Home Boxing News Boxing’s most Avoided man might not be who you think…

Boxing’s most Avoided man might not be who you think…

Boxing has a number of title,s but there is one that no fighter really wants, and that’s the title of boxing’s “Most Avoided Fighter”. The title has, by fans and the media, been given to a variety of active fighters, such as Guillermo Rigondeaux and Gennady Golovkin but the reality is that neither of those men are “avoided” as such.

That may seem peculiar but the reality is that Golovkin has fought a number of high ranking fighters, and whilst he may not have gotten career defining fights with the likes of Sergio Martinez or Miguel Cotto he hasn’t struggled to stay busy with contender level opponents, like David Lemieux and Daniel Geale. As for Rigondeaux much of his “avoidance” has come from his team, Caribe Promociones, being a nightmare to deal with, as seen by the collapse of a fight with Shingo Wake in 2015.

The truth of the matter is that the “most avoided fighter” can’t get fights with champions or contender and is instead a fighter who’s risk-reward, is so off the charts that fighters, along with fans and media in some cases, do their best to act like the fighter doesn’t exist.

For me the clearest example of an avoided fighter isn’t Golovkin, Rigondeaux or even Erislandy Lara, who has managed to net fights with Saul Alvarez, Paul Williams Alfredo Angulo, Vanes Martirosyan and Austin Trout among others. Instead it is Jonathan Taconing, a Filipino so avoided that most fight fans are unlikely to be aware of who he is, never mind why he is so avoided.

The 29 year old Filipino, who sports a very nice looking 22-2-1 (18) record is arguably the most dangerous man at 108lbs, and his fellow Light Flyweights know it, they also know he is very high risk and very low reward.

Taconing debuted more than 9 years ago and quickly left an impact on his early opponents. He battered Tinglot Perez inside a minute on debut, then destroyed Robert Talape inside a round in his second bout before smashing the nose of Joey Balmes in his third professional contest. Despite being upset in his 5th bout it was clear that Taconing was a serious puncher and a potentially dangerous prospect.

In his 11th professional contest Taconing got his first bout of note, as he took on fellow danger man Warlito Parrenas for the WBC International Light Flyweight title. That bout ended in round 6 with Parrenas being broken down by Taconing. That was the first title bout for the Filipino and he defended the title twice, against two relatively poor Thai’s, one of who later went on to face a then 1-0 Naoya Inoue.

Although known on the Filipino scene at the time Taconing was an unknown in 2012 when he was given his one shot at notoriety, against the then WBC Light Flyweight champion Kompayak Porpramook. Porpramook had won the title 5 months earlier winning a thriller against Adrian Hernandez, and was expected to see off Taconing with ease, instead however he was bailed out by a ringside doctor, who stopped the bout from a small cut from a minor clash of heads, a referee who bailed Porpramook out when he he looked likely to be stopped, and helpful judges, two of which had Porpramook some how winning the bout. The result, a controversial 5th round technical decision win for Porpramook, suited the WBC who then had the chance to put the belt back around the waist of a Mexican as Porpamook and Hernandez had a rematch, with Hernandez winning the bout with ease.

Since that bout Taconing has been a permanent member of the “Who Needs Him?” club, with the bout putting the little men of the sport on notice of his ability, power, style and aggressiveness.

In theory the performance against Porpramook should have opened doors, seen a big backer put money into Taconing and helped him make the most of his ability. Instead however it has seen him become the man to avoid in a division which has seen some terrible challengers in recent years. Whilst Taconing has been awaiting a second opportunity we have seen fighters like Dirceu Cabarca, Atsushi Kakutani, Janiel Rivera, Samartlek Kokietgym and Richard Claveras, among others, all fight for the title, and all come up very short.

Whilst Taconing has been avoided by the champions he has still managed to notch up some under-rated wins. These have included a stoppage win over former world title challenger Vergilio Silvano, in a bout that saw Taconing claim the OPBF Light Flyweight title, a stoppage against former world champion Ramon Garcia Hirales, who was over-weight when the two men fought last year in Mexico, and Jomar Fajardo, who had fought to a draw with Francisco Rodriguez Jr.

Those wins haven’t pushed Taconing to being a champion but they have continued to see his reputation grow whilst the WBC have continued to frustrate him, ordering eliminators that never happen and giving his opportunities to others. In 2015 he was supposed to face Gannigan Lopez in an eliminator, yet Lopez got a shot in 2015, against then champion Pedro Guevara, and will be getting a shot later this year, against Yu Kimura, whilst Taconing continues to be avoided.

The reason why I think Taconing is so avoided is simple. He is ultra high risk and ultra low reward. He’s a hard hitting, teak tough, ultra aggressive southpaw. The type of fighter that no one wants to fight and the type of fighter who no one will look good against. He’s all action in the ring and although he looks wild there is a lot of method to his madness.

Hopefully he will get a shot later this year, though the odds are that the champions will do their utmost to avoid him, and the boxing world will continue to overlook him as he continues his reign as boxing’s “Most Avoided Fighter”.

(Scott Graveson covers the Asian boxing scene for www.asianboxing.info)