AS quietly as he won the World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight title four months ago, Sonny Boy Jaro now defends his belt in hostile territory five days from now.
The 30-year-old veteran from Silay City, Negros Occidental, puts his world title on the line in a 12-round championship match against Toshiyuki Igarashi in Winghat Kasukabe Saitama, Japan on Monday.
Accompanied by manager Aljoe Jaro, the champion’s small entourage left for the Japanese city early this week.
The fight marks the ring return of Jaro following his stunning sixth-round technical knockout of the legendary Pongsaklek Wonjongkam of Thailand to win the world flyweight crown in Chonburi last March.
The promotion is actually a double championship card as another Filipino in Michael Farenas takes a crack at the World Boxing Association (WBA) super-featherweight crown of Takashi Uchiyama.
Holder of a 34-3-3 record with 26 KOs, the 28-year-old Farenas can expect a rough time in his first ever bid for a world title. Uchiyama, 32, is unbeaten in 18 matches (with 15 KOs), and has defended his belt four times, the last against Mexican Jorge Solis in an 11th round TKO win on New Year’s eve.
In contrast, Jaro is up against a 28-year-old Japanese who is also seeing action in his first world championship. Igarashi only lost once in his 17 fights (15-1-1, 10 KOs), but is coming off a unanimous 12-round decision over Mexican Wilbert Uicab in a title eliminator fight in November.
Jaro, now based in Binangonan, Rizal, sports a record of 34-10-5, with 24 KOs, and is currently on a five-fight winning streak. But his last loss ironically, took place in Osaka, Japan -- a 10-round unanimous decision against Hirofumi Mukai.
Farenas and Jaro are the latest Filipino boxers to fight for a world title in a week's span. Sylvester Lopez lost in his bid for the WBC super-flyweight championship following a unanimous decision loss to champion Yota Sato last week.