More Filipino boxers gunning for world title in 2024

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | February 25,2024 - 09:02 PM

More Filipino boxers gunning for world title in 2024

(from left to right) Melvin Jerusalem, Cristian Araneta, ArAr Andales, Pedro Taduran, Vincent Astrolabio, Reymart Gaballo, and Dave Apolinario. | Facebook, Omega Boxing Gym, and Sanman Boxing photos

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Passionate Filipino boxing fans were utterly disappointed with Jerwin Ancajas‘ ninth-round knockout loss in the hands of World Boxing Association (WBA) world bantamweight champion Takuma Inoue in Tokyo, Japan, last Saturday.

Many of these fans believed that the era of Philippine boxing was over and finding another “Manny Pacquiao” wasn’t that clear on the horizon as Filipino boxers continue to falter in world title fights.

Currently, the Philippines does not have a boxing world champion. The country’s last remaining Filipino world champion was Marlon Tapales, but  he lost to Naoya Inoue in their fight Japan last December, paving the way for the latter to become the undisputed world superbantamweight king.

However, there is still a brimming hope for Philippine boxing to end its world title drought.

In fact, there are at least seven Filipino boxers who are guaranteed world title mandatory challenger in either of the four major boxing governing bodies.

These Filipino boxers have a huge chance to end the country’s world title drought, starting with former World Boxing Organization (WBO) world minimumweight champion Melvin “Gringo” Jerusalem (21-3, 12KOs).

Jerusalem earned a world title shot for Yudai Shigeoka’s (8-0, 5KOs) World Boxing Council (WBC) belt on March 31 in Nagoya, Japan.

ALSO READ: Jerusalem gets another world title shot, challenges Shigeoka for WBC minimum weight belt

Fascinatingly, the Cebu-based Jerusalem skipped other contenders ahead of him such as countryman Joey Canoy and Pedro Taduran, so as No. 1 contender Luis Castillo of Mexico for the world title shot.

Meanwhile, ArAr Andales (14-2-3, 6KOs) takes on Shigeoka’s brother, Ginjiro (10-0, 8KOs), for the latter’s International Boxing Federation (IBF) world minimumweight title in the same fight card.

The winning boxer between Andales and Shigeoka will likely face mandatory challenger and former world champion Pedro “Kid Heneral” Taduran (16-4-1, 12KOs).

Taduran earned his world title shot after defeating fellow Filipino boxer Jake Amparo last December 28 in Tagbilaran, Bohol, in a world title eliminator.

Also guaranteed to have a world title shot this year is Cristian “The Bomb” Araneta (24-2, 19KOs) of the Omega Boxing Gym for the IBF world light flyweight title recently reclaimed by African Sivenathi Nontshinga (13-1, 10KOs).

ALSO READ: FACES OF CEBU: Christian “The Bomb” Araneta, 28, professional boxer

Joining them is Vincent “Asero” Astrolabio (19-4, 14KOs), who will move as the No. 1 contender for the WBC world bantamweight title after erstwhile top contender Japanese Junto Nakatani (27-0, 20KOs) won it on Saturday evening.

Nakatani dethroned Filipino boxer Alexandro Santiago in the co-main event of Ancajas-Inoue’s bout in Tokyo, Japan. Nakatani scored a sixth-round technical knockout to become a three-division world champion.

Like Astrolabio, former interim world champion Reymart “Assassin” Gaballo (27-1, 22KOs) is the No. 1 ranked bantamweight in the WBO. Gaballo of Sanman Boxing has earned a world title shot for its reigning champion, Jason Moloney (27-2, 19KOs) of Australia.

Gaballo’s stablemate, Dave “Dobermann” Apolinario (20-0, 14KOs), is also currently ranked No. 1 in the WBA flyweight division, which puts him as the next challenger for current champion Seigu Yuri Akui (19-2-1, 11KOs).

ALSO READ: Omega Sports Promotions aims to revive Cebu’s glory days in boxing

Apolinario also has a chance to earn a chance to fight for the IBF world flyweight title currently held by Jesse Rodriguez, as he’s ranked No. 2 behind Angel Ayala.

Besides the abovementioned world title contenders, there are several other Filipino boxers who are ranked high enough to earn world title eliminators or perhaps voluntary challengers or can even climb in the rankings as mandatory challengers.

They are former world champions in John Riel Casimero, Marlon Tapales, Nonito Donaire Jr., and Vic Saludar.

Also, prospects like Carl Jammes Martin, Jayson Vayson, Miel Fajardo, and Regie Suganob have big chances of landing a world title eliminator or perhaps a world title fight this year.


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TAGS: boxers, Dave "Dobermann" Apolinario, Filipino, Melvin Jerusalem

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