By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
A couple of weeks ago, Filipino boxing fans on social media were buzzing with excitement when photos surfaced of world ranked featherweight Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo hitting the mitts with the legendary trainer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym.
Magsayo had a short chat with this writer about this interesting development in his career.
“My wife is now handling my business affairs. I am currently choosing the best promoter for me.” Magsayo told this writer in a short interview, “My wife was the one who contacted Roach, I was very surprised.”
Magsayo is still undefeated. But he is still star struck even when he has visited the Wild Card Gym in previous years. “Very surreal for me, until now I can’t believe it. It is one of my dreams to be trained by a legend.”
“I am learning a lot of things now, realizing my mistakes in the ring and Coach Freddie is correcting all of them. I am like a kid who is going to school again which is great for me. I am not perfect and I have been wanting to learn from someone like this. It is my goal to be better all the time to be a champion, and I am on the right track now with Coach Freddie as my head trainer.”
Magsayo turning pro in 2013 was covered in the local papers. He was a sought after amateur prospect, a teen phenom who won four national amateur titles in the Philippines.
He did not disappoint with his all-action style. Even as a sophomore pro, he was mentioned as the next Manny Pacquiao. He began winning regional belts and climbed up the world rankings.
His biggest win on local shores was in 2016, a scintillating shootout against American Chris Avalos, a former world title challenger. Magsayo rose from the canvas to stop Avalos in six rounds on the undercard of Nonito Donaire’s title defense against Hungarian Zsolt Bedak. This card drew the biggest live crowd in the history of Cebu City with estimates exceeding 30,000.
Magsayo was the WBO number one contender in 2017 and a title shot was already within reach. But then came his well-publicized split with ALA Promotions which led to his inactivity for the whole of 2018. Magsayo signed with a Malaysian manager and NOW Boxing Promotions and came back in 2019, scoring wins against Indonesian Erik Deztroyer in Singapore and Thai former WBO world champ Panya Uthok in Magsayo’s home island of Bohol.
Magsayo (20-0,14KO’s) told this writer that he has been in the U.S. since January 22. He is not dwelling on the fact that he lost one year of his career, “I am only 24 years old,” He said. “I wanted to fight Oscar Valdez but he moved up.”
He is currently ranked number six by the WBC. He is thinking of a future fight against Gary Russell or any of the world titleholders at 126 lbs. “I am also ranked now number 15 by the IBF and number 11 by the WBA, I want to fight any champion, I want to win a world title.”
Photo- Mark Magsayo
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Froilan Saludar (31-3,22KO’s) will return to Japan to defend his WBO Asia Pacific junior bantamweight title against Japanese Ryoji Fukunaga (11-4,11KO’s) on February 14. Saludar won the vacant title last September by eighth round TKO against another Japanese, Tsubasa Murachi at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. His defense against Fukunaga will be at the same venue.
Trainer Jojo Palacios told this writer in a short chat that Saludar is now at 90 percent in terms of reaching his peak form for the bout.
“He is now at 118 lbs, so there will be no problem making 115 lbs for the fight,” Palacios stated, “He went through 120 rounds in sparring against Aston Palicte,Raymond Tabugon, Jayson Mama, Glen Porras and Dave Apolinario.”
Team Saludar will leave for Manila on February 10 then fly to Japan the next day.
“If he was in this kind of shape in the Kimura fight, he would have won the world title.” Palacios declared.
During the early part of his career, the 30 year old Saludar was considered one of the bright prospects here in the Philippines. But, he came up short in big fights: In 2014, he was stopped in two rounds by Puerto Rican McWilliams Arroyo in an IBF title eliminator and in 2018, he was stopped in six rounds by then WBO world flyweight champ Sho Kimura of Japan.
The win against Murachi gave Saludar’s career a new lease on life. Murachi entered the fight a 4-0,3KO’s record and figured to make Saludar a stepping stone to fast track his career. But Saludar had other plans.
It would be interesting to see if Saludar can make the most of this career rejuvenation. His brother, Vic Saludar already won and lost the WBO world mini-flyweight title and is also on the comeback trail.
