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Demecillio, Dasmariñas Slugfest a Toss-up

MANILA--In a fight that promises explosive action from start to finish, Michael Dasmariñas and Kenny Demecillo's coming out slugfest will cap a night of great fights as "Rising Stars" gets underway on March 23 at the Resorts World Manila.

Both camps have expressed their readiness and capability to knock each other out in one of two title eliminator bouts that will put the winner as likely challenger to the International Boxing Federation belts.

Dasmarinas, 28-2-1 (19 KOs), is on a hot 10-win streak and on paper is the more experienced fighter opposite Demecillo, 14-4-2 (8 KOs). Experts call it a dream fight in the 118-pound division and the protagonists promise to give it all.

"Dasmariñas now has the chance to firmly make his mark as the No. 1 man to beat at 118 lbs. I have taken Michael from the small events to an IBO world title in three fights under the Ringstar banner," said promoter Scott Patrick Farrell, confident that his ward will bulldoze his way to victory.

The 26-year-old Dasmariñas has shown his power in a fourth round stoppage of Karim Guerfi in Singapore for the International Boxing Organization diadem. "He possesses the hardest punch with snap at that weight and is a feared body snatcher with fast, accurate hands," added Farrell.

While Bicolandia's Dasmariñas may have the arsenal, international ring judge Arnie Najera believes Demecillo is ready for a world title shot should he get past his opponent.

"At this point, yes, Demecillo is ready to face the best in the world. He is this era's Navarette or Duran. He is all heart, one who's willing to take a punch so he can dish his own," said Najera, a veteran judge of more than 400 professional fights.

"I don't think there's anybody in his division, one up or one lower, that he fears at the moment. He takes on all comers. The Demecillos of Cebu are known to be sluggers, no reverse gear, just forward. And they are durable," added Najera, who has personally watched Demecillo fight four times.

Demecillo took a dangerous assignment against unbeaten Vyacheslav Mirzaev in his own hometown of Anapa, Russia exactly a year ago and reversed the roles of hunter and prey, winning by knockout in the fifth and spoiling a local celebration.

"His power is a tricky secret. He outlives and outlasts his opponents especially if they fall into this trap of going toe-to-toe in the ring," added Najera, who expects a slam-bang, phone-booth slugfest.

"If you have a Navarette-like style (in Demecillo) on one corner and a (Rafael) Bazooka Limon-clone (in Dasmarinas) on another, what will you get for a fight? Dasmarinas is a kababayan from Bicol and I know Bicolanos never back down from a fight. Demecillo on the other hand, hails from Iligan City in Lanao and is a no push-over. Expect fireworks. I hope Dasmarinas is in tip-top shape because I know Kenny is punishing himself in the gym since the fight was announced. Dasmarinas' durability will be tested here," said Najera.

10 more bouts complete the card which includes another title eliminator for the IBF minimum-weight title. Prodigious Rene Mark Cuarto 16-1-1 (9 KOs), hot on a 13-win streak, faces 21-year-old and unbeaten Samuel Salva, 16-0 (10 KOs).

The ambitious project presented by MP Promotions and Ringstar Asia hopes to find the next legendary fighter coming from this side of the world.

Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao of MP Promotions, still active at 40, joined Ringstar Asia head Scott Patrick Farrell and Resorts World Manila executives in making the series of fights happen, optimistic that the project can bring out the best fighters from the region.

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

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