May 28 ------ GIEMEL Magramo could become the first Filipino athlete to hug the world stage in this time of the pandemic as he’s set to vie for the viacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight title this July 4 in Tokyo, Japan. Magramo will be taking on Japanese bet Junto Nakatani at the Korakuen Hall in the Japanese capital where pro boxing makes a return two months following the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The Filipino, son of former pro Melvin Magramo, has kept himself in shape for the title bout originally set last April 4 and then reset to June. But after boxing was allowed to resume by the Japanese government in concurrence with the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC), the Magramo-Nakatani match is already a go six weeks from now. The 25-year-old Magramo, fighting out of the Elorde Boxing gym and the top contender for the crown, has began sparring for the fight.
The nephew of former world title challenger Ronnie Magramo holds a 24-1 record, including 20 KOs. He’s on a seven-fight win streak since suffering his first career setback in 2016 against Muhammd Waseem of Pakistan in a 12-round unanimous decision. Nakatani meanwhile, has a perfect 20-0 record (15 KOs), and owns a technical knockout win over former Filipino world champion Milan Melindo in his last fight seven months ago. Japanese Kosei Tanaka vacated the crown after moving up at super-flyweight.
The fight won’t be held behind closed door, but spectators will be placed one seat apart as per guidelines drafted by the JBC and issued last May 15. Fighters and referees won’t be wearing mask, but their cornermen are required to do so along with hand gloves. Wearing of mask and checking the temperature of fights fans are mandated, while there will be at least a 30-minute break after each fight to disinfect the ring. Promotions are also allowed to line up just a total of eight bouts.