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!
After a few quiet days in Asian boxing we get back into the swing of things on Thursday, as we approach the weekend with a great card from the Korakuen Hall.
In the main event we'll see former world title challenger Jetro Pabustan (29-4-6, 9) make his first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title, as he takes on the always fun towatch Hiroaki Teshigawara (14-2-2, 8). The Filipino won the title earlier this year, when he took a technical decision win over Tatsuya Takahashi, and will be looking for a third straight win. Although coming in on a big win Pabustan is inconsistent and often involved in messy bouts, with a staggering 13 technical decisions in his 39 fight career. For Teshigawara the bout willserve as his first title contest, but he has mixed with good competition fighting to a draw with Hideo Sakamoto and narrowly losing to Ryo Akaho last October. Given the styles of the two men this should be action packed, but given Pabustan's reputation this may get messy and heads may get involved.
In a solid supporting bout we'll see the under-rated Ryuto Araya (11-5-1, 3) looks to bounce back from a loss in an OPBF title fight to Ryo Takenaka. In the opposite corner to Araya will be former Japanese title challenger Tatsuya Otsubo (9-8-1, 3), who will be fighting for just the second time since the end of 2015. Both men will feel they need a win to remain relevant and both will know that a loss will be very hard to bounce back from. We're not expecting a war here, but this should prove to be an compelling contest.
Youngster Kaiki Yuba (2-0, 2) has looked like a real one to watch so far, and he'll be looking to continue his momentum as he takes on the tough Pablito Canada (6-12-3, 1). So far Yuba has fought just 4 rounds, but the second generation fighter is expected to reach huge heights, like his father Tadashi Yuba a 5-weight domestic champion. The Filipino journeyman has been stopped once in his 21 fight career, being stopped by Jon Jon Estrada last year, but has since gone the distance with Jelbirt Gomera, Hirotsugu Yamamoto and Hironori Mishiro. This should be a win for Yuba, but also a good solid test of what he does when a fighter doesn't just fall over.
Another under-card bout on this card will see former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Yohei Tobe (11-2-1,7) return for his first fight in over a year. The talented Tobe, who really has had a frustrating career plagued with inactivity and untimely setbacks, will be expecting an easy win here as he takes on Thai visitor Saengthong Tor Buamas (5-2, 5), who has been stopped in his last 2 visits to Japan, and is unlikely to avoid the same fate here.
After a pretty busy weekend of fights things get turned down a bit this coming week. Despite that we do begin the week with a show from the Korakuen Hall featuring pretty good looking main event, and a bout featuring a personal favourite of the Asian boxing team.
The main event of the card will see former Japanese Bantamweight title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (26-6-5, 19) battle against former world title challenger Jetro Pabustan (28-4-6, 9) for the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title. Of the two men Pabustan is probably the better known, following his 2016 bout with Pungluang Sor Singyu, in what was Pungluang's only successful defense of the WBO Bantamweight title. Despite that high profile loss there is little else of note on Pabustan's record, barring a huge amount of technical decisions. Likewise Takahashi is best known for a loss, losing to Kentaro Masuda in 2014 in a thriller of a 10 round war. We're not expecting this bout to get huge attention, but we can't help but to expect a fun war between two wild and limited warriors.
Talking about limited we'll rarely talk about anyone as limited as the charismatic Takuya Yamaguchi (3-7-2, 2) however we have been won over by his and his showmanship, which makes him great value every time he's in the ring. Yamaguchi has half a chance of picking up a rare win here as he takes on fellow limited fighter Sosuke Sakata (4-3-1, 2) in what could be a really enjoyable contest, even if the combined skill level of the two fighters is low.
This coming Friday is relatively packed with action, with two notable shows in Asia.
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
The most notable show of the day comes from Thailand where OnesongChai put on an interesting looking card on Channel 7.
