By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
IBF world junior bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (31-1-2,21KO’s) has arrived in the United States for his November 2 title defense against Mexican Jonathan Javier Rodriguez (21-1,15KO’s).
The Filipino southpaw will make the eighth defense of his title in Carson, California. The September rankings of the International Boxing Federation (IBF) has Rodriguez ranked only at number 14 but there is interest in this fight simply because of Rodriguez’s last fight in June when his opponent, fellow Mexican Felipe Orucuta, collapsed in the ring after the fight was stopped in the tenth round. Orucuta had emergency brain surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain. Six weeks later, Orocuta was reported to be awake and showing signs of neurological improvement. This will be Rodriguez’s first shot at a world crown.
Chief trainer and manager Joven Jimenez told this writer in a short chat that Ancajas is ready and they are on target with his weight. He trained in relative isolation for more than three months in a Philippine Navy facility in San Antonio, Zambales
“We trained for the full twelve rounds,” Jimenez told this writer, “But if the opportunity comes, we will go for the knockout.”
Ancajas’ last defense in May was a one-sided demolition of Japanese Ryuichi Funai in Stockton, California.
Not to look past Rodriguez, the 27 year old Ancajas is in search of a career defining superfight. There has been a lot of interest in the 115lb division for the past two years due to the ‘Superfly’ fight cards. But Ancajas, just like his countryman Donnie Nietes, has been outside looking in.
The other organizations have fine champions, the WBA has Khalid Yafai of the U.K., Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada has the WBC belt and is widely considered to be the division’s top dog and Japanese Kazuto Ioka has the WBO crown after Nietes gave up the title early this year.
Ancajas travelled to Thailand in October of last year hoping for a showdown against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, who was then the biggest name in the division. But Estrada beat Sor Rungvisai (Wisaksil Wangek) by unanimous decision in their rematch last April.
There has been a lot of speculation as to who Ancajas should fight next. Securing a big fight is another story.
Top photo of Jerwin Ancajas on his arrival in the U.S. c/o Joven Jimenez
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
CEBU, PHILIPPINES- Carlo Demecillo and Jonathan Francisco battled at a blistering pace but in the end, it was Demecillo’s edge in power that was the deciding factor.
They immediately had heated exchanges after the opening bell. Francisco tried to match Demecillo’s punch output. But in the third Demecillo drove in a right to the body that froze Francisco for a second.
He was able to suck it in and regain his bearings but in the fourth a hail of head and body shots sent Francisco down on the canvas. He was still on his knees doubling in pain when Referee Tony Pesons reached the count of ten.
Demecillo is the reigning WBO Oriental Youth bantamweight titleholder. He moves up to 14-5-1,7KO’s while Francisco drops to 10-13-1,4KO’s. This was a non-title bout while Demecillo’s handlers are looking forward to a possible title defense in his next bout.
In the main supporting bout, Clyde Azarcon (16-3-1,6KO’s) returned to the won column with a third round knockout win over an overweight Gary Rojo (9-14-1,5KO’s). Azarcon dug in to Rojo’s ribs sending him down with Referee Nic Banal reaching the count of ten at the 53 second mark of the fourth.
This fight was a rematch of their draw last February in Cebu City. Azarcon also rebounded from his first round knockout loss to Japanese Ginjiro Shigeoka in a WBO Asia Pacific title bout in Tokyo.
Rhonvex Capuloy fought through a painful left arm to beat Jeffrey Stella by unanimous decision. Capuloy complained of pain from his shoulder in the second and had difficulty throwing his left. But he insisted on continuing the fight. He was able to use the arm again in the fourth and piled up enough points to convince the judges. Scores – William Manus – 58-57, Noel Flores – 59-55,Arnel Pasion – 58-56.
Elmer Naason beat Mark Anthony Rotilles, who decided not to answer the bell for the fourth round when he suffered leg cramps and Kevin Smith Nemenzo sent Marvin Campo down twice in the second round to prevail by TKO.
