Filipino boxers

Dato seeks to raise unbeaten run to 17

Roy Luarca
Dato seeks to raise unbeaten run to 17

LATE BLOOMER. John Leo Dato hopes to continue to prove his worth despite taking up the sport late.

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Filipino fighter John Leo Dato looks to conquer another Mexican

Prime prospect John Leo Dato tries to stretch his unbeaten streak when he tangles with Mexican Jorge Romero on Friday, November 13 (Saturday, November 14, Philippine time) at Auditorio Ruffo Appel in Rosarito Beach, Mexico.

The full-blooded Filipino, born in Bangar, La Union, and raised in the United States, totes a 15-0-1 card with 10 knockouts and is favored over the taller Romero, who owns a 9-4 record with 3 knockouts.

The 5-foot-6 Dato easily made weight at 127.8 pounds on Thursday, 2.2 pounds lighter than Romero, who checked in at 130.

In his last fight on August 28, the 27-year-old Dato stopped Mexican Angel Guevarra in 3 rounds also in Mexico.

Trying to make up for his late start in the sport, Dato fought 5 times in 2018, 6 in 2019, but could only fight 2 this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dato has stopped 6 Mexicans in a row, including Juan Antonio Lopez in one of the undercards of Manny Pacquiao’s title duel with Keith Thurman on July 20, 2019,  at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Dato enjoys a huge following in Santa Maria, California, where he runs the JLD Boxing Academy apart from being a personal fitness trainer.

A former wrestler, track and field player, and footballer in high school, Dato took up boxing when he was already 17 years old. 

Since then, Dato hasn’t stopped chasing his dream of becoming a champion like his idol, Manny Pacquiao. –

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