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(Photo from Philippine Star)

 

MANILA — Now back as reigning world champion, Filipino American Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. of the San Francisco Bay Area and the Philippines is readying to defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight belt.


It was gathered that Donaire may fight again in April next year, the same month world boxing icon Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao is expected to return to the boxing arena one year after he lost to American champion, now retired, Floyd Mayweather Jr.


Donaire won the title after winning over Mexican Cesar Juarez in Puerto Rico. He now has a 36-3 record with 23 knockouts.


Only Donaire and Donnie "Ahas" Nietes are the reigning Filipino world champions in boxing at present.


Donaire, who was edged out by fellow FilAm Brian Viloria for an Olympic slot for the United States team years ago, is vacationing in the Philippines with his wife Rachel and their two sons Jarel and Jarel Logan.


He said he will pursue bigger fights for his fans and for his countrymen, adding he could fight in the Philippines if supported by his promoters. 


Donaire, who has reconciled with his father Nonito Donaire Sr. who is back as his personal trainer, joined the ABS-CBN thanksgiving breakfast hosted by Chairman Gabby Lopez III, new president and CEO Carlo Katigbak and ABS-CBN Sports head Dino Laurena.

 

Donaire did not rule out a rematch with Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux adding, “now that I have this (WBO Superbantamweight belt), we can definitely work something out. But I’m not ruling out other fights.”

 

“We’re really happy for Jun and continue to wish him the best in all his endeavors and future fights. ABS-CBN Sports will always support the Filipino Flash and air his fights for the Filipinos to see,” said ABS-CBN Sports head Dino Laurena.


Prior to defeating Juarez, Donaire was knocked out by Nicholas Walters last year and was thus considered "done" by boxing experts.and could no longer bounce back.


But after two confidence booster fights in March and July respectively, Donaire was back into the world championship stage this December with a win over hard-hitting, world rated Cesar Juarez of Mexico. Donaire was clearly ahead in the early going, even dropping the game Juarez twice in the fourth round. But after hurting his left foot along the bout, Donaire's boxing and movement were reduced significantly, forcing him to let go of the game plan and instead get into a slugfest with Juarez.


Boxing analyst JM Siasat wrote that Donaire dug deep, fought hard and motivated even while looking exhausted in the championship rounds. Donaire's fighting heart carried him to the final bell as he defeated Juarez by unanimous decision to bag the vacant WBO world super bantamweight title.

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GENERAL SANTOS CITY ― Vice President Jejomar C. Binay led the guests during the thanksgiving service for the 37th birthday of Sarangani Representative and United Nationalist Alliance senatorial bet Manny Pacquiao at the KCC Convention Center in General Santos City.

 

The Vice President said that he was inspired by Pacquiao's devotion to God and his compassion for the poor.

 

UNA vice presidential candidate Sen. Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan and senatorial candidates also greeted Pacquiao during the celebration. 

 

"Naniniwala po kami na ang mga mahihirap ang siyang kakalinga sa taong galing sa mahirap. Kaya naman tayong mga lider tulungan natin at suportahan si VP Binay," the Sarangani representative told the audience, which included board members and mayors from his home province.

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(Photo from politics.com.ph)

 

GENERAL SANTOS CTY – World boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao became emotional when he celebrated his 37th birthday in General Santos City.

 

This as he delayed his choice of who he will face in what he said will be his last fight for April 9, 2016. He vowed to retire after the fight to devote his time to government work as he is a candidate for senator and according to surveys could be a sure winner in the May 9, 2016 elections.

 

Meanwhile, Pacquiao became the second biggest individual taxpayer in the country with more than P200 million in taxes paid for 2014 earnings. A year earlier, Pacquiao was the Philippines highest individual taxpayer. 

 

Rebisco Group founder Jacinto L. Ng Sr. topped the Bureau of Internal Revenue's (BIR) 500 individual taxpayers for 2014, dislodging  Pacquiao. Data released by the BIR showed that the Filipino-Chinese businessman, who is also the Chairman of Asia United Bank Corp., paid a total of P280.11 million last year. Ng’s payment is far higher than Pacquiao's P210.31 million.