This card billed as FIGHT NIGHT III was presented by Big Yellow Promotions. It was held Saturday at the covered court of Sabang, Danao City,Cebu.
Photo – Carlo Demecillo with trainer Christopher ‘Pingping’ Tepora celebrating their win in Danao City
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
CEBU,PHILIPPINES – Carlo Demecillo, the reigning WBO Oriental Youth bantamweight titleholder, will figure in a non-title contest against Jonathan Francisco in the main event of a five bout card set at the covered court of Sabang, Danao City,Cebu.
Demecillo (13-5-1,6KO’s) weighed in at 117 lbs while Francisco (10-12-1,4KO’s) stepped on the scales at 118 lbs during the official weigh-in held at the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) Region VII office Friday morning.
Last June, Demecillo beat Junrel Jimenez in a torrid all-Cebu battle for the WBO regional belt by majority decision. Last year, Demecillo had a draw against another local attraction, Arthur Villanueva, who has lost in three world title challenges. Francisco is on a three fight losing streak but two of those were against high quality fighters – Jade Bornea and Froilan Saludar.
The main undercard will feature Clyde Azarcon (15-3-1,5KO’s) vs Gary Rojo (9-13-1,5KO’s) which is a rematch of their hard-fought draw last February in Cebu City. Azarcon weighed 105 lbs but unfortunately Rojo came in at a shocking 113lbs. He was ordered to lose more weight and will be penalized by being made to wear heavier gloves on fight night.
Azarcon will also be looking to bounce back from his first round knockout loss to Japanese Ginjiro Shigeoka in a WBO Asia Pacific title bout in Tokyo.
There will be three more undercard matches – Rhonvex Capuloy (124lbs) vs Jeffrey Stella (125lbs), Elmer Naason (136lbs) vs Mark Anthony Rotilles (138lbs) and Kevin Smith Hermoso (116lbs) and Marvin Campo (115.5lbs) are set for their pro debuts. This card presented by Big Yellow Promotions is billed as FIGHT NIGHT III. It will be held Saturday October 19 and opening bout starts at 7:30PM.
Photo – Jonathan Francisco (left) and Carlo Demecillo during the weigh-in.
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
WBO number 15 ranked junior lightweight Xiao Tao Su of China will face Campee Phayom of Thailand on November 23 in Shenzhen, China. Su (11-1,6KO’s) will be defending his WBO Oriental title for the first time. Last August, Su delivered a stunning opening round TKO win over Japanese Shota Yukawa. Aside from winning the regional belt, his performance had fans buzzing at ringside.
Su staggered Yukawa early and it was only the ring ropes that held the Japanese up. Su pressed the action until a powerful right decked Yukawa hard prompting the stoppage.
Last April, Su won the vacant IBO Oceania-Orient junior lightweight belt by second round knockout against Thai Attanon Kunlawong in Haikou,China. The 22 year old Su’s lone loss was by unanimous decision to countryman Lei Jiang in Jinan,China last year.
The 22 year old Phayom (18-4-2,11KO’s) will get his third crack at a regional title. Three years ago, he was knocked out by Chinese contender Sun Xiangxiang in the second round in Nanning, China in a WBO Asia Pacific title bout. Last August, he faced another Chinese boxer, Lunjun Zhao in Thailand for the WBO Oriental Youth belt but the fight ended in a draw. Since that draw, Phayom racked up two wins against countrymen Wasan Chaisuk and Nikhom Hongthong.
The fight card will be held at the Shenzhen Bao’an District Sports Center. The non-title undercards will feature unbeaten up and comers Xiaokang Song (2-0) of China vs Forlando Calderon (3-0) of Indonesia. There will be two China vs India match-ups - Xiwei Yang vs Vikash Dahiya and Haiyun Duan vs Manish Chaudhary, and the all-China four rounder between Guangzhou Chen and Chenghong Tao.
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr.
It is hard to believe that the Philippines, a country that has produced professional boxing world champions on a regular basis, has not yet won an Olympic gold medal. Two Filipino boxers have delivered with a silver medal but in those two occasions, Filipino fans cried foul and felt they were robbed.
