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BAUTISTA: I'M READY FOR WORLD TITLE FIGHT


PhilBoxing.com




A confident Rey "Boom Boom" Bautista (21-0, 16KOs) boldly declared he is fit and ready for a world title fight and that the Boholano boxing sensation is looking forward to challenge World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight champion Daniel Ponce de Leon of Mexico next year.

"Yes, I'm ready for a world title fight. I'm ready to fight Ponce de Leon," said the 20-year-old Bautista during a press conference at the Grand Convention Center of Cebu moments after his arrival in Cebu yesterday afternoon.

"I can handle his style and I'm not afraid of him. I just have to train and prepare hard because this is the most important fight of my career," added the ALA Boxing Gym teenage phenomenon.

When asked whether he thinks Bautista is indeed ripe enough and well-equipped for a world title match, Aldeguer replied:"I will answer that after a engthy talk with Bautista and his trainer Edito Villamor. I know Boom Boom very well. My trust in him is beyond question. I know how dedicated he is. Whatever Boom Boom says, I believe it."


Rey "Boom Boom" Bautista (right) responds to a question from ABS-CBN newscaster Dyan Castillejo at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport upon his arrival early this morning. Photo by Dong Secuya.

Bautista is fresh from a dominating performance in his first ring appearance in seven months, peppering Giovanni Andrade with powerful body shots to force the Brazilian champion to surrender before the start of the fourth round last Sunday at St. Pere Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.

After his masterful destruction of Andrade, Bautista said he was told by Golden Boy Promotions president and boxing great Oscar de la Hoya that his next opponent is likely Ponce de Leon as part of their planned "World Cup of Boxing" featuring Philippines vs. Mexico.

International promoter Sammy Gello-ani said the "World Cup of Boxing" is tentatively set on February 25 most probably here in the Queen City of the South.

Gello-ani divulged that part of their initial plan with Golden Boy is to put up three world championship bouts topbilled by the Z Gorres-Fernando Montiel WBO super flyweight showdown. Aside from the Bautista-Ponce de Leon rumble, also being considered in the card is Gerry Pe?alosa, possibly against WBO bantamweight crown-holder Jhonny Gonzalez.

"The initial plan is to hold the World Cup of Boxing tentatively on February 25 next year. Considering the proximity of the fight date, it may possibly be postponed in March because this is a big card and we have to make a lot of negotiations. We will make a formal announcement either a week or two from now," said Gello-ani.

"The World Cup of Boxing must have at least three title fights. The sure thing as of the moment is the Gorres-Montiel bout because we won in the purse bid. The rest are subject to negotiations," added Gello-ani, who was very appreciative of the warm reception accorded to them by Golden Boy executives during their stay in the United States.

Team ALA legal counsel and Tagbilaran City Mayor Dan Neri Lim, for his part, said he will take the initiative in negotiating with the top government officials of Cebu for the mammoth card to be staged here either at the South Reclamation Project or at the newly-built Cebu International Convention Center.

The other world title contenders who are being eyed to be inserted in the multi-million "World Cup of Boxing" card include Diosdado Gabi, Jimrex Jaca, Rodel Mayol and Eriberto Gejon.

Top phonto caption: Rey Bautista was mobbed by the crowd and reporters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport upon his arrival early this morning. Photo by Dong Secuya.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Emmanuel B. Villaruel.


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