By Ronnie Nathanielsz –

Ala Promotions president Michael Aldeguer is looking to stage a double world title fight card in Dubai in October in partnership with the giant broadcast network ABS-CBN whose “Pinoy Pride” series continues to register remarkable TV ratings.

Aldeguer told Standard he is “really working on putting up something really big in Dubai” and is considering a mandatory title defense of WBO minimumweight champion Merlito “Tiger” Sabillo against Nicaragua’s Nicaragua’s undefeated Carlos Buitrago.

The 21 year old Buitrago has an impressive record, being unbeaten in 27 fights with 16 knockouts. He won the Interim title with a twelve round unanimous decision over Julian Yedres who was also undefeated at that time with a record of 21-0 with 13 knockouts, on July 20 this year.

He had earlier scored a 6th round TKO over Colombia’s Jorlie Estrada who was knocked out in the 9th round by Sabillo at the plush Solaire Resort and Casino overlooking Manila Bay last July 13.

Buitrago had also beaten Eddy Castro of Nicaragua  by a  2nd round TKO on May 6, 2011 and followed with a 5th round TKO exactly one year later. Castro is the same fighter who was knocked out in the second round by then minimum  weight champion Donnie Nietes in a title defense on August 30, 2008.

Sabillo who is a devastating puncher and an aggressive fighter has a record of  23-0 with 12 knockouts and was a former street fighter in Bacolod who moved to the famed ALA Gym at the age of 25. He is now 29.

Plans call for Sabillo to headline the card alongside WBO light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes.

Aldeguer said “we can’t prolong the wait for Nietes and we will discuss with ABS-CBN’s Peter Musngi the chances of staging a world title double-header and indicated there  is “a strong possibility” it would  happen.

Aldeguer said he was informed recently in Macau by Zanfer Promotions that mandatory challenger Moises Fuentes suffered a cut in his last fight when he scored a ten round unanimous decision over Gerardo Verde in Tijuana on June 28 and that since they can’t wait  until next year, Nietes who retained his title with a close majority draw when he first faced Fuentes last March 2, they  may have a voluntary defense before a Fuentes rematch.

He said that next year the plan is to set-up operations in San Diego, California and will study the chance to put on the Nietes title defense against Fuentes in the United States.–68346



By:  Ronnie Nathanielz –

Ricky Vargas, the president of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines or ABAP, was impressed with the performance of World Boxing Organization minimum weight champion Merlito “Tiger” Sabillo in his successful first title defense against Colombia’s No. 6 world-ranked contender Jorlie Estrada during the Pinoy Pride XXI at the Solaire Resort and Casino last Saturday.

Vargas, who watched the ABS-CBN telecast of the fights on Sunday told the Manila Standard he liked the aggressive stance of Sabillo as he “kept chasing his opponent, who was scared and kept running.”

Vargas said the crunching left hook to the ribs that dropped Estrada, who went down grimacing in pain and was counted out by referee Raul Caiz Jr. in the 9th round was “a perfect punch. It was devastating.”

Vargas believes Sabillo has a good future in the pro ranks.

The WBO champion is likely to defend his title in Dubai this October if ALA Promotions is unable to schedule a title defense for WBO light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes in Dubai in September.

ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told us the priority is Nietes.

“He needs to fight. We are trying to move heaven and earth to get a fight in Dubai, but if it can’t be done in September, we’ll have to do it here, possibly in Davao City where the last Pinoy Pride XX was very well received,” he said.

Aldeguer also said he, too, was impressed with the showing of Sabillo, who made a fight out of it against a back-pedaling Estrada. Sabillo cut the ring off well and scored with vicious body shots before eventually knocking out Estrada.


By Ronnie Nathanielsz –

ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer plans to stage a voluntary title defense of World Boxing Organization light flyweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes sometime in September in Dubai.

Aldeguer spoke to the Manila Standard following his return from the United Arab Emirates, along with vice president Dennis Canete and ABS-CBN Sports Peter Musngi, who joined them in Dubai for a series of meetings with officials of The Filipino Channel, headed by Maribel Rodriguez and various events specialists.

The Dubai fight card is just one part of the exciting expansion plans of ALA Promotions, in partnership with ABS-CBN, which will also see fight cards  promoted in the United States sometime next year.

Musngi told Manila Standard that “more venues are available in September,” and that was the reason for not pushing the title fight to October when “lots of things are happening.”

With the large Filipino community in Dubai, who have enjoyed the highly successful “Pinoy Pride” series telecast live on The Filipino Channel of  ABS-CBN, Musngi said: “The prospects are great.”