The main event of the card sees Pungluang Sor Singyu (51-3, 35) defending the WBO Bantamweight title against Filipino challenger Jetro Pabustan (26-2-6, 7). The champion will be the clear favourite here, and will be looking for the first defense of the title that he won last year, when he stopped Ryo Akaho. Although the under-dog Pabustan will be confident and will know that this a huge opportunity to make a name for himself.
As well as the main event the under-card does feature some interesting match ups, the most notable which will see experienced Thai Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym (35-1-2, 20) battling against unbeaten Filipino Giemel Magramo (15-0, 12) in what could be the proverbial “coming out party” for Magramo. The Filipino fighter is stepping up in class but is regarded as genuine prospect and may well see this as a chance to make a name for himself.
Another bout will feature the promising Rakniran Muadransarakam (9-0, 6) who will be facing a Thai foe.
Lu Zhou, Chinese card
The Thai card isn't the only notable one to be televised this Friday was another card coming from China where Zovi boxing put on their second card for Chinese new year.
The main event of this one will see Chinese Super Bantamweight hopeful Qiu Xiao Jun (19-2, 9) battle against Ghana's Raymond Commey (13-2, 7) for the WBA International Super Bantamweight title. Originally this bout was announced as a WBA “regular” world title bout but the WBA, who are now aiming to having just a single champion in every division, changed that and have only allowed the bout to be for the “International” crown. The winner of this however will find themselves on the verge of fighting for a world title later in the year. Interestingly both men are bringing 11 bout winning runs into this one.
In total this card has 5 title bouts. Another of those sees Can Xu (7-2) fighting against the experienced, and heavy handed, Isaias Santos Sampaio (26-11, 24). The Chinese local, a 21 year old, had a great 2015 with 4 wins, including notable victories over Hurricane Futa and Kris George, will be defending his WBA Oceania Super Featherweight title here. The visitor, a Brazilian, brings power to the ring but has been stopped 10 times and may well become Xu's first stoppage victim.
In an all-Asian bout Xian Qian Wei (9-5-1) will face Japanese veteran Takafumi Nakajima (24-7-1, 10) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Featherweight title. Interestingly this will be the 5th defense of the title by Wei, who began his career 2-4-1 before going 7-1 with wins of note against Thewa Onesongchaigym, twice, Hero Tito, and most recently Rex Wao. This is a tough bout for the 21 year old local but a really good chance to make a name for himself against a 2-time Japanese title challenger.
In a female title bout Zong Ju Cai (6-1, 1) face off with Venezuelan Debora Rengifo (6-1-1, 3) in a bout for the WBC International Female Minimumweight title, with Cai defending the title for the 3rd time. On paper this looks really well matched but the Visitor has faced some awful opposition and this will be her first bout away from home. Although Cai hasn't been through murderer's row she has been notching up solid wins, including decision wins last year against Gretchen Abaniel, Angor Onesongchaigym and Mari Ando.
The remaining title bout on this show comes at the Youth level as the unbeaten Bai Shan Bo (6-0-1, 3) takes on the stop or be stopped Tackie Annan (6-2, 6) for the WBC Youth Light Welterweight title. Bo has faced some notable opponents regional opponents, including Heri Andriyanto, but this should be his first chin check. Annan lost his first 2 bouts but has since strung together 6 straight stoppage wins, albeit against very poor opposition.
Metro Manila, Philippines
There's also action in the Philippines with a show in Metro Manila.
The most notable bout here will see the under-rated Eden Sonsona (34-6-2, 12) battle against fellow under-rated fighter Vergel Nebran (14-11-1, 9). On paper it's hard to see Sonsona struggling but Nebran has a deceptive record and can, at times, be a banana skin when he's the under-dog.
Sadly much of the card does appear to be mismatches and other than the Sonsona/Nebran bout there is little to really get excited about.
In the Philippines fans will be able to get action in Saragani where we have have several low level bouts.
On paper the main event seems to be a huge mismatch between Richie Mepranum (30-4-1, 7) and Marjhun Tabamo (8-8-4, 2). We really can't see anything but a win by Mepranum, who has fought at world level before, and actually holds a notable win over Hernan Marquez. For Tabamo it's a chance to score a notable win but we really can't see him having the skills needed to compete.
