ALA Boxing Gym, the premier promotional outfit in the Philippines, have revealed that their next card in the "Pinoy Pride" line of shows, "Pinoy Pride 44", will take place on June 9th in Maasin City, and although it's not set to feature any world class bouts it does look like a stacked card with name value running through it, and should be a card that generates a fair bit of attention from those involved in it.
The main event is set to feature the popular Albert Pagara (29-1, 20) taking on Ghana's Laryea Gabriel Odoi (20-3-2, 14), who is best known for losing in a Commonwealth title fight to Martin Ward in 2013. Pagara, originally from Maasin City, will be the overwhelming favourite in the eyes of the fans, but Odoi has never been stopped, and has lost only once in his last 23 fights, having rebuilt following a 0-2 start to his professional career. Athlough Odoi is a tough, then again aren't all fighters teak tough, he has only fought once in the last year, and has only fought 4 times in the last 4 years. For Pagara this is a chance to record his 4th straight win following his 2016 loss to Cesar Juarez
Albert will be joined by older brother Jason Pagara (40-3-1, 25), who takes on Indonesian Geisler AP (12-10-1, 9). It's fair to say that 2017 was a year to forget for the once touted Pagara, who went 0-1-1 for the year. In December he suffered a TKO loss to Hiroki Okada and in both of his 2017 bouts he looked like a fighter who really lacked the commitment and fitness to be fighting. Even an off the boil Pagara should have far too much for the visiting fighter here, with the Indonesian fighter having been stopped in every one of his bouts outside of Indonesia.
Former world title challenger Arthur Villanueva (31-3, 17) will be returning to the ring for the first time since his stoppage loss to Luis Nery as he takes on domestic journeyman Renren Tesorio (16-12-3, 4), in what should be an easy comeback fight for the 29 year old.
In another of the feature bouts the exciting Jeo Santisima (15-2, 13) will battle against Thai visitor Yodsingdaeng Jor Chaijinda (16-5, 10) in a bout for the WBO Oriental Super Bantamweight title. The Thai visitor is 0-5 outside of Thailand is is likely to extend that losing run here against the hard hitting Santisima, who has looked like a real prospect in recent bouts, and will be looking to move into the WBO rankings with another win here. The Thai was riding a 10 fight winning run until recently, with that run ending this past February when he was out pointed by Juan Miguel Elorde, and we suspect he'll now suffer a second successive loss.
Others pencilled in for this card including former world title challenger Melvin Jerusalem (12-2, 7), unbeaten puncher Jeno Macapobre (3-0, 2) and Japanese fighter Go Hosaka (0-0)
Earlier today fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw former national Light Welterweight champion Hiroki Okada (17-0, 12) [岡田 博喜] take a huge step towards a world title fight as he dominated Filipino veteran Jason Pagara (40-3-1, 25) and claimed the WBO Asia Pacific Light Welterweight crown.
Yesterday, at the weigh in, Pagara missed weight and it seemed like Okada took it as a personal insult stating that he would break Pagara's heart. That seemed to be Okada's intent straight away as he began to land stiff jabs on Paraga from the early stages. Pagara managed to have some success of his own in the first round, but really that success was really limited thanks to the stiff jab of Okada who intelligently pressed the action.
The jab of Okada became busier in round 2 and his footwork, especially defensively, seemed sharper than it had in the opening round. The sharpness of Okada's footwork was matched with his punching and it seemed like Okada really was taking his opportunity to shine. He was aggressive but intelligent, offensive but yet calculated. This approac continued from Okada, who stepped up the aggresison bit by bit as the rounds went on, until round 5 when he began to really break down Pagara. The Filipino, who to his credit showed real heart last time out against James Onyango, was trying to fight back, until a vicious combination to the head seemed cause Pagara to turn his back and show that he wanted out. The referee obliged stopping the contest.
Once on the verge of a world title fight questions now need to be asked about Pagara's career. He had looked ill prepared against James Onyango and looked just as bad here, failing to make weight and showing little desire when the going got tough. For Okaa however the door is now wide open for world title eliminators for either the IBF or WBO titles and his future is looking bright, with this performance being arguably the most complete of his career so far.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans will see former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Hiroki Okada (16-0, 11) [岡田 博喜] battle against Filipino fighter Jason Pagara (40-2-1, 25). The bout was originally supposed to see the two men battle for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Welterweight title, though unfortunately due to weight issues only one of the two men will be able to win the title.
