By Nicholai Rhiz Roska
LOS ANGELES -- Most of the regulars at world renowned trainer Freddie Roach's sweatshop called the Wild Card gym along Vine street have a closely-guarded secret.
A kid named Jade Bornea, who trains there while he chases his championships dreams. is really, really good.
But now, though, the rest of the boxing world has caught up.
Nicknamed "The Hurricane," the murderous-punching 26-year old Filipino prospect swept himself into the spotlight following a devastating third-round stoppage of Mohammad Obbadi in their junior bantamweight title eliminator bout held last night at Arena Jose Sulaiman in Monterrey, Mexico.
THE GRIT PACK - Sports On Air writer Nick Roska, 2nd from left, pose for posterity with super bantamweight stars (L toR) including IBF champ Jerwin Ancajas, Marlon Tapales and a shirtless Jade Bornea at the Wild Card Gym.
It was a thrilling, action-packed fight that could have gone either way until Obbadi's vulnerable rib cage met the fate of Bornea's blitering left uppercut that ended the contest via a knockout.
With the spectacular win, Bornea bursnished his record to 16-0 with 10 KOs.
Most importantly, he puts himself in line as a mandatory challenger to reigning IBF champion and fellow Filipino Jerwin Ancajas, who like Bornea, also fights under the umbrella of Manny Pacquiao Promotions led by its tireless president, Sean Gibbons.
If and when it happens, the Ancajas-Bornea date will have to wait as Ancajas is penciled to defend his belt this February 19 against Argentine Fernando Martinez. If he hurdles that 10th defense, Ancajas is poised to figure in a unification bout with WBO titlist Kazuto Ioka of Japan sometime around May or June.
Meanwhile, Bornea can also explore his title options in theWBC and WBA ranks.