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Four Big Fights to Determine Pacquiao's, PH Boxing's Lot This 2019
By Teodoro Medina Reynoso
Sat, 21 Sep 2019
Canelo Alvarez (L) and Andy Ruiz.
In the busiest year yet for Philippine boxing, the bottomline to spell either success or failure in our campaign for world titles and honors rests in a number of important fights this November and December.
For the first time since 2016, Manny Pacquiao was able to complete a hugely successful two fight schedule away from his legislative duties and not coming off from losses or injury which have been seen as another of his stirring comeback making him a strong candidate for the 2019 Fighter of the Yčar and/or Fight of the Year award/s.
But this hinges on the results of two separate fights, namely the Canelo Alvarez vs Sergei Kovalev light heavyweight title bout set this November 2 in Las Vegas and the Andy Ruiz vs Anthony Joshua world heavyweight title rematch to be held in Saudi Arabia this December 7, 2019.
Most experts said that Canelo or Ruiz would emerge as the strongest candidate for Fighter of the Year and their fight as Fight of the Year if any of the two would turn out an impressive win over their equally highly touted opponents.
Especially Canelo who is aiming to become only the fourth Mexican fighter to win four world titles in as many weight classes after Erik Morales, Jorge Arce and Juan Manuel Marquez. He will be the first Mexican to do that in the higher weights having previously won titles at super welterweight, middleweight and just recently, super middleweight.
Ruiz, already the first world heavyweight champion of Mexican descent, on the other hand would mostly likely get the votes if he could repeat with another knockout or stoppage victory over UK's erstwhile untouchable Joshua.
However, the odds of either Canelo beating Kovalev or Ruiz repeating over AJ are not that good considering that the Mexican will be fighting two divisions above his natural weight while Ruiz will be fighting a now more ready Joshua and in a different place and clime.
Ruiz, it could be recalled has already fought away from the USA, including in Australia where he lost by close decision to Kiwi Joseph Parker in his first world title fight sometime back and Macau as undercard to Manny Pacquiao himself back in 2014 winning by impressive stoppage over his taller opponent.
Experts are saying an impressive victory by either would trump Pacquiao's two winning fights this year, including his astounding age-defying split decision over previously undefeated American Keith Thurman for the WBA welterweight super belt last July.
Let's keep our fingers cross.
Meanwhile, closer to home, two important fights happening just days apart in November involving two Pinoy world champions will also determine the bottomline of our ledger this year.
IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas will make his eighth title defense against Mexican Jonathan Javier Rodriguez on November 2 in Carson, California. Jerwin, in contrast to the previous years, has fought just once before this scheduled bout, stopping Japanese Ruichi Funai in another title defense.
Five days later, on November 7, WBA bamtamweight super titlst Nonito the Filipino Flash Donaire will attempt to not only keep his title but also add the IBF crown and win the WBSS bantamweight finals against the Monster Naoya Inoue of Japan.
Nonito will have the disadvantage of fighting Inoue in the latter's territory and will also be up against a top five pound for pounder who has won his recent fights by spectacular knockouts on the way to winning three world division titles himself.
Not to say that Nonito is not capable of pulling a spectacular knockout himself and in foreign ring at that but he is years away from his best prime which he incidentally enjoyed in the same weight class.
Having the home advantage as well as youth and career momentum on his side Inoue will be the overwhelming favorite in this fight.
Again, let us keep our fingers crossed.
The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone 09215309477.
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