Advertisements


Four Pinoy fighters look to make World Lethwei splash

Jean Claude Saclag, Ariel Lee Lampacan, Ryan Jakiri and Fritz Biagtan are ready to represent the country in the fastest growing mixed martial arts competition in the world – WLC......»»

Category: sportsSource: philstar philstarNov 25th, 2020

Eduard Folayang: When an underdog finally became a world champion

In the five years that I was with the ABS-CBN Sports website, I was fortunate enough to have covered quite a number of memorable sports moments, so when I was asked to write about which was the most memorable for me, it was tough to narrow it down to just one single coverage. I could have written about Letran’s momentous upset of a dynasty-seeking San Beda in the NCAA Season 91 Finals, or I could have written about the Philippine Azkals making history by clinching a spot in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.  Being an MMA fan, I could have written about getting to be Octagon-side for the UFC’s first and only trip to Manila, which was indeed a dream come true for me.  When I think about it however, the coverage that sticks with me to this day, even four years later, was being cage-side, just inches away from Eduard  “Landslide” Folayang as he pummeled Shinya Aoki to become the ONE Lightweight World Champion in Singapore back in 2016.  I tell people about that night all the time, and I believe I’ll continue to do so for the rest of my life.  A Fan First As I mentioned earlier, I’m an MMA fan. In fact, being a fan was actually how I eventually got into sports writing.  During my first year or so with ABS-CBN, I got wind of a show on Balls Channel entitled “The Takedown” which was, you guessed it, about the UFC. Immediately, I knew that I wanted to be a part of that show, in any capacity. I even offered to research or write for free, LOL.  While I never did get to work on the show (because unfortunately, it lasted only a few episodes), I did get to make some connections (shoutout to Sir Lori, Ms. Jo, and Ms. Anna!) which eventually landed me a gig as a UFC writer for the Balls Channel Website. During that time, I got to meet and interview stars like BJ Penn, Alexander Gustafsson, Urijah Faber, Cung Le, and even Arianny Celeste. For an MMA fan like me, it was like working a dream job. It was a pretty sweet gig.  Eventually, that job with the Balls Channel Website would lead me to a spot on the ABS-CBN Sports Website which was launched in 2015. By 2016, I had started covering Asia-based MMA promotion ONE Championship quite a bit because ABS-CBN had signed a broadcast deal with them, and because ONE had a ton of homegrown Pinoy fighters on their roster, most notably Folayang and the Team Lakay guys.  Folayang, whose contract with ONE expired in March of 2016, re-signed with the promotion and returned to action in August, defeating Adrian Pang by Unanimous Decision in Macau. That win over Pang earned Folayang the biggest bout of his career at that point: a title shot against reigning champion Aoki.  When I learned of that title fight, I was very excited for Folayang, but had little expectations for his chances, being that Aoki was a legend in the sport.  Best Seat in the House Eduard Folayang finally getting to fight for a world championship was a huge deal for Filipino MMA fans, especially those that had followed the Baguio-based star’s career since his days in the URCC. The Pinoy star was on ONE’s first ever event, but could never seem to gain enough momentum to compete for a world title, until that point.  That November night in Singapore, all the years of work sacrifice that Folayang had put in during his nine-year MMA career would finally pay off.  This was only my second time to cover a ONE event overseas, so apart from having to write stories, I also had to take pictures. Learning from my past mistakes, I asked if I could have a spot cage-side so that I could take some at least decent photos. Thankfully, the ONE people agreed and gave me a spot just beside one of the judges’ tables.  I had the best seat in the house.  Now, as I said, I had tapered my expectations for the fight. I had seen what Aoki could do in the cage. I’ve seen the guy break peoples’ bones before, so honestly, I was just hoping that he wouldn’t injure Folayang. Our guy was the underdog heading into this fight, no doubt about it.  Of course, as a Filipino and as a fan I was hoping for a massive upset. The beautiful thing about MMA is anything can happen.  Shock The World This was legitimately the first time that I felt nervous covering a fight. It’s like that feeling you have when your favorite basketball team is in a close game with just seconds left.  That first round was a frigging whirlwind of emotions if you’re a Pinoy MMA fan. It looked like Aoki was within moments of being able to submit Folayang on multiple occasions.  The second round was a little bit more relaxed for Folayang, especially since he had been able to survive Aoki’s opening round grappling blitz. It looked like he was a bit more confident and he started to throw some of his trademark spinning kicks and elbows.  A miscalculated flying knee attempt led to another Aoki takedown, but this time around, Folayang appeared a little more calm and relaxed under the pressure.  Late in the round, Folayang began to attack Aoki’s torso with punches and kicks, and it looked like it had the Japanese legend a bit winded. The tide had shifted.  Heading into the third round, there was a different feeling in the air. It felt like Aoki was done, and it felt like Folayang knew it.  In the opening seconds of that fateful third frame, Folayang knew exactly what Aoki was going to do and had an answer for it. Aoki shot in for a takedown, and Folayang countered it with a jumping knee to the jaw.  For a brief second, Folayang was on his behind, but managed to outmuscle Aoki and deliver another vicious knee.  “Oh sh*t!” I yelled internally while scrambling to take photos of the ensuing beatdown.  Folayang turned Aoki over and began to connect with punch after unanswered punch.  Without taking my eye away from my camera’s viewfinder, I started yelling for Folayang to finish it.  Folayang continued to punish Aoki with piston-like punches as the Singapore Indoor Stadium began to erupt.  For what felt like an eternity, referee Yuji Shimada watched as Folayang unloaded nine years worth of heartbreak and frustration into a ground-and-pound sequence.  And then, it was over.  There was a new lightweight king.  AND NEW! EDUARD FOLAYANG STOPS SHINYA AOKI IN ROUND 3! — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) November 11, 2016     The Landslide Reigns As much as I would have wanted to keep it cool, I started to freak out. I looked to my right and saw my fellow Pinoy journalists doing the same, one was even standing on the table, cheering the new world champion on.  At that point, I had watched UAAP championships, NCAA championships, even some boxing world championships, but this one was different. I knew what Folayang had gone through. I knew that the odds were stacked against him.  As the confetti began to rain down and the celebration inside the ring continued, I recomposed myself and started to take pictures again. I wanted to be able to capture this moment.  After the official decision and the post-fight interview, I remember calling out to Folayang so that I could take a photo of him with his shiny new toy.  I’ve gotten to witness other members of Team Lakay become champions since then. I’ve been blessed enough to see Geje Eustaquio, Kevin Belingon and Joshua Pacio all become titleholders within a single year. While getting to see Team Lakay draped in gold to end 2018 was definitely a sight to behold, being there cage side as ‘Manong Ed’ realized a life-long dream was definitely an experience that I won’t soon forget.  Folayang's title win wasn't Team Lakay's first world champmionship, and it isn't the last. For me however, I think it's the most important, because it showed that no matter how many times you fall, you can still find your way to the top.  Everyone loves a good underdog story.  -- Santino Honasan has served as a sub-section editor for ABS-CBN Sports' website since 2015. He is among thousands of ABS-CBN employees who will be retrenched on August 31, 2020. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 2020

