Pinay Filipina boxer to fight Japanese champ for interim OPBF crown

DAVAO CITY — A Filipina boxer, who wants to become a policewoman, will be facing a popular Japanese female model-boxer for the interim Orient and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) female bantamweight title on January 21 at the Gaisano Mall Atrium in General Santos City.

Joan Ambalong of Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte will fight Tomoni Takano, a former OPBF female super bantamweight champion from Tokyo, Japan.

They will be fighting for eight rounds in the main supporting bout of the “Brawl at the Mall: 10th Edition”.

Ambalong (6W-7L-1D, 3 KOs) previously lost her recent fight by a 5th round technical knockout to Kim Actub in their championship fight for the vacant Philippine female super bantamweight title last October 15 at the Robinson’s Place in Iligan City.

It was their 5th encounter by Actub, who won three times. Actub prevailed over Ambalong by a UD in their initial bout in 2014.

Their first rematch ended up in a technical draw before Ambalong finally had avenged her loss by a 3rd round TKO win in their third fight in 2015.

Actub, however, bounced back by stopping Ambalong via a 2nd round TKO on December 2016 in Dipolog City.

Actub also pummeled to submission Ambalong by a 5th round TKO in their previous fight last year.

“Kulang kasi ako sa training last year dahil na busy na ako sa school (I lack training last year because I was already in school),” said Ambalong, a graduate of criminology at the Jose Rizal Memorial State University in Tampilisan.

The 25-year-old Filipina boxer Ambalong last won by a unanimous decision over Aleth Jimenez on August 28 in Baliguian.

Ambalong said she is now more prepared to fight and will do her best to capture the OPBF title infront of the Filipino boxing crowd.

The 30-year-old Takano, on the other hand, is currently training under former world champion Rodel Mayol at the Hall of Fame Freddie Roach’s Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles, California, USA.

“She is arriving here in Gensan on Jan. 13,” said boxing promoter Jim Claude “JC” Manangquil of Sanman Promotions. Takano (10W-3L-0D, 7 KOs) last won by a 3rd round technical knockout against Kai Johnson last May 26 at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.

The 5-foot-10 Takano, however, previously dropped a unanimous decision to Miyo Yoshida last October 6 also at Korakuen Hall.

“She’s really hungry to win again and this time with a title also,” said Manangquil. Takano is now ready to fight according to Mayol, who also trains Sanman’s Romero “Ruthless” Duno (15W-1L-0D, 13 KOs), reigning WBC Youth Intercontinental lightweight champion.

Takano won the vacant OPBF female super bantamweight crown via a UD over Thailand’s Buasawan Wisetchat on June 10, 2015 at the Korakuen Hall.

Takano, however, lost by a 4th round knockout when she challenged undisputed WBO World female super flyweight champion Daniela Romina Bermudez of Argentina on November 11, 2015 at the Korakuen Hall.

Takano bounced back with two straight technical knockout wins against Natchakamon Chanthasri (6th round) and Kai Johnson (3rd round).

“Takano is a popular model and a good boxer from Japan,” Manangquil said. (Lito delos Reyes/PNA)