Magramo’s title bid reset to July

Joaquin Henson - The Philippine Star
Magramo�s title bid reset to July
Giemel Magramo
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Giemel Magramo’s extended wait to battle unbeaten Japanese southpaw Junto Nakatani for the vacant WBO flyweight title will finally come to an end as the twice-postponed fight is set to take place at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo on July 4.

Magramo’s manager Johnny Elorde sent the contract of the bout to GAB chairman Baham Mitra the other day, confirming that Japanese promoter Akihiko Honda has finalized the terms of engagement. Mitra said he’s in contact with WBO Asia Pacific chairman Leon Panoncillo and Tsuyoshi Yasukochi of the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) regarding arrangements for the fight. “I’m asking for the safety protocols before we issue a letter of authority,” said Mitra. “I will inquire with the Japanese Embassy (about the issuance of visas).” The contract stipulates a purse of $40,000 for Magramo.

Elorde’s wife Liza, who is taking care of travel bookings, said flights out of Manila remain irregular. “You can book but not sure if it will go on or not,” she said. It’s not certain if Magramo and his traveling party will be required to undergo a mandatory quarantine period upon arriving in Tokyo. The fight was initially scheduled on April 4 then it was reset to June 6. But the JBC and the Japan Professional Boxing Association decided in a liaison conference last Saturday to cancel all fights until the end of June because of the pandemic. The Japanese government has ordered the closure of sports training facilities, including boxing gyms, on a nationwide basis. However, the JBC announced that boxing promotions may resume in July under strict health conditions.

Hall of Fame journalist and matchmaker Joe Koizumi said the health guidelines include social distancing among spectators with a stadium allowed only up to 1/3 of seating capacity, a limit of eight bouts per card and mandatory wearing of face masks by cornermen, judges and JBC officials. Koizumi said the referee will not be required to wear a mask or face guard. “Upon the JBC’s final approval of the applications for boxing shows to take place in July, they (health protocols) will be put into practice,” said Koizumi. “It is good we may be able to welcome boxing back soon even with stringent regulations and restrictions in Japan.”

Liza said Magramo continues to work out at the Elorde gym in Sucat which is near his home. “He never stopped going to the gym so he’s in condition,” she said. “But he needs sparring. Johnny is now lining up sparmates for Giemel.” Magramo, 25, has won his last seven fights, all inside the distance, and totes a record of 24-1, including 20 KOs. Nakatani, 22, boasts a 20-0 record, with 15 KOs. His last two victims were Filipinos Milan Melindo (KO6) and Philip Cuerdo (KO1). The 5-7 Japanese is three inches taller than Magramo. The WBO flyweight throne was vacated by Japan’s Kosei Tanaka. WBO president Paco Valcarcel sanctioned the fight for the vacant title between Magramo, ranked No. 1, and Nakatani, ranked No. 3. It is expected that the winner will stake the crown against No. 2 contender Angel Acosta of Puerto Rico.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with