Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee, Florida, USA
The main bout this coming Friday comes from Florida where WBO Light Flyweight champion Jonathan Gonzalez (25-3-1-1, 14) makes his first defense, and takes on highly skilled Filipino challenger Mark Anthony Barriga (11-1, 2), in a really interesting match up. The talented Gonzalez won the title in an upset last time out, when he out boxed Elwin Soto, and used a lot of moving, counter punching and ring IQ to neutralise the hard hitting Soto. Here he's up against a genuinely tricky, technical and quick Filipino, who will likely see this opportunity as now or never, having previously come up short in another world title bout. We expect this bout to be very much a case of high speed, technical chess with some of the highest level boxing we'll see in a ring this year. Our fiull preview of his bout can be read here Barriga gets shot at WBO champion Gonzalez!
Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental, Philippines
As well as the world title bout in Florida we also get a card in the Philippines, albeit a rather weak one, with not a single bout that actually looks competitive.
Despite the card being a bunch of mismatches there are some interesting prospects on the show, including 21 year old hopeful Roslan Eco (7-0, 4), who looks to score his third win of the year as he takes on Mike Kinaadman (7-15-2, 5). Eco made his debut in 2019 has slowly been making a name for himself, and whilst still a novice, he has done a 10 rounder recently, and has wins over the likes of Michael Camelion and Rodel Tejares, who are well known names on the Filipino domestic circuit. As for Kinaadman the 26 year old has become something of a domestic journeyman, taking on pretty much all the notable domestic fighters in an around 105lbs. Eco should have the tools to deal with Kinaadman, but this is very much a good step forward for him.
Another notable hopeful on this card is 22 year old James Pagaling (5-0, 3), who will also be seeking his third win of 2022. Pagaling will be taking a major step up here as he takes on the highly experienced Crison Omayao (24-24-5, 8), who has faced a who's who of regional fighters including the likes of Naoya Inoue, Wanheng Menayothin and Kosei Tanaka, to name just a few. Pagaling recently went 8 rounds and with some luck will be moving into 10 rounders in the near future. As for Omayao he'll hopefully put up a legitimate effort here and ask questions of the youngster, but we don't think he'll have the size or skills to be overly competitive here.