PROMISING Filipino prospect “Magic” Mike Plania wants his presence felt in the bantamweight division by taking out one of the division’s top dogs—World Boxing Organization (WBO) No. 1 contender Joshua Greer Jr.—in a 10-round bout on June 17, 2020 (PH time) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Plania, who’s already world rated as a super bantamweight, hopes to make waves at a lower weight class and possibly position himself for a world title shot by beating Greer Jr., who’s considered as one of the best bantamweights today.
“I think Mike is more talented than Greer. So, Mike must fight his fight and not let Greer dictate the fight,” Plania’s promoter and manager JC Manangquil told SunStar Cebu.
The 24-year-old Plania weighed in at 119.5 pounds, while Greer Jr. tipped the scales half a pound heavier at 120.
“He has to watch out for Greer’s counters. Greer is very good at counterpunching and has great footwork,” Manangquil said.
Plania, a former amateur standout, has won eight straight bouts since suffering his first career defeat in the hands of former world champion Juan Carlos Payano in 2018. Plania won his last fight via a unanimous decision over Giovanni Gutierrez last Dec. 21, 2019 in Miami.
Plania, who trains at the Moro’s Boxing Gym in Miami, is known for his speed, quick hands, explosiveness and footwork. Manangquil hopes that he’ll use these to his advantage against Greer Jr., who’s equally talented.
“We want to beat him on points. But if a knockout comes, why not?”
Greer Jr. won all three of his fights in 2019. He won close fights with Antonio Nieves and Nikolai Potapov, and an eighth-round knockout over Pinoy Giovanni Escaner.
Plania is 23-1 with 12 knockouts, while Greer Jr. is 22-1-1 with 12 knockouts.
Meanwhile, Fil-Hawaiian Cameron Krael (17-15-3, 4 KOs) is also seeing action in the card in an eight-round bout against unbeaten Kazakh Bobirzhan Mominov (10-0, 8 KOs).
The 26-year-old Krael is coming off a split decision over Uzbek Ravshan Hudaynazarov just last Feb. 13, before the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown. Mominov, on the other hand, is coming back from a long layoff of more than a year. He last fought on March 23, 2019 and won a six-round unanimous decision over Jonathan Steele.