Libranza to fight Apolinario on Feb. 27 in General Santos City

·2 min read

World-rated Genisis Libranza slugs it out with former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario on Feb. 27, 2021 at the Bula Gym in Gen. Santos City.

Following a hiatus in 2020, Libranza looks to continue where he left off and improve his world ranking. He is currently rated No. 12 in the World Boxing Council and No. 15 in the World Boxing Organization (WBO) in the flyweight division.

The 27-year-old Libranza last saw action on July 20, 2019. He stopped Carlos Maldonado in the fourth round in one of the undercard bouts of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Libranza has won eight straight fights since suffering his only career loss in 2017. He challenged for the International Boxing Organization (IBO) flyweight belt against South African star Moruti Mthalane, who knocked him out in the fourth round.

Apolinario, on the other hand, is on a three-fight skid and hopes to end his slump. He was knocked out by budding star KJ Cataraja in the first round last Dec. 17, 2020 in Gen. Santos City.

The 31-year-old Apolinario was once a highly-regarded prospect. He went 16-2-1 to start his career and was the WBO Oriental super flyweight champion.

With his impressive credentials, Apolinario earned a crack at the interim World Boxing Association (WBA) bantamweight title against Roberto Vasquez in 2012. The fight ended in a majority draw. Apolinario and Vasquez had a rematch the following year and the fight still ended as a draw.

Also in 2013, Apolinario had his third straight world title fight, this time for the regular WBA bantamweight belt against titleholder Koki Kameda. Apolinario lost to Kameda via a lopsided unanimous decision. From then on Aplolinario’s career went on a downhill slide, wherein he went 4-11 from 2014 to 2020.

Apolinario, however, showed signs of his former self with a win over promising unbeaten prospect Vincent Astrolabio in 2017.

Libranza is 19-1 with 11 knockouts, while Apolinario is 20-14-3 with five knockouts.

The Libranza vs. Apolinario fight is one of the supporting bouts of the title defense of International Boxing Federation minimumweight king Pedro Taduran (14-2-1, 11 KOs) against mandatory challenger Rene Mark Cuarto (18-2-2, 11 KOs). (EKA)