By Carlos Costa
World-ranked Filipino Joe "The Jaw Breaker" Noynay (17-2-1, 6 KO's) of the Bebot Elorde Gym successfully captured the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Belt by stopping in two rounds Japanese brawler Kosuke Saka at the Edion Arena in Osaka, Japan.
Seconds into the first chapter, the aggressive hard-hitting Saka (18-5, 15 KO's) caught Noynay with a tough right hand to the chin that sent the 23 year-old Filipino backwards, worrying his two cornermen Bebot Elorde and Artcher Villamor.
But the Pinoy Warrior born in Bogo, Cebu, kept his composure, regrouped and deliver a thunderous reply attack with both hands that rocked the Japanese boxer down to the canvas on his posterior where he heard the 8-second count.
Brave and tough, Saka stood up to trade blows with The Jaw Breaker, who despite his moniker, is not known to be a knockout artist.
The men exchanged furiously in the center of the ring, with Saka betting on his strength and warrior's heart, but another crushing right hook in reasserted with a huge left straight propelled the son of the Land of the Rising Sun once again down to the floor.
Saka was not yet done. Once again he got up, and seconds later the bell sounded big to end the thrilling first round.
During the break, the experienced Bebot Elorde with a white towel around his neck instructed his fighter to keep his head cool and time his shots smartly, which Noynay did brilliantly firing a fast ambush that rocked Saka down for a third time and final time, the Japanese third man waiving this compatriot off.
A great victory for Noynay, for his coach Villamor and for the Bebot Elorde Gym, as Joe not only claims the WBO Asia Pacific super featherweight title, but also improves his standing in the WBO world-rankings and elevates his standing in the division.
Cheering wildly and happily for the Filipino Team at ringside in Osaka, Japan, was Pinoy retired former WBC flyweight world champion Malcolm Eagle Eye Tuñacao (now a coach at Japan's Blue Sky Boxing Gym), who apparently brought very good luck to his "kababayans."
The author Carlos Costa is a Panama boxing reporter living in the Philippines. Carlos can be reached at [email protected] and whatsap/viber/wechat +639184538152.