ELORDE JR APPEALS FOR SUPPORT, POSTPONES WBC CHAMPIONSHIP CARD

Manila, July 13, 2003 By Joaquin Henson (Star) Promoter Gabriel (Bebot) Elorde Jr. postponed yesterday a blockbuster double World Boxing Council (WBC) International championship card on July 19 because sponsors ignored his appeal for support.

It would’ve been a night of fireworks if only the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) agreed to back up the fights, lamented Elorde. But the late Flash Elorde’s oldest son isn’t giving up hope.

Elorde said he’ll set a new date for the show, possibly July 26 or sometime in August, if PAGCOR comes to the rescue.

"I realize maraming tinutulungan ang PAGCOR, especially in sports," said Elorde. "But this card is something special because it features two Filipinos close to challenging for the world championship. Our goal is to bring honor to our country and we can do it with more world champions like Manny Pacquiao. We are blessed with the talent. What we lack is support."

In Elorde’s proposed double mainer, WBC No. 4 superflyweight Malcolm Tuñacao takes on Indonesian titleholder Julio de la Basez for the WBC International 115-pound throne vacated by Gerry Peñalosa and WBC No. 14 minimumweight Ernesto Rubillar stakes his WBC International 105-pound diadem against Indonesian champion Iwan Key. Both bouts are scheduled for 12 rounds. In all, Elorde’s show adds up to 70 rounds.

Tuñacao briefly held the WBC flyweight crown. He knocked out Medgoen Singsurat of Thailand in seven rounds in May 2000 to wrest the title but lost it in his second defense to Pongsaklek Wonjongkam on a shock first round stoppage less than a year later.

Tuñacao, 25, has knocked out his last three opponents–Pornchai Sithpraprom of Thailand, Kakhar Sabitov of Russia, and Kazuyoshi Niki of Japan–and is determined to win the WBC crown that was once Penalosa’s.

De la Basez, however, won’t be easy prey even as his record is a dubious 3-6-3 compared to Tunacao’s 14-1-2, with 10 KOs. Last February, he scored an upset fifth round technical decision over Rubillar in a non-title fight in Jakarta. De la Basez outpointed WBC No. 8 contender Muhammad Rachman to claim the Indonesian 105-pound title in 1997.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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