One of the lesser title bouts this coming weekend, and a bout that could easily be over-looked given the quality of little men in action Stateside, will see OPBF Super Flyweight champion Rene Dacquel (20-6-1, 6) defending his title against Andrew Moloney (15-0, 10). The Filipino will be hunting his 4th defense of the title, all of which have been on the road, whilst Moloney will be seeking his biggest win as a professional and both men will be looking to take a huge step step towards a world title fight.
The Filipino 27 year old has been a great servant on the regional scene with bouts in both his homeland and in Japan since his August 2011 debut. Unlike many Filipino's he has had great success in Japan with a 4-2-1 record in the country,including wins over Go Onaga,Yuki Nasu and Hayato Kimura and is 1-0 in South Africa. Not only has he scored big wins on the road but also at home with wins over Lucky Tor Buamas and Melvin Gumban.
Although not a puncher Dacquel is a talented boxer with respectable power, good rounded skills and a good boxing brain. He couples those traits with good stamina, a lot of good experience and confidence. He has completed the 12 round schedule 7 times in his 27 fight career and despite only one stoppage in the last 36 months he has dropped a number of opponents. During that same 36 month period his only losses have been to quality operators in the form of Jonas Sultan and Takuma Inoue, both of who are genuine world class fighters.
The unbeaten Moloney is also 27 and before he made his debut, back in 2014, he had been a stand out amateur, winning Gold at the 2014 Commonwealth games and competing at 3 World Amateur Championships. That amateur experience allowed Moloney to be put on a bit of a fast track and he claimed his first title in just his second bout. Subsequent titles have been won since with Moloney claiming national and Continental titles early in his career. Despite his good record and title wins he has got questions about his competition, with his best win likely a decision over Ryohei Takahashi or Renoel Pael. Although he does have a win over world title challenger Jether Oliva it's fair to say that Oliva had seen better days down at Light Flyweight and seemed to have given up as a professional by the time Moloney fought him.
The Australian isn't just a talented fighter but also a solid puncher. He has stopped his last 3 foes, in a combined 11 rounds, and has stopped 6 of his last 7. Interestingly however he's never scored a stoppage after round 6 and it's possible that his power does go down in the later rounds. On the same theme he has only done 8 or more rounds 3 times, and has never gone the 12 round distance, perhaps giving Dacquel a gameplan of coming on strong.
n September 9th the boxing world focuses on the Super Flyweight division, as we get arguably the biggest day in the division's history, as 5 of the top fighters at the weight are all showcased on the same show in the US. The show, dubbed “Superfly” will feature WBO champion Naoya Inoue, WBC champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, former 4-weight world champion Roman Gonalez, former WBC champion Carlos Cuadras and former Flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada. It's a night that will put the division on the global boxing map, and could potentially make Inoue into the global star that his talent deserves.
Before that super show there will be a number of other notable Super Flyweight bouts, with the next of those taking place on July 19th as OPBF champion Rene Dacquel (19-6-1, 6) looks to extend his reign as champion. In the opposite corner will be Japanese contender Hayato Kimura (26-9, 17), who looks to score the biggest win of his career and upset a man who is enjoying a good run at the moment.
Filipino fighter Dacquel has been a professional since 2011 and has had mixed success, though seems to be maturing into a very capable Oriental level fighter, despite having struggled early in his career. Over his last 9 fights he has gone 7-2 scoring notable wins over Melvin Gumban, Lucky Tor Buamas, Go Onaga and Shota Kawaguchi, and only losing to fringe world class guys like Jonas Sultan and Takuma Inoue.
In the ring Dacquel is a talented and hungry fighter who is slowly, but surely, climbing up the rankings. He's no world beater, and no one would suggest he was, but he's a genuinely talented fighter on his way up, and in fairness he still has plenty of time to develop into a real contender given that he is only 26 and still has maturing and developing to do. If he continues to develop in the way he has done in recent years, and continues to rack up solid wins, he will be getting big opportunities in the near future.
