Thrilla in Davao

AMBITIOUS. Red Boxing International, Inc. chairman Rey Rodis, right, and Global Boxing Organization chairman Fred Lumba, guests during yesterday's Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum at The Annex of SM City Davao, will bring an ambitious boxing event here dubbed as Thrilla in Davao slated June 15. (Marianne L. Saberon-Abalayan)

LOS Angeles-based Red Boxing International, Inc. will bring to Davao City the “Thrilla in Davao| pitting Ronald "The American Dream" Johnson of the USA agaist Saul "Farah" Becerra of Bolivia in the main event on June 15 at The Enderun Tent, Azuela Cove in Lanang.

Johnson (15-1-0), who won the World Boxing Council USNBC Light Heavyweight title in 2009, will clash against Becerra (69-23-3) for the vacant GBO heavyweight championship title.

GBO chairman Fred Lumba, during yesterday's Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum at The Annex of SM City Davao, said, "By following a sequel to the historic and classic 1975 Thrilla in Manila, Rey Rodis, in his heart, wants to transform and create Davao City into a sports tourism destination."

He also said it is the right time for Davaao City to assert itself not to be in the shadows of imperial Manila.

He also said that the idea that just cropped up since all roads now lead to Davao City. "We are seizing the moment. This is the city where the President resides. We can test the promotion," he added.

Red Boxing International, Inc. chairman Rey Rodis said he and his son handle the US-based boxing promotion that holds regular monthly boxing tournament in California for the past three years now.

The promotion aims for Filipino boxers to be given a better chance to fight for world titles.

The Red Boxing Gym, he said, conducts different training and coaching style technique.

"Maglilibot tayo, titingnan natin kung makaka-discover tayo ng boxers with potential to train and figth in the US," Rodis added.

Meanwhile, the supporting main events feature the 12-round, 118-pound bout between Philippines' Roy Nagulman and Indonesia's Jufri Kakahure; the 12-round GBO Asia -Pacific Bantamweight championship fight between KJ Natuplag of the Philippines and Rey Kundimang of Indonesia; and eight-round GBO Asia-Pacific Junior Lightweight championship fight between Davao City's Orlie Selvestre and Bukidnon's Cristobal Turog.

Rodis, however, said it's been a sacrifice not to be able to raise the needed budget to cover the expenses.

The upcoming event is the first stage of the Asia-Pacific caravan designed for potential boxing champions to gain global recognition and also to be given opportunity to fight for world titles.


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