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Nick Giongco

Vargas vows breakout win vs Pacquiao

Jessie Vargas has surrounded himself with what he coins as his own version of the Dream Team, the potent unit he feels will lead him to the conquest of Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Nov. 5 in Las Vegas. And the fact that he will be fighting on home soil only makes Vargas firmly believe that he will get the job done when they collide at the Thomas and Mack Center. “I have the team I always wanted, the one to beat Manny,” Vargas said during a break in training in Las Vegas. Serving as chief trainer is former MMA campaigner and striking expert Dewey Cooper, while in command of the endurance and stamina aspect is David Hayes. Old school Rafael Garcia will be the cutman. The past four weeks, Vargas, 27, has been regularly …

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Injury forces Day to cancel PH exhibition

World No. 1 Jason Day of Australia expressed deep regrets over the cancellation of a charity exhibition match with Rory McIlroy originally scheduled for Nov. 29 at the Pradera Verde Golf and Country Club in Lubao, Pampanga. “I’m quite saddened about missing our trip to the Philippines,” said Day, whose mother is Filipino, in a statement released by Dolphin Fire, the company that is putting up the event. Day was forced to skip two major events – the Australian Open in Sydney and the World Cup in Melbourne – owing to a back injury on the advice of his doctor. Day was looking forward to some sort of a homecoming as he was planning to bring along his mother during the trip “to visit where we lost members of our family in the …

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‘Sick’ Pacquiao spars for 8 rounds

Despite nursing a cold, Sen. Manny Pacquiao showed up for an eight-round sparring Thursday, proving that he is steadfeast in his bid to regain the world welterweight crown on Nov. 5 in Las Vegas. “He had a bit of the cold but he sparred eight rounds,” said Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach yesterday just before another day of intense training. Barely a month before Pacquiao meets Jessie Vargas of the US, Roach is upbeat that they’ve been doing great and this is the reason why he has instructed sparring partners Jose Ramirez of the US and local recruit Leonardo Doronio to get ready for today’s session. “I am thinking of doing a total of ten rounds tomorrow (today)…five (with Ramirez) and five (with Doronio),” said Roach, who will fly with Pacquiao to …

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Shake up in boxing starts

The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) will shake up the composition of the national team in preparation for the two most important events of 2017. roster National team head coach Nolito “Boy” Velasco said all members of the national pool are going to be rounded up in January to determine the new composition of the Team A and Team B. The Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur in August and the World Championships in Hamburg, Germany, are the foremost tournaments the ABAP will participate in the new year. Velasco says the buildup for the SEAG and the worlds should kick off in March. For the remainder of 2016, the ABAP only has two commitments: The Tammer Cup in Finland late this month and the world youth next month in St. Petersburg, …

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Pacquiao can’t take Vargas easily – Roach

Freddie Roach is not among those who regard Jessie Vargas as a mere opponent for somebody like Sen. Manny Pacquiao. Vargas is all set to put the World Boxing Organization welterweight crown for the first time against Pacquiao on Nov. 5 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. Told that Pacquiao is lucky that he is not up against a marquee name as he is also immersed in attending Senate sessions that sometimes drag close to midnight, Roach insists Vargas is someone not to be messed with. “They just don’t give away those titles,” said Roach, referring to Vargas as a livewire foe and his being the WBO 147-lb titleholder wasn’t accidental. “He (Vargas) fought for the title (and won),” added Roach, who has been in Manila the last ten days. Vargas, 27, …

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Rio Games veterans eye Tokyo redemption

While admitting to being overjoyed by the silver medal she brought from Rio, female weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz wants a crack at the gold in four years time in Tokyo. “Gusto ko mag-Tokyo,” Diaz said during a reunion of Olympians at the Resorts World. The Philippines sent 13 athletes to the Rio Games last August but only five made it to the affair put up by TV5, the official presenter of the Olympics. Apart from Diaz, who placed second in the 53 kg. class, also attending the event were boxers Rogen Ladon and Charly Suarez, swimmer Jessie Lacuna and taekwondo jin Kirstie Alora. Aside from Diaz, who is eyeing her fourth Olympic stint, others who have expressed their desire to represent the country in Japan include Alora and the two punchers. Suarez, who will be 30 …

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Pacquiao on right track, says Roach

Pretty soon, Manny Pacquiao has to make that ultimate choice, his long-time trainer Freddie Roach said yesterday. Although he wasn’t upset with the decision to scrap Monday’s training owing to the extended Senate hearing on extra judicial killings, Roach told the Bulletin that the soon-to-be-38–year-old fighting senator will have to decide. “It’s a real job,” said Roach just hours before he was to preside over the training of Pacquiao, who is getting ready to face Jessie Vargas for the world welterweight title on Nov. 5 in Las Vegas. “We knew right from the start (of training camp) that these things would happen so we weren’t surprised. Besides, it was the first time we skipped training and it’s not like it hadn’t happened before (in other training camps),” said the Hall of Fame trainer. “In …

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Rivals pick CEU as heavy favorite in UCBL cagefest

Centro Escolar University (CEU), fresh from a runner-up finish in the PBA D-League, is the certified title contender when the inaugural Universities and Colleges Basketball League gets off the ground this Saturday at the Olivarez Coliseum in Sucat, Parañaque. Beefed up by 6-foot-6 Congolese center Rodrigue Ebondo, CEU will slug it out with six other squads in the tournament that will be contested using the double round-robin system with the top four teams advancing to the Final Four. The top two teams will enjoy twice-to-beat advantage against the lower-rated teams and the title will be a race-to-two affair. The battle for third will be a one-game duel. UCBL president Franklin Evidente aims to showcase the talent of student-athletes from other school not aligned with the major leagues in the hopes of luring more …

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Vargas trains behind closed doors

While the whole wide world gets to see Sen. Manny Pacquiao work out in Manila, it is the complete opposite over at Jessie Vargas’ training camp in Las Vegas, site of their scheduled 12-round world welterweight war set Nov. 5. “No media or myself is allowed during sparring,” said ace publicist Lee Samuels, tapped by Bob Arum’s Top Rank to handle the media obligations of Vargas, who risks his World Boxing Organization 147-lb crown for the first time against the Filipino legend at the Thomas and Mack Center. Samuels, however, have been to a few of Vargas’s workouts on non-sparring days and he describes the action as “very intense.” Aside from doing regular high-altitude endurance training at Mount Charleston, a short drive from Sin City, Vargas holds his daily preparations at night. “He trains …

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PH bets in Asian Beach Games get P.5-M from PSC

A couple of bonebreakers who made waves in the 5th Asian Beach Games are going to get P500,000 each from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC). Gold medalists Margarita Ochoa and Annie Ramirez of Jiujitsu arrived in the country following their fruitful campaign in Danang, Vietnam, and the association’s president Choy Cojuangco hosted a victory dinner for them and the contingent two nights ago. Ochoa, a 26-year-old Ateneo graduate, battered Susawan Boonsorn of Thailand in the finals of the women’s ne-waza 45 kg class. Ramirez, a long-time national team standout, beat Deepudsa Siramol, also of Thailand, in the women’s ne-waza -55 kg category. “This achievement shows that we can stand our ground against the best in Asia. We have to sustain the momentum and further intensify the program so that by 2018 it could be …

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