Young, Brave, Courageous.
Those words I think would best describe Filipino Boxers, I'm saying boxers with an "s" cause I'm not only refering to Manny Pacquiao.
Last year was a disappointment for Philippine boxing not only in the Pro ranks but also in the amateur as Rey Bautista's loss in Las Vegas and Harry Tanamor's failure in Beijing were major heart breakers but this year things are shaping up and it's getting to be exciting, at least exciting in the perspective of Filipinos.
First off, We have Gerry Penalosa looking to be the second Filipino to win a world title in three different weight classes, rumors of a fight against Juan Manuel Lopez could be big. Penalosa throughout out his 20 year career has never been stopped. It's going to be interesting if the fight push through. Penalosa, the highly regarded master of defense versus Lopez, the knockout artist of Puerto Rico.
Next we have Nonito Donaire, Will you tell me if moving up in a heavier division is the new trend now? Looks like it is. A clash with WBO superflyweight champion Fernando Montiel is Plan A, if that fails Bob Arum has his Plan B, to pit the Filipino Flash against Jose "Carita" Lopez, either way is an alphabet belt but the big question still remains "Is a rematch with Vic Darchinyan inevitable?"
Another fighter that's making waves right now is Bernabe Concepcion, He's going to have his featherweight debut tonight, January 11, against the dangerous Sande Otieno, the former WBC int'l super bantamweight champion. News are everywhere that if Concepcion would come up with a decisive victory, he could earned a shot at Mexican champion Oscar Larios or WBO Champion Steven Luevano, nonetheless opportunities are everywhere.
And last but not the least, Brian "The Hawaiian punch" Villoria, we could be seeing a sort of " Resurrecting the champ" scenario here. Villoria will have his hands full against Ulyses Solis, The IBF champion, he could go on to avenge the losses of fellow countrymen to Solis, perhaps his last chance to prove his worth.
Expect also a big year from the come-backing Czar Amonsot. Redemption for AJ Banal, the younger version of Hector "Macho" Camacho (as Jose Sulaiman said), World champion Donnie Nietes and the veteran Z "The Dream" Gorres.
Well, I just hope it goes out well, after all there's always a time for everything and this could be our time.
Four hours after this article was published Bernabe Concepcion, as expected cruise on to a win against Sande Otieno. The Breathless and almost wind-sucking Otieno quit on his stool and did not come out for the 6th round.
Looks like Bernabe Concepcion is on his way to a world title this year, or so I predict.