Pacquiao fighter gets crack at world title belt

SunStar Boxing
SunStar Boxing

ANOTHER Filipino boxer gets a crack at a world title as Vincent Astrolabio challenges World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight king Junto Nakatani in another extension of the Philippines vs. Japan rivalry on July 20, 2024 at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan.

Astrolabio earned another shot at becoming a world champion after losing his initial bid at a world title last year.

The 27-year-old Astrolabio, promoted by eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, lost to Jason Moloney in a vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight title fight by a close majority decision in the US.

Astrolabio bounced back with an 11th round technical knockout of Navapon Khaikanha in a WBC bantamweight title eliminator in Thailand that earned him mandatory status last year.

The 26-year-old Nakatani, a three-division world champion, won the WBC bantamweight strap with a sixth round technical knockout of Alexandro Santiago on Feb. 24, 2024, in Japan.

Nakatani is one of the stars from boxing powerhouse Japan and is currently considered as the best bantamweight by The Ring Magazine.

Nakatani dominated the flyweight and super flyweight divisions and owns wins over Milan Melindo, Seigo Yuri Akui, Angel Acosta, Andrew Moloney and Francisco Rodriguez Jr.

Astrolabio is 19-4 with four knockouts, while Nakatani is 27-0 with 20 knockouts.

The Philippines currently has a lone world champion in Melvin Jerusalem. He broke the country’s world title drought after dethroning Yudai Shigeoka by split decision to win the WBC minimumweight title last March 31, 2024, in Japan. / EKA

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