Long, winding road-A A +A
Thursday, November 1, 2012
JOHN Mark Apolinario’s road to his world title shot was long and arduous. He had to endure a long wait after two fight cancellations and had to travel for 27 hours just days before his interim World Boxing Association (WBA) bantamweight bout with former world champion Roberto Vazquez on Nov. 3 in Argentina.
Despite the hurdle, Apolinario’s handler, Sammy Gello-ani, is looking at the positive side of the situation.
“John Mark Apolinarios' advantage coming into this fight is his preparation, but the disadvantage is that he needs to fly for at least 27 hours just to get to the venue of the fight. But it will be sweeter to be a champion, when he gets the title the hard way, just like what happened to (Johnriel) Casimero,” Gello-ani told Sun.Star Cebu.
The 22-year-old Apolinario was supposed to challenge for the same interim crown last March 31 against then interim titleholder Hugo Ruiz. However, because of the delay in the release of his US visa, he was forced to give up the fight and was replaced by Mexican Yonfez Parejo, whom Ruiz knocked out. Apolinario’s next fight was supposed to be in Las Vegas last Sept. 7, but because the event was cancelled, he was left without a fight yet again.
After almost a year of layoff, Apolinario, 17-2-1 with four knockouts, finally has the chance to prove himself in the world stage.
“Although this is his first schedule outside of the country, he is motivated with the opportunity given to him,” said Gello-ani.
Apolinario last fought on Dec. 23, when he won a second-round stoppage over unheralded Menard Zaragoza. The Sarangani native has won five of his last six fights. His last loss was a seventh round technical knockout by journeyman Marvin Tampus in 2009.
Vazquez, 32-5 with 22 knockouts, has already been to the top and is a former WBA light flyweight and interim flyweight champion. The 29-year-old Panamanian has fought some elite names like Takefumi Sakata and Hugo Fidel Cazares. He has won five of his last six outings. EKA
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 01, 2012.