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Two left standing


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Mark Magsayo (L) and Rene Mark Cuatro.
Six Filipinos occupy No. 1 slots in the latest world boxing rankings and are ready to step in as mandatory challengers. They are IBF superbantamweight Marlon Tapales, WBO bantamweight Johnriel Casimero, IBF superflyweight Jade Bornea, WBO superflyweight Donnie Nietes, WBO minimumweight Melvin Jerusalem and WBA minimumweight Vic Saludar. Nietes will be first to take a crack as he faces WBO 115-pound champion Kazuto Ioka in Ota City on July 13. Nietes defeated Ioka on a split decision in their first meeting in 2018. Saludar will take on Puerto Rican Oscar Collazo in a WBA title eliminator in Los Angeles on July 16 with the winner advancing to challenge WBA regular ruler Erick Rosa.

Only two Filipinos hold world titles at the moment. IBF minimumweight champion Rene Mark Cuarto will face No. 3 contender Daniel Valladares in Monterrey, Mexico, on July 1 while WBC featherweight king Mark Magsayo will stake his crown against unbeaten Mexican challenger Rey Vargas in San Antonio, Texas, on July 9.

Former IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas will attempt to regain the throne from Argentina’s Fernando Martinez in a grudge rematch sometime in August. Martinez beat Ancajas to wrest the title on points in Las Vegas last February and the Filipino has decided to exercise his option for a return encounter. Ancajas is rated No. 4 by WBO, No. 6 by IBF and No. 7 by WBC. The only other Filipino ranked by three organizations is superbantamweight Mike Plania who is rated No. 4 by WBO, No. 5 by IBF and No. 8 by WBA. Jerusalem is the only Filipino rated by the four governing bodies as he is No. 1 by WBO, No. 2 by WBC, No. 4 by IBF and No. 6 by WBA in the 105-pound division.

Eight Filipinos are ranked by two organizations. Tapales is rated No. 1 by IBF and No. 5 by WBO. Rising Ifugao superbantamweight Carl Jammes Martin is No. 9 by IBF and No. 10 by WBA. Bantamweight Vincent Astrolabio, whose latest victim was Cuba’s Guillermo Rigondeaux, is No. 6 by WBO and No. 8 by IBF. Nietes is No. 1 by WBO and No. 3 by WBA. Flyweight Dave Apolinario is No. 6 by WBA and No. 10 by IBF. Bornea is the IBF’s No. 1 superflyweight and the WBA’s No. 8 flyweight. In the minimumweight class, Saludar is the WBA’s No. 1 and WBO’s No. 6 contender while Samuel Salva is No. 7 by WBO and No. 8 by IBF.

The other Filipinos in the top 10 world rankings are bantamweights WBC No. 4 Nonito Donaire, Jr., IBF No. 6 Aston Palicte and WBC No. 7 Reymart Gaballo; WBO No. 10 superflyweight KJ Cataraja; flyweights IBF No. 4 Jayson Mama and WBC No. 6 Giemel Magramo; lightflyweights IBF No. 5 Christian Araneta and WBO No. 9 Mark Anthony Barriga and minimumweights WBC No. 5 Marco John Rementizo, WBC No. 9 Pedro Taduran, WBO No. 10 Ar-Ar Andales and IBF No. 10 Joey Canoy.


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


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