MASTERFUL U.S. INVASION FOR FILIPINO PRO BOXERS

MANILA, October 15, 2005 
(STAR) By Emmanuel B. Villaruel The Freeman - The valiant Filipino fighters look back with pride and fervor burning in their hearts for winning five out of six bouts against their Latino rivals in just a one-month span in the United States - a magnificent feat no other nation could have ever done in the past.

Exactly a month ago, People's Champion Manny Pacquiao and his comrades instigated the rampage by destroying their foes in sterling fashion in Top Rank's "Double Trouble" card at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Pacquiao scored a masterful sixth round knockout of Mexican Hector Velasquez to win the WBC International super featherweight crown and complete a 3-0 shutout by RP ring gladiators in that HBO-televised card.

Before Pacquiao's stirring conquest, Fil-Am Brian "Hawaiian Punch" Viloria and Boholano Rey "Boom Boom" Bautista also did not let their fellow countrymen down.

Viloria dethroned Eric Ortiz of Mexico via a shocking first round knockout to emerge as the new WBC light flyweight champion, while the ALA teen star Bautista, the reigning WBO Asia-Pacific bantamweight titlist, flattened Colombian Felix Flores Murillo for good in the third round for an impressive debut in the US mainland.

Twelve days later, it was Diosdado "Prince" Gabi's turn to catch the spotlight, winning by lopsided fourth round technical decision over Jose Alfredo Tirado of Mexico in his US debut at the Civic Auditorium in Stockton, California. The bout had to be stopped as a gaping gash over his right eye inflicted by an accidental clash of heads rendered Gabi unfit to continue.

The cut later needed 15 stitches to close. Just the other day, Bobby Pacquiao, younger brother of Pacman, exclamated what had been a glorious month for Philippine boxing when he stunned former IBF super featherweight champion Carlos "Famoso" Hernandez via split decision at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.

With the win, Pacquiao did not only step out of his popular brother's shadow, he also proved his critics wrong and silenced some unbelievers as well.

RP suffered its lone casualty when Cebuano hard-puncher and reigning OPBF jr lightweight crown-holder Randy Suico lost by majority decision to former IBF lightweight champion Javier Jauregui of Mexico at the USC Lyon Center in Los Angeles last September 23.

But still, a 5-1 invasion within 30 days in bigtime boxing stage is a thing of beauty for the entire Filipino nation to behold.

For sure, the triumphant Filipino pugs are looking forward to their next ring sojourn with great sense of optimism.

Manny Pacquiao is gearing up for a grudge rematch with Mexican tormentor Erik Morales on January 21, 2006, while Bautista is booked to defend his WBO regional belt on November 12 in Bohol against a still undetermined opponent. Unfortunately, Viloria has been ordered by the World Boxing Council to make the first defense of his title against the top-ranked Juanito Rubillar, setting up an all-Filipino world title bout for the first time in the annals of RP boxing.

On the other hand, Bobby Pacquiao expects himself to be a hot commodity in the US boxing trade following his great upset over Hernandez.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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