Anthony Villanueva won for the Philippines its first Olympic silver medal when he advanced to the gold medal match of the 1964 Tokyo Games. He lost to Stanislav Stepashkin of the Soviet Union in a keenly-contested final in the featherweight division with the judges going 3:2 in favor of the Soviet fighter. My search for archived articles for that bout yielded one fight report by Ricky Llanos of the Manila Times which stated that 7000 fans booed the decision. Historical reports also state that the result was disputed by Ring Magazine founder Nat Flesicher, New York Herald Tribune’s Jesse Abramson, Peter Wilson of the London Daily News and the renowned columnist Red Smith.
Villanueva's father, Jose, won a boxing bronze during the 1932 Games in Los Angeles.
A Filipino boxer managed to stand on the winners' podium 24 years later when light flyweight category Leopoldo Serantes got a bronze in Seoul 1988 and followed by another light flyweight bronze courtesy of Roel Velasco in Barcelona 1992.
Roel's brother Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco reached the finals of the light flyweight class in the 1996 Olympics held in Atlanta but was once again, the victim of questionable scoring.
Mansueto Velasco's opponent was Bulgarian Daniel Petrov Bojilov. The entire Philippines was in a festive mood that night knowing the gold medal was finally within reach. Mansueto Velasco is pound for pound the best amateur boxer produced by the Philippines. But the nation fell silent when on live television all the points that apparently should have been credited to Velasco were being awarded to Bugilov instead in the opening round. Despite the electronic open scoring used by the AIBA, a boxer was seen on live TV earning points by getting hit.
Filipino sportscaster Ron delos Reyes, who was covering the bout on television helplessly screamed on air: “It’s a robbery in Atlanta!”
Velasco lost by a score of 19-6. He retired after the Olympics and became a TV comedian regularly appearing in local sitcoms.
What was more tragic was the fact that the Philippines never won a medal in Olympic boxing since that ill-fated night. In Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 no Filipino boxer even entered the quarterfinals. It got worse after that, with only one boxer qualifying for the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games. In Rio 2016, light flyweight Rogen Ladon and lightweight Charly Suarez both lost in their first bouts.
The Philippine amateur boxing team fared better on the AIBA World Championship stage with Harry Tañamor winning two bronzes and a silver (2001, '03 and '07) and Rogen Ladon a bronze in 2015 followed by Eumir Felix Marcial's silver medal finish last month in Russia. He lost in the finals to Russian Bakshi Gleb 5-0.
Marcial also won a gold medal in the AIBA World Cadet / Junior Championships (15-17 years) in 2011. The 23 year old Marcial could very well be one the Philippines’ best bets for another Olympic medal.
In the women’s side, from 2005 to 2014 there were a host of world championship bronzes won by Gretchen Abaniel, Mitchel Martinez, Alice Kate Aparri, Josei Gabuco, Annie Albania won a silver in 2008 until Gabuco finally won a gold medal in the light flyweight category in 2012.
Nesthy Petecio won a silver in 2014 before winning the featherweight gold last October 13 in Russia where she beat hometown bet Liudmila Vorontsova by a 3:2 decision. Her aggressiveness paid off in a tight contest with 3 judges – Australia (30-27), Korea (3027) and Ireland (29-28) – giving Petecio the nod, while judges from Japan (30-27) and Argentina (29-28) had it for the Russian.
Women’s boxing became part of the Olympics in 2012. There were only three weight categories allowed – flyweight, lightweight and middleweight. Unfortunately, Gabuco, the best female boxer from the Philippines is a light flyweight. However, for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, the welterweight and featherweight classes have been added to the women’s side. That would be good news for the 27 year old Petecio.
The bad news on the men’s side is that the light flyweight class, where the Philippines got its last three Olympic boxing medals, will not be part of the Tokyo Games.
There was controversy regarding who will run boxing in the 2020 Olympics. It was reported last May that the controversial AIBA was stripped of its right to host the Olympic boxing tournament.
