FILIPINOS fights in South Africa are becoming a trend this year. But the Filipinos to achieve a victory in South Africa is almost impossible.
Clyde Azarcon, ranked No.13 at the International Boxing Federation (IBF) minimum weight, tries to secure this rare victory on South African soil as he takes on Thembelani Okolo for the vacant minimum weight belt of the Federation World Boxing World Cup on June 27 in Port Elizabeth.
“It will be a good fight for Clyde because the opponent is not that strong. We’re very lucky, ”Azarcon coach Christopher“ Ping-Ping ”Tepora told SunStar Cebu.
“If there’s a chance for a knockout, then Clyde is going.”
Two Filipinos have already fought in South Africa in 2021: Christian Araneta and Jerald Paclar. Araneta lost to Sivenathi Nontshinga by unanimous decision, while Paclar also lost by unanimous decision to Yanga Sgqibo on April 24.
Paclar would have gone without being paid. However, the promoter promised to pay Paclar.
Tepora is convinced that Azarcon will get his purse back and not go home empty-handed.
“That’s what I heard, but we already have a plan that we’re going to secure the stock market and get paid,” Tepora said.
Okolo was originally scheduled to face world title challenger Robert Paradero. However, Okolo managers decided to change the opponent to Azarcon.
Azarcon, 26, is not child’s play. He’s rock hard and has gone the distance but lost to current IBF minimum weight king René Mark Cuarto. His only knockout loss is against former amateur and currently world-ranked Ginjiro Shigeoka.
Azarcon has not fought for over a year since he defeated Mike Kanaadman on March 9, 2020 in Cebu City just before the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.
Okolo, on the other hand, has been inconsistent lately and has a 2-2 record for the past four years. His last fight was a unanimous decision victory over Ndikho Magadaza on October 6, 2019.
Azarcon is 17-3-1 with six KOs, while Okolo is 9-5-1 with five KOs. (EKA)