CAN AZARCON STOP SHIGEOKA’S RISE?
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Filipino Clyde Azarcon (15-2-1,5KO’s) will face Japanese blue chip prospect Ginjiro Shigeoka (3-0,2KO’s) on July 27 at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific minimumweight title.
Last year, Azarcon had his first attempt at a WBO regional title and lost to Rene Mark Cuarto by unanimous decision in Davao. Cuarto would go on to lose in an IBF eliminator to a fellow Filipino, Samuel Salva, also by unanimous verdict, last March.
The 24 years old Azarcon hails from Davao City. Together with trainer Christopher ‘Pingping’ Tepora, they will be leaving for Japan Wednesday July 24.
“Clyde is ready,” Tepora told this writer, “All we need to focus now is to make weight.”
“We already reviewed a video of his opponent,” Tepora added, “The Japanese is good but Clyde has a good chance of winning. One of his sparring partners is Rhonvex Capuloy”
Capuloy is a southpaw featherweight who has a 6-1 record. Trainer Tepora is the elder brother of former WBA interim featherweight titleholder Jhack Tepora. He is also known for having trained Johnriel Casimero when he won the IBF world junior flyweight title in 2012.
The 19 year old Shigeoka, a southpaw, was born in Kumamoto, Japan. He turned pro in 2018 and is being touted as Japan’s next prospect to watch and future main attraction. His amateur record is an impressive 56-1. This included a victory in the 2017 Japanese High School National Selection Tournament in the pinweight (46kg) category.
In his last fight, he beat Filipino Joel Lino by unanimous decision.
Last February, Azarcon fought Gary Rojo to a majority draw in Cebu City. This fight showed Azarcon’s vulnerabilities, In the fourth, Azarcon sent Rojo down. But he got up and survived. Rojo looked to be in more trouble in the fifth when he was knocked down by an accidental head butt. After being given five minutes to recover, he finished the round by bloodying Azarcon’s nose. Just when it seemed Azarcon was headed for a points win, Rojo knocked him down in the eighth and final round and managed to save the fight. In his last bout, Azarcon beat Ernesto Alera by unanimous decision, also here in Cebu City.
Azarcon has a fan friendly style and has seen his share of pro ring wars. But will this be enough to stop the talented Shigeoka’s two-fisted attack and ruin the Japanese’s ascent to stardom?
Photo – Clyde Azarcon during the weigh-in for his fight against Rene Mark Cuarto
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
A few days ago, this website featured a poster showing Ivan Soriano (20-2-1,10KO’s) of the Philippines against Olimjon Nazarov (18-5,11KO’s) of Uzbekistan for the vacant WBO Oriental flyweight title August 25 in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City.
The 30 year old Soriano will be looking to reverse his road loss last year in Shenzhen,China, by unanimous decision to Chinese prospect Ge Wenfeng for the vacant WBO International flyweight title. This was only his second loss as a pro.
Soriano is from Gen.Santos City, the hometown of Manny Pacquiao. He turned pro in 2009 and suffered his first loss in 2010 by unanimous decision to Delmar Cabatas. He spent a couple of years fighting exclusively in Thailand with a 5W (4KO’s)-1D record. Since the loss to Ge, Soriano has since bounced back with victories against Rogen Flores and Bonjun Loperez.
“Our training camp is going well,” Soriano’s trainer Jhun Agrabio told this writer, “Ivan and I have watched a video of his opponent. I think Ivan can beat him, he just needs to avoid being lax and overconfident because his opponent is naturally bigger.”
Soriano is listed as a light flyweight in boxrec while Nazarov fights as a flyweight.
The 33 years old Nazarov turned pro in 2008. He lost thrice in the U.S., including a unanimous decision loss in 2017 to Stephon Young, who was knocked out by Nonito Donaire last April.
Nazarov has since compiled five straight wins since returning to fight in Uzbekistan. A google search yielded one of Nazarov’s accomplishments as an amateur - a bronze medal in the 2007 Asian Championships. He also has a promotional video on youtube courtesy of Cocky Buffalo, the company that will be promoting this bout.
File photo – Ivan Soriano during the weigh-in for his bout against Wenfeng Ge in Shenzhen last year.
