Plania faces Greer, becomes first Filipino to fight amid pandemic

Roy Luarca
Plania faces Greer, becomes first Filipino to fight amid pandemic
Mike Plania heads back to the ring to battle American Joshua Greer behind closed doors in Las Vegas on June 16


MANILA, Philippines – Mike Plania gets the distinction of being the first Filipino boxer to see action amid the COVID-19 pandemic when he tangles with American Joshua Greer on Tuesday, June 16 (Wednesday, June 17, Philippine time) behind closed doors at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.

Since Plania is a natural super bantam and Greer a highly rated bantam, both sides agreed to a 10-rounder at a catchweight of 120 pounds.

The 23-year-old Plania, one of 5 SanMan fighters holed up in Miami, Florida, holds a 23-1 record with 12 knockouts, while the 25-year-old Greer, rated No. 1 by the World Boxing Organization and No. 2 by the International Boxing Federation, is 21-1-1 with 12 KOs.

SanMan Promotions president JC Manangquil, however, is optimistic Plania will be able to beat Chicago native Greer, who was earlier floated by Top Rank Promotions big boss as a substitute if Japanese “Monster” Naoya doesn’t make it in time for his July 25 bantamweight unification with Filipino Johnriel Casimero.

“We’re confident because this is the big break Plania has been waiting for,” said Manangquil. “Greer is good but nothing extraordinary (as a fighter).”

Manangquil added Plania, who has won his last 8 bouts, is in shape because he and the other Filipino fighters live with trainer Osmiri Fernandez in a house right beside a gym.

“Maybe he’s 128 pounds now, so making weight shouldn’t be a problem,” added Manangquil.

Plania’s housemates, Reymart Gaballo, John Vincent Moralde and Mark Bernaldez, are serving as sparring partners. The fifth housemate, James Bacon, is too big being a welterweight.

“We’re very happy to be given the opportunity to resume the Filipinos’ ring campaign in the United States,” said Manangquil. “Hopefully, we’ll be successful.”

Top Rank, with the concurrence of the Nevada Athletic Commission, will start staging boxing bouts in Las Vegas on June 9 with 2 bouts pitting featherweights Shakur Stevenson (13-0, 7 KOs) and Felix Caraballo (13-1-2, 9 KOs) and Mikaela Mayer (12-0, 5 KOs) and Helen Joseph (17-4-2, 10 KOs).

The bouts will be shown on ESPN platforms. –

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