Ladon, Nietes, Viloria: 3 for the world
Light flyweight Rogen Ladon, 21, was yesterday set to seek an outright berth in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. He moved into the semifinals of the International Boxing Association (Aiba) championship in Doha, Qatar, via a masterful conquest of Poland’s David Jagodzinski.
Ladon, ranked 17th by Aiba, was set to meet Russian Vasili Egorov, seeded fourth, in the semifinals of the world championship. (Ladon lost via unanimous decision.—Ed)
Only the two finalists in the division would earn automatic slots in next year’s Olympic Games in Brazil.
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Reports from Doha said Ladon continued to draw raves in Qatar with his explosive style, which was likened to the sharp in-and-out punching of his idol Manny Pacquiao, who happened to be at ringside last week when Ladon beat a favored top entry from Mexico in the quarterfinals.
There were other Filipino boxers, like Charly Suarez and London Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga, who would be seeking Olympic berths in other Aiba-sanctioned pro boxing tournaments.
But his handlers, led by Philippine delegation head Ed Picson to the Doha ringfest, sounded confident Ladon could be headed ahead for Rio de Janeiro based on his sensational streak in the world championship.
“He is a sharp, quick and very coachable. He’s calculating but very explosive,” Picson said.
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World Boxing Organization light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes makes his US debut with the eighth defense of his crown this Saturday (Sunday in Manila) in the main offering of Pinoy Pride 33 at Stubhub Center in Carson, California.
Nietes, longest reigning Filipino world titleholder, heads a classy pack of Cebu-based fighters that include the famous Pagara brothers, Jason and Albert, together with the unbeaten Mark Magsayo.
Reports from California said Nietes & Co. from the famous ALA Stable in Cebu, are being lionized by boxing fans, mainly Filipinos, who are expected to come and cheer their countrymen on Sunday.
Nietes will be defending against Juan “Pinky” Alejo of Mexico, whose countrymen are also expected to come in full force for Pinoy Pride 33, ALA Promotions’ maiden promotion in the USA.
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No question about it. Main focus of Filipino fight fans, both here and abroad on Sunday, will be the world flyweight title challenge of two-division world champion Brian Viloria at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Viloria, with four losses in his record, faces the unbeaten (43-0) Roman Gonzales of Nicaragua.
Concededly the underdog, Viloria will be coming in from four straight wins, capped by a sensational first-round stoppage of a first-rate foe in his last victory.
It will be Viloria’s biggest challenge in his colorful career.
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Viloria has vowed to go for a knockout, the earlier the better.
Viloria, also known as the Hawaiian Punch, has assured there would be no-no of the fading performance of the past, which had caused his career to roll up-down-up again.
He has trained long, extra hard under Freddie Roach.
His opponent, by the way, has just been elevated to the pound-for-pound kingship of boxing following the retirement of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
A Viloria win should fire up a national celebration.