Where Manny Pacquiao failed, this Filipina succeeded.
Filipina boxer Marnelle “Shark 2” Verano of Valencia City, Bukidnon captured the vacant Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) world super flyweight crown Friday night at the La Mirage Receptions and Convention Centre in Somerton, Victoria, Australia.
The 27-year old Verano (6-2-1, 2 KOs) scored a unanimous decision against previously unbeaten Australia female bantamweight champion Sylvia Scharper (3-1, 1 KO) in 10-round championship fight.
Two judges saw the fight 97-93 and the third judge had it 98-92 all in favor of the 5-foot-6 Verano.
Verano fought 37th ranked, five spots lower than Scharper in bantamweight. She is the second female boxer from the Philippines to win WIBA world title and third Asian champion in 115-pound division next to Zhengzhou, China native Cheng Jing and South Korean Yoon-Joo Shin from Seoul.
The first Filipina WIBA title-holder was Gretchen Abaniel, a native of Palawan who beat Thailand’s Nongbua Lookprai-aree for the WIBA minimumweight title in Manila Hotel in 2009.
Before her WIBA championship fight, Verano stopped Joan Ambalongo by a third round technical knockout at the Barangay Biasong covered court in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Note last October 6, 2014.
Verano also fought but lost in the Orient Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) female flyweight championship against Japanese Asami Shikasho by a unanimous decision at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan last June 14, 2010.
Verano was also stopped by another Japanese Naoko Yamaguchi in the fourth round by a TKO at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo on October 12, 2009.
Before her back-to-back setbacks, Verano won four of her five first fights. She debuted by knocking down once for a unanimous decision on Babay Teckok in Muntinlupa City on June 30, 2007.
In her next outing, Verano only settled a majority draw with Geremie Tabastabas at the Elorde Sports Center in Paranaque on August 4.
Verano came back to its winning form by whipping Baina Londo by a unanimous decision on Nov. 9 in Pasay City. She then scored a first round TKO against Cheralyn Dagit at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel on March 25, 2008.
Verano went to Puerto Princesa City in Palawan to beat Teeraporn Pannimit of Thailand by a unanimous decisionon September 13.
(source: PNA, Lolito T. delos Reyes)