Mikey Garcia still wants Manny Pacquiao fight, says Pac-Crawford would be big

As eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao’s boxing career presumably nears its twilight, each fight that the Filipino boxing legend has becomes more and more special. After the 41-year old’s impressive performances against Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman in 2019, many believe that Pacquiao - while no longer in his prime - can still very much hang with the best of them inside the ring.  As such, a who’s who of boxing stars have been discussed as potential future Pacquiao opponents, from the likes of welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford, even much bigger guys like middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.  Among those names, while arguably not as high-profile, is that of Mikey Garcia.  Garcia has an impressive 40-1 professional record with 30 wins coming by knockout. In that 41-fight stretch, he’s managed to capture world titles in the featherweight, junior lightweight, lightweight, and welterweight divisions. He has also beaten former Pacquiao opponents in Broner and Jessie Vargas. His lone loss was against reigning IBF Welterweight World Champion Spence.  Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s long-time trainer, has said that he likes the idea of a Pacquiao-Garcia matchup. Garcia, for his part, says that Pacquiao indeed remains his top target once he can return to the ring.  “We haven’t discussed any names, everything got put on hold,” Garcia said in an interview with FightHype.com. “That would be my number one name, the target I would go after, but we have no clue.” Garcia admits that he has no idea as to how things might play out in the future, but maintains that he still does want a fight with “Pacman.”  “Originally, we talked about it, his team was excited for it, now, being that all this happened, who knows? He might want to take something else. He might want to fight someone else. He might just decide to retire, I don’t know, I have no control over what he decides to do. But if he’s still available by the time boxing resumes, then I will definitely be excited for a fight with him.”  While Garcia has long been linked to Pacquiao, a name that’s getting a lot of traction now is fellow welterweight Crawford, the reigning WBO Welterweight World Champion and one of the best pound for pound today.  Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s former long-time promoter and CEO of Top Rank Boxing has spoken about the possibility of a Pacquiao-Crawford clash, and Crawford himself also has the Pinoy boxing icon in his sights.  While it certainly might not do him any favors, Garcia knows just how massive a Pacquiao-Crawford bout will be.  “Him and Crawford, I saw the Instagram posts, Twitter and stuff. I think that would be a big fight for both, meaning that Pacquiao - at his age - he already proved to everybody just by beating [Keith] Thurman, so people are still kind of like ‘Wow!’, surprised that that that happened the way it did.” “I think Crawford has all the skills and talent to make it an awkward, difficult fight for Pacquiao based on height and reach and his IQ, so I think it would be a great fight for both. Can Pacquiao do it one more time? After beating Thurman, can he do it again? Back-to-back against Crawford? Or is he now finally too old to do it? That’s the question,” Garcia added.  The 32-year old California-native even went on to say that after the Thurman bout, he believes Pacquiao can be the one to end Crawford’s undefeated streak.  “I would probably still side with Manny. A little while ago, I think Crawford would have won, but after seeing [versus Thurman], I’m kind of leaning towards Manny, and only because of what I’ve seen with Thurman. Prior to that, I would have said Crawford.”  As for challenging fighters in heavier weight divisions, Garcia believes that Pacquiao has what it takes to play with the big boys, so to speak.  “He’s already fought up to 154, I think two fights at 154 or right under 154, so if he wants to fight some of the bigger guys, or make them come down to 156, 154, he might be able to pull it off,” he stated.  Even a crazy superfight at middleweight? Like one against GGG?  “He’s done it all, so I wouldn’t be surprised. F*ck it, do it! Go for it. He’s already a legend as it is, and he’ll only be greater if he accomplishes something like that. That feat would be f*ckin’ undeniable, one of the greatest achievements in boxing,” Garcia concluded......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 11th, 2020

Team Lakay stars shine as S+A brings back ONE Championship fights

Filipino warriors from Team Lakay will show us how to fight with all heart and might this April as ABS-CBN S+A gives us world-class mixed martial arts (MMA) action from ONE Championship all month. Witness Team Lakay’s rising star Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang notch another rousing victory as one of the featured fighters in “ONE Warrior Season 4.” The travel series and talent show hosted by MMA legend Rich Franklin will have its Philippine premiere on Sunday (April 5) from 6 pm to 12 mn, followed by 30-minute telecasts every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 9 pm. Adiwang’s first round knockout on Brazilian Alber Correia Da Silva was one of the best moments that season, which aired in February 2019 and was won by Japanese submission specialist Kimihiro Eto.  Thunder Kid’s Team Lakay teammate Joshua “The Passion” Pacio will also take the spotlight as S+A airs “ONE: Roots of Honor” on April 16 at 9 pm.  Pacio redeemed himself in the co-main event, defeating Yosuke Saruta via split decision to take back the ONE Strawweight World Championship. The fight also featured ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin Nguyen, who knocked out former titleholder Narantungalag Jadambaa to extend his reign. On April 17, it’s Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio’s turn to show Filipino courage through his domination of Korean Kim Kyu Sung in their Flyweight World Grand Prix bout in e “ONE: Enter the Dragon.” Fighting alongside the former champion from Team Lakay  in this card were superstars Shinya Aoki and Christian Lee, who figured in a Lightweight World title showdown.  On April 23, watch Danny “The King” Kingad make his presence felt in the MMA world with a split decision win over Australian Reece McLaren in “ONE: Dawn of Heroes,” which also featured legends Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez. The next day, April 24, see the gallant stand of Filipino fighters Brandon Vera, and Team Lakay’s Kevin Belingon and Kingad in the biggest event in martial arts history, the two-part “ONE: Century” event in Japan. S+A closes the month with “ONE: Masters of Fate” on April 30, which had Filipinos Pacio and Rene Catalan fighting each other in the main event. The Passion won the fight, while other Pinoy fighters like Eduard Folayang, Robin Catalan, and Eustaquio also entering the win column.  Apart from these world-class MMA events, fight fans will also enjoy looking back at other outstanding bouts in “ONE: Championship Classics” every Tuesday at 9:30 pm starting April 14 and never before seen footage and behind-the-scenes moments in “ONE: Official Film” every Saturdays at 9:30 pm beginning April 18.   S+A will also air “ONE: Greatest Rivalries” every Sunday at 9:30 pm starting April 19 and “ONE: Spirit of a Warrior” every Monday at 9 pm beginning April 20. For the latest news in sports, follow @ABSCBNSports on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit sports.abs-cbn.com. For updates, follow @ABSCBNPR on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit abs-cbn.com/newsroom......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 6th, 2020

