Can they deliver?

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Thursday, September 4, 2014


DUBAI – It should be one of the most important wins of the careers of two of ALA Gym’s most promising boxers – Genesis Servania and Arthur Villanueva.

Impressive victories for both unbeaten prospects should answer questions if they are indeed ready for world title fights. A loss means it’s back to drawing board.

“We are putting both fighters on the world stage. This would be their defining moment.

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Hopefully, they come out victorious,” said ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer.

Servania defends his World Boxing Organization (WBO) Inter-Continental super bantamweight strap against dangerous former world title challenger Jose Cabrera in the main event of ALA Promotions international debut event – Pinoy Pride 27 - “Duel in Dubai” tonight at the Dubai World Trade Center in Dubai, UAE.

“For Servania, it will be a world title fight for him next year. But that depends on how he performs. We feel that he is ready and that he has a style to become a world champion. We’re going to see what’s out there for him,” said Aldeguer.

Servania is ranked No. 2 in the WBO, which has Cuban star Guillermo Rigondeaux as the current champion. He is also rated No. 9 in the International Boxing Federation (IBF), which has Kiko Martinez as champion.

Servania was impressive in his last fight against former world champion Alexander Munoz, who he demolished in 11 rounds in March. He wants to do a more impressive job against a younger fighter in the 27-year-old Cabrera.

“I’m very excited. I have trained really hard for this. It is a very big opportunity for me and I want to give my all for all the Filipinos that are here (in Dubai),” said the 23-year-old Servania.

Cabrera, on the other hand, has fought for a world title twice against Omar Narvaes and Daniel Rosas. He has won two of his last three, in which he lost his last outing to former world titleholder Tomas Rojas.

“It’s a big honor for me fighting Genesis,” said Cabrera. “But this could be my night because I have a lot of opportunity and experience”

Servania is 24-0 with 10 knockouts, while Cabrera is 22-4-2 with 10 knockouts. Both tipped the scales within the weight limit of 122 pounds.

Villanueva (25-0, 14 KOs) is gunning for the vacant IBF International super flyweight belt against Nicaraguan up-and-comer Henry Maldonado (19-3, 14 KOs) in the co-main event.

“I have trained hard for this. This a big opportunity for me because I’m very close to a world title shot. I will give them a great fight,” said Villanueva, who is rated No. 2 in the WBO , No. 4 in the IBF and No. 8 in the World Boxing Association.

Villanueva tipped the scales at 114.6 pounds, while Maldonado was overweight at 115.6 pounds.

Maldonado said that he doesn’t want to cut weight anymore but he still tried to lose the extra weight.

“Arthur is strong but I’m here in Dubai to fight and win,” he said.

Fan-favorite Rey “Boom-Boom” Bautista (35-3, 25 KOs) returns to the ring once again as he slugs it out with Mexican prospect Juan Jose Martinez (19-1, 15 KOs) in a 10-round non-title fight.

Bautista, who decided to return after hanging his gloves last year, is back in Dubai to once again showcase his exciting brand of boxing in front of what should be a pro-Filipino crowd.

“I know he is like a bull that always moves forward but I have trained hard for this.

I respect Mexicans but on Friday I will show none,” said the 28-year-old brawler from Candijay, Bohol.

Martinez, like Bautista, is also an exciting boxer who loves to slug.

“Boom-Boom is strong, fast and has a lot of experience but I came here to win. I have a lot of respect for him but this is my time.

In the undercard, Dubai-based Filipino Larry Abarra (2-2-1, 2 KOs) faces off with Thai Chatpayak Nuengkawakawhok (2-7, 1 KO); Kizito Deo (5-0) faces off with fellow Dubai-based Anusher Abdullaev (4-0, 4 KOs); and Mohammad Akram (1-0-1) locks horns with Thai Kong Windy Sports (1-5).

ALA Promotions vice-president Dennis Canete said that 95 percent of the tickets have already been sold.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 05, 2014.

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