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June Unlucky for Filipino Fighters


PhilBoxing.com



Nakatani (L) and Magramo (R).

It is good that Geimel Magramo's fight in Japan for the vacant WBO flyweight title against Junto Nakatani reset from April 4 to June has been pushed further back to July and then August where organizers hope the Covid situation would be more stabilized.

It is good because historically the month of June in general has not been lucky for Filipino fighters figuring in world title bouts against foreign opponents.

It's ironic because it was in June that Pancho Villa became the first Filipino and Asian to win a world pro boxing championship when he knocked out the legendary Mighty Atom Jimmy Wilde in the seventh round to wrest the flyweight title at the New York Polo Ground on June 18, 1923.

But after that initial shining moment, there have been more losses than wins for Pinoy ring campaigners in world title fights. They even include the country's top two boxers in history, Flash Elorde and Manny Pacquiao.

June 15 particularly has been a bad day for Filipino fighters starting in 1957 through 1996 where all five Filipinos who figured in world title fights, lost.

On that date in 1957, Dommy Ursua lost by 11th round knockout to Raul Macias in his failed bid for the world bantamweight title in California, USA.

Then in 1962, Roberto Cruz failed to defend his newly won world junior welterweight crown dropping a 15 round unanimous decision to American Eddie Perkins in Manila.

In 1967, Gabriel Flash Elorde ceded the world junior lightweight championship he had held for seven years to Yoshiaki Numata by split decision in Tokyo. It was actually a double whammy for Elorde as in June 1966, he lost his OPBF lightweight title to the same Numata. (Incidentally, Elorde made his pro debut in June of 1951)

In 1983, Bobby Berna lost in his bid for the WBC super bantamweight title going down by 2nd round knockout defeat to American champion Jaime Garza in the USA.

And on June 15, 1996, Eric Chavez failed in his bid to dethrone Nicaragua's Rosendo Alvarez as WBA minimumweight champion, dropping a 12 round verdict in Sendai, Japan.

Other Filipino June title losers included Orlando Amores who was knocked out in five rounds by Masao Ohba in Japan in their fight for the WBA flyweight title on June 20, 1972; Rodel Mayol who was outpointed by Omar Nino Romero on June 19, 2010 in their bout for the WBC light flyweight title held in Mexico and Manny Pacquiao who was upset by American Timothy Bradley in the defense of hie WBO welterweight crown in Las Vegas on June 9, 2012.

In fairness, it was Pacquiao's only loss in four world championship fights held in the month of June since 2001. He has previously defeated South African Lehlo Lebwaba for the IBF super bantamweight crown on June 23, 2001; Mexican Jorge Elicier Julio in the defense of the same on June 8, 2002 and American David Diaz for the WBC lightweight title on June 28, 2008. All of his wins came by knockout.

Manny has also won his three previous bouts held in June from his debut, all by knockout against fellow Pinoy Bert Batiler in a non title tenner on June 15, 1996; Thai Chockchai Chockvivat 3k Battery for the OPBF flyweight title on June 26, 1997 and South Korean Seung Kon Chae in defense of his WBC international super bantamweight title on June 28, 2000.

As great and special Manny has and Elorde had been, they also have not been spared from the ring misfortunes in the month of June which most prominent global victims included Sugar Ray Leonard who on that month in 1980 suffered his first pro defeat and lost his world welterweight title to Roberto Duran in Montreal, Canada.

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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