Fukunaga is a southpaw who has gone 1W-2L in his last three fights. He lost in his first attempt a regional belt,the OPBF Silver super flyweight title, by unanimous decision in Thailand to Jakkrawut Majoogoen.
Photo - Froilan Saludar
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Pedro Taduran remains the IBF world minimumweight champion after a four round technical draw against Mexican challenger Daniel Valladares. This was the southpaw Taduran’s first defense and he had to do it on the road at the Jardin Cerveza Expo in Guadalupe,Mexico.
Both boxers came out firing right from the opening bell. But in what is a common unfortunate mishap in southpaw vs orthodox match-ups, an accidental clash of heads happened in the last minute of round one.
Valladares sustained an ugly cut above his right eye. The ring doctor allowed the fight to continue and it did not slow down the action. Both continued to trade hard shots.
In the second, Valladares went head-hunting while Taduran targeted the body. The action remained fast and sustained at close quarters. Taduran pressed the action in the third and the heavy exchanges continued in the fourth. Both boxers were showered the Mexican’s blood and the ring physician was called once again. He told the referee he will let the fight go but when the fourth round ended, the fight was finally called to a halt.
The scores were 39-37 Valladares, and two judges had it 38-38.This allowed Taduran, from Albay in the Philippines, to retain his title.
This was a close fight fougth on even terms but Taduran’s manager, Art Monis, told this writer after the bout that if the fight was not stopped, he was confident that Taduran would have knocked Valladares out in the fifth.
Taduran is now 14-2-1,11KO’s while Valladares is 22-1-1,13KO’s.
Taduran won the vacant IBF world minimumweight title against countryman Samuel Salva last September in Taguig City. Salva knocked down Taduran in the first but a fiery attack from Taduran made Salva fade and capitulate before the bell for the fifth round.
There will be two more Filipinos who will be fighting for world titles this month. On the distaff side, on February 8, Carleans Rivas (8-6-2,0KO) will challenge IBF Female world minimumweight champion Yokasta Valle (19-2,8KO’s) of Costa Rica in the champion’s home turf.
Rivas is well-travelled but has lost in Japan to the likes of Tamao Ozawa,Chaoz Minowa, Tenkai Tsunami and Yumemi Ikemoto. Valle will be making the first defense of her belt that she won from Spain’s Joana Pastrana. Valle had previously lost in her attempts to win world title belts with the WBC and WBO.
Then on February 22, Jeo Santisima (19-2,16KO’s) will face his most accomplished foe in the person of Mexican Emanuel Navarrete (30-1,26KO’s) the WBO world junior featherweight champion.
Navarrete burst upon the scene when he dethroned Isaac Dogboe of Ghana by unanimous decision in New York. In their rematch, he stopped Dogboe in the twelfth in Tucson. He would defend three more times which included a 4th round TKO win over Filipino Juan Miguel Elorde in Las Vegas.
One of Santisima’s best career wins was a sixth round stoppage of Marco Demecillo in Cebu City. This was when Demecillo was still considered by local pundits as a dangerous puncher. In 2018, Santisima beat Mexican Uriel Lopez by unanimous decision in Cebu City for the WBO Oriental junior featherweight title. He is currently ranked number 4 by the WBO.
Santisima, who fights out of the ALA Gym of Cebu, has not lost since 2014 but will be fighting overseas for the first time. This will be on the undercard of a huge card, the rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury in Las Vegas.
Photo – Pedro Taduran
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Pedro Taduran (14-2,11KO’s) of the Philippines will be defending his IBF world minimumweight title in Mexico on February 1 against Mexican challenger Daniel Valladares (22-1,13KO's).
This will be the first defense for Taduran, who captured the vacant IBF world minimumweight title against fellow Filipino Samuel Salva last September in Taguig City. Both Taduran and manager Art Monis had a brief chat with this writer regarding their preparations.
“My training is going well, I will be maintaining my conditioning until the day of the fight.” Taduran stated, “I have sparred with Toto Landero, Ronald Alapormina, and Jerome Baloro.”