New Stars and New Eras: A look back at MMA in 2019

2019 was once again a pretty eventful year in terms of mixed martial arts, especially on the local front. In 2019, we saw Pinoy stars rise and fall, and some have managed to rise again before the decade’s end. Before we look forward to 2020, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest storylines in the world of Filipino, Asian and international mixed martial arts.   Team Lakay’s Troubles 2019 kicked off with not one, not two, but five world champions from the famed Filipino MMA stable Team Lakay. Pinoy MMA icon Eduard Folayang was on his second run as the ONE Lightweight World Champion, Kevin Belingon was enjoying his status as the ONE Bantamweight World Champion, Geje Eustaquio reigned over the flyweight division as the ONE Flyweight World Champion, and rising star Joshua Pacio, the ONE Strawweight World Champion, was the team’s youngest titleholder. Outside ONE, Stephen Loman continued on his reign as the BRAVE CF Bantamweight World Champion. And then, the dominoes began to fall. Pacio was the first to drop his title, losing a close split decision to Japan’s Yosuke Saruta. Eustaquio followed suit, dropping a controversial decision to rival Adriano Moraes, and then Folayang and Belingon would also lose their titles in heartbreaking fashion at ONE: A New Era in Japan. It was, to say the least, a rough start to the year for the Benguet-based team, but they would manage to bounce back before the year was done, with Folayang and Eustaquio both claiming wins to end the year.   The Rise of "The Passion" 23-year old prodigy Joshua “The Passion” Pacio was the youngest member of Team Lakay to hold a title heading into 2019, and heading into 2020, he remains the lone member of  Team Lakay to hold a ONE world title. After losing to Yosuke Saruta in January, Pacio was granted an immediate rematch and made good on the second opportunity by blasting Saruta with a head kick to score the KO and reclaim the ONE Strawweight World Championship. Pacio would then take on the clear-cut number one contender in fellow Pinoy Rene “D’ Challenger” Catalan, and make quick work of him as well, scoring a second-round submission win to retain the title. Even before the end of the year, Pacio already has his next assignment, as he’s set to face former champion Alex Silva at ONE: Fire and Fury in Manila on January 31st. A win for Pacio cements his status as one of, if not, the best ONE strawweight ever. While Team Lakay’s 2019 was, for the most part, a struggle, Pacio was no doubt the Team’s brightest spot.   A New Era 2019 proved to be another milestone year for Asia-based martial arts promotion ONE Championship, as they were able to penetrate new markets in terms of live shows as well as broadcast deals. ONE began the year with a new partnership with Turner Broadcasting, which gave North American fans access to ONE’s brand of martial arts through B/R Live and TNT. In terms of live events, ONE was able to finally plant their flag in one of the biggest markets for MMA in the world, Japan. In March, ONE put on their first ever show in Japan, ONE: A New Era in Tokyo, which featured some of the promotion’s biggest names including  Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez, Shinya Aoki, Angela Lee, Aung La N Sang, Eduard Folayang, and many more. To celebrate their historic 100th event, ONE returned to Tokyo for ONE: Century, their biggest card ever, featuring seven world title bouts and the promotion’s biggest stars, and then some.   In 2020, ONE plans to break through to even more new markets, possible including a show in the United States.   The ‘Return’ of Jon Jones While Jon Jones officially reclaimed his spot at the top of the UFC’s light heavyweight division in December of 2018, it was in 2019 that he returned to his dominant ways. After stopping Alexander Gustafsson in 2018 to reclaim the UFC Light Heavyweight crown, Jones handily defeated tough challengers in Anthony Smith and Thiago “Maretta” Santos to retain the titles. While the Smith and Santos bouts were lackluster in the eyes of many, it showed that even on his bad days, Jon Jones is better than most people on their best days.   “Rush” Retires Again While it was something that was expected, 37-year old Georges St-Pierre officially retired from MMA, again, in February. The former long-time welterweight king and pound-for-pound great made a triumphant return to the UFC in 2017, dethroning Michael Bisping to become the new UFC Middleweight Champion. GSP would never get to defend the title, as he would relinquish it not long after due to concerns with ulcerative colitis. While GSP has remained inactive since, the whispers of a super-fight with reigning UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov remain present, and 2020 could possibly see that coming to fruition.   Grand Prix Greatness In 2019, ONE Championship introduced a new and exciting attraction, the ONE Lightweight and Flyweight World Grand Prix tournaments.  Eight of the best fighters from each division would battle it out in a tournament-style competition, and the winner would become the ONE World Grand Prix Champion and earn a title shot against the division's respective titleholder.  Making their debuts in the lightweight and flyweight tournaments were former UFC champs Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson respectively, and as it played out the two would have very different outcomes.  Alvarez saw himself get upset in the quarterfinals by Russian knockout artist Timofey Nastyukhin. The former UFC lightweight king would get another chance in the tournament after defeating Eduard Folayang in a last-minute semifinal matchup, but another injury would keep him out of the finale at ONE: Century in Tokyo. Reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee ended up stepping in on short notice to defeat tournament favorite Saygid Guseyn Arslanalieve and become a double-champion.  Johnson, meanwhile, breezed through his quarterfinals and semifinals bouts to set up a finale showdown with Filipino star Danny Kingad. In the Finale, Kingad fought valiantly but ultimately fell to Johnson via Unanimous Decision, setting up a must-see matchup between DJ and reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes in 2020.    Baddest Motherf**ker Jorge Masdival has long been a staple in the UFC’s lightweight ranks for years, but it wasn’t until 2019 that “Gamebred” made headlines. After a hiatus in 2018, Masvidal returned with a bang in 2019, knocking out former title challenger Darren Till, and then followed that up with a 5-second flying knee knockout over former ONE Welterweight king Ben Askren. The popularity and momentum that Masvidal had garnered was enough to bring a certain Stockton star out of retirement and that set up one of the most talked-about UFC title bouts in 2019: Masvidal vs. Nate Diaz for the title of Baddest Motherf**ker. Masvidal lived up to the name and pieced Diaz up with strikes in the early rounds, before eventually opening up a cut that was just too big for the fight to go on. Much to the dismay of Masvidal, Diaz, and the crowd in New York, the fight was stopped. Still, it was nothing short of a testament to just how dangerous the new and improved version of Jorge Masvidal is. Expect him to challenge for a title in 2020.   MMA stars shine in 2019 SEA Games A number of Pinoy mixed martial artists showcased their skills in different battlegrounds during the recently-concluded 2019 Southeast Asian Games, which was held in the Philippines. from November 30 to December 11. Reigning URCC champion Mark “Mugen” Striegl took home gold in Combat Sambo, while former ONE title challenger Rene Catalan settled for Silver after an injury dashed his dreams of getting gold. Another URCC veteran in Ariel Lee Lampacan also took home SEA Games gold, this time in the Muay Thai competition. ONE Super Series veteran Ryan Jakiri took home silver. The SEA Games kickboxing event saw three MMA stars from Team Lakay take home gold medals, as Gina Iniong, Jerry Olsim, and Jean Claude Saclag all reigned over their respective divisions. Iniong, of course, is a ONE Women’s Atomweight contender, while Olsim is a veteran of Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series. Saclag, meanwhile, is one of Team Lakay’s representatives in the Japan-based promotion Shooto.       .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 24th, 2019

