IPI Compound, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
After months and months of waiting boxing is finally back in the Philippines with Omega boxing putting on a card this coming Wednesday. The event isn't a huge one, but it is an interesting one and it is one with huge intrigue given how long it's taken the country to get the sport up and running.
The main event of the show will see world level contender Christian Araneta (17-1, 14) look to bounce back from a 2019 loss to Daniel Valladares. The talented Araneta had given Valladares a great fight before suffering an injury that forced a disappointing early end to a contest that looked like it was set to be a real fire cracker. Given the injury and long lay off it's hard to complain about Araneta getting an easy one, and an easy one he is getting, as he takes on domestic rival Richard Rosales (14-12-2, 8). Rosales has lost 6 of his last 6, including stoppages to Reiya Konishi and Dave Apolinario, and it's hard to imagine this being anything more than an easy work out for Araneta.
In an interesting support bout the once beaten Peter Apolinar (11-1, 8) will take on former world title challenger Jetro Pabustan (30-7-6, 9). Coming in to this Apolinar is riding a 6 fight winning streak since a 2015 loss to Jeo Santisima and on paper this is a really good step up for him, with the hope being for him to shine and move towards some for of title in the near future. At 30 years old Pabustan is a veteran and is a veteran who has taken a lot of punishment recently, including a TKO loss to Hiroaki Teshigawara in 2017 and a KO loss to Carlos Ornealas in 2018. Pabustan at his best would have been a great test for Apolinar but we see this as a very faded version of Pabustan.
In a Light Flyweight bout we'll see the unbeaten Mark Vicelles (11-0-1, 5) take on Junuel Lacar (8-5-3, 6). The talented Vicelles has won 8 in a row after a draw early in his career and looks to be slowly making a name for himself, helped in part by wins over Robert Onggocan and Jesse Espinas. Lacar on the other hand has won just once in his last 7, going 1-4-2, and is not expected to be much of a test for Vicelles here, despite a win last time out against Romeo Tenorio.
In a bout all the way up at, or around, 140lbs we'll see the unbeaten Carlo Bacaro (5-0, 4) look to extend his perfect record as he takes on Jeffrey Stella (4-9-3, 4). On paper this looks like a massive mismatch, but Bacaro has only really been beating novices so far in to his career and it's hard to know what he really has in the tank. Stella on the other hand is a man who was fighting at Super Flyweight in 2018, and has gone 0-8-2 in his last 10!
Action returns to Osaka this coming Saturday for what is a pretty notable card at the EDION Arena. The card features a second generation fight and a former world title challenger.
The second generation fighter is Juiki Tatsuyoshi (9-0, 6), the boxing son of the enigmatic Joichiro Tatsuyoshi. The unbeaten Tatsuyoshi will be taking a notable step up in class as he goes up against 35 year old veteran Yuki Hirashima (9-2-1, 3), in what looks like a solid test for the youngster. Tatsuyoshi turned professional under the shadow of his father but has slowly started to make his own mark and has now shown the ability to go 8 rounds, as he did against Shun Ishibashi. Hirashima lacks a notable win, but he comes into this bout as someone who knows a good performance could secure him a lot of attention in the new year, whilst a third career defeat may well end his career.
The former world title challenger on this card is Japanese veteran Hiroshige Osawa (33-5-4, 19), who is likely aware that can't afford another loss if he wants a second world title fight. Osawa is best known for losing to Oscar Valdez in a show for the WBO Featherweight title, and since then he is 3-1, losing last time out to former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo. In the opposite corner to Osawa will be world ranked Colombian Belmar Preciado (18-1-1, 11), who is fighting in Asia for the first time in his career. It's hard to say much about Preciado, but his competition so far does little to suggest he's actually a world class fighter, and Osawa will certainly feel confident of picking up a win here. We've done a full preview of this fight here Osawa and Preciado fight in must win contest!
Originally announced for the card was a bout between Ginjiro Tsutsumimoto (2-0, 2) and Thailand's Amphol Suriyo (23-3, 19), sadly however Tsutsumimoto has been removed from this bout and replaced by 28 year old countryman Takayuki Sakai (7-1-2, 5). The Thai visitor is a former OPBF title challenger who will be riding a high coming in to this bout, on the back of a huge upset win over Kazuki Saito in Tokyo. As for Sakai, he is riding a 4 fight winning run, with 3 straight stoppages, but this is a big step up in class for him.
