Philippines, 27 Feb 2021
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Pro boxing review: Five Pinoys reign as world champs


PhilBoxing.com




The Philippines fell one man shy of duplicating the record for most Filipino world boxing champions in the same year but under pandemic conditions, it was still a remarkable feat as super WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, WBO bantamweight titlist JohnRiel Casimero, interim WBC bantamweight ruler Reymart Gaballo, IBF superflyweight king Jerwin Ancajas and IBF minimumweight beltholder Pedro Taduran ended 2020 on their thrones.

According to GAB, the record is six Filipino world champions in the same year with Pacquiao, interim WBA featherweight king Jhack Tepora, super WBA bantamweight titleholder Nonito Donaire, Jr., IBO bantamweight ruler Michael Dasmarinas, Ancajas and WBO minimumweight titlist Vic Saludar reigning in 2018.

Three world title fights involving Filipinos were cancelled last year. Marco John Rementizo was set to challenge WBC minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin in Palm Springs, California, last April 25 but the fight was called off. Donaire was to face Puerto Rico’s Emmanuel Rodriguez for the vacant WBC bantamweight crown in Connecticut last Dec. 19 but the Filipino Flash was forced to withdraw after testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. The irony was Donaire tested negative thrice a few days later, confirming the false positive but it was too late to bring him back to the card. Instead, Gaballo took his place and scored a split 12-round decision to capture the interim WBC bantamweight strap. Jayson Mama was another victim of a cancelled world championship fight as his appointment with IBF flyweight ruler Moruti Mthalane in Durban, South Africa last Dec. 20 was cancelled because of government restrictions.

In 2019, Filipinos figured in 22 world title fights, winning 10 and losing 12. But last year, there were only five world championship bouts involving Filipinos. The winners were Gaballo and Casimero who halted Duke Micah in the third round to retain his WBO bantamweight crown in Connecticut last Sept. 26. Keeping his title was Taduran who was held to a technical majority draw in the fourth round by Mexican challenger Daniel Valladares in Monterrey last Feb. 1. The losers were Jeo Santisima and Giemel Magramo. Santisima was stopped by WBO superbantamweight titlist Emanuel Navarrete in Las Vegas last Feb. 22 while Magramo bowed to Junto Nakatani via an eighth round TKO for the vacant WBO flyweight throne in Tokyo last Nov. 6.

Since the pandemic caused a lockdown last March, only four boxing events were held in the country. Sanman Promotions staged two cards in General Santos City last Nov. 21 with five bouts and Dec. 17, also with five fights. Omega Sports put up two shows in Mandaue last Oct. 7 with four bouts and Dec. 18 with nine. GAB chairman Baham Mitra was actively involved with the IATF in obtaining clearance for professional boxing to restart under strict safety and health protocols.

In world boxing ratings, 24 Filipinos were ranked among the top 10 contenders by the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO as 2020 came to a close. Six fighters were recognized by more than one governing body----No. 4 IBF/No. 5 WBC/No. 9 WBO/No. 10 WBA featherweight Mark Magsayo, No. 2 WBO bantamweight and No. 6 WBA/No 8 IBF superbantamweight Mike Plania, No. 1 IBF/No. 3 WBO bantamweight Dasmarinas, No. 2 WBC/No. 4 IBF/No. 9 WBO minimumweight Melvin Jerusalem, No. 3 IBF/No. 8 WBO minimumwieght Rene Mark Cuarto and No. 6 WBC/No. 8 IBF minimumweight Rementizo.


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


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