PINOY PRIDE 22: REVENGE OR REPEAT?
By Rene Bonsubre, Jr.
Thu, 24 Oct 2013
CEBU CITY – Genesis “Azukal” Servania (22W-0L, 8 KO’s) was still an amateur boxer when Panama’s Rafael “El Torito” Concepcion (18W-6L-1D, 8 KO's) turned AJ Banal’s dreams of glory into a gruesome nightmare.
Servania never entertained thoughts that he would fight Concepcion someday. In fact, he wasn’t that serious about boxing in 2008.
“I did not have any plans of turning pro during that time,” Servania said, “I don’t remember what I was doing that day, but I did see the fight on TV. It was my father who pushed me to fight as a professional.”
Servania turned pro in 2009 and eventually found himself in ALA-Cobra Energy Drink ‘free to the public’ fight cards.
He remained unbeaten and was given a bigger break but played second fiddle in six ‘PINOY PRIDE’ events where he appeared on the main supporting bout. On October 26, he will step out of the shadows and battle as the headliner for the first time in his career in the very successful boxing series.
Concepcion’s ‘night of infamy’ five years ago has lingered in the minds of Filipino boxing fans. The Cebu Coliseum is sacred ground as far as the Philippines’ boxing capital is concerned. This old venue has seen the likes of Flash Elorde, Dodie and Gerry Peñalosa and Manny Pacquiao. Concepcion turned the place upside down and he is back to duplicate his feat, this time at the Pacific Ballroom of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel.
Concepcion wore a Team Pacquiao jacket with the country’s red, white and blue colors during the final press conference held today at the Waterfront Hotel.
“I am a Pacquiao fan like the rest of the world.’ Concepcion said.
He proceeded to provoke Servania with his trash talking and repeated his promise to let Servania “sleep and relax.” Concepcion brought a pillow with him during last Tuesday’s presscon to emphasize his intentions.
Servania countered by saying that “I am not scared,he will be the one who will fall asleep, Siya ra ang ma-unay sa unlan.”
On the surface, Concepcion was very confident, “I have fought many elite boxers, I fought Jorge Arce, Fernando Montiel, Nonito Donaire. Everyone around the world has seen my capacity.”
ALA Promotions VP Dennis Cañete stated that this fight is Servania’s big break to show the world what he can do. Concepcion has fought big names in boxing and Servania needs to make a statement against him and show what he can do.
Cañete said that ticket sales have been affected by the earthquake but have picked up this week. Proceeds will be donated the to the relief effort facilitated by #Bangon Sugbohol to help the victims of the earthquake.
Servania and Concepcion will fight for the WBO super bantamweight Inter-continental title and WBO supervisor Jack Daniel Leigh expects a great fight.
Concepcion continued to get under Servania’s skin, saying that Genesis will be stopped in less rounds than Banal, who was toppled in the 10th.
During the staredown, Concepcion continued to taunt his opponent and even talked to his cellphone about Servania’s KO. Servania gave him the “appropriate response”.
VILLANUEVA VS MARTINEZ
The main supporting bout promises to be just as explosive with “King” Arthur Villanueva (22-0, 12 KO’s) facing Edgar ‘Chololo’ Martinez (16-7, 10 KO’s) for the WBO International super flyweight title.
Martinez for his part stated that he will bring his Mexican warrior spirit inside the ring and that he will be the ‘Mexican earthquake’.
Villanueva, who is also a chess player, has been known to keep his cool under fire.
“ I survived an intensity 7 earthquake,” Villanueva said, “Can Martinez survive when I hit him?”
One of the boxers in the preliminary bouts is a Boholano, Jessel Mark ‘Magnifico’ Magsayo.
“My family in Tagbilaran are okay,” he said, “The hardest hit by the earthquake are the provincial areas in Bohol.”
Magsayo (3-0, 2 Ko’s), unlike other ALA prospects, has been fast tracked to center stage, having fought in Pinoy Pride or Idol events instead of the usual ‘free to the public’ cards.
‘I don’t feel any pressure,’Magsayo said “This is what I want, I love to box.” He will trade punches with Hagibis Quinones (3-10-1) of Gensan.
Also set to appear are Roli ‘Zuma’ Gasca (20-4-1; 5 Ko’s) who will fight Lande Olin (11-4) of Indonesia and Mark “Machete” Bernaldez (11-0; 7 KOs) who will take on Khunkiri Wor Wisaruth (10-5-1) from Thailand.
The official weigh-in will be Friday noon at the Ayala Center Cebu. Pinoy Pride 22:The Revenge will be this Saturday.
Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino General Manager, Alfred Portenschlager (behind podium)has assured the public that the venue is safe. The building inspectors have assessed that only aesthetic damage has occurred during the quake and it is business as usual.
Header photo - Servania (left) answers Concepcion
Left to right - Magsayo, Bernaldez,Gasca, Villanueva, Servania, Concepcion, Martinez, Olin, Wisaruth and an ALA-Cobra girl
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