June 28, 2013

Bantamweights & Below - Boxing's Other Five Weight Divisions Vol. 6

Yota Sato gets punched into an early retirement
By Derek "DBO" Bonnett ~ Recently dethroned WBC super flyweight champion Yota Sato announced his retirement this week and has been removed from my super flyweight rankings. Sato was stopped in eight rounds by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai back in May. Sato appeared listless in the bout and surrendered too willingly for a champion still in possession of the fire to remain competitive. Sato admitted the fire was out weeks later and hung up his hat. Felipe Orucuta replaced Sato in my Bantamweight & Below super flyweight rankings. He entered at number ten on the strength of a close loss to Omar Andres Narvaez last month. 

Also exiting my junior flyweight rankings is Nicaragua's Juan Palacios. Palacios has reached one year of inactivity and has been dropped. Alberto Rossel of Peru has once again climbed back into the ten spot of my junior flyweight standings. 

World Class Boxing Results at Bantamweight & Below:

On Saturday, June 1, at Estadio Sonora, Hermosilla, Sonora, Mexico, Hernan Marquez won a unanimous decision over Carlos Tamara in a twelve round flyweight bout. The judges favored the recently dethroned flyweight champion by scores of 120-107, 120-108, and 119-109. Marquez improved is resume to 36-3 (26). Tamara, also a former world champion, fell to 23-8-1 (17). Marquez moved from number six to take a number five ranking among my top rated flyweights. Milan Melindo fell from fifth to sixth.

Also on this date, at Estadio Morelos, Ecatepec, Mexico, Mexico, Hugo Ruiz got back in the win column with a second round stoppage of Giovanni Caro in a super bantamweight bout. Caro hit the canvas twice before the bout was called to a halt at the 1:22 mark. Ruiz raised his record to 32-2 (29). Cara fell to 24-13-4 (19). Ruiz lost a disputed decision to Koki Kameda back in December, so the above weight win kept him at number four among my best bantamweights.

On Saturday, June 8, at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, The Joint, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. defeated Roberto Domingo Sosa by unanimous decision in a twelve round IBF super flyweight title bout. The scores favored the Mexican former champion by margins of 117-110 twice and 116-11. Sanchez Jr. surrendered the title on the scales, so the belt is now declared vacant. Sanchez Jr. raised his dossier to 16-1-1 (8). Sosa fell to 24-1 (14). Sanchez Jr. affirmed his number one ranking at 115 pounds.

On Saturday, June 15, at Emperor's Palace, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, Hekkie Budler won a split decision over Nkosinathi Joyi in a twelve round minimumweight bout. Budler prevailed by scores of 116-113, 115-113, and 112-116. Budler improved his resume to 23-1 (6) with the career best win. Joyi dipped to 23-2 (16). Budler climbed from seventh to fourth in my strawweight rankings. Joyi fell from fourth to fifth. Wanheng Menayothin and Carlos Buitrago each fell one ranking. 
Warren punishes Fuentes
On Saturday, June 22, at Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA, Rau'shee Warren scored a second round KO of Jiovanne Fuentes in a four round flyweight bout. The three-time Olympian dropped Fuentes twice in the first and once in the second.

Fuentes' team saved him further punishment at the 1:04 mark.

Warren improved his young record to 5-0 (3) or 12-0 (3) including his World Series of Boxing results. Fuentes fell to 5-2 (4). Warren remains unranked at the present time, but is still worth noting as one of the few Americans on the radar at flyweight.

On Tuesday, June 25, at Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, Suriyan Sor Rungvisai took on Renz Llagas in a twelve round bantamweight bout. Rungvisai posted his fourth win in 2013 while rebuilding from a 2012 title fight defeat at the hands of Yota Sato. The judges scored the contest 120-108 and 119-109 twice. Rungvisai raised his record to 27-5-1 (10). Renz fell to 6-5-1 (4). Rungvisai held onto his number six bantamweight ranking in my standings. Weak opposition on the comeback trail could make Rungvisai wait longer than he would like for another crack at a belt.

