Jonathan Taconing retains OPBF Light Flyweight title with 10th round technical decision victory over Jomar Fajardo
One of the things we hate about boxing is seeing fighters battle to a high ranking and then sit there, waiting for a shot whilst facing horribly inferior opposition in what amounts to stay busy fight, after stay busy fight whilst they tick over and wait and wait and wait. The safety first match making has made the sport frustratingly clinical and sterile and once a fighter approaches a world title fight their competition seemingly becomes worse than it was.
With that said we would like to applaud Filipino slugger Jonathan Taconing (22-2-1, 18) for facing compatriot Jomar Fajardo (14-9-2, 7) earlier today in an OPBF title fight that could very easily have been a banana skin.
Fajardo was a relative unknown last year but back-to-back bouts with former unified Minimumweight world champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr, including a draw, saw him prove his ability to be a a test, at least around Light Flyweight. It is fair to say that he had lost 4 of his last 5 but they had all come outside of his natural weight, and in fact he had fought as high as Bantamweight during that run and had rarely been given full preparation time.
Today Fajarado came to the ring with full preparation, real desire a genuine hunger. He know that a win would net him an OPBF title and at least one world ranking. It was a great opportunity and he knew he had to go for it.
Taconing, who won the title last year winning a war with Vergilio Silvano, had been the champion for 18 months and although he had fought a couple of stay busy fights he had also gone to Mexico and stopped the world class Ramon Garcia Hirales. That win over Hirales had strengthened Taconing's position in the world rankings and he could well have waited until the WBC ordered him to fight in an eliminator, something he is due given his #1 world ranking. Instead though he took on a well prepared Fajarado in a bout that Filipino fans should have known was going to be a war.
The fight lived up to the expectation as both men traded blows in a genuinely enthralling contest. Although both traded there always seemed to be a bit more class and power in the blows of Taconing who was showing his world class ability in an attempt to break down Fajarado. The challenger, to his credit, refused to fold and fought back, albeit with mixed success.
Despite the brave effort from Fajarado he was well down on the cards when a headclash forced the men to the scorecards at the 10th round. The cards all favoured Taconing, with scores of 98-91, 97-91 and 97-91 though those scores don't give credit to Fajardo's effort which was excellent despite the fact he was, clearly, beaten.
Now we're hoping that Taconing will get his long awaited world title eliminator. If not it's fair to say that he will continue to put in exciting performance as he did here. For Fajardo this result is one that he will take a lot of credit for and he became the first man since Kompayak Porpramook, more than 3 years ago, to avoid being stopped by Taconing, and it needs to be noted that it looked like Porpramook was bailed out by a very kind ringside doctor who got the Thai a technical decision win in a bout that really was very controversial.
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