ERIK  MARQUEZ  IN  TOWN  /  POOL:  ALCANO  STAYS  ALIVE, EDGED GUEVARRA, 9-8

MANILA, MARCH 29, 2007
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - El Terrible is back in Manila.

More than two months after his first visit to the Philippines, Mexican ring icon Erik Morales is back in the country to do another commercial for San Miguel Beer.

Morales flew in Tuesday. The last time he was here last January, the three-time world champion and his wife Andrea had a blast doing the SMB commercial and visiting the exclusive resort of Amanpulo.

Bob Arum of Top Rank broke the news about Moralesí second visit to the Philippines to boxingtalk.com.

Meanwhile, the World Boxing Council is keeping its fingers crossed that Top Rank and Golden Boy could soon settle their differences and pave the way for a Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight later this year.

Pacquiao, who faces Jorge Solis on April 14 in San Antonio, Texas looms as the next best fight for Marquez, who dethroned Marco Antonio Barrera.

Pacquiao reportedly suffered a cut in his left eyebrow during sparring at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles. But his handlers described it as a "minor scratch."

Since Barrera hinted that heís not ready to face Marquez in an immediate rematch, the WBC champion said heís just as excited to face Pacquiao, and resume their rivalry that ended in a questionable draw in 2004.

Marquez said if the fight happens, the result will be very different.

"Manny attacks without defense, sometimes disregarding what sort of punches are coming back his way. Iím telling you, my next fight against Manny is going to be very different," said Marquez.

" I was over confident in the first fight, and almost paid the consequences. In our next fight, Iím going to be concentrating fully. The key will be a combination of intelligence, boxing skills and also power. And I must insure that he doesnít connect strongly with his left," Marquez said.

Top Rank, under Bob Arum, and Golden Boy, under Oscardela Hoya, have gone to court, disputing the promotional rights over Pacquiao and dimming hopes of a fight between boxers from the two stables.

"Well, great fights, have great complications. Itís unfortunate that they are having their own fight, and that could prevent great fights from happening," added Sulaiman.

BSCP backs World Champ: Alcano staves off ouster By Joey Villar The Philippine Star 03/29/2007

Reigning world 9-ball and 8-ball champion Ronnie Alcano continued to struggle but escaped outright elimination as he edged Benjie Guevarra, 9-8, yesterday to stay alive in the second BSCP National Pool Championship at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

A day after absorbing a shock 5-9 setback to unheralded Fidel Punzalan, Alcano stood a combination away from getting bundled out in a tournament he was favored to win. But it was Guevarra who succumbed to pressure as he muffed what could have been a game-winning 5-9 combination in the deciding 17th frame, enabling Alcano to snatch the win and stay in the hunt for the top purse worth P500,000.

"I was close to losing again," said Alcano in Filipino.

Earlier, the organizing BSCP (Billiards & Snooker Congress of the Phils.) expressed its full support and confidence in Alcano, who has been charged before the QC Prosecutorís Office with sexual abuse by his 14-year-old daughter.

In a statement, Yen Makabenta, chair of the BSCP, rallied behind the double world pool champion, whom he said "is being roasted live and unfairly in the coals of publicity and sensationalism."

"Nothing has been presented in the case that deserves the kind of publicity it is getting or should lead us to doubt Ronnieís integrity and good name," said Makabenta. "And there is no way of knowing whether the complaint has any basis or is just a case of harassment."

Meanwhile, Antonio Gabica joined Alcano in the loserís bracket following a 7-9 defeat to Ramil Gallego. Alcano later booked his second win by besting Daniel dela Rosa, 9-5.

Defending champion Alex Pagulayan walloped Leonardo Andam, 9-3, in the nightcap to arrange a duel with Godofredo Ducanes, who upended Marlon Manalo, 9-6.

Last yearís runner-up Gandy Valle and Warren Kiamco, however, were the first seeded bets to crash out of the six-day event. Kiamco bowed to Rodrigo Geronimo, 2-9, while Valle absorbed a 6-9 setback from 2007 Scandinavian Open champion Roberto Gomez.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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