Bantamweight & Below Featured Rankings: The Best of Japan

#1 in the Land of the Rising Sun
1. Shinsuke Yamanaka (118) 18-0-2 (13) ~ WBC Bantamweight
Best Wins: UD 12 Vic Darchinyan; KO 7 Tomas Rojas
2. Kazuto Ioka (108) 12-0 (8) ~ WBA Light Flyweight Champion
Best Wins: KO 5 Oleydong Sithsamerchai; UD 12 Akira Yaegashi
3. Akira Yaegashi (112) 17-3 (9) ~ WBC Flyweight Champion
Best Wins: TKO10 Pornsawan Porpramook; UD12 Toshiyuki Igarashi
4. Koki Kameda (118) 31-1 (17) ~ WBA Bantamweight Champion
Best Wins: UD 12 Daisuke Naito; UD 12 Alexander Munoz
5. Kohei Kono (115) 28-8 (11) ~ WBA Super Flyweight Champion
Best Wins: KO 4 Tepparith Kokietgym; SD 12 Eden Sonsona

6. Toshiyuki Igarashi (112) 17-2-1 (10) ~ Former WBC Flyweight
Best Wins: UD 12 Wilbert Uicab; SD 12 Sonny Boy Jaro
7. Katsunari Takayama (105) 25-6 (10) ~ IBF Minimumweight
Best Wins: UD 12 Mario Rodriguez; Tech. Dec. 9 Carlos Melo
8. Ryo Miyazaki (105) 19-0-3 (11) ~ WBA Minimumweight
Best Wins: SD Pornsawan Porpramook; KO 5 Carlos Velarde
9. Ryo Akaho (115) 21-2 (13) ~ Former World Title Challenger
Best Wins: KO 5 Fred Mundraby; KO 9 Toyota Shiraishi
10. Tomoki Kameda (118) 27-0 (18) ~ WBO Title Challenger
Best Wins: KO 6 Nouldy Manakane; SD 10 Stephane Jamoye

Bantamweight & Below: Give That Man a Title Shot!

The Hexecutioner deserves a title shot!
Hekkie Budler did enough to hold his ground as a top ten contender with a solid decision win over former world champion Florante Condes in late 2012. However, on June 15, Budler scored his career best victory with an entertaining split decision over former world champion, and fellow countryman, Nkosinathi Joyi.

"[Joyi] was tough, but definitely not my hardest fight," Budler stated. "I think this is a big win for me, probably the biggest of my career. I think after this people are going to take notice of me. My speed and movement helped me out the most in this fight."

The Hexecutioner, as Budler is known back home in South Africa, has held several lesser titles (IBO) and now seems more than ready to challenge for one of the world varieties. At 23-1 (6), the light hitting strawweight contender holds a number three ranking in the eyes of the WBC and IBF. High profile bouts against the Xiong Zhao Zhong-Denver Cuello winner or Katsunari Takayama make great sense for Budler, but a rematch with Joyi at home could be his next move by demand. A repeat win over Joyi would make Budler hard to avoid at 105 pounds.

"I don't think a rematch will happen. I think we both will go our own way," Budler explained. "I think that Cuello will win the fight [with Xiong Zhao Zhong]. He is a very good fighter, but it's going to be a hard fight for him. Zhong has improved immensely since winning the title."

It remains to be seen if the Joyi win has changed the trajectory of Budler's career outside of his native South Africa. There may be one factor holding Budler back from mainstream praise world-wide. "It's hard for the small divisions to get recognized," said Budler with a chuckle.

The South African born Budler may not be mainstream, but this American-based writer has certainly taken notice of his ring ledger, which is why he is this month's KO Digest Bantamweights & Below selection for Give That Man a Title Shot!

Bantamweights & Below — On the Horizon:

On Friday, June 28, at Casino Hipodrome Agua Caliente, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, Moises Fuentes takes on Roger Collado in a ten round light flyweight bout. Fuentes gets back into the ring after a controversial draw with Donnie Nietes.

Also on Friday, June 28, at World Trade Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Xiong Zhao Zhong takes on Denver Cuello in a twelve round WBC minimumweight title bout. China's only world champion takes on one of boxing's most deserving title challengers in his first defense. This bout has Fight of the Year potential.

On Saturday, July 13, at Solaire Resort Hotel and Casino, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, Merlito Sabillo takes on Jorle Estrada in a twelve round WBO minimumweight title bout. Sabillo is now recognized as the full-title holder after winning an interim belt. He makes his first defense.

On Thursday, July 25, at Tokyo Big Site, Tokyo, Japan, Koki Kameda takes on John Mark Apolinario in a twelve round WBA bantamweight title bout. Kameda's reign may be coming to an end after back to back controversial decision wins.

On Saturday, July 27, at Venetian Casino and Resort, Macao, Macao S.A.R., China, Juan Francisco Estrada takes on Milan Melindo in a twelve round WBA/WBO flyweight title bout; Zou Shiming takes on Jesus Ortega in a six round flyweight bout. After upsetting Brian Viloria in April, Estrada meets the challenge of a primed foe worth his weight in gold in Melindo. Also, China's amateur star makes his second professional appearance in a budding boxing hotbed.

Written by Derek "DBO" Bonnett - exclusively for KO Digest

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