On Friday out good friend Ian Melodillar reported that unbeaten Filipino hopeful Charly Suarez (6-0, 5) was set to compete in his next bout on July 3rd in what is set to be a notable step up in class for the former amateur standout.
The talented Suarez will, as Ian informed us, face off with unbeaten "Hellboy" Ryan James Racaza (11-0, 7), with the men clashing in Pangasinan.
The 32 year old Suarez turned professional in 2019 with high expectations following an excellent amateur career. Sadly however an exciting start to his professional career really didn't kick off and 2020 was not a good year for Suarez, who fought only once. This year bout will however be his third of 2021 as he looks to get his career back on track.
Racaza on the other hand is a 24 year old who debuted in 2015 and was busy until the end of 2019. Sadly Covid19 ruined his momentum and plans and he spent the entire of 2020 away from the ring, losing whatever momentum he was building.
Also set for this card is a 6 rounder between the under-rated Jhunriel Ramonal (17-8-6, 10) and former world title challenger Jetro Pabustan (30-8-6, 9). Sadly for Ramonal this will be his first bout in well over a year, and he has certainly lost all the moment he had at the end of 2019, when he beat Shingo Wake and Yusaku Kuga in back to back bouts. Pabustan on the other hand has lost 4 of his last 5 and is along way removed from the fighter who challenged for the WBO Bantamweight title in 2016.
Earlier today our good friend Ian Melodillar informed us that there are reports in the Philippines of a very interesting Super Bantamweight bout set for May 29th in Binan City.
The match up in question would see the hard hitting Jhunriel Ramonal (17-8-6, 10) battle against former Chinese world title challenger Qiu Xiao Jun (23-4, 11) [裘晓君]. Interestingly the match would also be for a host of minor titles, 4 in fact, with the IBO, WBC, IBF and WBA all having some title on the line for the contest.
If the bout does go ahead, as the reports suggest, it would be Qiu's first bout since late 2018, when he stopped Robert Udtohan in Thailand, and would see the "Dragon" trying to kick start his career, which has never really recovered since his 2016 loss to Nehomar Cermeno. It would also be his first bout in the Philippines.
As for Ramonal the bout would be his first since the very end of 2019, when he travelled over to Japan and stopped Yusaku Kuga inside a round. That win had followed an even more impressive victory, a brutal TKO win against Shingo Wake, in October 2019.
At the moment the bout doesn't appear to be a done deal as such, but with growing talk of the contest it seems like it's close to being finalised, and would be among the first international bouts in the Philippines since the Covid19 pandemic saw boxing in the country being stopped last year.
In 2019 Filipino fighter Jhunriel Ramonal (17-8-6, 10) went on a destructive tear in Japan, first he stopped Shingo Wake (26-6-2, 18) [和氣 慎吾] in October before returning to the country and claiming the WBO Asia Pacific Super Bantamweight title with a blow out win over Japanese national champion Yusaku Kuga (19-4-1, 13) [久我勇作].
Earlier today Dino Olivetti Jr, from the Olivetti Boxing Gym which manage Ramonal, announced Ramonal's first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific title.
Olivetti revealed that the bout would be taking place in Tokyo on May 28th and see his charge defending his title against former WBC "interim" Bantamweight champion Takuma Inoue (13-1, 3) [井上 拓真].
For Ramonal the bout would give him a chance to score a third straight upset win on Japanese soil, and really make it clear that he deserves a world title fight. On the other hand it gives Inoue, the younger brother of Naoya Inoue [井上 尚弥], a chance to rebuild following his 2019 loss to WBC Bantamweight world champion Nordine Oubaali.
On paper this is an excellent bout between and heavy handed upset minded champion and highly skilled but light punching challenger. An excellent clash of styles and a potentially very interesting match up.
We expect this bout will be announced by Ohashi Gym, who are almost certainly going to be the promoter of the show, in the near future as Ohashi and team put the finishing touches to the show.
On New Year's Eve the Ota City General Gymnasium played host to a show with a staggering 6 title bouts on it. Sadly only two of those were shown live on Japanese channel TBS.
That meant that we never got the chance to see the WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title fight, featuring unbeaten champion Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0, 4) [重岡銀次朗] defending against former world title challenger Rey Loreto (25-15, 17), or the WBO female Super Flyweight title bout, between Miyo Yoshida (14-1) [吉田 実代] and Chinese challenger Li Ping Shi (5-3, 2).
Thankfully we now know when those bouts will be televised, with TBS set to air them in just over a week's team on a tape delay basis as part of their semi-regular Guts Fighting series.
From the TBS website the bouts will air on January 20th at 2:05, though from a Japanese TV guide it appears the bout will actually be shown on the 21st at 2:05. It's unclear if they will be shown in full, though given how long they went it wouldn't be a surprise to see both aired in an unedited form during a 1 hour broadcast slot.
Although they'll have taken 3 weeks to be aired, we suspect the wait will be worth it, with the fan cam footage of Shigeoka's making it seem like that was a very fun fight.
At the moment it's unclear whether TBS plan to air the WBO Asia Pacific Super Bantamweight title bout between Yusaku Kuga (19-4-1, 13) [久我勇作] and Filipino fighter Jhunriel Ramonal (17-8-6, 10), though given how short that was it would be no surprise to see them slip it on to this broadcast.
Coming in to 2019 Filipino puncher Jhunriel Ramonal (17-8-6, 10) had no career momentum. He had fought just once in the previous 4 years, and even that was just a draw in 2018. He ends the year, however, with a new found reputation as a Japanese killer after scoring a second huge win in Japan, and has instantly put himself in the mix for a world title fight!
Back in October Ramonal stopped former world title challenger Shingo Wake, taking out Wake in brutal fashion at the end of round 3. Today he returned to Japan and blew out Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yusaku Kuga (19-4-1, 13) [久我勇作], inside a round, to claim the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Super Bantamweight title.
From the off both men were letting heavy leather go. Neither seemed to feel like they were in need of their defense. That was a dangerous gameplan and a huge, sweeping right hand from Ramonal dropped Kuga. Kuga beat the count but failed to prove he was in a fit state to continue, and the referee waved off the bout.
The stoppage came at 1:24 of round 1.
Given that Ramonal seemingly walked away from the sport in 2014, following a 4 fight stretch that saw him lose 3 of his previous 4, his 2019 has been massive and this is a second massive upset win over a world ranked fighter this year! Although not the best boxer, he's a monster puncher, and has proven his win over Wake wasn't a fluke.
As for Kuga this will be a hard loss to rebuild from. He had managed to put a 2018 loss to Wake behind him, and reclaimed the Japanese national title, but with 2 stoppage losses in 5 bouts it's going to leave the Watanabe man with a lot of question marks over his durability and chin.
(Photo Credit - A. McGovern)
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