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Pacquiao, four others Elorde boxers of year

PhilBoxing.com


Five world and international champions, led by boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao, will be honored as Boxer of the Year awardees in the eighth Gabriel ?Flash? Elorde Awards Night-Banquet of Champions on March 25 at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel.

The other boxer-of-the-year awardees for 2007 are International Boxing Federation flyweight champion Nonito Donaire, World Boxing Organization bantamweight titleholder Gerry Pe?alosa, IBF minimumweight titlist Florante Condes and WBO minimumweight king Donnie Nietes.

Pacquiao will also be inducted into the Elorde Boxing Hall of Fame, having received the boxer-of-the-year award for seven years, the same number of years Elorde held the world junior lightweight crown (1960-67).

The legendary Elorde, in whose honor the awards have been held annually during the last eight years, is the second Filipino boxer to be enshrined into the International Boxing Hall of Fame for his rare feat as world champion for a record seven years.

Donaire, 25, wrested the IBF flyweight crown with a fifth-round knockout of previously unbeaten champion Vic Darchinyan of Australia in their world title fight in August last year in Connecticut, USA.

A wicked left to the jaw sent the hard-hitting Darchinyan, one of the most fearsome punchers in boxing today, in a bout adjudged the 2007 ? Upset of the Year? and ?Knockout of the Year? by Ring Magazine, the so-called Bible of Boxing.

Donaire, born in General Santos City and now based in the US, returned to the ring in December and successfully defended his IBF belt with an eighth-round technical knockout of Mexican Luis Maldonado at the Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Pe?alosa won the world bantamweight crown by dethroning Mexican Jhonny Gonzalez via a seventh round knockout in August of last year at the Arco Arena in Sacramento, California. He has a record of 52-6-2 with 35 knockouts.

Condes, 27, a Romblon native who turned pro in 2002, won the IBF minimumweight title by a split decision over Muhammad Rachman on July 7, 2007. The 5-2 Condes, nicknamed the Little Pacquiao, knocked Rachman down twice ? in the third round and again in the 10th ? to win the crown in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Nietes won the vacant WBO minimumweight championship on Sept. 30, 2007, besting Pornsawan Kratingdaenggym of Thailand by unanimous decision at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City.

This is the first time more than one boxer will be receiving the boxer-of-the-year honors, attesting to a big year for Philippine boxing in 2007.

?This year?s Elorde Banquet of Champions is certainly the biggest gathering of great champions, thanks to boxing?s growing popularity that has inspired more Filipinos to reach the pinnacle of the sport,? said Flash Elorde?s wife, Laura.

The top boxers will be joined by Philippine titleholders and former champions led by former WBC and WBA featherweight titlist Luisito Espinosa. Others to be awarded are the best promoter, best manager, best trainer, best fight, best referee, best judge, most promising boxer and boxing patrons.

The Elorde Awards, organized by Johnny Elorde Management International and the Elorde Foundation, was initiated by Flash Elorde?s son Johnny and his wife Liza eight years ago to give recognition to Filipino professional boxers who gave international honor to their country.

The event, sponsored by the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), LONSDALE and Cablelink, is held annually on March 25 to coincide with the birth anniversary of the champ.

Liza Elorde said a big boxing event will be staged during the Awards Night to spice up the affair.

Limited seats are up for sale. Inquiries: 8264463, 8259385 or 8250625.





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