Plania stuns American Foe, boxing world
Mike “Magic” Plania
Top Rank
Plania stuns American Foe, boxing world
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - June 18, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — With little fanfare, Mike “Magic” Plania of the Philippines introduced himself to the boxing world yesterday with a stunning victory over American Joshua Greer Jr. in Las Vegas.

The 23-year-old from General Santos City floored his heavily-favored opponent in the first and sixth rounds then held his ground in the stretch to pull off a majority decision.

Plania became the first Filipino to fight in the COVID-19 period. The scheduled 10-rounder of a card presented by Top Rank took place at the MGM Grand Conference Center.

Under strict health protocols, the place was near-empty.

But it hardly mattered for Plania, a big fan of eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao. He came to fight, and proved ring experts, who had picked Greer to win, wrong.

“This will change my life,” Plania, tearful after the decision was announced,told ww.boxingscene.com.

“I’ve been dreaming of this since I was a kid, and now God gave me a chance,” added Plania, now in line to challenge WBO bantamweight champion and compatriot Johnriel Casimero.

Greer found his second wind in the closing rounds, and pressed the attack. At times it appeared that Plania, who trained in Miami during the lockdown, was out of gas.

“I was tired but not too tired. I just adjusted my game plan,” he said.

Casimero, in Las Vegas gearing up for a fight against Japanese champion Naoya Inoue, was a big winner, too. He placed his money on Plania – $1,500 for a handsome dividend of $4,550.

“Congratulations on a great win Mike. Thanks for this,” Casimero posted on Twitter, with an image of his betting tickets.

Greer, a 5-1 favorite, took in Plania as a substitute opponent. He went down from the Filipino’s left hooks, and must have realized early on that he picked the wrong opponent.

But the 26-year-old from Chicago, 22-2, was gracious in defeat.

“It was Mike Plania’s night tonight. He did a great job. No excuses for me. Mike Plania was just the better man tonight,” said Greer after the bitter loss.

In victory, Plania dropped to his knees and raised his hands.

MIKE PLANIA
Philstar
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