Today at the weigh in Okada made weight, weighing in bang on 140lbs and looking in fantastic shape on the scales. The weight is lighter than he has been in his last two bouts, but it is the 15th time he has been 140lbs on the scales and it's clear he is a natural Light Welterweight.
Pagara on the other hand completely failed to make weight. On his first attempt on the scales he came in coming in at 142.8lbs, almost 3lbs over the limit. He would re-weigh a second time and had only managed to lose a fraction of the weight that he had to, coming in at 142.4lbs for the bout. Not only did he fail to make weight, but he also looked terrible on the scales and made himself unable to win the title.
Okada seemed very angered by Pagara's unprofessional manner and seemed to suggest he was going to break his heart tomorrow. For Pagara there really is questions that need to be asked about his professional nature and where he sees his career going in the future.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Ryota Yamauchi to take major step up!
We've known for a while that former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Hiroki Okada (16-0, 11) [岡田 博喜] would be back in the ring in December, for a bout with Filipino fighter Jason Pagara (40-2-1, 25) for as the two men battle for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Welterweight title. It's now been confirmed that the card on December 19th will have several other notable bouts, with arguably the most interesting of those being a 6 round Flyweight contest.
The bout in question will see former amateur standout Ryota Yamauchi (1-0, 1) [山内涼太] step up to face the highly ranked Filipino Lester Abutan (12-6-3, 6), whocurrently holds a #8 ranking with the OPBF at Light Flyweight.
As an amateur Yamauchi went 38-15 (14) and that experience helped him get a B class license for his debut earlier this year, with his debut coming in late June as he stopped Supaluek Noiwaengphim in 2 rounds. That bout was a low profile one, but it was included on Boxingraise and Yamauchi did look like a genuine natural talent with lovely fluidity, a razor sharp jab and a brutal body attack, which actually dropped the Thai twice.
Teh Filipino visitor might not have the best looking record on paper but the 26 year old holds notable recent wins over Mateo Handig and, more recently, Rene Patilano, and has shared the ring with Giemel Magramo, Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr, losing a split decision, and Ken Shiro, who stopped him in an OPBF title fight. He's not impressed as much as Yamauchi has in terms of skills, but fighting to a very close decision with Fahlan in Thailand is very impressive and with experience of fighting at OPBF title level he should serve as a serious test for the unbeaten Japanese prospect.
In late October we reported that former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Hiroki Okada (16-0, 11) [岡田 博喜] would be back in action on December 19th in a bout againt Filipino fighter Jason Pagara (40-2-1, 25) for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Welterweight title. It now seems that Okada's future plans, beyond Pagara, are now also being set with the IBF ordering the unbeaten fighter from the Kadoebi Gym to begin negotiations with unbeaten Belorussian Ivan Baranchyk (17-0, 10).
Okada is ranked #7 by the IBF and Baranchyk is ranked #4, with the winner of their bout likely to become one of the leading contenders to fight for the title. They will have until December 6th to negotiate the contest, which is just under 2 weeks from the date of the Okada/Pagara bout, and may well see the IBF extend the negotiating period given the date of Okada's previously scheduled bout.
Baranchyk was a former amateur stand out who has looked devastating since turning professional in 2014. He began his career with back to back decisions before stopping 10 of 11 oppoenents, and genuinely blitzing foes with 6 opening round wins. In his last 4 bouts his power has been questioned, having gone the schedule in each of his last 4 bouts, but he is an aggressive and destructive fighter.
Okada on the other hand has been quietly going about things in Japan. He won his first 7 by stoppage before claiming the Japanese Light Welterweight title in 2014, with a decision win over Masayoshi Kotake. After defending the title 6 times he vacated it and began to move towards bigger bouts. This is a big step up for him,but has shown the skills to go a long way if he can just up his work rate and let his hands flow a bit more than he has in recent bouts, including competitive bouts with Cristiano Aoqui and Valentine Hosokawa.
The winner of the Baranchyk Vs Okada bout would, potentially face the winner of a bout between current champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10) and big name American Adrien Broner (33-3-0-1, 24).
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!