 

Mercury Drug Corp. president Vivian Que Azcona, once the number one taxpayer, came in third after paying a total of P153.55 million. Logging tycoon and Palawan Governor Jose Chavez Alvarez is the fourth highest individual tax payer with P 73 million.

 

Jacinto Co Ng Jr., who is the Chief Executive Officer of real estate developer Elantival Enclaves Inc., made it to the top five after paying P 66.87 million.

Presidential sister and TV personality Kristina "Kris" Bernadette Cojuangco is the 6th highest payer with P54.53 million.

 

The others who made it to the top 10 are Smart Communications executive Ronaldo Romero Soliman, Coca Cola Bottlers Phils. Inc. President and CEO William Schultz, San Miguel Corp. (SMC) CEO Ramon See Ang, UBS Investments Philippines Managing Director Lauro Baja III. They are the seventh to 10th, respectively.

 

Pacquiao is choosing from Terrence Crawford, Timothy Bradley or Amir Khan as his next opponent but there are reports that another fight with undefeated world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. was still possible.

 

The Pacquiao-Mayweather rematch loomed as the American world champion recently appeared no longer belligerent on the Filipino icon, in fact, pointing out that his win against Pacquiao was his best fight ever.

 

Mayweather even cited the fighting congressman as a talented fighter in big contrast to his earlier statements downplaying the Filipino.

 

At his party, Pacquiao recalled his humble beginnings as he hosted the celebration with his family and friends.

 

In his speech, Pacquiao could not help shedding tears when he shared how hard life was for him at the beginning. His life now is very different from what it was like before, he said.

 

Speaking of blessings, the eight-division world boxing champion gave away a brand new car, which went to Pacquiao household regular Malou Masangkay whose name was picked by Vice President Jejomar Binay, who led his guests together with Sen. Gregorio Honasan.


Since turning into a born-again Christian, Pacquiao has not been seen drinking his favorite San Miguel Light beer in public.

He has also given up gambling and has confessed and renounced his 'womanizing' past.


Both Pacquiao and Binay heaped praises on each other, calling each other the next senator and next president when they took to the ornate stage, accentuated by a red carpet and Greek-inspired columns fashioned out of Styrofoam.

 

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(Photo from Philippine Star)

 

PASAY CITY — Filipino-American mixed martial arts star Brandon Vera made quick work of Taiwanese contender Paul Cheng to capture the inaugural ONE Championship heavyweight title last week at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.


Vera's fellow FilAm and former world boxing champion Ana Julaton, however, lost to her Russian opponent on points in the same canvas.


It was the second time Vera and Julaton fought for OFC before the big Filipino crowd at SM Mall of Asia arena, the first being last year where both were winners.

 

After feeling each other out for a few seconds, Vera and Cheng immediately went at it, proving to the thousands in attendance they both want the strap for themselves.

 

About 20 seconds into the fight, a left straight counter from Vera dropped Cheng to the canvass. The latter stood up only to get kicked in the chest and get floored again.

 

Vera then followed up with multiple hammer fists which forced referee Yuji Shimada to halt the contest at the 0:26 mark of round one. 

 

Before the Vera bout, Filipino mixed martial arts fighter Eugene Toquero gave the Philippines its first win of the night in the ONE Championship: Spirit of Champions.


Toquero, 34, was up against Chinese striker Li Wei Bin.

 

Toquero immediately went to work upon hearing the opening bell, throwing punches and kicks at Bin (4-2) with bad intentions. Bin managed to take Toquero down twice in the round but wasn't able to do much from that position.

 

Toquero outlanded Bin in strikes in round two. Be it standing up or on the ground, Toquero did a number on the visiting Chinese, dishing out vicious knees and executing with some ground and pound.

 

Bin waived the white flag from his stool before the start of round three, earning Toquero a second round technical knockout victory as he improved his record to 8-2.

 

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By EDDIE G. ALINEA 

 

TWO-TIME OLYMPIC silver medalist Teodoro Yldefonso and bronze medalist Miguel White

 

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (via PhilAmPress) — Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has paid tribute to the Filipino athletes, who, besides bringing honor to the country in international competitions, sacrificed  their lives in the field of combat.  

