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Biggest boxing match in Cordillera since Tam’s ascension is almost at hand

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The biggest boxing fight in the Cordilleras will take place on December 17 at the Cordillera Career Development College Admirals gym, some 45 years after a Cordilleran fought a Japanese that led to world title match five months later.

“This is the biggest fight ever here since Rey Tam fought Apollo Yoshio (32-8-4 win-loss-draw) in (November 20) 1977,” said Pinoy Boxing Prodigy Promotions top man Darwin Miller Dep-ay during the press conference after the official weigh in for Carl Jammes Martin and Komgrich Nantapech Friday at the Benguet Provincial Capitol grounds.

The Martin – Nantapech (31-5 – 22 KOs) Fight for Glory: Homecoming has the International Boxing Federation Pan-Pacific super bantamweight belt at stake.

The country’s youngest promoter compared Martin to the legendary Benguet fighter Tam who was undefeated in 20 fights when he faced the Japanese in Baguio City for the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation super featherweight belt which Tam won by points.

Tam actually won 19 of his earlier fights, drew one and 11 of those fight came via knockout. On the other hand, Martin won all his fights with 16 coming via knockout.

Tam went on to knocked out Hae Eun Jung on February 4, 1978 before facing Nicaraguan legend Alexis Arguello but lost in the fifth round via technical knockout.

Martin gores to the ring Saturday hoping to get past Nantapech, a former world title contender, and who is eyeing his 10th straight victory after back to back losses in 2017 to Donnie Nietes for the vacant IBF world flyweight belt and Juan Carlos Reveco, both coming from unanimous decision.

“I really would like to gain experience and use my height advantage over Nantapech,” said Martin who at 5 foot and six inches has a three inch advantage over the Thai.

A win could propel the World Boxing Association – Asia super bantamweight king Martin near the top of the IBF. Martin is seventh in the IBF ranking which has Murodjon Akhmadaliev (11-0-0). Above Martin are number one contender Filipino Marlon Tapales (36-3-0), a vacant number 2, Mexican Luis Nery (33-1-0), American Raeese Aleem (20-0-0), Japanese Takuma Inoue (17-1-0) and South African Zolani Tete (30-4-0) who lost his World Boxing Organization world bantamweight belt to John Riel Casimero in Nov. 30, 2019.

Martin is ranked eighth by the WBO which has Stephen Fulton (21-0-0) as champion and who is also the World Boxing Council king, 15th by the WBC, 13th by the WBA which Akhmadaliev rules.

“Martin has his best ranking in the IBF, so it was the best way for him to earn a world title shot,” said Highland Boxing Promotions chief Brico Santig, whose gym at Strawberry is where the two contenders train, Martin using the 1-2 PM schedule while the Thai at 3-4PM.

The Provincial Government and the La Trinidad Municipal offices support Martin’s “homecoming” fight which is supported by Jomarcann Construction. Pigeon Lobien

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