Although Ginjiro is off this card his brother, the heavy handed Kyosuke Tsutsumimoto (8-1, 7), will be on the show. The once beaten Tsutsumimoto and Anurak Madua (6-2, 4), a Thai who is riding a 4 fight winning run. Tsutsumimoto is a big puncher, and has won his last 4 by stoppage since losing a decision in 2016. Interestingly both of Madua's losses have come in previous visits to Japan.
Having mentioned a couple of Thai's it's worth noting that Thailand will host a show of it's own, as former amateur stand out Apichet Petchmanee (1-0, 1) takes on the hard hitting Sadudee Tor Buamas (8-0, 6) in a bout for the OPBF Silver Light Welterweight title. Apichet impressed on debut, stopping the then 13-0 Attanon Kunlawong, and looks like he might be one of the brightest hopefuls in Thailand, and at 29 he knows he will need to be moved quickly. The 25 year old Sadudee Tor Buamas hasn't fought in a while, but is a former PABA Light Welterweight champion and can punch. This a very interesting match up and one we're really looking forward to.
In the Philippines we'll see unbeaten puncher Christian Araneta (16-0, 14) take on journeyman Vincent Bautista (5-11-4, 1). This is little more than a stay busy fight for Araneta, who really is on the verge of a major fight, and really we do expect him to score a clear win. It is however worth noting that Bautista was generally regarded as being durable, but he has suffered 2 recent stoppage losses and looks to be a man feeling the effects of a hard career.
Also on this card is Harmonito Dela Torre (19-2, 12), who is looking to bounce back from successive losses. The once touted Dela Torre, who has been beaten by Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Yongqiang Yang, will be up against experienced veteran Richard Betos (20-21-2, 7). Betos is very limited and shouldn't be competitive with the talented Dela Torre.
The only action this coming Saturday comes from Cebu and although not being a massive card it does have several interesting match ups on it, including a very notable main event in one of the sports best division.
That main event will see unbeaten Light Flyweight prospect Christian Araneta (15-0, 13) take on former world title challenger Jerry Tomogdan (25-9-4, 13) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver title. The very hard hitting and promising Araneta is one of many Filipino prospects at Light Flyweight, and has scored several notable wins including a 22015 victory over Jesse Espinas. Coming in to this Araneta has stopped his last 4 opponents in a combined 11 rounds and will be hoping that sort of destruction continues here. As for Tomogdan he is best known for coming up short in a world title fight against Wanheng Menayothin, though has faced other notable foes with losses to Jobert Alvarez, Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep, Richard Claveras and Pedro Guevara as well as a notable 2017 win against Riku Kano. We suspect that the power and size of Araneta will be too much, but Tomogdan's experience could keep him competitive here.
A second title bout will see unbeaten Frenchman Jaber Zayani (14-0, 8) battle against former Satoshi Shimizu foe Eduardo Mancito (16-8-2, 9) in a bout for the WBO Oriental Super Featherweight title. We're not sure how Zayani, qualifies for an Oriental title but his last two bouts have been in Thailand and he'll be hoping to continue his success in Asia here, and extend his unbeaten record. As for Mancito he has lost 3 of his last 4, but that losing run did come to an end last time out when he defeated limited veteran Danilo Pena. Sadly a win over Pena is unlikely to help Mancito here against Zayani, who should come out on top without too many problems.
A third bout of not will see the once touted Jobert Alvarez (17-2-2, 7) take on Gerpaul Valero (22-21-4, 16). Valero was once 1-13-3 and has turned his record around since then, but in the last few years he has he has began to struggle again, going 1-4-1 in his last 6 bouts. Alvarez on the other hand was expected to be a star following a very competitive loss to Juan Francisco Estrada. Since then he has failed to live up to expectation, but is still young enough to bounce back. Sadly for Alvarez he was very unlucky not to claim an OPBF title last October, when he was held to a draw by Keisuke Nakayama, but should come out on top here with very few problems.
