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Top 10 Active Filipino Boxers

The rise of Filipino boxing icon and lone Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao to the apex of boxing encourages fellow Filipino boxers to strive harder to excel in the sweet science.

Pacquiao paved the way for fellow Filipino boxers in the international stage because of his phenomenal achievements. Pacquiao won the Philippine senatorial seat and retired in the sport of boxing. In this list, we ranked the Top Ten Active Filipino fighters in the sport of boxing that may follow the footsteps of the Filipino boxing icon.

We ranked fighters based on the following:

  • The overall body of work

  • Activity

  • Quality of opponents

Without further delay, here are our Top Ten Active Filipino Boxers.

10. Jesse Espinas (14-2-0, 10 KOs) Light flyweight (108 lbs.)


The 23-year old Espinas hails from Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental, in the southern Philippines. He's a southpaw with devastating power in both hands. His last two victories coming by way of knockout via power shots to the body.

He knockout Paipharob Kokietgym of Thailand in round 8 and stopped Indonesian Tommy Seran in the fourth round. His last two fights were all held outside his native Philippines.

9. Jonathan Taconing (22-2-1, 18 KOs) Light flyweight (108 lbs.)


Since his last defeat, Taconing has racked up nine straight victories. Eight fights were fought in the Philippines and one fight won in Mexico when he traveled there and stopped former world title challenger Ramon Garcia Hirales in 10 rounds.

Taconing held the OPBF regional title after stopping fellow Filipino Jomar Fajardo via technical decision in round 10 of their 12-round fight in September last year.

8. Arthur Villanueva (29-1-0, 15 KOs) Junior bantamweight (115 lbs.)


Formerly undefeated in 27 fights and is only 27 years old. Villanueva suffered his first defeat in a controversial foul-filled fight that resulted in a technical decision loss in round 10 against McJoe Arroyo for the vacant IBF world junior bantamweight title.

Villanueva suffered a cut over his right eye from an accidental headbutt and upon the advice of the ringside physician, the referee stopped the fight in round 10. The decision went to the judge's scorecards wherein Arroyo was ahead, therefore, getting the decision.

Villanueva complained on the stoppage as the cut didn't bother him and he can still see and can continue the fight. The stoppage was disappointing for Villanueva because it seemed Arroyo was tired in round 10. Arroyo's punch output declined in that round but Villanueva's chance in the championship was cut short. Villanueva's camp demanded a rematch, yet it still remains to be seen.

Villanueva came back and fought in the Philippines, won an explosive 4th round KO over Juan Jimenez of Mexico.

7. Genesis Servania (27-0-0, 11 KO's) Junior featherweight (122 lbs.)


Undefeated in 27 fights with 11 knockouts, Servania is slowly but surely climbing the ranks in the junior featherweight division. He's more of a boxer than a typical puncher. He can slug it out toe-to-toe against an opponent he feels he can take the power. But he can also outbox and outmaneuver a solid puncher or brawler.

Servania has the number of former champion Alexander Munoz whom he scored three knockdowns prior to a subsequent stoppage in round 12 of their WBO intercontinental super bantamweight match.

6. Rey Loreto (22-13-0, 14 KOs) Light flyweight (108 lbs.)

Loreto came out of nowhere from nowhere in Feb. 2014, with a highlight-reel knockout victory over Nkoshinathi Joyi in Monaco for the light flyweight title inside three rounds.

Loreto came back with another knockout victory over Heri Amol in Davao, Philippines.

In a rematch, Loreto knocked out Joyi once more in a much more impressive style at Joyi's home turf in Africa. Just 45 days after he underwent a surgical operation, Loreto was able to overcome the adversity and proved his first win was no fluke.

Unfortunately, it was reported that the African promoter did not pay Loreto's purse for the Joyi rematch.

5. Johnriel Casimero (21-3-0, 13 KOs) Flyweight (112 lbs.)

After back-to-back losses fighting outside his native Philippines, Casimero had been 7-0 (KO 5). He stopped hometown favorite Argentinean Luis Alberto Lazarte in Round 10, capturing the light flyweight title. The fight resulted into chaos after Lazarte's fans threw chairs in the ring, right after the official announcement. Casimero is unfazed of the previous fight experience, and instead traveled to Mexico and Panama and successfully defended his title.

After defending the title on the road, Casimero won via stoppages against Felipe Salguero, TKO 11 and Mauricio Fuentes KO 1, in his native Philippines. He then went to Mexico and knockout Armando Santos in round 2.

