By Nick Giongco
Banking on his left hook that produced two picture-perfect knockdowns, Filipino puncher “Magic” Mike Plania scored a 10-round majority decision over top-rated American Joshua Greer in their overweight bantamweight bout Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) in Las Vegas.
Dave Moretti had it 94-94 while Tim Cheatham scored it 96-92 and Patricia Jarman saw it 97-91 for Plania, who camped out in Miami starting March before getting a call from Top Rank to face Greer.
A 5-1 underdog, Plania sent Greer down on his back at ring center barely a minute into the opening round, then reenacted the scene in the sixth stanza with the same blow that landed squarely on the jaw.
Plania thought it was going to be a short night when Greer fell in the opening round, telling boxingscene that he “thought he wouldn’t stand up anymore.”
Still, Plania, who took the fight on a four-week’s notice, kept his composure although Greer did manage to bounce back and pile up points to win the last three rounds.
Beginning the seventh canto, Greer altered his game plan and became offensive-minded, knowing he was behind the scorecards following the two knockdowns he suffered.
In the first six rounds, Greer was always on his bike, flicking his jab and moving quickly from side-to-side to avoid being hit.
The Chicago-bred Greer, 26, entered the fight ranked No. 1 by one of the major alphabet group organizations aside from being listed in the top ten by the other sanctioning groups.
Plania, 23, though not as highly-rated, was among the top 12 by one boxing body.
Greer was on the crest of a 19-fight winning streak stretching back to February 2016.
Plania, managed by JC Mananquil and trained by Cuban Osmiri “El Moro” Fernandez, was the first Filipino boxer to return to action in the coronavirus era following the global lockdown that began in March.
The victory raised Plania’s record to 24-1-1 with 12 KOs while the defeat dropped Greer’s slate to 22-2-1 with 12 KOs.
There were no spectators and even media around in the five-fight card that Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum put up in close coordination with the Nevada Athletic Commission, which strictly enforced safety protocols to curb the spread of COVID-19.