PINOY prospects Michael Mendoza and ArAr Andales will gun for regional titles on Oct. 23, 2021 in Ansan, South Korea.
Mendoza will challenge World Boxing Organization (WBO) Oriental flyweight champion Olimjon Nazarov, while Andales will lock horns with Vietnamese up-and-comer Leopard Kim for the vacant WBO Oriental minimumweight strap.
Mendoza is coming into this bout with a five-fight winning streak. His last fight was a first round knockout of Stevanus Nanu Bau in a World Boxing Foundation International flyweight title fight in 2020.
Mendoza will be coming in as an underdog against the experienced Nazarov.
Nazarov is a 13-year veteran that has also held the World Boxing Council CISBB bantamweight belt. He fought but lost to former world title contender Stephon Young. He is a winner of his last 12 contests that includes wins over Pinoy pugs Ivan Soriano and Orlie Silvestre, who he both beat via lopsided unanimous decision.
Mendoza is 11-1-2 with four knockouts, while Nazarov is 25-5 with 14 knockouts.
Andales, on the other hand, is looking to continue his recent streak despite a layoff of over a year. He won back-to-back fights in 2020 against Rey Caitom and Zandy Padiran.
Andales is looking to boost his ranking in the WBO by winning a regional title. He’s currently rated No. 14 in the WBO minimumweight division.
Andales fought for a world title in 2019. He challenged World Boxing Association minimumweight champion Thammanoon Niyomtrong by technical decision after the fight was stopped in the eighth round due to a cut on the Thai champion’s left eyelid from an accidental headbutt.
Kim is on a four-fight winning streak since a majority decision loss to Esneth Domingo in 2019. This will be his first 12-round fight and his most toughest opponent to date.
Andales is 12-2 with four knockouts, while Leopard is 7-3 with five knockouts.