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Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines – In the final press conference leading to their world title bout this Saturday night, December 10th, 2011 at the Hoops Dome Lapu-Lapu City, defending IBF international featherweight champion Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista (31-2, 23 KOs) and challenger Miguel Angel Mendoza (17-0-1, 17 KOs) are both hoping that neither will run away from each other. For Mendoza, he wants to take the Filipino down in six rounds. Bautista did not make a prediction but declared that he will make the Mexican eat his words.

“He has knocked 17 opponents out , which means he is a good fighter,” Bautista said, “but let’s just see if he can do the same to me.”

“I hope you will not run,” Mendoza shot back.

A win for Bautista is crucial. According to Michael Aldeguer, president and CEO of ALA Promotions, Bautista’s promotional outfit, a good performance may probably lead to a rematch with Daniel Ponce de Leon. It can be remembered that it was De Leon who delivered Bautista’s first career loss back in 2007.

Rey Bautista (second from left) and Miguel Angel Mendoza (second from right) pose with Raymond Wheatly of the IBF and Michael Aldeguer of ALA Promotions.

“Depending on his performance this Saturday, we’ll see if we can get that rematch. But it is definitely something we are looking at,” Aldeguer told the media.

Raymond Wheatly of the International Boxing Federation was present at the press conference and voiced the possibility of Bautista’s landing a title shot within  2012 if he comes out victorious against Mendoza. Aldeguer also expressed the same thought, though he said that a title shot is hard to land if you are not the mandatory challenger.

Bautista is currently ranked #5 by the IBF. But both the first and the second places are vacant. Billy Dib of Australia is the organization’s reigning champion.

“There are only two guys ahead of Bautista,” Wheatly told the press. “If he wins, he may score a title bout within the next 12 months.”

For Bautista, he said that he is not keen on thinking about the possibilities of a title fight or a second bout with De Leon. He said that his focus is on beating Mendoza and defend his title.

In the supporting event, unbeaten up-and-comers Genesis “Azukal” Servania (15-0, 5 KOs) and Marcos Geraldito Cardenas (19-0, 12 KOs) will stake their records as they go head to head against each other. Servania said he is very prepared physically and mentally and is not rattled by Cardenas’ record, which was first believed to be at 12-0-1 with 9 knockouts.

“His record don’t scare me,” Servania said. “I will give him a good fight this Saturday.”

Battling for the vacant Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation super lightweight title will be all-action fighter RP light welterweight champion Romeo “Jacko” Jakosalem and Pan Soo Kim of South Korea. A win for Jakosalem will probably lead to his anticipated rematch against Canadian light welterweight champion Steve Claggett.

“I would love that fight,” Jakosalem said. “I hope it happens.”

Aldeguer revealed that ALA Promotions is already in talks with Team Claggett and they will probably stage a rematch next year. And if Jakosalem wins the OPBF title, the crown will be at stake.

Rocky “The Road Warrior” Fuentes will figure against Thailand’s Lookdiaw Tor Buamas.

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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.