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Bleacher Talk
INVASION: PROMDI POWER



PhilBoxing.com


It?s supposed to be an invasion of some type, or at least that?s what the card is called. With five different countries represented to take on the Philippines, it looks like an attack from all fronts.

While that aspect of the ?invasion? is impressive and valid, I?d also like to take a look at another side of the invasion angle. Today?s boxing card also features an internal or regional type of invasion. It?s Cebu and the rest of the Vismin invading the big city Manila in boxing. It?s not exactly anything new, but the development of boxing over the past decade (or two) has seen the Vismin boxing grow more than that of Manila, and we?re now seeing the fruits of all this.

If you check out the line-up of Pinoy boxers who?ll climb up the ring at the Araneta Coliseum today, you?ll notice that all boxers are products of Cebu and the Vismin. As a footnote, even we in Cebu must acknowledge that we don?t have a monopoly on boxing even if we?re now viewed as the sports? hotbed in the Philippines. Yes, the probinsyanos are now the main event?s featured talents in a boxing card being held at the Araneta Coliseum, acknowledged as the country?s most prestigious venue for sports and entertainment. If one has played or is featured at an Araneta event, then he or she must be someone along the same lines as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Flash Elorde.

So who are being featured today? For starters, Gerry Pe?alosa, who defends his WBO bantamweight championship in the main event around noon today against Ratanachai Sor Vorapin of Thailand, is from San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. He?s a product of Cebu Boxing where he learned the ropes at the ALA Gym and fought under Wakee Salud?s pro stable where he won his first world title, the WBC super flyweight championship.

Rey ?Boom Boom? Bautista, Ciso Morales and AJ ?Bazooka? Banal trace their roots to Bohol. Boom Boom (Candijay) and Morales (Talibon) grew up in Bohol while Banal?s parents are from Corella. Banal took up boxing while he grew up in Ermita, Cebu City. The other featured Pinoy boxers include Michael Domingo (Sultan Kudarat) and Bert Batawang (Cebu). Along with all these boxers are their respective managers, trainers and seconds who are also creating their little noise and building their stock over their counterparts in Manila.

There were many times in the past when we Cebuanos were always awed at the sight of Manila people visiting us for big events in sports. Don?t look now, but it looks like we?re giving Manila a dose of its own medicine, aren?t we? We?re seeing a promdi invasion of Manila in an event where none of the stars can be called Manila-produced. Isn?t it ironic that Manila now has to rely on promdis to serve as their entertainment ?needs?? Pardon us for bringing this ?small town? and regional outlook, but it?s really something we promdis should be proud of. Gone are the days when promdi talents were limited to the showbiz world where Pilita, Dulce and other wowed the Philippines even with their thick Cebuano accents.

And it doesn?t stop there. Also joining the boxers are boxing officials from Cebu who will serve as judges in the WBO and IBF sanctioned fights. Jonny Davis and Salven Lagumbay are in Manila as official judges of the WBO and IBF. This is another first for us from Cebu. We?ve always been used to having Manila-based judges and referees calling the shots of the big fights. But today, we?re proud and happy to say that the GAB head office has accepted this little invasion of Cebu-based boxing officials who are just as competent (or even better) than the big city boys (walang personalan).

And yes there?s more. Making his presence felt not only in Manila but all over the world is Dong Secuya, the founder of the philboxing.com, the country?s leading boxing website. We also have members of the Sportswriters Association of Cebu (SAC) joining their more ?popular? colleagues of the big national dailies.

Impressed? You should be. And you should also be proud of your fellow Cebuanos and Vismin folks who are invading Manila boxing, no Philippine boxing. And we can guarantee you that this isn?t the end of the road. Cebu and Vismin?s next target: the world!

--

Time-out: The Best Center basketball clinic for Cebu will be held May 5-10 at the Sacred Heart School-Jesuit gym along Mango Ave. For more details, you can call 516-9036 or email to bleachertalk@yahoo.com.


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


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