Casimero got another crack for a world title at the flyweight division against Zou Shiming conqueror Amnat Ruenroeng, but he failed his chance to capture his second world title in a foul-filled fight initiated by the champion. He lost a wide decision from two judges' scorecards and close from one judge. He also demanded an immediate rematch.

Casimero didn't fight again and waited for Ruenroeng's rematch. It's worth the wait as Casimero exacted revenge knocking out the titlist in Round 4 of their rematch in China.

4. Brian Viloria (36-5-0, 22 KOs) Flyweight (112 lbs.)

At age 35, Viloria may not be in the peak of his career. But Viloria still able to put a gallant performance over boxing's current pound-for-pound kingpin Roman Gonzalez.

Viloria fight his heart out and managed to go head to head against "Chocolatito" until the referee stopped the contest at 2:53 in Round 9.

In the Warrior's code, there's no surrender! But it's the referee who will tell you that you no longer well to proceed further.

3. Albert Pagara (26-0-0, 18 KOs) Super bantamweight (122 lbs.)

The 22 years old Pagara is undefeated in 26 fights, 18 by way of knockouts. He's an explosive fighter that has decent power in both hands. He can stop an opponent early in the fight but can last the distance too if he needs to.


In his last two outings, Pagara wipes out William Gonzalez on his stateside debut at the StubHub Center, in Carson, California in October 2015. Pagara blitzed Gonzalez with powerful shots after scoring two knockdowns, one in round 2 and then another one in round 6.

Pagara came back to his native Philippines and fought Nicaraguan Yesner Talavera whose trainer was former flyweight champion, Rosendo Alvarez. Pagara won a 12-round unanimous decision over Talavera who eventually came to survive.

Pagara is expected to step up in competition this year and could challenge any of the world titleholders at his division.

2. Nonito Donaire (37-3-0, 24 KOs) Super bantamweight (122 lbs.)


Although Donaire dropped a unanimous decision in 2013 against Guillermo Rigondeux, Donaire is still among the top active Filipino boxers next to Pacquiao. He had a good run in 2012 and was named "Fighter of the Year" to most sports print and digital media.

Donaire came back strong after the Rigo fight and demolished once and for all rival Vic Darchinyan in a rematch. He then marched north to conquer the featherweight division. He won an infamous technical decision over Simpiwe Vetyeka for a featherweight title. Vetyeka is the conqueror of the great Chris John of Indonesia who held the featherweight world title since 2004. John's only loss was to Vetyeka in 2013 and then he retired.

Donaire returned to the ring to defend his title against a much bigger and stronger featherweight contender Nicholas Walters. Donaire suffered his first knockout defeat as 13 years pro-fighter.

After a disappointing knockout loss at the featherweight division, Donaire moves back down to the 122-pound division. In his comeback, he blew William Prado of Brazil inside two rounds at his country of birth in the Philippines on March 28, which I covered live at ringside.

After a successful came back against Prado at 122-pound division, Donaire added two more victories. He fought between life and death against tough... tough... Mexican Cesar Juarez for 12 rounds. Donaire was going well in the early round knocking down Juarez twice in round four. Juarez came back with a frightening rally in the championship rounds that saw Donaire on the verge of collapse. But Donaire's piled-up points in the rounds prevailed and got the UD to win.

He came back to his country of birth and wiped out challenger Zsolt Bedak in round in Round 3 and called out UK's Carl Frampton and a rematch with Guillermo Rigondeux.

1. Donnie Nietes (37-1-4, 21 KOs) Light Flyweight (108 lbs.)

Famously known as "Ahas" (snake), Nietes won titles in the minimumweight and light flyweight division. He defended his minimumweight title from 2007 to 2010 and then captured the light flyweight title in 2011. He defended his flyweight title against Mexican Sammy Gutierrez in Araneta Coliseum, Manila, Philippines on November 30. He won another two title defenses against Moises Fuentes and Carlos Velarde via stoppage.

Nietes became the longest-reigning Filipino world champion surpassing the record of the great Filipino boxing icon Gabriel "Flash" Elorde.

In his last two outings, Nietes, 33, continued his knockout winning streak since the majority draw against Moises Fuentes's first fight in 2013. He stopped Gilberto Parra in March and won a one sided decision against the highly regarded Francisco Rodriquez.

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