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Philippine Boxing Report : Malcolm Tunacao

Feb 15, 2004  By Epifanio M. Almeda
Malcolm Tunacao (15-1-2, 12 KOs) – He TKO’d the fighter who TKO’d Manny Pacquiao

On May 19, 2000 Malcolm Tunacao regained for the Philippines the WBC Flyweight Championship in only his 11th professional fight by battering defending champion, Medgoen Toyota 3K Battery, into submission in the 7th round before a hushed partisan crowd in Udonthani, Thailand.

“I was hungry for a championship for the Philippines”, Malcolm confesses when asked what fueled his determination to win the title. “I was able to repeatedly land my best punch, the right hook, which did most of the damage,” Malcolm adds. Medgoen previously captured the title via a 3rd round TKO over a dehydrated and overweight Manny Pacquiao who already lost the crown at the weigh-in before the fight.

The 5’ 7½” Tunacao (pronounced Toon-ya-kao) retained his title via a split draw with Japanes challenger Celes Kobayashi in his first defense in Tokyo, Japan on August 20, 2000. Unfortunately, he lost his belt in his second defense to Pongsaklek Wonjongkam by a 1st round KO. He laments, though, the unfair and unsportsmanlike tactics his Thai hosts did to unsettle his fight preparations in Thailand.

“Immediately after our arrival, we were treated with heavy meals and forced to attend TV interviews going into the late hours of the evening. This disrupted the final stages of my preparations for the fight. The weighing scale was also kept from us until the last moment so we were not able to monitor my weight. I weighed 6 pounds over the flyweight limit in the morning of the weigh-in. I had to shed the excess pounds to avoid disqualification. In addition, we were billeted in a hotel situated about 8 hours train ride from the fight site. When I climbed the ring, I was already a spent victim.”

Malcolm tried to bounce back from his only setback by trying to wrest the WBC International Flyweight championship from fellow Filipino Randy Mangubat on July 28, 2001. Mangubat retained his title via a technical draw in the 4th round when Malcolm sustained a nasty cut from an accidental head-butt. The fight was Malcolm’s last as a flyweight.

Malcolm, now fighting as a Super-flyweight, gained momentum in his come back by scoring TKO wins over Pornchai Sishprapprom of Thailand (TKO 6), Kakhar Sabitov of Russia (TKO 4) and Kazuki Niki of Japan (TKO 3).
On September 26, 2003, Malcolm captured the WBC International Super-Flyweight title by knocking out Ringgo Jaguar of Indonesia in the 5th round.

Malcolm improved his #3 rating to #2 among the WBC Super-Flyweights without a sweat following the unsuccessful attempt of former #1 Dimitri Kirilov to wrest the WBC Super-Flyweight title from Masanori Tokoyama of Japan.

When asked what chance does he have to again be in a world championship fight, Malcolm expectantly predicts, “I just read in the internet that Tokoyama is moving up in weight and would fight Alexander Munoz for the WBA Bantamweight title. That would be my chance to win the soon to be vacant WBC Super-Flyweight title with the surely mandated title-fight between the #1 and #2 contenders.”

But first Malcolm has to successfully defend his International title against a Thai challenger on the 19th of next month in Manila. And he would.

Malcolm Tunacao’s Official Ring Record
(Courtesy of Philippine Games and Amusement Board Chief Sports & Games Regulation Officer Noli C. Flores)

No. of Fights- 18, Wins-15 (12 by KO, 1 by Disqualification), Loss-1, Draw-2

Date: Weight Rounds Name of Opponent
(Filipino unless indicated)

Aug 1/98

110 ½ 6 Manuel Ferego TKO 2

Sep 26/98

113 8 Star Boy TKO 4

Nov 28/98

112 10 Al Pong Navaja UD

Jan 15/99

112 ¾ 10 Zosimo Delgado UD

Feb 27/99

113 10 Nelson Mantos TKO 3

Mar 20/99

113 ¼

10 Emer Barrientos TKO 1

Apr 30/99

113 10 Junric Velono TKO 2

May 30/99

113 10 Matthew Baring KO 3

Sep 25/99



Rio Sumanpong


Jan 29/00

112 12* Buddy Carl Ledesma Won-DQ

May 19/00

112 12** Medgoen 3K Battery (Thai) TKO 7

Aug 20/00

112 12** Celes Kobayashi (Japanese) S/Draw

Mar 2/01


12** Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Thai) Lost-KO 1

Jul 28/01

112 12*** Randy Mangubat T/Draw

Feb 8/02

115 ½

10 Pornchai Sishprapprom (Thai) TKO 6

Jul 29/02

116 ½


Kakhar Sabitov (Russian) TKO 4

Nov 18/02


10 Kazuki Niki (Japanese) TKO 3
Sep 26/03 115 12**** Ringgo Jaguar (Indonesian) KO 5

* - Philippine Flyweight Championship
** - WBC Flyweight Championship
*** - WBC International Flyweight Championship
**** - WBC International Super-Flyweight Championship.

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