Filipino boxers

Magramo tackles Nakatani for WBO flyweight crown in Tokyo

Roy Luarca
Magramo tackles Nakatani for WBO flyweight crown in Tokyo

Photo from Giemel Magramo's Facebook

The odds are stacked against the Filipino as the referee and the two judges are all Japanese

Don’t bet on Giemel Magramo’s title duel against Junto Nakatani in Tokyo going the full route on Friday, November 6.

Both like to take the short cut and it reflects in their records.

Magramo (24-1, 20 knockouts) has stopped 7 opponents in a row while Nakatani (20-0, 15 KOs) has 3 straight knockouts, the last 2 over Filipinos Philip Luis Cuerdo and former world champion Milan Melindo.

Clearly, both have the power to take each other down in the 12-rounder for the vacant World Boxing Organization flyweight crown at Korakuen Hall.

According to Magramo, he’ll be bringing the fight to Nakatani and resort to infighting to offset the Japanese’s 3-inch height and reach advantage.

Nakatani, however, expects Magramo to do just that.

“The key in this fight for me, is how I prevent him from throwing 4-5 combinations,” Nakatani told

“I will take advantage of my long reach to keep Magramo at a distance. I have backup game plans that cover any possible situation.”

In quarantine since his arrival in Tokyo on October 22, Magramo trained solely at the 22nd floor of Grand Palace Hotel with his father and trainer Melvin.

Because of strict health protocols being observed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the official weigh-in on Thursday was transferred to the hotel, where Magramo (111.55 pounds) and Nakatani (111.77) breezed through the scales. The traditional faceoff was also shelved.

Magramo started his rehydration by eating eggs and bread washed down by water. He went to his suite for lunch, with hot bulalo as main dish.

Two hours later he munched on a sandwich before taking a nap. This eat-rest sequence will continue until lunch on Friday.

According to Johnny Elorde, who manages Magramo, he expects the pride of Paranaque City to enter the ring at around 120 pounds. Elorde co-manages Magramo with his wife Liza.

“Let’s hope we’ll win this,” said  Elorde. “If Giemel sees an opening, Nakatani will be in deep trouble.”

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Team Magramo agreed to fight Nakatani without neutral officials.

Nobuto Ikehara,  a former world title challenger, will be the third man in the ring. The judges are Tasahiko Noda of Osaka, Masakazu Murase of Nagoya, and Biney Martin, a former boxer from Ghana now based in Tokyo.

The fight card will be held with limited fans in attendance. –

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