by Ronnie Nathanielsz
The International Boxing Federation has sacrificed hard-hitting Filipino super featherweight Michael “Hammer Fist” Farenas, who had earlier been ordered by the IBF, to fight American Diego Magdaleno for the No.1 ranking with the winner earning a mandatory title shot.
Former two division world champion Gerry Penalosa has informed the BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard/Viva Sports that his protégé Farenas has been bypassed with Magdaleno scheduled to face WBA No. 2 ranked Bryan Vasquez for the WBA super featherweight Interim title on the Top Rank fight card in Macau headlined by the Manny Pacquiao-Chris Algieri WBO welterweight title fight at the catch-weight of 144 pounds.
Farenas, the protégé of Penalosa hammered previously undefeated American Mark “Too Sharp” Davis to score a devastating 8th round TKO in what was billed as a title eliminator after which the IBF ruled that Farenas must fight top-rated Mexican contender Fernando Saucedo to earn a mandatory title shot .
The IBF claimed that Farenas’ victory over Davis did not guarantee him a title shot and that he would have to fight No. 3 contender Fernando Saucedo for the No.1 spot which would earn Farenas a mandatory title shot.
However, Saucedo is now scheduled to face super featherweight champion Rances Barthelemy, the unbeaten Cuban with a record of 20-0 with12 knockouts on September 27. Barthelemy won the title via a unanimous twelve round decision in a rematch against Argenis Mendez last July 10.
Penalosa told the Manila Standard/Viva Sports he received an email from IBF Championship Committee chairman Lindsey Tucker giving him three days within which to respond to the offer for Farenas who is ranked No. 2 to face the next available contender Magdaleno who is ranked No. 6 for the No. 1 ranking and a mandatory crack at the champion.
Penalosa immediately accepted the challenge for the 29 year old Farenas who has a record of 39-4-4 with 31 knockouts to face the 27 year old Magdaleno who has a record of 26-1 with 10 knockouts.
Magdaleno is coming off an eight round unanimous decision win over Oscar Bravo last May 17 following a 4th round knockout of Jorge Pazos on February 15.
Magdaleno, the elder brother of unbeaten super bantamweight Jesse Magdaleno (19-0, 15 KO’s) dropped a twelve round split decision to Roman Martinez in a title fight on April 6, 2013 after being dropped in the 4th round.
Penalosa exuded confidence that Farenas would win and said that “based on his last fight (vs Davis) Farenas will kill him.”
Penalosa had even offered to stage the Farenas-Magdaleno eliminator in Manila but indicated Farenas was “willing and available” to fight Magdaleno anywhere.
He said he had written to IBF Championship Committee chairman Lindsey Tucker inquiring about the Farenas-Magdaleno fight but has received no answer.