Orient Report

by Joe Koizumi


July 13, 1998
TOKYO--Korakuen Hall--Elongated Japanese TAKEO IMAOKA, 126, barely kept his OPBF (Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation) feather title as he< eked out a majority decision over ex-champ SAMUEL DURAN, a Filipino veteran, 125, over 12 lousy rounds. Scored: referee Ukrid Sarasas (Thailand) 116-116, judges Virgilio Garcia (Philippines) and Ken Morita (Japan) 114-113 and 117-116, both for Imaoka. The champ, making his 2nd defense, raised his mark to 21-3, 11 KOs. Duran, 2 years his senior at 29, fell to 56-18-2, 27 KOs.

Imaoka, WBC #8 ranked 126-pounder, floored Duran with a short left hook in the 4th, which eventually carried him to a hairline triumph.

This reporter, also the matchmaker of this title bout, has seen the game of boxing for more than 40 years, but can definitely say that this was the very worst fight ever seen in terms of the performances of both contestants and the third man. How many times did they--the three--fall down together? Numerous! It looked like a Judo or Sumo game.

Imaoka, who had dethroned Duran by dropping him twice en route to a unanimous decision last Nov., paid his respect to the ex-champ's power punching, so he tried to keep his distance in earlier rounds. But from the 6th round onward, Imaoka often grabbed Duran after hitting him with the champ throwing him or the Filipino challenger throwing him to the deck repeatedly. The referee tried to break them away only to be thrown onto the canvas. This reporter remembers that Primo Carnera and Max Baer tumbled down on numerous occasions, but this bout saw the third man fall along with them repeatedly and repeatedly.

Leonil Lazarito, Duran's manager and chief second as well, became so frustrated and furious against Imaoka's repeated grabbing tactics that he protested by grabbing Sarasas's shoulder in the recess after the 9th. Leonil attempted to sprinkle water on the ref, when this reporter promptly jumped up to the apron to make him calm down. With this reporter's advice, Leonil regained his cool and shook hands with the ref. But the JBC's chief of inspectors, Mr. Yasuhara, came to Duran's corner during the 10th, giving his instructions to Leonil. "If you repeat such a rough protest, your boxer will be disqualified." This reporter translated it into English and Leonil nodded.

The fight itself was lousy enough. Imaoka was in command in the 2nd by landing solid overhand rights as he pinned Duran to the ropes. Duran took back a point by landing a strong left-right combo in the 3rd. Imaoka floored him with a short left hook following a one-two combo, though it looked like a half-slip and a half-knockdown. Anyway, the ref counted the mandatory 8 against Duran.

From the 6th rounds on, Imaoka became apparently defensive and negative enough to apply hit-and-grab tactics. With too many clinches, each threw the other repeatedly.

During the 6th session, the referee Sarasas fell down together with his back-head bouncing on the deck. He stood up, but he was staggering for the remainder of the round. It was a funny and daffy scene.

About the result, this reporter might agree with the decision with Imaoka as a hairline winner, because Duran didn't throw any telling shots in the last three rounds despite his manager's shouting. Even a draw might be acceptable. In Japan, there is famous jeering words to a dull affair, "Both are losers!" This night, there were 3 losers in the ring due to Imaoka's too much grabbing, Duran's less aggressiveness and the ref's poor control of the bout. This reporter really became dumb with disgust after the fight.

Hard-hitting but vulnerable YASUHITO KASAGI, 143 1/4, absorbed much punishment by straight rights of lefty RYOJI TEZUKA, 142 1/4, but gave him more damage and dropped him with a flurry of punches en route to a TKO win at 2:02 of the 5th in a scheduled 10. JBC #8 super-light Kasagi is 14-5-1, 13 KOs. Tezuka, JBC #9 super-light, is 7-2-3, 3 KOs.

