AN all-Filipino fight between the country’s top fighters may seem taboo to the casual Pinoy boxing fans. It, however, is a glimpse of the future, as boxing in the country continues to surge.
“This shows that boxing here in the Philippines is getting bigger,” said two-division world champion Johnriel Casimero. “This is part of boxing. I will fight whoever he is regardless of him being a Pinoy or not.”
Casimero faces up-and-comer Jonas Sultan in an International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight title eliminator in one of the featured fights of Pinoy Pride 42 - “Clash for Glory” on Saturday night at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino.
“A Pinoy against a Pinoy is bound to happen. This happens rarely and we want to make history. I will always give my everything, whoever my opponent is,” said Sultan.
History, indeed, will happen as the winner becomes the mandatory challenger of yet another Pinoy, IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas.
It has been 92 years since a Filipino fought a fellow Filipino in the world championship level since Pancho Villa defended his World flyweight belt against Clever Sencio back in 1925.
Casimero, the former IBF light flyweight and flyweight champion, is coming off a six-round unanimous decision over Jecker Buhawe. Sultan, in the meantime, is fresh from an eighth round knockout of ex-world champion Sonny Boy Jaro.
Casimero, ranked No. 3 in the IBF, is 24-3 with 15 knockouts, while Sultan, rated No. 8, is 13-3 with nine knockouts.
“Casimero is a great champion, while Sultan is a promising fighter. They both want to be champions. This is absolutely a must win for either of them. The fans will benefit this fight. I know that everyone will enjoy this fight,” said Casimero’s manager Sammy Gello-ani.
The main event features IBF light flyweight king Milan Melindo defending his belt against former world champion Hekkie Budler.
World Boxing Organization (WBO) No. 1 ranked light welterweight Jason Pagara faces off with Kenyan veteran James Onyango in the other featured fight. (EKA)