Philippines, 17 Aug 2022
  Home >> News >> Columns >> Carlos Costa












Boxing View

By Carlos Costa

Sat, 27 Oct 2012

Filipino bantamweight John Mark Apolinario "The Iceman" (on the left), is getting his bags ready for his trip Sunday ahead of his title clash against former 2-division world champion Roberto "La Ara?a" (The Spider) V?squez of Panama for the vacant WBA bantamweight interim title on November 3 at the riverside touristic city of Col?n in Entre Rios Province, Argentina. World champion Sergio Mart?nez co-promotes this event.

"Apolinario Team flies tomorrow (Sunday) for this bantamweight title fight. First leg of trip is Manila to LAX (Los Angeles, USA). From Los Angeles to Panama. After a short stay in Panama we'll fly to Montevideo (Uruguay) where we will stay for three days. Then we'll get to the fight venue in Argentina," said Apolinario's promoter Sammy Gello-Ani, president of SSG Sports Promotions, who will accompany his fighter in a long journey to the most important fight of his life.

Joining them is Apolinario's trainer 37 year-old Reyzy "Jhun" Agrabio and the trio is focused on bringing another world title in boxing to their native Philippines.

"We hope that our boxer Apolinario will win to bring the glory of another championship to our country (Philippines). God willing, we'll succeed. We'd be so blessed if our promotion company could have another world champion, two world champs at the same time," shared Gello-Ani, one of Philippines top promoters, who is also the handler of reigning IBF Jr. Flyweight World Champion Johnriel Casimero.

The V?squez-Apolinario WBA interim title fight has been approved since current WBA interim champ heavy-hitter Hugo "Cuatito" Ruz (31-1, 28KO's) of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, M?xico will challenge regular WBA champion Japan's Koki Kameda (28-1, 17KO's) on December 4 in Osaka, Japan, leaving the interim bantamweight title vacant.

V?squez and Apolinario are the fighters to dispute the vacant interim title as they are the most highly ranked WBA bantamweight fighters, being the southpaw V?squez the WBA # 2 and orthodox Apolinario the WBA #3.

The WBA 'super world champion' in the bantamweight division is Anselmo "Chemito" Moreno (33-1-1, 12KO's) of Panama, who will face undefeated Mexican Abner Mares (23-0-1, 13KO's) for the WBC super bantamweight crown on November 10 in a SHOWTIME card at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.


After losing to fellow Filipino Marvin Tampus three years ago, the 22 year-old Apolinario (17-2-1, 4KO's) has won five of his last six fights, all against third and forth class fighters, including a November 2011 draw against unheralded Armando Casas (then with record of 10-7-2, 3KO's).

Further to that November outing, Apolinario had his last fight in early December of 2011. It was a bizarre win in which his opponent Menard Zaragosa (5-9, 3KO's) shockingly sprinted faster than Usain Bolt from the ring towards the public restrooms, being disqualified by the referee. Since that odd victory 11 months ago, Apolinario has not seen ring action.

So what impressive victories has Apolinario scored during the last year for the WBA to rank himso highly as world's #3 bantamweight is a question many fans wonder.

In addition, Apolinario's long inactivity of almost a year might be one of the reasons why fans with goggles on the Philippines boxing scene are not that much familiar with 'The Iceman' Apolinario.

But they will be, if the Iceman captures the world title in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

It would be a feat similar to what his stablemate Johnriel Casimero did by defeating Argentina's Luis "Mosquito" Lazarte last February, an a troubled fight in which a pro Lazarte crowd went ballistic throwing chairs and debris into the ring attacking Casimero and his team, including the brave promoter Sammy Gello-Ani who regardless of the terrifying experience is not worried about bringing another of his Filipino boxers to Argentina:

"I have no reservation nor fear of my boxer figthing in Argentina knowing that co-promoters Sampson Lewkowicz and World Champion Sergio Mart?nez are so highly respected in Argentina, so I am sure this time foreign fighters scheduled in this event will be getting a good security back up. What happened last February in Mar del Plata was an entirely different situation and surely will not happen again," said Gello-Ani to this author today (Saturday).

Meanwhile, the experienced more accomplished 29-year-old 2-time world champion Roberto "La Ara?a" V?squez (32-5, 22KO's), gets into this title match after two successful outings this year. The first one, a unanimous decision victory last March over tough lanky Mexican Mario "Maca" Briones (22-3-1, 16KO's).

The second, a knock out win over Dominican bantamweight Geyci Lorenzo in August at the Coliseo Carlos 'Teo' Cruz in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Apolinario might not have the experience and ring savvy of "La Ara?a" V?squez, but his youth (the Filipino is 7 years younger than the Panamanian), strength and a pressure boxing could pay of big in Argentina.

In addition to the V?squez-Apolinario title fight, the card in Argentina will have a glamorous co-main event as Uruguay's gorgeous female boxing star Cecilia "La Reina" (The Queen) Comunales defends her WBA Lightweight World crown against Brazil fight girl Simone Da Silva Duarte (11-3, 4KO's) of the great city of S?o Paulo.

Fights will be televised LIVE in Argentina and throughout Latin American by channel TyC Sports. In Panama by RPC Televisi?n Canal 4. In Uruguay by VTV. In the Philippines AKSYON TV Channel 5.

This card in Col?n, Argentina is a production of international matchmaker Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing LLC in association with Filipino promoter Sammy Gello-Ani of SSG Sports Promotions of Cebu, Philippines and Maravilla Box, the promotion company of WBC middleweight world champion Sergio "Maravilla" Mart?nez.


Cecilia "La Reina" Comunales defends her WBA lightweight world title fights in the co-main event of the Vasquez-Apolinario match.

Filipino promoter Sammy Gello-Ani raises the hand of his boxer John Mark Apolinario.

Click here for a complete listing of columns by this author.

Click here for a complete listing of this author's articles from different news sources. has been created to support every aspiring
Filipino boxer and the Philippine boxing scene in general.
Please send comments to

developed and maintained by dong secuya
© 2022