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Randy ready for KO artist


PhilBoxing.com



Petalcorin.

Nicaragua’s Felix Alvarado is touted to be the most devastating puncher in the lightflyweight division today and he’s coming to town to face Davao City’s Randy Petalcorin for the vacant IBF 108-pound title. The fight is set at the Solaire Resort Hotel and Casino on Oct. 29 with the winner ascending the throne relinquished by South Africa’s Hekkie Budler.


Alvarado, 29, is the IBF’s No. 1 contender and Petalcorin, No. 3. Under the IBF’s quirky rules, the No. 2 slot is vacant. Alvarado will arrive in Manila on Monday while Petalcorin, 26, flies in from General Santos City, where he lives, on Wednesday. Alvarado is 5-4, an inch taller than Petalcorin, and enjoys a 4 1/2 inch reach advantage but more than his physical attributes, what makes the Nicaraguan a dangerous proposition is his bone-crushing power. He has scored 29 KOs in a slate of 33-2, a lofty 87.9 percent KO rate. Petalcorin's record is 29-2-1, with 22 KOs.

But Petalcorin’s co-manager J. C. Manangquil, who owns the Sanman boxing stable, isn’t fazed. “We’re confident,” he said. “Randy’s target is to do 110 rounds of sparring and the other day, he already logged 98. He’s six pounds over the limit so making weight won’t be a problem. Randy’s working hard with his trainer Fernando Lumacad. Alvarado has power but we know what to do to win. When the fight’s over, the Philippines will have a new world champion.”

Petalcorin’s other manager Australian Peter Maniatis landed yesterday from Melbourne. The fight was initially scheduled in Melbourne on Oct. 20. “Joe Ramos of MP Promotions and matchmaker Sean Gibbons helped to get the fight to Manila,” said Maniatis. “It’s 50-50 because now, it’s in Randy’s home country and that’s an advantage. Alvarado is the biggest puncher and most dangerous 108-pounder. That’s why he’s been avoided by champions and contenders alike. This could be the fight of the year. Randy has also been avoided. We’re grateful to Sen. Manny Pacquiao, the IBF, Joe, Sean and Sanman for making this happen.”

Maniatis said he was booked to do a TV commercial for Ultra Tune, a car service network, with American actor Charlie Sheen in Australia on Oct. 29 but begged off to be at ringside for Petalcorin’s fight. “Ultra Tune’s last ad was with Mike Tyson and before that, with Jean Claude Van Damme,” said Maniatis. “Ultra Tune's a big Australian company with 280 stores all over the country. It's been my major sponsor for boxing over the last 15 years. There was never a second thought being at Randy’s fight. He’s my No. 1 option being a co-manager and promoter of this event. If Randy wins the title, it’ll be worth missing the ad.”

Alvarado, who has a twin Rene, also a pro boxer, is known as a pressure fighter. “Sobra ang lakas niya,” said Manangquil. “He’s like a younger Chocolatito Gonzalez. He’s the best non-champion in the lightflyweight division. It will be a hard fight for Randy. Our plan is to box, use angles, go in and out and try to confuse Alvarado with Randy’s southpaw style. If we need to slug, we’ll slug. Randy’s prepared to go all out to win.”

Maniatis said Alvarado fights like the late Alexis Arguello while Petalcorin’s style is reminiscent of Gerry Penalosa’s. “Randy’s favorite boxer of all time is Gerry so I think that’s why he fights a similar style,” he said. Manangquil also said Petalcorin fights like Penalosa. “They’re both southpaws, technical and intelligent,” said Manangquil. “Randy is up against a knockout artist but he’s ready to win.”


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


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