Johnson vs Farah in epic GBO Heavyweight Battle this Saturday, June 15, in “Thrilla in Davao”

By Carlos Costa

American heavyweight former WBC United States (USNBC) champion Ronald “The American Dream” Johnson (15-1, 4 KO’s) is already in Davao ready to lock horns against Bolivian warrior former WBC interim South American Heavyweight titlist “The Phoenix Assassin” Saul Farah (69-23-3, 60 KO’s) for the vacant Global Boxing Organization (GBO) heavyweight title this Saturday, June 15, at The Enderun Tent, Azuela Cove in “The Crown Jewel of Mindanao,” the City of Davao.

This is a clash of titans that no boxing fan in Davao can afford to miss. Will “The American Dream” Ronald Johnson be able to overcome ring rust to successfully deal with the more experienced, more active “Phoenix Assassin to claim the GBO heavyweight title in “Thrilla in Davao?”

Or will the Assassin Saul Farah send Ronald Johnson back to U.S bruised and beaten up?

The card’s name “Thrilla in Davao” evokes and honors the original 1975 “Thrilla in Manila,” the unforgettable, iconic, historic battle between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier for the undisputed heavyweight world title.


In the show’s co-main event, unbeaten Ifugao bantamweight Roy Nagulman (8-0-1, 6 KO’s) collides against more experienced tough Davaeño Aries Buenavidez (12-3, 7 KO’s) for the vacant GBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight strap.  

It will be the first time that the hard-hitting 17-year-old Roy Nagulman fights a boxer who punches as hard as Buenavidez, 23, does. Will this title fight make it to the distance? Fans in Davao are so eager to see how Roy performs under heavy fire.

In another GBO title clash, another unbeaten Ifugao prospect Khurvin Jhon “KJ” Natuplag (8-0-2, 7 KO’s) climbs the ring to trade bombs against confusing southpaw Joe Tejones (12-6-7 KO’s) of Valencia City, Bukidnon, for the Global Boxing Organization (GBO) Super Featherweight (130-pound) Strap. 

Let’s find out if the young unbeaten heavy-puncher KJ Natuplag is able to push forward his young boxing career.   For “KJ,” a defensive mistake against Tejones, 22, would be disastrous. What will happen?


In another exciting combat, Royder Borbon collides against dangerous Raymart Ebones in a non-stop action clash.   The contracted weight for Borbon vs Ebones is 113 pounds.   This melee is a scheduled 6-chapter saga that might not make the distance.   Who will emerge victorious?

Moreover, tough 18-year-old flyweight Jenuel Lausa (5-6, 5 KO’s) of San Pablo, Laguna, squares off Orlie Silvestre (13-5-1, 8 KO’s ) of Isulan City, the capital of the Kapuoran sang Sultan Kudarat, in an eight-rounder war at a contracted-weight of 113 pounds.  

The first bout of the show features fast ‘n furious Gabriel Dasan (4-2, 2 KO’s) exchanging heavy bombardment against the equally dangerous Nilo Entero in a four-chapter duel.    The contracted weight for the two warriors is 109 lbs, which is one pound above the light flyweight division.

Official GBO Weigh-in ceremony will take place at the Crevice Hotel at 10 am.

The exciting show will be covered by PTV4 for a delayed telecast, and will air LIVE on Pow Salud’s POWCAST for social media coverage.

According to show’s promoter, “Thrilla in Davao” is not a boxing show, but a super gala for the who is who in Davao and Filipino politics. Therefore, a glamorous red carpet formal attire boxing dinner will entertain very special invited VIP guests.

Invitations have already been extended to Filipino President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Davao Mayor Sara Duterte, Senators-elect Bong Go, Bato dela Rosa, Imee Marcos; prominent Cabinet Officials such as ES Medialdea, as well as Cong. Paulo and brother VM-elect Baste Duterte, LGU officials, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, prominent businessmen among others.

“Thrilla in Davao” promoter Reynaldo Rodis

“Thrilla in Davao” scheduled for this Saturday, June 15, at The Enderun Tent, Azuela Cove in Lanang, Davao, is a production of boxing promoter Reynaldo Rodis of RED Boxing in association with the City Government of Davao.

Gate opens at 5 PM and closes at 7 PM sharp.     

The author Carlos Costa is a boxing reporter living in the Philippines.   Carlos can be reached at and whatsapp/viber/wechat:  +639184538152.

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