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ALL SET FOR 31st WBO CONVENTION IN PANAMA OCT 29-NOV 2

By Dong Secuya
PhilBoxing.com
20 Oct 2018



CEBU -- The World Boxing Organization (WBO) is all set for its 31st Annual Convention in the historic and beautiful city of Panama, the country that connected the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans thru its Panama Canal. Boxing officials, promoters, managers and boxers will convene at the landmark Hotel El Panama Convention Center & Casino located at Panama's financial district from October 29 to November 2.

Aside from the Canal, Panama has its world famous beaches on the Caribbean side. Tourists have superlative words about Bocas del Toro and the District of Guna Yala, two different areas with incredible islands mainly inhabited by indigenous people, black people with Jamaican origin. Panama is also known for its sophisticated nightlife that include the famous Calle Uruguay in Bella Vista, the downtown precincts and the Causeway.

A population of only four million, one of Panama's greatest contributions however, is its string of world renowned boxers headed by the all time great Manos de Piedras Robert Duran who terrorized the lightweight and welterweight divisions in the 70's and 80's before losing to another all time great Sugar Ray Leonard in the infamous 'No Mas' fight on Nov. 25, 1980 in New Orleans. Other famous Panamian boxers were Panama Al Brown, the first hispanic world champion; Ismael Laguna, who fought Philippine great Gabriel 'Flash' Elorde in Manila on March 19, 1966; Guillermo Jones and Hilario Zapata. In the modern times, Panama has produced the likes of Vicente Mosquera, Anselmo Moreno, Celestino Caballero and Ricardo Cordoba.


All time great classic fight between Panamanian Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard.

In the line-up of activities, there will be a Golf Tournament on Oct. 29; General Assembly will be on Oct. 30; Judges and Referees Seminars will be on Oct. 31; on the evening of Oct. 31 there will be a boxing event headlined by two undefeated fighters Puerto Rican Jean Carlos Rivera (15-0-0, 10KOs) who will go up against Jason Sanchez (12-0-0, 6KOs) of New Mexico, USA for the vacant WBO world youth featherweight crown; on Nov. 1 will be the Championship and Ratings Committee meeting in the morning and the Gala Dinner in the evening. For more information, go to WBOBoxing.com website.

The Philippine delegation will be headed by GAB chairman Abraham Mitra; Johnny and wife Liza Elorde; Boxing officials Atty Danrex Tapdasan and Edward Ligas; ALA Promotions matchmaker Edito Villamor; Cebu-based Panamanian writer and judge Carlos Costa; and this writer. WBO vice-president for Asia-Pacific Leon Panoncillo Jr, who is based in Thailand, will depart from Manila together with Tapdasan and Ligas on Oct. 29 en route to Los Angeles and then Panama.


Donnie Nietes became the longest reigning Filipino world champion by defending his WBO belts for more than 10 years and was declared super champion by the WBO.

The WBO has been credited much for the rise of Filipino boxers on the world stage in the last decade and a half with many of these boxers capturing WBO regional title belts before fighting for a world crown. Filipino boxers fought for WBO world titles 19 times in the Philippines since 2006 and 23 times in the United States in the same period. In contrast, the IBF has 10 world title fights held in the Philippines in the same period including the Randy Petalcorin vs Felix Alvarado fight for the vacant title this coming Oct. 29 in Manila while the WBA has only one, the AJ Banal-Rafael Concepcion Interim world title fight on July 26, 2008 at the Cebu Coliseum. The WBC has not held a single world title fight in the Philippines since the time of Luisito Espinosa and Gerry Peñalosa before the turn of the century. Manny Pacquiao was the last Filipino boxer to fight for a WBC world title in the Philippines when he fought Gabriel Mira of Mexico on April 4, 1999 at the Araneta Coliseum.


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