This really has been a crazy week for fights and we can't believe we're still looking at the bouts that took place last weekend, but we are as we look back on Saturday's bout between Mark Magsayo (21-0, 14) and Rigoberto Hermosillo (11-3-1, 8). The contest, shown on FS1 in the US and as part of the ESPNKnockout in certain Latin American territories, was seen as a chance for Magsayo to make a name for himself in the US and show what he could do in front of an audience that hadn't seen him before. But did he managed that? Did he shine? Or was the bout not one that the way he, and his team expected?
Lets find out as we discuss our Five Take Aways from the bout.
1-Magsayo looked damn sharp...early on
In the opening round we were really impressed by how sensation Magsayo looked. He looked amazing both defensively and offensively, his movement looked easy and on point, his punching was razor sharp, and he was picking his spots with easy, landing clean, powerful counters and looked like a star in the making. If fans had never seen Magsayo before this first round would have convinced many that he was a future star. Sadly though as the bout went on he really looked more and more average and less "Magnifico". It was a shame that he couldn't keep up such an amazing start.
2-Punch numbers looked very suspect
One thing that PBC have tried to include are punch numbers, and this bout had them in the bottom left corner. As least they had what were supposed to be punch numbers. The reality is that these seemed so inconsistent, in accurate and wrong that they were essentially useless. We love the idea of having punch numbers, and we love numbers and data in general, but live punch numbers always seem to be wrong and at the moment they really aren't worth the screen space they take up. They MIGHT be right, we've not bothered to rewatch the fight counting punches, but they really didn't seem to be reflecting what we were seeing and seemed to be added rather arbitrarily at times. We've often felt that punch numbers should be done post fight only and should be done in slow motion only, with numbers published a day or two after bouts, and should never, ever be shown live.
3-Hermosillo is a monster!
We were expecting to be raving about Magsayo, and how he shone in his big chance to impress. Sadly though we were won over by Rigoberto Hermosillo who looked like an absolute monster in there. He lacked major power and was technically flawed and some what slow, but his output, desire and determination were incredible. He kept coming forward, kept through throwing, and forced his will and style on the fight. Whilst he was second best in terms of skills he was the man making the fight and, in all honesty, he's the one we were left wanting to see again. His style is fan friendly, his work rate is great and he will make or some great fights. If PBC are smart they will be getting him on under-cards in the future, and we really would love to see Hermosillo Vs Cobia Breedy.
4-Freddie Roach and Mark Magsayo haven't yet clicked
Freddie Roach is one of the most legendary trainers in the sport, and the success he has had in the sport speaks for it's self. Notably however he has also failed to get the best from some fighters, and we do wonder whether he can get the best from Magsayo. Here it seemed like he was imploring for Magsayo to show him more and put his foot on the gas, with Magsayo not doing so. We do wonder whether there is perhaps a little bit of a disconnected between fighter and trainer. It needs to be noted that they haven't been working together long, and Magsayo really did look amazing at times, but we are apprehensive about this partnership and do worry that this isn't the best fit for Magsayo and his ability.
5-The judges were all over the place!
We, like many others, felt this was a very close bout. It was competitive through out, hotly contested, but in the end Magsayo had done enough to edge it. We have no idea what Rudy Barragan was watching, with his 100-90 card for Magsayo, or Lou Moret, who some how had the bout to Hermosillo. In an ideal world both judges would be pulled in front of the commission and told to explain their scores, held to account, and potentially stripped of their judging licenses. Instead it was just another weekend in boxing and they'll be back with a scorecard in their hands sooner rather than later. There is absolutely no defense for having that bout a shut out, and any one who is scoring that 100-90 needs to be quizzed on how they score a fight. 96-94 to Hermosillo is bad, but much, much more understandable than the shut out to Magsayo. Just awful, awful scorecards from those two.
Bonus - Magsayo is NOT a puncher
One thing FS1 kept pushing was that Magsayo was a "power puncher". He's not. Yes he entered this bout with a 70% KO rate, but he's not a puncher. What he is a solid handed guy, who lands a lot, has a good work rate, and will break guys down. He's not feather fisted, by any means, but he's also not a concussive KO artist who will destroyer fighters with one or two clean shots. He's been the 12 round distance with fighters like Pungluang Sor Singyu, a former Bantamweight champion, Shota Hayashi, a former Japanese Featherweight champion, and Ramiro Robles, all of whom have been stopped. He's a very, very, crisp puncher, but don't confuse that for a power puncher.
