Philippines, 17 Jun 2024
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2 ILOILO TEENERS SEEK TO TERRORIZE 'MIDDLE' CLASS


PhilBoxing.com


ILOILO CITY -- The farthest that a Filipino boxer can reach in the professional weight category in the country today is only superwelterweight or junior middleweight (Rey Pelonia is the reigning champion), but two wet-behind-the-ears professional boxing aspirants from Leganes town in Iloilo province, are determined to obligate the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) boxing ratings office to install a regular middleweight division when they get their licenses to trade mitts for a living soon.

Goldween Japitana, 17, of Brgy. Guinubatan, Leganes, and Carl Anthony Sotillo, 18, of Brgy. Camangay, Leganes, both handled by local Muai Thai impresario Arnold Tinagan, have expressed willingness to fight as prizefighters and are only waiting for the GAB extension office in Iloilo to open so they can apply for professional license.

Japitana, standing 5 feet and 11 inches, and Sotillo, 5’9”, both weighing 71 kg or junior middleweight (also light middleweight), have already appeared in more than a dozen local amateur fights “and they are already 100 percent fit and ready to invade the professional rank,” declared Tinagan, a former kickboxing champion, who owns a martial arts club in the second floor of the Robinsons Mall here.

GOLD MEDALIST

Tinagan, whose prot?g?s includes SEA Games gold medalist and 2004 World Cup wushu gold medalist Rene Catalan, predicted that Japitana, son of poor parents, will go far in his professional boxing career.

“Japitana has the attitude and probably the power of (former Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation welterweight champion) Rev Santillan,” said Tinagan who vowed to become an active boxing manager if his wards will show some signs of being world class potentials.

He described Sotillo as “the smaller version of (former heavyweight champion) Sony Liston” because of his muscles and knockout power.

“Both of them are unbeatable in the amateur ranks and they told me they are now willing to follow the footsteps of Manny Pacquiao,” he said.

Japitana and Sotilla said even if they have not yet entered the professional rank, they have already made it a habit to jog every morning from Leganes to Iloilo City (distance of 11 kilometers) and in the afternoon when they go home.

GROWING UP

Tinagan said the two young pugilists may even breach their present weight category as they are still young and growing up.
He cited the case of Pacquiao who started as a flyweight when he turned professional in 1995 as a 16-year-old simonpure. The vendor-turned-millionaire “people’s champion” from General Santos City ballooned to featherweight and is now a junior lightweight at 27.

If Japitan and Sotilla will pass their acid test as six rounders, Tinagan said he will open a big stable of professional boxing here.

But they have to hurdle first their “biggest” test: to look for sponsors for their medical examinations, including their CT scan (to cost from P3,000 to P5,000 each), which are requirements for GAB professional license.



Click here to view a list of other articles written by Alex P. Vidal.


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