Nietes retains world title, Pagara impresses, Sabillo looks finished and more on an action packed day of action!
This Saturday was certainly a busy day in Asian boxing with several notable cards taking place. For now we know we're missing some results though hope to have them added short. For now however we've got all the results we've managed to collect.
Cebu City, Philippines
The biggest card of the day, by some margin in regards to the Asian fight scene, was in the Philippines where ALA Promotions put on the 28th “Pinoy Pride” show. The show was full of names really was a great card for those lucky enough to catch it with an unexpected FOTY contender, the continued development of one of the best prospects in world boxing and a world title fight being 3 of the many notable stories on the card.
The first of the notable fights featured one of the more under-rated prospects in Asian boxing, Mark Magsayo (9-0, 7). Magsayo caught our attention last year on a “Pinoy Pride” card and impressed again today as he easily beat Korean youngster Moon-Sun Jung (2-4-3) in the second round of their clash. On paper, and in the ring, this was a mismatch however Jung had gone 10 rounds in a Korean national title fight just 2 months ago so the fact Magsayo stopped him so quickly was very impressive. We'll not pretend Magsayo is going to be fast tracked to a world title but we'd advise fans to keep an eye out for this talented youngster dubbed “Magnifico”.
Magsayo was far from the only Filipino to impress on this card and another man who impressed was the unknown Jomar Fajardo (14-5-2, 7) who really caught the attention of the fans and media in attendance as he put on a stirring performance to hold Francisco Rodriguez Jr (16-2-1, 11) to a split decision draw. Fajardo entered the bout as a massive under-dog whilst Rodriguez Jr was a unified world champion at Minimumweight and a man with an eye on fighting Donnie Nietes. Fajardo left the bout as man many now want to see against whilst Rodriguez Jr is man who has lost some lustre despite unifying the WBO and IBF Minimuweight titles this year.
Another fighter who thoroughly impressed was the unbeaten "Prince" Albert Pagara (22-0, 15) who defended his IBF Inter-Continental Super Bantamweight title with a punch perfect performance against the teak tough Mexican Raul Hirales (22-4-1, 11). Hirales's only contribution to this fight was his heart and toughness and for 12 rounds he was the recipient of head and clean shots by Pagara who seemed to be ready for much, much tougher assignments, in fact a world title bout in 2015 isn't out of the question for this wonderfully gifted young fighter who has superstar written all over him.
In the show's main event we again saw an impressive performance by the home fighter as WBO Light Flyweight world champion Donnie Nietes (34-1-4, 20) recorded the 5th defence of the title as he defeated Carlos Velarde (26-4-1, 14). Nietes started slowly and worked our what Velarde had to offer before moving through the gears in round 4 and 5 to eventually break down the Mexican challenger who retired on his stool at the end of round 7. We'll be honest the bout was disappointing given our expectations but there was no doubt about the better man despite the rather anti-climatic ending to the bout. Nietes now appears to have 2 clears options, he can either begin his pursuit of a title at Flyweight, as we suspect the original plan was, or he could fight Rodriguez Jr in 2015 to add another defence to his record. Either option would be interesting and we're looking forward to seeing what he does next.
Of course not all the Filipino fighters on the show were impressive and it's fair to say that the least impressive, at least in terms of result, was former WBO Minimumweight champion Merlito Sabillo (23-2-1, 12) who suffered his second stoppage defeat of the year. Sabillo was making his return to the ring following his first loss, a stoppage loss to the previously mentioned Rodriguez jr, and fought as if he had the need to make an impression on the fans. Sadly for Sabillo he was a bit too wild and was caught by a nasty counter by Indonesian visitor Faris Nenggo (8-7-3, 3) which left Sabillo with an ugly cut that eventually forced the end of the bout in round 4. It was a disappointing fight for the exciting Sabillo though it was a freak result in many ways and it's unlikely he'll ever suffer such a bad cut again.
Former world title contender AJ Banal (32-2-1, 22) recorded his 4th straight win as he over-came Thai visitor Maxsaisai Sithsaithong (15-6, 4) though left many wondering what was left for Banal. The talented and heavy handed fighter did what he needed to here to take a clear win but it's fair to say that many were hoping he's close the show against his Thai foe who came up short in an OPBF title fight earlier this year.
It's also fair to say that Milan Melindo (32-1, 12) failed to leave a great impression despite a clear win over Saul Juarez (22-4, 11) in an IBF Light Flyweight title eliminator. Melindo was the better fighter through out but failed to show the power he will need to win a world title at 108lbs. His skills are great, as shown again, but his lack of power really is going to be an issue every time he fights a top tier fighter.
Deagu, South Korea
As well as the action in the Philippines we also had titles on offer in South Korea where there were 2 national title fights on a small but yet interesting card as the Korean boxing scene continues to grow, despite what appears to be two clearly different factions action as a commission.
In a somewhat farcical Super Middleweight title bout fans saw Eun Chang Lee (8-4, 4) successfully defend his title with a 6th round TKO against the woefully undeserving Young Kyoon Lee (1-14-1). We're unsure how Lee qualified for a title fight given that he's not recorded a win in almost 6 years though thankfully his win-less streak continued here or it really would have been an embarrassment for the title to have been held by such an unqualified champion.
