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List of Articles by Salven L. Lagumbay


 

NOW OR NEVER FOR MAYOL IN PUERTO RICO

By Salven L. Lagumbay
PhilBoxing.com
13 Sep 2009



When Filipino Rodel Mayol goes up the ring today in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico for yet another chance at the world title, he will be staring at a grim fact against a backdrop of an outstanding yet title-deprived boxing career: this might as well be his last stint inside the boxed arena.

Mayol (25-3-1, 19 KO's), who is in top shape going into today's battle with Puerto Rican hero Ivan Calderon (32-0-1, 6KO's), had earlier sounded he's had enough of a title chance, and should he blow this one out, then this might as well be the last.

"This might be my last chance. I'm going all out for it," Mayol told this writer in an earlier interview.

Mayol will challenge Calderon once again for the WBO light flyweight title which came so tantalizingly close to him when he outdueled the diminutive world champion this June in New York, only to see himself uncrowned with a technical decision draw following a clash of heads.

"I know he doesn't have the power to knock me out. So I will apply the pressure on him and throw punches in bunches to avoid a hometown decision," declared Mayol, who trained at the Wild Card Gym for this fight, and sparred against WBO champ Donnie Nietes, AJ Banal, Z Gorres, Cuba's Olympic gold medallist Guillermo Rigondeaux, and two others.

The 28-year-old Mayol, who at one point was tabbed as the Philippines' brightest world title prospect even ahead of Manny Pacquiao, failed thrice in his world title bids in 2006, 2007 and last June.

Renowned trainer Freddie Roach, who is in Puerto Rico to join his superstar pupil Manny Pacquiao in the press tour for the Miguel Cotto bout, will be in Mayol's corner today, along with assistant Jessie Arevalo and Filipinos Jeremiah Quijano, Prem Encarnacion and "Bestfriend" Espiritu.

The bespecled Roach remains high on Mayol's chances against Calderon.

"I think 100% that with the way his (Mayol’s) mindset is and the confidence he has compared to the last time, he'll win the fight," Roach said in an interview with Boxingscene.com.

Mayol will be cheered from ringside by no less than his manager Manny Pacquiao and wife Lira, who flew from LA to Puerto Rico to see her husband's possible last try at the title.

Third man on the ring for the Calderon-Mayol rumble is referee Luis Pabon, while judges are Carlos Colon of Puerto Rico, Dr. Ruben Garcia of Texas, USA and Julie Lederman of New York, USA.

Top photo: Rodel Mayol flexes his muscles after Friday's weighin in Puerto Rico. Photo courtesy of David Infante / Boricua Photos.



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