Malcolm Tunacao ready to rumble tonight in Kobe, Japan
By Rich Mazon
Sat, 22 Dec 2012
Filipino pugilist Malcolm “Eagle Eye” Tunacao is prepped and primed for his all-important fight tonight against Christian Ezquivel of Mexico.
“100 percent ready,” was Tunacao’s reply when Philboxing touched base with the Mandaue City born boxer a day before his fight.
Tunacao, 35, and Ezquivel, 26, will fight tonight at the Central Gym in Kobe, Japan for the right to be the number 1 challenger to the WBC bantamweight crown which is currently held by Japanese Shinsuke Yamanaka.
Both Tunacao and Ezquivel made the bantamweight weight limit at the weigh-in held yesterday in Kobe, Japan where the Filipino fighter is now training. The two fighters came in at the same weight of 117 pounds, one pound shy of the 118 lb. limit for the scheduled WBC eliminator.
Tunacao expressed satisfaction with his training en route to this bout. He acknowledged that Ezquivel is a good fighter but the former world champion is confident that his hands will be raised tonight.
“Magaling din (at) may lakas pero kaya natin,” (He is good and strong but I can take him) described Tunacao of his opponent.
“Pinoy tayo,” (We are Filipinos) he added.
Tunacao is aware of the importance of this fight, knowing that a win here will get him another crack at a world title.
“Importante ito kasi, sa sunod world title na. Kaya one year plus na hindi ako umuwi sa Pinas,” (This is an important fight because I fight for the world title next. That is one of the reason I did not go home to the Philippines for more than one year) said Tunacao.
The boxer has been a resident of Japan for three years now. He has fought eight of his last nine fights in that country since moving there in 2009.
“Ok lang naman , kahit malayo sa pamilya. Miss na miss ko na nga mga anak ko pati na si Grace (girlfriend) pero para sa kanilang lahat ginawa ko,” (It is okay, even though I am far from my family. I miss my kids and Grace (girlfriend) so much but this is all for them.) expressed the WBC number 1 rated bantamweight challenger.
“Kaya kahit anung sakripisyo, ok lang para sa pamilya ko,” (I will endure any sacrifice for my family) added Tunacao.
Tunacao once held the WBC world Flyweight crown, by beating Medgoen Singsurat of Thailand in 2000, the same Singsurat who knocked out a young Manny Pacquiao in 1999 for the same belt.
He lost the belt to another Thai fighter, Pongsaklek Wonjongkam in only his second defense the year after.
“Excited ako, kasi it’s been eleven years na hindi nakalaban ng world title,” ((I am excited because I haven't fought for a world title in 11 years) Tunacao said.
Tonight will be his first step towards that dream.
You can reach the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Malcolm Tuñacao (R) and Christian Ezquivel pose during yesterday's weighin in Kobe, Japan.
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