By:  Joaquin Henson –

MANILA, Philippines – WBO lightflyweight champion Donnie (Ahas) Nietes of Murcia, Negros Occidental, will battle mandatory challenger Moises Fuentes in Mexico late this year, his manager Michael Aldeguer confirmed recently, but is set to make a voluntary defense earlier against an opponent still to be named.

Aldeguer said he has come to terms with Zanfer, the Mexican outfit that promotes Fuentes, to stage the rematch in Mexico in November or December. Last March, Nietes and Fuentes fought to a majority 12-round draw at the Waterfront Hotel Pacific Ballroom in Lahug. The outcome was disputed by both camps. Nietes’ manager Marco Antonio Barrera said in his view, Fuentes won by a margin of four rounds. But ALA Boxing chairman Tony Aldeguer disagreed, asserting that Nietes threw the clearer and harder punches in a close fight.

When Fuentes met Nietes, he still held the WBO minimumweight championship. The Mexican has since relinquished the throne and is now the No. 1 contender in the 108-pound division. Filipino Merlito Sabillo, who also belongs to the ALA stable, has succeeded Fuentes as WBO 105-pound titleholder.

For a while, it appeared that Nietes would not agree to a rematch particularly as Fuentes demanded as a condition that no Filipino judge would be assigned by WBO president Paco Valcarcel. In the first encounter, Filipino judge Danrex Tapdasan scored it 115-113 for Nietes while San Diego’s Pat Russell and Las Vegas’ Adalaide Byrd saw it 114-all. Aldeguer said Fuentes had no business making the demand particularly as he never complained when a Mexican judge was on the panel in two of Nietes’ three title defenses as WBO minimumweight champion in Mexico.

It is not known if Valcarcel will assign a Filipino or a Mexican for the return engagement in Mexico. What is certain is the rematch will be in Fuentes’ home country. Aldeguer said since Fuentes is the No. 1 contender, he is entitled to challenge Nietes once more.

“Donnie sustained two big cuts above both eyes last March and he’s still not allowed to do any sparring,” said Michael Aldeguer. “But his next fight will be on Aug. 24 in Cebu. It will be a voluntary defense before the rematch with Fuentes.” Aldeguer said no opponent has been identified for the voluntary defense at the moment but he will be in the top 10 ratings.

Two of the top 10 contenders are Filipinos, No. 5 Joebert Alvarez and No. 8 Randy Petalcorin so they’re not in the list of Aldeguer’s candidates. Aside from Fuentes, there are two Mexicans in the top 10, No. 3 Javier Mendoza and No. 10 Odion Zaleta. Aldeguer will likely not tap a Mexican for the optional defense. That leaves No. 2 Kompayak Porporamook of Thailand, No. 4 Noknoi Sitthiprasert of Thailand, No. 5 Shin Ono of Japan, No. 7 Luis Alberto Rios of Panama and No. 9 Felix Alvarado of Nicaragua.

Kompayak, the former WBC lightflyweight champion, is now the interim WBA flyweight titlist so he’s moved up in weight. Rios was outpointed by IBF lightflyweight champion Johnriel Casimero last March so he wouldn’t be an attraction for Filipino fans. By process of elimination, the remaining candidates are Noknoi, Ono and Alvarado.

Noknoi, 26, has a 42-4 record, with 24 KOs. He has won his last 41 outings after losing four of his first five bouts since turning pro in 2003. The Thai lost a decision to Filipino Dondon Jimenea but has beaten all his other Filipino opponents, namely Edison Berwela (W6), Rey Loreto (W6), Donny Mabao (W10 twice), Dindo Nacionales (KO4), Joel Rafols (KO8), Carlo Besares (KO2), Jason Geda (KO3) and Tommy Terrado (W10).

Ono, 30, has never faced a Filipino. He could be seriously considered as Japan recently recognized the WBO. Ono’s record is 15-5-2, with 2 KOs. His last win by stoppage came in 2004 over Keijiro Mizuno and he has since figured in 14 bouts, losing thrice, two by knockout.

Alvarado, 24, is a dangerous customer with a 16-0 record, including 13 KOs. He’s coming off a first round knockout win over Carlos Melo last April. Melo went the distance in losing a 12-round decision to Filipino Milan Melindo in 2008. Six of Alvarado’s 13 wins by knockout came in the first round, indicating brutal punching power.



Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista lost his WBO Intercontinental featherweight title in a sometimes ugly brawl with rough and rugged Mexican challenger Jose “Negro” Ramirez before a wildly cheering crowd of fight fans at the University of Southeastern Philippines gym after which respected ALA Promotions patron Tony Aldeguer told the Manila Standard it was time for Bautista to retire.

It was a decision concurred in by his son, ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer and one that was relayed to Bautista who, despite a gallant effort, showed the wear and tear of an entertaining and exciting career that forced the Aldeguers hand.

From the time he was dropped in the opening round by a left-right combination to the chin and suffered a cut from an accidental head-butt, Bautista was unable to find his rhythm or to inflict any serious damage on the Mexican who surprisingly found himself at the end of a 111-114 scorecard by judge Edward Ligas which drew loud boos from the crowd when it was announced by Ted Lerner.

However, judges Danrex Tapdasan and Salven Lagumbay saved the day as well as the reputation and integrity of the Philippines when they correctly scored the fight for Ramirez by an identical 114-111 score which drew cheers from the fans in Davao who, like the rest of the country, abhor hometown decisions.

The action was fast and furious and spiced with quite a few ugly tactics by both fighters and in the din of the crowd international referee Bruce McTavish as well as the fighters didn’t hear the bell signaling the end of round two and continued to throw punches.

After a furious exchange in round three McTavish went to the corner of Bautista and asked him “Are you okay?” to which “Boom Boom’ replied “Yes, I’m okay.”

Ramirez was cautioned for using his head in round five and received a second warning from McTavish in the very next round, prompting Bautista to retaliate with some nasty tactics of his own prompting McTavish who did a tremendous job under trying circumstances to admonish Bautista telling him “Boom Boom keep it clean.”

Bautista hurt Ramirez with a solid right hand in round seven before dropping him with an excellent one-two combination in round eight.

Another head-butt by Ramirez in the tenth round forced the referee to penalize the Mexican a point for repeatedly charging forward with his head with an elbow on the side of Bautista’s head causing a cut which bled profusely before the ring physician took a look at it on the request of McTavish and ruled that Bautista could continue.

The tide had clearly turned in favor of Ramirez in the so-called championship rounds as he slammed Bautista with body shots and occasionally used a clubbing right hand to the side of the head.

Ramirez hurt Bautista in the penultimate round as the Filipino uncharacteristically resorted to holding, shoving and complaining about the tactics of Ramirez who kept boring in to the end to earn a well-deserved victory and continue the painful series of losses of Filipino champions.

It began with Manny Pacquiao’s crushing 6th round knockout by Juan Manuel Marquez last December 8 and the back-to-back weekend losses of WBO/WBA flyweight champion Brian Viloria to another Mexican Juan Carlos Estrada on April 6 at the Venetian Resort Hotel in Macau and WBO,Ring Magazine and WBC Diamond Belt champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire loss to WBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux in a lackluster unification title bout before a sell-out crowd at the iconic Radio City Music Hall in New York. last April 13.

The Aldeguer father and son were convinced that it was time for Bautista to hang up his gloves.

Tony Aldeguer who looks after his fighters and doesn’t take money from them said Bautista was well-set. He has two houses, four cars, a few businesses and money in the bank and it was time for him to look after his wife and newborn baby.

Aldeguer said “Boom Boom” had given fight fans lots of excitement during his career and he had nothing to be ashamed of.

Negrense boxing champion Donnie Nietes will have his first title defense for his World Boxing Organization jr. flyweight belt on June 2 at either the Resorts World or Araneta Coliseum in Manila.

Michael Aldeguer, president and CEO of the ALA Promotions, told members of the press in Cebu that they are still finalizing the fight card and Nietes’ opponent, who will come from the top 15 fighters of the WBO in the 108-lb division, reports from the wires said.

Nietes earned the respect of the world boxing stage after dethroning former lightflyweight champion Ramon Garcia of Mexico by unanimous decision before a homecrowd at the University of St. La Salle Coliseum, October last year.

The pride of Murcia town and Bacolod City, Nietes said he will continue to give his best in every fight to give pride and honor to his province and be an inspiration to aspiring Negrense boxers.

Aldeguer earlier said ALA Promotions has always believed in Nietes’ potential to be a world champion and they will backed him up in his every fight.

Meanwhile, Aldguer said the continued success of the “Pinoy Pride” boxing series, a joint project of the ALA Promotions and ABS-CBN, prompted them to aim for bigger and better boxing events, starting with the Nietes fight.

