By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Filipino fight fans were trying their best to get live feeds over the weekend. Three Filipino boxers campaigned in big fights overseas, with two figuring in world title bouts.
Joe Noynay had his third straight fight in Japan last Saturday and was pitted against Japanese Kenichi Ogawa. Noynay was defending his WBO Asia Pacific junior lightweight title and his number seven world ranking. He knew there was a target on his back after back to back stoppage wins against Kosuke Saka and Satoshi Shimizu.
Ogawa, whose split decision victory against American Tevin Farmer in an IBF world title bout was invalidated due to a pre-fight drug test result, was out for redemption and to improve his number eleven WBO ranking.
But a hard clash of heads in the round three inflicted an ugly cut over Ogawa’s right eyebrow. Another accidental heabutt had the southpaw Noynay cut in round four. The fight was eventually stopped in round five with both boxers spilling blood.
The clashes of heads was not unusual for those who have seen southpaw vs orthodox match-ups before. But this was bloodier than usual.
Scores - 48-47 Noynay,49-46 Ogawa and 48-48. Noynay remained WBO regional champion due to the split technical draw but this was not the scintillating fight many had hoped.
Roughly twelve hours later in the other side of the world, southpaws Jerwin Ancajas and Marlon Tapales figured in separate world title bouts.
At the Barclay’s center in New York City, Tapales had trouble getting inside the long reach of Japanese Ryosuke Iwasa.
The vacant IBF interim junior featherweight title was at stake. Both former world titleholders knew their careers were on the line. Iwasa, also a southpaw, showed he was the better skilled boxer.
He fought off his jab and fired a quick left. A clash of heads in the third caused Tapales to be incorrectly counted by the referee. Tapales tried to open up past the halfway mark of the fight but he missed more than he landed. Iwasa knocked down a faded Tapales in the eleventh round. Tapales beat the count but the referee decided he was unfit to continue and signaled the end.
Iwasa once held the IBF belt in this same division. He improves to 27-3,17KO’s while Tapales, a former WBO bantamweight champion, suffered his third loss, 33-3,16KO’s.
Daniel Roman of the U.S., who is the IBF and WBA champion in the 122 lb. division, suffered a shoulder injury while training last September which lead to this interim title bout. Iwasa is now in a mandatory position for Roman’s IBF belt.
In Puebla, Mexico, Jerwin Ancajas made the eighth successful defense of his IBF world junior bantamweight title with a sixth round TKO win over Miguel Gonzalez. Ancajas proved to be too much for the Chilean challenger, who was getting his first world title shot.
Ancajas methodically chopped down his opponent and in a dominant sixth round, pounded Gonzalez mercilessly. This made the referee to correctly stop it at the 1:53 mark even with the hapless Gonzalez still on his feet.
Ancajas is now 32-1-2,22KO’s while Gonzalez drops to 31-3,8KO’s.
While Team Ancajas was celebrating in the dressing room, news of Tapales’ loss reached their camp.
Ancajas has reigned as world champion since September of 2016 but is still in search of a career defining fight preferably against the other reigning Superflyweight champions.
Photo – left to right – Joe Noynay, Marlon Tapales, Jerwin Ancajas
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
In a country that regularly produces topmost boxing talent, even a boxer as gifted as Marlon Tapales (33-2,16KO’s) will struggle when it comes to name recognition. That may soon change if he can capitalize on his biggest fight on U.S. soil against Japanese Ryosuke Iwasa (26-3,16KO’s) for the IBF interim world super bantamweight title at the Barclays Center in New York.
Tapales, who is training in California, told this writer that they will be leaving for New York on Wednesday. Asianboxing has already reported that Iwasa left Japan last Monday to acclimatize to the conditions in the U.S.
“I am just three pounds over the limit, there will be no problems at the weigh-in,” Tapales told this writer in a short chat.
This will be battle of southpaws. The 29 year old Iwasa is a former IBF world champion at this weight category. Two years ago, he stopped countryman Yukinori Oguni in six rounds in Osaka for the title. He beat Filipino Ernesto Saulong by unanimous verdict in his first defense but lost in his second defense to Australian TJ Doheny by unanimous decision.
Daniel Roman of the U.S., who is the unified IBF/WBA champion in the 122 lb. division, was reported to have suffered a shoulder injury in training camp last September paving the way for this interim title bout.