It was a brutal give-and-take affair, as they didn't show any good defense to avert the opponent's solid shots. Kasagi began to bleed from a gash over the left eyebrow, which continued streaming crimson until the end of the bout. Tezuka looked overpowered by Kasagi's aggressive rallies.
Promoter: Saida Promotions.

July 14, 1998
OSAKA--Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium #2--Unbeaten ex-amateur boy KENJI RYUKI, 129 3/4, JBC #9 super-feather, dropped Korean JAEHYUN KIM, 126, in the 5th and twice more in the 6th to prompt the referee's intervention at 0:42 of the 6th round in a scheduled 10.

July 14, 1998
TOKYO--Korakuen Hall--JBC #10 super-feather GEN MIFUNE, 126, blasted out TAKAYUKI YOKOYAMA, 126, at 2:13 of the first round in a scheduled 6. KINJI AMANO, 126, decisioned MASAKAZU SUGAWARA, 126, over 6. (7-14-98)

July 6, 1998 OSAKA--Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium #2--HARUHIKO OKUDA, 126, stopped ISAO OHNO, 125 1/2, at 0:38 into the 4th in a scheduled 10. KAZUMASA OTANI, 115, outscored Filipino RICO MACAUBOS, 125, over 10. YOSHINORI TAKENAKA, 138 3/4, scored a TKO win over SHIGEYUKI OHNO, 137 3/4, at 2:45 of the 6th in the first 10-rounder.


Joaquin Henson wrote:

May 15, l998. Binan, Laguna. Promoter: Facunda Jardenil. Unbeaten Vernie Torres, 114 1/2, knocked out highly-regarded Rey Llagas, 114, at 2:40 of the eighth round to wrest the Philippine junior featherweight title. It was a stunning victory for the 24-year-old Manila slugger who raised his record to 13-0, with nine stoppages. Llagas hadn't fought since outpointing Nuengubai 3-k Battery to win the Pan Asia Boxing Association (PABA) crown in Thailand in August last year. A few months ago, Llagas was recruited to spar with World Boxing Council (WBC) superflyweight champion Gerry Penalosa and was brutally mauled. He took a long rest to recover from the beating then faced Torres in the first defense of his Philippine crown. In other fights, Marc Francis, 106, defeated Jovy Mancha, 107, and Roque Murillo, 109, beat Titing Ignacio, 107, via eight-round unanimous decisions.

May 23, l998. Elorde Sports Center, Sucat, Paranaque. Promoter: Gabriel Elorde, Jr. Alfredo Sandab, 119, trounced Jovi Halog, 119 1/2, by a unanimous 10-round verdict. In other bouts, Rommel Froilan, 116 1/2, outpointed Bong Jalandoni, 115 1/2, in eight, Mark Sales, 108, decisioned Matthew Baring, 109, in six, Arnel Apurado, 105 1/2, crushed Dave Cris, 104, in four, and Tata Betonio, 105, scored a unanimous decision over Kid Sacristan, 106 1/2, in four.

May 23, l998. Valencia, Bukidnon. Promoter: Leonel Lazarito. Sammy Sordilla, 116, halted Nathan Barcelona, 115, at 2:35 of the fifth in a scheduled tenner. Benjie Duran, 131, posted a unanimous 10-round decision over Ramon Molina, 134. Dennis Sabsal, 108 1/2, stopped Jun Orjaliza, 109, at l:46 of the third in a tenner. Edwin Talita, ll2 l/2, scored a ninth round technical decision over Allan Orais, 110 l/2, and Rico Macaubos, 112, also notched a technical decision over Eddie Sajonia, 113, in the fourth.

May 27, l998. Tondo Sports Center, Tondo, Manila. Promoter: Rodolfo Nazario. Joel Junio, 120, scored a unanimous 10-round decision over Ric Evasco, 120. Stocky "Toy Bulldog" Bert Cano, 114 1/2, beat journeyman Rudy Idano, 115, by a unanimous 10-round decision. Roy Tarazona, 112 1/2, eked out a majority eight-round verdict over Flash Simbajon, 112 1/2. Oriental flyweight champion Manny Pacquiao's younger brother Bobby, 118, was lucky to escape with a split six-round decision over Dodong Sales, 119.

