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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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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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Fury makes retirement U-turn

London — Controversial world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury made an abrupt U-turn on his retirement decision on Monday, tweeting: “I'm here to stay.” “Hahahaha u think you will get rid of the GYPSYKING that easy!!! I'm here to stay,” Fury posted on Twitter. “#TheGreatest just shows u what the Medea (sic) are like. Tut tut.” He added: “Soon as I get better I'll be defending what's mine the heavyweight thrown (sic).” The provocative 28-year-old British brawler, dogged by reports he failed a drugs test for cocaine, had earlier declared himself “retired” in a profanity-strewn tweet.

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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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Koncz: Donaire’s remarks below-the-belt

The scathing remarks made by Nonito Donaire regarding Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s political ambitions didn’t sit well with the fighting lawmaker’s camp. “Those statements were unprofessional, inappropriate and disrespectful,” said Pacquiao adviser Mike Koncz yesterday after Donaire told a boxing website that he won’t vote for the Filipino legend in the event he runs for the presidency. Koncz was aghast by Donaire’s words, saying the Fil-Am fighter had long been jealous of the achievements of Pacquiao. Donaire told fighthype two days ago that he “probably wouldn’t (vote for Pacquiao)” in case he vies for the presidency, stressing that Pacquiao “hasn’t presented himself well as a politician (but) presented himself as a celebrity.” “In order for him to get my vote, he has to commit,” said Donaire, who is actually fighting underneath Pacquiao’s Nov. 5 showdown …

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Vargas taps Heredia, eyes knockout win vs Pacquiao

Jessie Vargas is getting help from the same man immortalized for bringing Juan Manuel Marquez back from the dead. Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach revealed Tuesday night that conditioning coach Angel Heredia has been spotted giving a hand to Vargas as the Mexican-American gets ready to rumble with Manny Pacquiao on Nov. 5 in Las Vegas. Barely 12 hours after arriving in Manila, Roach was back in the gym alongside Jose Ramirez, who has been tapped to serve as Pacquiao’s chief sparring partner the next four weeks. “I saw a picture of Vargas and he looks big,” said Roach, his eyes lighting up and using his hands to show that Vargas is beginning to bulk up. But Roach didn’t sound at all bothered that Vargas has decided to hook up with Heredia, whose …

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Pacquiao, Roach start preparation

Hall of Fame Freddie Roach flew into town yesterday morning, sounding over eager to get things done when he starts working with Manny Pacquiao. Roach arrived from Los Angeles with Jose Ramirez, a 5-foot-10 fighter who could mimic the moves of Jessie Vargas, the Mexican-American who is defending the world welterweight crown against the Filipino icon on Nov. 5 in Las Vegas. Roused from his sleep, Roach was all set to head to the nearby gym from his hotel room within the vast Mall of Asia grounds. “It’s going to be work, work, work in the next few weeks,” said Roach, who had dispatched conditioning coach Justin Fortune last week to check on Pacquiao’s progress. Late last week, Pacquiao kicked off the sparring phase of the buildup and the training will take a notch …

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Flyweight’s elite fighters set in motion possible clash

Los Angeles, California — A battle royale among flyweight’s elite fighters can still happen as two of its former kingpins may soon find themselves going back to the 112lb class. ALA Promotions president Michael Aleguer believes former Mexican superstar Juan Francisco Estrada, who recently vacated his WBO and WBA flyweight thrones, may opt to return to the division if things do not fall into place regarding his recent move up in weight. “Estrada’s promoters told me if they can’t get the big fights at 115 he might go back to 112,” said Adeguer. Another superstar and current pound-for-pound king Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez of Nicaragua may seriously consider a return to his old haunt after his superflyweight debut turned out to be a successful but harsh outing. Gonzalez (46-0, 38 knockouts) ended up with abrasions …

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Nietes wins WBO int’l crown

Carson, California – Wearing his usual all-purple boxing get up which he said brings good luck, Donnie “Ahas” Nietes never needed such as his skills alone led him to a masterful decision win over Mexican Edgar Sosa last night at the StubHub Center here. A tentative start by both boxers up until the first half of the second round led to few boos from spectators which prompted Nietes to throw a vicious 1-2 combination and a stunning right straight that wobbled Sosa towards the end of the second canto. From then on, the 34-year-old Nietes threw jab-straight combos with pinpoint accuracy and potent left hooks and crosses that staggered Sosa in rounds 5, 10 and 12 in the main event of the card dubbed “Pinoy Pride 38: Philippines versus Mexico.” “Alam ko makuha …

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