Billel Dib is still set for a defence of his WBA Oceania Super Featherweight title on September 14 in Tweets Head, despite an opponent change which sees him clash with the game Carlo Magli in a fight that may propel Dib up the ratings and closer to forcing a fight with champion Andrew Cancio. Dib has a lofty position in the WBA, and his initial fight was scrapped as his original opponent from South Africa was removed from the WBA ratings for unknown reasons, hence the change in opponent. Dib cut straight to the point on his thoughts on the change of opponent.
He said, "I wasn't that bothered about the change in the opponent, to be honest. The result will remain the same which will be a Billel Dib victory. The initial opponent may have helped me force myself into the mandatory position, but I know I still need to look good and put on a good performance and impress those in attendance. "Carlo is a game fighter but I am focused on the job at hand and I will show my levels and show that I am a world champion in waiting."
Dib has been very clear in his ambitions to face world champion Cancio but now has a different challenge which can cause all sorts of issues regarding training camps and from a mental perspective. The highly ranked super featherweight opened up about the importance of putting on a show in order to force the fight with the WBA king.
Dib stated, "I have to put on a show on September 14 and that is exactly what I intend on doing. I have to put myself in the shop window to get a crack at the big one, so I'm training as hard as ever for this clash as if I don't I could leave myself open to a shock loss and I am a professional, I wouldn't dream of doing something like that.
"Training hasn't changed much and my mindset hasn't either despite the change of opponent. I am as focused as ever and I know 2020 will be my year and I hopefully will land a world title fight then but I know I have to put on an explosive show on September 14 if I want to make that a reality."
Just moments ago at the latest WP Boxing event in Bang Phun we saw former 2-time WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (53-6, 35), aka Panya Uthok, battle against former OPBF Super Featherweight champion Carlo Magali (23-12-3, 12).
On paper this was a really strange one in a number of ways. Firstly Pungluang had fought much of his career at a much lower weight than Magali, who had fought as high as Light Welterweight. Secondly was the fact both men were entering this successive losses, in fact Pungluang had lost 3 in a row, and was winless in over 3 years. Not only had Pungluang lost his last 3, but he hadn't fought in Thailand since losing the WBO Bantamweight title to Marlon Tapales in the summer of 2016. On the other hand the 32 year old Magali had lost his last 2 including a stoppage loss to Masao Nakamura in December.
Despite feeling like this was a strange match up it seems like the match makers knew what they were doing and we had a genuinely entertaining, TV friendly battle over 6 rounds of relative intensity. The Thai didn't look significantly smaller than Magali, though seemed much sharper and quicker and was often the man landing the eye catching flurries whilst taking much of the return fire on the arms and shoulders, often smiling whilst doing so. To his credit Magali never gave up trying, but was clearly being out worked, out landed and out boxed by the Thai, who showed surprising sharpness and ring craft given his recent form.
Over 6 rounds there was no real debating the winner, with Magali putting up a good effort, but clearly coming off second best, with Pungluang taking a clear decision and getting his first win since taking a technical decision over Jetro Pabustan in early 2016.
Earlier today at the EDION Arena Osaka fight fans had the chance to see a new WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight champion being crowned, as the heavy handed Masao Nakamura (25-3, 24) [仲村正男] faced off with under-rated Filipino Carlo Magali (23-11-3, 12) for the vacant title. On paper this was an excellent match up, with styles that seemed to be made for an exciting bout, both men had been OPBF champions with flaws the other could take advantage of.
The opening round saw Nakamura, a hard hitting boxer-puncher, start well as he fought behind his jab and his movement, but Magali would amp up the pressure in round 2 and begin to push the tempo. Magali's pressure forced Nakamura to hold his feet occasionally, and he managed to have success doing that as well, landing a cracking upper uppercut in round 4. Magali, who has been stopped before, took it well and wasn't discouraged from his game plan, instead he was likely happy that Nakamura had began to stand still so early. In fact the following round Magali landed his own right hook which appeared to momentarily hurt Nakamura, though only momentarily.
