Because Manny Pacquiao is now a Philippine Senator, he has decided to hang up his gloves. We’re not sure if that’s good for the country but we’re certain it isn’t for boxing. If he stays true to his word, it means we’re not going to see one of the most entertaining fighters ever set foot in the squared circle again.
Philippine boxing, let alone the entire sport will likely experience a dip in popularity upon a Pacquiao retirement. There are rumors, though, that Manny will continue to fight until the 2021 Philippine Presidential Elections. (ICYMI: Bob Arum has reserved an October fight date for Pacman's ring return.) With that in mind, let’s just say that he’s currently on an indefinite hiatus. But still, while the Pacman is keen on keeping himself out of the ring, the local boxing scene has got to take a knee and regroup. Luckily, we can count on a couple of veteran champions and a few young fighters to bring the local boxing scene back to its feet.
With Manny out of the picture, let this Pinoy pugs entertain you with their own brand of pugilistic pyrotechnics.
THE OLD RELIABLES
(37W – 3L – 24KOs)
Division: Super Bantamweight
We all know this guy. We all know what he can do. The 2012 Fighter of the Year is arguably the most skilled Filipino fighter around. When he’s on, the Filipino Flash’s lethal combination of grace and power turns each of his ring outing into a work of art. After surviving a tough stretch in 2013 up until 2014, Nonito is now treading the path back to prominence. Just last April 23 in Cebu City, he blew past his Hungarian challenger Zsolt Bedak in three violent rounds to defend his WBO Super Bantamweight strap. It was spectacular and all but what we really want is to see him go after the other champions in his weight class. With his immense talent, Nonito is capable of unifying the belts, become an undisputed champ, and take the mantle as the country’s new Number One fighter.
(W38 - 1L – 4D - 22KOs)
Division: Light Flyweight
Donnie “Ahas” Nietes has been a world champion for nine years. Spanning from 2007 to 2016, he has conquered the minimumweight and light flyweight divisions. Successfully defending a world title for nearly a decade has made him the longest-reigning Filipino champ in history–a distinction that screams Nietes is the real deal! The latest victim of this this grit- and-grind fighter is Raul Garcia of Mexico, who threw in the towel after suffering five rounds of suffocating pressure from Nietes this past May 28 in Bacolod City. Hopefully, this Pinoy fight legend will get to share the ring with pound-for-pound king Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzales in the near future. Win or lose, a gallant performance against the dreaded Nicaraguan will take Donnie’s stock two or three levels upwards.
THE YOUNG GUNS
(W26 - 0L - 16KOs)
Division: Super Bantamweight
At only 22, the unbeaten ALA stable prodigy is probably the most exciting fighter in this bunch. The Maasin City native has yet to taste a single defeat in his boxing life. He had an eye-popping 400 and 0 record as an amateur and has remained unscathed in all of his 26 professional fights. The fast-rising star's M.O. is to trade leather before blowing out his adversary, often with his scorching right straight. Prince Albert, as he’s known, might just enter boxing royalty someday. A highlight win over his July 9 opponent, the super tough Mexican Cesar Juarez (the same fighter who went toe-to-toe with Donaire in a 2015 Fight of the Year candidate), would definitely help him head towards that direction.
John Riel Casimero
(23W – 3L – 14KOs)
Division: Light Flyweight / Flyweight
Casimero is a two-time light flyweight titleholder and last May 25 he added the IBF flyweight crown to his collection after knocking out Thailand’s Amnat Ruenroeng with beautiful body shot. This 26-year-old’s success primarily comes from him being a pretty slick action fighter. He operates on attack mode consistently but he can also switch up as a counterpuncher when necessary. Two of his three losses were razor thin close ones while his lone TKO defeat came against an excellent pugilist in South African Moruti Mthalane. John Riel has been real solid in his nine-year professional career, it’s a pity he doesn’t receive the same amount of exposure as his more famous peers get. Come on, network execs, give the guy more TV time. Let the people know about the man nicknamed Quadro Alas, he’s always ready to put on a good show.
(14W – 0L – 11KOs)
Magnificent Mark is having a dream start to his career, knocking out opponent after opponent. He’s a two-fisted heavy hitter, who can hurt with his looping and overhand right and a left hook to the body. For Magsayo to realize his tremendous potential, he must improve certain facets of his game like his mediocre jab and his non-existent defense—which was exposed when he was rocked by Chris Avalos in the Donaire-Bedak undercard. Luckily, he was bailed out by his game-changing power, allowing him to finish off his adversary in the sixth round.
(27W – 0L – 11KOs)
Division: Super Bantamweight
Of all the boxers here, we think this guy is the second most technically proficient boxer, just behind Donaire. Sadly, he’s acting like the black sheep of this brood. Reports have come out that Genesis has been slacking, missing training sessions, visiting the gym as often as Buboy Fernandez eats at a Vegan joint. His once blossoming career is up in the air right now. Hopefully, this prodigal son can soon step away from his bad habits and straighten himself out. If he can get back on track, Azukal can help reenergize the country’s boxing community.
Romantiko ka man o sawi, walang pinipiling manonood ang '100 Tula Para Kay Stella'
Where to go if you hate people
This is your chance to get high
Admit it, you're both attracted and terrified of these women
Or how to actually be healthy and keep it that way