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Pinoys in title eliminators


PhilBoxing.com



Demecillo (L) and Dasmarinas.

Two Filipino boxers will earn world title cracks after they survive a pair of championship eliminators set at the Midas Hotel and Casino in Pasay City on March 23 and WBA welterweight champion Sen. Manny Pacquiao is backing the 11-fight, 86-round card with matchmaker Sean Gibbons and MP Promotions head Joe Ramos conspiring to organize the show.


The first eliminator involves Iligan’s Kenny Demecillo of the Omega Boxing Gym and IBO bantamweight ruler Michael Dasmarinas of the Hardstone Monis Boxing Gym. They’re facing off to determine who’ll be the next mandatory challenger for the IBF throne. For some strange reason, the IBF has left the No. 1 and No. 2 slots vacant in the bantamweight ladder. Demecillo is No. 3 and Dasmarinas, No. 4. The IBF 118-pound champion is Puerto Rico’s Emmanuel Rodriguez who’s battling “regular” WBA champion Naoya Inoue of Japan in a World Boxing Super Series semifinal in Glasgow on May 18. The winner of the Rodriguez-Inoue fight will take on the winner of the other semifinal between “super” WBA titlist Nonito Donaire, Jr. and WBO counterpart Zolani Tete.

Whatever happens in the World Boxing Super Series, the survivor of the Demecillo-Dasmarinas duel will be next in line for a shot at the IBF crown. Dasmarinas, 26, boasts a record of 28-2-1, with 19 KOs while Demecillo, 26, has a 14-4-2 card, with 8 KOs. In March last year, Demecillo knocked out Vyacheslav Mirzaev in the fifth round, a rarity for a Filipino to win over a Russian in Russia. Dasmarinas is unbeaten in his last 11 outings and in April last year, halted Frenchman Karim Guerfi in the fourth round to claim the vacant IBO bantamweight throne. Although Dasmarinas is still recognized as world champion by the IBO, he realizes the big money is in fighting for the titles in the four major governing bodies----WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF, not necessarily in that order.

When Demecillo and Dasmarinas square off, you can be sure someone’s going down. A knockout ending is expected since both are heavy-handed power punchers.

In the other title eliminator, it will be Samuel Salva against Rene Mark Cuarto. They’re fighting to determine the mandatory challenger of newly-crowned IBF minimumweight champion DeeJay Kriel of South Africa. Last Saturday, Kriel floored defending IBF titleholder Carlos Licona of Mexico thrice in the 12th round and wrested the crown on a knockout. It was Licona’s first defense of the title he won on a split decision over Filipino Mark Anthony Barriga when it was vacant.

Like in the bantamweight division, the IBF does not rate anyone No. 1 or No. 2 in the 105-pound class. Barriga is the No. 3 contender, Salva No. 4 and Cuarto No. 5. Barriga had his chance against Licona so now it’s the turn of either Salva or Cuarto to challenge for the crown. Salva, 21, trains with IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas at the Survival Gym in Magallanes, Cavite and is undefeated with a perfect record of 16-0, including 10 KOs. He’s up against Cuarto who’s trained by Nonoy Neri. Cuarto, 22, has a 16-1-1 record, with 9 KOs.

Cuarto was impressive in disposing of China’s Guangxiong Li with a body shot in the third round in Beijing two years ago. Last August, he decisioned Clyde Azarcon to win the vacant WBO Oriental minimumweight crown. Salva figured in a triology with Jason Mopon whom he stopped thrice and is clearly on the way up.

Since both title eliminators pit Filipinos against Filipinos, it’s a sure thing that two Filipinos will be in line for championship cracks, perhaps before the year ends. If things work out, the title shots may even be in the undercard of Pacquiao’s next fight.

Pacquiao’s goal is to unravel boxing cards at the rate of once every two months. At the moment, MP Promotions is taking care of the affairs of 16 fighters, some in partnership with other promoters or managers. One of the fighters is former WBO bantamweight champion Marlon Tapales. MP Promotions is in partnership with Gerry Penalosa and Rex (Wakee) Salud in propping up Tapales’ career. Last Saturday, Tapales was in Los Angeles to stop Fernando Vargas Parra in the fifth round. At ringside were Penalosa’s son JC and Salud’s son Ryan, both representing their fathers.

The other fights in the March 23 card are Ronnie Baldonado against Elias Joaquino in a flyweight tenner, Orlie Silvestre against Joel Taduran in a lightflyweight tenner, Lei Wang of China against Adam Diu Abdulhamid in a lightwelterweight eight-rounder, Aries Buenavidez against Adrian Lerasan in a superflyweight eight-rounder, Justine Darap against Enrique Magsalin in a flyweight eight-rounder, Muhamad Ridhwan of Singapore against Chris Leon in a featherweight six-rounder, Jayson Brillo against Ryan Fullero in a minimumweight four-rounder, Reymark Jay Ibones against Henry Lumanan in a flyweight four-rounder and Luis Borje against Simeon Chulafo in a superflyweight four-rounder.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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