CARSON, CALIFORNIA, OCTOBER 1, 2015 – As evident in the media launch last Friday with a very supportive press, the boxing community in California is abuzz with excitement as the much talked about Philippines vs the World at StubHub Center on October 17 fast approaches and promises to dazzle fans with world-class matches.
Donnie “Ahas” Nietes (36-4, 21 KOs), the longest reigning Filipino world champion, will defend his WBO World Jr. Flyweight crown against Juan “Pinky” Alejo of Mexico (21-3, 13KOs).
“Prince” Albert Pagara (24-0, 17KOs), the undefeated IBF Inter-Continental Super Bantamweight Champion, will face his acid test against Nicaraguan knockout artist William ‘Chirizo’ Gonzalez (25-5, 23KOs) for the WBO International Jr. Featherweight Championship.
Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo (11-0, 9KOs) will defend his IBF Youth Featherweight crown against similarly undefeated Mexican Yardley Suarez (13-0, 8KOs).
Albert’s brother, Jason “El Niño” Pagara (36-2, 22KOs), will engage in an exciting fight against Gonzalez’s countryman, Santos ‘El Toro’ Benavides (25-7-2, 19KOs).
The Filipino boxers are training under Edito Villamor at famed coach Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.
30 Years in the Making
When the bell rings for the first round of the first boxing match of Philippines vs the World, it will reverberate 30 years back into history when ALA Sports Promotions International (ALASPI) started promoting boxing as ALA Boxing Gym in Cabancalan, Nasipit Talamban, Cebu City (ALA Boxing Gym Group is composed of the GYM, Promotions, and Fitness Gym).
Antonio Lopez Aldeguer, whose starting initials have become synonymous to the pioneering boxing promotions company in the Philippines – and now the premier in Asia – has been building fighters and trainers since 1985 for love of the sport of boxing. But his underlying passion is to uplift kids from poverty: a zeal that has produced Filipino world champions like former WBC Super Flyweight and WBO Bantamweight titlist Gerry Peñalosa and former WBC Flyweight Champion Malcolm Tuñacao.
With the goal of expanding the promotions and broadcast of boxing matches of Filipinos in the Philippines and internationally, ALA International found a perfect partner in the largest Filipino multimedia conglomerate, ABS-CBN Corporation – through ABS-CBN Sports + Action – with which it created the hugely successful “Pinoy Pride” series of boxing fights.
To bring “Pinoy Pride” to the world, ALA International and ABS-CBN Sports + Action joined hands with ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel (TFC), a global brand that offers, among others, the world’s most widely distributed premium and on demand channel showing Filipino content on multiple platforms. Through TFC global events, the excitement delivered by its shows are translated into live experiences for its subscribers and fans.
ALA International, ABS-CBN Sports + Action and TFC had resounding success among overseas Filipinos in the Middle East with “Pinoy Pride 27” in 2014 and “Pinoy Pride 32” in August this year, both billed as “Duel in Dubai”.
“After the very enthusiastic and encouraging reception we had in Dubai, we knew that the next logical move is to take this to the U.S., particularly in California where Filipinos comprise the largest Asian population. With Philippines vs the World, ALA International becomes the first promotional boxing outfit from Asia to secure a fight on U.S. soil. We’re able to do this with ABS-CBN. It is, indeed, a Filipino pride moment,” said ALA International President and CEO Michael P. Aldeguer.
“It is with much honor and pleasure that we are launching this sports milestone during National Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S. and will hold the actual event during Filipino American History Month, underscoring the international flavor of these matches,” said ABS-CBN Global COO Raffy Lopez . “This is a huge sports and multicultural celebration that shows what our partnership is capable of bringing to the U.S. boxing scene.”
For more information on Philippines vs the World and how to purchase tickets, visit http://www.stubhubcenter.com/events/detail/philippines-vs-the-world
(Photos by Sthanlee B. Mirador of SIPA, Keesa Ocampo, Nerissa Fernandez and Pia Lopezbanos Carrion. Photos from Mirador, Benny Uy of Balita & US Asian Post, Bobby Crisostomo of Tribune USA and Andy Tecson of Asian Journal are available upon request and with proper photo crediting).