ONE Championship: Pinoy fighters Edward Kelly, Ramon Gonzales return to action at ONE: Age of Dragons in Beijing

A pair of Filipino fighters are set to return to action when ONE Championship returns to Beijing, China for ONE: Age of Dragons at the Cadillac Arena on November 16th.     Team Lakay featherweight contender Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly will try to get back on track when he meets China’s Tang Kai in a preliminary card matchup.    After a three-fight winning streak, Benguet’s Kelly has been up-and-down, winning just three of his last seven outings. The 34-year old is coming off a decision loss to Xie Bin in Manila back in August.    Coming off a lengthy layoff, Tang is looking to follow up his ONE debut back in January with another victory to push his current winning streak to five straight.    Kicking off the preliminary card will be Filipino strawweight Ramon “The Bicolano” Gonzales as he looks to continue his winning streak when he meets China’s own Hexigetu.    Initially scheduled for ONE: Dreams of Gold in Bangkok, Thailand last August, the Gonzales vs. Hexigetu bout was scrapped due to Gonzales failing the hydration test.    Currently riding an impressive three-fight winning streak, Gonzales looks to finally enter the conversation of title contenders.   Hexigetu, meanwhile, is looking to make it back-to-back victories on the ONE stage.    Headlining ONE: Age of Dragons will be a ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Championship contest between titleholder Ilias Ennahachi of the Netherlands and challenger Wang Wenfeng of China.    In the co-main event, the inaugural ONE Light Heavyweight World Champion will be crowned, as Morocco’s Tarik Khbabez faces Roman Kryklia of Ukraine.  Complete ONE: Age of Dragons Fight Card   ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Championship Ilias Ennahachi (C) vs Wang Wenfeng Kickboxing (8oz gloves): 61.2kg   ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Championship Tarik Khbabez vs Roman Kryklia Kickboxing (4oz gloves): 102.1kg   Meng Bo vs Laura Balin Mixed Martial Arts: 52.2kg   Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex vs Sasha Moisa Muay Thai (4oz gloves): 72.0kg   Miao Li Tao vs Jeremy Miado Mixed Martial Arts: 56.7kg   Jorina Baars vs Christina Breuer Kickboxing (10oz gloves): 70.3kg   Ritu Phogat vs Cindy Tiong Mixed Martial Arts: 52.2kg   Ma Jia Wen vs Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg Mixed Martial Arts: 70.3kg   Yusup Saadulaev vs Daichi Takenaka Mixed Martial Arts: 65.8kg   Enriko Kehl vs Armen Petrosyan Kickboxing (10oz gloves): 73.0kg   Tang Kai vs Edward Kelly Mixed Martial Arts: 70.3kg   Hexigetu vs Ramon Gonzales Mixed Martial Arts: 56.7kg Be sure to catch ONE: Age of Dragons on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23!   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 25th, 2019

ONE Championship: Pinoy Ramon Gonzales targets fourth-straight win at ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD

Ramon “The Bicolano” Gonzales looks to leave a bigger dent in the stacked strawweight division in his next appearance inside the ONE Championship ring. The Filipino National Kyokushin Karate Champion will take on “Wolf of the Grasslands” Hexigetu at ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD on Friday, 16 August at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand. Currently on a three-bout winning streak all by way of first-round submission, “The Bicolano” is ready to climb the ladder anew in the hopes of getting a crack at the ONE Strawweight World Title, which is currently held by his compatriot Joshua “The Passion” Pacio. “I’m certainly ready for Friday. I’m ready to display more innovation and improvement from what I can do. Of course, there’s still my striking,” Gonzales said. “I’ve been focusing on everything, from my striking, which is Kyokushin, to my ground game. I know that a win could push me further up the rankings. But on top of that, my main goal for every match is to win and learn.” In the hopes to finally make a splash in his weight class, Gonzales says he has stepped up his training camp in preparation for Hexigetu. “This is one of the best training camps I’ve had. Everyone in the gym helped me out with the challenge I’m facing in Bangkok,” he said. “I am eager and much more determined for this coming Friday. This is for everyone who believes in me.” His game plan is simple - get in the ring and showcase his renowned striking and improved well-roundedness as a mixed martial artist. “Our game plan is to give my all thru striking and the ground. Wherever this match goes, I am ready, and I will give my best,” Gonzales shared. “I know how dangerous of an opponent Hexigetu is, and I have no plans of getting complacent.” Eager to prove himself on the global stage, the Filipino athlete said that he remains as hungry as ever, even after winning three straight matches. “I remain focused in training even on match week. I am excited and challenged for my next fight because this is another opportunity for me.” Tune in to watch ONE Championship’s next event, ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD, this Friday, 16 August. The main card airs live on ABS-CBN S+A at 9:30pm PHT. To catch the prelims, tune in to ONE’s Facebook and Twitter pages at 6:00pm PHT.   More from ONE Championship: Ramon Gonzales Aims To Continue Life-Changing Winning Streak In Bangkok Ramon Gonzales Thrills Manila With 79-Second Submission Ramon Gonzales Opens The Show With Crushing First-Round Choke      .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 14th, 2019

