Unbeaten Filipino prospect Dave Apolinario (11-0, 6) had arguably his toughest test to date earlier today as he took on domestic foe Adrian Lerasan (7-4, 1), and was given a really good work out by the unheralded Lerasan.
On paper this looked like a mismatch, the fast rising and unbeaten prospects, who had been tipped for big things from his debut, against an opponent with 3 losses in his previous 4 bouts, , but instead Lerasan put in a fantastic effort, pressuring Apolinario through long stretches of the fight and not reacting to the heavy clean shots of the unbeaten man.
Lerasan's offensive work posed little danger to Apolinario, but that didn't stop him from letting his shots go and he had plenty of success with his shots, especially as the bout went on and he grew in confidence. That's not to say he didn't take a fair bit from Apolinario, including a huge right hand and a brutal looking jab in round 7, but he was putting up a real fight and getting in Apolinario's face.
Despite Lerasan's effort it did always seem like he was coming off second best. Apolinario might not have been able to discourage his foe, but he was out boxing, out landing and out classing him, winning the rounds, but having to work for every single one of them. The shots of Apolinario did eventually seem to slow Lerasan down late on, but even in round 10 he managed to back up Apolinario.
Impressively both men went 10 rounds for the first time in their career, something that will certainly help both fighters in the long run, but there was no doubting the winner. After the 10th round we went to the scorecards with Apolinario winning the bout 98-92 and 99-91, twice, for a well earned win in a very, very good test. Both men came out with enhanced reputations here, and Lerasan looks a lot better than a man who is now 1-4 in his last 5.
Yesterday Filipino promotional outfit Sanman Promotions announced their next card to feature on ESPN5 in the Philippines, set for June 8th, and it's a pretty interesting one with several notable names, mixing top Filipino prospects with a former world title challenger and a former world champion.
The most notable fight on the card will see unbeaten Filipino Jayson Mama (12-0, 6) take on former WBA Minimumweight champion Ekkawit Songnui (49-6-1, 26), aka Kwanthai Sithmorseng, in a 10 round bout. This looks interesting on paper, given the gulf in experience, but it's hard to see past the younger, bigger, fresher Mama.
Another world level name on this show is Randy Petalcorin (29-3-1, 22), who is taking on Thai journeyman Worawatchai Boonjan (14-21-1, 13), aka Phupha Por Nobnom.
For Petalcorin this will be his first bout since losing to Felix Alvarado in an IBF Light Flyweight world title fight last October, whilst the visitor will look to end a 2-fight losing streak.
Another of the top prospects on this card is the all action Carl Jammes Martin (12-0, 11), who returns to the ESPN5 screens as he takes on unbeaten Indian visitor Rakesh Lohchab (6-0, 2). Martin made his TV debut last time out, stopping Petchchorhae Kokietgym in thrilling fashion and looks like a true "made for TV" fighter, so fingers crossed he puts on another showcase here.
One other bout set for TV is an all-Filipino show down between the unbeaten Dave Apolinario (10-0 6) an the once promising, though now very much faltering, Dexter Alimento (13-6, 9). Apolinario has shone on ESPN5 shows in the past, and looked an elite level prospect earlier in the year when he defeated Romshane Sarguilla, and he appears to have all the tools to go a very, very long way. Alimention on the other hand has been stopped in his last 3, is win-less in in his last 4 and is 2-6 in his last 8.
As with the other ESPN5 cards this is expected to be streamed around the globe courtesy of ESPN5's youtube account.
In a clear step up today Filipino youngster Dave Apolinario (10-0, 6) took on Romshane Sarguilla (7-2-2, 4) in a bout televised on ESPN5.
In the opening round Apolinario looked razor sharp, using his southpaw stance brilliantly and landing numerous right hooks as well as some crisp straight left hands. Sarguilla had some moments but they were few and far between with all the really eye catching shots coming from the unbeaten man. Apolinario would continue to land the better shots through round 2 and 3, but Sarguilla, to his credit, took the shots well and seemed to begin biding his time a little more, hoping for the quicker Apolinario to slow down.
Early in the 4th round, not long after Apolinario landed one of his best shots of the fight, Sarguilla tried to slow Apolinario down with a pretty clear low blow, and was given a clear telling off. The unbeaten fighter was in pain but would get his own back landing one low himself not long after, after if to suggest he can play dirty too if that was the fight that Sarguilla wanted. Sadly for Sarguilla the low blow was about the only hurtful shot he landed in the round, whilst Apolinario went on to land some very eye catching combinations.
Saguilla looked to be out boxed, out sped and out fought, but was relying on his toughness. As the rounds went on however it became more and more of a test of how tough he was, as he could never really change the fight of have any sustained success. Despite being clearly beaten Sarguilla was continually pressing the fight, coming forward and trying to make a fight of it. In round 7 that did cost him however, as he was dropped whilst rushing forward. He claimed it was a slip but it did seem that a punch did at least help him down.
In the end the bout was a clear win on all 3 cards for Apolinario, who looked good and certainly got his biggest win so far. There will however be much stiffer tests to come in the future.
Gaballo, the WBA "interim" Bantamweight champion, will be up against Japan's Yuya Nakamura (9-2-1, 7), who continues to fight outside of the Japanese system with bouts in China, Thailand and the Philippines. Nakamura really caught our attention back in December, when he had an unlucky 6 round draw with Yongu Yu, in what was a thoroughly entertaining contest.
Duno on the other hand will be up against Indian foe Kuldeep Dhanda (7-1, 1), who will be fighting outside of India foe the first time. Not only will this be Dhanda's international debut, but also his first bout since December 2017!
Whilst we love the main event between Apolinario and Vicells, we can't help but feel Gaballo and Duno have been matched relatively easily, a pattern we are seeing a little too often with these ESPN5 shows.
Earlier today Filipino promotional outfit Sanman Promotions revealed that their first show of 2019 will be doubleheader, to be held on February 9th in the Philippines and shown on ESPN5.
One of the two main event bouts will see WBA "interim" Bantamweight champion Reymart Gaballo (20-0, 17) whilst the other will feature Lightweight hopeful Romero Duno (18-1, 14). At the moment neither man has had their opponent for the bout's announced but they will be international opponents and will hopefully beat the typical opponent we've seen served up on the main bouts of the ESPN5 cards, such as Gaballo's last opponent Julias Kisarawe, who was just terrible.
The one bout that has been put together will see Dave Apolinario (9-0, 6) battle against Mark Vicelles (9-0-1, 5) for the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Flyweight title, in what is an excellent step up for both men.
We saw a number of Sanman shows on ESPN5 last year and it really did help fans keep up with Filipino hopefuls, and seems to be something that is continuing into the new year, as the channel once again looks to back Filipino boxing, and developing the sport. Sanman Boxing CEO Jim Claude Manangquil is quoted by ESPN.Com as saying:
"I couldn't have done this without the support of ESPN5. They are doing a very noble mission helping Filipino boxers get the exposure they deserve. (The year) 2018 was such a great year for Sanman, will ensure 2019 will even be a more explosive year for us and for Philippine Boxing. This Gaballo and Duno double treat is our way of starting the new boxing year with a bang. We look forward to more world titles for Fiipino boxers and more big events for Sanman,"
With that in mind it seems obvious that there is big plans for ESPN5 to stay involved in the sport, something really needed to try and recapture the Filipino audience, and give fighters a chance to build their names.
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