Pinoy Fighters Eke Out Wins in Japan
By Teodoro Medina Reynoso
Wed, 16 Oct 2019
Heading towards Nonito Donaire's all important fight versus The Monster Naoya Inoue in their World Boxing Super Series bantamweight finals in November 7 in Saitama, Japan, the chance of visiting Filipino fighters winning in the Land of the Rising Sun was very low.
Already, losses in Japanese ring this year have claimed the scalps of a number of leading and prominent Filipino campaigners including Aston Palicte (vs Kazuto Ioka), Jonathan Taconing (vs Ken Shiro), Milan Melindo (Junto Nakatani) and Harmonito de la Torre who all lost either by KO or TKO at the hands of Nippon fighters and champions.
However, still a few Pinoy fighters managed to eke out victories, and even via the short route, against heralded Japanese opponents.
Three weeks ago, former two time world title challenger, Froilan "The Sniper" Saludar knocked out erstwhile once defeated Japanese Tsubasa Murachi to win the WBO Asia Pacific super flyweight title at the famed Korakuen Boxing Hall in Tokyo.
It was Froilan's first fight and win at 115 lbs after he was beaten in his last attempt for the WBO flyweight title losing by KO to Sho Kimura in July of last year in China.
He was also defeated on points in 2017 in Japan by Takuma Inoue, Naoya's younger brother who is currently WBC interim bantamweight champion. Incidentally, Takuma will see action underneath the Donaire-Naoya main event as he seeks the WBC regular title versus French defending titlist Nordine Oubali.
Nonito Donaire and Naoya Inoue will meet in Japan on Nov. 7 for the highly anticipated WBSS bantamweight finals.
Froilan registered his 22nd KO win in raising his record to 33-3-1. He has previously only lost to McJoe Arroyo in Puerto Rico in 2015 in a failed attempt to wrest the IBF super flyweight crown (which Jerwin Ancajas now holds since 2016).
Just this last weekend, Jhuniel Ramonal shocked his opponent and a sizable crowd in the same Korakuen Hall by knocking out his former conqueror, one time world title challenger and still highly rated Shingo Wake in the third round of their 10 round non title bout.
Their fight was chief support to the Charlie Hosokawa-Koki Tyson main event bout for the vacant OPBF middleweight title won by Hosokawa.
Ramonal and Wake first met six years ago in the Japanese defense of his OPBF super bantamweight title with Wake winning by sixth round TKO on account of a gaping, profusely bleeding wound incurred by the Filipino caused allegedly by a punch.
Their rematch followed almost exactly the trend of their first fight with the taller lankier Wake using side to side movements and spearing straights and jabs to keep Ramonal at bay and score points.
But in the third round, Ramonal tried a ploy to trap the elusive Wake by hitting him hard to the body and following it up with a hard hook to the face as he was pinned to the ropes which surprised and hurt and the Japanese.
Shaken, Wake tried to neutralize Ramonal by moving away while throwing punches and clinching but the Filipino braved the gauntlet and continued to wade in.
Finding his opponent in another perfect spot, he repeated the strategy and this time after landing a body blow, he caught him cleanly and more ponderously with a quick followup left hook and Wake fell like a sack of potato to the canvas The referee immediately stopped the fight less than a minute before the bell ending the third round.
It was Wake's first defeat since losing on cuts to Jonathan Guzman in a failed attempt at IBF super bantamweight title in 2016 He is highly rated in at least two world boxing bodies.
Ramonal is expected to break into the world rankings with this win. His record improves to 16-8-6, with 9 KOs.
Froilan's younger brother Vic Saludar had earlier notched a rare winning streak in Japan, winning the WBO minimumweight title and defending it against Japanese opponents. But he lost the title in another defense in Puerto Rico recently.
Another significant Pinoy win in Japan worth citing here was Lito Dante's stoppage win over the highly regarded and erstwhile undefeated defending champion Tsoubasa Koura to wrest the OPBF minimumweight title last March.
Best of luck to Nonito.
The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone 09215309477.
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