Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut, USA
This biggest bout for us this coming Saturday takes place in Uncasville and is a bout that was originally set for late 2019 and has been delayed, rescheduled and pushed back several times. In fact it's been pushed back so many times that one of the men has changed promoters since it was first announced!
The match up in question is an IBF Super Flyweight title bout between long reigning champion Jerwin Ancajas (32-1-2, 22), from the Philippines, and mandatory challenger Jonathan Javier Rodriguez (22-1, 16), from Mexico. Coming in to this bout Ancajas has 8 defenses of the title, which he won all the way back in 2016 when he upset McJoe Arroyo, and has the longest reign in the title's history. The talented Filipino has, however, had an underwhelming reign and has failed to meet any of the top Super Flyweights of his era, and actually turned down a potential unification bout with the then WBO champion Naoya Inoue. It's hoped the future will bring him bigger and better bouts than he's been having for such a long reigning champion. Rodriguez on the other hand is a bit of an unknown whose best wins have come against Felipe Orucuta and Julian Yedras. They are decent wins on paper, but Yedras is very undersized at Super Flyweight leaving just the Orucuta win as a genuinely good win on his record.
Despite that Rodriguez comes across as a confident, hungry, young fighter and that desire could end up making life very tough for the talented, yet frustrating, Ancajas.
Our full preview of this bout can be read here Ancajas and Rodriguez face off... at last!
Also on this show will be unbeaten Filipino Featherweight contender Mark Magsayo (21-0, 14), who takes on 34 year old American foe Pablo Cruz (21-3, 6). On paper this one looks pretty well matched, though it should be noted that Cruz hasn't scored any wins of real note, and has instead been padding his record against C and D level fighters. Sadly it appears to be another, in a line, of bouts that look good on paper for Magsayo though see him continue to tread water, something it seems he has been doing for far, far too long already. He's a contender, he now needs to be fighting at that level!
USC Soviet Wings, Moscow, Russia
Over in Russia fans will get the chance to see unbeaten Uzbekistani prospect Mirzakamol Nematov (4-0, 2) fight for the third time this year! In the opposite corner to Nematov will be the limited Pavel Mamontov (12-12-2, 1), a Russian based Kazakh born veteran.
Aged 23 year Nematov is very much a youngster and a genuine professional novice, who only debuted in September 2020 but has already scored 4 wins, including an opening round blow out of Marat Khuzeev in February. Unlike many Uzbek prospects he's not getting much attention and he could well find himself developing his skills without the hype and scrutiny that is around many Uzbek hopefuls. As for Mamontov he's a 38 year old who has gone 1-11 in his last 12 bouts, and has been stopped in his last 4. This should be an easy win for Nematov, and hopefully bigger tests will come, but there's no need to rush him at this moment in time.
Balai Sarbini Convention Hall, Jakarta, Indonesia
At the moment, as we write this, there is a show planned to take place in Indonesia. However the show is in real doubt, with the local authorities not yet giving permission for the event, and the promoter failing to fill in the paper in an acceptable manner. With that in mind do not be surprised if this show falls through.
If it goes ahead then fans in Indonesia are in for a treat as Tibo Monabesa (20-1-2, 8) clashes with Toto Landero (11-4-2, 2) in a WBC International Light Flyweight title fight. The talented Monabesa has notched two wins since his 2018 loss to Hiroto Kyoguchi and seemed to be getting his career back on track before the Covid19 Pandemic put boxing on ice in Indonesia. Landero on the other hand is a former world title challenger, who gave Knockout CP Freshmart a good test in 2018. Sadly he is 1-2 since that loss and he's not been able to generate much momentum in recent years. Saying that however Landero is not an easy out, for anyone, and he holds a very big win over Vic Saludar. If he's up for this, and if the bout takes place, Landero is a very live under-dog.
A second notable bout on this show will see unbeaten puncher Hebi Marapu (15-0, 11) take on Hero Tito (27-15-2, 11). Marapu was one of the Indonesia fighters that caught out eye years ago. He showed potential, power, an exciting style and like he had the tools to mix it on the regional scene. He could, and should, have out grown the Indonesian domestic scene. Sadly however he is now 32, and his career has really failed to kick on. Tito on the other hand is a true veteran of the Indonesian scene. He's nothing special, not by any stretch, but he's a veteran and he has been around the professional scene for more than 17 years now! Tito is limited but tough and should ask questions of Marapu, but it's still a shame that Marapu never moved above this level, and is still trudging along, wasting his potential.