Saturday, February 16, 2019

‘Future of boxing’

TIME is running out for the best Filipino boxers with most of them in their early and mid 30s. With just a few more years left with Filipino superstars like Manny Pacquiao, Brian Viloria and Nonito Donaire Jr., the country needs young talent to fill in the huge shoes that they will leave if they finally decide to call it a career.

Two prospects who could possibly fill the huge void are unbeaten boxers Genesis Servania and Arthur Villanueva and both are seeing action on March 1 at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Parañaque City in what could be the defining moments of their careers.

“It will be a make-or-break fight for Genesis,” ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said yesterday in the official launching of Pinoy Pride XXIV – “The Future is Now” at the Copenhagen Hotel and Residences yesterday. “This is a defining moment for Servania, if he is ready for a world title or not.”

Servania is defending his World Boxing Organization (WBO) Inter-Continental super bantamweight belt against former World Boxing Association (WBA) super flyweight king Alexander Muñoz in the main event.

The co-main event features Villanueva also defending his WBO International super flyweight title against former world title contender and currently world-rated Juan Hernandez.

“We are giving Villanueva the test that he needs. This is the start of the future of Philippine boxing,” said Aldeguer.

After a month of training in the US and Mexico, where in he has sparred with the likes of current WBA super bantamweight titlist Scott Quigg, the 22-year-old Servania believes that the short stint there was a confidence booster.

“My training in the US was a huge help. I had quality sparring and it helped me gain more confidence,” said Servania. “I’m not saying I will knock him out but I promise a great fight.”

Servania is 23-0 with nine knockouts. He is coming off one of his nastiest knockout victories, a second round stoppage of former world champion Rafael Concepcion last October.

Villanueva is 24-0 with 14 knockouts, while the 26-year-old Hernandez is 23-3 with 16 knockouts.

“If he fights bell-to-bell with me then someone will get knocked out. I believe he won’t do that. He knows how to adjust. I will adjust to his style because I have prepared hard for this fight,” said Villanueva.

Meanwhile, after a two-month lull, ALA Promotions has lined up five events for the Pinoy Pride boxing series, which includes two shows outside the country.

After the March 1 event, ALA will hold another event in Davao City that will be headlined by Jason Pagara on April 5.

One of the biggest rematches of the year will be on May 3 at the Mall of Asia Arena, with World Boxing Organization light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes defending his belt against interim champion Moises Fuentes. Their previous encounter ended in draw.

On June 20, ALA Promotions will have its first Pinoy Pride event outside of the country in Dubai.

The first US Pinoy Pride event will be on July 5 in San Diego, California.

“We worked hard for this. This was our vision years ago. This is the start of something we wanted for years,” said Aldeguer.
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