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GAB AWARDS WBO EXEC LEON PANONCILLO

By Dong Secuya
PhilBoxing.com
01 Oct 2007



CEBU CITY -- The Philippine Games and Amusements Board (GAB) through its chairman Eric Buhain and Commissioner Angel Bautista has awarded World Boxing Organization (WBO) Vice-President for Asia-Pacific Region Leon Panoncillo a Plaque of Appreciation for his invaluable help in uplifting the Filipino boxers' position in the boxing world, The award has been given by GAB Commissioner Bautista to Panoncillo just before the start of the Nietes-Pornsawan WBO title fight last night at the Waterfront Hotel in Lahug, this city.

Panoncillo has been instrumental in building a strong presence of the WBO in the Asia-Pacific region that now rivals long-time leader World Boxing Council (WBC) and its regional arm, the Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF). WBO has also appeared to have overshadpwed the World Boxing Association (WBA) and the Pan-Asian Boxing Association (PABA) in the region.

The WBO was founded in Puerto Rico in 1988 after a split from the WBA by its Puerto Rican constituents. Its first and only president thus far is Francisco 'Paco' Valcarcel and hold its headquarters in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

"From two Filipino world-rated fighters in 2002 under WBO, it is now more than twenty," said GAB commissioner Angel Bautista who recalled that in the 2002 WBO Convention that was held in Miami, Florida, he personally requested Panoncillo to bring his efforts to the Philippine shores. "Panoncillo being of Filipino decent, I asked him to help our boxers," added Bautista.

The Hawaaian-raised Panoncillo who now resides in Thailand has traced his ancestry in Carcar, Cebu.

Under Panoncillo's leadership in the region, the Philippines now boosts of two WBO world champions in Gerry Peñalosa and Donnie Nietes. The Filipinos also dominate the WBO regional rankings and own several regional and youth titles.

Top photo: WBO Vice-President for Asia-Pacific Leon Panoncillo (L) receives the Plaque of Appreciation from GAB Commissioner Angel Bautista at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City last night.


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