Looking Back at Philippine Boxing 2012
By Eddie Alinea
Sat, 05 Jan 2013
MANILA(PNA)- Besides multi-titled Nonito Donaire’s perfect four-of-four batting average in year 2012, other Filipino fighters came up with a sprinkle of victories in various boxing arenas in their separate attempts to present the country with world championships.
Somewhere until in the middle of the year, the Philippines, in fact, had seven world champions putting the country on top of the boxing world – “Filipino Flash” Donaire as the World Boxing Organization super-bantamweight belt-holder, WBO welterweight kingpin Manny Pacquiao, WBO flyweight belt-owner Brian Viloria, World Boxing Council flyweight titleholder Sonny Boy Jaro, International Boxing Federation light-fly top man Johnriel Casimero, WBO light-fly titlist Donnie Nietes and women’s super-bantam queen Ana Julaton.
By the end of the year though Donaire, Viloria, Casimero and Nietes remained as Pacquiao, Jaro, and Julaton lost theirs. It could have been more had Jonathan Taconing, Lorenzo Villanueva, Silverter Lopez, Roli Garca, Rodel Mayol, Florante Condes, AJ Banal, Edrin Dapudong. Mercito Gesta and Michael Farenas succeeded in their bids for the much-coveted world crowns.
Had Pacquaio, Julaton and Jaro remained world champs and at least half of those who tried their luck for the titles, the Philippines would have emerged the best boxing country on earth giving the United States and Mexico a run for their money for the honor of having the most number of world champions.
Both Viloria and Nietes came out unscathed in their respective pair of assignments with the Fil-American, who is also known as the “Hawaiian Punch,” needing g no more than 19 rounds in ending the year still the WBO 112-pound throne occupier. He first stopped Omar Nino Romero in the ninth round last May 13 in what came out as introduction to a similarly impressive 10th round TKO of Hernan “Tyson” Marquez last Nov. 17.
Nietes, “Ahas” to the boxing community, on the other hand, kept his 108-pound title by beating Felipe Salguero to the punch June 2 at the Resorts World Arena then knocked out Danai Meendaeng in the fifth in a non-title encounter in Dumaguete City also on Nov. 17.
Casimero KO'ed Luis Alberto Lazarte in the 10th to wrest the IBF interim fly-weight belt in a riotous showdown held February 10 in Mar de Plata, Argentina. Five months later, the IBF recognized him as regular titlist and on Aug. 15, Casimero managed a split decision victory over Pedro Guevara to retain his title in Mazatian, Mexico.
Jaro won the WBC fly belt and Ring Magazine linear title with a stunning sixth round TKO of Thai no. 8 pound-for-pound best Pongsaklek Wonjongkam only to lose it as fast to Japanese Toshiyuki Igarashi in his first defense of his crown.
In the amateur front, Josie Gabuco gifted the country its first gold medal in world women’s championship with a points victory over host entry Xu Shiqi in the light-flyweight finale in Quinhuangdao, China in what came as cushion to another zero medal performance of the national boxing team in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The Philippines’ lone entry in Olympic boxing, Mark Anthony Barriga, could only reach the quarterfinal round after bowing to Kazakhtan’s Birzhan Zhakypov following a two-point deduction in the third and final round that ousted him from the medal round.
Several more triumphs were fashioned out on other fronts, the most notable of which were Mateo Handig’s upset of Japanese Katsunari Takayama that catapulted him to no. 1 in the IBF minimum-weight contender and Rey Migreno’s third round TKO of no. 8 pound-for-pound best Wonjongkam.
John Mark Apolinario drew with Roberto Vazquez in a World Boxing Association interim bantamweight encounter held in Argentina.
Deaths marked the year in boxing as super-flyweight Karlo Maquinto, amateur Romnick Dablo and super-bantamweight Jog Alim met their grim fates while pursuing their quest for fame and fortune atop the squared ring. Maquinto collapses after his eight round fight against Mark Joseph Costa which ended in a draw and perished six days later. Dablo, only 18, died after losing his bout in Iba, Zambales. Alim collapsed following a 10-round win over Al Grumo in Agusan del Sur and died two days later.
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