Asian boxing

Apolinario highly favored over Thai in Tokyo clash

Roy Luarca

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Apolinario highly favored over Thai in Tokyo clash

ALL SET. Filipino fighter Dave Apolinario (right) and Thai foe Tanes Ongjunta during the official weigh-in.


Unbeaten Filipino boxer Dave Apolinario, the No.1 rated WBA flyweight contender, needs an impressive victory over Thai Tanes Ongjunta to boost his chances of fighting for a major world title this year

MANILA, Philippines – Dave Apolinario is no stranger to being tagged the favorite. Having won all of his 19 fights, 13 by knockout, it’s but natural for the Filipino southpaw to get the nod of the oddsmakers, regardless of his opponent and the venue.

His flyweight battle against Thai Tanes Ongjunta on Thursday, February 22, at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo is no exception.

Japanese betting sites have installed the 25-year-old Apolinario, born in Maasim, Sarangani, and now residing in General Santos City, a 9-1 favorite over Bangkok’s Ongjunta, who is 12-1 with six knockouts. 

Apolinario was given a 90% chance of winning over Ongjunta, who was just given a 10% chance of pulling off an upset despite being a two-time Southeast Asian Games silver medalist.

The high expectations only fuel Apolinario’s desire to give a noteworthy performance.

“I want to make a statement to the boxing community that I am ready for a world title,” said Apolinario, a stalwart of SanMan Boxing, represented in Japan by Mike Pelayo, JC Manangquil, and John Ray Manangquil.

According to JC Manangquil, Apolinario, the former International Boxing Organization flyweight champion, needs an impressive victory over Ongjunta to improve his chances of fighting for a major world title this year.

Being the No.1 rated contender in the World Boxing Association (WBA), Apolinario is in line to tangle with Japanese champion Seigo Yuri Akui. 

Apolinario is also ranked No. 3 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and No. 8 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), where Jesse Rodriguez holds reign simultaneously.

Manangquil said Apolinario doesn’t feel the pressure because he has prepared long and hard for this moment under 2022 Trainer of the Year Ronerex Dalut.

Apolinario made the grade at 111.3lbs during the official weigh-in on Wednesday, February 21, while Ongjunta checked in at 112.7lbs. –

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