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By Carlos Costa


HIGHLAND FIGHTERS IN TITLE FIGHTS; MERLIN TO CHINA, MEGRINO TO JAPAN, HANDIG TO MEXICO

PhilBoxing.com
Wed, 07 Aug 2013



Further to the recent draw of flyweight Ben Mananquil (9-0-1, 2 KOs) in Thailand, Highland boxers continue seeing action in international arenas through the month of August:

JILO MERLIN VS QIU XIAO JUN IN HUNAN CHINA

The next fighter ready to rumble is 25-year-old Jilo Merlin (13-16-2, 2 KO's) of Agusan del Sur, all set to battle Chinese Qiu Xiao Jun (7-2, 3 KO's) for the vacant WBC Asian super bantamweight title in a Zovi Boxing Promotions card this Friday (August 9) in Hunan, China.


Jilo Merlin.

Being Hunan, China, the birthplace of the great communist leader chairman Mao Zedong; means that professional boxing is now into the heartland of China; and a Filipino being featured in the main event is a honor indeed.

A great chance for big-heart Jilo Merlin, a boxer with much more ring experience his opponent Chinese Qiu Xiao.

REY MEGRINO VS MYUNG HO LEE IN OSAKA

In addition to Jilo Merlin fighting in Hunan, China, world-rated Filipino flyweight fighter Rey Megrino (19-20-3, 17 KO's), will take on 30 year-old Japanese Myung Ho Lee (16-3, 5 KO's) in an 8-rounder non-title clash on August 24 in Osaka, Japan.

The more ring savvy 27 year-old Megrino - born in Misamis Occidental - has good chances to score another meaningful win in the land of the Rising Sun.


Rey Megrino.

Reasons? Rey Megrino is an experienced boxer who has gone through tough wars, acquiring valuable skills in the process. Also, he had a good long training camp at Highland Gym. And another reason, probably the most important, is taht Megrino is hungry to succeed in boxing.

In fact, his name "Rey" in Spanish means "king," and that is exactly what he wants to be in the sport of boxing, a champ in the very competitive flyweight division.

Not easy, but he does his best. For instance, last year, Megrino punished and knocked out the "WBC Fighter of the Decade" Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (89-5-2, 47 KOs), sending the Thai two times spiraling in pain to the floor, mercilessly finishing him in three rounds in November of last year in Thailand. That afternoon Rey Megrino became WBC International Flyweight Champion, which he still is.

Fighting against that Thai star boxer in Thailand, was tough, yet Megrino won. Indeed, it was not an easy feat, but he pulled it off with flying colors.

Among Rey Megrino's scalps is Denver Cuello, whom he attacked and knocked out in two rounds.

So Megrino aims at another victory in Japan. Actually, not long ago he won good in Japan, defeating Kenji Kubo by KO in Tokyo.

The bombastic knockout that Megrino blasted over Japanese Kubo was so devastating that minutes after the blow, the Nippon warrior was still motionless in the canvas, prompting the worries of the Filipino team. Thank Goodness Kubo recovered well.

It was a spectacular win for Megrino in Japan, but careful this time. Because Megrino's new Japanese opponent, Myung Ho Lee, is light-years more stronger, more accomplished and more experienced than Kenji Kubo. With a good luck, Megrino should win again, but that August 24 night in Osaka might not be that easy. The best man to win.

Megrino is the current WBC # 13 in line to the throne currently held by Japenese newly crowned WBC world champion Akira Yaegashi (17-3, 9KOs).

Furthermore, it is likely that 25 year-old Cebuano super featherweight Adonis Aguelo (28-8-1, 12 KOs) will fight undefeated hard-swinging Japanese rising star Ryuto Kyoguchi (10-0, 7 KOs) will fight in the undercard of the Lee-Megrino.

Aguelo is trained by my good friend Cebuano coach Brix Flores (Filipino boxing medalist in the 10th Asian Games in Seoul, Korea 1986), and promoted by Japanese man of boxing Akira Sato of TI Yamagata Promotions.

Good luck to Megrino and Aguelo in Osaka

MATEO HANDIG VS GANIGAN LOPEZ IN MEXICO

Action for Highland Fighters does not stop there. Megrino's Highland stablemate IBF #1 Mateo "The Warai Warrior" Handig - the pride of the Warai people in Eastern Leyte and Samar Island - will hopefully battle world-rated Mexican Ganigan Lopez in a 12-rounder IBF Eliminator in Mexico on August 24.

The Ganigan-Handig has been postponed already 3 or 4 times due to schedules problems with the Mexican promoter Eddy Reynoso of Canelo Promotions. Yet, it seems that August 24 could be the final date for the Ganigan-Handig fight. We hope so, but this fight has been delayed so many times that we do not know what to expect.

The goal of Highland Boxing and Handig team is to win the crucial eliminator bout in Mexico (not easy), so as to challenge Japanese IBF world champion Katsunari Takayama (25-6, 10 KO's) in Japan.

That is the plan as Handig has already defeated Takayama in a Pan Asian IBF fight last year in Benguet. The Takayama-Handig was a very close affair and a very close decision. Handig won in part because the rumble was in the Philippines and the promoter was Benguet's Highland Boxing.

But a new Takayama-Handig fight in Japan under a Japanese production... things could be tougher.

Let's hope that August 24 will be the date Handig fights hard-hitting Ganigan Lopez, a Mexican world rated boxer handled by my amigo Eddy Reynoso of Canelo Promotions.

As a matter of fact today (Aug 7), Reynoso informed me from Big Bear Lake, CA, that he wants to make the Ganigan-Handig in Mexico and that he hopes that the IBF would confirm the rumble has official eliminator bout, the winner becoming mandatory challenger of IBF world champion Takayama.

In fact, weeks ago the IBF called for bidding. Obviously, nobody attended. Because the Reynoso and he Handig teams are in the same page, willing to fight each other without bidding. Hopefully, the IBF would sanction the Ganigan-Handig as official IBF eliminator so that Takayama has a mandatory challenger and not delay this any longer. Handig is IBF #1, Ganigan is IBF #5.

GABUTAN ON AUGUST 25

Moreover, another Highland fighter, Dayer "Die Hard" Gabutan (18-2-3, 9 KO's), could see action on August 25 and Brico Santig is "fighting" to get it fixed. The brave "Die Hard" Gabutan needs a great win after his controversial lost in South Africa last March.

Best of luck to Jilo Merlin, Rey Megrino, Warai Warrior Handig, Die Hard Gabutan and to all the Highland Gym fighters; and special congratulations to the their manager the very active "WBC Asian Promoter of the Year" Brico Santig for procuring interesting opportunities for his brave boxers.


The Highland Boxing Team.



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