Will age matter?

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Thursday, February 27, 2014


PARAÑAQUE—BOXING is a young man's sport mainly because boxers only have a short shelf life compared to athletes in other sports. Because of the brutality of the sweet science, boxers usually are just shells of their usual selves when they reach their mid 30s.

At age 35 and coming out of retirement, Alexander Munoz wants to prove that he is one of the exemption, by beating promising unbeaten prospect Genesis Servania tomorrow night at the posh Solaire Resort and Casino.

“I believe I have the experience and I trained really hard,” said Munoz in the final presser of Pinoy Pride - “The Future is Now.” “Manny Pacquiao is 35, Juan Manuel Marquez is 40, Bernard Hopkins is 48, Floyd Mayweather just turned 37. Those are my inspirations. I still got what it takes but I just got a little sidetracked.”

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Munoz last saw action on May 4 last year in Las Vegas and suffered the first stoppage loss of his career, a fifth round technical knockout in the hands of current world champion Leo Santa Cruz.

Munoz pondered on permanently hanging up his gloves after that fight and started a small business in Venezuela. However, the warrior in him was still boiling deep inside.

“I was going to retire and went into business. But late last year the opportunity to fight and come back came. I felt that I still had a good chance.”

Servania, who is defending his WBO Inter-Continental super bantamweight crown, is currently one of the brightest prospects in the Philippines. He is rated No. 3 in the
WBO, which Muñoz could use as a stepping stone for another run at a world title.

“I can't pick a round. I have two strong hands, a left and a right. A knockout will just come,” said Munoz.

Servania has high regard for Munoz because the tough Venezuelan is a two-time World Boxing Association super flyweight champion and has faced some of the best of his division. However, the 22-year-old is confident that he will beat his older but more experienced foe.

“When I'll go up in the ring I’ll think of a win. I did everything in training. I won't predict a round because he is a two-time world champion,” said Servania, who sparred with world champion Scott Quigg in the US. For this fight.

Servania is 23-0 with nine knockouts, while Munoz is 36-5 with 28 knockouts.

Unbeaten youngster Albert Pagara (18-0, 12 KOs) takes on former WBO Asia-Pacific super flyweight titleholder Isack Junior (22-4-2, 8KOs) in a 10-rounder.

The Pagara vs. Junior fight was elevated as the main supporting bout after Arthur Villanueva's opponent, former world title challenger Juan Hernandez pulled out due to a motorcycle accident.

Villanueva (24-0, 14 KOs), who was supposed to defend his WBO International super flyweight belt, is instead fighting a 10-round fight with unheralded Mexican Fernando Aguilar (9-6, 1 KO).

In the undercard, Mark Magsayo (4-0, 3 KOs) trades leathers with battle-scarred Roy-Roy Sumugat (9-9-1, 3 KOs); Melvin Gumban (15-0, 7 KOs) takes on Dino Lelis (10-11-2, 5 KOs); former amateur standout Vic Saludar (2-1, 2 KOs) slugs it out with unbeaten Philip Luis Cuerdo (3-0, 1 KOs); and Cuban Reymi Castellano Aleye (3-0, 1 KO) is up against Diover Mangaya-ay (1-3-1) in the the night's curtain-raiser.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 28, 2014.

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