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Gabunilas promises impressive fight vs. Japan’s Sakama

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | December 23,2023 - 02:40 PM

(L to R) ARQ Boxing Stable's strength and conditioning trainer Roger Justine Potot, boxing trainer Eldo Cortes, and John Paul Gabunilas.

(L to R) ARQ Boxing Stable’s strength and conditioning trainer Roger Justine Potot, boxing trainer Eldo Cortes, and John Paul Gabunilas. | Contributed photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — There’s no turning back for boxing prospect John Paul “Angas ng Cebu” Gabunilas as he and his team from the ARQ Boxing Stable arrived in Tokyo, Japan on Saturday, December 23, 2023, for his upcoming Naoya Inoue-Marlon Tapales undercard bout.

Gabunilas will face unbeaten hometown foe Kanamu Sakama in one of the year’s biggest fights in boxing featuring Inoue and Tapales for the super bantamweight world title unification bout at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan on December 26. 

The 23-year-old Gabunilas will be the only Filipino boxer featured in the undercard where he will fight Sakama for an eight-rounder non-title bout. 

Gabunilas was accompanied by his strength and conditioning coach Roger Justine Potot who also serves for the Cesafi men’s basketball champions, the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers.

Also in Gabunilas’ corner on fight night is his boxing trainer Eldo Cortes. 

Gabunilas eyes redemption in his December 26 fight following his devastating first round knockout last August 15 against fellow prospect Miel Fajardo for the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) light flyweight title.

He suffered his second defeat in 12 bouts after getting decked three times by Fajardo.

However, that didn’t dampen Gabunilas’ determination to bounce back as he vowed to win impressively in his first fight abroad. 

According to Potot, they spent months of training Gabunilas. His trainings include letting him spar with top-caliber boxers in Cebu.

Fascinatingly, they let Gabunilas train inside an indoor winter-themed attraction in a theme park Minglanilla, Cebu to acclimatize him for Japan’s cold weather. 

His opponent, Sakama is unbeaten in eight bouts with seven knockouts. The 20-year-old Japanese is the current Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) youth light flyweight champion. 

Gabunilas will be his first Filipino opponent. 


Gabunilas ready for the Inoue-Tapales undercard bout

Gabunilas on December fight: One of the biggest blessings this year

Gabunilas to fight in undercard of Inoue-Tapales world title unification bout in December

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TAGS: boxing, Japan, John Paul Gabunilas, Marlon Tapales

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