Yesterday in the Philippines there was an interesting show headlined by a GAB Minimumweight title bout, between Joel Lino (11-3-1, 4) and ArAr Andales (10-2, 2). On paper the bout looked excellent, despite both fighters picking up recent defeats.
In one corner was Andales, who had given WBA world champion Knockout CP Freshmart a very competitive bout in August, losing a close technical decision to the Thai, who appeared to be under pressure from the 20 year old Filipino. In the other was Lino, who had suffered 3 straight decision losses coming into this bout to Masataka Taniguchi, over 12 rounds, Ginjiro Shigeoka, over 8 rounds, and Toto Landero, also over 8 rounds.
Despite their recent losses both came into this with hunger and from the opening moments both were engaging in a fantastic little war, looking to get the respect of their opponent. As the bout went on the pace merely increased and the bout became more and more of an inside war, with both men holding their feet and just unloading up close.
Whilst neither man was much of a puncher they were unloading as if they believed their power was going to be too much for their opponent. This made for some thrilling back and forth action, and there was a lot of body shots going in by both men in rounds 3 and 4, with Lino landing the better quality blows.
Notably whenever Andales had his moments of success it wasn't long until he found himself back on the back foot and under pressure from Lino, who seemed stronger, tougher and more accurate.
Early in round 6 Lino hurt his man, and had him on the ropes, where he began to tee off on a tired and hurt looking Andales. Andales tried to fight back but the assault from Lino just didn't end and eventually the referee came in and saved the youngster.
For Andales this is a second successive loss whilst Lino ends his losing run with a fantastic win for the GAB title.
Given how young both men are there's a very good chance we'll see both of these men up against each other in the future, and given how good this bout was, we certainly won't be complaining about that!
Earlier today fight fans in Kumamoto had a chance to see the the mega touted Ginjiro Shigeoka (3-0, 2) [重岡銀次朗], Japan's latest "super prospect". The unbeaten youngster, who had taken out two Thai's in quick fashion to begin his career, wasn't just fighting his third professional bout, but was doing so in a massive step up in class, taking on Filipino Joel Lino (10-2-1, 3) in an 8 round bout.
Prior to today Shigeoka had fought just 4 rounds as a professional, taking out two Thai foes at the Korakuen Hall. Lino on the other hand had suffered just a single loss, a defeat to recent world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (11-3, 7) [谷口 将隆]. It was a clear leap up in class for Shigeoka, but a leap he made comfortably, and answered some of the questions about his ability, and his long term potential.
Early on both men looked to fight at range, feeling out the other man and looking for their powerful backhands. It wasn't long until Shigeoka began to press more intently, bringing his hooks into play in round 2. With Shigeoka building his momentum Lino became rougher, trying to make the fight messy, and in round 5 a clash of heads left Shigeoka with a cut around his right eye.
With a cut, and with the bout going longer than his first 2 bouts combined Shigeoka was beginning to be asked some questions of his stamina and his mentality. Lino managed to have some success in round 7, one of his best rounds, landing a good right when Shigeoka came inside, but it was a fleeting moment of success with Shigeoka back in control in round 8, landing his straight left hand and his hard right hook on a fairly regular basis.
Despite failing to extend his KO run Shigeoka did take home a clear win, with scores of 80-73, 79-75 and 78-75. It's now expected that he will begin to turn his focus on title fights, with a potential title shot coming later in the year, after the cut has healed. As for Lino it was a game effort, but he was just up against a very special young fighter, who was clearly too good on the day.
Tomorrow fight fans in Kumamoto will get the chance to see the highly regarded Ginjiro Shigeoka (2-0, 2) [重岡銀次朗] take his first major step up in class, to face off with Filipino Joel Lino (10-1-1, 3).
Today the two men took part in their weigh in, an both fighters managed to come in as Minimumweights.
Shigeoka, the much shorter man, was 104.7lbs and comes into this bout as a young man looking to making a statement and take a huge step towards his first title bout. Lino, despite being taller, was the lighter man, coming in 103.6lbs.
Sadly it doesn't appear like this bout will be made available to watch, a real shame given the talent clashing here. There is hope that TKU do make the fight available online in the future, but that's certainly not a given.
(Image courtesy of Watanabe Gym's facebook page)
We've known for a while that the April 14th card in Kumamoto, headlined by Musashi Mori (8-0, 5) [森 武蔵] defending his WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title against Richard Pumicpic (21-9-2, 6), would feature a host of exciting prospects. Those prospects now appear to have had their opponents named.
One of our most reliable and trusted sources have reported the opponents for Ginjiro Shigeoka (2-0, 2) [重岡銀次朗], Seiya Tsutsumi (4-0, 3) [堤聖也] and Sora Takeda (4-1,1) [竹田宙].
Shigeoka, who is regarded by many hardcore followers of the Japanese scene as one of the best prospects in the country, is listed as being up against Filipino Joel Lino (10-1-1, 3), in what is a brilliant match up.
Shigeoka, who turned professional last year, has looked sensational so far, but this is a worthwhile step up and sees him up against a man who took Masataka Taniguchi 12 rounds last year in a WBO Asia Pacific title bout. This is a real test, and a really tough bout for Shigeoka, who may be able to open eyes in a big way if he forces another stoppage. For Lino this is a chance to make his mark, but it is a very tough match up against one of the best young fighters on the planet.
Tsutsumi is listed as being up against experienced Filipino tough guy Ryan Rey Ponteras (22-13-3, 11), who has never been stopped in his 38 fight career. Given Tsutsumi's aggressive style and Ponteras's toughness this could be an amazingly exciting bout. Ponteras is no world beater, but is much better than his record suggest, whilst Tsutsumi has been out of the ring for a while, due to an injury that saw him cancel a bout in December.
As for Takeda his bout will see him going up against Thai Sanchai Yotboon (4-2, 4), who was stopped in September by a then debuting Shigeoka. The talented Takeda won the 2018 Rookie of the Year at Minimumweight and he should be far too skilled for the Thai visitor here.
Earlier today in Thailand fight fans were able to see talented Japanese fighter Masataka Taniguchi (11-2, 7) [谷口 将隆] battle against Filipino foe Joel Lino (10-1-1, 3) for the WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title.
The talented Taniguchi, who had previously come up short in a Japanese title fight against Reiya Konishi and an OPBF title fight against Tsubasa Koura, easily came out on top today, finally winning his first title
The Japanese boxer-puncher out punched and out fought the previously unbeaten Lino over 12 round to take the decision with scores of 119-109, twice, and 116-112.
The win will see Taniguchi rewarded not just with the regional title but also a WBO world ranking, opening the door to a potential WBO world title fight against Vic Saludar (18-3, 10), though it does seem like he may need to wait a while to get a shot at a world title.
Lino, who was stepping up massively for this fight, suffered his first defeat but will have learned a lot here in what was a massive step up in class, and we suspect he'll bounce back better next year, even if his "0" has gone.
(Image courtesy of @HirotoK1127)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!