Philippines, 29 Sep 2020
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PHILIPPINES VERSUS JAPAN IN BOXING THIS APRIL


PhilBoxing.com



Casimero (L) and Magramo (R).

It will be a throwback to the 60s and the 70s when top Filipino and Japanese fighters duked it out for boxing glory as Johnriel Casimero and Giemel Magramo clash with Naoya Inoue and Junto Nakatani in major world title bouts this coming April 2020.

Casimero and Inoue are set to meet in the main event of a major Top Rank Promotion card this April 25 in Las Vegas, Nevada with the WBA super, WBO and the IBF world bantamweight titles on the line. Also at stake is the Ring Magazine lineal championship belt.

Before this, on April 4 in Japan, Magramo will battle àgainst Nakatani for the vacant WBO flyweight title left by Kosei Tanaka who is aiming for a fourth world crown at super flyweight versus compatriot Kazuto Ioka. A third generation fighter from the revered Magramo boxing clan, Giemel is aiming to improve on the accomplishment of his uncle, Ronnie who won a minor WBF world title in the 1990s.

Beyond the world titles, these two bouts will also determine which between the Philippines and Japan will rightfully hold the bragging rights to the honor of being the one true Asian boxing powerhouse.

Currently, Japan has more world champions with five namely Kenshiro Teraji (WBC light flyweight), Hiroto Kyoguchi (WBA light flyweight), Kazuto Ioka (WBO super flyweight), Naoya Inoue (WBA, IBF bantamweight) and Ryota Murata (WBA middleweight regular champion). It was supposed to be six but Kosei Tanaka relinquished his WBO flyweight belt recently.

The Philippines has four, namely Pedro Taduran (IBF minimumweight), Jerwin Ancajas (IBF super flyweight), Casimero (WBO bantamweight) and Manny Pacquiao (WBA welterweight super champion). It was supposed to be five but Donnie Nietes chose to vacate his WBO super flyweight title early last year.

In 2018 up to the first half of 2019, the Filipinos were more successful in world title bouts against Japanese opponents with Vic Saludar notching two victories versus Ryuya Yamanaka and Masataka Taniguchi, Ancajas one versus Ryuichi Funai and Donnie Nietes also one versus Kazuto Ioka.

But the Japanese started to turn the tables in the second half of 2019 with Ioka himself halting Aston Palicte for the WBO super flyweight title vacated by Nietes, Ryosuke Iwasa stopping Marlon Tapales for the IBF interim super bantamweight title and Kenshiro Teraji knocking out Randy Petalcorin in defense of his WBC title.

Of course, the biggest win was delivered by Inoue himself against Nonito Donaire in their WBSS bantamweight series finals held last November in Saitama.

The pattern seems to hold as recently, Sho Kimura stopped Merlito Sabillo in a battle between former world champions at the Manila Arena.

If both Casimero and Magramo win, the Philippines will raise its harvest to five world champions, including one unified and one super titleholders, leaving Japan with just four.

If both Naoya and Nakatani emerge victorious, Japan will pull away with six world champions, including one unified titlist, reducing the Philippines to just three, its lowest in the recent years. Japan will also emerge as the premier Asian boxing power notwithstanding Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao.

Should Naoya win, Bob Arum will also be at the cusp of turning him into Japan's version of Pacquiao, a potential global boxing superstar which he never comes close to achieving with Terrence Crawford and Vasily Lomachenko, supposedly two of the top best fighters in the world today.

A split of the two bouts will result to the current status quo with Japan having one more world champion than the Philippines but the question of the best Asian boxing nation hanging.

The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at teddyreynoso@yahoo.com and by phone 09215309477.


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


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