Last year we saw the emergence of exciting Mexican brawler Francisco Rodriguez Jr, a man who seemed set to be in the Fighter of the Year running until November when he was was held to a surprise draw by little known Filipino Jomar Fajardo (14-8-2, 7). For Fajardo that result was the best of his career and saw him become a “fighter of interest” to a number of Western fans who follow the lower weights.
On September 12th Fajardo will attempt to record another surprise result as he takes on OPBF Light Flyweight champion Jonathan Taconing (21-2-1, 18). As with the Rodriguez fight, Fajardo enters the contest as a huge under-dog and a man who expected to be blown away by a world class fighter, however he is also a man who know that he can shock better fighters.
Against Rodriguez we saw a determined Fajardo swinging for the fences from very early. The tactic seemed to surprise the talented Mexican who found it very hard to read the man dubbed “Wallopman”. Other than the draw with Rodriguez there is very little on his record, in fact he has lost 4 of his last 5, though it's clear that when he's on song he can be a real handful.
The name “Wallopman” is fitting for Fajardo who does appear to pack a serious punch, despite his record showing just a 29% (T)KO rate. The issue is that he doesn't have the skills to make the most of his solid power and he's also been fighting outside of divisions that he should be fighting at. In fact his last 4 bouts have all been above the Light Flyweight limit, with one of those bouts taking place all the way up at Bantamweight. At 108lbs however he is a handful and really could be trouble for those on the domestic stage.
Whilst Fajardo came to the attention of fight fans last year with a draw Taconing has had a different way to get attention. He should, really, have come to the fore back in 2012 when he fought the then WBC Light Flyweight champion Kompayak Porpramook. Unfortunately however the heavy handed slugger found himself losing a very contentious technical decision to the Thai, who appeared to have a very lucky escape. Sadly for Taconing he's had to wait until this year to make his mark on the world stage, stopping Ramon Garcia Hirales this past April.
In the ring Taconing has all the traits of a fan favourite. He's teak tough, very heavy handed, comes to fight and although a bit crude he appears to have the ability to impose himself on any opponent at the weight. Aggressive, powerful and imposing Taconing looks like the type of fighter who will progress beyond OPBF level and in fact become a world champion in the near future. He will however be a fighter who needs to become a mandatory to get a shot as no fighter will willingly choose to step in the ring with him, which has really explained why he has scored so few notable wins thus far.
Coming in to this fight, as mentioned, Fajardo will be the under-dog and that's clear. Unfortunately he's no longer a “mystery man” and footage of him is out there. That footage may be his undoing and Taconing he's fighting a stylistically similar, but much better fighter. Given the styles this should be an enjoyable bout to watch, but a once sided one that ends with Fajardo being stopped, likely inside 6 rounds as Taconing takes his next step towards a world title bout.
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.