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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



Salva guns for IBF crown

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
29 Jun 2019




Samuel (Silent Assassin) Salva will fight IBF minimumweight champion DeeJay Kriel of South Africa on Aug. 24 in the same Philippine Navy gym in Fort Bonifacio where Jerwin Ancajas won the IBF superflyweight crown three years ago and hopes the venue will be as lucky for him.

MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons worked overtime to swing the fight to Manila and got the job done. Salva, 22, outpointed countryman Rene Mark Cuarto in a 12-round IBF title eliminator at the Resorts World last March then was elevated to the No. 1 spot in the rankings by virtue of the win. The IBF ordered the Kriel and Salva camps to negotiate a title bout but no agreement was made, prompting a purse bid that was conducted at the governing body’s offices in Springfield, New Jersey.

Under IBF rules, opposing camps could still strike a deal up to 15 minutes before bids are announced. As it turned out, MP Promotions was the only bidder and gained the right to promote the bout with an offer of $25,000. Gibbons didn’t hesitate to confirm the fight in Manila. Kriel, as defending champion, stands to receive 65 percent of the bid or $16,250 while Salva settles for the balance of $8,750.

Kriel, 24, wrested the IBF crown via a 12th round stoppage of Mexico’s Carlos Licona at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles last February. It was Licona’s first defense of the title which was vacant when he won the throne on a split decision over Filipino Mark Anthony Barroca in Los Angeles last December. The victory raised Kriel’s record to 15-1-1, with 7 KOs. One of his victims was Filipino Dexter Alimento who lost a unanimous 12-round verdict in South Africa in 2017.

Kriel had fought exclusively in South Africa until venturing to Los Angeles to face Licona. The defense against Salva will be his first assignment in Asia. Licona was decked thrice in the 12th round before referee Wayne Hedgpeth stepped in at the 2:16 mark. It was Kriel’s most impressive performance since turning pro in 2014.

Salva, a Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental native now based in Iligan City, has a record of 17-0, with 10 KOs. At 5-1, he’s two inches shorter than Kriel. He has fought only twice in Metro Manila and his other bouts were staged in Mindanao. Ancajas will be involved in his training camp since they both share the same coach Joven Jimenez. In 2016, Ancajas decisioned Puerto Rico’s McJoe Arroyo to claim the IBF superflyweight crown at the Philippine Navy Gym.

“Tutulong at excited si Jerwin,” said Jimenez. “Fighter at non-stop puncher si Kriel pero kayang kaya ni Salva. Ngayon, nasa Iligan pa si Salva. Darating siya sa Maynila second week ng July at ang training camp namin ay sa Survival Camp sa Magallanes at sa Philippine Marines Camp sa Ternate. Nagumpisa na rin si Jerwin ng regular training kasi may laban siya last week ng September o first week ng October. Inaayos pa ni Sir Sean kung depensa ang laban o hindi.”

Jimenez said without Gibbons, Salva wouldn’t have gotten the title crack. “Magaling talaga si Sir Sean,” he said. “Aaalagaan talaga tayo. Kaya lahat ginagawa ko ingatan yung tiwala niya. Bihira makahanap ng katulad kay Sir Sean. Ang puso niya parang Pilipino.”

Photo: IBF minimumweight champion DeeJay Kriel of South Africa will defend his title against mandatory challenger Samuel Salva at the Philippine Navy Gym in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, on Aug. 24.


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