• PH pug Moralde guns for WBC youth belt

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    Filipino featherweight John Vincent Moralde will challenge World Boxing Council (WBC) youth world featherweight champion Evgeny Smirnov of Russia at the Pabellon Municipal, Sedavi Comunidad Valenciana in Spain on June 19.

    Moralde’s promoter Jim Claude Mananquil is hopeful the boxer from Davao City would repeat his previous performance when he defeated the Australian Brayd Smith in March 14, 2015 to win the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental featherweight crown.

    “I’m very hopeful that Moralde will dethrone the Russian. He is getting tougher in the sparring and his condition looks good,” Mananquil of Sanman Boxing Gym in General Santos told The Manila Times on Tuesday.

    “I believe Moralde will not be intimidated by his opponent. He will fight mentally strong and physically capable of handling the punches of any opponent,” added Mananquil. “I already processed the visa of my boxer and we’re ready to go.”

    In Moralde’s last bout, Smith collapsed after the fight and died after two days in the hospital because of blood cloth in the brain.

    Moralde, 21, who is undefeated in 12 fights with six knockouts, is known for his aggressive but cautious boxing style. Mananquil also assured that Moralde was allowed by the doctor to box and train even though his last fight was just three months ago.

    “Everything is okay so far, so good. He passed the medical test and didn’t have any serious injury in his last fight,” said Mananquil, who also promotes World Boxing Association interim light flyweight champion Randy Petalcorin.

    The 21-year-old Russian Smirnov, is also undefeated in seven fights with two knockouts. Smirnov won over Mexican Noe Martinez Raygoza in April to win the vacant WBC youth featherweight title in Russia via split decision.

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