FILIPINOS fighting in South Africa is becoming a trend this year. But Filipinos getting a win in South Africa is close to impossible.
International Boxing Federation (IBF) No. 13 rated minimumweight Clyde Azarcon attempts to get that rare victory in South African soil as he takes on Thembelani Okolo for the vacant World Boxing Federation minimumweight belt on June 27 in Port Elizabeth.
“This will be a good fight for Clyde because the opponent is not that strong. We have a huge chance,” Azarcon’s trainer, Christopher “Ping-Ping” Tepora, told SunStar Cebu.
“If there is a chance for a knockout, then Clyde will go for it.”
Two Filipinos have already fought in South Africa in 2021—Christian Araneta and Jerald Paclar. Araneta lost to Sivenathi Nontshinga by unanimous decision, while Paclar also lost by unanimous decision against Yanga Sgqibo on April 24.
Paclar reportedly went without getting paid. However, the promoter promised to pay Paclar.
Tepora is confident that Azarcon will get his purse and won’t go home empty-handed.
“That’s what I have heard, but we already have a plan that we will secure the purse and get paid,” said Tepora.
Okolo was originally slated to face one-time world title challenger Robert Paradero. However, Okolo’s handlers decided to change the opponent to Azarcon.
The 26-year-old Azarcon is no pushover though. He’s tough as nails and went the distance but lost to current IBF minimumweight king Rene Mark Cuarto. His only knockout loss is against former amateur standout and currently world-rated Ginjiro Shigeoka.
Azarcon has not fought for over a year since beating Mike Kanaadman on March 9, 2020 in Cebu City just before the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.
Okolo, on the other hand, has been inconsistent lately and is 2-2 in the last four years. His last fight was a unanimous decision win against Ndikho Magadaza on Oct. 6, 2019.
Azarcon is 17-3-1 with six knockouts, while Okolo is 9-5-1 with five knockouts. (EKA)