The CyberBoxingZone News

Orient Update
Joe Koizumi

November 3, 1999


HIDEKI TODAKA, WBA super-flyweight champ, will risk his belt against unbeaten lefty AKIHIKO NAGO at Ryogoku Sumo Arena in Tokyo on November 7. Todaka, making his first defense, captured the WBA throne by upsetting Venezuelan veteran Jesus "Kiki" Rojas by dropping him with a wicked right counter in the second round en route to a unanimous decision in his home-turf Nagoya on July 31. Nago, 15-0, 11 KOs, is managed by ex-WBA junior fly kingpin Yoko Gushiken who kept his crown 13 times to his credit. Nago is also a southpaw hard-hitter a la Gushiken. Todaka, 15-2-1, 7 KOs, is a swtich-hitter who once held the national light fly title and moved up to the 115-pound division. Nago possesses a one-punch KO power with good footwork, while Todaka, 3 years his senior at 26, seems more aggressive and durable, plus more experienced against name opponents. It will be a very sensational and interesting encounter.


NESTOR GARZA, WBA super-bantam ruler, Mexico, is nicknamed "Tigre (tiger)" for his fierce aggressiveness. Garza, 36-1, 28 KOs, will put his title on the line against upcoming Japanese prospect KOZO ISHII, 21-1, 14 KOs, in his native Nagoya, Japan, on November 21. Garza, 22, wrested the WBA belt from compatriot Mexican Enrique Sanchez on a hard-fought decision with each hitting the deck in December of the previous year. Garza, a short fighting machine, kept his crown by stopping Venezuelan Carlos Barreto, who lately passed away on a ring tragedy, in the 8th last May. Ishii, a game boxer-puncher, entered the world top ten by scoring an upset nod over then rated Yonghoon Lee in June, 1998. Ishii, 22, piloted by ex-world junior light challenger Takao Maruki, acquired the vacant OPBF title by polishing off Filipino champ Dino Olivetti in the opening canto this August. Ishii may show a good fight against the Mexican Tiger, but Garza's higher work-rate and tremendous durability may be too much for the Japanese to conquer.


NOEL ARMABULET, Venezuela's newly crowned WBA minimum champ, will defend his title against Japanese lefty SATORU ABE, 23-2-1, 10 KOs, in Nagoya on December 4. Arambulet, a year his junior at 25, acquired the vacant WBA 105-pound title by outscoring Filipino Joma Gamboa in Caracas, Venezuela, on October 9. Arambulet, 11-1-1-1NC, 8 KOs, is a fast-moving and hard-hitting boxer, whose speed and power will be superior to those of Abe despite the Japanese lefty's usual fighting heart. Arambulet, who cleverly outmanuevered the hard-punching Gamboa by dancing all night, will fight Abe more aggressively to expect a decisive victory.


INJOO CHO, an unbeaten WBC super-fly champ, will face ex-titlist GERRY PENALOSA, a hard-punching Filipino lefty, in a grudge fight at Sheraton Walkerhill Hotel in Seoul on January 2. This WBC mandatory fight was once scheduled on December 26, as both parties reached an agreement during the WBC Convention in Moscow last October. But Kusung Lee, ex-world 122-lbs. contender and now promoter/manager of Cho, was lately obliged to put it off to January, 2000. Cho captured the WBC 115-pound title on an really upset decision over Penalosa in Seoul in August, 1998. Cho, an upright fast-footed speedster, kept his diadem thrice-beating Joel Luna Zarate (W12), Pone Saenmorakot (KO8) and Keiji Yamaguchi (W12). Cho, 16-0, 7 KOs, has a physical advantage on the height and reach, but Penalosa, 40-2-2, 24 KOs, has a vast experience, fighting abroad in Japan and Korea. Cho, 3 years his senior at 30, is a clever outboxer, while Penalosa is also a skillful boxer-puncher with superior punching power. It will be a very difficult rematch to predict the winner.


Sensational bouts took place in Tokyo and Iizuka, Japan, with both resulting in spectacular come-from-behind knockouts. Japanese middle champ NAOTAKA HOZUMI, 164 1/4, hit the deck with a vicious right uppercut in the third, but scored a wicked body shot to sink Korean titlist JINYUL SONG, 162 1/4, in agony at 1:18 of the 8th canto in Tokyo on November 2. Hozumi, 14-1-1, 12 KOs, seemed to be behind on points because of Song's punches with better precision. Song, the elder twin brother of the current OPBF super-welter boss Kookyul Song, is the top ranked OPBF 160-pound contender, but fell to 7-3-1, 3 KOs.

On the next November 3, Australian heavyweight champ KALI MEEHAN, 238, survived his first-round visit to the canvas and exploded a smashing right to the chin of Japanese-based Ugandan PETER ISHIMARU OKHELLO, 231 1/2, to finish him at 1:38 of the third round in Iizuka, Japan. Another Aussie Justine Fortune was originally slated to meet Peter, but Fortune met an unfortunate incident in his brother's sudden death just prior to his departure to Japan-only three days before the fight. The unbeaten Meehan, the OPBF No.1 contender, accepted fighting the OPBF No.2 ranked Peter on his behalf on such a short notice, and decked an important triumph. Meehan, 15-0, 12 KOs, will be a big threat against the current OPBF ruler Toakipa Tasefa of New Zealand. Peter, 5-2, 5 KOs, might know the difference of Fortune and Meehan.

(Remarks: Yours truly was the matchmaker of this bout. He heard the news of a sudden cancellation of Fortune coming to Japan in Pusan, Korea, on his way back to Japan after covering the WBA super-feather title bout on October 31. This reporter very much appreciates the effort of Ron Nash, the agent in Australian, to persuade Meehan to fight on a very short notice.)

-- Joe Koizumi If you wish to refer to my previous reports, please access to:


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