By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
WBO Asia Pacific junior lightweight champ Joe Noynay (18-2-1,7KO’s) of the Philippines will defend his title in Tokyo against Japanese Kenichi Ogawa (24-1,18KO’s) on December 7.
This will be Noynay’s third straight trip to Japan this year. Last April he stopped Japanese Kosuke Saka in two rounds for the vacant WBO regional belt at the Edion Arena in Osaka. Then in July, he defended his crown by stopping London Olympics bronze medalist Satoshi Shimizu in six rounds also in Osaka. Both were surprisingly dominating performances which ensured another trip to the Land of the Rising Sun.
This time, he will be up against the 31 year old Ogawa, who has seen his share of controversy. Ogawa fought American Tevin Farmer for the vacant IBF junior lightweight world title in 2017. The judges handed a spilt decision verdict in favor of the Japanese but a drug test done a few days before the fight revealed that Ogawa was positive for two forms of synthetic testosterone.
Ogawa’s drug test done after the fight was negative. Reports stated that sources close to the fighter said that medicine for Ogawa’s skin condition may have triggered the positive result. But he ended up being fined and the Nevada State Athletic Commission invalidated the fight. The International Boxing Federation (IBF) stripped him of the world title. He was also suspended by the Japanese Boxing Commission for a year. He is the first Japanese boxer suspended for failing a drug test.
Ogawa was inactive for the whole of 2018 before returning and beating Filipinos Glen Medura and Roldan Aldea.
The 24 year old Noynay, a southpaw from Bogo,Cebu, was one of the many Filipino fans who watched online and witnessed Nonito Donaire get beaten by Naoya Inoue in the WBSS bantamweight finals in Saitama.
“I have already started training here in Manila,”Noynay told this writer. He is aware of Ogawa’s past controversy. But he is also aware that he will be fighting an opponent who already saw action at the world championship level.
But Donaire’s loss is not his only motivation for winning his fight at the Korakuen Hall.
“I am very familiar with my opponent’s style because he has already beaten Raymond Sermona, Roldan Aldea and Glen Medura. We all train in the same gym.” Noynay stated, “I will try my best my best to avenge them.”
The three Filipinos Noynay mentioned, all lost to Ogawa at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall.
Noynay previously held the Youth version of the WBO Asia Pacific title. Two years ago, Noynay took the said belt from previously unbeaten Chinese Pan Jinxiang by eighth round technical decision in Zhongshan,China. Last year, he returned to his hometown of Bogo and defended his WBO regional belt against Mexican Hector Garcia by majority decision. A few months later, he had another successful defense in Metro Manila by stopping China’s Zhang Qixiu in eight rounds.
Noynay is ranked number seven by the WBO while Ogawa is at number eleven. Noynay doesn’t like talking about a world title fight just yet. But he is aware that a win will move him closer to a shot against the current WBO junior lightweight world champion, Jamel Herring of the U.S.
File photo – Joe Noynay after winning his fight against Satoshi Shimizu
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