferred a better way to showcase his skills against a former champ in a nationally televised fight.
Dave Apolinario beat Adrian Lerasan by unanimous decision, former WBA interim world titleholder Randy Petalcorin won by TKO in the third round against another Thai, Worawatchai Boonjan, Rolando Servania got a unanimous verdict against Pablito Canada and Robin Dingcong beat Ernel Fontanilla, also by unanimous decision.
Photo from video of Carl Jammes Martin’s fight last February 2019
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Casey Morton (8-1-3,1KO) of Hawaii,USA will get her first world title shot this June 19 in Chiba City, Japan when she takes on the hometown favorite Miyo Yoshida (12-1,0KO) for the vacant WBO female world junior bantamweight title.
Morton, who turned pro in 2014, has been fighting here in Asia since 2017. She has seen action in the Philippines thrice, winning against Thais Phannaluk Kongsang in Mandaue City, Cebu and Kanchana Tungthaisong in Parañaque City. Last March, in her last outing , she beat Japanese Chie Higano by unanimous decision for the WBO Asia Pacific flyweight title, also in Parañaque.
She is trained by Nonito Donaire,Sr., the father of the current WBA super world bantamweight champion Nonito ‘The Filipino Flash’ Donaire.
“Coach Donaire and I are extremely excited and grateful about this fight,” Morton told this writer in an online interview.
Donaire,Sr. was in Morton’s corner in her first appearance in mainland China when she stopped Daorueng Pakkhetanang of Thailand in one round in Suzhou. But in her second bout in China last year, she lost to another Thai, Jutamas Jitpong, by unanimous decision. Morton moved up from 112 to 115 lbs for that fight. Donaire,Sr was also visibly absent in her corner.
“He got the opportunity to assist in Manny Pacquiao’s fight.” Morton said, “He was also opening a restaurant in Gen.Santos City, but Coach Donaire remained in close contact and I continued to train myself.”
“I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to fight in China for another WBO Asia Pacific title. If you turn these fights down, you may never get these opportunities again.” Morton continued to expound on her only loss. If she had won that bout, that would have given her the WBO Asia Pacific belt at 115lbs.
She went down in weight again and at 112lbs, won the regional title against Higano. Morton, a.k.a. the Lady Hawaiian Punch, once again had Donaire,Sr in her corner last March.
Morton believes going up and down in weight will not be problem, “I feel comfortable at both weights. Coach Donaire has a very special way of training.No one else can do what he does.”
This will be her first time to fight in Japan but she has visited the country to watch a pro fight event. “I don’t study a lot of fight film, that’s my coach’s job. As a fighter I may study the wrong habits.”
She doesn’t have any predictions for the fight. “I will always give my opponents gratitude for the opportunity and respect. Coach and I are just excited to give our best performance yet.”
Donaire,Sr has an impressive body of work. Other than his son who won multiple world titles, in 2009, the elder Donaire was tapped to bring experience to the corner of Marvin Sonsona, who would dethrone Puerto Rican Jose Lopez for the WBO world junior bantamweight title. One of his boxers, Joebert Alvarez, won the light flyweight division of the Philippine boxing reality tournament “Buhay Boksingero” in 2011 and would go the distance against Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada in a losing effort in 2014. Morton is the second female boxer Donaire,Sr has trained, the first being Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton, who would go on to win world titles with the WBO and IBA.
Yoshida will not be a pushover. She has captured the Japanese and OPBF titles at bantamweight. Her only loss was in 2016 by unanimous verdict against Yuki Koseki. She has beaten Filipino boxers Kim Actub and Gretel dela Paz. Phannaluk Kongsang of Thailand is their common opponent, having lost to both by unanimous decision.
Morton vs Yoshida will be on the undercard of the WBO world junior bantamweight title bout between Kazuto Ioka (Japan) and Aston Palicte (Philippines) and the WBA super world junior flyweight title fight between champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (Japan) and Tanawat Nakoon (Thailand).
File photo – Casey Morton with trainer Nonito Donaire,Sr in Suzhou,China November 2017.
These articles are submitted by guest writers and sites. They aren't submitted by the usual folk behind Asian Boxing and don't fall in line with our editorial stance, giving a fresh view on various boxing issues from the Asian boxing scene.