The Filipino-Mexican rivalry in boxing will be heating up even before the anticipated war in the ring on March 19 in Las Vegas between Manny Pacquiao and Erik Morales.
Former Philippine champions Vernie Torres and Jerry Balagbagan will headline the “The war goes on, Philippines vs Mexico” card against separate Mexican opponents on March 12 at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.
Making his first boxing promotion, Los Angeles-based native of Dipolog City Philippines, Pex Aves pitted the General Santos-native Torres against Mexican ring terror and a do or die brawler Salvador “Diablito” Casillas in the main event.
While the Lupao, Nueva Ecija-born Balagbagan, who was a former RP and Philippine Boxing Federation (PBF) light middleweight boss, faces Jose “El Tigre” Mendiola.
Aves, who plans to put five other bouts between black Americans and Mexicans to complete the card, becomes the first Filipino boxing promoter in America.
To stage a card, Aves needed to shell out $25,000 for promoter license permit to the California State Athletic Commission and another $46,000 for the reservation of Grand Olympic Auditorium.
The Auditorium is the same venue where Pacquiao retained the International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-bantam title via 3rd round knockout win over Mexico-native Emmanuel Lucero in July 2003. That win made Pacman the first Filipino winner at the historic venue along L.A’s S. Grand Avenue.
Aves is the Philippine Press Club International (PPCI) executive vice president in the U.S. and offers legal services with office along Wilshire Boulevard in L.A.
As of posting time, Aves is still waiting for the $5-million worth Liability Bond from an Insurance company to make him able to sell the tickets.
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