By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Former two-division world champ turned promoter Gerry Peñalosa is in the final stages of preparation for his nationwide grassroots boxing talent search in the Philippines. Last March, Peñalosa, who heads Gerrypens Promotions, held tryouts for his professional boxing tournament that will feature boxers in the flyweight and bantamweight division.
The trials were held in Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao. Peñalosa said that ESPN 5 will be showing the fights here in the Philippines. He also stated that boxing icon Manny Pacquiao was involved in the screening of the boxers, who were taped during the tryouts.
The ULTIMATE BOXING SERIES “Kamaong Pinoy” tournament is a welcome development here in the Philippines where boxing maintains its popularity among fans buts lags behind in terms of sponsorships and television exposure.
The match-ups for the first bouts will be drawn by lots and has yet to be finalized. But, a couple of days ago, Gerrypens Promotions released the list of boxers who made the cut for the tournament. The flyweights are Abril Jay Abne, Christoval Furog, Ruben Dadivas, Ronel dela Cruz, Denmark Quibido, Ronel Sumalpong, Welben Montere, Joseph Bayubay, Ian Refuela, and Rey Tagulaylay. The bantamweights are Rimon Rama, Lenjun Retuerto, Dave Barlas, Lienard Sarcon, Aljum Pelesio, Ken Jordan, John Mark Tihuk, Gary Tamayo, Luis Evander Borje and Kevin Aseniero. The fights are set for six rounds with the finals penned for eight rounds.
When he was an active fighter, Peñalosa dethroned WBC super flyweight champion Hiroshi Kawashima of Japan by split decision in Tokyo in 1997. He lost his title after three defenses. Then at 36 years old, against all odds in 2007, Peñalosa won his second world title, the WBO bantamweight crown, by knocking out Mexican Jhonny Gonzalez with a body punch in 2007 in Sacramento.
Peñalosa retired in 2010 with a record of 55-8-2,37KO’s. Boxrec lists twenty four events to his name as a promoter.
Photo – Gerry Peñalosa (left) with the boxers who attended the tryouts in Cebu last March.
Former IBF Flyweight champion Rolando Bohol, pictured, is at the centre of a storm in the Philippines after doubting current Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao.
Bohol, who was questioned about the upcoming rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley predicted a victory for the unbeaten American ahead of his compatriot. Bohol, merely giving his opinion on the fighters, their skills and ability was unfortunately met by a backlash from fans who have questioned everything about Bohol.
Fans, who are hugely protective of Pacquiao, appear to have taken what Bohol has said as an insult towards their man rather than accepting it as just his opinion which is a real shame. Thankfully though it appears that others in the boxing community can see Bohol's comments for what they are. Amongst those accepting what Bohol said is Gerry Penalosa who has suggested that Bohol was trying to further light the fight in Pacquiao and was attempting to give creative criticism rather than actually take a swipe as the punching politician.
We hope that whatever happens fans will begin to accept that Bohol wasn't trying to slur Pacquiao's name or skills and were merely talking about the fighters and their merits. If Pacquiao does beat Bradley then we're sure Bohol will be just as ready as anyone else to congratulate Pacquiao on a job well done.
(Picture courtesy of boxrec.com)
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