Filipino teenage sensation Carl Jammes Martin (12-0, 11) finally made his TV debut, after fighting on social media streams, and faced off with Thai foe Petchchorhae Kokietgym (17-3, 8), in what looked like a decent test on paper.
The Filipino came out like he had a point to prove, though wild and reckless at times. Despite missing a fair bit the heavy handed power of Martin was on show and he managed to drop his man after about 90 seconds. The Thai managed to recover well and ended up landing some solid blows later in the round. Petchchcorhae came out aggressively for the second round and had moments of success, backing Martin on to the ropes, but the Filipino showed a good boxing brain and landed solid uppercuts on the Thai, punishing him for coming in with his head low. Not only did Martin land good uppercuts but also finished the round well, with a nice flurry on the Thai in the dying seconds of the round.
In round 3 Martin dictated the pace, which had slowed significantly, and began to land pretty much as and when he wanted on the Thai, who was forced to take hard body shots and some brilliant uppercuts. He backed Petchchorhae on to the ropes and began unloading, letting shots go at will. The Thai tried firing back but was dropped for a second time as Martin refused to back off in what was a thrilling round. Petchchorhae would make it to the bell, but was retired in the corner.
Given this was his first televised appearance Martin left a fantastic impression. There are a lot of areas for him work on, notably his defense and boxing intelligence, but at this age his physicality, energy and variety are brilliant. He is going to quickly become a must watch fighter and someone that will become a huge fan favourite based on his style. A few tweaks, mostly in regards to his pacing, footwork and defense which are teachable, and he could go on to become one of the next major stars of the Philippines.
Tomorrow ESPN5 will be showing a stacked card with a number of really interesting fights. Thankfully everyone made weight for the show, though some fighters did struggle on the scales.
Thge main event will see unbeateen Filipino Dave Penalosa (14-0, 10) taking on Mexican foe Marcos Cardenas (19-6-1, 15), in a bout for the WBO Oriental Featherweight title. Both did make the 126lbs limit, though not on their first attempt. Originally Penalosa was 128lbs whilst Cardenas was 127lbs. Thankfully both did make the weight after being given time to lose the excess.
A second title bout will see GAB Light Welterweight champion Jheritz Chavez (8-3-2, 6) make his second defense, as he takes on Junar Adante (7-11-1, 4). Both of these men made 140lbs for the bout, coming in at the Light Welterweight limit.
The highly anticipated Bantamweight bout between the exciting Kenya Yamashita (13-4, 10) [山下賢哉] and 2-weight world champion John Riel Casimero (25-4, 16) saw both men hitting the scales at 118lbs, dead on for their really exciting looking 10 round bout.
Unbeaten teenage sensation Carl Jammes Martin (11-0, 10) weight in at 118lbs dead on for his contest with Thai visitor Petchchorhae Kokietgym (17-2, 8), who was 116lbs for the bout. This will be Martin's first televised bout and is a huge chance for him to wow an audience, who have only been able to see him fight through social media.
A 10 round bout between Carlo Caesar Penalosa (13-1, 6) and Yokthong KKP (18-5, 11) saw Penalosa come in at 113lbs whilst the visitor was 114lbs in what could be a pretty competitive match up, if Yokthong has prepared properly.
(Image courtesy of ESPN5)
Back in December we reported that Kenya Yamashita (13-4, 10) [山下賢哉] would be returning to the ring on February 17th to take on former 2-weight world champion John Riel Casimero (25-4, 16). It now seems that those plans have changed slightly, but not significantly, and that more bouts from the card have been added, and in fact more details in general have now been confirmed for the card.
So the change, is that the bout will not take place on February 17th but instead February 16th, 1 day earlier than previously reported. It's nothing big, but still something worth noting.
More interestingly the card the bout is on is set to be televised, with ESPN5 showing the card in the Philippines, in what is huge news and really exciting news for Filipino fight fans!
Another bit of news is that there is a host of other top Filipino fighters now confirmed for the card.
Along with the Casimero Vs Yamashita bout we will also see Dave Penalosa (14-0, 10) battle against Marcos Cardenas (19-6-1, 15) in a bout for the WBO Oriental Featherweight title, in what should be a really good test for Penalosa. We will also see teenager Carl Jammes Martin (11-0, 10) make his TV debut, as he battles Thai foe Petchchorhae Kokietgym (17-2, 8), who was last seen in October being stopped by Giemel Magramo. This should be a great opportunity for Martin to raise his profile and something we're looking forward to seeing, as we've followed him for a while and been very impressed from the fan cam footage that's been made available.
