Philippines, 12 Dec 2018
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Fil-Am teener to sing anthem

Nathan Fasching.

FRESNO. A Fil-Am teenager born and raised in this California city has been chosen by Top Rank to sing the Philippine national anthem in the ring before IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas’ fight against countryman Jonas Sultan at the Save Mart Center here this morning (Manila time).

Nathan Fasching, 17, was recommended by long-time Fresno resident Titus Verzosa, a CPA and boxing promoter Al Perez’ personal accountant. Perez, who owns two radio stations and the Main Event Gym here, linked up with Top Rank in staging the Save Mart event, only the third boxing card he is producing. Perez has been involved in promoting concerts. This is his biggest fight show.

“Al broke even in his first two boxing shows which is a breakthrough because you’re expected to lose money at least in your first few events,” said Verzosa. “Al’s son got him involved in boxing and now that Top Rank is a partner, we’re excited to move forward.” Verzosa’s wife is a bookkeeper in Perez’ businesses while he is his tax accountant.

It was Verzosa who suggested to Perez to consider Fasching. “He’s in junior high and he sings in the church choir,” said Verzosa who has lived here for 32 years. “We sent a video of Nathan to Top Rank and we got a response right away, asking for a video of Nathan singing a capella and a video showing him performing before a large audience. We sent the two videos then got the go-signal.”

Verzosa took up accounting at San Beda College then worked at SGV before migrating to the US where he has now lived for 32 years. In 2015, he returned to the Philippines after a 17-year absence to attend the opening of the Don Mariano Verzosa Memorial Hospital in Lingayen, Pangasinan. “I failed to attend my father’s funeral and I couldn’t miss this opportunity to honor him,” he said. Verzosa’s father was a former Lingayen mayor whose pet priority was public health care. Fasching’s mother Alpha Estalilla is a Filipina with Ilocos roots. Verzosa said the exposure on Philippine TV and the Filipino community in the US via ESPN+ will surely open doors for the Fil-Am singer.


A Cuban boxing coach, who has worked in 22 countries, is General Santos City promoter J. C. Manangquil's partner to train five Filipino fighters in Miami, Florida. Dr. Osmiri (Moro) Fernandez, 47, has a stable of 23 pros from Venezuela, Nicaragua, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Cuba, the Philippines and the US, among others. From 2007 to 2017, he took care of 42 fighters from 11 countries with a combined record of 363 wins, 15 losses and five draws. Included in the roster are the three Kameda brothers of Japan, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Yasmani Consuegra, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Yoandris Salinas of Cuba, Carlos Buitrago of Nicaragua and Mussa Tursyngaliyev of Kazkhstan.

Manangquil, 25, managed his first fighter Jether Oliva when he was only 13 and at 15, promoted his first boxing card in General Santos City. Two years ago, he met Fernandez in a boxing show in New York and they decided to work together in developing Filipino champions. One of their protégés Reymart Gaballo, 21, has a 19-0 record, with 16 KOs, and captured the interim WBA bantamweight crown on a 12-round decision over Stephon Young in Hollywood last March. “When I first saw Gaballo, I told J. C he would become a world champion within a year and it happened,” said Fernandez. Writer Ryan Songalia said Gaballo is gifted with pure knockout punching power, attested by 10 first round KOs in 16 abbreviated wins.

The others in the Manangquil-Fernandez stable are Cebu lightweight Mark Bernaldez, 26 (16-1, 11 KOs), General Santos City bantamweight Mike Plania, 21 (15-1, 8 KOs) and Davao City superfeatherweight John Vincent Moralde, 24 (19-1, 10 KOs). Training with Fernandez but exclusively under Manangquil’s SanMan stable is Cagayan de Oro superfeatherweight Harmonito de la Torre, 24 (19-1, 12 KOs). Another Manangquil fighter is rising lightweight star Romero Duno of Cotabato City. Duno, 22, has won his last eight bouts, including four in the US, to raise his record to 17-1, with 14 KOs. He is trained by former WBC lightflyweight titlist Rodel Mayol.

Moralde will see action in the Ancajas-Sultan undercard, facing Uganda's unbeaten Ismail Muwendo (19-0, 12 KOs) in an eight-rounder. It's an acid test for Moralde as Muwendo, 29, boasts a 72 1/2-inch wingspan and a ton of experience, having fought 18 of his 19 bouts in the US since 2009.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.

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