Roldan “The Cobra” Aldea of the Philippines and Masahiro Suzuki of Japan will face each other again for the vacant OPBF lightweight title on January 20 at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. The two boxers fought to a majority draw in their first encounter last October 7, 2023 at the Elorde Sports Complex in Parañaque City, Philippines.
The 12-round bout was a close and competitive affair, with both fighters landing solid punches and showing resilience. Filipino judge Gil Co scored it 116-112 for Aldea, while compatriot judge Silvestre Abainza and Japanese judge Nobuto Ikehara both had it 114-114. The result left the OPBF belt vacant and the fans clamoring for a rematch.
Aldea, a southpaw from Kabankalan City, said he has learned from their previous match and has changed his style for the rematch. He said he is not taking Suzuki lightly and is training hard with his sparring partner Ali “The Carnage” Cañega, an undefeated super lightweight prospect.
“Right now I’m not losing weight, I’m only able to maintain 145 pounds,” Aldea said. “Now it’s good because my training for our rematch has been long. We’re just different, we’ve changed our style. We’re not just chill ‘coz the fight is in Japan.”
Aldea, who has a record of 18 wins, 9 losses and 2 draws with 10 knockouts, is also the reigning Philippine lightweight champion. He has defended his national title five times, most recently against Leonard Doronio of Mandaluyong City by a unanimous decision last April 22, 2023.
Suzuki, a native of Tokyo, said he is confident of winning the rematch and capturing the OPBF title in front of his home crowd. He said he has improved his skills and power since their first fight and is ready to knock out Aldea.
“I’m very excited to fight Aldea again. I think I won the first fight, but the judges saw it differently. This time, I will leave no doubt and finish him by knockout. I have trained harder and smarter than ever. I have more speed, more power and more experience. I will show everyone that I am the best lightweight in the OPBF,” Suzuki said.
Suzuki, who has a record of 9 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw with 6 knockouts, is a former Japanese national champion and a rising star in the Asian boxing scene. He has won his last three fights by knockout, including a stunning upset over former WBO world bantamweight champion Panya Uthok of Thailand last April 18, 2023 at the Korakuen Hall.
The Aldea-Suzuki rematch is promoted by Akihiko Honda of Teiken Promotions, one of the leading boxing promoters in Japan. The event will also feature other exciting bouts involving OPBF and Japanese champions and contenders.