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Light flyweight Randy “Razor” Petalcorin (13-1, 12 KOs) will have his hands full next month as he will go for the Pan Asian Boxing Association (PABA) interim light flyweight title against a yet to be named opponent. The fight will be Petalcorin’s first major event outside the Philippines.

In a correspondence with Peter Maniatis, head of the Peter Maniatis Events of Australia, and Jim Claude Manangquil, manager of Petalcorin, both have confirmed that Petalcorin has already committed to the fight but they are still looking for a credible opposition.

“This is a huge deal for Randy,” Maniatis told this writer. “That is the reason why we need someone who could test Randy and see how he fares.”

Randy Petalcorin (center) after winning in his most recent fight.

Most of his big fights will now be held in Australia under the banner of Peter Maniatis Events.”

While there is no problem with Petalcorin’s determination to fight and succeed, Manangquil is currently having problems with his figter’s paperwork.

“He is in tiptop shape and he is ready,” Manangquil said. “However, we are still taking care of his passport requirements.”

Petalcorin is the reigning Philippine Boxing Federation (PBF) flyweight and WBC Asia Council light flyweight champion. Since losing to fellow Filipino prospect Marlon Tapales in the undercard of Brian Viloria-Carlos Tamara IBF flyweight title bout January last year, Petalcorin registered eight straight wins, with the last seven by stoppage.

“We already have the date and the venue,” Maniatis said. “August 13th in Melbourne.”

Talking about the recent losses of Mark Melligen and Edrin Dapudong, Maniatis believes that while they can still bounce back, both men will have to do a lot of re-establishing themselves before they got another shot at the world stage.

“Both men fell short but there are lessons to be learned,” Maniatis said.

Asked who among the active Filipino fighters he thinks have the best chances of winning a world title, the four-time Victoria Promoter of the Year was not gun shy in naming names.

Peter Maniatis believes Randy Petalcorin is the real deal.

“Milan Melindo tops my list. He is fluid and very effective in using the ring. Very smart and very technical. He fought Carlos Tamara and beat him with his guile and ringcraft. That says a lot.”

Next is AJ Banal. He is young and he has the power. And Banal is getting more mature. I believe that given time and world class training, he has the potential to be an elite fighter.”

Mercito Gesta is my third Filipino prospect to win a world title. Young, hungry, and very talented. And he is with Top Rank. His obvious advantage is that he is training full time in the United States, where he gets high quality sparring sessions.”

Fourth will be Froilan Saludar. Already the WBO Youth flyweight champion, he has the tools and the potential. But I believe he needs polishing.”

Randy Petalcorin is my fifth choice. And he will have the chance to prove himself on August 13th. He is young and rough on the edges. But he is disciplined and eager to learn on top of his raw power.”

I also love Lorenzo Villanueva’s chances of winning a world title. While he has power, he is crude. But imagine a very refined Villanueva and that would be a scary assignment for anyone on or near his division.”

You can now follow Peter Maniatis (PeterManiatis) on Twitter!

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Kenneth P. Ragpala is an award-winning sports blogger who has been covering the sport of boxing since 2008. His works have appeared in local newspapers in his home city in Cagayan de Oro and in several online publications abroad. Ragpala has written for several boxing websites, namely Fight Hype, 8 Count News, and Bleacher Report.