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.
Over the past couple of days there was two notable Filipino fighters in action in the US, sadly though both suffered set backs in clear decision losses.
The first of those was on Friday, when former OPBF Bantamweight champion Mark John Yap (30-14, 15), who was dominated in Las Vegas by the unbeaten Angelo Leo (18-0, 8). The bout was the main event of a Mayweather promoted card at Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall and those who had their bets on Leo never really looked like losing their money as he out sped, out boxed, out fought and out landed Yap, who looked like a fighter who was out of his depth.
Given that Yap gave Takuma Inoue a really good test last year, and was the OPBF champion less than a year ago, we do wonder whether the 30 year old has slipped a lot, or perhaps isn't as good as he was when he was being managed by the Mutoh gym in Japan, who played a major part in the best run of his career. His split with Mutoh was certainly not a good one, and this was only his second bout since that split. On the other hand Leo looked like a top prospect, and he is certainly going to be one to watch in the years to come.
On Saturday it was Neil John Tabanao (17-6, 11) who was the clearly loser, as he was widely beaten by super talented American Tremaine Williams (17-0, 7). Tabanao, who once promised so much, was unable to get into this fight and instead had to rely on his resilience to see out the 10 rounds against the diminutive but sharp punching Williams, in what was a very 1-sided bout.
It's worth noting that prior to this fight Tabanao had himself lost to Leo, back in April, and rather strangely the losses for the two Filipino does lead us to a rather interesting though that Yap and Tabanao could face off in a real cross roads fight, as could Leo and Williams.
Sadly this was not a good weekend for Filipino fighters and they were both easily out classed by US prospects.
Former OPBF Bantamweight champion Mark John Yap (30-13, 15) has really seen his career slow down since losing in a WBC world title eliminator to Takuma Inoue [井上 拓真] last year, though it now seems like he is set for a well deserve break.
The always excellent Ian Mellodillar recent informed us that Yap will be making his US debut at the end of June, and will do so on a Mayweather promoted card as he takes on the unbeaten Angelo Leo (17-0, 8), who is a highly regarded Super Bantamweight prospect.
For those who look at Yap's record and write him off, he does, genuinely, have one of the most misleading records in the sport. The 30 year old Filipino has turned around a 19-12 (10) record by winning 11 of his last 12. That run has seen him claim the OPBF title, score notable wins over multi-time world title challenger Hiroyuki Kudaka as well as OPBF champion Takahiro Yammaoto and former Japanese champion Kentaro Masuda, with his only loss since the start of 2015 coming to Takuma Inoue, the younger brother of Naoya Inoue.
Leo on the other hand is a 25 year old who turned professional in 2012 and has slowly moved through the ranks. Interesting he has fought a number of Filipino's on his way up, scoring a blow out win against Glenn Porras in 2018 and a wide decision win in April against Neil John Tabanao.
Also scheduled for this card is Jessie Cris Rosales (22-2-1, 10), who will look to bounce back from his stoppage loss to Shakur Stevenson last time out. The 27 year old will be matched against unbeaten American Xavier Martinez (14-0, 10), a 21 year old who is riding a 6 fight stoppage run including a win over Filipino John Vincent Moralde from back in April.
Earlier today the Global Boxing Organisation announced some of the line up involved for the upcoming March 3rd show "Battle of the Asian Rising Star", to be held at the Limketkai Rotunda, in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines.
The fighters announced for the card include former OPBF Bantamweight champion Mark John Yap (29-13, 14), who will be fighting for the first time since leaving the Mutoh Gym, Jess Rhey Waminal (12-2-1, 7), and Marco John Rementizo (9-3, 6), who is looking to build on his big win over Pongsaklek Sithdabnij.
At the moment not all the bouts have been announced, but this is looking like a notable card just from the names already released for the show.
Yesterday the Mutoh Gym in Osaka held a press conference announcing that Keita Kurihara (12-5, 11) [栗原 慶太] would be facing Yuki Strong Kobayashi (14-7, 8) [小林佑樹] on returning to the ring on December 24th to face off with for the vacant OPBF Bantamweight title at the EDION Arena Osaka. The head of the Mutoh Gym had told the press that the title had become vacant after Mark John Yap (29-13, 14) decided to retire.
Mr Edagawa went on to say that Yap had "quit due to neck pains" and had returned home to the Philippines.
After this news was shared the fighter himself commented stating his stance in Filipino:
The statement roughly translates as:
That not true, false news yan! I have returned to Cagayan de oro city because my contract with my former Japanese manager has expired. I went home because my parents were sick thanks, for the memories and support.
Now that's a lot different to the comments made by Mr Edagawa, who seemed surprised at Yap leaving for the Philippines, so it seems like there is some miscommunication between the two sides, and we really hope that can be cleared up. Unfortunately in boxing we see legals between promoters and fighters derail careers far too often, and if that happens again here it would be a huge shame for Yap who looked set to remain a top Bantamweight contender, despite his loss earlier this year to Takuma Inoue (12-0, 3) [井上 拓真] in a WBC Bantamweight world title eliminator.
We'll wait to see where this story does go, as it does appear to be one with at least chapter in the future, though did feel it fair to share Yap's statement and update the original article from yesterday's press conference to include a mention of Yap's statement.
(Unfortunately after this was posted the comment was deleted from Facebook)
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