PINOY pugs Jonathan Almacen and ArAr Andales are seeing action in a double-header in South Africa on May 22, 2021.
Almacen takes on former World Boxing Association (WBA) International Boxing Federation (IBF) light flyweight king Hekkie Budler, while Andales locks horns with two-time world title challenger Simpiwe Konkco at the Booysens Boxing Gym.
The 21-year-old Almacen returns to the ring after a layoff due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He last saw action in 2019, when he beat Roldan Sasan by unanimous decision. Almacen, ranked No. 36 in the minimumweight division by the World Boxing Council (WBC), has a total of 12 pro bouts, but he has faced quality competition with the likes of former world title contender Robert Paradero and Andales.
Budler is coming off a longer hiatus. His last fight was against Hiroto Kyoguchi in a WBA light flyweight bout on Dec. 31, 2018. Budler lost to Kyoguchi via a 10th round technical knockout.
Budler has fought some of the best in the lower weight divisions. He won over Florante Condes, Ryoichi Taguchi, Jesus Silvestre, Chao Zhong Xiong and Nkosinathi Joyi.
Almacen is 7-3-2 with two knockouts, while Budler is 32-4 with 10 knockouts.
In the meantime, Andales is coming into his fight with Konkco with a two-fight winning streak.
The 21-year-old Andales captured the World Boxing Foundation (WBF) minimumweight belt with a fifth round knockout of Rey Caitom Jr. on March 9, 2020 in Cebu City just before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country. He followed it up with a third round stoppage of Zandy Padiran on Dec. 6, 2020.
Meanwhile, Konkco lost his last fight by unanimous decision to Wanheng Menayothin in a WBC minimumweight title fight in 2019. Konkco has wins over Joyi, Toto Landero and Lito Dante. He has also fought the likes of Budler and Joey Canoy.
Andales is 12-2 with four knockouts, while Konkco is 19-6 with seven knockouts.