Taduran said he will be in good shape for the fight. He will just avoid getting caught early and promises a good fight. One of his sparmates, Landero, is a former world title challenger, losing to WBA minimumweight champ Thamanoon Niyomtrong by unanimous decision two years ago in Thailand. Three year ago, Landero beat a future world champ, Vic Saludar, by split verdict.
Monis is also upbeat about the fight. “Taduran trained for two and a half months. We already got our visas for Mexico, we will leave on January 24. It will be long flight from the Philippines to Japan then to Mexico.”
“Taduran is now winding down in his sparring but he will still have two six round sessions his week. He needs to be in excellent condition to be able to match the Mexican’s punches. He will not back down if necessary.” Monis stated, “Tacy Macalos is training him and will be in his corner during the fight.”
Macalos held the IBF light flyweight world title in 1988. Macalos also trains Filipino bantamweight contender Michael Dasmariñas.
In closing, Monis requested Filipino boxing fans for their prayers and support for a successful defense.
Valladares, whose ring moniker “Cejitas” means eyebrows, suffered his lone career loss to Genaro Rios in 2016 by majority decision. He had previously beaten Rios by split verdict. Valladares also previously held the WBC Silver light flyweight title. Last September, he scored his biggest career victory against the previously undefeated Filipino Christian Araneta in an IBF light flyweight eliminator held in Monterrey, Mexico. It was a fun, action packed fight but Araneta, however, decided not to continue due to a right shoulder injury, going into the fourth round.
The fight will be held at the Gimnasio Cedereg, Guadalupe, Nuevo León, Mexico.
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
For the past few days, there were reports that Jerwin Ancajas (32-1-2,22KO’s) was told to prepare for a February title defense. The name of the boxer who stood him up last November, Jonathan Javier Rodriguez (21-1,15KO’s), was once again mentioned as his next challenger. The Mexican Rodriguez was reported to have visa issues thus couldn’t make the trip to California. Ancajas fought in Mexico on December 7 against Chilean challenger Miguel Gonzalez and won by sixth round TKO.
With a February 22 date being floated, the next obvious story was that Ancajas will be on the undercard of the mega-rematch between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas.
Ancajas’ trainer and manager Joven Jimenez told this writer in a short chat that they have received a message from Top Rank to get ready for a title defense. But the present plan is for an April defense for Ancajas. Jimenez also told this writer that they will be starting their training camp but they will be moving south of the Philippines to Dipolog City.
This would be a new training location for Ancajas. When he started his reign as IBF champion in 2016, his training ground, known as Survival Camp here in the Philippines, was based in Cavite. But they had to move to a Philippine Marine base last year to avoid all the distractions that came when Ancajas got more attention from the media and fans. The 28 year old southpaw is a reservist in the Philippine Navy and was promoted last year to reserve senior chief petty officer.
Ancajas had made eight successful defenses of his title. He does have a looming date against Israel Gonzalez of Mexico, who beat Japanese Sho Ishida by split decision in a fight held in Osaka last December 28. This gave Gonzalez the IBF mandatory challenger status in the 115 lb division. Two years ago, Gonzalez (25-3,11KO’s) lost to Ancajas by tenth round TKO in a fight held in Texas.
It will be interesting in the coming weeks if Ancajas does wind up defending against Rodriguez or a rematch against his number one contender Gonzalez.
File Photo - Joven Jimenez and Jerwin Ancajas (right)
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Froilan “The Sniper” Saludar (31-3-1,22KO’s) is bracing for the first defense of his WBO Asia Pacific junior bantamweight title against heavy handed Japanese Ryoji Fukunaga (11-4,11KO’s).
Asianboxing first broke this story last December and a recent feature on the poster section shows the pair headlining the Kadoebi Gym’s “Slugfest 13” card on February 14.
This writer had a short chat with Jojo Palacios, who trains Saludar and asked about their preparations.
“Froilan’s training is going well, he has been in the gym starting December,” Palacios stated, “I have seen a video of his opponent. We are preparing for a puncher. Froilan has sparred with a featherweight, Pitt Laurente.”
Criztian Pitt Laurente (4-0,3KO’s) is a rising boxing prospect in the Philippines. In 2016, he was chosen as the best junior amateur boxer in Asia. The high point of his amateur career was a bronze medal at the 2018 AIBA World Youth Championships.
