By Carlos Costa
Reigning Filipino PBF Champion Jelbirt Gomera is slated for a ring battle against former Korean Featherweight Champ Nam-Joon Lee for the vacant WBA Asia 126-Lbs Title this Saturday (June 24) in Soon-chon City, Republic of Korea, confirmed Won Kim of the WBA Asia Boxing Association.
The 25-year-old Gomera (12-2, 6 KO's), a committed member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, comes to his appointment against Nam-Joon Lee fresh from a loss by points to tough nut Hidenori Otake of Tokyo's Kaneko Gym last March.
The Otake-Gomera bout was a competitive OPBF non-stop 12-rounder title clash, in which Gomera went fearless toe-to-toe against the more experienced Otake (28-2-3, 12 KO's), a crafty warrior who had been the Japanese 122-lbs champion as well as world title challenger.
Gomera showed heart and guts against Otake, for which his promoter Brico Santig of Highland Boxing was able to secure a new shot at a title for his pupil, this time a shot at the WBA Asia 126-lbs title, one weight class up.
For this important clash, Gomera has been training daily with his experienced head trainer Joven "JJ" Jorda at the high altitude boxing facility of Highland Boxing Gym in La Trinidad, Benguet Province in the Philippines.
"Gomera has been training at Highland Boxing Gym for about 2 years," commented manager Brico Santig.
"He is a good boy. He respects his trainer and is obedient. Gomera was born in Sultan Kudarat and moved to Gensan. But his parents are Ilocano people," added Santig to BoxingScene.
The leftie Gomera has been training together with his stablemate, buddy and sparring partner - former IBO 108-lbs world champion Rey Loreto, who is also in intense training for his very important coming battle for the WBA 105-Lbs World Title on July 15 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Gomera Team will fly to Korea this Thursday (June 22) to acclimatize and be on time for Gomera's weigh-in on Friday (June 25). The big day is on Saturday (June 26), a war that will rage on in the late afternoon hours.
Jelbirt Gomera will be taken care of in Korea by his promoter/manager Brico Santig, matchmaker/cornerman Ericson Santig and head trainer JJ Jorda.
NAM-JOON LEE IS ALSO READY TO RUMBLE
Gomera's opponent this Saturday, Lee (9-5-3, 4 KO's), was born in the Korean capital of Seoul and has been two-time Korean 126-pound champion.
In his latest outing, Lee scored a hard-fought technical decision win over compatriot Sa Myung Noh last January in Incheon.
In that fight, Lee's opponent suffered a badly-located cut on his left eye, which prompted the referee to accept the ring doctor's recommendation to halt actions in round 7.
Regardless of the cut on his foe's eye, Lee, 33, was dominating the scheduled 10-round battle with better skills, a good left jab (many times throwing a double-jab), which he employs with frequency, as well overhead right, one of his favorite fighting weapons.
The Lee vs. Gomera clash for the WBA Asia Featherweight Title is an important clash for both boxers as the winner will likely make his way into the WBA 126-lbs world rankings, a tough weight class where the kings are Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz.
The card this Saturday in Soon-chon City is a production of Korea Promotions and will be broadcast live on open TV throughout Korea on MBC Sport Channel. The live telecast is scheduled to begin at exactly 15:00 KST Korea Standard Time (GMT +9).