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List of Articles by Ed de la Vega, DDS


 

Is the Philippines Ready for Tapales vs. Villanueva WBO Title Fight?

By Ed de la Vega, DDS
PhilBoxing.com
27 Sep 2016



Boxing is indeed a strange sport and sometimes the gods of boxing do certain things that are not exactly palatable and it forces stakeholders to do things they rather not do or some boxing fans and pundits hope does not happen.

Case in point: The possible Marlon Tapales vs Arthur Villanueva WBO bantamweight title fight.

The Philippines to date has only a handful of world champions. Tapales is the latest one to earn a title by beating Pungluang Sor Singyu of Thailand for the WBO bantamweight title.

Villanueva on the other hand last Saturday scored a spectacular 2nd round KO of his Mexican rival, Juan Jimenez on a re-match of the controversial fight between the two in Bacolod last May. He is now ranked No. 1 to Tapales’ crown.

Therefore, it is not too far off that WBO will order a fight between Tapales and Villanueva particularly if Tapales takes care of his next assignment in Japan against Takuma Inoue on December 30th.

After that, Tapales may opt for another voluntary defense of his title. If he wins, Villanueva, per WBO rules, becomes his mandatory challenger.

The possible fight between the two Filipinos is eliciting different reactions because the last time two Filipinos fought for a title was in 1925.

To the fighter’s handlers, the fight is a bitter pill but not too hard to swallow. Tapales’ manager, Wakee Salud has no problem with the possible Pinoy vs Pinoy title fight but he wants ALA Boxing Promotions, the handler of Villanueva to do the fight and “give them a good offer”. Michael Aldeguer of ALA says if it’s mandated, he has no problem with it either.

Las Vegas-based Bobby Macabagdal of the Asian Journal also think that a Tapales vs. Villanueva

“will be great and it will show the world that Filipinos are world-class fighters”.

That scenario how ever does not sink in too well with some boxing fan I spoke with. “Why let two Filipinos fight for a title when we can go after other titles held by non-Filipinos and have the potential to have two worlds champions”, he emphatically said. Another said: “It’s not good to have two Pinoys fight for a title, because the fighters stand to make more money if they fight abroad against other title-holders. They may not get that in the Philippines.”

Nick Giongco, a first-rate sports writer from Manila Bulletin stated “that’s the last thing I want to see and cover. Di pa tayo ready sa ganyan” (We are not ready for such stuff)."

Many think Giongco is absolutely right and so are the two above-mentioned fans I spoke to. Title fights between two compatriots is common in Mexico and other countries. But these countries have tons of talents and plenty of top-rated fighters. The Philippines have but a few. In fact, we cannot even hold monthly top caliber fight events on a continuing basis because of a very shallow pool of talents. Therefore, for us to say: -“ Hey they can do it in Mexico, so can we” stretching it .

Simply put, we can’t!. That is until we develop more top caliber boxers.


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