JAMES Bacon and Neil John Tabanao are the latest Filipino boxers that are scheduled to see action in the United States.
Bacon is challenging unbeaten welterweight prospect Alexis Rocha for his World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental Americas belt in a 10-rounder, while Tabanao will lock horns with former world title challenger Lamont Roach Jr. in a 10-round super featherweight fight on Aug. 29 (PH time) in a closed-door Golden Boy Promotions show at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California.
After his fight last March was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Bacon had a little bit more time to hone his skills under Cuban coach Moro Fernandez in Miami for his US debut.
“This is a good fight for James. He still has a long time to prepare,” Bacon’s handler JC Manangquil, Sanman Promotions chief executive officer, told SunStar Cebu.
Bacon made a ring comeback in 2019 after retiring from boxing in 2012. The 30-year-old Mandaue City native had an impressive comeback from a seven-year hiatus by winning four straight fights. His streak, however, was stopped after losing by unanimous decision to Irish Darragh Foley on Nov. 16, 2019 in Australia in his international debut.
Bacon’s skills should be tested against the 23-year-old Rocha, who’s being groomed as one of the future stars of Golden Boy Promotions. Rocha won all four of his fights in 2019 and is coming off a clear unanimous decision win over veteran Brad Solomon.
Bacon is 23-4 with 15 knockouts, while Rocha is 16-0 with 10 knockouts.
On the other hand, Tabanao, a former World Boxing Organization (WBO) Oriental featherweight champion, attempts to shake off the ring rust and end a three-fight losing slump with a win over Roach Jr., who himself is coming off a loss.
Tabanao, now working as a caregiver in the US, last saw action on Aug. 24, 2019 with a unanimous decision defeat in the hands of Irving Turrubiartes in Mexico.
Roach Jr., meanwhile, lost by unanimous decision in a world championship fight against WBO super featherweight king Jamel Herring last Nov. 9, 2019.
Tabanao is 17-7 with 11 knockouts, while Roach Jr. is 19-1-1 with seven knockouts. (EKA)