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List of Articles by Dennis U. Eroa



Francisco wants to do a Pacquiao, Espinosa

By Dennis U. Eroa
PhilBoxing.com
25 Oct 2010



World Boxing Association International superflyweight titleholder Drian "Golden Fists" Francisco is going overseas for the first time in his glittery career.

And tough as it seems, the unbeaten 27-year-old pride of Touch Gloves Boxing Gym in Agoncillo, Batangas is determined to follow the footsteps of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao and former two-time world champion Luisito "Lindol" Espinosa.

"Pacquiao, lord of the ring, and Espinosa started their illustrious career by winning the world titles in Thailand. It will be great if I will do a Pacquiao," said Francisco, a college degree holder, who will stake his unbeaten 19-0-1, 15 knockouts card againt the durable Thai fighter Duangpetch Kokietgym.

Francisco, who trains under Benny de la Peña in Agoncillo, Batangas, and Duangpetch will dispute the WBA interim super flyweight crown at the Thai province of Nong Thai on November 30.
The 30-year-old Thai boxer, a southpaw, is known as the Pinoy assassin as he had beaten nine Filipino boxers en route to an eye-popping record of 52 wins (21 KOs) , 1 loss and 1 draw. "Victories in Thailand started the meteoric rise of Pacquiao and Espinosa to the world stage. They fought and won on foreign soil," said Francisco’s manager and president of the Saved by the Bell promotions president Elmer Anuran.

Anuran, who said that Team Francisco will be in Thailand two weeks before the bout, was referring to Pacquiao’s victory over Chatsai Sasakul for the WBC flyweight crown in 1998. Espinosa also downed Thai Khaokor Galaxy for the WBA crown in 1989. Like Francisco, Duangpetch is hungry for a world title. He defended the Pan-Asia Boxing Association super flyweight title by knocking out Filipino Edwin Tumbaga last September at Udon Thani in Thailand.

Francisco said he is primed up for the big show. "My training is perfect. I have sparred against southpaws to prepare against Duangpetch," said Francisco, who started to gain attention when he won the WBO Asia Pacific flyweight title by a 7th round TKO win overThai Pichitchok Singmanassak on December 30, 2006. He defended the title by a magnificent first round stoppage of Wanmee Singwancha.

"I have fought Thai boxers before and I know how to handle them. Boss Elmer (Anuran) and my team have given me full support and I am determined to go home victorious," said Francisco, whose father Joe was a former OPBF champion.

A title shot at the WBA title being held by battle-scarred Hugo Cazares is in the works for the pride of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.

"Right now, Drian is also the WBA top contender. He was supposed to meet former two-time world champion Cristian Mijares but the fight got derailed. We’ve recieved lot of offers but I decided to pick Duangpetch because I believe that Drian’s ring smarts will compensate for his lack of experience," said Anuran, also president of the Saved by the Bell Promotions.

Anuran also pointed out that Francisco’s fighting heart is a big plus. "Drian said he’s willing to fight a foreign fighter on a foreign land. He is not bothered at all, that’s how confident and brave Drian is," Anuran said.

A crowd favorite with his boyish looks and down-to-earth attitudes, Francisco’s style has baffled experts including boxing guru Recah Trinidad of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Wrote Recah on his widely-read Bare Eye column after Francisco decked Panamanian favorite Ricardo Nunez last April 17 at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City.

"As it would turn out, what he has got in his fists were mighty thunderbolts. He could also explode them from all inconceivable points. It’s indeed a great Pinoy phenomenon. But how Drian Francisco does his thing inside the ring is, of course, a secret between him and His Creator."

Anuran said Francisco has improved a lot since beating Nuñez. "Of
course, the left will always be his weapon but he has improved a lot. He’ll be hard to hit."

Anuran, however, is quick to add that Duangpetch is a very dangerous foe fighting in front of his fellow Thais. "The Golden Fists is going to the lion's den. All that I can say is that Drian has prepared well for this bout and will give his best shot to bring glory to our country."

Top photo: Drian Francisco (R) with his manager, Elmer Anuran.


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