The IBA titles might be relatively meaningless, but today it made for a good prop on a very interestingly Indonesian show. The card featured several interesting bouts, but the one that stood out to us as being something worthy of real attention was an IBA Featherweight title fight between Indonesian prospect Ongen Saknosiwi (8-0, 7) and Filipino veteran Marco Demecillo (24-9-1, 19).
As mentioned, the title was little more than a prop, but the fight it's self was fantastic. It was the first real test for Saknosiwi, who had scored his first 6 wins in a combined 20 rounds and been able to do things his way for the most part. Against Demecillo the Indonesian couldn't just power his way through, and instead for himself in with someone who could fight back.
The broadcast for the fight began in round 6, we assume because of "reasons", but the 6 rounds we got of the 12 round bout were fantastic and evenly fought through out.
From the 6 rounds which were shown Saknosiwi seemed to take the earlier ones, fighting brilliantly on the back foot, and striking with counters. Demecillo's pressure, whilst impressive, wasn't as effective as he'd have liked, though it was tiring out the novice who began to slow in the championship rounds.
The fight really was a great back and forth battle, with Saknosiwi landing the better shots but being on the back foot and Demecillo regularly being the one to take risks. It made for some great action, even if there was a few lulls.
Given that we could only see half the fight it's hard to be sure whether the cards were accurate or note, but they gave the bout to the local with scores of 116-112, twice, and 118-110. From what was shown those scores are within the realm of possibility, though maybe don't reflect just how hard Saknosiwi had to fight to earn the win.
Given the Indonesian had fought just 20 rounds prior to today's bout we were really impressed, and seeing him go the full 12 will do his career the world of good. As for Demecillo he has again proven to be a great gatekeeper and we'd love to see more of him. He's only 29 but is a already a veteran and has proven his toughness by going the distance against the likes of Arthur Villanueva, TJ Doheny, Jason Moloney, Mark Urvanov and now Saknosiwi.
Tomorrow fans in the Philippines will get the chance to see a really good looking card at the Manila hotel. Today saw the fighters involved in that show taking part in their weigh ins and thankfully all the fighters made weight, including the 8 men involved in title bouts.
The highest honour being fought for tomorrow is the OPBF Featherweight title, which will be up for grabs when the experienced Vinvin Rufino (36-16-3, 16) battles the promising Mark Gil Melligen (21-4-1, 12). On the scales Rufino was the bigger man, coming in on the limit at 126lbs, whilst Melligen was a full 1lb lighter than his foe.
Although the OPBF belt is the highest honour being fought for there are two other regional titles on the line, both in the form of the WBO Asia Pacific titles.
One of the WBO Asia Pacific title bouts will see Juan Martin Elorde (16-1-1, 7) defending his belt at Super Featherweight against Japanese challenger Hirotsugu Yamamoto (16-10-2, 2). On the scales Elorde was bang on the limit at 130lbs whilst Yamamoto was well inside the limit at just 127lbs, closer to the limit for Featherweight than Super Featherweight.
The other WBO Asia Pacific title bout takes places at Super Bantamweight and will see Juan Miguel Elorde (17-1, 9) fight Thai visitor Tabthong Tor Buamas (14-2, 12). For this bout it was the Filipino who was well inside the limit with Elorde weighing 120lbs for a bout made at 122lbs. On the other Tabthong was himself wlel inside the limit at 121lbs.
The remaining title bout is a Filipino Bantamweight title bout which will see defending champion Monico Laurente (25-12, 6) defending his title against the very capable Marco Demecillo (20-2-1, 15). For this bout both men came in at 118lbs, bang on the Bantamweight limit.
(Image of Melligen and Rugino courtesy of boxmob.jp)
It's rare that a replacement bout actually looks better than an original bout but this Saturday we see one such bout.
Originally Mexican puncher David Sanchez (23-2-2, 18) was set to face Venezuelan fighter Breilor Teran (12-9-1, 5) in what looked, on paper, like a mismatch. With less than a week to the fight however, Teran was replaced by well regarded Filipino puncher Marco Demecillo (19-1-1, 14) in what looks to have actually improved the bout.
Although Teran, like many Venezuelan fighters, has a misleading record he's not a world beater. He is world ranked, and will, perhaps, be recognisable to Asian fans for having beaten Yuta Nakagawa in 2012, though other than a victory over Cesar Canchila last year there is little quality on his record.
Demecillo, currently unranked by the world bodies, will know that he's been dragged over to Mexico to lose. Despite that he'll feel confident of springing the big upset and will also feel more prepared than some, including Sanchez team, may have expected. Demecillo may not have had a fight lined up but he has been busy in a gym in Japan sparring decent opponents and staying sharp. That will have left him around his fighting weight and ready for such an opportunity as this, and with the vacant WBA International Super Flyweight title on the line this is certainly a major opportunity.
Going in to this bout Sanchez is ranked by 3 of the 4 major bodies, he is the WBA #3, WBO #5 and WBC #13 and will be expected to beat Demecillo. Saying that however Demecillo does have the power to take fighters out and he'll be looking to land with that power on Sanchez who genuinely struggled the last time he faced a Filipino, taking a much debated majority decision over Marlon Tapales.
This is a fantastic match up on paper and we hope it lives up to the expectation!
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