June 6, l998. Almednras Gym, Davao City. Promoter: Vicente Adriano. Rey Villamor, 110, upset Buddy (Tyson) Ledama, 112, on points to capture the Philippine Boxing Federation (PBF) flyweight crown. Abner Cordero, 114, halted Jun Magsipoc, 114, in the seventh round to annex the PBF junior bantamweight diadem. The PBF is like a "junior" version of the Games and Amusements Board (GAB)-recognized national title. The GAB is the government agency that supervises professional sports in the Philippines. The GAB is headed by Dominador Cepeda, the outgoing Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation President. Fernando Montilla, 125, stopped Jonathan Albay, 126, in the fifth round and Sugar Rey Mike, 114, halted Butch Quimco, 118, also in the fifth. In another scheduled tenner, Ray Ganton, 108, disposed of Randy Narby, 108, in the ninth.

June 13, l998. Oroquieta City. Promoter: Sonny Oaminal. Robert Malinis, 110, beat Elmer Rodrigo, 110, via a majority 10-round decision. Nelson Mantos, 114, scored a majority eight-round verdict over Cocoy Lopez, 119. Rommel Libradilla, 112, stopped Rustom Llagas, 112, at 2:07 of the second in a scheduled sixer.

June 14, l998. Alubijid, Misamis Oriental. Promoter: Quintin Kaamino. Jojo Unabia, 118, stopped Eddie Sajonia, 117, at 2:55 of the second round in a scheduled sixer. Manny Fajardo, 111, decisioned Iking Formentera, 111, in another sixer.

June 14, l998. Buug, Zamboanga del Sur. Promoter: Fabiano Timpon. Terec Vere, 107, was held to a third round technical draw by Jack Comen, 106, in a scheduled tenner. Rolando Baclayo, 108, scored a unanimous 10-round verdict over Dario Olarte, 109.

June 17, l998. Mandaluyong City. Promoter: Rodolfo Nazario. Philippine featherweight titlist Joe Escriber's younger brother Edward, 115 1/2, pounded out a ninth round technical decision win over Alfredo Sandab, 117 1/2, to gain the vacant Philippine bantamweight crown which was vacated by Jess Maca. Hard-luck Rodel Llanita, 116, settled for a first round technical draw with Joven Jurda, 116. It was Llanita's second straight draw after a 6-0 start, with six knockouts, as a pro. Jose Clasida, 105, halted Rudy Fernandez, 107 1/2, at 2:38 of the fifth. Orlando Villaflor, 120, defeated Al Juhn Tan, 120, via an eight-round unanimous decision.

June 19, l998. Lantapan Gym, Bukidnon. Promoter: Leonel Lazarito. Ramon Molina, 135, beat Gerry de Gracia, 135, by a unanimous decision in a tenner. Jimmy Aguirre, 121, stopped Felix Mantos, 121, at 2:45 of the ninth. Renato Adolfo, 106, knocked out Rey Caengles, 105, at 2:30 of the third in a scheduled eight-round bout.

June 21, l998. Tagaytay City. Promoter: Haydee Garcia. Joel Gonzales, 130 l/2, halted Arnold Jaspe, 130, at l:22 of the seventh round. Joe Avila, 116 l/2, scored a unanimous eight-round decision over the comebacking former Philippine flyweight king Lee Escobido, 116. Flash Eraham, 112, scored a fourth technical decision over Rany Tat Biron, 112, and Rey Arlos, 113, drew with Titing Ignacio, 112 1/2, in a sixer. Arman Pediamonte, 119, nipped Dodong Sales, 117, by a split six-round verdict.

-- Joe Koizumi
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