This past weekend we saw unbeaten Filipino Featherweight Mark Magsayo (21-0, 14) claim his latest win, as he earned a hard fought victory over Rigoberto Hermosillo on FS1 in the US. The bout was a competitive one, despite the scorecard of Rudy Barragan, and was a very interesting contest. At times Magsayo looked brilliant, crisp, clean and like a fantastic rounded boxer, but at others he seemed lazy, and unwilling to let his hands go, making for a rather frustrating outing.
Despite the frustrations Magsayo took home the important "W" and moves onwards and upwards towards a more important bout. With that in mind we've decided to look at 5 potential match ups for Magsayo as we given "Magnifico" the Five For treatment.
1-Cobia Breedy (15-1, 5)
We start this with a we'd love to see as fans and that is a bout between Magsayo and Cobia Breedy. Just a few weeks ago Breedy gave Tugstsogt Nyambayar a really good test, pushing the Mongolian all the way in a terrific 12 rounder, and we suspect that he would ask all sorts of questions of Magsayo. We'd favour Magsayo to over-come the man from Barbados, but he'd have to work for every second of the fight, and this would drag the best from the Filipino fighter, who wouldn't be able to get away with being lazy. This might not be a FOTY contender but would be a damn good bout and a great chance for both men to show what they can do.
2-James Dickens (29-3, 11)
A bout between contenders is always good and with that in mind a bout between Magsayo and British fighter James Dickens would be a great match up and a really meaningful one, with both men being highly ranked by the IBF. This would be a legitimate eliminator in 2021, with both men being talented fighters with a lot of potential. Sadly it may be one that we want but won't get, with Dickens likely to be manoeuvred in a very different route by his management team. Sadly any potential of this bout taking place is held up by Dickens having a postponed bout with Ryan Walsh, which was supposed to take place a few weeks ago but was postponed after Dickens and his trainer both had positive Covid tests.
3-Oscar Escandon (26-5, 18)
Of course something every emerging hopeful wants is the name of a contender on their record, and even more so a contender that still looks live and should make for a good story. For Magsayo one potentially perfect opponent is 36 year old Colombian Oscar Escandon, who has proven to be an aggressive and exciting fighter and scored a huge win last time out, when he stopped Jhack Tepora. The win over Tepora was a massive upset, but showed Escandon can be a banana skin, and the win also came against a Filipino, giving the promoters the chance to see this as Magsayo fighting for Filipino pride and fighting for revenge of the man that beat his countryman last year. OIn paper this shouldn't be a tough bout for Magsayo, but it should be an interesting one, and there would be danger hanging over Escandon and his power.
4-Eduardo Ramirez (23-2-3, 10)
We mentioned Cobia Breedy earlier, and his recent loss to Tugstsogt Nyambayar, it should be noted that Breedy was a late replacement to face "King Tug" after Mexican fighter Eduardo Ramirez had to pull out. With that in mind we suspect Ramirez will be looking for a bout and, of course, so will Magsayo. With that in mind a bout between the two will suit both, especially given that a win for either man would put them within touching distance of a world title fight. We suspect that stylewise this would be a compelling match up and one well worthy of making, if Ramirez can comfortably make the 126lbs Featherweight limit.
5-Julio Ceja (32-4-1, 28)
A left of center choice as a potential opponent for Magsayo would be hard hitting Mexican Julio Ceja. Ceja is best known for his exploits at Bantamweight and Super Bantamweight but last year he missed the scales for a bout at Super Bantamweight, and actually came in above the Featherweight limit. With that in mind we suspect he should be campaigning at 126lbs going forward, and if that's the case then why not have him in with Magsayo? Whilst Ceja has struggled for form recently, and is without a win in his last 3, he is a fun, entertaining power punch, and could be the type of guy to give Magsayo a genuine chin check, before a world title fight in the near future.
Many division's out there are really interesting, and have a lot of brilliant match ups that could be made at any moment. One of the most interesting is the Featherweight division, which isn't the "deepest" but is among the most "interesting", not just in Asia but globally. Despite not being as deep as the Bantamweight and Super Bantamweight division's it's still a very, very good weight class.
Again we're only considering Asian fighters for these rankings.
1-Can Xu (18-2, 3)
The stand out Asian fighter in the division is Chinese "Monster" Can Xu. Unlike another monster, who is known for his power and being a physical freak, Xu is a monster in terms of stamina, chin and output. The 26 year old is the current WBA "regular" Featherweight champion and really came along wonderfully in 2019, when he beat Jesus M Rojas, Shun Kubo and Manny Robles III. Although not a technically perfect boxer, or a big puncher Xu is a nightmare to fight with a swarming busy style and an ability to take a punch whilst letting his shots go. A total nightmare to take on.