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Joe Noynay was a picture of calm on social media going into his fight against Satoshi Shimizu. On the morning of the fight he posted photos of himself walking around in Osaka. Pre-fight articles stated he was in for a difficult fight and an underdog on the road.
But Noynay once again stunned the pundits. He started like a house on fire, dropping Shimizu twice in the opening round and seemed like he was headed for a quick win. But a couple of rounds later, Shimizu fired back and had Noynay on the defensive.
But Noynay recovered and adjusted. Even as the two southpaws exchanged shots, it was Noynay’s right jab and deceptive power that was the huge factor in the fight. With Shimizu’s face starting to swell, the ring doctor had to be called in to check on Shimizu’s eye.In the sixth, Shimizu turned his back as Noynay pounced for the kill. The referee correctly waived it off and the WBO Asia Pacific junior lightweight belt remained in Noynay’s hands.
Noynay, from Cebu,Philippines, goes up to 18-2-1,7KO’s. Shimizu suffered his first loss as a professional - 8-1,8KO’s. Shimizu represented Japan in the London Olympics and captured a bronze medal. The 23 year old Noynay now has a 2W-1L record in Japan, having lost on points to Reiya Abe in 2017 and stopping Kosuke Saka in two rounds last April.
“We were actually looking for a church so we can pray, that was why we were walking around Osaka this morning,” Noynay told this writer. Noynay is a Christian like most Filipinos and makes it a habit to pray before a fight.
“I noticed his eye was starting to swell in the second,” Noynay said, “I guess he had trouble with his eyesight.”
Noynay isn’t much of a talker. He credits his latest win to hard work and faith. He doesn’t even speculate if he is headed for a world title bout. Prior to this bout, he was ranked number seven by the WBO in the 130 lb division. This victory on the road will certainly boost his status. The current WBO world champ is Jamel Herring of the U.S.
Noynay’s other significant road win was in 2017 when he beat Chinese Pan Jingxiang by eighth round technical decision in Zhongshan,China.
Noynay’s countryman, Jonathan Taconing on the other hand, lost to WBC junior flyweight world champ Ken Shiro by TKO in the fourth round.The fights were held at the Edion Arena in Osaka on the undercard of the rematch between Rob Brant and Ryota Murata which saw the Japanese Murata getting a revenge second round stoppage win to regain the WBA middleweight belt.
File Photo – Joe Noynay in Bogo, Cebu last year for his bout against Mexican Hector Garcia.
by Rene Bonsubre,Jr.
Hours ago, reports stated that Sampson Boxing won the rights to stage the IBF light flyweight eliminator between IBF number 3 contender Christian Araneta (17-0, 14 KO’s) of the Philippines and number 4 Augustin Gauto (12-0, 8 KO’s) of Argentina.
The 24 year old Araneta's last fight was in December when he got a unanimous verdict against fellow Filipino Vincent Bautista in Cebu City.
"We already started preparing since January. We knew when Araneta was ranked number three by the IBF that we would be headed for an eliminator.”’ Omega gym trainer Julius Erving Junco told this writer, "I have seen a video of his opponent, he is very good, He is a counter puncher. But we have a good chance of winning.”
Junco is one of the more diligent young trainers here in the Philippines when it comes to studying fight videos and training techniques.
Omega Promotions VP Jerome Calatrava told this writer that the venue of the bout is most likely in Metro Manila on October 6. He mentioned MP Promotions and Sampson Boxing as the partners of Omega in this promotion.
They were a bit wary before the result of the purse bidding was announced. Seven years ago, when John Riel Casimero was still an Omega Gym boxer, he faced Luis Alberto Lazarte in Mar de Plata, Argentina for the IBF interim light flyweight title. Casimero beat Lazarte but the Argentine fans started to riot and assaulted Casimero and his team. This resulted in Lazarte being banned for life by the IBF and it was even reported that the Filipino ambassador to Argentina filed a protest.
Augustin Mauro Gauto sports the ring moniker ‘El Avion’ or the Plane, is twenty one years old and undefeated. He is from Buenos Aires, the reigning IBF Youth light flyweight champ and a former South American flyweight titleholder.
