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When news broke out that former WBA interim flyweight champion Drian “Golden Fist” Francisco (20-1-1, 16 KOs) will be slugging it out with the wily Michael “Bruce Lee” Domingo (42-15-3, 23 KOs) this Friday, September 23rd, most boxing pundits’ initial reaction was genuine surprise. And almost immediately, majority of boxing insiders tagged Francisco as the underdog.

And with good reason.

Francisco, who is coming off from a shocking loss on point to Tepparith Singwangcha of Thailand last May 2011, chose a solid veteran in Domingo who happens to be former world title challenger and is vastly superior in terms of boxing abilities and experience. While Francisco only suffered his first career loss to Singwangcha, it can’t be denied that Domingo faced better opposition.

Drian Francisco

Domingo once fought for the vacant WBF bantamweight title but lost to Frederic Patrac of France in October 2006. His last outing was a 6th -round stoppage over Indonesian Richard Samosir last July 2011.

Boxing economics and common sense dictates that Francisco, a promising Filipino prizefighter, needs to rebuild after losing to Singwangcha. But putting Francisco in the same ring with Domingo is a very risky venture for the former. Call it a bold move or a stroke of genius, pitting Francisco against Domingo will certainly put the hard-hitting 28-year old in the ultimate test.

A victory for Francisco will certainly boost up his market value and his chances to score a shot at a world title. Although it is not a career suicide for Francisco should he lose, a setback will derail his career for a significant while.

On the other hand, Domingo, at 32 years old, is definitely entering the winter of his career, which has been on a roller coaster ride featured with far too many low points. A win for Domingo will certainly get him back on track. And Domingo certainly wants that.

Nothing is more dangerous than a prizefighter who has nothing to lose and everything to gain. And the man known in Philippine boxing as Bruce Lee is all that, only he is the better fighter, at least on paper.

As boxing is always be an unpredictable contest, nothing is written in stone until the victor’s hand is raised. But for all it is worth, both men certainly won’t fail fight fans’ expectations. Once these two top Filipino fighters square up inside that squared circle, expect a firefight.

Pinoy Warriors: Drian Francisco vs. Michael Domingo will be held on Friday, September 23rd, 2011 at the Makati Coliseum.

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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.