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In This Corner

By Salven L. Lagumbay

Will Boom-Boom roll the dice?
08 Aug 2006

OPENING ROUND. Pound-for-pound star Manny Pacquiao is contemplating on promoting an event under his MP Promotions, featuring Randy Suico and Rodel Mayol in one card. The Cebu Coliseum is being planned as the venue...Yukka Gejon is set to return to action on August 26 underneath Jun Paderna's PABA defense in Manila...

From the looks of things, it seems the paths of Rafael Marquez and Rey 'Boom Boom Bautista have been destined to cross by the gods of boxing.

And while we're at it, cross the 'pay-per-view' column, and get yourself acquainted with a generous dose of 'fight for the ages.' This one's going to be for all the marbles.

BOOM-BOOM INVADES PACMAN-, MORALES-, BARRERA-LAND. The charismatic Bautista, the pride and joy of Bohol, has recently relinquished his WBO Asia Pacific bantam title as he now trains his sights on the keepers of the world's superbantam titles. As a sidelight, one has to remember, the superbantam class (122-lbs) is where the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Erik Morales, and Marco Antonio Barrera carved out their marquee status.

Bautista's chief handler, sportsman Antonio L. Aldeguer, is quick to point out they are not rushing Bautista one bit, an act which exemplifies an extraordinary managerial acumen. After all, Bautista is just twenty years of age, where room for improvement is just as big as the world.

Next week, Bautista flies to the United States for his rigid training at Wild Card Gym in preparation for his September 16 non-title bout. Bautista will be joined in the trip by trainer Edito 'Ala' Villamor, while young phenom AJ Banal (Shall we call him 'The Package' owing to his tremendous repertoire? Just my two cents) follows sometime early September.

Officially, Bautista does not own a title at this time (his WBO Asia Pacific bantam title will be contested by ex-world champ Ratanachai Sor Vorapin and Filipino Johnny Lear on August 15 in Bangkok). But this early in his career, the kid, it seems, no longer needs those titles. Just like the man who heads the US outfit that promotes him.

Oscar De la Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions owns the promotional rights on Bautista, hence, the Filipino's career is as bright as day, so to speak. All he needs to do is keep on winning.

MARQUEZ GOES SUPERBANTAM. Then, just a couple of days ago, pound-for-pound icon Rafael Marquez, who is widely considered as the world's best bantamweight, unexpectedly announced that he will be moving up in weight after his fight with Silence Mabuza yesterday.

True to his billing, the dynamite-fisted Marquez (36-3, 32 KOs) silenced a courageous Silence Mabuza (19-2, 15 KOs) yesterday in nine rounds.Marquez' hard punches started taking their toll, busting up Mabuza's face that prompted the African's corner to stop the fight at the end of the ninth. It was Marquez' seventh successful defense. He will now move to the 122lb division.

“This will be my last fight at 118 pounds. Let every champion at 122 pounds know that I am ready to fight," Marquez told the audience at the press conference prior to the fight.

The 31-year-old Marquez, younger brother of Juan Manuel, is ranked no. 7 by the Ring Magazine in the latest list of pound-for-pound superstars. He owns knockout victories over former world champions Mark Johnson, Tim Austin and Mauricio Pastrana, therefore his shift to the super bantamweight division will be welcome news in a division that once hosted Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera and Manny Pacquiao.

Forget the fact that Marquez is now promoted by Gary Shaw, who, only a couple of weeks back, traded insults with Oscar De la Hoya. Shaw and De la Hoya will iron out whatever differences they have.

When everything is set, when the right time comes and the perfect offer shows up, these two great warriors will find themselves standing opposite each other on the ring. You can count on that. It's all about the benjamins, folks.

FINAL FLURRIES. Two Cebu fighters are almost a lock to be vying for separate world titles before the end of the year. Will we finally nail those elusive titles after Yukka Gejon, Rodel Mayol and Randy Suico fell by the wayside one-by-one? My gut-feel says yes.

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