Another notable fighter in action here is Jetro Pabustan (26-2-6, 7) who takes on domestic foe Dondon Narvaez (12-21-7, 3). This should be a simple outing for Pabustan who is a talented, though over-looked, fighter, it would however be impressive for him to stop Narvaez who hasn't been stopped since 2013.
On paper the most interesting match up on this card is an under-card bout between two unbeaten hopefuls. The bout will see Vinz Paras (3-0, 3) take on 17 year old Jayson Daming (2-0, 1) in a very interesting 6 rounder. Both guys need to be given a lot of credit for this one and hopefully neither guy will become “protected” after it.
Indonesian fans will also get a low level show with 3 scheduled bouts. The most notable of those bouts will see Hendrik Barongsay (28-23-3, 17) take on Thai visitor Chatpayak Sithkopon Nuengkawkawhok (3-9, 2). This looks like a mismatch on paper and should be an easy win for the local fighters.
Sadly the other bouts listed for this show are both all-novice affairs.
In Georgia fans will have the chance to see 35 year old Kyrgyzstan fighter Timur Shailezov (17-11-1, 4) battle against former world title challenger Raytona Whitfield (24-1, 13), who is fighting for just the second time in 5 years. On paper it's a mismatch however Whitfield's inactivity may cost him here, or at least make the bout more competitive than the records suggests.
Another Asian in action Stateside is Uzbek fighter Sanjarbek Rahmonov (2-0, 1) who faces off against fellow unbeaten Somner Martin (4-0, 2). On paper this looks like a really interesting match up however Martin's competition so far has been very limited and this could well be a step down for Rahmonov despite Martin's perfect record.
Where we have had some interesting days already this month we see things go on to a totally new gear on July 11th with the Philippines really dominating a very, very active day.
The best of the shows comes from Cebu where ALA will be running the next in the “Pinoy Pride” cards. Not only is the card a “big name” one but it features a little bit of everything from a recognised champion in a really exciting match up to action involving touted prospects and a major debut for a man tipped as a future Filipino star.
The main event is the world title bout which sees long term WBO Light Flyweight kingpin Donnie Nietes (35-1-4, 21) defends his belt against former unified Minimumweight champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr (17-2-1, 11). This is a genuinely mouth watering match up between arguably the best, and most proven, fighter in the division and one of the most promising and battle hardened young fighters on the planet. Credit to both men for getting this one sorted.
In the co-feature we'll see the much touted Mark Magsayo (10-0, 8) attempt to claim his first title. The talented Filipino will be up against Mexico's Rafael Reyes (16-4, 12) in a bout for the IBF Youth Featherweight title. Magsayo has, generally, impressed but this is a much more significant bout than his previous 10 and we expect to learn something new of the 20 year old here.
Whilst Magsayo is the most touted prospect on the card there is a lot of attention being given to Kevin Jake Cataraja (0-0) who makes his professional debut against Ardi Tefa (6-4, 4). From what we've been told the 20 year old Cataraja is expected to progress quickly through the ranks and could find himself in the same position as Magsayo within the the next year or two.
One other prospect on this card worthy of a mention is the heavy handed Vic Saludar (9-1, 7) who has failed to live up to expectation so far. The once touted Saludar will be up against Michael Kaibigan (3-2-2, 2).
Metro Manila, Philippines
In Metro Manila we have a number of intriguing matches with more Filipino's including a match up that may go down as the best domestic Filipino bout of the year, the card will also feature a pair of former world title challengers and a GAB title fight.
The match up we most like is a 10 round bout for the WBC Youth Super Flyweight title between the unbeaten Jhaleel Payao (11-0, 6) and Michael Dasmarinas (20-2, 13). We've been impressed in the past by Dasmarinas who looked fantastic beating Hayato Kimura last year ans was very unlucky against Lwandile Sityatha. As for Payao he's impressed in sessions working with Ryosuke Iwasa and the reports are that he's a very promising young prospect. We really cannot say enough good words about this one.
