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Michael Dasmariñas Hopes to Join Very Few Filipino June Winners


PhilBoxing.com




IBF mandatory Michael Dasmariñas will challenge Japanese sensation Naoya "The Monster" Inoue on Saturday, June 19 (Sunday, June 20 in the Philippines) for his WBA super, IBF and Ring lineal world bantamweight titles at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Top billing a Top Rank promotional card, Dasmariñas is a heavy underdog in the fight which would be Inoue's second defense of his titles and his second straight fight outside of his native Japan.

The odds may be against him, Dasmariñas is hoping to join the list of extremely very few Filipinos who have managed to win world boxing championships in the bittersweet month of June.

Bittersweet because it was on this month that a few Filipino fighters won record setting world boxing honors but a lot more failed in their own bid to win or retain their titles.

On June 18, 1922, the Filipino brand of boxing was introduced to the globe when Francisco Guilledo better known as Pancho Villa brutally wrested the world flyweight championship by knocking out UK's fighting pride Jimmy Wilde at the jampacked New York's Polo Ground.

It was also June of sunder recent years that Manny Pacquiao won two of his record eight world championships in as many weight classes, drubbing South African Lehlo Lebwaba for the IBF super bantamweight crown in 2003 and American David Diaz for the WBC WBC lightweight title In 2008.

However it was also in sunder dates during the month of June that a number of Filipino ring campaigners from as early as 1957 to as recent as the 2010 namely Dommy Ursua, Socrates Batoto, Orlando Amores, Eric Chavez and Rodel Mayol failed in their bid to bring home a world boxing title.

It was also June in 1963 and 1967 that Roberto Cruz lost his world junior welterweight title to American Eddie Perkins in Manila and Gabriel Flash Elorde finally, after more than seven years of holding and successfully defending his world junior lightweight crown, lost it to Japanese Yoshiaki Numata by majority decision in Tokyo.

Known for his nom de guerre as "Hot and Spicy", Dasmariñas is given virtually no chance of winning against Inoue who has won five of his last six fights by early knockouts, the lone survivor being Nonito Donaire who gave Inoue a hard fight in 2019 in ceding the WBA super title.

However, in gallantly losing to Inoue, Donaire, who is back now as WBC bantamweight champion, first gave the Japanese a hellish beating, breaking his nose and left eye socket before Inoue rallied and finished strongly in the championship rounds to eke out the points win.

In losing, ironically Donaire's stock even rose prompting the WBC to name him as mandatory to then defending titlist Nordine Oubaali of France. Last May 29, Donaire lived up to expectations by knocking out Oubaali in the fourth round, despite being installed as the pre-fight underdog himself.

On the other hand, not a few observers doubted if ever Inoue will be back to his old deadly self after the physical and psychological beating he got from Donaire.

Their doubt was even heightened by Inoue's backing out belatedly of a supposed unification with then brand new WBO champion Johnriel Casimero, another Filipino, in a pandemic postponed setting late last year.

Instead, Inoue allegedly at the instigation of his Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, opted for a title defense against Australian Jason Moloney who is also on a winning run.

But the feeling was still Inoue and Arum looked for a softer touch as Moloney in his previous world title fight lost to Puerto Rican then IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez who folded against Inoue in their succeeding bout in just a couple of rounds (!)

Hence, doubts still persist despite Inoue knocking out Moloney after a few more rounds.

Indeed, Inoue showed flashes of his old deadly form in disposing of the Australian who was also given just a ghost of a chance of troubling the Japanese Monster.

But how would he fare against a more formidable foe, particularly one he has no clue or inkling about?

This is one area or aspect that Dasmariñas could probably explore and exploit without risking too much, observers agree.

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.

Photo: Michael Dasmariñas works out at the Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles ahead of his title fight against top pound for pound fighter Naoya Inoue in Las Vegas on June 19.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.


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