It appears Philippine boxing is slowly getting up on its feet.
The past few weeks, three Filipino boxers scored resounding wins on foreign land, a development that put an end to the monotony of setbacks stretching back to Manny Pacquiao’s upset loss to Cuban Yordenis Ugas a year ago.
Late last month in South Africa, Dave Apolinario registered a stunning first-round knockout of Gideon Buthelezi to crown himself as a world champion.
While his newly-won International Boxing Organization flyweight strap is not as glowing as the ones being dangled by the major sanctioning bodies led by the World Boxing Council, it was still something to be proud of.
Besides, winning a quickie on hostile ground doesn’t happen every day.
A couple of weeks later, Jeo Santisima, a former world title challenger, broke a jinx on Japanese soil by posting an emphatic knockout win in Osaka.
And only over the weekend, this time in La Paz, Mexico, Jade Bornea, rated No. 1 in the world, stopped Ivan Meneses in seven rounds to strengthen his hold on the mandatory challenger status in the International Boxing Federation.
Interestingly, those three boxers fight out of one stable: JC Mananquil’s Sanman Promotions of General Santos City.
Spent some quality with Mananquil more than a couple of weeks back and he recalled the dark days of Sanman fighters.
He narrated how devastated the whole team was when the skyrocketing lightweight Romero Duo got massacred by Ryan Garcia in less than a round.
Mananquil was likewise heartbroken when Reymart Gaballo was butchered by Nonito Donaire in December last year.
Gaballo may have lost confidence after that crushing loss to Donaire that he hasn’t fought yet since then.
Now that Filipino boxers are beginning to emerge triumphant again, here’s hoping that Jerwin Ancajas gets lucky and gets even with Argentine slugger Fernando Martinez when they lock horns for the second time on 8 October at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Ancajas seems to be determined to do just that as he is neck-deep in preparations in remote Magallanes, Cavite, under the supervision of longtime trainer Joven Jimenez.
The Ancajas-Martinez fight will be Philippine boxing’s first major test since a world title is on the line.
So far, Ancajas is the only Filipino puncher who is guaranteed a crack at the world crown.
Waiting in the wings are former champs Marlon Tapales and Rene Cuarto, who are both craving to get their respective attempts before the year comes to a close.
Have we really seen the light at the end of the tunnel?
The Ancajas bout will tell if there’s indeed a flicker.