Back in September it was reported that former WBO Minimumweight champion Vic Saludar (20-4, 11) would be clashing with the unbeaten Robert Paradero (18-0, 12) for the WBA "regular" Minimumweight title on December 5th. Sadly over the last few weeks that date was appearing less and less likely and yesterday it was confirmed that the date had indeed slipped
Rather than taking place in early December the bout has now been pushed to the back of January, with a new date of January 30th.
The delay, unsurprisingly, is Covid19 related, with with Metro Manila being in a state of general community quarantine until the end of the year, which is preventing sporting events in the regional.
Despite the delay the bout will still take place at the Elorde Sports Complex Philippines, Sucat, Paranaque City and Bebot Elorde has told the Philippines Daily Tribune that the end delay will give him more time to get things ready, essentially looking at the positives rather than the negatives.
It should be noted that the winner here will be the WBA's "secondary" champion, though would be in the running to face current "Super" champion Knockout CP Freshmart (21-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท], who sadly hasn't fought since a win in March against Norihito Tanaka [田中教仁], and has seen various rumours amount to nothing.
Whilst the delay is a disappointment it is worth noting that boxing is set to pick up in the Philippines, and there are other shows set for December as well as a host of international bouts for Filipino fighters. These include the December 19th bout between Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26) and Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12), for the WBC Bantamweight title, the December 20th bout with Jayson Mama (15-0, 8) challenging IBF Flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane (39-2, 26) and the December 19th world title eliminator between Jeny Boy Boca (14-6, 12) and Muhammad Waseem (10-1, 7).
After months of seeing very limited Filipino action it now appears the country could be set for a huge month to finish the year, and also have something exciting to look forward to in January!
Earlier today, Dan Rafael, writing for Boxingscene, broke the news that IBF Flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane (39-2, 26) would be back in action on December 20th, defending his belt in South Africa against Filipino challenger Jayson Mama (15-0, 8).
According to the report from Rafael the bout will be a mandatory defense for the 38 year old Mthalane, and will see him fighting in KwaZulu-Natal, his hometown, for the first in his career.
For Mthalane the bout will be his 4th defense of the belt he won in a close Muhammad Waseem back in July 2-18. Since then he had been a run against Japanese challengers, including Akira Yaegashi who he sent into retirement at the end of 2019. That win over Yaegashi was Mthalane's most recent bout, and he will have been out for close to a year heading into this bout with Mama.
As for Mama this is a massive step up in class. The Filipino 23 year old has never proven he's world class, though he does hold wins over Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr, in what was an IBF Flyweight tournament bout and former WBA Minimumweight champion Kwanthai Sithmorseng. Interestingly he has twice fought outside of the Philippines, but this will be his first bout outside of Asia.
In terms of when he last fought, Mama was in action in February, though it was a very low level bout against low level domestic fighter Reymark Taday. For those who haven't see Mama we've included that bout below, thanks to Powcast.
Coming in Mama will be a major under-dog, though at 38 years old we do wonder how much longer Mthalane, who has had a tough career, can fight off father time as well as opponents. With almost a year out we do, genuinely wonder, if the timeless Mthalane, a true wonder of the lower weights, will look as sharp as he did against Yaegashi and Masayuki Kuroda, both of whom he beat last year. This may be the perfect time to face him, least that's what Mama and his team will be hoping.
At the end of December we'll see WBO Flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka (14-0, 8) [田中恒成] defending his title against Chinese challenger Wulan Tuolehazi (13-3-1, 6) [乌兰], in what will be Tanaka's third defense of the title.
Today, well ahead of that bout, Tanaka took part in a media sparring session at the Hatanaka Gym in Nagoya, sharing the ring with Jayson Mama (14-0, 7), for a 4 round spar.
The session saw Tanaka looking razor sharp and lighting quick, making the most of his jab, his hook and his quick feet, and really showing off what he could do. He seemed to feel in great condition, and looked genuine against a sparring partner who has big ambitions of his own
Whilst the event today was clearly more for Tanaka and the press than the Mama the Filipino himself spoke about what great experience he had got from sharing the ring with Tanaka over the last 2 weeks. It seems clear that this level of sparring will help him long term, just as much as it'll help Tanaka hone his skills.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Moments ago unbeaten Filipino Jayson Mama (13-0, 7) got his biggest win to date, scoring a TKO win over former WBA Minimumweight champion Ekkawit Songnui (49-7-1, 26), aka Kwanthai Sithmorseng.
On paper that's a huge win for the 22 year old from General Santos City but in reality it looked very much like a quit job from the Thai veteran, who didn't look like he wanted to be there and was very happy to invite the doctor to stop the bout.
The first 2 rounds saw Mama applying pressure, with mixed success. The Thai was on the move through out and did little to engage the unbeaten prospect. It seemed during those first 2 rounds that Ekkawit figured out that he he had no chance to beat the younger, fresher, bigger Mama and he would take any opportunity to get out of the bout without taking much punishment,
Early in round 3 the Thai got an opening to get out. A punch from Mama opened a small cut and the visitor almost begged the doctor to look at it. The doctor didn't seem too bothered, but the fighter himself made it clear he didn't want to continue, forcing the doctor's hand, and giving Mama the TKO win.
If we're being totally honest we'd like to see the GAB prevent the Thai from returning to a Thai ring after this and potentially with hold his purse. That was a clear a quit job by a former world as we've seen in a very, very long time. For Mama the win looks good on his record, but he surely feels underwhelmed by the victory.
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.
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