BRISBANE, Australia — A rising Filipino fighter with a great boxing pedigree will be making his international debut in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn title bout.
Jonel Dapidran takes on Australian Brent Dames in a six-round junior welterweight bout that serves as his first ever fight outside of the Philippines.
Just 19, the 5-foot-9 Dapidran happens to be the second cousin of Pacquiao.
"Yung tatay ko at yung nanay (Mommy D) niya magpinsan,” the soft-spoken boxer related to SPIN.ph.
Dapidran, who competed in various amateur tournaments back home before turning pro, carries a record of 8-1, with 4 KOs.
He's thrilled fighting outside the country for the first time, and being included even as part of the boxing card headlined by no less than his celebrated cousin.
"Excited kasi first time kong lalaban sa labas. Kaya nga nagpapasalamat ako sa kanya dahil sa pagkakataon na ito," said Dapidran.
While preparing against Dames (5-3), the young boxer trained alongside Pacquiao at the Pacman Wildcard gym in General Santos City as the champ gets in shape for his defense of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) title belt.
Of course, Dapidran need not go far to say who has been the biggest influence to him in becoming a boxer.
"Siyempre si kuya Manny talaga," said Dapidran, who began boxing at the age of 12.
Ultimately, he wants to become a world champion, if not as great as his legendary cousin.
"Yun talaga ang pangarap ko, na maging world champion," he said.