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List of Articles by Dennis U. Eroa



Pacquiao inspires Francisco

By Dennis U. Eroa
PhilBoxing.com
16 Nov 2010



HE IS amazed by Manny Pacquiao’s ring greatness and World Boxing
Association International superflyweight titleholder Drian ‘‘Golden Fists’’ Francisco is going to use the Pacman’s recent conquest as springboard for success in his upcoming fight with Thai killing machine Duangpetch Kokietgym.

‘‘Manny has proven that he is the world’s number one boxer. He is simply the best. He has given the country honor for the nth time and has inspired me to triumph in Thailand,’’ said the 27-year-old Francisco while a having a break in his training at the Touch Gloves Boxing Gym in Agoncillo, Batangas.

In a determined bid to join the elite list of Filipino world champions, the good-looking Francisco will fight in uncharted territory for the first time for the WBA interim title. The winner between Francisco and Kokietgym is expected to challenge
reigning titlist Hugo ‘‘El Incredible’’ Cazares of Mexico early next year.

Francisco, whose father Joe is a former champion boxer, said he is in tip-top shape for the much-awaited clash November 30 at the Nong Khai province which is near Laos.

‘‘I feel great. I feel that I can fight Duangpetch anywhere, anytime,’’ said Francisco,who is unbeaten in 20 fights. Francisco manager and Saved by the Bell Promotion president Elmer Anuran also expressed delight on his ward’s physical and mental conditioning.

‘‘He has sparred 160 rounds. Among his sparring partners were bigger fighters like IBF Pan Pacific titleholder Al Sabaupan, Niño Magboo and Jun Doliges. I think Drian is ready to rumble,’’ said Anuran.

Anuran praised veteran trainer Benny dela Peña for the excellent condition of Franciso. ‘‘Benny and his team did a great job. Drian is stronger and faster. He will be very hard to hit.’’ Anuran and Francisco, however, admitted that the Thai boxer who sports an eye-popping 52 wins (21 KOs) , 1 loss and 1 draw record is no pushover.

‘‘People are asking why I agreed to send Drian to Thailand against a tough Thai fighter. My answer is that I am confident that the Golden Fists can do the job of besting Kokietgym to gain a shot versus Cazares as mandated by the WBA,’’ said Anuran. Anuran said Team Francisco is leaving on November 22 for Thailand.

‘‘We are leaving no stone unturned for this bout.We are taking no chances,’’ said Anuran, a Batangueño sportsman-businessman. Owing to the importance of the match, Solar Sports will bring a team to Nong Khai to bring the fight to Filipino ring fans on a delayed telecast.

Francisco said he is ready to deliver. ‘‘Like our ring icon Pacquiao, I also want to make Filipino fans happy. I will do everything to make fans happy by winning in Thailand,’’ said Francisco, who enjoys tremendous appeal among choosy Pinoy ring followers due to his ring savvy and down-to-earth attitudes. Bolstering Francisco’s bid to beat the Thai is the fact that Pacquiao actually started his meteoric rise in Thailand.

Then a flyweight, Pacquiao decked local bet Chatsai Sasakul for the WBC crown in 1998.

Another Filipino who stamped his class in Thailand was former two-time world titlilist Luisito ‘‘Lindol’’Espinosa who won the WBA plum by beating Thai fighter Khaokor Galaxy in 1989.

‘‘It will be a tremendous honor to follow the footsteps of these great fighters.I am determined to bring honor not only to myself and my family but to the whole Philippines,’’said Francisco.

Kokietgym,who had beaten nine Filipino boxers, is not the first Thai boxer that Drian will face in his colorful career. Francisco, a native of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, gained attention after scoring a 7th round TKO win over Thai Pichitchok Singmanassak on December 30, 2006 for the WBO Asia-Pacific flyweight title.

He stopped Thai Wanmee Singwancha in the first round in his first
defense. ‘‘I know what to do against Thai boxers. Boss Elmer (Anuran) and my team have given me full support and I am not in the mood to disappoint them,’’ concluded Francisco.


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