Kimura has been a professional since 2005, having made his debut on his 16th birthday back in South Korea. Many of his early bouts took place outside of Japan, and at one point he looked like a genuine super prospect having gone 13-0 (8) whilst still a teenager. Sadly though he has never really built on that start and over the last 8 years he has struggled to get much going in his career. As a result he has lost to the likes of Brix Ray, AJ Banal, Martin Mubiru, Oleydong CP Freshmart, Marlon Tapales, Michael Dasmarinas, Sho Ishida and Kenta Nakagawa, with the losses to Ishida and Nakagawa coming in Japanese title fights.
Despite falling short against his best opponents it does seem like Kimura has the potential to score a decent win at title level. Unfortunately for him it would take a career best performance for him to match the skills of Dacquel. He has an edge in speed here, and is certainly an experienced fighter with, but is unlikely to have the movement, skills or power to ever really put Dacquel under the pressure he'd need to to take the title away.
We're expecting to see this be another successful defense for Dacquel, but a very hard fought and competitive one with the Filipino taking the fight on the score cards.
The Super Flyweight division is one of, if not the, deepest division in the sport right now with a genuinely impressive list of champions and top contenders. In fact the division is so good right now that it's easily to ignore everything but the world title scene. This coming Sunday however we het an Oriental title fight, as Rene Dacquel (18-6-1, 6) defends his title against Shota Kawaguchi (20-7-1, 8). For Dacquel the bout will be his second title defense whilst Kawaguchi will be getting his first crack at an Oriental title, despite that neither man will likely find themselves in the world title picture, win or lose here.
In 2015 Dacquel got his first OPBF title fight and came up short against Takuma Inoue. Just a few short months later he got a shot at the interim title, which he won. He was later upgraded and made the first defense of the title a few months later, defeating Go Onaga in Okinawa.
Although not a big name Dacquel is a talented pure boxer, he's not world class or even close to it, but he's a solid Oriental level fighter who will always be competitive against fighters below world class. Against the likes of Takuma Inoue we've seen Dacquel being exposed, but with wins against the likes of Yuki Nasu, Melvin Gumban, Thembelani Nxoshe, Lucky Tor Buamas and Go Onaga it's fair to say that Dacquel is a very solid fighter, and at his best he's probably a genuine gatekeeper.
Lacking in power and not the biggest at the weight Dacquel's power isn't going to put fighters away but his skills are impressive enough to keep a hold of the title until he comes up against a genuinely very good fighter, unfortunately there are a lot of them in division.
Talking about good fighters at Super Flyweight Japan is full of them right now, with the likes of Naoya Inoue, Kohei Kono, Koki Eto and Sho Ishida. It wouldn't be unfair to suggest that Kawaguchi is probably scraping the top 10. That's not to say Kawaguchi is a bad fighter but he's certainly nothing too great, and losses to the likes of Sonny Boy Jaro, Takayuki Okumoto, Ryuta Otsuka and Yoshihito Ishizaki sort of show his limitations. Things aren't helped by the fact he's not the toughest fighter and has been stopped 3 times, although one of those was on his debut almost 11 years ago.
Aged 32 Kawaguchi is really in need of a big win to give his career some real meaning. He did win the interim WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title last time out, taking a technical decision over Rakniran Muadransarakam, but the reality is that he needs a bigger win. That will drive him here against Dacquel, but we don't think he'll have the skills to over-come the talented Filipino.
Whilst we do think Kawaguchi will have some moments against Dacquel, it's hard to imagine anything but a wide decision win for the Filipino. Dacquel will be too skilled, too smooth and too talented for the Japanese warrior, who is too open and too clumsy to defeat the talented Pinoy skillster.
The Ohashi gym has two of the best young Super Flyweights on the planet, with world champion Naoya Inoue and his younger brother Takuma Inoue. It also has another notable Super Flyweight, the much older and more experienced Go Onaga (27-2-2, 18). On August 21st Onaga looks to secure his biggest win, as he takes on Filipino Rene Dacquel (17-6-1, 6) in a bout for the OPBF title.
For the world ranked 36 year old Onaga this bout is almost certainly his last chance and the final sink or swim moment in a career that began more than 13 years ago.
