In one of the biggest Filipino boxing related news stories ever, promotional giant ALA Boxing have announced that they are closing as a promotional company and boxing gym, with the shutters being pulled on ALA Promotions and ALA Gym after 35 years.
In recent times ALA boxing had faltered somewhat and the last few years have been frustrating ones for Filipino fans, who have failed to see prospects kick on and have sat watching Donnie Nietes (42-1-5, 23) waste what could have been the final years of his career. The stable had also seen fighters like Mark Magsayo (20-0, 14)leave in the pursuit of opportunities that ALA were unable to deliver and had seen it's big hopes falling short on their way up.
Whilst it had faltered the assumption was that it would rebuild, come back and be strong once again. Those hopes were dashed earlier this year with a combination of the current global situation as well as things closer to home, with ABS-CBN being forced to close due to political reasons.
The gym have released a statement regarding the closure, which can be read below, which includes thanking the support of fighters, staff, fans, media, sponsors and boxing organisations.
We want to say thank you to ALA for all the great memories and time they have brought us over the years. This is a huge loss for Filipino boxing, even with the recent down turn in success that ALA have had. They have been integral to the success of Filipino boxing for decades and them bowing out will leave a huge hole in the sport in the country, that may take years to fill.
The one positive, if we can say that, is that ALA have released all their fighters who are now free agents and able to sign with any other promoters. This means the likes of KJ Cataraja (11-0 9), Go Hosaka (4-0, 3), Albert Pagara (32-1, 23), Melvin Jerusalem (15-2, 9), Esneth Domingo (13-1, 7)and even Donnie Nietes, if he does return to the ring, have no issues standing in their way when it comes to signing with a new promotional outfit. Fingers crossed that those fighters do get opportunities sooner rather than later and other promoters do pick them up, as there really is some incredible free agents no on the market.
With boxing's return to the Philippines still uncertain this really is dreadful news for fighters, fans, and everyone concerned with the Filipino boxing scene.
We've been informed that the upcoming ALA show "Pinoy Pride 27: Duel in Dubai" has been pushed back by a week.
Originally the card was scheduled for August 29th though due to extra interest from sponsors ALA have pushed the show back by a week and it will now take place on September 5th. This gives the sponsors extra time to secure deals for the show and also gives the fighters and extra week to finish off their training and preparation for some very interesting looking contests.
The show, which will be headlined by the unbeaten Genesis Servania (24-0, 10) is expected to kick start ALA's international events with another expected in the US at the end of the year. If these go ahead without without issue then we may well see ALA becoming a major international player.
Earlier today we were informed of the 3 headline bouts for the upcoming "Pinoy Pride 27: Duel in Dubai" card.
The show, ALA's international debut, will take place on August 29th at the Dubai International Convention Center and will be headlined by the sensational Genesis Servania (24-0, 10). Servania, one of the most promising fighters in the Philippines, will be defending his WBO Inter-continental Super Bantamweight in a battle against former world title challenger Jose Cabrera (22-4-2, 10). Cabrera, for those who have a good memory, lost in a WBO Super Flyweight title fight to Omar Andres Narvaez back in 2012 but has filled into a Super Bantamweight for recent bouts.
The co-feature will feature another unbeaten ALA fighter as "King" Arthur Villanueva (25-0, 14) takes on Nicaragua's heavy handed Henry Maldonado (19-3-0-1, 14). We believe this bout will be for the IBF International Super Flyweight title and it promises to be a tough bout for Villanueva who was pushed all the way in his recent bout with Fernando Aguilar. Interestingly Maldonado stopped Aguilar in 6 rounds just a few short weeks ago and he is dangerous.
The chief support bout will be another interesting looking contest as the popular Rey Bautista (35-3, 25) battles Mexican slugger Juan Jose Martinez (19-1, 15). This bout has the ingredients, at least on paper, to be a show stealer and we're hoping that it lives up to that expectation.
Other bouts for the show have yet to be announced but so far this card is looking very good with about 5 weeks left to announce the rest of the card.
(Image courtesy of ALA boxing)
Details on the ALA boxing US debut are scarce but the rumours about the show seem never ending.
We know that ALA will be making their US debut in November with November 8th the likely date and it will be at the Stub Hub Centre in Carson, California. We also believe that WBO Light Flyweight champion Donnie Nietes (33-1-4, 19) will be defending his world title on the show, likely against a Mexico opponent.
Whilst Nietes has been all but confirmed for the show we have been hearing a lot of rumours about other fighters on the show. The most interesting of these rumours is that we will see Nonito Donaire (33-2, 21) in the co-main event defending his WBA Featherweight title, possibly against the unbeaten and monster punching Nicholas Walters (24-0, 20).
Other rumours have suggested Jason Pagara (34-2, 21) and Albert Pagara (21-0, 15) could also be on the card with those two men likely to travel to the US soon for some solid level of sparring.
From what we seem to gather the show will be a great showcase of Filipino talent and hopefully it will get the televised exposure that it deserves as a lot of very good Filipino fighters seem to be getting over looked by boxing fans who seem to think that Filipino boxing starts with Manny Pacquiao and ends with Nonito Donaire.
We hope to bring you more details on this show as they become available though for now we think the focus will be on the ALA Dubai show in late August which will see the organisation promoting their first international show. Hopefully lessons from that can be used to give American fans a better show than the Dubai card.
(Image courtesy of ALA Boxing)
Filipino promotional powerhouse ALA have announced three of the fighters who will appear on their upcoming Dubai show on August 29th.
The main event will feature the extremely popular and fun to watch Rey "Boom Boom" Bautista (35-3, 25) who we expect to see fighting in a 12 round contest. Alongside Bautista will be the unbeaten pairing of Genesis Servania (24-0, 10) and Arthur Villanueva (25-0, 14), who will both be expected to fight in either 10 or 12 round contests.
Although none of the three men have yet had their opponents named it would seem likely they will all be trying to impress in what will be the first ALA show to be fought outside of the Philippines. This could mean that all three face hand picked opponents to make them look good, or they could be matched with skilled opponents to try and move them all towards world title fights. Our guess is only of the 3 will be in a competitive match up though hopefully they will all be moved on next year.
This show, which will be at the Dubai World Trade Center, is the first of two international shows that ALA have planned for this year with the company putting together a November card for the US at the Stub Hub Centre in California. Hopefully shows like these coming ones will help give Filipino boxers some major international exposure and prove there is more to Filipino boxing than just Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire.
(Image courtesy of ALA Gym)
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