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Filipino boxers Dela Torre, Yap win fights abroad

Ryan Songalia
Filipino boxers Dela Torre, Yap win fights abroad
Harmonito Dela Torre impresses in his second fight abroad while Mark John Yap upsets Takahiro Yamamoto to win the OPBF title

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino junior lightweight boxer Harmonito Dela Torre improved off his last showing in the United States, outpointing Mexico’s Jose Luis Araiza by unanimous decision on Friday, November 11 (Saturday Manila time) at the Winna Vegas Resort and Casino in Sloan, Iowa.

Dela Torre (19-0, 12 knockouts) of General Santos City kept his record unblemished by the scores of 80-73, 79-73 and 78-74 in the 8-round fight. 

Despite being outweighed by 7 pounds by his opponent, who weighed in at 138, Dela Torre controlled the pace and showed more of his boxing instincts as his style under new trainer Osmiri “Moro” Fernandez. Dela Torre is working out of the Cuban expat’s Miami gym for the second straight fight since relocating his camp to the US under promoter Greg Cohen. The 37-year-old Araiza (31-19-2, 22 KOs) remains winless in his last 12 fights.

Dela Torre’s manager Jim Claude Manangquil says he was happier with his 22-year-old fighter’s performance than for his last one, a sloppy majority-decision win over journeyman Guillermo Sanchez in May.

“Harmonito has improved in his last fight. It’s a good win. We didn’t score a knockout as the opponent was also very tough,” said Manangquil, who says Dela Torre will take the rest of the month off and likely fight again in January.

That same night in Kobe, Japan, Mark John Yap (25-12, 11 KOs) scored his biggest win to date, knocking out Takahiro Yamamoto (18-5, 15 knockouts) at 2:19 of round 5 to win the OPBF bantamweight title. Yap, a 27-year-old native of Cagayan de Oro City now based in Osaka, Japan, scored the first knockdown with a short right hand and landed a series of wide-swinging shots once he rose up to compel the referee to stop the fight.

Though known as “The Journeyman,” Yap has been fighting more like a regional contender over the past year-and-a-half, winning 6 straight fights since handing Japan’s Tatsuya Ikemizu his first loss. –

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