In late March we saw Filipino fighter Rommel Asenjo come up very short when he took on Juan Francisco Estrada. Just 2 weeks later we see another Filipino travelling to Mexico in hope of shocking the boxing world. This time it's the unbeaten Richard Claveras (12-0-2, 12) who will be looking to score a huge upset win and claim the WBC Light Flyweight title when he battles against Pedro Guevara (24-1-1, 16).
Coming into the bout Claveras is a real unknown. He may be the future of Filipino boxing, or he may be a fighter who bitten off much more than he can chew.
Aged 25 Claveras is dubbed “Explosive” due to his power, power that has seen him stopping his last 10 opponents, and 12 of his last 13. On one hand he has been wiping out opponents at double quick speed, in fact his 14 career bouts have lasted just 34 rounds, less than 2.5 rounds a fight. That has been because he's scored 8 opening round stoppages and 10 stoppages in the first 2 rounds. On the other hand he hasn't been fighting particularly stiff competition with his most experienced foe being Rodel Tejares and his most notable win being an 8th round TKO against JC Francisco.
Whilst it's almost impossible to judge Claveras from his competition he's been dealing with it the way he should. He's been completely destroying them following a 2-0-2 (2) start to his career.
What we do know about Claveras is that his body shots are spiteful, his head shots are vicious, his size, for a Light Flyweight, is incredibly imposing and from the little bit of footage we've seen he's patient, surprisingly for someone with a record like he has. We also know that at 25 years old he's coming into his physical prime, even if he is technically inexperienced as a fighter.
Whilst little is real known about the Filipino challenger we do know plenty about the defending champion, who claimed the title late last year when he stopped Akira Yaegashi in Japan. That was Guevara's second world title fight after having previously come up short against the then IBF champion Johnriel Casimero.
As a fighter Guevara really can do it. He's a brilliant boxer-puncher who shows traits of Ricardo Lopez in the way he fights. He's capable of fighting at range behind his excellent jab, he's able to box on the back foot his counters and, when push comes to shove, he can fight on the inside. He combines his excellent all round ability with solid toughness and real patience, which make him very tough to beat. In fact his record essentially proves that as he already holds notable wins over the likes of Yaegashi, Mario Rodriguez and Raul Garcia, an excellent trio of fighters.
Whilst what have seen of Claveras is impressive it's impossible for us to favour him against the fantastic Guevara who is more proven and more known. That's not to say Claveras stand no chance, but he really is going from the paddling pool to the middle of the ocean and being told to swim for the first time. Not only is he being told to swim, but he's being told to swim with sharks.
For Claveras his best chance, if not his only chance, is to start fast and hope his power is simply too much for Guevara. Unfortunately for the challenger it does seem like Guevara is a tough and gritty fighter and we suspect the champion will see out any early assault before turning the tables, using his experience and skills to eventually break down the challenger, who simply isn't ready for a fight at this level.
World Title Previews
The biggest fights get broken down as we try to predict who will come out on top in the up coming world title bouts.