 

Speaking on the eve of the country's celebration of Gat Andres Bonifacio Day, the Sarangani congressman and boxing's only eight-division champion, offered good, inspiring  words on his 52 fallen comrades, who, on separate occasions,  perished during the war even as he called on the present-day athletes to emulate them. 

 

"Tomorrow, the entire nation will be commemorating  one of the most important day in our history and that is the 150th  birth anniversary of our hero, Andres Bonifacio, founder of the Katipunan, who led the country's fight for freedom and democracy, and, died  in the process," Pacquiao said in a telephone interview.

 

"Like our National Hero, Gat Jose Rizal, tapakahalaga ang nagawa ni Bonifacio at ng iba pa nating mga bayani sa tinatamasa nating kalayaan ngayon," said Pacquiao, who rose from a junior lightweight campaigner to crown himself the world kingpin, not only in that weight but in super-bantamweight, featherweight, super-featherweight, lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight and super-welterweight in a 20-year fighting career.

 

"And I'm happy and honored to note that said heroics had been duplicated by our countrymen, not only in the field of sports, but in the battlefield as well, " he said in reference to Filipino athletes, who not only distinguished themselves in athletic campaigns in the sports capital of the world, but in the battle against those who tried to violate their right to live in a free society.      

  

Of the 52 sports-military heroes, nine are Olympians, including swimming double silver-medalist Teofilo Yldefonso, and another third place finisher in track and field, Miguel White. Other Olympic veterans were Jacinto "Jumping Jack" Ciria Cruz and Amador Obordo in basketball,  Lt. Nemesio de Guzman, in track and field, Lt. Otoniel Gonzaga in shooting, Lt. Simplicio de Castro in boxing and Lt. Enrique Jurado and Abduraman Ali, both in swimming. 

 

Yldefonso, a Philippine Scout from Piddig, Ilocos Norte, is remembered as the only Filipino who broughtg home a pair of Olympic bronze medals both in the 200-meter breaststroke, a feat he did in 1928 in Amsterdam and in 1932 in Los Angeles, California. He died in the infamous “Death March” from Mariveles in Bataan to the Capas Concentration Camp in Tarlac. 

 

White, who was from Legaspi City in Albay, was also a bronze medalist in the 400-meter hurdles during the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, the same year Ciria Cruz, along with another basketball Olympian Amador Obordo, helped the Philippine team to a fifth place finish, up to now the highest by any Asian nation in the quadrennial conclave popularly known, too as “The Greatest Sports Show on Earth.” 

 

Ciria Cruz was executed by the conquering Japanese forces while performing underground works in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya. 

 

Of the 52, 19 carried the country’s colors in many international competitions in track and field, 10 in swimming, nine in baseball, five in basketball, three in boxing, two in football, two in tennis and one each in wrestling and shooting. 

 

Yldefonso and White were two of the 11 Olympic medalists who were recipients of the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Sports Communicators Organization of the Philippines (SCOOP) during the 80th Anniversary of the Philippine participation in the Olympic Games. 

 

Majority of the honorees were either members of Philippine Scouts, the USAFFE or underground guerilla units. Three had just been honored as “Most Outstanding Filipino Athletes of Half-A-Century “– Yldefonso, Ciria Cruz and Virgilio Lobregat in football. 

 

De Guzman of the Philippine Army was a member of the national delegation in the IXth Olympiad in Amsterdam in 1928, while Gonzaga and De Castro saw action in the XIth Games in Berlin in 1936. Ali swam in the Xith Olympiad in Los Angeles. 

 

Besides White and De Guzman, other Filipino runners, throwers and jumpers who were victims of war were Miguel Sugeco, Sgt. Doming Espanol, Lt. Jose Antonio, Mayor Emilio Bucoy, Wenceslao Bansale, Eliseo Razo, Civico Granado, Maximino Pasaporte, Albino Bangayan, Delfin Danguilan, Lt. Constantino Alambra, Moises Lucas, Felizardo Casia, Francisco Danao, Bartolome Barabad, Alejo Alvarez and Simon Santos. 

 

Swimmers Rosendo Aguinaldo, Policarpio Tolentino, Donato Cabading, Miguel Bartolaso, Ulka Mangona, Jakara Angkang, Bernardino Tugbo and Mauricio Guidote, perished also as solders-athletes like Yldofonso and Ali. 