Earlier today in the Filipino press we saw WBO Light Flyweight champion Donnie Nietes (34-1-4, 20) being linked to fights with several Asian fighters for his next defense, scheduled for March 28th, and it was a huge hint that much mooted bout with Francisco Rodriguez Jr (16-2-1, 11) wouldn't be happening, at least for now. The story, reported by the Sunstar in the Philippines, has come after Nietes long term promoter, and the head of ALA Promotions, Michael Aldeguer, was quoted as saying:
“It’s a voluntary title defense. We are looking at someone from Asia. Maybe a Japanese ranked fighter as boxing in Japan recently is doing well. Donnie has been fighting a lot of Mexican fighters already so maybe this time an opponent from Asia as boxing has become more popular because of China,”
Whilst the quote is a little bit confusing in that it hints to China and Japan it does leave us with a very interesting selection fighters, as per the most recent WBO rankings.
Ideally the best choice would be Thailand's Paipharob Kokietgym (27-0, 20) who is currently ranked #2 and has, apparently, had his team make contact with Nietes. This is a fight that we really do like the look of though suspect ALA wouldn't be fans of given that Paipharob is unbeaten, heavy handed and not the type of guy that fighters want to fight unless they have to. It would however be a compelling contest and one that makes sense if Nietes is wanting to prove himself.
Paipharob isn't the only Thai ranked by the WBO but he is the only "realistic" option from Thailand with the unbeaten Petchchorhae Kokietgym (10-0, 7), the WBO #14, being a very unlikely option, especially considering his level of competition so far.
The second highest ranked Asian in the WBO rankings is a Filipino, Jonathan Taconing (20-2-1, 17). Ranked #7 Taconing is one 3 ranked challengers from the Philippines and would make for a sensational opponent for Nietes. Taconing is heavy handed, aggressive and exciting and should make for a compelling bout with Nietes, a much better "boxer". Sadly however this bout looks unlikely with Taconing now expected to go the WBC route and move towards a fight with Pedro Guevara however it is certainly possible for him to go this way and give us an all Filipino bout that would guarantee fireworks.
A second Filipino option would be Rommel Asenjo (26-3, 20), ranked #11 by the WBO. Whilst this would look good on paper it's not a bout that would interest us as Asenjo isn't as good as his ranking suggests, and in his only would title fight so far he came up very short, being stopped in 3 by Raul Garcia. On the world scene Asenjo doesn't seem to have it, though he is entertaining and exciting.
The final Filipino option would be the WBO #14 ranked Benezer Alolod (16-5-5, 5), who struggled in December to beat domestic rival Renren Tesorio. Alolod is a more interesting fight than Asenjo and although he was stopped in 9 rounds by Nkosinathi Joyi, he does hold a couple of notable wins including a 7th round technical decision win over Rey Loreto and a 3rd round retirement victory over one time OPBF title contender Jerson Mancio. Those wins however wouldn't make very confident in Mancio being able to be competitive with Nietes.
Going back to Adeguer's statement regarding Japanese and Chinese challengers it's worth noting that both countries have a fighter ranked.
From China we have #9 contender Ma Yi Ming (12-5, 7) who has one of those confusing records. Ming began his career in 2007 and quickly fell to 3-5, including a trio of stoppage losses in his first 3 bouts. Since then however he has scored 7 straight wins, including a notable one this past December against Tommy Seran. Although he is "streaking", so to speak, he has been fighting at a low level and his ranking has been artificially enhanced by the fact he has been holding vario WBO titles over the years, including the WBO China Zone Flyweight title and the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title, which he won against Seran.
As for Japan their ranked contender is the #10 ranked Yu Kimura (15-2-1, 2). Kimura is the Japanese national champion and has been eyeing up an opportunity for a world title fight in recent months. On paper he's a much better challenger than Ming and has won at a higher level, with wins over Kenichi Horikawa and Yuki Chinen. He is also a proven tough guy and his most notable loss so far with a TKO loss to current WBA champion Ryoichi Taguchi. On paper this would be our "third choice" if bouts with Paipharob and Taconing cannot be made, though we suspect this may be a perfect choice for ALA and it would allow Nietes to be compared to Taguchi.
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