Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank continues to enlist the services of Filipino fighters in his twice-weekly shows in Las Vegas.
On July 16, Mark John Yap, a former Orient-Pacific Boxing Federation bantamweight champion, faces an acid test as he meets Colombian power-puncher Miguel “Escorpion” Marriaga at The Bubble inside the MGM Grand.
Marriaga (29-3 with 25 KOs) is a Top Rank hot commodity and is not taking Yap (30-15 with 15 KOs) lightly despite his seemingly woeful record.
“I stayed in shape during the pandemic, and I am thankful to my team for this wonderful opportunity. I want to be a world champion, and a win over Yap will move me one step closer to my ultimate goal. Yap is much better than his record indicates. Neither of us will take a backward step,” said Marriaga, who at 33, is two years older than Yap.
Arum is convinced Marriaga, whose losses came against topnotch opposition, is raring to position himself towards another shot at the big time.
“Miguel stayed in shape throughout the pandemic and was willing to fight anyone we put in front of him,” said Arum, whose boxing career in promotions started with Muhammad Ali vs George Chuvalo in 1966.
Since June, Top Rank has regularly been featuring Filipino punchers on its regular shows at the MGM Grand during the coronavirus era.
But only those who are already in the US are being given the opportunity to fight owing to ongoing travel restrictions around the world.