Qualification will be tough for the 8 weight divisions for men and the aforementioned 5 for women. The Qualifying tournament for the Asia-Oceania region will be held in Wuhan, China on February 3-14, 2020.
There are six slots for Asia-Oceania in the women’s 51kg division and 4 slots in the four heavier categories. In the men’s side, there will be six slots from flyweight to lightweight, five slots from welterweight to light heavyweight and four slots in the heavyweight and super heavyweight classes for Asia-Oceania.
Boxing is sport that has been embedded in Philippine society. It would be fitting that in the Manny Pacquiao era or the so-called Golden Age of Philippine Boxing, the elusive Olympic gold will finally be won.
Photo – Nesthy Petecio (left) and Eumir Felix Marcial
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Less than a month from now Nonito Donaire (40-5,26KO’s) of the Philippines and Naoya Inoue (18-0,16KO’s) of Japan will be punching their way into history. It is the kind of match-up that has always intrigued generations of boxing fans; age and experience versus youth, a lion in winter against a young deadly predator. It is also a unification match as well as the finals of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) bantamweight tournament.
Both are heating up in their preparations. Inoue has tapped Filipino sparring partners – Albert Pagara and Genesis Servania. Donaire on the other hand announced that he will move his training camp from the U.S. to the Philippines on October 20.
Inoue has only fought a total of three rounds in the WBSS tourney, having disposed of Juan Carlos Payano of the Dominican Republic in one round and Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez in two rounds in the semi-finals. The win against Rodriguez earned Inoue the IBF world title.
Donaire’s resume is certainly enough for a first ballot entry into the Boxing Hall of Fame once he retires. He has distinguished himself in five weight categories.But there are those who refer to his greatness in the past tense. Five years ago, he dropped out of everyone’s pound for pound list following losses to Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux and Jamaican Nicholas Walters.
Joining the WBSS bantamweight tournament revived his career. There were doubts among the pundits considering that he last time he fought as a bantamweight was in 2011. But it was at bantamweight where he did some of his best work, notably the bone-chilling 2011 Knockout of the Year against Mexican Fernando Montiel.
Donaire, who holds the WBA crown, will turn 37 on November 16. Fans who are rooting for him say he still has enough in the tank against Inoue, who is 26 years old, with three division titles in his resume. Inoue’s 88 percent knockout rate is certainly no joke.
Tickets are reported to be sold out which underscores the great interest for this fight set at the 36,500-seat Super Saitama Arena in Japan on November 7.
In short, this will be the biggest bantamweight fight for this decade.
The bantamweight category is one of the original eight weight divisions in boxing.
George Dixon of Canada is recognized as the first bantamweight world champion in history way back in 1890. Dixon also holds the distinction of being the first black man to win a world championship in any sport.
But the current 118 pound limit of the division was established in 1909 by the National Sporting Club of London.
Great bantamweights in history include Carlos Zarate of Mexico, Fighting Harada of Japan, Ruben Olivares of Mexico,Eder Jofre of Brazil, and Orlando Canizales of the U.S. Canizales holds the record for title defenses in the bantamweight division; He successfully retained the IBF belt 16 times from 1988 to 1994.
Will Donaire-Inoue live up to the hype and be remembered as one of the great fights in bantamweight history?
During the 80th Anniversary of Ring Magazine in 2002, their commemorative issue named Arnold Taylor KO14 Romeo Anaya as the greatest bantamweight fight of the last 80 years.
That fight held in 1973 in Johannesburg saw the South African Taylor get knocked in the fifth, three times in round eight, and once again in the tenth then staging a rally, knocking out the Mexican Anaya in the fourteenth round with one punch to the jaw and taking the WBA title.
The 1977 Mexican civil war between Carlos Zarate and Alfonso Zamora was also one for the history books. They respectively held the WBC and WBA belts but neither organization sanctioned their bout as a unification. But it was one of the most highly anticipated matches from that era and dubbed The Battle of the Z Boys.
In fact, the Los Angeles Police department sent an anti-riot squad to the venue, the Forum in Inglewood, to prevent any untoward incidents. Both were undefeated and known for their knockout power. Zarate prevailed, knocking down Zamora in the third and twice in the fourth round for the TKO victory.