Araneta aka The Bomb, does not have an extensive amateur background. He spent most of his career without any fanfare, away from the TV cameras. He was born in Borbon, Cebu and grew up with a slightly shorter left leg. This did not stop him from taking up boxing when he was 14 years old.
It was in 2015 when he upset erstwhile world ranked Jessie Espinas. This made a few veteran Filipino boxing writers sit up and take notice. He would win a WBO Oriental title and a WBC ABCO Silver belt. Araneta would be sidelined for a year after suffering a right shoulder injury during training in 2017. His other notable win happened last year, against former world title challenger Jerry Tomogdan, who Araneta knocked out with one punch in the twelfth and final round.
The IBF 108-pound title is currently held by Nicaraguan Felix Alvarado (35-2, 30 KO’s), who won the vacant title last August by beating Filipino Randy Petalcorin in seven rounds in the Philippines. Alvarado defended successfully on May 19 defeating Japanese Reiya Konishi in Kobe,Japan by unanimous decision.
File Photo – Christian Araneta during the weigh-in for his fight against Jerry Tomogdan last year in Cebu.
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
For the past couple of days, reports surfaced that South African DeeJay Kriel was vacating the IBF minimumweight crown. Kriel was supposed to defend his world title against Filipino Samuel Salva, the mandatory challenger, in the Philippines on August 24.
Another Filipino, Pedro Taduran (13-2,10KO’s), ranked number 3 by the IBF, is now being tapped to fight Salva (17-0,10KO’s) for the vacant title in an all-Filipino showdown possibly on September 7. Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions earlier won the purse bid to stage Salva’s title challenge.
The 22 year old Salva is currently training in Iligan City, Northern Mindanao.
“Yes, they already told me I would be fighting another Filipino,” Salva told this writer, “I wanted to fight Kriel, take the belt away from the champion. But fighting Taduran is okay, I have no problem fighting another Filipino, whoever wins, a Filipino will be world champion.”
“I am currently sparring with Marco Rementizo. My training is going well,” Salva stated, “I will be moving my training camp soon to Cavite, the Survival camp.”
Rementizo (10-3,7KO’s) is a light flyweight with a 1W-1L record fighting overseas in Thailand. The Survival Camp in Cavite will provide Salva with a championship atmosphere during training; it is the home base of IBF super flyweight world champ Jerwin Ancajas.
“I feel this is my time. I will be world champion.” Salva concluded.
Salva earned the right to fight for the IBF title after beating another Filipino, Rene Mark Cuarto by unanimous decision last March. The undefeated Salva was a virtual unknown before appearing on this televised fight card in the Philippines.
The 22 year old Taduran will not be a pushover. He already has world championship experience, having lost to WBC strawweight world champ Chayaphon Moonsri a.k.a Wanheng Menayothin (53-0,18KO’s) of Thailand last year by unanimous decision. His only other loss was a split verdict to Joel Lino three years ago. Taduran is currently the Philippine minimumweight champion.
The first all-Filipino world title fight in history was held in Manila in 1925, when Pancho Villa successfully defended his title on points against Clever Sencio. The lives of both men would have a tragic end in the United States. Villa died ten days after losing a non-title bout to Jimmy McLarnin due to a worsening infection after having a wisdom tooth extraction. A year after his fight with Villa, Sencio was found dead in his hotel room due to brain hemorrhage after a decision loss to Bud Taylor.
Last year, we saw two all-Filipino world title bouts but both didn’t satisfy the casual fans. Jerwin Ancajas defended his IBF belt against Jonas Sultan by unanimous verdict. It was a relatively easy win for Ancajas but fans at ringside grew restless and discontented. Donnie Nietes and Aston Palicte fought for the vacant WBO junior bantamweight title and the bout ended in a controversial split draw. Both fights were held in the U.S.
The all-Filipino title match-ups also paled in comparison to the memorable Mexican civil wars - Rafael Marquez vs Israel Vasquez and Marco Antonio Barrera vs Erik Morales are notable examples.
Will Salva vs Taduran have fans wishing for more all-Filipino battles?
PHOTO - From video of Samuel Salva's fight against Oliver Gregorio
These articles are submitted by guest writers and sites. They aren't submitted by the usual folk behind Asian Boxing and don't fall in line with our editorial stance, giving a fresh view on various boxing issues from the Asian boxing scene.