New York, USA
In the biggest show of the night, and one of the biggest shows of the year so far, we get the chance to see two Asian fighters take part in potentially explosive world title bouts.
The main course from the show sees Kazakh Middleweight sensation Gennady Golovkin (36-0, 33) defending his WBC, IBF and WBA “super” titles against WBA “regular” champion Daniel Jacobs (32-1, 29), in what is one of the most anticipated bouts of the year. Golovkin, who has made a reputation as an unbeatable puncher, will be looking to score the biggest win of his career and potentially prove himself as being head and shoulders above the rest of the division. Jacobs, who is seen as the big under-dog here, will know this is a huge step up from his recent competition, but he will feel he has the speed, power and athleticism to trouble Kazakh destroyer.
Although the Middleweight title bout is the main course it's hard not to be incredibly excited about the “starter” as we see WBC Super Flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez (46-0, 38) battle against former champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (41-4-1, 38). Although fans who have seen Gonalez may feel this is a mismatch, especially given the way HBO rave about Gonzalez, the bout is an incredibly exciting one with Srisaket being the naturally bigger and stronger man than Gonzalez, and being a destructive fighter himself. Although the Thai has suffered 4 losses during his career he has, amazingly, gone 40-1 (37) since a troubled 1-3-1 (1) start and is a genuine monster in the ring. This will be no walk over for Chocolatito.
Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
The most notable of the other cards featuring Asian fighters comes from Cebu City where we get two regional title fights and several other interesting contests.
The most notable of the title fights sees the highly regarded Jack Tepora (19-0, 14) defending his WBO Oriental Super Bantamweight title against Indonesian challenger Yon Armed (14-7, 6). The 23 year old Tepora has long been regarded as one of the most promising Filipino's rising through the ranks and he should be far too good for Armer, who's most notable bouts have seen him being stopped in a round by Hiroshige Osawa, 2 rounds by Kenichi Ogawa and 3 rounds by Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo.
The other title fight on this card will see the heavy handed Christian Araneta (13-0, 11) take on Indonesian Demsi Manufoe (11-6, 8) in a bout for the WBO Oriental Light Flyweight title. Although not the most skilled fighter Araneta has an exciting style, solid power and at 22 years old he has a lot of potential, potential which should be showcased here against the the chinny Manufoe.
In a 10 rounder we'll see the heavy handed Salatiel Amit (9-2-2, 7) take on the out of former Renerio Arizala (13-5-1, 5), with Arizala looking to avoid a 4th straight loss and Amit looking to bounce back from a 10th round loss to Jonathan Taconing.
Fans also get the chance to see some notable unbeaten hopefuls on this show. These include Jessie Cris Rosales (20-0-1, 8), who battles the out of form Jerry Nardo (21-10, 11), and teenage puncher Tomjune Mangubat (6-0, 6), who takes on veteran Marvin Tampus (27-24-3, 18). It's hard to imagine either Rosales or Mangubat losing here, but both will have better tests ahead.
La Union, Philippines
On a second show in the Philippines fight fans will see a Philippines Boxing Federation Super Bantamweight title fight as Brian Lobetania (11-2-3, 9) takes on Arnel Baconaje (7-2, 6). Both guys have got limitations, and both are 2-2 in their last 4, but both can punch and they should put on a fun contest against each other, with both men looking to claim their first professional title.
In Australia fans will see Filipino tough guy Vergil Puton (16-7, 8) battle against the once beaten Ibrahim Balla (10-1, 7). Balla, who was stopped last year by Neil John Tabanao, will be favoured over Puton, but the Filipino can be a nightmare at this level and could be a potential banana skin, as he almost showed in 2015 against Ye Joon Kim.
There isn't much action this coming Friday, with only a single notable show from the Philippines.
The main event of the card is the only title bout but also features real intrigue as the unbeaten, and highly touted, Jack Tepora (18-0, 13) takes on Indonesian foe Galih Susanto (12-6-1, 2) for the vacant WBO Oriental Super Bantamweight title. On paper this looks like an easy one for Tepora but Susanto has proven to be a tough guy and has been the distance with the likes of Marlon Tapales, Mike Tawatchai and Denkaosan Kaovichit.
