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    MP Promotions looking to take displaced ALA fighters under its wings

    Aug 19, 2020

    MP (Manny Paquiao) Promotions is considering taking under its wings some of the boxers displaced following the unexpected closure of the fabled ALA Boxing of Cebu.

    Sean Gibbons, president of the promotional outfit owned by the legendary Manny Pacquiao, said he’ll try to see what he can do to help accommodate and revive the careers of several former ALA boys.

    “I am going to see about helping a few,” he said in a short message from Las Vegas.

    MP Promotions currently has four reigning Filipino world champions in its stable, namely Pacquiao (World Boxing Association welterweight), Jerwin Ancajas (International Boxing Federation super-flyweight), Johnriel Casimero (World Boxing Organization bantamweight), and Pedro Taduran (IBF mini-flyweight).

    Gibbons felt sorry for the decision of the father-and-son tandem of Tony and Michael Aldeguer to shut down the Cebu-based boxing stable after 35 years owing to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of longtime TV partner ABS-CBN.

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    He described the Aldeguers as ‘good people.’

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    With ALA boxing stopping operations, the Aldeguers also decided to release all of its fighters to give them the opportunity to look for possible promoters.

    Gibbons admitted having interest in some of them, but refused to mention names.

    The most notable of them of course, is Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes, the longest-reigning Filipino world champion and only the third fighter from the Philippines – after Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire Jr. - to win world titles in four weight classes.

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    While Nietes (42-1-5, 23 KOs) is already 38, Gibbons believes there is still some gas left in his tank. The problem is, the native of Murcia, Negros Occidental has no title to hold on to at this stage.

    Until in early 2019, Nietes held the WBO super-flyweight crown until deciding to relinquish it in the hope of setting up big fights against some of the top names in the division such as Juan Francisco Estrada, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzales.’

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    “Most guys do not want to fight or match (up) with (someone) with no belt,” said the MP Promotions official.

    Fellow Filipino Ancajas is also in consideration but a longshot for Nietes to fight.

    Unfortunately, Nietes, who won the WBO crown with a split decision win over Kazuto Ioka in Japan on New Year’s Eve of 2018, never fought again after giving up his belt, a decision which Gibbons felt backfired on him.

    “It’s been downhill ever since,” he said.

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      Aside from Nietes, other top fighters from ALA Boxing include Milan Melindo, Jonas Sultan, Arthur Villanueva, Albert and Jason Pagara, Melvin Jerusalem, Jeo Santisima, and KC Cataraja.

      Melindo was the former IBF flyweight title holder, while Sultan and Villanueva both challenged for a world championship but lost in their respective bids.

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