The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire

Oriental Update: Joe Koizumi

As of July 22, 1999
By Joe Koizumi

MANNY PACQUIAO, WBC flyweight champ, was scheduled to defend his crown against an unbeaten Thai challenger named MEDGOEN 3K BATTERY, 17-0, 10 KOs, on Jul. 23, but it was postponed until Sept. 17. The fight site will be Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand. The hard-punching Filipino Pacquiao, 26-1, 17 KOs, wrested the WBC throne via an upset KO triumph over defending champ Chatchai Dutchboy Gym in Bangkok last Dec. Pacquiao, a wild but devastating puncher, decked top contender Gabriel Mira, Mexico, five times en route to a fine 4th round KO in Manila on Apr. 24. Pacquiao was supposed to return to Thailand to face Chatchai on the option agreement, but the ex-champ finally abandoned regaining the belt from the upcoming 20-year-old Filipino probably for fear of his pugnacious style. Medgoen is a highly expected prospect with good skill and power. The taller and more powerful Pacquiao has a physical advantage, but his lack of finesse especially in his defensive skill may risk his title against the more technical opponent.

YODSANAN NANTHACHAI, WBA #5 ranked super-feather contender, is a lefty hard-puncher, who Asian boxing people say will be a future world champ. But Yodsanan, 17-2-1, 14 KOs, had a very tough time, as he barely kept his regional title of PABA (Pan Asian Boxing Association) on a controversial draw with Mongolian SUKHEE NEMEKHBAYAR in Bangbon, Thailand, on Jun. 20. Scored: 116-111, Yodsanan; 114-112, Sukhee; and 114-114. The clever Mongolian onesidedly dominated earlier rounds, but showed his fatigue from the 10th on to fail to capture the PABA title. Yodsanan's stock dropped drastically. But this lackluster performance may help Yodsanan get a title shot at the WBA 130-pound throne against Mongolian LAKVA SIM, as Sim's people began to take him lightly rather than pay too much respect to his vaunted power punching.

POSTPONEMENT: It's a wonder for Japanese fight fans that a world title bout is so often put off from an original schedule especially in the US, because it is extremely rare that we, in Japan, see any postponement of a world title go. We make it a rule to announce a world title bout some 3 months before the card, and our promoters faithfully keep the schedule for aficionados as well as for our TV's. Should we follow the US way to easily change the fight date or the opponent, our TV world might quit telecasting any world title bouts in the future. In this country, the mutual trust of the promoter and the TV plus the schedule control is strong and solid enough. Therefore, when this reporter inform you of the schedule, the world title bout will take place, definitely as reported, without fail. It is also a wonder that, in such a well-regulated country, we have no world champs at this moment. But Boxing itself is popular among our hardcore fans with some big or small 250 cards in total held in the 365 days of the previous year in this small country, Japan.

JOICHIRO TASUYOSHI, a Japanese superstar, pledges to regain the WBC bantam title from Thailander VEERAPHOL NAKONLUANG-PROMOTION, 21-1, 15 KOs, in a grudge fight in Osaka on Aug. 29. Tatsuyoshi, 17-5-1, 12 KOs, lost his crown on an upset 6th round KO by the powerful and technical Thai battler, nicknamed "Death Mask" due to his coolness and killer instinct, in Osaka on Dec. 29. Tatsuyoshi, a flamboyant speedster, has been training so strenuously as to predict his 4th coronation of the WBC bantam championship by a revenging KO win.

KEIJI YAMAGUCHI, a lefty Naseem Hamed stylist, will face unbeaten Korean INJOO CHO, 15-0, 7 KOs, in a bid for the WBC super-fly title in Tokyo on Sept. 5. Yamaguchi, a fast-handed lefty, 28-4, 11 KOs, tends to hang his hands low a la Hamed, whom he respects so much as to imitate his style. But his low guard has been castigated by our stubborn experts in Japan, since he carelessly took a big right of Thai lefty Pichit Chor Siriwat and sank in the 2nd round to lose his WBA light fly title in Dec., 1996. Since then, Yamaguchi, a tall speedster, moved up two classes and now fights in the 115-pound division. The Korean defending champ Cho, who had dethroned Filipino Gerry Penalosa last Aug., is as fast a sharpshooter as Yamaguchi. We'll see a speedy exchange by the Korean and Japanese Expresses.

