March 25, 2013

Bantamweights & Below - Boxing's Other Five Weight Divisions Vol. 3

Zou Shiming
By Derek "DBO" Bonnett ~ Why is the boxing world getting all excited about the April 6 debut of Zou Shiming? Who cares? For me, the real positive isn't whether or not the Freddie Roach trained fighter debuts with great success, it's the fact that the boxing world is getting excited for a fighter of diminutive stature from China. Shiming is by far the most accomplished amateur boxer from the People's Republic of China, but his credentials also stack up with any other amateur great after winning three world amateur titles in 2005, 2007, and 2011. Shiming also owns two Olympic gold medals from 2008 and 2012. He won Olympic bronze in 2004. The flyweight will make his debut underneath Brian Viloria's next title defense.

At 31, it remains to be seen just how successful Shiming will be in the professional ranks, but anyone who can draw attention to the boxing world at Bantamweights & Below is just fine with me. However, do not be surprised, given the attention being paid to his debut, if Shiming receives a world title shot well before his tenth professional bout. So far, only Xiong Zhao Zhong has been able to win a professional world boxing title for China.

World Class Boxing at Bantamweights & Below:

On Wednesday, February 27, at Todoroki Arena, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan, Juan Carlos Reveco won a unanimous decision over Masayuki Kuroda in a twelve round WBA flyweight title bout. The three scorecards read 117-111 twice and 116-112. Reveco made the first defense of the full title, being promoted from interim champion. His dossier improved to 30-1 (16). Kuroda dipped to 21-4-2 (13) and is without a win since 2011. Reveco retained his number ten ranking among my top flyweights.

On Friday, March 8, at Surat Thani, Thailand, Tepparith Kokietgym won a wide decision over Daiboy Sajiro in a twelve round super flyweight bout. The scorecards favored the former world champion by margins of 120-108, 120-109, and 119-109. Singwancha won for the first time since losing his title in December. He raised his record to 22-3 (13). Sajiro fell to 3-6-1 (0). Singwancha held onto his number five ranking among my topflight super flyweights.

Sosa stops Solis in two rounds
On Saturday, March 9, at Complejo Panamericano, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Edgar Sosa gained a large measure of revenge over Ulises Solis in a twelve round flyweight bout. It was the third meeting in this series which saw Solis winning twice by split scores. This time, Sosa scored a KO of the Year candidate stopping Solis in two rounds with a sweeping left hook. The bout was waved off at the 2:12 mark. Sosa improved his dossier to 48-7 (29). Solis fell to 35-3-3 (22). Sosa jumped from seventh to fifth in my rankings with the win. Toshiyuki Igarashi fell from fifth to sixth at flyweight. Sonny Boy Jaro fell from sixth to seventh. Solis remains unranked at 112 or 108.

On Saturday, March 16, at Megapolis Convention Center, Panama City, Panama, Jhonreil Casimero defeated Luis Alberto Rios by unanimous decision in a twelve round IBF light flyweight title bout. Casimero prevailed by margins of 119-109 twice and 118-108. Casimero raised his record to 18-2 (10). Rios fell to 18-2-1 (13). Casimero held onto his number five ranking among my top junior flyweights. Rios fell out of the rankings for the time being. Pedro Guevara reclaimed the number ten spot at 108 pounds.

Also on this night, at Coliseo Miguel Grau, Callao, Peru, Alberto Rossel won a decision over Walter Tello in a twelve round interim WBA light flyweight title bout. The judges favored the interim champion by scores of 118-113.5, 118-114.5, and 117-111. Rossel move his record to 30-8 (13). Tello fell to 18-7 (7). Rossel retained his number nine junior flyweight ranking in my standings.

