Heading into the WBO bantamweight title fight between Filipino defending champion Johnriel Casimero and Ghanaian challenger Duke Micah on September 26, 2020 in the US, top fighters from the two countries have met in ten main event contests since the 1960s.
Casimero is set to clash with the undefeated Micah in the undercards of the main event bouts headlined by the Charlo brothers, Jermall and Jermell at the Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut, USA.
Toting a 29-4, 20 KOs record, the 30 year old Casimero will be making the first defense of the WBO title he won last year by 3rd round KO from then highly regarded South African defending champion Zolani Tete in the UK. Micah, who represented Ghana in the 2012 London Olympics reaching the second round of competitions before losing to UK’s Michael Conlan, is undefeated in 24 pro bouts with 20 KOs.
Thus far, the Philippines is leading the head to head confrontation with Ghana with six wins as against three losses and a draw.
Gabriel “Flash” Elorde started the rivalry with his two fight series against a surprisingly tough and rugged Ghanaian challenger Love Allotey in 1963.
Elorde Two Fight Series Versus Allotey, 1963
Their first fight, a 10 round non title lightweight bout held on August 3, 1963 at the cavernous then just three year old Araneta Colesium in Cubao, Quezon City ended in a close unanimous decision win for Elorde which was bitterly disputed by Allotey and his camp who complained of ring robbery.
Scoring referee Jose Lacocico scored the fight 46-44 while the two other Filipino judges Alfredo Quiazon and Hugodino Lim both had it 48-45, all for Elorde.
The neutral Associated Press reported:
“Flash Elorde of the Philippines decisioned Love Allotey of Ghana in a close 10 round non-title fight here Saturday night. The fight was close and the decision, although unanimous, had Elorde winning by only a slight margin. Allotey’s big round was the 2nd when he staggered Elorde with two hard right hooks to the head. Elorde retaliated with a stiff left, which shook Allotey. Elorde, after five rounds, however, used his experience to good advantage and did not appear to be in trouble the rest of the way.”
Unofficial AP scorecard was 48-46 for Elorde. Allotey was given a one-point deduction in the 7th round when he butted Elorde, opening a cut on the right side of Elorde’s head.
“I was robbed. I demand a title fight.” said Love Allotey to which Elorde responded: “I wish I could fight him again in a title fight. He is tough and good, but he is a dirty fighter.”
The second fight with Elorde’s world junior lightweight championship at stake was thus held at the same venue three months after on November 16 1963.
Elorde managed to keep his title when Filipino scoring referee Jaime Valencia who had the fight even after ten rounds disqualified Allotey in the 11th round for continuous fouling.
The Associated Press reported:
“Flash Elorde of Manila retained his junior lightweight title Saturday when the referee disqualified challenger Love Allotey for repeated fouling in their scheduled 15 round championship bout. Referee Jaime Valencia stopped the fight in the 11th round after taking numerous points away from Allotey for fouling. He finally called a halt after :36 seconds of the round when Allotey hit Elorde on the break for the fourth or fifth time. At times the fight threatened to turn into a brawl. Maddened by the challenger’s butting, heeling, elbowing and hitting on the break, Elorde tried to slug it out but Allotey never backed up. He just stood his ground and flailed away without caution or guidance.”
When the referee disqualified Allotey and declared Elorde the winner, Allotey tried to attack the referee but was restrained. An irate fan in retaliation tried to hit Allotey in the head with a soda pop bottle during the melee.
Scorecards through 10 completed rounds read referee Jaime Valencia – 47-47, Judge Gregorio Trinidad – 46-44 Elorde and Judge Philip Bradfield – 48-42 Elorde Unofficial AP scorecard had Allotey up 48-46.
Ike Quartey TKO 1 Dindo Canoy, 1992
It took nearly three decades before another major bout involving fighters from the two countries was held and Ghana managed to score its first win through Isufu “Ike” Quartey who won by TKO in the very first round over Dindo Canoy in their WBC international super lightweight title fight in Accra Ghana, March 7, 1992.
Quartey would win the WBA welterweight championship two years later in France stopping then undefeated Crisanto Espana in June 1994. He would hold the title for four years before vacating it to challenge Oscar de la Hoya for his WBC belt and losing by controversial decision in 1988.
Pacquiao UD Clottey, 2010
Manny Pacquiao made it 3-1 when he scored a near shut out unanimous decision victory over Ghanaian challenger Joshua Clottey in the first defense of his WBO welterweight title on March 13, 2010 in the USA.
