Pinoy Pride XXI set on July 13

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013


THE venue and the date of Pinoy Pride XXI have been finalized. Instead of July 6, the blockbuster boxing event has been pushed to July 13 at the Solaire Hotel and Casino in Parañaque, Metro Manila.

“We have finalized with Solaire and the date will be July 13 and not 6,” ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told Sun.Star Cebu. “We felt the later date would be better.”

Pinoy Pride XXI is headlined by World Boxing Organization (WBO) mini-flyweight champion Merlito Sabillo’s (21-0, 11 KOs) first title defense. He is defending his crown against world-rated Colombian Jorle Estrada (16-6, 5 KOs).

The 29-year-old Sabillo, a late bloomer in the brutal sport of boxing, captured the interim WBO 105-pound title following an impressive 11th round technical knockout over promising Colombian prospect Luis de la Rosa last March in Colombia.

Sabillo was later declared the regular champion after Moises Fuentes relinquished the crown to campaign at light flyweight.

He is one of the three current world champions from the Philippines along with WBO light flyweight king Donnie Nietes and International Boxing Federation light flyweight titlist Johnriel Casimero, who are all based in Cebu City.

The 24-year-old Estrada fought for regional and youth titles, but hasn’t found his luck. This will be his biggest fight to date, but he had some experience against world class opponents, such as Pedro Guevara, Carlos Buitrago, Carlos Velarde, Walter Tello and Mauricio Fuentes.

Unbeaten Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) super flyweight titleholder Arthur Villanueva (21-0, 11 KOs) attempts to add another belt as he guns for the vacant WBO Asia-Pacific super flyweight crown against former world title challenger Arturo Badillo (21-4, 19 KOs).

Villanueva, who is off a one-sided unanimous decision over Marco Demecillo, will have his hands full against Badillo because the 26-year-old Mexican is a former regional champion and has fought for a world title. Badillo challenged then World Boxing Association super flyweight champion Hugo Fidel Cazares and got knocked out in the third round in 2011.

Two-time world title challenger AJ “Bazooka” Banal (28-2-1, 20 KOs) makes his return to the ring after a long layoff in a non-title bout against Mexican Ramon Maas (26-3, 15 KOs).

Banal hasn’t fought since suffering his second career defeat after a ninth round knockout in the hands of Pungluang Sor Singyu in their WBO bantamweight title tiff last October in Manila.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 05, 2013.

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