HIDEKI TODAKA, a busy-punching Japanese, 14-2-1, 7 KOs, is appeared in good shape prior to his rematch with JESUS KIKI ROJAS, Venezuela, 32-7-3-1NC, 16 KOs, in his quest for the WBA super-fly title in Nagoya on Jul. 31. Rojas's group, consisting manager Jairo Cuba, trainers Victor Marquez and Manny Siaca, arrived on this Jul. 22. Prior to his title-winning fight from Satoshi Iida, Todaka's stablemate, the Venezuelan veteran got bitten at the hip by a dog while he was jogging in Nagoya last Dec. It became a big scandal. We hope that will NOT happen again here.

SONGKRAM PORPAOIN, interim WBA minimum champ, recently got stripped of his title due to his negligence of his duty to report his participation in a non-title bout, plus his failure to pay the sanction fee of that non-title go (even in a non-title bout, the WBA champ must pay the sanction fee?), plus his bad defeat by unheralded Japanese Hiroshi Matsumoto on a lopsided verdict (99-92 twice and 97-95) in Kokura, Japan, on May 16. The 33-year-old Songkram, 20-2-1, 9 KOs, had acquired the vacant interim WBA 105-pound title by a controversial technical decision over Ronnie Magramo in Thailand last Feb. We have some prospects in this class in Japan-OPBF champ Hiroshi Nakajima, WBA #4 contender Satoru Abe, ex-OPBF ruler Wolf Tokimitsu, Japanese national champ Makoto Suzuki, and the upset victor Matsumoto. Any of these five boys may beat Songkram with ease. Songkram's manager Niwat Laosuwanwat is desperately contacting the WBA headquarters to make his boy regain the status of the interim champ. If successful, Niwat will accept Songkram fighting here to yield his interim crown to one of the Japanese top 5 small boys.

TAKANORI HATAKEYAMA, still 23, confirmed his strong determination to hang up gloves for good, after his Korean trainer Waryong Yuh returned here to talk with the dethroned champ by Mongolian Lakva Sim on Jun. 27. Hatakeyam's will has never changed, so he will give up our aficionados' wish to see him regain his title from Sim in a rematch. Hatakeyama's overall record was 21-1-2, 17 KOs.

RAFFY MONTALBAN, WBC #6 ranked super-fly, decided to put his OPBF title against Japanese speedster MASAMORI TOKUYAMA, 18-2-1, 4 KOs, in Osaka on Sept. 17. Tokuyama, who made ex-world champ Hiroki Ioka say a farewell to his long career by his 5th round upset TKO last Dec., lately whipped WBA #14 fly contender Takuya Kiya in Tokyo, and has improved his hit-and-run tactics. Tokuyama, with fine reflexes, may outspeed the harder-hitting but slower Montalban, 24-4-5, 13 KOs, to gain the OPBF title.

CHANA PORPAOIN, ex-WBA minimum champ, will come and fight ex-Japanese champ KEISUKE YOKOYAMA, 12-5-2, 7 KOs, in Tokyo on Aug. 25. The 33-year-old Chana, 40-1, 15 KOs, lately earned a technical decision over Filipino Jerry Rosales in Samut-Sakorn, Thailand, on Jun. 18. But Chana is obvisouly slowing down and declining in comparison with in good old days. Though Yokoyama is a bit stiff and slow, he can punch with his left hand. Chana may have a tough time against the upcoming Japanese boy.


Jul. 31; WBA super-fly title bout of Jesus Kiki Rojas vs. Hideki Todaka, Nagoya, Japan

Aug. 29; WBC bantam title bout of Veeraphol Nakornluang-Promoiton vs. Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, Osaka, Japan

Sept. 5; WBC super-fly title bout of Injoo Cho vs. Keiji Yamaguchi, Tokyo, Japan

Sept. 17; WBC fly title bout of Manny Pacquiao vs. Medgoen 3K Battery, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand


Aug. 8; OPBF super-bantam elimination bout of WBC #8 Kozo Ishii vs. Dino Olivetti, Nagoya, Japan

Aug. 29; OPBF super-light title bout of Jongkil Kim vs. Hisao Arai, Osaka, Japan (semi-final to the WBC bantam title bout)

Sept. 17; OPBF super-fly title bout of Raffy Montalban (whose Japanese ring name is Mangoro Ishimaru) vs. Masamori Tokuyama, Osaka, Japan

Sept. 21; OPBF super-middle title bout of Yoshinori Nishizawa vs. Nico Toriry, Tokyo, Japan

Oct. 4; OPBF super-welter title bout of Kookyul Song vs. Hiroki Tomi, Hiroshima, Japan

Nov. 29; OPBF super-feather elimination bout of Tiger Ari vs. Kenji Ryuki, Osaka, Japan


Joe Koizumi
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