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.
Yesterday in China fans were able to see the latest Silk Road tournament show, and it turned out not to be a good one for those with experience, as two well known and experienced fighters were upset by younger, less experience men.
One of those bouts saw former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (18-4-1, 11) [竹中 良] losing a narrow split decision to 19 year old Ukrainian Georgiy Lashko (8-0, 4). Lashko, a real unknown, was a late replacement and was taking a massive step up in class, but was able to over-come his more established Japanese fighter, putting himself, potentially, in the IBF world rankings. At just 19 he could be one to watch, and this could be the end of Takenaka as a notable fighter, even on the regional scene.
The other saw former world title challenger Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (38-7-1, 21) [ศักดิ์กรีรินทร์] and come up short to unbeaten Filipino Jayson Mama (12-0, 6). Mama, 21, was pretty dominant on the scores cards for this bout, winning 98-92, twice, and 99-91, as he made biggest statement so far. Despite the loss Fahlan's team have apparently not ended their hopes of rebuilding and the experienced 25 year old does still seem to have a lot of hope on his shoulders from his team.
Tomorrow fight fans in China will see former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (18-3-1, 11) [竹中 良] fighting in the IBF Silk Road Tournament.
Originally he was scheduled to face unbeaten foe Omurbek Malabekov (4-0, 1), however Malabekov is out of the bout, and has been replaced 19 year old Ukrainian Georgiy Lashko (7-0, 4), who is taking a massive step up in class for this bout.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout, and both men came in at 130lbs for the bout.
Also on this card is a match up between Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (38-6-1, 21) [ศักดิ์กรีรินทร์] and unbeaten Filipino Jayson Mama (11-0, 6). We haven't been given the weights for these two, but we have been told that both made weight for their bout
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