Earlier today in Japan fight fans in Himeji, were able to see a new WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight champion being crowned as the often over-looked Ben Mananquil (17-1-3, 4) over-came Japan's very own Tenta Kiyose (15-3-1, 7) [清瀬天太] to claim the previously vacant title.
The Filipino visitor got off to a great start not only winning the opening round but being in the lead on all 3 cards after 3 rounds. He seemed to catch Kiyose making a really slow start whilst landing his own southpaw hooks on the taller man, who struggled to get off. It wasn't until round 4 that Kiyose took a clear round, though it was only momentary success with Mananquil settling the following round and taking many of the middle rounds, most notably the 8th.
The 8th round saw Mananquil have his biggest single moment, dropping Mananquil to secure a 10-8 round. By then the bout was essentially tied up and all Mananquil had to do was see out the final 4 rounds, which he did without too many issues, even if he did go on to lose many of those later rounds as he cruised to the final bell.
At the end of 12 rounds it was hard to see any results other than a win for Mananquil, who took the win with scores of 116-113, 116-111 and 114-113, which was far too close.
This was a second notable result for Mananquil, who had fought to a questionable draw with Hinata Maruta last year whilst it's Kiyose's first loss since since the 2015 All Japan Rookie of the Year final to Matcha Nakagawa.
Tomorrow fight fans in Himeji will get the chance to see a new WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight champion being crowned with once beaten Filipino Ben Mananquil (16-1-3, 4) battling against local hopeful Tenta Kiyose (15-2-1, 7) [清瀬天太] for the vacant title, which was vacated in 2018 by Hiroaki Teshigawara.
Today, ahead of their fight, the two fighters took part in their weigh in.
On the scales Mananquil was the much heavier man weight in at 117.7lbs. He has fought much of his career at at Bantamweiight, and this is around his usual weight. In fact it's slightly heavier than he was last time out, when he stopped Oleydong Sithsamerchai, but well under his highest weight, which was 121.75lbs for his 2017 bout against Joe Tejones. As well as being the heavier man he was also the taller man.
The Filipino on the other hand was well under the limit, weighing in at 115.5lbs, just over the Super Flyweight limit. This is the lowest Mananquil has been in over 4 years. Incientally the last time he came in lighter he was 113.5lbs for a bout at Flyweight, coming in over the limit for that bout. He has typically been fighting at Bantamweight and Super Bantamweight recently, so there's no clear explanation as to why he's so light here. This bout will be Mananquil's second successive bout against a Japanese foe, following a controversial draw last year against Hinata Maruta.
For fans wanting to watch this but can't make it to Himeji, it will be available On Demand on Boxingraise over the coming days, but will not be shown live over the service.
Related - Mananquil and Kiyose battle for WBO regional honours! (Preview)
Earlier this month we reported that Hiroaki Teshigawara (17-2-2, 10) [勅使河原 弘晶] was moving up in weight to face off with Filipino Glenn Suminguit (21-3, 11) for the OPBF Super Bantamweight title. As a result of this Teshigawara has vacated the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title.
Today we saw the news break that the new vacancy will be filled in January 2019, with Ben Mananquil (16-1-3, 4) battling against Tenta Kiyose (15-2-1, 7) [清瀬天太] for the belt on January 27th in Himeji, Hyogo.
Manaquil recently fought to a draw with Hinata Maruta and that draw seems to have helped him secure this bout. That bout was fought at Super Bantamweight but Mananquil has fought as low as Minimumweight, very early in his career, and his natural weight now is probably Bantamweight, which he has fought at regularly in recent years. That draw ended a 6 fight winning run for Mananquil, which included notable victories over Glenn Porras and Jess Rhey Waminal.
Coming into this bout Kiyose will be riding an 8 fight winning run, including wins over Joe Tejones, for the WBC Youth Super Bantamweight title, and former world champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai. He has rebuilt really well since a 2015 loss to Matcha Nakagawa and, like Mananquil, can seemingly fight at either 118lbs or 122lbs with no real issue.
Nothing else is known about this show, but this is a great bout, and we believe the first Japanese bout to be announced for 2019!
In Himeji earlier today fight fans had the chance to see Japanese youngster Tenta Kiyose (15-2-1, 7) [清瀬天太] take a huge step up in class to and battle against former WBC Minimumweight champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai (68-2-1, 28) [โอเล่ห์ดง ศักดิ์เสมอชัย], who had been riding an impressive looking 33 fight unbeaten run going back to his WBC title loss to Kazuto Ioka more than 7 years ago.
Sadly for the former world champion today wasn't his day, and instead of looking like a former world champion in impressive form he looked like a struggle, out of shape bottom feeder, who had padded his record for years against inept and unqualified foes. In fact if we're being honest that's something the Thai has done since a 2013 win over Giovanni Escaner.
Kiyose looked sharp from the off and used his jab to the body well. Oleydong came forward behind a high guard and in round 3 had his best moment, landing a hard left hook. It seemed like it hurt the Japanese local, but Oleydong couldn't capitalise on the opportunity. Despite failing to make the most of the opening the Thai seemed to realise that he could hurt the Japanese fighter with his hook and tried to land them off the ropes in round 5, whilst Kiyose worked the body and began to take away Oleydong's legs.
Given that Oleydong had struggled to make weight at yesterday's weigh in it did seem as if Kiyose knew his man was only going to be dangerous early and he picked up the intensity of his body work as we went on. In round 7 body work took it's toll with the Thai breathing through his mouth and his movement being close to none existent. At the end of the round the Thai retired in his corner, know he was done, and wouldn't have have had much success in the remaining 3 rounds.
Notably this was the first time the 33 year old Oleydong had been scheduled in a bout beyond 6 rounds since March 2015, with his last 12 bouts all being scheduled for 6 rounds, and all being against very limited foes in Thailand. It seems like he really might be just a 6 rounder fighter now a days, and his performance today really showed that, with only very small glimpses of the fighter he once was.
Whilst it's terrible news for the Thai, who had entered the bout with WBA and WBO world rankings, it's a huge win for Kiyose, who has now won 8 in a row and could well find himself on the fringes of the world rankings. This win might not be the key tohim getting a world title fight, but will certainly move him closer to getting a regional title fight and there is a good chance he will add to his WBC Youth Super Bantamweight title in the near future.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow in Himeji fight fans will be able to see Japanese youngster Tenta Kiyose (14-2-1,6) [清瀬天太] take a huge step up in class to face off with former WBC Minimumweight champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai (68-1-1, 28) [โอเล่ห์ดง ศักดิ์เสมอชัย]. Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both men managed to make the 118lbs weight limit.
Things were each on the scales for Kiyose, who was under the limit and came in at 117.5lbs. That weight is significantly lighter than we saw Kiyose last time out, when he was 121.75lbs for his WBC Youth Super Bantamweight title bout with Joe Tejones. The weight is slightly lighter than his typical weight, with the 21 year old usually weighing in at 117.75lbs, but it is around what we'd expect of the youngster.
Surprisingly Oleydong was well over the limit on his first attempt. When he first jumped on the scales the Thai was 119.27lbs, though managed to lose the additional weight. At the weigh he looked fleshy and seemed unwilling to really stand and talk to the press there, with some suspicion that he's actually made a huge mistake making weight, something we hadn't expected from a fighter fighting in their 70th professional bout.
Interestingly, despite being the lighter man, Kiyose looked the naturally bigger man, and clearly has several inches of height advantage over the much more experienced Thai fighter.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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