By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Reports that he hurt his hand in training at the Wild Card Gym last week having been dismissed by pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz, young Richie Mepranum of Sarangabi province where Pacquiao won a congressional seat with an overwhelming 3-to-1 mandate, is ready to do his best to give the Philippines another world title.
Mepranum, a classic counter-puncher with a record of 22-2-1 with 5 knockouts faces Mexico’s Julio Cesar “Pingo” Miranda (31-5-1, 24 KO’s) at the Convention Center in Puebla, Mexico on Sunday, Manila Time, for the vacant wBO world flyweight title.
Both Mepranum and Miranda tipped the scales at 112 pounds which is the flyweight limit.
The skilled counter-puncher is coming off an impressive unanimous ten round decision against devastating puncher Hernan “Tyson” Marquez who had 20 knockouts in 27 wins and was undefeated when he faced the Filipino last March 12 in Dallas, Texas, under his belt.
The confidence that comes from completely out-boxing Marquez should help Mepranum although his opponent “Pingo” Miranda is an experienced fighter who has faced some of the best flyweights and is coming off a solid 3rd round TKO over Faustino Cupul (22-2, 16 KO’s) to win the vacant Latin title last April 10.
Miranda also scored a spectacular 1st round knockout over former world champion Eric Ortiz in an IBF title eliminator that earned him a shot for the vacant IBF title against South Africa’s Moruti Mthalane to whom Miranda lost a twelve round decision.