MANILA, Philippines – Mike Plania hopes to resume the Filipino boxers’ international campaign with a wallop when he tangles with American Joshua Greer on Tuesday, June 16 (Wednesday, June 17, Philippine time) at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Tagged as underdog against the flamboyant Chicagoan, Plania is seeking a win that would put him in line for a world title shot and pave the way for compatriots whose ring careers got stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It (underdog status) will serve as my inspiration to come out and win this big,” said Plania, a super bantamweight who agreed to a catchweight of 120 pounds against Greer, the No. 1 bantamweight contender to Johnriel Casimero in the World Boxing Organization and No. 2 to Naoya Inoue in the International Boxing Federation.
Though their records are almost similar, oddsmakers put the 26-year-old Greer (21-1-1, 12 knockouts) a huge -550 favorite and the 23-year-old Plania (23-1, 12 KOs) a +375 long shot. Meaning a $550 bet on Greer earns $100 if he wins, while a $100 wager on Plania nets $375 if he prevails.
Both fighters made weight on Friday with Greer checking in at an exact 120 pounds and Plania 119.5.
JC Manangquil, head of General Santos City’s Sanman Promotions, said it would be a mistake if Greer underestimates Plania, who he expects to rehydrate to 133 pounds on fight night.
“Mike is ready to show the world what he’s made of,” Manangquil said. “He’s a pure boxer with talent and skills.”
According to Manangquil, who was unable to leave for the United States in time due to limited flights, Plania isn’t gunning for a knockout but will go for it if he finds “a hole in Greer’s armor.”
Chief trainer Moro Fernandez will man Plania’s corner with Franco Chocano and Ramon Falgui in the 10-rounder to be held behind closed doors but will be aired via ESPN platforms.
Enjoying a 19-win streak after losing to Stephon Fulton in 2015, Greer boasted he’s going to dominate Plania from round 1 and knock the Filipino out if possible in order to forge a title fight against either Casimero or Inoue.
But first, he must get past Plania. – Rappler.com
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