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In the Philippines, boxing is only considered a secondary sport behind basketball, despite of the glories and honors it brought to the country, having produced Olympic standouts, professional world champions and some of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport. The Philippines has yet to win an Olympic gold medal but amateur boxing has given the country more medals in the Summer Olympics than any sport with 5 out of its 9 total medals. On the other hand, professional boxing have produced 38 major world champions (including those of Filipino heritage), one of the most in the world. In an unofficial survey, the Philippines are ranked inside the top 10 in the world (led by USA, Mexico and Great Britain) and 4th in Asia (behind South Korea, Japan and Thailand).^. Filipino greats like Pancho Villa, Flash Elorde and Ceferino Garcia are members of the two highly respected boxing hall of fames – IBHOF and WBHF. Thus, giving the Philippines the most number of boxing hall of fame members out of Asia.
Today, Filipino professional boxers are one of the most respected for their aggressive styles and world class talents, with the likes of future hall of famers Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire who are currently in the prestigious Ring Magazine pound for pound top ten rankings, currently number-six and number-ten best fighters in the world respectively.
History of Philippine boxing
Before the Spaniards and Americans came to the Philippines, Filipinos have their own kind of boxing known as Suntukan, which means “bare-hand fighting” in Tagalog, generally believed to have evolved from a Filipino knife fighting technique called “Kali”. During the Spanish colonization, such martial arts and kind of fighting were banned, so it was driven in the undergrounds where the deprivation of knives and rattan sticks lead to fist fighting.
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