An intriguing match up will see Kenny Demecillo (11-3-2, 7) face the upset minded Jestoni Autida (9-5, 4). Demecillo will be the favourite, and has mixed with good company facing the likes of Jetro Pabustan, Edward Mansito, Edrin Dapudong and Daryl Basadre, though did suffer a surprising stoppage loss in 2 rounds to Dondon Narvaez. Although the under-dog Autida has been a surprise package in fights in the past and holds wins over Jeffrey Francisco and Ratchasak Kokietgym, and almost Petch Sor Chitpattana back in 2015. Although this looks like mismatch it should vbe very competitive.
In an interesting under-card bout we'll see unbeaten puncher Christian Araneta (12-0, 10) face off with the upset minded Philip Luis Cuerdo (9-2-1, 4). Cuerdo is beatable, but has only been beaten by the pairing of Vic Saludar and Toto Landero. Whilst Araneta will be the favourite we suspect Cuerdo will ask some new questions of him here.
Also on the under-card is former amateur stand out Mark Anthony Barriga (2-0), who looks to extend his unbeaten run as he takes on domestic foe Rodel Kirk Pelenio (3-1-1, 2) in an 8 rounder. Barriga is tipped as a future star of Filipino boxing, but he will have to show more than he has so far, especially in terms of power, if he's going to reach the heights some have suggested he can reach. Pelenio will be the under-dog but will come in to this one on the back of a 4 fight unbeaten run.
Metro Manila, Philippines
There is huge action in the US and the UK this coming Saturday but there will also be notable action in the Asia with two shows in the Philippines, including a really exciting one in Metro Manila.
In the main event fans will get the chance to see heavy handed OPBF Light Flyweight champion Jonathan Taconing (21-2-1, 18) defending his belt against Jomar Fajardo (14-8-2, 7). Taconing, who is one of the most criminally under-rated fighters on the planet, should be getting a world title fight in the near future, if he sees off Fajardo here. As for Fajardo he could find himself playing the spoiler again, as he did last year when he held Francisco Rodriguez Jr to a draw. Despite the result against Rodriguez we'd be amazed if he survives against Taconing here.
As one of the support bouts we'll see the talented Juan Martin Elorde (17-1-1, 7) take on Yakobus Heluka (8-12, 1) in a really awful mismatch. Heluka has gone 1-7 coming into this fight, with 5 of those losses coming by stoppage and it's hard to see how he avoids the same fate here, despite the fact Elorde isn't a noted puncher.
Another of the support bouts will see Juan Martin Elorde's younger brother, Juan Miguel Elorde (18-1, 9) battle against Rasmanudin (19-11-3, 10). On paper this is another gross mismatch with Rasmanudin going 1-7-1 in his last 9, with hist last loss coming earlier this month to Kongthara KKP. Amazingly Rasmanudin has been stopped 3 times already this year, and we really need to ask what his handlers are doing throwing him into another bout so soon after his last one.
One other support bout of note will see 20 year old Flyweight prospect Giemel Magramo (13-0, 10) in action. At the time of writing however his opponent hasn't been announced.
There is a second in the Philippines, though one without the big title fight main event.
On paper the most interesting bout on this card will see the unbeaten and heavy handed Christian Araneta (9-0, 8) battle against the once beaten Jessie Espinas (11-1, 7). This one promises fireworks and really is a very well matched bout with both men having solid power, and lot to gain with a win. This really could be a bout that turns out to be fantastic for the fans in attendance.
On the same card will be another notable prospect, Jack Tepora (14-0, 10). Tepora, dubbed “The Golden Boy”, will be up against experienced foe Jason Egera (21-14, 10). On paper it looks like the typical opponent you'd expect of someone with Tepora's experience but the reality is that Egera hasn't won in over 2 years, and is coming into this one on a 0-6 run.
In an all-Asian bout in the US, on the under-card of Floyd Mayweather's clash with Andre Berto, fans will see Uzbekistan's Sanjarbek Rakhmanov (1-0, 1) battle against Kyrgyzstan's Farkhad Sharipov (4-4, 1).