ALA’s grand finale-A A +A
Monday, October 14, 2013
ALA Promotions will stage a world-class boxing event next month that could one of the biggest shows in recent years.
“We thought of bringing a mega event with all the names of top fighters in one card.
This is the biggest event in the past two to three years,” ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said yesterday at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino, announcing Pinoy Pride 23 – “Filipinos Kontra Latinos”.
The boxing show features back-to-back world title defenses of World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight titlist Donnie Nietes and WBO mini-flyweight champion Merlito Sabillo on Nov. 30 at the historic Araneta Coliseum - the same venue of the epic “Thrilla in Manila” event.
The undercard is also stacked with local stars that could well be main event fighters – former world title challenger Milan Melindo, AJ Banal and Jason Pagara.
Sabillo is slated to defend his crown against mandatory challenger Carlos Buitrago, while Nietes’ opponent is yet to be finalized.
“The contract will be signed within the week. It will be a defining moment for Merlito. It is a fight between two unbeaten fighters,” said Aldeguer.
“He is a great boxer,” said Sabillo. “He knows how to fight. I will do my best to win this fight.”
Melindo is fighting for a regional crown, while Banal and Pagara have non-title fights.
“This what Philippine boxing can become in the next 10 years. This is the biggest budget that we put up with our top fighters in one card. It is the right time to announce to the world that the Philippines has arrived,” said Aldeguer.
The last time that the Philippines hosted a double world title event was in 2009 also at the Araneta Coliseum. Brian Viloria fought Ulises Solis for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) light flyweight belt, while Nonito Donaire Jr. defended his IBF flyweight strap against Raul Martinez.
Top tier boxing shows are usually held in Las Vegas, the “Mecca of boxing”, but ALA Promotions, hopes to change that notion.
“This is our last event of the year and we want to make it the biggest ever. This will show that the Philippines could be a boxing powerhouse in the next 10 years.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 15, 2013.