This coming Wednesday we get the chance to see a really compelling match up in New South Wales as under-rated Filipino slugger Joe Noynay (18-2-2, 7) looks to defend his WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title against unbeaten Australian challenger Liam Wilson (9-0, 6). For Wilson the bout is a massive step up in class and his first for a well regarded internationally recognised title, whilst the bout will be Noynay's first in Australia and his first in well over 18 months. For the winner the WBO Asia Pacific title is a major honour, but the winner will also begin a real move towards getting a world title fight, making this bout a genuinely significant one.
Of the two men it's Noynay who is the more well known and the more recognisable. Although not a major star the 25 year old southpaw is a very dangerous fighter with a solid record and has shown no fear of fighting on the road. In fact many of Noynay's best performance have been on the road, including a very competitive loss with Reiya Abe back in 2017, along with wins over Jinxiang Pan, Kosuke Saka and a career best win over Satoshi Shimizu. Not only has he impressed on the road, but he also seems to get more aggressive when fighting on foreign soil and has shown under-rated power, with his punches being much more destructive than a typical fighter with a 32% KO rate. That actually is likely due to the fact he went the distance a lot early in his career, after debuting as a teenager.
During his career Noynay has proven to be a fighter who can box, though his boxing is usually quite clumsy, and puncher. He's shown good patience in bouts, but when he lands clean he can hurt guys. Sometimes he is a bit too rough around the edges to really show what he can do, as we saw in his most recent bout against Kenichi Ogawa in what was a messy affair plagued by head clashes, but he is more skilled than some would give him credit for. He's also very tough and took some big bombs from Satoshi Shimizu, and Kosuke Saka, before stopping both of those men. He will believe in his chin, his power, and experience here.
Wilson, also 25, was a very solid amateur competing in a variety of major international tournaments such as the 2018 Common Wealth Games and the 2014 AIBA Youth World Championships. Unlike Noynay he is a boxer first, and his amateur fundamentals do show when he's in the ring. As a professional however he's very unproven with just 9 bouts since making his debut in June 2018. To date his most notable results are a decision win over Brent Rice for the Australian national title in 2018, a KO win over Jesus Cuadro, a TKO win over Rodynie Rafor and a 10 round decision win over Francis Chua earlier this year. He's managed to go 10 rounds a few times but has never shared the ring with someone like Noynay before.
In the ring Wilson is an aggressive boxer. He's technically well schooled, looks very relaxed in the ring and puts his shots together well, however we have seen him taking risks and being punished for them, as he was against Jackson Woods in 2020, when he was clearly hurt in the opening round. He has gotten away with it in the past but there's a good chance his aggressive nature, and surprisingly sloppy defense, could be an issues against a heavy handed fighter like Noynay here. He often stands in front of opponents, and relies on his own crisp punches, to get to opponents but he is certainly there to be hit.
Coming in to this Wilson should be regarded as the favourite. He has the amateur pedigree, he has home advantage and he has a lot of momentum behind him, helped in part by being active over the last 18 months or so, in fact he's fought 5 times since Noynay was last in the ring. We however would not be surprised, at all, if Noynay ended up doing what Woods, among others, couldn't. Noynay is a hungry fighter, the reigning champion and a man risking a lot here, including the WBO Asia Pacific title and several world rankings. He'll be there looking to take Wilson's head off, and we suspect, sooner or later, he will land with a huge left hand and will close in for the finish, taking Wilson out. We really do think this is too soon for Wilson, and comes far, far too early in his career. Wilson will have success, and is dangerous himself, but we really do think this is perhaps 2 or 3 fights too early in his career.
Prediction - TKO6 Noynay
Having canned the old "Full Schedule" of Asianboxing we have instead decided to concentrate more on the major bouts. This section, the "Preview" section will look at major bouts involving OPBF and national titles. Hopefully leading to a more informative style for, you the reader.