ANOTHER JAPANESE TRAINS AT ALA GYM
By Salven L. Lagumbay
Fri, 26 Aug 2005
Japan's national flyweight champ, Daisuke Naito, is the latest of the list of foreign fighters seeking refuge at the famed ALA Gym, as he prepares for a grand rematch with WBC flyweight king and ex-tormentor Pongsaklek Wongjongkam on October 10 at the famed Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
Naito was at the receiving end of Pongsaklek's fury when they first met on April 19, 2002, as the latter easily took him out in the opening round, registering the fastest knockout in flyweight by knocking out the Japanese in just 34 seconds. It was Naito's only career blemish in 30 fights.
This time, 30-year-old Naito (27-1-2, 19 KO's) has decided to enlist the expertise of the ALA Gym to hone up his skills in preparation for Pongsaklek, who is hitherto unknown but is widely considered by experts as the world's finest fighter in the 112-lb class bar none.
"There is a Japanese now training in my gym...Yesterday he sparred with Gerry Penalosa," Cebu sportsman Tony Aldeguer, who owns the ALA Gym, told this writer yesterday. For a start, Naito logged in rounds against the ex-WBC superfly king Penalosa.
Since losing to Pongsaklek, Naito has successfully rebuilt his career, racking up eight consecutive wins, taking the Japanese fly crown in the process and defending it twice.
Pongsaklek has a formidable record of 57 wins, 2 losses with 31 knockouts. He has been undefeated since 1996.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Salven L. Lagumbay.
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