 

Baseball players, who represented the country in many international meets, including the Far Eastern Olympic Games, were Sgt. Aquilino Jacob, Cpl. Pabalo Chu, Sgt. Gervacio Estorba, Atilano Rivera, Cacimiro Francisco, Ramon Oncinian, Toribio Oncinian, Regino Bertulfo and Cipriano Platon. 

 

Other non-Olympic athletes who died wearing military uniforms were Carlos Canillas, Albert Murrow and Robert Keesy in basketball; Francisco Zarcal and Martin Roxas in boxing, Jose Miranda in football and Concepcion Santos-Cepeda and Juan Ladaw Jr. in tennis. 

 

Mrs. Cepeda, a long-time singles and doubles tennis champions, incidentally, completed a Santos brother-sister siblings while also competing in their respective sports events. She died during the war

 

A commemorative plaque, measuring 33 x 24 inches and cast in bronze containing their names was attached and unveiled on July 17, 1951, in the wall at the Basketball Coliseum facade inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, by Jorge Vargas, president of the now-defunct Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation. 

 

Last year, The Philippine Sports Commision transferred the commemorative plaque outside of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex tennis courts. (Eddie G. Alinea/PhilAmPress)

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By EDDIE G. ALINEA 

Special to Philippines Today

 

(Photo from CNN)

 

MANILA (via PhilAmPress) — We will never see Kobe Bryant coming down the floor with the basketball again soon. Never see his serious face as he brings the ball across, stops, fakes and heaves a three-pointer 30, 35-feet away. Never see him practice shooting, blindfolded all by himself inside the gym. 

 

Kobe Bryant, the man they call Black Mamba, has announced he's hanging his sneakers by the end of the on-going 2015-2016 NBA season following a storied playing career spiked by five championship rings, an MVP, a pair of Finals MVP, a dunking title, etc. 

 

Such an announcement was met with mixed emotions from fans all over the world. But while in his own country, the legacy he will bequeath is still being debated on, here, in this basketball-crazy nation, Bryant, who made it to the NBA right after graduating from high school, is, undoubtedly, one of all-time greats, if not the greatest.

 

For Philippineocal basketball's living legend and former Senator Robert "Sonny" Jaworski, " Bryant's "commitment, dedication, passion and, yes, loveE for the profession of his choice are traits worth emulating for."

 

"KB's loyalty to the sport, his team, teammates and the leauge is beyond scrutiny," the former playing coach of popular Ginebra San Miguel, noted.  "He started and will retire with the Los Angeles Lakers and play for the NBA in his entire pro-career. That provided a positive, life-changing impact on all professional athletes."  

 

"This passion and love for basketball are what made him one of the 10 greatest players of all time and he has records to show," Jaworski, popularly known also as the "Big J," or simply "Jawo," told this writer.

 

Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, a long-time friend of Kobe's, agreed, adding the Laker's "humility makes him a standout from among his peers in the professional sports." 

 

"I remember when I was still struggling to make name, he would visit me in training at the Wild Card Gym in L.A. Sikat na siya noon, but still he would give kind words that served as inspiration for me in my quest for fame." said Pacquiao who also plans to retire after his next fight in April.

 

Manny V. Pangilinan, president of the Samahang Basketbol Ng Pilipinas and the man who brought to Manila Bryant along with a NBA All-Star that included, among others, the then reigning MVP Derick Rose and shooting champion Kevin Durant, felt sad learning of Kobe's decision.

 

"Sad, but inevitable ... for all athletes," said Pangilinan, MVP to sports and business communities and owner of the Talk "N Text team in the PBAd. ”Kobe is living a legacy few players can mach. We wish him well." 

 

PBA greats Atoy Co and Philip Cezar shared MVP's sentiment, saying “it's sad seeing a great basketball player retiring, but that's the fact of life of an athlete."  

 

 Ditto to incumbent PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa. "It's always sad to see a great athlete retire. But like Michael Jordan, Kobe was the benchmark of brilliance during his time. And it's because of this standard that new heroes are born and legends created. "

For Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone, "Kobe is a polarizing figure, you either loved him or hated him. But you'll never forget him for I don't believe here's a more focused, more intense competitor in our time than him." 

