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WORKING FOR A WORLD TITLE


PhilBoxing.com


One of the most interesting activities in boxing is how boxing managers work through the sport's maze to get a world title shot for their boxers. I've always been amazed at how the sport has somehow found so many thousands of ways to have boxers fighting for world championships, and we're very fortunate to have one our very own boxing clubs working on this with their boxers.

There are those who work their way slowly but surely, going through the process of building up their boxers through the ranks. These boxers usually gain the much-needed exposure at home, then go international to further increase their confidence and test the waters. When ripe and ready, they challenge for a world title which the manager works so hard for, with the help of the big names or promoters of international boxing. But a boxer whose career is made to grow this way can't be guaranteed of a championship just yet. Beneath all these are all the wheeling and dealing that managers have to deal go through on top of the politics that goes with the sport. The downside of all this is that while a boxer works his butt off fight after fight and finally gets his world title shot, all his hard work can be wiped out by "uncontrollable" forces.

When the ALA Boxing Gym called for the presscon to announce the upcoming World Cup, I couldn't help but think about all the work that has been invested in the careers of the ALA Boys. The year 2007 will see three ALA Boys involved in world championship fights, and so far, they're 0-1.

No less than the man they call ALA took the microphone to formally announce that Rey "Boom Boom" Bautista was finally going for a world title as he challenges for Daniel Ponce de Leon's World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight title on August 11 in the United States. Those who have followed Boom Boom's career will surely agree that he's already ripe for a championship. After winning all of his 23 fights, 17 by knock-out, Boom Boom is looking at fight # 24 as his date with destiny. We'll all find out on August 11 if the road map authored and managed by the ALA Gym will bring out a championship. Were his 23 fights good enough to give him the exposure, experience and toughness to win a championship? Was this the right path to take to a world title?

Z Gorres found himself in the same situation before his fight against WBO super flyweight champion Fernando Montiel last February. We all know what happened now, don't we? The irony of it all is that while Gorres was ripe for to win a championship in his 29th fight, there was one factor that he couldn't overcome: the judges. He just didn't do enough to get their nod. In hindsight, Gorres, who thought he was ahead on points going into the last two rounds, should've fought as if he was behind and needed a knock-out to win the match. But that's boxing for you. Just when everything is set for a grand finale, the unexpected happens.

I'm sure this is where Boom Boom's camp has picked up tons of lessons. If they want to win the title, they will have to win by knock-out or at least dominate the fight in a lopsided manner. If the fight goes 12 rounds with neither side having a clear edge, you can bet that De Leon will retain his championship. We'll have to accept the fact that Pinoys still don't have much influence or clout in the WBO. While Cebu boxing is grateful to WBO's Fil-Am connection in Leon Panoncillo for all he has done, his real turf is the Asia-Pacific. In the end, if Boom Boom is to win, he'll just have to take away the elements over which he, ALA , Golden Boy or Freddie Roach don't have control. It's a must that Boom Boom use his fists to decide the outcome of the fight; and not pens of judges or wrong calls of referees.

A pleasant surprise that suddenly came up this week was when Czar Amonsot was offered to fight for Michael Katsidis for the WBO lightweight championship. I believe this is for the interim title as Katsidis is officially a WBO interim champ. At this point, I can't say if Amonsot is as ripe as Boom Boom and Gorres for a shot at a world championship, but then again, this is a rare opportunity for him to step up and prove that he should be up there with the best in the world. Opportunities like these don't come in everyday and I'm sure ALA consulted Amonsot on the matter before accepting the offer. Is Czar ready for a shot at the world title? Did his roller coaster ride of a career toughen him up enough for a championship?

In the end, it will be the boxer himself who will win that championship. The path that was scripted by his manager is just that: a script to be followed. The best road map is that which prepares the boxer to totally dominate all opponents and win convincingly, negating the influence of the elements that are beyond his or his manager's control.


***

Time-out: Happy birthday to Bebot Licuanan! >> You can reach me at bleacchertalk@yahoo.com

Check out Rico's family website at http://navarroofcebu.multiply.com & read Bleacher Talk in http://bleachertalk.blogspot.com


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rico Navarro.


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