Dasmariñas, Salva to tackle formidable world champs
MANILA, Philippines – After hurdling tough compatriots, Filipinos Michael Dasmariñas and Samuel Salva have to pass through formidable champions in their quest for International Boxing Federation (IBF) crowns.
Blocking Salva's path toward the minimumweight title is South African DeeJay Kriel, while Dasmariñas will be tangling with either Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez or Japanese Naoya Inoue for the bantamweight belt. (READ: Dasmariñas, Salva seek to gain world title crack)
Although Salva holds a better record (17-0, 10 KOs), Kriel (15-1-1, 7 KOs) is on a high after a rousing 12th-round knockout of former unbeaten Mexican champion Carlos Licona.
The road to the top will even be rougher for Dasmariñas (29-2-1, 19 KOs) as Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KOs) and Inoue (17-0, 15 KOs) are both fearsome punchers with ring savvy to boot.
Rodriguez and Inoue will clash for the IBF diadem in the World Boxing Super Series semifinals on May 18 in Glasgow, Scotland, so Dasmariñas will have to wait longer for his title crack than Salva.
To contend for the crowns, Salva, 22, and Dasmariñas, 22, won their title eliminators against Rene Mark Cuarto and Kenny Demecillo, respectively, on Saturday, March 22, in the Rising Stars card at the Resorts World Manila.
Salva, a southpaw who trained at Survival Camp in Magallanes, Cavite, posted a 116-112, 116-112, 117-111 victory over Cuarto, who dropped to 16-2-1, 9 KOs.
Dasmariñas, the former International Boxing Organization 118-pound champion, matched Salva's feat with scores of 116-112, 115-113, 117-111 and pulled down Demecillo to 14-5-2, 8 KOs.
The fight card was a joint undertaking by MP Promotions and Ringstar Events of Singapore.
No wonder 8-division world champion Manny Pacquiao watched the event with friend Metta World Peace, international matchmaker Sean Gibbons and MP Promotions head Joe Ramos. – Rappler.com