By Ronnie Nathanielsz
John Mark Apolinario who has a record of 17-2-1 with 4 knockouts will get a crack at the WBA bantamweight interim title held by Mexico’s Hugo “Cuatito” Ruiz who has an awesome record of 26 knockouts in 29 wins with only one defeat.
Apolinario who won the vacant WBO Oriental super flyweight title with a unanimous twelve round decision over Vicente Palicte on September 26, 2010 battles Ruiz, nicknamed “The Little Twin”, who is ranked No.1 by the WBA .
Apolinario is unranked, raising questions on whether the 22 year old Filipino is being rushed too soon against an obviously hard-hitting Mexican in an interim world title fight to be held in Los Cabos, Baja California, Mexico on March 31.
However, his manager Dr. Rajan Yraola said Apolinario has been training for the past three months and is ready while promoter Sammy Gello-ani who is a partner of well-known international promoter Sampson Lewkowicz who is co-promoting the bout said “this is an opportunity for Apolinario and he has been preparing for this title fight since last year.”
He said Apolinario looked good in his last bout when he scored a 2nd round technical decision over Menardo Zaragoza in Imus, Cavite on December 23, 2011 and he believes the promising young fighter “is ready for a big fight.”
Gello-ani revealed that Apolinario was having problems making the flyweight limit because he is tall and had to move up to bantamweight.
Ruiz has had two victories over tough Francisco Arce, the brother of world bantamweight champion Jorge “Travieso” Arce.
In a grueling 12 round war Ruiz won a close decision over Arce in a bout which saw both fighters hit the canvas twice.
After the bout Francisco Arce questioned the decisions of referee Robert Hoyle and demanded a rematch which Ruiz was glad to give him..Ruiz asserted his superiority in a rematch on October 14, 2011 beating Arce in a 4th round TKO and retaining his WBA interim title.Ruiz floored Arce hard in round three and after he mauled Arce at the start of the 4th round , Arce’s cornermen rushed into the ring to save him from more punishment at :24 seconds of the 4th round.