TOMJUNE Mangubat gets another chance to become a regional champion as he challenges Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) super featherweight titleholder Masanori Rikiishi on Aug. 14 at the Edion Arena in Osaka, Japan.
“This is another opportunity for him. Hopefully, he gets it this time. We know it won’t be easy but we’ll do our best and fight up until the end of the fight,” Mangubat’s coach Jinggoy Junco told SunStar Cebu.
Mangubat failed in his last attempt at becoming a regional champion after suffering a 12th-round stoppage in the hands of former Olympian Charly Suarez in a World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia super featherweight fight last March 12 in Parañaque City.
Mangubat also fell short in his two other attempts at a regional belt. He lost to Arnel Baconaje via an eighth-round technical knockout in a World Boxing Council (WBC) Asian Boxing Council (ABC) Silver featherweight fight in 2019 and bowed down to Jong Seon Kang by split decision in a World Boxing Organization (WBO) Oriental Youth featherweight strap on the same year.
Rikiishi won the vacant OPBF belt with a unanimous decision win over veteran Takuya Watanabe last May 15. He’s on a nine-fight winning streak that includes wins over regional champion Freddy Fonseca and Pinoy veteran Roli Gasca.
Mangubat is 15-3-1 with 12 knockouts, while Rikiishi is 11-1 with six knockouts.
Former world title challenger Jeo Santisima (21-4, 18 KOs) is also seeing action on the same card in an eight-rounder against veteran Hiroshige Osawa (37-5-4, 21 KOs).
July 03, 2022
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