by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Confusion surrounds the previously announced IBF title eliminator between hard-hitting Filipino southpaw Michael “Hammer Fist” Farenas and American Diego Magdaleno.
Farenas, a protégé of former two division world champion Gerry Penalosa hammered previously undefeated American Mark Davis to score a devastating 8th round TKO in what was originally billed as an eliminator for the No.1 spot and a mandatory shot at the champion. Tucker claimed that the victory over Davis did not guarantee Farenas a title shot and that he would have to fight top-rated Mexican contender Fernando Saucedo and win to earn a mandatory title shot.
Subsequently, Saucedo was scheduled to face super featherweight champion Rances Barthelemy, the unbeaten Cuban with a record of 20-0 with 12 knockouts.
Penalosa then received an email from Tucker last August 27 giving him three days within which to respond to an offer for Farenas who is ranked No, 2 to face the next available contender, Diego Magdaleno who is ranked No. 6 for the No. 1 ranking.
Penalosa immediately accepted the challenge to face Magdaleno who has a record of 26-1 with 10 knockouts and said “Michael will kill him.”
Penalosa informed us Thursday that he had received an email from Tucker setting a purse bid on September 4 at 11:45 a.m. at the IBF Offices even as it’s been announced that Magdaleno will face WBA No.2 ranked Bryan Vasquez for the WBA Interim title on the Manny Pacquiao-Chris Algieri Top Rank fight card at the Cotai Arena in Macau on November 22, adding to the confusion.
The Standard contacted Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz indicating that both Pacquiao and himself “need to protect our fighters against such machinations” considering that a commitment made to Farenas by the IBF was being broken and that, worse still, the Madgdaleno-Vasquez interim title fight was being scheduled on a Top Rank-MP Promotions card to which Koncz replied, “I will check into it.”