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List of Articles by Ron Galarpe


Filipinos and Mexicans Can't Wait for the Filipino vs Mexican Boxing World Cup

By Ron Galarpe
24 Dec 2005

News or rumors spread out that a boxing world cup pitting Filipinos against Mexicans is on the works and negotiations are underway. However, call it as coincidence if you may, but there is actually a 7-fight bout pitting Filipino boxers versus Mexican boxers. Five out of these seven matches are in the bag while two are still under negotiation. The match of all matches, the Manny Pacquiao versus Erik Morales rematch, is of course highlighting the coming Mexico versus Philippines boxing rivalry. Next, we have Jimrex Jaca versus Ivan Valle as an undercard on the January 21 date. This morning Philippine time, Rey Bautista will be battling Gerardo Espinoza. A week after the Pacquiao-Morales fight in January, Rodel Mayol will travel to Mexico to face Lorenzo Trejo in an elimination match. On February, Prince Gabi and Z Gorres may find themselves fighting Victor Burgos and Samuel Lopez respectively. Also in the same month, Fil-Am Brian Villoria will face former champion Jose Antonio Aguirre for the WBC junior flyweight title.

Let me share some tidbits about these Mexican boxers to give us a few ideas on what these fighters are all about.

Gerardo Espinosa 28-9-0 (26 KOs)
Age: 25, Orthodox
Espinoza goes up against Rey Bautista today at Sycuan Casino in El Cajon, San Diego, CA.

Gerardo Espinoza (left).

Gerardo Espinoza like Erik Morales, also hails from Tijuana and registered at as a 5-9 boxer. However, some fight reports said that he is only 5-7. He is billed as “locomotora” or in English “locomotive”. Espinoza with his “locomotive” billing may have a propeller-type of punches as his record shows 26 KOs out of 28 victories. Out of the 26 KOs, 25 were made inside 5 rounds. It seems that there is no doubt that this fighter has power on his fists and should have a killer’s instinct just like Bautista. However, while he registered impressive victories over so-so opponents, he is known to be mediocre when facing the elite fighters in his division. Espinoza has faced top fighters like Rafa Marquez, Genaro Garcia, Cruz Carbajal and Jorge Lacierva. He also suffered loses to top contenders Juan Antonio Aquinaga and Mauricio Martinez. Espinoza is actually coming in against Bautista on a 4-fight losing skid all by decisions. It is also worthy to mention that Espinoza on record has been sent to the floor four times, something that should give us confidence as we have seen the capability of the fists of “Boom Boom”.

Nevertheless, Espinoza is a former WBO NABO champion, and WBA Fedecentro champion, and with his rich experience fighting the best that saw him lasting 8 rounds with Cruz Carbajal, 9 rounds with Jorge Lacierva and a close majority decision lost to undefeated Jose Miguel Aquiniga in his last outing, simply means that this fighter is a serious threat to Bautista. However, after I studied the fight record and opponents of Espinoza, my take in this match is that no matter if Espinoza has experience and power. I just firmly believe that Bautista’s youth and power would simply over shower Espinoza. Bautista by KO.

Ivan Valle 23-5-1 (19 KOs)
Age: 25, Orthodox
Valle will take on Jimrex Jaca on Jan. 21, 2006 as an undercard of Pacquiao-Morales rematch.

Ivan Valle.

Ivan Valle’s notable victims were Orlando Salido and the once feared featherweight Angel Vasquez. Valle knocked out Salido in round four of their bout in year 2000. Three years later, Valle was a late replacement to face Angel Vasquez en route to a third round knockout victory. In year 2001, Valle met highly regarded and former lightweight champion Javier Juaregui. The result was a surprise close match for the Mexican fans as Valle almost scored an upset but fell short and suffered a close split decision lost to the future lightweight champion. The boxer known as “relampago rayo“ or “lightning rays” in English, is known for his powerful fists than his boxing ability. He is a coming-forward type of a fighter. Valle would always win against fighters with the same style but would have problems meeting guys that are quicker and faster. Valle suffered twin loses to small men Shamir Reyes and Francisco Lorenzo all by close decisions. The Mexican from Los Mochis, is known for his durability and steel chin. In his entire career, Valle only suffered a solitary knockout loss on his first professional fight at the hands of Rey Bautista’s victim last June, Gilberto Bolaños. There were reports that Valle had been engaged in dirty fights. Against Reyes and Vasquez, Valle was deducted a point due to illegal blows.

Rex “Wakee” Salud, the manager of Jimrex Jaca was quoted as saying that they seemed to be giving Jaca too much of an opponent in Valle. Ivan Valle has the experience, the height and power advantage over Jaca. I have seen several fights of Jaca, and I could feel that Jaca may have the advantage in skills but the question is if those skills are enough to topple the power and experience of the Mexican. Having a big heart could be one key for Jaca to carry in this fight, beside the Mexican’s rich advantage in exposure, it will be Jaca’s first fight on American soil in a big boxing event. Jimrex Jaca’s victory would be very important, especially if Pacquiao manages to win his return match against Morales. If these victories happen, the American boxing circuit would surely take a more closer and serious look on Filipino boxing talents.

Lorenzo Trejo 24-12 (11KOs)
Age: 28, Southpaw
Trejo will fight Rodel Mayol for the WBC minimumweight eliminator on Jan. 28, 2006 in Cancun, Mexico.

Lorenzo Trejo.