Another WBC strap will be on the line as former world title challenger Richard Claveras (12-1-2, 12) looks to defend his WBC Asian Boxing Council title against Benezer Alolod (16-7-5, 5). This will be Claveras's first bout since his loss, in a WBC world title fight, to Pedro Geuvara back in April and this is a tough return to action, despite Alolod not holding the most impressive of records.
A third title bout is for the GAB Super Flyweight title as Rene Dacquel (14-4-1, 5) defends his title against Jonas Sultan (8-2, 5). On paper it's hard to side with Sultan but he has looked good recently with 4 straight wins, 3 by T/KO, and was unlucky in his most recent loss. Whilst it's not the best match up on the card it certainly isn't a bad one.
A final title but here will see Rey Juntilla (20-6-4, 13) trading blows with Danilo Pena (26-21-4, 11) for the vacant LuzProBA Featherweight title. We've got to admit we can't see a win for Pena who is now little more than a domestic journeyman, and is 3 years removed from his last win. Juntilla may go on to achieve something more notable, given he is just 25, but we can't see him progressing to the levels that he'd like to get to.
One final bout of note here will see former world title challenger Ardin Diale (28-9-3, 14) take on Indonesian veteran Heri Amol (35-23-4, 14). From what we understand Diale is awaiting to get a shot at the OPBF Flyweight title and will know that a win here really will put him within touching distance of a shot later in the year. It does need saying Amol has lost his last 9, including a defeat to the then debuting Ken Shiro, but is still a decent enough journeyman to get Diale some good rounds.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
Another Filipino show really looks very exciting with some fantastic match ups on a more domestic level.
The most promising fighter on the card is the unbeaten John Vincent Moralde (12-0, 6), who will be fighting for the first time since his tragic bout with Brayd Smith. The unbeaten Moralde has been matched easily here against William George (10-22, 3) in what should be an easy win, but that allows Moralde's handlers to know where he's at in terms of his mental state.
Another very touted young fighter on this card is 20 year old Jade Bornea (3-0, 2), who holds a notable amateur victory over Kosei Tanaka. Bornea will be facing his stiffest test to date as he goes up against fellow unbeaten Salatiel Amit (6-0-2, 4) in what looks to be a very well matched bout. Jade's brother Jake Bornea (9-1, 4) is also in a very good looking bout as he takes on Richard Rosales (9-2-2, 4) in a bout for the WBC Asia Pacific Youth Flyweight title. Jake is highly tipped, like his brother, though it's hard to overlook his 2014 loss to Raymond Tabugon.
One other prospect worthy of note from this card is Jelbirt Gomera (8-0, 5) takes on the highly experienced, though limited Prell Tupaz (8-27-5, 1) in a bout for the PBF Super Bantamweight title. Gomera hasn't received the plaudits of many others but has slowly carved out a promising record and a title win here will almost certainly move him onto bigger fights.
Whilst this card doe feature a lot of prospects one bout stands out as being a truly mouth watering clash. That bout pits former world title challenger Vergilio Silvano (20-4-1, 12) takes on the talented Jetro Pabustan (25-2-6, 7). On paper this is a brilliant fight with the winner almost certainly being moved towards a bigger and better fight whilst the loser will hover around the top of the domestic scene.
It's not in the Philippines that we have a world title as fight fans in Germany get the chance to see WBA Heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev (33-2-1, 20) defending his title against German based Italian born fighter Francesco Pianeta (31-1-1, 17). On paper this looks mouth watering but in fairness Chagaev is not the fighter he once was and Pianeta was made to look like a journeyman in his last notable bout, a 6th round TKO loss to Wladimir Klitschko. Although it's a “heavyweight title fight” it's hard to see anyone even pretending that this features 2 of the divisions top fighters.