Donaire was supposed to face South African Zolani Tete in the WBSS Semis but a shoulder injury forced Tete to pull out of the tournament. Donaire stopped substitute Stephon Young in six rounds.
Now, Tete (28-3, 21KO’s) will be defending his WBO world title against Filipino John Riel Casimero (28-4,19KO’s), who aside from the interim WBO belt, has previously held IBF world titles at 108 and 112 lbs. This fight, possibly will be on November 23 in London and could very well be another bantamweight classic in the making.
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Filipino boxing fans will be energized during the last three months of 2019 with four world title bouts, intriguing regional contests and the national amateur boxing team intending to dominate at home.
First up among the Filipino fighters is Edward Heno (14W-0L-5D,5KO’s), who will challenge WBO world junior flyweight champion Elwin Soto (15W-1L, 11KO’s) of Mexico. Heno just arrived in the U.S. for the October 24 fight set at the Fantasy Springs Casino in California.
Heno has a lot of luck fighting overseas. In 2017 he had a draw and a 7th round TKO win in Okinawa against Seita Ogido which earned him the vacant OPBF light flyweight title. He returned to Japan this year to defend his OPBF crown and beat Koji Itagaki by unanimous decision. Last year in the Philippines, he beat former WBO world miniflyweight champ Merlito Sabillo by split verdict and erstwhile world ranked Jessie Espinas by unanimous decision. This will be Heno’s first appearance in the United States.
The champion Soto won the title last June against Puerto Rican Angel Acosta by KO in the 12th and final round. This will be his first title defense.
On November 2, Jerwin Ancajas (31-1-2,21KO’s) will make the eighth defense of his IBF superflyweight world title against Mexican Jonathan Javier Rodriguez (21-1,15KO’s).
Rodriguez gained some notoriety in his last fight when his opponent, fellow Mexican Felipe Orucuta, collapsed in the ring after the fight was halted in round ten. The ring doctor was reported to have performed CPR inside the ring to revive him. Orucuta underwent emergency brain surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain.
Ancajas has been training away from distractions in a new camp in Zambales. This will be Rodriguez’s first shot at a world crown and the fight will be held at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
November 7 is a highly anticipated date for Filipino and Japanese fight fans.Future Hall of Famer Nonito Donaire (40-5,26KO’s) will face Naoya Inoue (18-0,16KO’s) in the bantamweight finals of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS).
This intriguing battle between an aging legend and a young dangerous puncher has been the talk of boxing circles for months. The fight also carries with it historical significance as one of the important match-ups in bantamweight history. Donaire holds the WBA crown while Inoue is the IBF champ.
Inoue will have homecourt advantage with the fight set at the Super Arena in Saitama. Donaire has transferred his training camp to Metro Manila while Inoue has tapped Filipinos Albert Pagara and Genesis Servania as sparmates.
John Riel Casimero (28-4,19KO’s) will fight to remove the ‘interim’ tag when he squares off against WBO bantamweight champion Zolani Tete (28-3, 21KO’s) of South Africa. The fight date has not yet been posted in boxrec as of this writing but reports state that it will be November 23 London Time.
Casimero, who has held the interim title for almost six months now, earned the right to fight Tete after knocking out Mexican Cesar Ramirez in ten rounds in Manila last August.
Tete was supposed to face Donaire in the WBSS semis but suffered a shoulder injury. He has not fought since October of last year when he defended his title by unanimous decision against Mikhail Aloyan of Russia. Tete’s camp won the purse bidding and the fight was reported to be set in the U.K.
For the regional contests, the match-up to watch is between prospect on the rise Joe Noynay (18-2-1,7KO’s), who will defend his WBO Asia Pacific junior lightweight title in Tokyo against Japanese Kenichi Ogawa (24-1,18KO’s) on December 7. Ogawa fought American Tevin Farmer for the vacant IBF junior lightweight world title in 2017; a fight that ended in controversy after Ogawa failed a drug test and the fight was eventually declared a no contest. Ogawa was suspended and was inactive for the whole of 2018 before returning and beating Filipinos Glen Medura and Roldan Aldea. Noynay is on a hot streak with back to back TKO wins in Japan this year.
