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FIVE PINOYS FIGHT FOR WORLD TITLES THIS MONTH

By Dong Secuya
PhilBoxing.com
02 Jul 2018




CEBU – Five Filipino pugilists headed by Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao will attempt to capture a world championship crown this month of July to add up to the existing three Filipino world title holders.

Pacquiao, in the twilight of his hall of fame boxing career at age 39, will try to win an unprecedented 11th world title against defending WBA world welterweight champion Lucas 'La Maquina' Matthysse of Argentina on July 15 at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Pacquiao, the only person in history to win world titles in eight divisions, will break camp this week in General Santos after training vigorously the last eight weeks to try to recapture some of his old mystique where he was boxing's top pound for pound fighter, the fighter of the decade and the face of boxing who captivated people from all walks of life all over the world.


Pacquiao an Matthysse.


Jhack Tepora.

Fighting on the Pacquiao-Matthysse undercard is undefeated featherweight Jhack Tepora who will attempt to bag his first world title against Edivaldo Ortega of Mexico. The Cebu-born Tepora was coming off a sensational second round demolition of the highly touted Lusanda Komanisi of South Africa to win the WBO Inter-Continental featherweight title while Ortega was fresh from defeating Filipino former WBA Interim world champion Drian Francisco. Tepora (21-0-0, 16KOs) and Ortega (26-1-1, 12KOs) will vie for the vacant WBA world featherweight title.


Vic Saludar.

Two days before the highly anticipated event in Kuala Lumpur, former world title challenger Vic Saludar (17-3-0, 10KOs) of Polomolok, South Cotabato, will attempt to capture the WBO world minimumweight title for the second time against Ryura Yamanaka (16-2-0, 5KOs) of Japan at Kobe's Central Gym on July 13. This was the same belt that Saludar fought against Kosei Tanaka of Japan on Dec. 31, 2015 where he knocked down the Japanese in the 5th round before he was stopped in the 6th round. After that loss, Saludar won six fights and a split decision loss against Toto Landero in Cebu on June 10, 2017. This will be Yamanaka's second defense of the title he won from fellow Japanese Taysuya Fukuhara on Aug. 27, 2017.


Toto Landero.

On July 22, Toto Landero (10-2-2, 2KOs) of Pontevedra, Negros Occidental, whose split decision victory against Saludar earned him a title shot against Knockout CP Freshmart (17-0-0, 7KOs) of Thailand for the WBA world minimumweight title last March 6 in Chonburi, Thailand where he lost by decision, has been given another title shot this time against Simphiwe Knonco (18-5-0, 7KOs) of South Africa for the IBO world minimumweight title.


Froilan Saludar.

Finally on July 27, Vic Saludar's older brother Froilan (28-2-1, 19KOs) will have his first world title shot when he challenges WBO world flyweight champion Sho Kimura (16-1-2, 9KOs) of Japan in Xiamen, China. Saludar's two losses were against future world champion McWilliams Arroyo of Puerto Rico on June 19, 2014 and from the undefeated Takuma Inoue of Japan on Sep. 4, 2016. Since the Inoue loss, Saludar has racked six successive victories all by knockout. Kimura wrested the WBO belt from Chinese hero Zou Shiming on July 28, 2017 in Shanghai and has defended it successfully last Dec. 31 against fellow Japanese Toshiyuki Igarashi in Tokyo.

The current Filipino world champions are Jerwin Ancajas, Michael Dasmariñas and Reymart Gaballo.

Ancajas (30-1-1, 20KOs) of Cavite City via Davao del Norte successfully defended his IBF superfly title against compatriot Jonas Sultan last May 26 in Fresno, California in a historic fight that pitted two Filipinos in a world title fight for the first time since the Pancho Villa vs Clever Sencio in 1925. It was Ancajas's fifth successful defense of the title he won from McJoe Arroyo of Puerto Rico on Sep. 3, 2016 in Manila. His other title defenses were against Jose Alfredo Rodriguez of Mexico, Teiru Kinoshita of Japan, Jamie Conlan of Great Britain and Israel Gonzalez of Mexico. Ancajas has already fought three times this year and will most likely fight again in October in the U.S. according to reports.

Michael Dasmariñas (28-2-0, 19KOs) of Camarines Sur captured the IBO world bantamweight title against Karim Guerfi (27-4-0, 8KOs) of France last April 20 in Singapore. He is scheduled to defend his title on Sep. 29 against a yet to be named opponent also in Singapore.

The undefeated knockout artist Reymart Gaballo (19-0-0, 16KOs) of General Santos City won the WBA Interim world bantamweight title by dominating erstwhile unbeaten Stephon Young (17-1-3, 7KOs) of Saint Louis, Missouri last March 23 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, Florida. Young survived a round three knock down against the hard punching Gaballo who previously stopped his last 11 opponents inside the distance.

Other Filipinos who failed in their bid to win a world title during the first half of this year are Mercito Gesta who lost to Jorge Linares of Venezuela for the IBF/WBA world light flyweight title at The Forum in Inglewood, California on Jan. 27; Brian Viloria lost to Artem Dalakian of Ukraine for the WBA world flyweight title also at The Forum in Inglewood on Feb. 24; Ernesto Saulong against defending IBF super bantamweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa of Japan in Tokyo on March 1; Toto Landero against defending WBA minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (Thammanoon Niyomtrong) in Chonburi, Thailand on March 3; Nonito Donaire Jr against UK's Carl Frampton for the WBO Interim featherweight title at The SSE Arena in Belfast; and the young Vince Paras who failed in quest to unseat defending IBF minimumweight champ Hiroto Kyuguchi of Japan at the Ota-Gym Gymnasium in Tokyo on May 20.

Longest reigning Filipino world champion Donnie Nietes won his IBF flyweight title fight against Carlos Reveco of Argentina last Feb. 24 on the HBO's 'Superfly 3' card in Inglewood, California but later give his belt up in April to campaign in the more lucrative 115 lb division. Nietes is scheduled to face compatriot Aston Palicte next month for the vacant WBO world super flyweight title in a yet still to be determined venue.


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