Donaire, 37, was recently named to challenge WBC bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali of France with a deadline of Jan. 3 to determine date, venue and purses.
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Six Pinoy pugs in line for title cracks
Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) - December 30, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The year 2019 is ending with four Filipino world boxing champions super WBA welterweight titlist Sen. Manny Pacquiao, IBF superflyweight king Jerwin Ancajas, WBO bantamweight ruler Johnriel Casimero and IBF minimumweight beltholder Pedro Taduran. But the New Year is brimming with hope for more Filipinos to reign on the throne with six No. 1 contenders in the queue for mandatory title shots.

The latest ratings show Nonito Donaire, Jr. as WBC No. 1 bantamweight, Albert Pagara as WBO No. 1 superbantamweight, Michael Dasmarinas as IBF No. 1 bantamweight, Giemel Magramo as WBO No. 1 flyweight, Melvin Jerusalem as WBC No. 1 minimumweight and Robert Paradero as WBO No. 1 minimumweight.

Donaire, 37, was recently named to challenge WBC bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali of France with a deadline of Jan. 3 to determine date, venue and purses. Last November, he pushed Japan’s unbeaten Naoya Inoue to the limit in the World Boxing Super Series final in Saitama to unify the WBA and IBF titles and lost on points in what Boxing News of London voted the Fight of the Year. Donaire’s record is 40-6, with 26 KOs.

Pagara, 25, is coming off a first round disposal of Thailand’s Ratchanon Sawangsoda in Ormoc City last August and boasts a 32-1 record, with 23 KOs. His only loss was to Mexico’s Cesar Juarez on an eighth round TKO in San Mateo, California, in 2016. Pagara’s hurdle is WBO 122-pound champion Emanuel Navarrete who halted Filipino challenger Mig Elorde in the fourth round in Las Vegas last September.

Dasmarinas, 27, is unbeaten in his last 12 fights and has a 30-2-1 record, with 20 KOs. Inoue holds the IBF crown in his division. Magramo, 25, has won his last seven outings and is fresh from a third round stoppage of Richard Claveras in Taguig last September. He’s the only Filipino ranked in the top 10 by five major governing bodies as No. 1 by WBO, No. 3 by IBF, No. 4 by IBO, No. 5 by WBC and No. 6 by WBA. The WBO titlist in Magramo’s way is Japan’s Kosei Tanaka.

Jerusalem, 25, has a 15-2 record, with 9 KOs. In 2017, he lost a close decision to WBC minimumweight titlist Wanheng Menayothin in Thailand and if not for a point deduction due to a low blow, it would’ve ended a majority draw. Wanheng, 34, holds the record for most wins in an unblemished record by a world champion, 54-0, better than Floyd Mayweather’s mark. Paradero, 23, is ranked No. 1 by WBO, No. 7 by IBF and No. 10 by IBO in the 105-pound division and should be next in line to challenge WBO titleholder Wilfredo Mendez of Puerto Rico. Paradero’s record is 18-0, with 12 KOs.

Filipinos who lost their world titles this year were Donaire (super WBA bantamweight), Vic Saludar (WBO minimumweight) and Donnie Nietes (voluntarily relinquished WBO superflyweight crown). Nietes, 37, has not fought since winning the vacant WBO 115-pound title on a split decision over Kazuto Ioka in December last year. He’s ranked No. 2 by IBO, No. 4 by IBF and No. 6 by WBC in the superflyweight division. His record is 42-1-5, with 23 KOs. If Nietes stays active, he could fight for another world title this coming year.

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