Mangutabat faces Rikiishi in Japan

·2 min read

SUPER featherweight prospect Tomjune Mangubat looks to win his first regional belt as he challenges Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) super featherweight king Masanori Rikiishi on Saturday night, Aug. 13, 2022, at the Edion Arena in Osaka, Japan.

“This is a 50-50 fight. It’s hard but we’ll do our best to win,” Mangubat’s coach Jinggoy Junco told SunStar Cebu.

The 24-year-old Mangubat, who fights at the Omega Boxing Gym in Cebu, is eager to bounce back after suffering a 12th round technical knockout in the hands of former Olympian Charly Suarez on March 12 in Parañaque City.

Mangubat gave Suarez a run for his money before losing to Suarez in the final round.

“We’ll do what we did to Suarez. He can’t handle the pressure of ‘Wardog’ (Mangubat). Suarez was elite. If this guy shows that his skill set isn’t elite, then he’ll surely lose,” said Junco.

Rikiishi is a winner of his last nine straight fights that include wins over Freddy Fonseca, Roli Gasca and Takuya Watanabe.

Mangubat is 15-3-1 with 12 knockouts, while Rikiishi is 11-1 with six knockouts.

On the other hand, Jeo Santisima locks horns with fellow one-time world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa in an eight-rounder in the same card.

The 26-year-old Santisima is looking to bounce back after suffering a ninth round technical knockout in the hands of Joet Gonzalez on March 4 in Fresno, California.

Santisima fought for a world title back in 2020 against then WBO super bantamweight king Emmanuel Navarrete Las Vegas, Nevada.

Since suffering a split decision defeat in the hands of former world titleholder Shun Okubo in Kobe, Japan, Okubo won his last four contests.

Santisima is 21-4 with 18 knockouts, while Osawa is 37-5-4 with 21 knockouts.

Meanwhile, four other Pinoys are seeing action in another event in Japan.

Jonathan Taconing, Ranelio Quizo, Jun Blazo and Jonathan Almacen are fighting at the Central Gym in Kobe.

Taconing (29-4-1, 22 KOs) faces off ex-world champion with Ryuya Yamanaka (17-3, 6 KOs), Quizo (10-2, 3 KOs) slugs it out with Kazuki Anaguchi (2-0, 2 KOs), Blazo (16-6-3, 12 KOs) faces off with Takahiro Tai (3-1, 3 KOs) and Almacen (7-5-3, 2 KOs) takes on newcomer Shunpei Odagiri.