By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Filipino flyweight contender Giemel Magramo (23-1,19KO’s) is one fight away from a coveted world title shot. The man he has to beat on September 7, Thailand’s Eaktawan Krungthepthonburi (25-5,16KO’s) is a familiar face in the Philippines.
“I am familiar with his style,” Magramo told this writer, “I saw his fight against Donnie Nietes.”
Eaktawan, whose birth name is Komgrich Nantapech, lost to Nietes by unanimous decision in Cebu City two years ago in their fight for the vacant IBF world flyweight title. He also lost to Nietes’ stablemate, Albert Pagara, by second round KO in Maasin City in 2012 and to Froilan Saludar by unanimous decision a year later in Makati City.
The 24 year old Magramo turned pro in 2012 and won his first ranking title, the WBC International flyweight belt in 2015. His lone career loss was in 2016, a unanimous decision to Pakistani Muhammad Waseem in Seoul, South Korea for the WBC silver flyweight title. Magramo’s biggest win was against the erstwhile undefeated world ranked Chinese Wenfeng Ge in Suzhou,China last January. The fight was stopped at the end of the tenth when Ge’s swollen right eye got worse, which along with a cut, hampered his vision. This win earned Magramo the WBO International flyweight belt and boosted him up the world rankings in all the four major sanctioning bodies.
“I was confident I would win in China,” Magramo said, “I knew it would move me closer to a world title shot.”
“My training is going well, I have been sparring with Giovanni Escaner and a Japanese boxer, Hisada. But I can’t predict a knockout just yet.”
The 30 year old Eakawan’s last two wins were against Filipinos Crison Omayao and Rollen del Castillo.
Magramo is currently ranked number four by the IBF with Eaktawan at number three. Their IBF eliminator will be held at the Jurado Hall of the Philippine Marine Corps in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, Metro Manila. The winner will face the IBF world champ Moruti Mthalane of South Africa.
Mthalane will be several steps up in class compared to Eaktawan but Magramo is still confident.
“It is my dream to fight Mthalane, and I know I can beat him.” Magramo stated.
The 36 year old Mthalane (38-2,25KO’s) has held on and off, the IBF world flyweight crown since 2009. His famous loss was against Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire in 2008 due to a cut. He has beaten Filipinos like three time world champ John Riel Casimero, Jether Oliva, Genesis Libranza and Ardin Diale. Last New Year’s Eve in Macao, Mthalane gave Japanese Masahiro Sakamoto a brutal demolition job and stopped him in ten rounds. His last defense was in May, a unanimous verdict against another Japanese, Masayuki Kuroda in Tokyo.
Magramo comes from a boxing family, His father, uncles and grand uncles are all boxers. His father, Melvin went the full route against Manny Pacquiao in Cebu City when they were both flyweight contenders way back in 1997.
The Magramo-Eaktawan fight will be on the undercard of the all-Filipino world title bout between Samuel Salva and Pedro Taduran for the vacant IBF minimumweight crown. This September 7 card is presented by Manny Pacquiao's MP Promotions.
Photo – Giemel Magramo during the weigh-in in Suzhou,China last January
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