CEBU

Omega hopes to restart Cebu boxing

OMEGA’S FIRST. Omega Pro Sports International says it will conduct Covid-19 tests on all those who will be invovled in its planned boxing event, the first in the country since the pandemic started. SUNSTAR FILE

OMEGA Pro Sports International (OPSI) hopes to end the boxing lull in the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic by hosting a closed-door boxing event in the next few months.

“It’s all still tentative. We’re fixing everything so that it will be ready as soon as GAB (Games and Amusements Board) approves it,” Omega Boxing Gym head coach Jinggoy Junco told SunStar Cebu.

OPSI is planning to host an eight-bout event inside its gym without an audience and with strict protocols on wearing masks, disinfection and social distancing.

Fighters will also be tested for the Covid-19 virus before getting the go signal by GAB.

“The expenses will be huge for the promoter because GAB is requiring PCR test (swab test) to be able to promote. It’s very expensive because the government won’t shoulder it. We are trying to figure out how to lessen the expenses. We will do our best to bring back boxing in Cebu,” said Junco.

OPSI is targeting the last week of July to September.

“The target is September, but it still depends on the situation. It could be earlier or later,” said Junco.

The planned event will be headlined by unbeaten 24-yearold prospect Mark Vicelles (11-0, 15 KOs) against a yet-to-be determined opponent.

The co-main event will be a fan-friendly fight between Naoya Inoue sparring partner Pete Apolinar (11-1, 8 KOs) and veteran slugger Marco Demecillo (24-9-1, 19 KOs).

Also seeing action in the undercard are Omega Boxing Gym pugs Tomjune Mangubat (11-21, 9 KOs), International Boxing Federation (IBF) No. 9 rated light flyweight Christian Araneta (17-1, 14 KOs), Ponciano Remandiman (10-5-1, 5 KOs), Carlo Bacaro (5

0, 4 KOs) and Mark Magsayo’s 18-year-old cousin Benny Magsayo Cañete.

According to Junco, the event will most likely have TV coverage or might even be streamed live on the internet.

Cebu City last hosted a boxing event on Feb. 8, 2020 just before the Covid-19 pandemic. It was a six-fight boxing show headlined by Criztian Pitt Laurente vs. Boyce Sultan at the Brgy. Apas Sports Complex. / EKA


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