TUÑACAO BATTLES MEXICAN ESQUIVEL THIS SATURDAY IN JAPAN; WINNER GETS WBC WORLD TITLE SHOT
18 Dec 2012
Former WBC World Champion Malcolm Tuñacao (31-2-3, 19KO's) of Cebu, Philippines gets a step closer to another battle for a world title if he defeats tough hard-hitting Mexican Christian Esquivel (25-3, 18KO's) in a WBC Bantamweight Eliminator bout this Satuday (Dec 22) in Kobe, Japan, the winner becoming mandatory challenger of WBC world champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (17-0-2, 12KO's) of Japan.
The Tuñacao-Esquivel elimination fight promoted by Shinsei Promotions will take place at Kobe's Central Gym in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, and the Mexican Christian Esquivel has already arrived in Japan along with head trainer Pablo Cano and assistant coach Freddy Melo. Esquivel's promoter Fausto García will arrive in Japan tomorrow.
"My fight with the Filipino Malcolm Tuñacao is very important in my career. It's my ticket to dispute again the bantamweight world title against world champion Yamanaka," said Esquivel upon his arrival in Japan today.
"I feel respect for Malcolm," continued the Mexican. "I've seen videos of his fights. But I will take advantage of his mistakes to attack him. I will win by points or knockout."
On the Mexican's weight after the long journey from Tijuana, coach Pablo Cano shared that "Esquivel weights 54.50 kgs (120.15 lbs), a kilo above the bantamweight limit 53.50 kgs (118 lbs), so weight is controlled."
"I've come to Japan to win. My preparation and my trust in my boxing skills will lead me to defeat Tunacao.
"I feel that I have a debt with myself. That's why I look forward to this fight with the Filipino. Last time when it disputed the title with Shinsuke Yamanaka here in Japan, I was not in my best shape. But this fight will be totally different," said Esquivel, the WBC #3 bantamweight fighter.
Meanwhile, the former WBC Flyweight World Champion Malcolm Tuñacao commented in Kobe that his training has been effective and he is ready for the Mexican world rated fighter.
"My training has been good here in Kobe," said the Cebuano fighter based in Japan, currently ranked WBC #1, WBA #6, IBF #8.
"I have been working with my head trainer and manager Masato Yamashita (founder of Shinsei Boxing Gym in Kobe), my preparation has gone so well."
Malcolm Tuñacao, who last Saturday celebrated his 35th birthday, hasn't experienced defeat in six years and keeps intact his hunger for more glory in the sport of boxing.
The Filipino, nicknamed "Eagle Eye," has been two-time OPBF champion, Filipino national champ. He became World Champion by destroying then dangerous champion of the world "3-K Battery" Medgoen Singsurat, the very same Thai warrior who eight months earlier had furiously attacked and knocked out his compatriot Manny Pacquiao.
Tuñacao, at that time a rookie boxer with a 10-0 record, battled Medgoen Singsurat in the northern city of Udon Thani in The Kingdom of Thailand in July 2000. After serious exchanges of punches that afternoon, the young Filipino prevailed, knocking out the Thai world champion in round 7.
Fast forward 12 years and Tunacao aims at fighting a world championship again. But the right to face Yamanaka must be earned. He'll have to defeat Esquivel.
In his last fight three months ago, the southpaw Tuñacao, who has lived in Japan for over eight years, outclassed Uganda fighter Martin Mubiru in the coastal city of Nagoya in central Japan.
Tuñacao's fight with Esquivel is a must-win for the experienced Pinoy fighter born in Mandaue, Cebu as a victory this Saturday will make him the mandatory challenger of the WBC bantamweight world champion.
CO-MAIN EVENT: HASEGAWA VS SANTOS 10 ROUNDS FEATHERWEIGHT
The card's co-main event will feature Tunacao's stablemate former 2-division world champion Hozumi Hasegawa (30-4, 13KO's) of Kobe, Japan in a collision course with tough Mexican Arturo "Rey" Santos (12-2, 4KO's) of Nogales, Sonora.
Arturo Santos, who represented Mexico in the Beijing 2008 Olympic games, comes to Japan after a 12-round unanimous decision win over Russian Khabir Suleymanov for the WBF super bantamweight title last August in Mazatlan, Sinaloa.
Prior to that victory, Santos lost a controversial split decision over veteran Fernando Montiel last June in Chihuahua, a non-title combat that one judge saw Santos outpointing Montiel.
Meanwhile, the veteran southpaw Hozumi Hasegawa, 31, comes from a crushing round seven TKO win over then undefeated Mexican Felipe Carlos Felix (18-1, 10KO's) last April at the Tokyo International Forum, an intense fight attended by this author.
Top photo: Esquivel (L) and Tunacao.
Santos (L) and Hasegawa.
Esquivel arrives in Japan.
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