20 for 20 - #11 Giemel Magramo
Giemel Magramo (24-1, 20)
The Flyweight division has been an odd one the past year or two, with no one really making the division their own. There is talent there, but much of it seems to be either passing through, or happy to get a title and not chasing unification bouts. We already know that Kosei Tanaka has his eyes on a showdown with Kazuto Ioka, Artem Dalakian is seemingly happy to be obscure champion in Ukraine and the WBC title has been passed around a lot in recent years, with no one really making it theirs and getting a lengthy reign under their belt. Other than Tanaka the only other champion who looks to be a genuinely special fighter is Moruti Mthalane, who 37 and battling father time.
What all that means is that the Flyweight division is ready for a new break out star, and one potential fighter to fill that position is 25 Filipino boxer-puncher Giemel Magramo, who appears to tick every box we want to see in a fighter.
Magramo is a solid puncher, he's skilled, he moves well and he's an exciting aggressive fighter. He's proven his willingness to travel, fighting his toughest tests in China and Korea, and has reeled off 7 straight stoppage wins since his close 2016 loss to Muhammad Waseem. Not only does he tick the boxes that we like, but he also has boxing in his blood, with his father, grandfather, uncles and brother being boxers, and might be coming around at just the perfect time to be a Filipino star, with Nietes, Donaire and Pacquiao all with a foot in the door of retirement.
What do we expect?
At the time of writing Magramo is ranked #1 by the WBO, #3 by the IBF, who have no one rated at #1 or #2, #5 with the WBC and #6 with the WBA so the least we expect from "Pistolero" is a world title fight.
Given how the Flyweight division seems likely to have some big shifts next year we wouldn't be shocked to see Megramo go one better than just fighting for a title and will instead go all the way and win one, likely doing so on the road.
With boxing being as short sighted as it often is it's hard to predict when and where Magramo's shot will come but the likely options are that he either faces Mthalane, or Akira Yaegashi, for the IBF title in the new year or battles Angel Acosta for the WBO belt when Tanaka moves up. If we're being honest any of those bouts would be a step up for Magramo, but a winnable step up for the Filipino. The key for him is to have his options open and do what's best for him, and his career.
Longer terms it seems clear he'll move up in weight, as his body continues to grow and fill, and there's no reason he won't have success at Super Flyweight down the line.
As with many Filipino hopefuls the biggest worry is who is backing them, and how hard are they willing to back them. Magramo is a real talent, but could quickly find himself becoming part of the "who needs him club?" Without someone willing to back him. Likewise lack of opportunities could see his hunger dry up, so his backers need to keep up his desire until he gets his eventual title fight.
With Magramo likely to be fighting on the road for a world title he'll also risk the shenanigans we've seen on the past for foreign title contenders.
For a fighter like Magramo it could well be a case of needing to make the most of the first opportunity as the second could take years to come around. We saw it with Jonathan Taconing, who waited more than 4 years between his first 2 world title fights, and a loss at world level in 2020 could well put his dreams on the backburner for years, especially if not one is bankrolling his career going forward.
If he can stay focused, can make the most of opportunities and can be one of the future faces at Flyweight, but we feel he'll need a touch of luck to make the most of his potential.
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