On August 24th we saw Filipino fighter Edward Heno (14-1-5, 5) come up short in an excellent WBO Light Flyweight world title bout, losing a close decision to Mexican youngster Elwin Soto. The bout was one of those rare ones where both men seemed to enhance their reputation, with the winner and loser being having a higher standing than they had when they went into the bout. With that in mind it we've done a "Five For..." article dedicated to what Heno could do on the back of his close loss to Soto, and look at 5 bouts that make sense for Heno going forward.
1- Hiroto Kyogochi (14-0, 9)
We all love Japan Vs Philippines bouts and only a few short weeks ago we saw WBA "super" champion Hiroto Kyoguchi successfully defending his title, with Heno putting up such a great against Soto why not match the two together! Neither man will fight again in 2019, we assume, but to have the two men clash in early 2020 would be brilliant. Kyoguchi needs a good dance partner next time out, and with Kenshiro and Felix Alvarado facing off in December both of those will be off the table, whilst Heno makes for a great dance partner and is likely to be available. As for Heno this bout would give him a second world shot, and a bout that might suit his style. Kyoguchi's very good, but Heno has the style to give him real fits, and of the champions out there, other than Soto, it's Kyoguchi that Heno matches up best against.
2-Carlos Canizales (22-0-1, 17)
Having just given Elwin Soto a really close bout we don't think Heno has any fear, and with that in mind maybe the perfect bout for him would be a contest with the division's bogeyman, Carlos Canizales. The Venezuelan boxer-puncher is the current WBA "regular" champion but he seems to be the one fighter that no one is in a rush to face, either as a challenger or as a champion looking to unify. There's a reason no one is in a chasing Canizales, and that's because he's a nightmare to fight, with under-rated boxing skills and serious power. He is the man to avoid in the division. For Heno however he's a man with a world title, and another target for the Filipino, who will be chasing a second world title fight after the Soto bout.
3-Daniel Matellon (10-0-2, 6)
Panama based Cuban Daniel Matellon doesn't make much sense to fight in general as he's a very talented fighter, very awkward to catch clean and incredibly smooth. He's also a pretty unknown one. There's a risk of losing to Matellon, for everyone in the division. However what better way to enhance your reputation than to get in and beat the man that no one wants to face? Matellon isn't the sort of attractive name fighter that top guys are in a rush to face, but he is ranked in the top 15 by all 4 world title bodies and a win over him at this point in time would put any fighter on the verge of a world title shot. For a champion Matellon isn't someone they are rushing to face, but for a fellow contender a win over him would potentially net them a world title fight.
4-Elwin Soto (16-1, 11) II
What's better than one brilliant fight between two fighters? Several good fights between the same fighters! Given how good Heno's bout with Soto was there has to be some real interest in the men going again in a rematch. A rematch that would get more attention than their first and would work really well as a good supporting bout on a much big show, rather than headlining a mid-week card. Soto won the first fight, albeit a very close fight, and to have the men do it over would not be a problem at all! We expect to see Soto defending against former champion Angel Acosta next time out, but if Acosta doesn't fancy the rematch with "La Pulga" then having Heno take on the champion wouldn't be a bad alternative.
5-Reiya Konishi (17-2, 7)
A left of field choice, but a very, very interesting one for Heno, would be a bout with 2-time world title challenger Reiya Konishi. Konishi, who has lost to Carlos Canizales and Felix Alvarado, would likely see Heno as an opponent he can beat to stay in the world title mix, whilst Heno would see Konishi as a fighter he could beat to remain in the mix. Both would be going into this feeling they could pick up the win, and could earn themselves another shot. Stylistically Konishi makes for a very interesting opponent for Heno, with Konishi being the busier man, but Heno being the more skilled, and the better pure boxer. If neither can land another world title fight then this is a really interesting match up man one we would love to see.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).