Noynay ripe for world title shot

SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star

WBO No. 7 superfeatherweight Joe Noynay knew he faced tough odds in battling unbeaten Australian rising star Liam Wilson in a 10-rounder at Newcastle, New South Wales, last Wednesday. He hadnt fought in over a year, about 19 months, since figuring in a fifth round technical split draw with Kenichi Oagawa in Tokyo in December 2019 while Wilson picked up five straight wins during that span. Then, Noynay had to quarantine two weeks in Sydney before staying in Newcastle for another week until fight night.

Oddsmakers installed Noynay a +400 underdog as Australian fans expected Wilson to bulldoze his way to another win. Wilson, 25, had stopped Filipinos Ariel Puton and Rodynie Rafol on the way to racking up a 9-0 record, with six KOs, and Noynay was supposed to be his next victim. But Noynay, also 25, was unfazed by the hostile circumstances surrounding his sixth overseas outing. From the onset, Noynay attacked Wilson like a man possessed. Wilson was decked once in the first round, twice in the fourth and once more before referee Phil Austin halted the carnage at 2:40 of the fifth. Wilson never expected the massacre. Neither did the Australian oddsmakers.

Noynay is due back in Manila on Sunday with his traveling companions, chief trainer Archier Villamor and assistant trainers Bejie Villamor and Rolando Pumar. Noynays manager Bebot Elorde said the fighter didnt let the 14-day quarantine in Sydney frustrate him. “Pag check-in nila sa Sheraton Hotel, kanya kanya silang kwarto,” related Elorde. “Ang food nila OK naman, iniwan lang sa door. Pero si Joe nag-eensayo sa umaga at sumusuntok sa hapon sa kwarto lang. Mahigpit ang pulis at kada floor ng hotel mayroon bantay. Pagkatapos ng 14 days, libre na sila pero lockdown naman ang Sydney. Maka-Diyos si Joe at pala simba. Nagdadasal siya palagi at doon niya nakukuha ang kaniyang lakas ng loob.”

Elorde said Noynay reminds him of his late father, the Hall of Famer and former world superfeatherweight champion Flash Elorde. “Joe was born in Bogo, same place as Daddy,” said Elorde. “Pareho silang kaliwete at timbang. Hindi mayabang si Joe, mabuting tao, siya ang breadwinner ng pamilya niya. Sa tingin ko, kalakasan ni Joe ngayon. Hinog na hinog lumaban ng world championship. Kung pwede sana, sasabak na siya kay (WBO superfeatherweight titlist Jamel) Herring.”

Herring, 35, captured the WBO 130-pound crown in 2019 and has since repulsed three challengers with Carl Frampton his latest victim via a sixth round stoppage. His record is 23-2, with 11 KOs compared to Noynays 19-2-2, with eight KOs. Elorde said Noynay is ready for Herring, a former London Olympian and US Marine, anytime, anywhere. “May asim si Joe,” said Elorde. “Hes a smart fighter like Daddy. Hes tall for a superfeatherweight at 5-8, I think hell be a world champion.”

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