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STORY OF PHILIPPINE BOXING PART XXXIV: ERIC JAMILI, THE FIRST FILIPINO WBO WORLD CHAMPION


PhilBoxing.com



Eric Jamili.

Eric Jamili was born on May 20, 1977 in Silay, Negros Occidental. He and his younger brother former world title challenger Reynante Jamili trained at the famous Elorde Boxing stable in Paranaque City.

Jamili turned professional on February 11, 1995, with a split draw with Sandy Bercasio. He won over Jose Clasida by majority decision but lost in their rematch two months later via split decision.

The southpaw fighter got a record of 8-5-1 in his first 14 fights with victories over Romeo Tura by 1st round KO, Leopoldo Ibanez twice by UD, Rodel Cabahug by 2nd round TKO, Randy Villamor by 4th round TKO, Manuel Silvano by 6th round TKO, and Flash Villacura by UD.

Jamili captured the World Boxing Organization intercontinental minimumweight title by a very impressive 1st round TKO of Inthanon Petchbandenand of Thailand in Paranaque City on April 30, 1997.

With the triumph, he earned a shot at the WBO world minimumweight title against Englishman Mickey Cantwell that was vacated by the legendary Ricardo López who moved up to light flyweight.

Jamili flew to London in December 19, 1997 to fight Cantwell before a hostile crowd. He opened a cut in his opponent's face in the first round. The blood flowing from his face bothered Cantwell.

Jamili who boxed left-handed with a longer reach was too awkward for Cantwell. Referee Mark Nelson stopped the match at 1:22 of the eighth round due to the nasty cut, giving the minimumweight title to Jamili.

Even if he was behind in two of the three judges' scorecards, Jamili won because the cut was caused by his punches not by a headbutt. Thus, Jamili earned the distinction of becoming the first Filipino boxer to win a WBO world title.

Jamili defended his title but lost it on May 30, 1998 via a fifth round technical knockout to Kermin Guardia of Colombia. Jamili arrived in the in Las Vegas, Nevada, the venue of the championship, only two days before the bout, suffering fatigue and jet lag. He was floored before the end of the fourth round.

In a rematch in March 27, 1999 in Miami, Florida, Jamili knocked Guardia down in the 4th and 9th round, but still he lost by a unanimous decision. The judges scored the fight 116-110 twice and 117-110.

Jamili took a shot at the world title one more time against Zolani Petelo of South Africa for the IBF minimumweight championship in May 29, 1999 in Gauteng South Africa. Jamili was knocked out at 1:21 of the first round.

Jamili fought six more times after the loss, winning only two over George Arcenal of Guam by 2nd round KO and Danny Linasa by UD.

He was defeated thrice by knockout and drawing once. He lost to Alfred Nagal by 5th round KO, Anis Ceunfin by 6th round KO, and Hugo Fidel Cazares by 5th round KO. So he hanged up his gloves for good in 2003.

Jamili compiled a career record of 28 total bouts with 15 wins, 8 by KO, with 11 losses, 7 KO defeats and 2 draws.


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


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