Team Lakay s Gina Iniong and Joshua Pacio: Two paths, one goal

Lakay. It is the Ilocano word for old man.   But when you go up to Baguio, it has an altogether different meaning. You cannot miss that word when you drive down Benguet road, on a nifty sign attached to a normal-looking office building: Team Lakay.   The home of the best Philippine mixed martial arts team in history. Almost all of the big names local fight fans have come to cheer and love as our modern-day heroes trace their roots to the relatively small, packed training room down Benguet road, where mats are soaked with the sweat of the fighters.   Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio, Honorio Banario, Rey Docyogen, Roldan Sangcha-an, and Mark Eddiva are all hallowed names in the annals of Philippine mixed martial arts, disciples of Mark “The Machine” Sangiao, who established, and groomed Team Lakay to the fearsome fighting factory that it is today.   While all the names above have ensconced themselves on pedestals, Team Lakay’s pipeline includes two more who have been fighting for recognition in recent fights: lone female fighter Gina Iniong, and ONE’s current Strawweight lynchpin and youngest champion, Joshua Pacio.   Both fighters may have started their professional fighting careers for different reasons, but Iniong and Pacio still have a lot to offer and prove for mixed martial arts in the country and in the international stage, such as being prominent fighters in the prestigious cage of ONE Championship.   CHANCE OF A LIFETIME   Gina, the first female Filipino mixed martial artist to fight and win abroad, started boxing back in high school as part of her after-school activities. When she was about to graduate, she actively sought scholarships in order to finish her education. One such opportunity presented itself in the form of an athletic scholarship, concentrating on the martial art of Wushu, which has a huge following in her hometown of Baguio City, with the University of the Cordilleras having a team of its own.   “Our former boxing coach, who was a former student of Coach Mark (Sangiao), approached me one day, telling me to join the upcoming wushu competition then for the college scholarship. So I joined it, and took a chance,” Iniong shared, recounting how she got into the world of combat sports as a young lady.   However, it was too good to be true, as she had to hurdle quite a huge problem if she wants that scholarship: a fight record. Sangiao told the young Iniong it would be difficult to get her a scholarship if she does not have a record to show in active combat in Wushu.   “I was lucky because there was a Wushu National Games here in Manila and we immediately went down and made our way there. Thankfully, I got the gold after the competition, and that paved the way for my scholarship,” said Iniong.   From there, the “Conviction” was born. After competing in numerous Wushu tournaments, Iniong finally caught the eye of Sangiao, who decided to take her under his wings and train her to be his female version inside the MMA cage.   After debuting in the Universal Reality Combat Championship in 2010, Iniong hasn’t looked back in the 12 bouts she has figured in, compiling a professional record of 8-4.  As the lone female representative of the most-successful mixed martial arts team in the Philippines, she has displayed that trademark fearsome striking prowess of fighters coming from the Lakay camp.   When asked about the fact that she is one of the only five Filipinas making the country proud inside the ONE cage, the 29-year old’s face lit up, in disbelief, in honor, in humility, for she cannot believe it herself.   “I’m very proud, and humbled, of the fact that I am the lone female fighter representing Team Lakay in ONE Championship. Many very skilled female fighters dream of being part of ONE Championship, and fight under Team Lakay, yet I am the one that Coach Mark has seen with the most potential to carry the flag inside the cage,” she said.   However, what drives Gina to fight, and it has been a well-known fact, is her mother, diagnosed with a stage 5 chronic kidney disease. In her fight against Jihin Radzuan last February, Iniong dedicated the fight to her mother, who to this day, is scared of seeing her daughter mix it up in the ring.   “To this day, she hasn’t watched me fight live, not even on TV because she is quite the nervous person, and she would only watch if she knew I won, during replays. She is very unlike my dad, who has fully supported my life as an athlete, after being a boxer himself in his younger days,” she shared.   CHALLENGE ACCEPTED   Joshua “The Passion” Pacio never intended to make mixed martial arts fighting a career growing up. The 23-year old fighter deemed it impossible back then, to reach a stage as huge as ONE Championship, due to the excellence of the fighters that he used to watch with his uncle through videos.   Add to the fact that Pacio was overweight. Obese, specifically. It made it all the more difficult for the kid to follow his dream and passion to be a fighter.   It all changed when his uncle started training him in Muay Thai, the art of the eight limbs that originated from Thailand, and considered one of the deadliest forms of combat striking. It started out as training just for fitness, but as if seeing a tiny ray of light in a dark tunnel, Pacio wanted more.   “At first, it was only for fitness, with my uncle training me, and watching videos of various MMA fights, which really inspired me to push myself harder. I really wanted to test myself, compete with the best, and it all seemed impossible when I was out of shape. My uncle really pushed me starting with Muay Thai. I started competing a few months after that, but I suffered defeat after defeat in amateur competitions. I questioned myself why I still trained afterwards. But at the same time, that’s when I realized that this is really my passion, that even if I lost my last fight,” shared the ONE Championship Strawweight king, who has not looked back since then.   “The goal for me has ever been to prove to myself that I have improved in skills, and be the best fighter I can be,” Pacio added.   He made his ONE debut three years ago, finally fulfilling his lifelong dream of professional mixed martial arts, facing a more experienced Filipino fighter in Robin Catalan at the age of 20, one of the youngest to enter ONE’s cage.   “Before I got to represent Team Lakay in ONE Championship, the roster spot was actually up for grabs. Fighters of the team figured in a Team Lakay Championship, a grand-prix style tournament within the team, for the ONE Championship contract. I fought twice victoriously in one night to get it. Two weeks later, with a ONE Championship event in Manila, that’s when I found out I am making my professional debut,” said an astounded Pacio.   Everything about the man they call “The Passion” has been hard earned. He finally tasted gold last 2018 when he decisioned the famed Yoshitaka Naito, a Japanese ground and wrestling master that forced Pacio to tap via a rear-naked choke when they first met. Facing, and losing to Naito, according to Pacio, was a revelation that he has to improve his overall skills, especially his ground game in order to play with the big boys of the cage.   Striking will definitely get you somewhere, as is with Pacio’s base as a martial artist, but one has to have more tricks up his sleeve when they aspire for the pinnacle of the competition. Joshua came back with a vengeance in 2018 to show “Nobita” that “The Passion” is no longer the young kid who will be submitted easily.   However, 2019 did not start of great for Pacio and Team Lakay, after he lost the belt in January to Naito’s contemporary in Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta in a questionable split decision. But that did not deter the young man, who has made it his personal goal to continue improving and treat each loss as a lesson, in ONE Championship’s “Roots of Honor” fight card, where he faced Saruta once more.   This time, in front of a racous Filipino crowd inside the Mall of Asia Arena, Pacio did not let the judges’ cards decide as he detonated a right knee to the side of Saruta’s head late in the fourth round to reclaim his throne. The dreaded Team Lakay striking power knocked the lights out from the Japanese fighter as Baguio’s young lion let out a furious roar to celebrate his redemption.   TWO PATHS, ONE GOAL   One did it for education, the other for health. Nowadays, however, MMA means more to Iniong and Pacio than just a stepping stone to something else. It is their passion, their advocacy, their bread and butter.   They continue to grind each day, waiting for another opportunity to show what they got and get the win, not just for personal glory, but also for the country and their family.   Inspired by her ailing mother, the “Conviction” promises to keep her current winning streak up despite being up against a formidable foe in her next match. After tasting defeat from Brazilian Istela Nunes, Iniong bounced back with a split decision over Radzuan last February to get herself back on track. Right now, Gina has one thing in mind with their goal: chase that ONE Women’s Atomweight division title, currently held by Angela Lee, and become the Philippines’ very first female ONE world champion.   However, Iniong acknowledges that the path towards the gold may not be easy, as she is currently eyeing a rematch with Japanese tormentor Mei Yamaguchi, the number one-ranked Atomweight fighter whom she has fought with twice, in order to settle who the rightful challenger to Lee’s belt is.   “Everyone has gotten belts. My big brothers in the team have tasted championship. I felt jealous because I do not have a belt, and lost my fight that would have given me a title shot. This time, I will make sure that I will do my best to secure a title fight,” rued Iniong in a previous interview with ONE Championship prior to fighting Radzuan.   While Iniong wants hit paydirt, it’s all about keeping the belt on his waist for Pacio, the reigning ONE Strawweight champion. His most probable foe is his nemesis Yoshitaka Naito who he does not have a problem with facing for the third time.   “I really want to prove I am the champion, and if it’s by facing him (Naito), so be it. I also want to prove that I have greatly improved as well from the last time we fought,” he shared.   While Iniong and Pacio await their next fighting assignment, their teammates are in the thick of training for the upcoming “Dawn of Heroes” megafight card happening on August 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena. It features Team Lakay members, led by Edward “Landslide” Folayang, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, and Danny “The King” Kingad, who will face the best of the world as represented by Eddie Alvarez, Reece McLaren, and Yuya Wakamatsu.   The entire country will be cheering on them as the whole world watches. And maybe somehow, somewhere there will be new blood encouraged and inspired by them to take on the challenge of continuing the legacy of the nation’s best fighting team alongside Iniong and Pacio.   After all, Sangiao did not establish Team Lakay just to be some Bagiuo-based fitness gym down Benguet road. He made Team Lakay to provide a home, a family, for young Filipinos who have the heart to fight for their dream, their family, and the country.     Watch “ONE: Dawn of Heroes” on August 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena, to be broadcast LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A and S+A HD with livestreaming on iWant for all the Pinoy fight fans to see. For more stories and news one ONE Championship, follow @ABSCBNSports on Twitter and Facebook or visit sports.abs-cbn.com. For updates, follow @ABSCBNPR on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram or visit www.abs-cbn.com/newsroom......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 18th, 2019