The southpaw from Yokohama, though originally from Okinawa, began his career 13-0 (9) with solid early career wins over the likes of Carlos Murillo, Nerys Espinoza and Yuki Nasu unfortunately a 2009 draw with Richard Garcia slowed his rise through the ranks. The following year Onaga got his first title fight and suffered his first defeat, a stoppage loss in 2010 to Yota Sato in a Japanese “interim” Super Flyweight title bout.
Further setbacks in 2011 and 2012 to Teiru Kinoshita, a draw and a loss, essentially pushed him out of the title picture for a few years but recent wins over Breilor Teran, Masafumi Otake, Jonas Sultan and Renoel Pael have helped establish him as a credible OPBF title challenger.
In the ring Onaga posses very solid skills but little more, if we're being honest. He is a popular figure from the Ohashi gym but lacks the fighting tenacity of stablemate Akira Yaegashi, the destructive power of Naoya Inoue or the outside boxing skills of Takuma Inoue. He's certainly not a bad fighter, but there is nothing that stands out about him being anything particularly outstanding.
As the champion Dacquel will be making his first defense of the title, a title that was upgraded earlier this year when Takuma Inoue officially vacated the belt. Incidentally Dacquel and Inoue fought last year with Takuma clearly, and easily, over-coming the Filipino for this very same title.
Dacquel's record is less then stellar with the 6 losses, and in fact he's 1-2-1 in Japan, with losses to Takuma and Hideyuki Watanabe. Saying that however Filipino records are usually misleading and do the fighters a dis-service. Notably for Dacquel he has suffered several close losses and some outside of his best weight division. He also holds very notable wins over the likes of Yuki Nasu, Melvin Gumban Thembelani Nxoshe and Mateo Handig.
In the ring Dacquel is an technically solid fighter and at 25 is a fresh, young and hungry fighter in the ring. He's also a man maturing physically and does hit hard than his record suggests, as seen in his stunning KO win last time out against Lucky Tor Buamas. We're not saying he's a KO artist but he certainly hits harder than his record suggests and will likely know that leaving this one in the judges hands will be risky.
For both men this is a bout they cannot afford to lose. For Onaga a loss will kill his world title dreams stone dead. For Dacquel it'll be a 3rd loss in 6 and essentially see him relegated to a man who's level has been “found” at OPBF level class. Sadly for Onaga we think he'll be the man coming up short with Dacquel's youth being the difference down the stretch and Onaga's old legs not carrying him the full distance with the local fighter breaking down in the final rounds.
Over the years the OPBF titles have been a major spring board for fighters going from Oriental level to World level. Sometimes the fighters have been unable to make the leap however many have managed it, such as current Super Flyweight world champion Kohei Kono and Naoya Inoue. Sadly the OPBF now seems to have taken the lead of the WBA and found it's self creating “interim” titles, with an OPBF “interim” Super Flyweight title bout set for April 1st.
The bout in question will see the talented, but flawed, Rene Dacquel (16-6-1, 5) take on the unbeaten, but completely untested, Lucky Tor Buamas (7-0, 7).
Whilst there are reasons for setting up “interim” title fights this bout isn't one that makes sense to us, especially given that Dacquel was beaten by current OPBF champion Takuma Inoue late last year and is actually in the ring himself in about 5 weeks time.
Although Dacquel was clearly beaten by Inoue the 25 year old is certainly not a bad fighter. In fact despite being 3-2 in his last 5 bouts Dacquel has beaten Melvin Gumban, Thembelani Nxoshe and Mateo Handig in recent bouts.
In the ring Dacquel is a good boxer, he lacks power at this level but he is highly skilled, knows his way around the ring and is tough. He lacks any “world class” trait but is a solid all rounder on the Oriental scene, and will pick up notable scalps before his career is over. Despite not being world class we do expect him to claim an OPBF title before his career is over, further suggesting that the “interim” title is a step that he doesn't really need to boost his career.
