TWO-TIME world title challenger Michael Farenas headlines the initial fight card to be promoted by the combined outfit of boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao and former two-time world champion Gerry Penalosa.
Farenas, who challenged Yuriorkis Gamboa for the World Boxing Association (WBA) super-featherweight title in the undercard of the fourth meeting between Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez last year, battles Jesus Rios of Mexico in a 10-rounder that serves as the main event of the initial venture by the MAG PACMAN Boxing International Promotions.
The match is set on December 13 at the Solaire Resort and Casino and is part of an exciting 11-fight boxing card that also features unbeaten Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr. and Richard Pumicpic.
Together with Pacquiao and Penalosa in the boxing undertaking that aims to showcase the most talented fighters in the country, is promoter Anson Tiu-Co, owner of the Shape Up Boxing Gym in Baguio, to complete the MAG (Manny, Anson, Gerry) acronym of the boxing promotion.
Farenas’ bout with Rios, according to Penalosa, could serve as a tune-up fight for a possible February showdown with unbeaten World Boxing Organization (WBO) super-featherweight champion Mikey Garcia.
“Wala pang kontrata pero nung nakausap ko si Bob Arum (Top Rank Promotions chairman) sa Macau (during the Pacquiao-Brandon Rios fight), he told me to prepare Mike to fight Mikey Garcia in the undercard of Zou Shiming’s February 22 ring comeback,” bared Penalosa during the formal press launching of the promotions on Wednesday at the Solaire Resort and Casino.
“Pero kung di matuloy, may laban pa rin siya by February.”
Penalosa and Pumicpic will also be pitted against tough Mexican opponents in the undercard of the event also presented by San Miguel Beer, Toby’s, Boysen, Family Rubbing Alcohol, Viktor, and Siscor.
The young Penalosa takes on Alem Robles, while Pumicpic clashes with Luis Lugo.
Tiu-Co meanwhile, said the MAG PACMAN promotions will also not hesitate to pit two talented Filipino fighters against each other, stressing the system has long been a practice in boxing-crazy countries like Mexico.
“The best way to bring the best out of people is to pit the best against the best,” he said. “This way, we can professionalize boxing and avoid the usual mismatches.”
Both Penalosa and Tiu-Co said they want to raise the norm as far as boxers’ purses are concerned, although at the moment, a standard rate is being followed as per rules by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB).
“So instead of raising the fight purse, we thought of just creating added incentive like giving out additional prize to the boxers involved in the `Fight of the Night’ or the `Boxer of the Night.’"