Strikers and Submission Specialists headline ONE Championship in May

A pair of explosive Muay Thai world title fights takes to the grand arena of ONE Championship this Friday (May 10) when Muay Thai superstars Nong-O Gaiyanghadao and Petchdam Petchyindee Academy take on separate foes in ONE Championship’s WARRIORS OF LIGHT card that will air LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A, S+A HD, and iWant Sports starting at 9:30 pm. The two Thai superstars will be fighting for the ONE Muay Thai Bantamweight World Championship and ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Championship belts respectively. Nong-O will be competing against Japanese warrior Hiroaki Suzuki while Petchdam faces Elias Mahmoudi of Algeria. The largest fight promotions outfit in Asia also prepared an explosive MMA card for May 17, that will be ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki’s first defense against Singapore’s submission artist, Christian Lee, in ONE: ENTER THE DRAGON which will also air LIVE on S+A, S+A HD, and iWant Sports at 8:30 pm.   Aside from the striking masters, Pinoy MMA fans can also look forward to the return of Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio to the cage, months after his defeat from Adriano Moraes, in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix against Korean Kim Kyu Sung. Former UFC fighter Sage Northcutt will also make his ONE Championship debut against Brazilian mixed martial artist Cosmo Alexandre. Fight fans will be able to witness explosive kickboxing and Muay Thai masterclasses from the likes of Italian stallion Giorgio Petrosyan, against Petchmorakot and Dutch striking master Nieky Holzken versus compatriot Regian Eersel, in the successive fightcards. The names of the fighters lined up may be new to Filipino fight fans’ ears with the exception of Eustaquio and Aoki, who put to sleep Filipino MMA hero Eduard Folayang in Japan, and Lee. But the competing Muay Thai and kickboxing masters have already been introducing themselves via the ONE Super Series that focuses on the art of striking with powerful roundhouse kicks, dangerous elbows, as well as flashy spin attacks.   Don’t miss the two explosive ONE Championship fightcards airing on S+A, S+A HD, and streaming LIVE on iWant Sports starting with ONE: WARRIORS OF LIGHT this Friday (May 10) at 9:30 pm. ONE: ENTER THE DRAGON will air on May 17 LIVE on S+A and S+A HD, with livestreaming on iWant, at 8:30 pm.   For more stories and news on Aisa’s largest fight promotions company, follow @ABSCBNSports on Twitter and Facebook or visit sports.abs-cbn.com. For updates, follow @ABSCBNPR on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram or visit www.abscbnpr.com......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 9th, 2019

IBF champ Jerwin Ancajas to make ABS-CBN debut

Rising Filipino boxing star Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas can’t wait for the bell to ring this Sunday (May 5) when he defends his IBF Superflyweight world title against Ryuichi Funai of Japan.   The match will air LIVE from the Stockton Arena in Stockton, California, USA on ABS-CBN S+A and S+A HD at 10 am, to mark the Pinoy “Pretty Boy’s” debut in the country’s premier sports channel. “Being aired on the biggest network is a big opportunity. I'm sure that my family and friends in Davao will get to see my fight,” shared Ancajas to ABS-CBN Sports during his press conference in his Cavite gym last April 11 for the announcement of the partnership between ABS-CBN Sports and his promoters. Ancajas has been rampaging for the past two years, having defended his title successfully for six straight times. With a 30-1-2 record with 20 knockouts, the Filipino is banking once more on his skill and power to pull through Funai, who at age 33 has amassed a 31-7-0 record spiked with 22 knockouts.  The power-punching Japanese is also riding on a three-fight win streak via knockouts and looks to trade power shot with power shot with the Filipino rising star, who is coming off a competitive draw last September 28 against Alejandro Santiago Barrios of Mexico. Don’t miss the S+A debut of one of Pinoy boxing’s exciting fighters Jerwin Ancajas as he stakes his IBF Superflyweight Belt against Japanese pugilist Ryuichi Funai this Sunday (May 5). Watch the fight LIVE on S+A and S+A HD from the Stockton Arena in Stockton, California, USA at 10 am. For more stories about Jerwin Ancajas and boxing, head to sports.abs-cbn.com or follow @abscbnsports on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For updates, follow @abscbnpr on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit www.abscbnpr.com......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 2nd, 2019

Canelo returns to ring against British champ

Los Angeles—Pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez will make his long-awaited return to the ring next month when he battles Britain’s world super-middleweight champion Callum Smith, both fighters’ camps confirmed on Tuesday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 18th, 2020

Akimoto targets smashing debut

Karate World Champion Hiroki Akimoto plans to make a splash in his ONE Super Series Kickboxing bantamweight debut. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 14th, 2020

Game KNB? returns with Robi Domingo

The undisputed pambansang game show Game KNB? is set to make a comeback this Oct. 12 (Monday), ready to blaze a trail in the digital world through the Pinoy livestreaming app Kumu and premium cable channel Jeepney TV......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 3rd, 2020

