UNBEATEN Filipino fighters Genesis Servania and `King’ Arthur Villanueva vowed not to disappoint their famed benefactor and the Filipino boxing fans when they see action in their first major international exposure.
The two headlines the `Pinoy Pride’ duel in Dubai set on Sept. 5 at the Dubai World Trade Center, marking the inaugural boxing card overseas of Cebu-based ALA Promotions.
And that promotional outfit president and CEO Michael Aldeguer has entrusted the fate of the entire event on the shoulders of the two promising world challengers show the kind of confidence he has on both Villanueva and Servania.
“Maraming salamat na binigyan niya (Aldeguer) kami ng pagkakataon na makalaban sa unang Pinoy Pride sa labas ng bansa, kaya binigay ko na lahat sa training at huwag ng mag-pabaya pa sa laban,” said Servania during the sendoff press conference tendered for them by ALA Promotions and ABS-CBN Sports.
For his part, Villanueva said, “Salamat sa tiwala nila (ALA and ABS-CBN) sa kakayahan namin. Ibibigay ko talaga lahat ng makakaya ko para manalo.”
Both Villanueva and Servania fought once outside of the country, but not of this kind of magnitude when they’re in for a tough outing in the 27th edition of the popular boxing series dubbed `Duel in Dubai.’
Servania (24-0, 10 KOs) will be up against Mexican Jose Cabrera to whom he stakes his World Boxing Organization (WBO) Inter-Continental super bantamweight crown. The match is set for 12 rounds.
Cabrera has a record of 22-4, with 10 KOs. He is a former Mexico flyweight champion and challenged unsuccessfully for the WBO super-flyweight title against Omar Narvaez of Argentina in 2012.
Villanueva (25-0, 14 KOs) is facing Nicaraguan Henry Maldonado, who boasts of a 19-3 (14 KOs) record. At stake in the 12-round match is the International Boxing Federation (IBF) International junior bantamweight championship.
Also part of the card is former world title contender Rey `Boom Boom’ Bautista, who is currently on a comeback trail. He takes on another Mexican in Juan Jose Marquez in a 10-round featherweight match.
Aldeguer said the first ever staging of Pinoy Pride abroad was five years in the making and something that `we thought for quite some time.’
“We also considered Qatar and Abu Dhabi as possible site, but I think right now Dubai is the right choice for us,” said the ALA official, who was joined in the presidential table by ABS-CBN Head for Integrated Sports Dino Laurena and Peter Musngi.