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Cebu City, Philippines – Last Sunday, September 4th 2011, the Filipino participants in the upcoming Pinoy Pride 8: Philippines vs. Mexico strutted their wares at SM City Events Centre with a series of public workout. The Philippine Team, spearheaded by the undefeated Milan Melindo, performed some boxing drills and exercises in front of the watching public.

Pinoy Pride 8 will attempt to break some ground bringing in three Mexican fighters in one event. This is a feat never done before in Philippine boxing.

In the audience was ALA Promotions founder, Antonio L. Aldeguer. While he is no longer handling the business, which he passed to his son Michael, the likable boxing figure remains glued to the sport. This writer, along with Lemuel Maglinte of SunStar Cebu, took the chance to talk to the affable boxing patron about the very ambitious card to take place this Saturday, September 10th at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino here in Cebu City.

Pinoy Pride VIII: Ambitious

To be honest, I am quite nervous with this card,”Aldeguer said. “Our boys are running out of opposition here in Asia. We can’t just pit them with Indonesians and Thais anymore.”

Aldeguer was specifically referring to undefeated Filipino super bantamweight prospect Genesis Servania, who sports a 14-0 win-loss record, with five wins by knockout. Hailing from Bacolod City, Sevania will have his first clash against a foreigner in Gerson “El Nene” Guerrero.

Guerrero is no ordinary fighter. The Mexico City native is a veteran of 42 bouts, Guerrero owns 34 victories against 8 losses, with 24 wins coming by way of knockout. The Mexican boasts of power, ring guile, experience, and an impressive resume that includes fights against current IBF super flyweight champion Cristian Mijares, former world titleholder Daniel Ponce de Leon, undefeated OPBF super bantamweight titlist Alexander Bahktin, and former world title contender Raul Juarez. Guerrero was once tapped to fight Filipino superstar Nonito Donaire but had to withdraw after failing a medical exam.

It is a risky fight for Genesis, but one that will catapult him to a higher level and open more opportunities for him, provided he wins.”

Asked about the magnitude of Pinoy Pride 8 and the possible after effects, Aldeguer admits that the putting the card together and bringing in three Mexicans is already a risky financial venture in itself.

We have to shell a lot of money to bring these guys here and fight in our backyard,” Aldeguer exclaimed.”But if this gamble is successful, my son (Michael) has grander things in mind and will put into motion.”

It will be a big event I tell you,” Aldeguer told this writer.

For several reasons, this writer will not publish what that grand scheme is, but here’s a hint if Pinoy Pride 8 proves to be a commercial success – think Philippines against another boxing powerhouse nation.

Berto is champion once more

Last Saturday (Sunday here in the Philippines), Berto bounced back from a very huge loss to Victor Ortiz by stopping then unbeaten Jan Zaveck of Germany to nab the IBF welterweight championship. Zavek’s left eye was shut close by the end of the 5th round, forcing the ringside physician to recommend a halt to the bout.

While Berto is now and Alpha belt champion, naming him as one of the elite welters out there is still a far cry for several boxing observers. Though Berto displayed more drive in the Zavek fight than he did against Ortiz, the American-Haitian prizefighter, he is still the same boxer who easily gets hit. The Zavek fight showed nothing special about the new IBF welterweight champion.

Zavek himself delivered a gutsy and impressive showing, which earned him quite a few fans after his first fight in the United States. A rematch between the two should be in order. If not, then Berto needs to prove himself out there with a couple of title defenses against solid, top tier contenders such as Mike Jones and Kell Brook.

Photo credits: ALA Promotions

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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.