Miocic retains heavyweight crown with decision over Cormier

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Stipe Miocic defeated Daniel Cormier by unanimous decision in a five-round bout Saturday night to win the rubber match in a fantastic trilogy between the fighters and retain his heavyweight championship at UFC 252. Miocic (20-3) swept the scorecards 49-46, 49-46 and 48-47 to stake his claim as perhaps the greatest heavyweight in UFC history. “I'm happy to cement my legacy,” Miocic said. Miocic tagged Cormier with a vicious poke to his left eye late in the third round that sent the challenger staggering to his corner. Cormier's eye was about swollen shut, but he gamely fought on the final two rounds in the main event of UFC 252 at the UFC APEX complex in Las Vegas “I can't see anything out of my left eye,” Cormier said. “It's black.” Miocic said he apologized to Cormier for the poke. “I totally poked him in the eye, my bad," Miocic said. Cormier was taken to the hospital after the bout. There was no immediate word about his condition. The 41-year-old Cormier (22-3, 1 NC) is a former two-division champion and has already cemented his status as one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in UFC history. The amiable Cormier, who has found his niche as a successful broadcaster, had vowed to retire after Saturday and end a career in which 10 of his last 11 fights were fought with a championship on the line. Cormier said he stood by his decision to retire. He won the first fight between the two but dropped two straight to Miocic. “I’m not interested in fighting for anything but titles and I don’t imagine there’s going to be a title in the future,” Cormier said. “That will be it for me. I’ve had a long run, it’s been great, I just fought my last fight for a heavyweight championship and it was a pretty good fight.” UFC President Dana White had said Francis Ngannou was next in line for a heavyweight title shot. “Great performance to both guys. ... Congrats to Stipe on the performance. See you soon,” Ngannou tweeted. Jon Jones, the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion, tried to stir the pot on social media by teasing a challenge to Miocic. “Heavyweight world championships I will be seeing you real soon. Victorious,” Jones tweeted. Miocic nearly got the finish at the end of the second round and had Cormier in trouble until time ran out. “One hundred percent I would have finished him,” Miocic said. Cormier knocked out Miocic at UFC 226 in the first round in their 2018 bout to win the heavyweight belt. Miocic defeated Cormier last August in the rematch at UFC 241. The winner of this bout could make an argument as the greatest heavyweight champion in UFC history. Miocic has plenty left in the tank to keep cementing his legacy as the best big man UFC has seen inside the cage. “Great heavyweight fight!! #UFC252 #TeamStipe,” Lakers star LeBron James tweeted. Cormier finished with a 1-2 mark against Miocic and a losing mark against Jones. Cormier lost both fights to Jones, though the second one was overturned when Jones failed a doping test. The result was changed to a no contest. Miocic, who continues to work shifts for the Valley View (Ohio) Fire Department, has won eight of his last night fights. “I don't get any special treatment,” Miocic said. “I'm just one of the dudes.” The only thing missing was the crowd. UFC hasn't missed a beat during the pandemic and continued to run some of its most successful shows over the last few years. But no doubt a packed and crazed crowd would have added another dimension to the epic trilogy. White said UFC will return to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island. “I don't see fans happening any time soon,” White said. “I'm not even thinking about it.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 16th, 2020

Mark Magsayo training for September return to action

Undefeated Filipino boxer Mark "Magnifico" Magsayo is hard at work as he looks a September return to the ring.  The 25-year old, who's 20-0 with 14 KOs in his career, posted a video of himself shadowboxing and working up a sweat in Los Angeles.  (READ ALSO: Pinoy boxing stars John Riel Casimero, Mark Magsayo link up in the US) The Tagbilaran, Bohol-native has been in Los Angeles since the start of July, working with famed boxing coach Freddie Roach and strength and conditioning trainer Justin Fortune, both longtime-members of Manny Paquiao's camp.  According to The Ring Magazine, Magsayo is expected to make a return to boxing on September 23rd, on yet-to-be-announced PBC on Fox card in Los Angeles. Magsayo last fought back in August of 2019, defeating Thailand's Pungluang Sor Singyu by Unanimous Decision.  Earlier this year, Magsayo inked a promotional deal with Pacquiao's MP Promotions, joining fellow young stars such as world champions Jerwin Ancajas, John Riel Casimero, and Pedro Taduran. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 9th, 2020

No 'horror stories' in sports as GAB takes careful approach amid pandemic

The Games and Amusements Board is all for having sports return in the Philippines this year. However, the GAB is also all-in for doing things right to lessen the risks involved especially since COVID-19 is still around. "We don't want any horror stories in professional sports," GAB Chairman Baham Mitra said during a recent Philippine Sportswriters Association forum. "That's why we're anticipating the possible problems and doing everything we can to make sure na it will be safe," he added. Most of the world's sports leagues shut down in March due to the pandemic. Locally, the PBA officially suspended its season last March 11 after only one game in the 2020 Philippine Cup. Since that time however, leagues have returned in some parts of the world. The NBA has returned and is about three games into its official seeding games before the playoffs begin. With examples set in other countries, the GAB is hopeful that local leagues can open shop soon as well, under safe circumstances of course. "A lot of us have been in their homes for the longest time. Watching the resumption of sports in other countries, we're not only envious but we're also gigil to have it resume here," Mitra said. "Ang feeling ko nag-resume na sa ibang bansa, bakit dito hindi? Kung kaya nila, mas kaya ng Pinoy. Looking at the other countries in terms of sports, no audience. Ganun din tayo," he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 4th, 2020

How To Send WhatsApp Messages Without Internet

WhatsApp has been one of the leading choice of communication among the young and old. Perhaps it is even the most popular messaging service all over the world. Approximately 2 billion people uses the app worldwide. What is not to like about WhatsApp? You can make international and local calls or video calls, send messages, […] The post How To Send WhatsApp Messages Without Internet appeared first on Pinoy Parazzi......»»

Category: newsSource:  pinoyparazziRelated NewsJul 29th, 2020

Boxing cleared to resume by IATF, says GAB chairman Baham Mitra

Pinoy boxers and boxing fans have reason to celebrate after the announcement that the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infections Diseases) has given the boxing the clearance to resume.  According to Games and Amusements Board Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra the IATF has allowed boxing to return, but will need to follow a set of health guidelines.  Earlier this month, sports like football and basketball (albeit a slight delay) were already given the green light to resume practice.  “Ang nai-pasok na po namin ay practice ng basketball and football, and then yung boxing, pumayag na, na magkaroon ng boxing, provided that both boxers and the referees, they test, yung negative sila, and then after three days, laban na sila,” Chairman Mitra revealed on an episode of The Chasedown. “After testing, ico-confine sila, para hindi mahawa ulit or [maka-hawa].” Boxing is just one of the many sports all over the world that was forced to hit pause following the exposion of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In June however, boxing returned in the United States, with Top Rank Boxing starting to put on events.  According to Chairman Mitra, boxing events in the Philippines will feature a significantly slimmed down card with a maximum of just five bouts, a far cry from the previous norm of at least ten bouts per event.  “Yung sa boxing, maximum if five bouts. Ibig-sabihin, sampung boksingero lang pwede. Dati kasi ten or fifteen, or twelve fights in a day,” Chairman Mitra explained. “Ngayon, maximum of five lang, kasi ang pinapayagan lang ay sampu.”  Before fighters can step inside the ring however, they will need to undergo testing three days prior to fight night and then remain confined or quarantined so as to avoid contracting the disease.  “These boxers will be tested three days before the fight and then they will be confined, and then weigh-in, and then fight, and then after the fight, they will also be tested,” Chairman Mitra continued. “Wala na pong rapid test yung before. Yung rapid test, after na lang. Lahat swab test para sigurado, para halos walang error.” The swab testing, Chairman Mitra explained, is for maximum accuracy.  “We’re also scared, ano? We might be held liable na ‘Pinayagan ng GAB yan eh’. Kami naman, sumusunod lang kami sa IATF, ang sabi nila papayagan lang namin kayo mag-boxing kung negative parehas.” Apart from the boxers themselves, the third men in the ring will not only need to be tested but are also required to wash up and change clothes after every bout they officiate.  “So even the referee will also be tested, because he will be in the middle eh, and then the referees will be asked to wear short sleeved shirts and then wash [after] every bout, change t-shirt, change uniform [after] every bout.”  Chairman Mitra added that judges will be placed further away from the ring, and only essential personnel will be allowed in the venue during events.  “Tapos yung mga judges, hindi na sila beside the ring, medyo malayo na sila. Yung commentators will be outside of the venue, and only one or two camera people will be involved, and then as much as possible, we will not be allowing yung mga 21 and below or 60 and above, except if it’s essential. For example, almost all promoters are above 60, so okay lang yan.” As with most sports that have been able to return during the pandemic, there will be no audiences allowed.  Chairman Mitra expects the new guidelines to be released by Monday next week, and then for PBA and PFL practices to resume by the end of next week......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 26th, 2020

Bhullar looks forward to title clash with Vera

Top heavyweight contender Arjan Bhullar joined ONE Championship in late 2019, looking to make an immediate impact in the promotion. Since coming over directly from the UFC, he’s certainly made a big splash. After defeating a former ONE World Title challenger in Italy’s Mauro Cerilli last October in his debut, Bhullar earned his shot at ONE Championship gold......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2020

Josh Taylor would love to fight ‘hero’ Manny Pacquiao

Add undefeated Scottish junior welterweight Josh “The Tartan Tornado” Taylor to the growing list of people who want to step in the ring with eight-division boxing world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.  The 29-year old Taylor (16-0, 12 KO) is coming off a majority decision victory over American Regis Prograis to retain the IBF Junior Welterweight World Champion and caputure the WBA (Super) Junior Welterweight World Championship in the World Boxing Super Series Junior Welterweight Finals.  Now, Taylor is looking up to a different weight class and targeting one of it’s biggest names in Pacquiao, who’s currently the reigning WBA (Super) Welterweight World Champion.  Taylor had nothing but praise for the 41-year old Pinoy icon, and even referred to Pacquiao as his hero.  “Manny Pacquiao is my hero,” Taylor said in an interview with BT Sport. “To share the ring with my hero would be brilliant. It would be amazing. That would be a dream come true in itself sharing the ring with Manny Pacquiao.” While the respect is indeed there, Taylor kept it real and said that if he did get the opportunity to share the ring with a legend like Pacquiao, he wouldn’t be putting it to waste.  “Obviously once you get in there you, go in there to take his head off. I would love to fight my hero it would be brilliant,” Taylor continued.  Taylor is just the latest to pinpoint Pacquiao as a coveted opponent, with other top-tier welterweights like Terence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr., Mikey Garcia, and Keith Thurman all expressing their desire to face off against Pacquiao.  Taylor is confident that he can hold his own and do well against some of the world’s best 147-pounders.  “I’m pretty big for one 140. I can afford to go on and put one a bit of muscle and a bit of strength,” Taylor explained. “I think it works in my advantage with the speed coming up from the slightly lower weight with Spence killing himself to make 147, me coming up with the speed and the natural weight would work in my advantage.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 5th, 2020

Mikey Garcia confident he can give Manny Pacquiao problems inside the ring

Four-division world champion Mikey Garcia is confident that he can give Filipino boxing star and eight-division world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao problems inside the ring, if they do get matched up.  Garcia has long been a name linked to Pacquiao as a possible opponent, and while the American top contender understands the magnitude of a possible Pacquiao versus Terence Crawford bout, he still would like to have the opportunity to share the ring with Pinoy boxing icon.  Garcia is coming off a decision win over former world champion Jessie Vargas, bouncing back from his first and only career loss to IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol Spence Jr. back in March of 2019.  The 32-year old sees a potential Pacquiao bout as a better matchup for him, given physical differences compared to Spence.  "He doesn’t have the height and reach advantage like Errol, so I think that makes it a better fight for me,” Garcia told Fox Sports (via BoxingScene.com). “I know he’s going to engage and I know he’s going to fight hard. He’s a great fighter. He's a living legend, and I would love to add that to my resume.” Much like most fighters today, Garcia sees facing the legendary Pacquiao as a way to boost their legacy, apart from the challenge of course.  “Fighting the great Manny Pacquiao would be tremendous for my legacy," said Garcia.  At 41 years old, it’s hard to claim that Pacquiao is still in his peak, but what he did prove was that he was still one of the best in the world, as evidenced by his performances against Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman in 2019.  Those two wins, especially the one against Thurman, has made Pacquiao a coveted bout for the welterweight division’s best.  Garcia, who’s undoubtedly one of the division’s top contenders, believes that he can defeat Pacquiao, who’s the reigning WBA (Super) Welterweight World Champion.  "If I'm capable of securing a victory over him and that definitely adds to what I want to accomplish with my legacy and those big triumphs. I’m excited if we can get that fight, that would be the best fight,” Garcia stated.  “I know there are other opportunities for him, there's other options that you mentioned like Keith Thurman, maybe Errol Spence or Danny Garcia. I'm sure all of these are big fights for Manny, but I would love the opportunity as well. It's a great fight, the fanbase would love that. I have a lot of fans and he’s obviously the biggest draw,” Garcia added.  While Pacquiao is among those seriously being discussed for Crawford’s return later this year, a bout against Garcia still isn’t out of the realm of possibility, and Garcia says that if he does get the fight, he won’t squander the opportunity to do something big.  "So I think it would be a great fight. If I get that, I’m definitely taking care of business and I'm not gonna let this pass me by. I hope we secure that and look forward to it,” Garcia said, even comparing himself to a former Pacquiao rival in Juan Manuel Marquez. “I can fight really well. I feel that my boxing style can complicate things a lot for him similar to the way Marquez complicated things for Manny in all those fights." .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 1st, 2020