Suganob to defend WBO belt vs. Japanese

Suganob to defend WBO belt vs. Japanese
Boxing SunStar File photo

THE Philippines vs. Japan boxing rivalry continues as Regie Suganob defends his World Boxing Organization (WBO) Global light flyweight title against Kai Ishizawa in the main event of PMI Bohol Boxing Promotions’ “Kumong Bol-anon XV” on April 30, 2024 in Tagbilaran City, Bohol.

“At this very moment, considering the sentiments of Filipino fans of the consecutive losses to Japanese fighters, this is a fight that Regie must win. There’s this grudge against Japanese fighters because of Filipinos losing to them lately. Regie will be weighed by the eyes of the Filipino boxing fans on how he will perform in this fight,” PMI Bohol Boxing Promotions head Floriezyl Echavez Podot said in a press conference, announcing the fight.

The 26-year-old Suganob is in a crucial fight that could either boost his ascent or bring him down in the world rankings.

“We’re training really hard because we know that he’s a tough opponent,” said Suganob. “If there’s an opportunity to knock him out, then I’ll knock him out. There’s always pride in winning it that way.”

Suganob is on the verge of another world title shot because he’s highly rated in three of the four major world boxing sanctioning bodies. He’s ranked No. 3 by the WBO, No. 6 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and No. 9 by the World Boxing Council (WBC).

Suganob just won the WBO Global light flyweight belt last Nov. 4, 2024 with a unanimous decision win over Ronal Chacon in Bohol. This will be the first title defense of his belt.

“He’s a very good fighter. He’s speedy and powerful,” said the 27-year-old Ishizawa. “This is Regie’s hometown. I would like to win by a knockout.”

Ishizawa is eager to bounce back after losing his last fight, a split decision defeat in the hands of former world title challenger Vince Paras last Oct. 12 in Japan.

Both Suganob and Ishizawa are former world title challengers. Suganob fought for a world title in 2023 and lost by unanimous decision to Sivenathi Nontshinga for the IBF light flyweight title. Ishizawa had his title shot in 2022 and lost to then WBO minimumweight king Masataka Taniguchi by an 11th round technical knockout.

Suganob is 14-1 with four knockouts, while Ishizawa is 11-3 with 10 knockouts. / EKA


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