Is the world of contact sports under Invasion? NO, but these fighters are all making an impression in the worlds of Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts. You may have heard of some, but I recommend you learn their names because if you are a fan of contact sports these fighters will be or have been getting a lot of press. Not to mention the Filipino fans are some of the most loyal you will ever see. So when one of their fighters are in the ring or the cage they make it well known who they support.
There is a young group of Filipino fighters coming up the ranks in not only boxing but MMA as well. We all know the name of Manny Pacquiao so let me start with him. Manny has been around for a long time. Over his career, which started off in the Philippines as a poor kid just trying to get by, to becoming one of the richest residents of his country of over 91 million people. He has been in the ring with some of the best of our time and the way he has handled them has to catapult him to heights with those by the name of Joe Lewis, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Mike Tyson to name a few. In the end where will Manny land as far as the greatest of all time lists? I for one already think he may be the best ever, this guy has moved up in weight, captured belt after belt, and destroyed everybody he has faced. If you are a true boxing fan, you really can’t argue that Manny is bigger than life and with his charismatic ways he will always be a fan favorite.An up and coming star in the boxing world is Nonito Donaire, this guy is really a fun boxer to watch, with a 25-1 record notching 16 KO’s along with K.O. of the year award winner in 2007, he is worth the watch. If you want to enjoy a great fight you may want to look up Donaire vs. Darchinyan…. An instant classic, but, will he reach the level as Manny? You never know, he is getting better and better with each fight so the sky is really the limit for Nonito.
You also have Brian Viloria and Bernabe Concepcion… these 2 guys are true Pinoy fighters, they are both young and very much in the hunt for greatness inside the ring. Young, tough and ready to rumble with great corners and even better fans.
On the MMA side of things you don’t have a TOP NOTCH fighter like boxing has Manny Pacquiao …. Yet. You can go back and see guys like Brandon Vera fighting his heart out and just missing the spotlight over and over. Brandon, a solid fighter, but he just was never able to make it to the big fight, always one step below.
Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz is a 32 year old Middle Weight that is about 2 wins away from a title fight. His style is simple… He does what ever it takes to win, 8 wins, 4 by KO, 1 by submission and 3 by decision. It is fun to watch Munoz work his magic in the octagon, he is a student of Martial Arts and tries to make every fight a fight the crowd can get involved in.
Now for Shane DelRosario it’s a little different, he is known for quick fights that leave his opponents wondering where their defense went. He goes into every fight looking to end it fast, but he has the ability to stay within a cardio level that says he can go like this for days. At 27 he is about to explode into his peak time for a fighter and with a record of 10-0 with 8 KO’s and 2 by tap out, and only one fight making it out of the 1st round you better not blink when watching. Shane is currently fighting heavyweight; he weighs in at 245 pounds and stand 6 foot 4 inches and has mentioned trying to drop down to 205, if he takes his power to 205 pounds I feel very, very sorry for those light heavyweights.
I also need to mention Phillipe Novar, Edward Folyang, Justin Cruz and Tito Jones. These guys are working hard but just have not been able to bust out. If any of the can come out and make a major name for himself, I’d have to go with Justin Cruz. Novar was a hopeful on The Ultimate Fighter series, but since joining UFC he has lost every match. He may end up a good fighter but I doubt it will be in the UFC.