Whilst Dacquel has faced some opponents of note, like Gumban, Inoue and Go Sultan, the same cannot be said of the unbeaten Lucky Tor Buamas, who has yet to face anyone of any note at all. In fact his boxrec record suggests he has faced 4 debutants, and just a single fighter with a win, however it should be noted that boxrec are probably missing fights of Lucky's and his opponents.
In the ring Lucky looks to be a solid boxer puncher. His shots aren't the fastest but they all look very heavy and hard with his jab looking particularly stiff. He fights like a pressure fighter but is a very patient one who is methodical with his pressure rather than intense. There are a lot of holes in his work, both offensively and defensively, but against the level op opponents he has been facing those holes haven't been an issue as of yet.
Given the level that the two men have fought at, it's very hard to see anything but a Dacquel will, though it's likely that likely that Lucky will have his moments, albeit moments that are few and far between. Lucky may have the power to keep Dacquel honest but we can't see the Thai having the skills to make the most of that power against a fighter like Dacquel.
It's fair to say that Naoya Inoue has been a revelation in his short career, and has managed to increase interest in both Asian boxing and the lower weights. Whilst Naoya is clearly a phenom he's not the only champion in the family as his younger brother, Takuma Inoue (5-0, 1) is also champion, holding the OPBF Super Flyweight title. December 29th Takuma looks to make the first defense of that title as he takes on Filipino Rene Dacquel (15-5-1, 5).
The 20 year old Inoue is trained by his father, like his brother and cousin Koki Inoue, and whilst he has got the same name and trainer as Naoya he has a very different style and very different attributes. He doesn't have Naoya's insane strength or power but he does have a sharp boxing brain, great movement and really knows how to use his speed to fight on the outside and neutralise opponents on the inside.
It's been his outside boxing that has seen Inoue quickly rise through the ranks whilst being matched very aggressively. Already in his career he has beaten two fighters who have fought for world titles, Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr and Nestor Daniel Narvaes, and the then world ranked Mark Anthony Geraldo. Whilst he has stopped any of those good fighters he has also scarcely lost more than a round or two in those bouts combined. If anything his major “issue” has been an ability to stop his foes, though he has never really looked trouble by anything they've thrown at him, despite a “knockdown” call against him when he fought Geraldo.
Physically Inoue looks like a very solid and strong Super Flyweight. At the moment though he doesn't seem to be a puncher, at all. He seems to acknowledge that himself and seems happier to use his skills rather than go into a brawl. It's a tactic that may not make him fans but will get him success and will help him refrain from taking unnecessary shots at this stage of his career.
Whilst Takuma is a man expected to move up to world level the same cannot be said of Dacquel, a Filipino fighter who has had success of his own, but isn't viewed as a super prospect or anything similar. In fact in fairness to Dacquel he'll likely be a man expected to become a stable on the Oriental title scene over the coming years.
The Filipino has been a professional since 2011. Early on he fought some limited opponents but in 2013, in his first visit to Japan, he stopped Yuki Nasu in a genuinely notable victory. Sadly any momentum of that win was killed almost immediately as he went 1-2-1 in his following 4 bouts. Recently however he has rebuilt with some wins, it's true that he's 3-2 in his last 5 but wins against Melvin Gumban, for the GAB title, Thembelani Nxoshe, in South Africa for the IBO International title, are outstanding results.
Footage of Dacquel is somewhat difficult to find though he's certainly an under-rated puncher, as seen in his stoppage of Nasu, and he's also a man who travels with confidence, as seen in his wins on the rode. He's defensively solid and smart, though he has been dropped a number of times through his career including a knockdown 2 fights ago against Jonas Sultan, who has since incidentally lost to Inoue's stablemate Go Onaga. The fact he has scored good wins, by decision, shows that there is plenty of skill there.
Whilst Dacquel is certainly coming into this bout as an under-rated fighter, and he is a very live under-dog, we do suspect that he will be left chasing shadows by Inoue's movement and speed. Dacquel isn't slow himself but we suspect that Inoue will have a speed advantage and will go on to claim a clear, but well fought, decision. Dacquel might show some frustration late but we don't see him really getting punished for those mistakes. As a result we're going with a wide decision win to the defending champion.
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.