ARQ’s Gabunilas to spar with Inoue in Osaka

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | March 04,2024 - 04:16 PM


John Paul Gabunilas. | ARQ Sports photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — ARQ Boxing Stable’s John Paul “Angas ng Cebu” Gabunilas left an impression in Japan following his debut in Tokyo last December 26.

Gabunilas was tapped by Takeru Inoue as the latter’s sparring partner in Osaka, Japan, this month.

Inoue, who is one of Japan’s many unbeaten young prospects, is set to face Filipino Jayson Vayson for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Asia Pacific light flyweight title on April 21, also in Osaka. 

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

Gabunilas, along with his trainer Joseph Cortes of the ARQ Boxing Stable, will fly to Osaka on March 21 to start their three-week training camp with Inoue, where he will serve as one of the latter’s sparring partners. 

To recall, the 23-year-old Cebuano boxing prospect debuted in Japan last December 26 in the undercard of the Naoya Inoue-Marlon Tapales unification world title bout in Tokyo.

Gabunilas lost to hometown boxer Kanamu Sakama via a controversial fifth-round technical knockout, which was considered a controversial outcome due to premature stoppage. 

ALSO READ: Gabunilas’ camp plans to file a complaint after ‘premature’ stoppage of Japan bout

Despite his loss, Gabunilas earned praise and respect from the Japanese boxing fans who watched during his fight, which ultimately earned him a stint as a sparring partner for Inoue. 

For Gabunilas, this is a rare opportunity that he can’t miss. Besides earning money from this stint, Gabunilas wants to learn more about how Japanese boxers fight as part of his comeback journey. 

“Mas ni open akong huna-huna nga daghan ko angay iimprove, akong depensa. Akong disiplina, kadto nga time, grabe akong training, Kana mga pildi mao na akong inspiration karon,” Gabunilas said in an earlier interview. 

“Karong umaabot nako nga fight maayo akong performance akong ihatag,” he added. 

ALSO READ: Gabunilas promises impressive fight vs. Japan’s Sakama

Gabunilas, who has a record of 10 wins with seven knockouts and three defeats, is scheduled to fight on May 1 at the Mandaue City Sports Complex in one of ARQ Sports’ series of fight cards slated this year. 

According to ARQ Sports official Roger Potot, they are looking to pit Gabunilas with a highly-ranked opponent for the latter’s comeback fight. 

“The goal of boss Jason (Arquisola) is to build and push ARQ boxers to fight for a world championship. The lesson that we learned in 2023 is to learn to properly program our prospects with the help of Edward Ligas to position them in the world rankings. Once ranked in the top 15, it easier to position the boxers for world titles,” said Potot. 

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TAGS: boxing, Inoue, Japan, John Paul Gabunilas

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