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BAD BLOOD PROMISES FIREWORKS IN PINOY PRIDE 4


PhilBoxing.com




CEBU CITY – If the official weigh-in for “Pinoy Pride 4” in which five Filipino fighters, three of whom are world rated, battle opponents from five different countries in another “Philippines vs The World” showdown is any indication, the bad blood between some of the fighters promises fireworks on fight night.

Good-looking, undefeated Canadian Steve Claggett and tough Romeo Jakosalem revved their initial confrontation at the pre-fight press conference up a notch as they went face-to-face, trash talked and nearly came to blows after shoving each other vigorously at the weigh in. Their handlers were forced to intervene as the huge crowd at the SM Events Center here applauded wildly.

The apparent bad blood was first fueled by Japan’s Kenichi Yamaguchi who tried to spark a fight with his Filipino opponent Marjohn Yap in a staredown and a shoving match as the two fighters almost went after each other. Yamaguchi who had a tattoo on his body saying “Japan, Never Give Up” in reference to the struggle of the Japanese people in the wake of the recent disaster caused by a massive earthquake, tsunami and trouble at a nuclear power plant said he would lift the spirits of the Japanese people with a big win.

In stark contrast the fighters on the main event were far more civil to each other. Milan Melindo who takes on tough-talking Rosendo Vega of Mexico who promised to “rough up Melindo and knock him out” tipped the scales at the flyweight limit of 112 pounds while Vega was two pounds over the limit for their ten round non title bout. But Melindo’s handlers let it go confident that the classy Melindo would be able to handle Vega.

Hard-hitting OPBF flyweight champion Rocky Fuentes made the 115 pound limit while his Indonesian opponent Jemmy Gobel checked in at 114. Both fighters exchanged smiles although Fuentes showed his intentions by planting his left hook on the jaw of Gobel.

In the co-main event of the blockbuster card which will be telecast by ABS-CBN on Sunday at 10:00 a.m on Channel 2, AJ “Bazooka” Banal will defend his WBO Asia-Pacific bantamweight title against Tanzania’s Francis Miyeyusho.Banal who has been on the fringes of a world title fight stepped onto the scales as his own theme song blared in the background. Banal weighed 118 while Miyeyusho was one pound under the limit although he is taller and strongly built forcing Banal to look up at him during their face-off.

Prior to the weigh-in, WBO Asia Pacific vice president Leon Panoncillo presented the flashy southoaw with the 2010 “Fight of the Year” Award in recognition for his sensational knockout win over Big Yoo of Korea in Tagbilaran City last July 17 year in front of 30,000 spectators. ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer was also presented with an award by WBO Asia-Pacific chief Leon Panoncillo for promoting the big fight card in Bohol.

Top photo: Canada's Steve Claggett confront's Romeo Jakosalem during Friday's weighin at SM City-Cebu.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ronnie Nathanielsz.


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