Toni Leviste wins Grand Prix; Pacquiao rematch talks on | Inquirer Sports
Bare Eye

Toni Leviste wins Grand Prix; Pacquiao rematch talks on

/ 05:30 AM August 05, 2017

Equestrienne Toni Leviste of the Philippines won the 2-star Grand Prix of Samorin at X-Bionic Sphere in Slovakia on Sunday.

The golden feat was not carried by mainstream media here. But the Manila Standard used it as its sports page headline yesterday.

“Leviste bested 60 of the world’s best riders and for the first time in the history of Philippine Equestrian sport, the Philippine National Anthem was played on European soil,” the report said.


Said Ms Leviste from competition site: “I came here to do my final training before flying to Malaysia for the Southeast Asian Games. To win the Grand Prix feels like a dream. And to hear our national anthem played on foreign soil with our flag flying in this giant stadium literally brought me tears of joy.”


She added: “Now I know why I continue to ride with passion after all these years. To ride and win for flag and country is the ultimate motivation.”

Leviste and Maximillian, her 17-year-old chestnut stallion, recently qualified for the World Equestrian Games during the Nation Cup competition in Falsterbo, Sweden.

The WEG will be held in Tryon, North Carolina, next year.

When Manny Pacquiao first asked that a rematch clause be inserted into his fight contract against Jeff Horn, many boxing fans took the move as a mere ploy to help sell the Battle of Brisbane.

There was a popular feel that the fight would be a tough sell outside of Australia, going by the disparity in the status, experience and ability of Pacquiao and Horn.

But in what would be described as the Upset of the Century, Horn dethroned Pacquiao in controversial fashion.


There was a worldwide outcry against questionable judging that led the World Boxing Organization (WBO) to conduct a re-scoring (by independent judges) of the bout.

Horn was confirmed the winner after the re-scoring of the WBO welterweight championship held last July 2.

Team Pacquiao would later tarry on the rematch, thereby leading veteran promoter Bob Arum to issue a three-week ultimatum for Pacquiao to honor the rematch or disregard it.

Yesterday, Josef Ramos of the Manila Times said Arum has told him negotiation for the rematch has started.

“We are just looking for a suitable occasion, possibly when the Philippine Senate is in recess, to announce the date of the rematch,” Arum said.

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Arum said the bout will still be staged in Australia, probably in Melbourne.

TAGS: Bare Eye, Grand Prix, Pacquiao Last Fight opinion, Toni Leviste

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