Their main headline fight called “The Event” was held at the Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas with about 44,000 paying fans in attendance and was also aired live via HBO Pay Per View.
Pacquiao won pulling away on the scorecards of judges Duane Ford who had it a shutout 120-108 and Levi Martinez and Nelson Vasquez who both saw it 119-109.
The largely one-sided bout saw Pacquiao throw combinations against a heavily defensive Joshua Clottey. Pacquiao’s volume of punches seemed to keep Clottey from opening up and attempting to mount much offensively other than an occasional right hands.
Pacquiao entered ranked as the # 1 fighter pound-for-pound in the world and the # 1 welterweight according to The Ring Magazine. Clottey, a 5-1 underdog, entered ranked as the # 5 welterweight by the same publication.
The fight was the first to be held at the new Cowboy Stadium which opened May 27, 2009.This bout, labeled “The Event”, came together after the super-fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. fell through due to disputes over the type of drug testing that would take place leading up the fight.
Due to his normal trainer being unable to secure a visa to enter the United States, for the first time Clottey was trained by Lenny DeJesus
The fight was rewarded with a paid crowd of 36,371 and a gate of $6,359,985, according to post-fight tax reports filed with Texas boxing regulators. Counting complimentary tickets delivered to sponsors, media outlets and others, the Dallas fight attracted 41,843, well short of the 50,994 that was initially announced, but still an epic number for boxing. In addition, the bout drew 700,000 pay-per-view buys and earned $35.3 million in domestic revenue. Pacquiao purse was reported at $17 million plus.
Ghana Evens Up Through Agbeko, Dogboe
Ghana pulled even at 3-3 through wins scored by Joseph “Kingkong” Agbeko and Isaac Dogboe in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Agbeko, the former IBF bantamweight champion who has had the misfortune of getting the shorter end of two title decisions against Abner Mares and a failed title a try against Guillermo Rigindeaux , came back in 2015 with a crushing 3rd round TKO over Juanito Rubillar in June 2015 in their main event bout in El Paso, Texas.
On August 26, 2016 Isaac Dogboe raised his then unbeaten record to 14-0 by defeating then just once beaten Neil John Tabanao in Accra, Ghana by unanimous decision. Dogboe in the process won three international belts at featherweight as sanctioned by the WBC and WBO.
Two years later, Dogboe would win the WBO interim and regular junior featherweight titles by consecutive knockout wins over Cesar Juarez and Jessie Magdaleno, respectively. He would lose the title however in 2019 to Emmanuel Navarette.
Albert Pagara Restores Lead
Quite ironically, it was Albert Pagara, coming off a frustrating late round TKO loss to the same Cesar Juarez in July 2016 dropping his WBO intercontinental junior featherweight title in the process, who would restore the lead for the Philippines with three successive wins over Ghanaian foes.
Chaffing from that sorry loss to Juarez in San Mateo, California, Pagara would bounce back with a dominating points victory over Ghana’s Raymond Commey in Cebu in 2017. Two fights and wins later, Pagara would regain his WBO inter continental junior featherweight title by knockout over another Ghanaian Odoi Leyena. His last and most recent fight saw him retaining that title by knockout over George Krampah last year also in Cebu.
Dasmarimas, Plange Fight to Draw
The latest twist in the running feud between the two boxing countries saw Michael Dasmarinas and Manyo Plange fighting to a split draw in a non title bantamweight bout in Singapore in 2018.
The then reigning IBO champion Dasmarinas was thoroughly challenged by the undefeated Ghanaian from the opening bell in their fight held at the Marina Sands in Singapore.
Dasmarinas who had a two inch height advantage used his jab to keep Plange at bay but the Ghanaian still kept on attacking. The judges had the fight, 97-93 for Dasmarinas, 96-94 for Plange and 95-95 even.
The two have kept on winning since then with Dasmarinas now the mandatory challenger for tbe IBF bantamweight title currently held by Naoya Inoue.
Casimero Versus Micah a Vital Match
Not counting Pagara’s three wins over marginally rated Ghanaian foes, the running score between the Philippines and Ghana is essentially tied at 3 major victories apiece with one draw.
Therefore the forthcoming title fight between Casimero and Micah holds greater significance in determining who really holds the bragging rights as far as the two boxing batty countries is concerned.