Earlier today RealFight PH broke the news that WBO Oriental Bantamweight champion Vincent Astrolabio (15-3, 11) would be defending his title against world ranked Flyweight contender Genisis Libranza (19-1, 11) on February 27th.
For Astrolabia this will be his third defense since winning the title in April 2019, when he stopped previously unbeaten Indonesian Patrick Liukhoto in 9 rounds in Jakarta. Since then he notched defenses against Kevin Aseniero and Wilbert Berondo, stopping both men.
The 23 year old champion has turned his career around well after suffering 3 defeats in 5 fights, including a decision loss to John Mark Apolinario, a TKO loss to Yuki Strong Kobayashi and a narrow decision loss to ZongLi He in China and will be coming into this bout with some genuine momentum.
Libranza on the other hand is a 27 year old challenger who turned professional in 2014 and was unbeaten until he challenged the then IBO Flyweight champion Mortui Mthalane in 2017., with Mthalane stopping him in 4 rounds. Since that loss he has has reeled off 8 straight wins, including victories over Michael Enriquez, Ryan Rey Ponteras and Renz Rosia. Those wins have seen him climb into the
The current winning run of Libranza has seen him break into the WBO, WBC and IBF world rankings, and he currently has a very high IBF ranking. Despite that he will be moving up in weight for this bout, and we do wonder if he can really compete up at Bantamweight.
This bout has been added to the February 27th card headlined by IBF Minimumweight champion Pedro Taduran (14-2-1, 11), who will be defending his title against fellow Filipino Rene Mark Cuarto (18-2-2, 11) in General Santos City.
A huge thanks, as always, to Ian Melodillar for bringing this story to our attention.
Back in November news broke that IBF Minimumweight champion Pedro Taduran (14-2-1, 11) was lining up a fight with fellow Filipino Rene Mark Cuarto (18-2-2, 11), with talk being that the contest could take place as early as December.
As it turned out the bout wasn't on for December, but it now appears there is date and location set for the bout, as reported by the brilliant Ian Melodillar earlier today.
For Taduran the bout will, as Ian say's, be his second defense of the IBF title which he won last year when he stopped Samuel Salva in an absolute thriller. His first defense was a headclash marred technical draw against Daniel Valladares back in February this year and it will actually be more than a year between his first and second defense, though we all understand why.
As for Cuarto this will be his first world title fight, though interestingly he did lose to Samuel Salva in 2019, and hasn't scored a win of note since then. Despite that he shouldn't be over-looked and does have solid domestic wins over the likes of Clyde Azarcon, Ian Ligutan and Jerome Clavite. Admittedly all fighters a long way removed from Taduran.
Whilst maybe not the best match up the division could give us, this is certainly a very interesting looking all Filipino world title bout and something to b excited about for the new year.
Earlier today news broke regarding the future of IBF Minimumweight champion Pedro Taduran (14-2-1, 11) and his next defense, with @PeledoresSN and Asian Fight Scene both reporting that Taduran was lining up a fight with fellow Filipino Rene Mark Cuarto (18-2-2, 11), who is ranked #3 by the IBF, for December.
For Taduran, who won the title in September 2019, this will be his second defense and he will be looking to bounce back from an ugly technical draw with Daniel Valladares, which occurred this past February. The aggressive and exciting 24 year old has sadly been out of the ring since that draw with Valladares, though given what's been going on in the world in 2020 that'll not be a surprise,
As for Cuarto this will, if the bout is sorted, be his first world title bout and will see him looking to extend a 3 fight unbeaten run. It will also be his first bout since December 2019, when he stopped Jayson Francisco. Interest his last loss was a 12 round decision to Samuel Salva, the man Taduran beat for the title last year.
At the moment it's unclear what date the bout will be taking place, but it will be one of the first world title bouts in the Philippines since the sport began it's slow restart in the country. It will also be a potentially huge moment for the Philippines as it will be a super rare all-Filipino world title bout, and will, seemingly, be on Filipino soil.
Earlier today news broke that Japanese Minimumweight champion Norihito Tanaka (19-7, 10) [田中教仁] had vacated his title, ahead of the Champion Carnival, to begin a pursuit of a world title fight.
The 34 year old veteran, who claimed the title last year when he stopped Shin Ono, is one of the very few fighters to have a world ranking with all 4 world title bodies.
At the moment the IBF champion, Pedro Taduran (14-2, 11), and WBO champion, Wilfredo Mendez (15-1, 5), have apparently got fights in the works for early in the year however Tanaka could be viewing up fights for either the WBC or WBA champions. They, of course, as the Thai pairing of Wanheng Menayothin (54-0, 18) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม], who Tanaka has long been rumoured to face, and Knockout CP Freshmart (20-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท].
Although no opponent has yet been named publicly for Tanaka it does seem likely we'll hear something soon for the man from the Misako Gym.
Interestingly this leaves the Japanese Minimumweight title vacant for the Champion Carnival, where we know Masataka Taniguchi (12-3, 7) [谷口 将隆] will fight for the belt. His opponent isn't yet confirmed, but will be a highly ranked domestic contender. That could mean a potential showdown between Taniguchi and Ryoki Hirai (13-6-1, 4) [平井亮輝] or Takumi Sakae (22-3-1, 16) [榮拓海], who are both expected to be looking for title fights in 2020.
We'll find out who is next for Taniguchi shortly, when the full line up for the Champion Carnival is announced, later this month.
(Image courtesy of Misako Gym)
Now it seems the two men are destined to meet on February 1st in Mexico, in what will almost certainly be an explosive and thrilling match up between two genuinely thrilling to watch fighters.
Originally Valladares seemed like he was going to pursue a title at 108lbs, essentially chasing Felix Alvarado, but with Alvarado now being ill it seems Valladares has changed plans, and will now be heading down to Minimumweight for the bout Taduran, in what will be the Filipino's first world title bout.
At the moment not all the details have been reported, though it appears the bout is done and dusted, and from what we understand it was first reported by WBA award winning journalist Julius Julianis, who's excellent year of hard work has been recognised and he's a very, very worthy winner of the WBA Journalist of the Year award! Well done Julius!
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