Earlier today it was revealed that Uzbek Lightweight hopeful Ravshanbek Umurzakov (6-0, 5) [Ravshanbek Umurzoqovning] would be back in action on February 22nd in Ekaterinburg.
The unbeaten Uzbek, who was last seen stopping Kelly Figueroa in 6 rounds, will be up against Filipino foe Rimar Metuda (12-4-1, 7). in a bout scheduled for 8 rounds.
The touted Uzbek made an impressive start to his career, scoring opening round wins in his couple of bouts before stepping up in class and taking care of the then 5-0 Merab Turkadze in 4 rounds and Eden Sonsona, in just 58 seconds.
Metuda, a 24 year old from the Philippines, has never been stopped in his 17 fight career, and actually fought to a draw with Nihito Arakawa last year though is yet to pick up a win outside of the Philippines, with notable losses on Russian soil against Mirzhan Zhaxylykov and Isa Chaniev.
Notably this card will feature a number of other Asian fighters on it, including Stanislav Kalitskiy (6-0, 3) [Станислав Калицкий] and Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (12-0, 8) [Мухаммадхуча Якубов]
Earlier today Japanese fight fans saw two world title fights and a WBO Asia Pacific title fight. That regional title bout saw WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight champion Nihito Arakawa (31-6-2, 18) [荒川 仁人] battle with 24 year old Filipino challenger Rimar Metuda (12-3-1, 7) and although Arakawa managed to retain his title, he may have scuppered his chances of getting a WBO world title title fight after only managing a draw with the tough Filipino.
Arakawa started the bout well but Metuda used a tight guard and managed to see off much of Arakawa's early attack, before leaving the Japanese fighter with a nasty swelling around his right eye. That swelling would continue to bother Arakawa through out the bout, Arakawa started the bout well but Metuda used a tight guard and managed to see off much of Arakawa's early attack, before leaving the Japanese fighter with a nasty swelling around his right eye.
The champion would end up cut as well as swollen as Metuda's power took it's toll the Japanese fighter's face. That gave him real problems in the final few rounds but he dug in and managed to retain his title with scores of 116-112, and 114-114 twice.
For the Arakawa this draw ends a 6 fight winning streak whilst Metuda ends a 0-2 run on the road.
Given the facial damage Arakawa could be out of the ring for some time, and he probably won't be ably to make the most of his WBO #2 rankings any time soon, if at all. Given he's already in his mid 30's he's unlikely to have many more bouts left and a potential showdown with Raymundo Beltran now looks very unlikely. As for Metuda, who really struggled on the scales, this was the sort of performance he would have wanted, even if he failed to pick up the win.
Tomorrow fight fans in Tokyo will be able to see Nihito Arakawa (31-6-1, 18) [荒川 仁人] defending his WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight against 24 year old Filipino Rimar Metuda (12-3, 7). Today the two men took part in their wiegh in for that bout.
On the scals Arakawa had no issues at all. The veteran, fighting for the 39th time as a professional, was dead on the limit and looked in great shape for what will be his second defense of the title. He's made it clear that he would like another world title fight before his career is over. At the weigh in he questioned why fighters were unable to make weight recently, and it really has become a worrying trend in Japanese this year.
That was a pertinent subject as Metuda was well over the limit on his first attempt on the scales. The Filipino was 2.4lbs over the limit when he first got weighed, though did make the limit on his second attempt. Notably he drank a lot of water as soon as he got back off the scales, and one wonders how much make the limit took out of him. Saying that however it is rather odd that Metuda struggled given he was fight at 130lbs less than 2 years ago, and was 132lbs for a bout against Jovany Rota less than a year ago.
A win for Arakawa would likely open the door to a potential world title fight later in the year, whilst a win for Metuda would be a career defining victory for the Filipino, who is 0-2 in fights outside of the Philippines.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier this week we reported that Nihito Arakawa (31-6-1, 18) [荒川 仁人] would be defending his WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight title on May 20th, making the Watanabe card a quadruple header, with two world title fights and two WBO Asia Pacific title bouts. Now we've been informed od Arakawa's opponent for the contest.
The teak tough Japanese fighter, best known for his amazing contest with Omar Figueroa, will be up against 24 year old Filipino Rimar Metuda (12-3, 7).
The the age of 36 Arakawa is likely enjoying one of the final years of his career, and he has called for a bout with Raymundo Beltran for the WBO Light Weight titlelater in the year. Given that Beltran was pretty banged up in his title win that bout does look like may not materialise, but Arakawa will know that his WBO regional title will be one of the keys to getting a shot at the champion.
Coming in to this bout Arakawa has won his last 6, winning the Japanese Lightweight title and the WBO Asia Pacific belt during that run and scoring wins over the likes of Kota Tokunaga, Yusuke Tsukada and Adones Aguelo
It's fair to say the challenger is much less well known than Arakawa, however the Filipino is a very decent fighter on the Filipino domestic scene, having beaten both Jerry Castroverde and Jason Tinampay. Sadly in recent times Metuda has struggled, losing 3 of his last 5, with two of those losses coming in bouts outside of the Philippines. Despite his faltering form he will surely see this as a huge chance to put himself into the WBO world rankings and put himself on the proverbial map.
This bout completes the quadruple header which includes two other Japan Vs Philippines bouts, one for the WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title, as Masataka Taniguchi (10-2, 7) [谷口 将隆] battles Pedro Taduran (12-1, 9) and one for the IBF Minimumweight title, as defending champion champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (9-0, 7) [京口 紘人] faces Vince Paras (13-0, 11). The only one of the title bouts not to feature a Filipino will be the highly anticipated WBA/IBF/Ring Magazine Light Flyweight title bout, with champion Ryoichi Taguchi (27-2-2, 12) [田口良一] defending his titles against South African Hekkie Budler (31-3, 10).
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