by Joseph Pimentel/Asianjournal.com
LAS VEGAS, NV – Filipino boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao’s rematch with World Boxing Council (WBC) Champion Juan Manuel Marquez at the Mandalay Bay dominates the boxing headlines but there are three, possibly four, other Pinoy fighters who are also making an appearance during the big fight week.
On Thursday, Manny Pacquiao’s younger brother Bobby “The Sniper” Pacquiao (28-13 12 KO’s) will headline a fight against Mexican Urbano Antillon (21-0 14 KO’s) at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Bobby Pacquiao is coming from a recent Technical Knockout (TKO) victory against Fernando Trejo last November.
In the same undercard, FilAm female boxer Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton makes her third professional fight appearance against Clara De La Torre of New Mexico. Julaton (2-0) is fresh from her win against Carley Batey during last month’s Fox Sports Net “The Best Damn Championship Women’s Boxing” show. After that win, the WBC ranked Julaton as the third best US women’s Super Bantamweight (122 lbs.) boxer and No. 13 in the world.
Diosdado Gabi of Davao City will make his appearance during the Pacquiao vs. Marquez undercard on Saturday. Gabi known as “The Prince” (30-3-1 23 KO’s) squares off against undefeated Abner Mares (15-0 9 KO’s) of Mexico. Gabi last fought during the Philippine vs. Mexico World Cup of Boxing in Sacramento. He bested Jose Angel Beranza by the judge’s unanimous decision.
Meanwhile, Filipino featherweight prodigy Michael Farenas (19-2-2 17 KO’s) may make his second US appearance in either fight card. Farenas is in Las Vegas but his opponent has yet to be determined. Farenas made a very impressive US debut last October in the undercard of the Pacquiao vs. Marco Antonio Barrera fight. Farenas defeated Arturo Valenzuela impressively knocking him down twice before the referee stopped the fight in the second round.
All five Pinoy fighters including Pacquiao have been training at the Wildcard Boxing Club in Los Angeles for the past two months preparing for their matches.
Expect to see a large number of Philippine actors, athletes and politicians during the week to show their support for the Pinoy fighters (mostly for Pacquiao). Former Philippine Senator and PBA star Robert Jaworski, actor Richard Gutierrez, singer Martin Nievera, performer Allen Pineda (Apl.de.Ap) of the Black Eyed Peas, Championship boxers Nonito Donaire, and Gerry Penalosa have confirmed to this reporter their attendance this weekend.
Speaking of Penalosa, the “Fearless” fighter will defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) title against No. 1 contender Ratanachai Sor Vorapin of Thailand at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on April 6. For the past few months, Penalosa has also been training with Freddie Roach at the Wildcard Boxing Club. A win against Vorapin sets up a possible re-match against Mexican Champion Daniel Ponce De Leon later this year. Ponce De Leon and Penalosa last fought exactly a year ago in March. All three judges unanimously scored in favor of Ponce De Leon.