 

The sport of basketball, according to reigning PBA MVP Arwind Santos and Jimmy Mariano, another basketball hero, owes Kobe a lot. 

 

"Si Kobe ay isang alamat," Santos, a mainstay of PBA defending Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer, assured. "I fetl so blessed na kahit sa isang pagkakataon ay nakalaro  at nabantayan  ko siya sa larong basketball. Salamat Kobe Byant sa lahat ng nagawa mo sa larangan ng basketball." 

 

"We have to thank Kobe for his enormous contribution to the growth of the sport we all love," Mariano, an Olympian and many-time member of Asian champion Philippine team, remarked. "Kobe is the idol of my 10-year-old grandson. Like millions who idolized him, my grandson felt sad upon learning his idol is retiring."

 

Kobe's hanging his playing jersey comes at the right time before his age rewards him with injuries he might regret for the rest of his life," former Games and Amusement Board chair Dominador Cepeda and current GAB commissioner Fritz Gaston, for their part, said. 

 

"While Kobe's quality of play might still be superior to a lot of others, he must not wait to a point when fans watch him struggle and opponents callenge him without respect," Cepeda an Gaston chorused.   

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(Photo from Philippine Star)


PASAY CITY (PhilAmPress) — Former world boxing champion Ana Julaton, a Filipino American from San Francisco, California whose roots is from Pozorrubio town in Pangasinan, is fighting for the second time in Manila.


Her mixed martial arts bout will be on December 11also at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, the same place where she won her fight on Dec. 5 last year.

 

This time, her fourth professional MMA fight, Julaton, dubbed The Hurricane, will face Russia’s Irina Mazepa. The bout is billed ONE Championship: Spirit of Champions.

 

Mazepa fought just two months ago against Ann Osman, whom she defeated by first round knockout. 

 

Osman had previously defeated Julaton during the latter’s second professional fight in August 2014.


 Julaton scored her second win in mixed martial arts after defeating Walaa Abbas of Egypt in One FC Warrior's Way at Mall of Asia Arena on December 5, 2014.

 

Another Filipino American mixed martial arts star, Brandon Vera, won his One FC heavyweight debut in style after he stopped the game Igor Subora of Ukraine also last year.


Vera is also fighting again with Julaton at the MOA Arena for the OFC Heavyweight title.

 

It was the first time last year that Vera fought in front of a big Filipino crowd. 

 

Julaton vowed to give her best against Russia's Mazepa infront of her countrymen from the Philippines.

 

The FilAm star from San Francisco and Pangasinan is relatively new in mixed martial arts with only three fights under her belt.

 

She, however, is dead serious in her training and has already set high goals for herself, ABS-CBN reported.

 

“What I enjoy a lot about MMA right now is learning something new,” Julaton said in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN Sports. “I think the day you stop learning is the day you die. Just being able to keep myself on my toes and just having that student ideal again, just thinking fresh, thinking everything new.”

 

Julaton has been training with boxing coach Angelo Reyes, who also has former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir under his wing. Her grappling coach is the renowned Ricky Lundell, the youngest American to receive a black belt under the Gracie family.

 

“The Hurricane” says that while it may have been a lot of hard work, she is already itching to get herself inside the cage and do what she does best.

 

“We’ve been training more than eight weeks. It’s been two camps, back to back,” Julaton explained.

 

 “Obviously, I’ve been training wrestling all year round. But just to have the focus solely on MMA, it’s a lot of work. So for this fight coming up onDecember 11th, I’m really excited because I’ve been so anxious all year long just to try and apply what I was learning.”

 

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Photo from Rappler

 

PASAY CITY (PHLTODAYUSA) — Filipina-American champion boxer and now Mixed Martial Artist Ana Julaton of San Fracisco, California is eager to meet Irina Mazepa in the ONE: Spirit of Champions Dec. 11 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

 

Julaton expressed her eagerness to finally meet Mazepa in a bout that was supposed to happen last year. The bout did not push through because of injury.

 

“She wasn’t able to pull it off because of an injury and I had to fight in Dubai. That was when Ann Osman stepped in for me. So I mean, it was a fight that was ready to be made and I’m glad it was happening in Manila. I am looking forward to this fight, I’m pumped,” said Julaton.

