Pacquiao hands back luster to Philippine boxing; Another looming 3-peat weekend for RP
23 Sep 2005
Publisher's note: PhilBoxing.com would like to welcome veteran boxing writer, TV news anchor and radio host Dennis Principe into the fold of PhilBoxing.com columnists.
FILIPINO boxing hero Manny Pacquiao has indeed buffed up the once-glinting Philippine boxing.
Boxing has always been a marvel of a sport the world over and the Philippines have, in countless ways, been providing the sport a myriad of thrills since time immemorial.
The likes of Pancho Villa, Flash Elorde, Ceferino Garcia, Pedro Adigue, brothers Dodie and Gerry Peņalosa and Luisito Espinosa not only won world titles during their time but also won the adulation of even the most pernickety boxing fan globally.
Too bad, a few but greedy promoters, managers and even matchmakers have stolen the limelight from earnest but publicity-shy personalities, placing the sport in a bad light in this country.
Now the good news for Philippine boxing is that Pacquiao’s successive exploits in the United States have again enamored the perceived finicky Latino and American market that is now resulting in an ostensible reconnoiter of Filipino talents by American agents.
During the weekend, former middleweight boxer Ignacio ‘Nacho” Lopez sneaked a quick look at a boxing promotion in Baguio City were three local championships were held.
Lopez, a close buddy of Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez, liked what he saw and is buoyant of helping more Filipinos realize their dream of following Pacquiao’s multi-million dollar footsteps.
Lopez, whose objective is to share the rudiments of the sport to young talents, once served as the sparring partner of Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Tommy Hearns.
Anytime this week, Lopez, who is also a co-director of the Julio Cesar Chavez promotions, will fly to Davao and delve into other potential boxers who are currently under North Cotabato Governor Manny Piņol.
In addition to Lopez, American lawyer Michael Koncz recently guided two other boxers in carrying out a booming invasion in the American boxing ground.
Koncz brought Rey ‘Boom Boom’ Bautista and Bobby Pacquiao, Manny’s younger brother, to the United States where they scored impressive knockout victories.
The 19-year old Bautista stopped Colombian Felix Flores Murillo in the 3rd of their 8-round encounter which served as one of the undercards of the Pacquiao and Erik Morales ‘Double Trouble’ promotion two weeks ago in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, the younger Pacquiao, fresh from a scintillating 7th round destruction of Carlos Navarro last June in California, is slated to clash with former world champion Carlos Hernandez on October 8 in Las Vegas.
Another of Koncz prized finds is Diosdado Gabi who is set to challenge Mexican Jose Alfredo Tirado in Stockton, California this Saturday.
Credit may also be given to Pacquiao now that long-time world title hopeful Randy Suico has been finally noticed by getting a significant outing in the US.
This Saturday, Suico will face former world lightweight champion Javier Jauregui of Mexico at the University of California in Los Angeles
It will be a make-or-break fight for Suico who is currently ranked 3rd behind Pacquiao and Morales in the tough superfeatherweight world rankings.
The fight will also serve as a litmus test for Suico’s much-ballyhooed career after tallying an impressive record of 23-1 with 20 KO’s.
Long before Pacquiao raided the tough division, Suico has been aiming for the same 130-lb world tiara since winning the Oriental crown back in April 2002.
His record however shows that Suico actually feasted on nondescript boxers lined-up by his Japanese manager Joe Koizumi, making top notch promoters in the US have qualms in taking a peek at the Cebuano’s raw but promising talent.
After the Philippines scored a three-peat during Pacquiao’s trouble-free “Double Trouble” main eventer weeks back, another three-peat weekend is in the offing for our country.
Apart from Suico and Gabi, minimumweight contender Eriberto ‘Yukka’ Gejon will get the chance to be the leading man among them three.
This is because Suico and Gabi are appearing in non-title tiffs whereas Gejon will gun for the prestigious World Boxing Association (WBA) minimumweight crown this Sunday versus defending champ Yutaka Niida of Japan in a 12-round encounter in Yokohama.
Now that we are swarmed by glittering stars, it is not fanciful to herald that this is another Golden age for Philippine boxing.
The columnist is the solo news anchor of IBC-13’s News Tonight, apart from being a boxing writer for Manila Bulletin and Fightnews.com and a radio host for DZSR Sports Radio 918 khz.
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