No two ways about it, real life has kicked my ass this week, with a lot of travelling, a lot of frustrating and some borderline depression. Thankfully though boxing hasn’t been bad or overly active, giving me a chance to stay on top with everything, and easily allowing me to pick the most notable results from the past week.
The first of the action came on Tuesday, when we had the latest of the Dangan shows. The show was a title double header, which featured plenty of talking points.
The main event saw the unbeaten Takeshi Inoue (10-0-1, 5) become the Japanese Light Middleweight champion, as he secured a 7th round TKO win over veteran Koshinmaru Saito (23-9-2, 13). Saito, a true veteran who was fighting in his 7th title fight, started well but Inoue’s pressure began to tell and the younger fighter was beginning to wear down his man. Sadly the bout was curtailed by a cut suffered by Saito around the eye forcing the referee to stop the contest.
The other title bout saw the all-action Hiroto Kyoguchi (7-0, 6) take a 12 round unanimous decision over tough Filipino Jonathan Refugio (16-6-5, 4), with Kyoguchi making his first defense of the OPBF Minimumweight title. Prior to the bout Kyoguchi had only gone 13 combined rounds during his career, so the 12 rounder will do him the world of good, proving his stamina and that he can fighter an an incredible pace through out, whilst also showing he has got a plan B. Next up seems to be a world title fight for the Japanese fighter, whilst Refugio really did prove his toughness and survival instincts.
On the same show Japanese fans saw the very fast rising Kazuto Takesako (6-0, 6), a stablemate of Inoue’s, defeat Thai visitor Singdet Sithsaithong (11-17-1, 8) in 2 rounds. Although not well known yet Takesako could be one of the few Japanese fighters to be excited about above 147lbs. He’s exciting, heavy handed and aggressive and looks like he’ll be fighting in title bouts very soon.
On Thursday attention turned to China, where fans saw two “interim” title bouts.
One of those bouts saw unbeaten Filipino visitor Ronnie Baldonado (9-0-1, 6) stop local veteran Yi Ming Ma (13-7, 7) inside a round. The bout, for the Interim WBO Oriental Flyweight title, ended up with Ma suffering his 6th career stoppage and reports from China now suggest he’s going to be retiring in the near future. Although best remember for being blitzed by Randy Petalcorin in a WBA “interim” title fight Ma has been a staple of the Chinese scene and this looks likely to be the end of the line. As for the Filipino this is genuinely a big win and could put him on the proverbial boxing map.
In better news for Chinese fight fans there was also a 4th round KO win for the very promising Xiang Xiang Sun (12-0, 9), who stopped former world title challenger Roy Mukhlis (29-7-3, 22) in a bout for the Interim WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight title. The talented Sun dropped Mukhlis several times on route to the win, and it’s it’s clear that Sun is one of the few Chinese fighters worth real interest, with his team slowly but surely stepping up his level of competition.
On Friday former IBF Flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane (33-2, 22) scored a 4th round KO over the previously unbeaten Filipino Genesis Libranza (11-1, 8). The bout, for the IBO title, saw Libranza taking a huge step up in class and being found wanting, but he certainly can bounce back from this loss, and at 23 years old he has a lot of time to learn from this bout.
This past Saturday was where the action really took off with a multitude of bouts worthy of note.
The most significant of those bouts saw Filipino veteran Donnie Nietes (40-1-4, 22) become a 3-weight champion, as he claimed the IBF Flyweight title with a decision win over Eaktwan BTU Ruaviking (22-4, 15). The Filipino looked significantly better than Eaktawan for the most pat, but the Thai proved his toughness and never stopped trying to make the fight, which certainly made the 34 year old Nietes work harder for the win than he’d have wanted to.
On the same card Filipino prospect Mark Magsayo (16-0, 12) dominated Issa Nampepeche (24-8-4, 11) for 125 seconds, before the bout was stopped. The card also saw Jeo Santisima (13-2, 11) take a wide decision over Indonesian foe Master Suro (11-9-1, 2) and teenagr Virgel Vitor (10-1, 6) take a hard fought decision win over Michael Escobia (11-15-1, 3), both of those going the 10 round schedule.
We also had Flyweight world title action in Japan, as Mexican Monserrat Alarcon (9-3-2) dethroned Nana Yoshikawa (7-2, 4), and claimed the WBO female Flyweight title. The Japanese fighter, a former amateur stand out, was dropped in rounds 1 and 4 and although she did have moments her fight back was curtailed when a clash of heads left Alcaron with a cut eye which forced the bout to be stopped.
On a separate Japanese card fans saw Japanese based Filipino Genesis Servania (29-0, 12) take a 2nd round TKO win over Ralph Jhon Lulu (12-2-2, 5), to claim the WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title. The win moves Servania a step closer to a world title fight, but the Filipino still has some way to go before his team will push him into the sharks pool at the top end of the Featherweight division.
The Servania win wasn’t the only notable one for a Filipino fighter on that card, as the under-rated Ernie Sanchez (17-9-1, 8) scored a very surprisingly 5th round TKO win over the tough Hurricane Futa (22-7-1, 13), who had gone the distance with Jhonny Gonzalez not too long ago. The loss for Futa was his first stoppage defeat and proved that Sanchez is a danger, despite his less than flattering record.
(Scott Graveson covers the Asian boxing scene for www.asianboxing.info)