Thankfully the other title fight on this show was much more entertaining in the ring and interesting on paper as Ik Soo Han (7-3, 2) took on Jon Won Won (7-14-1, 3). The bout saw Han winning the previously vacant Korean Super Featherweight title with a 4th round knockout of Won though had to pull himself off the canvas earlier in the round in what made for an entertaining contest. Sadly for Won this was his 8th loss in a Korean title fight and comes some 30 months after being stopped in a Korean Lightweight title bout by IK Yang.
As well as the two title bouts we also had two female bouts. One of those was an 8 rounder that saw Hye Soo Park (4-7-1, 1) take a dominant decision over Thai visitor Dorkmaipah Kiatpompetch (0-4) in a contest that saw the Korean winning every round of the bout. The other female bout saw Hyun Sook Jun (3-1, 2) scoring a 4th round TKO over Pantip Sor Suwannaresort (0-3).
The rest of the undercard featured a featured a pair of 4 rounders. These saw Sung Hwan Kim (2-0-3) take a decision over the win-less Jin Soo Jung (0-5) in a bout scored 39-37 by all 3 judges whilst the debuting Jung Ho Jang (1-0, 1) took out Eun Jin Kim (0-1) in the 4th round of their bout.
Nakhon Nayok, Thailand
There were two shows in Thailand with one of them coming from Nakhon Nayok. This show was headlined by a WBC regional title fight that saw a controversial ending following a clear low blow by Petchchorhae Kokietgym (9-0, 6) in round 3 that sent Indonesia's Rizky Pratama (2-1) down in agony. The Indon fighter got to his feet but the bout was waved off to give the bout a genuine bizarre finish.
On the undercard we saw recent world title contender Terdsak Kokietgym (54-5-1, 34) score an easy win over the over-matched Hengka (0-1) who was taken out with a nasty body shot from the Thai veteran. Although the bout was a mismatch in favour of the talented Thai it did come just weeks after his hard, but very exciting, loss to Orlando Salido in Mexico.
A third bout on this card saw Petchnamchai KKP (2-0, 2) defeat the limited but brave Ricardo Sithsaithong (0-1) in 2 rounds. Sithsaithong tried to give it a go but was hurt and looked lost trying to defend himself until the referee mercifully stepped in.
In Chonburi we had the other Thai show that was headlined by South Korean fighter Myung-goo Yuh (22-4-1, 17) who stopped Thailand's very own Mongkol Charoen (25-4, 8) in the 6th round of their scheduled 10 rounder. On the undercard Gurlal Redbluegym 1-0, 1) scored a 4th round win over Watchasin Mukarsa (0-1) whilst Kuldeep Redbluegym (1-0) stopped Rachatapon Tongplia (0-1), sadly we've not come across any footage of these bouts.
Gauteng, South Africa
In South Africa we sadly saw two Russian fighters suffer defeat, albeit in very different fashion.
In a very disappointing performance Denis Grachev (13-5-1, 8) suffered his 4th straight loss, and his 5th in 6 bouts, as he retired on his stool against the unbeaten Thomas Oosthuizen (23-0-2, 14). The bout, for the WBC International Light Heavyweight title, was poor from the beginning though Grachev never once found his form in the bout before running out of steam and being given a bit of a hiding. The retirement in his stool wasn't what was Grachev would have wanted but it does effectively end his hopes of ever landing a world title fight.
In a more controversial contest the previously unbeaten Roman Belaev (14-1, 10) suffered an 11th round technical decision loss to Ali Funeka (36-4-3, 29) in a bout for the IBO Welterweight title. The information on this one is scarce though two cards read 105-104 in favour of the home fighter whilst a third card read 109-100 and we suspect the bout was much closer than that final card.
Unfortunately we were very slow to get the Japanese results from the day however here they are, a couple of days late.
In the main event Keita Nakano (12-9-3, 3) managed to force a 6th round stoppage against the chinny Takaaki Ishikawa (10-6, 5) in what was scheduled to go 8. This was Ishikawa's 6th stoppage defeat and some need to wonder if he would be better off retiring now, especially given that he has been stopped in 3 of his last 4.
The chief support bout was a 6 rounder that saw Ryuto Araya (7-2-1, 1) scoring his first stoppage victory as he took out Tsubasa Mochizuki (6-5, 2) with less than 30 seconds remaining.
From the 7 bouts scheduled to go 4 rounds we saw another trio of stoppages. The fastest of those came in 98 seconds as debutant Jinya Miyagi (1-0, 1) blew away fellow novice Sho Sekine (0-1). It took Takahiko Suzuki (5-2, 4) most of round 3 to see off Yuji Awata (3-3, 2) whilst Shota Irie (1-1, 1) needed 30 seconds of the final round to defeat Shuhei Hamano (0-2).
In bouts that went the distance we saw 3 very competitive matches. The closest of those saw Toshizane Kinoda (4-1, 1) take a majority decision over Wataru Yokoyama (1-3, 1) in a very close bout. The action was similarly close in Huzuki Saso's (3-1) win over Yuki Uchida (2-2) and in Tasuku Nakagawa's (2-1) win over Yuta Onishi (2-3, 2). The only clear decision winner was Rei Ochiai (3-3-4) who clearly beat Mio Mizokami (4-8-2, 2)