Crucial Next Four Weeks For Philippine ProAm Boxing
By Teodoro Medina Reynoso
Thu, 22 Jul 2021
Pacquiao and Casimero in Los Angeles.
The coming four weeks will be very crucial for Philippine boxing both in the professional and amateur ranks as Manny Pacquiao and Johnriel Casimero figure in all important world title fights while the country's boxing team vies for medal podium finish in the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The country's boxing journey starts the final week of July and early August as the four-person Philippine Olympic boxing squad made up by middleweight Eumir Felix Marcial and flyweight Carlo Paalam in the men's competition and flyweight Irish Magno and featherweight Nesthy Petecio in the women's side endeavors to advance past the eliminations to the hoped for medal rounds.
Our boxers aim not only to end the country's nearly two decades medal drought in the event but surpass the silver medal finish of Anthony Villanueva in the 1964 Olympics held in the same Japanese capital duplicated in 1992 by Mansueto Onyok Velasco in Atlanta.
Our biggest hope for the long-cherished boxing gold rest on the broad, muscular shoulders of Marcial, the Asia-Oceania qualifier top-notcher and the 2019 World Amateur Boxing Championship silver medalist in Russia. Marcial is fancied by Ring Magazine's Ian Wainwright to battle for the gold in the middleweight division against Ukraine's Oleksander Khrysniak and World Championship tormentor Gleb Bakhsi of Russia.
Petecio, the surprise 2019 World Amateur Women's Boxing Championship featherweight winner, is also seen to at least figure in the medal rounds.
On August 14, 2021 at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, Casimero makes the second defense of his WBO world bantamweight championship as he takes on the dangerous Cuban defensive boxing maestro Guillermo 'El Chacal' Rigondeaux, the former undefeated world super bantamweight champion who now holds a secondary belt at bantamweight with the WBA.
It will be a very crucial fight for Casimero especially since it will be an important step towards his dream of being the one true unified world bantamweight champion.
However, official odds makers in the US have installed him as the pre fight underdog against Rigondeux whose only pro career loss thus far had come three divisions higher at super featherweight or 130 lbs in a failed title attempt versus then also undefeated world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko of Ukraine.
Casimero hopes to prove the odds makers wrong by way of another convincing victory that would put him closer to future showdown/s with Naoya Inoue and/or Nonito Donaire, Jr. for overall domination in the 118 lbs class.
Finally, one week later, on August 21, 2021, Manny Pacquiao hopes to continue his already legendary pro boxing career by capturing the unified WBC-IBF world welterweight belts from American defending champion Errol Spence in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao had already won the WBO title in the division three times, once against Miguel Cotto in 2009, Tim Bradley in 2013 and Jessie Vargas in 2016 and last captured the WBA super belt in 2019 against erstwhile unbeaten Keith Thurman.
Like Casimero however, Pacquiao is also the pre fight odds on underdog versus Spence, with a $100 bet in his favor winning $130 in return.
If he beats Spence, he will win the WBC and IBF belts, making him the first welterweight fighter since Floyd Mayweather, Jr in 2015 to have won all the major belts in the division, though not simultaneously and as undisputed unified champion. More than that, a win will certainly enrich further his legacy and put him firmly in the debate as to the greatest fighter of all time.
Filipino boxing fans would be at the edge of their seats so to speak the coming next four weeks.
Let us all hope and pray for the best.
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.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.
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