PHILIPPINE boxing suffered a double black eye on Monday as Filipinos Sonny Boy Jaro and Michael Farenas lost one after the other in a pair of championship fights in Saitama, Japan.
Of the two, the 30-year-old Jaro was the biggest casualty as he yielded his World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight crown to former Japanese Olympian Toshiyuki Igarashi via a 12-round split decision.
Reports coming from Japan had Jaro losing by scores of 116-112, 113-115, 112-116, putting an end to his short four-month reign as world 112-lb champion.
Farenas was not successful in his shot at the World Boxing Association (WBA) super-featherweight crown following a fifth round technical draw against champion Takashi Uchiyama, allowing the Japanese to retain his 130-lb title belt.
The unbeaten champion (18-0, 15 KOs) suffered a deep cut in his eye following an accidental headbutt at the one-minute, 15-second mark of the third round, prompting referee Raul Caiz Sr to stop the 12-round fight.
Jaro fell to 34-11-5, with 24 KOs. He won the WBC belt in March with a shocking sixth-round technical knockout of Thai great Pongsaklek Wongjongkam.
The native of Silay City, Negros Occidental struggled to meet the 112-lb limit during Sunday’s official weigh-in. He initially tipped in at one pound and a quarter over, and needed an hour and a half to shed the excess weight.
The loss of Jaro was the second time a Filipino has relinquished his world title in the last two months. Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao lost his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown after a controversial split decision loss to American Timothy Bradley.
Igarashi improved to 16-1-1, with 10 KOs.
A southpaw, the 28-year-old Farenas is now 34-3-4 with 26 KOs.