On Friday, March 22, at Accra Sports Stadium, Accra, Ghana, Joseph Agbeko made his return to the ring in well over a year with a unanimous decision over Luis Melendez. King Kong prevailed by scores of 119-111, 117-111, and 117-113. He raised his ledger to 29-4 (22). Melendez fell to 34-9-1 (25). Agbeko, previously unranked due to inactivity, returned at number five among my top bantamweights.

Bantamweight & Below Featured Rankings: Junior Flyweight (108 lbs)

1. Roman Gonzalez ~ Nicaragua ~ 34-0-0 (29) ~ WBA
2. Adrian Hernandez ~ Mexico ~ 26-2-1 (16) ~ WBC
3. Kazuto Ioka ~ Japan ~ 11-0-0 (7)
4. Donnie Nietes ~ Philippines ~ 30-1-4 (17) ~ WBO
5. Casimero Johnriel ~ Philippines ~ 18-2-0 (10) ~ IBF
6. Raul Garcia Hirales ~ Mexico ~ 33-2-1 (21)
7. Juan Palacios ~ Nicaragua ~ 29-3-1 (22)
8. Ramon Garcia Hirales ~ Mexico ~ 16-4-1 (9)
9. Alberto Rossel ~ Peru 30-8-0 (13)
10. Pedro Guevara ~ Mexico 18-1-1 (13)

Milan Melindo
Bantamweights & Below: Give That Man a Title Shot! 

Milan Melindo is arguably one of boxing's most overdue for a title shot. Melindo, a flyweight contender, owns a record of 28-0 (11). At twenty-five, he is nearing his prime and should be able to win a world championship even in his talent laded division.

Since 2009, Melindo has added victories over Muhammad Rachman, Carlos Tamara, Francisco Rosas, Juan Esquer, and Jesus Geles. Presently, he is ranked number one by the WBO and he may be finally fitting into Brian Viloria's immediate plans.

Melindo returns to the ring on April 6 against Tommy Seran in China underneath Viloria's next title defense. The card is receiving a high profile with Zou Shiming debuting that night and the commentary reunion of Larry Merchant and George Foreman.

Bantamweights & Below: On the Horizon

On March 30, at Arena California, La Paz, Baja California, Mexico, Raul Garcia versus Pedro Guevara in a twelve round light flyweight bout. Also on March 30, at Estadio de Beisbol, Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico, Mario Rodriguez versus Katsunari Takayama in a twelve round IBF minimumweight title bout.

On April 6, at Venetian Casino & Resort, Macao, Macao, S.A.R., China, Brian Viloria versus Juan Francisco Estrada in a twelve round WBA/WBO flyweight title bout; Milan Melindo versus Tommy Seran in a ten round flyweight bout; Zou Shiming (Pro Debut) versus Eleazar Valenzuela in a four round light flyweight bout.

Koki Kameda back in action on April 7th
On April 7, at Bodymaker Colosseum, Osaka, Osaka Japan, Koki Kameda versus Panomroonglek Kaiyanghadaogym in a twelve round WBA bantamweight title bout; Sonny Boy Jaro versus Hiroyuki Hisataka in a ten round flyweight bout; Denver Cuello versus Takashi Kunishige in a ten round light flyweight bout.

On April 8, in Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan, Shinsuke Yamanaka versus Malcolm Tunacao in a twelve round WBC bantamweight title bout; Toshiyuki Igarashi versus Akira Yaegashi in a twelve round WBC flyweight title bout. 

On April 13, in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, Xiong Zhao Zhong versus Carlos Ortega in a twelve round WBC minimumweight title bout. Also on April 13, in Chinandega, Nicaragua, Carlos Buitrago versus Alcides Martinez in a ten round minimumweight bout.

On April 20, at Arena Ciudad de Mexico, Rodrigo Guerrero versus McJoe Arroyo in a twelve round super flyweight bout. Also on April 20, at Arena Roberto Duran, Panama City, Panama, Luis Concepcion versus Anuar Salas in a ten round flyweight bout. 

Written by Derek "DBO" Bonnett exclusively for KO Digest