Apolinar to try luck at 122lbs division with fight against Ramonal for OPBF super bantam title
CEBU CITY, Philippines — One of Omega Boxing Gym’s top prospects, Pete “Thunder” Apolinar, will return in the ring on April 2 to face Jhunriel Ramonal for the vacant Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) super bantamweight title at the Elorde Sports Complex in Sucat, Parañaque City.
The 26-year-old Apolinar is seeking redemption after losing to Korean Jong Seon Kang in November for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Oriental featherweight title, which was his first bout abroad with the fight being held in South Korea.
This time, Apolinar, the pride of San Pablo, Laguna will move down from the 126-pound featherweight division to the super bantamweight 122lbs division and try his luck to clinch the OPBF title.
In an earlier interview, Apolinar’s promoter and manager, Jerome Calatrava, the vice president of Omega Pro Sports International (OPSI), said they decided to let their boxer move to a lighter weight division to test the waters.
“He’s not featherweight anymore, but super bantamweight. It’s first time for Pete to move down a weight class, but he’s a former super bantamweight before he became a featherweight. Now, we’re trying the 122lbs division for him,” said Calatrava.
Apolinar was on a ten-fight winning streak before he was defeated by Kang last year.
The 20-year-old Korean dropped Apolinar three times in their lopsided bout, proving himself to be the bane for Omega boxers. In 2019, Kang defeated Tomjune Mangubat for another WBO regional title in a close split decision in Vietnam.
This time, however, Apolinar gets another chance to prove himself if he’s got what it takes to shine in the 122lbs division by facing the 32-year-old Ramonal.
For Omega Boxing Gym’s chief trainer, Julius Erving Junco, they took the offer right away after it was endorsed to them.
Junco said that they should not waste the opportunity, especially that it would help Apolinar break into WBC’s super bantamweight rankings if he would win.
“It’s gonna be a good fight. We have the edge in this fight when it comes to speed and siguro a little bit of experience. Pero overall package Apolinar has the edge,” said Junco.
“Ang opportunity, mag sige tag ingon nga pabor-pabor ta sa ato-a, sayang ang opportunity, OPBF gold, kung makuha ni nato, ma rank ta sa WBC. Ang purpose nato, international, mogain ta ug experience as much as possible,” Junco said.
(We often say that opportunity favors us, so it is an opportunity, OPBF gold, to grab because if we win this, we will be ranked at the WBC. Our purpose is international, we should gain experience as much as possible.)
Apolinar, a former OPBF silver featherweight champion, sports a record of 15 wins with nine knockouts and two defeats.
Ramonal has 17-9-6 (win-loss-draw) slate with 10 knockouts. Same as Apolinar, Ramonal’s most recent bout came up short after losing to Landy Cris Leon via technical decision in July last year.
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