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List of Articles by Manny Piñol


 

2 TITLE FIGHTS THIS WEEKEND; IS THIS FINALLY THE MOMENT?

By Manny Piñol
PhilBoxing.com
13 Jun 2013



This weekend, two young fighters who have been supported by my family and several friends over the years, will enter the boxing ring half a world apart from each other to realize what we have all been dreaming of – a world boxing title.

Braveheart Boxing Club boxers Jundy “Pretty Boy” Maraon, 28, and Edrin “The Sting” Dapudong, also 28, will fight within a day of each other for world boxing championships which are sanctioned by two different boxing organizations.

On Friday June 14, the undefeated Maraon, originally from Molave, Zamboanga del Sur (15 W, 12 KO, 1Draw), will be matched against former Olympian Juan Carlos Payano of the Dominican Republic for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) Bantamweight Title in New Jersey, USA.

Payano, also 28 years old and undefeated like Maraon, is the current North American Boxing Association bantamweight titlist and the WBA Latin America Champion and has record of 14 wins with only 7 Kos.

A day later, on June 15 in Johannesburg, South Africa half a world away from New Jersey, Dapudong, a farmer’s son from Barangay Pag-asa, M’lang, North Cotabato, will meet his South African nemesis, Gideon Buthelezi, in a rematch that resulted from their controversial first fight in November last year.

Dapudong, the former World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver Flyweight Champion, was the clear winner in his first meeting against Buthelezi also in Johannesburg last year even scoring a knockdown in the 9th round of a one-sided bout.

But two of the three judges – a South African and an American – gave the fight to the badly battered Buthelezi while the British judge had Dapudong winning the fight by only one point.

Following an uproar in the South African and Philippine boxing media and a formal complaint which I filed with the sanctioning body, IBO President Edward Levine ordered a rematch between Dapudong and Buthelezi.

Both Maraon and Dapudong are facing tough odds.

Maraon must dust off the rust because of months of inactivity to be able to put up a good fight against Payano. The Braveheart fighter who is trained by outstanding handler Nonito Donaire Sr. and represented in the US by boxing impresario Vincent Scolpino last fought in September last year when he knocked out Mexican Ernie Sanchez in Sta. Inez, California.

Dapudong, on the other hand, has to prevent the judges from deciding the fight realizing that no Filipino fighter has ever won by decision in South Africa, a boxing nation notorious for its hometown decisions.

Yesterday, in a text message sent through Viber, Nonito Donaire Sr. informed me that Maraon is in top shape and is greatly motivated by his desire to win the world championship and the opportunity of bringing his wife and daughter to the US.

Also yesterday, in Johannesburg, Dapudong talked about winning the fight for his ailing mother who is confined in a hospital in North Cotabato because of health complications following a stroke last year.

As for my brothers and I, who have long waited for the moment when all the hard work and huge financial sacrifices we have made to support these poor young boys in realizing their dreams of lifting their families out of poverty, this weekend could finally end the long search for a world boxing title.

Three Braveheart Boxers, including Dapudong himself, have already figured in world championships in the past but all failed to bring home a world title fight.

All those who have seen how these two boys have worked hard are praying that when Maraon and Dapudong go up the ring on Friday and Saturday, they will finally win what we have all been dreaming of, a world title which will lift them out of poverty and which for me and my brothers will serve as a proof that the long years of sacrifices have not gone to naught.


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