“I am in Manila awaiting our visas for Japan,” Palacios added, “Once we get them, we can fully concentrate on our training. The fight will be held in Tokyo and we will leave February 11.”
The 30 year old Saludar was born in Polomolok, South Cotabato in the Philippines. In 2018, he was on the verge of making history with his brother Vic Saludar(20-4,11KO’s). Vic dethroned Ryuya Yamanaka for the WBO miniflyweight title two weeks before Froilan was set to face then WBO flyweight champion Sho Kimura.
They could have been the only Filipino siblings to hold world titles simultaneously; brothers Dodie Boy and Gerry Peñalosa won world titles in different decades. But fate had other plans. Froilan was impressive in the first two rounds only to weaken under Kimura’s body attack. Froilan was knocked down once in the fifth and twice in the sixth before the referee signaled the end.
This was Saludar’s second loss on a big stage. In 2014, he was stopped in two rounds by Puerto Rican McWilliams Arroyo in Bayamon in an IBF title eliminator.
With his career in dire straits, Froilan Saludar moved up in weight and beat Filipino journeymen Donnie Mabao and Jonathan Francisco away from the spotlight. Then he got a shot at the vacant WBO Asia Pacific title against Tsubasa Murachi last September. It seemed Saludar was going to be used as a stepping stone for the young Japanese prospect who at that time sported a 4-0,3KO’s record.
But Saludar survived a first round knockdown to drop Murachi three times in rounds four, seven and eight. The Japanese was attended to by the medical staff at ringside after the fight was stopped in the eighth round. Saludar celebrated, knowing his career was revitalized.
The 33 year old Fukunaga is a southpaw who has gone 1W-2L in his last three fights which included a unanimous decision defeat in an OPBF Silver super flyweight title bout in Thailand to Jakkrawut Majoogoen (30-1,16KO’s).
Saludar’s world ranking will also be at stake as he is currently number nine among the 115 lb. division contenders of the WBO.
File photo – Froilan Saludar
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Last December 30 Asianboxing reported on Pedro Taduran’s looming IBF title defense against Mexican Daniel Valladares, citing a report by WBA award winning journalist Julius Julianis.
The 23 year old Taduran(14-2,11KO’s) is currently one of the four reigning world titleholders from the Philippines. He won the vacant IBF world minimumweight title against Samuel Salva last September in Taguig City. This was the third all-Filipino world title fight for the past two years and the first one held in the Philippines since 1925.
Taduran’s manager Art Monis told this writer that there are still contractual issues that need to be ironed out. He is aware of the news report of the February 1 fight date. He has however, signed and agreed to the defense in Mexico but awaits confirmation from the Mexican side. As of this writing, there is no update on boxrec regarding the February date and exact venue of the fight. Taduran himself told this writer that he is preparing for his upcoming defense.
Taduran, who sports the moniker “Heneral” or General turned pro in 2015. After six wins, he lost a split decision to Joel Lino, who at that point in time had a 2-0 record. Lino currently holds the Philippine (GAB) minimumweight title. Taduran’ second career loss was in a WBC world title fight in 2018, to Thai Chayaphon Moonsri, by unanimous decision in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand.
In the title win against Salva, he came back from a first round knockdown and bombed Salva in rounds three and four. A drained Salva chose not to answer the bell for the fifth.
Valladares, whose ring moniker “Cejitas” means eyebrows, sports a record of 22-1,13KO’s. His lone career loss was to Genaro Rios in 2016 by majority decision. He had previously beaten Rios by split verdict. Valladares also previously held the WBC Silver light flyweight title. His biggest career win was against the previously undefeated Filipino contender Christian Araneta in an IBF light flyweight eliminator last September in Monterrey, Mexico. It was action packed fight with both boxers taking turns landing harsh shots to the jaw. This fight showed Valladares can take a punch, considering Araneta’s 82 percent KO rate. Araneta, however, decided not to continue fighting due to a right shoulder injury, going into the fourth. This was a recurrence of an old injury which had him sidelined in 2017.