On November 10, Harmonito dela Torre (20-2,12KO’s) will face Japan’s Shuichiro Yoshino (10-0,8KO’s) for the OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific lightweight belts while on December 2 Filipino Jheritz Chavez (9-3-2,7KO’s) will face Koki Inoue (14-0,11KO’s) for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific junior welterweight title both also in Tokyo.
The Philippines will host the Southeast Asia Games from November 30 to December 11. AIBA World Championships middleweight silver medalist Eumir Marcial and back to amateur lightweight Charly Suarez will lead the Philippine boxing team. Thailand is the Philippines’ main rival for regional supremacy in amateur boxing.
Still no official word if Denver Cuello will really get a shot at the IBO world flyweight title and if Giemel Magramo next fight will be an IBF eliminator or a title shot after his eliminator against Thailand’s Eaktawan Krungthepthonburi was cancelled due to the Thai’s illness. Four division champ Donnie Nietes has been inactive since New Year’s Day. Manny Pacquiao’s rematch against Floyd Mayweather remains elusive.
Photo – Clockwise left to right – Edward Heno, Jerwin Ancajas, Nonito Donaire, John Riel Casimero
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr.
Filipino Edward Heno (14W-0L-5D,5KO’s) will get his shot at a world title on October 24 against WBO junior flyweight champion Elwin Soto (15W-1L, 11KO’s) of Mexico. Golden Boy Promotions made the official announcement that the fight will be held at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
The 26 years old Heno, a southpaw, is the number one ranked challenger. He was reported to be in line for a shot at the title as early as July but he told this writer that he has been training longer than that.
“I have been training for three months. But for the past week, I have shifted to heavy training.” Heno stated, “I have sparred with Giovani Escaner, Claudevan Sese, Giemel Magramo, Ben Ligas, and others.”
When asked about his chances, Heno was optimistic,“I know I can take him. I will do what it takes, I will do everything. He is just a man, he can be hurt. He is just like me, who dreams of becoming a champion.”
“I have not been relaxing during training. All of my fights have been tough but I always study my opponents, whether they were good or not.” Heno added.
Heno, who grew up in San Pedro, Laguna, had an unusual start to his career with three straight draws. His is inspired by his kids, “I get my strength from them. I think of them, I fight for their future.”
Heno is on hot streak starting from his first big win in 2017 against the Cris Ganoza, who was then undefeated, for the Philippine Boxing Federation light flyweight belt. He knocked out Ganoza in nine rounds in Makati City. He would then have a draw and a 7th round TKO win in Okinawa against Seita Ogido which earned him the vacant OPBF light flyweight title.
Then in 2018, he had two big wins against fellow Filipinos, beating former world champ Merlito Sabillo by split decision and erstwhile world ranked Jessie Espinas by unanimous decision.
Heno returned to Japan this year to defend his OPBF crown and beat Koji Itagaki by unanimous verdict.
The champion Elwin Soto (15W-1L, 11KO’s) is a 22 year old right hander from Baja California, Mexico. He was a virtual unknown who had 13 of his 14 pro bouts in Mexico before winning the title in Indio, California last June against Puerto Rican Angel Acosta by KO in the 12th and final round. This was in the same venue where he will face Heno for his first defense.
Photo - Edward Heno
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
A year ago, Froilan Saludar looked like a world champion in the first two rounds against Sho Kimura. It seemed the WBO world flyweight title would change hands in Qingdao, China. But the Japanese unleashed a hellish body attack and Saludar eventually crumbled in the sixth.
His cornermen talked about his difficulty making weight and it was eventually decided he would move up. Saludar fought away from the eyes of the media and had wins against Filipino journeymen Donny Mabao and Jonathan Francisco.
