(MALAYA) The first thing power punching Australian Vic Darchinyan did upon arriving in the country and checking in at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino here was to train and workout.

Even at the wee hour of the night.

The former International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight champion finally set foot in the Philippines late Saturday night together with a four-man entourage and went straight to the training rooms of the posh hotel to sweat out and shake off the effect of a long travel.

The Darchinyan camp, composed of manager Elias Nasser, trainer Billy Hussein and brother Hussein Hussein and Benny Nasser, arrived around 10 p.m. Saturday at the Mactan International Airport and was welcomed by ALA gym director for marketing Dennis Canete.

The 31-year-old Darchinyan, originally from Armenia, planed in a week before he battles Filipino Z Gorres in a 12-round title eliminator fight for the right to face IBF super-flyweight champion Dmitro Kirilov of Russia.

Dubbed "Now or Never," the highly-anticipated slugfest put up by Solar Sports, ALA Promotions and Gary Shaw Promotions, is set Feb. 2 at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino.

The fight will be telecast over Solar Sports and ABC-5 starting at 8 p.m.

Nasser, Darchinyan’s brash-talking manager, guaranteed a victory by his fearsome boxer.

"He is gearing up for a very big win over Gorres," said Nasser.

Philcycling disbands team

(MALAYA) PhilCycling has disbanded its entire national team as the national federation for cycling raises its ante on its objectives that revolves around qualifying Filipino riders to the 2012 London Olympics.

The PhilCycling board unanimously decided on disbanding the national team during its board meeting Saturday at the Amoranto Sports Complex in Quezon City.

The federation will immediately reconstitute the national squad as soon as it reestablishes the national coaching staff. Trials will be called to select new members of, first, the national pool, and then the national team for the three disciplines–road, track and mountain bike.

As such, even medal winners in last December’s 24th Southeast Asian Games in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, will have to go through the trials.

The PhilCycling ranked second to swimming as the best performing national sports association in the last SEA Games. Filipino cyclists brought home four gold medals, a huge improvement from to the 2005 Manila Games haul and much better than the one gold medal won in Vietnam in 2003.

For this year, PhilCycling eyes the Asian Cycling Championships (road and track), Track Asia Cup (track) and Asian Mountain Bike Championships as probable foreign competitions for upcoming national riders.

But if the trials would not yield a competitive squad for these regional championships, it would impose at least a year’s moratorium on foreign competitions and concentrate on the local and international training of the upcoming national cyclists.

Laos has not included cycling on its calendar for the 25th SEA Games next year. Thus, PhilCycling is looking at the 2010 Asian Games in China and finally London in 2012 as its principal objectives.

The Philippines has yet to send a cyclist to the Olympics since the Union Cycliste Internationale has set qualifying standards for the quadrennial Games.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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