Magali's toughness was tested in round 7, when he took a huge right hand that cut him around the eye, and stood his ground before coming back well in round 8 with hooks that forced Nakamura to think twice about taking extra risks looking for the finish.
Sadly for for Magali his limited defense, and relative slowness in comparison to Nakamura, saw him taking big shots that worsened the cut, with an uppercut in round 10 really doing damage to the wound. It was so bad that the referee took Magali to the ringside doctor, who halted the action, stopping the Filipino on a second check.
With the win Nakamura give his career a huge shot in the arm, and he possibly thinking of earning a rematch with WBO world champion Masayuki Ito, who took a decision over Nakamura back in 2014. For Magali however this is a second straight loss in Japan and a 4th stoppage defeat, he still has lots to give, but it does seem like his time at this level may be running out sooner rather than later.
Arguably the best of the fights taking place in Japan tomorrow is the WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title bout, between the heavy handed Masao Nakamura (24-3, 23) [仲村正男] and under-rated Filipino Carlo Magali (23-10-3, 12). Both fighters are former OPBF Super Featherweight champions and both flawed but talented fighters, who should make for a nail biting and thrilling contest when they get in the ring together tomorrow.
Today, ahead of their bout at the EDION Arena Osaka, the men took part in their weigh in.
At the weigh in today the taller, longer and harder hitting Nakamura was bang on the 130lb limit, and looked strong at the weight. He stated he was going to win by KO and sounded incredibly confident as he looks put himself back in the mix for a world title fight, something he removed himself from when he retired in the summer of 2016.
Magali on the other hand was well under the limit, weighing in at 128.5lbs. He looked strong and powerful, but looked like a man who may be best served campaigning at Featherweight, rather than Super Featherweight going forward. Saying that however he's had success at 130lbs and we understand he may want to build on that success going forward, rather than cut extra weight to make a lower division limit.
Related - Nakamura and Magali to battle for regional crown!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Shinsei gym held a press conference to announce their second card for December 1st, making it one of the most stacked days for Japanese boxing in 2018.
The bouts that were announced today included two regional title fights and the next bout of a former champion.
One of the bouts announced is a WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title fight, which will see Reiya Konishi (16-1, 6) [小西伶弥] make his first defense, as he faces off with Richard Rosales (13-7-2, 7). The Japanese warrior won the belt earlier this year, beating Orlie Silvestre, and is always a fun fighter to watch. He will be favoured strongly, with Rosales not expected to really test him, but the bout could be very action packed.
A second WBO Asia Pacific bout will take place at Super Featherweight as Masao Nakamura (24-3, 23) [仲村正男] and Carlo Magali (23-10-3, 12) trade blows for the vacant title. Both men are former OPBF champions and both will know that a win here will take them closer to a world title fight. Nakamura, who lost to Masayuki Ito earlier in his career, is a massive puncher whilst Magali is a tough guy who presses the action, so we're expecting a real thriller here.
A third bout announced today sees former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo (13-1, 9) [久保隼] facing off with Indonesian journeyman Noldi Manakane (33-25-2, 18), in what appears to be a stay busy bout for Kubo ahead of a big 2019.
Prior to today's announcement Shinsei had announced a quadruple header of female title fights for December 1st, including an OPBF Atomweight title bout between Eri Matsuda (1-0) [松田恵里] and Minayo Kei (6-3, 1) [慶美奈代] , a WBO Asia Pacific female Minimumweight title bout between Kasumi Saeki (2-0, 1) [佐伯霞] and Wassana Kamdee (3-4, 2) and a WBO female Minimumweight title bout between Kayoko Ebata (12-7, 6) [江畑佳代子] and Etsuko Tada (17-3-2, 5) [多田悦子].
Notably these bouts won't be on a mega show, but will instead be two shows on the same day at the same venue, the EDION Arena Osaka, by the same promoter. But both shows look incredibly stacked. The female card is "Real Spirits Vol 60" whilst the male card will be "Real Spirits Vol 61".
Related - Shinsei announce quadruple header for December 1st!
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