SPOTLIGHT: Get to know your current Filipino boxing world champions
Santino Honasan on Jul 29, 2016 04:09 PM
ELITE COMPANY. Nonito Donaire Jr, Donnie Nietes, and Marlon Tapales are only three of the Philippines' current boxing world champions
Wednesday afternoon, Marlon “The Nightmare” Tapales joined elite company by becoming the new WBO world bantamweight champion after defeating Punguluang Sor Singyu in Thailand and becoming one of only a handful of Filipinos who can call themselves a world champion.
Currently, there are only six Pinoys holding world title belts, and we've taken the liberty of helping you get to know a bit about them!
Nonito “The Fililpino” Flash” Donaire Jr.
Record: 37-3-0, 24 KO
From: Talibon, Bohol/San Leandro, California, USA
Current title held: WBO World Super Bantamweight Championship (won December, 2015)
A four-division world champion, Nonito Donaire Jr. has held the the IBF flyweight title, the WBO and WBC bantamweight titles, the IBF super bantamweight title, and the WBA featherweight title. The hard-hitting Boholano who currently resides in California, Donaire claimed the WBO super bantamweight championship last December against Cesar Juarez, and recently defended it against Zsolt Bedak in Cebu last April.
Donnie “Ahas” Nietes
Record: 38-1-4, 22 KO
From: Murcia, Negros Occidental
Current title held: WBO World Light Flyweight Championship (won October, 2011)
The longest reigning Filipino world champion, Donnie Nietes claimed his first world title back in 2007, winning the vacant WBO world minimumweight title against Thailand’s Pornsawn Por Pramuk. In 2011, Nietes won the WBO world light flyweight championship against Ramon Garcia, and has held the title ever since, defending it nine times and already surpassing the tenure of Pinoy boxing legend Gabriel “Flash” Elorde
Johnriel “Quadro Alas” Casimero
Record: 22-3-0, 14 KO
From: Ormoc, Leyte
Current title held: IBF World Flyweight Championship (won May, 2016)
After losing his initial bid for the IBF world flyweight title, Johnriel Casimero dropped a few pounds and set his sights on the IBF world light flyweight strap, eventually claiming the said title in 2012, beating Pedro Guevara via split decision. “Quadro Alas” went on to defend the title thrice, before going back up to the flyweight division for another crack at the IBF world flyweight championship. After losing to Thailand’s Amnat Ruenroeng in their first encounter, Casimero would knock Ruenroeng out in the rematch just last May to finally take the IBF world flyweight title home.
Marlon “The Nightmare” Tapales
Record: 29-2-0, 12 KO
From: Tubod, Lanao del Norte
Current title held: WBO World Bantamweight Championship (won July, 2016)
The newest champion on this list, Marlon Tapales, on his first shot at world title gold, bounced back from getting knocked down twice and knocked out Thailand’s Pungluang Sor Singyu to snatch away the WBO world bantamweight championship.
Record: 6-2-1, 2 KO
From: Valencia, Bukidnon
Current title held: WIBA World Super Flyweight Championship (won May, 2015)
In just her ninth professional bout, Marnelle Verano managed to snag the WIBA world super flyweight championship from Australia’s Sylvia Scharper in her own backyard in May of 2015. Verano was 1-2 in her last three bouts, but eventually bounced back in a huge way, claiming her first career world title.
Gretchen “Chen Chen” Abaniel
From: Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Current titles held: WIBA World Minimumweight Championship and GBU Female World Minimumweight Championship (won November, 2015)
Much like Verano, Gretchen Abaniel earned a shot at a world title early in her career, just seven fights in. Unfortunately for the Palawan native, she fell short in capturing the WBA world female minimumweight championship. It would just be the first of many chances for “Chen chen”, as Abaniel would win her first world title just two fights later, claiming the vacant WIBA world minimumweight title in 2009. Abaniel would lose the same title two years later, but would eventually reclaim it in 2015, along with the GBU female world minimumweight crown. Abaniel defended her titles in early July, against Saowaluk Nareepangsri in Australia.