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List of Articles by Rene Bonsubre, Jr.


 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF PINOY SUPERFLYS

By Rene Bonsubre, Jr.
PhilBoxing.com
22 May 2018



The super flyweight or junior bantamweight division is not one of the original eight weight classes in professional boxing but was created by the WBC in 1980. Rafael Orono of Venezuela was the first 115 pound division champion crowned by the WBC 38 years ago. The WBA inaugurated their own 115 lb champion in 1981 in the person of Gustavo Ballas of Argentina. With the creation of the IBF, their first junior bantamweight champion was South Korean Chun Ju-do and the WBO had their first champion in this division in 1989, Jose Ruiz of Puerto Rico.

But it was only in 1997 when the Philippines captured a world title in the super flyweight ranks. Gerry Peñalosa beat Hiroshi Kawashima of Japan by split decision in Tokyo for the WBC superflyweight title.

Peñalosa defended the WBC crown three times before losing in 1998 by split decision to Korean In-Joo Cho in Seoul, South Korea.

On August 15, 2009, Nonito Donaire won the interim version of the WBA junior bantamweight title by beating Rafael Concepcion of Panama by unanimous decision in Las Vegas. Donaire defended the belt once before moving up to bantamweight in 2010.

Drian Francisco would win the same interim WBA 115lb division title when he beat Mud Duangpetch of Thailand by TKO in the tenth round in Nong Khai, Thailand in 2010. But he lost to another Thai, Panthep Mullipoom, by unanimous decision in 2011 in a fight held in Petchaburi, Thailand.

Marvin Sonsona captured the WBO junior bantamweight world title on September 4, 2009 when he beat Jose Lopez of Puerto Rico by unanimous decision in Canada. Sonsona also made history by becoming the second youngest Filipino to win a world title. But his reign was short lived; he was stripped of his title in his first defense two months later when he came in overweight. His fight, also held in Canada, against Mexican Alejandro Hernandez ended in a draw.

Jerwin Ancajas beat McJoe Arroyo of Puerto Rico by unanimous decision to win the IBF junior bantamweight title on September 3, 2016 in Taguig City, Metro Manila. Ancajas has defended the IBF title four times.

On May 26 (May 27 Philippine Time), Ancajas and Filipino challenger Jonas Sultan will make history in Fresno, California.

This will be the first all-Filipino world title fight since Pancho Villa (Francisco Guilledo) defended the world flyweight title against Clever Sencio (Inocencio Moldes) in Wallace Field, Manila on May 1, 1925. In 1938, Little Dado (Eleuterio Zapanta) beat Small Montana (Benjamin Gan) by ten round unanimous decision in an all Filipino showdown for the California version of the world flyweight title in a fight held in Oakland.

Then on August 18 in Cebu City, another all-Filipino showdown in the 115lb division is set. Donnie Nietes will go for his fourth world title belt against Aston Palicte for the vacant WBO junior bantamweight title.

Only five Filipinos in history have made their presence felt in the 115 lb ranks with three winning regular world titles and two with interim belts. But whoever wins the Ancajas vs Sultan and Nietes vs Palicte match-ups, we can be sure two Filipinos will continue to reign in this division.

Photo - top left to right - Gerry Peñalosa, Marvin Sonsona, Nonito Donaire, bottom left to right - Drian Francisco, Jerwin Ancajas, Jonas Sultan


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