Japanese foe keeps sharp form

Published February 23, 2018, 10:00 PM

by manilabulletin_admin

Ryosuke Iwasa
Ryosuke Iwasa

by Nick Giongco

Ryosuke Iwasa displayed fine form during an open workout Thursday in Tokyo, site of the first defense of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-bantamweight crown against 13th-rated Filipino contender Ernesto Saulong on March 1.

Japanese boxing man Joe Koizumi reported that Iwasa, 28, “was sharp” during the open training and that the long-armed lefty is heavily favored to keep the IBF 122-lb title in their scheduled 12-rounder at the Ryoguku Sumo Arena.

Armed with a 24-2-0 win-loss-draw record with 16 KOs, Iwasa is handled by former world champion Celes Kobayashi.

Saulong, managed by Laguna businessman Ariel Araja and trained by Joven Jimenez, has been pretty modest about his chances of scoring an upset although he feels that he has Iwasa all figured out.

“Based on the videos that I have watched, Iwasa has a very strong left and that’s the punch I am going to watch out for,” said Saulong, who hails from Mindoro Occidental.

Saulong is flying to Tokyo this morning with Jimenez while Araja and some family members are taking tomorrow’s flight.

Saulong, parading a 21-2-1 slate with eight KOs, wound up his training camp with a light sparring session in Magallanes, Cavite.