After years of not having an All-Filipino world title bout we had a couple last year, and it looks like we're going to get at least one this year. Just below world title bouts, in terms of significance, are world title eliminators and later this month we'll get an all-Filipino Bantamweight world title eliminator, as Michael Dasmarinas (28-2-1, 19) and Kenny Demecillo (14-4-2, 8) clash to decide the IBF mandatory challenger at Bantamweight. On paper the bout looks an easy one to pick, but in reality it may not be as easy to predict as it first seems.
The obvious pick for the win is Dasmarinas. On paper he has the better record and, if we're being honest, he is the much more well known fighter among those that follow the Asian boxing scene. During his 31 fight career, which began a little over 7 years ago, he has notched up a number of solid wins including victories over Hayato Kimura, Jhaleel Payao and Karim Guerfi. He has scored wins on the road and his only loss in the last 6 years was a very debateable one in South Africa, to Lwandile Sityatha. He has been incredibly active, for the most part, and shown himself to be a great all round fighter, with good skills and criminally under-rated power, as Guerfi found out in spectacular fashion around a year ago.
In the ring Dasmarinas has proven to be a very good boxer-puncher. He's a rangy southpaw with sneaky power, a great jab and a good boxing brain. He's not the quickest out there, but he's a sharp fighter and should certainly be regarded as a leading contender in the packed Bantamweight division. That is unless he's actually out grown the division, and his last outing, a very fortunate draw against Manyo Plange, would suggest that a move up to Super Bantamweight would help his career, and help him show what he can do more than draining those 4lbs.
Whilst Dasmarinas is pretty well known, at least among fans who follow the Asian scene, Demecillo isn't. In fact until recently Demecillo was a relative unknown even among hardcore Filipino fans. He began his career in 2012, like Dasmarinas, but struggled to get going and was 6-2-1 (3) following a 2014 loss to Eduardo Mancito. The following year he would suffer another loss, to Jetro Pabustan, to slide to 8-3-1 (5) and it would have been easy to write him off. Since then however he has gone 6-1-1 (3) and managed to shine against notable competition, scoring back to back stoppage wins against Daryl Basadre, as well as other victories over Jestoni Autida and Vyacheslav Mirzaev, with that win coming in Russia. The only set backs in his last 8 were a draw with Edrin Dapudong and a loss to Mark Anthony Geraldo, who got a WBC "silver" title fight off the back of that win.
Quality footage of Demecillo isn't the easiest to come by, though interesting the best we have is his fighter against Geraldo who is a southpaw, like Dasmarinas. Whilst Dasmarinas and Gerlado are different stylistically the footage does give us an indicator of how Demecillo will approach this bout. From what's out there Demecillo is a big, strong, powerful fighter at the weight, he's aggressive, brings a lot of pressure with his physicality and looks to get inside, though is technically quite limited and crude with his approach.
Whilst he is aggressive Demecillo doesn't have the best work rate and that is perhaps what cost him against Geraldo, in what was a close decision. If he can up the activity, and accuracy, whilst having the same approach against Dasmarinas.
Whilst we do agree with Dasmarinas being the favourite, as he will be in the eyes of many, we do believe that Demecillo can make this a very tough bout for his countryman and wouldn't be surprised by a very close decision in what could be one of the hidden gems of the month.
Having canned the old "Full Schedule" of Asianboxing we have instead decided to concentrate more on the major bouts. This section, the "Preview" section will look at major bouts involving OPBF and national titles. Hopefully leading to a more informative style for, you the reader.