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List of Articles by Dennis U. Eroa



Drian Francisco Invades Thailand

By Dennis U. Eroa
PhilBoxing.com
20 Oct 2010


Drian Francisco.

THE GOLDEN fists of WBA International super flyweight champion Drian Francisco will be tested when the Filipino boxing sensation battles durable Thai fighter Duangpetch Kokietgym November 30 in the northern Thai province of Nong Khai.

Not only will the unbeaten Francisco (19-0-1 with 15 KOs) fight for the first time outside the Philippines, but the pride of Touch Gloves Boxing Gym will exchange punches with Kokietgym a southpaw, who had beaten nine Filipino boxers en route to piling an impressive 52 wins (21 KOs), one
loss and one draw record.

Kokietgym, 30, last tasted defeat at the hands of Yuri Dima last September 9, 1997. His last Filipino victim was Edwin Tumbaga last September at Udon Thani Thailand for the PABA super flyweight title. The other victims were Eric Barcelona, Gerald Ubatay, Michael Rodriguez, Rey Megrino, Anthony Esmedina,
Celso Danggod and Janrey Verano. The Thai beat Verano twice.

At stake is the WBA interim super flyweight crown and the chance to challenge reigning WBA titleholder Hugo Cazares early next year. “Drian will see action in his first fight abroad, and we believe, despite the fight being staged in Thailand, that he has a good chance of prevailing,” said Saved by the Bell promotion president and promoter, Elmer Anuran during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at Shakey’s UN Avenue branch in Manila.
Anuran said he was assured by WBA president Gilberto Mendoza that judging will be fair. He also said that he would invite newly-installed Games and Amusements Board chairman Juan Ramon Guanzon to witness the bout.

Francisco trains before the watchful eyes of veteran Benny de la Peña at the Touch Gloves Boxing Gym in Agoncillo, Batangas. ‘‘I am ready and looking forward to this fight.I am going to give it all and dedicate this fight to my countrymen,’’ said the 27-year-old Francisco. Given the monicker Golden Fists for his string of victories, Francisco has become a popular figure among fight fans due to his boyish looks and demeanor. ‘‘Drian has gained a following among the masses with his down-to-earth attitudes,’’noted Anuran.

The pride of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro is also a rarity in the topsy-turvy world of boxing as he boasts of a college degree. The 27-year-old Francisco has not fought since April 17 when he posted a 5th round TKO over Panama’s Ricardo Nuñez in Pasig City. He was supposed to meet former two-time world champion Cristian Mijares next month in Mexico but the Mexican camp begged off citing an injury suffered by its boxer.

"The cancellation was a temporary setback. Instead of sulking, we’ve decided to look forward," Anuran said. "The point is Drian cannot afford not to fight. After carefully selecting a list foes, we deemed Kongkiet a worthy rival."

Anuran believes that the Thailand fight is an acid test for Francisco, whose ring savvy makes him a delight to watch. "For one, Nong Khai is 12 hours away from Bangkok. Team Francisco will come two weeks earlier in order to prepare.This is a must-win for Drian," said Anuran. Both Francisco and Anuran are confident that the Thailand stint will be a resounding success.

"I’ll fight anywhere to bring glory to the country," said Francisco. Anuran agrees fully. "Drian is ready to rumble and avenge the losses of his fellow Filipinos by beating the Thai fighter. He has been sparring against bigger and taller foes. He is determined not to waste this golden oppurtunity.”


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