The video bout also showed Valladares’ defensive flaws which Team Taduran will be sure to review. Valladares earned the number one spot in the 108 lb division of the IBF but will be going down to 105 lbs to challenge Taduran.
Valladares also owns a seventh round TKO win against another Filipino,former WBO world miniflyweight champion Merlito Sabillo.
It will be hard for a Filipino world champion to defend his title in Mexico but it has been done before.
In 1996, Luisito Espinosa defended his WBC Featherweight title against Mexican Alejandro “Cobrita” Gonzalez by fourth round knockout in Guadalajara,Jalisco, Mexico. This was Espinosa’s finest hour; returning to the same venue where Gonzalez stopped him in two rounds three years earlier.
Donnie Nietes set the gold standard having defended his WBO minimumweight title thrice on Mexican soil against Erik Ramirez (UD12 2009), Manuel Vargas (SD12 2009) and Mario Rodriguez (UD12 2010).
John Riel Casimero defended his IBF light flyweight title by split decision against Pedro Guevara in 2012.
Jerwin Ancajas has a successful defense in Mexico last year but it was against a Chilean challenger. The likes of Florante Condes, Rodel Mayol and Merlito Sabillo lost their world title belts in Mexico.
File photo- Pedro Taduran in Thailand 2018
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
January 18 – Jhack Tepora’s scheduled defense of the WBA interim world featherweight title against Hugo Ruiz (Mexico) on the Manny Pacquiao-Adrien Broner undercard gets canceled after Tepora stepped on the scales five and a half pounds overweight. He also got stripped of his title.
January 19 – Manny Pacquiao WUD12 Adrien Broner (USA), retains WBA world welterweight title, MGM Grand, Las Vegas,Nevada,USA.
January 31 – Aston Palicte WKO2 Jose Martinez (Puerto Rico), Viejas Casino and Resort, Alpine, California,USA. Palicte wins WBO eliminator for the right to challenge WBO junior bantamweight champion Donnie Nietes.
February 26 – Vic Saludar WUD12 Masataka Taniguchi (Japan) retains WBO world minimumweight title, Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan.
February 28 – Donnie Nietes vacates the WBO world junior bantamweight title and bares his intention to seek bigger, more lucrative fights.
March 23 – Samuel Salva WUD12 Rene Mark Cuarto, wins IBF eliminator for mandatory challenger in the minimumweight division, Michael Dasmariñas WUD12 Kenny Demecillo, wins IBF eliminator for mandatory challenger in the bantamweight division, Resorts World Hotel, Pasay City, Philippines.
March 31 – Featherweight Renerio Arizala undergoes emergency brain surgery when he collapsed after losing his fight by sixth round TKO against Tsuyoshi Tameda (Japan) in Yokohama, Japan. He regained consciousness after the operation.
April 20 – John Riel Casimero WTKO12 Ricardo Espinoza Franco (Mexico), wins WBO interim world bantamweight title, Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, California,USA.
April 26 – Josie Gabuco wins a gold medal in the women’s light flyweight category at the 2019 Asian Amateur Boxing Championships in Bangkok, Thailand
April 27 – Nonito Donaire KO6 Stephon Young (USA), retains WBA super world bantamweight title, Cajun Dome, Lafayette, Louisiana,USA. Donaire enters the finals of the WBSS bantamweight tournament.
May 4 – Jerwin Ancajas WTKO7 Ryuichi Funai (Japan) , retains IBF world junior bantamweight title, Stockton Arena, Stockton, California,USA.
June 19- Kazuto Ioka (Japan) WTKO10 Aston Palicte, vacant WBO world junior bantamweight world title, Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan.
July 6 – Nordine Oubaali (France) WRTD6 Arthur Villanueva, WBC bantamweight world title, Barys Arena, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
July 12 – Kenshiro Teraji (Japan) WTKO4 Jonathan Taconing, WBC junior flyweight world title, Edion Arena, Osaka, Japan.
July 20 – Manny Pacquiao WSD12 Keith Thurman (USA), wins WBA welterweight super world title, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada,USA. Pacquiao becomes the oldest welterweight champion in boxing history at the age of 40.
