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List of Articles by Maloney L. Samaco


 

SERVANIA FACES FELLOW UNBEATEN VALDEZ FOR WBO FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE

By Maloney L. Samaco
PhilBoxing.com
05 Sep 2017



Genesis "Azukal" Servania will face fellow unbeaten fighter Oscar Valdez for the WBO featherweight title. This will be his first shot at a world title when he faces undefeated Mexican on September 22 at Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona as part of Top Rank’s fourth installment of their ESPN-televised series. The 25-year-old Servania (29-0, 12 knockouts) from Bacolod City, Philippines is now based at the Kashimi Gym in Kanazawa, Japan since departing from the ALA Gym in 2014.

* * *

The 26-year-old Valdez (22-0, 19 KOs) from Nogales, Mexico is making his third defense of his 126-pound belt. Valdez was one of Mexico’s most decorated amateur boxers, and competed at the Olympics in 2008 and 2012. A hard hitting champion, he has a very high knockout ratio of 86%. He has fought once this year winning by a unanimous decision against Miguel Marriaga.

* * *

Mark Gil Melligen, Servania’s trainer believes his boxer has a big chance to stage an upset over the Mexican champion. “This is a good fight. Valdez fights well and has a lot of amateur experience, but Servania has a big chance,” says Melligen. He adds that he feels Servania has matured as a fighter since relocating to Japan, and has grown in punching power.

* * *

Servania only has a 41% knockout ratio which shows he is not such a big puncher. He is excited for first world title bout at the same time he prepares with a lot of caution as he will be facing a world class boxer in Valdez. “I’m very excited about the fight because this is the first time that I’m going to fight in a world title bout,” Servania told The Manila Times. “I believe I can beat him because I’m working hard in training. I think this is the hardest fight that I’m going to encounter in my last 23 fights.”

* * *

Three years ago, Servania had the big opportunity to challenge for a world title as he became the No. 1 contender to Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux who was the WBO super bantamweight king during that time. But it was never realized since no formal talks transpired between Servania’s promoter and Rigondeaux's team. Under his Japanese promoter, Kashimi Boxing Gym, Servania now will be able to prove his worth in the world championship.

* * *

Like any other boxer from the Philippines, Servania came from a poor family. His father was convicted in a crime earlier, and was jobless. His mother sold fishes to provide the basic needs of their family. Due to extreme poverty, Servania dropped out of school at the age of 15 and became a tricycle driver. To help the family earn for a living, Servania joined local boxing tournaments as an amateur and won few fights before turning pro.

* * *

Servania was then introduced to Antonio L. Aldeguer of ALA Boxing Gym. He made his professional debut on February 21, 2009, at the age of 17, defeating Mike Espanosa via KO at the second round at PAGCOR Hotel and Casino, Goldenfield Commercial Complex, Bacolod City. On June 2, 2012 Servania, then 20, won the vacant WBC international silver super bantamweight title via TKO, knocking down a more experienced Mexican boxer Genaro "Pablonito" García at the 12th round.

* * *

On August 18, 2012, Servania won the vacant WBO Asia Pacific super bantamweight title against Jorge Pazos of Mexico via unanimous decision. On October 26, 2013, during the Pinoy Pride 22, Servania won the vacant WBO inter-continental super bantamweight title by KO of Panama's Rafael Concepcion at the 2nd round.

* * *

During the Pinoy Pride 27 held at Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates on September 5, 2014, Servania stopped the Mexican Jose "Matador" Cabrera at the 10th round, and retained his WBO intercontinental super bantamweight title. On April 29, 2017, Servania stopped Ralph Jhon Lulu in two rounds to take the vacant WBO Asia Pacific featherweight title in Ishikawa, Japan.

* * *

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said that Ultimate Fighting Challenge is the enemy of boxing. "We have an enemy, we have a villain, and it's the UFC. If we all work together we can beat the UFC, which is a sport that can not be compared to boxing," said Arum as quoted by BoxingScene.com. "I remember many years ago when boxing was a sport that received the same attention as the other major sports in the United States... there was no way that you did not have a boxing reporter working at every major newspaper and with the collaboration of everyone we can bring boxing back to the position that it deserves."

* * *

World Boxing Council super flyweight champion, Thai Srisaket Sor Rungvisai has arrived in Los Angeles, ready to defend his crown against Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez, this Saturday at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. According to the champion: "Roman will try to make fine tuning modifications in his style to regain his championship." But Srisaket is working on his strategy to neutralize the Nicaraguan former pound-for-pound king.

* * *

Sor Rungvisai said clearly that he has a great respect for Roman: "I always saw Roman among the best pound for pound fighters, but I am ready to defeat him yet again. He will be more technical than the first bout, but I am prepared for that and a lot more. So the fans will see a great war," the champion declared.


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