Quijano: Boxing gets a boost

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By Jingo Quijano

Last Round

Saturday, June 22, 2013

LOCAL boxing is set to receive an adrenaline boost with two events in the coming weeks.

First off is Merlito Sabillo’s first title defense of his WBO title against Jorle Estrada of Colombia at the Solaire Resort and Hotel Casino in Pasay, Metro Manila.

Sabillo is ALA Gym’s latest world champ, winning the crown via eighth-round TKO over Luis De la Rosa in Colombia.


Sabillo is an undefeated southpaw who throws straight, clean punches. He advances behind a high guard and likes to sneak in some
right hooks.

He’s a clever fighter and aggressive which is a good combination as it makes his fights fan friendly.

AJ Banal will also be seeing action as he tries to regroup and salvage what’s left of his career by fighting on the undercard against Mexican banger Ramon Maas

An interesting dimension is the choice of fight venue. Apparently, pro boxing is indeed snaking its way to the mainstream palate, and hosting boxing events is probably going to be a regular , vibrant sight.

Not many people realize it, but venue is a crucial factor for the success of an event.

Metro Manila is lucky in that sense because it has several suitable sites for boxing events, whereas, Cebu has the public but is sorely limited in options.

TOMOKI KAMEDA. Another compelling fistic event is set to unfold at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino this Aug. 1.

It’s a world championship match with the WBO bantamweight title at stake, but none of the protagonists are Filipinos.

Tomoki Kameda is one of three fighting Kameda siblings, the other two being Koki and Daiki who are both world champions.

He will however be the first Kameda to fight in Cebu and will be facing the formidable Paulus Ambunda (20-0, 10KOs).

Ambudna is the defending champ having wrested the crown form Pungluang Sor Singyu. If you recall, Sor Singyu was the one who broke AJ Banal’s heart when he stopped Banal in nine rounds at the Mall of Asia last year.

Ambunda is one tough, gritty competitor who likes to apply unrelenting pressure. He likes to stalk his opponent and grind it out.

The fight with Sor Singyu was close and could have gone either way but the verdict favored the local fighter. Sor Singyu isn’t much of a mover either and that fight took on an undulating pattern of both fighters moving back and forth in a slow, violent dance.

Kameda fights similarly and much of this can probably be attributed to the fact that Tomoki is based in Mexico and fought exclusively there from 2008-2011, ergo he has been dubbed as “El Mexicanito”

This fight is being promoted by Kameda promotions with Rex “Wakee” Salud providing the local logistical support.

This is a huge fight and Cebu is lucky to be hosting this event. The challenge here is making the fight palatable to the public despite the fact that there is no Filipino pug in the main event, and the fact that it’s going to be held on a Thursday in deference to the TV network primetime telecast in Japan.

BATTLE OF THE BRAGGARTS. There’s a interesting donnybrook today between two of the sport’s biggest popinjays, Paulie Mallignaggi and Adrien Broner.

The irony of it all is that for all their bravado and posturing they are actually very good defensive fighters, and this fight might turn out to be a dud.

Malignaggi shows up like he’s perennially overly caffeinated while Broner struts around like a he’s the best thing since sliced bread.

The tipping point here is power which Broner possesses, and he should stop Malignaggi within eight rounds.

LAST ROUND. It’s on John Unchuan who celebrates his birthday this week. Cheers!


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 23, 2013.


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