International Boxing Organization
International Boxing Organization


Top Filipino Contenders who might become
major title world champions this year

By: Myron Sta.Ana
Thu, 12 Apr 2012

LORENZO "THUNDERBOLT" VILLANUEVA (22-0-0, 21 KOs) Current WBO Oriental Featherweight Champion

Ring Smarts/Winning Tools: This boxer from Midsayap, North Cotabato may be limited technically but he is one exciting fighter to watch in the ring. What he lacks in skills that still need to be fine-tuned, he definitely makes up for his power, resiliency and aggression. He just needs to get through with one big left straight, and that is it. Fight is over. One more special and interesting thing about him is his granite chin. He stays up and fighting back even if you hit him multiple times on his face and head. Hence, nobody can doubt his proven bravery and tenacity. As long as his handlers do something about polishing his skills and teaching him to vary his punches and not just stick to 1-2 combinations, he will definitely go a long way; someone who is even in the mold of the late Edwin Valero whom he is getting comparisons with.

Noteworthy Opponents Beaten: Former amateur standout and 1-defense WBO Oriental Featherweight champion, Eric "Mr. Golpe Golpe" Canoy (TKO10) and former 1-time WBC Super Bantamweight title challenger, Balweg "The Davao Hitman" Bangoyan (Retired)

Next Scheduled Fight: Just like Michael Domingo, he is scheduled to appear in an IBO-sanctioned world title. He will face Indonesia's pride, Daud Cino "The Stone" Yordan (28-2-0, 22 KOs) for the Featherweight belt at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on May 5th.

A Short Back story About Him:
You may be raising your eyebrows now upon seeing Michael is included on this list and you may ask 'what is he doing here?'. But like it or not, I have all the reasons and the right to include him as on May 26th in Accra, Ghana; he is already scheduled to trade leathers with one of the best in the bantamweight division right now, former 1-defense WBF and 2-time IBF Bantamweight champion, Joseph "King Kong" Agbeko (28-4-0, 22 KOs) for the vacant IBO 118-lb title. Now, who knows if he can or cannot win? IBO or International Boxing Organization might not be as prominent as WBC, WBA, IBF, or WBO but it is now considered a major world title as well. If you do not recognize it as such, then that makes the great Manny Pacquiao a 7-division world champion only because one of his titles was the IBO Light Welterweight belt he won when he knocked out Ricky Hatton of the UK in May 2009. Anyway, Michael (who has a moniker of Bruce Lee due to his slight resemblance to his legendary namesake,) is a tough and durable veteran of 62 fights. Also, he is better than what his record shows despite being 'hard luck' early in his boxing career. He had had an unfortunately unimpressive showing from 1999 to early 2007 within which he was knocked out by the likes of 2-time WBO Super Bantamweight title challenger, Sod Kokietgym, former 5-defense WBF & one-time WBA Super Bantamweight champion, Somsak Sithchatchawal and French Frederic Patrac in a vacant WBF Bantamweight title bout. He had also lost by way of decisions to former 3-defense WBA Super Featherweight champion, Jorge "El Nino de Oro" Linares of Venezuela and former 2-defense WBA Super Bantamweight champion, Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym of Thailand. His record went 33-14-2 with 15 KOs; definitely unattractive. However; starting on August 12, 2007 when he was already with the ALA stable of Cebu's Aldeguer family; his career turned better. On the undercard of the Philippines vs Mexico Boxing World Cup organized by Golden Boy Promotions, he made a name for himself when he outclassed then undefeated and highly-touted Featherweight prospect, Miguel Roman of Mexico. From then on, he went 11-2-0 with 8 KOs. His only two losses since then came from South African Vusi Malinga in a close IBF Bantamweight title eliminator fight on October 30th two years ago and just this September last year when he was outpointed by fellow Filipino bantamweight contender, former Interim WBA Super Flyweight ruler; Drian "Gintong Kamao" Francisco.

Ring Smarts/Winning Tools: He is another solid pugilist from the ALA stable who knows what a jab is for. He throws them frequently as necessary not just to get the right distance but to hurt his opponent as well while looking for openings to land his hard right straight to. Also, he is another excellent body puncher whose signature shot would be his left to the body; a left that has helped him knock out some of his past opponents. Let us not forget his tight defense as well, which makes it hard to hit him. Finally, although he is normally a slow starter, he is equally known for his calculated aggressiveness in the ring that he resorts to when he knows he already hurt his opponent.

Noteworthy Opponents Beaten: Former 1-defense WBO Bantamweight champion, Ratanachai Singwancha of Thailand (TKO9); Former 2-time world title challenger and ex-prospect, Miguel "Mickey" Roman of Mexico (UD6); Former amateur standout and IBA Super Flyweight champion, Jose Navarro of the US; former WBO Super Flyweight title challenger, Luis "Surtigas" Melendez of Colombia; and current OPBF Bantamweight champion, Rolly "Rolly Matsushita" Lunas (UD10)

Next Scheduled Fight: As mentioned, he is going to fight former 2-time IBF Bantamweight champion, Joseph "King Kong" Agbeko on May 26th in Accra, Ghana for the vacant IBO Bantamweight belt.

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