One final bout comes from Mexico as Filipino Jhon Gemino (12-3-1, 5) takes on the touted and unbeaten Andres Gutierrez (31-0-1, 22). This is a huge task for Gemino, who has clearly been brought in to lose, but we can't criticise him for taking the fight.
(Image courtesy of ALA Boxing)
September 19th-Srisaket's return to the ring, Nawaphon, Doliguez and Pabustan all in action, Tanada Vs Gonzalez...
Whilst we won't go as far as to say this Friday is an amazing day in Asian boxing it is certainly a notable day with plenty of exciting and interesting fighters in action.
Sara Buri, Thailand
The biggest name in action is destructive Thai Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (27-4-1, 25) who will be attempting to claim a WBC regional title as he battles Zoren Pama (6-10-3, 3). For Srisaket this will be his first bout since he lost his world title in Mexico to Carlos Cuadras in a relatively disappointing bout that failed to live up to our expectations. Hopefully an impressive performance here will help Srisaket get another world title bout though his risk-reward isn't the sort of thing that makes him an attractive fighter, despite how exciting he is to watch with his power and seek and destroy mentality.
We expect the co-feature here to be a bout between the unbeaten, and highly touted, Nawaphon Por Chokchai (22-0, 16) and Indonesian visitor Hendrik Barongsay (26-18-3, 15). Nawaphon is a very interesting fighter and one we suspect could be claim a world title somewhere down the line. As for Barongsay this will see him looking to end a 2 fight losing streak and score a shock win, just as he did in 2012 against Tabthong Tor Buamas.
For what it's worth this card will be televised on Channel 7 in Thailand.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines we have a relatively interesting domestic card though one that won't get much, if any, international attention.
The headline bout will see the exciting Rogelio Jun Doliguez (19-1-2, 14) take on fellow Filipino Dennis Tubieron (18-3-1, 8) in a really interesting 10 rounder. We love watching Doliguez though know he can be out boxed by anyone able to take his power. We don't think Tubieron will be able to with stand the brute force of Doliguez though if he can he could find himself boosted into the fringes of a world ranking. Big opportunity for Tubieron but certainly a difficult ask.
In another bout scheduled for 10 rounds we see another Filipino hopeful in action as the talented but light hitting Jetro Pabustan (23-2-5, 6) takes on the limited Angelito Merin (7-4-2, 1) in what should be an easy win for Pabustan though one that he will probably see him go the distance. Not blessed with power Pabustan is skilled and both of his losses have been via split technical decision. Sadly for all his skills he is involved in a lot of headclashes with an astonishing 9 technical decisions in 30 bouts. Merin has lost his last 2 though has the ability to make life difficult for Pabustan, we do however only see one winner.
Sadly 2 other 10 rounders on this card look like complete mismatches with prospects taking on opponents that they are supposed to defeat without any issues. Thankfully however we do get an interesting 8 rounder as Roberto Gonzales (23-2, 14) battles the criminally under-rated Allan Tanada (13-2-3, 5) in what genuinely looks to be the show's outstanding contest. Gonzalez is a talented fighter though not one was good as his record suggests whilst Tanada is a former OPBF Super Featherweight champion who famously stopped Rikiya Fukuhara, almost 4 years ago to the day! This is a really good all-Filipino fight and one that we'd suggest could be the most competitive.
As well as the trio of bouts mentioned we're expecting a further 9 bouts in a very deep card that is pretty full of mismatches, unfortunately. Hopefully we'll see some upsets but it's unlikely that make of the fights won't go as expected.
New South Wales, Australia
Another Filipino in action will be journeyman Roman Canto (8-4-2, 3) who will be taking on the unbeaten, and very talented, TJ Doheny (7-0, 5). We never like down playing fighters like Canto who will fight anywhere any time, though unfortunately he has gone 0-4-2 in the last 2 years including losses to Hikaru Marugame, fighting for just the second time as a professional, and the limited Ruben Manakane. Doheny shouldn't have any problems taking home a win with the question merely being the manner of the win.