Viloria,Donaire,Nietes,Penalosa in 2010

Even as we are all awaiting for Pacquiao’s next fight , there are other Filipino torch bearers worthy of our attention.  January and February will open up exciting match ups for other Filipino pugilists. 

Brian Viloria

The Hawaiian Punch Brian Viloria opens up the year by defending his IBF light flyweight belt right here on Philippine soil.   It can be recalled that he captured the championship belt from Ulyses Solis last year at the Araneta Coliseum.  This time, he will defend this title for the 2nd time at the Cuneta Astrodome.

He is being challenged by Carlos Tamara a 26 year old, a native of Columbia, who boasts of a record of 20 wins and only 4 loses. 

Viloria is  at the peak of his career and should be physically and mentally prepared for this fight.    The fight is scheduled for January 23.

Donnie Nietes

Donnie Nietes, the current WBO minimumweight champion stakes his belt yet again against Jesus Silvestre  of Mexico as part of the Viloria undercard.  Nietes has defended his belt  three times  before, all against formidable opponents.  His record of 25 wins, 1 loss and 3 draws is a testament to his skill level and determination.  An outstanding record by any standard, Nietes obviously gets things done even if he does not attract the same fanfare as the Pacman.

Jesus “el negrito” Silvestrez boasts of a 15- 1 win loss slate.  He is fighting out of Mexico and will bravely face Nietes in the latter’s territory.   Silvestre has 12 knockouts out of his 15 wins and is expected to go at it with Nietes early in the fight.  He is reportedly   hungry and determined.

Nonito Donaire Jr.

He has been seen more often appearing on talk shows, reality programs and singing contests creating the impression that he might be  turning his back on boxing and starting a new career but  Nonito Donaire Jr. will be back where he truly belongs come February 13.  He  goes up against Gerson Guerrero for the interim WBA World Super flyweight title.

Donaire’s superior boxing skills buoyed by both his height and reach advantages make him very interesting to the boxing world.  The power behind his punches is multiplied by the speed by which they are thrown all the more make him one of the more famous Filipino boxers.   He is expected to continue his winning streak as he goes up against a very game opponent.

Geron Guerrero is a 32 year old veteran with a record of 34 wins and 8 losses.  26 of those wins came via KO.  He is getting a chance at the big time going up against the much heralded Donaire.

Guerrero is a clear underdog but is expected to give his all for a shot at a world championship.

If Donaire wins, he must purposively choose opponents that bring out his maximum potential.  Many have said that after his much talked about win against the feisty Armenian, Vic Darchinyan,  Donaire’s foes have not been able to push him to his best.  However, a rematch against Darchinyan may  be the one that boxing fans is waiting for.  That fight in all probability will happen in 2010.

 Ciso Morales

Eden Sonsona, the young Filipino turk who barged into the limelight by being the youngest Filipino ever to win a world title belt in October of 2009 was reportedly scheduled to challenge Fernando Montiel in February as part of the Donaire undercard.  As fate would have it though, he has been replaced by a virtual unknown Ciso Morales (14-8), another hard-punching Filipino. 

Ciso is all of 21years old and just like many of our countrymen in the recent past is getting his chance at a championship.  This is an exciting opportunity as he will be facing a goo champion in Fernando Montiel Montiel has practically dominated the division as  the WBO super flyweight champion.   Ciso’s career will surely move into high gear if he does beat the current   champion.  The fight is for the vacant WBObantamweight world title.

Gerry Penalosa

Lastly and certainly not the least is the upcoming fight of Gerry Penalosa.  Living up once again to his name, Gerry is going for, as he says, his one last run.  He accepted a fight against Eric Morel in a WBO bantamweight eliminator match.

Gerry who is 37 years old with a record of  54 wins with 7 losses and 2 draws, says he has what it takes to beat the Mexican.  Morel is 34 years old with a record of 41 wins (21by knockout ) and with only 2 losses will surely provide a good test for Penalosa. 

However, if Penalosa’s performance against Juanma Lopez is any indication, it would seem that he does have the stamina, speed and definitely the skills to win several more fights.

Over-all, this is the time Filipino boxers are getting recognized in this sport.  Clearly, we can excel in boxing and continue to dominate in this sport if we simply continue to support our very own.