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THE EXCITING BANTAMWEIGHT DIVISION

By Maloney L. Samaco
PhilBoxing.com
Fri, 31 Jan 2020



The Bantamweight division is now at the center of attraction with the choice of the Boxing Writers Association of America of the IBF and WBA unification match of Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire Jr. as Fight of the Year 2019. Another booster would be the unification bout between Inoue and Johnriel Casimero. Donaire is also set to challenge WBC champion Nordine Oubaali's belt. The Bantamweight division is highlighted by the World Boxing Super Series between October 2018 and May 2019 held in several countries. The WBSS features 8 top-rated bantamweight boxers in a single-elimination tournament prevailed by Inoue over Donaire by a hard-won unanimous decision.

* * *

The Ring Magazine lists Naoya Inoue as the champion with the following top ten contenders:
1. Nonito Donaire Jr.
2. Nordine Oubaali
3. Johnriel Casimero
4. Emmanuel Rodriguez
5. Zolani Tete
6. Jason Moloney
7. Carlos Cuadras
8. Joshua Greer Jr.
9. Takuma Inoue
10. Joshua Franco

* * *

Boxrec has the following rankings and does not recognize a champion:
1. Naoya Inoue
2. Luis Nery
3. Johnriel Casimero
4. Nordine Oubaali
5. Nonito Donaire Jr.
6. Jason Moloney
7. Zolani Tete
8. Takuma Inoue
9. Emmanuel Rodriguez
10. Michael Dasmarinas

* * *

Transnational Boxing Rankings Board has the champion declared vacant and lists the following contenders:
1. Naoya Inoue
2. Luis Nery
3. Johnriel Casimero
4. Nordine Oubaali
5. Nonito Donaire Jr.
6. Jason Moloney
7. Zolani Tete
8. Takuma Inoue
9. Emmanuel Rodriguez
10. Michael Dasmarinas

* * *

Naoya Inoue (19-0-0, 16 KOs), alias "Monster", is a three-weight world champion and currently the IBF and The Ring bantamweight world champion since May 2019 and the WBA (Super) titlist since November 2019. The 26-year-old fighter was born in Kanagawa, Japan and was previously the WBO junior bantamweight titlist from 2014 to 2018, and the WBC light-flyweight champion in 2014.

* * *

Nonito Donaire Jr., age 37, known as "The Filipino Flash", has held world championships in four weight classes: IBF flyweight title from 2007 to 2009, unified WBC and WBO bantamweight titles in 2011, IBF super bantamweight title in 2012, WBO super bantamweight title twice from 2012 to 2016; WBA (Super) featherweight title in 2014, and WBA (Super) bantamweight title from 2018 to 2019. His record is 40-6-0, 26 KOs.

* * *

Nordine Oubaali (17-0-0, 12 KOs) is from Lens, Pas-de-Calais, France and is of Moroccan descent. He was the current WBC bantamweight champion since January 2019. As an amateur, the 23-year-old fighter won the bronze medal in the light flyweight division at the 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships.

* * *

Johnriel Casimero, from Ormoc City in Leyte, is a three-weight world champion, and held the following titles: current WBO bantamweight title since November 2019, the IBF junior-flyweight title from 2012 to 2013, IBF flyweight title in 2016, WBO interim junior-flyweight title from 2009 to 2010 and WBO interim bantamweight title in 2019. The 30-year-old fighter nicknamed "Quadro Alas" is 29-4-0, 20 KOs.

* * *

Emmanuel "Manny" Rodríguez (19-1-0, 12 KOs) is from Puerto Rico who held the IBF bantamweight title until May 2019. As an amateur, Rodríguez represented Puerto Rico at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics and won a gold medal in the flyweight division. He was defeated by Naoya Inoue by 2nd round TKO in May 18 last year.

* * *

Zolani "Last Born" Tete is a South African professional boxer. He is a former two-weight world champion, having held the IBF junior-bantamweight title from 2014 to 2015 and the WBO bantamweight title from 2017 to November 2019. His record is 28-4-0, 21 KOs.

* * *

Jason Moloney, 29-years-old, from Australia has challenged once for the IBF bantamweight title in 2018. At regional level, he was the WBA Oceania bantamweight titlist since 2017 and held the Commonwealth bantamweight title belt in 2018. As an amateur he represented Australia at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

* * *

Carlos "Principe" Cuadras, 31-years-old, from Guamúchil, Sinaloa, Mexico, is the former WBC superflyweight champion. He was a gold medalist in the bantamweight division at the 2007 Pan American Games. His record is 39-3-1, 27 KOs.

* * *

Joshua Greer Jr., age 25, is from Chicago, Illinois and defeated Nikolai Potapov for the WBO NABO bantamweight title. In 2017, his knockout of James Gordon-Smith was a finalist for ESPN knockout of the year. His alias is "Don't Blink" and his record is 21-1-1, 12 KOs.

* * *

Takuma Inoue, age 24, is from Zama, Kanagawa, Japan. He defeated Mark Anthony Geraldo to win the OPBF Super flyweight title in 2015. He has a record of 13-1, 3 KOs and was defeated by Nordine Oubaali for the WBC bantamweight title by unanimous decision last November 7.

* * *

Joshua Franco alias"El Profesor", 24 years old, is from San Antonio, Texas, USA. His record is 16-1-2, 8KOs and his only loss was handed by Lucas Emanuel Fernandez Leone of Argentina on March 24, 2018 by 9th round TKO.

* * *

Michael Dasmariñas, alias "Hot and Spicy", won the vacant IBO bantamweight title by knocking out France's Karim Guerfi in round 4 in Singapore on April 21, 2018. The 33-year-old Filipino fighter from Pili, Camarines Sur is 30-2-1, 20 KOs.

* * *

Luis Nery alias "Pantera" from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico held the WBC bantamweight title from 2017 to 2018. Nery (30-0-0, 24 KOs) defeated Shinsuke Yamanaka to win the title. He also won The Ring's bantamweight title, but he was stripped by The Ring after he was tested positive for zilpaterol. He won vacant WBC Silver bantamweight title in 2018.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.

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