”More world title fights and we will try to bring named opponents that fight fans are familiar with. It may not be easy and would cost much, but we owe it to the public for making Pinoy Pride what it is now, and we know the public will be expecting more from ALA Promotions and ABS-CBN,” Aldeguer said.

“We are looking into that direction of promoting more world titles fights in the Philippines,” he added.

Nietes, the only current world champion from ALA Promotions, last fought for over five months ago.

Either Rey “Boom-Boom” Bautista or world-rated Milan Melindo is fighting in the co-main event of one of ALA Promotion biggest events this year.

The choice depends on the result of ALA Promotions’ negotiation with the camp of Genaro “Poblanito” Garcia.*with a report from PNA

It has already been over five months since the momentous night when Donnie Nietes captured his second division world title after beating Ramon Garcia in his home province of Negros Occidental.

After winning the World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight crown with a unanimous decision over Garcia at the University of St. La Salle Coliseum in Bacolod City on Oct. 8 of last year, the 29-year-old janitor-turned-boxer hasn’t seen any more action.

However, the long wait is finally over as Nietes is having his first title defense of the WBO light flyweight title in May, in a Manila card that would include either ALA
Gym stars Milan Melindo or Rey “Boom-Boom” Bautista.

“We are working on who his opponent would be but we still need the approval of the WBO,” ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told Sun.Star Cebu. “Donnie’s opponent should be at the top 15.”

ALA Promotions currently has three venues to choose–Ynares Sports Arena, Cuneta Astrodome, and Resorts World.

Despite the long layoff, Aldeguer believes that Nietes neither has ring rust nor needs a tune-up fight, because he has been working rigorously in the gym during his ring hiatus.

“A tune-up fight could be sometimes risky and cause an injury so we are going through with the title defense in May. Donnie is a disciplined fighter who always keeps himself in shape so there should be no problem,” said the Cebuano promoter.

Aldeguer said that the choice between Melindo and Bautista in the co-main event depends on ALA Promotions’ negotiations with former world title challenger Genaro “Poblanito” Garcia.

“It would be Boom-Boom if we get to finalize the negotiations for Garcia to fight him.

If not, then Milan will be in the undercard,” he said.

Bautista still has a score to settle with Garcia after a different Genaro Garcia was sent to the Philippines in the 25-year-old Boholano’s return to Bohol this month.

Instead of the Genaro Garcia who figured in three world title fights, the one sent here was a patsy with a 10-11 record and was knocked out by Bautista in the second round.



ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer says AJ “Bazooka” Banal (26-1-1, 19 KO’s) is being lined up for a possible WBO Interim bantamweight title fight against Thailand’s No.1 world ranked Pungluang Sor Singyu who has an impressive record of 38-1 with 26 knockouts, many of them against Filipinos.

The solidly built Thai stopped Marvin Tampus in six rounds, Paul Apolinario, Freddie Martinez and Elmar Francisco in two and Joel Rafols in the first round. Pungluang won the WBO Asia Pacific Interim title with a 2nd round TKO of Nathan Bolicio last October 11 and won the Youth title with a 1st round knockout of Jilo Merlin on October 31, 2009.

Aldeguer told the Manila Standard that during the recent WBO Convention in Puerto Rico he started to “open up discussions” with WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel and Asia Pacific vice president Leon Panoncillo about a possible interim title fight, ”hopefully in March 2012.”

The interim title fight loomed after reigning WBO/WBC champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire announced he is moving up to campaign as a super bantamweight following his shutout win over two division champion Omar Andres Narvaez of Argentina last October 22 at the Theater in Madison Square Garden.

Although there are also possibilities of the talented southpaw Banal fighting for the No.1 mandatory spot in the IBF, Aldeguer said “for now, the focus is on the WBO not the IBF, but we will study the best option.”

Aldeguer informed us he would discuss the planned interim title fight with ABS-CBN vice president for Sports Peter Musngi before sending the WBO president a formal letter.

Aldeguer is in Los Angeles and plans on visiting the gym of Donaire’s trainer Robert Garcia who informed us that he would be ready to train Banal beginning next year since he is currently in Mexico working with Antonio Margarito.

Aldeguer who visited Garcia’s gym in the past said he would “still be passing by his gym to see the place again and prepare a place for Team Banal to stay when he starts training with Robert January of next year.” He added “definitely, whatever happens Banal will be training in the US next year. We feel that Robert is the right guy for Banal and maybe in the future for some of our other fighters.”


By Ronnie Nathanielsz