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PINOY WORLD TITLE FIGHTS SCORECARD: 3-0 SO FAR THIS MONTH (PHOTOS)


PhilBoxing.com




CEBU – It was extremely positive so far for Philippine boxing scene as three Filipino fighters who fought for world titles over the weekend won all their matches. Two more are scheduled to take their turns this weekend and the next.

July 15, Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Generational fighter and future hall of famer Manny Pacquiao has added another chapter to his storied and legendary boxing career, turning back the hands of time, by dishing out a performance not seen since he demolished an assembly of some of boxing's biggest names in 2008 and 2009. The buzzsaw who electrified audiences in Las Vegas and worldwide TV viewers no end, who was utterly absent in Brisbane last year, was on full display Sunday morning in Kuala Lumpur against defending WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse in front of two heads of state no less – Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte and Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Pacquiao danced, feints and throw flurry of punches from all angles to the befuddled Argentine who was never able to mount any effective type of offense and whose counters mostly hit only air. As a result Pacquiao sent Matthysse to the canvas three times, once each in the third, fifth and seventh rounds, before the Argentinian hero, who promised before the fight to die if necessary to defend his title, spit his mouthguard at 2:43 in round seven as a sign of surrender.


Manny Pacquiao puts Lucas Matthysse to the canvas.

Many have written off the Pacman who at 39 years old should have already retired but Pacquiao showed time and again that he is not your ordinary athlete. Pacquiao, who bucked extreme poverty to become one of the most popular, beloved and richest athletes in the modern era, has the uncanny ability to rise again when the chips are down. And he showed it again Sunday.


Manny Pacquiao celebrates after stopping Lucas Matthysse on Sunday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Pacquiao thus added another trinket to his collection of championship belts and awards. As to when he will actually stop fighting, you're guess is as good as mine. During the post-fight press conference at the Axiata Arena, Pacquiao, smiling, told the assembled media: “I feel that I'm only 27 years old. I also showed that boxing is still my passion.”

On Sunday's main undercard in Kuala Lumpur, Cebu's Jhack Tepora proved that his sensational knockout win against Lusanda Komanisi of South Africa in September last year was no fluke when he stopped highly regarded Edivaldo Ortega of Mexico in the 9th round to win the WBA Interim world featherweight title. The southpaw Tepora (22 wins, 17KOs) who packed power in both hands, landed a vicious right uppercut that sent Ortega sprawling to the canvas. Ortega (26-2-1, 12KOs) beat the count but never recovered as Referee Roberto Ramirez Jr halt the contest a few moments later to protect Ortega from taking further punishment.


Jhack Tepora catches Edivaldo Ortega with a right.

Tepora who said Ortega was a tough opponent, will now face more accomplished fighters to prove he belongs to the elites of his division. Three division world champion Leo Santa Cruz of California is the real WBA featherweight title holder which Tepora has to face to legitimize his title.

The twin world title victories by Manny Pacquiao and Jhack Tepora on the same day was a repeat of the world title wins by Nonito Donaire Jr and Florante Condes on July 7, 2007. Donaire won the IBF/IBO world flyweight titles when he stopped Australia's Vic Darchinyan in Connecticut, USA while Condes captured the IBF world minimumweight title via split decision over Muhammad Rachman of Indonesia at the RTC Studio in Jakarta.

July 13, Central Kobe Gym, Kobe, Japan

Lost from all the hoopla in Kuala Lumpur was Vic Saludar's victory over Ryura Yamanaka of Japan last July 13 in Kobe to wrest Yamanaka's WBO world minimumweight title. Saludar knocked down Yamanaka in the 7th round en route to a comfortable unanimous decision victory with scores of 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112.


Vic Saludar (R) tags Ryura Yamanaka with a right during their WBO world championship fight on July 13, 2018 in Kobe, Japan.

Friday's fight was Saludar's second attempt for a world title. He challenged Kosei Tanaka of Japan for the same belt on Dec. 31, 2015 in Nagoya, Japan. Saludar dropped Tanaka in round five with a right to the head before Tanaka returned the favor with left to body that put Saludar to the canvas for good.

Saludar returned to the drawing board and amassed a 6 wins-1 loss record since before getting another title opportunity last Friday.

Pacquiao, Tepora and Saludar's wins have now put the Philippines with six world champions. The other champions are Jerwin Ancajas who holds the IBF world superfly belt, Michael Dasmariñas, the IBO world super bantamweight champion, and Reymart Gaballo, the WBA Interim world bantamweight champion. To the hardcore boxing fan, Ancajas and Saludar are considered legitimate champions because they hold uncontested belts out of of the four major boxing bodies. Pacquiao's WBA 'regular' welterweight title is a little bit iffy because Keith Thurman, the WBA super welterweight champion, is considered the real champion of the division. Dasmariñas's IBO title is considered minor while Tepora and Gaballo's interim belts don't really put them as 'real' world champions.

UP NEXT

July 22 at Umtata, South Africa


Toto Landero.

Toto Landero (10-2-2, 2KOs) of Pontevedra, Negros Occidental will challenge Simphiwe Khonco (18-5-0, 7KOs) of South Africa for the IBO world minimumweight title. Landero had a split decision victory over Vic Saludar on June 10, 2017. Khonco will defend the IBO title he won from compatriot Siyabonga Siyo on June 11, 2016 for the third time.

July 27, Qingdao, China


Froilan Saludar.

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 Qingdao, 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 up 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.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Dong Secuya.


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