Plania shows off top form to defeat Gutierrez

MIKE “Magic” Plania put on a clinic with a one-sided unanimous decision win over erstwhile unbeaten Nicaraguan Giovanni Gutierrez on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019 at the Miami-Dade County Fair and Expo in Miami, Florida.

The 22-year-old former amateur standout dropped Gutierrez once and outboxed him the whole fight. All three judges had identical scores of 100-89.

“I really thought he was done when he went down. I wanted to finish the fight early but props to my tough opponent. I did good though in boxing him the following rounds. I am hoping to go up in the IBF (International Boxing Federation) ranking, having won the North America belt. I am praying hard for bigger fights next year especially for a world title fight,” Plania said in a statement.

Plania captured the vacant IBF North America super bantamweight belt and captured his third straight victory in the US.

Plania improved to 23-1 with 12 knockouts. His lone loss was against Juan Carlos Payano in 2018.

Plania will likely break into the super bantamweight rankings in the IBF.

The 25-year-old Gutierrez, the No. 10 ranked bantamweight in the World Boxing Association (WBA), suffered his first career defeat and dropped to a 9-1 record with six knockouts.

On the other hand, Plania’s teammate, Vincent Moralde (23-3, 13 KOs), also had a good showing as he knocked out Matias Arriagada (6-9, 3 KOs) in the opening round of a scheduled six-rounder bout.

Moralde dropped Arriagada thrice before the referee intervened.

“It was a step-up game for them, especially for Mike. We are targeting a world title match for him next year. A little more polishing and he’ll be ready for the big time,” said Sanman Promotions chief executive officer JC Manangquil. (EKA)