Cotabato's Top Amateur Boxers See Action on Dec. 9
By Lito delos Reyes
Sat, 02 Dec 2006
NORTH Cotabato?s top amateur boxers, who are products of a
year-long training program of Cuban coach Honorato Espinosa, will be featured in special bouts on December 9 at the M?lang Municipal Gymnasium in North Cotabato.
Leading the group is 5-foot-11 lightwelterweight Willie
Lopez, 20, an Asian Games hopeful who was junked by the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP) at the last minute in favor of Bicol?s Frances Joven.
North Cotabato Gov. Manny Pinol, who handles Lopez, decided
to pull out Lopez from the national boxing team and announced that the tall Ilocano boxer, originally from Saranggani Province, will turn professional in January next year.
?This will be Lopez?s first of his last two appearances
as an amateur boxer. He will also see action in the Manny Pacquiao boxing festival in General Santos City from Dec. 17 to 21 before turning pro next year,? the Governor said.
Also seeing action Dec. 9 are former national amateur
boxers Reynaldo Belandres, 20, featherweight and Rolando Magbanua, 21, bantamweight. Like Lopez, Belandres and Magbanua were also handled by Cuban coach Espinosa before he went home to Cuba last month.
Belandres and Magbanua, both power punchers, will also turn
professional next year.
?Amateur boxing?s loss will be pro boxing?s gain,?
Gov. Pinol said.
Seven professional bouts will complete the Dec. 9 boxing
card staged as part of the 53rd birthday celebration of Gov. Pinol on
Undefeated bantamweight Jundy ?Pretty Boy? Maraon, 21,
rated RP No. 8 will fight Butuan?s Markyl Taroja while RP No. 3
junior bantamweight contender Glenn ?The Rock? Porras, 21, takes on veteran Jun Pader also of Butuan.
Undefeated jr. featherweight Glenn Gonzales, 20, who
underwent a bone-graft in his fracture left hand and did not fight for one year, will make a comeback in six rounds against Jun Demecillo of the Matina South Health Studio-Davao City.
The other bouts include Edrin Dapudong vs. JR Jacinto (4
rds.-108 lbs.); and Reginald Isungga vs. Darylwin Asuncion (4 rds.-105
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