2-Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-1, 9)
Earlier this year we saw Tugstsogt Nyambayar come up short in a competitive, but clear, loss against Gary Russell Jr. That may have ended Nyambayar's unbeaten record but with wins over Harmonito Dela Torre, Oscar Escandon and Claudio Marrero it's hard to question his #2 ranking. Yes he's not scored a world level win yet, but in reality he's done more than anyone on this list, other than Xu. The heavy handed boxer-puncher was a former amateur standout and is a quality professional, but needs to be much more active and he has fought only 4 times in the last 36 months, completely wasting some of his prime years. Incidentally enough that's the same accusation that has been sent Gary Russell Jr's way over the years as well.
3-Ryo Sagawa (9-1, 4)
The Japanese domestic scene at Featherweight is legitimately crazy with 6 very good and interesting fighters in and around the top top. The best of those is, probably, Ryo Sagawa, who holds wins over 2 of the other top Japanese guys at the weight. Sagawa is the current Japanese national champion, an excellent boxer, who controls distance well and looks like a true natural in the ring with a really eye pleasing and smooth style. When he needs to brawl and fight he can, though at his best he is an excellent boxer. Despite being a genuine talent Sagawa also has some questions still hanging over him, and his chin is certainly still suspect, meaning that whilst he's talented, there is always a risk he'll be stopped, making his fights the type that will have you on the edge of your seat.
4-Reiya Abe (19-3-1, 9)
The man Sagawa beat for the Japanese title was Reiya Abe, another of the excellent Japanese fighters at Featherweight. Abe is a brilliant technical boxer, an intelligent southpaw with a very good jab and he controls distance fantastically well. He was unfortunate in 2019 to fight to a draw with Taiki Minamoto and then lose a very close one against Ryo Sagawa. Abe is clearly below Sagawa in the rankings, but there was much that separated the men when they fought and in reality there's still not much between them. In fact whilst Sagawa does have the head to head win, Abe has solid wins himself over the likes of Daisuke Watanabe and Satoshi Hosono, among others. With a tough 2019 behind him we're really looking forward to seeing what the future brings for the skilled Abe.
5-Mark Magsayo (20-0, 14)
As well as a bunch of fantastic Japanese fighters at Featherweight we also have a number of talented Filipino's. The best among the Pinoy's is Mark Magsayo, who has been banging on the door of a world title fight for a while now, but not managed to get the shot at the big time yet. Despite not getting a fight at world title level yet Magsayo already has wins over Chris Avalos, Shota Hayashi and Pungluang Sor Singyu. He made a smart move a few years ago, in leaving ALA Promotions but hasn't yet managed to secure a big fight with his new promoter. Magsayo is an excellent boxer puncher, and like many fighters we feel he will look better when he steps up faces tough competition.
6-Hinata Maruta (10-1-1, 8)
Back to Japan for our #6 entry in the form of 23 year old Hinata Maruta. The talented Maruta has promised a lot since making his professional debut way back in 2015 and whilst he's yet to accomplish what was expected of him there is no doubting his ability. The one thing we need to see from Maruta is his chin being tested and his ability to move through the gears. It's often felt like he's only had 3 gears and that really did cost him against Hidenori Otake, in his sole loss. Thankfully since his defeat to Otake he has shown a lot to be excited about and wins over Tsuyoshi Tameda and Takenori Ohashi have been excellent. If Maruta can continue to improve as he has done recently he'll be finding himself with some big wins soon. Interestingly he is mandated to fight Abe in a Japanese title bout, though it now seems likely that that bout could slip to 2021 due to the ongoing situation. That may actually be a good thing for Maruta, give him extra time to grow into his man strength.
7-Jhack Tepora (23-1, 17)
It's really hard to know what is going on with Jhack Tepora. At times he looks fantastic hi KO of Lusanda Komanisi in 2017 was brutal, and his win in Malaysia against Edivaldo Ortega should have helped launch him to some huge fights. They didn't and instead he fought a meaningless bout to Jose Luis Gallegos last June before being upset by Oscar Escandon in December 2019. That loss was among the bigger upsets of 2019, and completely killed what moment he had. Rumour from the Philippines circulated suggesting he had fallen out with his team, and that they had gotten fed up with some of his out of the ring habits. Whether their is truth to those rumours or not is unclear, but what is clear is a lack of activity has been a major issue for Tepora, who has fought just 3 times since the start of 20918. He needs to sort his career out before it's too late.
