THE Philippines’ Jonathan Taconing left for Mexico early Thursday morning, determined to return home with the World Boxing Council junior flyweight belt having trained for over two months for his showdown with Mexico’s Ganigan Lopez.
The champion will be making the first defense of the title he won from Japan’s Yu Kimura in Japan.
The management team of Johnny and Liza Elorde said the original fight date was set back. Despite the disruption to his training schedule, the 29-year-old southpaw has trained rigorously. He sparred a total of 160 rounds against Benezer Alolod, Ruel Rosia, Robert Onggocan, Jerome Clabite, Felipe Cagobgob, Cris Alfante and Edward Semillano.
Liza told The Standard that her two sons, Miguel and Martin Elorde will accompany Taconing to Mexico for the fight at the Arena Coliseo in Mexico City on July 2.
She said she and her husband Johnny will follow in time for the title fight.
Boxing Scene’s Jake Donovan described the hard-hitting Taconing as “a dangerous opponent” for champion Lopez.
Donovan noted that while Lopez’s first defense taking place at home should be considered a luxury, it can be argued that his upcoming defense is an even tougher task four months after outpointing Yu Kimura on the road in Japan.
Lopez, who is also a southpaw has a record of 27-6 with 17 knockouts and faces a dangerous mandatory challenger in southpaw Taconing.
Lopez told Boxing Scene: “I know he’s coming with all of his might to take my title and bring it home to the Philippines.”
The fight will mark the second title bid of Taconing who has a record of 22-2-1 with 18 knockouts. He failed in his first bid, a hugely controversial 5th round technical decision loss to Thailand’s Kompayak Porpramook in Bangkok on May 3, 2012.
After the fight both Elorde and this reporter complained bitterly to then-WBC president Don Jose Sulaiman, who had a panel review the fight tape. South Korean referee Jae Bong Kim was suspended one year for his poor performance which favored the Thai champion.
The power-punching Taconing has scored nine straight knockout wins including a 10th-round stoppage of Raul Garcia Hirales last April 4, 2015 in Mexico.