2 Pinoy fighters to take on Japanese foes tonight

PINOY warriors Pete Apolinar and Robin Langres are seeing action in enemy soil on Saturday night, Dec. 31, 2022, in another rivalry between the Philippines and Japan.

Apolinar slugs it out with former amateur standout Hayato Tsutsumi in an eight round battle at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.

The 27-year-old Apolinar is out for redemption after losing his last fight in Japan. He was stopped in the fifth round by Yoshiki Takei in the first title defense of his Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation super bantamweight belt at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.

Apolinar is 1-1 in 2022 and is looking to end the year with a bang.

The 23-year-old Tsutsumi just recently turned pro this year after a stellar amateur career. He was impressive in his pro debut and outclassed veteran Jhon Gemino via a lopsided unanimous decision.

Tsutsumi was a gold medalist in the 2016 World Youth Championships and also fought in the 2021 World Championships. He owns a win over three-time World Championships gold medalist and former Olympian Lazaro Alvarez. He also faced but lost to Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Ian Clark Bautista in the Tokyo Olympics qualifiers in 2020.

Apolinar, the No. 24-ranked super bantamweight by the World Boxing Council, is 16-3 with 10 knockouts, while Tsutsumi is 1-0.

Meanwhile, Langres trades leathers with Ryuto Owan in an eight-rounder.

The 27-year-old Langres just recently returned to competition this year after a three-year hiatus. In his return, he beat Boy Dondee Pumar by unanimous decision.

Before his layoff, Langres fought in Japan and lost to Ikuro Sadatsune by a third round stoppage.

Owan is on a hot streak, winning his last four fights. He’s coming off a unanimous decision over experiences Filipino pug Mark Anthony Geraldo.

Langres is 11-4 with four knockouts, while the 24-year-old Owan is 9-1 with six knockouts.

The show’s main event features the much-anticipated world title unification fight between World Boxing Organization super flyweight king Kazuto Ioka (29-2, 15 KOs) and World Boxing Association super flyweight champion Joshua Franco (18-1-2, 8 KOs).