Featherweight division heating up

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Peter Cariño

Conrad M. Cariño

The result of Gary Russell and Vasyl Lomachenko fight on June 14 was a no brainer—the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine would “expose” the American as a mere pretender.

Although Russell entered the ring with an unblemished record of 24 wins with 14 knockouts as opposed to Lomachenko’s 2-1 with 1 KO (also before the fight), I still favored the Ukrainian to win because of his unbelievable 397-1 record from the amateurs. And we all thought that Guillermo Rigondeaux’s 475-12 record was the only impressive from the ranks of the amateurs.

Russell proved to be what some boxing writers suspected him to be—a wannabe with a bloated professional record from fighting tomato cans and cream puffs.

Lomachenko’s win over Russell makes the featherweight division more interesting than boxing’s premiere division, which is the heavyweight division. And come to think of it—our very own Nonito Donaire remains a force in the featherweight division.


The latest Ring Magazine ratings for the featherweight division (as gleaned from its website http://ringtv.craveonline.com/ratings/featherweight) shows the championship is still “vacant,” and Jhonny Gonzales (56-9 with 47 KOs) and Abner Mares (26-1-1 with 14 KOs) taking the two top spots. Both are Mexicans.

Jamaican knockout artist Nicholas Walters (24-0 with 20 KOs), Donaire (33-2 with 21 KOs), and Evgeny Gradovich of Russia (19-0 with 9 KOs) round up the top five. Lomachenko is still ranked at the No. 10 spot as I write this column.

I am not surprised that Russell isn’t listed in the Ring Magazine rankings for featherweight.

Donaire’s ranked at No. 4 should not be questioned at all, because he has two official wins at featherweight although some pundits were not impressed with this 8th round technical knockout win over Vic Darchinyan on November 9, 2013.

The Filipino’s technical decision win over Simpiwe Vetyeka on May 31 was also belittled by some boxing pundits, because it did not end in spectacular fashion even if the Filipino knocked down the South African in the fourth round.

Nonetheless, Donaire still stands a chance to become Ring Magazine featherweight champion if his camp is in order, and if the Filipino impresses more in his next fight.

Another interesting development for us Filipino boxing fans in so far as the featherweight division is concerned is the entry of Marvin Sonsona (19-1-1 with 15 KOs) in that division. Sonsona recently beat Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. via a unanimous division on June 7 to collar the North American Boxing Federation championship. Vasquez (23-4 with 19 KOs) was actually the only man to beat Sonsona on February 27, 2010 via fourth round stoppage for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight title.

Donaire would beat Vasquez via a split decision on February 4, 2012 to win the vacant WBO super bantamweight strap.

Sonsona is only 23 years old and still packs a wallop from his right hand, and his potential cannot be overlooked. What Sonsona needs is to polish up his boxing skills and even increase his punching power to a more scary level.

Sonsona’s getting into list of Ring Magazine’s top featherweights and his winning a world championship would make things very interesting for Filipino boxing fans.

Perhaps the wildest dream of Filipino boxing fans is to see Donaire and Sonsona take the champion and No.1 spot in the Ring Magazine featherweight list, respectively. Or even vice versa. Well, that is not an impossible dream.

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1 Comment

  1. How about sensona & donaire fighting each other to see who is the best, whats the betting that doesnt happen.