By Rene Bonsubre,Jr.
CEBU,PHILIPPINES- Boxing made a successful return in the island of Cebu with the first fight card held since the month of March. The entire country has endured various levels of quarantine due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Unbeaten prospect Mark Vicelles (12-0-1,6KO’s) of the Omega Boxing Gym closed the show with a fourth round knockout of Junuel Lacar (8-6-3,6KO’s). Vicelles used quick one-two combinations to knock Lacar down in rounds two and three. Lacar still tried to make a fight out of it but was decked again in round four.
Referee Angelito Piquero reached the count of ten at the 1:47 mark with Lacar still on all fours.
Vicelles won a WBA Asia South light flyweight title last year by majority decision against former world-ranked Jessie Espinas. Lacar actually fought Hiroto Kyoguchi, the current WBA super light flyweight champion in Kyoguchi’s fifth pro bout. Lacar was stopped in three rounds.
Peter Apolinar (12-1,8KO’s) got a hard fought unanimous verdict against Jetro Pabustan (30-8-6,9KO’s) in a competitive struggle. The judges scores- Edward Ligas and Rolando Mendoza – 98-92, Angelito Piquero-96-94.
Christian Araneta scored two knockdowns against Richard Rosales but couldn’t finish him off and had to settle for a ten round unanimous decision. After an opening round of feinting and probing, it was bombs away for Araneta, who landed at will and dropped Rosales in rounds five and six.
But Araneta’s work rate dropped as he coasted to a wide victory. Scores- Edward Ligas – 100-88, Rolando Mendoza and Angelito Piquero-99-89.
Araneta is now 18-1,14KO’s while Rosales drops to 14-13-2,8KO’s. Araneta has not seen action since September of last year when he lost to Daniel Valladares in Mexico.
Carlo Bacaro (6-0,5KO’s) beat up Jeffrey Stella (4-10-3,4KO’S) who decided not to answer the bell for round five.
The card was promoted by Omega Sports Promotions and sanctioned by the
Games and Amusements Board (GAB). Covid-19 testing was done on all boxers and officials. Strict health and safety protocols were in place in the closed door event held at the IPI Compound in Mandaue City.
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
CEBU,PHILIPPINES- After seven months of enduring various levels of community quarantine due to the Covid-19 pandemic, boxing will make a comeback in the island of Cebu. The card is presented by Omega Sports Promotions and will feature world ranked light flyweight Christian Araneta who will be pitted against Richard Rosales.
Araneta (17-1,14KO’s) has not seen action since September of last year when he lost to Daniel Valladares in Mexico, a fight where he had a recurrence of his shoulder injury that sidelined him for the most part of 2017. He is number nine in the IBF rankings for the 108lb division. Rosales (14-12-2,8KO’s) is a journeyman who has fought in Indonesia, Thailand and Japan. He will have his work cut out for him having lost his last three bouts. They are scheduled for ten rounds.
Another Omega Gym boxer Mark Vicelles (11-0-1,5KO’s) , who captured a WBA Asia South light flyweight title last year, will face Junuel Lacar (8-5-3,6KO’s). Rounding up the card are Peter Apolinar vs Jetro Pabustan and Carlo Bacaro vs Jeffrey Stella. Health protocols are already initiated and will be in place.
The October 7 fights will be held behind closed doors at the IPI Complex in Mandaue City. Only the boxers, trainers and officials who are tested for Covid-19 will be allowed inside.
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.
It's hard to believe just how much the on going global situation has really affected every part of the globe. Today it's July 8th 2020, tomorrow it would be exactly 4 months since the last boxing card in the Philippines. The sport has essentially been on a hiatus in the country for a 1/3 of the year so far.
Thankfully there now appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel with an Elorde card pencilled in for July 31st at The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex, in Paranaque City.
The card hasn't yet been fully announced, but it seems like the main event will be a WBC regional title bout, pitting Alvin Medura (9-5, 7) against under-rated veteran Edison Berwela (18-44-8, 6). On paper this may seem a mismatch, but Berwela is well known in Asian boxing circles as having one of the sports most misleading records.
It's amazing to think that boxing hasn't been in a Filipino ring for so long, and we are certainly looking forward to seeing the sport return, right across Asia in the coming weeks.
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