Ryo Sagawa (7-1, 4 KO) continued where he left off in 2018, when he went 4-0 on the year to make his presence felt in the regional featherweight scene. To kick his 2019 off right, he made his first start outside of Japan, challenging the Filipino Al Toyogon (10-3-1, 6 KO) for the WBC Asia Silver Title.
Ryo Sagawa def. Al Toyogon by unanimous decision
Sagawa, 25, outpointed Toyogon in Metro Manilla, Philippines, winning the minor strap decisively on scores of 116-112, 115-113, and 117-111. Not only was this a triumph in enemy territory but in a new weight class, moving up to 130 pounds.
Toyogon, 21, lost despite a strong promoter behind him. Gabriel S. Elorde Jr., son to Pinoy legend Flash Elorde, put on another fine show. This one an eight-fight ticket, live streamed flawlessly on Youtube via ESPN 5.
The house fighter is still young and can only benefit from what was already his second 12-round contest. He pressed forward throughout but the visiting Japanese was too poised and too sharp for him.
Toyogon held his gloves up and repeatedly drove into Sagawa, who was not afraid to literally shove the stout force backward to give himself space for stiff one-twos.
Moving backwards himself, Sagawa perfectly timed his cradling: stepping back to land hard on his right foot, pivoting and turning on the ball of his foot, to zip right uppercuts into his opponent’s midsection.
His first time training for the championship distance, Sagawa was the fresher combatant by the final round. In Round 12, it was Toyogon on the ropes—a new Japanese terror breathing down his neck.
Pulling away in the final frame is hardly new for Sagawa. In just his last fight, he pelted a visibly drained Shingo Kawamura to a TKO in the closing stanza of their scheduled eight-round domestic matchup.
Sagawa turned professional in late 2016 and would drop his second bout by TKO. But last year, he got off the canvas to upset Junki Suwa at the world-famous Korakuen Hall. And followed up that performance with a third-round knockout over a world title challenger in Ryo Matsumoto.
Now for all his effort, hitting the road victoriously after jumping up a weight class, Sagawa has a new belt to show for it.
Main card results
Roldan Aldea (13-7-1) def. Nathan Bolcio (14-16-3) by first-round KO
Jun Blazo (12-6-3) def. Benezer Alolod (19-12-5) by unanimous decision
Kawelo Alcos (2-0-1) fights Alvin Tayo (2-7-2) to a draw in a light flyweight contest