On Thursday we were expecting to see Filipino veteran Mark John Yap (30-15, 15) facing off with former world title challenger Miguel Marriaga (29-3, 25). Sadly that bout was cancelled on Wednesday after Yap missed weight by a staggering 8.7lbs!
The bout, being fought at a contracted 128lbs, saw Marriaga make weight with ease. The Colombia was 127.3lbs on the scales, very comfortably under the contracted weight.
Yap however was 136.7lbs. He wasn't just above the contracted weight, but was above the limit for the next 2 full divisions! He was a career heaviest and was a long, long way above his best fighting weight of 118lbs, the weight that he had held an OPBF title at and fought a world title eliminator at.
Sadly prior to the fight Yap did seem very disinterested in trying to win the bout, taking it for just the money rather than longer term career benefits. He had told Ryan Songalia, for Ringtv.com,
“All I can say is I’ll try my best. If I can’t, I’ll surrender because the fight is late notice. I just want to avoid accidents and just want to be safe in the ring.”
Whilst it's true he did take the fight at short notice, only being offered the contest on July 3rd, he was apparently only 10lbs over the weight when he was given the call. That makes it seem very much like he had no intention of trying to make the weight today.
At the age of 31 it seems this is almost certainly the end of him as a fighter getting calls on late notice and potentially even the end of his career.
Sadly this is one in a number of strange incidents in Yap's career in recent years, which also saw him and former promoted Takashi Edagawa, of Muto gym in Japan, falling out massively in 2018. Yap had claimed Muto had treated him badly whilst Muto had reported that he told them he was retiring.
Given he has lost 3 of his last 4 and now had this issue with the scales it's very hard to think that his name has any value left in the sport. That's a real shame as between 2015 and 2018 he looked like a very good fighter and notched wins against the likes of Juan Jose Landaeta, Hiroyuki Kudaka, Takahiro Yamamoto, Kentaro Masuda, Seizo Kono and Takafumi Nakajima.
For those wanting to read Ryan Songalia's piece where he spoke with Yap before the fight that's available here.
Earlier today the brilliant Salvador Rodriguez, who works for ESPN, revealed that Filipino veteran Mark John Yap (30-15, 15) would be back in the ring on July 16th when he is scheduled to face former world title challenger Miguel Marriaga (29-3, 25) from Colombia.
As per Rodriguez's tweet the bout will be on a Top Rank Card in Las Vegas, in the "Bubble", and is actually a pretty decent fight, despite the records of the two men.
Looking at Yap's record he doesn't look very good, but on reality he is a much better fighter than his record suggests. He was was 19-12 (10) and has won 11 of his last 14 bouts, though on the flipside of that he has lost 3 of his last 44 and has just a single win in the last 24 months. Among his more notable wins are victories over Juan Jose Landaeta, Hiroyuki Kudaka, Takahiro Yamamoto and Kentaro Masuda.
Marriaga on the other hand is much more well known in the West for his world title bouts against the likes of Nicholas Walters, Oscar Valdez and Vasyl Lomachenko. The Colombian is the naturally bigger man, a big puncher and he has picked up 4 wins since his 2017 to Lomachenko. He is also the naturally bigger man, fighting at Featherweight and Super Featherweight, compared to the Bantamweight division that Yap has had his best results at.
Back in early May news broke that Frenchman Nordine Oubaali (14-0, 11) had signed to face unbeaten Thai hopeful Petch Sor Chitpattana (46-0, 31) [เพชร ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] in a bout for the currently vacant title WBC Bantamweight title. The bout had been pencilled in for June 23rd and was set to take place in Paris.
Now however that is all set to change, as the French Television company who were set to show the contest have failed to come up with the money needed for the bout on time, leaving the promoter struggling to meet the financial demands of the bout.
From what we understand there will be a purse bid ordered for the bout if an agreeemnt can't be made shortly for the bout to be re-arranged. That purse bid is expected to to take place in the next 7 days or so, showing just how much the WBC want this to be sorted
Reports are suggesting that the delay of the bout could be a pretty significant one, postponing the bout until after the world cup, when more time will be available for the bout and where rating won't be hit by the football in Russia.
It's worth noting that the bout could also end up being part of the Bantamweight WBSS, giving the two men the fight and not delaying the tournament, though that may depend on other fighters. This will also have knock ons, longer term, with the WBC title picture, and slow down the title dreamds of the likes of Michael Dasmarinas, and a rumoured WBC world title eliminator between Marjohn Yap and Takuma Inoue, who are said to have agreed to have an eliminator set for later this year.
(Image courtesy of Thairec.com)
Late on Thursday in Japan saw a notable announcement being made by WOZ Boxing who announce a Japanese title double header for December 16th.
The bouts in question will see both of the WOZ Boxing champions defending their titles. That means a second defense for exciting Bantamweight prospect Shohei Omori (15-0, 10) and hard hitting Lightweight champion Kota Tokunaga (16-2, 11).
Omori, one of the most exciting talented in the Bantamweight division, had his opponent for the bout named as Japanese based Filipino Mark John Yap (22-12, 10), who has seemingly cancelled a rematch with Tatsuya Ikemizu to land this fight. On paper this is a mismatch in favour of the unbeaten fighter however Yap is significantly better than his record suggests and he really could be a great warm up opponent for Omori before a prospective world title fight in 2016.
Whilst Omori's opponent is known there has been no announcement regarding Tokunaga's foe, instead we've been told to wait until mid October for that one.
The bouts will take place at the Shimazu Arena in Kyoto City and will, from what we've been told, be aired on MBS.
(Image courtesy of the Woz boxing blog)
We've known for a while that Japanese hopeful Hinata Maruta (0-0) would be making his professional debut on November 22nd at the Sumiyoshi Ward Center in Osaka. We've also known, for almost 2 weeks, that Maruta's debut would see him facing off against the world ranked Jason Canoy (24-5-2, 18).
What we didn't know was what else would be on that card.
Today saw a big announcement from Mutoh gym chairman Takashi Edagawa who announced a number of bouts for the same card, including the bout that will act as the technical "main event" of the show.
That main event will be an OPBF title fight between currently Light Middleweight champion Dennis Laurente (49-6-5, 30) and IBF world ranked fighter Takayuki Hosokawa (27-10-4, 9).
The bout, which will be Laurente's first defense since winning he belt last December with a stoppage victory over Tadashi Yuba, has come about after talks of rematch between Hosokawa and Japanese champion Yuki Nonaka fell apart, following their draw earlier this year and on paper it looks a really good match up. Laurente, a real tough guy from the Philippines, will likely go into this bout as the favourite and although he took a bit of a beating last time out, at the hands of John Jackson, he should have the strength, power and will to win to give Hosokawa a real headache for 12 rounds. For Hosokawa a win here could help him move towards an IBF world title bout in 2016 though a loss would likely be the end of his interesting career, which began 2-3 and was once 9-6.
The main event wasn't the only bout announced for the show. There will also be a rematch between Japanese based Filipino Mark John Yap (22-12, 10) and Tatsuya Ikemizu (12-1, 5), with Ikemizu looking to avenge a loss suffered to Yap back in April. The card will also feature world ranked Super Featherweight puncher Masao Nakamura (20-3, 19), who is fighting for the first time since his 2015 FOTY contender against Daki Kaneko, and Satoru Sugita (10-2-1, 6) who have yet to have their opponents named.
The show will also feature the retirement ceremony of former Japanese and OPBF Middleweight champion Tetsuya Suzuki (29-12, 17).
What was seemingly supposed to be an introduction to the professional ranks for the "#1 Hope" has suddenly become a very interesting card.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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