Randy Petalcorin set for date with Ma Yi Ming in Beijing

SEASONAL Australian resident and interim WBA light flyweight champion Randy Petalcorin is penciled in to make his first title defence.

Petalcorin, 23, who splits his time when in training camp between General Santos City and Melbourne, will make the first defence of his recently acquired title against resurgent Chinese prospect Ma Yi Ming.

The twelve-round title fight will take place on April 24th in Beijing, making it the second consecutive fight where Petalcorin will venture to China.

“Randy will defend his WBA world title against Chinese top ten world rated boxer Ma Yi Ming,” said Maniatis in an interview with Aus-Boxing.

“Ming holds three world ratings and he is currently WBA #9, WBO #8 and IBF #10. Ming is undefeated for the past five years and recently defeated Tommy Seran, who was world rated,”

Despite fighting in his opponents backyard, Petalcorin, 23, will understandably go into the fight as the heavy favourite. The fast-fisted Filipino (22-1-1, 17 KOs) has scored credible wins over Walter Tello and Samartlek Kokietgym, which should hold him in good stead.

Conversely, Ming, 34, has faced relatively soft opposition by comparison. The resurgent Chinese local (12-5, 7 KOs) lost five of his first eight fights, but hasn’t lost a fight for the best part of five years.

In spite of the apparent advantages that Petalcorin will face, Maniatis still believes his fighter is in for a hard fight.

“This will be a very hard fight for Randy as we are fighting Ming in his backyard in Beijing,” Maniatis added.

As has happened in previous cards based in China, Australian fighters have been given the opportunity to travel abroad and showcase their skills to a wider audience.

This time, it will be former Victorian light heavyweight champion Dane Campbell, who will fight local prospect Qu Peng on the undercard. Maniatis is hopeful that he can continue to provide Australian’s with opportunities abroad, especially given their recent success.

“It’s great that Australia boxers are benefiting this world title fight,” Maniatis added. “It will be a big night, with the venue in Beijing expected to sell out to it’s 18,000 seat capacity.”

Maniatis has managed Petalcorin for the best part of four years. Given their recent success and journey to the interim WBA light flyweight title, it is a relationship that Maniatis believes will continue to flourish.

“I first saw Randy fight on the undercard of Brian Viloria vs. Carlos Tamara in Manila back in 2010,” Maniatis explained. “At the time, Randy was only 18 years old and I was able to sign a deal with Randy basically straight after that fight.”

“The deal was that I would co-manage him with Jim Claude Manangquil of Sanman Promotions who is based in General Santos City. My plan was to always bring Randy to Melbourne so he can train and fight under Mick Hargraves at his BoxingFit gym,”

“I really think Randy Petalcorin can win three world titles in three different weight classes by the time he finish with his boxing career,” said Maniatis in closing.

“I believe he has everything to be a superstar of the sport,”

Photo: Provided



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