By Roderick Osis
Will we be expecting a hero’s parade for Ifugao pride Carl Jammes Martin?
There might be, or there won’t be.
That is because some towns in the province of Ifugao are still reeling from the effects of recent calamities.
For starters, Martin recently retained the WBA Asia super bantamweight title against tough-to-crack Tanzanian Charles Tondo during their title match at the SM San Lazaro in Manila last week.
Martin, the fighting pride of Lagawe, dominated his Tanzanian foe en route to a lopsided 119-109, 119-109, 118-110 unanimous decision victory.
The 23-year-old thus improved his record to 20 victories in as many bouts with 16 knockouts.
With his victory, Martin is being primed for bigger and tougher fights in the near future.
Martin is currently being handled by Probellum, which is spearheaded by former Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.
This means Martin could someday be in the bright lights of Las Vegas headlining a pay-per-view event.
But Martin has to crawl his way to the top, as he is currently rated No. 11 by the WBA, No. 13 by the International Boxing Federation, No. 14 by the World Boxing Organization, and No. 19 by the World Boxing Council (WBC).
Right now, Martin is being considered by most as one of the future stars of Philippine boxing.
But Martin is not the only boxing champion from Ifugao right now.
On June 25, KJ Natuplag defeated Thailand’s Attanon Kunlawong with a sensational second-round knock-out win and wrested the WBC Asian Boxing Council featherweight championship, improving his professional boxing record to 10 wins in 15 contests that include two draws.
Natuplag also hails from Lagawe and is being managed by Highland and DMAD Boxing Promotions, both based in La Trinidad, Benguet.
Indeed, the province of Ifugao is not just after all about the rice terraces but its people also boast of world-class athletes.
Carl and KJ might have taken their inspiration from former MMA world champions Kevin Belingon and Stephen Loman.