This coming week isn't the best for fights, but there are plenty of interesting contests out there. For this week's one to watch we look over to China where we see an unbeaten local take on a criminally under-rated Filipino visitor in Haikou.
The One to Watch?
ZongLi He (6-0, 1) vs Alphoe Dagayloan (14-3-5-1, 5)
November 22nd (Friday)
We really enjoy watching Alphoe Dagayloan and we also love seeing unbeaten prospects, like ZhingLi He, being tested. Here we see Dagayloan being the test for an unbeaten prospect, looking to rise through the ranks with the next logical step forward in his career. Prospect against fringe contender.
Chinese 25 year old ZongLi He is a promising but light punching Super Flyweight who began his career in 2017 and was fighting in 10 rounders just over a year later. In just his 4th professional bout he beat Diarh Gabutan for a minor regional title and since then has claimed a couple more minor titles with wins over Vincent Astrolabio and Hamson Lamandau. Although talented he is a very light puncher and hasn't yet learned to sit on his shots.
The 27 year old Alphoe Dagayloan, from the Philippines has a very odd looking record but there is a lot to like about him. He's a young veteran, having debuted way back in 2010, and was a bizarre 4-2-4-1 (1) after 11 bouts. Since then he has gone 10-2-1 (4), and has won 8 of his last 9, with his only defeat coming at the hands of the fantastic Ryota Yamauchi in a brilliant fight in August. Although no world beater he's a fighter who will likely find himself in the title mix in the coming years, and has legitimately proven himself on the regional scene.
What to expect?
He is a very safety minded fighter, who uses a lot of movement, speed and footwork. He is offensively frustrating, with low output, but when he lets his hands go he lands good counters and looks very sharp with with his shots. There's never much on his punches, but he does look like he has a nice variety of shots in his locker, even if he doesn't always use what he's got at his disposal.
Dagayloan on the other hand brings pressure. He's not a polished fighter, but he is an aggressive one, and a real nightmare for fighter who lack power, and can't get his respect. That was shown in a big way when he walked through Madiyar Zhanuzak, and could be shown again here if He can't get his respect, and there's a good chance he can't.
We expect Dagayloan to pressure, push and force the fight, with He forced to fight at a higher pace than usual. The local is the naturally bigger man, but Dagayloan is the stronger man, and we suspect that power and strength will be the difference. Expect He to box, but to be ground down in the middle and later rounds.
The bad news?
In recent months it has become harder and harder to find replays of Chinese fights, so if you miss this one live, you may end up missing out, at least in the short term. This should be a fun one, but certainly may not be as widely available as Chinese fights form the past
The action this coming week is slightly down in quality from some recent weeks, with a lot of action taking place at Rookie of the Year level in Japan and other lower level action. Thankfully though there are some bouts that have caught our attention, including one in China this coming Wednesday that should be a very interesting test for a rising Chinese hopeful. It's with that in mind that we've selected this week's "One to Watch"
The One to Watch?
ZongLi He (5-0, 1) vs Hamson Lamandau (10-3-1, 7)
September 11th (Wednesday)
The bout is the headline fight of a card in Xi An, China and will be a regional title fight with both men looking to shoot themselves up the rankings and prove what they have in the tank. For He it's a chance to get chin checked, whilst also potentially picking up his second stoppage win after a 4 straight decisions. For Lamandau it's a chance to claim his first win on the road, and begin to get his career back on track after going 2-3-1 in his last 6. Both men will be going in to this with the intent of picking up a win, and looking good in the process.
It's rare to see Chinese prospects catching the attention at an early stage in their career's, however ZongLi He has done just that thanks to notable wins over Diarh Gabutan and Vincent Astrolabio. Those wins have boosted him into the Boxrec top 100, at the time of writing, after just 5 fights. He's not blown away Gabutan or Astrolabio but has taken wins over both and has proven he can do 10 rounds.
Indonesian fighter Lamandau showed some early promise, starting his career 8-0, but has been matched hard since then and lost by stoppage to Hinata Maruta, Brock Jarvis and Sukkasem Kietyongyuth. His career has faltered big time, but this is certainly a chance for him to pick up a win on the road, and score his best win to date.
What to expect?
Footage of He show's him to be boxer who likes fighting off the back foot, he moves, a lot, and although he looks negative a lot he's a smart fighter with quick hands, a good tank and a bit luck on his side. His two big wins do have some question marks over them in terms of scoring, but they were bouts that were perhaps too much too soon for him too look good in. He showed something to like in both but left a lot of questions, questions we want to see him answering. We want to see more from him offensively, and see more of what he can do when he's not on the back foot against someone with more power and experience.
Lamandau has been under-sized in his losses. He's been beaten by much bigger men than himself in all 3 defeats and here we see him in with someone of a similar size to himself. We also see him taking on someone who lacks power. Given all 3 of Lamaandau's losses have been by stoppage it's interesting to see him in with a non-puncher here. In the ring he's an aggressive little bull and if well matched he should make for some very fan friendly bouts.
With Lamandau coming forward and He boxing off the back foot the styles should gel excellently and should make for some very exciting action, in what looks to be a true hidden gem for the week.
The bad news?
The bout is going to be a hard one to find, with Chinese streams being a bit hit and miss at times. The card is also a pretty low key one over all and whilst this is a bout worth making a note of it's not likely to be worth the time spent watch the whole card. We also wouldn't be surprised by some potential funny business with the score cards if this is close.
Takahiro Onaga is a regular contributor to Asian Boxing and will now be a featured writer in his own column where his takes his shot at various things in the boxing world.