August 2 – Thammanoon Niyomtrong a.k.a. Knockout CP Freshmart (Thailand) WTD8 ArAr Andales, WBA world minimumweight title, Nakhon Sawan,Thailand.
August 24- John Riel Casimero WKO10 Cesar Ramirez (Mexico), retains WBO interim world bantamweight title, San Andres Sports Center,Malate, Manila. Casimero earns the right to fight WBO bantamweight champion Zolani Tete (South Africa) within 90 days.
August 24 – Vic Saludar LUD12 Wilfredo Mendez (Puerto Rico), loses WBO world minimumweight title, Centro de Convenciones, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
August 25 – Maximino Flores (Mexico) WTD7 Carlo Caesar Peñalosa, vacant IBO flyweight title, TV5 Studio, Novaliches, Quezon City, Philippines.
September 7 – Pedro Taduran WRTD4 Samuel Salva, wins vacant IBF minimumweight world title, First all-Filipino title fight held in the Philippines since 1925, Jurado Hall, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, Metro Manila.
September 7 – Christian Araneta LRTD4 Daniel Valladares (Mexico) , IBF light flyweight eliminator, Arena Jose Sulaiman, Monterey, Mexico.
September 14 – Emanuel Navarrete (Mexico) WTKO4 Juan Miguel Elorde (Philippines), WBO world junior featherweight title, T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada,USA.
September 21 – Middleweight Eumir Felix Marcial wins a silver medal at the AIBA Men’s World Amateur Boxing Championships held in Ekaterinburg,Russia. He lost to Russian Bakshi Gleb in the finals by 5-0 decision.
October 13 - Nesthy Petecio wins gold in the featherweight finals of the 2019 AIBA Women’s World Amateur Boxing Championships in Russia. Petecio beat hometown bet Liudmila Vorontsova by 3:2 decision.
October 18 – Eljay Pamisa win silver in the pinweight category of the ASBC Asian Juniors Boxing Championships held in Al Fujaira,UAE. He lost to India’s Visvanath Singh 3:2 in the finals.
October 24 – Elwin Soto (Mexico) WUD12 Edward Heno , WBO light flyweight world title, Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California,USA
November 7- Naoya Inoue (Japan) WUD12 Nonito Donaire, unifies IBF and WBA world bantamweight titles and wins the WBSS bantamweight finals,Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan.
November 30 – John Riel Casimero WTKO3 Zolani Tete (South Africa), wins WBO world bantamweight title, Arena Birmingham, Birmingham,United Kingdom. Casimero wins his third world title and becomes the fourth Filipino boxer to win three or more world division titles.
December 7 – Marlon Tapales LTKO11 Ryosuke Iwasa (Japan), vacant IBF interim world junior featherweight title, Barclays Center, New York, USA
December 7 – Jerwin Ancajas WTKO6 Miguel Gonzalez (Chile) , retains IBF world junior bantamweight title, Auditorio GNP Seguros,Puebla, Mexico
December 9 – World Boxing Council appoints Nonito Donaire as the mandatory challenger for WBC bantamweight world champion Nordine Oubaali
December 9 – Philippines edges regional rival Thailand 7-5 in total gold medals won in the amateur boxing competition of the South East Asian (SEA) Games held in the Philippines
December 11 – Manny Pacquiao graduates from the University of Makati with a degree in Political Science-Local Government Administration.
December 14 – Tenkai Tsunami (Japan) WTKO8 Jessebelle Pagaduan, WBO Female world light flyweight title, Uchinoura Ginga Arena,Kagoshima,Japan
December 16 – Nkosinathi Joyi (South Africa) WUD12 Joey Canoy, vacant IBO world miniflyweight title, International Convention Center, East London, South Africa
December 23 – Kenshiro Teraji (Japan) WTKO4 Randy Petalcorin, WBC world light flyweight title, Arena Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
December 23 – Manny Pacquiao ranked number 8 among Forbes’ highest paid athletes of the decade with 435 million dollars in total earnings.
Photo – Top Row –left to right – Manny Pacquiao, John Riel Casimero, Jerwin Ancajas, Bottom Row – Left to right – Pedro Taduran, Nesthy Petecio, Nonito Donaire
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
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