 

Mazepa was impressive with a first round KO of Osman as she displayed her striking power.

 

“Mazepa is a powerful striker for sure. To see what she did to Osman in Malaysia in front of a sold-out hometown crowd was spectacular and proved Mazepa can fight and has no pressure as the visitor. But even when she won the fight, my heart didn’t skip a beat. I mean I was looking for it anyhow, she has really good game,” said Julaton.

 

The Fil-Am boxer noted that Mazepa was strong and experienced in the stand-up game. Julaton did see Mazepa’s weaknesses which she plans to capitalize on.

 

She also plans to improve her ground game to add to her stand-up.

 

“I’ve stayed busy at at Bishop Gorman, training four times a week to integrate grappling techniques to my overall game. I worked hard with my coach, Ricky Lundell, who has helped me improve my ground game. I’m got to credit a lot to my team, and my coach is super organized. He knows which buttons to push to make me want to work,” said Julaton.

 

Ricky Lundell, who coaches Julaton, also expressed confidence in the ability of his fighter to win the upcoming match.

 

“I don’t think her opponent know what’s coming because what they saw a year ago is not what they’re gonna see now. I mean, the quickness to the shots, the ability to take somebody down, the control aspect as well as being able to land submissions and ground-and-pound,” said Lundell.

 

ONE Championship is the largest sports media property in Asian history. Headquartered in Singapore, the world’s most exciting mixed martial arts organization hosts the best Asian mixed martial artists and world champions, all signed to exclusive contracts, on the largest media broadcast in Asia.

 

ONE Championship™ has partnered with FOX and STAR Sports for an unprecedented 10-year cable television deal with a coverage that spans 70+ countries across the world.

 

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Photo from Philippine Daily Inquirer

 

MANILA — Former world champion Nonito Donaire Jr. will fight for the third time this year on December 11, this time against 24-year-old Cesar Juarez at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

 

The Filipino-American Donaire, 32, is riding on a two-fight winning streak since losing his world featherweight title last year to hard-hitting Jamaican Nicholas Walters. He is number two in the World Boxing Organization (WBO) rank

ing.

 

Juarez, who is number one WBO contender, will be fighting after a four-fight win streak holding a record of 17-3 with 13 knockouts. "


Juarez has suffered losses in the past to Hugo Partida and Edgar Lozano but has improved since then by defeating Cesar Seda and Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. 


Boxing analysts said this could be a very tough fight for Donaire because he’s facing a young guy who is improving with every fight. 


But Donaire's father, Nonito Sr, who is also his trainer, downplayed Juarez' capability.


"Juarez is not as good as Nonito," the elder Donaire told GMA News Online.

 

"He only has to avoid getting hit with punches because Juarez throws from different angles with power," the elder Donaire said.

 

In the main event, fast rising Puerto Rican prospect Felix Verdejo will defend his WBO Latino lightweight title against Josenilson Dos Santos of Brazil. 


The Donaire-Juarez bout will be a non-title fight.


Donaire, once dreaded as the Filipino Flash, will be fighting under Top Rank with Cameron Dunkin as his manager. Cuban boxer Guillermo Rigondeaux defeated Donaire (35-3, 23 KOs) in 2013 to become the division’s WBO champion.


Rigondeaux fought again a Filipino boxer on Nov. 22, this time Drian Francisco in what was described as a listless affair at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas as a support bout to the Saul Alvarez-Miguel Cotto fight. Alvarez won that fight. 

 

Two judges scored the fight a shutout, 100-90, in favor of Rigondeaux (16-0, 10 knockouts), who was stripped of the title before the fight for failure to defend it within the reglamentory period, while a third found 3 rounds to score for Francisco (28-4-1, 22 KOs) for a 97-93 card.

 

The action, or lack thereof, drew boos throughout the 10-round fight as the Mexican and Puerto Rican fans who came to see Alvarez and Cotto contest the middleweight championship in the main event grew restless.

 

The two-time Olympic gold medalist originally from Cuba was content to limit the action as much as possible, while Francisco appeared uncertain how to start his own offense in the face of Rigondeaux’s movement and clinching.

