Yesterday it was announced that Filipino fighter Juan Miguel Elorde (28-1, 15) would be getting his first world title fight on September 14th, as he challenges WBO Super Bantamweight world champion Emanuel Navarrete (28-1, 24) at the T-Mobile Arena in Nevada.
The once beaten Filipino fighter is better known for who his grandfather is rather than what he's done in the professional ring. "Mig" is the grandson of the legendary Gabriel "Flash" Elorde, one of the most iconic names in Filipino boxing. Flash fought between 1951 and 1971 and won the WBC and WBA Super Featherweight titles. Mig on the other hand has been a professional since 2008 and has been unbeaten since a 2011 loss to Jerry Guevara in a 4 rounder, winning 18 fights since then. Whilst that sounds impressive his competition has been terrible with bouts typically coming against regional journey men, like Rasmanudin, Waldo Sabu and Budi Risky. The one notable exception was Shohei Kawashima, who he beat last time out in a bout that neutral fans thought he was lucky to win.
Elorde isn't a bad fighter, as such, but certainly hasn't done anything to deserve a WBO #2 ranking and whilst not "bad" he's certainly not shown anything to suggest he's world class.
The 24 year old Navarrete turned pro in 2012 and won the Cinturón de Oro XVIII, despite losing in the final to Daniel Argueta who failed to make weight for the bout. Coming into this bout he is riding a 23 fight winning run with notable wins against the likes of Isaac Dogboe, twice, Glenn Porras, Jhon Gemino, and Francisco Da Vaca. He burst on to the global scene last December, when he took a decision win over Dogboe, before stopping the little man from Ghana this past May. His bout against Da Vaca, a 3 round blow out, only came on August 17 but he's fine to go against in September.
Navarrete is a really spiteful puncher, who is huge at the weight, very powerful, but also a smart fighter who applies a lot of intelligent and constant pressure. He's a monster at the lower weights and looks like he'll likely find himself becoming a multi-weight world champion before his career is over.
The bout will be one of the main support bouts for Tyson Fury's bout with Otto Wallin.
Yesterday in Metro Manila fight fans were treat to a brilliantly tactical, competitive and compelling match up, as local star Juan Miguel Elorde (28-1, 15) retained his WBO Asia Pacific title, despite an excellent effort from Japanese challenger Shohei Kawashima (17-3-2, 4) [川島翔平].
For the first round to the last both men showed excellent technical skills, judging distance brilliant and picking the right shots. Despite the bout being a technical chess match, it wasn't one where both constantly waited for the other, and instead both men legitimately pressed the action, in a calculated and intelligent manner.
Through the first 6 rounds or so there was little to separate the men, despite some cheerleading for Elorde from the commentary team, though in the second half Kawashima seemed to pull his nose in front. The action was never one sided, though there was clear rounds each way, and it seemed like the visitor was the one taking the rounds by slim margins, always an issue on the road. The commentary and Elorde himself seemed to realise what was happening in the final rounds, with the commentary, which had been very confident early on, sounding apprehensive whilst Elorde tried to make sure that he gave the judges a reason to score the final round his way.
In the end we had it incredibly close, at 116-112 to Kawashima, but could easily see a wide range of scores, especially given how Elorde was the local favourite and the grandson of Flash Elorde, who's the reason for the Elorde Awards that this bout took place on. Elorde was also the promoters fighter and the man on the verge of a career defining world title fight.
The officials saw it differently to us, scoring it 117-111, twice, and 115-113 all in favour of Elorde. Although the 117-111 cards were very harsh, a win for Elorde was certainly not out of the question and the 115-113 card certainly was well within the realms of reality.
Tomorrow fight fans in the Philippines will get a chance to see regional champion Juan Miguel Elorde (27-1, 15) defending his WBO Asia Pacific title against Japan's Shohei Kawashima (17-2-2, 4) [川島翔平].
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in, and both fighters made weight with no issues.
Elorde was 121lbs on the scales, whilst Kawashima was 120lbs.
For Elorde, who is very highly ranked, by the WBO the bout is essentially a must win for him to remain on the verge of a world title fight. For Kawashima however it's a chance to gate crash the rankings and get himself in the mix, in a big way.
Related - Elorde and Kawashima battle for region title!
Earlier today we were informed by sources that Juan Miguel Elorde (27-1, 15) would be returning to the ring on March 25th to take on talented Japanese fighter Shohei Kawashima (17-2-2, 4) [川島翔平] in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Super Bantamweight title.
This will be the 4th defense from Elorde, who has used the title to climb to a #2 WBO world ranking and is on the verge of a world title fight if he can keep his current winning run going. The 32 year old Filipino, grandson of Flash Elorde, has won his last 17 in a row and whilst his competition hasn't been the best he has managed to put on some solid performances, including a 2018 stoppage win over Lucky Tor Buamas.
At the age of 27 Kawashima is just coming into his physical prime. He turned professional in 2012 and won the 2014 Rookie of the Year at Super Bantamweight. In recent years he has proven his ability on the road, beating Jim Wook Lim in Korea and running Cristian Mijares close in 2016 in Mexico. He was surprisingly stopped in 2017 by Gaku Aikawa, but has since bounced back with a couple of wins.
We've yet to see any other bouts for this show being announced, though would expect details to be announced in the very near future.
Earlier today it was revealed that world ranked Filipino puncher Jonathan "lightning" Taconing (21-2-1, 18) would be returning to the ring on September 12th. Sadly however for fans hoping to see him in a world title fight, the news is going to be disappointing.
Instead of getting a long awaited second shot at a world title Taconing will instead be returning to the ring to defend his OPBF Light Flyweight title against fellow Filipino slugger Jomar "Wallopman" Fajardo ( 14-8-2,7), in a bout set to take place in Paranaque City.
Earlier this year Taconing crashed on to the consciousness of the hard core fans as he stopped former world champion Ramon Garcia Hirales, in Mexico. It was hoped that that win would push Taconing into a world title fight but instead it's made him more avoided than ever.
As for Fajardo he is best known for his two fights with former Minimumweight champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr, including holding Rodriguez to a draw. Sadly since those bouts he has fought twice, dropping a decision to Hayato Kimura and suffering a stoppage to Suriyan Sor Rungvisai., however both of those bouts were fought well above his natural weight.
As well as the exciting main event this card will feature a trio of other notable Filipino fighters, Juan Martin Elorde (17-1-1, 7), Juan Miguel Elorde (18-1, 9) and Giemel Magramo (13-0, 10), non of whom have had their opponents announce for this show.
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