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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



Two Pinoys fight for world title?

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
03 Jul 2019


Samuel Salva.

The first Filipinos to fight for a world title were defending flyweight champion Pancho Villa and challenger Clever Sencio at the Wallace Field, now Luneta, in Manila in 1925. That proved to be Villa’s last win as in his next fight two months later, he lost to Jimmy McLarnin in a non-title tenner in San Francisco. Villa died from Ludwig’s Angina 10 days after the bout against McLarnin. He was only 23.

The next Filipinos to dispute a world crown were defending WBF welterweight titlist William Magahin and Hawaii-based challenger Erwin Villaver at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in 1995. Magahin retained the title on points. The third pairing involved IBF superflyweight beltholder Jerwin Ancajas decisioning Jonas Sultan in Fresno in May last year and the fourth was a split 12-round draw between Donnie Nietes and Aston Palicte for the vacant WBO superflyweight crown in Los Angeles last September.

Now, it appears that another set of Filipinos will slug it out for the IBF minimumweight throne recently vacated by champion DeeJay Kriel of South Africa. Kriel claimed the title via a 12th round stoppage of Mexico’s Carlos Licona at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles last February. He was slated to stake the crown against No. 1 contender Samuel Salva at the Philippine Navy Gym in Fort Bonifacio on Aug. 24 but has decided to withdraw rather than risk losing in his challenger’s home country. Salva’s camp had won a purse bid to stage the battle in the Philippines. Kriel’s camp didn’t seem interested to participate in the bidding and never made an offer.

The IBF lists Salva as the No. 1 contender. The No. 2 slot is vacant then two Filipinos are ranked----Mark Anthony Barriga at No. 3 and Pedro Taduran at No. 4. Salva earned the No. 1 spot by virtue of defeating No. 7 Rene Mark Cuarto in an IBF title eliminator at the Resorts World Manila last March. Barriga, a former Olympian, had his chance to win the IBF title but was outpointed by Licona in a foiled bid in Los Angeles last December.

Taduran, 22, has a 13-2 record, with 10 KOs. Last August, he lost a decision to WBC 105-pound title Wanheng Menayothin of Thailand. Wanheng holds the world championship record for the most wins without a loss in a career, compiling a 53-0 slate, including 18 KOs. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is three wins away from duplicating the Thai’s mark.

MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons said the all-Filipino fight is not final. “It’s not official yet as the IBF has to order the fight this week,” said Gibbons. “But if it’s approved, we can be sure there will be a new Filipino world champion at the end of the fight. Either Salva or Taduran.”

Did Kriel get cold feet and chicken out? Possibly. Kriel’s management team didn’t even place a bid to host the defense against Salva. If Kriel moves up in weight, he’ll jump to the lightflyweight or 108-pound division and clear the way to finding his successor as IBF minimumweight ruler. “When Salva’s camp won the purse bid, that probably triggered Kriel’s decision to withdraw,” said a boxing expert. “Salva would’ve beaten Kriel if the fight pushed through.”

For Salva, this is his golden opportunity to ascend the throne. Salva, 22, has a 17-0 record, with 10 KOs and is ripe for a title crack. Designated as his coach is Joven Jimenez who’s also Ancajas’ trainer. The plan is for Salva to train with Jimenez and Ancajas at the Survival Camp in Magallanes, Cavite or the Philippine Marines camp in Ternate. Salva has never fought overseas. Twice, he saw action in Manila but otherwise, his fights were held in Mindanao. He was born in Gingoog, Misamis Oriental but lives and trains in Iligan City. Taduran was born in Albay and is now based in Valenzuela.


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