 

The fight marked Rigondeaux’s return to the ring after nearly a year on the shelf following a managerial upheaval that saw him sign with Jay-Z’s RocNation outfit. 

 

Through 10 rounds, Rigondeaux landed just 72 of 347 punch attempts for a 21% connect percentage, according to CompuBox. Francisco of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro landed 42 of 228 for 18%.


Donaire, the 2012 boxing writers’ fighter of the year, was knocked out by Nicholas Walters last November and has feasted on lesser opposition since, with second-round stoppage victories over William Prado and Anthony Settoul. 

The 32-year-old returned to 122 pounds after four fights at featherweight.


Juarez (17-3, 13 KOs) has never scored a win over a name opponent, but is the WBO’s No. 1 contender after topping Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. in July. The 24-year-old Mexican will step way up in class with the Donaire assignment.

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By EDDIE G. ALINEA 

 

 

 

 

MANILA  (via PhlAmPress)  Only few would probably remember that five years ago last Friday, November 13, Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao completed his historic eight-division world championship conquest to emerge the only man in boxing history to accomplish the feat.

 

On that day, before a huge 50,000 plus spectators at the cavernous Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the then 32-year-old  Pacquiao beat Mexican Antonio Margarito black and blue to capture the vacant World Boxing Council super-welterweight jewel.

 

That title victory, the Pacman, already a recipient of the "Fighter of the Decade" accolade from the Boxing Writers Association of America as well as three "Fighter of he Year" awards from the same organization and Ring Magazine, came as the latest addition to the Filipino's belt collections since crowning himself the WBC flyweight titlist in 1998.

 

Pacquiao took Thai Chatchai Sasakul's 112-pound crown by knocking out the then defending champ in the eighth round.  

 

The crown jewel win over the big, hard-hitting Margarito, which, incidentally, led to his retirement, was actually, the Sarangani Congressman's third for the month of November in his rich collection that includes the the Ring featherweight plum and the World Boxing Organization welterweight plums.

 

It was on November 15, 2003 when the now congressman and senatorial candidate took the 126-pound diadem over Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera. 

 

Six years later on November 14, 2009, Pacquiao dethroned Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto as the WBO 147-pound kingpin via a 12-round technical knockout annihilation that, incidentally, remains as his last triumph via stoppage. Rounding out Pacquiao’s eight-division championship triumphs are the International Boxing Federation super-bantamweight on a 6th-round TKO of Lehlo Ledwaba in 2001, his first under trainer Freddie Roach, WBC super-featherweight at the expense of Juan Manuel Marquez in 2008, WBC lightweight via 9th-round TKO of David Diaz, also in 2008, and International Boxing Organization/Ring junior-welterweight titles on a 2nd round KO of Ricky Hatton in 2009. 

 

The Kibawe, Bukidnon-born's  last defense of his WBO welterweight  title came also in the month of November when he unanimously decisioned New Yorker former martial arts campaigner Chris Algieri two years ago at the Cotai Arena at the posh Venetian Resort Hotel in Macau. 

 

He lost the title on a questionable decision to American Timothy Bradley in 2012, the same year he was knocked out by Marquez, but regained the same 22 months later.    

 

Impressive victories over Mexican Hall of Famer to be Barrera, Erik Morales and Marquez earned for the father of five with Sarangani Vice Gov. Jinkee the moniker “The Mexicutioner.” 

 

An 8th-round demolition of legendary and Olympic gold medalist Osca DeLa Hoya on December 6, 2008 catapulted the Filipino hero to the pound-for-pound throne. 

 

All throughout his career that started in 1995, Pacquiao has fought 18 current and former world champions -- Bradley, Marquez, Mosley, Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Cotto, Hatton, DeLa Hoya, Diaz, Barrera, Jorge Solis, Morales, Oscar Larios, Jorge Julio, Agapito Sanchez, Ledwaba, Medgeon Lukchaopormasak and Sasakul. 

 

Counting the WBC International super-bantamweight and the WBC super-bantamweight and super-featherweight crowns he wore at one time or another, Pacquiao had actually won 10 world titles, again, the most by any fighter in this era. (Eddie G. Alinea/PhilAmPress)  

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