Philippines, 29 Feb 2024
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Jack Tepora.

CEBU CITY ? Two unbeaten prospects from the Omega Gym of Cebu will be facing Indonesian opponents with two WBO regional belts at stake.

Jhack ?Sparrow? Tepora (19-0,14KO?s) will defend his WBO Oriental junior featherweight title against Yon Armed (14-7, 6KO?s) of Jakarta while Christian ?The Bomb? Araneta (13-0,11KO?s) will face Demsi Manufoe (11-6,8KO?s) for the vacant WBO Oriental junior flyweight title.

Armed once held the IBA featherweight title but lost in his attempt to win the WBO Asia Pacific belt in Gen.Santos City by TKO to Japanese Hiroshige Osawa. Armed won his last two fights in Indonesia against Manuel Junior and Slamet. Osawa on the other hand lost to WBO world featherweight champ Oscar Valdez of Mexico by TKO on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas WBO world title bout in Las Vegas.

Tepora will be making the first defense of the WBO title he won last December by 5th round TKO against another Indon, Galih Susanto. The 23 year old Tepora had previously held the WBO Asia-Pacific Youth and WBF Asia-Pacific junior featherweight titles.

Araneta will be going for his first major regional belt. Still 21 years old, he has been under the radar but his all-action style and uncanny recuperative powers has attracted the attention of the hard-core fans here in the country?s boxing capital.

Both Tepora and Araneta are from Cebu. There will be pressure on both of them in Omega Pro Sports International?s (OPSI) first major card for 2017. Tepora has seen action in the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel before but this was on the undercard of Johnriel Casimero vs Mauricio Fuentes three years ago. This time he will be the headliner.

?Yes, I do feel pressure,? Tepora said during the press conference held at the Waterfront Hotel Wednesday afternoon.? I am now the one carrying the name of our gym and the main event fighter in a big card.? Tepora added that he has trained hard for this fight knowing his importance. He knows he has to improve to make it to the next level and cited his jab and combination punching as the areas he needs to work on.

OPSI VP Rico Navarro stated that their goal is to bring Tepora up the rankings gradually, from being in the top 15 and breaking the top ten of the WBO rankings.

Araneta?s last fight was a cliffhanger against Philip Luis Cuerdo in Mandaue City. He was behind on points on all three judges before he stopped Cuerdo in round seven. He was also hurt in the second but showed his fighting heart.

?They told me I was behind after round six. They said I needed to knock him out or I would lose on points.? Araneta told this writer. He answered the call of his cornermen in dramatic fashion when he decked Cuerdo in the 7th.

Manufoe will be his first foreign foe. The Indonesian has lost in his attempts to win the WBC Asia and WBC Youth titles.

OPSI President Pio Paulo Castillo said that they want to avoid staging fights that will be one-sided and will displease the fans. Getting the fight fans nationwide to watch the card on television has also been a struggle for them. But the promotional company is keen on taking their cards to the next level.

During the presscon, Castillo signed the partnership and agreement for the staging of the card with Waterfront GM Anders Halden.

The tickets for this card are relatively cheap ? 500Php for VIP tickets, 300Php gold and 100Php silver ? if you consider that the Waterfront Hotel has been the venue for big fights, even world title fights, here in Cebu.

Also set to appear on the card is undefeated Jessie Cris Rosales (20-0-1,8KO?s) vs Jerry Nardo (21-10, 11KO?s), Salatiel Amit vs Renerio Arizala, Jerry Castroverde vs Ryan Quimbo, Feljun Taneo vs Jeffrey Stella, Tomjune Magubat vs Marvin Tampus, Mark Vicelles vs Fabio Marfa and Marjun Piencenaves vs Mark Rotillos.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rene Bonsubre, Jr..

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