Once again the guys behind Asian Boxing have come together to answer another question based on the future of boxing through Asia. This time the team focus on the Philippines as they take a look at some of the most promising talent from the Pearl of the Orient.
This week's question is "Who... is the most promising prospect in the Philippines?"
To answer this we all agreed on what makes a "prospect", and for the sake of this it's a fighter who isn't yet world ranked, which we agreed made someone a "contender", and they couldn't have previously fought for a world title, as that also makes them a "contender". Outside of that there was no other limitations, meaning no limits based on number of fights or age.
Lee: "I recently saw Filipino Flyweight Ben Ligas in action, and he really, really impressed me in his win over Alphoe Dagayloan, so I think I need to pick him. In the early rounds he almost stopped Dagayloan, which was really impressive, and as the bout went on he managed to neutralise the pressure and mauling style of "Wolverine" really well. At the moment he's only 22 years old, has very good size and power at Flyweight and a good style, with the ability to polish up around the edges.
With a 13-1-1 (9) record he doesn't have an "0" to protect and I think that will serve him well, allowing his team to continue to match him well, as they did with Dagayloan. and as they have in the past against fighters like Christoval Furog, Jesel Guardario and Joseph Ambo.
He's in a tough division internationally, but given his age I think he has time on his side and will become a future world champion."
Takahiro: "My pick here, is Richard Bulancan. I very much like the 21 year old puncher who never seems to get any attention but has been very, very impressive so far.
I understand he was a good amateur on the Filipino Youth scene and is now a dangerous puncher and has a 10 round bout under his belt. I really took notice of him when he stopped Anthony Sabalde, who went 12 rounds with Nihito Arakawa. Unfortunately he's not fought since then, but I am very excited to see him back in action one day soon!
As well as his win over Sabalde he has also beaten fighters like Vergel Deguma and Rimon Rama. He has power, he had rounds and he has so, so much potential! Hopefully I get to see what he can do again soon!
Richard Bualcan is my pick for best Filipino prospect"
Scott: "Someone I've been high on since I first saw him in 2019 is April Jay Abne, a 21 year old Flyweight with buckets of talent, a really deep understanding of boxing and so, so much potential. He impressed so much in the Ultimate Boxing Series (UBS) in 2019 and showed the potential to go a long way, very quickly. Not only did he show impressive skills but he was also matched hard, beating fighters with records of 6-0-1, 4-0-2 and 8-1-1 in the UBS. Prior to turning professional he was a solid amateur and he ticks a lot of boxes that I like to see.
As well as showing good skills and facing tough competition Abne has also fought over 6 and 8 rounds in his short career and it's clear he can be let of the leash and chase a national title of some kind. He has that sort of ability and in ring understanding to be moved quickly, moved aggressively and raced through the ranks.
Sadly Abne never fought in 2020, in a year that was essentially written off for many fighters due to Covid19, though I'm hoping to see him back in the ring sooner rather than later. Given his inactivity last year I'd expect him to have an easy bout or two then begin the hunt for silverware towards the end of the year."
Fighters ruled out on the rule "meeting" due to being contenders:
(*Note - This is based on rankings as per February 18th 2020)
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces