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It is no secret that multi-awarded Australian boxing promoter Peter Maniatis is on the lookout for potential world champions. And that the Philippines has been his pumpkin patch comes as no surprise as the man already declared that Filipinos are among of the Asia’s best boxing prospects.

“Philippines is the best boxing pool in Asia,” Maniatis told this writer.

"Filipinos are among Asia's best boxers." - Peter Maniatis

The Melbourne-based promoter knows his boxing, being a champion amateur fighter and a sportscaster before going over the business side of the sport and has been visiting the country scouring for world championship prospects. Maniatis has already signed former WBC international bantamweight and super bantamweight champion Balweg Bangoyan to his roster. Bangoyan will figure in a June 11-clash with Elmer Legaria in General Santos City.

“I have set up Bangoyan’s debut fight in Australia and I just need to get Zander’s approval,” Maniatis informed this writer in a recent conversation. Mindanao-based promoter Zander Kahn handles Bangoyan’s career and has been working in partnership with Maniatis to bring Bangoyan to Australia.

In addition to Bangoyan, Maniatis says he has found another potential fighter to build up. The Australian saw the heavy-handed Randy Petalcurin in action in the undercard of the Brian Viloria-Carlos Tamara IBF light flyweight title bout back in January 2010. Although Petalcurin lost the fight via TKO to Marlon Tapales in their light flyweight matchup, Maniatis was impressed with the General Santos City native.

Randy Petalcurin

“He is a rough diamond,” Maniatis said. “He has power but he is very rough on the edges. I will refine him once I have the go signal to take him to Australia.”

Maniatis has already made arrangements with Petalcurin’s manager Jim Jean Managquil and it will only be a matter of time before Petalcurin will fight in an international stage.

Maniatis pointed out Petalcurin’s youth as his biggest asset. An amateur standout before turning professional, Petalcurin has all the time in the world to soak up and learn what he can while under Maniatis’ promotional contract.

“He is only 19-years old,” the Australian promoter said. “It’s not going to be hard to train him and instill in him the skills he needs to get to the elite level. All he needs to do is make use of the opportunity I am giving him.”

Petalcurin will face off against Yodchingchai Sithkonnapha of Thailand on June 11 in General Santos City.

“If he wins on the 11th, I am looking to pit him against former world champion Muhammad Rachman of Indonesia,” Maniatis declared.

On Shane Mosley’s desire to stop Pacquiao fight

When asked what he thought of the video that showed Shane Mosley asking his trainer Nazim Richardson to end the fight, Maniatis said that Richardson did a good job in talking Mosley in not giving the fight to Pacquiao.

“I saw the video and I have to tip my hat to Richardson,” Maniatis said. “It’s not easy to be in the opposite corner against Pacquiao and Mosley’s trainer did all he could to keep his fighter going despite the loss of motivation.”

Erratum: Muhammad Rachman is the reigning WBA minimumweight champion.

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Kenneth P. Ragpala is an award-winning sports blogger who has been covering the sport of boxing since 2008. His works have appeared in local newspapers in his home city in Cagayan de Oro and in several online publications abroad. Ragpala has written for several boxing websites, namely Fight Hype, 8 Count News, and Bleacher Report.