World Cup Boxing Series (WCBS), co-founded by CEO Terry Hollan and matchmaker Guy Taylor, has announced it has signed 2-time world title challenger “Mighty” Aston Palicte (28-4-1, 24 KOs) to a multi-year promotional contract.
The 31-year-old Palicte, who fights out of Bago City, Negros Occidental, Philippines is the two-time world junior bantamweight title challenger against a pair of future Hall of Famers, fighting to a draw with fellow Filipino Donnie Nietes (43-1-6, 24 KOs), losing to current World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior bantamweight champion Kazuto Ioka (28-2, 15 KOs).
A veteran matchmaker, Taylor has known and had a working relationship with Palicte and his manager, Jason Soong, for the past six years.
“We had a great run,” Taylor said. “Getting the old team together feels like and old music group coming back for one more hit album. I think we’ve all learned a lot during this experience and realize we are a better unit when this team is together.”
“I am very happy that they still believe in me,” Palicte commented. “I’m excited to make another run for a world title.”
“I am really excited to go on our next title journey at bantamweight with World Cup Boxing Series,” Soong added. “We have been working with Guy Taylor since day-one and it just feels right that we continue our next chapter with him.”
In his 2016 United States debut, Palicte faced off in Las Vegas with former World Boxing Council (WBC) No. 5-rated contender and North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Super-Flyweight Champion Oscar Cantu (14-0) in Las Vegas Nevada. Palicte defeated the then-undefeated Texan by 10-round split decision to capture the NABF and WBO Inter-Continental Championships.
Nearly one year to the day, Palicte took on former world champion Jose Alfredo Rodriguez (32-6) in Texas, scoring an emphatic 5-round technical knockout victory.
The two aforementioned triumphs set-up the biggest fight in Palicte’s career September 8, 2018, when the stage was set in Los Angeles for an All-Filipino matchup with legend Nietes on HBO for the vacant WBO junior bantamweight World Championship.
In a very close and entertaining bout, in which both men had their moments, the judges couldn’t come to an agreement and rendered even scorecards to keep the title vacant. Nietes would claim the vacant title three-months later, defeating Ioka by way of a 12-round split decision.
The WBO ordered a “title eliminator” that Palicte won with a second-round stoppage of WBO No. 4 contender Jose Martinez (20-0), setting up a rematch between Nietes and Palicte. However, Nietes vacated the world title just hours before the scheduled WBO purse bid, positioning Palicte versus Ioka in Japan for the vacant WBO jr. bantamweight championship. Palicte got caught in the tenth, as Ioka hurt him, prompting the referee to halt the action.
There are some great potential matchups in the bantamweight division for the powerful Filipino, including a showdown with Jason Moloney 22-2 (18 KOs), who is the current WBC “Silver” bantamweight champion and WBC #2 contender, but more notably would be against the bantamweight unified world champion (WBA and IBF), Naoya Inoue 22-0 (19 KOs). Palicte is presently ranked No. 9 by the International Boxing Federation, as well as No. 14 by the WBO.
“I feel Aston can compete with anyone at 118 pounds,” Taylor concluded. “He was the strongest contender at 115 and that was after depleting himself. Can you imagine what he will be like at his natural weight of 118? My partner (Terry Hollan) and I are already working on a bout in the late March / early April timeframe and, after that, we would like an eliminator bout for the mandatory position against anyone in the top 15.”