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Sports

Apolinario eyes major flyweight titles

Dino Maragay - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The camp of newly crowned International Boxing Organization (IBO) flyweight champion Dave Apolinario wants greater recognition for Philippine boxing’s latest toast.

That means going after the more recognized boxing championships: World Boxing Council (WBC), International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organization (WBO).

“We want to win at least one (major belt) and take it from there,” JC Manangquil, chief of Sanman Boxing and Apolinario’s promoter, told scribes in a small gathering.

The 23-year-old Apolinario suddenly burst into the international boxing scene with a spectacular first-round knockout of Gideon Buthelezi at the latter’s turf in East London, South Africa last July 29.

“Simula pa lang. Mahaba pa ang boxing,” said Apolinario.

The sweet win by the fighter from Maasim, Sarangani was a much-needed shot in the arm for Philippine boxing, which prior to it had no active world champion.

That’s why Apolinario’s manager Mike Pelayo wants a shot at another crown.

“We really want (Julio Cesar) Martinez,” said Pelayo, referring to the reigning WBC flyweight champion from Mexico.

Pelayo said Martinez (18-2, 14 KOs) has the style that’s most suited for Apolinario, whose alias is “Doberman.”

Apolinario himself previously expressed his desire to challenge the undefeated IBF titlist Sunny Edwards (18-0, 4 KOs) of the United Kingdom.

But the British fighter’s slick style and movement may cause trouble for the forward-fighting Filipino.

The other flyweight titleholders are Ukraine’s Artem Dalakian (WBA) and Junto Nakatani (WBO) of Japan, the latter of whom also has Pelayo’s attention.

“It’s been years since a Filipino boxer defeated a Japanese,” Pelayo added.

Apolinario, for his part, is ready to fight anyone.

“Bring them on,” he said.

His dynamic duo of a management team in Manangquil and Pelayo is likewise ready to work on delivering what Apolinario wants.

IBO

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