In earlier conversation with this writer, Tapales stated that he already saw Iwasa in action. This was in February when Iwasa fought in California and beat Mexican Cesar Juarez by tenth round technical decision. Tapales was on the undercard and beat Mexican Fernando Vargas Parra in five rounds.
“I have seen him fight in person,” Tapales said, “I know I can take him. I feel stronger at 122 pounds.”
“I want to be a world champion again. I am training hard and praying for that to happen.” Tapales concluded.
The 27 year old Tapales from Lanao del Norte in the Philippines. He got a lot of attention from the press in 2016 when he stopped Pungluang Sor Singyu (Panya Uthok) in Ayutthaya, Thailand for the the WBO bantamweight world title. Tapales had to rise from the canvas twice in the fifth, endure the pain from brutal body shots, to stop the Thai in round eleven.
The attention from this made-for-Hollywood performance was short-lived. Tapales’ career took a strange turn when his handlers could not stage a title defense for him at home.
He was inactive for nine months and would then lose his title during the weigh-in in Japan. He checked in more than a pound above the division limit of 118. The title was declared vacant but the fight pushed through with Tapales winning by eleventh round TKO. He decided to move up one division higher but had to wait seventeen months for another fight against Tanzanian Goodluck Mrema in Metro Manila, which lasted less than a round.
Things began to look up when he signed with Manny Pacquiao’s company, MP Promotions and got two fights in the United States. He stopped Mexicans Fernando Vargas Parra in five rounds and Roberto Castañeda in three.
Iwasa is ranked number one by the IBF while Tapales the number three contender. They will be one of the main supporting attractions for the WBC world middleweight title fight between Jermall Charlo and Dennis Hogan.
Photo – Ryosuke Iwasa (left) and Marlon Tapales
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Winning a world title is supposed to bring huge benefits to a boxer’s career. But for Marlon Tapales, it meant periods of inactivity.
Three years ago, he waged the fight of his life against Pungluang Sor Singyu (Panya Uthok) in Ayutthaya, Thailand. Tapales had to rise from the canvas twice in the fifth, endure the pain inflicted by brutal body shots, to stop the Thai in round eleven.
Tapales was praised by sportswriters not only for winning the WBO world bantamweight title but for beating someone who had a long list of Filipino victims on his resume. But still, he remained overlooked by the casual fans in the talent rich Philippine boxing scene.
Being dormant for nine months led to losing his title on the scales in Japan. Tapales was a huge favorite against Shohei Omori, a man he already stopped in two rounds in 2015. But despite his efforts to make weight, he was still more than a pound above the division limit of 118.
The title was declared vacant but the fight pushed through with Tapales winning by 11th round TKO. He returned home an ex-champion and his team made known their plan to move him up to junior featherweight. But, he had to wait seventeen months for another fight.
In those months of inactivity, there were reports of Tapales being matched against Mexican Cesar Juarez for the interim WBO junior featherweight crown. The rumor that circulated here in Cebu was that the offer was eventually turned down because Tapales’ management and trainer felt he did not have enough time to prepare. This decision left a lot of boxing pundits scratching their heads; Juarez lost to Isaac Dogboe by TKO in round five in January of 2018.
Tapales’ only fight last year was an easy opening round knockout of Tanzanian Goodluck Mrema in Metro Manila.
The good news is he is slated for a fight in Los Angeles this February 16 against Fernando Vargas Parra (34-14-3,23KO’s) of Mexico. This card features WBA super world featherweight champ Leo Santa Cruz defending against Rafael Rivera.
A few days ago, a video uploaded on social media showed Tapales hitting the mitts with former WBC light flyweight champ Rodel Mayol, who now works as a trainer in California.
“Marlon is already an excellent fighter,” Mayol told this writer in an internet chat, “He won a world title before,he will be a champion again.”
The 26 year old Tapales (31-2,14KO’s) hails from Lanao del Norte in the Philippines. He has been a pro for more than ten years now. For the better part of his career, he fought under Rex “Wakee” Salud Promotions. Many feel he has not lived up to his full potential and that with his skill level he could have reached the same heights as Nonito Donaire and Donnie Nietes. The latest super bantamweight/ junior featherweight rankings has him at number 6 in the WBO and number 7 in the IBF.
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.