INSIDE SPORTS -- PINOY BOXERS' GLORY DAYS ARE BACK
By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Tue, 24 Oct 2006
Thanks to the excitement and the national pride generated by Filipino ring idol Manny Pacquiao with his devastating conquests over a roster of Mexican legends including Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik “El Terrible” Morales, boxing is has surged even beyond the glory days of the 1960s when the late great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde reigned as world junior lightweight champion.
That Pacquiao, now deep in training for his crucial Grand Finale rubber match against Morales on November 18 has carved a name for himself in the same weight category as Elorde seems to indicate that this is the most comfortable weight at which Filipino fighters can demonstrate their skill and their courage as former champions like Rolando Navarette and Rene Barrientos did after Elorde.
From day one when he demolished Lelohonolo Ledwaba to win the IBF junior featherweight title, Pacquiao has fired the imagination of boxing fans not merely here at home but around the world. More importantly he has sparked a renaissance in the sport in the Philippines and drawn a whole roster of talented young men from among the poor to aspire to follow in his footsteps.
This weekend has been a particularly rewarding one for boxing. OPBF super flyweight champion Z “The Dream:” Gorres put on perhaps the best performance of his career when he hammered tough Indonesian Sonny Manakane into submission in four rounds, forcing his corner to throw in the towel at 1:11 of round the round.
17 year old AJ Banal, another truly talented southpaw from the famed ALA Gym of respected boxing patron and one of our dearest friends Tony Aldeguer, put on a classy display to score a near shutout ten round decision over rugged Angky Angkota.
But for sheer impact the ninth round knockout scored by 34 year old Gerry Pe?alosa over WBO No. 1 bantamweight contender and former champion Mauricio Martinez in El Paso, Texas was hard to beat. Unfortunately the fight card which was to be shown on Dream TV on a pay-per-view basis was cancelled at the last minute and those of us who were expecting to see the fight on Solar Sports were also disappointed. In the end we had to settle for highlights of the three knockdowns in rounds one, four and nine on the internet on You Tube. It was terrific.
Pe?alosa’s cracking left straights dropped Martinez in rounds one and four and when he staggered the Panamanian with another beautiful left straight in the ninth Gerry went after him with vicious combinations before taking him out for good.
We were pleasantly surprised when our good friend Eric Gomez, vice president and international matchmaker of the great Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions called us up to inquire about how the Gorres fight went and informed us that both Pe?alosa and Gorres are being lined up for world title fights this December and that emerging ring sensation Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista was also returning to action on December 2.
That’s great news for our fighters including Pe?alosa who wants to go out in a blaze of glory by winning the world bantamweight crown. But the greatest news of all will be when Manny Pacquiao, our national treasure, adds one more jewel to his crown against Morales on November 18.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ronnie Nathanielsz.
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