The 30 year old from Polomolok, South Cotabato was once one of the promising prospects in the Philippines. But losses to Puerto Rican McWilliams Arroyo in 2014, Japanese Takuma Inoue in 2016 and in his world title fight to the then champion Kimura made fans wonder if he could perform to expectations in big fights.
Questions swirled going into his fight against Tsubasa Murachi in Tokyo. Was Murachi, who had only four pro fights, going to use him as a stepping stone?
Saludar was now fighting at 115 lbs; was this the right weight division for him?
The 22 year old Japanese prospect started strong, dropping Saludar in the opening round with a sharp counter. But in the second and third, Saludar started to control the fight with his sharp jab and quick combos.
In the fourth, a left hook out of nowhere sent Murachi down. Saludar’s right hand began to find the target. In the fifth and sixth rounds, Murachi pressed the action but Saludar slowly but surely began to pick him apart. Saludar visibly grew in confidence.
A flurry of punches sent Murachi down again near the end of the seventh round. In the eighth, Murachi was sent down again and the referee correctly signaled the end. He was attended to by medical personnel inside the ring and carried out on stretcher.
Saludar thanked his supporters in a video message posted on social media. His trainer Jojo Palacios, had a short chat with this writer after the win.
“Experience and hard work were the keys to victory.” Palacios stated, “His opponent is good. If Froilan was not in good condition, he would have lost. But he trained well for this fight and recovered from the early knockdown.”
Saludar is now 31-3-1,22KO’s. Murachi drops to 4-1,3KO’s.
This win for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific junior bantamweight title will secure a higher world ranking for Saludar, who was ranked number 12 by the WBO prior to this win.
Photo - Froilan Saludar thanking supporters on a video posted on social media after the fight against Tsubasa Murachi.
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
It was sweeter the second time around for Pedro Taduran. In his second shot at a world title, he would not be denied and came off the canvas to stop Samuel Salva in the first all-Filipino world title fight held in the Philippines since the 1925 world flyweight title bout between the legendary Pancho Villa and Clever Sencio.
The vacant IBF minimumweight crown was at stake inside the Jurado Hall of the Philippine Marines Base in Taguig City. The fight had a fiery start with Taduran charging forward and Salva electing to box and counter.
A sharp counter right from Salva dropped Taduran in the opening round. But this did not slow Taduran one bit as he continued to bring the fight to Salva. The 22 year old Taduran found his opportunity in the third when he hurt Salva, who sought refuge on the ropes and got bombarded shot after the shot. Salva finished the round but faced the same onslaught in the fourth.
Salva countered with a head butt as a survival and defensive move. This made Filipino Referee Danrex Tapdasan take a point away from Salva. The endless stream of punches continued until the bell mercifully ended the fourth round.
Salva’s corner signaled their capitulation before the start of the fifth and Taduran’s corner celebrated.
Taduran previously lost to WBC minimumweight champion Chayaphom Moonsri (Wanheng Menayothin) of Thailand by unanimous decision one year ago. This was the first world title fight for the 22 year old Salva, who suffers his first loss at 17-1,10KO’s. Taduran is now 14-2,11KO’s
This was the third all-Filipino world title bout for the past two years. Jerwin Ancajas vs Jonas Sultan and Donnie Nietes vs Aston Palicte, both held in the U.S., left fans unsatisfied. Judging from the screams of the crowd inside the Jurado Hall, this fight had the fans totally entertained.
There were two televised undercard bouts – The close quarter combat between Joel Lino and Toto Landero was made for television. Both threw hooks that would have felled lesser boxers and engaged at a blistering pace from beginning to end in their eight rounder. Scores – 77-75,78-74 nd 77-75 for Landero.
John Michael Zulueta beat Mark Anthony Florida by TKO end of round four.
Giemel Magramo had the misfortune of missing out on an IBF flyweight eliminator due to the withdrawal of Thai Komgrich Nantapetch due to food poisoning. Magramo easily beat late substitute Richard Claveras who did not continue after round three.
Photo – Pedro Taduran’s arm raised victorious vs Samuel Salva
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.