From among the list of Mexicans fighting our boxers, the least of my concern is this man Lorenzo Trejo. I kept wondering why Trejo manages to gain an eliminator match against Mayol as his record showed unimpressive resume. Trejo’s record registered no victories over top fighters. Worse, he has 12 loses. Trejo suffered defeats to well-known fighters like Ivan Calderon, Eric Morel, Alex Sanchez, Jose Antonio Aguirre and Jorge Arce. His loses to Arce, Aguirre, Calderon and Sanchez were all in lopsided fashions. Boxing reports said that Trejo is primarily a brawler with a decent punching power. He will be coming in the Mayol match riding high on an 8-fight winning streak but all against lowly regarded fighters. With the fact that Trejo has been KOed 4 times and is proven no match to skillful fighters, should give us a hint that Mayol would surely manhandle Trejo. The good thing going for Trejo is that his countrymen will be right there behind him. But Mayol has proven to us that fighting on enemy territory is nothing to his excellent fighting skills. I believe Mayol is the best skilled fighter in the Philippines right now.

Samuel Lopez 17-3-0 (6 KOs)
Age: 31, Orthodox
Lopez's name was floated around as Gorres's opponent on Feb. 3, 2006.

Lopez was originally from Mexico City but now lives in California. He is currently ranked number 14 and number 11 bantamweight by the WBA and IBF respectively. A former Olympian, Lopez became a professional fighter at a rather late age of 25. He is described as a slick boxer than a puncher. This reputation is consistent to his record as out of his 17 victories, 6 KOs were only registered. He will be coming into this fight against Gorres on a high spirit as his last fight saw him earning a stunning upset majority decision victory over top ranked fellow Mexican Heriberto Ruiz. Some reports said that the decision was controversial as it was reported that though Lopez was the more aggressive fighter that landed more shots, Ruiz was the one who delivered the solid and telling blows. The other worthy fight of Lopez was his split decision lost to hot prospect and current WBO number 4 bantamweight contender Roger Gonzales. With Lopez’s recent upset of highly regarded Heriberto Ruiz, there is no doubt Gorres would be in for a very competitive fight. Just like Lopez, Gorres is also known more of his skills than power. This Gorres-Lopez fight would definitely be a battle of skills.

Jose Antonio Aguirre 33-4-1 (20 KOs)
Age: 30, Orthodox
Aguirre challenges Viloria's WBC lightfly crown on Feb. 16, 2006 at the Alladin Casino in Las Vegas, NV.

Jose Antonio Aguirre.

This Mexican is currently ranked #7 best junior flyweight by “The Ring” and takes pride of having victories over such top fighters like Kermin Guardia (The Ring’s #8 best junior flyweight), highly regarded Juan Palacios and Juan Alfonso Keb Baas (when Keb Bass was still not a washed-up fighter). Aguirre also had a victory over former Filipino world champion Manny Melchor. The fighter nicknamed “El Jaguar” by the Mexican fighting fans, won the WBC minimumweight title in February 2000 and defended it 7 times from the period February 2000 to December 2003. During his reign as WBC minimumweight titlist, Aguirre was seriously regarded as one of the best Mexican fighter alongside Marco Antonio Barrera and Eric Morales. He was even once ranked #2 best junior flyweight by “The Ring”. However, observers believed Aguirre is beginning to slow down, he turned 30 last July and has lost his last two fights to Eric Ortiz and Roberto Vasquez in that order. His reign as WBC titlist ended in January 2004 when he lost an unlikely lopsided unanimous decision to Thai Eagle Kyowa. Against Ortiz, Aguirre was coming to the match as an overwhelming favorite, but lo and behold! Aguirre suffered a 7th round KO to compatriot Ortiz. In his last fight four months ago, Aguirre floored defending WBA champion Roberto Vasquez in the second round, but later lost the fight after Aguirre suffered a severe cut on his left eyebrow that led to the stoppage of the fight in round four. It was ruled that the cut was caused by a punch resulting on a TKO victory for Vasquez. Later, due to a questionable outcome of the fight, Aguirre requested the WBA for an immediate rematch to no avail. Jose Antonio Aguirre is a proven exceptional fighter, his punching combinations with power is his deadly weapon. However, I believe Viloria is the guy now in the junior flyweight ranks and what Aguirre could only hold on to is his experience over Viloria. Viloria by knockout.

Jose Victor Burgos 38-14-3 (23KOs)
Age: 31, Orthodox
Burgos's name was floated around as Gabi's opponent on Feb. 3, 2006.

Jose Victor Burgos.

Burgos is the Ring Magazine’s number 10 best flyweight in the world. The Mexican from Tijuana is a former IBF junior flyweight champion and boast of a resume with a draw against Rosendo Alvarez (The Ring’s #7 best flyweight) and victories over Jorge Arce, Alex Sanchez and Filipino assassin Fahlan Sakkreerin of Thailand who at one time drew his match with Filipino sensation Andy Tabanas.

Burgos is hungry to get that belt back that was once belong to him. In his last fight with Will Grigsby, which he lost via unanimous decision, Burgos ridiculed the victory of Grigsby by saying that the American never came to fight but instead came to run and run all over the place.

In his fight against Rosendo Alvarez, Burgos used his counter punching skills to earn a draw with the favored Alvarez. The draw showed the craftiness of the two elite flyweights. Burgos met archrival Alex Sanchez three times, their first meeting went to him, the second resulted to a draw but the third went again to Burgos via 12th round TKO. In their last meeting, Burgos used effective body punches to wear down Sanchez en route to his second victory on the Puerto Rican.

Jose Victor Burgos is one genuine veteran ring warrior, his rich experience could be too tall an order for our Prince Gabi. I just hope the wear and tear on the 31-year-old Mexican has come to its effect and the fresher and youthful Gabi who is also a world-class slick boxer would come out victorious.

Boxing history states that the Mexicans are overwhelmingly leading on victories over their Filipino rivals, the following months should be a golden opportunity for Filipino pugilists to narrow that gap.

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