Gaballo, Magsayo head list of Filipino world title prospects
MANILA, Philippines – Unbeaten. Unscathed. Invincible.
By any term, a boxer with a clean slate merits attention.
It implies the bearer has the skills, the tools, and the potential to become a national, continental, or global contender.
No wonder, several Filipino fighters with perfect records are being touted as probable world champions.
Reymart Gaballo heads the short list with 23 wins (20 by knockout) followed by Mark Magsayo (20-0, 14 KOs), Carl Jammes Martin (15-0, 14 KOs), Jayson Mama (15-0, 8 KOs), and KJ Cataraja (11-0, 9 KOs).
Already ranked No. 1 by the World Boxing Association (WBA), the 23-year-old Gaballo of General Santos City was deemed ready to challenge for a world bantamweight belt if not for the coronavirus pandemic.
Gaballo served as sparring partner to compatriot Johnriel Casimero before the World Boxing Organization champion got locked down in Las Vegas in his preparations for a derailed unifying showdown with Japanese Naoya Inoue, the WBA and International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion.
Magsayo, 24, also hopes for a title duel with anyone among current featherweight champions Leo Santa Cruz (WBA super), Xy Can (WBA regular), Josh Washington (IBF), and Gary Russel Jr (World Boxing Council) under the banner of MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions.
Martin, the WBO Oriental Youth bantamweight titlist who just turned 21, is being nurtured to gun for a world title next year. He has sparred with IBF super flyweight king Jerwin Ancajas and got pleasant reviews from trainer Joven Jimenez.
The same timeline goes for Cataraja, 25, who finished his college studies before resuming his quest for ring glory. He got enlisted for the Inoue training camp in Japan before the April 25 Casimero bout got canceled.
Mama is the reigning WBO Oriental Youth flyweight titlist and the winner of the IBF Silkroad Tournament in China last year. Like Gaballo, Mama is from Sanman Promotions in General Santos City.
For now, Gaballo, Magsayo, Martin, Cataraja, and Mama are prime prospects. Not all of them will reach the boxing summit, but chances are someone will. – Rappler.com