8-Musashi Mori (11-0, 6)
Talented youngster Musashi Mori is the current WBO Asia Pacific champion and is very much "one of the future". At the time of writing he's just 20 years old but has already accomplished a hell of a lot, winning the 2017 Rookie of the Year and winning his regional title, taking it from Richard Pumicpic, which he has defended twice. Although still a work in progress two wins over Pumicpic and one over Takuya Mizuno pretty much show that he's already incredibly talented. For recent bout he has been training under the guidance of Ismael Salas so we're expecting to see significant improvements form the youngster in his next few fights. He's a talented southpaw, though does lack his man strength and power, and it will be interesting to see if he can develop that side of his game as he matures.
9-Richard Pumicpic (21-11-2, 6)
With two close losses to Musashi Mori and a close loss to Ryosuke Iwasa it's easy to understand why Richard Pumicpic had double digit defeats. He has been matched hard, had to travel for bouts, and still run good fighters very close. He has now lost 3 in a row, but in reality he's deserved better from the judges. He's not the most powerful, or the quickest, or the biggest, but he's a nightmare. He's tough, rough, knows his way around the ring and really makes life difficult for anyone in the division. On his day he could beat men ranked well above him on this list, but has certainly lacked any form of luck and good fortune during his career. Fingers crossed we see the now 29 year old getting another opportunity to show what he can do in the near future. He's one of those fighters where you need to ignore his record, and just watch what he can do.
10-Ryo Matsumoto (23-3, 21)
Arguably the most over-looked man in the division is former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto, who moved up to Featherweight in 2018 following his loss to Daniel Roman. Matsumoto has all the things needed to be a star. He's good looking, powerful, quick, skilled, has great size for the division and is someone with an amazing story, fighting through a nasty illness. He also has a sense of vulnerability, with 2 stoppage losses against him. He has the things needed to be a feel good story in boxing, but needs to be given time to adapt to the division, which he has naturally grown into. A rematch with Ryo Sagawa would be interesting and is potentially something he and his team are viewing for the future.
On the bubble:
Satoshi Shimizu, Jhon Gemino, Genesis Servania, Shohei Omori and Shun Kubo
The final 13 days of September are hectic to say the least with several notable bouts taking place involving Asian fighters.
Donnie Nietes v Edgar Sosa
The most significant bout to feature an Asian this coming weekend sees former WBO Minimumweight and Light Flyweight champion Donnie Nietes (38-1-4, 22) look to make a mark at Flyweight. The talented veteran takes on former world champion Edgar Sosa (52-9, 30) in a bout for secondary tier WBO title. Although Sosa is a fighter who has seen better years, and at 37 is clearly winding down his career, this could be a baptism of fire for Nietes who will be fighting as a fully fledged Flyweight for the first time.
Arthur Villanueva v Juan Jimenez
On the same card as Nietes Vs Sosa we get a rematch between Arthur Villanueva (29-1, 15) and Juan Jimenez (22-10, 15), with the two men trading blows for the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title. These two fought back in May, with both men hitting the canvas, before Jimenez was finished off with an accidental headbutt. Jimenez will be looking for revenge whilst Villanueva will be looking to prove he would have won the first bout without the headbutt finish.
Mark Magsayo Vs Ramiro Robles
Staying with that same card we will also see Filipino prospect Mark Magsayo (14-0, 11) defend his WBO International Featherweight title as he takes on Ramiro Robles (13-5-1, 8). For Magsayo this will be his first defense of the title he won earlier this year, when he won a soot out with Chris Avalos, and we'll be hoping to a more controlled performance here.
Nihito Arakawa v Yusuke Tsukada
In Tokyo we get one of two Japanese title fights as Lightweight champion Nihito Arakawa (27-6-1, 16) looks to defend the title for the first time since claiming it back in April. The tough and exciting Arakawa will be up against under-dog Yusuke Tsukada (8-5, 3) in what looks like a mismatch in favour of the champion. Giving the draining career that Arakawa has had no one will begrudge him an easy one, but this might be a bit too easy.
Shota Hayashi v Noriyuki Ueno
On the same day in Japan we get a second domestic title bout, this time in Aichi as Shota Hayashi (27-5-1, 17) faces Noriyuki Ueno (18-13-5, 5) in a bout for the vacant Japanese Featherweight title. The title was vacated earlier this year by Satoshi Hosono, who's looking to earn a 4th world title fight, and has given us this bout. On paper it looks like a mismatch however Ueno knows that this will be his only chance, with his 35th birthday coming earlier next year.
Nop Kratingdaenggym Vs Nehomar Cermeno
The final Asian bout of note this month sees unbeaten Thai Nop Kratingdaenggym (17-0, 5) battle against Nehomar Cermeno (24-5-1, 14), in a bout for Cermeno's WBA Super Bantamweight. For the champion this sees him return to China, where he won the title earlier this year, whilst Nop will be stepping up in class massively for his first bout outside of Thailand.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).